- the next generation - the next generation
Week 37 Week 38 : Squared away Week 39

K: "I only run out to the store for healthy cravings."
A: "In that case, go get me some apples, and while you're out pick up Pringles."

Baby stats:
Current size: 20 inches long.
Weight: Gaining about an ounce a day. Eep.
Aimee's key symptom: Trying to keep up with Kevin's insane nesting.

Developed this week: The vernix on our baby is starting to disolve and she's getting ready to be introduced to the world. Hurry up!
Kevin's thoughts:
"Be prepared for a big change!" seems to be the top nugget of pregnancy advice hurled my way at the moment. "Any day now, eh? Watch out, it's amazing how one little baby can turn your whole world upside down. Yep yep yep, big change coming up for you. After this, everything's different."

Different I can do. Different doesn't scare me. In fact, I absolutely LOVE different. The fact that both Aimee and I love 'different' is one of the things that makes us different (again, which we love).

We don't give a second thought to changing jobs, changing countries, changing our identities to avoid airport security, that sort of thing. Different is liberating, challenging, and exciting. Sameness and stability, which can be comforting to some, tend to send shivers down my spine, and not the good kind.

In fact, what I think is the scariest thing about a new baby is not the initial change it will make to my life, but the fact that the change is permanent.

Adapting to a new baby isn't like adapting to a new country. Well, maybe a little, if the new country is non-English speaking, there's an absence of proper plumbing, and it's on an island that you can never ever leave until you accumulate enough skills and materials to build a boat, which could take upwards of 18 years and even then would still be tethered to the dock with a very long rope.

The difference between any other life change and having a baby is that tether. Most other things you can get out of. You don't like the new flat? You can move into another new flat, or if you're lucky, back into the old one. Lost 30 pounds, and don't like the new you? Simple! Stop exercising and head for the KFC. Got married and don't like the new wife? Easy! Get a divorce, or sleep with your secretary! There's a solution for everything!

But babies... once you've got that baby, you're stuck with it, so you'd better want it, love it, and be ready for it. Luckily, I do, I do, and I am.

A baby's not something you can trade in like a car, or upgrade like a computer, or return to the Kmart like a Chia Pet. You can't even window shop, or pick which one you want from a catalogue. Basically, you put in an order, allow 38-42 weeks for delivery, and you get what you get. For life. No refunds or exchanges. End of story. Even eBay's got more guarantees than that.

And you can't even say it's free. Maybe the initial order placement cost you nothing, but it's one hell of a Cash On Delivery charge, payable in several hundred thousand easy installments.

Now, if that was what was laid out for you in a brochure about your upcoming life change, would YOU agree to that kind of a deal?

It is a big change. A big change that you can never change back. That change changes you, and that change becomes one more constant in your ever-changing life. From now on, if you change homes, she comes with you. If you change towns, she comes with you. If you change cars, jobs, hairstyles, whatever... she's still there.

So should I be scared? A little, but only because I haven't met her yet. After all, on the bike trip, every day was a change of scenery, city and sleeping area. The only thing that remained the same throughout the entire trip was Aimee. And that was pretty good. I like Aimee.

I guess if you've got something you like that's constant, the other changes in your life don't seem as abrupt, since you've still got something from before to hang onto.

And lucky for me, very soon I'll have two somethings.
Aimee's thoughts:
You've probably heard about nesting. This is what happens when a pregnant gal suddenly gets the urge to do a massive spring cleaning in the final days of her pregnancy, whether it's spring or not.

It's so predictable that many midwives use it as a warning that labour is imminent. Usually nesting involves cleaning parts of your house that you haven't given a thought to in years - such as suddenly absolutely having to dust the top of the kitchen cupboards or bleach-clean the radiators. Once you're hit with the nesting bug, nothing can stop you. It's up to your better half to just make sure you don't exhaust yourself or do anything potentially dangerous, such as re-shingling the roof.

New roofs aside, the nesting instinct is nature's way of making sure that you're ready to nurture your baby when it arrives - and it happens with practically every species in the animal kingdom.

However, things seem to be different in the kingdom of Seven Sisters. It's not me who is nesting. It's Kevin. In the past couple of days, my husband has gone insane and has emptied out every cupboard in the kitchen,cleaned and reorganised it. This includes all the drawers, even the junk drawer. You know what I'm talking about. You've got one yourself. It's that drawer in the kitchen full of twist ties and rubber bands and sandwich baggies and loose screws and cockroaches, things that are still too useful to throw away, but not useful enough to be useful right then and there. If you don't have one of these drawers, you're a freak.

The effect this has had on me is strange. I'm not used to Kev doing such a large-scale clean that I feel as though I must encourage and help out with things. So while he's tackled the kitchen, I've tackled the bedroom and cleaned out the closet and drawers. But not because I'm nesting. Just because I'm trying to make the most of a rare opportunity!

However, it turns out that my nesting instict is intact, because right when we were at that crucial 'it's gotta get messier before it gets cleaner' stage, two large boxes of old household items arrived from Canada and for several hours, our house was a complete disaster area. I began freaking out, thinking that if the baby were to arrive that day, she would have the most unwelcome homecoming ever.

About five hours and a few tears later, things were clean again and I've learned that my personal form of nesting is not to deep-clean, but rather to ensure that everything is in a constant state of readiness and cleanliness. While this isn't as impressive as Kevin's massive attack on all things unorganised, it suits me just fine.

Did you know?

Babies are considered full-term at 37 weeks, and can be born at any point after that. The majority of babies are born between weeks 39 and 41, but there are some that hang on as long as 44 weeks!

This is considered somewhat dangerous though, as the placenta begins to degrade after week 39 and isn't delivering as many nutrients and oxygen to the baby, hence the reason why most hospitals induce once you're a week or two over your due date. Unless you're my sister; in which case you're induced so the doctor can catch his plane on time.

If only I knew then...

This week: Cervix pain

Before you go into full-scale labour, you get to experience the softening of your cervix. This is the baby's head pressing down continually into your pelvis and causing your cervix to tear bit by bit. For some women, this doesn't happen until they go into labour. For others, like yours truly, this happens sooner and can cause me to be walking along peacefully only to suddenly double over with sharp inside pain that can only be described as a knife-like kick in the crotch. Fun stuff!

That's a big baby!

The largest baby ever born was 22 pounds - about the size of an average 6-month old.

Kev seems to think that he's recently heard about a 23-pound baby and has been telling many other people about this record-breaking birth, but it isn't true. In fact, he's now even forgotten where he originally heard it. I think it was a nightmare that passed from my head to his while we were sleeping.

Everyone into the poll!

After last week's poll about maternity leave, and all the polls we've done recently that have been almost exclusively geared towards moms, we thought it might be interesting to ask the dads a question...
Q. How much time did your work let you take off for paternity leave?
    2 months or more
    Around 1 month
    Around 2 weeks
    A few days

Results next week!
And as for that maternity leave poll from last week, looks like you ladies like to ride a little close to the wire:

8 weeks or more: 
Around 6 weeks: 
Around 4 weeks: 
Around 2 weeks: 
Still working: 

Kev's Video Game of the Week

By Tim Schafer
What would you expect from the creator of two of my other most favouritest games in the whole world, Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle? This game is beyond brilliant.

The story: You're a kid at psychic summer camp. By learning skills like telekinesis, clairvoyance and levitation it's up to you to thwart an evil plot by Dr. Loboto by entering the collective unconscious, clearing the cobwebs and emotional baggage in people's minds, and saving the brains of your fellow campers held captive in the abandoned asylum across the lake guarded by the mutated lungfish.

Sound weird? It is. And I love it.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

We've got mail...

My esposa and I are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of our niece! You must be excited and nervous. Buena suerte with this final week or two of your pregnancy! I hope that I will be an uncle the next time we talk. Adios!
- Chris and Eunice
Stratford, ON

Finished my last day of work yesterday, and now actually have time to do things, like check your website. Haven't visited the site in a while, so am unsure of what your new due date is....however, if no baby yet....
Good luck with everything! Wishing you a safe, quick labour! We're just waiting now ourselves, as our little boy could be any day..... Funny how laid back we are with the second...probably not entirely a good thing, as we don't have much done, but you realize with the second, that even if he sleeps in a drawer the first week, things will be OK. :)
We're planning on trying another home birth with a mid-wife, so not as much panic if we don't have anything packed. Gavyn has already named the baby Diago...which is better than Dora, I guess.....We'll check back often for the big news...remember...Leslie is a great name! :)
- Leslie
Brantford, ON

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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.
Yes, this room is now satisfactory.