1

And Another Thing…

I know I already told you that I won’t be delivering in Dubai any more.  And I know I already told you why I was relieved that we’d be in London instead.

And since I’ve already told you – the fact that I have one more reason that I’m glad I’m not delivering in Dubai any more kind of makes this post a bit useless.  But I’m going to tell you anyway!

So – the UAE has passed a new law stating that ALL mothers must breastfeed their children for two years.

Where the mother cannot breastfeed for any reason – a wet nurse will be provided.

WTF?

When I first saw this news (in February), I read every article I could about it.  I was basically looking for whether this law applied to only Emirati women, or if it would include also expats who give birth in the UAE.

Out of all the articles I read – and there were many – there were only two (maximum three) that stated that this applied only to Emiratis.  And these articles were US and UK papers.  None of the UAE papers said anything about who it applied to.

This scared the crap out of me.

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I did not breastfeed V – he is not any worse for it.  And I have no intention of breastfeeding the new baby either.

And I would NOT want a wet nurse!

Should breastfeeding be part of the children’s rights law?

What about a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body?

Anyway, so even though this doesn’t apply to me any more (if it ever did – who knows?), I thought I’d share with you!

4

Movement

According to my weekly BabyCentre emails, I should be able to feel the baby’s movements from about sixteen to twenty weeks.  Apparently if it’s a second or subsequent pregnancy, I may have even been able to feel movement from about thirteen weeks.

So my question is – if I’m nineteen weeks, why aren’t I feeling any movement?

I can’t remember when I first felt V move.  Why don’t I remember?  At the time I’m pretty sure I told myself I’d never forget which week of pregnancy I was in and the date and time, etc!

Sometimes I think I can feel movement – but then I think maybe it’s just hunger pangs (I get a lot of those) or gas.

After stressing about it for a few days, I told LagosDad I was going to have a scan.  It was just last week (eighteen weeks) and I hadn’t had a scan since my thirteenth week.  Nothing wrong with wanting to make sure, right?

Anyway – so everything is fine.  The baby is still there and he’s moving around.  And, of course LagosDad told me I was worrying about nothing as usual.

So why can’t I feel it?  And when will I feel it?

And why is everything worrying me?

 

5

Pain

I’m in pain.  And I’ve been in pain since my fourteenth week.

I have pain in my pubic area, the tops of my thighs, the base of my back and my backside.

Getting in and out of bed almost kills me.  Turning over while in bed is worse.  Getting in and out of the car is manageable, but it hurts.  Basically – I have to try and avoid any activity where I have to put more pressure on one leg than another.  Like getting dressed (I have to sit down to do this).  Or going up and down the stairs fifty times a day.

After doing some research online, I gathered that what I have is SPD.  I’d never heard about it before, but vaguely remembered a friend saying she had it during her first pregnancy and has it again now, in her second pregnancy.

I had an appointment with my ob/gyn at sixteen weeks.  He asked how I was doing.  I told him about my aches and pains.

Now he’s not the kind of man who will hold your hand and tell you everything’s going to be ok.  He’s not the most ‘personable’ guy – but I knew this about him.

But when he looked at me and said, ‘Well, it’s your second pregnancy, so it’s to be expected.  Although sixteen weeks is a bit early to have this kind of pain.  You’ll have to just deal with it.’, I was a little disappointed.

No adivce?  No dos and don’ts?  Just deal with it?  No examination or anything?

Now I’m at nineteen weeks.  And the pain is ok – bearable on some days.  But on others, it’s worse.  And I think it will continue to get worse as the baby grows.  I’m hobbling around a lot already!

Should I go to my GP?  Or am I meant to just grin and bear it?

3

More Confusion

Before V was born, I did a lot of research on which pushchair to get.  I know I’ve written about this whole pushchair thing before – but this has a different point.  I promise.  Bear with me!

The one I really wanted to buy was the Bugaboo Bee.  But after discussing with LagosDad (read after LagosDad said ‘no’), he we decided that it was too expensive.  If we lived in London, or somewhere else where we’d get regular use out of it, then it would have been fine, but alas…

Anyway, so we bought the Mamas & Papas Urbo.

It looks great, doesn’t it?  There are a number of irritating things about it though.

1. It can be rear or forward facing, which is a real plus point.  However, to fold it down, it needs to be forward facing.  That means taking the baby out, turning the seat round and then using BOTH hands to collapse it.  What to do with the baby?

2. As mentioned above, you need two hands to fold it down, which is inconvenient.

3. It’s heavy.

4. It’s quite wide when folded.

Anyway – so that’s the one we bought.  And it was used very regularly until we came back to Lagos when V was twelve weeks old.  After that it wasn’t used again until he was six months old and we went to India and then London.  And after that, it wasn’t used until he was eleven months old (for one week) and then at fifteen months.

When V was 27 months, we went to Dubai for the Christmas holiday.  I didn’t take the pushchair with us.  I figured he was old enough to walk.  I, stupidly, didn’t take into account how much walking there is to do in the malls.  I also, stupidly, didn’t realise that we don’t really walk anywhere here.  Everywhere we go is by car.  So he wasn’t (and still isn’t) used to walking for long periods of time.

After having to carry him every five minutes, I went out and bought a cheap, lightweight buggy from Mothercare.  I left it in Dubai and we’ve used it each time we’ve gone back.

Now – here’s the important bit.  As I wrote before, we’ll be spending the summer and some of autumn in London.

My mum asked me if she should send the buggy (with my sister).  I told her I wouldn’t need it, as I have the Urbo (which I’d like to sell so I can buy a new one.  So if you know anyone….?).  I’d misunderstood her.  She was asking if she should send it for V.

I told her not to send it.  He won’t need it, will he?  He’ll be four in September.  Do nearly-four-year-olds use buggies?  I’m hoping we’ll be within walking distance of the park/playground.  And we’ll be taking the bus or Tube everywhere we go…

Is it frowned upon to have a four-year-old in a buggy?  Does it matter if it is?  I’ve never seen ‘big children’ in buggies.

Maybe I should get hold of it anyway, in case?  For long days out like the zoo?

What do you think?

 

14

Summer in London

I’m quite stressed out at the moment.  I have all these thoughts going round and round in my head – and I can’t do a lot about some of it.

Sorry – let me start from the beginning!

V was born in London.  There was never any question as to where I would deliver.  I lived in the UK for 15 years before I moved back to Lagos.  My parents had a flat there and there was plenty of space for LagosDad, me and a new baby.  Although, my parents did have to move into the smaller guestroom and we took the larger master bedroom (to fit the crib and changing table, etc.).

This time round, we decided I’d deliver in Dubai.  Because that’s where my parents are now.  I want to be with my mum.

We toyed with the idea of London briefly.  Very briefly.  But decided it might be easier in Dubai.

But, it’s really not that easy!

Here’s why.

1. We’ll be there over the summer – it’s very, very hot.

2. It will be Ramadan.  No eating or drinking in public.  I would have to stay home all day!

3. My parents’ driver is going on leave during Ramadan.  That’s ok.  I figured we’d manage.  I could drop V off at summer camp on the Metro.  Then I realised it would be too damn hot to even walk to the Metro station (17 minutes walk).

4. To enroll him in a nursery, I need proof of residency.  I’m not a resident there, and neither is LagosDad

5. My mum said there won’t be space for all of us in their flat, so we’d have to rent an apartment.  Where do you even start?

6.  I don’t know anything about the process of registering the birth or applying for a baby’s passport in Dubai.  However, from what I’ve read, it’s not a straightforward procedure.  And – ONLY THE FATHER CAN REGISTER THE BIRTH!

7. It is illegal for a single woman to give birth in the UAE.  I know this doesn’t apply to me – but I still find it unsettling.

8. I would probably only get a three-month visa for the nanny – but I’d need her there for four.  I know – it sounds ridiculous – but it was stressing me out.

9. Everything is so expensive there – I didn’t want to buy all my baby clothes there because it’s so expensive.  A pair of pyjamas for V costs about $28 in Mothercare.  ONE PAIR!

10. And lastly… I just found out on Friday that I actually can’t deliver the baby in Dubai because neither LagosDad or myself are residents there.

So my last six weeks of research – summer camps, nurseries, serviced apartments, visa requirements, buying online in the US and delivering to my sister-in-law, etc has all been a waste.

Now we are back to London.

And to be very honest – although I’m finding it stressful to start my research all over again – I am much happier.

1. Fresh air.

2. Taking V to Regent’s Park to play and feed the ducks.

3. Walking on the high street.

4. Selfridges.

I could go on.

I love the thought of summer in London.  But there are a few things I have to do.

1. Apply for the nanny’s visa!

2. Book in with a doctor.  I’ve emailed the one who delivered V – I loved him and would want him to deliver this baby.  I think I may have left it a bit late though.  Last time I booked in with him at 10 weeks.  Now I’m 16 weeks and I’m hoping that he’ll fit me in.

3. Find an apartment to rent for four months.  I’ve been looking – but we may have to make a trip to secure somewhere I think.  Or maybe I’ll ask LagosDad to go.  If you know of any two bed/two bath apartments for rent in St John’s Wood – please let me know!

It’s all very daunting – but I’ve got to do it!

Wish me luck!

2

Introverted

V has always been a little quiet and reserved (but never at home).  He’s always been a bit nervous around new people, and never speaks to anyone he’s not comfortable with.  He’s very particular about a lot of things and I put that down to being a Virgo.

I’ve always called him ‘shy’.  And sometimes, ‘peculiar’.

My mil gets a little exasperated with him and his habits – she likes to tell me about what she thinks he should be like *eye roll*.  And although I sometimes think the same about certain things (especially when I see some other kids) – I will never admit it  to her.  I will defend him until my last breath!  I always say to her, ‘He is who he is and no one can change that.’  She doesn’t like that.

V and his personality take up a lot of my thinking time (and there is a lot of it), and I can’t help but wonder why he is the way he is.  Oh – my mil also thinks it could be because LagosDad and I are a bit ‘shy’ and ‘quiet’ and because we like to stay home a lot (I don’t even know where to start with this one – so it’s better I just bite my tongue!).

I came across an article on Facebook a few days ago, and it really helped me put my thoughts into perspective.  I think it’s even helped me to understand him a little more.  It’s called, Don’t Call Introverted Children ‘Shy’ by Susan Cain.

Please read it if you get a chance.  If your child/ren aren’t introverts, it will help you to better understand children that are.

7

Confused

I’m a bit confused as to what to do.

It’s V, you see.

Ok – let me explain first…  He goes to nursery every day for four hours.  He loves it.  It’s taken him a little while, but he now participates fully (almost) in all activities and, according to his teacher, is doing well.

His school day finishes at 12.30pm and then we have a looooong afternoon ahead of us.  What to do?  Let’s keep in mind that just chilling at home isn’t always the best option as we’re often without power and it’s hot!

So what to do with him?  How to keep him entertained in ways that don’t involve the television or the iPad?

What most parents do here is get a group of kids together (3 or 4 of them) and organise afternoon classes for them.  Gymnastics, swimming, hip hop dance, art and craft, cooking.  There is a lot going on.

At the moment V does Hip Hop on a Monday (he’s been twice and has only watched so far), gymnastics on a Tuesday (his participation level depends on his mood), on a Wednesday he does cooking.  He loves this class, but his teacher travels often.  She’s been away since December and won’t be back until May.  So Wednesdays are open at the moment.  He also won’t eat anything he’s made unless it’s chocolatey.  On Thursdays he does Art and Craft – he loves these classes too.  And on Fridays he stays home.

I know some of you must be wondering why I keep him so busy.  And when does he get a chance to do ‘children’s things’.  And why don’t I do things with him?  Why don’t I just take him to the park?  Why not organise play dates for him?

So here’s the thing.

First of all, the classes are only for an hour.  Secondly, even though he goes to nursery every day – the children he does these classes with all go to different schools.  He’s still quiet and a bit reserved and I want him to spend more time with other children.  I could do stuff with him, of course I can – but I’m tutoring twice a week, he misses out on being with other children, and I’m struggling a bit with this pregnancy.  As for the park or other places to go…  We’re a bit limited here.  Playdates?  That could work.  But most of the children he would meet are in all the classes he does!

So, just to be clear – I’m not confused about his classes – as you read, that’s all sorted.

My problem is…  V.

He loves art and craft.  He loves cooking class.  A friend of mine is homeschooling her son this year and V sometimes joins in their lessons – and he loves them.

He does not, however, like dance or gymnastics.  I thought about trying football – but he’s not interested in that.

So what do I do?  Do I pull him out of those classes?  Even though I know he would benefit greatly from taking part.  But he doesn’t enjoy them.

At the moment there are no other options for him on a Monday or Tuesday.  And there’s no cooking classes until May – so that means he’s home on Wednesdays too.  Don’t get me wrong – he LIKES being at home.  And he likes being alone.

But I feel that he should be with other children more often.

I’ve realised that he’s one of those children that enjoys doing ‘learning things’, rather than ‘active things’.  And maybe he probably won’t be an ‘all-rounder’.  And that’s fine with me.  He is who he is.

 

So what should I do?  Force him to go and hope that he might eventually want to take part?  I feel so silly stressing about it when he’s only three-and-a-half.

8

He Knows

So LagosDad and I sat V down yesterday morning and told him about the baby.  Well, I told him – LagosDad just sat there.

I had been dreading it.  I envisioned him lying down and beating his fists against the floor, kicking his legs and shouting, “Nooooo!” over and over again.

Here’s how it went.

Me: V – you know how mama’s back has been hurting?

V: Yes.

Me: You know how papa took me to the doctor on Wednesday?

V: Yes.

Me: Well, the doctor told me there was nothing wrong with my back.  And he didn’t know why my back was hurting.  So he said he had to do a blood test.  You’ve had a blood test, haven’t you?

V: Yes and I cried so much.  Did you cry?

Me: No, I didn’t.  It didn’t hurt at all.  Anyway, so we had to wait a little while, and then the doctor called papa and me back into his office.  He told me that there was nothing wrong with my back.  Then he asked me if I’ve been eating a lot.  I have been eating a lot, haven’t I?

V: *nods*

Me: Then he asked me if my tummy was getting bigger.  It is getting bigger, isn’t it?

V: Yes, it’s getting very big!

Me: Then he said there was a baby growing in my tummy!

*anxiously waits for reaction*

V: In how many months will it come out?

Oh

Me: In six months.

V: No, I want it to be in ten months.

Me: Ok – in ten months (he has no concept of time anyway).  Isn’t that exciting?  You’re going to have a baby brother or sister!  You’re going to be a big brother!  And you can help mama do so many things – like give the baby a bath, feed the baby and change yucky nappies!

V: Yes!  And you know.  When the double-decker bus bed your ordered for me in Bali comes (we didn’t order it in Bali, we are YET to order it), I’m going to give my cot to the baby that comes out of your tummy.  *taps my tummy*

Me: Oh V – you are going to be such a good big brother, aren’t you?

*starts crying*

*eye roll*

*blames hormones*

*big sigh of relief*

6

It’s Complicated

LagosDad and I have been trying to figure out how to tell V that he’s going to have a younger sibling by the end of the summer.

But we are finding it a bit complicated.

I’ve tried testing the waters a little bit and have had a couple of “big brother” and “baby brother or sister” conversations.  I think we are in trouble.

This is how the last conversation went…

Oh – we were watching Charlie and Lola.

Me: Oh how nice! Isn’t Charlie such a good big brother? He always takes care of Lola. I think you would be a good big brother.

V: No.

Me: You know, many of your friends have little brothers and sisters.  And some of your friends have big brothers or sisters *gives examples*

V (after a slight pause): Where can we get one?

Me: Well, babies grow in their mama’s tummy.  So we would grow the baby in my tummy.

V: No.  No.  I’m the only baby allowed in your tummy!

Oh.  Crap.

My grandmother’s advice was to stop asking him if he’d like a baby brother or sister and to just tell him that he’s getting one!

Sounds like good advice to me.

All I know is we have to do it soon.  As in today.

We’ve got birthday parties for the next FOUR Saturdays – and we need to tell him before he hears it from someone else!

Any advice?

6

Finally!

I’m finally back.

Not that I’ve been anywhere for a while.

So LagosDad and I went to Bali as planned at the beginning of January.  V was absolutely fine with my parents, sister and nanny.  I believe he had the odd tantrum or two, but nothing unusual there.

Bali was fantastic.  We went to buy furniture – so we were on buying trips from morning until night.  It was a shame that we didn’t get to appreciate the hotel and the fact that we were upgraded to a suite!

We were meant to leave for Lagos two days after getting back to Dubai.  But V and I delayed a couple of weeks.

We had some renovation work happening in our house – and the kitchen wasn’t ready yet.  And our downstairs TV room and bar was being converted into a bedroom and TV room for my in laws.  Yes.  My in laws have moved in.  I don’t want to talk about it right now.  More on that another day.

And other news?  See picture below.

Image

Yes.

FINALLY!

V is going to be a big brother!