El Gran Feto

Once upon a time I used to speak Spanish. Seven years in school, thanks. Yeah, I'm impressive.

Then one day I married me a returned missionary of the Chilean persuasion and suddenly I was a hack. I would try to converse con mi amor but all of my words would come out jumpy, my conjugations all wrong, causing my Holbsgringo to look at me askance and sometimes even wince at the way I would butcher his glorious missionary language.

Okay, so I couldn't speak it very well. But, at least I could understand! 

"Speak to me in Spanish!" I'd ask, and then he'd rattle off some mumbo jumbo really fast and once I uncrossed my eyes I'd have to ask, "Mas demasiado, por favor?"

And then one day things degenerated to our current program, in which I ask "Te gustas?" as I display a lovely ensemble for church that I have put together out of the sparkles in my brain, and The Holbsenor replies somberly, "That is not what that means."

But lately I have been honing my skillz in another foreign language. A more better foreign language! That would be the foreign language of the Fetuses.

All day long I am receiving and interpreting messages that are sent to me from the great beyond of my belly button.  Just there behind the waist band of my jeans which only sort of fit, if you don't look too close.

My fetus sends me highly important and confidential transmissions on the daily. Things like:




and just once,

Dance party!

Just last night I discovered that the fetus really likes it when I sing early-90s era Whitney Houston.  I wanna feel the heat with somebody?

At yesterday's doctors appointment I found out I am carrying my fetus pretty low. The nurse went to find a heart beat and obviously picked the fattest part of me to start with, but, no baby! She listened, and furrowed her brow. "Hmmm."  Then she wiggled the doppler around some more, still nothing. Then she sighed. "Take off your pants."  I thought she'd never ask!

Finally, there it was, right on my pelvic bone, whumpa-whumpa-whumpa.  And I said out loud, "There he is!" And then I wondered, Was that significant?

As soon as she started counting beats it scooted to the left. Then to the right. She chased that sucker all over until finally cornering it near my left hip. "156! A perfectly respectable heartbeat," she announced, while I thought to myself, Will you look at the stubborn thing I am growing in there! It must be mine.

For the rest of the day I tuned my transmission to an outward signal.  Suddenly it felt like I might actually be growing a real live person in there or something, instead of a burrito like I sometimes fantasize.

"It's . . . a burrito!"

You know?

Fetus. I messaged.  Requesting gender information.

Nothing.  Except, cottage cheese and beets sounded really good all of the sudden.

Fetus, this is your mother speaking. Are you a girl? Or a boy? 

Apparently, just like with my other failed language attempts, I am solely a one-way communicator.  Reception only! No outgoing mail!

So if you happened to see me in the grocery store yesterday zoned out by the cottage cheese it is not because I was deeply pondering curd size, it is because I was attempting to contact The Great Fetus.

The Great Fetus that, as The Holbs pointed out yesterday, is "just about the size of a steak!"


  1. Hearing the first heartbeats of your baby is such an overwhelmingly exciting experience - I always thought the doctor took the doppler away too soon, I could have listened all afternoon.

  2. So I take it 'Cletus the Fetus' is not in the top 10 for either gender?

    Just wait until Fetus stars transmitting heartburn and trampoline party on your bladder. Those are really fun messages.

  3. Awwwwww....Just Awwwwwwww.....I wrote a post for you months ago when you were talking about not getting pregnant. I know I don't know you, but I knew the feelings you were having and am so excited you share these new ones with us now....Hugs...and prayers and many burritos!!! I was a bomb pop gal I don't like them...weird..

  4. Interesting. Very interesting. I was always good at the speaking of the Spanish, but never really knew what I was saying. Pronunciation: stellar. Knowing what the devil everybody's talking about: negative.

    Makes me wonder if I'll understand my fetus when I grow one. One day. After I find a man and get married. Oh, I hope to understand the fetus!

    Also...cottage cheese with beets? Really? I love me some cottage cheese with strawberries, or fresh peaches. And me thinks it's amazing mixed with picante sauce and consumed with either tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. But DangGina doesn't love the beets.

    Seriously loved this post, Natalie. LOVED IT.

  5. The question is... which gender are you hoping for?????

  6. I enjoy reading this! Makes my day! I'm daydreaming right now. :))

  7. I'm so excited! I don't even care what gender The Great Holbs Fetus is!

  8. Cottage cheese is so versatile! It's good mixed with Fritos or fruit. A little pepper or a little strawberry jam. But beets? I can't knock them cuz I've never tried them. Just know they are pretty.

    And LOL to the Holbs' "size of a steak" remark.

  9. You didn't just say Holbschalupa...Looks a little Deutsch.

    Size of a steak!?...What field did that come out of Holbsizzler?

    Congrats on the beat kids!!!

  10. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    I love your stories! You are so adorable and too too funny!

  11. loved this post!
    and i'm also curious which of the genders you're routing for?? although i'm sure you're like most long as it's healthy who cares?!

    i know i don't know you, but i'm kinda hoping for a little mini-natthefatrat!! how fun! congrats again.

  12. Holbsgringo! My favourite nom de Holbs to date.

    My senor also poo-poos the car singing - I thought that it may be a deal breaker at one point but lucky for him he brought hairbrushing to the table.

  13. Hilarious! Maybe you're growing a little Jedi.

  14. Mmmmm beets. The real kind, bought in the produce section, not the fake kind in a can are the best.

    Peel, slice, salt and then roast in the oven. Never tried with cottage cheese, but that just might work.

    May your burrito continue to have a wonderful, strong heartbeat!

  15. The heartrate suggests girl parts, though obviously it's not a sure thing. But even before we knew for sure, our doctor said that his guess was girl based on the heartrate (ours was the same as yours) and he was right, so I thought I'd throw that out there. Also, my girl fetus is EXTREMELY bossy and they've had to chase her around with the doppler and ultrasound thingy too. I'm definitely going to guess girl for you.

  16. The first time I got to hear my baby's heart rate it was 164 I think, but I'm carrying basically in the middle, not too high and not too low, so this baby is giving no hints as to what it's got...

  17. Ohh Nat! You really make me laugh! :) A burrito! Seriously? LOL! What a funny fantasy.

    You know, though, we have something in common, you and me. I took three semesters of Spanish during college and could rarely ever speak a durn word of it. BUT I could understand it easily. Strange huh? I guess we're receptionists. Ha!

    PS... I can't wait to hear a "whumpa whumpa" of my own someday. You're stories make me even more excited.

  18. Dang -- and I misspelled "your" -- apparently I can't even write in English.

  19. I'm the same way with French! I can read it and understand some of it, but I can't speak it. It's really quite sad since I took it in high school and college.

    Also I think most fetuses are one way communicators. They talk we listen.

  20. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    Natalie I'm WAY excited for you and I love your writing talent. How does this kind of talent just roll off your fingers? Can't wait to see more baby bump pics!!

  21. Too funny! As always I enjoyed tour post to the last full-stop!( period)

  22. Don't read too much into heart rates for gender. The sunshine baby was all over the place; first girl rates then boy rates then her own rates. You seem to be craving the same stuff I did....I'm saying girl baby (I'm pretty much always right but I'm much better at guessing in person)

    oh I miss whumpa-whumpa sounds but I'm still getting 2 in the morning dance parties only not in-utero :)

  23. Is there a possibility you're carrying a baby AND a burrito?

  24. Your flair for comedic hyperbole has only increased with pregnancy. Looooove it! :)

  25. Happy Mother's Day, Natalie!!!

  26. Happy Mothers Day!! To you & That super fetus!

  27. See? I told you, glitter and fetus translation. You are SO good! But you need to know - that line about "this is your mother speaking" I totally choked up for you when I read it. Hooray! You're somebody's mother! Can you believe it????


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