Friday, 24 February 2017

Pregnant! Trimester #2

I entered the second trimester just before my birthday, and we finally felt okay about telling some close friends. It was kind of cool having this secret that only we knew about, but was fun getting to tell them and see their reactions.

I also told my boss at work (So from then on they couldn't fire me, and I wasn't allowed to work over time or in the cold etc. etc... Germany looks after its pregnant women!). He then needed to tell his secretary for book-keeping and insurance purposes. And because they'd been considering moving me to assistant of a different section, the heads of those needed to know too, so that I could switch sooner.
It felt like everybody in the office knew, but I managed to keep it under wraps until early October, when I then sent a group email. The responses I got were so positive and sweet, and it was amazing finally getting to share this exciting phase. Other groups of friends were then also let in on the secret, and eventually, by the beginning of November, all of Facebook and Instagram knew it too.

At ballet, I also needed to give notice but kept my reasons vague. I couldn't picture myself dancing all the way to December, so I needed to stop at the end of September already. My teacher suspected my reason was because I was pregnant, and in September I could then finally tell her, and then have my last few lessons, wondering if I was having my first mommy-and-me-classes with her in my tummy.

Having a baby on a budget meant I started searching classifieds for baby things we'd need. There were lots of good deals, and starting early meant we got many things at bargain prices. Not just cute clothes, but also things like our bassinet!

It was also time to figure out where to put the little one when she'd arrive. We have an apartment with our room and a living room. Our room is tiny but has enough space for the bassinet. The large living room could accommodate baby stuff, but we didn't want to rearrange everything and have baby things all over. So. Our storage room, 1.2m x 1.6m, was the solution - we just needed to find a new home for everything that was stored there. So we started sorting and organising and spending a lot of time searching "tiny nursery" (and scoffing at what people think "tiny" is) and "baby nooks" on pinterest, and making trips to the hardware shop and ordering things on amazon. I'll soon do an update on how this little nook has turned out!

There were also other practical things to sort out and figure out and research. I received my "mutterpass" at around 12 weeks - a wonderful German invention - a booklet that all my medical details and those of the baby are recorded in, which I need to keep with me at all times. I had all my doctors appointments until the end of the pregnancy scheduled. We looked into midwives - midwives deliver babies here, not doctors. And one usually employs one to visit at home for the days and weeks following the birth. They're quite in demand so finding one with time is a challenge when you leave it as late as I did. And since we're privately insured and our insurance doesn't pay for it, it made things a little more complicated. We visited hospitals (perhaps this was third trimester already?), to decide where we should go to meet our baby.
We researched birth-preparation classes - our insurance wouldn't pay for these classes either, and I started looking for one much too late so they were mostly full. I found one with ONE spot open, but it was really expensive. We prayed about it, and I sent one more email to a midwife I thought might run classes. She responded and said she doesn't have a course running, but she can do it for us at home, for free. How cool is our God?! The sessions (which started then in the third trimester) have been short and to the point and such a blessing in helping us feel a little more ready for parenthood!

Google was sometimes very helpful in all this admin and searching. And sometimes it was ridiculous.

Mid-November we had an ultrasound and discovered we were having a baby girl. I had thought, up until then, that it was a boy, and was very surprised that it was a girl. It took some getting used to! I had never planned a 'gender reveal' of any kind, but suddenly it seemed like such a big deal that it seemed a pity to just blurt it out. So cookies with pink sprinkles were baked and distributed!

And how was baby doing? Just fine :) It was such a joy, getting to see her every 4 weeks, and I loved it when Malcolm was able to come with me to appointments. She was cute and would wave or suck her thumb or carry on playing with her toes. We were constantly assured that she's normal and healthy and doing well. Thank you, Jesus! I started feeling tiny movements at about 17 weeks, and a couple weeks later Malcolm could feel them too and they were visible from the outside.

And how was I doing? Also just fine! My stomach started looking less like I'd eaten too much, and more like I was pregnant. I was feeling great and had virtually no symptoms. The second trimester really was as good as "they" say.
If anything, especially at the beginning of the trimester, it was my emotions that were hard to control, and I was often sad for no reason, not interested in social contact, and wishing days away. It was sometimes difficult to accept my body changing, feeling unlike myself and out of control of both my emotions and body. Malcolm was (is) the best - kind and patient and understanding.
By the end of the trimester, with the reality of our baby setting in, things did get better, and I the excitement and anticipation soon outweighed the uncertainty, and the good days outweighed the bad.

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