Archive for the 'pregnancy' Category

Babywatch 2008: Day 6 (Fortunes)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

It’s Tuesday evening, and there’s still no sign of OP (no signs of OP emerging, anyway – there is plenty of movement to signal OP’s existence). Fortune cookies seem to still be playing a part. Mum just forwarded one that she received:

A long smooth journey!
Great expectations.

She decided to focus on the “smooth” and “great” parts. And perhaps “long” refers to already being in labor – we can hope. Dad had one a while ago which just said “Girl.” I suspect this was the Chinese vocabulary on the back of another fortune, but I’ve gotten a “Girl” too, so maybe there’s something to it…

The front of my “Girl” fortune was apropos as well:

You are about to embark
on a most delightful journey!

Journeys seem to be popular. Hopefully, we’ll be taking one to the hospital soon.

Babywatch 2008: Day 4 (June.)

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Well, it’s June (by 21.34 hours), and OP hasn’t arrived.  The mood here is generally upbeat (with a mix of impatience and slight disappointment that we didn’t have a birthday surprise for Laura’s mother – her birthday being May 31, which is Aunt Carole’s as well).  I now face a Monday at work that I wasn’t quite planning on, and Laura is facing down her first weekday at home.

The weekend was passed pleasantly (and in excellent weather).  We managed to see the Sex and the City movie, which we thought OP might preempt.  We made an appearance at Brenna’s BBQ in Lawrenceville, where we grilled portobello mushroom caps (from the farmshare, of course) with goat cheese, pine nut, garlic, and fresh oregano stuffing.  Delicious.  We enjoyed hanging out with friends in “the compound” but retired early in the evening to a quiet game of Trivial Pursuit and bed.

Hoping that movement might stimulate labor, we awoke early (people who know me will be impressed that I was up before 630am) to take a lovely morning walk through our neighborhood.  We were out so early, in fact, that the coffee shop wasn’t even open yet.  Safi expended about 4 times as much energy as necessary by straining at her leash trying to chase every squirrel in the park.  Also, we heard (and briefly, saw) a woodpecker.

Still without coffee or substantial breakfast, we journeyed to Regent Square to eat a very early brunch at Square Cafe, a great little place to which I had not yet taken Laura.  After a short drive around the neighborhood (to assess the housing market, of course), we returned home to meet Peter, Laura, and little Max for another walk around the neighborhood – this time to scope out the community-wide yard sale – and lunch at the coffee shop, which was by this time open and busy.

I think Safi is about as tired as I have ever seen her.  She got two sizable walks today, and though the weather was lovely, it was pretty hot out for a little dog with a fur coat.

OP is Very Close to Being Officially Late

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Laura on OP’s Due Date

It’s now 10pm on May 29th, OP’s official due date. OP is still a no-show. Tomorrow, we go to the doctor for a regularly scheduled check-up, at which point we may learn more (or they might just say “we’ll see you in another week!”).

This makes sense, especially if lateness is genetic.

This non-appearance also calls into question the veracity of the fortune (from the cookie in SF’s Chinatown on Feb. 29). However, the fortune was cleverly written such that it can now be re-interpreted as words of encouragement.


Now, exactly three months after we ate the cookie, we can take comfort in the notion that wonderful things are in store even though OP has not yet graced us with his/her presence.

[Postscript: Laura also wanted to mention an alternate interpretation of the fortune - buy a lottery ticket today, something I forgot to do.]

Three Days!?!

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Whoops! We were going to write another post at about 39 weeks, but time seems to have slipped by a bit faster when we were looking in the other direction. It’s Monday, and we’re at the tail end of a very nice holiday weekend. We’ve split our time between relaxing and preparing, spending time together and tidying the house. It’s hard to comprehend the notion that OP’s due date is in just three days, though I suppose that OP may not be punctual.

Are we ready? Are we excited? Are we nervous? We’ve heard all of these questions pretty often in the past few weeks.  I think we’re about as ready as we can be, though Dad said that nothing really truly prepares you for childbirth (speaking for the father’s perspective, I think).  We’re very excited, though for me, that is tempered by not knowing the exact time.  It’s hard to know how to ramp your excitement when you don’t know if you have to sustain it for a few days or a couple weeks.  As for nervousness, Laura is channeling my zen attitude.  She knows that labor and delivery will happen, and they will be finite even if they suck.  For me, the nervousness mainly centers around not getting everything done at work before OP arrives (at which point I’ll be taking some time off).

I’m sure that all of my thoughts and feelings will be far more pronounced when the moment arrives, but for now, I’m in a holding pattern, quietly awaiting the big day.

T-Minus 2 Weeks and Counting

Friday, May 16th, 2008

As of Wednesday, we are officially 38 weeks pregnant (yup, that’s right, we are 9 months pregnant*).  This puts us in the “full-term” window, a name I made up just now to describe the window of 2 weeks before and after the due date.  If OP arrives any time in this window, it would be considered completely normal.  So basically, we’re going to have a baby sometime in the next 4 weeks (some might call that a month).

This is both exciting and a little freaky (the thesaurus suggested “awesome” which nicely encapsulates both feelings).  On the one hand, we can’t wait to meet OP, but on the other hand, there is so much to do before OP arrives.  And then there’s that whole “life will never be the same” thing.  I guess that’s true no matter what happens, so we might as well embrace the ride… which is, of course, what we are doing.

Time seems to be moving fast and slow at the same time.  With so many little details to tidy up at our respective jobs before maternity/paternity leave kicks in, it seems like the days are disappearing fast, but as our anticipation and eagerness to become parents builds, the hours seem to drag.  We are so anxious to see OP safely into our world and eager to begin this new adventure.

Every time Laura winces at a cramp or some heartburn, I ask “is it a contraction?”  I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when the answer is “yes.”

* Laura’s Footnote – Eben does not believe this – he just wrote it because I made him!  He seems to think that 9 months pregnant means something different, although he can’t define when one would be 9 months pregnant.  He’s wrong. 

Two Months

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

So I know that a due date isn’t the be-all, end-all, but we’re now less than two calendar months from OP’s due date! Two months feels like much too much time to go and at the same time far too little. The funniest part is that I’ve been uncharacteristically patient while Eben is anxious to know if OP is a boy or a girl, anxious for OP to arrive!

I spent the first few months reminding myself that a due date isn’t a guaranteed date of arrival. I didn’t want to have May 29th come and go and find myself still pregnant and very impatient. But now, as I realize that May 29th is coming very very quickly, I’m trying to get my mind around the idea that there is a chance that OP will come early.

All in all, it’s a good reminder that you can’t plan everything, and that even if you do have a plan – chances are it will change! It has taken me a long time to realize that life isn’t something you can plan, and I hope it’s a lesson that OP will learn too. It’s best to embrace whatever comes and expect the unexpected!

So as my feet get sore and swollen and I get more tired, I’m just going to go with the flow.  And in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the not-knowing – for now.

Preparing for OP

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Despite the infrequency of posts actually relating to pregnancy, birth, and childrearing, we are very aware of the approaching arrival of Octopus Pi, our child.  OP continues to kick and tumble inside of Laura’s belly, and we’re trying to learn as much as we can about all the upcoming decisions (circumcision, breastfeeding, diapers, daycare, etc).  We’ve now been to two classes at Magee-Womens Hospital, where we’ll be delivering: a breastfeeding class and a hospital tour.

Magee looks like a pretty good place to deliver.  It’s definitely a mainstream setup (no water births), but the facilities and care seem to be top notch.  They encourage and facilitate keeping the child and mother together all the time after birth, while offering nursery service if needed.  As for breastfeeding, the class seemed to border on pro-breastfeeding propaganda, but there was a lot of good information (mostly in the videos) on how to do it and what to expect.

We’re still trying to figure out diapers.  Cloth seems like the “correct” choice for climate-conscious folks like us, but an honest appraisal of what we’re actually willing to do (not to mention what daycares are willing to do) seems to point towards a non-cloth option.  This timely Slate article (thanks, Alice!) points to some alternatives such as the gDiaper (which we have been considering) or chlorine-free diapers (a new one for us), each of which seem like good options (with their own pros and cons).  I guess we’ll keep discussing.

That’s about it for now.

A Family Resemblance?

Monday, March 24th, 2008

[Note: the images in this post were taken from various pages around the web, without permission. I've linked each one to the source, so just click on an image to see where it came from. If you are a copyright holder who has happened upon this page and would like us to remove your image, just let us know in the comments.]

The other day, Laura and I were browsing in a bookstore and happened across the book Life by Lennart Nilsson. Nilsson’s pictures of the inside of the human body (especially inside the womb) were quite astounding. The alien nature of our early development was evident in photos such as these:



Of course, the more developed human fetus is more recognizable, I couldn’t help but notice an uncanny resemblance to something else near and dear to my heart:


Pi Day

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Despite our insistence that Pi Day should be on May 29th (OP’s due date), the rest of the world celebrates Pi Day on March fourteenth (get it?).   We’re a few days late, but “Happy Pi Day!” nonetheless.

Also, we had a check-up this morning, and everything is looking good.  There’s an OP on the way!

OP’s First Home Video

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

In glorious full motion.

This is from the 20 week ultrasound (not a new one), but we thought you might like to see OP in motion.