Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I don’t even know how to react to my weigh in this morning or any morning for that matter. I know I’m pregnant. I know pregnancy will equal some weight gain. I know my gain so far is normal (about 6 pounds and I’m in the 2nd trimester) so I just don’t even know what to say for my weigh-ins when I log into to blog about them. It’s so odd for me after all this time of wanting (begging, pleading, crying) for the number to go down to actually be okay with them either staying the same or going up. It’s like I’ve thrust myself into an alternate universe and just as I felt when I began this weight loss journey, sometimes I’m just not so sure how to feel. As long as I’m eating well and taking care of Baby AA I’m mentally okay but I will admit it just throws me for a loop when I go in and step on the scale and actually see the numbers. I was going forward at such a strong pace and had my mind so weight-loss focused that it’s difficult to shift gears sometimes.

I was 108.2 kilos (238 lbs) this morning which is up not quite a full kilo from last weeks weigh-in or 1.76 pounds up from last weigh-in. That still only makes my overall weigh gain for this pregnancy 2.9 kilos or 6.38 lbs. Not too shabby. My belly feels heavy. It hasn’t changed shape so much but it just feel heavy or more solid or something. It’s hard to explain especially if you never felt my belly pre-pregnancy which none of you really had the joys or terror of doing.

So this week I’m going to really focus on eating nutrient packed foods. I’m going to try to cut out the sweets. Although I don’t eat them all that often I do tend to give into them a little easier and could put up a better fight. I just want to stay focused on growing this baby as strong and as healthy as I possibly can. It’s all I can do for it right now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In a food rut

We're in a food rut. Well it's more like a gigantic muddy murky sludge laden food ditch than a small rut. I just do not feel like eating or cooking anything. Nothing sounds goods. Nothing at the store looks good. Even once I cook a meal I don't even necessarily feel like eating it. I eat it because "What to Expect when You're Expecting" says I shouldn't skip a meal. Something about the baby needing food...blah blah blah. I've flipped that chapter the bird a few times already. (and I am joking, I would never not feed the little pumpkin).

Every day the inevitable conversation rolls around to "what's for dinner" and it's honestly making me angry. More than once I've shouted "I don't care!" or "I don't know, you pick!" and it's starting to get ugly. Marco and I wander through the aisles of the grocery store hoping that a vegetable/fruit/meat will jump off the shelf, wrap itself around my leg and scream "pick me! pick me!" And I will pick up the tender little morsel, soothe it lovingly and say "yes little lamb chop, I will pick you with some nice roasted potatoes". But that just never seems to happen.

Last night we went back to a little salad that we hadn't made in a while. The thing with us is that when we find something we like, we make the hell out of it until we can't stand the site of it anymore. Then we're back to where we started. We went back to our Greek salad and it was really wonderful. I cut up a cucumber, cherry tomatoes, one onion and mixed it in a bowl with some feta cheese, a sprinkle of Parmesan and some olive tapenade (they were out of pesto and this actually worked the same, not sure what the difference is to be honest) for a sauce. It was delicious! I was so happy to have made something that actually made me want to eat.

But now I'm already thinking, what in the hell am I going to make tomorrow. We bought some bratwurst at the store and planned on having that but now of course I don't feel like it and I'm out of mustard (all mustard here is dijon, which I don't like so I have to go to a specialty store that carries American goods to find my mustard.).

So please, tell me what you're eating. Inspire the totally 100% uninspired. What did you have for supper last night? What about the night before? Give me a recipe. Give me a hand. Give me something...anything!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday Weigh-in a day late...

I did weigh in on Tuesday morning and fully intended on posting it but once again, it slipped my mind. It wasn't an especially good or bad weigh-in. I came in at 107.7 kilos (236.94 lbs) which is up from last week but the same (are about the same) as two or three weeks ago.

I've been doing something odd for me though that I've not really done through my weight loss. I've been weighing myself almost every day. This is more for curiosity (and peace of mind) than for anything. I'm not feeling "obsessed" or compulsive about it so I'm not concerned. It was always a rule of mine not to weigh more than once a week and to not obsess. If I feel the daily dose of numbers is getting to me, effecting my days or moods, I'll put and end to it.

I noticed that I go anywhere from 106.1 to 108 throughout the week. Generally I hover in the low 107 region though. If I'm retaining any water that morning of course it's higher. Then when I have a night of pee-mania the next day I'm back down. Makes sense.

For the most part I'm okay with these numbers. I am in my second trimester officially. I would love to remain in this general weight area for the rest of the second trimester and that's going to be one of my "goals". My body doesn't seem to be doing much changing outwardly at this point but it is still extremely early for a plus sized woman.

And that's that for this weigh in. I hope you all are having successful healthy weeks!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

So I'm having aversions...finally.

I'm finally having some aversions but it wasn't the kind I was expecting. I was thinking that since getting pregnant maybe I wouldn't be able to stand the smell of coffee or would be able to eat pasta or some other crazy food aversions that you read about women having all the time. I haven't experienced much of what you read about during my pregnancy so far but I am experiencing my first aversion... to the computer.

Yes I'm having computer aversions due to headaches and eye strain. I work at a computer all day long and I've barely been able to keep at it for eight full hours each day this week. It started a few weeks back that my eyes were bothering me, burning and itching. I thought it was my change in contact solution so I switched brands back but it didn't help. About three hours into my day my eyes would start burning and/or itching. I've also had tons of eye goo (I'm fairly certain that's not the medical terminology) at night and if I weren't waking up four times to go to the bathroom I'm sure my eyes would be sealed shut by time the alarm would go off. I know I don't have an eye infection so I did some reading online. Apparently eye goo can be a part of pregnancy and it's not all that uncommon. Woohoo.

So now this week besides the burning and itching a third dimension was added to my eye irritation. My head started hurting due to the extra strain on my eyes. Wednesday I came home with a major headache which eventually led to a migraine. Usually I'd pump myself full of drugs, put a cool eye mask on my eyes and sleep it away but being pg means the drugs I depend on have to sit the bench. That sucked. When I laid down it felt like my brain was falling out of the back of my head. I went to bed at 7:30 to try and get rid of it and didn't wake up until the next morning, sans migraine.

Thursday and Friday the headache threatened to come back throughout the day but I would force myself to take breaks from the computer screen and do some filing or just chatting with my colleagues for a while. Naturally the last thing I wanted to do when I came home was to sit at this computer and write in my blog which really sucks as it's a way to relax for me in the evenings.

So I am finally having some pregnancy aversions...to work and the computer. Great! It's not like I can just pass those up in the grocery store aisle like you can chicken or ice cream. I'm hoping this week was just a fluke and won't set the pace for how this second trimester is going to go for me. We shall see.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Are you *&#%@$@ kidding me

As you all know I have always been a huge fan of America's Next Top Model. I've watched every season religiously and I don't even cheat to look on the internet to see who won ahead of time since we're one or two seasons behind here in Holland. It was actually a running joke that helped Marco and I get through some of the toughest times we had when we were dealing with our Infertility problems. Every time we would have an appoinment or a procedure or anything, no matter good or bad, he would tell me "Sarah you're one step closer to becoming the Mommy of America's Next Top Model". It was a much needed comic relief in a very difficult time in our lives.

Now I've been reading some things on various message boards today and have found out that the Tyra show thinks that this show is a good idea. The premise of the show is this (taken directly from her website):

Do you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom? Have you seen and heard her struggle for years, felt her unvoiced jealously and seen her desperation first hand? Have you watched silently for too long as she gets her hopes up only to be disappointed and heartbroken when she can’t conceive? Has she tried extreme methods and spent a lot of money to get pregnant with no luck? Do you want to finally tell her she needs to stop the emotional and physical stress on her body and seriously consider adoption or a surrogate alternative? If you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom and getting pregnant, then SUBMIT BELOW. "

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?! Why are people who persue parenthood for years suddenly "obsessed"? Why would one single person ever think that this would be acceptable to do to a couple who is suffering with infertility? Somebody would have to have some king-sized kahonies to even have the gall to say such a thing to an infertile couple. How dare they?

Naturally I couldn't just let things be. I had to speak my peace. I've written a letter to the producer of the show that went a little like this:

Dear Kimberly,

I have recently discovered the link to your "Obsessed with Becoming Pregnant" theme for an upcoming Tyra show and I thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I'm going to have to say that I think the idea for this show is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do for couples suffering with infertility… the absolute worst. Pardon me if my letter is a passionate one, this topic hits so close to home that I cannot help but be blunt.

One in six couples in the United States are infertile for valid medical reasons. Who are you or Tyra or anybody to tell any couple they should not seek medical treatment? Have you ever tried having a child? I'm guessing the answer to that is one of two things either a) yes you tried and you succeeded or b)no, so you have no idea what it means to some women to be a mother.

Just like Tyra dreamed to be a successful model/spokeswoman all of her life, it's been her life's ambition, some women and men have dreams of holding their own child in their arms all of their lives. Who is the Tyra show to tell them not to chase that dream with full force? Would she have stopped trying to model if you failed after a year or two or you found it difficult or it took it's toll on your personal life? I'm guessing not.

There is enough ignorance surrounding infertility and fertility treatments that the Tyra show does not need to spread it further. It is nobody's business, no matter how close they are to a person, to poke their nose into a couples private reproductive choices. When did the decision to have a child become that of anybody BUT the couple involved? How far a couple chooses to go in their treatments and quest for a child is not done on a whim, trust me. There are hours/days/weeks/months of tears, waiting, arguing, disappointments, talking, crying, silence, counseling and a million other emotions that go into just the thought of fertility treatments.

Unless you are infertile you could never understand the heartbreak that comes along with infertility and by allowing somebody outside that couples pain to come on national television and tell them that "I think you've done enough" is asinine. It's insulting to every infertile couple out there (again 1 out of every 6 of us are). It's ludicrous and it absolutely should not be done for any reason. Leave shows like these for Jerry Springer. No fertile person could ever stand in front of me and have a good argument as to why my husband and I should stop treatments. It is not their business and to even think for one moment that it is disgusts me.

There is already such a negative connotation associated with infertility and so many people chose to suffer in silence rather than facing the ridicule of their family, friends and society for their own personal choices. Why would you want to add to that suffering by doing a show like this? It is just a horrible idea and I hope you put it to rest. I realize this letter is full of emotion but that's exactly what infertility is. I would love to talk to you about it sometime and help you to understand exactly why I feel so passionately about this subject.

Sincerely, Infertility Sufferer Sarah

I know some of my readers also suffer with infertility. I know my family and friends have stood by watching helplessly as Marco and I dealt with infertilty, not knowing what to say or do to make our pain any better. Just because I am pregnant now doesn't mean that infertilty didn't change me or that I've forgotten what it is like. Even if you're just a reader of my blog then you 'know' somebody who is infertile. So please, if you have a minute please click this link and send a short message to the show letting them know that this is not a good idea and should not be done. It will take you 30 seconds but it will mean more to me and other IF couples out there than you will ever understand.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just a real quick hi there and hello from me to let you know how it's going. I'm having a fabulous week so far. My eating has been going really well and I really have so much more of my energy back! I have noticed that I need more snacks in the morning and afternoon but I've been supplementing them with fruits each time. My office is great enough to supply snacks in the morning and afternoon and often times you can get bananas, pears, apples, oranges and mandarins. I've been mixing up my fruits and been able to feel pretty good about my daily intake. I hope the second trimester stays this way. If so I think I'll be able to stave off most of the unneeded poundage and have a really healthy pregnancy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Weigh-in again

Well I finally got on the ball this morning with my regularly scheduled Tuesday morning weigh-ins and I was pleasantly greeted by the numbers on the scale. I weighed in at 106.5 kilos or 234.3 lbs. That's down a full kilo (2.2 lbs) since I did the unofficial weigh-in on Sunday. I believe the weight was lost Sunday night in water weight. I was literally up at least 9 times (and I believe it could be even more) through the night to pee. It was unbelievable. I also notice the bloat and swelling I had is gone so I really believe that is what made the big difference in the weight.

That means that since November 15th and finding out I'm pregnant I have managed to only gain 1.2 kilos or 2.64 pounds. I'm happy with that after 12 weeks. I'm going to try to stay on track this week, eat extremely healthy and maybe, just maybe, get in some exercise!

I hope you're all having a wonderful healthy and successful week!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I realize I haven't been keeping up with my weigh-ins as I originally planned to do when finding out I am pregnant. I'm going to try to get better at that starting this Tuesday with my usual Tuesday morning weigh-in. To be honest though, how much I weigh has been the absolute last thing on my mind through this first trimester. Now that the evil-cervix-angering-bloody-polyp is gone I can hopefully relax a little bit more and focus on things other than how scared I am to lose the baby.

I did a sneak peak this morning and saw that I am a bit up from my last weigh-in, coming in at a 107.4 kilos (236.28 lbs) (my last weigh-in I believe I was 106.4) so another 2 pounds gained from my starting pregnancy weight of 105.3. So I've had a 2.1 kilos gain since November 15th which is 4.62 pounds. That's not bad considering it was also the holidays in between there and my energy level is a big fat zero.

I do want to keep my weight gain to a healthy minimum though. For people who start pregnancy obese (and yes although I was so so close to being just plain old overweight I never did make it to the upper crust of unthinness, to the elite and coveted "overweight" group) it is recommended that I gain no more than 15 pounds during the pregnancy. I think that's fair enough I guess. Again, I don't want to obsess over the numbers.

I am quickly moving into my second trimester though and that means I'll have more energy (hopefully). Most of my pregnancy symptoms have already vanished with the exception of maybe needing a nap every now and again in the afternoons so I am thinking the second trimester and I are going to get along just grand. Overall, more energy means more calories burned during the day. Yay for that.

I'm going to post the sonogram pics of Baby AA just as soon as I can get them scanned it! I'll see you all on Tuesday's weigh-in and I hope you have a healthy remainder of the week.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Polyp free!

I lost a little weight yesterday even if it is just metaphorically speaking. As you may or may not remember, I had a bleeding scare in my 8-9th week of my pregnancy and it was discovered that I had a polyp on my uterus. Well the polyp was removed yesterday and let me tell you, the weight and worry that was lifted off of my shoulders was tremendous.

I have always said that infertility had stolen so much from us already, taken what was supposed to be a special time in our lives as soon-to-be-parents and turned it into a science experiment on an emotional roller coaster. I wanted to refuse to let IF steal any further joy from us by being as panic-free about this pregnancy as I could. This bloody polyp made that vow very difficult to keep. But now the little bugger is gone. I'm no longer bleeding and for once I can breathe a sign of relief and just revel in the fact that I'm really going to be a mommy.

(THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS NOT FOR THE WEAK STOMACHED)The removal wasn't quite what I expected. I had done my research on polyps and everything I read said it would be a simple outpatient hysterscopy procedure with just a 2 to 3 day recover period. Well mine was more like a 2 minute procedure that included the doctor not numbing me and just twisting and twisting until the polyp popped off. It wasn't painful in the least but did leave me a little queasy. Not only that, they had a camera down 'in the mix' so I could watch them do the procedure. Have you ever seen the inside of your vagina (if you have one)? Yeah, neither had I. It was a little disturbing but kind of cool. They said that it doesn't look like it should be anything to worry about (meaning non-cancerous) but I'll get the lab results in 2 weeks.

After that they decided they would do a sonogram to put my mind at ease as I had been bleeding badly (from the polyp) over the past 4 days and was worried. I was worried when I was watching the techs face when she first started looking for the baby but then Marco gasped and when I looked at his face I knew it was good news. The baby had changed SO MUCH since my 9 week (I was 11w4d that day). It actually looked like a baby! It was moving around so much. It did sideways somersaults and was kicking and moving it's arms and legs like crazy!

We got a great profile shot of ANTM that shows a perfect little face and 4 little fingers and a thumb on the right hand. When she said "okay we'll take the second shot" it was like the baby heard and totally turned it's back on us, butt to the camera. LOL It finally turned around again and we have two really great shots looking down as if you were standing over the baby in the crib. I was so amazing and of course I just bawled. I was so relieved to see it was still thriving.

After seeing the baby this time we both kind of got the feeling that it may be a boy. Of course this is only a feeling but both Marco and I said it. I've always thought I would have a girl but there was just something that made me think boy when watching that screen. It's the first time that I've had any sort of "feeling"about the gender either way so I'm really curious to see.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goodbye 2007 (& good riddance) WELCOME 2008!

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see a new year begin as I was last night. Don't get me wrong, we had some really great things happen for us in 2007 but the year started out with less than a "bang". Okay so I lost 70+ pounds (but didn't quite meet my weight loss goal). We got to see my little brother finally tie the knot with his girlfriend of 7.5 years (yay, we love you Jill!) in April and had a fabulous vacation with my family and friends. We moved into our new house (but much later than we had hoped to). We finally learned that we will be parents (but after many disappointing, emotionally trying, gut wrenching appointments, procedures, failed tests, crying bouts and 2.5 years). 2007 decided to shape up a little towards the end but it was a case of "too little too late" for me.

I'm not sorry to see 2007 go. In a last ditch attempt to let the year redeem itself I decided to get my haircut to start the year off fresh. Apparently I mixed my appointment with the hairdresser with the appointment at the butchers because that's exactly what I got...butchered. Okay so I'm not bald but with a quick dye job I could be cast in the leading role in Little Orphan Annie. What part of "my hair curls when it's shorter so leave it longer than you think" is incomprehensible? How does hair that was supposed to sit right on my shoulders barely graze my chin? Why would she whack my front pieces so short that I can't even tuck them behind me ears when I clearly discussed how thrilled I was that they FINALLY grew out past my chin level? That appointment was like 2007 flipping me the bird just one last time. I guess "the sun'll come out... tomorrow!"

I could go through and list the line of crap we trudged through and survived in 2007 but the quicker I put that stuff behind me the better off I think I'll be. So now let's see what I am looking forward to in 2008.

First and foremost I am looking forward to meeting our little pumpkin in July. Baby Aarssen's arrival is much awaited, much anticipated and totally overdue! The child already has a bigger wardrobe than I do thanks to it's doting grandparents here and across the pond. Sometimes I still can't believe it that I'm going to finally get to be a mommy and it will totally be the highlight of 2008 for us.

Along with my first point of happiness in 2008 comes along my second. My mom is going to come visit us after the baby is born! My dad doesn't plan on coming but maybe with some convincing he will change his mind in the meantime I'll be happy that my mom will be here. It will be her first trip to Europe (actually her first trip out of the US). She will be the first one in my family to come see me since I've been in Europe. Only my friends Keith and Josh have managed to make it over here (twice actually, thanks guys) in the past 4 years and I'll just be thrilled to have her here.

We're planning on making a trip home to the US in December of next year. It will be the first Christmas I have spent at "home" in the last 4 years and I will be thrilled to share it with my family and friends. It will be Marco's first time experiencing an American Christmas and New Years, which differs from the Dutch versions greatly and I hope it'll be a good one.

We're looking forward to finishing the new house in 2008. We still have quite a bit we want to do to it such as hang things on the walls, get curtains (we just have blinds now), add furniture, decorate the nursery and just finish little bits and pieces.

I'm going to (hopefully) start volunteering for the 1st English radio station's morning show English Breakfast here as a guest dj once or twice a week in the mornings. This is still a big "if" but I really hope it works out. It's something I've always wanted to do and the opportunity just presented itself like it was meant to be.

And finally, I hope to maintain my weight loss as much as possible throughout this pregnancy and come August/September I hope to be back on the bandwagon of losing weight again. I still don't know if I'll meet my goal of losing 100 pounds by years end but I'm going to try like crazy. If I can get through this pregnancy without gaining too much, which should be doable, then I think it can be done, although it will take a ton of hard work and dedication as it doesn't give me too much time after pumpkin is born to drop the last 30+ pounds. We'll see though.

I wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy 2008!