Archive for July, 2011

It’s finally ready!

The nursery is finally ready! We spent Saturday evening and most of Sunday morning fixing the bed and chest of drawers that finally arrived. 🙂

We actually had some friends over for dinner on Saturday, and one of them helped set up the bottom part of the bed after dinner. So after he left at about 11pm, we had the bottom of the bed sorted, and all we needed to do was to set up the top part of the bed. Patty, who was also here for dinner, stayed over and help us set up the top part of the bed and the chest of drawers. It wasn’t difficult, but cos the bed was so big and the room was pretty small, it just took a little more moving around than usual.

But it’s all done now, and all we have to do is to move Peanut’s stuff from our drawers to her own chest of drawers.






Now we wait for baby to come. 🙂 

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Galicia

Galicia. A region in the North West Spain. Famous for fish and seafood. No, we didn’t go there unfortunately. But we chanced upon a restaurant called Galicia, serving food from the region, right smack in the middle of Notting Hill. We were out for a pizza at Pizza East Portobello and saw it across the road and decided to try it one day. Since the wife is on maternity leave, we decided to go for dinner there to celebrate her ‘freedom’ before being shackled to the baby. 🙂 Who knows, it may be the last time we go out for dinner as 2 people before the baby makes 3.  

It was very homey and lively, even for a Tuesday evening. The place was packed to the rafters and more people were streaming in.



Waiting patiently for our food. It was typically Spanish (tapas, meats, fish, etc) but with a Galician twist. I think I am developing a steroid face. It’s not as bad as it was previously during course 1, but still noticeable.


Patatas bravas, or potatoes in a tomato sauce laced with Pimenton. Lovely. We always have this when we have tapas. It’s actually quite easy to make. I’ve made once. How hard can it be if I can make it? 🙂 


The rest of the food. We have grilled crayfish (Langoustines by the look of it) on the left, followed by meatballs in sauce on the right and a chorizo cooked in red wine at the back. They were all very nice. Although I can’t say for sure how the crayfish tasted. The wife had them all. 


These were so impressive looking that I had to take another picture. Mum, I didn’t have any. Really. 


The wife also ordered clams in a tomato broth, and baked in an oven. Apparently they were very nice. Not that I would know, I didn’t have any. Really. 🙂 

Now this I did have. Pork pieces in a red pepper sauce. It was yummy. 


The wife attacking the crayfish with gusto. It was a very enjoyable evening. We thought we were going to have a quiet dinner out but who knew that the restaurant would be packed on a school night. It got so noisy that baby girl was squirming and kicking throughout dinner.

But it was good to get out for a few hours. Only because it will be a pretty long time before we can do it again. 

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Infection

So that’s what the A&E at Hammersmith Hospital looks like.

Not that I wanted to go there, but a few days after I got the jab to boost my blood counts, I’ve been having a low grade fever (between 37.5 – 37.9 celcius). This went on for 2 days or so, keeping the wife and I on the edge for a while. We were monitoring my temperature constantly, and since I was on Paracetamol cos of the pain I was having, we were never sure if the temperature reading was right or not.

Then it hit 38.1 degrees. Everything that we’ve heard and been told about infections and fevers and temperatures just kicked in then, and being ever paranoid, we called the Haematology doctor at the hospital. We were advised to come into A&E (despite it being 1230 in the morning) and get it checked out.

They were expecting us, as the doctor called ahead and we were ushered into a side room away from everyone else and they came to take blood and a blood culture (not through the line, but using a MASSIVE needle they stabbed into my arm), observations and pee. I also had to do a chest X Ray. But we mainly did a lot of waiting. For the haematology doctor, X ray, blood results, etc.

The worst thing was that they had actually reserved bed for me at the Weston Ward, in case I had an infection. In which case I was to be warded for 3 days minimum for a full course of antibiotics. Not looking forward to that. Luckily the blood results came back OK, besides an elevated C-Reactive Protein which could indicate a mild infection. Chest X-Ray was clear, as was the pee. So they let us go home. I was never so relieved about anything in my life. It was 330 am when we finally got home.

The craziest thing was that we were back in the hospital again less than 10 hours later for Peanut’s scan and to get my lines flushed. We’re getting uncomfortably familiar with the hospital. Hope that we won’t be spending too much time there in the future. 🙂

So now I know what the A&E at Hammersmith Hospital looks like. Don’t want to be back there anytime soon. 😛

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Pain

Since I’ve been Neutropenic, the doctors prescribed an injection for me to artificially boost my white cell count. Just till my bloods recover naturally. I was warned that one of the potential side effects would be pain in the hips and thighs, where the vast majority of the bone marrow is located in the human body.

It’s been OK since I got the jab, initially just a little sore around the thighs and hips, like a slight ‘bone ache’. But nothing could prepare me for the pain that I was going to go through.

It felt like something was crushing my pelvis. It literally took my breath away. I couldn’t breathe properly, couldn’t lie down properly (this happened at about 3 am), couldn’t get comfortable and basically couldn’t manage the pain. It sort of came in waves; intense bone crushing pain followed by an even more intense bone crushing pain every 6 – 10 seconds. I have never experienced pain like this before.

After about an hour of writhing in agony I decided to call the Haematology on-call doctor at the hospital. He basically told me that the pain is common, and crushing pain isn’t rare. But it shouldn’t last more than a few hours. He advised me to take some pain killers (paracetamol will do nicely) and if the severe pain persists in the morning, call the Haematology day care. But it’s difficult to imagine what they can do besides prescribing heavier pain killers. 

Struggling back into bed I had no choice but to wake the wife, who then sprang into action and got me the pain killers and talked me through her breathing and visualisation techniques for managing the pain during labour. We joked that she was supposed to be the one in pain and I was supposed to talk her through it, not the other way around. After about 30 minutes the pain killers took effect and the pain subsided into a dull ache. Much more comfortable. We were able to get back to sleep but keeping in mind that if the pain returned, we would probably have to go into the hospital again later in the day.

But for now, it’s not too bad. Hopefully it will subside even further during the day. Thank goodness for the wife, who, although terrified, was able to keep her wits about her and help me through this. 🙂

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Mind the dust

Not much happened in the last few days, and indeed will happen in the next week or so. The wife is officially on maternity leave (hurray!!!) and we’re now waiting for the baby’s arrival. We’ve got most of the things sorted for her imminent arrival barring a few small items and some things for convenience, but if she DOES decide to be early, we’re ready for her. From a logistical point of view obviously. I don’t think anything can prepare someone for the arrival of a pink, squirming, screaming bundle of joy.

There are a few things that we need sorted before D Day, however.

Furniture

We seem to have a love hate relationship with Ikea. On the one hand, we can get literally everything we need from one location. On the other hand, they’re really tardy when it comes to delivering large items of furniture. We ordered a chest of drawers and a daybed for the nursery, and the online ordering system offered a delivery date of 15 July. A day after ordering, Ikea called up and said they could only deliver on 30th July. Misrepresentation? Maybe. The alternative would be to go to the store and pick it up. Chest of drawers, fine. Bed? Probably not. 

Food

This is interesting cos we have been getting loads of advice on what to do about this when the baby arrives. Obviously the baby needs only the mother for food, but the adults need their sustenance as well. Friends and books suggested to cook and freeze food portions so we won’t have to cook our meals every day. So I’ve just done a massive Sainsburys shop and will be cooking (and freezing) up a storm in the coming days.

There’s also the traditional Chinese ‘confinement’ meals that we have to make, laden with ginger and sesame oil. I will need to visit the local butcher to get some pig trotters and what nots for the big day. 

Tests

We’ve managed to organise all the tests that I need to do for the transplant before the baby arrives. This is good as it means that both the wife and I can focus on the baby and not worry about getting to the hospital and waiting for the tests and the results, etc. So all things go there.

Clothes

More for the wife than for me. While she was previously shopping for maternity clothes with a vengeance, she’s now looking for nursing clothes with a passion. Interesting switch, although the same complaints have arisen occasionally; that they’re all so ugly, and don’t fit, there’re no sizes, etc. 🙂

Oh well..  

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Consolidated bump pictures

It’s quite interesting to see the progression of the wife’s bump over the months. I only started taking pictures when it started showing, and have put together a compilation of some of the images below and the respective dates. 


There wasn’t much bump development from March to April, the wife’s colleagues reckoned that she had one too many pies at lunch. But the real bump explosion started at about the end of May. You can see that the bump grew massively from the period from May to the beginning of July, and grew even more in the 3 weeks that the 2 pictures were taken.

Like Fr Keith (our parish priest) said the other week, “there’s a real baby in there now”. 🙂

Yes, there’s a real baby in there now. And it’s not long till we get to see her. And we can’t wait. 

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The Bee

Our project this week is to put together the Bugaboo Bee that my wonderful family gave us. 🙂 It’s not a massive project, but it’s one that we’ve been looking forward to for many many weeks now.


The first step is obviously do an audit of the various bits and pieces that came in the packages, just to make sure that they’re all there.



This is the folded and unfolded frame of the Bee. On it will go the seat unit, the cocoon, the footmuff or the car seat. Not all at the same time of course. The frame looks pretty high tech unfolded. The good thing about this is that we can unfold it with one hand, but folding it is a two hand operation. But still very simple. 


Putting the seat and cocoon on is pretty easy. The seat can be reversed to face the world or to face the ‘engine’ powering the pushchair. The only issue with the Bee (and indeed almost all pushchairs) is that we have to bend over to lift the baby out of the pushchair. Not good news for someone with a bad back (i.e. the wife). Which is why the Stokke Xplorys are so good. They also cost nearly £1000 so no go there. And they are massive and don’t fold flat. The bad outweighs the good I reckon.  




Here I am, a picture of intense concentration putting together my darling daughter’s wheels. Not the whole thing mind, cos the wife helped. This is just the sunshade! Note the extreme smug look upon success.


The finished product. So now Peanut will have a set of wheels to zoom around in when she’s here. 🙂 All systems go then.


We also got the car seat ready for her too. It’s the lightest and safest in the class. The wiggly bits were not included. 🙂 

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