- the next generation - the next generation
Week 35 Week 36 : Big Trike or Little Tyke? Week 37

"Oh, for a second there I thought you were Cathy Hayashi." -a.

Baby stats:
Current location: Two fifths engaged.
Weight: 8 pounds at least.
Aimee's key symptom: Wonder at how much bigger I can possibly get and still remain mobile.
Comparable to: A weeble-wobble.

Developed this week: Stares from strangers, who are probably wondering where they can quickly find some hot water and clean towels should the tube break down.
Kevin's thoughts:
The other day, Aimee was musing to a friend how cute it would be if our baby was born with red hair. My hair is light, Aimee's is dark, and my beard has a reddish tinge to it, so it's definitely a possibility. I happen to think red haired children are cute, as does Aimee.

The British, however, do not.

"Aw, God, why the hell would you wish red hair on your child? That's awful! That's the worst thing a child could go through, that." Aimee was taken aback by the reaction... it was as if she'd just told him she was never ever taking her child to Disneyland. Just as she drew the conclusion that this was one man's opinion, he shouted to a friend, "Hey, hear that? Aimee wants a ginger kid!" The rest of the room joined in the laughter/disgust.

The incident prompted me to do a bit of research into gingers. Gingers, it seems, are the last acceptable remaining prejudice based on appearance there is. Political correctness has done its best to phase out racism, sexism, creedism, ageism, and even patriotism in some extreme cases. But a national hatred of gingers seems to be perfectly fine.

Gingers are apparently key targets of bullies at schools. Gingers are looked upon as weak, frail, stupid and underdeveloped. They have pasty skin, freckles, and get a sunburn from watching fireworks. The gene that produces red hair is recessive, and thus gingers are thought of as weakening the herd just by being in the gene pool. There's even an expression in sport, to "beat someone like a ginger stepchild." One friend even went so far as to say that gingers have no soul. I think he was kidding, but I wasn't sure.

Who knew? Who knew that by Aimee's little statement, we'd open up a red can of red worms into the seedy red underbelly of rampant British hairism?

I mean, if you look into red-haired celebrities, the ones that come to mind in America are Julianne Moore and Scully from the X-Files. A couple of strong role model types, wouldn't you say? (Okay, there's also that Carrot Top guy who we'd all like to beat up). However, the most popular gingers currently in British pop culture would have to be the Weasleys from Harry Potter, the poor, bumbling magical ginger family who get picked on from all sides by all generations of wizards and muggles alike.

Speaking of books, we went to the library to pick up a few books for bedtime reading, and ran across a book called Avocado Baby (reviewed below in Baby's Book of the Week). Looked cute, a picture of a super strong baby on the cover lifting weights. The first page of the book read:

"Mr and Mrs Hargraves and their two children were not very strong. Mrs Hargraves was expecting another baby, and they all hoped it would not be as weak as they were."

The book goes on to tell us that the baby wasn't very strong, and didn't like food much. One day they gave it avocados, and it became super strong... he tore the side off of the crib, thwarted a burglar, and even beat up two bullies in the park who were picking on his older siblings.

It wasn't until the bullying bit that it clicked; the entire family was GINGER. Weak old Mr and Mrs Hargraves and their two sickly children: ginger.

Deliberate, or dorogatory? Is the artist a hairist, or simply out of blonde ink that day? In light of recent studies, it seems just a little too coincidental for my liking.

I ran across a study on the internet (and if it's on the internet, it must be true) that stated that gingers are known for having "thicker skin" in their adult life. They can take and give abuse in the workplace and other grown-up environments much better than their stronger-follicled counterparts. Well, of course they bloody well can. You rub the skin long enough, and you either get a callous or draw blood. If this is the attitude they're up against, they'll probably end up with callouses like you wouldn't believe, both physical and metaphorical.

So if the baby comes along, and she is ginger, what's our course of action? Do we let her go off to school to endure a tirade of insults and pummellings? Do we enrol her immediately in martial arts classes so she can defend herself? Or do we repeat the sticks and stones mantra every night before bed?

I've got a better idea. We'll just move to Ireland. They're LOADED with gingers.
Aimee's thoughts:
Three years ago, Kev and I completed an epic adventure where we cycled around Australia on a tandem recumbent tricycle. (Oh please, don't tell me you've never heard of it). It took us 453 days to complete the journey which saw us battling the outback, avoiding snakes, cyclones and road trains, and just generally fighting for survival.

Over the past nine months, it's popped into my mind on more than one occassion that being pregnant is very similiar to cycling around Australia, and I'm one of the few people who can accurately make that comparison, being the only person I know who's done both (with the exception of Sharelle from Kununurra).

There are valleys and peaks throughout the journey.
At the beginning, the going is tough as you adjust. Then, you really hit your stride and get into the groove. Once you're nearing the end, all you want is for it to be over. Am I talking about the bike trip or pregnancy? See?

You're always a topic of discussion.
Whether you're on a gigantic bike or just have a gigantic tummy, strangers take one look at you and have a basis for a good five minutes of small talk.

You're always asked the same questions.
On the bikes, it was 'How far do you go each day?', 'How many punctures you got?' and 'How come the guy in the back's not pedalling?' Being pregnant, it's 'How far along are you?', 'Do you know what you're having?' and 'Have you got any names picked out?' Originally does not run rampant in the masses.

Bad sleep.
Other parents have repeatedly warned us about how little sleep we'll get when the baby arrives. I always counter by pointing out that we spent almost fifteen months getting less than four hours sleep a night and still cycling 50 kilometres the following day. The amount of sleep you get while pregnant or with a newborn is definitely comparable to attempting to sleep in a tent, in the outback, in the summer, without a mat, with centipedes crawling into your eyes...

Aches and pains.
With cycling and with pregnany, you develop aches where you didn't even know you had parts. And neither of them get better with time.

Food cravings.
Although this hasn't been a personal pregnancy affliction of mine, I think it's worth noting that the only time I've ever dreamed about food - literally going through the supermarket and drooling over food - was on the Nullarbor.

On the bike trip, either one of us could down a 2-litre bottle of milk in one sitting. Being pregnant and fighting heartburn, my average is a 2-litre bottle in a 24-hour period. Our fridge is literally a dairy.

Once you're in, you're in.
While it might seem a good idea at the moment of conception to spend the summer cycling in 40-degree heat, once you're in the middle of the outback experiencing it, it seems very different. And then it hits you. There is nothing that is going to get you out of this situation you've put yourself in - you've got to cycle out of there. With pregnancy, it's much the same. Having a baby seems lovely until you realise that you will have to go through labour at some point - it's unavoidable.

It's the small moments that make it all worthwhile.
In the Pilbara, a monotonous day would be made wonderful by seeing a tiny barking lizard by the side of the road or spotting a baby kangaroo in a pouch. With pregnancy, you get magical moments such as when you suddenly realise that you're feeling a foot kick you, not just a random part of the baby. Or when your husband feels the baby move for the first time. Pure joy.

There is one major difference between the bike trip and pregnancy - I would gladly go through one of them again, and the other, once is definitely enough. I'll let you decide which is which.

Did you know?

You may have heard of a little something called Couvade Syndrome. It's the formal name for a psychosomatic affliction contracted by dads during pregnancy, when they start to exhibit symptoms of pregnancy too!

Some get fat, some get nauseous, some get abdominal pains, some even throw up! Kevin's got a touch of it... he's got nightly heartburn like me! At least with Couvade's, the husbands have a hint of an inkling of a miniscule part of what we women go through. I do feel sorry for him, but only until there's only a bit of milk left, then it's all MINE!
If I only knew then...

This week: Heartburn

Heartburn is a popular (perhaps I should say 'common') symptom of pregnancy, and it sucks sucks sucks to have it every single night. Preggies are more prone to heartburn since their insides are pushed all over the place, allowing the stomach acid to dribble up the esophagus like a river of thumbtacks.

Your best bet for quenching the burn, believe it or not, is Coke. There are so many chemicals and acids in Coke, I don't think the stomach acid knows quite what to do about it, and retreats. Coke, however, should be a last resort. After all, it might get rid of heartburn, but it's also got caffiene, counter-productive when trying to sleep. For lesser heartburn, try whole milk.

Things that don't work: Coffee, tea, citrus juice and water. Water tends to aggravate my heartburn... I think it just slides on by, but lubes up the throat for a quicker journey for the acid. Don't do it.
Everyone into the poll!

Back on Week 32, they told me I had a 5 pound baby already. This was two weeks after Mikki and Rigel gave birth to their baby, who also weighed 5 pounds (granted, she was early). She had a 5 pound baby outside, and I had a 5 pound baby inside. And another 8 weeks before MY baby was on the outside. Eep!

Q. How big was your baby at birth?
    Less than 6 lbs
    Between 6 and 7 lbs
    Between 7 and 8 lbs
    Between 8 and 9 lbs
    Between 9 and 10 lbs     More than 10 lbs

If you've got two kids, vote twice!
Results next week!
Aimee's cravings

I suppose you could say that I'm craving milk, since I drink about 2 litres a night, but I think it's more that I'm craving the days when I didn't have heartburn, and long to live them again. Sigh.

Baby's Book of the Week

Avocado Baby
By John Burningham
And another thing; the ginger family isn't portrayed to be that bright either. I mean, if your whole family was weak, and you found that by feeding the baby avocados caused it to grow strong, what's the next logical step? That's right, feed the whole family avocados. Do they? Of course not. Do we learn any kind of lesson from this? Again, of course not. In fact, the last line of the book is this: "The baby gets stronger every day and of course it is still eating avocado pears." Like that's some sort of conclusion. It ends like a news update - "Police are questioning the parents but at this time have no leads. Over to you, Bob." Sheesh. This story's about as weak as a ginger on school dinners.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

a little bit country,
a little bit
rock n' roll

   B-mail us!       Get baby updates in your inbox!

Week 35 Week 37
Week 40
Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26 Week 27 Week 28 Week 29 Week 30 Week 31 Week 32 Week 33 Week 34 Week 35 Week 36 Week 37 Week 38 Week 39 Labour
Week 41 Month 1
2007 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12 Month 13

Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
That's just daft.