March 30, 2010

Registering our unborn baby at a!!

D and I have had the dreaded "Money, Money, Money" talk that our respective pregnancy books advise we have about now. We have been together for 10 years and in these 10 years we have been homeless on one occasion, whilst still at uni, we have had to sell jewellery and life off coupons and vouchers for months on end (also whilst students and just out of college). For the last 5 years or so we have been doing progressively well. We had a few instances where one of us was unemployed but for the majority of time we have had it easy. We now have a good saving account, we drive two good and "expensive" cars (one of which is 100% paid for), we live in a big house and we give extravagant gifts to our friends and family. If we want something we just get it but we are also smart in saving and not overdoing it. We have also had the experience of not having any food in the house and not being able to get on a bus because we could not afford it for months on end so we know not to be stupid with our money.

Now that baby is coming along we need to be extra careful with how we spend our cash. We know that if we are careful now and don't get too carried away we will be able to provide a better future for our little one. We discussed the possibility of me quitting my job and discarded as a non option because my company pays well and has a lot more benefits (schooling and annual flights back home and better medical care) than D's company and also because we just moved into a more expensive house and with a baby coming we are only going to spend more not less. So me being a stay at home mom is out of the window unless I am made redundant in which case my severance package will be enough to keep us going until baby is about 3 months old. So the options are to either hire a nanny or send the baby to nursery. We are really not comfortable with a live in nanny and unfortunately in this country the idea of part time nannies is not an option. We would really hate the idea of a stranger living with us, coming out with us and eating with us and I really would hate to share my privacy with a stranger. So that option is out of the question. Next option is nursery.
So I spent all week looking for nurseries close by my office and then I realised that all of them don't take babies younger than 12 months. So then I started looking into the city close to where D's office is and I found a few but again the age limit did not work. I then stumbled upon a website for local mommies and found that, like I suspected there are only a couple of nurseries that cater for babies. I emailed one and got a reply that shocked me. Apparently their waiting list is closed for Sep 2010 and to contact them again in the future to see if a place frees up. I got hot sweats thinking we had already missed the "nursery train wagon"!! We should have registered when we started to TTC two years ago and maybe then we would have had a place!!! I am serious.. it's that bad! So then I called another nursery with a cute name that by coincidence is really close by to our old apartment. The lady was super friendly and complimented me on being so organised and she added that if I had left it an extra month we wouldn't even have that place!! So I gave my name and they reserved the place as "baby Laura"!!
Sunday I will go and pay the registration fee so that at least the place is secured for Jan/Feb 2011. It feels so bizarre to go register for a baby who is 12 weeks old and still in my womb!! I will also go open a file at the state run maternity hospital that has a great reputation and an amazing NICU unit. My doctor told me that if Peanut comes early I will go deliver there as it's best catered for Neonatal care. If all goes well then I go deliver at the private hospital where my miracle doctor will deliver our miracle baby!! Either way if I am registered at the state run hospital I have options.
After all of this I really do feel like a mama!!

March 29, 2010

Need to rethink baby boys' names

So first we had issue with the perfect girl's name and now we found Isabella which we love and hope she will love too. Now the issue comes with boys names. We were set on Gabriel all these years but now that we thought about it and did some research we are not so sure anymore. We looked up the name on Babynamesworld and we realised that if we call him that he might be subjected to name bullying. It never occurred to us until we saw it and now we feel like we need to come up with a different name. But what name? It has to be a name that is easily pronounced in all of our 4 languages (Italian, Greek, Dutch and English) and that is not an easy task! I feel like we are starting from zero again and that our baby will be called Peanut in the end!!! LOL

The alternative names we liked were Michael and Dominic but now we are not so sure about these two either! Oh what a mess!! A friend at work has nicknamed the baby Alberto from the day I told her I was pregnant but I don't like the name and won't easily translate and people will end up calling him Al! I always thought I was lucky to be called Laura as it's so simple and easily translatable and I have never been bullied because of it.. that was until last night when I told D about it and it said: "weren't you ever called Laura the whor-A"!!!LOL So there my name can be made into an insult too!! Which maybe it supposed to tell me that there is no "safe" name!

March 28, 2010

12 weeks pregnant!!!!

Today we are 12 weeks pregnant. It is the week we have been looking forward to the most, the week of, dare I say it,"safety". Well, now we are here and it feels GREAT. Knowing that the chances of a "M" are a lot less than 10 weeks ago, reassure me and I hope the bad dreams will slowly stop. Our baby is the size of a Plum. Funnily enough I brought a plum with me for lunch today... and knowing how baby is as big as that it's incredible!! He will develop reflexes this week and if I press on my belly he will move to avoid it. He will also be able to make sucking noises and curl his toes. He will start moving his eyes from side to side. How very amazing is this week!!

I keep seeing pictures of women during their 12 weeks and they have a bump, a small one but nonetheless a baby bump. Mine seems to be gone. I went to see a friend yesterday who I haven't seen since I before the pregnancy and I wanted to show her how different I look now. Well the bump was not there. I have a retroverted uterus and the baby is on the left side below my belly button. I know this because at every u/s that's where he is and my left side is always more bloated than the right side. I wonder if this is why I am not showing yet or whether it's normal that I am not showing yet. The doctor reassures me that the uterus will flip all by itself at around 20 weeks or before unless there are any adhesion that have contributed to the uterus being retrovered. I really hope this is not the case and that my uterus will give in to the baby weight and flip naturally.
Last Thursday after work I went food shopping and then made my way home. I got home and was looking for my house keys and they were gone and I mean gone gone. I emptied my bag and nothing. I called D and told him I was locked out as I lost my house keys. He could not believe it. I am normally one of those people who never lose house keys or forget things. Well that was until I got pregnant. This is the new me. I leave the house without my wedding/engagement ring, I lost my fertility necklace and now my house keys. It's a brand new me and poor D knows about it! Well today I was determined to call around all the places I went to on Thursday to see if I could find the keys. I called the supermarket last and they have them!! I was so pleased to know that they are no lost and that I am not a complete airhead!! Victory for my memory!!
Today I also got my much awaited Spoiled Mama box of goodies!!! It is all wrapped up so well that I don't want to open it in the office but wait until I can enjoy every minute!! It looks delicious and yummy and my tummy cannot wait to be all Spoiled up!!

March 25, 2010

NT scan & we think we might know the gender.. beautiful day!!

We went for our NT scan today. I have been worried about it for a while even though I knew it was a routine test and that we had nothing to worry about. The doctor said that in this test they want the baby to cooperate and turn to the side so that they can measure behind his head. She said if I normally do as I am told or if I am head strong. D laughed out loud!!LOL I am a stubborn and I always know best! D is the one that listens to advice and is more open minded. So the doctor told us that this one test will give us an insight into what our baby will be like personality wise. LOL

Once we were ready Peanut appeared on the screen and he looked so big compared to a week ago, he is now 5 cm, last week he was 3 cm!! He was moving about and we were able to see his little hands moving and feet kicking. At one stage he looked like he was waiving at us and was bringing his hand to his face. It was incredible!! It was the most beautiful sight in the world. Then the doctor moved the wand about to try get a good picture of peanut's profile and in no time she got a really good picture. She said he was definitely like his daddy!!LOL She measured the part behind his neck and all looks great. She then saw his nose and his long spine and all looks as it should be. She was so happy that she did not advise us to do the blood test as I am 29 and all looks so great. We both felt so relieved that our little Peanut is healthy and strong.

Now the fun part..Dr.S got a good view of his "bits" and she confirmed what she thought she saw last week... we are having a BOY!!! She moved the wand about and pointed to something and said that she saw it from all views and therefore she believes it's not the umbilical cord or his leg/foot. We wait and see but we trust her knowledge in this matter and so far we are getting excited at the thought of having a little boy.. our Gabriel! We would have been as happy with a girl, as long as our Peanut is healthy and happy that's all that counts!!!

March 23, 2010

One good doctor and one bad one..

I have always suffered from eczema. When I was a child I used to get an allergic reaction every summer and my feet would break out in little bumps that would each.. I am sensitive to heat, cold, certain types of foods, most cleaning products and on an on the list goes. I can live with it by being careful and taking precautions. Before getting pregnant I used to use a cortisone based lotion that used to help with the itchiness and redness. Even before getting pregnant I stopped using it, just in case I was pregnant.

My issue is that since becoming pregnant the eczema has become so bad that it wakes me up at night. It's concentrated mainly on my right fingers and two of my left fingers too. It all started when I was about 2 days pregnant (I am not joking here!) I was making a Frittata (an Italian version of an omelet) and I touched the egg shells with my hands to out them in the bin. The next morning my fingers looked like they were the fingers of a monster. They were itching like crazy and filled with little red pimples. I could not even bend my fingers. The itchiness lasted one day and then as it came it went. I didn 't put any creams on them just Vaseline and that helped. Then I discovered Aveeno hand cream and read up on it and it's safe for mama and Peanut I started using it. I apply it every day twice a day and it helps. On good days the eczema is gone and my hands look normal on bad days, the days in which I have eaten eggs or strawberries or used too much soap at work, my hands are a complete horror to look at and they itch like crazy!! I made an appointment with a dermatologist to see if he could recommend any safe creams for me to apply.

Well today I went and he prescribed two products which are safe and one which I will never use as long as I am pregnant. Seriously what is this guy taking me for, a moron! He prescribed me a Potent corticosteroid cream that should not be used during pregnancy. I asked him and made sure to him during my visit that I don't want to used any creams that might effect the chances of my baby having any birth defects because of them and here he goes prescribing me this cream and telling me it's safe for mama and baby! I am not impressed!! I will take the cream my RE on Thursday and show her but no matter what she says I will not take this cream I would rather keep the eczema than put by baby's life at risk like this. I will use the other cream and the fragrance free, preservative free soap but not anything else! So instead of feeling more relaxed about the whole situation I am not any wiser...! What a useless and scary exercise that was!!!

In other medical news I went to see the neurologist and he told me that my "visions" are normal. Basically instead of getting the bad migraines I was getting before the pregnancy, I am now getting the symptoms of them without the pain. He told me that in some pregnancies the head pain goes away but the symptoms are enhanced by the pregnancy hormones, hence the vision. He said he cannot give me anything for them and cannot do a MRI as I am pregnant and number one priority is the safety of the baby. I like this doctor already! He said not to panic when I get them and to try breath and relax. I felt much better after seeing him.
We are counting down till Thursday, we get to see Peanut again and we get to do the NT scan and blood test. Cannot wait to see our little dancer again!!

March 21, 2010

Confessions of an 11 weeks along mama...

I am 11 weeks pregnant today and this is how I have been feeling lately...

  1. The closer we get to being 12 weeks the better and more relaxed I feel. I haven't had a bad (miscarriage related) dream in a while and the nausea is slowly going away.
  2. I am still capable of falling asleep at 8 pm and sleep through to 12pm the next day!
  3. I am still hungry most of the time but I can control and deal with it in a more proactive way than before without letting it get too unbearable.
  4. My trousers are getting tighter around the waist and I am getting the beginning of a baby bump (I think).
  5. My boobs are continuing to grow and I am now one cup bigger than before... yaay for that!
  6. My hand eczema is still very much a bother and showering and washing is a tough job as the worst area is my effected area is my right hand. I am going to see a dermatologist today to see if I can use any safe creams for the eczema but of course I will not use any creams until a) I have checked them out with my RE and b) I have Googled the crap out of them to be extra safe!!
  7. I haven't had any more eye incidents and touch wood I won't have them anymore! I am going to see the neurologist in a few hours to confirm all is well.
  8. We are having sex again. The doctor never told us to stop having sex but to have "very gentle and superficial sex".. whatever that means!! We didn't want to risk it so we waited until a week ago to start again.. by that stage we both could not wait any longer!! I think the more we do it the less freaky it's going to feel and the more we are going to enjoy it!
  9. I am growing fine hair on my belly... it's mainly in the area directly below and above my belly button. Sometimes it grosses me out and I have renamed myself Bigfoot!! After much Googling I read it's pretty normal for some to have more hair. It's still gross but I still would not do anything about it. Some women shave other wax but I will leave it as I read it goes away after you deliver. I am a hairless kind of person who never needed to shave my legs more than once a week and now my hair is growing so fast that I need to shave every 2 days!! As I have said... Bigfoot.
  10. I am a bit worried about doing the NT scan and blood test on Thursday and I am sure I will be a wreck until I see Peanut.. then all will be good with the world again.
  11. I am not sure about the names we chose for the baby and I keep changing my mind.
  12. I am walking around with the biggest grins in the world and I am capable of talking about pregnancy and what a blessing it is for us to be pregnant to anyone who is willing to listen.
  13. I have allowed myself to become attached to Peanut from the moment he/she was transferred into my uterus. I speak to Peanut as if he/she can understand and I tell Peanut of how much we wanted to have him/her in our lives and how much he is loved.
  14. D got me a cleaning lady and I am so thankful that he convinced me to have her come clean the house. It's the best present ever! She comes in every Friday and so our house is clean for the rest of the week.
  15. I cry a lot these days... about anything and everything.
  16. I love D so much. I love the fact that he loves my changing body and that he keeps telling that I am a sexy and beautiful mama. I love the fact that he tells me off for doing too much. I love the fact that he sees when I am tired and does not pushes me to do things I don't want to do. I love him because he is already the best dad in the world and he doesn't even know it yet! (started to cry so I will stop.. but the list goes on...)

So this is me at 11 weeks... in love with D and Peanut and generally so happy I could burst!!!

March 18, 2010

Peanut's got a song and mama got spoiled!

The other day, well before seeing our little active, D and I were in the car and the song "Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty" came on. D immediately said that this was Peanut's song and I liked the idea of Peanut dancing to this music and shaking his/her booty. Well today I was driving into work and they played it. I put on loud and could not help but imagine our little baby dancing to it!!! LOL

My quest for pregnancy friendly body products continues. I have searched high and low on the net for pregnancy safe products and what I found is that a lot of companies are coming up every day with pregnancy products which claim to be safe but which, after a lot of careful research, end up being loaded with chemicals. Well ladies and gentlemen the search seems to be over, I seem to have a winner. I have stumbled across The Spoiled Mama website whilst doing one of my google searches yesterday. I immediately went to their website and it all seems to be true. Their product are natural and organic enough to eat and "they are free from Parabens, Phthalates, Synthetic Fragrances, Harsh Surfactants, Artificial Colors, and Petroleum Derivatives". Now I have read this sort of claims before and then after more investigation it turned out to be false.. well, NOT with this company. This company, based out of San Francisco, seem to be the real deal. All you need to do is look at the list of ingredients in some of their Pregnancy Collection to realise that there are no chemicals amongst them. Then I researched the herbs used in them and all of them seem to be safe. I would not drink teas as I am afraid of teas. The only one I drink is Peppermint tea one in a blue moon after a heavy meal. So.. I did what the name of the company encourages you to do... Spoiled myself!!! The other great thing about this company is that they deliver everywhere in the world (it's hard to find companies willing to deliver to the UAE!). I know some people might look at the prices of some of the products and think they are too expensive and I would generally never pay this much on body products but when you think of the safety element for you and your baby and if you are like me and suffer from problematic and sensitive skin... then go ahead and spoil yourself too! I will review the products when they arrive.. I cannot wait for the day! Now I need to go fess up to D on how much his lovely wife has spent on skin care products.. thank God I have a good job..... Ouch!!!

March 17, 2010

We have one active baby in there!!!

Today's ultrasound was the best so far.. well I always say that, don't I?? Anyway, it was incredible...!! Peanut was not moving at first, the doctor said that he/she must have been asleep but then after a minute or so there he/she was moving his arms and legs and doing flips! It was amazing to watch! We expected Peanut to move an arm or a leg or something but to see him/her doing flips and hiding from the "camera" (just like his/her daddy) that was just amazing. D and I were both laughing so much because we could not believe our eyes!! D asked me if I felt the baby moving and I have not yet, the doctor said it's too early. She measured him/her even though it was not easy with Peanut moving around so much (just like me... I never stay still!). The good news is that he measuring a week ahead of schedule, he has done a lot of growing in the last week or so. What an amazing change. D wanted the doctor to take a picture of the baby with his arms and legs but the doctor could not as he kept moving around so we got one with his legs and one with his arms. LOL The doctor actually got D to hold the button that takes pics so that he could take the shots he wanted! LOL He got a pretty cool pic of Peanut's bending his leg!! That was so sweet of her! Love our miracle doctor!! The great part of today was that everything looks good and that the other doctor that was in the room saw the beginning of the nasal bone which is good news too. We got to spend a good 10 minutes looking at Peanut which was more than we could have asked for and we got 4 pics of the baby too! We then got back to our doc's office and I asked when we would find out the sex and she said that according to what she saw today she thinks we are having a boy. Then again she said it's early days so she cannot be sure but we will be finding out soon enough. Wow! That's amazing, I thought we would have a lot longer to wait! Now we are all set for the NT scan next Thursday. We left the office with the biggest of smiles!!!

Last night we agreed that if all looked ok today we would announce our pregnancy on FB. I have been more hesitant than D but I knew how much he wanted to scream it from the rooftops and he has been so patient that it felt right. So we coordinated it and we posted this message: "Blue or Pink, what will it be? We'll just have to wait until October to see!" and then we changed our profile pics and of course we picked the same pic!! I felt so strange doing this big announcement thing because all these years these announcements got me down.. so I hope I have not hurt anyone in the process. I was finally be able to tell the group who did IVF with me in Jan that it worked.. I felt so guilty going MIA on them for this long but I could not tell them. Life is surely filled with surprises and this little one is the best I have ever dreamed of.....

March 16, 2010

My belly is becoming a bump!!!

I thought I had a bump at 6 weeks, then it went away. Then I thought I had one at 8 weeks and it went away. Now that I am 10 weeks and 2 days I think it's here to stay. I wake up and it's there already.. it's not a belly full of food.. it's Peanut growing inside of me belly. Yesterday morning I put on a pair of high waisted pair of work trousers and to my surprise the zipper would not even come up! I thought, I would just put my magic band over it but it all felt too snug for my likings. I swear I could fit into them last week. The good thing is that I did buy some comfy baggy pregnancy trousers last weekend, so today I put them on and wow the comfort is amazing. I can sit and they don't cut into my belly. It's as if I don't have anything on. Maternity trousers rock!!
I got a call from my clinic and my doctor cannot see us Thursday so we go see her tomorrow instead. This is super happy news for us. We get to see our Peanut a day earlier!! I wonder if we will see the baby moving about this time or whether we will get to hear his/her heart beating for the first time. I am so super excited!!! D was reading up and he told me that Peanut has hair and fingernails growing this week. How amazing is that?? I keep looking at my belly to see if I'll be able to see some any movement but of course it's too early for that. There is one thing for sure, I am loving all of these changes and updates and seeing our baby developing from an embryo to a baby!! Life sure is amazing!

March 14, 2010

The long version of our story....

D and I have been together since 2000 and married since 2008. We waited this long to get married because we wanted a big party and we wanted to pay for it ourselves so we waited until we could and then life got in the way of things and we ended up having a small ceremony with 13 people instead. Like many people have said in movies "i want marriage not a wedding" and thank God my wish is true to this day. I am the luckiest girl alive to have found my soul mate so even if our wedding was not what we had planned the most important thing is that we are in love and happy.

D wanted babies before I did, I am the rational one and I figured if we cannot afford them how can we have them. So we waited and in Jan 2008 we started getting ready and TTC. The agony of trying month after month and nothing happening was heartbreaking. We tried everything people would suggest, from getting drunk to just relax to taking my temperature every morning for months on end. We both started every month with hope and dreams of a baby born 9 months later and at the end of each month we were in tears. It was really tough on our relationship too. Sex became something we did on a schedule and it hurt us. It took us a holiday 1000s of miles from home in Cape Cod for us to break down and "get real". We could not go on like this. We decided to take a break from TTC until March and see how things went and then in March we would go see a RE. By the time March rolled around I felt broken. I didn't know why we could not get pregnant and I blamed myself for it not working... well the blame was about to go to another level!
After many blood tests, sperm samples and a really painful HSG later we discovered that one of my tubes is closed and the other is damaged, that D has a good quantity of spermies but that they are a bit on the slow side due to his thyroid condition but nothing that requires intervention. The problem was me. Of course we were not getting pregnant... my tubes are blocked. We don't know why they are blocked or what caused it but she suspects endometrosis but I refused to do any operations. Our only option was IVF. It took us a long long time to get used to the idea. I have always been the type of person that advocated adoption and here I was considering IVF. I felt like a traitor. We talked about it and talked about it and decided to try it and see if it worked. We currently live in a country which does not allow adoption so we would have had to move to even consider it so that made considering IVF easier. Before our first IVF cycle she sent me for the usual Day 3 blood work and u/s. The results that came back were shocking. My FSH was too high for someone my age. So she sent me for a AMH test to see how my ovarian reserve looked like and it looked "poor/diminishing". How could this be??? I was 28 years old at the time!! How could this be happening to us??? I hated my body. Hated the fact that it was letting me down and at the same time I blamed myself for what was happening. I kept saying to D that if he had found someone else he would have had kids by now... it was a hard fact to accept for me. D of course was super supportive and was there to always make me feel like we were in this together and that he didn't want anyone else but me.
Our RE told us that given the numbers it'd better if we moved fast with IVF as we don't know how many chances of getting pregnant we really have. We did IVF in September 2009. We had to go for the super strong 6 vials a day of Menopur a day Microdose Flare Protocol. The whole cycle went like a dream. D learned how to do al of the injections and even if they were IMs he did so well. The ER went smoothly and we got 11 eggs. We transferred two beautiful looking 3 day old embryos. 12 days later we went for the beta and the news that it did not work literally broke our hearts. I went from being so sad about it to being angry at my body that failed me so miserably yet again. I left all the support groups I joined during the last year as I needed some time to think things over. D was also devastated as he was more hopeful than I was and was really shocked it did not work. The thought of never having our own children started to become a real possibility.
We waited a month or so then went to speak to the doctor who was as surprised as we were that it did not work. She yet again mentioned doing a laparoscopy to see if there are any blockages that could have prevented the embryos from implanting. The idea that, on top of all that is already "wrong" with me, there might yet another issue scared us. We thought long and hard and decided to refuse an operation. The options left to us we doing a FET or a fresh IVF cycle. Given we had 4 frozen babies (2 of which were of a good quality and 2 of which possibly wouldn't make it) and given the fact that my ovarian reserve is diminishing we decided to do "save" those embryos and do another fresh cycle in January 2010. New year, new start. We spent the last few months of 2009 wishing it away and hoping and dreaming that 2010 would bring us our baby.

Cycle number 2 went wrong from the beginning. The injections hurt more and I was bleeding and bruising like crazy. I was not responding well to the meds so my RE had to increase the dosage. When it came to the ER I remembered from last time that it was not painful and that I would have heard all sort of funny stories afterwards. Of course this time around it all went wrong. My left ovary was hidden away so she had to go through my cervix (this is was D told me afterwards) and at around this stage I started coming around and I told everyone that I was waking up. They immediately gave me another set of drugs and as a result I was out for 2 hours after the ER. I remember waiting for D in the waiting room and drooling on myself. They retrieved 10 eggs. We didn't get to see my eggs meeting D's swimmers this time but the nurses told me they would record it for me. D thought that was a good omen. This time we insisted on a 5 day transfer. By the 5th day we went back for the ET and we had 2 super start blasts that we decided to put back. This time the ET was less magical than the first time but the fact that we saw the blasts going inside my uterus made it a good omen for me. I also got a removable tattoo with a Good Luck charm on my belly... maybe that's what did it! LOL 3 days after the transfer I got the first BFP. The first one I have ever gotten.... the one that changed our life around.

15 weeks later and here I am pregnant with our miracle baby whom I am so in love with. D is going to be a daddy in October and I a mommy and life is just AMAZING for us... We got the most amazing of miracles and we feel terribly blessed to be have been granted our wish... Life seems filled with possibilities again...Peanut is due the 10th of the 10th month 2010... For the last two years whenever I looked at the clock I kept on seeing double digits I looked at my digital clock and I thought it would be a sign we would have twins eventually but instead it was a sign that we would have our miracle baby on the 10/10/2010... life has it's way of telling to keep hope.
So this is our story in a nutshell.. my blog went from being about hope of a pregnancy to living a pregnancy and what it is like to being pregnant from my prospective of course. I hope my story gives hope to those lady still navigating their ways in the land of IF...

March 11, 2010

Why I love Thursdays

I was born on a Thursday. Thursdays are the start of the weekend in the Middle East. Now Thursdays are the days when we go see our baby!!! Last night we went to bed at 9.30 as I was so tired. I cooked dinner for D and after it I felt like I had no energy left in me. D had to scoop me up and take me to bed. I got up and went to the bathroom on 3 occasions and managed to fall asleep after all 3. I then decided I had enough and go up before my alarm. I was ready to see our baby!!! I got ready and then woke up D, I whispered in his ear..."are you ready to see Peanut?" He woke up with the biggest smile!! He said he had a dream about peanut in her sacs. Well today that dream come true. The doctor inserted the cam and sure enough there she/he was.. much bigger than last time and in her own sacs!!! All looked at it should be and Peanut is getting so big now. Last week there was no sac this week we saw them!! How amazing!! We did not see the baby moving around as the doctor was not familiar with the new ultrasound machine and she could not get the measurement of the baby so she left it as that. After she was satisfied all looked great we got our pic!! I wished we saw her moving around but maybe it's too early. The GREAT news is that we are back next week for my usual injection and to also get to see our baby again and get her measured!! I am so happy I don't have to to wait the 2 full weeks.. getting spoiled here!! Then the week after we are back again for the NT scan. I know I will be a bundle of neves before that but I know all will be ok.
Life is amazing when you know your baby is ok. I am starting to get why my mom freaks out when I am not well... and I am almost 30!! A mother's love and connection to her children is like no other.. absolutely unconditional and so immense. I am totally in love with our baby.

March 10, 2010

Ruling things out...

I write to you after my Opthamologist visit so please forgive me if some of this writing does not make much sense. My pupils are dilated and I cannot see very well. All went well. My vision has improved for once in 13 years so I need to get new lenses for my glasses!!That is a welcomed change and one I did not expect. The exact same thing happened to my mom. She started her pregnancy with one prescription and ended with one lower. Talk about like mother like daughter!! Then the doctor went on to examining my eyes and all looks as it should do. He saw no problem that could have caused the incidents I am having. He believes they are caused by migraines and in order to be sure of this diagnosis he wants me to see a neurologist. He also has made an appointment for me to see a retina specialist at the same clinic to confirm that his findings are indeed correct. I feel relieved that there is nothing wrong with my eyes and yet I feel like we are still at square one in establishing what's causing these episodes.
I called my RE and told her what the doctor said. They will refer me to a neurologist they know and we will take things from there. I have started eating a bigger breakfast as of today and I hope the extra sugars will help, if this indeed caused by lack of food. I really do still believe that the fact that these incidents always happen first thing in the morning has relevance and it probably has to do with the fact that I don't eat all night and that my breakfast is low in sugar. I will make an active effort and eat fruit and maybe on some occasion peanut butter and jam as well as I have had a craving for it and I read it's OK, like all good things if in small quantities.
I now wait in anticipation until we get to see Peanut tomorrow!! I can hardly wait to see how big he/she has gotten in just one week. Like all Wednesdays, I wish Thursday would hurry up and get here already. D cannot wait either as he did not get to see him/her last week because it was an unscheduled u/s. I keep telling him that our Peanut is going to be dancing for us and whether he/she takes after him!!! Today is a better day...

March 9, 2010


So today I freaked out. I did everything right since Thursday, no running around, no pushing my limits, no getting upset. Just taking it easy and being calm new me. This morning I woke up and I made breakfast of cereals and yogurt and an orange juice with added calcium. Then as my car broke down on me on Saturday and it's still in for repair, I waited for D to get ready and take me to work. I did not panic or worry or anything, I was happy today. Tall of a sudden at 10.38 the vision started again,I know the exact time as I wanted to see how long it would last this time. Instead of relaxing like last time and waiting for it to go I freaked out thinking that this time something really bad could be happening to me or the baby. I FREAKED out!!! I was at my desk for 5 minutes when a friend walked in and saw me. She said to breath and close my eyes that all would be ok.I tried but then the tingling in my hand started to get really intense and I freaked out even more. I asked her to take me to the clinic we have on site here (I work in a site office so there are work related accidents).By the time I got there I was panicked and the vision was worst. They measured my heartbeat and it was through the roof because I was so panicked. My blood preassure was elevated but within range. I had no fever. They got to lie down whilst they were waiting for the doctor to see me. The vision was at its final stage then and like before it went high on top of my head and then it was gone. I felt really faint so they put my feet up and I felt better. Then the doctor came to see me and did on me the test to see if I was having a stroke. I know the test as I saw it being done on my dad before. I responded well and all seemed ok, at least I was not having a stroke. He was concerned about the light and I told him that I am seeing an ompthamologist tomorrow for the same concern. He said that all my vitals were normal apart from the heart beat at first but that was mainly due to me panicking as afterwards it went back to normal. My blood sugar levels were on the low end. He wants me to see a neurologist to see if there aren't any other major problems but he thinks this might not be the case. I have a family history of hypertension and my dad had a massive stroke two years ago.
It was the first time my blood sugar levels were tested and I put one and two together. I have these attacks mid morning. Generally mid morning. What could happen is that as I don't eat over night my levels drop and the breakfast I have does not really have much sugars so this gets the levels up just a bit but then they go down and the the visions happen. It could be that but I am not a doctor so I cannot know what is the real cause. I spoke to my doctor and she said to see what the opthamologist tells me tomorrow and if they cannot find anything we can find a physician to look into things further. I already have someone in mind and made an appointment to see him tomorrow. He is a GP in a very good center specialised mainly in diabetes so if nothing is found I can suggest I go see him for more tests. I am determined to get to the bottom of this and I am determined not to let things as they are because these attacks are freaking the hell out of me and if there is a way for me to manage these issues then why wait until things could possibly get worst. I have a baby to grow and nourish and I cannot do this if I am not well.
I decided to stay in the office as I thought that if it comes back I don't want to be on my own at home with D 45 minutes away. Our new house is in a remote area and as I don't even have my car today I would feel even more panicked if anything were to happen. Breath in, breath out...

March 8, 2010

Paying it forward....

Peanut is as small as an olive/grape and is 9 weeks and 1 day old today. The joy I feel every time I look down and see my little belly (it's not a proper bump yet) is indescribable... I just feel so so blessed to be his/her mommy. So blessed that against all odds here I am 9 week pregnant with the most amazing little baby ever. Those two years of TTC, the tears, the anger, the pain, the injections, the ERs, the suffering at seeing BFN month after month are not forgotten but are no longer my main focus. I know and I don't want to ever forget how lucky we are to have gotten pregnant and for everything to be going so smoothly ( I don't like saying it just in case...!). We thank our lucky start that against all odds here we are pregnant. We know that the journey is not over, it has just begun but I am feel very much in love today and I wanted to share it.
I remember when I was reading through other pregnancy blogs and thinking: "will that ever be me?" "will we ever be parents?" and now I feel like I have to "pay it forward" to the other ladies who are cycling or waiting to start a cycle or who just found out they face a struggle. Ladies, it can happen. Next cycle or the one after could be the one that works and then you too will get to experience the most wonderful of miracles. I know it does not happen to everyone but there is always hope that it might happen to you. When Dr. S told us that because of my closed and damaged tubes, IVF would be the only chance we had at getting pregnant I was so depressed. I felt like my body failed me big time. I kept on asking: "how could this be happening to me when I was only 28?" Wasn't I supposed to just get drunk and get pregnant on the first try? All the advice about relaxing and taking it easy started to annoy me by the 5th month and by the 6th D and I had such a strict bedding schedule that people would have assumed we were going for some kind of a record. I could not understand why this was happening to us?
Before our first IVF cycle we were told the devastating news that on top of the retroverted uterus, the blocked and damaged tubes now we had premature diminished ovarian reserve to deal with as well. I read up on it, researched it and I was convinced that I would have had to use donor eggs. Don't get me wrong, I am fine with this procedure but the problem is that this procedure is not allowed to be performed where we live so we would have had to travel abroad...and the cost involved etc. When the doctor mentioned that we would have to jump into the strongest and most powerful of IVF protocols, I started imagining all sort of side effects and issues. I am not going to lie and tell you that IVF is a walk in the park, it's not. It halts your life and transfers into this alternate universe that only IF people understand. You start referring to days as CD3 and schedule your outings according to your injection schedule. You look at your husband and for the first 2 weeks he looks at you as if it's the last time because he is in such a bad mental state that he thinks that he could murder you with an injection that goes wrong. Life becomes a routine of appointments, injections, ultra sounds, more injections. Then comes the "fun part" the part where you are put under and you wake up in the middle of it (yes it did happen to me, nope it was not fun!). In the meantime and throughout your cycle you wait. You wait for signs that things are going well that your eggs are growing and later that your embryos are attaching and growing. You make yourself believe that this time could be the lucky one. You watch every symptom and catch yourself over examining everything... I have an eye twitch, could I be pregnant? Do my boobs look bigger? My cm is much more than normal.. could I...?
The irony of my story is that after 2 years of thinking myself pregnant every month, the month where I really was pregnant I did not see it happening. First I saw the first, faintest of BFP and then I spent the next 3 days convincing myself that it was all in my head and I was nuts for even thinking I could be pregnant. How could I be so lucky? If there is one thing that I always wanted was to surprise D with the news and I felt that I was going to be deprived of ever experiencing this. Well, The-Night-Before-The-Day our lives changed forever I had a mental breakdown. I was in tears all day thinking it had not happened as my lines were not getting darker. Went to work and someone told me that a much older colleague was pregnant again and I just burst out crying. Here she was in her 40s pregnant and me at 29 not pregnant. I was a state. I went home and broke down to D. I have NEVER cried like this since I was a baby. I had snot coming out of my nose, I was hysterical, laughing one minute and crying the next. D didn't know whether to hug me or shake me a little. I was that bad. He said that if I was not pregnant now than we would have definitely needed to see a psychiatrist next! Sure enough the next morning I POAS on two different tests and the lines come out faster than I can say PREGNANT! I had that moment that many women before me had, that moment when you are on the toilet holding two pregnancy tests and crying hysterically! I ran to the bedroom (it was 6.30 am) and turned on the light, D was half asleep and looked shocked. I screamed it.. I am pregnant and held the test to his sleepy eyes!! We were going to have a baby or two!!!
When I relive this last part of our story I get goose bumps.. it really did happen, I am really pregnant. Ladies, I know it's not fair that we have to go through all of this and much more but I feel that in a way we do get to appreciate pregnancy much much more than people who get knocked up immediately. Our emotional roller coasters, our bruises and the sacrifices will live with us and will be translated into love for our babies who are the most loved and wanted of babies. Hang in there, keep believing and remember that miracles do happen every day. I am thinking of you.

March 6, 2010

I think I have finally realised that I am indeed PREGNANT!!!

So after my last post, I spoke to both my mom and the D who told me that if I don't slow down and allow my body to rest and relax I will end up on bed rest of worst. The eye problems I have experienced are just a warning light for things to come if I don't slow down, calm down and realise that I am indeed pregnant. It hit home in a big way. Over the last 8 weeks and more I have been running around as I usually do, I don't take breaks, I do 3000 things at once and I don't listen to my body I go to work, come home, cook, clean and do a lot more things before D gets home and after too. My mom told me that on my dad's side there is a history of hypertension and that me getting upset and not resting enough could lead to me getting this too. She did not want to scare me but she wanted to make me realise that if I don't listen to my body now things could get worst. So from Thursday I promised to myself that I will change my ways. The incidents with my eyes scared me a lot and I really don't want to find out what they are warning lights for. I am determined to take things easier and listen to my body more. Yesterday I slept a total of 15 hours. I was exhausted and I know it's because I have overworked myself all week. So over the weekend and from now on I am taking it easy, even going to the store to pick up some plants made me feel so dizzy and tired. I am now resting in front of the tv. I wonder how I will make it at work this week and I am determined to take time off if I feel like I need it. I might take my boss's offer and work from home. I am also not going to travel anywhere. This year I was supposed to go to Italy for Easter but my doctor told me that it's really not advisable especially during the time I wanted to go. So I will take it easy here and make the most of our new house. D will travel to see his family and I am still intending to take time off and stay at home and rest. We are supposed to go for his brother's wedding in June but I might stay put depending on how things develop.
I read that a lot of IF girls have a difficult time realising that they are indeed pregnant. I suppose after the long road that lead us here it's difficult to believe that this miracle is really happening to us. I keep thinking that I am pregnant but in an abstract kind of way (I know.. strange!!). Well now I need to make a conscious decision to act and behave pregnant for the good of my Peanut, D and my own too... because I really AM PREGNANT!!

March 3, 2010

Eventful morning...8 weeks and 4 days pregnant!

Thursdays are my days to go get my progesterone injection and then next Thursday injection and seeing Peanut. So today I set off in an amazing mood to go get my injection. The weather was super clear and you could see all the way into the city.. it was incredible. I made it to the clinic and struggled with parking then I found one spot and hurried into the clinic as I normally do. Well this time in the lift I started seeing those spots i saw about 2 weeks ago. I thought, here we go again. I made it into the clinic and all the nurses sensed something was wrong and they rushed to me. I told them what was going on and they measured my blood preassure and heartbeat. All was normal. Then I laid down and my vision was getting worst by the minute. Like last time it started with dots and then started becoming this big vacuum like image and then it went to the top of my head and it left. In 10 minutes or so it was gone. I was good enough to stand up and the doctor wanted to check the baby just to make sure nothing was effecting the baby. I was happy to get a look at peanut so soon. The doctor wanted me to locate the heartbeat as I couldn't and I did.. there it was fast and strong. Peanut looks so much bigger than last time. Last time he/she was 10.8 and this week she is 17.3!! Amazing difference!! All looks more than great and the docs are happy with my progress. This time the baby looks like more an more like a baby, I could see the head and the little arms and his body where her heart his. The doctor spent a long time on the baby and showed me how Peanut is now moving around. It was so cool. He was not dancing or anything but she was moving all by herself!! I wished D could have been there but as it was an emergency u/s he was not with me. He was gutted when I told him but so happy all is going so well! They also got my results for the blood tests I did and all looks great. I am not anemic and all my levels are great. All together things are looking great. They think it is migraines.. Dr Google gets it right one more time!! As I used to get migraines before and now I don't this could be a form of them due to the changes in hormones. They have referred me to an eye care centre to rule out any problems with my eyes and I will go in either Sat or next week. The doctor sent me home for the day and told me not to stress that all is ok with me and the baby. She also told me not to work too much and try to do all the things I used to do before the pregnancy. I need to chill out and look after myself. I lost 1 kg from last week, no idea why but they say it's normal to gain and lose and gain in the first trimester. It would be problem in the second trimester but for now to keep eating well for me and the baby! I think I lost as all the food I eat is going straight to Peanut.. I need to eat more!! I feel like all I do these days is eat.. how much more can I eat?!?! LOL

So I am now on house rest, with my feet up about to eat my lunch and feeling much better. I will watch movies and sleep and wait for D to get home. I fancy a bbq tonight!!! I told my boss over the phone now as I didn't want him to think that I was slacking off for an early weekend. He knows about our struggles with IVF and has been so supportive of me throughout even when it did not work. He was really happy but told me not to tell too many people at first and keep it to myself. I told him that's why we waited tell anyone. He said to stay relaxed and not worry about anything. He said that we can make arrangements for me to work from home if needed. I feel blessed with him as a boss. I know I am lucky!!
Other news, we are deciding names!! We know that if Peanut is a boy he will be called Gabriel,we loved the name for so long and we know if we will have another boy his name would be Michael. We loved these two names so much! If she is a girl we have an issue. We cannot decide on a name. So far we liked Sofia, well D liked Sofia more than I did and now I am not a fan and cannot see myself calling her that. So now we have to think of new names. Of course if it's a girl we want her to have Anna as a middle name in honour of D's mom who passed away two years ago. Let me know what your thoughts are on these names:
  1. Isabella Anna
  2. Michelle Anna
  3. Chloe Anna
  4. Sofia Anna

If you can think of any other names that would sound amazing with Anna, let me know!! I love Isabella as I can see myself calling her Izzy or Isabel depending on my mood.. I know it's super popular in the States but it's not so popular in Europe or the UK so I think she will end up in a class filled with Isabellas...!!LOL