Top Ten Thursday - Ten Years Ago

Welcome to Top Ten Thursday!

I was thinking it'd be fun to list ten things we did differently ten years ago. Were you still smoking? Did you work a different job, were you in another relationship? Where did you live?

The idea occurred to me on 8/8 last month because I remembered exactly what I was doing that day. But let's do this in an organized way and start in the beginning: 

January 2008: Finally, after months and years of trying, my pregnancy test came back positive - and I couldn't really believe it until I started to feel nauseous. The same month the evil HR witch wanted to fire me. My unborn baby boy saved my job!

February 2008: Previously I had been a massive Diet Coke and coffee drinker. Upon learning I was now eating and drinking for two, I practically quit. I had one of each, max. I had no sushi, no raw milk cheese, and it goes without saying, no alcohol. I was determined to do this right for my baby's sake.

March 2008: Other than the entire office, courtesy of my boss, see above, nobody knew I was expecting, but I was aware that it wouldn't be much longer now. My pants were getting tight and tighter. I was just so anxious and superstitious. I was labeled high risk because I was so old. And I just got a year older this month! What if I miscarried? I'd be heartbroken enough to have lost the baby, how was I supposed to deal with well meant questions from family and friends?

April 2008: for Easter hubby and I baked some "Zopf Bunnies", a sweet yeast bread (the same we use for Grittibänze) shaped as Easter Bunnies. We made a boy, a girl and a baby bunny and took them to our parents' to finally announce the wonderful news. Unfortunately no pictures were taken, but needless to say they were surprised and overjoyed!

May 2008: Goodbye tour from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and QuĂ©bec to California. I was about half way to my due date, and we figured it'd be a while until we'd be back to North America, because long haul flights with a baby didn't sound like a good idea - little did we know that the three of us were going to end up back in San Francisco only 2.5 years later.

June: My gynecologist decided it was time for me to get compression stockings. They are supposed to prevent blood from pooling in the veins (risk of thrombosis) and to reduce the increase of an elevated heart rate as well. They were a royal pain to put on, especially as my belly was growing. The things a Mom to-be does!

July: For some reason it was determined I was at risk for gestational diabetes. As an immediate measure I wasn't allowed to eat pretty much everything I love: pizza, pasta, chocolate, cake, not even fruit!!! I felt like a fat cow munching on lettuce leaves all the time. The things a Mom to-be does! I had to take the sugar syrup test. That's when you arrive NPO at the doc's office, they test your blood, give you a very sugary liquid, make you wait for an hour or so and then retake your blood. The syrup made me go into some kind of shock. I had to lie down, and I felt really weak and nauseous.  As I was ready to go home - good thing hubby was with me, I don't think I was in any state of mind to drive - they gave me a little gadget that looked like a miniature stapler. I was supposed to use it on my finger pad to test my own blood every couple of hours. For the life of me I couldn't do it. I recruited a team member who was willing to join me in the office bathroom and do it for me. She was very brave, and so was I. However, even after she punched my finger, no blood was coming out. Bad circulation? Nervousness? The doc said forget about it. Just watch your food. In July we officially visited a baby store for the first time ever. We ordered the Rolls Royce of strollers, a crib and a changing station. As it was going to turn out, the store messed up the crib order. I found out the day after delivering!!! 

August 2008: I had set my mind on visiting every store before I not only left for maternity leave but for good. I couldn't fly anymore, so the stores in Austria were out of question, but I remember one particular day in Basel. If you have been reading my posts for a while you know that Basel is one of my favorite cities in Switzerland, the one we usually attend fall fair, and also the one where Dunkin Donuts opened its very first Swiss store. At the time there were three stores within walking distance and one that required a tram ride. Now "walking distance" is a relative term. 

On a hot and humid day, carrying a baby that was approaching almost full term weight, it was certainly no walk in the park. I was so glad the District Manager was with me. He had two kids of his own and knew just how to handle me: the whole day he carried my notebook case, allowed for lots of bathroom breaks, got me snacks while I was sitting down, even asked a young guy to give up his seat for me in the tram. That night I took a taxi from the train station to my home because I needed to pee, and I was not going to use the public bathroom, and I was not going to wait for the bus. As I was sitting on the couch with my swollen feet up (did I mention I had to wear support stockings) I decided it was time for baby C and myself to slow down. Not an easy thing for an ants in her pants person like me, working for an ever so rapidly growing company! Good thing my successor had been hired at that point, so after my GYN/OB gave me note that allowed to reduce my working hours, I stopped going to the office very day. I would (try to) sleep in (haha, as possible as it was to lay in with a kicking and probably screaming unborn baby) do some dull administrative tasks with my feet up, make a light lunch - I was still borderline gestational diabetes, so I had to watch them carbs and sugars - nap, work some more. 

At the beginning of the post I mentioned August 8, 2008. That's when we got to visit the maternity ward. The lady who was going to turn out to be my first shift's midwife showed us around. She seemed very nice, and she was very opinionated about women who asked for a Cesarian for the only reason of having a conveniently scheduled date. Babies chose to be born when they're ready, you're not supposed to mess with that, she said. Let me show you something, she continued. Pointing at a crib she went this is Valentino. His parents scheduled his Cesarian for 8/8/08 - guess what, he was naturally born on the 7th, hahahaha! 

September 2008: On 9/9 I literally rolled myself to my most local SBUX store to officially hand over what little I didn't get to finish to my successor. My boss - the evil HR witch who, as soon as she knew I was going to leave, started to treat me nicely, attended that meeting too and even brought a baby gift. Wow, in less than ten days I was probably going to use this baby bubble bath? Strange thought. 

I figured now that I was not doing anything, it'd be a good idea to prepare Colin's room and to do some kind of prenatal class. As I started to research I noticed that I seemed to be late. They have to be booked pretty much after you find out you're pregnant. Really? Who knew? Luckily I got referred to a lady who offers individual appointments in the basement of her home. I went to see her twice. Using a doll and a balloon she explained the birthing process, gave me raspberry leaf tea to help the cervix to soften up, easing labor, and possibly making it quicker. 

Yeah, that didn't happen, but I'll spare you my birthing story. The quick version is I checked into the hospital in the evening of September 16, and baby Colin was officially born on September 17 at 2:12pm. I expected to be crying happy tears and be in some magical state of a super high. In reality I was just glad it was over, my boy was doing well, and I wanted to go to sleep!

Hubby saved this picture - it's called "Colin, 15 minutes old"
This one is officially called "Colin and Mommy" - I like to think of it as "all cleaned up"
October 2008: Baby Colin was here - now what? I don't know about other women who went through pregnancy and childbirth, but as for me, my power of imagination stopped after giving birth. I had no idea what my life was going to be like as a new Mom. I mean, of course I had heard about sleepless nights, feedings, diaper changes, blablabla. But what it really meant? I don't think anybody was giving me realistic info on what to expect in terms of postpartum recovery or complications for that matter. After an episiotomy you can't sit down or poop without being in pain for quite a while. Your pelvic floor is a joke, and when you need to pee, you need to get there fast! I'll spare you more details. I did have one memorable Hallmark moment though. I remember a sunny fall afternoon. I am pretty sure I had had a shower and lunch (sounds "normal"? It isn't.) I was taking a walk with Colin in his stroller, and I got a text message from a former team member. "Got a meeting with the evil HR witch in 5 minutes. Miss you! How's the baby?" 

This was my life ten years ago. I feel we have come a long way, former baby Colin and I. From stroller to the ice rink, haha! It was good to revisit the old times, but I'm also glad we are where we are now.

What were you up to in 2008? Let me know in the comments down below or better yet, link up your own post, using the linky-tool, and I'd really appreciate if auto-correct didn't call it pinky-tool, for Christ's sake!!

September 13 let's portray a person of your choice. List ten qualities you like about them, only condition is: they need to be born in September. All right? Plenty of wonderful people to chose from. Sign up here.

September 20 let's talk about odds... Do you believe in coincidence, what strange situations have you encountered that made you think "someone orchestrated this", are you a gambler,..? Many ways to go around this topic. Sign up here.