Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Thankful Bird

In the spirit of celebrating babies and all things "oooh" and "aaaah" worthy, some wonderful friends and family hosted showers this past weekend for Wiggles, or Baby SA, or whatever other name I feel like calling my child today.

Two dear friends traveled from out of state to lavish us with love, baked goods, chocolates, and priceless treasures.

Yes, someone I know, someone I used to memorize N-Sync dance moves with actually made this. Amazing right? She intends for the baby to play on it... but if Wiggles or Baby SA or what's-your-name? spits up on it, there will be consequences. Like having to play on a much less exciting blanket while I wash and then hang this one on the wall way out of reach.

I was so excited about having these two friends come to visit that I forgot all my hospitality training.

#1 rule of hospitality = remove deer head from the wall before vegetarian friends come to visit. Especially when said deer head stares hauntingly at whoever walks in the front door. I'm sorry Chrissy.

#2 rule of hospitality = make sure you take vegetarian friends to restaurants that have met vegetarians before. Otherwise your friend will have the following conversation with the Hispanic waiter at the Mexican restaurant:

Waiter: What would you like?
Mary: May I please have the fajita plate but with no meat?
Waiter: Sure. Would you like beef or chicken?

#3 rule of hospitality = ask the weather well in advance to please at least pretend for one weekend that Texas has seasons, and not be 80 degrees and humid the weekend before Thanksgiving. Being able to wear shorts at this time of year is just not acceptable.

Fortunately my friends were gracious and overlooked my faux-pas, and still helped me make a mobile for the nursery. In return they gave us a flip-video camera (thank you also Emily and Kathryn!) in order to record Baby SA's every move once outside the womb. The videos can then be uploaded online and friends and family (near and far) can log in to watch our little pride and joy spit up on him/herself, and do other adorable things.

The showers were absolutely lovely, and the friends and family that took the time to put them on did a beautiful job. Baby SA got to taste lots of delicious sweets. And this mommy received encouraging words from more experienced moms who have at least the appearance of knowing what they're doing. And of course the nursery is now full of every thing Baby could possibly need or want - including boogie wipes.

There is a lot to be thankful for this year and I'm about to burst at the seams with joy and gratitude for the people in my life, including the little one who I haven't yet met, but already love to pieces.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
The Thankful Bird

Monday, November 14, 2011


I've been fighting a cold for over a week now, and my brain is plugged. So I can't make any promises about the coherency of this post. Consider yourself warned.

A couple weekends ago Mr. San Antonio took me to Wurstfest which is an annual German festival held between San Antonio and Austin. It is a wonderful time full of large quantities of beer (unless you're growing a baby), feet-tapping polka music, and really bad sausage. It is also a prime people watching opportunity, which is why we enjoy going. Not only do we watch people, but we pass judgement on them. It makes us feel so much better about ourselves.

A friend tried to send a picture to my phone of a half-Asian baby. My phone didn't get the picture, because my phone doesn't like pictures. But even still, I dreamt that I had a half-Asian baby. My dream also involved a lot of potted plants in the living room.

A few days later I had another dream about our baby... this time the baby had long curly blond hair, three rows of shark teeth and crossed eyes.

I'm not sure what these dreams mean... but it worries me.

We spent the weekend in California celebrating my Grandpa's 80th birthday. It was a whirlwind weekend full of Scottish kilts, scotch (not for me!), haggis, singing, toasts, lots of food, good family time, and a little bit of sleep here and there.

We saw the specialist this morning and received a very positive update. At 31 weeks, Baby's measurements are looking good, the scar tissue looks strong and healthy, and Baby is growing well weighing in at 3lbs 3oz!

The Doctor tried to get us a 3D photo of Baby's face but Baby was sleeping (I was comforted to know that wiggles does actually sleep occasionally). I'm sure the photo would have been fit for a Baby Gap commercial, but Baby's hand was covering one eye and the nose, and the umbilical cord was floating in front of the mouth... so all we could see were some knuckles and one sleeping eye. If you've never seen a 3D image of a baby in utero... Mr. San Antonio describes it well, "While the hand was fairly life-like, the face looked like an uncooked biscuit or possibly a raw dumpling".

I anticipate more crazy baby dreams coming after this.

The Doctor also saw some hair on Baby's head... which he was a little surprised about because he said fair moms (interpreted as pasty white Scottish moms), don't usually birth babies with hair. This made me think maybe my baby is half-Asian after all...

The Pampered Bird

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Name

We have a new nick name for Baby. And it is incredibly descriptive. And keeps me up at night (literally).

Baby SA is now referred to as Wiggles.

This makes us nervous. And my mother in law shutter (though I think her reaction has something to do with a clown...).

We didn't just blindly choose this perfect name from a book. We chose it because it accurately describes Baby's personality and habits. I'm pretty sure Baby even wiggles during sleep (I mostly believe this because there is very little time when Baby is not wiggling).

Baby stretches, kicks, punches, twirls, spins, and starts all over again... all day and night.

We've had to start thinking about the implications of this.

Maybe our child will become an Olympic athlete.
Maybe our child will need to run around the block - all the time.
Maybe our child will consistently fall out of bed at night.
Maybe our child will never learn to be still.
Maybe I'll need medication to get through the next 18 years.

I like to cast blame whenever possible. And in this case I'm aiming my blame towards Mr. San Antonio and my lovely sister.

Mr. San Antonio because the advice his mother gave me when we got married was, "whenever he comes home in a bad mood - make him run around the block before doing anything else." And that advice has proven extremely helpful. I also recently asked her if Mr. SA was a womb wiggler... she said yes. Without hesitating. And that was 30 years ago...

And my lovely sister because apparently she too was a womb wiggler... and continued to wiggle post womb. In fact I have several memories of when we shared a room and I would be trying to fall asleep and hear a big "thud". I'd turn to find her on the floor, often still grasping a blanket, and still sound asleep.

Granted, I wouldn't say she is still a wiggler. She seems to have grown out of it. And I'm much more willing to share a bed with her now. She doesn't steal the covers nearly as often as Mr. San Antonio does (though he tells everyone I steal the covers, so there is obviously an error in here somewhere).

The nice thing about Wiggles is that he/she makes my movement tracking very easy. The specialist has me keeping a log of baby movements every day to make sure things stay consistent (if they don't, it could be a sign something is wrong... or - in my non-expert opinion - it could mean Wiggles just tuckered out). They said it could take an hour to track 10 movements each day. But not for our Wiggles! It takes 10-20 minutes max.

Sometimes the wiggling is so intense I can't focus in meetings at work because my stomach is lurching so violently. I find in those situations it is best to be wearing black - it prevents some of the staring that occurs when I wear light colors and those sitting next to me can see my child trying to break free of his/her cage.

Yes, I am holding Wiggles hostage. Kind of like clowns and their circus animals. But I don't want Wiggles to join the circus. Just in case you were concerned.

The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birth Class

I briefly mentioned before that we are taking birthing classes. For a variety of reasons we've chosen to prepare for birth using the Bradley Method (husband coached natural childbirth). And we meet weekly (sometimes 2x a week) with a group of other couples at our instructor's house. She wears shirts that say thing like "Pregnancy is not a disease".

The first class started with our instructor telling us that she likes to ease the men into the birth process by showing the "least graphic" video first. How kind of her.

Well, the least graphic video still caused the men to look anywhere but the TV screen, while us women bravely watched - convincing ourselves that we were observing a beautiful, miraculous thing, and therefore could not have any feeling toward the video except for peaceful euphoria that soon our time will come, and we too will be able to partake in this wonderment.

It's been several weeks. The video graphicness has gone from PG13 to X. And last night, we all lost control.

In these videos, there is nothing blurred, nothing censored. You see it all. ALL.

To the point where I got queasy. And not roller coaster queasy... or airplane queasy... but horrified, terrified, "what-have-I-done-thinking-of-bringing-a-child-into-this-world" queasy.

All my super-woman, I can-do-this, this-is-a-beautiful-part-of-life, mantras came to a full stand still.

I wanted out.

I wanted this child out.


Without all that stuff I had to watch.

And I wasn't the only one.

I glanced around the room, and noticed grimaces, half closed eyes, complete focus on ones own drink glass, and basically any excuse to not watch the screen. Even the couples who act like they're really into this - the ones who always do their homework, and answer the instructor's questions with long winded answers they googled - even they were looking away.

The instructor claims that the videos help prepare moms and dads for the birth process - helping them to see all of it as normal, healthy, and not to be feared.

But I am afraid. And if I didn't already have a child inside me, I would be rethinking this whole procreation thing.

These are the videos they should be showing in sex-ed classes across the country. I have full confidence that they would work wonders.

The only thing keeping me together is the hope that it'll be different when it's my own experience. That my own child's cone-head, alien featured, blue tinted body won't creep me out and make me hand him/her back to the nurse explaining that there was a mistake - that I am not an alien, my husband is not an alien, and therefore we could not have produced an alien.

Because that's what I thought the parents on last night's videos should have done.

I would make a horrible midwife. Or nurse. Or even birth bystander.

This is why Mr. San Antonio is going to coach me through it. And why I will probably choose to be blindfolded. Pregnancy might not be a disease... but birth is definitely freaky.

The Pampered Mom... of a future alien baby.


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