Friday, March 22, 2013

Insta-Friday: A Birth and A Name

Here are some pictures from my cell phone of what’s been going on the last couple of days.

It was St. Patty’s Day and we’d just gotten home from church. 
At 39 weeks and 4 days along, this is my very last pregnancy photo.
We ate lunch, changed our clothes and were looking for something to do.
Little did we know that our baby would be born just hours later.


I told Shawn that I thought we should go to the hospital. 
I just wasn’t feeling quite right.
So we loaded up the bags and went.
The nurse checked me and said that not much was happening, but that we should go for a 2 hour walk and then come back.  After one hour of walking around Luxembourg in the rain, I was having contractions every 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  And they were…painful.

We walked back to the hospital and I was at 5cm.
The nurse told us not to go anywhere…we were having a baby in a few hours!


And she was right!  In about four hours from the time we started our walk,
we welcomed our second baby to our family – a boy!

And as soon as Shawn said, “It’s a boy!” and I looked at his little face,
I thought, it was you…all along it was you.


After a few days without a name, we finally ended deliberations.

Introducing Finley Robert.
(Finn for short.)
Robert was my dad’s name.
His birthday was also in March.
I wish he was here to meet this sweet blonde baby.


I love these three so much.


We’re home from the hospital and doing well. 

Hannah loves being a big sister. 
Today after school she pulled up a chair and took off her
high heels long enough to sing some lullabies to Finn.


He’s such a sleepy newborn…and we’re so in love with him!


He’s just five days old, but it feels like he’s been part of our family forever.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meeting Baby Brother

Hannah met her baby brother for the first time on Monday afternoon.



I think she’s gonna make a pretty great big sister.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Welcome to the World, Baby Boy

Just 51 days after we lost my dad, we welcomed a new member to our family.

He was born in Luxembourg on March 17, 2013 at 8:50PM, after a quick and easy labor and delivery.



(We promise we’ll decide on a name for him soon.)

Weighing in at 9 pounds, 4 ounces and measuring 20 3/4 inches long, he’s a full pound heavier and an inch longer than his big sister was at birth.
(What can I say?  We make big babies up in here.)

(Oh, and that’s 4 kilos, 210 grams and 53 centimeters for all my metric system speaking friends.)

He’s perfect and beautiful and we are so in love with this little fella.

I can’t believe I get to be a girl and a boy mom. 

He’s the joy after our sorrow, the completion to our little family.

(And worth every minute of first trimester nausea.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Weekly Bump: 39

I was hoping that I wasn’t going to have to write this week’s post, but I’m still here and still pregnant. 

And I admit – as thankful as I am for this baby and a healthy pregnancy, I’m kind of over it.
I’m so excited to meet this little baby and to be able to start to feel back to my old self again.

Here’s my 39 week photo.
I can barely see my feet.


A bunch of the British mums at Hannah’s school have told me that the best way to start labor is to eat curry.  I sent Shawn a text and this is what he came home with the other night:


I don’t think I can do it.  I mean…ewww…I just…can’t.

I had a dr. appointment on Monday and again all is well.  There are definite signs that labor’s a startin’ but for now we just wait.  I told her again that I think the baby weighs 11 pounds and she laughed and assured me that he/she does not weigh that much.  She probably thinks I’m a dramatic American.


We’ve had some major snow here in Luxembourg this week.  So much so that yesterday on the way home from taking Hannah to school, my little car got stuck going up the hill on the way back to our house, which is exactly what one wants to deal with at 39 weeks pregnant.

What I thought was a fortunate city truck sighting turned out to be completely useless.

I rolled down my window and waved him over.
”Pardon, parlez vous anglais?” Excuse me, do you speak English?
”Non, francais.” No, French.
”D’accord.  Je suis enciente de neuf mois…je ne peux pas…ma voiture…la niege…” Ok.  I’m 9 months pregnant…I cannot…my car…the snow… (Very broken French here, folks.)
”Vouz allez a l’hopital?” Are you going to the hospital?
”Non, non.  A chez moi.”  No, no.  Home.
”Quelle maison?” Which house is yours?
”Soixante-dix.” Seventy.
Then he pretty much told me that I’d have to turn around and find another route to my house.  I’m not sure of the French word he was using, but he was motioning for me to turn around and go back down the hill. 
Geez, thanks.
Fortunately, with some fancy maneuvering and full throttle spinning of my tires, I unstuck my car enough to turn around and make it down the hill.  I then rerouted myself completely around the city and came in the back way, which provided somewhat clearer roads and less hill to climb.
All totaled, it took me two hours take Hannah to school and return home.

Anyway, we are all set to have a baby! 
The house is clean, laundry finished, meals planned for Shawn and Hannah while I’m at the hospital and my bags are packed! 

We are so excited to meet this little baby!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Weekly Bump: 38 (And 3 Years of Blogging)

Almost three years to the day, I started this little blog of mine.
At the time, I was a girl from the mid west who had just opened an Etsy shop, worked part time in Human Resources and was mama to a 2 year old little girl who looked like this:


She was so tiny.
I can barely remember her being so little.

And today, I’m a stay at home mom to a 5 year old (who’s going on 17), have another baby due in just dayzzzz and a sweet baby in heaven.
And we moved from our small town in Ohio to Europe.

(If you would’ve told me all of this back then, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Nope, not for one second.)

Anyway, here’s what I look like today, at 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant.


There’s not much to report, really.  At this point we’re just waiting.  The baby is fully developed and just packing on weight until he or she decides to be born.

I’ve been sleeping much better at night, but it seems that I’ll have two days in which I feel really well and have energy followed by one day where I feel sore and just need to sit a lot.
Today when I dropped Hannah off at school, I saw a group of moms in workout gear getting ready to go for a run and I thought about how much I can’t wait until I am back to feeling like my old self and going for long, hard runs!

I had a dr. appointment this week and everything is just fine.  She said that the baby weighs about 7.5 pounds.  Well, she didn’t say 7.5 pounds.  She’s German so she said it in kilos and grams so of course I just stared blankly at Shawn and he converted for me, “That’s about 7.5 pounds.”  He’s accepted that no matter how long we live here, I’ll never learn the metric system.

And just for fun…

Here’s a little collage of the belly at 18, 28 and 38 weeks. 


It won’t be long until the baby is here and I am so excited to see who he/she looks like.
Hannah has always pretty much been my mini-me so it will be interesting to see if this baby looks anything like Shawn!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy Birthday

Sunday would have been my dad’s 66th birthday.
It’s been just five weeks since he died. 

My mom, sister and I celebrated his life from different spots on the globe - me in Luxembourg and my mom and sister together in Ohio.


Shawn, Hannah and I looked at pictures and talked about favorite memories.
We told Hannah stories about the funny things Papa Bob used to do and how much he loved her.


(March 2010)

Happy Birthday, Papa.
We love you and miss you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Weekly Bump: 37! Full Term! And Cue the Banjos!

Last Wednesday was the day we officially became full term. 
(I know.  I’m a little behind on posting.)
I am so, so thankful to have had two healthy, full term pregnancies.

Here’s what I look like:


A number of people have been surprised when I tell them that I still have a little over two weeks left.
I can’t imagine why.
But really, I don’t think I can get any bigger.

The Baby: And finally…the baby is the size of a watermelon.  He or she can weigh as much as 6 pounds at this point.  Hannah was over 8 pounds at birth, so I fully expect this baby to pack on some weight before the big day.
Maternity clothes: I’m in all maternity clothes except for a few shirts here and there that are long enough to cover my belly.  I’ve started to wear Shawn’s t-shirts to sleep in because they are more comfortable than mine, which no longer cover my entire belly.
Movement: Lots and lots of movement still, especially at night.  Space is getting tight in there.
Sleep: I seem to be in a pattern of one night of good sleep, then one night of bad of sleep.  I have no trouble falling asleep, but I have been waking up around 2AM and having a hard time going back to sleep.  There have been a few nights where I have just gotten up and done something productive, like cleaned the kitchen.  It’s been nice that I’ve been able to take naps while Hannah is at school.  And also?  When I lay down to take a nap during the day, I sleep the sleep of angels.  Why can’t I do that during the night?
Food Cravings: No cravings, and my appetite has definitely decreased.  As they say here, I just don’t fancy anything.  Nothing sounds particularly good.  In fact, at my doctor appointment this week, I actually lost weight from the previous week.
Symptoms: More Braxton Hicks, heaviness and pressure low in my belly.  When I was pregnant with Hannah, my hands and feet were swollen at this point, but I haven’t had any swelling this time.  Maybe because it’s winter?  I’ve also been doing some ridiculous things that can only be blamed on “baby brain.”  Or the metric system.
Gender: It’s a surprise! But I’ve had two people just today tell me that they think it’s a boy based on the way I’m carrying.

Late last week, I had an appointment at the hospital where I’ll have the baby.
Here in Luxembourg, you have to meet with the nurse to “complete the file,” which is basically pre-registering and answering a bunch of questions relating to the health of your pregnancy and any specific wishes that you have for the labor, delivery and your stay in the hospital. 

It was all very standard stuff.  And I was pleased to find out that while you can opt to leave the hospital within hours of giving birth, a typical hospital stay is 5 days, as opposed to the mere 48 hours I stayed when Hannah was born in the US.

Then I had to meet with the anesthesiologist, because as I mentioned before if you have any thought of having an epidural, you have to do this.

The nurse at my doctor’s office warned me: No meeting, no epidural.
Right.  Got it. 

Anyway, the nurse that I met with was German and just darling and spoke perfect English.  She and I “completed the file,” and she began explaining to me how all of this will go when it’s time for the baby to be born.

Ya know how there are times when something strikes you as so funny, but it would be unacceptable to laugh or giggle?  So you bite your bottom lip and thank goodness that your husband isn’t with you because if you so much as turned in his direction the pair of you would exchange knowing glances and be unable to hold back all the laughter?

Well, this was one of those times because instead of delivery, she kept saying deliverance.

For example:  After the deliverance, the doctor will ask your husband if he wants to cut the cord.  Then we’ll move you from the deliverance room upstairs to your room.

It really was a struggle to keep from laughing.  
It reminded me of the time the attendant at a parking garage in the city center asked me if I had placed my ticket in my pooch and I just stared at him until I remembered that the French word for pocket is poche. 
Except this time all I could think of were dueling banjos in the background.

So, what else has been going on around here?
Well, with practically no time at all until the baby is due to arrive, Shawn has taken up the guitar.  Oh yes, he has.

I’ve been cleaning and disinfecting.
He’s been strumming.
I guess we each have our own way of nesting.


I had to go back to the Labor and Deliverance unit of the hospital to have some blood work done and Hannah came with me.  She spent the rest of the afternoon wanting to check out the baby with her plastic stethoscope.
“But Mom, I’m an English doctor.  You don’t have to try to speak French to me.”


I seem to have lost all perception of just how big I really am.  Not only did I manage to get myself wedged behind a box of Christmas decorations in the basement because I thought I could just slide by, but today my huge belly knocked a glass jar of cumin off the shelf in the pantry.  And then that same huge belly prevented me from bending over to clean it up.  So our kitchen smelled like an Indian restaurant until Shawn got home to help me.


So that’s about it. 
Hopefully the next time I write about this pregnancy, it’s from Labor and Deliverance and we have a new baby in our arms.