A little attempt to catch up… [part one]

I’m going to focus this post on Impending Baby and then do a second post on H, which will be password protected because lots of pictures and stuff. If you don’t remember my password for H posts, shoot me a text message or leave a comment, and I’ll hook you up.

This has not been a good year for me in terms of blogging. I used to have some creative energy and time to think about my own writing and record-keeping, but for some reason this year at work has never slowed down, not for one minute, and that on top of the whole pregnancy thing has really shoved DYHJ to the extreeeeeeeme back burner. But now it is almost 2016, and I am almost a mother of two, and I’m the only human awake in the house right now, and it is really just inexcusable of me not to at least make some effort to catch up.

SO first and foremost… last time I posted was early SEPTEMBER, and in that post you learned that H is going to have a little brother! As of this past Friday I am 37 weeks along, so we are well within that “any time now” window (although my midwife strongly believes that we’ll go all the way to 40+, same as with H). There are a lot of differences between a first and second pregnancy, it turns out, and most of them make me feel guilty — I haven’t had the luxury to really “commune” with this kiddo in the same way that I did with H, or to really think about him with my full mind and attention. That’s a lot due to having a 2-year-old in the house, and a lot due to being unusually hectic and harried at work, and somewhat to do with not having a long solitary commute this time around.

Anyway, it all really makes me hope that there’s not really anything to theories about psychic mother-fetus connections, and that Baby doesn’t realize he’s being shortchanged in the whole “mama’s attention” thing! Ten years from now when he stumbles on this blog and reads this, I hope he knows how ENORMOUSLY I love him and how excited and anxious I am to see him and hold him, preferably somewhere where he can’t squish my bladder.

Baby is strong and active. He squirms and gets hiccups, although mercifully less often than H, who drove me insane with his near-constant bouts. While H spent a fair amount of time trying to see if he could kick his way out of me via my sides/ribs, Baby assumed the head-down position fairly early on and has been less of a terror on my ribcage. The flip side to that is that he’s taken up more than his fair share of real estate that by rights belongs to my lungs and bladder, so I’ve been like the extremely asthmatic incontinent person for some time.

All in all this pregnancy has been a lot more difficult than H’s, although that said, I know I’m still WAAAAAY down there on the “easy pregnancy” end of the spectrum. My problems with nausea (which were always more of a “hair trigger barf reflex” issue than an actual nausea) persisted well into my third trimester, and the heartburn/indigestion train is on track for a 40-week run. I’ve been a lot more uncomfortable, experienced elevated food/skin sensitivities, and had more trouble with walking and getting up/down than the first time around. Ā And all through my second trimester I was so tired and weak and sick and just not myself… no appetite… well, it turns out I was pretty badly anemic. So I’ve been on OTC liquid iron supplements and a more iron-rich diet ever since it was diagnosed, and it has helped tremendously. I didn’t fully realize how bad off I was until I addressed it! My appetite returned, as did my personality and my general ability to deal with life… Just in time, of course, to have missed that golden “second trimester window” and to slide straight into “can’t move and have to pee all the time” era, but oh well. šŸ™‚

People have been asking and asking and asking about Baby’s actual name. Somehow they don’t believe us when we tell them that H’s little brother will be named Gotham, Xerxes, Ozymandias, or any of the other great options we propose. (What do y’all think of Archimedes?) It’s funny but R and I haven’t really talked a whole ton about the name. Early on there was a name that I mentioned as being one that I really loved and somewhat regretted not using the first time around, and it has sort of stuck there in our minds and blocked other names from entering the conversation. I’m not ready to sayĀ yes, this is the name, definitely for sure, but we have been playing with middle names that go with it, and haven’t come up with anything we like better. My only real hangup about said name at this point is that it is not at all an uncommon name (I greatly prefer traditional names for boys, it turns out) and combined with our common last name, I’m terrified to Google it and see how many other people (and what kinds of people) would share it with our little Batbaby.

This last month of pregnancy has — well, it hasn’t crept up on me, but I am not ready for it. I feel ready for the delivery and for having my Baby, but I don’t feel ready to have a fourth person living in the house yet. I have one week left of Christmas vacation and am going to spend a considerable portion of it trying to rectify this situation…

Can’t wait to find out what Baby looks like! For a long time there I had this tendency to imagine H Part Two, but then I looked at baby pictures of myself and my little sister, and R and his little sister, and reminded myself that siblings don’t necessarily look very much alike at all. I know that genetic probability doesn’t exactly favor my chances of getting a little redhead, but it is still marginally possible. We can bank on blue eyes (there’s a small statistical possibility of green, but not a good bet) but will he be a dimple-templed little Brokawling like his big brother? Will he have the longer, more angular facial structure his Aunt B was born with? Will he be basically bald like H, or will he have a full head of hair? Will that hair be dark like his daddy’s, blonde likeĀ my dad’s (and H’s), or… could it be red like mine, and his Aunt M, and my mom and grammy? Will he be a snuggler? Another independent little cuss? Will he love music and trains and letters and numbers and Muppets like his big brother? Will he be a good eater? A good sleeper? Will he take his sweet time talking, or will he go full speed ahead to try to catch up? What will he weigh? Will he get the Baker eyebrows? The Hoffman eyes? And what will H think of all this anyway?

With any luck, I’ve got 3-4 weeks to wait before I find out. šŸ™‚ I’ll try to do better about posting here in the meantime, or at least, I’ll come back to introduce him. šŸ™‚

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Little Boy Blue

So despite what 4-5 out of 9 stupid online quizzes had to say, Baker Baby #2 is apparently a little brother!

All the appropriate body parts accounted for, no visible abnormalities, healthy squirmy kiddo all the way around. Long legs that he likes to put over his head. šŸ™‚

ultrasound

Both times, with Henry and now with “Gotham”, I’ve come away with a lot of different thoughts and feelings. One that struck me this time was that I wondered what our OB* thought of our reactions. Logically, I suppose he probably doesn’t care one way or another — I imagine people have a wide range of emotions in those moments. But I can’t help but wonder if we are reacting in a…..Ā normal way? I have heard many stories of exaltation, tears, etc. — of big emotional reactions as the machine reveals whether the family in question will be welcoming a little boy or a little girl. And we don’t outwardly do that. I know we are feeling big emotions, but something about that environment and that moment brings out the quiet “huh!” in me. Like, “huh! that’s interesting”… I just find myself without anything to say to this guy who is basically a stranger as he prods my belly and tries to get me to decipher the between-the-legs shot for myself.

Oh, and so with Henry, it was so incredibly obvious exactly what flavor of child he was. The very first shot was right between the legs. And with “Gotham” the OB kept trying to get us say what the gender was, and we were both just like, “um, could you just say a pronoun now?” We couldn’t tell at all! So for the first day or two I think I was telling everyone “Well, according to the doctor, it’s a boy……” I never did really see it with my own eyes!

Anyway, so it turns out that “Gotham” is a boy. According to the doctor.

And I honestly thought that I had been telling people the truth when I said that I didn’t have a preference for a boy or a girl, so I was pretty surprised when I realized that that wasn’t actually the case. I had a little bit of a rough 24 hours there, and if you’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of experiencing pregnancy hormones you can just imagine what that might have looked like. The worst of it was feeling like absolute scum for feelingĀ any sort of sadness over being pregnant with a beautiful, healthy baby ofĀ any gender — after all of the months and years of fearing I’d never have my babies, while knowing all of these people who haven’t yet, or won’t ever, have theirs.

And then I got over it and now I’m unambiguously happy and excited.

I mean, I felt a bit of a pang when I walked into the Old Navy baby section and saw clothes in the mostĀ seriously adorable pink buffalo plaid, because COME ON,Ā pink buffalo plaid? Is there anything more amazing? Why isn’t this in my size?

pinksuit

But it’s okay, because they had the exact same adorable little suit in a blue buffalo plaid, and it came home with me.

blue buffalo plaid suit

This is Gotham’s second little warm thing for when he arrives in January. The first came from his Grandmommy, who knowsĀ exactly what a little Gotham needs:

gotham suit

I am wishing that I could find the “big brother” correspondent to this cute pair of navy-and-orange jammies:

little brother

We don’t need a ton of clothes for Gotham, since he has a very fashionable big brother, but Henry was tiny in fairly warm months and Gotham will be tiny in January/February — which is bitterly cold around here — so I’ll enjoy collecting a few little warm fuzzies for him. I do the vast majority of my baby/toddler shopping at consignment shops but couldn’t resist hitting a few Labor Day sales this weekend!

Sidenote: Now that the gender is known, people are very interested in what name(s) we might be considering. I would like to direct those folks to some of our previous thoughts. šŸ™‚

* I am seeing aĀ fantastic certified nurse midwife, but she shares a practice with an obstetrician who is very talented with the ultrasound machine, so he runs that aspect of things.

 

If You’d Been Born in a Different Decade…

This is pointless and, as many pointless things are, pretty entertaining. And it tickles all my most ticklish geek-bones…. yay!

TimeĀ has taken the updated Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names and created a mostĀ elucidating widget. You plug in your name, birth year, and gender. It figures out what rank your name had in that year (for example, my name was the 35th most popular girl’s name given in the year I was born). Then it references the popularity lists for all available decades and tells you what your name would have been, if you had been born then, and if your parents had chosen the name in the same rank spot. Because, obviously, parents pick baby names based onĀ which “place” they’re in, not the way they look or sound or what they mean or who else has them. šŸ™‚

That doesn’t make a lot of sense when I write it out, does it. I should just show you.

So basically, my name was the 35th most popular girl’s name in 1980. If I were born today, and my parents gave me the 35th most popular girl’s name, my name would be Leah.

Applying similar standards to the entire decade, going back a century:

  • If I had beenĀ born in the 2000s, my name would have been Bailey (haha; that was my grandmother’s male doggy’s name)
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1990s, my name would have been Christine
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1980s, my name would have been Susan (really? I don’t know anyone my age named Susan…)
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1970s, my name would have been Renee
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1960s, my name would have been Lynn
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1950s, my name would have been Elaine
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1940s, my name would have been Ruby (and how cute would that have been, with red hair?)
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1930s, my name would have been Bernice
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1920s, my name would have been Eva
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1910s, my name would have been Marion
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1900s, my name would have been Jennie (interesting; I don’t think of this as being a “vintage” name)
  • If I had beenĀ born in the 1890s, my name would have beenĀ Nora

I decided to do the same trick to Ryan. Turns out his name was the 14th most popular name in his birth year. If he were born today, his name would be Aiden and I would have never dated him based on that alone. šŸ™‚

  • 2000s: Christian
  • 1990s: Kyle
  • 1980s: Kevin
  • 1970s: Paul
  • 1960s: Ronald
  • 1950s: Stephen
  • 1940s: Gerald
  • 1930s: Raymond
  • 1920s: Arthur
  • 1910s: Fred
  • 1900s: Arthur
  • 1890s: Albert

So if you like names as much as I do, you should go find out what your other names would be, and share your favorite (and its decade) in the comments. I think if I had to choose one of my alternative names, I’d throw way back to the 1890s (Nora, which is an increasingly popular name right now on its own) or possibly try Elaine (1950s) on for size. Not sure why but those are the two that are appealing to me right this moment. And obviously Ryan would have to be Arthur.

Stargazing: A Meander

orionA couple of years ago, we moved out of the city, pretty close to the neighborhood I lived in through high school and college. I suppose, when I was a teenager/young adult, I didn’t spend a lot of time looking around outside at 5 in the morning. Now that I’m a growed-up, with growed-up responsibilities like a career and a dog with active bodily functions (but an unfenced yard) I find myself standing outside in the darkest part of the night fairly often — and I marvel at the brightness and clarity of the stars out there. On a clear night, you can fairly easily discern the color of stars, or whether they are pulsars, or whether they’re actually a sneaky planet or satellite instead of a true star.

When I walk out my front door in the early morning, I step right into Orion. It’s my favorite constellation, for no better reason than it’s very visible in this part of the world, and I find it very easy to pick out. I always had trouble finding the Big Dipper, but I could always lock on to Orion.

I used to think that Orion only appeared in our night sky during the winter, but lately I’ve discovered that isn’t really true. I’m not sure where I got that idea. Is it a geographical thing? I grew up in Colorado and then moved to Idaho; maybe that was true of the former? Around here, you can find Orion somewhere in the sky pretty much year-round, although he is definitely at his most glorious in the winter… especially at 5 AM.

I love the name of it.Ā Orion. It bridges that gap between exotic and approachable just perfectly: Not an English word, but not uncomfortably foreign. For some period of time, I imagined naming a child Orion. Instead, I married a man named Ryan — can you imagine the confusion of a household with those two names in it? (Not as bad, I guess, as houses with a Senior and a Junior in it.) It makes me think about the names I loved, before I got too close to the reality of actually having to apply one to a real child. Orion. Anjuli, after the character inĀ The FarĀ Pavilions. Opal. Piers. My imagined adulthood was more adventuresome, I think, than strictly necessary. That’s the danger of reading too many books, I suppose; one grows up expecting camel caravans.

This morning, the moon was right in the middle of the constellation just above and to the side of Orion’s right arm. I looked it up. Gemini, with the moon right between the twins’ bodies. If they were lovers instead of twins, the moon might have been their baby. How’s that for a Friday thought? Celestial incest!

I taught myself about Orion when I was a high schooler. I remember my amusement when I learned that his right shoulder was Betelgeuse, more popularly known among the kid set as Beetlejuice. The star in the center of his belt is Alnilam, a name that enchanted me and filled my head with romantic science fiction daydreams. AlnilamĀ — doesn’t it just sound like something out of a story populated with elves and laser guns?Ā I plotted stories about a lieutenant (another word that always charmed me) in a space corps from a planet orbiting Alnilam, having death-defying adventures in the time-honored tradition of Star Wars fanfic. Gorgeous space opera cheese. Never wrote any of it down, though. Not sure why. Probably so I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by it in my older, “wiser” days.

Orion’s left ankle is named Rigel, another name that made it on to my “I might name a child that some day!” list only to be stricken down by hypothetical child’s actual father’s name. Instead, I gave that name to a stuffed moose. It was a good compromise, I think. Although someone probably ought to name their child Rigel. [Checking online… Rigel doesn’t hit the charts as a first name but is the 29,761st most common surname in the US. Orion, on the other hand, is practically Jennifer in comparison; 171 babies, out of every million, were named Orion in 2010.]

Orion is pictured with a sword — made of Iota Orionis, the Orion Nebula, and a third star whose name I can’t recall —Ā hanging from his belt. Years of teaching Shakespeare with a naughty twinkle in my eye makes me question whether it was originally intended to be a sword at all. After all, if in Shakespeare a sword is rarely just a sword (“I woo’d thee with my sword!”) would the ancient astronomers have shied away from delineating The Hunter’s figurative sword? Heck, the central star in the “sword” is theĀ Orion Nebula — a cloud of stardust from which life exudes!

I bet when you started reading this post, you didn’t think you’d be reading about incest and… swords. That’s the thing about DYHJ.Ā  I like to keep you guessing.

Pablo

This is Pablo.

This is Pablo. He is my little monkey but will one day soon be passed on to my firstborn. This is funny, you see, because some people like to refer to their babies as being little monkeys.*

I’ve had to stop thinking of Kermie as Pablo because I was actually getting attached to the name, and I don’t think it’s necessarily the most appropriate fit of all time! (Ryan says if the baby is born on May 5, we can name him Pablo; I don’t necessarily think of the name as being from Mexico so much as from Spain, though. Like Picasso! Of course, Pablo Neruda — whose poetry I love — was from Chile. So there you have it.)

(The first Neruda poem I ever read, coincidentally, was about socks.)

Anyway, Pablo is from a grocery store in McCall, Idaho. That is, perhaps, an odd place to find a blue sock monkey with specially-embroidered eyes so that tiny humans with oral fixations don’t chew off the buttons and choke. Nevertheless, that is where Pablo came from. He had a friend who was rainbow colored with a mohawk; if you want a monkey friend, you can probably go to McCall and adopt one for yourself. Or, y’know, since he’s made by TY, you could probably find one somewhere else as well.

Pablo has been trying to help Ryan and I figure out what — if not actually Pablo or Kermit — to name our impending progeny.

Pablo with name book

As of today, Pablo (and Kermit) notwithstanding, there are eight names still on the list. Eight is better than twelve but still not as good as 2-3, so we took advantage of a very nice overnight getaway to see if our brains functioned any better at 5,000 ft than they did at 2,700 ft. We put each of the eight names onto its own little sheet of paper, and independently ranked them and compared the results, only to find that we had almost exactly opposite rankings — except for the #1 choice which, as soon as I began thinking of it as a real possibility, began to lose its appeal. BECAUSE I AM A FREAK LIKE THAT AND DO THAT TO EVERY SINGLE NAME YAAARGH WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

Ryan then seized the opportunity to do some magic math, and combined our two rankings into one composite ranking. You can see Ryan and Pablo hard at work in the extremely well-lit photo here.

Ryan and Pablo do magic math

I then proceeded to drive him crazy by questioning his technique, criticizing his list, and rejecting his results. He responded by throwing me out into the snow and locking the door behind me calmly trying things the way I suggested, coming up with almost the exact same results, and being very nice to me even though I was a nutcase.

IMPORTANT NOTE:Ā Just because we came up with a ranked list this past weekend doesn’t mean that we actually have an answer, a top-three list, or anything that we’re ready to share with anyone. I’m sorry if that hurts anyone’s feelings, but that’s what we need right now as we continue to get our bearings on this.

Some of the names that had been early frontrunners are very traditional, fairly common names; three of the eight names, in fact, are among the top 20 nationwide from 2011. I didn’t necessarily have an enormous problem with that, especially given that these three names aren’t quite as popular in Idaho as they are across the country… until I got to thinking about the fact that our last name is so incredibly common. Ryan has had trouble getting a unique email address for this reason, and even in our relatively small city I’ve had my medical records mixed up with another woman with my name. I had begun thinking that it might be in Kermie’s best interest to have a little bit less common first name so that he wasn’t one of a thousand Google hits.

Of the other five names, only one is in the top 100 in the United States; the other four didn’t make the cut, although three of them are in the top 300 and the last is in the top 600.

The name that ended up in the #1 spot has two obvious diminuative forms (think Kate for Katherine or Sue for Susanna), one of which — the one we’d prefer — has some definite cultural associations. These are positive but slightly nerdy connotations, and I’m not really uncomfortable with them, even though I’m sure some people would think we named our child “after” one of the famous bearers of said name (which wouldn’t be the case). Oh well!

Two of the names in the top 8 have no apparent nicknames, which is something that kind of bugs me… but maybe not as much as it used to.

Of course, both Ryan and I had favorites that were the other person’s least favorites. It’s too much to ask that, despite always scoring exactly the same on personality tests, etc., we’d like exactly the same names! His #3 is my name #8, and his #4 is my #7; I had a tie for #2, and the two names on my list in that spot are his #6 and #8 choices.

Hmm. Well, we’ll see. I guess it’s at least saying something that, at that particular moment in time, we both liked the same name for choice #1…

Pablo face

* The sentence immediately preceding the asterisk is hilarious. It’s okay if you don’t know why, though. It’s a location joke. Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, etc.

 

33!

Interestingly, if you Google “33 weeks pregnant” and check out the websites associated with the usual suspects (whattoexpect.com, babycenter.com, etc.) you’ll get very different information. For example, when I was reporting that Baby Pablo was 18 inches long, it turns out that several other websites only had him at 16 inches long. Maybe some of the websites had him take off his shoes first?

[Ed. note: Hey, by the way, doubters… no really, we DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE NAMING HIM YET. Pablo Ozymandias is just the not-really-his-name of the week or whatever. We are not secretly hoarding the knowledge of what his name is just because we like to make you crazy. And while we do have an unstable short list, we’re keeping it to ourselves for now so that we don’t have anyone’s opinions or comments in our heads when it comes time to decide. When we finally figure out what’s going on the birth certificate, we will let the appropriate people know… honest…]

Anyway… Today, I am seven weeks away (give or take) from having to formally make that decision. I’ve reached a point where no one doubts that I am pregnant anymore unless I’m wearing a really baggy sweatshirt, and where people make exclamations about how cute/pregnant/bellylicious I’m looking. I haven’t yet reached a point where strangers are rubbing my belly for good luck, although that may just be because I’m really never alone in public these days. Heck, I’m rarely in public anymore… I go to work, go home, collapse, wake up, and go back to work…

33 weeks

A slightly blurry, grainy, and overexposed picture of me in my classroom at 33 weeks pregnant, having poor posture. I probably ought to be more conscious of that whole back-arching thing, oughtn’t I. Also, I think I may have just inhaled or something in this picture — the bump isn’t really THAT big… I think… So yeah, basically, this is not a good photo. In any way.

I’m terrifically exhausted, which may be partially because I’m still regaining strength after that nasty cold. The ear pressure issue has gone away after nightly doses of children’s Benadryl — I learned my lesson about taking it in daytime — but I’ve still got quite a bit of nasal drainage to deal with. I’m sleeping pretty well, though, which is nice. I’ve also developed the ability to fall deeply asleep almost immediately during the day and enter REM sleep before the end of a thirty-minute nap, which seems fairly impressive to me. One does not expect to dream during a cat nap.

I have a difficult relationship with food right now. Food has, in general, started to sound good again, but I can’t eat very much of it at a time, and anything the least bit strong-tasting (whether spicy or some other quality) runs the risk of giving me massive heartburn/indigestion. Most foods, especially anything sweet, leave a nasty sour taste in my mouth that lingers for a long time.

birds' eye view of bird, boobs, and bump

I like this one better. Just pretend you can’t see the place where I spilled lunch on myself, mkay?

Pablo hypothetically weighs over four pounds now, and is some number of inches long that no one can agree upon. One website says he’s a pineapple but I think they might just be talking about his hairstyle, if he has his father’s genes. I’m told that at this point in the game, he’s gaining about half a pound of weight and an inch of length every week.

Here is a picture of him looking like he is listening to some groovy tunes, maybe doing a little air guitar:

33 weeks: groovy tunes

(Pay no attention to the green garden hose in there. He’s developed an interest in ornamental horticulture in his spare time.)

Pablo is an active little guy, although he’s moved from kicks and punches to rolls, squirms, and stretches. It’s extremely fascinating to lie back with my shirt pulled up and watch my stomach billow and convulse; the sensation is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or imagined. I’m not going to say that I don’t occasionally find it a little overwhelming, even a little wearying — but overall, it’s still a lovely, reassuring feeling.

Except when he has hiccups. Then it’s just really annoying. Like right now. Seriously. Arrrrrrrrrggghhhhh….

Tonight, and next Wednesday, we have a natural childbirth class that I’m hoping is worthwhile. Tomorrow, we have a doctor’s appointment in which they’ll be doing an ultrasound (for positioning, I’m guessing?) and then I start on the two-week rotation. Next Friday, I have a baby shower (!) and I even have something cute to wear (!!) that I got really inexpensively (!!!).

Yikes. Tonight I have a class. That probably means I should stop blogging, finish entering these grades, and go home, huh. Oops.

Okay… talk atcha later…

31!

Wow: I don’t need all of my fingers to count how many weeks are left before our due date anymore!

Also… Yikes. I don’t need all of my fingers to count how many weeks are left before our due date anymore.

Before I continue, behold! A not-very-clear photograph of me after a long day at work with my clingy cat who recently feels the need to be surgically attached to me at all times!

31 months with d'Artagnan

31 months pregnant with my two boys: d’Artagnan, and He-Who-Refuses-To-Be-Named

kitty kiss

Kissy kitty!

At 31 weeks’ gestation, the kiddo is now 18″ long (yep, big enough to hang out with Addy and Josefina) and has passed the three pound mark. Allegedly, this makes him the size of a pineapple. He is getting stronger; when he aims just right, his squirming and kicking can now get uncomfortable. Case in point: yesterday evening, when he got bored with pushing on my bladder and decided to jump on my cervix a few times!Ā No bueno! He hasn’t caused me any pain yet, but I was definitely wishing I could grab him and move those little feet somewhere else for a few minutes there.

I feel him moving a lot these days, and have become conscious of him stretching or moving all the way from left to right and top to bottom. Sometimes I’d swear he’s all the way around to my side (especially the right side); sometimes he shoves my belly up as far as it can go toward my chest; and as previously noted, sometimes he heads south. Other times, I find myself entirely unable to imagine his position; I’ll feel what seems like kicking and tickling in all four quadrants of my belly, as if he’s in starfish position doing jazz hands. A couple of times I’ve felt series of bumps, about the size and shape of small peas, up near my ribcage — guessing those might be toes? All I know is that when I push on them, they go away… I do think he’s spending most of his time butt-upward lately, although honestly I’m only guessing that what I feel is bottom versus head. He is, after all, his parents’ child and therefore genetically likely to be a butthead.

So that’s what the baby is doing. Here’s what I do:

  • visit bathrooms
  • blow my nose (or wish I could, when kleenex aren’t available)
  • guzzle ice water
  • rub my belly absentmindedly
  • belch at inopportune moments (e.g., when explaining nuance in Romeo and Juliet to a room full of 15-year-olds)
  • blame stinky freshmen boys and squeaky furniture for other unintended emissions
  • drop and/or knock over things
  • forget my own mailing address
  • make a significant impact on the Tums company’s quarterly profit margin
  • have long stretches of time (multiple days) in which I can only eat about six bites of food at once, and never seem to have any appetite
  • have shorter, but more enjoyable, stretches of time in which I can and will devour EVERYTHING, especially if it is made of chocolate [ed. note: I am not, ordinarily, a chocolate fiend]
  • wish I could take a nap
  • hate everything šŸ™‚

Everyone wants to know if we’ve picked out a name yet, and the answer is still no, although I am beginning to think that we’ve either narrowed it down to two or are about to throw it wide open to a whole new list of possibilities. On the way home today, I began second-guessing my opposition to names that end with -er sounds (I love those names, but not the rhyming thing with our last name). And a few days ago, we were considering Zappa names. I’m beginning to warm up to Dazzling Moonburst Baker; what do you think? We could call him Daz…

Week 26

As of this week, I am 26 weeks pregnant.

Twenty-six weeks pregnant feels pretty good, for the most part. I mean, sure, my pelvis is trying to live up to childhood fantasies of becoming a Transformer, which can be startling (and uncomfortable) at times when I try to stand up or swing one leg over the other in bed. Stairs are no funĀ at all, I occasionally get slammed with the need for a nap, and I have the sort of indigestion that makes you understand how people mistake it for heart attacks. But for the most part… this is pretty okay. šŸ™‚

Of course, when you go around saying things like “26 weeks pregnant,” you immediately begin subtracting. Fourteen weeks.Ā Fourteen weeks. Or, as one of my occasionally useful apps tells me, 96 days left as of today.

I’ve been doing a lot of looking at calendars, because as a secondary teacher I have specific units that I have to teach in a specific time frame, and because I’ll be giving birth before the end of the school year, I need to figure out what’ll be going on at the point when my maternity sub takes over. That means calendaring, which may not be an actual verb but gets bandied around a lot in education. Not only do I have to consider my absence, but I also have to deal with spring break… so I’ve been rearranging units, trying to get them fit in semi-neatly. Flipping through the print-outs of the calendar, with “14 weeks” and “96 days” floating around in my head, really cemented into my head that we are within three short months of the big day.

26 weeks pregnantThe baby can hear pretty clearly now, and apparently this is about the point at which his eyes will begin to open! I read one thing that said that he might react if I shone a bright light at my belly, not only because he can see but because his brain and thought processes are becoming more sophisticated.Ā Our little guy isn’t quite so little anymore, although he’s quite a featherweight at about two pounds. From head to heel, if we could straighten him out, he’d be about ten to fourteen inches long — probably closer to fourteen, projected from his earlier measurements.

He’s certainly big and strong enough to make his presenceĀ very known. He definitely kicks and shoves, and gets hiccups (for only a few seconds, but I’m pretty sure they’re too fast to be anything else), and squirms, flips, and rearranges himself. I’ve started finding foreign lumps and bumps in my belly; last night, I rubbed one that I found about an inch above my belly button, and it pushed back against my fingers. I had Ryan try; the kiddo pushed back at him a few times, then “swam” down where we couldn’t reach him! (And lemme tell you, when I’m lying on my back and he decides to move like that, it is an intensely peculiar sensation!) He gets more mobile in the afternoons and evenings when I’m sitting still, although I’ll feel him at other times as well. Food seems to set him off, and when I sit cross-legged (my preferred position) I guess it cramps his space, because I feel him poking at the corner of my belly closest to the top hip.

At this stage in gestation, premature birth is survivable. You can read a lot of stories about this online if you’re interested in that sort of thing; here’s a photograph of a baby born at 26 weeks that shows how they’ve wrapped her in a sort of bag, I’m guessing to emulate the humidity of the womb or something. I’m linking to it so you can see how big 26 weeks is….

Some days I feel closer to a name for little Kermie Lazerbeak Batman (other than, y’know, that), and other days I feel just as lost as ever. In fairness to myself, I think we have it narrowed down to half a dozen choices. The problem is that none of them are sticking out to me with any blinding clarity, and if Ryan’s had a naming epiphany he hasn’t shared it. I did play around with simply putting potential names into writing last night, and… maybe… it… helped. A little. Maybe. Unfortunately, when I shared my doodles with Ryan, one of the names popped out favorably to him — and the moment he said it out loud, I hated it. Hormones? Insanity? A moment of clarity? I have no idea. But it’s frustrating. I feel like if I knew for sure what his name was, I’d feel more content.

Throughout this pregnancy, I have been able to say with absolute truthfulness that I’m not in any way scared of what is happening or what is to come. I’ve felt very at peace with the entire process — and why not? I’m old enough, more or less financially secure, well-educated on pregnancy and childbirth at this point, and, significantly, I want thisĀ so much.

And then, the last week hit. Out of nowhere: doubt, anxiety, regret. TheĀ What have we gotten ourselves into?!?Ā and theĀ I’m not sure I’m ready for this.Ā Oh, and let’s not forget — rather, let’s not deny — theĀ What if I never have a daughter?Ā 

It’s peculiar for me to be beset by irrational freakings-out like these. I haven’t really talked to anyone about it because, honestly, what’s to say? I know what it is, and I know everything will be fine, and I know that whatever hormonal or psychological speedbump this is will fade into the distance pretty quickly without any negative effects. After all, when I can turn down the volume on all that stuff enough to hear my real self talking, I know that I don’t doubt this at all, that there’s not even the tiniest scrap of regret. I know I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and probably have been for years. And I’m deeply in love with this squirmy little ninja who has already drawn tiger stripes up past my belly button.

Having written all this, I’m pretty sure I intended to include something else… but it eludes me, and my neck and shoulders are stiffening up, and Junior is kicking me, and I think I’d like to get home and into something more comfortable and then go to a dollar movie. If I remember what I meant to add, I’ll come back. šŸ™‚

Registering, and Other Baby Things (Including Thoughts on Names)

Starting with Names

About a week ago, I got a strong feeling about a name for Kermie.Ā  It felt very “right” somehow, so I brought it up to R and we’ve been kind of “practicing” the name for a few days now. Of course, now that we’re using the name occasionally, I’m no longer sure. Choosing the right name seems like such a daunting task. I wish I could just know, that I wouldn’t have these doubts! I have a FB friend who is due shortly after we are; the day she found out that they were expecting a girl, she was able to start a photo album with her future daughter’s name — first and middle — attached. I think I must have brought this upon myself; years and years of thinking about names has not made this any easier! (Option overload, anyone?)

Anyway… we’re playing with this name. Trying it on for size. It might be a winner.

I think all of our FB friends would be surprised at how normal (even boring) the names are that we actually like… šŸ™‚ Although, R is still pulling for Xerxes and I confess a fondness for Archimedes…

Registering

We decided to start registering for things and do it incrementally, giving ourselves time to research and change our minds before “crunch time.” I have a student who works at BabysĀ ŠÆ Us who asked me to come in when she was on shift, so we went by and she started us up with a registry there. They told us to register for at least 100 items, so I’m guessing our 35ish items didn’t really impress them. Since then we’ve been editing it and trying to make sure we’re registering for the right things. (Bottles are my current quandary; surprisingly complicated!)

dinolampI fell in love with a baby swing. I think I’ll blame nesting or something; otherwise I can’t really explain this crazy attachment I’ve made to this overpriced gadget. It has sheepies and stars and plushiness and is so darn cute and soft and baby. I’m led to understand that a baby swing is a pretty essential thingamabob if Mom ever wants to take a shower or cook a Hot Pocket; of course, you can pick them up for under $30 at consignment shops. But this one is somehow special. Don’t ask me. We registered for it; can’t really imagine anyone spending that sort of money on us (or on — good grief — those pricey little breast pumps! wow!) but hey. Whatever. I’m in love. šŸ™‚

We appear to officially be going the Cretaceous/Jurassic nursery route, thanks in large part to the sheer adorableness of the lamp seen to the right. We’ve started looking at cribs and clearing out the nursery-to-be. The kiddo is already getting Christmas presents (lucky boy!) and I’m excited to put together his room. I do have to admit that I think the girl nursery stuff is a lot cuter. But R and I are both big dinogeeks and this nursery set is freaking adorable. (Crazy mama-to-be must confess that she is already planning a “big boy” room around another theme she loves… hopefully the big boy will be on board with it when the time comes around!)

Business of Being Born

Just found The Business of Being Born and its sequel on our Netflix. Watching it…

Kicking

Little Lazerbeak (man, I bet those of you who are trying to keep track of these things wish we’d stop switching back and forth between silly nicknames, huh) took about a week off from being terribly active, but for the past several days he’s been pretty noticeable in there. In fact, I honestly think that his kicks are occasionally strong enough that R ought to be able to feel them, if we could just get the timing right. Of course, it’s hard to tell whether I’m actually feeling the kick on the outside, or if I just think I am.

His movement patterns are changing somewhat, too; he’s definitely only really moving when I am sitting still (and it is sitting, not lying down; I rarely feel him when fully reclined) but he’s gone from a late afternoon mover to a “whenever Mom stops wandering around” mover. I’ve noticed him reacting to certain kinds of music on the radio, and have decided that he’s hearing music with a strong bassline (i.e., dance/club type music) more clearly than other kinds. It’s kind of funny, actually.

The Perfect Name!

The other day, as I was driving to work at oh-dark-thirty, my favorite morning DJs were talking about Baby Center’s annual collections of popular, rising, and unusual names. Because it was a morning radio show, they naturally focused on what the DJs called the “worst” baby names of 2012.

And man, were there some doozies.

Later, I decided to go look up the original list myself. The DJs had cherry-picked the absolute best from the “Unusual Baby Names of 2012” list, which is compiled only of names that were given to U.S. children BY MORE THAN ONE SET OF PARENTS. Your one-shot naming aberration doesn’t make this list; in order to get on this list, that name has to have been given to at least two children within the space of a year. This really makes one wonder what sort of unusual drugs and/or networking takes place to lead to more than one American child being named Haven’T, Sanity, or Ball.

That being said, if a person has grown bored with all of the traditional, classic baby names out there… this list certainly provided some alternatives. And as we went through the list, wondering what sort of parent names their baby boy Hippo, we found THE NAME.

The perfect name.

The sort of name that you give your child if you want him to be able to grow up to be anything. Why, with this name, this child could be a professional wrestler or a star meteorologist! A used car salesman or a motivational speaker! This is the sort of name that makes history!

And so it is with great pleasure that I announce our intention to name our firstborn son…

(drum roll please)

HURRICANE BAKER

Oh, I see your dubious looks. I can sense them right through the WiFi. But hear me out! Just say that name a few times. Let it roll around in your mouth, in your mind. Isn’t it wonderful? Doesn’t it have a great ring to it?

And just think of all the great moments in parental punning.

Rock you like a hurricane

Looks like a hurricane went through this room

See — what’d I tell you? Perfect.

And if the little guy ever wants to shorten it to something a little… dryer… he could certainly be Ric.

Hurricane Baker. That’s the name of a kid who would change the world.

If you’re not sure we picked the right name from the list, you can take a look for yourself and tell me your favorites… šŸ™‚

 

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This post is dedicated to everyone who thinks that we should name the baby Stormageddon.