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

The following is a post sponsored by Yahoo! Every time someone clicks here to make Yahoo! their homepage, they’re showing their support for Girls For A Change.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Ok, so there’s this project that I’d like to tell you guys about. Yahoo has pledged to donate up to $10,000 total for Girls For a Change for everyone who makes Yahoo their homepage. Girls for a Change  is a national organization that empowers girls/women to create change. The program inspires girls “to have the voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize their full potential” and be leaders. Since most of my readers are girls, I thought it would be important enough to take a second from our day to support such a cause. As mothers, or future mothers, we want our girls to have better opportunities, to be able to make a difference and most importantly to know that they can lead.

So all you have to do is go to this link and set Yahoo as your homepage. And Yahoo will donate money per each newly set homepage up to $10,000.

It so happens that Yahoo is and has been my home page for many years. So it would be a worthwhile change, I can tell you. First of all, I prefer Yahoo search to google. I feel it comes up with more relevant results. Secondly, all the information is at your fingertips. Yahoo is the first place I get world news from, read fun articles, interesting news stories, popular videos and local news.

So again, all you have to do is click on this link and make Yahoo your homepage ( it won’t do it automatically, don’t worry), and you’ll be benefiting thousands of girls worldwide. The link is the only way Yahoo can track the number of people who make Yahoo their homepage and donate the correct amount of money to Girls for a Change.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Girls for a Change organization or volunteering,  go to their website:

And far as my news go, well I’ve been feeling better one day, worse another day, so I’m still not out of the woods just yet. Tomorrow is my 10th week post and I hope I will be feeling well enough to make it happen.
I didn’t forget about all the other posts I promised you I’d write (nutrition, pregnancy expectations and reality and more), I am working on them slowly, and hope to get them done sometime in the future.


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

I’m 9 weeks today! Starting my 10th week.

How can I be double the size in waist area and not gain a single pound on the scale? Even if it’s water weight, shouldn’t it be showing on the scale?


How far along: 9 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a GREEN OLIVE.

What’s the baby up to:

Your baby is now about 1 ½ inches long and weighs about 5 grams, it resembles the shape and size of a peapod. Even though it is very difficult to discern the sex of your baby by ultrasound at this point, the genitals are forming. Your baby’s brain is forming 250,000 neurons every minute. Brain development is very rapid at this time. The head is upright and your baby can turn their head, open their mouth, smile and practice breathing. The outer ear is completely formed and the inner ear is nearly complete. The intestines begin moving from the umbilical cord to the abdomen and all the vital organs are formed and starting to work together. The lungs are continuing to develop. The arms and legs are well formed and fingers and toes are not webbed any longer. All of your baby’s joints are formed, so they can bend their fingers and make a fist. They can kick and curl up their toes.

Total weight gain: Well, for the past few days I seemed to have slowly lost the weight I had gained, since I relaxed a little bit with making sure I eat a lot. I just ate when I was hungry and always healthy. Obviously, that was not working, so I’ve picked up my eating and started adding whole grain bread to everything I eat, as well as eat more often and try to get closer to that goal of 2000 calories. Since I started doing that again, I’ve gained some of the weight back yesterday, so this morning it showed 1.5lb.

Maternity clothes: Not yet, but pants are definitely hard to button

Sleep: I have to say sleep has been “ugh”. I get more nauseous and crampy towards the evening and going to sleep is so uncomfortable, because I don’t want to sleep on my back as I approach 2nd trimester, and boobs are too sore and big to sleep on my stomach. So sides are the only option. I have to pee three times a night and every time I wake up, I feel anxious for some weird reason. So we started doing a routine before bed to help me relax a bit and it’s been working wonders. I don’t hurt anymore, I fall asleep easier andI don’t have anxiety waking up. Basically, right before bed, hubby gives me a short light gentle back massage with a relaxing lavender massage oil while I listen to the greatest  iPhone app ever invented for preggo women called POSITIVE PREGNANCY. It’s sort of a hypnosis app, where a guy with an Irish accent talks in a super soothing voice, sending positive messages to you and your “bebe” while “programming” your body to fall asleep. Wow, I’ve had the best nights of sleep after this routine.

Best moment of the week: Listening to the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. We got the doppler and did exactly what we decided to do: listen once and put it away. I’ll write a separate post about that experience, but it was really cool.

Food cravings: I haven’t been having any cravings recently. There are foods that I will eat more willingly than others, but I don’t really crave them. The easiest meals to eat have been cucumber and tomato salad and veggie burgers.

Food aversions: Food in general. I don’t enjoy eating and have honestly forgotten what it feels like have a normal appetite. It feels like I will never be able to enjoy food the way I did before. You do go back to liking food after pregnancy, right? I have trouble eating fish, beans, eggs, anything oily or fatty, cheeses, nuts, lettuce. I still eat it all for nutrition, but it’s a struggle. Except for fish, that I just can’t stomach.


Nausea: My nausea has subsided for a week, where I almost felt normal! But it seems today has taken a turn for the worse. We’ll see… I still don’t enjoy food and feel sick-ish between meals and at night, but it’s bearable. I guess I can consider myself lucky because the worst of it lasted only 3 weeks. Hope today was just a fluke and it doesn’t really come back.
Cramps: Have been cramping a bit, just very light aches that radiate into my right leg, which make me think that it could be just my muscles hurting from working out ( i work out inner thigh muscles, because they are important in labor and delivery)
Fatigue: It’s up a notch this week. I get tired just going up in the stairs in the house. It makes sense though, because this week and next the baby is almost doubling in size.
Other: sore boobies, an unpleasantly full stomach after eating even a small meal, breakouts, some heightened emotions.

Gender: Hoping that the 12th week ultrasound will give us a guess as to what gender our baby is.

What I’m looking forward to: The end of the first trimester and feeling normal again.

Next appt: July 8th.

I am Stuffed!

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

I mean I am bursting at the seams with all the food I am supposed to eat!

I’m not a huge eater, I normally eat very low calorie healthy stuff and I need very little of it.

But this pregnancy is demanding that I eat at least 2000 calories a day! Yikes! That’s a LOT OF FOOD! (note: all calorie calculators say at my height and weight I should eat 2300 calories plus an additional 300 for pregnancy. I found that my body is different and never fit into Bmi and calorie calculators, probably because I’m so tall and naturally thin. So my normal calorie intake has always been 1700, possibly because I mostly eat vegetables and fruits and those are low calorie. So adding 300 calories for the baby, I’m at 2000 for the first trimester)

When you don’t eat hot pockets or burgers or meat lover’s pizzas all day long, 2000 calories is a difficult goal to achieve.

I eat salads, and fruits, and sauteed vegetables, whole grains ( that make you full really fast), I drink milk and kefir( yogurt-ish drink), I even have a cup or so of coconut milk ice cream when I can fit it in, but all that isn’t enough to get my 2000 calories a day.

I get excellent nutrition and a ton of it. Nothing bad, tons of good stuff. I get a perfect balance of carbs and protein, no added sugar, 35 grams of fiber a day, less than 40% DV of saturated fat. All my good nutrients are maxed out by the end of the day ( I enter everything I eat and track the vitamins and minerals from food), sitting at 200% of Daily Value and over, but I’m still at 1800 calories. And I feel FULL! So full that a thought of another glass of organic juice, or piece of whole grain bread or even an orange is a painful one.

What do you think is more important? Getting the recommended amount of calories or making sure every single bite you take is PACKED with nutrients? Eating whatever you can to fill up your calories? Or eat as much as you can of super healthy nutrient packed foods, making sure you get everything a baby and you need on daily basis?

Tomorrow, look forward to a bump update – I will be exactly 9 weeks :)

Just a quick note for Father’s Day

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

This morning I realized that if everything goes good, today is the first FATHER’S DAY for my hubby.

When I mentioned it to him, he was still half asleep, but he did manage to say: “That’s amazing!”

And I could tell he meant it.

Often, he’d be doing things and break into one of those “parenting conversations”… I love that! I love that he thinks of how he wants to bring up our kids.

He’s been wonderful so far throughout the 8 weeks. Taking care of me, cooking, cleaning, working. It’s starting to get to him, I can tell- it’s a lot. But thankfully, my nausea is slowly easing up and I am not so helpless anymore.

So I just wanted to say that I cannot wait until I see him with our baby in his hands- I think that will change my whole world and I’ll fall in love with him even more…once again…

{ I took the photos above when I was about 4 weeks pregnant }

My First Weekly Update: 8 WEEKS

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

Hi, guys!
I’m finally at the stage where I can justify a weekly update and possibly a weekly belly picture. I don’t have a bump ( obviously), but I do have a BELL-A-Y.

Someone had the nerve to comment on my last post with “You’re ‘noticeable change’ is bloat, dear” (copied as is)!

Ha! Well, shit, Sherlock! No, I truly think that my 8 week pregnant belly is an actual baby trying to poke out. Come on!
Bloat or bump or intestines being pushed out- whatever it is, it’s there because of pregnancy and pregnancy alone. And therefore it’s a “noticeable change” :)

Please ignore my disgusting looks. I love how you can see the progression of nausea in my horrible pictures. Week 4- good and healthy, week 5- oh shit the nausea started, week 6 – ok I’m getting used to it, week 8- oh fuck! This shit sucks! ( don’t you love my forced smile haha)

So again, I almost didn’t post these because of how gross I look, but please remember, I’m preggo in the throws of 1st trimester :) haha


How far along: 8 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a yummy raspberry.

Total weight gain:Looks like 1-2 pounds, but it could be all water weight. I seem to fluctuate a lot. My goal for the first trimester is to NOT lose any weight and gain somewhere in the recommended 2-6 pounds. My maternal fat stores have exploded- WHOA! I might not be showing a big change on the scale but I feel my legs are a size of an island and my stomach…well my stomach is a separate story. Never ever in my life have I had a stomach even close to what I have now. It seems HUGE to me, considering my abs have always been awesome looking. It doesn’t freak me out, per se, but it feels so different, to be bending at your waist while sitting and actually feel my stomach lol I normally eat a lot of bloaty foods ( do healthy things have to be bloat inducing too???), and I’m used to being bloated once in a while, but this is beyond the normal range.

Maternity clothes:No way! Don’t want to, won’t go for it. I’ll wear sweats the whole pregnancy! Ahahahha Ok not really. But it’s too early for maternity. I’ll just pull out my fat jeans. I wasn’t always a size 2, there’ve been times where I was a size I’ll go back to that for the time being…and when I actually start showing we will see. It’s just all the maternity clothes I’ve seen are sooo….old-ladyish. Luckily, I’m working from home and not going many places, except for daily walks, so I don’t need a whole new wardrobe. Though I can’t wait to get some super baggy off the shoulder tops, but not from maternity stores.

Sleep: It’s been really good up until a few days ago. Since I drink so much water, I get up 3 times a night to pee, which doesn’t bother me as much as the body aches I seem to get in the morning… Oh well, hello the next 7 months of uncomfortable sleep.

Best moment of the week: This week has been pretty quiet but I loved writing the posts about how we found out and our doc’s visit, because it let me re-live it. And then reading your comments was awesome! Reading your comments,guys, is always the best part of my day! They make me feel such a connection with you all! reading about your experiences or hearing that you’ll soon be doing the same- it’s just awesome!

Food cravings:In the very beginning I was craving tomato sauce. Now it’s salt, tomato and cucumber salads, dough (and not whole grain but actual refined grain dough. I don’t normally eat refined grains, but that’s the only one you can buy ready made at the store and hubby refuses to make his own dough (and I can’t cuz I’m too nauseous). I honestly only ate a tiny bit of it. We make vegetable pizza with spinach and mushrooms, pepper, tomatoes, eggplant and tomato paste (no cheese)and we use the store bought dough. So the crust is my fave part. I’ve been salting the shit out of everything too :) Hubby thinks I’m crazy.

Food aversions: Anything sweet! Pretty much anything is too sweet for me, except for fruit and organic no sugar added fruit juices. NUTS! OMG I cannot stand walnuts now. Just the thought of chewing on them-ew! Which is too bad, because that means I have to get my omega3s somewhere else. Anything oily and greasy, obviously. Meats, but that’s normal for me, I have an aversion when I’m not pregnant.

Symptoms: Mild occasional cramps, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, sore boobies that have grown so much that hubby’s eyes light up every time he sees me topless :) Luckily, no gas or constipation so far because I eat a ton of fiber. I’ll be writing a separate post about all the symptoms and what i expected and didn’t expect and how it was different in real life. I thing preggo-to-be’s would be interested, because I was always curious what symptoms felt like and whether I’d get all of them.

Movement: just some muscle cramps and uterine cramping, which, if you think about it, is the baby’s housing growing and moving :)

Gender: I AM DYING TO KNOW! I think the best part of pregnancy is finding out the baby’s gender, because then you can picture him/her better, use his/her name, start preparing for him/her. 16-18 weeks cannot come soon enough! But up until then I’ll definitely take your votes on whether you think it’s a girl or a boy :)

What I’m looking forward to: Well, up until yesterday I was looking forward to getting our doppler…but now that I was nicely informed that doppler and ultrasound is essentially the same (less power and less damage but still), we’ll be mostly likely sending it back. If we’re careful during this pregnancy, we’re careful and we just can’t justify our somewhat selfish need to hear the baby’s heartbeat by “possibly” endangering it more than necessary. (I read that ultrasound can “scramble” brain cells in a fetus. Say what?) So now I’m looking forward to our next 12 week appointment and hearing the baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound that I can justify ( diagnostic).

What I miss:SUSHI, smoked salmon! I would love to have some sushi. That is the first think I’ll be doing post-partum-I’m telling ya! Being able to walk on our golf course ( we live on a golf course, and used to take walks in the evening. Now that I’m preggo, hubby is super paranoid about all the pesticides, insecticides and fertilizer they continually spray on the green, so he has forbidden me to walk on it). We’ll probably buy a membership at a local sanctuary and take walks there instead. Not having boat trips and wave runner outings every weekend with our friends. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat!

Next appt: July 8th.


Oh and somehow I never mentioned, but my EDD is Jan. 24-26 ( depending on whether you calculate it based on my LMP or the actual conception date).

Also, my belly heart photo you saw in the last post got onto the 1st page of Flickr Explore. Not sure why, considering it was a quick snapshot. But am still honored. I’ve only had 2 other shots that ever hit the front page, and they’ve been a lot more artistic.

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.

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