Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Wonderland

We've landed safely in Sweden to celebrate Christmas with my family. It's white. It's beautiful. And it's fckng cold!! This morning we had a whopping -19ºC. Brrrrrr!

Checking in at 28 weeks pregnant I realized most airline's cut off for traveling is just that, so going home I'll be breaking some rules while hiding my expanding waist line.

Merry Christmas to all of you, may the Holidays bring peace and happiness, and the new year be filled with wonderful promises.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Marching in to the third trimester

I've had a hard time sitting down to update this corner of the world lately. So much is happening and I want to talk about it all, but somehow I can't find the energy to transfer all those thoughts and moments into words. I want to tell you all about how we've started buying things for Bubba, and how we've rearranged our house to make room for the nursery. I want to show you the things I've made, the theme of the room, the stacks of clothes in the drawers. I also want to tell you about our trip to London to see traditional Swedish Lucia being celebrated. But it'll have to be another day, because today I march in to my third trimester and it's time for a preggo-update.

How far along?

Bubba's chunk-o-meter: 
Apprx. 15 inches / 38 cm, 2.2 lbs / 1 kg 

My total chunk-o-meter: 
13 lbs / 5.9 kg

Stretch marks? 
No, but I'm wondering how much more my skin can actually stretch. 

Belly button status? 
Poking out a tiny bit, can be seen through shirts now. Not sure if I like it or not. 

Counting sheep? 
Waking up EVERY time I change position, followed by trying to convince myself I don't need to pee, only to realize I REALLY have to pee and then get out of my warm bed just to dribble. 

Foods I can't live without: 
Tomatoes and avocados. Trying to slow down the carb intake since I was only two points away from failing my 1h glucose test. Having withdrawals from my newly acquired habit of eating a big bowl of whole grain pasta a day.

Foods I can't stand: 
Food - mmmmmm! Any food. All the time.

Best moment this month: 
Moving our office and guest room to make room for baby. Getting some nursery furniture and a stroller. Realizing this is actually happening, our lives are about to change for good.

Worst moment this month: 
Experiencing some strong Braxton Hicks that came and went for about an hour. Not painful just sent me into a panicked state of wait-is-that-a-contraction-omg-what-if-i-go-into-preterm-labor-mind

Lots and lots of kicks, rolls, pokes and prods. Daily kick counts usually takes  less than a minute (10 movements in 2 hours).

TMI alert: There's odd stuff happening with the boobies. It looks like dried milk in the now ginormous cracks of the nipple... I've decided to take it as a good sign, but really? Ew.
Restless legs! How come when I'm exhausted my legs are full of energy?

I have a tiny penis in my uterus.

What I miss? 
Raw fish, creamy delicious unpasteurized cheese, and red wine.

What I'm looking forward to? 
Bubba cooking up a storm. Pregnancy photo shoot with my sister for Christmas.

Monthly Wisdom
If my temper takes an unexpected turn for the worse, walk away.

Moving into the third and final trimester. Passing the glucose test - if only barely.

Emotions: Violent, sudden aggression towards inanimate objects. It's a miracle my Mac does not have a hole in it. 

Haven't taken the 28 week picture yet, but you get the idea, I'm getting chunky :) 
A lot of you have asked about the week signs - I made them out of cardboard and they look much fancier in the pictures than they do in real life.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mundane Moments

In a world of little things
How can you find words big enough

How do you describe the anticipation
of folding a mountain of small outfits
or buying your first set of newborn diapers

How can you explain the joy
of fingers aching from hours of carefully stitching
a less than perfect quilt

How can you tell the story
evoked by movement only you're aware of

How do you define the love you feel
for someone you've never met
or even laid your eyes on

Tiny moments like these fill my days
and although at first they may seem mundane
they carry a lifetime of longing

Thursday, 25 November 2010


I'm thankful for my husband coming home today after a 10 day business trip to the US.
I'm thankful for the soft kicks letting me know Bubba is awake and that today makes 25 weeks.
I'm thankful for our and our family's wellbeing.
And I'm thankful for all of you.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Getting on the preggo-status-train!

How far along?
24w, 3 days

Bubba's chunk-o-meter: 
Apprx.12 inches / 30 cm, 1.32 lbs / 600 g - was told at our 21w u/s he's in the 68th percentile

My total chunk-o-meter: 
7 lbs / 3.2 kg

Stretch marks? 

Belly button status? 
Still in, but my long healed piercing scar is now all on the outside and I can feel the "button" poking a little bit.

Counting sheep? 
Toss and turn, pee twice a night, crazy dreams, wake up with tousled hair.

Foods I can't live without: 
Tomatoes and potatoes! Mmmm carbs!

Foods I can't stand: 
Hmmm... that's an unfamiliar concept...

Best moment this month: 
Diver Dude and Mamma feeling the first movements around 21,5 weeks.

Worst moment this month: 
Diver Dude spacing out on my birthday. Long story. Good ending.

YES, this is a wild little guy. Every morning and night. Seems to not like me driving or sitting down wearing jeans as he kicks right where the waist band hits :)

Almost embarrassed to say I hardly have or have had any major symptoms. Frequent nose bleeds. Stuffy nose.

We're having a son :)

What I miss? 
Sushi and Cabernet.

What I'm looking forward to? 
Getting bigger while Bubba's cooking.

Monthly Wisdom
Don't worry, be happy.

Movement felt on the outside, finding out we're having a boy and reaching viability.

Emotions: Calm as a cucumber. Mood swings, what's that? Seriously though, my anxiety levels seem to go down every week.

Friday, 12 November 2010

365 days in between

November 12, 2008, I was flying to England for our big move across the Atlantic.
Last year on this day, I was driving myself to the Emergency Room to find out if I was miscarrying. 
Today, after taking Kona for a walk, I plan on going nursery shopping with my mom.

I'm dumbfounded at what a difference a year makes. 

Next year, some time during the day, I simply hope to be building a tower of colorful building blocks for my son, only to watch him push it over with a big smile. 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Early in the morning

In the distance I can hear water falling into a bowl of water, a steady stream ending with a soft tinkle.
Gently I adjust the down pillow and ignore the fact that I too may have to pee in a very near future.
Diver Dude crawls back into bed and wraps his warm arm around me.
A wet nose touches my hand. 
Slowly I open my eyes to look into Kona's asking brown.
I let one leg fall over the side of the bed, followed by the second and then rest of my heavy, sleepy body sits up. 
With searching limbs stretched out in the dark I find my fluffy slippers and the big robe. 
I walk through the hallway guided by the faint glimmer of distant stars and open the front door.
Kona goes outside to do his business, a quick pee and a big gulp from his blue plastic water bowl.
Back in the bedroom Kona lays down after spinning around twice and letting out a content sigh.
I continue in to the bathroom to empty a full bladder in hopes of adding another few hours to the night.
After dropping the robe on the floor I climb back in under the soft, warm covers and wrap Diver Dude's arm around me.
The alarm goes off.
Bubba greets the loud noise with a few startled movements and then continues to slowly roll, poke and prod.
I roll over to kiss my sleepy husband good morning.
A new day has started.

Friday, 29 October 2010

It's a little person in there!

Spending an hour yesterday looking at Bubba from all different angles makes me feel like I've gotten to know the little person growing inside me a little bit better.

Everything went well and all major organs were well within limits. Major relief. The femurs measured almost a week ahead but we're both tall people so no big surprise there :) Heartbeat was strong at 159 bpm.  Placenta was posterior, so that explains me feeling a lot of movement early. Bubba was head down low during the whole hour and only moved arms and legs leisurely. Cervix measured 3.5 cm, which is shorter than the baseline but I'm trying not to worry until I get to speak to Dr. Swedish. Ha!

When it came time to find out what flavor Bubba is, our tech ran in to some difficulty. Bubba's legs were tightly closed at all times and would not give us even a little sneak peek. Until I went to the bathroom and danced a little mambo. When I laid back down, the tech quickly placed the wand on my belly and for a moment we caught a glimpse before the legs closed again.

Diver Dude jumped out of his chair and cheered loudly only to immediately after have big tears fill his eyes. Choked up he managed to whisper: "Munchkin, we're having a son". The tech confirmed with a smile and told us congratulations. I was immediately so filled with happiness I couldn't say a word.

Bubba is a boy.

We're having a son.

Yes, there's a tiny pee-pee in me and Diver Dude is not only OK with it, he's happy about it! In any other context that would be the weirdest sentence ever :) 

I'm in love.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sometimes I forget...

There are still days when I'll see a woman with a beautiful bump in the corner of my eye and feel my heart squeezed tight in an all too familiar way. For a brief moment it knocks the wind out of me. The moment after I suddenly realize I've caught a glimpse of my own reflection.

Infertility is not cured by pregnancy. The soaring happiness I feel over the life growing inside of me is so fragile and comes with such deep fear. I cherish every second of this miracle but fear that any moment things can go wrong. It's exhausting. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Thursday is our anatomy scan. I'm thrilled with the thought of seeing Bubba again and excited to find out what flavor he/she is. At the same time I'm absolutely terrified, hoping with all my being that our little Bubster is healthy and growing strong.

What do you think? Is Bubba a boy or a girl?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

I am that woman.

I am the elusive woman you hear about from at least one of your friends/family/colleagues when telling them about your battle with infertility.
I am the sister of your brother's coworker's aunt's cousin's neighbor.
I am the urban myth not even Dr. Google can find.

I am the woman who got pregnant while getting ready to start IVF. The second time.

During the past three years I've heard so many miracle stories about women who have gotten pregnant before their first cycle of IVF, after their husbands had a vasectomy, or before/after adopting a child - but the person telling the story has never known the person first hand or been able to provide details of their medical diagnosis. So for every story told I choked on a slightly bitter laugh and dismissed it as an attempt of encouragement or just utter bull-crap.
If that small voice of hope had the audacity to ever make as much as a peep, I quickly shut it up with our statistics and medical facts:
• Diver Dude has obstructive azoospermia after an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal
• I have one unblocked tube on the left, and a history of uterine polyps and cervical cancer
• Our Swedish clinic gave us an estimated success rate of 35-45% per transfer with IVF/ICSI and PESA, and less than 0.01% the old fashioned way
• For our first IVF, Diver Dude's planned PESA had to be turned in to a TESA because no mature sperm were found in the epididymis and even then only a few swimmers were found in his testicles
• The IVF/ICSI+TESA gave us four blastocysts of excellent quality - the first transfer resulted in a BFP only to be followed by a heart breaking miscarriage at 6 weeks, the second transfer gave us a nothing but a shadow of a second line, and the two remaining blasts resulted in a cancelled FET when they against all odds didn't survive the thaw
Surprise natural pregnancies might happen to other infertile couples but clearly no such thing could happen to us.

And yet, here I am.
20 weeks pregnant against all odds.
Miracles do happen.

I am that woman.

Welcome all you lovelies visiting from ICLW, I can't wait to get to know you! 
If you'd like to know more about me and this crazy story (there's so much more to it) feel free to prowl around previous posts :)

Lots of love,
Circus Princess

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

It's still dark...

...outside my window and I'm still snuggled up under the covers. Diver Dude just left with coffee in hand after giving me a big kiss and the house is quiet. Bubba is stretching and poking my insides and I have a big smile on my face. For the first time in a few weeks my back is feeling great thanks to a folded tempurpedic pillow top and a surrounding wall of pillows. Only thing missing is a pea under the mattress :)
Today is going to be a great day!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

To be tagged and awarded - and then cheat!

I've always had a hard time following rules. I usually read chain letter emails and then promptly discard them without forwarding, putting myself at risk of missing out on eternal love, friendship, luck and what have you. Bloggy-awards are different, I feel honored and special whenever someone hands me one but then utter laziness hits me and I struggle to answer the questions that come with it and to forward said award to any of my many blogging heroines.
So I've decided to cheat!
I'll thank all the wonderful ladies that have given me awards, try to answer all the questions, and then simply create and forward my own special little award - with no strings attached other than to pass it on!

Here goes:
1. -Thank you irrationalexuberance at So much for simple and easy for tagging me in the "let's learn more about each other instead of about our periods and hormones" game :)
What's the best dish you can cook?
I make a mean artichoke and crab dip that has people licking the hot dish when they run out of chips.
Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?
Yes, a few times actually, for reasons ranging from getting married, having parties that went out of control and receiving awards in my field of business.
What's the worst/most memorable job you have had?
Strawberry picking as a teen during a very wet season in Sweden. Every morning that summer I got up before five, rode my bike five miles in the rain and then spent all day on my knees in the mud picking berries. The smell of ripe, moist strawberries still makes my muscles ache and my stomach turn.
When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision getting married?
In my early teens I dreamt of a fairy tale wedding but never had a specific age in mind, as I grew older and turned feminist I decided that getting married was archaic and not for me. Until I met Diver Dude.
What's your most hated household chore? What's your favorite?
Most hated is cleaning toilets, emptying the cat's litter box (fortunately I'm relieved of both those duties right now) and picking up dog poo in the yard. My favorite is vacuuming with my ipod and ironing either outside on a sunny day or in front of a good classic movie.
What's your earliest memory?
I fell off the toilet when I was three and had to get stitches. Only I screamed bloody murder so my parents decided it was best the doc just taped me up instead. Still have a nice horizontal scar on my forehead.

2. -Thank you PunkRockMom for the awesome Cherry on Top Award
If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?
I firmly believe that every event in my life - good, bad, beautiful and ugly - has led me to where I am today and changing it would turn me in to a different person in a different kind of life. So. I wouldn't change a thing.

3. -Thank you Journey Girl and HopeSprings for the Beautiful Blogger Award
Tell us 7 interesting things about you:
• I dream of writing and illustrating a children's book about different kinds of family building - It's still in the idea/sketch stage...
• I was born with a strawberry mark on my left shoulder - now it looks more like a pale raisin
• I've been accused of being "too nice" more times in my life than anything else - but I secretly wish I could be nicer and more honest - I know, yuck!
• I love the smell of raspberries - my grandpa used to grow them on his farm and one of the few memories I have of him is picking and eating berries off the bushes, his big warm hand holding mine
• I pick my nose. A lot. Even in front of Diver Dude. I know, it's disgusting
• I'm really scared of horses. They're too big to squish with a swatter when they show up in, or around your house...
• I used to drink double cream every day as a child because I thought my legs were too skinny. They still are, the rest of me, not so much

4. -Thank you to the lovely Mrs. Farmer for the Gorgeous Blogger Award
5 Things About Me: 
-I just listed seven above, that counts right?

5. -Thank you Sass for the Happy 101 Award - you make me smile :)
List 10 things that make you happy:
• When Diver Dude brings me flowers for no reason at all
• The way Kona grunts and sighs happily when he's all stretched out in the couch
• When Athena paws my hair in the morning while I'm half asleep on the toilet
• The tiny flicker of Bubba letting me know s/he's there
• Sunday mornings in bed with no immediate plans
• The sun warming my skin
• The warm ocean caressing my body
• Nephew yelling -Mama Sann! when he sees me and throws his little chubby arms around me
• My family. I love them to pieces. If you could choose your family, I so would've chosen mine
• Snow. It's white, and cold, and you can build stuff with it

6. -Thank you again Mrs. Farmer for the Valued Blogger Award :)
How did your journey into blogging begin?
When we were getting close to beginning our first performance in this circus a little over a year ago I needed a place to talk openly and honestly about my experiences and all the thoughts, hopes and fears that came with it. I had found Mel at Stirrup Queens and realized there was a whole community out here going through similar things and wanted to be part of that.

7. -I'm totally embarrased but I can't remember who gave me the Versatile Blogger Award, I need to be slapped!
List seven things about yourself:
- Again, I'll refer to the list above but adding to it:
• I have a really short memory and have to write down everything on little post-it notes. And when I can't remember where a specific note is, I'm fudged. I lost the sticky-note about this award.

8. -The fabulous Kakunaa at Spermination Station just reminded me that she tagged me in Blog Tag - thank you, with friends like that who needs sticky-notes?
What's your perfect date night?
Dinner and a movie - weather it be take-out-indian-food-curled-up-with-critters-on-the-couch-with-DVD or fancy-restaurant-three-meal-course-and-VIP-seats-at-the-movies-too-full-to-eat-popcorn style.
What was the last new food you tried?
Fried chicken feet - not a fan!
What hobby would you like to start but it seems to keep getting pushed to the back burner?
Playing the piano. And reading music.
Favorite vacation destination?
Hmmm, it's a toss-up between Maui, HI and Rome, Italy. Both awesome in different ways!
What are you most looking forward over the next month?
Bubba growing and feeling him/her move. The anatomy scan in week 21.
Which fall TV show are you most looking forward to?
Grey's Anatomy and Sons of Anarchy - so different and yet so similarly supreme!
Your favorite holiday tradition?
In Sweden Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, with Santa coming to your house around six in the evening to deliver presents. Mamma would decorate our home the night before and to get to sleep in the morning of, she'd have us count all the little Santas around the house and open special morning presents. Just me and my sister tip-toeing around the house lit only by the lights of the Christmas tree, counting Santas, makes me all warm inside. I'm looking forward to reviving this Christmas tradition when Bubba is old enough.
Are you a morning or a night person?
I used to be a night owl, but then I married a morning star, and now it seems I'm just tired all the time :)
- And I answered all these questions before I read the questions at the end of the post that we were actually supposed to answer and now I'm pooped so screw it, I'll just stick with these. Please love me anyway Kakunaa?

And now, I present to you The Super Duper Special Award that comes with no other rules than this:
Give it to someone that is super duper special, tell them why, and ask them to pass it along!

You know you're all wonderful special women that rock my world on a daily basis but today I'd like to give this award to Robin at Looking for My Keys because she just found out that instead of her first IVF resulting in the first word of PUPO it's ended up being the last - Robin, you're a beautiful woman with an honestly positive outlook on life even through times that would knock most people on their butt. Your words never fail to move me in their simplicity when describing complex emotions. Kisses to you Robin!

Friday, 24 September 2010

My cervix is super!

How often do you get to say that? Average cervix length in pregnancy is 3.6 cm from what I understand and guess what my super duper cervix measured today? Over 5 cm long and nicely closed! Now that's a cervix to brag about!

In my anxious mind I've been going over all the things that could possibly make my cervix incompetent. All the biopsies over the years when I had constant cell changes of various degrees, the invasive cone biopsy of 1.3 cm when they discovered cervical cancer almost ten years ago, and the colposcopy last year when they removed a polyp from the top of my cervix. I've turned to Dr. Google too many times to look up symptoms and warning signs for incompetent cervix and actually stayed in bed almost all day Wednesday for fear of Bubba falling out. I know, I'm hysterical. Diver Dude had to give me a firm reality-check-pep-talk to snap me out of it when he came home.

Bubba looks good, he/she is a bigger gray blob now with fluttering arms and a completely visible spine. Legs were crossed most of the time though so we don't know what flavor he/she is. Heart rate has slowed down to 140 bmp which apparently is normal at 16 weeks. My weight is up a total of three pounds - four since last appointment - and I'm sporting a nice "beer gut".

While at the clinic, on doctors orders, I went down to get my flu shot. To think I used to pass out at the very sight of one of those. I believe IF has almost cured my fear of needles. That's an unexpected bonus.

I think I've been feeling Bubba for over a week now. It's that same small pop-pop-pop feeling I experienced at 10-ish weeks but now it's more intense, lasts longer and feels more like a nerve twitch - you know, like when your eye gets a twitch but it's down in babyville. I can't wait for it to be more frequent and unmistakable. I read somewhere that the first felt movements of the baby is called "the quickening" and I can't help but think that it sounds a little spooky. Kind of like the title of a horror flick. It's funny, because the feeling is as far from scary you can get, it's a beautiful, almost spiritual feeling of your baby letting you know it's there. The Quickening.

OK, I'm rambling. I'm just very relieved that everything seems to be going well. Hopefully this calm will stick around for at least a couple of days before I find something else to worry about. Anatomy scan is scheduled for October 28 at 21 weeks. How will I handle five weeks without seeing Bubba? I might just go a little crazy. Alright, a little crazier.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Big Reveal Dinner

Saturday, September 4th we had planned a traditional swedish crayfish party at my parents' cabin by the sea and invited my closest family. Our ulterior motive to eating lots of red shellfish, drinking a few schnapps and singing some obnoxious drinking songs, was of course to reveal our "little" secret.

As I struggled to decide what to wear Diver Dude kept laughing and pointing out how obvious my bump was becoming and that my family would know as soon as they saw me. After three or four changes I decided on an outfit including a big colorful scarf to distract and hide the bump and went inside to help Mamma with the finishing touches to the meal. She looked at me, smiled, rubbed my belly and said "good try Princess".

Around five they started arriving. Cousin Emil, his partner and their twin boys, cousin Ida with partner and two boys, my uncle Anton and his partner, and finally my Sister, Mr Sister and Nephew. The cabin was a warm chaos of hugs, happy voices and laughter. I was almost immediately cornered by Cousin Emil's partner who asked me with a wink if we were home for something other than just family time and before I had a chance to answer continued telling me a story about a friend of hers who switched fertility clinics and got pregnant with twins. I caught a few glances aimed at my mid-section but thankfully nobody dared to ask or comment about my mysterious one-point weight gain.

Everybody arrived hungry and we all sat down around the table before I had another chance to put a foot in my mouth. Diver Dude tapped his glass to get everyone's attention, cleared his voice and began saying the words we had rehearsed earlier: "First of all I'd like to say how happy we are that you all could make it here tonight, so I don't have to drink all the schnapps by myself. I think you all know the reason for us to come home this time was to do our second round of IVF. But when we talked to the doctor she told us that Circus Princess is not allowed to take the medication." Here he paused and we both looked around the room at the rows of raised eyebrows and open mouths before he continued: "And the reason for that is..." I stood up, lifted up my shirt to reveal the words Baby Bump embroidered on my maternity jeans, and said: "I'm already pregnant."

The noise on the porch drowned out the sound of the crashing waves. The symphony of laughter and words like what?, how? and when? made my heart so full of joy and gratitude I could hardly breathe. We were attacked with swarms of hugs as we tried to tell the story of our miracle, how we don't have any answers to how it happened, that we're still completely overwhelmed with happiness and that we just hope everything will turn out OK.

When everybody had settled and the noise died down a little my Sister quietly stood up and said: "Well, I might as well take this opportunity to tell you that we're expecting a baby too". This was followed by a second wave of loud congratulations and big hugs before we could finally dig in to our shellfish feast. And let me tell you, crayfish has never tasted so good.

Monday, 13 September 2010

While I write a post about The Big Reveal Dinner...

Here's all my belly shots so far - all but two taken on Saturday or Sunday before breakfast. The first one is taken only a few days before Week 5, and Week 13 is taken in Sweden after a giant breakfast and I'm obviously bloated and look about 6 months pregnant.

Promise to tell you all about The Dinner soon :)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A trip to the Mother Land

Right now I've got two loads of laundry going, two bags spread out on the bed and a very impatient dog pacing through the house. Tomorrow morning we're heading to Sweden to spend a week with the family. I feel unbelievably fortunate to be able to see them as often as we do, there was a time not too long ago when once a year was all we could manage.

Most of the family, except Mamma, Pappa and Sister & Co, believes we're coming home to do our second round of IVF. This Saturday we have planned a big family dinner to reveal or "little secret" and I can't wait to see their faces! Promise to tell you all about it when we get back.

Now I better take my pooch for a walk before he creates a pacing path in the wooden floor.

Aloha :)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

12 weeks and we're all mmkay!

Huge sigh of relief! All is well in babyville! I weighed in at 164 lbs, 1 lb less than where I started. Good news considering I hope to pack on a hefty amount of baby weight in the near future :) Baby's heart was found without too much fuzzing around with the doppler and was beating at a beautiful 166 b/min. Go Bubba!! 

I'm starting to think this might actually be happening. For real. I mean, we may actually get to bring home a healthy baby in March. WOW. Butterflies are still going nuts in my belly, but this time they're of a much happier variety.

We've decided not to do the NT scan or the blood test to check for chromosomal abnormalities for a couple of different reasons. First of all, should they find something to indicate a problem we feel we'd be adding unnecessary stress since we would not consider termination. Second, if there is a problem we'll most likely find out anyway at our 20-22 week scan. I know this can seem archaic to some, but we feel it's the right decision for us. This way, should there be a problem, we'll still have plenty of time to make the extra preparations to add this child to our family.

My next scan will be in a month. I asked for an extra scan to make sure my beaten up cervix can take the extra pressure. An extensive cone biopsy to remove malignant cells in 2001 and a polypectomy in 2009 is what's causing us to take these precautionary measures. I'm thinking long and closed, long and closed.

Today I've entered the 12th week and the future is looking bright enough to wear sunglasses.


are going crazy in my belly. Flapping their wings and stirring things up. In two hours I've got an appointment with Dr. Swedish to check on Bubba. Hopefully today we'll be able to hear that beautiful little heart beat on a doppler.

I'm nervous and anxious, haven't slept well in two nights and battling a splitting head ache. Please let everything be OK. Mmkay!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A different kind of WTF-meeting

You may remember that I sent an email in June to the Swedish Clinic with 101 questions in preparation for the start of our upcoming second IVF Circus this fall. When I hadn't heard back a week later I called and talked to my favorite Nurse Inga but got a less than fuzzy feeling about coming back. Anyway, when she couldn't answer all my questions she set up a phone consult - a WTF-meeting - with Dr. Boss Lady. Last week Thursday was when that meeting was scheduled. Yup, it took a month and a half to even get to speak to her on the phone (vacation is Sweden is a subject for a whole different post).

The phone rang at four o'clock and after the initial greetings and polite small talk about summer Dr. Boss Lady started out by apologizing for not getting back to me sooner and for not replying to the email. She then continued by saying she'd love to go over the email since she now had it in front of her. -Well, I said, we've actually had something pretty amazing happen to us this summer. I paused and waited for a reaction and she immediately said: - Don't tell me you've gotten pregnant on your own? I told her that we had indeed gotten a surprise BFP early July, that I was almost ten weeks pregnant and that we had seen a strong heartbeat at six and eight weeks. The other end of the phone went silent. After a while I said - Hello? - and heard her clear her voice and start talking almost like to herself. -It's just unbelievable, but I guess just because I didn't find any sperm in the epididymis during PESA that doesn't mean one couldn't have snuck through at a later point. But, WOW, out of all my patients... I would've never thought.... WOW. Well, congratulations!!! That's just fantastic!! I couldn't help but smile when I told her that I really hoped I wouldn't have to see her again any time soon. She laughed and made me promise to send pictures when the little miracle is born and to please come back if we ever want to try for a sibling. And suddenly the warm fuzzy feeling came back and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what we'd been through.

This was one WTF-meeting where the abbreviation got a different meaning all together. This was a "What? That's Fantastic!" -meeting :) and I wish somehow all WTF-meetings could be just that.

FYI, the shoes in my last post are from Rieker - totally the most awesome shoes ever!!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Back-ache fashionista and a popping feeling

Over the past few months I've been blessed with very few, and all minor, pregnancy symptoms. 
• Boobs have been sore off and on (and every time the soreness goes away for a few days I panic)
• Nausea that have been more like mild motion sickness
• Dull crampy feeling in uterus
• LOTS of discharge (followed by many frantic dashes to the bathroom to check color and consistency)
• Burping that puts burly men to shame
• Hunger attacks that border on nausea
• Lovely metallic taste in my mouth that won't go away regardless of how much Scope I use 
But the last two weeks something feels like it's being pinched in the lower left side of my back/butt. Several times I've found myself "stuck" on the toilet unable to get up and instead having to crawl on to the bathroom floor and get up with the help of a sink or bathtub. And this morning when I tried to get my walking shoes on I could not find a way of tying them up. Not sitting down, not leaning over, not even with my legs bent and angled out to the sides while sitting on the floor. So today, in the rain, through the fields and muddy streets, I walked Kona wearing these:
Easy to get on and off, and stylish too. Not quite so white anymore though...

This morning when I was eating breakfast, comfortably seated in my favorite leather chair, cat purring in my lap - shhhh, don't tell Diver Dude - I suddenly felt something odd. It was as if three little bubbles burst inside babyville - and as I felt the pop-pop-pop, Meow-girl actually turned and gave me a puzzled look. I've never felt anything similar in my life and although I know it's waaaaay too early - 10w4d today - I'm absolutely convinced it was Bubba moving. In reality it was probably a fart trapped sideways, but it put a big silly smile on my face. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Why I live where I live

A few weeks ago Miss Ruby had a post about what she calls home and how she ended up in that particular place in the world. With readers from around the globe from different walks of life she's curious to find out how we all found our current home, or if maybe our home found us.
Today I'm happy to be her first guest in this traveling questionnaire.

If you'd like to share your story, please email dearmissruby@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Lady Merlin's Wall

Last week me and Diver Dude had our final joint session with Lady Merlin. The time before I had told her about Diver Dude's change of heart and this time we had even more surprising news for her. It was a great session, lots of small talk, laughter, and some good advise on how to handle the "telling" with Diver Dude's daughters.

Lady Merlin told us she was pleased with our progress and that she was very happy for us. She also told us that this isn't the first time she's had a couple going through ART spontaneously get pregnant while in her care. She told us about the wall of photos in her London office with babies that were supposed to have been ART-babies but are in fact "miracle"babies. "The mind-body connection works in mysterious ways" she said with a sly smile and continued to tell us how when you truly let go and free your mind, magic things can happen.

I don't know what to think. Part of me hates the similarities with the over-used, nonchalant advise of "Just relax, and it will happen", and part of me can't help but see the interesting contradiction in the statement. You can't relax with the purpose of wanting to have a child. It's impossible. But, somehow, in the midst of one of the hardest times in my life, my mind was forced open by something more terrifying than the fear of never having a child and relaxed. And something very similar must've happened to Diver Dude when he changed his mind that morning.

In my mind I've gone over all the things that changed in our lives since last year when Diver Dude was diagnosed with azoospermia and we went through the IVF. Everything from eating habits and work-out routines to social networks and states of mind. What did we do differently? Diver Dude quit chewing tobacco on New Year's Eve. When we were in Jamaica in January we both smoked some pakalolo - first time in 30 years for Diver Dude, 7 for me. There were a lot of trying times - the miscarriage and two failed FETs followed by the crisis when Diver Dude called it quits - but there were good times too. Moments of true connection, love and adventure. Spiritually things changed for me. I found a voice. I'm not sure how else to explain that.

I know, I'm over-thinking and over-analyzing this miracle that has happened. I should just shut up and be grateful.
I am. Shutting up. And I am so very, very grateful.

I hope we get a chance to add Bubba to Lady Merlin's Wall of Miracles. Nine weeks and five days today.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Two peas in a pod

No, I'm not having twins (as far as I know) but it looks like our baby will have the next best thing to a twin.

My sister called me up yesterday and asked if I had time to Skype. I said sure, hung up, and went downstairs to start up the computer. As I sat there my mind was trying to jump the gun. We had talked only a few days ago, and nothing required a follow-up call... I had told her about a dream I had about her expecting a baby girl that was due a month after mine... ! ... ?

She popped up on the contact list and shortly after I saw her sweet face. She said "Hey sis', guess what?", I tried not to yell WHAT, WHAT and drown out what came next, "I'm pregnant!". I started clapping my hands together like a moron, screaming and laughing. "Yeah, can you believe it, I peed on a stick this morning, and it looks like I'll have a baby about a month after you". Cue more screaming and clapping on my side. I quickly calculated her due date to be April 12, 2011 before Mamma came on with a big smile on her face and said "Looks like next summer's gonna be a busy one".

I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to go through this with my sister. When she was pregnant with Nephew, me and Diver Dude had just started trying and while her belly was growing bigger mine stayed painfully empty. This time our bellies will grow in sync and we can be fat together :)

Systrami - Jag älskar dig, and I hope our children get to experience some of the wonderful friendship and unconditional love we share.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Beautiful Bubba

I was a wreck going in to the OB/GYN clinic yesterday afternoon. It's a small miracle I made it to the appointment without crashing my car, and that my legs carried me up the stairs and into the examination room. Dr. Swedish walked into the room chewing his lower lip and, after greeting me in swedish, confessed that he was nervous too.

The lights were quickly turned off, the wand introduced, I grabbed Diver Dude's hand and held my breath while Dr. Swedish studied the ultrasound screen. What seemed like an eternity later Dr. Swedish smiled wide and exclaimed "It looks beautiful!", turned the screen towards us and turned on the sound.
Bubba's heart was beating in a rapid swooshing pace, and it was the most wonderful thing I ever heard. My eyes filled up with warm tears and I heard myself laughing as Diver Dude squeezed my hand tighter.

The image is not great because my bladder was full (it seems impossible these days to empty it often enough) but you can see that Bubba grew up a storm and is now measuring 8w2d (2 days ahead). The CRL was 19mm, and the heart rate an amazing 173 beats/min.

All is well in this circus, and our next appointment is in four weeks.
Unless I have a mental break-down before that :)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

New skills and obnoxious preggo-ladies.

I have a new skill.
I can burp like a man.
You know, the deep, vibrating, ear-deafening kind of burp only burly men can produce.
Burly men and me.
Diver Dude would like to know who kidnapped his Princess and replaced her with this burp-monster.

Yesterday's orientation went well. I only had to bite my tongue a few times when one obnoxious preggo-lady kept complaining about her symptoms, and how shocked she was to be pregnant, and how inconvenient it had been when she was pregnant with her daughter because she had a small placenta and how that caused her to go two weeks over the time, and how she REALLY hopes this one has a normal sized placenta so she won't have to be pregnant longer than necessary. When another preggo-lady told us all with a big sigh how her husband had had a vasectomy because they did not want any more children but here she is "knocked up" again - all this said in front of her own two children - I had to hold my legs to not kick her hard under the table.

I was surprised at the up-beat mode in which everything was reviewed. Not once were the words "if" or "hopefully" used in regards to our pregnancies. Not once was the word "miscarriage" mentioned, and when the first preggo-lady cracked a joke about us all going in to labor at once I nearly gasped at her optimism. I was quiet and tried to listen to the different up-coming scans and tests and the different labor options available but I'm happy we got a stack of paper with the information because I honestly can't remember much. It was like being in bizarro-world.

This afternoon I have an appointment with Dr. Swedish to check on Bubba. My knees are shaking just thinking about it. Please let everything be alright.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Road-trippin' in Scotland

It's been a great week. Just me and Diver Dude on the road, discovering a country from the comfort of his Dodge Ram. It's always an interesting combination with a big american truck and narrow british country roads. More than once I've seen oncoming drivers freak out and swerve when they see what's coming towards them. The power of gross tonnage almost always works to our advantage. Except when it comes to filling up the gas tank. Ouch!

Anyway, without further ado, here's our Scotland trip in pictures.
Our first castle was actually on the English side, right on the water. Bamburgh Castle - parts of it dates back to 547 AD
When we reached the scottish border we saw Hadrian's Wall - erected in 122 AD to defend the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.
Just in case we forgot where we were going :)
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh - a beautiful city with gorgeous architecture, a river running through it, and lots of green parks.
A seagull blocking the view from Edinburgh Castle of the city.
Edinburgh Castle perched high on a hill in the city.
Bag pipers were everywhere. Love the haunting sound of it.
Candles in a church in Edinburgh. Every little flame burning for somebody special.
Streets of Edinburgh.
A small village in the mountains - Birnam - Beatrix Potter (author of Peter Rabbit) spent her childhood summers here and got inspiration for many of her children's books from the surrounding forests.
Playground in Birnam on a rainy and misty evening.
Our hotel in Birnam.
Blair Castle outside of Atholl (no, I don't have a lisp) - 13th century
Deer on Blair Castle grounds.
A train bridge on our way to Loch Ness.
Probably the most famous lake in Scotland - Loch Ness. No, we didn't even get a glimpse of Nessie :)
The Scottish Highlands - beautiful even in the rain
I love me some fuzzy Highland cows!
One of many distilleries - Ben Nevis
Another distillery - Auchentohsan
Loch Lomond at dusk
Loch Lomond at dawn
New Lanark - A cotton mill village founded in 1786 with the ground breaking concept of free housing, schooling, and medical for the workers.

Our last castle in Scotland - Drumlanrig Castle - a renaissance building commisioned in 1691 by William Douglas. It had an impressive collection of art and we found to our surprise an original Rembrandt.
The view from Drumlanrig Castle. I could have my morning coffee here. Decaf of course :)

It's good to be back home, but being explorers by nature I know it won't be long until we start talking about where to go next. Prague is on our list. So is Paris.

Tomorrow I have an "group orientation" at my OB/GYN clinic. Me in a group of normal fertiles. Actually having conceived without the help of a team of doctors. Weird. I'm afraid I'll feel like a poser and like I don't  belong there. It's still all so surreal. 

Pregnancy symptoms are mild. Nausea that can be compared to being slightly motion sick most of the day. Boobs are sore off and on. I'm hungry all the time and I know where all the restrooms are located along A1 going up to Scotland :)

I worry a lot. 
But I try very hard to focus on being positive and believing in this miracle.