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Friday Update: Week 25

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Mr. Handsome and I have been using the tools a lot this week with all the projects we’ve been working on. This hammer is about 13-1/2 inches long which is now comparable to baby’s length. Apparently she went through a good growth spurt!

This week I have been crazy busy working on the projects I wanted to accomplish and having fun with Kiddo1. I’ll post an update on Sunday about everything that got done, all the fun and what’s left on the table (because you know I couldn’t get through that whole list in a week).

While I was working on my projects, I had a lot of time to think. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing! Every once and awhile I’ll have a mini freak-out in my head about the fact that we’re having a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly excited to have a girl and couldn’t be happier, but still, it’s a brand new experience (since our only other child is a boy) and new experiences can be unnerving sometimes. I think Mr. Handsome has had these in-the-head-freak-outs as well because every now and then he says, “So it’s a girl, huh…” We don’t really talk about it but I’m pretty sure we’re on the same level here.

My mini freak outs are probably for different reasons than Mr. Handsome’s. I mean, with our son, I never worried too much about being a role model. Of course I’ve tried to be a good example of what kind of human I want him to grow up to be, but not necessarily the man I want him to be – I tend to leave that up to Mr. Handsome (who, by the way, does a fantastic job and I couldn’t ask for anything more). A gender role model, I am not. I don’t do much of the bathroom stuff, I will take part in the “birds and bees” conversations but I won’t get into as much detail as Mr. Handsome will, I don’t do too much sports stuff (I play catch, kick the soccer ball, all of that, but Mr. Handsome does way more), and I’m generally not a male role model in any way. And I’m totally, completely okay with this.

With a girl, though, it’s like a bit of a role reversal for Mr. Handsome and me. I’m the one that will teach her to sit on the toilet and wipe herself. I’m the one that will help her with her ballet moves (or gymnastics or softball or whatever she wants to do). I’m the one that will talk about menstrual cycles and STDs and teen pregnancy. Of course Mr. Handsome will participate, I can count on him as he counts on me, but she will look to ME for those things just like Kiddo1 looks to Mr. Handsome for the guy counterparts.

She will look to ME to learn how to be a woman, and that scares the crap out of me! Am I a good example of a woman? Am I a good example of what women should be?! I have no freaking clue!

But just when my freak-out-in-my-head gets to this point, I take a step back and remind myself that I’ve been a competent mother with a competent child up until this point at least, so I know I can continue as not only a competent mother but a competent, good example of a woman and proper gender role model for my daughter. I think I can, I think I can.

I’m currently reading Choosing Waterbirth by Lakshmi Kertram (which I will review in a few weeks) and she has a paragraph from the birth story of her first daughter that captures some of my thoughts on the subject of having a girl:

I take the baby into my arms and snuggle her close to me. … So many thoughts run through my head as I look down at her. I know what she may go through as a woman in this world. I know what pain and happiness await her as she grows. My heart already aches in anticipation of the challenges she will face, and warms with the knowledge of the joy she will have. It is such a different feeling from what I felt when the boys were born. I recognize the difference and realize I have become a new mother once again.

Powerful stuff! I am working on channeling my freak outs into excitement – we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s a few more things to freak out about:

  • Total weight gain: 20 pounds. The official weigh-in at our latest midwife appointment  was 19 pounds, but I do go by my household scale and I cannot lie to myself for two weeks in a row. So 20 pounds gained with 15 weeks left to go. Deep breaths (and fewer carbs).
  • Cravings: Ice cream. Damn you ice cream!
  • Coolest symptom: Random strangers have started noticing my bump and will do nice things for me like hold the door open and point out hazards (at the ice cream shop a worker made sure that I specifically knew that the floor near the register was wet and could be slippery). People can be nice.
  • Lamest symptom: I had a bunch of Braxton Hicks last Friday night. It was really annoying and poor Kiddo1 was stuck entertaining himself because I confined myself to the couch with my water bottle for several hours. I haven’t felt any more contractions since then but I have noticed myself getting physically worn out more quickly this week. My body is saying slooooooow dooooown, the person-making is taking priority.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): Well I’m throwing out this week altogether because I pretty much did nothing. I was too focused on my projects to get any real exercise in. Kiddo1 and I went on a couple bike rides, I took Max (dog) to the park a couple times (Mr. Handsome takes on the bulk of that task – sorry lover!), I did a lot of shopping and spent several hours walking around the zoo and science center, but no yoga time, no elliptical, no arms. Bad me, super bad.

Baby2 got a lot done this week. Here’s what’s new with her, courtesy babycenter.com:

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His or her weight – a pound and a half – isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but your baby is beginning to exchange that long, lean look for some baby fat. As this happens, wrinkled skin will smooth out and your baby will start to look more and more like a newborn. Your baby is also growing more hair – and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture!

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The Name Game, Rejected Names: Girl Edition

Naming a person is hard work! It’s something that you really don’t want to get wrong for several reasons: the name sticks with your child for his or her whole life and apparently has effects on all facets of his or her life including first impressions, grades, friends, jobs and promotions, etc. AND if you get it wrong it’s difficult to have a “do-over.” I feel like I’ve seen all kinds of articles about the effects of impetuous baby-naming lately – there was even one in “The Week” last Friday (it is a magazine Mr. Handsome and I get delivered weekly; a brother-in-law hooked us up).

To add to the troubles of naming, it seems like I always have great ideas for the sex opposite of what we’re having. I remember back when I was pregnant with Baby1 – before we found out we were having a boy I had all kinds of thoughts about girl names. It was so, so hard for us to find a boy name. We combed through probably every name book the library had (um so the internet wasn’t as popular nine years ago… and we didn’t own any computers back then!).

This time I feel like I had some good, solid boy names on my mind (which I posted about awhile back) and then we find out we’re having a girl (which don’t get me wrong I’m over the moon about. We couldn’t be happier to have one of each now!). Of course I have no idea what girl names I thought of nine years ago and, if I did, I probably wouldn’t like them now anyway. It’s been so difficult for me to think of girl names that I love! And that flow well, fit with our last names, etc.

I do like the names that I suggested in my last post, but that’s not what this post is about really. This post is about the names that I don’t like. Because at least I know that half of the decision!

Before I get into it, allow me a disclaimer: these are names that I don’t like by my own personal preference. I am not offended by these names (except for maybe the first one there!) and I do not at all mean to insult anyone who has, has used, or loves any of the following names. Please don’t let me offend you. Also, all names listed below were taken from the Social Security Top 500 names of 2010, so they are legit.

The below lists also loosely tie back to my naming rules that I posted last time I talked about names. These include no creative or “smoosh” names, no misspelled names, no names that require a nickname, and no names that are “too girly.” At this time I’d also like to add the following constraints: no boys’ names, no place names, no virtue names and no Top Ten names.

Is there anything left after all those “nos”? Yes, but none of those names will be on these lists…

Names that are “too creative” or “smoosh” (a “smoosh” name is two names blended into one):

  • Nevaeh (Yeah, we get it, it’s “heaven” spelled backward. Great. But HOW is it #25 most popular on the SSA?!)
  • Annabelle, Annalee, Annalise, Annalisa (“smooshes” of Anna and other names)
  • Mariana (“smoosh” of Mary and Anna – Anna seems to be the target of most “smoosh” names…)
  • Julissa (“smoosh” of Julia and Alyssa)
  • Adison or Adeline (you just took the “M” off Madison or Madeline. Not very creative but I still think it falls under this category.)
  • Brielle (you just took the “Ga” off Gabrielle)
  • Cadence or Lyric (these are made-up names stolen from musical terms. They are nouns, not names. It’s like naming someone “Crescendo” or “Adagio.”)

Names that are misspelled:

  • Kyleigh (there’s really no great spelling of this name, in my opinion)
  • Londyn
  • Emely
  • Melany
  • Madisyn
  • Rebekah

Names that scream out for a nickname (Mr. Handsome is against nicknames):

  • Alexandria
  • Elizabeth
  • Samantha
  • Josephine
  • Catherine
  • Alessandra

Names that are “too girly.” What do I mean by this? “Too girly” is a name that is super cute on a little girl, which is great, but let’s say this little girl grows up to be a business executive, a doctor, a judge, a board chairwoman, etc, etc. I don’t feel like a “too girly” name will allow her to be taken seriously, like these:

  • Isabella, Bella or Ella
  • Sophia
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Anastasia
  • Layla
  • Lucy
  • Bianca
  • Ariel
  • Aurora
  • Anastasia

Names that belong to the boys’ team:

  • Avery
  • Riley
  • Drew
  • Hayden
  • Peyton
  • Jordan
  • Emerson
  • Kenley (this Gaelic name means “Wolf Head”)

Place names:

  • Brooklyn
  • London
  • Sydney
  • Paris
  • Savannah
  • Dakota
  • Madison

Virtue names:

  • Honor
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Destiny
  • Serenity
  • Harmony

Also, it can’t be too popular, such as the names in 2010’s Top Ten:

  • Isabella
  • Sophia
  • Emma
  • Olivia
  • Ava
  • Emily
  • Abigail
  • Madison
  • Chloe
  • Mia

Friday Update: Week 21

PhotobucketShe’s as long as my water bottle this week! 10-1/2 whole inches! This is my water bottle and I love it so much. I carry it with me everywhere and try desperately not to loose it!

Hold on – as long as my water bottle?! Whoa. Super whoa.

Baby’s size may seem to have jumped dramatically since last week’s birthday hat to this week’s water bottle. Apparently the reason for this is that baby is too difficult to measure from head to feet up until week 20, so measurements are always listed as “head to rump” until that point. From now on though, baby is measured from head to foot. Of course, growth rates after the first trimester do vary, so these measurements are really just an average and a way to have fun finding comparably-sized objects!

This we week had two appointments up at the hospital, one for our ultrasound and one regular midwife visit. We’re getting to know the campus a little better but Mr. Handsome is still a bit worried that he’ll get us lost on the way to deliver! We’re delivering at the university hospital and it is huge! By far the most sprawling hospital campus I’ve ever seen before. It’s kind of intimidating but, at the same time, every possible medical situation will be covered if we need it. And we get all the benefits of having the midwives too, like being able to labor freely without monitoring or an IV and the option to have a waterbirth (which I will probably write about in more detail in a couple months).

A few highlights from the 20-week appointment:

  • My uterus is up to belly button level now!
  • Midwife says my diet is pretty good, but if I want to keep my weight manageable I need to ease up on the carbs and replace them with vegetables. More salads, less pasta. I will work on that. (After the appointment we went out for pizza and I had a big spinach salad instead of a slice. So, pat on the back for me, eh?)
  • Baby2’s heartbeat is great! She was moving around SO much that they (midwife + student) didn’t do an official count but they didn’t really need to – no cause for worry there.
  • The ultrasound pictures were reviewed and they said she looks perfect! No problems whatsoever, which was music to our ears of course. They didn’t even have a problem with my slightly short cervical length (3.2 cm, average is 4, danger zone kicks in at 2.5).
  • I told them more about my headaches (which have subsided a bit), stabbing abdomen pain and lower back pain. They agreed with previous assessments about the abs from when I’ve called in 2-3 times previously: as long as I’m not doubled over in pain or having contractions, it’s probably just round ligament or related pain and nothing to worry about. It’s weird but no worries. Stay hydrated is the constant refrain when it comes to prevention (and it really does work because I notice a lot fewer lame symptoms if I’m well hydrated for several days).

Some statistics for the week:

  • Total weight gain: 16 pounds. Only one pound again this week, despite the large amounts of birthday food consumed. I attribute that feat to getting back on the elliptical! Plus I did a fairly good job at holding back on the sweets this week, again despite the birthday.
  • Cravings: Carbs, any carbs. They’re so tasty! And ice cream. Ooooo, ice cream (control, fading. must. resist. the freezer).
  • Coolest symptom: Seeing our beautiful baby girl at the ultrasound was a pretty sweet symptom of pregnancy! Both times that I was on the exam table this week, she started kicking like crazy as soon as I reclined back. The tech and the midwife said she’s a mover and a shaker for sure!
  • Lamest symptom: On Sunday I bought a size 36D bra. It fit fine then. It’s too small now. Bring on the DDs. (I believe Mr. Handsome sees this as a good thing though, of course.)
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). This week I was super, super bad. Friday, Monday and Wednesday night we were out late (like, 8 pm!) and once I get home and get Kiddo1 to bed and take care of other things it’s time to go to bed myself. The weekend was totally shot – I just never seem to find the time amongst the errands, projects, cleaning, etc. I need to really work on that if I plan on meeting my goal next week. I almost gave up on exercise completely this week but I did manage to get in a total of 115 minutes, 45 of yoga, 10 of arms and 60 on the elliptical. I should be proud of myself for getting back on the elliptical, so I don’t feel like a total exercise failure this week.

Baby2 did not fail to grow and change this week though! Here’s what’s new with HER, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long – the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like he or she is practicing martial arts as initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to your baby’s activity as you get to know him or her better. In other developments, your baby’s eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you’re having a girl, her vagina has begun to form.

Successful Ultrasound!

It’s late (after 9 pm!) but I promised myself I’d get his out today before I forget about the excitement of this afternoon.

We’re having a GIRL! That’s right, apparently it is entirely possible for Mr. Handsome’s and my very male-dominated family lines to produce an actual female!

We had a great ultrasound and, from where I was sitting, everything looked perfect. The tech didn’t seem to hint anything out of the ordinary, but we don’t have our midwife appointment and official results until later in the week. I also had a vaginal ultrasound at the very end (ugh) which actually I would have requested anyway because I really wanted to make sure my cervix was getting long enough. I had a LEEP procedure back in 2003 so since a tiny part of ma’lady is gone now there’s a small chance I could develop complications/preterm labor because of a short cervix. The tech measured my cervix at 3.2 cm which is above where the “danger zone” starts at 2.5 cm, so I should be okay. The midwife could request another ultrasound in the third trimester, but we’ll just have to wait and see for that. Cervix, cervix, cervix (I feel like I just typed that word a whole bunch there).

Anyway, back to the good stuff. So it was a great scan! Kiddo1 came with (he and Mr. Handsome went outside during the second ultrasound, I you’re curious) and he even smiled a bit when he was told he’ll have a sister (which, if you know Kiddo1, is a pretty high level of excitement). We got all kinds of awesome pictures of Baby2’s profile, spine and even her feet! Her heart looked amazing, it seems like we saw that a good half of the time that we were there (I hope that’s not a bad sign now that I think about it). I may share pictures, I haven’t decided. Ultrasound pictures kind of weird me out. I have to stop thinking about how it’s my uterus on display…

After the ultrasound fun we went to Mr. Handsome’s restaurant to eat all the food. All the food on the menu, that is. I mentioned this the other day when I was talking about my birthday food. Mr. Handsome’s restaurant cooks up some good grub. It’s fancy but not TOO fancy, you know? They brought us so much food! Luckily they stretched it out over a 2.5 hour meal, plus I tried to be pretty conservative though so I wouldn’t get another round of indigestion. I’m feeling pretty good (all I feel in my belly right now is a bunch of baby kicks from my little girl!) so it was a successful meal both during and after!

After that we came home and I had a totsy email (that site is dangerous when it’s good) about Big Buddha bags, which I have two of and have carried for the past two years. 50% off! Steal! So I bought this one:

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And threw in this too:

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I’m going to be dangerous I think…

What IS it?!

We have less than a week to go until the big anatomy scan! Kiddo1 is even coming with us and he is really pumped about it. We talked to him about how the pictures are really grainy (I’ve got to bust his out of the baby book to get him all prepared) but he didn’t care – I think he just wants to be among the first to find out the big boy/girl answer too!

We are very excited to get another glimpse of Baby2 and have some confirmation that he/she is doing well. I try to always keep a positive attitude but there’s always something in the back of my mind saying, what if something is wrong? Why haven’t I felt any strong kicks yet? (Although I am confident I’ve felt some light kicks, see Friday’s update post.) Is my stabbing abdomen pain indicative of something more than just round ligament pain?!

PhotobucketWith the anatomy scan pending, I thought it’d be fun to do some sex speculation! That way I can look back on this post once we know what we’re having to see if my predictions made any sense. Because right now I’m really up in the air about what this baby could be!

Reasons I think we’re having a boy:

  • We’ve already had a boy.
  • Boys dominate both Mr. Handsome’s and my families. On Mr. Handsome’s side he has two older brothers, his mother has a brother and his father has five brothers. On my side I have a brother, my mother has two older brothers and my father has three older brothers.
  • It’s just my luck that we’d have another boy. I always comment about how I’m surrounded by testosterone. Kiddo1 also likes to point out that I’m the only girl in our building – we live in a triplex and there’s a man with two sons on one side and two male roommates on the other. And our dog is a boy.
  • I haven’t had any morning sickness, just like with Baby1 (which really is an old wive’s tale, I know).

Reasons I think it’s entirely possible that we maybe, just maybe, could be having a girl:

  • We had our boy nine years ago and I have this theory that, if you wait long enough, you get the opposite gender (I mean, a know more than a few families who had a few kids, all boys or girls and then, finally, nearly a decade after having their first they get the other sex). It’s far-fetched, I know, but I’m clinging to it.
  • I’m a girl. My mom is a girl. Mr. Handsome’s mom is a girl. So there are some girls in the family.
  • I seem to be carrying this baby in a more “wide” way than with Baby1. He was a nice, compact little basketball in my belly (yes, another wive’s tale).
  • I’m having more headaches, abdomen pain, back pain and cravings than with Baby1. The first pregnancy was super, super easy. This one is easy too but not as much as the first.

Kiddo1’s guess: “BOY. [sighs] But it’ll probably be a girl though…” (He wants a boy.)

Mr. Handsome’s guess: “Girl. Because it would cause me the most grief, anguish and worry. It’s going to be, like, six years of bliss and then all this worry.” (He wants a girl but you probably wouldn’t know if from his prediction there…)

If I had to make a guess, I’d probably still go with boy at this point. I just can’t get over the family history of male domination. Either way though, a healthy, happy baby is all we can hope for and all we’ll ever need.

Update pending next week!