A journey into Parenthood & dealing with loss

Archive for November, 2013

Friday Giggle

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This morning hubby asked what I wanted for breakfast. I answered “food” because I wasn’t sure what we had. The picture above is what I walked in on in the kitchen.

At least my Friday started with a giggle!

12 Week Update

Friday was 12 weeks LMP. We had a super busy weekend so I’m only getting to posting now. I had the Pure Romance South African Convention in Johannesburg and so my hubby, sister and I drove up for 48 hours and drove back yesterday afternoon. Of the last 48 hours I’ve spent 13 in a car and 8 sitting at a table. It was a long weekend but very motivating and inspirational. I’m glad I went. It was especially good to be there to see my sister go on stage to receive her award for reaching a high level of achievement in Pure Romance. Here is a pic of us before the awards dinner.

Me, B and Aunty Cam

How far along are you? Today I am 12 weeks and 3 days.

What’s happening with the baby? Baby has all the necessary parts and now is just growing. Reflexes are starting to develop, and baby is moving quite a bit. We saw that on the scan last week. Baby is the size of a plum and my uterus is the size of a small melon.

Total weight gain? I don’t know, I haven’t weighed myself this week, but I am definitely starting to show and having a harder time sucking my belly in lol.

Maternity clothes? I bought a belly band last week and went shopping for a maternity bra, but didn’t get one yet. I was told to come back when my boobs were bigger. I did enjoy being confident enough to walk into a maternity clothing store, so that was a good move in the right direction.

Stretch marks? Nothing yet.

Sleep? I need more than I got this weekend. I’m still waking up early and a couple times a night to pee.

Best moment this week? I’ve had lots! I told work and my boss was more excited and happy for me than I was expecting him to be. The girls in the office are thrilled. We also got to tell quite a few friends who are all really excited. I went to a sale of the Hooligans clothing brand and got almost a whole wardrobe for the BSquirt at R25 an item ($2.50). Their clothes are just adorable! I also got a whole bunch of stuff for our friends’ kids for Christmas from the sale.

Miss anything? I really missed having a glass of red wine on Saturday Night at the formal dinner. And I didn’t enjoy being designated driver most of the weekend either. B met up with all his Jo’burg friends and had a fun time with the boys, so I did most of the driving up there. I also missed just being able to eat what I want – we went to a Farmers Market yesterday and there were all these lovely cheeses and cold meats and Eggs Benedict (which I love), that I felt not right eating. I miss just eating what I like when I want.

Movement? Nothing I can feel, but non-stop on the scan. Although Dr P said that I will probably feel movement earlier as I have a posterior placenta so that’s exciting.

Food cravings? Still mainly fruit and fruit juice. And I’m really loving salty foods.

Anything make you queasy or sick? I had a really bad bout of MS on Friday morning, but I hadn’t slept properly since 2am and it was probably because I was really hungry. As soon as I had eaten I felt a bit better.

Gender? My gut still says boy, but we aren’t going to find out.

Symptoms? My boobs really need to be in a bra. On Sat night I decided to wear a stick on bra so I could wear my dress one shouldered, within half an hour of getting to the function, they were aching. They are feeling a little achy and full again. Also starting to feel uncomfortable lying on my stomach. Otherwise nothing much has changed.

Belly button in or out? No change, but my belly is starting to stick out a bit, and you can feel my uterus starting to move up, there’s a firmness above my pubic bone.

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? Both still on.

Looking forward to? A very lazy weekend at home next weekend, and just having a more relaxing week. I’m also looking forward to getting a bit more of my energy back soon.

12 Week Appointment and Scan

Today was our 12 week appointment and detailed scan.

The BSquirt is measuring 54 mm, which is 12W3d, I’m 11w4d since LMP.

The estimated due date is around 24 May 2014.

The scan included multiple checks for ruling out Down’s Syndrome: The Nuchal Fold is measuring 1.3 mm. The want it to be under 3 mm and it’s usually more than 1 mm, so we are measuring perfectly. The nasal bone was visible. The heart and bladder were both apparent and what they expected them to look like.

My weight has dropped by 1.5 kgs since my first appointment, but Dr P said it’s probably because I’m eating healthier and drinking more water. I can expect the nausea (which is very limited for me) to start to disappear in the next 2 – 3 weeks. The tiredness takes a couple of weeks longer.

I have a posterior placenta – this means that I will be able to feel baby moving earlier rather than later.

Dr P said something really interesting that I didn’t know. The uterus grows at about a centimetre a week, so that’s how fast it will start to expand from behind my pubic bone. And yes the little bit of firmness is not in my head, it is in fact the beginnings of a baby bump 🙂 By 16 weeks the uterus will be half way at my belly button, by 20 weeks half way between my belly button and my rob cage and by 32 weeks at my ribcage. Apparently this is a good time to be tall!

I was also sent for blood tests – these will be back in 5-7 days. Dr P will phone me with the results as I am over 35. He phones anyone with abnormal results and all his patients over 35. B and I have talked and we are unlikely to go ahead with an amnio even if it’s recommended, since we will not terminate if the Down’s results are positive. It’s been a lot of hard work getting here, we are going to do everything to keep this baby!

I see Dr P again on the 10th of Dec.

We have started telling close friends now. I went to tell the girls I used to work with and they were beyond thrilled!

For those that would like to see the scan pics they are loaded in the Pregnancy Gallery above.

In other news, our new organic vegetable garden was installed today and I am very excited about us having our own fruit, vegetables and herbs growing in our garden. The cats have already found the catnip plant!

The new vege Garden

Greebo found the Catnip

Greebo found the Catnip

 

11 week Update

Yesterday was 11 weeks. According to my apps baby is the size of a fig or a lime.

limes  figs

How far along are you? 11 weeks and 1 day

What’s happening with the baby? Arms and legs are continue to grow and they can now bend. Baby starts to kick, but this is still undetectable by me. Baby is on the way to looking more like a baby now.

Total weight gain? I’m still weighing in about the same.

Maternity clothes? Nothing bought yet, and I don’t need to wear them yet.

Stretch marks? Nothing new in this department

Sleep? About the same as it’s been all along. I do find that if I wake up to pee after about 430am, I very seldom am able to go back to sleep. Although yesterday I did, and I had been feeling a little queasy when I got back into bed. I then dreamed about eating an apple, it was very odd.

Best moment this week? It’s actually been quite a stressful week. We had two sets of contractors at the house – the electricians sorting out the work they didn’t do when we were away, and the roof guys doing repairs that had been put off due to the rain. My best moment was having my house back to myself on Thursday evening. Also I’m starting to be able to feel something of a baby bump – it’s really just a firmness above my pubic bone, and I can only feel it if I’m standing up, but I’m pretty sure it’s related to the pregnancy.

Miss anything? Being able to wind down the evening with a glass of wine, especially after the week I’ve had. Other than that, nothing really

Movement? Not that I can feel.

Food cravings? Still mainly fruit, nothing weird.

Anything make you queasy or sick? I’m very luck in this department, I only seem to be queasy when I’m hungry.

Gender? I’m thinking it’s a boy, but it’s really just a hunch. We won’t find out until the birth. Although this week I dreamed about having an ultrasound that showed twins – a boy and a girl, who I kept referring to by the names of the twins I nannied for. The boy was developing as expected, but the girl wasn’t and the unspoken suggestion was that I would only take one to term – the boy. It was a weird dream.

Symptoms? Strange dreams, highly emotional this week! We had our year end function for the school that I volunteer at. I cried (like big heaving sobs) through one of the songs they sang, and all I kept thinking is my hormones can’t take this LOL.

Belly button in or out? Innie

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? Both on

Looking forward to? Definitely our 12 week scan on Tuesday – I’ll be 11 week 4 days. This will also be when they run the 1st trimester screening. Dr P has advised that he doesn’t recommend an amnio or CVS, unless the screening in this test shows a higher than normal risk. We will talk about that once the results are back. I’m also looking forward to telling some more people. I’m not looking forward to telling work, although I know they’ll be excited. I’ve only been there 4 months and I’m worried it’s going to be an issue.

Coming Out of the Closet

Really good talk! I love TED talks!

Forever Infertile

I love, LOVE everything about this TED Talk. It’s not about infertility, but anyone who is thinking about coming out of the infertility closet (or any kind of closet), should invest 11 minutes in watching this video. It will be time well spent – I promise.

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Week 9 – 10 Update & Some pics of my holiday

According to my apps, baby is the size of a prune or a green olive. Someone somewhere must grow really big green olives!

Prunes

How far along are you? Today I am 10 weeks and 2 days.

What’s happening with the baby? Baby is now termed a foetus!

Total weight gain? Weirdly I’ve lost more weight, down 0.7 kg – I’m not sure how that’s possible with having eaten at restaurants most of our week’s holiday.

Maternity clothes? Nothing new, although I’ve found a few new Durban websites for buying them.

Stretch marks? Nothing new

Sleep? Full of really intense dreams. I’m also waking up a lot to pee., but otherwise not too bad.

Best moment this week? Seeing the most adorable baby rhino on our holiday. The video is below.

Miss anything? A big glass of red wine after a particularly irritating day on our return from holiday.

Movement? Nope

Food cravings? Still lots of fruit and fruit juice.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Being hungry seems to be the biggest trigger. Also when I smelled the fishy smells on holiday after we had eaten.

Gender? Not going to find out.

Symptoms? Aside from weird dreams and being nauseous when hungry, most other symptoms seemed to have dissipated.

Belly button in or out? No change.

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? All still on.

Looking forward to? Our appointment for our big scan on the 12th – only 9 days away.

B and I had the most amazing week away. We stayed in a self catering apartment in the town of St Lucia, South Africa. Our weather wasn’t the best, but we had two really beautiful days. We went to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game reserve on the day that was supposed to clear up and it rained the whole time we were there! We did see some elephants and more than 10 rhino which was really good. This is one of the oldest game reserves in South Africa, and also the place where the entire population of rhino left in South Africa were bred from. When the park was declared there were only about 20 left in the wild, and this park has since increased the numbers and exported rhino to most of the national parks in South Africa.

The next day we had the beautiful weather and we spent the day in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is a world heritage site. The video above was taken there. We saw other general game, as well as spotting whales far out at sea, which was pretty awesome. The weather turned in the afternoon as we got to the swimming beach, so we didn’t really get much time there. We did however dip our feet in the sea.

The rest of the week was spent relaxing, building Meccano that I got B for his birthday, eating out and just generally enjoying not being at work. It was a lovely relaxing week and exactly what we needed.

Here are some other pics from our trip:

B & I on the beach

This was home for a week.

This was home for a week.

Crocs at the Crocodile Centre

The famous sign at the croc centre

He blocked the road for more than 25 minutes.

He blocked the road for more than 25 minutes.

A pod of hippos

A pod of hippos

Mission Rocks Panorama

 

 

 

Spreading a little Sunshine

sunshine-award

I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Award by My Hope Jar. I really appreciate the nomination. I keep seeing the other blogs posting various awards, and I wasn’t sure if I would have the chance to get one. I’m really appreciative that I do have a chance to share the sunshine. Considering the dark place I was in a few months ago, I am amazed that I qualify for spreading a little joy. I am thrilled that I am able to give some hope to others through my posting. And I appreciate all the encouragement and community that I have received through these blogs.

How the Sunshine Award Works:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
  • Link the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
  • Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them

My Hope Jar’s Questions and my Answers:

1.  Why do you blog?

I actually have three blogs – two that are related to businesses I started and this one. First there was My Recipe Hampers – which was a business concept that I started and developed through the first six months of this year. I used the blog to try and spread the word about my business and what I did. I had some good things happen, but the concept just didn’t take off. I admit I have not been on the blog in a long time. Second was Pure Romance by Bianca J – this was a blog about my journey in becoming a Pure Romance consultant. I used this blog more to look at the process that I was going through as well as to use it as a bit of a marketing tool. This blog also has been neglected for a while.

I started this blog in June when I suspected I was pregnant with my third pregnancy in under a year. I had lost a pregnancy at 7 week late last year, and then had a possible chemical pregnancy in April. Each pregnancy got harder to deal with as I had always thought it would be the easiest thing to do. I lost that pregnancy in late July and so really began to use the blog to deal with my emotions. I had kept everything very much inside over the last few months and really only my husband – B, knew what was going on. I decided to be public about my loss and found that that was a good way to deal with it and for my family and friends to know what was going on. About 7 weeks ago I found out I was pregnant again – which was both scary and exciting at the same time. I am now using this blog to share my pregnancy – fears and all – with others. I have found this community to be the best thing I have ever experienced in helping me deal with all the very complicated feelings that come with being pregnant after 3 losses.

So that is why I blog!

2.  What is your favourite movie?

I love movies. Moulin Rouge is still the first one that comes to mind as my favourite. I also love Chocolat. But I will pretty much watch anything as long as it’s not a horror or cheesy slapstick.

3.  What is your favourite food?

My comfort food is Macaroni & Cheese – but not the packet kind. I make a delicious baked Mac & Cheese. I love most Italian food and B & I really enjoy Mexican cuisine too. I’m a self confessed foodie, so there is not much I haven’t tried.  And we are always looking for new and interesting restaurants to explore, or recipes to try. With the pregnancy I am completely obsessed with fresh and dried fruit. I eat a dried fruit stick almost every day and can’t get enough of pineapple with is currently in season.

4.  What is your favourite thing or memory about your spouse?

I knew B was the one on our first date! We had met online and for our first date we went to a very nice restaurant. I have never in my life giggled as much as I did with him that night. The fondest memory of that night is that we somehow got onto the topic of Naked Lawn Curling (we don’t remember either – but we laugh about it often now still). That joy and laughter has stuck with us the whole 5 years that we have been together. We laugh and giggle a lot. And best of all!! He loves Christmas as much as I do!

5.  What do you do to relieve stress?

That’s a really interesting question – I really don’t know. I love to be near water – usually looking at the sea. I always find that very calming. I find as well that I need to be distracted in order to quiet my mind, and so I find watching fairly mindless tv quite relaxing too – discovery channel shows, documentaries, things I don’t need to concentrate on to follow. And chocolate always helps (especially now that I can’t have a big glass of red wine anymore). To relieve long term stress though there is nothing quite like a holiday in the South African bush to recharge your system. B & I have just got back from a week in the bush and the difference is wonderful.

6.  Who or what inspires you?

The women in this community of bloggers inspire me. I am always amazed at the strength and caring that is shown. I have a friend, Jaune, who inspires me too. She has been through years of infertility and pregnancy loss and yet is still so incredibly excited to share my journey with me, and that is inspiring for me. I am inspired by women who surrounded me when I was younger, who have given me insights into what good parenting looks like, and I hope one day that I will be able to inspire others in the way that they inspired me. Lastly I am inspired by my mother, who at the age of 62 has started a new job, in a country far from home literally and figuratively, and continues to amaze me with what she is capable of.

7.  What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear used to be going blind. Now I fear that I will never be a mother. Pregnancy loss is a cruel mistress – even when things begin to go right, there is this fear that sits in the pit of your stomach for ever and ever.

8.  What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream is to have the big happy family that I have always wanted. For B & I to build our dream home in the Natal Midlands and live a self sufficient life that teaches our kids to be kind to the environment, to grow up knowing where their food comes from, to grow up with a connection to the earth and to have the freedom to be kids in the same sense that we did growing up.

9.  What is your best piece of advice?

My favourite quote is from Reba McEntire:

reba-quote

I really feel that this quote is the best advice anyone can give. You need to be able to dream. You need to be able to stand up for yourself when it’s necessary, and also to be able to stand up for what you believe in. And lastly you need to be able to see the funny side of things.

Another quote I love is the song from Cars  – Behind the Clouds. The words go: Behind the clouds, the sun is shining, even though you can’t quite make it out. You may not see, the silver lining, but there’s a big blue sky waiting right behind the clouds. That song got me through quite a few dark moments.

10.  What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the kids that I helped raise briefly when I was an au pair/nanny in the USA. Em & Will are 19 now and in college, I was their au pair when they were 5 and went back as their nanny when they were 10. It is lovely for me to see kids that have achieved so much and are growing into such wonderful people. Lee, Mimi & Sammy are the other kids I nannied and it is so good to watch them grow up and be the amazing kids they are too. I’m convinced that one day Sammy will be famous and I’ll be able to say that I changed her diapers LOL :). I may not have my own kids to raise quite yet, but I know that I have had an effect on other people’s kids and that they are better for having had me in their lives. I truly hope that a year from now I will be able to say that I am most proud of my own child!

My Nominees:

Each of my nominees have reason for why I have nominated them. I have learned something from their blog, I have found comfort in their words to me, I have shared something of their pain and anguish. I hope that through this award they will be able to write something that lifts their spirits just a little bit.

The Adventures of Fanny P

A Calm Persistence

Project Sweet Pea

A Hundred Affections

Wombwarrior

DesperateintheDesert

The Rain Came Down

Baby Maybe

Mama, Interrupted

Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student – this isn’t a blog from within the infertility and pregnancy loss arena, but I have found her blog truly inspiring and feel that this award would be good for her too.

My Questions for you:

  1. How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?
  2. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
  3. Where is the best place you have travelled to and why was it so good?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
  5. Are you a cat or dog person? Or something else or neither?
  6. What is the one book your think every person should read?
  7. What was your favourite subject at school – have you used it in your career/adult life?
  8. What is your favourite time of the year?
  9. What is your “Happy Song” and what is the memory that makes it that?
  10. What food do you love as an adult that you hated as a child? What changed?

I am so looking forward to reading your answers and to finding out a little more about each and every one of you.

 

 

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