What to ask, and what comes next

That initial excitement never completely goes away, but eventually you get back into the swing of your regular life.

Other than reading up on what to expect, my pre-fatherly duties have consisted mostly of satisfying those pregnancy food cravings.

So far: Sprite.

It’s a very small contribution, but speeding to the gas station to get Kayla a 12 pack of Sprite left me feeling like a hero of the day. Until I caught a nasty glare after taking a can for myself.

We also decided on a temporary name: B.K.

It stands for Baby Koperski and also symbolizes my love for flame-broiled Whoppers.

This may also answer a question I predict many people will ask.

No, we’re not married and have different last names, but the coming kid will go by Koperski.

While we still had these and equally amusing baby talks on a regular basis, we each fell into our typically busy work routines. That helped keep our minds busy.

Today I wasn’t focused on work. My mind instead kept darting to our first doctor visit. What to expect, what to ask and what comes next.

Probably the toughest question — and I hate to think it — was wondering if B.K. was doing alright.

We both know people who have have miscarriages, and it’s not exactly unusual.

Even though I knew going into the first appointment it was too early for ultrasounds and it was unlikely we’d even meet the doctor during the first visit, this is what sent shivers down my back this morning and put that lump in my throat.

And since I got to the clinic first, there may have been some nervous pacing around the parking lot before Kayla got there that I haven’t told her about.

Time to get down to business once we met with the nurse, after Kayla filled out some paperwork while I skimmed a newspaper.

Step one of the appointment: We both donated some urine at the clinic, hers in a cup to be analyzed and mine in a toilet.

I made a nervous joke to our nurse that a women’s clinic would be a bad place for a man to forget to put the seat down, and we were off with the questions.

As expected, there was no doctor during our first doctor visit. Instead, nursing staff collected every detail of Kayla’s medical history. You thought the papers to fill out ended in the waiting room? Guess again.

By far the most awkward part of the encounter came when the nurse asked if this was planned.

The curious woman with two children of her own watched as Kayla and I exchanged glances, shoulder shrugs and subtle head nods.

“It’s always been the ‘some day’ plan,” was our final answer.

It was followed by a brief explanation that we’ve been together 11 years, have a home, always intended to be parents, yada yada yada. We stated these facts like not being married meant we had something to prove.

The appointment focused on the dos and don’ts of the early stages of pregnancy. Most of the things we read on the internet were confirmed, but fake news is a thing now so how do you ever know for sure?

At this stage in the game, what Kayla can’t eat was a primary topic. The best news: caffeine is allowed!

At least up to one cup. This made Kayla happy, and also means I can continue to drink coffee without feeling like I’m rubbing it in her face too much… until I pour a second cup of joe for myself while she reverts back to decaf tea.

The nurse also made the comment of needing “lots of protein for baby.”

I was relieved to hear this, since it somewhat validated that I’d been sneaking Cliff Bars into Kayla’s work bag, just in case she gets a craving.

Most of our questions were answered. For the rest, it seemed too early to ask. Things concerning the delivery and actually raising a child.

Here’s the low point of the first interview.

After the nurse explains how things work, gives you some guidelines and takes a few questions (she turned down my offer that we would take her out to dinner if we could unload questions on her for a couple hours) she steps aside.

Another smiling woman enters the room. She sits down, and talks insurance.

And costs. Oh, the costs. She presented us with the absolute minimum cost — more than I sold my last car for — without ultrasounds, additional doctor visits, and other fun little surprises along the way.

On the upside, the clinic gave us some freebies, including a tote cooler filled with baby supplies.

I asked and checked inside the tote once we got home, but this was not a big bag full of money to help with expenses.

Oh well. It never hurts to check.

And now we have three weeks to build up our reserve of questions to ask at the next appointment, where we should come face to face with the doctor himself.