Saturday, September 22, 2012

Aqua, Fuchsia and Waves.

Hello once again for today. I did have a very long but I think worth-reading post for you earlier today. However this is more of a Fashion Blog so now I am on to some fashion. Today's outfit features one of the prettiest (silk) skirts in my closet with beautiful roses in an aqua background and a cute tee that is a rayon-cotton blend with horizontal silk strips of pleats, they sort of look like ruffles. Also, my hair got its natural wave today due to a high French bun from the day before. I let it cascade down to one side. I do like what it is doing. I don't have good hair days often, so I will embrace them when I can. =P

Fuchsia, Cotton & Silk, Horizontal-Pleated, V-Neck Tee: Ann Taylor LOFT.
Aqua, Chiffon, Midi Skirt w/ Light Pink Roses: Banana Republic.
Delicate, Gold-Chain Necklace w/ Small Heart-Shaped Pink Topaz Stone: Lord & Taylor.
Mini Sea Pearl, Stud Earrings: Fred's Jewelry.
Blush-Colored, Strappy Sandals, Featuring a Big Beaded Flower: Nine West.

My Baby Story: 21 Weeks Along. =]

I have been meaning to start writing about my baby since I was 16 weeks along with my pregnancy, but I have been so busy with work and house stuff and at times I have felt sick. Then I thought I was ready around the 18th week and that is when we went on vacation and made the decision to not take the lap-top with us but just relax indeed. =) I have a very strong memory though so I will document what has happened so far in this first Baby Post. This is a very long post, I am warning you and if you do read all of it: You are ROCK STARS I don't know what else to say. Thank You Everyone!! =)

First things first: My husband and I have been married for 7 years, since June 2005. We got married pretty young (I was in my early twenties, he was in his mid twenties) and at times I was just about to start my Masters program that summer. A baby was not in the plans at least for two and a half years. I was also working full-time and so was he. He had just moved to USA to be with me, so at the same time he was settling with life in Michigan (where we lived), having a wife, living with a woman for the first time, being a responsible adult, having husband responsibilities, etc. Plus, we wanted to get to know each other even more and enjoy our first years of marriage kid-free. 

Around the end of 2008, after I was done with my masters also, we decided it was time to start a family. We wanted to welcome the New Year with a pregnancy, therefore with our first baby - hoping he or she would be born no later than by the end of 2009. We started trying in January of that year and even made some doctor's appointments prior to starting our family. But around mid February, my husband lost his job. It was a sad news to hit our home and it couldn't have happened at a worse time, especially since we had put an offer down on our first house too, and hoped to move there by summer while being pregnant. I had not gotten pregnant yet. And in a way it's better that it happened that way. There was no way we could have brought a child into the world with our finances at the time. It was also a blessing in disguise it was him who lost his job instead of me, because my job provided better for us. So our baby plans were put on hold. 

The economy was bad at the time and even-though he was looking hard for a job, he didn't find something. This made him sad, mad and a little depressed. I, on the meanwhile was working a full-time 9-5 job and even had a part-time evening and weekend job at a fancy restaurant as a server. It was tough. We didn't get to see each-other a lot. That summer, my husband traveled to Albania to visit his parents and family and decided to see how Albania was doing job-wise and to look at things seriously about what it would be like to move back there, with me, almost 5 years after he had tried USA. To tell you the truth, because he came to US in his mid twenties, he never totally adjusted there. He had no problem with the language (he knew it well), just that his life prior was so different and both countries are indeed quite different. Well, long story short, a year later in the summer of 2010, he moved back to Albania with a job prospect and a future for us, in his mind. He started a new, good job in his field of International Technology within 2 weeks. Meanwhile, he moved in with his parents to save money. I was still in Michigan at the time. I had a job contract to finish within the next year. I, too, moved in with my parents and put our house for sale. In November of 2011, after tying all lose ends, finishing my job, selling our house & our cars, paying off most of our credit debt and trying to save up some money, I joined him in Albania. We now live in the capital, Tirana. During this time we saw/visited each other a couple of times. For me, it was the hardest decision of my life, since Michigan is what I called home for almost 15 years and I was so used to life there and liked it a lot. Plus my parents and entire family live in the States. But I haven't regretted it a bit. I do believe everything happens for a reason and even-though I am a little older and would have liked to maybe have my second baby by now, I think this first baby is coming at the right time.

This time around, we were determined to start a family soon. There were no more reasons to wait longer. I just wanted to start a job first and plan it out so that by the time I would have worked for a full year at my full-time job, I would be ready to give birth to our first baby. If you work for a full year full-time in Albania, you benefit for a full Maternity Leave which is up to a year. Most jobs keep your position for 3-6 months however they will pay you for a full year of Pregnancy leave. I started the job in early January and we got pregnant in early May. It was a very short trying period and we couldn't have been happier. It happened exactly as we planned it. So, around the end of May, since about May 20th or so I was suspecting I was pregnant. I have a very regular period cycle so that sort of gave it away first. But I was also starting to feel a little difficult: queasy, sort of tired and felt dizzy often. I don't know why I waited that long to take the pregnancy test. Maybe because I couldn't believe we got pregnant right away. So, on June 2nd we went out for a dinner date and I had shell-fish, salad and fish soup. I was feeling sort of cautious to eat them but they sounded good. Then, next week, after purchasing a pregnancy test, I decided to pull the plug and do it. Unfortunately the first test came invalid. This made me a little sad and I thought, oh well, maybe I am not pregnant after all. Then, a few days later I purchased another pregnancy test and this time decided to do it first thing in the morning. So, around 6.30 AM on the morning of June 9th 2012, I saw those two very clear and strong, dark pink lines, fill up the test within less than a minute. I looked down for a second and told myself WOW!! Then "Wow, I will be a mom!" I woke up my husband right then and there, he was sleeping like a baby. I told him the good news while I was smiling and at the same time a few happy tears came strolling down. We took in the joy and the (small) shock of the moment. Even-though I was still tired and sleepy and I was off that day I couldn't sleep anymore, that was it. That evening we went out to celebrate and I even wore a pretty dress. We scheduled our first appointment and ultra-sound for June 13th. And that's where the doctor confirmed our happy news. I was 7 weeks along and we could even feel the baby's heartbeat. That first ultra-sound was the most beautiful thing ever. =)

The doctor suggested we wait till at least 12 weeks to tell our families and my husband really wanted to wait that long. But it was the hardest, most beautiful secret I ever had to keep. So, we finally agreed and told our families on the 9th week since everything was fine and we had no reason to worry about. We told his parents and sister at the same time and then minutes later I called my parents in US and luckily I found both of them and my brother home at once. My mom answered the phone and she was the first person I wanted to tell anyway. All of our parents were ecstatic. This is the first grand-child for both my in-laws and my parents. My mom even offered to do most of the baby shopping for me in US and mail everything to me, especially since she can't throw me a shower. She cannot wait to do the baby shopping and I cannot wait to see what she gets. I trust her 100%.

It has been a pretty smooth pregnancy so far. I haven't had to throw up all the time, just in a few cases. Thank you baby for that. I, however didn't deal so well with the super-hot summer we had this year. It made me dizzy, fatigued and sick, and caused low blood pressure for me, often. This also caused me to lose 4 lbs in my first 12-14 weeks. Now, I am in my third trimester and about 7 weeks ago we found out what we are having. We were happy either way, whether it was a boy or a girl. I am however keeping this a secret for a while longer, at least till I start buying most of the baby's things. And I am sorry this Baby story was so very long this first time around but it was my first post so I had to explain how we got here. I plan to make this a weekly feature till the baby is born. But the next posts won't be a mile long, I promise.

How Far Along: 21 weeks.
Baby Size: Baby was positioned with the legs close to the body on the last ultra-sound so we couldn't see the height. Weight: 1 lb. or about 450 grams.
Total Weight Gain: 8 lbs.
Maternity Clothes? Not yet. My mom is shopping for Maternity clothes in US this week and will mail them to me no later than the end of September. I don't show a lot but I show enough, so I could use some maternity clothes right now (since the last 3 weeks or so).I wear mostly elastic skirts, loose dresses, empire-waist style dresses and some wider tops I own.
Stretch Marks? No, none I have noticed at least. A good thing!
Sleep: Ohhhh yes. I could sleep 8-12 hours at a time on nights. Obviously I have a full-time job so nights sleeping pass 9 hours are rare but still. I also love taking naps when I can. =)
Best moment this week: Feeling the baby kick for the first time. I am sure I have probably felt it before, but this time I was 100% sure and it was quite strong. It actually kicked a few times this morning while I was still in bed, laying on the side. Also, finding out a couple of days ago on my ultra-sound everything was great and normal and the baby is doing fine. =)
Miss Anything? I am not much of a coffee drinker. I am what you would call an amateur coffee drinker but every now and then I do miss some coffee. I had a latte one morning, this week.
Movement: This baby has seriously been too quiet, so quiet that I was scary. Last week when I went in for an ultra-sound I found out everything was fine, even-though I hadn't felt the baby. I thought last week I felt a small, tiny pinch from inside the stomach. Probably a baby sign, though I am not sure 100%. =) Doctors say it's normal. Some women don't start feeling their babies until 5+ months and this week I am just hitting 5 months.But like I said, I felt something early this morning, so I am not as worried anymore. Plus some babies are quieter. LOL
Food Cravings: Oh you know a lot of foods that are not so easy to find in Albania. Lots of American foods like cheese sticks, onion rings, BBQs, a nice juicy burger. I also crave Chinese and Japanese food especially sushi which I haven't had in 8 long months. I am craving some Mexican foods too and French fries which are very accessible here but I know they are bad for me so try not to have them often. I am constantly craving fruits too, much more than before pregnancy. I am a fruit lover though plus fruits are good for me and the baby so that's great. =)
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not much but even-though I like their taste and could eat those foods now, going by an Albanian fast-food place where they sell things like gyros, sandwiches, grilled meats and pitas makes me queasy and those are very strong smells for my nose. I want to be as far away from those smells of as possible.
Gender: We are not saying... yet! =P
Labor Signs: Not anyway near.
Belly button in or out? In, very in. Looks the same as before. =)
Wedding rings on or off? On & loose
Happy or Moody most of the time: Excited! Happy in general. A little tired at times and sleepy most times but very very happy!! =))
Looking forward to: Feeling more baby kicks, soon. Also, today I am looking forward to dining out at a Mexican Restaurant. There are only a couple of Mexican restaurants in this city but I have heard great things about this one. Baby and I are excited!! =D

Thank you all for visiting and for reading. I wish all of you a GREAT WEEKEND!!