Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

(Why I Made) The Face

Some of you may remember when I made The Face, at about 6pm on July 16th.

Hello, ladies.

At that moment, I’d just sat down, and my new wife Katie (so new I still called her my “wuh… wuh… ex-fiancee”) had just left the house to go watch Harry Potter with her family. I was staying in to do some work, and to avoid Harry Potter like the plague. Shut up, plebs. Don’t judge me.

Anyway. I’d had The Face on for just over a minute. A curious thing was happening to the skin over my skull. It was locked in place, forming The Face, and it stayed with the tenacity of rigor mortis as the seconds kept ticking on by. Intrigued by what The Face felt like, I took a photo of it to see what it looked like.

Turns out it looked like me pulling a stupid face, somewhere between fear and confusion. Who’d have thought?

The reason for The Face was was a simple (but frightening) one.

One Minute Before The Face: About a minute before the photo was taken, just as The Face started to settle onto my rugged and chubby-cheeked hamsterish features, I was standing alone in my kitchen, in silence, preparing to walk upstairs. I was also thinking “I wonder if I have her piss on my hands now”, which was exceedingly unromantic, but there we go.

Two Minutes Before The Face: About a minute before that urine-based thought, I was in the same room with Katie. She was smiling and trying not to laugh, while unnameable emotions danced in the hazel and green swirls of her Irish eyes.Ā I, on the hand, was hopping from foot to foot, clutching two pregnancy tests that she’d recently peed on, and saying “Oh shit oh fuck oh Jesus where’s your mum let’s talk to your mum oh fucking hell.”

She didn’t want to talk to her mum. Not yet. She was about to go see Harry Potter with her family, and her parents were going on holiday for two weeks mere hours after the cinema trip. Now, she reasoned, was not the time to inform them we were accidentally pregnant many, many months earlier than even our vaguest plans.

I dealt with this in a manner becoming of all thirty-year-old adult males. I was cool, calm, and collected. “But but but but shit oh Jesus what if it likes football and wants to join the army?” I said, uttering what history will surely recall as my most excellent and rational sentence. A crazier thought manifested, but I never said it aloud. ‘Maybe if I’m gay this won’t be real’, I thought. But that made such little sense that even my stalling hind-brain refused to give it voice. It was too late for gayness. Much too late.

Three Minutes Before The Face: And about a minute before my wondrously eloquent outburst (and secret failure of a homosexuality escape plan), I was alone in the bathroom, having cheated and crept in to look at the tests before Katie checked them. They were wrapped in tissue paper. I was still thinking ‘Gross, she peed on those,’ as I used a shower gel bottle to roll the tests over so I could see properly. I said, very clearly, “Fuck.”

There followed a moment of silent, raw smugness. I actually cupped my balls and nodded to myself. ‘This must be what men feel like’, I thought. Did I feel a brief spark of awareness in that moment? Did I suddenly want to play football, or perhaps even more drastically, watch other men play it?

The answer was no.

The moment of powerful manliness faded. I began to hop from foot to foot. Clutching the pee-sticks in my hand, I went to tell the girl I’d been married to for two weeks that I was both masculine and virile, and she was about to spend the next year getting fat. As has been explained, what actually happened was that I mumbled swear words at her, and she went to see Harry Potter while silently panicking, and I went to take a photo of my face. The Face, in fact.

The next generation Dembski-Bowden. Week 12-13.

We call her Fuchsia. For you foreign folks, that’s pronounced Fyoosha.Ā I mean, we’re not actually calling her Fuchsia (after Fuchsia Groan from Gormenghast, because Katie won’t let me), but that’s how we refer to her now, as her “Oh Jesus, there’s a baby inside you” name. It might be a boy, for all we know. We have names picked out, but it’s early days. We’ll save all that for later.

I’m immensely looking forward to one thing about parenthood more than any other: inflicting my bitch of a surname on yet another human being. It’s so, so, so much fun to hear Katie saying “Dembski-Bowden… D… E… M… No, there’s a B… S… K… I… Hyphen… B…” to other people, after so many years of suffering alone. My brother has the same name, but I’ve never heard him have to spell it for people, so my joy was diminished in that regard. But Katie spells it all the time, and it’s hilarious. I had no idea I looked that annoyed for so many years. I look forward to Fuchsia knowing the same delightful torture at a mental surname.

In another moment of absolute intelligence, in the name of being thorough, I asked the doctor doing the scan this morning: “Uh, so, like, it doesn’t have two heads or anything?”

Evidently not.

Look at her little feet.




Oh, Jesus.

August 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. Congratulations.

    Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. Or they will be pooped on.

    — c.

    Comment by Chuck Wendig | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. So. Two things.

    1) Congratulations!
    2) You are so boned.

    Comment by James Swallow | August 26, 2011 | Reply

    • That sums things up very nicely indeed. Ditto. Welcome to the club, Father! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

      Comment by Lars Madsen | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. Congratulations, oh total stranger and writer of entertaining words.

    We have two things in common.

    a) I too have been married less than a month
    b) I write for a living

    I’m hoping to share a third thing in common with you within the next 3-6 months. I shall report back with progress. Many congratulations to you and your pee-stained hands. And your wife.

    Comment by fitz | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  4. Yeah, I thought that was probably the reason for it. Congratulations šŸ™‚

    So in light of paragrah 5, are you going to change your blog masthead to “Don’t worry, none of this piss is mine”?

    Comment by Matthew F. | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. Wow, congratulations are in order. I can’t wait to see what name you guys settle on. I totally called that that was the reason for the face as well. I rock. But yeah, congratulations.

    Comment by S | August 26, 2011 | Reply

    • On the note of a name…. If you call the baby The Lion and make it’s cot look like The Rock (the 40k location, not the wrestler…jeez) I’ll buy you ten pints. Or something.

      Comment by S | August 27, 2011 | Reply

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! All the best from the Clan Roberts šŸ˜‰

    Get as much sleep as you can NOW…

    Comment by Neil Roberts | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  7. Congratulations to you both!

    My friends who have been through this tell me that at some point the excitement and wow factor overtake the ‘oh shit’ factor…. but I’m not buying it for a second!

    Oh, and two kids (and now grown-up kids) later, my dad still can’t be doing with football so I wouldn’t worry about that…

    Comment by Debi Marie Whitehouse | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  8. Amazing. Congratulations to you both!

    Comment by Mark Charan Newton (@MarkCN) | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  9. Hurrah for bizarre pregnancy nicknames, ours was “lump” and the whole giving birth process? tactfully named “lumpectomy”


    Comment by Erin Freeman (@sixeleven) | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  10. Congratulations. Something similar happened to us: near as we can figure it we got pregnant on the wedding night. Turned out to be the best thing that’s happened to us.

    Also, this may be of use in a few months: http://www.spaaace.com/cope/?p=192

    Comment by James Wallis | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  11. Congratulations, you two! Welcome to the most frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting and insanely rewarding ride of your life. I look forward to hearing if Fuchsia’s a boy or girl and what their official name will be. Can we assume you’ll forego the trite “Mister” or “Miss” for “Battle Brother”, “Battle Sister”, or “Warmaster”?

    Comment by Nathan Herron (@CrayolaSmoker) | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  12. Congrats! If it’s a boy will you name it Abaddon?

    Comment by dethmunky | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  13. Huge congrats to your virile self, and your lovely, soon-to-be-swelling bride šŸ™‚ Look forward to the panic and happiness that will ensue from now on.

    Comment by Jon Beer | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  14. LOL! The man of the hour, the legend, the cynic worried by a little child rearing? All men make the face when they realize the have gone to far to fast and there is no turning back in life… course some steps to far are farther then other… Congrats and remember, children are both your greats accomplishment and the destroyers of life as you know it. Just enjoy the ride. Also getting a bit of pee on you hands will seem like nothing soon. šŸ˜‰

    Comment by huronbh | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  15. OH GOSH! Congratulations Aaron! You are THE MAN!

    Comment by Matthew Sacksee Chong | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  16. Everyone says it, but for the one and only time in your life everyone is right – SLEEP. Sleep now, tomorrow, every day and night, during meetings, dinner, movies (one of my favorites), even sex (it will diminish then vanish once baby appears).

    Do you hear me? Sleep. You can’t prepare yourself for the life-altering change you’re about to go through. Don’t try to envision it, just sleep. That’s all you’ll crave for two years after the baby is born. Well, it actually starts a bit before the baby is born when the wife wants you to jump every time she hiccups. It’s only the beginning…of the end.

    Good luck.

    Comment by John W. Mefford | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  17. Congratulations! It’s quite the world rocking event isn’t it, like nothing else (until the sequel moment when they actually arrive).

    May it be the joy for you and your wife it has been for us. That joy and love does more than make up for the many moments of terror, grossness (lol, you’re worried about a tiny bit of pee on your hand? My first was less than 24 hours old the first time he peed all over me. You get used to it) and life upheaval.

    Awesome news, congrats again.

    Comment by Aegnor | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  18. A primarch is born…

    Comment by peter | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  19. dude im pretty sure that is my child (no due to anything involving adultery), just that scan picture looks the same as my eldest’s and my youngest’s, also my friend’s and brother’s scan pictures!

    Comment by mitch pays | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  20. My dps. He delivers.

    Comment by Heather 'The Tank' | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  21. Congratulations – you are about to embark on the ride of your life. Anything you might want to do for the next year and a half, do it now – once your kid is born, your free time will wither to nothing (speaking from experience – our little bundle of joy just turned three month old last week). The most interesting thing is, no matter how hard and frustrating it may seem from the way people write about it, once your child is here you will not mind a second of it. No matter how tired you might be, you will begin seeing those 3 AM feedings as a chance to bond rather than interruption to your already sorely lacking sleep schedule. You will count his or her little smiles and excitedly rush to your chosen communication device to share the news with family and friends. You will become adept at doing things one-handed while you try to calm down a crying child, and will experience major changes to your vocabulary as you try to talk to him or her, bristling with excitement every time his or her eyes focus at the sound of your voice. Poop will become a major topic of conversations in your household (and trust me, I am not exaggerating here). Your life will change in every way, but very soon you will be unable to imagine it any other way, and would not want to trade it for anything in the world. Once again, congratulations!

    Comment by Midgard | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  22. Congratulations, guys.

    Points for fast work as well! I’m sure there’s some sort of gag about Aaron meeting deadlines, but I’m too nice to make it.

    Comment by G | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  23. clearly you dropped that package too high up on her porch…

    Congrats though. Way to shirk the plan, like a true-minded heretic. Your unholy spawn awaits. šŸ™‚

    cheers, bro. This clearly means it’ll be longer before we get to see each other again. lol you’ll be too busy feeding a grot. lol


    Comment by David Ploss | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  24. Congratulations to you both.

    I wait in anticipation for the ‘I just changed my first nappy’ face.

    Comment by Rob P | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  25. Congrats, Mr. D-B, on the tidings. To you and the little pixie queen. I have yet to jump that particular hurdle in my life having not ever felt ready, and then when feeling ready not having sufficient funds.

    I am truly truly happy for the pair of you, and may you have a strong, sensitive son; or a delightful mini-pixie to bless you house with.

    Comment by Tim Kenyon | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  26. lol

    congrats. welcome to the club.

    hope for a boy, only one little prick to worry about,

    hope for a girl as nothing will ever be more precious to you. may be more of a reason to buy a shotgun.

    either way it won’t be the last time you get pee’d on šŸ˜€

    seriously though, the little ones really give you something to think about & get a good camera they grow up quick.

    Comment by ChrisW | August 27, 2011 | Reply

  27. Mazel tov!

    Comment by Phoebus Lazaridis | August 27, 2011 | Reply

  28. Congratulations!

    Comment by Hugo Schmidt | August 28, 2011 | Reply

  29. How many shaman’s sacrificed their lives?

    Seriously though, amazing news, congratulations to you both!

    Comment by Tim Sweeney | August 28, 2011 | Reply

    • what if a bunch of shamans actually sacrificed themselves somewhere? this could be the birth of the Big E……

      Comment by AC | September 7, 2011 | Reply

  30. Ha, called that one,Congratulations.
    I have a very evil boys name if you would like,it would work well in Hazard County
    Bo Luke Duke Dembski-Bowden

    Comment by Bigwill | August 29, 2011 | Reply

  31. Fan-dabby-dosey! Very funkin’ cool, man!
    All the best to all 3 of ya šŸ˜‰


    Comment by Rob Ashley White | August 29, 2011 | Reply

  32. Congratulations! I got married the same way.

    Comment by Paul | August 30, 2011 | Reply

  33. Congratulations! My first words the first time I was told I was going to be a father were also expletives.
    Best of luck to yourself and Katie.

    Comment by Paul Allan Colbourne | September 5, 2011 | Reply

  34. Congratulations! You dancer you.

    Comment by A,BC | September 6, 2011 | Reply

  35. Mega Congratulations to you and your wifey Mr. D-B! So begins the great journey that will be a helluva roller coaster! Best of luck to you and Katie. šŸ˜€

    Comment by Brother Cambrius | September 7, 2011 | Reply

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