Back to square one…

On Saturday I can start exercising again, or I could but I am going in for a minor surgery in the beginning of September and therefore have to stay away from the weight room still. But somewhere mod or perhaps even at the end of September I will start working out again. My weight is now no longer the issue, it’s the softness of my body aka “the jiggly bits”.

I’ll work from home to begin with. I wish I could say that I’ll be doing it when Erik’s asleep- but let’s face it that is just not how he rolls. So instead I will have Sean take him for a half hour here and there so that I can get myself in order. I’m pretty tired of looking like a jelly donut.

It’s not fair of me to have the little whale hang out in the baby gym and work on his neck strength when I am all weak and plain. So, after my recovery I will get back into a routine. However small and seemingly insignificant, it needs doing. I need to get myself back into shape, for my own sanity. I had a long and fantastic weight loss journey a few years ago, and I refuse to let all that hard work go to waste.

Plus, I need a hobby.

Because this is what I’ve succumbed to. And that’s just not acceptable for anyone, especially not myself.

And here’s a fun picture of Erik sitting up like a big boy in his crib, totally mesmerized by his new mobile.

Mrs. Campbell

Lost in translation…

There is a lot to be said about motherhood, but most things you’ve probably heard. Like the sleepless nights and the endless days. I was prepared for that. I was prepared for a lot of crying and and a lot of throw up. But I didn’t get what I had envisioned.

We got a boy who, still, starts screaming before he opens his eyes. Who doesn’t sleep unless he’s being rocked or carried. Who doesn’t spend any time in the stroller, who doesn’t like riding in the car and mostly who is more easily bored than his mother. He’s a bit of a monster in most aspects, added to that his weight (one of a toddler) and you have yourself a bit of an issue. But he is glorious. So incredibly cute and curious. He’s not the least bit shy and eats with such passion.

Watching him discover different things is by far the most entertaining thing ever. To see those beautiful blue eyes take in all the surroundings is my new passion, along with observing just how good he’s gotten at taking his socks off.

He has also learned to pull his foot out of his pajamas…

The biggest change for me has been, what feels like, the solitary confinement. We are home A LOT. I’m not used to that, and I didn’t think I’d be one of those people who had to stay at home – ever. But Erik hates being out for too long and his schedule rules our world, because if he isn’t happy nobody is. And there’s a lot of suggestions coming from everywhere. Try rocking the stroller, try moving it across cobblestones and all that jazz. Erik doesn’t like lying down in the stroller, he hates sitting up in it. He really hates being rocked while in there and cobblestones make him scream even louder than normal. So, we stay at home most of the time. We do short outings to places where we can park close by, and we no longer attempt to eat out.

This was at Espresso House in Stockholm a few days ago. This picture was followed by a half hour long scream fest while I ran to the car. That was fun.

But it was preceded by this amazing picture. A baby resting while mom enjoys an overpriced scone at a coffee shop where we are seated under a stairwell, on a bench made of the same flooring as pictured with some sat-in pillows.

The romance kind of disappears when you take it all in. It’s a perfect picture of a moment in time that was not nearly as nice as it’s made to look.

Instead my life is filled with this, hand washing bobos and cleaning. It’s filled with cooking and eating while standing up.

Today I made us oven fried potatoes (with Vegeta, rosemary, crushed garlic and tons of oil), minute steak, fried mushroom and onions with a side of a mixed salad with tomato and onion (salted, oiled and with a hint of red balsamic vinegar) along with a store bought parmesan sauce.

After we had been away to buy the little whale a sleeping bag for winter and Sean had been to an interview we headed home for more home adventures.

Erik had tummy time with dad.

They played on the floor while I took silly pictures of them.

Erik and I hung out in bed, to get some rest before bath time.

Bath time is a great time, most often.

We got a new outfit on and he was fed and is currently being rocked by Sean in the hopes of all of us getting some sleep tonight.

That’s what the days look like. The old life has lost its charm, but I haven’t quite settled into the new one yet. But for every day that passes it gets easier and easier.

Life sure is funny that way.

When did I age?

Mrs. Campbell

Life in general…

I guess it's time to update again, not much has changed since last. Life is pretty good, calm and quiet. Well, not really but I pretend that it is when Pudgy's asleep. I pretend that I have it all under control and that all the calamity and chaos are going to get better.

Erik sleeps peacefully in the baby nest that I keep rocking on my legs. He's outgrown the nest but he's so comfortable in it and I don't have the heart to leave him without it. I will sew him a new one, a big one – but for the time being he is comfortable where he is and that's the only thing that matters.

He's turning three months in 9 days and he's progressing fast, in some areas. Others he seems to have no interest in. He's easily bored and needs constant entertainment and the close presence of either me or his father. He doesn't like to play in his baby gym and cartoons for kids don't spark any interest in him.

He likes his bouncy chair and the bug mobile above his crib, but that's about it. He loves to walk and stand up, and he sits up like a pro. Obviously with support from us, we're not completely crazy.

The days are filled with Erik related activities and since he refuses to do anything alone (including naps) there's not much one can do outside of that. We live in shifts, completely dominated by that little whale of a boy. But I can't imagine a different life. I can miss going out, and the social life I used to have. But it was all so shallow and meaningless, and I wouldn't want any if it back. But I miss the idea of it.

Who would have thought, just a year and a half ago, that a little thing like that would rule my world? In its entirety.

As I was writing this he's kept me company, with his snores and sleep smiles. And just that, this right here – is what makes this the best place in the world to be in.

Mrs. Campbell

A quiet morning…

You forget what quiet feels like, peaceful and luxurious. It's a reality no one prepared me for, having a child with colic. It's a reality no one can prepare you for, because torture can't be explained – it can only be experienced.

You read about it and you think, well it passes with time, what's 3-4 months? It's horrible, not only because you're exhausted and in pain but mostly because your child is inconsolable and in pain. He screams even before he opens those beautiful blue eyes. It's absolute torture seeing him like that and trying every single thing you know should work only to see it fail.

But he's growing, he's slowly getting into somewhat of a routine and at the end of the day that is all that you can ask for. We're going to try some anti-colic medicine, as soon as it arrives to see if it helps. It would be amazing to have him wake up and not scream-cry every time and not be so tight and angry all the time. I understand that he's in pain and not being able to give him any relief because we live in Sweden is pure torture.


But to have a moment like this is worth all the screaming and crying and the sleepless nights and days that all just melt into one big mess.

Today he's been amazing, there's been a lot of crying but he's also slept and eaten like a big boy.


A bit of crying while hanging out with mom and dad.


Happy Buddha baby.


Going for a quality nap.

He's growing so fast, 7,5 kilograms he weighed today. May not be completely accurate since we weighed him at home but he is well over 7 kilos. We're trying to enjoy the quiet moments, they're few and far between but oh so wonderful!

Outside of that I've been helping Sean update his CV. Still no luck finding work and it's becoming strenuous for the both of us. It's been well over a year now and still nothing, meanwhile I'm getting offers while on maternity leave. We're hoping he'll find something soon. Really, really soon.

In the meantime we're playing house and trying to figure Pudgy out.

Mrs. Campbell

Shifts…

We’ve decided to deal with our Pudgy in shifts due to a lack of sleep. None of us is getting any sleep, because the little whale is a fussy baby. He sleeps for very short bursts of time and when he wakes he’s hungry and very, very angry. So we’re trying something new: 4-hour shifts, 3 each. Tonight I’m kicking it off by having the Pajama Batman sleeping soundly in his stroller while I make lunch for tomorrow. Sean takes the first sleeping shift.


Pajama Batman sleeping soundly in his stroller, socks and all.


Food in the making: Falukorv in the oven (about as Swedish as it gets).

As I was writing that, Pajama Batman woke up and sure enough he was screaming before ever opening his eyes. I changed him while he was still screaming with his eyes never open and now we’re enjoying feeding time – he with his bobo (bottle) and me with some falukorv.

Most people keep asking me if he’s breastfed and he was partially in the beginning but he was too lazy and way too angry to ever keep that up. So we gave him formula as a backup and he never wanted the boob again. 

That’s something that has kept me up at night, the guilt over not breastfeeding. As if it was ever my choice to stop. 

But we’ve all had that hammered in that ‘the breast is the best’. So we tried, and we cried but in the end Erik chose otherwise. There’s not much to do in that situation, so I talked it over with the husband and decided that we weren’t going to force Erik to something that he was just not wanting. 

But it was a hard decision to make and to this day I feel like I failed, both as a woman and as a mother.

But Pudgy is progressing well, regardless of food source. He’s gaining weight like a pro, adding a full kilo to his birth weight at the four week checkup. He was large at birth but at the hospital he lost 300 grams and then an additional 40 at home, due to the trials with breastfeeding. So we put him on more formula and soon after he started refusing the boob. As soon as he stopped taking it the milk just stopped being produced. I was pumping but there was less and less for each day and three days after he had stopped my boobs went dry. Which in a sense is good because I didn’t have to go through the pain of mastitis and all that horror.

He’s a healthy but angry baby. He’s not a happy baby but we’re suspecting he might have the colics due to the constant crying and screaming. He doesn’t sleep a lot and seems to have tummy aches more often than not. 

But he likes sleeping on us and he likes hanging out in his BabyBjörn carrier. So we went out today and got him an ErgoBaby one as well. He doesn’t like that one at all, but we think he’ll come around to it and that that one will be better for when he’s a bit bigger. 

He needs a lot of body contact but we’re trying our hardest to have him doing other stuff and sleeping off of us. Today he hung out in a bouncy chair/babysitter, and didn’t scream the whole time. 


Matter of fact he even fell asleep in it later on.

But yeah, life as a parent is different than I thought it would be. Way different. Especially considering that our baby is extremely fussy and strong, which makes it hard on the both of us since he wants to be carried at all times and throws himself about when he’s being carried. 

He loves kicking me on the scar when I’m trying to burp him and he loves slapping Sean when he’s asleep. But with all the trials and tribulations, with all the sleeplessness and the migraines – I can still honestly say that he is the best baby ever. I couldn’t love him more and I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the screaming. 

He’s a tough little man and he has his way, that’s going to be such a great thing to have in the future – a strong will and stamina. He will be one resilient person! 

As for myself I’m just glad to be on my feet. I was up and about right after the delivery, and two days after the c-section I drove. I was cooking and carrying the whale. Because I too am a resilient person, a stubborn woman with more strength than sense. But look at me – I am doing swimmingly and as soon as it’s all healed up properly I will be back to that same old, same old.

Mrs Campbell 

Water world 🐳

So, on May 23rd at 8.30 AM my water broke. I was in bed scrolling through Facebook when I coughed and it felt almost as if I had peed myself, but not really. So I ran to the bathroom while some liquid was seeping down my legs, only to realize that it was, in fact, my water. Pudgy’s little water world was getting smaller.

Something I didn’t know was that for some there’s a small amount of water coming out but for others (namely myself) it came out in bursts. Many, MANY bursts – all throughout the day. I soaked through 3 pairs of underpants and about 10-15 big pads. I’m just glad I wore a dress.

We had an appointment scheduled with the midwife from earlier on and after having spoken to the hospital in the morning I was instructed to go to the midwife and get myself checked and then call the hospital to make an appointment. But the lady we got to see was not our regular one, since she’s on vacation, this one was pleasant but not very good.

My water kept coming in bursts and I had to run off to the bathroom with it running down my legs. Which is a bit uncomfortable and somewhat stressful, and that is why one shouldn’t check the blood pressure right after something like that. But she did. Mine came back 160/100 on the first try and 140/95 on the second. Both very wrong, but that’s irrelevant.

After that visit I called the hospital and they told me to come in after about 3 hours. They suggested I eat something properly before coming in at 1 PM. So we went for burgers at a place called Vigårda in the Mall of Scandinavia. The burgers were great but my water broke twice in that restaurant and Sean and I decided it was best to go to the hospital and wait there.


I got in and the midwives put me on a gurney and strapped a ctg scan to my stomach. 


Under me was a puppy pad (the big ones you use when trying to get puppies housebroken). The scan was on for 20 minutes and in that time I had soaked through my own pads and the puppy pad, along with my dress and later also shoes. They easily concluded that the water had in fact broken and they put me in those sexy hospital panties and gave me a diaper. Yeah, you never feel as hot as you do wearing a diaper…

After the checks were done they concluded that my blood pressure was a bit high at 135/70 so they wanted to do some blood work to rule out Preeclampsia, and then followed a many hours long wait to see a doctor – while seated in the waiting room. Sean went out to get us drinks and later on some ice cream and me a sandwich. He really was a trooper but I was pissed off and swollen and just wanted to get out of there or have Pudgy so as to finally meet and greet him.


After a few hours the doctors came around to see me. They ruled out Preeclampsia and scheduled an appointment for inducing labor on Thursday at 7.30 (if Pudgy doesn’t start that work himself) and we were sent on our merry way home.

At home the water turned from a clear to a pink hue and I started panicking. Even though they told me it could do that. Sean and I made a nice pasta salad to get my mind off of all of that and started watching season 3 of Peaky Blinders, but I was too stressed to watch anything and too tired to be upright so I went for a nap.


When I woke up I had a minor panic attack and I was crying for no reason. Sure there were painful contractions but I was just terrified and didn’t know what to do with myself. But I came around to it and settled down after a while. Sean went down like a log and soon after so did I.

Waking up this morning I feel better, the diaper is still on because the water still comes on and off – but there’s less of it and the bursts are further apart and they are once again clear. Now we wait for the labor pains to start on their own and should they not get going today I will be induced tomorrow at 7.30 AM.


Don’t pretend like you’re not jealous of my sassy pants!
Mrs. Campbell 

Days of thunder…

I was worried, so yesterday we went in to the delivery room to check if everything was fine. Pudgy the whale had been unusually calm for a few days and for a baby that twirls more than a prima ballerina that was a deviation from the pattern and needed to be checked. 

Sure enough, as per usual, as soon as the midwife touched my stomach he started tumbling about and kicking. Which made the midwife chuckle a bit and pat me reassuringly on the shoulder. But, ever the professionals at the Karolinska hospital they still did a CTG scan which further confirmed that Pudgy was doing just fine and that he was in fact a douche since he kept kicking the paddles off of him.
But, I’d rather have him be a douche than still. But he took it upon himself to show just how well he was doing because for the rest of the day it was kicks upon kicks, twists and turns and punches everywhere. You know – to make sure that we knew just how well he was doing and how little he appreciated being touched by someone.

Outside of that the days are pretty calm, we’ve settled in to the new apartment. I keep adding and subtracting things, keeping busy and doing as much as is humanly possible before Pudgy makes his entrance into the world.


The kitchen is finally set up, as of last night. 


The living room is done too, even if I keep adding and subtracting a lot in there still. What needs a little bit more work is the bathroom and the hallway. The bedroom is still being shaped and moulded to fit my wants and needs. And we’ve (read Sean) even cleared our storage unit to fit everything that we don’t use.

It’s really shaping up to be a great place, but we still have to fine tune some details. Which is probably not that strange since we’ve officially lived here since May 1st. And I currently look like a whale myself.


But all’s well that ends well, it’s been said, and I firmly believe that to be true. So, now we continue our waiting and it’s 3 weeks at the most. The due date is Friday the 26th of May, and if we go over it will be an additional two weeks before they induce labor. I’m hoping he’ll find his way out before having to be evicted from his very first real apartment.

Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Pudgy. His real name will be Erik, but his stage name will remain Pudgy the whale.
Mrs. Campbell

16 days until due date…

It means nothing, the due date. It’s a guestimation at best, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he decides to come in May at least. 

I’m on my maternity leave, and doing nothing but cook and decorate the new apartment. Oh and eat. I eat like a full grown racehorse during competition season. And I am doing absolutely no training nor am I exercising in any other sense. My feet are so swollen that I actually cannot wear my regular shoes. Like little raised breads with sausages for toes.

But to be quite frank, the pregnancy has been running about as smoothly as a pregnancies go. Pudgy the whale has kept extremely active and he is growing faster than the regular babies but at the last checkup he was +16% over average size so it is all within reason. Now it’s just a countdown, which will officially start tomorrow when there is only 15 days until his original due date.


So, the pictures sum up all that I do. Rest my poor, swollen feet after some home decoration. Getting new kitchen appliances and growing to biblical proportions.

But I also worry. I worry about finances, about Sean’s residency issues about the labor and actually bringing a child into this world. How will he be? What if we don’t bond at first, what if I can’t breastfeed? 

There are too many variables and it stresses me out. What if I don’t know how to be a good mother to the little whale? What if my insecurities get the better of me and I freeze up..? It’s all there, all these thoughts and ideas. All these worries and then add the weight gain and the lack of sleep and you have set yourself up for some lunacy. This not taking into account all the raging hormones playing tricks on you.

But, soon enough we will all find out just how it all goes. It’s just about waiting it all out, have patience, something I have a lack of.
Mrs. Campbell 

37 weeks of wonder

It’s crazy to realize that if Pudgy the whale decides to come now he will be fine. He’s done, just packing on some lard before making his entrance into the world.

It’s been quite a journey so far. There’s been worry, since we were on our honeymoon in a Zika country (The Maldives), a disease I hadn’t heard of before but that gave me many sleepless nights and even more blood lost to tests. Luckily it all came back negative and we could rest easier for a while. Later on yet Pudgy decided to turn around and I couldn’t feel his kicks, I was worried sick but that too turned out to be okay – he was just being his douchy self… No big deal.

I’ve had a lot of trouble getting any sleep but overall I must say that this pregnancy has so far been a very good experience. The hormones have been running wild and the stress has at times been overwhelming (during pregnancy we got stuck on the icy freeway, had the engine fail, found a perfect apartment but got screwed over by the current tenant and found yet another apartment to which we moved). 

I have learned one thing very well so far: moving is not for women who are 8 and 9 months pregnant. While possible (obviously) it is not recommended.

But all in all I have had a smooth pregnancy with my very sweet husband by my side. He tries and fails, but he tries again and I appreciate all the effort. I’ve been nothing but a handful because I don’t want to realize that I can’t do all things like I used to. It puts stress on him watching me overdo things. But we’re nearing the end of this journey and a new one can start. 

As far as weight goes, I’ve gained about 20 kgs/44 lbs and am feeling very heavy and have a hard time breathing like a normal human being. But I was warned about that earlier on and was, to some extent, prepared. However, I couldn’t know just how bad it would get because sometimes it’s like someone is sitting on my chest and it get so heavy to even get a breath in. It’s often accompanied by contractions which really isn’t very pleasant. Especially if we’re about town, and I have to stop every 10 minutes or so.

Still I feel extremely privileged to not have some of the issues other ladies seem to experience. The throwing up, the constant hip and/or back pains, the pregnancy diabetes and all else that is common. I do have some minor issues with my back and hip region, but that comes and goes and I do get to rest from it. My blood work is looking spectacular and the heart rate has been at a steady 120/70. One minor deviation of 120/80 one of the weeks but that went back to it former self at the next check up. Pudgy has grown consistently and the blood sugar levels have been between 4.0 and 4.1. With an exception when I ate two jam sandwiches before the check up and it jumped to 7.0 🙂 

I did a glucose tolerance test that showed 4.0 before eating and 4.4 after 2 hours of rest after that sugar drink. My midwife was surprised and wondered how I’m even standing up. I’m a sugar fiend, that’s how 🙂

But yeah, all is well that ends well – and now we’re on the homestretch. Let’s see how it all goes. I’m equal parts excited and terrified.


A funny picture of me before pregnancy and one from today in week 37. My body went funhouse mirror on me. But it’s all part of it.


Here is a picture of Pudgy’s corner, before it was all done. But it’s more to give an idea of what and how he will be living his first few months.
Mrs. Campbell 

Saturdate

We have decided to be all grown up about life, the husband unit and I. We will be having a Saturdate and visiting different restaurants each week, trying something new on for size.

We’ve been looking at apartments this past week, visiting a whole heap of places only to realize that we are comfortable where we are. But we are keeping an outlook for something bigger and cheaper than what we have, which means looking outside of Stockholm. A two bedroom apartment would be ideal but we are more than ready to settle for a large one bedroom as well.

But we are comfortable here for the time being and we both like our place. So we have an interesting time ahead of us, deciding what to do and where to go. But for now we’re staying put and loving it.

Tonight’s dinner date, or Saturdate as it were, was at Esuki Sushi in Solna. We’ve been there a few times and not once have we walked out of there not completely stuffed and satisfied. Since I’m pregnant I feel like not having to ask about what’s what and go for the safe option- vegetarian sushi.

Usually the vegetarian option is boring and underwhelming but this place has me coming back for more. It’s an innovative feast not only for your pallet but also for the eye. Incorporating such ingredients as shiitake mushroom, baby corn and asparagus. The given ones are there as well, namely avocado and tofu. 

I devoured the 12 piece while the hisband ate away at his Yakiniku, which is his favorite dish in that place. We rolled out afterwards, happy as clams and stuffed at the rafters.

The place is by far the best I’ve been to in terms of sushi and the terrible parking situation would usually put us off of it but the food is absolutely spectacular and the place is cute and cosy. 

🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥 (five hatched chickens out of five, making it a grand slam).

Mrs. Campbell