The Registery Game

First off, I wish that we had taken pictures of registering for our baby showers. We got up to some hilarious antics while registering at Target, Babys-R-Us and Buy Buy Baby with one of our guide parents and the maid-of-honor from our wedding, Corey. There’s nothing quite like testing every single glider available,  I can’t even explain to you how much fun registering is. Its like mythical Christmas for soon-to-be parents, in anticipation for being sleep deprived and mentally foggy for the next umpteen months. Truly magical.

Our journey began last month when we registered at Buy Buy Baby and Target in the same day. Now I know what you’re thinking, a little ambitious maybe? But I swear Holly said she was fine to continue to the second store. Buy Buy Baby was so much fun. It’s like a baby version of Bed, Bath and Beyond (it really is) and it is so easy to get overwhelmed by just how many things a baby needs. We had a really nice woman take us all the way through the store, showing us things other people tend to buy, making recommendations and she was a really great help, which reminds me of something important that needs to be taken into account.

It is incredibly awkward for less feminine partners in an LGBT parenting relationship to go and do baby registries.

We literally walked up to the desk at Buy Buy Baby to register and one of the ladies there called me a dude. Now I know, I dress like one and I look like one, but its 2016 and families come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. If you’re in the service industries you need to learn that. In contrast, the woman that actually helped us was fantastic, she was thoughtful to let me scan the things so I felt important, she went out of her way to make me feel comfortable throughout the process, and for that I was really grateful. When we finished there we went on to Target.

Target was a bit of a let down, especially when you start with Buy Buy Baby. Their selection is mediocre in comparison and we got done way faster than we should have. This was a blessing, as my wonderful wife was trooping through it so hard, but was becoming tired for being on her feet for so long. Another notable thing is we basically duplicated a lot of what’s on the first registry because most of the products are the same. It would be nice to see more originality out there, but its Target so I’m like “duh”.

In between registering at Target and at Babys-R-Us was about a month, a nice break if you ask me. Again we headed out with our dutiful guide parent Corey to register for more fun stuff even though it was hot as death outside. When we got there we were helped reasonably quickly, given a paper to fill out, free waters ( a constant at most baby registering places) and once we were done, the coveted scan gun. As we walked to the first section, baby monitors and breast feeding stuff, we got about 4-6 items in when the scanner died. “No big deal, we’re super close to the origin place for the scanners, I’ll just replace it real quick,” I thought, and went over to replace the gun with a new one. Off we charged to do more scanning! We looked at carriers and high chairs and strollers, oh my!

We had just gotten to diapers when the scanner died again, this time on the complete opposite end of the store. No matter, I reminded myself, its good to get more steps in, so I walked back up to the front. This time, there wasn’t anyone there, desert living at Babys-R-Us. I saw a worker walking by and asked if she could call someone for me, she was helping someone else but she said “I’ll try”, and continued walking. Wait, wait, wait some more, still no one coming. Finally, I get tired of waiting and asking several times for someone who can help to be paged and walk back to the gliders. We’re talking about the scanner issues when an employee hears us and offers to call someone to bring us a working scanner. In seconds, problem is solved! How magical. Now if only the 4 other employees I had talked to had been able to do the same thing, imagine the possibilities.

10,000 bedroom accessories and toys later, we finally finished and felt quite accomplished. I went back to return the scanner and again, ghost town. Naturally, I got distracted waiting for someone and tried to find myself a diaper bag (you’ll find that on the registry), very successfully. When we left, we had been there for 2.5 ish hours, gone through 3 scanners and that brings me to my last bit of advice.

Bring your patience, because I didn’t and found myself getting frustrated at the crappy customer service I kept encountering everywhere. Remember, its retail. Don’t expect as much as I did.

After all of this I found myself comparing all of the experiences at the three different places we registered and came up with pros and cons for each location.

Buy Buy Baby

Pros: good quality stuff, lots of selection, helpful people, simple to register and use the scanner.

Cons: overwhelmingly huge, prices are a bit more expensive, some registry items (varieties in color, patterns, etc) can only be registered for online or through a computer with assistance, not as many locations as other retailers.

Target

Pros: big box retailer/easily accessible to many, has the basics that you’ll need, not a lot of traffic in the baby section, surprisingly nice selection of baby monitors, simple to register (via iPad) and use the scanner.

Cons: limited variety, limited selection (depending on the store size), zero helpful people, limited manipulable displays so you can’t easily interact with the products, no gliders or real furniture to look at (some, not a lot).

Babys-R-Us

Pros: if you can get to a just “Babys” store the selection is massive, easy registering process, lots of choices per category of need, most big stuff displays are able to be touched and used, lots of locations (many “Toys” stores have a portion set out for Babys products), cool gift box options (see registry for details).

Cons: helpfulness of people is limited and varied, scanner issues (don’t know if that’s common or not), lots of items on clearance, some essential items difficult to find, store layout is a bit wonky.

Hope you enjoyed our adventure by reading as much as we did by doing it! I also hope, for those who haven’t yet registered or are going to soon, that this info helps you decide where to register best.

Next up: “Our Greatest Adventure Yet”

 

Hearts Not Parts: A Sex Reveal

Before I go sharing the sex of our baby I want to take a minute and explain the title of this blog post a bit. Many people have “gender” reveals, telling people if their little bundle will be a boy or a girl. However, in the enlightened age of multiple gender identities, and not wanting to stifle my baby into thinking just because she’s biologically female she must play with Barbies and wear dresses, I am calling this a sex reveal.

According to a 2014 ABC News article, Facebook added 58 options for gender identity, although some are slight variations of the same thing. Not as to say that there are only 58, but with more than just 2, it seems irresponsible as a soon-to-be parent that I would call our revealing of the biological sex of our child a “gender” reveal.

More fun information: I did. I called it a gender reveal on Facebook and had several friends of mine from the trans* and gender non-conforming community ask why I, of all people, chose to use the word gender. I will admit, I fell back into the societal title of it all, but Holly and I have had many talks about the “what if’s” of our future baby, and I know that we are on the same page about loving them no matter what. That said, for now, until our child is old enough to tell us otherwise, we are going by the biological sex pronouns.

SO without further ado…..

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Baby Girl Hutchings. Coming November 2016 (or so).

It’s a Carrot!

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Yes yes, our baby is a deliciously edible carrot now. 21 weeks puts us on the flip side of the halfway point, which means only 18 weeks left till our little one makes their debut. Some of you might have noticed that we posted sex reveal teasers on Facebook when we got back from Wyoming, so we hope you enjoy making those guesses 🙂 Of course, we know the answer, and we aren’t telling just yet. We took some awesome pictures with Holly’s awesome brothertographer Michael while we were in Wyoming, and we can’t wait to share them with you all, but not just yet. Soon, we swear.

Week 21, our baby isn’t just the size of a carrot, they are also the size of an endive, whatever the hell that is. It looks like a long cabbage like romain lettuce head to me. On Monday when we had our make-up/redo anatomy scan, baby was measuring at 14 ounces, slightly higher than what The Bump app says for this week, but well within the 21 week range. Baby is also about 10.5 inches long, head to toe, which is pretty sizeable, almost a foot!

Fun things that can happen starting this week (but haven’t yet) include Braxton Hicks contractions, which if you’ve ever been pregnant you’ll know are weak, but still contraction like contractions that you get in the third trimester, but can preview sooner. Baby also has a fully functioning digestive system, which is so fascinating to me for some reason.

Kicking has increased this week and Holly has been feeling baby’s movements more, like shifting inside the womb, which is both cool and discomforting. Baby seems to respond most to my voice and Holly’s, along with the baby Holly nannies for, Ella. We joke that she’s going to think Ella is her third mother, because Ella is always telling the baby how cute it is and how much she loves it, she gives it huggies and kisses too, the most adorable thing. Kinda makes me want to have another one relatively soon after we have the first, but lets get through this first one shall we?

We had another doctors appointment this week (one per month until week 30), which means we got to hear the heart beat again and just talk about what Holly has been experiencing, how she feels, etc. The nausea still hasn’t gone away, and even the CNM we see for these regular visits is starting to wonder why that is. Holly has been on anti-nausea medication since we went to the ER during week 8 because she was dehydrated from vomiting so much, and the doctor just gave us what she hoped would be the last 6 prescription refill orders, enough to get us to week 27, the last week of the 2nd trimester. Hopefully it will stop some time in there, keep those fingers crossed!

6 more weeks till the end of the 2nd trimester! More updates soon 🙂

Week 20: Battle of the Baby Bulge

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Baby banana! We are officially at the half way mark and our baby is the size of a banana. Baby is 6.5 inches and 10 ounces (or so), which is 1.5 ounces from last week, growing fast.

I have to say, that woman up there looks incredibly beautiful as a pregnant woman, but again, I’m probably biased.  Good news is Holly is feeling a bit better, still nauseous, but it goes more often than it comes these days, which has been a plus. However, 20 weeks is 4 past the promise we got from the nurse at Kaiser just 10 short weeks ago, that this nausea would end. I won’t hold it against her for being wrong, but Holly will.

Other fun stuff this week has been the increase in heart burn and shortness of breath. Yesterday we went to Yellowstone and accidentally did a half mile down hill (mountain?) and back hike at a high altitude, which was fun. I know what you’re thinking. How is it possible to accidentally do a hike that long? Well here’s the story.

Holly and I were at Tower Falls and the walk from the parking lot to the falls viewing point is about 150 yards (according to the sign). Just past that is a small downhill slope with a sign that says something like “Tower Fall trail 1/4 mile”. Now if you’re me, 1/4 mile sounds like nothing, because in LA it is nothing. However, at 6600 feet elevation (where Tower Fall is located) in Wyoming, walking down hill/mountain, 1/4 mile is exhausting. Whats worse? We had to come back up. It became overwhelmingly known to me that day that I am VERY out of shape, something I’ll rectify upon our return, but it was tough. I huffed and puffed and willed myself up that trail, nearly dying 12,000 times in total. When we reached the top of the trail, where the original lookout was, these ladies who were planning to hike it asked us (probably seeing my cherry red face) if it was worth it. I will say one thing, the view was gorgeous, and it was awesome, but “worth it”? Maybe not. Here’s a picture of the beauty, you can judge for yourself.

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Really beautiful I think, and check out all that yellow stone! That day I netted around 13,000 steps, so positive side: I got some serious steps in. The point of this magical tale was that Holly having shortness of breath didn’t make that hike back any more fun, and my…er…sympathy shortness of breath was exhausting as well 😉

Baby is also kicking up a storm and I have felt it many times, which is the coolest thing I have to say. It’s especially fun when you talk to the baby and then the baby kicks back, it really makes me feel loved already. I have taken to reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone to the tiny little banana, since baby can hear my voice and can receive the gospel of Harry Potter FINALLY. I love it, and it really makes me feel like I’m passing down something amazing to my tiny nugget.

At this point we are 7 of 14 weeks through the second trimester, with only 7 left to go until we enter the final stretch. It honestly feels like yesterday we were announcing our pregnancy, and it was only about 8 weeks ago, but gosh does time fly fast.

More updates to come soon!

 

Baby’s Anatomy

I promised pictures and wow did we deliver! We had our anatomy scan on Thursday and then jetted off to Wyoming the next day.  In the middle there, I even attended the high school graduation of some of my students. It was quite the busy few days. Anyway, an explanation of the pictures above:

Top Left: our sweet little mango sucking their thumb
Top Right Upper: a little wing (can’t remember if its an arm or a leg)
Top Right Lower: nice little back arch for the camera
Bottom: look at that cute little button nose!

I think this baby looks positively adorable, but I’m slightly biased 😉 This week baby was measuring right on target, looking awesome, strong heart beat and everything was great. Except one tiny thing. SOMEONE didn’t want to be photographed when it came time to take the pictures of their brain/skull area, which was awesome/not awesome. The awesome part was that baby had their head down, body curved in a backwards C with toes practically on top of their little head. It was comical to say the least (at least to me). The ultrasound tech Brad tried to poke baby into moving, had Holly do some rolling and twisting of her own to motivate moving, and even had Holly drink some juice in order to spur our little nugget to move. Unfortunately, baby was not interested at all in moving, so we had to reschedule another ultrasound to get the brain anatomy pictures for when we return from Wyoming on the 20th. Not a big deal, but I can tell already this baby is like their parents, very stubborn and willful.

Next week is WEEK 20! That means half way through, which is a fantastic achievement and we’re so excited to reach that marker. It also marks when baby starts being measured from head to toe, instead of head to rump, which means suddenly baby will seem a little bigger/longer in the next few posts onward, but worry not. Our baby is on par with their peers, totally normal sized but positively adorable.

To week 20!

Babies for Bernie

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Three guesses who WE voted for.

Happy Election Day! Today Holly (and baby) are 19 weeks and the size of a MANGO. I don’t know about you, but mangoes seem pretty freaking giant to me. Baby is measuring at about 6 inches and 8.5 ounces, giant like I said. Baby is also working on developing their five senses by the nerve cells that are further developing this week. Our mid-pregnancy ultrasound is on Thursday, and we’re so excited to finally settle the question of sex: boy or girl?

A little bit on “sex” instead of “gender” just to satisfy my gender wiggly folks out there that might be wondering where we two lesbians stand on this. Holly and I are in firm agreement that if we had a child who told us they were a gender other than their biologically born sex, we would accept them and call them by their chosen pronouns and such. That said, until the baby is of the autonomous level to declare their gender, we will call them the pronouns associated with their biological sex. Obviously, the difference is clear, sex is what’s between the legs, and gender is what or who you are inside. Hope that clears up some questions.

Keep your eyes out for the next few weeks, when we’ll share our baby’s sex, as well as new pictures from the anatomy scan!

 

Baby wiggles

I wish I had a picture or a video to go with this post. Holly finally felt the baby kick! It was really light, she says, and I couldn’t feel it myself, but there was definitely movement and she felt it. This is the part I’ve been most excited for, I must confess. As we approach the 20th week (18 weeks this past Tuesday) I’ve been waiting and waiting for the ability to feel the baby kick myself. I can’t wait!

Fun facts about the 18th week of pregnancy:

  • Baby is (approximately) 5 and a half inches long and just shy of 7 ounces, growing like a super baby.
  • Mom tends to FEEL baby moving around this time, and partner will start to feel it on the outside too.
  • Baby is active as heck, moving and just kicking up a storm.

Baby is also the size of an artichoke this week! How delicious! Next week is the anatomy scan, on Thursday, just before we dip off to Wyoming for a week, so new pictures to come SOON!artichoke_1339768899.jpg