The Gill Family Webpage

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Names and colors

Not knowing whether Zuzu is a girl or boy is not a problem for Everett and I. Sure, we'd like to know, but when the time is right. The only thing that would be easier if we knew the gender is name picking. Can you believe that we still have not decided on a post-natal name for little Baby Zuzu. The thing is, we have many names picked out. It's deciding on one of them - well one per gender - that we're having trouble with. I guess we still have some time left!

Now, some other people are not so patient with not knowing little Zuzu's gender. Their main concern is that if they don't know if Zuzu is a boy or girl then how will they know what to buy - or rather what colors to buy things in. Ever wonder how come girls are stuck in pink and boys are stuck in blue these days? It wasn't always the case.

In 1918, the Ladies Home Journal gave this advice regarding color choices for newborns, "There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."

According to this site, "At one point pink was considered more of a boy's color, (as a watered-down red, which is a fierce color) and blue was more for girls. The associate of pink with bold, dramatic red clearly affected its use for boys."

Another explanation besides the pink=red=fierce=boys argument presented above, is that blue was associated with the Virgin Mary and so girls wore blue. This of course is an chicken-and-egg type response though: was Mary depicted in blue because she was a woman or are girl babies dressed in blue because Mary was depicted in blue?

So when did pink come to mean girl and blue come to mean boy? Most people seem to agree that this transformation happened around or before WWII. Evidence for this comes from articles written and from the Nazi's use of pink triangles to identify gay men. According to a couple of websites that cite a website ("Gender Specific Colors") that cannot be found, "The Nazi's choice of pink suggests that ... by the 1930s (pink) was a color that in Germany had become associate(d) with girls." There's also an interesting discussion of this on this site.

So there you have it. Although it wasn't always the case , in today's world, pink is the accepted color for girls while blue is the accepted color for boys. But let me ask you this: when have you ever known Everett or myself to follow societal norms?

Bring on a RAINBOW of colors for our little one!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Finishing touches











Here are the curtains that I made for Zuzu's room! Nothing too fancy, but cute enough to make me smile!

And yes, that's Barney the Purple Dinosaur waiting for Zuzu in the crib! Sure, those teeth may make him appear menacing, but as soon as his tummy lights up and he sings, then he's truly terrifying! Zuzu is going to get such a kick out of him!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Stupid math

So what's a pregnant woman to do when she can't sleep and all she can think about is the little life that's growing and kicking inside of her? Well if she's me, she thinks about numbers.

Last week was week 35. I got excited because I reasoned that at week 35 with 5 weeks to go and 7 days in a week that we had 35 days left. How cool I thought that at 35 weeks there were 35 days left! Oh the nerd in me just went wild!

Then Everett "discovered" a missing week.

We were counting from day 1 each week, when in reality one has to count the full week. What this means is that at week 35, we had 35 days left until day 1 of week 40. The baby's due at the end of week 40.

All this to say that the baby's due date is still May 27th, but we were counting down 35 days left when we should have been counting down 42 days.

Why is this important? Seven days is a very long time to a pregnant woman.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My very first (felt) contraction

Well I finally felt my first contraction! No worries! It was just a practice contraction called a Braxton Hicks contraction. These guys help to get the body ready for what is to come by flexing the uterine muscles.

Evidently, these have been happening for a long while (since about the 6th week), but last night was the first time I could feel it. I stood up and felt something weird. As I said before, the baby has been pushing all over lately resulting in my feeling weird sensations from within. When the weird feeling started, I put my hand underneath my belly - I've been doing this lately because I feel the need to hold it up! When I did that, I felt that my stomach was rock hard! "Finally, all those sit-ups have paid off," I thought. Then I remembered I was pregnant. So it wasn't a hoppy six-pack I was feeling, but instead the tensing of my uterine muscles.

Everett was outside so I slowly moved toward the door and walked into our backyard. I didn't want to alarm him since every grunt I make (usually as I'm trying to get out of bed) seems to put him in a state of panic that I'm going into actual labor. I calmly said, "Honey, I'm having a contraction. But don't worry - it's just the practice ones." We looked at each other and smiled.

Then, just as suddenly as it came on, the contraction stopped.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Baby got belly

My belly is so large now. Starting last week, I started bumping into things with it - people, door jams, walls, whatever. Even looking at the picture that Everett took of me tonight doesn't begin to capture the vastness of my belly.

Despite the cavernous region, Zuzu is getting bigger and is growing out of his/her space. I am feeling things in my stomach that I haven't before. If possible, I think I feel Zuzu pushing on my innards!

It looks weird too. Instead of just a little punch or kick, my whole stomach moves! Think about being stuffed into a sleeping bag that is a tad too small for you and you wake up and want to stretch, stretch, stretch. You don't just kick your leg out the bottom, you also move your butt out the opposite side while your hands try to escape from the front and your head tucks down and sticks out of the side of the sleeping bag. Everything moves.

Last night, I think I felt the outline of Zuzu's foot pushing out against the left side of my belly. We've been feeling what we think is his/her butt poking out of the right side. The doctor thinks the baby is already in the head down position so butt-to-the-right and foot-to-the-left is consistent with this position. Of course the baby's position can change - a lot can happen in 5 weeks!

And I can guarantee a lot is going to happen in 5 weeks (give or take)!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm tired

Have you ever said to yourself on a Tuesday afternoon at about 3, "I can't wait for 5 o'clock" so that you could go home, eat dinner, and then put your feet up while you watch TV or read a good book?

I'm more tired than that.

Have you ever said to yourself in the middle of a hectic work week, "Boy I can't wait until Friday" looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend spent gardening or playing softball or hiking on a beautiful trail in the middle of the woods?

I'm more tired than that.

Have you ever said to yourself on a particularly trying day, "Next week can't come fast enough" because it would be spent on vacation in a sunny location by the beach or in an exotic location somewhere in the world?

I'm more tired than that.

Have you ever said to yourself in the middle of your first trimester, "When will the second trimester be here?" because people told you that you would regain some energy and start to feel somewhat normal again?

I'm more tired than that.

Zuzu, when you get here, how about a little shut eye for Mom? Everyone says that new moms should sleep when the baby sleeps. I say, "Deal."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cleaning for the baby

We had a busy weekend getting ready for the little one's arrival in approximately 6 weeks. We bought the last absolutely necessary item that we didn't have yet: a car seat. We'll get it put in my car next weekend or so and then have it checked out by one of the local fire stations to make sure we've got it installed correctly. Many people had stories of people not having them installed correctly in our baby class. Evidently it's not as easy as it should be! So we'll get it checked out - no cost to us for a little peace of mind.

I also did an inventory of all the baby stuff we do have, which is quite a lot! I checked all the lists they have on-line for "must haves" for baby's arrival and then looked at all the advice I have received from my new mommy friends about what they thought was necessary. I have a short list now of things we have to get. Again, we have everything we absolutely need right off the bat, but there some things that we'll eventually need (or want) for the baby.

I cleaned all the sheets and items we have received second-hand from people as well. As soon as I was finished putting all the sheets where they belong, Colmar decided that she needed a nap on her favorite spot - the baby changing table! She had been so good about not climbing up there, but I guess the temptation was too much for her! When I found her, she actually had her head resting on ALF's lap! Oh the irony! ALF likes to eat cats. I'll try the trick with putting aluminum foil on the changing table to see if that deters her.

My plan was to post a series of pictures of the completed nursery after I cleaned everything and had everything in its spot as I'm sure will not be as clean or organized as soon as Zuzu gets here! But I got tired.

For now, enjoy these pictures of the paintings that Everett and I did for Zuzu. They hang on either side of the crib and are signed with love from Zuzu's Mom and Dad!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Too much fun

I think I may have to take away Everett's credit card! Yes, those are onsies featuring the Ramones, Bob Marley, and a Trogdor the Burninator!

Well, at least I'll have some experience taking care of a kid under my belt by the time Zuzu arrives!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Philosophies

Which philosophy do you adhere to: "Knowledge is power" or "Ignorance is bliss"?

After attending all 6 childbirth education classes, we'd say it's a toss up!

The teacher ended every class with a nice smiling picture of a baby and after each class we went to see the "freshies", as Everett calls them, in the nursery. These (mostly) smiley reminders of why we were there in the first place were probably a good thing since the rest of the class time was spent learning about all the birthing details that you didn't know about and now that you know them, kind of scare you. Breathe in, 1-2-3; breathe out, 1-2-3-4-5-6 (Hey, I'm practicing).

The best classes in support of "ignorance is bliss" position had to be classes 3 and 4. Class 3 covered pain "management", including the use of the epidural and breathing techniques. Class 4 covered all about the particulars of giving birth when assisted delivery or a cesarean section is needed. I awoke the mornings after each of those classes from some horrible dream that played off my fear of what I had learned the night before. I realize that these types of dreams are normal for women "in my condition", but that knowledge didn't help me shake off that icky feeling I woke up with that followed me for the rest of the day.

Did you know that scientists still do not know exactly why we dream? One theory is that dreaming helps us to cope with trauma in some way. Many pregnant Moms have similar dream themes: dreams of losing control of one's life, anxiety dreams about being a good Mom or giving birth, dreams about what the baby will be like, etc. Interestingly, Dads-to-be share similar dream themes, although they are usually much different from the Mom's. They include worrying about financial issues, whether they will feel left out of the birthing process, anxiety about their impending fatherhood, etc. Clearly, any anxieties that Everett and I may be feeling are not too unique, which is comforting.

The best classes in support of the "knowledge is power" position had to be classes 5 and 6. In class 5 we went on a tour of the facilities. We saw the HUGE delivery rooms equipped with a comfy bed for me, a long couch for Everett, and a little crib area for Zuzu. Each room also has a DVD (or VHS) movie player, a CD player, and all the latest equipment hidden tastefully behind or in pretty oak-colored cabinets. The picture to the left shows the delivery bed. It was taken with Everett's camera - very artsy, eh? The recovery rooms, where the 3 of us will be wheeled in after the birth, were nice too, some with really great views of downtown. In our last class, class 6, we went over newborn care. Everett practiced swaddling and changing a diaper. I'm hoping he won't "forget" when the time comes to put those skills to the test!

All in all, the classes were very helpful to us and we're glad we took them, whether what we heard was pleasant or not. Although I'd like to remain ignorant of most of the "just in case" procedures we learned about, I'm glad that we will at least know what the doctors and nurses are talking about if a situation arises. But the other thing we learned is that the majority of babies are born healthy and happy. And everyone keeps telling us it will be worth it. I whole-heartedly believe them.

Now, breathe in, 1-2-3; breathe out, 1-2-3-4-5-6.