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*29 weeks: help wanted!

My dear Baby, please excuse me while I use this belly growing diary for a moment to make a public announcement: help wanted!!

Dear reader, whoever you are, I have a question for you. Since I currently prepare for life with three children, with a head full of ideas for my creative work and an apartment that has two floors (practical annoyance), I feel desperate dedicated to make the household/life maintenance/family management workload as easy to tackle as humanly possible. So. I am looking for all the tips and  tricks I can get. Anything.

I’ll offer you my best trick in return: this last year I started laundry day and instead of having to do laundry always (and it never ends), I do all of it on Monday (and Tuesday, it depends) and then I am done for the week. I’ve heard of the „one load a day“ method, but this works far better for me.

Oh and I copied a golden trick from my friend Lena (hi Lena!): I make my bed every day. It seems unnecessary to do something for the sole reason of prettiness (it won’t feed anyone after all!), but that is also the luxury of it. As the belly grows, I dread it, cause I’m uncomfortable, but if my bed is pretty and my kitchen is clean (only clean room in the house, but always clean), I feel like I can do life.

So now it’s your turn. Tell me what you do, that makes domestic life easier! You don’t have to be a mom. You just have to be a person that lives somewhere other than a Hotel. ;)

Everything is appreciated! Thank you so much for your help!

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*27 weeks: GIRLS NIGHT!

Baby girl, have I told you how excited I am to become a mom of THREE girls? It’s like the coolest thing ever is happening to me.
In the beginning of this pregnancy, everything felt so different, I was sure you would be a boy. When it turned out you weren’t, I was shocked. Your Daddy on the other hand, needed about a millisecond to be excited for his third Baby girl. And of course I joined him shortly after – now I feel so thankful for the little girl-tribe I get to be with.

Once you get to know all of us properly, you will find out, that you father is a very strong man. But even the strongest one can only go so long without a little outside testosterone. Ahem. So „guys night out“ is the new thing we establish around here, which ever so conveniently results in „girls night in“! Hooray! So much fun!
So for a weekend, your Daddy went on a little snow-adventure in Switzerland and us girls had the best. time. ever. There was ice-cream in bed. And popcorn at the puppet theater. And just lots of special girls moment.
We will practive our *awesome-girls-night-routine* and I am sure we will have it DOWN, once you arrive. We can’t wait for you to join us!

P.S. My best friend (hi Beth!) pointed out to me, that I don’t even look pregnant in this picture. I told Dominik about it and we laughed SO hard. She hasn’t seen me (that’s the dumb thing about a best friend, who lives in Alaska) and she is of course right about the picture. But in real life? Safe to say I look PLENTY pregnant.

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*26 weeks: decluttering life

Baby, it’s safe to say I am in full-on nesting mode.
We currently have a Netflix account, so while we do, I watch Marie Kondos documentary, declutter my life and only keep things that „spark joy“. It is SO GOOD. I got rid of two thirds of the girls toys in the living room and they don’t even miss anything. It feels sooo refreshing! It’s almost scary what a powerful impact it has on my mood and my well-being.
Whenever your Daddy can’t find something, he shruggs and says – „well, she has probably discarded it“. So let’s hope, in my rage of cleaning out EVERYTHING, that we still have the essentials for your arrival :)

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*25 weeks: You’re not alone.

When I was working out, a little while ago, this song started playing and I was surprised by how it hit me. „You’re not alone…“ A tear fell down on my yoga mat, as I realized: I have felt so very alone. So entirely isolated in this experience, that is so immensly different for every woman. I am sure, most joys and pains of pregnancy and early childhood years are very universal and so many can relate to so many single issues. Still, the overall experience is not quite compareable. I remember things mostly foggy from my pregnancies or the time after, but I remember vividly, that the second time around it was a dark and rough time – for month and month. Being alone in charge of two, a newborn and a two-year-old, not functioning well with my hurting body and my sleep-deprived mind – was the most overwhelming time of my life. A big part of the challenge in parenting is, that you need to deal with what you’ve been given. And I struggled with that. I struggled with not being in charge of my own life, but letting the force of nature be. I wish I could say I made my peace with it, but I have not. I was terrified, to hold another positive pregnacy test as much as I was ecstatic to welcome another little soul into our family. We longed for you, sweet Baby, we prayed and hoped for you. I am excited beyond words to meet you, but make no mistake, I am also terrified of the time ahead of me. It both excists in my heart. And I hope, one day, when you read this and are old enough to understand, you will see how much I loved you, so much in fact, that one day the missing-you in our family grew bigger than my fear. And we leaped. And now you’re on your way.

Since I find it so hard to put into words what my experience was like the last time, it makes me so much more alone. Your Daddy is on my side, of course, but there is no way in the world, he could ever understand everything I have been through. He makes an effort to try, though. And so does God. And God recently told me:
actually, you’re not alone.

You see, if you look at this picture closely it is sort of funny (cause it is very obvious), that I am in fact not alone. You’re right there with me. In the same way, you are not alone, because I am all around you. I’ve begun to understand, that that is what God tries to whiper to me every day. „You’re not alone, I am all around you.“ So as I walk – sometimes brave and strong, sometimes weary and fearful – into this challenging season of birth and post-partum and the first year with a newborn as a mom of three, I try to remember this: As much as it feels like it some days, I am not alone. And neither are you.

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*24 weeks: don’t forget!

– I am so forgetful, it’s ridiculous.

– in fact, last time I had to -uhm, provide an urin example at my doctors office, I fondly remembered the time in my last pregnancy, when I happily went to the bathroom, returning with an empty cup. I had forgotten to use it. Reminiscing in those old times, I finished and started washing my hand, when I spottet the empty cup – while thinking about it, I had forgotten to pee into the cup, again!! 🤦‍♀️

– we preggo ladies might be forgetful, but we also have our superpowers – blushing is one and another one is being able to pee At. All. Times. So an empty cup? No problem. I just went again, no big deal. 😏

– speaking of blushing as a superpower, it’s really fun to watch the introduction round of a pregnancy Yoga class. 12 self-confident women, with big carriers, small kids and nothing to prove – and 9 blushed while saying their name.

– in the morning I often get pins and needles in my right hand. But when I woke up the other day, I was too sleepy to realise, that I don’t feel my hand. So I picked up my alarm clock, but could not hold it and dropped it right on my face. So graceful 🤦‍♀️

– what was the last one? I forgot.

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*23 weeks

My alarm goes off at 6 something a.m. and my bed is peaceful and heavenly warm. So heavenly warm! But reason wins – I can’t face this day without a coffee in peace – so I make my way down to the kitchen, shivering in the cold. When the coffee is ready, the remaining family members have already knocked to tell me to come upstairs three times. Armored with my coffee, I make my way upstairs to face the drill of my kids putting on cloth. The five-year-old is cooperating to my surprise, but the three-year-old is – well, three. She refuses to wear anything but a dress. There are tears and kicks. We head downstairs, the adventcalender needs to be opened and the favorite pair of gloves is nowhere to be found. There are two other options for gloves, both entirely unacceptable for my five-year-old. When we finally leave the house, the loss of time is tolerable, the loss of my patience is absolutely not. „Those kids“, as a friend has put it so wisely one day, „those kids, they just don’t function the way they should“. Ahem. We take a different route than usual, because no-one listens to me and my fingers are freezing, cause guess who happily wears my gloves now? We pass the crosswalk and I silently thank God that it went smoothly, the traffic is so crazy at this time a day. Why, I start wondering, why do we do this to ourselves? Starting the day in such a crazy and stressful way seems nothing but wrong. How can life be this exhausting, right after we woke up?
We arrive at the Kindergarten and even though I don’t usually do this, I take off all the little coats and gloves and heats and kids shoes and put on slippers, because maybe, through a miracle of bending time, I will make it to my appointment in time. Love is sworn, kisses are blown and shortly after, I sit in the waiting room, still breathing heavy from riding my bike in the rain. I look over the skyline of the city, all beautiful and crisp and wonder what this day will bring. My husband will sign this contract today, this contract, that will professionally keep him – and us with him – in this city for the next years. School will start in the fall, will that mean, that those stressful mornings are here to stay?! We will also meet with the bank today, to look into buying a place to live (not that we plan that, but still) and all of this feels suddenly huge and meaningful and also heavy and very, very -uhm, tied down. Oh boy. I suddenly feel the strong urge to pack up my family and leave the country. Then my name is called.
The doctor says: „it will be a bit cold“ and then rubs glibbery stuff on my belly. The room is quiet and dark and the thoughts in my head are still swirling and then – I suddenly see you. I see you. And everything seems to fall into place, seems to quiet down. Somewhere far away, I hear the doctor say „it’s a girl!“ and after that, can’t see or hear anything else anymore. All I see is you. Your perfect form, the bones in your body, the tiny fingers you hold in front of your face. For a moment, you look exactly like your sister, the one, who is crazy about dresses and I feel silent tears dripping down my face and drop on the cushion that is covered with a paper towel. You are here. You are a miracle. Your body is a miracle. And mine is, too. While things have been a wild whirlwind here on the outside, the job commitements, the house hunting plans, the children and the traffic, the thousand little and big troubles of this pregnancy, that drain so much of my energy – all this wild chaos outside and inside? Inside, my body has helped build yours, all those teeny tiny bones of your little spine are in place and all those organs are working. Everything is being build by this secret and miraculous plan my body knows all by itself. While I ache and groan and my head can’t stop swirling, you are being build. Althought I don’t contribute anything consiously, althought I didn’t do anything to earn this.
Thank you, my miraculous and wonderful daughter. My head stopped swirling today and I put it straight into a cloud, dreaming of you and this miracle inside my body, all day long.

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*22 weeks: head in the clouds

My dear, sweet Babe. I would put my head in the clouds, if I could. We are looking for a new place to live for the next years and it’s making my mind swirl. You Daddy is putting his signature on a contract for a huge project, that will consume his work life in many ways for many years. And you know – I’m up for change, I like new beginnings, I say bring it on with the challenge, but yes. I also wanna put my head in the clouds. I wanna have peace of mind and dream of my days ahead with you.
Do you wanna dream with me?

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*21 weeks: the nest

My dear sweet Baby. I bet, when you are able to read this one day, you’ve heard the story a thousand times. The story of us waiting for you and me being impatient after about one week (you will also have found out by then, that patience is not exactly my strong suit. Ahem). So while I was waiting and praying for you and also for our new home, one day, God gave me great encouragement through a picture. In the summer, when the windows where open, a dove had gotten into my sacret attic space, where I sit and write each day, and this dove managed to build a small nest and in this nest, there was an egg. And egg and a nest – exactly the two things I have been praying for and longing for, this whole time.  And two weeks later, I took a pregancy test, that was positive. Hooray, YOU are on the way! I hoped, we will also find a new place to live by the time you arrive, but actually, we are still looking and the chances of us moving are shrinking by the minute. So when I talked to my great friend and even greater spiritual director Kristian about it, he gently offered some helpful advice: we are pretty good at seeing Gods signs and the ways, he talks to us. But there is more than one way to interpret those signs (and we’re sometimes not equally skilled at interpreting, ahem). I saw a nest and an egg. And the egg-part has become reality and well, right now, you my little egg are settled in the best nest there is. You are safe and warm, nourished and protected – by me. I am your nest. This new perspective brought a whole new wave of encouragement. Cause Baby, I wanna keep being your nest, just like I am for your sweet sisters. And while I have a tendency to spot all the little wholes and flaws, I am actually a good nest.
So sit tight, little Baby birdy. We may not have a new place to live, once you arrive, but I promise, you will have a warm and safe nest with us.

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*19 weeks: pregnant diva alert

Oh, dear sweet Babe. You have no idea what you turn me into.
You know – I used to be a tought little gal. I was determined, I was strong, I had the willpower to do about anything in the world. I always had a soft side, yes, but there was no hint of princess attitude about me.
And now? Now I am a lot to take. For the dear ones around me, but also for myself. I tell your Daddy in the evening – yes, you come home and think this pregnant diva is annoying, but I had to deal with her all day long! Let me tell you – it’s not easy.
Oh, the food sensitivities. Nothing is allowed on the menue and then a couple of ok-things are dismissed for not being tasty. (Hence the handbag full of lemons, cause apparently lemons are tasty. Who knew?)
And oh, the sensual sensitivities. No harsh smell, sounds or gross sights, please. Too stressful. (minus the sound, maybe, cause I am practically deaf. I can hear the person standing next to me, but that person standing two arm length away can talk all they want. I won’t hear).
Oh, the sensitive nerves. I need a lot of time to process things. Especially all the things that miracilously transitioned from being mildly inconvenient, into unbearably annoying. (with „all the things“ I mean literally ALL the things). I wake up at night, violently shaking with bad dreams. I need to sleep in the middle of the day, to make up for it. I feel my heart beat heavy in situations that are medium interesting. Oh, and blushing is my superpower.
Oh, that amazing body of mine. While the belly is showing a cute little bump, I huff and puff like I am 10 full month pregnant, trying to make it to the delivery room in time. I feel uncomfortable most of the time. I cannot bend without groaning and I am not used to this belly as a part of my shape yet, so I bump it into things a lot (and then I groan. A lot). It’s all reeeally graceful and flattering.

I cannot tell you, how ready I am to leave this -uhm, let’s say „different“ version of myself behind for good (you get no younger siblings, did I mention that? Yeah. That’s a done deal, sorry Babe. But you’ll be fine with the two excellent siblings we provide you with at birth. Just trust me on that one.)

But honestly, sweet Baby, I don’t wanna rush this stage. It’s mostly not fun for me, yes, but I know it’s what you need to prepare for your arrival and it’s also what I need to prepare for your arrival. So I will sit tight, groan and moan as I go and and tell the rebel in me to show some respect for that whining diva and for how much this diva still rocks. I mean, I kept the full load of my work and duties and I still do a good job (whilst complaining, but hey, the work gets done). Even when I was gaging in front of the meat isle at the grocery store (I was so sick, I couldn’t stand seeing food, even from a distance) – I still got the job done every week.
Your oldest sister wanted to know about the expression of people being „an expert in their field“ and I explained it to her. She promptly responded, that my field seem to be „loving my children“ and I’m an expert. I loose my patience more often than I care to admit, but oh, I humbly and gratefully take that compliment. I might be a pregnant diva, but I still seem get some important things right.
So here’s to being a little extra-sensitive, extra-annoyed, extra-everything. I would still say – you and I?
We totally rock.

 

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*18 weeks: understatement of the year

Oh, my dear Baby, it really IS the understatement of the year to say you are highly anticipated. Your sisters are so thrilled and cannot wait to finally meet you. When we told them about you on the morning of the first ultrasound, we did a little treasure hunt with notes troughout the house. Your oldest sister kept jumping up and down after they found the „treasure“ and she kept saying „this is the best treasure of all times!!“. It was too cute. She has now the perfect height to hug and kiss my belly directly and will do so mulitple times a day.
Your other sister is SO proud that you will make her a big sister, too. She keeps telling people, she will be a big sister. And trust me, when I tell you: She will take her job as big sister VERY seriously. She has been practising a lot with her dolls after all. In the first week, after we told them, she would wake up every morning, open her eyes and promptly ask, if you were here already.
Of all the things that I expected with a third pregnancy – the joy and delight and anticipation of your sisters was a complete and sweet surprise. It’s so fun to watch and I am sure their excitement for you will only increase in the spring.