January 21st 2008: On Sunday January 20th it was official. In an impromptu pregnancy stick buying journey to Walgreens on 9th and Market I found out in front of the panel submission board of The San Francisco Improv Festival that I was pregnant.
There is really no way to keep this information secret at this point. I'm surrounded on Sunday by some of the biggest mouths in The San Francisco Improv and Comedy Community. The last thing I need to hear at some point next week is someone sending me an email going "Why didn't you tell me..."
Hey doll. At least let me tell my family before I get to you.
I already knew I might be pregnant. The menstrual symptoms without the annoying bleeding. The sweating. The hair lip. No cycle. It's either I'm pregnant, or I have hit menopause. I say to myself: If I'm 42 and going through menopause and missed the whole baby process? HEADS WILL INDEED ROLL. I'm taking people out. Husband first. Then nameless people walking up the street screaming at their children for no reason, proceeded by the happy smiling couples not screaming at children who have taught their children to appreciate opera before they were born.
Heads? They will roll.
I get picked up by one of the members of Storytellers for our Saturday Night Show at Eth-Noh-Tec in the Mission. I inform him I might be pregnant.
Him: (wryly) So, who is the father?
Me: (dryly) I will tell Hans that it is you so he can kill you.
You bring the wacky joke. I bring Hans' butcher knife. It's the Chicago way.
He asks when I will know as he is part of the submission panel for SFIF the following morning. I tell him I hopefully will know before then.
The following morn Hans and I awake at 8:00. There is no time to run to Walgreens to "Pee on a stick". We have officially dubbed this process "Pee On a Stick" as we set up the Brunch for our panel.
A thankless job for a SFIF panel member: You get credit on our submission panel, we feed you and all the free shows and drinking during the festival. In turn, you get to watch DVD's, Youtube Links and that one lone old media video tape of improv comedy from around the country.
As fun as it might sound? It really is not fun. If anyone has ever sat through a four hour audition behind the table? I think there would be a lot of bobbing heads in agreement.
The member from Storytellers arrives at the house around 9:30am. Our festival co-producer has already arrived with Krispy Kremes and I have already set out the Mimosa's (if we have to watch hours of improv on tape? We are going to do this with appropriate liquor to fit the time of day)
Him: So, are you pregnant?
Me: Don't know yet. I have not gotten the Pee on the Stick Thing
Him: (excited) Go get it. Get it NOW!
This panel for SFIF submissions has turned into something else. Everyone now wants me to pee on a stick.
So Clay Robeson (Co-Producer of SFIF) and I head outside running into other panel member Paul Killam (BATS Improv)
Paul: Hey. Where you heading off?
Shaun: The store to get a stick to pee on...I think I'm pregnant.
We get to Walgreens. I buy the special 2 for 1 Pee on A Stick Kit. I really wish it was called Pee On a Stick Kit. Products named for their exact purpose.
We get back to the house. All the panel members are there. Everyone is buzzing around the house. They seem to more interested to find out if I'm pregnant than any IO west or Upright Citizens Brigade Improv house team could ever be.
I don't feel like I have to pee. I can't have the Mimosa I had poured for myself beforehand. I swig water and head into the bathroom.
I pee on a stick and put the cap back on.
It took less than three seconds for that little stick to scream YOU ARE PREGANT MS. LANDRY. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE ANYONE OUT AS YOU ARE NOT GOING THROUGH MENAPAUSE. YOU STILL GOT IT! NOW, GOT OUT AND WAX THAT HAIRLIP!
I call the only working stem cell person in the room Linda in the bathroom (she is our panel person this year who represents the audience, as she really never wishes to do improv comedy at all and keeps the rest of us jaded comedians in tow) to make sure I have done this right. She concurs.
I then call in my husband Hans.
Me: I'm pregnant again.
Him: Are you happy?
Me: Yes. You?
Him This will be FUN!
And that is my husband in a nutshell. It is not as though it will be nine months of very careful planning as the last one I miscarried at three months, only to find myself at Kaiser with my legs up watching myself for the first time on national television improvising as a Fake Bride on TLC's Perfect Proposal sobbing saying "This is the strangest miscarriage documented in the annals of miscarrying times"
It is going to be tough. It is being extra careful at age forty two who has always treated her body like A Temple.
The Temple of DOOM.
The five dollar smokes I sat outside and let the rain destroy. The collection of wines I will let others enjoy for a while. The prenatal vitamins from Urban Market has 100% more folic acid than they really should, and in less than a twenty four hour span I have become close and personal friends with the bathroom facilities.
I have cancelled auditions. I have rescheduled events. I will still do the BOA festival as my role in all of it actually contains my character "Sitting Down doing a crossword puzzle" at a coffee table.
I will be good and pregnant by the time I say the words "Welcome to the fifth year of the San Francisco Improv Festival!" at the Purple Onion. I just spent ten minutes explaining to a very excited company member of Oui Be Negroes why it might be a little bit more difficult to tour this year:
Me: Baby, you see there are three members of Negroes. And right now 33% of the cast is pregnant and another 33% is the father.
It is going to be tough. But my wonderful childlike husband proclaimed as I stood in the bathroom door that it was going to be "Fun"
And I believe him.
I hear the rumbling in the kitchen from the other men. They all say "well?"
I walk into my kitchen and look at my mimosa and say Somebody better drink that glass. Because I can't.
I'm four weeks pregnant. Let the fun begin.
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.