From the category archives:

Week 36

Baby blogging

by Milton on Wed, Apr 14th, 2010

in Documentation,Week 36

I have a lot of questions about the idea of baby blogging.  For example:

  • Is it important to keep pictures and stories about our future son private?  Or is it okay to share those stories in the same way that I share stories about all of the other parts of our lives.
  • Is a more structured blog in order?  One that explicitly tracks things like growth charts, firsts, memorable moments, etc?
  • Where to host and store pictures and videos?  For some reason, I’m okay with posting pictures of my own life to Flickr and Vimeo, but I want to make doubly sure that photos and videos of Axelrod never get lost, and are as secure long term as photo albums.  I guess that means coming up with another form of backup, but nothing really has proven itself to be reliable on the scale of decades rather than years.
  • Should it be something that also has email notifications for those family members and friends who are less internet-savvy but still interested in baby news?
  • Are baby blogs only interesting to their parents?

Of course, being an online fanatic myself, I want to do this right.  There’s a whole generation of nerd babies being born right now, and I myself was raised as a nerd baby of my generation, so it’s pretty much a tradition at this point, right?  I am tempted to build something myself, but can’t really justify taking on a big project like that at the moment (hm… you think?), so have been looking around at other sites that have hopefully done most of the hard work, and which I can be inspired by in the future.

Best one so far?  TotSpot, by far.  Anyone else find anything that they like?


Birth class is done!

by Milton on Wed, Apr 14th, 2010

in Week 36

Last night was the last night of our “Home and Birth Center Child Education Series” with the mother of all doulas in this area, Penny Simkin.  I remember when I was a kid I was convinced that all parents needed to take a class in order to become parents and I asked my parents what classes they had taken and they (shockingly!) told me that parents didn’t  need to take a class.  I did end up finding this purple book about parenting on the bookshelf though, and I greedily (and a little guiltily) looked through it for any clues on their parenting strategies.  I don’t remember much about it, other than that it was a purple book.  And the animal book was red and the plant book was green.  It was a great book series and I’m sure many of its images and words are ingrained in my brain.  I saw it as a source of all true knowledge.  That is, until the World Book Encyclopedia came around a few years later and my obsession moved over to those.

Anyway, the birth class we took, along with Penny’s two awesome books “Parenting, Childbirth, and the Newborn” and “The Birth Partner” sort of live up to my expectation that parents should study to become the best possible parents that they can be.  The classes were highly informative while also being very enjoyable, and we ended up making some friends as well.  I gotta say that there’s a huge benefit to being around people who are having babies around the same time as us.  There’s so much to relate about, ideas to toss around… and as much as I like to say that I can learn anything worth learning from a book, I don’t think anything could’ve replaced the experience of this birth class in preparing us to become somewhat competent for the first few days, weeks, and months of little Axelrod’s life.

While I’ll probably see some of the people in the class between now and then, we’re also going to be having a reunion in a couple months where we all get to meet each others’ babies.  It’s going to be surreal and awesome.  This is all such a crazy and life-changing experience.  It’s all sort of tripping me out today.


A few things…

by Esther on Tue, Apr 13th, 2010

in Challenges,Home,Midwives,Pregnancy by week,Week 36

1)  I just don’t know how to make the reflux stop this week!  I couldn’t possibly eat dinner before 9 on nights when I work, and when I go to bed at midnight, all hell breaks loose.  Last night was just terrible!  I kept trying to sleep my way through through the reflux, which would result in hilarious dreams about people trying to buy me a spittoon for my pregnancy, but arguing about what china pattern should be on the spittoon… and here I am yelling, JUST GIVE ME THE SPITOON!  I NEED IT NOW!  I ended up spending time in the bathroom, convinced I was going to toss cookies all over the place, still lucidly dreaming, and in that lucid dream, convinced I was going into labor.

I’ve never had food poisoning, rarely had heartburn, and acid reflux was only a problem when I occasionally went so BOLD on my spicy foods that even the heartiest belly would object.  Granted, I’m lactose intolerant, soy sensitive, and can’t really digest much red meat… but it’s not like I’m shoving these things into my system.  I can’t wait for this little man to drop down a little and give my stomach some room to digest.

2)  In other news, I started taking these herbs last week.  My midwife said, “I’m not going to say they work, I’m not going to say they don’t work.  Some people like them and swear by them.  You can try them if you want.”  I did some research online, found some reviews, and the reviews basically echoed everything the midwife said.  I decided to order them because I am petrified of carrying 2 weeks or more past my due date.

As directed on the package of pills, I upped my dosage of the herbs on Saturday.  I am having LOTS and LOTS of contractions.  I don’t mind them at all!  They usually don’t bother me a whole lot.  In fact, they make me happy.  I feel as if my body is practicing for this labor.  When my belly contracts, I instantly leap into breathing and meditation exercises, which help so much.  Even Milton is getting so used to the contractions that he rolls over in his sleep and starts to practice touch relaxation exercises with me.  If he can do it in his sleep, people, imagine what a magical birth partner he’s going to be when the real deal comes along!

Anyhow, I left the pills at work yesterday and haven’t taken any in about 20 hours.  Thus, the contractions have slowed down quite a bit.  I’m still not sold on these supplements being a great thing or a not so great thing, all told.  I don’t want to have this baby early (no Aries men in my house, please- no offense meant to Aries men), don’t want to have this baby late, just want to have this baby on or around his due date.  It’s just that my mother carried so so late with both of her children… and my torso is so roomy… I can totally imagine kiddo hanging out, taking his sweet time, and going so far overdue that it’s too late for my highly anticipated home birth.  What to do?

3)  We hired a lovely cleaning woman!!!!!!!!!  This is an idea I have been flirting with ever since I started working a whole lot after moving to Seattle, but I kept putting it off and putting it off because, frankly, I didn’t want to spend money on something I figured I could do myself.  The fact is, yucky floors make me feel so sensitive, and I’m always convinced that no one sees the grime in the bathroom as well as I do.  Here I was, all sensitive, starting to resent the grime.  The more pregnant I got, the more I couldn’t reach grime without grunting, resenting, and working myself all up into a blood pressured tizzy.  Who has energy enough for grunting, resenting and pregnancy?  Gross.  Finally, we called a cleaning woman and she did SUCH an amazing job that I nearly cried when I came home from work yesterday.  So so worth it!  I imagine that this will be such an amazing help when the baby comes.  We don’t have any family here to help us out in Seattle, and will both be so busy figuring out how to take care of our new family member.  Thank goodness we can afford the ease of this wonderful woman coming over to take the pressure of cleaning off our backs!  It is definitely a luxury that I am now happy to pay for.

Here is a photo of myself earlier this week that is somewhat unpleasant for me to post, but par for the course, I suppose:


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It seems weird to refer to you as Axelrod, considering how we’ve been calling  you by your real name for months by now.  But your father has some idea of us keeping up with our code names in this journal, and I’m not going to argue with him.  I’ll admit that our code names are pretty funny.  (Your father is currently doing the dishes after cooking dinner, isn’t that awesome?)

Currently, you are making me very pregnant.  I’d post a photo of my bare belly right here for you, but I’m afraid it might be scary.  Rest assured, kid, the belly I keep you in is BIG.  Your very big personality is making for a very big globe in my middle where my whole world rests within.  Or most of my whole world, anyhow.  You are the evolution of all those generations that led to your father and I growing up, finding each other, and getting together to create whatever you are to become.  I find this fascinating.

There will soon be three of us.  I can’t imagine you not enjoying your time with us, frankly.  Tonight, I’ve been looking nostalgically through some photos of your dad and me.  I gotta say, we are a fun bunch.  This is what we looked like on the night we met in person on a fateful New Years Eve that we didn’t realize was fateful for some months:

All wrapped up

That was a good time.  I think that must have been at about 1am, which is an hour we should be seeing a lot of with you, very soon.  During those days in our shared, imminent future- I can guarantee you that we will not be as well dressed or have as much champagne in our bellies.  I am quite sure that we will, however, still be having a good time.  We do that very well.

Here is a little story in photos about your immediate family and how you came about…

Your father and I fell quickly and immediately in love about 3 years and 1 month before your due date.  This is a photo of us from our second date:

Look at his turquoise hair!

Yes.  Your dad had turquoise hair.  I had significantly less hair.  This will happen again!.  In my dreams, you have rainbow colored hair that matches your father’s rainbow colored hair.  It will be a travesty if you grow up to have conservative tastes in hair, son.  Luckily, you live in downtown Seattle and have a mother who works at a crazy hair salon.  I can’t imagine that your hair tastes will run bland for any great extent of time.

Anyhow, back to the story…

By the time the above photo was taken in the summer of 2007, your father and I already pretty much knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.  We couldn’t tell anyone, though.  Not quite yet!  People wouldn’t have taken us seriously, and we didn’t want to have to argue.  It was fun to keep the secret to ourselves for a while, anyhow.  It was the beginning days of creating that feeling of family that still makes us so excited.  We whispered a lot of secrets to each other when no one was looking.  We talked about definitely getting married and MAYBE having a baby someday.  Not too long after the above photo was taken, your father asked me to marry him after 4 months of a crazy, bi-coastal courtship.  I didn’t hesitate to say yes!  I was with it enough to know when the best thing that ever happened to me asked me to marry him!  We announced our plans to our family and friends about 2 months later.

4 months after the announcement, your dad flew out to NYC (a magical place where I once lived and hope you will live one day, too) to help me move my whole big East Coast body and mentality to be with him in Seattle.  We had a dramatic cross country trip that included a blizzard, several hotel rooms, fantastic fun times with friends in San Francisco and Northern California, and an hours long relationship survey that you might someday be interested to read.  After arriving in Seattle, things looked a little like this for the two of us:

Biggest sand dune on the whole beach!

Love bites

Roadside Attractions

We even posed for fancy engagement photos with your Uncle Andy (I’ll bet you like that guy, he’s awesome).


After 10 months of your father putting up with my difficult West Coast transition (people out here are so weird to me.  You will never understand just how weird, my little West Coast son, and I am glad for that), we got married in a gorgeous East Coast affair in my hometown, Wilmington, Delaware.

Just Married!

It was one of the best days of our lives.  We were supported by our family and friends and had the greatest time, ever.  You were there in spirit, I’m pretty sure.

After the wedding, we went off to Italy, where we talked for three whole weeks about the future.  Sometimes we were on a gondola, sometimes we were eating pizza, sometimes we were hiking, and sometimes we were riding bikes.  Mostly, we were filled with huge expectation.  We knew that great things had happened, and that even greater things would be ahead of us.

On a gondola in Venice

3 months after this photo was taken, we decided on another fateful New Years Eve that we should expand our family to include the person who is shaping up to be you!  This is a funny and somewhat bad photo of what what we looked like on that night:

Soul Night!

In the seasons that followed the above night, we tried to figure out for a good 8 months just how to make you.  We were about to stop trying so hard and concentrate on something else when some sort of magic happened.  Suddenly! your father and I shared a secret once again.

A Secret...

In this photo, I am about 7 weeks pregnant and very excited about having recently heard your heart beat for the first time.  That book that I’m reading is the pregnancy book that led me to hire your midwife.  I had to hide the cover from your Aunt Carinna, who took this photo but didn’t yet know that we were expecting you (I’ll bet you like her a whole lot, too).  This photo excites me, particularly, because at this point in my pregnancy I am dying to lay on my belly in the grass.  I can’t wait for you to get here, so I can spend the summer doing just that!

For a couple of parents who have known each other for only 3.5 years, we’ve got a pretty epic and awesome history.  We are absolutely filled with gratitude and joy to welcome you into our fold.  We know how quickly life can expand with love, how precious all that creating joy is, and how important it is to have a tight unit of family around you.

We are now up to date with our relationship’s photo history and this blog.  Everything between there and here is more or less recorded, in one way or another, for you to read when you are ready.  I hope you can see from the above content just how much we love each other, and just how much we are excited to have you become a part of the very special thing that we share.

We love you, we welcome you, and we think you are awesome, already.