Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Lion King (my story)

I’m sure most of you have watched or at least heard about Disney animated musical “The Lion King”. If not, here is a summary:
“The Lion King presents the story of a lion cub’s journey to adulthood and acceptance of his royal destiny. Simba begins life as an honoured prince, the son of the powerful King Mufasa. The cub’s happy childhood turns tragic when his evil uncle, Scar, murders Mufasa and drives Simba away from the kingdom. In exile, the young lion befriends the comically bumbling pair of Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat, all three of them live a carefree jungle life. As he approaches adulthood, he is visited by the spirit of his father, who instructs him to defeat Scar and reclaim his rightful throne”.

The cartoon was released the same year as when my dad died. Since then I saw a connection between me and Simba. Possibly every weekend I had my own time of me watching cartoon and crying, I felt that I am not alone in my sorrow.
That was a horrible time to be honest with you, I was 8, I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was preparing to go to school and waiting for my mom to drop me off and for my elder sister to come from school.  Waiting and waiting, no sign of mom or sister, so I sat on a stool by the window waiting for them both to come.

And then a phone rang, I picked up the phone and there was a male voice telling me “Your dad died”, I thought it’s a phone prank or wrong number so put the phone down (What else you can expect from  8 year old). Then phone rang again, the same man telling me the same thing “Your dad died”, I put the phone down.
Few minutes later my mom and sister came home, they were a bit weird, upset more like. So I asked what happened, my sister said she got “C” for one of the subjects, which was virtually impossible for my A-star sister, I thought that “now I understand why she is so upset I would be too if I knew I had C”. So little did I know.

Couple days later mom told me that my dad died, it was the end of the world for me and still is. Next year it is going to be 20 years since he died and it feels like I miss him and need him more and more. He is the missing piece in my life. I don’t care was he good or bad, I just know that regardless of all the things he would be my perfect dad, the dad I needed all my life.
I know you can’t turn clock back, but if only I had a chance I would give him the biggest hug in the world and would never let him go...

In July this year me and my husband went to see The Lion King Musical, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought and even made a joke about it that I guess I need lots of tissues with me. And when the show started that very second I had the biggest waterfall. It all came back to me, all my memories of sitting on a sofa, watching the cartoon and crying because my and Simba’s dads died and the pain reminding me that he is not with us, but will be always in my heart. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Almost everything you need to know about ovulation

I thought that there are people (like me) out there who don’t know much about it. Hope this post will help you to understand things better.
Please note, as I tried to make post more relevant to me there will be no mention of cervical mucus, basal body temperature thermometer.

First of all, menstrual cycle counts from the day you get your period (its cycle day 1).

Ovulation is when an egg (and, occasionally, more than one egg) is released from the ovary, and it’s the fertile time of your menstrual cycle.
You must have sexual intercourse during the period spanning one to two days before ovulation to about 24 hour afterwards. The reason: sperm cells can live for two or three days, but an egg survives no more than 24 hour after ovulation- unless, of course, fertilization occurs.
Your fertile days are the days leading up to ovulation, the day of, and the day after. You start to become fertile about 5 days prior to ovulation, are very fertile the 3 days prior, and at your peak fertility the day before and the day of ovulation. You are also fertile the day after ovulation, as your egg can live for up to 24 hours.
Figure out when your next period is due to begin and count back 12 to 16 days. This will give you a range of days when you will probably be ovulating. For women with a 28-day cycle, the 14th day is often the day of ovulation. To use this method, you must know how long your cycle usually lasts.
Once you know when your egg will be release from your ovary, you can plan to have sex during your most fertile days: from three days before ovulating through the day of ovulation.
You have a range of days for baby-making sex because sperm can survive for five to six days in your body. (Your egg survives for only about a day). That means if you have sex on Monday, sperm can survive in your fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg to float by, until around Thursday- or maybe even as late as Sunday.
If you’re not sure when your fertile period will be, here’s an easy rule of thumb: Hit the sheets every other day.
Another tip: If you and your partner are waiting to have sex until your most fertile time, make sure you haven’t gone through too long of a dry beforehand. Your partner should ejaculate at least once in the days before your most fertile period. If he doesn't there could be a build up of dead sperm in his semen when it’s go time, and dead sperm can’t get you pregnant.

Hope this was helpful! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I want a boy!

* Edited 05/02/2014 none of the methods we tried worked for us as we are having a girl!
I know some of you may say that it does not matter what gender is your baby, of course, I will be happy if it is a boy or a girl, but our plan at the moment is to conceive a boy.  

So I decided to Google “how to get pregnant with a boy” or “how to conceive a boy” first few websites had absolutely ridiculous suggestions,  to be honest even couple of suggestions from Askmum website were a bit weird to me, but I guess we just have to try it.

Askmum: Before even having sex, your partner can increase his sperm count by wearing loose-fitting trousers and sponging his scrotum with cool water, which is good for making boy babies. When it comes to doing the deed, you and your partner should do it doggy style, and you should try and climax first. The best time to have sex is just after ovulation.

TheBabywebsite recommends:
-          Time your intercourse exactly on the way of ovulation
-          Aim for sexual positions that promote deeper penetration
-          Monitor the pH level of the vaginal environment

The Shettles Method is a child conception idea that is reputed to help determine a baby's sex. In order to have a boy insemination should occur as close as possible to the moment of ovulation so that the faster, Y-sperm arrive first and achieve conception, according to the theory. When seeking a girl insemination the couple should seek to have sex 2½ to 3 days before ovulation. Shallow penetration coupled with the sperm deposited close to the entrance favors female conception because the area is more acidic, which inhibits the weaker Y sperm, according to the theory. To allow the Y sperm to reach the egg first (which supposedly moves at a faster rate), deeper penetration should be sought, to deposit the sperm at the least acidic area near the uterus opening (Wikipedia).
Mentioned “suggestions” are similar, the only difference is that the latter is described in more scientific terms.

Wish us luck!!!

* Edited 05/02/2014 none of the methods we tried worked for us as we are having a girl!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

My visit to a family planning clinic


First of all, I do apologise if I offend any of you (if you or your family members are NHS staff), this is my experience which I felt that I need to share with the world.

If you remember my post preparing for a pregnancy I have shared with you that I was planning to visit my GP to discuss the matter.

Before visiting my GP I wanted to be a little bit prepared even though I had a feeling that we can’t really discuss all issues within 15 minutes and more importantly will we even discuss things I thought we should discuss?!  I have prepared a list of most all my health problems I had throughout my life and prepared a blood pressure log.

I have to say straight away that on many occasions I have been disappointed with NHS services and before seeing nurse I wasn’t expecting a miracle! On the day of my appointment with a nurse from family planning clinic I showed her my blood pressure log, mentioned previous health issues I had. She did not show any signs of concern at all or did not even suggest that I can have any issues with me planning a pregnancy.

From the website of my GP: “Services include pill checks, Depo-Provera plus reviews, high vaginal swabs and chlamydia screens. She also issues Levonelle for emergency contraception and carries out coil checks (six weeks post insertion and annual reviews)”.
 To my disappointment none of the checks were offered, none of them took place. The only useful advice was that I need to take out coil 3 months prior to trying for a baby as my period needs to go back to normal and that I should take folic acid for 3 months as well (which I already knew).

After I came home and briefly spoke about this experience with my husband we decided to go to a local sexual health clinic/ family planning clinic (I am still wondering how come it is called family planning) where I had my coil removed. I wanted them to take other tests as well, but unfortunately they could not perform tests.  So i had to go to a different hospital for that.

I have decide to give another go with my GP and booked another visit to GP  this time with a male doctor. What I liked is that he was reassuring, went through many questions I had, but said that “why to treat something which does not exist” (can’t agree with that, to be honest with you). 
On the way home I was thinking but what if something is wrong with my ovary etc etc.?! I guess the whole medical system is different from my motherland that’s why it takes me some time to adjust to it. But overall he was much better than doctors and nurses I visited before, he referred me to do ECG and cholesterol blood test, which is very useful as well.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Preparing for a pregnancy

Although pregnancy is a great happiness to every family, and it is better to get ready for it so that the baby will be born strong and healthy.

As i am an organised and responsible person, so for me it was very important that before i decide to have a baby my husband and I are prepared for it mentally, physically, that we are healthy enough.  Therefore I have decided to visit my local GP to discuss the matter with a nurse from a family planning clinic.

According to Patient website most pregnancies go well and without any major problems. But, it is wise to reduce any risks as much as possible. So, a reminder of things to consider before becoming pregnant, or if pregnant...

Things you should do:
  • Take folic acid tablets before you get pregnant until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Take vitamin D supplements when you become pregnant.
  • Have a blood test to check if you are immune against rubella, and to screen for hepatitis  B, syphilis, and HIV. Ask your practice nurse to do this.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include foods rich in iron, calcium and folic acid; also, some oily fish.
  • Have strict food hygiene. In particular, wash your hands after handling raw meat, or handling cats and kittens, and before you prepare food.
  • Wear gloves when you are gardening.

Things you should avoid:
  • Too much vitamin A - don't eat liver or liver products, or take vitamin A supplements.
  • Listeriosis - don't eat undercooked meat or eggs, soft cheese, pâté, shellfish, raw fish, or unpasteurised milk.
  • Fish which may contain a lot of mercury - shark, marlin, swordfish, or excess tuna.
  • Sheep, lambs, cat poo (faeces), cat litters, and raw meat, which may carry certain infections.

Things you should stop or cut down on:
  • Caffeine in tea, coffee, cola, etc - have no more than 200 mg per day. For example, this is about two mugs of instant coffee, or one mug of brewed coffee and a 50 g bar of plain chocolate, or two and a half mugs of tea.
  • Alcohol - you are strongly advised not to drink at all.
  • Smoking - you are strongly advised to stop completely.
  • Street (illicit) drugs - you are strongly advised to stop completely.
  • Liquorice - reduce your intake if you eat lots of it.

Other things to consider:
  • Your iodine intake and perhaps discuss with your doctor about iodine supplements.
  • Immunisation against hepatitis B if you are at increased risk of getting this infection.
  • Immunisation against chickenpox if you are a healthcare worker and have not previously had chickenpox and so are not immune.
  • Your medication - including herbal and 'over-the-counter' medicines. Are they safe?
  • Your work environment - is it safe?!
  • Medical conditions in yourself, or conditions which run in your family.
  • Screening tests for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.

According to NHS choices website:
  • Folic acid. Take a 400-microgram (400mcg) supplement of folic acid every day while you're trying to get pregnant, and up until you're 12 weeks pregnant. This is advised due to the fact that folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect, such as spinal bifida. A neural tube defect is when the foetus's spinal cord (part of the body's nervous system) does not form normally. Women with epilepsy, diabetes and other medical conditions are recommended to take a 5 milligram (5mg) supplement.
  • Stop smoking.  Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of health problems including premature birth, low birth weight, cot death (also known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), miscarriage and breathing problems/wheezing in the first six months of life.
  • Cut out alcohol. Don't drink alcohol if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Alcohol can be passed to your unborn baby, and too much exposure to alcohol can affect your baby’s development.
  • Keep to a healhy weight. If you’re overweight you may have problems getting pregnant, and if you’re      having fertility treatment it’s less likely to work. Being overweight or obese (having a BMI over 30) also raises the risk of some pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, blood clots, miscarriage      and gestational diabetes.
  • Infections.  Some infections, such as rubella (german measles), can harm your baby if you catch them in pregnancy. Most people in the UK are immune to rubella. If you are thinking about having a baby and don’t know whether you are immune, you can ask your GP to check.
  • If you have a long-term condition or chronic condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it could affect the decisions you make about your pregnancy, for example where you might want to give birth. While there is usually no reason why you shouldn’t have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby, some health conditions do need careful management to minimise risks to both you and your baby. Have a pre-conception discussion with your specialist or GP.  If you’re taking medication for a condition, don’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor.