30 January 2012

Colder than a witch's...

...boob* outside! Yes, it is THAT cold here! I know that I live in the north and that it IS winter, but I did warn back in December that I was going to be sick of this wintry-weather sometime in January or February. And look at that, the 2nd to last day of January and I'm complaining about it! Hah!

This morning when I woke up, it was -15C (5F) outside! And I'm expected to go out in that to get to work?! Argh! I've been freezing my behind off for the last several weeks and it's been only -11C or warmer. (I think this might be a pregnancy symptom, my being cold that is and not the below freezing temperatures, after talking to a friend about it.) As it is, I've been wearing pants/jeans and my outer winter pants on the bottom and at least 2-3 layers of shirts plus my winter jacket on top. I've also got ear muffs, a hat and 2 scarves on my head. And I've still been cold. Ok, the worst of it is when it is windy plus cold, as the cold isn't so bad, but the wind IS. And later this week it is supposed to go down to -30C (-22F). I'm shivering already just thinking about it.
Ma=Monday, Ti=tuesday, etc
This coldness also brought out (what I consider) my first pregnancy hormonal breakdown. And Mr Siili didn't make it any easier, drat that man! We didn't leave the house on Saturday for food shopping and so in my opinion we really needed to go on Sunday. I am sure we could have scrounged up something ok to eat between the freezer and pantry, but I wasn't in the mood for that. Actually, I wasn't in the mood for cooking at all and Mr Siili didn't want to go to the store with me and it was cold outside! He also wasn't being too helpful in creating the shopping list. We continued to chat about me going or not going to the store, I tried to cajole him into coming (still a solid "no" on his part) and he eventually even looked up the bus schedule so I only had to walk to the bus stop 3 minutes away (and then I'd have to stand in the cold waiting for the bus!). But I did want to get a tiny walk in this weekend, especially after we sat around all day Friday evening and Saturday. This whole situation was pretty stupid, but I just couldn't help it and started crying sobbing. Mr Siili at least came to give me a hug and try to calm me, but by that point, I wasn't in the mood for it. LOL. I finished getting ready and sulked my way to the store. I did call him while at the store to reiterate that I didn't want to cook, to which he said he would do the cooking (I did dishes) and made a big deal about cooking for me. (I normally cook for us most days.)
I did tell him later on how I felt during this episode and that his response to it didn't help or make me feel good. Let's hope he's a but more understanding for next time. I think I need to somehow get him reading some of the "waiting for baby" books/pamphlets, so he can maybe understand more.

*I don't like the 3 letter word for a mammary gland, so boob it is!

27 January 2012

Cleaning the cat litter box and other things you're not supposed to do while pregnant

Yes, I know! I shouldn't be cleaning the cat litter box. But I have read up on it a bit and I've gotten some good info I rely from Pam Johnson-Bennett, feline bahviourist (amazing lady and wonderful with cats, I've had first hand experience with her, via the internet, but still directly from her). The following link gives tips on how to prepare you cat for when the baby arrives and also talk about toxoplasmosis during pregnancy.

So, while I was explaining my excuses (below) about why I still clean the cats' littler box to an online group of friends, I realized this might be a good blog post. So, here it is and here are my excuses why I am still cleaning the cats' litter box:

1. I have always cleaned the litter box, except when I am out of town (can't very well do it when you're not in the same house as the cats, right?). It was part of Mr Siili's and my agreement before we even got the cats.

2. When I clean it, it gets done on a regular basis: 2x a day, (once in the morning and once at night...), which I'm not sure DH would be good about doing. Plus, we have 2 cats and 1 box, it HAS to be done twice a day.

3. I know DH wouldn't do it as good as I do (based on past experiences when I have been out of town) and the entire box would have to be cleaned more often, which leads to wasting litter & money.

4. I use gloves when I clean the littler box, then I wash the gloves after I clean the box and then my my hands after I remove the gloves. (Side note, I should probably add a mask for my mouth and nose while cleaning the box just to be even safer. I have 2 very cute ones and they are super-duper easy to make.)

5. When I can no longer squat down, it will have to be Mr Siili's job. Plus, I hope by that time we will be in our new place, so we can have at least 2 boxes, so the urgency to scoop 2 times a day will be a bit less. (Not that we should be lazy and only scoop once a day.)

6. Our cats are indoor only and don't get raw meat (except for the rare times Mr Siili gives Rusty an itty-bitty pinch of hamburger, which I have told him is now 100% off limits), so likeliness of Toxoplasmosis isn't as high as if they were outdoor cats. From above mentioned preparing your cat article:

And that's all my excuses on why I am still cleaning the litter box, for now. What do you do (or have you done) during pregnancy that you really shouldn't be doing? Please don't let me be the only blogger that doesn't always play by the rules.

Some cats do carry toxoplasmosis but the ones most at risk are those who are allowed outdoors and as a result, hunt and ingest birds and rodents. Cats on raw food diets are also more at risk.
You are at more of a risk of getting toxoplasmosis from handling raw meat, not properly washing your hands, or from using the same cutting board for vegetables that you use for raw meat.
7. Women (and a close friend) have been doing this (pregnancy & caring for cats) 'for-eva' and still had healthy kids. I have to believe the same.

8. It just makes life easier for now.

p.s. OMG! Blogger is having issues and I've had to go in and re-organize and fix the text a couple of times already.

25 January 2012

10 weeks 0 days

I just realized last night and today that when I'm saying "X weeks", for example, today is 10 weeks and 0 days, it is really week 11 of my pregnancy. I suspected there was some 'different' counting going on, but it only just fully dawned on me now. ugh! In any case, I'm going to continue posting things the same, for now. Maybe at some point, when I understand it better or someone explains it to me so that I fully understand, I can change how I am counting things. But for now, it is 10 weeks and I'm writing about everything that happened during the last week.

Total Weight Loss/Gain: +1kg (starting 66kg)

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but more of my pants are definitely getting tighter!

Stretch marks: None yet

Sleep: I love sleep! And I do need a decent amount, but I'm not nearly as exhausted as I was previously.

Movement: I read that Paxlet should be moving now, but I won't be feeling it for a while. I can't wait to start feeling s/he move.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing so far. I'm still eating what I like and I do like sushi.

Gender: Still don't know.

Symptoms: Like last week, any previous symptoms that I had seem to have gone away. I have been a bit bloated-feeling lately. That's not so nice, but manageable. I did have a weird vision and dizziness thing happen Tuesday morning on the way to work. It was quite freaky and scared me a bit, but it hasn't happened since and from reading one of my books, it sounds quite normal.
I'm a bit emotional, but nothing overly dramatic, mostly just teary-eyed stuff. While watching American Idol, I started getting teary eyed and it wasn't even a sappy part either. WTF?

What I miss: Nothing.

What I look forward to: Two more weeks until 12 weeks and our first big ultrasound! (After that is when I'll announce it to all work people.) I'm still looking forward to having a pregnancy bump and feeling Paxlet move.

Moods: In general, I think my moods are mostly the same, at least on the outside. On the inside I'm definitely a bit nervous and apprehensive. I really really want this pregnancy to work out.
I wasn't feeling to hot Monday evening and most of Tuesday and it just made me nervous and well, not feeling well. It didn't help that Mr Siili was in a bad mood and barking at me and the cats. I think I'll need to tell him how it really did effect me, as I don't think he's quite understanding of how real this pregnancy is. I think it'll take until he sees me getting bigger or feels Paxlet move for him to really understand it. (And maybe when the stress of the loan and insurance stuff lessens a bit he can try to enjoy it a bit with me.)

Milestones: Paxlet is the size of a prune starting today! Go Paxlet!

Medical concerns: No serious ones. I think I need to be more careful about how much I walk. The hour to an hour and a half walks just make me hurt and not in a good way.
I have been wondering if I still have a yeast infection, but I'm not really leaking or itching, so I wonder if it is just maybe normal stuff. If it gets any worse or changes, I'll definitely talk to someone before our 12 week appointment.

Sex?: Once so far since all progesterone and yeast meds have been done with! It was probably one of the worst sexual experiences I've ever had with Mr Siili. I think I was just nervous and not totally in the mood. So, it hurt a little bit. :( Fingers crossed that next time is better!

Misc: I find myself getting nervous when I think about telling someone that I'm pregnant, even close friends.
I know everyone is going to be happy for us, but it still makes my heart race a bit beforehand.

9 weeks
8 weeks
7 weeks

24 January 2012

Happy Lunar New Year!

I've been eagerly awaiting this Lunar New Year and now it is here!! The year of the Water Dragon has begun.

As I just commented on a blog, I'm a bit wishy-washy when it comes to (western and Chinese) astrology. There are parts of it that I agree with and find spot on...and I want to believe, but sometimes, meh, it just doesn't work.

But because I am excited for my year, the year of the Dragon, baby!, this post is going to be about the believing part of me. Being a dragon myself, plus the potential of having a dragon baby of my own...too cool! I was born in 1976 under the auspicious year of the Fire Dragon. I am also a Leo in western astrology. (If I remember correctly, I am a triple or quadruple Leo threat.) Two of the strongest and "kings" of their world animals in both of their realms. That's a lot to live up to. *snicker*

I found a website that gives quite a bit of info about each of the signs and I like what they have to say. It is a wedding planning website, but I still like the info provided. I'd love to copy tons of the info to my blog, but I'll try to stick to the "most important".

Mr Siili is a Tiger. This is what they say about a Dragon-Tiger match:
A gutsy combination full of gusto to fuel passions

Poor Mr Siili has to deal with this aspects of a Dragon in love (and it's quite true):
It takes someone with thick skin who is easygoing to be a Dragon's partner, because, despite their sentimental characters, they can be moody, and insensitive. Many people will want to run when the Dragon's temper is provoked. Negatively, Dragons are egotistical and love to be the center of attention. Modesty is not one of his assets. Add to that the Dragon temper and you have a bossy, dominating and authoritative being. They hate solicited advice and can be hopelessly tactless and insensitive to their lovers.

Paxlet will be a Water Dragon. They say that Dragon-Dragon parent child relationships are quite compatible (4 stars out of 4). Like Mother like Daughter, is the saying.
Where as a Dog-Dragon relationship (my mom and I) only have one star for compatibility. (Man oh man, was that true! HA) They say Dogs and Dragons are mortal enemies. I believe my mom's western sign and mine weren't that compatible either. Thankfully we worked on working things out in the last years.

I don't really have much info to give or much to contribute by this post, except that I love Dragons (and frogs) and have for years! So, anything dragon is just great by me. And I really wanted to wish a Happy New Lunar Year, which I've now done. I can go to bed now.

21 January 2012

January ICLW

Welcome to January's International Comment Leaving Week.

I've been playing FB games sitting here for quite some time trying to figure out what to say for this month's ICLW intro post. And I still have no idea. As usual, I am amazed that 2/3 of the month has gone by already. Where did it go?

A bit about me for those who are new here: I'm 35 and a half years old, Mr Siili (my husband) is 37 and a half years young (or maybe it's the other way around). We've got two furball cats, that are sweet, lovable and cuddle-bugs. I'm pregnant with our first kid and that is due in late August. It took us 3,5 years to get here and I'm beyond thrilled about it, now that I'm finally believing that I'm actually pregnant! We will be signing the loan papers for our new house on Monday (for real this time) and we move in in about 5 months. We're both employed, finally! (I've been a the same company/job almost 4 years and he's been at his job since the beginning of the year after getting his PhD almost a year ago.)
We're just your normal average couple trying to live our lives.

Let me know you stopped by. A quick 'hello' will do. Or if you want to say a little something more, tell me what your weather's been like lately.

Here in Finland, we've finally gotten winter weather: cold and snow, plus some winter storms with wind. It took a long time to get here, but it's beautiful! Especially when I can choose to stay inside and watch it from the window or prepare myself beforehand to head out into it for a nice walk.

And just because, here's a few photos I've taken during the last week or so. Excuse the quality, they were taken with my camera phone.

The bus coming to take me away to work.
Walking across the railway bridge to work after I got off the bus.
Attached to the railway bridge divider-wall. I walked past this for 2 weeks before taking a picture and the following day, it was gone. Hahah 
Walking home from the stores: by the little pond/lake. It's 8pm.
Still walking home, but this is next to some buildings with light. I love these trees!

19 January 2012

When, Not If

Since my therapist appointment yesterday, I've been thinking quite a bit about using "when" and not "if" when talking about my/our future now that I am pregnant. But this sure is difficult!

I can remember before we ever started TTC, I would quite often talk to my friends about "when I'm a mom" or "when I have kids", etc. And then we did start TTC and I was even more excited about "when" I'd finally be a mom and "when" I'd get to do stuff with my kids. Even after TTC for a year and a half, plus surgery, I will still quite optimistic about "when". I'm quite sure that even during the first couple of cycles with IUIs, I was still talking about "when".

What I don't remember is when my "whens" turned to "ifs". How did I start thinking and talking about "if I get pregnant" or "if I ever become a mom"? How did it happen that when talking with my friends, I no longer got as excited to tell them "when I have a kid, we're going to..."?

Even now, when I am 9 weeks pregnant and the therapist asked me to describe "how my life will be in a year, when all things go correct", how come it was so hard to tell her my plans "when"? I was so unsure in my telling our future and how I see things when all things go correct, that I had to do it two times. The second telling I had to take my time and choose my words carefully. I had to think about using "when" and not "if" or "hopefully" or "maybe". It really was difficult! But when I did manage to tell how I see our future "when", it sure felt great! It was like this little gate popped open inside of me. (I am sure I got a goofy grin on my face.) I was able to peak through the gate and start to see that there really could be a great future "when" everything goes well. And that is what has been happening since. I've been slowly thinking more and more of "when" and not "if".

So, here's my story I told the therapist about "when" things go great and where I see us in a year:
When I give birth to my baby this summer, my family (dad, siblings and maybe even stepmom) will come visit us. We'll have been in our new home for a while, so they'll have a place to stay with us and not need a hotel. Mr Siili will still be working at his job and he'll like what he is doing (even if he doesn't love it, he'll be happy enough). I year from now, I will still be at home with our little one. The three of us will be a happy family even if we don't always get enough sleep. (Ok,so I just added this last sentence. *grin*)

18 January 2012

9 weeks!

Total Weight Loss/Gain: starting weight 65,5kg and I'm around 66kg. (I think it is just my scales aren't very accurate.)

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but some of my more fitting pants are getting a bit tight and uncomfy around the stomach area. Yesterday I had to unbutton the pants to be comfortable.

Stretch marks: Nothing new yet.

Sleep: Still need lots of sleep and as long as Rusty (cat) doesn't wake me, I sleep well.

Movement: None from Paxlet, but I've been trying to walk several times a week until I am not so tired and can get back in the gym again.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing special.

Gender: My stepmom thinks I'm going to have a Leo-Virgo boy. This is based on the due date and the fact that the 2 serious relationships in my life (ex-BF and Mr Siili) are born around this time. I've been feeling like it is a girl lately. No idea why.

Symptoms: The symptoms that I've had seem to have mostly gone away, except for tiredness. The slighly nausea I've had is mostly gone, only showing up when I don't eat often enough or too much at once.

What I miss: Nothing so far.

What I look forward to: I can't wait to have an actual bump! I'm also looking forward to my 12 week doctor's appointment where we'll see and hear Paxlet. I also look forward to telling my close friends, if we can ever meet up.

Moods: Mostly normal, but an extra bit weepy.

Milestones: I had my first neuvola appointment on Monday. Paxlet is the size of a green olive!!

Medical concerns: None.

Sex?: Not yet, because I have/had a yeast infection. Wait until the weekend though.. WooHoo!

Misc: I've noticed that I'm unconsiously rubbing stomach more often, especially at home or when falling asleep.

Today was my third and final therapist appointment. I didn't do the homework assignment she assigned me of writing down my thoughts (4 x 20 minutes) on not becoming a mom, because well, I found out that Friday after our last appointment that I'm pregnant. The therapist was fine with that. Since things had changed so much since I had last seen here 5,5 weeks ago, she wasn't quite sure what to discuss with me. But, she did ask me to tell her how I imagine my life in a year, when all things go well. I told her that if the pregnancy works, I would hope that my dad & siblings (and maybe even stepmom) would come visit, Mr Siili and I would be living in our new home and I'd maybe be at home with a kid and we'd hopefully be happy. She told me to re-tell the story, but this time, tell it "when" things happen and how things will be in a year and not "if" things happen.
Do you realize how hard it is to tell a happy ending story without any IFs in it?

8 weeks
7 weeks

17 January 2012

First neuvola appointment

Yesterday was my first neuvola appointment. It was a nice, information and long (1,5 hours) meeting with the lady who will be my nurse to go to during all things pregnancy (though, not my nurse at the hospital).

I actually found something in English that explains quite nicely what neuvola is and does. First and foremost, neuvola is broken down into two sections: maternity and pre-school aged children. Below is the explanation for the maternity clinics.
Maternity clinics provide family support, with attention to relationships and parenting. Special emphasis is placed on the role of fathers and parental responsibility. Expectant mothers normally meet with a nurse and doctor 11-15 times during pregnancy. Attending a maternity clinic is one of the preconditions for eligibility for maternity benefit.

In addition, parents take part in family and childbirth preparation sessions. Visits monitor the progress of the pregnancy and arrange for mothers to receive follow-up treatment in the event of problems. Mothers are offered screening for foetal chromosome and growth defects during pregnancy.
I learned yesterday that these neuvola visits are free! It is only the doctor visits that will cost (normal public doctor's fee, I'm assuming). The doctor's visits are where/when the ultrasounds will happen. As long as everything goes well during my pregnancy, I'll only see the doctor 3 times (from my understanding). So that means the rest of the times will be with the nurse only.
Anyway, back to me and my neuvola visit. *grin* As I said the entire appointment was 1,5 hours long and we spoke only Finnish, although the nurse was willing to speak English if I needed it. (It sure is nice to know I can survive in Finnish even with pregnancy stuff!) First we just chatted a bit so she got to know me and where I'm coming from, how long we tried to get pregnant, how Mr Siili and I met, our families, etc. Then we went through the forms Mr Siili and I filled out ahead of time about alcohol and drug use, food/eating habits and our personal health-history. After that she basically just gave me tons of information.

Clockwise from top left:
Expectant mother guide (exercise), Food for two: mom and baby, A baby for us, We're getting a baby and (spiral bound) is a book half for dad (isälle) and half for mom (äidille).
These books and pamphlets have tons of information. I've started reading the spiral bound one as it has what to expect week by week. There is also information about exercising and what might help relieve some pains and aches. I was told the pamphlet about food is a good one to make sure I keep around for when the baby is born and I'm breastfeeding and/or feeding the baby. So much to read and in Finnish. (Mr Siili will be happy about me reading in Finnish.)

We also made an appointment for my first doctor's visit at 12 weeks!
OMG! It seems so crazy to think that far ahead...ok, it's only 3 weeks away, but at the moment that seems like a huge milestone and one that won't be here soon enough. Don't get me wrong though, I am enjoying this time and not trying to rush it, but 12 weeks just seems like such a magic number (and also when I'm going to tell work).
I'll have blood drawn a week before the doctor's appointment, which will check for down syndrom and possibly other stuff. A week after the doctor's visit, where we'll hopefully hear the heartbeat for the first time, I'll have my next neuvola appointment.

Every neuvola visit will check my hemglobin (140-something), urine (no white blood cells or sugar), weight (66 kg) and blood pressure (no idea the numbers, but it was good). So, I'm not to go pee before any of these visits, because I need to leave a urine sample. I didn't know that this time, but thankfully we talked for so long that I managed to leave a sample anyway before leaving. Haha!
The only thing that has left me with a bit of "nervousness" after the meeting that wasn't there before was her talking about possible bleeding. I know it can happen, heck, I did have any itty bit in the beginning, but her talking about it and explaining the different types, just gave me a bit of panic. I don't want to bleed, at least not the scary amount where it looks and feels like AF or even worse. That's too scary to think about, so I'm going to try to go back to my happily aware-unaware ways and try not to think about it too much. Other than that, the appointment was nice, I like the lady and can't wait to learn more about my Paxlet!

15 January 2012

A walk, pulla and more!

Today has been a good day! In fact the entire weekend has been nice. I love feeling happy, well and well, just overall good.

Yesterday Mr Siili and I walked to the local shopping center. Mr Siili needed his hair cut (I love how he looks with freshly cut hair), I needed some yeast infection medicine (out with progesterone and in with yeast), we told our sister in law (Mr Siili's brother's wife) that I'm pregnant and we bought a bit of food. I ended up taking a 2,5 hour nap in the afternoon. It was a good, lazy day.

Today, I went for a 1 hour and 45 minute walk with a good friend. It was at least -10C outside, sunny and only the tiniest bit of a breeze. Our destination was a little cafe in the woods where forest walkers and skiers alike stop by there for a warming cup of coffee/juice/hot chocolate. It felt so good to be outside and get some fresh air. Although, I'm wondering now if I might have strained my stomach muscles (round ligament pain early?) a bit. My tummy, just below my belly button and spreading out to the sides, is a bit sore when I gently rub it.

After the walk I was so starved that I was feeling a bit sick. I am so thankful we had left overs in the fridge so all I had to do was heat them up. After eating, I still felt a bit off for a while afterward, but that has passed.

During the walk, I told my friend that I've just been too lazy to do much of anything, but that I've been wanting to make Pulla (Finnish sweat bread) for some time. I told her I was going to make it when I got home, because I didn't do it yesterday. She laughed at me and said I would probably just lay on the couch and fall asleep. Which, could have happened, but I don't really like our couch and I didn't let myself get too comfy when I got home. And I made pulla and korvapuusti (cinnamon buns)!!! This batch of pulla and korvapuusti has got to be the bestest I've ever made. They are so fluffy, moist and just all around freakin' delicious! Especially when they are right out of the oven. I've eaten way too many, but I couldn't help myself. I'll probably regret eating so many in a bit. hahahaha

Any who, here's the recipe for Finnish Pulla


  • 2.11 cups milk (luke warm)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cardamom (or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (.38 ounce) package active dry yeast (11g)
  • 5 1/2 - 6 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/2 - 7/8 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten (egg wash)
  • pearl sugar


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan or microwave until 107F (42C). (generously hand warmth temperature) Mix the egg, sugar, cardamom and salt into the milk.
  2. Mix some of the flour with the yeast and whisk it into the milk mixture. 
  3. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour and towards the end of the flour, add in the room temperature butter. Kneed the dough until it is even smooth and elastic; the dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance.
  4. Cover the bowl with a lid or towel and and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 40 min - 1 hour. 
  5. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and kneed out the air bubbles. Depending on what you want to make, determines how you proceed next. 
    • If you just want pulla (sweet buns), take small/medium (3 inches) pieces of dough and roll them into a ball, then place on a baking paper covered baking sheet.
    • If you want korvapuusti (cinnamon buns), divide the dough in half and put one half back in the bowl for a bit. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 1 foot by 2 feet. Spread some room temperature butter (about 1/2 cup total for all the dough) over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll the dough into a log with the seam on the bottom. Cut the dough at alternating angles so the thinnest part is about 2cm and the thickest part is about 5cm. The put the wide part on the pan and press two fingers in the center of the top part all the way to the pan (it springs back).
  6. Let rise for 20 minutes. (or not) (The 2nd & 3rd pans will rise while the first is baking.)
  7. Brush each bun/korvapuusti with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  8. Bake at 437 degrees F (225 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally because the bottom burns easily. 
Just Heather's Notes: If possible, don't use all of the flour it calls for. I try to use the lower amount first and if needed, I add a bit more. The dough shouldn't stick to your hands when it is ready.
You can also
make half and half of the pulla and korvapuusti, like I did tonight. You can also make braided loafs, but I'm usually to lazy for that.

I hope you enjoy some fresh pulla, I know I do!

What to say? What not to say?

I've seen this blog post on many blogs and now I finally and fully understand it. It's the dilemma many newly pregnant bloggers have of how much and what (if anything) should I blog about my pregnancy? I've read the posts and the comments and I know the answers. But that still doesn't make it any easier in my mind.

I spent three and a half years trying to get pregnant. I spent even a few years before that wanting to start trying and waiting for just the right time. I was waiting for Mr Siili to be more ready (although I'm not sure if that ever really happened) and also for me to be stable in my job (that did happen and I told Mr Siili when that was in place, we were going to start TTC). During this time, I saw all my friends, many co-workers, and even a couple of cousins get pregnant and have their kids. Some of them even twice! I started blogging more seriously and found an amazing online community of (mostly) women who understood what I was going through. Some of them have been able to press forward and get out of these trenches and make it home from the struggle, some thought they had gotten out but were pulled back in unexpectedly. Then there are some, who are still struggling, waiting and hoping. I know what that is like! I've been there and I won't ever forget. And that is what makes this so difficult.

In my heart, I know I write this blog for myself. I want to and need to write what happens during my journey, all of it. But in my head, I know there are other people reading this. (I'm totally tickled I have followers!) Women who are still struggling with trying to get pregnant and I know that by writing about my pregnancy, I might be hurting them. I don't want to do that, but at the same time, as I said, I need to write what is in my heart and head.

This also leads me to commenting on other women's blogs. I want to comment and give support and encourage like I always have, but I worry about how they'll feel if a pregnant woman comments on their post commiserating and saying they understand what they are going through. (I rarely comment that I am pregnant, unless it is specifically called for.) Especially when I'm no longer in their situation. I know that doesn't stop me from remembering and having been there myself, but it still doesn't change the fact that I'm not there anymore. I'm in a different situation now.

I also wonder, if you and someone else are mutually following each others blogs, but the other person stops following your blog (right around the time you announce you are pregnant), should you stop following their blog too? Or at the least, should I not comment on her blog, as my situation apparently hurts her. :(

I have no idea how much this all makes sense. I've tried to put it out here in a logical order, but it just feels as if I am rambling on (like I usually do, Hah!) in no apparent order.

12 January 2012

Thursday thoughts

It's snowing! Again! I'm totally loving it (still). The two pictures I took with my camera phone don't do the actual view justice. The picture on the right looks bleak and dreary, plus you can't see the snow falling. The picture on the right looks a bit more cheery and you can just barely see the snow falling.

Today is Thursday the 12th (not that it means anything) and tomorrow is Friday the 13th!! I love Friday the 13th's. They always seem to be awesome days for me. It is Saturday the 14th that just sucks. LOL

Tomorrow also looks to be an insanely busy day at work. Four out of 9 people in our team will be off for one reason or another. Some of the girls are freaking and already stressing. I'm not. I'll do what I can do and that's that. Plus, it'll only be one day that is this crazy.

I took my very last progesterone suppository this morning. WooHOOO!!!!!

We didn't actually sign the loan papers yesterday, but rather just got them in order for the loan-lady to take them one more time to her boss and get everything finalized and approved one last time. We'll do the actual signing in a week and a half.

I really need to go shopping today to look for socks for the sock exchange I am doing at Searching for our silver lining.

I must have gotten an ok amount sleep last night because it is 6pm and I'm still feeling like I can function. It is also time to leave work and tentatively head to the store to look for socks and go food shopping.

I hope your Thursday is a thoughtful one.

11 January 2012

8 weeks

I've seen these things on other blogs and I want to be a copy cat.*big grin*

Total Weight Loss/Gain: none, I seem to be hovering around 65-66kg (143-145lb), which is less than what I was during the whole of last year before getting pregnant and during the IVF cycle preceding this pregnancy. I think it was the aversion to sweets most of December.

Maternity Clothes: No need yet, but I noticed that my outdoor winter pants are much more comfortable if I don't snap/velcro the top piece.

Stretch marks:
Only the ones I've had since puberty on breasts and thighs.

I could definitely use more sleep than I've been getting the last few nights. I'm almost always tired!

Not detectable yet.

Not really. At times, some foods just don't sound good, but give me an hour and they might be yummy sounding again. I'm like that anyway. Although, this evening I ate 1 normal size Reese's PB cup and a mini Fast Break and now I keep re-tasting it. Blech.

Yes, it will be a boy or girl. But in the meantime, we're calling it Paxlet. One evening a week or so ago, I told Mr Siili we had to have a name to call this 'thing'. He spouted off something about it coming out wielding a little pink axe and therefore we should call it Paxlet. He doesn't remember this story now, but I do because I thought he was just wacky, like usual.

Symptoms: Some off and on slight nausea, tiredness and sore boobs. Although, my boobs are not nearly as sore as they were the first few weeks and even compared to last week. I think I might be able to sleep without a soft bra again.

What I miss:

What I look forward to:
Everything! I can't wait to actually have a baby bump, needing to wear maternity clothes, even worse nausea if it comes and whatever else belongs with pregnancy. And next week's neuvola (prenatal clinic) appointment.

I think I'm being quite normal for the most part, maybe a bit teary-eyed more often.

Seeing Paxlet at 7wks, 5days and measuring 13mm. Paxlet is the size of a raspberry!! (I've wanted one of those fruit-marker (at the bottom of my page) tickers for years!) Tomorrow morning is the last progesterone suppository!

Medical concerns:
None at the moment.

Not in the last couple of weeks. The progesterone suppositories made the after effects of sex a bit raw and painful. But I know Mr Siili is looking forward to no more progesterone. I sure hope I'm more in the mood too.

This pregnancy is definitely becoming more real to me. Once I finally realized the pregnancy symptoms I AM having are actually symptoms, it just sort of clicked and became more real. It is still strange and I get a bit anxious when telling people that I'm pregnant (especially family the last couple of days, even though I knew we'd get nothing but positive responses). It's quite strange.

It was music to my ears hearing Mr Siili tell the loan-lady today that I am pregnant! I think it's the first he's said it that way. *melty puddle* I know, it's semi-contradictory to what I just posted before, but it was so cute and heart warming.

I keep thinking about the IVF treatments we went through and how this was pretty much going to be our last chance, unless I could talk Mr Siili into going to a private (more expensive) clinic at some point. I'm so insanely thankful this happened. I know we're no where near being out of the woods yet, but I'm very hopeful.
I also keep thinking about everyone who is still in the trenches and struggling to get their BFP. (But I think I'll save this for a post of its own.)

Signing our live's away today

Later today Mr Siili and I head to the bank to sign for our loan for our new place. I'm terrified, excited and sort of sick to my stomach (that's most likely just 'morning sickness').

10 January 2012

I finally did it! I told family!

I told our families that I am pregnant. *phew* I am glad that is done and over with. While it was exciting, it was also nerve wracking. Now, let's see how fast the word spreads. Hahahaha

I told my dad and (younger, older) brother last night. I know my dad's just thrilled! He asked me about it at xmas and I told him "we're working on it". I told him that I've thought about the 'what if' I get cravings for things that are only in the USA, he said just let him know and they'll ship it over. Heh. He also said this sounded like a good time for them to have to come visit. That would be just awesome. We'll even have an extra room for people to stay in then. My brother was sweet in his response and he's already scheming about how to come visit or at least gifts to buy. (I'm letting my dad tell my step-mom and (younger, younger) brother.)

And then I told Mr Siili's mom this evening. She started crying immediately. She's beyond happy for us. I've told her a little bit of what we've gone through. Plus, she was a mid-wife before she retired, so she'll have a lot of information to offer if I need it. She asked if she could tell my FIL, I said but of course! And MIL is already talking about hitting the stores and knitting some stuff. I have no idea who will tell Mr Siili's 2 sisters or brother & wife. Most likely we'll at least tell the wife, because we see here semi-often at her work.

And then I called my sister (because I couldn't get a hold of her last night) and told her. She was shocked and then immediately excited! She's going to be a real auntie! Not just an auntie to her friends' kids, but a real auntie. *heart melts* While I was talking to my sister, my step-grandma stopped by and so I told her too. She gave a dignified squeal (if that's what a grandma does) and exclaimed she's going to be a grandma! I heard my sister in the background 'correct' her that she will be a great grandma and then I heard it repeated closer. Then my step-grandma said she's never been a great grandma before. Hehe. I think I made her last few years.

The only person I can't tell is my mom. Although, as my sister said, she's here watching us, so she knows. I haven't been thinking too much about my mom lately. At least not more than surface and fleeting thoughts, because I know that once I really do start thinking about her and the fact that I am pregnant now and she's not here to tell, I'm going to start crying and be totally sad. I think just writing this has started it. Gosh, I miss my mom so badly!

We'll slowly start telling other people now, but I figure we'll wait until closer to or after 12 weeks to tell everyone.

09 January 2012

7 weeks, 5 days and ALL is well

Where to start?! When I haven't been insanely busy at work, I've been trying to figure out what to write about our appointment today. The short of it, is it was good, very good. And the long of it... well, here it is:

As I predicted yesterday, I didn't sleep too well. I was just wound up in the evening and it took me forever to fall asleep, even though I was reading (Life from Scratch by Melissa Ford), which normally helps me fall asleep. Once I was asleep, I just kept waking up every hour or two. I dislike those sort of nights very much.

Mr Siili and I made it to the clinic at 10 o'clock on the dot! (And he was worried we'd be late.) Thanks to a parking spot right in front of the building, which I was hoping would be waiting for me. We made it up the elevator, signed in and sat down for 10 seconds or less when my name was called!

In the room, the doctor confirmed when my harvest and transfer took place (Nov 30th & Dec 2nd, respectively), if I got a positive on the designated day (yes, 3 of them) and if I had any bleeding (yes, a little bit one evening about a week after getting a BFP). She then told me to undress and hop up on the table.

Once up on the table, out came the wand! Oh, My, Gosh, I was nervous and excited! I've looked at enough pictures to pretty much know what I was looking for. The doctor found the placenta and little 'thing' inside of it almost immediately! When she found it, she motioned for Mr Siili to come over and join her. I know I looked at Mr Siili and grinned and he grinned back, but I was very focused on the screen to pay too much attention to him completely. She checked around to see if the little 'thing' company, but there is only the one. She said the placenta looks healthy, the yolk sac was diminishing, and the heart beat looked healthy. I saw the heart beating (but didn't hear it)!!
The little 'thing' measured at 13mm and 7 weeks, 5 days. Exactly where it should be! We even got our first picture. Aawww.

edited: Before the doctor could say too much, I asked about stopping progesterone! LOL. Yes, it is that important. The doctor sort of laughed at my eagerness. I only do two suppositories today and tomorrow and then one on Wednesday and Thursday. My last progesterone is THURSDAY!!! Mr Siili is going to be happy again! *wicked grin*

I hopped off the table, got dressed and asked a few questions (Mr Siili should be cleaning the litter box...but I'll most likely continue to do it with rubber gloves on and maybe even my face mask). I was then given my Äitiyskortti* (maternity card) which means I've graduated to going to Neuvola* (prenatal clinic), where the normal-pregnant women go! I am done with the IF clinic, unless we decide to use our last frozen embryo. I will give my local prenatal clinic a call in the morning (Tuesday) to make an appointment with them to get the low down on what to expect when expecting in Finland.

This whole doctor's appointment took only about 20 minutes. It took much longer to type this up than the whole thing took in real time. LOL

Afterward, Mr Siili and I went to an early lunch to celebrate. I had a BBQ burger and fries and he had meatballs with mashed potatoes. Then it was back to work for a very loooong and tiring day.

Needless to say, I am quite happy and feeling more like this is actually happening now. I'm off to call my dad, sister and brother and tell them the good news!

*These are very Finnish things that I'll explain more in detail in later posts.

08 January 2012

pregnancy symptoms, reconsidered

So, after my post on Friday about not feeling like I have much in the way of pregnancy symptoms, I've reconsidered (some, ok more than some). I received several comments form you wonderful ladies and I talked to a friend on Friday during a beautiful walk outside. I've also mentally gone over how I normally feel (not pregnant) vs how I've been feeling since I found out I am pregnant.
In short, the...
"very sore and somewhat enlarged breasts, tiredness (it is dark and wintery), some twingy-twitchiness in my stomach sometimes, not being able to cross my arms across my stomach as it makes me feel yucky, some short-in-duration not-really-nausea feelings but they are sometimes helped if I eat, while other times I can't stand the thought of food and no period!"
...symptoms that I have been having are MY pregnancy symptoms. I may not feel nauseous all the time, nor am I puking (for which I am so very thankful) and I can still eat most anything, without any strange cravings yet, etc. The sensitive nose is something I have always had (which hasn't gone away). What I am feeling are pregnancy symptoms, they are just my 'version' of them.

Normally, I definitely don't get this much/little nausea, nor do I normally feel a bit sick after eating something sweet (which, by the way didn't stop me from just making and eating a 5 minute mug cake w/PB and ice cream, yum and blech, lol!!). I also am not normally this tired. I don't think my moodiness has changed much, which, in my opinion is good. (No idea what Mr Siili thinks.)

So, I am going to try and relax, just a bit more, and maybe even look forward to the doctor's appointment tomorrow. Yes, it is finally tomorrow!!! I just hope I can actually sleep a restful sleep tonight. (I've been having nightmares and weird dreams the last few nights.) Also! Mr Siili thinks he might be able to go with me.

07 January 2012

Holding hands

Mr Siili and I walked to the store today, in the snow. There was snow on the ground and still more coming down. It was beautiful! Then on the way home, Mr Siili and I held hands. And Mr Siili was his usual silly self. * big grin*

06 January 2012

7 weeks 0 days, I think

From my calculations, I'm 7 weeks pregnant as of today. I sure as heck don't feel pregnant! I know my pee tests came up positive 3 weeks ago, but I'm still having a hard time believing it's true. I think it will take until Monday when I go in for my first appointment for me to really start believing. But until that time, I'm starting to dread that appointment (and maybe even be a little bit excited) more and more. I'm just sure that when I go in for my appointment they are going to tell me my body is just playing tricks on me and there is actually nothing there.

Part of the reason that I'm having a hard time realizing I'm pregnant is that I don't think I have that much of pregnancy symptoms. They only symptoms I think I have are very sore and somewhat enlarged breasts, tiredness (it is dark and wintery), some twingy-twitchiness in my stomach sometimes, not being able to cross my arms across my stomach as it makes me feel yucky, some short-in-duration not-really-nausea feelings but they are sometimes helped if I eat, while other times I can't stand the thought of food and no period! So, when should I start feeling pregnant? and when "should" a woman start getting morning sickness? Yes, I know it doesn't have to be in the morning, which my not-really-nausea bouts come at all times of the day... But if these things that I'm feeling are going to be my version of morning sickness, I think I'm the luckiest pregnant girl alive!

Just a few more days until Monday and then we'll find out what's really going on inside of me. For the first time ever in my life, I sure hope this weekend goes by quickly.

05 January 2012

Nuttin' much to say

Today is my Friday. Tomorrow is Loppiainen (Epiphany) and being that this is a mostly Lutheran country, we get the day off! Or at least when I had to work it last year, I got holiday pay. Hah! I'm truly thankful this was only a 4 day work week for us. I've just been so tired. I've even managed to get to bed earlier than normal (in bed around 9:30 or 10 and asleep by 11-ish), which shows just how tired I am. It sure has helped with surviving the day at work. And tonight, I'll go to bed whenever, because I can sleep in!!!

Mr Siili survived his first week of work. I don't think he's too impressed yet, but I hope once he gets his computer and what-not set up and actually starts doing real work that things will be better. The apartment hasn't been getting too much dirtier now that he is at work all day, but it isn't getting any cleaner either because I'm too tired to do anything when we are home. There's always the weekend.

Mr Siili met me at the food store, we bought food and then walked home. He started some dishes, I started dinner and  we both finished making dinner together. The spaghetti and sauce with broccoli on the side was yummy!! I know we're both feeling much better now. I'm thinking I should get myself some ice cream too. Maybe with some peanut butter mixed in or some frozen strawberries.. Decisions, decisions.

I've been enjoying the comments that have been left for my last post about progesterone. The comments have been insightful and fun. Who would have thunk (yes, I porpoisely wrote that) that there are so many different instructions on how progesterone is taken? I guess I should have known already, as every other aspect of TTC, IF and ART are different depending on your country, clinic and even on down to the doctor.

I think I'll sign off here and go read some Creme de la Creme 2011 posts for a while. I'm #18 on the list. If you haven't submitted yours yet, you have until tomorrow (Jan 6th). So get cracking!

02 January 2012

Progesterone post

Yup, today is going to be about progesterone. All the nitty-gritty, leaky and fun funky tidbits that are on my mind and what I have to offer. Hah!

But first, I want to quickly interrupt this post to say Mr Siili survived his first day of work! Poor guy, he went to bed so late last night that he's just exhausted today. After I got home and we ate dinner, we tried watching the 2nd half of a TV show that I was falling asleep during on NYE, but he fell asleep this time. *grin* He's taking a bit of a nap now, but I hope he doesn't sleep too much so he can actually get to bed at a decent hour. Mr Siili just isn't a morning person.

Now back to my 'scheduled' post about progesterone.
Ever since the first time I had to use progesterone during a cycle, I've hated. Especially the first few rounds when I was using some synthetic stuff that if you're allergic to nuts, you shouldn't use. Well, I'm not really allergic allergic to nuts, but a few of them make my throat slightly itch, sometimes. That was enough to make my lady bits react to the synthetic stuff. I'd get quite sore, swollen and feel dried out, especially after stopping the stuff. That's on top of all the leaking! I finally mentioned it to the doctor and she switched me to the more natural stuff. (This new stuff also cost me much less too! Grr.)

The natural progesterone I've been using these last couple of cycles has been better, in the sense of no bad reaction, but it's still just as annoying to leak all the time. BUT, now when a cycle has actually worked and I know the progesterone is doing a job, I find myself not minding the progesterone as much. Sure, I still grumble a bit about the leaking, especially when it leaks onto my undies. Urgh. But, it's something that I can tolerate (most of the time), even if I do majorly look forward to the day I can stop the suppositories!

I finally found panty liners/pads that I can live with during the day. They are still not something that I'd choose to use voluntarily, but they do their job, stay in place and aren't too bulky. The night ones are still bulky and annoying. Plus, I think it'd just work better if I wore an adult diaper instead. LOL
. o O (Hey honey, check me out! *Wiggles a bulky behind in Mr Siili's general direction* ROFL)

I mentioned the other day that I've finally figured out how to prevent most of the soreness to my lady bits. I believe what was making me raw and scrached-feeling-like inside my lady bits was a dry finger dragging along my vaginal wall. Ouch! So, these days I quickly run my finger under (warm) water just before inserting the progesterone. No more pain for me! Oh, and for the times when I still get a bit sore or irritated, a quick rinse of my lady bits works many times and when that doesn't work a bit of hydrocortisone rubbed on the lady bits works wonders too!

Another not so fun thing about the progesterone is that it has to be kept refrigerated. How does one do that while at work? I definitely don't have my own personal fridge next to my desk... So, I just keep a cute little Tupperware container (no name on it) with my suppositories in it. Hopefully people are leaving them be. At least I'm not noticing the numbers dwindling faster than I'm using them.

What brought this post about today was the fact that I forgot my pads at home. So, I asked a friend/co-worker if she had any to spare. Thankfully she did! But, she also said she was sorry for the reason I needed them. I told her it wasn't for AF, but for progesterone and that was all that was said on that topic.

So, I'm hoping and keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed that I only have one more week of progesterone to deal with. I have my first doctor's appointment next week's Monday! Time sure is going by so slowly and yet quickly.

01 January 2012

It's a normal Sunday...

So Mr Siili and I stayed awake, a bit too late, watching some TV shows to bring in the new year. We ended up stopping the last show halfway through because I was just dozing off uncontrollably. LOL

Today, has been a normal Sunday. I woke up around 9am, laid in bed for an hour or so reading. Mr Siili finally woke up, we got dressed and went for a nice walk. It was only -4,5C and not windy with a light snow fall covering the ground. Just a beautiful scene outside. After our walk, we've just been sitting at our respective computers, doing whatever we feel like. Mr Siili = playing Eve Online, Me = anxiously awaiting the Stirrup Queens posting of the Creme de la Creme of 2011 and playing around with blogs in general. I also took some time off the computer to finish reading One Child by Torey Hayden.

Now, at some point we should fry up the chicken to make some more tacos for dinner and then just pass the rest of the evening as we've passed the day; lazily.

Truth be told, I'm actually a bit bored.