Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Journey is over. Maggie has arrived!

Margrethe Jonni Westrum

Born on October 30th at 11:55 PM at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, 2009

7 pounds 5 ounces, 20.5 inches long.
This blog will now close. Thank you all for following, commenting and being part of our journey. Maggies new adventures can now be followed at "Maggies World".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


You know how you have certain things that you will probably always remember? You know..your first kiss, what movie you saw without an adult or that time when you realized that your parents were people?

I had one of those moments today. We met with our pediatrician. Wonderful man. He was actually my OB's pediatrician and has been practicing medicine for incredible 45 years at UCLA. Dr Marshall Sachs. Voted best doctor in 2007 and 2008.

All that is fine and dandy - but the entire meeting, I could not get it out of my head that we were meeting with a doctor that was not for us. It wasn't about us at all. He had no interest in us. We only had one common interest, my daughter. It is now our responsibility as parents to take our daughter to see Doctor Sachs for check-ups and vaccinations.

Parents. Now that's a freaking milestone if I ever saw one.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Yesterday we went to IKEA to pick up the last stuff we need for the nursery. Me now 4 weeks away from my due date, have to stop and rest every 5 minutes. So I sat down on a pile of rugs to take a breather while my husband came and brought me different kinds of rugs that we might pick for the little ones room.

So while I was sitting there, a lady came up to me and started talking. She told me about her kids, that she was also pregnant in October with all of them and then preceded to say:
"You know what I was doing when I went into labor? Shopping. Just like you are doing now. My boy came later that same night and he was 3 weeks early"

Then she went on her way. When my husband came back with another rug I told him the story.

He then said, OK lets go. And he gave me a ride on the cart. And then he told me to go sit down and wait for him while checking out. He also demanded that I stay put so he could go get the car. I was not allowed to carry the sheets I bought, even though he carried the curtain rods, the rugs, the changing table accessories and 10 other items with 2 hands.

When we came home, I was ordered to lay down on the couch while he made meatballs with gravy and potatoes.

Thank you dear crazy IKEA lady who spooked my man into doing exactly what I have been wanting him to do for the past 5 months. I owe you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What the Whatta?

The nausea is back? And I've had contractions! I can't beleive that in just a few weeks, there will be a new human being in our house.

It's interesting how things happen in cycles. When someone leaves the table, someone new will join.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Night Sweet Girl - Rest in Peace

September 1997 - October 6th, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

5 weeks to go

The baby showers are done. The nursery is almost done. My maternity leave negotiations are almost complete (which will be a blog entry in itself because it's so dumb). Next week I will be full term. Man oh man - I'm just waiting for labor.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I am building a nest with leaves and branches for my offspring. I'm collecting cotton balls and tissue paper so it will be warm, cozy and safe for my chick. I keep a close watch on my nests surroundings, making sure no bad guys or sharp edges can come close. I built a lair that fosters development and growth. A refuge in a prepared position.

That and I bought this car seat and painted the changing table.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Being a big baby

Yesterday I had another one of those breakdowns where you're not really sure what's wrong, it just is.

The whole day was crap. I am growing out of my maternity clothes, so picking an outfit for work became a huge anxiety party. Because my outfit looked so bad, I didn't bother to really do my hair or make up. I went to work basically feeling like I was transparent, which I know I'm not since I've gained more than 40 pounds.

At work, everything just went further south. I took vacation on Friday and Monday, and the folks that were supposed to cover for me all somehow fell through, but they all sent messages about it when I had already left work on Friday which resulted in over 100 emails in my inbox unattended..Weird.

Then when I got home I was really looking forward to my water workout class so that I could get some relief for my back - but after I got in the car to go pick up my husband, I started feeling nauseous. When my husband got in the car and asked me about my day, all channels opened up. I just cried and cried and cried. But I couldn't explain why.

So he handled the situation which is why he really is the best husband a girl can ask for. He took me home. He helped me change into my pyjamas. He gave me my book. He went and bought me lemonade. And then he sat with me and we talked about everything that worries me, one at a time..which ranged from car seats to that I want to make a big batch of chili so I don't have to cook when the baby comes. And then I fell asleep and slept for 12 hours.

Am I a wreck for feeling this way? Can I have a baby if I am a big baby myself? Maybe my husband will be a better mama than I will? Or maybe, just maybe - the hormones are overflowing?

Friday, September 11, 2009

The perils of homebirthing

Saw this on the news this morning..I loved Rikki Lakes documentary "The business of being born" and I pass no judgement on the couples who choose to give birth at home. But in this particular case, wouldn't you think that the midwife should have called a hospital after 4 days of labor? Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some things...

you just want to figure out for yourself.

I don't know if everyone understands that. I know I am supposed to be grateful for every tip I get regarding the baby, because I know that people have the best of intentions and only want what is best for you. Mommies who have already been through birthing have the experience, I get it. And they are probably right 99% of the time.

But maybe some mommies forget what it was like this close to the due date. How much time you spend reading books, browsing the Internet, watching the freak birthing shows on Discovery and listening to peoples advice. How scared you are in your anticipation of your little one's arrival. Scared that you won't do things right. That you'll drop the baby while bathing it or not feeding it enough or not playing with it enough or...or...

I read in a book last night that the most important part of becoming a parent is getting to know your baby. A baby is just like you and me, we have our own personality and our own quirks that we are born with. We are fussy, mellow, easy going, high maintenance and so on. So really, how can you already know what my baby needs and doesn't when even I haven't met her yet?

It's hard to ignore them, because you are already on the edge, with a huge ass and an equally large back ache. All I really want to do is scream at the top off my lungs "BACK THE F*** OFF".
But of course you can't to that. You just accept that that is how some people are and hopefully you have a friend to vent to. That is what happened to me this morning... and here is the reply she sent me.
"It's OK honey I understand. You should take a day off relax and grow that baby. Don't worry about anything because it will all be fine. The baby is not going to be an albino she is going to be beautiful and even if she does look like Tom's ugliest little cousin we will still love her. There is nothing to be scared of and stop reading all those damn books "

What a terrible place this world would be without friends.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today it hit me

What if there is a minor difference between my kid and others? Not a huge one that would consume hers and ours existence with it's trials and heartbreaks like MS at the age of 10 or blindness, but rather a small one, one that won't inhibit her from doing everything that she wants and deserves - yet something about her that will make people treat her just a little bit different or look at her that extra time or worse - look away? Like albinism?

I can't stop thinking about it.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30 weeks (31+4)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Roll over Pussycat!

Here are some updates on what it's like to be me in the 3rd trimester, going into my eighth months of pregnancy. I promised an update on food, which is mixed in there.

* Mobility: I can't get up without help. This means it is impossible to just sit on a chair and stand up directly from that position. You know how weird that is? I have to put my hands down on something for support, or if I am laying down (which I am contemplating stopping doing all together because of the pure hassle of getting up) I have to ROLL OVER on my side first like I am a walrus with poor eye sight or something.

* Peeing: Everyone knows that pregnant ladies have to go pee-pee alot. Here is an example of how often that is. I am at the office. I go to the bathroom. From the bathroom I head for the elevators to go down to the first floor to buy a snack. I am on the 5th floor. By the time I enter the lobby I have to tiddle again. No joke.

* Food: Surprisingly easy these days. I can't eat that much as apparently the baby is still pretty high up and squishing lungs, intestines and other fun internal organs together, making it hard to eat a big meal. This of course does not stop me from eating small meals like bacon, ice cream and candy. So yay!

* Sleep I: Awkward and different. Every sound wakes me up, even if it's just my dog turning in the other room. My husband makes alot of noises (breathes too loud and makes smacking sounds with his mouth) and it is driving me CRAZY! Today I told him I want a bigger bed, some nights I can't stand even laying next to him. It's terrible!

* Sleep II: Dreams. This is one I actually kind of like. It is common that preggos have vivid dreams, and for me this has proven to be true. I've had several dreams about giving birth to kittens. They were the most precious little things. Hannah and Annika were thir names!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Visitors

This is where I will be giving birth. Our birthing classes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center include a tour of Labor&Delivery and the Post-partum areas, which we took on Saturday.

The Labor&Delivery building is a beautiful structure overlooking the Hollywood sign and its green canyons and hills. The walls are decorated with art and photographs of its beneficiaries including actors, philantropists, artists and various people making a contribution in one way or another. The windows are big and the rooms are filled with that unmistakable light that is the California sunshine.

Like the first day of school, we were like kids ushered through the hallways with big eyes, trying to get a sense of direction and imagining what it will be like when it's our turn. "Maybe that will be our room?" "Look at that nurse, she doesn't look very nice, I hope she has the day off when we come" "Those are some good-looking sandwiches, I hope they will serve that on my day".

The air was filled with anticipation, and as we saw doctors briskly walking by with their Nike's and scrubs on, I quietly wished them good luck, wherever they were heading. I felt energized and happy that this place is where we will be welcoming our daughter into the world.

As our group was walking down the hallway, a door suddenly opened and out came a nurse pushing a little bed in front of her. In the bed was a tiny baby. A small human that just entered, all swaddled and wearing a little blue hat. The nurse walked right past us with the baby and we all let out a collective "aaaawwww". Our instructor said "yup, that's a new one" and we all giggled. As we past the room from which the nurse had come from, there was a transparent bucket right outside the door, sitting on a cart. It was filled with something bloody and big.

"And there's a placenta" our teacher said. I looked at my husband and saw that his face had turned white. I think his water broke.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Life Aquatic

Here is a little testament to another change in my life. Pre pregnancy, I used to run several times a week. I'd also hike, do some yoga and lift weights, well, lift myself. Pretty active, but not over the top - just enough to stay in shape and keep my weight and health in check.
I've missed working out, and I mean the sweaty workout. I take walks, sure, but that never really comes close to that feeling of wave of endorfins afterwards. The one you crave.

I've gained alot of weight now, and I am starting to feel it in my back. I decided to start working out again, but this time - in water. I found a class at the public pool in my neighborhood and asked my husband if he would go with me. He reluctantly agreed after my "But it's for the baby and you have to support me" spiel which is the ace of spades in any pregnant relationship.

Wateraerobics is both how you imagine it and at the same time not. Yes, there are middleaged women in frilly bathingsuits and overexposed sun damage. But there are also folks there for rehabilitation, pregnancy or the social aspect - because it's very social. The class was an hour long using weights, doing crunches, jogging under water and various routines. There was a lady who sang out loud to every tune, especially the 80's disco tunes. Our instructor, Igor, was a guy in his 30's with tatoos and a big friendly smile. There were more importantly alot of laughs, conversation, helping and encouragement.

Afterwards, our bodies ached and we were giddy as children. There is no doubt in my mind anymore that our ancestry is aquatic and that we thrive in packs. It was the best workout I've ever had. And I think for my husband too. This morning he asked if we are going again tonight.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Big Softy

6 1/2 months into my pregnancy I have become a huge softy. I know that I am a hormonal wreck and all, but seriously - these changes I am listing below better revert back after the baby arrives along with my belly button and buttox.

* Violence on TV. Not that I was ever a fan - but when I shut my eyes during "Wipeout" I feel it's gone beyond acceptable fear.

* Keith Urban for Petes sake! I've downloaded Keith Urban!

* I love a good crime story, or should I say "loved". I had a new crime/horror novel from one of my favorite authors (Ajvide Lindqvist) in preparation for the 15 hour plane ride to Europe. I had to put it down after reading things like "darkness", "disappeared" and "child" in the first chapter and bought the autobiography of Julia Childs at the airport book store instead.

* Don't talk to me about injustices against kids, animals, homeless people or any sort of beings that are vulnerable. It makes me stop listening and go "lalalalala"

* Conversations about fashion, make up or hair. Frankly - I don't care right now.

Monday, August 3, 2009


is wonderful. Being around family again. Lazy days (today I read and was invited for coffee, that's about it). Baby Lion is kicking and I'm growing...Updates will follow when I am back in the real world again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beach Goers beware

Me and my husband joke alot about my growing frame these days. In the beginning of my pregnancy it was quite annoying, but what else are you supposed to do but laugh at it? He is not mean or anything - it's just that I look very different and the change is rather remarkable.

Yesterday we decided to go to the beach. The Pacific Ocean has finally started to warm up and as I am sweating for Queen and country - I had been looking forward to a jump in the cool waves of southern California.

I have a new maternity bathing suit that I finally got to put on. The back is open and has an expandable strap across the back to accommodate the belly. The top part is halterneck style, orange and white in a checkered pattern, and the body part is navy blue. It looks designed and manufactured in 1972. To me, it is SUPER cute. Very Charlie's Angels.

I put it on and stood in front of the mirror admiring the spectacle. My belly is so big, it is pulling down the suit making my boobs granny like. My thighs are pale and have stretch marks. My tattoo on my left lower hip is sticking out, stretched out like a cruel reminder of my tan triathlon days. I have a farmers tan where my arms look split in two, the lower part dipped in red paint and then sawed together with the upper part again. It really doesn't even look like my body anymore - it just looks like my head is photo shopped on something alien and strange.

I walked into my husbands bathroom where he was standing shaving and putting on his SPF. He gave me a long look up and down. Then he said something I will never, ever forget - with a straight face and dead serious:

"If you weren't pregnant, you'd be Benny Hill"

Friday, July 17, 2009

23 weeks

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Went for the monthly check up yesterday at my OB's. I am now 20 pounds plus (8.3 kilos) with 15 weeks to go. The baby is one pound and 15 inches long.

I love the term"You are eating for two". True - it's just that one of us is really little.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everyone gets old

Our dog Bianca is very sick and is in the hospital with a still undiagnosed condition, but everything is pointing to heart failure.

Bianca is 12 years old and a mastiff mix, most likely English Mastiff and Rottweiler or Great Dane. Tom got her from a shelter when she was 3 months old, she was found in a back alley on the streets of Chicago. I have been her mommy for almost 7 years now.

Dogs are somewhat magical creatures. All they ever want to do is love you and be around you. There is no judgement - only wagging tails, soft velvet ears and loud snoring coming from their beds at night. I've always had dogs, and the one I grew up with passed away at 14. Still - Bianca is a special dog. She may look intimidating with her 140 pounds, but the worst thing that could happen is that she would lick you to death. She loves women. She adores tomatoes. And a couple of weeks ago she gave my belly a big lick - like she knew someone was in there and she was telling her she is exited to meet her.

Here she is with my husband. Keep her in your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love at 21 Weeks

Here is the 4D that we had taken on Friday for our 2nd trimester screening. She is opening her mouth and sticking out her tongue at us. She is healthy, and we do not have to come back to the Ultrasound specialist anymore. All systems go.

Since I saw this picture of our little girl, it's almost like I have fallen in love. I can't stop looking at her. I imagine what it will be like to meet her. What kind of personality will she have? What color will her eyes be, brown like mine or green like her fathers? I see us together on my bike, riding together to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings to buy fresh fruit, and then we will make a peach pie that we all share for dinner. It may sound so cheesy - but it's like being in love. All the plans you make. Imagining what it is like to hold the other person. Thinking about what they smell like. Looking into their eyes. The butterflies in your stomach.

I wonder if she can feel how much I love her. She is kicking alot, and turning alot. I hope she knows.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

People are nice to you when you are pregnant

I've noticed a big difference in how people treat you when you are pregnant. Now that I don't look like a puffy overweight 30 something, but an actually pregnant woman - people treat you differently.

Twice this week someone has asked if they can touch my belly. Several people have asked to help us move next weekend "since you shouldn't be carrying stuff". Yesterday a woman at the Sports Authority told her 4 year old to "be careful with the pregnant lady in front of you". Strangers open doors for you, men and women smile at you and at work they now let me decide where we should go have lunch.

I gotta say, 2nd trimester pregnancy is filled with sweet unexpected happenings, kind of like a great surprise upgrade at an expensive hotel.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Danceparty USA

There is a disco in my belly. It took me forever to figure out if the "tapping" I was feeling in my lower abdomen was gas or the little one, but the last few days has undoubtedly been the baby dancing up a storm. What a relief it is to actually feel it and not having to wait for ultrasounds every 4 weeks!
Doctor S says that my husband can probably start feeling the baby move in a month or so. He already talks to her every day. He puts his mouth on my belly and says "Hello baby, this is your dad talking". Like Darth Vader did to Luke Skywalker, I think that's where he gets it.

I can't believe I am 5 months pregnant.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here's a weird one for ya

The past week I've had a really strong metallic taste in my mouth. As a kid, did you ever try to chew on aluminum foil just to see what happened? Remember that it sent bad vibes through your brain? That's what's happening right now.

I looked it up online. Apparently it's pretty common among pregnant women, but they don't know why exactly. One theory is because if the pre-natal vitamins, or horse-pills as you could also call them. They made me even more sick when I was nauseous so I stopped taking them a long time ago. Another theory is that it is because of the release of toxins in your body coming though all kinds of channels except the ones leading to your baby. I like this theory. Mama has a steel mouth so little one doesn't have to. Would that be creepy? If your baby came out with a piehole like Jaws?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sleep Attacked

Yesterday we went to check out a few houses and then we went to lunch. When I sat down a very strong urge to sleep came over me. I rested my head against the booth wall and closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes again my husband just sat there staring at me. It made me wonder if I had gone though the Startrek transporter thingy and thereby not realizing I actually fell asleep in the middle of lunch.

I imagine the baby all of a sudden raised it's little fist at me and screamed in an angry voice "Mommy, sleep now!". It also has to be mentioned that we were having Chinese food.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Letting go of ghostly body images

Gaining weight really fast is a very strange feeling. I know that every woman is different and la-di-da, but as I believe that most women in the western world are not immune to the socio-economic "standard" of what weight is "normal" - most of us are probably affected in one way or another.

Since my teenage years my weight has yo-yo'd, it really wasn't until my mid 20's that it stabilized and the ups and down would vary with just a couple of pounds. I have also since then had a great workout routine with regular running with races and I also finished a triathlon.

So this sudden and abrupt weight gain is challenging mentally. 12 pounds (6 kilos) in a couple of months? That's allot!

I ask my doctor about it. She says it's fine. My blood pressure is low and sinking at 100/50. I don't have any health problems whatsoever. The baby is growing and is happy. I feel strong. So what's the problem?

Last night I had a dream that woke me up in cold sweats. In my dream I was at the doctor's office and I was weighed in as usual. The scale tipped in at 235 pounds. I remember thinking that this couldn't be right. Had everyone lied to me telling me that I look beautiful? Was I that self absorbed? Was I carrying two giant elephants? No wonder I couldn't see my own knees.

It's tough letting go of old ghosts. But it's also a really nice one that now includes both barbecued ribs and ice cream.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

18 week bump

18 weeks
Note to self: need to clean up messy guest/laundry/office room

Thoughts of a crazy pregnant lady

First Trimester Common Recurring Questions and Thoughts:

* Is there a baby in there?
* How come I'm not showing?
* Why am I farting like a teenage boy?
* I think the baby will develop allergies from our carpets and will the landlord replace them?
* What if the baby is sick or severely handicapped?
* Who's boobs are these?
* My husband is a) too silly to become a dad b) will be the best dad ever c) has delusions about child upbringing

Second Trimester Questions:
* Am I going to continue to work or take a long leave?
* How come I don't feel full after I eat?
* Is caffeine really that bad?
* I gained a shoe size???
* Maternity clothes kind of suck
* Non-alcoholic beer is pretty awesome
* mmm...meat!
* My husband a) doesn't get it b) is so understanding c) needs to buy me something pretty very soon

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A clean bill of health

I just came back from my doctor and she had received the 1st trimester screening from the lab. I guess the risk of us having a baby with Down Syndrome is 1/2200 or 0.04545%. The risk of the other chromosome disease that I can't pronounce nor remember was 1/42 000. She said she had never seen that number before. That made me happy.

Oh - and the nausea is GONE. That in itself deserves it's blog entry, but right now I am just enjoying the little things in life. Walking in to the kitchen. Cooking. Talking about food. Not gagging when Tom takes his shoes off.

And I bought my first pair of maternity pants as I am now +12(!) pounds my start weight. They are so comfy I want to sleep in them. If I keep this weight gain going I will have to put rubber bands on the rubber bands.

But I don't really care. We listened to my baby's heartbeat today and that is worth all the whale blubber in the world.

Monday, May 18, 2009

17th of May

The 17th of May is Norwegian constitution day and as Tom's father was Norwegian, we of course celebrated. It's also an awesome excuse for another Holiday party.

Los Angeles has quite the Norwegian community, it seems larger than the Swedish one and is definitely less snooty. The weather was beautiful. The women were wearing their traditional bunads, the open faced salmon sandwiches were delicious and blond kids and adults were running around waving their flags..including us. It was just a happy day and bore with it great expectations when our own little half-breed will be wishing us a "gratulerer med dagen" (happy constitution day)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mommy, lilla Mor, Mamma and Mum

2 days ago I had somewhat of a breakdown. It's been 14 weeks now of constant nausea. In fact, it's getting worse. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to eat and then feel good for about an hour. Now I feel sick before, during and after the meal. I'm starting to wake up in the middle of the night by it. And work? I don't know how I actually do it, it's like a fog...

Here is what happened. I got home from work ready to barf up a storm. Tom gets me my crackers and some fruit and I lay down. And then I start to cry. Loudly. My eyes and nose are running and it's one of those cry-outs where you can't breath normally because your body is so busy shaking, jerking and trying to get as many bodily fluids out at the same time. All channels open up.

Tom is the best husband there is for these types of situations. He wraps me up in his big arms, strokes my hair and tells me that everything is going to be OK. But I can't find his words particularly consoling, because I have a feeling that this nausea won't go a gut feeling that whatever people say, it's not going to stop until she comes out. I keep crying in his arms for a good 20 minutes. Then he suggests that we call his mom, my mother-in-law, and ask her how her pregnancies were.

My mother-in-law is a tough lady. Born at the start of WWII in a small mining town in Sheffield, England with little or no means AND she has given birth to 4 boys. She is what you would define as "Old School" in most aspects. I love her to death, but she is very different from my own parents and it takes a while to get to know and love her quirks that makes her who she is.

The second Tom put her on the phone with me, she knew what was going on. She asked the right questions (although I doubt she could hear my answers through my cries and snorts). She didn't tell me to do this or that. She didn't say "I know exactly how you feel, and for me this worked". She just listened, comforted me and told me exactly what I needed to hear: "I know you are scared and you just need some help right now"

She was right on the money. I know my hormones are up the wall, but the worrying, the nausea, the expectations, the soreness, the tiredness and the happiness are REAL. You need to talk about it. You need to tell people. You need the support. She recognized it. She knew. Because she is a mommy.

If I become half the mother she is and has been to her boys, our daughter will be a very lucky girl. And as Tom is his mother's son, so I'd say the odds are looking pretty good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My little girl from up above, maybe sucking her thumb.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Due Date moved

Today I had my first trimester screening. It was very high-tech. The ultrasound machine my OB uses looks like it's from the 40's compared to this one...She had a huge flat screen TV on the wall where we got to see everything. It took a while for them to get a good look. The baby put it's legs against the wall and "shot off", over and over. Then it crossed it's legs underneath itself like an Indian yogi. Then it moved towards us and looked straight into the "camera". The doctor kept laughing and said "lay still" "lay still"..haha

My due date is moved to November 11th, the day before my mothers birthday. I can't wait to tell her!

I'll post an ultrasound soon, you can see the little one really well this time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Whole Paycheck

I promised to cut back on complaining about the nausea, but it's right now consuming my existence. It's like trying to not fall asleep if you haven't slept for 2 days. You can't get around it. It has to happen.

Here's the issue: if I start feeling queasy, it's already too late. When the queasiness comes, I HAVE to eat - or it will get worse by the minute and result in.. well, you get the idea. So the solution to this situation is Whole Foods because of the options in the food bar. And it's healthy and organic. It just works. I can walk from the salad section, to the Mediterranean section, to the Mexican, American, Indian, vegan and vegetarian. I can smell and see everything. I can mix what I want: Hummus and vegetables Verde. Tzasiki and eggs. Fruit and curry. Tabbouleh and jello.

My nausea gets worse in the afternoons, so by the time I get home between 5-6 pm it's really bad. I usually drive home, lay down and then Tom goes and gets what I ask for (he's a good hubby). When he comes back, I eat laying down, and then it's all good again.

Last night was particularly bad. I felt OK driving home from work. I got home, and me and Tom started chatting about this and that. I felt a little queasy, but not too bad. We kept talking about our day. Then it started getting bad, and I told him that we needed to go and get food. I didn't know what I wanted. Tom suggested options, my stomach turned. I started getting dizzy...Whole Foods! OK, we are at Whole Foods now. Drop me off so I don't have to come with you parking. I head for the food bar...and nothing. It's rows and rows of food, all of which look equally dis- appetizing and smell like gymshoes. It has now been almost an hour since I got home from work..I walk around and around the salad bar. I put some romaine salad in my to go plate. 5 little sorry pieces of lettuce is all I can fathom putting in my mouth. I circle the salad bar some more. Tom shows up and looks down on the lettuce on my plate "You've been here 10 minutes and that's all you've got??" Tears fill my eyes. I feel like I'm locked in a closet. It's coming up my throat now, and I know that the only way to get rid of it is actually to chew and swallow something. I finally see potato salad, cold. I steal a little taste with a spoon. It works! OK - lettuce and potato salad it is! And grapes! I eat it. The nausea is gone.

That's how it works people. Don't ever, NEVER, ever criticize a woman for gaining too much weight while pregnant. Or gaining too little. Or comment on their eating habits or it's nutritional value for the baby. If it's one thing that I have learned from this pregnancy is that my body has been taken hostage. It's out of my control. The only thing I can do is to follow directions and listen...and look forward to the day when my healthy baby is born ready to dig in some potato salad and grapes!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Range Kids

One tip that I got from the baby books is to "each day, take 5 minutes and think about what kind of parent you want to be". I know that most of that is probably bs, because I've heard so many times that you don't really know what kind of parent you are until it's too late anyway. So I'm not even going to go there.

But I read this article in Salon today, and it does echo some thinking that I have been doing about what kind of world our baby will be born into.
Growing up myself..I didn't really have that many restrictions. I am one of many siblings and by the time it got to me, I'm guessing my parents were jaded. At least my dad. When I was 8 years old, he put me on a train to go more than 100 miles away to visit family. Included on that trip, I had to switch trains in a big city hub. My dad had given me very specific instructions to talk to the conductor. Everything worked out fine, and I didn't really think it was that big of a deal until someone told me so.
My dad is a great person and I can probably count on one hand how many times he has questioned my decisions, even though he probably should have (backpacking in Burma in 1997, really?) Believe me, I have addressed this with him many times. The conversation goes something like this:

Me - How is it that you don't question my X decision?
My Dad - You will figure it out yourself
Me - But what if I want your opinion?
My Dad - Then it won't be your decision.

As can be understood, this conversation leads nowhere and the mess up/success ratio ends up at 50/50.

I did however finally figure out his philosophy in a conversation not related to child upbringing, I think we were watching a movie or discussing a book. He said "You have to cut the chord with your kids. If you don't, they will never fully become independent individuals"

So back to the article - if the world that we live in is not safer nor more violent than in the 1970's, why does it feel so different? I live in California now, a state that I am absolutely in love with and I can think of no better place for a kid to grow up. The state of California has 40 million people in it, 4 times the size of Sweden. Would I put my 8-year old on the train to San Francisco to go see our friends?

It certainly has me thinking, that's for sure.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eat, Drink and be Pregnant!

I am not a finicky eater, I eat and drink most things offered to me. My mom told me she never had any problems with my dietary habits as a kid. I am just not very fussy with food.

That will be the premise of this 12 week mark, as things now are very different. I am making 2 lists: 1) Foods I used to love but now can't think about 2) Foods I now eat, that I very rarely ate before


1. Fried Foods - I loved eating on occasion but now I have to leave the room of the smell
2. Meat - almost all meats have an aftertaste of liver
3. Bread - only ok if someone else makes the sandwich
4. Pasta- ate for 2 days during the first weeks of pregnancy and then it made me think of the garbage can
5. Tuna - also makes me think of garbage that has been mixed in a smoothie maker
6. Boiled or stirfried vegetables - has the consistency of jelly soap but with no taste
7. Rice - only ok in baked sushi and at room temperature
8. Coffee - smells and taste gross and makes me think of a dry, soar throat
9. Cheese - smells like sweat


1. Milk - gallons a day. It has to be 2% organic
2. Citrus - whole lemons, no kidding
3. Indian food- just so I can mix the cucumber youghurt with the lentils
4. Youghurt of any kind
5. Pretzels, popcorn and ricecake chips
6. Frozen Youghurt - my new vice, I eat it every day. Stawberry and tart with gummy

I will update the list at the end of the second trimester.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Patting myself on the back

Among all the things that Tom and I talk about in regards what we need to buy for the baby "stroller" is what comes up most times in a day. I think we are both somewhat obsessed.
For weeks now, we have both been trying to do our research online, going to Babies'R'Us, talking to friends with kids and I even bought a book dedicated to this theme and the end of the day it all seems to come down to one and the same: The Bugaboo

It's beautiful. It's cool. It's what the Santa Monica mommies are pushing to the Farmers Market after yoga at the beach. You can customize your colors. You can coordinate your diaper bags and footrest. It has great resale value. It is the Lexus of strollers. It's $900. 

The price makes my stomach we've been talking about or options.  Tom does not want the Graco-style travel system because of the small wheels, and I do agree that I don't think it will fit our lifestyle living so close to the beach and parks (and to be honest, I don't like the looks of it). He wants the sporty jogger style ones, which I am not so sure about. It means we have to get a separate infant car seat and when the baby grows out of it, it may still be too young for the jogger. 

Then yesterday, I had an epiphany: Emmaljunga! The Swedish one! I had one, my sisters had them for their kids and I remember pushing my youngest sister in one. They have the big wheels, built for cobble stone, walking and public transportation and they are sturdy, strong, Scandinavian quality - just like our baby will be! 
And the best of all - they are available at Sweden's answer to Craigslist: 
The photo attached is selling for $250.

We are going to Sweden in July for a wedding and to see my family. And back home to the states we will bring, yes, you guessed correctly - The Emmaljunga!

I just feel so clever that I thought of this, but you can't really say that out loud, right? 

Saturday after thoughts..

Today I feel bad that I have been complaining about my pregnancy fuss. My body is just doing what it is supposed to do and I promise I will try to stop talking about it. I think it's because I haven't been sick in like 4 years. I never had any physical conditions, and my body has always done what I want it to do. It may be that I just have to give in  and accept that this body belongs to baby Lion now. And I am happy to lend it's services. 

I talked with my sister today. 
We had not talked in a while and she apologized for not having called me. She told me that she has been helping her friend who has 4 kids and just had another baby a couple of days ago. About 2 weeks ago her husband was in a car accident and he is in the hospital unconscious. They are not sure he will make it. The car is totaled, so she can't get around. And the newborn, she just found out, has a heart condition. 

Her story kind of puts my hip in a more relevant perspective. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shooting Pains - hips

So 2 nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme pain in my right hip. At first I thought I was just nauseous, but then realized the pain was so bad in my hip, that was in fact what was making me nauseous. After a trip to the bathroom and trying to stay conscious, I went back to bed and eventually fell asleep.

So yesterday, I was really scared all day that it would happen again. I realize this happens because of your cartilage in your pelvic area is softening, but that knowledge doesn't really help.. but, in any case..

Thursday night is when all of my favorite shows are on, and I thought I would take this 2 hour TV session and make the best of it. So I watched the entire thing sitting and rolling on my exercise ball. And lo and behold - I woke up this morning rested and no pain. I think I will take some time everyday to do this in an effort to strengthen my core, butt and thighs for things to come.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's good to be back...

It's true - it happened! I am now almost 12 weeks and getting closer to the end of the first trimester.

It's been a roller coaster ride, I tell you. Since I found out in week 5, I've had the most unimaginable nausea. I've been so tired, I couldn't really tell you what has been going on at work. I've gained weight (8 pounds so far) due to yes, normal pregnancy stuff like blood and water, but also because eating is the only way not feel sick for 5 minutes . Last week I started losing hair. I have shooting pains in my hips that wake me up in the middle of the night in nightmares. And then my favorite, a couple of weeks ago I had a complete Gollum-like transformation on my face. I woke up and had 6(!) HUGE insider pimples - all on the left hand side of my face.

But you know what? I am the happiest I've ever been I think. I love Baby Lion with every little molecule in my body. My husband and I have moved on from being a couple trying to expectant parents. I look at him and see my baby daddy. It is the BEST feeling in the world.

Meet Baby Lion

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Short Break

It's the end of the quarter at work and somehow everything because extremely busy...I willl return again April 1st.

Monday, March 16, 2009

3rd Annual Girls Weekend

was this past weekend, this time around at my house in Santa Monica. We had a great time sipping wine, talking, hiking, eating, kayaking and more.. In the past years we have been many girls getting together for this annual trip, but this time around it was just 4 of us, as a majority of the old gang now have kids and therefore understandably - can't travel. It's amazing the difference though. The 4 of us were perfectly content not going out clubbing dancing all night, rather staying in at night and acting like old ladies watching movies and playing cards. I love that feeling of not having that stress though. Gosh, I would hate to be in my 20's again...yuk.

BTW - 33 days since the start of my last cycle. I am taking my test tonight. :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I don't know if I even believe that you can "jinx" things that you wish for. That's right - 28 days. I told Tom about it yesterday and he asks me not to think about it too much. OK, yeah, I'll try not to do that!

But I know why he feels that way..this happened once before when I was late (irregular) and he started talking about baby names. And then I had my period...I know he doesn't want to go through that again. It made him sad, I could tell.

So he went this morning for his second swimmer test and will get the results in a couple of days. My hope is that they'll be healthy, fast and lots of them. Like Tuna.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pulled My Neck

26 days..if I make it to 30, I will go get a test :-)

On Sunday me and Tom had planned to take our long weekend walk on the beach. As I was getting out of the shower, I turned my head upside down to make a turban-head with the towel (you know what I mean). As I went back up I pulled my neck so I actually heard something "click". And after that I was completely immobilized. I couldn't sit nor lay down. So Tom put the boogie board behind me in the bed so I would have some support. Not a bad idea. Other than that, it was all Advil, tiger balm and Flight of the Concords all weekend. I am better today, but I can't really look to the left which made my drive to work..adventurous! I wish I hadn't parked behind that wall in the garage though.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recession Scheshmession

22 days and counting. I know It's not going to happen because I can't even sleep on my belly because of soreness in my boobs.

But now to something completely different (insert drumroll sound here): Tom was laid off yesterday!

It keeps getting better and better. I just spoke with him and he is ut drinking with his colleagues. It's good to celebrate the recession with a bang! Yay - we joined another set of statitics (insert applause here)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

20 Days..

It's now been 20 days since the start of my last cycle, so in my irregular cycle-land, this is the time when I start getting hopeful and nervous. I feel somewhat of a PMS coming on (boobs sore/short fuse) but then again, I sort of feel like that all the time. I'm going to attribute that to being a normal 31-year old woman.

Tom is going in on Friday for his second swimmer test, and I am hoping that his last result was just a bad report card due to late night procrastination at work...

One of my dear friends is somewhat in a similar situation that we are, they have been trying for the same amount of time. She emailed me this morning and told me that her period came. I feel bad for her because I know what that's like. On a positive note though, I have this lame fairytale fantasy that her and I will get pregnant at the same time and that our babies will grow up and go to Swedish day care together. Strange how we are designed, isn't it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Toms fear of Babies

I think Tom is no longer afraid of babies. He is very good with kids age toddler and up, but babies that do not communicate with him so he can understand it have been scary creatuers to him. Until now I think. Our god daughter Hailey, 9 months, is just a great baby. She is happy, cute and easy to please - the perfect introduction for Tom who thinks that babies can "break".

I beleive that this is a start of a great love affair. On Saturday night I told him how much I am going to miss them when they go back to Chicago. To that he responded "I know - I love them too". Busted!

Pic to follow..

Friday, February 27, 2009

Babies, Babies

Our friends are here visiting from Chicago. They have two kids. The youngest one is our god daughter. They are so precious, it's great to have them here! Yesterday I went to the grocery store to get all the stuff they need to eat. It was so nice walking around in the baby isle.

Last night as we went to bed, me and Tom watched a little TV before we fell asleep. All of a sudden we could hear our god daughter crying, and we just turned off the TV and listened to it. I got butterflies in my belly just hearing a baby in our house. I slept really well :)

This morning we played together and I watched both of them as their mommy was getting ready. I gave the baby her breakfast, she was sitting in my lap eating her apple cinnamon puree'. There can't be a better way to start the day!!

They went to Disneyland today, I'm sure they will have a great day in the sun with Snowwhite and Minnie. This will be a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a long month

And now we wait. This is the worst part. I keep on googling "early pregnancy symptoms" even though I know that it's way to early to tell. I've been feeling cold the past 2 days and for me that is very unusual. I haven't been sick in almost 3 years (knock on wood). So the fact that I am feeling chilly makes me think that I am pregnant because it affects your basal body temparature. Silly, I know.

I woke up in a bad mood and just feel irratable in general. Poor Tom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm in Love

Yes, It's true, I am in love. With baby Ella.

Yesterday my coworker who is on maternity leave came into the office and brought her new born baby Ella, 3 weeks old. It was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. She was so tiny and I got to hold her for a good 20 minutes while she was sleeping. She was all curled up against my chest, and had that wonderful baby-smell. I have been thinking about her ever since. I can't wait to have one of my own.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Stimulus Package

For everyone who ever tried to get pregnant, you know how your life revolves around it. Every little sensation in your body makes you wonder if it has anything to do with your ability to carry children. But all we can do is try and wait. Let nature take its course. Do everything in our power to make it happen and create the ideal circumstances.

Today Barack Obama is adressing congress regarding his plan to get the economy back on it's feet. Talk about pressure to perform. Both Mr Obama's and Tom's stimuli package need to contain hard work and action. But most of all, it requires patience.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Took My egg shopping

Yes, I took my egg shopping today, hoping that all that testosterone at the Apple store makes the little suckers hang on for queen and country. Our very good friends from Chicago are coming to visit next week with their kids. It will be great to see them, and also to see if this house is baby-friendly. We went to the ghetto yesterday and picked up a play pen for the baby. I hope it doesn't bring any bad ju-ju

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two Dark Purple Lines

9 days after cycle start. Tom better get to quarreling the dust bunnies  or there will be no hanky panky! Kidding. 

Some women say they can "feel" when they ovulate. I don't feel anything. Its Saturday morning and I am enjoying my coffee. Maybe my eggs just need their caffein first. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Swimmers and purple lines

Tom is going for his other semen analysis and my doctor told me that his lab results were actually only borderline. ovulation test showed a faint purple line last night. Time to get to work! I'm hoping Cupid and Mother Nature get together for a pow-wow this weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good News: I have follicles

My doctor called me back with my blood results and they were as she put it "beautiful". I am producing follicles, my hormone levels are where they should, my thyroid is "perfect". Not sure what an imperfect Thyroid is, but hey, whatever works! I will continue to perform the ovulation tests as she still suspects that when my cycles are 30+ plus, I don't ovulate. So it's best to keep track.

So maybe it's Tom. His sperm analysis came back abnormal last week, and he is due for another test to confirm. His motility and count is low plus there are signs of infection.

His PCP (Primary Care Physician) suggested that he does a complete detox and of course quit smoking. The latter is working well, he has cut down significantly and I know it's hard for him.

As far as this "detox" goes, I think it's a load of bs. I want his urologist to tell him that, not his PCP who handles coughs and belly-aches. My doctor recommended that he sees his urologist for consultation. Tom knows this, but he wants to quit smoking completely before he does another sperm analysis - and I agree with that.

She also referred him to one of the top urologists in the US who is based here in LA. Of course, he is outside our network. My care provider told me to talk to the doctor and see if he would be willing to submit the claim.

I am hoping this never comes to IVF which, btw, is FREE in Sweden. That is not the case here...

Follicles and Ovulation Tests

After my first visit and consultation with my doctor, the investigation of why I'm not knocked up yet consists of a series of steps.
Number one is blood work, which I had done on Monday (4 days ago). That is the first step in trying to determine if I do indeed ovulate properly. As my cycle is very irregular (20-40 days) so is probably the ovulation. So I will leave blood work before I ovulate (3 days after the first day of my last period) and then 7 days after ovulation. Which doesn't make any sense, since I don't know when I for sure ovulate :-)

So anyway, I do the "pee on a stick" ovulation test. They are expensive ($25-$40) which is ironic, since pregnancy tests of the same brand are cheap ($10-$15). They even have pregnancy tests at the 99 cent store for, yes, 99 cents!

I am now 8 days out since my period started, so ovulation should be coming up. I'm testing every day, but it is a lonely little purple line. The pictures above show what the test looks like.
My doctor was supposed to call me with the lab results from the blood work on Monday. The test is the first of 2 to determine if follicles are building in my uterus i.e am I producing an egg?
I am keeping my fingers crossed that she calls me today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why This Blog, Why Now?

The answer is simple. Because I think about it constantly (becoming pregnant, not blogging)

My husband and I have been "trying" now for 13 months and just started the process of investigating..More of these details later.

It seems like everyone around me, married or in a steady relationship, are getting pregnant or already have their little ones. Some of them more than one! And I could not be happier for them. But it makes me wonder why it's not happening to us, who want it as much as any other couple in love and ready to take the next steps.

I asked my husband and he is OK with me posting details of the process and our life. I'll leave last names out though.

Since this does not seem to be happening "au naturel" I am looking forward to getting there by the support of others and the doctors advice and knowledge. Stay tuned!