January - We rung in the new year with friends in Modesto. It was a good way to start the year.
February - Edinburgh was covered in a blanket of snow. Though it turned into a dirty slush, when it was fresh, it was beautiful and made for some great pictures.
March - I found out I was pregnant with my little man...of course I didn't know it was a little man for many a months!
April - We celebrated my birthday by heading out of town to an aquarium. It was a fun day. I also got a special birthday present from a local author with whom I share a birthday...a signed book. It made all my coworkers jealous.
May - May was a big month for us. We kicked off the month by announcing to the world that I was pregnant. We traveled back to California to celebrate my brother Jeremy's 30th birthday and to get in some time with family and friends. We also were confronted with a dilemma. We had to move...it was either back to California or up to Aberdeen, Scotland. After some thought, we decided to head up to Aberdeen.
June - Ian and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.
July - We hit up a large music festival in Scotland. It was quite the adventure.
August - August is always a busy and fun month in Edinburgh. The whole city is transformed for the festival. We took part in a lot of shows and activities that month. I also spent some time in the hospital with a UTI. It was the first hospitalization of my life. We also packed up all our belongings and moved them up to Aberdeen.
September - We celebrated Ian's birthday by heading over to Amsterdam for a few days. It was a fun trip. In the middle of the month I began my maternity leave and officially moved up to Aberdeen.
October - With a lot more time on my hands, I began cooking dinner every night, attending baby classes and preparing for the arrival of baby g.
November - 10 days late...10 DAYS! It felt like the longest 10 days of my life! Finally Connor made an appearance and our life hasn't been the same since! My mom came over 3 days after Connor was born and stayed for 3 weeks. It was very helpful and fun to spend some time with my mom.
December - We have taken many a trip already with Connor (three times to Edinburgh and once to Inverness). Ian's family came over for Christmas and are here to ring in the new year with us.
I look forward to what 2010 has in store for me...a visit home, time with Connor and hopefully some fun trips with Ian.
I was remembering the anticipation of his birth. My whole life seemed to stop toward the end and all I could think about was this little person inside of me finally coming out (of course that could have been because he was 10 days late!). My family and friends were so excited about the pregnancy and this new little person. We prepared and wanted everything perfect for him.
Then I thought about Jesus and his birth. I thought about the promise He was to the world. How God had promised He would come and people had been waiting their whole lives for Him. I thought of the anticipation Mary must have been feeling about carrying the son of God. I thought about the excitement the wise men must have felt when traveling to see Him.
Thinking about all the excitement my little man gave me and everyone else...everyone must have been bursting with joy at the excitement of the Savior finally coming into the world. And here I am, a couple thousand years later, thankful for His coming. I am thankful that He came to save my little man, to bring him a future and a hope.
This Christmas, I am especially thankful for our King.
Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful ( 1st Published in: 1767!?!)
Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.
Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
In the highest:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.
Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.
In the mean time, they started him on new (and more intense) meds for reflux. They put him on the adult version of the reflux medicine he was already taking after each feed and added another medicine that he takes three times a day. After a few hours, we already noticed a difference. The doctors were unable to get a clear picture of his stomach during the ultrasound, but felt that nothing was there and decided to send him home...which Ian and I were happy about.
The little guy seems to be doing well and I look forward to him chunking up in the days to come!
Ian and I (well, and Connor) went on a little Scottish adventure this weekend. With Ian now off work until the 9th of January, we decided to do a little exploring before his family got into town. While exploring, we ran across a brewery that advertised free tours, so we followed the signs to the brewery. The signs took us down little one lane roads (that I don't know how we would have managed if we encountered a car coming the opposite direction) and to an adorable little brewery, complete with a dog to greet us at our car. An older lady was running the store and tour. She was smitten with Connor and even held him for a bit. The brewery is run out of a barn (though they are building larger facilities up the road) and it was neat to see where all the action happens.
Hopefully this is just one of many Scottish adventures we have over this next season. We really want to explore Scotland while we have the opportunity.
Since many of you have already gotten your birth announcements in the mail, I thought it would be safe for me to post it up here. For those of you that didn't get one, it either means one of two things:
1. I don't like you (just kidding...well, sort of)
2. I mailed it to your old address...I got tired of updating my address list and just started using people's old addresses.
For those of you that I do like, I hope your announcement got to you!
I would like to brag for a moment about Connor's announcement. I made it myself. I actually took the time to learn Photoshop (which I think is an unnecessarily hard program to use) and make it...I actually made a few different versions to choose from. Now I am sort of addicted...I didn't send out Christmas cards this year, but I am totally designing my own next year! Or so I say now...
What do you do when your baby has been crying for hours, you have to pee and you are alone?
Apparently, just set the baby down, let it cry and run to the bathroom.
How do you shower when its just you and the baby?
Bring him into the bathroom with you and shower as quick as humanly possible.
How do you get ready when its just you and the baby? Oh, and the baby is screaming at the top of its lungs?
You don't! Well, you throw on your clothes and grab the baby...the hair can wait.
How do you get over judging yourself for not getting enough done around the house?
I haven't quite figured this one out. I try giving myself a reprieve, but then I see my laundry basket and try to figure out how I can get more done around the house while caring for my little man.
I thought you only leak milk when a baby cries...why do I seem to leak all the freaking time?!?
Well, the baby crying thing, I think that is only a myth. The leaking thing really means its time for my baby to eat!
Why can my baby sleep for like 6 hours at night, yet seem so alive in the morning?
Its all those freaking naps he takes during the day! The problem is, most of them are cat naps, making it virtually impossible for me to nap at the same time.
How is it that you can be exhausted from the baby screaming, but as soon as it stops and smiles at you, your heart is melted and you feel content?
Motherhood just can't be explained!
Connor just melts my heart. I can't believe how fast he is going to grow up and want to enjoy every second of it. He is so adorable and I hope everyday he knows how much his mom and dad love him.
On Friday, Connor had two visits to the doctor. They discovered that he has only gained 2 ounces since birth (this isn't normal) and that he has severe acid reflux (hence the reason he hasn't gained weight). So, he got put on some medicine that I have to give him after he feeds. Getting Connor to take all the medicine is a bit of a challenge. We have to give it to him in a bottle and he isn't too interested in taking it after he just finished eating. But, the medicine works. He is barely spitting up at all anymore. We head back to the doctor on Thursday to make sure he is now putting on weight...I think he is.
I had my first solo trip out of the house since having Connor...and exactly 4 weeks after having him. Ian and Connor hung out with some of our friends while I joined my old work for their Christmas party. It was nice seeing everyone and catching up...also realizing how much my life has changed in 4 weeks!
We participated in the Great Scottish Santa Run in Edinburgh with some of our friends. This was a memory to last a lifetime. The run was for charity and was only two laps around a park. In many places it was so crowded with "santas" that you couldn't run anyway. We walked the "run" anyway so it really didn't matter. Oh, and they gave out medals to everyone at the end!
On a totally different subject, we had a much better night last night. Connor fell asleep in his dad's arms and slept much better than the night before. He got up to feed more than usual, but I think he is going thru a growth spurt. Also, even though I try to help him understand it is the middle of the night, he doesn't always understand that, so I did have to rock him back to sleep at 3:30am. But hey, he's still learning and I was feeling much better last night, so I didn't mind.
And here's a couple pictures of Connor in his giraffe-a-cow outfit...it looks like a giraffe outfit, but says "moo" on the feet, thus giraffe-a-cow.
It seems that there is no advice out there on getting newborns to sleep. It all deals with babies that are 3 months plus. With all you mothers out there, I am hoping some of you can give me some advice. I just need to figure out how to get my baby to sleep...or at least keep him from screaming at the top of his lungs for hours on end!
On a different baby subject...has anyone dealt with their baby spitting up all over when they are still feeding? Connor seems to enjoy doing this...it goes all down me and wherever we are sitting at the moment. Is this normal? And if so (or even of not) why does he do it?
Okay people, this is it...I am begging for advice. I am willing to try anything at the moment!
I came across an article on CNN this weekend about a store window display in Los Angeles. Basically, Christians are complaining that the window display is too promiscuous and the store is calling it art. Though I would have to say that I personally think it is weird that anyone would want to "slut up" the virgin Mary, I really think we only have ourselves to blame. I also think as Christians we get too sensitive about things sometimes, but that is for another blog.
As Christians, we have lost sight of what Christmas is all about. Isn't it about celebrating the birth of Jesus? Then, why do we put up Christmas trees, take our kids to get their pictures taken with santa and make it all about the gifts? Now, I am not saying that any of these things is wrong...I do them as well...but when Christians take a "Christian holiday" and paganize it, we can't complain when others do the same.
Also, when people are not Christ followers, why should we expect them to live their lives the same way we do? Shouldn't we be reaching out and loving people like this rather than threatening to attack them? Oh yeah, apparently the churches in the area are planning a protest if the window display isn't changes. Imagine if people came and protested the church every time they didn't like something we did or displayed? I know people attach the church a lot, but it has been a while since I have seen a church with protesters outside it...though it was entertaining when I saw it (and it was my church it was happening to).
Really, no matter where you fall on this issue (and I would love to hear your opinions), I would like to say...we really only have ourselves to blame.
How is he sleeping?
I am always a little baffled at how to answer this question. Come to think of it, I am always a little baffled about how to answer any question asked of me! I never know how much information people really want, if they really care and what information they care to hear. So, my standard answer has become...
It changes every night.
Is this true? Yes. One night Connor seems to sleep like a dream. The next, doesn't want to go to bed, then wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to be held and rocked for two hours...which is much more difficult than it sounds when you are delirious and sleepy.
Since having Connor, I have discovered that Ian can sleep thru most baby cries. I have to admit, this helps during the week. I don't have to feel guilty about Connor ruining Ian's night sleep because he has to work the next day. Instead, I can stay in the comfort of my own room and deal with Connor's middle of the night meltdowns. On the weekends, this isn't so great. Even if I wake Ian up and hand him Connor, he will pretty much fall back asleep holding a crying baby. I WISH it were so easy for me...since having Connor, I don't sleep well. I hear every noise and if I don't hear noise, I get up and check to make sure he is still breathing. It is pathetic. The other night, I was laying in bed praying for God to just knock me out cold so I could get a good couple hours sleep, undisturbed.
I am beginning to realize that I will need to take daily naps. Don't get me wrong, I love a good nap. It's just that nap time would coexist in the same time frame that allows me to get stuff done around the house...which helps me understand why it said in all those baby books that you are doing good when you get one non-baby related thing done around the house a day!
As I write this blog, my son lay on me sleeping. I am left wondering how deep this sleep is and if I dare put him in his bed. I am hoping for a couple more hours sleep...after all, it is Saturday...doesn't he know this?!?
My mom and I were out shopping today and it seemed that at every turn I took, I was smacked in the face by trends from the 80's...trends I don't think should be making a comeback. There are the brightly colored high tops, jean everything and zippers all over the place. Me not like. Please fashion designers, skip the 80's and come up with a trend that won't haunt me later in old photos!
Since Thanksgiving (obviously) isn't a holiday over here, we celebrated our Thanksgiving today. We invited a couple over that Ian works with and that go to our church too. We made a turkey, three different kinds of stuffing (some people don't like the same things!), sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and rolls. It was all very scrumptious.
Connor slept thru most of his first Thanksgiving. My mom had to hold him while we ate, because as soon as we sat down to eat, he got fussy...how do babies always know the perfect time to cry?!?
The couple who came over is from Brazil, so we had a fun time talking about the different types of traditional food for holidays from each of our countries and talking about what the meaning of Thanksgiving is.
In the spirit of giving thanks, here are a few things I am thankful for:
* A wonderful husband
* A perfect baby boy
* My mom coming to visit
* Such wonderful family and friends that have made me feel so loved by showering Connor with love and gifts
I really could go on and on forever as to what I am thankful for, but I will stop there. God has blessed me with a wonderful life, filled with wonderful family and friends and I am so thankful for the life that I have.
Gone are the days that I email everyone who emailed me (sorry friends!), called people on the phone, updated my facebook and knew everything that was going on in the world (hey, I love the news). But, I realize this time won't last forever. My little man won't stay teeny tiny forever. I won't always lay him in bed beside me and stare in awe at his beauty (come on, you know you think he is adorable too!).
Being a person who likes to be on the go, I never thought I would find myself staring at a baby, talking to a baby and enjoying it more than anything. My little C-Man is beautiful and perfect. And he has come at the perfect time in my life, where I am able to just sit around and enjoy him. And I am thankful for every second of it.
When it came time to push, things became intense quite quickly. Because I still had feeling in the top of my belly and could feel really bad contractions in my back, I was able to tell the midwives when I had a contraction coming on and that I was going to push. I know this sounds odd, but out of all the events of the day, the pushing seemed like the best part. Sounds weird, I know. But I think I knew it meant I was about to meet my child and it felt a bit like a challenge for me to get him out. Even though I was progressing quite nicely, the baby decided to not cooperate. His heart rate started falling really low. It was one of those surreal moments when you realize that slow heart rate isn't yours, but that of your baby's and that isn't good. Suddenly two doctors came in and I felt like everything left my control. People stopped talking to me and started talking around me. Things were being set up quickly and I wasn't being told what was going to happen. So, I started asking questions. I was told that the doctors were going to assist with the delivery by using either a vacuum or forceps. I was freaking out about the forceps (no joke) and begging them not to, so they said they would try the vacuum first, but that the baby needed to come quickly. I felt like I had lost control and didn't like it. I had been informed of this earlier, but was once again informed that a pediatrician would be standing by at the birth to look over the baby. They do this outside of the room, but I was told Ian could accompany the baby for this. Back to the pushing...with the vacuum, things happened really fast. In only a couple pushes the head was out. In the middle of this, the doctor invited Ian to come look, which he declined and took my hand for me to touch the head, which I ripped my hand away from the doctor, thinking that was totally not my thing...Ian and I are both weird like that!
As soon as the baby was born, they threw him on my stomach with him facing away from me. I immediately noticed he was blue and not breathing. They told everyone not to touch him because they didn't want him stimulated to breathe because of the meconium. Also, even though they asked Ian earlier in the night about cutting the cord, he didn't get to because the baby needed immediate medical attention. Before we even knew if it was a boy or a girl, they had taken him out of the room. The doctor who delivered him didn't even know if it was a boy or girl...it all happened so fast. And, with me freaking out, they said Ian was not allowed to go check on him...of course this only made me freak out even more. I kept saying I couldn't hear the baby cry. It was the scariest few minutes of my life. I felt helpless and didn't know what was going on. Ian was holding me, praying in my ear and trying to calm me down. It was more than a few minutes (and felt like forever) before they brought him back in and thankfully he was okay. Later in the day, I looked at my medical charts and discovered his apgar score was a 2 one minute after birth...that isn't good. But thankfully, because he recovered so quickly, there are no lasting affects.
Meeting My Little Man
I got to enjoy some time with Connor before I started feeling sick again. Then, I had to ask Ian to take him while I spent some time vomiting and getting cleaned up...honestly, most of the stuff after Connor's birth is a blur because I was feeling so unwell. I was with it enough though to ask to see the placenta...if you know me, you know I really would want to see something like that! And it was interesting to see. Since I was incapacitated, Ian took over with the bonding for me. He helped the midwife measure Connor's length and made sure to take pictures of him being weighed. At this point, it had been over 24 hours that Ian and I had been in the hospital, and up for 26 with almost no sleep before that. Connor seemed in no way like he was ready to sleep. Ian was falling asleep in a chair holding Connor and I remember telling him to make sure he didn't fall asleep and drop him.
Since I was in a labor and delivery room, I had to be transferred to a ward. And since I was catheterized, they had to put me in another bed to transfer me to the ward. I seriously felt like a baby myself...laying on a "puppy pee pad" in a bed. It wasn't my finest moment! When they transferred me, they put Connor in bed with me. He was screaming and I knew they had to wheel me through the hospital and people were going to be looking at me. So, I stuck my finger in his mouth, which calmed him down, and closed my eyes for the trip, partially out of exhaustion and partially out of not wanting to see people looking at me in this state. In my room, there were 6 beds to a room. I actually thought that was going to be worse than it really was...the midwife had warned everyone in our baby classes that there were 6 beds to a room in the wards.
Even though Ian and I were exhausted, we couldn't get Connor to go to sleep, which meant we didn't get to sleep. In the first 24 hours of his little life, he only slept about 6 hours...it was exhausting! The three of us laid on the bed together and slept for about an hour and a half before Connor woke up. Ian headed home to shower and I hung out with Connor. Later in the afternoon, Ian came back and I was able to get up and shower. Our friends came by to meet Connor and bring him a present. Then before I knew it, it was time for Ian to go home...visitors (including dads) aren't allowed to stay in the ward overnight. I was nervous about being alone with Connor overnight. And it was just me and a screaming little Connor all night long. I am pretty sure all the other women in the room hated me! Part of the problem was that Connor had to be checked every hour for the first 24 hours, so just when I would get him to sleep, someone would come in to check him out and wake him up and the whole process would start all over again. At one point, I asked the midwife to hold him because I had to pee. She told me to leave my screaming baby in the cot while I went to the bathroom. So I did, feeling bad for Connor the whole time and thinking that the other women in the room were judging me.
The next morning I couldn't wait for Ian to get to the hospital. He held Connor and let me take a shower and feel human again. I also couldn't wait to get out of the hospital. They asked me of I wanted to stay another night, but I kindly declined. Connor got the seal of approval from the pediatrician, ear specialist and everyone else and we were on our way home. The weird part about leaving the hospital was there were no security checks of any kind. We just took Connor (who yes, was with me the whole time at the hospital, except for the first few minutes), turned in a paper at the reception desk and walked out. And so began the rest of our lives...
In other news, Connor, myself and my mom spent a couple hours hanging out in my old Starbucks while Ian was at a work meeting in Edinburgh. It was so fun seeing all my old friends and watching them dote over Connor. He got so many cuddles and so many gifts today. He is feeling pretty good about himself right now!
I know most of you are on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about Connor's delivery (NOT), but you will have to wait a little bit longer...I am trying to keep your attention with the suspense!
Today we went and registered Connor's birth and picked up his birth certificate. The certificate in the picture is just a folder that the real birth certificate came in, but it is still very cute and the lady that filled it out obviously had wonderful penmanship...something I always got a bad grade in! While registering Connor's birth, they ask all sorts of questions. When they asked "occupation", I asked if I could say anything I wanted. The lady said she guessed so. So, I responded with, "What if I say I am a rodeo clown?" She did not seem to see the humor in that and kind of just moved on...don't worry though, on the birth certificate, it does not actually say rodeo clown as my occupation. It says something much more exciting...barista!
Yesterday I realized that Connor currently has no citizenship. He is a man without a country. This struck me as odd. He doesn't just qualify for British citizenship by being born here. It's a long story, but we are working to get it for him. And, we have yet to apply for his American citizenship. So technically, my child is without a country...kind of weird. Good thing he has a birth certificate!
The Water Braking
First, being the smart person that I am, I stayed up until 2:30am on Thursday night reading a book I was really into. At 4am, I woke up with my water gushing everywhere. I seriously was shocked. Everyone said that when your water broke, it wasn't that much. Mine was like an unstoppable geyser! I threw the covers off myself, trying to keep the mess to a minimum. I screamed for Ian, who responded by throwing the covers back over me. He then realized what was going on and got me a towel. Problem was, the stuff was still coming. So, I made a run for the bathroom, getting it all over the carpet in the mean time. Finally it stopped and I showered myself off. Ian, being the wonderful guy that he is, scrubbed it out of the carpeting and changed the bed. I noticed that my waters were green, but didn't think much of it. Knowing that labor was coming, I decided we should get some sleep. As soon as I laid down, I decided I needed to call the hospital and ask about the color of the waters being that they were green and not clear. They told me I needed to come in and get checked out. So, Ian and I scrambled out of bed and headed for the hospital. We brought my hospital bag, but both of us thought I was just going to get checked out and sent back home.
At the hospital, I was sent to a ward to be checked out because labor and delivery was full. While being checked out, I found out I was 2 cm dilated and wouldn't be leaving the hospital until the baby was born because of the meconium in my water (which made it green). Since the ward was quiet, I was admitted into a room of my own, which was nice. We were told as soon as a room opened up in labor and delivery, I would be transferred over there...that ended up taking 12 hours! In the mean time, I got to eat some wonderful hospital meals, get hooked up to a tens machine (which basically sends electric shocks into your back which supposedly releases endorphins in your brain and help you cope) and went for a walk around the hospital grounds. In the 12 hours since I had been in the hospital (and 14 since my water broke), my contractions were only up to once every 5 minutes, but lasting over a minute long. Just as I was eating my dinner, a midwife came to take me to labor and delivery. She told me she would give me a couple minutes to eat my food, as I wouldn't be allowed any once I got to labor and delivery.
Labor and Delivery Ward
When Ian and I arrived into the labor and delivery room, I got a little emotional. It was a weird (good weird) feeling knowing my baby was going to be born in that room and that the wait was finally over. Once in the room, things started happening fast. I got check over again, and discovered that even after 12 hours, was still only 2 cm dilated. I found out that since there was meconium in the water, there were going to be some unpleasantries about the labor that I didn't necessarily want. I had to strip down and put on a hospital gown, in case I needed an emergency c-section, due to how long it had been since my water broke (oh, wait a minute...wasn't it YOU who made me wait for a room?!?) and there being meconium in the water. Also, because of this, I had to be constantly monitored (which I didn't want) and get the dreaded pitocin. They hooked me up to the pitocin and doubled the dose every 15 minutes...this really got my labor going! Since it was really important that the baby be monitored, I was bed-bound. And since every time I leaned forward, the machine lost the heart beat, I had to be lying back a bit. It was quite uncomfortable for me to try to endure labor this way without meds! After feeling like I was totally loosing control, and not wanting to, I decided WHAT IS MY FREAKING PROBLEM?!? GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL! I got the epidural when I was about 9 cm dilated, which I am told they wouldn't even do in the states. But, I had just had a constant contraction for almost 5 minutes, and I think they were feeling sorry for me at this point...oh and also at this point, the midwife noted my contractions were "too hard" and they needed to lessen the pitocin...you think?!? Trying to stay still to get the epidural was definitely hard, but everyone around me (2 midwives and Ian) helped me through it. After the epidural, things turned to bliss for me. I quickly hit 10 cm, but then waited 2 hours to push, to have the baby do some of the hard work for me, by dropping down on its own. Right when it came time for me to push, the midwife handed me a cup of water to drink. As soon as I drank it, I felt sick and asked for a bowl. But, as soon as I asked for the bowl, I threw up all over myself and the bed...it was pretty! They had to cut my gown off me, as I was hooked up to so much stuff, and change the sheets on the bed. Oh, and wipe me down, because the stuff (my dinner from earlier) was everywhere!
And with that beautiful picture in your head, I will leave you to ponder before the posting of the delivery...
They say that pregnancy is supposed to end at 40 weeks, apparently that isn't the case for me. In my original plan, I actually thought the baby would come a couple days early. After all, I came a couple days early (and to this day am obsessively early to everything), and doesn't the baby want to be just like me?!? Okay, so maybe not. But even a week ago, I thought the baby would only last a couple more days, not a whole other week!
Then today I went to see my midwife and lost a little more hope. I am only 1cm dilated and baby is still sitting rather high up...it seems to enjoy its home and doesn't want to come out! Though I did get one good bit of information. My midwife said the baby seems to be a nice, small size...this gave me hope as I was sure the baby was going for the title of World's Biggest Baby! When leaving, my midwife said, I will see you and baby next week. Since she takes over mine and the baby's care the day we get out of the hospital, I am pretty sure she thinks I am going to have to be induced. INDUCED. It is a word I have feared for months. It means harder labor and most likely an epidural. Which then means, time in the hospital, in one of those rooms with five other women (yes, you read correctly, six women and their babies to a room) and Ian can't be with me at all times. But, I need to not build it up in my head. All I need to think about is this baby will be coming out of me sometime in the next week.
My induction is all set for Monday at 2pm. And, according to my midwife, they won't let me go home until the baby comes out! That is a little reassuring. But I still have to wonder, baby, why are you so resistant to coming out?
So all of this leaves me, once again, sitting at home. Fearful to go anywhere by myself, but a little too uncomfortable to be doing too much around the house. I started reading a book last night...maybe that will keep me occupied for a bit. Oh, and in case you are wondering, I am so over tv, I don't even turn it on most days. Instead, I productively spend my hours sleeping and playing on the internet...go me!
Here's to hoping (and praying) that baby decides to come out, on its own accord, before Monday!
Every time someone asks me how I am feeling, or if I am feeling any signs, I feel like grabbing them and punching them. Yes, this is a little drastic, but I thought all of this pregnancy stuff was going to be over by now. I thought I was going to have a baby in my arms last week...and it is still inside me. What gives, baby?!?
I have been walking nonstop. Ian even came home in the middle of the day today to take me on a walk...yes, it was appreciated, and yes, it also made me feel a bit like a dog. Ian said when he showed up at work today, people kept saying to him, "We didn't expect to see you here today." Good thing I wasn't there...I would have resorted to physical violence.
Ian says I have been a little bit on edge the last couple days...but I haven't yelled, so that is good. I will say that I almost lost it yesterday when we went to get coffee. The place was so disorganized and it was just pissing me off. I wanted to tell the workers what I thought of the whole thing, but I decided not to...I think that was probably a good decision.
Now for when this will all end. Every night I go to bed hopeful I will wake up in labor (I know, I am nuts!). And every morning, I am slightly disappointed to be woken up by my alarm and to find that nothing has changed. I don't want to be induced. I want this baby to come on its own accord. I just wish that timing was last week and not some date in the very distant future!
Oh, and I realize I am irritable...you try sitting here five days past your due date and tell me how you would feel!!!
That's all I got for you. We ran across a bunch of questionable meat...no joke, actually saw some green meat...and it was all still within date. Shows you got to pay attention when you are shopping so you don't get yourself sick!
Fun times at the 24-hour ASDA!
Went to see my midwife this morning. She said the baby's head is engaged...it could happen tonight; it could happen in two weeks. Two weeks?!? Anyway, she ordered me to "beer, sex and curry" this weekend...only in Scotland people, only in Scotland! She also informed me that should this baby not come, she has already scheduled me to be induced on the 16th. The 16th!?! That is like 12 days away! I want this baby to come before then. Come on baby, listen to your mama and COME NOW! The midwife ended my appointment by telling me that I was "a poster for pregnancy" and if everyone looked like I did, more people would be having babies. Really?!? That wasn't reassuring for me. It actually made me think about a couple years ago when my friend Katie was pregnant. She looked beautiful and perfect. We all used to tell her she could be a pregnancy model. She never quite seemed to take it as the compliment we meant it to be. I now fully understand. I just want this baby out. I don't want to be a poster for pregnancy. Just make the misery stop and get it out!
Oh, by the way, I am totally patient about this whole thing!
My dearest firstborn:
As your mother, I have cared for you within my own body for the past 40 weeks. I have eaten better and taken care of myself to the best of my ability, all for the sake of you. But as you have grown, so has my discomfort. In the last couple weeks, the stretch marks have come along and this pelvic pain is just killing me (which I'm told is a sign that you are coming). But, I have been able to overlook it all, just for you. Well...I am able to overlook it all, until now. The time has come for you to check out of "hotel uterus" and enter the world. Give mama her body back (well, most the way back!)! I upheld my end of the deal (40 weeks), now it is your turn to uphold your end by coming out.
There are so many people waiting out here to meet you. You have a big comfy bed waiting and your very own sock monkey! I have scrubbed the house down and your dad is going to take some time off work to hang out with you. Now, all we are doing, is sitting around waiting for you. Its up to you to make your entrance. I am sure it seems scary, but I promise you, you won't remember a thing. Plus, life really is better on this side of my body. You will get to be dressed up in clothes that people who love you have sent, wrapped up in some warm, fuzzy blankets and your grandma is coming to visit very soon.
So, my child, it is time. Time for you to do whatever it is you do to make your appearance in this world. I promise you won't be disappointed once you arrive.
Your impatient mom
2 Years 2 Months & 11 Days
Ian and I are once again car owners! In case you are wondering, yes I do know the exact day I had to give up my BMW! I remember standing there crying with my friend Chandra...not really over the car, but really over all the changes happening in my life. But, back to today and the new car...
With the baby coming and a move to Aberdeen (they have a crappy bus system), we knew that we had no option but to get a car. The journey to get a car though, hasn't been the easiest. We originally did a deal through Ian's work to get a car. After waiting three months for the car, the week we were supposed to take possession, we got a call saying our car had been totaled in transit. And in case you were wondering, this happened last week, exactly a week before our bundle of joy (the baby, not the car) was to arrive! So, we set out on Saturday to find ourselves a car.
Today we took possession of our new car, a VW Polo turbo diesel with just as much horsepower as my brother's lawn mower (75)! But, I don't think my brother can brag that his car gets 53 mpg in the city and 75 mpg on the highway...so take THAT Jeremy!
Here is a picture of Ian leaving the dealership in our new little car:
And a picture of our car parked outside our house...it started raining on the way home...and we have only driven our car from the dealership to our house. We are exciting people!!!
My five-legged, contest winning, spider pumpkin. I didn't even vote for myself!
Ian's pumpkin. The face is sideways. The eye is supposed to be the sun and the mouth the moon...I think it required too much interpretation for people to "get" what was going on! Poor Ian. He gets an "A" for effort.
Deciding to put our pumpkins to use, I bought a bag of candy and lit our pumpkins for halloween. We actually had 20 kids come by! I know this because the bag of candy had 25 pieces in it and we had 5 pieces left. Even in my state, I was able to figure out how many people came by! I have to admit, I was hoping a few less kids would come by so I could eat the leftovers...so selfish of me, I know.
In other news, the baby is still inside me and showing no signs (at least that I recognize) of coming out. Ian is convinced it will be born on Wednesday, which is its due date. As long as it decides to come out in the next few days, I will be happy! I feel like I have had a relatively painless pregnancy, up until a couple weeks ago. Now this baby seems to be jabbing my lungs and making me uncomfortable like no other. And, starting a couple days ago, I now get this pelvic/hip pain. So weird. But, I am thankful that all this stuff has only hit at the end and not caused trouble throughout.
Ian and I bought a car this weekend. But, since car buying works different here, we don't actually get our new car until Tuesday. It has to do with them actually getting it registered...plates and all...before we get it. But, buying a car here is a much different experience than in the states. First off, new cars aren't kept in stock. They have to order them for you, which can take months. We actually bought the car off the showroom floor. We weren't fussy about colors or anything, just desperate for a good mode of transportation! Also, they let us test drive the car, by ourselves (no salesman in the backseat) and didn't ask for a drivers license or anything. And getting a loan, no problem. It was like a five minute process, with them asking very little information. Honestly, it was all so different. So trusting. I am not used to people being so trusting. Anyway, on Tuesday, Ian and I take possession of a shiny new black VW diesel Polo...I don't think those exist in the states. It gets 53 mpg in the city and 75 mpg on the highway...not too shabby! And, being the smart people that we are, we even took our car seat down to the dealership to make sure it fit in the back seat before signing on the dotted line (come to think of it, I never signed anything!). We had to check after all, the car is a "supermini"...I don't think there is even a class of car called that in the states. Oh well. All that to say, we are happy to finally have a car and finding one turned out to be easier than we thought, and really not as hard on our bank account as we thought. So, I guess its a win/win situation.
This means...next up, me getting serious about getting my "full" drivers license. I think I am going to try to take the written test while my mom is visiting and take the driving portion after the new year...that's the plan at least. That way, me and baby don't have to walk everywhere in the wonderful winter weather!
Scotland seems to have an obsession with frozen food. There are two grocery chains that soley (I don't think "sole" with a "y" on the end is actually a word, but don't tell anyone, okay?) stock frozen food. Being that Ian and I are both fresh food people, we never have quite gotten this...though on a side note, I must say that I am making dishes and freezing them for after the baby is born. This way, Ian just has to heat them up and make a salad and *bam* we have a home cooked meal! So far, I've gotten two made from scratch lasagnas (I am so proud of my doing this!) and a ginormious container of beef stew (perfect for those stormy days). But, back to my point...
So, I'm watching TV the other day and a commercial comes on for one of these "frozen food specialists". In it, they are advertising a hot dog pizza. Yes, you read correctly. That is a pizza with hot dog on it!?! Now, I like pizza and I LOVE hot dogs, but the idea of combining the two is about enough to make me "bring up" (or vomit) the nice warm cookies and milk I ate as a snack tonight. Honestly, who eats this type of stuff? It sounds SO WRONG to me, I can hardly stand it. Oh, man.
I think I am going to stick with my weekly menus and trying to make all my dinners from scratch. Hopefully this will avoid some nasty food pitfalls...like hot dog pizza!
With the days getting shorter (not literally, just less sun) and the thought of four hours of daylight being just around the corner, I begin to think about hibernation. The whole time I have lived here, I haven't quite understood the misery of winter. I am not the type of person that is content being cooped up in a house all winter.
Enter a local magazine I am flipping through this weekend...it did a poll on what people do to pass the "long nights" of winter. Every single stinking response had the following words in it:
DVD (be it movie or TV series)
I was officially depressed (not really)! If the great people of Scotland literally just sit in their homes all winter, what hope does that give me for doing absolutely anything?!? I wasn't raised to hibernate. I was raised in a place (Arizona) where the "winter" was blink and you missed it. I remember going off to school in the winter in a long sleeved shirt and shorts. Then, the last place I lived (Southern California), wasn't much different. If it falls below 70, everyone starts bundling up and complaining how cold it is. I was not raised for this.
That is where YOU come in...come on people, I need your best ideas here. What's a girl to do to make it through another four months of miserable weather and four hours of daylight? And hibernation isn't an option here!
Fall seemed to start out with some beautiful weather. Yeah, the air was crisp and cold, but the sun was shining and the falling leaves looked beautiful. That was until the rain set in. The rain seems to have turned the beautiful leaves into a mushy mess at every turn. And those beautiful leaves now mask hidden puddles for me to soak myself in! They also pose as a "slipping hazard" for an already clumsy person. Put this together with my center of gravity being thrown off, and it isn't a good combination!
Its been raining so hard the last few days that our poor blueberry plant has become waterlogged under a few inches of water. Thankfully, Ian came to its rescue today, trying his hand at using a cup to remove the water...we love our little blueberry plant and want it to make it through the winter!
Hopefully (though I am not holding my breath), the fall and winter will prove to have some beautiful weather for me and not just icky stuff that keeps a largely pregnant woman (soon to be protective, germ-a-phobe mother) from being housebound until spring!
I got a visit from the health visitor today...basically this is a person that checks up on you and the baby, makes sure you aren't psycho, are a good enough parent, things like that. I was freaking out last night about the visit. Ian thought the whole thing was funny...of course he would. He got to escape off to work. Well, the lady was nice and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Just a bunch of questions, wanting to know my plans for after the baby is born, support systems, things like that. The funny thing was the lady was glad to hear my mom was coming after the baby was born, but was concerned about Ian's whole family coming for Christmas. She stressed that I need to be focused on the baby and not on playing hostess. So there you have it Grimbleby's...no hostess playing from Jessica!
This afternoon I had a midwife appointment. Except for the fact that it is horrible weather and I was completely drenched by the time I got to the doctor's office, the appointment went well. Baby's head is still down, though not engaged...I was disappointed about this one, given that I do want this little thing to come early! (Yeah, I did just call my baby a "thing".) Also, once again I have blood in my urine (can anyone say another UTI is coming my way?), so my urine has once again been sent off to a lab. Not too concerned given that this has now happened about a million times while I have been pregnant and given that the worst that can happen is it make you go into labor, which I would be happy about.
Today the post man showed up at my door with yet another present. And it came just in time, given that the Royal Mail is going on strike beginning tomorrow. It was from my wonderful Aunt Willa & Uncle TT. The best present in the package was a little onesie that said, "All I want for Christmas is my Auntie". It made my heart melt. That is SO TRUE. Once this little person meets its Aunt Willa, it won't want anyone else...and I know the feeling!
Two days ago, baby got a present in the mail from my friend Danielle. It got a bottle drying rack, some bottles and its first real toy...it makes noises and everything!
Baby is surely feeling the love...now if only baby will decide to come out and feel the love from the real world and not just inside my belly!
Oh, and about the picture...I realize my legs are starting to look extremely minute in comparison to my ever growing belly. This actually makes me feel good given that I normally feel like I have ginormous legs. I also realize that wearing khakis makes me look like a Target worker. I don't know how to keep this from happening. And given that I have like three pairs of maternity pants, I have to rock the "Target look" every once in a while!
Now for some "fun". I made a little survey about the baby. Don't worry, the survey is only six questions long. You KNOW you want to take it! Come on, just be a pal and take it!
"I was just trying to be helpful."
"I was just trying to help you be prepared."
"Even though it happened to Susie's half-sister's, neighbor's, best friend, doesn't mean it will happen to you."
Well, I have something to say to all you joy squashes out there...
SHUT THE @#!* UP!
Believe it or not, I don't want to hear your horror stories of your child almost dieing at birth, of ruptured uteri and more. Yes, I want some of you to be real with me (and you know who you are), but why does every single stinking person in the world feel the need to share their horror stories with me?!? I don't freaking get it and I don't freaking like it. Thankfully I have a sane mother that is totally my cheerleader and not a joy squasher. Thankfully I also have some good friends that are the same way. Otherwise, I think I might go insane!
Oh, and you joy squashes out there, you totally DON'T get that you do this...that is the BEST part. You are so simple minded and conceded that you would never realize that life isn't all about you and maybe, just maybe, you should keep your comments to yourself!
Enter a commercial that changed my outlook on online grocery shopping (and my life!). It said that it saved your "favorites" from the store, online for ease of shopping. This favorites list has seriously changed my life. Once a week, I sit down and make a list of the dinners we will be eating for the week (oh, this only started after I went on maternity leave**) log on and throw all the ingredients into my basket, pick a delivery time and viola, my groceries arrive. Its ingenious and has changed my life! It may not be the cheapest way to shop (unless you account for the fact that I am never enticed by impulse items or sweets) but given my current situation, it certainly is the easiest. And lets face it, I NEVER have to think about unloading the car in the rain!
**No joke people, given that I am at home all day, I have decided to be a "good house wife" and make dinner every night! This includes planning out the meals each week. I am such a changed person, many of you wouldn't even recognize me!
First, I must admit, these classes really give me time to judge my bump size to others. Given that I am the farthest along (hey, I moved and had to start the classes late!) I should be the biggest, right? Well, that doesn't seem to be the truth. Ian is starting to say that I need to eat some more tea and biscuits (yeah, I guess we have adapted to the culture a little!) but I think he is really saying that just because the midwife said the baby is on the small side...not an unhealthy size, just small. I am not going to lie, I have been praying for the baby to be on the smaller size the whole time. Do you really think I want to push out a record size baby?!? NO! But, back to bumps. I have also discovered that bumps come in all shapes and sizes. Some women just look fat (so glad that isn't me) and some women look like they are about to pop when they are like 5 months along. I, on the other hand, keep being told that I don't look 9 months pregnant. But, I am not too worried, given that I am measuring just right. Me and babes just eat less than others!
Back to baby class. It has also made me realize how uneducated people are. Honestly, I haven't scowered over a million books. I have flipped thru one, read one about labor and delivery and read one about the baby's first year. By no means would I consider myself an expert. But, when I am sitting in the class and people don't seem to know rather simple questions, I realize that maybe I do know more than I think. Go me!
Last night we learned all about coping with labor at home. Over here, you don't go into the hospital until you are at least 6 centimeters dilated. Really, they don't even want you there until it is time to push! No kidding! They told us when we are in the early stages of labor, we should clean and organize our house so everything is ready when we get home. Nice! Cleaning is just what I want to be doing when I am leaking amniotic fluid all over the floor and crying out in pain every 10 minutes...yeah, they said they don't count contractions more than 10 minutes apart as "labor".
We did get to see a tens machine in action last night...I don't think you have those over in the states. Basically, it is pads you hook up to your back that send electrical pulses to your brain to help release the endorphins and make you not think about the pain. You just rent them from a local pharmacy. Haven't decided yet if I will get one or not...it probably depends on if baby is going to turn around on Monday or not (on a side note, I went to the dr. on Wednesday and baby is still breech, though they did say the baby is "happy and healthy" in that position). They hooked the machine up to one of the guys and it was seriously funny to see him squirm from the pulses. But, then he kept saying that it didn't hurt, so who knows what it really feels like.
Up next week...a tour of the labor and delivery ward and learning all about how to push that baby out! I can't wait!
Here's a picture of all the loot:
Uncle Jeremy included a special something for the baby...which he swears is NOT a halloween costume! Either way, I can't resist the heart behind the skeleton.
Since we just moved, Ian and I thought it would be good to find a church before the baby is born. So, we have visited a different church each week to see what we like best. Obviously, we realize no church is perfect, but we want to find one we actually fit in at. So far, we have just visited churches that people recommended to us...a Church of Scotland (WAY old school), an Assembly's of God (pretty standard) and an independent church (probably the one we seemed to fit in the most at). The first thing I have noticed about church shopping is that churches have horrible websites. They seem to set up their websites for people who currently are going to their churches...and honestly, how often do you visit your church's website? The one thing that stands out, for all the churches, the address and a map showing where the church is located seemed to be deeply hidden in an odd place on the website. This is crucial information for new people and needs to be front and center! The second thing I noticed is that all the churches said they are "friendly" and you will be greeted by someone that recognizes you are new. At the second church we attended (AG), not one single person even said hi to us...talk about awkward! The first one (Church of Scotland), two guys did after church, thinking we were new students. Today, at the independent church, people were totally friendly. A lady came and chatted with us for a while, whom we later found out was the pastor's wife. Then, during the "greet" time in the service (which might I say really is an awful time for new people...and isn't it supposed to be for new people?!?) we talked to a really nice couple sitting in front of us. After service, we ran into a guy Ian works with and ended up talking to another guy (like our parents age), who was so friendly and seemed to genuinely take interest and care about us. It felt good. Isn't that the way you should feel at church?
An increasingly popular trend at churches is churches writing their own songs. I am not totally bashing this, as both the church in Pasadena and the church in Edinburgh that Ian and I attended wrote their own songs. But, it does make you feel like a fish out of water when you are church shopping! At least throw us new people a bone and sing one mainstream song!
Now, I know this next comment is getting a tad bit nitpickey, but hey, we are church shopping here, so I can be if I want to be! Both this Sunday and last Sunday, the churches served communion. This got Ian and I talking about our "favorite" ways of recieving communion. Both of us said we liked it when churches passed out the communion, then the pastor prayed and everyone took the communion together. These days, it seems to be everyone taking the communion as soon as they get it (either it being passed around or you serve yourself) and this is in the middle of worship. This doesn't really allow for any prayer or reflection time and honestly I don't like that. Isn't that what communion is all about?!? Well, that and the fabulous crackers!
Really, I say all this to let you all know that church shopping totally SUCKS! It's uncomfortable, not fun and makes me feel like a total outsider in a place that should feel like home...right? Maybe someday I will feel like I fit in at church, but in the mean time, we will pick a church that seems the best for us and go from there...
Well, it is starting to get exciting! The baby will be here in a month...so crazy! Yesterday at my "booking" appointment at my new medical practice in Aberdeen (the booking appointment is your first appointment when you are pregnant) it was discovered that the baby is breech. So, they sent me over today for a scan to confirm this. As soon as the lady put the probe to my belly, it was obvious the baby is breech. The head is right up there on top with the feet at the top of the head, and the butt is nicely nestled in my pelvis bone. The problem is, this is the worst breech position for a baby to turn from. But still, an ECV (external cephalic version) has been scheduled for in a week and a half. Over here, they do this procedure non-medicated. If it becomes too painful for me, or the baby (which will be monitored the whole time) gets stressed out, they will stop. Their biggest challenge will be to push that little butt out of my pelvis! Anyway, if the ECV doesn't work, a c-section will be scheduled for a week before my due date...which would be the last week of October. OCTOBER?!? That is the month we are currently in! Kind of freaks me out! The ironic thing is, after wanting a c-section for like forever, I will kind of be sad if that is the route we will take. It isn't the end of the world, but I have been doing my exercises and getting all prepared for a (hopefully) medication free birth. Oh well.
I have been trying to prepare for baby's arrival...started packing for the hospital and made a list of all the essential stuff left to get before baby arrives. So, hopefully I will actually get my butt into gear and have everything done (and a name picked out) before baby arrives! Speaking of names, Ian and I are still struggling along on the name front. It is probably because neither one of us talks about it constantly or wants to pick a name from a baby book...so somehow we are supposed to just come up with the perfect name for our child in the next couple weeks. No pressure or anything!
On a good note, the bathroom of our new place is about three times the size of our old bathroom! And, it has a heated towel rack attached to the wall! Though I never seem to take showers at the right time to use a heated towel, it does mean I get to use a dry towel and that is something I can get on board with!