One month (and a few days) later…

Thank you so much for the well wishes. So sorry it took me so long to get on here and share our birth story. But the truth of the matter it’s because it took me this long to accept it the aftermath. You see, I developed pre-eclampsia during birth, can you believe it? And I still have it now. And let me tell you, it’s the pits. Post-postpartum pre-eclampsia exists and you should make sure to keep vigilant of your blood pressure after the birth. Thank goodness my OB stayed so on top of me.

So yeah, I have this thing and I’m getting treated for it and I really hope it goes away. Five weeks on and it’s still hanging on so I’m still on hypertension pills. And it sucks. They can sometimes make you feel dizzy and just plain awful.

As for the birth? Well, it’s a blur for me now. I can sum it up like this: I went into early labor on my due date 3/4, started active labor on 3/6, my water broke at 3AM on 3/7, I was fully dilated later that afternoon, I pushed for 4 hours (after 2 hours my OB wanted to do a c-section but I insisted on trying again) with no progress made, baby’s heartbeat was acting up so we finally decided to go for the c-section. Little did we know an infection had started to settle in (we learned this after the placenta was studied at in the lab) but luckily neither of us got an infection. So the c-section was truly necessary but I still feel robbed of my vaginal birth. I was so close. Sadly Ollie just wasn’t positioned right. Oh well. I accept what happened. If I don’t, I’ll go nuts!

I stayed really positive during and right after the birth. But it’s the pre-eclampsia that has made me quite cranky these days. I recovered from the surgery quite well. I was walking right after I got out of the recovery room. I made laps around the hospital while I was there. And my blood pressure was normal until about six days later. A visit with the OB confirmed that I had hypertension and needed to be medicated. Bugger.

But I am holding out that I will be back to my healthy chubby self in no time. Well, hopefully less chubby self. I’m down 2.4 pounds from when I got pregnant and I hope to continue to lose weight. It’s for my health, y’all. I wish it was for vanity’s sake but it’s not. I really want to start running again and hope that’ll be possible in the months to come.

As for Ollie, aka Chexie, he’s the best thing ever. I have truly fallen in love with this little one.

One Month Old

One Month Old

He is so darn expressive. I have a ball chatting with him and seeing the various faces he pulls. He cracks me up! He’s not too fond of my singing voice…

You call that singing?

You call that singing?

I’m really enjoying motherhood. The sleepless nights were hard the first week but you do get used to the lack of sleep. But don’t get me wrong, I still would prefer to have my 8 hours of sleep back. One day… He’s been fussy lately but he’s been less so these last few days. Thank goodness for gas drops!

Well, that’s all for now. I am off to pack up his newborn clothes. *Sniff, sniff* Babies grow far too quickly!

Engaged? Engaging?

Engaged?

Yesterday I noticed that my little one has moved from his favorite spot (the right side of my bump) to the middle. My stomach feels a lot more solid and round so I can’t help but wonder if he’s positioning himself for labor and finally moving on down. Maybe? Wishful thinking?

In other news, I am feeling a lot better today. There’s something about sharing your thoughts and getting some perspective on a matter that can help you move along. Thanks for the comments! I have been quite happy during this whole pregnancy/moving/re-locating/ experience but I have allowed myself to get unhappy here and there. It’s only human. And way better than shoving emotions down and carrying on. Well, for me anyway.

As soon as the baby is born and ready to go about I’ll be joining a few mommy and sewing groups. I really need to start making friends. There’s a lot to be said about human interaction. When I first arrived in London I got depressed from the weather (SAD is no joke!), not finding work and my lack of friends. Finally I put myself out there and accepted invites from wonderful expats (Hi Mandy!) and met up with wonderful sewists. So I figured it’s time to do the same here…eventually. Thankfully my husband is super supportive of me going out and meeting people so he’s prepared to go on solo-daddy duty (ha!).

35 Weeks-We finally bought the crib!

35 weeks

How far along| 35 weeks and 2 days. Only 33 days left. But who’s counting?
Baby’s Size| About 18 inches long and as heavy as a honeydew. I think that comparison might be true. He’s feeling quite heavy. Especially when I lay on my back to read. It’s a no go from now on. Feels like I’m caved in.
Weight Gain| +10
Sleep| Great since Greg got back from Austin. Except this morning I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I think I may have been a bit anxious about my doctor appointment? Can’t say for sure. Sadly didn’t fall asleep until 7:30 and had to get up by 8ish to get ready for the appointment. Boo.
Clothes| My clothes came in from London so I now have clothes to play with.
Cravings| Ice cream is still a favorite. I think I can do without a sandwich this week but I’m sure I’ll have one.
Food Aversions| Leftovers, same ‘ole, same ‘ole.
Symptoms| My left hip is still acting up (burning feeling from a possible pinched nerve) and for some reason I broke out like a teenager this week.
Movement| A clog dancer.
Belly Button| Still in.
Baby’s Sex| A wee boy child.
Highlight of the Week| Getting a few sorted for the nursery, like buying his crib and pack ‘n ‘play bassinet. And also washing his clothes. Next up, the hospital bag!
What I miss|My husband. He’s on a time crunch and working super long hours. I miss him. A lot. Unfortunately the overtime doesn’t come to an end until around our due date. Bugger

************************************************************

We are swimming in boxes over here. We’ve managed to unpack quite a few. But it feels like when we empty one, a new one takes its place. Adding to the clutter is the stuff we bought for the nursery. They are not the smallest boxes. At least those will be dealt with this weekend. G will be putting together the crib and glider. And I’ll be cheering him on very enthusiastically. Nah, I will be tackling our bedroom. Since baby will be sleeping in our room for a bit I want to make sure the space is clutter-free and serene; the complete opposite of the rest of the house. I honestly thought I would be able to unpack and get everything sorted on my own but I quickly get stressed, overwhelmed, tired and distracted. In that order. If we had more storage space the unpacking would happen easily. But as of now we’re having to do some magic and make it work.

With the stress comes the need to de-stress, so of course I sew. I made Mr. Mix a pair of pants and a funked up onesie from a couple of my old T-shirts. Luckily he can wear it at home and no one will be the wiser 🙂

Upcycled an old T to make a onesie. It's wonky but it'll work.

Putting my old T-shirt to good use.

I have a few more T-shirts that will make some cute baby clothes. But I’ll leave them for later. For now I am going to work on making the crib bedding (a couple of fitted sheets and a crib skirt). That is, when I’m not tidying up 🙂

Procrastinating

Today we received what we’ve been so desperate for: the sea shipment. By golly, I finally have a couch! How much have I longed to dramatically throw myself on it and flip on the TV? Especially after long walks? Loads. And finally it is here and I am quite happy. Especially because it’s the only place in the house that is clear of any crap. I’m having to deal with this…Don’t be jealous 😉

photo

That is only a fraction of all the things that need putting away. We received 60 boxes, 30 of them were unpacked, and none organized. Once the movers left, I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door to lunch with my husband, who had stayed home this morning to manage the move. So glad he insisted on doing so because there was just way too much going on and I’m sure I would have missed something had I been alone. Between the two of us we were able to check to make sure nothing was missing or broken. And nothing was. Thank goodness. It remains a mystery as to how the air shipment suffered so much damage.

After lunch, G went to work and I decided to procrastinate a bit more.

Avoiding having to organize 60 boxes worth of stuff. Why do we have so much stuff? Must work on downsizing stuff. Sadly there's still more stuff to come. Damn stuff. Stuff it.

And then a bit more. I ran over to Baby Gap and found Chexie’s coming home outfit (unless, of course, something cuter comes along…).

Coming home outfit

I also got a couple of long-sleeved maternity Ts on sale. Usually I would not bother buying them and just make them myself but at $6 a shirt, it’s just cheaper to buy and not stress about making. Besides, I can’t sew knowing all this stuff around me needs a home. So much stuff! I think it might be time to purge. It was hard to do in London; with not having a car we would’ve had to make multiple trips to the charity shops. But now we can be ruthless and get a few donation piles sorted and drive them over as soon as we can. Having access to public transport *and* a car is so nice. I forgot how convenient driving is (although I still hate to do it).

Warm and sunny. No complaints!

So I enjoyed the warmth in the sun and shopping. Now I am back home, writing this post…procrastinating. Must go find other things to do other than organize 🙂 The couch is calling to me.

Everyone Needs an Ugly Cry Here and There

Best Ugly Crier ever, Claire Danes.

Last week I let a little thing like the way I looked (or didn’t look) to push me into the Ugly Cry Territory. We’ve all been there and it feels nice to get it out and over with (thanks for humoring me!). I think I cried more over all the changes that I have gone through in the last two months: moving countries, settling in an unfamiliar city, dealing with health insurance instead of not, feeling closer to family but still being so far, and more. It’s a lot to deal with and I really hadn’t let myself deal with these changes until now.

I can see the end of the tunnel soon: our furniture (nothing broken, I hope!) will all be here by the end of the month, we should be unpacked and settled by February some time, and we are slowly getting things ready for baby. Feeling unprepared for baby is the worst. As much as I tell myself that there’s still time to prep things it doesn’t feel like it. But there is time! And I am just going to relax and take everything one day at a time. The brunt of the move is behind us and we just need to work on settling in, making friends and prepping for little guy. Won’t be too hard, right? Right?! Thankfully my mother is coming to help me. At the very least she will distract me. Moms are good at that.

Week 30-Settling in

30 weeks and 4 days
Standing in the soon-to-be nursery

Our home life is far from normal but we are working on making it so. We have been quite busy running around getting bits of furniture that won’t be coming in our sea shipment (chairs, a table, a bed, etc).

Our air shipment arrived but a lot of our kitchenware was broken. Our enameled Dutch oven was cracked through. It’s iron! How did they bloody well crack iron? And our mixing bowls, one of our favorite, most used wedding gifts, destroyed. Some plates-pulverized. Not kidding. They were almost all in a powdery form. These things were professionally packed so it’s beyond me what happened between our old flat, the airplane and our new place. Now we are having to fill out insurance forms, because you know, we didn’t have enough on our plates. What plates we have left 🙂

Oh well. Christmas dinner was saved by buying some chairs and a table that will become a sewing table after we get our dining table from Austin. My in-laws are in town so that made the holiday more festive. They have been oh so helpful with a lot of the heavy lifting.

We have also been getting reacquainted with our lovely kitties. They stayed with the in-laws while we were abroad. The price to ship them from New Mexico was way too dear. So there they stayed and were spoiled rotten.

Kitty and the bump.

Kitty and the bump

But my Ludo seems to have forgiven me. He’s been quite affectionate, even if a bit needy in the mornings.

As for the bump, he’s moving with more force and is preferring my right side. You can feel him quite settled there. He moves often, some days more than others.

We got his dresser and am hoping to get more bits here and there as time goes along. We may be inheriting a family crib but it all depends on how much it’ll cost to get it shipped to us from New Jersey. If the cost is too much we will definitely just buy one. Luckily I have one in mind.

I recently bought a bunch of fabric to start making little clothes, blankets, bibs,and burp clothes. Not all of them will be for Chexie. A few of my good friends are expecting soon after me so I have to get their gifts sorted. If there’s extra I plan to add them to my Etsy shop, I figure why not?

Slowly but surely I can see the end of this move. There’s still the sea shipment to unpack and the Austin stuff to move but at least we have a roof over our heads.

We got the keys to the new place and a rainbow to celebrate.

A rainbow the day we got the keys to our new place

Week 27 and 28- Transatlantic and Cross-country travel!

We made it.

20121211-081839.jpg Outside the hotel, along the bay.

After a 7.5 hour flight to Newark, followed by a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco a few days later, we finally made it “home”. Hoping that the vacation feel will soon come to an end. Staying at an extended stay hotel doesn’t help matters. But we are two seconds from closing a deal on a place to live. So living out of a suitcase may soon come to an end and I can start nesting!! Wheee!

20121211-082345.jpg Here I am at 27 weeks. Looking quite round.

Sadly my diet has suffered in the last two weeks. I am finding it quite hard to make good decisions. But today I skipped on the greasy complimentary breakfast and went for cereal and a yoghurt. Baby steps…

20121211-082946.jpg 28 weeks as of Monday. Time is flying.

I don’t know how much weight I’ve gained but I don’t feel overly pudgier than usual. My belly has gotten bigger but I can’t see any other changes. To keep any extra weight gain at bay I’m going to start walking along…wait for it…the bay! There’s a great path along the bay and I am looking forward to seeing how far I can go.

As for Chexie, his movements are getting quite forceful and constant. He used to mostly move in the early morning and at night, like clockwork. Now it’s throughout the day. I don’t mind, I quite enjoy his jabs. I guess his internal clock is messed up like mine. I have been waking up at 3AM. Not sure if it’s the pregnancy or jet-lag. But luckily I’ve been getting enough sleep to carry me into the evening. At 5PM I just want to pass out. If I make it past 9PM I’m golden.

So that’s that. We are in the States and looking forward to feeling/getting settled!

26 Weeks and Moving Day!

20121130-103356.jpg

Life has been a bit hectic this week. I had a friend visiting for Thanksgiving and she just left yesterday. Having run around all of London left me quite exhausted. Luckily I slept in yesterday and today and am feeling more like myself.

And today is moving day! Our stuff is getting packed for air and sea shipment at the moment. We fly out to NYC on Monday and to San Francisco on Friday. Let the adventure begin!

As for baby…well he’s doing great. We went for a 25 week checkup and got our results back from the gestational diabetes test: negative! Woo hoo. But my word that sugary stuff was DISGUSTING. And I have me a sweet tooth but that drink was like drinking a concentrated melted lemon popsicle. Made me feel quite ill. Glad I was allowed to drink water.

In other news we went to see two musicals: Rock of Ages and The Jersey Boys. Rock of Ages was super loud, rattling the seats loud! Poor Chexie was not amused. He kicked the crap out of me. I used my coat and my friend’s to muffle the noise, covering my belly. He calmed a bit but I could do anything about those vibrations here and there.

At intermission I changed seats, to one with bad acoustics and with a limited view. He calmed down quite a bit and I was able to see the end (I was going to wait for my friend in the lobby if Chexie continued kicking).

So that’s all for now. Hoping to get back to regular baby updates once we are settled. For now general ones will have to do 🙂 Next update will come from across the pond! Whoa.

Week 23-Going stripey

Stripey Maternity Skirt 2 I made this skirt this morning. It’s a winner!

How far along| 23 weeks
Baby’s Size| Chexie is 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound.
Weight Gain| Down 1.5 pounds. This fluctuating weight might be due to so much walking I’ve been doing, maybe? I went on a long walk this past Saturday and I felt great but it took me all of Sunday to recover. I was BEAT.
Sleep| I’ve been sleeping well except for recently. The last three or so days I’ve had a pinched nerve in my left shoulder and neck. Sucks donkey balls.
Clothes| I am still wearing my regular clothes with some maternity bits thrown in. And my wedding ring is still on. Huzzah to no swelling!
Cravings| Chocolate, with a side of chocolate and a touch of chocolate sprinkles.
Food Aversions| None.
Symptoms| Growing pains. I know Chexie is going through a growth spurt every time my lower back starts hurting and those darn round ligament pains show up.
Movement| We have quite a kicker. He’s active in the mornings and late at night. I find it very comforting.
Belly Button| So in. I doubt it will ever pop. I have the inniest innie ever.
Baby’s Sex| Un nene lindo.
Highlight of the Week| Testing negative for preeclampsia. I had a scare in that it tested positive. But two follow-up tests came back negative. My blood pressure is fine and I have no signs of swelling. So fingers crossed nothing changes in regards to that.
What I miss| Sleeping on my stomach. I have a bad left shoulder so it only leaves me being able to sleep on my right. Not comfortable so I wake up to adjust twice or so a night.

**********************************************************

I’ve failed at my yoga challenge! I set myself up for failure when I decided to start it two days before going on vacation. What was I thinking? I definitely need to regroup and start again. But at least I haven’t been sat still at home. I am definitely going out and about here and there, which is great. I am finding it a bit uncomfortable to walk for long periods on some days but on others I am a real trooper and can go the distance. Who knows what’s that’s about.

I am set to see a GP next week instead of my midwife. I am not scheduled to see her until after I leave the country. Guess I won’t be attending that appointment (reminder to self: must cancel!). The doctor is supposed to measure the bump and see if baby is doing well. Fingers crossed all goes well. I’m now dreading peeing in a cup ever since that false positive. I’d hate for something to come up right before we’re scheduled to leave in December. I imagine a complication would make the trip harder and more stressful. I chatted with my mother last night and she assures me she didn’t have high blood pressure when pregnant with me or my siblings, so that’s a bit comforting. I’m hoping I take after her in that regard.

What more is to come? I’ll be learning to crochet with my friend Joanne this week. Maybe then I can keep busy making granny squares on our transatlantic flight. That would be awesome because I need distractions for this flight. I am so not looking forward to it. We’re breaking up the flight by visiting my family in NYC before heading on to San Francisco. By the end of it all we would have flown 14 or so hours. Crikey! I haven’t wanted a drink all 23 weeks until now. Ugh. Flying is the pits.

A Public Service Announcement

Taking a babymoon seems to be a trend that is here to stay. If you’re North American, pregnant and traveling to Europe for the first time, it’s good to be prepared, even if just mentally. It helps to know what you’re getting your pregnant body into.

1. Always know where the nearest toilet is. I’m not kidding. Your bladder will thank you later. In London I take it for granted that I can easily nip into a Starbucks or pub to use their facilities. But that’s not always the case on mainland Europe. In Paris we thought we would be sly by going to a café, getting a drink and using the loo. No go. You had to pay to use the toilet! Can you believe it?! The nerve. But that’s how a lot of places roll in Paris, you have to pay to pee. So always have change in your purse. Again, your bladder will thank you. If you’re lucky you might run into an Irish pub (they are everywhere!) and they might kindly allow you to use their toilet (shout out to the Irish pub in Rome that hooked me up!). And there’s always trying another café, they don’t all charge to use their toilet. At last resort, if your bladder is crying, you can always go into the nearest shop, and rub your bump as you plea for the toilet. But if you’re like me and you’re sporting that “Is she fat or pregnant look?” you might look like you need to take a serious dump. So yeah. Use that tip at your own risk.

2. Embrace the stairs. North America is shiny and new. Europe is dusty and old (in an AWESOME way, really) making it not very handicap accessible. Don’t expect to have elevators and escalators at your convenience. Be prepared to hike up 2-4 flights of stairs at a time. Over, and over again.

3. Beds in Europe are small. Double (aka full-sized) or two twin (aka single) beds put together are the norm in hotels. So I hope you like to snuggle. Maybe your partner can cuddle you until you forget how uncomfortable that damn bed is.

4. Carry water. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been looked at as if I asked for the combination to the safe after requesting tap water at a restaurant. Europe isn’t huge on hydration. If you’re not given a small shot glass worth of water, you’re asked to pay for it. I always want to ask, “You don’t do tap water? How do you clean your dishes?” But I don’t. I’m not rude 🙂 Paris and Rome have their fair share of city water fountains but you have to be choosy as to which you’re willing to drink from. Some are nice-looking, some are not. You’re better off carrying a water bottle and topping it off before leaving the hotel.

5. Take a break. One of the best parts about eating in European restaurants is that they never want you to leave. Just try getting a waiter’s attention to get the bill, might take you a while. But take advantage, stay a while, enjoy the view and give your back and feet a break.

6. Grin and bear it. Everyone in Europe seems to smoke: dogs, kids, clowns. It’s just how it goes. So if you’re anti-smoking, just walk away and hope you don’t walk through another fog of cigarette smoke. And don’t be surprised if your non-smoking hotel or restaurant smells of smoke. In a Brussels B&B we complained about someone next door to us smoking and all the owner did was shrug his shoulders. Grin and bear it my friend.

So there are my warnings/tips. Pays to be prepared, I say. I know I’ve taken the joking route to express my experience of traveling while pregnant in Europe but I do hope someone can find it helpful!

*************Click photo for source.*************