Baby Davy: a 3D ultrasound of our baby at only 12 weeks! Technology is amazing...

Baby Davy: a 3D ultrasound of our baby at only 12 weeks!  Technology is amazing...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Well, here we are at 38.5 weeks. I am bigger than big, slower than slow, sleepy, achy and hungry all the time. Very few of my maternity clothes still fit and I find myself wearing the same 3 pairs of sweatpants and t shirts over and over again. If I had a job, I'd have left a long while back at this point! I am more than ready for Baby to come! There have been many contractions, but sadly, not the real ones. We are almost moved into our new home, but alas for not having a bed yet (STILL!), we are not sleeping there yet. CAN'T WAIT TO BE FULLY MOVED IN!!!!

Hospital bag is ready and is in the trunk of our car (Kiwi's here call a 'trunk' a 'boot') so I should say the hospital bag is in the boot. The nursery in our new house is almost done. We don't have a crib (Kiwi's say 'cot') yet, but we're not so worried about that because we'll be doing a combination of a bassinette next to our bed and 'co-sleeping' (not to worry- we have it worked out!) for the first 6 months or so. Our friends who are returning to the UK are generously donating tons of stuff to us, including a very nice, gently used crib. We are so grateful to them.

Speaking of donated/used items, we are very blessed actually. We've pretty much outfitted our entire house with items that are either a) from garage sales or b)donated/given by friends. Funny thing is, everything looks amazing and you wouldn't guess from looking that it's all used! Furniture is tasteful, clean and color coordinated, kitchenware is immaculate, bedroom and bathroom stuff looks great! It's amazing what can be found for pennies. The only brand new, store bought items we have are some cheap wooden book shelves (on sale at the "Warehouse"- NZ's Walmart), a new single mattress for guests, a new shower curtain liner, and new bedding linens for ourselves and our guests. All of our baby clothes, blankets and towels are gifts. It's just so wonderful and amazing that when you step out in faith, knowing that your path in life is what God wants, even when you don't know how all the money and necessities will be there, He provides! We are so grateful.

Anyway, I truly hope that Baby will be born in the next week or two! It's now quite a drain on my body, but more than that, we just want to meet our child! My mom flies into the country next Thursday morning. We are so excited to be at the airport to pick her up when she arrives! Finally she'll get to experience Kiwi life and her first grandchild for the first time!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wow- it's been quite a long time! I'm now 36 weeks and I can hardly believe it! I really never thought I'd ever get to the end of the pregnancy- it seemed like it would just go on forever. At the very most, Baby should be born no later than 4 weeks from now (hopefully sooner)? I am so ready to have this baby and meet our child for the first time!

Up til now, whenever I envision Baby, I just have such a hard time imagining the face. I am so excited just to see Baby's face. There's already a strong connection that Baby and I have, but seeing Baby's face will make such a big difference to me, I think. I can't wait. It's like waiting for Christmas x 100...

I'm feeling fairly ok still, although I have up and down days. Sleeping is the hardest part because I have a lot of pelvic girdle pain as the ligaments are stretching to allow for maximum flexibility when Baby is on the way through. It's so hard to find a comfortable position when sleeping. I find that sometimes I need to change positions at night every 15 minutes to alleviate the pressure. It can be very painful and does not make for a good night's sleep. I'm quite slow, too, haha. I walk like an old lady, everyone else seems like they are moving so fast. That part I don't mind so much. The world moves too fast anyway, so I can afford to slow down- there's nowhere I really need to be except where I happen to be at any given moment, at this point.

I'm so big now that I really feel ready for Baby to come. Baby weighed in at 3.6 kg (about 8 lbs!!!) this week, and is probably going to be on the big side when delivery day comes! It's a little daunting to hear that Baby is already so big, but I'd rather that than a sickly, underweight little one. :)

Contractions are coming almost every night now. They aren't really painful, just a little uncomfortable. I am looking forward to the real ones, if you can believe it, because that will mean Baby is coming! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Bad Day

Yesterday morning when we woke up, we had no idea what kind of a day we were about to have. I had barely even waddled down the stairs when, from the living room, I heard Dan exclaim, "Ohhhhh! You've got to be kidding me!" Rounding the corner into the living room, I witnessed for myself what was a massive and indescribable explosion of dog diarrhea in giant puddles and droplets all over the room. Dan had already morphed into "super husband" mode and was running around gathering various cleaners, sponges and plastic bags. "I'll get the hot water!" I cried, lumbering over to the hot pot. Dan spent the next 2 hours sponging, scrubbing and soaking various key areas of the carpet, not allowing his poor pregnant bride anywhere near the scene of the disaster, but periodically I could hear him gagging and gasping for air as he worked. I was left to send towels and hot water through the partly open door, trying to avoid catching a whiff of what Dan kept reminding me was a simply putrid smell.

With windows open, baking soda laid down and dehumidifier running full steam, we were finally off to complete our one errand for the day- a much needed grocery shopping trip. We got into the car and Dan turned the key. Nothing. Tried again. Dashboard lights and engine coughing. Tried one more time. Nothing. Dan looked over at me. I burst out into tears. (Hey, I'm 8 months pregnant, I'm allowed to react in whatever flipping negative way I want! :) There I said it!) Staring up at the over head light, I noticed it was still on. "This is why, Dan", I muttered through my tears. For the next 2 hours, Dan, again providing and taking care of his poor, pregnant wife, walked up and down the neighborhood asking for jumper cables and a car to borrow. No one was home, or if they were, they didn't have the cables. We called all our friends in town. A few were busy but could help us later- and were very apologetic and willing to help (We have great friends here!). One friend, Tim, drove all the way out to our home on the peninsula, started our car and drove back into town behind us. We took he and his wife to lunch afterwards in gratitude.

Now in the supermarket, I was still a bit grumpy and down. I was focusing on the negative. I was highlighting in my mind all the bad things we've had to deal with since we arrived in New Zealand 8 months ago. The dogs, the house with it's fur, dust, dog meat, and bugs; the long drive into town; all our many unforseen expenses; the worry about our future finances; my pregnancy aches and pains and of course, our homesickness. As I was standing in an aisle with a big frown, periodically dropping items into the cart with an annoyed "humph!", suddenly an old man came and stood next to me, and, taking an item from the shelf, looked at me and said something most meaningful and important to me. Very gently and with a great smile he said, "Are you looking forward to your big day?" I looked at him and said with a smile I was somehow able to put on, "Oh yes. June 2nd is my due date. I'm very excited." Nodding at me, he smiled again and walked away, but I stood there for several minutes, realizing that what he said to me was so simple, yet so important to me. With one simple question, he was able to remind me that, although we've had some hardships, we ARE very much looking forward with the greatest of joy to the day that our child will be born. Our child's birth means everything to me- a greater gift than any other earthly treasure. Right then and there I was able to completely drop my negative attitude and walk away happy, with a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes. It doesn't matter if we've had all these troubles. What matters is that Baby is coming! :) I think I will remember that old man and his simple question for a very long time.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New House and Feeling Good!

Well, there's not a whole lot to report on Baby Davy. I'm just about 33 weeks- that means hopefully no more than 7 weeks to go, that is if Baby arrives on time. :) We are so excited and grateful to God for providing us a really great house to live in! We finally found a home we like, and our move in date is May 3. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Baby doesn't decide to come early! We really don't want to be in the process of moving while I'm starting to go into labor!

As far as info on the house, it's a newly renovated and very well maintained 3 bedroom house on a quiet street in a nice part of town. I especially am in love with the kitchen- new hardwood floors, gas stove, REALLY nice dishwasher... These are luxuries in New Zealand and we are very blessed to have them! There's a small terraced rose/vegetable garden in the back yard and the entire property is fenced in so it will be easy to play with Baby outside. Here's a link so you can see some pictures:

I'm feeling fine and still have lots of energy! My iron level was found to be running low and for a while I did start feeling very tired. My midwife put me on iron supplements and now I've got all this energy and don't know what to do with it all! At this rate, I could start nesting early with all this energy to use! Ha!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wine and Large Families

Well, not much has changed in the past week. I'm 31 weeks now- only 9 or 10 at the most to go! It's officially fall in New Zealand now and the leaves are starting to change! Driving through Central Otago wine country last Sunday was incredibly beautiful- a bit like New England foliage only more rocky and mountainous- like Southern California, if you can imagine a combination of the two! If you know anything about Dan and I, you can imagine how hugely disappointing it was for us to pass up winery after winery without stopping at any of them. This baby better be worth the huge sacrifices we are making in field of wine snobbery! Ha! I did want Dan to stop at least at a few so he could at least do some tasting on his own. Gentleman that he is, he didn't accept the offer.

Our first "antenatal" class was this week. (Yes, they call it antenatal as opposed to prenatal in this country. It's quite British, remember.) Although we already knew most of the material covered in the first session (we read ALOT) it was nice to meet other couples who are experiencing the same things we are. We thought we'd be the youngest couple there, but to our surprise, we weren't! There were about 8 couples total and about 5 of them looked like they might be our age or younger. We like to see young couples starting families early because there are just so many long term benefits to getting a family underway sooner. Personally, I'd like to not be battling teenagers anymore when I'm hitting retirement age, for one thing. (However, if Dan and I are planning on a large family, that might be unavoidable anyway. Who knows? I might just end up having our youngest when I'm into my 40's, which equals a teen in the mid 50's or beyond...) Whatever. In any case, we are happy to be having Baby #1 on the young side. One of our main tenets as a couple is that children are an investment. We could probably write a book about why we believe this, but suffice it to say, the returns are endless any way you look at it. Yes, in the short term, it might cost some, but you can't beat surrounding oneself with the love of a large family for the rest of your life.

On the subject of large families, we often remind each other of one observation: we've noticed with regularity that you'll often hear older couples musing that they wish they would have had one more child. One thing you never hear is someone saying they wish they had less. Food for thought I guess. :) More about Baby #1 to come soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The World of Strollers and Car Seats

I guess you could say we're in a bit of an unusual situation. I'm finding that most pregnant couples I talk to or hear from are busy designing nurseries, researching and buying the best strollers, filling a very posh maternity clothing wardrobe, taking a babymoon and having very elegant baby showers. Not that any of that is a bad thing at all, it's just that Dan and I aren't really able to do any of that. I'd absolutely LOVE to design a very beautiful, exquisite nursery but we aren't even living in the house we'll rent once Baby comes! We agreed to housesit for a couple who are currently over in England until July. We're hoping to find a house to rent around the beginning of May and quickly move into it before baby comes. We'll still take care of our current house (and the dogs that come with the house!) until the owners return, but I do often daydream about my dream nursery and what it would look like. In any event, our baby's room is not going to be a perfectly designed, color coordinated, time and money invested nursery. In a perfect world it would be, but we really have made a lot of financial sacrifices to come to this country in the first place, and I think that, all things considered, Baby will be perfectly happy with the essentials only- a warm, safe, clean house and the constant devotion of two very excited parents! :)

Most of our baby supplies- stroller, crib, clothing, high chair, blankets, toys etc. have so far been given to us second hand for free or found at garage sales for pennies. It's not that we don't love our child to pieces already, but if an item is used but still perfectly functional and clean, why not? It's saving us thousands and I don't think Baby will a) remember, or b) know the difference. The only thing we've been told must be brand new is the mattress for the crib and bassinet. They say old foam in mattresses and padding can give off fumes which can damage the baby's respiratory system. So we ARE getting those new. But for us, we are not really concerned with getting the sleekest, most sought after stroller on the market. I think Baby will forgive us for not having the very best of everything, but rather saving for the future when expenses will be even greater.

I am getting by on a few very versatile maternity pieces and hoping these will last through subsequent pregnancies too! It's been quite an adventure trying to find affordable maternity clothes (no, I haven't gotten anything from garage sales) so I've been resorting to the Warehouse (New Zealand's "Walmart") for the items I've gotten. I have a pair of jeans, a sundress, a long, stretchy skirt, a couple of very "mom" workout pants, and a few tops. Most of my pre-pregnancy tops still fit if I do a bit of layering underneath. Hopefully that will be enough to get by- I've found that if you mix and match, you don't really need alot.

And, ok, I do admit, I guess you could say that Dan and I are actually attempting a little "babymoon" I suppose. This weekend we are going to the West Coast of New Zealand to see Milford Sound and Lake Te Anau. Milford Sound is one of the most breathtaking sights in the whole country- mountains, fiords, the Tasman Sea, waterfalls, wildlife, hiking, boat cruises, etc. Should be fun!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday was our very last scheduled ultrasound that was ordered for us to check on a couple of things- a possible growth restricted stomach inside Baby and a placenta check. Fortunately everything looks normal and healthy as I officially enter into the third trimester! Baby is weighing in at 1.3 kilos- that's 2.9 lbs for all you Americans at home. :) It was really neat to get a close up look at Baby's face during the ultrasound! We thought the face was absolutely endearing, but then again, we ARE the proud parents after all and who could fault us for being a tad biased? Ha! :) We got a few very nice ultrasound pictures of Baby's face which we will post shortly- hopefully tomorrow? In the car on the way home, Dan and I were "analyzing" the pictures and attempting to decide who Baby looks like, since the ultrasound pictures were quite clear. Dan is very insistent that Baby has a "Pringle Nose", meaning that the nose is categorized in Dan's mother's family, the Pringles. Not having grown up knowing the Pringle family or their noses, I'm not really able to distinguish what a "Pringle Nose" is, but we both agree that Baby may very well take on characteristics of the Davy's more than the Hall's? Obviously just a guess at this point, but the guessing is quite fun nonetheless.

With 14 weeks left to go, I'm beginning to have some trouble sleeping. Getting comfortable at night is quite an issue now, and I'm not really sure how to solve it. Alot of other aches and pains of late pregnancy are beginning to crop up, too. Once upon a time, I used to think, "Pregnancy? Bah- how hard can it be? I'll show 'em- I'll just woman up and take it- no biggie- I'm sure most of the symptoms are all in your head anyway..." Ha! My experience of it has been quite different. All the symptoms, aches, pains, and difficulties of pregnancy are all very real and not as easy to deal with as I imagined. But to me this is a very, very small price to pay for the life of a new person, and I will most certainly welcome the chance to do it again! :) Onward to Labor Day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting Bigger...

It seems that in the past week I've really turned a corner. I'm not quite in the 3rd trimester as I have two more weeks to go, but I can't believe how big I'm getting and how I am beginning to slow down with all the things I used to be able to do quickly. Today when I was in town, 3 different women asked me when I was due!!! People are finally starting to assume that I'm pregnant and not just fat! Haha! I have to admit, I am enjoying the extra bit of attention. It is hard to believe that I still have three more months of this condition before we get to meet "Baby Davy" face to face. I am loving every minute of it however. It is a most amazing miracle to realize there is a real human being growing in there- a human being with a body, a soul, a personality, unique features, a sense of humor, likes and dislikes, and even a vocation! I often wonder: am I carrying a future priest or nun? A future mom or dad? Dan and I pray for Baby every day that he or she will grow strong and healthy and become the man or woman God is calling him/her to be! We can't wait to find out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent and the Taking of Blood...

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant! Things are definitely starting to turn a corner as far as how I'm feeling. I'm starting to move a bit slower, my last pair of non-pregnancy pants officially don't fit anymore and sleeping is starting to become a bit uncomfortable as my options for sleeping positions diminish. (Sleeping on my stomach is out; sleeping on my back is newly out also as there is too much weight on it.)

Today is also Ash Wednesday, and as practicing Catholics, Dan and I have always observed today as a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. In other words, normally I would be joining Dan today in skipping meat and only eating one regular meal for the day. As I pregnant woman, I researched what the Church has to say about pregnant women fasting during Lent, and I found that I'm off the hook! Apparently I fall under the category of "aged or infirm" so the usual fasting rules don't apply. I was thinking of sacrificing something else or doing some extra good work today in place of it. Maybe I'll offer it up for my unborn child. :)

Yesterday Dan and I met with our midwife for another monthly appointment. This time we met her in the "Queen Mary Maternity Center" in the Dunedin Hospital where we'll go when it's time to deliver Baby. Everything still checks out well- we listened again to Baby's heartbeat (around 140 bpm), she took my usual vitals and had a chat about how things are going. Also, she measured me with a tape measure for the first time to record how big I'm getting! I thought, "Hey, am I a pregnant lady or a turkey being fitted to the pan for roasting?!" It was quite humorous. Just before we left, she noticed that my ankles are starting to swell. I had actually forgotten to tell her about that. Apparently, that's one of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (the older generation might know it as 'toxemia'). The other symptoms are high blood pressure, headaches, and abdominal pain, but I don't have any of those. Anyway, I hate needles. I have never been good at dealing with them. Yesterday, our midwife wanted to get a blood sample to rule out pre-eclampsia but no matter how many times I was stuck with a needle, she just wasn't having any luck taking blood! She even tried taking blood from the back of my hand!!!! Let's just say I was not enjoying myself and was very unhappy. Finally, we gave up and just took a walk down to the good old Dunedin blood lab and had it done there. So easy!!!! I didn't hardly feel a thing which I did NOT complain about. Afterwards, Dan was pitying me so much that he took me out to lunch at a restaurant of my choice. I picked this Indian place we like to go to. The Lamb Vindaloo was AMAZING.