Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Little 'Uns

Here are some pictures of Coby's mini family and friends....

Cousin Jack (10 months old)

Coby's friend Rachel (aged 2)

Rachel's sister Rebecca who will be celebrating her 1st birthday on 5th January

Alicia - born just two days before Coby on the 14th November

And teenie tiny Jasmine - born 4 days after Coby on the 20th

Monday, December 26, 2005

Colic frolic & missed feeds

Coby has got a touch of colic.

Colic is evil. Basically it is like terminal trapped wind! Well, it is terminal for Ma & rest, no settling him. Hell.And it makes his little chubby chin quiver...ahhhhh!

The day after it started the health visitor told us to use Infacol. The infacol seemed to have an effect after a couple of days and those two days were hard work. Feeds took twice as long. Unstoppable screaming more or less after every feed. Murder! Poor Coby.

When the Infacol finally kicked in it was bliss. Anyone got any tips for colic? Ivan, checked your book and is very useful.

Note: If the health visitor tells you to stay on infacol for a couple of weeks unless your guts tell you to stop...just stay on it for two weeks. If the colic stops that means the infacol is working and not that he is cured! Ma & Pa learnt a valuable lesson there for sure.

Then, two nights ago, Coby missed his 2am feed. It was Christmas Eve and he slept from about 10 until about 5...wahoo! He missed one again last night. I think this is the start of him sleeping through more. Seems to be from about 11 until about 4...hooray!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Seasons Greetings

Hi, Coby here wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Can you spot me among all my lovely presents?

Here I am...!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Father Christmas & Santa's Little Helper

What a picture!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Special Little Pudding

Coby gets into the festive spirit!

Too many mince pies and mulled wine, eh dad?

Blue is the colour

As most of you are probably aware Mr T and I are fans of Tottenham Hotspur, so naturally it would follow that Coby's favoured colour is also blue. Here we have him modelling the latest design from the Early Spurs collection as bought for him by Uncle Mark, who cannot wait to take him onto the terraces at White Hart Lane. Obviously he has a few years to wait before Coby is old enough to shout "We love you Tottenham we do". In the meantime, we have our hands full keeping the Arsenal fans in the family away from Coby's influence (boo hiss those of you who bought him the Arsenal Teddy).

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cute as a button

Coby has developed a view on the world that consists of opening one eye, scanning the scene before him and then dropping off to sleep if things don't look interesting. He is quite a clever little bunny. The other morning while lying in bed with mummy, he appeared to copy everything she did. Mummy opened one eye to check on him, so did Coby. Mummy stretched, so did Coby. We both dropped off to sleep together, napped for about half an hour and then woke up at the same time, again opening one eye first to check each other out. Within the next few weeks he will begin to focus and, more importantly, start smiling, which I am very much looking forward to. In the meantime, to encourage his senses and reflexes, I have been singing, reading and talking to him as well as exercising his legs and arms and trying out a little baby massage. He even seems to be responding to noise and colours from the TV. We're hoping he doesn't become addicted to Eastenders and Coronation Street just yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Today is my mummy and daddy's wedding anniversary! They were married at Port Lympne Animal Park in Kent three years ago today. Here is a picture of them on their wedding day...

Happy Anniversary mummy and daddy love Coby xxxxxx

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chubby Teplet

What an earth is in formula milk these days?? Young Coby now weighs 9lbs 12oz!!
So the breast-feeding didn't quite work out for us after much tears and trauma, but such is life and I've come to terms with the situation now and stopped beating myself up about it. Coby, on the other hand, doesn't have a care in the world and is supping happily away on his bottles and filling out nicely.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hertfordshire Explosion - We are fine

At about 6am today massive explosions hit fuel depot not too far from where we live.

We were feeding at the time and heard and felt the blast...weird...and assumed it was a tremor. We live 25 km away and it still sounded like it was next door.

A few people have got in touch to ask if we were affected...we weren't thankfully. Other than having to change our trousers. Thoughts go out to all those involved.

Thanks for all your texts and emails.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Massive congratulations to our friends who are expecting babies..

Cass & Chris - we are so excited for you - can't wait to introduce Coby to Baby D.

Simone & Anthony - what happy news, especially following the birth of your nephew in September. Coby is going to have so many little friends next year!!

Keep well everybody and take it easy ladies - if we can do anything for you, just say the word!

Enjoy every moment of your pregnancies.


Congratulations to the wonderful friends we made in our ante-natal classes. We have all given birth now to beautiful babes...

Maddy & Justin - baby Louis was born on Tuesday 1st November

Angela & Richard - baby Alicia was born on Monday 14th November

Paula & Mark - baby Jasmine was born on Sunday 20th November

Vicki & Simon - baby Oliver was born on Tuesday 22nd November

Michaela & Tony - baby Lola was born on Friday 25th November

You're all stars!

Friday, December 09, 2005

This is the life

Just a few more cutsie pictures for the album.....

Daddy is so warm and cuddly - I could stay here all day

Hey, I wasn't ready! And what's with the flash?

Ok, why does my hand look really big?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pots of Art

Coby's feet were immortalised in paint when we took him to Pots of Art in Hitchin. Being the creative artist in the family, dad was left holding Coby while I set to work with the pottery and paint - what fun I had! I could have attempted a whole dinner set of plates, cups and saucers but Coby will only sleep for so long.

The best thing about our day out was meeting up for the first time with the five other babies born to our new friends from the NCT ante natal classes. Coby got to meet Louis, Olly, Alicia, Jasmine and Lola. They were extremely well-behaved and Coby did not move a muscle while his feet were covered with blue paint. Here he is overwhelmed to meet Alicia (left) and Jasmine (right) for the very first time. All three could hardly contain their excitement.

Perfectionist mum looks on, hoping for the perfect footprint!

The end result - two plates, one mug and a photo frame! Perfect!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

POPS: The sick truth about MILK

Tonight on POPS (brought to you by the Coby News Network) we bring you a disturbing report. We show you the tragic face of milk addiction. We have exclusive footage before, during and after an addict gets their fix.

Produced in the milk fields of Sainsbury's this dangerous drug is most commonly purchased in carton form (although we hear that tubs of powder will soon be available). 59p a carton might not seem a lot to you and I but to a baby it's a fortune and they will stop at nothing to satisfy their twisted craving.

WARNING: Some of our viewers may find these images cute.

The truth is ugly and just before a baby gets his or her fix they writhe and distort such is the anguish. In this pose we see a baby threatening the reporter with some kind of martial arts move unless they hand over their milk stash.

At a certain point during the 'feeding' the baby becomes aggressive and lashes out until they are placed in the position below. Apparently when they take the milk air gets trapped and they have to be winded.

That image was hard to capture and an undercover POP was nearly killed in the process.

Finally peace is restored (see below) and the baby is becalmed. For now. Until their sick milk habit once again forces them to kick and scream until someone gives them their next hit.

Milk IS a drug and people are being hurt - lives are being ruined and yet still the government does nothing to outlaw this vile substance.

How do POPS deal with this harsh reality? One day at a time!

NEXT WEEK ON POPS: We uncover the sick truth about Nappies. Who makes 'em, who wears 'em and what goes on inside.

Fade to black. Theme tune kicks in.


Monday, December 05, 2005

It's all too much!

This is Coby's favoured method of relaxation when he's had a good feed. It makes it difficult to tip him forward to wind him and who would want to disturb this little sleeping Teplet anyway?

The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago when we were still in hospital, hence the cannular in his right hand.

It seems like it was only yesterday and the last three weeks have absolutely flown by, but we are as pleased as punch to be home in time for our first Christmas together.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Poem for Coby by Nanna Ann

My little boy blue with the button nose crying for his milk

He wiggles his perfect pink soft toes, his hair and skin like silk

I love every inch of him soft milky little lamb

And soon I'll nurse and cuddle him and push him in his pram

And when he grows a little I will take him to the park

He can feed the ducks and eat icecreams, chat and have a lark

He will find the swings and slides such fun, adore the fair and zoo

I can teach him of lifes wonders, there is so much we will do

Each moment I will treasure with this precious little man

And cherish him forever, because I am his gran!

Love Nanna xx

Poo position

I just learnt something invaluable about parenting. Be creative, think outside the box and NEVER give up.

Man I felt like I had entered a special level of hell. Coby woke up (Babe, is it...Yep) 20 mins ago grizzlin' which escalated to the full lung quickly.

I took him to the spare room to feed etc. Would not settle on the bottle much and realised he was passing a stool (what a great expression eh?). Actually by the sound of it he was passing an entire Ikea store...even the plants and swedish meatballs!!! At one point I even jokingly asked him if he was giving birth??? Got a dirty look from him for that.

After a few minutes the screams had escalated even beyond a full lung to something like a civil warning (perhaps the Russians really WERE coming??? maybe he COULD hear the bombers??? checked the sign...phew...removed protective tin foil helmet).

Could not feed, could not soothe, could not stop him waking Hertfordshire. ARGH!

Lightbulb moment!

Instead of sitting him on lap in the feeding position I turned him to hold him horizontally in my arms.

Success. Not hungry. Not screaming. Sleeping. For now.

Clearly he prefers to poo on his side. Not on his back or sitting up. Brilliant. Will get onto the council tomorrow to see if horizontal toilets are eligible for a grant.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Moider Moider

It's 5am ish and I have just done a feed...feel inspired to blog about it and feel creative...bear with me:

It started with a grizzle about 30 minutes ago...I stirred.

The grizzle escalated slowly, and yet fast. Like lightening really.

He was hungry. I positioned him on my knee facing me which is very comfortable for us both, grabbed the correct bottle and aimed it his mouth.

He either finds the next bit hard or amusing but he then moves his mouth to get to the bottle and misses completely. Very zen...very funny. If he just stayed still the bottle would meet his mouth...oh no...too simple...oh well.

Finally teat meets tounge and we avoid hearing a 'full lung'.

Two minutes of silence bar some heavy breathing and slurping. Story of my life eh?

Oh no, Daddy forgot to attach the bib. Bottle withdrawn. SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM.

Almost like he is being if withdrawing the bottle to attach his bib is a crime against humanity. Am convinced social services will come swinging in through the windows at any moment like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

Bib attached. Bottle re-offered. Mouth whizzing about in every direction but the right one. Eventually bottle docks with mouth. Silence. Milk is his drug and I am his dealer.

Slumber mixes with gluttony (is that a baby thing or a genetic thing?). Towards the end he is almost sleep-feeding (what a great idea eh?).

He relaxes. I burp love his burbs and farts...crack me up. I place him gently on the bed to see if he is off to slumberly-wumberly land. Maybe. Could it be? Is he off? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Nope. Legs moving about. Possibly a poo?

Pick him up. Wind some more. Few drops more of milk. And finally, to sleep, perchance to dream.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Coby checking in...

Hello everyone! This is Coby reporting...

I have been sleeping a great deal today and even mummy had a nap on the couch with me. She and daddy have been watching these things called DVDs, but they seem to make them fall asleep so they can't be much fun.

Yesterday we had a visit from Jenni the health visitor. She popped me on some scales and I now weigh 8lbs 5oz. Is that heavy? Mummy says I am a greedy guzzler but I don't know what that means. I think its good though because mummy gave me lots of hugs afterwards and said she was proud of me. The midwife came for the last time today and said me and mummy can be discharged. We will now get regular visits from Jenni which is good because she is nice and gave mummy and daddy lots of advice about me.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to register my birth and we will get a special certificate. In the meantime auntie Dee and Uncle Rob are coming tonight for pizza. Uncle Rob is a Spurs fan just like me, mummy and daddy, so I am going to wear my Spurs outfit especially - mummy is going to take a picture so you can all see how cute I look.

Anyway, better go as I need milk, a nappy change and more cuddles!

Cheerio love Coby xxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Coby's grandpa Lipa (daddy's daddy) is 79 years old today!
He has been a little poorly lately and is spending some time in nursing care so we are all going to visit him later today.

I am going to buy a little cake and some balloons and we are going to give dad his first card from Coby.

It was also auntie Stacey's birthday on Sunday. The lucky girl flew out to Australia yesterday for the trip of a lifetime. She works for a company who sponsor the ITV series 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' and she won a competition. So she has flown out to Brisbane for eight days where she will go behind the scenes of the show and meet the celebrities. I've asked her to bring me back Dec, but she just frowned at me and said the only present she'll be bringing back will be for Coby. Fair enough!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Lucky Boy

Many, many, many heartfelt thanks to all of you for your cards and wonderful presents.
Coby has truly been spoilt and every time I open his wardrobe and see the amazing amount of clothes he is accumulating, I am reminded of how many wonderful friends we have to compliment our fantastic family.

We have received almost 80 cards, some dazzling bouquets, tasty Belgian chocolates, champagne, balloons, a stunning orchid plant from family in Canada and Coby's very own pair of England football booties - ready in time for next year's world cup!

The best gift however, which was actually given to me and daddy, was The Mini Safe Baby Handling Kit. It comes with a mini bib, the Wheel of Responsibility, Handling Tips and instruction magnets and stickers. The stickers can be placed in the car (Caution! Removing infant car seat may require rocket scientist for reinstallation) or by the laundry basket (Laundry Tip: to effectively remove stains from baby's clothes, throw away clothes and buy new ones).

Friday, November 25, 2005

Meet the grandparents

Today, Coby will meet his Nanna and Grandpa (mummy's parents) for the first time.
Hopefully, weather permitting, they will arrive this evening and everyone is very excited.

Coby was actually born on their 31st wedding anniversary, so he has already earned himself thousands of extra brownie points.

I'm sure there will be some tears and lots of hugs and kisses this weekend as we all spend some quality time together.

Coby also received his very first letter today addressed to him personally. It was from mummy and daddy's good friends Helen and Richard and their daughter Megan who was born on 18th August. They have planted two trees dedicated in Coby's name in Tiny Toes Wood in Northumberland. Mummy and daddy will take him there when he is a bit older. He also received a bear outfit and some reindeer booties from Great auntie Lorraine and auntie Roxann. They are a little big at the moment, but the rate he is feeding, he will fit into them in no time!

Right now, he is sleeping on daddy's chest having had ANOTHER round of milk. He is eating very well and looks like he may be filling out slightly. The health visitor is due on Monday and she will weigh him so we will find out if our little man has put on a few ounces.

Bye for now xx

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hello World!

Hi folks

Coby here posting my first post on the blog my Mummy and Daddy set up for me. I love them very much and I look forward to meeting you all soon. Am sure we will get along just fine. And if you have a daughter my age...bring her along.

Here are some pictures of me:

This is Daddy feeding me...he is good at this although why he keeps hiding the JD from me I do not know. Naughty Daddy!

After my feed my Mummy or Daddy do something called burping. Basically they lean me forward and pat and rub my back until I make this strange noise. It feels good though. There must be something wrong with me though cos Daddy makes this noise (and others that smell) without anyone burping him. Hmmm...

After a good feed I like nothing more than to settle down to a nice tune...something calming and chilled out. Mummy and Daddy bought me a Baby iPod with cute coloured headphones. Cool eh? I'm gonna rock down to Electric Avenue de dum de dum de dum dum.

Seeing how you have visited my blog I thought I should give you some cute pics of me doing what I do best. So here are a couple of pics of me sleeping which I do very well. Mummy & Daddy say I look like an angel when I sleep. Daddy also calls me the Hertfordshire Horror! Is that good?

Ah...this is my fav of me sleeping...angel indeed!

This is me ready to leave the hospital...I love my little bear outfit with the little ears. Mummy says I have some great outfits to wear including a Santa's Little Helper outfit.

This is me with Mummy at our front door. Yippee we are home. I like the look of this place and look forward to smashing it all up soon. Daddy looks worried. Hee hee.

Ah...peace at first 5 days were spent in the hospital with Mummy so as soon as we got home Mummy & I took a nap together on the couch which made Daddy very happy. He said he had been looking forward to taking this picture for ages.

Last one for now...very cute I think, then again I am biased.

Bye for now...



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Birthday Coby!

As of 08.35 this morning, Coby is now a week old.

He is feeding like a demon, although still not quite happy with boobies.
Perservering though and expressing as much as possible for him.

He had an unsettled night last night as his cord is beginning to come off but a nice little belly button taking shape underneath.

First bath at home will take place this morning!

Milk run

Am just up settling coby after a feed...he is such a son for sure ;)

Wanted to say that vistors are now welcome...just call me and book a slot first though to prevent overcrowding.

Have loads of pics but blasted internet connection dropping every 5 mins...very unpredictable...coming soon I promise.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Snap Happy

More pictures of Coby coming up later courtesy of daddy...

The Mummy Returns


I'm back and I'm pretty speechless to tell the truth, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

My son and I are home after five LONG days in hospital. The experience has been surreal. The birth happened in slow motion and when I lifted my son from the birthing pool for the first time, my world changed forever!

I am not the same person any more.

My beautiful, adorable, precious, button nosed angel has turned my life around.

The care and devotion he received in the Neonatal Unit at Barnet General Hospital was phenomenal!!!! Someone watched over him twenty four seven and the paediatricians who monitored and took care of him in the first few precious days of my little boy's life, well I will be forever and always in their debt.

Need to go and give Coby a hug now as mummy in tears again....hormones eh?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Nearly home...

OK more pics to come soon...he is now off all the wires and monitors and sooooo gorgeous - I know I am biased but trust me, he is hot stuff!!!. He is feeding like a pig from the bottle now and Sarah is expressing milk now and it is starting to flow...hopefully as it gets easier to suck milk from the breast Coby will see the light and switch over. No pressure on him or Sarah long as he gets fed and we can take him home I will be happy. Looking good though.

What a week!

Sarah is doing fine...getting more and more visitors at the hospital...can't wait to get home of course.

Watch this space...

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm ready for my close-up Mr DeMille

Just some pics with commentary from Coby:

Ta Dah! So here I am in special care with a few tubes sticking in me...but frankly, mum and dad are more worried than I am.

This is a close-up of me with daddy covering the flash to protect my wee peepers. Food line going in my nose is really annoying. So they put a mitt on my left hand cos I am clever and figured out how to remove it. He he he!

This is my guardian angel...I always sense she is watching over me...she is a nice lady...her name is mummy...I love her very much and can't wait to let her know by staring and smiling at her...and maybe weeing on her when she changes me.

We are family! Nice feeling...daddy is funny and keeps saying I smelled of raw egg when I was born...does not stop him kissing and hugging me though. I love him too. I think I am gonna like this baby business.

bye for now


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Coby update

Ok...thought best to keep you all up to speed. Just popped home to get some supplies and check emails.

Will have more pics soon but right now pics are low priority as Coby is in the special care unit.

Don't panic though...he is cool and ok...but the cord was cut a tad late and so he got a bit too much blood in him which made his blood too thick which prevents glucose getting about which lowered his blood sugar which made him not interested in breast feeding which is also not good for his blood all that? Soooooo...

To feed him they have had to give him cups of milk (cups so as not to affect his nipple instincts) to nourish him and overnight, to prevent waking him frequently, they put a feeding tube in his nose...but being my son he reblliously tore it out (that's it Coby - fight the power) so now they have put a line in via his belly button from which they took 1/6 of his blood out and are replacing it with dextrose and saline solution to thin the blood nicely plus they use this line for any more blood they need for testing so no more needles for now for little coby.

The result is that his blood sugar has stabilised, he is normal pink instead of lobster pink and is scoffing food from cups like a right pig (that's my boy!) and SJ is just waiting for him to wake up to attempt breastfeeding. He has got the suction thing down now so he should take to that just fine.

The staff and facilities are amazing...!!! Has been hard to see him go through this at less than a day old...but he is fine...we on the other hand are one big blubbering emotional mess when not near him. Naturally!

Watch this space!!!

Thanks so much for all the cards, emails, flowers and so on...can't believe you sent us a BMW 6 know who you are.


Al & SJ

PS SJ just called and his results are looking good...coming home? Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can't take our eyes off of you...

Our baby boy was born at 8:35am this morning weighing 7 lbs 8 ounces...words cannot describe how we feel. Mum and baby doing ok...

Let me introduce you to Coby Zephyr

Thanks to all of you for your comments, emails and way to reply to them all individually...but they have all been a wonderful part of a truly wonderful day.


Al & Sarah

And now the time is near......

Well I'm sitting here at 3a.m. and my waters have broken!

Watch this space.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tarpal Cunnel Syndrome

I have been waking up in the mornings for a while now with pins and needles in my fingers. After a while it subsides and my hands are as good as new. However, the last couple of days, I have found the simplest of tasks difficult to carry out. I had a nap this morning and when I woke up, I could not move the fingers on my left hand!! Panic! They were completely closed up and felt tingly and spongy like they were half alive yet some how detatched from the rest of my body.

Apparently this is all perfectly normal and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (or Tarpal Cunnel as I lovingly refer to it) is a common complaint during pregnancy. I appreciate more than anything that I have a healthy body with fully functional limbs and the gift of all five senses. There are a great many people in this world who are not so lucky. I do not take my health for granted and I thank my stars every day that I am blessed with the body I have. I love the fact that I am sharing my body with Teplet at the moment. It's fine that he/she has given me humungous stretch marks and an itchy skin condition that, frankly, is driving me slowly insane. It's also fine that my pelvis is being stretched to accomodate Teplet's cute little head and that I have heartburn pretty much twenty four seven. I'm also learning to live with the insomnia now, because lets face it, things aren't going to get any better when Teplet arrives.

BUT! This Tarpal Cunnel doo dah is not good! The middle finger of my right hand (remember this because I'll be testing you later) has been completely numb for over two weeks now. It was odd at first, but I've accepted my new finger and moved on. The tingling sensation has spread to the tips of my other fingers now and as I type each of these moaning sessions on the keyboard, I could be typing onto razor blades and not know it (well at least until the blood started to trickle onto the desk).

Using cutlery, opening jars, typing and text messaging are now becoming difficult, but pretty much anything that involves using my hands has caused me to become ever so slightly upset. I'm lucky because this is only temporary and I keep telling myself this, but when the itching subsides and my hands return to normal and I can wear my beloved wedding and engagement rings again, I will be on cloud 9 - with Mr H and Teplet beside me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Emotions running high now!

Mr H works hard and commutes into London all week, so Saturday mornings are a treat for both of us. This Saturday we were up at 7a.m, so we took the duvet into the lounge and popped on a DVD. We watched 'What Dreams May Come' starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr and Annabella Sciorra.

Bad idea or good idea? We're not sure which, but we cried our eyes out, hugged each other and cried some more. We spent the rest of the day even more loved up and constantly telling each other 'I love you' (aaahhhhh how sweet).

The film is quite dark in parts, but really opens your mind to the 'meaning of life' debate and it certainly confirmed for us what love is all about.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, with the imminent arrival of Teplet on the horizon, we're both feeling incredibly sensitive and emotional. As far as life-changing experiences go, this is by far one of the biggest and while we feel as ready as we can be, the fear of the unknown and what is about to unfurl brings with it such a strange mix of anxiety and excitement. Watching soppy movies together is just the calm before the storm and we needed to let some of that emotion out of our system. Next time we'll watch something much less challenging on the old tear ducts - hopefully we'll be joined by Teplet on the couch and we can introduce him/her to the wonderful world of Disney. The Lion King will be a good start for our own little Simba.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sugar and spice and all thats nice

Am so impressed with the bonds made by the girls from the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) group we joined for ante-natal classes. Personally, I recommend them...good for both boys and girls.

Of course whilst the girls are loving the lunch lifestyle the boys are out slogging our guts out working to bring home the bacon. We get no chance to bond and chill. Still does not really compare to giving birth. I suppose.

Of course, I am being facetious. The girls deserve every chillout they are getting. It amazes me how much change their bodies have gone through.

Boys: imagine eating an 8 pound turkey on your own and then carting it about for a few months without going to the loo. Then imagine the biggest bowel movement of your life and the turkey comes out whole. Nuff said.

Men get a simple headache and think they have a tumour but the girls just take it all in their stride.

Yes yes I know I am letting the side down but to be honest they may be the fairer sex but I think they might also be the stronger sex too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mother's Meeting

Just got back from meeting my friends from antenatal class. There are six of us in total, but only four today as the first of us gave birth last Tuesday and another was unable to make it. Both were with us in spirit though and we all exchanged knowing glances that there could even be less of us next time.

We meet at the same cafe and I love to clock the look on the faces of the staff as four heavily, heavily pregnant women waddle in. As we left today we booked a table for the same time next week and I joked "you may want to get some towels and hot water ready". The guy behind the bar laughed nervously, but I could see he was thinking "yeah, not on my shift lady".

Today, I had Smoked Toulouse Sausages with caramelised onions and herb mash in a red wine sauce followed by the most delicious chocolate fondue with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. The girls all had the same dessert and as I looked around at us all indulging before the pregnancy excuse becomes a thing of the past, I just knew that we're all going to be friends for a long time to come!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tuesday's Suck!

For some reason I do not like Tuesday's. Monday's no problem, but Tuesday's bother me. Today I'm on a bit of a downer. I'm feeling sorry for myself but I know exactly why.

I have been dropping Mr H at the train station each morning and he likes to catch the 7.30 train into London. I don't mind because I'm usually awake by 6.30 but the last few days my ankles have been quite swollen and uncomfortable. My legs are the same size all the way down from thigh to ankle (ok, slight exageration, but they do look a little out of proportion). I also have constant pins and needles in my fingers, so I told Mr H he should take the car today and I can have a complete rest. So what do I do?

I go back to bed! Big, big mistake!

I woke up at 11a.m and had a headache. I consoled myself with a whole box of Chocolate Fingers. Yes, the whole box! I like to bite the ends off and sip my tea through them like a straw. This melts the chocolate inside and makes them all soft and yummy. I got kind of carried away and before I knew it, the packet was empty (I'm sure you only get about ten in a box these days). Anyway, chocolate does not cure a headache - it makes it worse. It's all very well justifying my actions by telling myself "well I AM nine months pregnant", but a whole box?????

Well I guess the only thing to do is have a nice bubble bath, pop on one of my favourite films and have a good old cup of tea which I'll make in a giant mug just like they use in Central Perk in 'Friends'.

I think the waiting game is beginning to take its toll. A major life changing event is about to happen, but when? What day? What time? Will I be on my own? Will my husband be lucky and be around when it all kicks off? Will my waters break in public? Will I have a long labour? Do I have days or weeks still? The anxiety is unbearable some days, but the answers will soon be evident and the anxiety overshadowed by immense elation and joy. Teplet, when will we finally meet?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

To sleep or not to sleep!

That is the question! I consider myself very fortunate in that I have always slept very well. I try and go to bed at a reasonable hour and usually sleep right through to my alarm and wake up having had a good seven or eight hours decent slumber.

What is going on??I am frantic and if I don't get a decent night's sleep soon, my head is going to explode! I was warned and read in many books that sleep during pregnancy would change. Of course it's bound to change for many reasons but now I'm just weeks away from giving birth I may as well be sleeping on a bed of nails adrift in the middle of the North Atlantic with sharks and jellyfish lingering only a few metres below (that actually sounds quite hellish - chilly for one thing).

First of all -pillows. They start plumped up, fluffy and arranged in a bespoke way especially for my very own sleeping pleasure. Suddenly, at 3a.m, I wake up and pillows are lumpy, bumpy and making my neck ache and I throw at least one across the room. Mr H is a VERY light sleeper and murmours "you ok babe?". I respond with a "hmmphh" and start punching pillows. Mr H is already back in the land of slumber (yeah, good for him).

For quite a few months now I have been unable to sleep on my back and it's not recommended during pregnancy anyway. The optimum position that is beneficial to both mum and baby is lying on the left side. Fine, if your sciatic nerves aren't making themselves felt, your pelvis isn't stretching in preparation for birth and your boobs aren't in the way!

So I try and settle on the right side. Fine, if your sciatic nerves aren't making themselves felt, your pelvis isn't stretching in preparation for birth and your boobs aren't in the way! Did I say that already? Sorry, must be the sleep deprivation.

This all comes without mentioning the heartburn and shortness of breath that make it uncomfortable to sleep flat. Propped up with my trusty maternity pillow, I often fall asleep sitting upright, but of course wake up to find I've slipped down a few notches and my neck is bent forwards with trusty maternity pillow pressed against the wall. It then becomes a prop to rest the bump on and support my knees, but it's so long and awkward when stretched out fully, that it soon becomes an annoying sack of potatoes.

If I can get passed all of the above, then there is the bladder the size of a pea to contend with. It takes me a good two minutes to get out of bed and limp to the toilet for a start. When I get there my bladder represents a dripping tap instead of the expected Niagra Falls. Thats when the frustration sets in. And if it's not bladder discomfort, its hunger pangs and if its not hunger pangs its numb fingers. Numb fingers? What's that all about? My wedding ring can barely get passed my little finger at the moment. I often wake up in the night with pins and needles in my fingers and they look like fat little sausages too.

Moan, moan, moan. Mr Sandman, please bring me a dream and not the vivid, anxiety fuelled nightmares that also impair my attempts at sleep. So far I've given birth to triplets, my baby has been breastfed by a family member because 'I wasn't around to do it' and I've given birth to one of those fluffy things from the infamous episode of Star Trek (Mr H - what are they called again?) where they breed and spread like wildfire. I don't need a psychologist to explain what these dreams mean, its all just my sub-conscious mind and natural fears and anxieties coming through. No, what I need is SLEEP!

Remember, remember the 5th of November!

Saturday 5th November was an important date for two reasons. This was Teplet's original due date before the twelve week scan revealed otherwise. Even so, Teplet is due to arrive three weeks today!! And of course, not only is it Guy Fawkes Night, but the 400th anniversary too.

Well, its now Sunday morning and the 5th of November came and went with no indication from Teplet that he/she is ready to say hello just yet. Despite an evening of constant loud explosions and a meal to make my now two inches in diameter stomach fit to burst!

Now, I'm at the stage where I'm inclined to stay as close to home as possible. Having said this we risked the journey down the A1 (M) to our friends in Borehamwood. They took us to a magnificent local firework display, the first I've been to in a long, long time. I felt slightly vulernable walking among the crowds of people who had flocked there but Mr H clutched my hand firmly the whole time and our friends walked behind us to 'cover me from the rear'. I felt perfectly safe but was relieved when we finally got back to the car afterwards.

Back at friends, they had laid on a beautiful, winter-warming meal of tomato soup with cream, jacket potatoes with beans, cheese and tuna, sausages, onions and warm bread rolls and, if we were in any doubt about the state of our arteries, chocolate bread and butter pudding for dessert! Carb City we all agreed, but just what you need on a chilly Bonfire Night.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dance Me To The End Of Love

Was out on a boys night tonight with the work gang. Am a tad (ahem) drunk. Obligatory curry...always a regretful experience.

Perhaps this will be the last time I do this kind of thing without being a responsible father, clearly a different proposition to going out with just me and Mrs H to care for.

Mrs H texted me earlier to say she had fallen up the stairs having missed a step or two and that she had strained herself and the bump. Well when I got the text I cannot tell you how I felt. Desperate. Worried. Concerned. In love more than ever before. Hard to say. Wanted to race home but was told not to worry. Yeah right.

Just got in...she is sleeping soundly. Gave her a kiss. Checked she was ok. Feel better. Relief. Like never before.

On the way up the driveway earlier I could not help but notice how starry the winter sky was. Amazing to behold. Of course I do not have the entire universe on my shoulders. But you know what...the weight of a family seems enough.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Who's the Daddy?

Well this is my first post on the Teplet blog. Allow me to introduce myself: I'm the Daddy!

Has been a wild ride so far and I have a sneaky feeling it is going to get wilder. Any minute now. Maybe. My prediction: Nov 17th. Boy. 8lbs.

I kind of feel like we are at the top of the world's biggest log flume ride ever. Just got to the top and sorted our hair for the picture on the way down and am now waiting for the tell tale tug that signals the start of the longest and most exciting ride of our lives.

Am sure we will be fine and will cope admirably. We are good to go. Everything is sorted. We are as ready as you can be. It's all good.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Running out of room little one?

Teplet is very quiet at the moment, but every now and then he/she gives me a reassuring nudge - right in the ribs!

As baby runs out of room towards the end of the pregnancy, movements are reduced, but every now and then I can feel a little foot press up against my ribs - an attempt by baby to try and stretch his/her little legs.

And Braxton Hicks contractions are most bizarre! I waddled around the shops yesterday in a vain attempt to convince myself that retail therapy is a wonderful and satisfying outdoor pursuit. It isn't!

I had already driven twenty miles to visit my in-laws and was informed on the way there that my mother-in-law had bronchitis. I pulled over and called the midwife - "what's the score?" I asked her. " No problem for baby, but we can't risk you getting ill at this stage can we?"

A fact I kind of figured out for myself, but if in doubt, call the midwife. So, as I was already half way across Hertfordshire, I thought I should stop for a break before heading back home. I can do this, I thought, no problem. Pick two shops at the most, preferrably with seats and shimmy around catching the admiring glances of people who are either thinking "ooh poor love she's the size of a house" or "a pregnant woman! what a pure delight to the eyes".

Sure enough, while paying for some little purchases in one store, the cashier couldn't help himself. "How long now then?". I told him three weeks and the reality hit me again! "My wife is due in eight weeks" he told me and then proceeded to share with me the details of her ordeal the day before and how she had stomach pains and protein in her urine and how she was being checked for gestational diabetes and when her next antenatal appointment was. Now don't get me wrong, it's always nice to chat to people and on this occasion I could empathise with the chap telling me about his poor pregnant wife. All of a sudden though, the strongest Braxton Hicks contraction ever took over my body! I smiled and nodded politely at the cashier through gritted teeth and held my tummy. Its cool, relax, nothing to worry about, it will pass in seconds.

"Anyway, must dash" I trilled. "Oh yes, good luck" he replied. "You too" I mumbled over my shoulder as I waddled as quickly as I could out of that place. I saw some seats in the shoe department - heaven!!!!! I plopped myself down and breathed a sigh of sweet relief. Ok, next stop, back to the car and home, sweet beautiful home!

I made it to the car and sped off leaving a trail of smoke and tyre marks from the wheel spins. Oh alright, it wasn't as dramatic as that. But I did shoot over the speed bumps a bit hastily and jolted my bladder, intestines and probably poor Teplet in the process.

Back on the motorway - yikes! Traffic!!!! No, no, no! It was one of those occasions where every lane slows down and you cruise along at twenty miles an hour. Then just as you've finished cursing and rubbing your temples, you're back up to speed with no sign of any roadworks or accidents, which is a good thing, but what was the hold up then?

Throughout the whole time, I was having these Braxton Hicks contractions. I seriously thought at one point that things were kicking off, but I knew deep down this was not the case and so didn't panic too much. Perhaps I'm still over-doing it! Perhaps I shouldn't be driving! Perhaps my body is saying "enough is enough - will you just STOP?"

So, here I am today, resting! On the advice of all those who tell me to rest and e-mail me to say "are you resting" and call to check I'm resting - I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I'm resting! The Braxton Hicks are quite intense today too, so I've decided to monitor their frequency and see how it goes. Watch this space!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Maternity Leave

Well I'm four weeks into maternity leave now and I have found that time has passed very quickly.
I've been slightly bored at times, but it's been a pleasure to rest more than anything and not have to endure the daily commute into central London.

My grand plans to paint, read and catch up with movies has been tampered by the discovery that my concentration is virtually at zero. I feel restless most of the day and wander from room to room wondering what I can do next that will really keep me occupied for at least an hour. I love to read and I love watching films, but absolutely nothing grabs my attention at the moment. We have an abundance of books in our house, the spare room looks like a library and as for our DVD collection, well we're starting to charge friends now who seem to leave these days clutching at least one from the shelf.

I guess the anticipation of meeting Teplet has kicked in and the anxiety experienced wondering how the labour and birth will go and if baby will be ok only add to this feeling of restlessness.

As for the housework, painting, gardening etc - physical incapability puts a stop to any of that.

This week I thought I would do some baking. I found a fabulous farmhouse cookbook with lots of wonderful recipes for hearty winter food - stews, puddings, pies yum yum. Now my appetite is waining and I don't even have the energy to weigh out the ingredients, let alone go to the supermarket to buy them in the first place. Oh woe is me!

Back to the pelvic floor exercises then! Followed by another cup of tea and an episode of Neighbours!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Labour: it's hard work

Labour! It's hard work, thats why we call it labour, ok?

These were the kind, sensitive words of the midwife at our first booking in appointment. "Erm....ok" came my trembling response, not in the least bit put off by her stern and austere manner.

I guess there is no way in the world to make the process of labour seem like a walk in the park on a warm sunny day and at least she was being honest. So, let me tell you our plans for labour and how things are going to work out...

Contractions start, soon they are five minutes apart, by the way the contractions are relatively pain free. We arrive at hospital, "Ooh you're already ten centimetres dilated" and baby pops into the world. No gas and air, no epidural - four hours tops from start to finish! ("yeah right mummy", says Teplet laughing maniacally from the comfort of the womb).

Ok, so we could be lucky. Maybe this is how it will happen for us. It will won't it? OH PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SAY IT WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, I feel pretty calm about the prospect at the moment. In all seriousness, let me really tell you about our plans.

During one of our antenatal sessions, the labour discussion was tackled and our co-ordinator said "labour pain is different to any other type of pain because it is a positive pain. You know what the pain is, why you are experiencing it and what the outcome is going to be". These words put things into perspective for me!

In my mind, I am going to be in pain and there is not very much I can do about it. I won't be able to swig a litre of red wine while I'm having contractions (damn!). Paracetamol? ha bloody ha! The truth is, I've just gotta go with the flow, ride each wave and focus. Within time I will be snuggling up to a baby. My baby. The baby I have carried and nurtured all this time. The baby we have been absolutely falling over ourselves to meet and the baby that my husband and I will love and cherish beyond anything we can ever imagine.

To help with the pain, I am planning on some pretty natural remedies. I have some reflexology treatments lined up in the next couple of weeks and I'm confident these will help to bring about a natual labour. Aromatherapy is also in my plan. Clary sage, lavender and jasmine are all recommended for child birth. Clary sage is a very good muscle relaxant and an essential oil for the treatment of PMT, while lavender, well lavender has the biggest entry in my aromatherapy booklet. It is great for exhaustion, headache, tension, pregnancy and stiff joints.

A friend suggested I try arnaca and gelsemium homeopathic remedies. Arnaca can help with healing and my friend, who gave birth about nine weeks ago, used gelsemium when her contractions slowed down. They soon got back into a regular rhythm and her midwife was quite impressed.

The single most important thing to focus on though is breathing. My husband wants to look me in the eyes the whole time, unless they're rolling around inside their sockets deliriously, and will be helping me concentrate on those all important breaths. We have some soothing music prepared, some face spritzer, cooling foot spritzer, a sponge and, the answer to everyone's prayers, a bottle of the amber nectar - beautiful, chilled, calming and oh so first quenching - water!

Having said all of this, we are of the opinion, that if we need additional pain relief or any medical intervention is required then, so be it. We are going into this with a completely open mind and certainly no expectations. Pain and discomfort aside, the safety of Teplet's arrival is top priority. Whatever it takes and however long it takes, the reward will be to see a pink and healthy Teplet, wrapped up in our arms after a particularly strenuous workout - 'cause that's all it is at the end of the day and Teplet will soon help us forget.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

WELCOME: Almost Full Term

Hello all and welcome to our new blog which will keep you up to date with the progress of baby Tepper aka Teplet.

We have decided to start this now as things are about to get very interesting!

Rather then bore you through the whole pregnancy with news of my latest aches and pains (and believe me there have been many), I thought it would be rather cool to pick up from the countdown to Teplet's arrival and beyond!

I am now in my 37th week and, according to Baby Centre, at the end of this week, we will be full term and baby could arrive any day. My hospital bag is packed and ready to be bundled into the car. Teplet also has his/her own little Peter Rabbit rucksack complete with winter clothing, scratch mittens and those all important nappies. Hubby has the route to hospital carved into his memory and is now "taking his mobile into meetings" in anticipation of that all important call.

Teplet is due to arrive on Saturday 26th November, so realistically we still have four weeks to go, perhaps even more if Teplet wishes to stay warm and cosy for as long as possible.

So far the pregnancy has been fine, with no major problems. I've only had to endure back pain, sciatica, shortness of breath, heartburn, swollen ankles/fingers, pelvic pain and some wicked stretch marks!

Of course, this will all pale into insignificance when we finally get to meet our precious little Teplet.