Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Two Months Old!

I'll take is "official" 2-month picture later today, but we had a bit of a rough morning and he's (finally) napping, so for now you'll have to be content with this cute shot from this morning.

Iwan is growing and changing so much everyday. He's so big and strong and healthy, people are always surprised to hear that he's only 8 weeks old. He's already hit some pretty exciting (well, to me anyway!) milestones. He waves his hands towards dangling toys and focuses with such intent, a couple of times he's even managed to grab them (although I don't know how intentional this was)- and is very pleased with himself when he does. His head and neck control are pretty awesome, and we think he might be ready for a Bumbo (he loooves to sit up). But my favorite milestones by far are the smiling and the cooing. Oh my, the cooing! Iwan loves to have conversations with me. When he's in a happy mood we'll talk all about his dreams and what toys he wants to play with. He loves to answer back with his patented "ah-goo!" or sometimes just "gooooo!" When he's in a content little mood he'll make happy chirping and squeaking noises. I like to imagine he's saying "ahhhh, it feels so great to get that poo off my bum, thanks Mommy!"

And the smiles! It's soooo nice to feel appreciated. Before he started smiling it was easy to feel like he didn't know me, which might sound odd, but at times I felt like "Milk Lady." As if my newborn baby boy only cared about the milk, not the mommy. But now he smiles at me while I'm nursing him, and I can tell they're Mommy Smiles, not Milk Lady Smiles. Let me tell you, those smiles make the sleepless nights much easier to deal with as well. When you wake up at 2 am, it's hard not to smile yourself at the cheeky grin of your baby. And this is important because sleep is something we're still working on. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. Iwan has slept through the night on 2 occasions, most nights he's up only once or twice. But last night. Oh, last night he was up.every.hour. Not even exaggerating. It was rough. We're getting through it though, and in the meantime I'm trying very hard to appreciate the extra cuddle time we get during those awakenings. I hear they're a bit hard to come by later on!

So, Happy 2 Month Birthday to my strong, sweet, smart, sturdy, smiley little man. I love you, Forever and Ever and Always.

Where have I been?

Let's get caught up nice and quickly, shall we? Well, this happened:
Baby Iwan, born April 8th 2010 at 4:02 pm, weighing 8lbs 11ozs, one day before his due date via induction (my blood pressure was all wonky- I promise to post a birth story with more details soon). The past 2 months have been a blur. Completely wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. I can't wait to continue to share our adventures as a family of three!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Friday, 26 March 2010

Apparently I'm pregnant with some sort of moose, or a humpback whale, because holy shit my unborn child is measuring in the 97th percentile and they're estimating his weight to be somewhere between 8-9 lbs right now, so who knows how big he'll be by the time he's born. All of this came as a huge surprise because my belly isn't measuring very big at all and I really haven't gained that much weight. The only reason I had an ultrasound today was to check on a cyst they spotted at my 20 week scan (seems to be fine, by the way, but they're doing another u/s at 6 weeks postpartum just to be sure).
Anyway, they brought an OB in to speak with us about this monster child (over here you generally only deal with midwives, unless there are special circumstances or emergencies), and she basically said "if you try to have a home birth your baby could get stuck in your pelvis and die". well, maybe she didn't say it exactly like that but that's how it came across to me, because I instantly burst into tears, and then she backtracked saying that was really rare but it was still a risk and it was better to be in a hospital. She then left to speak to a midwife and when she came back in she told us that the midwives can't deal with us anymore, and we have to be in consultant-led care (with the OBs). So this not only means no home birth, but it means we can't even have the baby in the nice birthing center in the hospital- we have to be in the high risk unit. I mean, yeah this is a big baby, but it's not like it's all that unheard of, even if he's 10 lbs at birth. Besides growth estimates can be off by as much as a pound, so he might only be 7ish lbs right now (not thinking that this could also mean that he's already almost 10 lbs...). So the high risk unit? Really?
Both Gez and I were pretty disappointed, and I was crying so much in the hospital and when we got home. I know it's really silly, because all of this means that we have an extremely healthy baby, and people are often faced with much much worse news about their babies. But I'm 38 weeks pregnant, apparently carrying Andre the Giant, not even dilated a little bit, and that news made me sad.
I know that no matter what it will be a wonderful experience, and all that matters is that we end up with a healthy baby. I'm feeling much better about it now, just trying to get my head around this new plan, and hoping that I won't need to have a c-section in the end. I guess it's just a little reminder of what happens to the best laid plans.

Oh the cherry on the cake was when she just went ahead and scheduled me an appointment for 41 weeks, "which is when we'll start talking induction if you haven't had the baby yet." Ummmm, I'm pretty sure that by 41 weeks this child will have a beard and an Elks Club membership because he'll be the size of a 36 year old man, so any sort of induction at that point better involve a steady drip of tequila, Harry Connick Jr singing in my hospital room while Jennifer Aniston braids my hair and Gerard Butler feeds me french fries. Oh and Maya Angelou reads a selection of inspirational poems.
Blech- no thanks! this baby needs to be born yesterday!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Total blogging fail

I apologize! I know after my last little hiatus I said I'd never leave for so long again. The bad thing is that I don't really have much of an excuse. I've been finished with work for almost 3 weeks now (God bless you, awesome British maternity laws!), and it's not like I have a baby to take care of yet or anything. Y'all should be swimming in posts at this point. Apparently I'd rather sit around watching Frasier reruns and eating PB sandwiches in my jammies (which totally rocks, I'm not gonna lie).
Ok, the question everyone keeps asking me is "how are you feeling?" Well, I'm feeling pretty good for having a 37 week and 1 day baby inside of me (read: a fully grown human infant). I'm not completely uncomfortable, but if he felt like making his big debut I wouldn't be adverse to that. Sleeping is the worst- even though I'm totally dead tired by like 9 pm, I'm up every 1-2 hours in the night, mostly to pee, sometimes for no reason at all. A couple of nights last week were spent wrapped in my bathrobe in the living room, trying to find some online distraction between 4-6:30 am because the only thing on TV was some Eastern European football. I know a lot of this is partly because my body is preparing itself to care for a demanding newborn. Side note: How do you do that, body? I mean you've never had a baby before, so where are you getting this information? Can't we just have a quick briefing on the future requirements followed by a restful nights sleep? Please? I'll bring donuts!
Another thing people ask about is nesting. Up until yesterday I was swearing up and down that I wasn't nesting (remember the Frasier/sandwiches/jammies combo?), no way would I stoop to such a pregnancy cliche. But Friday morning saw me dusting every room in the house, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, doing all of the laundry (our hamper is empty, folks, this is totally unprecedented), and even washing the sofa cushion covers. I'm still a leeetle unconvinced that this was actually nesting, and more of a realization that I was now carrying a full term baby, my house was a mess, and hello we're having a home birth! I didn't want the midwives to see my house that way, because they probably would have refused to let us keep our son. Speaking of the midwives, I'm completely and irrationally obsessing about their comfort while they're in our home. As if I'm going to be a charming hostess or something. Today we stocked up on special cookies to have on hand for them during the birth (it's sort of common sense, would you want grumpy, hungry midwives all up in your world delivering your baby? You see, everyone is happier with a few cookies under their belt). In reality, I think it goes back to my innate need to be the best at things. I have visions of the midwives going back to their midwife friends and saying how we were "the best home birth! It was like delivering in a 5-star hotel, and Meg was completely delightful through the whole thing! OH, and did we mention the cookies!?"
Yeah, so that'll be a funny contrast to what actually goes down. Which hopefully won't be too far in the future. I'll try my best to keep you updated until then. You know, if I can fit it in between Frasier episodes.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

31 weeks 2 days

How far along? 31 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: Not sure, I think I'm on track though
Sleep: It's great until I have to flip over, which is quite a feat of engineering at this point!
Best moment this week: Picking out all the fixin's for our new kitchen, Mom buying her plane tickets, finalizing baby shower plans with Celyn & Sian- I'm excited!
Movement: Tons, and he feels super low, judging by the pressure on my bladder
Gender: Boy!!
Labor Signs: Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and their starting to get pretty uncomfortable. Other than that I'd say he's still cooking happily!
Belly Button in or out? Still an innie, I can't really see it popping out, but who knows!
Food cravings/aversions: None really, I'm just hungrier than normal, so I'm pretty much eating constantly at this point!
What I miss: Being able to walk a reasonable distance without getting the overwhelming urge to pee.
I am looking forward to: My baby shower at the end of the month!
Weekly Wisdom: Now that I'm getting into the home stretch, I'm trying to take things day by day, rather than looking towards the "finish line" too much. Otherwise, I find I get overwhelmed with all we have to do, and frustrated feeling like there's still so much time to go.
Milestones: Tons! Baby boy can now open and close his eyes, see light through the walls of the womb, he can practice breathing movements, and is now head down (let's hope he stays that way!)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Going By The Book

There's a morning talk show over here in the UK called "The Wright Stuff." The format of the show is pretty basic in that several topical questions are posed for a panel to debate, and viewers are invited to call in and share their opinions/experiences. I've only watched it maybe a handful of times since moving over here, but happened to tune in one day last week (or maybe it was the week before...) when one of the topics happened to be the use of manuals in child-rearing. This debate was brought up when Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, roundly criticized Gina Ford's The Contended Little Baby Book. Clegg had become exasperated with the book after a night of his baby crying prompted his wife to ask in a panic, "what does the book say!?"

This then prompted Clegg to liken raising a child via manual to assembling Ikea furniture. Obviously, unlike the Ikea furniture, one set of instructions cannot be applied to every child. So why are so many parents relying on books rather than their instincts?

I'm sure there are several answers to this question, and the root of it is probably that many of us don't really grow up taking care of babies, and so have no idea where to start. Plus, a lot of other things in our life are governed by manuals, from cooking to self-help, so why would people think they can realistically undertake the momentous task of raising another human being on their own !!gasp!!?

I mean, I'm pretty fast and loose with my instincts, and even I can't get away from baby manuals. I've looked into several, but my by-far favorite so far has been The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. But I think the reason I enjoy the theories behind the advice in this book so much, is because they do seem to match with my instincts. As I read the book I kept thinking "yes, this feels right." In that sense, I don't think it's wrong to use a baby manual that confirms your parenting instincts, gives you some confidence, and some great techniques for dealing with emotional situations. The problem occurs when parents neglect to check in with their instincts, and just go along with the first book that was given to them at a baby shower, or the book that worked for their friends. Also, I think a lot of parents tend to judge their instincts as "wrong" when they don't mesh with the advice in a particular book.

I just think we need to trust ourselves a little bit more. Our instincts have been carefully honed for thousands of years, and there's a reason people say a mother's intuition is usually right. At any rate, this post has gotten away from me a little bit. I had hoped to talk a bit more about Dr. Karp's ideas and why I think they'll work for me and Gez, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow or another day. Until then, Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Changes abound

Ok- so I don't really have a clear topic to write about today, I've been so neglectful for the past few weeks that there's quite a lot to catch up on, please excuse me while I ramble...
So, if you're wondering, I am, in fact, alive. My nose is stuffy and making weird noises, but it's sufficiently bringing breath into my body (sometimes with the help of copious tissues and Vicks VapoRub), so we're all good.
Little Mister is doing really well, and becoming more and more active by the day. The most amazing thing happened last night: I was in bed and could feel him repeatedly kicking in one spot on my left side, so I put my hand there and pressed in for a few moments, and then he moved and I felt an actual limb. I'm not sure what it was, and I don't care, it affected me in a way I couldn't predict. It was the fetal equivalent of Shock and Awe. Our little laid back, relaxi-baby, simply had me at hello with that one little prod. It's nothing I expected to happen, like feeling movement for the first time, or seeing my belly move, and maybe that's why it caught me so off guard. We played like that for a few more minutes, me pressing in and him kicking back, and I can't describe the joy in feeling my child's flesh and bone for the first time. I know that sounds a little weird, but that's what it was.
Meanwhile while I'm gushing away Little Boy is probably thinking, "back up out my space!"

In other news, we've made tons of progress on the nursery since I last updated. We finished all of the painting and touch-ups, arranged the furniture, put new knobs on the dressers, so it's looking good. My parents and Nana were so generous and bought us our nursing armchair for Christmas, which I was so excited about. By the way, the things I got inordinately excited about this Christmas also included a Sophie The Giraffe and a set of Aden & Anais swaddling blankets, so just to put things into perspective here... But I think the chair, being an extremely generous and infintiely useful gift, was well deserving of the excitement bestowed upon it. We were able to pick it up last weekend and it totally makes the room. I'll post pictures once the whole nursery is put together, and we can have a big Trading Spaces type reveal.

All-in-all things are good here at Chez Jones. Changes are taking place awfully quickly, and the reality of this little boy is becoming more apparent by the day. My handsome, loving husband turns 27 tomorrow so we're looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with good friends and family. I'm sorry I've been so conspicuously absent. I will behave far better in the future.