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!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

week 19 - a scare and a family visit #pregnancyDiary

The pain which I thought was round ligament pain came back and I had it for several days. I asked some friends again about what they had felt and looked at my facebook group and most seemed to describe something pretty similar to what I was feeling. It was particularly bad one day though so I decided to text my Hebamme and ask her about it. She said that the pain from the round ligaments is normally in the lower pelvis area not near the hip as I'd mentioned. At that stage I started getting worried. I didn't want to waste the doctor's time, however I also didn't want to wait another two weeks till the next scan and be worrying about it so the next day I got to his practice at 8am when it opened and mentioned the pains. I ended up having to wait about an hour since I didn't have an appointment.

What I thought would happen.
I expected to describe the pain and for the doctor to reassure me that it was normal pregnancy pain and then to go about my merry way.

What actually happened.
The doctor was concerned as the area I was having the pain is near my appendix. He also saw some fluid on the screen that he couldn't explain near my intestines. He said he would try to get me an appointment at a specialist immediately to get it checked out. The other doctor was nearby and I was able to get seen to quickly luckily. I was starting to feel very nervous about what was going on at that stage. Hubby was still away so I was just phoning him to tell him what was going on. The other doctor didn't think it was appendicitis but he couldn't rule it out. He advised me that if the pain got worse I should go to the hospital immediately! He saw the mass of fluid on my right hand side and he didn't know what it was. He told me to come back the next day for another appointment. In the meantime he took my blood to be sent to the lab to check for any signs of infection.

The rest of the day I couldn't help but worry. Like I mentioned earlier, hubby was away so I was dealing with all this on my own. I was whatsapping family and close friends from home to let them know what was going on and my mother in law was also calling me. She was getting really anxious and I felt like I had to be strong and try to reassure her! She said she would come immediately if I ended up having to go to hospital (she lives in a different town). Luckily the pain didn't get any worse. Trying to google what the fluid mass could be was a bad idea as I started seeing results about tumours and freaking out about cancer! I'd read a story recently about a pregnant woman who got cancer and had to choose between getting chemo to save herself or not and saving the baby. I don't know how people handle decisions like that! I was also thinking that I don't want to have to go to the hospital to get scary tests done, especially on my own. A normal boring day in the office had never sounded so appealing to me!

That night I managed to sleep for several hours but I woke up then feeling really worried about it all. I packed an overnight bag on the advice of a doctor friend just in case I'd be sent to the hospital after my appointment. There was a long wait at the practice. Finally I got in and he asked how I was feeling. Nervous I said! The pain was the same. My blood test results had come back only showing a slight infection elevation which could just be from a cold. That was good news as if I had appendicitis the results would have looked worse. The doctor did a scan and after several agonizing minutes said that I had an intestinal partial blockage. That's what's been causing the pain. I should massage my tummy clockwise to help digestion and eat simple meals over the next few days. Pregnancy pushes the intestine up into a smaller space often leading to digestion issues. My previous adhesions from surgeries are probably not helping things either.

I was told to come back after several days for another appointment but for the time being all was fine. I didn't have to go to hospital that day which was a relief! Of course he mentioned again that if my pain gets worse I should go straight in and he gave me a printout of my blood test but for now I was able to go back to work. I'm relieved it's not a tumour or something serious! That said if I do end up getting a full intestine blockage that would be a dangerous situation requiring surgery. So I am a little worried about that possibility at some point especially as the pregnancy progresses. For now I'll keep up with the tummy massages to help digestion and watch what I eat.


So at the end of the week I had my third appointment at the doctor for a checkup. He could still see the strange fluid on the screen. I tried to ask more questions this time. The fluid is in my small intestine he says. I also have a lot of air in my intestine which will cause cramps. He said I can eat normally now though still try to avoid food with a lot of "air" such as beans and cauliflower. And then come back in two weeks for another check up and at that stage he'll test my blood for signs of infection again. The pains I was getting have improved significantly recently thankfully. So it looks like for the moment everything is fine and I can breath a sigh of relief!

While I was going through the scare it was also harder as I was on my own. Hubby was away with work. Now he's back and it's been really nice. Also my Dad and sister came over to visit me! They stayed for four days and it was just perfect. They even got quite nice sunny autumn weather while they were here. We went to a pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg and there was even a wedding fair on that day which we checked out for my sis in case it gave her any ideas.

Another day the weather was warm so we went to the pool for a spa day. I avoided the sauna but enjoyed swimming! We also took my family to some of our favourite restaurants and they had some good meals. It was sad saying goodbye though as I won't be flying to ireland again until the baby is here and a few months old, so it'll be my longest stretch not going back "home". It's great these days with skype, whatsapp and google hangout though, you don't feel as far away as you did in the past.

So the week started off scary with the pains and doctor visits but ended really lovely enjoying some family time. Here are some pictures from our day at Ludwigsburg exploring the castle grounds and pumpkin festival. If you are ever in the area it's worth checking out. The festival takes place every year around September and October.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

When is the right time to talk about gun control?

I rarely get political on this blog. It's not that I don't have a lot of thoughts and opinions on what's going on around me, it's that so many topics seem to be extremely decisive these days with so many people strongly on one side or the other finding it hard to come together in the middle to reach any common ground.

What's upsetting me recently though is the lack of proper gun control debate in America. The Las Vegas shooting was absolutely horrific and tragic. I feel awful for all the victims and their families and I find it so hard to comprehend how someone could do something like that. Prayers and thoughts are great but what is also necessary after something like this is action. Clearly the laws need to change. Gun violence in the States is way too prevalent and it is not ok to just accept it as a part of life now!

It is so frustrating though when people try to bring up gun control but are shut down because "now isn't the time". I've also seen comments such as that "leftists are disgusting" to be bringing up politics at a time like this. At the end of the day, both sides want an end to tragedies like this. So if now isn't the right time to discuss gun control, when is? I've also heard arguments saying these events couldn't have been prevented. Those people who think that way don't seem to even want to try which just annoys me. Other countries don't have as many gun deaths so surely the States can look to other examples and learn from them.

A few years ago there was a bill with the aim of banning people on the no fly list from being able to buy a gun. Something like 80% of the general public agreed with it. When it was brought to congress it was overruled and didn't even get to a vote! The NRA lobby are too powerful there it seems. Then there are other opposers to gun control who think that we want to take away all guns and go on about the importance of their second amendment rights. The objective isn't to ban every weapon. The idea is to bring in restrictions such as more thorough background checks, particularly at places such as gun shows where I believe someone can buy one without a check at all. Also is there really a need for a person to have an assault rifle or machine gun?! And maybe there should also be limits to the amount of guns one person can own. At the very least let's do some more research and come up with a plan.

Now, I realise I'm saying all this as an outsider. I'm not American. I'm European and just trying to understand things there. But to me it seems clear. We all want to reduce gun violence. So why not work together to find a solution instead of refusing to even talk about it?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

week 18 - sharing the news #pregnancyDiary

After we got the all clear from the harmony blood test last week both hubby and I decided it felt like the right time to share the news more freely at work. He spoke to his boss and told him that he plans to take some of the parental leave. His boss knew about our struggles to have children and was happy for us which was sweet. I had a chat with my manager and that went well too. Once that was done I gradually started telling a few more colleagues who I would interact with quite frequently. I figure the news will probably spread. Everyone was nice about it and congratulated me. There was one comment that bugged me though! This one colleague acted surprised and said he thought I didn't want kids. He reminded me about that (very awkward) time last year when he had asked me about children and according to him, I hadn't seemed keen.

Basically he asked me in front of several other colleagues what my family plans were. So rude and inappropriate! I think I was in shock at the bluntness of such a question and I basically answered vaguely, something like "not yet" and changed the subject to talk about my upcoming Australia trip. That guy is just totally clueless. Of course he assumes that a couple who don't have kids must not want them because if they did, they would just have them, right? Easy peasy. I'm very tempted to say something to him about it if the right opportunity arises. He also made the comment about thinking I didn't want kids in front of several other colleagues. He then told us that he's just persuaded his wife to try for a second baby. I know for a fact that the other colleague he mentioned it to has been trying with his wife to have a second child and she's had a miscarriage. So I can imagine the comments could have bothered him too. Anyway if I have a chance just the two of us I will tell him that actually it was very difficult for us to get this far, without going into all the details, and mention that asking someone about their family planning isn't appropriate as you have no idea what might be happening behind the scenes! I'll just have to figure out how to say it tactfully in German.

People have generally been surprised to hear about the pregnancy so I guess it's not as obvious as I thought! I've barely put on any weight so far probably due to the fact that in the first trimester I didn't have much of an appetite with the nausea. I think I'm eating better now though so I'll probably start getting bigger soon. According to a pregnancy weight calculator I found online, I'm slightly under the amount I should have gained by this stage. I'm sure I'll catch up though! Generally I've been eating reasonably healthy but if I'm craving a treat such as chocolate or crisps, I go ahead.

I've read around week 18-20 first time Mums should be able to start feeling kicks! I've felt nothing yet. Unless I've mistaken it for indigestion! My next scan is going to be at 21 weeks not 20 as my gyno is on holidays again. I'm disappointed as hubby won't be able to make it this time especially as the anatomy scan is a big one. I tried to get a different appointment time that week but they are all booked up. However I then had the idea that I could see if my mother in law would like to come. She was delighted to be asked! I think it will be nice for her to be involved. This is her first grandchild and she's really excited. The only weird thing is that she'll probably find out the baby's gender before hubby! She's promised she'll keep it a secret though. I was thinking after the scan maybe I would go and buy little pink or blue socks and surprise him with them later after work!

This week hubby has been away on a work trip. The house feels really quiet without him. At the weekend I met up with friends for lunch and some shopping then relaxed on the couch watching "Look who's talking". A pretty quiet Saturday night! That's such a funny film. The maternity fashion in the 80s was basically like a big tent! Of course the childbirth scene looked pretty painful as per usual in the movies with the main character begging for pain relief. I loved the scenes where you'd hear what the baby is thinking in womb.

Sunday I met up with a good friend here. She also went through years of infertility - five in this case before finally having a daughter. Her little one is at a fun age now, 10 months. We took her to the playground and she really enjoyed herself. She's also very friendly and good with people. There was a stage when she was only a few months old where she was very attached to her mum and would cry when I tried to hold her. Luckily that's changed. Next year our baby would be around ten months old at Christmas time. The thought of bringing my baby home for an Irish Christmas with my family warms my heart!

The round ligament pain is back now. It feels like general dull aches and pains during the day but gets worse if I sneeze or cough. Then at night when I change positions while sleeping I'll often get woken up with the pain and it takes awhile to get comfortable again. I've also started waking up an hour or two early each morning needing to pee. So it hasn't been a totally restful sleep. I've noticed an occasional heavy feeling around my pelvis. Apparently perfectly normal as the uterus is now the size of a honey melon! However overall I'm feeling good. My "bump" has popped out more and I love it. I enjoy singing to the baby while I'm getting dressed in the mornings. "My bump, my lovely baby bump" (sung to Black eyed peas "my lovely lady lumps" tune). When I'm out and about and I see something nice, such a pretty autumn leaves or a sunset I think how I can't wait to show our child all the great things this world has to offer one day.