Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Wax Lady Knows All

I went to my mother-in-law's wax lady this morning to get my legs waxed for the wedding I'm attending this weekend. During our conversation, she asked me if we were planning for a second child. I said as a matter of fact I'm pregnant. She gave me this all knowing grin and said since she didn't know me very well she didn't want to say anything at first. But she said she could tell. I was amazed and asked her how. She said she can tell by the hairs on my legs!

Sue went on to tell me she had a regular client come in a few weeks ago and while she was waxing her legs, she told her client that she's pregnant. Her client was surprised and said that is not possible. But soon after she came back and said Sue was right!

I was amazed and asked her how she could tell. She said she noticed that my hairs were not resistant to all the pulling. And usually if it's a regular client of hers, its even more noticable when the hairs come off so easy.

Now how's that for a new early pregnancy detection method?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Back To Oz

Boy Wonder and I have arrived safely in Melbourne and already we are having a great time. The flight was looong, 9 hours. It felt extra long because when you have a almost 30 pound toddler crashed out on your lap and whole body, it can be torture. At least this time I didn't have to chase him all over the plane.

I was hoping it wouldn't be a full flight this time, but with my luck it was. I brought a few toys which Boy Wonder had not seen before and thankfully it kept him occupied all the way till bedtime. The only disaster during the flight was the mess up our travel agent did with our meal. She didn't inform us that since Boy Wonder had a lap seat and not a seat to himself, that meant ordering a child meal would end up with mama having no meal. The flight attendant carefully explained the situation to me and since it was not her fault, I complained alittle but didn't go spastic. Lucky for me, the flight attendant was nice enough to offer me her dinner instead since she wasn't hugry. I was amazed by her offer. I think that is the first time I've met an actually nice flight attendant. You wouldn't want to know what happened to me during my previous flights. I don't want to relive it either. So anyways, I was thankful in the end and so was my rumbling tummy.

When we finally arrived in Melbourne, customs took much longer than I had hoped due to 4 flights arriving at the same time. The lines were snaking really slowly. I could tell why because in front of me and behind me were both Asian passangers with luggages full of dried mushrooms, herbs, teas, etc. Although its ok to bring some in as long as you declare them, it took ages for the customs people to go through all the items to make sure it was ok. Good thing all I had were some cookies and a bag of formula.

So now that we're safely at my inlaws, let the relaxation begin! We're slowly trying to get Boy Wonder totally accustomed to his grandparents. Already he is being pushed to look for grandma or pop everything he tells me "lai" (meaning come in Chinese). They have started taking him out this morning for his morning run around session and also out the backyard to see the chickens and play with the dogs in the afternoons. Now we just need him to start eating if grandma feeds him and go to bed if I don't bring him there.

All this reprogramming needs to fall into place by Thursday night because I'll be meeting up with hubby in Adelaide early Friday morning to attend a wedding. I am so excited! 3 full days without Boy Wonder in tow. 10 full meals without having to worry when he'll start running around the restaurant. 3 nights sleep without worrying whether Boy Wonder is warm enough or cool enough or whether he needs a nappy change. Don't get me wrong, I'll miss him tremendously and still worry abit at the back of my mind. But you can also have my word I'll make the most of it! And I get hubby all to myself for 3 whole days!

So in the meantime, I'm just doing my best to relax some more. I've offered to cook dinner some nights and have not totally flaked out on taking care of Boy Wonder just yet. Tomorrow is Anzac day here in Australia which will be a holiday, so we'll go shopping the day after. I need to look good for the wedding. And do lots of eating for my growing hunger.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Expiration Date: When You Turn 35

I haven't written anything in awhile because for the past 2 weeks I had something pressing on my mind and needed to keep it to myself. Now the wait is over... I took a pregnancy test over the weekend and it came up positive! But I'll have to say it wasn't easy.

When we decided to get pregnant a few years back with Boy Wonder, I thought it would be a breeze. After trying for 6 months, I went to what I realize now was a crap doctor in Manila. She told me I had issues and probably never ovulated in my life. She said I needed to go on some medication and that she couldn't prescribe it to me because I was going back to HK. Devastated I went back and sought another doctor. One look at my charts, she said nothing out of the ordinary was wrong with me, gave me three rounds of Clomid, taught me how to check my temperature in order to keep track of my cycle and told me to come back if I still wasn't pregnant after three months. I returned to her in one month because I was pregnant. I was surprised at how quickly it happened.

When the time came to try for Nachos, which hubby has affectionately named the fetus, my doctor did the same thing. But this time she only gave me 2 rounds of Clomid and said to schedule an appointment with her immediately if I start my period after the second month. And to add to that pressure, we had guests over those 2 months. This second time round it made me realize, when did it get so hard and technical to make babies?

I signed up at Fertility Friend after reading a few threads on the net from women who were trying to get pregnant. It made me feel abit better knowing I wasn't alone in my quest. But after signing up and reading the community thread on Fertility Friend, I was amazed at just how many women there were out there faced with similar and even more difficult issues than me. Here I was getting depressed because it would be my second month trying while there were women on the boards who had been trying for years! They were not only on Clomid and taking temperatures, but they were getting injections, going to doctors weekly and using Ovulation kits. Some women had gone through tubal ligations, tubal reversals, D&C's, suffering from Endometriosis etc. The list was endless. I read threads from women who had started taking pregnancy tests obsessively and women who stopped taking pregnancy tests because they had given up hope.

When we were in college or when we first started dating, our biggest fears were getting pregnant. In highschool, our Religion teacher pulled out a large poster with different types of contraceptives on it. She then told us we were to use none of it because it was a sin. She then went on to teach us The Rhythm Method which we could use only after we're married. After her short lecture, she pointed to her 8 month tummy and said but sometimes it doesn't work. Growing up in a predominately Catholic environment, everything was geared towards not getting pregnant until you're married, that getting pregnant is the worst thing you could do. But thinking along the lines of my previous post Make Money or Babies, in addition to all that not getting pregnant movement, how come no one ever told us but if you wait too long, you might not get pregnant at all?

Growing up all we gossiped about were who got pregnant and how shocking it was that someone already had a baby before they got married. But we never heard stories of who can't have babies and the struggles they were going through. I guess advances in medicine had not caught up in those days, and so infertility was just accepted and not challenged. Today there are many options and I often hear of friends looking into fertility treatments. But I can't help but wonder, is it simply because treatments are available now, which is why we hear of them. Or does it really have something to do with the fact that more and more women are facing infertility issues now?

Had we been cautioned when we were in college or even highschool: "Look, you're not getting younger as the years go by. Yeah, try not to get pregnant when you're not married yet. But if you take too long you just might not get pregnant at all when you're ready. Unlike men, we have a finite number of good eggs. Wait too long and they could very well go bad." I wonder what difference that warning could have made were it engrained in us along with Contraceptives=Sin.

Right now I am just relieved and thankful that we've been given another little blessing. Hubby and I can't help feeling a little freaked out at the moment because of stories of failed pregnancies we just heard. We are extremely grateful and hopeful and want to take it easy without too much excitement just yet. But if things go well the rest of the year, its going to be one jam packed holiday season for us.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Reverse Culture Shock

We had a guest stay with us for a few days last week. He was on his way back from Japan after teaching English there for 18 months. He's a regular Aussie guy, plays footie and drinks copious amounts of beer when he's out with his mates. Denis was one of our groomsmen when we had our wedding Manila. He was almost robbed at knife point while withdrawing money at an ATM in Greenbelt. And because Denis is the way he is and super tall, he simply took a swing at the desparate would be robber and the robber went running.

When I first heard that Denis would be leaving Australia and teaching English in Japan of all places, I wondered how he would fit in and adjust to life there. Denis was the guy who wore a full-on white suit and danced on the dance floor holding a pineapple. He takes crap from no one, and if you extended a limp hand to shake hands he would simply tell you he won't shake it. How would someone like Denis survive in a country where majority of the population probably stood at half his height. But he did. And he loved it there.

One of the things that really hit me when we were chatting about his adventures in Japan and of his return to Australia, was hearing him say he had nothing to look forward to back in Melbourne. Other than playing football again and seeing his family, there really isn't anything he's excited about. And even football is iffy since he plays with people almost half his age. I told him just be ready to experience some serious reverse culture shock. Its a good thing he's already heard of the term.

I remember when I first went back to Manila after living in the US for 6 years. I was really excited at first to return because most of my college barkada were already back there. I had 2 years of catching up to do and wasted no time making plans and meeting up with them as much as I could. It wasn't easy though. I found out the hard way while it was easy for them to revert back to the way life was in Manila, I had changed.

One evening epitomized my ordeal and was the tip of the iceberg of things to come.

We had planned to meet up for dinner one night in Makati. Reservations were made for about 10 of us at 8pm. I showed up at 10 past 8 hoping I wouldn't be first. Everyone else had dates or boy/girlfriends so I was the only one without a partner. Of course when I got there I only had our empty table waiting for me. Thinking they were just abit late I settled myself hoping I'd probably be waiting for 30 minutes maximum before someone showed up. Almost 2 hours later, someone finally did.

By then you can tell I wasn't a happy camper. When I voiced my anger and dissappointment, I was told that it was my fault for showing up on time and that I should have known no one would be early. How dumb was I? Had I simply left, they would have given the table away and then my friends would have nowhere to eat. I wasn't thinking! A few months later when something else happened, I was told that we were no longer in the States and that certain "rules" had to be followed when dealing with people in Manila. That I couldn't just say what was on my mind. That I had to act in certain ways if I wanted people to like me. Too bad in those days I hadn't built up enough confidence yet to realize I didn't need them to like me.

It took me over a year before I got back into the groove of things. I needed friends and soon enough I started showing up late to dinner. Then later I figured I should just go to one of my friend's house and bug them to come earlier with me. Then later again I was fortunate enough to realize who were the ones that stuck by my eccentricities and who had dissappeared into the background.

To this day there are still alot of things about life in Manila that I do not accept or fully understand. I have simply embraced elements in which I am proud to have picked up growing up there and happy to let go of the ones that no longer apply to me. But most of all I realized how lucky I was to have been given the chance to live a life so different from Manila. And instead of shoving this fact into my friends faces, I learned to appreciate how far I've gone. I learned to be more open-minded to differences in people's lives. Before all I knew were hefty allowances, the maid, driver and never having to work before graduating from college. After returning from the States, I was more aware of other friends who lived lives so different from mine that I was never interested in knowing. Extending the reaches of my fence made me extend the reaches of my understanding and acceptance of people in my own home.

Denis arrived back in Australia this past Saturday. I wonder how he's doing these first few days back. I hope after he settles back into life again in Australia, he'll be able to realize all I had learned and even more for himself. And probably how great the beer still is in Oz.