mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. If your baby is a girl, she has an astonishing six million eggs in her ovaries. They'll dwindle to fewer than two million by the time she's born.

2004.12.20. boys

So, well, ehh-hem, I think I'll have to stop calling the baby "she." It's a boy! He's about 11 ounces right now, and according to the statistical analysis of the ultrasound machine, he's due May 12. Nothing at all is wrong. And he's cute as a button.

And now, the back story. We arrived at the ultrasound appointment on time, for once, and utterly exhausted. It was an eye-numbing 6:55 a.m. when I forced myself out of bed after about four hours of restless sleep. I had determined, however, not to take the usual bladder-filling advice. I peed my little heart out at 7 in preparation for a 7:30 appointment, then drank about 16 ounces of water on the way to the appointment. By the time I got the warm gel spread all over my stomach around 10 of eight, my bladder was full enough to see the baby instantly yet never uncomfortably so. Brilliant, if I do say so myself.

And Randy, our helpful, youthful and competent technician, found the baby without even rolling his little paddle around. Almost immediately we were treated to the adorable profile of a very smart-looking little guy.

And the heart, brain, spine and hands looked perfect. So did the cute feet.

As soon as we knew there was nothing urgently wrong with the baby we were treated to an excellent view of the boy parts. Jonathan, when re-telling the story (just as he did with Everett's ultrasound) said proudly that he saw the evidence plain as day, in healthy proportions. And just as with Everett, I, the mama, seeing the same picture as him, never saw the little unit. Oh well, maybe it's just a man thing to have radar for the sonic representation of the male anatomy. Or maybe it's just my manly man of a husband.

Sorry, we don't have photos of that. I couldn't really express extreme happiness at the boyness of my second child - after all, I was transparently hoping for a girl. I started rationalizing the news. I'd have fun selecting a good name, as we have no boy name ideas as of yet. Everett and he could share a room for many years with no problem. I wouldn't have to buy new shoes or coats for the baby, and I'd have no tremulity with the diaper changing. The potty training wouldn't be re-training for me the second time around.

I'm a good mama for boys, I think, already rough-and-tumble and (I hope) a good role model for a healthy view of gender differences. Sure, mama loves pink and orange and high heels, but she also is the primary bread winner and self-confident to the point of bull-headedness. I hope that my boys will grow up never calling their friends "little girls" when they fail to drink hard enough or run fast enough; that they'll never use the word sometimes known as a synonym for "kitty" as a pejorative; that they'll respect intelligent women and always expect to compete on an equal playing field no matter what the gender of their opponent in any event.

Of course, this would be just as great applied to a girl; I always wanted to have a little girly girl who I could dress in gingham and butterflies and teach to keep up with her big brother in the 5Ks we'll enter together. I wanted to convince her to try out for football and support her bid for student body president - and Rose Festival princess. I wanted her to be me, but better, more successful, more confident from day one.

I don't plan to stop having children after Olive(r), of course, but somehow the fact that he's a he resigns me to the possibility of having boy, after boy, after boy, until the house is full and I no longer want to spend my spare pennies on diapers. Adopting to get a girl would be beside the point; if I have a girl, she has to have our genes. If I adopt it won't be to round out our home's hormonal makeup.

But I know I will love this boy and maybe I'll get excited about saying "my boys" and enjoy my testosterone-laden household. Maybe I'll be one of those moms who rules the loud roost with an iron hand and a plate full of cookies and a well-chosen portfolio in each of their college funds. Maybe I can teach my boys to love poetry and hurdle and bake and swing a golf club and knit and do algebra at the age of 10 and they'll amaze and astound every girl they ever meet with their strength and sensitivity. Maybe that will be my goal. And I suppose that's something I can get excited about.

2004.12.24. up all night

Olive and I haven't gotten much sleep lately, what with the husband, and the cleaning, and the presents, and the being super-mom. Tonight was our annual Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner, plus a late night of wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings.

Last year I made stockings for everyone, including a cute teensy one for Everett. Reviewing my stacks and piles of presents for the stockings and under the tree, I realized that I had enough stocking stuffers for not one but three teensy stockings. Teensy stockings for babies and toddlers? A completely terrible idea. Next year I may make a super-sized kid's stocking for each of my babes.

Basking in the glow of Everett's Christmas excitement, his wholehearted adoration of his presents and of the "beeaful" tree with its "so, so pitty" lights, I could see down the road to many other Christmas Eve nights filling and wrapping and seeing the magic through my boys' round eyes. But I didn't rest with that quietly contented feeling, no, not I. I went to guilt and worry - guilt that I hadn't wrapped the gifts earlier, that I had neglected to get extra stocking stuffers for the other boys in our house (Jonathan's battle buddy and my brother-in-law), that I wasn't as pulled-together as those other moms at church, like the one whose daughter told me that her mom wrapped presents and set out stockings days ago as we sat sipping coffee and talking about Santa after the midnight service. Worry that I would never get it together, that for years to come I would be wrapping gifts after coming home from midnight mass, that I would never have cinnamon rolls and coffee ready the night before for Christmas morning breakfast.

Maybe next year... next year, when I have two little boys to pose in front of the tree for our still non-existent family Christmas photo. Maybe next year.

2004.12.25. christmas names

This year, the baby didn't get anything for Christmas. When Everett was the size of a citrus fruit in my tummy, he got presents galore. This year, only out-of-the-womb babies in the family were given gifts.

He didn't seem to notice, though, and merrily bounced along with the Christmas spirit as I finished my angora fuzzball beret for some unknown recipient in my parents' cozy living room, and his daddy and grandpa fixed our car window, again. As I ate chocolate after chocolate and followed it with a coffee chaser.

Later, as we drove home in the now-quiet car, over the rainy winding dark lonely highway, we finally started talking about names. Nothing, so far, has stuck. Jonathan would love a president's name (as a girl would have been "Reagan," perhaps), and I would love a Portland street name, just for fun. We've talked at length about using my dad's name, "Thomas," and decided for now that it would be best as a middle name. "Tommy" and "Tom" aren't near as nice as "Thomas" and we doubt we can get everyone to stick to the full name.

We ran into a problem, though, with internal rhyme. All our favorite presidential names end in the "-un" sound. "Harrison Hanson" is probably the worst choice, and we both like "Harrison." "Lincoln Hanson"... umm... no. We came up with exactly nothing - the ones that sound good are either names of people we know or too nickname-y.

So little Olive went to sleep Christmas night with neither present nor name. I feel lost calling him "little guy" or "mister" and want to find at least a pro forma name to go with. That's me, the planner, getting behind the eight-ball.