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Amanda's Pregnancy Journal

Week 8
~ Raisin vs. Snowman

The day had finally arrived . . . my first doctor's appointment since discovering the inevitable faint pink line on my HPT. I had been anxiously awaiting the day as it seemed eons away from the day of the positive HPT and, for the most part, I had felt incredibly healthy and full of energy (the opposite of what I had expected after reading the signs/symptoms of pregnancy on the internet and in the books). Was there really a being inside my belly? It certainly didn't seem so . . . the verdict would be out soon! I woke up to a dark and rainy day as we often get in late fall in Zurich, Switzerland. Nonetheless, I felt like a little kid anxiously awaiting Santa's loot on Christmas morning.

My husband and I hopped in the Subaru for our afternoon appointment and sped on down the misty road. One must remember that living in a different country seems to constantly present new and challenging adventures. I would guarantee at least two, if not more, daily. Even searching for a prized ingredient for a recipe presents a challenge when you don't know the language and are not familiar with the different types of foods. I have spent hours in the grocery stores staring two inches from bottle and bottle, package after package, trying to investigate what type of food item I am truly dealing with, to the annoyance of many other patrons, I must add. Some days you find what you're looking for and other days you come out empty handed. However, on this particular day, groceries were far from our minds (or at least my husband's). We were off to find a hospital in a small Swiss town that we had never been to, to a doctor we had never met, in the pouring rain. Luckily, we had our handy GPS navigation system to guide the way. The building entitled "Spital" resembled more of a prison cell than a hospital due to its walls of gray cement but I shrugged this off and ran inside.

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The bleak, dreary day outside was the complete opposite of the immensely bright and joyous day we were experiencing inside. Our doctor turned out to be a wonderfully kind Swiss woman with enough enthusiasm for a family of ten, combined. We discovered that indeed there was a small being inside my uterus with a strong heartbeat which we were able to both see and hear. I was so excited that I couldn't stop laughing and the doctor had to tell me to stop so we could actually see the image as it was bouncing around along with my laughter. To me it resembled a raisin more than anything else however my husband thought it more resembled a snowman (which I could also agree with). Nonetheless, it was the most thrilling and odd sensation of my lifetime to know that there was life being sustained inside of my own body. I can't fully describe the feeling in words; it truly took my breath away.

I left the hospital in pure awe and excitement. We celebrated by picking up my medications for nausea and constipation (oh, the thrill) and picking up my compression stockings. I would need them for my trans-Atlantic flight I would be taking the next day. And if they don't make the fashion statement, I just don't know what would! Anyway, I believe they are an important precaution to ward off any type of blood clot that might occur after so many hours of sitting still on the airplane. My doctor made me promise I would grab an aisle seat, get up and move around often, and to drink lots of water even if I had to keep going to the bathroom as maintaining hydration was very important.

When we got back to our apartment, we phoned his family in Slovakia to pass on our exciting news. My husband put them on speaker phone and although I couldn't completely understand all of the words being spoken, I could definitely feel the excitement and thrill in their voices. My father-in-law had a tragic accident last summer and has been in the hospital since June. I think that this news was very uplifting for him and a joyous moment for all of us. My brother-in-law and his wife are also expecting a baby this coming March so he will have two new grandbabies in his life. My parents will get the news next week as they are coming to Colorado to visit me for a few days while I am home in the U.S. I head home to Colorado tomorrow to take my physical therapy board exam, wish me luck!

~ Amanda

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