Wed 21

At the End of the Tunnel is an Extremely Ornate Light

Max I have a bunch of blogs backed up. Wait. That sounds disgusting. Pretend I didn’t say that. What I mean is: I keep thinking of things I want to blog about, but before I do I get distracted by emails or real writing or my wife getting pregnant. I know. You could argue that I have prioritization issues. On the other hand, you could argue I don’t. It’s not like anyone pays me for these. I only do them for the look on your face. That’s right. I’m watching you. I’m watching you right now. See that webcam? Give me a little wave. Hello, my pretty. Hello.

But that’s beside the point. The point is: my wife is pregnant. I can’t believe you didn’t react more when I mentioned that a second ago. You barely frowned. Oh, wait. I see. You were wondering if you already knew about that. I guess I didn’t really telegraph it. I just kind of slipped it in there. But enough about the conception. Ha ha! Joke. We used IVF. Not because we have to. We just like to employ advanced medical technology wherever possible. It’s expensive, but we think it’s worth it. They say you can’t genetically engineer your embryos, but once you get inside and they close the door, you totally can. We went for a female green-eyed redhead with a propensity to sneeze in sunlight and a tail like a fish.

Last Friday we went along for our 20-week scan. We decided to find out the sex this time, because Jen wanted to find out the sex and I couldn’t stand the idea of her knowing something I didn’t. It would have thrown off the delicate power balance of the whole relationship. You might think that’s silly but that’s what they said about Palestine. I don’t want a repeat of that. Not in my house. So off we went, and Dr. Andrew showed us that we’re having a girl! He showed us in a way that would be truly mortifying if the girl was aware of it, by the way. I kind of feel sorry for girls today growing up with DVDs of their prenatal scans tucked away in their parents’ bedside tables. You just know they’re going to come out at the 21st party. Anyway, there it is: we will have two girls, and the new one will own nothing new until she leaves home.

Before Finlay was born, her placeholder name was “Popsicle” (Poppy for short), because she was brewed from a frozen embryo. As we were walking out of the clinic, Finlay said, “We should call her Chandelier.” I don’t know where that came from. But that’s the placeholder. Chandelier Barry. A new light in the world.


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Machine Man subscriber Dave (#29)

Location: Seattle
Posted: 4715 days ago

Congratulations, Max!

Arjun Ravi Narayan (#98)

Location: India
Posted: 4715 days ago

Congratulations! Second kids are obviously superior.

Machine Man subscriber Lucy (#664)

Location: Blue Mountains
Posted: 4715 days ago

Woo, congratulations! Totally agreeing with Arjun. Of course I'm not a second child.

spinne (#427)

Quote: "I'm not here to cock around."
Posted: 4715 days ago

Congratulations to you both! (I'm not just a fan of second children, I'm also a strong supporter of middle children. Go us!)

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "vote with your wallet"
Posted: 4715 days ago

Congrats!!!!! I am a second child and I can tell you I was a huge improvement on the prototype.

Jane (#321)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "Which is worse: Ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?"
Posted: 4715 days ago


I ordered red heads (with curls!) for my two kids as well, to match their dad. But we went the low-tech route (ha ha) like the Luddites that we are and got the order wrong on #1.

Still waiting for #2 (now 7 months old) to grow some hair (and some teeth for that matter) before we know if she has the much desired red locks.

PS. being a girl, second child or otherwise, I think you will find that the only person who gets nothing new till she leaves home is you Max!

Machine Man subscriber Alan W (#1427)

Location: Spokane, Washington
Quote: "Corgis are like potato chips"
Posted: 4715 days ago

Chandelier is a VERY fancy name.

Tell Fin I approve!

Tommy Mandel (#2554)

Location: nYc
Quote: ""Hah," she said."
Posted: 4715 days ago

Great going Max and Mrs. Maxx!
Me, two daughters later (23 and 19, almost) the best I can do is reread Jennifer Government, which I did just this month, after I got it back from a professor colleague of mine-who really liked it. And well professors of black history might be expected to do. There! I didn't end that sentence with a preposition after all! But was it a sentence??
But enough about me. I heartily recommend the two daughters gambit, not that I had the least choice about it myself, although their mother attributed it to a broccoli deficiency in my diet, real or imagined.
It sure sounds like you are enjoying this, one of life's high points, so I'm going to bed now.

Machine Man subscriber Skippy (#3937)

Location: Melbourne
Posted: 4715 days ago

Fantastic news, Max! Two daughters is a pretty scary concept, but don't let it get in the way of finishing Machine Man. That's right, I'm thinking of myself again. ;')

Pete Clamiston Nessi (#927)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "04dana14na"
Posted: 4715 days ago

Most things can work a sneeze out of me, but it's IVF that makes me nervous.

Machine Man subscriber Barry Mitchell (#1001)

Location: Saukville, Wisconsin
Quote: ""A hamster's like a small camel" - Ben Katz"
Posted: 4715 days ago


Machine Man subscriber Michael Harrell (#2372)

Location: Olathe, KS
Quote: ""Every day we must persevere. For we are engaged in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress."Adapted from the masthead of "The Economist""
Posted: 4715 days ago


Billy McMahon (#4690)

Location: Variable
Quote: "revolution"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congrats. Haha, sounds like Finlay takes after you on creativity.

AlteraX (#1984)

Location: Portugal
Quote: "My 62 year-old dad is reading Jen Gov. He's an Economist. - 2005"
Posted: 4714 days ago

My eyes teared up when I read your post. It may be the flu or the onslaught of spring, but... I've got something in my eye :')

Congratz to the 4! I wish all a nice "remaining pregnancy", delivery (and so on) and hope we'll soon be looking at photo's 'Chan'. Side by side by those of Fin at the same age to try and figure who's is who : D

Andrew Riley (#1970)

Location: Parker, Colorado, USA
Quote: "Predictions are difficult, especially about the future."
Posted: 4714 days ago

Wonderful! Sending happy thoughts your way now.

ryandake (#2199)

Location: scenic monterey, ca
Quote: ""The rest is not our business.""
Posted: 4714 days ago

congratulations! you've done so well with the first (what a great placeholder name, very imaginative) that i'm sure the second will be a great kid.

Machine Man subscriber dabbeljuh (#4114)

Posted: 4714 days ago

congrats also from germany, good luck for all the things that need luck :)

Johz (#4719)

Location: Birmingham (In the Good Ol' UK)
Quote: "So Quoth Me"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congratulations, dude! First, IMHO, will always grow up to be the kindest, nicest, friendliest, most intelligent, wisest sibling. My brother disagrees, on the other hand...

Aaron the Evil HR Guy (#2252)

Location: Denver
Quote: "'The HR Department is a breeding ground for monsters' Michael Scott"
Posted: 4714 days ago

A sister for Fin! Congrats!

If the dreaded thought hasn't occured yet, you will be severly outnumbered now.

Machine Man subscriber Todd (#3429)

Location: New York
Quote: "It's fun to have fun but you have to know how."
Posted: 4714 days ago

CONGRATS to you and Jen! Just as I was thinking it had been too long without a blog post. Well worth the wait.

Machine Man subscriber Adam Willard (#4231)

Location: Madagascar
Quote: "What unseen pen etched eternal things in the hearts of humankind... but never let them in our minds?"
Posted: 4714 days ago

What I really want to know is: did you actually use IVF only because you wanted to and not because you had to? If so, I think that must be why you were able to rationalize Charlie in Machine Man so well. I liked the little joke about genetic engineering. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we approach something like GATTACA within the next 100 years; wouldn't be surprised at all. ;-)

gaylin laughlin (#2504)

Location: Seattle
Quote: ""My life is so much better today than yesterday" Me"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congratulations Barry familia! What fabulous news for you all. I can read between the lines of your post that precious little Chandelier brings the light and love into your lives that you obviously already have and will be giving to her.

Nothing in life is more special than that!

Thanks for the beautiful news --and looking forward to much more...

Brittany O. (#1688)

Location: Montana
Quote: "people are kind of overrated "
Posted: 4714 days ago

First, Congratualtions. I am the oldest and I love hand-me-downs so "Chandelier" isn't in a bad place being the second child. (Do buy her new underwear, please. That is the kind thing to do)
By the way, my friend started calling her mom's pregnant belly Celestial and that stuck. So Chandelier isn't so bad.
Congrats, again

Machine Man subscriber Roger (#1653)

Posted: 4714 days ago

Congrats, Max ol' boy. My friend's going through a similar experience, and by similar, I mean she's getting a dog. She asked me for name suggestions. I suggested Nikola Tesla. Max, you should name your baby girl Nicola Tesla Barry.

Sueblimely (#3315)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "+"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congratulations. I only hope you are not tempting fate with the placeholder, Chandelier. She may decide to arrive late because she is enjoying hanging around.

John Reynolds (#2534)

Location: New York, USA
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congratulations, Max! Way to go!

Erin (#1481)

Location: Seattle
Quote: "Living is easy with eyes closed"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Woo! Congratulations, Max and Jen!

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Very best wishes and congratulations to you both (but to Jen in particular, she has the most work to do upfront. You just have to help support a household with three women in it, you poor bastard.)

Lucky Fin, now she'll have a little sister to boss around!

Swimfroggy (#1713)

Location: Southern California
Quote: "Just....why?"
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congrats! That's awesome to hear, I lok forward to more children-related posts like you did with Fin!

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: ""
Posted: 4714 days ago

Congratulations Max!

Machine Man subscriber Dexxa (#3878)

Location: Iceland
Posted: 4713 days ago

I'm not much for commenting.. but now I just have to!
Til hamingju! = Congratulations!

Machine Man subscriber gstein42 (#585)

Quote: "That's not change! That's more of the same!"
Posted: 4713 days ago


Linnea1928 (#2654)

Location: Rosemount, MN
Posted: 4712 days ago

Felicitations, Max!! That's truly exciting!

Zwangzug (#3872)

Location: GMT -6
Quote: "It ain't over till it's over"
Posted: 4712 days ago

I did notice the news in the first paragraph. :-P Congratulations! Hope everything goes well.

Nora Jean Stone (#1170)

Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Quote: "Do Wa Ditty, Life in the CITY, where the Women are Strong and the Men are Pretty... anon"
Posted: 4712 days ago

Being a second born and the second girl child I rarely wore new things. Shoes maybe because by the time I could fit my sister's shoes they were all worn out. Now it feels odd to wear new clothing. Having an older sister was grand. She got to break all the rules before I thought about it. Then when it was my turn to break the rules my parents were tired of the struggle. She is now my best friend and we're old as dirt, 60 and 61. So yeah for the second born and second girl. Fin will be a great older sister.

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 4710 days ago

Ah babies - don't they just light up your life?

blab (#1632)

Location: The Sandwich Isles
Quote: "Adventure is just poor planning"
Posted: 4709 days ago

Congratulations. You are SERIOUSLY outnumbered, Man. Wait till they're both teenagers. *grin*

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 4708 days ago

I'm sure you can't have have too many strangers congratulating you, so here: congratulations.

NRM (#2294)

Posted: 4706 days ago

Congratulations! 2nd children rule!

Lora (#3425)

Location: UK
Posted: 4705 days ago

Max, Congratulations!
I leave my email alone for a while and this is what happens! I loved your post, it sounds like you were a little delirious.
Have you thought about a real name yet? I recommend Lora.

Mats (#1057)

Location: Turku, Finland, Europe, Earth
Quote: ""The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it." James Branch Cabell via Robert Oppenheimer"
Posted: 4701 days ago

@Max&family: Congratulations from Fin(land)!

and what's up with that misleading title? I've been delaying reading this blog for two weeks because I've been too busy and now my congratulations just seem like those of some Johnny-come-lately instead of a devoted fans!

@Adam Willard: I wouldn't be surprised if we approach something like GATTACA within the next 10 or 20 years

@Nora Jean Stone: Whoa, you're 60? I read your quote and your post all the way up to "She is now my best friend and we're old as dirt, 60 and 61" thinking you're 30-ish, MAYBE 40! I had this image of you as a pre-teen running up and down the hills of San Fran in worn-out shoes chasing the cast of Starsky&Hutch (that's what I would have done as a pre-teen in San Francisco in the 70's) but I guess you were about 25 when that show started... You never see older-than-40-people (not old) using computers or cellphones or anything in commercials or movies so I guess that image doesn't pop up in peoples heads that often.
It's probably the nice climate there in SF keeping you young and fresh!

Abgrund (#3357)

Location: Atlantis
Quote: ""Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority." - Ayn Rand"
Posted: 4693 days ago

"...but before I do I get distracted by emails or real writing or getting my wife pregnant."

That is totally what I read.

Abby (#4878)

Location: Cincinnati
Posted: 4674 days ago

Speaning as a green eyed red headed second girl, I think you all made an excellent choice. Girls like that tend to rule the world. Just ask my "boss".

Mats (#1057)

Location: Turku, Finland, Europe, Earth
Quote: ""The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it." James Branch Cabell via Robert Oppenheimer"
Posted: 4631 days ago

I just saw a rerun of an old Friends-episode, "The One with All the Jealousy", where there was a stripper called Chrystal Chandelier... just a heads-up...

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