How we found out…

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

Ok, so here’s the story  how we found out I was pregnant.

{Disclosure: I didn’t really proofread this post since I had just enough energy to finish writing it, so please ignore typos and mistakes}

As many of you know, May was the first month we were given the self-imposed green light to start trying for a baby. Everything was in place and we were ready to go. Our plan was to try Shettle’s method for a girl. We both really wanted a girl first ( though of  course we’d be ecstatic to have a boy too), so we thought it wouldn’t hurt to use Shettle’s method in case it’d give us more of an edge. For those not familiar with Shettle’s method, it’s based on a theory that male sperm is fast but weak and female sperm is slow but very strong, so if you time intercourse to be very close to ovulation, the fast boy sperm would get to the egg faster, or if you stop intercourse a few days before ovulation, the strong female sperm will survive longer than male sperm. So it’s kind of some natural selection kind of deal. It also had to do with the alkalinity of the vagina and sperm, orgasms and a few other things ( i won’t get into the details, if you’re interested, feel free to google it).

{If you’d like to skip the ovulation timing part and go to the testing, click here }

So the plan was to start having sex a week before the big O and stop 2-3 days before it. It was going to be relatively easy for us, because my cycle has always been like clockwork, and I always ovulate on the day I’m supposed to based on the 14 day cycle. In addition to that, I had been tracking my basal body temperature ( BBT) for about 6 months, which would show THE day of ovulation as well as when I’ve ovulated. So I was pretty confident we’d know when to stop.

We were also very prepared for it to take 4-6 months for us to get pregnant and we determined to have fun and not focus on the goal. The week of baby making dance came and we, indeed, had a lot of fun. It was more fun than I thought it would be. We stopped the baby dance ( BD) 2.5 days before the supposed ovulation and just waited. I was very confident there was a very small chance I’d be pregnant that first month, hubby on the other hand kept telling me he was sure I’m pregnant. I dismissed his words as the usual macho man confidence in his sperm. Haha!

I kept tracking my temps and honestly was getting more confused. I always get a dip the day before ovulation ( some women do, others don’t). The dip happened a day early, but the temperature never rose up, so I figured that wasn’t it, then 2 days later, it dipped down again and the next day I saw the usual spike informing me that the ovulation has, indeed, happened. But what was confusing is it happened 1 day later than it was supposed to. We had already stopped having sex 2.5 days before my supposed day of ovulation and now it turns out I ovulated 1 day late. That was it, I thought. There’s no way his sperm could survive 3.5 days there waiting for the egg ( I know some sperm can live up to 5 days, but most die within 3 days). So that made me even more confident in the fact that there was no way on earth I could be pregnant that month. There was too long of a wait between last BD and my Ovulation, plus what are the chances of being pregnant the first month, really?


So I went on pretending like nothing happened and there’s no chance I could be pregnant.

I was still watching my temps and cramps very closely. On the 10th of May (5 days post ovulation {DPO}) I got very distinct cramps early in the morning, my temperature took a massive dip too ( some women get an implantation dip and this was a huge dip I’ve never seen before, that was followed by higher temps). I told hubby and he said “This is it!”. I was still very sceptical, and figured he was just saying that because all his info comes from what I tell him, so he doesn’t know that dips and cramps simply happen sometimes.

So the next day we had plans to go celebrate a friend’s birthday that I had organized and then go boating the next day. We talked long and hard about the possibility of me being pregnant. I refused to believe it was possible, because Ovulation came late and because it was our FIRST MONTH, for God’s sake. Hubby on the other hand was SURE we have conceived and got really mad at me when I told him we’d be going out the next night and the next day. He accused me of welshing out on our plan to keep me safe and away from germs and smoke and parties the first chance I got. He had a point, but I really didn’t want to miss our friend’s birthday. We looked over all the books to figure out if I was pregnant what was happening now and if me being exposed to certain things would influence the baby somehow. Remember, we weren’t willing to take even a minuscule chance. The biggest concern for me wasn’t the germs or  people, since that early in the pregnancy my body hasn’t had a chance to lower my immune system yet for the pregnancy. Out biggest worry was the smoke. All our friends who were going to be at the party smoke, some smoke cigarettes, other smoke cigars and others stronger stuff. There was no way I could stay away from smoke. I tried to convince hubby that since the baby wouldn’t be attached to me at this point, anything in my blood stream would not get to it. I knew it was wishful thinking because from the 1st day of implantation there’s little capillaries that go into a mother’s system, but I just really didn’t want to skip our friend’s Bday. I kept repeating: “I don’t think I’m even pregnant, honey!”. The conversation was going nowhere, so we decided to see how things go tomorrow and talk about it then.

So on Wednesday, the day of the dinner, while working, I kept having a strong urge to test. I knew it was impossible to get a true result this early (6DPO), but I just wanted to know. I guess I was hoping that if it’d show negative, I’d have more leg to stand on trying to convince him to go to the party. At some point in the day I looked over at hubby and with a sly smile said: “Do you want to go test?”. I told him I knew there was no way it was going to show positive this early and that I just wanted to do it for fun. He shook his head in disapproval, but agreed and we ran to the bathroom.

Now you have to remember we were both going there KNOWING that even if I am pregnant, the test will show negative. The average time that tests show true positive is 16DPO. Some women get it as early as 8-10DPO, other get false negatives up until 18DPO.  I was still over a week from missing my period.

So we get to the bathroom,I do my thing, while hubby watches all excited, pull my pants up and walk over to him to look at the stick turning together. We naturally moved into the area with more light and stood there full of trepidation. “I know I am not pregnant”-I kept repeating. We kept twisting and turning the test while waiting for the line to appear. The control line was starting to get dark and then I thought I saw IT : “Honey, do I see something?”. I turned the test slightly to drop some light on it. I thought I was seeing the faint line behind the white, like the test was see-through, but not actually the pregnancy line…. Then the line started getting darker and we both whispered: “I think it’s there”. In a few seconds there was no doubt. We looked at each other in shock and disbelief!
– “I told you my soldiers did the job the first time through”- he said.
– “Hey, it’s not just up to you! There’s lot of things that go into the whole process and make it happen”
– “I just told you! I knew you were pregnant”

We just kept looking and grinning and repeating “Omg, I think it’s there” . To explain the kind of emotions that went through me is probably impossible. I remember a hot flash running through my whole body.

I still couldn’t believe it. The very first second we realized that the line is there, I felt an amazing mix of emotions:
FEAR – definitely fear of “What have we done? Now there’s no way back”
ELATION –  I can’t believe it’s happening!
DISBELIEF – How could it be? It’s out first month, my ovulation came a day late, we were doing Shuttle’s for a girl, which means we stopped sex 3 days before O.
RELIEF – Oh thank God, we can make babies (one of my big fears was that it would take us long to conceive)
HAPPINESS – We did it! We are complete!
and then finally, about 15 minutes later
UTTER EXCITEMENT – This is it. Something we’ve been preparing for almost a year and it’s here. 


If you’ve ever planned a pregnancy or had an unplanned welcomed pregnancy, you must know exactly what I am talking about. If you’re still to create a family, just wait until that moment when you look at the line. It’s by the far most emotional moment of anyone’s life and until you experience it, you won’t know what it feels.

The shock wouldn’t wear off for a while. Even now as I am pre-writing this at 15DPO, I still cannot believe I am pregnant.

Of course, I immediately called my mom, who being an older woman, was very sceptical of how I could know this so early. They didn’t know until 2 months in.

At the party. Left to right: me, Chia, Elena

We also did end up going to that dinner. Now that we knew I was pregnant, we could tell our friends not to smoke around me. We wouldn’t go boating though.

But that meant actually telling our friends this early on. Yikes!  One of them, Elena, called me 20 minutes after us finding out, like she felt something… I couldn’t help it but tell her- I had to tell someone. I also told the birthday boy right away, because he’s an amazing trustworthy sweet man. The tough part was my two guy friends that were in town from NYC and Miami and were going with us. One of them, Robbie, used to be my best friend when I worked in NYC- we had so much fun together. Since me quiting modelling and moving back home, we’ve been slowly growing apart. He’s very judgmental and can be really rude, too. So I just wasn’t sure I wanted to tell him yet. The other guyfriend was, Alex, one of my photographer friends from NYC, single guy always looking for chicks, who’d also not understand the whole pregnancy thing, though would always be nice about it. So I was a little bit worried about telling both of them.

As the dinner was progressing, Elena kept throwing me dirty looks and telling me in Russian, so that noone understood, that I needed to tell Robbie, that he’s be very upset if I didn’t tell him or if he were to find out some other way. I kept telling her I needed time and I would tell him when I can. And that was happening while Robbie was making fun of us for being vegan :) hahaha Like hell I was going to tell him then.

My very first test

Hubby also thought I needed to tell Robbie, because he just wanted him off our back for the whole “not going boating” thing. So I was under freaking pressure :)

So finally I couldn’t handle the dirty looks anymore and I shoved my cell phone with a pregnancy test picture on it into Robert’s face.  His reaction was great: “You’re preg nant? Seriously? Guys…I couldn’t be any more happy right now! Congratulations!” I loved his reaction, mostly because I expected something snide from him.

The rest of the evening went great. They all smoked outside, and I’d just stay inside while they were doing that. So I didn’t get even a whiff of smoke.

The next day we were finally able to slow down and digest the news. I started reading on chemical pregnancies, which of course freaked me out. I was determined not to get to attached until at least the blood work was done, but hubby made it impossible, with his “Everything is going to be great- I know it!”
After reading some forums, we started realizing that getting a positive at 6DPO is not quite the norm. Most women get a positive at around 13DPO and most get a very faint line. I went back to my chart to make sure I ovulated when I thought I did and there was no mistaking it. The ovulation happened on the 5th, I tested on the 11th. There was this overwhelming urge to make sure I was still pregnant, that it’s not going to fail implantation or what not. I’m sure a lot of you understand. SoI started testing daily to make sure the line gets darker which it did day by day until at 9DPO it was the same color as the control line and the next day much darker than the control line. I stopped testing then, but I continued taking my BBT to make sure my temperature stays up.

As many of you know, this early into pregnancy there’s this huge fear of miscarriage, that’s the reason most people don’t even announce the pregnancy until 12 weeks. I am still worried about it of course, but I’m hoping everything will be ok.

I kept reading about early positive tests and one of the things that jumped out at me was the fact that in you’re pregnant with twins your HCG grows much faster than if you’re carrying a single baby and it shows up earlier on a pregnancy test due to the increased HCG.
Hubby got super excited at the idea of having twins. I LOVED it too, but I am a bit more realistic- we have no family history- the chances were small.

So on Monday 1 day before I was supposed to miss my period, I went in for blood work. My progesterone came back at 38, and my HCG was 587  ( the HCG range for that week is 72-426 and according to most women on the forums, their progesterone was in the low 20s). That was screaming twins. A later HGC test showed my level raising to 18,000 in week 5 (normal range: 18 – 7,340). My levels explained the early positive test, but we were definitely very curious about twins and had to wait until our first ultrasound which we were determined not to have too early and wait till the standard 8 week one.
Next post about ultrasound, symptoms, blood work and doctor’s visit…

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Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

Today is a special day!
It’s my best friend’s birthday!

We met in college back and in Russia and became inseparable friends. After I moved to US, we stayed in touch and missed each other greatly. Later Elena (our nickname for each other is Heloon) moved to Italy where she got married to a great guy Max. I still miss her terribly and want so desperately for her to move to US, a desire which we both share!

So today is her brithday and I’d like to yell out to the whole blogging world:


I love you and I miss you and I really hope that SOMEHOW eventually we WILL live next door to each other, have babies at the same time and sip virgin pina coladas by the pool in the eternal sunshine of Florida!

Happy Birthday Heloon!


Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, PHOTO

Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother's Day

If anyone should be grateful today, it should be me: I have the most amazing mom ever!

She’s loving and supportive, wise and strong, absolutely selfless and giving.

I hear some stories about mothers, and it always makes me appreciate my mom even more. She spent her whole life completely devoted to us, kids. There was never any manipulation and guilt-tripping. I always felt that my mom has my best interests in mind, and that, my friends, is the only thing a child needs. To feel loved and secure and full of trust. My mom gave it to me.

Growing up we didn’t have fancy toys, or a big apartment, or money, we didn’t have a college fund or pocket money, but what we had is a mother who would do anything to make her daughters happy.

She was strict, but trusting. She never treated me like a child, always like a person with my own desires,decisions and thoughts. She let me be the person I wanted to be, while limiting me in that right way that kept me out of major trouble. I never felt stifled by her, or underestimated, or shut down.

I feel that  I am the person that I am now, mostly due to her allowing me to be myself in every possible way. That instilled confidence in me, gave me forward thinking, and open-mindedness. I often bend rules but never break them. I know I can do anything and be good at everything. She helped me be the ultimate thinker, analyser, wise beyond my age.

I love her for that! The best parenting is supportive loving conscious parenting. And while it might not have been conscious for her due to hard times, it was definitely loving a supportive.That’s all I could ever ask for.

Happy Mother's Day

The Trendy Treehouse


Happy Mother's Day

New Life

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily

Do you ever have this feeling…
…where you walk outside and witness an amazingly calm moment…

It had just rained and it’s like the water from the rain renewed everything and everyone and made it shiny, new and fresh.

I was in the middle of cooking tonight and had about 5 minutes to spare. I walked out onto our front porch and paused. I didn’t know it had rained. It might have been a calm warm Florida summer rain that goes by in 10 minutes, only leaving a trace on the shiny pavement, cooling the air, making birds sing like they’ve witnessed the beginning of life. It was dusk: still light enough to see every single bit, but dark enough for the streetlights to turn on. The air smelled unreal…unreally good…unreally fresh. The humidity of Florida and the cooling of the air produced this out-of-this world quality in the surrounding air, flowers, palm trees, bushes and streets.

I wanted to bottle this feeling, this atmosphere, this moment. Oh how I wish I could take a picture or film a video of the street, but I know from expierience that something like that cannot be transfered on film. It’ll lose its magic, it will be too dark, or not dark enough, the colors will be all wrong- so I left the camera in the house and just enjoyed it.

Not many things stop me in my tracks, but this moment did. It made me think about how beautiful life is. It made me sad, but in a good way, that way you get after a refreshing rain.  The birds obviously agreed, because the melodies sung were sad and gentle at the same time. My husband walked out and just hugged me at my waist and we stood there marvelling at the beauty of nature, the beauty of Florida.

We are so lucky we get to enjoy it every day, right here from our front porch, or on our colorful hammocks overlooking the golf course on the back patio.

I would never be able to live in the city! I love greenery, I love piece and quiet, I love moments like this where you can just appreciate nature. I am a suburbia girl, that’s a fact.

I lived in New York for a time, and while that life can be amazing, and exciting and alluring, I think it was only that way because I was a model, with all the doors open to me and people doing everything for me. I can never imagine actually living there as a family.

In my mind, I say it again and again and again: “I love where I live”. And that’s such a big thing, don’t you think?

Oh and can you guys please vote for me below. The numbers are reset and I would appreciate being in the top few pages. Thanks, loves!

Lazy Beach Days

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

I find days like these  the most magical.

We’re always in a rush, always working, never seem to have time to just relax and go somewhere. Plans to meet up with friends or go to the beach are always viewed as an inconvenience or obligation until we actually get there….ahhhh. And then we remember what life is about.

It’s so easy to get lost in the “work work work” mode, or the “baby” mode, or whatever currently occupies you. So hard to step back for a second and remember why we are here. And that is to enjoy life to the fullest. For some people that might mean food, or alcohol or smoking or fast cars. For me, it’s the easy laid back days at the beach like yesterday.

When people find out we’re vegan/vegetarian and we don’t eat most processed foods,they  say “You only live once! Enjoy it! Stop being so strict with food. Live a little!”

But for me THAT IS LIFE! I love being healthy and feeling healthy and I want to continue enjoying beach days like this well into the old age. I want to look good and feel good forever. That is why taking care of my body, being mindful of what I eat, how much  exercise  is not a chore for me. It honestly brings me joy. Joy that I am doing the absolute best for my health.

How did this post turn into a health post? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that moments like yesterday is what really makes me feel alive. And photography prolongs those feelings because I get to bask in those moments for a few more days while I edit the photos, and then a few more when I share them with you, guys. And then when I’m old and wrinkly, I will look at my young hot self and for a second remember what it felt like.

Linking up with
Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory FridayGrace Loves the Beatles
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli


Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily

Do you know what sucks?

I’ve been pining over some new clothing stores I found online and have not been able to do anything about it?

What’s the point in buying new clothes when your closet is filled with old stuff and you’re about to grow a stomach the size of a watermelon?

Agh! So frustrating! Clothes is like therapy for us, women! I don’t need no Prozac, just give us some dough to buy something cute and we’ll be all right.

Just needed to get his out :)

Also, I haven’t been able to comment on anyone’s blog for a week or so, because of stupid MyOpenID that suddenly deleted my accounts.
They’re now re-opened and I am back in business!

A little bit of everything

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily


  • I was out rollerblading today and for once my hubby came with me. He usually runs or bikes while I Rollerblade, but that’s never fun, because I can’t go at the speeds I want. So i was all happy and showing off my  awesome blading skills, doing figure eights when suddenly my rollerblades wavered…and BAM! I went flying onto the pavement. All those days of wearing knee and wrist and elow guards when i was first starting to rollerblade and not a single fall. And as I get confident enough, it has to shutter my spirit, damn it! My fault for trying to show off. But now my right knee is badly skinned, so is my right hand and wrist. I also really bruised my wrist bone on my left hand. Fun fun fun! I think I might have been in a little bit of a shock, because after we bandaged me up, I insisted we go back out because “I didn’t get my rollerblading done” hahaha
  • We’re officially a month from trying to conceive.
  • I met a neighbor who’s preggo right now. Our neighborhood is so quiet that sometimes you forget anyone lives here. I’ve seen this adorable looking couple walk by our street a couple of times with the girl being very pregnant,we always wave to each other…. I thought about introducing myself, but never really had a chance. So a few days ago, as they were passing by, I said hi and told them we’ll be pregnant soon, too, hopefully. We spent a lot time chatting. We are amazingly alike. It’ll be nice having another new mom right here on my street.
  • I’ve been sort of missing  from both my blogs, because it’s tax time and with us being the lousy procrastinators as we are, I am forced to catch up with all the inputting for the year for 2 different business and personal returns. Let me tell you that’s a lot of work
  • I decided to push myself harder on the exercise front, thanks to the inspiration that adorable 7x7xmommy gave me. Anyone who looks like that at 29 weeks deserves my respect. I want my pregnant belly to have the shape of a uterus and not a beach ball. My abs have always been very strong ( genetics?) but it won’t hurt to pump them up a bit before I get pregnant. Plus I resolved to do more stretching and flexibility exercises which will help too.
  • I discovered that sleep is everything for me ( ironic, right? Just as I am getting ready to put myself in a position of restless sleep and then no sleep at all). I have been feeling crappy and not up to my usual work outs lately, and it turns out I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I have been setting the alarm for 8 am, and trying to go to bed at 9, but really making it by 11 at the earliest, but mostly by 1. The last two days I’ve let myself sleep  in till 10 and, my, what a difference it makes. I am full of energy, happy, ready to work out and work.
  • Reading more about babies made me realize that I need to get some things done before I don’t have time: some video editing, major cleanings, painting ( our house has been  half painted for two years now)
  • I want to start a weekly pregnancy/motherhood question feature here just for myself. I have so many mom readers and blogger friends, it seems silly not to use their wisdom to my advantage. Weekly I will be posting a question that bothers me or that I want to hear your opinion/experience on. It’ll have something to do with pregnancy/motherhood and I would REALLY appreciate it if you all could participate and give me your opinions.


A week in Cell Photos

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, PHOTO

Starting with most recent events:
Below: pool time with friends and their babies.

Our seasonal neighbors left this week. I am going to miss them a lot. I had the kid’s climb into my fort. They were so amazed! I see them begging their parents to build them one.
Two photos below: time out with some internet friends from Flickr. I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting long time internet friends in real life.

St Patty’s day: Green overload.

Beautiful Third Street South on St Patty’s Day. That’s why I love Naples…. There is so much beauty to be found any time of the day and night.

Awesome epiphany that my hubby’s clothes doesn’t fit any more. He has lost 30 pounds in the last 4 months and we’re “forced” to buy him all new clothes.

Super cute sunset on the beach in Naples

And that’s my week in photos. For once it was exciting enough! We gotta get out more :) lol

Workin’ it!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, PHOTO

Naples Winters

How are you guys doing on your fitness/food goals this week?

I am happy to be doing much better. The weather is gorgeous, sun gives me a TON of energy!

I am getting ready to go do pilates and I jsut thought I’d check in and see how you all are doing.

On a different note, my new policy with maternity coverage should be arriving in the mail in a few days. I cannot wait to read it ( yeah I am a nerd that way) and make sure everything is in order and what it all covers.

Naples Winters
I’ve been busy this whole week studying for my {re-}licensing classes and exams we are being forced to take again along with new CE credit in the future because the state decided to switch to a new system, thus making us re-do all the work we did when we first got licensed 6 years ago.
Yesterday I passed one of the classroom exams, have 2 more online ones, and another classroom one. Don’t need to wish me luck, cuz honestly this is bullshit that they’re making us retake it all. We’ve been in the business for too long to need luck or to worry about the outcome.

I am so busy but my heart aches to go to the beach. I am hoping I can get hubby to go hang out at the Third Street South, which is covered with blooms right now…listen to live bands, and watch the sunset on the beach…. Would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Naples Winters