Kylie is twenty-three weeks pregnant today. Scout is purring all curled up in the wooly of his little womb. His lungs are tidying up so he can breath air when he comes out to meet us. June 8th is just around the corner now- well, it will be- so Kylie and I are signing up for birth classes and figuring out other stuff like the diaper situation- poop- there will be lots of it- cribs and rock-n-plays and carseats and slings and changing tables and this and that. It’s not overwhelming, it’s just a whole new world. It’s a lot different from when we used to abstractly think about babies in the past- when it was just fun and inconsequential…
So we’ve been busy with planning and thinking about things like names and to snip or not to snip. For now, Scout has one name- Scout- until he is born, and then we will share his human name with everyone. We haven’t settled on a name yet anyway. At the beginning, when it was fun to just come up with names, it was nice to share with friends and family. But we also found that positive or negative reactions really did have some influence as to whether or not we kept a name kicking around. So as we narrow it down we decided it’s really best if we just keep it to ourselves. (It’s just another thing I’ve never thought about until actually going through it.)
Another preparation that began in the last month is the baby room. My spare bedroom (yeah, I know, how posh of me) will be Scout’s room. Some time in January I started the mural. It got bigger than expected and I still have A LOT of work to do- like probably another month or two at the rate I’m working- but here are some details of what has happened so far…
That’s all I got today- I gotta put the computer away and pick up a paint brush. Hope your February is going well- and Happy Black History Month!
We had an ultrasound yesterday. Scout is ten ounces- that is the size of a warm can of PBR with a couple sips taken out of it. It was good to see him moving around and touching his face. Everything seems to be normal and in fact he is a couple days ahead of development from what the guys said. Yeah, the guys…
We walked into the ultrasound room and there were two men sitting there. One had a shaved head and a goatee, the other wore a dark beard. I thought they were sitting there to tell me my brake pads were getting thin. I know, I know, it’s a bit sexist of me to assume that our tech was going to be a female- but last time it was- last time it was a nice grandma(y) lady who I imagined might bake a nice apple pie on her off time. It’s hard to confront your own stereotypes I guess when you think you have none.
Anyway, the cartalk guys ended up being super nice. One was training- he had just transplanted to Missoula from California ((damn Californians) I’m from California so I can say that). Apparently the place where he had worked for the last ten years didn’t have the technology that Missoula has so he was learning the new bells and whistles that he wasn’t familiar with. It impressed me that Ol’ Montuckey had something that his little corner of California didn’t.
The guys were fine, very professional. One small random thing happened that I can only attribute to gender though. Scout’s hand was shielding his head when they were trying to take a picture of his face. One would think, well, I would think, that if Scout doesn’t want a picture of his face taken then so be it, he takes after his father- leave him alone and we just won’t get a picture. But the tech, the trainer, thought otherwise. He decided to dig in a little and press into the belly with his ultrasound tool like a car mechanic reaching for an oily bolt that he couldn’t see. He said he was trying to get Scout to move his arm. Well, Scout never moved his arm- he’s about as stubborn as me when it comes to getting his picture taken. But it made me wonder if grandma tech would have done the same, or if she would have talked nice to Scout and agreed he didn’t need his picture taken today.
We saw his four chamber heart, his spine, hands and feet with the proper amount of digits. I was told we saw some kidneys, an aorta and parts of the brain. Ulnas and radii were there, as were the tibs and fibs. We even saw his peener. No doubt, it’s a boy. Seeing Scout didn’t necessarily further concrete the fact I have a baby on the way- I think I’ve been concreted down for a while now. But hearing that everything is looking good eases my mind for sure.
Everything on the homefront is beginning to take shape too. Scout’s room is slowly becoming real. My dresser got kicked out of it and Kylie asked me where my cluttered desk was going to go. I said hold on woman I still have twenty weeks! No, I didn’t say that. I said how about the living room? I think we all know how that conversation ended.
I started painting a mural in Scout’s room a couple days ago. I’ve painted a few kids’ room murals before- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a floating Big Bird and Snuffleupagus, princess castles, and Shrek and Fiona. This one is for my own kid though so it’s gonna be a little more out there… Like Dr. Suessy out there. And this wasn’t even my idea- Kylie suggested it early on and how can one argue with the wonderful weird world of Dr. Suess. I already painted some green hills and flowing water. I have lots to add- The Lorax, some truffula trees, Things one and two, the Cat, Horton, some Sneetches and I’ll probably hide a Wasket somewhere. Don’t worry landlords, it can all be painted over.
So that’s where we are at right now. Kylie is doing fantastic. She has a bump, a beautiful baby bump. She is feeling great and in the midst of a nesting stage. She’s moving stuff around and throwing stuff out and starting registries and getting out for walks in the sunshine as often as she can.
On Friday Scout will be twenty weeks in the belly. There is so much to do because that is halfway!
I can’t wait to meet him that day!
He’ll be squirmy and wormy
Looking bloody and blotchy!
He’ll be singing and swinging
Gripping a throbbing wet cord!
Pointing my way the OB will say,
“HEY YOU CUT THIS!”
But I’ll faint and be floored.
Sorry, I had to do that. Okay, I gotta go- I got a Lorax to draw!
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…
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…
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…