Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So, I will be out of commission for few days. Thanks for all the support and sharing. You made my 9 1/2 months passed so much quicker.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Upadate: Baby boy is about 8.5 lbs as of last Wed.
To pass time: I am listening to chick flick Summer Affair (hope it's good) , reading Oprah magazine, and catching up with This American Life podcast.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Now, I am starting to enjoy my pregnancy. Your daddy, Jason, is also very excited. I can sense it in the way he talks to you inside my belly. You are starting to respond to his voice by kicks and jabs. It is such a good feeling to feel you move, baby.
We just installed your car seat. I think we are ready for your arrival. All the baby clothes and diapers are washed. The bags are packed. The carpet in the house are shampooed. The only thing I need to work out, I think, is my own heart and mind. I would like to be a good mom. I promise to protect and love you, baby. Yet, I have this issue I need to work through -- that's forgiveness. I need to forgive myself and my parents. It is hard to come. I think it is the hormone causing this dark emotion of overwhelming anger. The more I demand an apology, the more elusive it comes by. I just have this epiphany that I should give this forgiveness no matter what, so, I can be freed from this dark emotion. That way I can give my love to you uncontaminated by this darkness. I would like to be the happy mom, baby.
I promise to do my best to prepare you for this world. It is not easy but I think it would be an adventure. I thank God for choosing us to be your parents. There are many things for us to learn and literature to read about child rearing. It is overwhelming at times but I know it is worth it, so, you will grow up happy and well-adjusted. We are excitedly waiting for the new chapter of our life -- together.
Monday, October 19, 2009
My Mercy family
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
- July 1999 - Met and started dating.
- June 2000 - Got married and decided to wait few years to have children. Started using birth control.
- August 20002 - moved to Dallas, TX
- January 2004 - Returned to Iowa.
- November 2004 - Bought a new house.
- Summer of 2005 - started to try making a baby.
- Fall of 2005 - unsuccessful. Went to OB-Gyn for consultation. Suspicion of PCOS given due to irregular menstruation. Had blood tests for hormones. Everything normal. Recommended to start Prenatal vitamins and Clomid. Did not pursue Clomid. Loraine continues to work 2 jobs. Halted plan to have baby for next year as both thinking of job change. Started birth control again.
- Dec. 31, 2005 - Loraine experienced bad menstrual cramping. Jason went to store for Midol. No relief. Drove to ER but miraculously got better once we arrived in the hospital. We sat in the lobby for an hour just in case cramping comes back. It did not, so, we returned home. Upon returning home, Loraine noticed a glob of tissue in her pad. Did not think of it as anything of significance and flushed it in the toilet. This is our first miscarriage.
- Summer of 2006, we tried on and off again. August 2006, Loraine had a new job in home care and decided to hold off having baby until next year.
- Sept 2006 - Found out I was pregnant. Not very happy initially due to new job but accepted it eventually. Went to San Francisco for planned vacation. Miscarried 2nd day of our 4 day planned vacation. Passed the tissue in ER. Stayed in the motel near the airport for the rest of our SFO getaway. We were both depressed and felt guilty. Returned home. Broke the news of miscarriage to people whom we shared our pregnancy news. OB-Gyn said, "At least you know you can get pregnant." This is our 2nd miscarriage.
- January 2007 - We tried again.
- End of February 2007 - Found we were expecting again. Very happy. Loraine with morning sickness.
- March 2007 - First prenatal visit. Everything was going fine. Heard heartbeat at 8 weeks. We were elated.
- April 2007 - first ultrasound. Baby was moving but about a week smaller for gestational age. No concern from the doctor. Very busy at work. Had several heavy lift patients but doctor did not give me any lifting restriction, so, business as usual.
- May 2007 - Loraine was feeling better. Very busy at work. Had 16th week prenatal visit. Unable to locate fetal heartbeat through Doppler. Doctor decided to give me another Ultrasound, unable to locate any heartbeat even with US. Baby stopped growing at 12 weeks and 3 days. We were devastated. Next day had D&C. This is our 3rd miscarriage and we are not the same since.
- June 2007 - Had several blood tests again to figure out what causing multiple miscarriages. Everything normal . Very frustrating.
- September 2007 - returned to doctor as Loraine missed 3 mos. cycles. Negative pregnancy test. Doctor suspected increased stress due to Loraine's father just moved in with us from the Philippines. Prescribed oral progesterone (which she did not take) to start menstruation. Had blood tests again for hormone level. Everything normal (again). Used natural topical progesterone from health store instead of synthetic prescription one. It was successful in inducing menstruation.
- October 2007 - started using herbal supplements to enhanced fertility. Started phasing out sources of toxic chemicals at home. Loraine started using topical natural progesterone to normalize cycle. She did not know that it also inhibited her ovulation as she was using it as what was written in the direction - apply twice daily at 14th day of cycle. She does not ovulate until the 16th (sometimes 17th day) day cycle. RE said that if you used it before ovulation, you will not ovulate.
- October 2007 to April 2008 - we tried to get pregnant but unsuccessful.
- April 2008 - we decided to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). Was given several blood tests according to cycle day. Had ultrasound of the ovaries. HSG to see if tubes are open and not scarred. Everything is normal and functioning well. Very frustrating. He prescribed Clomid. Instructed Loraine to stop progesterone and herbal supplements. Started Clomid.
- May 2008 - Found a schoolmate in Friendster and she read in my blog about my fertility issues. She recommended the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Started taking basal temperature. Clomid seemed to normalize mentrual cycle.
- August 2008 - Found to be pregnant. Went ahead for our planned vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado per RE's approval. Beta level seemed to be doubling every 48 hours. Loraine had some bouts of abdominal cramping. Discussed to RE possible need for progesterone supplement. Was told by RE that progesterone level normal and did not need it. Had US at around 6 weeks of pregnancy. Everything was fine.
- September 2008 - At 8 weeks of pregnancy, returned for another US. No heartbeat found. Devastated. After a week, Loraine had another D&C. Chromosomal testing for Jason, Loraine and baby done. Jason and Loraine are normal. Baby found to have trisomy 16. This is our 4th miscarriage.
- October 2008 - Returned to RE. Okayed to start trying again. Prescribed Clomid again. This time he added Metformin and with Loraine's request progesterone suppository to be applied after ovulation.
- November 2008 - Stopped Metformin as it caused bad gastrointestinal side-effects (diarrhea and nausea).
- December 2008 - Stopped Clomid as Loraine read that it can cause increased miscarriage and dries up good cervical fluid. Loraine very busy at wok. Travelled in the middle of snow storm more than 100 miles to help out another facility couple of times. Missed period this month but negative pregnancy test.
- January 2009 - Resumed Clomid. Normal cycle but work very stressful. Had 2 car accidents. Loraine's father moved out to his own apartment. Called RE to discuss next step - possible IUI or IVF. Earliest appointment that can be given was March 1st.
- February 2009 - Stopped Clomid. Started Metformin again to normalize hormone. Continues with basal temp monitoring and progesterone suppository. Ovulated at 16th day cycle.
- March 1st 2009 - First day of missed period. Had appointment with RE. Pregnancy test that morning. Came out positive. RE notified. Beta level elevated. Returned after 48 hours and it more than doubled. Continued with Metformin and progesterone suppository. Called regular OB-Gyn. RE would like to do US but we decided to just hold-off for our regular OB-Gyn. RE office not happy.
Loraine continued to take Metformin up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and progesterone suppository at 12th week. We'll see the end of this story.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Anyway, baby is now 6 lb weight. Everything is within normal limit said the doctor. Although, I have a high normal amount of amniotic fluid possibly due to my GD. I have to be more consistent with my blood sugar level she told me. I, now, have to see doctor every week.
Anyhow, I was worried that the umbilical cord is around baby's neck. The ultrasonographer kindly checked on that and she reported that no cord around neck was found. We saw his face and he is definitely getting chubbier. He pouted his lips when being prodded to move so his head circumference can be measured.
Well, we still have some things to do and some decisions to make.
1. We need to look for a pediatrician.
2. Still wavering on Circumcision idea. We asked our doctor about it and she said that in developed country there is no medical need for it. It is mostly social reason. So, we might pass on circumcision. No additional trauma needed.
3. We have t0 wash couple more times our pre-fold diapers. Yes, we decided to use cloth diapers due to environmental, monetary and health reasons. We still bought "more earth friendly" disposables in case of emergency or when going out. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the options when it comes to cloth diapering. We came a long way from just a "lampin" (flat diaper) and pins. Now there are so many options for pre-folds materials (chinese vs. indian cotton. vs bird's eye), diaper covers (PUL, fleece, wool), pocket or all-in-one. We decided on combination of pre-folds (indian cotton), PUL cover (cheaper), and all-in-one's. We'll see what works better.
4. I need to find alternative shift for my job. We decided not to place baby in daycare for a while but my husband and I need to find ways to do it. I'm supposed to go back on Dec. 22. I am already dreading the idea of leaving him. Good luck to us.
5. I need to read the manual for the breast pump.
6. We need to attend a birthing class.
7. Review infant CPR. It is always confusing as they change protocols every couple of years.
That's all I can remember for now. For sure something will come up. So much things to learn.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Anyway, right now, it seems like pregnancy is just doing wonderfully. I'm still obsessed on baby's movements as my baby is unpredictable and most of the time changes his schedule when to be active. We will have another ultrasound next week to find out how big and heavy the baby due to my gestational diabetes. My concern now is that I have not really gained weight for about 5 weeks now probably due to change in diet. I expressed that concern to the doctor and she said it happens once a woman starts eating better after diagnosis of gestational diabetes. However, I already gained total of 20 lbs since the onset of pregnancy (most of it was gained the 1st half of pregnancy). Not bad considering I"m at the overweight side of the scale.
For now we still have some decisions to make. The biggest thing is regarding circumcision. It will be for the next posting.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It is a fun read but also a look at the thought of a young woman at a crossroad in her life. Turning 30 and feeling inadequate and lost with a grim diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Powell decided to do something that is meaningful to her. The only person who supported her all the way through is her husband, Eric. To be able to cook those complicated recipes from Julia Child's cookbook in a small kitchen with all the "worst-thing-that-could-happen" happens is such an accomplishment. It also affirms that I made the right decision not to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Who needs the stress when Julie did it all for you?
Okay, Julie Powell has a wide vocabulary as well as imagination and can find the right words to express the situation and feeling. But she also has a "sailor's mouth". Who can blame her using those curse words while following a 40-plus-year-old cookbook? Anyway, this book is not only about cooking but also finding one's self amidst the chaos of the everyday grind.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
So, I went through rigorous dietary and glucometer education in the hospital last Wednesday. The first 2 days of following the diet was not too bad but at the 3rd day, it was tough. I was hungry all the time and I was awake all night long due to hunger. The dietitian recommended not to have snack during sleeping time. I just cannot follow it. I feel like I am making my baby hungry. Anyway, now, I think, I figure out what works for me. I kind of put a little bit of Asian spin to the American plan they gave me. It is not fun to be put on a diet you're not used to when you are pregnant. Also, no fun to be a human pin cushion as I have to check my blood sugar at least 4x per day. However, I found out that light exercise or moving around (such as cleaning and shopping) makes my blood sugar normal.
Well, in my attempt to eat healthier, I ordered a salad in a restaurant 2 weeks ago. I did not realized until the last 2 or 3 bites that there was a sprinkle of Gorgonzola cheese on it. Anyway, to make long story short, I contacted the manager and asked her to check if the Gorgonzola they use is pasteurized. Well, thank God, it is. But this incident convicted me to rent a Doppler monitor. So, now, we could check the baby's heartbeat everyday. Some days, though, it is difficult to locate when he is moving a lot.
Just my update... I promise to post some pics next time. I am just too lazy to download the software for my camera right now. But here's the peek of my belly at 26 weeks:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So, I am trying to watch my carb intake. It is not easy especially for a rice-loving Filipino like me. I feel like the meal is not substantial without rice.
On another topic, my husband is really antsy on buying a crib. But I am still trying to hold off buying big ticketed items until maybe the 3rd trimester.
Friday, July 17, 2009
New worry? My baby was silent or sedentary than normal for couple of days.
Activities? Garage saling for baby stuff. Knitting baby hats and socks while listening to audio books. I am living a sedentary lifestyle. Doctor's appointment on Monday, July 20 for glucose tolerance test. Still scared of appointments for fear of finding something wrong with the pregnancy. My co-worker, Barb, visited me this week. Nice to talk to someone other than my husband and parents. Watching Will & Grace DVD (courtesy of Netflix).
Need to finish? I need to complete at least 15 continuing education hours to renew my RN licensure. I was audited the last time and will be audited again this year.
Recent accomplishment? Finishing the required 40 hours continuing education hours (per 2 years) for renewing my PT license in the State of IA. I think IA requires too much continuing ed. Finishing some knitting projects (will post next time).
Plan? Plan to sew a diaper bag. Rent a Doppler monitor. Write letters to my friend Flora and co-worker Sarah. Listen more to classical music for my baby's sake.
Favorite thing ? Feeling my baby's movements.
Surprise to know? I am not interested in watching TV at all.
I decided to enjoy this pregnancy, no matter what!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I saw the movie before I listened to the audio book (courtesy of Altoona Public Library). I was amazed on how the movie captured the main essence of the book. There are minor differences. The movie, of course, cannot capture all the thoughts and details of each characters. All in all, I think it is a good movie.
The backdrop of the movie is suburban Connecticut, in postwar-1955. It is a story of a couple, Frank and April Wheeler, who seemed to be living the American dream. They were young, bright and beautiful with a starter house and 2 healthy children. But people are complicated. Despite these, the Wheelers, especially April, longed for more meaningful existence. Perhaps, Frank's job in the city was too dull; or April did not really see herself as a stay-at-home mom. So, they planned to move to Paris, which was April's brilliant idea for a new start and sanity. Frank was in Paris during the war and loved it. Frank once mentioned to his wife that it was the only place where he felt so alive. April went through their finances and found out that they could live a comfortable life for 6 mos with their savings and from the sale of their house. She would find a job as a secretary for international organization such as NATO while Frank can take his time to find out what he really wants to do. Frank, initially, agreed with the idea; and April's preparation for the move went on. Their friends were skeptical with the idea. It was out of the ordinary. Conformity was the name of the game that time. Also, Frank was given a new job offer that was difficult for him to refuse. He started to doubt the idea of moving. Concurrent to this, April found out she was pregnant. Frank cunningly blamed April's pregnancy for halting the plan to move to Paris. This made their arguments worst to point of no return and redemption for both of them. The movie painfully protrayed the demise of a marriage and 2 people from inside out.
The supporting characters are equally interesting. One in particular is the character John Givings, the son of the Wheeler's realtor Helen Givings (Kathy Bates), who was a former mathematician but paranoid schizophrenic, and the only person who seemed to understand the Wheeler's desire to move to Europe. There were the Campbell's, their closest family friends and neighbors (Shep Campbell who secretly loved and desired April) ; the Givings (Helen and Howard)who introduced John to the Wheelers hoping that this would somehow "normalized" their son; and Maureen Grube, the plain-looking secretary whom Frank had an affair. The movie was not able to afford to go in depth with these characters. In the book, however, these characters were given more insights and personalities which added to the brilliance of the novel. Also, the book tells the childhood lives and memories of the Wheelers which gave their characters complexities.
It was, at times, difficult for me to watch due to my infertility issue as April had self-imposed abortion (this is before abortion was legalized in the US) . I would not want to spoil the ending. But this movie made me see the 1950's in different light. I used to believe that it was a good decade for family. Now, I doubt this belief. I can see how difficult it would be for a woman to have limited choices and so much expectations to keep up appearances for your husband and children. It made me understand how it lead to the evolution of the 1960's feminism movements. Anyway, the novel should be a must read for mature readers. It is definitely an American classic.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I am really tempted to rent those Doppler ultrasound!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Anyway, everything went fine. It took about 50 minutes to finish the ultrasound. Every anatomy is intact. My baby has a 4 chambered beating heart which is really enough for my sense of peace (for now). The others such as 2 legs, 2 arms, brain, kidneys, stomach, good spine, and a penis are just added bonus for me.
Before I forgot, we are now in our 20th week. It is just a miracle to be this far...
Just want to share this from the book A Few Good Eggs by Julie Vargo and Maureen Regan:
Ten Fears Pregnant Women with Infertility Complexes Have
1. Fear of losing your baby.
2. Fear of becoming attached to your unborn baby because you are afraid of fear #1.
3. Fear of telling people you are pregnant in case fear #1 comes true.
4. Fear of hearing the worst news possible at each doctor's appointment.
5. Fear the baby will be stillborn.
6. Fear that all your stress about possible harm to the baby is harming the baby.
7. Fear that every time you go to the toilet, you will find blood in your panties.
8. Fear that each pain in your abdominal area is disaster waiting to happen.
9. Fear that everyone else who knows you thinks you're crazy.
10. Fear that you will not be able to stand the pressure of the next nine months.
In addition to these "fears", I am afraid that every wrong twists and turns or even improper lifting will cause the placenta to dislodge. But as my friend said, it is out of my control. The only things I can control right now are my diet, level of stress and rest time.
I decided (apprehensively) to divulge my condition now because 1. we are halfway in our pregnancy, and 2. if ever something happens, that I would be writing it in this blog anyway.
Monday, June 8, 2009
We like to think that we changed for the better. Gone are rose colored glasses. To be un-assuming is our new philosophy. Yet, we found more love and patience with each other. I think infertility made our marriage stronger. We are together not for a child, but for each other. I never felt so loved.
I will not change anything at all. I love this life with its heartaches and complications. I cannot imagine going through this journey without him...
Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)
Cradling Wheat, 1938
Saint Louis Art Museum
Grant Wood, The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 1931
Des Moines Art Center
I know in my heart that I am not over my grief. It is grief from losing 3 pregnancies in the last 2 years. We tried to put on an I'm-okay-facade but deep inside we are left with this empty hole filled with aches and sorrow. And it does not take much to put me in that mood.
Early March of 2007, I found out I was pregnant. I had morning sickness during that pregnancy. At 12 weeks of that pregnancy, during my check-up, everything was okay. I thought I was safe but at 16 weeks check-up, they could not find any heartbeat. It was devastating to be so close to your wildest dream yet helplessly watching slipped away from you. And we are never the same again.
It is funny how your body plays tricks on you. It's been an abnormally warmer February. Temperature is spring-like and it was spring during my first trimester in that pregnancy and I feel the same thing right now-- morning sickness; and I am pretty sure I am not pregnant. It is just amazing how temperature like sense of smell brings back same old body emotions.
For now, we try to live life the best that we can.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I got involved in two car accidents in less than a week!
I feel so relieved to get it out in the open. I thought I was a pretty good driver. It is such an awakening to realize that I am not. For now, I am extra careful with my driving. I follow the rules by the book. So, if ever I get into accident again I can proudly say ( if I survive) that it is not my fault!
I was so depress for a short time after the 2nd accident. The 1st accident was my fault; the 2nd one was weather related. But the 2nd one just brought me to the ground. I thought I have to quit my job and stop driving altogether. But that emotion passed and I decided to stay on because I have to pay for my mishaps. We have a thousand bucks for deductible and 800 bucks for the repair of the rental car that I damaged from the 2nd accident. Ouch! I have to tap my savings... Also, we are bracing for a raise in our car insurance premium. And, oh before I forgot I have to pay my traffic ticket for failing to yield to oncoming traffic. That's another 100 bucks.
I know I am still lucky that no one was hurt. So, for that, I am thankful..
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Our relationship is not perfect, maybe far from it. We are just two flawed individuals who happened to be related. We never lived together this long since 1979 (that's when I was 5 years old). He worked as a cook in a cargo ship when we were growing up. He was home only about 2 to 3 months a year. I did not really know my father until the time he lived with us. The funny thing is that it is like looking in a mirror. I can see the resemblance in mannerism and character. It is true that an apple never falls too far from its tree. It explains my timidness, painful shyness, occasional indifference and my perpetual need for re-assurance.
I still cannot believe he is not staying with us anymore. Now, we have to prepare our lunch, shovel snow, bring out the garbage and recyclables, fold the laundry, mop the kitchen floor, clean the bathroom and bake bread. I never realized how much help he does for us. I will also miss that every morning, he brought my purse, lap top and lunch bag in my car. He stayed out until we drove away. I am actually beginning to cry.
I know, though, that it is for the best that we live apart. We actually get along better when we don't live together. We have our conflict. I thought it will get better with time but I was wrong. It is much peaceful this way.
I worry about him constantly. Does he have enough food to eat? Is he keeping warm? Is it safe for him to walk to work? It is like having a child! My husband is constantly reminding me that he is a big boy and he could take care of himself.
We visited again this morning. I cut his hair. We assisted him in hanging curtains. We noticed that he seems happier. My mother will be moving in with him in a week and I think he is excited.
I wish all the best to my parents...