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Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthday Boy

Guess who celebrated his first birthday today?

Birthday boy  

A very happy birthday my sweetheart, from your daddy who loves you very very much and from mommy who has almost forgiven you for tearing her lower half apart in the middle of the night one year ago.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Tummy, Your Tummy

I got a cactus growing in my intestines. At least that’s how it feels like. It started on Monday afternoon, after eating a meatball sandwich, but I don’t know whether it’s to blame or not. Another possible source of infection is a colleague of mine, who called in sick on Tuesday with similar symptoms.

I had a very rough night and made an appointment with the doctor first thing in the morning. There’s nothing much he could do, because it’s viral and we all know by now that antibiotics don’t work on viruses. So I’m surviving on painkillers and chicken soup at the moment. Please feel appropriately sorry for me.

So enough of the wining and on to the good news: Mrs. Thistlewat has given birth to a beautiful baby girl – the most beautiful baby girl in the world and the second cutest baby in the world. If you got a Blogger or Google account (I don’t, hence this message), pop over and congratulate her. She deserves it, after what has got to be one of the most nail biting, suspense-filled pregnancies ever!

Posted by Bart at 8:12 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Story Of His Life

We had a general electricity failure this Sunday. I’d rented a sanding machine to clean up the wooden floor in the bedroom, but after a day of working the bloody thing created a short circuit and blew up the mains. So more than half of the house was without electricity.

Excellent moment for having a baby!

On Tuesday we returned the machine in the early morning (and got an ample refund). Mrs Bart was feeling fine, although she’d felt the baby moving most of the night. We both went to work, I took the train to Brussels and my personal lawyer went to the court of justice to plead a couple of cases. It was when she returned to the car that her water broke.

Meanwhile, I’d just explained to a colleague that the baby wasn’t normally due before the 16th of June, but that the baby-doctor wanted to get him out earlier because he was already such a big boy. Just fifteen minutes later the phone rang: Mrs. Bart was at home with the midwife and she was in labour (Mrs. Bart, not the midwife). Being the professional that I am, I remained utterly calm. I quickly put my coat on inside-out, yanked the door out of its hinges, ran over three colleagues in the hall and jumped into the elevator shaft without waiting for the damn thing. Rush hour was over, so there was barely any damage in the accidents that I caused while careening over the busy roads and lanes in a straight line to the train station. There I found a train driver willing to change his destination after just a bit of strangulation and skip the stations in between Brussels and Antwerp. The taxi-driver drove really slow, so I helped him by slamming my foot on the pedal.

On arrival, Mrs Bart was doing fine. So much so, that she quickly put out the laundry and filled the washing machine before we had to go to the hospital. There was a small discussion between the midwife and the doctor in the hospital about whether she really was in labour, or that it was just a practice run. Oh, those medical professionals, what fun we had waiting there, grinding our teeth! But then we got the green light from the gynaecologist. Mrs. Bart got an intravenous drip with a labour-inducing medicine because the contractions still were a bit weak. Her optimism about her not feeling any pain in the beginning quickly faded when the contractions started in earnest. For hours we were puffing in unison, while she pinched my arm to pulp. After seven hours of pain, she’d have enough. The contractions were following one after the other, without any time to rest between. The nurses had put her in a warm bath to help ease the pain, but it stimulated rather than subdued the pain. Too much is too much, so she got an epidural anaesthetic that started to sooth away the awful pain in a matter of minutes.

At half past one in the night she was ready to give birth. The nurses moved her to the delivery room. She did a wonderful job and at 2 o’clock precisely, little Wolf was finally born.

Posted by Bart at 10:31 AM
Categories: Big Belly

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's A Boy

Birth card of my son Wolf  

A healthy boy, weighing 3.520 kg and measuring 48 cm. He has his mother's veracious appetite and my nose (atchoum!) He popped out at 2 o’clock this morning and made his mother suffer for twelve hours. Boy, he’s going to hear that a lot when he’s naughty!

Posted by Bart at 11:21 AM
Categories: Big Belly

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Depression Is No Laughing Matter

We went to an information evening yesterday about general maintenance of babies and how to avoid killing them by accident. Apparently you can’t drop them, which rules me out as a responsible father for the first three years or so.

A whole bunch of specialists gave us an insight in the different do’s and don’ts. Most of it was interesting, although I did doze of during the anaesthetist’s explanation (which goes to show you how good that man is at his job) about epidural torture practices.

A psychologist explained all about post-natal depression. She was a good speaker, mid-40’s with a lot of experience and a dry sort of humour that kept her own mind sane while listening to the problems of others. After a few of her witty remarks about it being absolutely normal that the wife turns into a venom-spitting beast from hell a day or so after giving birth because of the sudden drop in hormone production, Mrs. Bart was laying in stitches. She was hollering during the presentation about depression and gasping for air when the good doctor explained about psychological treatment and psychiatric drugs.

Apparently, one of the precursors for post-natal depression is being the type of women that’s perfectionist and hyper-organised. ‘No way you’re going to have a depression then’, I whispered to my wife, who made a strange loud whining sound while wiping the tears from under her glasses. On the other hand, stressful events such as marrying (check), buying a house (check), moving (check) or renovating the house (double check) during the previous year (check) and especially during the pregnancy (and check again) can help cause depression. We’re in for a treat, we are.

Posted by Bart at 10:32 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cry Freedom

I haven’t been blogging much lately, because our life got into a higher gear. The baby is getting impatient, although it’s still five more weeks before he is supposed to be released. And we’re giving no parole.

Last Friday, Mrs. Bart felt cramps in her lower abdomen. It got serious to the point that she called her gynaecologist, who told her to come to the hospital right away. After a thorough examination it became clear that she and the baby were alright. But she is a bit too stressed with her work and all, and if she doesn’t take it a bit calmer the little one might pop out a bit too soon. It was a bit of a stressful evening, which I skilfully coordinated from the pub. It was my last day at my former office and we had a drink with the whole team. That’s the kind of father I am, putting booze before the welfare of my children.

But I saw the error of my ways and now I’m trying to help my wobbly wife as much as possible. It’s not easy making her rest, I practically have to tie her to the sofa. But her body is sending her messages – labelled ‘urgent’ – that she should take it easy. Her back simply refuses to carry all that extra weight around all day long and has taken the drastic measure to try to kill her. Meanwhile her bloating belly is preventing her to sleep well, which means my night rest is also disturbed.

On Tuesday we visited the baby doctor again, this time for regular maintenance. He assured us everything was fine, but he did look surprised again when he calculated the weight of the baby. It’s about 600 grams heavier than the average and bends the scale’s needle to a hefty 3 kilograms. At this rate, it will weigh 10 kg when it gets out, and know how to ride a bike, and have its own apartment.

Posted by Bart at 8:59 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Mother-To-Be

She is sitting in the sofa, with her hand on her belly.

She looks down, but her eyes don’t see the world outside.

Her gaze is unfocused, dreaming of the world within and the little wonder that’s taking place within her own womb.

She softly strokes her tummy, with a soft little smile around her lips.

Posted by Bart at 9:10 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Friday, March 16, 2007

Big Belly – Big Baby

We went to the gynaecologist’s yesterday evening, for the baby’s monthly check-up. We had an appointment at 7.15pm, but when we arrived there were some 50.000 people in the waiting room. The doctor had been called away to a delivery earlier that day, so there was a delay of at least two hours. ‘Probably more like three’, said his helpful yet slightly pessimistic secretary.

No use in planting ourselves in the waiting room for three hours, so we drove back home to grab a bit to eat. After a healthy diner consisting of two large packets of fries, a curryworst spéciale (kind of sausage buried below layers of sauce and onions), a grizzly (spicy minced meat in batter), bitterballs (crispy balls with unspecified saucy filling), a sito-stick (alleged turkey with slices of onion in batter on a stick) and a kipcorn (industrially-processed chicken waste in corn batter), we returned two hours later to the baby-doctor.

Unfortunately, the waiting room was still packed. We had to wait for another hour before we could enter the doctor’s cabinet, and we were the lucky ones. Some people had their appointment scheduled at 9.30pm. I really felt sorry for the doctor when I shook his hand. He looked very tired and he still had hours of work in front of him. Still, he was his usual calm, confident and humorous self. A couple of minutes later we were all staring at the monitor, looking at slices of our child-to-be. The biggest surprise came when he calculated the weight of the baby. Normally it should weigh around 900-950 grams. Ours is a bit bigger. Actually, a lot bigger. Make that a whopping 30% bigger, bending the digital needle of the virtual scales to 1 kilo and 200 grams.

The doctor explained that this was rather exceptional. And then he blamed me for the baby’s size. My dearest darling is a bit apprehensive, she is trying desperately to imagine how she is going to press that little bundle of joy out of her tummy and into the delivery room in a couple of months time. I assume there will be some cursing and other foul language and I expect to be the main target. It may even get to physical violence. I start to understand why some new dads prefer to pass-out during delivery.

Posted by Bart at 8:56 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Monday, February 05, 2007

First contact

‘There, did you feel it ?’

‘Mmmmh… I think I did, very gently so.’

‘It’s not kicking very hard now. Last night it was kicking much harder, but I didn’t want to wake you up.’

Posted by Bart at 9:15 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Boob Catapult

Let’s go swimming today’, said my true love last Sunday.

An excellent idea! We’d been talking about having a swim for ages, but you know how it goes when nobody actually holds a gun to your head.

Better try on my bikini first’, she continues. ‘I’m not sure it still fits.’

A wise decision. Since she’s pregnant certain body parts have been expanding exponentially. Big boobs are definitely a plus of making your wife pregnant.

The lower part of the bikini fits without alarming stretching sounds, but then again she’s only four months into her pregnancy. The top part is another matter however. Where there was ample room before, there is little left to spare now. But it still fits, just.

That’s all right then’, she says, and stretches her arms up in a swimming motion.

TWAOANG !!! - goes the bikini as it shoots right under her nose.

In a reflex, I check the ceiling for boobs. But a second later I discover to my great relief that they were firmly attached and are still in place.

After howling and screaming with laughter for the next half hour we finally set off to the swimming pool. Luckily the bikini stays in place, although I suspect that this little group of adolescents in the deep end would have liked it otherwise.

Posted by Bart at 8:39 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 8:42 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Friday, January 12, 2007

Boy Or Girl

We went to the gynaecologist yesterday, and this time we didn’t forget the bloody video tape. The gycololo man asked us last time if we wanted to know whether we’re going to have a baby girl or a baby boy. At first we said we wanted it to be a surprise, but after the last scan we started to doubt and we ended up admitting to each other that we were very curious to know. Not in the least to facilitate the discussion about names. We quickly agreed on a name for a girl, but we were still bickering on over boys’ names.

So yesterday the gylea baby man gave us a close encounter with our child-to-be. As every, it was very moving to see our baby. And then he showed us the baby’s nether regions. And it’s a girl. Or a boy. I really wasn’t paying attention, what with all the interesting machinery and stuff. I’m quite sure it’s one of both. Gee, if only I could remember… Must review that tape some time!

Posted by Bart at 7:30 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bart’s Yer Uncle

Yesterday evening my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. At least we’re told she’s beautiful, but we’re going to check that on Saturday.

Little Hebe weighs three and a half kilos and measures a healthy 50 centimetres. Apparently it took my sister only four contractions to push her out, so she was very eager to conquer this world. Mrs. Bart just hopes that her labour will be as short as my sister’s.

Marriage already made me an uncle of four girls, but this is the firstborn in my side of the family. My sister is three years younger than me, which just shows you how lazy I’ve been in the hunt for a partner and the race for offspring. My father has been leaping with joy when he learned he would become a double granddaddy in 2007. It was about time, in his opinion.

The pressure on my brother, on the other hand, will become relentless.

Posted by Bart at 9:20 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Someone kicked my wife in the belly tonight. It wasn’t one of my feet, because they both have an alibi. The kicks came from inside her belly.

It’s a complete mystery.

Maybe we should call a famous Belgian detective to solve this case.

Posted by Bart at 3:15 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pre-Daddy Grin

When your wife is expecting a baby, you can find all sorts of very detailed information about every stage in the evolution of both mother and baby. You can find minute-to-minute descriptions of which part bulges out at what moment or how your baby’s big toe develops if he kicks too much in his womb. Every single variable has been observed, measured, quantified, averaged, turned into a graph and compared since a guy called Grumph Jr. spilled some ink on a flat stone and turned pre-history into history.

But not a word on the biology of how a careless young man suddenly becomes a father.

So to fill the void, I decided to observe a prime example of man-becoming-father: moi.

Physically, there’s not much to report so far. I think there is a correlation between my wife bulging more and me bulging less. She claims that her tummy is expanding because the baby is growing. I say it’s because she suddenly started a feeding frenzy that is worse than that of a pack of sharks that drifted off into a vegetarian seaweed production centre. She cleans out every pan, which is a bit annoying when I didn’t even get the chance to fill my plate. Another small physical sign of impeding fatherhood is a stiff leg, because she takes a lot of naps and insists on using my leg as a pillow. This wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t so possessive to the point that she becomes aggressive when I try to go to the loo or just shift my leg.

My most noticeable change so far is the Pre-Daddy Grin. Don’t look for this medical term on the internet, I just invented it. It happens to me when I see little children play on the playground, or when a mother is making funny faces to her baby, or when a daddy comforts his little girl because she fell of the swing (head first). Then it hits me that in a couple of months time I too shall have such a bundle of joy in my hands. And then I grin.

Posted by Bart at 7:52 PM
Categories: Big Belly

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

And So It Begins

‘Is this thing on?’ peeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeep

‘Wait… One! Two!’ squueeeeEEEEEK!

‘To close to the loudspeakers? Ok. This better?’

‘Ok. Ok. Good-good evening everybody. Nice to see so many people here tonight. It’s a special evening tonight and on behalf of the organising committee I would like to welcome you all here and thank you for your patience.

Before we start our regular programme I would just like to make an announcement: I’m going to be a daddy.’

[polite applause]

‘Thank you, thank you very much, also on behalf of the mother-to-be. As you may know this will be our firstborn…’

[More polite applause]

‘thank you. So we can use all the money we can get and we decided to make this a pay-site.’

[dead silence, manifest absence of applause and sound of crickets chirping]

‘Just kidding of course, hahah. So enjoy the evening!’

[Leaves stage, no more applause]

Posted by Bart at 9:08 PM
Categories: Big Belly

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