Monday, May 30, 2011

28 weeks and 4 days-battling dimpled thighs

Isn't it incredible that I have reached 28 weeks and am now in the third trimester?  Who would have thought?  This is as far as I worried for Emma's life, from now on I now she can most likely survive well on the outside, and every additional week is a wonderful bonus.  Not to mention that my cervix is completely unchanged, at 4.5 cm, and hence that I am very likely to give birth to a term baby, which is the biggest bonus that this life could ever give me. Emma weighs 1.3 kg, and is in the 70th percentile.  I feel so blessed, and lucky, and happy!

MrH and I went sailing (he sailed, I alternatively slept and puked because despite sailing with him for about seven years, I still get desperately seasick whenever the waves hit sideways to the hull).  Still, once we got into calm waters between islands it was so beautiful and peaceful, that I came back feeling like I have tasted heaven.  The morning after sailing, we woke up to find the marina water so deep and calm that one could see clearly all the way to the bottom.  There were starfish, jellyfish, small fish, and a crab that was feeding himself with his cute little claws, bringing algae to his mouth.  A flat fish with both eyes on one side of the face was cautiously checking out the crab, it was a social life like you wouldn't believe on the bottom of that marina!

I came back rejuvenated spiritually, and had a wonderful time.  I also ate a bit too many chicken and halibut burgers, and have decided that the cellulite on my thighs has now reached a critical point at which something must be done.  I embrace my dimpled thighs with the necessary respect that I have to accord to them hormonal outcomes, but honestly, I am not going to lie down and take it!  I am going to start employing all my secret weapons minus the caffeine creams, which I don't want to expose Emma to.  This is the plan:

1.  start re-orienting myself towards vegan type of foods again.  Once the pregnancy is done, I will be vegan again, and I might as well start heading in that direction now.  If I crave protein (and I usually crave it in the form of fish or eggs or chicken) then I will have it, but otherwise my diet is going back to pot barley, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, vegetables of all kinds, hummus, nuts of all sorts, almond milk, fruit and soy milk.  I am going to continue eating yogourt though, which I love and think it is healthy.  I only eat organic yogourt, which I usually make myself, so it can't be that bad.  I am going to avoid flour for now, because it raises the insulin, which in turn makes my thighs rack up more fatty acid deposits.

2.  swimming.  I go to the pool and tread water, which is very good for the thighs/butt area.

3.  massage.  I am going to get a series of ten anti-cellulite massages from my mom.  In exchange I am giving her massages to soothe the lower back muscles, which she needs. We both have good spa skills and groom each other like monkeys.  She gave me a lovely French pedicure tonight.

4.  moisturizing.  At least it will look better.

5.  cold and hot alternating showers.  I don't know if it helps, but it will improve the circulation.

6.  I am already drinking lots of water, and will continue to drink lots. I find that pregnancy makes me more thirsty than usual.  I don't know if it helps with cellulite, but I am sure it is good to be well hydrated.

7.  eating slower.  I tend to eat much faster than usual when I eat with my parents (to match their speed), and this is a bad habit.  I need to work on taking at least twice as long eating a meal than I currently do.

I will post a results report in about one month.  Let's see where it takes me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

virus and doctor Google.

I seem to be coming down with a viral something, my tolerance for cold has suddenly decreased and I am feeling swollen lymph nodes around my neck, like I usually do just before I get sick with an upper respiratory illness.  Last night, as usual, my heels hurt, and I went to dunk them in cold water, which is a cure for both heel pad pain and restless legs.  Usually I sleep very well after my cold feet bath, but last night I got shivers and chills, and I stopped right away, putting several layers of clothes and socks on, and slept a bit uncomfortably because it still felt like the room was too cold.  The thermostat is in my parents' room and hence I can't just get up and adjust the temperature, but I do have a small electric heater which I turned on.  It felt like 14 degrees Celsius.  

Anyway, this morning I took a hot shower for a change, and I warmed up fully, now I am comfortably warm under the covers but still feeling achey and tired.  I think it is the lack of proper sleep.  I did a google search for viral illness in the third trimester, just for fun, and look what came up:  a whole bunch of sites that are written in such a way as to scare the crap out of any pregnant woman adventurous enough to google viral illness in pregnancy.  Here is a sample:

"The degree to which a fetus will be affected by an illness depends upon the type and severity of the sickness. Viral infections (rubella, influenza, viral hepatitis etc.), heart/vascular diseases, arterial hypertension, kidney failure, hormonal/metabolic disorders (diabetes mellitus), vaginal infections etc. can seriously damage the fetus, mother or both".  

And so on.  Fun times.  The truth is that the overwhelming majority of simple colds in pregnancy do not affect the fetus at all, and hardly affect the mother other than the usual nuisance of stuffy nose/sore throat, but hey, that information is nowhere on the web.  Only scary stuff that is probably meant to protect the writer against eventual lawsuits regarding not having covered in sufficient grave tones all possibilities, however remote.  I mean c'mon, parvovirus b19 is bad, but how much more often is the common adenovirus in the run-of-the-mill pregnant woman with the sniffles.  PERSPECTIVE IS KEY and that is exactly what doctor Google is lacking, as opposed to a real flesh doctor with common sense.  Grrrr!

Friday, May 20, 2011


My OB allowed me to swim from now on, since the cervix is stable and my cerclage is internal.  I went and floated in the pool, and did a few laps, but let me tell ya' that pregnant women float very nicely.  I hardly need to move anything to float.  In fact, I can swim just by moving my arms.  It was divine to feel so light, my heels not hurting, my legs and my whole body feeling so free.  It was NICE.  I got some clogs as well, will post a picture tomorrow, quite comfortable but still my heels hurt.  I think that I am just heavy and my feet haven't had time to adjust to the pressure on the heel pads and on the metatarsals.  Here is a picture of me and Emma, don't I look like the world's happiest pregnant woman?  I love love love being pregnant.  (minus the heel pad pain :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

27 weeks!

And I made it this far, incredibly.  All is going extremely well, other than the hyperactivity that I am experiencing from the steroids, and the lack of sleep (I had 4h last night, and 4h the night before).  I am also experiencing foot pain from walking in high heels yesterday, and I am thinking that given my weight increase of 30 lb I should probably abstain from heels from now on and just wear runners.  Except runners are so ugly that I simply cannot bring myself to wear them, so I don't know what to do.  Perhaps a compromise in which I give my feet a break here and there with runners and clogs would be good.  At the moment I have plantar fasciitis so bad that I had to take tylenol last night to sleep a bit.

A 3 year old died yesterday in an accident, and I spent the day thinking about the horrendous situation that the parents are finding themselves in.  I didn't know the child, but I feel like I know a bit of the pain.  It is, of course, very different than my pain, but all pain is gut wrenching nonetheless.  I know that the parents will take a lifetime to mourn.  I know that they will go through days and days of not really existing, just living in a daze, unable to connect with reality, not sleeping, not eating, not laughing.  I know that when they can allow it, the pain will be unbearable and it will last long, up to the limit of what their heart and mind can bear, then take a little break, then come again, in seemingly never ending waves.

I also know though that after a while the pain will become more tolerable, that life will go on with this pain as a constant part of it.  And that, despite the loss forever etched in their lives, I know that they will be happy again.  Despite losing my baby Adrian after trying so hard and so desperately to have him, I can honestly say that life went on and that at this moment in my life I AM THE HAPPIEST THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN!  It is possible to be happy again after losing a child.  I have seen it before, and am living it now.

Despite knowing this, there is no shortcut through grief.  I don't know why some people have to face the biggest loss in the world, that of a child, and sometimes multiple times, while others find that the biggest problem they have is a job loss or a dispute with the in-laws, things that I honestly consider trivial in the grand scheme of life.  The only thing that matters is that our loved ones, our family, be healthy and alive.  Everything else is repairable, only death and disability can be permanent.  But most importantly, there is always hope that life will be happy again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

on steroids!

I just got my first steroids shot today, and will get another one tomorrow.  The 'roids are making me hyper, I did a whole hour of yoga, mainly lying down, but it was very good for me.  I am developing a lot of lower leg edema, and I am pretty sure that it is a steroid effect as well, combined with having walked and been vertical a lot, with the appointment at the OB's office.  I am measuring 29 weeks, despite being only 26w5d, but the fluid and the baby are good, and so was the cervix at my last ultrasound on Friday, 5.3 cm. The OB said I should not weigh myself anymore, as the water retention will upset me and skew the results.  I am pretty sure I have gained at least 26 lb by now, and he thinks I am shooting for 40 lb, which he said is normal for a first completed pregnancy.  Apparently 20 lb come off easily, the next 10 lb require work, and the last 10 lb are the killer, many women don't lose it.

I told him that if we (actually I!) am worried about weight, then it means I am not very worried about the pregnancy, i.e. everything is stable and I have good hope that it will end up with a live chubby term Emma.  I love being so hopeful and full of life.  I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER IN MY LIFE all in all as I have been since 21 weeks onwards in this pregnancy.  The little life fluttering in my belly makes me happy all the time, like a constant intravenous drip of serotonin.

Speaking of weight, here is the pretzel recipe for Jenny:  make a mixture of half cup warm water, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp yeast (dry).  Mix and let it bubble near warm spot.  When bubbly, add to it 3.5 cups flour (all purpose), 1tbsp salt and another cup or perhaps more of warm water or milk.  The dough should be just like a bread dough, or like a flexible plasticine, not sticky and watery, but rather a bit firmer.  Add oil, about 1/3 cup in small increments as you are kneading.  Let it raise.  When ready, form the pretzels (use imagination) by taking small amounts of dough (half handful) and rolling it into a long stick, then bending it in half and twisting the two halves against each other.  Or whatever you like, you can even make them straight thin sticks if you like.  Let them raise again until about doubled.  Bring a large pot of water to boil, and boil four at a time for 1-3 min (experiment, they get softer with less boiling and more crispy with more boiling), then put them on a pan that you smeared with butter or oil, and put sesame seeds and salt on them. Bake at 425 F (or 400 F if your oven tends to dry things out too much) until they look golden, about half an hour or so.  Enjoy hot or cold, they are dementedly good either way.

And back to my cankles, the lower leg edema and the jambes lourdes as the French call it (heavy legs), I found a temporary solution.  I took a cold bath from the waist down.  The water was as cold as summer rain (literal Romanian expression) and I read in it for about ten minutes, after which I finished with an ice cold shower below the knees only.  By the end of the whole thing, my legs had no more feeling so at least that was an improvement from the feeling of my skin being stretched out and my tendons swollen and painful.  Now my legs are regaining their sensation as I am sitting here typing, and they are much improved.  I am going to continue my cold baths daily, I think it will help prevent hemorrhoids and vulvar varicosities, another nightmare in late pregnancy.  At the very least it will make me feel like I am doing something positive towards improving my edema, along with drinking lots of water and not eating salt (I had soy sauce today as well, and believe me that will be the last time!) (I think I said that last time too...).

On a more important topic, today is my wedding anniversary and I need to publicly thank MrH for being the best husband on Earth.  He has supported me through my mad quest for a baby, joining me in my desire, fighting alongside me, crying with me when we lost Adrian, being a great listener far beyond what most other men would be able to tolerate, and having the patience of a saint through the next five IVF procedures and my ensuing mental acrobatics on hormones.  On top of that, we learned together how to let each other live, how to support each other in our individual endeavours and hobbies, and how to carve time during the day and during the week for hugs, dinner, going out. We made our marriage better and better every day.  Marrying him brought me immense happiness and more love than I ever thought possible, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Happy Anniversary MrH!

Monday, May 16, 2011

one less gadget

I am staying at my parents' house as you all know by now, and they are completely addicted to my pretzels.  I dug this one with my own hands: I started making them, and now every day I get a short and simple list of requests: please make more pretzels.  I bake them in the evening, and by the next morning they are all gone.  I keep on waiting for the day when they say they've had enough, but two weeks have passed and the daily pretzel diet continues.

We were going to watch a movie today but because it rained my parents decided to postpone it for a different day.  Don't ask me why, since it rains daily here, I am guessing they just don't feel like watching a Fifth Avenue Cinema movie in French with subtitles.  In any case, we are watching it at some point this week (I think it is called Potiche or something like that) and I will need popcorn to smuggle into the theatre.  I usually air pop my own popcorn and put yeast flakes on it to make it healthy (B12 rich), but my parents don't have a popcorn maker, so I have experimented today with a different technique, which I think is as old as the history of popcorn:  just pop them in the pan.  You take a pan with a lid, put a thin layer of oil on the bottom (use a silicone basting brush or a piece of crumpled paper napkin to spread it around) and let it heat up.  Then, add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and salt to taste (i.e. a lot).  Cover with the pan and set it on highest heat setting, removing the pan from the heat once all the kernels have popped.  Do not remove the lid yet, wait five minutes.  You'll see why if you don't follow my advice.

Anyway, that was my method, and it created delicious popcorn.  I think I am going to donate my popcorn maker to Salvation Army to save space.  And by all means, now you don't have to buy and make popcorn in the microwavable bags, it is expensive, full of chemicals and it creates environmental thrash (the bag).  If you want to use the microwave, I am sure that putting the kernels in a ceramic or glass bowl with a plate on top and microwaving on high for 2 to 3 minutes will work.  I am going to try that next.

rambling about shoes

Yesterday was International Flue.vog Day, which is the company where I buy most of my shoes from.  John Flue.vog is a BC local, and he makes fabulous shoes which are at the same time retro and edgy, with lovely colours and excellent workmanship.  My first pair were bought about three years ago, and they are just starting to look like I am wearing them, in a nice way not in a hobo way.  The only thing I have to do is replacing the heel endings every two or three years, but they even provide the heel caps for half the price that the Korean shoe repair guy does them for (and he does them for 12$ a pair).

I love finding somewhat local workmanship like on Granville Island, where they make fabulous belts and hand painted/pleated scarfs.  Not only is the quality exceptionally good, but if you have any need of repair you just take it in and they fix it usually for free.  They re-pleat my scarfs for free for instance, if the rain or humidity undoes the pleats.  The same thing can be said of the higher end brands, for instance or Cha.nel, who will fix stuff for you often for free without even asking for a receipt.  The other day a saleslady fixed my wallet, which has one of those old-fashioned looking coin compartment that closes with two twisted metal wires.  It was opening and the coins were falling off.  She took a pair of fine pliers and just twisted the two wires against each other, and bingo, I now have a working coin compartment again!  (I don't know why I didn't think of that btw, but next time I will fix it myself with the jewelry pliers).

Anyway, I digress.  So yesterday Flue.vog had 15% off due to the occasion, and hence I took advantage of the opportunity to get my mom her very first pair...I chose the wine coloured Operetta Malibran shoes.  They should be arriving this week.  She was shocked about the price initially, but I told her that although they cost about three times more than usual shoes, they can last more than ten years and they are incredibly beautiful.  I am so used to getting complimented on my shoes since I started wearing Flue.vogs that it is just part of life.  I have some other funky pairs from other companies as well, but they are all in the same style: a little retro, mid height heel, and something special to set each pair apart.

When I lived in Romania until about 18 years of age, I could only wear manly shoes or runners.  That is because my shoe size (10) and the wide feet are quite rare in Europe, and were especially rare in communist Romania where selection was limited and where women do not have size 10 feet.  Even to this day, all of my shoes that I find I don't wear much I send to Romania, because women there still have a hard time buying size 10 shoes.  So when I arrived in Canada, I was quite pleased to see that the selection was as good for my size of feet as for size 8.  It is very powerful to feel normal again! and of course I started indulging in this previously unavailable aspect of life with great glee.  I now have enough shoes and don't feel that adding to my collection would increase my range of available styles or my pleasure much, as I already feel very shoe-gifted.  I find that where I live I need boots, and I have a large amount of boots (about five or six pairs) for work, plus one pair of Uggs that are indestructible and keep my feet warm at -45C.  As far as shoes go, I find booties that end at the ankle are great with pants, and I have about three pairs of those, plus two of the operettas (red and green).  With this selection, I cover all of my shoe needs.  Sandals I hardly wear, hence I only have one pair of strappy ones and one pair of go-everywhere thong flat sandals that will probably be my salvation once I can no longer reach my toes :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

please send love to fellow blogger

In a totally unrelated order of ideas, please visit Aidan, Baby of Mine where Acorn is on the cusp of viability and lost all the amniotic fluid at just over 23 weeks.  His mother is going through what I can only imagine as being a horrendous time, having already lost Aidan in her previous pregnancy, and now facing this threat.  Please send her love.

stylish pregnancy

I am sitting here sipping Lapsang Souchong (I still haven't decided whether I like it or not) and dreaming of eating rubber or cement.  Pica has hit me hard, all I dream of is chewing on a rubber eraser, or inhaling some cement powder.  In addition, for the past three days, I have felt continuously so full that I am uncomfortable, and I seem to have lost the function of my lower esophageal sphincter completely.

Despite the fact that I am becoming a nice round blimp I am still pondering on what makes for a stylish pregnancy.  I am reading books on style and realize that very few of them refer to pregnant women.  I am not talking about specific maternity wear, or specific ways to cut one's hair, or any such prescriptive advice.  I was just thinking about style in general, that thing that makes one feel chic and rich in one's own's skin.  The truth is that style is individual, and what makes me feel chic and rich might not work for someone else.
However, here are, in no particular order, some of the things that have worked for me so far, and some new things that I have had to add recently in view of my ever-expanding blimpness:

1.  shoes.  Always beautiful, somewhat (un)comfortable shoes.  The other day I put my feet into runners and nearly fainted of surprise at how comfortable they were compared to my usual shoes.  It has been more than six months since I have worn runners, given that I am not allowed to exercise, and I wore them to walk once around the block in the rain.  Yes, they are comfy things.  However, they are UGLY and the antithesis of stylish.  Even though they are fresh white with pink trimmings, they are still no Fluevogs.  I continue to wear heels (mostly midsize, I don't like very high heels) because that's pretty much all my shoes, and also because all my pants are hemmed for heels, hence if I wore flats I would have to re-hem them or else they would trail behind.  I think that on a scale of 1-10, where runners are a 10 in comfort and spikes would be a 1, I aim for a 7-8.  Most of my shoes are an 8 in comfort, and they are all beautiful, making my outfits look more pulled together despite the fact that my pants ride downwards and my blouses lift upwards requiring rearrangement every five minutes.

2.  pants.  I had two pregnancies during which to acquire maternity clothes, and I can say that pants can be very poorly made and fall off constantly.  I had to donate two pairs because of this problem.  I have settled in the end on one fabulous pair of jeans (which fit so well that my non-pregnant friends want a pair) in dark blue denim, one pair of pants in brown, one in black, and one in grey.  I have one white pair that falls off and is only worn if I really need white, and one pair of linen pants that are waiting patiently for summer, if we ever have such a season this year.

3.  I have three nice tops (a white loose shirt, a burgundy synthetic knit, and a pink good quality knit with lace trims), and whatever long sweaters or T-shirts I can still pull over my belly.  I never buy maternity tops, they are not well made for the most part and they are highly avoidable.  Just wear whatever nice tops are long enough to cover the belly, and a jacket that one does not need to zip or close up but that needs to be long enough to cover the end of the blouse/top otherwise it looks weird.  I have three jackets that qualify, two are leather (red and brown), one is the Chanel.  All of them match all my tops, and pretty much every top matches every pair of pants.

4.  with a very small wardrobe like this, I have been very happy.  I might take on the lesson and apply it to the remainder of my wardrobe once I am done with the pregnancy.  To ward off clothes boredom, I play with accessories:  I have three hats (straw, white silk and man style fedora--addendum, MrH pointed out that the fedora is HIS and hence cannot be written about using the words I have) and about five scarves (one in white silk that I got to cover my shoulders on my wedding day, one in bright red silk, one dip dye Hermes 90 carre in pink/green pattern, another silk that fades in from brown to cream that I bought in Paris when I was a student and I had no money), and one supercheap pink lacy one that I got at Winners and that goes so well as a belt, as a hat wrap, and as anything I want.  I also stole MrH dressy man TagHeuer watch to wear with a white shirt, and he has a nice assortment of man hats that I look surprisingly good in, so lots to play with.

5.  hair.  Being in Vancouver is conducive to only one hair style: long and limp. For everyone else, pregnancy is a nice time to play with hair styles, because hair is so rich and dense and it grows fast.  Hair and skin have been my most fabulous features during this pregnancy.

6.  skin.  One word: fabulous.  Not much make up needed, just some very light foundation (which I wear all the time, so I can't get out of the habit), eyeliner, and mascara.  Glowing is the right word for this period in my skin's career. Since I still can't stand smelly creams, I have been quite minimal with skincare, only removing makeup and applying whatever I feel like whenever I feel like, absolutely no discipline at all, but it is working.

7.  body.  Although an expanding midsection is very cute, a bloated fish face is not, and hence out the window go for me all salty things.  The fries I had yesterday with ketchup? deadly.  2 lb of water.  Sushi? out of the question, unless someone wants to rescue my eyeballs from a sea of edematous eyelids.

8.  along the same lines, regurgitating stomach contents non stop is not stylish nor does it make me feel fabulous, so I will likely have to restrict myself to vegetable casseroles and easy salads/smoothies, that go down without a fuss.  A slice of pizza resided in my esophagus for one whole day, and the steamed sole from two days ago revisited me in my nightmares, sending me seawater flavoured burps all night long.  Gross.  Two words: never again.

That is the brief stylish diaries as I am entering week 26 tomorrow.  I will probably redo this topic in the third trimester, because at least some of the topics will require adjustment as my feet begin to swell.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My new hat

If you thought I was bad yesterday...

...just wait until you read what I ate today:  breakfast a slice of rye bread with raisins and lots of butter, coffee and milk, one papaya, lunch one and a half cups of veggie casserole with 3.5% yoghourt (only because I could not find 5%), then the fun begins:  one Danish from French bakery, one waffle cone with peach mango sorbet, 16 oz decaf latte, a tiny bit of pain au chocolat, half of a portion of halibut fish and chips with lots of ketchup and whatever that white mayonnaise concoction is, and two cups of green salad with half avocado for dinner.  Clearly, I went overboard on Granville Island where all the goodies are.   Total calories:  2000.  End result: feeling uncomfortably full.

I cannot recall when the last time was that I was not uncomfortably full.  I am constantly regurgitating and feeling like I need to lie down.  Being in Vancouver clearly makes me fat.  I need to cut back a bit.  I just don't want to deprive Emma of healthy foods, nor do I want to deprive myself of fun stuff to eat, so where do I cut back?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Addendum to yesterday's post

Want to hear me laugh hysterically?  hohoho uhhhh hahahah 1800 cals my a*s.  Just half an hour after I finished my post yesterday hunger struck, along with gastritis and the need to eat and eat and eat lest I get a bad case of stomach misery.  So I ate.  I started off with half a cup of salted nuts, then two pieces of Rogers' chocolate (thanks Geanina!) then one corn on the cob, then I made tapioca pudding and had a bit with a tablespoon of icecream, then I plucked clean a whole Sockeye salmon head that I had boiled for broth and ate its brains (yes, I am a bad bad person).  Total for the day...wait a second, my calculator broke in desperation...had to grab the heavy duty industrial one for this advanced arithmetic...yep:  2850 calories. That is why I am gaining weight, mistery solved.  This morning I woke up with a swollen face and vowed to never ever eat salt again.

Today I did a bit better: tapioca pudding, one half bran muffin, a 16 oz latte (bad habit, I know), smoothie made with 1 cup milk, one banana and one cup frozen berries+mango, a flat bread cooked in the pan with 1 tbsp butter, another cup of berries, 3 oz steamed sole with veggies, some raw cabbage, some raw cucumber, some dried coconut peels, and one grapefruit, one slice of homemade pizza.  Let's see:  1850.  And I am still full from yesterday.  I think pregnant women's stomachs don't ever empty, they just stay full forever.  

Yesterday I went for a brief walk around the house (one block) and got some Braxton Hicks.  Lots of them.  I panicked and called my dad to pick me up with the car (one block!) then lied down trying to suppress thoughts of Emma dead.  I cannot believe how fragile I am.  I even called MrH crying, even though the BH stopped a long time prior and all was well, then I dreamt of bad things happening to Emma, and I must admit I am scared shitless of preterm labour.  My OB here said not to worry, and same with my previous OB, but hey, what do they know, they said all will be well with my previous pregnancy as well and guess what, it was not. The bad thing about being in Vancouver is that I had to put up with my mom's anxiety, who under the pretext of checking on me, comes into my room every five minutes to ask me how I am feeling, and her anxiety is so thick I could cut it with a knife.  Back home MrH would have given me a hug and I would have felt that all would be well as long as we are together, that we have been through so much that we can endure anything.  Here, I am alone, anxious, and have to hide all my feelings from my mom who has so much anxiety that I must appease, that it is extra work for me instead of extra help.  

I know that my family loves me very much, but luckily for them they have never had to deal with a dead baby, and hence they have no idea what exactly it is, how to help, what to say, what the risks are of it happening again, and generally do not inspire me with the strength that my own husband or my obstetricians inspire me with.  

It is definitely hard for me to be here.  It is work, it must be done.  For Emma.  (The sweet girl, she rewards me with kicks whenever I feel down, and I love her so much for this!).  I cannot bear the though of her dying or suffering as well.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I am surviving pretty well.  Today we went to church, and then to a Chinese restaurant for dim sum, which was delicious.  I had green beans and shrimp dumplings, followed by mango pudding, then I got myself a nice bag of lapsang souchong tea (black tea with wood smoke flavour) which I am currently savouring.  Before that I had a rum raisin ice cream in a waffle cone, and I am already at 1850 calories, which means it is time to stop eating.  I might have some fish broth later on if I get hungry, but I think I will be a happier camper tomorrow if I skip the traditional dinner.

I find that I am still too raw to think too much about this holiday and what it means for me.  What motherhood has been for me so far, the vast amount of emotions and struggle and pain and now joy that I was dealt, so very different from what I was expecting from life, or from what I have seen my own mother and grandmothers being dealt.  Emma is moving a lot and that it what matters, she makes me happy and I am content.  And for today I chose to leave it at that.

Went to church today and lit a candle for both my babies

Saturday, May 7, 2011

25w2d-what I ate today

I woke up weighing 2 lb less today than yesterday (then again I did tamper with the scale's wheel yesterday out of frustration, and I might have turned it slightly couterclockwise...).  So here is the list of stuff I ate today: 16 oz latte, one cheese pocket, an omelet with two eggs and a cup of vegetables cooked in a bit of oil, another 12 oz latte and half of a slice of apple pie with a tbsp of ice cream, 2 oz pork tenderloin with 1.5 cups of salad, one cup strawberries,  two tbsp of honey in my tea, and that is it.  I am making a white rich bread that is currently raising by the fire but I don't think I am going to have any.  So the total for today is 1650-1700.  Same as yesterday.  I seem to naturally gravitate towards the same amount of calories, if by the end of next week I calculate somewhere in the same vicinity, then I will stop tallying.  How anybody gets fat on this many calories beats me, although pregnancy seems to completely change all laws of nature. Also, I am not burning any calories since I am very sedentary due to the incompetent cervix, that might explain it as well.

The good news is that I realized that my OB here in Vancouver has an additional business doing liposuction with both laser and ultrasound, so if the situation gets desperate all is not lost...

what I ate today 25w1d

Given that I want to reassure myself that I am not eating like a pig and gaining weight beyond any hope, I will be posting what I ate daily, feel free to skip these, they are more for me than for anyone else:
16 oz latte, one coconut macaroon that I made yesterday with very little sugar, half low fat fruit bar from Star.bucks, two eggs sunny side up, half cup beans, two tomatoes, handful carrots, cup strawberries, 4 oz salmon baked, one more tomato in a salad with onion, and half of a cheese filled pocket (poale'n brau).  total calories 1750.

Friday, May 6, 2011

You can see them better here...

Something to cheer me up... Little cheese filled dough pockets

Mother's Day coming up

Huh, could it be that my mood is low because of Mother's Day coming up?  It only occurred to me now that it might be an extra factor, in addition to the weather, the boredom and the change in scenery.  I still don't like Mother's Day and do my best to ignore it, except for the fact that now I am here with my mother and need to acknowledge it for her sake.  I got her a nice present (a set of her favourite perfume in several sizes of bottles) and will take her out for sushi (my new OB said it is ok to eat sushi in Vancouver, yay!), but I myself feel conflicted about Mother's day.  Mostly because I am a mother to Adrian and other than my husband and rare friends, most people (including my parents) do not think that I qualify for the mother title in this case.  I am still not used to how others think yet... their lack of empathy still takes me by surprise.  It goes to show that if a person has not lived through a certain experience, they will not be sensitive to others going through it unless they have a certain amount of empathy, usually more than the average being.

I have the same conflicted attitude towards baby showers.  Part of me would like to have a baby shower, but only if it is here in Vancouver, because in my home town everybody knows me as the-one-with-the-dead-baby-who-does-not-go-to-baby-showers and hence I would feel weird having people come to my baby shower when I don't attend this kind of events EVER.  Anyway, that is far away, Mother's day is close, so brace yourselves ladies!

First week in Vancouver

The new obstetrician is actually very nice, just like I remembered.  The last time I had worked with him was about four or five years ago, and he is just as friendly as he was back then.  He told me that I should get an ultrasound weekly for cervical length at Women's Hospital, and that in two weeks he will give me two doses of steroids for lung maturation, just in case.  I agree with that plan, there does not seem to be any harm and definitely if Emma is born early it will help with lung maturation.

For the rest, I find it very depressing here and am fighting hard not to succumb to a negative mind set.  It is dark grey and raining all the time.  I am alone in the house and frequently have nothing to do.  It is not my house, and although I have tried to organize my parents' house like I want it, and they have been flexible about it, overall it is darker than mine and I miss both the sunlight and the electrical light that I have in all the corners back home.  I also miss my parrot terribly.  And, most of all, I miss MrH, without whom I don't know how I would live to be honest.

I was feeling somewhat depressed about the fact that, at the doctor's office, I weighed 190 lb.  I have never in my wildest dreams weighed this much.  When I left my house I was 182 lb less than one week ago.  It is possible that I ate too much here at my parents', since boredom makes me bake a lot, and I have been baking, but most likely there is a difference between scales.  However, I am pretty sure that I put on weight, because I no longer fit into one of the maternity pants that I brought with me.  My new obstetrician said that I don't need to measure my weight, not even at his office, where it is optional.  He also said not to worry about the blood sugar.  I am thinking I should simply try to do my best and eat responsibly (and perhaps stop baking?) and let the chips fall where they may.

Emma makes me very happy.  This morning I woke up depressed about my weight, and she gave me one kick and reminded me that I am pregnant, and made me instantly smile and feel light and loving.  I had forgotten that I was pregnant for a second.

I am not normally so depressed about weight issues, especially in pregnancy, but I know that it is the weather here that brings me down big time.  I have forgotten what it is like to live in a dark rainy place.  Hopefully the weather will improve.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

new town, new obstetrician, same old Braxton Hicks

I am in Vancouver from now until I reach 32 weeks.  This is only for Emma's sake, otherwise I must confess I would rather be at home, in my own bed.  I am lucky enough to be able to live with my parents and not have to pay rent or living expenses, plus enjoying their company and support, but there is no place like home.  Not to mention missing my husband.  The reason we are doing this is because it will be wise to be next to an NICU if I go into preterm labour or anything happens that we don't want at this point.

Over the last two days I have been very anxious, and short of breath at times, because of the anxiety.  I think it has to do with the extended move to Vancouver, but cannot be sure.  Yesterday night I had a lot of Braxton Hicks again, which I had not had for almost five or six weeks.  They were coming every ten minutes at one point, and I was considering taking a hefty dose of Advil to inhibit the prostaglandins, but thankfully they stopped as I fell asleep.  I woke up without them, thank God! but during the day I did have them three or four times, or maybe more, and I was urinating every half an hour.  I even tested my urine and it was clear of infection, so something must have shifted in terms of uterus pressing on the bladder.

The Braxton Hicks are going away hopefully, coming on only when I go up and down stairs (which I am avoiding now) and when I bend over the sink to wash my face (don't know how to avoid this one, except to shower each time I want to wash my face and hence wash it standing up).

Today I am meeting the new obs-gyne who will look after me while in Vancouver, together with MFM if I actually go into labour or get into some kind of trouble.  I don't think that will be the case, so hopefully he'll be the only one involved in my care.  His receptionist is a b**ch over the phone every time I talk to her.  That should be a good sign.  Usually the docs that are nice and kind need a bulldog to guard them.  Will let you guys know how it went.