Since the news that we would be turning into a family of three, my family had been kicking around the idea of flying out to be here for the birth of Louis. After several plans were drafted, edited and finally confirmed…it came down to just my older sister and mom witnessing his grand debut, which was perfectly fine with us. They arrived on the 13th of April with the sole intention of getting baby boy out of me so they could cuddle and love on him before flying back home.We walked around A LOT. And it being the hot season, walking happened a good bit in air conditioned malls or shopping centers. (Sidenote: I am the black sheep of the family for my lack of interest in shopping. Please imagine being 39 weeks pregnant having swollen cankles, lower back pain and already dilated at 3 cm…waddling amongst clothes, wares and people. This is true love.) We kept them awake as long as we could their first day by giving them a good dose of sensory overload at Big C (a local version of H-Mart or Walmart) and then getting splashed with buckets of water while riding around in a tuktuk — it was Songkran, after all.
While my mom was gone visiting family in Laos for a couple of days, the children — aka us –continued traipsing around the Nonthaburi area in between our visiting and vegging out at home. (It is in this time of waiting for labor to begin that we coined the phrase “Let’s PSYCH out” which meant marathon viewings of the buddy comedy show on our laptop.) We wandered around The Mall Ngamwongwan and ate at Sumi Yakiniku because we really wanted grilled meat the second day they were here, explored the many shops of Chatuchak Mall (the market is only opened on the weekend) for gifts another day and even made friends with a little boy at Fuji while eating sushi at Central Rattanathibet the next day.
Finally, after several nights of contractions keeping me and Dan up until 4am, the big ones hit on Thursday night and we were off to the hospital in the wee hours of the 18th. Dear sister o’ mine was kind enough to photograph me in the throes of contractions — I’m pretty sure I grumble yelled at her to quit taking pictures. Louis arrived 5 hours after leaving for the hospital and was soon wrapped up in many pairs of arms and smooched on his squishy cheeks as much as possible.
Ba (which means older maternal aunt in Lao) Olay and Tao (shortened version of maternal grandmother) got to spend the next 8 days loving on the little man; we would try to send them out to get food and explore them with the help of our friends here, but aside from an outing to Ari for dinner at Salt and another shopping spree at the Platinum Mall, they were quite content to eat som tum and gai yang from local restaurants or sois and just hang out at our home to dote on the newest member of our family.