Saturday, August 30, 2008

A bit of Snowdonia, Bangor and Nottingham

We managed to squeeze some time between my work during 2 weekends to do little bits here and there, with chance to visit a colleague and friends. Now, I'm sharing a few more of about 3000 pics that we took during the the whole trip.

We just passed Snowdonia on our way to Bangor.

I could only wish we had the time to put up our own tent to join the other holiday-makers.
A pic of Beaumaris Bay as we drove looking for a hotel in Anglesey as we didn't get a room in Bangor.

The look from outside the hotel scared me a bit, but 79 pounds for a room per night was still within our budget. And we were lucky, they allowed us to squeeze in a room, knowing we will be only there to sleep as we spent most of the time at my colleague's place in Bangor.

In front of the City Council Building in Nottingham.

Bea3 and Adel Rayyan in a brand new double stroller, that just got out the box. We got it for 99 pounds from Argos, after 50% discount. A really good deal, we think.

The water from the fountain was really tempting for the the girls. It was still a little cold but the kids didn't seem to care, especially when they looked at other kids got themselves wet.

From the look on her face, Bea1 was trying to get an aproval from me. I was just busy talking to our friends and I knew getting them away from the water would involve a little yelling. With a little prayer, I just let them enjoyed themselves. They'd been strapped in the car for too long anyway.

Thanks to light travelling, we ran out of clothes. While waiting for the laundry, I put on Bea1's nightgown on Bea3 while the other two borrowed some from my friends daughter. Bea3 was delighted to get to finally wear the Cinderella gown, anyway;).

Bea1 and Bea3 were drenched. We went back straight to our friends' place and Alhamdulillah none of them got sick.

That's all for now, we will share more later. It's been almost two months since our return but I would keep on writing about it, maybe till our next trip somewhere else, whenever it will be. This is the only way for me to record things while they are still fresh in mind. Thanks for reading and if you can no longer bear with this, come back again in 2009;).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Book (Part 1)

What's the significance of publishing a book for an academician? Some of the participants in the workshop agreed jokingly that it would make the CV looks good. Anyway, publishing in indexed journals certainly gives more weightage. A medical doctor who sat next to me, with a smirk, admitted it was for getting a promotion.

The purpose of the workshop like I mentioned earlier was to encourage us to convert our theses into books, so they can be published. One of the speakers said, for a PhD to be evaluated, only a few in the exam board read it. A lot of times, PhDs are left to collect dust on shelves as a lot of the scholars just do not manage to publish them (or part of them) due to various reasons.

But before I move on, I decided to record my journey in making the book a reality as a motivation to move ahead. I'm so excited about this project but I can loose my momentum, it can be draggy and I just can't afford to delay it. I have my target.

As for myself I attended the 5 days (with 4 nights finishing at 10.30 pm) meeting because I'm just not satisfied with what I've published so far from the thesis. I have new materials now, and the only way I can share my findings from the thesis is the book. And it's the fastest way I can think of.

At the beginning of the meeting, the only idea I had was the book would not differ much from the thesis. I thought I just needed some editing, I thought it was just a one-off assignment. But the first thing the speaker asked us was who would be our target readers. It didn't take me long to decide, among a lot of other things I do, I always want to share what I've been doing with the general public the most.

I'd been asked simple questions like "How old is the cave?", "How the cave is being formed?", "How long does a stalagmite take to grow 1 cm?".

I want to express how fascinated I am looking at the harmonious relationship between human and nature, between the people and limestone hills in the Kinta Valley. The expression on the faces of visitors in Gua Tempurung tells me they are just as fascinated as I am, at the same time they ponder on the God's wondrous creations.

And that would make the book differs from the thesis in some parts, as how we write, the style we choose must really relate to the readers. And I never really thought about that.

So, now my wonderful previledged readers already know the synopsis of the book;).

The editors said mine has the potential of being published as a coffee table book. I was like "Er...what's that?". They said it must be accompanied by lots of pics from a professional. Now, that's a challenge. Another is finding a sponsor as publishing that can be expensive.

I would leave the challenges aside and worry about them later. The manuscript must be ready before November. Sometimes I think I'd explode with excitement, other times I just can't help it. I feel a tinge of sadness when I think about my recent loss, as I was in between the workshop and the hospital during that time, and worrying (and crying sometimes) all the time. The book will forever reminds me of it.

Here's the first part, I hope it won't take me long to write the second which would show some progress of the book-writing, hopefully.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tagged:Household chores I hate

Got tagged by moo mommy and later by5xmom again, exactly when I need to vent about househores.

I copy the rules here:1.) List down the household chores you hate and why. Do you think youcan survive without helpers and nannies?

Household chores I hate?

1. Ironing- used to hate it but a few years in the PALAPES in the uni built the patience in me and now I'm happily doing it mostly for hubby. I normally choose shirts that need no ironing.

2. Washing plates - got no helper at home, have to but normally I dump everything from breakfast to supper and do in one go. Say if I think I'm not in the mood, I just make sure I remove all remnants of food and run dishes under tapwater and leave them in the sink, so that I don't breed maggots. That's why got two large sinks, one in yard and one in the kitchen;).

3. Drying clothes - it's a matter of shifting the load from washer to dryer and press some buttons only hehe...but I do the sun once a week for those that can't go in dryer.

4. Mopping - most of the time, it's hubby's job as he does it better. All I need to do is making sure floor all nicely swept, and hot water is ready.

5. Dusting - er, we do maybe once a year only.

6. Gardening - we only have one bonsai in that the girls help caring.

General Housekeeping

8.Throwing out garbage - again, that's a man's job

9. Washing toilet - hubby's again!

You see, I have 4 elder sisters and I was never taught to do chores. I only started to cook when I got married, but that thing with mopping with hot water, I learned that in McDonalds while doing parttime job long time ago.

Anyway, we just hire a parttime helper, and she only did one visit so far. And now, since I'm in mini-confinement after the miscarriage, people have been telling me not to lift my finger on anything yet. The house is a total mess now, and I hope I can survive that till thursday when my cleaner is free to work. Anyway, that does not bother hubby and kids at all.

Can I do without helper? If that means live-in helper, sure I can. But as for parttime, I may ask her to come twice weekly, think both of us really need the break!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It really is not meant to be

After having about 39 days of little brown spotting, 10 days of normal period-like bleeding, 6 hospital visits, 7 docs, 6 scans, I finally miscarried naturally at about 8.00 last night. No pain and no more blood. Clean and neat.

I still ask myself just why I put myself to all the above and subjected myself to the 'agony' of waiting. I just should let the nature takes its course.

But I was just more interested to know what happened to my body, to prepare and understand what really went on.

I had allowed myself some time to grieve and to find closure. Alhamdulillah, my prayer has been answered. I'd prayed for some strength to face any outcome calmly and easily.

Though I'm accepting, I just can't help it but to think about the cause for it. After 4 symptomless, healthy pregnancies in 6 years, just why the difference now. I remember being all stressed up just prior to the trip to UK, I didn't eat well, I got dehydrated, I lost temper easily. I still dread the thought that I might already conceived that time.

Whatever it is, things happen for a reason and Allah knows best.

Anyway, I will always remember how it happened. I returned to the book workshop after the hospital visit, and it happened when I was talking to one of the participants about her book. I just excused myself and went to the ladies.

Today morning, I went for another check-up, things looked great and I didn't have to do D&C. But I still have to return in two weeks. Though hospital visits is something I hate to do, I'm satisfied with all the tests and scans. The staffs were thorough and I'm so glad that I was given option to wait and let it happen naturally.

I have nothing against D&C but if I have the choice, I rather let my body does it naturally.

We will find a place to bury the POC or the demised embryo, I'm still having problem to find a proper word for it;). POC is what the doc wrote in the paper...Product of Conception (?).

All I want to do now is to be with the kids but I have a few more hours to concentrate on the book.

Again, thanks for all encouraging words and prayers.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The drama continues....

I thought I would not update the blog about the pregnancy until certain time that I'm just ready to let it all out. But that may take a long time, I may forget the detail for whatever the outcome is, I till want to treasure the memory. And maybe, some mothers would also learn from this experience.

Ok, just to cut the long story short. After having that little brown discharge everyday for over a month, I finally had the first fresh red blood on last Saturday. I off course got devastated but tried to be calm as I'd been telling myself I would be ready for any outcome. It was heavier on Sunday but I never got any pain.

On Monday, I went to see the doc as scheduled. Upon looking at the scan, she confirmed that the fetus never grew, the gestational sac never really did develop from the 5week plus. She showed me white patches, outside the sac, blood that would be shed soon.

She decided on D&C but told her, I would do it at another hospital just to save some money. She wrote a referrel letter that went something like "....non-viable pregnancy, gestational sac 10+ week...5+ week, D&C as soon as possible".

During first visit to UMMC, I was told my case was not an emergency. I must qeue to have it done, and that would take at least a week. I was a bit surprised. I was also told that I would be checked again before any decision could be made, and must made an apointment for a date for the D&C. That was expected.

I was first checked by a medical officer, later by a gynea. Told to come again the next day, and see another gynea. I had to explain from A to Z to all 3 docs, and seriously I really got tired. The third one finally did the scan. The first thing that she mentioned was she could see the sac collapsing, and agreed that the size was just too small and further explained the white streak across the circle could be part of the collapsed wall. But later, she went on "But wait a minute....." and observed carefully again "This also could be a fetus!" and "No, no...we can't decide on D&C now". She measured the 'fetus' and annouced I could only be 7+ week, and it might be still early to detect the heartbeat.

I was staring at the ceiling, didn't know what to think but tried to act cool. I've been doing that for weeks, anyway.

The doc went to see another doc to discuss, and came back to explain I could only be 7+week, the dating could be off and asked me to wait for another week for next check-up. I should come to the hospital if I have heavier bleeding and pain.

The drama continues and some questions remain in my head....
1. It is just possible to me to be 7+week, as I suspected before, I missed June period but ovulated anyway. The earlier doc took May period as the last one to calculate the age of pregnancy. Still, is the pregnancy test stick so sensitive that it could detect hGC as early as 9 days after conception, or 5 days before due period (as always stated the best time to do the test).

2. I read and read...and yes, the sac was just too small. It should be double from what was shown in the scan. None of the docs mentioned yolk sac. Bleeding is not uncommon, my cousin shared that she had a 9-day 'period' at 5 weeks and contiued on healthy, now at 14 weeks. A little worry about the dyphaston that I'm taking. Doc asked to take 40mg at once and continued with one tab of 10 mg every 8 hours till bleeding subsides. If this is really not meant for me, would that prevent my body to 'miscarry' naturally?

Yeah...should have asked her earlier but I'd forgotten, as alway in that situation. Tried calling, but you know la UMMC is like government hospital also. Never got to talk to the doc, a nurse instead, who told me over and over not to worry and just walk in I have heavier bleeding. Tak jawab soalan pun!

Was given a week MC, hubby said he would love that more than I do. I go to work anyway, but I have a sofa in my room, a very comfortable place to lie down and nap.

I'm trying to relax emotionally and physically. Emotionally,....yes, easy I should just stop bothering about the sandiwara by the politicians of our beloved country;). Physically...yup, think that is also ok...time to call my parttime helper now;).

There is one interesting thing happening soon that can take my mind of the worry a bit...starting Monday, myself and some others will sit and convert our PhDs into books. We will be supervised by two experts. I'd just love that, the university came out with the idea to have more materials published, that way there would be wider utilisation of the thesis. And to me, I never thought I'd have my own book so soon...we are not very sure about how the books would be published or would they ever get to be published but this is the first step. Hubby joked, he knew that only one person would buy my book, it didn't bother me at all;).

Digressing....anyway, all I can do now is continue praying! And please, if you have any suggestions to share, about the pregnancy, not the book;)...please do, thanks.