Friday, December 15, 2017

week 28 - welcome third trimester #pregnancyDiary


I've another doctor checkup this week. Baby's movements have felt stronger in general. This morning I put my hand on my belly and felt like a ripple underneath like she was moving from one side to the other! According to my pregnancy apps, my doctor appointments should start increasing to every two weeks when it gets closer to the end. I would say that I've been starting to feel a bit heavier and more tired in general. I also find it hard walking as far and tend to get out of breath easier. That said I'm still feeling good in general and enjoying this time.

We are going to order some new furniture for the baby room which should arrive during the Christmas holidays when we are both off. I'm really excited to get organizing the room and sort through all the clothes. Once I know exactly what we have I can see what's left for us to buy. Two of my friends are throwing me a baby shower in January/February. It will be so nice to finally get to have my own baby shower after attending so many and wondering if it would ever be my turn. I think some of the games can be a bit silly but it will be nice to get together with friends and feel the support. I'm going to invite my German mother in law too as I think she would love to be included. She really enjoyed seeing the 3d ultrasound pics from our hospital visit last week. She told me she can't stop looking at them. She's going to be such a sweet Oma (German Granny).

This is a "before" pic of the baby room now. As you can see it's pretty messy! Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to post a new pic once the new furniture has arrived and I've sorted through the stuff. We'll probably move that book shelf somewhere, and also change the leopard print duvet cover haha!


Several people have commented that my pregnancy is going very quickly for them. It's been going fairly quickly for me too actually. Well the first trimester was slow because I was just living from appointment to appointment and nervous but the second trimester has gone fast! And now I'm already in the final stretch.

Friends of us who have IVF twins gave us several boxes of nappies they never used plus various sized baby clothes, some which they had also gotten passed on to them by friends. At this stage our child probably has enough to wear and I don't even need to buy anything else for the first few months! I think it's so nice that friends seem to pass around baby clothes as from what I hear you don't get that much use of of them since kids grow so fast and saves you having to buy too much new. They even gave us two of several items, as they had bought one for each of their daughters!


You might remember I briefly mentioned having a friend who's due about two weeks after me. She's had a very stressful time lately. She caught something called the CMV virus. Many women are already immune to it but around 1% of women who aren't can catch it during pregnancy and then it could potentially cause problems with the baby such as hearing issues (in around 20% of cases)! My friend had to get lots of tests done and it was a very worrying time as you can imagine.

Luckily they were able to determine that the baby was only exposed to it after week 20 and by that stage would have much better odds of having a stronger immune system and being able to fight it. All the scans have looked great. However her baby will need to get a bunch of tests done after birth to check he wasn't affected. I'm not immune to CMV and both our doctors said it would be better for us not to meet up for the remainder of my pregnancy just in case as it's better to avoid taking any risks. It's disappointing as I would have liked to have kept seeing her! But better to be on the safe side. Once are babies are here we'll be able to meet again and in the meantime we've been keeping in touch with whatsapp. I'm also hoping to pass on some of the extra more gender neutral baby stuff to her.



After 28 week check up at doctor

Everything went well at my appointment. On top of measuring any contractions they also monitored the baby's heartbeat this time. I was attached to the machine for about 40 minutes altogether. It took the nurse several minutes to locate the heartbeat at the beginning. I was trying not to worry as I'd already felt plenty of movement that day but it was a little scary all the same. My husband was able to make the appointment this time which was nice. The big news is that the baby is already in position! At the hospital almost two weeks ago she was lying vertically but now her head is down. To me that doesn't seem very comfortable but from what I read because they are surrounded in water it's fine for babies in the womb! There's a good chance she will stay in this position until the birth so it's unlikely I'll be breech which is also great.

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

week 27 - last week of second trimester #pregnancyDiary


According to my app I am already in the third trimester this week. However other websites often count the beginning of the seventh month from week 28. Either way I am grateful for each day my baby keeps growing! I know a few stories of children being born preterm and it can potentially cause health issues. I've been enjoying feeling our little lady kick and move. She's particularly active at night, sometimes even keeping me awake, haha! The other evening we were watching tv and I could see an indent on my left hand side as if a foot or elbow was pressed against it and it felt hard to touch for a few seconds until it went back in again. Another two weeks until my next doctor's appointment which should hopefully include a scan! I am starting to feel a lot heavier in general and it's very nice to put my feet up at the end of the day.

Written later in the week
Well I ended up having another scare this week! To close the second trimester with a bang. I left work one evening and started having these really painful cramps on my way into town for a pregnancy massage appointment. It felt like bad period cramps but a bit higher up. At first I thought the pain was continuous, it was certainly very unpleasant but then I realized that the cramps would get worse every so often and then ease off. Sort of like I would imagine contractions to be like! There didn't seem to be much of a break in between and I started getting really anxious wondering what I should do. I called my husband and he thought I should cancel the massage and go to the hospital to get checked out (at that stage my doctor's practice was closed).

When I got to the massage appointment the pain was still there - it had been almost an hour. The masseuse who's like a holistic therapist said that it wouldn't be good to do the massage with me like this and suggested we postpone which I was glad about. So then I made my way to the hospital. Tt wasn't that far off since I was already in town. However my sense of direction has never been my strong suit and I ended up getting lost finding my way there! I tried using google maps with my GPS but it seemed like I kept walking the wrong direction. Anyway I found my way to the hospital eventually but then got lost again looking for the women and children's clinic. At that stage my husband wasn't too far away so I decided to wait for him and go in together. He also brought my "Mutterpass" with me which is the booklet they give you here when you are pregnant with all your relevant info. By the time I had reached the hospital the cramps had stopped and I felt fine again. So then at first I wondered if I was overreacting going there but then my overactive imagination started worrying that maybe the pains were a sign that the baby was in distress or choking on the umbilical cord and I started feeling really nervous!

We were sent straight to the labour ward to get checked out. The staff there were lovely. I was hooked up to a machine to measure contractions and mine and baby's heartbeat for around half an hour. Hearing the little heartbeat was reassuring. My temperature and blood pressure were also taken. We were also asked lots of questions about our medical history. It's good they have my info on file now. If you go into labour before week 36 you have to automatically go to that particular hospital. If it's later then you have a choice of other hospitals to give birth in. Next we had to wait for a doctor to analyze the results.


Eventually we were called in and I was told I'd get an ultrasound. There were two women in the room who I thought were doctors but I think now that one was probably the ultrasound technician and they must have been still in training. They asked me a series of questions and then started the scan. It was reassuring to see the baby on the screen. The ultrasound technician spent a long time looking at the baby's stomach and then she commented to the other girl in front of me (they were both quite young) that it looked like the heart and stomach were in the wrong place!! Like on the wrong side. Jeez! That's not what you want to hear. So then the other girl phoned another doctor to come down to take a look. Of course I was thinking oh my God, something is wrong with the baby at this stage and praying all would be ok! The girl then told me it's nothing serious, not to worry but of course I was anxious. She'd asked if we had had some kind of thorough scan already and I said the ones that are done at 12 and 20 weeks at the gyno. That didn't seem to be the one she meant though.

Anyway the other more experienced doctor came down and he was very friendly. He did a really thorough scan and it was clear then that he was also teaching the other girl. Like, here is the heart, here is the stomach, all perfectly normal etc. Thank God! He was really nice too, cracking jokes and just putting me at ease. We saw the baby yawn and taste the amniotic fluid! But the real highlight was when he used the 3d scanner and we got to see our baby's face. That was just incredible. She looks like a little person! It's so different from just seeing the black and white 2d images. She even had a little grin in one of the pictures.

We didn't get home until about 10.30pm that evening and we were exhausted by that stage but so relieved and delighted that all is fine and that baby is doing great. The doctors think it must have been practice contractions I had. My cervix is still closed so all is fine. I feel like a bit of a wimp though because I found those contractions really painful! I am hoping to have a natural birth without an epidural, you see. However it was probably extra uncomfortable going through the pain while sitting on the tram on my way into town. If I'd been able to get into a more comfortable position or have a bath for instance it might have been more bearable!

I only had a small snack before going to bed that night but then woke up feeling ravenous. I thought it was the morning already but when I looked at my phone it was around 2.30 in the morning! Ignoring the hunger wasn't working so I got up and made myself a quick bowl of porridge. Poor hubby got worried when he noticed I'd left the room but I told him everything was fine, I just had to feed the baby! I'll have to try to make sure I eat enough in the evenings before bed. Getting up in the middle of the night didn't bother me at all as I was still feeling so relieved that everything is fine with our little one. The next day I was extra tired in work though! So sort of a dramatic week but thankfully things progressing as they should. Hopefully the next few weeks will be calmer!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Weeks 25 - 26 first birth preparation class and a trip to Dublin #pregnancyDiary

Week 25

Not much to report really for this week.
  • The weather has been pretty miserable here. Dark, cold and rainy. Feels like winter already
  • Work has still been crazy busy
  • A lot of my healthy eating habits have gone out the window lately. Hoping to get back on track soon

This week was my first birth preparation class, called Geburtsvorbereitungskurs here. In Germany your health insurance covers the course and you just have to pay the fee for your partner. All the classes at the hospital were already booked out when I looked into signing up at 16 weeks but I managed to find a course locally held by the Chinese lady I did acupuncture with before. Even though my experience hadn't been great and I don't think acupuncture is for me I've heard her classes are good and she had a place available. The course she offers has two evenings with just the women and then two weekend mornings with partners. I had heard that the birth preparation classes can be a good way to make friends so I was hoping that might be the case.

The instructions were to dress comfortably so I wore black maternity tracksuit bottoms which sort of passed for work trousers (I think!) with a long top. There were about ten of us in the class and we sat in a circle on mats on the floor with cushions for our backs. It felt a bit strange for me to be part of this pregnancy club now after all the years we had been struggling with infertility. We had to go around and introduce ourselves. Three of the women are on their second or third babies but the majority of us are pregnant with our first child. I wondered about whether anyone else there might be having an IVF baby too, or have had difficulty but no one mentioned it and I didn't either. Maybe at a later point if the opportunity arises.

The due dates range from December to March. We learnt about what happens to your body during the nine months and birth, discussed pregnancy symptoms, the hospitals in our town in terms of advantages and disadvantages then general newborn care and breastfeeding. Some stuff was interesting but other things I knew already. The end of the class was spent trying to sell us things which I didn't like though! The Hebamme who gives the classes clearly has some sort of agreement with another lady who sells baby stuff and she came over to show us the things. I already have plenty of baby clothes and blankets so didn't really like having to spend 40 minutes looking at more stuff. The things seemed expensive too. Like 50€ for a snow suit or 37€ for a babygrow. At that stage I was tired and hungry as I'd gone to the class straight after work.

Anyway, the other girls in the course seem nice but everyone was a little shy and no one was exchanging numbers or suggesting meet ups. Hopefully at a later stage we could set up a whatsapp group or something. It would be nice to have some people to meet up with once the baby comes and to keep my German up while I'm out of the office! One of my other pals here who's american commented that she has a group of friends with babies around the same age as hers and they often go for play dates together. She mentioned that she feels more integrated living here now she has German friends.

I've also started having braxton hicks or practice contractions I think! I noticed an uncomfortable feeling around my pelvis area and cramps for the first 20 minutes of the birth course and then the next day in the late morning. I did start to worry a little about pre term labour but the pains weren't so bad and after asking some other women in my facebook group, apparently if it were real contractions I wouldn't be able to talk or do anything else during them! Off to Ireland tomorrow.

Week 26

Overall I had a nice trip to Dublin. I got a chance to meet most people again and now I'm ready to stay put in Germany to prepare for the baby as I get into the third trimester. There were some lovely moments catching up with friends and everyone has been so supportive and happy for us which has been really lovely. My aunt commented that we shouldn't buy too many pink things in case the doctors get it wrong and we end up having a boy! My doctor did say he is 100% sure of the sex so I think it should be fine. I agree with the sentiment that baby girls shouldn't just be put into pink clothes and I do plan to buy a mixture of colours. However I'm a feminist who also likes wearing pink so I don't think there is anything wrong with it personally! I guess I would avoid slogans that just say things like "princess" though. It was strange saying goodbye to people thinking the next time I will see them I will have a young baby with me, please God! We plan to fly over to Ireland next Summer.


Something really awful and unexpected happened while I was in Ireland though. The younger sister of a good friend of mine died unexpectedly. The poor family are devastated and it is just a nightmare. Depression is an awful illness that takes far too many young lives. I was glad that I was home and was able to visit my friend. My heart aches for her and her family. I clearly remember almost 13 years ago when my Mum died and what a horrible time it was. This has actually been the third tragedy under various circumstances involving someone in their 30s who our family knew since the start of this year. Of course death is always terrible, but there is something even worse about it when it is a young person with so much life ahead I think. Things like this just remind you all the more how short and precious life is.


In terms of the pregnancy and travelling, I didn't experience any complications flying and wasn't even asked to show the letter my doctor had given me saying I was safe to fly. I'm glad I made the trip over.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

week 24 - viability milestone #pregnancyDiary


Week 24 is a bit of a milestone. This is the earliest that a baby could possibly survive if he/she were born already. The statistics improve for every extra week they stay in the womb. So it goes form odds of only around 40% at this week to around 90% by week 30. It's great to have reached this stage.

At the weekend we had to run some errands. Since we do car sharing it makes sense to rent the car for something like four hours then try to get everything done at once. It can be a bit of a rush though! We brought some garden waste to the dump, went to the hardware store to pick up some things, then went to a furniture shop and finally to the supermarket for groceries. It was Saturday morning so everywhere seemed to have traffic and long queues. It was good to get stuff done but exhausting. I felt a little faint at one stage at the hardware shop so once we got to the furniture place we went to the cafe for a snack. Once we got home and had unpacked the stuff we had to prepare lunch before finally we were able to put our feet up and relax.

On the way back in the car it suddenly hit me that next year we will have a baby and everything will change. Planning a trip like that would have a whole other dimension added as presumably we'd have to think about bringing a nappy changing bag, be aware of naps and feeding times, use a car seat and have a buggy or carrier. Of course I have often been daydreaming and imagining how things will be with a baby but the huge responsibility of it just struck me all of a sudden! This isn't going to be something we'll be doing for just a few weeks, our lives will be changed forever. I'm not saying I'm not ready and I don't want this completely. It was just a moment of thinking of how much our lives will be different next year!

I've had friends in the past say to me that after they had their kids they had to mourn their old lives - being able to do things spontaneously for instance. As someone going through infertility I didn't have that much sympathy since I was more than ready to give up a lot of my freedoms, though I would try to understand. Of course whenever I picture our lives with a kid I imagine a well behaved easy one. I'm not daydreaming about being thrown up on or having to look after a screaming baby, haha! We'll figure it out though. Hubby and I will make a good team, I hope. I've been reading lots of articles about parenting so I do think I'm somewhat prepared. My birth preparation course starts next week. Hopefully we'll be shown how to change a nappy and bathe a baby, practical stuff like that but if not the Hebamme who will come over after the birth should help us. It's nice to have a few more months to prepare for baby's arrival.

A few days ago I went to the general doctor to get the flu vaccine. My arm was a little sore for a few days after but otherwise no side effects. She commented again how happy she is for me and also that I seemed much less anxious compared to the last time I was there. I had gone to her with my bad cold and cough and asked if I could also be tested for listeria while I was there as I'd worried I'd picked it up by eating some smoked salmon. She had looked at me at the time like I was a little crazy and told me if I had listeria I would have symptoms and it's really unlikely to get it. These days I don't freak out as much about little things.

I had another doctor's appointment this week. This time there was no ultrasound unfortunately. But it's ok, I've been feeling the baby move a lot now so I'm not as anxious to see what's going on in there! Everything was good. He commented that my cervix is "very nice", haha! I had to drink the sweet drink and get my blood taken an hour later to check my glucose levels. I got the results after a few days and they were fine thankfully. The doctor told me I can stop taking the baby aspirin tablets now. He thinks that might also help against my frequent nose bleeds. He wrote a letter for me to bring to the airport when I fly next week just in case it's needed. Hubby wasn't able to come with me and he'll have to miss the next appointment in a month's time too sadly, but the one after in January he'll be able to make. I've been feeling really grateful today that this has been such a smooth pregnancy overall. Hoping it continues to be so!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

week 23 - no news is good news #pregnancyDiary


My job has been quite stressful lately. Some people left and now there is a lot more work for the rest of us until they find and hire replacements which will probably take months. I've had to do a fair bit of overtime recently too. At least, this was a short week at work which was nice. Baden wurttemberg had two public holidays in a row this year, October 31st and Nov 1st. Hubby and I had a lot of relaxation time. Not much else to report lately. We binge watched the new season of Stranger Things which was really good. I've been catching up on my reading.


The most annoying pregnancy symptom at the moment is probably the heartburn. I tend to get it really bad most evenings. It feel like my throat is on fire! I've been managing quite well with antiacid tablets though. As I mentioned before we already have gotten quite a lot for the baby. Mostly things were given to us by friends who don't need them anymore and we also picked up some stuff second hand. We plan to buy a chest of drawers to put all the clothes and blankets in. We also have to get the cot still. I love the idea of the ones which attach next to the parents' bed to make feeding easier and so the baby is close to you but also in their own space to avoid the danger of SIDS. I've been picking up lots of tips from talking to friends so I think I'm starting to get a pretty good idea of what life could be like with a newborn.

I did feel a little uncomfortable at first with us getting so much baby stuff already as if it were up to me I would have waited longer to start preparing. In Ireland traditionally people are very suspicious about buying things for a child before he or she is born! My parents' generation were like that and some people still are. Things have change massively in recent years though. On a facebook group I'm in for Irish women due the same month as me I noticed that most of the woman had already gotten loads of stuff by this stage. I decided that I don't want to wait until the baby is here to start getting everything- that would be totally stressful! I'd rather be prepared. Also I think at this stage in the pregnancy it is ok to feel relatively secure that everything will be fine. So we are going to continue to prepare and aim to have most things ready by January.

Since the 20 week scan I've also started feeling a lot more relaxed about the pregnancy in general. I'm not as anxious anymore. I've been letting myself believe that we will have a baby and just feeling happy and excited! I've also started to feel more relaxed about things in general, not being as anxious that any little thing I do could negatively affect the baby. I've even introduced some gluten into my diet again. I had quit it as I'd read undiagnosed gluten intolerance was frequent among women with unexplained infertility and it had also been giving me some digestive issues. I find now though that eating it occasionally seems to be ok. I've also been eating dairy which I'd cut out during the past IVF cycle. I was craving it a lot (particularly cheese!) and thought I should have some in case my body is missing the calcium or protein. I try to go for the low lactose options of course though as I still have a lactose intolerance. At first I wondered if I was becoming too relaxed- basically worrying about whether I'm not worrying enough! However I realised how silly that sounded and also decided that me feeling less stressed and more happy has to be a good thing for the baby.


Life can be hard, there's no doubt about that. There are plenty of times when things are awful and there probably will be in the future unfortunately, so when things ARE going well why not let yourself be happy? I'm not going to worry about "jinxing" it but will allow myself enjoy this special time. So that's been my attitude lately! I've been spending some quality moments with hubby, catching up with friends, and having daydreams about the future when we will be a family of three.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

week 22 - being social #pregnancyDiary


This week since I've been feeling good I arranged several meet ups with friends. Since most of the people I know here already have kids, a few have kindly given us lots of their old baby clothes and various items. One friend brought over three bags full of little girls clothes! I'm delighted to get all the stuff, certainly all the various baby paraphernalia can be really expensive, but I also really want to buy some things for our child too. At the weekend we took a trip to a baby shop and had a look around. It was all very overwhelming to be honest! There are so many potential things to get. I'd like to try to be a bit of a minimalist parent and only buy things that we'll actually use.

I've still been getting pretty bad heartburn these days, nosebleeds and leg cramps. Also I've noticed I often wake up early but then can't get back asleep. Those are my only real "complaints" at the moment and none of those are that bad. I've been lucky that the second trimester has been fairly smooth sailing and I'm grateful for that.

I had no idea that buggies cost so much! You are talking 800€ plus for the nicer ones. And even though we don't own a car we occasionally rent one so it could make sense to buy a baby seat. Those are 100-300€ and only for the first year. From age one to three you need to get another one. I certainly don't want to buy stuff we don't need so I'm trying to work out which items we will actually use and which aren't necessary. For instance, instead of paying several hundred on a special changing table, I'm thinking of using the top of a chest of drawers. There are some markets here where they sell used items so it might be worth checking them out for certain items. In Germany when you cycle a lot with kids you can buy an attachment for your bike. Very handy though these can cost around a thousand!

We will need to apply for the play schools here before the baby even arrives apparently as they really do get booked out fast. You need to fill out a form and register for your favourite seven then also go to them in person, plus it helps if you know someone. There's one place which has a good reputation and both English and German are spoken which would be ideal.

Only two more weeks till I reach viability stage! How cool is that? So I have decided to go to Ireland one more time before the baby arrives. I know we had decided earlier on in the pregnancy that I wouldn't travel anymore but that was when we were still feeling a lot more insecure about everything. At this stage we are both feeling more confident and I've been a bit homesick lately. This will be my last chance to go back during the second trimester and then I won't travel anymore in the third trimester.


The flights aren't so expensive this time of year and it will be nice to go back home for a few days. Hubby won't be able to come with me unfortunately. I'm going to travel light, just a carry on. It will be fun to spend a few days with family and friends. I think that ideally people shouldn't travel in the first or last trimester but the middle seems like a good time. It's only a short flight to Ireland anyway. I have another check up at my doctor in two weeks and then once I'd get back from the Ireland trip my next appointment would only be two weeks later. Obviously if I have any issues while away or after the trip I would go straight to doctor/hospital. But lately everything has been going great with the pregnancy, no issues. I'll just try to make sure to take it easy during my visit. There have been times when I've felt like I needed another holiday after a visit home as I'd be so busy going here there and everywhere trying to fit in meet ups with everyone!

I recently got a new passport - my first one with my married name. It was relatively simple - it just involved filling out a form and sending it to the Irish embassy in Berlin with photos. I had to get my signature witnessed but luckily I had a friend who fit the criteria and had the stamp so it was all fine. I'm not that happy with my new photo though, I look extremely serious and a little grumpy! That's just my resting face I guess, haha. Oh well, I doubt many people have a great passport photo.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

week 21 - gender reveal #pregnancyDiary


This week started off with my appointment at the gyno for a checkup. It had been five weeks since my last one! My mother in law came with me and it worked out well, she kept me company and loved getting to see her first grandchild. Everything went great. The doctor took various measurements and didn't see any issues. I had thought the scan would be even longer though. I'd been told the 20 week one takes ages but mine only lasted around 15 minutes (my friend told me hers had gone on for an hour!). I had kind of been hoping to see the face more but you can't really make out anything. The doctor said we could pay extra for a 3d scan at a different clinic after 24 weeks so we'd consider getting that done. However I spoke to another friend who told me the 3d scan isn't that great, it can be hard to get a good image if the baby is facing the placenta.

The great news is that the doctor was able to tell me the gender this time! My gut feeling was right, it is most likely a GIRL!! I'm thrilled. That's not to say I wouldn't have been equally delighted to be having a son, I just have had this feeling it was going to be a girl since I got pregnant and it's really nice having it confirmed. After our appointment I went into the shops with the aim of buying something for the baby to surprise my husband with. When I was in the shop, it suddenly occurred to me that this was the first time I was buying something for OUR child. There have been so many times in the past where I've gone to the baby section to buy presents for friends' kids and quite often ended up getting emotional thinking it might never happen for us. It took me ages to pick out something as it felt like such a significant moment!

I had been planning to get something pink but I didn't particularly like the things they had. However I found a cute peach and white stripped babygrow for a newborn and I picked some little white socks as well. Later at home I wrapped the items in pink ribbon and put them in a present. I wrote "Daddy / Papa" on the front. It felt like it took ages for my husband to get home from work that day. Both his Mum and I were really excited to find out his reaction. As soon as he arrived I called him into the sitting room and gave him the present. His Mum was ready with the camera. As he was opening it I started crying! I hadn't meant to, I just got overcome by the moment. He was really happy and we hugged. He got a little emotional too! Probably from seeing me tearing up. It was such a special moment. His Mum got some nice pictures too. Google turned them into a little Gif video and it is really cute. I skyped my family after and told them the news and they were all delighted for us too. And then I messaged some close friends. It was such a happy day!


This morning hubby and I discussed some names. We currently have two favourites. Both have Irish origins but we would use the international spelling. We also went into the future baby's room and discussed how we would organize it. I showed him the "Wish" book I bought and started crying once I read it. It is a story about a much wanted baby and the parents' journey to get there. I can still remember the heartbreak we went through before now and I'm so grateful and amazed to be 21 weeks pregnant right now with a healthy baby. We also looked at the children's books he had bought from his trip. It was such a nice time thinking about the future. I couldn't be happier!

My mother in law commented that four months seems ages away and she can't wait. I can wait though. It's not that I'm not really excited to meet our baby, which I am, but I am also enjoying this time. Having my child growing inside me is special and it's nice to have these months to think about the future and plan. I've been reading books on childbirth and life with a newborn. In another month I'll be starting the third trimester already which seems mad!


A friend from my book club very kindly dropped off her old maternity outfits to me plus a heap of baby clothes her kids have grown out of! Newborn stuff are so tiny, like outfits for a doll. So cute! I hope I'm not jinxing things by already getting stuff for the baby. I still have four months to go after all. But other girls on my due in Feb facebook group already started buying things weeks ago. PEople aren't as superstitious as they used to be in the old days.

And the other news this week was that I met my Hebamme (Someone in Germany who visits you and the new baby) finally! She's nice, made a good impression. However, very alternative! I think most of them are like that. For instance, I mentioned getting the flue vaccine and she said that she would never get the flu vaccine as it's putting toxins/poisons into your body. She also didn't like how many ultrasounds I've had already as she said they heat the placenta and babies don't like them as they are so loud. I have heard those theories before but I don't think it's so bad every few weeks. They offer some classes at the centre she works at such as pregnancy gymnastics. Not sure what's involved there but I might try it out sometime. The other class they have is a mediation/relaxation one which sounds nice.

The Hebamme also asked if I'm anxious when she heard that this is an IVF pregnancy. I said I have been but it's gotten a lot better. I think I've been managing the anxiety quite well in general. She basically said I have to stop myself from worrying as it's not good for the baby. I didn't like that advice as now I'll just worry that my worrying is harmful for the baby! I would have preferred if she had told me everything will be fine. I do think the baby has some awareness of the mother's feelings as your heartbeat would be slower when relaxed and stress releases the hormone cortisone whereas the happiness hormone is oxytocin. However I found some of her theories a little too far fetched for me. At the meditation class they offer for instance, you basically talk to the baby and teach them how to be born according to her! I can't believe that the baby can hear my thoughts. However I'll still go to that class and try it out. Might be a way to make some new friends.

Overall it's been a good week. I'm still just incredibly delighted that I'm carrying our child. This week hubby even got to feel a few kicks too! I notice the baby randomly but often in the evenings. Like really active for a few minutes then quiet again. It's always a nice reassurance when I feel her moving about.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week 20 - halfway there #pregnacyDiary

This morning my husband texted me while I was at work to tell me he was reading about week 20 and the baby is now the size of a large banana! I'm finding it really sweet how involved he is being because I know some men don't really bond so much with the baby until after they are born whereas as a woman you have nine months of the connection. He even brought a little present for the baby back from his work trip - two children's books. Our baby got a second present this week too! One of my mother in law's friends knitted little booties and a blanket. So thoughtful and nice. It's mad to think I'm halfway through the pregnancy now! Actually the last few weeks have gone quite quickly. I'm excited for my next scan which is coming up soon!

I've come down with a bad cold the past few days. It started with just a runny nose and feeling a bit run down but now I've also got a horrible sounding cough making it hard to sleep at night when I have a coughing fit. I've been trying to rest up as much as I can and drinking hot teas. Hubby was worried it might develop into a chest infection or pneumonia so I went to the regular doctor after work. It was nice telling the doctor our happy news as she knew we'd been trying. I guess I told a lot of people! She said she'd rather not prescribe me anything as it will probably get better by itself, which is fine by me. She wrote me off sick for the rest of the week. Even though I've been feeling miserable with this cold (it's the worst one I've had in a long time!), I still feel guilty about having to miss work. There have been a lot of projects and deadlines lately- plus stress to be honest. I feel a bit like I'm letting people down but I have to put me and the baby first right now.

I also got some unexpected good news a few days ago. I have more holidays to use up before my maternity leave starts than I'd realised. 14 days instead of the 6 I'd thought I had basically. I'll barely be working at all really between now and mid January at this rate (due date towards the end of Feb)! In Germany your maternity leave starts six weeks before the birth. What do women normally do then I wonder? Meet up with other friends who aren't working? Cook and freeze lots of meals for when the baby arrives? Decorate the nursery? Relax? Read up on childbirth and parenting? My sister got me a book about baby development and I've been enjoying reading about it.

I think I'm definitely feeling some movement now which is great! When I place my hand below my belly button while sitting down, I notice something now and then. Sometimes it's almost like a little tap against my hand which could be a kick. Other times it's it's sort of like a vibration or muscle spasm in my stomach basically. I've started to recognize the feeling.

Of course this could still be gas, but I like to think it's the beginnings of starting to really feel the baby and it should just get stronger from now on! While watching tv last night there were two times where I definitely felt something for a second. Then today at my computer again. That must be the baby! I'm excited for when hubby will be able to place his hand on my belly and feel the baby move too. Not much else to report, my next doctor's appointment is soon and then we should hopefully find out the gender too!