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On Time Arrival

Most of you know by now that the reason for my silence is that Cheese has arrived. Though, we don’t call her Cheese anymore. Even after her umbilical cord ponged of Stinking Bishop for a couple of days there.

Before we get into the details, I will explain how this all happened. Not the getting pregnant bit, but the becoming unpregnant bit.

We last left off with us reaching June and celebrating with a delightful membrane sweep. Although it kicked something into action, Cheese wasn’t quite ready to make an appearance. So as scheduled, we all packed into the car on Wednesday the 3rd and went to Banbury for my midwife appointment at the hospital. I explained that I’d had the sweep done and that I’d been extra crampy and felt that things had started a bit and she decided to take a look. Or feel rather, but investigate nonetheless.

She said that I was now at least 2cm dilated and the cervix was all ready. While she was at “the business end” she decided to give me another sweep. She explained that they were no good unless they brought tears to your eyes and when she was done she took off her gloves, apologised but stated that you had to be cruel to be kind and whispered that she was quietly confident that I’d have a baby in the next 24 hours. This was around 2pm on 3rd June.

From there, we went to Bicester Village. I’d been crampy all day and the sweep did indeed stir things up almost immediately and we decided it was best to eat early just in case. On the way I felt things were getting more intense and while we ate I made a whole lot of unflattering faces as my body did things that left me feeling very uncomfortable .. unless I could be sat on a toilet. For some reason that was the only place I could relax.. even if I wasn’t doing anything whilst I was there. Having not experienced proper labour with Noah, I was convinced that we were in the early stages.

We walked around and then went home to get some sleep and just as I was about to fall asleep, things seem to have stopped. Or perhaps it was just that I fell asleep. But I woke up around 12.45am and started making trips to the bathroom. I didn’t feel “right”, but there were no obvious Your Water Just Broke signs that I had with Noah. Just a really uncomfy stomacheache that faded in and out and in and out. At around 3am I decided that I needed to have a bath to see if the warmth would take away the pains. When I got in, I immediately felt better …..

… and then they came.

Lee started to time, and what I had guessed were 30 second contractions were already a minute long and only 5 minutes apart. We kept timing just in case, but they seemed to get a bit longer each time and stayed at most 5 minutes apart. By the time we showered (Noah and I) and got in the car, they were 4 minutes apart. It was quite an uncomfortable journey and poor Noah who was torn from his sleep never even came close to going back to slumberland with his mother mumbling and moaning in the front seat.

We arrived at the hospital at 4.50am and instead of being taken in to the room where they check that you’re actually in labour, I was taken straight into a delivery room. I hopped up on the bed, the midwife did an exam and said that I was 3cm dilated. WHAT? All of that pain and normal contractions for THAT? Sure it took me about 12 hours to get that far with Noah, but still. I sensed another long day.. of pain and sleeplessness ahead and buckled. I asked for the epidural. I begged really.

While I had to wait for the butcher anaesthetist the midwife hooked me up with the gas and air. I was so excited to try it. I was so mistaken to be so excited. I felt drunk. I felt like my head was filled with 1000 helium balloons, but I could feel the contractions just as much, if not even more so than before. It was almost like the rest of my body was drunk, but the Contraction Zone intensified. Not cool at all. So I ditched it and went without anything until the epidural.

The first attempt by the midwife to insert the cannula/iv into my wrist was not successful, so we waited some more for the anaesthetist who “is a professional at this”. Tell that to the massive hole that was left in my hand…

After the cannula/IV was inserted, she got to work on getting the epidural going. With Noah the whole process took no longer than 2 minutes. If it was even that long. A quick “you’ll feel a pinch. now a sting.. maybe a shock/shooting pain.. you’re done”. This time I was complaining that it hurt and then she’d ask “hurt or pressure”. At first I answered pressure, then it graduted to pressure with some pain.. and then to full blown IT HURTS. She tried again and after numbing the area, I could feel her shoving the tube in my back and wondered to myself if I’d be walking or rolling out of the hospital when I went home.

We waited for it to kick in and although some of the edge was taken off, I could feel everything. I kept saying that it didn’t work, but no one believed me. They kept telling me to hit my Top Up button, not realising that topping up nothing with nothing meant I was getting nothing.

Then, I started to feel it. The “excuse me, but I think I need a poo” feeling. I never had it with Noah (seeing as I had a proper full blown epidural that numbed me from my waist to my toes) and was getting a little nervous that we were going to have some Push Push Poo in my future. The midwife I had, then changed shifts and handed my care over to Jo. Jo said she would examine me at 9 something, even though it was just about to turn 8am. I didn’t understand the reason for waiting, but what did I know?

Then she started looking at Cheese’s heartbeat getting lower and lower and hearing my explain where I was feeling things, decided to check me out then instead. AHA … 7cm. She was not expecting it, my Mom was not expecting to hear it, and Lee and I definitely weren’t. She guessed that the baby would be there by noon. Woo hoo 4 more hours.

This meant I didn’t need a full on catheter, though I did have to have internal monitoring to ensure they had a trace of the baby’s heart. After complaining some more about feeling it all and not liking it and wanting to have a poo, she decided to check again. At 9 something, I was 10cm!! I had made it all on my own without the drip helping me. We let the contractions do their thing for a little bit but I told her the pressure was not nice and she let me start to push at 9.50am. 10 minutes and 5 pushes later …..

Amy ________ ____________ Brotherston slid into the world at 10.00am exactly, looking JUST like her older brother had 15 months and one week before. Yes, even the same grey skin tone. This led to the double blank middle name as it was impossible to choose a girl name when all I could see was Noah.

So the story of Cheese has come to an end and the story of Amy has just begun…

To follow Amy through her life as the baby sister of the family, she can be found here: Box of Squawks!

And now for the last round of photos:

3rd June – In early labour on a balance beam at Bicester Village – 39+6
39+9

4th June – Holding my Due Date Baby Girl: Amy Sophia Elise
Me and Amy

4th June – Noah’s first cuddles with his little sister
Big Brother Cuddles

4th June – The first official family photo
Family Photo

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The Cheese WILL Stand Alone

We made it!! After all of the niggles and the medical professionals predicting that we would not still be “with Cheese” when the month of June rolled around, we are still standing. On swollen feet, but standing all the same.

The month of May is safe now from any extra family members and Cheese shall be the Face of June. At least until someone else decides to hop on the June Bus. Oh and of course all of the fathers get to share the month too.

Now we just wait and see which day Cheese will arrive on. Will we get our 3-6-09 baby? Will Cheese arrive on his or her due date of the 4th? Will Cheese wake us up in the middle of the night tonight to let us know that s/he is here??

Only time will tell now.

I had a membrane sweep done today and the midwife said that I was very favourable and that she had no problems. In fact I was already 1-2cm dilated … which is where I was when I showed up at the hospital with water broken and contractions with Noah. So even without her assistance, it looks like Cheese was going to be more timely than his or her older brother anyway.

If a sweep is effective, there should be action within the next 48 hours. So this page will either be updated very soon … or if Thursday arrives with no 40 week update, it is because I’m hiding under my bed avoiding the sausage hotpot that they will no doubt be serving for lunch at the hospital.

It is all getting very very real now.

And yet, we still have no names set in stone. Oops.

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562

I have been pregnant for 562 days of the past 731.  Five Hundred and Sixty-Two days of being inhabited by a foreign body, literally, and having all of my energy drained along with a large portion of the nutrients I have worked hard to keep up.  My hips are not happy and it takes me nearly an entire minute to roll over, never mind the old man walk I have to adopt when I actually manage to get out of the bed.  I’m actually surprised … no.. make that impressed with myself for not having wet myself on the way .. yet.

But not all has been bad.  And when I’m bent over the shopping cart as I push Noah around and wonder why this baby always acts like s/he wants to escape in a grocery store, even those moments don’t make me wish the end of this pregnancy away.

There is this online group of mothers due in June like me, and most of them are anxious to be done with it all.  I thought having a 15 month old with amazing amounts of energy would have me feeling the same way by now.  In fact, I expected to feel ready to be done with this all a couple of weeks ago.  But I’m still here.  Still cursing my bladder for waking me up before the alarm is set to go off (Lee’s alarm and the Noah alarm) and still struggling to stay awake for more than 4 hours at a time.  But I’m in no rush.  Perhaps next week will be different.  If I hit the 40 week mark I may start hoping for a swift eviction process.  I’m not rushing the next week though.  More willing this baby to stay in until at least tomorrow night.

Although my mind is okay with staying pregnant a bit longer, it would appear that my appearance is begging for change.  The photos for this week are not pretty.  They are full of bedhead and ill fitting pyjamas and pale skin and tired eyes.  They are a true reflection of how I am feeling physically and perhaps the physical manifestation of my mental state.

Okay, scratch the “how I feel physically”.  Noah just fell getting out of bed and Lee asked me to come with him.  From some unknown reserve I jumped off of the sofa and was up those stairs without missing a beat.  And the force that I used to attempt to turn the light on sent the light switch cover flying off of the wall onto my foot.  Right now, Noah is trying to get back to sleep with Lee in there as a security blanket/teddy bear and I’m nursing a sore foot.

And it just makes me think… there are hundreds of thousands of decisions we make as parents that either leave our child protected of vulnerable to hurt.  Some children are over protected and many are under protected, but the majority of us are doing what we can to strike the balance and it is not easy.  Every child is different. The more they grow, the more you learn about them and the way you protect them changes.  Not every decision is going to be right and the wrong ones will seem worse to the parents than to any outsiders.  And it may be a little late to be asking myself this, but am I really ready to have to make these choices for two innocent beings who know no better than what we teach them?

Truthfully, no.   Then again, I’m not sure I ever would be.  So while I am becoming the master of making parenting mistakes, I may as well be doing it for two and not raising one to think that I loved the other more because I took better care of him or her.

I think I need some more ice cream.

Photos at 38w 6d.  Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Bump from the Front

Bump from the Front

Left Bump

Left Bump

Right Bump

Right Bump

Once again Cheese is photographing a lot higher than s/he actually is.  Though to be honest, it is a lot more flattering than the actual position of the bump!

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In Their Bones

When I was pregnant with Noah, I read that 5 year olds predicted the gender of a baby correctly, more often than any other age.

Today, Noah and I went into his room so that we could get him dressed to go to the store and instead of coming over to me to put his shirt on, he climbed into his bed, put his head on the pillow and went to sleep.

Do 15 months old inherently know when babies are coming and when to get some sleep? Should I be having a nap or making sure that I’ve packed everything finally? Or should I enjoy a few moments of peace?

Hrm…

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Old Nippy

It looks like Cheese is going to stick around to mature a little longer.  Most women would be upset with this news as it would appear that they get tired of being pregnant around this time, or a couple of weeks earlier.   I think that these women do not have a near 15 month old and are most likely not half as scatterbrained or disorganised as I am.

Plus, for the 12th time, I need my momma here with me!

People are starting to call the date and so far they’ve been calling the day before she arrives and the day she arrives.  I don’t like these dates.  The day after is okay, but any time from the 1st of June onward is preferable.

I’m really not enjoying the not knowing bit of this.  Not the not knowing if Cheese is going to come into the world and have a multitude of options for a name or whether Cheese will have a penis and remain nameless, but the not knowing when.  Surprises are only good when they come in little blue boxes.. or when there is no risk of an even bigger surprise en route to the hospital.  If we were going around the corner, I wouldn’t be so worried.  But we’ve got a 45 minute drive in absolutely no traffic and we’re not as swift as we were pre-Noah.

But, I need to focus on getting things in order so that I am semi-prepared for the actual Womb Eviction Day.  To assist with that, I’m going to have yet another nap.

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95%

Today marks 38 weeks down and 2 to go.

Only, word on the street is that Cheese doesn’t seem to have the patience that we’d all like him/her to have.

I’ve been having “tightenings”, cramps and other assorted “preparation” symptoms for three days now and spoke to the hospital midwife yesterday who thinks that Cheese will be here in the next day or two.  Luckily, Cheese didn’t decide to join us over night because Noah’s had a fever that is driving all of us crazy.  The poor guy is drained and irritated which is leading us to join him in being drained and irritated.  Not a good way to go into labour.  Much sleep is required and so hard to come by.

Assuming that nothing happens between now and 1pm this afternoon, we are going to see the midwife who will see if this baby is playing mind games or really getting themselves prepared for an early arrival.  I’d like her to whisper some encouraging words to Cheese and tell him/her to stay in until the 1st of June.  That’s not long now.  If I can hold on, so can the baby.  I’m the one suffering the physical and emotional side effects of this pregnancy.  They’re the one stealing my nutrients and energy and punching me repeatedly in the pelvis.  Plus, I’m the one who looks like they’ve swallowed a massive bowling ball now that Cheese is on a mission to keep dropping and limbo their way out.

I need my Momma to hold my hand and whisper words of enragement .. encouragement.. to help me get through the process!

So fingers.. and more importantly.. LEGS Crossed!!!

Another update SHOULD be coming this afternoon.  If not… well, then a more interesting update will follow soon…

Here are photos from last night.  Excuse the dishevled look.  This session was post-11pm after we’d all had naps and Noah was struggling with a 39.6 (103) fever, but we thought we’d document what may have been Noah’s last night as a single child.  Hopefully not, but we’ll see.

37+6: Cheese Drops

37+6: Cheese gets low low low

37+6: A lot of belly - A little way to go

37+6: A lot of belly - A little way to go

37+6: Noah gets the Bump Seat

37+6: Noah get's the Bump Seat

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Mandatory Massages For All!

Yesterday I went for my second pregnancy massage of this pregnancy and third over all. Each time I go, it gets better and better and my body and mind leave there in such a relaxed state that it is hard to walk, think or make sense of anything.

I believe that all pregnant women should be entitled to these massages, at least weekly for the last month of the pregnancy. It is an hour of pure bliss where you can drift in and out of consciousness whilst someone kneeds away your aches, pains and stresses.

For those of you who do not like massages, you honestly do not know what you’re missing. It is like the head massage you get at the hairdresser whilst they shampoo and condition you. Only this doesn’t stop at just below your ears. Your arms, fingers, legs, toes, neck, shoulders and back all get in on the action. And even your face.

I could fall asleep right now just thinking about it.

The only downside was getting all of this body onto the massage table without falling over, and then to turn from side to side without falling off. But to then be covered with warm towels and given a pillow to hug and one for under the knees.. it is almost like for that hour, you stop being the Comforter and get to be the Comforted.

I’d almost be willing to strike up a deal with Cheese for him/her to stay inside for another month if this wasn’t such an expensive habit.

Now I’ve just got to find someone willing to perform this magic on me at a moment’s notice when I go into labour.

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Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

It arrived! As though to mark the 37 weeks milestone, we also received a phone call to say that the stroller had been delivered to the shop. Lee has been quite excited about getting this stroller, so I sent him an email and the exchange went like this:

Me: Guess what!

Lee: You’re in labour?

Me: Even better.
The stroller has arrived at the shop!

That’s right, my husband thought I might have been EMAILING him to tell him that I was in labour. Somehow, I don’t think that it will be the chosen method if he doesn’t happen to be home at the time. In fact, if it happens before my Mom and Randy arrive, he might find out by the loud screams travelling from here to Dunstable.

Anyway, I digress. So there I was in the kitchen washing my hands when I hear “Hello, Noah” from the living room. Seeing as I was not expecting it to be Lee, my Ninja Mommy persona took over and I suddenly transported myself from the kitchen into the living room to see just who had the balls to come into MY house and talk to MY child without at least knocking. Though to be fair, had someone knocked, chances are I would have played the “Let’s Shhhh” Game with Noah and pretended that we weren’t actually sitting on the sofa right by the door.

But there was Lee all dressed up in his work clothes with a box containing The Goods!

Shiny Happy Stroller

Shiny Happy Stroller

The two boys got down to business and started to assemble the stroller right then and there. Weirdy UK Superstitions be damned. Not only was this stroller going to be in our house before the baby arrived, but by the end of the evening it would be quite worn out from the open/fold/open/fold, spin around, in/out/in/out, turn the wheels, turn the wheels that it got.

But, I’ve got to say, it is even prettier in person than online or in the store and Noah LOVES it. He’s let us know that he prefers the side that we were not sitting him in, so we’ve told him he can have whatever side he’d like and he’s a happy man!

And although I didn’t get off of the sofa (even to take the photos.. hence the wonky angle that makes it look like the seat isn’t even near flat in the demo shots), I’m more than happy with our purchase. Now all we wait on is the matching baby for the 2nd seat!

Putting The Wheels On

Putting The Wheels On

Noah double checks that the wheels are on right

Noah double checks that the wheels are on right

A Closer Inspection Shows All is Well

A Closer Inspection Shows All is Well

Noah Tests The Seats

Noah Tests The Seats

Noah is amused by the hood test

Noah is amused by the hood test

Folded in under 3 seconds!

Folded in under 3 seconds!

Here is Lee demonstrating just how easy it is to fold the stroller!!

Open Sesame from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

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3, 2, 1….

Three weeks. Somehow there are only three weeks of this pregnancy left (supposedly). I cannot believe that we are here already. I cannot believe that in less than a month there will be another little human occupying our home and hearts. Little lungs that are going to cry to be held, fed, burped, changed or just because they feel like it.

But it is real and things are happening. Nothing imminent .. that I know of, but Cheese has dropped and I’m starting to believe that if s/he waits the full three weeks to arrive, I may well be carrying this bump around my knees. The photos from last night do not really show how much lower the belly has become. However, the face and hair from today are not photographable. I would prefer to remember the alright days as the weight starts to spread from my belly to the rest of my body, and pretend that the days where I look like I’ve been awake for 3 weeks running and my hair resembles the Bride of Frankenstein, never happened.

And to top it off, I am getting a cold. I cannot stop sneezing, my nose is stuffed and runny at the same time and my throat is sore. Exactly what I need at this point in the pregnancy. I am struggling with sleep as it is, so now I look forward to Noah’s morning nap more than he does. Luckily he is loving his big boy bed, so once I go lie down in it he scrambles in right after me and settles himself to sleep. It’s great. It’s great and I cannot believe that our shared naps are most likely going to come to an end when Cheese comes and turns our world upside down. Unless we can convince him/her that we love sleeping from about 10.30/11.00 until noon. Sometimes we even like to go for the nap at 9.30am.

Ahh… I’m already reminiscing about days that I still have to look forward to. The only thing is, I don’t know when these days are going to turn from my near future to my recent past and that scares me. In fact, I am far more worried this time than I was with Noah. Now I am going to have two lives that I can possibly screw up. Twice the diapers, twice the immunizations, twice the noses that are unable to blow themselves, twice the tears to dry…

I am exhausted thinking of it.

And although we do not have an induction date or a c-section scheduled, we do have a potential “sweep” date. That is if the conditions are favourable. And that date in in less than 3 weeks.

Less. Than. Three. Weeks.

Oh I hope that my Mom and Randy’s flight comes in and they get to Milton Keynes in time and that there are a couple of days recovery time before I am back in the Horton Hospital hoping that this baby is not quite as broad as their older brother and that they are no so stubborn about their arrival time. 3.13pm would be a lot better than the am. In fact, perhaps just after 12.00pm would be great because the first set of visiting hours start at 2.00pm and maybe I could get a nap in whilst other people are playing pass the parcel and Who Does This Baby Look Like.

Though as much as I’d like this baby to hold on, I have accepted that s/he has reached a milestone today and would no longer be considered premature if I were to go into labour tonight since we’ve reached the magic 37 week mark. So I’m paying more attention to the twinges and every time I feel the need to pee I stop and compare it to a normal need to pee feeling or the feeling I had right before my water broke on the bathroom floor. So far.. so good.

Fingers Crossed.

Memo to Cheese: We’re aiming for the 1st of June or any day from then. If not for me and my need for sleep, then for the sake of the family calendar. You can do it!

36w 6d: A Side of Cheese

36w 6d: A Side of Cheese

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

Cheese from the Front

Cheese from the Front

Close up... not so attractive

Close up... not so attractive

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FORE!!

Or more accurately .. FOUR!! That is the amount of time left before Cheese is due to arrive. I remember hitting 20 weeks and thinking .oO(I cannot believe we’ve made it half way already.. where’d the time go?), and here we are SIXTEEN weeks later and I’m still shocked. I’m still as unprepared and nervous as I was when we found out that Noah was going to be a big brother before he was one and half.

Sure the massive bump and the inability to roll over from my right to my left without the use of the headboard or holding on to Lee’s arm, the need for a pee at 3am, 5am, 7am and whenever I hold Noah should be constant reminders that a new arrival is imminent, but this is me. I am a procrastinator and I will put off anything I can for as long as I can. For some reason I’ve convinced myself that I can do the same with this baby. However, Cheese has indicated this week that perhaps that is not the case. I’m already getting the crampy feelings that I didn’t get until the last 2 weeks. The pressure from Cheese being so much lower than Noah was is making me nervous because my belly button is so much closer to popping out than before. It would need another couple of months to become an outtie..or a flattie (the ones that pretend to pop out but stop just short), but you can feel that it is toying with the idea. And that idea is scarier to me than almost any other side effect of pregnancy.

And the side effects keep coming. Perhaps it is part of the downside of procrastinating, but I seem to have pulled the wool over my own eyes and had myself believing that the last few weeks saw a burst of energy with which I’d be able to get everything done and I’d spend the last couple of weeks just sat around waiting. Umm, so hasn’t happened yet. So the To Do List keeps growing and I keep getting more exhausted and unable to function. In fact, I’ve been attempting to write this for two days. I’d uploaded a ton of photos for Noah’s blog to make a post there too and haven’t done anything. My brain is creating the posts, but it is having difficulty telling my fingers to get busy!

This week has seen us hit the One Calendar Month Left milestone, the 4 Weeks Left Milestone and the Hooray We’ve Bought the Double Stroller Finally milestone. All of which should have had their own post, but have had to be squished into this one or else they’d never get a mention.

I’ve also been washing neutral baby stuff because though some of you firmly believe that this baby is a boy and others are staunch believers that Cheese is a Cheesette, I cannot convince myself either way. The last two ultrasounds have screamed GIRL from the face. We haven’t had a peek at any other parts which would tell us one way or another, so we have to go by face. But… I’ve been saying all along that everything that points to girl may well be this baby playing mind games and hoping for a huge Surprise, I’m a Boy arrival into the world. So I’m preparing myself either way. Preparing by having no set names, washing only outfits from Noah that would be okay on a boy or girl and over analysing ever “sign” that tells me one way or another if Cheese is going to balance the estrogen in this house or up the testosterone. So yeah, not preparing at all really.

Even my hospital bags remain half packed. The nursery.. half ready. The car seat.. cover still not washed. The moses basket .. same. But we’ve bought some cellular blankets, two sleeping gowns (to go with the 4 that we had from Noah) some size 1 diapers and LOTS of wipes and the stroller. Oh the stroller. I love it. Ther reviews are all positive and the woman in the shop even down-sold us because we were going to order the one that was £100 more because we thought it was “better” and she told us that there was only one real benefit and it wasn’t worth the price and the downsides that came with it.

We’ve gone with the Baby Jogger City Mini Double in Red/Black/Cream

The Stroller

We sat Noah in it and he seemed quite chilled out. I had to get over how narrow a side by side was, but as he didn’t seem to mind I figure that I’ll get over it too. He was far more comfortable in it than the Phil and Teds that I was so set on getting once we found out we were going to need two strollers. So we’re happy with it and relieved to have it done. Not that we have it in our possession. In fact, the store doesn’t have it in theirs either. They have to order it in for us.. so hopefully it will arrive sometime before Cheese or not too long after!!

So we’ve made progress, but have a way to go.

My belly has also made progress. I swear that Noah was far more “compact” in his house than Cheese is. And apparently with the shirt I was wearing on Wednesday and the general shape I’ve acquired, I resemble Makka Pakka. Noah is thrilled by this.. me.. umm… not so much!

Mrs. Pakka

Mrs. Pakka

Side View at 35+6

Side View at 35+6

35+6: Balancing the Belly

35+6: Balancing the Belly

I guess while I am here I should give an update on how things are within the bump! The results of my Glucose Tolerance Test came back all clear, my iron is a bit low and although Cheese is guesstimate at 6lb 12oz already, they say that s/he is following an okay growth pattern (even if on the large side of normal) and I am being allowed to do this naturally. So no induction (so long as I don’t go overdue too much) and no c-section (at least a planned one) to give me a time frame. I guess we’re going to be on Natural Disaster Watch to let me know when I go into labour.