Jake Weilong Gilbert was born

Much to the surprise of Cheryl and me, Jake decided to show up a couple of weeks earlier than expected on May 28th, 2017, at 22:57. He weighed 2800g, or 6lb 2.8oz as the hospital recorded it.

Thankfully it wasn’t a long and protracted labour, and it began on Saturday morning after Cheryl woke up. Cheryl’s water broke without experiencing any contractions, so we made our way to the hospital in a much less panicked manner than either of us expected.

Labour was induced so that contractions would start. Cheryl held out for quite a while before going with an epidural for the pain. The actual push phase of the birth took about 90 minutes, and that seemed to go by extremely quickly to me!

Jake having some skin to skin time with his mum just after being born.

Jake having some skin to skin time with his mum just after being born.

Driving Jake home from the hospital was one of the more nerve-wracking journeys I’ve ever been on. I kept checking my mirrors to make sure cars were far enough behind, and not going to ram me. I kept looking at everything to try to anticipate any issues. We only live a few minutes from the hospital, so it went over pretty quickly, for which I am very glad.

Unfortunately we had a few problems. Jake was seemingly very sleepy, he didn’t even eat properly because he would fall asleep. We had a home appointment with a nurse, and she said Jake’s jaundice was worse. She took a blood sample and his weight and said that he had dropped 10% of his birth weight in 4 days.

A few hours after she left she called back and told us to get Jake to the hospital because his bilirubin levels were so high that he needed UV photo therapy to reduce them.

Jake under the UV lights

Jake under the UV lights

We spent another 24 hours in hospital, worried sick. Jake’s bilirubin levels dropped to an acceptable level, and we got given a meal plan to try to get Jake’s weight back up. He also had the frenulum under his tongue cut to give him more motion when eating, as he was a little tongue-tied.

Over the last couple of days he has started to eat a bit better, and seems to be less jaundiced in general. We have an appointment with a nurse in the next couple of hours and we should get some idea of how he’s progressing.

It has been a stressful week, but I’m so glad Jake’s doing as well as he is, even if he is keeping his parents up all night.

Saw Jake move

A couple of hours ago I could actually see the force Jake is exerting on Cheryl when he kicks. It’s quite an unusual sight to see something push outwards from within a person!

It’s actually quite reassuring to know that Jake is developing his muscles and getting ready for life on the outside in just 3 months and a few days.

We’re really looking forward to his arrival. 🙂

Cheryl’s pregnant

Pregnant 3+

I was sitting on the sofa playing Rocket League when I heard Cheryl shout “OH MY GOD!” from the bathroom.

I quit the game, went over to the bathroom, and Cheryl said “it says I’m pregnant!” Then she said “Oh wait…” Then she said “yes, it says I’m pregnant.” I took the pregnancy test from her because I wanted to see it. Cheryl’s pregnant. I picked up the leaflet that comes with the test and it says the pregnant or not pregnant report is more than 99% accurate by this point. Cheryl’s pregnant. Almost definitely pregnant.

Cheryl began crying, not because she’s upset, but because she’s scared. I hugged her. I backed away not knowing what to say or do, then I hugged her again.

We plated up dinner from the oven and sat down to watch Independence Day Resurrection. We got just over 13 minutes through before giving up on both eating and watching a film.

I grabbed my laptop, logged into the VPN, and went to my medical insurance portal to look up a doctor.

Right now we’re just planning to use the other two pregnancy tests to confirm things tomorrow, and book an appointment with a doctor nearby at UCSF.

We spent time working out that the baby is probably due around mid-June.

Our lives are about to change drastically.

Court date

Cheryl got a letter yesterday setting the court date for the hearing for her visa application appeal. It’s set for August 28th, which is a pretty long time into the future.

We’re going to look at hiring a solicitor to represent us in this because if it’s not insanely expensive we think it would help our case quite a lot. We have a bit of paperwork to prepare before that date, but it’s probably not really anything that we haven’t already got together for the original application.

Kind of all seems a bit silly since by the time we go to the hearing we will have been living together for over 3 years, and all we have to prove is 2. The UK Border Agency already accepted our evidence from March 2011, so it’s been well over 2 years at this point. This could all be avoided if common sense ruled.

Thinking of moving

Over the last few months while Cheryl has been applying for her visa we’ve spoken several times about the possibility of moving to Singapore together.

I enjoyed Singapore a lot when I visited last year, and I could definitely see me living there for a while. It opens up the possibility of Cheryl taking over her parents’ company, which would definitely help set her up for the future. I don’t know how much she’d enjoy the work, but with any luck she could take the business far enough that she didn’t have to run it day-to-day. That’s all speculation for another day though.

Since we spoke about it I’ve actually mentioned it to my boss at work. I’ve looked at Amazon jobs in Singapore to see if it would be possible to move internally and have a guaranteed job when I get there. The main issue with that option is that I don’t really know if I’m well-suited for, or interested in, the jobs on offer there at the moment.

I have also added my CV to JobStreet and have applied for a couple of interesting positions that I am confident I could do. I’m not convinced that I’ll get shortlisted for any though, as I’m not a citizen, or a permanent resident. Lots of the job advertisements specify that you have to be one of those two things before you can even apply.

It’s quite frustrating, but certainly not the end of the world.

We’ve been looking into the various visas on offer for me. It seems like I have several main options for an employment pass, which would be helpful, and then there’s also the option of getting married to open up other options.

I’d ideally like to stick out my current job for a while, get some experience in Java, more experience with Amazon on my CV, and save up some money so that I can afford to move to Singapore and find a job while I’m there, rather than finding one from here. I think it would be a lot easier, but obviously a lot more expensive.

So yeah, exciting times.

First post from my Transformer Prime

Cheryl bought me a Transformer Prime for my birthday. It arrived yesterday and I went home during my lunch hour to plug it in so I could use it sooner.

It feels really nice to hold, and the keyboard makes a big difference when I have a lot of text to input like this. I would probably have finished writing stuff if I was using a virtual keyboard.

Android still lacks many good apps designed to work on such a big screen, bit I’m sure there will be more than enough over time. I’m happy with using the phone-style interfaces for most stuff and then taking advantage of the big screen for pictures, videos, web browsing and stuff like that.

So yeah, my first impressions are good, and I’m sure the experience will get better and better.

Doing the tourist thing, Les Miserables

Ricky came down to visit Rik and me last night. We all went for some dinner (with Cheryl and Nicole too) at Smollensky’s in Canary Wharf. It was really nice in there, and not massively expensive considering where it is.

We came back to the apartment and had some more drinks and put Jarheads on (muted) to keep Ricky entertained. After several hours of deep conversations about why nobody else thinks how we do, and how we could make the world better the three non-residents caught a taxi back to Riks and Cheryl and I went to bed.

This morning I got up and went out to meet Nicole, Ricky, and Rik again at Teapod. I took a quick walk there and it started to turn nice and sunny on the way. We ate some brunch and then headed off along the south bank towards Westminster so Ricky could take lots of tourist pictures. The rest of us did the same. 🙂

Just past the London Eye we heard some screaming. I looked ahead and saw a whole bunch of purple balloons and a troop of people marching. The crowd parted to let them through and it turned out to be a march of Justin Bieber fans chanting about how much they love him and then screaming. It was mental.

We had to get to St. Pancras so that Ricky could get his train home, but we stopped by Starbucks first for a quick farewell drink. After we watched Ricky board the train we decided to go along to Stratford because Rik and Nicole needed some stuff. I picked up some sushi for me and Cheryl and headed back home.

Cheryl and I ate quickly and then headed off to the tube to travel to Leicester Square. Unfortunately we got off at London Bridge instead of Waterloo for the other Northern line branch. After we walked back we had a 5 minute wait for the train. Once we got to the Northern line a train was at the platform, but there was a paramedic and someone was talking about the passenger alarm.

We walked to the other end of the platform and got on the less-busy end of the train. Apparently the alarm had been pulled in 3 carriages, somehow. Nothing happened for a long time and then we finally set off. The journey was crap, the stations were packed, and when we finally got off at Leicester Square we had 5 minutes to get to the theatre to see Les Miserables.

We ran through the square and through part of Chinatown and made it to the theatre 2 minutes before the show was due to start. We found our seats, took off our coats, sat down, and the show started seconds later. We were incredibly lucky to make it. 🙂

The performance was absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I finally went to see a full and proper production.

Rik, snow, Android

Rik moved down to London not so long ago and he’s been staying with Cheryl and me since then. It’s been kind of weird having someone else in the house again, not in a horrible way, just different. I’d forgotten what it was like. Anyway, glad to help him out in what is normally a very difficult and expensive thing to do.

It’s cool having him at work too, especially since Dan is abandoning me for Australia in a matter of weeks now.

It snowed in London for the first time this winter over the weekend. Cheryl, Charlotte, Aron, and I spent a good hour or two on the roof terrace in the middle of the night throwing snowballs and building snowmen. It was a lot of fun. I was soaking wet when I got back into the apartment, but it was enjoyable.

I’ve been working on one of my Android apps quite a bit recently. It’s really frustrating me at the moment though because things aren’t working how I’d expect them to. I think it’s just the dimension definitions that are making it look so horrible, but I can’t be sure. It also seems that there’s no font anti-aliasing on my phone. It could just be the dimensions and some horrible scaling though. Oh well.

Cutting my own hair, almost

I decided that I should shave my hair off a little while ago. I went into the bathroom with my shaver and selected the longest setting. I looked at Cheryl, turned it on, looked at myself in the mirror and pushed it through my hair right in the middle like Marshall in How I Met Your Mother.

Nothing happened.

I was confused. I checked the trimmer and it was fine, so I tried again. Still nothing happened. It seems my trimmer only cuts shorter hair.

I came into the kitchen and picked up some scissors. I held my hair up ready to cut into it and then chickened out. I looked at Cheryl, but she wouldn’t tell me what to do. After a few minutes of indecision I collected my resolve and held a bunch of hair between my fingers and closed the scissors on it.

Nothing happened.

At this point I started to think of Samson, and how much he would have wished he was me if he had been real. The trimmers and the scissors both refused to cut my hair at all. I don’t really understand the complete lack of effect, but oh well. I took it as a sign that it would probably be more effort than it was worth, so I quit.

At some point I guess I’ll just go and buy some proper clippers or pay someone with the right tools to cut it.

2011 ✓

It’s the end of another year and I find myself in yet another city this time. As it tends to from year to year everything has completely changed. It’s been pretty hectic at times, but I think things should really start to settle down this coming year.

I’ve got an awesome girlfriend, we live in an awesome apartment, I have an awesome job, and some awesome friends. 🙂

I don’t really have time to do a full retrospective of the last year because we’re going over to see our friends and have a bit of a party. It should finish with watching fireworks up on the roof terrace. I did not think I’d be typing that sentence this time last year! 😀