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Prepping for Chidbirth

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

It was a tough two days, but Shae and I survived our “Childbirth Prep” class. Since I’m such an expert (we have a certificate and everything) I thought I’d share what I learned. Basically, it all comes down to one thing: this whole process is gross. If that’s not enough for you, I’ll recap the highlights from the class.

Before I start the recap, I have a couple of general thoughts about the weekend:

  • First, it’s become apparent to me that humans are not made to sit in any sort of class all day. I don’t know how kids do it. No matter how old you are, or what the class is, eventually everyone starts to drift off, watch the clock, and hope for the class to be over. It doesn’t matter if it’s elementary school, college, work-related training, or (apparently) childbirth prep. You might think that a two day class that you sign up for voluntarily (well…Shae volunteered for both of us) and pay for might be different, but you’d be wrong. By the end of the first day both Shae and I were completely exhausted. We came home and immediately took a two-hour nap. We found out Sunday that pretty much everyone else did the same thing, including the teacher. The women have an excuse (growing babies and all), but the guys don’t (unless you count putting up with pregnant women, which is exhausting but doesn’t get the same sympathy as actually being pregnant).
  • I don’t think anyone in the class was mature enough to have kids. Obviously everyone there has had sex at least once, but that didn’t seem to make the conversations any less awkward. The entire weekend was full of giggles, “that’s what got us into this in the first place” comments, and basically the maturity level of a sixth grade sex ed lecture. Shae and I fit right in.
  • This isn’t related to the class at all, but I don’t think NBC knows what “Live” means. Last night after our long day of class Shae and I were relaxing while watching some of the Olympics. I had seen the outcome of the events hours earlier online, yet there was “Live” up in the right corner of the screen. At one point (9pm to be exact) they decided they’d prove they were live by showing the time in Beijing and the time in the US. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure 8pm central is not equivalent to 9pm pacific. Then it got worse: as I sat there and watched I had to listen to the anchors brag about how NBC was doing us a huge favor to bring us these events live. I have a whole rant on tape-delayed events in the age of the Internet, but that’s not what this post is about so let’s just move on.

OK, on with the weekend recap.

Shae and I got to class bright and early and were the first students there. We got our little visitor sticker badges, found the conference room, signed in, and grabbed copies of all the goodies provided for us. We got a diaper, a book, and a ton of useful information that will probably sit on a table unread until after we need it. Since we were the first couple there we had our pick of the seats. Obviously we chose pretty much the worst seats in the room. We rule. My chair was the squeakiest in the room so for the rest of the weekend every time I switched positions the whole class got to hear about it.

Eventually the other couples (and one single) showed up and we got the party started. The teacher seemed to understand her audience (pregnant women and men who had been dragged to class) and she was really good. We learned a lot of good stuff, but rather than go over all of it here are a few highlights (that’s right, another list; I might rename this blog “Lists Of The Lorigans”).

  • We started with the standard introductions where all the parents-to-be share their due dates (once again our date was a month after everyone else’s and yet Shae looked the most pregnant), baby names, baby sexes, doctor, etc. In response to one of the doctors, the teacher asked her what she thought of him. “Uhhh…he’s okay. Ehh…he was kinda creepy at first, but…” Not the biggest vote of confidence. I didn’t take it as the best sign when our teacher figured she should remind us that we can change doctors right up until the babies pop out if we want. I’m glad we like our doc. I’ve just about forgiven her for finding that extra baby.
  • To help explain why women have so much discomfort during pregnancy, we were shown pictures of the female anatomy before and during pregnancy. Stomach pushed up (in Shae’s case, just under her boobs), bladder squished, and everything else shoved out of the way. The picture showed one kid, but I’m sure that there’s not much difference with two in there.
  • We learned some tricks to help when the kids (especially Ella) are kicking the same spot over and over. Apparently the flashlight trick that Shae read about a few months back annoys them and they’ll move to get away from it. Also, you can ice the area where her foot is kicking and she’ll move to get away from the cold. I’m all for new ways to annoy my kids before I even get to see them.
  • We were talking about when the babies “drop” and someone asked how she’d be able to tell when it happened. They went over a whole bunch of ways I didn’t really pay attention to. I’ll be able to tell when our babies drop because Shae’s boobs will stop resting on her stomach. Then Shae’s boobs growled at me. It must have been getting close to lunch time.
  • They used to teach kegle exercises in the class, but the guys got…umm…excited (the teacher’s word) so they don’t do that anymore. I think I’m happy that part got dropped from the curriculum.
  • One of the signs of impending labor is Shae will start nesting. Apparently she’s going to randomly start cleaning everything up in the middle of the night to get ready for the babies. I’m hoping that phase lasts a long time and the house gets vacuumed.
  • About 11% of the time a woman’s water breaks to indicate the start of labor. In my vast experience (TV and movies), it’s closer to 100%. I’m sure the teacher must have been wrong because Hollywood wouldn’t lie to me.
  • We learned a few positions that are supposed to help Shae get through labor. For a few, there were cards with pictures that were given to a couple to act out and then the rest of the class tried it. Here’s the transcript of an exchange between the teacher and one of the dads over the position they were supposed to demo (well, just his questions, the teacher answered yes to all of them):

    You want us to do this?
    With the pillow?
    Do we put one on the ground for her knees?

    I snapped a picture of the card with my phone to share with you guys. If you remember my earlier remark about the maturity level of the class you’ll be able to get a decent idea of the reaction to this position.

  • After being shown the vacuum that is sometimes used to help pull the baby out, I had a question: If you have good insurance do they use a Dyson vacuum?
  • We spent quite a bit of time the second day on breast feeding. There are way too many jokes about boobs to make about this section of the class so I’m not going to make them all here. Rest assured I made plenty during class.
  • The teacher showed us a few ways to hold our babies, one of which is the “football cradle”. One of the other dads informed her she was doing it wrong because she wasn’t covering the baby with her off hand. I bet she fumbles a lot.

That’s about it for the recap. Throughout the class I wrote down some or the more interesting events/quotes so I wouldn’t forget them later. I can only imagine what the girl next to me must have thought when I grabbed the notebook and wrote furiously at what must have seemed like random times.

“They shove pills and balloons up there? What am I, a drug mule?” –Shizzle (after watching a video on methods of inducing labor)

Videos and Vacuums

Friday, August 8th, 2008

A couple of additions to yesterday’s post:

  • Shae and I are enrolled in a “birthing class” this weekend. It’s 9 – 3 Saturday and Sunday. Seriously? 12 hours of info on birthing? I’m pretty sure we’re going to be watching at least one of those horrible videos they made us watch in health class. I think it’s a little late to scare us out of starting down the pregnancy path. I’m terrified of this weekend. I think by noon on Saturday I’m going to be sitting there in shock, and by 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon I’ll probably be catatonic. Yay!
  • As Shae and I were laying in bed last night, a commercial for the “Pos-T-Vac” vacuum therapy system came on. I couldn’t find the actual commercial from last night, but I did find this video on YouTube. I don’t want to ruin it, but it’s a vacuum for your…ummm…package that supposedly is for people who don’t want to use the little blue pill. Oh, and apparently it’s covered by medicare. I’d love to see that receipt. In my search for the commercial I also came across this page (scroll about halfway down). If I were looking for reviews on shop vacs, I’m not sure a junk vac would be very useful. At least a carrying case is included.

Strippers, Babies, and Ponies

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Just a few random thoughts and stories from the past week or so. I’m too lazy to worry about transition sentences, so we’re going with a list.

  • A couple of blocks up the road from my house there’s a “Gentlemen’s Club” with the classy name “Little Darlings”. “Little Darlings” is the only building on either side of the road for a block or so. It’s painted orange with turquoise trim (until recently it was pink). Most days there is a sign out front on the sidewalk advertising the current event/special: “Free lunch 12-4pm. No cover until 4pm!”, “Thursday night: Bridget the Midget”, “Wednesday: Pudding night”, etc. Seriously, I didn’t make any of those up; they’re all actual ads that have been on the board at least once in the past year. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the place doesn’t exactly blend in. I’m pretty sure the blind guys at the convalescent home down the block can see it. So imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago they started putting up tons of bright balloons on the sidewalk every day. Is there really anyone driving by who somehow missed the orange/turquoise building, free lunch, and Bridget the Midget who sees some balloons and says to himself “Ooohh! Balloons! Wait…is that a strip club? I have to stop right now!”? On second thought, I like balloons…I’ll be right back.
  • Ella and Jackson are still growing like crazy (that’s why you get a list…I’m not even going to attempt to transition from “Little Darlings” to my little darlings). Shae tells me that in the past couple of days they have grown much faster than her belly. Right now Jackson is sticking out the lower-right side of Shae’s belly and Ella’s jutting out the upper-left. You can actually push them into each other and then feel them kick each other. I’m sure they love that.
  • Staying with the babies, my daughter kicked me in the face the other day. I’ve heard of this happening to others, but it’s still a little upsetting when your kid kicks you in the mouth. I was explaining to Ella that if she didn’t stop kicking her mother in the ribs she wasn’t going to be the favorite when she came out. Apparently she didn’t like that so she responded with a kick to my mouth. Having a daughter is going to be super.
  • On Saturday, we (we being me, Chris, Patty, Lamb, and Wendy) went up to the Del Mar Fair and caught some horse races. Nothing quite like putting down a huge $2 on the 2-horse and having the ticket guy frown at you. “$2 on Number 3. Anything else? No? Really? Huh.” I’m sure everyone will be shocked, but I didn’t win a single bet. That’s right, I squandered away a whole $10. I even managed to lose despite betting on 3 horses in a 4 horse race. Yet another thing I’m awesome at.
  • They had a chili cookoff at the racetrack so we got to wander around with a little plastic cup and spoon and taste a bunch of chili. After trying most of the contenders I had consumed almost enough chili to consider it a free lunch. I think everyone was scared of being too spicy for the horse racing crowd because none of the chili was the least bit spicy. I turned in my ballot with #109 at the top and felt pretty confident in my vote. Then my buddy Lamb came over and asked if I had tried the one that tasted exactly like Stagg chili. Sure enough, when I thought about it #109 tasted like it came right out of the can. I have outstanding taste.
  • If you want to end this post on a happy note, you should probably skip right down to the quote(s) from Shizzle. If you’re still reading you probably stayed one race too long, just like us. Jumping back to early in the day, we were waiting to pay for parking and Chris tried to sound like he knew something about horse racing by throwing out “I’m putting my money on the 5 horse in the 7th race.” Nevermind the fact none of us knew if there were even 7 races (there were 10 actually), it was an impressive show of racing lingo. After a day of chili and racing the 7th race finally came around and Chris put down his big money ($2 of course) on “Crazy Cash”. There’s no way this could go bad, right? Wrong. After shooting out to an early lead, Crazy Cash proceeded to fall to the back of the pack. By the time we turned around to watch the horses finish (the screen and the track were on opposite sides of us so we watched most of the race on the screen and then the finish “live”), Crazy Cash was nowhere to be seen. Finally, CC came into view. Just as I was making a comment to Chris about his awesome skill at picking winners, I noticed that CC was missing a jockey and seemed to be limping. Somewhere towards the end of the race (after we had turned around) CC had fallen and broken a leg. It got pretty quiet pretty quick. They brought out a little screen to block the view from the grandstand (not a good sign) and a trailer from a local horse sanctuary (a better sign). As we left the track we weren’t sure what happend to Crazy Cash, but the next day I found a a recap on the day’s races that included the information that CC had been euthanized on the track. RIP Crazy Cash. Definitely a downer end to an otherwise great day.

“Our babies are going to lose their fur this week! Awesome!” –Shizzle

“When I lay down, my boobs are bigger than my stomach…maybe.”
–Shizzle (Bonus quote because she threw that one out while I was typing)

How Do We Live Without Them!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

The other day I was sitting at work trying to figure out how to wipe the dripping sweat from my cleavage without my students noticing. It got me thinking that someone really needs to make a boob deodorant for pregnant women. After my students left I went to the trusty internet to do some research. I was unable to find any magical boob sweat remover, but I did find a bunch of other interesting products for pregnant women.

The first product I came across was something called Mommy Sox. These little socks are supposed to relieve all the foot pain that comes with pregnancy. Wanna know what I think? I don’t think a little piece of cotton is going to fix the problem of having 30 extra pounds trying to flatten out your arches. Besides, what pregnant woman can actually put socks on? I don’t even remember the last time I could fit by big swollen feet into a pair of shoes that actually required socks, let alone tie the damn things.

Next up is a product called Mamma Spanx. These are footless pantyhose for pregos. Again, how is a prego supposed to actually put these horribly unfashionable items on? And why are they footless? I guess it’s so we can wear them with our mamma sox and start a whole new trend. I love the pictures of all the women wearing really high heels in the photos. I have yet to see a pregnant woman wear anything but flip flops.

This next one I came across is just ridiculous. It is the Baby Chime. Basically they are bells that come on a long necklace and they sit on your stomach. So now you have all the annoyances of babies kicking you and they have to go and add a bell. Remember back in days when everyone wore bells on their shoes at Christmas time? Think of having 9 months of bells. I guess it is supposed to calm the baby down both in the womb and then again outside. If I was a baby listening to a bell for 9 months and then my mother shook the thing around after I was born, I think I would lose it.

I can actually see a use for this one. Well, only if I walked around public places with my shirt pulled up. Touch My Tummy Tattoos. These are temporary tattoos that you put on your stomach to tell people either were to touch, or to keep their hands off. I don’t know how many times I have gone into the grocery store and have had random women walk up to me and rub my belly while asking if I was pregnant.

I just have to laugh at something called a Belly Up. They are like little suspenders that connect your pants to your bra. I guess they are supposed to combat the horribleness of ass crack. If you have ever been pregnant then you know how tight and thick the bands of maternity pants are, so why would you need suspenders? And another thing, Do we really need something that is pulling our boobs down even further?

I think this one has to be my favorite product. It is the V2 Supporter. Yes ladies, they now make jock straps just for us. Apparently it is supposed to prevent excessive swelling in the vulva area. Ummm, can we say gross? How big does your vag have to get to warrant the use of this contraption?

The Miss Oops Popper Stoppers seem like a really stupid idea. They are like little band aids for you popped out belly button. Everyone knows that part of being pregnant is waiting for your belly button to pop. Maybe they think that if people cant see their turkey timer, then they wont know they are pregnant. They must not be having twins.

I have decided to group these next products together. I can’t believe how many products are available just for nipples! Breast Shells are little plastic discs that cover the nipple and “encourage” them to stick out further. I think sticking your chest in the freezer for a few seconds will do the same thing. Apparently you use these before breast feeding. During the feeding you can use Nipple Shields. These things look like the nipples that are on regular bottles but you stick them to yourself and the baby sucks your nipple into it like a vacuum. No wonder men act like Hoovers. Lets not forget about all the different creams, lotions and gels that are out there to sooth yourself after feeding. I equate these to Udder Cream for cows. I found a product called the Booby Tube but I have no idea what it is for. I just like the name. There is also a Shower Hug. You wrap this around your chest during a shower to protect sensitive nipples. How are you supposed to clean yourself if you have a big band wrapped around you. I guess these women never get sweaty breasts. Lucky. My favorite are Breast Pads. These are just maxi pads for your boobs.

So I just have to wonder what life was like before all of these products. I mean, how did women survive. Obviously we are not supposed to breastfeed without a ton of nipple products and our stomachs will fall off if we don’t use all the support garments out there. I guess no one ever got pregnant before we had all of these miracle products. I better go out and do some shopping so my stomach doesn’t fall off and God forbid if people see my belly button.

“Babies, stop kicking your mother. I want her to be nice to me tonight.” –Pat

More Pics Of The Kids

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Shae and I had yet another ultrasound yesterday. You can find the pics over in the twins gallery. Ella was very cooperative this time and we actually got couple of semi-3D views of her face. Jackson on the other hand, not so much. He spent the entire appointment hiding from the camera and the pics of him are what I would expect an ultrasound of Picasso’s kid to look like. His face is kind of visible if you look hard enough, but his images from the last ultrasound are much better. About the only thing we got a good look at was Jack’s junk (I like that one enough I’m going to use it again). Even then I got his leg and his dangler confused. I don’t know if that says more about my boy’s package or how difficult it was to get a good look at him yesterday. Obviously, I’m going with Option A.

In other baby news, for the past couple of weeks whenever I get home from work Ella starts kicking at the sound of my voice. At first I thought it was just random timing due to Shae moving around when I got home, but then I realized she actually moves around at the sound of my voice. It was such a special moment. Then we were eating dinner with some friends, one of whom was a guy, and she started jumping around at the sound of his voice. So in the span of about 10 seconds I went from feeling so special that my daughter knew my voice to the realization that my daughter just loves boys. All boys. Great. Just shoot me now.

“I must be hungry, my boobs are growling.” –Shizzle
(For anyone not aware, the babies kind of push everything out of their way as they grow. Shae’s stomach has migrated north and now resides somewhere around her knockers.)

Baby Shower (South)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

One day after dealing with changing a doll’s diaper I had to deal with something really scary: Shae’s baby shower (South). I somehow managed to get roped into attending the shower. The excuse used by Shae was that I needed to be around to take care of the dog. I think she just wanted to make me deal with 20 baby-crazy women.

The day started off bright and early with Erica (the shower hostess) and me making a 7am trip down to Vons to get some balloons. Of course the balloon counter was closed, so we got the 15-year-old working the customer service desk to help us out. I’m not sure he had ever worked the balloon counter before, but after about 30 minutes we finally got our balloons inflated. About this time it occurred to us that maybe my car wasn’t the one to take to pick up balloons. Too late to do anything now so Erica and I got to deal with balloons smacking us in the back of the head on the drive back home. This day is off to a great start.

After we got back home we took care of a few final setup things (put up some banners, put the soda on ice, etc) and got ready for the “fun”. At around 10:00 the guests started showing up (right on time). At around 10:01 I popped open my first beer, put the dog on his leash, and set up camp in the office. Since most of the shower attendees were seeing our house for the first time I ended up giving a few tours of the house. So far my attempts to hide from the women are not working out so well.

Somehow the ladies ended up hanging out in the living room instead of out on the patio. This wouldn’t have been an issue except that the food was in the dining room and it was impossible for me to sneak out and grab food without being seen by the party goers. Luckily I had Lunchbox with me so if I needed to run back to the office and hide out I could just “accidentally” drop his leash (oops!). After about 10 seconds of my well-trained dog sniffing everyone’s crotch they were all thankful to have me escort him out of the room. Good boy Lunchbox!

Anyway, the shower seemed like a lot of fun for the ladies. Lots of games, some good food, and at the end lots of good gifts. There are some photos over here.

To anyone not in the San Diego area, there will be a co-ed shower up in Lockwood shortly after the twins are born. We were trying to schedule it in August, but couldn’t find a date that worked for everyone. It’s looking like October sometime, but we’ll have more info closer to the date. BBQ, babies, and beer, or something like that.

A Walking Pharmacy

Monday, July 21st, 2008

So on Friday, July 11th Shae and I attended our first baby class: “Baby Care Basics”. I’ve been busy for the past week, but I finally had time to share our experience, so here you go.

We walked into the classroom and saw three tables in a “U” with about seven dolls spread over them. There was one couple already there, so Shae found the cutest available doll and we took our seat. I started messing around with the doll and the teacher came back into the room and told us that we would be treating the dolls like they were real babies. Of course, as she said this I was holding ours upside down by one leg. Good thing they don’t give us grades. I thought I was going to get off easy and have Shae do all the work until we mentioned we were the ones having twins and the teacher gave us another baby. There goes that plan.

Rather than recap the whole class, here are some highlights:

  • All but one of the other couples due dates’ were in August, most of them in the first half of the month. The other couple was due in November (another set of twins). Shae’s baby-belly was as big or bigger than all the other moms-to-be. I can’t even imagine what she’s going to be like in another month or two. She is not going to be a happy prego.
  • The guy next to us dropped his baby. He tried to play it off, and I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but he dropped his little boy while changing his diaper. At least I didn’t drop my doll.
  • Our teacher was a Certified Lactation Expert (or something like that). Let’s just say that she was…umm…built for the job.
  • Shae is about to turn into a walking pharmacy. Apparently breast milk is some sort of super-drug. We were told that her breast milk will cure all kinds of problems not just on our babies, but on us too. Cuts, zits, eye infections, etc. Just a squirt of boob-juice will fix them right up. That may be true, but if I get an eye infection I’ll get some drops rather than let my wife squirt the super-juice in my eye. Yuck.
  • Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day. That’s 24 diapers a day, or 168 a week. Holy crap! I need to go buy some stock in Pampers. This is going to suck.
  • A quote from the “coursebook”:

    Breasts: Both male and female babies can have swollen breasts. They may even leak milk from their nipples. This is due to maternal hormones that have filtered through to the baby in utero. Do not try to express milk from your baby’s nipples. The swelling will disappear withing a week or two.

To recap what I learned: babies are gross. They’re hairy, they pee all over the place, they crap out some sort of tar for the first couple of days, and they come out of the hoo-ha with coneheads. Tar crapping, pee spraying, hairy coneheads. This is going to be awesome.

“I wonder if the babies fart in their amniotic fluid. Do you think it bubbles?” –Shizzle

So…When Are You Due?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I haven’t spent a lot of time around pregnant women (it’s one of the keys to my survival) so I don’t really have a solid frame of reference to compare Shae to. That being said, she watches a lot of those damn baby/pregnancy shows and even though she’s “only” 6 months pregnant she’s almost as big as most of the 8 and 9 monthers on those shows.

Tonight Shae and I went out to dinner and as we were waiting for a table we ended up sitting on a bench next to an older couple. After a few minutes the lady finally leaned over and asked Shae when she was due (I think she was trying to make sure Shae was actually pregnant before she asked). Shae quickly replied that she was due in October, and the look on the woman’s face was priceless. It was a cross between shock and pity and we could tell she was trying to figure out how many months away October is. Shae played it perfectly, and just when the woman’s head exploded Shae followed up with “We’re having twins.” You could almost feel the relief pass over the woman.

My beautiful wife at 6 months:

I think I’m going to try to close my pregnancy-related blogs with a quote from Shizzle, so here you go:

“My babies know as the woman who yells at the dog a lot. Their first words are probably going to be ‘LEAVE IT!’. Or maybe ‘Lunchbox NO!'”

One Big Ass Stroller

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

As promised (and requested), I posted some pics of the giant stroller.

You can find them in the baby stuff gallery.

Just to illustrate how damn big this thing is, here it is running over our poor puppy:

That’s right, my dog fits underneath my stroller. He didn’t even move.

Because I don’t think there have been enough pics of pregnant Shae on my blog:

Just so I get a little face time, here’s me practicing my baby-driving:

One other thing I noticed in these pics is that the reflectors are ridiculous (just like the rest of the stroller). It seriously looks like the thing has headlights in the pictures with the flash.

To give everyone an update on wifey, she’s doing fine except her back and her ass are killing her. Her quote, “I swear to God one of them is sitting on my ass nerve!”

Some More Pics

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Not a lot going on right now, and they’ve actually been making me do stuff at work lately so I haven’t had much time to update. I might have to complain to my supervisor if they’re actually going to make me work. I didn’t sign up for that. (Since I already gave my work-related rant for the year, I won’t get into my phone issue except to say that my phone line got swapped with someone else’s on June 28th and I was told to send everything to voicemail until the issue is fixed — on July 15th. It’s not like I need a phone line to do my job or anything. OK, moving on.)

That being said, we had another ultrasound last week so we have some more pictures. Ella decided she didn’t like the tech bothering her so she kept kicking back every time the tech pushed down to get a better view. This is what we got:

We also got a decent shot of Jackson’s profile. Shae says he has my nose and chin:

You can view the rest of pics over in the twins gallery.

Hopefully we’ll have some pics of the stroller up in the next couple of days.