9 Countries in Utero

SEVERAL members of my family have been wondering where the pregnancy pictures of me are where I point to our giant calendar like last time.

There are two problems with this, the first being that I hadn’t thought to do any pregnancy “posing,” and the second is that we did ORDER our 2011 Stendig calendar, but it never showed up.  Which is kind of disappointing…I found myself glancing over at a blank wall for months, expecting the calendar to be there, so we finally hung some pictures on that space so it wouldn’t annoy me so much. Hopefully we will continue the big calendar tradition in the future, but not this pregnancy.

SO, I went back and looked at our pictures to see what pictures of me show that I am pregnant, and there weren’t that many.  There aren’t that many pictures of me in the last nine months because I am usually the one taking pictures, and there are so many more interesting things to take pictures of–doorways, random people posing for their pictures, birds–for example, that I don’t always think to have my picture taken. (Unless Sara is around, and then I feel like she is the paparazzi and I am a celebrity).

Two of my favorite subjects combined!

Not exactly sure what they were going for, but they were really into it. Plus, I like the gypsy photobomb.

Fellow Operahuset visitor, Oslo, Norway - Sept. 2010

So embarrassed that while touring Paris, the paparazzi got a picture of my extremely wrinkly hand!

Despite all of this, I went back and was able to find at least one picture from almost every month while I was pregnant.  So, for this year, instead of the giant calendar backdrop, I present  instead a backdrop of all the places I was able to visit while pregnant….which is probably more interesting anyway.

September- First month of Pregnancy- Oslo

The story begins with Rita, who came to visit in September.  Here we are enjoying the beautiful sunset in Oslo, Norway.  At that point, I did not yet know that I was pregnant.

Rita took this picture of us when we visited Strasbourg, France- still blissfully unaware...

Rita, who is a doctor in residency at UCSF,  knew that we were hoping to have a baby while in Germany, and after I discussed a few relevant details with Dr. Rita, she said in a very professional tone, “Well Megan, I think you could be pregnant!”

For some reason, I hadn’t even considered that I could be pregnant, and since this conversation took place between travels at home in Stuttgart, and I happened to have a leftover pregnancy test at hand, it was a very dramatic moment for me when my childhood friend was able to deliver this news.  (I made her look at the test before I did). So that is how we all found out!

The next exciting surprise was that my sister Cara and niece Holly decided to plan a more last-minute European vacation, so I was able to tell them in person- and of course Sara who came to visit us from Italy for a weekend all together in Paris.

October- 2nd month- The "six" of us!

Even though you can’t tell I am pregnant, Cara and Sara are acting very protective of my stomach, aren’t they?  Fiona looks a bit suspicious…perhaps she is catching on?

Also in October, we traveled with the Osterhouts to Istanbul.  Melinda was also pregnant, (a few months further along than I).  I really wish we had thought to get more pictures together, but in reviewing the (no exaggeration) couple hundred of pictures we took while there, there were only 3 which show us together. At least this one kind of shows our burgeoning baby bumps…and our equally burgeoning bargaining skills. (That is to say, if you call walking away WITHOUT the plate as to which price I was inquiring about good bargaining).

October- Istanbul- Grand Bazaar

Inside the Hagia Sophia

The next month included another incredible surprise.  My mission friend Joan (the Riddle) and I had already worked out a way to see each other and go on some sort of adventure together in November. Last time we did this and went to Germany and Greece, I was also pregnant and in the first trimester.  This time I would be a little bit further along, however I was excited to tell Joan that once again we would have a companion in utero.  What could be better than that than her ALSO being pregnant and both of us due in May?  I can’t remember who told each other first, but we both couldn’t believe it.  It was perfect.

November- 3rd month- Madrid, Spain

Yep, Joan wasn’t showing yet- I am a couple weeks ahead of her I think- and I was just barely beginning to show…

Fez, Morocco- pushing it out

...and sucking it in.

I think the doorways in both of those last pictures are much more impressive than any baby bump anyway.

So Joan and I both can testify that if you have a lot of patience, willpower and very supportive husbands, you can travel to exotic locations while pregnant.  We are really going to have to brainstorm for where we will go for child #2 and 3.

In November we traveled to England to spend Thanksgiving with the Osterhouts. Lots of pictures of a huge turkey, but none of me looking more and more pregnant. We also went to Scotland on that trip, but it was so freezing I don’t think I ever took off my coat, so again no pregnant photos worth sharing from that excursion.

In December, SteffananPolly visited us for Christmas. We traveled around a bit in Germany, and while in Berlin I was so excited when we happened upon a whole parking lot of TRABIS!  I was overcome by Ostalgie and Steffan captured this shot, where you can kind of tell that I was definitely beginning to show.  I also believe that it may have been the last of my “jumping” series (those of you who have been my photographer for those know what I mean)  since leaping up and down is kind of hard when you are in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

December- 4th month- Berlin, Deutschland

January I don’t really have any pictures of me for this record…so on to February.

February- 6th month- London, England

By this point it is more obvious that I am showing.  Here we are in a museum, and I am not sure what Fiona is doing. Really excited about the upcoming exhibit, or perhaps still talking about the skull she saw in the previous one.

We also shared a nice moment at Hampton Court Palace the next day.

Hampton Court Gardens

The next month, Rijen’s sister’s and husbands were able to visit.  Rijen captured this ice cream & definitive baby-bump moment after Chad treated us all to Magnums as we walked towards the Champs Elysées.

March- 7th month- Paris, France

I know it is the same month, but this is the next best family shot of us now that I was showing more. Plus it was my first time to see the Eiffel tower at night, which I highly recommend.

Probably our last family picture of us before the new baby!

I have a few more pictures for April, which are fun, so I will share them all.

8th Month-April-Venice, Italy

Please pardon the bellybutton.  I really don’t know what to do about it.

April- Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart

I think this picture was actually the first one where I intentionally wanted to show off how pregnant I was. About time!

In front of Schloss Solitude

After hearing feedback from people about wanting pictures and realizing I wanted some more obvious pregnant photos too, I did take these pictures at home to document the last month:

May- 9th month- At home in Stuttgart

Just in case it wasn't clear....

I’ll end with my favorite picture of the series…when Rijen was taking a bunch of pictures of me doing the “pregnant posing” thing, unbeknownst to us, Fiona wanted in on the action. Luckily it was captured in the mirror:

Fiona checking her tummy for a baby!

I have really been fortunate in having a pregnancy where I could still do so much traveling. It has also been very meaningful to share this time with some of my closest friends who also are in this same stage of life right now.  It isn’t always easy traveling while pregnant and also with a small child, but I absolutely feel that it has been worth it.  I do hope that I can tell Fiona and future children about the places they went “in utero” or before they could really remember the experiences they had, so that it inspires them to perhaps revisit these places or at least have an interest in traveling like we do.

I also wanted to write a bit about my pregnancy care in Germany, however this is long enough already and I realize if I don’t get this post published in the next few days (or hours? who knows??) my baby will beat me to it, making this post a bit moot. So I’m going to publish this now and see what I get to in the next few days.

Obviously my blogging has increased in direct proportion to my more sedentary activities now that I am in the last weeks of pregnancy, so maybe I will get a chance for one or two more posts before the baby is born.  Otherwise I will get to play catch-up afterwards….and I do have almost 2 years to catch up on!  Bis dann…..

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4 responses to “9 Countries in Utero

  1. Wow, dein Bauch ist riesig! Ich hoffe, dass ich auf der nächsten Schwangerschaftsreise von Joan und dir auch mit dabei sein kann (vielleicht auch in anderen Umständen). Ich hab dich lieb!

    Like

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