A Brief History of Kidneybean

April 24, 2012


These ads should really come with a warning: "May cause hormonal explosions."

Getting everyone up to speed, from yesterday’s big news (for me)…

One night, we’re watching a movie.  A preview comes on for Big Miracle, a Drew Barrymore movie about whales.  It looks… not great. My wife turns to me and says, “That looks good,” and then bursts into tears. Sobbing. Then she starts laughing, because it’s so weird how hard she’s crying.  Not little laughing, serious laughing.  While still sobbing.  Soon she’s hyperventilating.  I’m laughing too, because, you know – obviously.  But I get myself under control to try and calm her down.  I then have to leave the room so I can finish laughing.  When I return I say, “Oh God, I hope you’re pregnant, because that was the weirdest thing I‘ve ever seen.”

We’re going to bed, and she’s having these cramps in her lower abdomen.  Fearful that this might mean she is pregnant, but it isn’t “taking”, I go online.  “Actually,” I say.  “The type and location of the cramps you’re describing are signs of pregnancy. The uterine walls strengthening themselves.”  We get in bed.  We turn out the light.  We lie there in silence.  She says, “Did we just find out I’m pregnant?”  It is several hours before we fall asleep.

The test comes up positive. So does the second one.  I’m for continuing the tests up into the 3rd trimester, but accept there are wiser places to invest.

And there's its little nose, isn't that cute? And there's - oh, wait. This is a NASA photograph of a crab nebula. Ha ha. Sorry. How'd that get in there?

We see the first ultrasound image.  It’s a kidney-bean sized & shaped figure, with a tiny heart that looks like two hands clapping.  We immediately give the baby the pro-tem name Kidneybean.  This is also the moment that I now apologize to everyone who every showed me an ultrasound image that looked like a picture of a ufo taken through a cheap telescope and I just really couldn’t get excited.  And you said, “There’s his head,” and I acted interested, but what I thought was, ‘If you say so,’ and what I thought was, ‘Your baby has a head.  You must be so proud.’  I’m sorry I wasn’t actually excited.  I’m sorry.  Because these images are AMAZING.  There’s a LIVING THING INSIDE OF HER.  And it’s my BABY.

The second image we get is during a very short, 10-day stretch when the nerve endings in the feet are first developing.  During this stretch, the fetus has quite a bit of extra room in there, and literally jumps up and down like in a bouncy castle.  It looks like the baby is saying, “Yippee!  This gestation stuff is great!”  This moment is the first sign I get of just how unbearable I plan to get, because my immediate thought is, “Look at that. I bet that’s way above average jumping.”

In the middle of the night, the dog starts barking at that neighbor cat he hates so much.  I very maturely advise the dog to shut the hell up, and explain that it’s just a stupid cat.  I get back in bed and in the darkness, my wife says, “Will you make me a parfait?” This is not an isolated incident.

Why is everyone so eager to share their horror stories?  Do people look back on their pregnancies and think, “Gee, I really wish I’d had someone there to tell me how tiring and stressful kids are.  How painful labor is.”?

"At this point, the fetus is approximately the size of a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity breakfast at Ihop..."

The baby books all compare fetus size to food, which I think is weird.  “At this point, the fetus is the size of a kidneybean/ walnut /plum /orange /grapefruit.”  We stick with calling it Kidneybean, though, because “Grapefruit” lacks a certain something.

So now you’re a little better acquainted with Kidneybean.  Kidneybean, everyone.  Everyone, Kidneybean.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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57 Comments on “A Brief History of Kidneybean”

  1. k8edid Says:

    I like Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity, or RTFF. You are in for the ride of your life, Big Guy. Hang on tight.


  2. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    It starts with Kidney bean and then soon there will no sleep to hardly any sleep for next two years 😆
    Hey you are not scared are you 😉

    Am real happy for you guys..


  3. The reawakening at 28 Says:

    Congratulations on your Kidneybean – hope Mrs Byronic is doing well! Mima xx


  4. 1pointperspective Says:

    I’ve noticed the food analogies over the course of pregnancies I’ve watched from a distance. It is kind of bizarre, but I guess it works better than other known sizes. Besides, most parents to be wouldn’t want to hear that their unborn child is “..about the size of a roach” or “..as big as a pack of cigarettes, but with a little face and rounded corners”.
    I’m sure this will be a great adventure for you and I look forward to reading all about it.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That’s a good point. There aren’t a lot of better options. “Your fetus is the size of a rat. I’m not saying it IS a rat, I said it’s the SIZE of – oh, never mind.”


  5. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    Kidneybean is going to give you lots of material between now and October. And so will wife. Enjoy. 😉


  6. Tori Nelson Says:

    The one regret I had from my one pregnancy was not having cravings. I ask my toddler to hop up from a nap and go get mommy some pickles and ice cream and he looks at me like I’m ridiculous. Just trying to cash the pregnant perks voucher a couple of years too late 🙂


  7. She's a Maineiac Says:

    And so it begins…you’ve crossed that threshold. Now you’ll be showing the crab nebula pic to anyone and everyone and you’ll know why other people used to bore you to tears with baby stuff.

    I had a 3D ultrasound of my daughter that blew me away. She was sucking her thumb. And had my exact little piggy nose. I ran around telling people, “She has my piggy nose! She sucks her thumb! Whaaaahoooo!”

    I think the best part of pregnancy was feeling them move around. My daughter was pretty chill. She’d just stretch and hiccup alot. My son? Like a Mexican jumping bean in there.

    Congrats again, you are going to be a great dad!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The sibling difference thing freaks me out – two wildly different people from the same genetic foundation. I’d like to think I had a pretty good idea of what kind of person to expect, but…


  8. skippingstones Says:

    Very sweet – thanks for sharing some of your pregnancy moments with us. It’s an exciting time!


  9. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    It’s amazing, isn’t it….you love your wife, your family, your pets. But now you love this little kidney bean (already) in a way you never imagined possible….


  10. Tracy Gibson Says:

    It’s a wonderful experience….


  11. Audrey Says:

    Hi Kidneybean!
    Haha, let the cravings begin! Keep us posted on those midnight pickle runs. 🙂 So happy for you guys!


  12. susielindau Says:

    I LOVED being pregnant and the status it brought. All of a sudden I wasn’t just Susie Lindau anymore; I was carrying the next president of the United States or Prom Queen or……
    So nice to meet you Kidney bean!


  13. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Heheheheh…that is probably the most fun I have ever had “listening” about a pregnancy story. I’m usually the one zoning out. Thanks for letting us meet Kidney Bean.


  14. Nala Says:

    Congratulations on the new legume!


  15. becomingcliche Says:

    Dear, sweet Lord. When I was pregnant, something came on the news about an elephant being shot at a circus, and I cried like it was my own child who had died. The extreme mood-swings go away. At some point. I’m still waiting.

    I bet your Kidneybean DOES possess above-average jumping ability. I am sure of it. It can star on the new TLC program “Trimesters in Tiaras.”


  16. Bethylicious Says:

    Rooty Tootie Fresh N Fruity….LOL The people we showed the ultrasounds to couldn’t quite decide if he looked like a gummy bear or a peanut, thus the name “GummyBear-Peanut” was born.


  17. pegoleg Says:

    I just saw the ultrasound of my niece’s baby at 4 months and I can’t believe how far the technology has come – it’s 3D! You really can see them waving and thumb sucking and features and everything!

    I don’t know what it is about pregnancy that brings out the worst in all of us veteran mothers – we share our war stories without thinking. If it means anything, I almost didn’t make it to the hospital before our first came, she popped out so fast, and no problems. There is hope!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      We haven’t seen any 3D images yet. Probably too soon for anything detailed. We’ve got a book that’s week-by-week with complex models, but of course that’s not the same.


  18. thesinglecell Says:

    What does it mean that I’m not pregnant and cried a little reading about the movie thing? Is that bad?

    I continue to think you’re very sweet for your excitement. Sounds like your kid’s got hops. When Sister 1 was prego with Twin Nephs (fetally known as PB&J – my idea, btw), she had to have lots more ultrasounds/sonograms than most prego people, and she always emailed the pics to us. Wildest thing: when I first met Neph 1, in NICU 90 minutes after he was born? I recognized him. I knew his face. I was all, “You’re Baby B slash Jelly!” Yeah, those things are pretty cool.


  19. Clip Snark Says:

    Congrats on your kidneybean!


  20. Jamie Says:

    Wow, Congratulations sir! I got to wonder if the food analogies are the subconscious or conscious result of location. As the real estate people say, “location, location, location.” It’s the belly. That’s where the food goes. So is it subconscious? “What would be a good analogy? What about food? Just seems right.” Is it conscious? “Look, they’re freaking out. Tell ’em it’s like she just ate a grape. There’s always food down there. Everything’s normal, nothing to see.” There had to be a guy who was more of a literalist. “It’s about the size of your kidney.”


  21. Valentine Logar Says:

    Welcome to the world of highly hormonal, hiccups. Thank you for sharing these first moments with your breathless audience. Waving hi to KidneyBean (so glad you didn’t settle on the Blob).


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s funny, but it makes me anxious to share stories about it – not just because I tend to be pretty private, but because this whole experience makes me reeeeeally superstitious. I’ll try to persevere, though.


      • Valentine Logar Says:

        Take my advice. Share what you are comfortable sharing and only when and if you are both comfortable with it, you don’t owe anyone anything, it is a very private and personal time. Ask her how she feels about having her belly touched by complete strangers in a few months; it is somewhat the same thing.


  22. Angie Z. Says:

    Congratulations! That is incredible news! It is so fun! I say this after I just cleaned feces-skid out of the back of my son’s Thomas the Train underwear. And seconds ago my daughter told me she thinks I look better when my hair is down like a mermaid and not on my head like a grandma. But really, it is so fun! No, really!

    Congratulations! That is the best looking kidney bean I’ve ever seen.


  23. gojulesgo Says:

    Oh my gawd this all too much for me I can’t even take it I’m going to go watch some Drew Barrymore and eat a parfait.

    I am seriously SO happy for you and the Mrs. and Kidneybean like the kind of happy where I stop using punctuation

    Kidneybean is way too awesome to be a grapefruit (although I should be honest and admit I’m drinking grapefruit juice RIGHT NOW…with vodka…and it’s really not that bad of a thing to be and it totally has nothing to do with the lack of punctuation because I write drunk all the time).


  24. mistyslaws Says:

    What an utterly fantastic way to find out your wife is pregnant. You obviously are gonna name the baby Drew, right?

    I think humpback might be a bit cruel is all.


  25. atothewr Says:

    Good luck. My wife is in her 18th week and I tell you this. Nobody every truly prepares you for what a woman goes through before labor even sets in. I have been shocked.

    Seeing my kid move on the ultrasound has probably been the biggest high so far. Next week we find out the gender. I can’t wait for that.

    I like the name, Kidneybean.


  26. Elyse Says:

    Congrats to you, your wife and KidneyBean.


  27. angeliquejamail Says:

    WIth our first baby, I used to kick my husband out of bed in the middle of the night to make scrambled egg and bacon, telling him I’d feed the child after it was born. Good man, he got up and made me breakfast at 3:00 in the morning on a weeknight. More than once. I was actually too starving to stay asleep and thus also too starving to get out of bed myself without pain. I didn’t go more than three hours (asleep) or one hour (awake) without a meal for seven months.

    It may be a hassle, but behavior like my husband’s earns a man or a non-pregnant partner LOTS of brownie points for a long time.

    I’m just sayin’. 😉

    Congratulations to you both! 🙂


  28. SimplySage Says:

    Really sweet post. Congratulations!


  29. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Did your wife cry again when she read this? It’s beautifully sweet, sweetly beautiful…or both, as is Kidneybean. Again, I’m late to the party, but congratulations!



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