Thursday, August 27, 2009

A new cycle begins!

I very much doubt that I have ever been so happy about starting my period! :) But today I am! It's the start of a new cycle and I am excited.

With no ovulation in my last cycle, I am eager to begin the new one. One of the disadvantages in not ovulating was that I didn't know when I would begin my period. And as my cycles are irregular, I was in a pattern of simply waiting to be able to start again. Now it is here! And sooner than I expected. An almost normal cycle.

I am so looking forward to seeing what this month brings. I am hopeful and have one of those good feelings about things going well. Yet, I am also not worried if our dreams aren't realised this month. Acceptance as well as hopefulness are all part of the game!

As I write this, a smile has emerged. Excitement, hopefulness, a good feeling of success. Such good emotions. I'm smiling!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things to avoid before and during pregnancy

There have been a few minor changes in our household in regards to chores since we began on this road to pregnancy.

A couple of months ago, my parents came around and we began our usual together job of gardening. Halfway through poisoning the weeds, I suddenly realised - "hey, I shouldn't be doing this anymore! What if I'm pregnant?" As we are not telling anyone, including my folks at this stage, that we are trying, I finished the job and kept my fingers crossed. As it turned out, I wasn't pregnant.

It's hard with some things to change the routine. The gardening for example, is a difficult one for D to find time for around his schedule. We are not green thumbs by any means and the garden isn't our priority. But things like the weeding and mowing need to be done. The weeds are far too prolific in our garden at this stage, to find the time to always do them by hand. Yet, I can't handle the poisons anymore.

Fortunately I switched to Enjo products rather than using cleaning chemicals a long time ago, so there aren't strong cleaning supplies used in our home anyway. And I have read about particular types of paints that you can use that don't have the fumes. I can look at that in more detail when it comes to paint the baby room.

Another one I discovered is cleaning the kitty litter. There is a risk of disease with cat faeces and all pregnant or pre-pregnant woman are advised not to clean up after their cats. Some sources go as far as to say to give the cats to a friend or family during this time. THATS not going to happen!!! :):) Don't these people know that my cats are my babies too!!!! Geeeeez! :)

Anyway, D has taken over that job. It was strange at first. They are my cats and it has been part of my daily routine for the last 5 years, to clean their tray either before bed or first thing in the morning depending on when its needed. D has taken over the task quite happily though. He is such a good man!

I still find it weird to walk in there, see that it needs to be done and not just do it. However, D is more than happy for me to let him know that it needs doing. So, at least I can still act in some way towards getting the job done by telling him! Weird I know!!

My furry babies

I'm still completely alcohol free. I think its been a month now! It's not very often that I miss it anymore so that is good. Often it is more the idea of it now than anything else. A drink with dinner or over a movie. When it comes to socializing though, D has introduced me to de-alcoholised wine and thats has solved the problem of not wanting to tell anyone that we are trying as well as my desire to enjoy a casual drink with my friends!

Fortunately, I don't drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, or take drugs. So those ones are easy!

And I have already talked about reducing stress in my life. A constant working goal that one! And in changing the diet, I have reduced my sugar intake as well. This is an important one for me also.

There you go. The list of things I'm avoiding!

Next time I will do a post of the things that I am DOING now - with exercise and healthy eating being the most obvious!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Clutter clearing to reduce stress

One of my continuing goals is to reduce stress in my life and create a calm and happy environment within me with which to create, grow and raise our child. To that end, I've set about clutter clearing.

Goal 1 - the kitchen cupboards.

I haven't taken photos of these but they are so much better now. The pots and pans cupboard, the baking utensils cupboard (there is one now instead of things being scattered over several cupboards!)... There are three cupboards now in much better shape.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to shut the door properly on the pots and pans cupboard! Wonderful! It is also much easier to access things and to KEEP it tidy! Woohoo!! Some more sanity!

Goal 2 - the linen press.

This is the biggie! Last time I did this was before D moved in. And of course, he came with all his linen and while there was some sorting and throwing out etc at the time, it had gotten chaotic.

Because I've been sick, it has taken me three days to do this. A little bit here, exhaustion, a little bit there, exhaustion! You get the idea. But I have persisted as I could and it is now done.

Here are the before photos.

What a mess it was!

And here are the after photos!

If you look closely, you can even see that I got the labeler out and labelled what was on each shelf. I remember the last time I did the linen cupboard, thinking that is was going overboard doing that. But not this time, no, this time it stays organised! :)

Ah, on my way to a calmer mind and body. And a happier baby to be!

I don't feel that way yet. But I know that I am on the way. And when I fully recover and get back into life, particularly into exercising, then it will begin to emerge more fully.

Goal 3 - the spare room

Oh dear... be cont.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Sickness = loss of motivation

I've come down sick the last couple of days. Had a few nights of not sleeping well and that was enough for the germies to find a way into my system.

My naturopath explained to me that it's when we are sleeping between the hours of 11 and 2, that our immune system repairs itself. I didn't really sleep between those hours at all for 3-4 nights in a row. So no wonder the bugs took over.

There are so many nasty bugs around at the moment. I thought I was doing so well staying healthy. And I was, until I couldn't sleep! I have had so many students turning up sick or having been sick. Even several who have been out with swine flu. D has been sick for a couple of weeks.

I hate losing a good flow. I've been so happy with the changes in my life the last couple of weeks. My work schedule has been so much better, and I've easily readopted my old exercise routine and healthy eating.

But now, it's stopped. I'm not at work, not exercising and not eating well!! Ah, the joys of being sick. So, I need to do the right thing and lay low. Get as much rest as I can. And stop doing things around the house!

Yesterday, I cleaned out kitchen cupboards and started on the linen press because I was going mad not doing anything.
Today though, I seem to be more weary, so it might be easier to read in bed and recuperate.

So, for now that is what I will do.
I'm looking forward to doing a post showing my clutter clearing endeavours. Hopefully that will be ready to go soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So excited! - first doctors appointment

I knew that I had picked the right doctor!

There are two doctors that I have come to like at the surgery I go to. When it came time to think about which doctor I would like to see me through the journey of conception, pregrancy and bubbie it was a pretty easy choice really. And it was definitely the right choice!

She was great today. Pro-active right from the start! She said that normally she would wait a year before beginning hormone testing etc. but being 40 she wanted to get started quickly. She gave me a form to get hormone tested in my next cycle (as it is too late now in this cycle) and talked about the next steps once that is done. And if in 6 cycles we haven't conceived, then she will take things further.

Initially I was disappointed that it is too late in this cycle to do the blood tests, but on further thinking I am glad. It gives the naturopaths plan for us time to play out. More time on the natural fertility pills and then some time after the results of the tests come in. Depending on the results of the tests I sent off on Monday, QN (Queen Naturopath) will no doubt put me on something else. It will be good to allow that to settle in my system before I go have the blood tests from the doctor.

The doctor was pleased to have discovered that I have tracked my irregular cycles for many years and wants me to bring in the print out to my next appointment. She was also pleased that we are doing the Maybe Baby. She wasn't concerned that there had been no sign of ovulation this cycle. She said that it does happen at my age that you don't ovulate every month and she has automatically included ovulation testing in the blood test request.

And not once did she mention weight! That pleased me no end!!! After hearing other reports, I was so expecting that to be the first thing she mentioned. In the end, I brought it up. I said that I knew the most important thing was for me to be living healthily (which we had already talked about), but was it a disadvantage being overweight? And her answer - dadadadada...... NO! Woohooo!! I like this doctor! She said that it only makes a difference when woman are morbidly obese and as I am not.... then NO! Exactly the same as QN! She did say that it can help the process to lose some weight but this answer was still NO! As I have already changed my lifestyle back to a healthy one, I am covering that base as well.

Oh, and she also didn't roll her eyes at the word naturopath. Just nodded her head when I said that I see one regularly.

So, I am pleased. Very pleased. I have me a supportive, pro-active doctor who I trust to see us through this wonderful part of our life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Still no ovulating day.

Day 24 of our first cycle watching it through Maybe Baby. Still no change to show that I've ovulated. mmm. Yet its just the first month of being pro-active, first month of beginning the naturopaths fertility path. The tests go to the hormone clinic today, so we will find out what is going on soon and on Wednesday I go to the doctors to start that process.

So, its far too early to be unhappy about anything. Nevertheless, the emotion has been simmering away today. 'Why hasn't there been a change?', I keep thinking.

D reminded me today that we don't want to get consumed by this process and he is absolutely right. Yet, its a bit hard when every morning I need to take the test and three times a day need to remember to take my pills, with two lots of them needing to be an hour away from food!! Yes, the phone comes into play giving me reminders to do those two pill pops!

I am one to always try to look at the positive in things. This is no different. I'm not going to dwell on negative thinking because there is so much positive thinking to be had. Why is it though, that the negative is easier to fall into than the positive??!! :):) The positive is SO much better!


The difference in me, I realised this morning, is a huge one from where I was two years ago. We all have conflicting emotions sometimes, happiness and sadness together, excitement and tiredness together etc. In the past, mine has mostly been underlined with the sadness. Happy, bubbly me with the sadness lingering hidden, simmering away.

Now things are different. I have felt a little sad this morning, yes. But underneath it all, I am still so very happy! I'm peaceful with it, content with it, eager to be a better me with it.

And while I am keen to become pregnant asap!!!, there is another part of me that wants to get fitter first, to lose some weight first, to really re-establish my healthy eating patterns. I want to be the best me I can in order to healthily nourish and grow our child.

So, this early stage is all about discovering what is going on, what is working or not working for us and having a lot of fun in the process!!!!! And if I get pregnant tomorrow, woohooooo!!!!! And if I get pregnant in a few months a little fitter and healthier, woohhoooooo!! to that too!

Things are as they are meant to be.

And I feel happier already for having written this post!


Life is falling into place! My career.

I came across a great site yesterday "In Season Mom". I love the title referring to over 40 mums and I loved the content. I highly recommend going to visit her site and blog.

I am definitely an "In Season to be Mum"!! Life is falling in place around me to allow this to happen. The syncronicity of things is amazing!


The biggest one is work.

I have been quite stressed by work over the last few years. It went in bursts of course, but my overall longing has been to be able to work less and be a Mum. I enjoy my work, but I haven't enjoyed SO much of it. I have known for many years that if I could just cut down on the amount, my true love of it would come back and I would perform in my job so much better. I could fully commit to the work that I had rather than having to spread myself thin.

And right from when I began working in my career, I've had the knowledge that it is perfect for motherhood. I can cut down on numbers and days as I wish, take time off for maternity leave (no pay!) and be able to return a year later with no problems. So, as I started heading into my late 30's, the desire for this change became stronger and stronger. And also the years doing the same thing started becoming stressful in itself. Yet, as a single woman living alone, there was nothing I could do about it.

But I never wanted to do anything else. I looked at it from to time to time. But mostly a change of career meant more study. After two degrees and a diploma, I didn't want to do that anymore!! And I'm good at my job!

When I met D, life changed wonderfully and quickly. We soon moved in together and, after experiencing many Mr. and Miss Wrongs, we both knew with absolute certainty how right we were for each other.

The happiness in my life increased with D. I felt so blessed. Yet the stress of my job started to increase also! The thought of my dreams coming true started to become a reality! I was enjoying life more which made working much more pleasureable as well, yet the dream was around the corner waiting for its moment in time.

And here is where the amazing thing comes into play. Just as we started trying to have a baby and became very conscious about the need to create a stress free and healthy me, things have changed in my work timetable. Without me even doing anything!!!

Numbers always drop halfway through the year, but this year they have dropped in such a way that my timetable is wonderfully stress free! I have two full days, two half days and two hours on a Friday morning. And it has just happened that way! Of course, if this had happened when I was still single, I would probably be selling my house by now. But it didn't, it has happened now, and that says a lot!

  • This means that I am able to get to the gym in the mornings without the stress of rushing off to work.
  • I can come home at the end of the day and take the dog for a walk, without the stress of preparing for the next day.
  • The exercise routine is back!!
  • Less stress and the wonderful purpose of wanting a healthy body for my child to grow and nourish as helped me get back into good eating patterns.
  • Health routine is back!!
  • And D is in my life creating and sharing it all together. aahhh...

And I am relaxing. I can feel the stress slipping away from my body.
I am enjoying my work again. I am giving more to each individual person that comes in. And I am loving that!

I am so amazed at how this has happened. If there was any doubt in my mind about becoming pregnant over 40, it is all gone. This is meant to be. I am not expecting a perfect run, that would be unrealistic. But life is giving me this chance!! And I am embracing it!

I am happy in a way that I never have been before. I can't explain it really. There is joy. And I keep feeling it all through the day. It's a constant surprising thought. I am happy, wow, I am truly happy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Focusing on what is.

So now that I have looked at a few opposing thoughts and studies in my last post, it is time to just get on with things. All things are as they are meant to be and all we can do is try to live out our dreams and accept what is. I am excited about this journey. I am looking forward to the adventure ahead and that is where I want to focus my energy. I am unique human being with my own life journey to play out. I can't wait to experience new things whatever they may be. I am excited at the prospect of bringing forth a child of our own. The time is right. It is meant to be. I am happy. And you can't beat that!!!

My addictive scouring of the internet has come to a rest. Now I just want to look at the websites I have found a little more thoroughly. I was glad to find quite a few Aussie sites. They will be really good for local resources!

The only thing I am yet to find is another over 40 woman going through the same process and doing a personal blog about it. So, if you know of anyone out there, please let me know!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Over 40 pregnancy - opposing opinions

I have been addictively scouring the internet over the last few days collecting links and information about getting pregnant, being pregnant, and the ins and outs of newborns. And of course, seeking out anything to do with having a first child over 40!

There is so much good and positive information out there and I am SO glad. Because I come under two traditionally thought of as "bad" categories for childbearing. Over 40 and overweight. Thank God there are lots of good things said about both and that I am one to look on the positive side of life, because if I was to get stuck into believing and being consumed by the derogatory opinions, I would be so downcast and negative it wouldn't be any viable setting for conception.

What I find most interesting, is that in most of my reading, all the studies and research that arrived at negative results comparing age and body type during pregnancy, not one of them described how the 'overweight' women take care of themselves during pregnancy. Are they eating unhealthily or have they established good eating habits? Are they getting the appropriate exercise or are they sedentary in their lifestyle? Were there pre-existing medical conditions or were these women perfectly healthy before pregnancy. Just because you are over 40 or just because you are overweight, does not automatically mean you are unhealthy. I kept wishing the studies had looked at these things.

These are the factors that make the difference. Talk to both my naturopaths and they will tell you over 40 and overweight is not a problem for conception! They have seen it time and time again, because they are dealing with woman who are actively conscious of what they need to do to take care of their children before conception and after conception.

So when I came across this study in several sites, while it took me a while to read it and fully understand it, I was so glad. Here was the study I had been wishing for! Here is a section of the study.
Women who followed a combination of five or more lifestyle factors, especially dietary changes, had a more than 80% reduction in their risk of ovulatory infertility compared with those who undertook none of these changes.
This inverse relation was similiar in subgroups defined by women's age, parity, and body weight.
A combination of five or more low-risk lifestyle factors, including diet, weight control, and physical activity was associated with a 69% lower risk of ovulatory disorder infertility.
I am one of those. After a lapse over the last few months, I am regaining my fitness, I am regaining my good eating habits. I have always taken care of myself with the right supplements under the guidance of my naturopaths. I drink two litres of water a day. I have given up alcohol. I am reducing my stress levels. I am pro-active in our journey for a child.

According to one article, just a drop of 5% - 10% of your body weight increases fertility by 50%. Regardless of the facts and figures, my returning to good exercise and eating habits is bound to produce that! And if nothing else, I can imagine that this will make things a little more physically comfortable as my belly grows!

There was one article I came across, though, that has struck a chord with me regarding being overweight.
Researchers from Adelaide University in Australia said that obese women have changes in their ovaries that could make it hard for eggs to become embryos.
Other work has shown that obese women take longer to get pregnant, even with regular menstrual cycles.
Dr. Rebecca Robker said that fats in the blood and body may change the metabolism of an egg, making it harder for an embryo to develop.
The study followed 96 women getting fertility treatment.
Researchers took readings from eggs collected from the women and found chances in metabolite and androgen levels.
"Our research shows that obesity ... changes the environment in the ovary which bathes and nourishes a woman's developing eggs," Robker said.
This is one study I am keen to take to the wonderful Naturopath Queen for her opinion!

In the end, there are valid factors to be aware when having your first baby over 40.
  • It may take longer to get pregnant
  • There is a greater chance of multiple pregnancy
  • You're more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
  • You may need a C-section.
  • The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher.

Some of these factors are a result of co-existing medical problems without factoring in pregnancy. Us over 40 somethings aren't 25 anymore. As a general rule, we do need to be more aware of our health. Gone are those carefree 20's! Yet those of us that are conscious of these factors are much more likely to take better care of ourselves during and before pregnancy than a carefree, accidently pregnant 25 year old without the life experience behind her and the readiness, committment and strong desire to have a child.

I am a strong, centered, 'know who I am' woman who has lived her career and many life experiences.
After meeting and experiencing many Mr. Wrongs, I know I have met the man who is a wonderful match.
I am so ready to devote myself to having, loving and raising a child with the man that I love dearly and am totally committed to.
I have no pre-existing health conditions that could be aggravated by the demands of pregnancy.
With the proper pre-conception and pregnancy care, there is every reason for me to know that I can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alcohol Free = greater fertility and healthy baby

The hardest thing that I had to do after our naturopath appointment was to give up alcohol.

I love wine, particularly red wine. Never in excess, but consistently throughout the week. A glass with a meal, or a glass after work, or out with friends.

One of the many things my partner and I first connected on, was our love of good wine. He introduced me to really good wine and improved my palate no end! I loved it! Being in the winemaking business, he occasionally comes home with some incredible bottle of wine that a customer has given him and has so much knowledge about what is good out there in the Australian wine industry.

So it was a toughie, but surprisingly just for the first few days. I am absolutely fine with it now, just a week and a half later. D has joined me on the no alcohol adventure, not just for support, but also because it is healthy for his "spermies"!

And, to the rescue once more, he went out and bought me 'alcohol removed' wine. Just a glass of that every now and then has helped to reduce the "awww" face when I felt like a good glass of red! And when we entertained at home last Saturday night, I was able to have a glass in front of me without anyone being any wiser that I am now alcohol free!

There is so much information on the web about how being alcohol free improves your fertility. One website claimed that studies show a 50% improvement in conception when women give up alcohol. This in itself is enough to say "no"!

But the most shocking bit of information is how even just one glass of alcohol can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome . Queen Naturopath first gave us this knowledge and it scared the bejesus out of me. Since then, I have read about it in many reputable websites. I had always heard that a glass every now and then was fine. But even just one glass, particularly in the first trimester can bring on this disorder.

So, it's a no brainer! No alcohol for this Mum To Be!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stress Free - preconception, pregnancy, post-birth

I saw this wonderful poem today at @ Home Mum.

look back on today
and see parents
who had time to play
There will be years
for cleaning and cooking
But children grow up
While we are not looking

Dusting and scrubbing
can wait til tomorrow
for babies grow fast
we learn to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs
and dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep.
One of the things that is very important to us, is the need for me to be stress free. Not only in trying to get pregnant, but also during the pregnancy. This poem takes me a step further with that and shows the importance of not stressing about any unnecessary things and feeling peaceful and enjoying the early time you have with your child while they are still babies.

I know of a lady with 8 children who are apparently the most wonderful children that play well together and, for the most part I understand, get along well. It turns out she is also a very relaxed and easy-going woman. She was relaxed during her pregancies and after their births as well. And this has transferred to her children. With her last birth (no. 8!!), she was holding sleeping, peaceful baby at a church service just two days later.

Not that I, by any means, expect to achieve that! However, the importance of being relaxed, stress free and peaceful as much as possible has been instilled in me. It will help us to achieve conception and hopefully to create a relaxed and happy atmosphere in utero for our future child. It's an important goal and one that I hope to enjoy achieving!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Being pro-active

We gave ourselves two months of trying on our own before becoming outwardly pro-active. If I was 27 years young, we would have continued for 12 months like that, having our own fun! However at 40, we don't have time to do that.

I have seen two naturopaths for the last couple of years - one has become a good friend. Initially I saw my other naturopath because we are not wanting to tell anyone that we are trying for a baby. With the disappointments that can occur, it is what we felt was right for both of us and after I am pregnant we plan to tell our parents only until the second tri-mester. Mainly it is because of my age and the extra problems that come with trying to have a first baby as an older woman. Disappointments will affect us deeply without adding having to tell others.

So after taking herbs from one naturopath, we decided we needed a second opinion and we are so glad that we did. After her squeal of excitement (!!!), our friend and Naturopath Queen proceeded to amaze us with what she did and said and got us to do. There was blood viewing, zinc testing, fertility herbs for both of us and tests to take home and to send away for. Hormone testing is being done at a lab and urine testing at home!

She also sent us to buy Maybe Baby. I thought I would be using the basal testing to determine my fertile period, but Maybe Baby is amazing. Through viewing your saliva in a tiny microscope, you know exactly when ovulation is about to occur and when it does occur. Much more effective than basal testing! I am amazed by it. It is wonderful learning so much more about my cycle through this and seeing what I do already understand co-inciding with what the Maybe Baby is showing me.

We are yet to get to a fertile period to see it change. I am excited about seeing that occur!

I've also finally made a doctors appointment. I see her on Wednesday. No doubt there will be more tests to take!

So, the pro-active phase has started! It is wonderful to be taking this journey together!