15w6d A rose by any other name…

J and I have been hesitant to put too much thought into Baby Z’s name because we want to wait until we find out Baby Z’s gender to really start brainstorming.  But of course, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been able to resist kicking around some possibilities.  It has become a nightly ritual for us to rattle off some names each night before falling asleep – call it our version of counting sheep.

Here are some of our top contenders:

If it’s a girl:

  • Chloe
  • Annabelle
  • Lillian (Lily)

If it’s a boy:

  • Theodore (Teddy)
  • Oliver
  • John
  • Lucas (Luke)
  • Thomas
  • Ethan

We are completely up in the air on these, so if anyone has a vote in favor of one or the other (or have additional suggestions), let us know!

We also need to come up with a Mandarin name for Baby Z.  J’s family is originally from China, and his family tree can be traced back to thousands and thousands of years ago according to the volumes of family ancestry that his family has meticulously documented for centuries.  There is a long-standing tradition in his family that the middle character of each generation’s Chinese name (whether the child is a boy or a girl) is dictated by a certain Chinese character.  (Chinese names typically consist of three Chinese characters – the first is the family name, and the second and third characters together form the child’s given name.)  For example, the middle character in J’s Chinese name is 忠 (pronounced “zhong”), which roughly translates to faithful/steadfast.  For Baby Z, he/she will have the middle character 良 (pronounced “liang”), which means good/virtuous.

Since J and I know virtually nothing about Chinese names, we’ve solicited our family members to help come up with some baby name possibilities.

One of my Aunts suggested the following names if Baby Z is a boy:

良 good, virtuous
豫 pleasing, comforting

or

良 good, virtuous
益 benefit/increase/more/good/merit/advantage

Any others suggestions?

15w5d Mommy’s Nursery Wish List

J and I are just starting to shop around for what we consider to be the essentials in baby furniture for us – or what we’re calling the BIG FOUR:
1. Crib (one that converts to a toddler’s bed as our kid grows)
2. Changing Table
3. Nursing Chair/Rocker/Glider
4. Stroller (much more needed in NYC than a car seat – esp since we don’t have a car)

No doubt about it – baby furniture is not cheap.

Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Crib in White: $399

Suffolk Rocking Chair: $535  Matching Ottoman: $297

Uppababy Vista Stroller in Cole or Carlin: $699.00

Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Dress & Changing Table Topper: $549
(Although I’d paint it a sunny yellow like the one pictured below)

Tree Top Friends Bedding Set: $220.00

Tree Book Shelf:  $850
(Way too expensive, but would love to figure out a DIY version)

Everything: Priceless ;p

15w4d Mommy Ruminations

I haven’t been pregnant for very long, but from what I’ve observed and experienced so far of pregnancy, it is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.   And the journey is sometimes wonderful, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and sometimes gross, but always 100% bewildering – at least for this Mom-to-be.

Here are a few random things I’ve been ruminating over this week:

    • My OB’s love life must seriously suck.  Seriously, being single and living in New York City is already difficult enough, but single, living in New York, AND a obstetrician?! *Shudder* The only men and women you’re likely to encounter all day are either married and/or expecting a child.  And I would imagine looking at babies coming out of women’s hoo-hahs all day can put a serious damper on your sex drive.  I’m not even sure if I want J to be anywhere near my lady parts during the birth of Baby Z, much less want either of us to witness “the miracle of life” over and over again, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The horror.
    • Why isn’t Mother’s Day called Labor Day instead?  It’s certainly more descriptive of the agony mothers have to go through to bring life to this planet.  
    • Having a baby is basically like handing over a blank check to society.  People and services try to sell first-time parents anything and everything – and parents almost always buy because we’ve convinced ourselves that the more we purchase, the better parents we are/will be. I recently had a friend of mine (a new mother) highly recommend to me a “half hour consultation with a car seat expert”.  Apparently, half an hour with this car seat whisperer would forever change the way you install a car seat and keep your baby securely fastened for life.  Sounds good, right?  The price tag for this half hour consultation?  $300.  Seriously?!  I’ve definitely been in the wrong profession.  Call me a negligent parent, but I can’t imagine installing a car seat to be so impossibly difficult that a thorough reading of an instructional manual and a few YouTube videos can’t solve.  I feel as though back in my parents’ day, folks just threw their babies in the backseat and hoped for the best. (Hmm, maybe that explains why I turned out this way…sh*t, now I have to hire the car seat whisperer.)
    • Why can’t they just make one stroller and one crib and call it a day?!  I’ve been doing a ton of research into baby strollers and cribs lately, and holy hell, I feel as though it was easier for me to select a college to attend!  Why are there so many options?  Do I want a stroller that allows me to add on if I have another child?  One with a reversible seat?  One with a reclining seat?  One that comes with a bassinet?  Car seat compatible?  Good sun protection?  Rain guard?  Ahhhh.   There are more choices than on the SATs.
    • I didn’t come up with this one, but I sure wish I had: “DIAPER spelled backwards is REPAID.”  Think about it.
    • People keep asking me what I’m craving…and what I really want to tell them is: I’M CRAVING NOT TO BE PREGNANT.  Does that make me a bad Mom already?
    • J and I have been getting a lot of birth announcements from our friends lately.  Is it wrong that every time I see a picture of a Mom proudly presenting her newborn, this image unfailingly comes to mind?

15w3d Prenatal Appointment

Baby Z and I had our third prenatal today! (Or fourth?  I’ve ran to my OB’s office in a panic so many times now that I’m losing count.)  I was really hoping that our OB would perform an ultrasound, but instead, she only used a Doppler to listen for Baby Z’s heartbeat – which is beating steadily at 150 bpm.  I guess we will just have to be patient until next Monday, when we will finally (*fingers crossed*) find out Baby Z’s gender.  We’ve also scheduled an amnio at the same time, so it’s going to be a big day.

In the meantime, I took Baby Zone’s Gender Prediction Quiz…and this is what it says about Baby Z:

It Could Be a Girl

According to old wives’ tales, a number of things indicate that you might be having a girl: carrying low and wide, conceiving just before the time of ovulation, eating a magnesium-rich diet, having severe morning sickness (that can last all day long), a fetal heartbeat that’s more than 140 beats per minute, and looking less beautiful. As the saying goes, “Boys give beauty, girls take it away.”

But according to another quiz, I actually “secretly want a boy“.

I’m not quite sure if either is true – I genuinely believe that I’d be thrilled either way with Baby Z’s gender, but I guess we’ll know for sure next Monday!  Stay tuned.

p.s. I don’t know what’s going on with my Gmail account, but currently the top recommended link on my Gmail reads: “Is your vagina normal?  Click here to find out!”  I hadn’t realized that I’ve been sending out so many emails about my problematic vagina.

15w1d Weekly Obsessions

Here are a few things that I’m obsessing over this week:

1. Turtle Baby – Ack!  So cute!!!!

2.  Beer/Baby Announcement – If only there is a way to convince J to do this with me…

3.  Pregnant Barbie – OMG.  Creepily awesome.

4. Owl Snuggle Sack – I’m obsessed with anything owl themed…

5. Ugly Puppy – This made me laugh out loud.

15w0d Things You Should Not Say To A Pregnant Woman

Your baby’s the size of an avocado!

Your baby now weighs in at a whopping three to five ounces, and he’s four to five inches in length. The bones that are now in place in his ears means he can probably hear your voice as you talk to your partner and pals and sing in the car. While he’s getting used to your voice, the tiny muscles in his body, especially the ones in his back, are gaining strength, so he can straighten out a little more. And thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage. (Don’t worry, those frowns have nothing to do with the sound of your voice!) And his eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed). Peekaboo!  

Stay on the lookout for some fluttering sensations in your abdomen. It might not be right at 16 weeks, but pretty soon you’ll start feeling baby moving around in there. At first those moves might feel like gas or a muscle twitch, but over time, as baby gets bigger and stronger, they’ll be unmistakable. 

(Source: The Bump and What to Expect)

Hands down, one of the best parts of being pregnant is finally reaching a point in which J and I feel comfortable sharing our happy news with others!  After keeping Baby Z a secret for what feels like forever, I’ve been pretty excited to finally be able to let the “baby out of the bag,” especially now that I’m also beginning to sport a baby bump!  It’s a relief to tell people that I’m having a baby and not just overdoing it on cupcakes.

However, one thing that we’re definitely discovering as we tell people about our pregnancy is…not everyone has the same anticipated reaction to our news.  It has only been a couple of weeks since J and I started telling people about our pregnancy, but I’ve already been on the recipient end of lots of  interesting comments, advice, and questions.  I try to take all advice and comments with a smile and an open-mind (and a grain of salt), knowing that most come from a well-intentioned place.  That said, I would like to dedicate this post to THINGS YOU REALLY SHOULD NOT SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN.  I’m sure there are a lot more to come in the next few months, but here are just a few that I’ve already heard:

  1. “Enjoy ____ now because once the baby comes, you can kiss it goodbye.”  Pregnancy is already a stressful time for most pregnant women, why make it worse with a depressing, gloom-and-doom comment like this one?!  Trust me, I am more than aware that my life is going to change drastically once Baby Z arrives.  I don’t need anyone to remind me that I will never be able to sleep in or have a moment to myself ever again.
  2.  Zooming in to touch my belly without asking first.  I find it a little unnerving when people I hardly know automatically reach out to touch my belly when they find out that I am pregnant – especially since I’m hardly showing yet.  Um, I barely know you, why are you touching me?  The first time this happened to me, I was so confused by the reaching hands that I automatically just backed away (and almost tripped over myself in the process).  I can understand how a huge belly may look like an invitation to touch, but please, ask first!
  3. “Are you sure you should be eating that?”  or “You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that.”  I know that this comment may stem from good intentions, but unless you’re my husband or my doctor, please don’t say anything to me about my eating habits.  Pregnant woman are SUPER well aware of their new dietary restrictions and recommendations, so unless you see us chugging a bottle of vodka and chain-smoking (and quite frankly, perhaps not even then), we would like to enjoy our (one) cup of daily coffee or piece of (cooked) salmon in peace, please.
  4. “I hope you’re getting an epidural.”  J and I have not made a final decision on our birth plan yet, but I think the decision of how and where to give birth is an extremely personal one.  Whether we decide to get an epidural or not, please trust us that we’ll be making an informed decision that’s best for us.
  5. “You’re so much bigger/smaller than I was when I was at your stage of pregnancy.”   Umm…thanks?   This comment always makes me want to either dig into a bucket of ice cream or go on a fast…or call my doctor in a panic.
  6. “Labor was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life.  It was torture.”  Great.  Thanks.  Now I have something to look forward to.

For the most part, I welcome (and need!) most advice and suggestions, and I think most pregnant women do too.  This is our first child, and I am filled with equal parts of excitement and fright for what lies ahead, and I know that I will need all the help, support, and encouragement that I can get!  But in general, I wish people can offer just that -positive and encouraging statements, rather than judgement and negativity.

Let me end this post with the below amazing exchange I had with a colleague of mine earlier this week when we were alone in an elevator:

Him: “You having twins?”
Me: “Huh?  Oh no, just one.  You’re the first one at work to notice that I’m pregnant!”
Him: “What?  It’s pretty obvious.”
Me: “Really?”
Him: “Yeah, you work here long enough you get to know everyone’s bodies.  And you had a good one.”

(Silence)

Yeah, you should definitely not say that to a pregnant woman – or any woman.  Period.