Happy Last Alone Birthday Honey!

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To my beautiful wife on your 28th birthday:

I know that I’m leaving tonight, and that’s no fun, but I hope you enjoyed our Daglas and Cupids dinner last night, and I hope you won’t be too sad while I’m gone. This birthday seems so much more special than all the ones before, simply because its the last one either of us will be just us, before we become parents. It’s crazy to think that this time last year we were just kicking around the idea of a baby, and that it seemed so much more far off in the future than it ended up becoming.

Seeing you pregnant and full of that little dumpling of ours just brings so much joy to my heart. So does this adorable picture of your honorarily adopted nanny kids and you on your birthday. Although this birthday may not be the funnest or the most adventurous or exciting, just remember, every other one will be a brand new experience and therefore greater than each one that comes before.

I love you so much and am so in awe of your strength every day as you carry that child, and I can’t wait to see what a wonderful mother you will become alongside me.

Happy last birthday alone baby! I love you!

Week 25: Cauliflower Love Child

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When I was a kid and my parents would trip us out to Ojai or Ventura to visit our family friends Bill and Laura, whenever we would pass fields my dad would exclaim loudly: That’s Rutabaga! I never understood if he was saying an actual vegetable name, or if he was just screwing around. Now, at 28, I realize he was speaking of real things.

This week, baby is the size of a rutabaga, which is a type of Swedish turnip (more info here). For us normal humans that don’t spend time hanging out with rutabaga folk, baby is the size of a cauliflower this week. Only two more weeks till the 3rd trimester! How exciting! During this week, baby is about 14-ish inches long and between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds. Crazy! What’s even crazier is baby is moving around so much and kicking so hard we can often see it on the outside of Holly’s tummy. She’ll just be sitting there and then WHAM and a tremor floats across her belly, its actually pretty cool to watch. Baby Hutchings loves hearing about my day and often will kick in my direction when I wiggle on down there to tell her about the great fun I had practically right next to her all day long.

She is also doing somersaults all over mommy’s uterus and just wiggling like crazy. This week, at our 25 week check-up when the doctor checked the heart beat with the fetal doppler, we actually got to hear her having hiccups. Holly said now that she knows what to feel/listen for, she’ll be able to notice them more often, which is exciting for me because maybe I will too.

In non-baby news, I am leaving tomorrow, on Holly’s birthday for Oregon to celebrate my Aunt’s wedding. Though the trip should be fun (and short), I have this weird issue with being so far from my wife and unborn baby. I wonder if that will change or intensify as the due date gets closer, I guess we’ll see. Next update will be from week 26!! See you then 🙂

Cantaloupe? Ear of corn? Pizza baby? Week 24

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6 months! On Tuesday, Holly hit the 6 and a half month mark and is officially only 16 short weeks away from the due date of our little bundle. It seems unreal that we started this journey back in January, and every day we get one step closer to meeting this tiny baby that will be all ours. Its crazy how fast this goes.

At 6 months pregnant, our little nugget is almost a foot long and over a pound in weight! That’s crazy to me because that seems like so small, and yet so big all at once. According to The Bump, baby is looking more and more like an actual baby this week, which will continue through the end.

I am leaving for Oregon in two weeks, but I’ll be back in time for week 26, which is the technical beginning of the 3rd trimester. (THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!) It’s insane to think that we are just 3 and a half short months from meeting our little one. We are hopefully painting the room for the baby soon, which is exciting, and Holly and I will be home all week in about 3 weeks during her vacation, during which we are going to trip down to Ikea and buy the baby room furniture. Its all coming together, which leaves a few last loose ends, like child birthing classes and “baby basics” (that one’s for me haha).

So here’s to almost month 7 and the slow ride to the end of a brilliantly long road to meet our first little baby child. We can’t wait to meet you little one!

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!