Nine months is a long period. A period in which lots of things happen – or maybe not. In our case, I think our pregnancy hasn’t been boring at all. We have moved countries a few times and had a few other interesting events. That’s why we decided to share our pregnancy timeline with you in this blog post.
September has been a very emotional month. Luis moved into my apartment. We also started the month being pregnant, as a surprise – but ended up having a miscarriage at five weeks. There wasn’t a lot of time to deal with our grief though. A wedding party had to be organized!
On the 8th of September we got married, in the 5th arrondissement of Lyon. We celebrated with a picnic and a small party afterwards, and had an amazing day. While still dealing with our hangovers, the next days we needed to spend our time well with friends and colleagues. We were about to migrate! We had both quit our jobs and were about to get started on a new adventure. Little did we know what kind of adventure really was waiting for us!
One week after our marriage we packed all of our stuff in my little Peugeot 206. It’s incredible how much stuff you save up in three years, even when you know you won’t stay forever. We took off on a 10 hour drive to the Netherlands, where we would stay for six weeks. It was Luis’ third time in the Netherlands, first time he would stay for a longer period.
We spend our days meeting up with friends, visiting places in our surroundings and most of all, enjoying Dutch treats and drinks.
The first days of October we went to Prague, which was my birthday present to Luis.
I noticed my period didn’t arrive on time, so before the trip I took a pregnancy test. It turned out negative, we just assumed that the miscarriage made my schedule a bit irregular.
The Czech Republic is known for their beer and since the test showed us we were not expecting, we enjoyed those beers together. The dark ones were my favourites! 😉
But, I did notice I was in need of a lot of trips to the bathroom. I felt a bit doubtful about it, my bladder can be weak when I consume alcohol, but we didn’t go that crazy neither.
The pregnancy test
When we arrived back home, I did another home test. And yeap! I was pregnant again! Incredible, right after miscarriage. We told my family the news straight away, now that we were still close.
The weekend after our trip, my beloved cat passed away. I was sad, but grateful it happened while I was still at home. When living abroad, too many sad things happen when you’re far away.
In the next two weeks we arranged my visa papers for Mexico and brewed our own beer from scratch. We also made a trip to Germany.
My dear friend Nadia would get married in Oldenburg and invited us for her big day. We were very grateful to be able to be a part of it. Because of the distance, we converted it into a short getaway. Our last trip with my beloved Peugeot! Which has been my car for 8 years.
During the party I was drinking alcohol free. Because of that, my friends noticed something was going on. They know me as a party animal, so it looked suspicious. We decided to tell them the good news.
One week after, it was time to leave for Mexico.
A few days before the trip, we decided to go for an ultrasound. Because of the miscarriage we had before, we were very concerned for the pregnancy. In this whole period we weren’t able to take any tests, since I didn’t have health insurance. Luckily there are midwifes offering to take unofficial ultrasounds, for fun, or for parents who want to do an extra check up on their baby.
Everything was fine, the heart was beating! Happy and reassured we could take off.
November was our first month in Mexico. I had never been to Mexico before, so it was a whole new world for me. We arrived in Cancun and spend a week in Playa del Carmen. This period was also meant to be our honeymoon, so we enjoyed our time with trips to Tulum and Xcaret.
And even though everybody seems to love Mexican food, I didn’t. On our first day we started out with nothing heavy, a plate of Mexican eggs, beans and rice. Our breakfasts in France often looked similar, so it shouldn’t be anything special. Well, it was. After a few bites I didn’t feel so well and decided not to finish my plate.
Still happy with my first Mexican dish.
At lunch, we tried something more basic. ‘Una torta vegetariana’, a vegetarian sandwich, a warm sandwich. I tried, I couldn’t.
At night, we thought I might better go for something I surely would like. I absolutely love cheese, so we assumed a cheese fondue might do the trick. Nope, even the cheese didn’t go down and once again, we left a restaurant with a doggy bag. Unfortunately my dislike for Mexican food remained the whole period. I can’t honestly tell you which meals I like or dislike, because the pregnancy probably interfered with my taste.
After Playa del Carmen we went to Guadalajara, to meet Luis’ family. I had already met his sister, mother and brother-in-law in France, but the rest obviously was very curious to meet me. And we brought big news!
In Guadalajara we wanted to go to the gynecologist, to see if the flight didn’t cause any problems. For a long time, I had to cry during every ultrasound we did. We were so scared to lose the baby again, even though we already crossed the milestone of our last pregnancy. Luckily baby showed to be doing just fine in my belly.
Our next stop was Saltillo, our new home town. Luis was brought up here and our plan was to stay here for a while. We started renovating our house, which looked like a complete disaster, we got a car. Luis subscribed himself for online studies, which would start in January. We found a gynecologist, who was meant to assist during the delivery.
Everything was going well.
We were already four months along, but still worried about losing the baby. Luckily we could go to a health center, where it’s possible to do an ultrasound for only 4 euro. Baby tried proving us we didn’t have to worry about anything, her heart was pumping strong everytime she got checked on. The gynecologist confirmed this. During our monthly visit he also suspected to know baby’s gender, but he couldn’t tell us for sure yet.
The picture for our post on Facebook
The symptoms were still the same, a bit less nauseated, and I could finally enter a taco restaurant without feeling terrible, but Luis still couldn’t make me happy with corn tortilla’s.
We started selling perfumes on markets close to home. It was a fun period. Some days we spend all day on the market, only to earn 5 euro. Other days we had more luck. We decided not to make this our long term business.
Our stand at the weekly market
Many friends back home thought I was in paradise and enjoying tropical temperatures, but we weren’t. Saltillo can get freezing cold in winter as well! So time for a new trip.
You see how we are all dressed up inside a restaurant? It really was cold.
In the middle of December we went back to travelling. We made a roadtrip to visit Luis’ grandmother and the rest of his family, who live in a small village close to Morelia.
Avocado trees in grandmothers backyard
We spend some time here, and visited the surroundings. Morelia is beautiful, and so are the other places we went to. We celebrated Christmas here and on Boxing day, we continued our trip to Guadalajara.
The cathedral of Morelia
From here on, we went further to Mazatlan, where we celebrated New Years, as everybody was in desperate need of the beach.
When beachtime was over, we decided to stay for another week in Guadalajara, just to relax. We were having doubts about staying in Mexico, so we needed to think well of our decision. I always have the feeling it’s better to take decisions while you’re away from home.
In Guadalajara we went to the health center for another cheap ultrasound. We hoped to find out more about the gender of our baby, but according to the technicians they wouldn’t be able to see this until week 22.
A few days later we decided to have our baby in the Netherlands. We noticed health care would be better there and I booked my flight back home in three weeks. Our trip back to Saltillo, turned into a goodbye trip.
We went for the last doctor’s visit, who fortunately could finally tell us if we would have a girl or a boy! In order to share the surprise with family and friends in Europe, we made a little video with the gender reveal.
Luis and I wanted to make sure I had seen a bit more of Mexico, before I left. We made a short trip and visited San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapa de Corzo, Palenque and Cancun. We had a beautiful time. Fortunately nausea and tiredness were less of a problem by now, so we could enjoy a bit more, until our roads got separated on the airport of Cancun. I would fly back to Brussels, Luis would fly back to Monterrey.
It was a very sad goodbye. Apart from having to spend time apart from someone you love, I was carrying our baby and he wouldn’t be experiencing her growth in flesh and blood. The first hour of my flight I cried my eyes out. Luis spend his time waiting for his flight tasting tequila, wearing his sunglasses – for obvious reasons. Yes, we made for a pretty dramatic scene. A couple of other passengers even told us our goodbye looked very touching.
February was tough. I had to arrange all my paperwork in order to get the Dutch health care. Luis was far away. We were really having a hard time and were practically suffering because of the distance. Babygirl was growing, belly started to show and I felt the first movements. All of which Luis had to hear and see through the camera.
I also found out it was basically impossible for him to live in the Netherlands, due to visa regulations. You can read more about this subject in this blog. Nevertheless, we didn’t want him to miss out on any more pregnancy time and decided we would find a solution. We booked a flight, Luis made a little trip to say goodbye to his family and by the end of February we were finally united again.
We finally got our first doctor’s appointments in the Netherlands. The paperwork went so slow, that in the end Luis never missed out on the appointments, which was actually pretty nice.
A throat infection knocked me down. I had fever, low blood pressure, a high heart rate and I got hospitalized, just to be sure. It was a bit scary, but luckily this way we could be absolutely sure baby was still doing fine.
We spent the month of March hunting for a house in Belgium, where we would start our family. It was also about time to get out baby gear together.
My mother won tickets for the ‘Nine Months Expo’ in Amsterdam. She gave them to us, so we could go together. We saw many interesting things and bought a MiniMonkey, our first Sling/Babycarrier. It was exhausting though. I had many trips to the bathroom and at the end of the day my feet were huge and hurt a lot.
By this time my baby belly was hard to deny. I started feeling comfortable and showing off, wearing maternity pants all the time.
During the check ups, Sophia showed she still did fine.
The first of April we had a meet up with a part of our team. We started working online a few months before and it’s nice seeing our team mates every now and then. This time the meet up was in Amsterdam, so we just had to be there.
The way back home was quite something though, apparently train toilets were all unusable. Not so convenient on a 2,5 hour train ride, while seven months pregnant. I barely managed to get home in time, which kind of scared me for next trips and made us prefer not to travel too far anymore.
My mother also arranged a babyshower. I knew which day it would be organized, so Luis and I went into the kitchen together to prepare yummy treats. We had a fun day!
In this month we got confirmed that we would be the happy new owners of a two bedroom apartment. It took some time to sign the contract and receive the keys – we were so excited of moving. We went on the indispensable shopping trip to Ikea and by the end of the month we could make the move.
At the end of King’s day – an important celebration in the Netherlands – we took off with our bed in a trailer. The bedrooms didn’t have a floor yet, but we decided to camp a few days in the living room. Being seven months pregnant didn’t really allow me to sleep on the floor though, so we did it in a more luxurious way, with my bed.
About the pregnancy itself, during an ultrasound the midwife noticed baby’s head was a little smaller than usual. She arranged another check up in three weeks.
The whole month of May we spend working on our apartment, baby room and baby furniture. We were excited seeing everything changing rapidly and very happy with the end result.
The ultrasound showed that baby’s head still was a little bit too small. We got referred to the gynecologist.
In the Netherlands the whole pregnancy is usually monitored by midwives. They also do the delivery. When there seems to be a problem, that’s where the gynecologist comes in. Depending on what’s wrong, they give their opinion and have the highest word in the process, but most of the actions are still done by midwives.
In our case, the gynecologist had to check if the size of baby’s head was concerning, or that she probably just has a bit of a small head. At the first appointment she said she thinks it looks okay, but to be sure we planned another appointment. At the second appointment the gynecologist decided baby is perfectly fine, and we could continue our appointments with the midwife. What a relief!
We were getting very close to the big day now, getting excited and nervous at the same time. Would we be capable of doing this? Would she be perfectly healthy? We never got the real health check up at 20 weeks, so it was still a guess if she would be complete and in good health.
And still no baby! We were so ready to receive our babygirl, but she still didn’t make any sign of appearance. A hormonal brain can do a lot. I almost even started doubting if we would really ever give birth. I sticked close to home, expecting it to happen every moment. Many people were asking me if it already happened. Luis’ mother called often, scared we would have given birth without even telling them about it. We almost did wish the baby was already there with us. But of course we would inform the family right away.
At our appointment a little over 40 weeks, the midwife planned two appointments. One for preparing the cervix for birth, which might get the delivery started. The other one with the gynecologist, who would check how long baby could still stay in my belly safe and sound and to plan induction.
Fortunately both weren’t necessary.
At exactly 41 weeks, our beautiful daughter Sophia Leona was born.