Knocked Up Abroad Again: Baby bumps, twists, and turns around the globe

You may remember me telling you that I was involved in the writing of the fantastic book Knocked Up Abroad, well I’m really excited to tell you that there is a follow up book that has just been released!  I thought I’d share a little about the book.  I’m not in this one but there are some fantastic people with some amazing stories involved!

Read on to hear about Knocked Up Abroad Again, the contributors and how you can get your hands on a copy!

knocked up abroad again launch

What is Knocked Up Abroad Again about?

Knocked Up Abroad Again is the second anthology in the Knocked Up Abroad series, and features stories from 25 different countries as written from the diverse perspectives of 26 women. Each mother, with her unique voice and from her perspective, describes the highs and lows of motherhood as she straddles the distance between what was once familiar with the reality of the challenges posed by her foreign environment.

This heartwarming, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking collection of stories illustrates that the more we see, the more we learn about ourselves as human beings.
The adventuresome spirit of someone who leaves their home country is carried into how they end up expanding their family. Knocked Up Abroad Again: Baby bumps, twists, and turns around the globe will take readers on an exciting journey and will keep both experienced travelers and those who prefer to explore from the comfort of their couch entertained and wanting more.

Knocked Up Abroad Again provides a glimpse of the wide range of experiences women face when giving birth and raising their children in a foreign culture, language, and environment. Regardless of the cultural or medical approach, parents everywhere in the world worry about the same thing: the health of their unborn baby. In each of the unique stories in Knocked Up Abroad Again, the concepts of family and love translate into every language and are uniquely celebrated around the world.

Knocked Up Abroad Again: Baby bumps, twists, and turns is currently available only on Kickstarter in paperback and ebook formats.

About The Contributors

knocked up abroad again book contributors

The contributors of Knocked Up Abroad Again are all talented writers whose essays can be found on The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Babble, Scary Mommy, ParentCo, Salon, BLUNTMoms, Mamalode, and more. They have tapped into emotional depths to bring readers their personal pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, and parenting stories while living in a foreign country.

About The Editor And Contributing Author

knocked up abroad again editor and contributor lisa ferland

Lisa Ferland is a US citizen who has lived abroad in Sweden since 2012, working as a writer, editor, publisher, and public health consultant. She is currently raising a Lego lover and a Pippi Longstocking fanatic who enjoy behaving like Swedish children with the added bonus of American Thanksgiving holidays.

The Launch

Available only on Kickstarter: http://bit.ly/knockedupabroadagain
Dates: September 19—October 19, 2016
Website: knockedupabroad.eu

 

Knocked Up Abroad Again Kickstarter Video

 

Knocked Up Abroad Again Book Trailer

 

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Knocked up abroad

Back in June of last year I received an email in my inbox from Lisa Ferland.  It was an invitation to contribute towards a book.  The book was to be called Knocked Up Abroad and it was stories of pregnancy, birthing and raising a family in a foreign country!!

Knocked up abroad book

I was so excited, I was pregnant with Freddie at the time and of course had already had Arthur here so this was a perfect project for me to get involved with!

So, I wrote my story all about my pregnancies, my experiences with the hospitals and birthing here in the Seychelles!  With various drafts and edits I’d had Freddie by the time all was finished so I could also include how I felt about it all second time around!

It was actually quite emotional spending so much time thinking about my experiences, realising that some parts were less than perfect, a little scary, and some quite ridiculous!  It was also beautiful to sit back and think about it all, despite the imperfections it was still perfect!  Our boys are healthy and are now living and growing up in an environment that we love!

Whilst I was writing my story, 23 other stories were being penned, well typed actually, but you know what I mean!  Our stories are based in 20 different countries, from all over the world such as America, China, Malaysia , Sweden and Togo.  There really is a story that I think any expat mama (and daddy) can relate to.

Flash forward to now and our book is out there in the world!  How amazing and exciting!
If you want to buy it you can get it in paperback here:
Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of pregnancy, birth, and raising a family in a foreign country

Or e-book here:
Knocked Up Abroad: Stories of pregnancy, birth, and raising a family in a foreign country

I think it’s a great read for anyone considering having or taking children abroad; or has had or lived with their children abroad.
Actually though it’s just a good read full stop (and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it!!) there are 24 truly heartfelt stories of mamas (and two daddies) that I think you can really connect to aside from the living abroad side of it all.

If you’ve read it I’d love to know what you thought!

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Hospital Diary part 1

I wrote a little diary while I was in hospital having Freddie, so I thought I’d share it on the blog!!

I’ll start off with part one, my admission into hospital the day before my Caesarian.
Seychellesmama hospital diary part 1
Hospital Diary part 1:
10/08/15
This morning at 10am I came to hospital for admission.
The maternity ward has been moved up a floor since when I had Arthur.  It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a lot better.  There is air con, and the walls are A LOT fresher.

I was taken to a little room with Mark and had the monitor strapped to me for around half an hour.   The view from the window was lovely, we were looking right out onto the botanical gardens!
Mahe botanical gardens, view from admission room Victoria hospital
The nurse didn’t really look at the graph when it was finished, anyway it was pretty unreadable as the machine was pretty much just chewing up the paper!!
I was asked a few questions about my health and then came the question on religion!  I said I had none, the nurse seemed ok with this but then pointed at me and said “but you believe in God right!?”  Cue me feeling very awkward “ummmm no……sorry”  He didn’t say anything.  We’ve been here before, everyone is religious in the Seychelles, mostly catholic, and no one can understand that we are not.
The nurse disappeared off for a little while and I was then taken to what I can only describe as a waiting room for women waiting to have their babies.
I remember how bored I was last time on this day when I had Arthur.
I’m sure it’s dragged even more this time, I passed the time by doing a cross stitch I’ve been meaning to do forever!  My plan was that I would really make the most of this time alone and prep lots of blog posts (no internet!!) as its a rarity and soon it will be even more so, but I’m feeling nervous and anxious and not very motivated to do anything.  Writing this is helping my nerves though!

Last time I was in a room by myself all day, this time the room has been full on and off all day.  There’s three other women who have been here since I have and two other women have come and gone, not sure where they certainly weren’t in final stages of labour and weren’t prepped for surgery or anything!
I remember that it was hot in the room last time but I am so relieved there is air con now!!   There’s no nice view in this room, we are looking out on the back of the building and onto another hospital building, the space between the two frankly looks like a bit of a dumping ground!
I’ve been told I can eat and drink until midnight.  I’ve also been told that the anaesthetist will be round to see me at some point this evening.
Mark, his Mum and Arthur came to visit for a couple hours this afternoon.  Apparently Arthur had been as good as gold all day but it was lovely to see how excited he was to see me when he got here!   We gave him his Pirate Pete I’m a new big brother
book to read while I’m in hospital! He read it at bed time with daddy and loved it.
The rest of the day was very dull!  I was told the  anaesthetist would come and see me at some point, that never happened!
Midwives came to do their last checks at about 11 so got to sleep sometime after that.  My sleep, unsurprisingly was very broken after all the next day I’d be having our second baby!!!

I’ve had a lot of pregnancy ‘guilt’ this time around, fueled entirely by my worry for how Arthur would cope, firstly being away from me for a few days which he never has been before and secondly how he would deal with the huge change becoming a brother would entail.

I realise that it sounds sort of ridiculous to worry so much about how Arthur will ‘cope’ without me. I’ll be honest, I think it’s just as much a sadness for me to be away from him!!

Soon I’ll share my hospital diary part 2 aka Freddie’s birth story!!

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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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37 weeks pregnant

I’m 37 weeks pregnant, that means I’m officially full term which is really exciting!!  If you missed my 36 week update be sure to check it out!

Weight 67.7 kg (that’s +1.1kg in one week eeek!!)

Here’s me this week

37 weeks pregnant bump shot

I’ve had my final midwife appointment on Praslin this week, all went fine.  I will have one final check up near to where we are staying on Mahe and then that will be it before I check in to hospital to meet baby boy!!

With going to Mahe this Sunday I think this may be my last bump update!!  I’m not so sure of our internet access there, if I can get one in next week then of course I will!  If not I’ll probably still write it and publish it when we get back to Praslin.  That will definitely be weird since we will have our little guy by then but it will be nice to look back on it later on!!

Bags are partly packed to go now, I’ve not packed anything for myself yet though!!   This week is rolling through so fast, I feel like I’ve got more time then I really do!!
We are going to get all toiletries for baby and me on Mahe so it’s one less thing to fly over with! But, as usual it’s pretty much been left to a last minute thing!!!

I am ridiculously uncomfortable most of the time now, and my energy is totally zapped!  I don’t know how I’d be coping if mark wasn’t home right now!!

Sleep is continuing to be really broken which is not ideal but I guess it’s preparing me for night feeds!!

I’ve had some really painful Braxton hicks contractions where they’ve literally stopped me in my path.  I never had anything like this with Arthur, I guess because he was breach where this little guy is head down so there’s more pressure!?
Anyway I try to remain calm when it happens, but I’m not gonna lie, I freak out a little each time!!

Arthur has been giving loads of kisses and cuddles to my tummy mostly accompanied with “ahhhhh baby” which is so cute!
He’s also been saying “touch” as in touch the baby because we’ve been telling him that the baby will be here soon and showing him where he will sleep and all the little clothes!!

So, here’s this week’s countdown to our Caesarian and meeting baby boy!!
37 weeks pregnant!  Countdown to Caesarian section

It’s actually closer to one week now, we are so excited!!

So, hopefully I can do one last bump update next week if not I’ll be back…..with a baby!!!

 

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36 weeks pregnant

I’m 36 weeks pregnant!  If you missed last week take a look at my 35 week update

 

Measurements

Weight: 66kg (eeek well and truly over the 10 stone mark now!!)

Fundal measurement: ooops forgot this one!
Estimated baby weight from scan: 2.4kg

Here’s me this week

36 weeks pregnant bump shot
Hurrah, Mark has finished work!!!  It has been amazing having him home!  We have made big progress in getting organised for the arrival of our little man.
We are getting so excited now, and seeing all the little clothes washed and ready for him to wear has really made it all feel real (about time!)

As you can see from my measurements I’m now over 10 stone so I’ve put about 2 stone on in total so far.  I’m not worried about it, I’m not going to do any reading about whether this is “normal” or “too much” I don’t care right now.  I can worry about it afterwards!

My hands are really swollen now and are pretty hideous, think baseball mits!  The last couple of nights my feet have been swollen by the end of the day too, we went to a friends for dinner and I couldn’t get my shoes back on when we left!!
The midwife didn’t seem concerned as my blood pressure was fine, so again, I’ll not worry about it!

I’m struggling with sleep, I fall asleep very very fast but I’m waking lots trying to get comfortable.

I had a scan this week and we were told that little guy is weighing about 2.4kg right now and will be on track to weigh right about the same as Arthur did, small but perfectly formed!  Most importantly though he is very healthy in there!!  It was amazing to see him!  We got to see his face and we reckon he’s going to look just like Arthur!

So now there is only

36 weeks pregnant!  Countdown to Caesarian section.  Three weeks

Until we meet our Little guy (well actually it’s 2 weeks and 4 days as of today!!)
It’s also only 9 days until we go to Mahe so all very exciting!!

I have another midwife appointment next Thursday, my last one in Praslin! By next week we should be all ready, eeek still quite a lot to do!!
I’ll be back next week!

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Getting organised for baby 2

In my attempt to calm my pre-trip panic that sets in every time we go away anywhere I’m writing this post about getting organised for baby 2!!

Getting organised for baby 2

So, on the 2nd August we leave our little island of Praslin to head to the “bright lights” of the main island of Mahe.
My Caesarian is scheduled for the 11th.

Now Mark has finished work for summer it feels like we can finally get things sorted!!

I have a growth scan on Thursday 23rd so assuming all goes well there the above dates should be pretty secure now, unless of course I go into labour before that….basically, I’m just not considering that as an option or my brain might explode!  (Burying my head in the sand, who, me?  No way!)

What we’ve done so far

    • We have got out the suitcase with Arthur’s old clothes in to check out what we’ve got -surprisingly a lot so that’s great news!  We also got to take a lovely trip down memory lane looking at all the outfits, bonus!
    • Bought some baby detergent/softener to wash baby clothes.
    • Ordered baby blankets to Mark’s parents
    • Checked baby bottles and steriliser.  Planning on breastfeeding like I did with Arthur but good to have back ups.  Also, fingers crossed this time baby will accept a bottle of expressed milk for a night feed!)
    • Bought a couple packs of little nappies (we will be using cloth nappies but not in the hospital!)
    • Moved the changing table out of Arthur’s room and into ours
    • Rearranged furniture in our room to accommodate cot, changing table and feeding chair.
    • Dug out bags to pack to go go Mahe
    • Booked accomodation on Mahe
    • Booked hire car on Mahe
    • Ordered (and recieved) two books; The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Board Book]
      and I’m a New Big Brother: A Pirate Pete book (Pirate Pete & Princess Polly) for Arthur as presents from the baby

Still to do

  • Wash baby clothes.  Possibly order more clothes to Mark’s mum and dad depending how they come up after being washed! – They will be out with us when we have the baby and there’s no way we can get anything delivered directly here on time
  • Wash baby bedding
  • Buy toiletries for myself and the baby when we are in hospital – This we will probably do on Mahe
  • Get out my gorgeous yet very practical Vanchi NU Leather Doctor Bag (Nougat/ Cocoa)
  • Pack hospital bag for myself and baby – be good and not overpack like I did last time!!!
  • Pack for time on Mahe before I go into hospital.
  • Buy a few more cloth nappies, no urgent rush for this as we have some already, particularly as Arthur is well on the way to being potty trained, and they won’t fit baby straight away anyway!  However, ideally will do before Mark’s parents come so they can bring for us.
  • Book flights to Mahe.  Residents can’t do this until very close to the date so we will have to leave this a little longer, kind of annoying but we will see!
  • Wrap presents from the baby to Arthur.

I am sure I have missed lots of things off this list but, I must say I feel better for writing this down.  It’s made me realise we’ve done more than I thought!

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