Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Possibly my last post for the year

So not long to go now before Luka's here.
I had what I thought was my final scan last Thursday and the OB caught that Luka's growth has slowed down a lot since my 29week scan, this can be quite serious I.E. a calcifying placenta in which the placenta is starting to decay before the baby's out and the baby isn't getting as much food as he/she needs.
This can harm the baby, or worst case, cause still birth.
She was measured and weighed in at 5.4pounds (2.4kg) which is much less than the 7pounder I thought she was!

Drei and I decided to go for a quick walk along the Viaduct Harbor before our last scan and monitor at Auckland Hospital on Monday morning.

The next day Andrei and I met with my midwives colleague who called Auckland Hospital (where I'm birthing) and told them that I was coming in to have baby and as well as my contractions monitored that night.
Everything seemed fine, and after 45mins of being monitored the doctor arranged with my midwife to have me induced this Thursday to be on the safe side for mine and Luka's health.
It's a really good thing that at 38weeks preggo I am technically classed as 'full term'.

I guess I feel relieved that there's a date I can accurately go by to meet our baby now, but at the same time I'm riddled with first time 'parental guilt' at having a small baby even though I've constantly eaten and been healthy throughout my pregnancy.
I kept thinking "why is this happening to my baby" and blamed myself to the point where I really hated myself for Luka being so small.
I told Andrei and my mum how I was feeling and it all came out in a big fat cry.
After having my little moment I remember my mum and mother in law saying to me after the scan that Andrei and I aren't very big people so we could just be genetically having a small baby, plus my mum and sisters had small children too.
Either way I still felt shit and have been on a constant worry and monitoring every move Luka makes which has meant sometimes I've had to wake her up to make sure she's still alive.

I've had so much assurance from my mum, Drei and mother in law and friends too that everything will be fine and she's going to be a happy healthy baby.
They've all been nothing but amazing with helping me stay calm since finding out about the induction and I feel so safe and assured and I know I'm in the best of hands :-)

My heart melted when I was in hospital the other night; Lukas heart rate peaked quite high and Andrei came over kissed and stroked my belly and talked to her and her heart rate went back to normal. It was seriously the sweetest thing.
He's going to be an amazing daddy :-)

Yesterday we had one more monitor and one more scan to check my fluid levels in the sac. Everything is perfect but my contractions have peaked since Friday so it's definitely close to the time!

Can't wait to see our baby in her little outfit and booties and watch her dream away in the bassinet :-)
 For now I've been finishing off my nesting, our hospital bags are packed and ready and we've been enjoying our last time together as a couple before we become our own little family.

So this may be my last post for the year 2013.
When I go for my induction on Thursday it may not happen straight away and I could be in hospital for a few days depending on if and how long the artificial treatment kicks in.
But I will be writing up my experiences when I can and I can't wait to share them; also something to look forward to in the new year from me is of course Lukas intro and birth story (warning that there will be a lot of TMI, but giving birth isn't glamorous and I guess it'll give you an insight of what to expect when you go through it yourself. I've never 'sugar coated' anything in this blog and I don't plan on starting), my maternity shots and maternity style plus heaps more!

Something to look forward to, my maternity style.

You'll hear from me soon, have a safe and happy new year everyone!!!

How far along? 38weeks (9months 2weeks).

Total weight gain/loss? I've lost a kilo so I'm now 72.2kg from 73.2kg last week. I hear this very common to lose a few kgs before giving birth.
Maternity clothes? Yes and no, Read about that 'here'
Stretch marks? Still none :-)
Symptoms: Braxton's (Hicks) that feel like dull period pains, lower back pain, pelvic floor pain and a creaky pelvis, gas, and just this morning I had 'the show' which is the mucous plug that seals the cervix during pregnancy comes away just before labour is due to start.
Sleep: It's been fantastic surprisingly.
Best moment this week? This week it'll be seeing my family tomorrow for Family Day (aka Xmas) and of course meeting my little Luka baby in a few days ;-)
Miss anything? Nope.
FOTD and 'They're Real' Mascara review in the new year.
Movements? Slowly becoming few and far between. I'm constantly monitoring them and have even had to shake Luka around to be sure she's OK. It's perfectly safe but I hate doing it cause most of the time she's sleeping but it puts my mind at ease.
Food cravings? Cherries, they're in season too :D
Happy or moody most of the time? Anxious. nervous, excited.....hormonal. I've been feeling quite blue about my pregnancy coming to an end and also with being induced it's all just really hit me; I've held myself together so well throughout this time that I'm now realising I'm only human and there are a lot of things I can't control, plus learning how fragile human life is.
Exercising? Walking when I can, my gym memberships on hold.
Labour signs? Frequent Braxton's and lower back pain that comes and goes, but when it comes it lasts for ages. (TMI alert!!!) Increase in discharge. I have the early signs but not quite the beginning of the actual labor itself.
Baby is a: Girl!
Belly button in or out? In.
Looking forward to? Giving birth and meeting our beautiful baby girl in just a few short days :-)

Last weekly snap shot! 38weeks, no more counting :-)


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

9 Months and counting...

L to R: Week 7, Week 36
Crying hysterically the nurse asked me "Is this a good or bad thing?".
My reply was "Oh no, no, this is a good thing! I'm happy".
That was the first question I was asked in May after finding out I was pregnant with Luka.

It's still a good thing :-)

L to R: Week 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33
Today Andrei and I had our routinely visit with our midwife. Today it was to discuss our birth plan.
Today, shit just got real.

We covered everything from Vitamin K injections, Andrei helping to guide Luka out into the world and handing her to me, what kind of birth would I like etc etc.
And due to Andrei and I already having a plan written up in advance it was a very simple procedure and my midwife only had to add in breastfeeding and Vit K injection to be done once Luka was out.

I've decided on a water birth as I've always had a lot of pressure on my lower back during and pre-pregnancy.
The only thing this means is I can't have an epidural (which is a needle that goes on the spine and numbs you're lower body), which I'm completely OK with as I've heard nothing but good stories about water births and even if that doesn't work out I will get out of the pool and either squat or get on my hands knees.
I really don't understand why women lay on their backs, it's defying gravity and adding more pain than necessary.

Next week is also our final scan for Luka as well as me going to the hospital to discuss some religious procedures for me (I'm a Jehovah's Witness), and by the end of this week we'll have our hospital bag packed and from there it's just a waiting game.

Week 34
 I'm really stoked with how organized Andrei and I have been about this whole thing.
The only thing left we really need is a car seat and travel pod and were away!

This has been the most easiest pregnancy and I couldn't have done it without him, our families and our friends :-)

Week 35
During our meeting with out midwife she remarked on how small I am and felt around my belly.
She found that Luka's sitting right into my back (hence the back ache) and she has dropped 3cms since we last saw her (explains my pelvic floor pain) and also thinks that Luka may be due in the next 3weeks, give or take.
Andrei and I know our baby, and we know that she might be early. But we shall see, she loves it in my belly, but she is quite the mover!
At our final growth scan next week we'll get to know how much Luka weighs and have one last black and white glimpse at the little gem that has us completely consumed, I can't wait :-)

How far along? Officially 9 months pregnant! (36weeks) Phew where has the time gone?!

Total weight gain/loss? 73.3kgs, total gain 13.2kgs (29.10 pounds), I really feel just all belly right now, she's gonna be at least a 7pounder!
Maternity clothes? Yes and no, Read about that 'here'
Stretch marks? Still none :-)
Symptoms: The same as last time which you can read about 'here'. A few others that I missed are heartburn and indigestion, increase in appetite now that Luka's shifted down, Braxton Hicks, itchy skin and needing to pee ALL the time! I went 6 times in a space of an hour today!!!

Sleep: It's been difficult because of the heat and finding a good position to lay in for a long period of time before one side gets numb. Otherwise it's fine and I haven't been waking up at strange hours.
Best moment this week? Finishing antenatal classes (they are the bomb! I recommend taking them) and getting our birth plan all written up :-)
Miss anything? Nope.
Movements? Always. Luka definitely let's us know when she's moving haha! Andrei and I always place objects on where she's kicking and watch her move them about it's so cute, I'm really going to miss that. Her movements are also becoming painful cause there's not much room or amniotic fluid to cushion the blows anymore.
Food cravings? Fish pie...
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy, I've been feeling so excited and complete knowing how well my pregnancies gone ad how on top of everything Drei and I have been.
Exercising? Yes and no. I've only been to the gym once in the last 2weeks. When I went last week my pelvis was sore for days, it seriously felt like it had been broken so I'm taking that as a sign to put my membership on hold and opt for light walks and swimming.

Labour signs? No.
Baby is a: Girl!

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? Final hospital bag checks and prepping, getting my maternity shots, seeing my mother in law, Luka's last scan and meeting her very shortly :-)


Week 36 :-)

Friday, 6 December 2013

J'aime Milse

Yesterday was one ugly rainy day in Auckland and it also happened to be the day that I was to meet with a very good friend of mine who was visiting from Australia.

We both have ravenous sweet tooth's and kinda planned the day together around our stomach's and first to cross off on our 'foodie' list is this sweet boutique dessert restaurant in town called Milse (pronounced mill-sey).

The little restaurant is situated in The Pavillion in Britomart and it really is a hard one to find as it located at the end of a gorgeous fairy light lit walkway between a shoe store and another restaurant.

When we first stepped in we were greeted by a lovely staff member who explained what all the delectable treats were and backed off to let us decide what we wanted which took several minutes as my friend and I wanted the whole store!

The first thing we saw as we walked into Milse!

Mmmmm macarons!
Were the delicious gelatos were kept

After minutes of gorging our eyes with all the amazing handmade, and beautifully presented desserts we finally settled that we'd get two things each.
The first picture below was what I had chosen which was (L) a strawberry, lemon and pistachio gateaux (NZD$8) and a (R) double crunchy chocolate gelato stick (NZD$7).

And this picture below was what my friend, Minna, ordered.
(L) banana, caramel and chocolate verrine (NZD$8) and (R) black forest gateaux (NZD$8)

I can happily boast that both desserts were EXQUISITE and truly art on a platter!
The gateauxs were fluffy and just 'melt in you're mouth', the gelato stick was very rich but none the less the best chocolate fix I've ever had!
I didn't get to have a taster of what Minna had as I think both of us really just wanted it all to ourselves. But as you can see, it isn't very hard to understand why.

The one and probably the only time I'll eat dessert this fancy!

Haha! Not one of my best photo's, but it caught the sheer indulgence on my face!
The kitchen where the desserts are made. all open plan so you can see how the patisserie experts work their magic!
 The restaurant isn't very big, but has a lovely intimate setting.
No booking's are required, it's simply just a 'walk in' experience but you do have the option of takeaway, and if the dessert that you're wanting isn't displayed they make it for you before you're very eyes in the kitchen above.

*Image provided by Google.
The only seating in the whole patisserie.
We came on a good day as we were the only customers!
After our little sugar fix we then browsed around the city, chatted away and the next thing to cross off my list was a new mascara.

Picture as featured on my Instagram account (shaleyabrett_)

It only seemed fitting that I buy the product that has many cosmetic addicts raving. The one and only 'They're Real' mascara from Benefit!
I've been in need of new mascara for a year, I've been using a good one from ModelCo. but it's now drying up and clumping. After all it is almost a year old...
I haven't used it just yet, I just liked the idea of getting a photo of it near my eyes, but as you can see my lashes are already quite thick and long, I just like to dramatise them that little bit more :-)

Picked it up for NZD$43, and I don't think I'll need to purchase a replacement for another year or so, I like to stretch my makeup for as long as I can.
I'll be reviewing this shortly.

Random bit of humor we came across on our travels
Our final stop at The Occidental in which I chowed down on some homemade crispy wedges with sour cream.
 So that was my big day out really!
If you want to find more out about Milse you can check it out 'here', in the mean time I'll leave you with those photo's that you can devour 'guilt free' with you're eyes while I happily placed those calories on my hips for you ;-)

Until next time!


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bits and pieces **pic heavy

Over the last few weeks Andrei and I have been writing up lists of final things that we need before the baby arrives and getting things prepared in the mean time so if Luka does decide to arrive early we're both not running around like headless chickens buying things we so desperately need.

This blog post is pretty much just gonna cover what we have organized in means of storing her clothes to toiletries and anything else. This really is just bits and pieces of anything and everything!

Top: Bendon 'Motherlove' maternity bra from NZD$49.95 to NZD$20!
Bottom: Elle Macpherson 'Momamia' maternity bra from NZD$59.95 to $NZD$20!
In my last post here I stated that I purchased some gorgeous maternity bra's over the weekend at incredible prices as noted above.
It's taken me a while to finally get into maternity things because we don't have very many affordable stockists in NZ; plus I hate plain lingerie so finding these two gorgeous bras was amazing!
When I think about it, I own absolutely no plain underwear, everything is colourful and has a bit of playful lace added and I find that with maternity wear all you get is plain and ugly designs so I was very happy to purchase these lovely (and amazingly comfortable!!!) bras at such a decent price cause during pregnancy you still want to feel womanly, afterall it is our right :-)

Elle Macpherson 'Could Swing' bra NZD$74.95 to NZD$20!
And last but not least I brought this playful bra, which isn't maternity at all but it was so pretty I just couldn't resist!

Next on the list is how I store Lukas clothes, accessories etc.
These storage shelves are kept in the closet out of the way and is very accessable. I've organised each part into where her hats and booties are kept together, her mittens, bibs and long sleeve onsies are altogether and so on so fourth.
I'm going to be putting stickers in the front so that organsiation is kept, although I know it will be difficult once she's here!
I could not leave this out! This is Luka's bassinet all ready and set for her!
Teddies at the back are mix of mine and Andrei's old ones plus a new one which we recieved at her baby shower.

The bassinet, which was given to us from our lovely friends, has an underneath compartment where you can store nappies, wipes, cloths etc.

Pretty pom poms that were used at Luka's baby shower plus a glow-in-the-dark Jupiter which are placed above her bassinet
Picture's of baby girl from previous scans

Nice little bit of eclectic décor in our room :-) Plus a home for our polaroid baby shower pics
Two of my fave outfits! Left is a romper I brought from Pumpkin Patch and on the right is the outfit I was brought home in as a baby which I plan on dressing Luka in too :-)
Also please excuse my burgeoning belly below :P
Naww baby booties!!!
More room décor of some Disney memorabilia that I've had since I was 7!
Her name has found a place at the top of our bookshelf and in our hearts :D
A random pic of one of the shelves in our bookshelf. Two of my favourite photos and a gorgeous handmade Matryoshka doll that was given to me from my mother in law. The doll will be an inspiration for my next tattoo design :-)

And finally is my latest and greatest appliance purchase the 'Yonanas' frozen fruit dessert maker from Dole which you can read all about on their website 'here'

All you need is frozen fruit and pop it through the machine and it comes out just like ice cream except healthier and 100% guilt free!

I've made a mix of banana, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and pineapple mix which I've stored away per the pics above and below; it is delish!


This is usually retail priced at NZD$130 but I picked it up on sale for NZD$91!
I'm such a good bargain hunter :D
The appliance also comes with a recipe booklet so you can make various delicious desserts. I tried it out on my friends kids last week with a simple strawberry banana and apricot mix which they (and my friend and I) loved!
If that's one way to get you're kids eating healthier treats then I don't know what is!

That's all from me until next time, hope you enjoyed it!


Monday, 2 December 2013

Keeping Fit and Healthy during pregnancy plus update!


So the gym article I told you about in this post here has finally gone up at my gym and I couldn't be happier!

It was definitely a nice little surprise to see it hanging up when I walked into the gym this morning and has motivated me even more to keep up my fitness for the rest of my pregnancy.

A few snippets of the article :-)
Keeping in mind I was 6months when all of this took place and I'm now a week away of hitting 9months (wow!). I have slowed down quite a lot and as much as I want to keep up the weights I will be opting for just walks around the block and swimming quite shortly as the joints in my pelvis are becoming quite soft which is making things uncomfortable.

But anyway here is the article, it's quite wordy but as far as I see it this subject is very important and needs to be thorough :-)
"Hi Ladies!!!
My name is Shaleya, I'm 22years old and currently 6months pregnant with my first child, a girl, who is due in early January 2014.
Since finding out that I was pregnant in May (wow where has the time gone?!) I knew I wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle for my growing baby and not use pregnancy as an excuse to sit on the couch and gorge myself with food until I popped the baby out!
I started by addressing our lovely trainers for a new routine to suit my temporary pregnant lifestyle; and I must say I'm glad I did! Pre-pregnancy I was doing medium to high intensity weight and cardio training which I quickly found didn't suit my new situation as I almost fainted one time and threw up the other! Then again I was in my first trimester and did have a bit of morning sickness The girls did an assessment on me with taking my weight, measurements and heart rate then asked what I wanted to focus on. I told them that I wanted to focus on keeping up muscle tone in my upper and lower body, maintain fitness levels and also a good routine that would keep a lot of pressure off my back. The trainers then wrote up a fantastic routine which involves low impact cardio and weight training which I've found, 5months later, is still working a treat on my changing body
I've maintained good weight management, heart rate and fitness levels and can still fit a lot of my pre-pregnancy clothes much to my happiness and my midwives Happy midwife happy life eh?!
My belly has popped in the last few weeks and I can feel baby girl kicking quite a bit which has made me slow down with exercise, but none the less as long as I get 30 to 50mins of gym time in I feel so much better.
Lately I've been getting a lot of looks from fellow gym goers, a little bit of confusion and awe which I find quite funny and I can happily say that exercising while pregnant is 200% OK!
Here are some benefits to it:
1: Recovered lost energy
2: Strengthens muscles and joints for you're changing shape
3: Maintaining good heart rate levels and adequate weight gain.
4: Takes stress of you're body (especially swimming)
5: Keeps you're skin supple
6: Makes giving birth much easier on you're body and help you to bounce back quickly to your pre-pregnancy shape, although maybe not quite the same....
7: Makes you feel good if you feel like crap!
8: Keeps your pelvic floor muscles strong so you don't have to worry about those leaks
9: Helps you to bond with you're baby
And so much more!
But in saying that exercise is such a small part of keeping healthy as we all know; eating well is the biggest factor! It maintains good cholesterol levels, prevents gestational diabetes and gives you all the benefits of glowing skin and a great feeling of knowing that you're giving you're baby the best before he/she is born!
I love my ice cream, sweets, french fries and takeaways as much as the next person but it's so important to do it all in moderation. Unfortunately having to sacrifice some of the foods you love while expecting is to be, well, expected. There's this little bacteria called Listeria which is found in certain foods you eat, and that little bug travels down the placenta to the baby and can cause still birth and/or miscarriages.
Here's a small list of things to avoid:
1: Unpasteurised milk products - store brought milk is fine
2: Soft cheeses such as Camembert, Brie or blue veined cheeses - Hard cheeses such as Tasty, Edam, Mozzarella, cottage and cream cheeses are fine.
3: Soft boiled or raw eggs, homemade mayo, uncooked cheesecakes, soft serve ice cream.
4: Raw undercooked meat and seafoods.
5: Deli foods
6: Hummus and other such dips
7: Unwashed salads, fruits and veges etc etc...
Even that small list is terribly restricting, but it's all for the sake of having a healthy baby! There are plenty of mags and books on food safety while pregnant, plus you'll get plenty of advice from family and friends too.
It gets rather hard when cravings sink in. Not meaning to sound smug but I've been quite lucky to be craving relatively healthy foods.
I never ate tomatoes before I started carrying and now I can't get enough! I eat them with a sprinkle of salt on wholegrain crackers with avocado, salad and cheese. It is honestly the best thing ever! If you do, however, find yourself craving quite bad foods, I know it's hard but try to substitute it for something a bit healthier.
Here's a list of what you should be eating everyday:
1: 5 servings of fruit and veges
2: 3 to 4 servings of wholemeal breads, cereals or potatoes
3: 2 servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs or pulses (lentils, chickpeas etc.)
4: 1 glass of milk, some yogurt or hard cheese.
And absolutely do not try to lose weight or diet during pregnancy! Gaining weight is totally normal, it helps you to know that your baby's growing and also a bit of extra padding on yourself is your body preparing for breast feeding which you'll lose once you start feeding. Plus dieting and trying to lose weight can put metabolic stress on the baby which is not fair
And last but not least make sure you get plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, folic acid in the first trimester and iodine throughout you're pregnancy as this helps your unborn baby's eyes, bones, organs etc develop healthily and also drink plenty of water as you lose quite a lot of fluids while carrying. I try to make sure I drink 2litres+ each day.
So that's it really, it all comes down to common sense at the end of it and also talking to your midwife and gym trainers of what you can do to keep fit and healthy during this amazing time! We're 21st Century women after all and are much more clued up about what we need to do E.G not succumbing to 'eating for two' as that is a big fat LIE and is no way benefiting you or you're baby, no smoking (obviously) and no alcohol consumption (I've been told you can a have a small drink every now and then but I'd feel too guilty doing that to my developing baby).
I hope this article gave you a little insight and inspire you in someway that you can achieve and do anything whatever life throws at you! It certainly has inspired me to do my best before and after my baby arrives and hopefully she'll learn from example to keep fit and healthy when she's older

Now that's out of the way, here's an update on my pregnancy to date :-)

How far along? 35 weeks (8months), next week I will officially be in the 9months home stretch yay!

Total weight gain/loss? Total weight gain is 11.2kgs, I started at 60.10kgs and now weigh 71.12kgs which is amazing as I don't have much time left to go!

Maternity clothes? I'm wearing that ASOS dress I talked about here quite a bit plus other dresses I had before I got preggers and I brought a few maternity bras which are so so comfy! I got 3 over the weekend at Bendon outlet, 2 Elle Macpherson's and 1 Bendon, they're very pretty and were on special for $20 each!
Will put pics up soon :-)
Stretch marks? Still none.
Symptoms: Absent mindedness, shortness of breath, tummy heaviness (I've noticed my belly beginning to drop), rapid hair and nail growth (yay), softer pelvic joints, baby brain (it seriously does my head in some days!), heat due to increased blood flow (I feel like a walking sauna! On the plus side my pregnant glow is back :-) ), waddling, tiredness, nesting, backache and the list goes on...someone grab me the world's smallest violin :P

Sleep: Is 50/50. Waking up at strange hours again e.g. 2-4am and staying awake for ages! But I compensate for my lack of sleep at night for 2-3hour naps during the day if I need it. I'm also sleeping with a tri-pillow between my legs to support my belly and even out my hips.
Best moment this week? My gym article going up!

Miss anything? Not having a lot of pressure on my lower back, it gets quite sore but my mum brought me a belly band which helps support my back and keeps my belly up. It has been a godsend.
Movements? Yup! They've actually gotten stronger since I'm running out of room, it feels like a boxing ring in my belly most days and bowling ball rolling around on other days. She pokes her bum out quite a lot too which is so adorable! But the kicks in the ribs are getting old -_- She kicked me so hard the other day that it hit a nerve, not that she knows what she's kicking poor wee thing!
Labour signs? Nothing.

Food cravings? Homemade chicken salad burgers om nom nom!!!
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy, anxious and excited that it's getting so close!

Exercising? Sure am :-) I'm still doing the same routine that I started with in my early pregnancy which you can read about here

Baby is a: Girl!
Belly button in or out? Still in. It looks so funny, I really wanna draw a face on my belly and tongue coming out of my belly button it looks that weird right now!
Looking forward to? Getting my birth plan written up, Luka's final scan, seeing my friend from overseas this week and giving birth in a matter of weeks!