Saturday, July 27, 2013

Holiday, part two: City -> Paradise -> City again!

Hello again!

Having already shared Henry's point of view, I guess I should write a little bit about our lovely holiday, too. Our trip to Berlin (and Niesky!) managed to live up to all of my wildly optimistic dreams!

First we stayed with our friend Anja at her apartment in Neuk├Âlln - she has a really nice place. It's a beautiful light filled home on the fourth floor, with a balcony and a gated courtyard/playground. That was definitely a highlight for Henry; there was a swingset, slide and seesaw, then a sandpit (complete with toys!) and a ping pong table for the grownups. Awesome.

We stayed one night at Anja's, then caught the train to Anja's dad's house in Niesky. It's a small town about two-ish hours from Berlin, and it was sooo lovely. Anja's dad Fred was an incredible host - he's heard over ten years' worth of stories about us via Anja, so it was pretty awesome to finally meet him.

Henry adored Fred. Immediately and without hesitation - 'yeah, I like you, guy.'
Fred lives in a big house that Anja's granddad built, surrounded by a garden with a little creek running through it, which is in turn surrounded by forest. Amazing.

Ross' friend Lachlan and his friend Aaron, they also stayed with us and played Gypsy Jazz
Henry joins in the cricket game

 We spent a couple of days in the country, then headed back to the big city to meet up with Joe! He had a show on the 19th (which Ross and I attended and really enjoyed - thanks Anja for babysitting!), so we had a bit of time to go and do some touristy stuff. Saw the Brandenburg gate, bits of the wall and the Holocaust memorial.
I found the memorial a really interesting but odd experience. Doing some googling just now, I read that the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is designed to be unsettling and confusing, but it didn't really evoke anything like that for me. I mean, obviously if you think about it, it's a monument to the terribleness of humanity, and I expected something that would make me uncomfortable, and so it should. Instead it felt kind of interactive and beautiful, but maybe that's just me. 

On a lighter note, Henry then received a balloon in the shape of a dinosaur, which produced no conflicting emotions in anyone. Because dinosaur balloon, yay!

Okay, I think I may have to leave it here and write about the last chunk separately - even more photos to come, so be prepared!

Holiday, part one: Henry's point of view

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guess what?

So, time for some news that probably isn't news to anyone anymore...

We have a new baby on the way!
It is somewhat amusing how I first figured it out. Turns out that the reason I caught Henry's hand, foot and mouth was because my immune system was being suppressed, because that is apparently what happens when you start growing an embryo. Good to know!

So anyway, I am around about three months pregnant, which by my calculations makes me due in early to mid January. Hooray for driving an hour and a half to Akureyri in the middle of winter, in the (hopefully) early stages of labor*. As you can tell, I'm starting my worrying in nice and early.

* Wait, is it spelt the Australian way in this context? Labour? Labor? Now it all just looks wrong.

Seriously, though, the hospital here doesn't have an anaesthesiologist on staff, so they're not really allowed to book anyone in to give birth here. There has been much discussion about it lately, after a few women have been unable to make it to Akureyri: a friend of mine had hers at home, another lady had hers in the parking lot at Varmahlid (about half an hour from here), and the most recent one had a baby in an ambulance on the side of the road, about halfway between here and Akureyri.

I think it may be getting to a point where people are getting pretty vocal about it, which hopefully means something will get done. As one lady wrote, it doesn't really seem like anyone will listen until something serious happens, ie. someone is seriously injured or dies. So everyone is just kind of hoping that it won't be them - how messed up is that?

Okay, enough of that, I'll keep you updated, and hey, at least I have a bit of time for them to sort something out before it directly affects me.

This pregnancy seems to be much the same as the last one: I felt slightly nauseous for a while there, but haven't actually been sick, just felt kind of hungover all the time. I've gone off coffee again, which is a bummer, because I'm totally drained and exhausted a lot of the time. I'd love to want a nice big cup of caffeinated goodness, but alas, it smells revolting.

One thing I don't remember from last time is that I'm just now getting over a phase of outrageous hunger. I'm pretty sure I got a bit cranky from not eating often enough on a couple of occasions, but never this amount of emotion and desperation behind it. From the time I started feeling hungry, I had maybe a couple of minutes to get and eat food, otherwise I would start feeling sick and hollow. I actually ended up telling my co-workers just so that they could understand why I was being so irrational and weird around lunchtime.

We went to Akureyri for the first ultrasound yesterday, it all went pretty well, but the baby was being quite uncooperative, so the photos seem really blobby and indistinguishable to me. Might put them up later, anyway, after I get Ross to remind me which way is up on the pictures. The most important part is that everything looked fine and normal, so the photos are kind of an afterthought anyway...

In other pregnancy related news, here is a list of things that have made me cry over the past couple of months:

This dog food ad.

The film clip for Feist, 1234 (I don't even know why, it's just visually touching or something?)

Wendy Davis. So many feelings.

This short film about zombies from Tropfest (giant, heaving sobs, I'm not even kidding).

And finally, a real life one: Henry and I were lying on the couch, and he rolled over and headbutted me. It hurt, and I didn't expect it, so I went 'ow', and my eyes watered. He then turned over and started crying, too, just going 'Mummy sad, mummy ouch, oh no.' At which point I started proper crying, which made him sadder, so I tried to tell him I was okay, and he sobbed more, and I sobbed more, and we both ended up in a big puddle of soggy cushions.
Ross kind of laughed a bit, and looked a bit teary himself. As he said, it's things like that that make you think you're doing an okay job raising a thoughtful and empathetic person.
Which, of course, made me cry again.

And for the most recent one, I cried just a teeny bit more while typing the above paragraph. C'mon hormones, seriously?