Welcome to A House of Sparrows, a travel + lifestyle blog about our expat family and our extraordinary adventures far and wide.  Join my family as we journey across the globe, fulfilling our deep desire to travel and experience all of what this beautiful world has to offer.

 

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and then there were 4

February 12, 2019

We’ve been keeping a not so little secret these past five months, Milena is finally going to have a sibling!

 

 

Ever since we have arrived back in Texas, it has been a whirlwind getting readjusted, finding a place to live and preparing for baby #2! With our baby's due date in May, we had plenty of time to prepare for his arrival but as all expecting moms are, I was eager to settle down and find some roots for our growing family.

 

While our new bundle of joy wasn’t the only reason we came back to the states, it was a major contributor. After we moved abroad in 2018, we knew we wanted to continue to grow our family. We decided to be out of the country for only 12-18 months so Milena and her sibling wouldn’t have too big of an age gap. 

 

Due to the Zika virus being in Costa Rica, I was advised to wait several months after leaving the country before trying to get pregnant. I was a little bummed to have to wait a bit longer than I wanted, but I knew everything happens for a reason. So I soaked up all of our travels while not being pregnant and enjoyed tasting lots of German beer. 

 

Two pink lines

Ryan and I aren't too big on planning out our lives step by step. We both like to let things happen organically and see where life takes us. It creates an ease of living we both enjoy and there is much less disappointment involved.

 

After leaving Costa Rica for a few months, we let life just happen and see what would come of it. And quicker then we anticipated, I soon found myself in a German pharmacy asking for a Schwangerschaftstest (pregnancy test).

 

There is something so profound about being pregnant. Its almost instant that your body turns on its pregnancy drive and things begin to change. My big giveaway is my skin. Two weeks before, I knew deep down in my bones that I was pregnant after looking in the mirror and seeing some slight changes in my face. The test just confirmed what I already knew and later that day I surprised Ryan with the good news.   

 

Our travels didn't slow down and luckily I don't have morning sickness so I was feeling great. Besides the first trimester exhaustion, my body was handling baby #2 really well. We even traveled to Croatia with our friends before returning and making the announcement to Ryan's family.

 

Visiting a German OBGYN

Due to some complications in the past, I wanted to see an OBGYN in Germany before we told everyone the news just to make sure all was ok with our little one. Ryan found a local doctor in Giessen and we headed off for my first ultrasound in Germany. 

 

Visiting doctors outside of the country is always interesting. You can see a lot about how a country and culture function within the walls of a doctors office or hospital.

 

When I severely broke my toe in Costa Rica, I went to the hospital and had a whole lot of fun (major sarcasm) trying to translate everything, figuring out how to check in and get an x-ray, all while hobbling on a swollen and painful foot. It made me wish we were back in the states... until I got my bill. Let's just say Costa Rica is much, much cheaper.

 

So for my first major doctor visit in Germany, I had quite the learning curve and I left having to laugh at how different it was than in the States.

 

First, the doctor's office is inside the exam room. So next to the chair with stirrups where you'll be showing all of your most private details, sits his desk, computer and pictures of his smiling family members. Not so appealing.

 

Second, the doctor preforms the ultrasound unlike in the States. So once I met the doctor, he was the only person going to be examining me that day

 

Thirdly, you have no privacy cover or robe. The doctor sent me to a small, curtained changing room, and I then preceded to walk out full moon to the exam table while he waited by his desk. Awkward, and uncomfortable. It felt like the ultimate walk of shame as I waddled myself to the table. 

 

However, he was a great doctor. My German was decent enough to understand most of the questions but it was a relief to have Ryan in there so I wouldn't miss any important details. 

 

Like all moms will say, waiting to confirm and hear that first heartbeat is one of the most agonizing and stressful moments of pregnancy. I was trying to not get too excited about being pregnant until I saw the flutter on the monitor and heard the  heartbeat. And to our much awaited answer, our baby's heart was perfect! Our ultrasound looked and sounded great and the doctor sent me on my way, with my white derrière as my official send off.

 

A scare of a lifetime

It was a week later when I woke up around 2 am with a weird sensation. I was 7 weeks pregnant and something felt off. At that time we had already moved out of our German house and were staying with my mother in law until we left for Texas. 

 

As I turned on the light in the bathroom and sat down, I just saw dark red. And a lot of it. My gut immediately tensed up into knots as my heart fell to the floor. I remember just saying, no, no, no. Running in the dark, I reached Ryan and I literally poured myself into his half awake arms and cried. No, bawled. I could barely breathe, barely voice to him what was wrong. I thought we lost our baby. 

 

I haven't experience sadness and utter hopelessness in a long, long time. Ryan and I talked, Googled symptoms and knew we'd be heading back to the doctor in the morning for another ultrasound. However, after the initial shock of seeing blood, I calmed down and tried to reassure myself things could still be ok.

 

Back at the doctor, the nurses were very friendly and warm to us which can be a bit rare for Germany. As I sat on the exam table, and my doctor searched for our baby, I kept telling myself to not get excited, o be fully prepared for seeing a stagnant image. My clammy hands sat in Ryans and I simply stared at the blank wall above me.

 

Then the faint heartbeat was there. As it grew stronger, my worries lessened and my hopelessness faded. Our baby was ok and heart was strong. The doctor went to explain it was old blood and showed me a large pool of blood on the monitor. It wasn't near or affecting our baby in any way. 

 

Relief and joy are all I can explain. Only six hours earlier I was in utter agony, crying my soul out onto Ryan thinking we had suffered a miscarriage. I was mentally exhausted to say the least. 

 

Throughout my first trimester, I ended up bleeding heavily on and off. It was very scary and always had me worried it was going to be too much or be a sign of something worse. But thankfully, we are 24 weeks today and have a healthy baby.

 

Gender reveal

While I was pregnant with Milena, Ryan and I waited to find out her gender. We loved the idea of having a big surprise the day of her birth. And while I loved hearing Ryan tell me "it's a girl!", I wanted to find out beforehand this time.

 

Our awesome friends from Germany were visiting us and they decided to throw us a small gender reveal with our family. I was excited to have a surprise with those we love instead of finding out in the doctor's office.

 

I was anxious to say the least! We were so excited if it would be a girl so Milena would have a sister (she was insistent that we were having a girl), but having a boy would be amazing! Both sides of our family only have girls so it would be fun to throw a boy into the mix.

 

Well, it turns out...

 

 

It's a boy!

 

 

I couldn't believe it! A boy. A son. Tears were flowing and it took a minute to fully sink in. Milena was excited to have a brother but she honestly broke down a few times in the weeks following. She really wanted a sister. However, the more we talk about how fun a brother will be, she can't wait!

 

Milena loves on my growing bump every day and talks about how she wants to hold him, feed him and have her brother sleep in her room. Seeing her eyes light up when we talk about him makes every thing seem right in the world. 

 

 

We are more than thrilled to be growing our family and can’t believe how blessed we are. 2018 was one for the record books with all of our adventures and travels, however I think this year will take the cake.

 

Our family now has 4 heart beats and we can’t wait to meet our little one in May 2019! 

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