Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Conversations #6

S: Dude, people are SO nice to you when you’re pregnant!

J: Oh?

S: Yeah, they want to talk about how you’re feeling, when you’re due... Complete strangers want to confess their dream of being a maternity-ward nurse, tell you about their babies, tell you about their kids’ not having babies though they really wish they would. And some people just grin at you. It’s kind of awesome.

J: Wow, I would so hate being pregnant.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

28 Weeks

Skipped a week! Again! You may be wondering what happened with 27 weeks and Jasper would like you to know that you missed a really good one. A head of cauliflower! I know, it was a really good one. I feel bad about skipping it, but last weekend I was scheduled to the gills and beyond. Not actually, but I had a big social thing on each and every day of the schedule for all three days. Crazy, right? And each of them required food and/or beverage preparation. Even crazier! And in my one significant free window, I made banana pancakes for my baby’s daddy and went for a run. So that time was no longer free at all! And I have particularly high downtime needs. Not always, I don’t think. But currently, yes. I get overwhelmed and quite tired when my schedule is so full. Because have you heard how very pregnant I am? Must be the hormones. Or the belly I carry everywhere. Or the lacking in the sleep department.

So. Now you are privy to the very depths of my patheticness. Or should that be heights? Depths sounds more pathetic...

And now I am a whopping 28 weeks along on this baby-growing adventure. Which places me solidly in the third trimester. Which I think is amazing, but Jasper wonders why it isn’t time to have the baby already. (Because it is the next thing on the to-do list after making the baby and growing the baby and he thinks the growing part is really starting to drag. Truthfully, he doesn’t actually want to have the baby yet, but only because he doesn’t yet know where he is supposed to park when we get to Labor & Delivery. Isn’t he the neatest?)

Given that we skipped the mighty cauliflower, I am sort of quite a bit saddened to share what the baby is this week. A Chinese cabbage. And I am left wondering, but not really deeply caring... is that the same as a Napa cabbage? It looks the same:

Meanwhile, the good news is that after a bit of a plateau, my belly is once again making great leaps forward. Meaning, you didn’t miss much last week. I think we are now getting into “not really very cute anymore” territory:

Amusingly, however, in the span of the last few days I have been called both “...fruitful” (which I assume means I was nearly mistaken for the Venus of Willendorf) and also “a tiny little thing” (as though akin to a Hollywood starlet, obviously). People! And their perspective! Such a riot.

Number of people who have touched the belly: 18

Number of Patagonia items in the baby’s wardrobe: 1
How sad we are that Patagonia does not make baby silkweight capilene: very
Number of consecutive days and nights that the baby danced without stopping this week: 3 (is there any doubt that he is a future ultra-runner?)

Number of beds the baby has: 3
Number of non-bucket bathtub-like vessels the baby has: 1

Number of prenatal yoga classes Baby H has attended: 1
Number of baby-related preparation classes we are signed up for: 4
Number of pages we have to read each day if we are to finish Cryptonomicon by the time the baby is born: 6
Number of “Nerdiest Pregnant Parents Ever” awards we have been nominated for: NONE (and how is that even possible?)

Photo: Baby Center

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby's wardrobe #7

S: Oaklandish has a onesie that matches your t-shirt.

J: Really? I could match the baby?

S: Oh, so you’re into it?

J: I mean, it would be pretty damn cute.

S: Ridiculously cute.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Braxton who?

For weeks now, I’ve been reading in my pregnancy books and websites and emails that I am probably starting to feel fake, painless contractions. And I should not be alarmed, provided these are indeed the fake ones. Much time and verbiage is spent on explaining how I can be sure that these are the fake contractions--just my body practicing for labor--and not the real deal. But I wasn’t feeling them. And everything else about this pregnancy has happened all early and precociously (see: alarmingly boisterous kicks and astonishingly prominent belly), so where were my fake contractions?

I had pretty much arrived at the conclusion that I have a smug uterus. Because really? I totally would. My uterus would be all over-confident about labor, no need to practice or anything. My stupid, proud uterus. (Those are the meanest thoughts I’ve ever hyperbolically claimed to have about my uterus. Which reminds me... before we tried to get pregnant, when I didn’t know whether getting pregnant would be hard, I decided that I should believe in my uterus, and send it positive, nurturing thoughts. Yes, I really did this. It seemed like it had so much work to do, such a burden on its shoulders! Then my uterus was so good at making a baby! No need for all that coddling. Or maybe it was *because* of the positive thoughts and supportive energy that my uterus did so well... Makes you think doesn’t it? And if you are still thinking about where my uterus’s shoulders would be, now would be a good time to catch up.)

So, my missing fake contractions. Right.

I read something somewhere about how some women confuse contractions for movement. I mean, kicks and jabs are clearly not contractions, but some of the squirmier movements maybe? I proceeded to tell my doctor that I thought I had started feeling the elusive fake contractions, and I described them. She was highly skeptical and said that they sounded like the baby squirming. Then she patted me on the top of my head and told me it was okay to be a total and complete failure at fake contractions. No, not really. She didn’t pat me on the head. But she did tell me it was TOTALLY FINE not to have fake contractions.

I thought I might pout, because this appointment had not yielded me much praise, and now I was also wrong about something, and well? I don’t care for either of those circumstances much, if I’m being honest.

But then! Then my doctor told me that I do not have the diabetes OR anemia and my blood pressure is so very very low, and given how very very pregnant I am, all this must mean that I have the healthiest diet in all the land! I so don’t, but I took her compliment, polished my little ego with it, and bought myself a decaf latte to celebrate my achievements.

Photo: Dr. John Braxton Hicks, who first described the fake contractions. But can we talk about how it would make you feel if you had to talk to this man about your uterus? I would deny everything and pretend not to be pregnant.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Conversations #5

S: So, you know how sometimes when a baby is so cute with its chubby baby thighs and oh my lord, you just havetogobbleitup?

J: …

S: Not, like, actually eat a baby. But they are so nummy maybe you’d nibble a cheek, because you just can’t help yourself?

J: You are completely insane.

Photo: Assira

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Conversations #4

S: (said through misty eyes) Oh my goodness, honey... isn’t it the cutest car seat IN THE WHOLE WORLD???

J: Um, are you having a moment?

S: Yes.

J: It is a pretty cute car seat...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

26 Weeks

So, yes, I skipped a week. I imagine the suspense is killing you. Our baby is now as long as... wait for it... an English cucumber! Yes, those are the ones that come shrink-wrapped in the grocery store. And no, I have no idea why, but it does bug me too. Is there any other fruit or vegetable that is regularly sold individually shrink-wrapped? I can’t think of one, but admittedly I have only been thinking as long as it’s taken me to type this sentence, and sometimes my thoughts take longer than that.

The other thing about the English cucumber is that it is longer than the “regular” (American?) cucumber. About 14 inches, apparently. Which would explain why Baby H keeps trying to put an addition on my uterus. He seems to think that a small in-law unit off my right side would suit his feets quite nicely.

English cucumber, disrobed:

Meanwhile, I am also growing with great haste. Though, as Jasper says, we’re sort of over the hump with it. Sure, it’s big and all, but the shock value has worn off, and it’s not like the biggest belly we can possibly imagine. (Don’t you think it’s sweet of my husband to point out that my belly isn’t, like, the biggest belly possibly imaginable? The man can lay down a compliment, I tell you what.)

Me (And no, I do not know why it looks like I am standing in a cloud. I so totally wasn't. Hot-pink, point-and-shoot camera, why have you forsaken me?):

We made our first visit to the Babies R Us this week. And we didn’t get panicky. I had brought snacks and water (calming tactic learned from bad experiences at Ikea years ago when I still went to Ikea), but I didn’t even need them! Truthfully, it was not a comprehensive visit. We are getting almost all of our gear handed down from my lovely family, but we needed to check out car seats. Play with the latches and adjustments and that sort of thing. So we did. And then we ordered the car seat we already thought we wanted from Amazon. But we felt so much more confident having done our in-person research! We also picked up some burp cloths and a few blankets and swaddle-mechanisms.

So, swaddling! It’s like the biggest thing! I’ve heard it has something to do with the fact that humans have giant heads and therefore, due to the geometry of the situation, must be born before they are really and truly ready to greet the world. So then we spend several months trying to trick them into believing that, really, the world is just as cozy and terrific as that uterus was! I should read about it, because I am already such a fan of this. And thanks to hand-me-downs, our baby now has access to every configuration of swaddler in all the land. I sure hope he likes being swaddled, because we are geared up to swaddle the heck out of him!

Also this weekend, my Baby Daddy and I are celebrating our anniversary. We reserved the whole weekend, since we have two anniversaries to celebrate! Two years ago, we developed and tested the rum-fueled hypothesis that our Scrabble-and-Thai-food-based friendship might be even better if we also made out. (We were totally right! It was! And this came as so much less of a surprise to me than to him! Isn’t that always the way?) Then one year ago, we got married. Yeah, Jasper doesn’t waste time. And weren’t we so efficient to put our anniversaries only one day apart? Efficiency is the Halekas way.

This celebrating and attentiveness to the passage of time also made us realize that I have been pregnant for roughly half the time we’ve been married. Which surprised us! But you know how it is... once something (e.g. baby-making) goes on the to-do list, it gets done. Or is that not how your world works?

Anyway, back to our anniversary. One year is the paper anniversary. Because our love is flimsy, flammable, and recyclable... I’m guessing? So, our gifts to each other had to be within that realm. I mean, I’m sure they didn’t have to be. I’m sure there aren’t anniversary-gift police ready to crack down on aberrations, but I already knew that I was getting Jasper a paper something and I didn’t want him buying me jewels or something, because then my cleverest gift ever would seem so ungenerous. Yes, I decided I would get for Jasper the cleverest gift ever so many months ago. It hit me and I was delighted to have that all figured out. And how perfect was my idea? I would have a jigsaw puzzle made with one of our wedding pictures on it! (In case I have any readers who are not already aware... Jasper and I are so nerdy! This was a perfect gift!) A few weeks ago I ordered it, and yesterday evening we exchanged packages, because I was too impatient to wait until today. I am such an eager gift-giver. Oh my goodness how I love giving gifts.

Our gifts:

We both got each other jigsaw puzzles. With the exact same picture printed on them. Yes, really. This happened.

I’ll just let you sit with that.

Number of people who have touched the belly: 16
Number of people Baby H kicked and punched for, in the span of one happy hour on Friday night: 4
Number of days, in my dream last night, before Baby H was potty-trained and speaking in complex sentences: 2
Number of swaddlers Baby H will be able to choose from: 12
Number of monkey-themed pajamas in Baby H’s wardrobe: 3

Number of rum-based cocktails I drank at the tiki bar two years ago: uncertain
Number of mocktails I drank at the tiki bar last night: 1
Number of date nights I managed to wrangle for this weekend: 2
Number of footnotes the anniversary card Jasper gave me contained: 1
Number of matching Halekas wedding puzzles that now exist in the world: 2 (and aren’t we all so glad for that?)

Photo of cucumber: Baby Center

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fashion Friday #4

This isn’t actually about fashion, exactly. But it is a recommendation for something to put on your body when you are pregnant, particularly when you are looking to exercise your pregnant body. And believe me, when you are pregnant, all you hear about is how great it is to exercise. You’d think these doctors were getting kickbacks from the prenatal yoga studios, what with their constant insistence that you should KEEP EXERCISING. Do just what you were doing before, they say. Oh, but then they say not to get too out of breath. Right. You know what? Being pregnant makes you totally out of breath, because you don’t have enough red blood cells for two people and yet you are breathing for two. And then by the time you have grown some more red blood cells and you start not being out of breath, you have gained a bit of weight in your baby-growing apparatus and your legs might not be too enamored of carrying around this new heft. Because they remember back when you were skinny and they are wimpy and reluctant to accept change. So, yes, while exercising as you normally would, but magically not getting out of breath, while growing a human and gaining a pound a week... you should wear this:

It’s the C9 by Champion babydoll tank, and it isn’t maternity, but please. It is a completely absurd look for exercise if you aren’t pregnant. And I’m sorry if you have it in all the colors, but really? It’s obviously a maternity top. It still fits me at six months in, and I think it’ll fit for at least another month. Maybe longer... I’m not even starting to stretch it and it’s nice and long. Another bonus is the built-in bra, meaning you only have to wear one bra under it. And if you don’t know why I need two bras, you might not be pregnant. Or you are holding your boobs as you run, which, okay, yes, I have also done, but it’s good to try to avoid it, don’t we think?

Here it is on me (yes, you’ve seen this picture before) as I pretend to still be sporty Suz:

Cute, right? They sell them at the Target.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Conversations #3

S: So, what do we bathe him in when he’s really small? Do we need one of these plastic tubs?

J: That seems like a racket -- just another one of those extra things they convince parents they need. We can use a bucket.

S: A bucket?

J: Yeah, or can’t we just kind of wipe him down?

S: Yeah, probably that.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A brief bout of the narcolepsy

I never got tired in the first trimester. I mean, I got tired like a normal person, but I didn’t get special-pregnancy-tired. If other pregnant ladies had known I was pregnant, they might have quite probably found me annoying, what with my carrying on with life, hosting dinner parties, and being semi-productive, all whilst growing a tiny baby. (Important to note: my productivity level tops out at “semi,” so that was just me, not the baby.)

And now, as I’m cruising along in the second half of pregnancy, suddenly... I feel the urge to nap, like, kind of a lot. And my exercise efforts? Pathetic. I did get in my walking this week, so that was 16 miles of non-patheticness, but have I really become someone who counts walking as exercise? Apparently I have. But then I think about it and wonder if the baby can really be said to have its own energy yet? Or is it all really my energy? Such that I am so tired from all the intrauterine acrobatics? Makes you think, doesn’t it though?

This morning, Jasper descended to the bowels of the house, to complete his earthquake-retrofitting. I whined, oh how I whined, that he should stay in bed, or at least lounge lazily and I would whip up some coffee and muffins. That man is not to be dissuaded when an item that needs doing remains on his to-do list.

No, I did not head straight for the couch. I have more pride than that. I first fed and watered the baby. Then I swept Reese’s fuzz off the floors. Then I put on some 90s dance tunes and cleaned both bathrooms. Then I wrote the thank-you notes to all the lovely people who have given Baby Halekas gifts. I also took this opportunity to teach Baby H about how we write thank-you notes. Constructive morning, people.

Only then did I slip into a half dozing state of Saturday-afternoon couch snooziness, while one Rizzle the Dizz draped himself indulgently across my legs, where he would be perfectly positioned for some neck scritchins.

And that is where Jasper found us when he returned from the house’s bowels. He muttered, “That’s just embarrassing...” I like to think he was referring only to the actions of our weasel-badger of a dog, and not to the apparent laziness of his adorable, pregnant wife who is doing a bang-up job growing his adorable, hyperactive baby.

We can’t be sure, so I was quick to enumerate all of my productive morning activities and then I told him that he should probably take me out for a cheeseburger tonight. He agreed, and told me he finished the retrofit. So I agreed to take him out for a cheeseburger too.

That’s right. Date night. We might hit the Babies R Us first.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Baby's wardrobe #6

Terrific new onesies from Baby Halekas’s Virginia grandparents*:


(Apparently the possibility of an environmental-grantwriter grandchild is not onesie-worthy.)

*Grandparent monikers to be determined. Perhaps Granny J and Gumpa?

Things People Don’t Tell You When They Tell You About Pregnancy #3

As I’m sure you’ve heard, when you have a baby, you’ll get no sleep! None! You’ll be miserable! Sleep now while you can!

I don’t really understand the point of these scare tactics... I mean, sleeping now is not going to make you any less tired in six months. It just isn’t. And it’s too late to back out, if, you know, you somehow hadn’t heard about the lack-of-sleep thing and now your decision on the whole should-we-make-a-baby question has completely changed. I have never known fear or dread to make a hard situation easier. So. Why, people?

But that’s not my point. My point is that with all this talk of how you won’t get any sleep once you have a baby (hahahahaha, pointing and much laughter...), NO ONE talks about the fact that babies are sometimes awake all night BEFORE THEY ARE BORN. And when they are awake, they are often kicking and squirming. And all this action is taking place inside of you and is not particularly compatible with sleep and you can’t even kick their father to handle this one, because DUDE. YOUR TURN.


Seriously, how had I never heard of this?

(Time: 4:53 AM)