I’ve been struggling with my “retirement”. My visions of sleeping in and waking up refreshed have yet to materialise. At first, I blamed my baby related weakened blabber, but this morning I finally figured out how not to feel the need to get out of bed at First Pee.

Lee is going to a meeting today which is not in his office. Due to this, he is working from home this morning which meant when the alarm went off, he stayed in bed. My mind and my body were a bit startled because this obviously was not the routine we were used to. But it was excellent. I got up, went for my annoying wee and came back into bed instead of groggily sitting at the computer. And I got to lie there for what felt like forever…. until BoB decided to remind me who was boss and had me back out of bed.

So, what I feel is needed, is a lottery win. That way Lee can stay home and if he stays in bed, so will I. How easy a solution is that? Why didn’t I think of this earlier? Even BoB will have trouble trying to take over if it is vs. both Lee and I. Yes, with me BoB usually wins, but that is only because any wrong move on his/her part can lead me to a very embarrassing situation.

Right. So reminder… I need to get a lottery ticket for tonight! Let’s hope £2.5 million will do the trick!

Yesterday we reached a milestone: 37 weeks!

Sure, technically BoB has 3 weeks cooking time left, but he/she has reached the mark where the medical professionals consider him/her “done”.  If BoB arrived today (not that I am wishing this), then there is no SCBU (NICU for the North Americans) needed.  Nope, BoB has served his/her sentence and now we wait until he/she decides to come out and meet us.

We tried our Magic 8-Ball game this morning which didn’t exactly give us much to go on.  In fact it went like this:

Lee: If we are going to meet you in a week’s time, wriggle

BoB: <no movement>

Me: <sigh of relief>

Lee: If it is going to be longer than a week, wriggle

BoB: <no movement>

Me: If you are not interested in playing along with our silly games, wriggle

BoB: <wriggle>

Okay, so we didn’t get the answer we were looking for, but being me, I’ve got to respect this baby who is all about the mind games and control.  Though now I am doubting that BoB is a boy.  He/She definitely acts like a girl.

As we continue to wait (and patiently I may add… though the excitement and fear are building), I shall keep on with my cleaning/rearranging of the whole house in preparation for BoB’s arrival.  Maybe by next week I’ll lose my phobia of touching meat and actually get back into cooking as well.  Last night I took baby steps and made bruschetta.  A few more episodes of Ready Steady Cook and Masterchef Goes Large and I’ll be ready to start cheffing it up again.   At least until BoB arrives and I spend all of my spare time trying to sneak a nap in.

BoB Update: I’m over 6lbs and almost ready to come out even though my brains and lungs are still growing. I’m 37 weeks and 1 day old, only 20 days to go!

Note: We already know that our little fatty is over 6lbs.  Last week it was over 7 and closer to 8.  I think I like the “ticker” better than the ultrasound.  Especially if BoB hangs around past his/her Womb Lease Expiry Date.

Today Lee drove me to the village of Tring to collect on part of my Christmas Present – A pregnancy massage and facial.  I was a bit nervous, never having had a facial and having uber sensitive skin… and having a string of bad luck lately that made me worry that it was going to be the spa version of a chop shop.

How wrong was I.  Since climbing on to that massage table over 5 and a half hours ago I have been fighting off the need to sleep.  There were actually a few moments on the table where I caught myself about to drool onto the pillow and even did a semi-awake snore noise (more than once!).   It was amazing.

As I told Lee afterwards, if there was a way I could figure out when BoB was going to arrive, I’d spend the 2 hours before labour getting this massage done again.  Other than my belly, which is ruled by BoB and means it is not allowed to relax unless he/she wants to, my entire body feels like Jell-O.  My skin is super smooth from the Vitamin E/Coconut Oil mixture that they used to massage me with and my face cleansed and as smooth as BoB’s butt will be!

All of these months I’ve struggled to fall asleep and no method really worked… other than the Ovaltine right before bed, which didn’t last long because my brain started to outsmart the warm malted drink.   Now, I’ve just got to hire a live in masseuse to wind me down at the end of the day.  I wonder if there is an unknown pregnancy massage school around here that is looking for women about to give birth that are in need of constant massages.  Of not, there should be!

One of the best parts of the day, was getting my toes painted.    I realise no one will actually be looking at them during the labour and delivery portion of the BoB Arrival Show, but I can pretend that they are.  And at least in that moment of delusion I’ll know that they look good!  And yes, I’ve seen them!  I got to lie down on the massage table whilst I was getting the pedicure and they raised the back up so I was almost sitting which mean I could see some of my toes.

So thank you, Lee!!  This is by far the least stressed that I’ve been in the past 36 weeks and tomorrow…. tomorrow I get to “sleep in”.  Which just means not having to stay out of bed when I am rudely torn from my slumber at 6am to do the World’s Smallest Wee.   I might even have a BIG DAY OUT and go to Mothercare to find a bathing suit for the Aqua Natal Class I might attend on Tuesday morning (bathing suit dependant).    Oh, and clean the house.  And watch daytime television and have an afternoon nap.

This “retirement” thing is looking good.  Let’s hope BoB allows me to enjoy at least a week of it.

This week has been, so far, the most trying week of this journey to BoBdom.

I’ve barely been sick, though there was a brief return of The Vomits and a lot of nausea, but the stress levels have been through the roof thanks to incompetent medical professionals that I’ve had the misfortune of being around.

On Monday we had the Your Baby Is Too Big panic from the consultant, Tuesday was Immigration stress that came and went and Wednesday we got a final pre-in person peek at BoB to check how big this baby actually is.  At the scan the lady was really nice and showed us BoB from head to toe, missing out the “surprise” bits below.  It was established that BoB is a Fatty.  At the time we were not sure what that meant.  She wouldn’t tell us much more than “that is a Reasonably Large baby.. not something that causes medical concerns, but jut large” and “I wouldn’t waste too much money on Newborn size clothes, go straight for 0-3 months”.  She said that the midwife would explain more when we saw her that afternoon.

Only my midwife wasn’t there was she.  No, she decided to take a study day and I was left seeing the midwife that had sealed the no Milton Keynes deal the last time she stood in for our midwife.   This time around she was just as crappy.  Didn’t pay attention to the notes on the screen or in the book, told us things we did not ask about and didn’t answer what we did.  Made her mind up about the baby’s size without measuring me or looking at the scan results.  Even when she did, nothing was going to change her mind.  So I left there raging.

Knowing we were going to the hospital yesterday left us with some hope though.  I mean someone has to know what is going on right!?

So we headed off to Banbury to meet the midwife at The Horton.  Because we bring luck wherever we go, the original midwife who was meant to see us had hurt her back and couldn’t be there. BUT, at least she sent her apologies and a super nice midwife in her place.  We spent over an hour with the midwife and a student.  They went over the birth plan with us, pointing out what didn’t make sense or suggesting to add things that might help and even put a copy in my hospital notes.  We were given a private tour of the labour ward and the maternity ward, I was finally weighed, we listened to BoB and went over the ultrasound results.  She confirmed that BoB appears to have a nice pot-belly but that it was nothing to worry about. In fact she made us feel like we were lucky to be having a fatty and said that it is better than a skinny baby and because BoB’s head is dead on average size, it shouldn’t cause any troubles or any worries.

We left there walking on air. I am SO happy that BoB will be coming into the world surrounded by people that actually want to make sure that the birthing experience is as least traumatic as possible for the parents and baby.

One of the things that made me happiest was that I’ve only put on 22lbs.  That may be a lot for some women in pregnancy, but considering my tiny mother put on double that with the boys (I’m not sure about with me) and that I am naturally a fatty like BoB, I am over the moon!  Though I think it was the slimming black shirt and lightweight Crocs!

36+2: Blame it on the baby

It’s getting lower… and lower… thank goodness for maternity jeans with their belly support!

36+2: Sinking ship

BoB’s 36w2d Close Up

36+2: Close Up

MY FAVOURITE – From Behind!!

36+2: There's hope for me yet

There’s hope for my celebrity like transformation to pre-pregnancy size yet!  So long as everyone looks at me from behind!

I’ve debated whether to update this today or to wait until the end of the week as I am only one out of four BoB Appointments down so far.

Today we are celebrating 36 Weeks which means one more until BoB is fully cooked and cleared for take off…or take out in this case.

Yesterday I had an appointment with the consultant (most women in the UK see a midwife the whole way through and don’t get a consultant -ob/gyn- unless required during labour) for what I thought was meant to be a “Hey everything looks great, Good Luck!” visit.  And it did start that way.  At least the 5 minutes spent with the nurse during the “You’re urine is fine and blood pressure is good” part of the visit.

As I sat waiting for my chart to be picked up, I was full of happy We’re Nearing The End thoughts.  Then, The Fist came out.  That’s right, the doctor from my brief stint in the hospital on the 28th of December.  The one who made a hand puppet out of me and had the midwife shine the World’s Largest Flashlight in places no one is meant to be looking in great detail unless awaiting the appearance of a baby’s head.  Which we weren’t at that juncture.  I tried to act as though we’d never had that “intimate” experience, but was caught out as soon as I sat down when he said “I think we know each other”.  I guess when a woman whimpers in pain whilst clenching her jaw and looking at her husband with fear in her eyes, it leaves an impression on some people.  “You were a bit tender…a bit sensitive.. last time we saw each other right?”.  Wow, you WERE paying attention!  And here I thought you were too focused on the search for gold whilst you were rooting around up there.

Anyway, he asked what I thought were normal questions about any leaks or discharge or cramps.  I explained that I’ve had a little of each but nothing that has concerned me.  He had me hop up on the table and we took a little listen to BoB’s heartbeat and my super genius baby knew who it was and was not having any of it, so every time he located the heartbeat, BoB squirmed away.  He looked at me and said “the baby keeps moving, do you notice?”.  Do I notice??!?!  That baby of which you speak happens to live within my uterus, OF COURSE I BLOODY NOTICE, YOU IDIOT.  That wasn’t actually how I responded, because The Fist is mightier than Sarcastic Cow.   He then started to tell me about the head engaging as though I’d not realise that the baby comes out head first (in most cases).  He demonstrated BoB’s level of engagement by attempting to move his/her head back and forth.  The delicate head of my unborn baby that is located in my pelvis!! Hello, I know where the head is, thanks!!!!  And then he felt all along BoB, squeezing my stomach as he gave BoB a physical from the outside.  I hopped off of the table and before I could sit back in the chair he said “I think I should do an internal.  There is a blanket there, I am just going to get the sister (nurse)”.

Oh great, return of the fist.

Though to give him credit, there was no fist.  He took a look up, confirmed that there was stuff up there and that there was a leak (how he could tell is beyond me and I was too busy waiting for it to end), took a swab and that was that. I got dressed thinking that finally I could be on my way, but no.  He asked the woman for a calculator (still not sure what kind) and then was spinning the wheel about (not the due date calculator, we’d already played with that) and started to fill out an ultrasound request card.  Now I know that BoB is still squirming away in there, I can feel him/her.  I know that his/her heart is beating fine.  I was wondering if perhaps he’d seen my placenta or a hand sticking out and waving… to be honest I just had no idea what was going on.

He told me that he wanted to send me for an ultrasound because he thinks that BoB may is too big and the ultrasound would confirm whether I need to be induced before  gets TOO big.  I started to panic and he rubbed my knee and said it would be alright. I suggested that perhaps people at work were right and that there was A LOT of fluid and BoB was really only going to be 6 pounds. He laughed and said “no”, which he followed up with “your baby is already a very healthy size”.  I’m learning that “healthy” in baby terms in the UK means “big”.  So far three people in this process have felt BoB and described him/her as “healthy”.

So I went around to the ultrasound department with my “urgent” ultrasound request card, only to be told that they were too busy.  I looked around and saw 4 couples and 1 family of 4.  Unless everyone was getting one, it didn’t seem any busier than when I’ve had to sit and wait before.  She went and asked a sonographer who confirmed that they were indeed too busy to do an ultrasound.  So I said “okay” and stood there. She looked at me and said “what do you want to do?”.  WHAT?!  Umm, let’s see.. I’ve just been told that I may have to be induced because my baby may be too big when he/she gets to full term, was told to come around for my urgent scan and you’ve said you’re too busy… what do I want to do?! Oh I don’t know, perhaps a little swimming or salsa dancing?  So I suggested that perhaps we find a time when they are not busy.  She offered me 2pm today, but as I had to deal with immigration in Solihull I explained that I couldn’t guarantee I’d be back in time.  So she offered me 12.50pm today.  Right, because if I can’t make it for 2pm, I’m sure to make it for 12.50pm!!!!!!!!!!!!  At that point I just wanted to give up.   I said “umm, how about Wednesday?” to which I got the reply “oh, okay. I’ll see what is available” as though she was doing me a favour.  Hey, lady, this is your job!!!

So we booked me in for a lunch time ultrasound. HOORAY! We’ve accomplished something!  And as my mood started to pick up again I made the mistake of asking if I needed to drink anything for the scan and as a reply, she started to laugh and said “umm, don’t think so. You’re big enough already”.

Wow, thanks.  That really helped put me at ease.

So that is our update.

Today BoB’s been as active as usual and we had some lovely Braxton Hicks awaiting the opening of the Immigration Office and then again during my wait for approval.  I think BoB was just letting us all know that he/she will decide when he/she is ready and no doctor or immigration official is going to be telling them otherwise.

That’s right… this is totally my child in here.  He/She may have started out all calm and reserved like Lee, but after 8+ months of constant me-ness, I am birthing my mini-me.  Or maybe my mini-me with a penis. We’ll see…. soon!

2 years ago today I was waking up in hopes of seeing the sun shining…and I did. I went to breakfast with my friends at the Calypso Cafe in the Marriott and cried in the elevator to random strangers on return to my room. Not that I wasn’t looking forward to getting married, but I found the stress extremely hard to manage without Lee being by my side.

Luckily, over the past two years we’ve barely been apart.

Not that I cry any less. But I am who I am.

The sun shine on our wedding day did not last. The winds came in and the rain came down. A lot of it. Our beach wedding come garden wedding turned into a In The Hotel Corridor Wedding. The reception was wet, but fun… lots of fun… until the power went.

Last year we again jetted off to an island for our 1st Anniversary – only this time there was no 8-9 hour flight because we went to Dublin. Once again, on the 20th of January we experienced wind and rain. Only this time, it was COLD rain. Very cold rain. So we spent our anniversary dinner in the pub next to the hotel and were asleep by 10pm. The old marrieds that we are.

We had talked about where we’d go for anniversary number two, but something…. rather someone… changed our plans for us. BoB came along and now I’m not allowed to fly anywhere and it has been recommended that we not travel far from home. So anniversary number two is being spent in exotic Milton Keynes where the weather report for today calls for Light Rain and winds at 23 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

Okay, what have I ever done to piss mother nature off?

Anyway, as disappointed as I was initially to know that we’d not be going somewhere to celebrate, I’ve come round to sense and know that it doesn’t matter where I am, but so long as Lee’s still by my side I am the luckiest girl in the world. I’m not so sure about his luck though, which makes me all the luckier.

So no Guinness and oysters or salt fish and johnny cakes for us. Instead we spent the morning cleaning the kitchen – Lee on dishes and laundry and me turning our hob and oven into a thing of beauty. And this afternoon we’ll have a late lunch/early dinner at Brasserie Blanc to celebrate the clean stove and our anniversary.. and visit a photo booth to get our photos done for my new visa.

Don’t let anyone tell you any different …. WE are the King and Queen of Romance!

And next year, so long as there is not a BoBsibling on the way, we shall be celebrating somewhere that doesn’t boast of its concrete cows and roundabouts.

Happy 2nd Anniversary to US! Here’s hoping the 3rd year is filled with less drama and more sunshine!!!

With only one month to go, the question on everyone’s my mind is …. will I ever stop growing?  Let’s be honest, BoB’s not been living in the smallest of homes.  Especially of late as The House seems to grow every day in order to contain The Feet.  But there is lots of space in there that is not being used.  There doesn’t need to be any more, surely.  Not that I really mind, but it’s starting to get a bit ridiculous.  I can barely bend to put on socks, Lee has to do up my shoes if they are not slip on, and heaven help me if I need to get off of the sofa and Lee’s not home.  My balance is still off, but luckily I only stumble around like a drunk from time to time and don’t actually fall over (thanks to my “healthy bum” helping balance me out).  Oh, and it’s getting more embarrassing when we go out to eat and I have to sit so far away from the table because BoB likes me to respect his/her personal space (read: BoB starts to throw a tantrum that is visible from the outside).

Perhaps it sounds like I am over reacting, and okay, I am not as huge as some pregnant women, but from my view I actually find I look small and when I see photos, reality slaps me across the face and I start to realise why my coworkers have commented on my resemblance to an elephant.

I have a feeling that I better get everything done that needs doing this week, because regardless if BoB puts on the brakes and delays arrival until the 29th of Feb, I’m not sure that if Lee leaves for work in the morning with me still in bed, that I’ll be able to get out without the help of Geraldo and his trusty Fat Person Removal Crane.

Here is my evidence:

BoB’s House at 8 months in…

8 months?!

35w4d - BoB's house..in the middle of my belly

8 months - this ain't no 6lb baby!

There best be LOADS of fluid in there or else I’m going to have to learn to love exercise…or become a wet nurse.

This afternoon, Lee and I went to meet up with some friends for lunch in Northampton. We spent a lot of time talking about how amazing it is that you can have this little person growing inside of you one day and then next day you wake up* and there they are.. you can touch, see, hear and smell them.

Instead of taking the highway (motorway) home, we went through the villages so that we could stop at the farm shop and get some yummy Pickle Power (pickled onion cheddar). We got our piece and took some Black Bomber (extra mature Welsh Cheddar) to go with it and started heading toward the car when a commotion caught my eye. Not between people, but between the chickens that roam freely. I at first thought that it was a case of some rabid chickens trying to eat another chicken, when Lee pointed out that I was actually witnessing Fowl Gang Rape.

I covered my ears and turned away and waited for Lee to get the car and bring it to me (we were parked right by the action). I’ve never witnessed such a horrible sight, and I’ve seen a dead man vomit on someone!!!

I’m so happy that BoB cannot see from the inside out. At that moment in time I envied him/her. I too wanted not to be able to see, or hear, or have a memory.

This cheese better be the best damned cheese I’ve ever had!!!

*Note: I am aware that you don’t wake up to find a baby there. I can only dream.

This is just to let you know that although an ocean may be between us, you are not alone.

Lee Is One With Nature