Tuesday, 21 October 2014

More birthday party pictures

Since you only have once a first birthday (party),   it deserves a second post with some more pictures , don't you think?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Kabouter's birth story (part II)

Part I can be found here

So after being in (pre) labour for 24 hours, we took a last glance at the empty waiting crib in the living room and we left the house to go to the hospital...It was after 22h if I remember well.

Jan had put a plastic bag on the passenger seat as advised to us "in case my water broke" in the car. I really wondered about this "water breaking":  should I imagine some mild leaking or some tsunami happening? For the latter, one simple plastic bag wouldn't quite be effective but this was the last of my worries at the moment.  If my water broke...it would break and Jan could deal with his car afterwards and it could be a good story to tell in the future. But luckily for him it remained boring.

I tried to sit with back straight, half pulled up with my hand holding the grip above the door and stared at the street/houses passing by in the dark. We passed a bar near the sports faculty and there was a crowd of youth outside, overflowing half onto the street. At that point I realized that the universities were re-opening this week.  Ha...our baby would be born at the opening of the academic year: would that be an omen?  Other than the students, the streets were almost deserted and I was grateful for the lack of traffic...I had no desire to puff away too many contractions in a traffic jam as in the movies.

After a very short uneventful drive (great to live at almost walking distance from one of Belgium's best hospitals), we entered at the ER where they let us forward to the maternity delivery department. I can't remember at all anymore whether I had heavy contractions during the ride and arrival but I walked and didn't get wheeled in.


After getting welcomed I was quickly attached to a monitor for half an hour so they could get an indication of the level of labour that I was in.  F..ck.g hell, laying still on a bed attached to some cables while in full labour without possibility to go and sit/lay/move around according to best comfort:  time ticks slow!! If only my cursing could speed up that clock...

Behind a curtain a bit further was another woman on a monitor: I could hear her moaning.   How annoying to have to listen to someone else's pain when in fact fully absorbed by your own!  How even more annoying to believe the other woman is having way less pain than you have...ha, life is unfair! FML. Fortunately she left after a while and fortunately after about 16 hours or so, my 30 minutes monitoring time were over as well and I got the good report card "you are very well in labour".   Pheww, glad I got that confirmation alright!  The opposite news would have been quite devastating.  

Then the nurse was going to measure the level of cervix dilatation so far in between 2 contractions.   Well...first of all it's a bit difficult to time that well but secondly ...OMG that hurts, aaaaaauwww, no kidding. Thank goodness I could not smack the hell out of her.  Seriously, amazing there's no more aggression in the delivery rooms than there is.

Finally after that rather dreadful welcome routine, I was allowed into our delivery room that would become our little family room for the next coming hours. It was somewhere around 23h. It was a relief to be back in a relative freedom to do as I pleased...ha and that meant I was going to try that big nice bathtub in the middle of the room.

Much to my relief the delivery department wasn't overcrowded at all that night (in fact Jan thought only 2 rooms were in use as far as he could hear when walking up and down the hallway) since not all rooms had a bathtub.  Beforehand we  had joked a lot about these, whether Jan or me could be in it and if he should pack up his swim gear for the hospital etc. So there was no doubt, I was going to take good use of it now I could :). With the help of very nice midwife I climbed into the warm tub, surrounded by some floating pillows and I tried to float as much as I could for as long as I could. The midwife dropped by every now "Let us know when you want to leave the bathtub"  "euh...will I have less pain outside of the water?"  "no, probably you will feel the pain more"  "I guess I'll stay in the water a little longer then".

I managed for about 60-90 minutes but then I requested an epidural. I knew I wasn't going to be able to cope a full night anymore.  I don't have a birth plan mantra that child birth should be "natural", just as much as I don't belief that "dental root canal fixing" should be "natural" either. It was a relief that I could ask for pain relief when I thought I needed it.

When I was helped out of the bath tub again, I was shaking uncontrollably.  Surely the water had already quite cooled off, so I was cold and I was exhausted, but it was a weird sensation to completely loose control of your body.  While Jan and the midwife helped me wrap up and warm up and get on the bed, the anesthetist arrived...and waited until I managed to predict and sit still for a minute in between 2 contractions.  It was around 2 AM if I remember well.

The needles are quite painful moment it itself but hey...what's a bit more at that point....and then...

Thursday, 16 October 2014

San Francisco in the heatwave (part II)

Maybe it is time to finish finally my posts about our vacation, in the mean time 5 months ago, ...now that Jan is already back in San Francisco :D.  So here's the summary of our last day together across the ocean half a year ago.

San Francisco was still hot, but not as much simmering in the heat anymore as the previous days.  We mostly walked up and down the Bay area and enjoyed the views along the water.

Even though Fisherman's wharf and more specifically Pier 39 is a quite tourist trap...it actually is really nice one, where it is fun to hang around day and night.  We enjoyed some decently good restaurants,  visited the Acquarium (also a tourist trap (=expensive and small) but hey... I'm a sucker for otters and they have otters, so they win. After all, meeting otters is essential for Kabouter's education).

And then it was time to say good-bye to our loud friends (but only for 5 months for Jan).

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A good family walk

Jan has to be in San Francisco again for work this week . While I'm quite used that he travels a lot and is regularly absent on a week day, I find it really hard to be alone on a weekend. Kabouter isn't that conversational yet ;).

But this time I hardly noticed (sorry Jan) as my sister and her family came to visit us along in the Ardennes.   We arrived with rain and left with rain but fortunately it was a really sunny afternoon in between. We enjoyed the woods and fens on a family walk. It felt so good to be out there together!