Names.  It’s one of the hardest initial tasks parents undertake for their child.  Choosing a name that is unique so when the child’s name is called in school half the classroom doesn’t answer.  Choosing a name that has a low possibility for being changed on the child to be used in bullying or schoolyard teasing.  Choosing a name that doesn’t have negative connotations for you (the name of an ex-boyfriend or someone who wronged you) or a name that is linked negatively to someone famous (serial killer names for example).  Trying one’s hardest to make sure the child will be happy with the name you chose and won’t want to change it during his/her teenage years.

Or, like some parents, caution can be thrown to the wind and they choose names such as & (Ampersand), Na-a (Nadasha) or @ (not sure how this one is pronounced).  Name your child after cars, restaurants, corporations, fast food or even beloved cartoon characters (Optimus Prime i’m looking at you).  I really don’t understand these parents.

When it came to naming Babybean I had a complicated situation that was solved in an unexpected way.

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It’s Been One Week Since You Heard From Me

What exactly has Mamabean been up to?  Let’s take a peek in her camera and see…

She’s been shopping!  Bath and Body Works had a deal on buy one get one free on their delicious lip glosses and delectable lip balm so I grabbed my 20% off coupon and treated my poor, dry lips to some treats.  One is Vanilla Mint that always makes me giggle as I put it on – it makes my lips tingle!  One is sparkly and tastes like cupcake icing and the other is just super for putting on my pout at night to make them soft and kissable.

She’s been baby shopping with her mom.  My mom is awesome and is finally coming around to this “babybean” situation and starting to enjoy it.  She not only bought the crib and mattress for the baby – a beautiful brown one from Sears – but she also splurged and got me a glider chair with gliding footstool in the same color as the nursery!  I’m so stoked!  I was expecting to have to breastfeed on my old and worn out futon couch but this chair is sooooo comfy.  She also bought babybean his first stuffed animal – a purple dinosaur to match the dino decorations.  So cute!  Thank you mommy!

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Buy ALL The Baby Things? Rawr!

I had my first excursion into baby products the other day visiting Babies R Us to create a baby registry.  I was SO OVERWHELMED by the whole ordeal.  I hate asking people for gifts and I especially hate telling them exactly what gifts to buy me.  I know this is some sort of privilege that I get for being pregnant but it still weirds me out.  However my attitude changed when they gave me a funky space age scanner thing (of which I am accustomed having worked retail all of my life) and I got to run around the store and scan items I thought were cute and that babybean would like.  Which, admittedly, was EVERYTHING.  I’m happy I had someone to shop with though as it’s somewhat embarrassing to shop for baby by myself and get caught “awwwwing” out loud by random customers and staff.  And no matter how much he might be developing eyesight right now there is no way that babybean saw the adorableness of that puppy hoody I tried to show him about a week ago.  So having a friend or relative along saves face.  Gotcha.

Truthfully we haven’t started the nursery – there is no furniture or anything in there.  I hadn’t even bought anything remotely baby until today and I’m 31 weeks along now.  OMG I’VE GOT TWO MONTHS LEFT????  How did that happen.  AcK!  I really should get moving on this.  I mean, the nursery is painted – two different greens – and I painted a tree on the one side with a dog house underneath it.  Here’s what it looks like at the moment…..

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29 Weeks…a jumping babybean.

I was fully prepared for the kicking and punching – baby bean’s been doing it for WEEKS now.  Fluttery little pokes and prods as he floats around his womb.  I say HIS womb because really, the moment it stretched to accommodate him and push all my internal organs into an uncomfortable mush it ceased to be my womb as I have no control over what happens in there anymore.  No one, however, prepared me for the somersaults – I swear he’s using my bladder as a launch pad and supermanning his way to my belly button.  I just picture him one arm outstretched as he boldy flies from my lower abdomen to just below my boob. Sometimes I even picture a little cape with a “B” for bean.

I was also not prepared for him to take his arm or foot or whatever pointy appendage amuses him most and DRAG it along the inside of my body.  For at least a couple of inches.  Like he’s painting the inside of the womb in a color to suit him better and using long, hard, broad strokes with a particularly pointed brush.  I know, I know calcium and bones and all that blah blah blah but it’s SUPER DUPER uncomfortable and sometimes painful and he does it at the WORST times – like when I’m on a bus or serving a customer at work and can’t wince or exclaim loudly “Oh you little &@#$&”

So I am giving birth to a jumping baby bean.  If his energy levels translate to outside the womb we are so screwed.  This kid will NEVER sit still for anyone.  Though I remain hopeful that he’s going to be an energetic artist who will change the world of art for the better and paint grand pictures with his hand.  He’s certainly practicing for it now.

Health wise I’m doing ok.  Though as I said, babybean seems to be using my bladder for a variety of reasons – if he’s not leaping off of it like some womb trampoline he’s lounging on it like a giant bean bag chair.  So that means I have to go to the washroom a lot.  Like all the time.  Or at least feel like it.  What this has meant for me is that I can no longer ride the bus 2 1/2 hours each way to work – especially at night when there is no place or time for me to get off said bus and pee.  I suppose I could just invest in some adult diapers but…no.  Ew.

So my hours at work went down.  From 36 to 25.  As they try and accommodate me.  This doesn’t mean good things financially for my little household as we are already struggling.  But I suppose we’ll make due.  Fatherbean’s hours have gone up some and if they hold there we should be ok.  At least until I go on Mat leave.  I’m leaving a month before my due date so I can prepare the house and nursery – I just haven’t had time to do it now.  I’ll have to post some before and after pictures.  I painted a tree on the wall back when babybean was still just a little jelly in my belly.  It will look good when it’s done.  Right now the nursery is actually a kennel for Agis (as it’s empty of anything to chew on) for when we are at work.  🙂  Christened by the puppy of puppies.

Also my mom has told me she wants to buy this baby a crib, mattress, and change table.  Hands down.  She will even take me shopping for said things.  I will post another time why this excites me so much…mother daughter bonding time!  Yay!

And just because….there’s a link to a video of a band I discovered (I’m such a hipster) who just released their FIRST album today!  They are pretty great to listen too, fun music with haunting lyrics and great vocals.

Rainy Sunday Baby

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon.  The dogs are lounging on their respective blankets tired by the lack of sunshine.  Fatherbean has planted himself on the couch and is relentlessly shooting zombies in his new game – or are they mutants?  I haven’t paid any attention and have tuned out the gunshots for the soft sound of water falling.

I love days like this.  The rain is soft and refreshing, more like a mist than a downpour. The sidewalks look slick covered in puddles – perfect for splashing.  The cars make “swooshing” sounds as they drive by the apartment window.  Everything just sort of “hangs” on a day like this.  Despite the headaches I often get from the air pressure these rainy Sunday afternoons always bring a smile to my face – now more than ever!

Babybean is active today.  Perhaps he is sensing my eagerness to put little adorable rain boots on his feet and take him out to splash in puddles.  I’ll teach him that while it’s a valiant effort to try and save the worms from drowning they are, actually, better above ground today.  I’ll buy him the umbrella of his choice but also give him the choice of whether or not to use it.  I’ll teach him we don’t melt in water and running from the car to the door of the building doesn’t make us any less wet.  That one should stroll along and enjoy the tickley and cool feeling of water on our face.  We’ll take deep breaths of the crisp damp air and try to catch one or two droplets on our tongue.  I’ll teach him how to dance in the rain and sing at the top of his lungs.  He’ll learn that there’s nothing quite like the smell of wet dog – and to stay away from a wet dog shaking!  I wonder what kind of umbrella will he choose?  I hope one of the ones with eyes – like a frog.  Those are too cute!

And then I’ll teach him the most important part about days like this. Coming home and drying off with big fluffy towels then snuggling down under the blankets with hot chocolate and those you love.

Pregnant Ponderings

So I’m pregnant. 28 weeks pregnant.  That’s more pregnant than I’ve ever been and gods willing I’ll be bringing this bean into the world in 2 1/2 months time. Probably earlier, I feel this will be an early birth. I’m not sure why I feel this way – perhaps it’s the way Arthurbean kicks me constantly as if he’s anxious to leave my belly and see the world. I think he knows the wonders that await him in this apartment (awesome dad, adorable dog, more animated movies, comics and video games than he could ever want). It’s fatherbean’s fault. He’s been reading a book on the Tardis from Doctor Who to Arthur before bed. Who wouldn’t want to learn more about the Doctor?

I’ve got sciatica, my hips constantly hurt, my back aches from simultaneously holding up a giant belly and ginormous boobs (did you know there is bigger than an H cup? I do now.), carpal tunnel is my constant friend at work, I forget things all the time but…but…but…look at my hair! It’s so thick and shiny and wavy – I touch it all the time. Fatherbean loves it as I have left it long and flowing instead of cutting it short for the oncoming summer.  So when the physical pain and inconvenience gets too much some days I just run my hands through my lustrous hair (I can use that word again hee hee hee).

Arthurbean you’ll have to stay inside a bit longer.  I have a nursery to set up, furniture to buy, a husband to prepare, classes to attend, and a baby blanket to finish knitting for you.  There’s currently a foster dog occupying your nursery (see picture) and he’ll be leaving for his new foster home in May.  Your nursery theme is puppies anyways, so he’s just been keeping it puppied for you.  We have so many useful things we need to buy you (a stroller, car seat, clothes, bottles, nibs, soothers etc etc etc) but your easily distracted mamabean keeps getting sidetracked by adorable baby plush that are in the shape of puppies.  I really hope you like puppies.

I love you already and above anything else that happens during my day I ponder the day I get to meet you, finally.

Then I remember that day comes with crazy pain and screaming (thanks prenatal classes!) and ponder something else.  Like puppies.

Intensive Prenatal Classes

What was supposed to be informative and helpful ended up being a very hard day for me yesterday. My husband and I had signed up for prenatal classes with the only person in our city that my Dr recommended. We opted for the two 4 hour classes instead of the five 1 1/2 hour classes.

We were early and sat in the room waiting for the 7 other couples to show up.  The instructor gave us our name tags (oi – name tags?) and fatherbean and I read various books on babies while we waited.

I can feel the anxiety starting in me, the tickle in my stomach that isn’t quite nausea, the racing thoughts in my head – but what if they don’t like me oh god i’m going to be the oldest mom here i’ll definately be the fattest will i have to talk infront of them – and so on and so forth.  I know fatherbean is nervous but he stays quiet and focused beside me.  I take out my knitting and work on calming some of that anxiety.

The first couple arrives and sits down.  Then the rest trickle in.  The fathers all seem to have the same caught-in-the-headlights look on their faces and focus their attention on the moms.  The moms all glance around when they think the others aren’t looking and steal peeks at other bellies than theirs.  No one talks – I don’t think anyone is sure how to start a conversation.  “Hi!  I’m pregnant, so are you!  So…uh…how’s it going?”

A lady representing a company that does Cord Blood Banking comes in and talks to us about it.  I’d heard about this service before but had never really delved into the heart of it.  The blood can apparently be used later in the child’s life to help with various diseases and can even be used for other close family members.  Sounds good but it’s expensive and not something fatherbean and I have the budget for at the moment.  Plus I feel guilty – like I won’t be doing enough to protect this child if I DON’T use the service.

The class continues.  The teacher is a beautiful woman with a Trinidad accent.  I love listening to her talk and she puts me at ease.  Fatherbean is learning what to do to make labor more comfortable for me – ways he can help and ways he can be useful.  What to do to take care of himself and me in the coming months.  I know he’s been stressed about seeing me in pain and about becoming a dad so as I expected this class is more for him than me.

As the class moves on and we start talking about the signs of labor and preterm labor I start to become more and more agitated.  I’ve already been in labor.  I know the signs.  My mind flashes back to that horrible day all alone at the hospital where I went in to emergency with what I thought was a bladder infection and ended up having a stillbirth at 19.5 weeks.  As the teacher describes the type of pain contractions are my body remembers and I start to panic.  I think of Joel, little Joel, who I lost last May and whose death weighs still so heavily on my heart.  I get mad once again at the Ob/Gyn who failed me.  It’s hard hearing all this in a setting I can’t escape from. It’s taking all my strength not to run sobbing from the room.  I look at the wall and try not to listen too much.  Not that I think anyone will fault me for it if I did start crying but I do not want to upset the class – nor the other mothers there. I also do not really want to explain myself.

Perhaps one day I will post my lost bean’s story.

The instructor noticed my pain and took me aside afterwards and we talked about it.  It really helped.  She helped calm my anxieties somewhat and gave me some options to help with this pregnancy.  She says fatherbean and I may be candidates for a volunteer Doula to help – especially since I have an increased risk of post partum depression.  That would be a big help.

I’ll leave this post on a fun note though. While all us moms were out in the hall eating our lunch the men had to stay behind and make a list of things to “help her during pregnancy”. Like what they would specifically do. When us women were let back in the room we had to guess which ones our guys wrote. There was one there that said “Bring her a picture of a favorite pet” and I started to laugh. I knew that was fatherbean’s! The teacher said he wanted to bring me the pet but they don’t allow that at the hospital so a picture will have to do. Seems as if my precious Spitha dog will be helping me during pregnancy more than she knows – and how lucky am I to have a husband who truly understands me like he does? So lucky.