Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dear Baby

Dear Emma,

You are one month old.  To be more specific, you are 45 days old.  Or 1,080 hours old.  Or 3,888,000 seconds old.

Becoming a mum has been a learning curve.  Sure, I say I'm getting the hang of it, but I really have no idea what I'm doing.

The other day, you were crying and nothing I did would calm you down. I tried bouncing you, singing to you and playing "Country Roads" (as that oddly makes you calm down and drift off).  The only thing I could think of to do was feed you - even though you had just been fed. You quieted down and then I just sat and cried.  That was just another reminder that I have no idea what I'm doing. I thought you hated me as I just couldn't make things right for you. 

I know my horomones are all over the place, but I honestly become so overwhelmed with emotion at some points in the day. They aren't necessarily sad emotions. Just strong, heart pumping feelings.  Sometimes it's when you start feeding. Other times it's when I can't soothe you to sleep. Sometimes it's even when you are having a play with daddy and your big, beautiful eyes are shining and a little smile is playing around your tiny face. 

They say you feel this overwhelming sense of love. I had no idea what that really meant. My friend Gina sent me this gorgeous little quote from Colette's La Maison de Claudine:

"They do say that children like you, who have been carried so high in the womb and have taken so long to come down into the daylight, are always the children that are the most loved, because they have lain so near to their mother's heart and have been so unwilling to leave her." 

 Your first few hours, days and weeks were difficult.  Not just getting used to being a mum but also learning how you worked and what you wanted.  If you were unsettled or crying, I felt like it was my fault.  Babies cry. I get it. But it's still heart wrenching.  

The countless weigh ins and those admissions into hospital? When you needed that ultrasound on your hip because the doctors thought it was clicking?  The feeling of sitting in the doctors office while they snipped your tongue tie?  Good grief. The guilt I felt was unbelievable. 

But you know what feels even worse than that?  I have a bag of clothes that I'm putting together of things you've outgrown. Imagine that. You have outgrown clothes!  Nothing seemed to fit for weeks and weeks because you were so teeny tiny!  Now I'm buying bigger leggings and bigger onesies. You've even grown into the too cute headbands, which is exciting - but also kind of sad. 

The biggest thing that has gotten me through the guilt and the crying and the doctors appointments is the realisation that I'll never have these moments again. You'll never be this young again. You'll never be this little. You'll never be this new. I'm awed by what you can do - smiling and lifting your head. These are all new tricks that you couldn't do not so long ago. So while I'm finding some things really difficult, I'm treasuring those smiles at 3 AM because I know these moments are limited. 

I love you, baby girl.  Keep growing, keep smiling.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Happy One Month Birthday, Emma Rose!

How Old:   1 month!
Weight:  7 lb 15 oz

Likes:   Cuddles, the play gym, rides in the car (trees are AMAZING - not to mention the BUMPY roads in and out of our village), white noise - particularly the fan setting on our Sound Sleeper app, the Mamaroo and John Denver.

Dislikes:  The bassinet for the pram (although she DID manage a walk to the shop in it before having a mini meltdown) and baths (I think this is also turning around!), waiting to be fed and being changed.  What can I say. She knows what she likes and she lets us know. 

Eating:  Emma *loves* eating. We have breastfeeding down now - although I'd like to get through a session without covering myself in milk. We have had a few days of cluster feeding, a few days of projectile vomiting - I think it's all been a bit trying for both of us. The goal is to get her feeding without shields - she doesn't like that idea. 
Sleeping: We know the difference between night and day (I think) as she is sleeping for longer stretches at night. She still wakes herself up with the moro reflex - I think she's having nightmares about baths - but she is getting better at self soothing. She hates lying flat - we really need to get her happy in the cradle or else she'll never like the crib!
Routine:  We aren't fully in a routine at the moment, but we are getting there. We aim to be up at 7 or 8 and then feed every three hours. This doesn't always work as she is sleeping for longer stretches at night, plus cluster feeding. 
Sizes:  We are just growing out of newborn clothes and heading into size 0/1 Month!  Hooray!  Still in newborn Nappy sized 1 (the tinest available - Boots brand). 
Milestones:  Her neck control is incredible. She has always been inquisitive, but she has a real strength to her and will pull her head when on your shoulder or look towards bright lights. She definitely recognises my voice - I'm not sure if that means she knows me, but it feels like she does! 
Mum's favourite moment:  We had a few days of just the two of us as B was working night shifts.  On his first night back with us, he took over the soothing after a feed and was singing "Country Roads" to her.  She loved it - she smiled and fell straight to sleep. It was adorable and really showed what a great job B is doing at this Dad stuff.  

Dad's favourite moment:  Direct quote "I know it sounds soppy but I get a little mushy when she holds my finger and smiles."  

I'm in LOVE with top knot headbands.  Emma will be rocking these OFTEN if I have my way! She doesn't seem to like hats, but the headbands are going down a treat!

And what about Mum?
Weight loss:  Gained 36 and lost 22!!! 14 to go!
Clothes: I fit into *most* of my pre pregnancy clothes but nursing means I can wear very few of them. I'm living in vest tops at the moment for easy access. My section wound makes bottoms (and knickers!!) difficult to wear - so maternity jeans and PJ bottoms are most comfortable.
Stretch Marks:  They aren't that bad...visible - but not bad. I found a new one on the inside of my thigh - I missed it due to the bump!  I'm still applying stretch mark oil in hopes it may lighten them. 
Belly Button: I'm an innie again!  Don't get me wrong, it's still a vast belly button....but it's returning to a somewhat "me" shape!
Sleep:  B and I are getting a good stretches over night (she slept SEVEN hours last night!).  I'm not great at napping in the day, but some days I've really REALLY needed it. Fortunately, between B, his parents and my mom, I've been able to go to bed between feeds. Thank God for grandparents!!! 
Looking forward to:  October and introducing Emma to my American family! 

I can't wait to see what the next month has in store for us!  It's hard to believe she is already one month old!


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Two weeks with Emma and our Hospital/Breastfeeding fiasco!

How Old:   15 Days
Weight:  7 lbs 8.5 oz (3.4 kg)
Likes:  Being swaddled, bouncing, the Kangaroo setting on the Mamaroo, Eating 
Dislikes:  BATHS, hats, being changed/moved/bothered in any way, shape or form when sleeping.
Eating:  We have both found our stride with breastfeeding (more on that below).  Emma tends to have a good feed every three hours, although she has a tendency to fall asleep when she should be eating! I've just bought a Mamamoosh Milkscarf for feeding out and about!
Sleeping:  The milk coma allows for a nice three hour nap!  She is an awesome sleeper, especially at night!  She doesn't get fussy at all - I can feed her and then put her right back in her cradle and she'll wake three hours later for her next feed.  Sometimes I use a white noise app on my phone if she whimpers, but more often than not, she is out like a light!  She has been AMAZING in the car - passes out for entire journeys!
Routine:  We wake up around 7am and our routine basically goes Eat, Play, Sleep - over and over again!  We operate in three hourly blocks (with plenty of dirty nappies in there).  It's amazing how quickly the day flies when you realise the next feed is right around the corner.
Sizes: Newborn clothing, Size 1 Nappy, but still too small for shoes!
Milestones:  I'm going to count weight gain as a milestone.  She lost and she gained (see below for the full, dramatic story)!
Mum's favourite moment:  The other night we woke up to a bat flying around our bedroom.  Being half asleep, I somehow thought I was holding Emma and had dozed during a feed. I covered us up in the duvet and woke B to get the bat out of the room. He quickly opened the windows wide and then hid behind the door.  It took me a moment to realise that I didn't have Emma, but rather had the duvet in my arms - Emma was fast asleep in her cradle next to me.  Once the bat flew out, we just laughed.  3 am laughter really is the best medicine.
Dad's favourite moment:  Leaving the hospital after the third admission.  We found it slightly ridiculous that we were in and out of hospital so many times within Emma's first week.  In fact, one of the nurses nearly cried on our third admission when we told her she was seven days old and hadn't even been out of the house in her pram yet.

After Emma was born, we spent three nights in hospital whilst I recovered from the C section and tried to get the hang of breast feeding (considering it took morphine to get me out of bed for the first time, three days is pretty impressive).  

Nights were pretty horrific as B was home and it was just the two of us.  As much as I tried, I couldn't get Emma to latch on during feeds.  She would become upset causing me to become upset - needless to say, the feeding just wasn't working.  She wouldn't settle and we spent most of every night awake.  I couldn't decide if she was just nocturnal or just hungry.  

The midwives were helpful, but I still didn't feel like Emma was feeding properly.  I wasn't hellbent on breastfeeding, nor did I have any strong feelings towards formula.  I wanted to breastfeed due to the health benefits, but if we couldn't get the hang of it, we would do whatever got her to feed.  

We finally managed to make it home on Sunday night and the three of us took on another very unsettled night.  We knew the midwives would be checking on us the next two days, so we made up a list of questions - mostly to do with feeding.

I finally decided I was sick of her being unsettled and opted to use nipple shields. I had been given them to try in hospital but then had some midwives telling me not to use them.  There was so much conflicting advice I decided I was going to do what I wanted to do - forget what everyone else said.  Emma took to it immediately.  She was virtually a different baby - finally able to feed.  We had our first good night since she was born.  

As good as this was, when the midwives came to weigh her, we found she lost 13.5% of her birth weight.  This led to a referral to the hospital where we had to be readmitted and checked by the paediatrician.  I was utterly devastated - of course it was my fault as I had been the one feeding her - or rather not feeding her.

At the hospital, the midwives and paediatricians were more than happy with our progress with the nipple shield and thought we had turned a corner with the feeding. They were happy for us to go home and continue as we were, with another weigh in two days later.  B and I felt like we were getting into the swing of things.  Emma was settled, happy and feeding so well.  

Her next weigh in showed some progress (after the midwife told me she had lost MORE weight, there were loads of tears (from me) and then we found there was a discrepancy due to a different set of scales being used).  It was then decided her weight would be checked again the following day.  We didn't think much of this at the time, but one thing led to another and Emma weighed in low AGAIN and we were readmitted to the hospital for observation.  

I was utterly devastated as I had gained my confidence back and thought we were making real progress with the breastfeeding and weight gain.  To find out she wasn't gaining weight and we had to return to hospital left me virtually inconsolable.  I felt like I was starving my daughter - the one thing I was supposed to provide for her was food, and I couldn't even get that right.

Once again, the hospital staff looked us over and decided we were doing everything right - it just takes time for babies to gain that weight back.  Naturally, weight fluctuates on a daily basis - Emma had been weighed before a feed whereas she was weighed after feeds the previous times.  Of COURSE there would be a dip in her weight.  

The staff at the hospital were amazing and took Emma for cuddles in the night so that B and I could get some sleep (they even let B stay the night as well).  In the morning they were happy for us to go, but we left feeling discouraged and like utter failures.  Good thing we have a friend who is a midwife - she gave us the encouragement we needed.

All in all, the feeding nightmare seems to be resolved. Emma has put on double the amount of weight expected of her - and you can totally tell as she is heavier and much stronger.  It was not the best first two weeks of existence, but we have survived and finally have a happy baby!

In other news:
We also went for newborn photos at Penneycress Photography in Norwich. I don't have the full set yet, but our sneak peek was so darn gorgeous I couldn't resist sharing!

Cuteness overload?  Yep.

It was also my 30th Birthday this past week and B treated me like absolute royalty!  From the cake to the Birthday/Push Present - I am one spoilt girl!

B baked the cake himself and decorated it - not to mention making Olaf!

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a Mulberry Handbag.  B decided after the past 9.5 months I may have earnt it (Hyperemesis, 36 hour labour, Emergency C section, Feeding problems/stays in hospital, 30th Birthday....yea....well deserved!)!  We headed to Bicester Village and I had my choice of bags from the Mulberry shop!  Both B and I loved this one!

Spoilt, spoilt, spoilt!  It's a 30th birthday I'll never forget!

Now if you would excuse me, I've got a gorgeous little girl to play with!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Labour, Delivery and Our Newest Addition!

Life has a whole new meaning.  

When I published my last blog post, I knew I was going to be headed to the Midwife for a membrane sweep (if you've never heard of one, let me tell you, they are the most uncomfortable things in the entire world), and I knew that it would be the start of the end.

I started contractions at 5:30 am on Tuesday.  They were consistent, painful and increasing in both intensity and pace.  We phoned the labour ward and they said we could come up for a check.

Much to my disappointment, I was only 3cm dilated and the contractions had started decreasing once we got there.  The midwives were great and said I could come back later or stay on and wait things out.  I didn't feel like I needed any pain relief, so we opted to return home.  But first - we had a little sit down/contraction fest in the Hospital Costa Coffee to socialise with some of the other doctors.  On hindsight, what the hell were we thinking?!

The wait at home was long.  Eventually, I decided to take a warm bath to ease some of the pain.  Ease the pain?  Try erase the pain.  I felt nothing and didn't understand how this was possible.

A final bump shot before heading to hospital

A friend of ours advised us to get some calories - Coke and ice cream and anything else I fancied.  Sure enough, that made a difference.  The contractions started again and by that time, the day was pretty much done.  I went to bed and tried to get some sleep.  

By 1:00 AM, the contractions had returned with a vengeance. B and I made our way back to the hospital (and in case anyone is wondering, the road in and out of our village is the BUMPIEST most HORRIBLE road in the entire world).  I was only 4 cm dilated (seriously?!) but we decided to wait it out at hospital. 

The rest of the night went something like this (I'm told, as I have no recollection of anything):

I bounced on a ball.
Contractions carried on and I used gas and air to relieve some of the pain.
At 4:00 AM I had Pethidine.
I slept between contractions.
At 7:00 AM I asked for an Epidural.  As the anaesthetist was in surgery, they said they would give me another dose of Pethidine as there could be a long wait before the Epidural. 
At 7:30 I had the epidural.  This was followed by what B claimed was very normal sounding, half finished sentences.
Around 2:30pm I was finally fully dilated and was ready to start pushing.   I was relatively pain free due to the epidural, although there was a small patch which wasn't covered just on the right side of my bump.  I thought I was getting along fine until the midwife said Baby's heartbeat was increasing.

Within about two minutes the room was swarming with people - Doctors, midwives, who knows who else.

The Doctor said they wanted to take me to theatre for an instrumental delivery but it was not guaranteed to be successful and I may need a Caesarian - or I could just opt for the Caesarian.  B and I both agreed we wanted what was safest for Baby, and opted for the emergency Caesarian.

The next ten minutes were a blur, but I remember them more vividly than the previous 35 hours of labour.  I had the Epidural removed and a Spinal Block put in.  I signed a waver agreeing to a blood transfusion if need be.  B was shown a room where he could change into scrubs.  I was put into a hospital gown.  Some of B's colleagues came to lend a hand as they heard it was me who needed the section.

I wanted to cry out of fear, but at the same time I wanted it all to be over.

The theatre was busy, with an anaesthetists doctors and nurses all doing what is totally normal on a day to day basis. To me, it was like stepping into a medical drama. 

A blue sheet was placed in front of me so that I couldn't see beyond my chest.  B was with me, holding my hand.  I was given a catheter.  There was a dry erase board behind his head with different stats - time of start, blood loss, number of instruments used. 

Ice packs.  Ice packs were constantly being used to ensure I couldn't feel below my chest.  People were everywhere.  There was an awful lot of pushing and pulling and whilst I couldn't feel anything, I knew from the rocking back and forth there was something quite dramatic going on behind that blue sheet.  B said baby had to be pushed back up and pulled up and out of the incision that had been made.  

I started to feel tired and breathless, almost like I was going in and out of consciousness.  B kept talking to me, but everything felt dark.  I vomited - B said it was because spinal block effects.

I asked if he thought Baby was a boy or girl.  I was still sure it was a boy.  And then I felt a sudden lifting and lightening.  B, who had been looking beyond the blue curtain looked at me and said "I think I know what our baby is."  I asked if it was a boy or girl but didn't hear the answer - I was too busy listening for a cough or a cry.  Some indication that baby was alright.  I finally heard it.  

B was called over to cut the cord and my midwife came over and said the baby was just perfect, another nurse said Baby was just fine, and I shouldn't worry because she was beautiful.

"It's a she?"

I couldn't feel anything due to the trauma of that labour and delivery, but I felt my heart.  
Not pain or love, but a feeling of total and utter completeness.  


B lowered her down so I could kiss her head and he cradled our little one whilst I was stitched back up and brought into the recovery room.  After an agonising wait, I was finally given my sweet baby girl for the first time.

Emma Rose was born 17 July 2014 at 3:51 PM.  

I said this was going to be a whole new adventure. I never knew just how much of an adventure it could be.  I cannot wait to show you.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The lessons I've learnt whilst being Pregnant

40 weeks.  Geeze.  It sounds like no time at all, but it has felt like 2 years!  I've spent the past few weeks of maternity leave thinking about those 40 weeks - the highs and lows - the adorable and gross - all of it.  

Pregnancy is a life changing time - not just because you are preparing for a little bundle of joy, but because you are changing.  It's taken me nearly 30 years to work out who I am, and over the course of a few weeks, I am a completely different person.  

I've learnt a few lessons though out my time of being pregnant, and before Baby McBerry makes his or her arrival, I thought I would share them here.

1. Think you understand pregnancy?  Think again.

Pregnancy kicks your ass - I mean REALLY kicks your ass - and all current mothers know this. They just don't tell you all of those little gems that are too unspeakable/embarrassing/horrific until it's too late. The world just wouldn't repopulate if women shared all of the dirty little secrets of least I think that's the maternal game.

I have experienced loads of fun "symptoms" and when I mention them to my friends who have had children (in horror I say these things), they all smile - knowingly - and recall their similar encounters.  I feel like pregnancy has been this great big secret which you aren't allowed to fully know until you have been there.  I'm sorry - but I'm incredibly empathetic.  I can totally appreciate all of these things without having to go through it myself.    I'm thinking "THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP!" but at the same time "get it" a whole lot more having experienced it for myself.

2. As good of intentions as you have - some things just don't go according to plan....others do.  

I was going to be really fit and healthy during pregnancy - eating right and exercising. I was dead set on antenatal yoga and going for walks. I was going to ensure my diet was balanced, I wasn't going to drink coffee or alcohol and I was going to ensure I was eating all of those "Folic Friendly" foods to ensure Baby McBerry had the best whilst growing up. 

Did this "healthy living" happen?  
Of course not. 

Hyperemesis destroyed any chance of me doing much of anything.  I ate crap - why?  Because unhealthy, salty snack foods were all I could eat. The very thought of salad had me running for the toilet for months.  Tortilla chips, on the other hand, they went down a treat.

Yoga?  Yea right- we live in the middle of freaking nowhere.  The only chance I was going to have to get to yoga was if I quit my job (because everything is offered at 10:30 on a Tuesday - full time working women clearly don't need antenatal support) or if I got a bank loan to pay for the travel costs of getting to a class - the nearest an hour away.  Youtube classes worked for awhile....but that is nowhere near as a good or helpful as the real thing. 

I also vowed to not put anything into my system which I didn't want to pass along to Baby.  Medication for instance.  
I was on a lot of drugs to control the nausea and vomiting - and I was on them for about three months.    The drugs were needed to stop my vomiting.  End of.  If I didn't take the medication, I would have ended up in hospital a lot more often.  

Can you imagine the damage of not being able to keep anything down? The effects of dehydration and a lack of nutrients were far more scary to think about than a drug which doesn't cross the placenta.  At the end of the day, medicine has come a long way - if B tells me it's ok, I'm sure it's ok. 

3. Bonding doesn't come naturally

I've got two weeks to go and I'm still up and 2:00 AM and wondering how on earth I'm going to be a mother.  I'm not a mother.  I'm Jen.  They've got the wrong person because "mama" is just not me. 

 I was worried I was going to be a terrible mother as I didn't feel connected to the baby.  I did a lot of reading and you know what I found out?

Plenty of women don't have that connection.  In fact, many who suffered with sickness as I had actually admitting to disliking the baby (GASP).  This isn't a sign that they will be a bad mother, nor is it any cause to call Child Protective Services.

Bonding takes time.  For me, a lot of my bonding came from writing this blog - especially my letters.  I dedicated all of my thoughts - not half of them with the other half thinking about dinner or work - to Baby.  I became more aware of movement and found myself starting feel that warmth of motherhood - but mostly looking forward to it.  Silly things like taking a bath or doing Baby McBerry's laundry or decorating the nursery made me feel like this is all really happening and it's all going to be just fine.  I still don't feel ready - but ask me again in a few weeks - I'm sure I'll have a different idea about Baby McB. 

4.  Those protruding limbs are the coolest thing you will ever experience - FACT

At first, this scared the bejesus out of me.  It was sometimes painful when Baby stretched and it's foot was attempting to puncture my bladder.  But lo and behold - I have grown to love it (probably the only thing about pregnancy I have loved).  So many women have told me that they felt a real sense of loss when baby was in their arms as opposed to in their womb.  I can totally appreciate that.  That sense of loneliness after spending 40 weeks or so as "two."

5.  No one has any idea what they are doing.  Really.

I felt so stupid as I didn't  don't know anything about babies. I've not been around babies - I don't typically get to have cuddles or need to change nappies.  I don't dress or bathe them - and I hardly ever have to buy for them.  All of my friends in America had babies when I moved to England - the friends I have in England either have older children or haven't gotten to that stage just yet.  Everyone makes everything look so easy - but even they admit it - No one knows what the heck they are doing.

I don't care how many times you have changed a nappy.  You don't know how to change YOUR baby's nappy until it comes out and you try it a couple of times.  Dressing them?  Bathing them?  It's all the same.  You can't possibly know until you try.  ALL babies are different.  ALL babies like their own thing.  People look like they know what they are doing, but they are just at petrified and panicked as I am.  And they have practiced. A lot. 

6.  You will feel horrible about yourself.  And that's OK.

Controversial or not.  Women say they feel fat when they are pregnant.  I know it's not "fat" - but "fat" is how you feel.  You are swollen. You are heavy.  You are struggling to walk.  It takes so much effort to roll over in bed. You can't fit into anything - clothes, shoes, SOCKS.  You just feel fat and horrible. Your hair is doing something you can't even describe whilst your skin is spotty.  You are getting loads of stretch marks all over and skin tags keep popping up and there is just no stopping them!

It's exhausting.

Pregnancy glow? That's a load of rubbish. I care about my appearance and I have found it difficult to get bigger.  I have cried over how I look in the mirror.  I have cringed whilst watching a CCTV clip where I saw myself waddle across the school courtyard.  I don't look like me - I'm someone else - and I don't like it.

With that said, I have beamed with pride when I have found a maternity outfit which actually makes me look good.  I've learnt to tame my hair. I've found makeup which makes my skin look more alive. I've worked it out. I can't do anything about my belly or chest or feet but I will be able to soon.  Everyone says we should feel beautiful, but the reality is we won't feel like that until we figure "beauty" out for ourselves.  Yes, we are gorgeous and strong and we should be proud - but we also need to realise that for ourselves.

7.  It's a members only club. But you are welcomed with open arms. 

There's something about babies that just makes people more talkative or interested. I've felt so accepted into the "mum community" from the second my belly began to show. People will talk to you in the grocery store over the type of formula that worked for them. They will give you tips on how to save money or how to make life a bit easier. They will ask about how you're feeling and genuinely be interested. They will offer advice or pearls of wisdom -- all in an attempt to put you at ease rather than lecture you. They wish you luck when you tell them your due date was yesterday.  People DO look out for you - make sure you don't trip or ask if you need things carried or offer you a seat. People get it. It's actually a great feeling. 

My mom and Me - nearly 30 years ago.

I think Baby McBerry will be gracing us with it's presence any day now, and then we will be headed down a whole new path:  parenthood.  I cannot wait to see what is in store for us. Whether it be good or bad, it will be an adventure and B and I are totally ready for it.

Thank you to everyone for your support and your kind words throughout the past nine months.   You have made it all so much easier and I've felt part of a huge, virtual family - always getting advice and encouragement when I needed it.  Stay tuned for our Reflections about Baby!

We shall see you all when we are officially a Party of THREE!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Forty weeks and STILL PREGNANT

How far along:  FORTY Weeks!  Woo hoo!
Weight Gain:   36 pounds.  That's enough really. 
Maternity Clothes: I'm beyond sick of them.  I miss my normal shirts and shoes. I'll keep the maternity jeans though. They are just plain comfy. 
Stretch Marks:  Sides, boobs and nice new ones appearing around my belly button....I'm loving them, can you tell?
Belly Button: Turning a lovely shade of purple....and constantly sticking out like a little tongue....the mockery!!
Queasy or Sick:   Nausea - especially in the night. Heartburn is particularly awful (hello, new BFF Gaviscon). Vomit just hanging out.  General grouchiness and catty behaviour?  Pregnancy rage is back and it's back with a vengeance. 
Sleep:  What a joke. It's a serious design fault that you lose the ability to sleep when you deserve it the most. I'm getting very little (if any) and definitely not enough. 
Best Moment of the Week:  B finally has his American Visa. Thank goodness for that process being over!  Now we just need to sort Baby out as an American/Brit.  How cool is that?
Worst Moment of the Week:  Being stuck inside for most of the week due to the foul weather - cold and rainy in mid July. I especially love how my car window was left open - I cannot believe how absorbent those seats are.  I'm sure moving to England was a good idea....remind me again why I did it?
Miss Anything:  I miss everything about not being pregnant. 
Movement:  Of course. Baby is just reminding me that it's squatting and has no intention of vacating my uterus any time soon.  
Cravings:   Feeling like a human being again. 
Looking forward to:  NOT being pregnant!

 I was totally convinced baby would make an early appearance. In fact, it never crossed my mind that I could go OVER my due date. 

And here we are. 

We've prepared and then prepared again - just because we had time. Some of the things we have done in preparation for Baby McB has been batch cooking and scouting for baby clothes.

We have always been into batch cooking, as this was a great way to eat whilst living apart and a great way to save money.  We've made Shepherds Pie (with Quorn mince instead of beef), Breakfast Egg and Veggie wraps and Breakfast Egg and (veggie) Sausage sandwiches.  I'm also planning a Lasagna, Thai Green Curry and Bolognese sauce.

The freezer is packed, which isn't hard to do here in England where you don't get much space in your basic fridge-freezer. I'm looking forward to some easy meals once our hands are full - hopefully we have the time and will about us to ensure the freezer meals keep replenishing!

And even more exciting than the food - the sales are on!  Baby clothes are on sale, summer clothes are dwindling down (never mind we never got to wear them here in rainy England) and - oh, the excitement - Autumn clothes are out!! 

The downside - all of these great clothes are gendered!  Oh, how I wish we knew if baby is a boy or a girl!  I have my guess, but I'm not sure it's worth stocking up on some of these gorgeous finds only to have to return half of them!  These are my favourites at the moment: 

Boat ShoesVarsity CardiganGiletStriped Body SuitsNavy and White CardiganCheck overallsMint Polo OnesieStriped Onesie
(Some of the links aren't working properly in spite of my many efforts to load and upload the links! Apologies!)

I cannot wait to do some proper shopping!

So the waiting game continues! I'm pretty uncomfortable, not sleeping, feeling stretched, strained and just plain exhausted.

Come on, Baby McBerry.  We're all so excited to meet you!

In the meantime, Friends is on Comedy Central and they are having a Pregnancy marathon!  Slightly ironic....but geese, I totally get it!!

Let's hope this is my LAST Pregnancy post!