Welcome to In the Mind of the Man blog. Here I will try to keep a sort of running diary of my thoughts and experiences about raising a child from a male's point of view. After hearing countless people tell me that her childhood will be over in a Blink of an Eye, I decided to take time to stop and reflect on the day to day mundane activities my daughter and I share. I hope you enjoy reading and sharing in my journey, but most of all I hope my daughter and I enjoy looking back at this blog 20+ years from now and laughing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Three Months Down - Seven to Go

We went for our ever-so important Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan today.  Basically it is an ultrasound where they look at the fluid under the skin in the back of the baby’s neck.  This will assess the likelihood of the baby having Down’s Syndrome.  This test is done soon after 12 weeks.  They won’t be able to tell us for sure either way, just a percentage as to the chances of it developing Down’s.  The nurse told us that they would be concerned if it was over 2.5 mm, and that normal is around 1mm – 1.5mm. 

We got to the hospital right on time and had to wait for only 15 minutes, but don’t tell that to Heather’s bladder!  I can’t say I can completely relate to Heather’s experience.  I mean I don’t think I’ve ever had to drink a gallon of water and then have somebody poke and push on my stomach for 40+ minutes.  It must have felt awful!  But I was in such awe with our little guy dancing on the computer screen that, in my mind, it seemed to justify Heather’s discomfort.   And since this blog is named after my mind…  Well, sorry Heather, but because the little guy wouldn’t give us a perfect profile picture (what is needed to take the NT measurements) we were able to look at him/her for about 40 minutes. 

In that 40 minutes, we saw our unborn child turn, flip, wave, turn some more, and touch its head.  To see the our little guy move his hand like that and to its head had to be one of the cutest things I’ve seen.  Ok, I admit, that sounds cliché, but up until this touch of the head it has been a number, a percentage, a heartbeat, an ultrasound, a fetus, a “Teddy Bear.”  Now it was making human movements.  This really might have been the cutest thing I have ever seen. 

After a while the stubborn little guy gave the nurse a profile picture (see below) and allowed her to take a measurement of the fluid.  It measured at 1.01mm.  We are at 12 weeks 2 days.  We still have to hold our breaths for the next 8 weeks until the 20 week scan to see if everything is progressing as it should, but as of now everything is normal once again.

ps.  If you're reading this blog already, you obviously know already.  But we are starting our 2nd trimester, so please feel free to tell any friends or family of our pregnancy... if you want to.

Pps. Follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Follow ITMOTM on Twitter!

Okay 21st century people, it's time to step it up and follow me on Twitter.
Whether you like it or not, Twitter is here to stay and it is a great way to keep connected - especially to this blog.
If this seems appealing to you, here are a few ways to follow ITMOTM (InTheMindOfTheMan) on Twitter:

1. If you already have an account just sign in and follow @TheMindOfTheMan
2. If you don't have an account click on the Follow me on Twitter link on the left side of this page.  Sign up for an account and search for TheMindOfTheMan and follow.
2a. If you are still confused on how to sign up for a Twitter account, click on this LINK and it will walk you through the steps to sign up for an account.

Friday, October 22, 2010


We decided to rent a Doppler to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I had heard mixed feelings about looking for the heartbeat, especially so soon. When I told my mother we were renting a Doppler she told me, on more than one occasion, that she didn’t like the idea.  “Keep faith!”  She said to us.  “You don’t need to stress yourself out with that.”  I will keep faith, but being the anxiety prone person that I am, I couldn’t wait to hear our child’s heartbeat to make sure everything was working fine.  Sure, when other people don’t hear it right away they may freak out, but that wouldn’t happen to me…

So when the Doppler came in the mail yesterday, I was excited to try it right away.  We had an appointment with Heather’s OBGYN later in the afternoon and I planned on asking her to help us learn how to use it so we didn’t have one of those episodes of freaking out that I had read about.

However, as I was reaching into my backpack to take the Doppler out and ask if she could show us the baby’s heartbeat she said, “And then there are those people who want to find the heartbeat around this time.  It’s just too soon!  But, they’re a little bit crazy, you know.”  I slowly dropped the device back into my bag and made believe I was pulling out some chap stick.  “Air is dry right now.  My lips are smarting.”

We went home feeling a little bit disappointed that we hadn’t received any data from her.  As soon as we walked in the door, though, I made preparations to gather our own data. 

Directions read. Aquasonic Ultrasound Gel on the face of the probe.  Place probe on Heather’s stomach.  Hopeful smiles on both our faces…

and nothing.  

Ok.  No big deal.  Got to search for the beat.  Wait… What’s that?  I think it is… It’s a heartbeat!  But something’s wrong.  The display is only saying the heart rate is at 70.  It is supposed to be between 120 – 180 beats per minute.  So why was our baby’s heart only beating 70 beats per minute? 

Of course, now I am freaking out.  If we didn’t find a heartbeat at all, I could assume it is just too small to hear right now, as everyone told me.  But we did hear a heart and it was slow. 

With a little help from my wife, and my good friend Eric, who is going through this process with his wife 12 weeks ahead of us, I was able to calm down and assume that what we heard was the blood flowing through Heather’s arteries.  I was content to just wait until our next doctor’s visit.

But then today came.  “Let’s give it one more try,” I said to Heather. 
“Really?  Not again.  It’s not big enough yet.”
“Come on…” I pleaded.

Within a few minutes we picked up a sound much faster than the heartbeat we heard last night.  We had found it!  Eureka!  Our little guy (or girl, as Heather corrects me) is doing well and working hard to grow.   

I recorded what we heard and made it available for you to hear, too.  I’ve created another page linked to this website where I will place all the recorded heartbeats.  I will try to keep this page updated each week with new ones.  

If you want to hear it yourself, click on the link and then download the attachment on the new page.  You will have to have Windows Media on your computer to play it.  So sorry iPads and iPhones!  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Chicken Parmesan

One thing they never they never told us about being pregnant is that figuring out what to eat and how to eat together will be a tedious, if not a stressful, decision making process. 

The last couple of days we have had nothing in the house to make for dinner.  Going out to dinner is not something Heather is up for.  She works hard all day and when she gets home she wants to stay in and enjoy the comfort of the house.  Which leads us to ordering dinner in.  One of the great things about living in the city is that there are so many good restaurants that will deliver right to our door. 

“Hey, maybe we could order from Anthony’s!  Think they have Chicken Parm?”  Heather says with enthusiasm.

We go to the computer and type in www.anthonysbrooklyn.com.  Anthony’s has some of the best pizza that we’ve found in Brooklyn, so the thought was that the rest of their menu would follow suit.  So we perused the menu I hopes of finding some resemblance of Chicken Parmesan. 

“What’s Chicken Pizzaiola?”
“Let’s look it up!”  I say.
“No, that’s not what I’m looking for.”  Heather is still in shock that this Italian eatery does not have the Parmigiano!

“Hey what about La Villa.” I say, with the hope of having a dinner together still alive.
“No, I’m done with that place.”
“What do you mean done!  We always love it there.” 
“I don’t know, just not what I’m in the mood for.”

So we start combing through the Internet and take out the stack of delivery menus that we have saved in our kitchen until finally… Heather gives up. 

Great! It’s very rare lately that we have dinner together due to the fact that either our appetites don’t match up or we’re not on the same hunger schedule.  Tonight seemed so promising.  She brought the idea of food before I did!  She had a place in mind!  And now it’s gone.  She’s walked away.  Turning her head to say on her way up the stairs to take a shower, “Just get what ever you want.  I’ll have cereal or something.” 

This is our life right now.  With the baby growing fast inside her, Heather’s appetite is like a teenager who got the keys to the car for the first time.  Going around curves at high speeds.   Taking all of its concentration to hold the wheel tightly in order to avoid swerving into the opposite lane.  Going too slow on the highway and too fast on the back roads.  But I have to say; my wife is handling it well.  Like that driving instructor who calmly corrects without making the teenager even more nervous, Heather hits the passenger side break when needed and takes control of her appetite once again. 

I guess in the first trimester of pregnancy there are not many opportunities for nice romantic dinners.   Hopefully things change in the following trimesters, because one thing people have told us is that having a romantic dinner after the trimesters come to an end is few and far between. 

To add a happy ending to this story, as Heath was in the shower I found a place that had Chicken Parm.  “Hey Heath, what about Mulino?  You know the place we went to with my parents?”  No objection.  The meal was ordered and delivered and as we sat together at the dinner table eating our Chicken Parmesans with candlelight between us, we both agreed that this was a delicious meal.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Little Teddy Bear

So we got to see our little Teddy Bear tonight.  Looking and sounding healthy at exactly 9 weeks old.   The doctor was very pleased with what he saw and said it was at the “Teddy Bear” stage, where the fetus looks like a … yup, a teddy bear.  I don’t know if that is an official term or his own, but none-the-less, it was a cute description that I will gladly steal from him.   

I will post more tomorrow, but for now here are the facts and pictures below. 

Age – 9 Weeks 0 Days
Length – 2.48 cm  (pretty darn close to 1 full inch) 
Heart Rate – 175 beats per minute

Here you can see the brain and the arms.  Looking like, as the Dr. called, a Teddy Bear.

This scan shows the heart rate at the bottom right.

This scan shows the gestational age (GA) and the crown to rump length (CRL) at the bottom right.