Friday, December 05, 2014

12 weeks old

Our precious little princess is 12 weeks old today. Still not getting any time to start blogging actively again, but at least I can let you have a peek at how beautiful she is :-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two Months Already!

Wow, cannot believe that our baby girl turned 2 months old on the 12th already. Guess time flies when you are having fun, changing diapers and feeding the baby!

It has been a wonderful and challenging 2 months. Newborn babies are very new to us so we had (have) a lot to learn. Luckily my doula are always available to give advise and check up on us. On the other hand my husband has been and is the rock in my world. When discharged from hospital I was still very sore and stiff and he just took over everything. I basically just fed the baby. He looked after everything else, the house, animals, groceries, me and little Peanut.

And now 2 months down the line we are establishing a bit of a routine and are getting the hang of things. We love and adore this little girl of ours. She is what I would think an easy baby. Cries only when really necessary, sleeps well at night and lately gives the most beautiful smiles. She does however not sleep during the day. She will take little power-naps. This got so rough on me that I've asked a friend to play nanny and come and look after the baby for 3 hours in the morning in order for me to get a couple of things done.

Breastfeeding did not work out entirely as expected. The plan was to try and breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months. Peanut did however not gain nearly enough weight and by week 5 and trying every trick in the book we called it a day and started to supplement with formula. That turned our hungry little munchkin into a not so completely hungry one and she gained weight beautifully.

The grandmothers also got to visit as we baptised her on the 26th of October. She was such a good little girl and the grandmas are very in love with her.

I look at this little person sometimes and still cannot believe that she is real. She is so worth the wait. My heart just wants to explode with love.

I will try to post more updates, but at the moment I am having my hands full of beautylicious little baby bums!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Birth That Did Not Go According To Plan

In my mind I planned a natural birth for out little Peanut. It would go like in the movies where my water would break in the middle of the night (of course we put on the mattress protector way in advance), we would get dressed in a flurry, hubby would struggle to find the car keys - which would be in the same place it is every night and we would rush to the hospital. Once there I would go through 2 or 3 hours of labour with hubby holding my hand, and while smiling, high on feeling-good hormones I would deliver our precious bundle into the world.

Yeah right, so this is not the movies. Things do not go according to plan and sometimes it just goes ridiculously wrong.

On Monday the 8th little Miss was still sitting pretty and showing no sign of vacating the premises. I went to the clinic and was ordered to come back and see the doctor as I was now past 40 weeks. So an hour later the doctor ordered me to the hospital to start induction as apparently in the Western Cape, once you reach 40 weeks the baby must get out. As the induction can take up to 3 days to work they wanted to start it as early as possible to avoid going over the due date too long. I was not pleased with this turn of events as I wanted our baby to come on her own time and not be forced. So, off we went to our private doctor for a second opinion. She advised that I must go for the induction.

I spoke to my doula and we both felt that it is too early as the doctor in Hermanus who did the sonars said that we will be able to wait up until the 15th and then come in for a scan to see what is going on. We tried to phone her to get her opinion but her practice said that she was away on holiday and will only return on the 15th.. So we contacted the hospital to ask the nurses for advise. They were very helpful and said that we must come in for a check-up and then they'll advise. Off we went to the hospital and after the check-up and the nurse speaking to the clinic doctor she explained why they felt it necessary to start the induction and that I must book in on Tuesday night.

In my heart I still did not really want to go, but by this time and after 3 professional opinions that it will be best to do the induction we decided to go with it. I was scared that if I did not go and something happens to the baby that I would forever regret not listening. So, Tuesday at 16:00 I booked in and Wednesday morning 5:00 I got the first dose. By Wednesday night nothing has happened yet, so they stopped the treatment and decided to carry on on Thursday. Thursday they completed the 1st cycle and Thursday 18:00 started the second cycle. Just before 19:00 my water broke. I was on the way to the loo which helped a lot! This was also not as in the movies but I will not go into the gory detail.

We were all relieved for progress! As contractions are supposed to start a while after, my doula decided to quickly go home, grab a bite to eat and get ready for the night. She just about left as my contractions started, and was not at all as expected. We were advised to rest in between contractions to build up strength for the next one. From the beginning my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting about half a minute. Hubby let the doula know this and she rushed back, anticipating a speedy delivery.

This turned into a 14 hour labour which by the end only left me at 7cm dilated and with a swollen cervix. By morning I started getting a very bad urge to push (and did push on occasion) and it felt like my intestines would explode out of my bum, so I knew something was wrong. At 8:30 the doctor came in and decided to give it another hour before ordering the c-section. None of us appreciated this and that last hour must have been the worst time of my life. I struggled against the overwhelming urge to push as I knew that it might harm the baby. We were tired to the bone. At 9:15 the nurse called the theater people and they prepped me and wheeled me in. Because I was still getting contractions like non stop the doctor (luckily a different one from the one who called for another hour), had a hard time getting the spinal done, but once it took effect and my body lost feeling I felt as if I went to heaven.

So, they did their thing and our little girl was born at 11:11. She was in the posterior position and weighed a whooping 3.940kg, which explained why she did not want to come out the natural way. I got only a glimpse of her before they took her away, but hubby stayed with her and got to do some skin to skin. She sucked on his chest hair which was very cute. When they took me to the ward I got to immediately hold our precious bundle and she latched within the first 5 minutes.

I can honestly say that giving birth to our precious little soul has been the worst and the best day of my life.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

She Did Arrive!

Dear Peeps, I have been trying to update my blog and let you know that our precious little Peanut arrived on the 12th of September but I just cannot seem to find the time to sit down. It is a bit hectic being a new mom, but I am loving every moment. The birth did not go according to plan, but I will tell you about that still. Just want to let you know that she is healthy and adorable.

Here is a pic of her first snooze out in the real world xxx

Friday, September 05, 2014

And So We Wait

We have reached the end. It has been a wonderful, magical, scary and roller-coaster experience to be pregnant. I have dreamed about it for years and now looking back I can say that it has been an awesome experience and I will forever be grateful that I were blessed to carry this little baby inside of me.

It feels like a lifetime has gone by since that day we found out but on the other hand it seems like only a blink of an eye. There were a couple of really bad days along the way, but the majority was good, even great. And I felt happy which was odd, but very freeing. I only truly realise now how very frustrating and sad it is to try for a baby month after month after month, only to have to try another month. How much it emptied my soul and influenced my life.

So our little Miss is due by Monday. Everybody is holding their breaths and waiting in anticipation. Some people were sure that she will show up early but this little Peanut is sticking it out until the end. I do hope that she will not keep us waiting much longer. It is getting a bit crowded in there and we cannot wait to hold her in our arms.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nursery - Done for Now

The last couple of days I have been really fussing over the nursery. Finishing up the last things and moving them around until I was satisfied. The cupboards are stocked and sorted, the monitor connected and tested and everything cleaned. I am happy with it. It is very plain but functional (I hope!). Once she outgrows the crip I would like to put in a bookcase and decorate the room some more. But for now I think it makes a nice little nest for our little one.

I took some photo's, but it does not at all do justice as the room is just too small to maneuver and take decent pictures. The top one is a panorama when sitting in the chair by the window.

So all that lacks is a little baby, which would most probably be resolved within the next 2 weeks. We are all waiting in anticipation for the first sign that our girl is ready to meet the world. Very exciting! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Feeling Puffy with 3 Weeks to Go

I must admit that this last week was not a great one. Last Friday my feet suddenly puffed up to a point where I had to put away my shoes and revert to wearing sandals - in the winter! Monday upon waking my hands were puffy and there were nasty blue bags under my eyes. I thought well maybe it is because of a lack of sleep - going to the loo 6 times per night does not leave one with a great night's rest. But by mid-day I was still looking puffy so hubby asked the nurse to come check my blood pressure and take a urine sample in case it is something serious like preeclampsia. She did find trace amount of protein in my urine, but my blood pressure were fine so we decided to just keep an eye.

Tuesday we left for the City as I had to go and hand over my work before going on maternity leave at the end of the month. As we left town we first had the nurse check everything again. With no change we decided to push through. Hubby had to attend a seminar in the City that night so we got to the guest house quite late. Wednesday and Thursday I went to the office and by Thursday afternoon we left for home. I was (is) pooped!

I think the fact that I felt mostly great throughout made me think that I am a bit invincible. I would however advise not to leave anything until the last month to do. Little Miss is descending so it is getting increasingly difficult to walk like a person and not a duck. Sitting, laying and standing is uncomfortable and sleep is apparently for the birds! Hubby is looking increasingly nervous and staring at my tummy which has now reached astonishing proportions. He reminds me of a rugby player ready to be passed the ball - like he is expecting to make a quick catch for in case the baby pops out!

So yes, our bags are packed and we are ready to welcome our little girl into the world.

(While we were in the City we were spoiled for a quick photo-shoot by an awesome friend. Above is my favourite pic.) 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Cat the Chair and the Wardrobe

Life is weird and wonderful. There is a lot of things that I've wished for or wanted throughout my life that I never got. But that was all part of growing up. We were not well-off, so we learned to except that some things we will just have to do without.

Then there is the other side of the coin. Sometimes I would wish or ask for something, or would just mention that I would really like to have a certain thing and I would get it. Usually not immediately and sometimes not exactly what I had in mind and nothing mind-blowing like winning the lottery, but small everyday things that makes life easier. I have therefor come to believe that if you put something out there in the universe, it gets heard, and sometimes you get the answer you want.

So, taking you back to a post I wrote in April, and I quote: "It has a small cloth closet which I would like to replace with a wooden one and I need to start looking for a nice chair and then it is done!" So with everything that still needed to be done, and recently the extra expenses we had with my step-dad and hubby's mum there was just not enough left over to go and look for a chair or wardrobe to buy. I thought that we just had to make do with the small cloth closet and maybe ask whether I can borrow a chair somewhere.

And then the universe answered. A resident of the Home where hubby works recently passed away and when his family came to gather all his belongings they left a chair. Needles to say, it is perfect. Not fancy and new, but very comfy and perfect for the nursery. The cat tested it out and she thinks that it is great as well.

And then of coarse the wardrobe. A couple of months ago - even before the discovery of the Peanut - our closet collapsed and we were urgently looking to replace it. One Saturday we went to the auction and there was the most beautiful old wardrobe. It was a 3 piece with 2 hanging sides and in the middle 2 shelves and drawers. My grandma use to own a similar wardrobe and I had my sights set on it. But seeing that it was an "antique" the price went up way beyond our budget and we lost out on it. The lady that eventually bought it was from our town, she just bought a house and this was to fit into the new house. We then bought 2 nice closets from a factory shop that was very affordable and fit perfectly into our room. 

About 3 weeks ago we popped into the supermarket and the lady who bought the wardrobe was there. She wanted to know whether we had come right as she had in the mean time sold her house, bough another house and the wardrobe is not fitting in anywhere. She thought that if we still wanted it, she had to give the wardrobe to us... We were speechless. We obviously know what she paid for it and now she just wanted us to have it! Of coarse we said yes, as we needed it for the nursery and wanted it very much. So last night hubby went to fetch it, I cleaned it and packed it and it is absolutely perfect. The right hand side are used for our jackets and coats which were hanging all over the nursery door. The rest are filled with all the lovely goodies we received for our little daughter. 

I am happy. Need to make a couple of adjustments to the room still and hang some things then we are ready for little Miss. Seeing that there is less that a month left we have to get to it sooner rather than later :-) 

The Bump - Week 36

Monday, August 04, 2014

Antenatal Class 4 and Hospital Visit

Saturday we had our 4th and last class. It covered everything we wanted to know about breastfeeding. I am very motivated to breastfeed exclusively for the 4 months while I am on maternity leave and will try to stretch this for another 2 months in order to try for the exclusive 6 month period as suggested by the World Health Organisation.

I can only hope that everything will go smoothly and according to plan. I do have a lot of support in this area as the clinics and hospitals are really promoting breastfeeding and have a lot of structures in place should one need help.

On Saturday afternoon we went to the hospital where we are planning to have the birth. I felt that this would help me to mentally prepare and avoid any nasty surprises on the day. As most of you might be aware, some of our government hospitals in South Africa is in a terrible state and just down-right scary. Luckily this is a small country hospital and we were pleasantly surprised. The hospital is very clean and well kept. Is is also well situated with scenic views. The maternity ward is small. It has one delivery room and a back-up room to be used in case that one is full. It has a room with 2 beds for when you are not in active labour yet and a room with 4 beds for when you delivered your precious cargo. It also has a separate room for preemie babies and a full bathroom and toilet.

The staff are very friendly and they do promote different labour techniques like making use of a gym-ball and walking or squatting. Only once the baby is crowning it is preferred that you lay on the bed in order for them to have easier access to the baby. They also promote skin-to-skin and breastfeeding within the 1st hour of birth.

So at least I was able to put my mind at rest about the hospital. We will be in good hands.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

With only 6 weeks to go I made a list of 10 things that I will really miss about being pregnant. For me it is a truly magical experience. Yes, there were / are some unpleasantness, which I will probably make a list of as well in order not to fool myself that all was wonderful, but the overall experience for me is great.

1. Smiles from total strangers

2. Indulging in "cravings" and luxuries

3. Being the center of attention and having everybody concerned about my well-being

4. Feeling the baby's movements, hiccups and kicks

5. Having an excuse to stay in bed (especially on the cold and rainy days)

6. No sucking in the tummy

7. Finding the perfect name

8. No PMS

9. Watching my body transform as the baby grows

10. The love of my life being totally awesome, caring and spoiling me rotten

The Bump - Week 34

Monday, July 21, 2014

Only 7 Weeks Left!

Yip, we reached 33 weeks - only 7 more weeks to go! We visited the doctor this morning for what will be our last sonar should all go well. Our little girl is beautiful and healthy, weighing a good 2.5kg and progressing above average.

She has been extremely busy the whole weekend and last night she made what felt like a somersault (which were quite painful). I told hubby that I though she turned around as with the last scan she was lying head up and according to some friends they felt when their babies turned around. So, whether it was last night, she is now laying head down and ready to descend into the world when the time comes. Everything looks to be in place for a normal birth so now just to get through the last couple of weeks.

Friends of ours had their little son on Thursday and they cannot stop talking about the little man. We will meet him once they are settled and up to receiving visitors. So we are now really looking forward to also have our little girl in our arms.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Showered with Love

We are not very keen on doing things the "traditional" way only to please people and not have them look at us funny. So when deciding to have a baby shower, I/we decided that we will definitely not go with tradition where a couple of ladies come together, drink tea and make me dump my head in flour, dress funny or eat disgusting things. 

The most important thing was for hubby and the other men to attend as well. The modern man nowadays have just as much input and takes care of the children almost as much as the woman. Hubby has also been right beside me every step of this pregnancy and he loves to be included in everything, as is his right.

So last Saturday we hosted an "Ooievaarsbraai" (Barbecue). We used the local hotel as a venue as it has enough space to accommodate a fair amount of people and in case of the weather turning nasty it has indoor braai facilities. The weather was typical Western Cape for this time of year - 6 seasons in one day, but we managed to braai outdoors and it tuned out to be a truly lovely day. We had about 40 people attending and received some awesome gifts for our little spoiled madam. 

Then on Thursday the Old Age Home gave us a "surprise" baby shower. It is very difficult for a secret to be kept that way in a small town so we were aware of it. We expected a small gathering with a couple of gifts, so were actually surprised to have a lot of the ladies (and gentleman) attending. We received a bunch of pressies and some very welcome cash. The food was delicious with some awesome finger foods to choose from and a cup of tea / coffee.

All this made us realise how very lucky we are to have "stumbled" across this little town and be able to settle, make a living and raise our child here. We are loved and our little one will be too and that is a huge blessing. As the saying goes "It takes a village to raise a kid". We are grateful to have this village behind us. 

Antenatal Class 3

On the 5th we had our 3rd class which was all about bathing and caring for your newborn. Hubby got some very tragic news just before he had to come and pick me up that 2 of his residents at the Home, together with their sister were in an accident. None of them survived. As he was too busy with the arrangements and breaking the news and giving counseling to the other residents I went on my own. I was also in a bit if a shock as one of the aunties was my absolute favourite, so I'm sure that I've missed some of the things that were discussed in class.

We had a mom there with her 2 week old boy. He was born at 36 weeks, so were still tiny. But the sweetest little thing and he did not make a peep while they bathed him. I realise that it might not always go as smoothly as that, especially in the beginning while getting the hang of caring for such a small little human being.

We also touched on problems like colic and over-stimulation and made a list of all the necessities for baby's medicine cabinet.

All and all it was very informative and helped a great deal to see an actual baby being cared for instead of just reading about it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Antenatal Class 2

This past Saturday we had our second class. It was a terribly cold and rainy day as far as the weather was concerned. The snow on the mountains made for lovely scenery but the wind was chilly. Luckily the class was nice and cozy and we had some premium coffee and yummy scones to warm us up.

The topic of the lesson was The Birth. They explained the stages of labour and also the different birth options. We are lucky that we know exactly what we want and also that our plans seems to be in order. I do realise that sometimes things do not go as expected, but at least we are prepared for any surprises as well. The couple in class with us on the other hand are very confused. They are much younger than us and seeing them struggling with this actually makes me glad that we are more mature and in a better position to make informative decisions. They live on a farm and have quite a drive to the hospital. They do not like or trust their gynecologist, but he is the nearest one to them and they also don't want to change doctors in fear of offending him.. He insists on her having a c-section as it will be very inconvenient for them to have to rush from the farm to the hospital when she goes in to labour - I think very inconvenient for him to be waken up in the middle of the night maybe? 

It is a sad fact that South Africa has one of the highest c-section rates in the world at 76% of all deliveries performed via c-section. I believe that this has its place as an emergency procedure or where natural birth is not possible. Unfortunately we are bombarded with media and doctors trying to convince us that this is the "safer" option. 

So I was extremely disappointed by the videos shown to us portraying the different kinds of births. The videos came as a package and was sponsored by a well known diaper company. The natural birth shown a black lady, all alone giving birth in a state hospital. By the looks of the room not one of the "better" ones (also a sad fact that our state hospitals are in a terrible state).. The delivery itself was ok to look at but one could not help but notice the shabby bedding, stained walls and run-down look of the room and obviously the fact that she had no support but for the nurse attending to the delivery. 
The c-section on the other hand was filmed at a private up-market hospital in Sandton. It was a white couple having their second baby and they were all happy and smiley, the husband being very supportive and being at his wife's side during the whole procedure, the team of doctors very professional and the theater spotless with all the high quality machinery. 

Why they could not show a woman having a natural birth in a private hospital, being supported by her husband goes beyond me. No wonder our South African woman are afraid to go for this option, if this is the kind of educational material distributed by trusted companies. 

Although the 2 nurses running our baby clinic are encouraging natural birth, I am almost convinced that the other couple will now definitely opt for the c-section. Sad, I believe that woman should be proud of their bodies and should be comfortable in making a decision to opt for a natural birth, without having fear drive them to make other choices. 


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Bump - Week 31

Cruising Along

The other morning my cleaning lady commented on how nice it is to work for me as I never complain about being pregnant. Apparently she had worked at places before where the pregnant ladies thought it was their right to complain and be nasty and horrible, blaming it on being pregnant. I told her thank you, and that I do not see the use of being nasty and horribly just because I have something to blame it on. And after waiting and dreaming for 5 years to be pregnant I will feel rather horrible to complain about anything.

And sure, it hasn't all been easy. There has been aches and pains and funny things happening to my body. The latest is a pain in my bum muscle which prevents me from walking like a normal human being and makes it very uncomfortable to sleep.

But all in all I am healthy, the baby is healthy and everything progressing nicely. The bump is getting quite big now and I can only wonder how much it will still expand in this last 8 and a half weeks. Yip, time waits for no-one. I am so very curious to meet this girl of ours and cannot wait to hold her in my arms. But I am also adamant to enjoy and appreciate this last couple of weeks. We have been blessed to be able to go through this experience.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Antenatal Class 1

Saturday we had our first class. It was very informative and really worth attending in preparation for the birth of our little girl.

We are very fortunate to have this facility in our little town. The baby clinic and classes are run by 2 qualified and experienced nurses. They are both great people and very passionate about what they are doing.

During our first lesson we covered the birth-plan, signs of labour, danger signs, pain, effective pushing and positions for labour. We also had some nice snacks and tea and the moms got a foot massage.

I'm looking forward to your next class - which is only in July - in order to gain some more knowledge. It really makes a difference to have someone explain things to you than just to read about it.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Breathe and Smile

After a couple of really cold, miserable days the sun came out today. I was busy making breakfast when the pink rays of the winter sun dawned through the window. It was amazing. All around in the distance the mountain tops are covered with snow, but we did not have any wind so the day progressed into a beautiful mild winters day.

It also seems like I am finally rid of the flu which was pestering me for the last 2 weeks, so joy all around. I finally feel balanced again. Almost back to happy. I am not an overly happy person and do tend towards negativity sometimes, but this little person growing inside me has engulfed me in a cloud of happiness, not crazy happy but rather a deep feeling of contentment. I guess struggling for 5 years to conceive has wind me up like a spring and when those 2 lines appeared the spring released, set me free.

I do worry a lot about our parents. This being in limbo and not knowing what the future will hold for either my MIL or step-dad is really not easy. But I found that even through the worry I smile.

Each time I feel the baby move I smile. It happens more regularly now and every time I am in awe. That there is actually another small human being inside me that moves... someone that I already love more deeply than I ever thought possible. Someone that I have prayed and hoped and dreamed about for a very long time and at long last created! Isn't that just the biggest miracle? I do hope that as we get to raise our daughter that I will always remember the way I feel now. That even through the tough days, I will be able to be still and appreciate her, and remember to smile.

Hubby and me are off to our first Prenatal-class tomorrow about which we are very excited. It is definitely getting more real now as we are already at the point where we are preparing to bring our little girl safely into this world.

Bright orange Aloes in the garden - yip winter is here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When Things Go Wrong

Struisbaai - my other mother & me
Thursday before last my Mother-in-Law suffered a stroke. It feels very strange to say this out loud, as the whole experience still feels unreal and dreamlike. She is not yet 55 years old, a fun and kind woman who will bend over backwards to help her fellow man and will fight like a tiger to protect her family. When I met my husband 11 years ago she immediately took me under her wings and welcomed me as part of the family. She's been my mom since then. The day we found out that we were pregnant we called her and when I spoke to her we just cried in each other's ears, too overcome by joy to actually get any words out.

And now is seems like being a strong, hardworking woman who everybody depends on has taken a toll on her body.

We flew to Johannesburg last Saturday and visited her at the hospital. She spoke to us, but with great difficulty. As far as the doctors can tell there is no permanent damage to the brain, which we are very grateful for. She does not have feeling in her right arm and leg yet, and we can but hope and pray that this will be overcome in the next couple of months.

While up there we also took a journey and spend a night at my Mom's. She is also going through a tough time at the moment as my step-dad is currently being treated for cancer. You see, again that dreamlike quality - strokes, cancer... this is all things that happen to other people's families.

We returned on Tuesday and I spend two days at the office in Cape Town before we headed home. By that time I was pooped. All the travelling, late nights and worrying has taken its toll. So by Thursday when we got back home I could feel the first stirrings of a cold coming on. I ended up spending the weekend in bed and when seeing the doctor yesterday morning was told that I have sinusitis and mid-ear infection. And of course I have been worrying about the baby the entire time. I cannot believe that a person can actually worry that much. But the doc confirmed that she is very active and very tall and that she will be fine :-)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Yesterday was a strange day for me, accompanied by a conundrum of emotions. For years I longed to also celebrate Mother's Day - as a Mother, and not just as the child of a Mother.

So I was a bit torn about my validity of celebrating this year. I do see myself as a mother already. I mean, being on this journey, watching our little girl grow from the size of a sesame seed to the length of a ruler, watching her heart beat and feeling her move inside my body is surely enough to go on. The fact that she is not outside in my arms yet surely does not make me less of a mother. Still I kept a bit under the radar, scared that someone might comment on the fact that I'm not a mother just yet. (Silly me.)

Hubby took me out for breakfast at The Red Windmill where we had a lovely time engulfed by the warmth from the fireplace as well as the warm-heartedness of the people and the great atmosphere. We then did some shopping and I got to buy very cute baby things for a friend who's stork party is at the end of the month. Her baby boy is due middle of July and we are very excited for them, also first-time parents. The rest of the day was spend lazying around the house.

Breakfast at The Red Windmill

I did receive a special gift from our little girl. Thus far I did not feel a lot of movement yet. Mostly a bubbly sensation or I could feel discomfort when she kicked my bladder. With the last sonar the doctor checked and as the placenta is nice and comfy she said that it is the reason why I do not feel any pronounced movement yet, as baba's kicks is cushioned by it.

But yesterday, after waking up and lying in bed I could feel her move about. I placed my hand on my tummy and could actually feel the movement. And then last night when I was "playing turtle" (taking a bath, my tummy looking like a turtle shell protruding out of the water), she moved again and I could actually see my tummy bouncing. It was amazing, made me laugh and also cry a little bit.
Happy Mother's Day to me - and to all you Mothers out there.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Our Little Madam

Last night it started raining and in the early morning hours we had quite a storm. Luckily is was not too bad this morning when we got up and drove to Hermanus. We did have about 8 different weather patterns on the drive there so it made for an interesting day. We have now turned our "scan" days into a lovely routine where we drive through early and find a nice spot for breakfast before heading off to the doctor's office. This morning we chose Just Pure and had a stunning view on the crashing waves and rainbows over the ocean (from inside the cozy bistro of coarse).

At the doctor we spend quite a bit of time staring at our little daughter. This time we did make sure that we are indeed having a girl. The doc measured her and she is just about 30cm from head to toe - amazing! She weighs about 611 grams at this stage and the doc predicted about 3.4kg at birth which will be a nice sized baby. She is lying with her head on top, her bum in the air and her feet trampling my bladder :-) So in the next couple of weeks we will be waiting for her to turn, but at the moment she looks quite comfortable.

We could see her little nose and lips, her feet kicking and her arms folded across her chest and then above her head. Amazing what technology offers us. So all and all our little one is healthy and happy and must now just grow a bit bigger in order to brave this world of ours.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Where Did the Time Go?

On Monday when I got my weekly pregnancy newsletter I was a little shocked. It said: "You're 22 weeks pregnant - 18 weeks to go!" Like whaaaattt?? How is it that the time just slipped by like that? We've passed the halfway mark and are on the downhill towards delivery. Don't get me wrong, I am super excited and cannot wait until we can hold this little girl in our arms, but I'm also enjoying being pregnant and having her safe and close under my heart. And of course there is still a lot to do before welcoming this little madam into our world.

But we are taking it one day at a time and doing what we can. We'll be off to Hermanus for a sonar again tomorrow, so it is something to look forward to - having a peek at our precious one once again.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Annoying Restless Arms

I looooooove sleeping. During the last 5 months I have however come to the realisation that I will not be sleeping 8 (or 10) hours straight anymore, anytime soon. At first it was the uneasiness and queasiness as well as having to go and wee every couple of hours. All that have past now and I'm down to about 2-3 trips to the bathroom at night but in the last 2 weeks another nasty sleep-thief has been creeping up on me. At first it was just a little uneasy feeling in my back and I could stretch it out, but it has exponentially worsen to a degree where during the early hours of Sunday morning I sat up for about 4 hours reading and eventually got a little sleep on the couch. I cannot really describe the feeling. It is like the feeling when your back is wet after a shower and you pull a T-shirt or nightie over your head and it gets tangled and stuck on your back. You feel kind of helpless and claustrophobic and a little like throwing up! It starts in the middle of my back and spread to my fingers. I makes me feel like shaking and stretching, crying and then chewing my arms of!

So I have consulted Google and it seems like Restless Leg Symdrome (RLS) in my arms and I have read the testimonies of a bunch of other pregnant woman complaining about the same thing. Oh the joy! Also that there is no clear reason or quick fix. So far I managed a medicine-free pregnancy and I do not want to spoil that by having to take something to try and relieve this. Last night hubby messaged my back quite vigorously and that seemed to help a bit. Have you experienced this during pregnancy and any words of advice on how to relief or deal with it?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Proud Parents of a Baby Girl

Friday was the big day when we eventually found out that Peanut is a little girl. Our appointment was for 10:30 and it takes us about a hour to get to Hermanus, but hubby and me were up early and we left home just before 8:00. Too eager to wait any longer for the big reveal. We had a nice breakfast and did some shopping before heading off to the doctor.

Hope she has her dad's dimple

The bump
We finally got to see the doc just before 11:00. By that time my nerves were a bit raw, seems to be worried before each scan that maybe they'll find something wrong. But our baby is growing well and is healthy and beautiful - and not very co-operative. The last time she was kicking up a storm, little legs all over the place, but this time she was very relaxed, sucking her thumb, knees together and feet tucked away underneath her bum.. Great position to establish the sex - not!  The doc looked this way and that and we eventually manage to glimpse between the feet at her bum and from the side see that there is no extra equipment. So it is not written in stone, but we got a 80% sure that it is indeed a little girl. Bring on the pink!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nursery - 2nd package arrived!

I got very excited when hubby got home today and took 2 boxes wrapped in brown paper out of the car. The next couple of pieces for Peanut's room have arrived! My mom has a skill for wrapping boxes, so while I was trying to get inside hubby started with lunch and I had to help first. I did however manage to get to the 2 scatter cushions but had to wait until after lunch to unwrap the duvet. It is adorable, isn't it:

The nursery is coming along nicely and I will post some pics soon. My MIL visited us over the weekend and we had to put a bed in as we have not found a decent sleeper couch for the lounge yet. So we still have to remove the bed and re-arrange the furniture. I am almost happy with it. It has a small cloth closet which I would like to replace with a wooden one and I need to start looking for a nice chair and then it is done!

We are going to Hermanus tomorrow morning for the sonar. If all goes well we will know by about 11:00 whether we have a son or a daughter :-)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

First Visit to the Clinic

It has been a quiet few weeks except for some house renovations. We did not get to see Peanut again, all the nausea and stretchy feelings have passed and I am feeling really good. So except for a bit of discomfort sleeping and my belly ballooning I do not even feel very pregnant. 

We have talked about our options for the birth and after getting really good feedback from the owner of our Baby Clinic we have decided to have the baby at our neighboring town, which is 15km away. So now more worrying about driving over the mountain while I am in labour! Phew!

As we will have the baby in a government hospital I needed to go to our local clinic in order to open a file. This is very helpful to the staff when you go in for the birth as they can then see your history and be prepared for any complications. The reason why we are opting for the government hospital is because we do not have maternity benefits on our medical aid. After years of trying we did not deem it necessary anymore and we tried to save money where we could in order to be able to pay for the adoption. Anyway, too late now and we are making the best out of the situation. Luckily the hospitals in the "platteland" is very clean and sufficient and the staff friendly and well trained.

So, Wednesday bright and early of to the clinic I went. I actually dreaded going, but I must confess that I am pleasantly surprised. With my first doctor's appointment and the 2 sonars I was not really poked and prodded at. After reading what to expect I thought that I will be tested for everything and what else - but was not. It was just the 15 minute consultations which we paid a lot for and nothing extra. I felt a little let down but thought it is probably normal.

I was at the clinic for 2 hours. I got called into the first room and measured, weighed (ouch), blood sugar, iron and blood pressure tested. In the second room I met with a counselor who tested for diseases and infections and explained the dangers of HIV and the benefits of breastfeeding.
Then only did I get to see the nurse. She had to ask me a lot of questions and note the answers in my file. We had a nice discussion and a Q&A session. She then examined me and also took a blood sample to check for anti-bodies because of my RH factor.

Everything looked great and I now feel secure in the fact that somebody actually took the time to check me over and make sure that all is fine. And it cost me absolutely nothing. What a pleasure, getting something back for our hard-earned tax money!

Next week Friday we will hopefully find out whether we are having a blue or pink Peanut and we are all very excited and holding our breaths!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nursery - curtains arrived!

My mom is in charge of creating the nursery linen and today I received her first package which contained the curtains. I could barely wait to get home and open it as I had no clue as to what she chose. I was not disappointed. My mom knows me well. She chose a natural coloured "gold-khaki" which fits in beautifully with the walls and the new tiles. She decorated this with 2 big colourful pictures of animation animals. Perfect for our little Peanut!

The room is very cozy and dark when the curtains are drawn and unfortunately does not create a great photograph, but this should give you an idea. The close-up of the picture is a truer reflection of the colour.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nursery - tiling done and dusted

On Monday the contractor pitched up bright and early to start tiling. We were under the impression that he was coming to inspect and give us a quote first, but he was ready for action. So in a frenzy we cleared the two rooms that needed tiling. I will not even try to describe how the rest of the house looks at this stage - hoarders' dream!

But, 3 days later and the tiling is done. Here is a pic of Peanut's room:

Tomorrow we will wash the walls and the floors and move the furniture back in. My mother made curtains, bedding and a laundry bag, which is being posted. The curtains should arrive soon and I will give an update once they are hanged. Very exciting to see how the little nest is unfolding.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Growing Fast!

On Friday we went for our second scan. The main reason for this was so that the doctor could look at the baby's features in order to establish if there could be a possibility of Down's Syndrome. Because I am already 35 years old our baby do have a higher risk of this.
We were however not much concerned about this, as we have decided that it will not matter and that we would raise this child anyways as it is the greatest of gifts that we could have ever received. We were just happy to have a peek at the Peanut again!

And were we in for a surprise! Three weeks ago we had a look at a little blobby that took some imagination to be called a baby. What we now saw was a perfectly formed little human being. Peanut has grown twice in size in the last three weeks. We could see the features, the nose like a little button - this made us all very happy, as with Down Syndrome babies you would normally not see a prominent nose. The little arms were waving about and the legs, my gosh, we surely have a swimmer on our hands, the legs kicked and kicked. We had a look at the brain, the two perfect brain lobes that formed. The spine and neck looks good and healthy. The heart is beating nicely and overall the baby seems healthy and happy and beautiful! Here is a peek for you too:

And a comparison to show how much our little Peanut has grown on the last 3 weeks.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reflecting On Being Pregnant

The weeks have been rushing past and we are already entering week 12. Just the other day Peanut was only two stripes on a stick and now he/she is as big as a lime. Speaking of lime, my favorite things to eat and drink at the moment is lemons and limes. I cannot get enough water with ice and lemon juice, or Dry Lemon with ice and fresh lime slices. Or lemon juice squeezed over fresh salad and fish... Yummy... Anyway..

The nausea and most of the early pregnancy symptoms have passed and if it wasn't for the fact that none of my pants fit me and when I check to see why, I can clearly see my protruding tummy, I would have thought that this has all been a figment of my imagination. That, and of course, the fact that I am happy. Not a goofy, bouncy, jump on the couch Tom Cruise style happy. Just happy inside.. content.

Living and facing rejection for 5 years was hard. Every month when we were not pregnant or every day when we did not get "The Call" I felt rejected. Forgotten. Not good enough. It killed a little bit of my soul. At the end of it all I felt hollow. I cried and begged and wished and waited so long that there was nothing left inside. Only a tiny bit of hope, but even that was fading. On the 1st of December last year as I was starting my period, friends of ours told us that they are pregnant. She went off the injection after 7 years and within 6 months they were going to have a baby. That broke me. I was done, ready to give up. I think that somewhere, Someone noticed and created our little Peanut 2 weeks later.

I cried a bit since then. But it were all happy, I cannot believe that this miracle is happening type of cries. I cried because I now know the expression on my husband's face when I told him that he is going to be a dad. I cried because I could phone my mother and tell her that I'm pregnant and that we can now share stories about how it has been when she was pregnant. I cried because our family and friends are happy for us, talking about the baby and not tip-toeing around the topic any more. I cried because I am given the opportunity to grow a life inside of me, a life that was created by love and that I will have the opportunity to properly plan and prepare for when this little person enters our world.

On Friday we will be going for our second sonar scan. As we are driving out of town for this we have clubbed together with the friends of ours that told us on the 1st of December that they are pregnant, as she is also going for her scan at the same doctor.

I am blessed and it is awesome to be pregnant...


Thursday, February 13, 2014


I am aware that it is probably a bit soon to start creating our little baby's nest, but we have A LOT to do and I do not want to leave any big jobs until the very last. See, our house (which is a 1900 cottage) does not really have a very family friendly layout. It has 2 bedrooms, which are on opposite ends of the house. The walls which are about 40cm wide does not carry sound very well, so having a nursery at the one end of the house and our room on the other will just not work. And having to get up in the middle of the night, navigating my way to the nursery also does not appeal.

So we have come up with the perfect solution. We will be switching our room with the living room (which is adjacent to the spare bedroom). The spare bedroom will become the nursery. This will thus mean that our room and the nursery will be linked and "separate" from the rest of the house.
We will then incorporate sleeper couches in the living room and any guests sleeping over will be accommodated there. We are working on fixing up an old caravan to use as a quest room, but that has moved down on our list of priorities.

The rooms which will be the 2 bedrooms still have the old cement floors, so the first course of action is to get these tiled. I am usually very indecisive when it comes to choosing things like tiles where you have a vast variety to choose from. Luckily we were in Bredasdorp over the weekend and popped in at Tile World where after walking twice around the showroom I made up my mind. Hubby will usually let me do the choosing as he believes that as long as I am happy, he is off the hook!

So we chose the tiles, but unfortunately they did not have any stock of the specific tile that I wanted, so they suggested another one - which they did not have on display at the time. It is perfect! The tiles are much longer than wide and have a wood-like appearance which gives the impression of wooden-floors when laid.

I got the delivery today and cannot wait to see the end result. We've taken some leave next month, so will have this done then. Very exciting!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

First Peek at Peanut

So yesterday we went to meet our doctor and have our first ultrasound done. I've spend the morning with a friend whom I did not see in a long time and we had a good chat. She is a pharmacist at a state hospital and also a mother of 2 beautiful little ones and I got some very handy tips and advice from her.

I was a bit nervous before our appointment. I did not know what to expect and were so worried that there would be something wrong. The doctor was called out on an emergency so we had to wait a while before seeing her. But she turned out to be very nice indeed and the scan was over in a jiffy - although I could have easily spend an hour staring at our little baby on the screen.

It was wonderful to see the little one. We could make out where the head and the body is. Saw the little arms moving about and the precious little heart beating. The doctor is very happy with what she saw and says everything looks healthy.

We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Giving Peanut Some Fresh Air

We have reached week 8 and everything seems to be going fine. I have lost the heavy queasiness and am only experiencing some mild discomfort every now and then. Yay, lets hold thumbs that this will last. My breasts have definitely increased some as well us my tummy and my skin actually looks better.

My mother-in-law booked us a getaway for Xmas which we got to spend over the weekend. It is a charming little cottage 10km from Struisbaai called Langrus Lodge. It is very pretty and well equipped, and does not have electricity so we had to use lamps and candles and make fire in the "donkey" for hot bath water.

We enjoyed some long walks and it was lovely to get some exercise. They also had an old row boat and hubby, me and the dog went for a row on the pan. The Soetendalsvlei is the largest natural body of fresh water in South Africa. It was beautiful and very peaceful bobbing along and being surrounded by nothing but water.

The weekend really recharged our batteries and brought us back to basics. And one day we will be able to show Peanut where he/she spend his/her first getaway.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cravings and No-No's

There is some definite things that my body wants at this stage and also other things that I cannot stand.

My number one craving so far is chips / fries / "slap tjips" - with salt and lots of vinegar or lemon juice. Not the healthiest craving I know, but luckily it seems like it can be substituted with potatoes or mash.
Apples seems to help for the nausea, so I feel like eating them more often as well. Also crave other fruits like watermelon and peaches.
Tea - strong, sweet Rooibos tea (I am not a regular tea drinker).

Number one on my No-No list is coffee. This comes at quite a shock to me as I LOVE coffee. That was the only thing that I used to want 1st thing in the morning, and then had 3 - 4 cups during the day. Now I cannot go near the kettle if I think about coffee, it makes me feel like a vampire approaching a spot of sunshine! In the last 2 weeks I have maybe drank 3 cups, nothing in this past 4 days.
I also struggle with muesli. Hubby leaves me a bowl of muesli each morning which I put back into the bag and just take the yogurt to eat.
Over the weekend we bought some of those apricot sweets at the farm stall. I ate 2 and my stomach did a somersault, did not like it at all.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blood test results

My doctor got the blood test results this morning and is very happy with it. She says everything "looks beautiful" and my count is on track for about 6/7 weeks.

We have now decided to be referred to the doctor in Hermanus instead to a gynecologist and will be meeting her in about 2 weeks time.