We finally have a fence & a gate! Now for grass!
We also found a rocking chair finally. Turns out there was one tucked away in the furniture store's warehouse on post the whole time. All I had to do was go in and talk to them about ordering one and then one magically appeared. Its not super cool, but its fine. Its not offensive or ugly, just plain. I would have LOVED to have this one from the Land of Nod. Oh well. The sacrifices you make to live overseas! ;)
I'm hoping to get some stuff hung in there this weekend, so I'll post more pics then.
On Friday we toured Paulinen Clinic here in Wiesbaden. I went into this tour thinking that I wouldn't want to deliver here, and like HSK (Hospital Choice #1), left with a different opinion than I came in with.
The comments I had heard from other Americans prior to our tour was that "It feels like a hotel", "Its more comfortable", and "Its kind of like a birthing center". The idea of it feeling like a hotel/birthing center was a turn off for me personally.
However, the maternity ward felt like a hospital (like I wanted it to), it just had nicer paint and lighting! The pictures below are not good, but hopefully you get the idea. We toured at a busy time. All the after-delivery rooms were occupied, so we couldn't see those and the only delivery room that wasn't occupied was recently vacated (as you can see by the mess). They didn't even want to turn on the lights for us to see in from the doorway because it wasn't cleaned up yet.
The only major con to this hospital is its size. It can only accommodate 4 women in labor at a time. I'm told that they don't have to turn people away often, but it can happen. We will more than likely register both here and at the next hospital. This way if we choose Paulinen, we can call from the car on our way and make sure they can take us, and if not we'll head to the back up hospital.
As with all our hospital choices, our insurance pays for a shared room. That's what most people use here in Germany it seems because all the hospitals come standard with 2-person shared rooms. If we want a private room and for Jason to have the ability to spend the night its about 110 euro per night at Paulinen. Cheaper than HSK (150 euro), but still pricey. Since this is such a small facility, you're not guaranteed a private room even if you request one. Jason and I are undecided on this just because of the cost. My initial thought is that he should only plan on staying the first night and we'll just go from there.
The back up hospital, Hospital Choice #3, we have not toured yet (not until mid-March), but we've been to this hospital for other visits so we're somewhat familiar with it.
One new bit of information we found out recently that I find a little scary is that if my water breaks I have to call an ambulance vs. driving. There's a fear of the baby's umbilical cord getting pinched if that happens and so having EMT's around and being in a reclined position is better. So fingers crossed that doesn't happen!
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom" ~Viktor E. Frankl
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - This recipe was neat because it used yogurt. I used greek instead of plain. The recipe is a little off though, the batter was really thick and made 24 (not 12). I added lemon juice directly to the batter to help try to thin it slighly and skipped the icing. Overall it was ok. The outside of the muffin was a little thicker than I would have liked it, but it was not a bad recipe.
A muffin recipe and a quote. That's what I've got for you today.
We toured one of the three hospitals we are able to choose from in the area to have our baby. We will tour all three and then decide. Today was tour #1 at HSK. Most of the Americans stationed here do not choose this hospital for whatever reason. It is the only one of the three that has a NICU, so I found it interesting that not many people chose it. The comments we heard were along the line of "it felt more like a hospital", "its just too big", and "it didn't feel comfortable". None of these comments really held any ground with me. I personally think I'd like my hospital to feel like a hospital and the bigger the better, right?
After our tour today, however, I think we left a little turned off. The lobby and cafe were nice, but the rest of the hospital was very old - low ceilings harsh fluorescent lighting, endless hallways of white, very little natural light, and just very old and institutional feeling. Add some flickering fluorescent lights and you'd have the start of a good scary movie scene.
The rooms where we would be after we had the baby - where we'd stay for 1-3 days, seemed very uncomfortable. Not where I'd like to be for 3 days. It was tight and the waiting room outside was much worse.
So, I hold out final judgement until we see all three, but that's the deal with #1 from initial glance. Two other things we'll need to consider are: (1) if we want to pay for a private room so that Jason can spend the night with me it'll be around 150 euros per night at this hospital - ouch! (2) If anything were to go wrong and we chose a different hospital, the baby would need to be rushed here to the NICU and I would have to stay put where I was. That's a little scary. I have no reason to think anything will happen at the moment, but its something to consider.
Some other interesting/random factoids about having a baby in Germany:
(1) The maternity wards are completely run by midwives. Your OB will not deliver your baby - ever. Its just not how it works. There are doctors on hand in case things go wrong and all 3 hospitals are able to perform emergency c-sections if necessary.
(2) Our baby won't be a German citizen. They've stopped allowing that. At one time we had the opportunity to have apply for dual citizenship, but not anymore for whatever reason.
(3) They do a "walking epidural" here which is different from in the US. In the US you're stuck in bed once the epidural is administered b/c you're numb from the waist down. Here you can get up and move around and go to the bathroom. It kind of makes me worry that it wont be strong enough though! Eek!
(4) This is luckily not something we need to worry about (I had the doc triple check last visit that she was in fact a girl!), but circumcisions are illegal here. You can get them done on post, but not on the economy. Its the same in England.
(5) They don't give you a hospital gown when you go into labor. You're expected to bring something to wear or just go all-natural. This seems very weird to me.
(6) Again, this doesn't apply to us, but Germans have to choose from a pre-approved list of first names for their babies. I believe this list is quite long, but there aren't any babies named Pepsi, Optimus Prime, or Happy Rayne born over here as a result :)
That's all that's coming to mind at the moment, but I'm sure there are more!
We've been a little boring lately, but I've enjoyed it. Hopefully I've done a good job entertaining you on here anyways :)
We were pretty steadily busy starting in November with the Canary Islands, then my brother visiting for 10 days, Christmas, my trip back to the US for 3 weeks, and then Berlin at the end of January. Ever since though, we've been laying low and its been nice. Jason and I have had very few stretches since we met almost 8 years ago where we're able to get into a routine. We're not quite in one yet here, but there was a short time in Kuwait and Colorado where we did and maybe it'll happen soon here.
It just feels good to occasionally have some down time where you get into a groove and allow yourself to mentally catch up with life. We don't have much planned over the next 10 weeks as we wait for the little one to arrive, so I plan to enjoy it as much as I can.
Germany is very different from the US in so many ways, but not in the stark ways that Kuwait was. You could have a completely ordinary day in Kuwait and it could involve the most random occurrences that made for entertaining posts. Here its not quite that eventful, so I struggle sometimes to come up with unique things to share, so this tends to be more of a glimpse into our world vs. a lesson living in Germany.
This year is going to be a full one. Starting with the baby, we'll have non-stop company from the end of April through mid-July. Then we head to Italy with family towards the end of July. At the beginning of September we'll head back to the States for a wedding and to see family and friends, and then it'll soon be Fall and the holidays again! Not to mention we'll have a little mini-me strapped to our side throughout all this which will make it all the more interesting.
Anyways, enough rambling. I hope you enjoy my little day to day posts, as ordinary as they may be sometimes :)
Jason had a 4-day weekend this weekend. All our friends here took off for various trips. Maybe Jason and I are just boring, but we stayed in and relaxed and I got some stuff around the house done. We've got a busy year a head of us, so the travel-itch isn't as strong in me lately.
I finally hemmed some Ikea curtains that I bought months ago. It took me forever because I only use my sewing machine every once in a while. They're done though and it feels good!
I also bought some supplies to make some kiddo headbands. I've wanted to make a headband for our little bird since I found I was pregnant with her. I just think they're cute if they're done right and had this How To from Shade & Lizzie pinned and ready.
I bought felt from Crafty Wool Felt and Foldover Elastic for the bands from Couture Craft Supply
Indulge in something pink today!
This was Tuesday's creation that I sent in with Jason to work. My nesting has taken me to a whole new level - sending homemade things in with my husband.
In the past, wives that did this annoyed me. When we briefly lived in Georgia, the wives of the men Jason worked with would all send things in. It was almost like a competition. Because of this, I refused to take part. I don't think anyone sends stuff in here, so its a little different and it seems to be appreciated. I hope they enjoy it, because I have a feeling this trend wont last ;)
I got this recipe from a friend, but here is one very similar. The cookie is from a mix, not from scratch, so its pretty easy to make but looks fancy. The frosting is a mix between cream cheese, whipping cream, lemon juice, & sugar. Then you decorate however you'd like.
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