Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What a cute little nose!

Week 12 Scan

Yippee! We seem to have resolved our issues over health insurance and finding an obstetrician we are comfortable with. We managed to upgrade our Sanitas Multi to Sanitas Mundi with the minimum of effort. We visited the Marbella office and sat down with a sweet (handsome) young guy who spoke quite good English (better than we spoke Spanish) and who managed to get the whole thing done in around half an hour. We walked out of the office in complete amazement as we had received such great service - this never happens in Spain. Well not in the south anyway.

So now we can choose whichever doctor and hospital we like anywhere in the world and be reimbursed for 80% of the cost. Supposedly this happens within 10 days so we shall see!

I made our appointment for the important 12 week scan, blood tests and nuchal fold test with Dr Berral and we went along this morning. We were the first appointment of the day and they were so lovely (Dr Berral, his wife and a nurse). They spent so much time with us, explaining everything in detail and offering an amazing service all in all.

Our baby is 12 wks 4 days now which means the due date is around 23rd June! So Tiger will be born on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer, just like Auntie Lindy! Looking at the scans today, the doctor is not 100% certain but thinks we are probably having a boy!!! Wow! Tiger was kicking and punching and even waved. The little mouth opened a couple of times too. We think he is already showing signs of wilfulness like his father. The doctor agreed. It took half an hour of poking and shoving to get him into the correct position to take the nuchal fold measurement. The measurement was very small which is great news however we still have to wait for blood test results on Friday.

All Tiger's bits are in the right place and Dr says he is perfectly normal. I now have a small tummy though I don't have a camera at the moment to show you a photograph! Hopefully after christmas I will be able to give you visual updates on my burgeoning waistline. I have put on over 3kg. I must say I'm enjoying eating whatever I feel like. If this happens to be a carton of Lindt assorted chocolates well so be it! Seriously though I will definitely start yoga again as soon as I am clear of the danger period.

Friday, December 01, 2006

My life is so boring at the moment. I'm trying to use my time at home productively but I find I'm moving at half pace. I have managed to turn our storage room into a studio/library which I am very pleased with. It's a cosy place to lose several hours a day on the internet. I don't have a digital camera at the moment so can't add any photos but I have asked Father Christmas for one as T says he is getting me socks.

I did manage to call up about some drawing and painting classes and went for my first one yesterday. I was quite nervous but it was an enjoyable outing, just long enough to fit inbetween nausea waves. It was a one on one session with a lovely English gent painter in his studio at the top of his townhouse in Ojen, a picturesque white washed village, 10 mins up the mountain from Marbella. I told him I was looking for someone to help me out with technical hints as I had never had any formal training. I found him easy to be around, interesting and he really helped. I've decided to visit him twice a week, 2 hours each time. So hopefully we will see some progress! At least it gets me out ...

Here is my first attempt at still life...

I'm reading a lot which is good. At least my mind is staying active. Oscar Wilde at the moment, The Picture of Dorian Gray. His words delight and amaze me. What an incredible mind! T admitted that he used to fancy himself a bit of a Dorian Gray when he was younger. He couldn't understand why I laughed hysterically when he told me. It's great having a husband who makes you laugh!

Talk about riveting television... last night, Eastenders followed by The State Within. Fantastic, edge of your seat viewing. Plus we went out for an early sushi dinner at Fashion Sushi on the Golden Mile. Fantastic as usual and I was able to have grilled salmon maki rolls. MMMMmmm. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Today we had our new dishwasher plumbed in so hopefully less time spent in the kitchen for me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday 28 November, 2006

Today we had an appointment at Hospiten, a Sanitas Private Hospital in Estepona. The appointment was for 1.30pm and we got there a couple of minutes before. We waited until 2.45pm to see the doctor. T was extremely pissed off by then so it was not a good start to the appointment. When we walked in and saw the doctor I think we were both a bit shocked. He was unshaven and so thin he looked ill. He started firing questions at me in Spanish which I didn't think were relevant and T and I both sat there a bit bemused. I was taken to be weighed and had my blood pressure taken then pants off and up on the stirrups. An interepreter had arrived by then but she seemed very grumpy. He started asking me about pap smears and I couldn't remember when I last had one so said it must have been before the IVF started. Soon our Tiger was up on the screen and you could see the little arms and legs and that heart still beating away strongly. So that was it, pants back on, sat back with him he told me via the interepreter that I need to book the Nuchal Fold test for Dec 15 and had to come and do the full blood tests sometime before then. So we went and waited another half hour at reception to sign forms and book the next appointment. I could see T was not happy at all. Then they said they couldn't fit me in on the day the doctor asked for but could see me on the 19th so I booked that but I don't think we will be coming back for that unless we can't find another solution.

So the main thing is that Tiger is perfect so far but overall it was a depressing day instead of being joyful. Instead of clarifying the situation with regard to my antenatal care and the birth, it has only served to muddy things. We will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with another plan because one thing is for sure, I don't want that doctor delivering our baby if I can help it! I know that sounds terrible and the reason he probably looks so bad is because he delivers so many babies (there were several checking out as we were waiting), but neither of us felt comfortable in the place. It certainly was not private healthcare as we know it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006 Cont.

pay outright. We were both so impressed with the session and felt completely informed. Our next scan is due in 4 weeks and we have between now and then to decide whether to try another doctor affiliated with our private health insurance and also whether to have the amniocentesis to test for Down Syndrome or just have the nucal fold test plus blood tests. Lots to think about! Here is our lovely embryo hereonafter to be known as Tiger! Tiger is nearly 2cm already and the placenta is in the process of forming. Amazing!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We had our first scan yesterday. There was good news and bad news. The bad news was that we had lost one of the embryos. The brilliant news was that we have one very healthy, rapidly growing embryo. The joy of seeing the heartbeat is something that everyone tells you about but it doesn't prepare you for seeing your own. It is an extremely emotional experience. It was beating so rapidly that I was thinking my god, our child is going to be hyperactive, but the doctor explained that this is very normal and an excellent sign of good health. Fantastic! After years of wanting this so badly and hearing about everyone else's experiences, this time it was our turn and it was magical. T, my husband, went off to work relaying all the technical statistics to anyone and everyone proudly and came home tired and emotional (pissed!) after being on a natural high all day! The gestational age of our embryo is now 8 weeks and 4 days with the expected delivery date being 24th June 2007! It seems absolutely surreal, but at the same time very real for me as I am constantly nauseaus and tired. I am so lucky not to have to be working through this as that would be hell. I am sleeping throughout the day when im not eating to relieve the nausea and then seem wide awake throughout the night with a million thoughts passing through my head. It must be nature's way of preparing me for the nightly feeding onslaught that will be upon me in 7 months!

I experienced a slight sense of loss yesterday after preparing myself for twins but T, my husband, admitted that he is actually relieved. The doctor explained that the embryo probably never even implanted properly and would have been absorbed quickly into my body. This made me feel a little better. Things will certainly be a lot easier with one, from the birth to the caring and easier on our relationship too without a doubt!

We went to see Dr Berral who I found on the internet. He trained in UK and appeared to have the very latest equipment, not to mention he and his wife, who runs the clinic, speak perfect English which I felt was important for our first scan. They are not affiliated with any private health insurers so we had

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just the Beginning....

The most amazing thing has happened! The thing we have been trying for, for nearly 3 years and the thing that seems to happen to everyone around us, except us! We are pregnant!

The home pregnancy test is still sitting on our dressing table and we both keep looking at it to see if it has changed or to check that we got it right. It seems so surreal. This time we were very confident as we had been to London to do the IVF programme at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and it had gone extremely well. I had 2 healthy embryos implanted so we were definitely in with an excellent chance this time. I could tell I was pregnant because my boobs had grown already and they were really tender but hubby refused to think about it until he had seen the test. I know it is still very early days and I have to take it very carefully for a few weeks but I'm so confident everything will be ok. I'm practically living the life of a nun; light yoga, meditation, gentle walks, 10 hours sleep a night, no coffee, no junk food and not a drop of wine has touched my lips. It's actually quite boring when I'm out with friends. You know what it's like when everyone around you is drinking and you're stone cold sober. You just wonder why you are there! Still, I don't care. I'M PREGNANT!!!

When we first moved to Spain a couple of years ago we tried the IVF programme in Malaga. Unfortunately it didn't work for us. I didn't respond to the hormones and was told that I was not a good candidate for IVF. Well this time round I was an excellent candidate. I responded extremely well to the hormones and was able to produce 13 eggs from my follicles. So my advice is never give up!

I would like to say that the ACU (Assisted Conception Unit) team at Chelsea were fantastic. They were so informative, efficient and friendly that we felt in great hands.