Jumping & jiving baby after 24 weeks…

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A short while back I hit the 24 weeks pregnant mark. I am not going to lie-I was happy to hit half way at 20 weeks-but 24 weeks felt like more of a milestone. It may be 6 months-or not depending on who you listen to and how it is all calculated.

Anyway, a few weeks before the 24 week mark, I started feeling some small flutters in my stomach. I only noticed them at night when perfectly still and was not really sure if this was movement or not. Kind of felt like gas gurgling about. It almost felt like a baby bird lifting its wings for the first time and that is it. Then, after a while, the feeling upgraded to a fish swishing a tail. Now, I feel like the baby is regularly jumping around! A few movements even startle me.

It is such an odd thing but also really neat. So far all is continuing to go well with the pregnancy other than my stomach seemed to pop out suddenly around 23 weeks. Due to that rolling over is much harder and I had a bit of back pain. Still regularly choking down the nasty pre-natals and being patient.

I am sure November will be here in no time but before then I can look forward to the other milestones and a fun baby shower (or so I hope as my sisters sure can be drama queens)! Each Thursday I look forward to reading the weekly baby progress reports on the 3 pregnancy apps I have on my phone. Currently, our little sweetheart is the size of an ear of corn!

Weekend getaway to Udaipur…

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Typical Rajastani style art

I have been much busier at work recently. In the last while I was invited to a few networking events (based around embassy balls and receptions for the most part) and they were great. You get to dress up and party for a night…and hand out your business card like crazy. Unfortunately, due to the pregnancy, I cannot drink. How I miss my pinot noir!

The famous City Palace. Great museum in there.

With all the socializing and extra hours put in technically “for work” I decided it was time for a much needed weekend getaway. Also, it was anniversary time so my husband and I (plus my visiting sister) did a scan of India weather at the top getaway spots (since weather can make or break a trip here) and decided to fly over to Udaipur in Rajastan. This is a place I have always wanted to go.

At Jag Mandir-a gorgeous property-in the middle of the lake.

The flight from Delhi was super quick-about an hour and five minutes-but there was traffic on the tarmac. The return flight is an hour and twenty minutes and there were all kinds of delays. It would have been a very cheap flight but we booked last minute so costs went up. Udaipur is just gorgeous. It is the land of lakes and kings and is considered the most romantic city in India-the Venice of the East. I totally understand why! It is probably one of the most fabulous places I have ever been.

The city is full of gorgeous old palaces that were built by Rajput kings starting in the 16th century near man made lakes. Many have been restored and operate as hotels. There is far too much to see in just three days but we mapped out our main desires and made sure to make them happen so that everyone was a happy camper.

We visited the City Palace (must see!), took a lake cruise, had a fancy dinner at the famous Oberoi to celebrate the anniversary, had a few delicious lakeside lunches including one at a questionable establishment (but it turned out to be the yummiest and the cheapest!), saw a local live performance featuring folk dances and arts, took a camel ride, visited the famous Jagdish mandir, and got in some shopping. Totally ideal trip-a mix of everything.

Our hotel, just at the edge of town, was not an expensive luxury hotel but was very comfortable, well located, had great wifi, and had a nice breakfast which got us started in the morning. Uber worked in Udaipur and there were plenty of autos available as well. You do have to do some harder negotiating with the drivers as they-and shop keepers-are used to tourists and will inflate prices A LOT!

We had an incredible time and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting India. Thus far, it is my favourite place so far!

Lake Palace Hotel-once a palace-where the James Bond film OCTOPUSSY was made.

June is over?! Plus July things to look forward to…

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Where did the time go this June? I guess I have been busy this last while. Recently, my work has gotten more interesting which has been great. Plus, I have learned to schedule in one interesting thing or meeting-personal or professional-each day which keeps things moving. My job is still quite easy, though, but at least it is becoming enjoyable. I also finally connected with my dear friend that I mentioned in my June things to look forward to post as well. We had a few nice meals and chats-then she had to fly overseas for some job interviews. Since I last wrote, my husband also returned to join me here. While it has only been a few days, we have been keeping busy together. The other great news is that the monsoon time is here so the weather is much better.

Now that July is around the corner, time to create my things to look forward to post for July 2017:

  • Embassy celebrations! July is the month of Canada Day and Independence Day. As an expat with work that is connected to the government, I have been invited to the local balls etc. Should be an interesting experience!
  • Sister’s visit. Once of my sisters is visiting for all of July. We should have a fun month.
  • Domestic travel. This month I am doing quite a bit of travel for work and because of my sister’s visit. Will be great to see more of India.
  • Shopping. Been waiting for my sister but we hope to do some shopping for some family events in August.
  • Long weekends and busy work days. I saved up some banked time and holiday time for July which is great but also means when I do go to work, I should be busy as a bee.
  • Pregnancy progress. I am now past 5 months and can feel my little guy or gal move. Not too much of a baby bump yet but look forward to seeing what is next.
  • 6 year wedding anniversary. We will be celebrating this milestone on a beach I hope!

Am sure there will be many interesting things going on this month and will try to make time to write. If nothing else, my computer will sure to be full of great photos and memories 🙂

Solo birthday abroad…

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My birthday has come and gone. I hit the milestone of 35 while abroad and pregnant. I thought I may feel a bit down and had a list of things I could do to keep me busy or spoil myself but it turned out alright. I slept in, had a bite to eat, chatted with some friends online, and then decided I should go do something fun. So, off I went to the market to see what India has to offer. I did not end up splurging on myself but did find a few nice gifts for others and a few special things for the baby. It was fun seeing all the products and haggling.

After that, I had worked up a nice appetite so took myself off to a fancy restaurant for some yummy food. I splurged on an appetizer and a main. By the end of the meal I was stuffed-especially since I ate the whole in-house-made bread basket. Everything was just delicious! Feeling tired afterwards, I decided to head home-where all kinds of well wishing emails, texts, and Facebook messages awaited me from afar (time zone differences!). It was nice.

As I sat in the restaurant alone-surrounded by couples, families, groups of business associates and friends, I have to say I felt very proud of myself. Here I was: a 35 year old, strong, independent, pregnant woman, with a bright and happy future ahead-who was comfortable asking for a table for one. I have wonderful friends and family but was comfortable in my own skin and confident. I have realized I really can take on anything and do anything and I need not worry. I felt empowered, strong, and confident. This feeling has stayed with me. I do not need anyone or anything. I can make it on my own.

But, all the good people and things in my life I appreciate from the bottom of my heart. I hope to move forward this year with that appreciation but also that knowledge that I will be okay and can stand on my own if need be. Life is good, life is beautiful, and I want to make the most of it. Even though I now hit the dreadful 35 (a truly serious number), I have to say life has never been more lovely. Who would have thought!? May everyone be as blessed and appreciative as I am!

Pre-monsoon weather…

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I arrived in India in May. May is the hottest month of the year-and it was really hot! One day it was a scorching record breaking 47 degrees Celsius in the city. It was made worse by awful winds that made me feel like I was standing in front of a giant hair dryer. Luckily, that was only one day. Now it is mid-June and there are still hot days, of course, but there are also great rainy days that bring the temperature down-and nice cool winds that keep the air fresh. This is pre-monsoon weather, apparently, and we are in for a week of it. As someone from a cooler part of the world, I am thrilled. Of course, after the rainy spell the sun comes out and the humidity hits which is a different kind of horrible but, so far, I prefer it.

People here tell me the monsoon time is awful. Based on the pre-monsoon I do not think I will mind but we shall see. I am interested to see what it will be like. The difference between pre-monsoon and monsoon is, supposedly, that the in pre-monsoon the rain comes for an hour or two and stops. In monsoon, it is supposed to go on and on, take a break, and come back again. Winds are also supposed to be stronger and more consistent during monsoon. I see this as a plus. Monsoon time also means continuous cloud cover rather just than during the rainy spurts. Also a plus if you ask me as that should reduce humidity, no?

The news has been going on about major cities being rain ready which makes me wonder what kind of chaos I am not thinking of. Traffic chaos? Drainage chaos? Whatever it is, I am curious and looking forward to it. I just hope it does not bring about too many mosquitoes! We shall see. But, for now, I sure am enjoying this pre-monsoon weather!

Non-Invasive Prenatal Test Results…

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On June 6th I wrote about doing my blood test for the NIPT test. This is the test that lets you know if your baby has a high chance of chromosomal defects and issues. The lab told me the result would be emailed in 10 days. Waiting is hard but I tried not to think of it. 10 days passed and nothing came. Another day passed as I thought maybe they meant ten days after the day following the test. I waited.

Then I grew a bit anxious and called them. They said they would call soon. They never did and the lab closed. The next day I called and they said my test result had not come in and to call the next day. I did. The next day they said they would call me back but did not so I called the following day.

I was told the doctor had the test results in her email and had not sent them. I asked for them to be forwarded to me soon as this test is quite an important one-and such waiting could make one anxious. Of course, they said! Then a short while later I got a call back. The woman on the other end told me not to worry and that the test is normal. I was happy but said I wanted to still get the full report. She asked me to send a text message to the doctor’s cell phone. I did and am still waiting but hoping normal means the risks are low.

Regardless, normal is a good sign. Am very happy with that at this point. Now, I am looking forward to hitting the pregnancy half way mark in just 4 days and decided I will make the announcement sometime this week-although I have already shared with the close family and friends.

**As of June 19 the doctor did not send me the report but said the results indicated that 99% of possible detectable abnormalities are reduced to less than 1% risk. Or at least that is what I think she meant!

Skin issues resolved!

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I am so very happy. I do not have scabies after all. After writing my post a few days and freaking out, everything improved. Since then, I have used a heavy duty moisturizer after showering and an allergy cream in the itchier areas. By day two I improved 100%. I am so so so so glad!

The doctor did say it was one or the other (allergy or scabies) and I am glad, in my case, it was the much more tolerable issue. Not sure what I am allergic to but the next step will be to monitor myself and find out. Also if there are any flare ups I know what to do and still have some meds. I only took allergy tablets one day as I worried about their affect on the baby-even though the doctor said it would be okay at 18 weeks.

This issue really did get me feeling down. Here I am in a foreign country, alone (my husband took a quick trip to visit his family in Eastern Europe), pregnant, and feeling poorly. I literally wanted my mommy! I wondered what the hell I was doing here and why not just go home. However, as the issue resolved I felt much better. It is amazing how your mood can make you so negative. Hope this stage has passed. I definitely am feeling much more like myself.