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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.

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.

Amen.

View this montage created at One True Media
Las Cunas 2/2/08

Saturday, February 2, 2008, was a wonderful day for us. Momma-to-be and I went shopping for a baby crib for the first time! We are not ready to buy a crib yet; we just wanted to see what was out there and check prices. I made a short photo montage (with sound) to record this stupendous event. Just click on the link in the photo above.

I must say that shopping for a crib was a wonderful and happy experience for us. I am really enjoying being a father already, even though the baby is not here yet technically. On the one hand, I am so happy and overjoyed, full of pride. On the other hand, nothing can prepare you for the feelings and emotions brought on by fatherhood.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well, today is officially Week 15. We went to the Perinatologist (an obstetrical subspecialist concerned with the care of the mother and fetus at higher-than-normal risk for complications) last week. Momma to be is 34 and to the insurance gods, right on the cusp of the magic “Age 35”, the bright line marker to be declared high-risk. The doctor did an ultrasound and blood test. We also consulted with a genetic counselor.

BabyBlue

Usually, I don’t get nervous with tests (having been in school so long), but this time it was different. I found out that I have already learned how to “worry like a parent”. I want and pray for the best for our baby, including no complications. I even parked in the same parking spot where I had parked before (and received good news before) in order to have good luck again.

I am happy to report that all the tests came back in the normal range. The doc said that the baby looks very healthy for its gestational age and that the baby’s heart was beating strong and loud. Music to my ears! Baby’s heart was beating at 162 beats per minute I believe. We passed the test!! Relieved, we celebrated by heading over to Togo’s for the usual.

There are so many things that can go wrong during pregnancy. I read so much information that I just had to stop. I found out that “Ignorance is Bliss” is sometimes very true. If you start worrying about all the things that can go wrong, you will never sleep. I also like to look at the doctor’s and nurses facial expressions when they are doing the exams. Their facial expressions tell so much and cannot hide good news from bad news.

This chart is courtesy of the Pregnancy Due Date Calculator on BabyZone.com.

Your Conception Date is:
(Approximately 2 weeks before your next menstrual period)
You’re in your First Trimester (weeks 1-12)
10/31/2007
Your period of greatest risk for birth defects is:  
(5 to 10 weeks gestational age)
11/21/2007
to 12/26/2007
Your baby’s fetal organ formation begins: 11/21/2007
Your baby’s major organs have formed: 12/26/2007
Second Trimester (weeks 12-27)
Your risk of miscarriage decreases:
1/9/2008
If your baby is premature, but born after this date,
s/he has a chance to survive:
3/26/2008
Your Third Trimester begins on:
(27 – 40 weeks)
4/23/2008
Your Pregnancy Due Date is:
(40 weeks – full term)
7/23/2008

I always wondered why some people counted pregnancy in weeks and others in months.  As in “I’m 12 weeks pregnant” or “She’s 7 months pregnant”.  It turns out that Doctors and other healthcare professionals only keep track of “weeks”.  This is from the Mayo Clinic:

It may seem strange, but the first week of your pregnancy is actually your last menstrual period before becoming pregnant.  Why is that? Doctors and other health care professionals calculate your due date by counting 40 weeks from the start of your last cycle.  That means they count your period as part of your pregnancy, even though your baby hasn’t been conceived yet.

Conception typically occurs about two weeks after the start of your last menstrual period.  When your baby arrives, it will have been about 38 weeks since he or she was conceived, but your pregnancy will have “officially” lasted 40 weeks.

So there you have it.  The mystery of “weeks” vs. “months” is solved in my mind.  For the record, I don’t use “months” anymore.  I always now say that we are “X” weeks pregnant since it is more accurate and the term “weeks” is what I see in evertyhing that I read about pregnancy.

This baby is eating lots of cereal and fruits and vegetables! That is my observation so far. As an expecting mother, my wife is eating lots of bowls of cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios to be exact. Way more cereal than she used to eat before being pregnant. I think its because her body is asking for lots and lots of calcium which the milk over the cereal provides.

Mom-to-be is also eating tons of fruit and vegetables. I can’t keep enough fruit in stock at home. I would say lots of bananas (at least two a day), grapes, apples (I buy Fuji and Gala apples–she won’t eat the Granny Smith), oranges, nectarines, and whatever else is fresh. Yesterday, I bought a bag of fresh cherries that were on sale at Vons Supermarket and the bag is almost completely empty already.

I buy most of my fresh produce at Vallarta Supermarket in Oxnard. They have the best and freshest produce that I have found, a wide variety, and at very low prices. You can’t be it in these parts. And, contrary to stereotype, Vallartas is a Latino supermarket that is very super clean and doesn’t smell like “Mexican Market”. If you’ve ever gone to a old, crusty Mexican Market or carniceria in the neighborhood, you know the “Mexican Market” smell as soon as you enter the door or simply walk by on the street in front of their open entrance. In fact, I have observed that Vallartas always has at least one or two persons on clean up duty full-time. Read the rest of this entry »