Monday, 28 December 2015

Eat, Shrink & Be Merry

As part of the nesting process we have been trying to repair/renew any broken or damaged bits around the house. This included the tumble dryer which worked for a whole SIX days!!! Go us! During these six days Caroline washed and dried like a demon, but we were not without casualties. A new t-shirt I'd bought for Christmas (with loads of gingerbread men and candy canes on it)  had unwittingly clambered in amongst a load of towels. At least baby has a new top they can grow into quite quickly. Hell, it might even fit Elvis!!
After the initial discovery, several stages of emotional torment ensued. First, denial. I watched as Caz opened the door and then slammed it shut again, standing protectively in front of the dryer. Then, there was around five minutes of  frantic pulling at the Barbie-sized fabric. Finally, as I watched the whole sorry episode unfold, came the epic finale of the piece. A weepy Caroline, holding a tea-cosy sized t-shirt and sniffling about tiny cotton gingerbread men. I thought I had already covered hormones in this blog, but it would appear to to a recurring problem.

Currently it's all quiet on the baby front. Apart from some growth of the bump, it appears to have come up overnight! The first photo is from Christmas Eve and the second is Christmas Day!

Dads2B class finished last week. Two of the guys who had completed the classes before came in with their kids. There was 12 week old Finlay who was dressed as an elf for Christmas and 2 week old Charlotte who spent the entire 2 hours asleep! Both were really content little babies, I'll be quite happy if we have one like that! The dads spent a fair bit of time describing the birthing process their respective partners had gone through... Not gonna happen.

Baby got some great gifts at Christmas from me, Caroline, Marie & George, some baby books from the Andersons and a wee rattle from Glen too. Here is a Flipagram you can watch.
Personally, I am loving the bunny blanket Granny Marie knitted and the "I listen to Nirvana with my daddy" vest from the Mrs.

Officially we are now into the 3rd trimester, and have decided to book in for a private scan at our local Babybond facility. On New Years Eve we'll be seeing our baby in 4D for the first time and finding out a fetal weight estimation amongst other stuff.

Caroline has been taking it easy and enjoying the time off over the holidays and is back in contention for the gold medal in the sport of "Extreme Napping!" Best to get it in now I suppose! Even while the napping is going on s/he is quite active, every day I can see baby bumping away inside! After our wee scare a couple of weeks ago I ordered a Count The Kicks wristband for Caz so she can keep tabs throughout the day.

I'll let you know how the scan goes in the new year!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Once, Twice, Three times a hospital visitor...

So it's been an interesting week in regards to visiting St. Johns Hospital...
I injured myself at work on Monday morning and so spent most of the day in A&E! Six stitches in my face, a great big plaster and a stoater of a black eye which has developed over the week, and hopefully I'll not be left with a scar, or be a "Gangster Daddy" as Catherine put it!
Ironic that my T-Shirt says casualty!!

Thursday was Dads2b class. We got to meet an "appropriate baby", as Andie put it. Appropriate being more than 24 hours old and healthy. So we head up to the maternity ward to meet Baby Emily, a 9lb 13oz bundle of cuteness!! Cue an overwhelming look of fear and panic amongst myself and the other guys when the reality hits home that this will be us in a few short months/weeks/days (for some!)
Andie proceeded to show us how to bathe and dress her properly, supporting her head etc... It turns out that Baby Emily wasn't a fan of bath time! The poor wee thing started crying as soon as the water touched her (although the crying could also have been a result of the meconium filled nappy we were about to encounter.)

Wow, that was not pretty! Babies are supposed to be all cute and wrinkly and smell of talcum powder, not produce something that resembles Hexxus from Fern Gully (awesome movie from my childhood!)
Yuck! I'm glad that shit doesn't last too long (excuse the pun.)
We also covered crying. "What makes babies cry?!" Everything apparently! Hungry, tired, too hot, too cold, not being paid enough attention, being handed around like a game of pass the parcel... And a hundred other things. Andie played a DVD of a baby crying, we lasted all of 1 minute and 23 seconds before we were all on edge begging for it to stop! It was really loud though...

My third and final visit to Hospital came on Friday night. Caroline was doing a bit of nesting (!) and baking some cakes for Clare and her mum coming round on Saturday. We sat down around 10.30pm when Caz tells me that she's not sure she's been aware of baby moving for a good 8 hours. Pregnancy is only 24 weeks but baby has a routine already. 
I gave her a freezing cold drink to see if that would wake baby up, but that didn't work so after a bit of fretting I phoned the Labour Suite. The midwife said that Caroline should try a cold fizzy drink to see if that worked then phone back. 
She thought she maybe felt one or two bumps, but nowhere near as regular and pronounced as they had been in previous weeks. Long story short, eventually Marie and me persuaded her that neither of us would settle until we knew for sure so off to St. John's we went at 11.30pm. 
A midwifery sister named Fiona greeted us and took us into a room. As baby was only 24 weeks all she could do was listen in for a heartbeat. That's  all we needed to hear. That alone would be enough to provide relief. And there it was, thumping away around 145bpm! Fiona said that anytime we were unsure she'd rather we went to get checked out than leave it. I don't think I've ever seen Caroline look so relieved. 
That swiftly changed when the loudest, most feral scream either of us has ever heard came from down the hall!! Ah Labour Suite, you giveth and then you taketh away! Caroline had just commented on how nice the room looked and then you destroyed it! Clearly your rooms aren't as soundproof as you would have us believe!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Hit me baby one more time...

Morning all, how's tricks? I can't sleep, that's why I'm writing a blog at this hour. 

Since my last blog I've started my Dads2B classes at St Johns Hospital, we've been to Mamas & Papas and ordered the car seat, pram and all of the furniture for the nursery, organised the painter to decorate the house and had our last midwife appointment of the year! It's been quite a busy fortnight! 
The decorator can't come until the end of January, but that's fine as it lets us get Christmas out of the way first. 
Our tree!

So, Dads2B... Some great guys in my class, most are due Dec/Jan/Feb time. Our due date is the latest, being April, but I might consider doing the class again in Feb/Mar as a refresher! 
Week One we learned about labour and the birthing process, Braxton Hicks, what to pack in "The Bag", the importance of a gym ball, the "Swan Effect" and the "Golden Hour" (skin to skin.) Feel free to ask if you need further explanation.

Week Two was all about what pain relief options are available and how they may or may not affect mother and baby, (we were advised to try and sneak a shot of the Gas & Air as its "really good stuff!") cot safety and bathing and changing skills (using dolls!) We were supposed to go up to the maternity ward to see an actual newborn baby be bathed by Andie,the midwife who helps run the course, but on the night there were no suitable babies available so we'll try again this week. The babies need to be at least 24 hours old for it to happen.
There's something a little bit hilarious about a group of grown men practicing changing nappies and bathing dolls, but at the same time it's quite empowering! 
Us modern men are not just hunter/gatherers you know! 

Midwife appointment went well and everything is progressing as planned, according to Laura. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat again, I could sit and listen to it for hours! 

The nursery furniture is coming at the end of January, along with all the other bits and bobs we've picked. I know what Caroline is like when she gets a vision of something, so what she has planned I can't wait to share with you all. I might post some pics in March when everything is complete before baby arrives.

As you may have seen from Facebook if we're friends there, we got to see baby properly kicking Caroline's tummy on Saturday. We seriously think s/he is having a wee party in there!! 
Not quite as detailed as the image above, yet, but enough for us to see her tummy getting lifted.

Until next time! 

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Dancing Baby (not that creepy one from Ally McBeal!)

We're home from Las Vegas with an absolute s**t tonne of baby stuff!! Every time we walked past a shop that had kids stuff in, we came out with another bag!! We bought 17 babygrow's, 4 pairs of Converse, 2 Teddys and 7 bibs amongst others! I made a wee Flipagram video, which you can find on my profile by clicking the orange link, because I had time to kill the other night! It's the one that's starts with the image of Dumbo!!

We went for our 20 week/Fetal Anomaly Scan today. Caroline was a bit apprehensive I think, worried because the sonographers would be actively looking for any abnormalities that might be present in our little one. I am pleased to say that everything appears to be completely normal and baby is growing as expected at this stage.
It was more difficult for Caroline to see what was going on because she was lying on the bed, but I got a good view of everything. It was utterly fascinating to watch the sonographers at work. And the detail shown on the screen was incredible! - They asked us if we would like to know the sex of the baby, but we declined. As Geri put it, "It's like getting your Christmas presents early then wrapping them up again!" - and to be honest I couldn't see anything in that department anyway, they could have told us and showed us and I would still have been like "Yeah, ok if you say so, I'll stick with the things I can actually see, like the head and legs!" 
Caroline started to feel a bit iffy halfway through the scan, but the nurse explained that this was because she was lying on her back, which she hasn't done for nearly five months, and the baby was squashing an artery which pumps blood back up from her feet to her heart.
One thing they did mention was that baby was lying "flex breech" (I'll be spending tonight Googling what this is and any potential problems that could arise from this). However, the nurse did say that it's not a problem right now as baby still has a potential 19 weeks to go and therefore has plenty of time to move position, but if it's still the case at full term, it could be an issue. 
That aside though, they said baby looked very comfortable in there, and was a little mover! Every time they thought they were going to get a decent photo, s/he would wriggle about and pull off some dance moves! 
Next midwife appointment is in 10 days, so I'll hopefully have more details from the scan then!

And lastly, we're going to Mamas & Papas tomorrow night (if the snow holds off) to start buying furniture for the nursery, pram, car seat and all sorts of other cool stuff - I'm getting a Morph (Yeah, I'm gonna be one of those guys!)

But chances are high I'll look more like this...

Than this... 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Vegas Baby

So far so good on the trip to Las Vegas! Baby Irvine has made a marked appearance on Caroline and is wriggling about at all hours.
Apparently s/he loves it when Caz is playing on the Batman & Robin slot machine, must be her lucky charm as she won $356 the other night. Not bad for a 50 cent bet!! 
Also, baby had a rare time when we went to see Diana Ross in concert last night too
Food wise, the restaurants have been really good with Caroline, altered parts of menu to suit her needs etc, although I think she was a bit miffed last night when she couldn't have any of the bourbon ice cream that came with the dessert we shared!
We've purchased a decent amount of baby clothes in the shops, this one is one of my favourites so far!! 
Off out again tonight, venturing to an Italian restaurant off strip to celebrate my last night as a 30 year old, and to start carb loading for the 5 & 10k runs I'll be participating in over the weekend before we head home. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I Get A Kick Out Of You (see what I did there?)

How do everyone?!
Apologies for the late blog, it's been a bit quiet on the baby front of late. 
Work has been hectic. Elvis is on holiday through in Glasgow staying with our friend Chris for the week (he was not impressed with the car journey, spent most of his time huddled on his bunny loo giving me evils in the rear view mirror!)
and we've kind of been preoccupied with getting ready for our last big vacation/"Baby's Day Out" (awesome movie btw, why is it not on the flight?) Currently, we are somewhere over Canada, 38001 feet in the air, flying towards Las Vegas ✈️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
I guess I have time write a new post now cos there's sod all else to do. Caroline is sifting through some trashy magazine she picked up at the airport because it had a free mascara (obviously didn't get mascara at the MAC counter I was dragged to then) and Granny and Grandad are having a nap in the row behind us! I've watched all the good movies!! (More on that later...)

So, as you may have guessed from the post title, I got to properly feel the baby kick today!! Just a couple of wee bumps, but enough for me to know that someone is definitely in there! 
Caroline first felt it last week and now she knows what's she's looking for has been feeling it a lot ever since. She describes it as like drinking a can of soda on an empty stomach, the way it bubbles away. 
Just before I started watching Jurassic World, Caz grabbed my hand and thrust it towards her slightly expanded tummy ("It seems to be growing by the minute" she said earlier!) I placed my hand on her wee bump and there it was, clear as day, a couple of little nudges on the palm of my hand, somewhere over Iceland. Maybe a sign that the baby will share our dinosaur obsession - Remember the wedding?  Lovely Other Dinosaurs anyone?! They're in my suitcase btw, for various photo ops! 
It made me feel a bit more emotional than I already was, having just watched Fast & Furious 7  - I missed it at the cinema as Caroline is resisting my attempts to get her to watch the box set with me. It will happen though! I'm not ashamed to say I almost shed a tear at the end, a great tribute to Paul Walker 😭. Nothing will top the feeling of those nudges on my hand... For now at least! 
Over and out for now, I'll aim for at least a couple of posts this week to document being pregnant in Las Vegas. Let's be honest, it's only gonna happen the once! 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Ginger Ninja

Saturday night. Indian takeaway. Bottle of Diet Coke. Bag of Malteasers. X Factor and a movie.
A regular Saturday night you might think.
Throw a silent furry assassin into the mix and it nearly results in a visit to A&E (not for me this time I might add! For those not in the know, I have previous. I get the same bed every time I visit!!)
I was in the kitchen plating up and Caroline was in the living room setting the coffee table for our sophisticated Saturday dinner. On her way back through to the kitchen Elvis darted out from under the dining room table - SURPRISE!
Caz didn't anticipate this warm greeting as usually he's just lying on the floor in front of the radiator so she ended up tripping over him. He was flying through the air as Caroline was stumbling closer and closer towards the floor. The look of pure fear on her face as she stoated towards me to stop her self from face-planting on the floor.
I'm standing holding two curry dishes watching it unfold in slow motion. It literally took seconds but felt like it went on for ages. After checking she was alright I found Elvis and unceremoniously launched him into his cage in a state of panic. We sound like terrible pet owners!!
Caroline styled it out like a pro though, and didn't fall. Mummy protection instincts kicking in I guess, because later on she said if she wasn't pregnant she'd have been quite happy to skelp the floor and shake it off.
Once I made sure Caz was ok, we scooped Elvis up for cuddles and made sure that he too was ok.
Not only was he not injured, he seemed very content - totally oblivious to his role as a three-legged ninja!!
After dinner there was a small bout of hysteria - a little bit of maniacal laughing and tears!
Mum, baby an bunny are all fine, we just got a bit of a fright.
And Elvis is grounded!!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

All this stuff

Where the hell do we keep all our stuff?! Currently sifting through an 11 year collection of items that  moved house with us 6 years ago! We've managed to get rid of so many things through eBay, car boot sales and other various channels and yet the house still looks choc full!
We've had quite a successful week selling things on eBay this week though. Almost raised enough cash to purchase the snazzy new Cybex Car Seat we've had our eye on in Mamas & Papas since our visit last week.
Obviously not the bright orange version though... although people we know would prefer us to pick that one! (*wink wink,* inside joke!)
It's just occurred to me that we're getting rid of all this stuff to make room for more stuff!! Its a vicious cycle!!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Hormones... Incoming!!

So I heard this really lovely song at work at the start of the week by a guy called Jamie Lawson (apparently he's just signed to Ed Sheeran's label or something) and the more I've heard it over the past few days the more I've come to realise that it's a really beautiful track. It's called "Wasn't Expecting That".

Tonight I thought to myself "I know, I'll let Caroline hear this" because she likes Ed Sheeran and guitar based singers. This would also be the night her hormones decided to make an appearance.
This far, she's been pretty calm and collected, not tonight. Tonight there were tears welling up and a quivering bottom lip. Granted, it is a pretty heart wrenching song and video, but  even I wasn't expecting that!

It reminded me of the first time we tried to watch "UP." We weren't even 10 minutes in and she made me turn the movie off because she was a blubbering wreck. Its funny to look back on now, but at the time it took me a good few weeks to get her to watch it again! I doubt I'll be seeing it again any time soon!  Carl & Ellie's story.

Hormones aside, pregnancy seems to be agreeing with her. She's at that really cute starting to show stage which is amazing. This weeks craving seems to be baking (or maybe that's my craving!)
She made cake-pops and shortbread yesterday which were awesome. The boys at work were quiet for a good 10 minutes today when I rocked up with a tub of those this morning!
Things are progressing well at home too. Our vision for the nursery is taking shape. We spent last Friday night after work visiting  Mamas & Papas at Glasgow Fort (a bit different from our usual Friday nights... I better get used to this.) So all the furniture is picked, car seat and pram (with matching bag for Caroline obviously) selected and all extras tried (Snuzpods etc). After our experience at Mothercare a few weeks back I didn't expect much, but Caroline had been through with Marie a few days before and was mightily impressed. As was I. Nothing was a hassle and the staff we encountered were brilliant - they actually came over to us and showed us all this weird stuff like how to fold down a pram with one hand! Who knew?!
Caz also bought the coolest little pair of baby booties to give the baby from Elvis! They are little bunnies! Check them out below.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

First visit to Mothercare... Ever!

Having never really had any reason to before, we made our first visit to Mothercare at Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh today. Wow! There is an overwhelming amount of products on the market, some of which I still have no idea what they are for!! There were sterilising systems that you could confuse for coffee machines if you weren't careful. Our good friend Sharon, who has recently become a mum herself to baby Glen, advised us that there are probably more buggies and prams on the market than there are cars. She was not wrong. 
I did find it a bit disheartening that not one adviser approached us to ask how we were doing, or if we needed any help with anything. We must have looked like rabbits caught in headlights, strolling around wide eyed and open mouthed at the sheer amount of stuff!! 
Came home with a body pillow for Caroline, which is actually what we went through for, but we managed to pick this up in TK Maxx as the ones in store were not quite the right shape she wanted. Anyhow, we came home and signed up to Mothercare's planned expectant parent event in October, but this time we'll visit the Falkirk branch. Hopefully we'll have a better experience there.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

EDD scan

Today's the day we finally get to meet our baby for the first time. It may only be on screen and a photo afterwards but it feels amazing. 
We have take then decision to not find out the sex of the baby, in a way it helps to prolong the surprise! This causes a bit of a headache over choosing names as you have to do double the work and you never realise how many people you actually dislike until you have to start picking names! We have quite a substantial list though, just in case!

Just had the scan... What an amazing experience! Such clear images of our little bump, our cheeks are hurting from smiling! "So far, so good" according to the ultrasound nurse so that is a relief for both Caroline and me. She worries all the time so this is something less to worry about. The only thing she's not happy with is the surprise blood test the nurse sprung on her! Laura told us there wouldn't be more bloods taken until 28 weeks! Caroline needs time to prepare for these things!
Have attached a copy of the scan, for posterity purposes!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Telling family and friends!

Last week we made it to the "safe zone" of finally being able to tell our nearest and dearest that we were expecting!
It's been hard keeping it a secret for so long. Going to events and dinners and the like and Caroline not having a drink automatically puts people on alert! "Why?! Are you pregnant?!" 
Before 12 weeks we didn't want to tell anyone until we could, but at the same time you also don't want to tempt fate by denying it when asked. It leaves you in a bit of a pickle! We made it though. It was lovely being able to tell those closest to us to their faces so we could see their reaction. After that we could do the big Facebook reveal as is the norm these days! We tried to be inventive with it. Judge it yourself for the photo below! Little boot knitted by Marie! 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

1st Appt with midwife

Met our midwife today, Laura, she seems really nice. New to our practice from NHS  Glasgow. There's a lot of questions to answer, I'm not sure about Caroline yet but I felt like I was being interviewed for a new job...! We found out we were out by one day on out EDD, Caroline is good with dates! All seemed to be going well until it was time for Laura to take the required blood samples. First vial filled fine, then Laura informed us that the vein she was attempting to harvest from had collapsed. Not good. Almost sent Caz over the edge. She doesn't really do needles/jags and this wasn't what she wanted to hear. Ended up talking her into trying the other arm, rather than having to come back. Best to get it out the way.
Success!! Laura got the required amount. Caroline needed a bit of a lie down after that. At least we know she could never be a junkie so that's a good thing right?!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Morning sickness.

Heading into week 8 of pregnancy, and it seems like morning sickness could be about to hit. Leaving for work this morning and Caroline tells me "I feel sick." She doesn't do sickness, not even when hungover. She fights it. 

Midway through week 8 now, and still no sickness despite pretty regular feelings of nausea. "It'll pass" I tell her, but what do I know. I just want her to be a the top of her game, I hate seeing her battle through it. She's a trooper though. A slice of toast and she's good to go!

Midway thorough week 12 and still no morning sickness. The feeling of nausea seems to be a bit stronger and generally Caroline starts to feel rough every 4 hours or so, but nothing yet.

Started week 13 and the nauseous feelings are beginning to subside. Caroline still feels a bit rough during the night but day times are better!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

There's a bun in the oven!

I'm setting up this blog so as to keep a memo of the journey my wife and I are about to embark upon. We found out she was pregnant two weeks ago, and even though she was only just over 4 weeks gone, it's been full steam ahead ever since! Caroline and I have been together 11 years, married for almost 5 of those and are so ready for this! We are at that stage in our lives where a lot of our friends are pairing up, marrying off and getting ready to take the same trip! It's an exciting time! A quick bit of background, we met when we were both 18 working in a bar and we've been together almost every day since (we're both 30 now.) We make a good team. Our family consists of Caroline and me (I'm Mark btw!), grandparents-to-be Marie & George and our house-bunny Elvis (looking forward to see what he thinks of a baby around the house, because he thinks he rules the roost!) We like our home comforts but also like to treat ourselves now and again. Lots of saving, no credit card splurges! So, yeah, there's a baby on the way! We've had the chats and decided at the end of last year that 2015 would be the year we expanded our family. Caroline came off the pill in January, but we didn't totally try without contraception until June. Cue one missed period and 3 pregnancy tests later (just to be sure) we've all but confirmed we are expecting, and now we're in the middle of August and around 7 weeks gone! The day we found out, it was George's birthday, so after working out we were already a month down we broke with tradition and told him and Marie that Caroline was expecting - an extra special birthday gift if you like! Now the hard work starts. Caroline has already booked the first appointment with the midwife to check dating and has also booked in for the 12 week scan. I plan to be at every appointment and study as much as I can to prepare myself and be the best birthing partner I can be for my wife! I'm already wrapping her up in cotton wool - "Don't lift anything," "I'll get that for you," "Tell me what you need, and I'll take care of it" etc. We've also started emptying the house of all the crap we've accumulated in our time together! Nesting, I think they call it! Preparing our home for our new arrival (it's still seven and a half months or so away, but that is not a long time at all.) It's exhausting and exciting in equal measure. Caroline likes to study everything to its fullest extent to make sure she is totally prepared for any outcome (She makes itineraries for when we are on vacation!) She likes to know all possibilities. As does Marie! They are a powerhouse of information together! Me on the other hand, I have a head like a sieve sometimes, so I really need to work on this! Hence the blog. I can keep note of any thoughts, questions and revelations and refer back if necessary! I treated myself to "The Expectant Dad's Handbook" by Dean Beaumont, founder of DaddyNatal, and it is proving to be a useful guide so far. Covering everything from bump to baby. I have also signed us up to the Cow & Gate baby club, and this is much more helpful than any current information we could find on the NHS websites. Lastly, I'm keeping a photo diary of the pregnancy. Every week I'll take a front and profile photo of Caroline's tummy so we can have a photo diary of the pregnancies progress. Caroline is currently having a nap (if 4 hours can be called a nap!) but for me this is good, it gives me time to read, study and prepare all that I can for our new arrival and the prospect of parenthood. Feel free to offer up any advice or information you think I should check out. All recommendations welcome!