Friday, August 31, 2007

3 weeks.... 21 days....

Today it's exactly 3 weeks before out due date!!!! It's just unbelievable how these 9 months have flown by. But from our trip to Brazil until now so much has changed and happened!!
- We moved house
- We traveled to 10 different countries
- We celebrated our fifth year anniversary of knowing each other
- We both are in our thirties now
- We both completed 5 years of employment with our companies
- Vinny is almost 4 years old..
and soon the biggest 'happening' and change our lives forever - we will become parents! I have no doubt that this will make us stronger as a couple and more united then ever... I have no doubt that Jason will be a great dad and will continue being the great husband he has been to me! And I have no doubt we will never be the same (in a very good way!)
I have been feeling great! I have not been too tired (touch wood), I have not felt too big or uncomfortable (touch wood) and I have been able to sleep well (touch wood). People at work find it hard to believe that I am still going to work for another 2 weeks! I really can't see myself sitting at home waiting for labor to start...

baby Connor arrived!

Kelly and Jeff, our dear friends that also lived in LA while we where there (and now live in GA) just had their baby boy, his name is Connor! He is absolutely adorable. Kelly has been my 'long distance pregnancy buddy'. We were going through similar situations and shared our feelings and happenings throughout the pregnancy. I wish we lived closer by and could soon enjoy being mommies together!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great babymoon!

We had a fantastic time at the Lake District in northern England. I confess I was a bit worried that our little one would decide to 'show up' in the middle of nowhere (some of the towns we were at are pretty secluded...) but he/she decided to stay put and enjoy the scenery from my belly! We went hiking (much less then normally, but we were able to see some nice forests, waterfalls and picturesque villages), we enjoyed some good food and celebrated Jason's 30th birthday.
For Jason birthday I made reservations at a very nice restaurant (they received several culinary awards including a Michelin star) and had a 6 course meal! Delicious! Afterwards we had a bottle of champagne (which we had gotten in Champagne, France a year ago -we bought several good bottle of champagne and some strawberries right on a lake with full moon and a very clear sky!(the champagne we got last year in France - in the Champagne area. We bought a couple of good bottles which we have been saving for special occasions - we opened one last year on my 30th birthday, one for Jason's 30th and another one when our little one is born!)
We had a little 'accident' while there: we were going over a mountain pass, which was very narrow and while passing another car we bumped into some rocks which resulted in a flat tire. Well, Jason did great and changed the tire in no time and no further help from anyone (he didn't even have to read the instructions!) When I told my mom this story (her being the eternal positive thinker and Jason's fan) said - "See how Jason will know how to take good care of you and the baby... when something goes wrong, he solves it without major issues...." I couldn't agree more!!!!!
Below are some pictures:
1) Before we went to our nice 6-course Michelin star dinner
2) This is outside our room, we had a nice view from the lake Windermere
3) After Jason's B-day dinner we had a nice bottle of champagne and strwaberries by the river (I only had one & 1/2 glass)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baby is just fine!

We had our ultrasound today to check if the baby's growth was within the norms since my belly was 4cm smaller then average for 36weeks. It was a great relief that he/she was doing just fine and actually right within (and above in some measurements) the norms of his/her 'age'. The baby's abdominal circumference (which at the last scan was a bit lower than average) was now above average, the femur length was also above average (reinforcing we might have a soccer/basketball player or a ballerina). The umbilical artery was also pulsing within the norms. On a not so good note (for me) the baby's head is bigger then average (yes, this means - harder to get out! But hopefully lot's a brains and smart....) And to finish up, our little one weighs 2.781g (= 6.131lbs). Well this was very reassuring and it explains why I can feel him/her poke on my sternum and ribs all the time and I sigh all the time due to being short of breath. So instead of growing horizontally he/she is growing vertically in my belly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

36 wk midwife appointment

Today we went to see the midwife to discuss our birth plan and have a general check up. I was very happy that we got a great midwife and she was very informative and really helpful. We (me and Jason) now need to sit down and write our birth plan.
After that she measured my belly and listened to the baby's heart beat. The good news was that the heart beat was great and the baby even kicked around while she was trying to listen to it (it was very visible with the naked eye all the kicks and punched he/she was doing) the bad news is that my belly measured 4 cm under the 'normal' size belly for 36 weeks. The midwife said it is fairly common with more petite woman but just to make sure we are going to have an ultrasound tomorrow. I would have been panicking by now, but, luckily one of the girls from my antenatal classes had the same happen to her and it is pretty common that they send you to get a u/s just to ensure everything is okay! And, at the end of the day, Jason and I are average size people and will produce average size babies (and probably even on the smaller size, since I am short, BUT, FYI I am still considered average for UK and US measurements with my glorious 5' 4'' = 1.65cm. Jason is also considered average with his 5' 10'' = 1.78cm)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


On friday we learned all the different stages of labor and when to go to the hospital and in what situations to just wait at home for the labor to progress before going to the hospital. Well, last night I had a dream I was in a very nice big hospital room (which I am very unlikely to get) and that my contractions had stopped and they wanted to send me home. In the room next to me was my older sister giving birth. My mom kept running between both rooms until I got dizzy of her doing that and told her to stay with Karolien and that Jason would call her if my contractions would start again. Jason was there with me the whole time, being very supportive (which was what they 'guys' we told over and over again at our antenatal classes!) and he even brought me a huge red rose arrangement. Well, there is no harm in dreaming...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Antenatal classes

We started the National Childcare Trust antenatal classes on Wednesday evening. We are a group of 12 couples and two teachers and we will have a total of 3 meetings with 'the guys' and 2 meetings 'only girls'. We had an introduction meeting on wednesday evening and a all day meeting on friday. So far it has been great. Besides learning a lot, we also get to know couples that are going through the same as us (makes me feel a bit normal) and they all live in the the same neighborhood (so we can stay in touch) and we are due all around the same time (from the 12st of Sept through the 29th). On friday we learned about the several stages of labor and the many different positions to relief the pain of the contractions. It was great for 'the guys' to see what we go through and that it is not just 'popping out a child' but there are several hormones, feelings and lot's of pain involved! At the end of the day the 'husbands' came up with a list of the things they can help us with before, during and after labor! it was great (specially the part that they should not forget to chill the champagne....). I need to say that Jason knows a lot already and by reading the 'expectant father' book he has started doing so many things for me!
As a result of friday's class we bought a 'gym ball' (big balls used to do all kind of exercises) and it is great to sit on a 'rock and roll' to ease the lower back pain and make the pelvic bones supple for birth... hopefully it helps!
I was slightly surprised that several of the woman at the class did not have the nursery ready yet, nor the hospital bag packed and had not started looking for daycare nor had they visited the labour ward where they are due to deliver. I feel we are ahead of the game.... (however a lot of them have already stopped working or will soon, so they still have around 1 month to focus on these things)
Yesterday (saturday) we bought the final missing piece of the baby's room. The mattress. I also started packing our hospital bag! We are all set to go it the baby decides to come early.
5 more weeks to go!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Labour ward tour

Today I went to get my second 'vaccine' of Anti-D (this is because I have a negative blood group and Jason is positive) after that we went to do the Chelsea and Westminster hospital labour ward tour! There were around 15 couples. It is very interesting and, even though it has great facilities, it still made me think of a huge baby factory (if labour goes normally, you can leave in 6 hrs if you want!) Next week wedensday we will be discussing out birth plan with the midwife. So, we'll make decisions such as:
- who we want in the room (it will probably be Jason and my mom),
- what kind of pain killer I want (EPIDURAL, actually, while touring the ward, a mother with a newly born baby passed us and said - get and epidural.. get an epidural.... well, I did not have any doubt in my mind!)
- what kind of room we want - there are several options, but once you choose and epidural I belive there is only one room you will get
- etc etc
At the end of our tour we sat down for any further questions. Jason had one - "what do you do with the placenta?" (He read in a book that in some hospitals it's sold to companies to produce facial creams and that some people take it home and bury it in the garden and plant a tree, etc...) The answer given - "you can do whatever you want with it.. take it home, make pate, bury it...or we can just dispose of it for you!" everyone had a laugh! (maybe Jason is thinking of making some $$ and sell it!)
Picture of my belly at 35weeks and the sofa/bed where the grandma's can stay:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big(ger) belly!

Yesterday evening I took some other pictures of the nursery and while at it Jason took a picture of my belly! When I downloaded the pictures I realized how big my belly is. Seriously, it does look like I have swollen a water melon without chewing it!!!!
I am still feeling great. No swellings (touch wood), not much problem sleeping (touch wood - just several trip to the the bathroom during the night), not too exhausted (touch wood) and I am not too nervous about the actual birth (yet). This is the reason I want to work until 'the end', since I don't want to sit at home waiting to go into labour and worrying about things....
This weekend I was a bit sad, I know it is horrible thought, but while working on the nursery I was thinking about the possibility if the baby didn't make it during birth or something goes really wrong.... It made me cry.. However, talking to Jason about it (he said it had also crossed his mind) there isn't much we can do about it at this point and we will need to deal with is as it happens (but, touch wood, everything will go smoothly and we will have a wonderful, healthy and happy baby boy/girl in a couple of weeks...). It is so great to know I have such a great husband and father of my child whom will give us support, no matter what happens! It really is a comforting feeling!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The nursery is READY!!!!!!!

Yes, we finished everything today.... We put up the curtains and they look GREAT. Jason did a great job (after I nagged him for the last 3 weeks). We had first gotten a black-out pull down curtain, which worked nicely, however light still came through the sides. Which is a problem in London, since in the summer the sun rises at 5:30ish and goes down at 10pm, so it is necessary we make the room dark enough that the baby doesn't wake up as soon as the sun comes out. (So he/she knows to distinguish night and day properly) (and, of course, for our sanity as well!) As a result we bought some other curtains to cover the sides. We also put up a shelf above the changing table so we can easily access lotions, wipes, etc while changing the baby. THANK YOU DADDY JASON FOR FINISHING THE ROOM SO NICELY!!!!! You can see that there are two shelves between the two build-in closets, the top one is with random toys and the one below has frog 'stuff'. We still need to find some frog 'things' to fill it up....

Bloody nose.. again!

This Tuesday, the second day of my hand-over to my replacement, I suddenly had a gush of blood come out my nose while talking to her. I had blood all over my (white) shirt and work desk.... I ran to the bathroom and it took 10 minutes for it to stop bleeding! Luckily the skirt I was wearing was actually a dress, so I was able to cover up the part on my top that was bloody! It scared the heck out of my replacement and she started sitting a couple of inches away from me while I am talking to her! I don't blame her! As my GP and midwife said, it is pretty normal and I should just take it easier when it happens! Which I did for the rest of the week, however on Friday I went swimming and when I got home I was very tired (it has been much warmer then usual also). So Jason came home with dinner and some movies and we took it easy! I felt much better on Saturday!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

THE perfect dessert

One of the most common questions me and Jason have had from people that find out about my pregnancy (after the gender and the due date) is what my cravings have been. Overall, my cravings have not been too bad and Jason has not had to go in the middle of the night after Indonesian-mountain-berry-ice-cream or pasteurized-llama-cheese-with-oregano . But I have been eating/having a desire for certain things that I wouldn't normally eat, such as peanut M&M's and ice cream. I also have been eating some healthy 'cravings' such as pineapples (I ate a whole pineapple by myself in two days!) and watermelons (I have had 4 so far and Jason does not like them, so I had them all by myself!). However this week I found the perfect dessert... Ice cream with peanut M&M's. (I tried to add watermelon to the mix, but it just wasn't right...) I guess I will enjoy eating THE perfect dessert while I can (pretty much every night...)

Monday, August 06, 2007

34wk midwife appt

Today I had another check-up appointment with the midwife team. I had again a different midwife (I have not seen the same midwife twice). Today I got a very interesting 'girl'. She seemed to know everything better and contradicted a lot of things I have read in books and heard from other people. Well, I had fun!
She checked the baby's heartbeat, which was great, my uterus position was also on track, the baby is in the right position (head down, legs up to the right) and is 'engaged' 4/5. (5/5 would be a week before birth) so the baby is within the norm! However, my last blood work came back with slightly low iron and hemoglobin levels. She took some more blood to check it again and advised me to take two vitamin tablets in the morning. This does not impose any risk to our little one, but if I loose too much blood during labor, I may need a blood transfusion.
Next check is in two weeks when we'll discuss the birth plan. I am curious to see which midwife I'll get that day! (I hope it is not a 'all natural birth' freak, because there is no way she will talk me out of an epidural!!!!)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Busy Weekends

Last weekend weekend we had our friends Phil and Lisa in town from LA. They brought us a cute outfit for our little one (including a hat with little ears!!!).
This weekend our friends from Belgium Lesley and Toon were in town. They have a two year old girl called Noor, whom stayed in Belgium with her grandma! (I know Lesley since I was 12 and lived in Belgium)
They gave us a huge gift box full of cute outfits including shoes and pj's and some toys. Lesley also brought some cloths from Noor for us to borrow. (she picked out the neutral colored cloths....) With all of this, I think we are pretty set for clothing for the first 6 months! It was also great to listen to Lesley and Toon's experience's as parents! She gave me some great tips! Below are some pictures taken recently:
1) Anne, 7 months pregnant, Hyde Park - tour de France day2) Lesley & Toon & Anne at dinner:
3) 31 weeks (you can see, on the radiator behind me, my swimming suit drying... just a proof I have been actually plodding in a pool once in a while!):

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The pram arrived!!

The pram and car seat arrived today!!! I love them!! They are beautiful! I already have the pram ready in the newborn position (which is in a horizontal position with special lining and facing me.) Later on it can be converted into a seating position and facing forward (it's when they start getting enough in always staring at you and find the outside world more interesting!) I was very tempted to put Vinny in the pram and test it out... however Vinny sheds too much and I don't want to get the pram full of his hair, which is bound to happen, but I am just postponing it!

Getting things ready...

Today I worked form home since the pram was being delivered. I took the opportunity to start washing all the baby stuff. I had a total of 5 loads. Now that we have the dryer it is SO much easier. I can't imagine how we would've done it without a dryer!... THANK YOU MOM!!!!! I feel we have a good amount of cloths to get started.. but i am sure that when the baby poops and pis all over I will be regretting these words and wish I have even more cloths! We have some cute outfits that I had gotten at my shower in Brazil and I had forgotten about.. it will be fun dressing him/her up!!! (yes, I used to have barbie's when I was younger and I loved to dress them up!!!)