Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here we are again at the end of yet another year. Every Christmas after this one will not be the same for us anymore... baby Alex will be present in our lives and from what other parents say, a baby can influence this wonderful celebration quite a bit. Experiencing Christmas through a kid's eyes can be refreshing and magical, it can make ourselves remember our own times when we were little and I am looking forward to that.

Michael and I are enjoying time with family in Knoxville and baby Alex seems to want to be part of it too because he moves constantly in my growing belly.  I'm starting my 32nd week on Christmas Day so in eight weeks or so, we will get to meet our precious baby.

We didn't mail out paper cards this year either so last night I sent  out an email to our friends wishing them a wonderful time during this holiday season. I will just copy the same wish here as I couldn't say it better than this:

"May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love. Christmas is the time of giving and sharing, it is the time of loving and forgiving. May you be inspired to make this world a better place.

We hope the New Year will bring you many opportunities that will help you turn your dreams into reality and all your efforts into great achievements."



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baby Shower


WOW... I am sitting down, resting with my feet up and still amazed of how wonderful this day has been for me! I had the most impressive baby shower ever!! I've been to a bunch, I have organized a few but the baby shower I witnessed today was absolutely THE best!!

A few of my closest girlfriends put together this incredible celebration for the baby Alex. Everything that was done was outstanding- decorations, ideas, food, cake and other delicious desserts, gifts... I am speechless of how out of this world everything was! I am truly blessed with the most amazing girlfriends and especially sister-in-law!  I am very much aware that half of this post is made out of superlatives but I can't help it... I just feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now!

BABY sign.jpg


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Years!!

October 22nd, 2005 was actually a rainy, windy, cold day but for Michael and I it was the best day of our lives! It was the day when we gave our most solemn promise of commitment and unconditional love to each other, before God, our immediate family and some of our closest friends. And then the honeymoon began... and it lasted for five blissful years! Even before I got married, a friend of mine told me something that stuck with me. She said 'real marriage starts when the baby comes, until then it's honeymoon...' And that's exactly how I feel our first five years of marriage have been!

Now that I am pregnant and expecting a little bundle of joy to be part of our family, well, now it's time for real marriage!

Happy Anniversary to us!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Henry and Charlie

I went from having a quiet, empty house for three weeks to a full house with kids, laughter and wonderful family this past weekend. My adorable nephews came to visit, here we are sitting on the front porch and enjoying a gorgeous fall day. Soon enough our own little baby boy will join these two and then us, four parents plus a set of grandparents will have to be on our toes and keep an eye on them:)



Here's Henry, cute as a button. His smile fills up the room and his curious eyes watch every move you make. His laughter is contagious and his laid back attitude would make any other parent jealous.


Big brother Charlie is the funniest little three year old I've ever seen. His blue eyes can make anyone melt and his pleasant voice will make you listen to his words even if you need a translation from mommy or daddy. His blonde hair will make you stroke his head and then you end up kissing his appealing cheeks.


I think our little-geek-to-come will be blessed to have such wonderful cousins!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Up in the Air

I am on my way back to DC after a great weekend in Denver, Colorado. It was a trip that combined a few purposes and the outcome couldn't have been better. First of all, Michael and I got to see each other after him spending two weeks out in California. He still has one more week left but we both recharged enough after seeing each other that this coming Saturday when he comes back, doesn't seem far away at all.

Our hosts in Denver were Raluca and Alin, and how refreshing it was to see them both since Raluca moved from DC there. We had a good time getting nails done, well just Raluca and I, chatting lots over Starbucks coffee or tea (went by Raluca and Alin's habit on this one and stopped by Fivebucks every morning), explored delicious breakfast local spots, did some sightseeing, met up with other friends we had in that area and enjoyed the extra oxygenated Colorado air... except with the slightly headache Michael got when we drove up to 8000 feet elevation!!

All in all it was a very special way to inaugurate my second half of the pregnancy!!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Made Up My Mind

Yesterday I had my 20th week appointment when they do the anatomic ultrasound (see the photo below). They measure everything from feet, arms, bones, head, spinal bone, to looking for all the vital organs: bladder, kidneys, heart and of course sex of the baby. We did get another confirmation that we are having a boy so now I am even more determined to decide on the name. I am grateful to God though that everything looked normal and the pregnancy is developing like it should.

After the ultrasound appointment, I went down a floor to see my ob/gyn. This appointment which was my third one so far with him beat the record- I don’t think I sat down in the chair in front of him for more than a minute and  a half. He took a look at the vitals, weight, he said it was all good. Asked me if I found out the sex of the baby, congratulated me on the baby boy than escorted me politely out the door.

It all happened so fast that all I could think of was an idea I heard on this another birth documentary I watched a few days ago, called "Pregnant America." The filmmaker was talking about the 'mcdonalization' of different areas of the American society and what that means is the application of the fast food principles, like time, efficiency and control to these other aspects of life. I definitely felt like a little pregnant 'burger' rolling down the band and being poured on whatever brief information I was due to know: "all looks good, weight and blood pressure, next time we do the glucose test, here's the drink, take it 45 min before your next appointment, see you in a month."

No, doc, you are not! I am not going back there because I have decided to switch my health care provider, I am going with midwives and a birth center.



Little Geek at 20 Weeks


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Home Alone and Half Way There

Little Geek and I are keeping each other company these days. He's been a bit more 'vocal' this  past week as I could feel the flutters he causes in my tummy when he tumbles around. Michael is away to California for a three week business trip but days have gone pretty fast this first week and then this following weekend we will meet up in Denver, Colorado for a few days. It will be nice to see our friends there, Raluca and Alin and also to explore that beautiful part of America for the first time. I've always wanted to visit so it looks like it will happen at the half way mark of my pregnancy. 

Today I started my 20th week  and I still don't feel pregnant. Yes, belly basically exploded in the last two weeks but I am still able to run, walk comfortably, keep up at work and have pretty much the same schedule and activities as before without too many variations. I know I won't be able to brag with this for too much longer, so I am enjoying while it lasts.

According to the email updates I got about this week, the baby is now the length of a banana. Speaking of fruits, 'the bump' says that baby is the size of a cantaloupe this week. Baby can swallow and digest now so he gulps amniotic fluid each day. More than that, the tasting buds are developing so he can actually taste what I eat through the amniotic fluid. That makes me think that our little geek will be crazy about fruits (especially grapes, apples, cantaloupe and plums), cottage cheese, strawberry jam, almond and peanut butter.

This coming week I have the big appointment at the doctor's when they do the anatomic ultrasound which is the most extensive ultrasound done. It will determine the baby's size, weight, measure growth ensuring the baby develops well, according to the plan. I will also get a confirmation of the sex of the baby, but I am pretty sure that first ultrasound was correct... there is a little baby boy in there and we are still struggling to find the right name for him. Any suggestions? Ideas?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Flutters


This past weekend was eventful in my pregnancy journey- we found out our little geek is a BOY as Michael revealed in the previous blog entry and I felt the baby for the first time during Saturday night! From what I read, during the 18th week of pregnancy, the little geek is now extremely mobile, at least compared to me lol (actually I am still pretty quick and active, no complains yet although I do feel I am slowing down a little…). So the baby is busy inside there yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, sucking and swallowing. Those first ‘flutters’ were very interesting to feel- I was sleeping so I was semi-conscious when I woke up with these weird butterfly feelings in my stomach. I realized what it was and I think I went back to sleep smiling.

Baby's now the size of a sweet potato according to ‘The Bump’ weekly update I get or the size of a red pepper as ‘’ claims. Either way that’s kind of small in my opinion to really justify the extra 10 pounds I put on already. I don’t think I overdo it with food, I hope it’s just our junior growing and developing in there. Both of us are pretty tall, so I assume this baby will inherit some of our genes.

Now that we know it’s a boy, I am curious to see what a mix of Feli-Michael will look like:)



Saturday, September 18, 2010

It’s a Boy!


Of course, now that we know what it is, we need to figure out a name.  We had a girl’s name picked out, but no ideas on what we would call a little boy.  Any ideas?

Boy or Girl

So Feli and I are at the doctors right now to see if we can find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. Anyone want to wager?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NCC Moms Group

Last night I attended the first meeting of NCC Moms small group for this fall semester. I was the only expecting mom with her first, there were two more pregnant ladies but each one had a three year old at home. It was a group of about 15 extremely funny and full of life moms that made me feel very welcome and at ease. I got a very good vibe off them and I will continue to be part of the group for the remaining of the semester and hopefully for longer. From the feeling I’ve got, they all started while being pregnant and now, 4-5 years later they are still good friends, still helping each other be better moms, still pursuing God and inspiring each other into raising God-fearing children. I just felt I was in the right place. I am looking forward to getting to know them, learn more of what’s ahead of me in the very near future and equipping myself better for the new role of motherhood.

The group meets every other Wednesday evening at Ebenezers from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. When I headed to the meeting last night, I was thinking “two hours is a long time, I will probably get bored and leave early…” It was 9.50 pm when the group finally dissolved (those mommies were really glad to see each other in this small group context) and I started heading home.

We are studying Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. My copy is on its way but from the discussion last night of the introduction and first chapter, it sounds like a great book that would help us all become the mothers God calls us to be.

I wrote the above paragraphs earlier today, but reading them now again right before posting this entry, it still blows my mind that these words are about myself. It's still hard to believe that I am entering this new category, new role and new responsibility! I sure need as much help as I can get to prepare myself for that!



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Heart Beat

Michael accompanied me to my 16-weeks appointment this morning and we got to hear our 'little geek's' heart beat for half a minute... or maybe even less. That means we just got another typical in and out visit with the OB/GYN doctor. I was already used to the flavor of the 'drive through' the doctor's office had but Michael was pretty turned off by how fast the whole encounter took place. Until he pointed out as we were leaving the office, I didn't even realize how fast my doctor was speaking. He had to get it all out under the allocated time for us, I guess.

On Saturday morning I had a lovely meeting with a midwife I recently found out was attending our church and she was very helpful about answering some questions I started to have about being pregnant and especially giving birth. I've never thought before of not doing what maybe 90% of the women do- go to a regular OB/GYN doctor, have those quick monthly check ups and then deliver at whatever hospital the doctor was using, getting the epidural and hopefully skipping the C-section procedure.

After reading and informing myself better though, I am more and more inclined to find a birth center and allow these wonderful women who feel called to deliver babies to guide and take care of me during this special time. I realized I could have a personalized, educational experience where nothing is rushed, natural birth process is supported and where I have a caring, competent 'with woman'... my translation 'with ME' (the term midwife is derived from Middle English: mid = "with" and Old English: wif = "woman").

We have a couple of options around DC so Michael and I will check out these places and come to a decision. Until then, everything looks normal and on October 6th we will find out if we have a boy or girl.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Things I’m Looking Forward to ….

So, I haven’t posted an entry yet on the blog about our little geek to be, and that’s because I’m still coming to grips with the idea of being a father.  It’s funny how in one day I can go from joking with people that their kids are my favorite kind (not mine) to suddenly finding out that in 6 months you’re going to be a dad.  Needless to say that for a guy who was seriously contemplating never having having kids, this change can be quite a shock.

But that being said, there are a number of little things that I’m looking forward to doing and showing my child:

  • Sitting on the front porch on a cool spring or fall evening and just watching life go by (unless he or she is like me and it’ll be more watching him or her bouncing off the walls)
  • The joys of technology (and with it the frustrations)
  • Metro
  • Cities all over the US and the world
  • The importance of learning how to think through a problem to determine an answer

I’m sure there are more things, but these are the ones that just popped into my head.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Sonogram Picture


Here's one of the first images we got of our 'little geek'  taken at 11 weeks . Yesterday I started my 15th week and from what I read the baby is the size of a naval orange by now! Also, the legs are now longer than the arms and all four limbs have functional joints. They say the fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, but I haven't felt anything yet.

Another interesting fact about the baby is that at this point even if the eyelids are still completely shut, he/she can sense light. If I shine a flashlight at my tummy, the little geek would be more likely to move away from the beam. We might just have to try that and see if I can feel any movement than.

My next doctor's appointment is in a week. We will get to hear the heart beat.  All is going well so far, my belly is finally starting to show a little bump. That means I have to start unbuttoning my regular pants...  Oh boy, fun times to come!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Finding Out


Middle of June, I left for Romania where I spent  ten days with my family. We all had a great time with each other, but I particularly enjoyed my nieces and nephews. I would just sit and look at them playing, laughing, crying, wining (oh, were they good at that...) and just being goofy and happy.

We were all looking forward to the road trip to Greece and our one week at the beach there. The trip went very well and we made it in one piece to the beautiful Halkidiki area. Michael flew from the States and met us there and the thirteen of us had a fantastic week. The time we spent together had the exact effect I was hoping for:  it solidified our relationships, helped us reveal ourselves to each other, brought back some fun childhood memories, overall it made us feel like a whole, a family happy to be together. There were moments of frustration and tension too, but those were necessary too so we could see whom we've become and how we've changed over the years. All in all it was a memorable trip all of us will treasure for a long time!

We returned to the States on July first, not realizing the next thirty days will be a tough time for me. It helped some that we came back to a longer weekend thanks to the Fourth of July weekend so we had a few days to recover and get over the jet lag. Somehow this trip it hit me harder than other times and that weekend I had no energy whatsoever. I felt like a legume whose only purpose was to rest, sleep, stay inside and be away from people.

Somehow I managed to start work that Tuesday, July 5th, but just like every time I came back from a longer trip abroad, I had a hard time adjusting to my job, to the well known and pretty boring routine. Michael was involved in this demanding project in Alabama so he was down there three weeks out of four that month. When he was away, all I did was get up, go to work, come back home, eat and go to sleep. I was lethargic and depressed, but I tried to keep up exercising because I knew that would do me good. A few mornings a week I would get up and go for an early Bikram class and that seemed to help a little, some days I would go to gym during lunch times and if the weather wasn't too hot, I would walk home from work some evenings.

Somehow I dragged myself through the entire month but towards the end of it, during Michael's last trip to AL, a crazy thought crossed my mind: "What if I were pregnant?" I have to share this other bit of information that made me think of that possibility: at the beginning of July, I got on a pill called Metmorfin recommended by a specialist doctor I saw before I went on vacation. The pill was supposed to help me get my period back which stopped in August 2009 when I discontinued taking the pill. I knew i it would take me some time until my body came back to a natural balance but that just wouldn't happen on its own. I figured I should give it a try and go with what the doctor recommended.

On Thursday morning, July 29th I peed on a stick and I couldn't believe my eyes: there was a plus sign staring back at me!! WHAT?? When? How? Well, I knew the how part but it didn't make sense I could be pregnant as I was still without my menstrual cycle. Michael came back from his trip that evening and I shared the interesting news. We were both taken by surprise and didn't know what to believe. We were somehow warming up to the baby idea but we weren't quite there yet. I called my gynecologist  but the first available appointment was in a week! While waiting anxiously for that day to arrive, I took the test four times just to see if that plus sign would come back... it did, every single time!

On August 5th, on a rainy Thursday afternoon my gynecologist told me: "Congratulations, you are pregnant!" WOW... there I had it, the so wanted confirmation! He asked me how far along did I think I was and the only thing that made sense to me was that this pill Metformin helped me ovulate. My logic was this: I started taking the pill at the beginning of July, so I must have been two three weeks, not more than that. He arranged for a sonogram  so while waiting for it, the whole month of July flashed before my eyes: my moods, lack of energy, craving carbs many evenings (would actually stop by a restaurant's market cafe on the way home and buy some bread rolls I would munch while walking home). I guess I was pregnant and I had no idea. WOW again...

The very pleasant nurse who did the sonogram started to show me on the screen this little creature that was inside of me!! I was staring and staring and not believing my eyes... I've seen so many times those pictures posted by friends on Facebook profiles, that it felt surreal that I would have now an image like that of my own! While staring at the screen, I heard her saying something that first it didn't register.... "yes, it looks like you are 11 weeks pregnant." I started doing some quick math in my mind but it wouldn't make sense... How in the world can I be pregnant for almost three months and have no clue?? I know I can be a bit naive at times, but not this naive. The nurse also said everything looked good and the heart beat was perfect. WOW again...

I went back into the doctor's office and using his special calendar, he told me I conceived around May 29th and my due date was February 19th. I had to scribble down the dates right away as I was still in shock and everything happening in that last half an hour seemed to be a dream rather than reality. By the time I left the cabinet, I had my first appointment with my new ob-gyn doctor scheduled for the upcoming Monday afternoon.

I stepped outside and by now the rain stopped and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. Staring at the sonogram pictures, I dialed Michael's number "hope you are sitting down babe..."