Babymoon

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Week 27.

This one comes at you straight from the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, where Wifey and I are enjoying what is likely to be our last quiet vacation for quite some time. We’re taking advantage of what has commonly come to be called a “Babymoon:” our final opportunity to make use of the swim-up bar at the adult pool (at least without paying for a babysitter or traveling with our parents).

Apparently this kind of trip is a relatively new phenomenon. Although I’m not first of their offspring to take one – in fact I’m the third – my parents seem to get a real kick out of the concept. “Can you believe the kids all go on ‘Babymoons’ these days? When we were younger all we got was one honeymoon…”

Go ahead, call us spoiled; we can take it. This vacation makes all the sense in the world:  once Little Dude takes his first breath nothing will ever be quite the same, let alone travel. So allow me my Dos Equis, and Wifey the little umbrellas in her tropical juice. She’s earned it – and I’m happy to carry her bags.

Judging by our observations on the voyage here, future journeys are likely to take on a vastly different tone – before we’ve even arrived at our destination. Here are a few examples:

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Hey, at least once we do make it to the gate we’ll be able to board early. That’s gotta count for something.

Addiction

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Week 26.

Among the various lifestyle changes that we’ve made so far during this pregnancy, one has had an especially tangible impact on Wifey’s balance, both literal and figurative (and therefore also my own).

She started doing yoga again.

The “again” is important. To hear her tell it, she had a pretty serious yoga habit before we started dating. By direct association of course that means that it’s my own fault she’s barely gone back since; but what I hadn’t quite realized is that she isn’t just, you know, “into yoga.” She’s a fucking yoga junky, and this baby pushed her right back off the wagon.

She’s like that former smoker who had one drink too many at just one social occasion and the next thing you know he’s back to a pack-a-day habit. She can’t go without her fix. She’s even started proselytizing to other pregnant women around town – or their poor husbands. Last week the guy at the bank who handles my business checking account happened to inform us that his wife is also pregnant, and he immediately received an unsolicited yet flawlessly delivered sales pitch for “Hot Mama” prenatal yoga classes at Nature’s Whisper School of Yoga.

Now I’m doing their marketing too, I can’t help myself. Click the link. It’s an awesome studio.

Joking aside, it’s a marvelous thing to watch her walk in the door when she gets home from yoga every day. She radiates positive energy, confident in her strength and in her ability to bear this baby. She is woman, hear her roar!

Watch out, fellas – yoga doesn’t leave track marks. You never know what you’re getting yourself into.

Movement

Soccer-Ball

Week 25.

My wife is carrying a soccer player around. (Or maybe a dancer – we’re open minded.)

At least that’s what I hope – this kid’s beating the shit out of Mommy. He better calm down when he’s born, or else get rich and famous off those kickers.

The funny thing is, we both love it. For a while there, despite the visible bump, it was difficult for me (as it is for most men) to really wrap my head around reality of a human being growing inside my wife. There was a certain disconnect – she felt her body immediately begin to change rapidly, while I spent several months stuck on “Holy shit, is this for real???”

But starting with that first kick – to my face, actually, about a month ago – any doubt went out the window. Something is going on in there, and at this point, it better be a baby. The alternatives would be seriously weird.

These days, little dude hardly ever stops dancing. As soon as Wifey sits still he perks up; she places my hand on the right spot and I can feel him. Is that an arm? A leg? His tush? I don’t even care – all that matters is that he’s my baby, and he’s real.

 

 

 

 

 

Gravity

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Week 23.

To take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend just past, Wifey, the belly, and I took a little excursion out to the desert.

I’ll admit I took some shit from friends and family for the decision to take my pregnant companion away from 75 degree weather on the beaches of San Diego in favor of 100 degrees in Palm Springs. I offer one simple explanation (aside from the general escapism of a mini road trip): the resort that I cashed our hotels.com free night in on – La Quinta Resort & Spa – has no less than 41 pools on the property. 41!!! I have never seen joy such as that on Baby Mama’s face when we arrived, began pool-hopping, and her belly sank below the water for the first time.

We were not the only ones with this brilliant idea – there was a veritable parade of baby bumps around the “Adult Pool” at La Quinta this weekend. Bumps at all stages of development, staring each other down, wondering who is where in the process, who will win the race.

Some of the other parents-to-be even had the foresight to bring along their own floating devices. Not only did I fail on the floatie – although we actually purchased one just last week and could easily have thrown it in the car – but it honestly hadn’t even occurred to me just how therapeutic the water would be for the wife, despite the fact that I myself swim laps almost every day.

Pay attention, boys: get your woman in the pool. Just make sure you’ve got some extra room in the backyard, because she’ll probably end up wanting her own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety (Or: 101 Dalmatians)

Week 22.

We’ve officially arrived at the point in this pregnancy where Wifey’s proud belly announces our entrance into every room. Perhaps as a result of this, we’ve also grown very perceptive of other bumps around town; all of a sudden it seems like San Diego is literally just bursting with pregnant ladies.

This hit me more than ever on Monday night when we went to tour the birthing facilities at the UCSD Medical Center over in Hilcrest, which as well as offering more maternity care options than any other hospital in town has the added advantage of being a mere 5 miles from our house. Far from being a personal tour, though, this was a large open house with a couple hundred people in attendance.

It was a surreal scene to my eyes, and it really got me to thinking: 100 different couples from all cultures and classes, with a wild diversity of human sizes, shapes, colors, and ages – all passing through exactly the same moment in life at exactly the same time. I for one truly enjoyed the reminder that maybe life really isn’t that different for each of us after all, despite the many and often-frustrating signs to the contrary.

Along with these more serious thoughts, however, in the back of my head I was keeping myself entertained all night with much more lighthearted imagery. While initially it was the striking variance between each couple that caught my attention, what I really got stuck on were the stylistic similarities shared by the two parents in each grouping.

This image sums it all up pretty nicely:

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Man, I can’t wait to see what all these kids are going to look like.

Snoring

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Week 21.

This week Wifey and I encountered a snag that none of the “pregnancy experts” had covered: what happens to a woman in her fifth month of pregnancy when she’s got a full-time job and her husband – usually a well-oiled machine of domesticity – gets the flu and reverts to a mewling infant?

Those Maternal instincts kick in a few months early is what happens. To my immense relief – yet even greater shame – I’ve spent most of the past week being waited on hand and foot by a pregnant lady. She’s got a very full plate at work, a rapidly growing belly, and a somewhat limited range of motion. Yet she somehow managed to make me chicken soup from scratch, take me to the hospital when it got scary, and be generally far more loving than a whiney little bitch like myself deserved.

Even – or perhaps especially – when I began to snore.

Not that I was at all conscious of the late-night encounter, but I’m imagining it went something like this:

The scene is gently backlit by moonlight creeping in the window on Wifey’s side of the bed.

Me: snoring.

Wifey: nudge.

Me: still snoring…

Wifey: HARD nudge.

Me: still snoring (loudly).

Wifey: “OMG I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!!!”

Me: ….

The moonlight outlines a silhouette of her perfectly protruding baby bump as she slowly maneuvers herself out of bed. It also illuminates the scowl of fury on her porcelain features.  

Five hours later: 

Early morning light shines on a half-empty bed. From a large form huddled under the covers comes the unmistakable sound of a freight train barreling down the tracks. 

On the couch in the adjacent room, a much smaller form lies, curled around a body pillow, not-quite-asleep. A close-up of her rosy lips as she softly whispers:  

“Enough of this shit already….. I want my fucking husband back.”

This woman is way too good for me.

Borscht (AKA: “Nesting”)

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Weeks 19/20.

When I met my lovely wife 3 1/2 years ago, she wasn’t super comfortable in the kitchen. This has changed over time, although I’ve retained my role as household chef – after all, kitchen skills are an unwritten part of the whole “trophy husband” agreement. But you’ll appreciate my shock last week when Baby Mama broke out her inner Babushka (that’s Russian for “Grandma”) – along with our rolling pin – and proceeded to get down and dirty.

Ah, yes. Month 5. I believe they call “nesting.”

Not that I’m complaining. Shit – I’m talking homemade Borscht and Gluten-free, scratch-made Vareniki that taste better than those at our local Russian restaurant. Even my mother-in-law was jealous. But seriously – WTF? You just impulsively dedicated the entire afternoon to Vareniki?? (The link is there for those lacking Russian friends.)

As is the case with most things I write about on this blog, this phenomenon is hardly unique to us. Wikipedia defines the “nesting instinct” as the following:

“an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn… found in a variety of animals (both mammals and birds) including humans.”

An interesting impulse, this nesting. It struck me as so strange when I first witnessed it – I recall my oldest sister did a lot of baking when she was pregnant with her first. If we were birds, I suppose Wifey would be waddling around building a new addition onto the house, and I’d be out hunting. But fuck that, we’re people. We’ve got a contractor for a landlord, and a great organic market up the street. 

So instead, she makes Borscht and Vareniki, and I get to make fun of her on my blog.

Ah, the joys of being human.

Tastebuds

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Week 18.

A couple of weeks ago, the baby books and apps that my wife and I regularly refer to informed us that our baby had developed his taste buds. Coincidentally – or perhaps not – it was right around this time that his mother began enjoying the scent of wine again for the first time since his conception.

I like to think that the little guy has finally developed a taste for vino. They say it’s an acquired taste, I know, but this is my kid growing in there.

Now now, don’t worry, she hasn’t had anything to drink in months, but as part of my ongoing enological experiments I’ve asked her to smell every wine I’ve had open. Really I should say forced her to smell – everything I’ve put in front of her, from Champagne to Barolo, has gotten more or less the same “eww, get this shit out of my face!”

Until, all of a sudden, a wine buddy of mine showed up for a visit from the east coast with a rather esoteric – and incredibly aromatic – Viognier from Ardèche, in France’s Rhône Valley. Wifey’s face lit up at the bouquet, and I almost had to fight her to get the glass out of her hand.

Not only does baby dig vino, he digs funky vino. I love this kid already.

Of course, in proper Winedad fashion, I pushed the point too far by also encouraging her to taste the bottle of mead that we opened on a whim. While it did launch a nice historical discourse on the world’s most ancient fermented beverage, it was probably not the best thing to use on Mama’s newly re-awakened palate.

I guess I got a little ahead of myself with this one. But that’s ok, there’s still 5 months left to play around with.

 

 

User Error

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Week 17.

On Monday night, Wifey met me for a quiet dinner at a restaurant we’ve long been meaning to try. She was coming from yoga (more on that later) and I from a meeting nearby.

I arrived a few minutes before her, and as soon as she walked in the door I knew that something was wrong. She sat down, all flustered, and it poured right out of her:

“There’s something wrong with the lights on the Prius! When I got in the car after yoga, the brights turned themselves on. Nothing I did would get them to go off again – I swear, I tried everything! It was terrible, people were honking at me all the way over here. I pulled over and tried again, I don’t know what to do!”

While I was pretty sure this situation was not panic-worthy, it also occurred to me that laughter was probably the wrong way to go. So I took a deep breath and encouraged her to do the same. (I’m all about picking my battles these days.) I promised to take a good look after dinner.

We had a pleasant enough meal – despite the weight of the terrible events in Boston earlier that day; we’ll definitely be going back to Alchemy. Afterwards, I walked her to the car, and she got in the driver’s seat to show me what was wrong.

“See?? The brights are on!!”

In our Prius, the lever for the brights is exactly where it is in most cars – to the left and slightly behind the steering wheel – and it functions in much the same way. I pulled it gently back, towards the driver, and the brights went off immediately.

There was nothing at all wrong with the car – my pregnant (and highly intelligent) wife had simply forgotten how to work the lights. User error.

See? “Pregnancy Brain” is a very real, yet totally unexplained phenomenon. I’m living with Exhibit A. Good thing she and that belly are adorable. 

 

 

 

 

Skinny Jeans

(Disclaimer – this photo is not Wifey.)

Week 16.

Last week, Wifey finally bought herself a pair of maternity jeans. After a few weeks of using a rubber band to keep the waistband closed on her old favorites, (as per my sister’s suggestion) she finally took the plunge.

These are totally your mom’s jeans, except that depending on when/where/to whom you were born, your mother’s may have had bigger flares at the bottom.

Now, this was a milestone purchase. To this point, she had been incredibly resistant to the idea of going shopping for maternity clothes – with this implicit “I’m going to wait until I literally can’t even get my pants on before I start buying new ones.” Despite her (previously) slim figure, mine wasn’t really a “skinny jeans” kind of gal to begin with, so this reluctance was a bit surprising. (Some of you are also probably stumped by the need for maternity clothes at all, given that this is still only the beginning of the second trimester. Blame it on that petite-ness again – there’s nowhere for the little bugger to go but out.)

In all fairness, my body will never experience the degree of change that hers is going through; despite my best efforts, I’ll never fully grasp the accompanying psychology. But it did strike me, this contrast between her pride and joy at being pregnant, and her hesitancy to go out and purchase the appropriate clothes. (Strangely enough, it didn’t take her nearly as long for to send me running out for maternity bras…

In fact, the new pants actually accentuate my wife’s beautiful, changing body, which may really be the key to it all. Once she donned her new threads, any remaining ambiguity went out the window. That there’s a baby in there (my baby!) – I would walk around with my hand on her tummy all day if I could. But I guess she had to get there on her own time.

As far as I’m concerned, bring on the maternity gear – I love it, I can now see that bump coming from a block away. Then again, as she likes to point out, I’m not the one baking a person. So take it all with a grain of salt.