Natalie Odom
Hello world

Natalie Gabrielle Odom arrived June 14th, at 12:05 PM. She was 6 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long. Mommy and baby are both doing good. Expect many more pictures once mommy and daddy get a little more sleep.

36 week ultrasound (The Natalie)

During Natalie’s 36 week ultrasound, we got a good look of . . . her hands in front of her face. This little girl really wants her appearance to be a surprise. She can’t hide for much longer :)

Go Nats!

We are really anxious to meet Natalie face to face so we figured a stadium of 40,000 people screaming “Go Nats” would encourage her to hurry up and get here. It didn’t work, but we had a great time as the Braves beat the Washington “Nats” 3 to 2.

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Daddy Diaper Duty

With just three weeks to go until Natalie’s due date, we had to get her bathroom situation organized. We’ve gotten a carseat and installed it, gotten somewhere for her to sleep, pre-registered at the hospital, and acquired more cute little outfits than she’s likely to ever be able to wear. Diapers remained a vague and challenging area of the whole business. A trip down the baby aisle at the grocery store was intimidating as what seemed like dozens of brands jostled for attention.

We finally selected a pack of newborn-sized Pampers and got the heck out of dodge since there was a very tired looking businessman (who had it all figured out in terms of diapers) giving us weird looks as we debated whether Huggies or Pampers had a better reputation, and discussed what the heck Luvs was even all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True to form, Luke sprang into action when we returned home and thoroughly researched the diaper/wipes field. He quickly surmised that Pampers, in fact, enjoyed a better reputation (at least in online reviews), and placed a bulk order on amazon.com for some Swaddlers, the most renowned Pampers product of all. We took delivery of the shipment today, which arrived in a frighteningly large box. We’re now prepared for mass amounts of baby poo, whether it comes from a newborn or an 8-14 pounder, and can survive a zombie apocalypse or nuclear disaster without running out of baby underwear and needing to visit Target to restock. .

 

 

 

 

Stroller Shopping

 

When we found out we were going to be parents, we began stroller-stalking people to figure out what kind we wanted. We really liked the classic look of the pram, but a cursory search of eBay revealed that these were a little difficult to come by.

We’re both taller, so we knew we wanted to avoid the issues of kicking a braking bar or hunching over handles that were too low, or, alternatively, avoid having to come up with unconventional solutions to the problems generated by a too-short stroller.

 

We executed pretty intense people-watching at multiple times and locations, but we didn’t find the perfect stroller until we went to an actual stroller dealer.

 

Baby Blossom, a store in Fairfax, VA, had an impressive range of options, and even offered a demo baby (a creepy 10-pound baby doll) for you to use in testing the suspension, latches, and other features. The place is state of the art.

We went out in the parking lot, where strollers got put to the test with uneven pavement and the best power-walks a 6’2″ man and a heat-stricken pregnant lady could muster. One parent’s tests were more effective than the other in seeing what the strollers had under the bassinets, so to speak, but we won’t name names.

In the end, only one stroller passed the handlebar, braking bar, and suspension challenges we put it to and here it is.

Just kidding. Our actual choice is pictured in the lower right in black with a striped blanket. The demo baby is still in residence. Natalie will be riding in style in the turquoise color scheme. This thing is really fancy and awesome. The chassis supports the carseat she has, and the seat can be front or rear facing, and can go upright, flat, or anywhere in between. We can’t wait for Natalie to be born so we can take her for rides in it, since she’ll be way cuter in it than the demo baby.

 

 

22 weeks

We went for another ultrasound at 20 weeks, where we were supposed to get to find out whether we were having a little boy or a little girl. This ultrasound was also supposed to tell us things like whether the baby had enough fingers and toes, whether her face was developing properly, how long her legs and arms were, and how much she weighed. Our little monkey somehow managed to completely obscure not only her gender, but every other relevant feature at the 20 week test. If you can picture it, she was positioned as follows: legs crossed and drawn up, her arms crossed and planted over her face, her fists clenched, and her head tucked under.

 

Fail

As a result, we got referred to another doctor who had a more sophisticated ultrasound machine at his office for a do-over. Waiting another two weeks to go find out what we were having was murderous (primarily because we’d already counted down the weeks and days once… Having to reset the clock was tough).

Unsurprisingly, our little darling was still doing “The Natalie,” so we didn’t get a very good look at her face, but the ultrasound tech did manage to wait until she moved around enough to show us that she was going to be a little girl!

We got a glimpse of her face in 3D, though she stubbornly kept her fists planted in front of it. The beautiful thing looked like the image of her daddy, which was pretty adorable. The ultrasound also revealed that we had a long-legged, long-armed kid on our hands.

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One little bonus associated with our extra wait to find out her gender was the fact that we got to have her whole ultrasound on DVD. There’s no audio, but it’s a pretty adorable video nonetheless. You see the entire video below. It takes about 30 seconds to get going. Be patient.

 

The Bun Study

When Natalie was 12 weeks old, we went to get her “Bun Study” done. This is the appointment where they do a detailed ultrasound to make sure the baby is healthy and isn’t showing signs of any sort of chromosomal or other disorder. We were pretty excited to go have a look at her because we knew she would have changed so much over the previous three weeks. And she definitely had! She’d morphed from a little gummi bear with flippers for arms and legs to a recognizable baby, and she was pretty much the cutest baby we’d ever seen. Given that we’re not biased at all, or anything like that. Her measurements all looked fabulous, and we got our first real look at what we would soon start calling “The Natalie” (the hand-in-front-of-the-face pose).

I thought this picture was particularly adorable, not just because you can see her doing ‘The Natalie,” but because this was the first indication to me that Natalie was going to look like her daddy.

Natalie at 12 weeks

The middle and ring fingers on Luke’s hands both grow closer together than his other fingers, and it was obvious in this shot that Natalie’s hands were going to be shaped just like his. It was pretty mind-boggling that just three months ago, we didn’t know we were going to have her, and just that quickly, she’d developed into a little person that already looked and acted so distinctively.

The full glory

 

Announcement

Now that we had made sure everything was going well with Natalie, we got to tell both of our parents. Joy’s parents got to find out first because plane tickets during the holidays are expensive and happened to be cheaper to Florida than to Georgia, so we went there first. To tell my parents, we printed out the still image from the previous post of Natalie’s first ultrasound and gave them a photo album with just that picture in it. As this was the first grandchild for my parents, they were pretty excited.

Click here for the video (you might want to turn your speakers down).