Post by Joseph Cianciotto
I remember as Jen’s pregnancy progressed, it became apparent quite quickly that we would be having a whole new human being joining our life. At this point the notion of a child was more of a concept than a reality, but as Jen began to show it started to hit me that we were no longer two but three.
I even started calling Jen’s bump little Joe. Because in an Italian family if you are a boy you of course name all your children after yourself, or your father or your grandfather. The easy part is that most of that time it’s usually all the same name. For the Cianciotto’s there’s an abundant variation of Joe’s, Joey, Joseph, JC, Big Joe, Little Joe, Fat Joe, Joe Jr., Giuseppe and perhaps the weirdest name, Frankie’s Joseph…because my cousin Frankie had a son named, you guessed it Joseph…and that’s what they freaking called him.
So back to babies… One of the most exciting moments came when we got the first sonogram of the fetus. I remember looking at this little person who already had a head and feet and arms and legs. What struck me most was seeing the spine. In those collection of weeks I just couldn’t believe that not only was I seeing inside of my wife’s womb, but by counting those little rivets that made up the spine I was seeing the inside of the body of my little baby as well. From here we got to check in on our nugget every two weeks and watch this person form.
Anyway, probably the next biggest moment was the 10-week ultrasound. The goal of that visit is to get a full view of the life growing inside and to measure things like forearm size and cranium width and even count fingers. Gotta say no one prepares you for that moment you go from saying my wife is pregnant to ‘our baby’. It really is a magical experience where you can see a vibrant heart beating and a life…well alive.
It was at this point that I asked the unthinkable. Of course this very critical time was to confirm that the little one is healthy and thriving… but I asked the unthinkable. I said, “So where’s his ‘you-know-what’ Doc.” And I could see the look of stone in Jen’s eyes as she leaned into me and poked me with her elbow. At this point the technician (who should have been flattered I called him a doctor because he was a technician) says “Oh that? No it looks like we have a girl.” And then I said the one thing that would put me on Jen’s $hit list for the whole ride home. I just casually asked, “Can you look again?” Now I’m going to stop you, the reader, right there, before you call the PC police on me, I was equally in love with the idea of either a daughter or a son and just cared that the baby was healthy. As a father I was thrilled, as a man I was humbled but as a husband I was now outnumbered. I had to change my whole strategy, and my God we have to call this baby Josephine, I can’t call her Josephine! But holy crap we were having a little girl and I just met her for the first time, so fine she would be called Josephine, but that was my little girl. I am kidding though, I could never go through with calling her Josephine…maybe Joanne?
So as I was saying Jen was pissed at me for what would be the rest of the day and into the evening. And then I fell asleep. And then like I always do I had a dream and in my dream, was low and behold my daughter…and in this dream I was trying to feverishly get an ice cream cone for her…why I have no idea, but I had to get her an ice cream cone. I actually ended up waking Jen up as I, half asleep implored her to get my daughter an ice cream cone. Anyway, I barely remember that but when I woke up Jen wasn’t pissed at me anymore and realized that I’m going to get my daughter a cone and anything else she wants for the rest of her life and hell yeah, I was thrilled to be having a girl!!