Archive for July, 2009

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Growing belly (with a picture)

July 17, 2009

All through this pregnancy I’ve been waiting eagerly for my belly to grow. And now when it finally has started to happen, it feels weird. The fact that strangers can see that I’m pregnant.Ā  One of my sisters friends even congratulated me on facebook after seeing our photos from Spain there. And I thought it wasn’t showing! Yesterday I was shopping with my cousin who has lost a lot of weight after breastfeeding and is now maybe European size 34 (XS). I looked huge next to her, even though I’ve only gained 2 kilos during these 14 weeks. But I love my belly and can’t wait for it to get even bigger.

Here’s the picture (with no head because I looked like a complete moron). It doesn’t look so big here but it’s definetely showing.

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I also had my monthly visit to the maternity counseling yesterday, everything was in order (though my hemoglobine had dropped to 124) and I got to hear the heartbeat too šŸ™‚ Next month we’ll have the second ultrasound, after that there are no u/s appointments unless we’ll go to a private doctor. That sucks.

We visited DH’s friend couple on Wednesday, they are the ones whose pregnancy drove me to tears just before getting our bfp. Apparantely they don’t know about our struggles, although majority of our friends do, and when the preggo lady joked how we both couples have been active in the bedroom around the same time I felt a bit uneasy. I felt I should have told them that actually in our case it was the doctors who were active, but for some reason I couldn’t open my mouth. And afterwards felt like a cheater. Sometimes it feels like too much work to explain all about IVF and why we can’t have babies like normal people, especialyl when the audience isn’t someone close to me.

One of our cats was missing for almost 3 weeks. He disappeared from our balcony and although we searched the forest near us several times we couldn’t find him. We put posters in the neighborhood and this week two people called they had seen him, which gave us some hope. Other of them offered to borrow a trap to catch him, and we set it up last evening just 100 meters away from our balcony. This morning I went to check the trap and couldn’t believe my eyes, our cat was there :)! He had lost a lot of weight and had some mites but otherwise was ok. We took him to the vet for check up and he was given some antibiotics and medicine for worms and now he’s been sleeping almost the whole day. We are so happy he’s home again šŸ™‚

Something good came out of his disappearance though; we found a treasure of mushrooms just a few hundred meters away from home. We never thought that this suburbian small forest could be the home of hunderds of chanterelles, and apparantely nobody else thought so too. I’m going mushroom hunting this evening too, chanterelles are the best mushrooms in the world if you ask me and you have to pay like 20 euros a kilo if you buy them in a shop. Now they cost nothing šŸ™‚kanttare

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The infernal heat of Spain

July 10, 2009

Ok, I know I shouldn’t complain about too much sunshine after whining about our pathetic, cold Finnish summer. After all, I come from a country that some people think inhabits penguins and polar bears among us so some Mediterranean heat should be just what I need. WRONG. +40CĀ  (104F) is just too much, especially when it’s accompanied with continuous burning sun without any clouds nor rain.

When we arrived to the airport our landlord was there to pick us with her car. Despite the language barrier we got along well and she took us to the apartment. Only that it was NOT the apartment I had seen in the pictures on the website, but since it was in good condition and seemed to have all the things promised we didn’t complain. And of course we are Finnish and can’t complain about anything because we are taught that is rude, so we tend to suffer in silence. It also turned out that the “air conditioning” consisted of one electric fan. One fan. In the whole apartment.

Our Andalucian home

Our Andalucian home

The town, Jerez de la Frontera, was very beautiful, old and not too touristic, with about 190 000 inhabitants. That also meant that English wasn’t spoken in most of the places and even if the people understood it they answered in Spanish. But we got along thanks to the dictionary and sign language šŸ™‚ The Spanish people were like the total opposites of Finns; loud, social and spontaneous. And southern European traffic is a chapter to itself…

Fountain near our apartment (there were fountains everywhere)

Fountain near our apartment (there were fountains everywhere)

Sceneries of the town

Sceneries of the town

Since we had rented an apartment we did a lot of cooking by ourselves and only ate out a couple of times. The local cuisine consists mostly of fish and seafood since the town is located near the coastline, but we did some fish dishes also by ourselves. The food in the supermarkets was much cheaper than in Finland.

My huge pizza with shrimps (this one I had in Sevilla)

My huge pizza with shrimps (this one I had in Sevilla)

DH cooking

DH cooking

..And the final outcome, very yammy although the fries burned a little in the oven

..And the final outcome, very yammy although the fries burned a little in the oven

The weather didn’t cool off even during the nights. You could easily walk at night with the same summer clothes on you had during the day. I had to sleep with the fan turned to maximum and still was sweating like a pig. Also all the shops were closed during siesta at 2PM to 18PM because it was just too hot to be out at the afternoon hours, so we usually spent that time napping. You couldn’t really watch the telly because everything was in Spanish, even the American tv-shows. I can’t understand the European countries who dub all programs; people will never hear the real voices of the actors. But it’s kinda funny to watch Simpsons or Buffy the vampire slayer talking in Spanish šŸ™‚

We visited the local zoo, which was great. I saw a lot of animals I’ve never seen live before, Helsinki zoo sucks and we don’t have any exciting animals here. Like the hippos!

Despite their gentle looks these guys kill a lot of people in Africa every year

Despite their gentle looks these guys kill a lot of people in Africa every year

One evening we went to see a flamenco show at a restuarant and planned to have dinner before that. The food was awful and we had maybe the laziest waiter ever and there was a huge cockroach running around the tables but the show was awesome. There were only 3 American tourists with us as the audience but the dancers gave us a very intensive performance.

The performers on stage

The performers on stage

Flamenco dancer

Flamenco dancer

Alley in the evening

Alley in the evening

We also visited Cadiz which was a small town in the coast an hour’s train trip away. It is said to be one of Europe’s oldest towns. We went to the beach there, but it was again so hot we could only stay for an hour (in the shadow). The sand was so burning hot you couldn’t stand on it without shoes on. But we got to swim in the Atlantic šŸ™‚

A local cathedral and market place

A local cathedral and market place

Me in the local street

Me in the local street

The beach in Cadiz

The beach in Cadiz

We also visited Sevilla one day and it was filled with tourists. And it was also burning hot there so we only stayed a few hours before returning back with the blissful, airconditioned bus. The last days we spent mainly on shopping for things to bring to our relatives and ourselves. I bought a very pretty dress for only 10 euros and a few shirts from the sales I hope to wear even later during this pregnancy. Jeans would have been really cheap too but since I’m now starting to develop something you could maybe call a belly I thought it wasn’t a good idea to buy them. There would have been also a lot of baby clothes shops, but since the spaniards seem to prefer dressing their children in ruffles in either blue or pink we didn’t buy anything since we don’t know the sex and are not going to find out before birth.

Spain didn’t fall into my top 5 countries I’ve visited but it was mainly because of the heat. You couldn’t really enjoy yourself when you were constantly sweating. I think spring or autumn would be much nicer times to visit the country, but since the tickets we won had to be used in July we didn’t really have any other option.

When we arrived home (to the heavenly rain and coldness!) there were two letters waiting for me. Another had some really shitty news in it;Ā  I’m not entitled to any unemployement benefits during the time I have done any freelancer work. That sucks so much. I have no money at the moment and had very little work during the spring. I’ve already applied for some work places but who’s gonna hirea a preggo woman? Another had better news in it; it was about the blood test they did with the NT-scan and the results came back with a very minor risk for the trisomy.

Nausea has vanished almost entirely. My face looks still like a pizza but not as bad as a couple of weeks ago. My boobs have grown bigger, I think that’s the symptom DH is loving the most… I get terrible heart burn attacks that almost paralyze me and my belly swells after eating anything. And I’m still shit scared every other second that is the baby still alive or not. I’m 13w2days today.