Wednesday, January 10, 2018

weeks 30 - 32 Christmas #pregnancyDiary


Week 30

I almost can't believe I've made it to 30 weeks! There are only about ten weeks left till we meet our little one. I've been enjoying the buildup to Christmas. I put up our tree the first day of December already and hubby and I often play Christmas songs at home. This year my family did Secret santa, so we instead of having to buy for loads of different people we would all just have to focus on one person with one bigger gift. That made things a lot easier. We've gotten the presents for hubby's side too so I'm feeling fairly organized.I sent out my first batch of Christmas cards but I still have a bunch more to send.


We'll be spending this Christmas with my husband's side. It's always different being away from your own family at Christmas time and experiencing different traditions but it should still be a lovely time. I've only a few more weeks of work left until my maternity leave starts!

This week we had our final birth preparation course day. It was good. Newborn care was the focus. Such as how to bathe the babies, baby wearing, more about breastfeeding etc. At the end of the course I got some of the girls numbers and said I'd set up a whatsapp group so we can meet up sometime.

My appetite has definitely increased lately! I went out for lunch on Saturday with friends and ordered a lasagna, realised after I was still starving then ordered a large starter of bruschetta! The next morning I woke up at five am feeling hungry and couldn't get back to sleep so got up and had some porridge after which I managed to sleep a few more hours. Baby must be going through a growth spurt. My bump is definitely much bigger but it is still small in general for 7 months. A few people have commented. At my last doctor's appointment he noticed my iron count is low so I've been trying to eat more iron rich foods.

Week 31

This week is Christmas and my birthday. Last year we had a lovely Christmas with my family but it was still tinged with sadness wondering if we would ever be able to have children. I was in the middle of the two week wait after our third IVF cycle which ultimately failed. I remember testing on Stephen's day morning thinking for sure it would be positive and the horrible feeling of shock and sadness when it wasn't. It was a hard way to start into 2017. It is so different to how things are now with our baby on board and feeling hopeful.

I often think of all the couples who are still in the trenches and finding this time of year particularly hard. Christmas can be very kid centered! It can also be very hard when you have lost loved ones. It was just before Christmas that my Mum lost her battle with cancer years ago and so it can bring up a lot of hard memories. I also have been thinking recently how sad it is that she won't get to meet her grandchild. I just hope she is in heaven living on in some way. I think I have to believe that.


We had a nice Christmas with my husband's family this year. There isn't enough room at his parent's place and we just found it easier to stay at a hotel in town for a few nights but that worked out well. It was a lovely few days. Lots of eating! My mother in law served fish with Sauerkraut on the 24th and on the 25th we had roast duck. They don't traditionally eat turkey for Christmas like we would in Ireland. We also caught up with one of my husband's friends from his hometown which was fun.


I also had my 36th birthday! It was a quiet one, but there was yummy chocolate cake. Of course it felt special to be pregnant on my birthday after hoping and praying for so long for this. Hubby bought me a pretty rose gold bracelet and necklace with butterflies.

Week 32

Both my husband and I had some time off the days after Christmas and around New Year's. We met up with some friends but also spent a lot of time hanging out just the two of us and relaxing. Sometimes we'd stay in our pajamas till late morning when we didn't have anywhere to be. I bought Inda May's Childbirth book and I'm finding it really good so far. It's full of positive tales of how birth can be and it's nice to fill my head with those sort of stories to help me feel less nervous about the birth.

I've noticed a lot more aches and pains in general now. It's getting harder to move around and I'm much slower walking. I'm going to try to keep up going for walks when I can even if they are short and maybe go swimming a few times once I'm on my maternity leave. I also find I often wake up once or twice in the night to pee now. In general I feel more tired and get exhausted more easily, however I also have these random bursts of energy and then just feel really motivated to get stuff done! Hubby and I spent two days organizing things around the house and that felt great. Maybe it's "nesting", haha! I wish I had taken before and after pictures but we made some good progress clearing out one of the rooms in our basement.

New Year's Eve we just had a quiet evening for two! I had said to hubby that probably in the future it will be hard to go out on new year's eve with a child so now is our chance to do something if we want but he prefered to just spend it at home. Part of me felt a little like maybe we should be doing something, like going out for dinner at least but I was also happier just staying in! We made a yummy mushroom, corn and tomato cheesy pizza together, drank alcohol free prosecco and then watched the neighbourhood fireworks.

I only have one more week to work before my maternity leave starts. In Germany it's six weeks before the birth. To be honest I feel ready to stop. Although the idea of not being in the office for so long is a strange one! I'm looking forward to this time to get as much ready for the baby as possible and also catch up with friends and have time to relax. I've always been the sort of person who likes to plan things and know what I'm doing. So it seems strange to me the idea that the baby could choose to come at any moment! I hope she will stay in there until at least week 36 which is considered full term anyway but also ideally not go too far overdue past 40 weeks. I started packing my hospital bag already just in case.

One day of the Christmas holidays when we were over with my husband's family I thought I hadn't felt the baby move so much that day and started to get a little nervous. But then later that evening I felt her as usual and since then a lot. I think I'm getting used to the movement patterns. Like mornings and when I'm lying in bed I'll feel lots of kicks and often in the evenings watching tv. Or whenever I haven't moved around for awhile. She gets hiccups a lot too which is funny!

Sometimes I am reminded that this could very likely be the last time I am pregnant (since it was so hard to get to this stage in the first place and hubby and I have decided we wouldn't want to go through IVF again), and then I feel like I don't want this time to end and I'm in no rush! But at other moments I feel ready and excited to finally meet our little one. I have another doctor's appointment this week and then from now on it'll be every two weeks!

I'm a bit late posting this but Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Three things - the Christmas version

I got the idea for this post from Bev who in turn got it from other bloggers.

3 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CHRISTMAS
  1. Spending time with family
  2. People in a good mood
  3. Christmas music

3 THINGS I DISLIKE ABOUT CHRISTMAS
  1. How packed the shops are
  2. The pressure for everything to be perfect
  3. Consumerism

3 FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIES
  1. Love Actually
  2. Miracle on 34th Street
  3. Die Hard (haha!)
3 FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS TREATS
  1. Mince pies with custard
  2. Chocolates
  3. Christmas cake
3 FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
  1. Visiting friends during the holidays
  2. Eating the yummy Christmas dinner then relaxing watching movies with your family or playing games
  3. Going to the Christmas markets in Germany for Glüwein (mulled wine)

3 FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS
  1. Driving home for Christmas.
  2. Rocking around the Christmas tree
  3. Happy Christmas (war is over)
3 FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS GIFTS RECEIVED
  1. Flights to Ireland
  2. A painting of our house
  3. Cute and comfy pyjamas

3 GIFTS I WANT TO GIVE THE WORLD
  1. Peace
  2. An end to poverty
  3. Good Health

Saturday, December 23, 2017

week 29 - birth preperation course #pregnancyDiary


This week we had the birth course morning where the partners were also invited. It took place on a Sunday and there was heavy snow that day! This time the course instructor didn't try to sell us anything which was good. At the start the men had to introduce themselves and say a bit about what they are hoping to achieve from the course. It was clear most didn't have any idea what to expect. A few said things like Ich lasse mich überraschen. Which is like, "I'm ready to be surprised".


Anyway this time the main focus was the birth which was useful. For first time mothers the instructor suggests you labour around 2-3 hours at home before going to the hospital. For second timers it's better to only wait around 1 hour. This rule doesn't apply if you have any bleeding or your water breaks. And if there is any green in the water then it is a sign the baby is in distress and you should get an ambulance and get to hospital asap. There can be a little spotting a few days before the birth starts apparently which is a sign that you shouldn't venture too far away from home at that stage such as not taking any big trips as the labour could be imminent. She was pretty against epidurals especially ones that you have for a long time as it can cause the baby to sleep and things might stall and then you could end up needing a c-section. The rate of c-sections at the hospitals here are around 20-25% percent. She said that usually c-sections are only suggested if there is risk to the baby or the mother's lives and then they are very important. Though apparently some women in Germany choose elective ones.

The course was particularly useful for the men I found though. It was good for them to hear about how to support their wives during labour. For instance not to keep asking questions but to just be helpful! And instead of saying for instance "you're not doing the breathing right", he should start doing the breathing himself and she will copy. We all practiced the breathing exercises and were given a printout of various positions for the different birth stages. I liked how there was a lot of focus on the women and how the men should be involved and active during the labour. They aren't just taxi drivers bringing their partners to the hospital she pointed out! Hearing about some things that can potentially go wrong during the birth (baby doesn't turn etc) was a bit scary but in general I am still feeling overall positive about the birth. The teacher explained a little about hypnobirth theories and how you have to breath and accept the contractions and not fight against them.

I am a member of two facebook groups for other February Mums to be. One is for Irish women (mainly living in Ireland) and the other is for women who did IVF and infertility treatments beforehand. I've definitely noticed the ladies in the latter group are especially appreciative of their pregnancies. There was a post the other day about how we just can't believe sometimes that this is happening and how grateful and lucky we feel. The other evening I was just relaxing watching tv and suddenly it hit me again that I am, please God, going to get my own baby to keep! I won't have to give her back! It was just a lovely feeling.


This week was also the third birth preparation class - an evening with just the women. I found it really informative and useful. The course covered a lot about bonding with the baby after birth and breastfeeding. The people in the class are also mixing more now too I've noticed. I suggested we set up a whatsapp group so we could meet up some time and the idea was well received. It would be a good way for me to keep up my German language skills while I'm on my parental leave.

In Germany the period after birth is known as Wochenbett (lying in/confinement). For the first six to eight weeks the mothers are encouraged to stay in bed and just focus on breastfeeding, resting and bonding with the baby while everyone else brings food and looks after them. That sounds nice! I normally get bored of lying in bed for ages though so provided I'm feeling ok I think I would try to get out for walks now and then if I can. I'll play it by ear though. Staying at home and having that time to bond with the baby also sounds lovely.

To be honest I still worry and get anxious sometimes. I read a really sad story recently about an Irish woman who had a stillborn baby at 35 weeks. And on facebook a group called "stillborn angels" popped up on the suggested groups for me! I had to keep reminding myself it was just because of some stupid programming algorithm and not a bad sign or omen. I've even looked up where Germany stands in terms of stillbirth compared to other countries. It's about 2.4 births per 1000 which is a fairly low number (though ideally there would be none at all of course). However it happened to one of my best friends in Ireland so I definitely am aware that is is more common than you might think. It's just devastating for anyone to go through. I am trying to calm myself by reminding myself that the majority of babies do arrive safely. It will be a relief though once our baby is here and everything is ok. My friends have told me that being a parent means a lot of extra worry that never really ends!

Still though, apart from occasionally being anxious about things like that, in general I am feeling good and positive. I hope everyone reading this has a lovely Christmas period and "ein guten Rutsch", a good slide into the New Year, as the Germans would say!

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.