This week has been all about celebrating one very special little girl’s fourth birthday:  a trip to Drusilla’s Park on Wednesday, prezzies and dinner / ice cream out on Thursday, and a party with friends and cake still yet to come this weekend.   Drusilla’s was, naturally, quite exhausting in this heat at nearly thirty-seven weeks pregnant but I was feeling okay after getting home, having a cold bath, and lying on the couch for a bit… until the heart palpitations started.   I had experienced one or two instances of palpitations before, but never like this time which was accompanied by tight pain in my chest, throat, and arms. Even after the initial episode was finished my heart refused to slow down and I felt as though I couldn’t breathe… and so Mark took me to A&E.

Once in hospital, my heart continued to race along at nearly 200 bpm, more than double normal resting heart rate.  Medication after medication was tried, a midwife came in to monitor Bean (whose vitals suggested he was none the wiser to any of the goings on) and it wasn’t until six hours after coming in that my heart rate began to come down into the normal range, and thankfully so… narrowly avoiding the cardiologist’s next move: being put under general anesthesia and shocking my heart back into normal rhythm.  Admittedly I sobbed when that option was discussed, worried that the worst could happen, that I’d stroke out or my heart would stop completely, that I’d never see Mark or Moo again.  It’s a little hard to relax and try to get your heart rate under control when use of a defibrillator is being discussed!

Thankfully my heart rate continued to stay within a normal range, so I was kept overnight and into the next day for observation before being released just in time to get my little girl from nursery on her birthday and celebrate.   And we are okay:  I’m okay, Bean’s okay and still happily kicking away inside my bump (although I was certain at one point the stress was sending me into labour… I was getting some very uncomfortable contractions about five to ten minutes apart!), I didn’t miss celebrating my little girl’s fourth birthday, and Mark is taking good care of me… and I am so very grateful for this little family of mine.

And then she was four.

Slipping through my fingers all the time 
I try to capture every minute 
The feeling in it 
Slipping through my fingers all the time 
Do I really see what’s in her mind 
Each time I think I’m close to knowing 
She keeps on growing 
Slipping through my fingers all the time 

Four years ago on this date, at 9:39 pm after forty-one long hours of induced labour and two weeks late, Madeline made her way into the world… and forever changed ours. I find it surreal that now, as we wait eagerly to meet our second child, that our first is suddenly so big: a spunky little girl full of life and personality who has brought so much love to us in just four short years.   She has her own circle of friends, her own hobbies, her own wishes for the future. She’s excited to be starting school in the fall, loves joking and playing pranks, and isn’t afraid to serve up a little bit of attitude.  She’s such an equal mix of princess and brave warrior, tea parties and sword fights, all rolled into one special little lady.

I don’t think Mark and I appreciated, as we fell in love with that squishy little newborn four years ago, that we would keep falling in love with her, every single day.   But we have, and each day our hearts grow bigger as we watch our Madeline, our Moo, grow into the beautiful little girl she’s become.   Happy fourth birthday to our little angel, and may this next year be her most magical year yet.

Thirty-Six Weeks: The heat is on!

Here I was thinking I lucked out with a mild UK summer when all of a sudden record temperatures hit, just as they did four years ago when I was pregnant with Maddie.   Now, I’m fully aware that the “record” temps would be numbers laughed at in most parts of the US, but when you’re pregnant in a country that doesn’t invest in air conditioning for the one hot week it may get per year it’s downright miserable.   Thusly, the wedding ring had to finally come off this week as between the heat and endgame pregnancy swelling I had a few moments whereby I was sure they were going to have to cut it off if I didn’t remove it ASAP.

Currently I’m passing at least an hour every afternoon in an ice cold bath, feeling a bit like a whale stuck in a tank too small, enjoying the complete respite from the heat and using the opportunity to read.   Reading is about the only thing that strikes my fancy anymore when it comes to hobbies, a point I was discussing with Mark a few days ago when I jokingly said it was a shame I didn’t have an MMORPG addiction at the moment, as I have plenty of time to play.  Games don’t interest me as I feel sort of “what’s the point?” about something I’d just have to quit again in a few short weeks, the time invested ultimately being a waste.   Photography has sadly become the same as I find myself physically exhausted to the point whereby I just cannot be bothered to kneel down for the angle of the shot, let alone just go out there, into the heat all pregnant, huge, and tired, for the sake of the hobby.   Even my usual daily blog posting is starting to fall apart mostly just down to the fact I feel “meh” about it lately.

Bean could really make his appearance any time now (and hopefully sooner rather than later!) so we are on Baby Watch 2014.   With the Braxton Hicks contractions ramping up, I cannot help but feel things are getting ready to kick off soon.   Come on out Bean, we are so very ready to meet you!


Weekend brunch and baking scones with Grandma, healthy lunches, summertime sunshine, and a very interesting read on kuru and other forms of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.   In a bit of a pattern of obsessive cleaning followed by much needed afternoon naps… I need to have this baby soon or else this compulsive cleaning is going to kill me!  It feels like nothing will ever be clean enough, and the amusing bit is I can remember several times as Maddie was growing up, inevitably watching her eat something she found on the ground before I could stop her or getting licked in the mouth by a dog, and quietly reminiscing how ridiculous it was I was ever worried about a little bit of dust under the bed when I was pregnant with her.

That being said, I’m far too excited to be having the hallway carpets professionally cleaned today.

Fourth birthday photoshoot.

I cannot believe how big my girl is getting: in just eight days she’ll turn four, starting school in the fall, always amazing us with how much personality can fit into one tiny little person.  Next week we will be taking Maddie and her cousins to Drusilla’s Park, with a simple cake and ice cream affair on the following weekend, to celebrate this beautiful girl.  As with every year around this time, we did an annual birthday photoshoot: a little girl in a pretty little dress holding as many balloons as she is years old.   You can see her third year photos here, her second year photos here, and her first year photos here.  Linking with Little Things Thursdays.