Sunday, February 19, 2012

Joy is Here!

This is a very quick post (we promise we'll write a longer one when we're able). We just want to let everyone know that our little girl arrived unexpectedly on Friday morning (February 17th). Emily went into labor in the middle of the night, around 12:30. We weren't expecting our little girl to arrive for another 5 weeks, but apparently she had other plans!

Joy Basma Christensen was born by emergency Cesarian Section at 10:01AM on February 17th at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. She weighed 2.885 kg, or 6lb 5oz. They haven't told us her length (as apparently they don't really track that sort of thing here). She's been struggling with jaundice since about 2 hours after birth, but is improving. This morning they finally took her off the "phototherapy" (UV lights around her incubator), which is a sign that she's more able to manage her bilirubin levels on her own (that's the component of her blood that creates the jaundice).

We've taken loads of photos already and we're planning on writing a post filled with great pictures of our little girl. For now though, we'll just post a video. This is Emily's first chance to change Joy's diaper (in the incubator). We took it this morning (Sunday) around 11AM, which means that Joy was 49 hours old at the time.

We'd like you all to know how much your prayers and encouraging words have meant to us. Although we have been physically distant from our families, we feel that all your love has been very near at hand.

Em's mom has just arrived from England to stay with us for the next 3 weeks, helping us out and generally just loving on our little daughter. Thanks Susan! (and thanks Paul for letting us have take her from you for so long!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

35 weeks and counting

Brad got a new iPhone, you know for the baby and the we are able to take pictures and videos of the baby and send them QUICKLY :-) We have been having a fun time taking pictures, using "facetime" and video skype and much more.

4 months 8 months+

The picture at 8 months is a bit dark but I do have dark circles under my eyes...sleep can best be described these days as "evasive". Why painful Braxton hicks have to strike in the middle of the night is a mystery.

Getting the baby gear set up has been taking some time. I wanted to highlight the amazing knobs that we bought for this dresser in Thailand. They really spiced up that Ikea dresser. Now to set up the crib and get the wall decorations/rug bought. Oh and start watching the birth DVDs and reading those sections in the book.....:-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our weekend

We actually remembered to take some pictures this weekend and wanted to share with you some of what we usually do on the weekends.

Supper Club

Saturday we had our monthly supper club (at lunch time) with two couples from our school. Our friend's Heather and Blair's baby Carter (11 months) and our baby may share the same birthday. Our other friends Mel and Rus are expecting their first baby the beginning of August.

Heather was amazed that Mel got Carter (a busy little boy) to sit and read a book :-)

Wishing Tree Festival

Then today we went down to the Wishing Tree to see what all the Chinese New Year festivities were all about. There was an amazing crowd and the whole area is a little like the fair with incense and wishes.

Brad at the entrance of our village

This famous temple is from the 1700s

We were able to watch people throw their wishes up in the tree. We are not sure what happens to your wish when the plastic orange doesn't stay on the branch.

Also drum roll please......the dryer was delivered! We dried our first load of sheets and it is amazing how quickly they dried :-) It is up in our stairwell by the door of the roof. We use the area for storage too and don't worry there isn't really a live animal on top of the dryer.

34 weeks pregnant

Picture of me and baby at 33 weeks in Thailand

We just went to the doctor for my 34 week appointment. Brad's parents were able to come with us and see our little baby on the ultrasound. The doctor had a very hard time getting a good picture of the face because she is so squished inside. We were able to see her sucking on her lip, putting her hands in her hair and making a fist. It was so very fun to see her look like a perfectly formed little baby, although the pictures this month were not very clear!

Profile of baby's face, her foot is up by her face

Some highlights/statistics from the appointment and this month

*First time to have swollen ankles for an extended time, which was NOT fun (see previous Thailand post for the horrific pictures)

*I have had to go the bathroom every 30-40 minutes and am so very thirsty, which makes for a fitful night sleep.

*Have had a lot of Braxton hicks contractions at night, which feel very weird. The baby also gets hiccups about twice a day, which are fun.

* My blood pressure is great and I now weigh 127 lbs (no stretch marks....yet). It is hard to believe that my belly will be able to stretch more than it has already!

* The baby is average size, on the Asian growth chart, which means she will be a little smaller by US standards, which is alright by me. The doctor confirmed again that we are still having a girl. He is 100% sure and so am I, the ultrasound was very clear :-)

* The baby is still head up and the doctor is giving the baby 3 weeks to turn. If she doesn't turn then we will either have to schedule a C section or do this procedure where the doctor manually and externally tries to turn the baby. We are praying that she flips around on her own!

* Now that Brad's parents are gone I feel like all the baby projects can begin and I feel like we have a lot to do. Time to set up the crib, bouncy seat, get clothes washed...the list goes on. My my parents-in-law bought us a dryer that comes TODAY! YAY. I will post a picture as soon as it gets here :-)


It has been a full two weeks with Brad's parents visiting. We enjoyed having them in our home and having them experience our lives here in HK. They left yesterday morning and since sleep has been fleeting the last few weeks, I thought I might as well get up and blog a little (since I am very behind).

As soon as we arrived we left for Thailand. With doctor permission notes (Asian airlines are very afraid to let pregnant ladies fly), swim suits and summery clothes we boarded our flight to Singapore where we spend the day sight seeing and then to one of our two destinations in Thailand, Phuket. Brad enjoyed two days of diving (he saw amazing coral, schools of brightly colored fish, and about 6 sea turtles). Brad's parents went on a boat trip to explore the surrounding island and I stayed by the pool. It was a very relaxing time of reading, napping, pedicures, massages, eating great food and trips to the downtown area.

Brad got a fancy drink in a coconut :-)

A picture of my delicious fish dinner for my friend Kalina, who loves to see/hear about food in other countries

On our last night in Phuket we went out for a fancy dinner and light lanterns on the beach. Brad also found a guy selling fireworks, which he took full advantage of (sorry no picture, I was too busy being worried that he was going to loose a finger or two).

On our way to the airport we did a little sight seeing, including a huge Buddha, some temples and a beautiful orchid market.

Good thing we all left our "hot pants" at home

Then we were off to Bangkok. Brad took his parents to sight see, while I attended an ESL professional development workshop. I developed terribly swollen ankles that lasted the whole trip and into the next week back home. Thankfully after a week of cooler HK weather and compression socks they went away and I have more normal looking ankles again. However they did make sight seeing very difficult, so I was glad for the conference and a chance to sit in the AC!

"oh skinny ankles, how I did miss thee"

Then on our last day in Bangkok we explored the huge Chatuchak market. It is over 27 acres with 15000 shopping stalls, selling everything from fake & real flowers, miniatures, antiques, food, clothing...much much more. We spent about 4 hours there and only scratched the surface. My favorite purchase of the day: great decorative knobs for the baby's dresser!
Apparently there has been an outbreak of sasquatch that have come to try and hug the Buddah's in Thailand :-)