December 21, 2010

Happy New Year!!


I am still here! Life is busy busy busy with a baby but it"s the best kind of busy! I love being a mom so much and I cannot stop counting my blessings! Life is amazing! I still have moments where I look at her and wonder if she is our, I still pinch mysel a lot!!

Isabella is amazing and life cannot be any better really. I will write more in the coming weeks as Isabella is settling in her own routine and I will have some more free time to return here and to your blogs... but for now Happy 2011 lovely ladies.. I have missed you!

November 9, 2010

25 days and growing so fast



I have been a bad bad blogger but I do have the most beautiful excuse for it... Isabella! She is the light of my day and the most amazing baby anyone could wish for. She is such a happy, smiley and good baby who sleeps at night and eats with such eagerness. I couldn't ask for more. She is growing by the day and every morning whenever I go pick her up to change her and feed her she looks like she had grown over night. I call her my Little Giant.
She already has her own routine of more frequent feeding during the day and longer sleeping periods at night. She never cries unless she is overly tired and even when hungry she never cries but almost talks to us telling us to hurry up and feed her already. She started smiling about two weeks ago and hasn't stopped since. She gives us the cutest smiles when we least expect it and we just melt like butter. We hold her to help her fall asleep and we cuddle her for hours just because we can. People tell us that is not good but we argue otherwise, we don't think there is anything wrong in hugging and cuddling our baby girl as much as she needs to.
I was preoccupied about being on my own with her after D went back to work but the first week went like a breeze and this week I feel like things have always been this way. Isabella runs our routine and I adapt to what she feels like on a day to day basis. We do go out together on short outings whether it's to the local shops or for a walk around the neighbourhood. She loves her pram and I can now safely say it was the best buy so far. As much as some babies like their car seats, Isabella prefers to lie flat so she loves it when after a car ride I place her in her pram, she normally falls asleep straight away.
D and I still have moments where we look at Isabella and wonder how we got so lucky. She truly is the most adorable baby girl and we cannot believe we made her...that she is half me and half him.. She makes all the struggles of getting here seem so worth it and she makes us want to have more children as soon as we can.
Anyway, it's almost feeding time and I better go but before I do, here are a few pictures of our Little Giant:

October 24, 2010

9 days old and all is GREAT

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Isabella is 9 days old today and we are so in love. Some days are tough, some days like today are easier but no matter what day we are having we are just so thankful she is in our lives and we feel so privileged to be her parents. She brightens up our lives with her smiles, her looks and her many cuddles and kisses. She sleeps in our room next to my side of the bed so it's easier to pick her up for feedings and seeing her first thing in the morning is just the most incredible feeling. She is changing by the day and is showing signs of her character emerging. She has her daddy's eyes and lips and some of his expressions. Everyday we look at her and wonder how much she has changed overnight. It's truly incredible to see how much she can change in one night. Her face is filling up and she is starting to get a little double chin which is just so cute. She has long hands and feet and we think she is going to grow taller than the both of us but then only time will tell. She feeds very well and we are both becoming good at it with times and it hurts less each day. I am so lucky to have a lot of milk and a baby eager to eat it. We are feeding her on demand at the moment and it's working very well. She wakes up between 2-4 hours to feed through the day and night and feeds for a long time until she is tired to go to sleep. I used to cut the feeding short as I notices she was getting sick afterward and being gassy but that didn't work well with Isabella and now I have gone back to the letting her feed until she needs to approach which works better for her and for us too as she is less fussy and more happy and rested afterward. It's all trial and error for now but we are getting there.

D and I are both home which is great as he is getting to know her as much as I before he has to go back to work. He is an amazing dad and even with little sleep he is still able to be calm and we both find ourselves laughing at things as they happen rather than despair. He is my rock and he always makes everything ok. I love him so much.

My parents went home yesterday and I have to say they left a big void when they did. The house seemed all silent and I miss having them around. Yesterday was worst but today I am already getting on with things and I know every day is going to get better. I loved having them around and I loved spending so much time with them after not having seen them for a whole year. My mom showed me a lot of tricks in terms of holding Isabella and what to do and what not to. I wish they lived closer by but for now I will wait till they come back for Christmas! I so wish for Isabella and I to have a similar relationship to the one my mom and I share, we truly love one another and we can spend hours together and still find loads to talk about. I miss her dearly.

Tomorrow we take Isabella for her first visit to the pediatrician. I researched which one to take her to and the one we are taking her to his a young doctor from Germany. He is relatively new in town but a lot of people are raving he is meant to be a great doctor. I cannot wait to hear what he says about Izzy's weight ( we think she is gaining not losing like all babies do after the first week to 10 days) and want to ask about her umbilical cord which is still attached. We cannot wait for it to fall off so we can give her a proper bath for now we just give a sponge bath.

I better go now as she is starting to cry for her next feed.. here are a few pics of our baby girl!

October 19, 2010

Labour story and on being a mamma





I finally get two minutes to write whilst Izzy is still asleep so here is my labour story...
Labour was a marathon for me! I was induced on Thursday at 6pm and didn't give birth until the next morning at 9.24 am. It was the most painful but amazing thing I have ever done in my life and as painful as it was, hearing my baby girl crying and opening my eyes and seeing her between my legs, was the most incredible and intense feeling I have ever felt! I was able to hold her straight away and the minute she was on my chest she stopped crying, I never felt happier. Then they put her on my side and I was able to breastfeed her which she did like a pro! D was by my side through it all. He would time and hold me during those painful contractions and then encourage me to push when he could see her head coming and I swear if it wasn't for him I would never have done it! He is truly my rock and the most amazing dad ever! He got the hang of changing diapers so easily and now that's his job!
I had a complication after the birth whereby my placenta would not deliver and after 4 hours of waiting for the or to free I was wheeled in. I hated being taken away from my baby and D so soon and part of me felt scare something would go wrong. I was told it was a 15 minutes thing but it ended up taking a whole hour. I was awake under an epidural and knew something was up when more and more doctors were coming in the room and they gave me 'something to relax me'. In the end the leading surgeon who operated on me came to speak to me. She told they got all of my placenta but that they also found a big 'bleeder' behind one of the 3 stitches I had done after the birth. It was a large haematoma the size of a fist. I lost 1 liter of blood but they got it all and I need to think of what a lucky break I got when the placenta didn't come out otherwise they wouldn't have caught in time. I started shaking and crying hearing this and didn't come down until D came to see me in the recovery room. I was still in shock and my blood pressure was all over the place so they suggested bring Izzy to see me so I would come down and so I did as soon as she was next to me in her cot.
Having lived throught this as well makes me feel even more thankful for the miracle we have been granted. We are truly blessed!

We are all home now and recovering well. I am on pain meds and antibiotics and iron but overall we are doing great. The antibiotics I take don't impact on the breastfeeding and so I am now a milk factory! I am blessed with a lot of milk and a baby who loves to feed! We are still finding our feet but we are managing well and every day seems a bit easier. I still see her as such a fragile baby and I cannot help but feeling nervous at times about accidentally hurting her. I suppose that's what moms do.. They worry!

Here are a few pics of Izzy as it seems yesterday's post didn't work out.. she is a true beauty but then I am biased!!

October 16, 2010

she is here

Our baby girl is here! Born on Friday the 15th at 9.24 am measuring 3.335 kg and 52cm. She is the most beautiful and amazing baby I have ever seen. I'll post her birth and my labour story later. Just wanted you all to knoe a new star is born! I am so in love!!!

October 14, 2010

i am in hospital

I am in hospital being induced today. My cervix is looking more favourable and I am a fingertip dilated. Izzy is still doing great and her heart is strong. If induction works then great if not then they'll do an emergency c-section. I was a bundle of nerves all morning and cried as I expected to be sent home and wait for a c-section but I am now feeling calm and relax and focusing on Izzy. D is keeping me company and we are in a nursery room with a bed waiting for our bed to become available! I cannot believe the day is finally here and that we are going to be holding our precious baby girl today or tomorrow. Life is about to change in a very special way!! How incredible!! I'll update you later if I can! Thanks girls for all your support!

October 12, 2010

update

I have been so busy over the last couple of days I have had no time to update you all. After spending all of Sunday in some sort of pain and then went to bed early with cramps and spent all night up with what felt like contractions. I slept a total of 2 hours but the next morning I was in no pain. That morning (Monday) I had my 40 week plus 1 day check- up, I told my doctor I had that pain and she did an internal exam to check if I was dilated at all and if there was any progress and she also got me to do a CTG. The doctor told me that I was all closed up and that my cervix was 2cm and posterior, the CTG showed no signs of contractions and her heartbeat was healthy and strong. The doctor wanted to consult with her superior on what would be the next step, then I was called back in. They said that normally they don't leave IVF babies longer than a couple of days but that given all looks good they can make wait until Thursday to decide. They seem to think that given my cervix and the fact I am all closed up an induction won't work and that Isaballa might suffer as a result of trying an induction. The idea of a c-section is now more favourable than an induction but we won't know until Thursday and even if an induction is then favourable but I prefer a c-section by then it's also ok. I am now going back and forth every day for CTGs until Thursday when I will also get an internal exam to see if there has been any progress so that makes Thursday decision day. I am not sure they will do a c-section on the Thursday or whether we would have to wait until another day to book it but whatever happens we will know when Izzy will be born which is such a relief.
To say I was ok with this new development, especially considering I thought something was definitely going on, would be a lie. Yesterday I felt teary as in a weird way I felt like my body let me down a little again but I know that isn't true. My body has kept my baby girl from harm all 40 plus weeks and now the fact that it seems to be in non hurry to get ready for birth is ok. I have been keeping an open mind all 40 weeks about how delivery will come about and for me to be upset now is counterproductive.. as long as she is ok and I am ok that's all that counts. I know the doctors won't push me in any directions and have so far been so supportive of all of my decisions so I know they will respect whatever we decide on Thursday.
D is taking the day off on Thursday in case we go in and there has been progress and they decide to induce Izzy that day and either way we both feel it's important he is there so that we can make a joint decision. I know D will respect whichever choice I make but I want him by my side in this day.
I live in anticipation of Thursday but at the same time I feel relieved that hopefully by the end of the week I will be meeting my baby girl. Today I went for my CTG and Izzy was playing tricks on me. She was moving around so much that she kept on playing with the monitor so that it kept on missing her heart beat. At one stage she was so fast that she ditched the monitor that went into hyper mode and started beeping because there was no heartbeat. I got my mum to call the nurse and then they moved the monitor and in no time we found her strong heartbeat and all was good in the world again. I had to stay longer and being monitor for a longer period due to this missing heartbeat but in the end all looked great.
That's all from me now.. I will hopefully have more to update you on this coming Thursday or I will do as soon as I can if I end up delivering her Thursday.. wish us luck!

October 9, 2010

The one before the "due date"

So here I am at 39 weeks and 6 days on the eve of my "due date" and all is good. Now that all the anticipation of Isabella being born early is gone I am feeling a new sense of peace. I know she will be born eventually so for now I chose to enjoy this last few days of being pregnant. I rub my belly and follow her many kicks and stretches and in the meantime enjoy sleeping in and go about life in a "I do what I want when I want kind of attitude" knowing that when Miss Izzy is here she will be the boss.
Yesterday D and I made Clam Chowder for the first time and it came out so yummylicious! We feel in love with it when we went to San Francisco and still dream of it, so it was lovely to be able to eat it again. Then worked on our garden which is now coming back to life after the heat of the summer, D measured around the edges of the garden and then him and my mom took out a strip of grass and I added little white stones. We have not finished yet but it is starting to look amazingly good! The white stones give out this lovely light at night and it will be much easier to maintain it. We then did a BBQ which was yummy and I even made a potato salad for the first time which came out delicious. We finished the night watching football on tv.. perfect way to end a great day!
Today we started on the garden again but it was way too hot so we left it for later on this afternoon. My mom and dad went off into town on their own and we stayed behind to chill out and catch up on the tv shows we have been missing out on. This afternoon we are off to an exhibition center to check out modified and one of a kind types of cars which should be interesting! As you can tell I am keeping busy and life is good.. As I type Izzy is kicking away and stretching her long legs on the side of my belly telling me she is in need of nourishment so I am off making some pasta and pesto! We shall see what tomorrow shall bring us..

October 7, 2010

The week of false alarms



Me at 38 weeks and 4 days and today at 39 weeks and 4 days.. the bump has dropped!
This week has been the week of "is this it?" Every cramp, every weird symptom points me to think that labour is underway and that I will give birth within 24 hours.. well every time I have been wrong so far. Yesterday was our 10 year anniversary, D went to work and I spent the day with my parents walking in one of the many malls in the hope that walking would help with labour. We walked for one hour and a bit and my back was really aching at the end. We had lunch and I started having contractions every hour or so. Then we went home chilled out and they came back again at 5.30 pm then D got home and I was still having them. We all got ready for a lovely celebratory dinner out and left for the restaurant. On the way I got some more contractions and more painful ones followed every hour whilst having dinner. Towards the end I had to ask my parents and D to leave as I could not stand it anymore. We all thought this was it and went home to take the suitcase downstairs and get all our stuff in order just in case. My contractions were still an hour apart. I kept active and at midnight I went to bed to get some rest. I woke up in the middle of the night to pee but nothing more and this morning I felt great again and haven't had any contractions. I know Izzy is not due for another 3 days but I had hoped she would take us all by surprise and be like mommy.. always a but early..I now have a feeling she is like her daddy, right on time or slightly late. Only time will tell.






For almost 40 weeks I am still doing great and only today took off my wedding and engagement rings just in case my hands swell up. I am walking around most days and keeping active around the house too. I have my moments where I freak out and think I won't be able to do it, that I won't be up for it and I will fail. I read the labour and delivery books constantly and keep thinking I am about to go for an exam that I cannot fail. It's stressful but so exciting at the same time. I have to say the weeks are blending together but it's great to have the company of my parents to make the days go by faster. They are as eager as D and I to meet their third granddaughter but are being super supportive in the waiting game.






D is doing great but I feel he is as excited as I am to meet his daughter. He thought she would be born on the 1st and now that is almost 10 days ago every "ouch" and every contraction make him jump and be ready for the big event. He is so ready to be a daddy but I think he is also a bit freaked out about the whole seeing me give birth part of things. We have been through thick and thin together and we know that this is going to be one of the the most amazing moments of our lives we will never forget, so just need to focus on that and get rid of all those fears.

October 4, 2010

39 weeks check up today

I am waiting around the house for 2.30 to go for my check up and see what they tell me. Every day I get a few more BH but they always go away and for the last 3 days I have had diarrhea in the morning which is unusual for me. I am looking at every symptom and every sign in anticipation but so far nothing has happened. I will see what the doctor tells me today... I have no idea if they will mention induction or if they will let me wait until I am after my due date to suggest it. What I know is that I am getting more and more excited as each day goes by... Izzy is super active still and her kicks and movements are still constant which is always reassuring.
My parents are being supportive and it's great to have them here. They are watchful of my every move and since they have arrived D has been able to relax more too. We are also super excited about our upcoming anniversary on the 6th of October, it's our 10 years together... only 2 days to go.. I wonder if she will wait till then to be born on our special day! Only time will tell.... cannot wait to kiss, hold and meet her!!!

*******Update*******

Went for my check up and all is ok as they don't do internal exams unless absolutely needed I don't know if I am dilated at all or not but they said everything looks great. Izzy is still head down and feels engaged so all is good. I have lost some weight probably due to the recent stomach issues which the doctor blames on a possible stomach bug or as a sign of my body readying itself for labour! Next appointment is on the 11th.. the day after my due date we shall see if we need it.. if we make it that far I intend to ask to be induced as I cannot afford to wait at home on leave and waste all my leave whilst she is still not born.. we hope this won't be necessary!

September 28, 2010

I am still here


Just a quick one.. I am still going strong and still doing well! Went for my 38 weeks check up and u/s and Izzy is doing great! She has hair and she has grown beautifully and now is 3.499kg which is about 7.7 pounds. Apparently she is going to be a very tall little girl as she is measuring way ahead of all the girls her age.. I knew her kicks were strong and her legs long but I didn't know that long! I cannot wait to meet her so bad!

My parents are here so every day I a busy with something or the other and enjoying having them here a lot! It's been so long and now I am catching up.. hence my lack of posts! I will try to update you on the progress but I don't have much time to keep up with all your blogs...I will try do this at least once a week!!

September 23, 2010

Last day at work


Today is my last day at work for the year. I am off on maternity/paid and unpaid leave until the end of January and I am super excited. I cannot believe the time for it is already here. After looking forward to this date since the middle of April, now it's here it does not feel real. I am telling everyone who cares to listen that it's indeed my last day and I have even brought miniature cupcakes to make sure everyone knows I am off. I leave with a bit of a dark cloud over my position within the company as I have no idea if my job will still be here by the end of January. My company is going through some major restructuring and no one knows how things will shape up in the coming months. I have jokingly asked if I will be returning to this office after my maternity or this is more of a "goodbye and good luck" kind of exit and no one has been able to give me a straight answer. When all these rumours first started emerging I was really worried and concerned, now I look at things with "what will be will be approach". If I come back and still have a job great, if it's not the case I will take my redundancy money and reconsider what will happen. For now my number one focus is my baby girl's arrival and nothing or no one is going to spoil that!

I think at first it's going to be strange being off for so long and yet I know once she gets here the days are just gonna fly. I won't have time to sit and think, I will have the most amazing job on earth.. Being a mommy and I cannot wait for it!

Things are proceeding well in our preparations for THE day. Last night I was so tired from work and going food shopping afterwards but I have been wanting to make a lasagna to freeze just so that if my parents get here and I am in hospital they will have something warm and home made to enjoy. So I put a chair next to my cooker and made it sitting down. I had pretty intense BH and Izzy was kicking me right on my cervix which didn't help. It's all ready and looked yummy now all that D or my mom will need to do is bake it.

My dad got the all clear from his cardiologist to travel and his heart is doing so well that he won't need to go back for another year now which is just amazing. Last time they visited us he had a small incident where his heart went into atrial fibrillation again so we had to rush him to the hospital, admittedly we overdid things and he got too tired too quickly. This time, we are going to take things at a different pace and make sure he and I both get plenty of rest. I cannot wait to have them over. D keeps hoping Izzy hangs in there fore a little longer so my parents get a chance to see me pregnant. We shall see if our little princess is willing to wait or is ready to break free.

September 22, 2010

some advice for my daughter

I have read this type of post on a few other blogs and as the weeks turn into days (18 to go today according to the ticker!) I am inspired to start one for my baby girl...
  1. No matter what people tell you or what you might read in "beauty" magazines you are beautiful, just as you are. Not thinner, with different hair, taller, shorter legs.. you are perfect just as you were made. Always remember that true beauties lies within.
  2. Don't spend hours, days and years obsessing over every little detail of your appearance..it's time wasted. Don't get me wrong, sweetie pie, there is nothing wrong in experimenting with make up, changing hair colour, tyring new styles.. but don't let this be your main focus in life.
  3. Be good to your body. Your body is your biggest asset so make sure you look after it. You might hate it at times but trust me if you don't treat it with respect and love you might end up regretting it one day.
  4. Make friends. Invest that time you have just saved (see point number 2! ) on making friends. You don't need a lot of friends, I can count my true friends on one hand, it's not a popularity contest. You will learn and be able to differentiate between a real friend and someone who is an acquaintance. Cherish and invest in your true friends because those are the ones you will lean on for the rest of you life.
  5. Have lots of fun and make sure to surround yourself with people that make you laugh at least once a day.
  6. Embrace who you are. Your background is a diverse and interesting one and I hope you are able to get to know each and every of the 3 countries you come from. I hope you won't be intimidated by it all but that you will be able to see it as a beautiful adventure.
  7. Don't be afraid to speak out for what you believe in. Your views might not be the same as everybody else's but that doesn't make them less valid or interesting.
  8. Make mistakes. I am sure that as your mom I shouldn't tell you this, but I don't feel right leaving this out. "The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one."--Elbert Hubbard. We all make mistakes and I believe is those mistakes that make us who we are today. So don't be afraid to venture out into the world and LIVE my sweetie pie.
  9. I hope you find your passion in life, no matter what it is. I hope you will find that something that makes you get up in the morning with a smile.
  10. Travel and explore the world. There is nothing more eye opening than travelling and experiencing different and diverse cultures.
  11. You will fall in love many times and every time it might feel like your life won't be able to go on without that person...trust me, life does go on. Your heart will unfortunately be broken over the course of your life and you will break many in return...but life carries on and eventually you will meet that one person that you will want to spend the rest of your life with. Trust me all the others won't even compare.
  12. "Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." H. Jackson Brown. If daddy and I let had the odds stacked against us get in our way, we would never have you to hold and love every day. When people tell you something is impossible, evaluate your odds, do your own research and most importantly listen to what your heart tells you is right. If you feel it's what you were meant to do, put all your heart into it and go for it.. if it fails.. wipe away the tears, collect your thoughts and if it's still worth it.. try again.
  13. Ultimately baby girl, remember your mom and dad love you beyond words. You are our miracle baby girl and in our eyes you will never be anything less than perfect (now, don't go on abusing this right!!!). We are always here for you no matter what happens in life, you just pick up the phone and we will be there in no time.

September 21, 2010

One eventful night

Last night was pretty uneventful until I started going to the toilet every 5 minutes to pee. I couldn't understand how I would need to pee so much. After I'd pee some liquid would come out which I couldn't figure out if it was more pee or it could be amniotic fluid all I know is that it smelled sweet which was so odd. I told D that something felt weird and he dismissed it saying it's just nothing and that my water couldn't be breaking without me losing my mucus plug. I asked him to consult Dr. Google and after 5 minutes he started to get a bit more concern, he read that I should lie down for 30 minutes then get up and see if more liquid would come out then it could well be amniotic fluid. I did that and when I got up no fluid came running down but I still needed to pee. I also got pretty intense BHs, enough for me to stop walking and wait to see if they would go.

When I looked at my belly in the mirror I could see how much it has dropped and how far she has now moved down. I think all the extra preassure of her moving down so much is causing me to go pee more often and is also causing all these more intense BHs. At one stage I was in so much pain that D was ready to take me to the hospital. I have never seen him so freaked out and unglued. He is normally the calm one out of the two of us but it was me who was reassuring him that everything was ok and that it was probably just BHs and that if I felt them getting /closer together I would tell him and we could go. I laid down and as soon as I did that the preassure was less and I managed a good night sleep.

So what I have learnt out of this situation is that for the next 2 weeks we are going to have a lot of false alarms, that I will need to be super considerate of D because I know how freaked out he gets knowing I am in any kind of pain and that as spectator he won't know what the pain feels like or if I can handle it. I was able to reassure him that everything was ok and that it was probably a false alarm and by the time we went to bed he was back to his calm self. I think I handled yesterday pretty well, I saved us a trip to L&D and was able to recognise that it was a false alarm. Looking back and thinking I could have been close to labour I felt pretty cool and was impressed at how I managed to stay calm. It was weird but I felt so excited at the prospect that it could have been the right moment! I always thought I would have been a nervous wreck instead I felt ready for whatever was to come and excited to get things started too. We know it's a waiting game..

September 20, 2010

Check-up update


I just got back from my 37 weeks check up and it all went really well. I got there early as usual but I was still able to register and then I was sent straight for my urine tests, which came back all clear and then I was asked if I wanted to see a doctor now. D was supposed to meet me there for 9.20 so I called him and told him not to bother as I was already going in. Saved him the long drive over.

I was seen by Dr. Chillaxed, he is the doctor that I was recommended to by my Miracle Doctor and I have only seen him once before. He is a Sudanese doctor in his 50s I would say and he is so laid back and relaxed that he really calms me down every time I see him. I have to say most of the doctors I see are all relaxed and so friendly. Anyway, he asked me about my birth plan and whether I had changed my mind and wanted a c-section and I said that unless it was medically needed I wouldn't want one. He asked me about the epidural as last time I said maybe I would want one and this time just to be sure, I said I defiantly want one. Why suffer through this when I can do it pain free, I am not looking for the "original birth experience" and I am not afraid to say it. My blood preassure is great, my weight has gone up by 2 pound in the last 2 months which is good, I knew my weight gain was going to slow down towards the end. I then heard the heart beating which was nice and strong and then the doctor felt my bump to see Izzy's position which is still head down. He checked my ankles for swelling but I have none and he said everything looks just great.He booked me in next week for an ultrasound to see how Miss Izzy is doing. I cannot wait to see her again but I bet we won't see much as she is going to be so squished up in there.

My parents arrive next Sunday for their month stay and I cannot wait to have them over. Part of me is a bit concerned about having them over for such a long time but then again I know I will feel more relaxed knowing they will be home with me during the day and D will also feel like there is less preassure on him too to be there in case I go into labour when he is at work. We shall see how the month goes... I am sure once Izzy gets here it's going to go by so fast! D and I keep thinking about when she will be born and he believes she will be born early October, I kept thinking she will be early but now I have a feeling she will be just on time. Time will tell!

Finally, last night I was in the garden watering the grass and as I looked up in the sky I saw a shooting star! I stood there gobsmacked as I hadn't seen one in such a long long time. I stood there trying to make the perfect wish and then I ran... well waddled, more like.. inside to tell D. I was so excited about it.. he said he must be a good sign!

September 19, 2010

Full term!!!!


We are officially 37 weeks along today and have reached that amazing milestone that signifies that everything is going to be ok. I cannot believe we are already here, when I look back it seems it was January a month ago and here we are almost in October! The idea that Izzy can be here any day is just beyond my poor pregnant brain and both D and I look at one another thinking this is just so incredible. Soon enough our lives will change forever, we are no longer going to be "just the two of us", we are going to be a family of 3! I get goosebumps just thinking of this amazing idea and cannot believe how blessed we are and have been to have come all the way here and be so close to meeting our little princess!

Given this special date I am want to do an update on how things are going now at 37 weeks! Tomorrow we have a check up at the hospital and I have a page of questions for the doctor this time, D is able to come along and I am so thankful for that.

Weight gained so far: no idea as I have not stepped on a scale since I was 33 weeks. My pregnancy clothes fit so I don't care really.

Stretch marks: still none on my belly but I have discovered some on my right upper thigh so I am now adding my miracle cream to it. I hear they will go away after so I am not too fussed.

Biggest change: my bump. It's huge and since last week it has dropped lower down. I love how it turns heads when I walk around.. it's my best and most precious asset! I love cuddling it, kissing it too (air kissing mainly.. I am not that flexible!!) and it's incredible to see Izzy's feet and elbows poking through when she is being super active which is often these days. I keep reading that babies slow down in terms of movement but not our baby girl, she keeps on kicking and turning like she has ton of room in there.

Major purchase/change in her nursery: nothing really we have everything we need now and her room is just waiting for her to come home! We have left the rocking chair downstairs in our living room for now but we will move it to her room once she is born.

Sleeping: still sleeping well despite waking up more often needing to pee a lot more. Tossing and turning has become a bit of a challenge but I am still managing.

Cravings: sweet things these days.. my hunger is back with the vengeance! The other night I woke up in the middle of the night and I was actually hungry. I have never once indulged that night hunger (not that it happens often) as I didn't want to make into a nightly thing but a few nights ago I really was tempted. I tend to crave ice-creams or cakes but the amount I eat is not any different than it would have been pre-pregnancy.

How is D doing: great! He cannot wait to meet his baby girl and see what she is going to be like. After having carried her with me for 9 months he is looking forward to some father-daughter time and I cannot wait to see them together. He loves going into her nursery looking into her cot bed and imagining her being there. He loves the room we have made for her and feels so proud of all the work he has put into it and how he was there choosing everything with me. He is on high labour alert and told me he keeps imagining running out of the office telling everyone I am in labour! Even though he has come up with the silliest songs for me to give birth to... one of them being "Big girls don't cry" (had me laughing so much!!)..I know he is going to be a great labour partner!!!

What I am looking forward to: the birth and meeting Isabella. I just cannot wait for that moment when labour starts and all gets going. Knowing that our baby girl could decide to be born any minute feels my life with happiness and anticipation!

What I miss: nothing at this moment. I have days when I miss the strenght of my body but as I have been lucky and can still do a lot of the things I want to do, I don't really miss it. Plus I know my body's strenght is going to come into play when I'll go into labour.


Best moments: feeling her strong movements, her kicks and bumps, seeing my belly move with her and knowing she is ok. Seeing her move like crazy whenever I talk to D on the phone or whenever he is the room and she hears his voice. It's incredible how much she loves hearing her daddy's voice!

September 16, 2010

Have I lost it?

Over the last week or so I have been especially needy, clingy and downright demanding. I don't know what's going on with me but I cannot shake these feelings. If D doesn't text or call during the day I get all annoyed and upset, if he is late from work I get in such a bad mood and start crying. It seems that his attention is never enough. Last night I was in "the mood" and I told him as much but instead of jumping to the fact I was up for it, he said he had to finish what he was doing. By the time he was done, about 15 minutes later, I was all upset and no longer in the mood. He came over and told me why I was upset and I blurted all these feelings out and the minute I did we both started laughing at how irrational and out of character I am behaving.

We have seen this happening to a lot of friends and we used to joke about this and now here I am in the same shoes as those irrational women! I really put it down to hormonal changes because last week I was my normal self and this week I am wreck. Last week I was still full of energy and could do everything I wanted to, this week I am more restricted in my activities and feel like I need to slow down a hell of a lot. I think this might have something to do with why I am feeling so "weird".

I haven't passed any more unusual looking discharges so I am thinking that the other day was a one off and unless I see anything happening in the next couple of days. I cannot wait for my appointment next week Monday to see how things are looking and where we stand. I heard a lot of women having internal exams to see how far along they are in terms dilation so I wonder if I'll also get one. I want to have a Group B strep exam done as I haven't had one yet and I will ask if they run NST at this stage. The doctor won't know what hit her/him!!

I have just taken my weekly belly shot and the contrast between last week and this week is huge! Izzy has grown so much in the last couple of weeks that if I hadn't taken the pictures I would never know!

September 15, 2010

Mucus plug or nothing?


Yesterday was a "not so hot day". We are going through a restructuring exercise at work and I have no idea if I will still have my job by the time I come back to work next year. My boss who has always helped me and supported me is worried about where he stands and the people at the top are too concerned about playing political games than actually getting on with the restructuring. I have been in the same situation since November of last year and unless things change things will still be like this by the time I am back at the end of January. So yesterday it was just negative info after negative info.


I was also super hungry, I mean REALLY hungry. I have not been this hungry since the beginning of my pregnancy where I would need a snack every hour or so.. I ate my usual snacks and meals combinations and still felt hungry within an hour of eating them. I started getting my usual back rib pain on the left and a headache just for good measures. We were supposed to meet friends at a comedy club but I was in no position to go so we cancelled.


*TMI alert*After dinner I went to the bathroom and I saw a little yellowish looking sticky thing on my pantyliner with one dot of blod in it. It looked a bit like the type of discharge you get before you ovulate but yellow and less mucus-like. I called D to have a look at it and then I googled away for some answers. I still don't know if this is part of my mucus plug or what but it's the first time I get discharge that looks different in 9 months so it could be something, right?

I have also noticed that Izzy has definitely moved down a bit as my belly touches my thighs when I am sitting down which did not last week and I am peeing a lot more these days even at night. I wake up around twice to three times a night/morning. I know that even if it's part of the mucus plug, we could still have a long way to go, but it's still exciting to know that things are moving along.


A friend of mine said that the last month feel like an overly stretched 2ww and she was spot on! I find myself looking for signs/symptoms that something might be happening and I over analyse everything just like I used to do during the 2ww. I am not anxious or apprehensive about it all and I am not in a hurry for it to happen yet, I just find this last part of pregnancy to be exciting and filled with anticipation in knowing that every day could be THE day!

September 14, 2010

Marathon runner

That's my brother for you. He started running around the same time his first daughter was born almost 4 years ago, ever since he has run the London Marathon and then last Sunday he ran the Nottingham Marathon after preparing for it in just 3 weeks. He is Superman!

If you think that two marathons in less than 3 years is enough you haven't met my brother. He is now talking about doing doing an event short of a triathlon where he will cycle as well as run! I admire his determination, endurance and he leaves me wondering where he gets all this energy from!!

September 13, 2010

Hot and cold

One minute I am fine the next I am not so great... I suppose this is what the last month of pregnancy is meant to feel like. If one moment I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to the next all I can do is drag my ass to the sofa before I pass out. Yesterday at work I had this dull pain in my lower abdomen that truly felt like BH/contractions. One minute my whole bump would be hard as a rock and then the pain would go and Izzy would move like crazy and on and on it went for about 2 hours. I walked around a lot but it would not go away. Finally by the time I went home it finally went and I was super energetic again. I did a lot of organising around the house and cooked dinner. Then D got home and went outside to finish trimming the hedges of the garden (which now looks so so good!) and I went outside to help collect the grass. I went back inside hang up the washing and by this stage I started feeling BH again. So I laid down and did nothing else for the evening until it was bed time! I suppose it's my body's way of telling me to take it easy and not push myself too hard.

My mom tells me to take it easy and not do too much but I feel like there is still so much to be done before they arrive and before Izzy arrives. Her room is as good as ready but I still want to do a few things before they get here on the 26th that otherwise I won't have time to do. I bought Izzy a few sleep suits that will fit her from 3-6 months just in case she is born big and we won't have anything at home (I know crazy but had to be done!) and so I washed all of them together with new bed sheet for the guest beds that I want to iron and prepare for when my parents get here so they have two sets to last them a while! I also want to organise D's dad single bed which is as good as ready apart from the bed sheets. Tonight is ironing night. I suppose once I am done with this I should be done but knowing me, I'll find something new to keep myself busy with!!

I got inspired by reading Mare's blog about how she joined a quilting class. It got me thinking about how I would love to quilt Isabella her own quilt to keep in years to come. I told D and he thinks it's a great idea. I think I will leave this until my mom gets here. We made this wonderful quilt when I was still at school as part of my final year project. We picked the material together and spent hours on end working on it so I think it would be amazing to do something similar for my daughter. D has even said he can help with the pattern and picking the material. All I know for sure it's that I'd like it to have her birthday on it and her name. For now I'll start thinking patterns and ideas...

Last night before bedtime D and I went into Izzy's room to test the new lamp in the dark and it looks great. It gives out just enough light not to wake her up and for us to be able to check in on her. We could spend hours in there just looking at it, all the hard work to get it ready has paid off and now we can just step inside and enjoy it. We just love the overall look and how it looks just the right amount of feminine. Sometimes we go up to the crib and look, almost expecting to see Izzy laying there waiting for us.... we have practiced with teddy bears so far but we cannot wait for the real deal!!! 27 days till my due date and 5 days to full term... our baby girl is coming home soon!!

September 12, 2010

36 weeks

I am 36 weeks today and officially in the 9th month!! I cannot believe it we are already here, time is just flying by at the moment. We are one week away from being "full term" so every day we are waiting to see if today is The day. I know it's still early but I have a feeling Izzy pie wants to be born soon. I feel her moving a lot these days and struggling to get into a comfy position. Yesterday and today have been non stop of activity in there. She tosses to one side then decides to move to the opposite and it's just non stop. I think it's because she is growing so fast now and the space in there must be close to none and as she is like mommy she cannot stay still but struggles to move as freely as before. Yesterday my belly looked like I had just eaten a huge peanut! Today it's a bit better but not by much. It's not uncomfortable but at times I feel like she is going to stretch her way out of there Alien style... Otherwise I am doing good. I do get some cramps here and there that feel like period pain but they go away if I change position or sit down for a while. I have started experiencing pain in the back of my thigh which after much googling I have discovered could be sciatica. It's only painful if I have been sitting down for too long.

We had a lovely long weekend which was much needed!! On Wednesday I went and did some major shopping for when my parents arrive in 2 weeks and for D's arrival on the 10th. I bought new sheets and house plants, tablecloths and other useful things for around the house. I also finished putting together Izzy's room in terms of her little side table, lamp and baby monitor! All is set for the big arrival!!
In the evening we met up with a friend of ours and we got home at 1am! This friend of ours F, got us this cute little pendant for Izzy which has her name in Arabic engraved in it. So so cute!



Thursday D was at home so we had a relaxing brunch then chilled out for the rest of the day, then we went out for dinner at this new Greek restaurant with friends! The food was amazing and the company was great! Friday we took it easy and yesterday D mowed the lawn and trimmed all the hedges in our garden which now looks so much better for it. Then we went out for dinner in this cute little place that does nothing but Hot Pot. I have never had it before but D has been going on about it for months so last night we finally went. It was great fun for such simple food. I love the concept and enjoyed my food so much!! You basically chose a type of soup base then you pick your ingredients and you make your own soup/Hot Pot. It's really a lot of fun and healthy too!

Now I am back at work for the next 2 weeks until my maternity leave kicks in and I cannot wait for it. I really don't want to go into labour at work...

September 7, 2010

holiday mood, cramps and massages

Today is my last working day until next Sunday and I am super happy! I would be happier if D's company would decide to announce his leave and be done with it too rather than keep us all waiting! We are not going anywhere but it would be nice to have some relaxing time together rather than me having days off now and D being off on Sunday... fingers crossed! Every public holiday has fallen either on a Friday or a Saturday so we have had no extra paid holidays this year which sucks especially as we have both being saving days for the BIG event! I have 31 days of leave and D has 26 which considering there are only 3 months left of the year it's an achievement! I start my maternity leave on the 26th of September and I cannot wait!!

Cramps wise after much Googling I believe it's Izzy's way of letting us know she is getting ready to be cuddled, kissed and loved beyond words by us. The pains I am getting are sharp stabbing pains down in my cervix, they come and go mainly when Izzy is moving or when I have been moving around too much and they always go away after I lay down or rest on my gym ball for a while. I have not gone back to the hospital because I know these are not contractions but probably BH. Yesterday I had more a dull kind of pain in my back and leg whilst I was out shopping. I sat down for 5 minutes got up and they went. I read these kind of pains are only gonna get more intense and frequent as the days near the BIG day so I just need to toughen up and watch out for when the real contractions start! We shall see if I will manage it...

Massages.. oh I used to think of massages as in the ones you do at a spa and where you leave feeling as if you are made out of jelly. Well nowadays massages have a different connotation for me. I am talking about Pernial Massages. Yes, I took the plunge and I have been doing them for the past 2 nights. I read it's best to start at 34/35 weeks and as I couldn't bring myself to start last week, this week I had to start. I was moaning about them to D and he said "after all we have been through to get here you are moaning about a massage.. come on you are better than that!" then the following night he said "if you want to tear go ahead and skip the massages" which worked for me! The same evening I went upstairs, got a mirror to familiarise myself with the whole thing and started. I have no idea if I am doing it properly but I am really trying to follow the instructions and at the end of the day it can only help right??

*****update*****

It worked, D has Thursday off!!! I wish he had tomorrow off as well but you cannot have everything so at least we are having a long weekend together!! Yaaay!!!

September 6, 2010

Ode to pregnancy

Last night D touched my belly and said how full and hard it feels and asked me if I have had it with pregnancy and wish Izzy could just be born already. My instinctive reaction was "no way". The fact of the matter is that I have and still am loving every minute of pregnancy, I know it has a lot to do with how hard we tried to get pregnant and what we had to do to get pregnant but part of it is just me loving every minute of this experience and feeling great too.

Before I got pregnant I would suffer from a bad sensitive stomach, strong headaches, painful periods, night sweats, moodiness and the list goes on and on. On top of these annoying physical signs I was never truly happy in my own body and felt that my body had let me down by not allowing me to get pregnant. I was depressed for a good 2 years during our quest of getting pregnant and no amount of love or distractions would make it all ok. Since January 25th all of this has changed. Even though I had minor problems at the beginning of my pregnancy, I have never felt better in my life in terms of my body and also emotionally. My headaches, the bad stomach, the night sweats all of it is gone. Of course I haven't had a period in almost 9 months which has been an improvement for me! My hair is luscious and I hardly need to wash it, my nails are super strong and never break, my skin is as soft baby skin. I love my new body, love my big round belly and the bigger boobs, I don't mind the fact that I have gained more than the advised amount because I know all is well with the baby and that's what counts.

Emotionally I feel in my element; I feel happy beyond words and whenever something gets me down I think of what's going on in my body and that puts a big smile back on my face. I also thank my body for reacting to pregnancy in such an amazing way. I thank it for not letting me down and apologise to it for not trusting it could do it. It seems strange but I feel like I owed it to her after all the crap I gave her! I find myself laughing a lot more than I used to and I have a different prospective on the small things that used to annoy me or get me down. I just see them for what they are and ignore them.

I am still amazed with what's going on within my body and thank God for granting me this amazing miracle of pregnancy. When we first TTC I always assumed pregnancy was something everyone got to experience unless they chose not to and boy, was I wrong. Infertility has thought me that for some of us it's not that simple. I feel extremely blessed with this gift and it's this knowledge that it could have easily gone the other way that has never left me throughout this pregnancy. It's the fact that so many other women are still struggling to get to where I am and some other never will get here that has never allowed me to focus on the small annoyances of pregnancy. When I tell people how blessed I feel they look at me as in to say that everyone who gets pregnant is blessed. I agree but I don't necessarily know if other non IF women know how truly blessed they are to be pregnant and that it's not a gift granted to all.

I have to say I will miss being pregnant, of course I will have my baby girl in my arms and I will feel a new sense of awesomeness but for now I intend to make the most of the remaining "pregnant" time I have left.

September 5, 2010

a good weekend

As the working week start again in the UAE (we work Sunday through to Thursday, then have Friday and Saturday off) I am left wanting more weekend as the one just gone was a blast! Thursday after work D went to ACE to get a new garden trimmer and then to Toys R Us to get a singing octopus for Izzy (it's super cute, colourful and it makes music!)

In the meantime I went to get my eyebrows threaded followed by a blow dry. I love going to this spa as everyone fusses over my belly and asks me 1001 questions about how I am feeling and how Isabella is doing. I have really started enjoying going since getting pregnant which is strange but D seems to think it's Izzy's influence on me.. I wonder if he is right and she is going to be a girly girl! HEHE

On Friday I woke up at 8 and could not fall back to sleep. I started reading and in no time I was crying my eyes out. Now this has NEVER happened to me before. I have cried watching movies or listening to songs but reading a book, never. Well on Friday morning I was a wreck! Thank God D was asleep and that I didn't wake him up! I am reading Jane Green's latest book called The Love Verb which is beautiful written but so sad... When D woke up at around 11 I told him I had been crying all morning and that I had wet the bed and his face went all white and he shifted position to look at me to see if I was serious and then I knew he understood it as if my waters broke!! He called me a silly cow... I know I deserved it!! lol

We went for brunch at a Belgian Cafe which was ok but the food selection was very limited so we were not too impressed. Then we went home and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon, I even managed to nap for 2 hours and then we got ready to go enjoy Iftar at friends house. Iftar is when Muslim people break their fast during Ramadan and it's normally a big meal delicious meal. We met at our friends' house ready to eat for 6.30/6.45pm. As usual our friends made enough food for an army but considering the majority of the people at the table were guys, it's understandable. My friend made me Musakhkhan (not to be mistake with the Greek Moussaka), which is a traditional Palestinian dish of chicken, onions and sumac spices baked in Arabic bread. I love this dish so much I could eat it every day and it's so simple to make too. After we all digested our meal we enjoyed some traditional arabic sweets and some sweets we brought along too including a yummy pistachio based strawberry tart! Yum Yum. After we left their place, D and I and another couple went to a nearby pub to try watch the Belgium V Germany match on tv but we had no luck. We ended up chatting away until midnight and only getting home for 1am.

Yesterday we had to take D's car back to the mechanic as his horn and lights were not working properly, hopefully he will get it back today. Late in the afternoon we headed to Dubai to look at table wear and a nightstand and night lamp for Izzy's room. We went into Crate & Barrell and found so many cute things and also a new set of everyday glasses, different vases and lots of other things. It's our new favourite home store!! We stopped at Pottery Barn Kids and found this amazing lamp base that turns on with a dimmed light if you touch it once, with a medium light if you touch it twice, with a brighter light if you touch it three times and it turns off if you touch it four times. Given we were looking for a nightlight this is just perfect, we liked the pink pleated shade in pink. We also got a mobile with sea creatures that plays " You are my sunshine". We found the nightstand to put the lamp on and underneath the baby monitor but as they didn't have it in stock we'll have to go back for this Tuesday.



After we were done shopping we went to meet up with a friend of ours who lives in Dubai and her new boyfriend. It was the first time we met him and we were really impressed with him. He did not fall into the typical guys she goes for and seemed to be genuine with us without trying to impress us. He makes her very happy and has been treating her like a queen so that has to be a good sign! She deserves to be happy and be with someone who respects her and treats her properly so we hope for her that he is the one! We shall wait and see but for now we are happy all around!

We made it home for bedtime... tired but happy with such a great weekend! Now the new started and the countdown continues... I am 35 weeks with 35 days to go!! I cannot believe Izzy is going to be here so soon, time is literally flying by now!!

September 2, 2010

All is good in the world again

Thanks ladies for your lovely messages and for "getting" where I was coming from. Reading your messages made me feel less like an hormonal crazy person! I have to say that after letting things cool down over the course of the day, we made up and now we are find again. It never takes D and I long to make up but I know we both need some time out before we get back to "normal". His dad can't change his tickets as he has work commitments so we will just have to hope that Izzy will be born within that week or before if not, then he will have to wait to meet her for Christmas. I am not going to over think this, I will just let it be and concentrate on the two most amazing people of my life..

The people from the baby store came by and delivered the cot bed as agreed, they were actually early but they waited for me to get home from work. The cot bed is stunning, even better than how we remembered it and it fits just perfectly in the nursery. The mattress is bigger than your average mattress which got me worried none of our fitted sheets would fit, but they did! I was almost in tears when I put the fitted sheet and it fit, what a relief! We also received the toy chest which looks just incredible and is so much bigger than what D and I remember. It'll fit all of Izzy's toys (whenever we get around to buying any that is..) and will keep her room nice and tidy... yeah right who am I kidding here??!? We arranged it all last night and we both didn't want to go sleep in our room, we wanted to sleep in her nursery.. it's so calming and relaxing. Here are a few pics of the almost finished room:







I have also been working on my ultimate Top 10 Pregnancy songs, I have added these to YouTube but I am 3 short! If you have any suggestions.. I'd love to hear them!!



September 1, 2010

Sod's law

It's so typical of me to say how everything is great and on schedule and then the very next day I got very painful stabbing pains deep down in my "lady area". I was fine all day at work, then I after work I went into town and I started to feel a bit of preassure as I was walking around the shops but nothing major. I waited for D and we went home together and I was fine but when we got home it started and boy do they hurt. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife down there. I held my breath and instinctively put my hand down there to "protect" my parts. I tried sitting down but they kept on coming and Izzy was moving like crazy too. Then I laid down and slowly slowly they went. I drunk lots of water then went to pee and it kind of hurt when I passed urine which is weird as it never happened before. I took it easy and eventually they went. They felt more intense then last time and they lasted longer too, we are still talking about a matter of seconds but they surely did hurt. We didn't go to the hospital as they eventually went and we would have gone if they had continued but as they didn't, I didn't see the point.

Today was meant to be a happy day. D got his beloved car back after waiting for 3 weeks for the mechanics to fix it and in the afternoon we are supposed to get our much awaited cot bed and toy chest. Well instead we got into an argument over D's dad visit in October. He is a very stubborn man who makes his plans and then you are supposed to change your entire schedule around him. So D tells me his dad sent his travel details and that he has already booked his flights. He has booked them so he will arrive at 2am on the 10th of October which is my due date and leave on the 16th at another crazy hour. I went nuts. It drives me nuts how he just makes his plans and does not consult D about any of it, then makes the decision to come on the 10th assuming Izzy is already born when we all know babies come when they want to come and his ticket isn't even flexible so that he can change it should things change. Also the idea of spending 6 days at home with him and my parents and for every day for him to tell Izzy to hurry up will drive me up the walls! I can talk to my parents and tell them off when they step out of line or get on my nerves but it's different with him. I told D I couldn't handle this.. he needs to change his tickets and actually book flexible ones so should things change he can make different arrangements. I swear this man has always made selfish decisions so I don't see why the fact that his first granddaughter is close to being born should change things. He probably expects her to be born when he says so just because that's how he is used to treating everyone around him, D and his family included.

D is taking care of it but in the meantime we had a huge fight and now I am upset and know that he is upset as he hate confronting his dad and now my cramps are back. What a mess of a day.. we hadn't had a fight since I got pregnant until today.. but surely enough I knew that if we had one, it would have been over something like this. I hate feeling like so upset and wound up especially whilst at work as I cannot hide my tears and people look at me as if I have lost my mind, not that I care! I am gonna listen to my meditation and try chillax myself and Izzy who seems to know things are not good and who is moving around like a crazy child! I must try do better for her sake.. I don't want to go into premature labour over something so stupid!! So here goes.. breath in... and slowly breath out..

August 31, 2010

A religious question

I know, I know... never bring up politics or religion unless you are looking for an argument, right? Well, I keep thinking about religion and whether to baptize Isabella or not. I do believe in God but I have never been a fan of organised religion. I am a catholic because I am Italian and most Italians are baptised Catholic at birth, I did all the sacraments required of a good Catholic child but my parents never forced made religion a big deal in our family. They have only started going to church a bit more in the last 3 years or so and even then they rather go pray in sanctuaries than churches. My brother who has also received all the catholic sacraments I have does not believe in the church either and has refused to go since the age of 16. I did attend for a while but got so disillusioned about the whole thing and now only go for Christmas mass as part of our family tradition than anything.

D was baptised Greek Orthodox as his mom was. His dad was Catholic but after D's mom passed away he converted to being Greek Orthodox too, I suppose grief makes you do things you would never consider otherwise. D doesn't attend Church either unless it's Easter and he happens to be in Greece.

Now that I have painted what our family is made up of in terms of religion, I ask myself, what should Isabella be? A Catholic like me, an Orthodox Greek like her daddy or neither and for her to decide later on in life? I hate the idea of choosing one over the other purely based on the fact of which one is less intrusive on her life or less demanding of her and us because that would mean I am making a decision thinking purely about my needs.

I remember thinking it was strange how my brother didn't baptised both of his daughters but now it makes more sense to me than baptising her one way or the other just because of family preassure or the need to conform to what society deems appropriate. I would also hate for her to say I am Catholic because my mom is or Orthodox because that's what my dad is and not knowing much about her religion at all. I don't see myself talking to her what it means to be a good catholic and if she were Greek Orthodox, I wouldn't know the first thing about it. I do see myself talking about the God I believe in and I pray to and as far as I know my God and the God D believes in, are the same.

There is also the added issue of who can be godparent when baptising in one church or the other? Could my mom be a godmother in the Orthodox Church even if she is Catholic? Could D's dad be a godparent in the Catholic Church if he is Orthodox? I already know that given we were not married in the Catholic Church we cannot have the baby baptised Catholic unless we swear to raise her up as such. I don't know, the more I read the more I am put off. When talking to a friend of mine and mentioning that being Orthodox is easier as you don't have as many sacraments as in the Catholic Church therefore less obligations than if she were Catholic, she mentioned that if that was the way we went about deciding things, we might as well not make the decision but leave it open for her to decide once once she grows up. I can see her point and the more I think of it, the more I agree with her.

D and I have spoken about this in passing but we have yet to sit down and actually make a decision on the matter. I know his family is more religious than mine and that they will push for her to be baptised Orthodox but I really don't feel that family preassure should be the deciding factor in something that would have such an impact on her life. As I have said, it's a tough one...

August 30, 2010

All is GREAT

I just got back from the u/s and doctor's check up and all is looking GREAT! I went ahead of D and as I wanted to avoid a repeat of last time where I had to wait to register for an hour! This time no one was around and I was too early to register so I had to wait until I was allowed to! Typical me, always arriving early! Anyway after I registered, did my typical urine test and paid, D got there and we went for the scan. The tech explained that she will take all the measurements and it will then be the doctor explaining the u/s results, she will show us the baby in 3D at the end. It was obvious that Izzy was head down from the first image we saw. Yup my little rebel is head down and ready to go and I could not believe it. All the bouncing and turning on my pregnancy ball are paying off, I will definitely keep that up. The tech said that Izzy was covering her face with both hands and so she couldn't get a clear picture for us. She tried to make me cough and turn on my side but nada, our baby girl was napping just like her dad with her hands on her face and didn't want to be disturbed! At one stage we even saw her giving us the biggest of smiles, it was so unbelievable to see her do that!

After the scan we were both so relieved and happy that all is looking great. D had to go back to work and I went to see the doctor to hear how it all went. The doctor I saw this time (I see whichever doctor is available from my team) was a lovely Indian lady who reassured me straight away that all is great with our baby girl. She weighs 2.423 kg (5.3pounds) and she is indeed head down. The fluid in there is just the right level and the umbilical cord is working as it should do. I asked her about her hiccups and she told me it's perfectly normal not to worry about it. I have to monitor the movements but not in terms of counting, just in terms of making sure there isn't a change in her normal activity and that she is still moving around. She told me that as everything is going so well we don't have to go back for another 3 weeks which is great, she did tell me to go back at any time if I notice anything out of the ordinary but otherwise we go back on the 20th of September (10 days before my due date!)

Here are the two pics we got of Izzy today, a friend of mine said she looks like D a lot, I told D and his reaction was: "Poor Izzy". LOL

August 29, 2010

Questions

Today we are 24 weeks and growing strong! Isabella is still happy kicking and moving around and all seems great. I know she is still not head down because I feel her moving and changing position often and also because her hiccups are sometimes low on the right, other times on the left and then sometimes near my belly button. I am doing well, still sleeping fine and managing to get up to use the bathroom only once per night (which makes me think there is no way she is head down!). I am not filled with energy but I am still doing pretty much everything I used to do, I do try to take it easy as much and I do sit on the pregnancy ball every night in the hope that it'll hep Izzy turn.

Tomorrow morning we have our scheduled u/s, followed by a doctor's visit and I cannot wait. I keep asking Izzy if she will be kind enough to let us see her lovely face but I guess she cannot guarantee what mood she will be in! LOL I told her daddy is taking time out from work just to be able to come see her so hopefully this will do the trick and she will not be hiding behind her legs again. I am not sure D will be able to stay for the check up as I know he is limited with time out of the office so we shall wait and see.

I am preparing a list of questions to ask the doctor tomorrow, most of the queries are related to the "what ifs" of Izzy's position. I am a planner so not knowing when or if she will turn is causing some uncertainty for me. I want to ask the doctor what his course of action will be in case she does not turn and when the decision will be made for a c-section or normal delivery. I have read enough bad stories of doctors trying to move the baby and this resulting in emergency c-sections for the baby as she gets entangled in the cord, so I am not for this kind of manoeuvre. I don't intend to put Izzy's life at risk for a "natural" delivery, I'd rather go for a c-section and knowing that she is safe.

I also want to ask the doctor if Izzy's recurrent hiccups are normal. She gets them up to 4 times a day and I just wonder if this is ok. I intend to ask the technician to check her neck to make sure her cord is not around her neck or anything, I have read about this being one of the causes for recurrent hiccups and I want to make sure they rule this out. I am sure the technicians are used to mothers over analysing everything!

In other weekend news, we went to IKEA yesterday and got some super cool things for the nursery. We bought a nursing chair to put in the nursery which can rock slightly, we still need to assemble it but we are sure it's going to look so cute in there and D reassured me it's the perfect buy as it's not too expensive and most importantly it's practical.
We also bought a little red table for Izzy's room and two white chairs. We know she won't use them now but we have my nieces coming to stay with us over Christmas and we are sure it's going to come in handy. We stopped at Baby Gap and D picked out a few items including the cutest little overalls and a little top to go with it (the pink and purple leggins are my choice!). We bought the 3-6 months size as she has enough clothes for now plus my mom and dad went on a shopping spree for Isabella and are bring loads of outfits from Italy for her. My mom is also knitting some cute special outfits just for her that I cannot wait to see. She told me that she came across a few items I used to wear as a baby and that she will bring them along so Izzy can wear mommy's clothes already!! So cute!!

August 26, 2010

Looking back

I have just spent the last hour reading posts from the beginning of my 2nd cycle and I am now sitting here in tears. I need to get my act together as I am in the office! Reading back I cannot believe how blessed we are for our prayers and wishes to be answered. My last post of 2009 said that there was only one thing we wanted: to be blessed with a baby in 2010 and here we are in August with a baby who is almost ready to make her appearance. I looked at that first super faint BFP at 4 days after the transfer and actually got goose pumps, now that's crazy! How can a cheap Internet pregnancy stick give you such a buzz 8 months later?? Well it still does. That first super faint second line of two years of trying! It was so faint that it was there one minute and gone the next. I remember texting it to D at work and he could see it too.. I was not imagining things!

I think back at how that 2nd cycle started and how it continued, it had doomed all over it. I remember all the injections hurting, bleeding and bruising, the agony I was in during and after my ER when I woke up in the middle of it and they had to knock me out with more drugs, D telling me how much worst it was as she couldn't access the right ovary as easily, he said that's one thing he will never forget. I remember how we were told that none of the other 6 embryos made it to freezing and how lucky we felt knowing that we had 2 amazing looking blasts to implant. Despite all the odds being against us, here we are 45 days away from welcoming our baby girl into the world. Life surely is incredible.

You would think that after 8 months of pregnancy the feeling of being blessed would kind of go away and I would spend more time on the here and now but there isn't a day that goes by that D and I don't say how lucky we are to be where we are now. We both know how things could have easily turned the other way and how we would still be trying IVF, hoping for a miracle. There are still days when I wake up thinking it has all been a dream and I touch my belly wanting to feel its roundness and when I feel it I am able to breath again. People tell me if Izzy's night kicks keep me up or bother me, the truth is they never do. Her kicks are soothing for me, I fall asleep more easily knowing she is active in there because it means all is well. When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it's her movements that lull me back to sleep. People (that don't know me very well!) ask me if I am now tired of being pregnant and my answer is always No way! How can you be tired of something you have been praying and hoping for so long? How can I have enough when I know this might be the only time I'll ever experience pregnancy?? I count down to meeting Izzy because she is what it's all about, but in the meantime I am cherishing every moment of this amazing journey we have been on for the last 8 months and looking forward to the last month with excitment and anticipation!

Life surely is GREAT!

August 24, 2010

Happy news


It's raining BFPs for my IF girls and I am so happy for them!!

I am just so thrilled that so many of the IF girls I have been praying for are now pregnant. Some of these women have been waiting for such a long time and have been through such hard times but their time has come to finally relax and enjoy this new amazing journey!! Some had experienced late pregnancy losses followed by endless IVF cycles, others TTC naturally and it just never worked until they tried IUIs and it worked. All of them have one thing in common, they are real life superwomen! I am so in awe of their strenght and determination and know with 100% surety that their babies are going to be so loved and feel so wanted.

Just at the weekend I got an email from a cycle buddy of mine from last September and the December and she is now 16 weeks pregnant. Life can truly be amazing when you least expect it. She had previously lost her baby at 5 months along due to CF and she has been doing IVF cycles with PGD ever since . Their embryos never did well after the PGD testing and so for this latest cycle the did IVF and left the tests for after the cycle. Well it worked and she is now pregnant with a healthy baby girl!! Her sheer determination of not giving up and continuing on this journey is what got her here. Saying I am happy for her does not convey how I feel.

Another dear friend got pregnant and lost her baby early in her pregnancy. She gave herself a break and then started to TTC again but it just was not working for her. Month after month she hoped it would work. She then started IUIs and was even considering moving on to IVF when her last IUI cycle worked and she is now pregnant! Life can delivery you the biggest most amazing news when you least expect it.

There are still so many girls I am praying for, women who are mothers before having given birth. If life was simple they would be the one getting pregnant whilst not trying or on the pill, not teenage girls! But life is never that simple... I keep you girls in my prayers and one day, soon enough, I hope to be posting about your GREAT news until then... remember "never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do".

August 23, 2010

33 weeks and 1 day update



I have been meaning to post an update and today seems like the perfect day for it.

Weight gained so far: 16kg which means that my weight gain has finally slowed down. At the rate at which I was going I was going to be huge come October but this is more like it. People that haven't seen me in a while keep telling me how all the weight is just on my belly... I am sure they are being kind.. my boobs are huge and my ass/thighs is the size of Brazil! But bring it on I say, I have a lifetime to lose it and go back to my old self, for now I have more important priorities to consider

Stretch marks: still not on my bump but I have seen them appear on my bum.. so now I started putting my miracle cream on my now very pampered derriere

Biggest change: my bump is getting so big these days and Isabella's movement continues to amaze me. I read that the movement is meant to slow down now but it has not for our little baby girl. She seems happy to move and toss and turn a lot and despite our best efforts to keep reminding her to be head down she flips around a lot. I can tell as our princess gets the hiccups a lot these days, and on an average day she gets it an average of 4 times, mainly after meals. So whether sometimes I feel her down below others I feel above my belly button. We shall see what the doctor tells us next week after our ultrasound (cannot wait for that

Major purchase/change in her nursery: well everything is coming together so well, yesterday we had the maintenance team come and install her sun lampshade. I put it together myself, whilst cussing out loud for choosing such a difficult lampshade but in the end it looks so so cute and it gives out this warm light that just looks right! I'll take some pics and post them on here. We are waiting for the cot bed and toys chest to arrive next week and cannot wait to finally have everything we need in the nursery. We are still planning on getting a cheap nursing chair from Ikea. It's D's idea and I have to agree it makes sense, we just don't want to spend a fortune on it so we shall see which one we get

Sleeping: I have to admit that after the first rough patch at the beginning of the month now I am sleeping so well. I still get up up to three times to use the bathroom but I am sleeping well and feel rested when I wake up. I give all the credit to my trusted body pillow.

Cravings: still none but when I told D that I like to eat sandwiches with hummus, tomatoes and cheese (that I make myself at my desk at work!) he thought that was a strange one. I am also not a fan of meat these days and stick with eating beans instead for the protein.

How is D doing: he cannot wait to see Izzy and get to have some Izzy and daddy time which I totally get as I have had 8 months and counting with mommy and Isabella's time and he needs to catch up. He wonders if she will recognise his voice and I keep reassuring him that of course she will! She will know straight away he is the one who has been showering her with kisses and hugs!! He is super proud of the fact that he was there painting and decorating her room with me and that every decision we have made on it has been a joint decision. Tonight we are going to look for some toys for Izzy as we haven't gotten an really apart from her play gym

What I am looking forward to: next week! We have the doctor's appointment on Monday and u/s, hopefully given the u/s is at 9.40 D can make it too at least just for the u/s part!! Then the baby shop we ordered the cot from said they will deliver it next week so that's going to be super exciting

What I miss: still our sex life.. I am now into that kind of mood where I have scared myself that having sex could harm the baby. I read on What to expect that it's advisable to have protected sex in the last weeks of pregnancy to avoid possible infections as one might be dilated already without knowing it. This didn't help! I will ask my doctor next week what he makes out of this.

Best moments: Isabella's reassuring kicks and movements and D's love and cuddles. There isn't one day that goes by that he doesn't tell me how beautiful I am pregnant and it surely makes me feel all loved up and sexy even now at 33 weeks pregnant!!