Saturday, March 31, 2007

A sweet note from grandma Anita

Grandma Anita is recovering from foot surgery and the recovery has not been going as planned. We wish we could be closer to help. Here is her note:

Dear Annelies and Jason:The computer is up and running again! I have been lost not being able to write to you. I've tried calling a few times and have not been able to catch you at home. I'm still at home, not back to work yet and possibly not for awhile.I love the blog notes!!! I am overwhelmed with how much you already know about the baby and have seen her and made her move with the jumping for the ultrasound!!! It's just amazing!!! It's so nice of you both to share this part of your life with this new little babe. Now, I'm not being partial to a little girl but I always have heard that girls are more fun to make!!!I'm so glad you are starting to feel better, no more morning sickness, and more energy... Enjoy the sleeping now... there's a reason why it takes both a man and a woman to raise a child... and don't forget Grandparents.. we will always be there for you, no matter where in the world you're at.Thank you for sharing this joyous event with us.
Love Anita

Belly is finally starting to grow!

Yes indeed! Eventhough it is still not visible to other people I can definitely feel my pants and skirts tighter, but not enough to change to manternity cloths. Jason is going to the US in two weeks and I will order some maternity cloths from there since it is cheaper and they seem to be nicer!
As I mentioned before, I feel much more energy so yesterday evening we went to a spanish restaraurant for dinner. I even had 1/2 glass of wine with my meal!
Several of my friends that are pregnant are now finding out the gender, and they are all boys!!!! Kelly, in the US, is having a boy (no name yet). Ana, in Australia, is having a boy and is going to call him Sebastian and Laetitia, in France, is having a boy and is going to call him Valetin! Both me and Vanessa don't know yet! This is my 15th week and if we had a scan and had the babies cooperation, we would likely find out the gender! However, we will have to wait until the 10th of May. We still have not decided on a boy's name, it seems we will have to start thinking more about it!
Next week we are going to Marrakech for Easter! I am glad I have my energy back and will be ale to enjoy and explore Marocco!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sweet second trimester!!!

Last week I officially started my second trimester and, to my surprise, it is true what they say. I feel much better! Overall I have had a great pregnancy, just a bit nausea, I was a bit more tired then usual, I was not sleeping that well during the night and my skin was braking out. (seriously, this is so much better then some stories I have heard where woman spend so much time throwing up, feeling pain, etc) But I suddenly have no more nausea (this ceased 3 weeks ago), I have more energy, I have been sleeping without problems (I just wake up 2 -3 times to go to the bathroom) and my skin is getting better.
The spring has arrived and London is so much more pleasant (specially with daylight savings). Yesterday evening I arrived home around 5, took Vinny to the park and jogged/walked for 1 1/2hrs, I felt great!!!! I jogged for 5 min (very slowly) and walked for 1, for 1 hr and then walked the rest. Vinny loved it and I really felt good!
I am starting to see more of a belly, but it is still not visible to 'the outside world'.
Everyone in the family has been very quiet, I have not heard from any of the grandmas for a while.

Monday, March 26, 2007

First Midwife appointment

We went to see the midwife for the first time on saturday. Besides taking more blood for tests (they did all the necessary testing when I went to the emergency room 2 months ago) and another urinalysis, the midwife asked a whole list of questions regarding our health and our family's history. Overall, everything seemed well and we are on track. The midwife gave me a calendar of when I need to see her or the GP and what tests to be done.
We had several questions and the one she laughed more about were my doubts about having enought space in my 'belly' for the baby! I really don't care that I don't look pregnant (I hardly have a bump) I am just concerned everything is crammed in there and the baby doesn't have enough space!!! She said not to worry and that very soon the bump will 'pop out'.
I had my first dream about the baby (that I have been able to remember, the last couple of months I have been so tired I hardly remember any dreams). I dreamt it was a boy. I need to admit that in the dream I was a bit dissapointed about not being a girl, which is bizarre, because I will be happy with either a boy or a girl!
I can feel the second trimester has started. I have been feeling more energetic again. It is now 10:20pm and I am not too tired. The last couple of months at 8:30 I was falling a sleep on top of my diner!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rainy and cold spring

It has been cold here in the UK, eventhough spring officially started 2 days ago! Hopefully the fall will have a warm start (as the spring is starting out cold) so when the baby arrives it will be nice and mild. But, you never know with global warming. It is sometimes scary to think how the world is progressing and how our children and grandchildren may have a totally different world then we live in. I assume it has already changed a lot from what our grandparents experienced, but it is going in the bad direction.
Another change I have noticed is the behaviour of children. Maybe it is because I take more public transport and I share the train with 15year old teenagers going to school. They are completely rude, loud, annoying and bad behaved. I wonder if that is just a trend in the UK or worldwide, the lack of respect for everyone and everything.
Re-reading this paragraph makes me think if I am slowely becoming a 'mom'! Or just getting old..... whatever it is, I will do my best to raise polite and kind children, that will respect their grandparents, environment and others people.
Tomorrow we have our first appointment with the midwife. I am excited and curious to see what the next steps are. She is supposed to give me a full agenda of who I need to see and when. We will be going to the hospital where I will likely give birth, Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
Today I am 14weeks pregnant. The baby is now 4 inches and weighs 3 oz. The heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My mom's e-mail

It's in flemish, and one day I will translate it to our baby.
Wat een emotioneel moment...mijn kleindochter/zoon te zien! Ik zou zo al zeggen ohhh Anneke...´t lijkt op jou!!!!!!!!! Uw buikje ziet er echt snoezig uit....Ik kan niet wachten om je te zien.. Hier is alles goed. Ik heb een blij gevoel te denken aan de baby die op komst kan je niet voorstellen wat een geluksgevoel het gaat geven als je dat babietje in je armen gaat nemen...onbeschrijfbaar...en dat grote geluksgevoel dat geeft je zoveel energie dat je al de rest erbij neemt(zoals beetje minder nachtrust...hmmm...) je hebt geen idee met wat je allemaal
blij bent.simpele dingen...zoals als er eindelijk een flinke kaka komt na een dagje bent zelfs blij met hoe lief de baby kan wenen...(longoefening.)...en zoveel andere te ontdekken kunsten van je babietje...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Advice from mulitcultural mom's

I was on a business trip in Switzerland for the last couple of days, and I told some of my co-workers I was expecting. I received so many different advice, stories and recommendations! It is so interesting in seeing how each country has different 'believes' in what you should or shouldn't eat, do as sports or what are your rights as a mom.
In Italy, for example, it is okay to drink a glass of wine a week (it is even recommended by the Dr's to avoid 'withdrawl' symptoms) but you should avoid spinach! (I always thought it is a great source of iron to avoid anemia!)
In Holand you can only dream of getting an epidural... because the anesthesiologist should not be 'bothered' by babies being boren, since there are 'more' important things to do (like what? flirting with nurses?).
In France, maternity leave is fully paid 6 weeks BEFORE the baby is boren and 10 weeks after!!! (seriously, don't they already get enough holidays?)
And of course, I heard all kinds of 'horror' stories about births, misscarriages and difficult babies. I wil do my best to never scare moms-to-be with any of my 'bad' stories (let's hope I don't have that many to tell!) I find it a bit insenstive!
I bought a magazine called baby&pregnancy to read on the plain. It was very interesting... talking about all the rights, options of birth, reviews on prams, things that are nice to have but not crucial and other things you can't live without!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Testing my patience

This weekend I had nice preview of maybe a tenth of the patience I will need for the baby. We took care of Leela, a pug whom is Vinny's girlfriend. She is extremly shy and I had to corner her the first couple of times to put her on the leash, but by the end of the first evening with us, she was allowing me to pet her... major breakthourgh (for Jason it took almost 48hrs for her to let him get close to her).
As you know, Vinny is a very obedient and sweet dog. She is 1 year and not potty trained, does not listen, and does not eat easily! (sounds like a new born, doens't it??) So by the end of today (three full days with us) we finally managed to have her pee outside the house!
Interesting experience....

Scan pictures

These are the scans from last thursday (one days before the 'official' 13 weeks).
This first one you can see a shot from 'far'. To the left is the head, if you look closely you can see the lips, nose, eyes, ear and brain. In the middle you can see the little belly! (so darn cute!!!!) and you can only see a little part of the leg. The littls black spot above the belly is part of the amniotic fluid. When I saw this image on the screen I thought the baby was way to crammed in my belly but they guaranteed (and showed) that there is a lot of amniotic fluid around the baby.

This second picture is a closer look of the baby. You can see the head to the right (this was right after the baby woke up and was moving her/his arms. You can see the little hand right in front of her/his face (she waved it a couple of times) You can also see the ears, lips, belly and to the left is a leg and a knee! (seriously, how adorable.. it really looks like a baby!!!!) I already love this baby so much!!!!

This is a close-up of his/her face. You can clearly see the nose, eyes, lips (it looks like the baby is smiling), brain and ears. The little hand is in front of her face, and it looks like she/he is ready to suck it's thumb (which they suposedly already do at this point)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Latest belly pictures

This is when I was 11 weeks

This is when I was 12 weeks

3 month scan

We had our 3 month scan today. Everything was perfect.
We had an appointment in central London at 10:30. The 'ultrasonogrophar' was very nice and informative. First she said I had done a great job on filling my bladder (which is necessary to push the uterus up so the baby can be seen), however it was too full and she asked me to go to empty it!!!
It was great to see the tiny baby. This is our third ultrasound. The first one we saw a gestational sac, the second one we saw a bean shaped baby and this time we were able to see an actual baby. We saw the arms, legs, head, brain, lips, nose, fingers, spinal cord, the heart beating. SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!
The baby was sleeping and it needed to move to take some measurements, so I had jump up and down and after we poked my belly a little more he/she finally woke up and started moving... So adorable!!!!! All the measurements and general aspect of the baby were normal for a 12 weeks and 6 day pregnancy!
She took some measurements to define the risk of down syndrome and some other anomalies. They plot it on a spreadsheet (all computerized), taking in account my age, the fetus age, etc. For down syndrome, the older you are the higher the risk.. with all my figures pulled together our risk was the same as a 15year old, which is great!
My next and last scan is when I am 21 weeks, we scheduled it for May 10th! By then they will do some more measurements for anomalies and, hopefully, see the gender.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3 inches!!!

pregnancy calendar
I think this 'timeline' progresses with the days, but today I am 12weeks and 4 days (192 days to go). The baby is 3 inced and weighs one ounce. All 20 teeth are formed!!!

We are back from Berlin!

We had a wonderful four day break in Berlin. We walked all over the city, did:
- lot's of sight seeing while walking
- went to a museum (Jason had to choose one of so many! I just don't enjoy musea as much as he does!)
- ate typical German food (eisbein and sourkraut = pork joints with cabbage, curryworst = sausage with ketchup and curry, marzipan cake, apfelstrudle with ice cream = yummie!!!, etc)
- enjoyed the great spring weather (16C/55F) and sunny every day
- Jason experimented several German beers (I sipped on a couple, but sticked to my sparkling water - which, ironically, was more expensive then beer!!!!! Got to love Germany for that!)
- Did some shopping - I bought some pregnancy cloths, not that I need them right now, but they were at a good price, and I know I will need them! We also bought the first baby cloths (just 2 little pj's, but now that I passed the critical phase, it was a nice 'celebration')
- Took an afternoon nap every day! (and slept in until 8:30ish every day!)
- SAW DAVE MATTHEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this was our 6 concert together, we met at the first one!)

I must say that the extra blood that is circulating and that tends, thanks to gravity, to go straight to my legs and feet, is not pleasant! And, unfortunately, I was out of breath easier (the museum Jason picked had so many stairs and I struggled at a few) but overall we must have walked 25 - 30 miles this whole weekend.
My belly is definitely starting to grow and I enjoy feeling it!!! At the Dave Matthews concert I stood in front of Jason and he held my belly several times.. saying "my baby is carrying my baby!"
Today we walked in a very residential neighborhood. There were several mothers with prams walking around. It made me smile, soon I will be one of them!!!
On Thursday we have our 12 week scan. I am very excited about it! I am also seeing my GP in the morning. My skin has not been reacting that well to the hormones and hopefully the GP can prescribe something that is 'pregnancy-safe'.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Time to tell....

Today I told several of my friends I was pregnant! They all are very happy for us. Vanessa, my friend in Brazil is also due at the end of September... such a coincidence! I wish I could be closer to her to share this special moment in our lives!
Yesterday I got a letter from the midwives, saying I have an appointment this saturday (march 10th) at 10am. We are going to Berlin, at 8am this saturday. (to see a Dave Matthews concert, we have seen one show each year since we met at one) So, I called to reschedule.
They look into the calendar and said:
"Whatt about April 27th?"
I said:
"APRIL? I will be 19weeks (almost 5 months) by then and not have had one appointment with a midwife!"
And they say:
" We are completely booked and it is your fault you can't make the appointment this saturday!"
So I said:
"So that is it? I will be 19weeks pregnant, with no medical assistance and just pray and hope everything will be fine until then..."
Then they say:
"oh hold on......" (wait for 1 min) "let me see.. what about march 24th?"
I say:
So good news, we will have our scan on March 15th (next thursday) and then have an appointment with the midwife on the 24th!

I also went to register with our local GP today. I was seen by a nurse. She just did a urinalysis, blood pressure, height, weight and asked bunch of questions. She asked some bizarre questions, like - do you smoke or drink alcohol, and how much - I never smoked (regularly) and I had stopped drinking alcohol since I discovered I was pregnant - she looked surprised!!!
Everything else was fine, I continue being the glorious 1,64cm high and weighing 8 1/2 stones (yes, they do stones.. no idea what that is in kg or lbs) She told me to drink more water, since the urine was concentrated - they clearly want me to go to the bathroom 30 times a day!
Tomorrow I am going to Crufts until friday... I will probably not be able to update the diaries until next wednesday when we return from Berlin.

Monday, March 05, 2007

George in town!

We had a nice and pleasant weekend. Our friend George was in town and we told him ‘the news’. We went out for dinner on Friday with 4 other people: George, his friend Jenna, Tiffany and her boyfriend Ramon. When we got to the bar, George asked what I wanted to drink and I said I just wanted some sparkling water. He looked at me funny and said – ‘Is there something you want to tell me?’ I said that I was just really thirsty. AS the night progressed, nobody really noticed I was not drinking. When dessert came they brought also a glass of champagne for everyone and when I went to toast I said – ‘to George being in town and to having baby Hall in a couple of months’ There was a moment of silence and then everyone congratulated us. George was very surprised and said that earlier in the evening he was just joking. I guess he had expected me and Jason to be the couple that would always go out and get drunk with him…. I guess that will be changing! It was great sharing the news with some more people and we will shortly start doing that since this Friday we’ll hit the three month mark.
Yesterday, Sunday it was a typical British day (rain and cloudy all day). After George left we watched 3 movies throughout the day! It was so nice to just relax. I thought how nice it would have been if I was further along and we could have spent the day seeing the baby kick while watching movies…. We did take Vinny for a walk in the late afternoon and we found some great nice big parks close by, I can already envisioned myself walking the baby there and play on a big picnic blanket while Vinny runs around us! (Weather permitting of course!)
I found out on Friday that my good friend Vanessa is also pregnant. I am not sure her exact due date, but she is half a month behind me!!!!! So many pregnant people around me! It’s great to share our experiences!
We took some more pictures of my belly (we are doing that every week) but we still are not connected to the internet at our new home!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New home 2

Almost a week in our new house! Jason is in Paris on a business trip and I took the opportunity to spoil myself last evening. I had a nice dinner (couscous salad with grilled veggies and passion fruit juice followed by chamomile tea and baklava), took a nice relaxing bath (with candles, bubbles and aromatherapy) and watched a chick flick... very relaxing!
I have been trying to get a hold of the midwives that will be accompanying me through the rest of the pregnancy, but so far no luck. I recently found out that the August and September are the months with the highest birth rate in the UK. Which may explain why they are not returning my calls - they are very busy!
I have registered with our local general practitioner (it's just a 3 min walk from our house) and will be going in for a general check up next week.
This weekend our friend George will be in town (visiting us from the US). Since we are almost 12 weeks (next Friday, 9th of March) we are going to start sharing the news with our friends. Although for him it will probably be no big deal since we have so many pregnant friends and friends with babies and toddlers!
My friend Kim, from LA, just had a baby: Ava Isabella, she is a real cutie! Kim also send me a picture of Ava right after birth…. Argh… I need to get used to that. But I guess babies are not lying on a luxury blanket and sprinkled with baby talk in our belly, nor are they removed from our belly like you would remove a engagement ring from its box.