Never has a month passed in your life where I have loved you more and more and more each day. My heart is so full to bursting that I am having chest pains.

Just Beat It

Just Beat It

Your life has been turned on its head this month. You woke up 15 months old and things seemed normal. As normal as it is to be getting a truck load of new teeth all at once. But things were the same as they always were for you: you woke up, came in Mommy and Daddy’s room, demanded that one of us turn on the television for you, laid back on the pillows, drank your milk and started your day the You way.

Dim Sum Dude

The next day, Kadie and Zed arrived. Having been so “social” lately, we thought that you’d love a trip to the airport with Daddy to greet them and that they’d see what an outgoing boy you’d become. Only, you started to wail and continued the vocal exercising for much of the journey back to Milton Keynes. I like to tell myself that it was the realisation that you were not getting on a plane and in fact were returning to Milton Keynes that caused this outburst, because I’d have pretty much the same one if I were in your shoes.

Then the weekend came and we took you out and broke your “routine”, but you were okay with it because you were getting to do a lot of things that Mommy and Daddy would say “No!” to. And oh the fountains at the HUB, how you fell in love.

The Before

The Before

The After

The After

Exactly a week after waking up as a 15 month old, as you’d come around to Kadie and Zed being a part of your daily routine, things changed again. You woke up at 4am to find me in the shower and although you were totally shattered and confused, you wanted to come in … because that’s how our day starts. After getting dressed we got into the car before it was totally light out and instead of passing right out, you just sat there staring as I made funny noises every few minutes. The next thing you know, we’re in a hospital … one which you love visiting normally, but you’d never been into one of these rooms (that you can remember since the last visit was the day you were born) and you weren’t liking that I had to keep bending over the bed and was moaning instead of playing with you. Kadie and Zed arrived and you went and hung out with Zed still remaining clueless as to what was going on.

It wasn’t until around 9 hours later when you finally got to see me again and had the look of total confusion on your face when you saw this little bundle of person in my arms.

You took to your little sister quickly and got over her quickly. In fact, you’ve been much that way ever since. When she’s alert you love to give her cuddles and tickles and poke her eyes, honk her nose and force her to play Pat-a-Cake with her hands or even her feet if those are easier to come by. When she’s in her swing the squeals of excitement that come from you can be heard in neighbouring counties. The looks in your eye range from “I wonder how fast I can make this go” to “I wonder if my Mommy would notice if I just fling myself on top of Amy” and the looks she returns range from “this guy is hilarious” to “someone HELP ME PLEASE”. You aren’t all hyper and physical with her now though. It has taken a few weeks, but you are starting to be concerned rather than annoyed when she cries. One more than one occasion you’ve come to get me when she starts to squirm and I’ve caught you trying to give her a soother because you know that it would make you feel better if you were crying and didn’t have one.

brother&sister

When your sister first arrived, there was a little adjustment period. You weren’t sure what was going on or what this meant for you. You didn’t quite get why Mommy had this tiny person attached to her and couldn’t do whatever it was you wanted when you wanted. And understandably, you took it out on me. It broke my heart and made me love you even more than I knew was possible. I cried a lot of tears because I was worried that you didn’t know that I still loved you just as much and even more than before and I couldn’t figure out a way to let you know.

Luckily, you had Kadie and Zed here to soften the blow of the arrival. They got you an amazing inflatable pool, filled the backyard with rocks, took you for walks, took you to the park, played with you at Rugrats, let you eat whatever you wanted, and held your leg in the car when I couldn’t reach. I’m not sure that either of us would have survived that initial period without them here to help. And as the days passed, and you realised that even if I am holding your sister, if you need me I will do whatever I can to help , we became friends again. And although we have less time to play alone or nap together or just share cuddles, every time we get a chance to, your smile is bigger than ever, the hugs are tighter and you fall asleep quicker. Amy’s arrival may have broken us initially, but we’ve repaired US even better than before!

Al Fresco

This whole month hasn’t just been about becoming a Big Brother, but also the arrival of a whole bunch of new teeth. You went through a lot over the past month with the bumps coming up and going down and making it so hard for you to chew, but you have finally seen some relief. You hit 16 months old and had a total of 13 teeth! Only 7 more to go and quite a few should be here before 17 months arrives. In fact, some may come before the end of the week. There were whinges and some tears, a lot of weird faces and clenched jaws, but only once did you get any pain relief more than Dentinox and I made Daddy give you a half dose just in case you weren’t really cutting teeth. Thank you for still loving me after that too!!!

I only hope that your sister grows to have as much patience and forgiveness for my Silly Mommyness that you have for me. Right now she appears to have neither of those and it is making life in this house kind of hard. Once again you have shown yourself to be a superstar and Daddy and I have been so proud of you. When I get sad and frustrated about the dealings with a newborn again, Kadie points out that you have come out pretty damn well and she thinks that has something to do with me. I, on the other hand, believe that how you’ve come out has been in spite of the mother you’ve been alloted.

The Family

16 months on and you continue to amaze, astonish, confuse, make us laugh, fill us with love and be the best little boy I could ever hope for. It is hard for me to think that those first couple, few… bunch of months I saw no light at the end of the tunnel and now as we go through this with Amy, you give me immeasurable amounts of hope and shine ten suns worth of light at the end of the tunnel.

Though sometimes I forget that at 4 o’clock in the morning, so thank you for starting to sleep through when your sister isn’t.

You are a Super Star!

Superstar

Happy Sixteen Months, GrumpyPumps!!!
Mommy Loves You!!

It took me three weeks, but I did it! I finally managed to get back up to my birth weight. It was a long and often painful (for my Mommy anyway) process, but that tiny bit of weight I lost in the beginning didn’t seem to want to come back.

Then came the heatwave and although my Daddy says that he can’t eat much in heat, I was just the opposite. Feed me now! That’s all my Mommy was hearing from me from the moment I woke up until the moment they finally got me to surrender to sleep for the night. Actually, that is what she hears most days regardless of the weather.

But we worked as a team (she was the worker and I was the forewoman) and we got me to a weight that the midwives were happy with (a whole 9lb 10oz)… only they were scared of my skin issues.

Baby Acne. What ugly words. Not baby, but acne and on a baby, so not cute. But what can I do? Last I checked, there wasn’t Clearasil Baby out there. Not that I’ve checked, nor do I even really know what Clearasil is, but I’ve heard my Mommy make similar comments when wondering what to do with my new “accessories”.

spotty spots

So after all of that hard work, we still didn’t get discharged from the midwives because they were concerned. SO concerned in fact, that they sent me and my Mommy, my Daddy and Noah to the doctor to have me checked out. My Mommy got scared, I got annoyed and Noah got bored. My Daddy was just my Daddy which means he just went with the flow. I’ve got to look into whether I someday want to be that way, or if it is more fun to cry a lot the way I already do.

Anyway, we were told that babies get this and it is normal as we were sent on our way. I left a bit more self conscious than when we started the day, but I had a chat with my brother later and he let me know that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought (even my Mommy) because he loved me no matter what.

chit chat

You know what, even though he likes to poke me and on occasion slap my head, I’ve got the best older brother.

People have been wondering why on earth my url is “box of squawks”. I’d like to say that I have been wondering the same thing, but it is no secret in my house: apparently I squawk a lot. In fact, my parents have been calling me “Squawk Box”, “Squawkers” and “Tiny Pterodactyl” since I arrived on the scene. How rude, right? But they don’t think so… they just laugh. To make it worse, Zed and Kadie think it is just as funny.

Newsflash people!! What you think is funny and cute now, might come back to haunt you. My “squawks” are only going to get louder as my lungs get stronger and then who do you think will be laughing, huh? Oh that’s right, good old Tiny Pterodactyl over here.

We’ll just see who gets the last squawk err laugh!

Pbbbbttttt

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

Amy B

Hi, I’m Amy Sophia Elise.  I’m the newest member of my little family.  There’s my Mommy, my Daddy and my big brother Noah.  I haven’t been around long and I’m just getting my head around things, but I thought I’d share a little background on my life so far….

So there I was having the time of my short life on the inside and enjoying the dark, the warmth and the ability to do whatever I wanted when I wanted .. and then, from out of nowhere it seemed that there was light at the end of a tunnel.  Part of me said “Don’t go, stay in a little longer”, but the nosey part of me won out and the next thing you know I’m squinting from the bright lights and wondering who all of these strange people are who are looking down at me.

Apparently, that was me being born.  Whatever.  All I know, is that I don’t want to go through that again.  Not that I don’t like the people I’ve met since joining the world on the outside, but WOAH what an experience that was.  A once in a lifetime kind of thing.  Plus, I’m only just getting used to the older brother that I got the first time around and I’m not sure that I could handle any more of those.  The one I’ve got will do for now.  Let’s just hope in time he realises that he may need to be a bit more gentle with me .. or else when I can do things like crawl.. or even hold my head up for a while, I’ll be able to get him back.

To be honest, since then it has mostly been Eat, Poo, Sleep.  Sure, there is the odd trip out to Costco or the supermarket or restaurants where I can’t order from the menu .. but there isn’t much going on other than working on growing and getting back up to my birth weight.  Oh, and there was that business about getting a god belly button which my Mommy was convinced I was not doing right when the dangling bit started to smell and I got a hernia, but I proved her wrong today.  No no, it didn’t take this long for the bit to fall off, just for the Health Visitor to say “that’s a great tummy button”.

I’m so glad that Noah didn’t hear her say that.  He already thinks that my nose is a horn, he doesn’t need anything else to push.

Oh look, time for another nap.  Type to you all soon!

________________________________________________________________________

A Bit About Me

Name: Amy B           D.O.B: 4th June 2009 at 10.00am          Weight&Length: 9lb 4oz & In dispute

So you want to know a little about me.  Well, I’m little.  Like really little.  Not just in size, but in days I’ve been around.  I’m still getting used to life on the outside and wondering where I fit in to the giant ball of crazy that is my family.

What I do know, is that I’m Amy B.  I’m the little girly of this family.  I’ve got an older brother, Noah B, who loves to cuddle, poke, prod and “tickle” (one baby’s tickle is another baby’s slap) me and we share a Mommy and Daddy who seem to be as clueless to this whole thing as I am.  Though you’d think that having my brother before me, they’d be pros.

I’ve not decided yet whether I am going to be the one who quietly sits in the corner taking it all in or if I’d rather stir things up whilst looking all innocent in my girly girl outfits.  So keep checking back for updates and follow me on this adventure that is my life and we’ll find out together who I am and which piece of the puzzle I am!

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.