(No, not my photo – or my kid – although he could end up looking like this.)

Week 31.

We’re heading into the final stretch: Wifey’s beginning her last month on the job (thanks California!), little dude’s bedroom is halfway ready to go, and – like a good Daddy-to-be – I’m preparing to get the hell out of Dodge for a while. What better excuse for leaving Baby Momma on her own in Month 8 than a manly road trip up to wine country?

Believe it or not, I’ve got her full support on this one (or so she says). It’s a multi-purpose journey; while mostly about connecting with my friends up in Napa and Sonoma, making new ones, and sourcing wine for future volumes of Le Metro, it also serves a deeper personal goal. (It may help that I planned the trip around our birthing classes which begin next week, so I managed to store up some points from that, too.)

It hasn’t taken much effort for us to prioritize “couple time” before our son is born – after all, spending time alone together is our favorite activity. But it’s much more complicated to actually take time alone. So we’ve decided to leave each other up to our own devices for a few days while we still deem it “safe.”

Don’t worry – I’m not really leaving her hanging. I’ll make sure the house is clean and full of food before I take off; more importantly, I’m setting her mind at rest by gathering my buddies to help assemble baby furniture while she’s at her shower this weekend (and to make more room in the fridge for her by drinking all of our beer). Moreover, her parents are just a half hour away, so we’ve got a safety net in place.

So I’m willing to risk it – for the wines I’ll get to try on this trip, and for the volume of the tunes I’ll be cranking in the car on the way. But there’s just no accounting for hormones; I may still spend the rest of my life living it down.



Na Zdorovie!

photo copy

Week 29.

Now that we’re “safely” into the third trimester, I’ll be honest – it’s pretty awesome to share some wine with my wife over dinner once more. Little dude is pretty well cooked at this point, and his mother no longer wrinkles her nose when I hold a glass under it. In fact, she seems to be very much enjoying the wines I share with her. (All Le Metro selections, of course!)

You should’ve seen it when when I poured her glass of Champagne from a six liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago; that’s an image I’d very much like to show my son someday. However, this seems to be quite a touchy subject for a lot of people. It’s been fascinating – and a bit contradictory – to gauge the reactions of those who see Baby Momma with a glass of wine in hand. Like so many other aspects of pregnancy, everybody offers advice and/or passes judgement. However, for each person who looks at her in disdain, there is at least one other who cheers her on.

Last week I came across an interesting article in the Daily Mail outlining a recent British study on the subject, examining the effects of wine consumption by pregnant mothers. Kids whose mothers had consumed various amounts of alcohol during pregnancy were studied up until the age of 10, and the results showed that low to moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy had no effect.

This may never be proven definitively, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s kind of like using electronics on airplanes: there’s no proof that reading your Kindle during takeoff will cause any harm at all, but there’s also no verification that it won’t. If there’s even the remotest chance that this is within your control – do you want to be responsible for that??

One thing we do know for sure is that both pregnancy and birth go more smoothly when a mother is calm and relaxed. If a glass of wine now and again helps Wifey maintain her zen, I’m not going to be the guy to withhold it. It’s not in my nature to say no when a beautiful woman asks me for vino – especially/even when she’s carrying my child.

Nobody is advocating binge drinking by pregnant mothers – I’ll resist for some more time taking her down to our local dive for shots of Jameson. (She wouldn’t touch them anyway, without at least a pickle back). But it’s funny how prone to culture the “rules” are, and how quickly they change over time. For example, today’s pregnancy experts recommend regular exercise throughout the course of pregnancy; in Victorian times women were prescribed “confinement,” meaning they were restricted to their beds.

My babushka-in-law summed it all up rather nicely over dinner the other night: “I guess some wine is all right for her…  but I understand why they didn’t let us drink back in Russia… we would’ve all been chugging Vodka!”

Babushka, I have just one thing to say. Na Zdorovie!