Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another great loss

I just couldn't get myself to write yesterday.  I was starting to wish I hadn't shared what I did the day before so I could take my hurt and bury it and try to hide my hurt and pain from everyone.

The news was not good.  I had another miscarriage.  This is not the first time my prayers have not been answered by God the way I had wanted.  When I was 11 and my mother died suddenly was the first time I felt a pain similar to this.  The other most recent time was two months ago when I experienced my first miscarriage.  I have to wonder, why did I get pregnant in the first place only to lose the baby?

This miscarriage was different from the last.  The majority of it happened all at once rather than slowly over a week.  Thursday night as I was about to go to sleep I had what felt like labor pains.  I know this because I have been in labor and praise God I have once child.  I could not sleep, lay down, or stand.  It was horrible!  I continued to bleed, a lot.  This went on for a while and it was a mess.  It's a very lonely feeling.  I just kept wishing I could go stay with my grandmother, who is now in an assisted living center, so really wishing I could be with her 10 years ago.  She was always the kindest and most caring person to me.  Sometimes we just need a mom, which I don't really have.  As a child, when I was sick I always wanted to stay with her as she was the best nurse.  Anyway, Thursday night I knew the baby wasn't going to make it.

Friday morning my husband called my doctor's office.  His German is better than mine.  My hGC levels were 834 which is too low for 6 weeks, so the baby appeared to be underdeveloped.  Friday morning I kept some of the tissue and took it to my doctor.  That's another big downside to having a miscarriage as I am not a medical person and frankly feel pretty nauseous when I see a lot of blood or someone hurt.  My doctor said it looked like that was part of my baby and was going to send it to the lab to hopefully find something out.  The only positive of this is that it looks like my baby was underdeveloped and not ectopic, which is somewhat of a relief.  So there's evidence right there that God is watching out for me as I would rather it be this way then have to have surgery to remove the baby.  She told me if the cramping doesn't stop then I need to go to the hospital this weekend and have surgery.  Thankfully the camping has pretty much ceased, I'm just very sore and feel like I've had a baby.  As long as I'm sitting I feel pretty good, it's standing and walking that hurts.

This whole thing has been very sad.  Ironically on Wednesday before I knew my pregnancy was endangered, I bought Natalie Grant's song, "Held."  This verse really stands out to me:
"To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling"

As I'm trying to find comfort during this, I am glad that since this had to happen that it happened sooner rather than later.  Ladies (and men), who have lost a child, I am deeply sorry.  I don't know how you deal with losing a child later on or giving birth and losing the baby shortly after or frankly anytime, no matter what the age.

While I don't know why I had another miscarriage I am going to continue to trust God who let his Son, Jesus, die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).  I'm also going to continue to remind myself that this life is not meant to be Heaven, that is the next life.  And Romans 8:28: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.  At this point I'm not sure whether or not I will be able to have another child.  I sure hope I can.  But if not, I know God ultimately has a plan for me and my family.  Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trusting God

I hesitated to blog about this but am feeling a strong pull to do so.  After studying a lot about trusting that gut feeling, I'm going to share with you what I normally would keep very private. 

It seems like I'm really having to trust God lately.  We found out we are pregnant last week, October 18th.  We are so excited.  I am 6 weeks pregnant and this morning right before leaving for the ladies' Bible study I'm leading, I started bleeding.  I started bawling.  I went to get the phone and called my husband.  Through tears I told him I was bleeding and we needed to go to the doctor.  He called my doctor and they said they'd work us in and to just come in, which was better than going to the hospital.

After having a miscarriage two months ago, blood during pregnancy  is not something I want to see.  So far this pregnancy has been more like my first pregnancy was with Blue Rock, pure exhaustion but overall I have felt good.  The doctor talked to us and then did the exam.  It's interesting because my doctor in Germany actually has microscopes right there by the table so she can see directly inside me with her scopes as well as take samples and view them at her table right there.  I have been to four different OBGYNs in Germany.  All of them also have ultrasound machines next to the table as well.  She did an ultrasound and didn't see the sac.  This caused a lot of concern.  She saw my fibroid, which I didn't have when I was pregnant with Blue Rock.  The fibroid is now about 3cm.  She said this could be one of three things: I could have an ectopic pregnancy, the baby is underdeveloped, or the baby is hiding behind the fibroid.  We hope to know more tomorrow morning once we get the blood lab results back with my hGC levels. 

I am trying to not break-down.  I am trying to lean on God through prayer.  I don't want there to be something wrong.  I don't want to have another miscarriage, I don't want to have an ectopic pregnancy.  I just want a healthy baby.  This whole roller coaster is tough.  I'm scared, worried, and sad.  I always thought pregnancy was supposed to be a time of joy, not constant worry.

Please say a prayer for us.  We had such a wonderful time with my parents who left last week.  Right now we really miss having family around.  We were at the doctor's office for 2.5 hours today.  It's tough going and waiting with a 2-year old.  Thankfully, our son did really well.  I feel extremely blessed to have him.  Am I asking too much to want another healthy baby? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Berlin, Germany

Checkpoint Charlie
We have lived in Germany over three years and finally made a trip to Berlin.  I have to say, I liked Berlin a lot more than I thought I would.  Berlin is the capital of Germany and Germany's largest city.  We took an ICE train to Berlin and it took about 5 hours.  This was our second train trip to take.  Our first was to Paris last Thanksgiving.  If you're not traveling very far, the train is a great way to get there.  It was nice because we could take turns walking Blue Rock around.  There's a cafe on board where we bought coffee and actually ate dinner on our way back.  Also, everyone could enjoy looking at the scenery outside the windows and we didn't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.  My parents were in town and having them travel with us, made things so much easier.

We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Berlin, Berlin.  At first they put my parents in the modern side of the hotel and us in the older side.  Once my husband and I saw our room we requested to change rooms.  They didn't have any rooms available in the modern side with a couch bed, but that was fine with us.  The older room smelled like old cigarette smoke and I'm allergic to cigarettes so that was not going to work.  Blue Rock could sleep in our bed for two nights.  Overall, we really liked the hotel.  The bus line was very close to the hotel, the breakfast was top of the line, and the bed was comfortable.  It's a 4 star hotel, which is more like a 3 star in the U.S.

Going to our hotel - Hotel Berlin, Berlin
My favorite 2-year old

About a year ago, our neighbor brought us a piece of the Berlin Wall and a book about it from when he and his family went.  They go about once a year.  I never knew the full history of the Berlin Wall and how horrible it was.  It divided families and they built it to keep people in East Berlin from getting out so they could keep them under communist control.  We visited the remaining part of the Berlin Wall and went in the museum and saw videos of people jumping out windows.  We also read old news stories and looked at pictures.  Our hearts sunk and went out to those people who lived on the wrong side of town.  When the wall went up you were unable to communicate with those on the other side.  It was really neat to see such a recent historical place.  The Berlin Wall went down in November of 1989.

Berlin Wall - where tunnels were dug

Actual part of the wall that remains, it was tall and made of cement

Inside the cement were those metal bars - nobody was breaking through

Some of the subway lines we road on were ghost lines, meaning they stopped running them, during the Cold War because they connected to East to the West.

If you went inside the ghost tunnel, you'd see this where it was blocked off

We went to Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known crossing point of the Berlin Wall between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.  

Checkpoint Charlie

 We also went to a Jewish Memorial.  The museum was not recommended for people under 14 so we didn't go inside the museum.  But the memorial was very impressive.

Jewish Memorial

Line to go inside the museum

Some of the structures were very tall

Berlin is a very clean city, much like most of Germany.  We enjoyed delicious food, saw most of the city by either foot, riding on the second level of the double-decker bus, and subway.  I would like to go back one day and I don't say that about every place we've traveled.  If Berlin is on your list of maybes, I suggest going.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

In the front on the double-decker bus

President Christian Wulff's residence

The Fernsehturm (television tower)

Brandenburg Gate at night
The only problem we encountered was on our way home.  There was a terrorist attack at the train station.  Our train was delayed a little over 2 hours.  There was a potential arson attack. "Federal police said they found several bottles of flammable liquid that could have been used to carry out an arson attack. The material was discovered some 200 meters (about 650 feet) from the main station building, along with what they called "incendiary objects."  According to this article.  Thankfully they found it and nobody was injured from it.

ICE train in Berlin

Thursday, October 20, 2011

London, UK - Tower of London

My parents have been in town the past two weeks and we have LOVED having them here!  Blue Rock loves and adores them and we do too!  We have been able to take some really nice trips while they are here.  Two weekends ago we went to Berlin, which we loved!  I'll blog about that later.  This past week/weekend we spent in London.  We left last Thursday morning and returned on Tuesday.  This was our son's 19th country to visit.  My husband and I went there three years ago for a trip.  We had a wonderful time in London! 

I did separate blog posts for each day of our vacation in London.

Thursday, the day we arrived we went to the Tower of London.  When my husband and I went to London three years ago we were on a very tight budget (which is hard to be on since London is very expensive).  We didn't do many attractions, except for the London Eye and the Hop on Hop off bus which included a river tour.  Other than that we didn't go in anything but rather enjoyed the parks and memorials.  So this time around we were looking forward to visiting more things.  The Tower of London was amazing.  It's where the Crown Jewels are held.  You can't take any pictures of them but it was neat to see.  I didn't realize it was so big.  It's basically it's own little city within London.

Outside the Tower of London

Blue Rock pretending to be a lion in the animal area of the Tower of London

London - St. Paul's Cathedral, River Cruise, and Wimbledon

Friday, we went to St. Paul's Cathedral, took a river cruise down the Thames, and then to Wimbledon.  Like our last visit to London, it took a long time to get to Wimbledon.  Sadly we missed the last tour and only got to the see a few of the courts and the gift shop.  But it's worth going to if you're a tennis fan, which we are.

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral
View from river cruise

River Cruise

Blue Rock with his Granddad with Big Ben behind them

My parents near the London Eye


Pointing at their favorite player's names

Us at Wimbledon 

London - Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Rose Theatre, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Harrods

Saturday we decided to do our own things as my parents wanted to attempt going to Wimbledon again (but sadly did not make it.) Lots of the subways were shut down over the weekend as London is preparing for the Olympics. Also there was a protest Saturday and Sunday which caused lots of the buses to not be able to run. My family of 3 took a ride in our first black taxi. It was really cool! First, we went to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre and did the tour. Blue Rock is not much for tours and we are quickly realizing anything that requires standing or sitting for more than 2 minutes will require one of us to miss what ever it is we were wanting to see/hear. Then we went to the archaelogical excavation/recontruction of the Rose Theatre nearby. It was open for a free showing and we listened to a man speak about it for a while but Blue Rock started getting frustrated and we were getting hungry so we left before seeing the video. We ate at a cute and yummy French restaurant right next to St. Paul's Cathedral while TV crews, police, and protesters moved around outside. Then we went to Harrods. We had always heard of Harrods and were glad we finally made it. Everything was expensive and Blue Rock had fallen asleep on the way. We were supposed to meet my parents for dinner so they could watch Blue Rock while my husband and I went to dinner. That didn't happen. We were too tired once we go to Harrods to make it back across town. It was so crowded it took us almost 45 minutes to get to Harrods while it should have only taken about 10-15 minutes. We ate dinner at a pub across the street from Liverpool Train Station.  They had very good food that wasn't very expensive for London.

First Black Taxi Ride

Shakespeare Globe Theatre

Outside the Shakespeare Globe Theatre

On stage at the Rose Theatre - it's a small stage!

The first kind of piggy bank - it was started at the theatre

French restaurant we ate lunch at, protestors outside

Awesome doll house at Harrods

London - Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Princess Diana's Memorial, and Kensington Palace

Sunday we went took another Black Taxi Ride, went to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Princess Diana's Memorial, walked along the parks, and had high tea at Kensington Palace.  My husband and I also took a tour of Kensington Palace, which was the official residence of Princess Diana until her death.  We really liked High Tea.  If you're in London, high tea is something to consider doing.  If you're traveling with your children, there was a nice playground near Kensington Palace that my parents took Blue Rock to while we took a tour of the palace, which was very nice of them.

Buckingham Palace

Military Parade next to Buckingham Palace

View from our walk in the park

Westminster Abbey

High Tea at Kensington Palace

2nd Black Taxi Ride

2nd Black Taxi Ride

Princess Diana's Memorial Fountain

London - Nottinghill

Last Full Day in London
Monday was more of a relaxing day without any set plans except to see more of London.  My sweet husband got sick so Monday he stayed at the hotel so he could get better before he went back to work.  He probably caught a cold from this coughing lady on the bus.  We all hated that he felt so terrible.  Blue Rock and I went to London with my parents and took the 45 minute train ride back to our hotel a little early.  We mainly road the buses and subway around checking out the city.  My favorite stop we made that day was Nottinghill.  It was a beautiful little city and we ate a tasty restaurant called The Giraffe for lunch.

Lunch at the Giraffe restaurant

Walking down the street in Nottinghill

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Husband Project - Online Book Club

I would like to encourage all of my friends and readers who are wives to join an online book club.  The book is called The Husband Project: 21 Days to Loving Your Man -- On Purpose and with a Plan by Kathi Lipp.  If you have never participated in a book club before, here's your chance.  I'm helping Kathi with her book club blog and they are giving away prizes every day throughout the month.  All you have to do is read the book, do the project, and leave a comment on her blog to be entered.  5 prizes are given away daily.  You can purchase the book from Amazon and participate in the online book club blog here -  If you are looking for a few more ways to show love to your man, join us!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Appetizing or Disturbing?

I saw this menu at the festival last weekend.  Do you think the picture of the pig is appetizing or disturbing?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kerwe - My German Town's Fall Festival

Fall is probably my favorite time of year in Germany.  If you want to visit Germany, consider coming in the fall.  The heat of summer is over, the weather is cooler but not yet freezing, there's less rain than in the Spring, and there are lots of festivals.  The most famous festival is probably Oktober Fest, which originated in Munich. Thankfully, you don't have to go to Munich to enjoy festivals in October.  Most cities have their own.  This past weekend our small city had their Kerwe (festival).  Several of the main streets are closed down and venders come and set-up booths.

It seems like many Germans love festivals.  Usually because the weather is nice, there's reasonably priced food and drinks, and lots of live music.  Our town had several bands and lots of options for food.  There were also several rides for the children as well as carnival games to play.  We had a wonderful time.

Blue Rock and I sitting under the tent at dinner

My dinner - gyros, salad, and pommes (fries)

The two person band in our tent

Blue Rock enjoying one of the rides

Lots of people at the fair

Blue Rock having fun walking around

My sweet Husband won me a prize!

My crepe - Nutella and banana - yummy!

It was one of the best crepes I've ever had

Picture of what some of the tents look like
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