Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 months check up and "Other Insanities"!

Oliver is ging to be 3 months tomorrow!! AAwwwwhhhhh!!! So we went for our 12 weeks check (or closer to 13 weeks check!) today. He weighs 6.2 kg and is 61cm long! He's growing very well and everything looks good! His head control is very good, he's alert and smiling to anyone who smiles at him! The torticollis is improved significantly and even the flatness on the head is of no concern at all as it's minimal and will definitely resolve itself. The little belly button is also improving (there was a little hernia which is reducing spontaneously) and the paed was delighted.

I asked a few questions:

He's a very hungry baby. He would feed 210 ml (7 oz) 4 times a day and around another 150 ml in his sleep (we feed him around 11.30 pm and he doesn't really wake up). She said "Wow!". So I've been given the go ahead to start introducing some solids in 6 weeks time (recommended time would be 6 months but there's no way we get that far). Exciting times ahead! She also doesn't think the night grunting is hunger (we never pick him up, I just caress him and give him his soother) but that maybe he's picked up a bit of a habit which hopefully won't last much longer.

We had that one incident where the AngelCare alarm went off for the first warning (15 sec no movement). She said as it was a single event there's nothing to worry about, 15 sec of no movement is at the high end of normal for a baby and unless it happens a few more time she believes it's not a problem. She was great and explained all the types of apnoeas and has excluded Oliver has any of those. He's heart and lungs checked out perfectly which is reassuring.

It is ok to delay the 4 month vaccination for a couple of weeks (we are going to Italy wohoohoo!!).

In the spot where he got the vaccine the last time there is a little lump (which is already much smaller). Again totally normal, and I knew it was normal but my mom insisted I asked! So there you go.

So that's it for my little man! Next check will be at 6 months.

And I'm planning my summer holidays for 2012. California here we come!! So cyber friends out there, if you would like to meet up I'd be only delighted! We are thinking of June, 3 weeks. Details to be ironed out but it's a very real possibility. So...did I not say I wanted to have another go at ICSI in September? Still planning to do so, but to freeze and give Oliver the time he deserves with mommy and daddy all for himself.

And how am I doing on my crush on Neil Patrick Harris? Well...maybe a bit better...no posters on the wall or anything like it LOL! But still looking forward to the next episode of HIMYM (of course I've already watched all the interviews I found, bloopers, the Glee episode in which he acted and all his tweets....ok, still at the deep end...). Meanwhile I'm watching The Big Bang Theory but not enjoying it as much.

This weekend is going to be dedicated to the attic. Yeah I know...still not finished... But really, this weekend has to be the one!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daydreaming

Do you guys remember how last year during my pregnancy I watched all the series of Grey's Anatomy back to back as I had never followed it before? It was an addiction. I think I may have posted at one point that I actually dreamt of a completely new episode! If you never had a full immersion in something like this you may not understand...but I actually felt I knew the characters and it was like a parallel life where I was living in Seattle! Anyway, that kept me away from constantly worrying about the pregnancy, but like a true addiction I couldn't stop till the last episode! And then I had withdrawal symptoms too.

Well....it happened again, I have found a new thing I had never seen before...currently in its sixth season....so a lot of episodes to watch. How I Met Your Mother. Again, how on hearth I didn't see it it's beyond me. Somehow it fits in perfectly with Oliver's schedule, episodes are only 20 mins or so, so they are great. And oh my God I sooooo love it. I've already watched all the series and so I'm up to date. A confession. I know next to zero about actors and stuff so of course, being totally taken by Barney I checked out who the actor was (I know I know...) and of course I found out he's gay, in a happy relationship and recently had twins from a surrogate mother!! How cute is that?? But it did ruin Barney for me bohooooo... There should be a rule that hot actors playing womanising roles have to be straight...who has not met a Barney in their life raise a hand. I have met at least two. Ah the young me....it was great fun. So I really enjoyed that character, of course imagining myself there too with the others. Those kind of friendships are much more common in Italy, the flirting, the group dynamics, the stories etc. Not such a thing in Ireland. I miss that a lot and there's nobody who I can even talk to about it as I know they wouldn't really understand. So of course I know it's fiction but still. Like a good book, I tend to be part of it, living it. And it's as if I'm 17 again dreaming of meeting accidentally an actor or a singer on the bus and having a conversation (which depending on the case would have evolved in different ways eh eh). Wouldn't it be nice? Because for me of course the actor equals the character. But in this case I'd really love to meet the actor too. I've the impression he's nice in real life too. So I'm following him on Twitter. Hence I'm a new Twitter user. My sister is still laughing at me. 36 going on 17.

But what the hell... a girl can dream, right?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland: The Launch

We did it!!!

The evening went great, we had a doctor and a midwife from two different Dublin hospitals giving talks and both put a lot of effort into it. Several people came to the event (from as far as the west of Ireland) it felt amazing. I got all emotional when J did the opening speech....she talked about how we got together and how far we have come. She read a message written on our Facebook page by a girl who had seen the interview I mentioned in my last post and said it had saved her life a week later. The project has already saved a life. One of the ladies who came to the event had an ectopic herself but she also is a nurse in hospital in Galway and said she would love for one of us to go over there and talk to the them to raise awareness. I'd love to do it.

If you have time, have a look at our FB page, we have posted pics of the evening (Mike was the official photographer) and I would be ever grateful if you could leave a brief message, we need it to increase visibility.

The next step is to raise money through the Dublin mini-marathon. I did not participate last year (I was pregnant) and I'm totally out of shape this year, but I think I may have two people who could be running it for me.

And yesterday my article was published at My Destination Family as I was asked a few month back to write about the person who supported me the most through this infertility journey. With no esitation I chose Mike.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back

We are back! As I sat on the plane, holding Oliver, I felt the urge to "reassure" the guy sitting next to me that on the way over Oliver slept all the time. No one likes sitting beside a child on a plane. I certainly didn't and now I'm at the receiving end of the look that says "oh my God please please please move along ...no no no no no....damn...just my luck...". Thankfully he was once again the perfect baby.

Another thing is back. My period! 30 days after the last bleed. Good old body is still working as if it mattered. It feels good though to be back to normal. I hope this will help loosing the weight. I'm not progressing at all in that sense, I still have the same 7-8 kg to shift. I walk, I eat next to nothing, thyroid functioning fine...I wonder if this is the new me forever.

Next week I'll start yoga again.

This Thursday there is a big big big event. The official launch of Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland. I cannot believe I have been of so little help right when the charity needed it most. The girls have organised everything, it's going to be great. A few weeks ago two of them went on national Tv for a short interview and raising awareness. Since then our FB page got may more hits and we have been able to reach out to several women. I am so excited and so proud of what we (mostly they!) have done. I'll post about it at the end of the week.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

11 weeks (Italian Style!)

Hello my friends! I'm still in Italy and although I managed to read your blogs I didn't comment much (please forgive me!) and didn't post anything of my own news.

Everything is great, the trip was no bother at all for little Oliver who slept practically all the time. I was very lucky that I didn't have to bring any gear with me, car-seat, stroller, swing-chair etc were all kindly offered by my sister's friends and my parents had bought a travel-cot. I carried Oliver in my fab sling and off we went.
The first night at my parents' was a bit rough but after that he settled in like he'd always been here! The torticollis is definitely improving, we do a bit of exercise every day but it seems that he's turning the head to the left in a more natural way on his own too. Still hates tummy time and still absolutely adores bath time. I suppose you can't win everything ah! We bought here and inflatable baby tub which will double as small pool this summer, it's fantastic, I'd never seen one before and totally recommend it!
Oliver loves to splash, shake his legs, stretch and generally moves a lot when in the tub so with this one there's no risk of him hitting a hard surface with his head! It fits in the normal tub too.
The Snuza is a great peace of mind, it was one of the best thing I bought for sure. I forgot to mention that last week, when we were still in Ireland, the AngelCare did alarm one morning...it was only the first "bip" (15 seconds of no movement) after which I clearly heard Oliver taking a deep breath! So I have to remember to mention this to the paed at the 12 weeks check-up. Likely to have been a one off, but still. There are cases of sleep apnea in Mike's family, so better to keep an eye on it.
And I went to see my "old" psychologist and it went really really well. She also said that the way I feel is totally "normal" after all I have been through. It was to be expected in fact. So we started working on my anxiety and I am already much better. Interestingly, she explained how bleeding gives the impression to the body that it's dying and so there is this connection between life and death linked to Oliver's birth, even though rationally I never feared I was dying, but that Oliver could have died. It's only at the subconscious level, but as Oliver was part of me, I tend to focus at the moment more on death than life and this causes my anxiety. Time will be the best healer as the cells "forget" the scary scenario and reprogramme themselves to focus on what every organism does best which is living (and think positively about life). She recommended to keep supplementing my diet with iron (even though my heamoglobin is back to normal) to speed up the process. She actually used this phrase after I described my last 4 years "you swallowed a lot of death". Scary! But it will get better and better. I'm glad I went. I'll go again when I came back in May and meanwhile she gave me her Skype address if I need it! Ah...technology.

Mike then arrived on wednesday and we celebrated our fourth anniversary on thursday. What a journey...Three years ago we were in Japan having our belated honeymoon and it's absolutely shocking what has happened there. My friend and her family in Tokyo are ok but she said it's horrific. Japan, you can do it and will get through this. Last year on the 16th I had my life changing hysteroscopy and this year we brought our miracle to meet his great-grandmother. Life is certainly full of twists and turns.

Only 3 more days and we'll fly back to Dublin....bohoooo! Already missing the fab food...just as well I'll be back here in 6 weeks! I'm checking out now, love to you all my cyber-friends.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Torticollis and other updates

Yesterday was the last day of the baby massage course. We did back massages and all the babies were in their tummies. Oliver hates it so even though I try every day to do some tummy time it's a struggle. Every other baby in the class was holding up the head like nobody's business. My little one was flat on the mat chewing his hand. Ok the others are a bit older but there was also the baby who was born just a day earlier also lifting his head (not as high as the others admittedly). Of course I know that we shouldn't compare, Oliver was 3 weeks premature, but this is in addition to the fact that I noticed he tends to keep his head always to one side. He sleeps with the head to right, sits in his rocking chair looking to his right (it doesn't matter much if we are on the other side, he may turn his eyes but not his head) etc. This is surely worsen by the fact that Mike and I are both right-handed so when we change/feed him it always happens that we are to his right. When he's upright he has a great head control, since he was just a few days old, so it's not like he has no strength. Anyway, his head is also getting a bit flat on the side in question and I decided to make an appointment with the paed suspecting torticollis. And sure enough...He said that it's very mild but gave me a couple of exercises to do to lengthen the muscle to the right of his neck. At the 12 weeks appointment we'll see if it's improving. Early intervention is the absolute best even though generally by the time they sit up it will correct itself in most cases. He also weighed Oliver and my little Buddha is just shy of 5 kg (4.96 kg to be exact!) and doing very well with everything else. He's very alert and smiley! His belly-button is still out as there is a small hernia (extremely common if the baby was a but early) but it will go in with time.

In other news, last friday I went into work because one of my students was defending her PhD thesis (she did great!) and so Mike was in charge of the precious bundle...we all did very well I'm proud to say!

My anxiety also seems to be subsiding, aided by the uplifting effect that the good weather inevitably has, and I look forward to my trip to Italy on friday! Oh and I started watching "How I met your mother" which is hilarious and just what the doctor ordered eheh

Finally I'm so happy for fellow bloggers who are now pregnant after a long journey, your fears and nightmares are normal (here's the expert talking!) try and enjoy this part if you can but, even if you don't, don't be too hard on yourself, we've been through hell (a few times may I add), it's only normal to dread possible bad news because for us that's the way it's been most of the time. That is what was normal. Hugs to all of you.
My dream is to have all those currently in my "We can do it!" blog-list moved into the other two categories, I'm confident that one by one (or two by two!) we'll all be at this side of the fence. One way or another.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vaccine number 2: check!

My brave little soldier took the two shots this morning like a trouper. He cried a little but was fast asleep before I exit the doctor's office!

I want to thank you all for reassuring me that I'm not insane, it felt really nice reading your comments. When I talked to the doctor this morning, she didn't seem to think there was nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, maybe I better keep an eye that the anxiety is not escalating further but at this level is still normal. So I'm not sure what to do, her only recommendation was to "fight back" the dark thoughts with the rationality I have, to surround myself with positive people and to believe it will get better. Sounds simple.
On tuesday I also talked to my friend at the baby-massage class (which I totally love!) and I felt much better afterwards. She said it's possible that all the stress accumulated in the last two years with infertility first and the ectopics that followed may be coming down all at once now. Everyone kept saying to me all along how strong I was and where did I find the strength to keep going etc. I also wondered that myself as I'm no superwoman at all, so perhaps was just a coping mechanism then which I don't need now and all the insecurity is hitting at once. I think I need to re-find my solid ground though. I will go to see the psychologist I went to for a short while when I go back home next week. Just in case she has some other helpful tips to add to the doctor's. I'm optimistic I'll get over this, but I definitely felt very concerned I had myself into a loop since I got pregnant and not really coming out...it felt like a long time of anxiety!

Oh by the way...the Snuza arrived ehehe