38 weeks pregnant

I had written this post while we were on Mahe getting ready to have Freddie!  Thought I’d publish this so I can look back on it and have the complete bump update set!!   Better late than never right!?  Oh, and I rather rubbishly didn’t take a bump selfie, oops! But anyway, here it is!

38 weeks pregnant

I’m 38 weeks pregnant!!  I’m on Mahe as I write this and the Internet where we are staying is appalling so in all likeliness this won’t actually be published until after I’ve had our little boy bump!!

Weight: 66.6kg (apparently!!)

I had my final midwife appointment this week, near to where we are staying on Mahe.  The health clinic was much bigger, newer and generally seemed a lot more organised than my little one on Praslin!
Of course there was a slight problem-what’s a trip to the midwife for me without one!?  I had nothin in my notes confirming I was actually having a Caesarian!! The midwife rang my midwife on Praslin, clearly she didn’t give the right info as the midwife then had to call the surgeon directly!  He knew (off the top of his head, which I was pretty impressed with!) that I was booked in with him on Tuesday the 11th and that I’d had a previous Caesarian! So, minor panic over!!

The scales said I weighed 66.6kg!  The midwife laughed and I was not concerned, different scales after all, and I know there’s no way I’ve lost a kg!!

This week I’ve been up and down quite a lot emotionally!  I’m obviously getting really excited now but nerves and anxiety are bubbling close to the surface too!
I’m sure that it’s not helped that we’ve not been sleeping well either.  On top of the usual multiple wakings for being a big pregnant mama, being on Mahe, we’ve had Arthur in with us and he’s been in a cot as opposed to his big boy bed he’s now used to.  On his best day he woke up at 5:30 but it’s been more like 4:30-5:00 most days.  We’ve even had a 2:45am wake up….not cool!!!

We are trying to make this time a bit of a holiday and getting out and about as much as we can, obviously this is wearing me out lots but it’s nice having the time together, we’ve got Mark’s mum here too which is really nice!

I’ve still not got my hospital bag 100% packed!!  Everything for the baby is in there which is the most important I guess!  I’ve thrown in a couple of maternity tops for myself, and that is it, whoops!!
As I’m writing I’ve got lots of the things for me drying after they were washed this morning so I’m not completely unorganised!!
I do also have some books for Arthur packed in there!

I actually have all my notes from when I had Arthur here with me, I need to take pics of them and I’ll write a comparison post- one day! That will be nice for me to do as I wasn’t blogging when I was pregnant with Arthur and don’t have any written record for myself!!

While I’m in hospital I’m going to do my best to write as much of it all down as possible as it all so quickly becomes a blur!

So, this is officially my last weekly bump update!  Looking back, all of a sudden the last 9 months feel like they’ve flown by!
I’ve loved writing these little posts week by week and I know it will be nice to look back on at a later date!!

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26 months!

26 months!

Arthur is 26 months old!

This boy has been truly truly amazing this month!  I couldn’t be prouder of him!

His little life has really been turned upside down and I can’t believe how he’s just taken it all in his stride!

We went to Mahe at the start of the month and he had lots of fun while we were there.

Something that really surprised me was that Arthur has seemingly developed a fear of flying! We took a flight to Mahe and back and Arthur was truly terrified. He was really excited watching them in the airport and is always excited when we see them at home. He was a little uncertain when we were sat in our seats but then the engine came on – which to be fair is very loud on the little prop planes. He was then really scared. When we took off I thought he’d be ok but when he looked out the window he was terrified. I felt so sad for him. I don’t know where this fear has come from, perhaps it was because it was the first time he truly understood what was going on? Anyway, I hope it’s not a permanent thing, it would be horrible for him to be scared of flying!

We met Mark’s mum on arrival and it had been a year since she had seen Arthur.  He definitely lapped up all the attention from his Gran!

For a week we all had lots of time at the pool and beach.

After a week I went into hospital to have Freddie.  I was in for a total of 4 days which is the longest Arthur and I have ever been apart.  I had been so worried about how Arthur would be for this but by all accounts, he was a very good boy!!
He, Daddy and Gran all were very busy with trips to the pool and to the beach. Sounds like they had a wonderful time!

When they came to visit me in hospital Arthur was also really well behaved.  He seemed to understand that I was not able to move around very well (or at all the day of c-sec)

He also took to Freddie straight away!!  There has been no jealousy at all.
If we don’t bring Freddie down at the same time as Arthur in the morning he’s asking after him and is so happy when he sees him.
Arthur just can not get enough of his baby brother.  He just wants to be near him all the time.

We wondered if we perhaps would get any problems once we got back home to Praslin but he just keeps getting more and more affectionate to Freddie!  We really couldn’t be more proud!

When we got back to Praslin marks dad joined us so he’s got gran and grandad fussing over him here!

Arthur now knows lots of colours.  He can say and identify:
Blue
Green
Red
Pink
Purple
He also has Yellow and Orange but they aren’t totally pronounced right yet!!
He loves pointing out the colours of everything!

At the moment he’s really into playing in the car.  We have two here at the moment, with Marks parents being here we borrowed a Moke and Arthur thinks it’s so much fun to crawl around in!

I’m aware I’m probably about to ruin everything by saying this, but, we’ve had more nap times again this month!  We’ve still had some fails too don’t get me wrong! But it hasn’t happened as frequently!!

We had Arthur’s two year check up with the midwife.  He had to make a tower with little blocks (which he aced since that’s his favourite thing to do!) he also very proudly told the lady what colours they all were!
She gave him a little doll which he had to “feed” with a bottle and point out eyes nose etc all of which he did fine!
He was then given a bit of paper with some really rubbishy drawings of a bird a dog a cat and a horse. She asked him which one flies, which I knew he wouldn’t be able to answer.  By this point he had lost interest anyway and wouldn’t tell us anything about them.  I know he’d be able to tell her what all the animals were but whether or not she believed me is another thing!!!

His weight was 12.7kg
His height was 92cm
I also measured his feet the other day which were 14cm

So I’m not sure if Arthur “passed” his check up but I thought he did very well!!

Mark is back at school next week so it will be very interesting to see how that goes! Arthur has become very close with his Daddy and gets sad if he ever goes anywhere without him so we might have some issues with that!!
I hope that Arthur will continue to love his little brother, I am excited to see how their relationship continues to grow!

My parents arrive in a week and Arthur will love all the attention he will get!

I’ll be back next month for another Arthur update!

The Twinkle Diaries
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Freddie Ocean

Meet Freddie Ocean!

Freddie Ocean

He arrived safe and sound at 3.1kg on 11th August 2015 by Caesarian Section, all went as planned!  I’ll write another post about our experience in hospital another time!

This teeny boy has made a big change to our little family.
Freddie Ocean
We are now officially a family of 4 and it feels amazing!

Mummy Daddy Arthur and Freddie Ocean

We were discharged from hospital on Friday 14th and we took a flight back to Praslin the same day, so Freddie had his first flight at just 3 days old!

Right from the start Arthur has been absolutely besotted with him.
Brothers Arthur and Freddie Ocean

He is constantly giving him kisses!  He’s starting to say Freddie quite clearly but I still think it’s a bit more “shreddie” then Freddie!!
I think they are going to be the best of friends!
Arthur and Freddie! Brothers and best friends!

We are now settling in back home and loving figuring out new routines and adjusting old ones!
Arthur helps us with Freddie’s bath before having his shower and the four of us all cuddle up in Arthur’s room for bed time stories!

Brothers Arthur and Freddie Ocean bed time stories

Arthur always makes sure that he kisses Freddie goodnight before he goes to sleep!

Yesterday Freddie turned 1 week old (already!!) and so we took him to the beach for the first time, just like we did with Arthur!  As we were back on Praslin we got to take him to our favourite beach, Anse Lazio!  It quickly became clear that we would not get the ‘perfect’ posed family photo but I love these ones so much all the same!!
Freddie's first trip to the beach 1 week old Anse Lazio family photo

Freddie Ocean first trip to the beach 1 week old Anse Lazio

Freddie Ocean 1 week old Anse Lazio family beach shot

 

I was so so worried about how Arthur would be affected by Freddie’s arrival, wondered if he would be jealous, if he would accept his little brother, if he would be upset by the change.  I could not be prouder of how amazing he has been.  How accepting.  How much he has absolutely embraced Freddie into our family!  This morning we came downstairs and Freddie was still asleep so we left him for a little while before getting him up.  Arthur was looking everywhere for him saying “Bwana Bwana” (his word for brother!!!) and was so happy when we brought him downstairs!

It already feels like Freddie has always been with us!  I can’t believe how much I worried about how we would adjust as a family of 4!  Freddie has fit right in and we all love him so so much!!

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Island mama! Guest post by Jen from 4128 miles

Island Mama – The BVI Diaries

All being well, I am currently in hospital without Internet after having Arthur’s baby brother and having lots of tiny baby snuggles!! While I’m out of action, I thought I’d ask the lovely Jen from 4128miles.com to share a little about her life as an expat island mama on the island of Tortola in the beautiful British Virgin Islands!
island mama Tortola BVI
Aside from both being expat island mamas we both have boys of similar ages and in exciting news, Jen is now also expecting again!
Be sure to go and check out her blog all about her expat family life!!

Thanks Jen, take it away!!

There is something in the water here in the BVI, you see so many pregnant bellies in Tortola!

This is such a blessing for expat mamas. We have a ready-made circle of mummy friends for play-dates, second-hand baby gear, hints and tips on the doctors to see or the pharmacies to visit (when Calpol has run out at your local). Crucially we also have a huge group to draw on when we need support, because life as an expat mama can be lonely, as you are so far away from family and friends.

Expat mamas on Tortola can enjoy a near constant whirl of play-dates – coffees, lunches, meet-ups at the soft play centre, park, swimming pool or beach. You can map out every free moment of your week, if you’re so inclined. The mummies are also very active on social media, particularly Facebook and you can tap into a wealth of support from there too. Post a question on the BVI Mothers and Children group page and you’ll have lots of mummies jumping to help you.

All of this helps you settle-in really, really quickly. My advice to newbies has always been say yes to everything and over time you’ll start to understand what you want to do each week, and who you click with and also who your kids click with too. At some point you realise that you don’t have the energy to keep up with the social-whirl and you end up being OK with that.

It’s hard to describe quite how social the mummies group is to an outsider, but to me it’s akin to freshers week at university. In fact living on Tortola in general is like university with kids.

Hubby arrived on island before I did and in the time before I joined him everyone found out we were expecting and I had a series of helpful emails on baby gear to bring with me (shops are sorely lacking on Tortola), as well as paperwork for registering a new baby on island and adding them as a dependant on a work permit (a type of visa which gives you residency status).

People bend over backwards to help you, it’s something incredibly special about living here.

The only thing about living here as an expat mama that ‘freaks’ me slightly is the healthcare system. You need private healthcare and this is typically organised through your husband’s place of work. The great thing about private healthcare is that if you need an appointment you can be seen pretty much immediately. It’s not like fighting to get one with your local GP in the UK.

But the bad news is that you have to remember you’re on a Caribbean island and a small one at that, so specialists are few and far between. The person you get to see might not be the best practitioner for your needs. So far this hasn’t posed an issue for me and my family, but I’ve seen how things can escalate and you can feel very lost in a system that you don’t quite trust and practitioners who you don’t believe in.

Peebles is the main hospital on island. If you want to have a baby on island that’s where you’ll be headed. It has undergone a massive refurbishment and it all looks fantastic. They appear to have everything they need and it’s all shiny and new. For example they now have several incubators for premature babies, something that a couple of years ago when I had Mr Sausages, you couldn’t rely on.
I’ve recently needed to visit A&E (for a non-pregnancy related issue) and I must say I was impressed. I was seen promptly and the care I needed was delivered swiftly. That said, most of the expats who are expecting a baby still tend to go to St Thomas, Puerto Rico or go home to have the support of their family.

I admit, for baby number two, I’m in that club too. We’re headed back to the UK, as with one precipitate labour under my belt, I’m already on high-risk care for the UK system, so we’re not taking any chances.

Healthcare systems aside, living as an expat mama in Tortola I am still hugely aware of how incredibly lucky we all are. Our little ones live a very simple, happy, outdoor life.

As I’ve already mentioned there aren’t the shops to buy endless toys. We also don’t have a connection to regular TV. Cable isn’t worth the $75 monthly charge as most of its in Spanish so our little ones aren’t bombarded with adverts unhealthy snacks or the latest gadget. And if they were, our supermarkets aren’t sophisticated enough to carry them in stock! Our little ones have to enjoy themselves  with very few of the ‘perks’ of modern life.

I’m not saying we don’t download cartoons to our iPad, because we do. But I am saying that more often than not we’re playing on the beach. Running in and out of the sea. Jumping around in a swimming pool. Enjoying the swings at the park. We’re outside, living an active life.
Island mama Jen from 4128miles.com Tortola BVI

I know there is something hugely special about living here. So for the moment, I’m holding on to being an island mama with both hands – with a great big smile on my face!

Island mama Jen from 4128miles.com Tortola BVI
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A huge thank you to Jen for guest posting! BVI looks gorgeous, I love that you’ve got such an active support network of mamas there too!!

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My Expat Family 13

Hello and welcome to My Expat Family 13 the thirteenth (and hopefully not unlucky for us!!) ‘My Expat Family’ blog link up.

A big thank you to everyone who linked up last month and celebrated the linky turning 1 years old!!  If you missed it, take a look there are lots of fab posts there to read!  I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I do! 

Please add the link up badge to the post you are linking by copying and pasting the code from the box below into your post so that people can navigate back to the link up easily!

You can start to link your posts from Thursday 13th August (hey what’s with the 13th everywhere!!?) and I’ll leave the link up open until Sunday night.

As with all blog link ups they work best when the love is shared around, please do read and comment on as many of the other posts linked up as you can!

This month, the link up will be a little tiny bit different!!  As you’re reading this, all being well, I will actually be in hospital having just had the baby (yay!!!!) and won’t have any internet (boooo!).  You can link up as normal and the fabulous Keri from babyglobetrotters will be sure to comment on all of your lovely posts!  When I get back home a few days later I’ll be sure to comment on all your posts too!!  

I look forward to reading all about your expat family! Remember old and new posts are welcome!

 

Seychelles Mama

My Expat Family.  A linky for expat family/parent bloggers to share stories of family life as an expat.

 

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Seychelles: Just visiting! Guest post Sophie from Ida and Ernest

As I am currently on Mahe getting ready for the arrival of our little boy bump I am handing over to Sophie to share a little about her two, very different trips to the Seychelles!

Sophie is a mum of two and an expat based in Singapore, she can be found writing at Idaandernest.com. Check out Ida & Ernest for destination guides from local parents, free travel themed printables and lots of tips, tricks and inspiration for travelling as a family.

Over to you Sophie!!

I’ve always felt the tourist tagline for The Seychelles Islands should be ‘There’s something about the Seychelles!’.

I used to work for a Gulf based airline so we were frequently flying in and out of Male, the capital. Even though the flight departed at an ungodly 3am it was a brilliant flight to work. En route you had an airplane full of happy holiday-makers on a trip of a lifetime. Honeymoons, birthdays, anniversaries – all celebrated on these beautiful, tropical islands. There was more champagne consumed per passenger per hour in the air than any of the other destinations I worked. And the return flights were full of tanned and relaxed passengers who had all had an amazing trip and really didn’t want to go home!

As crew, we got to fly in, do a quick turn around, reload and then jet off again. We saw paradise from above and it was always bittersweet.
Paradise from above.  Seychelles

And so one year, I bit the bullet and booked a flight to Mahe for my mum and I… and then spent an awful lot of time googling ‘Seychelles on a budget’! Wow, even with an airline discount those big resort hotels sure know how to charge. So we ended up going ‘boutique’. It’s not kid friendly, it doesn’t have a pool, there are no gyms, buffets or organized activities …. But if you want to SEE some of the Seychelles and want a friendly, beautiful and relatively reasonable place to stay, then I couldn’t recommend the Lazare Picault Hotel enough.

It’s situated on the ‘so gorgeous someone must have photo-shopped it’ Baie Lazare and the views are breathtaking! There is a bus stop right by the hotel and we made the most of exploring the island by the slight roller-coaster ride of the Seychellian public transport system. The island was everything I had hoped from the stories I had heard from the many passengers I had served. Mum went snorkeling for the first time and says I have now spoilt it for her forever as she will never see anything better than the marine life at the Sainte Anne Marine National Park. We scared ourselves silly over the fruit bats in the National Botanic Gardens and spent far too much on coco de mer themed souvenirs in Victoria.
Just visiting! guest post by Sophie from ida and Ernest
It didn’t take much convincing to persuade my husband we should do a trip with our daughter a while later. And so with a lot more luggage, using a hire car instead of buses and staying in a big resort with all of the aforementioned amenities we had the most wonderful week that was totally different to my ‘girls trip’. Equally fun but with a few more pauses for naps! I have written more about our family trip to the Seychelles if you want to check it out!

I couldn’t recommend the Seychelles highly enough as a holiday for all ages. I can only wonder what it’s like to live in paradise permanently? Chantelle?!

In case you were curious the current official tourist slogan for the Seychelles is, ‘The Seychelles Islands, another world!’. And what an amazing one.

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A huge thanks to Sophie for guest posting on my blog! I love that you’ve had two such different experiences here, and that you had such a great time here with your family! Although the Seychelles is definitely famous for being a honeymoon destination I truly think it makes a fantastic destination for traveling with kids!! I’ve written a few tips about traveling to the Seychelles with babies and toddlers if you want to check that out!

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