Everything Is Different Now

Jason and I have been in talks to start a family for some time now. I say “in talks” because I find it to be along the lines of countries negotiating, as one nation will have to take on a serious — albeit short-term — obligation that could potentially affect that country’s GNP for some time. We went back and forth on when and how, birth vs adoption vs fostering, back to budgeting to financial obligations to legal obligations to when and how we would fit it in with our work schedules and my deep-rooted fear that if I had a child I’d never get hired for anything ever again.

We discussed starting a family at such a conceptual level we were practically wearing elbow patches, continually adjusting our reading glasses in order to make another articulate point about feminism and the human procreational instinct. (TL;DR: We nerded out about it.)

It seemed like a very private discussion, and one that should only be appropriate between Jason and me, but that’s not the case. I suppose it’s just what happens when you reach a certain age, but eventually I couldn’t go anywhere without being asked if I had kids, if I wanted kids, and when would I have kids if I did. This would happen with friends, family, complete strangers, on job interviews. People would look at me like I was being very selfish with my working ladyparts, and that if I had any desire — at all ever in the world ever even in the future, which i couldn’t imagine but would have to, even when i was old and wrinkly and thinking about regrets– then, would i want to have had a baby then? — that I needed to come to some decisions rather than continue to delude myself that it was something I could think about at my leisure.

We decided to ask my doctor what she thought.

“Well,” she said, “everything looks great here and I don’t have any worries. However, for most people it takes at least six months, maybe more. And you’ll be another year older soon, and at six months we’d start looking into why there’d be a delay, so then it could be another year before we start trying more serious measures. I would say if you want a child anytime in the next two to three years, I’d get on the stick.”

And then it got real quiet in her office, the only sound the paper shifting under my butt as I leaned forward to ask in a confused, slightly horrified tone. “…Do you…do you mean get on his stick?”

“No!” she shouted, so offended.

“Oh. Then do you mean…do you mean the stick I pee on?”

“No! What is wrong with you?”

I’d never heard the expression ”get on the stick” before, so my southern partner in baby-making had to explain it to me.

Before the stick had even been legit straddled, I was working one morning on the final manuscript pass of You Take It From Here when I was suddenly overwhelmed with deep anxiety. I knew, without a doubt, that I was pregnant. I felt different, puffy, sad and confused. I felt odd.

I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t wait to talk it over with Jason. I tore through my medicine cabinet until I found an old pregnancy test (don’t judge me; you don’t know my life). I had jumped out of a plane with less panicky hand trembling as I peed on that thing and waited the millions of years it takes before it told me…

I was pregnant with a book.

Perhaps you’ve never been pregnant with a book before, so let me tell you what it feels like. It feels like being an enormous nerd. I had literally put down my manuscript to pee on this stick, and the test said, “Congrats! You’re about to have a new novel! I hope it’s a hardcover! May you sell a million copies! PS: we’ve added this helpful arrow so you know to begin reading on the left-hand side of the book.”

It’s stressful enough just taking a pregnancy test alone in your bathroom with your pants around your ankles, holding a stick you’d just pissed all over. It’s another thing entirely to then need to bring Google into this situation.

Google told me that the book means “consult the manual” and it was basically an error message that the stick was too old and worthless. I called Jason and swore I’d never take another test without him again.

Many, many (brand-new) pregnancy tests later: we were confident I wasn’t pregnant. And I was relieved. It seemed too crazy to just suddenly be pregnant right after we were like, “Okay, maybe it’s about time to start trying.” I hadn’t even done the trying!

I went back to finish my manuscript remembering what everybody had been telling me, reminding myself of everything I’d seen all my friends go through. I calmed down. Even though I’d never once tried to have sex without birth control before that month, even though I’d spent my entire life convinced that unprotected sex = immediate embryo, I had to remember that it’s not that easy, it’s not that likely, and it’s not going to happen for some time. Two to three years, the doctor said! That’s so much time to just kick it and go about my business. It’s like all the other jobs I do. Lots of hurry up and wait and most of the time the answer is no. I’m used to that kind of day-to-day.

Six weeks later Tara came to visit while Jason was out of town. We flew on a trapeze. We went to see Friends With Kids — during the day. We took surfing lessons. We ate snacks and watched dance movies. I turned to her at one point and beamed, “I love my life! Everything is perfect!”

“We should figure out where we’re going to see Step Up 4,” she said. “Hawaii? Japan? Rio?”

I’d flown to her to see one of them; she’d flown to me to see one. We almost saw Step Up 3D in Paris. Almost. And then instead I ended up in Paris with my mother. (See: the story I still need to finish) (see also: the part earlier where I was bragging about my awesome life.)

“Why, is it the last one? They aren’t making any more?” I began to panic.

“No,” Tara said. “It’s just that you’ll probably have a baby by the time they make the next one and you won’t be able to go anywhere.”

“What?! That is crazy. No. That’s not going to happen. Another one of these things will come out next year and we can watch it anywhere in the world because I will totally not have a baby by then. That’s so soon.”

“Just in case, I think we should see this one in Hawaii and have surf camp and have one last lady-trip.”


Ten days later I was getting ready for my birthday party at a wine bar, where we were going to break open many, many bottles.

“I’m going to take a test, just so I have peace of mind in case I get birthday-blitzed tonight.”

“There’s barely a chance you’re pregnant,” Jason said. “I mean, we didn’t do any kind of planning or prep and I was out of town when the app said you’d be ovulating.”


So Jason came home with sixteen pregnancy tests. I peed on one and we waited in the hallway for thirty seconds.

“Let’s go look now.”

“You know what it’s going to say.”

“I just need to see it say that.”

“Maybe it hasn’t been long enough.”

“That’s it. I’m looking. And then pouring a scotch.”

I got one foot in the bathroom door before I saw the giant pink word PREGNANT.

I believe my first words were “HOLY SHIT.” And then I had to sit down for quite some time. And then I took to bed. And then I cried, because everything was about to change, and I never got to properly say goodbye to wine, to scotch, to pots of coffee and plates of sushi. I cried a very selfish cry for about an hour because I knew that conception/implantation happened while I was flying from one trapeze to another, or popping up on a surfboard, or – most likely – the second I said to Tara, “I love my life! Everything is perfect.”

[BOOM! Cue “Circle of Life” and fireworks and that high-speed video of flowers blooming and sperm bonding with egg.]

The tears and fear and despair came from knowing I had just entered something I couldn’t yet imagine. Our child isn’t here yet, and we’ve never raised one before, so I can’t truly comprehend the fun/work that’s coming.

My life used to be relatively imaginable. Not predictable, but within my concept of perception. I knew what my December would probably look like back in January, when I thought I’d be spending my holidays like I always do – at my cousin’s house, in the basement, kicking their kids’ butts in the latest version of Dance Central.

This December we will be having a baby, and our year will end in our home, and our next year – and all our years after that – will be filled with the unknown.

Jason and I loved our life together– enough that we wanted to share it with someone who would be our responsibility, who would be with us for all our adventures in the decades to come. We have been lucky enough to experience some amazing things, and know we are even more fortunate to be expecting so quickly. But I still get a little weepy, when I think about our years in the past, and how they’re now firmly in the past, because I loved that part of my life. But I also know if I didn’t love it so much, I wouldn’t be so excited about our future.

So here’s to the unknown, where everything is different now, but where life can be a different kind of perfect.

98 thoughts on “Everything Is Different Now

  1. wow, holy crap. Congratulations! wow. I really thought you might be pregnant with a book! If anyone could you certainly could.

    p.s. I love books but I love my Daughter more :)

  2. Oh, Pamie! Congratulations.

    I’ve followed your website since TWOP days, and never commented, or Tweeted you, or anything (though you did answer my letter when I wrote to Sars’ Vine once), so it’s a little bit embarrassing how happy this makes me.

    Here’s to excitement, nerding out, and your child being as awesome as you.

  3. Man, giving birth to a book would’ve been way too icky to imagine, and that’s saying something! Glad you’re having a human baby instead! Congrats!

    I’ll drink your share of wine and coffee for you.

  4. Congratulations! I have also be following you since the TWOP days, and I love your books, and I’m so psyched for you! I can’t wait to read your continuing adventures!

  5. OMG!! Congratulations, Pamie!! I’ve been following you since Squishy and this is quite a life change!! But it sounds like you’re in love and (despite the occasional WTF!? moments) ready for it…and seriously, how awesome is that?? So happy for you guys!! :D

  6. Oh wow! Congratulations!!! As someone who has only recently come to the realization at the advanced age of 35 and for now at least firmly single that she would actually like children but is still absolutely terrified by the concept, I can’t imagine the emotions. But so, so many congratulations!

  7. Aw, that’s so fantastic! Congratulations to both of you! I hope you’ll continue blogging through this next phase of your life. I love your take on things, and I’m sure parenting will be no different. :)

  8. Congratulations! Thrilled for you!

    My husband and I were married ten years before we had our son. I got pregnant on the first try. I also took to bed after the test showed up positive, crying my eyes out. I didn’t even have time to adjust to the idea of trying! It has been different and, at times, difficult. But oh, I love my boy. I am excited for you and Jason. I learned what a good good man I was married to after I had a baby.

  9. OMG PAMIE!!!!! Congratulations!!! I can’t type enough exclamation points!!!

    How is it that you have always – I swear for 10 years now – written about experiences that go so closely hand-in-hand with what I’m dealing with in my own personal life? With boys/cats/jobs… now the baby/whenbaby/fear thing. I haven’t taken the leap yet, but I too get the questions and the advice from my doctor. All the same stuff. Thank you so much for writing to eloquently (and funnily) about something that I’m sure many of us go through, and not enough people write about (at least, not that I’ve found).

    I’m so happy for you and Jason. Hooray!!!

  10. I cried when I listened to the podcast where you and your friends flew to Atlanta to see Bring It On: The Musical. That was a few months after I had a baby boy and a trip like that was something I wouldn’t be able to contemplate for a long time. The memory of that moment and that feeling has stayed with me and there are times when those feelings resurface. And while there are some things I won’t be doing now there are so many more wonderful things that have happened and will happen since my son was born – it’s truly, mind-bogglingly fantastic.

    Congratulations. You are going to be a wonderful mom.

  11. Congratulations! Just remember, as you wrote in my book, “Love is a battlefield!” and I’m sure that extends to parenting, but I have no doubt you’re up for it. You were a Derby Doll, dammit!

  12. Congratulations Pamie and Jason!!! I’ve been reading you for years, too, it’s so great to be able to follow along with the changes. And I will say my life is different after my child, but not worse, just a whole new world.

  13. so the FB page includes the picture of your pregnant-with-a-book peestick (I had never heard ‘get on the stick’ either, btw) so I had an idea what this was about before I read it, and then I read you were pregnant with a book and I was like “ooh another one already?” and then you started talking about actually trying for a human baby instead of a book baby and I was like “oh she’s just telling a funny story about how she decided to have a baby and AB Chao already named it or something” and then you said you love your life and I KNEW.

    Congratulations, Pamie and Jason, and I expect your little one to be in skates and kneepads before 12 months is up! ;)

  14. Cheers to you and your family, Pamie! Have you explained to your books that there’s a new person joining the family, but that doesn’t mean that you love them any less?

  15. How wonderful and amazing it’s going to be (and already is).

    We had a baby in August and a baby in December and I remember both of those Christmases, just the quiet perfect moments where we could feel the new life was filling our home and our hearts.

    Of course, now it’s mostly noisy toys and high-pitched squeals instead of quiet, swaddled babies, but it’s still awesome.

    Love the moments that are coming.

  16. How awesome is it that you were pregnant with a book? It seems so appropriate! I got married in May 2 months before my 39th birthday. We started trying right away, since I knew it would take months, if we even could. BOOM, it happened immediately, and the baby is due in February! Perhaps my baby will someday read your baby’s recaps and novels (just like his mommy!).

  17. Whoa! I did not see this coming!

    Congratulations, Pamie. We were together ten years before we had our first (almost a year ago). I had absolutely no idea what I was in for (still don’t), but it was been way more awesome than I imagined. I used to see it only in terms of what it would take away from my life. I was not prepared for how much that baby girl would bring to the table. I miss the freedom, for sure, but life as a family of three has been overwhelmingly sweet.

  18. I’m another of the “have been reading your website for years and yeah, own all your books, too, but haven’t ever even commented on anything” club, but I had to this time. Congratulations! I hope that you’re feeling as well as can be expected (I’m pregnant with my first and am just settling into this wonder called the second trimester…it’s amazing to be able to eat without battling nausea).

    This is really, really great news.

  19. Congratulations, Pamie!!

    I was just visiting an old friend I recently reconnected with and her new two month-old this afternoon. She asked me if I’d read any good books lately, and I said I thought the last thing I’d read was “a book by this woman who’s blog I’ve been following for years after I read her recaps of t.v. shows.” Turns out my friend read all your Gilmore Girls recaps too. :-)

  20. AH! Congratulations Pamie!! I’m so happy for you!

    My mom and I were reading your post at the same time and were both in suspense getting to the bottom to confirm. Your posts always make me smile and laugh out loud but this one was particularly exciting to read. You’re gonna do great!

  21. AHHH! Pam, congratulations! I have never been so happy and excited for the inner-workings of a virtual strangers reproductive system before! I, too, was relying on the whole, “It will take 6 months to a year and you’re not getting any younger, so…” method of birth control. I got pregnant the first month. I’m due in December, too.

    I hope you tell lots of pregnancy stories in the next few months and I hope they aren’t all of the “this is the most magical and meaningful time in my life” variety because, as far as I’m concerned, being pregnant sucks.

  22. You are indeed going to be a great mom. Please don’t stop writing about anything, like, you know, Asian spas, or why you don’t need an agent, or Mom on the Orient Express. Just take the baby on the new adventures.

  23. Hi Pamie! I’m a longtime reader, living in Houston (I came to your Katy Books book-signing and took the picture of you and your sweet Mom) and I just wanted to send my warmest and best congratulations to you and Jason. I know you’ll be amazing parents!

  24. I just read and recommended your book to all my friends a couple weeks ago and this post makes me even happier for you! Congrats – you are right, everything is about to change, it’s amazing!

  25. Congratulations! I’ve got two boys and was absolutely terrified of what I had got myself into both times – and it is hard, dont’ get me wrong – but the amount of play and laughter and just all around family-ness they have brought to my life is incalculable.

  26. Pamie,
    I’m another long-time lurker/admirer of you and AB, since way back in the Cute Dean days of the year 2000. Major, major congratulations and best wishes to you. This was a really lovely post.

  27. That is such wonderful news!! Almost 15 years ago I took a pregnancy test after nine months of trying and wanting and praying and begging God to PLEASE LET ME BE PREGNANT THIS TIME, and when I saw those two lines I still panicked and said the exact same thing you did: Holy Shit, what have we done?!

    Long story short: it’s been awesome, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It’s scary now, but it will be worth it.

    (In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that it will be worth it MOST OF THE TIME. Other times you will look at your 14-year-old and wonder if you can give her back.)

  28. I’m due in four weeks, and probably should stop reading about baby stuff because this made me cry. I know you guys are over the moon about this now, but I can understand your initial reaction as well. My journey was a longer, sadder route, and I am so glad you didn’t have to go through that. Really excited to see what this baby does to your world and your writing! Congrats to you both.

  29. Pamie! I am so excited for y’all! Another whole world full of “It’s not that scary” entries (I hope) (you know, I realized you haven’t done those in a while, but I miss them . . . ).

    As a mid-December baby, I strongly suggest keeping the holidays and the birthday as separate as possible.

  30. I was eating dinner last night while catching up on news and happenings via my iPad. My husband looked up from his sports scores and asked with alarm, “Why are you crying?!” “Because Pamie is going to have a baby!” He was puzzled, but there is no way to explain my close relationship with Pamie of Pamie.com. The humor, wit and incisive observations over the years have been a delight to follow. Somehow, following Pamie.com doesn’t feel like a one-way communication. A baby! I’m so happy for you! The woman who is in touch with her Little Pam and who wrote ‘You Take It From Here’ is a going to make a great mom!

  31. i love all the comments. you are radiant and i can’t WAIT to read all the shit you fuck up, do wrong, do right, love, hate, enjoy and freak out about.

    i can’t wait to see the pic of your baby being held by your momma.

    i said it in person & i’m so happy i can say it publicly- CONGA-RATS!!!!! CONGRATS!! i’m so fucking excited for you. because even tho’ i never want kids, i think it’s awesome you are willing to jump into that pool for the rest of us. xoxo

  32. Congratulations and best wishes to you both and Cal! I love the part about not properly saying goodbye to liquor and sushi. Whatever are Hoda and Kathie Lee doing without you?

  33. Congratulations, of course. I look forward to reading how the mystery, madness and miracle all play out for you over the coming years, but I’d also like to thank you for breath stopping humor of this post in general and of the “Perhaps you’ve never been…” paragraph in particular.

    I found myself clawing my way through a giggling apoplexy reading each word of each sentence out loud to my wife.

    “Dear, God! Just hand me the phone. And stop wheezing like Ernie.”

    I really can’t say how much I appreciate what you’ve written here. Thanks.

  34. I go away for a couple of weeks and BAM the best most exciting most thrilling most scary most awesome news ever!! I know you are going to be a great mom and I am so excited for you two (and the great life, the perfect one, will be back before you know it — your best friend’s kid is almost ALL GROWN, and how long did that take? Like 1 week, right?!). Anyway. CONGRATS!

  35. Who doesn’t love a good woah-I’m-pregnant story? And of course you just nailed it. And nailed him — or he nailed you? Just what is the correct subject-verb relationship to the verb “to nail” when speaking of sex?? And holy shit, the pregnant with a book thing is hilarious. I smell a totally awesome meme coming on. I think I’m pregnant with a bad fucking attitude. Trying to think what they icon for that would be. Middle finger? In any case, WOW HOLY SHIT HOW FUCKING GREAT! Enjoy the ride. The day you first feel your baby move around in your belly? For me, it was the closest I ever felt to infinity. (Guess that’s what the weird baby thing meant at the end of the movie 2001?) HUGS!

  36. My life — the one that really matters, that’s worth something, that I cherish and would defend at any cost and at any sacrifice — began the day I held my first born child. Everything that came before — all the wild tales and silly adventures and laughter and plausible deniability — is like barely remembered previews before what becomes your favorite movie.

    This is the feature attraction.

    Hugest congrats, MOM.


  37. Yay for you all! Way to get on the stick!

    Kids provide some great comedic material, so long as you’re willing to not take their bad moments personally. Parenting for me has been, hands down, da bomb (and one of mine is even a teenager).

    I wish I could pee on a stick and discover I’m having a book.

  38. Congrats, Pamie! I love that you were pregnant with a book first, so appropriate. And I’m excited for the adorable derby onesies that I’m sure you’ll get as baby shower gifts :)

  39. Damn it, I cam here to tell you you made me cry (actually to find your email so I can tell you in private, because I can’t find it in my files, so I think it’s on my old computer, which is not even remotely helpful), and you made me cry AGAIN. Congratulations, Pam. :) Both for your pregnancy and because I haven’t been out of my own head in about a million years and am also just now finding out about Jason. I know – I KNOW – that you will be an excellent mom. And that life will be very, very different. But that you won’t trade the new one for this one for anything in the world. xoxoxo

  40. I don’t believe it.

    How can a professional writer and pop culture princess with four published novels never have heard the expression “get on the stick?”

  41. Oh my gosh,Pam! This is so wonderful, congratulations! I went from too busy with an ill stepchild to too old to have a baby in what seemed like the blink of an eye, so kudos to you for knowing what you wanted and getting on the stick for it! I am so happy for you!

  42. WOW! I am so happy for you and Jason. I am a long time reader and have been rooting for you the whole time :) I have often though about how much I love my life exactly how it is (w/o kids). I am not sure that will ever change, but you never know :) Congrats again!!

  43. Best news ever! A thousand congratulations! I’m a new mom, and this has been an (albeit sleepless) amazing ride so far. Virtual baby shower? VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER!!

  44. Many congratulations! I’m so happy for you and hope you’re feeling well.

    I could have written a story so similar to yours – we began blithely, expecting it to take years – and life as we knew it was over in an instant. If it helps, my son is now three months old and he’s really, really awesome. I do miss my old life but my new life is pretty freaking great.

  45. I remember reading your blog ages ago. Specifically, I remember me and a friend laughing until we peed over a story about paying a pizza guy with a tiny hand. But at some point I stopped reading Pamie and I don’t remember why; I probably got busy. I’M SORRY, PAMIE.

    Aaaaanyway, HERE IS THE REASON I’M HERE — I came back because of a Tumblr post about rolling around in semen. But the important part was this thought: “Holy shit, Pamie’s pregnant!” Because, holy shit, I’m pregnant, too! And yes, I was told the same damn thing, “Oh, well, advanced maternal age, blah blah blah, come see us if you’re not pregnant in 6 months.”

    We started trying in April. I was pregnant in May. Then I had a miscarriage in July and then I was pregnant AGAIN in August. And I am still pregnant. Heading into week 17.

    Which is just like what the hell? What about advanced maternal age? I was certain I’d be able to drink more through this process, but noooo, I got knocked up right away.

    At least I now know the birth control’s been working all along. Otherwise I would have probably had about ten kids in a row.

    Anyway, I’m happy for you and your family, and happy you’re entering the final stages, and best of luck and all that. I am now subscribed to your tumblr feed. Thank you for making me laugh.

  46. Wow! Just wow!! I’ve been reading your blog for more than a decade now and although I’ve only commented once I feel as though I know you personally! Lately I’ve been checking in a couple of times a year to get caught up on all things Pamie. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you. It’s a scary, strange, exciting and fun time. You will fall in love harder than you ever thought possible. Enjoy the experience. I’m looking forward to reading your updates.

  47. OT:Bill,The definition of dilotians provided in the CC document is somewhat hard to parse, but seems to imply that only positive scale factors are admitted (no inversion). It does not change what figures are considered similar, but that makes a difference in what combinations of transformations can map one figure onto another, specifically, you never need reflections if negative scale factors are included. Is my reading of positive scale factors only correct?Dilation. A transformation that moves each point along the ray through thepoint emanating from a fixed center, and multiplies distances from the center bya common scale factor.Thank you, Alexei

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