A Slow Crawl to 40 Weeks

Time. It’s never on your side. It had seemed to be flying by until I got pregnant, when suddenly everything skid to an incremental crawl. Each day seemed to last forever. But slowly, one after the other, they accumulated into weeks that I could check off, each one taking me a little closer to that magical three month mark, when everyone tells you that you can relax a little.

When I got pregnant, I started keeping track of the weeks by reading Alphamom’s Zero to Forty calendar – which are the funny, down-to-earth observations made by Amy Storch through her first two pregnancies.  The first time I’d barely gotten started before it became clear things weren’t going anywhere good. So I stopped reading, promising myself I’d be back soon. Continue reading

Life List – Another One Checked Off

To Do (in) Life List Item # 101. Renovate the Austrian Apartment.

√ Check.

This was one heck of a learning experience. It was fun, often stressful and frankly was enough to give me pause when considering whether we ever want to build a house. I’m not sure I want to care that much about drawer pulls again…at least for a good long while. Now it’s done and we can enjoy it.

There we are!

It's more put together than any apartment we've lived in. I'm not sure if that makes me proud or embarrassed.

Here’re all the related posts:

* A recap of what led up to this (link)

* Before, during and after pictures (link)

* How we dealt with reluctant workers (link)

* The Kitchen (link)

* The Entryway and Bath (link)

* The Bedroom (link)

* The Living Room (link)

* From Dining Nook to Cocktail Corner (here)

And we're done here for now. On to the next one!

Renovation: The Living Room and Cocktail Corner

Part 2: The Cocktail Corner

Cozier, but now seats more.

The dining nook became the cocktail corner, sort of by accident. We replaced the original faux farmhouse table with a much smaller table we got from the proprietors of the oldest Hütte on the mountain. It’s a super cool old little table, but it certainly makes things cozier. But for cocktails, I reasoned, this is more than fine.

We’d been looking a long time for a table and had gotten nowhere until we asked someone on the mountain to help us find something with “Hüttenerfahrung” or a bit of mountain experience. They did one step above that. When we went to  thank them, the wife smiled and said with a wink that the table had tons of experience – including plenty of good times for them in their kitchen. What that really means, was purposely left open to interpretation. Continue reading

On Cats, Bags, and Keeping Them In There


Besides staying pregnant, I’d kinda wanted to keep any subsequent pregnancy under wraps until I was sure it was going to stick. This is hard on a trip with 17 people, all of whom expect you to drink a lot.

Still, we decided to try.

Our brilliant plan included telling no one and me always having a glass of wine that I didn’t really drink. With so many people at the table, this was actually easier to do that I thought. We probably didn’t even need the second part of our plan which was for Oliver to switch our glasses every once in a while so my glass could sometimes be refilled. He would also intercept the schnapps that I didn’t manage to toss under the table (my favorite trick when I couldn’t handle any more).

Let’s just say he did his job very well. So well that I’ve rarely seen him that hammered, that often. After two days he told me he just couldn’t keep up this pace. We needed allies. Continue reading

Doctor’s Orders

I’m sorry to say that, again, we ran into resistance with the medical establishment. In case anyone is reading this trying to figure out if they have something wrong with them or if there could be a reason they’re not getting or staying pregnant, take heed when I say, do not listen if a doctor tells you you’re fine or overreacting when you really feel like you’re onto something or justified in having tests done. You’d be surprised at the angles they don’t consider or the assumptions they make that get in the way of you getting what you need.

Doctors are great, I think most of them try very hard to do their jobs well, but they often have to make snap decisions knowing little or nothing about you – and not all of those snap judgments are right.

+++

After telling the doctor at the hospital that I needed to have my progesterone levels tested, I saw his eyes narrow a little when I mentioned that I had already miscarried once this year. I wasn’t too surprised when his response was that I should take it easy, relax and enjoy being pregnant again and above all stop worrying that everything would go wrong again. Besides, he said, statistically a woman will miscarry up to three times without anything necessarily being wrong. (Sound familiar?) Continue reading

Renovation: The Living Room and Cocktail Corner (Pt 1)

Part One – The Living Room Area

Back to the renovation!

Living room: Before - "The Mountain Cabin" look

Part of the “alpine” look of the original living room were some fake beams along the ceiling. These were just for show (the building was built in the 60’s), hollow and only extended across one room. So with the decision to remove the doorway between the living and kitchen areas, the fate of the fake beams was decided as well. That led to a domino effect that resulted in all the knotty-pine cupboards and matching “mountain” furniture going too**.

Continue reading

Making A List, Checking It Twice

You’ve sensed where this is going, right?

Is this the old story of a boy and a girl trying to come together to make number three, come up with zero, and then go on vacation, get drunk and have it work all on its own? Not quite, but close.

We’d done some monitoring to figure out that yes, I was ovulating and also to confirm that yes, Oliver was contributing. The conclusion was however that 1+1 was still not making #3, which was our indicator that IUI would be a good idea to bring all elements of the equation together at the right time and place.

If we hadn’t had done one last test run before the holidays, I would have been in the stirrups sometime in January. Instead I found myself standing in downtown Villach, Austria, counting on my fingers trying for the life of me to remember some important dates for the last month. I had ditched the darn iPhone app and had been ignoring the whole thing when all of a sudden, during my last trip to a real town before everything closed for the Christmas holidays, I found myself standing in front of a pharmacy with a nagging feeling I couldn’t shake. I was alone for few moments so, for peace of mind more than anything else, I ducked in and bought the most accurate, ridiculously expensive digital test they had (set of two, always a good idea ladies). Then I went on with the holiday shopping, wrapping, wining and dining fun.

Over here they celebrate Christmas on the eve before. I think every expat in Germany knows what I mean when I say that I woke up on Christmas morning with the feeling like it was the 26th. That holiday was over, time to get some things done before the whole New Years celebration ramped up. Oliver and I started the morning making lists while still in bed of what we needed to buy or do for our newly renovated apartment (spoiler: although it made the list, we never did hang the toilet paper holder).

I kept feeling like something hadn’t made the list. Hmm. What was it? Continue reading