when a mommy loves a daddy



So, Tessa’s pregnant. Quite a few of you already knew this, already surmised as such, or it’s hitting you broadside in the back of the head. As for me, it’s the latter, and I’ve known for about 4 1/2 months. I’m also so overwhelmed and happy and scared and utterly unsure of what we’ve just begun, so yes, I’ll take a number and join the club, right around April 2.

Tessa has been amazing throughout this process, only freaking out and scaring me once (so far) – she has taken to impending motherhood with the calm and self-knowledge of someone who understands this to be the natural progression of her life. She is made of such great stuff. Me, I feel the baby kick in her belly, and I shudder with the kind of awe that jumbles the brain. I mean, having another human being kicking at your wife from the inside is disturbing.

I neglected to put anything on this blog until now, because I am the proud result of six miscarriages, and my family knows how devastating that can be – and I sure as hell didn’t want to have to write a painful missive explaining why we’re no longer shopping for onesies. Tessa is what we in the business refer to as “advanced maternal age” (at 35?!?) so we opted for the amnio, and as far as we can tell, we’re not going to have a baby with a dick growing out of her forehead.

My wife is going to kick my ass for writing that. I mean, we don’t even know if it’s a girl.

Anyway, it’s been a bizarre experience, keeping a blog for almost five months without being able to refer to the one thing that has consumed your thought space. Curiously, I did refer to it here when I originally wrote “the pregnant people in the room are tired” – which was directed at Dana, but Tessa was only days pregnant as well. I changed the wording after the firestorm of comments, unaware that I had unwittingly told the truth.


breaking the news to Sean and Jordana on the iSight

One of the best things about becoming “with child” is telling the people you love. Tessa’s mom Sandy cried, my dad was elated, and my mom was her usual brand of pioneer stoic with layers of happiness woven within (she comes from Mormon stock, where pregnancies happen with the frequency of sunsets). Block and Salem seemed to be happy somebody else was about to go through it. Tessa’s two best New York friends are also preggers. So are Lindsay and Dana. Matt just had a baby a few weeks ago. THANK FUCKING GOD we are not doing this by ourselves.

I will say this, however: four years ago, I was unable to contemplate a long-term relationship, living in a junky house in the Hollywood Hills. Now I am married, living in New York, and about to have a kid. Part of me, perhaps 12%, believes that marriages and families are things that happen to other people. I was so bereft of friendship and romantic love in the first fourteen years of my life that I think I had written it off entirely as a luxury of “real” people.

Part of me still pines for the Purple House days of sneaking into the ABC store at 8:55pm for the last bottle of Jim Beam, so we could sit on the porch on McCauley Street and play guitar all night. The rest of me, thank god, has some sense. I am so lucky to be with this woman, to have the friends I have, to have your attention every few days, that I feel an embarrassment of riches. Adding a yard monster to that seems like difficult perfection, and I couldn’t be more psyched.

0 thoughts on “when a mommy loves a daddy

  1. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    I am so happy for you guys!!!!!! Hurrah! Yippee!
    I am confused about one thing. . . did you find out the results of the amnio or not regarding gender? Will Baby be a Hazel or a Phinnaeus?? I had not had enough coffee yet to make sense of the dick growing out of her forehead reference. Please advise our inquiring minds.
    Hey, have you noticed Chopes acting strangely around Tessa? Following her around and acting as though something is askew? My beagle started following me everywhere and sitting on my lap the first month I was pregnant. Dogs just know these things before humans do!
    Hey, the photo of Jordana and Sean is classic. They look like they just won the lottery! You all look like you just won the lottery!
    Thanks again for sharing your news. You made my day. I have a hideous day of meetings and projects ahead, and you gave me a wonderful piece of pure joy to think about. I love it when wonderful things happen to wonderful people! Take care of your Little Mama, Daddio. Bye!

  2. Andrew

    Congratulations. As a new father of a 3 month old daughter, I assure you that most if not all of any past trials in life fade away the moment your child arrives. Just as your child does, you start a whole new life. And it is good.

  3. cullen

    The Jim Beam experience is still available to you with kids, but I would suggest a tight-fitting baby b’jorn (you may have to work on your posture for holding a baby AND guitar), a little prep and practice for slightly inebriated diaper interactions, and an invisible shock fence system in case you totally lose track of ‘it’ (once the crawling begins). Kudos and congrats. Nap now and may the force be with you.

  4. Greg

    Your experiences in life very much mirror my own (except for being completely different and shit like that, ya know,) so I wholeheartedly recommend parenthood. Our son has completely changed my life and priorities for the better.

  5. jordana

    that was a pregnancy test? i thought it was a rectal thermometer. a lot of things are starting to make sense.
    mazel tov!

  6. Josie

    Congrats to both of you. I kinda guessed it when you mentioned the move the other day — need a bigger place, eh?
    I am due with #2 only 10 days before Tessa, so I am sending healthy preggo vibes her way. The cool thing about being AMA is that you get lots of cool ultrasounds.
    I’ll be 36 when this one is born and then the baby making factory will be closed for biz. Otherwise, we’ll be working until we’re 70….
    Look forward to hearing about your adventures in shopping for peanut. That’s a whole new (and overwhelming) experience in consumerism.
    Congrats again.

  7. Sean M.

    that’s fantastic – congrats. do you have your class of 2027 UNC application yet?
    that year still aesthetically looks like a number out of a sci-fi novel to me. maybe we’ll all be cruising around in spaceships or teleporting ourselves to lands unknown by then…that’s what i thought about the year 2000 when i was a kid.
    congrats again. happy happy, joy joy.

  8. LosAngelestype

    A small, free, baby present. The astrological forecast for an Aries baby-
    The Rambo of the play group has arrived! With an Aries baby around, you can expect lots of action and activity in your midst. Don’t expect this tot to sit still with a rattle — it just won’t happen. The Aries baby is one who makes a lot of noise and will definitely be heard. There’s really no choice! As a Fire sign, the little Ram will be dynamic and always up to something. Will this be a tough baby to deal with? More than likely. To that end, parents would be wise to show this child how to work with other babies early on. Things such as sharing won’t come naturally — they must be learned. Even where siblings are concerned, the Aries child won’t be a walk in the park. What the Aries baby may want most of all, however, is attention, so parents be well advised. In a play setting, the Aries tot will easily get the attention of others on their own. This baby will also start many things early, the better to get to the finish line in a hurry. To sum up, the Aries baby can be quite independent but enjoys interacting with others. This baby is a fairly physical child and craves constant stimulation. They will be ready from day one!

  9. hilary

    dearest ian and tessa,
    i too am expecting an aries baby — my first — on april 13. i am so excited and relieved to know that i’ll be going through this with ya’ll. i am of course freaking out as a struggling artist in her mid thirties, who is VERY used to her independence!!! i actually found myself getting jealous of you and tessa many times after reading about your fabulous “unattached” lifestyle on your blog, while my belly and anxiety was growing on a daily basis. Please tell Tessa I’m so happy for her, and happy for MYSELF (and, ok, happy for you too), that we can go through this together. Can we have dinner soon?

  10. Piglet

    Calloo Callay! It’s a new little Democrat!
    The parallels between your life story and mine are downright scary sometimes. Same generation, same emotional problems, same usenet group rants, same politics, same woeful early social life, married same year, daddied same year.
    Mine’s due early March. Ultrasound showed my little one raising a tiny revolutionary fist. Yup, definitely mine.

  11. flaco

    awesome!! Excellent news, I read it early this morning but didn’t get a chance to post coz we went to hospital for weekly exam. Wife is due any day now, I’m thinking the 11th (new moon, downward energy). We’re both very anxious at this point, just eager to have our little daughter join us on the outside. I’m on back and grundle message duty, being the de facto male doula :-)
    This is our first, it is trying and exciting time. Parenthood will suit us nicely, as I’m sure it will you guys. We are blessed and lucky to be self-aware, self-replicating life forms on this wonderful planet! To laugh, to cry, to sing!

  12. Tanya

    Ian Darling,
    Congratulations to both you and Tessa. I hope she’s feeling grand and everything goes wonderfully. Glad to know there’s a new little Tar Heel on the way!

  13. scruggs

    Congrats as well! I can’t quantify or express the joy in our life since Nicolas, our 18 month old came along. Wishing ya’ll the same. As we are now thinking about kid #2, if a girl is added to the mix and you end up with a son, I will pass along Nick’s Carolina garb. He was a May baby, so it should fit, and it must end up with a worthy fanatic.

  14. Bud

    I was going to suggest coming to North Carolina for the birth–you know, the whole “Tar Heel born” thing–but that’s incredibly corny, and besides, any child born to you and Tessa will surely be Tar Heel born deep down in the soul.
    Love. Much Love to all.

  15. salem's little sister

    Hey Ian. Congratulations! Isn’t it wonderful to be able to talk about it now? As to being born in North Carolina, why don’t you fill a jar with some real Chapel Hill dirt the next time you’re down this way. When you guys go to the hospital, put the jar under Tessa’s bed. That way, the baby will born an official Tar Heel. When we had Ben in October, my nurse told us about a transplanted Texas family that actually spread the dirt under their bed. Congratulations again!
    P. S. Tell Tessa to sleep now as much as she can. Oh sleep, how I miss you.

  16. cheryl

    Ah, bless you two. Congratulations on creating a life!
    I’ll greet you with a hug when I see you later this month…

  17. Betty R.

    Wow- Jiffer and I gossipped about this a few months back, but you put a stop to it. I knew we should have stuck with our guts. You are a great secret keeper!
    This is really exciting for both of you- what great news. A little Ian or Tessa running around- too crazy. Way to go!

  18. brent

    Ian and Tessa-
    Hell yes!!! You guys are in for the ride of your life. Schuyler (my wife) was kind enough to kick out a boy for us 11/24/04 at 5:05AM. I thought I was ready, she was beyond ready to get the little bundle out of her but nothing prepares you for the sensation when you hold your child for the first time. Enjoy every minute of it, and have that one glass of wine or Starbucks when you want/need it Tessa.

  19. A Dalrymple

    Congratulations! (Although I will be the lone voice of dissent hoping that your child rebels as a teenager and chooses to go to Duke instead—Go Blue Devils!)
    Aimee D.

  20. Andy

    The birth of your first child will top any experience that you’ve ever had before. I can’t wait to meet Wednesday’s Child’s Child.

  21. Bozoette Mary

    Oh my stars!! Congratulations to you and Tessa. She looks absolutely lovely and radiant, and you look so happy. Believe me, when you hold your baby in your arms, you will fall into the deepest and most profound love you will ever know. And it’s good to remember that feeling at 3 o’clock in the morning, when he/she is screaming, and throwing up, and pooping endlessly. And it’s good to remember that feeling at 3 o’clock in the morning when he/she is not home yet, and has your car, and the phone rings…
    Much love to all three of you!

  22. litlnemo

    Wow, I don’t read the blog for a few days and look what I miss… Congratulations! It is 99.9% sure that Jason and I won’t be having any kids, so it’s good to know someone else is going to produce smart and talented offspring instead. :)

  23. brady

    Hi, Ian and Tessa,
    Just catching up with your posts, and I loved this one. Congratulations to you and Tessa from your friends in GA. Tessa looks radiant!!!! I can guarantee you that your lives will never be the same (laugh). Lots of Love.
    Brady and the boys


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