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...

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!