Archive for May 2006

the incredible expanding belly

Realizing that our lives are about to change, we thought a romantic weekend away would be good for us, so we rented a car and drove up to Beauly for the night. It was lovely, although my back suffered a bit in the car and avoiding baby talk took real effort. Beauly is a gorgeous little town with a good coffee shop, a great highland tweed shop manned by women in their 70s, a 13th century priory, and decent pub food. What more can anyone ask for?

On the way home we stopped off at the Black Isle Brewery where an enthusiastic woman showed us around, offered tastings, and decided by the shape of my belly and my back that we were definitely having a boy. This is a real craft operation, making micro-brews look like large industrial operations. Plus the beer is good, it’s a worthwhile stop if you’re in the area.

Pregnancy-wise: At this point, the birth seems both ages away (am I really going to feel like this for six or more weeks?) and practically tomorrow (my need to get linens for the cot necessitated a stop at mothercare on the way past Inverness). Still, by this point in pregnancy, it seems only fair to share some of the shots of the ever-expanding belly we’ve been taking. It’s actually dropped this week, meaning that I have way more lung capacity than the week before!

While I didn’t get a before picture, as I spent the first weeks of pregnancy feeling bloated and not interested, ever since the start of my second trimester we’ve tried to take pictures of the changes at my middle. We’ve been taking them regularly every 3 weeks (every 5 weeks at the start) and in advance, I apologize for the band of skin showing in the 26 week picture. That was the photo that convinced me to put all of my pre-pregnancy tops away even while I’m at home and get some more long maternity ones. Note that in week 15 I was convinced that I had a significant bump. After all, my jeans were uncomfortably tight. The 33.5 week picture is the most recent, and while it doesn’t fit the timesteps of the series, it’s too impressive to leave out.

15 weeks :: 20 weeks :: 23 weeks :: 26 weeks :: 29 weeks :: 32 weeks :: (33.5 weeks)
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Vinyl Cafe in Aberdeen

Stuart McLean was in Aberdeen on Sunday reading stories from the Vinyl Cafe. It’s hard to explain to non-Canadians how truly loved the Vinyl Cafe is. How many radio shows travel across the country and introduce great music to hundreds of thousands of listeners each week? And we did seriously discuss naming this baby Morley if she happened to be a girl (but have opted against it because with a last name like Amundrud this kid needs an easy to spell, hassle-free first name).

Living up to all our expectations, Stuart read two of his stories, including a new one about Morley and a raccoon. I think one of the funniest parts was when he stopped reading the story right at the beginning and asked if everyone knew what a raccoon was, as my mom’s said, it’s all about his delivery…

Pregnancy-wise: 32 weeks and I’m learning what Braxton-Hicks contractions feel like. It’s not that they’re painful, as much as they seem to take over my whole body while they’re happening. In contrast, the foot permanently pressing into my ribs is a pain – but I’m learning to ignore it.
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7 months pregnant

We’re in a nesting phase. I made bread by hand this morning and Cory made us an amazing rhubarb crumble for desert tonight. I know for many people that just sounds normal, but those who know us can vouch for the fact that in four years in our apartment in Vancouver we baked a total of zero times. I kinda hope this phase lasts, although it’s not spilling over into any kind of house cleaning.

Pregnancy-wise: We’re 7 months pregnant tomorrow – and July 8th doesn’t seem so far away anymore. That’s both good and stressful, because we’re so excited but there’s still so much more to do before the wee one arrives (at work and at home). I was away in Liverpool last week visiting another lab that’s going to do a bit of work for us as part of my maternity leave and I realized just how little time there is left. Travelling was much tougher too – I didn’t sleep well – but that’s it for overnight trips for me (if you’re ever going to Liverpool I can tell you what hotel not to stay at).
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A whisky festival without whisky

Okay, so without whisky for me, but not for everyone else. We had Elspeth and Tim visiting us for the weekend and it just happened to be the annual Spirit of Speyside whisky festival in the region just west of us. So we drove up for a day to tour and taste.

We sent Tim home with a list of all the different whiskys he tried, because after finishing his free drams, my free dram, and Elspeth’s leftovers at Glenfarclas, all before lunch, he had trouble remembering distillery names. He was also a good partner-in-crime for the other product of the day which was the 1.5 kg of shortbread seconds I bought from the Walkers Store in Aberlour. Pregnant woman + no whisky treats + shortbread = Cory let me buy as much as I wanted.

It’s great having guests, especially ones you haven’t seen in ages (2001!) even though it feels like yesterday. I think we have a bit of a mental block about how small Britain actually is – it took us until Easter to get to Belfast and for some reason Elspeth and Tim always seemed to live much more than a 1.5 hour flight away. And of course travel is about to become way more difficult!

It was nice (I’m taking it that way anyways) to hear that my belly is satisfactorily pregnant. Tim did text Chris to inform him that I would be suitable for topography related jokes, even if my name wasn’t quite as handy. Actually, I’m continually suprised by my body’s expansion and catching a glimpse of my shadow was a strange experience. I’m carrying straight out front and rather high up which makes it more impressive. (And no, we don’t think that means it’ll be a boy/girl, just that I’ve done a lot of core body strengthening in my life and the remnents of my abs are still holding on at the sides).

Pregnancy-wise: 30 weeks down, 10 (+2) to go. I’m trying not to get fixed on my due date since we’re expecting a late baby (runs in my family) and I don’t want to be too frustrated mid-July. Still, it’s very hard not to count down the days when we’re this excited!
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