Moments in History

Things Are About To Get Weird


For those of you following along on Facebook, you may have noticed our fearless leader’s caveat that posts may not be as frequent due to real life commitments. We all have those and, until recently, most of us have been able to find time to post a celebration of technology fairly regularly. However, life changes and sometimes it changes due to a new life.

We’ve looked at x-rays before, but there are other ways to see into the human body. Obstetric ultrasonography is one of the most commonly used methods when dealing with a woman and a fetus. Ian Donald proposed the first ultrasound system in a 1958 article titled “Investigation of Abdominal Masses by Pulsed Ultrasound”. Five years later, Joseph Holmes, William Wright, and Ralph Meyerdirk developed the first ultrasound that resembles what we imagine today when we think of an ultrasound system. The technology was quickly adopted by obstetricians eager to see the child growing in the womb. By way of the ultrasound, the doctors and technicians can take a variety of non-invasive measurements in order to determine the health and size of the fetus, as well as the health of the mother.

Yesterday was the last time I will see my child — shown in the lede photo — via this extraordinary technology. By this time next week I won’t have to look a the oddly colored, blurry photos any more. I will be holding him or her. At that point, things will get real weird for my wife and myself.

  • acarr260

    Congrats! My fiancee just had my first-born in November. Get some sleep while it's still readily available!

  • Mr_Biggles

    Warmest congrats to you and Mrs. Engineerd. And don't worry, you can look forward to a full nights sleep again soon…like in 18 years or so.

    I originally thought I didn't want them, but it's the best thing in the world.

    • It's interesting you say that. We were very close to deciding we weren't going to have kids at all when somehow she got pregnant. Now we're both really excited about this new adventure.

      • Mr_Biggles

        Ha ha ha. "somehow". Wait – you do know, right?

        I always seem to have trouble wrapping my head around it all. Like a catch-22. You can't get a do-over, and I don't want one. But at the same time, if we had chosen not to have kids wouldn't I be just as happy because I wouldn't know what I was missing?

        I also like to look at it this way: it's one of the few legitimate ways that you can mold someone in your own image like a god.

        • Mrs. Tanshanomi and I married at 33, and decided not to start a family right away. About ten or twelve years later we went "Huh, I guess we're not going to have any kids." I'm not saying any of it was the wrong path for us, but it makes me a bit sad now. The older you get, the less sense life makes without a new generation in the family.

          • Vairship

            You don't necessarily have to have kids in order to influence the next generation. You can volunteer (mentoring, teaching kids to read, teaching them how to work on motorbikes, etc.) and thereby influence 10 kids 10% each instead of influencing 1 kid (close to) 100%.

  • Soon you will experience a new kind of ultrasound. You and the Mrs. will literally be able to hear the bad dreams, dropped binkies and removed socks of your tiny progeny. Even The Mocha will be amazed by your new ability. This ability will be so acute that it will shake your faith in scientific explanation. It will probably make you question your dismissal of Bigfoot and Nessie and ultimately result in you becoming as crazy as your parents.

  • nanoop

    It's not weird, by the way, many people did it before. Some even re-created that event intentionally.

    • "Weird" as in supernatural and strange. To us, first time parents, I think the word "weird" is appropriate. At least at this stage. Ask me again in 18 years.

      • pj134

        As someone with no immediate or long term plans in this regard, weird was a good choice. It'll probably still be weird in 18 years.

      • Congratulations engineerd™ and Mrs. engineerd™!! Babies are awesome, and I think you'll find progeny are indeed a grand adventure!

        But I can't say, at least from my personal perspective, that the weirdness ever goes away. I still feel basically like I am the same person I was 15 years ago, dorky, laid back, enjoying life. Yet somehow I have 4 kids and a gut that won't go away, weird. Recently my dad visited, with his teen/tween step-sons, and I was all, we can hang out, we'll have so much in common, I was a teen with my dad, I know exactly what it's like, etc. Then I realized, I probably look like an old ass man to them, with more in common with my dad than with them, despite what I feel like. Which sort of makes me wonder if I'll ever grow up, weird!

        The point is, you and your wife have helped grow a new life (okay probably mostly your wife, as mine likes to frequently remind me, but it was a 50-50 proposition at the get-go!), and babies are a wonderful, weird precious miracle, so have fun!!

      • nanoop

        In a couple of years, the phase will be stuck with the phrase "tired but happy", hopefully. The most straining age was the second year, when they can walk and climb and demand, but lack expression and listening skills yet. Worth it.

  • The Professor

    An early congratulations to you and the Missus, and I hope that the delivery goes smoothly, or as smoothly as those can go, all things considered. Both of my oversized whelps were delivered via C-section, so I was spared the typical delivery room trauma. Good luck to you.

    Also, you will soon have to re-think your concepts of "incredibly fragile" and "incredibly tough". It's an adventure…

  • sawer-massey

    Congrats Engineerd! Just so you are prepared, hide your vinyl and tools and make sure everyone knows that toys with batteries or lack of off switches aren't allowed!
    My three little flywheels have all either broken a record player, or mysteriously shown up with a tool in hand…depending on which, meant either me or Mrs. Sawyer-Massey were high pitch screaming.

  • The Professor

    It just now occurred to me, but you're not going to post a video of the delivery are you? New fathers sometimes do strange things.

  • skitter

    This baby's got it all: looks, intelligence, strength, and charm. Some assembly required.

    • Vairship

      And it's Made in the USA*
      (*potentially assembled from some foreign parts, depending on the genetic make-up of the ancestors)!

  • OA5599

    Congratulations on your very new piece of very old technology. Use it wisely, since there is neither an owner's manual nor a warranty.

    I am posting this a few days after the original article was published, so it's entirely possible you've already taken delivery, and as such, might not have any recreational time to revisit this page until a later date–perhaps after the terrible twos are behind. I echo the sentiments of others who have a fond sense of accomplishment as they spend the years shaping a concoction of bodily fluids into a productive member of society.

    To go further, though, you'll probably be amazed how much the process will change you. As your child becomes interested in baseball, or Barbies, or beagles, or whatever else holds their interest, they will influence you in those same directions. Without being a parent, I probably would not have been invited into the trailer of a nitro dragster team during a race weekend, or engaged in conversation with a man who has walked on the moon, or have gotten myself trained to send boy scouts over the side of a cliff without leaving any craters.