An exuberant, extravagant chronicle of gestation which romps through to the final production of the Fante's firstborn in high Italianate style and immerses a succession of hair-raising to breast-beating sequences in tears -- and Chianti. For Emily, ""a bloated goddess"" (who ate like a liberated refugee) was wanton in her whims, frenzied in her housekeeping, and reached a shuddering climax in her eighth month when she fell through the kitchen floor. Going home to San Juan to secure the services of Papa, a first generation Italian builder, John's safari back to Los Angeles on the train with Papa is a humiliating ordeal as Papa -- with his goat's cheese and red wine -- provides a public spectacle. Emily's activities in her last month become more strenuous; Catholicism calls her and she studies canon law at night, while by day, she and Papa tear down the walls of the house -- but fail to fix the kitchen floor. A first trip to the hospital, escorted by John, Papa and finally Father Gondalfo -- for a last minute baptism, ends --not in fruition -- but in her return home for another week; a second trip, and a long agony, produces the only possible result --a son... No natural childbirth this, and undoubtedly a lot more fun.