Entering my mid-30’s and still not pregnant

fertility

This week I turned 34!!

Despite the odd title, I’m really thrilled to be in my mid-30’s. But as a woman in my mid-30’s who is trying to get pregnant, fertility is something that I do think about.

Our baby-making journey has been quite rocky, but this is also a neat time. I feel the gravity of it all. Whether we can conceive or not, I think I will always remember this period in our lives fondly.

We started trying last October, after I passed my probation period at work. Like literally right away, on the day my permanent work contract took hold! I know, we are romantic. But seriously, the timing just worked out well. ūüėČ

Us trying was against the advice of Martin’s doctor, who advised us to wait at least another year because Martin was still recovering from chemo. But we had waited 1-year already, and decided that was good enough. Different doctors give different advice, and after reading some studies on our own, waiting 1 year was fine for us risk-wise.

I naively assumed that once we began trying, that I would get pregnant right away. I guess it’s because everything I’ve ever put my effort into, I’ve gotten results. I’m finding it’s not always like that with baby-making though.

We had 2 false alarms during our the last 12 months, which were emotionally trying and stressful. But overall, also fine.

Martin was also recently re-diagnosed with cancer, which had us immediately switch our focus to changing our lifestyle to support a natural cancer healing path.

Now we are in the throes of me switching to a freelancing career (in hopes of supporting both of us financially in the future), and moving to a different city. In between all of this, we have 5 family members visiting from Canada and Asia. It’s going to be a whirlwind of travel for the next 4 weeks, which is bad timing but was planned and paid for earlier this year, and just happens to land now.

I can see that our lives are just too packed, and we need to wind down from the stress of everything that’s going on right now. We need some downtime to relax our minds and bodies first.

We’re also in contact with a fertility clinic and had said that if we tried naturally for a year and didn’t get pregnant, that we’d consider doing IVF or some other type of fertility treatment.

But now that we’re healing cancer naturally, it only seems logical to also try a more natural approach with fertility. I’ve done minor research on it, and no surprise to me, it’s very similar to natural cancer healing. Meaning taking a holistic approach by eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress. This is to give your body the necessary tools so that it can heal itself, which is what he body is built to do.

I foresee us continuing doing what we’re doing, but getting better at reducing the stress which is our biggest problem now. If we get pregnant, that would be fantastic! If not, that’s also fine. I’m still on the fence about whether I want to have kids or not, but Martin wants kids and I’m up for trying! It’s not that I don’t want kids, it’s just that I’m confused about it. It’s complicated.

This is how I’m living my mid-30’s, and I’m pretty happy about it. ūüėÄ

New era, big dreams

dreambig

Today was my last day at work!

I left my laptop and iPhone on the shelf in my office. I’ll be getting the laptop back as a freelancer, but not the iPhone. ūüė¶

So how does it feel?

It hasn’t really sunken in yet.

I have to unwind from the stress of the past few weeks, which were hectic both at work and in my personal life.

But I feel good. This feels like the right decision.

All of my fellow co-worker employees are sad to see me go, but all the consultants I work with are really excited for me.

I’ve now left the employee-of-a-big-company club, and am now part of the freelancer-entrepreneur club.

It’s a good club! Very supportive and resourceful.

I have some big dreams for my upcoming freelancing career.

I’m not going to put any numbers on it now, but my goal is to earn enough to support us both.

Then, I would like it if Martin would consider quitting his job so that we could be location independent.

We could keep a Germany-base, but I also want to be able to live wherever we want. For months.

Let’s try Toronto and Paris for starters. Berlin and Hamburg too. Then – Thailand. I’ve never been to Thailand, but it seems like my dream place.

I also like the idea of house sitting and have been drooling over researching that. There are location independent people without a fixed address, who float around the world house sitting whenever they can. What an awesome way to live!

I’m starting to feel nervous now, because when I was an employee, this type of lifestyle was just a pipe dream that I would read about. But as a location independent freelancer, I know slow travel is very much within reach – and that’s jarring. Sometimes it’s scary to know you’re close to fulfilling your dreams.

Out of all the lifestyles I consider, being a traveller is what I’d most like to do. Or at least try. And freelancing will be able to lend us that.

Still have to see how it goes, but I’m excited for the possibilities!

2 years and the gift of cotton

futon

Today is our 2nd anniversary!!

We like to follow the anniversary gift themes, where¬†year 1 is paper, year 2 is cotton, etc…

We won’t stick too closely to these themes, because we also don’t exchange gifts for any occassion.¬†Not because we’re trying to be frugal, but because we just don’t care about gifts and like to keep things simple (no stressing about ‘the perfect gift’ here).

Last year Martin did give me a very nice paper gift. He made me a calendar with¬†our couple-selfies¬†from the same month in the previous year.¬† ūüôā

This year, gifting cotton¬†was appropriate because¬†our goal is to live a healthy life.¬†We are¬†slowly detoxifying our home, alongside detoxifying our diets. One of the things we wanted to switch out was our foam mattress with a non-toxic¬†cotton futon. We spend a lot of time on our bed (ha!) and don’t want to breathe in¬†the¬†harsh chemicals¬†that get sprayed onto mattresses. Perfect timing for a second year¬†cotton gift, ja?

We actually bought the futon weeks ago, and have been sleeping soundly on it since. It’s a lot harder than our foam mattress, but I prefer it. Martin is still getting used to it but says it’s fine. ūüôā

Even though cotton futons don’t cost much (starting at 200 EUR for a double), we ended up thrifting it even further by buying it used! I know that sounds gross, but the seller said the mattress was the guest mattress and¬†hardly used.¬†Okay so everyone¬†who sells their mattress says this,¬†but we decided it couldn’t hurt to investigate since ordering a new futon would take 6+ weeks to receive, and we wanted the mattress right away. When we got to the seller’s house, it really was the guest futon! The mattress was pristine, no dents or stains, and also didn’t smell. I actually leaned down to smell it! So for 65 EUR, we hauled it away and have a story to tell. :mrgreen:

It’s been a hard year for us, but marriage is suiting us well. We are used to referring to each other as husband and wife now, which took some adjusting to. We’ve been together for almost 8 years, but only married for 2. So the boyfriend/girlfriend titles were more automatic at first.

Most new people who meet me at work don’t know I’m married, because I don’t wear a ring and rarely talk about ‘my husband’. At first I was nervous to mention a partner at all, because I’m hyper aware that everyone assumes newlyweds are trying to conceive (which we are, sort of – more of this later!), and I didn’t think it was good for my career.

But I noticed that Germans don’t have this hang up with whether women will have a baby or not, and that it’s okay to have a partner. I even had a senior director drop by my office¬†to convince me to get pregnant! He would say “f#$*% [company name]” – and go on a tirade about¬†how I should do what I want,¬†and that having a family is important. I seriously felt like I was in the twilight zone, but quickly fell in-trust with him and shared that we were trying. This is the same¬†man who¬†mentored¬†me¬†on negotiating my freelancing contracts. Sounds¬†creepy, but he’s a¬†swell guy!

Marrying Martin was also me agreeing to live in Germany. So one big positive to add to my Germany-list is that as a woman of child-bearing age, speaking about wanting to have kids is not taboo in a corporate setting. Or at least not having to go out of my way to avoid the topic like the plague.

Anyway, happy anniversary dear!! ‚̧

Mass exodus to Germany

refugees

I feel really sad. ūüė¶

With all the Syrian refugees fleeing here to Europe, all the tragedy and chaos in their lives, and reading about it but feeling helpless. Not going out of my way to try to help either.

Nobody around me is talking about the war. I only hear people mention refugees in reference to themselves. Namely how it causes them inconvenience.

One¬†colleague’s flight from London to Paris¬†was severely¬†delayed because of ‘migrants’¬†– but it’s okay because they received a voucher to fly again and¬†will likely choose¬†Brussels as their next destination; or how a refugee station was set up near another colleague’s old flat which now acts as their rental property –¬†it doesn’t matter that the refugee station makes it a ‘bad area’ now, since they don’t live there anymore.

A colleague today mentioned to me and Martin that we should be aware that there may be delays in our upcoming travels, because refugees are trying to get around and causing traffic to be stopped in major tunnels/bridges around Europe.

To be honest, I don’t care if that happens.¬†We will¬†probably get delayed, and yes we will face inconveniences and some stress. But damnit, there are people moving about and¬†trying to save themselves and their families. All we’re doing is going on vacation.

I’m not admonishing people for being so far removed. It’s a luxury to not¬†know what it’s like to drop everything and run for our lives – only to get treated like criminals wherever we end up. I wish people like me – privileged people –¬†would care more and choose their words better.

But really, what good are words when there are no actions? I’m speaking about myself now, because I know that I’m not doing anything to help.¬†I am close enough that I could¬†try to help. Instead I’m going on vacation.

I also¬†feel guilty that after being here in Germany for 5 years, that I can’t really say much about it.¬†Or I can, but I deleted all the drafts because they were sliding into negative territory. Germany is a hard place to live as an immigrant, and I don’t really click with it here. Of course it’s not that bad, it’s¬†wonderful even. I live a life I didn’t think I would ever live. Yet I can still be so ungrateful.

So I’m going to turn this around now, and¬†find a way to help these people. If not by me directly, then I’m going to donate to an organization that does. Because I don’t want to sit by idly, immersed in my own petty worries, when there is such tragedy surrounding me. I don’t want to be willfully blind. I want to help.