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"
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 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 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


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

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 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 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...