- the next generation - the next generation
Week 38 Week 39 : Overdue and Overseas Labour

"On your list of 'Things for Aimee To Do to Help Induce Labour,' would you mind explaining how 'Do the dishes' fits in?" -a.

Due date stats:
Due date based on period: Dec 6
Due date based on early scan at twelve weeks: Nov 26
Due date based on midwife predictions: Nov 20
Room for error in each situation: Give or take two weeks.

Developed this week: We now know way more than there is to know about the accuracy of every single method of predicting the due date.
Kevin's thoughts:
Well, here I am about to do just about the stupidest thing I can think of when my wife's five days overdue: I'm flying to another country.

In the grander scheme of things, it's not really that stupid, but if all I've been thinking about for weeks and weeks is "when's that baby going to show up?" you really do have to admit that the airport is about the stupidest place for me right now.

And I'm not even flying within the country... this is a whole other landmass we're talking about. Ireland. My wife and I are separated not only by a measly "strait" or "channel", but the Irish Sea. And she's five days overdue.

"What am I doing?" I asked myself at 39,000 feet.

For those that don't know the whole story, and are just reading this thinking what an arrogant prick of a husband I am leaving my wife in her condition, here's what I was doing. In the new year I'll be starting my new job as the Art Director for an animation studio in Belfast, creating characters and sets for a cartoon for pre-schoolers. If you were me, wouldn't you jump at a chance like that?

I'd had enough phone calls and talent tests to convince them that I could DO the job, but from an employer's perspective you can be brilliant on paper and still be a complete tool in person. So, a meeting. But... when?

The hospital's due date had come and gone, and Aimee didn't feel any different, so she said why don't I go? If I didn't go now, the next opportunity I'd have would MAYBE be second week of December, unless we still hadn't had the baby yet, in which case I'd have to push it off to the third week, which might conflict with the time my mom would be coming to visit, and then there's the question of moving to Belfast for the job, which we need to know about as soon as possible so we can give a leaving date to the landlord... why are babies so unpredictable?

The weirdest thing about those couple of days was going from "Come on, baby! Hurry up, baby! Can't wait to meet you, baby!" to "Now you just lie back and take it easy, baby. Niiiice and easy. You're comfortable in there, and you have everything you need. Besides, it's cold out here. Just, stay, there." It must be the same feeling as a false start at the olympics. This is it! Any millisecond now... go! NO! Wait, hang on hang on, go back behind the line.

So, on Wednesday night I told my contact I'd be coming over by Friday, but followed it up by a series of verbal asterisks: if she goes into labour before Friday 9am, I'm staying home. If she goes into labour between 9am and 11:30am (departing flight time), I'm cancelling the flight and taking the train back to Aimee. If she goes into labour while I'm in the air, she'll send me a text saying she has changed my 8pm flight home to the 4:30pm flight home, and the meeting will have to take place at the airport Starbucks. If she goes into labour anytime after 2:30pm, I won't have time to return to the Belfast airport so there's nothing we can do about flights, and she'll just have to hold everything in until I arrive home by 10:30pm. In short, I was never more than 8 hours away from being back home. I just had to hope for a 12 hour labour (don't tell Aimee).

They were rather amazed that I was willing to take such a trip. In fact, it probably would have been quite acceptable for them to bring me into the conference room and say, "Well, Kevin, thank you for coming when your wife is overdue. It's obvious by this that your sense of priorities is severely skewed, which means we can't possibly offer you the role. Now go back to the airport and never set foot in Belfast again."

But they didn't, which is lucky for me, and I didn't miss the birth, which is doubly lucky for me. I got home to find Aimee curled up in bed, surrounded by every glass, mug and bowl in the house half-filled with tea, lychee juice, milk, soup, Pringles and popcorn, which, if the only thing my absence caused was poor diet for 12 hours, I suppose it was worth the risk.
Aimee's thoughts:
How much bigger can one woman get? I'm absolutely huge. So huge that I had to leave the library yesterday because the small children were openly gaping at my tummy like I was an alien and I couldn't take the scrutiny anymore.

A few weeks ago, I thought that there was no way I could get bigger. I also thought that there was no way I could still be pregnant into the first week of December. I was obviously wrong on both counts.

But I'm not upset about this... I think it's all part of the natural process. About two months ago I was terrified of the labour and all the pain it would bring. I mean, really terrified. Also, two months ago, I was at the high point of pregnancy, the body flushed with all those happy chemicals that give a preggy that "glow".

It's a different story now. I'm so incredibly uncomfortable, and out of sorts, and achy, and enduring false contractions, that, well, labour is starting to sound pretty good right about now. Well, labour itself is still sounding pretty awful, but the idea of ending this constant state of discomfort? I'm ready to go through pretty much ANYTHING.

It's not that I haven't loved being pregnant, it's just that I think that being so uncomfortable is one of nature's ways of convincing you that getting the baby out is a good idea, no matter what you have to do to get there. If we all felt wonderful in our 39th week, what would possibly make us want to go through something so painful if the only result is completing the pregnancy (and getting a baby, of course)? We'd all be googling ways to postpone labour, instead of having sex and eating spicy foods in an effort to bring it on.

Because we really thought that the baby was going to be born at least a week ago, it's making these last few days seem even longer and more uncomfortable than they would have if we had stuck with our original due date. We've been trying everything short of acupuncture to speed things up, but after a certain point, all these methods of self-inducing just start to seem silly and almost pointless because they just increase heartburn (at this point, curry's only fun while you're in the middle of it), or bring on more aches (same goes for sex). And still, no results.

On top of all of this, there's the constant ringing of the phone to remind us that the baby's not here yet. Admittedly, this is the funniest part of the waiting to me: the people who would be the first on the we're-in-labour list are the ones who are phoning daily, asking, "Has it happened yet? Has it happened yet?" A tip from me to you: if you get pregnant, tell everyone that asks that the baby is due two weeks after what the doctors told you... then you can avoid the constant barrage of calls, to which you can either politely respond, "Come on. If we had, you'd have known by now." (Alternatively, you can flippantly say, "Your niece? We had her two days ago, you didn't hear?" and they'll say, "What?!" and you'll say, "Ha ha sucker!" and they'll say, "You bitch."

But what else can we do? It's kind of like that old adage, it's always in the last place you look. Well, of course it is! Once you've found it, you stop looking, don't you? With a baby, you can have your sex and eat your curry and do your jumping jacks or whatever else somebody's told you works, and in the end, you'll eventually have a baby, right? So, who's to say the curry has anything to do with it?

Good thing I like curry.

Did you know?

Have you ever wondered where the term "Caesarean Section" comes from? When I was a kid, I thought a C-Section meant they cut a C-shaped section out of the mom's belly and lifted up the flap to get the baby out, like a can of tomatoes. Yeah, I wasn't too bright.

Believe it or not, the term "Caesarean" actually has nothing to do with Caesar; Julius, Augustus or the very tasty salad. It's a historical fact that Caesar's mother was alive long after his birth, which would have been a medical impossibility back in the day had she had a C-section.

The short answer: the stem of the word comes from the Latin caesum, which means "to cut".
Preggy Pal: Follow-up!

Leslie and Colin welcomed their second little boy into the world on December 1st!

They stayed at home for most of the labour, but then made a short jaunt to the hospital for the final moments before Landyn Reed Cooke-Bithrey was born. His first sounds upon entering the world were Christmas carols. Poor little guy.

Preggy Pal: Follow-up #2!

Two babies in one week! Kevin's cousin Karen and her hubby Tom have a second baby to add to their family. Katelyn Margaret was born at 8:10pm on Wednesday, Nov 29 in London, Ontario (Ontario is the only place where when I tell people I live in London, I have to add "England"). She weighed 7lbs 8oz and had all her fingers and toes.

The Beimers family was hoping to have two babies born simultaneously in two of the world's most popular Londons, but sadly, we just haven't eaten enough curry. Congrats Karen and Tom!
Aimee's dream

What a weird dream. I dreamt that I had the baby, and we were at home taking care of her. But she was a black goldfish that we kept in a white mug filled with amniotic fluid. For bedtime, Kev read her a story by holding his face up to the mug and she swam over so that she could hear him better.

My final thought of the dream was that we haven't had much luck keeping goldfish alive, but then we'd never tried keeping them in amniotic fluid before.

Everyone into the poll!

Twenty percent of women in the UK are induced into labour. But do readers constitute a cross-section of the national average?

Q. Were you induced?
    Yup        Nope

Results next week!
We asked the daddies how much time they were allowed to take off for paternity leave. It saddens me to say that we received only 2 votes for this poll, which leads me to two possible conclusions:
  1) The polls have been about moms for so long, dads don't bother to look anymore, or
  2) We have no male readers.

If it's the first, then we apologise for excluding you. If it's the second, I apologise on behalf of my gender for most of the male world not giving a rats ass about other people's babies. They're probably too busy maximising their porn downloads to worry about some silly poll. Might as well read him a Cosmo quiz, right ladies? Yeah, we men are scum. Sigh. Can't live with us, can't get us to ask you to marry you. And how come you always have to pick up after us? And we don't listen. In fact, just the other day - oh hang on, the game's on.
Kev's Book of the Week

Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler: A Zen Guide for New Dads
By C.W. Nevius
Remember back in Week 31 when I was looking for a nice, friendly, common sense guide to how dads fit into the whole baby picture, with no (or few) references to sports, beer or your wife's new bigger boobs? I think I've found it. Actually, Aimee's brother found it and sent it to me, so I can't take credit, except for introducing it to the rest of you. It's a collection of short thoughts that might run through your head at one time or another during the first few months of daddyhood, and lets you know that you're not strange or evil or selfish or alone in thinking what you're probably thinking. Men: you'll enjoy the read. Ladies: if your man gets as excited about baby books as he does about taking pointless Cosmo quizzes, buy this and leave it in the bathroom. He might pick it up when he thinks nobody's looking.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

things are bigger in detroit more than one use for a quinny oxford street at christmas

We've got mail...

Oh poor you! With Alexei I tried to make him hurry up by sitting slightly forwards as much as possible. My waters broke that day but I wouldn't recommend it. I'm sure you know (as I've moaned about it a million times) but my contractions happened so often after that that I regreted trying to hurry him up. Hope it all goes well and quickly! We're all thinking of you.
- Anna
London, UK

Still no little girl? I have been thinking about you wondering! Maybe it was the kareoke's fault - we obviously scared her! Anyone who thinks the normal world is 12 people belting out power ballads would not relish the idea of joining it! Anyway, good luck for today or tomorrow. Hoping you won't have to be induced- though you will be prepared for it if you are! Good luck for a smooth birth and look forward to meeting her!
- Heather
London, UK

Come on out little Miss Beimers! We are just starting to pack for a early Christmas visit to Thunder Bay, and that reminded me to check in to see if your baby girl had arrived yet. If not, I am sending you some powerful Canadian ~*~*~*~*~*~labour vibes~*~*~*~*~
- Mandy
Toronto, ON

Hello Aimee and Kevin,
Nice beachball, that's incredible! I am still awaiting that phonecall! On Sunday morning at 6:00am we heard the phone ring and it woke me up and I immediately hopped out of bed and yelled "THIS IS IT!" but it was a call from our friends Eduardo and Estela to tell Eunice that she didn't have to babysitting their daughter, then 30 minutes later the phone rang again and I thought "SURELY THIS IS IT!!" but then it was Estela again saying that Eunice had to babysit because Estela had to work (she tried to call in sick after a sleepless night but then her boss said that she had to work). Anyway, that's impressive! I hope that the next time we talk you will be parents and we will be aunt and uncle. GOOD LUCK!! BUENA SUERTE!! Con mucho amor!
- Chris y Eunice
Stratford, ON

And so, here we are... on the eve of your birth and the eve of your baby's birth. Thinking of you ... and thinking of what I was doing 30 years ago (actually I think I was throwing things around in anticipation). You are about to get the best birthday present ever. I decided to send you birthday wishes today because I know that tomorrow you will likely be somewhat preoccupied. Love to you both and expecially good vibes to Aimee. Talk to you soon I am sure.
- Mom
Thunder Bay, ON

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
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