Saturday 29 January 2011

We are Home!

Most of you will be aware that Naomi Jane Maimie Brownlee was born on Monday 24th January at 8:34pm weighing 7lb 5oz and that she and I came home to Sandy the next day, but if you didn't before you do now! This is a post to keep you up to date with how we have been getting on the first few days of our lives together.

First, lots of people have been asking about the name, so to answer your questions there. Naomi is after the person from the Bible, to be found in the book of Ruth, she was a person of great faith and faithfulness and this is something we would love our daughter to grow up with.  As well as that, we think it is a pretty name!  The first middle name, Jane, is after Sandy's grandma.  We know she would have loved Naomi very much and although she died a couple of years ago we wanted to say something of how important she was to Sandy and to the Brownlees.  Finally, Maimie (if you are not sure, it is say may-mee) is after my aunt.  She died last year but was of huge importance to me, I loved her and always knew how much she loved me.  She would give me a row for saying anything about how brilliant she was because of how humble she was with it, but I want Naomi to know something of the great heritage that goes before her, and what better way than to use Auntie Maimie's name!

The next most commonly asked question is about how the birth went.  It was all very straight forward in the end, although not necessarily as planned!  We had planned to birth at a birthing centre and to have a water birth, however there were a few concerns about my blood pressure and so I was sent to the hospital to make sure they were nothing.  Turns out they really were nothing but it took long enough to discover this that Naomi decided to make her appearance!! We were about to be sent home when I asked someone to check how far along I was (I was having contractions, but not regular enough to be considered to be in "established labour") it turned out that I was already nearly fully dilated and as a result the only place I was going was a room to give birth straight away!  Naomi was born only about an hour later, although did have the good grace to wait for her Dad to get back from the car with the bags that had all my and her stuff in them!!  For those who don't want any gory details skip forward to the next paragraph, for those who are interested keep reading... Naomi decided not to be completely standard, as such my waters didn't break until her shoulders were out and she was born in her sack, we are told this is very unusual.  Also, I did need some stitches, as much as this would have been better avoided, Naomi was just too quick and there wasn't time for the midwife to draw breath to tell me not to push, let alone for me then to follow through on that request!

Sandy went home a little after midnight, he was tired too as I had been up and down a lot the night before as I had been having contractions all night at about 10 minute intervals, that is hard to sleep next to! Not long after this I was taken to the post-labour ward.  I was told I had been "running around" so I should be able to walk, I was more than able to walk although I think the running around referred to being willing to walk back from the bath to my room!  The staff were lovely and helped a lot with getting feeding going and even taking Naomi for a couple of hours in the night so that I could get some much needed sleep.  That said, there were lots of crying babies there, Naomi was kept up by the other babies and I felt guilty when she was keeping up the other babies and so when I was able to come home the next day it felt like this was for the best.  I was also excited that Sandy and I would be able to start our life as a family.

I have already shared this picture, but this is Naomi all ready to come home from the hospital in the outfit that Grandma bought for her and strapped up in her car seat for the first time

her legs are not really that long, the snow suit is a bit big, but she will grow!

The first day at home was alright although the night time was tough as Naomi being only a few hours old was not really sure how day and night worked and was up most of the night.  The next day we were all tired but we were both surprised and pleased when Naomi slept really well that night, and has done ever since.  She is waking every 2-3 hours to feed and then settling straight back down, most of the time anyway.  We are very pleased and although we are sure it will not always be this easy we are incredibly grateful to our daughter that she is breaking us in so gently!  Here she is all snuggled up in her sleep suit and "grow bag", this is how she is sleeping at the moment, in the Moses basket next to me in our room.

Sandy is still on paternity leave and will be next week too, although he will probably work from home a little so that he can meet a few deadlines and so that he can take a day or so off Grandma and Granddad Brownlee come down in a few week's time.  We have had some lovely family time just taking walks into town or even just bathing Naomi in the evenings.  We also had a lovely day when we went to register Naomi, she is now a real person, although we need to wait for the certificate to come in the post, a complication that I don't really understand about her being born in Leicester City but us registering her in Loughborough.

We have had a steady flow of visitors, with folks from church coming to say hello and also to bring us meals.  Open Heaven make sure that new families are brought an evening meal every day for 2 weeks after the birth, this has been a HUGE blessing to us and we are loving everybody's ingenious efforts at dealing with my food peculiarities!!  Today we also had a visit from our good friend Liz Lynch from Aberdeen.  Coincidence meant she was in Leeds visiting other friends and it was lovely that she made the effort to come all the way over to Loughborough to meet Naomi and see us, we did need to check her pockets on the way out to make sure our daughter wasn't stolen though!

There is so much more that could be said, but for now I will sign off, however I will share with you the first ever picture of Naomi, Mum and Dad together.

Tuesday 25 January 2011


Here's some pictures of the most beautiful baby I've ever seen...

Friday 21 January 2011

7 things about me

So, this one is nothing to do with the baby and not even anything to do with Loughborough, I have been tagged in a Meme (for those who don't know, read on you'll get the idea) where I am to reveal 7 secrets about myself.  I am supposed to then tag another 15 people, but to be honest most of the bloggers I know have already done it, so I might give that bit a miss and would be struggling for 7 secrets and so instead will go for little known facts.

1.  When I was at school I played rugby for Grampian and I loved it, I was a tight-head prop and was pretty good at it (although any time I tried to play loose-head I collapsed the scrum!)

2.  My favourite way to de-stress is to play the piano (loudly), it is just a shame I don't have one in my house and haven't for years :-(

3.  If I had gone straight to uni from school as was the original plan I would have studied aeronautical engineering, I still love all the sciencey/maths type stuff

4.  I love to play chess, sometimes Sandy and I play chess on our date-nights

5.  I really want a tattoo, I know what and where but will probably never get it!

6.  Nothing makes me happier than cooking a meal for friends or actually even better, new friends

7.  Public speaking makes me incredibly nervous but I get a real kick out of it, I loved doing all the stuff for the SPDN when I still lived in Scotland, I hope I find somewhere to do similar things now we have moved.

So, there you are

What flavour, when and how much? recap!

The following were all the entries we had to the competition (prize has now been confirmed as the joy of winning!).  Sheena was wrong on the date but two people have guessed today (I like the way these people think!) There seems to be a slight biased towards it being a girl but we will hopefully be finding out sooner rather than later

Sheena Lawson: Jan 19th, 7lbs 1oz, Girl

Liz Lynch: January 21st, 7lb 3oz (without Bertie Bassett hat, a few oz more with the hat on) Girl

Corrie Duncan: Jan 21st, 7lb 12oz, Girl

Sarah Langelaan: Jan 23rd, 6,5 lbs, Girl

Ashley Brownlee: Jan 25th, 6lb 7oz, Boy

Gordon McIntyre: Jan 25th, 6lb 6oz, Girl

Ian Brownlee: Jan 26th, 9lb 3oz, Girl

Tom Bell: Jan 28th, 7lb 7oz, Boy

Chris Martin: Jan 29th (around 3pm), 7lbs 11oz, Boy

Allison Brownlee: Jan 29th, 7lbs 2oz, Girl

Krista French: Jan 30th, 9lb 3oz, Boy

Sue Hooper: Feb 1st, 7lb 10oz, Boy

Trina McGarry: Feb 3rd, 7lb 13oz, Girl

Emma Drane: Feb 6th, 7lb 11oz, Boy

Wednesday 19 January 2011

From my heart to yours

Allsort, bump, baby, whatever we call you, I have been thinking a lot about you this week, I'll be honest because I am desperate to meet you, I'm not sure I have room to keep you inside much longer, but mainly I am desperate to meet you because it feels so long since I have been dreaming about what you would be like.

Of course, I have been waiting 9 months for you, from the very minute I found out I was pregnant, in Bruge of all places, with your daddy so far away, I have been thinking about whether you'll have my nose or his eyes and whether you will be super clever like your Dad or incredibly eccentric like your Mum.

In fact though, I have been dreaming about you for even longer than that.  Maybe when your older you will know something more of all the struggles I have had with my health, but suffice to say that up until a few years ago your Mummy was not very well and that as much as she wanted you it was not to be.  Your Daddy and I even tried to make it happen for a while, but we are (with hindsight) grateful that God didn't let it happen then, it is much better for it to happen now, now that your Mummy can actually look after herself, as well as you.

Even once you are older there wouldn't be any particular need to tell you about how ill Mummy was and how it stopped her living her dream of having you in her early twenties, but her story speaks of the grace of God so deeply that we will almost certainly tell you, because your Mummy's life as well as your own are such gifts from God, and in case that gets lost in me being sentimental about my own journey, little Allsort, please know, you are such a gift from God.  We thank our lucky stars that you are going to be in our lives, sometimes I pinch myself, I can't believe it is true, then I look down at my big bulging tummy and I know it is.

You were promised to us, God promised to give us a child, although I thought it might never happen, I never let myself believe too much that you would come because I wanted you so much and couldn't cope with the disappointment if you didn't.  God knew, though, that I was destined to be a mother and that your Daddy was to be a father, and He knew He would always come through.  Even before I took that test, even before the lines came up in those little windows God was trying to help me in my disbelief.  God told someone I was in Belgium with, in a roundabout way, that I was pregnant, before I could even know, He was there knitting you altogether.  The words of Psalm 139 have brought a tear to my eye ever since I found out you were in me

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Little baby, God has seen your face, and I am sure you are beautiful, so why not come out and let the rest of us have a look too!!

Monday 17 January 2011

Funny Picture

We don't have much going on at the moment, we are really just waiting for the baby to decide to appear now, that said, we saw this sign at the weekend and thought we would share, it is up on the till of a little Asian store round the corner from our house :-)

It made us smile and hope it does the same for you!

Wednesday 12 January 2011

baby moving

I have tried a few times to get a video of my tummy moving all over the place as baby does, unfortunately Allsort seems to be camera shy as every time I get the camera out (s)he stops moving altogether! (We had the opposite problem at our 20 week scan when we needed him/her to be still, I suspect (s)he is just taking after his/her mother by being difficult!)

Anyway, last night I got some movements on "film", the movements are often much more impressive than this, and please take into account that I had to keep breathing so some of the movement is just me drawing breath! This, however, is the only view I have had of my belly for weeks now - enjoy!

Tuesday 11 January 2011

What flavour, when and how much?

So, just for fun and for no other reason to provide me with some entertainment I have decided to have a little competition!

So, leave a comment and tell me

1. What flavour you think the baby will be (although comedy answers will provide much entertainment, for the purposes of winning you need to tell me your boy/girl predictions!)

2. What you think the birth date will be (due date is Jan 26th, if you are not sure)

3. How much you think the baby will weigh in lb and oz

Good Luck!

Monday 10 January 2011


In a shameful display of effort it's taken me quite some time to get round to writing up our Christmas holidays. Things are getting a little busy at work at the moment as I've got a paper to write which is due on the same day as the baby! So I'm trying to get it out of the way now in case we have an early arrival.

It was really great to be back up in Scotland among our friends and family again. It was a little surreal being there knowing it was just a visit. It was a good couple of weeks - though a little tiring darting all over the place to catch up with everyone :) We also got a experience some proper winter weather in place of the tame stuff we've been getting used to of late.

First stop on the way up was a quick check on our house, including a drop off of some things that were taken by accident in the rush of the move. My parents and brother kindly helped finish off the decorating once we'd gone and it was nice to see the results of their hard work. (especially knowing that we've now got a likely taker for the place)

As I said, we spent much of our time visiting folks and apologies to those we missed - we will try to see you when we come up again, which won't be long. You'll also be most welcome to come to us, it's only 8 or so hours' drive though it's a bit of a squeeze in our house.

As a mark of how good the weather was, about halfway through the holiday I helped my brother and brother-in-law to build an igloo in the garden for Steven and Holly (my nephew and niece). Here's the result:

How better to pass the time than racing some wind-up royals?

On hogmanay we went to the ceilidh that the church in New Deer have been holding for the last few years. Always a good time, though accompanied by the obligatory embarrassing birthday recognition for me. Also Jay didn't get to dance as much as usual for obvious reasons, though she did mime nappy changing in one of the games (yes, there were games).

Finally, on the recommendation of Mr. Joe McGarry I have recently been listening to Slagsmalsklubben-den Svenske Disko - which has provided some enjoyable diversity when interspersed with the 50s Rock and Roll I've had on for much of the past couple of days. It's essentially a generic version of 80s arcade game sountracks and well worth a listen if you like kind of thing. (just try not to bounce too much if you're in an office within sight of others)

Our weekend

Hey everyone,

Sandy and I have had a busy weekend and so we thought we would fill you in!

One thing that is not as good down here as it would have been back in Aberdeen is the provision of NHS antenatal classes. Lots of people have reassured us that you don't really need them but both of us felt like we didn't really have a clue as to what would be happening and we would quite like some training on the issue! Therefore we used the (now being phased out) Health in Pregnancy Grant to pay for antenatal classes with the NCT and they started this past week.

We would have liked to start them earlier but the course we really wanted to get onto was already fully booked, thankfully I think they have already covered most of the important stuff and so *if* the baby was to make an appearance sooner rather than later we *should* be alright!

The course hasn't quite been what we were expecting, only because we were anticipating much more sitting on the floor being told how to breathe, when in fact what we have got has been much more of an information gathering type thing. All very good, but lots of sitting and listening to information on signs of labour, stages of labour and stuff like that. One excellent thing that has come out of it, even with another whole day left on the course, is that they are helping us think about all those decisions about labour that you really need to make in advance. The things that I need to have told Sandy because once the time comes I might be a little less rational (like contrary to my usual phobia of needles, I would like a managed third stage and if I need pethidine then get that drug injected in my leg pronto!!) and bits of advice like making sure you make it very clear that you don't want the baby being fed bottles if you are really going to try and go with the breastfeeding route. So that took up almost all of our Saturday but did make for a good night's sleep at the end!

In a small move that I now find quite funny, a clumsily put together facebook status made lots of people think that I was in labour and baby was imminent. I assure you, if I am coherent enough to put together any facebook status on the subject it will be short and sweet and not leave anything to chance, although coming back from the NCT class to find everyone thinking I was off having a baby did make me laugh!!

As for Sunday, we were back at Open Heaven for the first time since the New Year, it was lovely to see lots of people again, I have been feeling a bit isolated since we came back for Christmas with the comparative aloneness next to all the socialising of Christmas. Then in the afternoon we had a bit of a tidy up and a clear round and now even I am happy to say that baby can come and we will be ready. There is a space cleared for the tumble drier we bought (hoping baby doesn't come on Friday, that is when it is being delivered!) and Sandy has unpacked a box or two where I couldn't fathom out what bit of a computer that was never mind where it should go!!

Now it is Monday and Sandy is back at work, I have a lovely week lined up with various coffees/chats with people on 3 different days this week, and also going back to the bumps and babies group that I have been attending since we moved here. Just enough time after New Year, to get back to normality before we forget forever what that is like!

Hoping and praying you are all having lovely weeks wherever you are!

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Back with a Bump!

In more than one sense!

Sandy and I are back in Loughborough and very quickly finding that there is as much to be getting on with as ever! Today isn't a bank holiday in England, which feels odd to us, so we dealt with it by getting Sandy to take an extra day's annual leave (one of the perks of the new job is more plentiful supply of days that can be taken for such things!) One good thing about this is that Sandy got to come with me to the midwife (there is one of the bumps I was talking about) and he could hear the heartbeat of the baby. I've got to do this a few times but normally while Sandy is at work, so he has only heard it once before. The baby was not very co-operative today though, every time the doppler probe came near me it just bumped it out the way! The midwife persevered though and we got to hear our little one. Tomorrow I will be 37 weeks pregnant which is considered "full term" so assuming we make it to midnight tonight, there is no risk the baby can be born premature any more!!

We had a few shopping things we wanted to do today too, we bought a couple of things for the baby, just in case it does show up soon (which I would like, I am not very comfortable!) so (s)he has another sleep suit/bag thing and a changing mat to put in the change bag, to save other people's floors if we are out visiting anyone! Something else we bought was a Bible for the baby, this Bible is "from" Auntie Maimie. Auntie Maimie was so important to me growing up, she answered anything I needed her to about God or the Bible, so we knew she would want to make sure we bought a Bible that was from her, even though she passed away before she could have met our little one. We decided not to get a fancy presentation Bible or even one that is the "whole" of the Bible. Instead we have bought The Beginner's Bible full of stories that can be read at bedtime or with our child as (s)he gets older. There are lots of colourful pictures to look at for when the baby is still young but stories with enough depth that this Bible will see us well and truly through the toddling stage and even into early primary school. We thought Auntie Maimie would like the Bible to be something that got used, not just something that sits on a shelf, we won't worry ourselves too much if a page gets torn, all that will do is prove it is getting looked at!

Another thing we bought today is a tumble drier, we did lots of shopping around and decided on one and this is what the bulk of the money we were left by Auntie Maimie is buying us. I just feel with a baby due in January that trying to dry all the extra washing (bearing in mind we are doing "real" nappies) is just infeasible so we have settled on one and gone for it. Hopefully it will be here soon, it seems to be in a few sales just now so is fairly universally out of stock in any shop we could find it! Our main concern is that I will go into labour while waiting for it to be delivered!

Lots of people have been asking us about the house back in Aberdeen. We are fairly sure we have a tenant lined up but all we know about the date that they will be moving in is that it will be in "early January" but it is good to know that it is all being sorted for us (that is what we are paying them money for after all). That said, we will feel even happier still when someone has taken up the lease and finally moves in! In other great news, our finances are sorting themselves out as we begin to be able to claim back all sorts of bits of money from people (like extra council tax we have been paying and extra money on our old electricity direct debit), we should be even more sorted in that in the next wee while, we would have phoned up more people today but it is still a bank holiday in Scotland after all!

Tomorrow sees Sandy go back to work and me have a hospital appointment in Leicester (we don't actually know what for, best guess is that it is because I have asthma!) and tomorrow night we start our NCT antenatal classes! (Busy day) We might go the cinema on Thursday for the "last" time and so all in all, we are back to the grind with a bit of bump as we fit everything in.

We had a great Christmas and got to see lots of our favourite people, although missed out on some that we would have loved to see, maybe we will see you when we come back next? Sandy has a blog post planned about some of our antics over Christmas in the North East, so I will leave all that to him and for now I will be you adieu :-)