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!