In early July, Emelda had a doctorís appointment, ostensibly to obtain birth control pills for the next few months. We had run out about a month before the appointment and the earliest appointment we could make for her was about a month later (damn HMOís). Get the picture? We decided to leave the matter in Godís hands rather than abstaining (Emelda refused to allow me to use condoms) and God had decided that it was time for Emelda to become pregnant. Boom! Heís in charge! Like my cousin Brenda says, "Our timing is not always Godís timing."

Well, I couldnít have been happier! I was secretly hoping that she would get pregnant anyway! I greeted the news with jubilation. Emelda was shocked, but joyful at the surprise news. We immediately called our relatives in Ozamiz and Emelda told everyone the good news in Visayan. They were deliriously happy for us. When we spoke to my parents later on in the evening, my mom went into shock, but it was good shock. She started babbling on about all of the things we would need to buy and all of the things we would need to do to prepare for the impending arrival. My dad just listened in on the extension and kept repeating, "Get used to this. Just let your mother talk. Sheíll be like this for the next nine months." It was a wonderful evening filled with smiles and laughter.

I have seen dozens of tv shows and movies that have portrayed the various highlights (and lowlights) of pregnancy. I always assumed that these productions were exaggerating. Well, theyíre not! Before I knew it, Emelda was having cravings, mood swings and morning sickness. One night at around 10 p.m., Emelda came up to me and told me that she wanted some shrimp. I assured her that I would be happy to get her some shrimp on the following day. She insisted that I get her shrimp right that second! She wouldnít take no for an answer. I tried to convince her that it was too late to go shopping, but she wanted shrimp and she wanted it NOW!!! I suddenly realized that the stereotype about pregnant women having late night cravings was being manifested in my life, so I changed my clothes and headed for the supermarket. Emelda was thoroughly enjoying fried shrimp about an hour later.

Her cravings continued. They usually involved shrimp, fish, guavas and/or mangoes. The next pregnant stereotype that I encountered was the ever popular Ďmood swing.í One night, I tried to hug Emelda (as I often do). She pushed me away. I tried again in vain and she informed me that she didnít want me to touch her and she "hated my face." I immediately remembered an episode of "Mad About You" in which Helen Huntís character (then pregnant) said almost the exact same thing to her husband. I tried to tell Emelda about the episode I was remembering, but she wasnít interested in anything but my immediate exit from the bedroom. I obliged. Who wants a moody pregnant lady mad at you, right? Since then, I never know when a mood is going to kick in. One minute, weíll be all lovey-dovey and the next minute, Iíll need to make a discreet exit. I guess it comes with the territory. I canít wait until she starts blaming me for stuff in the delivery room!

The next stereotype was my least favorite. I have always had a heavy aversion to two three things: poop, vomit and potato bugs. You donít run into too many potato bugs in L.A., so Iím usually cool on that score, but the other two aforementioned items are always lurking! When Emeldaís morning sickness triggered vomiting, it was sometimes difficult for me to stop my sympathetic vomit reflex. One day, on the way to a movie, I had to pull the car over so that Emelda could vomit on the street (you ever smelled a Nissan drenched in vomit?). As Emelda expelled her (fill in your own descriptive phrase here), it took every ounce of energy for me to stop myself from spewing all over the dashboard (you ever smelled a Nissan drenched in vomit?). Of course, as tough as it might have been for me, it was tougher for Emelda. One night, I came into the bedroom and found Emelda in a depressed state. We hugged and she started crying on my shoulder. I asked what was wrong. She wailed, "Iím tired of vomiting!" I felt her pain and joined her in tears. This stereotype was the least welcome of the three. Since then, her vomiting has decreased and her mood has lightened up a bit, but she still gives us a Technicolor yawn on occasion (was that crass?).

As the pregnancy continues, Emelda's bulging mid-section is showing more and more and it is getting easier for both of us all the time. Her due date is March 27th (just before our second anniversary). All of the tests have given us happy results and we look forward to finding out the baby's sex sometime next month. I am deliriously happy!

Oh! I almost forgot to explain the title of this chapter of our story!

You see, one day, I came home from work and said, "Hey, preggo!" Well, Emelda didn't like that. She made me promise NOT to call her 'preggo' anymore. She prefers the term 'preggy.' Calling her that is a small price to pay to prevent a mood swing!

So, the saga continues and it is still a very happy saga indeed. I have the greatest wife a man could ask for and I look forward to diving into the next millenium with her by my side. Stay tuned!