Saturday, 18 December 2010

The first two weeks

Well, we've had an interesting time with Elizabeth over the last two weeks. I had to spend the first couple of days in hospital so I could be monitored as I lost a lot of blood and had a low iron level. We eventually came home on the Sunday evening. Lovely!

As you would expect, it took us a few days to get used to having our newest addition around. The day after we were discharged (Monday 6th) we had a visit from the midwife as they like to make sure that the first night at home went OK. Both Elizabeth and myself were checked over and everything was fine. We then had to travel to Wycombe Hospital on Wednesday 8th for Elizabeth's 5 day check-up. They did a blood test on her and some other general checks. She was also weighed and had only lost 20 grams. Her birth weight was 3.4 kg (7lbs 8oz) and in the first two weeks, babies are expected to lose up to 10% of their birth weight.

Unfortunately I then got a bit sick and had to be admitted to the hospital on Sunday 12th. I was on IV antibiotics and had to stay in for two days. Not fun but I felt much better when I left. I had managed to get some sort of virus but luckily Elizabeth seemed to be OK. This meant that Elizabeth had her 10 day check-up at Stoke Mandeville as that's where we were staying. They weighed her and her weight had gone up to 3.5kg (7lbs 11oz)! She clearly wasn't having any problems feeding...

We then had another visit from the midwife at home to check that I was OK after my little stay in the hospital. Elizabeth was weighed again and this time she'd gone up to 3.62kg (7lbs 15.5oz). This was when she was 13 days old. Most babies are back to their birth weight at this point but Elizabeth likes her food a bit too much. That's a great sign though and we're really pleased with her development. She's even pretty good at holding up her own head. Scary...
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Friday, 10 December 2010

Summarised birth

This is a much shorter post without all the gorey details, for those that still want to know how the birth went.

My waters went before I started having contractions so I was taken into hospital so that I could be induced. After 8 hours, I still hadn't dilated and was in a lot of pain so I had an epidural. My only form of pain relief up to that point was gas-and-air.

5 hours after the epidural had gone in I had dilated to 9cm but the baby started to get distressed. It was therefore decided that I should have an emergency c-section.

They wheeled me straight into theater but I had fully dilated so I had what's called an assisted delivery. A suction cup was attached to baby's head and I had an episiotomy. Whilst I pushed, the surgeon guided the baby out to safety. Elizabeth was born at 7.25 am.
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The birth

Wow! A whole week has passed since the birth of our baby girl. It's really flown by. I'm sure you'll forgive us for not doing any posts recently.

So I'll start at the beginning. Warning - skip this post if you don't want too much information...

We went to bed Wednesday evening and I woke up just after midnight for a quick toilet stop. For reasons which I'm sure are obvious, I thought that my waters (amniotic sack) might be leaking. I still felt like this the following morning so called the hospital, who suggested I pop in to get checked out. They confirmed my suspicions. As I wasn't having any contractions at this point, I was booked in to be induced the following morning at 8am. We were all hoping contractions would start on their own but either way it meant that I wouldn't be having the water birth that I wanted. We were sent home with instructions to get cosy and prepare ourselves for the birth.

At about 7.45 thursday evening, I thought there was a bit of meconium in my leaking waters. Another trip to the hospital and again my thoughts were confirmed. This meant that I had to be induced straight away as there was too great a risk to the baby to wait. They set me up with drips in both hands as I had to have various different fluids pumped into me throughout the process.

It took a while but eventually I began to feel the contractions that the machine said I was having quite regularly. After 4 hours I had started on the gas-and-air for some pain relief and the midwife checked to see how dilated I was. I wasn't at all dilated which was a huge disappointment. The drug they use to induce labour (synto) was increased and we would have to wait another 4 hours for my dilation to be checked.

By the time that next check came around, I was having 8 contractions every 10 minutes. I was in a lot of pain! There was no respite between the contractions so I didn't have a chance to get over one before the next one hit. So, the midwife (Kath) does her thing and I'm still not dilated at all! I decided to have an epidural.

Duncan, the anesthesiologist, came to us really quickly - at least it felt to me like it was quick. I think it then takes about 15 minutes to prepare everything. I sat on the side of the bed, patiently waiting to have a long needle stuck in my spine, whilst trying to cope with the contractions and letting Duncan know when they were coming. He needed to do his thing whilst I was absolutely still. 15 minutes after that the drugs started working and I had a rest. I'd been awake for a long time and hadn't really slept much wednesday night, due to worry.

My dilation was then checked again 2 hours later. I had got to 5 cm! I have no idea what happened during those 2 hours or the 2 hours after that, except that baby started to get a little distressed. A device was therefore attached to her head to keep a better track of her heart rate and some other tests were done to see if they could determine why her heart rate kept dropping. They then measured my dilation and I was 9 cm! Minutes later, we had the results and the doctor decided that her results were too low and they needed to get her out. I was wheeled to theatre for an emergency c-section (caesarean).

By the time we got into theater, I was fully dilated. It was decided that I would have a ventouse delivery (where they attach a suction cup to baby's head) and I also needed an episiotomy (cutting me). Elizabeth was then born at 7.25 am.
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

We're no closer :(

We had a midwife appointment today to see how things are progressing. Unfortunately I'm no closer to shoving this baby out than I was.... well, anytime before now. I'm not even a little dilated and I've been booked in for an induction next Tuesday. I'm not particularly happy about it because it means I can't have the birth that I want but at least the baby will be here, safe and sound. That's the important thing. So by next Tuesday/Wednesday we'll be parents!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

D-Day

There’s a little over an hour left of our due day and no sign of ET yet. There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be late like its Mummy :) Everything has been going well and we’re not worried. The baby’s head is engaged and is still in the correct position so it’ll come when it’s ready. We have a midwife appointment on Tuesday where we’ll be talking about induction if things don’t start moving on their own. Hopefully we’ll have some news for you by then!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sleep

Now as some of you will already know, I've not really been sleeping well for quite a while now. I usually manage to get 4 or 5 hours in, then am wide awake (and I'm a 9 hour a night kind of girl). This often results in me having a lovely afternoon kip. I know what you're thinking - my body is preparing me for all those sleepless nights once the baby arrives. Fair enough, I'm not complaining. However, Thursday night I had the best sleep I've had for MONTHS! Not only did I sleep through the night - no 3am toilet break - but I slept until about 9am! I had a good, undisturbed 9 hours! It wasn't long before I realised that this probably meant that was my last decent sleep.

So last night we went to bed after having been out for a lovely meal to celebrate Dad's 65th birthday. We were both pretty knackered but I was feeling so uncomfortable that sleep didn't arrive for a good hour and a half. It was just after 1:20 when I last looked at my clock. Then 4am arrived and that was me up and wide awake. I did manage to get three hours of sleep in at 8am - thanks Frans - but I now feel so out of sorts that I'm glad I'm on maternity leave.

Sadly I think I may be getting used to this kind of sleep deprivation....

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

All done!

Frans and I put the crib together last night so now we're officially ready to have a baby. We've got all the 'stuff' so we'll be fine. Right?
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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

3 weeks, 2 days and counting

I had an appointment with the midwife today. As I'm close to my due date, I have an appointment every two weeks to keep track of my progress. I'm pleased to report that everything is going well and that the baby is 2/5 engaged! I've been trying to think of how I can explain what this means and came to the conclusion that I should let someone else do it. Have a look here for more info (specifically the third post by ellie223). So it doesn't mean that I'm about to give birth, it just means that things are moving in the right direction :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Not-a-baby-shower

A few weeks ago, Charlotte very kindly offered to throw me a baby shower. After a short discussion we agreed that cake and a catch up would be fabulous but the event would NOT be called a baby shower - I didn't want people spending their hard earned money on presents.

So two days ago, my not-a-baby-shower happened. All my high school girlfriends gathered round at Charlotte's place and it was so wonderful to spend the day with them. Charlotte made some gorgeous cupcakes:
There were also brownies and fruit & nut cake. All delicious!

Then it turned out that some people had bought some presents. Thank you girls, they are all wonderful :) Gemma gave us a Grobag - a baby sleeping bag basically - and a hooded towel, both of which feature a Disney character called Roo (from Winnie the Pooh). There was also a wooden toy to clip to the pram, some rubber ducks for bathtime and a cuddly sheep which doubles as a pillow.
Lucy gave us a very cool sheep-themed baby book. It makes noises and is nice and colourful. The little green thing on the left of the picture below is a baby gro (some people call them onesies). It's wrapped up as a little cupcake. It's a bit big for a newborn so we'll open it up once the baby is a few months old.

Next up are the gifts from Fiona and Fahri. I've been given some scented candles for any 'me' time that I get once the baby comes. There is also a lovely keepsakes box with space for a photo on the lid. I think this will probably be the baby's little treasures box.


After all the presents were opened, we ate LOTS of cake and just generally had a catch up. We talked for quite a while! Then Charlotte got out some pumpkins for us all to carve. The artists of the group carved some truly amazing designs - mine is the rather basic one on the left. It's my first pumpkin and I love it :)
Thank you girls for making Saturday such an amazing day. xx

Friday, 29 October 2010

Some photos for you

I've gone through all the photos that Frans took on Sunday and I've chosen a small selection for you all to look at. Click here to see them.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

So much washing!

I've just done my fourth washload in three days. WTF! First I got all the adult washing out the way - that was two washloads. Then I changed the bed sheets - one washload. Now I've just done baby clothes and because it's all so tiny, there's LOADS of it! It's taken me half an hour to hang it all up, and I'm gonna have to do a baby washload every other day, what with the clothes, the nappies, the wipes, the blankets. And I have to fit 'normal' washing in there somewhere. So tomorrow is more washing for me - the blankets, musline squares, sheets and the few clothes I didn't do today. Sigh.

What have I let myself in for....

Monday, 25 October 2010

Maternity Leave

So my maternity leave officially started on Friday. Today is Monday and I've done more 'stuff' in the last three days than I did when I was working. We had a VERY full day at the Baby Show on Saturday, Sunday was also very hectic (see previous blog posts) and today I started on my to-do list. I think I crossed off two things yet I haven't stopped moving. Even now, we've just finished eating and I'm straight on here writing. I even know what I'm doing when I've finished writing - more tidying. What's wrong with me?!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Photos and cot storage

We spent most of today taking photos. As soon as I've sorted through them, I'll put them up for you all to see. Until then, you'll have to wait :) We finished with the photos about 2pm so thought we should have some lunch, then pop over to see Mum and Tim. They've kindly offered to store our wonderful new cot in their shed. Actually, loads of people have offered to store it for us and we're so grateful to have such wonderful friends. Unfortunately it's too large (even in pieces) to go through a loft hatch so the shed was our only real option. So we popped over and left them with a lot of wood to store. Thanks guys!

Our new cot!

After the Baby Show yesterday we headed over to Essex to pick up our lovely cot, purchased from Ebay. I won't tell you about the nightmare traffic or how it took us 2 hours 30 mins to do a 1 hour 30 min trip. But I will tell you about how lovely the family were that we bought the cot from. Really friendly and helpful and it makes me feel like we've made a good choice with the cot. Silly, I know. So the guys packed up the car - which was also full of Baby Show stuff - and off Frans and I went. At this point it was about 8pm and we were both exhausted and hungry. We decided to stop for a very romantic Burger King at South Mims Service station. Wonderful :)

But we've got the cot that we fell in love with all those months ago and we know that our little rugrat will be happy in there for a long time to come.

The Baby Show

Yesterday we went to the Baby Show at Earls Court, London. Once we eventually got there - we had a bit of navigational trouble - we wandered around looking at all the stalls, trying to work out what we needed and what we just liked the look of :) Seriously, we know what these shows are like and how easy it is to spend money so we went with a list of the things that we wanted to look at and set about investigating in a "Lytzen" systematic way.

So the main things we wanted to look at were reusable nappies, baby wipes, changing bags, bottles and equipment for expressing and storing milk. The bottles and related products were easily sorted. Tommee Tippee have their Closer To Nature range which I really loved the look and feel of. The teats on the bottles seemed to me - the expert - to be a much more natural shape than the others we looked at as well as having some other features that both Frans and I felt were important, especially since we only want to bottle feed occasionally. We bought two bottles and a breast pump kit (which had a bottle in it) so if breastfeeding doesn't work, we can at least feed the baby then go and buy more bottles when needed.

As we were walking around we found lots of stalls selling changing bags. To be honest, I was quite disappointed by most of them. A lot of them were trying to be something other than what they were and weren't really my cup of tea. I did see one which I had looked at before the show - the Wallaboo - but didn't like it in the flesh. That's been crossed off. The bag that Frans quite liked was the Baby Mule. A great design and seems to be quite practical but again I'm not sure that I can see myself carrying it around. Something to think about though.

For the baby wipes and nappies, Frans and I again both agreed that we wanted to use resuables as much as possible. The plan is to use disposables until we get the hang of things and also when we're out but to use the reusables when we're home. Before we went, I found Cheeky Wipes online and knew they were exhibiting at the Show. To be honest, what they sell is just flannels and tupperware boxes but the cost of us putting the kit together ourselves wouldn't be worth the hassle. The Cheeky Wipes kit all fits neatly together and also comes with two bags so you can take the resuable wipes out and about with you and baby. It gives us options in the future. Sold!

The nappies were much harder to decide on. There was such a vast amount of stalls selling resuable nappies, all of which seemed to be a little bit different. We narrowed the contenders down to two - Bum Genius and gNappies. We sat and discussed the pros and cons of each system and eventually decided that we wanted to go with the Bum Genius nappies. They had a good deal on at the show so we bought what we needed there. Sorted! Now we have twenty nappies and forty liners to wash. Oh joy!

Lastly, we had brief look at the Pourty. It's really just a fancy potty but it's going on our 'still to get list' anyway.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Antenatal classes

Last night was our last antenatal class. Well, I have one more but that's more of a catch up with the girls before we all pop. So last night, we got thrown in straight at the deep end and had to dress a baby. They gave us a doll to practice on, don't panic! Whilst we were discussing clothes and things, a lady came in with a REAL baby. Ah, scary! He was born three weeks ago and was so tiny and cute. I can't believe we'll have one of those in five weeks' time.... The mum was very good and answered lots of questions from everyone. It was lovely to see her and her new little family. The dad got asked some questions too so we got a rounded perspective on parenthood in the first few weeks.

So that's it - no more classes. Do I feel ready for motherhood? Not in the slightest :)

We've got a cot!

I can't remember if I've told you this story before so I'll start from the beginning. Fairly early on in the pregnancy, Frans and I were shopping in Reading and wandered in to a Mamas and Papas shop. For the Danes, it's a shop that sells baby products, a bit like Baby Sam. They have nursery furniture as well as toys, clothes, maternity wear, etc. They sell such beautiful things and we fell in love with one of their cots. Actually, we love the whole set of furniture in the Ocean Golden Oak range. Needless to say it's the most expensive set they have - we do tend to have expensive taste! We very quickly decided that there was no way we could justify spending that amount of money on any cot or dresser. We set about looking at other cots and dressers with the dresser being our priority as we had the crib from my Mum to use until the baby was a few months old. We did decide that we would like to get a matching set though so we had to like both the dresser and the cot in any set.

After much searching, the only other cots and dressers that we liked were just as expensive as the Ocean set. I know - does it really matter what it looks like? The baby won't know. But after falling for the solid oak Ocean set, all the other stuff just seemed 'less' somehow. So we decided to try Ebay. I discovered that the Ocean set is quite popular, even second hand. Both dressers and cots were coming on to Ebay but were selling for a price too far out of our budget. I kept an eye out for a long time for a bargain then last weekend a cot was put on - and we won it today! It's cost us only slightly more than the average cot and nothing like what we would've paid in the shop. Like I said, we don't need a cot yet so it's going to be stored at my Mum's place for now.

As for the dresser, they are very scarce on Ebay but we have the dresser that Sean kindly gave to us a few months ago so we're in no rush. I'll still keep my eyes peeled and when there's a bargain to be had, I'll pounce.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Camilla's box of goodies

So as I mentioned in my previous post, Camilla has very kindly given us a box of baby things. The box consists of things that she knew we didn't yet have, things we might have forgotten about and a few cute things too. Here's a photo:

So the box consists of the following items:
  • Nappy sacks
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby soap
  • Nappy rash cream
  • Cotton pads
  • Calpol (yummy!)
  • Scissors for cutting nails
  • Two dummies
  • Five muslin squares
  • A really cool toy
  • Seven bibs
  • The most gorgeous Winnie the Pooh coat EVER
Camilla's present was so unexpected. It's such a wonderful gift and we're very touched that she's gone to so much effort. Camilla, it really is greatly appreciated. We love you. xx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A productive weekend

This weekend was dedicated to 'Baby Prep'. Basically we wanted to get as much stuff done as possible in preparation for our little one arriving in 6 weeks time (or there abouts). We had a big long list of all the stuff we had left to do and did manage to get a fair chunk of it done. As you can see from our previous post, the car seat is now in Frans' car ready to dash to the hospital. We've made a list of all the stuff we need to pack for the hospital bag so that will get packed next weekend hopefully. Frans has finished sanding the crib so now it just needs to be painted - exciting!

Today we also met up with Camilla who had a little box of goodies for us. She has been incredibly sweet and wonderful and has filled a box with things that she knew we didn't have yet. There's bibs, dummies, muslin squares, and lots of other bits. I'll do a more detailed post on this with pictures during the week. We love it though :)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Car seat installed


Just installed the car seat so we are ready to go to the hospital in a while...
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Monday, 4 October 2010

Surprises!

Not strictly a baby-related post but I had to let everyone know just how amazing my husband is. I was whisked away on a surprise trip on Saturday (October 2nd) and was spoilt rotten.

The day started with breakfast in bed, followed by a lazy morning before we left for London. We took a gentle walk from Marylebone and ended up at a maternity clothes store. Frans wanted to treat me to some nice clothes so we left the shop (about 90 minutes later!) with some amazing jeans and 4 nursing tops. They're gorgeous :) We then grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading to the hotel Frans had booked for the night - in Mayfair! We stayed at the Millenium Hotel and it is lush. The foyer had those old-style elevators where there's a clock arm that moves to tell you what floor the lift is on. Love it! We had a dinner reservation at an Italian restaurant for 6pm so we got ready for the evening. The restaurant was lovely and we both really enjoyed our meals. Then we had to leave for my next surprise - the theatre. We took a short walk along Shaftsbury Avenue, seeing lots of different theatres, none of which were stopping at. I was starting to think that we weren't actually going to see a show, then we arrived at the theatre showing Stomp. Wow! What an incredible show! The dancers have so much energy and the show was just incredible. The choreography was mind-blowing and even the smallest, quietest parts were captivating. When we left, it was pouring with rain but we had no hope of getting a taxi. We started the mile and a half walk back to the hotel, keeping an eye out for a free taxi. Needless to say, one didn't come so we got drenched walking all the way back to the hotel. It was an interesting evening to an amazing day - we couldn't stop laughing!

On Sunday morning, we woke up a bit earlier than planned. We had a room-service breakfast - very posh - before lazily getting ready for the day ahead. We decided to pop over to Covent Garden and have a nosey round some shops. It started off as quite a sunny day but a little rain did come in. We hopped from shop to shop, had a chocolate crepe and some coffee before heading to the Duke of Wellington pub for Sunday lunch. Cue my last surprise - Camilla! For those of you who don't know/can't remember, Camilla is one of my closest friends and was a bridesmaid at our wedding. Frans had been in contact with her to see if she was around to meet us for lunch as I'm always complaining that I haven't seen her for months. It was definitely a surprise to see her standing outside the pub, waiting for us. The food at the Duke was lovely and the three of us talked and ate for almost three hours. It was a wonderful end to an amazing weekend in London.

Thank you my love.

Friday, 1 October 2010

3rd scan

When we had the second scan, they found that Rachelle's placenta (moderkage in danish) was too low. This is quite common in early pregnancy but if it doesn't move up it can cause complications at birth.
We therefore had an extra scan today to see if it had moved - and it had. Not only that, the baby is currently lying in the right position, with it's head down and it's back towards the left. Oh, and it's got hair!
So far all looks good for a natural birth. Nice to know it's going well; one of the couples from our antenatal group turned up to class last night, not having felt the baby move all day and were promptly sent to hospital by the teacher. We ran in to another couple from the group at the hospital today, and it looks like she may have pre eclampsia.
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Friday, 24 September 2010

Flat is filling up

Both the car seat and the buggy have arrived - along with the muslin squares, the various ointments and all the rest. Not really room for us anymore :)
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And the daddies over here...

At our first ante-natal class last night the instructor said "and can we have the daddies over here...". Such a small thing, but that really hit home. First time I've been called a daddy in earnest. Very scary!
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Our first antenatal class

So last night we popped along to Thame to attend our first antenatal class. There are six classes, each lasting two hours thirty minutes, and a women's only class. We're doing the classes with a charity called the NCT and they're a bit more in-depth than the NHS classes.

The first class was all about getting to know each other and settling into the class. Including us, there were nine couples and we seem to be quite a diverse group. Time will tell :)

Next week we talk about labour. What joy....

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Score

Won a pair of tickets to The Baby Show today, courtesy of Baby Genie.
I started reading the Baby Genie blog a few months ago in the hope of picking up a few tips on the daunting challenge ahead. It's a blog I really enjoy reading, it's entertainingly written and packs in lots of useful information too.

Now the tickets are paid for, just have to pay for travel, parking, food and all the nice items we will undoubtedly end up buying :) It's going to be a nice day out.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

New car

I almost forgot about my lovely 'new' car. On Tuesday evening, I dragged my big bro Jason over to Woking to look at a Vauxhall Astra. It's 6 years old and has hardly been used but most importantly, it has a big boot! I should have no problems getting a buggy in and out. It's lovely to drive but I must admit that I was sad to say goodbye to my wonderful 206 yesterday. It will be missed.

The 'big' shop

So we did a rather big shop yesterday. As most of you already know, we chose our buggy/pram quite a while ago. We've now purchased it! We also bought the car seat, a changing mat and a couple of other things like books and cream. It should all arrive this week sometime.

In preparation for all of this 'stuff', we've been sorting out storage for the non-essential things we currently have in the flat, as well as doing a bit of rearranging to fit everything in here a bit better. We're getting there.

It's so exciting!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Thanks Sonia!

My cousin Sonia had her third child at the start of this year and very kindly offered us a load of her newborn items and some other bits that she's no longer using. She dropped them off at the weekend and we can't believe how generous she has been. Everything is neutral as we don't know if we're having a boy or girl, and it's all so cute and tiny! Clothes-wise, I think we now have everything. Sonia has given us vests, all-in-one things, blankets, cardigans, hats, socks, mittens and some of the cutest winter clothes you will ever see. There's a ski suit type thing that I can't wait to get our little one in to - a ski trip is calling.... - and these brown furry boots that keep my fingers very snug :)

Thank you so much Sonia. All of this stuff and all your advice is greatly appreciated.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Baby backpack


As in, a backpack to carry a baby in, not a pack for the baby to wear.
Funny story about this; when my lovely sister and her equally lovely husband had their first child they spent six months in New Haven. I went to visit them and I gave them this pack so they could go hiking with Christian. Now they have very kindly given it to us so we can do the same. Can't wait!
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Baby has got a chest of drawers

Being tight, we've managed to scrounge a chest of drawers off Sean for the baby's clothes and to function as the base for the changing table.
It's meant I've had to pack my weights away so I can't train with them any more. Such a huge sacrifice, I was using those weights all the time - training many times a day as can be seen from my honed physique... Oh, did I just confuse dream and reality again?
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Friday, 3 September 2010

Kicking update

Well the baby has been trying to kick its way out of me for about four weeks now. That's four weeks of HARD kicking, not the lovely gentle ones I was feeling before that. So anyway, I've started noticing a pattern. I want to sleep, the baby wants to dance. I want to eat, the baby wants to practice gymnastics. Do you see where this is going? Should I expect this to continue for the next three months? Some research is required me thinks.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Our trip to Denmark

So this is our last holiday as a couple. Wow! At least for a while anyway. We had a wonderful time both in Denmark and on the journey there and back. On our way out we stopped in Gent, Belgium, for dinner and a kip. It's such a gorgeous city. The architecture is incredible and there are so many churches! It was quite warm too. We arrived in Gent late afternoon on the Saturday and the temperature was 28 degrees. The evening stayed warm allowing us to walk the 20 minutes from the hotel into town then eating outside. We ate at a lovely restaurant infront of the castle and had such a wonderful, relaxing evening.

The next morning was all go in a bid to get to Denmark before it got too late in the day. We left quite early but unfortunately hit very bad traffic just before we reached Hamburg. We reckon we were sat still for about an hour and in VERY slow moving traffic for another 30 minutes. There were also numerous delays before that due to the high volume of road works along our route. Eventually we got to Puttgarden, Germany, and got the ferry across to Denmark. We then had a short drive to the summerhouse in Nysted where we were met by Inger and Bruno and a scrummy dinner. Thanks guys :D

We then had a few days to ourselves in the summerhouse, not doing much. We did a couple of touristy things but mainly just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. Bliss!

On the Thursday (August 26th) we left Nysted in the morning to head up to Copenhagen, stopping at Gavnø Castle on the way. The weather was gorgeous. We then arrived at Laura and Ulrich's place in Copenhagen later in the afternoon. We set up the Slackline that we bought for Christian and Cecilie in the garden before having another lovely dinner with the family. Thanks Laura, it was delicious!

Friday saw us visiting Frans' half brothers. We spent some time in Copenhagen itself and did a little bit of shopping. We bought a "baby names" book so that we can have a bit of Danish influence with any names we choose. We then had a big family meal with almost the whole family in the evening and it was wonderful to see everyone and catch up. It's incredible how much all the kids have grown since we last saw them.

We then had to say goodbye on the Saturday as we had a long drive ahead of us. We reached Eindhoven in The Netherlands pretty late in the evening so we had dinner then hit the sack.

On Sunday we managed to squeeze in a quick stop in Bruges before getting to Boulogne to catch the ferry home. The sea was a bit rough and the baby didn't stop moving so I didn't fair too well on that part of the journey but two hours later and we were back in Blighty (greeted by horrendous rain, I might add).

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Kicking

I've just felt the baby kick loads. It's the first time I've really felt it, so big milestone!!!
R says the baby has been kicking lots in the last 24 hours so that's probably why I could feel it so much tonight.
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A lovely gift

We received a lovely gift of baby clothes from Joy and Tony today. Well cute!

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Trials

We looked after Jake and Amelie for the weekend, good little test of what's it's really like to have kids. Of course they behaved like right little angels so it probably wasn't what it's really like :)
We watched Toy Story 3 in 3D on Saturday - not bad, apart from the three trips to the bathroom.

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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The next hurdle...

Well actually, there are two. The first is trying to rearrange the flat into something that will be a bit less cramped once the baby arrives. We've got a few ideas in our head about how to go about this but we'll start experimenting after our trip to Denmark at the end of August. This is most likely when we're going to start buying some of the bigger things that we need as we'll need a bit of time to make sure everything fits.

The other, more time consuming hurdle is my car. The two buggies that Frans mentioned before - Baby Jogger Summit XC and City Elite - are both fairly big. Like Frans said, think 4x4 of the buggy world. This means that there will be no where in my car to put anything other than the car seat and the buggy. Not really ideal. So we're now thinking that I need to get a slightly bigger car. I like my little car and don't want to give it up but we both agree that a bigger boot would be a very good thing. This is a fairly time-consuming issue so it's top of the list to sort out.

I'll be sad to say goodbye to my little girl :(

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A nice surprise

My lovely wife said she had a surprise for me on Saturday morning. She wouldn't tell me what it was but just told me to get in the car. In any case, we eventually arrived at Babyworld's showroom and it all became clear; I have been looking at the Baby Jogger Summit XC on the internet (it's a buggy/pram etc thing) while R quite fancied the Bugaboo Cameleon. However, we hadn't been able to track down a retailer where we could try out the Baby Jogger and compare the two. Anyway, R had found that Babyworld stock them both and as the showroom is not too far from us, that is where we went on this Saturday morning.

Our main requirements in a buggy/pram are;
  • Must be part of a travel system so we can use it as a pram, i.e. with a carry cot and also with a car seat.
  • Must have good suspension to protect the child's back.
  • Must be good off-road, as we live in a somewhat rural area and want to be able to easily take the kid for walks in the wood.
We spent over an hour in Babyworld with some superb staff, who took us through everything and were incredibly patient. Thanks to them! It quickly became clear that the Camelon wasn't really the one for us, but R is  a bit concerned about the heft of the Summit XC - it's a bit like having a 4x4. In any case, we ended up also looking at the Baby Jogger City Elite, which is quite similar, but with somewhat smaller wheels. The main differences for us are;
  • The Elite has an adjustable handle bar.
  • The Elite does not have suspension on the rear wheels.
  • The rear wheels on the Elite are 12" instead of 16" so looks a bit less imposing.
The final decision is down to R, but I'm still favoring the Summit XC.


Afterwards we went to Marlow to shop for Maternity clothes. There is only one shop in Marlow that does that at a sensible price, namely Bloomin Marvellous. Unfortunately, they were having a closing down sale as Mothercare has bought the brand and are closing down the shops, so there was nothing left for R. On the plus side, the baby onesies were reduced by 70% or more, so we took the opportunity to buy some of the basic baby clothes at a vastly reduced price. Got to grab these opportunities.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Crib

Rachelle's mum has very kindly lent us the crib that Rachelle and all her siblings used. We put it together yesterday to see if it would fit - and it does so very nicely.

Now just need to give it a lick of paint and buy a new mattress for it. I am digging this!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Crib

Went round to the in-laws today to pick up a crib they had in the loft. Now just need to assemble it and see if it fits in the flat. Apparently it has hooks so we could suspend it from the ceiling if required :)

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Shopping fever

We've been quite good at not jumping on the "buy baby stuff now" bandwagon - Rachelle in particular has been quite adament that we didn't get ahead of ourselves.
Until now... After the second scan it's all become rather real and she is finding herself in a mild panic to get everything sorted. So, today we went to Oxford to look for maternity clothes (nope, Oxford is crap for that) and to pop in to Mothercare to look at stuff. We also bought a book 7 Steps to raising a bilingual child, which is okay if not exactly brilliant.

We spent about an hour in Mothercare receiving a lot of information about buggies from a very nice lady. Rachelle is quite keen on the Bugaboo Cameleon while I am quite liking the Baby Jogger Summit XC but no-one near here sells it so we have been unable to try it out.

Still, the rule remains that we won't buy anything other than a few books before the 3rd trimester. Besides, we are getting so many lovely offers from people wanting to give us their stuff, which is extremely nice.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The second scan

Today we had our second scan. This is the scan where they can pick up any anomalies in the baby. Thankful we have a very active little baby with no obvious defects. We saw the spine, all the internal organs, the heart beating and the blood flow around it. We're told that all 10 fingers and toes are there but I couldn't make them out. But everything is good and progressing well :)

Here's a picture for you but I warn you now - it looks like an alien. The picture shows a cross-section of the head so you see the baby's brain, eye sockets, nasal cavity and jaw bone. Really weird!In case you can't make out anything else, have a look at this version:

The baby is screwed up with its arms in front of its face and its feet are together so that its knees stick out to the side. The baby is facing outwards from my tummy - already trying to see the world!

This would usually be the last scan but my placenta is low. I need to go back at 32 weeks for another scan to see if it has moved. Hopefully it will have moved up and out the way - I don't want a C-section. Everyone cross your fingers...

We're so happy! Frans can't stop beaming which is such a wonderful thing to see. Hopefully it'll last through all the sleepless nights we have coming our way :)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Definitely felt it move!

There's no doubt in my mind that I felt the baby move! I was laying stretched out on the bed this morning and I had this weird 'flutter' in my tummy. I can't wait to feel a proper kick :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Midwife appointment

So we saw the midwife today for our 16-week check up. Everything seems to be fine and on track. We heard the baby's heartbeat which was incredible. The midwife was very patient and answered all our silly questions but it's good to know that all this stuff that's happening is quite normal. I thought I may have felt the baby move a couple of days ago and I asked if this was possible. She described the sensation to me and I'm not totally convinced that's what I felt but it could well have been. Exciting!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Our first scan

Well today we had the first scan of the baby. It's currently 12 weeks and 6 days old. It's about 6.5 cm long and likes to stretch and kick its legs lots.

Wales!

Well we're now back from our little weekend trip away. We had a great time but as expected, the weather could've been better. I'm very happy to report though that 'Knold' seemed to enjoy itself :) I've only had a couple of moments where I've felt sick and now we're back and I'm still feeling good. How long will it last I wonder.....

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A post from the expectant mother...

Frans has been on at me to write a little something on here so I thought I'd give you a little update on how I've been feeling.

Everyone tells me that the morning sickness should be easing up about now - we're at the twelve week pitstop - but my morning sickness has turned into all-day sickness and I actually feel worse now than I did 5/6 weeks ago. Not a lot I can do about that, I know, but I like to complain :) I've found it difficult to do even the most basic chores around the flat as everything seems to make me want to vomit, which isn't pleasant. Almost all exercise has been stopped for now as well, as physical exertion brings on that dreaded sicky feeling. I'm looking forward to our walk up Snowdon this weekend though. Gonna take it easy and fingers crossed the 'morning' sickness doesn't wreak havoc.

I had my first antenatal blood test today. I can't believe how much blood they took! Glad it's done and I don't have another one until about the 28-week mark.

Frans makes me laugh. I'm so happy I married him :) I'm sure you know what he's like when it comes to something he's excited about. He has printed a pregnancy calendar - it took him three attempts - but it's now up on the wall and he's started writing little bits on it. He gets so excited about everything. We read in a book a friend had lent us that the baby is moving now but is too small for me to feel it. However, a doctor can hear the baby through a stethoscope. We don't have one of those but Frans thought a glass placed upside-down on my belly might work just as well. Needless to say it didn't, but it gave me and baby a good chuckle :) I think he now wants to buy a stethoscope....

He also wanted to buy some books but I said no, not until we were a bit further into the pregnancy. Well, once I gave him the go ahead he went off and researched all the different books he could buy and bought one - that was all I said he could have otherwise he'd buy them all. After our first scan I'll let him lose with the credit card.

There's lots of other stuff I could bore you with but I'll save that for another day.

xx

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Told the Danelanders

Called my Mum to tell her about the pregnancy. She is stuck in Gran Canaria because of the Icelandic ash cloud but she was excited about the news. It wasn't more than an hour or so later that I had a call from my brother-in-law to wish me congratulations - trust my mum to spread the word :)
I did get to tell my other sister myself and I haven't been in touch with the last sister yet.

In the afternoon my father-in-law came round for lunch. He has had a lot of bad news recently, with his mother dying only a few weeks ago (Rachelle's other nan - she lost them both within about a month of each other) and  a number of other things. To say he was happy is probably an understatement.
Just have Rachelle's brothers and sister to go now... The rest of the world can wait another few weeks.

Telling the in-laws

We went round to tell Rachelle's mum and her husband the good news. I think it's fair to say we were slightly apprehensive as it is not more than a few weeks ago that Rachelle's mum advised her to wait a bit longer before getting pregnant. As it happens, they were both very happy for us and Tim immediately volunteered for baby-sitting duties!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

First midwife appointment

We both went to see the midwife at the doctor's surgery to get "booked in". We thought it was just going to be a quick thing, but it took an hour. Very lovely mid-wife, though.
She recommended we look at The NCT for private ante-natal classes.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

First doctor's appointment

Rachelle's first appointment with the doctor. She didn't do any examinations, but did give her some folic acid tablets and told her to book an appointment with the midwife.

Friday, 26 March 2010

We find out

Rachelle did a test and came round to the office to tell me she was pregnant

Monday, 1 March 2010

Conception

Okay, so this is clearly written after the fact....
Rachelle's Nan died three days ago on 26 February so it feels like an odd coincidence that we are conceiving now. If I was into reincarnation I might read something more into it.
In any case, we are now technically two weeks pregant as it is counted from the first day of the last period - odd!