Thursday, April 26, 2007

time musings

Well, I have a pretty chill few days ahead of me, I think. My boss left today for a Thailand vacation, leaving me to guard the office by my lonesome for a full week-and-a-half. What that means for me, when things are slow: chillaxing on the provided "resting-opportunity" (AKA camping bed) all day long!

I have contacted my health-insurance to confirm my official last day of work, and - as expected - it is September 1. Add my leftover 4 weeks of this year's vacation (- where did the fifth go? I don't remember that I took so many days off already this year!), and my definite last day of work will be August 3rd. Or, in other words: 14 more weeks, which include 4 work-free holidays (one of them being a long weekend), 1 extra day of vacation, and most likely the occasional couple of days here and there of pregnancy-related sick leave.

It's bearable.

And no, again, I am not lazy... I just hate this particular job, as I am sure you know by now. I should have done it like my cousin (the one with the same estimated day of birth as me), and lied to my doctor about bleeding and abdominal pains, and I could be permanently home from work already too. Damn my bloody honesty.

Have you noticed the changes I have made to this site? In the menu bar? Yeah, meez is a pretty cool place to make pretty neat 3D-avatars (- and damn, was I bored at work!), and I have also added a slideshow of my pregnancy-progression photo-album, so that even those of you who are not on my ringo friend list have an opportunity to see a small version of what's going on inside my belly - small scale. :)

Anyway! People (well, my parents, Bern & Bee, that is) have commented on the visibility of this pregnancy already! Admittedly, it's barely visible, but visible it is, especially when I am wearing tight clothes. I have ordered two belly-wraps yesterday (, a black one and a white one, and I am awaiting their arrival eagerly. Equipped with these I will save greatly on maternity clothes: at least I won't have to buy any maternity-shirts or blouses, seeing as I can combine all regular shirts with one of my wraps. Pants, though, is another matter entirely. I have decided I will invest in a pair of maternity jeans, and a pair of summer slacks. Maybe a light skirt or two, and a pair of capris - they have predicted a summer fueled by the fires of hell, and I want to survive it somehow. Saturday morning, right before Geo's birthday lunch, we'll go throw some money at the clothing industry, something we haven't done in decidedly way too much time, and I am looking very much forward to it. :)

Speaking of Geo's birthday: he'll turn 28 on Sunday, and we'll celebrate on Saturday! What gets me when I think about this is that I got to know the guy when he was a wee young 23, when life was still so much different, such exciting years still ahead of me. So much has happened, so much time has passed, we went through so much bad stuff together, but sometimes when I look at him today I still feel that tingle that I felt when we started dating, I still feel that sense of surralism when I think about having "landed" such a man, and I still sometimes can't believe that he's with me - yet now I am not only wearing his ring, I am also carrying his baby. It makes my head spin! :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Letter to Baby, Week 13

Hello, my little love! Imagine, yesterday we finally got to see our new apartment from the inside, something we've been waiting for ever since last spring, when we first found and laid claim onto a place in this new complex pretty much exactly a year ago. You cannot imagine the ordeal it has been, the wait until we were #1 on the waiting list for any of the apartments we signed up for, then getting all the paperwork together, getting the loan approved, signing the contract - it's been a process of about a year. But now we know how much all this was worth it - believe me when I say that we have provided you with a good place to grow up in.

It was so exciting to enter the construction site that the complex still is, and that we've gawked at for months on end, from outside the fence. I felt like an explorer, finding the right entrance, the right floor, the right door. We're going to be on the third floor, almost on top! It's spacious and roomy right outside our apartment, like a terrace interconnecting the apartments. I will be able to have my own little herb-"garden" right outside the kitchen window, on the sill. Let's hope the neighbors won't use it as an ashtray, or their private little supply! But I am determined to make it work. We also have a large balcony, which my mind's eye already sees as our family's oasis of peace, sun, and relaxation. In my mind I have already put terracotta tiles on the floor and a bamboo fence all around, for the Mediterranean feel. Mexican pottery will hang on the wall (- maybe I'll finally find enough leisure and inspiration to make those Aztec masks I've been meaning to sculpt ever since we returned from your Daddy's country!), and long terracotta pots will be framing the floor, where I'll try to grow our private little jungle. Alas - I am not exactly good with keeping greens alive - but I sure will try! Maybe we'll even have room to hang our large Mexican hammock out there - it'll be domestic paradise, and I already see your Daddy chill with you sleeping on his tummy in that hammock in the warm afternoon sun :)

And then there is your room, of course! You know, I freaked out when I saw the carpet all over the floor in all rooms, and your Daddy and I decided to rip it all out and replace it with hardwood floor before we move in. But we have also decided to keep it in your room as well as our bedroom - I remember how much fun it was playing on a carpet, and not bruising your knees on wood all the time! We'll just have to find a way to keep the cats out, or your diet will pretty soon consist mostly of cat hair. Maybe additional screen doors will do the trick. I am so glad we will be getting your nursery furniture from a friend of ours, and from what I remember it looks really nice, too. I think it's cherry wood with dark blue inlays, and contains a bed, a changing table, a shelf, and a closet - if I remember right. I am already envisioning the fun things we will do to your wall, and the blue blinds I saw the other day in a store will go just perfectly with everything!

Your mommy is a big dreamer, can you tell? :)

But it's what keeps me going from day to day, one day at a time, towards my vacation and eventually maternity leave. 70 more work days, imagine!

Less dreamy, more reality? Sure! Today we went to a kitchen studio, to meet with the guy that took measurements in our new kitchen yesterday. Really, I don't wanna think about it too much, or my stomach will coil into tight knots - but then again, kitchens are never cheap, and it's supposed to last us for at least a decade if not more. No, I will not say how much we will be shelling out for this, and I won't even tell my friends and family. It's going to be our dirty little secret - mostly because I want to avoid discussions about the "practicality" of what we want, and the "necessity" of everything we have planned into it. BUT! It's going to be the most gorgeous kitchen I have ever seen, one that is not only functional, but extremely stylish, too. We are even utilizing the silly skewed wall on one side by installing an extra counter top with storage cabinets, where otherwise would have been just an empty boring wall. We'll have a bar/breakfast table, which I am sure will soon turn into the most used spot in the entire apartment. We have a "cooking island" solution, as your dad wanted it, so whoever cooks faces whoever sits at the bar, for easy companionable conversation. I can even see you sitting there doing your homework, while I fix your lunch. Can you? :)

And, AH! We'll have stainless steel appliances, and a fully integrated stainless steel microwave in eye-height. One milk-glass-front cabinet with steel-frames and spotlights inside. The upper cabinets on the walls are an absolutely stylish combination of cabinets, shelves, and said microwave - all courtesy of your Mom, who has pretty much shot down the salesman's initial idea of one boring standard cabinet next to the other. I even raised his eyebrow when I was done, and caused him to say: "Wow, well... now this is turning into a real designer's kitchen." Damn straight it is, when have your Dad and I ever been content with the ordinary?

So yeah... in retrospect, even though we got the kick-ass stove for the price of the basic variation, and have kept the appliances at the cheaper label, I feel like vomiting when I think about the price. Your Tia's and Tio's kitchen was significantly cheaper, and their price already made my eyes bulge when I first heard about it. In our defense, however, our kitchen is also significantly larger than theirs. And that we'd have to get a loan for it, even if it would have turned out to be cheaper, was clear from the beginning. Just remind me not to tell your grandparents about this, it wouldn't be pretty at all. Your grandmother's idea of "good" is "cheap" and "practical" is "as little extra as possible", she would have suggested for us to buy a cheap "interim" kitchen for until we have more money, not realizing that any crappy and cheap "interim" solution will become "permanent" very soon, once you got used to it. And I rather do things the right way right away. It's a point of view and a way of living that I hope you will adopt from us, for it's always the best way, if you are willing to accept and stand up for the consequences of your actions.

Or, in our case: we'll be sitting on our new hardwood floor in a completely empty apartment for a very long while, appreciating our great designer's kitchen while we wait for enough money to accumulate on our bank account again to buy ourselves a bed, and chairs, and a dining table... LOL!

Well, I'll bring the two of us to bed now, for our daily oily tummy-rub by your Daddy. We're together a whole 13 weeks today to the day... and every day gets more exciting, and every day I get more impatient for all the great things happening to us soon - most of all you, my love!

Grow! There's lots of homework waiting for you to be done on our designer's bar/breakfast table!

I love you,

Thursday, April 19, 2007


What a truly undescribably beautiful day it was yesterday. Undescribable - but I'll try anyway, for memory's sake, though I don't actually think I'll ever forget a detail about it, for as long as I live.

Tia#R picked me up from home at 7:30AM to go to the hospital with me. I really felt like I needed someone there with me, just in case the result would turn out unacceptable, and Geo had no way of ditching work for a few hours. I was happy that my sister agreed to come along, because first and foremost I wanted her to see The Booger with her own eyes, thus making it more real for her, and secondly I wanted her opinion as a nurse about the hospital I chose.

Through the heavy morning traffic and the desperate search for a parking spot around the pavillion we barely made it there on time, but were received in a friendly manner anyway. A nurse took us into her office immediately, and took all my data into the computer system. She gave me a set of phone numbers to call in different emergencies, and explained all further proceedings to me. With my new paperwork she then sent me to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and then up to the second floor (- by elevator!!!) to a midwife, who proceeded to ask me a whole slew of questions about health issues in my family, sicknesses and surgeries I had in my life, allergies, and whether or not I am willing to donate Baby's placenta and umbilical chord to science and research. She made me sign several agreement papers, gave me several brochures to read, and a paper to fill out that states that I want Geo there when the time comes. She also gave me the phone number to call to sign up for the free first-care package that every woman and her newborn get: a nice backpack filled with onesies, bibs, bottles, diapers, a blanket, and a few other useful newborn stuff. The midwife took her time with me, and was really friendly and conversational. I didn't feel like a number, or a medical object. I felt adressed as a person, and taken great care of. And thus - I was officially registered for giving birth at this hospital.

My sister's comment to all of this so far: "They are all so FRIENDLY here!!!" I guess she's used to different kind of patient-treatment in the hospital she works at? At any rate, I liked her assessment so far.

We were sent back down to where I talked with the nurse and were told to wait a bit. We did for about 10 minutes, then I was called to the ultrasound room, and greeted by a very young female doctor. Nobody ever made a problem over my sister coming along with me, so she was able to see everything that was about to happen for herself. :)

I was explained the significance of the result of the test, and was offered to have my blood drawn for the so-called "combined test", where my hormones would be tested, and which would raise the accuracy of the nuchal-fold measuring to a whopping 90%. Of course this test I would have to pay for, since it was not part of the services paid by my health insurance. It was quite expensive, but I decided in favor of it anyway. Not that I feel that anything is wrong with my baby, but I like seeing test results written down on a sheet of paper in front of me, for my peace of mind.

So after that was clear, I had to lay down on the bed. There was an extra monitor above the bed, on which I could comfortable watch my baby all throughout the duration of the examination. I wasn't sure what to expect: I was told that for this specific type of examination a high-res scanner was needed, something my own doctor doesn't have. I also didn't know how long it would take, I have heard that it's usually taking around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the baby.

Well, seems like my little one was not cooperative at all. As we got a first glimpse of it, I got scared immediately: it wasn't moving at all, just kind of hanging there. Last time I saw it it was going all kinds of crazy, so I was afraid that something might be wrong. Then I saw the strong heartbeat, and heard the doctor say that "Look! It's asleep!" Ok, phew, but I was a bit disappointed, since I had hoped for my sister to get to see the cute little fetal antics I fell in love with last time.

But nevermind that - the doc pushed into my tummy several times, shaking the ultrasound device against my abdomen, and suddenly my jumping bean woke up. It was the greatest thing, the movements didn't look like random twitches anymore, and they were really violent. Hard to believe that I am not able to feel them yet! And the growth! In a mere 2 1/2 weeks my baby went from 35 to 57 millimeters, and a large step closer to humanity in a visual sense. I could see that my sister was truly shaken by what she saw, she couldn't move her eyes from the doc's monitor anymore. We watched my baby flip and kick and box, and I saw what a difference that hi-res scanner made: I could see every vertebrae of its spine, I could see the bones in its hands, I could see the jaw, the eye sockets, the nose cartiladge. I looked at a perfect little human being - and one with an attitude, I can tell you! Probably interpreting too much into what I saw, but I thought it looked a little dismayed at having been woken up like that. It kept turning its back toward us, obviously trying to fall back asleep. In order to get to measure my baby properly (head diameter, head-butt length, nose cartiladge, stomach, etc.) the doc had to shake my tummy repeatedly, to get it back into action, trying to make it turn into a direction helpful to her purpose. She didn't have the slightest chance at seeing the nuchal fold yet, and already 15 minutes had passed. She kept on asking me if I was ok, if I was uncomfortable, and apologized for the lengthyness of the process. I just laughed and told her to take all the time in the world - when else do I get to see my baby for this long and this detailed! I had the time of my life, seriously. :)

Then it seemed like Baby had decided that the fun was definitely over now. It went still again, and no amount of pushing my tummy moved it to move anything anymore. And it had its back turned towards us, as if to say SCREW YOU, I'M GOING BACK TO SLEEP. Gave us the cold shoulder, it did. My cousin Bern later mused that this baby must be a boy, for only men can be this lazy. (To which Geo later said: if it has half of your (my) genes, it'll be a girl, for it's acting just like its mother does - BAH!)

Slightly exasperated, the doc asked me to cough really hard a few times - to no avail. Eventually she asked me to stand up and shake my belly around - so I stood there with my gelled tummy, my shirt all the way up and my undies too far down to be proper, performing some kind of weird belly dance in front of my sister and the doctor. Turned out, I made an idiot out of myself for nothing, for my performance did nothing but wake baby up to a grumpy brief wave before drifting back off again.

That's when the young but nice doctor gave up. She apologized, called it a difficult examination, and all a learning process. She asked me if it was okay with me if she consulted a colleague, which of course it was. I appreciated her honesty with her limitations, and I really appreciated her asking my consent before she did anything. Again, I felt like a human being, not like a medical object or a number. She left and came back with an older doctor, who was very nice also. She took over, and had a good shot at the nuchal fold within a few minutes. By that time I had already been on the table for a good half hour, if not more - much to my personal joy. The young one wanted to give it another shot herself, to learn, and asked me if I was okay with her trying again. Of course I was. Finally, with the help of the older doctor she was able to measure the fold - and it measures at a healthy 1.4 mm. :)

They wiped me off and sent us back out to wait for my blood to be drawn for the combined test, and my weight to be taken. Turned out, I still haven't gained anything since before my pregnancy, and I am already in the fourth month. The blood results will be mailed to me within a week, and I will be informed if anything out of the ordinary shows up.

OH, and at some point during the examination, while I was too busy taking in the whole picture and appreciating my baby to notice any details, I heard my sister ask the doctor: "Is it possible that it is sucking its thumb???"

Well... it was. :)

-image removed-

More pictures to see on my ringo!

Monday, April 16, 2007

First Trimester Reflection

How fast time flies by! Yesterday I peed on a stick, and today I am in my second day of the second trimester already! Good-bye nausea, good-bye narcolepsia - I guess it's true what they ('they' being mostly Google and my mother) say about getting through the first twelve weeks: everything can only get better.

And really, I haven't felt nauseated in days, my appetite is fully back, and my need for sleep is gradually declining again. I have more energy than to just lay on the couch and hope for death to creep upon me while I sleep, to save me from more nausea.

But really? I think I really should shut up now and say no more about that. I felt bad, yeah, but I think by comparison I felt a LOT better than most other women do during this time. I didn't puke once, and I had myself mostly under control. The sleepiness was hard, but probably more on the people around me, than myself. I suffered no bleeding all throughout, I felt my ligaments stretch in the very early weeks, all of which is completely gone now. I guess I could complain about my chronic constipation, and my recent inability to sleep through one whole night without my bladder screaming for attention in the middle of it, but hey. It comes with the territory. I will shut up and not complain, even if my bladder put a sudden and unwanted end to me and Patrick Dempsey getting cosy in Dr. Sheperd's trailer last night. Ay!

I believe I am sporting the tiniest of a baby belly already, so every morning I prance up and down in front of the mirror, checking and double checking if I am right, or if it's just another fat roll I am mistaking for the little one.

So, yeah. All in all, one third into this pregnancy, I can say that up until now I feel like I am floating on clouds, I am so happy and content. Excited! (Occasionally out of my mind with panic, but show me one woman who isn't/wasn't!)

Not to mention that now, past week 12, the danger for miscarriage has been reduced to a rather negligible figure, the time of worrying and freaking out at every pinch and pull is over now. We are now "safe" - whatever that may mean.

I also just got off the phone with the hospital. Even though I was told on Friday that there are no more open appointments during my window of opportunity, I got one for the upcoming Wednesday (two days from now!) afterall. The nurse arranged for the doctor to come in extra for me - so I apologized for any inconveniences I may have caused, and the nurse was sweet enough to tell me not to worry. So I'll see the little one again so soon, and find out if there is any cause of concern over chromosomal issues that would induce further examinations (like amniocentesis!). I feel confident though that everything is perfectly alright, and I'll post again when I have the results! :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

hospital tour

Yesterday was - for lack of a better word to describe standing in the delivery room where you will soon squeeze out your own baby - surreal.

Geo and I met by the hospital after work, and as we entered the area in search of the pavillon that houses gynaecology, I started to feel a pang of regret over my decision for this particular place. Yeah, so I know it's old. But our destination? Heck, I decided to climb the two flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator that looked like a remnant of the last ice age, and when we left (taking the elevator down) I knew why: I didn't dare move, for the creaking floorboards made me feel that if I took one wrong step, or placed myself too far in the middle of the elevator, I would break through and fall down the shaft. Geo and I stood as far apart from each other as possible, on opposite ends of this deathly contraption, so as to leave it alive on ground floor. Yikes.

And already as we entered I almost had to retch at the horrible hospital reak. The birthing station is on the second floor; underneath it is some eye clinic, and something else. In passing I think to remember it was the orthopedic station, but I don't know for sure. Everything looked old, not exactly renovated and trust-inducing. I wasn't sure what this was going to mean for the birthing station above. I was hesitant, but well, we were already here.

When I opened the door to the second floor my first reaction was a stunned halt. Hello!? It was like entering a completely new world! Everything was modern! New! Friendly! Fresh! Painted! And above all - that gut-wrenching hospital reak was gone, replaced by something entirely pleasant for its unnoticability. I walked in and to my left saw the counter with a nurse. Pleasantly, she pointed us to where we were supposed to go, the door between the regular gynaecology station, and the birthing station - mirrored for a cool effect.

There was already one VERY pregnant couple waiting, and another one that looked to be closer to 70 than to 50, raising everybody else's eyebrows. Turns out, they were there collecting info for their pregnant Thai daughter in law, and asking nothing but boring questions regarding pregnancy and flight, which interested just about nobody else there.

When the tour began, we were about 6 or 7 pregnant women, with a little less the amount of supporting husbands/partners to come along. The chief midwife, a very nice and pleasant woman who I wouldn't mind at all helping me through the birthing process, guided us through all five birthing rooms, explaining everything. They have a room with a tub! Everything was painted in calming pastel "female" colors, there were huge windows letting in a lot of sun and light. There is a very comfortable looking "bonding-room" for right after birth, and another with a queen-size bed for mom and dad to relax together with baby right after birth, if they want to.

She showed us the rooms, and where they bring the newborns for examinations. Mothers are allowed to keep their babies 24/7 with them, also at night. They promote natural births and will try acupuncture and/or homeopathic methods before resorting to "western medicine", which is something I really like. They have a private little area for only women, where they can learn how to breastfeed, and can do so undisturbed by nosy visitors and husbands. (Do you really have to learn how to breastfeed???)

As a matter of principle they try to avoid episiotomies at all costs (weee!), they keep cesareans in for 7 days, and regular births for 3 to 4, depending. Staying longer is allowed, should the mother feel incapable of dealing with her infant yet, or if there are problems with breastfeeding. If the other bed in the room is unoccupied, husbands can have themselves admitted in order to spend the whole night with mom and baby.

After that the midwife handed us over to a doctor, who then answered all kinds of medical questions we may have had. All in all the tour lasted for about an hour and a half, was very informative, extensive, and trust-building. I felt extremely comfortable there, no "funny feelings" whatsoever - besides my feelings about that elevator, that is. I tried to get an appointment for the nuchal fold transparency ultrasound today, but unfortunately was told that I am pretty late for that, and that there are no more appointments available. However, the nurse I was talking to was very nice, and tried to be helpful, asking me to call back on Monday, when she will have an answer for me by the resident gynaecologist if I can come in on short-notice or not.

I am very happy with my choice, and I feel good about getting the care I will need, when the time comes. Though, of course, when I can finally take my baby home I will certainly take the stairs.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

interesting observation...

I am not showing yet - but last night after Geo rubbed my tummy with anti-stretch-marks lotion, he left his hand flat on my abdomen and dozed off.

Now, this is really hard to describe for me, but somehow the physical sensation of his hand on my tummy has changed. Does it make sense if I say that it felt as if his hand was resting on some kind of "obstacle" lodged between my skin and the part of my inner organs his hand would usually be resting on directly? Or more like... I dunno, a water filled flat balloon? It's hard to say, but it was like I didn't get to feel the full weight of his hand, because there was something inbetween me and his hand dodging it, giving off a rather diffused sense of weight to the rest of my abdomen.

Like with the exception of his touch on my skin, there was no "direct" touch.

I must sound like a complete idiot, yes?

Am I full of shit, or do you pregnant ladies/mommies know what I am talking about?

At any rate, I know that it's my uterus and the fluid inside of it, not to mention the lil' jumping bean that's diffusing the weight, but I found this phenomenon highly fascinating, the first real sensation that something is actually down there. It's the next best thing to starting to actually show, I guess. It made me happy, and I enjoyed the feeling for as long as he rested his hand on his baby.

I can't wait to actually show! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

accomplished and moving ahead

Feels great when life is significantly moving ahead. Moving in big enough steps that it can actually be felt.

Yesterday I signed the contract for our new apartment. I made all payments, I handed over all final paperwork including the approved loan, picked out our very own parking spot in the garage, and left with a huge smile on my face. We can see our apartment from the inside on the 20th, we will take measurements and with those have our kitchen planned and built, so it can be ready for delivery when we move in in August or September.

All this is incredibly exciting. Geo has just gotten a good new job, his new business at the side seems to be picking up, our baby is doing well, and all is set for us to move in late summer. It feels like actively providing for our little one, making sure it grows up in a good and healthy environment.

I am expecting a slew of young families to move into the new complex. It's quite large, with the single wings separated by parks and playgrounds for children of all ages. It's quite at the edge of the city, in the south of Vienna, with only a few minutes by car to reach the Vienna Woods, and all kinds of other little forests and hills with hiking trails, bike roads, meadows and great vistas over the city. On the other hand, we are 2 minutes away from the freeway, and 2 bus stops from the subway into the city. Shopping opportunites are convenient and varied all around the district. The E-shape of our complex (bird's eye view) opens to a park with a small creek, which is currently being "re-naturated", meaning it's being taken out of its concrete bed and put back into its original shape, with a little trail running beside it, that we can follow through quite a part of the city and out into the green on the other side. A gym will be housed in the complex, and every apartment is part of the satellite network that provides television on 37 channels for free. Before construction is finished there will be a "get-to-know-you" meeting with all renters before we all move in.

We will have a new kitchen all according to what WE want, with a little bar/breakfast table counter with bar stools behind it right in the kitchen. I'll have a small fireplace installed in the living room. We're having a balcony where we'll hang our Mexican hammock, and where we'll put terracotta tiles on the floor for a more summery feel. A friend of mine is passing down her nursery furniture to us, so I already have a whole room taken care of before we even move in. I'll get a cradle from another friend for the living room. My friend the architect will plan the rest of our furniture, so we can have it custom-made by a carpenter, if we can save up enough cash. We'll remove the carpet floor in the hall and living room and replace it with a hardwood floor according to our choosing.

It's all so incredibly exciting - now all we need to complete this huge step into our BIGGER AND BETTER FUTURE™ is the new family car I am dreaming of - and my dad is already working on that one.

78 more days of work - then life will be perfect. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letter to Pumpkin, 12th week

Imagine! Two days from now we'll go take a tour through the place where you'll be born 6 months from now! Yes, your mama has finally settled on a hospital. Sure, it's an old building, and sure, there was this scandal some 15 or 20 years ago with those "death-nurses" helping the elderly patients to their untimely end, so many people have negative associations with this particular place, even myself - considering that it has housed both of your great-grandparents on several occasions during the course of the last years, the last incident of which I thought was going to be the final one for your great-grandpa.

However, the alternatives were the hospital where your other great-grandfather passed away some 15 years ago - a hospital which your grandmother refuses to set foot in since, and this catholic place where all the midwives are nuns. And believe me when I say: one of your first lessons in life will be: everything that has any reason to have nuns around is bad for you.

Besides, my hospital of choice has been beautifully renovated, the rooms are modern and neatly furnished, the pavillons are scattered all over a rather large park-scenery, and it lies in one of Vienna's most expensive and prestigious districts. And why not give you a head-start in snobism, if I can? Not to mention that it's a mere 10-minute drive away from where we'll live when you are born.

Isn't it pretty? Well, I doubt that around your time there'll still be any flowerbeds left, but at least I'll get to enjoy them while I go there for my regular checkups that my gyn can't perform - like the measuring of your nuchal fold that's coming up shortly. They also offer gymnastics for the big-bellied, and preparation courses for parents-to-be, which we are fully intent on taking advantage of when the time comes. Gotta learn how to change your diapers, and how not to stick our heads into the oven when your incessant crying for no apparent reason is driving us up the walls, right?

So, how has our time together been, lately? Imagine... next Saturday begins our fourth month together. Whatever happened to time - it seems like yesterday when I snuck into the bathroom of the office to pee on the stick which I have promised your father not to pee on, and it turned pink twice, immediately. Seems like only a few days ago when my doctor detected the tiniest of amniotic sacs in my womb, confirming this pregnancy with you - and now you're already waving at us and doing acrobatics in there. Soon, I am sure, I will be able to feel you kicking me - 4 more weeks maybe, give or take.

Fortunately for me, you have also ceased to make me nauseated for the most part. Sure, there are times when food in general appeals to me about just as much as toejam and earwax, but those incidences are becoming rarer as well. Interestingly, though - the two kilos I have gained during the very first weeks seemed to have puffed away into thin air again - my doc (and later also my own scale) measured me at what I weighed before I knew I was pregnant with you. And all that without vomiting once.

I am now also able again to stay awake during the day, for the most part. Of course, sitting in the office for 8 hours makes this task harder, and I have already made use of the bed that my boss has provided for you and me twice - when he wasn't there, obviously. I think I would feel silly taking a nap in the office with him sitting right there - but it helped when I did it. But overall I feel like I have more energy again - which at some point I didn't think possible anymore to the point that I was afraid I would sleep through your birth altogether.

I am convinced that I am showing already - at least a little bit. Maybe it's wishful thinking, I am just so wanting for you to be obvious to the world already, I wanna shout your existence to the rooftops and prance around with my big belly and buy cute maternity clothes already. Your Dad says it's just my fat roll, as big or small as it ever was, no baby-pooch. Your Daddy is a big old meanie, that's what he is. We'll show him, and soon, I just know it! I know that one day very soon I'll wake up, and where there was just a bulge of fat the day before will be an obvious pregnancy to observe. Just hurry up growing, ok? :)


Thursday, April 05, 2007

lil' jumping bean...

And to think I really thought that seeing my little embryo's heart beat last month was the greatest thing I would ever get to see... how wrong I was! :)

Oh, how nervous I was when I got to the doctor's office yesterday. Anxious, and so impatient to see my baby again. Hoping that everything would be okay. I swear, the few minutes talking before the ultrasound almost killed me, if it was up to me, I would have stormed the office, ripped my clothes off and jumped onto the ultrasound bed right away! But no... first my blood pressure had to be taken, then I had to step on the scale, then my blood/urine lab results were discussed (seems like I had a urinary tract infection without noticing it), then my doctor jotted down these results in my brand-new "mother-child" document, which will hold all my pregancy examinations and results as well as the baby's up until s/he's 18 months old. I got a referral to my hospital of choice for the measurement of the nuchal fold as expected, and talked with my doc about how to interpret the results, and how to deal with a possible negative outcome.

Then - finally! He sent me behind the curtain to undress. I was expecting another vaginal ultrasound, but then the only thing down there was him checking my cervix, then he squashed a nice amount of ultrasound gel onto my abdomen. Finally a "real" ultrasound! Or rather, finally what I always considered "real" in my head, before I even knew about vaginal ultrasounds. Finally I felt like a "real" pregnant woman with my belly slathered up in that cold blue goo. And boy, was I excited!

We immediately saw my baby. I was struck by how "massive" it had gotten since I last saw it, how immensely it had grown. From an unshapely 4mm worm-looking thing to this! A clearly human looking being with two arms and two legs, measuring a whole of 35mm from head to little butt! And then, just as I started to realize the change that had happened, there it was - a little jerk! And then another one! And another! And then I saw little tiny legs stretching all the way out and the head bending back, then just one leg going out and bending back, and two tiny arms doing what looked like boxing exercises. The arm went up, then the other, then they went back to the body, then up again - I felt like my baby was waving at me. We didn't make it too easy for the doc to get a good still to measure its size, the baby and I. Baby kept on moving and bending and stretching and rolling back in, and I kept on laughing and sobbing, which - as we all know - jerks the abdomen up and down quite a lot, so he kept on losing focus.

But eventually, eventually we got this:

-image removed-

It's nothing like the ultrasound in motion, seeing the movements live. But it's huge in comparison to last time. And it certainly was enough to make Geo's jaw drop audibly to the floor when he came home from work later that night. I could tell he was really regretting not having been able to go, but I am sure he'll make arrangements to be there with us next time.

(More ultrasound photos as well as belly-pics can be found on my ringo, for those of you who are on my friends list.)

Apparently my due date is still Oct. 27th, and not Oct. 31st, as the computer calculated last time. Oct. 27th is what the doc put into my MUKI (short for that mother-child-document), so it is what I'll have to go by, and calculate my last day of work with. So I also adapted the pregnancy tickers on this page, and the week/days headers I used for previous entries are wrong too, but let's not look back. From now on Oct. 27th will be my reference date. :)

Here, have another developmental video to go with my ultrasound image!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Only a few more hours! I am so excited and nervous at the same time... I hope everything will be alright.

So regretting that Geo can't be with us, but I hope at least I'll get a photo to take home with me.

Status report later today! :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

back to hell on thursday :(

Oh, those last days have been such a blessing. I didn't realize just how badly work is treating my pregnant body until I was able to spend some days at home, moving and working at my body's whim instead of the office's. My blood pressure hasn't really improved either, it's actually jumping around: one day it's extremely low - the next it's up so high that one might think I just got done with one hour of step-aerobic: and I measure right before I get out of bed.

I don't know how much of this is considered normal, but question goes right on my long list of things to ask my gyn tomorrow, along with the question of can you pleeeeeeeeease find a reason to make me stay home from work for the rest of this pregnancy altogether?

No, I am not a wuss. I am also not lazy. I just HATE my job, and it'll be even harder getting back to it after this blissful week at home. You have no idea how hard it is to be forced to do something, even put effort and brains into something, that you hate more than you ever thought you could hate anything - including your third grade nemesis. Being there alone with my boss all day, listening to his constant yap-yap-yapping about things only marginally related to my job there and about as interesting to me as the question whether or not a rice bag tipped over somewhere in the depths of China, and having to fake genuine interest and compassion for his gut-wrenching problem of whether to fly to Bali or to Thailand for 2 weeks while leaving me along with a 400-pager production sans overtime just makes my days there that much sweeter.

Do you know people that think out loud? People that are torn between two solutions of a problem, and think it through out loud? And you have to sit there and listen to their inner monologue and nod and make "uh-huh" noises when they reach a good point, and try not to roll your eyes when they drop that point in favor of another - back and forth and forth and back - and every question he asks himself is a question that feels like you need to answer it for him or your job might be on the line? Yeah? Well, he's such a person. And none of those questions are in any way relevant to what I have to do there, whoopty-do. Not even putting the earphones of my iPod on to "drop the hint" make any difference - he keeps on interrupting me with his questions so I constantly have to turn off the music, make an "uh-huh" noise, turn in back on, rinse and repeat 30 seconds later.

Ha! I can't even get dooced for this entry, considering I am protected by my little baby growing inside of me!

Faking interest - in not only my job, but also the affairs of my boss - is one of the worst thing anybody can be forced to do for the survival of one's family. To sit there and pretend that I find it entertaining and interesting to produce travel catalogs. To sit there and pretend that I find it a challenging addition to my life to create ads for travel agencies in newspapers. To sit there and pretend that - whoopty-do - we get to be creative and recreate the layout of said catalogs, what a welcome break to the usual fun stuff! Yay! I didn't like my job from day ONE. I never had any real interest in ANY of the products I had to create there. Not a single one. I have no personal interest in travel agencies or their offers, for I am allergic to cookie-cutter we-do-everything-for-you-just-get-on-the-plane-then-we'll-herd-you-around type tourists, or those that spend two weeks lounging on the pool of their hotel in a faraway country and then claim that they have "seen the country" because they rode once around the parking lot on the back of the decorated elefant that was brought there by the travel agency for some "indigenous feeling" before that evening's "traditional show" in the hotel lobby.

So yeah, I never liked my job or the things I do there, but it was a necessity for me to do it for the survival of my family. It was my responsibility to keep the roof over our heads and to put food on our plates, so I pretty much just did my duty for the past year and a half, like a robot, forgetting that work could actually be fun (or at least okay) if given the right job, or even that I could have choices if I'd only try hard enough. I did what I had to - but now that I am pregnant, now that Geo has a decent paying job of his own, that necessity has fallen away, and got replaced with a more basic need, a more human need: I want to be there for my family, not provide for it.

Excuse me, modern society, but I am NOT a power-hungry career-driven vamp. What a statement in our modern times, ain't it?

And speaking of family. Tomorrow we'll go in for our next ultrasound. We - the baby and I, that is. Geo's working at his new job since yesterday. I am hugely proud of him. :) He knows this guy, this Mexican with an Austrian(!) academic degree, who didn't find a job for three(!) years, because of "language issues". Yeah, Austria isn't exactly the most foreigner-friendly country out there. Geo can be immensely proud of landing this gig, a qualified well-paid job with the opportunity to move ahead. And already he is head of the graphics department. :)

Anyway... ultrasound tomorrow. I am looking so very forward to seeing our little one again, and to see how much it has grown in the last month. I am also a bit scared... nervous, afraid that something might not be the way it should be... but I think such notions are normal. Tomorrow I think will be the first "real" examination, including weighing and measuring. I have a plethora of things I need to ask him, half of those I already meant to ask last time, but when I saw the baby's beating heart I was so excited and happy that all these questions were wiped off my brain - along with just about everything else other than that flutter of the heart. This time I'll bring a written list, so nothing'll slip my attention this time. :)