Monday, August 8, 2011

Only a little over 7 weeks to go!

This Thursday will mark this little guy's 33rd week. In 4 more weeks he will be officially full term and there will be only 7 weeks left until his due date.

WALKING Since I got back to Mexico I've been walking in the gym for 45 mins almost every morning. Its been a combination of brisk walking on the flat, with usually around 15 mins walking up hill. This has had a tremendous effect on my circulation: swollen feet, ankles and hands. It has also really helped to keep my digestive system in good working order (keeping constipation at bay!). I am hoping that walking will also help when it comes to my body's ability to push this little guy out. My mam said having my brother was just like having a big poo - so lets see!
YOGA I'm also keeping up with the yoga - two classes a week as well as 20-30 mins on my own in the gym on the days that I do not have class.
SWIMMING Because of the walking and the yoga, swimming has become more of a fun activity than real exercise. I enjoy snorkeling because my body is weightless and my whole system gets treated to a nice cooling down. It is my most peaceful time of the day.
I cannot stress the value of exercise enough though. It has really made a huge impact on how well I feel physically.

Since I got back to Mexico I have had a fair amount of follow up work from my trip. I have written first drafts of two reports and am 1/2 way through my final overview report. Having this work stresses me a little and I will be pleased when it is all behind me. Another problem with working is that I have to sit at my desk for long periods of time. I sit on a wooden kitchen chair, which is not ideal. The whole process makes my tailbone ache, ankles and hands swell and lower back very sore!!! I am pretty proud of myself for managing to keep work going through my pregnancy though.

Well the new house is still coming along. More slowly than we'd hoped, despite my poor husband putting in several hours a night to get doors, windows and plumbing finished. I am focusing on being thankful to have a house, that is paid for in full, almost completed. Hopefully the builder will be gone and we will have moved in to at least 3 rooms in the downstairs of the house before the baby is born. My husband will take 4 weeks off work for the new baby and as well as spending time with us, he'll be able to work more on the house.

Generally I have been feeling good. The one thing that I really struggle with is the weight that I have gained during this pregnancy. I was very overweight for a good portion of my 20's this was all tied up with depression and lack of self worth. Putting on those lbs again is bringing all sorts of old emotional baggage back to the surface. If I mention the way I feel to people they just laugh and say 'you're not fat you're pregnant!'. But really that does not help me. I just have to try and avoid the negative thoughts I'm having. Looking at the ultrasound pictures of my little boy, feeling him kicking inside me and having such a loving husband all help, but there are down times. I am excited because this weekend there is a Buddhist monk coming to the Island to talk about dealing with negative emotions. I am working really hard to finish my reports before then so that I can use the three day seminar as a starting point to a positive last month of my pregnancy.

On the whole I am excited, while trying to stay patient. I thank god every day for my blessings. I have a wonderful peaceful life, an amazing caring husband who I love more than anything else in the world, a baby on the way, most of the time I don't need to work, I have wonderful family and friends and a house almost completed. Life is good:)

Even though I try to be happy in the 'now' I can't help having turned my attentions to getting back into shape after the birth. It helps me to picture dropping all of this weight, and getting fit and strong again. I also must admit to looking forward to being able to sleep on my back and stomach!

Most of all I am looking forward to seeing my little baby boy and seeing his dad hold him for the first time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sweat and Sore Noses


I would like to share some thoughts I have on sweat. As a starting point I’d like to admit to being a profuse sweater in my time. Not only did I sweat a lot, but if I did not wear anti-perspirant/deodorant my sweat would smell. Indeed when I worked in New York, anytime I forgot to apply deodorant in the morning I would have to run out to get some by about 10am to keep things under control.

Shortly after I moved to Cozumel a work friend, Fernando, and I got talking about sweat. I told Fernando that I had to bring Michem Deodorant in bulk from the States every time I would travel there, because it was the only thing that would keep my sweat under control. He said I should stop using it and see what happened and that I would be surprised at what a difference healthy living and a stress free environment would have had on me. Yeah - right I thought – crazy man. Of course I never tried a day without my trusty Michem. Life went on.

The one night early on in my pregnancy I had a really vivid dream that toxins from my deodorant were going to have a really bad effect on my baby. OK, I thought, lets give this a go. To my amazement a day went by with no deodorant and I hardly sweated at all. What little dampness there was, was completely odor free. Maybe just a first day thing right? Michem boasts in their advertizing that their product “works so well you can even skip a day”. So another day, then another, then a week and now I have been deodorant free for months. No smell. Well I say no smell, but there is an exception to that rule. If I eat something bad – like something really sugary or with lots of chemicals, my sweat smells terribly for a couple of hours – like my body is expelling all of the toxins, then its back to normal. This has happened less than ten times in 4-5 months.

What is the explanation for this wondrous turn of events? Well I have a few theories:

1. Fernando was right and when you take stress out of life then your body manages its sweat more effectively.

2. It is a pregnancy related phenomenon – I will report back on this when I see what happens after I give birth

3. It is all about the toxins your body consumes – food, air etc. This would gel with my experiences following eating chemically food or drinks. My diet has been fairly free of toxins since I got pregnant.

4. I read recently on line that salt water was a natural anti-perspirant. Well I am in the ocean almost every day as I swim to keep fit since I’ve been pregnant and before that was diving for work almost every day.

An interesting turn of events was that following 3 weeks of working for my old company, auditing in a stressful office environment, my sweat began to smell again (note that this 3 week period also had me out of the ocean). Not as bad as before, but on the 2 last days of my trip I was forced to break out the emergency sachets of deodorant that I always carry in my purse.

I will report back as my research continues. I dearly hope that after pregnancy I continue to smell so sweet. I do not like putting so many chemicals on my skin and I’m sure I read somewhere that application of deodorant has been linked to cancer.

Sore noses

So Mexico is vey humid. There are good and bad things about this. We’re in a constant battle with mold, the weather feels 10 degrees warmer than it is, and making your hair look nice is almost impossible, on the negative. On the positive, my normally dry skin is naturally soft and I never need to moisturize.

Another negative is that my nose has become accustomed to this gentle environment. When I leave Mexico my nose is assaulted first by the painfully dry air on the flight and then the assault generally continues with A/C or dry heating in hotels, apartments and offices in NY and London. I invariably spend entire trips with a sore and often bleeding nose. This is another condition that is no doubt exacerbated by pregnancy.

Although this situation drives me to distraction, I’m really writing about it to share some solutions with others of you who might suffer moving from humid to dry environments.

During a particularly harshly air-conditioned flight to New York I asked a flight attendant if she had any recommendations to combat the dehydration, which invariable results from flying. She had a great one. Take a damp washcloth and place it over your nose during the flight. This may look silly, but happily looking silly has never bothered me. The cloth provides a barrier to the harsh air coming out of the a/c system and also actually hydrates the air you are breathing. When I employ this system during a flight I feel great at the other end. I’m often lucky enough to get to fly business - where they provide you with a washcloth (due to my brother’s working for BA) you might have to bring something from home.

During my last trip I was having real problems with the A/C in the hotel. Greece was hot as hell but the A/c was VERY dry and my nose was in terrible pain during the night if the A/C was on; I would sweat my ass off if the A/C was turned off. I tried putting a wet towel over my face but it kept smothering me and/ or falling off. Then I had an epiphany. My luxury eye-mask has a little roll over the nose to act as a double barrier against incoming light. I was able to soak this in water and roll it over my nose. Problem solved. I can now sleep like an angel in the most horrible of dry environments. Throw on a pair of earplugs and I’m totally environmentally sealed! It is true that I look very sexy when traveling.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

31 weeks down - 9 to go!!

Love this latest little ultrasound pic. He's fattening up nicely! And look at that little nose - just like mine:) The doctor has said that he's just the right size for his age - He weights about 3lbs and is already in the heads down position - ready for his big arrival. She's all on board on trying for a natural, drug free birth and says I seem healthy enough, so lets see what happens. I need to sign up for birthing classes. Must get Julio to call and find out what time they are. Also starting to read my hypnobirthing book and listen to the CD.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

England - baby update

Today marks the beginning of my third trimester. This is a picture of me with one of my best friends from childhood Claire. Miraculously we both became pregnant with our first children within days of each other (Claire's estimated due date is 4 days after mine). Claire lives in Madrid and we were able to coincide our trips to the UK which was nice.
As to the pregnancy itself. I'm feeling pretty healthy - the swollen ankles which plagued me in Mexico seem to be a thing of the past (although I feel fat!). The cool air works well with pregnancy. I have done two nice walks with my parents, which I wish I could do in Mexico. The weather is so hot in Cozumel for walking and it is hard to wear sneakers and proper shorts. I'm going to give it another go when I get back, or join a gym, because walking is supposed to help a lot with your body's ability to perform in during labor. I've also done some light yoga which helps tremendously with back pain. I will need to keep this up during the working part of my trip, and add more strength work.
My parents have both been able to feel the little kicks of their first grandchild and I have been able to buy some nice bedding and a few more items of clothing for the little guy. I have been able to stock up on homeopathic remedies for the birth and vitamins as well as some herbal teas and essential oils - all claiming to ease/ speed up labor in some way or another. I've also received some nice presents. This little baby is going to have a LOT of clothes!!!!
Starting a weeks work in London tomorrow. The working part of my trip is likely to fly over - time tends to speed up when you are working in a busy office environment I find. One week in London and then two in Greece. I'm spending some time in London with friends which will be nice, but in Greece, other than a weekend with Cat, it will be all working and sleeping. Last year the Greek section of the trip went faster because there were no friends to see and I felt more rested.
Julio has also been busy working on our house. He and his brother have made a beautiful job of the windows in the kitchen. This one still needs to be stained and properly hung, but I'm very happy about the way it looks. I married well!!!
OK off to shower and finish packing for London.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

26 weeks down - 14 to go

We just had a doctors visit and my little man is growing like crazy! In these pictures he has his hands behind his neck. It's funny, because that is exactly the position that I was lying in so that I could support my neck to see the monitor when the doctor gave me the ultrasound. I noticed with this ultrasound that you can see his little bones much more clearly. The doctor has said that everything is healthy. He has a good strong heart beat - we could see all 4 little chambers beating away, and he is the right size for his age. My blood work and blood pressure were great. Looking like I have a small bladder infection and am taking a short course of antibiotics to sort it out, but other than that everything is A OK and I have been given the all clear for flying.

Of course it is very difficult to tell what the baby is going to look like from these pictures but it does look like he may have inherited his Mam's nose:) His kicking is getting stronger and stronger and he now seems to interact more with what is going on on the outside. If I wear a tight waistband he kicks against it, or if Julio presses his ear to my belly he sometimes gets a little jab! He also seems to get more active if he hears music, or if the sun shines onto my belly.
I'm leaving on Thursday to spend a week with my parents and then 3 weeks working for my old company: one in London and 2 in Greece. It will be a long trip and I will REALLY miss my husband, but I am trying to look at the positives. One big plus is that I will get to see family and friends and another is that the weather in England will be nice and cool. I will also be able to buy some nice bedding for my little guy and maybe some curtains (or material for curtains) for his bedroom. The work itself is pretty interesting and I like the people in both offices. When I get back to the Island I will have only 10 weeks to go to the D Day. So far this pregnancy seems to have gone quite smoothly. I'm going to continue to look after myself and hope all goes as well for the birth.
Oh yes and you know I am never one to pass up a compliment? Well the doctor said that the skin on my belly looks really nice - did I moisturize? Hey lady moisturize is my middle name and I've been slapping oil on to prevent stretch marks every time I take a shower - sometimes even more often. So far it seems to be working. If I can get over the stretch mark hurdle all I have to do is kick my butt into a good exercise regime ASAP and I'll be back to normal before you know it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rainy Day

So at last we got some relief from the HOT weather we've been having recently. There is a big low pressure system to the South of the Island and it has rained all day. This morning I went to the supermarket early and when I got in my car to leave the battery was completely dead. A friend came and jump started the car, but it died again when I got it back to the house (yes I'd driven it around a bit to charge it up). So I think the battery is just dead. It's probably as old as the car - almost 6 years - so its had a good life. Tomorrow we're going to go and get a new battery and oil change etc...
Anyway the upshot of all of this is that I've been stuck in the apartment all day. So I decided to break out my paints and start on that self portrait I've been planning for a while:
I like right side of my face (stage right), but the other eye went wrong and my nose went a little wonky. My lips are too small, but I kind of like the shaping on the face and color. Next I'm going to do my interpretation of my Green Man bust, or maybe another Buddha face.
The cool weather that came with the rain has allowed me to get into the kitchen and do some cooking. Julio is going to come home tonight, rather than work on the house - so looking forward to a nice dinner with my husband.

Friday, June 3, 2011

House Update

Well, while my job has been to grow our son, Julio's job has been to oversee the building of our house, as well as actually make all of the doors and window's and install plumbing and sewage with the help of his awesome brother Christian (Christian also put in the electricity for us). Things are starting to come together with the house.
A big step forward this week was the pouring of the second floor roof. Same as last time, the builder erects a wooden platform to hold the cement while it dries flat onto the roof. Over this platform they lay a grid of re-bars to keep the whole structure strong, and then Julio and Christian put electrical hosing over the lattice work. I went to see the pouring as I missed it last time. We hired a big truck to come and pour the whole roof. Here it is in the street. You can see the big hose which pumps all of the cement onto the roof.Here is a shot of the cement truck guy and the builders spreading the cement over the rebars and wooden platform (the orange hose is the electrical tubing):And then the finished roof:
We can see the cruise ship's from our roof and it's pretty breezy up there. One day I'd like to put another couple of rooms on the third floor and a big palapa (big grass roof).
Julio and Christian have been working until 11.30 almost every night on doors and windows. Here are two views of the kitchen. You can see that they have completed the outer frames (actually these have been completed for the whole downstairs exterior). They've also completed the first window:Right now they are working on the back door. Like I said, Christian has been great - he's a carpernter by trade and Julio is also pretty good with wood. Them being so talented is saving us a ton of money. I know Julio is very tired but I think he enjoys working on the house and I guess it's nice for him to be able to spend so much time with his brother. The downside is that I get to spend very little time with him, but it will all be worth it in the end. I also know that Julio and his brother have far more attention to detail than local workers. Now we just have to hope that we can get the house into a state we can move into before the end of September. Once upstairs is ready for doors and window they are going to concentrate on the baby's room so we can get that completed at the very least. I hope that the downstairs doors and windows will be finished soon too so that we can tile and get the kitchen underway.

Baby update

23 weeks down 17 to go!! So how is pregnancy so far? It's strange! I can now feel this little man wriggling around inside of me. I wonder what he gets up to because sometimes he is very busy indeed.
I get periods of feeling more calm and peaceful than I have in my entire life. I can feel his little life force inside of me and it makes me feel more connected with everything. It's this serenity that has meant that I have yet to succumb to the worrying that I have heard can plague other pregnant mothers. I even feel strangely calm about giving birth (lets hope that does not change).
I do find the weight gain hard to deal with. Those of you who've known me for a long while will remember that I was fairly obese in my 20s. With that obesity came a decade or more of pretty intense depression (which came first the fat or the depression, I'm not sure, but for me being overweight is not a happy state). People who've known me for less than 10 years can't imagine me being overweight, but being overweight and the way it made me feel, is something that scares me quite a lot. Today I packed all of my little clothes in a vacuum bag to make room for maternity clothes and clothes I have bought for the baby. During my swim I tried to find a calm place of reason 'I will loose the weight when I give birth - it will be a fun challenge'. I'm generally trying to put all thoughts of this nature out of my mind.
What else. Well I have a nice little belly and so far no stretch marks (I am so hopeful that I will follow in my mother's footsteps and not get these). I do plaster my stomach with anti stretch mark oil after every shower . I had a rotten two months of morning sickness, and since have been pretty comfortable. Unfortunately I have started getting acid indigestion. Today I went out and bought some tums and that seems to have been a big help - so lets hope the tums continue to work.
I'm excited. In 4 months (Sept 29th - or probably within the 2 week period thereafter) I should be looking at a little baby. Julio is also very excited and I've been feeling more in love with him than ever over this time. I have a business trip for a month starting June 23, which I hope does not put too much stress on my body. I'm going to take it easy though. It's not a stressful assignment and I will sleep as much as I can when I am not in the office. When I get back to Mexico there will be only two months left until we meet our little son.
I'm so pleased that I have my husband who will make the best dad in the world!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Long overdue House update

Well things have moved along quite significantly since I last posted about the house. The downstairs is almost completed. We have the electrics and sewage in and the plumbing all completed and ready to go in when the house is more secure (people have a tendency to steal the copper pipes). Here is a picture of the entrance doorway - with my study to the right:The terza is also looking good. Picture more plants and flowers - we will be spending a lot of time out here:This is the stairway in the kitchen leading to the second floor:The second floor is coming along well. Almost all of the walls are completed. Really all that needs to be done before we are ready to put the roof is the supports for the roof over the stairway and the same for the roof over our balcony. Here is a picture of our bedroom (15'x15') - the door on the right leads out to our balcony/deck - it's a nice size (6'x18'):Here is the view from our deck/balcony:To the right of that we have 2 walk in closets each is about 4'x6'. It is difficult to see from the picture - but I am very excited about my closet - it will even have a little window - so it's going to be more of a closet come dressing room:This will be the en-suite bathroom - the builder forgot to leave space for the window - which will have to be added once the roof is on - CAREFULLY!:The main hallway was so spacious that I decided it would be a good idea to add a second 1/2 bathroom (just a toilet and sink) for the use of the other two bedrooms. Sadly I didn't think of this until the roof was on the first floor - which left us with problems in terms of plumbing - there is no way for the sewage pipes to get into the room:This meant that Julio and his brother had to spend their entire Sunday drilling a hole in the roof down through the first floor bathroom and main sewage pipe:After a hard days work in the blazing sun they were successful (with only a small breakthrough into the kitchen wall):
Here is the hole from below as well as the channel they had to cut into the bathroom wall to take the drain down to the main sewer line. A hard days work:This is the spare bedroom - with my mother-in-law is standing in the doorway which leads to a smaller balcony/deck - that's going to be a nice place for a morning coffee and yes this room will have A/C for visitors:This is that baby's room. It is probably bigger than our bedroom so it can house two kids if we go on to have another of the same sex (lets see how this one goes first!):Finally here is the view from the street. The room you see on the second floor is the guest room. The painted red wood in the windows of the exterior wall is just temporary - we don't want to put in the good doors while all of the construction is going on as they may get damaged:It is all pretty exciting. I'm hoping that the roof will be put on the first floor while I am in New York this month. Then all of the finishing will have to be completed before September (D day is September 29th). I love the house every time I go and visit it and there are very few things I would do differently I we had to start again. It is going to make a perfect home:)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pregnancy - sleeping, swimming and yoga

Well I'm now in my 17th week of pregnancy. The great thing about this is that morning sickness is pretty much a thing of the past. I still have to be on guard though - if I eat the wrong thing I can feel nauseous for the whole next 36 hours!
I've been finding sleeping increasingly hard. I'm now at the point where I can't really sleep on my belly without squashing it's contents - sleeping on the side is supposed to be best during pregnancy - even better if it is the left side. Unfortunately I was 'blessed' with wide hips (hopefully a boon during childbirth), and as a consequence it is impossible for me to lie on my side without sagging in the waist, causing my back to curve and ache like hell. I've tried putting a pillow under my waist and one between my legs, which help a bit but all in all I wake up with a pretty sore back.
I had determined to do an hour of yoga every day as well as my 1.2 mile snorkel swim. The swimming has been a pleasure - I love the ocean and it also lets me escape from this heat and see friends on the beach. I rarely miss a day.
Yoga has been more of a chore, until this morning! My back felt in such a desperate need of as good stretch out that yoga was great. My yoga teacher is sadly on vacation this month, which means that I am left to motivate myself to do a morning yoga session each day. I am going to persist with this though as it does bring such relief to my back. Looking forward to Selene's return as it is so much nicer doing yoga with a group.

Monday, April 4, 2011

14 Weeks 4 days down (25 weeks 3 days to go)

Yes I'm pregnant! and at 14 1/2 weeks: 3 1/2 months and our little baby is about 4 1/2 inches long. I'm starting to get a big belly, but I look more fat than pregnant. Here are two little pictures taken from our most recent ultrasound:
The first is a 3D ultrasound image and the second is just the regular one. I like the second one cos you can see it's little nose. Maybe my husband and I can see these things because we caught the live version. I can't feel any movement just yet - probably in another 4-8 weeks. Actually I feel rather more like I have a nasty illness (or two month long hangover) than pregnant right now. It is going to be an interesting journey and I'm still finding it hard to put being pregnant together with actually having a child after 5 1/2 more months! We're very happy though. So far all tests have come back with positive results so we are officially out:)

I have been pretty sick, although this is showing signs of letting up A LITTLE. I've given up work almost completely now. We didn't know I was pregnant for the first month as we had a negative pregnancy test result and a light period. As a result this little peanut has been scuba diving on many occasions, while mommy has been lifting tanks weighing well in excess of the recommended 30lbs, running and roller skating!!!

I have been exercising regularly (especially over the last month). I'm swimming a little over a mile almost every day and doing prenatal yoga 3 days a week (working on increasing that to 6 days any day now) and I also plan to re-work daily meditation back into my schedule. I am very blessed in that I do not have to work. My head has been very 'foggy' and nausea has left me feeling like doing very little, but I have taken up painting. It's been something I've been meaning to return to for ages (maybe 20 years!). Anyway here are two of my first attempts:
Between painting and exercise I've been pretty busy. Our house is coming along well too. The ground floor is structurally complete including plastering (sheet rock if you are American), electric, sewage and water (well almost) and the second floor has all of its walls. We are hoping to get the roof on the second floor before the end of this month, then it will be a race against time to get it all finished by D day (September 29th).

When I say I've stopped working - that is not absolutely true. I will be working in New York for my old company for 2 weeks at the beginning of May which will be nice. Great to see friends (both home friends and work), good to fill in some time (I'll be almost 20 weeks when I return to Mexico) and fantastic to get some shopping in. I am desperate for refills of my favorite shampoo and conditioner and I have a long list of baby things to buy. All very exciting!