Archive for September, 2010

Breaking Out of Comfort Zones

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So it’s been a while since the last post. Once again, I was out of town for the weekend, so we missed the Week 14 picture. At this point, it’s too late, so we’ll do the next pregnancy picture and post this weekend.

I’m beginning to understand that this whole having a baby thing is really a process of bringing you way out of your comfort zone. I’m certainly not saying it’s a bad thing, but the more we dive into this, the more I realize it.

Last Wednesday, we decided to start attending weekly Bradley classes. Being a guy, when Carrie first introduced the idea, I thought it meant we were moving to Illinois and going back to college. As it turns out, it’s a 12-week class on a natural childbirth method. Yes, women, I know you’re probably bored reading this by now because you already know all about it, so bear with me.

Essentially, what Carrie wants to get out of this is a greater understanding of techniques to improve the natural birth process, and for me to learn them as well since I’ll be a vital part of it all. I agree wholeheartedly since I know about as much about childbirth as she does about the intricacies of Rich Rodriguez’s offensive system.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t super excited about going to the first class last Wednesday because I thought it was way too soon to start it. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I envisioned sitting at a desk watching a teacher put slides on a projector, and taking notes. Then we got there and it was in a woman’s apartment and there were mattresses, pillows, and big rubber balls all over the the floor. Cool, apparently the natural birth process involves going back to kindergarten.

We sat indian-style on the mattresses and did introductions and talked about nutrition. The first class was very basic. It was just us, one other couple about our age, and a 40-year old girl whose boyfriend lives in Florida and, therefore, isn’t able to attend the classes with her. So while the first session wasn’t anything like I thought it would be, I found it interesting and was excited to come back.

Tonight, there were two more couples there, both a little bit older, in their mid-to-late 30s. I must admit, it was nice to have a couple more guys there who are in the same position as me. One is a Michigan State fan whose wife is a Notre Dame law school grad, so we have some big bragging rights on the line in the next couple of weeks (Michigan plays Michigan State next Saturday).

Tonight’s class was certainly a first for me: the first time I’ve ever been in a room with 10 random strangers talking about breasts, breast feeding, and breast pumps for an hour. Talk about stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone! But you know what, probably 99 percent of guys know nothing about it, yet it’s something we’re going to have to learn about in the coming months. I know it will be beneficial for both Carrie and I in about six months, and sharing those awkward moments with three other husbands made it not quite as bad.

To tell people at work that I can’t go out for drinks to celebrate their birthdays because I’m going to a birthing class doesn’t exactly sound like the most manly thing in the world. But to be there with my wife and to be amongst three other couples (and the one woman whose boyfriend is in Florida) who are all committed to helping the birth of their first child go as smoothly as possible, is definitely more manly than a night of drinks at a pub in Hoboken. And I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Today really hit me how we’re entering that new world. The one of the stroller brigades in Starbucks and shopping for groceries with an infant strapped to your chest. The one of screaming babies and extreme lack of sleep. The one that the single friends and co-workers don’t understand. And it’sone that I’m really looking forward to.

I hope that we can really get to know these other couples in the next 10 weeks even though they all have due dates earlier than we do (late Nov, Christmas Day, Jan. 17, and Feb. 2 to be exact). I also hope to learn as much as I can about how to help Carrie deliver this baby and how to support her all the way.

So bring on the breast talk and push those comfort zone boundaries to the limit. Here we come.

13 Weeks and Vocal Cords

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Well, Pablo, it’s the start of the 13th week and you’re really starting to feel real now. In the picture that we saw on Monday when you waved to us it was great to see you looking like an actual human insted of a peanut like in the very first ultrasound.

Supposedly you’re eyelids are closed now, so you didn’t have to witness Michigan almost lose to UMass today (we did win though, and the way things are going, maybe we’ll have to name you Denard), and you’re vocal cords are forming so I’m sure you’ll be singing “The Victors” soon. The book also says that you’ll be able to suck your thumb soon, so I can’t wait to see that on the ultrasound.

Today we tried to make a quick trip to Target, which is only a mile from our apartment, but it ended up taking over two hours because of traffic and it seemed like the entire Bronx was there (it’s in the Bronx). Seriously, everybody and their ghetto mom was there and it was pretty stressful. Mommy kept feeling a little fluttering in her stomache. Was that you? I think it’s too early to feel you kick and move, but she kept feeling it so we were kind of hoping that was your first moves. We were joking that you were just as frustrated as we were with trying to push our way through the aisles.

It’s still weird to tell people about you. I haven’t figured out how to acutally bring it to people up yet. I mean, do I just say, “Hey, guess what: I’m having a baby!” or do I just casually mention it during conversation? There never seems to be a good way to say it. By now, pretty much everybody at work knows, and I told my Jets coworkers at the game against the Ravens last Monday. It actually worked out pretty well with the Jets because all I had to do was tell one person and she told everybody else. Maybe that’s the way to do it. Anyway, they’re all really excited.

Mommy has really been feeling the nausea lately. The past few days she has been getting really grossed out by the food she bring for lunch, and then ends up buying something else, which doesn’t really help the savings plan. It’s just one of those pregnancy quirks that’s unexplainable.

I’m traveling again next weekend as we come to the end of the first trimester. I’ll be in Baltimore for their game against the Browns. We also have the next doctor’s appointment on Friday. I don’t know if they’ll do another ultrasound or not, but I hope we get to see you again.

Take care!

Pablo Gives us a Wave

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The 12 week pregnancy post is a little bit delayed and will probably be posted in the next day or two due to my being in Buffalo all weekend. However, to kick off the 12th week, we do have a nice surprise for today…more pictures!

We decided to go back to the doctor today to get everything checked out again because we had a few concerns. Thankfully, the doctor said everything looks great and healthy with no complications.

We were really happy to be able to get another look at the little one, who we are now affectionately calling Pablo. Yeah, that’s right, Pablo (more on that in a minute).

We saw it moving and heard the heartbeat again (Carrie said it was a fast heartbeat, which usually means it’s a girl…is that true?). It was moving both legs and arms and the doctor said it’s about three-and-a-half inches long, which is three times bigger than it was two weeks ago in the first ultrasound! That’s amazing that it can triple in size in two weeks.

The best part of the visit was when it gave us a wave (left). We were excited to see all five fingers and I’m pretty sure I even saw it give a thumbs up for Michigan’s win over Notre Dame on Saturday.

You can’t really tell in these pictures, but from the way it was moving, it’s legs look really long. I’m convinced it’s going to be a 6’5″ receiver in about 18 years.

The other really cool thing is that you can see the facial features…eyes, nose, mouth and ears already and it’s only been around for 12 weeks!

Now onto the Pablo story. It has nothing to do with the national immigration debate (although maybe fitting, since I was born in Arizona) and everything to do with food.

Carrie’s first real pregnancy craving has been tacos. We make them all the time (and no I’m not talking about Taco Bell; I’m talking real tacos with doubled-up corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, lime, etc), which is fine for me, since I like tacos too, and our neighborhood is all Dominican, so the grocery store on the corner sells pretty much all hispanic food.

The inspiration for the baby-in-womb name...doesn't that make you hungry?

A couple weeks ago when Carrie’s cousin Travis was in town, we made amazing shredded pork tacos and when Carrie went to bed that night she couldn’t sleep because she wanted more tacos. She woke up and wanted more tacos. Pretty much all she could think about was tacos, so we decided the baby must like tacos, and therefore, should have a Mexican name (in the womb). So we settled on Pablo.

I’m not really sure why that was the one that stuck out, but it also fits since one of the best players on my favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, is Pablo Sandoval. That also means the baby’s nickname is the Kung Fu Panda, since that’s Pablo Sandoval’s nickname.

So anyway, we are excited to end the first trimester and move onto the second. I know Carrie is for sure, since everyone says the morning sickness and constant tiredness get better in the second trimester. Stay tuned for the next pregnancy pic and note to the baby in a day or two. Time to go make some tacos.

11 Weeks and Moving Ears

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Ten weeks down, 30 to go. We’re a fourth of the way to meeting you, little one. My book tells me that you’re now two inches long (twice as long as two weeks ago when we saw you on the ultrasound!) and your head is still half the size of your body, which means that your head is now the same size as your entire body was two weeks ago! It also says that your ears are moving into their final location…just in time to start listening to The Victors (Michigan’s fight song).

Speaking of The Victors, Michigan won its opening game on Saturday 30-10 over UConn. Denard Robinson dominated, running for 197 yards and throwing for 185. It was a great first game for you to experience, although mommy made you suffer through the Notre Dame-Purdue game. This weekend we will have a divided house as Michigan and Notre Dame play each other. I would try to make a bet with mommy that whoever wins is who gets your fanhood, but she knows she’ll lose that bet and she’s still holding out hope that you’ll go to the dark side.

Buddy in Central Park

Today we spent the entire day at Central Park with Buddy and mommy’s cousin Travis. It was a perfect day and nice to just relax and enjoy some good old fashioned people-watching. As we were getting ready to leave, a couple of ladies came over with their dog and little boy.

 Buddy and the other dog were playing with each other and the little boy, who was 18 months old, was definitely not afraid of dogs…he kept jumping in the middle of them and petting them. I can’t wait until you can play with Buddy.

I’m going to Buffalo next weekend to kick off the Buffalo Bills season, so it should be a fun one!

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