Leslie said her pregnancy was easy. Her only big craving was for pumpkin seeds, she didn't feel ill, and the only nuisance, she says, was having to use a rubber band to fasten her jeans once she was too big to button them. But the mood swings and crying spells were a surprise, she says. Dave rolls his eyes, apparently in full agreement.
Leslie stayed at home for the few weeks before she was due, doing her class work at home. Dave wore a beeper to school so Leslie could notify him if she had to, but a vice principal took it away. Against school policy, he said.
"I'm like, 'Whoa! My girlfriend's pregnant. I kinda need it,' " Dave said. He got it back after his mother had a talk with the school administration. Days later, Dave was in accounting class when he was notified Leslie was having pains. He rushed off campus without getting permission. Even though it turned out to be a false alarm, it was worth the risk of Saturday school--four hours of detention, he said.
Two weeks after Leslie was due, her doctor induced labor. Dave stayed in the delivery room for support and encouragement. Leslie yelled and took a swing at him in return. Sixteen hours later, Kayla Irene Mascarenas, 7 pounds 12 ounces, was born.
Leslie, still under sedation, entertained the party of 25 well-wishers with a woozy rendition of "Three Blind Mice." Everyone pointed out that Kayla's birth date--Dec. 22--was a good omen. Dave and Leslie each wear No. 22 on their game uniforms.
The last three months have been filled with lessons for the new parents--how to properly sterilize nipples for one--and child-rearing decisions. Disposable won out over cloth diapers, Leslie said, because it's less time consuming. But who changes more diapers? Apparently, it's an on-going debate.
"Oh, I change more diapers," Leslie says.
"You?" Dave asks.
"Yeah. Me. You just have your mom do it."
"No I don't. I change her plenty . . . "
Kayla's cries halt the debate. Dave runs down the hall to check on her. Leslie puts her feet up on the couch. She greets an instant of rest with a heavy sigh and a smile.
"It's not like our lives have changed very much," she says hopefully.
A moment later, Dave returns with Kayla. Feeding time--again.
Barbie Ludovise's column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Readers may reach Ludovise by writing her at The Times Orange County Edition, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, 92626, or calling (714) 966-5847.