Hurst's First – An Adventure in Having a Baby

What’s in a Name?

We’re not at this point. Yet.

If there is one thing you think about a lot when a baby is on the way, it’s that you hope it’s healthy.

If there are two things you think about, it would be “I hope my wife is treating her body better than I am treating mine.”

If there is a third thing you think about, it is the kid’s name.

It’s one thing to name a dog – Milo and Roxy, the names of our pooches, don’t seem like human names – or to name a boat, but this is a human.

While you can get away with a silly name for a pet (Tinkerbell, courtesy of Paris Hilton; Meatball courtesy of Adam Sandler; Battier courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law) and you can paint over a boat, naming a kid is something that will affect that kid for a long time.

Sure, the kid could ultimately go to City Hall and change it’s name, or have a great nickname like Oil Can Boyd, or convert to a religion like Muhammad Ali did or get a sex change and turn Chris into Chris.

It’s not a cause of stress because we have several months to narrow it down to a few choices and then decide on a name, but it’s still a lot to think about. You don’t want an ambiguous name. Or a name that seems suitable for US Weekly because stars like naming their kids Apple or Moon Unit. I also hate people trying to be unique in their spellings. Jane is Jane. It’s not Jayne.

At the same time, we didn’t want something that is overly popular but also something that doesn’t sound like a stripper or someone from the ‘hood. (Sorry, but Tiffani and LaQuisha are out. Actually, any name that ends in “i” or starts with “La” should never be used.) We also want something cool, but not trendy now. So while “Twitter” could be a fun name for the next two years, that would be hard to explain one day. Although Facebook Hurst does roll off the tongue.

Spiderman Aquaman was already taken.

While we won’t find out the sex of the baby for two more weeks, we finally thought it was time to make a list of names we considered for both boys and girls. It was a way to have fun, see where the other stood on certain names and then lightly discuss our options.

The thing with names, though, is that most of the time you know someone who has a name you’d consider giving to your kid. So, if it’s a boy, Adolf will not be used. And if it’s a girl, we won’t be going with Gaga. Those names have been tainted.

As parents, you’ll already mess with a kid’s psyche enough. No need to add extra stress to its life by naming it “Corky.”

 

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Take a Peek

18 weeks as of Tuesday, Sept. 18

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Wait … How Accurate is That Thing?

Life-changing discovery

Tuesday marked the 17th week that Suzanne has been pregnant. We thought it’d be fun to go back to the day we originally found out – June 15 – and describe our thoughts at the moment our lives changed.

Suzanne:  Nothing was really different that morning.  I was a couple of days late but that wasn’t new considering my body was still adjusting from not being on the pill.  The previous month I was even later and I wasn’t pregnant then, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up this go-around.  I was fully expecting this attempt to end like the last … in a big ol’ negative sign!

I bought a two-pack that morning because I was a little paranoid about doing the test correctly.  From what you see on TV and in the movies, taking a pregnancy test is this fool-proof easy thing.  All you have to do is pee on the stick right?!?!  Oh NO WAY … you have to do it for a certain amount of time … I think it said 20 seconds exactly.  Not one second more or one second less or your test could be wrong!  So this time I did it the more secure way … I stuck the stick in a container with my sample in it and counted.  Matt was timing it on his iPhone … 2 minutes.

Matt: I had a weird intuition that we’d find out affirmatively. Suzanne snuck away from breakfast out with the family that morning to go to a pharmacy around the corner and purchase a test kit, and for whatever reason I just had a feeling it would come back positive … even before she took it!

Suzanne:  And then it was more waiting … after you WAIT for the test to be “fertilized” then you WAIT some more for the results.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? This is torture!!  Ten minutes and then you can look at the results … but don’t look before or you may get incorrect results.  REALLY?  They expect you to be that patient and not cheat even a little?  Well, for those of you who know me … I’m not the most patient person.  I think we got into minute 2 and I picked it up.  And there it was … that light blue line.  Matt was saying … “don’t look!!! It could be wrong and change in the next 8 minutes!”  I laughed … I’ve heard of false negatives but never of a false positive.  OH boy.

Matt:  When we found out, she was freaking out, an obvious mix of emotions, while I was just ecstatic and couldn’t stop smiling. I could see on her face that she was freaking out. Suzanne, sometimes, likes to make the leap from A to F without B, C, D and E. So, I know she was thinking things that would matter nine or 10 months from that moment rather than just being excited right then and there. I took her face in my hands, told her I loved her and kissed her and said “This is AWESOME news!”

Suzanne:  I thought my first reaction would be jumping up and down.   Don’t get me wrong, I was excited.  I was.  I was just so not prepared for that positive test.  REALLY?? Can this REALLY be happening??  My heart was racing … is it right? Are we ready for this? Oh my gosh … I’m pregnant??

Matt: My parents were just back from two years in Germany and were going to be with us the next two weeks until they could move back into their house. Suzanne immediately said “We have to tell them! They’ll know right away because I can’t drink!” Initially I didn’t want to tell anybody. Even if it wasn’t a false positive, I always wanted to wait until we had seen a doctor and confirmed and made sure a heart was beating and everything seemed OK before telling anyone. But we were in a tough spot because my parents would be with us non-stop for two weeks and we were going to the condo on the river where a typical day is: drink, get in the water, drink, get in the boat, drink, get on the jetski, drink, fix the jetski, go on a booze cruise, make dinner, drink some more, play cards and then drink. I don’t think we could have faked it for that long.

Suzanne: My friend Ashley knew we were trying so I texted her a very vague text “GUESS WHAT?” … but she knew exactly what I was talking about.  She came right back with “You’re pregnant!”… all I could say was … “I’m totally freaking out right now!”  Then my thoughts turned to … Matt’s parents.

Now anyone who knows me knows I like my wine/beer/cocktails (I’m not really too discriminating!) … and if I’m not drinking either of those, boy would THAT be a dead give-a-way.  Heck, I had a glass of wine with dinner just last night.  Matt’s parents are here and we are with them for the next couple of weeks.  We have to tell them.  They’ll know if we don’t.  Matt was pretty adamant about not saying something and we spent a few minutes sparring about it being too early to say something (which we both agreed, it was!) but I insisted it would be SO overly obvious that I wasn’t enjoying my usual beverages.  And then comes the thought … well, I wish I would have known last night was the last drink I was going to have for the next year at least … if I would have known that, I would have savored it a heck of a lot more than I did!!

Matt: Aside from the excitement of finding out we were having a baby, this only confirmed how virile I am! So many people had told me that it takes awhile to get pregnant the first time you try and, honestly, I was looking forward to all the trying we were going to do! But, we got pregnant on the first try … so there goes all those months of practice I thought we would get! Secretly, I always wondered how good my swimmers would be since I had been playing sports year-round since I was four years old and I had taken more than my fair share of hits to the groin. To find out that all the plumbing worked – and worked well – was a huge relief. I didn’t want to sit in doctor’s offices and have to present samples.

Suzanne:  Needless to say, Matt’s parents were elated (their first grandchild in the hopper!) and I knew the next few months would mean a lot of adjusting in my lifestyle and positive thoughts for things to progress smoothly with the pregnancy.  And then there’s keeping the secret from my family and friends until I KNEW things were in the clear which was tough.  It helped being 3 hours away 🙂

It’s just such a hard concept to get a grasp on.  Even now, on the verge of beginning my 4th month, I still have a hard time conceptualizing I’m pregnant.  Even though I am starting to show, I feel like if an outsider was to look at me, they would see a chick who couldn’t keep her hands out of the cookie jar, not someone who’s pregnant.  Even as my disbelief continues, I worry we aren’t really ready for this change but honestly I don’t know how we could be more ready (except for maybe if we won the lottery!).  They say you’re never “really” ready … that it’s never the “right time.”  I guess that’s true, there’s always something else going on in life or something you can imagine being better.  But I think we are about as ready as we’ll ever be and I’m excited for each new milestone in this journey … whatever it may bring!

Matt: They say you never know when you’ll find love until you find it. Or that you never can script life (duh! Would it be scripted that we’d both get new jobs and move during a pregnancy!?) Or you can’t choose your emotions. I am certainly scared of the future of raising a kid (hello!? have any of you ever met me? I’m a huge kid myself!) but I am so excited and happy to be having a baby on the way.

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What happened to….ME??

It’s no secret that a women goes through A LOT of changes in pregnancy.  From the moment you decide you want to get pregnant they tell you to start taking prenatal vitamins (wait, I’m not pregnant YET), drink less caffeine, drink less alcohol (HUH?!..doesn’t that kind of help get you pregnant??) and get more rest.  Then when you get pregnant it’s “don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins, don’t drink caffeine, don’t eat this or that, get all the rest you can because pretty soon it’s going to go bye-bye” and then of course the dreaded “don’t drink alcohol at all” (that one hurts).  But no one really can prepare you for the physical and mental changes that occur.

I’ve heard from friends and family that you get forgetful, become emotional, you have aches and pains, and that your body goes through all sorts of changes from weight gain to well … let’s just say the even less desirable side-effects.  And I can definitely say I’ve experienced some fun ones so far and I’m only 4 months in!

“Pregnant-brain”

Forgetfulness … I do admit that I have my bouts of this even before I got pregnant but now that I am pregnant, it’s become proportionately worse. I can be having a completely normal conversation and then “BAM”, what was I saying? What was that word I was looking for?  At first I couldn’t figure out what the deal was.  I thought, “is this the early on-set of Alzheimers?”  What is happening??  Then it started becoming more and more frequent and it never occurred to me that there was a definite pattern happening here until the key incident.

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, right.

I went to work one morning and walked out with not only my own keys, but those of my husband as well.  I had gone so far as to take his keys, put them in the side pocket of my purse and then continue on my merry way to work. Only to get a phone call an hour and a half later asking if I had taken his keys.  “WHY would I have taken YOUR keys?  I don’t think so honey, you MUST have misplaced them.”  Ha, ha.  He kindly asked me to check my purse and I humored him thinking … he lost his keys, oh great!?  Oh boy, get ready to eat those words.  And I did.  Sure enough there they were.  “Oh CRAP, REALLY.  What the HECK!?  WHY WOULD I DO THAT!??”  And as I drove the half hour back to the house to give Matt his keys, it dawned on me … OH MY GOSH, I HAVE PREGNANT-BRAIN! 

This constant brain fart that I have been experiencing is pregnant-brain!  And at this point, there is no end in sight.  Just the other day, I was talking to Matt about some friends who were going to be driving a motor-home to a football tailgate and do you think I could come up with word “motor-home?”  Not to save my life. It was just gone. Out of my brain. I tried describing it to my husband … “it’s like a house on wheels” … “it’s a Winnebago” … oh wait, no ... that’s a brand of motor home.  While Matt was quietly chuckling in the background, he was testing me … “Come on honey, you can get it” … and after about 2 embarrassing minutes of me attempting to come up with the word, there it was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow … A MOTORHOME!!  I guess I’m just going to have to live with this phenomena for another 6 months and hope that it gets better once the baby comes because I’m terrified that I’m going to leave the baby in the closet and then wonder where Matt took the little tyke.

“Pregnant-body”

In my reading over the past few months, I’ve come across quite a few stories about the involuntary things a pregnant woman’s body does and it makes me chuckle.  How can you have such a lack of control over your own body?  That’s silly … I won’t be like that.  Now what makes me think that my ability to control my own body will be any better than any other woman’s?  I don’t know but I clearly am as able to use my Jedi powers as I had originally thought and this became painfully clear to me the other day… at work … WHILE I was talking to a co-worker.

It wasn’t a particularly funny conversation … it was just two of us girls talking about the work day.  I don’t even think I was laughing at the time which I might use as an excuse as to why this happened, but I can’t.  I wasn’t laughing … maybe chuckling … but definitely not a belly hearty kind of laugh.  But there it was … mid-conversation when … this not so lovely odor appeared.  I was in disbelief … there was no warning! It couldn’t have been me? My body didn’t even tell me a fart was on the horizon and I didn’t even get a chance to keep it from happening!!  Oh my gosh, IT WAS ME!  Oh my gosh, what do I do?! Do I run away? Do I stay and pretend that it didn’t happen? Do I coyly elude to what happened and hope that she laughs?  I mean, she’s been pregnant before …  she would understand and we are good enough friends where we could have a laugh together about this!  All this was running through my mind while I was attempting to still have a semi-coherent conversation with her.  I was beyond embarrassed but I tried my best to hide it.  I stayed, continued the conversation as best I could (while trying to not act distracted) and stuck out the not-so-rosy smell.  I didn’t mention it and neither did she although she had to have known what happened.  All I can say is she’s a trouper for bearing with me through my first involuntary pregnant-body experience.

“Pregnant…with emotion”

For any of you who actually know me, I’m not really the emotional kind. I mean, I have my moments (like when I got married or had to put my dog to sleep) but I’m more likely to yell at you for cutting me off on the freeway (which with my commute now, happens quite a bit) than cry watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (sorry, Jocelyn).  There is the occasional movie that will get me … even when I can’t hear the words and that was only because it was about a horse and you know I love animals, Matt!!!  But I digress.

I found myself smack dab in the middle of a near mental breakdown yesterday morning and it wasn’t for no good reason, at least not initially.  I had gone to get some blood work done for my new doctor and arrived at this lab at 7:45am to do so. And they can’t do it. Apparently there was a miscommunication with our insurance and we weren’t “covered” in our new location yet and this wouldn’t start until Oct 1.  Not good.  After a few calls to Matt and then one to my doctor and my insurance company, I was in tears.  To make a long story short (which is hard for me sometimes!), Matt intervened (after some teeth pulling) and was able to work with the insurance and I could go back later that day to get everything I needed done, no problem.  But it was too late.  It had started. I was crying. And crying, and crying.  I just couldn’t stop.  I could not figure out what the heck was wrong with me.  WHY couldn’t I STOP!?!?! Everything was fine with the insurance and I was at work, had things to do and was STILL CRYING.  I think finally just after lunch, the water works quit … probably because I ran out of tears.

And Matt’s little road rage moment he speaks of in the last post … you guessed it, made me cry.  For about 2 hours.  Not the crazy Niagara Falls kind of waterworks like yesterday but it was a good light rain.   WHAT’S THE DEAL!?   Hopefully I can get a hold of my emotions because it’s going to be a long 6 months (for me AND MATT) if I have to go through this every time something doesn’t go the way I had planned.  YIKES.

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Slow Your Roll, Dad

I think, sometime during the long weekend, I realized that changes were going to become immediate in this impending fatherhood thing.

It wasn’t something new. I know I’m going to have to make changes. Everyone tells me that.

Last weekend a guy with three kids under 10 asked if I played video games. I replied affirmatively. “Not anymore!” he said.

Yeah, right. I can balance a baby on my knees while still dominating Madden.

Some women I work with constantly comment on how quickly everything changes once you have a kid.

Maybe for the woman. I don’t have to breastfeed.

But then there are those A-Ha! moments. Not the “Take On Me” sort of thing, but the voila-lightbulb-came-on sort of thing.

Over the weekend, we moved houses. Because of Suzanne’s predicament, I did all the heavy lifting. If she got near a box, I shooed her away.

However, I started to develop that nagging feeling somewhere during the moving and unpacking of “Oh, crap. I really am going to have to change some things.”

Mainly that thought occurred when I got to my array of T-shirts.

I have always been a fan of T-shirts with snarky or somewhat inappropriate comments. I have one that reads “More Cowbell” and another with nothing but mustaches and the word “Awesome” written underneath each one.

See ya, awesome T-shirt.

As I’m sitting here writing this, I am wearing a T-shirt that is probably going to have to go. It reads, simply, “I Rock Catholic Girls.” Which is at least mostly true. Suzanne is Catholic.

How do I explain to Junior this shirt?

Or the one that reads “Gardeners Do It With Hoes.”

I also have one with felt lettering that says “Who’s Your Daddy?” That one, actually, might come in handy if the kid comes out with black hair. Or black skin.

My thought process of having to change things started to crystallize later in the weekend.

While driving to the store, there was a lane that merged and everyone was playing by the rules. Except for one dick. (Probably got to ease up on my usage of that word to describe someone, too.) He drove on the shoulder until it ended to skip the traffic jam. And, of course, tried to wedge his way in front of me.

I wasn’t having it but Suzanne, always the cooler head, told me to back off. “It’s not worth it.”

When I finally passed this a-hole (that one’s gotta go, too) I gave him the bird.

Well, he got upset and got behind me and started pointing for me to pull over. He may have wanted to apologize for his douchebaggery (I’m keeping that one, it’s too good), but likely he wanted me to pull over so he could fight me. I’m not kidding.

He kept pointing for me to pull over. As I pulled into the parking lot of our destination, I realized that “Holy crap, I’ve got to be careful. … This guy might have a gun. He might know Kung-Fu. He could leave my child fatherless. Or with a father who is a paraplegic because I gave him a – very deserved – middle finger.”

Odds are, he would have talked crap, I would have fired back and that would have been that. It was hours later that my father-in-law told us that Long Beach is the murder capitol of Southern California. I don’t know if that’s true (and this data suggests Long Beach is safer than Santa Barbara) but the violent crime rate is a tad higher than the state’s average.

When I relayed the story to someone at work, she said “Dude, you can’t be doing that! You’re about to have a kid!” It was a verbatim echo of what Suzanne said in the car.

So, bye-bye T-shirts and attention everyone on the road: feel free to cut me off. I’ve got to pump the brakes a little. Literally.

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