Monday, December 20, 2010

35 weeks and tiling

Oh girls, have you ever heard of an almost 8 month pregnant woman tiling a bathroom? Me neither... but lets start from the beginning.

Mike came home on wednesday morning from Mexico, it went very well but he was quite tired and jet-lagged. With the attic nearing completion, Mike had one job to do. Tiling the bathroom. It was a project, he never did such a thing before and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, the builders are out of the house as of this morning, the painter is in till wednesday to decorate and that's it. The plumber was called on friday to see would he be able to come today to fix the sanitary-ware if Mike could guarantee the bathroom was ready by 8 am this morning. The plumber could not be 100% sure but said unless there is an emergency call he will be in. So as of wednesday afternoon of last week Mike was on the project. And I was too. I have to say this is a much bigger job than we though and part of the problem is that Mike is a total perfectionist who needs to plan for ages before actually get going. After deciding where to start on thursday we had the first few tiles up. Note that while tiler generally tile around pipes projecting from the wall, Mike drilled holes into the tiles so that each tile would fit like a glove around the pipe. Do you have any idea of the amount of measuring, cutting and cursing that this take? By the time it was friday I started to help with the project. We had to have it all tiled by saturday evening to be able to grout. Despite working till 2am on saturday we had not finished. Up early on Sunday, and worked until we dropped. I gave up at around 1am saying "feck the bathroom, we have three in the house already, this one can certainly wait until January", Mike decided to stay and try and get the floor grouted. He finished at 4am this morning. We had not been given enough grout. We still don't know even if the plumber is coming today! What we know for sure is that a tiling job this perfect has never been seen on Hearth and we are aching and tired from head to toes... Pictures of the whole development will be posted as soon as we move back in and I have broadband again!

And I'm 35 weeks pregnant let's not forget the important bit. Picking up a pencil from the floor to mark a tile for a cut is no easy task let me tell you. I'm absolutely exhausted. The heavy job didn't seem to bother Elvis the least though, he kept moving and poking and rolling and stretching! Braxton Hicks were as always (I thought all this extra work could have induced early labour but obviously not!) no more and no less. The kicks are now right up the rib-cage and can be quite uncomfortable to be honest. I thought how to describe the feeling of the rolls and I think I found the perfect example...it's like those chairs that massage your back! Except it's in your belly! What do you think?
The scale tells me I've now piled up a total of 16kg. And I feel them all. I'm heavy and can't put my boots on without being out of breath. Not complaining, just stating!
As for other symptoms the sleeping is often interrupted by pee-breaks and generally a stuffed nose as soon as I put my head on the pillow! The lungs feel squashed and so does the stomach, Ithink I'm being a bit nauseous at times too. Still no stretch marks on the belly and have a look below...it's certainly stretching! Week 34 is missing from the series boohoo but you can see the progress.



Finally I want to apologise for my lack of commenting, you are all in my thoughts I'm hoping to get back to my usual self in about a week time!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

OB visit 34w2d

Wow, I've been posting a lot these days!

Just need to update on my OB visit this morning, all well, Dr. L is extremely happy with the scan and all the parameters (he said the blood flow is excellent!! wohoo!!). Mom was with me at this visit too, she absolutely loves seeing the scans.
My next appointment is in two more weeks, but with the Christmas holidays the Dr. is going away for a few days and has me booked in for the 1st of January at 10! He said to enjoy this last Christmas with the two of us alone eehehe.
At the next visit I'll also get a vaginal swab done to check for Strep B infections, I'll be 36w6d by then. We are nearly at the finishing line...

Elvis this morning did a little show for the doctor also, dancing around through the belly! It's as if in the last three days or so he's run out of space completely and he's constantly stretching. I love it!

Mike is flying back today, his talk went well, and we've only been texting each other so I'm dying to hear how it all went. Looking forward to going back to our home routine!

Monday, December 13, 2010

34 weeks down, 6 to go!

My little honeydew is definitely growing! I have to say after the initial MASSIVE appearance of stretch marks on my boobs I have not suffered any others on the belly...it is still too soon to tell I suppose, but I thought I make a note of it for now. Still having plenty of Braxton Hicks, getting up much more often for peeing and I'm eating plenty. My weight is probably a bit higher than the last week but as it's not officially a full Kg I'll keep it at +15kg for now! Following the advice of the midwife who did the pre-natal I've started drinking raspberry leaf tea (I had used it in the past for menstrual cramps). She assured us it won't start labour, but after 34 weeks it should help toning the uterus, so there you go!

You guys were asking about pictures, well I don't have any really, I didn't know but at this gestational age is much more difficult to get a proper shot...we saw the belly, the cord, the head etc but no real profile view to talk about. I do have 3 pics which show the fluid (the deepest pocket), the cord flow and the edge of the placenta, but they are not very interesting I'm afraid. I'll post them though just for the blog records!



Other interesting measurements were:
BPD 83.5 mm
HC 306.8 mm
AC 285.8 mm
FL 67.1 mm

Estimated foetal weight 2.2 Kg (4lb 13oz)

Doppler:
PI 0.83
RI 0.56
S/D 2.26
HB 134bpm

Do you know much about the numbers? They are all within ranges as far as I can tell (the femur is above average, while everything else is slightly below average) but I decided not to do too much research as I know I will obsess (yet again!).

Next visit is tomorrow with the OB. As Mike is away I didn't take a 34w photo yesterday (boohoo) so I'll be posting the next set on Sunday at 35w.

Attic is also coming along, two more weeks and we should move back in!! I'll post the series of pics then.

Finally I've to admit I've given up yoga... first it was the snow and then the icy roads, today I'm just thinking I may as well save the petrol...I really didn't like the teacher, I have only mentioned it once I think how I thought it was a waste of time, as it hasn't got any better unfortunately. I'm doing my Kegel exercises and I want to start on perineal massages soon, that'll have to do!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scan update

This is my first attempt to update the blog from my mobile! Fingers crossed!

I just wanted to let you know that the scan today was great, Elvis is right on track, plenty of fluid, the placenta is higher (not a concern any more!) and the little one scored 8/8 on his biophysical profile!!

Mom was with me as Mike flew out this morning for his conference. First leg of the journey was great (Dublin-Atlanta) and he's waiting to get the flight to Cancun at the moment.

Very happy overall and looking forward to my next visit on Tuesday, I'll post some more on Monday for my weekly update!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still alive and 33 weeks!

We had really severe weather so college only reopened today! In the temporary apartment I have no broadband and updating from the phone is not great, hence the silence!

First of all, thank you for your kind comments on MIL, after a shaky couple of days she is doing brilliantly, she's in great form and the physiotherapist is so impressed with her progress (she's can transfer herself from the bed to the wheelchair unassisted) that they are talking of sending her to a rehab structure within a week! This people is once again a sign of what a fantastic woman she is. FIL is the one that seems to cope worse and hopefully he'll come to term with it soon.
On the other relatives I have no updates, it seems that in one case all is clear thankfully while in the other we still don't know.

And I just noticed that little Elvis is as big as a honeydew!! This is the second last fruit!! Amazing.
So some update on the pregnancy. I am definitely more tired. Similar to how I felt in the first trimester with the added weight though. And talking about weight...the scale said I'm up another kg so I've hit +15 eek!! Ah well, not too bothered really, I will work to lose the weight afterwards! I'm having cramps in my calves and don't sleep that well at all. I do get up at least twice a night for a pee and a sip of water, I have stuffed nose and occasional headaches....but I'll take anything that comes my way!
Another thing is that Mike pointed out at the weekend that I have a "line" developing below my bellybutton! It's the linea nigra!! It's barely visible and nothing like what some ladies get, but still I like it! According to this website which reports all the old wives' tales this would mean that Elvis is an Elvissina! Same as the heart rate and the fact that I'm craving for sweet things....mmhhh not long now until we know...
Movements are very regular, sometime really ticklish when Elvis rolls his foot to my side!

Mike is going to Mexico on friday boohooo between a bit of anxiety about his trip and the fact that he'll be missing the scan and the next OB visit I'm not doing too well on that front, but I'm sure it'll be ok.

Next on the agenda is the big scan on friday (placenta check and measurements etc).

...and mom is coming this evening!! So that I won't be alone when Mike is away! So that's very nice.

Finally the attic is progressing at the speed of light, they are starting plastering today! Woohoo! This means all the major jobs are finished and I absolutely love the place!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MIL, weather and other updates

Thank you to all of you for the kind thoughts on MIL. Surgery went well, they amputated the leg below the knee so once she gets a prosthesis she will be able to walk a bit more naturally. We have not seen her yesterday, we planned to go to the hospital (which is at the other side of the city from where we live) but the weather and traffic were so bad it was absolutely impossible. It took us two hours to get home from work (normally it's no more than 20 minutes). We will go today.

Weather is really cold and it keeps snowing. So Ireland doesn't do snow well at all, it happened in January too. Schools are closed, roads are at various levels of danger (depending whether they salted them so it's very slushy or not and so it's hard snow/ice), cars are not equipped with winter tyres so they are all over the place and drivers are either way too careful (they could walk instead at the speed they are going) or not enough. College issued a statement they are shutting down now and probably will be closed tomorrow too. Given that it's the last week of term with plenty of lectures and labs to finish I don't know how they can fix it. I had less than half the class this morning and thankfully I only had very light material which is not part of the exam. But tomorrow and firday I have three hours teaching plus continuous assessment with the final year students and we'll have to find a way of having those hours done. You see, next week is revision week and then exams starts immediately running till the 22nd of December, there was really no contingency plan in place. We'll see.

More bad news came last night from various relatives in Mike's family, I won't go into details but let's say that things are looking quite bad or at least two of them and feel very sorry for them.

I'm just waiting for Mike to arrive and we go home!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OB upate and MIL

The visit went very well. Due to the heavy snowfall a few people had cancelled their appointment so we had plenty of time with Dr. L. Elvis is growing well (belly measures 33 weeks), fluids all around look good but the placenta is still low. So we have scheduled a more accurate scan for the 10th of December, just before my next appointment with the OB on the 14th. Note that for both visit Mike won't be with me as he's off to a conference in Mexico, so my mum will come along instead. Urine sample and blood pressure checked out perfect which is great. We also chatted a bit about how things are going and so I told him that like he predicted I'm getting a bit nervous about the due date and vaginal delivery. Not for the pain of labour at all, but mostly about things that can go wrong (I know, same old me). I told him I have this image of the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby (which he then checked with the scan and the cord is nice were it should be with plenty of room and seemed to be going from his belly up into the placenta!) and that he may get oxygen deprived during birth. Again he said they will be monitoring the baby very closely during labour and intervene immediately if they think there is any sign of distress, but that all the options are open to me, that there is no rush in deciding as we can schedule a c-section at a very late notice (it would happen a week before the due date). Once again I was very reassured and happily went on my way. I so love the appointments being so close together!

So all was good. Until I got a call from Mike. I had not written about this as I was hoping to be able to write part 2 of MIL story when everything had settled down, but things have taken a turn for the worse unfortunately. MIL has been in hospital for the last 8 weeks (with a brief time off in the middle) for clots in her right leg. They have attempted several procedures to by-pass the clots and restore blood flow to the foot, but her veins and arteries are so compromised that there is no improvement in her circulation. This is such a painful condition she's on pain medication almost constantly. They evaluated the possibility to do a chemical block to the nerve so that she wouldn't feel pain and could exercise the leg a bit. As of Friday this was no longer an option as the nerve the would need to intervene on is too close to the kidney (she had a kidney transplant 20 years ago) and they could not risk it. Last night we were informed that they were considering amputating her leg towards the end of the week. This morning the situation must have looked different as Mike got the call from the consultant that they are going ahead with the surgery today. While this would be a dreaded solution to most people, MIL is looking forward to being pain free (it may give you an idea of how painful the leg is). I believe she's in surgery now. They couldn't tell where they would amputate, if below or above the knee until they are operating. Any thoughts you have to spare for her please do so, she is a fantastic woman and I want Elvis to spend plenty of time with her grandmother. I'll update when I have news.

Monday, November 29, 2010

32 weeks and lots of snow

Yesterday I turned the page on the book that brought me officially into the 8th month of pregnancy! Woohoo! Everything is great thankfully, the only thing I have to mention is that I'm getting cramps in my calves at night (it seems to be the right one mostly) and I started having very vivid dreams/borderline nightmares!! Last night I dreamt something like "28 days later" the movie...not sure what prompted it but sure when I woke up (heart pounding and Elvis kicking!) I had to pee and was afraid to go to the loo!! Yes yes silly I know, but in daylight all is good!
My weight is pretty much stable this week, sure with the scale I'm using we have to allow for a plus or minus a Kg, but I considered it still +14 as of yesterday.
I thought Elvis has somewhat a pattern in his movements but not quite. He used to be active around the time the alarm went off but this is not happening anymore (well in the last few days anyway) so I think he's active beforehand and after breakfast. I still panic a bit if I think he should be moving and he doesn't, but then he starts and there's no doubt he's happy! So I calm down again, until the next time...

Tomorrow I have the OB visit, I look forward to it, hopefully it'll all be well.

On Saturday we woke up to a white landscape, it snowed!! I love snow but like last year people panic a good bit and don't really enjoy it. It's very cold, like, unusually cold for this time of the year, it should last until friday which is also the LAST DAY of term!!!! Oh my God I'm soo counting, mainly so that we can come into work without the fear of not finding a car space LOL! Patches and The Dude are fascinated by the snow and spend ages looking outside the windows.

The attic is almost ready for the cosmetic work, windows are in, plasterboard too and I can't wait to see what it will look like at the end of the week! Like my friend Saige suggested, I may make a little slide show once it's done!
Oh and Hannah was asking if I was wearing maternity jeans in the photos and yes, definitely maternity!

That's it for now, I'll update again tomorrow.


Monday, November 22, 2010

31 weeks, ante-natal course and pictures update

Woohooo we are at 31 weeks!! All is good, sure I'm getting up a bit more often at night and I have this restless legs syndrome which is quite annoying but bring it all on, I'm so so happy to have got this far! Little Elvis is moving regularly, very reassuring and I started feeling him/her a lot at night also. Again I'm certainly not complaining!
Weight is the same as the last week, it wasn't a full kg then but it certainly is this week, so holding at +14kg. For your delight here are my latest pictures, I think I'm growing a bit!


I want to tell you also about my full day ante-natal course. It was great. The midwife who led it was really engaging and I loved her, pity she is not working in the hospital I'll be going to. There were 13 couples and she got us to introduce ourselves stating the due day, one thing we love about pregnancy and one thing we don't like. I was about the third person to talk, I just could not think one single negative thing (maybe I could have said how I worry so much) so I just said I loved it all. The couple next to us said something like "We are just delighted to be finally pregnant" and that sounded quite familiar...can you smell infertility in people? it turned out they had been trying for 7 years with several failed IVFs and finally went to Madrid (where the wife was from) and got their miracle. They didn't share this with the group, but Mike and the other husband met in the loo and got talking. It was great to chat with them, they are maybe a week behind us. Anyway, the highlight of the introduction round was this lady (who arrived very dressed up, heels, skirt, make-up etc) who stated that what she found very difficult to cope with during her pregnancy was... fashion...yes, you read correctly...fashion!! Ah bless her, missing her shoes and nice dresses... there are some real people out there. We all secretly wished her to have a boy who wants to wear nothing other than a scruffy track-suit! Note that her only other contribution to the day was when she asked the midwife if she could wear jewellery during labour and delivery and what about gel-nails and varnish... yes yes I know, this is obviously a clueless one, it was a while since I had met one that bad.
We had a paediatrician coming in giving us plenty of info, overall a great day and I feel much more reassured we can do it!

I promise I will post a special post on the attic project, it's flying!! We think this week major things will happen, the electrician was in last week doing all the cabling, this week the plumber should arrange for the sanitary-ware pipes etc. Windows should arrive also! Mike is taking photos once a week so it's great to see the progress given that I'm NOT venturing up in the attic via a builder's ladder!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OB visit and everything looks good

Thank you all so much for sharing your stories about belly-comments! I know I'm not alone and it's great to hear it from you all. I admit, I'm sure I am guilty too of having made such comments in the past, and I'll never do that again.

Anyway, I did tell the doctor this morning about the "small belly" comments, he kind of giggled a bit and said that pregnant women are like magnets, they attract all sort of comments! Amazingly, he took out a measuring tape and measured my belly which is an indication of the number of weeks plus or minus 3 and I measure 31!

Elvis still head down and all looks good! Doctor thinks it's very likely it will now stay in that position. Placenta not checked but we'll have a better look in two weeks (my next appointment!) and we'll schedule the more accurate scan then for 34 weeks.
Urines checked out great so nothing to worry about there either.

Crazy week in work, but only 3 weeks till the end of term, so I'm singing in my head "I will survive"!! Love to all and once again thanks so much for your support!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 weeks down, 10 to go!

And 30! Not much to report since last week, my contractions have eased a good bit and now I get them more occasionally (still every day though). I did call the OB to ask just in case, but he confirmed it's nothing to worry about.

I've put on a bit of weight since last week, maybe not a full kg but almost. I think it's pretty normal and I'm just happy I'm not constantly gaining weight! So I'm at +14kg now.
I have noticed I'm getting more tired in the evenings and I do get up a bit more at night to pee, but other than that all is well. Movements are good, as always some days Elvis is more active than others but I have relaxed a bit about it too which is great.

Comments I've been getting from IRL people have started worrying me a bit (as if I needed to worry about something else!!). They keep telling me how small my belly is...and while I know the appearance means very little, I can't help thinking what if Elvis is not growing enough? My OB never takes measurements so I don't know how bit he is, but tomorrow I'll ask just in case.
Thankfully I met a very good friend of mine on Thursday for lunch. She's also pregnant and a couple of weeks behind me. This is her second baby and with her first pregnancy she was really small but had a perfectly healthy baby. She is very fit and even with this second pregnancy she is barely showing. Anyway, I shared my concerns and she was brilliant, she said people were telling her the same thing all along and eventually she also got a bit paranoid that something was wrong. Her OB totally reassured her as it has to do with the strength of your abdominal muscles which may hold the uterus more upright instead than projecting forward. Once the baby moves well and there is plenty of fluid around him all is just as it should be.

Our attic is progressing well! Now the house looks like it's been bombed to be honest, there was no way we could have lived there when the works were ongoing. I think this week they should be able to finish reinforcing the roof and floor (steel beams are in) and then they can start building again. Stairs and windows have been ordered so things are on schedule!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Upgraded to a Squash! 29 weeks

We have no broadband in the temporary accommodation, so I could not update yesterday as usual!

Anyway, 29 weeks along and doing well, no weight gain which means I'm steady at +13Kg (now I'm worrying I should actually put up a bit of weight given that I'm the last trimester!!! Same old me...). Sleeping ok, getting up at least a couple of times to pee but I don't feel too tired in the morning. Turning around in the bed is becoming a bit more uncomfortable, I can feel the weight of Elvis, specially if I'm on my right side. Whichever position he is in, I have like a hard "dome" on my upper right side of the belly. I think it's his bum! It doesn't move much and I feel kicks mostly on the left hand side as if there's where the room is but Elvis is all on the right.

I do kick counting even though my OB (and many others) are not really in favour of it as I mentioned before, still, it makes me feel more relaxed as Elvis moves certainly much more than 10 times in 2 hours (when he's awake!) and one main difference I've noticed is that now the movements are more like rolls and shifts and pressure than hard kicks (though I get them as well). And I think I felt hiccups too! Lately I have quite a few Braxton-Hicks and the belly is really hard...I know it's normal but I thought those contractions would come and go while I seem to have a contracted uterus for a long time specially if I'm walking. I'll ask next week just to be sure.

The temporary accommodation is perfect, we've all settled in very nicely (both Patches and the Dude absolutely love it!) and it's so so convenient to our place it's almost a dream. On saturday we picked up the tiles for the bathroom and I think we now have everything. The works are progressing right on schedule, after only one week so much had been done already! This week the windows and stairs will be ordered and the steel beams positioned. We are taking pics every week so I will post a progress update in a couple of weeks to let you see how it goes!

Only four more weeks of term. I can't wait! I have my teaching almost done and it's a great milestone to look forward too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vaccinated and Relocated!

Hi had my flu vaccine shot today. Let's hope I won't react badly to it!!

We have moved out of the duplex and into our new superfab-magazine-style penthouse. It's a one-bed top floor apt and a part for being small it's really cute. The first night was a nightmare, Patches and the Dude were very unsettled and I don't think I slept much at all. Teaching and meetings all day long on monday and yoga at 8.10 pm....I don't know how I got to the end of the day. We have only one problem in the new place which is parking. In that part of the estate, there are loads of apartments and very little parking. If the weather was good it wouldn't be a big deal parking one car in our own spot at the duplex and walk back...but it's Ireland! And it's November!! Not such a a thing as good weather unfortunately. Anyway, I crashed on the bed and had a great night sleep so I'm a new woman today! No more spotting so that's good and Elvis seems to like the new bed also with frequent signs of appreciation. Go Elvis!
We had a final meeting with the builder yesterday, all is on schedule and we signed contracts so we will be moving back into the house before Christmas. Fingers crossed!! Can't wait to see how it all goes!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Milestone three: 28 weeks. A trip to L&D and moving out!

These past few days have been full of excitement. Our stroller system and Stokke Sleepi combo arrived on Thursday and we love it!! We only assembled the stroller as it's neater to keep the cot in the box with all the works that will be going on. Here's what it looks like (and don't look at the mess around the place, we are packing!! The Dude is also very interested....)


Then, I woke up on Saturday feeling very dizzy. Never happened during the pregnancy but I did suffer of this occasionally in the past. Not sure what it is, sounds like vertigo of course, but it solves itself in a couple of days max. Anyway, we are packing and moving things around the house as our Attic project will start tomorrow and we are moving out today. I couldn't do much at all but Mike is just brilliant. In the afternoon after coming back from shopping I went to the bathroom and found my knickers were stained. Damn. Not much of course, and light in colour. But still. And I had been dizzy all day. So I remember the ultrasound tech said it could happen, to stay calm and get checked out. This is the conversation between me and Mike that took place.

Me: "Mike, I'm spotting a bit"
Mike: "Oh...I think it's ok"
Me: "... I want to go to the Maternity Hospital just in case"
Mike: "Do you want to give them a call?"
Me: "No! I WANT to go there"
Mike: "Ok so"
Jeez.
And off we went. I could feel Elvis moving, so I knew he was ok, I was thinking mostly it could be my mucous plug and kept repeating to myself we are 28 weeks already, it's going to be ok even if Elvis will arrive early. I had no contractions, but then you know the way your mind play games so I started feeling tightening in my back but nothing major.
When we checked in, I told the receptionist I was 28 weeks, with low placenta and mild spotting. She made a quick phone call and said to us "Ok, better not go to casualties, we go directly to the Delivery ward" both Mike and I nearly passed out!! She quickly explained that it was just a precaution and that they had all the equipment up there to check me out properly.
All was well, Elvis HB was checked by a midwife (140bpm), my blood pressure was a bit low (100/60) but there was no reason of real concern. The doctor came along (incidentally the same doctor that admitted me with the ectopic last year..) and gave me a scan which showed that the majority of the placenta is now high and I only have a little "tale" which is still low. No sign of detachment, plenty of fluid and Evis moving around. He didn't do an internal and said minor spotting can be perfectly normal but to go back if I had bleeding of course. While I was getting dressed we heard from the room next to us a baby crying and lots of cheers and the words "We are having a boy!!" Oh my God, I really think Elvis is a boy now!! Interestingly we heard no screaming beforehand, only a baby heartbeat being monitored. If that's the way it's going to be it doesn't sound too bad at all!
Right so, back home we went.

And today is really 28 weeks! No weight gain and nothing much to report. Sleeping is still on and off and I'm getting a bit more tired. Eating well and drinking plenty of fluids. Thanks to all of you for the reassurance on the movements, I'm definitely more relaxed now (and considering this is going to be an even week my positivity should spike!). I have a dense week ahead, teaching, talking at a conference on thursday, meetings of all sorts...it should go by quite quickly (I hope!). Checking out for now, we are taking pics of the attic as is now and we'll do so as the works go on, can't wait to have it finished!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

OB visit!

All looks good. We had a quick look at Elvis who is still head down and so much bigger! Our OB doesn't take measurements but just checks that everything is in order. The only thing is that my placenta is still low. It's never been previa but it sits very near the cervix. The doctor said there's plenty of time and I will have a more accurate scan at 34 weeks to make sure it's distant enough from the cervix to allow for a safe natural birth. If not, we'll schedule a C-section. No big deal for me really, we'll do what we have to do! Oh, my uterus is as big at it should be, so in fact I'm not sure where my stomach is any more...maybe behind it?

He also answered all my questions very extensively. First of all he's of the opinion that kick counting may cause a bit of stress and the pattern may change quite a bit even daily. He says a baby can sleep between 1 and 1 and half hour where he doesn't move at all and it's perfectly normal to have times of the day when you don't feel anything for a while. So if you pick that hour to do the kick count you may panic for no reason. He also said you can never have to many movements, if a baby is in distress it will move less to preserve energy, not more. From my description of the movements he said Elvis is very active! Go Elvis! I'd say he's practising songs!
In any case, he said that if I have a day where I have been very busy and realise I didn't feel Elvis moving much, to sit down and do the counting. If I'm not satisfied with the counting to go straight to the hospital (i.e. do not wait for the next day!) and they'll check me out. It's good enough for me!
Next the glucose test: as I have no family history of diabetes, my blood pressure and weight are perfectly normal and the pregnancy is progressing very well, he thinks the urine test is enough to keep me monitored (and I do it at every visit). Perfect so!
Finally the flu vaccine: he would recommend it. Mainly he said that if I do get the flu I have 4 times higher risk to get complications (baby will be fine) and the worst that can happen is pneumonia. So I'm thinking about it. Mom just reminded me that the only time I had a flu vaccine when I was a child I had quite a reaction to it so she is a bit uneasy about it. We'll ask our family friend OB for an opinion and see (and thanks for your kind opinion on this matter too!)

Next appointment on the 16th of November! And from then on it'll be every 2 weeks!!

In other news, we have cleared the office in the house and Mike has done major relocation of all the stuff that was stored in the attic...works are less than a week away!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another week: 27, pics and other updates

Another week has gone by...according to some tickers/books/calendars etc I appear to have entered the third trimester. According to other tickers/books/calendars that won't be until next week. Mmh. Confusing a bit. Given that yesterday was the 23rd and my due day is the 23rd of January I think I'm only 3 months away from the true miracle hence welcome third trimester!

First news is on my weight update. Sadly I have to admit to another Kg piling up on me. Officially +13 kg this morning. I'm not worried at this stage mind you, just stating the fact. I'm regularly doing kick/movements counting (as in several times a day!!) as you know I'm a bit obsessed with a few things and depending on whether Elvis is active or not, it may take from 2 minutes (very active!) to 20 minutes (I think when he's almost asleep) but I think it's ok as the 2 minutes pattern happens at least once a day and the most common time-scale is 5-10 minutes. I definitely want to find out more about baby activity though as I certainly can't say Elvis moves all day long, and what's not clear to me is if in any given hour of the day I should feel him at least 10 times. Seems strange if that's true. Any thoughts?

Everything else about the pregnancy is well, I eat and sleep ok (getting up once or twice), feeling quite thirsty too. No swelling at the moment and my "even week" went by in a positive frame of mind. We'll see about this next one!

I have my OB appointment on Tuesday morning and here are a few questions for the doctor.

1) Movements, patterns, sleep/wake times of the baby. When exactly should one get concerned?
2) Flu vaccine, should I do it? I would rather not, but I'll listen to what he says.
3) Glucose test. I hear several people in blog-land have generally done it already, but again I'm not sure if in Ireland you have to do it if you have some signs or risk factors (which I don't think I have)

In other news. We have ordered the cot that I mentioned in the previous post and pram system!! I thought it would have taken a few weeks but apparently we will get things delivered at the end of the week aaahaggghhhh!! Breathe innnn and out....A fab cycber friend from a local board gave me loads of tips on the pram system and above all the car seat, so given that the system we chose is able to accommodate several type of car seats we decided to get it and decide later on the car seat. I'll post pics of it when we get it as I can't find a proper link to the pram system. Meanwhile, here's my last set of belly shots (I'll change outfit for the next ones as the white top isn't making much of the contrast with the wall behind)!


But the big big news is on the Attic Project! We are starting on the 1st of November!! So this weekend we are fully clearing out the office and Mike will bring down boxes from the attic so that the builders can work. They will definitely finish by Christmas and they hope even sooner than that. We also bought the wooden floor that Mike will put down himself. The only things we are still missing are the tiles (we saw them but not bought them). I'll take pics of the developments for sure! We will be moving out next weekend too so there is a lot of planning and packing to do!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A bigger eggplant I suppose...26 weeks!

I like the even weeks. Somehow I feel more relaxed in those. A good cyber friend made me notice that this is very unusual so I started thinking how can this be. Well, first of all it seems that all the big milestones in a pregnancy are happening in even numbers....12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, 28 weeks, and so on. Then my OB appointments were generally on even weeks, and even if I don't have one this week the next one is only 9 days away.

First big news to report is that I am the same weight this week too! 69kg!! woohoo delighted with myself (it means I'm holding steady at +12kg). In all honesty probably it's going towards 70kg, but the needle was not there yet so it doesn't count until next week.
Elvis has now almost predictable patterns of wake and sleep. I am quite sure is very awake at night even though he doesn't wake me up at all, but yesterday we went to bed very late and it was all go go go in my belly. I feel he's definitely head down as the strongest movements (which I attribute to kicks) are up high. Then he's awake early morning when I stay in bed a few more minutes after the alarm has gone off. Mid morning I get usually another few flips and kicks. then afternoon and before dinner and again before going to bed. I admit I do get nervous if I think it's been a while since he kicked me, and I repeat to myself that he has to sleep too and the doctor said babies sleep for 1 or 2 hours at the time.
We still check the heartbeat with the doppler and now we are picking up on rate variations which is apparently a good thing! Admittedly I freaked out the first time I realised that while listening the rate seemed to be picking up pace and then slow down...we are still talking of rates never lower than 140 and never higher than 160. I've read that it has to do with the nervous system developing further.

Another big step we made is that we started looking at cribs and strollers!! Oh dear, the choice is huge! But we are quite set on the crib which is a modular system which transforms into a bed and you can use it until the baby is about 3 years old and we think at that point we'll move him into a proper size bed. Here are some pics. The brand is Stokke and it's known to be quite expensive but we found a UK based website which has great deals!

The crib system

The bed (it's the crib with extra panels added and bigger mattress)

Initially we were looking into babybay and co-sleeping solutions but we like this one a lot more.
On the stroller the jury is still out. Again we need something light frame-wise as we live on a first floor duplex which means we have stairs to get to the front door. We are thinking to get a travel system which combines a carrycot, a car seat and the stroller for when he's a bit bigger.

Finally a quick update on the Attic project. The architect has received the 3 quotations and we are going to look at them tomorrow! Woohoo!

Friday, October 15, 2010

100

My ticker says it's 100 days till due date. Wow. From tomorrow we'll be in double digits!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The baby show, first purchase and yoga

The baby show was good. We were there mid afternoon and it closed at 6pm, so it wasn't too crowded and we got loads of goodies! I have to say, although it was obviously going to be the case, I was overwhelmed by the amount of pregnant women in the one spot. Looking at some of the due dates at the stands (nearly all of them asked for our email address and due date to send info and vouchers etc) I was shocked to see some couples been at the show and due as late as April. I admire and envy their confidence to be honest.
The main points were that we booked a prenatal training class which run in one day only from morning to afternoon (rather than a few evenings) and it's close to home which is always a great bonus. We got a book on pregnancy in Ireland for free and actually it is written by our OB's colleague and came highly recommended. We didn't buy it as we had the "What to expect..." one, but you never say no to a freebie! It's good I have to say. We got a few lotions, baby products and a cute bath-towel from various suppliers which I put in the one box once I got home. We made our first purchase which was...drum rolls please...a Baby Monitor! Here I go again with the anxiety I know, but it was great value and exactly the one I wanted. And we got a small baby bottle (another freebie) which works with a complicated system to avoid colics. We'll see if it works and if it's needed! We spent a lot of time learning about eco-friendly products like reusable nappies, we'd like to give it a go, I'm quite realistic and I think it'll be likely we'll have a mix of disposable and reusable, but it's better than nothing I suppose! I'm looking also at buying a sling to carry the baby around, I have a couple of friends who swear by it. We are learning plenty on 3 in 1 travel systems, still no idea which one to get. And I think I want to get a German co-sleeper type of cot, but that'll have to be an eBay purchase I think.
So I came home quite happy and believing a little more in our miracle.

Then I went to yoga last night. to be honest the exercising is good but I don't particularly like the teacher. The lesson should last 90 minutes (and it costs 18 euro which is pretty steep even for Dublin) and I think she chats for about 30 about her philosophy of yoga and how she works with energy and feelings and the whole person so it's very difficult to put it on paper but she has a DVD you should really really buy as it's on special offer this month...come on!!! Can we get going already?? Note that she insists you pay a set of lessons (I paid 10 up to Christmas despite my difficulties of seeing ahead) and not because there is any advantage for you (normally you do pay overall a little less than if you were to pay each lesson individually) only so that she can bank on your money. So this part I hate. She asked a girl how her husband found the couple night last week and she said that for 18 euro (the partner pays extra, it's not like a night where he/she can just join in as part of the course) it would have been helpful to have maybe a short handout with poses and movements etc. Oh God, I'm sure she regretted saying his as the above mentioned conversation then took place. The teacher even said that maybe she should charge more and include her DVD (would you stuff that DVD up your....and shut up?) as she knows there are teachers charging even 100 euro per couple... outrageous right? But I checked it up too and normally this is a workshop lasting a day, not 90 minutes!! Anyway, I don't think I would recommend her to be honest, I'd rather be more practical and down to breathing exercises and loosening muscles....what do you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An eggplant in my belly! 25 weeks

Little Elvis has graduated from a papaya to an eggplant! Woohoo! And he's making is presence more and more obvious. I know really kick counting is not meaning much right now (and with the anterior placenta I may still miss the lighter ones) but I couldn't resist so I got an App for my newest toy (aka the iphone 4!) which allows you to record several things during the pregnancy (your mood, cravings, energy etc. and kick counts as well as contractions when the time will be right!).
So at the peak of his activity it won't take 4 minutes to have 10 kicks/movements. When he's less active I still get to 10 within 10 minutes! Go Elvis!

Let's see where we are at. No weight gain since last week!! Woohoo! That's nice. Trying to eat very healthy and I've hidden the Nutella jar just in case... sleeping isn't great, I'm warm, I have to pee, I toss and turn...but somehow I don't seem to be tired during the day which is nice. Yesterday evening my feet were a bit swollen again but it goes away after a night in bed. So all is good! Can't wait to go to yoga tomorrow night, I'm sure it's not a couple night eheeh!
The plan for today is to go to a Baby show which happens every year in Dublin (but sure I never even know when that was...) to see what's out there. I suppose this is a good sign I'm relaxing a bit.

I have to share with you another fantastic news. I think I may have mentioned before that in Ireland IVF is not covered at all by any health insurance (ok...there is one that gives you 1000 euro once off for fert treatments, I laughed!), you do get tax back and you get the meds as part of a medical drug scheme which means you pay 120 euro a month and the clinic is generally very good and prescribes all the meds you need until test day in one go. Still it's tough for many many couples. Well, my clinic is part of a pilot scheme set up by former patients who have set up a charity to raise money for couples who can't afford treatments. Once a couple is awarded the clinic will provide scans, bloodtests, consultations for free. Isn't it amazing? I obviously immediately emailed the promoter to help in any way I can. If you feel like it, have a look at their website which is stunning http://www.pomegranate.ie/

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The OB visit

Finally I can update! Yesterday after the OB appointment I was on a panel for some scholarships assignment and had no email access!! Ahhh, nearly had withdrawal symptoms! Then once home I was so so tired I didn't fire up the computer at all...

Anyway, the visit went very well, apparently Elvis has assumed position!!I did notice that I started feeling movements much higher up (as if they are in my stomach) or low down, but not on the sides so much. His little heart was beating away and everything looked good, including the amniotic fluid and the placenta seemed to be a bit higher up also.
My urine sample was fine, and so were the results from the thyroid blood work I did at my 20 weeks scan! That's great as I wasn't sure how those would have turned out!
We talked about the Braxton Hicks contractions I had (Dr. L had actually written down in his notes about our conversation!) and the fact that they are totally gone now, or at least I don't notice them at all. He said they can be very normal and unless they become very very frequent, I have spotting associated with it or the waters break there's nothing to worry about. I thought I had them because of all the travelling, but he said that really the uterus most of the time has a mind of its own! All good then!
I asked him about the weight gain and popped on his scale to see the difference from the 12 weeks weight. It says I'm "only" plus 8kg! Now, I'm pretty sure with the steroids and all I had piled up a good 4 kg between the pre-preg weight and 12 weeks, but still....it feels better. He said not to worry too much to be honest, the only problem may be for me to loose the weight after birth but it's not a huge gain by any means! Woohooo! Love the Irish philosophy! Of course thanks to all of you also for the reassuring words on weight gain and although I do love the new boobs (it does look like I had a bit of a job done!) I was also gifted with itchy stretch-marks in that same area which I'm afraid will look like a geographical map once the "thinning" effect after pregnancy and breastfeeding will occur. Ah well, I'm sure I won't really care too much!
Finally, I asked the OB if in Ireland there was such a program as the cord-blood donation. Nope. Pity to be honest...

Oh, I meant to say that now that the fear of incompetent cervix has somewhat subsided (I have hope it wouldn't be a tragedy at this stage) and with it the premature labour (again viability gave me this major relief) I have this new fear now which is the possibility of umbilical cord real nots and torsion...ah well... you know me by now, so just shake your head and say out loud "will she ever relax and enjoy?" eheheh

But yoga on monday night was great. Actually as it was my first time (missed the first three sessions), I didn't know that it was "couple nights" and that we were going to tackle labour and breathing techniques...so there were three couples...and me!! boohoooo!! I wasn't even wearing my rings so I felt quite lonely but then just paired up with the teacher thinking of myself as if I was in a lesbian couple and giggled all the way through!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Milestone two: 24 weeks

We got this far! So happy! I know this is a big big step towards in fact having a baby in January. At 24 weeks there is already a chance of survival should something happen... (but no kidding anyone, that chance is still very small).
If little Elvis has grown according to my book, he should be about 700gr. Still smaller than Patches who's as light as a feather and around 2 kg! I can hardly imagine a baby that small!
I also stepped on the scale again this morning, I hadn't done it in 4 weeks, everyone is telling me they don't believe I had put on so much weight and yet, unless the scale has some sort of specific hate for me I was +11kg at 20 weeks. Today it says I'm 69kg which makes a total +12kg. According to my OB/gyn this should be the total gain at the end of my pregnancy. Boohooo.... But it's only a kg in four weeks...can I celebrate with a huge cake? eheheh
So where is it all piling up? Boobs are number one. Although I still fit somewhat in a D cup, I'm much more likely a comfortable DD. I was a B cup before pregnancy. Some change!
The belly is probably number two. It's rounder and hopefully bigger. I don't have a photo from last week as I was away, so I'm hoping this next series (24-28 weeks) will show some significant change. A bit of fluid retention maybe contributes too, even though after coming back from the Azores I didn't have significant swelling of the ankles anymore which is a great relief. Anyway, that is the weight gain at the moment, even though I don't see it on me that much.
I feel very well, I sleep OK now, getting up a couple of times to go to the bathroom (I'm starting to believe that the fact that you get up less to pee in the second semester is an urban myth!) but not complaining. Back pain is not significant for now and I'm going to yoga tomorrow night so we'll see if I manage, but I'm positive it will help.
Eating normally, no real cravings, still love chocolate but trying to limit the intake!
Energy level is good too, I'm back in the full teaching swing and doing well.

Next thing happening is my OB visit on tuesday. I'm going to get on his scale and see what that says since week 12. Feeling a bit more relaxed also which is just great (finally! Some of you may say...) Elvis is moving regularly and I started feeling him even when I'm standing up!

Just a quick update on the Attic Project: we should be getting 3 quotes by October the 15th! Hoping to start a week later at the latest. I know it seems this is taking ages, I hope once they are actually starting it will be quicker.
And finally, I treated myself to an Iphone 4! Whowhooo totally loving it! This has become the new toy now...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Still a papaya! Yet I'm 23 weeks

Another week under the belt!! Woohoo! I'm feeling well and in fact some symptoms have improved a lot.
The swelling around the ankles is completely gone, this may be due to a cooler temperature (but in Ireland it hardly went above 20°C when the fluid retention started) or it may just have been one of those things that comes and goes. I'm glad it's gone for now.
The Braxton-Hicks contractions have also disappeared which is great because even though it was normal it made me feel a bit more anxious. I'll gladly welcome them back further on. I have to say after the OB visit on friday I do feel a bit more confident that things are ok.
Little Elvis is moving very regularly after breakfast, after lunch and in the evening until I go to bed. When I get up for a pee Elvis also moves around a bit but it definitely doesn't affect my sleep.
Energy is pretty good, although yesterday I did quite a lot of walking between shopping and heardresser and ice-cream (yes I know about the weight...sure who would say no to an ice cream when they are just so so delicious??) and I was in bed before 10 pm!
Tomorrow I'm travelling to Florence as I am part of an examining panel for MSc degrees (in fact one of my current student will defend her MSc thesis) and on tuesday morning I'm meeting some colleagues from my home town University to discuss common projects. I have also a bit more shopping to do as tomorrow is Mike's birthday and I have a nice idea in mind, I hope I can find what I'm looking for.

I can't remember if I had updated recently on the attic project, but we are at tender stage and hopefully we'll be able to get going in the next two-three weeks! The agreement is that everything must be finished by early December. Let's hope!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A quick one

I wanted to update on my "peace of mind" visit to the family friend OB/gyn today just a few hours after landing in my home town!
He basically did a full scan to the depth of the anatomy scan! Mom was there too and I think she was so so happy and impressed with all the modern technology and all that you can see. Elvis is growing perfectly, every measure is just as it should be! His estimated weight is now 591 grams! And while the OB was very happy with Elvis's weight gain he gave me a little lesson about mine...he said I really should pace myself or I may have some problems in the last trimester... boohooo right so, I'll do my best.
He also measured by doppler the blood-flow to the uterus (in Ireland nobody ever checked, I didn't even know it was a parameter to look at!) and it's also perfectly in the range.
The placenta is still low but it looked a bit higher to me, he also was not concerned and just said to have it checked it again in a few weeks.
Finally I really wanted him to check my cervix (in fact that was the main thing I wanted to have checked!), but in the office where we were today the machine didn't have a transvaginal wand (just my luck!) so he offered to do an internal exam and get a feel for the cervix. I jumped at the oportunity as I mentioned before in Ireland this is never done. Anyway, all looks good at the manual exam, no obvious shortening and certainly it's tight close. From the external scan there didn't seem to be any funneling and the baby is high and not sitting on it, so he reassured me as much as he could and this will have to do! (of course if I could write down we had a measure for the cervix...)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A couple of Braxton Hicks

Thanks so much for your comments on the ring and the belly! Mike was very proud of himself!

So with all the travelling that happened last week, I had noticed that my belly became tight at times. Not painful at all, just rock hard. It would go away within a minute or so and it was worse if I was in bed belly-up. Then I came home and it happened a couple more times. I also sometimes experience a stabbing sensation in my whoo-haa, nothing breathtaking and it lasts just a second or so. Plus my tail bone seems sore. And my tummy is acting up a bit (in the sense that some days I don't go at all, others I have to run to the toilet!). Mmmh. You know I have the fear of pre-term labour and incompetent cervix so....I kind of started wondering...

What's normal and what isn't?

To be totally honest, I wasn't particularly concerned, but then I'm travelling again this friday and certainly I don't want to underestimate something that may be important. On monday I called the hospital and spoke with a midwife, told her all my symptoms to see what she thought. She said "Nothing to worry about, these are Braxton-Hicks, perfectly normal". Really? At 22 weeks? Somehow I thought they would start further on, like...30 weeks or so. She also said "The stabbing sensation is your pelvis stretching and the same is valid for the tail-bone which is readjusting" Are you serious? At 22 weeks?? Maybe. Surely I checked my book and the ever faithful Dr. Google and all I'm experiencing does in fact appear to be normal from 20 weeks onwards. I'd like this to be spelt out in every corner of the World so that anxious pregnant women don't get too stressed out. For extra reassurance I also called my OB who was extremely nice as always and he too reassured me it was all normal. Right so, I'm convinced, it's normal.

Still I'm going to have an ultrasound and proper cervical length measured by the family friend OB/gyn on friday afternoon as soon as I arrive home....

If I'll ever be pregnant again I have to believe I'll be more relaxed, time flies only when you are enjoying it right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

22 weeks and I'm back!

And it's 22. Still amazed to be honest.
The conference-trip away to the Azores was great (food was something else and the views...oh my God...totally recommend it) but tiring...my feet and ankles were so so swollen but the temperature didn't really allow to wear support socks...I took it as easy as I could and to be honest being away made me a bit nervous. You know all the what ifs...But I had the doppler with me and it was such a reassuring thing! The highlight of the conference was that my student won the best poster award! Woohoo!! So nice for her and for me too!

My belly is growing and I feel the baby moving much more regularly specially since the last few days! And it's a papaya now! Woohoo! But I am a bit more tired (perhaps still from the trip), we were away at the weekend too so a bit more travelling added up...and I'm going to Italy next friday! I promise that's the end of my travelling...and I have a cold as a nice gift from the air plane too...

When I came home on friday last, it was my birthday and Mike surprised me with a totally unexpected gift! Almost two years ago I had gone back to our jeweller with an idea of a ring in mind. We chose the stone and planned the design, but then...one thing and another the ring was never ready when we were in Italy and I kind of gave up on it after a while. Well...the ring magically appeared in Dublin in my kitchen!

I love it! And it's great also I can wear it now, it was planned for my right hand but due to the bit of fluid retention it doesn't quite fit and I am wearing it comfortably on my ring finger which felt very bare since I had to take off the weeding and engagement rings!

I'm also posting another series of belly pictures to humour you a bit (I know you can't wait LOL!) I don't have a weight update as I was away and I religiously take it on Sunday morning after peeing and before breakfast...


What do you think? It seems almost the same to me, I know the pics aren't identical but a part from the fact that the belly feels higher (I could find the heartbeat beside the bellybutton the other day!) it has not projected forward much. We'll see if I have a growth spur in the next while. Oh and I'm starting pregnancy yoga tomorrow!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

21 weeks (tomorrow!)

It's a day early but given that I'll be flying to the Azores very early in the morning I'm not sure I'll have the time to update.

So this week really flew by. With all that happened it feels like the days were on top of each other. Yesterday there was the funeral of the girl who passed away and I decided not to go. I get so upset and emotional at funerals I don't think I could cope with the devastation of her parents and friends. I hope everyone understands.

I'm feeling well overall, I've changed the prenatal medicine since yesterday and my tummy has taken a turn! I hope it'll settle soon.
I feel more regular movements, definitely every day now and it's really reassuring. I can feel them as high as my belly button at times and if Mike has his hand in the right spot at the right time he can feel the kicks too! He loves it and makes so so real.

I'll bring the laptop to the conference so I hope I can stay tuned with what my cyber friends are up to, otherwise I'll catch up with you all when I'm back next weekend. Actually the plan at the moment is that as I touch down in Dublin on friday (my birthday wohoo!) we'll bring the cats to the cattery and we head off to the countryside for the weekend visiting our dear friends in their fairy tale cottage! So lot's of travelling ahead, I'll make sure I'll rest as much as I can any time I can.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Anatomy Scan

It went well! Wohoo!!

But the day started really badly. I came into work and found out that a girl doing her PhD in the lab beside mine passed away suddenly last night. it sounds like an aneurysm but it's not know yet. Her friends were devastated as you can imagine, their supervisor was out of the Country and expected back today so I was alone there with them not really knowing what to do... It was terrible.
When Mike arrived saw the dreadful atmosphere and tried to make me focus on our little Elvis and that it was different and that everything would have been ok. But our trip into town wasn't the most cheerful.

The tech was lovely and took all the time needed to explain to us what she was doing. Everything measured as it should be, Elvis is 20w2d (officially 20w3d) and doing really well. He was moving a lot and at times it was difficult to get the right angles, but she managed all the same.
One thing that really surprised me was that she was scanning as high as above my belly button!! Wow! Big step since the scans just above the pubic bone!!
I told her about my fear of the IC and she reassured me saying there wasn't really any reason to think I could have it but she had a look all the same. It was external u/s though so I'm not sure how meaningful or accurate the measure is, but for certain it was close with no funnelling (nice narrow canal) and appeared to be 3.6cm. Of course when I looked it up I read it should be 4 cm at my gestational age and I'm telling myself that 3.6 and 4 is almost the same...but I'll have it checked again when I'll be in Italy at the end of the month by the ever helpful family friend gyn!
One thing I have is an anterior placenta (which I knew already) a bit on the right hand-side (this is why I can feel movements normally) and it's quite low. Not covering the cervix but near enough to have the tech write down a note to be rechecked at 34w. She says it is likely to go up so not to worry but that I may experience some bleeding as I go further along. Great...
In fairness it was so good of her to give me a heads up in case it happens, she repeated it would be quite common, painless and to try not to panic, just go to the hospital and get checked, the cure would be a couple of days of rest. Apparently as the uterus stretches the placenta is pulled and is not so elastic and a capillary may blow hence the bleeding. If the placenta stays where it is I'll just have a schedule C-section which is definitely not the end of the World.
Here are two pics from today, the first one is the profile and the other one is a shot of the face! You can see the nose and the lips!
Next OB appoitment is on the 5th of October but as I said I may have a sneak peak at Elvis in just over a couple of weeks!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Half way through! 20 weeks

If someone could have promised me years ago this would have happen one day I think I would have made sure he/she became an official Saint. But you never know. Fears, doubts, tears have been my companions for the last three and half years. Sometimes people who find out about our story think I'm incredibly strong. But I am not that strong at all, I just played with the cards I was given, if I could have changed the game believe me I would not have thought about it twice, f**k being strong! Who cares? And yet I'm here now. I decided to do a proper "point of the situation" so I borrowed the typical questions from another blog and used them as guidelines. Here they go!

How Far Along: 20 weeks
Total Weight Gain: sadly, as of today, I've put on 11kg...this is massive
Maternity Clothes: yes, can't really wear anything else and my wardrobe is quite limited!
Symptoms: I feel very big, though I'm sure I'm not that big, and movements a slow and many seem like an epic achievement (like turning in the bed, or getting up from the floor). My ankles are swollen most of the time and I've started wearing those socks to improve the circulation, they seem to help.
Stretch marks: yes, on my boobs, they just exploded way too fast!
Sleep: I’m sleeping ok-ish, getting up once to pee and then I'm awake for a while, back to sleep and I'm awake around 6.30. Surely the fact that the Dude starts screaming like a seagull around that time doesn't help...you cannot believe it until you see it!
Best Moment of the Week: Feeling a kick on the outside! It happened only once on Thursday night while I was in bed.
Movement:
I feel movements every day now, but the frequency can be very very different. Some days only a couple of light touches in total, others much more often.
Food cravings: not really anything in particular, but definitely sweet things of all sorts, preferably chocolate based.
Gender: Don't know! We think we may go for a surprise!
What I Miss: Nothing at all, I wouldn't trade this for anything.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Honestly? Having Elvis here with us. Everything in between is a mix of anxiety and what ifs.
Weekly Wisdom: Listen to pregnancy relaxation CDs
Milestones: Half way through the pregnancy! Unbelievable.
Emotions: doing quite ok, but I am more irritable and a bit more emotional than usual. If I feel anxious I take the doppler out and listen to Elvis heartbeat which is now around 150bpm on average.
Upcoming Appointments: Anatomy scan on wednesday followed by blood tests for thyroid functions.

So this is it my readers, me and Elvis! I'll post belly pics at the end of the month (oh by the way, I was not bottomless in the previous ones! But it looks that way for some reason..)
In other news, I almost finished that proposal I mentioned last week, so I hope I'll be a bit more present after tuesday. Still have done nothing on the posters and I'm leaving next sunday for the conference...
Cats are well, Patches is without steroids now but back on the thyroxine, we just could not keep him off the meds, he was well for 5 days like I wrote last week but then he started getting worse, so we agreed that we do't care about the accuracy of the test, for us the value was so low that it's unlikely it was skewed by the meds or other illnesses.
Today there is the All Ireland Hurling Final and Mike is going to see the match, I'll be watching it from the couch! Come on the Cats!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

19 weeks, Patches and Work

Oh my, it's been a full week without posting! Thankfully I had not signed up for ICLW or I would have definitely struggled with commenting.

First news first. 19 weeks! Little Elvis is a mango! I am quite sure I can feel more movements, they would not be too frequent, but certainly after having eaten something if I put my feet up I feel little pokes! No butterflies for me, or at least I would not describe them as such, sometimes more like vibrations but the only time I'm certain is when I can feel a distinct poke!
All well, sleeping is getting better, I still get up for a pee so I don't think that will go away, but I don't mind. Weight gain this week is stable! Delighted with myself! I definitely feel the extra weight, specially if I sit on the floor playing with the cats and have to get up...I kind of have to turn on my knees first...
The belly is now quite defined even when I wake up in the morning and I'm flat on my back. Nice!
Since this week I will have to change my weekly picture outfit as my sister pointed out I was at the limits of decency! So stay tuned for the next round of belly pics!
Oh, I meant to say that Mike and I will not look to find out if Elvis is in fact a boy (I think so though!) or if we've been calling a girl Elvis all the time...If it happens that we see something from the scan it's no problem but we won't ask the tech to tell us. We think we'd like the surprise!

I also wanted to update on Patches. Remember his blood-work showed hypothyroidism? Well, we started giving him the meds and he was reborn to a new lively, playful and hungry kitten! We were so delighted. Then, the Ultimate Vet Hero told us that a colleague of hers, working in the Vet hospital at our College, specialised in endocrinology and was really interested in seeing Patches. So we brought him there on Tuesday and after a long visit she said she doesn't think he suffers from congenital hypothyroidism. Yes, he is very small, but lacks many of the traits typical of this condition. While visiting him, she saw that he had a big ulcer on the roof of his mouth and said that was typical of another viral condition. She advised to stop the thyroid meds, stop the steroids (she think they may have masked the thyroid real functionality) and put him back on the antiviral. Then re-test him in a month. Reluctantly we did, knowing well that Patches wouldn't be doing well with no steroids for more than two days. But he did very well for 5 days! Our Ultimate Vet Hero is very happy that if we have to give him 0.5mg of prednisolone every 5 days is really no big deal and won't affect the next blood test.

Finally work. Term starts in two weeks, I have to write a proposal for a grant (deadline 7th of September) and I am as motivated as a dead slug... I've done all the less important bits like my CV, the budget, the titles and abstracts (yes two...a scientific one and a lay one) and can't bring myself to write the damn thing! Hopefully I'll be inspired soon....and it better be very soon! I also have to prepare a poster for the conference I'm going to on the 12th of September. Again, I've played with the background, the font, the title...oh boy can I be less interested in doing it?
Ah well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

18 weeks and Weekend Update

Thanks to all of you for your support on my last post. I was sooo stressed out about it but it turned out to be better than I thought. Mike looked after him completely and I just stayed in the office reading bogs and surfing the net! He was very respectful this time, and kept the noise to a minimum when he got back. We kept the cats in our bedroom for the night and I was more relaxed. I even decided I could use the time to iron the giant mountain of clothes that had accumulated. Delighted now to have the house back to myself!
On Friday and on Saturday we went out for dinner with two different sets of friends and when we told them our news (and a brief background on how we got to this point) they were all delighted for us, we had a great time which contributed to my weight gain though...

And this brings me to the fact that I'm 18 weeks today! Can you believe it? And yet...here I am!
Everything is good, the only issue I keep having is sleeping which is still a bit all over the place. I have to get up once for a pee and even though I'm trying my best, I do wake up almost completely and feel ready to start the day....at 2.45 am! The fluid retention is now localised to my hands and my ankles which unfortunately meant that on Friday I just had to remove my rings...ah well, for Elvis it's all worth it! The weight gain is on a steady rise and it's going 80% on my boobs which are now huge, itchy and with unavoidable stretch marks despite the generous oiling I go through twice a day. Again I'm so happy I'll take all the stretch marks that come my way with a smile on my face. Movements are a bit more convincing (still no more than a weird sensation though) but strangely I feel them more when I am in a seated position rather than lying down, I think it may be due to the fact that my placenta is on the anterior wall and quite high. We also listened to the heart beat which is now stronger (I can basically pick it up straight away) and the rate is a bit slower generally between 140 and 155 which it's the way it should be as the brain takes control of rhythm.
For your joy I'm going to post a belly picture galore of the last four weeks as I understand today I'm officially entering the 5th month of pregnancy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

So annoyed...

Breathing to stay calm isn't really helping. I'm in a very bad mood and although I think I may be a bit hormonal, I generally do work really hard to keep acting normal...

Here's what happened. Yesterday Mike sent me an email asking me if we could host a friend of his on Saturday night. This guy is coming to Dublin from quite far away for a night out with a group of friends or ex co-workers I'm not sure. Basically he needs a place to crash for the night before driving back home.
I'm generally extremely happy to have people over, but not this guy. First of all he smokes and I can't stand the smell of smoke at all (this was always the case but now is magnified a million times). Of course he won't smoke in the house, but the clothes bother me all the same. Second, when he's drunk (as he will be) he's out of control and I can't stand him (note that he's a very pleasant guy otherwise). Third, the last time he stayed over after a night out he stepped on the futon mattress with dirty shoes and didn't bother cleaning it even when he was sober the day after. I mean he's no teenager, he should know better. Finally we have the cats and I am not sure when he'll be coming home in the middle of the night if he can at least make sure they aren't running out the house terrified...
Anyway, I replied immediately saying that we were out for dinner so not really easy to arrange for keys. Mike said he would tell him so and see. I replied back saying that actually the idea of having this guy drunk in the house was not appealing at all. I never heard any more on the matter until Mike informed me that they arranged for the keys and he'll be staying over.
Oh ok then...I'm glad my opinion matters...

I am so distressed about this, I didn't sleep at all last night and I'm on the verge of tears constantly... If I could spend the weekend somewhere else I would. The thought of having to get up on Sunday to a stinky house is revolting and at what time will he leave? Do we have to entertain him? Can't face it, just can't.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another peek at Elvis!

The OB appointment this morning went very well! He reassured me on all my fears and questions, he said we will definitely check my cervix at the 20 week scan but that there is nothing to indicate any risk. He reassured me also on the possibility of infections which are much rarer than I thought and mostly are not through vaginal microbes but potential blood infections. Right so!

Let's have a look at Elvis! Dr. L has gotten a new scanning machine, much much more high tech and we were very pleased with the improvement. This time Elvis was immediately visible and so so much bigger! He was sleeping at first but then stretched out a bit, nodded and moved the legs! I could see very well the placenta and the umbilical cord. Dr. L. pointed out to us the spine, the head and the heart beat which looked great. He didn't take any measurements and in a way I'm happy not to be worried if he was a bit smaller or too big or whatever, I trust that if the doctor thought there was something out of the ordinary he would have certainly said so. He just said to keep doing whatever I'm doing because everything looks exactly as it should. No pictures though!! Ah well, next scan is the big one and only 3 weeks away, I am sure we'll get plenty at that point.
My blood results were all perfect, I mentioned to him that I had mild hypothyroidism a few years ago but only kept it in check, never took medication for it. My last blood test for it was in the summer of 2008 and the values were within range even though not perfect. He said no harm in checking it again. So I'll probably do it the day of the morphological scan given that it's in the same place.
He didn't weigh me! So no questions asked about weight gain!
He gave me the green light to travel in September with nothing special to do whatsoever, he said it's perfectly safe.
So that's it, I don't think I've forgotten anything, we are so so happy things are progressing nicely and I definitely think I'm starting to feel movements! Woohoo!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Patches results and more on the Project

We just got a call from the Ultimate Vet Hero and Patches suffers of SEVERE hypothyroidism!! We understood that normal values would be between 10 and 40, where 10 is already quite borderline of course and little Patches has 3!!! the Vet was so happy she found what was wrong and so are we. We really hope that the cure will kick in soon, the dose we had him on since last week is way too low, poor kitten! No wonder he's always cold and sleepy! Now he has this other symptom which he developed in the last week or so; when he eats, any time he swallows, he gags too. Nothing comes out, it's as if he's something stuck in his throat, but that would also be very strange. Another mystery illness I think. The Dude on the other hand is doing really well, getting more and more similar to a dog in his behaviour, so cute! Thanks for all your good wishes and for remembering the Dude too!

I wanted to update also on the Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland Project. After a series of emails which escalated to quite strong tones, it calmed down and we agreed to disagree. We also blamed a bit of the misunderstanding on emails which are subjected to interpretation of course, so I'm still on board and very happy to contribute to it. We'll try to have more frequent meetings where things can be said face to face and clarified immediately rather than creating anxiety for all of us involved. I'll have a dedicated page on the project once we have a few more items together.
Thanks as always for your support!