Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Few Days in Bloem

For weeks we have been planning to return to Bloem for a few days in April to familiarize ourselves with things before returning for the birth.  Since our car situation was pretty hairy for a little while there, we weren’t actually sure if we were going to be able to make the trip.  I am so glad we got the car settled and we are here.  The thought of  coming and giving birth in a place we’d never been to on our own was making me a little nervous.  Now that we’ve been here a couple days, we know exactly how to get to the hospital, and that is a good thing.

We drove in on Sunday from Maseru which doesn’t take very long…… about two hours including a border crossing stop.  Almost everything closes ridiculously early on Sundays here.  I had kind of forgotten about that.  So, we hung out, got a pizza and bounced on the trampoline. 

We are staying in the guest house where we’ll be for the time surrounding Ellee’s birth.  It is a beautiful place with a lovely yard.  There is a grill area outside, which we are allowed to use if we like, as well as a pool.  Even though it is supposed to be Fall, it is still stinkin’ hot here during the day.  It cools down significantly at night so I don’t know what the water temperature would be like if we tried it.  I didn’t think about the pool when packing so we are here sans swimsuits.  There is also a small in-ground trampoline which Kyle thoroughly enjoys bouncing on.  It is a great way for him to release some energy!  I foresee Aunt Lacy sitting by that trampoline watching Kyle a lot during our time here next month.  And there is a cat which isn’t terribly fond of Kyle, but he likes to chase her around anyways. 

Our room is simple yet adequate with a big bed for Jonathan and me and a single for Kyle.  We will set up the pack & play for Ellee when she comes.  We have a mini fridge and a microwave and a few plates, cups and pieces of silverware.  I admit it is going to be tough feeding our family with not much work space at all but we will survive.  We don’t have an eating table so we eat on the beds.  But when we are here for the month, I think we’ll rearrange a little and use the desk table as a dining table which will make it much more conducive to family style dinners.  The owner of the guest house has offered to let me use her main kitchen to prepare a few meals a week in so that we can eat left overs the rest of the week.  It would get very expensive and very fattening to eat out almost every meal.  So, with a little fore planning on my part as far as a menu goes, I think that situation will work out nicely.  We have a shower and a tub (which has handles- I am so thankful. It is so difficult to get up out of a tub with this ball in my belly). 

We came armed with a list of things to look for here in SA which we haven’t found in Lesotho.  I wanted to buy a few clothing and necessary baby items for Ellee.  Kyle needed a few duds to complete his fall/winter attire as well.  We are finding it very difficult (and expensive) to find a crib here.  Only one store in all of Bloem has any at all, as far as we can tell.  They aren’t nearly the quality we’d get back home and they are easily twice the price.  But, I can’t bear the thought of my sweet baby girl sleeping in a pack & play for two years.  I like the pack & play for its function, but its esthetics leave something to be desired.  Somehow jungle animal printed nylon just doesn’t seem to go with the beautiful cottage colored hand quilted blanket my mom is bringing for her.  I have crib envy of my SIL, Hannah, who inherited the crib we were borrowing for Kyle.  You lucky duck!  Anyways, we’re going to bite the bullet and buy her a crib.  The one we’ve settled on will convert into a toddler bed so at least it should last for quite a few years to come. 

I have also found it very difficult to locate itty-bitty baby clothes here.  There are plenty of clothes for 3-6 months and up, but newborn and 0-3 month items are scarce.  And of the newborn stuff I’ve found, most of it is either Hello Kitty or entirely too big to be classified as newborn.  I can’t help but wonder what the average weight of a newborn baby girl is here.  I hold an outfit up to my belly and shake my head.  She isn’t going to fit into those things until she’s 5 months old.  Kyle was an average sized baby boy and he still wore itty bitty clothes for a good month and a half.  I have tons of baby clothes which a friend gave to me and my mom will be bringing them with her.  We are set from about 3 months up, but Little Miss was still in need of a few tiny things.  I’ve found a satisfactory number of clothes and am sending a short list for Lollee and Lacy to hunt for before coming.

Fearless driver of Rocky

Before Kyle was born, I found a cute dress to wear home from the hospital and decided I’d do the same thing for bringing Ellee home.  I have purchased exactly two maternity tops during this pregnancy and that is all.  It feels nice to think of something new to wear.  I know what Mom is making Ellee to wear home from the hospital and I wanted something which complimented that.  Plus, dear friends are planning to come over from another part of SA to visit after Ellee arrives.  Dear Friend is a photographer and has offered to take a new family photo of all four of us.  Today I found a beautiful dress and jewelry to wear and I am stoked.  It is kind of hard to try on clothes at 32.5 weeks pregnant and know exactly how they will look once my body returns to a normal shape.  But, I think dresses are highly forgiving on shapely imperfections.  So, I’m excited!

I saw my doctor on Monday and everything is still looking good.  He wanted me to come back in two and a half weeks so we’ll be making one more trip between now and returning for the birth about two weeks before Ellee is due.  I admit to being a little nervous that she will decide to come more than two weeks before her due date and I’ll be left trying to decide what to do about giving birth in Maseru.  But, we are just trusting God with the timing of that.  I was thankful Jonathan finally got to meet the doctor this time so that he isn’t shaking the guy's hand for the first time while I am in labor. 

We will return to Maseru tomorrow after going to purchase Ellee’s crib and stopping by a big grocery store to find a few things we can’t get in Lesotho.  In all, it has been a successful venture and I feel like we now have a good handle on where things are here.  We have enjoyed eating at a few restaurants and there is even a Cinnabon in the mall here!  No, we didn’t already buy one.  No, I’m nothing thinking about buying another after dinner tonight.

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