Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baby Showers and Belly Rubs

Today I reached 27 weeks on the 40 week journey that is pregnancy, so today I'm indulging in some baby blogging.

The last few weeks have seen an increase in the frequency of the "are you excited yet?" question from gushing females. All of them react with complete surprise when finding out that I am not yet at the "excited" stage of this pregnancy.

I am by nature more pragmatic than excitable. At this point all I can see is the most enormous to do list lurking before me. I have too many constraints getting in the way of that list to leave any room for excitement.

At the same time I do acknowledge that I have chosen to live in a culture that loves to gush and get emotional over everything. Therefore I am the one who needs to make the adjustment and align myself with the cultural norm I live in. This brings me to the title of my post.

Firstly I'll mention the "belly rubs." While I have started to rub my belly when alone with the baby I was not prepared for other people to walk up to me for the sole purpose of rubbing my pregnant belly. I'm not sure what it is about pregnancy that makes my body public property, but around here that certainly seems to be the case. My baby bump seems to be open access to all and any hands that want to give it a rub. I know that it is a display of affection, so I try not to squirm when it happens. I guess Scots just have a bigger personal space barrier than Americans.

The other big cultural difference for me right now is the "Baby Shower." We don't have these parties back home in Scotland. Babies are celebrated once they have safely arrived. It is in fact seen as "bad luck" to do too much before the arrival is out of the way. One of the ways this can be seen is that the baby's pram (baby carriage) is not fully paid for and brought home until after the baby is born. I guess you could express it as not counting our chickens before the eggs hatch. Here the ladies love to celebrate the pending arrival of the new baby by throwing baby showers for the mom. In many cases it helps the parents-to-be by providing some of the items they need for the new baby. In that regard I can understand how it has become increasingly popular and even essential to many new mothers.

Our church is throwing a baby shower for four of us mothers-to-be on March 6. Because there are four of us all due within weeks of each other it is a joint shower. And because it is a joint shower it is not going to be a gift shower. Instead those attending are giving monetary gifts that will then be split between us four ladies to help us towards things we need for our babies. So they are calling it a "Towards Shower." I'm glad that I won't be the only mother-to-be, as then I won't be the centre of attention, and won't be the only one having their belly rubbed.

It is going to be an afternoon of trying to find a good balance. I am aware that several of the ladies involved have so far been unable to get or stay pregnant. They would give anything to be in my position and be the centre of a baby shower. Still they will come along and celebrate other women's pregnancies and the new lives that grow within us. Yet at the same time I'm going to have to deal with all those hands trying to touch my belly, and fussing over me, and expecting me to be all gushing and excited. That is not going to be all that easy, when I'm uncomfortable from the baby's head wedged into my pelvis, and lacking sleep from constant movement and kicking.

So 8 days and another milestone will be reached, and the baby shower will be over.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Cold Sore!

This past weekend was a bit manic for my husband and I, but yesterday topped it all off.

On Saturday my darling hubby took his truck to Orlando to get fixed, he didn't get home until late and half way back the truck was worse than ever. So the truck is stuck in our garage and we're operating with only the car.

So my darling husband is doing the school run this week on his way to and from work. he hadn't been at the office long before he got a phone call from the school. One of the boys had been pulled from class because he had a cold sore. Rob explained the transport situation and asked if there was a work around. The school then called back an hour later to say that this same boy was in the office and would not be able to go back to class until he had been cleared by a doctor as not being contagious to the other students. This was a first for both my husband and I. Neither of us had ever heard of a cold sore keeping a child out of school.

However this was not as straight forward as just taking our boy to a doctor. As host parents we are not legal guardians. The boys are not covered on our health insurance, they are foreign students who have to have their own insurance. Of course being minors their parents have all their information and didn't send any copies with them. So Rob got stuck in the school office waiting for mom to fax over copies of health insurance documents and a letter authorising us to agree to medical treatment.

Then there is the ordeal of getting the medical treatment. None of the walk-in clinics take the Bahamian health insurance, so we have to pay for the treatment up front. Several telephone calls to the Bahamas later we get checked in at an Urgent Care center. Even the staff at the Urgent Care center are not sure how some of the paperwork should be completed. An hour later we finally get taken through to a consultation room where more medical history, and basic checks are done. We are moved to another consultation room and wait for another 10 minutes before we see a doctor. He takes one look and tells us that it is indeed a cold sore, offers a prescription and disappears for another 10 minutes. We are then sent back to the reception area to wait for the prescription and letter for the school. Another telephone call to mom and the decision is made to purchase an over the counter cold sore ointment rather than paying for two prescriptions that won't make recovery any quicker.

So my darling husband looses more than half a day at work, the boy looses a day of school and last baseball practice before today's home game, and mom in the Bahamas is out by $140 all for a letter from a doctor that says it is safe to go to school with a cold sore.

After all that my wonderful husband and I looked at each other and said the same thing, "that's another reason to homeschool!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Down to double figures

Today I got down to only double figures until our due date. 99 days to go until May 27. I'd love to say I'm getting excited at the arrival of this baby. Instead I just keep thinking about all the things we still have to do and still have to buy. We do have a bit of plan to tackle both of these lists.

Firstly we have a date for when we can start at the very latest on preparing the nursery, guest room and birth room (our bedroom). Our "boys" will be moving out by April 17 at the very latest, which is a Saturday. We plan to empty the two rooms that day and shampoo the carpets. Then I can work on washing all the windows, baseboards, doors etc before we start putting furniture back into the rooms. Rob thinks we may have to touch up paint as well, which he can do while I clean. However this all has to be done in only two weekends so that it is ready in time for our midwife's home visit at week 36.

Then there are all the things we still have to buy. We are committed to spend as little money as possible for the arrival of this baby, but we are still looking at about $1500 for EVERYTHING. We are going to focus on just the basics, but as I've been listing it all in a baby registry to keep myself organised I got a shock when I totaled the cost of it all. Fortunately most of it is a one time expense we won't have to repeat for any future babies. Any future babies should only cost a few hundred dollars, as everything we will have will be gender neutral and therefore able to be reused again and again. Even the diapers (nappies) will get reused as we have stocked up on cloth along with one size covers. As soon as our tax refund money comes through we can get shopping for everything in plenty of time before our due date.

At this point I have to give some recognition to my wonderful mum. Even though she is 5000 miles away in Scotland, she has been an amazing blessing to us as we prepare to become parents. My mum & dad bought our crib for us, along with a very good mattress. My mum has also been buying up all the gender neutral clothing for 0-3 & 3-6 months that she has been able to find. She is also having a baby shawl made especially for us. As my parents are coming over two days before our due date we decided it will be easier and cheaper for my mum to just bring all the baby things with her in a spare suitcase. She did offer to sent it over before hand, but since she'll be here I thought it would be easier for her to just bring it.

I have been a little surprised at how difficult it has been to find baby clothes that are truly gender neutral. Even the neutral colours tend to be embellished with butterflies and flowers, turning them into girl clothes. The baby clothes market here seems to reflect the current obsession with everyone finding out the gender to their babies as early as possible. Every time we are asked if we know what we are having, and we reply "a baby" we are responded to with surprise. Older people like that we are doing things "the old fashioned way" while younger people always ask about how we will deal with a baby shower if we don't have a definite gender. Since we are not planning or aware of any baby shower for our baby this is definitely not an issue for us.

One thing I do have completed early. I have everything together for the birth kit. It was something I could work on that didn't require a lot of storage space, and that was necessary for our 36 week home visit. It was good to be able to focus on completing something towards the baby's arrival, to have an item marked off the very extensive to do list. It is also a comfort to know that whenever I do go into labour we have all the supplies we need for the actual birth. Even if the baby comes a little early we are prepared enough for that first day. Right now the only things that would be considered essential if the baby were to arrive a little early would be crib bedding and a car seat, which if need be Rob could always just run out to get after the birth if we don't have them by that time. But as we are planning on doing our big baby shop by the end of April that shouldn't be a problem.

Hopefully my next post won't be so full of baby thoughts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pregnancy Brain Strikes!

I'm such a bad blogger. I vowed at the start of the year to blog more regularly and already I'm failing miserably. My head is turning into mush. I used to think that pregnant women exaggerated about loosing their minds, but now I know its turn because it is happening to me. The desk in our bedroom has stacks of paper with sticky notes attached to remind me what I need to do with them and when. My wonderful husband has to constantly remind me to complete tasks, or I don't get them done. If I don't do it right away then I forget and it doesn't get done. Yet I have an amazing ability to remember everything I've been learning about childbirth and caring for a new born. My pregnancy brain is filtering out EVERYTHING that isn't baby related.

It is hard to believe that we've made it to six months already. In many ways this pregnancy is going by faster than I though it would. I feel like we have too much still to do and buy before we'll be ready for this Little One to make their first appearance. We have a crib (thanks Mum & Dad!), cloth diapers (nappies) with snappis and covers and a couple of newborn sized onesies. It is a start, but we have so much left to get. We must have the car seat fitted in time for our home visit from the midwife at 36 weeks. We also need to have everything for the birth kit by then too. I've got most of the birth kit together, just a 4oz bottle of olive oil to go.

We are now in the process of working with the school and church to find new homes for our Bahamian students. They have spring break the week after Easter, which will also be a week before our deadline for them to move, so it would be ideal if they could move to their new families during spring break week. That way they could get resettled without having to be in class everyday. We spoke to the boys last week to let them know what would be happening and that our decision was purely because of the baby coming. We continue to pray that the right family for each boy will come forward to take them on, not just for the rest of the school year, but also for the next 2 & 3 years until they graduate high school.

I have been keen to get started nesting, but we can't get the nursery ready until we have moved the boys. It will also be nice to get the guest room ready for my parents arrival in May. It will be so good to have my Mum around for a few weeks around the time of the baby's birth.

At church we are up to six babies being due this coming summer. There is another mom due in May, two more in June and another two in July. There are also several ladies that have so far been unable to conceive and it is my prayer that these ladies will be able to join in our baby boom for 2010. It will be great to have so many other babies around our Little One, especially in a church that has so many retired people. It is like a new lease of life being breathed through the whole place as all the women show excitement at the prospect of so many babies.

With only 15 more weeks to go, I know this pregnancy is going to be over before I realise. I am trying to enjoy each moment, and this second trimester has certainly been very enjoyable. It is closing with my belly continuing to grow and my movement becoming slower and clumsier. I know that is only going to continue as the weeks go by, so enjoying every moment is definitely a must for me.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Baby Mordecai

Our blessed first baby, Mordecai, gone to heaven on July 23, 2009 at 13 weeks gestation.

You will never be forgotten by us.