Thursday, August 09, 2007

Joe is 7 weeks old!

I can hardly believe it really. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I had a tiny [ish] newborn who fed and slept; now I have a baby who fancies a chat after his 2am feed and constantly smiles!

It has been far too long since I've blogged but I have had my hands [and at one point, my belly] full!

Someone asked me yesterday; Is all this [by all this, I assume they meant motherhood] what you thought it would be? In a word, no. It is so much better!

In all honesty I thought I would hate being up in the middle of the night to feed, especially with it being the middle of the coldest winter in 10 years here in Melbourne. I thought it would all be so much harder and, when all was said and done I was terrified of what I would do with this tiny person when we eventually got him home!

What people don't tell you is that who you bring home is a person. Now that sounds daft I know but Joe was not a stranger. We know Joe, he is ours and he had been with us since we knew of his existence the day I peed on that stick.

So thoughts of cold and lonely midnight feeds were banished for I was not alone, nor was I cold for I had Joe. Ian is often up, despite going back to work after only 2 weeks, so the wee hours were not solely the domain of Joe and I. Ian and I have spent many hours huddled over our tiny [ish] son utterly gobsmacked at the blessing he is.

So here we are, looking back over almost 2 months of life with Joe Stanley Finn and we both admit we can not remember what it was like before he arrived. He is a delightful baby who keeps us enthralled at every moment. And in the last couple of weeks it seems he is often up for a chat. Yes folks, the kid is most surely mine! Ian has had to accept that his son, like his wife, will almost certainly be an extrovert. I pity the man.

I will endeavour to write more but for the moment I suspect what you are all waiting for are these...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

More Pics...

... on the dazeflypics site here

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Introducing Mr Joe Stanley Finn...

...born via Caesarean Section at 8.14AM at Mercy Hospital, Melbourne this morning, following 13 hours intensive labour and 12 hours pre-labour preceding that...

Mum, dad and bub are all utterly exhausted but doing well.

Weighing in at a healthy 10lbs 8ozs [4.74 kilos], 53cm tall and head circumference of [ouch!] 39cm. Joe [not Joseph] is blue-eyed, with dark curly hair and an instant taste for the boob: clearly a product of his father's genes, though physically does paradoxically resemble his mother rather more than his dad.

They aren't currently accepting any visitors given the recentness and intensity of the event, but will probably have daytime open house on discharge from hospital, at a time to be announced...

Dad is currently stunned, feels jet-lagged and overwhelmed at the fruit of his loins. Not only has he now got a son, he's become both a parent and father. Mum is also reportedly dazed and confused, though the vast amounts of prescribed medication may also be a contributory factor.

More news and pics as things progress. Well, hopefully!
Links to more pictures here

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Very Brief Update...

4 days overdue and counting...

Thought we were about to have Junior a week ago when C had what we thought were the start of contractions, but... false alarm.

Since then... zero, nada, zilch.

Going in hospital tomorrow [Sunday] for a heart trace, but all precautionary as baby is well, happy and surrounded by plenty of fluid.

If no movement by the end of next week, the discussion about induction begins...
Watch this space!

And 2 bits of news we didn't pass on. Claud got offered a permanent post at 35 weeks or something, which means partial paid maternity leave and a guaranteed job when she comes back. They've suggested she comes back sloooowly, part-time with even the possibility of some work from home. They realised what an asset she was, even at that late stage of pregnancy, and snapped her up! Cool, huh?

And I just got a promotion!
Sort of a management role within the same Community Mental Health Service. So I get to keep contact with my clients etc., but take on more of a clinical lead and supervisory role, and step up when the manager's on leave.

I'm pretty happy, needless to say, as I've only been there what seems like five minutes, and it's also a bit more dosh, which means the mortgage on the new house can definitely be paid while Mrs B is on maternity leave!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quick Update

Just to reassure you in the absence of any update for moooonths... [and, um, sorry]

All is well with the bump. No concerns, 29 weeks now and counting.

We've been particularly tied up with baby-orientated stuff, and are also in the process of getting a house built. Yes, we're really becoming proper adults now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another year older...

I am trying to decide if my vanilla milkshake cravings are pregnancy induced or they just taste good and, being pregnant is a good excuse to indulge. Discuss.

Ian says I must blog as it has been ages since I have and the year is almost up. It is hard to believe we have been back in Melbourne for almost 12 months. I really do struggle with how quickly time seems to pass and that I am now 16 ½ weeks pregnant and, according to those in the know, the baby is the size of a pear - or an avocado depending on what you read.

In truth, it feels more like a cantaloupe [or rock melon for those in Sydney] has taken residence in my lower abdomen. It is still hard for me to believe I am pregnant. Yes, I have seen the scans, heard the heart beat and have spent many afternoons feeling queasy, but, with no outward signs to speak of [aside from the growing need for clothes that contain a large percentage of lycra], it still feels so surreal.

We had our first monthly appointment with our Obstetrician, Michael, yesterday. All is going well and according to plan. No scan this time but he did check the baby's heartbeat which was galloping along nicely. Still, while on some level I understand that there is an actual little person inside me, it is just not computing. They say that I should start feeling something in the next few weeks. That should be exciting...

Well, my year has been a rather mixed bag. I have mentioned before that work has not been what I expected it to be and, for some reason, it has coloured almost every other area of my life. When we left the UK, I left behind a great job with a great company where my career path was clear and the people I worked with brilliant. Since being back I have struggled with a growing sense of insecurity about what my capabilities are and here I am, almost 12 months later, still contracting in a department I really do not want to be in. In all honesty, it has been a rather soul destroying experience

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. The bank I work for has a growing number of staff who are seconding between our pacific branches / business units, Indian operations and Australia. With a change in legislation over business visas to Australia, the Global Mobility department's work load and profile has increased significantly.

As I was seconded to London with KPMG to work in Global Mobility in 2000, I have a fair amount of experience and knowledge that the GM team here could do with. I contacted the woman in charge of the project, giving her some background on my career in the UK and she immediately asked to meet with me. Long story short, there is a good chance a position will open up in GM later in January which she hopes she can offer me.

So, on the upside, the waiting around here at the bank may actually [hopefully] pay off. It means I will need to keep the fact I am pregnant to myself for the moment and only say so after an offer is made. I have spoken to HR here and that is the course they have advised. The bank can not reneg on an offer upon finding out that a woman is pregnant so I am hoping for better things in 2007 on the work front.

Now, back over 2006 we go! On every other front the decision to move to Melbourne has been worth it. Despite the homesickness, the heatwave when we landed, the long commute from my brother's before we found our inner-city apartment, Ian's hellish month of night-shifts and the uncertainty around my job, it really has been a good move.

We seem to have more cash than we had in Manchester. We both earn more than we did in the UK which surprises most Aussies who have returned from a stint in England. I suspect that is because they worked in London while we poor northerners struggled on without the hefty London weighting.

We eat out loads, which if you know Ian and I well realise what a boon this is! We live close to most of the culinary hot spots in Melbourne and have copies of The Cheap Eats Guide AND The AGE Good Food Guide which, we always forget to consult and never have with us when remember to. Still, you'd be hard pressed to find a bad meal in Melbourne so eating out is not the ordeal it can be in the UK.

I miss England at times, well, actually, I miss my friends. The people I know well and who know me well. It's funny for that is the exact same thing I missed about Australia when I moved to London. We all want to be known and not having people around who really know you can be hard for you feel that you are not really able to be yourself. Does that make sense?

Ian is homesick at the moment. I think it is partly due to the cricket, and that need to be around your own people when a competition like this is happening. He is, as I type at the MCG watching his beloved England try and save the 4th test from gurgling down the drain.

I decided not to go for 2 reasons - firstly, I can not imagine sitting down all day with a cantaloupe resting on my bladder and secondly, I do not get paid for the days I take off. So in lieu of a tropical holiday somewhere in February, I decided to drag my self into work for these 3 days between Christmas and New Year.

Anyway, that paragraph was supposed to be about Ian not me.

It is hard living in a country that is not your own. At least I have that experience and I can understand how Ian feels. We both know deep down that Melbourne is a better place in terms of lifestyle, opportunities and basic affordability. Also, it is where we want to raise our kid[s].

For me at least I want them to know what a long hot summer is like. I want them to learn to swim and be at home in the ocean. I want them to be close to their cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents. I want them to absorb the innate optimism Australian’s seem to have which I have always suspected is due to the space, sun and lack of class distinctions.

However, this is hard because Ian's mother is back in Manchester and our children will not know her as well as they will my parents.

How do you balance it all out? I do not know. We will have to figure it out as we go along. On the other hand, I also want my children to know where their father was born and to understand the things that shaped him. I love England for it gave me Ian and that is enough reason to want to go back again and again and immerse ourselves the culture, people and pubs.

I'm waxing philosophical now which I suspect is the sugar in that last vanilla milkshake.

I hope that 2007 brings you much joy and peace.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Have News...

...and an excuse for being so rubbish at keeping in touch.

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the six and a half weeks excuse

the eight weeks excuse

the twelve weeks excuse.

The email you may have received is as follows... if you haven't it means we have missed you off the list because we have an out-of-date email address, we lost it when our old computer died, or the text message we sent never arrived [a common occurence, it would seem]. It doesn't mean we don't love or miss you! We do. Lots.

Family, friends both near and [very] far,

Firstly, apologies to most of you for the appalling lack of communication from our end. As you will read, we’ve been a little preoccupied.

I can’t actually believe I am using these words but … Ian & Claudine are hysterically pleased [relieved] to announce that we are expecting an addition to our family. Yes, we are pregnant!

Twelve weeks in fact. We had our 12 week scan yesterday and to say it was emotional experience would be a screaming understatement. We could not really let ourselves believe it was all happening until, the moment yesterday, when we saw our baby on the screen, happily lolling about, waving arms and looking right at home. Everything is where it should be and hearing that little heartbeat was one of the best sounds I have ever heard.

We are due on June 12 – but who ever gives birth on their due date – so it will be a long hot [fat] Melbourne summer for me! I have suffered ‘afternoon sickness’ which my friend Anita says is due to the baby being half-English and therefore operating on GMT. I think she may be right.

Apologies to those of you we have not contacted in months. Please know that despite our silence, we think of you all often and miss you all terribly. Given the timing of all this we will most likely not be heading back to the UK before the baby is born but we hope to take Baby Berry ‘home’ to England often in the years to come.

Much love

Claudine & Ian