My wife Dawn and I are expecting a baby. It's just another baby, really; and yet, I thought it would be good for us to keep a journal of everything that happens and everything we do and research, so if we end up doing this again, we'll be able to look back and see what happened. So far everything's about as clear as a train wreck: Something big sure has happened, but untangling the mess is going to take a while.
 Anyway, I also thought that reading about what we go through as we go through it might be interesting to other people who are about to or are working their way through having a baby of their own. Since watching as our friends had babies didn't convince us to skip it ourselves, I don't think I'll be talking anyone out of having children; but be forewarned: This could get ugly. Procreation is not pretty.
 So I'll be adding chapters as we get there, so you can follow along as we progress through the various steps leading to having our baby. Dawn and I have started charting her weight gain, too, and as soon as we see a change, you'll be able to view the chart. As soon as we get ultrasounds, they'll show up as well; and, if can overcome the technological hurdles--and talk Dawn into it--maybe we'll even have a videofeed of the birth tied directly to the Web.
 But first, a quick introduction.

Dawn and I are both computer programmers living in America, New Jersey in particular, and working across the river in Manhattan. We both graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in the spring of 1992. I'll be 26 years old in December of 1996, while Dawn turned 26 in May. We've been married for a little over two years and dated for six years before that, so we've known each other a while.
 Our baby--or babies, we don't know yet--is due on April 30, 1997, our third anniversary. And if you want to know anything more than that, well, read on.

Before you do, though, let me pass on to you one wonderful piece of advice which I was given by my friend Mike, who is the proud father of one daughter and has another on the way: If you are, as a couple, pregnant, do not expect anything. Everyone tries to tell you what to expect. Mike and his wife Dyan heard so many things, many conflicting, that they simply gave up all expectations about their child. Except for one thing of which they were sure: That their baby would be bald. Their daughter was born with a full head of thick, black hair. So my advice is Mike's advice: Expect nothing.
 Chris Rywalt
 September, 1996
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