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 away...like 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 bears...mm

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 turn..so 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: www.blocket.se 
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.