Thursday, 23 February 2017

Pregnant! Trimester #1

When we left South Africa about 3.5 years ago, "for 3 years", I didn't picture us having our children here. But, time passed and broodiness set in, and children are good, and we realised we don't know where we'll be in 6 months, or a year, or two years, or three years. So. Let's trust God in this. Let's have a baby!

Despite not anticipating having children here in Germany, I did always kind of suspect that if I were pregnant, I'd document it a whole lot better here on our blog than I have. But I didn't. which leaves me now feeling like I have an awful lot to catch up on because
- our contact to family and friends and time to tell them things is fairly limited and there's so much we don't get to say, and
- even entries to my real-life-secret-diary are sporadic and filled mostly with prayers and anxiety and rants and not too much about what's been going on in the last 9 months in my tummy and my life. And I want to remember stuff.

So here goes.

Malcolm was in China and I strongly suspected I was pregnant while running around Marburg with Anabel, with no appetite and a strange feeling that I can't really describe. When Malcolm returned I eagerly met him at the bus stop, so badly wanting to hear about his adventure but also really wanting to know if my instinct was correct.
(I was so relieved that he made it home safely, having all sorts of nightmares about his plane crashing and never knowing he was going to be a dad... I'm dramatic, I guess.) 
After some tea together and hearing a bit about his trip, I finally told him what was really occupying my thoughts, and took a test - positive! Another one? Positive! It was unreal. And scary. And super cool. I tried taking a photo of the tests but my hands were shaking too badly. I was so excited, but also had moments where I thought "what have we done?!?" and felt terribly irresponsible. But God provides for us, and almost as reassurance and confirmation of this, we received the news the next day that Malcolm's scholarship had been extended until the end of March.
And then Malcolm told me all about China, so we had two exciting things to talk about :)

I called the doctor's office the next day to find out when they'd want to see me, expecting it to only be in a few weeks. It was weird, telling the receptionist that I'm pregnant - the first person to know besides the two of us. It was suddenly so real again and as soon as I hung up I burst into tears. 
I had an appointment scheduled for that week, and set about google-searching about what I should expect at a first appointment, and learning my first bits of pregnancy-vocab from various online forums. 
There wasn't much to see, but it was good to know everything was okay and that the little tests I'd ordered on Amazon were correct. Malcolm met me afterwards to buy me ice cream for being so brave and giving blood. (If only I still got ice cream every time I gave a vial...) 

The first trimester started with the Kinderferienwoche. I wasn't sure I'd be up to it, waiting for morning sickness to kick in any second. But, it didn't! I was suuuuper tired and felt a little queasy now and then, but nothing pretzels couldn't fix... It was a good week with the kids! 
The cat was almost out the bag at the end of the week when I met to hang out with a friend and she proudly produced a bottle of wine and looked so delighted by it. I panicked. "Oh, I can't drink that". "why not?" "ummm, I can't tell you right now"... (translated)
Subtle. Pregnant ladies, as soon as you see that positive, if you plan on keeping the news to yourself, practice turning down alcohol like a normal person. Fortunately, she changed the subject and didn't mention it again. 

The rest of the first trimester saw me sleeping a lot, experiencing weird aversions (pasta? gross! Cooked veggies? Ewww!), and enjoying bread, crackers, orange juice, and sparkling water. 
I was often anxious and worried if things were okay. My emotions weren't all together crazy, but I often got upset over silly things. One morning, I walked into the bedroom to see Malcolm had just made our bed, causing me to burst into tears because I had hoped to crawl back in and sleep. There'd be days where I felt absolutely fine and would immediately worry. There'd be days where I felt awful and miserable and would have a nap as soon as Malcolm left to the lab in the morning. I'm so grateful that it was during the Summer break and I had most mornings for myself. All in all, though, I know I had it easy - my nausea wasn't nearly as bad as many other women experience, and I had as good as no other symptoms. 

The first trimester was also exciting as every week something new is happening and the baby develops one cool feature or another, and imagining how small she was, was unreal. Each ultrasound was different and she grew each time and looked a little sweeter each time. Malcolm came with to most appointments, and it was special getting to see her little heart beat flicker on the screen. We got a fetal doppler and were then also able to hear her heart racing at home, reminding us that she was there even when there was so little other evidence. 

We also told our parents somewhere around 9 weeks, I think. It was fun getting to share the news with them, even though it was over Skype. 

We also set about starting our "great crochet project", a baby blanket (which turned out a lot bigger than we anticipated!). It was nice to work on something together and chat, and watch the blanket grow as we imagined the baby growing inside me.  

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