The Homestretch

Apologies in advance to my mother, who upon reading the following fact will undoubtedly shudder in horror at the thought of me having sex (gross!) on a fateful day 37 weeks and four days ago, but as of this writing, I am 37 weeks and four days pregnant. That means we are in the zone. The homestretch. The final countdown. Baby could come any day now, and that would be fine with me. The last few weeks have seen my pace slow to a sedate waddle and my belly swell to the size of a large pumpkin; the heartburn of my easy, breezy second trimester was like having a mild case of hiccups compared to the five-alarm esophageal fire of the last weeks of pregnancy; and I literally cannot speak more than my name without getting winded.


And although I have actually enjoyed most of the last nine months (possibly because this has been a relatively easy pregnancy, or possibly because I am insane), I think I am finally ready for what’s next. Like, let’s get this show on the road. Like, anytime is fine. Like, now for instance.

In these last weeks, we’ve employed a great and varied list of activities that may or may not send me into early labor but have at the very least been moderately amusing ways of passing the time, such as a hike in the redwoods, replete with tree climbing, senior picture posing and my gigantic profile somewhat dwarfing the largest trees in the world…

treehugger in utero

…a weekend of wine tasting with my visiting girlfriends wherein another pregnant woman noticed I actually wasn’t imbibing and muttered under her breath but in earshot of my friends, “look at her being responsible,” name-calling that made me LOLOLOL since I had just finished my second cup of coffee and my third helping of soft cheese…

girls weekend 2014
being “responsible”
to the caves!

…a very slow trek through Golden Gate Park at an overpopulated music festival on the hottest day of the year followed by a long drive deep into the heart of wine country to get my Jason Isbell fix TWICE so that if I can’t find a babysitter the next time he plays in town, I may still be somewhat satiated and won’t be forced to take my baby to a bar…

my main man tweedy and my main squeeze randy at hardly strictly bluegrass fest

…a so-far pretty unsuccessful attempt at making homemade wine but a very successful attempt at making grape-flavored paint thinner…

that wine glass is empty because that “wine” singed the eyebrows off randy’s face.

… and a handful of homebody type goings-on that neither the Internets nor my mother need to know the details of but that have nevertheless been …. entertaining.

We have also been entertained by the name and gender guesses, dad jokes and parenting advice people have shared with us through our poll. At least one of us has been less entertained by the weight guesses, because that one of us is moderately to severely terrified of evicting a 10-pound watermelon from the delicate regions of her body. If you haven’t done the poll yet and still want to, here’s the link, but as a reminder, the winner gets a free, no-expenses paid week of babysitting our kid. And without further ado, here’s what y’all had to say about the joys, perils and pitfalls of parenting.


The balance of your guesses ultimately tipped in favor of us having a boy, a conclusion I probably agree with given the fact that baby boys tend to weigh more at birth than baby girls of the same gestational age, because have you seen this belly? There’s definitely a boy in there.

it’s a boy, probably!



According to our household mathematician, who is not me, averages are made up of extremes. To that end, your extreme predictions for baby’s birth weight, which I’m sure were completely random and in no way related to your perception of my overall girth, ranged from 6 lbs 7 oz to 22 lbs 7 oz; therefore, using the law of averages (Randy is actually saying these words out loud as I type lest I somehow manage to mess up the math in translation, of which I am fully capable) you all have collectively guessed that our state-fair-blue-ribbon-gourd-sized baby person will weigh 8 lbs 1 oz at birth.


There was some debate in these quarters about how to find the average of your birthdate predictions, and I will admit that yes, I put forward a position in this debate that was summarily dismissed because of its absolute wrongness. BUT I TRIED AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS.*

*I have a liberal arts education.

Ultimately we determined we had to omit Randy’s Brother from Another Mother Juan Lobo’s guess because even though I feel as heavy and slow as the world’s largest endangered game animal, there is no other evidence to suggest I am actually an elephant so we can probably rule out the guess that I will carry this baby until well into 2017. With that done, your guesses ranged from October 18, which is practically tomorrow and is a very kind guess (thank you, Mer), to November 20, which is mean and hateful and makes me question our friendship, Anonymous.

EVEN WITH Anonymous’s extreme prediction, the “law of averages” still puts us at the fairly reasonable date of November 3. Look at that. You learn something new every day.


And so, all together, you have guessed that Baby Boy Nattis will join us on November 3, weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz. The person who guessed closest to this exact combination without going over (that rule applies here because it’s all nonsense) is our buddy Tigg. But since none of your guesses mean a hill of beans till that baby gets here, you don’t have to pack your bags just yet, Tigg.


Following is a sampling of your suggestions for what we should name our child but probably won’t (sorry, TJ).

  • Diesel
  • Herbert
  • Princess Leia
  • Moe
  • Jack Shlomo Herer Benz-Nattis
  • Skye
  • Curly Bill
  • Ember
  • Patrick Kane
  • Roland Fuego
  • Calliope
  • Tyrone James (TJ)
  • Chalupa Batman
  • Immaculata
  • Moth Nattis
  • Waffle
  • Ruby Foo
  • Jolene


We asked for advice almost as an afterthought, not least which because unwelcome advice is a very sensitive topic for many pregnant women, but we solicited your thoughts and now I’m glad we did, or else we might not know that “the first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest.” Thanks, Aunt Kathy. And the rest of youse aunts and uncles, too. They say it takes a village, so you’re all on deck.

“Randy, don’t get your feelings hurt if Julie cusses you out in the delivery room; she’ll be holding you responsible for her misery at that point. She won’t really mean it and she’ll take it back later. Maybe.” – Cindy, aka, my oft-horrified mom who is nevertheless very excited to become a grandmother for the first time, aka, baby’s G’mama

“Bubbe and Nono’s Rules: We rarely say no, we love unconditionally, we have lots of fun and we make great memories (and books).” –Sue, aka, Randy’s mom who really does make great books, aka, baby’s Bubbe

“Don’t poke the baby with things. They don’t like it. And don’t give the baby anything else he or she wants, so we can give those things to him or her.” – Aunt Bethany and Uncle Matt, aka, my siblings, who just bought themselves their very own whole free week of no-expenses paid babysitting our kid

“Get lots of sleep now, and get used to the smell of poop!” – Aunt Fran and Uncle Jamie, aka, Randy’s wonderful siblings who have gone before us three times and whose input is invaluable, especially since we hope their kids / our nieces and nephew / baby’s cousins will keep our kid alive while we steal away on date nights, aka, baby’s cousins for the win!

“Parenting is both harder and 1000 times better than you can possibly imagine. Go on a lot of date nights now. Stock up.” – Aunt Melissa

“Be patient, be kind, it’s ok to cry, child birth is not an act of bravery, and take the drugs! Your life will change but you will never experience the love and feeling that you get when you first hold your child. Enjoy every minute!” – Aunt Deb

“Might as well bang out number 2 and get it over with; don’t wait to get out of the diapers and baby stuff just to get dragged back into it.” – Uncle Jordan

“Kids will notice and properly sprout when they see their parents love each other. Remember the circumstances in which he or she entered the world.” – Dirty Uncle Marty

“Randy, your touring days are done, brah. And don’t eat the placenta no matter what, you hippies.” – Uncle TJ

“Kids rock. Don’t believe the haters. I mean TJ.” – Uncle Tigg

“If anyone had told me how often you need to clip baby’s nails and that you will draw blood at least once, I would have rethought the whole thing.” – Uncle Wainberg

“I can’t wait to win a week of babysitting. We could really use a week away from our own kid.” – Uncle Freed

Don’t be freaked out by squishy throbby newborn heads; the hormones will make you think it’s cute.” – Aunt Avery

“Just hang onto that damned kid until we can make it through San Francisco. Think about someone else for a change, you jerks.” – Uncle Patterson

On whether I will deliver late just because our doctor said I might could:

“Julie doesn’t do anything just because someone told her to do it. In fact, she will purposely NOT do it when they say she should do it just to show them that she will do it herself, when she’s damn well good and ready. This baby will be no exception. Also, never have I wanted to lose a pool so badly.” – Aunt Marna

And my personal favorite…

“You get one chance at raising this kid. Don’t fuck it up.” – Uncle Pretty, Pretty Princess Cosimo

See y’all on the other side!

8 thoughts on “The Homestretch

  1. I actually LOVE the post and only shuddered slightly. I knew you and Baby Daddy MUST have had sex, but now that it’s confirmed, I’m going to have to take a BC Powder and go back to bed. I am also very excited to see that my name suggestions were not on the sampling list… because that means you are considering the names I gave you!
    WOO HOO, BABY!! Come on down (literally)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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