Thursday, December 27, 2012

Absolutely positive

Just a quick post here as I am typing with one hand while Bee eats. We are going to be moving in the next few weeks, finishing up by the middle of next month. In preparation for said move I have been cleaning things up. This is what I found in one drawer. I held onto my positive HPTs so that as I was feeling nervous about the pregnancy I could look at them and remind myself that I was, indeed, pregnant.

I think those tests might really be positive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag: Willkommen oder Welcome

She's here! It's hard to believe that the baby I've hoped and prayed and waited for so long is here, sleeping like an angel in her bassinet. (She's tired from the five hour nurse/cry session last night.)

She did not come on 12/12/12. She came on 12/15/12, or as the Germans write it, 15/12/12.

I went in for my appointment on Thursday last week. At that point I was 10 days overdue. Dr. H said that it was probably best to induce, that waiting for labor to start on its own after 10 days was not usually the best course of action. Since very little was happening, we agreed. DH had insisted that we pack everything in the car for the doctor's appointment. I didn't want to, but we did and since we had everything, I was admitted and we started the induction.

At 11 am on Thursday the 13th, I was given my first dose of Cytotec orally. I was monitored every couple of hours for about 30 minutes to see how things were going. Nothing happened. I think that the midwife who gave me the first dose neglected to tell me how to take it because when I was given my second dose at 4 pm, I was told to put it under my tongue and let it dissolve. We did a few more rounds of monitoring, the last of which showed that I was having 30 second contractions about 3 to 4 minutes apart, which apparently aren't effective. Then I was able to go to bed and sleep from about 11 pm to when I woke up at 6 am the next morning. I didn't get a ton of sleep and was having contractions, but I managed a little.

When I went in for monitoring, my contractions had picked up and were effective. They were closer to a minute long and still 3 to 4 minutes apart. At about 8 that morning, I called my doula and she came down to help. I was still monitored every couple of hours at that point and things were moving, but not quickly. Then, the contractions started to taper off and everything slowed down. I was dilating, but very slowly and the contractions were ebbing away. Sometime in the afternoon of Friday the 14th I made the decision to start pitocin. I was given a low dose and moved to the labor room (before I had been in my hospital room) and under constant monitoring. The contractions started getting more intense. The pitocin was turned up. At one point, they broke my water. The contractions became nearly unbearable. At some point I vomited. At about 11 pm Friday night, I went ahead and got the epidural. I had really wanted to avoid this, but I was insensible with pain. After the epidural, things became much more manageable. I could still feel the contractions, mostly, but they didn't leave me screaming and crying. I had dilated to about 3 cm at this point.

DH and my doula were awesome. DH held my hand and slow danced with me and kept me drinking water and was a rock. When I was insensible with pain from the pitocin, DH helped me decide what to do. He was so amazing I can't even express it. And my doula was fantastic. If you ever wonder about whether a doula is a good idea or worth the money, I have to tell you that having her there was such a comfort to me, especially when I couldn't have my mom there. She was a fantastic advocate and I would hire her again in a heartbeat.

After the epidural and another check and maybe an hour or so, Dr H came in a told me that he thought I should have a c-section. I'm a little embarrassed by my reaction. I was laying in bed and screamed, "Noooo!" It's everything that I was hoping to avoid. We are moving starting January 2nd and the thought of moving with a newborn and recovering from a c-section had terrified me for weeks. I could not imagine that becoming a reality.

My doula was incensed and lit into Dr H. I didn't like the way she fought with him, but I was glad she was speaking out for me. I kept saying to DH, "I don't want a c-section! I don't want a c-section!" and he said back to me, "I know. I know!" It was a nightmare.

After some heated discussion, it was decided that we would wait two more hours and then see how things progressed and if the baby would move down into my pelvis so that she could put pressure on my cervix and open things up. So we waited. I squatted, I got on my hands and knees, my doula did rebozo sifting on my belly; we did everything. After about five hours, the midwife came back in and checked me again and said I had dilated to 5 cm, but the baby still hadn't dropped. She also was getting a swollen bump on her head from trying to get down into my pelvis and not being able to. I was exhausted. DH and the doula were as well. We had done all we could possibly do. The baby was not in distress, was still doing just fine with heart rate, but I was concerned that will that swelling if she wasn't born soon that she would be in distress. I have maintained throughout this pregnancy that the end result I'm looking for is a healthy baby. I decided to have the c-section.

I was in floods of tears. I cried while signing the consent form. I did not want to do it, but I felt like it was the best option. With the swelling on her head I didn't want to get further in and then have her in distress and end up doing a c-section anyway.

They rolled me into the operating room. I was numb from the waist down. I kept thinking to myself that here it is, my first time in a hospital, and I'm having surgery. It was all I could do to keep from weeping. They moved me over to a bed that had separate sections for my arms and legs and strapped me down. There was a curtain placed at my chest level. I felt someone washing my belly and upper thighs and someone shaving the top of my pubic hair. There were a ton of people in the operating room. DH was supposed to be there with me, but I couldn't find him. Eventually, I heard him say, "I'm here." He came and sat down next to me. Dr H started with the incision. I could feel that something was happening, but there was no pain. I felt some tugging and then a forearm pushing the baby down from where she was sitting around my rib cage. Dr H told DH to stand up, and then he must have pulled her out of me because DH looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "We're parents!" It was 5:40 Saturday morning, the 15th. The first thing I heard from the OR staff was "Schwer Mädchen". Heavy girl. There was a little delay while they cleaned her off, and then they brought her over to me and I got to look at her. She had a full head of dark hair and was looking at me inquisitively. Then, after maybe 30 seconds, they took her away and DH left and I was sew up. I was so exhausted from the previous two days, that I just closed my eyes.

After a while, they wheeled me over to another room and moved me onto my hospital bed using a lift. Then they took me back downstairs and into the room where I had been laboring. DH had the baby and handed her over to me and I fed her. She latched on right away and ate like a champ. After a little while, they wheeled me back to our room and I spent most of the day sleeping. I couldn't feel anything for several hours, and then when I could I wished for the numbness back. It was quite painful. The nurses got me out of bed that evening and had me walk a few steps. I was only wearing a sleep nursing bra and the lovely mesh panties and compression stockings. I had a catheter in. There is a large loss of dignity in birth.

The next few days were long. The last night in the hospital, the baby cried and cried. I discovered that I don't do well with a crying baby. We got home from the hospital on Tuesday. We had been there five days.

9lbs 11oz, 21.25 inches long oder
4400 grams, 54 centimenters long.
It's an adjustment. I love how cute she is, but I'm still getting to know her. I don't feel that overwhelming love that is talked about all of the time. Sometimes I wonder why I wanted this so badly. I tell myself that things will get better with time. I cry often. I'm trying. But, today, I am thankful. This is my Thankful Thursday. I am thankful for my little Bee.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

überfällig oder overdue

I have hopes of seeing spawnette today, but they are diminishing with each minute that ticks by. I would love for her birthday to be 12/12/12, but I don't know if that's in the cards.

Before you give me any recommendations to help get her out, let's review what I'm doing.

  • Raspberry leaf tea three times a day for the last two or three weeks. 
  • Evening primrose oil three times a day orally and a vaginal dose some nights
  • Walking at least a half hour every day
  • Squats
  • PODO
  • Acupuncture
I have not done castor oil yet because I'm not really keen on starting off labor with explosive diarrhea. I am starting to consider it though.

I lost my mucus plug starting Monday night. Last night I started getting bloody show. I've been having some contractions, but not loads. It's just a waiting game. This morning I have to go to the hospital for the third time this week to do a non-stress test. Then back again tomorrow for another doctor's appointment. If we haven't had any more progress by tomorrow, I'm thinking that we will induce. Her birthday is going to be close to Christmas as it is and I don't want it to be right on top of that. Plus, I'd like to have any few extra days to recover I can get before we start moving on January 2nd.

So, more walking, more tea, more squats. It will be worth it, in the end.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wie lange? oder How long?

How long? This is the question that I keep getting asked.

Today, December 3rd, is my due date. A little more than 38 weeks ago I had done my trigger shot and was just hoping that this would work, but not believing that it would. But it did! And here I sit, very pregnant, on the brink of one of the biggest changes that I will ever experience in my life. I still marvel at this fact.

So, how long? I never expected that I would give birth on or before my due date. In fact, when I was told December 3rd, I automatically thought December 10th. But modern medicine being what it is, I am behind the power curve and am expected to hurry up and perform!

When I went in for my appointment today, we did the normal non-stress test. Spawnette was deeper in than usual and a little lazy for the monitor, but still healthy enough that the doctor is happy. I'm getting really tired of those non-stress tests, let me tell ya! Dr. H checked my cervix, and everything is still closed up tight.

Then we did another ultrasound. She has not engaged in my pelvis, something that I could have told you without an ultrasound. Dr. H seemed concerned about this. He also said she is measuring at 8 lbs, 10 oz. This I take with a grain of salt that's about 2 lbs, the size that late term ultrasounds can be off (either way). He thinks that she may be too big to fit into my pelvis. I think that he doesn't realize that she's just not ready. He said we could wait, or do a trial labor, or schedule a c-section.

I'm still (relatively) comfortable and I'm in no hurry, so I said wait. I'm going back in on Thursday for another appointment, where I'm sure I'll be told that we should really consider some medical intervention.

Here's the thing: when my mom had me, I was born 20 days after her due date. Now, I suspect that there was some miscalculation and since there was no ultrasound done, that due date was a guess as much as anything. No question, I was overdue since I pooped while inside, but I was not huge. All of my aunts were overdue as well. This is a long(ha!)-standing tradition in my family. So, given that, I am content to wait. My plan is to wait until next Wednesday. To give myself and spawnette time, and also because how cool would it be if she was born on 12/12/12?

So, we will wait. And I will try to be polite, but insistent with my doctor. And try not to think too much about the what-ifs. And enjoy the last few days of freedom.

I'm not in a hurry, but I do look forward to meeting my daughter.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kopf nach unten und bewegen Belastungen oder head down and moving stresses

I meant to get to this earlier in the week, but it didn't happen. Fortunately (for you) I cannot sleep, so I'll write this post now!

Last week at my 37 week appointment spawnette was breech. Dr. H didn't have any suggestions as to what might help, so I talked to my doula and she gave me several suggestions. Monday night, I only slept about 3 hours in total. Tuesday I tried to get moxibustion (more on this later), but they were just doing acupuncture at the hospital. I did get in the chiropractor on Tuesday. I was also doing inversions, as suggested by my doula. And playing classical music in my pants (which DH thought was hilarious). And using a hot pack down low and an ice pack up high. And pushing on spawnette's head. And talking to her. Basically whatever I could come up with that was safe. Or, relatively.

Tuesday night I actually got some sleep, which was great after feeling like a zombie all day the day before. I woke up Wednesday feeling kind of crappy and weird, but went on with my day. I was able to get ahold of the midwives at my hospital on Wednesday morning and schedule the moxibustion. I can't find a good link for this, but if you google it, you'll find some descriptions. Basically, the practitioner takes an incense stick the size of a cigar of mugwort, gets it good and glowing, and holds it at the outside corner of your pinkie toe at your bladder 67 point. I did this while on my elbows and knees with a midwife at my hospital. After ten minutes, the midwife did a check with palpation and said the baby had turned. Then I sat on the heartbeat monitor for 20 minutes. Usually spawnette is very active, but she seemed to be tired and taking a nap. It was good enough for the midwives though.

Monday I went in for another appointment and Dr. H checked via ultrasound, and she had turned! I was so relieved. Now I'm a tiny bit paranoid that she'll decide to turn back, but I think it will be pretty hard for her to accomplish at this point.

This week has been very busy. I've been working since last week on getting food put away in the freezer for when spawnette arrives since we will be on our own. Monday I did some more cooking and was on my feet most of the day. Tuesday, I did acupuncture and my last appointment with the chiropractor until after the birth, as well as cleaning and then a murder mystery dinner with friends that night. I didn't sleep much Tuesday night because of what was coming on Wednesday.

Wednesday, DH and I drove up to the place we will be moving to at the beginning of February. We have to find housing there, and the sooner the better. The only snag is that with us not moving for a couple of months landlords, understandably, can be hesitant about waiting to get a place filled until then. I only got about five hours of sleep Wednesday night, broken into two segments. We left home at 7 am and returned about 4:30 pm. We looked at three places. None of them are as big as the place we are in now, but there were a couple that could work. The first place had an especially good location and parking spaces for two cars, which is a luxury in town. We asked about that place and the gal at the housing office called the landlady. She said she would have to talk it over with her husband. The second bedroom in that place is very small, but will work well for an infant. My hope is that they understand that and will be willing to wait for us. We are supposed to hear back tomorrow. Otherwise, we will possibly drive back up on Friday to see another place. I had really hoped Friday would be a day to relax. We'll see.

So, with the stress of that, I slept last night from 10 until about 2 this morning. At 2:30, I turned on my light and read for about 45 minutes. (DH and I are in separate beds until spawnette arrives. It's just too crowded with all the pillows I am using, and I move around way too much.) Then I tried to sleep for another 45 minutes. No dice. So, now I'm up writing this. It's about 5 am now. At 1 pm, we will have somewhere between 10 and 12 adults coming for Thanksgiving along with 4 or so babies and at least one kid. I am not cooking the turkey, thank heavens. I do have some things to make today, but I'm hoping everyone will be out of here by 6 pm.

So, that's been the last week or so. Sorry about the novel. I'm stressed by the moving situation and needed to get it out. I would like something to be resolved there so that I can get a good night's sleep before I have real reason to be up at all hours.

To my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hinterteil oder breech

Yesterday I went for my 37 week appointment. All was good. Baby's active, I'm feeling good. (I went for an eight and a half mile walk on Friday!) Everything was hunky-dory until Dr. H pulled out the ultrasound. He put the wand up on the right side of my abdomen underneath of my ribs and-BAM!-there was spawnette's head. Shit.

At 31 weeks she was head down, so at some point in the past month and a half, she has decided she likes being close to my heart. How sweet! But, also, not good in terms of a natural birth.

Dr. H said that we will take a look again next week, that she still has time to turn. He said that if she is still breech in ten days or so we'll have to schedule a C-section. Ugh.

I'm trying to keep the end in mind. I've been through this whole process looking for a healthy baby. She's healthy! (7 lbs 4 oz by yesterday's estimate and moving all the time.) In a few months or years, it won't matter how she got here, just that we have her. But....

I have thought about what it would be like to give birth for the longest time. For at least the eleven years DH and I have been married, and certainly some as a teenager and child surrounded by aunts who shared their birth stories often. I found a doula to help me through labor and delivery before my first trimester was over. I've been taking any birth classes offered and have read up on what to expect. German hospitals are supposed to be amazing for giving birth because they are almost like birthing centers in the States would be. They let you move around, they have water birth facilities, they give you walking epidurals. This is supposed to be a wonderful experience.

To have that all taken away and go straight to a just guts me. When other women are telling their harrowing tales of all the drama of birth, I would have to say, "Oh, she was breech. I had a C-section." It feels like a loss and a failure.

So, I'm doing headstands and playing music to my crotch and trying acupuncture and chiropractic help. I've got a cold pack strapped onto my belly where spawnette's head likes to hang out and am trying not to lean back and get comfortable, but instead to hang my belly down low and get her to turn. I'm hoping to God this works and I will get a chance to have my birth. Even if it's not perfect, even if it's messy and long and ends up in a C-section, I want the chance to try. I had to have major medical help to get this baby in here, but I'd like to get her out on my own.

So, anyone else doing headstands this week?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Befederung mein Nest oder feathering my nest

Thirty six weeks as of Monday. Last week I said to my husband, "Next month we are going to be parents." It's amazingly wonderful and amazingly terrifying at the same time. I keep wondering if I'm really ready for this and if it will be "the best thing we've ever done" as I have heard other people say. DH and I have been just the two of us for 11 years. We have a comfortable life and like each other. Call me selfish, but I'm really hoping that baby doesn't change that.

DH is gone this week for a TDY to Lithuania. It seems from his facebook updates he's having a good time. I'm enjoying a last few days on my own before things change for good. I spent the weekend at a quilt retreat, working on things for baby. Yesterday I finished the piecing on a Grandmother's Flower Garden that will be a good play mat. Today I'm aiming to get it basted and start the hand quilting. I'm hoping to have it ready, or nearly ready when spawnette arrives. Very ambitious of me. I also finished the blocks for a quilt guild project that I'll use for another baby quilt. That one I don't think will get done before she arrives. I'm in a sewing mood, trying to get things done before she comes, because I don't know if I will be able to get it done after before we move.

Oh yes, we are moving in February. Not far, just about an hour north of where we are now. I'm thankful it's not back to the States because in order for spawnette to be on DH's orders, there are a number of steps that have to happen, concluding with her getting a passport. And with a December baby, it's going to be a slow process. I'm hoping that we can get her passport before we move up and things are further complicated. Either way though, we can just drive up there whether she is on the orders or not. They will just need to be amended after the fact. The great news about the move though is that we will be able to get housing off post. The community we are moving to is trying to get lots of people on post, but we prefer living off, for a number of reasons. DH went up last week and talked to them and was able to get the paperwork for off post housing. Now, we just need to find a place so that we can schedule the movers and let our landlord here know that we are leaving and all the other details that go with moving. Oy.

So, I'm keeping busy wrapping things up and trying to get the house at a baseline of clean for the disaster of neglect that is sure to come. Next week I will start cooking meals to freeze. The car seats will be put in the cars. Soon I need to start packing my hospital bag. Bags. DH and I are trying to decide what to do for Thanksgiving. I'm out walking a few times a week for exercise. Things are just moving along.

Next month, I will be a mother. It's almost too much to wrap my head around.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wahlzeit oder election time

I have only one thing to say about this election. I am really looking forward to it being over and being able to move on!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Loslassen oder Letting Go

I'm ready. I'm finally ready. I am ready to throw off the mantle of survivor guilt and embrace life going forward.

Since I got pregnant, I've been feeling guilty. About only having to do injectables, about only needing one cycle on them, about having a healthy pregnancy, about leaving others behind. No more. I am embracing what life has given me with open arms and moving out from that guilt mantle. (Guilt mantles are not nearly as pretty as gilt mantles.) I still identify as infertile and I'm still sharing what my experience has been with people, but I am no longer holding onto the shame I have felt.

Hopefully what this means is that I will be posting more often. I may start a new blog to get a fresh start. We'll see.

Thank you for listening and thank you for following along on my journey thus far.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

28 Wochen und keine Komplikationen oder 28 weeks and no complications

This Monday was my 28 week appointment. I am now being hooked up to the heartbeat monitor for spawnette and contraction monitor for me at each appointment. It kind of looks like a medieval torture device, but thankfully doesn't feel that way. I spent the twenty minutes or so sewing some hexagons together for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. It was a nice way to pass the time, listening to her heartbeat and sewing.

Not my Grandmother's Flower Garden,
but similar.
I gained not quite 2 kilograms between this appointment and the last one. This is the first time that I've actually gained any remarkable weight. I was not thin to start with, so Dr H hasn't been concerned. This time though, he came in and said, "Getting bigger, huh?" Yes, doctor, yes I am. Thanks for that.

All my tests from last time came back clear, which was great news. No gestational diabetes and no anemia! Those were the ones I was most worried about. Dr H asked me how the yeast infection was. I told him it seemed to have gone away with treatment, but I thought it was back. Sure enough, as soon as he put me in the stirrups he confirmed this. So, another round of treatment I go. I also bought some probiotic pills and some trink joghurt to maybe help this problem. So, I guess that's a little complication, but a very minor one. Mostly, it's really annoying.

Labor Day weekend, DH, my house guest and I took the train up to Berlin. We had a really good time. It was exhausting though. We walked and walked. I went back Saturday and Sunday to the apartment we were staying in and took a nap in the afternoon. The apartment was another story in itself.

I did not realize Berlin is friendly. The neighborhood we were in seemed gay fetish friendly, specifically. There were gay fetish cruising bars and leather clothing on display all around. And our apartment was decorated in black and silver with hooks in the ceiling and chains in the loft for said hooks. Was the neighborhood safe? Yes. The usual type of neighborhood that I would stay

So, that's the update for now. The weather is starting to turn here and I am so glad. The weeks of 90+ weather were making me crazy. Now we head on into fall and crisp nights. I'm looking forward to snuggling under blankets instead of sweating on top of the sheets.

Now, here are some pictures from Berlin.

My cousin, playing with her food.
Starting off the morning right.
Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
The Holocaust Memorial
The Brandenburg Gate
Pregnant cartwheels
The view from the top of the Victory Column
A mosaic on the ceiling of Kaiser Wilhelm Church

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

25 Woche und Zählen oder 25 Weeks and Counting

Last Monday was my 24 week appointment. I got to do the glucose screen, which I have been dreading since the beginning. It was an eight hour fast before hand and then a one hour test. I had planned to walk around during the hour, but didn't get a chance because I saw Herr Doktor during the wait and it was super busy, so there was lots of waiting.

Mine was actually Johannisbeere
flavor, which I'm told is better.
When I went in the nurse asked me if I had had nothing to eat or drink in eight hours. I told her I had had some water. She looked very alarmed and asked me if I had had a lot of water. I think I had about 8 ounces. I told her no because I am not going to have to do this test again if I have anything to say about it. Then she weighed me. I told her just before she did that I've not been gaining weight. When she put me on the scale I had dropped 600 grams (a little over a pound) since the last appointment. She looked really alarmed at this and asked me if I have been eating, to which I responded, "Yes!" 

Herr Doktor listened for the spawnette's heartbeat, which was 150. It was funny because at one point he said, "A kick," and he didn't need to tell me. I had that one figured out. Then he checked my cervix, which looked good, and because I had been itchy, did a swab which came back as a yeast infection. Yay. All in all though, it went well.

My house guest is gone for a week to the States. She returns on Thursday. I've actually been really thankful she's not here because it is hot as balls and most of the time I'm just sitting around with underwear on and nothing else. Thank God I bought a one-room air conditioner, or I would not be getting any sleep at all. I've been enjoying the time to myself and spending lots of time sewing, which I haven't done in ages and used to do all of the time. I think it was something I needed to work back to. I'm also watching really bad TV, which I am always embarrassed to do when someone else is around.

Oh, and another thing about sitting around nearly naked is that I discovered my boobs are leaking. Clear fluid mostly, but sometimes it's orangish. I guess this is the beginnings of colostrum. I'm glad things are working, but it's pretty disconcerting!

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better and I am hoping the forecast isn't lying this time. It has been in the nineties since Friday, and with no A/C, it's a killer. DH and I spent the weekend lying around watching TV on our laptops because turning on the big TV creates too much heat. And we've been eating microwave meals because it's too hot to even think of turning on the stove. I think I have been gaining weight this week from all of the crap I'm eating.

So, that's a little update on what's going on here. Congratulations to Tracy at Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen on her long awaited BFP! Here's wishing her a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Striving for contentment

In March I signed up for one of Cristy's fertility sock exchanges. I was in the midst of my first cycle with injectables. Cristy sets it up so that instead of giving and receiving socks with the same person, it's more of a chain where you receive from one person and give to another. Before I got my socks or had a chance to send mine out, I got my BFP and went on to have a positive beta the next week. Since that happened, one of my sock buddies has gotten pregnant and is in her second trimester with twins. The other has had an IUI that didn't result in pregnancy.

I've been reading lots of fertility blogs during my journey and many of the people that were TTCing when I started reading have gone on to get pregnant and are on the road to have healthy babies or already have their healthy baby. There are still several though who have not managed this, despite all of their best efforts and medical technology and hope and prayer. My sock buddy who has not conceived told me that she was self-isolating and trying to come to terms with what life has dealt her. I got the impression that it was, "Thanks for checking in, but it's too painful for me to talk to you and I need time to heal."

As I sit here, feeling the kicks of my daughter for the last hour or so, my heart breaks once again for those who have not been able to complete their journey to motherhood. (Not that my journey is over, mind you.) I want to be able to say to those people that they are not left behind in my mind. They are not less. They are still working through their journey to parenthood, or are working on making peace with being childless. They are still in my heart. I want to reach out and give comfort or a shoulder to cry on. I don't know how though. When I was still going through it, my mom would say to me that she knew I would have a baby. I know she was trying to comfort me, but I just wanted to lash out and say, "And what if I don't?! Don't tell me that everything will be alright when you don't know if that will happen. You can't guarantee that!"

Infertility has changed me and there are things that I don't think I'll ever take for granted. And I hope that if I meet someone, in person or online, who is struggling, that I will be able to say something besides, "Everything will be okay." Because sometimes, everything isn't okay. Sometimes life is really hard and things suck. Life is not fair. I think we all know this

But, I do believe that every person can get to a point where they are content with their life as it is, at least for a moment. And I hope that my interactions with others will be part of what makes a life of contentment, even if only for a moment. That's one good thing that has come out of my struggle with infertility.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My heart goes out today to Trisha at The Elusive Second Line who has lost her Maybe Baby at 9 weeks. There are no words.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alles gut und schön oder all is good and well.

It's August already. I can hardly believe it.

Things have been uneventful around here. We went to a hay wagon festival a couple of weekends ago. They have an 800 meter (half mile) course set up in town and there are teams that push and pull the wagon loaded up with hay through the course. There's a couple of turns and they have to go around the water tower. The hard part is that there are two sections of about 10 feet of sand about 6 inches deep that they have to drag the wagons through. It's pretty entertaining.

My lovely house guest is still here and she has been wonderful. She's been cleaning and helping with stuff around the house and is a joy to have around. I will miss her when she goes in September.

The spawnette is kicking more and trying out some new stretches. I'm trying to get some sewing done on my big machine before my belly is too big. My uterus is already a couple of inches above my belly button!

The next doctor's appointment is the gestational diabetes screen, which I am not looking forward to. This is the test that I have been the most apprehensive about since it has such a high rate of false positives that lead to the dreaded three hour test. And, my doctor is having me do an eight hour fast before the test. Ugh.

Other than that, things are normal. I'm looking forward to fall and cooler weather which may lead to some clothes shopping because while pants are still fitting, they are getting uncomfortable and shirts are becoming too short. I'm working on the baby registry. DH and I bought a crib and dresser at Ikea last weekend. Things are moving along. All is well and good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aus dem Urlaub zurück oder back from vacation

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written. Since the last time DH and I went on a cruise in the Baltic Sea. We saw most of the Baltic capitals and even managed to go to the ballet in Saint Petersburg, which was amazing.

The week after we got back, it was time for the next OB appointment. This was the twenty week scan, so Dr. H took quite a while looking to make sure everything was measuring correctly. At this point they measure the circumference of the head and length of the femur to determine gestational age and any age within 10 days is considered normal. All the structures look normal. We could even see the bladder full of fluid because the spawn (that's our nickname) had been swallowing amniotic fluid. Then Dr. H told us what we had been anxiously waiting to hear: It's a girl! Both DH and I wanted a girl, so this is fantastic news!

I still don't feel like I look pregnant, just kinda fat. I think part of that is because I have been this big around before without a baby in there. I am still wearing my old pants, although my shirts are getting too short and I'm rotating some maternity tops in. I've gained less than five pounds since getting pregnant, but Dr. H doesn't seem concerned. That's just another thing that I love about German doctors.

I clearly have not been posting regularly, and don't know if I will get back to it or not. I feel like with the point of viability coming up in just a few more weeks I'm becoming confident at the prospect of bringing home a baby. If I keep writing, I think things will change a bit. Life is just different, although I still marvel at the fact that I'm pregnant and I think about how things were. Before one of our trips last month DH said to me that he realized that he hadn't woken up to the sound of the thermometer in a long time. It's a continual amazement.

So, I hope your summer is going well. Congrats to the ladies who finally have their BFPs out there! You've worked hard for it. Try to enjoy it. And those who haven't I'm rooting for you! I look forward to the day when I visit your blog and see your good news.

Happy Summer!

This is a Russian mosquito. We stayed in the room a lot in St. Petersburg.

I did cartwheels in most of the places we visited.
It just seemed like a fun thing to do!

I survey my queendom.

This was at the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.
One of the many interesting but slightly terrifying statues.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Geschäftigen Sommer oder busy summertime

I'm behind. It's been almost three weeks since my last post. Please forgive me, dear readers, (if there are indeed readers). Summer has barely even started and it's already been very busy!

The last post I talked about friends and family. I had a cousin visit for a week starting June 2nd. We went to the Heidelberg burning, and traveled down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to see the Bavarian wonders. He's a new college graduate and has tons of energy and completely wore me out! I spent last week recovering.

This week, I am wrapping up the final details before our vacation next week. Do you want to know where we are going? On a cruise! We'll be traveling around the Baltic and I will be on the boat for my 30th birthday. Pretty exciting stuff. I'm sure there will be lots of pictures and maybe some good stories.

Other things that have been happening:

DH and I had interviews with three doulas in the area. When I say in the area, I mean within an hour from where we live. I had to search high and low, but I'm so glad that I did because now I actually have a choice. We had our last interview yesterday and are trying to make a decision by the end of the week. It's much harder to choose than I anticipated. Maybe it's because our medical care is usually dictated to us rather than giving us options. But it's free! Military health care is a blessing and a curse.

Speaking of medical issues, I have been having numbness down my right leg. That numbness begins tingling and sending electric pains if I stand or walk too long. I was feeling so great three weeks ago that I went on a run and have been having this problem ever since. So, it's biking and walking (when I can) for exercise right now. I've been seeing a chiropractor to help, and it seems to be making a difference. When I tried to get into physical therapy, I was sent on a circular wild goose chase that involved a few wasted hours in an ER and many tears of frustration on my part. When I asked my OB about it, he said it's normal and there's not much he can do or recommend. So, chiropractic it is, with hopefully an occasional massage thrown in. There are worse things.

And, speaking of the OB, I had my 16 week appointment yesterday. We did another ultrasound because it's only 35 euro and worth the money for the reassurance. The first thing Dr. H said to me was, "You're not feeling the baby move yet." Good to know. Everything was looking good. Heartbeat 150. Spawn was squirming and kicking on the ultrasound. (External for the first time, and I'm not sure I prefer it! The picture was much clearer with Wanda.) I got a note for the cruise, and our next appointment is on the 16th of June. Dr. H said that it looks like a spawnette, but I'm going to try my hardest to resist getting anything yet until the next time when things will be more clear. But I'm really hoping he's right!

So, that's what's going on. Next week, while DH and I are gone, another cousin will be arriving. She'll be with us for a while, but we're not sure how long yet. I'm sure that she and I will spend time together. No one except DH knows about this blog, so posts will probably continue to be few and far between. I am reading your blogs though!

This busy summertime will quickly enough ease into (hopefully) less busy fall. And then maybe I will be able to be more present. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag oder Thankful Thursday: Loved Ones

Okay, what can I say? I said that I would be posting more and now a week and a half has gone by and I've been quiet. I suck.

Things going on here:

  • It's been fairly warm. 
  • I bought a (used) air conditioner and then went all around town looking for a vent hose. This is more complicated than it sounds and involved tears.
  • I worked out six days in a week.
  • One day I came out of the commissary and saw a cute guy smiling at me. I thought it was because I looked pretty, since I had actually done my hair and makeup. Then I got to my bike and found a piece of lettuce in my hair and figured that's why he was smiling. My salad sorting may have been a bit too vigorous.
Tornado Kartoffel
Today though, I'm thankful for friends and family. DH and I spent last Saturday in Mannheim at their Stadtfest (city fest) with some new friends. We ate our way through, getting fries and corn on the cob, and ice cream and "Tornado Kartoffel"  which was a potato that was spiral cut and shoved onto a stick and then fried. Fried things are good. (Even if "Tornado Potato" does sound better than "Tornado Kartoffel", you can't quibble with fried things.) We talked and laughed and enjoyed the beautiful day. This Saturday, my cousin is coming to visit and we will be going with the same friends to the Heidelberg Illumination. Then next week, we will be driving down to Bavaria to see the sites down there. 

I'm so happy to have friends here. It took a while to meet people, but it seems like once you get to know a few, more will wander into your sphere. It's wonderful to know people who think differently than you and different backgrounds. It enriches your life. That's one of the great things about the military is getting to know people you would never otherwise get an opportunity to meet.

A Bavarian town which will go unnamed for now
And family. My cousin is coming and a few weeks later, we expect his sister to visit for a couple of weeks. Being overseas, time with family is not the same as it used to be. My family is in Montana and it's an expensive and long flight to get over to see them, so it doesn't happen often. When I get to see family, it's a pleasure. For me, they are the people I've known my whole life (or theirs, for the younger ones) and we have similar backgrounds and upbringing. There are inside jokes and catching up on what's going on and honest and frank discussion about personal issues. 

So, I may continue sucking in the blogging department. I am reading your blogs, I'm just not tending mine. But for right now, while I've got friends and family around, that's okay.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zweiten OB Besuch oder second OB visit

Lots of pregnancy talk today.


Today is twelve weeks exactly. The last few days have been pretty good. And, if I can get through today without throwing up (and it's looking good so far), it will be a week since the last time I got sick. Woohoo!

DH was able to come to this visit. (If you remember from the last visit he wasn't able to be there.) It had been almost six weeks since he last saw my insides. I ran into a friend in the waiting room, so we chatted, which was nice. They weighed me this time and took my blood pressure. The blood pressure was pretty good. The best thing that I can say about the weight was that it was in kilograms instead of pounds and so it was a lot lower.

Then we saw Dr. H. He told me the results of my tests, which were good. Iron levels okay, no chlamydia. Good to know. I asked about a note for the cruise DH and I will be taking in a few weeks (more on that later). They'll give me the note next time. I then nervously asked if it would be okay to have a glass of champagne. Dr H said that an occasional drink would not cause any problems. I know there are people out there who would say that I shouldn't even ask, but hey, I'm in Europe and I have a German doctor. I'm going to go for the European experience. I told him I had lost some weight, and he said that in the first sixteen weeks, they don't expect much change in weight, so losing a little is okay. Then we went to the ultrasound.

It was with Wanda again, which honestly, I didn't mind. The picture is really clear and it's not uncomfortable, so whatever. I had planned to drink some orange juice just before the appointment, but didn't. It didn't matter. The blob is no longer a blob! There are two arms and two legs and we saw at least one hand that had all five fingers. There's a brain and a very visible (and audible) heartbeat (145). We even saw it moving around, which was really amazing. We saw the umbilical cord and the blood flow there. It's 55.6 mm, so just about two inches long. I'm amazed that only ten weeks after conception, this creature is fully formed and just needs to grow bigger and mature. It's not something that is yet to be. It is. A teeny, tiny human.

I've been feeling disconnection and disbelief. Seeing my baby (writing those words is unreal) kick and move its arms and legs makes me feel like this might really be real. There might really be a reason my pants are getting tight. It's possible the reason I've been feeling crappy is because there's a person that I'm growing. It's unbelievable, but I might be starting to believe it.

After the appointment, I went to the reception desk to make the next appointment. And, I got my Mutterpass! This is all of your medical records for your pregnancy. And, if you have more than one child in Germany, it will be for all of your pregnancies. You are to carry it with you at all times so that if there's a problem, the doctor will be able to look at your Mutterpass and know your pregnancy medical history. It is the symbol that you are really pregnant. And I have one!

I'm so happy right now. I can't stop smiling. This is really happening! And I am so thankful.

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Wow, am I ever behind. I'm been sick and tired and lazy enjoying pregnancy for the last few weeks. Please forgive me. I'm going to try to get back to semi-regular blogging.

I've been given the One Lovely Blog award by Mrs. M at Seriously Not Pregnant. She has been trying for quite a while and things have been rough for her lately. Go over and say hi and check out her blog. It's great!

So, now that I've gotten the award I have to do something. Besides bask in the adoring glow, that is.

Here are the steps to follow after receiving this award:
  • Share who gave it to you with a link back to their blog. (See above)
  • Write down seven random facts about yourself.
  • Give this award to fifteen other bloggers.
  • Let them know they've won.
  • Pop the award on your blog.

Seven Random Facts about me:

  1. I once danced on a table with a bunch of Hungarian women to "YMCA".  And I wasn't even drinking.
  2. I have lived in Germany nearly a third of my adult life and I still don't speak the language. This is just shameful.
  3. I am an only child. I loved it growing up, but now that I'm an adult it's not quite as fun. It's really hard to be away from your parents when there are hard times, especially when you don't have siblings to help take up the slack.
  4. I used to drink at least two cans of Mountain Dew a day. This may sound like a lot to some people, but seems like nothing to me. My mom (before all of her medical problems) used to drink eight to ten LITERS of Diet Pepsi every day. Twenty four ounces is small potatoes. But, I'm glad I don't do that anymore.
  5. I saw the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from both sides by the time I was 28. 
  6. I miss grocery stores in the States. Seriously, the grocery stores here are like low end mini-marts compared to places like Safeway or Fred Meyer's in the States. I long to be able to find Burt's Bees lip balm when in my local grocery store. But, German stores have a lot of good things too. 
  7. Black bottom....
  8. If the choice is between cake and pie, I pick pie. Unless it's fruit pie. Then I might go for the cake after all.

    Or lemon meringue. No need to choose. Have one of each!
    Mmmmm......pie...mmmmmm......whoops! Sorry, got distracted there for a minute. Now it's time for me to award this to fifteen bloggers. I don't know if I know that many bloggers, but I'll come up with as many as possible. They won't all be infertility bloggers though, and some will be mommy bloggers. I'll try to give warnings. 

     I would like to give this award to the following bloggers:

    The Pussy Palace (This is an infertility blog and is SFW, just in case you were wondering.)

    MissConception (pregnant)

    Syringe Sisters (pregnant)

    Inconceivable! (pregnant)

    Crappy Pictures (mommy blog)

    The Cohen Tribe (mommy blog)

    My Dusty Uterus (has baby)

    Whew! I managed to find fifteen. And, they are all awesome. I know some of you have already gotten this award and some of you are way too big to bother posting this award and that's okay. Just sharing the blog love. All of you are awesome. Thanks again to Mrs. M for the award. Now, hopefully, I can get off my duff (figuratively, because I sit while typing) and get back to (semi) regular blogging. 

    Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Würgen die ganze Zeit

    Last week came and went without a post from me. For shame. Again, I'm still around, just feeling really lousy. I've been tired which is okay, but this week the morning sickness ramped up a notch. Yesterday morning I was trying to get out of bed and downstairs to give DH a kiss good morning, but I went too fast and ended up heaving in the sink instead. All day yesterday, every time I got up from sitting or lying down, I would start gagging. Today started similarly, without the actual sick though, thankfully. DH asked me to get some bread and that made me gag. Mixing honey in with my yogurt this morning was cause for retching. Leaning over to get the cat food out of the cupboard had me heaving. Fun times.

    I'm eleven weeks along, so I'm just praying that in the next couple of weeks things will get better. Pretty please?

    Also, I'm still feeling disconnected from the pregnancy. DH will be coming with me next Monday to the OB, so maybe holding his hand while hearing the heartbeat will get this lodged into my head a little better.

    P.S. Today's title sounds so much better in German, that I just left it that way. If you really want to see what it says, plug it into Google translate.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Ich bin hier oder I am here

    I am here, just so you know. I am just so, so tired. Hopefully later this week I can find some energy for a better post. Sorry I've been slacking. See you later.

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Dankbar Donnerstag: Ten things

    Technically it's Friday here, but I was planning this before the clock turned over, so I'm saying Thursday. It's my blog, I can ignore time if I want to. In no particular order, here are ten things that I am thankful for today.

    1. Sunshine
    2. Bicycle paths
    3. Time with friends
    4. Greek yogurt
    5. Mom's surgery tomorrow
    6. Cat snoring next to me
    7. Having the bed to myself for almost a month
    8. That DH will be back next week
    9. "Jagged Little Pill" by Alanis Morissette 
    10. Fifty Shades of Grey for book club next month
    After catching up on some blogs yesterday, I also am thankful for BFPs from Lou at Syringe Sisters and ADSChill at Missconception! Both of them have had long journeys and I'm glad they are finally getting those positive tests. 

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Erste OB Besuch und tiefe Gedanken oder first OB visit and deep thoughts

    Today was my first visit with the OB, Dr. H. I went in and the receptionist/nurse asked me if I could urinate. Um, yes, yes I can. In fact I was about to ask you where the bathroom is. Then I sat in the waiting room which had English magazines! This was such a luxury. I brought some hand sewing with me, but promptly lost the needle so I needed the magazines.

    I was shown into Dr. H's office and asked questions by the nurse. Had my cycles been regular? No. Am I on any medications? Still on Metformin. Was I still spotting? No, that stopped last week.

    Then Dr. H came in. We discussed my history with Herr Doktor. I told him I wanted to stay on the Metformin if possible. He said that I could stay on it for a few more weeks, and then I need to go off. I said okay. I'm thinking if I start splitting pills so I can wean down, it might be okay. I asked if I could go to the sauna. He said that after the first trimester it's okay as long as I don't spend too long in there and I feel okay. Cool.

    Then we went into the exam room. Dr. H works with lots of American patients, so they have more of a drape. Since he handed it to me, I went ahead and used it. And, with Herr Doktor it was just me and him in the exam room. Dr H's nurse came in too. He did a pap and then it was time for my date with Wanda. This time when the uterus was on the screen it was a lot easier to see the blob. Not much searching around for it. It is about the shape you would expect from a nine weeks pregnant picture online. Measuring nine weeks exactly. Heartbeat 161. I got to hear the heartbeat this time and I could really see it on the ultrasound clearly, whereas last time Frau Doktor was having to point it out to me. The he checked my ovaries and they looked good. They weren't all covered in cysts, which is good news.

    Then I got dressed and the nurse and I went into another room for the blood draw. Now, I have been dreading this because I don't like doing blood draws and everyone talks about how much blood they take from you. She  was very good and I hardly felt the poke, but I jumped anyway because I'm wimpy. Then she took four vials of blood. Two big and two little. Not so bad! The way people have been talking, I thought it would be a pint!

    The nurse and I went over to the desk and I made my next appointment for May 21st. DH will be able to come to that one (he's out of town on an exercise) and so it will be his first time hearing the heartbeat and it will have changed a lot in the almost six weeks since he'll have seen it. We might even be able to see it moving on the screen. That would be pretty cool.

    Ok, deep thoughts time.

    As far as all this pregnancy stuff goes, I'm doing okay, but I have to say I feel a little disconnected. I'm still on guard, worried about something happening. It feels surreal. The only thing that's really assuring me that it is real is the morning sickness that lasts all day and being tired all of the time. But even that's not that bad. I was tired all of the time like this on birth control. I'm grateful and so thankful but most of the time it doesn't even feel real. I'm just wondering when I will start feeling feelings for this blob. I know DH is going to want to talk about names soon. If it were up to me, I would wait until viability, but I know that that is really a bit kooky.

    I'm just trying to wrap my head and heart around this. Some women say they loved their baby from the time that they knew they were pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be pregnant and I am looking forward to meeting this blob when it's a baby, but I can't say that I feel love like I thought I would. I feel terrible even putting that into words, like it's a betrayal of everything I've gone through and infertility itself. I hope I start feeling more connected in the weeks and months to come. If I don't, what will I do? And how can I justify all of the things that I've been through to get me to this point if I don't feel the right feelings? Deep thoughts to ponder.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Dies und das oder this and that

    Well, I've waded through most of the paperwork to get to my off post OB. I went to an OB brief on post last Wednesday and got the call yesterday that my referral was in, so I went back in and got my first appointment scheduled. I'll be seeing my OB for the first time on Monday.

    In the military community I'm in, there is no military hospital. There's a rather large clinic, but there's no emergency room, so they send you off post for your OB care. There are two doctors that all of the American women get sent to. I did get my choice of docs and I've heard nothing but good about the one I will be going to. The hospital is supposed to be fantastic with acupuncture and massage and water birthing tubs. Also, Germans really don't encourage epidurals so that will be good for me. I've always wanted to go the more natural route. The only thing I'm having trouble with right now is finding a doula. DH is out of town for an exercise for the next couple of weeks, so he won't be able to make it to this first OB appointment, but I'd rather get under care sooner than wait for him to be able to come too.

    My morning sickness hasn't been too bad, and even if it were, I wouldn't be complaining. I went for a run this morning and the pear that I ate did not stay down for long after I got home. Also, my run time is slowing down, but that's to be expected. I've been needing more sleep and my boobs have gotten noticeably bigger, which I'm not crazy about because I was already a D and now my old DD bras are getting tight. My running bras are really, really tight and I don't know if I'll be able to find a bigger size in those. Oh well.

    I'm still spotting off and on. I think sleeping on my stomach is causing some of the problem, so I'm experimenting with staying off my stomach and seeing if that helps. It's never too bad, but it's really scary to be going through your day all happy and then to go to the bathroom and have a heart-stopping moment when you wipe and there's something there that wasn't supposed to be. It reminds me a lot of thinking that a cycle had worked, and then going to the bathroom and finding out I had gotten my period and my whole day being ruined. I never thought that bathroom time would be so integral to whether or not my day goes well.

    During the OB brief, the nurse said that one woman had taken eight HPTs to make really sure she was pregnant. I just sort of laughed and said that I've gone through a 50 pack. I still take one every now and then, just to make sure. I know if something were to happen at this point that I would still get a positive for a while, but I just have to see that those lines are still there. Eight tests, what a laugh.

    Anyway, that's what's going on here. What's going on with you?

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Frivol Freitag oder Frivolous Friday: Duck Grass

    I lived in Montana growing up. It's kind of a rural area, so you find different ways to have fun. One of the things that I remember doing was playing with duck grass. Duck grass, or quack grass is a broad leafed grass that has little barbs on one side of the leaf. If you put a piece of grass between your thumbs and blow, you can make a sort of quacking sound.
    (I couldn't find any videos of people playing duck grass, so here's some quacking from actual ducks instead.)

    I haven't used duck grass in years, but when I was out for my run this morning, I went past a whole field of it. I couldn't resist, so I plucked off a piece of grass and took it home with me.

    When I got home I serenaded my cats with the duck grass. They stopped whining for food, put their ears back in startled astonishment and stared at me with wide, terrified eyes. I laughed so hard I got the hiccups.

    It's fun to do things that hearken back to childhood every now and then. And to annoy your pets.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Dankbar Donnerstag oder Thankful Thursday: My husband's sense of humor

    My husband is hilarious. He's in the States this week for work and I asked him to bring a few things back. Whenever someone you know goes to the States, you always send a shopping list because there are things that you just can't get here. Like Burt's Bees lip balm.

    I know, I can't believe it either. Well, I can believe that I can't find Burt's Bees. What floored me is that Amazon wouldn't ship it over. I like the honey flavor the best. I asked my mom to get some and she sent the peppermint, which I knew she would, but I was just happy to get some. 

    So, DH was sent to the States with the warning, "Come back with my lip balm or else!" He got a chance to go shopping yesterday and this is the message I got this morning regarding the shopping trip.

    *Edited slightly to maintain privacy*

    Nobody I talked to had ever heard of the brand *sunscreen I wanted*, but let me tell you the saga of Burt, his Bees, and his crazy honey obsession. 

    So I go to the mall. This huge mall that's supposedly the biggest mall in Iowa. I weep for the rest of Iowa if that is the case. Our mall in *Montana town* was bigger. I found nothing. Not a single thing on my list . So I ask somebody for directions to Target. Surely Target will have something. They had the *other thing I wanted*, but apparently Burt and his Bees didn't feel that Target was worthy of honey. Just peppermint and pomegranate. So I got a pomegranate. 

    Honey goodness
    Then I got directions to the Evil Empire (Walmart). Alas, if Burt and his elusive Bees forswore to grace Target with honey, he definitely wasn't going to deign to bestow it upon the Evil Empire. Just more evil peppermint. I walked out empty handed but with directions to a grocery store. I walk in and find the lip balm section and Burt is quietly absent. In dejection I make my way back out and catch a glimpse of honeycomb out of the corner of my eye. Burt and his elusive Bees felt this store was so worthy it deserved an entire half row of pure honey products. In ecstasy I grabbed six and made my way to the register. The cashier told me I was lucky, Burt and his elusive Bees sell out quickly.

    May this stockpile of honey goodness grudgingly bestowed upon you by Burt and his elusive Bees last you and your lips until your return to the world of American consumerism. 

    I read this and just started laughing. That guy is so fun to be married to. He always surprises me.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Socken und Graduierung oder socks and graduation

    Sometime during my last two week wait, I was catching up on some blogs when I stumbled across this post by Cristy. It suggested a sock exchange. I signed up and Lou at Syringe Sisters was assigned to send socks to me, and I sent socks to babysocks2008. Last week, DH came home with a package from Lou. This is what was in it. (Except for the flowers. Those don't ship well from the States.) So cute! The card made me tear up and I have been wearing the socks around the house.

    Today the long socks came with me on my last appointment with Herr Doktor. He checked everything out. I'm still spotting, but he said that's okay and just to come in if there's any problem before I get under OB care. The blob is 10.7 mm now.

    I have officially graduated. I wish I had a mortarboard to throw! Now I  start jumping through the hoops with Tricare to start my OB care. These are hoops that I'm glad to be jumping through.

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    Alles klar oder all right

    I called Herr Doktor's office yesterday at about three. The spotting had tapered off, but it was still there. At around seven in the evening, I got three or four sharp cramps on my left side, which is I'm pretty sure, where the implantation occurred. After that, I got some dark blood, but still not very much. I tried to stay as still as possible all night.

    Herr Doktor is on vacation this week, so I saw Frau Doktor again. DH was able to come with me, even though the appointment was not at seven in the morning and he had to do some finagling with work. Anyway, once we got there, I promptly spilled his coffee all over the waiting room floor. Way to go me.

    Right now, mostly fett.
    We got shown in to Frau Doktor's office. She asked me what was up and I told her that I had been spotting since Wednesday. It was brown, and there wasn't much, but it was there and I had slight cramping. She went ahead and did an ultrasound after doing a swab to check for infection and looking to see if she could find where the bleeding was coming from.

    No bleeding from the cervix, no intrauterine bleeding, and the cervix is still long and closed. What a relief.

    And, we saw the heartbeat.

    DH is beside himself. He's going to be gone for basically the next month, so this was the only chance he had to see the heartbeat before he left. He tried to get me to say the p word as we were leaving. I still can't quite do it. I can say, "Ich bin schwanger," but not the English version quite yet.

    Frau Doktor thinks it's possibly an infection. She said to stop helping people move, to not do any sports, but to go ahead and be up and moving around. She prescribed more progesterone and magnesium, which apparently helps with cramping and will keep the uterus from contracting.

    It's amazing to think that just last week, all there was was a gestational sac and this week, we can see a little blob floating in the sac and a heartbeat. She said that the growth rate is "perfect", 6.6mm, exactly the correct size for the gestational age.

    DH is planning to call his family tonight and let them know. I should probably call my folks and tell my dad, since Mom has known for almost three weeks already.

    So, I'm glad that I went in and had it checked, but relieved that everything is okay. DH wants to tell, but I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. The heartbeat is there, but I still have reservations. I'm trying to give in and fully attach, but it's difficult. Right now, though, I'm focusing on one thing. Alles klar.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012


    More spotting this morning when I got up and this morning. I've been feeling slightly crampy if I get up and do anything, so my plan is to stay very still today. The spotting seems to have tapered off, but if it doesn't stop, I'll be calling Herr Doktor's office.

    Please, please, don't let me lose this thing that it's taken me so long to get.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Meine zarten Zustand oder my delicate condition

    DH and I have been referring to the state I'm in as my "delicate condition." I'm still not comfortable with the p word. It's been kind of a joke because I have never thought of myself as delicate. I have never broken a bone since I have the skeletal structure of a Russian beet farmer's wife. I rarely get sick. I never throw up, unless I have too much to drink, but that hasn't happened in quite a while.
    This may or may not be a picture of me.
    Photo courtesy of
    Apparently though, my condition is more delicate than I realized. We have been helping some friends move the past few days. After about two hours, I am worn out. Any more than that, and I start cramping and lightly spotting. I am having to take it a little easier and make some changes. I still haven't really told anyone, so while I sat down and rested, the other people helping with the move looked at me wondering why I was slacking. 

    I want to keep being active during this pr...phase of life, but also need to keep in mind that I am not the only one I am looking out for right now. I actually am in a somewhat delicate condition, much to my continued astonishment.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Infertility has changed me.

    I finally have that BFP but it hasn't really sunk in. I just stopped charting today. I still occasionally POAS, just to check. I'm nervous because I haven't had any nausea. The only symptoms I've had are sore, slowly enlarging, boobs and a slower run time.

    DH and I went in on Thursday for another ultrasound. Herr Doktor wanted to make sure there wasn't an ectopic pregnancy going into the long weekend. (The Germans have a four day this weekend because of Easter.) I now have a gestational sac that measured 9.2 mm. My beta was 6269 on Thursday, so that's progressing okay. Even with all of that, I can't claim the P word. I can't say it out loud.

    I had coffee with a friend yesterday who is 7 weeks along. She was talking about how long it took (10 months) and how she's sort of obsessed because she's still doing the POAS thing and has eight pregnancy tests still at home. I think I have about forty. But, the thing that really struck me is that she's still confident she's pregnant. She hasn't heard a heartbeat yet or even had an ultrasound, just positive blood and urine tests. But, she knows she's really pregnant. She is sure of that fact.

    I, on the other hand, do not think of myself that way, and probably won't until there's a heartbeat. Right now, I have a gestational sac and I can manage to get BFPs on home tests. I still find myself looking enviously at strollers and little kids toddling around playgrounds. Swollen bellies still throw me off. Hearing someone else's good news still makes me feel that happy for them, sad for me, thing. I actually had to remind myself the other day not to have a beer with dinner. It's a surreal feeling, like I'm having a boring dream with an exciting background note.

    Infertility has indeed changed me. I don't think I will be confident until I bring a healthy baby home.

    And that's when the real worrying starts.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Daumen drehen oder twiddling thumbs

    Not much going on around here. I got the vacuuming done. I went to the library for a couple of hours and checked out a few new books. I was going to sew, but the vacuuming kind of wore me out, so I skipped it.

    I have an appointment for Thursday with Herr Doktor for another ultrasound. Until then, I'll just be twiddling my thumbs.