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One of the most clever songwriters and quick-witted live comedians in the business... with his high speed, low-drag act that constantly changes and evolves, Pat has such strong material and improv skills, no two shows are ever the same... not even close.
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Drama of the Ultrasound

IMG_0289No matter what you think the ultrasound experience is, perhaps from movies like “Knocked Up,” “Juno,” etc., or anecdotally, no film nor preconceived notion prepares you for this kind of drama. It’s very Shakespearian (hopefully not Macbeth) and can be a little Greek tragedy (definitley not Oedipus). You think you’re just gonna breeze in, check out the health of the baby, the growth of the baby, and quickly and ultimately, the sex of the baby—but that’s not what happens.

What happens is, you enter a dark room with a technician (ours was female), an examination table, two glowing monitors, and your future heir or heiress to the throne hanging in the balance. My wife at-the-time was calm, cool, and connected, my nine year-old daughter was distracted, and I was more nervous than I’d ever been in my whole life. By the time we got started, I realized I couldn’t hide behind my spoken feelings of just wanting the baby to be healthy. I wanted a boy, dammit; put a stem on that apple! A spittin’ image of me, minus the internal issues; someone to carry on the family name, no matter how tarnished I’m handing it to him. Surely the 3 females in the room could see right through me and my transparent longing for a penis. I hope that last sentence never gets taken out of context.

When you’re nervous you make jokes. When you’re nervous and you’re a stand-up comedian, you make funny jokes, albeit inappropriate ones. As the woman shot goo all over my wife’s belly, I said, “You know, if I did that, we wouldn’t be here.” My wife laughed, my daughter tilted her head like the RCA Victor dog, and the technician acted like she didn’t hear it. Tough crowd. She then very matter-of-factly took the transducer probe, rubbed it over my wife’s abdomen like a magic wand, and voila! Up there on the screen, unsure of what I’m looking at, appears to be a prehistoric bird. We’re having a pterodactyl. I hope it’s a boy pterodactyl.

I don’t know what I’m listening to, or what I’m seeing up on the screen, but It sounds like a submarine and looks like that thing that came out of the guy’s stomach in “Alien.” She spends a laborious amount of time carefully measuring oblong shapes, pointing to a pulsating image she says is the heart and a spine that looks like a sea horse. I assumed she was going to get to the genitalia soon, and if I squinted my eyes, I was pretty sure I could see something, but she says nothing and as the Ultrasound tech continues to point and type, I think to myself, “A boy or not a boy? That is the question.” After what seems like an hour of this, even though it was only twenty minutes, she asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. “Yes” flew out of my mouth before she even got to the “ex”.

She asked us what we wanted and what we thought it was, and I gave her my standard answer, “We don’t care as long as it’s healthy. You know, ten fingers, ten toes.” Then I whispered, “And one penis.” It took her forever to ask her next question, which was of our daughter, “So what do you want to have, Avery?” And I thought, “Get on with it, already. Penis, vagina—boy, girl. Let’s end this little slideshow and finish this period drama, for Christ’s sake.” Avery responded, “I want a sister.” The technician smiled, and I had no idea what that meant. She then drew an arrow, pointing to what looked like a Rorschach blot and proceeded to type, “It’s a…”

My heart was beating as fast as my unborn child’s on the screen; exactly 164 beats per minute. I know because she told us ten times. And as she was typing it, she said it: “Boy. B-O-Y!!!” I shrieked like Kate from “Taming of the Shrew”, then jumped and fell into the wall, and at first, the tech thought I had fainted. What happened next is a blur, but I was told that I kept saying, “It’s a boy, it’s a boy,” then cried and danced in the other team’s end zone. I should have got a penalty for excess celebration. I gathered myself and immediately felt guilty for the way I reacted, and then went right back into my, “Hey, as long as it’s healthy. You know, ten fingers, ten toes” mantra.

I hugged the technician, maybe a little too long, and thanked her profusely for it being a boy, something she had nothing to do with. I’m surprised I didn’t tip her. As we left the office and walked through the waiting room, I recall raising the scroll of pictures over my head and singing the “Theme from Rocky.” Afterward, the girls and I went to lunch, but I didn’t do much eating. I called and texted everybody. One of the best responses I got was from my friend, Tom Griswold, who wrote back, “It’s a boy. Congratulations. Here’s an Irish toast I wrote.

“May the road rise to meet you, at his birth’s celebration. Let’s hope he’s endowed with the enormous Godwin manhood, which skips a generation.”

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Tim Taylor said on July 11, 2010

Congrats on getting a boy. Now you’ve got someone else to blame for leaving the seat up.

Sam said on July 11, 2010

I’m glad you specified “one” penis. Any more and it would be weird, any less and it would be be broken.

pregnancymiraclejya said on July 25, 2010

great blog, thank you so much

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