I can’t believe it’s been over three months since we shared that we’re having a baby. Time flies when you’re having fun…or preparing for a seismic shift to your lives? Either way, we’re in the home stretch and some of you have been asking how things are going, wanting to see more photos, etc., so we’re back with a final update on the pregnancy!
Let’s start with the main update, which is that Megatron is a girl! Obviously, this is not new-news to us, but we wanted to keep some details private early on. I wish I could share some fun and interesting anecdote about learning this news, but this was entirely uneventful for us. I suppose you could put on some music (Lion King soundtrack feels right), do a little dance around the room while reading this blog post, and have an impromptu little virtual party.
On the plus side, “entirely uneventful” is good news in its own way when it comes to this sort of thing. It means that we also did not have a party that caused a plane crash, deadly explosion, or wildfire burning down thousands of acres. Megatron will be entering the world without having caused any tragedies, a small parenting win for us right out of the gate!
Although some of what you see on the blog might suggest otherwise, we’re pretty practical people. There’s so much of pregnancy and parenting that we’ve been mulling over for years, and we’ve always been on the same page that we’d want to know our baby’s sex as soon as possible and without any surprises or fanfare. To each their own on that and all things, we’re certainly not knocking those who choose to share their news differently. (After all, we are writing a blog post about it.)
As such, our ‘story’ isn’t so much a story as a sequence of events. Sarah was at home, eagerly awaiting an email from our doctor. The instant this arrived, she called me and read it aloud. I was at Walt Disney World in my natural habitat, eating at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. There were a lot of tears of joy and excitement, and what Sarah was saying didn’t really register at first. I just remember when she said, “we’re having a little girl…we’re having a baby girl!”
Pretty much everything else leading up to and after that is now a complete blur. About the only thing that I do remember was hearing Sonny Eclipse perform “Bright Little Star” sometime afterwards when I was coming back down to earth. That’s always been a special song to us that holds a lot of memories from past trips, but holy cow has it taken on new meaning. So if you see either of us crying in Cosmic Ray’s in the future, now you know why…it’s not (necessarily) due to the food!
Part of our rationale for wanting to know that we’re having a girl was to “properly prepare.” But I’ll be honest with you…I can’t think of much that we’ve done that would’ve been different with a boy versus a girl. Most of the stuff we’ve bought has been in neutral colors, or based more on our preferences than anything else. (We like blue.) Maybe with the exception of baby clothes, but some of those were purchased in advance of this news, anyway.
We haven’t painted a nursery, but even if we did, all of my undeniably awesome ideas–dinosaurs, dragons, mountain lions, manatees, trolls–are excellent for both boys and girls. It’s fair to say the same about Winnie the Pooh and his posse, who are undoubtedly going to have a huge presence in our household going forward.
More than anything else, knowing that we’re having a baby girl has helped us mentally prepare. The news was another milestone that made it even more “real” for us; another small step forward that brought a bit of certainty and lessened unease. Each one of these mile-markers that we’ve passed, so to speak, have brought comfort and peace of mind.
Let’s turn to an update on mom, as we receive reader questions and comments about this every time we share a photo of us. There have been several additional doctor’s appointments since the last update, and they’ve all gone well. Both Sarah and baby are perfectly healthy, and Megatron continues to be very active. It’s fun to feel her move, but I’ll be honest that I didn’t realize I’d be able to see her move. Admittedly, that kind of freaked me out at first, but probably because I immediately associated it with Alien. (Apologies, I’m a dork with an unchecked imagination.)
Beyond that, I’ll give you my standard diplomatic answer when asked how Sarah has been: she’s doing really well given the circumstances! What does that mean? Whatever you think it means–that’s the beauty of the vague statement!
Choosing my words a little less carefully, I’ll just say this: you can see the photos here. Sarah is a very small person. Adding a baby to her front section is a significant increase–in percentage terms–in load for her petite frame to bear. It’s like rollover risk in vehicles with a higher center of gravity versus a station wagon. Hopefully that makes some degree of sense. If not, I believe this subject is covered by Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land.
In all seriousness, Sarah is experiencing more pain in her third trimester. This started with her hip and back, and has now extended to her legs and feet. Those are often swollen, especially after extensive time walking. She also frequently has shortness of breath. Nevertheless, she persists. We’ve spent a lot of time walking on the beach and in the parks, and just wrapped up a long weekend at Disneyland. In order to continue closing her rings and hitting step goals, she’s taken to wearing compression socks at all times and elevating her feet when she’s resting.
Aside from the rare research trip to Salt & Straw (for science), Sarah continues to be an incredibly healthy eater. I mentioned last time that she has, somehow, kicked that up a notch during the pregnancy. Since then, she has kicked it up another notch, and has been very conscientious about nutrition and exercise.
Megatron being our miracle baby, we both have this heightened sense that we need to do everything “right” and in our power to ensure she’ll be healthy and okay. There’s undoubtedly a bit of overzealousness with this. Logically, we understand that a lot is certainly beyond our control, but emotionally, we’d rather err on the side of caution than regret making a mistake.
Suffice to say, Sarah is already frequently in “Mama Bear Mode.” I’m incredibly proud of her diligence and determination. Sarah has been a (reverse) rockstar throughout the pregnancy, which is to say that she takes very seriously what she puts into and does with her body.
As mentioned above, “we” did a long weekend at Disneyland. More accurately, Sarah did a long weekend at Disneyland with a couple of her girl friends and I did a mostly-solo weekend at Disneyland. We stayed at the Westin Anaheim in a theme park view room, which was fantastic and much better than our dumpster-view room last time, but that’s not really the point.
Sarah’s friends stayed at Disneyland Hotel, and Sarah was not on the reservation. She did, however, drive to and park at Disneyland Hotel on several occasions. I mention this seemingly inconsequential detail because on the last night, Disney left the following for Sarah in their room at Disneyland Hotel:
That right there is pure Disney magic, and exactly the type of thing that made us fall in love with the parks in the first place. The little things like this, the way Cast Members go above and beyond to make moments for guests and everyone feel like a VIP. This is all still very much alive and well with frontline Cast Members…even if some of the executives could stand to learn a thing or two from the true stewards of Walt Disney’s legacy.
These incredibly sweet and generous gifts had to have been due to the parking lot attendant Cast Members, who had gone above and beyond even before this. Another great reminder that there’s no small role at Disneyland. Every Cast Member is important to the magic, and those parking lot attendants were the ones who absolutely made Sarah’s weekend.
In our last update, I shared some of my misadventures in stroller testing. As discussed there, my Dwight Schrute style stroller testing trials were a massive failure, outside of one fateful day driving down the ransacked aisles of a local BuyBuy Baby that was going out of business. I’m sorry to report that things haven’t gotten any better on that front, and it’s looking less and less likely that I’m going to be a certified stroller expert.
On a positive note, Sarah’s stroller-of-choice went on sale during Amazon Prime Day, so we’re now the proud owners of a Babyzen YOYO² Stroller. She did a ton of research on this, and felt it was the best option for our circumstances. I’ve been practicing folding it one handed while holding our dog to simulate preparing for rope drop bus rides at Walt Disney World. Obviously, not quite the same as the real thing, but so far we’re both really pleased with the stroller. We’ll see how it holds up during actual use at the parks, though!
In reluctantly coming to terms with the likelihood that I probably won’t become a certified stroller expert, I’ve developed a new obsession: babywearing. I’ve really gotten deep into this one (or gone off the deep end, if you’d prefer), poring over blog posts and lurking the babywearing community on Reddit. After careful consideration and way too much research, I ordered the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Mini. The first of many options I plan on testing in my new quest to become a certified babywearing expert!
Now, before you pass judgment and voice your opposition to this idea–as just about everyone I’ve talked to in real life has–please hear me out. First, I recognize that it’s impossible to know how this is going to work out until Megatron arrives and I’m actually able to, you know, wear the baby. Reading about the thing is obviously very different from doing the thing, and I’m well aware of that.
However, so many of the ‘critiques’ I’ve heard from family and friends about babywearing is how tiring and uncomfortable it can be, especially in hot weather (like at Walt Disney World approximately 44 weeks of the year). That’s a fair point, but keep in mind that I carry a 20 to 30 pound camera bag day in and day out at the parks.
From my perspective, babywearing is like a living camera bag. Also, it’s one baby, Michael. What could it weigh, as much as a Nikon D850 + 70-200mm f/2.8 lens?! Now I’m no orthopedist, but my understanding is that wearing a baby on my chest should offset damage I’ve done to my back by wearing such a heavy camera bag for so many years.
Anyway, I’m really excited about babywearing while also recognizing that my preconceived notions may not comport with the practical reality of wearing a baby. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, etc. I also recognize that very few people share my enthusiasm, which is probably why the online communities I’ve found feel a bit cultish, as we babywearing zealots are spurned by polite society.
If anything, this babywearing experience has been a good early lesson that not everything is right for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. But I’ll shut up about babywearing for now. You’ll either hear much more about it later, or you can enjoy a quiet sense of vindication as I fail miserably at it and never speak of this again.
This is getting pretty long, and we don’t want to bore you with more mundane details about continuing to get ourselves prepared to be parents. Beyond the above, we’ve been attending classes at our local hospital, reading everything we can about newborns, buying a ton of necessary (and some unnecessary, probably) items, and getting our home ready to welcome a baby.
We’ll be back with another update once we welcome Megatron or Baby (Girl) Bricker or Disney Tourist Baby (etc.) into the world. In the meantime, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming. Thank you all so much for your kind words of wisdom, support and opening your arms and hearts to us as our family grows. It really means a lot to us–more than you can probably imagine!
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Any thoughts you have in response to our update on Baby (Girl) Bricker and Sarah? Are you “excited” to hear about my misadventures in babywearing? Anything else you’re interested in reading about with regard to Megatron, pregnancy in the parks, etc? (Again, we don’t know how much we’re going to feel comfortable putting ourselves and our child out there, so we’d greatly appreciate you granting us grace and patience as we find our footing and prepare to be parents!) Hearing your feedback is always appreciated, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!