A Newborn Photo Shoot

As painful as it was to go through this after 10 days of being home with twin boys, I’m so glad we did. A photo shoot to remember all the itsy bitsy pieces of our precious boys! We arrived at 10:00am and didn’t leave until about 4:00pm!!! LONGGGGG Day!

Without further ado….take a look at some of the beautiful images captured! (I’m a little biased of course!)

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I mean…how could I not?!?! 🙂

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Hope you liked them! Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

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An American Baby Shower For A German Baby

First Fall project completed and what a beautiful day it was!! This past weekend I threw an American style baby shower for a friend of mine. But first, a little background into how life happens when you have a German baby!
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So we all know that in the US when a a girlfriend is preggers, we throw her a fantastic party a couple months before the birth. All the women in her family come, along with all the friends she’s had to avoid because she can’t go out drinking with them anymore. The party is held at someone’s house or restaurant with food galore and presents stacked high. Games are played and everyone ooohs and ahhhs over all the sweet little baby decorations. The mom-to-be is treated like a princess and she gets EVERYTHING she could possibly need for her bundle of love on the way. Cribs, carriages, diapers, toys, clothes, breast feeding equipment, blankets, etc. The list goes on.

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And then there is Germany…..

Mom-to-be buys everything herself. Mom gives birth. All friends and family swarm over to the house with little gifts for the baby and visit as the new mom and baby are trying to get a hold of this new life they have together. The mom, exhausted and in desperate need of a nap makes coffee and cake for all the masses who visit.

So….let’s discuss. WHICH country does it better?…..it’s obvious. And there is no arguing about this. Even the German ladies here agreed that this is a tradition they have interest in starting! It’s really all about the one last fun hoorah for the new mom before her life changes with a new baby!

This was exactly what I wanted for my dear friend. I threw her a bash to remember! We invited family and friends for an intimate gathering. Each person brought a gift and brought along either a cake or snack food! It was perfect! I made the very popular “bowle” which is what we know as punch! The ladies love to mix champagne with it so I left it alcohol free and people could add what they wanted!
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And although the food was somewhat simple…of course, the Germans do know how to make a mean cake! So yums…just sooo soooo sooooo yums!
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And the snacks were great as well! I made little ricotta cheese filled tarts which were super easy thanks to this recipe I found on Pinterest.
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And another woman made these fun finger foods. I had printed out little signs that said “It’s a Girl” and pictures of a baby rattle on them, which I found a free printable for here.

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We played the ever popular, “Name That Baby Food.” Which were REALLY horrible by the way…ha! I just sectioned off 6 parts on a paper plate, everyone put a spoonful of baby food in the corresponding number place and went to town! The faces they made were hysterical..I mean REALLY funny.
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And of course we played the game, “How Big is Mommy’s Belly.” This was fun to see too! And of course the Grandma-to-be was SPOT on.
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Then after all the games, we did the PRESENTS!!!! My favorite! So, I should mention that in Germany there is a superstition about bringing a present to the mom-to-be BEFORE the baby is born. They believe that if you bring a gift before the baby is born, that the baby will be born with problems or something bad will happen. They were good sports about it and looked past this just for this “American” baby shower which was really very nice of them.

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And a little guest, Leonie, helped as best as she could. She LOVED opening all the presents! At the end of this wonderful afternoon we said goodbye and said that the baby can come now. All is done and now we are just waiting!

It really was a wonderful day and I’m so glad that I could share a piece of my home and culture with them. And mostly, that they were so open minded about it and accepting. What a gift!

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Any ideas what she is having?!?! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Throwback Thursday – A Babyrific Post!

Another Thursday yet again, only that much closer to the weekend! Woot woot! I’ve been having crazy dreams about babies and fertility drugs and all sorts of whacko stuff. And staying in theme with this week’s post about Germany’s way of announcing babies I decided to throw us all back to a cold December day in 2009 when my nephew was born! He was the first to give me the name “Aunt Kait” and I just fell TOTALLY in love with him when I saw him all wrapped up like a burrito.

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Isn’t he adorbs?!? He’s all grown up now practically…talking, walking, saying “no” to everything because he can and because he’s a little manpants. Still totally in love with that sweet boy! This picture was also before I knew I had endometriosis and it was a time where the possibility of having my own child was still an easily reachable goal on the horizon.

For those of you who know that I wrote a story called “The Letter” for a great organization called CausePub, we need a certain amount of people to sign up to buy the electronic story. It’s only $10, and it would help us meet our goal to 1. Publish the book and 2. provide clean water to over 40,000 people in Africa. This is such a big deal to me.

I wrote the story a long time ago, not really sure that I would ever publish it in fear of showing my feelings and sounding too dramatic and spotlight hogging. But that’s not the case. I published it and people wrote to me, thanking me for my bravery. That they share the same feelings and problems and are feeling less alone. To have this story published in a book would be not only incredible for a writer like me but imagine the people it would influence!

If you would like to spend the $10 (come on, we all have it to spare!) then please go to CausePub – Buy the book and read more about what your money would do for others. Andddd of course, how it would make me kinda famous!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxo

A Stork Landing

It’s that time of year again…no…who am I kidding?! It’s ALWAYS that time of year! Babies are popping up (or out rather) everywhere! And it’s no exception here in Germany!

Standard families are two parents and two children here in good old Deutschland. If you are a family of 3 children then you are considered to have a large family. It’s odd since most people I know have more than just one other sibling back home in the US. Having two kids is considered small and four is normal!

There is a fun way in Germany that the people announce when they have a new member and this morning I took Harley for a walk just so we could stalk these new parents! Love me some babies! Back home in the US we use Facebook (ha!) and birth announcement by form of a letter or delivering owl. Here, they make sure you know and I have a feeling its more so that people be quiet in the neighborhood!

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The wooden stork! This is put up right before baby comes and as you can see in the second picture, there is a baby in a blue blanket hanging from the mouth of the stork. This informs us that the baby is a boy!! Yay!!

I think this is kind of fun and exciting! And now is when they get overwhelmed with everyone coming to see them and bring presents. They don’t have baby showers here! Can you believe that?!?! No baby showers, so that means you have the essentials and then people bring you the rest as soon as the baby is born, making life more complicated and annoying when you just need sleep. But no, you must visit with people and organize all the gifts they bring you plus provide the standard coffee and cake. No resting for momma bears!! Let me tell you something, If I’m living here when I have a baby, I will ABSOLUTELY be throwing myself a baby shower and I won’t hold back on my gift requests!! No way, jose!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

The Fight For Life

I just returned from a doctor’s appointment and feel completely deflated. What better way to heal then to just get it all out there for the world. Yes, I’m looking for sympathy, I’ll admit it.

NOTE: This post is a little long but it’s informative. Just stay with me 🙂 

In all the many years I played with Barbie and her 20 children (yes 20) I also envisioned my own life to be much of the same. When someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say something along the lines of Ballerina, or Veterinarian. When someone would ask me how many kids I wanted I would easily say 10.  Although the idea changed about my career a million times over, the fact that I wanted 10 kids remained for many many years. I recently changed my number to 5 but that’s as low as I was going until….

When I started getting lower back pain I was about 17 years old (that’s ten years ago, people) I thought it was from wearing high heels every day or from running.  I went to a chiropractor and felt fine for a while after that. Gradually, the back pain got worse and stayed for longer periods of time. I then went to physical therapy and to a chiropractor. Also getting massages twice a week. This seemed to help for a while. Then about when I was 25 years old, I needed a frequent visitor card to the local hospital. Where one doctor (very hot doctor) stated that,  “In the ER we can’t diagnose you, only make you feel comfortable with drugs.” I did everything to try and find out what it was. Accupuncture, spine specialists, hydrotherapy, nerve testing, you name it…it’s been done.

My last visit to the ER I was pumped up with two doses of morphine and percocet along with some other pain-killer as well. This reason for this visit was the worst. I woke up from a dead sleep with shooting pain in my lower back. The kind that if I laid down, sat up, stood up, walked, or breathed…it hurt. No, not just hurt, literally felt like someone reached inside and was ripping my bones out one by one. There is no description for how excruciating this was. When I made it to the hospital they wanted to put me in a wheelchair but that was so painful to sit. Going to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet was unbearable.  For ten years no one had an answer for me. No one could help me. But why was an all-around healthy 20 something having this much pain?

I missed out on so many things due to this. I was bed-ridden for weeks at a time and even had to go to work using a cane. I missed out on wine tours (never been to one due to this back issue ALWAYS happening when one was planned), parties with friends, dinners, family gatherings, etc. For my birthday one year I planned a weekend camping trip with 5 other people.  I was in the hospital the night before (see above mishap) and stocked up on serious drugs and did my best to pull through. Although I was in another world I was there and tried to push past the pain.

I decided to try one last thing. I went to my GYN and asked her if there was something that could be causing this back pain from her perspective. We did a few tests which were painful…I won’t share what we did – you’re welcome.  Then she said she couldn’t see anything unless she did laparoscopic surgery. As horrified at the idea of surgery I was, I decided this was my last chance. My last hope for an answer. After the surgery, she told me she found endometriosis everywhere. It was attached to my appendix, gall bladder, all over in my uterus. Just everywhere. This “Endo” is scar tissue that you get only when you have your period every month. Not everyone has this, obviously, but I must have had it for years and didn’t know it. But this scar tissue latches on to things and grows. Suffocating whatever it is attached to. You would think I would feel a million times better after the surgery but in fact I had visits to the ER even so. My doc then suggested she puts my body through temporary menopause with a 6 month injection to see what becomes of this.

Fast forward 6 months, the hot flashes are treacherous and the weight gain was unwanted but the back pain was gone. For 6 months I was great. After we were done with the injections, I was good for exactly one year. Almost to the day – one year. This January…it started all over again. Now I’m here in Germany, with back pain so severe I’ve been laying on the couch for 3 weeks. Rarely get fresh air and miss out on everything. I haven’t been to my German classes in 3 weeks, haven’t been able to give English lessons in so long. It’s just been a complete mess.

So…I went to the GYN in Germany. She did a full exam – much to Toblerones dismay. Poor guy! He had never been present for this type of thing before. Ha..as I’m sitting here I’m cracking up at his reactions! After all was said and done she basically told us that my Endo is so severe and extreme that having a child would be very complicated, if not impossible.  This was a moment I wished I didn’t understand German at all. Looking at the walls covered in Anne Geddes photos of babies just shot an arrow through my heart.

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Here’s the thing, I knew this was a possibility but you hear so many good stories about women who have had children despite the odds. But did they all have severe endo? Extreme endo? Odds are, probably not nearly as horrific as mine.  Knowing it is one thing but actually hearing it was another. I started crying immediately. I’ve just been so down and out about living on the couch and then to have this on top of it. She said she couldn’t help me, not to mention her sense of humor and compassion were lacking. Reminds me of this (here’s a little laugh for you):

So this also explains why I’ve been lacking on the blog front. I’ve been distraught and have nothing to write about, quite frankly.  I can describe the view from my couch but that’s about it. Let me ask you this, how long does it take you to go down 13 stairs? Probably under 10 seconds for the average healthy person, right? Well, yesterday it took me over 5 minutes. Think about that. 5 minutes. That’s a hell of a long time! I walk like a dying pterodactyl!!! My flippers are all over the place just to hold my balance. It’s crazy!

I’ll be going to a specialist for endometriosis about an hour away from home. I hope they can help me. I know the next few months are critical. I need to find the strength to fight. To fight for my dream of having a big family, to fight for a life. I want my own child and as good as adoption and surrogates sounds, I just want my own. I want to have the big belly and I want everyone to come up to me and hug it ( I know most women hate that!). I want the morning sickness and I want the swollen feet. I hate seeing people talk about how pregnant they are, complain, post pictures of their baby bump, the cute clothes, the nursery. It’s so painful for someone like me that has to sit around and watch as everyone is easily getting pregnant (even those that shouldn’t be allowed to)  and I get a punch in the face.

I’m not sure what I did in my life to deserve this kind of punishment but I will tell you all something. From here on out, you will be apart of my journey…every step of the way. Please join my journey by becoming a subscriber or a fan on the facebook page! What is new in the fertility world, navigating through a language barrier, and so on. I will fight for my dream…and I will fight for the life of my own child.

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo