Pear

I’ve really got nothing to say. I just have a tinge of excitement that’s a little more than usual today. I can’t really explain it. We are fifteen weeks pregnant today. Scout is the size of a pear. Maybe that’s it- a pear. I feel that a pear is pretty substantial- something you can hold in your hand and feel the weight of and throw like a baseball. Sure, Scout was the size of a fig and kiwi once, but I don’t like figs or kiwis. And a peach just doesn’t have the integrity that a pear does. A pear has a little shape and character.

Supposedly, our little pear can make a fist now. It can yawn and blink and rub it’s eyes. It’s also forming hair follicles. Let’s hope Scout is taking after Kylie in that department. Speaking of Kylie, she is feeling great and has her energy back. She said a significant bump appeared overnight. I haven’t had the chance to see it yet because of our schedules. Tomorrow morning I get to check that bugger out.

Also, we heard Scout’s heartbeat a few days ago. It sounded like an underwater monster. Really, if I was swimming and I heard that same sound I’d probably freak the f out. But considering the circumstances of hearing it in the OBGYN’s office turned it into a sweet sound. It was a very reassuring sound to hear.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into that parent that thinks their baby is the cutest thing in the world- I have control over that right? As of now I think newborns are one of the grossest things in the world. A banana slug has more grace than a human newborn. My mom gave me some pictures of me fresh out of the womb (don’t worry, I’m not going to post one at the bottom) and I’m a little surprised that my parents decided to take me home. My head was mashed into the shape of, well, a pear actually. I guess my newborn head just had a little shape and character. It returned to a more normal shape after a day or two I guess, but man, it had to freak my parents out a little, right, thinking their first kid was going to have a head shaped like Sloth from The Goonies.

That’s all I have today. Just some ramblings. I also just wanted to say thank you for reading. I know most of you are family. Some of you are friends. And a few people I’ve never met before. But thank you all. I hope this blog is at least a little entertaining. At the very least, it keeps me out of trouble. Please pass it along to whomever you wish.

Thank You!

 

 

Babywearing

This week Scout is the size of a peach. A soft fuzzy peach- and it’s definitely official- my upcoming fatherhood- proved today by the fact that I got lost in the world wide web- but not to the usual cocktail culture I am used to losing myself to- but lost to the world of baby carriers. I’m talking wraps, ring slings, pouches, packs and all sorts of things. There’s a world of international close cradle out there that I knew not existed.

My research of pouches and slings started a couple weeks ago when one of the general baby books laying on our table suggested I read another more specified book if I had a further interest in slings and things- which I did since the general baby book revealed some benefits associated with babywearing. I know, babywearing? Such a stupid name. It makes me wonder if there will be a moment in the future when I’m going to be like, “Ah, I don’t have a bowtie to match this baby- guess I won’t wear the baby tonight.”

In all seriousness however, there seems to be many benefits to wearing your baby (I’m just going to use this term as ridiculous as it sounds). Also, as idealistic as this all sounds, I am not promoting or advocating for babywearing, as I have never personally done it, and I have only known about it as a thing for a couple of weeks. I will say though, if it’s cool enough for a couple of The Beatles to have done it with their babies, then it’s cool enough for me…

babywearing-beatles

The book I ended up getting is called Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition. I know, I’m a nerd. But it sounded like it could provide me with some insight- and it’s written by an M.D., not just some woman stuck in the seventies with a drug induced idea- even if that’s what the cover looks like…

The act of wearing your baby has been around forever, blah, blah, and blah. Every culture has used a piece of fabric or backpack type thing to carry babies for years and years. Even here in America, Native Americans carried their babies in papooses for thousands of years- in fact, Sacagawea is carrying her baby on her back on her featured dollar coin. The tradition of babywearing came out of necessity most likely- with your newborn on your body it leaves both your hands free, allowing you to work. Not only is it beneficial to you, studies have also shown it is one of the best things you can do for your baby…

  • The baby feels safe and secure with skin to skin contact- it is close to your heartbeat and can feel your breathing, your movements, and your body temperature- just like when they were in utero- it’s a familiar place for them and they stay calm and happy- which means they cry less! Up to forty three percent less some studies show.
  • Since they are not crying so much they are developing at a faster rate and learning more- just from hanging around you. When they are awake they are seeing everything you do. They watch your facial gestures when you communicate with friends and are more a part of what’s happening rather than being held in a carrier at waist level with nothing to look at but crotches and crotches.
  • They sleep better- I didn’t really get the facts down for this claim but you can imagine, right?
  • Digestion is better- the constant motion helps stimulate good digestion and babies spit up less.
  • Speaking of spitting up, babies who are worn by their mother more often nurse better and gain more weight than babies that are not.
  • The constant movement and stimulation is supposed to help babies develop better too. They develop a better balance and musculature because they are always shifting and responding to the movements of the carrier’s body. They are also at much lower risk for developing plagiocephaly (that’s when they get a flat head because they are constantly laying down with the back of their soft head against a surface).

Basically, what I learned, is that a sling baby = a happy baby. And I do understand that this is all theoretical for me right now, as I have no experience and reading things in a book is way different than real life experience. A year from now I will be able to tell you with experience- we might find out that the whole idea ended up being farfetched and stupid. Or we might find out that I loved every aspect of it until Scout fell right out and bonked his/her head because I forgot to tie it or something. But until then, I am excited to give this whole thing a try.

The most daunting thing about doing this, however, is picking a carrier to try out. There are so many different types and brands… There are wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, back packs, soft packs, meh dais, buckle carriers, Graco, Freedom Slings, Chicco (BabyGo), Hold Me Baby Slings, Nojo The Original Baby Sling, Boba Wrap, Baby Bjorn, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Seven Slings, Baby K’tan, Moby Wrap, Infantino, Lenny Lamb, iAngel, Ergobaby, LILLEbaby, Tula, Beachfront Baby Wrap, Maya, Oscha Slings, Sakura Bloom, Kali Sling, Beco, New Native, Caboo, Amawrap, Mamaway, and Vlokup.

I didn’t actually look all those up, I just found a list… but Whew! That’s a lot. Or, I also found that I can just use a bed sheet or piece of fabric and make my own. Where does one even start? That was a rhetorical question, but let me answer it for you… babywearinginternational.org. It’s a good spot to get started with some general information and it helps you navigate the underworlds of babywearing.

I know I have an overzealous outlook on this but I can just see myself not missing a beat at work. I see a full bar with a line of drinks I have to make. The music is loud and the lights are dim. Drink orders coming from every which direction. I’m shaking a drink with one hand, stirring another drink with the other hand. Through all this, I look down at Scout, who is sleeping peacefully in his/her sling that perfectly matches my bowtie.

Until then, it’s just going to have to be practice, practice, practice…

mazzy-babywearing

UPDATE!!
After my mom read this post she sent me a picture of her wearing my sister. I guess it runs in the family…

Sensitivity

We are fourteen weeks pregnant tomorrow. It’s really happening. Scout is the size of a kiwi, hopefully not as furry. The second trimester began last week so I decided to open up one of the books we have about pregnancy and brush up on what to expect in the next few months. It’s supposed to be a much “easier” trimester than the first- meaning nausea and fatigue should subside and Scout will start looking more like a little bump in the belly.

I was flipping around in the book and I ended up in the section for expectant fathers. It’s basically a section written for “dads to be” who are idiots and morons and lack common sense or compassion. I’ve looked at a few similar sections in different books and they all seem to assume that the typical male is a gleaming example of incompetence when it comes to relationships and pregnancy. I can’t say I disagree with that.

One paragraph really stuck out to me though. It was in the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy book. There is a small section that let’s the father know what he can do after the delivery of the baby…

Once your partner is allowed to eat and drink normally, bring her something from her favorite bakery or shop. It’ll make her feel special.

Are you fucking serious? It’ll make her feel special. Are there men out there who would not think of doing something nice for the woman that just gave birth to their child? Do they really need a prompt? The fact that the Mayo Clinic had to write an explanation of why one would bring her something from her favorite bakery or shop is what astounds me. My anger is not even towards the Mayo Clinic for writing this, but at the fact that there are so many men out there who need this written out for them!

Funny though, reading that made me look at myself in the sensitivity mirror… I’m guilty too. I’ve learned a lot in the last few months about what is okay and not okay to say. I actually had to learn it- super simple stuff too, but important…

  1. The little bump that is starting to form in the belly is called a bump- not a pooch. Don’t call it a pooch. Write that down.
  2. Just because Kylie is eating for two doesn’t mean it’s okay to point it out if she is. We made tacos the other night and I mentioned how she never built a taco so high before. We don’t talk about big tacos in this family anymore.
  3. If Kylie gets emotional about something it’s not okay to point it out, or laugh because it’s cute, or outwardly blame the pregnancy for it. Just empathize with the emotion at hand.
  4. If Kylie says she feels and looks bloated, she is not looking for someone to agree with her.
  5. It’s not okay to have Kylie help me lift a heavy truck topper off my truck anymore.
  6. Don’t comment on how hangry she may be. Just… don’t. Not even with a sparkling smile.
  7. Whenever I say or do something insensitive, go to Kylie’s favorite bakery or shop and buy her something… It will make her feel special.

 

 

Holes

This little ditty didn’t fit in the last post very well, so it’s its own little thing. As I was getting ready to go to the Obstetrician yesterday I realized my underwear had holes in them. It seemed like a very dad thing. Normally (not that it happens all the time), I would just wear them through the day, then throw them out. But this time I felt very embarrassed- and I’m not sure why. I wasn’t even the one who was going to have to take my pants off but I felt like everyone would know. They would know with their ultrasound and it would display on the large screen in the waiting room for all to see. Things that go through my head.

I’m not talking about a little tear either, I’m talking holes! I don’t know where they came from, or how long they have been around. I mean sure, it probably happened in the last wash, right? Because I would have noticed them before. Or! Or Mazzy has been a little terror lately- I bet she chewed some holes in them and then put them back in my drawer- I wouldn’t put it past her- she’s been opening cabinets lately- we still don’t know how, but she has.

Anyway, Scout, if you are reading this, just know that I didn’t have any holes in my underwear at your first visit to the doctor- I wouldn’t embarrass you like that, or your mother for that matter.

 

 

 

Flutterbug

Is there a force in the universe that makes a man tell dad jokes as soon as he is an expectant father? I swear there is and I cannot escape it. I used to be a funny guy- well, to me. But recently I find myself shaking my head at myself when I attempt a joke. Really guy, did you just say that? I should slap you upside the head. 

Take yesterday for example, we were just wrapping up our first visit with the OB

GYN. We all had a great conversation, well, I mostly sat there and listened to her ask Kylie questions and Kylie ask her questions. Really I just felt I was a bit of an inconvenience as the nurse had to go find a chair for me to sit on. But then when she asked us if we had any more questions at the end of the session I decided to display my wit, “I’ve been suffering from Couvade syndrome and I was wondering if you had any suggestions for me.” Kylie laughed. Our Obstetrician nervously laughed, probably only because we were both laughing and she didn’t want to be left out. Then she asked, “What’s, what is that?” As with any other joke that becomes unfunny when you have explain it, this one unraveled quickly. I explained what it was and she said she didn’t know there was a name for that condition. Awkward!

We also had our first ultrasound done yesterday and it’s absolutely true- we saw it with our own eyes- Kylie has a little mexican inside her! And that thing was moving around like a jumping bean! And we saw the heart beat holy shit! It was a little flutter bug! We got to see it in 3-d, which quite frankly looks a little freaky to me but Ky thinks it is cute. I’d post a picture but it looks pretty much like the one I drew in the last post. They were also able to give us a more refined due date- June 8th!

They gave us tons of pamphlets and magazines and options for chromosomal blood testing and a big book that had some way too graphic pictures of childbirth. Seriously, it was a photo of a guy holding up his squatted partner by the armpits, then you gaze down and there is head sticking out of her vajay- it didn’t look like either of them were having any fun. Anyway, it’s a lot sift through. It’s a lot to talk about also- there are certain windows when some tests are better, some can’t be done for a while, and they are all optional. It seems to me that all these tests should just be included, but we have to decide whether or not to get them done. And even if we do they are not one hundred percent conclusive- there is a risk of false positives and false negative that then get confirmed with more tests that could still be false positive/false negative. I don’t know what we will decide to do, but you won’t hear about anymore of that here. I am just surprised by all the little but huge decisions we have to make before Scout even scoots its way out.

So that was our visit- a very positive one. So far, so good, and that was the only news we wanted to hear.

Babybrain

This is not about Scout’s developing baby brain, it’s about my distracted one. Scout is a little over nine weeks now- the size of a grape- or an olive. I’m pretty sure it’s brain is not really there right now. But! Scout will apparently be developing gonads or or ovaries this week- and a four chambered heart! And toes! Cute little toes the size of engorged fleas I imagine. I would show you a general picture off the internet but it’s more fun to imagine a snail without a shell or antennae, floating around in a uterus the size of a grapefruit. Oh what the hell, I’ll draw you one…

 

 

As Scout is growing and progressing, I seem to be losing myself a little at a time. Sure, insert hair joke here but this is serious. My brain is losing focus at home. Weird little things keep happening and I blame Scout. I’m still to young for dementia I think. As of now it seems mostly to do with food. Here are a couple examples:

  1. Mazzy and I shared some smoked salmon a couple of weeks ago (her idea, not mine). But when I went to look for it a couple days later I found it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. I know, small thing, but not like me.
  2. Another fishy example- we baked some cod last week. I grabbed some tupperware out of the cabinet and put the leftovers in it. When I couldn’t find it in the fridge the next day I figured Kylie ate it. I was surprised to find it a couple days later in the tupperware I put it in, inside the cabinet I got the tupperware from.
  3. Last night we made pizza. My job is to brush oil on the crust so it gets crispy (it’s about the only thing I can handle). Well, last night after putting some oil in a small bowl, I forgot I was holding it in my hand and started moving around like an inflatable wacky waving tube man (the kind hooked up to a fan outside a failing business). Needless to say I got oil all over the floor an we slipped around making pizza the rest of the night.
  4. Kylie found empty candy wrappers in the freezer. It is actually normal for me to put empty candy wrappers in the freezer- I don’t want Kylie to see the wrappers in the trash can the next morning- she doesn’t need to know how much candy I eat! But the abnormal thing here is I have been forgetting to throw the wrappers away the next day- I never forget to secretly dispose of my candy wrappers. Embarrassing!

I know those seem like small things- but they are huge in my world- and they’ve never happened before I’ve had Scout on my mind. Luckily I’m too busy at work to make these kinds of mistakes. It’s only been happening at home while my mind wanders. Hopefully it will stay at home and not enter my bartending life. Can you imagine getting a White Russian with raspberry puree instead of cream- because that’s the kind of stuff that might start happening.

But there actually is a syndrome that the partner of a pregnant woman can suffer called Couvade syndrome. I do not suffer from that as far as I can tell. It is also referred to as sympathetic pregnancy. The partner may gain some weight (which I have- but very little), experience nausea, and can even experience labor pains and such. I watched an episode of House once that portrayed a guy in the midst of Couvade syndrome. He was in more pain than his pregnant wife. I’m pretty sure that episode ended with a football coming out of his anus or something- but that could just be my babybrain remembering things wrong- go figure.

California

Scout went on it’s first trip with us this weekend. We flew. We stayed at my brother and his partner’s (Isaac and Sarah’s) house on the remote side of Nevada City with my sister (Nina) and her husband (Haygen). Isaac picked us all up from the airport in Sacramento and drove us an hour and a half away on winding roads to his house on the Woolman compound. I say compound for lack of a better word. He lives on the grounds of what was once a Quaker school, but is now divided into dwellings and places to meet for social progress and ceramic gatherings. The weekend we visited there happened to be a non-violent communication gathering just outside his kitchen window and a ceramic wood firing just a stone’s throw away. Perhaps some people participated in both events but I didn’t inquire. I suppose if we had been there during the heat of July we could have been witness to a nudist gathering and a vegan chili cook-off for peace; but that’s just what I imagine- beans and hair everywhere.

When we pulled up to my brother’s house from our drive there were a few barefoot thirty-something year olds standing on the porch staring at us, one of them pregnant and ready to burst. I immediately began wondering about my brother’s living choices. As I got out of the car I waved and passed an awkward smile towards them. They were about twenty feet away, but did not respond like they saw me say hello- instead, they just stared at me as if a penis had sprouted out of my forehead. Luckily at that moment, Sarah walked out of the house directly behind this one to greet us and I was able to direct my attention elsewhere.

Sarah and Isaac led us into their house where we sat and talked about our next few days together that would include some hikes and meals, games and drinks, and an apple crisp that would unknowingly elude us our entire visit. We learned that the pregnant woman next door would be giving birth soon at her house, which shared the duplex walls of my brother’s. We all hoped it would not happen within the next few days, as we preferred  not to hear the miracle of life. It wasn’t so much the muffled sounds of a television hospital drama that would bother us, but more so the sounds of an intimate moment the family would be experiencing. Kylie especially wasn’t too excited to listen to what she would be experiencing in seven months.

We didn’t know exactly how were going to break it to our gathered family that we were pregnant. I had an idea, and began to try to accomplish it by sending everyone present a group text with an image of our dog balancing the “pregnant” pregnancy test on her nose. I learned quickly that there was not enough cell reception in the area to send an image. And then I realized I couldn’t even get a text out at all. My only idea was a failure. Luckily, within minutes of conversation and planning the weekend, Sarah offhandedly asked Kylie if she would be partaking in any drinking this weekend- more as a joke than anything else- when Kylie replied no, she was pregnant, there was quick silence, and then a few “Reallys?!” and “You’re joking right??” And then the expected excitement and questions followed. The cat was out of the bag.

The weekend wasn’t affected too much by Scout though- so I say. Kylie was a little more tired than usual and it was noticeable. She fell asleep to the world on the couch the first night with all of us playing games and bottling kombucha. We did a nice six mile hike along the Yuba river the next day that felt great for all of us. The next hike, a day or two later, was along some cliffs over Lake Tahoe. Scout got the best of Kylie here- she gets tired easy right now. We stopped about halfway and decided to turn around. On the walk back I wondered how many times I, as an unborn thing in my mom’s stomach, affected her day to day.

I’m pretty sure all of us felt sympathetic towards Kylie this weekend. We are used to her having all the energy and keeping us on the move, so of course we poked a little fun at her. All in all, she was a great sport and kept up with us and had some non-alcoholic drinks when we were out. She played pool with us at a racy old people bar. She ate her burger well done. Her intolerance for my stupid jokes was only slightly noticeable, but that’s to be expected- my stupid jokes. But all in all we had a fantastic trip and can only be summed up by this smile…