Saturday, 26 December 2009

On Christmas Day in the morning

Re-enacting our favourite wedding photo at All Saints Church in Old Burghclere, just over a year after our big day this time with Stav in the frame (albeit under wraps):

And the original:

Arrr Stav's first Christmas

Complete with trimmings:

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Place your bets...

The race to predict the sex of the baby is hotting up nicely. Mum's friend Psychic Carol has 'seen' a blue tadpole in one of her visions, the Turkish woman at our corner shop proclaimed it was definitely a boy and Carly, in a moment of drunken clarity said that she could 'feel' that it was male (although I think she just needed a wee). Firmly sat on the other side of the fence is my Client Services Director who said I've 'grown wide' (nice), and my Mum and Dad, who have been calling 'her' Rose since about week four. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

We're leaving, on a jet plane (just)

Kate almost didn't get the doctor's letter this morning giving her the all clear to fly to Thailand on Boxing Day.

Apparently Dr. Lucy was very 'conservative'. But after the brouhaha of the last 10 days with the threat of a BA strike and now the weather causing untold chaos at airports around the country, being told at the 11th hour that we couldn't fly because of a piece of paperwork might have sent us over the edge.

However, need for a holiday prevailed and Kate managed to leave the surgery clutching the aforementioned letter (in the name of Kathryn Roskill rather than Harris, as per her passport, so that's a whole new battle to look forward to at check-in).

What's more, apparently we've got a very small baby - about 26cms when it should be 36cms at this stage - so I'm more than a little gutted the Harris runt genes appear to be the dominant ones.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Guess who's pregnant?

(My sympathy bump or 'Planet Matt' as Kate calls it)


I've started reading to arrr Stav - a book called Fup by Jim Dodge - as he's now able to hear my voice.

Not entirely suitably reading for a pre-natal, but plenty of opportunities to explore my alternative dramatic calling and try out a range of different accents.

No idea if Stav is following the story, but Kate seems to enjoy being read to.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Bumps (and kicks)

We're getting some serious movement these days, but if I was growing at this rate I'd be wriggling around a fair bit too. It's not like there's a whole lot of room at 6 (and a bit) months.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pics from Argentina

It seems that Kate didn't get to see a lot of Buenos Aires on her shoot.

But she did manage to take a lot of photos of her and Stavros in her hotel room:

When did her left arm get so big?

First day back

Today is Kate's first day back at work since the shoot in Argentina.

She's complained bitterly about the amount of weight she's been putting on through the pregnancy - 13 lbs as confirmed at our 24 week check-up with the GP yesterday. So I've been doing what any loving husband and supportive father-to-be would do, cooing and aahing at the beautiful bump and reassuring Kate that she doesn't look big at all.

But getting dressed this morning, she complained that Stavros didn't look big ENOUGH given the 10 days away from the agency.

I can't win.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The numbers game

Kate is approaching the 24 week mark (this Friday 27th November).

She still has nearly 4 months to go until the 19th March due date.

But I believe she's still referred to in medical terms as being 6 months pregnant (even though she's only 5).

It's terribly confusing this, particularly for fellas (and even more so for numerically challenged ones like me). By all accounts, human pregnancy is 10 months as the count starts from ovulation not from conception.

Which is all a bit of a nonsense, as it means you've got to keep track of 2 different counts and change your story depending on who you're speaking to.

I know for most people this isn't too much of a big deal, but this whole pregancy shebang can be complicated enough without bringing advanced maths into it.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Picture message from Buenos Aires

A cute self-take photo I got today, apparently now big enough for Kate to rest her arms on when she's sitting down:

And Stavros is moving around so much you can even see a hand in the background of this one:

Kat, Jowler & Arthur

A late note that Kat finally gave birth on Wednesday 4th November to Arthur Charles Trehmane Ward, who weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs 9 oz.

Haven't met the wee man yet but have got one of Mum's personalised towels made (the classic blue Gingham check on white) packaged and ready to deliver:

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A well-travelled bump

Kate is currently in Argentina on a shoot for Weight Watchers.

By all accounts the days are long and stressful, while the diet is almost solely rare steak and red wine.

Everything an almost 23-week old needs.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Two great Kate-isms (in just one day)

On (finally) telling people at work that she's pregnant:

"It's really embarrassing - like admitting to you Dad that you have sex."

On today's stomach goings-on:

"I felt the baby move about today. Or it could have been wind."

Friday, 2 October 2009

Getting in some practice

With the wonderful Kai out in Portugal last week:

And the amazing BabyBjorn:

First 'maternity mate'

On the bus into work today after our 16 week appointment with the hilarious midwife Maxine, Kate struck up a conversation with another mum-to-be we'd seen in the waiting room.

Kate got straight on the phone afterwards to tell me ALL about it.

Hannah, who lives just around the corner from us in Queens Park, is 11 weeks and so due on April 22nd.

And they even swapped mobile numbers (very out of character for my beloved) so that Hannah can call Kate after she's had her 12 week scan.

An extraordinary turn of events.


Sunday, 13 September 2009

A bumpy day

Jowler & Kat (8 months) and Dom & Anna (5 months) came over for a barbecue yesterday...

... which led to the inevitable bump-comparision:

Needless to say Jowler snuck in on the end of the line-up (far-left) to show off his own impressive girth.

Crazy outfits

We both agreed a while back that we don't want to find out the sex of the baby before it's born.

But this has provoked a rather disturbing side-effect: Kate's obsession with bonkers unisex outfits like this all-in-one bear suit.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Names: if at first you don't succeed

Deciding on a name is still a long way off for us, but it's one of those things you can't help but think about from a very early stage.

So it was interesting to read this article over the weekend about a mother who changed her baby's name 6 months after he was born, with very mixed reactions from other mums, friends and her family.

Kate and I currently seem to heading in the same direction name-wise. And I mooted the idea yesterday of waiting until after the baby's born to see what name best suits (which I thought was a rather sensitive suggestion from a dad-to-be) but the all-knowing mother of my child seemed to think otherwise.

12 week scan

We're hoping it's an errant limb that got in the way as the scan was being taken, rather than a nose like Pinocchio:

Sunday, 6 September 2009

That pout

Practising the yummy mummy pose, albeit with someone else's baby:

The belly emerges

As of yesterday, Kate says she can no longer hold in her stomach so that it's flat (something she's been doing every day for the last 15 years, she openly admits).

There is now a permanent, firm, bump-like presence (but not one that would be officially deemed a 'bump' just yet):

Please note the artful use of black and white (chosen after negative comments about the previous photo's glorious technicolour).

Friday, 4 September 2009

A dead giveaway

Apparently Kate had the look of a 'dazed cow' when we had lunch with Aunt Jane & Uncle Dave on Monday.

And so when I told them that Kate was pregnant today, they weren't surprised at all. They had us sussed.

Darn it.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A return to normality?

This being week 12, we're both really looking forward to being able to tell people. Finally.

We've got to wait until this Friday - the official end of the first trimester - and then we can go nuts: friends, colleagues and of course HR departments.

Although Mum & Dad have asked that we put in calls to Grannie and Granama (the family matriarchs should be the first to know). And then we plan on letting the news filter organically through to our numerous aunts and uncles.

Truth be told, if the Grannies-to-be have anything to do with it (and let's be honest...) then most of Lancashire and Yorkshire will have found out by teatime on Friday.

I'm sure there's some official announcement in the offing too. But we might get away with just the one broadsheet this time around, rather than The Times and The Telegraph, which our engagement ended up in.

"I'll always remember this moment"

We told our brothers (Olly and Richie) over the weekend.
(I managed to fluff my planned 'Hello, is that Uncle Olly?' line).
His excitable reaction was hilarious and very sweet:
"It's like people always who remember where they were when JFK was shot - I'll always remember this moment".
Really surprising, given he's never been one for over-exaggeration.

Monday, 31 August 2009

The pram (2)

It's looking pretty grotty.
And it's somewhat impractical.
Oh, and it mustn't leave Heatherfield.
But it'll be pretty cool if Grannie-to-be Roskill does ever get around to restoring it:

Silver Cross are still in the pram-making business, but sadly this model seems not have survived the passage of time.
And just in case you were worried about there not being enough junk kicking about at Heatherfield, we also dug this number out from an even damper shed than the one we found the above in:

Bugaboo eat your heart out.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The first scan

An unexpected bonus from our very first trip to the antenatal clinic - our very first scan:
A mixed batch of responses:
Kate: "A bean with nubby limbs."
Phil: "You need to start feeding it fish and chips."
Matt: "How many are in there?"

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

"You've just earnt the 'b' of 'birthing partner'"

We had a delicious meal out with Aunt Jane and Uncle Dave last night at the York & Albany.

As we were celebrating Dave's 65th birthday, there was champagne at their house first and then a couple of bottles of wine with dinner.

I was drinking my wine very quickly and would then surreptitiously swap my almost empty glass for Kate's much fuller one, so that everyone would think she was drinking normally.

So surreptitiously, as it turned out, that even Kate didn't notice. It was only in the taxi on the way back home that I told her, lolling from side to side.

And very happily she exclaimed "You've just earnt the 'b' of 'birthing partner'".

I didn't realise that I had to earn my title, and certainly not letter by letter. But it now transpires that I'm not going to be awarded the 'i' until I start proactively applying Dr. Hauschka's body oil to the future bump zone in a bid to avert the onset of stetch marks.

I'm starting to feel like some of the fun of this pregnancy malarkey is being chipped away at.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Week 9

According to the BBC's pregnancy calendar (which Kate lives by), the heart(s) started beating last week and the foetus(es) is / are now almost 3 cm long.

Moreover, Kate may now notice "a slight thickening of [her] waistline":

Interestingly, to date I've found that I've been experiencing pregnancy sympathy symptoms. Tiredness mostly (which could well be work related) but I have found that I too am getting a little porkier. I'm convinced this has something to do with the pregnancy and is not at all linked to lack of regular exercise.

It's nice that we're going through this together.

Parental advice

This weekend has brought not just the 'barbecue summer' we've all been promised (well, Saturday was quite hot) but also the first visit of my outlaws since we found out Kate was pregnant.

Around the breakfast table yesterday we ended up talking about the need for a birth plan, prompted by all the documents we've had through from St. Mary's.

"Birth plan?!", my father-in-law snorted derisorily.

"Go to hospital. Give birth."

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Oh, for a title

According to the paperwork that Kate got through last week from St. Mary's, I am her official 'birthing partner'. It's nice to have a clearly defined role in this process, and one with a title at that. It's also important that everyone knows who I am and what I'm there to do. I wonder if they'll give me a badge.

But perhaps the most interesting section of the 'Caring for you and your baby' booklet was the 'What to bring to hospital' section. Amongst the (long) list of usual suspects - large t-shirts, dressing gown, nappies - was 'refreshments for your partner'.

I would have thought Kate would have an awful lot more to worry about that whether or not I'm thirsty, so it was good of them to remind her about me. As birthing partner, it's important that I'm in peak physical condition in order to be focussed on the task at hand.

Monday, 3 August 2009

First-time fathers

Interesting article in Saturday's Guardian about 'First-time fathers':

One new dad who'd had twins described it as "a bit like winning the lottery".

And another said the birth was definitely "worse for the dad".

I happen to be married to someone who would vehemently disgaree on both accounts.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Pregnancy poorliness

So, following my sicky episode yesterday morning, I declared that I felt too ill to do the weekly Sainsbury's shop. Thankfully, my heroic husband volunteered to face the Ladbroke Grove supermarket hordes solus. I crawled weakly to the garden, hoping the sun would revive my spirits. And funnily enough, no sooner had Matt slammed the door shut, I suddenly felt well enough to don my new bikini and indulge in a spot of proper sunbathing, happy in the knowledge that the chores were in safe hands...

Saturday, 25 July 2009

6 weeks gone

Half way through our critical first 3 months.
We read this morning that NVP (Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy) is a good thing and women who suffer from it are statistically proven to have a 'healthier pregnancy'.
On reading this, Kate jumped out of bed and started wretching.
(Still waiting to find out whether or not it'll get us out of having to go to Bikram Yoga this morning).

Friday, 24 July 2009

The twins fight back

No sooner had Dr. Milne all but guaranteed that we weren't having twins because Kate simply wasn't poorly enough, she goes and gets morning sickness.
She woke up yesterday feeling grotty and nauseous and spent all day, stoicly battling on through like a real trooper, not a whinge or a whine all day [cough].
But then she was so much better this morning that we thought it could well have all been a hangover from Wedensday night's very pink calves liver.
Either way, I'm still holding out for two for the price of one.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Twinned with...

Kate had her first face-to-face with the doctor today:

Due date of Friday 19th March has been confirmed.

We're going to be dealing with St. Mary's in Paddington.

She can travel at 3 months, which we'd figured given he'd already given us the all clear for Thailand at 7 months, but Phil (Kate's Dad) had told us to check just in case. Thank goodness.

She needs to be careful about doing any exercise that raises her core temperature (which I think both Body Pump and Bikram Yoga, but I've been shouted down).

She's allowed one glass of wine a day.

And Dr. Milne said he could guarantee that it isn't twins, as Kate isn't sick enough.

I'm in mourning.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The cold hard stats

Kate found this site over the weekend ( which calculates all those fantastically helpful stats that every expectant mum wants to be able to drop into coversation, like "There are 241 days until my due date" and "I'm 9% into my pregnancy".
Just where would we be without such a helpful web tool?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Headline news

Is it just me or now that we've got pregnancy on the brain, does every newspaper you pick up have some article or other about having (or not having) babies?
This is the second Sunday in a row and this time it's front page news:
Conflicting advice over whether or not couples should wait until the swine flu pandemic is over (which could be how long exactly?) before trying to get pregnant.
Looks like we've timed things brilliantly, as ever...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

What's in a name?

We've set the cat amongst the pigeons with the prospective grandparents on the subject of who’s going to be called what.

We’ve set both Roskills and Harrises a target of the August Bank Holiday weekend (when the 8 of us will be down at Heatherfield) to come to us with suggestions for what they'd like to be called.

‘Grannie’ is out (my maternal grandmother has that one) and ‘Granama’ is what we call my paternal grandmother.

The final call will of course rest with the parents.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The pram

Mum is into full grandmotherly overdrive and is getting an ancient 1950s pram upholstered, that’s been around since my Dad and his sisters were babes in arms.

Not for day-to-day use, you understand, (totally impractical and not enough modcons) but for us to put the twins in when they come down to Heatherfield.

Not a bad response from Mum, less than 24 hours after having been told.

Photo of the pram in its current state to follow.

Telling Mama & Papa Roskill

The burglar alarm decided to start playing up while I was on the phone to my Dad.

And then it started reset itself, which involved it dialling out on the same phoneline we were on.

An abrupt end to an otherwise joyous call.

Monday, 13 July 2009

The first call to the doc

Dr Milne said 'congratulations' to Kate.

Which was nice and has started to renew my faith in the NHS, which took a bit of a battering last night while I was reading a couple of mums' posts on some pregnancy forums. They'd have killed for a 'congratulations'.

Apparently we’re 4 ½ weeks pregnant, so we were only a week out. Although Kate forgot to ask what the due date is (but we think it's 19th March 2010).

He’s also okay’d our trip to Thailand over Christmas when Kate will be 7 months pregnant. Apparently she’ll be feeling better then than at any other time during the 9 months. Watch this space...

Look after the three of you

It’s an easy wind-up, but twins are in the family.

Kate’s dreading the possibility, but I think it'd would be fantastic (although to be fair, I haven't really thought through the repercussions).

Weird leaving Kate to go to work, for the first time since this momentous news. We’ve both been itching to tell someone all day, but know we can’t (or rather, shouldn't).

Let me guess – he’s a man

Kate not best pleased about me shoving an article in this morning's papers under her nose about the pain of birth being a ‘good’ thing for mothers to go through:

Then I made a pot of filter coffee, but only allowed her to have the one cup.

Maybe I’m being a little over-exuberant.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Thank god I’ve got my Miu Miu

Kate’s scarily quick-witted response to the result of the second pregnancy test confirming that yes, she is pregnant.

[Under no circumstances am I ever allowed to say that 'we' are pregnant. That was made very clear. Very early on.]

It wasn't exactly planned. Not at all planned in fact, but we did spent much of Friday and Saturday (which involved two 4 hour car journeys to and from a wedding in Wales) talking about starting to try and start a family.

Oh, the irony.

But apparently I'm still grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Needless to say we were straight onto the internet to try and work out due date (Friday 12th March 2010), the size of our now blastocyst (8 – 10mm) and how much alcohol Kate is allowed to drink every week (nothing, if I have my way).

We have a number of significantly boozy events / lunches / nights out coming up over the next few weeks, so there'll be some serious fudging going on to explain why Kate isn't drinking. And it's all made that much more difficult by Kate's constant cries of "But I've got a few parties left in me yet!".

I don't think she's come round to the idea just yet.