Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Visiting the Mother

I was surprised I even made it to London.  The day before the flight I felt so sick I could hardly move from my bed – except to make it to the bathroom to throw up.  I don’t know how I managed to pack, but somehow it got done.  Driving to the airport I learnt an important lesson.  Stop the car Before you start to throw up out the window, otherwise it’s hard to stay on the road!  When you do manage to pull over to the side to throw, remember to take the keys out of the car and close the door otherwise anyone could drive away with the car!

Although two doctors I greatly trust told me to keep taking the progesterone to 10 weeks, my RE for whom I have less respect told me I could stop at 8.5   In actual fact the last doses were just impossible for me to take – I was so ill – I finally figured that if I was feeling this sick, there couldn’t be too many problems with too Few hormones and stopped just before 9 weeks.  My cramping ceased, and for quite some time I was worried that something might have gone very wrong!  Thankfully I found out on my return that all is still just as it should be.

London seemed smaller and quainter than I had noticed it before.  The buildings appeared so cute, tiny and squished together.  Even my mother’s front door seemed smaller – or perhaps I was bigger, and then it seemed like I could hardly even fit in the bath.  On meeting my second oldest friend she exclaimed uncertainly “you look different somehow– are you Bigger? ”   Well at least I know she’s honest!

Actually I made a mess up of telling her I was pregnant.  It has been two years since we last met, and so I started to tell her about my decision to use a donor.  Before I had a chance to really explain my thinking, I heard her saying “Sarah – don’t you EVER do that – promise me you wont.”  Then I was in the difficult position of telling her I already had and was pregnant!  In actually fact she was great, and pulled up her socks up extremely quickly!  She was very happy for me – even if she was a little horrified. 

In future I am going to do things differently and just Announce how happy am to be pregnant – and then the listener will know they are not allowed to express their disapproval.  In retrospect it was rather funny.

My mother seemed to have taken my being pregnant Surprisingly Seriously.  At  supper when I asked for soya sauce, she explained that she had gone through ALL the cupboards and thrown out everything that was out of date – the soya sauce had apparently expired in 2005!  I hope now everyone will believe me when I say that up until this pregnancy I had a stomach of proven steel!

I had a wonderful visit with my Oldest friend.  She cried when I told her my Good News, and even managed to produce an black maternity dress that fitted me perfectly.

Shopping in London was Fabulous – because I was not scared of bumping into anyone from work (in a baby store.)  Bringing home bags labeled Mamas and Papas was a little more tricky – I did have to hide behind a tree to avoid a neighbor – but other than that I was fine!   I hit all the maternity stores, and found remarkably little choice – but managed to come home with two fabulous pairs of maternity jeans.  Until this point I had not realized the strain and discomfort of trying to still squeeze into trousers that really were too small!  There is nothing that feels so good as a great fitting pair of jeans!  This was the day I realized that my first trimester depression and exhaustion had truly disappeared!

My mother insisted that I get fitted for a new bra. My normal size is 34 C.  It turns out I have grown 3 sizes already!  The bra specialist assured me “You’ll be a 34 Double G by the time you milk comes in!”  I am beginning to think that perhaps one really can have too much of a good thing!

As well as having a very full bust I seemed to have had a very full schedule in London too.  One day I decided to visit my favorite museum  - the National Gallery 1200- 1500.  Of course my mother then came up with two other exhibitions that could not be missed – so somehow – the National Gallery got left for my next visit!

I saw the English Acupuncturist who took one look at my tongue and exclaimed that I must have been  shockingly ill with morning sickness (no surprises there) and she informed me very nicely that my US acupuncturist must have been doing a dreadful job.  Apparently it transpires the US acupuncturist had mixed up two of the needle points – and was giving me one that is counter indicated in pregnancy! – So much for cheap acupuncture!

She also informed me that I am having a BOY (This is so SO exciting – but at this point I would have been excited if she had told me I was having a DOG!)   She explained that as I was (then) only 9.5 weeks she could only be 90% certain.  She is almost always accurate at 12 weeks!  Somehow with hearing this news, and feeling SO much better, I have begun to actually believe that I might really have a baby at Christmas!  

I will just be incredibly shocked if “the project” turns out to be a girl!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life Changing Week

I have just come to the end of a most extraordinary week at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia.  Sometime before Christmas I read an amazing book - which in every language other than English is called "Your baby is a Genius" - sadly in the US it is titled "How smart is your baby" - an unfortunate title which sadly puts many people off reading this wonderful book by Janet Doman.

The Institutes (for the Achievement of Human Potential) work primarily with helping severely brain injured children - including Downs children, with recovering  and regaining their full abilities so that they are able to live a completely normal life.   For example one of their students with Downs students, recently completed his masters in economics!

Their belief - for which they have full scientific evidence, is that the brain grows with use, and that the child's physical development is intricately connected and influences what is possible of the brain.  They specifically feel that the the developing child should spend as much time as possible crawling and creeping on the floor (or a clean smooth firm surface). ((This also has the added advantage that your child will sleep better!)) Humans are the only animal (save household pets) that would ever consider sleeping on their backs).  For those of you worried about Sids (which I was originally) - they explained that in the original study which caused the great stir - three out of five of the babies who were thought to have died or sids, were actually found later to have been murdered.  Of course they also had tons of other  scientific papers - which I have yet to read.

It was such a remarkable week.  The staff were so loving, helping each parent to do the best for their child.  They showed demonstrations of their "normal - able children"  - which included a beautiful gymnastics display - 7 year olds acting Shakespeare - suzuki violin playing - Kids learning japanese  - a three year old running a mile faster than I could, and a one year old who was reading full (simple) sentences, as well as the brain injured children overcoming remarkable challenges.

They told us simple things we could do which would make a huge difference in the lives of our children, like at birth taking your child into a black room and turning on the light for about a second and saying "light," then turning off the light for 4 seconds and doing the same 9 more times, three times a day.  This strengthens the visual pathway into the brain, enabling the child to be able to focus the eyes and see much earlier, than if they had not had this experience.

I was also extremely impressed that The Institutes had based their findings on children from across the world, from different civilization with different experiences, with scientists and learned people from across the globe adding to their research.  They have been doing their work for over 50 years.  I can't believe that more people don't know about them.

I should also add that the other parents were just lovely. They were those, who really wanted the best for their child.  About nine of them were still pregnant (Including ME - I just made it to 12 weeks now!)

Please if you know anyone with a brain injured child, let them know about the Institutes - and if you want to help your child of any age learn easier (or if you have something like dyslexia in your family like I do) -  check them out!

Now that I have stopped taking progesterone I have started feeling a whole lot better - and plan to do some "catch up posts" - beginning with my trip to london to visit my mother!