Archive for Pregnancy

 

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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 19 – Girl or Boy?

6 February 2009

When I started writing this series of Making Baby 3, I know I was very openly determined to have a girl.

We tried all kinds of natural methods to increase the chances of conceiving a girl!

Ovulation kits, keeping a temperature chart, Chinese gender charts, Celebrity Daughter Diets, sex positions, sperm care, and even cervical mucus charts!

However, after 7 to 8 months of failed pregnancy attempts, reality hit us. WE JUST WANT A BABY! A healthy, happy baby. We didn’t care whether it was a girl or boy. And so we began artificially assisted reproduction.

And now, pregnant at 19 weeks, in my heart of hearts, it is still true.

I will be so happy if we have a boy! And I will be equally happy if we have a girl!

So next week, I’ll be attending my next ultrasound.

When the nurse asks me whether I want to know the sex of the baby, I’m going to say YES!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 18 – Depression

30 January 2009

These weeks of my pregnancy have been hard. Hard for me. Hard for my family.

It’s difficult to explain and it’s difficult to deal with.

I have read many stories of women with depression. I have a friend who counsels women with depression. And I have heard heart-wrenching stories by friends who are going through depression.

So I feel safe to say that I don’t have “that level of depression”.

What I have does not even compare to the harrowing struggles I have heard.

I know what I have is linked to my pregnancy. I know my body is undergoing all kinds of chemical and hormonal changes and imbalances.

I know I definitely do not experience the full impact of the hormonal illness.

Whatever it is, I have tasted the reality of it, and I am both shocked and shaken.

It’s like I have something evil inside of me. An evil version of me. It knows everything about me. It knows which buttons to push. It knows exactly what to say to make me cry. It brings everything that is good inside me, down.

Some days I am so down, that I am literally paralysed. Paralysed with an overwhelming cocktail of sadness, self-loathing, confusion, uncertainty, insecurity. It’s suffocating and relentless.

At first, I thought I could over come it with positive thinking. Rational thought. Being optimistic. Using the power of the mind. Or simply distracting my mind with something else.

Then I thought, all I had to do was surround myself with happiness. Arrange time with my family. My friends. My favourite places. My favourite music, foods, flowers, chocolates, long strolls at sunset, a manicure, a new dress, some pampering.

That was my surprise: That whatever I did or whatever thought – NOTHING CHANGED IT. NOTHING MADE IT GO AWAY.

Some days, something will trigger it. Someone will say something. Or I will see something.

It might be the tiniest, most insignificant thing – yet it would instantly make me feel unreasonably upset, guilty, sad, or scared.

Someone might mention that my child was a bit small and I would feel guilty that I wasn’t a very good mother. I might see a picture of a gorgeous model and suddenly feel upset that I wasn’t more beautiful. Or I might read the news of a burglary and feel completely terrified that someone was going to break into our house that night.

And these feelings will grow and grow AND GROW until it’s so intense, I’m utterly consumed and I can’t function normally.

Thankfully, all this comes and goes. I might get it for 3 days, then things will be fine for a week. Then it’ll hit for 4 days, and then settle down again.

I’ve learnt how to ride my own depression, knowing fully that these crazy spells will disappear after my pregnancy. I can see the end. I just keep going, one step at a time.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 17 – Baby Movements

24 January 2009

With my first baby, I felt kicking when I was 22 weeks.

With my second baby, it was 20 weeks.

With my third baby, I swear I could feel kicking at 16 weeks.

Most literature on pregnancy describes the feeling of fetal movements to be like: gas, popping bubbles, a tickling sensation, a fluttery feeling in your abdomen.

For me, I would say, baby movement feels like you have an ALIEN IN YOUR STOMACH KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR BOWELS.

It feels like you have a creature swimming inside you.

Something that is jabbing you in the ribs. Something squeezing against your side. Something pawing at the lining of your tummy. Something head-butting your lungs and bouncing off the walls of your uterus.

It feels alien.

The first time is always the weirdest.

And later, you learn the daily patterns of the movement. It’s always quiet during the day. But the moment you lie down to sleep, the baby throws a party and learns to dance in there.

But you get used to it.

It becomes normal. You learn to expect it. And love it.

In fact, I distinctly remember that it becomes so normal, that AFTER I gave birth, I would actually miss the movements in my belly. My tummy would feel empty and quiet. It was just me in this body.

The party was now elsewhere.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 16 – The Curious Case of the Belly Bump

17 January 2009

I’m not a very big person. I don’t take up much room.

So moments like squeezing between two chairs in a restaurant, or walking between parked cars, or through a semi-closed doorway – DOESN’T usually register in my mind.

Until now!

With an expanding belly, you have to be mindful of the increasing area of your “personal space”.

I find myself bumping into walls, trolleys, tables, chairs, and people!

The other day I had a rather embarrassing moment trying to run through a closing lift door.

I zipped in at the last moment. I knew I could make it, and I probably could have – except for my bump. Sure enough, the lift door closed and went DONK on my belly and it had to reopen. And everyone in the lift rolled their eyes at the eccentric pregnant woman.

And another time, after I parked my car, I opened my door as far as I could (without banging it into the next car), tried to step out, and found myself wedged in my car doorway!

There wasn’t enough room for me to get out! I was pregnant and I was stuck! I had to re-park my car!

Another thing about having a large belly bump, is that people – especially old women – like to talk to you. They like to touch. And press. And ask questions. I don’t mind it that much, but sometimes it gets very irritating, especially if I’m in a hurry.

Children also like to ask questions. “Are you full? Do you have A BABY in your tummy?”

And depending on their level of curiosity and familiarity with Where Babies Comes From, you can often find yourself saying, “Maybe you should go ask your mother!”

Sleeping is another problem.

I usually sleep ON my tummy. It’s the only way I can fall asleep. It gets very problematic when your bump gets so huge that you can’t find a comfortable position to get a good night’s rest. In the end – to your husband’s dismay – you have to use 4 pillows wedged here, propped there, and you look like a tangled whale.

For me, the worse thing about having a large bump, is being treated like an invalid.

People won’t let you carry things. Or push things. Or stand on things. Or even lift things.

The other day, a young man insisted on lifting 8 bags of organic mulch into the boot of my car. Poor guy was getting his uniform so dirty.

And the staff at one restaurant, rearranged the seating in their cafe to make a wide enough pathway for me to get to the toilet!

I guess, it’s probably for the better. And sometimes it’s quite sweet. But I just feel humiliated and self-conscious!

Ah. Perhaps I should just get over it and milk it for what it’s worth.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 15 – The Hormone Roller Coaster

10 January 2009

This pregnancy has been so different from my first two.

Especially when it comes to the effects of my body’s changing hormones.

One day I will be happy. DELIRIOUSLY happy. I will wake up in the morning and I will be literally singing with glee and gladness from my ear lobes to my toes. Everything is wonderful and nothing can go wrong.

I will cook up a storm. I will clean the house from top to bottom. I will take my children to brand new places for brand new adventures. I have all the energy and optimism in the world to face anything!!

Next day I will be anxious. I’m tense. I’m stressed. I worry and I bite my nails. I fret, agonise and lose sleep over the smallest, tiniest details.

What if this happens? What if THAT happens? I better do this, this and this so nothing will go wrong. But what if something ELSE happens? I can’t control anything! What’s wrong with me??

Next day I will be angry. I am frustrated, irritable, easily annoyed, and very short-tempered. I will shout at the children. Snap at my husband. Growl at random people I meet during the day.

My children are doing everything wrong! Why does the toilet have to block up TODAY of all days?? Nothing is going the way I planned!! My blood will boil until I am paralysed by my own rage.

Next day I will be sad. Really, really sad. I am miserable and depressed. Nothing is going right, so I curl up on the couch and cry.

I have no motivation to get up, get dressed, make something to eat, or anything. I have no confidence and not a scrap of self-worth. I just want to lie there and sink into a deep dark hole where no one can find me.

The funny thing is… a big part of my brain knows that these things are NOT NORMAL for me. In my head I KNOW that all this is just the effect of the hormones. Yet there is very little I can do, but manage it all.

My saviors:

My husband. He hugs me and tells me that everything is all right. He doesn’t try to fix things, he just listens to my irrational words and tears, until I talk my way into laughter.

My kids. Even after a long hard day, they cover me and my tummy with hugs and kisses. They know nothing else but to love me because I’m mummy.

My parents. Ready to cook me the most delicious food in the world. Ready to look after the boys and love them and spoil them in a way grandparents can.

My friends. Always there when I need a bit of girly chatter, pampering, long superficial conversations about anything and everything, and loads of female insight.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 14 – What do the other siblings think?

3 January 2009

Callum Painting - My Family

My 5.5year old son did a painting at school. The teachers framed it up and he gave it to me for Christmas.

My heart stopped when I saw it. It was titled “My Family”. Goodness, it was so cute.

It just glowed with that beautiful innocence and plain acceptance, that can only come from a child’s heart – we’re having a baby, and it’s going to be part of our family.

After a few minutes of gushing, my husband teased him – “Hey Callum, what’s that on the ground? Is that a dog? We don’t have a dog!”

“IT’S THE NEW BABY SILLY!” he retorted.

I asked my son why the new baby was wearing RED.

He told me that RED was a boy or a girl colour. And that he’s happy to change the colour when we find out the baby’s gender.

Sean Painting - Mum and Baby

Things are pretty much the same with my younger 3.5yo son. He drew this picture of me, wearing a spotted dress, with a baby in my tummy.

I asked him what happened to my hair. Apparently I have it tied up in a ponytail, so we can’t see it.

My son will talk excitedly about all the stuff he’s going to teach the new baby. How cool and fun it’ll be. How the two big boys will have to talk in baby language so the baby can understand them.

I love it that my kids are so excited about our new life with a new baby. A party of five. I can’t wait!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 13 – Baby Brain

29 December 2008

I’ve got a serious case of baby brain.

I’ve been doing the STUPIDEST things. I’ve left my credit card with cashiers. Put my keys in the wrong places. Done, and said the dumbest things.

Sometimes when I’m talking to someone, my brain will have a hard time processing the conversation. I can feel it chugging along slowly, stopping, restarting, then push along again. Slowly.

Sometimes I will think of a question, begin to ask it, then realise that I have forgotten my question… so I fumble around with my sentence trying to recover it. Only to then admit that I’ve lost my train of thought. It’s very embarrassing.

But the most problematic setback I’ve found, so far, is being unable to multi-task.

Usually I can juggle at least 4 jobs at once.

I can turn on the washing machine… then while the machine fills up, I can start baking a batch of cookies. On my way back to the laundry, I can defrost dinner from the freezer, throw the rubbish out, swing past my son’s room to help him with something, cut the cookies, throw them into the oven, wipe down the kitchen bench top and dinner table, turn on the sprinklers, hang up the washing, turn off the sprinklers.. etc etc etc.

But with BABY BRAIN… I have to do ONE THING AT A TIME.

I can’t cope with anything more. One task. Then another.

It’s so inefficient. Now I know how it feels to be a man!

If I try to tackle anything more, I’ll mix everything up, and I’ll end up slumped on the floor crying at my own stupidity – like putting a plastic bowl in a hot oven, or pouring fabric softener in the cake mix.

I am absolutely frustrated with myself!

WHERE ARE MY BRAIN CELLS??


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 12 – 1st Trimester Scan

19 December 2008

I can’t believe it’s the end of my first trimester already.

Making Baby 3 - Ultrasound 12 Weeks

My 12 week scan goes really well.

As the doctor rolled the ultrasound wand over my belly, I could see all the bones in the baby’s legs, the form of the arms and roundness of the body.

The images were so clear. I was really amazed.

In fact, I was so amazed by how much detail there was, I asked the two female doctors in the room, “Can you tell the sex of the baby at this stage??”

The doctors perked up and dropped their professional persona, “Officially we can’t. It’s too early to tell. But we love to guess!!”

They chatted on about how they like to place bets based on their combined 30+ years of experience.

They excitedly moved in on the screen, and started mumbling about the angle of the pelvis versus the size of the something, and the width and length of the something else.

One doctor said, “I think it’s a GIRL!”

But the other doctor exclaimed, “NO! It’s definitely a BOY!”

So they argued for a few minutes, each trying to explain their own conclusions, while I laughed, “I bet you guys do this on purpose! Ah what a scam!”

So I left the scan, not caring at all whether the baby was a boy or girl – but deeply reassured that the baby was healthy, strong and growing well.

I’m so excited!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making baby 3: Pregnancy Week 11 – Argh! I Need Maternity Clothes!

12 December 2008

I Need Maternity Clothes!As I look back on my two pregnancies, I believe I did something rather silly – I made it my MISSION to spend very little money on maternity clothes.

I wore my usual clothes until they didn’t fit. Then I bought cheap jeans, tops and skirts from Target in a few big sizes.

The result was that I ruined all my usual clothes (they stretched and went all loose in the tummy area) and all the cheap clothes stretched, faded and didn’t last.

So I’m absolutely KICKING MYSELF that I didn’t spend the money in the first place and invest in some nice and proper maternity clothes!

I should have at least bought some stuff in classic styles, basic colours, and some everyday staples, like jeans.

Now it’s 3.5years on and I don’t have anything to wear – especially just normal, everyday clothes. I’m irritated that I have to go spend money on more cheap tops and skirts!

I should have had a little bit more foresight, especially since I knew I was going to have more than one kid!

A few weeks ago I started a hunt for some online maternity shops. I also asked lots of my friends for recommendations. I was looking for maternity boutiques with a great selection of basic wear, or who stocked really nice dresses and evening wear, or sold stuff at really good prices.

I tested out a few boutiques – and I sent lots of stuff back, as I wasn’t crazy about the price, quality or service, thus I wasn’t happy to recommend them on.

But I’ve managed to find a few really great ones too! And over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring them on my site.

So I’m asking any mothers out there, do you know of any great online maternity shops? One that you’d be really happy to recommend?

I’d love to hear from you!

This is me showing off my bump in my “usual clothes”.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 10 – All Day Sickness

6 December 2008

I don’t have morning sickness. I have the under-represented pregnancy ailment called ALL-DAY SICKNESS.

Ok. I suppose I know some women who throw up 10 times a day, who have to be hospitalised and constantly monitored. My pregnancy is not going that bad.

I just feel terrible all day. And every hour or so , I’ll feel a build up of dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and tiredness.

But I’ve discovered there are lots of things that I can do to make myself feel better – exercise, eating, doing a hands-on project, or dressing-up to go somewhere different. It keeps my mind off feeling sick and somehow it just works.

So I’ve been managing my body and activities like a hawk. I’ve been saying NO to lots of up-coming activities and commitments. I’ve been keeping a light schedule, simple daily goals, and staying far away from things that might make me stressed or emotional.

I’m just completely focused on keeping myself together.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 9 – Healthy Snacks

29 November 2008

I’ve gone a bit crazy with this eating thing. I’ve been consuming whatever I feel like, whenever I feel hungry, and whatever happens to be most convenient.

So I’ve put on 4kgs since finding out I am pregnant!

Ok, I know that it’s very important to put on weight during pregnancy – but I probably shouldn’t be using it as an excuse to pig out on high-salt, high-fat, extra-tasty foods, which I’ve been seriously craving.

I have dreams about eating meat pies, bacon and egg breakfast muffins, hamburgers, sausage rolls, take away fried noodles and fried chicken – and eating them between my meals! They dance around in my head, singing at me, taunting me and making my mouth water and my head dizzy.

As of last week, I’m trying to eat healthy snacks only. Especially because I seem to be eating about 6-8 small meals a day.

I’m also trying to be a lot more organised, keeping small tubs of snacks in convenient places. It’s been working out quite well, and I’ve been feeling much better for it.

Some healthy snacks I’ve been enjoying:

Cheese and crackers
Something on toast
A piece of fruit – apple, pear or banana
Dried fruit and nuts – pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds
Homemade muffins
Fruit smoothies
Homemade fruit juices

Last week, my daily meals looked something like this:

Breakfast: Bowl of muesli and soy milk, cup of tea.
Snack: Pear and mixed nuts.
Snack: Two banana and walnut muffins.
Lunch: Two pieces of toast, cheese spread, sprouts, beetroot.
Snack: Cheese and crackers, cup of tea.
Snack: Fruit salad.
Dinner: Whatever I’ve made for dinner.
Snack: Bowl of yoghurt.
Snack: Fruit.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 8: Cravings

21 November 2008

Let me tell you about cravings.

Pregnancy cravings can come from no where and hit like a nuclear explosion.

I might have already eaten a full breakfast and morning tea… we might be out in a park, taking a walk… and my son might say something random like “Wiggles… Dorothy… hotdog…”

And suddenly, I have this image of a HOTDOG in my head.

My stomach starts to twitch. Then it starts to churn in hunger. Painful, dizzying hunger. I can see the crystal clear image of the HOTDOG. I can smell the warm bread and the salty sausage meat. I can see globs of mustard and tomato sauce. My mouth salivates. I get light headed.

Then I become so hungry that it hurts. I feel like throwing up. I feel like fainting. I need FOOD.

FOOOOOD NOW! I’M GOING TO DIE! AND THE ONLY THING IN THE WORLD THAT CAN SAVE ME IS A HOTDOG. GET ME A HOTDOG RIGHT NOW DAMN IT!

I’m curled over, my head is spinning and I can feel myself about to throw up. I reach into my handbag, I open up my emergency muesli bar, I bite the top off and I’m immediately better – but only for a few minutes. Which is more than enough time to drive to a hotdog shop.

My latest craving: kimchee, wonton noodles and spicy mee siam.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 7: Reality Kicks In

16 November 2008

Now that I’m actually pregnant, I suddenly have no need for a fertility clinic, or a team of nurses and doctors. It was really wonderful having them, helping me, holding my hand through each step of the assisted reproduction process and calling me up to see how I was going.

I was used to having all this support and care. I was used to having someone else manage everything for me! They told me exactly what to do and when to do it – Get a blood test. Come into the clinic. Go to this appointment. Fill out this form. Pay this bill. I just followed instructions, it was very easy.

But now I’ve been thrust back into the world of reality – to plan the rest of my pregnancy BY MYSELF! I’m at that scary place where expectant mothers are expected to make their own decisions!

So I sat down the other day, I booked my obstetrician, booked my blood tests, booked some other screening tests and scans. I printed out a pregnancy calendar. Got hold of a week by week overview of gestation. I pulled out all my old pregnancy books for references. And my diary is all up to date.

The last thing my fertility clinic advised me to do was to have an ultrasound at 6 weeks, since I had slight complications early on.

Ultrasound - 6 weeks

Here’s my little jellybean!

The scan went wonderfully well. The scanning nurses were absolutely lovely.

Usually, I don’t like it when medical practitioners are too nice or too tender. But this nurse eased absolutely any doubt I had – my baby is normal, a good, healthy size, and growing really well. My baby was perfect.

I’m so happy!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 6: I am an Eating Machine

7 November 2008

I’ve been eating SO MUCH these last few days! I’ve found that it soothes my morning sickness.

I have to eat every 2 hours, or I’ll throw up. Where ever I am, what ever I am doing, when my stopwatch approaches 1 hr 58mins, my stomach will start to rumble with hunger.

So I have made lots of provisions. I have emergency snacks stashed in the car and handbag. Chocolate, muesli bars, apples, bananas, nuts, fruit bars. I have to carry food everywhere.

I eat small, frequent meals now.

The good new is that I’m off the hormone medication, but I still have all-day nausea and dizziness.

Altogether, the morning sickness, the lack of exercise, all this eating, the sudden weight gain, has been making me feel really, really terrible. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, which also helps.

If there’s any comfort in all this, it’s knowing that my general crapiness indicates that the pregnancy is still progressing and baby is growing and developing as normal!

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 5: Morning Sickness

31 October 2008

Last week I began a course of hormone medication.

And ARGH I feel absolutely disgusting now! I am nauseous, dizzy, irritable, tired, bloated, my body aches, my head aches, and my skin and hair feels SO GROSS. It all hit me like a train, 4 days ago. I basically woke up in the morning and WHAM.

Every moment of the day, I feel like throwing up, or that I might faint from dizziness. It’s awful.

I’m not sure if this is actual morning sickness, or just the side effects of the hormone medication.

The doctor told me to REST, REST, REST!!

And I said, “Ok, but what do you actually mean by REST? I have to look after two little boys, so I don’t usually do much of this RESTING thing that you’re talking about.”

It turns out that I can’t do anything “strenuous”. I have to lie down as much as possible. Get someone else to hang up the clothes. Stop cooking, order take away.

I can’t play netball. I’m not allowed to run or jog. I haven’t been on my daily walks, and combined with everything else I’m feeling… I feel like a lazy blob. Bleh.

When I was pregnant with my first two boys, I had no morning sickness at all.

In fact, when I was carrying my first child, I didn’t actually have anything wrong with me until I was around 8 months! And after that, it was only a few aches and pains.

I had what everyone called a “perfect pregnancy”. I had glowing skin and shiny hair.

For my second child, I just got headaches and a few aches, but no nausea.

When I tell people all these things, everyone says – OH THIS MEANS IT’S A GIRL!

Different pregnancies mean different gender? Hmmm, don’t know about that.

At this stage, I’m not really concerned if the baby is a boy or girl. I know that the morning sickness is really a GOOD SIGN of a normal pregnancy.

I’m just hoping to the high heavens that the baby will be fine and healthy.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 4: Spotting

25 October 2008

Most of this week went by without any event. Nothing! No morning sickness. No dizziness. No anything! I felt very, very normal. I don’t think the reality of “being pregnant” had kicked in yet.

But by the end of the week I had spotting. I’ve never had spotting before. Even with my first two children.

Everyone I’ve ever spoken to, and everything I’ve read, says that spotting in early stages of pregnancy is very common.

Many mothers have told me that they had spotting, even heavy spotting, all throughout their pregnancies – and their babies have come out perfectly fine.

But I also know that spotting may mean that the baby did not make it.

I was very calm, I didn’t freak out. I called my doctor at the fertility clinic.

I went in for a blood test and was told that I had low progesterone. Apparently, at this early stage of the pregnancy, progesterone is important.

So as of yesterday, I am on hormone medication.

And I’m still hopeful.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 3: PREGNANT!

17 October 2008

So yes! After our third try at assisted reproduction using IUI, we are finally pregnant!

I know I’m still in “early days” but to see those two lines after all these months sent a jolt from my eyeballs to my toes.

I was filled with the greatest sense of happiness, disbelief, relief, excitement, shock and I could not but feel the power of life’s sweetest word, grace.

I actually first found out that I was pregnant from a phone call. My nurse at the fertility clinic called while I was having lunch with some friends at a Chinese Restaurant. It was so noisy that I couldn’t hear what she was saying.

As I made my way outside, I was shouting “WHAT DID YOU SAY?? I’M WHAT?? CAN YOU SAY THAT AGAIN??”

I stood on the pavement, repeating to my nurse, “Really? Are you sure? I mean are you really sure??”

I walked back into the restaurant. I didn’t plan to say anything to my friends, but the smile on my face gave it away. A big wide silly grin. Ah, I couldn’t contain myself.

On my way home, I stopped off at a pharmacy and bought a home test pregnancy kit. You know, just in case the nurse was, like, joking.

It’s so amazingly strange. After 12 months of trying. I’m finally pregnant!

(PS. Again, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the people who has sent me messages!)

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 34: Hey Guess What?

13 October 2008

Pregnant!

Read my whole story of Making Baby 3.

[Post Edit]
Wow! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has emailed me, sent messages through Facebook, wrote on my Facebook wall, and then Flickr and Twitter! It’s incredible, wonderful, and absolutely mind boggling to know that so many people out there are thrilled for us!

It’s still early days right now, but we are literally floating with excitement and happiness!! Thank you everyone for your love and well wishes!!


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Making Baby 3, Part 33: IUI Number 3

26 September 2008

Hospital Room

Once again, the whole procedure of IUI Number 3 goes nice and smoothly.

And once again I “have a good feeling about this one”.

I guess the only thing that is different for me this time round, is that I am coming closer to the reality of “What Happens if IUI Doesn’t Work”.

Recently I have been doing a lot of reading on IVF. I’ve taken out books from the library, reading articles on the internet, forums, pamphlets and asking people.

I’ve read a book, So Close, written by a blog friend of mine, Tertia Albertyn, who chronicles her journey through 9 IVFs and a roller coaster ride of tragedies and a happy ending. It was such an eye opener for me into the real, everyday experiences of IVF. So I’m really glad I read it.

Basically, I don’t know what I’m going to do if IUI doesn’t work.

How long are we going to keep trying? Are we going to try IVF? How many times?

Lots to think about. Lots to hope for.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 32: IUI Result Number 2

13 September 2008

Not Pregnant! Again!

So once again, we’re not pregnant.

I’m not too concerned about it. Nor am I stressed, sad or upset.

Maybe you could say, I’m a little impatient.

I have realised that my situation is not “a crossroads of life” scenario.

Life for me is still moving forward. I’m still pursuing my interests. I’m still being a happy and active mother. I’m still planning a future filled with rich, new experiences. I still want to make sure that I grow old while living a full life.

Sure, I’m waiting for baby. But it’s like waiting to be given a gift. A bonus. Or not.

I’m eager to try again!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 31: IUI Number 2

23 August 2008

Ward Roof

So the other day I went into my fertility clinic for IUI Number 2.

Things were much easier this time round. I knew how the procedure went. I knew the doctors and the nurses. I knew where to stand, where to sit, what to sign, where to lie, what to expect, how long to wait.

I was very relaxed and I had a good feeling about it.

I know it sounds a bit silly, because you can’t really trust your feelings on these things, but nonetheless I was very happy and peaceful. I felt balanced. That, either way, life will still be great.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 30: IUI Result Number 1

14 August 2008

Pregnancy Test - NegativeA month ago I had my first IUI procedure. I was told to go home, rest, wait two weeks, and then come in for a blood test to determine whether or not I was pregnant.

Of course I couldn’t wait, so I did a home pregnancy test after ONE week.

Both the home test and the lab test results were the same: NOT PREGNANT.

Oh well! I’m not stressed about it.

Some thoughts on IUI Number 1

I found my reaction and feelings towards the IUI to be very laid back and relaxed. I wasn’t precious or squeamish about it at all.

I felt like it was a bit of an adventure. A new step. I felt happy that things were moving forward. Things were happening and we were getting closer to being pregnant. I had faith in the doctors. And I was very relieved that I just had to let myself go to the process.

I found the whole scientific process of IUI to be interesting and fascinating. The practice of defrosting sperm, analysing it, washing it, injecting it, flushing it – it may put some people off, but I was very intrigued.

Like the moment I’m sitting on a plane as it speeds down the runway, and suddenly 300 people and this lump of metal are flying through the atmosphere. Like when I see images of the surface of Mars taken by a remote controlled robot. Or knowing that we have a vaccine for cervical cancer now.

I think, my goodness, science is pretty amazing.

So with that attitude, when the nurse asked me whether I wanted my husband to come in from work, to join me, to hold my hand, to share the moment, and maybe “push the button”.

I laughed and said, “No thanks. I’ll be fine.”

It was, after all, a clinical procedure. And I was happy with it being that way. There was no point trying to pretend it was something else.

The odds for falling pregnant on the first IUI is really low. Yet I was feeling really good, relaxed, happy and excited even.

But I’m not disappointed with the negative result at all. I’m super keen to try again! Sign me up for IUI Number 2!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 29: The IUI Process

14 July 2008

Roof of the Ward

After 10 months of trying for our 3rd baby with no luck, we’ve decided that we will try IUI – Intra Uterine Insemination.

This is where sperm from your preferred sperm donor is injected directly into your uterus. It’s cheaper, and much less complicated and invasive that IVF – where the eggs are taken out of your body, and mixed with the sperm in a lab, before being returned to the uterus.

IUI also has a much lower chance of success than IVF – but since we already have two babies, we figure my eggs and my husband’s sperm have got a pretty good track record of getting together when given a chance.

So a few weeks ago, we chose a fertility clinic that best matched our plans. All three of the clinics we visited seemed excellent, but this one just seemed best for where we are right now.

We met with our doctor and our fertility nurse. We ran through a lot of formalities. We had to sign a whole heap of official documents, consent forms, and papers to make sure we understood everything.

The next thing that needed to happen was: Tracking. This is the term that refers to finding out the exact critical few hours when the egg will be in the correct position to be fertislised.

So when I get my period, I would call my Fertility Nurse and let her know. This was labelled DAY 1.

At DAY 10, I had to go to get a blood sample taken.

This meant going to any blood collection laboratory and get some blood taken before 9am. The blood is sent to another laboratory. Results are passed on to my doctor. And I get a phone call at 2pm with the results. Timing is crucial.

The doctor said, “Have another blood test on DAY 12.”

Repeat above.

“Have another blood test on DAY 14.”

Repeat above.

“Have another blood test on DAY 15.”

“COME IN TO THE CLINIC! NOW NOW NOW!!”

So I rush into the clinic, but there is no sense of urgency when I arrive. It is all very professional and calm. After all, this is what these people do everyday. The procedure is very simple and completely painless.

And now, I have to wait 14 days to have another blood test – to find out if I’m pregnant! Fingers crossed.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 28: Moving Forward – IUI or IVF

7 June 2008

Pregnancy Test Stick

It’s been a month since my last baby making post, and we’re still not pregnant.

In that time we managed to visit 3 different fertility clinics, and hear a variety of opinions on what we should do.

Interestingly, all three opinions were significantly different. We also learned a LOT about infertility, reasons for infertility and fertility treatments.

But basically, because of our case history, our choices came down to: IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) or IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation).

IUI is where they take some sperm and inject it directly into the uterus, at the woman’s most fertile moment. They work out the exact time with daily blood tests. Apart from the blood test, and a pap-smear like procedure, it’s not a very “invasive” process.

IVF is quite different. Basically, the woman has to have daily injections of hormones to produce a large number of eggs. It might not sound that bad, but this hormone therapy is famous to be utterly horrendous and brutal on the woman. Huge, scary mood swings for a couple of weeks. Ugh!

The eggs are then harvested in an operation. The eggs are fertilised in a laboratory (hence the term “test tube” babies). Embryos are created. Some might be frozen. And depending on certain policies, the embryo (or two or three) will be inserted into the woman’s uterus, where hopefully it finds a nice place to grow into a baby.

IVF is much more expensive, complicated and invasive – but also more likely to result in a pregnancy.

So again, we have lots to consider.

We’re thinking that we’ll try the conservative option first – IUI.

I’ll let you know how it works out!

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 27: Looking Into Assisted Reproduction

9 May 2008

Today I spoke to my doctor about not being able to fall pregnant.

My doctor is by far, the most wonderful, most considerate, personal and straight-forward doctor that I, and my husband, have ever had. We’ve been seeing her for 7 years, and she knows all about us and the kids.

I told her about our efforts in trying to fall pregnant and the techniques we’ve tried. I laid out a little case history, how we’ve come to this point, and where we’d like to go.

I asked her for her opinion, to recommend some fertility clinics, and any other reproductive alternatives she can think of.

I asked her, “We’ve only been trying for seven months. Would a fertility clinic take us seriously?”

She assured me that since we know my husband has a low sperm count, 7 months is long enough to be taken seriously.

Phew. The last thing I want I to do is pay a specialist to tell me to just keep trying for another 6 months.

My husband, with his years of dealing with doctors, medical practices and the health sector, strongly believes in being deeply involved in your treatment. He believes in finding out as much as you can, doing vigorous research, looking for alternatives, asking hard questions, asking WHY, and hearing as many different opinions as possible. He believes in “getting three quotes”.

I personally had the impression that we should trust doctors, that ALL doctors know what they are doing, and they will recommend the best possible solution for the patient – but I have since found out that this isn’t always the case.

Each specialist doctor, like a tradesperson, has a particular style and way of doing things. They are most likely to recommend the method that they are expert in, and it might not necessarily be the way that is best for you.

So while most people go see ONE fertility clinic at a time, we are booked into seeing THREE – just for an initial consultation with each.

Ok perhaps it’s a bit of an overkill. The Chinese in me is very grumpy about the money we’re spending just for having a chat with a doctor – especially if they all say the same thing – but I’ve been told, “Hey, welcome to the world of assisted reproduction!”

Assisted reproduction! Fertility specialists! How scary!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 26: Lots to Think About

2 May 2008

Seven Un-pregnant Tests

It’s been seven months since we started trying to conceive. And we have had seven months of lonely, one-pink lines.

Yep, we’re still not pregnant.

So my husband went to get his sperm checked again.

Last time he had it checked, we were very optimistic because, while he had a low sperm count, the sperm had high motility (moving and swimming sperm).

This meant it was still possible to get pregnant, and also possible that his count would improve over time.

But it seems not to be the case. The sperm count is still very low.

To put things into perspective, we are pretty damn lucky that my husband is even ALIVE after having cancer, and to NOT be seriously handicapped by chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. So having a low sperm count seems like a lucky escape.

His doctors are now of the opinion that this low sperm count is permanent, and while it remains technically possible to get pregnant, it is also highly unlikely. We could be trying for 7 years!

And so now we have to decide what to do.

Do we investigate medical treatment options?

Or just be happy with the two beautiful boys we are already blessed with?

Lots to think about.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 25: Old Toys, New Toys

4 April 2008

Upon turning 3 years old, my son has blissfully turned my living room into a fully decked-out, preschooler-boy’s dream pad. The place is spilling over with new birthday toys.

Robots, cars sets, pirate sets, train tracks, Lego sets, Buzz Lightyear action figures, and so much more.

And just to make things worse, we’re having a 5 year old birthday party for my older boy in a few weeks. I’m shuddering at the thought of all the toys at the end of the day.

So a few days ago, I told my boys that we were going to have a TOY CLEAN UP DAY. We would sort through the toys, clean them up, and donate some to charity – to kids who can’t afford to have ANY toys.

They seemed to be quite happy with that idea.

So we cracked open the old toy box.

One by one, we pulled out the forgotten, dusty, old toys. All the old favourites! There were pop up toys. Chunky trains. Wire bead things. A xylophone. Wooden cups. Coloured cups. Squeaky toys. Shakers. Rattles.

They were actually in great condition! A bit of polish and they’d be as good as new!

But it struck me that these toys were baby toys.

And aren’t we trying to have another baby? What’s Baby 3 going to play with?

I part of me desperately wants to get rid of all these baby toys. Cleanse the house of unwanted junk. Move on. Free up some space.

But part of me wants to be fair. If my first two boys had age appropriate toys, then why can’t Baby 3 have them too?

So the boxes of baby toys stay.

Waiting to be opened. Hopefully soon.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 24: You’ve Got to be Yolking

28 March 2008

I was flicking through a rather encyclopediatic looking fertility book, when something caught my eye.

“Alternative Lubrication”

Uh-oh.

It is commonly known that many forms of artificial lubrication can hinder or kill sperm – such as petroleum jelly, oil-based lubricants, baby oils, vegetable oils, glycerine, even saliva.

So the book suggests that you should use RAW EGGWHITE.

Apparently eggwhite is a suitable, vaginal lubricant that may assist conception and is least harmful to sperm.

1) Try not to use eggs which are straight from the fridge.

2) Separate the yolk from the eggwhite.

3) Apply where necessary.

So there you go.

Other medical experts caution the use of eggwhite as a lubricant, as there is a slight possibility it might contain the salmonella bacteria.

They classify it as an “old wives tale” and “only for recreation”.

So I guess chocolate sauce, strawberry ice cream and whipped yoghurt is definitely out of the question?

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 23: The STRESS Factor

21 March 2008

I thought that stress was a major cause for being unable to fall pregnant.

Apparently, the medical community “acknowledges” that stress affects women’s menstruation, in different ways.

And they also state that when “stress-reduction techniques” are applied, some women have been able to conceive when they originally could not.

But other than that, there is not enough scientific evidence to support that stress causes infertility.

Now I don’t think I’m a stressful person. And I don’t think I lead a stressful life.

So I usually glaze over the section where is says : Trying to fall pregnant? Reduce the stress in your life! Go for a walk! Take a bath! Read a book! Pick up a new hobby!

Doesn’t apply to me!

But I was talking to a doctor friend of mine, who was a lot more open minded towards holistic medicine and wellbeing.

She asked me to check my dates from when I first started trying to conceive, “How long are your cycles?”

I almost brushed her off, thinking that small irregularities in my cycle were not much of a concern to me. After all, everyone’s irregular. But I went home and I counted up all my dates, including before trying to conceive.

28. 28. 28. 29. 29. 30. 29. 32. 33.

Oh wow. My cycles are getting longer. Geez.

I guess I’m getting all stressed out about trying NOT to be stressed!

Time to take a bath!

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Part 22: Get Ready for a Healthy Pregnancy

14 March 2008

When we first tried to conceive our first baby in 2002, I was completely clueless. I didn’t know much about being pregnant and what to expect.

I didn’t know any first time mums, I didn’t know how to look after a baby and I didn’t know anything about typical child development. I didn’t know there was a term called “stay at home mum” and I didn’t know there was such a thing as a “healthy pregnancy”.

We conceived in our first month of trying, and I realised that I wasn’t completely ready to be pregnant. I had to learn everything as I went along – through reading books, magazines, talking to nurses, doctors, and other mothers.

It was only after I conceived, that I read about the things you should do to get your body ready for pregnancy. I was struck with the fact that I was pretty naive and ill-prepared, and it drove me to do something about it.

All the reading, research, and doing positive things towards my pregnancy really prepared me physically and mentally for the big day. It helped me feel more in control and confident, and less fearful and uncertain.

Experts recommend that if you are thinking of having a baby, you should do the following things to get your body ready for a healthy pregnancy:

Have a medical check up.
Your doctor is probably the best place to start. He or she will be able to discuss your individual medical history, circumstances, and put you on the right track.

Give up smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Research shows that smoking, high consumption of alcohol and the use of hard drugs can increase the risks in pregnancy, birth defects, development problems, disabilities, to name a few.

Get regular exercise.
A fit, healthy mother has a higher chance of having a healthy pregnancy.

Watch your weight
If you’re over weight, you may have an increased risk in developing high blood pressure, diabetes and other complications during pregnancy.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Try to stay off junk food and food high in salt, fat and sugar. Eat lots of vegetables, wholegrains, fruits, milk, making sure you get lots of the following vitamins:

Folic acid is important for the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Calcium is important for your baby’s growing bones, your own bone health, and to guard against calcium deficiency.

Iron is needed for your baby’s growth, and he/she will deplete your supply, leaving you tired and anaemic.

Fibre will help you maintain a healthy bowel, as most pregnant women experience constipation.

Reduce exposure to chemicals and pesticides
Eg. Weed killers, harsh cleaning fluids, and vapours from chemicals may effect your baby’s development.

Organise health insurance.
Doing a bit of research and organising your health insurance might save you money and headaches in the near future.

(We got caught out! We forgot to switch from a young couple’s insurance plan to a young family plan. Oh well.)

Take care of your emotional health.
I think this one is most important, and I stuck it in here (even though I’m not an expert). I really believe that you and your partner should talk about and enjoy the process of pregnancy and parenting together! Also establishing a network of family and friends who can support you is invaluable!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.