Home Stretch, Baby!

I honestly cannot believe that as of today, I am 28 weeks pregnant, which means I have entered into the third trimester. Wait...what? Third trimester? Seriously, where did the time go?! I feel like it was just a few days ago that I found out I was pregnant, and then that we were sharing the news with everyone. But, since I'm closing in on the final stretch, I figured it was time to give you all an update.

 
 

The second trimester passed much like the first - relatively easy. Aside from some back and pelvic pain that periodically causes problems, I've actually felt pretty darn good. I can see why they call this the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. A couple of times, I've not drank enough water and boy do I pay for it the next day. Basically, imagine being hung over, struggling on the couch, with a massive headache (which Tylenol barely touches, and all the other good drugs aren't pregnancy-friendly), but without all the fun stories from the night before. Yea, that's me when I don't get enough water. 

When we were in Michigan back at the beginning of September, my Mom and sister hosted a baby shower for us. At only 19 weeks, I was just starting to get a bump, and I had yet to feel the baby really start moving, but suddenly, seeing the itty bitty baby clothes, the stunning blanket that my grandmother knit, and the cutest scuba themed quilt from a good friend, it all started to seem much more real.

Before we came back to Germany, Aaron and I were laying in bed one morning when I started to feel the baby move. I grabbed his hand and he felt it too. Honestly, it's one of the coolest, and strangest, feelings ever. I kinda feel like Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movie....minus the whole actual alien....I think.

It took a little while for the bump to really pop. Pretty much through about 20 weeks, I just looked fat. For someone who doesn't know me, they quite possibly could have thought I just at too many cheeseburgers at lunch that day. Now though, the bump is quite a bit more prominent, and even starting to get in the way a little bit. Putting socks on in the morning? Yea, it involves breath holding and some interesting acrobatics. Once, Aaron even had to help me put them on. I shudder to think how much worse it's going to get in the next 12 weeks. (mini freak out.....12 WEEKS?!?!? No, I'm not ready for this yet!)

 

I may be smiling, but I'm really thinking, ''Sweet Jesus, please don't let my belly get that big!''

 

Oh, and pregnancy brain. It's real. And it's becoming a real problem. Aaron has actually looked at me and been like, ''What the what?'' over something I have said, done, or forgotten. It happens daily and despite my best efforts, continues to happen. 

This pregnancy hasn't slowed down our travel much. We spent a weekend in London in September, we just got back from Poland, and have a weekend in southern Germany planned in a couple weeks, and then we are taking a train to Venice a couple weeks after that. In December, one of my really good friends is coming to visit and I can't wait to introduce her to Glühwein, even if I have to drink the kids version. I have found I get tired a little more easily, but since my belly is becoming more and more prominent, people have started to offer me their seats and hold doors for me. Of course, I then feel obligated to take the seat, even if I want to stand and stretch out for a bit, but the gesture is still incredibly kind and I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

 
Not quite there yet, but almost

Not quite there yet, but almost

 

Now for the medical system here. I'm finally starting to figure out all the ins and outs of how it all works. I have secured a midwife for my Nachsorge (literally, after care), which I found out is incredibly important. While she does not deliver the baby (other midwives and doctors at the hospital do), she does make daily house visits until the baby is 10 days old, and then visits 2 or 3 times a week until 8 weeks old. She weighs the baby, does basic exams, and will help with any questions or problems you have. Honestly, it's kind of nice that I don't have to take the baby out to a pediatrician (or Kinderartz) so soon after being born, especially in the winter. We still have to decide on and register with a hospital, do our home study birth course that we got from the States, and buy a few more items. I guess it's about time we get on that.

So yea, in general, I have been incredibly lucky to have had very few issues with pregnancy so far. However, that fact makes me a little nervous, like I haven't paid my dues and will have to elsewhere - either with a horribly long labor, trouble postpartum, or a terribly cranky baby. Hopefully, though, it's smooth sailing from here on out!