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.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beta #2 and ultrasound/Ultrawelle

Monday has finally arrived. I don't think I've ever looked so forward to a Monday. DH and I went in together for the latest appointment with Herr Doktor, since Herr Doktor's secretary said we would be doing an ultrasound. Which we did. But, there was nothing to see. I saw the uterus, and it looked pretty much like it always does. We did not see anything in there though. Herr Doktor thinks it's too early, but he said, "I am convinced there is a pregnancy," which did make me feel better. I need to find out how to say congratulations in German, because the woman who was in the office before me is graduating to an OB and she looked so happy, I just wanted to say something. I smiled instead.

Meanwhile, I have continued to POAS most mornings and am still getting BFPs. The lines are getting progressively darker, so I'm still hopeful. It was a bit of a letdown though, not to see anything in there. I'll get the results of the beta this afternoon. Based on my last one, I'm hoping for 1,500 or higher. I'm trying not to focus on getting through the next week, which is how long I think it will be before the next appointment, but getting through the next few hours. This is proving difficult.

A seven week deployment, huh?
Photo credit:
I went to the bakery and got some quarkbällchen for breakfast. I think I'll work on the Rosetta Stone for a while. Then I'll watch some TV and do some sewing. I am sewing a pocket onto a baby carrier for someone in our church. I'm doing the sewing by hand because it's easier than fussing with the carrier in the sewing machine. This woman, by the way, is one who got pregnant while "not even trying", is suffering through the long seven weeks that her husband is gone, and offered to let me borrow a dress for the ball, and when I pointed out that we aren't the same size, she let me know she wore it while pregnant, so it would probably fit me. Yeah. I don't know why I'm doing this little job for her, but I can tell you, it's not because I want her to be my best friend.

Enough complaining about fertiles (for now). I'll post an update with the beta once I get it. Fingers crossed!


Update: Beta 2426! Doubling time of 37.97 hours. I was hoping for anything over 1500, so I'm pretty stoked. Back to Herr Doktor on Thursday for another ultrasound.