Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Mittwoch, 23. November 2011

34 weeks!

I admit, I have been a horrible blogger.  In my defense, we are living between our house and our apartment, and I have hit the fun of the third trimester, which means I am often exhausted, crampy, and just want to sleep. 
But, I figured in honor of my very first day of Maternity Leave - wahoo!- I would do a post.  I am hoping that I'll be able to get Joern to take a bump picture today, and when he does, I swear, I'll update!

How far along?  34 weeks.  Yup, you read that right, only 6 weeks to go before my due date!

Total weight gain?:  Our little guy isn't so little anymore, I'm up about 20 lbs. now.

How big is baby?
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous aboutpreterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.
from www.babycenter.com

Maternity clothes?:  Besides the trouble with keeping my maternity pants up now, the rest is okay. I don't have maternity pj's, so I have to wear tanks under my pajama shirts now.

Sleep?  Can't complain.  My crazy nightmares are continuing, now on a nightly basis, and I have to get up 2- 3 times a night to go to the bathroom, but I can fall back asleep okay.  And now that I'm on leave, I can sleep past 6:00 am, and if I need to, I can always take a nap.

Best moment this week?  Sheesh, its been a few weeks.  I had a good doctor's appointment two weeks ago.  She said that my cervix is shortening, but normally, which is all a part of my body preparing for delivery.  Little Erbse's heartbeat was seriously like a galloping horse on the NST as well last Monday- it was so strong, they had to turn down the volume on the monitor.  I had two incredible baby showers last week as well, one at work, and one held by my friend, Mandy.  I'll write a separate post about the showers, but suffice to say, Erbse has a LOT of stuff now!

Movement? Erbse has been really busy lately.  I think he's taking swimming lessons, because his movements are really fluid now, like a swimmer, and the bump is moving in very visible waves. I can always find a spot on my stomach now where I can distinctly feel a part of Erbse- which to me seems to indicate that he's running out of room.  I still can't tell the parts, but you can easily now say "butt or head," or "hand, foot, knee, or elbow."  I'm interested to see how this plays out in the next few weeks.

Food cravings?  Back to salads.  Hooray!

Labor signs?:  I'm having contractions, but think they are Braxton Hicks contractions.  I don't feel them, but they showed up on my last two NSTs.  The doctor said that they aren't causing any dilation, so there is no reason for concern.  I am also having some low back pain and cramping.  The doctor said that the pain and cramping could either be muscular discomfort, or signs that Erbse would soon like to make his arrival.  She did explain that because he is big, and I am not, he is definitely putting quite a bit of strain on my muscles.  

What I miss? These past few weeks, I can't say there is anything that I'm truly missing.  Maybe tuna, but not so badly.

What I'm looking forward to?  Erbse's furniture should be arriving within the next few weeks, and I can't wait to get working on his nursery.  Of course with 6 weeks left, the most exciting prospect though is meeting our little man!

More Erbse related news:  A few weeks ago, we met with one of the teachers at school who agreed to do a maternity photo shoot.  It was so fun, and the photos turned out beautifully.  Now that I have a little time, and internet access, I can do a post about these too!
I have started childbirth classes, although I am having a cesarian.  The classes are held weekly, on Tuesday mornings, and there are a total of seven, and even though there is quite a bit that has to do with natural birth, the teacher does a lot with pain management and strengthening after the birth, which will be important for me anyway.  I also am happy to go because the classes are taught by my Hebamme, or midwife.  She will be coming to the house often after Erbse is born, and I would prefer to know her a little bit before she comes into our home.  The nice thing about my midwife is that she is the mom of one of Joern's friends, so she knows him well.  I like this because their knowing each other has kind-of removed some of the formality that is very present here, and I don't really feel comfortable with.

Joern and I also had our first hospital tour last Thursday night.  It was in Reutlingen, a town not too far from here.  One of our friends had her c-section there, and said that she was pleased with the care.  I have to say, the tour left us a bit disconcerted.  When we arrived, the woman at the information desk led us on a wild-goose chase through the hospital, and we ended arriving in the meeting room 20 minutes late because we walked all over the place.  I also thought it was poor that there were no signs for the information night either.  To make matters worse, the nurses were very disorganized, and although very nice, they didn't leave us feeling too confident in the hospital.  Plus, the hospital is in bad need of renovation.  It isn't uncommon to have very old hospitals here, but this one is probably one of the more needy for an update.  Joern commented that the birthing rooms looked like medieval torture chambers!  We have a meeting tomorrow with the Women's Clinic in Stuttgart, which many people have recommended.  We'll see how that goes!

Freitag, 4. November 2011

31 weeks

How far along?  31 weeks

Total weight gain: I gained a lot between appointments, now I'm up about 18 lbs from the beginning.
How big is baby?
31 weeks: Baby weighs as much as four orangesYour baby now weighs as much as four navel oranges. (Length: over 16 inches, head to heel.)

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.
From www.babycenter.com

Maternity clothes:  I had to break down and buy a few more pieces, although buying maternity clothing this far along is painful.  But, I went to H&M and bought a beautiful sweater dress for 30 Euro, and I even bought a sweater for our baby shower!

Sleep:  Pretty good, weird dreams, but overall, I'm sleeping fine.

Best moment this week?:  My doctor's appointment.

Movement?:  Fewer jabbing ninja kicks, and now I think he's either trying to ride a bike or swim, his movements are very fluid from one side to the other. I had to laugh this morning, but they showed a scene from movie where an alien popped out of a man's stomach on CNN.  I had to laugh because I always feel like one of these scenes when Erbse is moving around in there and my stomach is moving all sorts of funny ways.

Food cravings?:  Cake!

Labor signs?:  Fortunately still none.

Belly button in or out?: Still the same, shallow, but there.

What I miss?:  Coffee still!

What I'm looking forward to?: Well, the obvious- we're getting very close to meeting our little Erbse!

Milestone?: Less than 10 weeks to go!

Other Erbse related news:  
We had a great appointment with the OB on Monday!  It started with another NST (Non-stress test) and I figured out that there is something about them that Erbse does not like, because he squirmed and kicked the whole 20 minutes they had me hooked up to the machine.  I love them, because I get a full 20 minutes to listen to Erbse's heartbeat, which sounds much more like a galloping horse than what you would expect a pea's heartbeat to sound like, if a pea had a heartbeat.  Then, I had a growth scan.  Even though I have an ultrasound at every appointment, they do three growth ultrasounds here:  between 9 & 12 weeks, between 19 & 22 weeks, and between 29 & 32 weeks.  I've now had all my growth ultrasounds.   We found out that our little Erbse isn't so little at all.  I noticed during our last growth scan that all of Erbse's measurments were at the 75th percentile and above, but the doctor didn't say anything about it, and I forgot to bring it up at subsequent appointments.  Well, this time, he's measuring at or above the 90th percentile in all areas!  We asked if this was a problem, but the doctor said that if everything is measuring around the same size, there is no cause for concern.  It just happens that we're on our way to having more like the Jolly Green Giant than a little pea.  He's measuring about 2.02 grams, or close to 4.5 lbs.  No wonder I gained 6 pounds in the past month!  But, our little bruiser is doing very well.
We also talked again about delivery.  Joern and I would like to go look at a few hospitals for delivery, which we will do over the next few weeks.  The doctor wants me to make an appointment at the hospital where I will deliver at 35 weeks, I have to say, its really exciting to get to the point where we're talking about delivery!  

Besides the doctor's appointment, we made a little progress in Erbse's nursery.  His furniture was picked up from my stepmother's house last week and should be loaded by now on a ship.  We only had one little blip in the process, part of the crib was left at my stepmother's house.  Fortunately, the shipping company will come and pick up the other part, and has agreed to also ship my rocking chair from Pottery Barn Kids that is arriving way late!