Hurst's First – An Adventure in Having a Baby

Daddy’s Little Girl

UCLA

My kid isn’t even here yet and already she’s spoiled.

Fiscal responsibility is something Suzanne and I aim for, but that is likely flying out the window the second my kid gives us a Christmas list or starts any sentence with a sing-song “Daddy, I want …”

Last week UCLA had a 20% off sale for staff and faculty and all of a sudden I was a teenager with mom and dad’s credit card. But I wasn’t in an electronics store. I was in the baby area.

Now, remember I am a proud Gaucho and have rooted for USC football my whole life. UCLA doesn’t really fit into any part of my sports vernacular unless there is a curse word involved.

Yet, there I was loading up on UCLA baby gear because she is going to be born while I’m pulling in a paycheck as a Bruin. So, I guess I was just funneling money right back to the University. A hundred bucks later – yes, even with a sale – my kid has three outfits for various stages of her early life, a toy and a pair of cute little socks.

When did I become such a softy? She’s not even here yet and I want her to have everything. I even put a few more outfits back on the shelves because she can’t possibly have too much Bruins’ apparel. Imagine if I were in a UCSB store! She’s already daddy’s little girl and we don’t even have a car to let her borrow yet.

I can’t even fathom what it will be like when she starts talking. So long as she doesn’t act like this kid from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, I think she’ll continue to get whatever she wants.

 

The first time she starts a sentence with “Daddy, I want …” she’s getting it. I just hope the words that follow aren’t “a pony,” “a tattoo,” or “a Giants shirt.”

Before it even starts, you’re welcome kiddo.

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Two Down, One To Go

We have entered our third tri-mester (or as I like to call it, the Thri-mester). Here is a picture of Suzanne as she approaches 29 weeks.

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10 Things I’m Thankful For

Everyone reflects and shows gratitude during this week, but that’s not the reason for this post. I have been feeling very lucky for the past few weeks and realized I was so thankful for so many things as we’re about to bring a baby into the world.

Here’s 10 things, in no particular order, that I’m thankful for as we approach the third trimester (Thri-mester?)

1. We live in one of the best spots in the United States, not to mention the world. Southern California has so much to offer – from beaches and mountains to so many different cultures and people, which means different types of wonderful food and drinks to enjoy. Our kid is going to be cultured and will have everything right at her fingertips because we live here. Despite all of its warts, I would rather live in Southern California than anywhere else in the U.S.

2. We both have jobs. We are both educated. We both strive for great things in our personal and professional lives. I hope to instill that in our daughter.

3. We couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of family and friends. She will have a support group that not many newborns ever will.

4. Suzanne and I are both beyond thrilled to be having this child. You won’t see us dancing on Maury to celebrate not having a child. (Although, this “You are NOT the father!” compilation is equal parts awesome and sad.)

5. YouTube. I’m thankful that I can simply show my daughter something great from my past rather than explain it to her. Kind of like this clip of awesome. Or like when I explain how good Magic Johnson was at basketball, or what her daddy sounded like when he broadcasted a game or how funny he looked in college.

6. We have been married five years and together for eight. We have been through the ups and downs of our relationship together and solely together to make it stronger without having a child interfering with any of our decisions. We’re ready, our relationship is ready, and our family is ready to grow.

7. I’m thankful we have a black President and a female Secretary of State. This way, when I tell her she can be anything she wants to be, she can’t say “But Daddy, I’m not a rich white man so I can’t lead our country.”

8. That Suzanne and I both enjoy so many different things with each other and independently of each other. Suzanne can get her interested in Harry Potter and Sci-Fi, while I can show her what Chevy Chase and Eddie Murphy were like when they were funny. I can explain the infield fly rule and why you should go for the win on the road and the tie at home in a playoff football game and Suzanne can teach her how to balance a bank account. Suzanne will teach her how to enjoy smooth jazz and I can get her hooked on Led Zeppelin. She will learn to cook each of our best dishes and drink red wine with dinner like both mom and dad, then either enjoy a Scotch or whiskey, or a White Russian as an aperitif, depending on which preference we have taught her.

9. We both have very strong values. This should help keep her on the straight and narrow.

10. That I will be challenged in raising a daughter. A son would be easy for me. As someone who is always looking for the next challenge, this will be a big one. And I’m excited about that.

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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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