Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shrek away!

Thank you, I feel better now. If you ignore the fact that I kept Geo up all night with my incessant throaty coughing from the depths of my rattling lungs, that is. What a fun night! My lungs are slimed up to the rim, so you'd think the cough would help that. Think again. All they do when I breathe and cough are rattle and keep me awake. Pair that with my newest pregnancy-discovery, and you'll know what my night was like:


Never in my entire life did I ever suffer one instance of heartburn, ever, so I had no idea what this was like - or how painful it could be, or how to deal with it once it strikes. Please remind me not to eat pizza anymore right before going to bed - or anything else for that matter. It was either coughing or writhing in pain over my esophagus, which felt like the fires of hell were eating themselves through it. My pregnancy has been pretty easy so far, except for my back pain, and a few normal discomforts here and there, but this heartburn-thing really qualifies as painful. And it keeps me from sleeping. No good combination.

Tomorrow I'll have my next (- and last!) gyn appointment, which I am looking very forward to. Not so much to stepping on the scale again, but certainly to seeing our baby again. It's been five weeks since the last time, and seeing how I have been sick, and moving, and running a high fever, it will be be good reassurance that everything is indeed okay. It really is mind-boggling though... how fast things have been going. I heard from other women how their pregnancies seemed to drag on forever, and how long they felt to them... but I absolutely cannot say the same about mine. It feels like yesterday when I saw the first heartbeat, or the first embryonic arm-and-leg wiggles, or went to the organ screening in the 20th week... and now I am only a very few weeks away from giving birth to this baby. It's been a breeze, it's gone by very fast, I felt incredibly good for the most part, and I love being pregnant. With the exception of the new addition of heartburn, I don't even experience any of the "horrible discomforts of the third trimester" that I have read and heard about. Even my back as taken a leap for the better since I am sleeping in our new bed on our new mattress. Sure, I get tired easily... and I am not too graceful anymore, and things get done in a snail-like speed, but that hardly qualifies as "horrible discomfort". On the contrary, I feel so good, that I am always kind of waiting to feel worse in order to be "properly pregnant", and I think the onset of labor will kind of catch me by surprise - since I haven't felt "really bad" yet.

Still, I am nervous when I realize that I have just entered my 36th week of pregnancy. There are still so many things we want to do (like go to a photographer, paint my belly, and make a mold of it), and it seems like there won't be enough time to get them all done. The apartment is still chaos for the most part - and trust me when I say that the green in the nursery has turned out to be some kind of radioactive Shrek-colored hell, a visual assault if ever you have seen one. Especially when the sun shines in and even intensifies the green sheen. Walking down the hall towards the open door of the nursery, there is a green shine emanating from the room and reflecting off the hall that reminds me of the radioactive stick Homer Simpson is pulling out of the back of his shirt and tossing into the gutter in the intro of The Simpsons.

We were so mad at ourselves for having messed this up so badly - we call ourselves "artists" after all, and are known to have a keen eye for color and color combinations. And I can't even blame it on the hormones, because Geo was just as into the green when we picked it out in the store as I was. So we went back to the store and bought another color combination... a very toned down pastel green with a very toned down creamy beige/brown. A lot more nursery-like. Geo is painting as I type... I really hope this one works out now, I am getting really anxious to get the nursery done - didn't help that all throughout the day yesterday, while walking from store to store, I was plagued by light contractions and extreme cervical pressure. My mother says that my belly has dropped even more since last week... and I am having nightmares of the baby deciding to come already, way before I have anything really prepared for it.

Overall, things are progressing smoothly in the apartment, though. Our kitchen looks absolutely fantastic, we bought bathroom furniture yesterday, we just had our blinds put into the windows, and we bought a ton of little yet essential stuff, like bedside lamps, towels, a bathroom rug, a toilet brush, some decorative items... even a plant - which is quite daring, considering I have two cats with a VERY intense taste for greenery, and I haven't dared keeping plants in my apartments in about 6 years - except a cactus.

(I have sprayed the plant with perfumed water, as I have read should repel cats effectively without harming them. So far it seems to work. *knocks on wood*)

Well, I have plans to really use the kitchen as it is intended to - which is a big feat, as you know, if you know me. I have ordered the weekly delivery of fruit/veggies/eggs/milk from a farm nearby, instead of buying such things in the supermarket. That way I can be certain that the fruit and veggies were biologically grown, meaning without chemical aids and fertilizers, and the eggs do not come from hen batteries. I feel very good about that decision, and I will look for ways to make all these veggies that will land on my doorstep in a weekly manner into healthy and tasty meals. Maybe I'll finally learn how to cook, and appreciate the actual act of cooking, afterall.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sick! :(

No wonder I looked so tired, that my Mom sent me to bed while everybody else was working! Two nights ago I suddenly came down with a bad cold, which climaxed last night in a bout of relatively high fever - 38,5°. We were really worried about Booger, since I read that a fetus' temperature is always a degree higher than the mother's - which would have put the baby up to almost 40° fever! Geo spent about an hour sitting next to me, and cooling my belly down with a cold cloth, also my forehead, my chest, and my arms. He managed to really cool off the skin on my belly, and after about an hour we had my fever down by a whole degree, which is also when I started to feel a light kicking sensation again - it's been awfully quiet before that.

The fever is down now, and I feel much better overall today. Just really rather tired, which messes with my plans of getting some shopping done today: a security cat net for the balcony, a ceiling-high scratching post...

A lot has happened in the apartment-department too since my last entry. Mom and I have cleaned our old place on Monday, Geo came later to help restore all the old and ugly furniture, hang the ugly flower-print curtains again, and replace our nice rug with the ugly Persian one that was in there before. It was a HUGE relief when he and my Dad finally returned our keys to our landlady, and thus were really and finally rid of the old place. Dad and Geo have dragged tons of stuff that's not needed in the apartment down to our basement storage department, making more room here. The phone line was installed today, and tomorrow the kitchen will be delivered, and put up on Friday.

Geo even finally found the time to start painting the nursery. It turned out... well... very green. I am a sucker for green... but this room really is GREEN. I am not sure right now if I really like it, but one thing for sure: it's a warm color. Let's see how it looks like when it's done, with the furniture in place, and some decoration up. I am really anxious to have it done, but it looks like it will be another few days until then. Besides, my rocking chair still hasn't made it to the store where I ordered it to, and without that, no nursery is complete.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Oh, mighty chaos. I am not sure if I should be glad that Booger isn't here yet while all of this is going on, or if I should bemoan the fact that I can't do a thing in my own apartment, because nobody is letting me. My Mom even sent me to lay down and sleep for a bit while everybody was working. I said: "Geez, do I look that tired?" She just said yes. So off I was sent, to take a nap, while everybody else was working on installing our new hardwood floor in the living room.

But then I do admit that it was quite a hard and long day. Starting with my appearance before an official of the parking demeanor office, to fight a ticket I have unjustly received - to no avail, rushing to make it on time to my pregnancy gym class right afterwards... rushing home to register our new address of residence with the city, going shopping so that all our helpers have enough to eat and drink during the day... to coming home to utter chaos and furiously working family members.

So now almost a third of the kitchen and living room are equipped with the hardwood floor, which looks gorgeous beyond description - white oak and all. Our bedroom closet is up, our new washer is installed. Hopefully finishing the flooring tomorrow, while Mom and I will clean the old apartment enough to return the keys to our landlady. Hopefully all the big stuff will be done by the end of the weekend, so that I can spend the whole of next week working on what I am most excited over: yes, I am talking about the nursery.

So much stuff to do... so relatively little time. Doesn't help that my Mom already mentioned how my belly looks like it went down a bit already... a sure sign that birth won't be TOO far in he future... I just hope that everything in the new place will be in livable order by then... o_O

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The new Place! :)

Well, I just awoke from spending our second night here in the new apartment. Obviously, this place is still very much unliveable due to an extreme lack of pretty much everything but running water, and we didn't actually expect to spend the nights here already before we get our bedroom delivered - but our excitement really got the better of us, and Geo blew up an air mattress on Monday. The chaos in our old place is just too much right now - and who wants to sleep in their own apartment, really, when the new one is ready and waiting?

We have spent all of Monday, after I received our keys, picking up the largest things with my cousin's truck: an old couch, our new hardwood floor, our dining table and couch table from our apartment, tons of boxes - and of course the nursery furniture, the stroller, the car seat, and a huge box of baby clothes. Nothing has found its right place yet, since we want to paint the nursery walls first, but I feel so much better now than I did only a few days ago: at least I have a nursery now, even if we still have to prepare it.

The walls will be two shades of green, with a yellow decorative border separating the two tones. In the upper (lighter) green we want to paint some Aztec animals with the darker green, and yesterday I bought three packets of fluorescent stars for the ceiling above the bed. Whenever we finish them (meaning: whenever we really and finally decide on a name), I will glue our wooden letters above the bed on the wall also.

I am very excited about everything... and I still have to sort through the box of baby clothes that I have received. I will sort the stuff after size, and see what is then still left for me to buy. One of our new neighbors, whom I already met and talked with at that first informative meeting a few weeks ago, also approached me on Monday, offering for me to look through her boxes of baby stuff, as she has two older sons, and would otherwise get rid of all her baby things if I don't want them. How amazing is that? :)

Well, lots of things to do. Last night Geo painted our bedroom in a wonderful chocolate brown color, which will go wonderfully with our new light brown bedroom furniture. I have arranged for our bedroom to be delivered tomorrow, and today there's lots of buying things planned. And painting the kitchen. It's all very exciting... the only problem is that it seems like with everything going on right now I have very little time enjoying and appreciating my large baby belly, or spend some good quality time with my unborn baby. My belly just seems in the way, and I am annoyed that I cannot really work in my own apartment. The only help I am allowed to give is to hold doors open while everybody else is huffing and puffing and dragging our stuff, and to paint the walls in eye-height, where I don't have to stretch up or bend down. It's a bit frustrating, that I am here, having all the time in the world to work, yet I have to wait on Geo and/or my family to get anything done at all.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Letter to Booger, 33rd week, DADDY EDITION

Hello my dear Child,

The time for your arrival is getting closer and I can't hide my excitement! I know you Mommy will probably not believe me when she reads this, but it's true. Lately I have been so consumed with work that I'm really tired when I get home, so I don't really show how happy and excited I am knowing that you are just 7 weeks from being finally in my arms.

I really like to spend time with you, but lately I have only given you few minutes of every day since I get home so late. I'm working on changing my job so I can spend more time with you and Mommy. I love to play the Froggy music box for you on Mommy's tummy before I go to bed, and what is really interesting to see is that you go into party mode once your Mommy and I settle for sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with my hand on your Mommy's tummy, and I get to feel you moving. A couple of times you have followed my hand - I can't really explain how special that made me feel. I really like to feel you moving while Mommy sleeps, so far that has been our special little time together.

Soon we are moving into our home. We will start working on setting up your room in a few days. I want to make you a nice mural for you but your Mommy asked me to wait until you can tell us what you want yourself. I really want to make a lot of things for you. When I was a little child, your Abuelita Teresa always worked with me to make some toys. It was because of her that I'm an artist today. I will show you everything I know about art whenever it's the proper time - but of course it will be up to you to if you want me to teach you.

I will see you soon.

You father,

Crazy Weather!

Was I complaining all throughout the recent months about the extreme heat, and how Booger has decided to make his appearance during the HOTTEST summer I can remember, I really have to mention for the record what's going on now.

And by HOTTEST I do mean: HOTTEST. Maybe I just felt it more than usual because of the pregnancy, but since I wasn't the only one suffering, I am pretty sure my perception wasn't off. And not only was it hot, it was extremely humid too. It was so hot, that not even the prospect of going swimming to cool off was enticing enough to make me leave the apartment. I had the blinds down all day to keep the sun out, and if I fell asleep on the couch with the fan blowing at me, I woke up 20 minutes later soaked in my own sweat. Sleeping at night was difficult for much the same reason. I took a shower and 5 minutes later my clothes were drenched in sweat again. In some areas of Austria (inlcuding the one I live in), the all-time heat record has been broken, and 40°C were reached.

This went on for pretty much the whole of July and August. And started sometime in June. Then September rolled around. September is 7 days old today, and we've been wrapping ourselves in warm jackets for at least 4 of those days already. It's been raining constantly, parts of the surrounding areas are flooded with the rivers crawling out of their beds, and the temperature doesn't climb above 13°C anymore.

From an average of 27°C down to 13°C - seamlessly, from one day to the next. Snow has started to fall in the Alpes, and today on the news I read a story of large expected losses in cattle, that the farmers didn't have time to move back down into the villages anymore, before the snow hit. The cattle is up in the mountains still, food is running out, and the farmers can't get up there to either replenish their food or bring them down into the stables, because of constant snow fall and high risk of avalanches.

Again... it's September 7 today. Still summer in some years... light onset of fall in most others. Last year, on September 9 we got married in a Viennese castle on one of the most beautiful and warm cloudless and sunny days of the year. People were still wearing short sleeves, and the sun was bright like it had been all throughout summer.

Crazy weather. And try not to get sick going with these drastic changes.

And on a more personal note... I hoped to get through September with my short-sleeved maternity shirts and my light pair of summer pants, for I am not really equipped with many long-sleeved alternatives. If it keeps going like that, I will have to buy more clothes after all, not to mention a jacket wide enough to close over my belly...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fear creeping in...

There was a time, some months ago, where I surfed the internet in search for the most graphic and vivid birth videos I could possibly find. I watched them all, highly interested, soaking up everything I saw like a sponge, learning, learning. Re-watching them. Highly fascinated. Thirsting for more. Information! Preparation!

I minded none of it. I watched a quite frontal video, a nurse grabbing for a mean looking pair of scissors, sticking one end of it into the woman's vagina, and then cutting briskly through her perineum, and a gush of dark blood spilling all over the sterile covers beneath. I was all... ugh, not too pretty. Then I watched it again, looking even closer.

I gotta know what it actually looks like when they say "we're gonna cut your perineum now", right?

And not only was I watching these videos, I was also bragging about watching them. What's the big deal about all this giving-birth-stuff? Those videos don't scare me! Many women have done it before, and even came back for more! I'll show all those naysayers how easy birth can be, because I am not scared, I am looking FORWARD to it! I won't need medication, either... and my perineum will be so well-prepared with wheat-oil, that those big ugly scissors will not even come close to my body! It's all about attitude! Positivity! Relaxation! Ha!

Ha, indeed.

Whatever happened to my positive attitude now, I wonder? The closer my due date approaches the more nervous I am getting... scared, maybe? I cannot watch movies anymore, heck, I can't even read the "What to expect when you're expecting" chapter on birth anymore. After being shown a birth video in birth prep class today I turned a nice pale shade of green in my face, and the formerly horrifying thought of an epidural suddenly sounds quite appealing. Before I was all like the pain of labor can't be bad enough to justify a needle being stuck into my backbone... and now I'm like what's a small prick in my back that people say really isn't so bad in comparison to the pain that probably awaits me?

What happened, on what part of the way did I lose my positive attitude, and when did I allow fear to creep in? Is it my continuously expanding belly, and the thought of how in the world is this supposed to come out of there - something I haven't had to worry about before that belly started growing?

The prospect of birth now makes me rather nervous, when I was always set on keeping my positive outlook on things.

Is this normal considering the far progress of my pregnancy? I very much want for this birth to be a positive experience, and a big part of that is my personal attitude about it, which I can't seem to quite control anymore the more time passes... :(

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Narcolepsia has me back in its grip, it would seem. Though it does feel different than the tiredness I experienced during the first trimester: for one it isn't so much actual tiredness that keeps me glued to the couch for most of the day than it is my excruciating back pain that makes me want to avoid too much movement. Also it's the fact that I can't really sleep through the night anymore, mostly due to my pea-sized bladder, and my overstuffed-with-thoughts head that I can't seem to turn off anymore. I guess I am practicing for the sleepless nights ahead of me already?

The apartment is a mess of boxes, and I should use the time I have at home to pack more, or to go through my closet and pack my clothes, or to wrap our dishes into paper... but all I can do is lay on the couch and doze in and out of sleep. I didn't think it was going to be like this, I thought I was going to have more energy to get things done. I don't like being so dependent on Geo, who works hard all day, and then has to help me with packing up the household too. :(

I hope we can get everything done before the weekend, since I do not want to do any packing then, seeing as it is our first wedding anniversary, and on Monday we are getting our keys already... :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Letter to Booger, 33rd week

My dear Baby;

"Baby"... it's getting harder and harder referring to you in this way, since to us you are already such a person, and so present. It would be so much easier to refer to you as "he" or "she", and maybe even use a name, but we decided not to find out your sex until your birthday, because of the surprise and the suspense - something that modern pregnancies are quite void of because of the wonders of medicine. You know, your Daddy was pretty certain that I would crumble, and that my impatience would get the better of me, and that I would ask the doctor about your sex as soon as it was possible. Well, I proved him wrong... I never cracked, and it was interesting to see how the question of your sex turned from "extremely hard to suppress" to "completely irrelevant, just as long as you are healthy", to "I wish I'd know how to refer to my own child". By now it's not a matter of asking a doctor anymore though: more an intense curiosity, and a need to finally get to know you face to face rather than fist to bladder. :)

At least I think we have finally decided on a name for you. You have no idea how hard of a decision a name is, it is something you will have to live with all your life, and hopefully be comfortable with. Your name is what you will identify with, which really put another spin on our name game with you, since we want you to identify as both Austrian as well as Mexican. You will have two names, one reflecting each culture that you are a part of, and it is our hope and our wish that you will accept both and identify with both equally.

It is interesting that the girl's name I have had my mind set on ever since I can remember suddenly started to annoy me, now that I really had to consider it, in case you turn out to be a girl. I never thought this was possible, I thought finding a name for you would be just a matter of adding a Spanish name to the German one I liked, a real breeze. I didn't expect the big headache that my sudden annoyance with my favorite name suddenly gave me. Your boy's name was way easier, since your Daddy immediately agreed to my favorite boy's name. Adding a Spanish one was a bit more tricky to make it fit with our last name, but I think we have a winner. I think we also finally settled on a girl's name for you, and it feels like a huge weight off my shoulders now. Nevermind the fact that some months ago we have already cut wooden letters and painted some of them, spelling my original suggestion - which we will now have to redo.

My love, can you believe, that we're in our eighth month of being together already? The calendar says it's only 55 more days until your calculated arrival! 8 more weeks, give or take. At this point I would like to ask you to please stay where you are, no matter the levels of stress you may experience in the next couple of weeks from me. We're moving, you see... finally! It's a done deal, we're getting the keys to our new family home next week! I am trying not to stress over anything, and your Daddy (- and just about everybody else) are keeping me from getting too involved with all the heavy work, but there is just so much to do and so much to organize and buy! Our current apartment (which I am very glad you never had to experience yourself) is a mess of packed boxes at the moment, and a bunch of empty suitcases from your great-grandparents that are still waiting to be filled. Your Daddy and I worked hard today on packing as much as possible, yet it feels like we have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done. It will be an exhausting week to say the least. Just relax and grow while I am busy preparing for our new life and your arrival, ok?

I am sure it's getting pretty tight in my belly for you by now. The doctor said two weeks ago that you are weighing almost two kilos already, and your head is already pointing downwards, as it should be. I feel your kicks and punches even stronger than I did before, and you are really entertaining your Daddy and I at night time, when your antics make my belly move around and bulge out and just perform an overall crazy dance. We can't wait to watch you kicking and moving about in your crib!

All my love,