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.

 

 

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…

 

 

Dinner

A couple of days ago Kylie and I went for a trail run. The trail is a short out and back that meanders up and down along Rattlesnake Creek. We like it because it’s beautiful (especially in autumn) and there is water for Mazzy (our dog) to drink and soak in. Also, it’s not too taxing on the lungs and we can talk about our past week and our week ahead and usually what we want for dinner.

This was our first run together since we found out about about the little Scout. *From here on out I will refer to the growing thing taking refuge inside Kylie’s body as Scout- not for any particular reason, I just need to call it something- and since everyone (about two people) made fun of me about this name idea, I will use it. It’s going to grow on all you haters!

Let me start that paragraph over- This was our first run together since we found out about Scout. We jogged and talked about our future and before we knew it we were at our turnaround point. We had been so focused on our conversation that we were already halfway finished with a run we felt we had barely started.

We talked about our work schedules and how we could move them around and adapt. We talked about painting a room with characters on the wall. We talked about getting the carpet cleaned in that room. We talked about how spring runs we enjoy on this exact trail will next year be spring walks, and then summer walks with one of those bicycle wheeled stroller thingies (I’m real new to this jargon obviously). We talked about the fact that there would be no riding our bikes up the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park next year. We talked about how Scout will be six monthsish next winter and it will be a perfect age just to cozy up for the season. Following that, when Scout is one year old, it will be summer again- perfect time for Scout to start exploring the world. We talked about what we wanted to be called. We placed bets on which grandparents were going to move to Missoula. We talked about the cloth diaper service I found that washes and delivers. We talked about how Kylie was afraid to use a safety pin with a cloth diaper so close to a baby’s new soft skin. We talked about hospitals and delivery options. We talked about how to tell people. We talked about how protective Mazzy is going to be that she probably won’t let me near Scout.

We talked about a lot of stuff. And then we asked the question to ourselves, “What did we used to talk about before we didn’t have this to talk about?”  Dinner. We talked a lot about our next meal- and where we should go to get a post run beer or cider. And dinner,  we talked a lot about dinner.

 

Booger

The little thing is six weeks and six days old according to the app I installed on my phone. How did everyone do this before? I kinda like knowing all these little things- like the fetus (yuck, that’s the last time I use that word) is the size of a grain of rice- or a lentil. That keeps the visuals all nice and neat I guess- you know, cute, but really it probably looks more like a booger- a wet, red booger.

We have only told close family about this wet booger. Kylie’s parents, her brother and sister in law know. We told my parents yesterday (my mom let out a squeal like no other- she has been waiting on this for years and years). Three kids of her own, all in their thirties with no children between them. I haven’t told my siblings yet. It works out well that we will be seeing them in two weeks- so we will wait and tell them in person.

I will say it has been hard for me not to mention my new life with this booger at work. If you are new to my life, I am a craft bartender- I see and talk to lots of people everyday. I have a pretty close relationship with my co-workers. I’ve found myself quite quiet around them lately- not really knowing what to talk about- not that I talk a lot anyway. But once the drinks start flowing and I get distracted with orders and ticket times, I forget, and I am unconsumed by my excitement for some moments.

We won’t tell too many people for a while. I know the first trimester is a slippery one. And it’s nice in a small way to have a little secret.

Kylie is queasy today. She hasn’t had the morning sickness yet really- just a few days of headaches that I attribute to caffeine withdrawal (she loves strong strong coffee). She is tired a little more too. But she is being strong and fantastic and everything I want the future mother of my child to be.

But I told her I wouldn’t talk too much about her symptoms here. And I don’t think I’m going to make her feel any better when she find out I called our baby a wet, red booger.

 

*Editors note: This piece was supposed to have published yesterday- but for some reason it did not- I was in a hurry or something and overlooked the actual publication. So today it is actually seven weeks. The little thing popped into a new weight category- it graduated from a booger to a blueberry. That’s a lot bigger booger!

Pregnant

We looked at it together- at the same time. “I think you’re pregnant,” I said. “I think. I mean look at those lines- that one goes that way- but that one is faint- is that a plus? Is that line supposed to be that color? I don’t know what the hell is going on here- let’s read the directions again.”

We were excited, a bit dumbfounded, and the slightest bit unsure that our test was broken- so off I went to the store to get another pee stick. I went for one thing, just a pee stick. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t browse the aisles looking at chips. I stopped in the “Mexican” section to see if they had my favorite salsa- still no. I continued walking and turned onto the aisle I have managed to mostly avoid my entire life. Shuffling down the aisle I passed diapers and nipples, bottles and creams, Kotex and condoms. Well, I didn’t really pass the condoms- they live right next to the pregnancy tests. I stood there for an hour and contemplated the varying attributes of pee sticks. To others it looked like I was having a real hard time picking out a favorite condom that was unique and tailored just for me.

I picked the more expensive digital one- no lines or dots on this one- I didn’t want to try to read analog hieroglyphics this time.

As I walked through the store making my way to the check-out I began trying to figure out how to make the cashier feel uncomfortable- just for fun. It was a young kid with pimples- a high-schooler still learning the ropes of adolescence. I watched him ring up my chips. When he got to the pregnancy test I intentionally made a false laugh and nervously said, “Oh, that? That’s not for me, it’s for a friend”. He didn’t even flinch- not a smirk, not an eye crinkle. Wasted humor.

When I got home and walked in the door Kylie asked me what sort of awkward joke I made with the cashier. “What?!” I said, “I would never use our probable pregnancy to make cheap jokes with a stranger. You don’t even know me”.

“Oh yeah? What kind of chips did you get”?

So I ate some chips, Kylie drank some water, I ate some more chips, and Kylie peed on a fancy new stick…

EPT Mazzy

First…

It seems awkward to me to begin this blog about my (future) kid and not mention what led up to this- well, besides- you know. I am married to this amazing woman holding on to me in this picture. This was our wedding day, about 2 1/2 months ago. Before you do the math let me do it for you- the fetus (eww, gross word) is 6 weeks, 4 days old (according to my handy dandy app). So, no, she was not pregnant in this photo- not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In short, as you can tell by our bare feet and my cuffed pants, it wasn’t the typical wedding. There were six attendees (us included) and it was twelve miles into a twenty-six mile hike in the wilderness of Montana- Oh- and the bride didn’t know about it.

The bride, let’s call her “Kylie” from here on out, didn’t know a thing. I proposed to her about a mile before this photo was taken. She said yes. I said yay!

Then I said, “We can get married out here if you want to- right now! I have rings for both of us, your brother got ordained, and your sister in law has a dress for you in her backpack!” This caught her a little off guard to say the least, but after a few moments, she happily agreed. So, in front of her parents, brother, sister in law, and our dogs, on that rock, in that lake, in the middle of The Beartooth Wilderness, we got married. And the green grass grows all around and around, and the green grass grows all around.