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


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!!

August 22, 2010

getting out of my funk

I don't know what came over me yesterday but I could not stop crying. The last time I was in tears like that was the night before I got the decisive two lines on my pregnancy test. Poor D didn't know what to do with me. It all started when I said to D that I wanted to build the wardrobe we bought from Ikea for the guest room. D was not in a mood to do it but I felt that if we didn't build it then (it had been in our living room for 4 weeks already), it would have still been there when my parents show up in a bit over a month from now. I think it had something to do with me wanting everything in its place these days.. nesting and all that! He obviously didn't want to do it and I couldn't help him as the whole thing weight more than 40kg! He took all the pieces apart and proceeded to carry bit by bit up 2 flights of stairs. Once everything was upstairs I tried to help him but I couldn't do much. I just felt so useless and helpless. Normally I am the one that builds furniture and enjoys it, this time all I could do was look at the instructions and tell D where each piece went. I felt like a big fat loser. D was super quick and he was done within an hour but I could tell he was still upset about having had to do it. That's when the crying started and for the first time since getting pregnant I longed for my pre-pregnancy body and of course the minute I thought that I felt so GUILTY for even have thought it and the crying proceeded for the rest of the afternoon. D hugged me and told me was sorry he got so upset about the wardrobe and I told him I felt useless and he tried to convince me that I did help him. Unfortunately no amounts of hugs or kisses helped me get out of my funk.

I made myself a yummy pizza and tried my best to snap out of it and when D suggested we go for a drive just to get out of the house it felt like a brilliant idea! We went to Dubai for a tea and ended up finding a super cute growth measurement thing to put on the wall to keep track of Izzy's growth. By the time we came back I was so tired but no longer upset. The funk had left me.. thank God. During this whole process and even today Isabella has been kicking my belly continuously. I mean she normally kicks and moves but between yesterday and today the kicking and movements have increased so much, I fear I have upset my little Miss or perhaps she is trying to kick the bad funk out of me! Either way.. it helps! She is such a clever girl and I love her so so much.

In other news we went to a baby shop and asked to buy baby hangers to put hang Izzy's clothes and the lady gave us loads for free which was super sweet. So now all her outfits are hanged in her wardrobe. Whilst we were in the shop D saw a super cute pair of black and white pumps that he said he would get for Izzy and we also bought her a cute little summer dress and other necessities. Her room is so close to being ready... here is to happy thoughts!

August 19, 2010

another hospital bag post

I know you must be screaming at the screen: "get your act together and pack that bag already!" Right?? Well given that I am not happy until I have considered all options and researched something until that subjects hides from me on Google she is so scared of me, I am still on this subject and I am still holding off packing that bag until I know I have a complete list.

I did what I do best and Googled away all day looking for inspiration and items that other moms and dads who have already been through this found they needed and they forgot or simply didn't know they needed until it they were already in hospital. I worry especially as we live a good 30 minutes with no traffic (45-1hour with heavy traffic) away from the hospital and I would hate the thought of D having to leave me to go grab something I forgot. Did I fail to mention I am starting to freak out a little about whether I will be able to give birth???? Planning and researching keeps me calm so please hang in there with me...

Anyway, this is what I found for dad- to be-and when I sent the links to D he was super excited to have all of this information and is now more eager than I am to pack the TODAY: This is a brilliant list for dads to be on what to pack and what to pack with a lot of humor thrown in there (this is the one that got D thinking he should pack!) This is more of a formal list but nonetheless it's useful in identifying what items must be going in the daddy to be bag for the hospital. I especially like this one for reminding dads to bring pain relief medication.. I can imagine D getting the mother of all headaches with all the screaming I will be doing!! Earplugs are not an option though! This is a GREAT post from a father's prospective on imminent labour and the fear of being unprepared as far as packing goes. It also has a list of what fathers-to-be should pack! I personally will steal his idea of putting a bag with old towels and a trash bag in the back of my car in case my water breaks whilst I am driving!

These are the links I have found most useful for my bag and that of the baby: A great article on What (not) not to bring with you, to the point and very useful! In this article it says not to bring your pillow unless it's an old one you wouldn't mind getting ruined. I have a few of these so I'll make sure I'll leave my favourite one home! The Bump has a lot of useful info and their hospital list does not disappoint. You can even print it out and tick it as you go along. I love this list because it divides up the items you need and don't need in a very easy way to follow, because most of the suggestions are by other moms and so it's first hand advice and finally because some of the suggestions on here are new to me. Things like wearing a dark colour nightgown to avoid stains showing easily, bringing a plastic bag to put all your dirty clothes in when you are ready to go home, towels you don't mind getting lost or dirty (this is a big one I didn't even think of!

I feel like I have all the info both D and I need to be prepared.. guess what we'll be doing this weekend!

August 18, 2010

If one plus one equals two...

If this is D as a baby(how cute is he?????).. and

this is me at around the same age...

What would Izzy look like???

D and I's favourite question at the moment is exactly that. What will our baby girl look like? I hear stories of parents who knew what their baby would look like but I generally think they are full of crap! How could they know?? I mean the latest 3D pics of Isabella show a cute baby but it does not give us a clear indication of what she will look like when she is born; how could it? I mean she still has 7 plus week in which to change and grow. Even her appearance at birth will not stay the same after a week or a month.

When I see pictures of my nieces at birth and then see pictures of when they were 5 month the difference is huge, they don't even look like the same baby! My baby niece Lilli was a beautiful baby girl, she was born my emergency c-section and looked like the perfect baby. She had pale eyes and a few brown hair. Now at almost 4 years old she has brown/blond hair and green eyes. Her baby sister was not a pretty baby at birth. Her birth was a natural and painful (for her mom) birth and her she had the typical cone head you see in some newborns. Now at two she is such a pretty toddler. Her hair, that at birth was red, is now as blond as it gets and she has the most amazing blue eyes you have ever seen.

So we already know that Izzy could be born with pale colour eyes (like most babies) and then end up having brown eyes like me or green like her dad. She could have a head full of hair (D is not too keen on this one.. don't know why but I think it would freak him out) and then end up having light brown hair like me and D.. who knows. What we do know for sure is that no matter how she will look in our eyes she will be the most beautiful and perfect baby girl in the whole wide world. We will look at her and our hearts will melt, we will piss people off by showing them endless slide shows of her pictures. My purse and D's wallet will be covered in pictures of Isabella and no other baby will be able to compare... and that's the way it should be. I cannot wait to meet her.. come on October hurry up!!

August 17, 2010

what kind of parent will I be??

Part of my meditation exercise these days is thinking of a parent I admire, the reasons why I admire him/her and then picture Isabella and I having a similar relationship. You know what cames to my mind.. be prepared to laugh.. the Father of the Bride. I basically want to be George Banks!

I know he does not exist but he has been my ideal parent figure since I was a little girl and whenever I think of a good parent he comes to my mind. The relationship he has with his daughter is that of a protective, loving, understanding father who goes overboard at times but who is nonetheless there for his daugther no matter what and that's how I want to be with Izzy. He is also not the typical super perfect dad you see on tv, he has his faults but in the end he comes through for his daugther and his family. I love this movie because it shows that we are all humans and never perfect but we can try our best to become better parents/wives/daugthers etc. What I hope for my relationship with Izzy is for her to feel free to come to me for advice and for me to be able to listen and provide her with the support she needs. I don't want her to hide things from me because she is afraid of what I will be thinking or what my reaction might be... ultimately I would love for us to have a good relationship just like the one George has with Annie.

Will I be as good listener? Will I be able to always be there for Izzy and offer her a shoulder for her to cry? Will I be the first one she calls when she needs advice? Will we argue but then hug and make up knowing that deep down we love one another? Will she be able to be herself with me? Will she feel protected and loved when she think of me? Will I go overboard and always worry if she is ok? That's a definite yes!

Only time will tell what kind of a mom I will be... in the meantime I daydream of Isabella and let her listen to this lovely song... hoping that she can feel the love I feel for her.

August 16, 2010

my lovely bump

Have I told you how much I like my bump?? I still smile whenever I see my reflection in the mirror or random shop windows and in every picture you see me rubbing and holding my belly. I cannot help it!!! Every time I touch it I feel Izzy moving in there and giving me cute baby kicks letting me know that she is doing great. How can I not touch it?? I love it when D kisses it and now hides underneath it when I stand up! LOL We still have moments when we look at it and we think it's the most amazing thing we ever experienced and yet we know that when the belly is gone and Izzy will be here it'll be even more incredible!!

I think because I generally give this nasty "don't you dare f*&@* with me" vibe, many people don't just touch my bump but ask before they do. It has only happened once at the spa I go to, that I went in there and all the ladies surrounded me and started rubbing my belly. It only lasted a total of 30 seconds but I have to say I didn't mind it; it made me feel super special. I suppose if this happened every day it would piss me off but on that one off time it didn't really annoy me.

When I am out with friends they want to feel the baby kick or move so I tell them to be patient and just wait for Izzy to get moving. Their reactions are so funny especially the ones that never felt a baby move before. My friend M jumped and gave out a little scream when she felt Izzy move for the first time and ever since every time we meet she wants to feel my belly for movement! On one occasion we were out and Izzy had the hiccups and I told her where to feel her and she thought it was incredible, then again she did made this joke about whether we should try scare her to see if she would stop.. which makes me think that M will never get to babysit Izzy alone!LOL

Here is a picture of my bump last week; the incredible thing is how fast it seems to be growing now. I mean a couple of weeks back it was not as big as now and steadily it's expanding more and more... I wonder how much bigger it's going to get! My skin is holding on and so far I have no stretch marks on my bump but I wonder if this will change given the current growth spurt Izzy is going through.

August 15, 2010

Nursery progress

The wardrobe and changing unit is in, the decals are up, the pictures have been put up and Isabella's clothes have all been organised in their place; Izzy's nursery is really coming along so well!! We spent most of Thursday afternoon placing the girl on the swing decal on the wall next to the wardrobe. It took a bit of effort and time but the result is stunning and we are so so happy with it. Then on Friday morning we applied the decal of Twinkle Twinkle on the opposite wall as well as other pictures that we bought along the way. The overall look is so cute and we cannot wait to add the cot once it arrives and the little toy chest D bought for Izzy. I loved putting her clothes away in the wardrobe and the sheets because it made it look so real.. she is really going to arrive soon!! Life is just incredible!

We had our last parenting class session which was all about feeding the baby and breastfeeding. The midwife gave us an handout that mentioned that people who had a variety of health issues could face difficulty in breastfeeding. Amongst these issues was Infertility treatments. I asked what that meant as I explained that our daughter is an IVF miracle. The midwife said that hopefully all will be fine but that if I have face problems in breastfeeding to speak to a lactation specialist whilst I am in the hospital. I got freaked out as I am really looking forward to breastfeeding but all we can do for now is wait and see what happens. We also had a tour of the hospital facilities, we were shown a standard delivery room so we know what to expect and then a standard recovery room. We were both happy with what we saw. Whilst we were in the delivery room the midwife told me that normally if you are considered high risk, which I am now, I will be monitored more closely than the other patients that as much as possible I should be able to deliver with the help of the midwife alone but that a doctor will be on standby anyway. D and I spoke about this and we don't mind the extra attention to make sure that both Izzy and I are well looked after.

Today I am officially in the 8th month of pregnancy and 32 weeks along! I have to say I am still feeling great and that my energy levels are still high. I do get tired and hot but for the most part I am doing great. My belly and my boobs are still growing loads and most of the tops I used to fit into a couple of weeks ago are now too short. I can still feel Izzy movements and kicks but they are not strong enough to wake me up at night or even if they do I just turn around. I say I "just turn around" but you should see how I turn these days.. poor D must think he is at sea!! Life is amazing and everyday closer to THE date is a miracle!

August 11, 2010

D's birthday

Today it's D's birthday, he is officially 29! HAPPY BIRTHDAY D!!! The day started great for him...Izzy's kicks first thing, presents in bed, then my brownie cake for breakfast (his diet went out the window at least for breakfast!). We left for work together as it's the first day of Ramadan here in the UAE and for the rest of the month we do shorter hours, I now work 9-3 (yaaay!!) and D's hours are 9-4. Before leaving I warned him to be super careful on the road as we always see so many accidents during Ramadan and he said he will be careful but you cannot control idiots.

At 9.30am he called that he had a car crash but that he was ok. It seemed he was avoiding an accident and stupid people driving on the hard shoulder, he got distracted and crashed into the back of the car in front of him. He sent me pictures of Barracuda (that's the name of his car) and she looks in a bad state but I am glad she is so strong to have taken the impact of the crash and not my D. Considering the insurance does not cover agency repairs as the car is over 3 years old we might need to sell her in order to cut our losses. We shall see what we do in the coming days, for now I think D will need to recover from the shock of it all and at least try to enjoy the rest of his day if that is possible.

In the meantime I got a call from the baby shop we bought the wardrobe and changing unit from and they are coming to deliver and build Izzy's furniture between 1-2 this afternoon! I was in shock that they are coming so quickly I was not expecting this until next week so this is really a bonus and hopefully by the time D gets home Izzy's room will look like a nursery and it will help put a smile back on D's face!

Last night after work I went and treated myself to a mani pedi. I hadn't had one since getting pregnant because of the fear of doing something that could harm our baby but now that I cannot reach my toes as well as I used to two weeks back I decided to bite the bullet and go. I went to my usual spa and had the room all to myself so there were no strong smells. I decided to get a french on my fingers but just get a clean manicure for my toes like this I can remove the nail polish easier. My toes look so nice and clean, they were a real mess! The girl was so knowledgeable about which area to massage and which not to so that put me right at ease. I was in there for a long time but it was so worth it. I am thinking I will be going back next month when my mom gets here for another session.. it should be fun and my mom never gets pampered like this so that will be nice for her!!

August 10, 2010

The pram post

So here she is!!! It all arrived in 3 different boxes, one for the pram, one for the car seat adapter and one for the carrycot which is called "the peanut"! I left work 10 minutes early just to beat some of the traffic in the city and made it to the TNT in no time. The people there got me to take my car inside the depot and then loaded everything in for me. They were so sweet they even told me to wait in the car whilst they got the paperwork I had to sign for Once I drove away I could not stop screaming and called D and he almost lost his hearing!! Then I called my mom and she was so excited for me but told me not to be silly and wait for D to take the boxes into our house. I promised and she relented. Then a friend of mine called me and she was so happy for me and told me if that meant she never had to hear about it again...apparently I have been going on about this pram long enough! I don't blame her!!

I got home at the same time as D and we were all so excited to open all the boxes but we were both starving so we ate at a supersonic speed and then we got working on the pram!!! D did most of the building whilst I looked on and gave out small screams each time something new happened. I tried to help with what I remembered seeing on the YouTube videos and by looking and reading the instructions manual but D did most of the hard work. In no time the pram/stroller was built and D and I both had a god at pushing it around the house!! It's so great as I can really see Izzy using this from when she is born all the way until she get bigger as it's so adaptable! I absolutely love it the colour which does not look too red like in the pictures I saw but it's bright and so much fun. The material is super soft and the insert for when she is still baby is super padded and extra soft. I am truly happy with it.

After the pram was ready and we tested folding it, which is so simple and the breaking and all the different positions we moved on to putting together the "peanut". This proved a bit more tricky then the pram but once D got his muscles working it came out so well. It's basically a carrycot you insert into the pram for when the baby is just born to approximately 6 months. It's super sturdy and solid so Izzy will have the support her back needs at the very early stages. It folds up really compact so once we no longer need it we can simply fold it away ready for baby number two (see how positive I am being!!!). Once it is secured onto the pram it's really safe and there is no way it can come lose so we feel confident Izzy will have a super comfy and safe ride.

Anita, the sales representative from Phil & Teds, added a UV protective cover for the carry cot and also a cute little backpack that I can add to the pram for free as a thank you for having waited so long. It was so kind of her and I have promised her a picture of Izzy in her new pram once she gets here.

This morning all I wanted to do was go to Izzy's room and check out the pram... it still seems impossible to me that we are the owner of a pram. I mean here we were thinking it might never happen and almost 8 months after we saw those two beautiful lines we own a pram and we are waiting for the last two months before Izzy is born. Life is truly incredible.... and we are so truly blessed.

Tonight I have some baking to do for D's birthday brownies. I have never made brownies so this should prove interesting. I am not baking them from scratch that would be way too much but nonetheless I am thinking it could still end up in disaster. Let's hope and see how it works.. pictures to come tomorrow.

August 9, 2010

A day of good news

I cannot hide my excitement. I sit here with a big fat smile on my face waiting for 5.30pm to come so that I can drive to the city and pick up the pram. I just called TNT and apparently as it's still in transit they cannot deliver it until tomorrow but they said I can go pick it up myself after 5. So of course that' where I am going. D told me to wait but I seriously cannot wait another day.. I want to see the pram today and I don't mind the extra drive!! I feel like a child in a candy store.

I just got back from my 31 weeks check up with the leading doctor of the team I have been assigned to. He seems like a really nice man and he is a friend of my trusted Dr. Miracle so I know I am in good hands. We had a nice chat and told me that he is happy with how things are looking and that he does not seem concern about the incident last week but he wants me to go back should it happen again. He also discussed my birthing options, he said that normally at this hospital they don't encourage elective c-sections but given I have had IVF and I am part of the exception. He didn't go into the details of why this is the case but I have it as an option should I wish to consider it. I said I would like a normal delivery if possible and he seemed happy with that but mentioned that I can change my mind at any stage and also that if there are complications we will factor those in too. He also said that epidurals are given routinely even before the real bad pain sets in so that I don't have to suffer at all. I was happy to hear that and he made a note about this in my file. I don't think I will be brave enough to go without one if I can have it but I am willing to see how things go on the day. I like his overall approach to the birth plan in terms of not setting crazy standards but seeing how things progress. He checked the results of the u/s and all looks great and he is happy with how Izzy is growing. They checked my b/p, urine and weight and all is ok. They then checked Izzy's heartbeat and felt Izzy moving and checked her position. At that moment she was in an oblique position but I told him she moves around a lot. He ordered an u/s for the next appointment in 3 weeks to make sure all is good and to check on Izzy. I left feeling confident in this doctor's ability to get me and Isabella through birth and even if it will be a member of his team or one of the midwife I am still feeling GREAT about things. I am so glad I picked this hospital.

The visit was not all smooth sailing. I actually left work at 9.45 am and didn't make it back to the office until after 1.30pm. It was hell in the hospital today. I got lost on the way there because I took an alternative route and then spent hours just waiting to check in. I didn't see the doctor until 11.45, a whole hour after my appointment was due. I normally book early morning appointments but this week they had none available but I will never make that mistake again.. what a mess.

On to more happy news today D had his first weight check at the clinic where he registered and he lost....drum rolls please..... a total of 3 kg in two weeks in this new diet! He didn't expect much from it but he came out of the appointment and felt so good and confident in knowing that it's working! I am so proud of him and I know how hard it can be for him to stick to the diet at times but I have every faith in him to be able to reach his target weight.

August 8, 2010

Feel like Christmas Eve

Wait for it... our pram is in the UAE and being delivered to us tomorrow morning!!! I am so excited I am jumping up and down... in my head!! I have been told it would be here in 8-10 working days so you can imagine my excitement when I checked TNT's website and found out that our pram is already in Dubai!! I am so so excited I don't know how I will be able to calm down and sleep tonight!! The lady from Phil & Teds I have been dealing with has added a few extra freebies to our parcel in appreciation of all of our patience and I cannot wait to see what these are!! In this country post is delivered to your office and as I am currently working on a site office, I get our office drive to take my mail every day from our head office. Given I have my 31 weeks appointment in the city tomorrow morning I am going to take a little detour afterwards just so that I can go to the head office and pick up the pram myself!!! I am so excited but I know I am not going to open it until D gets home as it's probably too heavy for me to take out of the car!! I so feel like Christmas Eve.. you know with all the excitement of knowing tomorrow will be a GREAT day!!! I will get D to take loads of pics and then will post them tomorrow!!!

On Friday day we went and ordered the wardrobe and changing unit for Isabella's nursery. They will be delivered in 10 days and they will assemble everything for us which is great so we can ensure everything is built safely. I cannot wait to have furniture in Izzy's room and be able to clean the wardrobes, put all of her clean and pressed clothes in the wardrobe, add the changing matt, nappies and all the essentials ready for Izzy's arrival. Her room will then start to look more like a proper nursery and less like a dumping ground!! Once the wardrobes are in I am getting our handyman to come install the fire alarms downstairs and upstairs and Izzy's lampshade we got from Ikea. Cannot wait to see how it will look!
In other non-baby related news we celebrated D's birthday this weekend by organizing a dinner with friends at one of D's favourite restaurants! His actual birthday is not until the 11th but because Ramadan is starting on his birthday this year and most people will want to spend it at home with their families we made it this weekend. It was great fun to catch up and seeing friends. A friend of mine organised "29" candles and this really cool sparkles that almost set the whole restaurant on fire!! For his actual birthday I got him a present for him to open (won't say what it is as he reads my posts from time to time!!) and I will bake him a brownie cake..!!! We shall see how that works out!!

August 5, 2010

Nosebleeds suck and happy birthday to my mom!

We all know nosebleeds suck. I mean there is never a good time to get them and they are always so messy! I suffered from nosebleeds before getting pregnant then at the orders of my doctors I went to an NTE specialist who cauterised the capillaries in my nose and all was solved. Since getting pregnant the nosebleeds started again. The triggers always seem to be blowing my nose or sneezing. Today I had a meeting in the city at 9 and by the time it ended it was 11 am and it was hot hot hot in my car. We live in the desert so summers are just unbearable and most people (the ones who can) leave and go to cooler countries and today was no exception. Anyway I got into Ruby (that's my car!) and blasted the ac and opened all the windows too. I pulled away and drove a total of 3 minutes before I started feeling a trickle down my left nostril, I put my hand to my nose, looked and surely enough there was blood and then more and more. Of course I had no tissues in my car so, and this is where it gets gross, I wiped my bloody hand on my black top and then held my nostrils together to try stop the bleeding. Good thing I had not driven too far from the office I just left, so I turned around, parked the car and went back in the office. Everyone looked at me as if I was dying on something but thank God no one made a fuss. I locked myself in the bathroom and almost didn't recognised myself, my mouth, chin and neck were all covered in blood. What a spectacle!!! I asked for ice and after 15 minutes of preassure and ice it stopped and I was able to get back in my car and drive away. Of course this means I am now sitting at work with a top that as much as it does not show it is covered in blood.. yuck yuck yuck!!!

On a happier note today is my mom's birthday!!! I so wish I could be with her to celebrate it and make her feel as special as she is but super fast travel has not been invented yet so I have to settle and wish her a happy birthday over the phone. I miss my mom and cannot wait till she comes in September!!! She took my dad shopping for Izzy and they got her some super cute little outfits that are just so adorable! She knows me well (I took after her on this!!) so she is washing and ironing all of the clothes she bought so that once she comes I won't have to do it myself! She gave me a proper talking to last night because she is worried my contractions are caused by me overdoing things instead of taking it easy. She made me promise her I would calm down and take life at a different pace. She understands it's hard but she told me to think of Izzy and in that she is right. We are very similar in that we both cannot stay still we need to be moving and keep busy but we also are not very good at realising when it's too much. I normally send her flowers but she insisted I didn't as the florist I use has been sending her shitty flowers so she told me not to waste my money on that. So this year I sent her a lovely card that opens up like flowers and as combined Mom and Dad's birthday present we got them the tickets to come stay with us! :)) Now all we need is for Miss Isabella to hold on until the end of September... we shall see how that goes!

August 4, 2010

First unplanned hospital visit

Yesterday as I was leaving work to go check out prams I felt this super sharp shooting pain down below. It literally stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away. It lasted maybe 5 seconds and then even if I felt sore I managed to slowly walking to my car and drive myself home. Once I got there I lay on the couch of a good half hour before it the same pain came back but much milder. I called D and he told me to call the hospital and ask them what I should do. So I called them and they told me to come to the hospital for a check up. Of course we live outside the city and around 30 minutes away from the hospital by car. As D's office is in the city there was no way to wait for him and then go so I drove myself there (of course I was told off many times by the nurse once I got there but what could I have done!?). Through all of this I kept really calm. I always imagined myself having one of these moments and being alone and losing it. Instead I was doing my breathing exercises and talking myself calm, I was so calm that I told D to go ahead and go to the gym and that I would see him after! Of course he didn't listened and met me at the hospital instead, he said something amongst the lines that one of us had to act like the responsible one! HEHE! I really was on another planet.. planet calm!

Anyway, on the way there the pain cam back again. I made sure to look at the time and at this stage I had had 3 "pains" in less than one hour. Luckily there was no traffic on the way there and I got there at the same time as D. Once all the formalities were sorted out I had to give the usual urine sample and then they took my blood preassure which was fine and pulse too. All was good. I then got to see a doctor who explained that in order to rule out full blown contractions she would do an abdominal exam, followed by a scan, a mid-stream urine test and then I would be hooked up to a CTG to check the baby's heart and if I was having contractions. Only if there was any signs of contractions they would do an internal exam to see how things were looking. During the pelvic exam all looked good and she thought that Izzy was head down but was not sure, then we heard her heart and all looked good and she did not seems in any sort of stress.

Once all looked ok with me and the baby we were sent for the u/s. The technician was in a good mood and spent ages on her. She looked at her heart as I mentioned we had a scare and all looked great and she was not skipping beats this time. She is measuring a whole 2 weeks and 4 days ahead of schedule which brings her due date to the 30th of September! When the technician said she is 32 weeks and 6 days I said that she is 30 weeks and 2 days but according to the measurements she is not! She seems really eager to grown fast!! She was not head down but in the transverse position with her legs over her head and to our surprise she was sucking her own knee whilst holding on to her toes! Most babies suck their thumb, not our daugther she was sucking onto her own knee! It was so cute to see her making those movements and seeing her opening and closing her mouth. Incredible. Once all the important measurements were taken and all looked great the technician spent ages trying to get us some nice 3D pics of her but given the fact that she was squishing her face with her own legs it was difficult. We got a few very cool ones and we left to go for the CTG knowing that she is healthy, strong and all is well with her heart. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

I sent D to get his dinner as there was no point two of us waiting for the CTG. I did my mid-stream urine test which proved difficult and I fear I messed up because I didn't pee enough before taking the sample.. we shall see! As I was waiting to be hooked up to the CTG machine I was in the same waiting room as two ladies who were either in labour or in a lot of pain. Another lady and I were looking at each other with knowing looks as if to say "we are so going to be next!!" After about half hour I was escorted to this area for my CTG and after 20 minutes on it with Izzy's heart going strong and no contractions on my side I saw the doctor for the last time. She said that it could have been contractions and that if they happen again with a repetitive rhythm I need to go back but if they happen here and without a pattern I can stay at home. I am due back to the doctors on Monday for my normal check up so I will ask more questions and discuss my new due date and see what they make of these contractions/BH.

Considering it was the first scare of this pregnancy I realised that as much I will be ok, one person I need to look after and make sure does not pass out is D. He is normally so calm and collected but last night he really was not. It was as if we had done a role reversal and I became Mrs Cool and he became Mr Worry. I tried my best to reassure him that all was ok and by the end I know he knew all was ok with us but I have a feeling that when THE day comes I will need to make sure he is constantly reassured that all is ok. I can imagine why is feeling like that, at the end of the day this is all happening to me and all he can do is be there for me but not help me feel better and I know this can be so difficult. I keep telling him how much him being there helps calm me down and reassure me.. I hope this is enough.

August 3, 2010

Change of plans...

If there is one thing I cannot stand is delays. I am one of those people that show up early all the time, even if I purposely delay myself in order not to show up early I end up being early anyway. I am the first to show up for anything and feel so stressed out when I know I am running late. D is the opposite, he is laid back and relaxed and as much as he says he is on time, he is one of those people who is late unless there is something urgent or he has to be somewhere for a specific deadline then he is be on time! We balance each other out and between my eagerness to be on time and his laid back attitude we manage to be just on time!

Well today my impatience on waiting for my pram reached its peak and I cancelled it! We ordered it on the 4th of May and we are now the 3rd of August, in that time I could have gone to New Zealand and brought it back myself but instead here I am waiting for it. Every time they said they were going to receive it they have not and I have now reached a stage where my due date is fast approaching and I don't want to risk not having a pram when Izzy is born. So this morning something told me that enough was enough, I sent an email to Phil & Teds and told them to give me our money back and that I am not willing to wait another day. They have all been nice and friendly but unless I chase them I would never know when to expect it and even then the dates they give me are always followed by another delay. Even if they tell me they will receive it tomorrow who is to say it will make the trip from New Zealand to here in less than 9 weeks. I really cannot tell and I don't trust them in the promises they will make. All I want is to be done with this now.
After I cancelled it I felt a new sense of relief in knowing that I can just go to any store and buy a pram and take it home with me. I told D and all he said was that he hopes I don't regret changing my mind, I told him that he should know me better than that...once I make up my mind I never change it back and regret having made that decision, I am very black and white when it comes to that. So this evening after work, whilst D is going to the gym, I will go check out some new prams and see which one takes my fancy. Then this weekend we are off to Dubai to see them in a bigger store and take home the one we want! I cannot wait to try different ones and be able to say "let's buy this one" and just take it home!

I also found out that the wardrobe and changing unit we like are available in Dubai so this weekend we can buy them and have them delivered within 10 days! It's pure bliss!! I cannot wait to place the order and receive them at our door step. I have kept all of Izzy's clothes, cot sheets and blankets in my wardrobe but it's going to be so great to have them all ready in her room! Her room will then look like less of a dumping ground and more like a nursery!!

In other news I don't know if I mentioned that last weekend D and I went to the Formula One track here in Abu Dhabi because I got D a driving experience as an early birthday present! He got to drive a La Mans style car on the F1 track and loved it!!! The whole experience was so well done organised and even if Iwas nervous about the idea of D driving such a fast car, knowing he was going to be in the same car as his instructor made me feel more secure. I took loads of pictures and a recorded his driving too. D was buzzing after it and said he will try again!! This weekend I have organised a dinner with friends in his favourite restaurant! Should be a lot of fun!!

August 2, 2010

Third Trimester...

If you are still going through treatments or you are still on the road to where you want to be, you might want to skip this post, I know it's not easy to read about pregnant women complaining about something they have wanted for so long.

I feel bad saying this because IF girls "should not be complaining" about pregnancy, right? Well I will go ahead and say it anyway: the third trimester is so hard! I read blogs where women have endured all sort of problems with their pregnancies from the start so I feel double bad in admitting to this but I need to let it out and I feel this is the right forum for it. It's not all bad of course but the combination of fear that something might still be wrong with her heart, severe heartburn, sleepless nights, Braxton Hicks (if that's what they are), bad back, dizzy spells and the fear that nothing will be ready for when Izzy is born is making me feel so on the edge these days.

Of course not everyday is the same and most days I only get a couple of those issues so it's manageable but yesterday it was as if all was coming at once and I felt so overwhelmed by it. Whatever I ate yesterday I could not digest so that was a negative, then I felt so sleepy and the fact that work is so slow does not help, all I wanted to do was put my head on my desk and snooze off! I then went food shopping and on the way out of the supermarket I started having Braxton Hicks that would only last a second or 5 but these were repetitive so I freaked out. They went away once I sat in the car. Now what are Braxton Hicks supposed to feel like anyway?? I mean I am assuming what I am experiencing are Braxton Hicks as I have never had anything like it before but are they really it? To me they feel like something is pulling me up there at the top of my vagina (base of my uterus), it's not painful but it takes my breath away as I don't expect it and then after it's repeated a few times it goes. I intend to ask my doctor when I go see them on the 9th and see what they think. The heartburn is so bad when it's there that on a couple of occasions when it happened I think I am going to puke. I try to eat little and often but if some days it helps during others it does little. I am not about to take anything for it unless I actually start throughing up, I worked so hard to have a medicine free pregnancy that I am not about to let this all go out of the window over heartburn! The dizzy spells are something new. I have never had dizzy spells before but when they come I feel like any moment I could pass out. They normally happen at the end of the working day when I am tired and I push myself to do that little but extra so I have learnt my lesson and from now on instead of doing 200 things after work I will do 20 instead... we shall see if it helps.

I am going to stop complaining now and focus on the good. The good of course is that Izzy is a super active baby who reminds me everyday of what an amazing miracle she really is! Whether last week her movements were really subtle and delicate this week they are strong and constant. I get kicked in all sort of places which gives me an indication that Izzy is still very much just moving around and has not picked her favourite position yet. I am sure our clever little girl will put herself where she is supposed to be when the time comes. I am curious to where she will be during the ultrasound because if one minute I feel her head down the next she is diagonal and the next transverse... 7 more days to go! I am also confident that once we do the ultrasound and we see that all is ok with her heart I will be calming down and hopefully some of my fears will subside. At the moment I cannot share this fears with D because he dismiss them as being irrational but I cannot help it and to my defence I have tried my best not to focus too much of my attention on it but the part of my brain that is "mummy brain" cannot help but wonder if everything is now as it should be. Only time will tell.