Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fabulous Cali

California was amazing. The weather, the food, the absence of mosquitos...practically Heaven for me! We stayed in Walnut Creek, north-east of San Francisco, but we got to travel a bit too. We went to Napa and Sonoma valleys, Muir Woods, Yosemite and Sacramento. We were very lucky to be able to sneak in a visit to Cupertino and the Apple campus too! Of course we went a few times to San Francisco and we had a highly recommended trip to Alcatraz which was amazing. 

The one thing I have to say is that everything is quite far. I mean, I was looking on the map the places we were going and they never seemed that far...I suppose I should have had a map of Ireland beside to have more realistic distances! But we had a car we could drive and driving is very easy in the States, so it wasn't a big deal. I loved the wine country, so peaceful and relaxing.

Yosemite was breathtaking, we only had one night there which was way too short and if we could have we would have stayed much longer. We didn't see any bears (which I was terrified of!) but we did see plenty of squirrels and dear which Oliver was fascinated with.

Muir Woods for me was magic. The worse part was to find a parking spot, but once we were in the old forest the sense of peace was overwhelming. I loved the smell of the woods, the majesty of the trees and the various loops you could do. We went down to Muir Beach too.

I really want to go back and se more, we didn't manage to get to Southern Cali, it was just too far, but maybe next time!

In FET news I had my second scan this morning, I'm amazed at my lining, it's already 9.7mm which I think it's almost a record for me! This means I don't have to increase estrogen or add any medication! It is definitely a first for me. Next scan in 5 days time and hopefully the date of the transfer will be confirmed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Travelling with an 18 month old

Well, it was not easy. The short flight from Dublin to London was a breeze of course, nothing too different from the many flights Oliver had done to and from Italy. Then we had one first crucial issue. Oliver fell asleep just before boarding. It was his nap time of course but ideally we should have kept him awake till after boarding. The crew were amazing, we boarded first, we had plenty of room (totally worth flying in upper economy) and Oliver slept right till after take off....we knew it was going to be a long journey to San Francisco...The main thing was that he hated the air-travel cot we were so looking forward to use. Between the two of us, we did all we could to keep him quiet but he was bored out his mind. The little telly was good, he watched a good bit of Cbebees, we distracted him with food I had brought with me, toys etc, but 10 hours are LONG. Towards the end he was really tired, but just could not settle in the little cot. We got him to sleep eventually...on the floor in front of our feet! We had his blanket from home (very important!) plus the ones from the plane, so he was cosy and, as he normally does, could sleep on his belly. I guess he slept for maybe 2 hours, and we really could not leave him on the floor for safety reason, but it was better than nothing I suppose.

He settled very quickly in the new time zone, I'd say within a couple of days he was back to a normal routine. He did wake up almost every night hungry though, and I suppose this brings me to the second crucial issue of the holiday. We were rarely at home and eating out regularly is NOT something I recommend with a toddler. Sure apparently it is very normal in many places, specially in California, but it is not our norm at home. I had never a clear idea of how much food Oliver had, the timing of lunch and dinner was all over the place, also he could only sit still for so long in the high chair and I ended up being quite stressed out. Mike's cousins have a 4 year old and you just cannot assume that the behavior would be the same. While a 4 year old can spend hours playing with his parents' iPhone, Oliver will first chew on it and then trow it on the floor. While you can talk to a 4 year old, and most importantly he can reply, Oliver will let you quickly know he's bored and wants to get down and stretch his legs...mostly by grabbing everything in reach and throwing it on the floor. He doesn't care if it's not polite, he doesn't care if you have not finished your adult meal. I swear I felt so much under pressure (totally silly I know), I was making things worse. This was not helped by the fact that the other child was apparently the best behaved child ever, who's been brought to restaurants since he was home from the hospital etc. But this is for another blog post. It was so refreshing meeting up with Best When Used By and Rain and their adorable (normal!!) babies! I couldn't say this in front fo the American side of the family of course, but for me meeting with them was one of the highlights of the holiday.
The main problem was that we could not really dictate the pace of the holiday, there was always something planned, we were always with someone. Not good with a toddler, I repeat.
It was vital for us to have some time for ourselves where we could stick to a schedule, I was doing the cooking, Oliver was eating and napping as he should have. Those were very good days.
Yet Oliver just loved it there, loved the food, the weather, the different things he could do etc. and surely he loved sharing a room with us! We discovered quickly he couldn't be bothered with quesadillas when we were eating out, classic entry in child menu in Cali  (yes he liked the first one, but as I said, we were eating out often), he much preferred our food! And that was fine by us.

The final crucial issue was that he was teething badly. And we didn't realise this was the problem till the last few days when I said to Mike "let's try the gum gel, see if it calms him down" and two seconds later Mike said "I found a new tooth!" The poor baby was waking not only because of hunger, but also because of pain!! Note to self, always consider the possibility of teething.
I suppose the most difficult part was actually for Mike travelling back on his own with Oliver. Thankfully he had the seat beside him free, but even though Oliver did fall asleep quite early in the flight (about two hours in), when he woke up around midnight (3 hours later) he was looking for me and the fact that  I was not there put him into a state. Again Mike said the crew were very helpful, did all they could to give him a hand, but again...10 hours are LONG.

A few pics to go with this post:

On the plane before take off...ahhh bless him!

I don't know what time it was here, trying to get him to sleep a bit more.

In Target the day after we arrived, stil jet lagged!

In San Francisco...and behaving appropriately eheh

At one of the many restaurants...

Playing in the garden, it was one of his favorite things!

This concludes my first holiday post!

Now very briefly on the FET. I had my baseline yesterday, all looks good, started estrogen and steroids today as per my usual FET protocol. Next scan is next Saturday, I'll try to link the posts with FET updates!

Monday, July 16, 2012

And I'm back!

Hellooooo! I missed you all so much, though I followed your stories while I was away (not always could comment!) I will have a series of posts coming, including travelling with an 18 month old, Fabulous Cali, Cyber Friends, Apple Bug and The 10 days on my own. So stay tuned!

In this one post, I want to tell you about the scariest moment with Oliver yet.
As I landed in London from Boston on Saturday at about 6am local time, I texted Mike to let him know I had a nice flight and asked how the night went (rough time with Oliver in my absence, teething, general unsettled child, fever, indigestion etc in the space of 10 days). His text back was (with some editing to make it clear) "Don't worry- in  the hospital. Oliver had a fever of 40.4 (104.7 F) and abdominal pain (gas). Taken chest X-ray & bloods, results in 1hour. Oliver sleeping. Temp 37 (normal). He had woken due to pain in his belly and was inconsolable - hard belly. Now the belly is soft again."

Now, what would you have done? Panic of course. My connection wasn't for another 5 hours (five hours!!) but I just bought a new ticket with a different airline which got me to Dublin at about 10 am. I took a taxi and went straight to the hospital. I had not slept at all, but the adrenaline at this stage was so high it was keeping me going. By the time I got there, we knew bloods were not too bad, with a couple of values out of range indicating either a bacterial or a viral infection. It was not a surgical problem and the X-rays were clear. I sent Mike home (he was the shadow of himself at this stage) and never left Oliver out of my sight. He was sleeping, and so so small and pale in the bed. We had a single room with a bed for a parent to stay the night. When he woke later, he was so happy to see me, but too weak to stand up, my heart was in pieces. I fed him a bit while he was lying down and very slowly he got a bit of strength back. His fever spiked again though not as high as during the night, but the consultant suggested a spinal tap to rule out more dangerous conditions and also to avoid giving him antibiotics without a real need for him. I was completely on board. I assisted during the procedure and was able to hold Oliver in position while singing to him. It was over very quickly and I am sure it would have been much worse for me if I had waited outside the room. As they collected the fluid I saw immediately it was clear, and relaxed straight away. The consultant brought the sample down to the lab himself for micro-analysis and very quickly let me know that we had nothing to worry about, it was definitely something viral and we just had to keep his temp down. Oliver bounced back very quickly, had a good night sleep (a part for the nurse taking his temperature every 2 hours), no more fever and by Sunday morning he was climbing everything available in the room! When the doctor came around, he was very happy that the worse was over and sent us home! My house never felt so safe and comfortable, my bed, oh my bed! I missed you so much! And so the last couple of days between the jet lag, the sleep deprivation, the worrying and the relief, felt like they lasted a week.

Oh, by the way, I have started my FET preparation in the midst of all this too!