Life Being Pregnant…

A man’s reaction to finding out he’s going to be a father varies greatly from person to person.

I’ve heard that some men laugh while others cry. Some faint while some jump with joy. Some even look for the back door.

But I think Tree’s reaction was a first. He immediately went out and bought the most expensive juicer he could find, claiming that he already had a telepathic connection with the child, and it said I needed to ingest healthy super foods right away.

And so began my regiment of fresh-made juice, vitamins, protein counted down to the gram, and an exercise routine called “Extreme Pregnancy Training,” or EPT for short.  It includes two twenty-five minute walks, morning and evening, and one midday forty-five minute power walk along the beach, followed by hip-opening stretches.

What can I say. He’s excited to become a Dad.  He’s even been wearing his medal.  (I heart him!)

Overall I’m really enjoying life being pregnant. I didn’t experience any of the physically uncomfortable aspects that often accompany the first trimester, like morning sickness or exhaustion, but I did go on quite the emotional roller coaster ride.  At first, I was very excited and relieved to be pregnant, but soon after I grew fanatic about what I should be doing (and not be doing) now that I was ‘with child.’ I began obsessively researching ectopic pregnancy, genetic defects, miscarriage, and everything else that terrified me.  I compiled a list of all the possible teratogens (things that cause birth defects) that I may have touched, eaten or drank in the recent past so I could call my doctor in the U.S. and freak out.

Whereas just weeks before I was drinking wine while scoffing the invasive nature of Western medicine,  now I was calling every clinic in Peru in a frantic search for a transvaginal ultrasound and full panel blood test. I was a crazy woman.

Granted, I think it’s normal for first time expectant moms with surging hormones to experience a certain amount of nervous energy, but I think my anxiety may have been exacerbated by living in a developing country. To give you an idea of our stress, first we had to figure out which prenatal tests would be suggested if we were back home and when to have them done, how to say things like ‘nuchal translucency ultrasound’ in Spanish, and then find a trusted place in Peru to have said ‘ecografia nucal’ performed.  Once we got the prenatal ball rolling, we had to figure out what exactly a birth plan was (we were genuinely clueless about all things baby), and then how to make our lofty requirements (husband in the delivery room during birth, an onsite NICU, a doctor that doesn’t force c-sections) a viable reality.

After months of exerting a Herculean effort that included nothing less than visiting six clinics and two birth centers, and interviewing five doctors, three midwives, and one doula, all the way from Trujillo to Lima, we finally got it figured out just in time to enjoy our second trimester. (Click here to read about the birth plan).

Having a birth plan under my belly belt has made the second trimester much more relaxed, at least by Sprinter Life standards.  Even though we spent two months on the road traveling from Huanchaco to Lima, Lima to Los Angeles, and then back to Lima and up through the Cordillera Blanca before settling back in Huanchaco for a while, we haven’t been stressed — just busy, but in a good way.

Where’s Mongo?

Besides having a birth plan,  I also stopped reading horror novels like What To Expect While You’re Expecting and instead picked up Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, a funny and informative book about the differing cultural perspectives on pregnancy and parenting between French and American women.  As some of you may know, I went to Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles, first through ninth grade, and am to this day an unapologetic francophile.

Check out my sister and I in our school uniforms.  Note my personal addition to the blue and white sports ensemble….red socks “representing a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.”  (Trivia Quiz! Name the character and the film.  Hint: It’s my second favorite movie of all time).

On the left, I am sporting the casual P.E. uniform while, on the right, my sister Alexis is wearing the spring formal.

After reading Pamela Druckerman’s book, I was reminded why I love the French so much.  There are too many reasons to enumerate in this post, but in a nutshell, my crush can be attributed to one quality: Sexiness.  Basically, the French exude a calm, self-possessed grace and command combined with a simmering, epicurean joie-de-vivre.  When I think back on my french teachers at Lycee, I picture them walking down the hallways in their stilettos and pencil skirts, perfect nails and blunt cut bobs, always so in control, with a cool authority…… but HOT, like underneath it all their panties were about to catch on fire.  So, I decided that I too will be a sexy, self-assured French pregnant woman.  Of course I’m still committed to being a good mom — the French love their children too — I’m just taking the constant “worry” out of it.

Today I trust my body, my intuition, mother nature…hell, I even trust unpasteurized cheese.

Although both my EPT coach and my commitment to having an enjoyable pregnancy require me to get 8.5 hours of sleep per night, our sleep patterns are predominately determined by the tides. When medium tide is early, I cringe when the alarm goes off at 5:45am. I much prefer the times when his “perfect tide” is mid-day, allowing us to sleep in followed by watching Jon Stewart and eating warm croissants in bed.  (For the record, croissants are a french super food and anyone who tells Tree different will be hearing from me).

But, as with everything in life, the tides do change. Sometimes my way, sometimes the other.

The dogs continue to be my main source of pregnancy entertainment. Mongo is always getting into something. You just can’t take “The Street” out of this dog. His latest brawl left him with a toothless smile. We’re not sure who he was scrapping with, but we’re keeping our eyes out for a dog with three front teeth stuck in him.  I think that if Mongo was a little human boy, he’d be the kid in ice hockey that they call out to slam into the other players. I think he’s called The Bruiser?  Not sure, but you get my drift.
Despite his tough guy image, though, at home we call him The Princess and the Pea.
Cada Dia Es Mejor!



  1. cheryll says:

    I ADORE you! What a fun post! Continue to eat your French superfoods and follow Dad’s prenatal boot camp. You are awesome! xxxc
    By the way, will that fancy new juicer make margaritas, too? It looks like a party! 🙂

    • Awww, I love and adore you. By the way, I get telepathic messages from our child too, and she says that she wants some of your Super Food Brownies and Banana Bread, please. She should be getting her first round of teeth around this time next year in Mendoza….just in time for a visit from you!!

      As for the fancy new juicer, given its cost and size, it should be able to contact life on other planets AND MAKE MARGARITAS, but so far it only makes really healthy juice. Tree has mastered the recipe though. In the beginning it was a way too potent (he used to put in 10-15 cloves of garlic!) but now it’s delicious.

      Have a Happy Fourth of July!!! What are you going to do this year? We still need to Skype!

  2. Croissants are a super food. Uh-huh… 😉 I’m assume you’ll be wearing 5 inch high heels pre and post birth? Or is that the Italian’s who do that?
    Mongo is NOT The Bruiser. Bruiser is THE BRUISER. There can be only one. 😉
    Loving the pregnancy stories. I never wanted children, but I loved the idea of being pregnant. Must be that creative instinct. ENJOY!

    • You are right!! Pardon me. There is only one Bruiser and he wears his name well 🙂 As for the heels, I wore them up until a few weeks ago. Tree put his foot down and told me that I had to stop. I could still wear them, I am POSITIVE, but someone is not very french in the way he thinks. I’m not going to name any names, but it starts with a T and ends in an E.

  3. I love Tree’s regiment! He can “train” me or at least “train” Phil when I get pregnant. Lycée was fun. I remember being very proud of keeping my socks straight. A clean uniform is a proper uniform. 🙂

    • Be careful what you ask for. He takes his Coach role very seriously. Anyhow, Lycee was fun!! I loved that school so much. And I really liked our uniforms…but not the ones that either of us is wearing in that picture actually. My favorite was the winter formal with the grey skirt and blue blazer. You always looked so cute.

  4. Madrigal Madri says:

    nice !!! pura vida !!!!

  5. Sophia Flores-villa says:

    You are simply beautiful!

  6. John Mescall says:

    Barefoot and pregnant! Who would have thought?!? jk. . . Looking great Mom!

  7. Paula Angrisani says:

    que linda que estas!!!!!La pancita hermosa…

  8. mamatuyas says:

    Yes, the tides come and go. What I love about you two is that whatever the tides bring, you ride the waves with open hearts, and wring every joy you can from the experience.

  9. H.I. in Raising Arizona!

  10. Okay, duh… Wild at Heart. In my defense, I had just woken up and had not yet had coffee!!!!

    • Ding Ding Ding!!!!! Yay Cate!!!! You are the WINNER!!!!!! Good job. I’m impressed. No one else even gave it a guess. I love that movie.

  11. the time will fly by, get some sleep in the sleep bank

  12. Craig Cannon says:

    Hugs & High Fives from Uncle Craig!!!!

  13. Teri Hogan says:

    Fabulous! ♥

  14. Tim Widmer says:

    Tree- the best choice I have ever made was to have another. Enjoy the ride you guys!

  15. Shannon Petrello says:

    I love your latest post. Definitely having a parallel experience (high anxiety and manic research followed by trusting that everything will be okay, even having the occasional drink of wine, shhhh!). I’m also reading Drukermans book and I love it. I make my husband, who is from France, talk to our daughter (well, to my baby bump) only in French. Anyways, so nice to read about another mama-to-be’s journey : )

  16. Guy Loften says:

    Muhy Bonita

  17. Gina Marie Camp says:

    SOOOO EXCITING!!!! You are so flipped adorable!!! ♥

  18. David Leher says:

    KIKI looks so proud! I swear you should write a book from KIKI’s eyes. Bummed I missed your shower. Much love to your family.

  19. Nica (Noni typed) says:

    Here are my questions Auntie Stevie and Uncle Tree:
    Is Mongo going to have to have braces now?
    When is the baby coming?
    Is Uncle Tree’s mustache real?
    Why are the doggies tired so much?
    Do you have twins in your tummy Aunt Stevie?
    OK that’s it. Love Nica

    • Hi Nica!! Great questions!!! Here are my answers: 1) No, Mongo isn’t going to have braces now, but he sure could use a couple of implants. 2) The baby will most likely come sometime in October. The expected due date is October 20th, but that is just a guess. 3) Yes, Uncle Tree’s mustache is real. It took him 38 years to grow every hair on it himself. 4) The doggies are enlightened beings, so when we’re not outside playing, they like to lounge around and show us humans what bliss looks like. 5) I don’t think that I have twins in my belly, but if I do, do you want one? I love you, too, Nica!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo!!!!!

      • Nica (Noni typed) says:

        YES! I’ll take a girl, if there is one. Just tell me how to change the diapers. (Nica really really wants to know).
        I like wiener-dogs best, can you get one of those next? If Mongo is a Buddha-dog, why does he fight? Just wondering.
        I look forward to your replies Aunt Stevie.
        From your neice, Nica

        • ps
          noni spelled niece wrong.

          • Hi Nica,
            It’s uncle Tree here. I also noticed that Noni spelled niece wrong and I was wondering if you would be willing to tutor Noni once or twice a week? Maybe work on spelling and math? That would be very nice of you.

            Kiki is a full Buddha-dog, but Mongo is just a Buddha in training. He is practicing peace and learning to work out his problems in other ways. He’s just a slow learner, like uncle Adam. But he’ll come along.

            We love you!
            Uncle Tree

          • Dear Uncle Tree,
            It’s your big sister Indra here. Perhaps you don’t recall who was working out what when we were growing up. Uncle Adam has many scars to tell the story of you “practicing peace and learning to work out problems”. He also followed other crazy schemes you had, like stuffing your superman PJ’s (cape included) full of TP to soften the fall from jumping off the doghouse. If memory serves, other’s also bear the brunt of your education… Melinda and Tim come to mind.

            Quit telling stories about your brother.

            Love, your big sister.

            (Dear Nica….. see- you will be able to remember everything about growing up with Theo and remind him often about what a bugger he was sometimes)

          • We’re gonna name her PAPAYA HEAD

  20. Carolyn Rose Ward-Schulman says:

    Looks good.

  21. Chris Shinpaugh says:

    Why not the pulp?

    Do you think Kiki is impressed by Mongo’s machismo ??

    Love all of you.


  22. Alison Dahl Kelly says:

    what a kick-ass family xx

  23. Awww so glad to hear about your updates and what you’re going through. You looks fantastic btw!! And happy you got a juicer. We got one a few months ago and it’s LIFE CHANGING!! Ha seriously load up on your organic juiced veggies.

    there’s another french book on child rearing and eating habits called “French children eat everything” that might interest you. it’s written by a canadian author who spent some time in France with her children who didn’t eat much veggies or anything that wasn’t a burger. When they came back she had them eating all kinds of seafood, asking for veggies etc. The French have such a different approach to family than us North Americans so it’s definitely worth checking out for a different perspective.

    And you eat all the croissants/pane au chocolate you want girl!!!

    • Hey Liv,
      Thanks for the book recommendation! We’ll check that our for sure. We agree, they offer a great new perspective.

  24. Emilia Valles says:

    love this picture

  25. You guys are looking good. Can’t wait to see this unfold. Hear you guys are coming home this winter. True?

We want to hear from you! You may comment as 'Anonymous' to hide your identity if you don't want to leave your name. We look forward to hearing from you.

Speak Your Mind

Your comments make us happy.

Leave a comment, get a kitten!