March 2019 highs and lows

Good morning. Before getting into the link-up, can I just be really British for a second and talk about the weather? On Tuesday we had bright sunshine and highs of 22°C. Yesterday the high was down to 9°C and it was raining. And right now, at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, it is snowing. It’s not really settling (except on car roofs) – probably because of all the rain – but after we barely had snow all winter now it appears?! The Germans have a saying “Der April macht was er will” (April does what it wants – referring to the weather) and this year they’re certainly not wrong!

Anyway…  I’m trying a new format for What’s New With You? today. I don’t want to go back to “currently…” style posts (what I call “recent doings”) but I also felt like my structure-free ramblings aren’t all that interesting, so here’s something else. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to stick with it. We’ll see how this one goes. Obviously I am linking up with Kristen, as always.

whats new with you

The highlights

  • The month started with Jan’s birthday, on 1st March. He probably wouldn’t count that as a highlight since if he had his way it would be just a normal day and he could just ignore his birthday. He doesn’t get his way though, so there were gifts and I cooked something nicer than usual… chicken breasts stuffed with goat’s cheese and wrapped in bacon. A vegan’s worst nightmare! Afterwards, there was cake. Bought, not baked – I had no time for baking.
  • Fasnacht (the Bael carnival) was at the beginning of May. We didn’t bother with the parades this year, but we did go to see the lanterns on display outside the cathedral. There was a surpirsing lack of Brexit – I guess we’re too ridiculous to even make fun of any more! Lots had environmental damage topics – some with pictures of the Rhine full of plastic.
  • We saw How to Train Your Dragon 3 at the cinema. You’re probably wondering why I’m including that as a highlight… it’s only the second time we’ve been to the cinema since moving to Switzerland, so it felt like something special. I cried at the film, because I’m a big softy.
  • In the middle of the month, we went to Zurich to see Sarah Millican – a British comedian. As expected, she was absolutely hilarious. Her humour is more along the lines of sex and farts than clever observances, but that’s fine. Still funny. In April we have Eddie Izzard to look forward to.
  • Jan and I went to Meiringen with the intention of visiting the Aare Gorge, but it turns out the gorge was still closed for winter (the Reichenbach Falls of Sherlock Holmes fame are also near there, but I already knew the train wasn’t going). Instead we quickly made a plan B and took the cable car up the Hasliberg. That day was also photo an hour, so you can read about it here.
  • Jan’s dad came to stay and we took him to the pub quiz. We did horribly and came second last (better than last, right?). The next day (Monday) was overcast so we thought about going to a museum but it turns out all of them are closed on Mondays! So we walked around the St Albans area of Basel, had lunch then climbed the tower of the town hall. After that we took a tram to the German border, walked across to Germany and then crossed the Three Countries Bridge (which I posted about here) and walked back to Basel via France. The footpath along the river is currently closed at the Basel end so we had to walk along the road, through all the industry. We reached the tram stop just as the rain started. Timing!

The lows

  • At the beginning of the month we found out our third IUI had failed. There will be no 2019 baby for us. We didn’t tell anybody when we were trying, but I can now reveal that we did one round in December, with a negative blood test on 4th January  (yeah – happy New Year to us!) and another in February/March, with one cycle trying naturally in between. Next step is IVF,  which we have to pay for entirely ourselves. I’m mostly excited to be moving forward, but it’s a big step so I have mixed feelings on it. How far is too far when it comes to trying to make a baby through science? Maybe I should just admit that nature never intended for me to be a mother? Who knows.
  • My due date for the twins was on the 16th. I was so hoping to be pregnant again by that time, but alas my life doesn’t work like that. It ended up being okay. Jan stayed in bed until nearly 12 – despite the fact that scaffolding was being put up from 8am onwards with lots of banging and what sounded like drilling. It made me wonder how life would be if we actually had two young  babies right now. Would he sleep through their crying? Of course , chances are they’d have been born early and, depending on how premature,  they may not even have made it home from hospital yet. Anyway… once Jan eventually got up and showered, we went to the cemetery. The boys have a concrete strip now with their names carved on it, which looks really nice. After paying them a visit we walked into town and had coffee and a snack at a café, then in the evening I lit a candle. It was nice to mark the occasion even in a small way.
  • Two days after my due date would have been my grandma’s 90th birthday. It’s still weird thinking of her house empty, waiting to be sold. The family will definitely never be the same without her.

    My grandma and little me
  • Then it was Mother’s Day in the UK on 31st March. My mum and her sibling’s first one without their mother and, of course, my first as a mother who isn’t a mother and may never actually be a mother. Seeing everyone’s posts about their children hurt, but I got through it. Now I just have to get through German/Swiss Mother’s Day 😉

Other stuff

  • Since I pointed out to Jan that we have Film 4 he seems to put it on all the time. In March we watched The Seeker, Hugo, Ghostbusters (the new one) and Mrs Doubtfire (which Jan claims he had never seen. Scandalous!). That probably doesn’t sound like much, but I never watch four films in one month – and with the cinema trip it was actually five.
  • We had our radiators and windows replaced last week. At one point on Friday, there were eight builders in our flat, all doing various things to windows or blinds! The windows part got a bit noisy but I managed to mostly work through it, only taking a short break when they were actually drilling in my office. I’m just glad it wasn’t happening today. No windows plus snow? No thanks! The real inconvenience is yet to come – when they replace both bathrooms and the kitchen all at the same time. Obviously I will not be working from home during that time!
  • I did some cross stitch – including a birthday card for my friend’s son and a Loch Ness Monster for a Post Pals child. I’ve also been making Easter cards to send to Post Pals children.
  • Saturday, 30th March was my deep clean day, so I’ve managed to stick to my goal every month so far. I will probably skip April since we will literally be living on a building site and there will be no bathrooms or oven to clean! I did it the day after the windows were replaced and I was actually quite happy to hoover and dust – the builders did clean up after themselves but I felt like everything was still dusty. I also cleaned the oven even though Jan said there was no point if it’s going to be gone in a couple of weeks. But at least this way I won’t smell burning every time I turn it on for those two weeks. Also, if I skip it once I’ll never get back to it.
  • Speaking of goals… I have been doing absolutely terribly at eating fruit and veg. In fact, there have been days that I only managed a measly one or two portions. I’ve also put on wait… only a kilogram, but added to the 3kg I somehow managed to put on in one week in England it’s bad.
  • I read a lot of books again. 17 to be precise. After a slow start to the month I didn’t think I would read very many but I surprised myself. Six of them were books I already owned (two were actually re-reads), so that’s good. If you want to know what I actually read come back on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books day.

That’s about it for March. I’m not sure what format my April post will take – you’ll just have to watch this space! In the meantime, check out the link up and also let me know what’s new with you.

21 thoughts on “March 2019 highs and lows

  1. Well, it sounds like you’ve made the most of the month. I’m sorry you had a few heavy days of sadness. I’m glad you were able to move through the day and pay respect to your boys. I’m sure it was a tough 24 hours. Sending you lots of fertile and happy vibes for the next step in your motherhood journey!

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the IUI not working. I hope that IVF will work for you.
    I’ve had quite a few bad days recently in terms of eating fruit and veg which is terrible for me and I really feel it when I don’t. I am particularly bad at eating fruit.I don’t know why I am so reluctant to eat it! It’s very annoying!

  3. I am new to your blog, but I love this format! It’s important to reflect on the highs and lows to appreciate the good, and work through the bad. Have you ever seen The Story of Us? The family has a tradition where every night, they all talk about their high/low: the best of their day and the worst. I’ve always loved that.

    I’m really sorry to hear about your lows, last month. They’re heavy and real, and I can feel the pain in them. You made it through though, and you are strong enough to share it with us, which is absolutely amazing. Sending you a big virtual hug from Connecticut ❤

  4. oh i haven’t seen how to train your dragon 3 yet, but i cried in the second one, no shame.
    ugh girl i am so sorry i am behind on emails. i am sorry that the IUI failed. i am so sorry. and i am sorry i missed your due date for the twins. i can only hope for the best moving forward and IVF. of course, i say screw nature, don’t give up. that is what science is for. i’m sorry. i wish i could say something, anything helpful. thinking of you always, even though i’m horrible at emails ❤

    1. I think I cried at the second How to Train Your Dragon as well. I’m not 100% sure though because I don’t fully remember the story.

      Aah, don’t worry about not responding to emails. I get it, life gets in the way. I always forget to email people. I hope you’re doing okay though xx

  5. So sorry to hear your IUI’s didn’t work out. It sounds like you have had some lovely highlights despite the lows. I really hope the next step (if you decided to take it) works for you!

    1. Thank you. Yes, we had some lovely times despite everything.
      We are definitely going ahead with IVF, that was already decided before we even met with the doctor. It just feels weird letting science take over entirely – at least with IUI it still seemed semi-natural. I still ovulated myself (with a little help) and fertilisation took place the normal way. IVF almost feels like cheating destiny, although I guess if my destiny is to be childless this will fail as well.

  6. You’re very brave to write so honestly, it must be difficult. Don’t give up on the hope of a family, I have two friends who went through IVF, one successfully, twice (resulting in 4 children, including triplets), the other unsuccessfully, who both after stopping treatment got pregnant naturally. Miracles happen. Don’t think about IVF as cheating destiny, it’s no more cheating destiny than medical treatment to cure cancer and other illnesses is. It’s good you lead such a busy life and remain so positive.

    1. Thank you. I have always been honest here. It’s my space to write whatever I feel.

      I hear all the time about people getting pregnant after they give up on treatment, forget about children and relax. Supposedly you’re also more fertile after a miscarriage as well. After losing the twins we asked the doctor if there was any point in trying naturally and he said it was theoretically possible that I could get pregnant naturally but with unexplained infertility the odds are so low that he would advise continuing with treatment. With IUI we had roughly the same chance of conceiving as a “normal” couple. Naturally I have something like a 1-3% chance of conceiving in any given cycle.

  7. It’s funny to think of how life would be different if our babies had lived. I would now be planning a first birthday party, so I understand how it feels. Especially on Mother’s Day, it’s hard but you don’t want to make others feel bad so you smile and pretend everything is fine. It’s lovely that you had somewhere to go on your due date, and to light a candle is a lovely thing to do. Even a small act can be a great comfort.
    I’m sorry to hear your IUI didn’t work. It’s good that you keep busy and plan plenty of nice things to do, it’s important.
    As for fruit and veg, I have 30g of dried fruit in the morning with breakfast, that’s one portion, and 150ml of fruit juice, that’s another portion, so that’s two before I even start my day. Most days I add 160g of salad (usually sliced cucumber and carrots) on the side of my plate – no matter what I’m having. These habits help me to eat more fruit and veg without having to think too much about it.

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