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This past Sunday, Mom2be and I went to the Thousand Oaks Mall to burn a gift card we received for the Baby Gap. All of a sudden we walked past this store called Build-A-Bear. We see a bunch of kids in there having fun and getting really excited building teddy bears. Of course, I immediately think of our son and how cool it would be for us to build a bear for him and his room.

It was a very cool experience! I actually had more fun in there that I imagined. Mom2be and I jointly picked the bear, a compromise as usual. We also picked out his teddy bear clothes. The teenage girl clerk asked us if we wanted to record a sound for the teddy bear. What??? Yes, we could record a 10-second message that would play every time the bear’s paw was squeezed. Of course! So we went into the recording studio (the women’s bathroom) and recorded a 10-second greeting in Espanol for our son.

The teenage clerk then had us pick out 2 red velvety hearts, one for each of us parents. Then we each kissed and rubbed them on our own hearts before putting them inside the teddy bear while making a wish. I wished and prayed for a beautiful and peaceful delivery with no complications, and for a healthy baby and mother.

All in all, it was happy experience which I thoroughly enjoyed, made even more special because I thought of our son the whole time. Below are a few of photos of Osito in his new home, waiting for Baby along with us.

Osito para Bebe

We had a co-ed Baby Shower last month.  Its was very nice. One thing that was very neat was that our neice handed out 5 x 7 “New Mommy Advice Cards” to everyone.  Everyone then had a chance to write some “advice” to us as new parents.  Here is a sample of the advice we received.

1. Follow your own instincts when it comes to your baby – everyone will have advice but its not always good advice!

2. Try to rest when the  Baby is sleeping. Take it easy. The cleaning of the house can wait.

3. Patience! Patience! Patience! It gets better! Really it does!

4. Come frijoles cuando el nino esta durmiendo. El Bebe siempre tiene la razon. No dejar que la presion o “stress” les afecte su matrimonio.

5. Rest all you can now and love, love, love your little baby. Save up now for baseball, soccer and all the great extra activities!

6. Spend as much time as possible with him. He will grow up quickly.

7. Sleep as much as you can & get lots of rest.

8. Patience, lots of patience.  Let the kid be a kid.

9. You should have named the baby Austin.

10.  To do what you think you should do. Tell the little baby I love him.

11. Enjoy this time in your lives. I am happy for the both of you. Spend a lot of quality time with the little baby.

12. Get ear plugs. remind the baby that your home is not Denny’s so you do not serve dinner 24/7! Hug your baby every chance you get, kiss ’em, and LOVE him because you are truly blessed!

We have reached Week 37! Technically, we have 21 days to go as the original due date is July 23, 2008.  However, we went to see the doctor today for a regular check up.  Dr. P said that he could feel the baby’s head really low.  It was his opinion that the baby would be born anytime “within the next 2 weeks”.  My eyes almost came out of my head, as I wasn’t expecting that, so soon.  I thought we had three full weeks, but who knows, maybe baby will make an early appearance.  The good thing is that everything appears to be normal and the baby is positioned well for birth, head down.  So we are thankful that the baby is not in a breech position as that would really complicate things dramatically.  I hope its been my prayers and my mom and dad’s prayers working.

That said, we have almost everything ready for the baby.  His room is ready, the crib is waiting, empty right now.  His name is up on the wall in his room, painted blue and gold, UCLA colors.  I have really good baby music playing in his room frequently.  Its a series called Rockabye.  We bought his stroller this past weekend, and some bottles.  I have my new video camera ready, and my new digital SLR camera, too.  We installed his infant car seat last week, and we have an appointment next week with the CHP for an inspection to make sure its been installed correctly.  Mom2be made her bag tonight. I had to tell her several times to do it.  I think she was procrastinating a bit.  Its ok, we’ll get through everything just fine.

Just a waiting game now, and I will have to fill my days with prayer and meditation because life is moving at light speed right now.  I need to slow it down to fully enjoy this miracle, this gift, this blessing, this joy, this positive energy, this life, this moment.

The whole pregnancy/birth/baby life event has definitely been a very humbling experience for me. You feel this tremendous love for the baby and for your wife, while at the same time you realize that you have absolutely no control over anything. By that I mean regarding the health of the baby and the conditions of the delivery. All I can do is pray my heart out, keep up with the doctor visits and prenatal care, and hope that everything comes out just fine. Its just another reminder to me that so much of life is not within my control.

I remember the various scenes in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto that whenever a warrior was going to die, another warrior offered a “blessing” of sorts to the effect of “have a safe journey to the other world.” I think of our baby’s time in the womb in the same vein, that the baby is an another world right now (the womb) preparing for his journey into this world. So I am constantly praying to the higher powers that be for my baby’s safe journey into this world, my world.

I don’t generally talk to my dad about my feelings or worries (I am a Chicano, remember, and Mexican dads from his generation don’t talk about feelings–which is a whole other post right there). However, I mentioned to him that I had been praying my butt off for my son’s safe journey into this world- that he be full of health and feel lots of love and peace. I also told him that I would give anything in this world within my power to be able to protect my son through the whole birth process, but that I am relegated to watching everything from the sidelines. My dad then responded with some of his old-school wisdom, that once you become a parent, there is constant worry about protecting your kids, and that as a father, you wish you could protect them from all harm and hurt. At the same time, you have to release your kids to the world so that they can live their own lives and experiences. So as a dad and parent, you end up in constant prayer–asking God to protect your children from all the harm in this world. Random thought: maybe this was the concept behind having your own “Guardian Angel”.

The whole pregnancy/birth/baby life event has also been a very spiritual experience for me so far. It has forced me to take time out of my busy day and reconnect with my spiritual side. Mostly through introspection, meditation, silent prarer and through music. I am definitely trying to learn to let go, as GOVINDA says to do. Learning to listen to the voice of the RIVER, just like SIDDHARTHA had to learn in order to get to the next level. I have found myself praying to the Gods, for a beautiful entry into this world for our baby, and for a beautiful and pain-free delivery with no complications for my wife. All done from the sidelines because I have no control over any of these matters. I am just a passenger in this car being driven around by forces of nature and God, and it is very humbling

Happy news! Although Mom2be had been feeling little “butterflies” for the last two weeks, we finally felt the Baby move for the first time today, March 28, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. Mom2be called me over, very excited and told me, “the baby just moved!” I put my hand on the belly, hoping with all my heart that I could also feel the movement. Sure enough, our baby kicked again to let me in on the fun. I immediately put my face to the belly and, in a warm voice, said, “Hi baby! Its Poppa!! Thanks for letting us know your there!! I can’t wait for you to come out and play!! We love you!” About 10 seconds later another kick(!) to confirm that baby had received my message (okay, that last part is my wishful thinking).

Then, I guess baby went back to sleep or whatever he is doing there inside the belly. Needless to say, this little moment of joy made my day, my week, my month, my year!

boy bootiesBaby Boy Cake

He put one dab of jelly on the right side of the belly, and one dab of jelly on the left side. Then he put one dab in the middle, slightly lower, followed by a long curvy line underneath to make a “Happy Face” out of the jelly on the belly. With that, Dr. P began the ultrasound exam.

“No doubt about it,” Doctor P proclaimed. “Its going to be boy!” Dr. P pointed at the monitor screen and said, “See that there, that is the left leg, that’s the right leg, and in between, that there is a penis and a scrotum.” And that is how we found out our child is going to be boy.

On the way out, I got into my car and turned on the radio. Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 was playing. It was a very good day.

Lunar Eclipse
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

We had a total lunar eclipse tonight, February 20, 2008, viewable from both North and South America. My Mexican mother-in-law called my wife and told her not to go outside during the eclipse and to close all the windows so that no moonlight came into our home. Responding to my wife’s Americanized disbelief, my mother-in-law told her a tale of a long time ago when a distant relative had a miscarriage for failing to heed the pregnancy/eclipse warnings.

At about the same time, I was driving home from work and called my wife from my cell phone to warn her about the lunar eclipse—something I had remembered from my Mexican upbringing. She responded, “too late, my mom already called me to warn me.” We both tried but could not remember the Mexican reason for not going outside during an eclipse while pregnant.

Even though its probably just a Mexican myth passed down from generation to generation, I told my wife not to take any chances with our baby. We both stayed inside and I closed all the shutters and all the blinds like a good Mexican husband. As long as I could help it, no moonlight was coming in! Better to be safe than sorry. I love my Mexican culture and its effects on me! 🙂

I was curious, so here is what I found online about the Mexican Folk Beliefs regarding pregnancy, eclipse and other natural and supernatural things: Read the rest of this entry »

We are now 18 weeks pregnant! Whew!! Officially half-way through a full-term pregnancy (36-40 weeks is considered full-term). Our next scheduled ultrasound is on February 28, 2008. The ultrasound should show the sex of the baby. Anybody want to place a friendly bet? I will keep you posted.

Many people have asked me “do you want a little boy or a little girl?” I really have no preference.  As long as the baby is healthy, that is all I care. Its like winning the lottery and then someone asks, “do you want the prize in $10 dollar bills or $20 bills?” It doesn’t matter because you still have won the lottery. I would love a little girl. I would also love a little boy.  No matter what, the baby and my wife are going to be the center of my world.

This whole preganancy/baby life event has changed my life in so many positive ways. I hope you, dear reader, experience it one day (if you haven’t already done so). It’s a beautiful thing so far.

Prayer for Expectant Mothers

All loving God,
you created the human family
as a reflection of your own divine life
so that your creation might share in your happiness.

Hear our prayer for your daughter
who awaits the birth of her child.
She has cooperated with you in giving life.
Assist her now as she prepares to give birth
to the child in her womb.
May Mary be her guide and support,
calming her fears and strengthening her love.

May your daughter be filled with your peace and blessing
so that she may bring her child into this world
safely and in good health to the praise and
glory of your name.


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