Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Maybe Baby update

Well I gave an update on our new house a few weeks ago, maybe it's time to give an update on project "maybe baby" which is what I've nicknamed our journey to hopefully start a family on this blog. Several weeks ago after our second IVF cycle failed we decided to do extensive blood testing to see if there might be a reason for the two early miscarriages after a suggestion from our doctor. It took a few weeks to get things clarified with our health insurances but they agreed to contribute towards the costs (so we will only be charged a few hundred euros as opposed to a few thousand!). It ended up being about twelve vials of blood from me and about eight from the hubby. Timing wise since I knew we would be busy with the house, I liked the idea of getting the blood testing done since it can take about two months anyway.

So far we have only gotten some partial results back. Both our chromosome blood tests came back fine and it also showed that I don't have a blood clotting disorder. It's nice to be able to rule those issues out. The rest of the results will probably take another few weeks. I'll be tested for the MTHFR gene mutation which is where your body doesn't absorb folic acid properly unless it's in folate form and has been linked to miscarriages. And natural killer cells which your body produces to get rid off any foreign bodies like diseases but the theory is that in some women the antibodies work too well and can kill a growing fetus. There is treatment you can get apparently to help fight this problem. Hubby and I will also be checked for some vitamin and mineral levels. For instance I've read if you have a B12 deficiency it can cause infertility and miscarriages! Since I'm lactose intolerant and don't eat so much dairy and I'm also not a big meat eater then it is possible that my values are low.

Once we find out our test results we will be able to plan plan when to do IVF again, ideally before the end of this year. It's not that easy to plan though as over the next several months there'll be Christmas and several weddings of family and close friends that we would ideally like to travel back to Ireland for. During IVF I wouldn't be able to fly and afterwards if I get pregnant I would also be too nervous to fly in the first trimester. I suppose I should cross that bridge and figure that out *if* I manage to get pregnant. If that were to happen I would be so happy. I love travelling though and I already often feel like I miss out on so many big moments back in Ireland by living here in Germany so I would love to go back for the weddings, especially my brother's next Summer. It's less than a two hour flight to Ireland but apaprently IVF pregnancies are considered high risk.

We'll know more in a few weeks. If the blood tests come back with no issues then we could plan round three IVF quite soon but if there are any problems discovered then we would have to wait several months anyway probably to get treatment. So it's all quite up in the air still. I feel ready enough for the physical side of it all, the injections, egg retrieval etc, but I do worry about the emotional side which I always find really hard going. Especially if it were to fail again.

Having the house has been a great distraction for sure. We love the new place and are settling in well. We still have loads of boxes to unpack and lots of stuff to get done but we've been able to enjoy German Summer in our new garden now and then which has been great.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shortlisted #LWIBloggies2016

Today I had a happy surprise when I found out my blog made the shortlist in the Irish blog awards in the Diaspora category. It's always nice getting some positive feedback! There are lots of great blogs linked on the site worth checking out and you can vote for your favourites here.

I started this blog six years ago when I decided to move to Germany. It was quite an adjustment for me at the beginning dealing with culture shock and life as an expat, learning German and making friends but I really like living here now. The south of Germany is a great base for travelling and I love all the various festivals and traditions. And now since we have recently bought a house, I guess it looks like I'm here to stay!

Monday, August 8, 2016

House Update #MicroblogMonday

Things with the house have all been moving very fast. We signed the contract and then got the keys just six weeks later. They say buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do and the last few weeks have certainly been extremely busy!

First there was all the paperwork and sorting things out with our mortgage. Then all the bills started coming in (taxes, realtor, insurances...) which wasn’t fun! The next thing we had to do was get in touch with various people to get quotes for renovation work. Of course August is prime holiday season so it’s been difficult with limited availability. We also had to decide which work on the house we would consider urgent before we move in and what we can put off for now. Not to mention the huge task of all the boxes to pack.

This past week we got the keys and the renovations have started. Pretty much any spare moment we have spent at the house and we have also started bringing things over from our rental apartment so as to not leave everything for the moving day. We have even been able to eat meals in our new kitchen already and enjoy the garden.

It's all been quite overwhelming at times! It t feels a little surreal still that this will be our home. There's always so much to get done and becoming house owners is a major responsibility. But it is also exciting. And even though there is a lot of work involved, there is something very rewarding when you know you are helping improve your future home. I am really looking forward to the end of this month once we will have all our furniture moved over and can really start to settle in to the new place!