9 days postpartum 

Since I was 9 days overdue before our girl decided to make her appearance, I thought it was only appropriate to do a 9 day postpartum update. One day I might share our birth story but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to put it into words yet, to say the least it wasn’t what we expected and we are just happy to have her here. 

As far as our girl she is doing really great, nine days have never looked so good. But we are completely biased. 


And as for my recovery, I’m doing really well. Better then I expected I would. The biggest changes for me have been: 

* This is the first week in seven months I have been able to eat without needing to take medication to keep the food down

* That being said all my food aversions have gone away (yay)

* After five days I was back to my prepregnancy weight and now I’m almost back to my prepregnancy shape (thanks to my belly bandit)

* I take showers now! Gasp! Fun fact: when I first started getting sick I would throw up every time I took a shower so I started exclusively taking bubble baths now that I’ve had her I’m on strict instructions from my doctor to not take any more baths due to risk of infection so now I have to exclusively take showers for six weeks. My how the tables have turned. At first I swore I forgot how to shower its been so long. 

*my body is still sore but I’m doing my physical therapy every day and I feel close to having control of my stomach muscles again

*Breast feeding is going really well, there’s definitely a learning curve and we are still getting the hang of it but I’m very optimistic that it will work out well for us. 

* I have yet to cry, like at all. It’s actually scary to me but I’m just so happy and amazed that I made this perfect little human being. I’m sure it’ll catch up to me and I’ll be sobbing like my girl does every time she gets a diaper change in no time. 

Left: 9 days past due date Right: 9 days Postpartum

Lost in the Pink Woods: a Nursery

Our due date is tomorrow so I suppose its about damn time to show off our girls nursery!

Every sweet girl needs a sweet nursery. The best part about designing her room was actually starting from scratch and having a blank slate, all the more reason to get new things! Kyle and I decided to go with a woodland theme from the very beginning, back when we didn’t know the gender from thinking she was a boy to finding out she was really a girl; the theme has been our only constant. When we did find out she was a girl, I made a couple adjustments. Firstly, the mountains were going to be shades of grey but now I wanted something a little crazier and more girly. Secondly, I decided who was to say unicorns weren’t in the woods and therefore woodland creatures. Once revised, we got to work and little by little collected what we needed before it all came together.

This was the vision board we went off of. All the pictures are from the internet.

 

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looking at it I’m sure you’d never guess that I used to hate the color pink, but after I found out we were having a girl it grew on me like crazy.

First point of action was the paint. The navy blue wall had to go, luckily our landlord gave us the go ahead to paint it… (the other walls were already grey)

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I freehanded the mountains and Kyle of course helped me color them in.

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next was the crib, we had very limited options overseas. This particular one wasn’t my first, second or even my third choice but it was the only choice as it is the only while American sized crib I could get my hands on.

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The mobile was the last touch to go into this room, I made it out of things at the base craft store and IKEA clearance bin.

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moving onto next wall, we did already have the three by three organizer so it made sense to repurpose it because babies come with a lot of gear and we could use the extra organization. The prints are from a shop on Etsy (I was especially thrilled by the flowers on their heads) and we printed and framed them at a store here. This unicorn, oh goodness look at this unicorn! From pottery barn kids, makes a great addition to our woodland creatures.

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I painted the canvas with same paint colors to play off the other wall.

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Apothecary jars for cute additional organization and the frame is still blank, Im not sure yet what Ill put in it; whether its maternity or newborn pictures…

 

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Rocking chairs are from IKEA. I wanted to have two so that Kyle and I could be in there comfortably together, the wood floors aren’t very comfortable even with the rug and now we can all hangout together.

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Bunnies and bunny pillow is from Depot store here in Germany

Vases, Frames, white fuzzy blanket thing, stuffed bunny, side table and chairs are from IKEA

“My happy place”, other pillow & old fashion milk bottles are from Target

Bear mat is from Pottery Barn Kids

 

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A couple things have changed since I took the pictures, my dad made me a wooden deer that got a new spot on the wall and I’ve moved a couple things around. Its very unsatisfying to have everything finished before your nesting mode is in full effect but things could be much worse 🙂

Bump Day

Since it’s a Wednesday & the day before I’m considered by some health care professionals as full term at 38 weeks, I thought it was a good time to reflect on the progress of this bump. From being the size of a beet at 14 weeks & when I took my first “bump” picture to the size of a Winter melon at 37 weeks; here it is in pictures. 


As you can see from 14 to 25 weeks she slowly started growing and coming out from hiding. 

Right at about 26 weeks is when she really popped! And from then on finally started sticking out past my boobs, thank goodness! Before then I just felt fat! Lol


From 34 weeks to this week! My belly button finally popped out and now we are nearing the end of her journey as a bump!

At first, I tried to have all my bump pictures to be taken in the same place and with a board and all that but between being sick and never knowing where my chalk paint marker was & just plain ‘ol bad timing it didn’t work out that way, maybe next pregnancy I’ll be better 😉

Disclaimer: not all bump pictures are taken on the exact day that the week changed, I’m just not that organized and wasn’t always up to it! But when I went through all my pictures I tried to just label it with which ever week it was in or closest to so if there’s a discrepancy I apologize but you get the idea! Especially towards the end I got better about remembering because in the beginning I felt like there wasn’t much to get a picture of and looking back I wish I didn’t have that mentality but I can’t change that now!

35 weeks• the final stretch

It feels like time has flown by and dragged on at the same time, if you’ve ever been pregnant I think you’ll know what I mean. 
We have come such a far way since the beginning of the third trimester and dare I say we are nearly ready for Girl! But I’d like for her to stay in until her due date since I’m scheduled to work until a couple days before it. 

Done & Done:

✔️ baby classes

✔️ hospital tour

✔️ baby shower 

✔️ schedule newborn photos

✔️ resign from job (unfortunately, but that’s a whole other story)

✔️ plan birthday trip (for me) if I’m still pregnant (my birthday is exactly two weeks before due date)

To Do:

•Maternity Photographs: this weekend!

•Pack hospital bag!

•Make padcicles: if you don’t know you probably don’t want to know

•Pack diaper bag(s)

•Finish Canvas (for her room)

•Finish my birth plan (I know it’s not set in stone) 

•Fill out German Birth certificate application & so so so much more paperwork!

•PICK OUT A NAME (she’s still a Jane Doe)

The only thing I’m not going to get to do but have always wanted to is the Lamaze classes, but I feel ready anyway, that’s probably SO naive of me..
She’ll be here in five short weeks or less wether we are ready or not so we are doing everything on our end to make sure we are 🙂

Some Bunny to Love: A Baby Shower

We weren’t going to have a baby shower.. but I’m so glad we did. The support we have been shown by our little Air Force family around this whole time has been exceptional. Everyone’s excitement really has filled a void I really feel for not being near family during this time. And we do have fun!


It was perfect!


There was so much food & so, so many treats!

& don’t forget cake! (Made by yours truely, the stuff on top is cotton candy- Pinterest fail because it actually absorbed the moisture in the icing and melted in no time)


& gifts & games! (Pictured was my favorite- chugging beer or sprite from a baby bottle competition)


& most importantly friends!

We are so very thankful!

the 26th week••• the end of the second trimester 

glucose Tests, belly growth & a baby girls room, oh my!

Just a little update for y’all (I know I don’t live it the south anymore but I said it before I did and I’ll be saying it long after 😉
The second trimester has really flown by! Our little bump has been very good to us! We traveled to Paris (without getting terribly ill) and we were sitting in our hotel room one afternoon when Kyle got to feel baby girls kicks for the first time! This was such a special moment for both of us, I cried the happiest tears ever! I’ve felt movement and little flutters since the 14th week, I know that’s really early. My doctor almost didn’t believe me but when we looked on the ultrasounds she was so low he actually asked if I’d felt contractions because that’s just how low she was (and often in breech as well) and so for the longest 8 weeks of my life, I’ve been trying to get Kyle to feel them, but they just either came at a bad timing and he couldn’t come quick enough or they weren’t strong enough to be felt from the outside. EIGHT LONG WEEKS I waited, most impatiently. It didn’t help that Kyle’s hands are constantly a very serious shade of freezing, that always scared her away I think. So that was really my highlight of the second trimester!
On another good note, I passed my glucose test. I’ve always heard such terrible things about the test- if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a test to check your blood sugar and make sure you don’t have gestational diabetes a very common problem that often arises in the second trimester. In the test your pricked once before and once an hour after you drink a sugar drink to test how your body processes sugar. I’ve always heard that the sugar drink is really awful and all the pictures I’ve seen look awful, but I had a much better experience. Things are definitely different in German hospitals but even the other pregnant people I’ve talked to who go to the various hospitals here have still had bad experiences or awful things to say about the drink and I just got lucky I guess! It tasted like grape juice and I didn’t have to chug it or fast before (on some occasions people do). I was worried about this test because I can feel my blood sugars drop even before I was pregnant but I’ve never been diagnosed with anything but I experience symptoms related to hypoglycemia. I just really didn’t want another health problem especially for the baby’s sake, even if it is very manageable, which gestational diabetes is in most cases. So lucky me! Babygirl and I are doing good!
My belly has finally really popped this trimester! Or at least I think so! I am still CONSTANTLY getting comments on how “tiny” “small” or how I “don’t even look pregnant” most of the people saying this mean it as a compliment, but I can’t help but let it get to me.. especially the last one. Sometimes when people say “you don’t even look pregnant” or “you don’t look that pregnant” I just want to yell “I AM THOUGH I AM SIX MONTHS PREGNANT!” I know poor Rachel! But I often do not say that and I certainly don’t yell it, but I normally just explain the struggle I’ve had with hyperemisis gravidarium and that being this “small” isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and that I don’t find it as some enormous blessing that I “don’t look that pregnant,” especially when I think about all the man hours that went into throwing up the weight I’ve lost, causing my stomach to shrink down so much I eat less then a kindergartner (so clearly not as much as a full grown women), I love to eat so it’s actually frustrating to not be able to finish a meal in one sitting. That being said I lost between 15-20lbs since being pregnant, unfortunately I cant be sure exactly how much because our scale was packed up in storage for the first part of my pregnancy, I’ve definitely lost 15 since I started weighing myself but I actually feel like I lost more, knowing what I used to weigh previous to moving here. I have since gained about one whole pound. Sometimes it goes up but I can’t seem to keep the weight on. My doctor isn’t concerned with it at this point because even though I’m not gaining weight our little babe still is and that’s good enough for him accompanied with my amazing blood work 😉 but despite not gaining weight my stomach is growing well and rounding out nicely, before you could see where I used to have abs it was so straight at the top and she’s so low it stayed that way until about 21 weeks. 
Now the fun stuff- shopping! Baby girl room shopping to be exact! Let me tell you it’s a real treat doing our baby shopping in Europe, that was complete sarcasm incase it didn’t come across. Being American and used to American customs and things, it is very hard to get baby things we like. A lot of the stores I imagined I’d be baby shopping at won’t ship here *cue all the tears* Target being the main one. I’d like to point out that I still have an American address APO- postal box but still AND that box is considered domestic for all your postal needs. Which is why it drives me crazy that these retailers say “free domestic shipping” or “ships to USA” and they won’t flipping ship here! CRaZY! I’ve had the same problem on other sites as well, even Amazon wouldn’t ship our crib here even though in the description the crib said “will ship APO/FPO” IT STILL WOULDNT SHIP and I assure you it’s within the dimensions we are aloud to receive here. The reason I’m trying not to get a European crib is for a few reasons the main one is the safety regulations are more relaxed here and they tend to not have adjustable mattress or convertibles, which is an American convenience I’d enjoy. So, like I said a real treat. It’s all been quite the experience and I feel kind of like an expert in all these areas I hadn’t previously expected I would be, but I won’t get into it all today. We’ve been working around things and I’ve sent an abundance to my mom to forward to me because I WILL get what I want to make my baby girls room the best I possibly can because it’s very important to me. I know that makes me seem bossy or impossible or something, I just don’t care, I want it to be perfect. 
Overall, no matter what the struggle is or whatever is stressing me out that day ie: my job, no matter what kind of breakdown I’m having (luckily I’ve only had two and have mostly been really happy even considering all the excruciating puking) I’m so lucky to have Kyle here with me through it all. It’s SO HARD to be away from family when I just want to share it all with them but if I can only have one person in person to lean on I’m glad it’s Kyle. I couldn’t have married a better, more caring, loving person (in general) and most importantly a better father. He’s already been so great to me and I could not be more confident in how he’ll be with our little girl. 
So cheers to the third trimester and hoping it goes as well as the second! 

Baby, we’re half way there

20 WEEKS PREGNANT

In the fifth month of pregnancy already, the days are already long but the months still seem short. Its hard for either Kyle or I to believe that we are already so close to meeting our baby.

The 1%

I’ve been hospitalized twice in the short time I’ve been pregnant, turns out I have hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that less then 1% of pregnant women get. In my case, my morning sickness is 24/7 constant and the throwing up comes with profuse eye watering, nose bleeding (you read that right) and sometimes when I throw up and have nothing on my stomach I throw up stomach bile which in turn causes very sore throat. Along with these things, the act itself is excruciatingly painful, it feels as though my insides are being rung out. These things cause me not to be able to eat or stay hydrated, which is dangerous especially while growing another human, hence the hospitalization so that I can get medicated and hydrated through an IV. It was at the end of the second stay we had an ultrasound to make sure mini smith was still doing well so I could be discharged, it was then we were told the gender.. or at least thats what we thought.

This is going to be a “funny story” some time in the future, but we were originally told that our baby was a boy (our doctor told us with 99% confidence), Kyle and I had a gender reveal party where we found out and we along with our family members already started buying boy clothes and boy things when we had our follow up appointment at 18 weeks. It was then that we were told, that our baby was measuring smaller and much shorter then expected, we were kind of worried, Kyle is after all 6’3″. At the appointment, the baby was in complete breach position and we were unable to get a good second read of femur and unable to confirm the gender, so we had to come back the next week. The doctor was looking for a reason for the short femur and it was then that he said “I’ve found the reason…. and you have nothing to worry about.” Of course being an expectant mother comes with its own set of worries and hearing that something could be wrong, never helps. We were sitting there waiting quite awkwardly when he said “because its a girl” and I think our jaws were on the floor. He apologized, he swore this never happens to him and then left to consult the nurses. Between the two of us, Kyle was actually the one that wanted a girl more, so he was very happy and as happy as I was, I was equally shocked. Again, there was a 1% chance he was wrong because of his certainty. Turns out this almost never happens, more often then not the parents will be told girl when in fact its a boy, because its easier to not see something thats there then see something that isn’t. If you didn’t follow that, lets just say it like it is, the doctors can  miss seeing a penis but its rare that they see a penis that isn’t there. Of course this begs the question, “what did the doctor see?”

Of course, it was early in the pregnancy to be looking for the gender. I can’t stress this enough- I didn’t want to know yet and I didn’t pressure the doctor at all. The entire time the gender was in the envelope before the gender reveal party, I wasn’t even anxious to know. This actually isn’t weird for me, turns out I can get strangely calm about high pressure events and other things, something that I’m learning about myself over the years. I wouldn’t want to be in the dark about the gender for the entire pregnancy because I do love to plan and shop, but I just wasn’t in a rush.

The best the doctor could tell me, or at least the best I could understand because of the language barrier, is that the clitoris in the ultrasound is dark and can be mistaken for the penis at the early stages of pregnancy, but when the 18th week came and the testes haven’t decended it became more obvious that it wasn’t a boy and it showed more the visual, on the ultrasound it shows as three white lines, that its a girl. The absence of testes and the short femur had the doctor double checking the gender (though it needed to be confirmed anyhow, especially since it ended up being wrong) and thats when we found out.

Now, at 20 weeks, Ive had another ultrasound today and saw the white lines myself and can say she is all girl.

In other news…

We do have a few top name choices but haven’t settled on one yet.

We started buying girl clothes and some decor for her room.

Im measuring five days behind but the due date is still April 21st

If she’s born in April she’ll be the only other living family member with an April birthday other than myself

despite not taking a prenatal nor eating a lot (or any) meat, my iron is above average and all my other important levels are good

meat is my number one food aversion- I always throw it up

I’ve lost almost 20 lbs since getting pregnant due to the HG

I then regained almost one pound 🙂