When things don’t go as planned

Oliver turned 5 months old two weeks ago. Between the move overseas and the sleep deprivation (hello sleeping 10-12 hours through the night since the end of June!), the past few months have been a blur. And slowly I’m forgetting all of the nitty-gritty details of what happened during his birth into this big, beautiful world.

Many people continue to ask similar questions, so I thought I would describe (what I can now remember from) answers to commonly asked questions regarding my pregnancy and Oliver’s birth.

Q: Where did you get prenatal care in the UK?
A: The US base facility hospital was my primary care since the get go. From about 20 weeks of my pregnancy onward, I was seeing both the US base hospital facility and the UK National Health System (NHS) for my prenatal (UK terminology: antenatal) appointments.

Q: Why use both systems? I always get asked why I used both the NHS and the US base since it seems like double the amount of work. It really wasn’t a ton of work or appointments until about the 36 week point – when you start seeing the OB/GYN or midwife much more regularly.
A: The very easy and short answer is: for my convenience and peace of mind.
The long answer is: I work at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (commonly referred to as the Addenbrooke’s site due to the main hospital on the campus). Addenbrooke’s Hospital is an internationally renowned teaching hospital surrounded by several biomedical research facilities. One of the areas of the Addenbrooke’s Hospital is the Rosie Hospital, which is an amazing maternity hospital specializing in all things pregnancy and baby.¬†And I basically work across the street from this facility. If something were to have happen while I was at work (and if I were using the NHS for care), then I could walk 5 minutes to the Rosie for medical care. The commute from my workplace to the base hospital is a 15-20 minute bicycle ride (or 40 minute bus ride) to our home plus another 45 minute drive from our place to the base. It just didn’t seem logical at the time.

Q: You’re having your baby in England, so he’ll be a UK citizen, right?!
A: No, unfortunately he’s just an American citizen born abroad. There are plenty of guidelines for qualifications for being a UK citizen, such as having at least one British parent or living in the UK for at least 5 years. Oliver does not (and probably will never) meet the qualifications unless he applies for UK citizenship later in life after falling in love with British winters that every Brit seems to brag about on end.

We went to the London Embassy to apply for Oliver’s US birth certificate and passport when he was only 3 weeks old (I was wearing a puffy winter coat under my largest rain coat; February in England is rainy and cold.)

On the London Tube


Q: And then the next followup question: Is he going to be able to run for President of the USA later in life?
A: I’m not sure why this is the next question, but the answer is probably yes. And only if he wants to run to be the POTUS. Oliver is a US citizen born abroad.
Bringing you to the US Constitution: Article II, Section 1 is the age and citizenship requirements states that a person must be a natural born citizen (or a citizen of the US), at least 35 years old, and been a US resident for 14 years.

Q: Did you have any problems/issues/cravings during your pregnancy?
A: Not really. I was a little nauseous at work once. I thought I had an upset stomach. For awhile, I really liked sprinkling chives on everything.

Q: Did you end up using the Rosie Birth Centre or the base hospital? (and why?)
A: I needed to be induced at 41.5 weeks (oy!) Once they start talking about induction, you can no longer use the amazing Rosie Birth Centre for a natural birth (what I wanted). You must use the Rosie Delivery Unit, which is still an excellent facility. However, I was already on maternity leave and Elliott was already on leave from work. The procedures were basically the same, so the base hospital just seemed a better choice for us.

Q: How’d your delivery go?
A: It was long; spread out over 43 hours. It started as a natural delivery and ended in an emergency c-section. And the results were a beautiful baby boy.


These are just the frequently asked questions. Feel free to ask more in the comments!

Baby Gifts

Hello everyone,
The military family has really set us up for success for having a baby. I know some folks are eager to start working on a shower for Jen, so in an effort to consolidate all the baby things, here is what we already have:

Chico KeyFit 30 with base (US spec carseat)
Spare Keyfit 30 base
Graco Junior (UK spec carseat)
Mothercare bouncy seat similar to these with sound and vibration
Babytrend Nursery center playpen
Medela Breast Pump (Pump In Style with backpack carrier and cooler – 
UK voltage)
Kiinde twist 80 pack
Saplings Bethany Swinging Crib (UK sheet size 840-430 mm)
Nursing pillow
Prince Lionheart wipe warmer (UK voltage)
Vera Bradley diaper bag (so last season… I can’t find a link)
1x moustache pacifier (don’t judge me!)
High chair
Bouncy seat

Please do NOT buy us a baby monitor, as the US/UK frequencies are not compatible, and anything you buy in the US will be illegal in England.
This generally applies to anything that needs to be plugged into the wall – due to the differences in voltage.

No age clothing
9x blankets
9x bibs
12x burp cloths

5x hats
1x shoes
10x socks
2x sleep sack
1x long sleeve onesie
1x short sleeve onesie
1x trousers
6x pajamas

0-3 Month
10x short sleeve onesie
2x long sleeve onesie
7x trouser
4x pajama

3-6 Month
1x Shoes
1x 3-6 mon sleep sack
9x onesie
1x pajama

6-9 Month
5x trouser
6x onesie
3x sweater

> 9 Month
2x trouser
5x short sleeve onesie
8x long sleeve onesie
2x long sleeve shirts

Shower date and details are still up in the air. Given the distance between us and almost everyone we know, we made an amazon.com registry. If you would like to purchase something for us, you can find the registry here. We didn’t list too many books or toys, but we’d also love books (and we don’t mind your second-hand ones)!

It’s also worth noting we will be moving sometime next summer and don’t know where we will be living next, thus what climate clothing we will need. At 6 months, baby will be preparing for a UK summer, an Alabama summer, or something in between. We expect the movers will be here to pack us sometime in June (maybe sooner), so portable stuff for the 4 months we will be living out of suitcases would be greatly appreciated.

If you want to ship something to our UK address, please contact us and we will give you the address.

USAF 69th Birthday Ball!

Joining many others from around the local area, we celebrated the 69th birthday of the United States Air Force last night. It was a great reason to put on fancy clothes, eat, drink (soda water and lime or a cranberry and orange juice cocktail for me), dance, and celebrate.

We also celebrated that our baby boy is developing well and healthy. We’re happy to announce we’ll be adding one to our family this winter, and even took our “first family photo” at the Birthday Ball!

69th Birthday Ball

69th Birthday Ball