Saturday, June 20, 2009

The First Kick! SCORE!!!

Sorry all, it has been a while since I have given any updates.  I feel like I should be updating the most important events, I know some people go on and on about their toilet habits and how many times they have barfed in a week, aches, pains, yadda, yadda.  So, I will spare you and let you know about things like this....she is moving!!!  I felt the first kick a week ago in the morning and woke Sergios up at 6:30 am to tell him all about it.  I am sure he appreciated it because he had to get up about an hour later for work, but it was worth it.  
A couple of days later I felt her kick my hand through my tummy.  After so many months of feeling blah and not really looking pregnant, it is really cool to finally feel the little tenant moving around and letting you know she is there.  I feel so blessed:)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Each child is an adventure into a better life, an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new. ~Hubert H. Humphrey

It's an Alien, no, it's a Girl!!!!!

So yesterday we had another Dr. visit.  We found out that we are having a girl.  We made sure to ask the Dr. if he was 100% sure about the sex and he said yes.  We both wanted a girl and Sergios can't wait to make her into Cyprus' first female soccer all star:)  
Now, don't be disappointed by the lack of hoo-hoo shots, instead we got a shot of her opening her mouth as wide as it would go, so cute!!  Of course she is related to her mama as she is known for having a big yap as well:)   I think that this is my favorite pic yet, she looks like an alien or a skeleton, so I like to call it her cute, creepy portrait!  Enjoy.

Vanishing Twin

This is the first ultrasound that we took at 5.5 weeks.  We found out that we were having twins (see the two sacs).  We were so excited that we started asking the doctor tons of twin questions, before he stopped us and said that we should wait until the next visit to see if they would both grow.  Next visit came and to our disappointment, one of them had stopped growing and the other had taken over normal development.  So, in an effort to understand this phenomenon, I did some research on Vanishing Twin Syndrome and this is what I found.
*It is estimated that up to 50% of all conceptions are twins, however the mother never knows because the second twin stops developing before it is seen on an ultrasound.
*Until ultrasound technology became routine, one would not know whether they were carrying twins or not very early on in the first trimester.
*Because the second twin stops growing so early in pregnancy, it poses no risk to the live embryo or the mother, the body just simply metabolizes the second twin and the surviving twin is born healthy.
*Most women usually have their first ultrasound at 8 to 10 weeks, so the body would have metabolized the second twin by then and nobody would be the wiser.
*Unfortunately, it is usually beneficial for the second embryo to stop growing, as doing so usually indicates severe problems (genetic, structural,metabolic) in the second embryo anyway.
*The emotional impact of this phenomenon is not so bad as a miscarriage or life threatening pregnancy difficulty.  We were a bit bummed, but knowing the facts and commonality of this phenomenon just made us grateful for the baby we have:)
So, just an anatomical and physiological curiosity for everyone. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hospital or Pregnancy Is Not a Disease

So today we decided to go to the hospital in an effort to find a better option for birthing than the private clinic. I like my doctor at the private clinic, although he does have the personality of a wet sock. He always answers my questions.
There are a few caveats that come with going to the private clinics though and two of them are ones that I am trying to avoid like the plague. First I do not want an unnecessary cesarean, which is very prevalent in private clinics/hospitals and I also do not want to be sold baby formula and discouraged to breastfeed.
For those of you who know me, you may know that my mother had me and two of my siblings at home, the old fashioned way also may people I grew up with and lived around had home births as well. Being exposed to this style of birthing has made me appreciate and admire natural birth. I think that when pregnancy is treated like a disease, as so often happens in modern medicine, both baby and mother suffer.
So, as Cyprus does not allow home birthing, I am on a quest to find the best option for birthing that requires the least intervention.
Enter Makarios Hospital. I guess I could spend days lamenting on the dinginess and what appeared to be a disorganized disaster (having a peek in the records room should have been the first decision to turn tail and run as so often in government facilities here, a lit match would evaporate every record from 1970 on). At first I was put off because I am used to the sterile and impersonal clinics and hospitals in the States but after standing at the check-in line for what seemed like an eternity, we were in. I was interviewed by a nurse who looked like she had seen her fair share of pregnant ladies, but she was kind and spoke to me in Greek, (Only 1/4 of which I understood) and my husband translated. After my interview with the nurse, we wre ushered into a lobby in a hallway lined with green painted, wooden benches (No cushy chairs here) and told to have a seat along with the twenty,(No exaggeration) other prego ladies.
After about a five minute wait, we went in to see the doctor, a young woman who quickly put my mind at ease about the birthing situation. She told me that I didn't have to have a cesarean unless absolutley necessary and that the baby could be with me 24/7 instead of rushed into some nursery to squall for its'mother. On top of all of this, we were handed pamphlets, one of them entitled "Pregnancy Is Not a Disease" and information on breastfeeding (which was further augmented by the hundreds of posters on the wall advocating breastfeeding). We were then lead to a room that looked like a small closet in the hall and an ultrasound was performed to hear the fetal heartbeat. The ultrasound machine must have been salvaged from an appliance graveyard because at first there was no sound of a heartbeat, I was a bit panicked to say the least. Then the sound popped on after some electrical crackling and jostling by the physician. I could see our baby on the fuzzy, outdated screen and all was right with the world.

We will probably have our baby at Makarios, even if there are no cushy office chairs and flat screens:)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Three Months or Melons and a Headache

Well, I am three months pregnant now.  This is the time when common ailments such as the following are supposed to disappear:
Morning sickness or in my case evening sickness, I am lucky as I only hucked twice. 

The urge to pee in such large quantities that filling a 50 gallon drum in the space of two days could be possible. 

Sleeping until bed sores appear on your backside.

And my personal favorite, craving everything and hating the taste of it at first bite.  

Now, it may sound as if I am complaining, and I am but I am also trying to document in the most accurate way possible my pregnancy and if this means pissin' and moanin' sometimes, then I must.  
On the "glass is half full side" pregnancy has been thus far the single most amazing thing that has happened to me.  Even though I am growing somebody who I have never even met, I feel like I would, without hesitation give my whole world to them.  I feel that nothing in the world has made me strive to become a more grounded and whole person than becoming a mom.  I hope this is true for all the moms out there;)  Even when we wake up with headaches, craving melon and our favorite foods don't taste good anymore, we can remember our true purpose as mothers and women, that eclipses any ailment. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

11.5 weeks

Here she is again (we are hoping for a she:)  I went to the doctor yesterday for the Triple screening Downs Syndrome test, all is well.  We got to see all the baby's parts except the sex, which we will see in two weeks.  My husband saw the baby move for the first time, I think that it made the experience a bit more real to him.  I think that fathers don't really realize how real the pregnancy is until they see the baby and the mothers belly growing.  I was so surprised at how big the baby has grown in the past two weeks (3 inches yesterday).  Two weeks ago it looked like a bigger version of a little blob and now it looks like a baby.   
As for me, I am feeling better than I had been for the past couple of months.  Food is becoming more appealing and I don't feel the need to sleep as much although I usually have a nap in the middle of the day.  Also, the pool next to my house just opened so I will be swimming 4 days per week because in Cyprus, the chances of doing any other exercise outdoors besides swimming is impossible due to the fact that it is BLAZING HOT until October.