Thursday, 31 December 2009

Year 2 Day 92: NYE '09

I think I've had enough to keep me busy these past couple of weeks so I couldn't have asked for a nicer, more relaxed evening. We spent it with Emma & Daz and when midnight rolled around, Matt joined me on the sofa for a photo-op, where Ryan was getting a bit of kip. (It's kind of his thing these days.) The little mite just couldn't manage to stay awake for the countdown, but I am happy to now have a semi-decent photo of the three of us.

Happy New Year, from my little family to yours! Bless everyone for a safe and healthy 2010!!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Year 2 Day 91: Dino Joe

Matt and I couldn't resist these vest and sleepsuit sets we saw in Asda. Nothing screams BOY like some good ole dinosaurs...but when I pulled the vests out to be laundered before he wore them, I saw that three of the vests had dino's with names! This is Joe. We thought he should be the first to be worn because Ryan's middle name is Joseph.

I'd like to think Ryan approved as he was able to wear it a full 24 hours before getting it messy. I'll spare the details.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Year 2 Day 90: My Baby Judges You

Please understand that it's all so new to me, I can't help but take photo after photo of this little cutie of mine. He pulls some of the funniest faces that leave me in absolute stitches. This one happened during a feed tonight, hence the added chin. One of the cues Ryan gives that he is hungry is his shifty-eye look as if he is judging me. I'm seriously going to have an entire collage in the his first month of all the different faces he makes.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Year 2 Day 89: Aaand Cut

So...he sleeps...a lot. Here is another sleeping baby photo taken at Em & Daz's on their sofa (I hope they won't get as redundant as the sleeping kitty photos). Ryan finds it mostly comfortable on his belly, but I only ever place him this way when I am sitting next to him or when he is against my chest or shoulder.

As you can see he is sporting his trendy Asda alien pyjamas. Like many of his vests and sleepsuits, they're still a bit roomy on his short frame, but it won't be long until he has gained enough to fill them out a bit more. I'm guessing he'll easily be 9 lbs. by the time he is two weeks old. Let's hope he ends up tall, like his daddy.

In other news...I wore REGULAR, NON-MATERNITY jeans today!! My swelling has gone down considerably and although my belly is still a bit tender and the incision site a bit sensitive, it felt so nice to not wear yoga-bottoms. Woo!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Year 2 Day 88: Baby-Cam

This is Grandma & Grandad's Christmas tree from Ryan's viewpoint. I suppose if I wanted to get technical it would look a bit more fuzzy and be black and white since babies are still adjusting their eyes to focus at this age.

He is officially one-week-old now and I am FINALLY starting to get a bit of rest and feel more like myself. We managed to figure out last night that if we keep Ryan awake from about 10pm to midnight and then do a feed, he will sleep all the way through until 8 or 9am. Oh bless you, sweet, magnificent sleep!!

Now, if we could only suss how to make it out the door with him in tow in less than 2 hours.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Year 2 Day 87: I'm a Piranha!

They're in the Amazon! Well, maybe not this little piranha. Our little bunny has acquired yet another little nickname for himself by the way he lunges for things and has such a strong little grip. You're lucky if you get your finger back after you catch this little fishy. In fact, Matt insists Ryan is capable of turning his finger purple from the suction.

The benefit of this maneuvere is that in team-nappy-changing, it keeps his legs still for the most part and the little guy is less likely to whinge. One slip, however, and it's all over from there.

Cutest piranha I've ever seen though!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Year 2 Day 86: Over the River and Through the Woods...

To Grandma's (& Grandad's) house we goooo! 'Snug as a bug in a rug' was the theme for the day as we loaded up in the car seat to head to Josie & David's to celebrate Christmas. We think Ryan really enjoys his rides in the car because he is ever so quiet during this time.

After food and presents, we loaded back up to head to Em & Daz's for a bit as well. I took this photo (although cropped for the blog) of Ryan and his 5 month old cousin both in their car seats fast asleep...

He really looks SO tiny compared to her now and we can't believe how she was ever as tiny (in fact TINIER) than he is now. I mean look! Sleep Sheep is nearly bigger than him!!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Year 2 Day 85: Smile

Okay, so maybe it's likely wind...but I'm sticking with a smile anyway. It was taken with my G1, which has the worst resolution...but you still get the element of sweetness and innocence. All this at only 5 days old. It's possibly the reason why I sometimes stop and stare at him...just waiting for the moments. I don't want to miss even one!

The midwife came today and he was weighed again. He has lost only an ounce since leaving the hospital, which is good considering they quite often lose some weight after birth before they start to gain. I suspect it won't be long until he is at full-fledged piglet status at the rate he eats.

Hollow daddy.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Year 2 Day 84: Feels Like Home to Me

We're finally HOME!!! It felt so surreal walking into the house this morning with OUR baby, which by the way was all decked out in 'Baby Boy' banners and balloons to welcome us (thanks to hubby, Em & Daz). All these weeks we have slowly been accumulating baby-stuffs and we knew the moment would come to use them, but to see him there in his little, stripy, blue, bouncy-chair sent a strong message that...

Santa came a bit early for us this year! What a gift!

Now...where's that comfy, non-hospital bed of mine?

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Year 2 Day 83: House Arrest

Please note, if you will, the security device attached around my little guy's left ankle. This is the baby equivalent to "house arrest" -- and how fitting since we're stuck in for yet another night of "monitoring." This little ankle alarm has been set off nearly EVERY time we have changed his nappy and it has even slid off his ankle a number of times. Although it's reassuring to know no one will get past the main desk of the maternity ward with him, it's still a bit of a nuisance that every couple of hours someone is coming in to check why the alarm is sounding. I guess we got the sensitive one.

Good news came tonight when they notified us that provided things went well through the night, we could be discharged at 8am tomorrow. So, knowing that alone has decreased my anxiety of having to spend yet another night in this room sweating like a pig.

I'm SO looking forward to being home-bound tomorrow!!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Year 2 Day 82: Crouching Baby...

After taking many blows to the bladder and ribs for the majority of the past 40 weeks and 8 days, I didn't need convincing that my child was likely part-ninja. For those who were in doubt, I give you photographic proof that this is true. I think he's actually meditating here whilst dreaming he's in a Jackie Chan film.

I was supposed to be returning home today, but due to some high levels in my blood at the last blood draw, they want to keep me another night for "monitoring." By monitoring they mean, hold me captive and check in on me long enough to give me my pain meds and respond to when I hit the little orange button to ask when the dinner trolley will be around.

So, since I'm prisoner of Russell's Hall, I may as well make good use of my time. There is some fantastic photographic-lighting in this room so I've decided to turn it into my very own little photography studio. I could honestly put that Bounty baby photography lady out of business considering the pant photo she took today of my little man. Hideous!

See what I mean?! I'm not paying money for that! (I'd like to believe he even had his chubby fist pulled back to sock her in the nose...but she clearly cropped that out.)

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Year 2 Day 81: The Great Wipe-Gate Scandal

Gasp! The end of the world! I used baby wipes INSTEAD of cotton wool and water AND I got caught! TWICE! One of the midwives walked in this morning and told me off, saying that my 'sensitive' Pampers wipes, contained in my 'New Mum' pack from Bounty...coincidentally supplied BY the hospital, are too harsh on baby's new skin.

Uhm...I'm pretty sure it's not going to hurt him, AND there is NO WAY I'm using a couple measly pieces of cotton wool and water to scrape the sticky, meconium poo off my child's rear. Sorry.

Then, I was discovered again in the afternoon committing the same dreadful offence...oh yeah, I'm a rebel, folks! That midwife said in a very snooty tone, "And may I ask WHY you're not using cotton wool and water?" I started to answer and all I was able to reply was "Because..." before she chimed in with an equally snarky "...what, because it's EASIER?" All the while in my head I'm thinking 'Dozy cow, you better leave my room before I launch this poopy nappy AT you.'

I could understand if I had a cigarette and was lighting it and sticking it to my child's lips whilst encouraging him to inhale deeply (THAT is a valid concern)...but BABY WIPES?!?!

Give me a break!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Year 2 Day 80: The Encounter

Here is what I have waited for all these months! Allow me to introduce to you the MOST precious and perfect gift I have ever been given and could ever share with my wonderful husband, our son, Ryan Joseph. Born on the 19th of December 2009 at 3:57am and weighing a healthy 8 lbs. 7 oz.

After over 20 hours of labour, he made his cameo to the world via cesarian section with Matt by my side. When they held him above the curtain, the first and only thing I saw was his naked little bum cheeks before he was whisked away to be checked over. Matt and I finally heard him cry and my heart melted.

The most perfect words I can think that fit closely enough to how I felt are from a gorgeous Andrea Bocelli song called L'Incontro (The Encounter). It is a song about the birth of his first born son and at the beginning is a poem translated into English by Bono. The final line of that poem being...

"This newborn child is already more important to me than that of my own life."

I never thought I could love anyone so much SO quickly!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Year 2 Day 79: Gas + Air = FAB!

The hideous picture above was sent to several friends via my husband on my direction once I was introduced to this fantastic little buddy. Yep, laughing gas, essentially. It made a WORLD of difference, let me tell you!

We arrived at the hospital just before 8am and checked into triage. We hoped to have been there sooner, however upon leaving the house we quickly found out the car wouldn't start so thankfully Josie (Matt's mom) was able to pick us up on her way there to meet us anyway. She was to be playing the role of "THE Mom" in the delivery room and I'm sure quite anxious to finally have gotten the call that it was time.

I was monitored for an hour or so in triage and told if I wasn't dialated to at least 4 cm, they would likely send me home. So you better bet I WILLED progress to myself. It came in the form of the midwife saying during her check "Looks like you've dialated 3-4 cm...we're keeping you."

I was shown to a room that had a bath for me to try to start labour in. Great...I've already taken three since it all started yesterday. I stayed in the tub for about an hour or so, but decided it was making me too hot and uncomfortable, so I was shown to my personal birthing room. This is where many people started to see Facebook updates with photos of my whereabouts.

Not long after being in the room, a midwife came and introduced herself as Joy. I liked Joy. She was positive and encouraging. I laboured to 5-6 cm before Joy's shift ended and Jekyll & Hyde Vera stepped in. I did not like Vera. She was negative and bossy. She warmed up to us all a bit, but was still quite the 'Negative Nancy'. The first impression I had of her she was going on about how I wasn't making progress, which contradicted what Joy had told me she was definitely raining on my parade. I tried my best, therefore, to focus on the end result.

Although I wanted to try things natural, I was given an epidural somewhere between 7-9 cm because they needed to make my contractions more consistent with and speed things up with some Syntocin...(we end here at midnight with NO PROGRESS).

(To Be Continued...)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Year 2 Day 78: What's the Frequency...?

Contractions started just before noon today. They have been pretty inconsistent in both duration and frequency, but thankfully I have an application on my G1 which allows me to keep track of each individual one as well as log it to compare to others. I will know that when the contractions are at least lasting one minute in duration and 5 minutes or less apart, then it will finally be time to hop in the car and head to the hospital to meet my "outside" baby.

It looks like many soothing baths and showers are in my future because at the moment, my belly feels as though it may BURST!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Year 2 Day 77: Mary Lynn - Version 9.0

My mother would be proud. I'm sure she never imagined this day would come. I'm a cleaning maniac! I just can't stop. And I think I even kind of like it. There was a large portion of the day where I lounged and napped...and drooled on my own arm. But then out of nowhere it hit me. MUST. CLEAN. NOW. So clean, I did. I started with the coffee table. The table that is the 'dumpster' for everything...letters from the post, empty cigarette boxes, half empty coffee mugs, tissues, XBox pads, a rogue screw, remote controls-- er, those are always strewn all over the sofas.

After the coffee table, it was on to the hoovering. And hoover, I did. I got all the little bits too...and the cobwebs that we've been avoiding for weeks now. Zapped em! I even pulled out the hose attachment and tackled the stairway with all Myst's furry deposits, which took quite some time. I discovered only later that Myst sought refuge from the vacuum under the duvet on Matt's side of the bed...something he hasn't done since we lived in the scary craphole in Dudley. Poor thing.

Matt just grinned as he watched me doing all of this and then his jaw dropped when I told him I was planning to scrub the kitchen floor next. I told him I couldn't get enough and needed to be an octopus so I would have more arms to clean things. I think by then he figured I was unwell and would be better off going back to bed because certainly something had to be wrong. This was like nesting on crack!

My urges have since died down, but for a while I was going pretty strong. I'm finding my patience wearing thin with each new day and I'm really SO over this by now. I've warned Matt that if I am short with him or snap without warning, it's not personal nor is it intentional. I've just run out of reasons to feel like being nice -- which I'd like to think is out of my character. And no offense, but if one more person asks me WHEN I'm having the baby or WHEN I THINK I will have the baby, I'm going to absolutely scream! (Please don't misinterpret this for me being unappreciative or aggravated by others' concern about his punctuality, or lack thereof...but if you're pregnant, or have been're more likely to understand. I think it's pretty fair to say I want him here more than anyone else.)

Seriously, Bunny...whenever you're ready!

::waddles back to the treadmill with mug of Raspberry Leaf Tea::

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Year 2 Day 76: Womb Held Hostage - Day 5

I finally emerged today after a splitting headache that seemed to be concentrated just behind my right eye. Matt had worked out an arrangement with his mom to borrow her treadmill so I can walk till I'm blue in the face -- or till a baby comes (preferably the latter). He prefers this to me walking outside on my own since it gets dark so quickly in the evening now and so I can be at home in the event something starts to happen. One can only hope!

I was really hoping that he would make his appearance today, in fact. It marks the 14th year since my mom's passing and a small part of me had wishful thinking that there would be a joyous thing to celebrate on this day for a change. Not that there still won't be when he does get here, but I'm trying to keep my spirits up by channeling her endless humour at least.


We have now entered day FIVE of my womb being held hostage. I've tried bribes. I've tried threats. This bunny is in full hibernation mode, it seems. I even told Matt I was ready to go to the Gypsies and ask to borrow a donkey to take to Bethlehem. You know what they say about bumpy rides.

This kid is comfy, folks. I on the other not so much. I feel a bit like a cow.

Regardless, if it gets to Friday and he's not here, we will be forced to enter official negotiations because I want time to recoup before Christmas. I hope he will come to his senses by then.

In the meantime, a quick shout-out to my Father-in-Law, David. It's his birthday today and try as I might to gift-wrap his first grandson for him, it seems he will have to be a belated 'gift.'

Monday, 14 December 2009

Year 2 Day 75: Find Some Comfort Here

Meet my new little friend. I have decided that he may end up out of his little box tonight to comfort me with his soothing sounds -- I prefer the whale songs, personally. To be fair, he's not technically MY new little friend...not for long anyway. He came with a giant box of generous baby goodness sent from a friend/former schoolmate, Jen and her mom, Susie (who was coincidentally my 5th grade teacher as well and a good friend of my mom's). In fact, a surprise even from yet another former teacher, Miss Schuttinger (7th grade) was included, too. A huge THANK YOU to the three of them for their thoughtfulness from Matt and I, of course...and our bunny (who, as you may have guessed, is still deep in hibernation).

Jen and her mom sent a variety of sizes which will accommodate bunny for his first couple of years, as well as some adorable, lightly used things from Jen's little boy, Jonny...who isn't quite so little anymore. I decided to feature the Sleep Sheep in tonight's blog to illustrate how much of his cuddliness might come in handy later on based on some of the days' events...and the sheer fact that I am still 'with child' at now 40 weeks and 4 days.

I saw my regular community midwife again today, this time with hubby in tow, and went through the motions. Blood pressure taken. Bump measured. Heartbeat listened to. She even offered to throw in a complimentary membrane sweep...oh yeah! And although I will spare any detail, for anyone who hasn't had this done, it transcends any description that could do it true justice. If you're a Family Guy fan, or not, I urge you to pull up a YouTube clip of the episode where Peter Griffin goes in to the doctor and ends up with a prostate exam which leaves him confused and feeling quite violated. I envision this when anyone asks me how today went and then I think, "if she only would have bought me dinner first..."

I know...sooo wrong.

Anyway, hope that paints a pretty picture for ya.

Needless to say...we will see if the sweep yields any results in regards to progression and I will continue to sip on my trusty Raspberry Leaf Tea and Google acupressure points to naturally induce labour...all whilst snuggling with my son's super-soft Sleep Sheep. I don't think he would mind.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Year 2 Day 74: The Last Supper?

Could be. My last 'Sunday' dinner, that is -- before baby. Who knows. What I DO know is that I haven't removed myself from my PJs again for yet another day. I just can't be bothered, really. I figured being clothed at all and upright is an accomplishment in itself considering the larger portion of the day has been spent on my right or left side in bed. In fairness, it's the only way I feel comfortable since I keep fading in and out of consciousness. I'm glad people around me understand though.

Now at 40 weeks and 3 days, I do think things are close. Call it intuition if you will or maybe wishful thinking. I may know a bit more after my visit to the midwife tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks for the well-wishes and labour-dust. I know it will all be so well-worth the wait when Matt and I meet our little man.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Year 2 Day 73: Old Wives Tales

The time has officially arrived to bring out the heavy artillery -- the big guns, if you will. It may be an Old Wives Tale but many women swear by Raspberry Leaf Tea to bring on labour. I did some reading (*cough* Google *cough*) and learned that although there is no scientific proof that this is the case, studies have shown it to be effective for producing shorter labours as the vitamins aide in strengthening the contracting element of the uterus both during labour as well as after, when the uterus must contract back to its original state. So I figure it's worth it in the end because at least I'm setting myself up for a well-functioning ute.

I was quite surprised at the taste as well because I am not really a 'tea-person.' I'm not too keen on the bitter taste that is left in my mouth after a cup, however this didn't seem to have one. Matt brought a cup in to me and it smelled of raspberry (go figure), but the taste overall was fairly light and refreshing. It is definitely something I will be able to easily stomach over the next few days or however long it takes to get the BIG message to certain LITTLE people.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Year 2 Day 72: Pocket Full of Sunshine

The photo for today is in no way indicative of my mood -- my mood is great! Matt dropped me off this morning at Russell's Hall to get my bloodwork started while he fished for a parking spot and then met up with me to go to the Day Assessment Unit for my CTG (where they monitored bunny's heart-rate and movements). I even had a little clicker this time that I had to press whenever he moved. It was pretty funny at one point because he must have shifted his body closer to the heart-monitor and the heartbeat got so loud that you could hear it over the monitors of the other three women in the room -- one of the midwives had to come turn ours down since our kid was making the most ruckus. HA! Embarrassing his mother already, I see.

The midwife I was assigned to was fantastic! Sheena Ross. She was so upbeat and positive and she made sure to explain so much to us. At one point she was telling how the baby was positioned, with his back to my back, and she was nice enough to give several suggestions for helping him to turn so his back was to my belly. She said it would make labour much faster if he were positioned this way...and who doesn't want a faster, less complicated labour? Matt and I agreed that we wished we could keep her with us (maybe in our pocket) or request her to be there during delivery because of her cheerful and personable attitude.

One of the many things she suggested, as others have, is walking. So, at home, shortly after 3pm I decided I better get started before I began to lose daylight -- the lingering fog throughout the day certainly wasn't helping either. I managed a healthy mile and a half in just 40 minutes down by Fens Pool Nature Reserve and back, so considering the state I'm in at the moment (term + 1), that is pretty good. I felt great by the time I got home and I still feel good in general, but it's fair to say my energy alone has been drained which is why I am posting early and headed up to become a bed-hermit at only a quarter past five.

Oh, for those bloods came back normal again today, so no Cholestasis (for now at least). I see my regular community midwife again Monday and if bunny decides he's still comfy, I head back for a repeat CTG (monitoring) next Friday. Perhaps I should start a pool to see when people think he will make his appearance? I promise to let everyone know though as soon as it all starts...don't worry.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Year 2 Day 71: Away in a Manger

In a pregnancy forum I frequent, I read a post about being thankful that now, in the late 3rd trimester, we don't have to take a long, bumpy journey on a donkey. To extend on that...we also don't have to give birth on some scratchy hay inside a barn full of animals, where likely our bloodhound senses would undoubtedly pick up the strong odor of stinky animal-poo. To top that all off, there wouldn't be any help from the services of a midwife, however, in her place to help deliver your child would be an inexperienced teenage boy! Wow.

'God Bless, Mary' is right!!

Today is my official "due date" and although I have had some rogue cramping and a possible ACTUAL/REAL contraction, bunny seems quite content for the moment. Then again, if I consider his late-night hermit crab tendencies...that could all change after midnight. Who knows?

I've spent most of the day in bed, even. I was up around 10am to accept delivery of a parcel for Matt -- his portable heater for the conservatory, but shortly after I felt a bit 'off' and retreated to the bedroom with nice, cold pint of water and burrowed under the duvet. Loving husband was kind enough to even give me a bit of a cuddle before returning downstairs to enjoy some mid-day gaming time on his first full-day off.

I managed to stir myself just before 5pm, which is when I thought I felt that "real" contraction. It was a crampy feeling at first, but on the other side from where I had been feeling the others. It throbbed for about 30-seconds before seeming to move up my belly like a wave and then my bump turned hard before it all slowly faded away. Then bunny kindly punched my bladder and I decided to get up.

Matt and I popped up to the Moor Centre to drop off some post at the Brierley Hill Post Office (which is where tonight's photo comes from) and then a quick trip to the Asda petrol station at Merry Hill to make sure we weren't relying on fumes to get anywhere for the weekend.

I'm back at Russell's Hall tomorrow morning for some repeat bloods and for them to monitor the baby for another 45-minutes or so. Hopefully all my levels will come out reasonable again and nature will be allowed to do it's thing for bunny's cameo into the world. It's all a waiting game now, but rest assured I have my Facebook and Twitter linked so that no one will be in the dark when it comes to news of his arrival.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Year 2 Day 70: Redirection?

We have lived in this house now for nearly six months already -- it's so hard to believe! Another thing that is so hard to believe is that throughout the time we have lived here, we have continued to get post for the previous owners/occupiers of the property who are also our landlords. Since we pay our rent through the letting agent, they are the middle-man for any contact with the landlords. Any issues with the property must first go through the letting agent and then relayed to them. This means, when we get their mail, we have to personally take it to the letting agent who then goes on to charge a fee to the landlord to forward it on to them. The funny thing is, they charge more to forward their mail than Royal Mail one would think they would just simply have their mail re-directed. But they don't. So it builds up on the window sill until we get around to taking it down to the letting agent, which is usually only once or twice a month.

Today I opened the mailbox to see a couple of envelopes that were hand-addressed and looked as though they may be Christmas greeting cards. Immediately I begin grinning ear-to-ear thinking they're our first Christmas cards of the season as I proudly trot back inside. I start thumbing through the mail to sort Matt's from mine and when I happen upon these two pieces my smile slowly fades.


Obviously we can't just start trashing this post that comes through as it is considered "destruction of The Queen's mail" but SOMETHING has got to give here, for crying out loud! One of the pieces we received for them last week didn't even have the full address and it made it's way here with the most detailed bit being "near Brierley Hill." What the....?!?!

We've expressed this to the letting agent that it's likely the owners are missing important documents at times and all we keep being told is that they are being notified and have promised to have it redirected...yet they clearly haven't. Why is it so hard?!

Anyway, it's a silly and pretty minor thing to whinge about, I know...but it just irritates us to no end. We could understand a month or two to get around to getting it all sorted...but HALF A YEAR?!

I've informed Matt that starting in January and after we sign a new lease, I plan to attach a sign to the mailbox that specifically requests "Delivery for {our surname} ONLY, please" and hope they take the rest back to the sorting office to hold or return to the sender. After all, there's no reason why we should be responsible for making sure they get their mail when they don't even live here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Year 2 Day 69: Follow Up

Despite being prepared for a phone call on Wednesday, I got one this afternoon instead asking if I could come back in to Russell's Hall today so they could monitor the baby and possibly do another blood-draw. They said that some levels were a bit high in the test from Monday so they wanted to look a bit further and see if any discussion about an induction was necessary.

I was okay with this news and calm as a cucumber when I phoned Matt to see if he could take off a bit early from work -- that was until I heard my husband's voice on the other end and pregnancy hormones took over. I completely burst into tears which naturally worried him more. Once I was able to compose myself, I explained the phone call and he arranged with his gaffer to get off around half-three.

I took a nap until Matt got home and we headed to the hospital. We waited in the Day Assessment Unit roughly 30 minutes until the midwife came to apologise that she would have to send us up to triage in the Maternity Ward. She said the influx of people coming in just wouldn't allow her monitor me before they were due to off we were in the lift to the 2nd floor.

We checked in and I was given a bed and hooked up to a foetal monitor before my blood-pressure was taken. That midwife commented that it was a bit high and asked if I ever had blood-pressure issues before. Matt pointed out to her that it was likely due to the anxiety over not knowing if I would have to be induced or not -- which is not the best feeling to try and cope with, regardless of what stage in pregnancy one is. She popped back in a few times while Bunny's heart-rate stayed in the mellow 140s.

We suspected she must have been expecting a bit of action out of him which is when I explained his activity pattern was that of a hermit crab -- he typically comes out at night. As in 2-3am kind-of-night. Like his daddy. At this she gave me some cold water to try and wake him up a bit. This yielded a few kicks and rolls, but he pretty much gave some baby V's and went back to sleep. Still, the midwife seemed satisfied enough and said the doctor would be in shortly.

When the doctor came in she explained why the blood test from yesterday was concerning and said in cases where Obstetric Cholestasis was suspected, they generally try to induce the mother before 39 weeks rather than allow the pregnancy to or past the due date. Since I wanted to give nature a chance, I asked the risks of postponing an induction (just for a reasonable period) for other options such as a membrane sweep. She said there wasn't an immediate threat so they would agree to allow another blood-test tonight and see what the results were from that before making any final decision.

So...I got poked.


An hour later, after a walk downstairs, a munch on a Wispa bar, and dear hubby kindly sharing his Costa mocha coffee, we returned to triage and learned after a bit of a wait that the bloods came back within reasonable limits and the need for an induction was ruled out.

PHEW! I would be going home sans baby...or rather, sans "outside" baby for the time being!!

They still want me to return Friday morning for repeat bloods and another session of monitoring just to be safe, but otherwise, a good end to a potentially scary situation. I should also mention, my blood-pressure was taken just before I left and was right back where it always has been.

Surprise, surprise people...when you tell me you're not gonna keep me captive after all!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Year 2 Day 68: Take a Number

My weekly midwife appointment went smoothly but resulted in an unexpected trip to Russell's Hall to have some bloodwork done. I'm pretty proud that I am getting quite good at this 'human pincushion' thing and I can finally take a small needle in the arm without anxiety that causes me to nearly burst into tears. Yeah, I'm pretty badass if I do say so myself. Can I have a lolly now?

Basically, when I mentioned to the midwife that I had a bit of itching in my hands and feet over the weekend she asked how the movements were with the baby. Since I haven't noticed any change, she said she still wanted me to go down today and have some bloods taken to rule out a condition called Obstetric Cholestasis -- which causes a build up of bile acids in the bloodstream. Since symptoms usually occur in the later stages of pregnancy, this can also be caused by a simple increase in hormones so that is why a blood test was necessary.

I'm told I'll be contacted Wednesday with the results anyway, and follow-ups may be required -- so we will see how things go.

In the meantime, I wanted to include a second photo tonight, completely unrelated, but totally worth a little look-see. Since about October, Matt has been having chicken and cheese sandwiches for his dinner at work...mainly because it's cheap and quick and saves him paying £30/week or more on store-bought sandwiches at Greggs. In the past couple of weeks, Matt's appetite for these meals made with love has decreased significantly as I'm sure chicken is getting a bit tomorrow, when he pulls his foil-wrapped treat from the fridge he will appreciate my attempt at the following subliminal message...

I hope it works! If not, it will at least get a laugh.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Year 2 Day 67: Nesting - The Second String

The clock is ticking away and tonight I got a massive second wind that resulted in me tidying the entire bedroom. It was very much in need of a tidy, to be fair. I emptied the bookshelf on my side (which contained lots of rubbish and random bits) and moved it over to Matt's side to make room for the Moses basket in its place. (Huge kudos to Em & Josie for nabbing such a cute bedding set for it, by the way.) Then I reorganized all of Matt's books by author...Feist, Brooks, Pratchett, Tolkien. After that I hung all of Matt's t-shirts neatly in the wardrobe and packed away some things that just didn't need to be out.

When Matt peeked upstairs to see my progress I think he was pretty shocked. We were both pretty bad about letting things just accumulate on the floor and I thought now would be as good a time as any to just get it all sorted and out of the way -- especially since I'm not making any promises on domestic duties immediately after bunny is here.

Not only can you see the (hideous pink) carpet, but the duffel and Jeep diaper bag in the photo are officially packed and ready for any unexpected trips to the hospital in the next couple of days/weeks.

Ah, I feel so much better.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Year 2 Day 66: The Stockings Were Hung...

Matt and I had some shopping success tonight when we took a little gander to Merry Hill to look for a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. We looked in a few card shops and quickly realised Hallmark was not one located within the mall thus making a separate trip to Brierley Hill High Street necessary. After a bit we popped in to see Josie while she was working at the Tourist Information Centre. She was able to remind us of Webb's Christmas Shop, however, they still didn't have anything personal enough. Disappointed, we decided to call it a night and head back home empty-handed.

Just as we were on our way out, we passed by Birthdays (yet another card shop) and Matt suggested we pop in to have a quick look around. We found a cute display with personalised tiny rubber, gummy-type stockings and several choices of mini-hearths to hang them from. Immediately we started to search for our own names as well as bunny's (his real name, of course, unpixelated). Surprised we found all three within seconds, we were a bit let down by the look of the boring mini-fireplace that had 3 hooks...until we noticed the one that had four, as well as a cat sleeping in the front. MYST! Of course! We looked for a generic 'no-name' stocking and lucked out finding one that said 'The Cat,' and we were SOLD!

After paying a reasonable amount for this personalised Christmas decoration, we noticed on the way out the front another spinning display of mini-snow-globe ornaments. Hanging alone on a hook was a snow-globe with a red Santa hat that read "Baby's First Christmas." SCORE!! The fact they were a mere £2.99 was enough for me and Matt agreed it would be suitable for our darling bunny.

Home again, home again we traveled with our new purchases and our mini-fire is now resting proudly on the mantle of our own fire. Next to that is Baby's First Christmas ornament waiting patiently to be hung on our tree upon his arrival in the next week or so.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Year 2 Day 65: She's a Brick House!

While I'm not "letting it all hang out" I don't think I have much of an option now as I stand before you all (and our Christmas tree) at a grand ole whopping 39 weeks and 1 day. Bunny is due in less than a week now, but we'll see how punctual he decides he wants to be. Let me just apologise in advance on his behalf if he can't be born on the date you may have requested.

It's not the best photo, but my batteries died shortly after taking this shot, so it will have to do for tonight's blog.

For lack of anything else better to write...I give you a meme:

How far along?:
39 weeks 1 day

Total weight gain/loss:
Just under 30 lbs (and I'm really okay with that, to be honest).
I'm flip-flopping through the night with a pillow between my knees...some nights are better than others. I'm also finding cat-naps more necessary during the daytime again.

Best moment this week:
Getting bunny's gift in the post from Christine, hands down!

More tickles down low and slower rolls up high. I think he's starting to run out of room though.

Food cravings:
Still a cereal addict -- I may turn into a shredded wheat biscuit. I'm also craving Taco Bell (which I obviously can't have) and peanut butter (which I shouldn't have).

He's all boy!! (And better STILL be at delivery or we'll have a girl who's gonna have to like blue)
Labor Signs:
Lots of Braxton Hicks (the 'practice' ones) and a few light cramps sporadically, but nothing that leads me to believe anything will be happening in the immediate future. I may have to drop some hints to bunny by next Wednesday though.

Belly Button in or out?:
Still mostly in, but nearly flat now.

Acid Reflux, although it's mostly tolerable. Also a bit of swelling occasionally as well as sciatic/hip/joint pain -- but nothing I can't live through. Itching seems to be a new one...the soles of my feet and palms of my hands are itching for Britain at the moment. I even ended up with scratch marks across my bump and I DON'T have any nails!

What I miss:
Tying my own shoes and being able to comfortably dress myself below the waist.

What I am looking forward to:
Holding bunny in my arms and seeing the proud look on his daddy's face when he's finally here!

Weekly Wisdom:
People keep reminding me to get all the rest I can WHILE I still can -- so I'm doing my best!

Making it to full-term (37 weeks) and staying positive and in a generally good mood. Aside from little niggles here and there, I have no huge complaints. I feel very blessed.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Year 2 Day 64: Painting the Pigs

That's right...sit back and marvel at the feat I mastered on my feet tonight. The endurance it took to even prop my Barney Rubble up on the table alone was near unimaginable. Then of course there was the skill of painting each nail neatly before the sciatic pain crept down my entire leg. But I did it...not only to one, but to BOTH feet! Look at me go!

I figured there may be a small chance my feet will be seen by people other than Matt in the coming weeks and the chipped polish from the summer was not going to cut it -- so each little piggy got a fresh coat of my Rimmel London 60-second varnish.

It's fair to say that pregnancy has caused a bit of swelling, but the photo really isn't far off how my peds normally appear (with Vienna-sausage-like nubbs). I've learned to accept them.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Year 2 Day 63: Spin Cycle

Out of the three photos I took, I was able to capture Mr. Nosy wasting no time when the washing was getting done tonight. This wasn't the best quality as far as lighting...but the look on his face was just priceless. Matt had only just popped open the door after tossing the load in front on the floor and was in the middle of sorting the fabric softener and washing liquid when Myst literally jumped at his chance. I peeked into the kitchen to see why I could hear Matt laughing hysterically and soon realised why.

I don't think the dial has any settings suitable for cleansing genuine fluffy Mystical fur.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Year 2 Day 62: Made With Love

It arrived today! I was asleep on the sofa wrapped in my warm dressing-gown when the delivery man tapped on the window and I sprang from that sleep and greeted him with the biggest smile. The fabulous and multi-talented Christine has been working for several months on this most gorgeous gift for bunny and it's just an absolute shame that I've had to pixelate out his name, which is one of the BEST bits. It's his first personalised gift as well!! I'm censoring it, however, because we haven't made a formal announcement yet to people (other than family), really, on what his name will be. Just know that it looks absolutely fantastic underneath the PhotoShopping that I just hated having to do.

Here is a full look at the crafty-superiority that Christine possesses...

I just love it. Then, when Matt got home, he couldn't quit smiling at it while he read the story that flowed from panel to panel. He was well-impressed and couldn't believe the amount of time she put into it. We agreed the quilted piece should be used as a wall hanging, rather than in little one's cot, so we can keep it nice. Then, as a bonus, you can see she also made a baby-positioner with the same fabric/pattern that is on the back of the other piece -- I swear she's on a different plane of crafty-greatness. How clever!

It's great because although Christine and I have never met IRL (in real life), we have SO much in common. We're multi-cat-loving expats from America, married to a pair of Call of Duty-obsessed and witty British men...and we share a common appreciation for all things craft-related as well as Beatrix Potter (as you can see). We're also likely the most hilarious (and undoubtedly good-looking) Americans in Great Britain -- okay, perhaps I'm horn-tooting a bit much now. You gotta like how I'm so modest and humble about it though.

So yeah...Christine...fab. Her gift...fab. And bunny is so lucky to have an honorary auntie with such amazing talent! I feel like I can't sing her praises enough. I'm a sucker anyway for all things hand-made.

But still...LOVE IT!

And for those keeping track on the final countdown:
9 days remaining!!!

Roll on 10th of December!