Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The bounties of the land

Look, Nicolien! I caught a bird. Yay! I'm really proud of myself.

Wanna have it? 'Cause you can, you know. We can share it. Want me to bring it into the house for you? 'Cause I will. I'll even put it on the couch where you can reach it easier, if you want.

See, I dropped it here especially for you. That way it won't get my drool all over it while you decide.

Don't want it? Really?
*I'll never understand those weird humans...*
OK, then I'll just eat it myself.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Our house was almost finished, and we've been living here for six months now, but we still missed one thing. We didn't have stairs yet. The ladder worked fine for a while, but as my belly got bigger and bigger it became harder for me to go upstairs. The past month I was afraid to go up, so I just stayed downstairs. But as of last week, that's over. We finally have our stairs! I think they look beautiful (and it's so nice to be able to go see the second floor of my house again ). The nursery will be upstairs. We don't have it in order yet, because the baby will stay in our room for the first few weeks. That's why the bassinet and the changing table are in our room for now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sisters in-law

M's sister is pregnant with her second. Today she dropped by, and we took some pictures of our big bellies. I'm 38 weeks 2 days, she's 27 weeks 6 days along.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Last night, after dinner, I sat down on the couch. Usually that's the time when my baby decides to start disco dancing, so I was well prepared for that, or at least a case of the hiccups. That didn't happen however. I didn't feel anything. I started to think when I had last felt the baby, and that's when I started to worry. I couldn't remember feeling the baby all afternoon. Not when I laid down for my nap, not while I sat on the couch. And I usually feel the baby as soon as I sit down.

One of the things my midwife had told me on Monday, was to call if I didn't feel the baby as much as I had before, considering the bloodpressure and traces of protein. So - rather stressed out - I called M, who was on his way back from a trade fair in Amsterdam and of course was stuck in traffic. He told me to call the midwife, who asked me to come in to the office right away.
So I walked over to the in-laws (who live down the street) and my mother-in-law took me to the midwife's. Thank goodness she found a very strong heartbeat, so that was nice. My blood pressure was through the roof (understandably, considering my stress) but the traces of protein in my urine were gone. M came in right when she told me she wanted me to go to the hospital for a CTG, just in case.

So we went to the hospital and I was hooked up to a machine. They took my blood pressure again, and took a 30 minute CTG. The hospital midwife told me it looked like a happy baby, and it showed lots of movements. The weird thing was that I still hadn't felt anything. She made an ultrasound which also showed a moving baby. I just didn't feel it. That's why she called in the ob/gyn. The ob/gyn also made an ultrasound and took a lot of time for us. We got a very good view, we even saw the baby's face. He/she was sucking his/her thumb! She told me that the baby had dropped nicely and that I probably didn't feel anything because the placenta was very close to the baby's arms and legs. So if it moves a little, it's cushioned by the placenta, and that's why I don't feel it. Apparently it had turned around recently, because its position was different than last week.

She measured a few body parts. The baby has a big head (which all people in my side of the family do, hats never fit me) and long legs (like my husband). The growth was equivalent of a 38 week baby (and I was 37 weeks and 1 day). She measured it at 3 kilos, or 6 lbs 10 oz. Both the ob/gyn and the midwife told me it will be a "healthy big baby".
All in all I'm glad I went in. I wouldn't have slept at all, and I was getting so stressed out. It cost us an hour and a half but definitely reassured us all was fine. I don't even have to in to the midwife's again today, because they tested me so thoroughly last night. Phew!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The last stretch

Warning: this might not be a very positive post.

Yesterday I went to see the midwife, like I do every week. She measured my blood pressure, and then measured it again. I thought that was funny. It turned out to be 120/90 both times, as opposed to the steady 110/70 it had been throughout most of my pregnancy. Then she looked at my hands. "Your fingers are swollen, aren't they?" Yes, they are. "How has your weight gain been the past few weeks?" Two kilos in two weeks (that's 4.4 lbs). Then they tested my urine, and found traces of protein in it. All of this could - but does not necessarily does - point to signs of preeclampsia. I had not been nauseous or had blurred vision, and I still feel ok. Sure, I sleep well for two nights and then hardly sleep the third night, and the skin on my belly sometimes itches like there's a hundred ants creeping underneath, but that's supposed to be normal for the last stretch, right?

The midwife told me to go home and not worry, because that's not good for my blood pressure. She does want to see me in again on Thursday instead of next Monday.
I guess I shouldn't worry. If she really thought it was preeclampsia, she wouldn't have sent me home but told me to go to the hospital right away. And I'm exactly 37 weeks along. That's considered a milestone over here. Not only is the baby full-term now, but also you have to be at least 37 weeks along to be allowed to deliver at home. So if I get contractions now (and I continue to feel ok and things go normally, as far as that's possible in labor) I'll be allowed to stay at home to have my baby. And that's what I really want!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Family heirloom

When I told my parents about my pregnancy, one of the first things my mom asked me was if I wanted to use her family's bassinet. I didn't even realise that there was a family bassinet, let alone had I considered using it. She got out the photo albums and showed me that I slept in it too, for the first few months of my life.

It was made in 1946 for my aunt. After that my mom, cousins, distant cousins, brother and I slept in it. Of course I love history like that, so we went to my aunt and uncle's to look at it.
It needed some work. The upholstery was gone and there was no mattress. But we brought it home with us and my mother-in-law offered to help. In the end, she didn't just help, but she and M's aunt did all the work. All I did was go the market with them to pick out the material. When we came back from our vacation, it was right there next to our bed. Isn't it beautiful?

Our baby will have a historical start. Hopefully it will be born in the house that was built by daddy's family in 1863, and then sleep in the bassinet that was made for mommy's family in 1946. We think that's pretty cool!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Green thumb

Aside from all the baby stuff, I'm trying to decorate the house a little more now too. And that's pretty easy with an abundance of flowers in the garden. Today I pulled out my green thumbs and put them to work. I cut some sunflowers and zinnias. Every year I plant sunflowers and zinnias and every year I'm surprised at the enormous yield of only a limited amount of plants.

Then, I went around in my house and decided to try and start some new plants. I had two Kalanchoes that were really ugly looking. After some searching online I found that they're really easy to replant, so I cut a few stems of and planted them. I also did that with a Tolmiea (Dutch name: baby-on-mother's-lap, so much cuter). When I was browsing around the chicken shed, looking for pots, I found this pot with three hyacinth bulbs that I had had inside last spring. I noticed they had sprouted again, so I watered the bulbs and put the pot in a window sill. It's always exciting to see if it's going to work out!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Almost there

The last time I posted I was 25 weeks along... and today I'm posting pictures taken yesterday (35 weeks and 3 days). I figured that I would have more time to post pictures over the summer, but that didn't turn out to be true. I don't know why, but I just don't seem to get to writing anymore. But people have been asking me how I have been, so I figured I'd write an update. So... here goes!

This is how I looked yesterday (a little grumpy, apparently ;-)).

As you can tell my belly has grown a lot! My maternity leave started a week ago. I decided to stop working 6 weeks before the due date, and I'm very glad about that. Now I can do what I want to do and I don't have to work anymore! I'm taking things very easily (while I still can). When M leaves for work I turn off the alarm, turn around and I wake up when I wake up. Usually that's somewhere between 9 and 10. And then I do, well, what do I do? I've been taking maternity classes, breastfeeding classes, I've been shopping and washing baby clothes. Every afternoon I take a nap. That's my life in a nutshell. Pretty boring, huh? I'm enjoying it though. Yesterday I went to the midwife and she told me that the baby hasn't dropped yet. It is in the right position, so it's starting to move down. Next Wednesday we'll have an ultrasound to check the position. I didn't know that was the new standard, so it surprised me a little. But it will be fun to look at the baby again before I really get to see it!