Body Image

I’ve decided to start a page with my bump photos (up top). So far, there’s really no bump, just a bit of a pooch and some extra thickness through the middle. I am definitely not complaining, but I am excited to get a real bump. I have been the same weight for about 10 years, so experiencing my body changing has been an interesting adjustment for me. For the first time, I am buying clothes to fit a different shape and adjusting my exercise routine.

The other day, Andino and I were in a maternity/baby consignment shop looking for some good deals. Andino spotted a box with a girdle. The box said something about shrinking your hips for use post-baby. His reaction? “Shrink your hips? Why would you want to do that?!” Needless to say, Andino has been complimenting the thicker version of Gypsy Mama almost every day which makes me feel so much more confident about my changing shape. I love this man…

I picked up a pair of maternity jeans and they are SO comfortable. I still wear my non-maternity pants regularly, but they are starting to get a bit tight. I bought a bella band and it’s great! I still plan to buy a few more pairs of maternity pants/jeans when I get bigger, but for now it has been great to still be able to wear my normal clothes comfortably with the button undone and the band over top. I haven’t purchased any maternity tops yet, I’ve just been wearing my regular tops, favouring the loosest ones. I don’t want to go overboard buying maternity clothes since I won’t get as much use out of them as my regular clothes. I’m holding off on getting much until it’s necessary.

I’ve been doing prenatal exercise from the very beginning of this pregnancy. Since entering the second trimester I started to incorporate the treadmill again. I am not jogging, but walking at a medium pace on the highest incline. It feels good to be physically active and everything I’ve read about exercise during pregnancy says it’s a good thing. I have been considering signing up for some prenatal yoga, but I’m not convinced it’s for me. I haven’t decided yet though, because I have heard nothing but great reviews about prenatal yoga so I might want to give it a try.

As for my diet, the dreaded heartburn has kicked in. I went for lunch yesterday with two of my colleagues to get shwarma at a local Lebanese restaurant. My favourite food EVER. I polished off the garlic sauce that came with it, and I was regretting it for the rest of the night. 4 tums later and I was still not feeling well. I didn’t want to eat supper but I forced down a chicken caesar salad with garlic toast and some fruit and yogurt for dessert. I’ve had heartburn (if I eat something that triggers it) for about a week now, so I’m assuming it’s here to stay for the duration of the pregnancy. Now I am going to have to avoid some of my favourite foods due to heartburn! According to Baby Centre, these are the most common foods that cause heartburn: chocolate; acidic foods like citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, mustard, and vinegar; processed meats; mint products; and spicy, highly seasoned, fried, or fatty foods. Who doesn’t love spicy, highly seasoned fatty foods with chocolate for dessert?!

With the onset of pregnancy signs and symptoms it is starting to feel more real that I am actually going to have a baby in 6 months. Not that it didn’t feel real before, but it wasn’t on my mind as much as it is now because I basically looked and felt the same. As uncomfortable as heartburn and too-tight pants are, I am so happy to be progressing in my pregnancy.

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Round Ligament Pain

The other night I was writing in my baby book, and thinking about how lucky I am that the pregnancy has been going so smoothly. No morning sickness and hardly any symptoms to speak of. I’ve had the odd night of heartburn here and there and I was quite tired in the very early weeks, but overall it’s been smooth sailing.

Starting on Sunday, I started to feel some dull aching in my lower abdomen, alternating between the right & left side (sometimes both at once). It was a very mild ache, certainly not enough to scare me. I was in the middle of making cinnamon scones and I wasn’t concerned enough to stop. (they were delicious! I will post the recipe at the bottom). I told Andino about it and he wasn’t very concerned either. He said it was inevitable that I would feel something eventually as my uterus expands. The aching continued for a few hours, and I started getting concerned. Andino asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital but I said no because I didn’t want to overreact (or spend my Sunday evening in emergency!). Eventually the aching stopped, but it has returned on and off since then. Never more than a mild discomfort, but enough that I decided to mention it to the public health nurse who works out of our office on Thursdays. She recommended I call my Doctor and ask her opinion. The nurse’s reaction surprised me because I was expecting her to tell me not to worry, that aching is common in pregnancy. After lunch I called my Doctor’s office just for peace of mind. As I was speaking with the receptionist my Doctor walked by, saw my name on the screen and took the call immediately. She told me not to worry, and that at this stage of pregnancy the aching is most likely from the uterus stretching as it moves outside my abdominal cavity. She is usually quite cautious, so hearing her say this made me feel much better.

I thought it was so nice of her to take my call like that. There were times during my appointments with Dr.H that I wasn’t extremely fond of her. I guess by the time we met, I was so tired of all the poking, prodding & failed treatments that I was not the perky optimist I was at the beginning of this journey 2 years ago. I was beginning to think that I suffered from unexplained infertility and wished that she would treat me more aggressively. (Specifically, I wanted something for my lining which never got above 7mm). Dr. H kept assuring me that we had great chances and that 7mm is not too thin to achieve pregnancy. I guess she was right because we had success on our first treatment at our province’s fertility clinic. (We also had one IUI performed at the local hospital, but Andino and I are quite skeptical of the nurse’s methods there). As a matter of fact, we were Dr. H’s first patients that she sent to the fertility clinic located in a different city. She told us at our 8 week appointment that she is no longer offering IUIs locally, in favour of sending all her patients to the fertility clinic. She thanked us for being her test patients and for all our feedback of the two experiences.

We have an ultrasound next Wednesday, and I am so excited for it. Everyone tells me to stop worrying now that I’ve passed the 12 week mark, but I haven’t seen the heartbeat since 8 weeks so this final confirmation that everything is going well will be wonderful. I haven’t been overly worried though. I’ve been trying to have faith in my body & intuition that everything is okay. Andino and I are even going to start purchasing things for baby soon! But that is for another post. For now, I will leave you with the recipe for cinnamon scones and a recommendation that you all enjoy them with a cup of tea, milk or hot chocolate 🙂

Glazed Cinnamon Scones Continue reading

The Evil Eye

I’m sure you have heard of the evil eye, or mal de ojo as it is called in Spanish. Many different cultures around the world believe in the evil eye and although the causes & cures vary somewhat, one thing is quite common among all of the superstitions – pregnant women and newborn babies are most susceptible to its effects. 

My closest friend in Mozambique was pregnant while I was there. (She was due a month or so after I left and we’ve not been able to keep in touch due to the fact that there was hardly any access to internet in the village.) She always told me that a pregnant woman should try to be nice to everyone. One should avoid getting into arguments or boasting while pregnant, for fear of the evil eye. She believes (and I believe) that envy and negative feelings are not healthy during pregnancy.

I really believe that negative emotions can have an effect on things. Just look at this experiment on water:

So, I am trying my best to be humble and kind these days. Not that I ever tried to be cranky before, but I guess it is on my mind more now!

So what about you? Are you superstitious? 

Welcome to the new blog

I am excited about the new journey to parenthood that Andino and I are on, and I created this blog to share our new journey. Some of the posts I write here will be private, meaning you will need a password to read them. I’ve decided to make the change from an entirely public blog to a blog that offers some privacy because I love writing about our journey, but since I’ve become pregnant I’ve felt the need for more privacy. I want to share my personal photos with my family and friends but I don’t feel comfortable having them on the world wide web for just anyone to see. I plan to share my bump photos as my pregnancy progresses, ultrasound photos and photos of our baby here.

I’m glad I had the public blog over the last few years. I met so many women who were going through the same thing as I was, and just being able to connect with them made a world of difference in my ability to cope with the hard times we faced trying to reach where we are today. I also received emails over the years from people who said they appreciated my blog because I helped them in some way. Many were considering IVF in Mexico, some liked the posts I wrote about natural supplements and a few people wrote to ask questions about the adoption process. (Incidentally, 3 of the people Andino and I referred to Mexico had success on their first or second tries!) I’m so glad I had the chance to connect with those people and I wouldn’t change my experience to get to where I am today.

That being said, the path we are on now is different. It feels more personal and private, so I’ve decided to move my blog in that direction as well. I considered stopping blogging altogether, but I know I would miss writing and I also want to document this journey for my own sake. I hope the bother of typing in passwords sometimes doesn’t deter you from reading. Everyone I’ve decided to share my blog with has helped me immensely over the past few years. I have always felt so blessed to have such supportive friends and family – I don’t know what I’d do without you all!