Family

When My Sister Came Home For The Weekend

I know I'm a few weeks late here - but forgive me. I'm getting more and more pregnant by the hour and I need to prioritize things like watching Game of Thrones and hiking my dog and stuff like that. You get it, right?

Anyways... I want to tell you about my sister's visit home, which was so long ago now, I can't even remember most of it. Basically, I had a rough week involving my blind cat somehow getting stuck on my parents VERY high roof, a broken tooth, an ultrasound that required a follow-up scan — I was fried and totally emotionally spent. My sister heard my desperation on the phone and booked a ticket immediately out here just to have a fun weekend together. I almost cried on the phone when she told me. Ok, I did cry a little. I'll be honest, I hate that she is so far away. I know it's not across the world anymore or anything, but I can't stand not getting to do things with her all the time. So to have her home for even a few days was such a treat. What follows is a series of pictures from her weekend at home. We went for walks, BBQd, made s'mores, played with the animals, watched Felicity, and soaked up time together. I wish every weekend was like this!!

Odin was seriously so happy to see her. He has a major crush on his auntie. She's got a major crush on him too. The love between them is very real. 

My dad cooked one of our favorite meals - grilled steak kebabs (with his secret spice rub), served with couscous and green apples, spicy homemade harissa (another secret family recipe), and a big green salad. For dessert we whipped out the s'mores stuff and sat by the fire until we got sleepy. This is the stuff summer dreams are made of. 

Come back soon, Kenza!!! We miss you too much when you're gone.

My Second Trimester

By Camilla

If my first trimester was characterized by refrigerator-induced nausea, weight loss, and non-stop boob pain, then my second trimester can only be described as smooth sailing so far...

So much has happened in the past couple of months since I last checked in here about this pregnancy. If you follow me on instagram or snapchat, you're probably well aware of these things but to review:

  • I got a job. I'm working full time now and commuting 1.5 hours each way (don't feel too bad for me, I get to ride a beautiful ferry and drink hot chocolate). 

  • I found a house! On this island it's almost impossible to find a rental that will accept three animals, 2 people and a bun in the oven so I can't believe how lucky I am. It's a sweet, smaller space with a yard and room to garden. Our future landlords are the coolest and we will be moving in August when Damir gets back. 

  • I've started working out again (more on that later)

  • And probably most excitingly, we found out that the little thing doing all the tossing and turning and kicking in my belly is actually a baby girl!!!

OK so let's get to it. 

Working full time while pregnant is a doozy even if you're used to working full time. After 4 years of studying and living in Slovenia and not commuting to a regular job, I've had to readjust majorly. And doing so while pregnant has been a pretty big challenge. I wake up around 5:30am everyday and commute to work, which includes walking uphill about 10 blocks (really really gets my heart rate going). I get home around 5:30pm completely exhausted and try to cuddle as much as I can with my animals until I pass out around 9pm. It is incredibly tiring and I am incredibly tired but the security of having a job is worth it all. I can't even tell you how lucky I feel to be in this position.

One of the things I've been struggling with the most through this trimester so far is the weight gain aspect of pregnancy. I knew going into this whole thing that my body was going to put on weight. It just does. I have to work hard to keep it off most of the time and with everything I have going on, I don't have as much time as I'd like to put into working out. That and rushing to eat breakfast and lunch don't allow me to make the best food decisions (neither does craving strawberry milkshakes). Honestly, my main concern is making sure I eat enough to not feel sick and to keep my body running through this whole crazy process. That said, I've felt a little bit sad that I don't look like the girls I see on Instagram or blogs — the ones who are praised for being "all bump!" and "not even looking pregnant". I see and feel the change in my face, arms, hips, butt, love handles...pretty much everywhere. And while I remind myself constantly that it's all for a good reason and I can lose it after the baby is born, I find myself going through a bit of an identity struggle. I'm really really tired and stretched pretty thin, so I don't have the time or energy I would like to put into my daily appearance, which makes me feel kind of crappy daily. I do wish we saw all the different kinds of pregnancies shared and praised so I could feel like I'm not doing something wrong by gaining some weight in places other than my belly. As far as excercise goes, I walk 30 minutes a day to and from work and 2-3 times a week I go for a 1 hour+ hike with the dog in the forest. I also ride the bike and do strength exercise whenever I have time and energy. And I even went kayaking last week with my dad and the dog! So I know I'm putting in as much effort as I can to stay active and healthy. I just have to own that and feel good about it. 

And finally, I am so excited to finally be able to talk about my baby girl. I wasn't sure I wanted to find out the gender, if I'm being honest. I thought it would be such a great surprise to find out at the end, but my husband really wanted to know and so did the rest of my family. In time, I realized I wanted to know as well. It was sort of killing me not to be able to give an identity to the little entity moving around in my belly. So when we found out on Friday that "it" actually was a "she", everything suddenly felt so much more real! I absolutely love being able to talk about all of her movements and think about what she will look like. And while almost everybody in my life was betting on it being a boy, I have known from the beginning deep in my soul that I was having a girl. I've had several dreams about it and a very strong feeling I couldn't shake, despite everybody's best efforts to convince me it was a boy. I could not be more excited about this little one joining our family and I will burst into a puddle of tears if I imagine Damir holding his baby girl. I mean, I basically turn into the heart eye emoji just at the thought. Ugh I can't wait!

I've still got about a month to go in this second trimester and while I definitely want to blog more, now that I've gotten into more of a routine with work and life in general, I don't want my only contributions to this blog to be about pregnancy. I am planning on a few more posts to share some of the things I have found essential to surviving pregnancy as well as being as open and honest about this whole process as is appropriate.

See more pregnancy posts here.

My First 1st Trimester

By Camilla

I really shouldn't complain about my first trimester. I didn't have a job. My husband and in-laws were immensely helpful. I had a nice warm home to cuddle up in and watch lots of Netflix. Things were pretty cushy and easy for me. And yet, as I'm nearing the end of the last week, I get the chills just thinking about it all. 

My first trimester was characterized by enormous, painful breasts (literally thought somebody was stabbing me at all times). There was immediate gagging and vomiting upon thinking about things like the refrigerator, dirty dishes, leeks, and, ugh, chicken. I had this brilliant vision in my head of taking light jogs and daily hikes while smiling and glowing through the forest, but just walking up the stairs got me out of breath, let alone dragging myself through several feet of snow and attempting not to slip on the ice. I didn't wear deodorant because I couldn't find any natural stuff in Slovenia so that was pretty. I watched an embarrassing amount of Netflix. I ate pretty much only caprese salads and grilled cheese sandwiches. I actually lost a pound over the first 11 weeks (I have more than made up for that since — nearing two hundo, folks!). And there was one pretty epic puke-through-the-nose-into-a-pile-of-dirt-in-pitch-black experience that will haunt me for some time. 

All I could think the entire time was "how on earth do women do this with jobs and other children and actual responsibilities other than getting themselves to the toilet or sink before throwing up everywhere"? Major props to all my mom friends out there. And to my own mom who worked a MORE than full time badass job while pregnant with both me and my sister. She tells tales of pulling over on the freeway to throw up during her hour long commute to work. Maybe it's easier to have a distraction from all the nausea and boob-stabbing pain and hormonally-induced worries that come in those first three months. Or maybe it just makes everything about 100x harder. Either way, women are freaking tough.

And yet the clichés are true. As soon as I got confirmation that all was well last week and I saw my little bug wiggling around, I was like, oh yeah, this is worth it.

So the nausea has let up. My energy levels are getting back to normal. My appetite has exploded and I want to eat everything anyone puts in front of me. If you eat lunch with me I might ask to finish your food, fair warning. My back is beginning to ache more often, which I expected given all my back issues from rowing. My nails are on fleek (is that still a thing?) and my skin has cleared up. And I finally feel like I can celebrate and be excited about this baby! Bring on the second trimester! 

Do I sound like a first time mom or what??

Guess What! I'm Pregnant!

By Camilla

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I've got nothing but exciting news to share lately. This news sort of takes the cake, since I've been wanting to scream it out to the world since the moment I peed on that stick and it turned positive!

So here are some details. Yes, we're beyond excited even though, no, we weren't planning on this now. Yes, we're still going to be apart for the next 4 months, which means that Damir will have been around for the first trimester from hell, and he'll be back just in time for my third trimester when things start getting really hard and uncomfortable. He misses the fun part. That's life!

I'm a little over 11 weeks right now — which I'm finding out is rather early to be announcing, but I can't really hold it in anymore. I found out a few days after coming back from Utah to take care of my sister, and I knew something was up because literally every person I sat next to on every plane talked to me about parenthood and the joy and blessings of raising kids. I also met a new friend on one of my flights, and the intense connection we had immediately felt like a gift from God. It totally renewed my sense of faith in the most beautiful and loving way. On a less spiritual level, I really knew something was up when I couldn't stomach my morning cup of coffee and the thought of wine made me want to crawl under the sheets and never come out.

The first trimester has been a doozy for me. I'm only now starting to feel better and be able to do more. I spent most of it on the couch with a neck pillow watching TV, trying not to feel guilty that the only thing I could eat was grilled cheese sandwiches. I tried to fit in walks and some fitness but I really struggled with it. My husband and my in-laws were angels and so patient with me as I threw up daily just thinking about certain things. I'm so thankful for them. 

Now things are looking a little more manageable, and I'm back in the states able to eat the food I crave (SUSHI - only eating vegetarian rolls but still, it's so satisfying). The trip over here was really hard, which is why my sister came to help. Four suitcases, 3 animals, a growing baby, too many emotions, and an increased risk for blood clots on long-haul flights — I couldn't have done it without her. She's the best sister in the world. I hate to overshare (who am I kidding, no I don't), but I had a bit of spotting and a decrease in my symptoms in the days following my travel, so I got really worried. But as soon as I saw that little heartbeat and my baby swimming around yesterday, I burst out into tears, so much so that the ultrasound tech had to tell me to just let it out but quickly so she could finish the scan cause my stomach was bouncing up and down from the sobbing. Best feeling in the world.

So I guess what I feel right now is that I'm a blessed woman. I have amazing people all around me. I have amazing family that I was born into, and family that I've chosen. I have amazing friends, new and old. I have amazing animals who tolerate me dragging them across the world and back. I have an amazing little kiddo growing inside of me. I might just be the luckiest woman in the world. If that sounds annoying, blame the hormones. :)

Thank you to everyone for your kind words of support and to all my friends and family whose prayers I feel very deeply. I love you all!