The 39 Steps

Or, when ignoring the fact the title is the name of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, the 39 weeks.

My wife is 39 weeks (+3) pregnant. Our baby can come anytime. This is hella exciting. Is it nerve-wracking? Bizarrely no. I don’t suggest for one minute I know what I – or we – are doing, nor am I anything less than intrigued by the changes which will be coming but, nervous? No. Ready, excited – looking forward to this wonderful change.

39-weeks

Pretty much.

We’re about as ready as we can be too. I mean we had hoped to have had the house decorated but lead paint in the door frames delayed that (we need someone to seal it in and paint on top and we couldn’t get anybody quickly enough after two sets of decorators let us down and a third wanted to sand the paint – a big no no). But we have a cot, a dressing table, changing mats, travel systems, car seat, clothes, muslins, nappies, frozen food for Mummy and Daddy, a heavily pregnant wife with SPD (so painful and I can’t do anything to help relieve it) and much, much more I’m forgetting. Oh yeah, we finished our antenatal classes without giving birth too which pleased me a lot.

I’m actually so becalmed that I’m evolving a kid’s story in my head. I don’t know whether to go for a baby-type execution (like Where’s Spot or similar) where I need good pictures, or a more Winnie The Pooh type one whereby my story needs to be a little more involved. I have a great pun in the title though :).

patience

I have felt baby quite a lot but this happens a lot too!

We’re nearly there. At the end of one chapter we found difficult to begin and hard all the way through. But then the start of another one which will be rather amazing, crazy and much more in-between all on its own.

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It’s been a while…

I know, I’m sorry. I haven’t posted here for a long time. Various reasons for it, but no excuses. Last time I posted we were on holiday. I say holiday, it was m ore a militaristic exercise in getting stuff done. Largely in prep for baby-time. Anyway, back to work tired me out no end. Get used to it I guess – but still. Then I didn’t really have anything to say and then stuff at home got real and that needed focus. It still dos but I have some time to give a quick idea about what we’ve been up to.

tired-human-grower

I keep pointing this out…

Lots, frankly. We now have an unopened car seat and travel system. We have a painted nursery and two new cars. We have new doors and they’re unpainted for all kinds of reasons I can’t get into. We’ve started antenatal classes and we’re 35 weeks’ pregnant today. We’ve annoyed the grandparents and made them happy. We’ve seen our close friends give birth to a boy – not literally you realise. My wife’s on holiday ahead of her maternity leave. Baby is more active than a fidget-monster (takes after Dad there) and I read to baby really rather regularly. We’ve been on a proper holiday, for 3 days, which was lovely. My wife now has a cold and with the heat she is not doing well. I’m cooking the best food I can and she’s eating whatever she can.  I did surprise my wife too by knowing what a mucous plug was at the antenatal class…(amazingly and chucklesomely I knew this thanks to a football forum!).

Can I just say here my wife is awesome? She’s amazing. She sits there worrying about what she hasn’t done as opposed to everything she has done, along with all the grief her body and the cold is giving her. Amazing.

annoying-huh

Well, if it happens, it’s not my fault!!!

We have nightlights and we’re using them in readiness. I’ve asked my boss how the whole ‘baby’s coming – bye!’ thing works. I’m making contingencies in case I’m not at work to do key things I’m responsible for. I’m excited, slightly wary and waiting for the fear to kick in. Doesn’t matter mind, as a day or two working through it all and survival mode will activate. Sorted.

There must be more but frankly life is busy. But you know what? If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it. This is one of those moments, if fleeting. It’s pretty cool.

Babymoon!

So, we just came back from our Babymoon:

“babymoon
ˈbeɪbɪmuːn/
noun

informal
noun: babymoon; plural noun: babymoons; noun: baby-moon; plural noun: baby-moons
  1. a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.”

I had not heard the term until a couple of weeks ago when my ever-so-educated wife said something and upon hearing this particular word my ears pricked up concerned about what I was getting myself into!

pillows

I insisted on the pregnancy pillow coming – I’m a sensible person.

We decided a long time ago that money and biology meant we’d not be going on a ‘proper’ holiday this year but we knew something was required or we’d go mad. Also, it dawned on us that all being well, in a few months we’ll not have a holiday to ourselves for quite some time. Oh my.

So we decided a nice bank holiday weekend away in the UK somewhere was called for. I did some basic searching and decided the Cotswolds worked – we went there last year and it was ace. It was close. It was easy to get to. Yay me!

lowerslaughter

Lower Slaughter (means muddy, not the other thing)

I then had to help find where in the Cotswolds. That took some effort. Found some places, we took our time and half had gone. Tried again – and booked somewhere. Only to be told they would have events on 2/3 nights and this would be noisy. Hardly what a ~20-week pregnant lady needs! Nor her erstwhile husband…

Third time lucky we got somewhere. It was aces. Nice room, great food, very quiet. In Cheltenham which was simple to get to on Friday evening. We used it as our base from which we travelled to the Slaughters and Stow-on-the-Wold Saturday; Bourton-on-the-water Sunday and Burford on the way home Monday.

dogicecream

Dogs all love ice-cream, and the cone. Mine does too!!!

 

The Slaughters were lovely and peaceful. Rivers, short walks and dogs all over the place. Stow was more busy but it had fudge-making, a Ploughman’s lunch for me and some funky shops to gaze at. Dinner at the hotel was a awesome burger, some prawns, a belly of pork for the wife and some chocolate goodness for pudding. Some nice red wine and Belgian beer for me, too. Drinking for two, wasn’t I? Both the place we had lunch and the hotel were understanding in helping us work out what was in all the food so we knew we were ok from a baby point of view. It’s hard eating at the best of times, but when hamstrung by not actually being the one cooking it…

Bourton was great fun! We went to Birdland, which of course meant PENGUINS!!! And some other birds too. The rest of the day was walking, dog-watching, sitting and cream-tea eating. Some dogs we saw were lucky enough to get ice-cream from their owners too, which was aces.

20160529_130038.jpg

Blooming awesome, no?

Today was mainly the journey home. We’re both exhausted, but refreshed after a lovely couple of days away. So ends our Babymoon. Phew. Is the real thing as tiring ;)?

It’s been a little while…

…and for that I’m sorry. But I haven’t had anything really to share and there’s no point writing a post about nothing. Is there?

No, the last couple of weeks have been remarkably normal/good/as expected. My wife’s getting cramps and back pain. This is not good, but explainable by becoming ever-more heavily pregnant, and doing Yoga. She loves her pregnancy pillow and dislikes vigorously that she can’t lie properly on her back. She’s eating – quite a bit – and putting on weight. The baby is moving a lot and today I felt it for the first time too! Now that’s cool.

pillows

The pillow is kinda peculiar, but the wife likes it so you know! P.S. This is not my wife. Duh.

But otherwise, remarkably normal. She went to a 80s gig on Saturday and I visited a festival of beer with a good chum. It was fun, for us both. But tiring the next day! We have chosen our new internal doors and they’ve been ordered. I’ve picked a fridge and need it to be okayed, or rejected. I’ve started a new role in work and we have our 20 week scan next week.

All good at the moment then – long may it continue. I’ll also not be as long with the next post or two. I have more to tell…

beer.jpg

Beer Fest. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Coincidence, or Serendipity?

Coincidence:

  • A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.

Serendipity:

  • The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way:

Today we told some very good friends our news. We’ve known each other since Uni and the chap and I were each others Best Man at the respective weddings. We knew they’d been trying for a while – like us. We didn’t want to tell them in person, so they could react however they wanted to rather than having to be happy, even if you’re not as the news isn’t yours.

serendipity

Say hello to Serendipity 3, a burger available in Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas.

Turns out we needn’t have worried. Their response to our news, that my wife is 14 1/2 week’s pregnant, was that they were 20 weeks pregnant!

They live nearby and this means we can compare notes and try to learn to be Mums and Dads together. It’s pretty cool. Coincidence? Not in this case. Definitely serendipity.

friends

Reminders are helpful things.

Frustration City!

When I started this blog it was with the intent to share my knowledge and learning as I become a Dad. I know/knew nothing and need/needed to; in time perhaps someone else will benefit from the work I’ve done/am doing.

As I got through a few posts I realised this was also a great way to talk about things without talking about them. Not that I didn’t want to, and of course I do, but breaking the ice by saying things here makes it easier in other ways. In fact, this might have been the reason I started with the education a result of that.

rump

Not the Crown Rump but still mighty fine

Anyway, I have some stuff to talk about in detail. I need to understand them fully first though. Harmony, Nifty, combined and quadruple. We’ll get to those. Continued morning sickness. I also have to talk about our 12 week scan today (precis- everything was as the clinical professional would have expected to see; CRL, or Crown Rump Length was around 74/75 mm!), but I need to talk about the multiple conversations with the folks. My folks, specifically.

You see, I’d been told in no uncertain terms to ring my Mum as soon as the scan was done. We told them a few weeks back as we saw them in person, but no-one else. I think my Mum really wants to talk to other people about it. Anyway, the conversation didn’t go so well. Later on my Dad called. That went rather less well in hindsight. Just about got it off the top of my mind by now, but it’s still there.

Obama_DealWithIt

Yeah, we will Mr President. Just give us tonight.

So frustrating. Everything they say is with the right intent. But it fails to recognise what we’re saying, thinking or feeling. It’s unhelpful as we want everyone to be happy and understanding. Gah. It’ll be fine on the morrow but right now it’s just frustrating.

Die Hard

This is probably quite sad. As I mentioned before we have our 12 week scan on Monday. If all goes well we might be telling people our news. Is it weird that I’ve been thinking about this, and have a way I’d like to say it (for when it’s my communication alone, not ours, obviously)?

alpowell

Al Powell. A hero. Twinkie-less.

Unsurprisingly for me my inspiration is from film, and specifically Die Hard. It’s the greatest action movie ever made and one I long to be able to introduce a future child to. In it John asks Al how many kids he has. The answer?

“As a matter of fact, my wife is working on our first.

diehard

“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”

I can see it now. It’s kinda sad to think about this, but telling people you’re gonna be parents is not in anyway sad. And doing it right is important. Right is subjective. This is where I sit. Let’s hope we get to argue this and go ahead in the days to come 🙂

Travelling With Work

I used to look forward to this. Get away from the usual grind at the office, visit new places, eat the local cuisine (steak with red wine, ideally) and so on. It was great, or at least seemed so and therefore I made the most of it given I was having to do it anyway.

Tomorrow I go away for much of the week to Germany with work. Now, aside from the fact I forgot that I’d be in Germany when Liverpool FC is, and therefore couldn’t get hold of any tickets for when they play BVB 09 in the Europa league as I was too late (drat), this trip is not one I’m looking forward to in the same way I used to.

fantasy

The fantasy.

Quite frankly it’s because life has changed, priorities are changing and my wife is around 12 weeks pregnant. I don’t really want to leave her alone. She’s still getting nauseous, struggling with energy levels and so on. But we spoke about this trip before I committed, and it should benefit me in a new assignment I am starting soon at work. So it makes sense to go. But I don’t want to like I used to want to.

What we did do though is make sure our NHS “12 week” scan is happening after I get back. A week tomorrow in fact. Now that’s something to look forward to. Make the most of this week which is happening. Prepare things for my wife’s few days home (shopping done and tomorrow’s dinner cooked already). Get back, enjoy the weekend and get ready for the scan. It’s one of the big ones.

reality

The reality.

Mothers, sons and lots more besides

Tomorrow is the day we visit my folks for a lovely meal which we have been invited to enjoy since it’s a long weekend (as long as my wife feels better than today which has definitely been one of her bad days morning sickness-wise).

Therefore we also tell them we’re pregnant.

This is a good, exciting, and slightly nervous thing. It’s good as telling people is nice to be able to do. It’s still too early to tell most people, but it’s still nice. It’s good because such news should be shared with family as it’s all good. But it’s mainly good because I think I cheesed my Mother off somewhat yesterday.

sine

My wife’s morning sickness is like a Sine curve. A few days OK, perhaps even good, and then a few nowhere near good in anyway.

I was trying to be good. I wanted to check what was to be prepared to eat in case it had alcohol in it. I used the excuse that my wife is on an exclusion diet. She has been on some before so it was a good idea. But of course I rang and asked this just after the weekend shop had been completed. It was good I did as red wine sauce was on the menu, and now won’t be. But still.

I also learnt that Bakewell tart was the dessert of choice. Something I have never eaten but which in the last 5 or so years has become my Mother’s de facto dessert of choice because she believes I love it. Every time I say no; each time it’s prepared. I mentioned I didn’t like it this time. Didn’t go down well.

bakewell

Never was this in the house at any point between the time I was aged zero and 18.

Still, all being well we get to share our news tomorrow. And that will help explain the annoyance. Then maybe it won’t be one, and we can focus on the good news and hoping all goes well?

8+ Weeks and Counting

We are somewhere between eight and nine weeks’ pregnant now. This is exciting and nerve-wracking given we’ve:

  • Never done this before
  • Had problems before
  • Know we need to at least get to 12 weeks before we’ll find it real

But we have some things to think about in the coming weeks. My wife’s parents are visiting us soon and they’ve told us they don’t want us to cook on the day of their arrival, rather they’ll take us out for dinner or we can grab some takeaway. Now, the problem, is that my wife is still struggling with food. She doesn’t really want anything and when she eats it can vary as to how much she gets through and what specifically on her plate she can get through.

miliband

Eating this bacon sandwich was awkward for the – at the time – leader of the opposition. Imagine how awkward any meal in a restaurant at this time could be?

 

This is not exactly the situation to be in when going out for a lovely meal. Equally the only takeaway option that folks would all want (normally) is Chinese and this is not something that in anyway excites my wife’s taste buds right now.

So – what do we do? One option is to go for the takeaway, get some standard rice and prawn crackers and hope no-one notices the lack of main dish chow-down. Another is to tell them, early. Oo-er.

parents

Yeah, until I looked for pictures for this article I hadn’t even considered how to tell parents they’ll hopefully be grandparents. Oh.

Similarly we’ve been invited to my folk’s for dinner towards the end of March. Again, this will be a little earlier than normal for telling people BUT we need to make sure the food is suitable. Choices, choices. If you have any clever suggestions do please let me know – otherwise we’re just gonna have to bite the bullet and do one of the above!