Since BoB is now Noah, we felt it was time to retire this blog and to give Noah his own piece of the Internet.

To keep up with the goings on in the life of Noah Alexander James, please follow the link below!

GrumpyPumps.co.uk

Edit: If you cannot get to this site because DNS has not updated, you can also visit grumpypumps.kasta.co.uk which has a copy. 

I guess I should have actually given the details!!!

The Baby Formerly Known As BoB is now known as:

Noah Alexander James Brotherston

Estimated Due Date: 19.02.08

Actual Arrival Date: 28.02.08

Time: 3.13am

Weight: 9lb 10oz

For one week three weeks I have given a lot of thought as to how I would update this page. Would I just post a photo and the brief details? Would I post a gruesomely detailed birth story? Would I just redirect this page to one that no longer makes reference to “BoB”?

I’m still nowhere close to making a decision, so I thought I’d combine a few. Alas, with Lee at work I cannot do any redirects because.. I just don’t know how to.

The important thing, is that the waiting is over.

I will now attempt to tell the story in photos. Please be aware that there are some highly unattractive photos of myself, my baby and my food in the hospital. We’ve left out the breastfeeding photos to ensure that you do at some point want to return to check on the progress of the Baby Formerly Known As BoB.

*clears throat*

Around 1.00am GMT on 27th February 2008, Lee and I were rudely awaken from our much needed sleep by some serious vibrations and rumbles. I thought he was having a seizure (no basis for this other than that I had no idea what was going on) until I realised I could hear the deck shaking, and he thought that I was violently shaking him (perhaps there is some basis for that thought, however that is not the point) until he realised my hands were not on him. At that point he jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to answer the door. Perhaps he though King Kong was making a special delivery .. we were not all together sure of the rationale behind his moves/thoughts at that point. After ensuring that no one was trying to break in, get our attention and that the house was still standing, we were wide awake and discussing the possibilities of what it could be.

So instead of sleeping, we watched the news, surfed the net for any news, and basically wasted our last chance for a couple of hours of sleep as we settled back in after 2am and just after 3am I woke up and said “I’m just going to pee, I’ll be back”.

Famous. Last. Words.

I rolled over and realised that this was no normal pee. Whatever it was that was pressing on my bladder wasn’t something that a good old Kegel exercise could hold back. I sprinted for the toilet yelling “I think my water is about to break”. Call me Miss Cleo because before I hit the toilet seat I proved myself right.

Now.. there is something that they don’t show in movies or people forget to tell you when they are recounting their birth horror story… when your water breaks, it doesn’t just do it in one go.. it keeps on and on and on and on.

But I digress. As I sat startled on the toilet wondering a) when the baby would be here b) if we’d make it to the hospital and c) if I was in any way prepared for what was about to happen, Lee called the hospital to update them on the situation. As I was 8 days overdue and the water had broken “spontaneously” they wanted me to come in when the contractions started just to be monitored. They suggested to come in around 9am (or when we felt we should).

9am? They wanted me to go in rush hour? Had they no idea what the ride was like on the day I went for the sweep and that super slow truck was in front of us on the winding country roads?! Crazy fools!

I started getting contractions and Lee and I headed off around 6am… please note the look of complete “happy” on my face as we took the last pregnant photo before leaving for the hospital. Also note the sarcasm in what I write.

In labour 27.2.08

We got to the hospital at 6.45am and met a super nice midwife and I started to relax (in between doing relaxation techniques through the contractions)… until she went off duty and The Midwife From Hell arrived on the scene. I couldn’t have had worse luck. Well I could have, if I was at Milton Keynes General Hospital. Luckily she wanted to spend time with me as much as I wanted to spend time with her. She sent me upstairs to the maternity ward to wait for the contractions to regulate (they were coming in clusters and then stopping).

So upstairs we went and I was so excited at the prospect of having a bed so I could sleep. However, my body was not comfortable in any position. Any position that wasn’t on a toilet, that is. While we were upstairs I had another water breaking experience and unfortunately Lee was in the parking lot on the phone to my mom and I was on the wrong side of the bed to call the midwife. So I waited for someone to come out of the toilet across the hall and asked them to get someone. After we changed out of the soaked clothes and into my “delivery” outfit they decided to start monitoring me again. The contractions were still coming in clusters but they were coming fast and hard when they were coming.

Eleven and half hours in I finally decided to ask if there was anything I could take to help with the pain, and I was given two paracetamol (or Tylenol). I may as well have been given two sugar pills. Actually I wish I had. After a while on the machine they decided that I needed to go back to delivery suite and rolled me back downstairs. When we got there, they told me that I was going to Delivery Room 3. We stopped outside of the door and it was a nice room. Not the pool room I was so hoping for, but it was nice. And then the voice of The Midwife From Hell was heard and it said “I’ve changed my mind, take her to Room 5”.

Of course Room 5 was the oldest and smallest of the delivery rooms, but after so many hours in I was getting excited that it would soon be over.

At least I thought it would.

The nice midwife from upstairs told TMFH that all I’d been given were two paracetamol and that it was not adequate and she left. Then TMFH said “I’ll be back” and she left too. I never saw her again.

In came Zena. I thought she was whatever England’s versions of Candy Stripers are. She looked like she was 18 and was very soft spoken. She explained that as my water had broken so long ago I now had “options”. I could wait it out a bit longer to see what happens naturally or I could be hooked up to the Syntocin to speed things along. And then she mentioned the dreaded word “epidural”.

Before going into the hospital I had prepared a lengthy and detailed birth plan. On that birth plan it states that I did not really want an epidural and only to remind me of the option at the last possible moment.

Well, at that moment she mentioned it to me, it did feel like the last possible moment and I’d heard nothing but horror stories on how harsh the contractions were with The Drip and I wasn’t sure I could survive on the now ancient paracetamol that hadn’t worked when I first took it, never mind at this stage. So when she said “I’ll give you time to think about the options”, I looked at Lee and he looked at me, nothing much was said verbally but we both knew… there was no option! Speed it up and take away the pain!!!

Well. All I can say is that I love epidurals. I love love love love love the person that invented them. Yes, I am a wimp. I don’t care who knows it! But if you were in pain for that long and hadn’t even been offered the Gas and Air, the first thing offered would be most welcome. And I was a whole new person with that little tube in my back.

I looked like the back end of a donkey, but I felt like a million dollars.

Not looking hot

As you can see, my “delivery” outfit was taken away and replaced with a “hospital use only” printed gown. Not in the most flattering colours.

Things actually start to get hazy from here because I’d now been awake way too long without a proper sleep. My Mom and Randy arrived.. to find out that I was nowhere close. Lee and my Mom were taking shifts hanging outside with Randy as I was only allowed to cheerleaders, but eventually the very nice Zena allowed him in and then the three of them took shifts sharing the two chairs by the bed. We watched Masterchef Goes Large and found out that my Mom smells like Zena’s mom and then at 9pm Zena went home…and I was still in labour.

In came Ally and Tammy. Tammy being Zena’s sister. We found that out because my Mom also smells like Tammy’s mom. Things actually livened up at this point. For everyone but me. I was struggling to stay conscious and even when I heard them talking and laughing about me and knew that they were taking unflattering photos, I couldn’t really muster up the energy to tell anyone off.

Time ticked on and things started to happen. It looked like I’d make the 4am deadline (Randy had to take a cab back to the hotel to catch another one to get to the airport to get back to St.Kitts to then be on Calleigh Watch). It didn’t feel like it, but they kept telling me that things were happening. At 1am it was announced that I was 10cm dilated finally.. but we were not going to push for another hour to let the contractions do the work themselves. And then, the contractions stopped. Through the entire labour the only time they could regulate the contractions were when they kept their eye on the IV.

Anyway, at 2am I was told to push. At 2am I was so tired that I couldn’t really be bothered. Even with the maxi pad soaked in cold water on my neck, my Mom and Lee fanning me with barf bowls and Ally pouring water on my face. I was EXHAUSTED. My mom whispered some words of encouragement in my ear and I had something to focus on. It helped a bit, but no one realised the size of The Tiny Human that I was attempting to push out.

After nearly an hour and a quarter of begrudgingly pushing, the bed was lowered, I could no longer see what was going on and then Ally reach up inside and the next thing I knew I could feel a massive emptiness inside.. like a cork being removed from a bottle of champagne. A MASSIVE cork.

I could see this really dark purple being at the bottom of the bed, but was still struggling to wake up and struggling to accept that I had indeed just given birth to this Not So Tiny Human.

So Lee announced “he was born at 3.13am”. That was the first I’d heard of whether it was a boy or girl. I said “oh so it IS a boy?” to which Lee replied “actually, I’m not sure”. So my mom and Lee looked over and I heard my Mom say “yep, he’s a boy!”

He wasn’t pretty whilst we waited for him to pink up. In fact, I kept looking at him and thinking of ET… Lee thought of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. But, he was here, he was healthy and he was ours.

minutes old

Minutes old again

And how could you not love this baby who looked you straight in the eye as if to let you know that “it’s all going to be okay, I’m here now”.

They took him away to be weighed and for Randy to get a chance to see him whilst I was being “repaired” and when they came back I could have passed out all over again when they told us that he weighed 9lbs 10oz!!

I knew he wasn’t small… but I also didn’t think that he was 2 months old!

lounging

My Mom and Randy left at 4am to catch that cab and to get Randy to the airport on time and Lee and I went up to my …PRIVATE ROOM… aww yeah! Lee looked rather refreshed holding his son…

Lee and Noah

And I looked… like I’d just spent minutes shy of 24 hours in labour….

mommy and noah

Within in minutes of getting set up in the room, the two boys in my life decided that they were exhausted and went to sleep. Noah on my left….

Sleepy Noah

And Lee to my right…

Sleepy Lee

Lee then went home to get changed, pick up a few things and try and rest before returning that afternoon.

And I… I ate sausage hotpot with creamed potatoes and cauliflower whilst I tried to digest that this little dude to my left was mine. Not just for an hour or two, but for the rest of our lives.

Hospital Food

All I can say is, that as scary as it is to realise the responsibility before me, it was a much nicer revelation than what the sausage hotpot actually was and tasted like.

I’d like to know what the laws are regarding Squatters’ Rights within a uterus.

Today we have hit DUE DATE DAY and BoB has officially been served his/her eviction notice. However, after a few false starts, it would appear that this child has no intention of giving up its warm and wet home for the cruel chill of the outside world.

Fair enough, I’d rather be warm too. But there comes a time when we all have to suck it up and get on with things.  That time has come for you now, BoB!

It is alright that you are stubborn, I mean heck, you are my child after all.  But now is not the time for a battle of wills.  I’ll concede this one and let you win, but you have to come on out to accept your prize.   There is nowhere else to grow from here. My tummy is full and you even know that because I can feel that you’re not able to play around as much as you used to.  If you come on out, there is a whole world to play in and other people to play with… not just the other two faces that have provided you some weird sort of companionship along your bumpy journey.

Everyone is ready.  The “plug” is gone, our bags are packed and Kadie (that’s my Mom!) has her outfit ready for the delivery.  We’re just waiting for you to get a move on.

Please, I am begging you.  Let’s end this stand off.  You’ll be much happier out here once we get you all warmed up. I promise.

Lee and I spent a romantic Valentine’s Day morning at the hospital.  No, we didn’t come home with a baby, but we did get one last peek at the baby that has been growing… and growing … and growing… inside of me.

Today we learnt that BoB’s belly is still large and in charge, but he or she has sneaked in under the radar and has avoided removal by c-section or induction.  At least has avoided the induction for now.   Hanging around too long may still result in an eviction notice.   The magic number they were looking for was an estimated weight of 4kg or 8.8lbs.  BoB just made it at 3.8kg or 8.4lbs.

We also found out that in order to support this blossoming belly, BoB’s got some supermodel length legs.  I really don’t know what the femur length tells you, but the sonographer, midwife and consultant were all far more blown away by that measurement than the belly size.   Apparently BoB is so tall that we’ve been told to forget the 0-3 months clothes and go for the 3-6 months.  This is just after I was coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to squeeze my baby into “newborn” clothes.

The bad news is that we are no closer to knowing when BoB may appear and from what I can tell, this baby is quite comfy where he or she is.  However, the good news outweighs the bad news as our big little baby is healthy and that is the most important part.  But I could have told them that already.  After all, I am the one who feels the kicks and punches all day long.

Oooh and for the first time, I think BoB may have a chance of being a Roberta.  After being convinced that BoB was a BoB and thinking that the 4D scan verified it, today’s baby with its chubby cheeks looked more like a girl.  Then again it was a 2D scan and it was a brief peek.  Mind you, once again, BoB was chewing away.  I have no idea what is in there, but this child seem to eat anything he or she can get their hands on.

Maybe he/she does take after me in some way after all 🙂

This is like the longest football (not the soccer kind) game of my life. Although we have gradually crept along gaining yardage, there have been many sacs and incomplete passes along the way. At some points it felt like all we were going to score was a field goal, and never actually make it into the endzone for a touchdown. But here we are at 39 weeks today which means that the endzone is in sight and this quarterback, who now looks like a nose tackle, is going …to…go…all…the…way!

I’m about to do something the Buffalo Bills appear to have forgotten how to do: I’m getting a Superbowl ring. Mine is going to come in a package that screams and poos and sleeps and poos and cries and poos and eats and will most likely have me wrapped around their finger rather than me wearing the prize around mine, but that’s alright!

Over the past week I’ve felt like I’ve been losing yardage. My head hurts insanely every morning which forces me back to bed for a few hours. My stomach is constantly in a state of total tightness or upset. My early (week -1 through 27) nausea seems to be returning for most of the morning hours. And worst of all the tears are back. They are nowhere near what they were, but they are coming whether it be from sadness, happiness, fear or excitement. Ain’t no stopping them now.

At least now though, I can see the goal line. I know where I need to be and it is not out of my reach any longer. I’ve still got a lot of passes to complete before getting there, but I shall endeavour to do them so that when the time comes, all I need to focus on is those last few yards. Hopefully my special teams will be fully assembled by then (Mom and Lee) and all will go like clockwork.

Yeah, I know this is me we’re talking about, but I can dream right?

So with one last week to go (hopefully), I shall be giving one last ticker update as to where BoB is at right now:

“This is it! I’m done squirming around in here! Unless I’m feeling ultra snuggly… I’m 39 weeks old, only 7 days to go! “

..or at least you might be inclined to believe that if you could see the size of my belly right now. I’ve realised all along that I do not have a tiny bump, which has been cool because I’m not a tiny kind of person. However, over the past few weeks my tummy has been growing at a rate that I never expected. I look like I’ve swallowed Danny Devito whole.

Now I’m not saying that he wouldn’t be tasty, because who am I to judge, but it’s not really the look I was going for.

When we went for a walk on Saturday I was mesmerised by my shadow – it was huge!

Then yesterday we went grocery shopping and as we headed back to the car I caught sight of my reflection in the window. It looked like I’d eaten the shadow from Saturday.

And then just now I was having a pre-bed pee (one of many) and looked in the mirror and nearly screamed.

I think I might have to ask the person doing the ultrasound on Thursday to double check that there aren’t twins in there. And if there is only one baby, he/she better not be a 5lber. Well, okay we know he/she isn’t, but still. I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that the baby doesn’t weight 20lbs, and isn’t 4 years old. (Yeah, I have no idea how much a 4 year old weighs, but it may well be over 20lbs)

Check it out!

38+6

And to top it off.. that is solid belly and my belly button is still an innie! How is this possible?!

One thing it does answer, is why I need Lee to help me off of our super comfy super soft sofa.

I think I’m going to have nightmares tonight.

Lee and I never really had a first date.  Not a “proper” out for dinner kind of get-to-know-each-other date.  Mind you, have we ever done anything in the normal way?  No.

But Lee pointed out this week that whether BoB arrives early or not, this was our last full weekend alone as a couple as next weekend he’d either be a father, or living with his Mother in Law.  I’d never even thought of it like that.  To be honest, a little panic set in because although I am aware that BoB is not staying inside forever, and I know that the due date is…well, 10 days away now… I keep telling myself we’ve got LOADS of time.   Apparently not.

So last night we decided to have Date Night.  We went to dinner (the 4th restaurant we tried as everywhere was packed) and then to the movies.   As the ultimate Last Weekend Alone Movie, we saw Juno; a film about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant.

Now we had a great time all night and laughed a lot and I cried a little (at the movie), but one thing was for certain, there was no way that BoB was letting his or her presence go unknown.  During dinner it started out like a West End Show with some high octane dancing going on, and then Braxton Hicks kicked in.  Not ones I couldn’t handle, just ones that made me look awkward every now and then as I tried to mask the Wincing-In-Pain-Face with the Mmm-This-Tastes-Nice-Face.

We went up to the movie and at first all was well.  It was pretty empty and we were comfortable with our space. I knew if I needed to make a toilet break I could escape quickly so I could sit back and relax.  And then… and then the people came.  I have no idea where from, but with 5 minutes before the movie starting the theatre became packed. I had to take my feet off of the arm rest in front of me  (which proved a harmful move as my feet started to swell as I sat there…to the point where I felt like I was wearing the wrong feet.  Luckily I had changed my shoes just before we got into the car) and my speedy escape would now have to be a long drawn out Sorry – Excuse Me – Pardon Me stumble over popcorn and feet.

That’s okay, I would just sit back and watch the movie.  And for the first 15 minutes, that is what I did.  Then, BoB decided he or she wasn’t getting all of the attention and on came the Braxton Hicks.  The most painful and uncomfortable ones I’ve had so far.  I tried to tell myself to calm down and just focus on the movie, that I didn’t want to look like a fool as I stumbled out of the theatre being by far the most pregnant woman in there as this 20 foot 16 year old we were watching seemed to be doing a lot better with her pregnancy than I was.  So I shifted back and forth and up and down in my seat trying to find a position that would lessen the pain and allow my uterus to chill out a bit.

Of course, between squeezings of his or her house around their chubby belly, BoB wanted to dance!   At one point in the movie someone talks to the belly to see if they can feel movement, well I think BoB thought that they were talking to him/her because he/she was going crazy trying to respond.  It provided a brief moment of relief and humour to my suffering.

I kept wanting to run out, but I just knew this couldn’t be the real thing.  I couldn’t be going into labour whilst watching Juno.  Okay, if anyone was going to do it, it would be me, but karma wouldn’t let me suffer an embarrassing fate like that right?

Once the movie was over, Lee helped me waddle to the car, sat patiently whilst I suffered through another contraction and then urged me to check my phone as I was at that point convinced that I must have been going through sympathy labour for Sally.  But there were no messages, so we went on home where Lee ran a warm bath for me and BoB and I tried to figure out a way to actually make it through proper labour when the time comes.   I’ve still not managed to work anything out there.   I just keep telling myself that in actual labour the contractions will actually be doing something and not just practising.  Yeah yeah, practise makes perfect, but I’m tired of the practising.  Let’s either get the real deal under way or allow me to enjoy my last few days (or weeks) of this pregnancy.  PLEASE.

So, as you can tell by the fact that I am writing this, I lived through the night.   I sit here typing in mild discomfort rather than the crazy pain I was in last night.  We’re still trying to keep BoB in until my Mom arrives, and I’m sure this child isn’t going to come easily even then, so I will wince, whimper, moan and cry in frustration until she arrives to whip me into shape and continue to be grateful for having Lee here with me.  His excitement to meet BoB allows for extra patience during my suffering, which is coming in really handy.  Plus he tells me little tidbits about babies in their first days/weeks of life whilst I try and deal with things which takes my mind away from the pain if even for a moment.

Our Date Night might be over,  and it was a really good night, all in all, but what I’ve learnt from it is that we don’t actually need proper dates, because we just really enjoy being around each other whether we are in the kitchen folding laundry, trying to fall asleep at night, just driving in the car or sitting in silence reading magazines or on the computer.  And that, that means so much more than dinner and a movie.  That, is what is going to help get us through the changes to our life that are just around the corner.  And for that, I am grateful.

Now to de-cheese.  Here are some photos taken last night.  Please note that my maternity sweater can barely reach the bottom of my belly now.  There is some serious stretching going on, so BoB better not grow too much more!!

38w3 days in….and they say J-Lo is huge?!  Look again!

38w3d: Nothing but BoB

My sweater blends in with the dark wood of the dresser, so look carefully at where my thumb pokes out to see the true measure of this belly!

38w3d: Get In My Bellah

After seeing the behind shots of me lately, I’ve contemplated walking backward for the rest of this pregnancy!

Where'd BoB Go?

My detachable bump, or so it seems:

38w3d: it's strapped on!

A close up of BoB in his/her house:

38w3d: BoB's House

..or at least nursery.

And okay, not a whole “new” one, but an almost complete one which has required furniture moving and a little more of the DIY from Lee (with nothing but loving guidance and annoying questions from me).

All that remains to be done, is for three frames to be put up on the wall over the crib (cotbed).

It is getting so close!! If I weren’t scared £$&%less I’d be over excited!!

No matter how real this is becoming, it is hard to believe that within a few weeks or less there will actually be a little baby in this house who will be soothed in the new glider, wear the diapers (nappies) in the basket on the dresser and actually still be there in the morning when we wake up.  The reality is almost overwhelming.  Actually, scratch the almost. It IS overwhelming.

Anyway, before I’m overcome with hormone driven emotional craziness, here are the photos!

The new arrangement of furniture (yes we are going to clear off the window sill!)

Final Destination

The Very Comfy – and Sponge Cleanable – Glider

Rock-a-bye Baby

BoB’s Artwork – thanks to Lee, My Momma and some people online (my contributions are in the set that aren’t up!)

Caribbean Breeze

And no nursery of my child, boy or girl, could be complete without these….

Canucks VS Leafs

Yes, that is a towel rack that we’ve turned into a “wall-less wardrobe”. It is a heck of a lot cheaper and fits in the room!!