Q: Tell us about your arrival in Germany
A: Oh, me and my boyfriend, we're both from the UK. We moved here after one year of working in South Korea. Since we always wanted to teach abroad and to have a good work-life balance, and at the same time to stay closer to our family, we decided to move here. And I had good memories of my study time in Frankfurt. One of the things that appealed is they do have a really friendly and positive attitude towards families. The taxes are fairly high, but then they offer a lot of conveniences for people.
Q: Tell me about your labor. Did it go as planned?
A: I honestly didn't have any expectations going in. I know, some people are really looking forward to the birth and I just wanted to be on the other side. I could still remember that it was nine days overdue when they induced me. Unfortunately, because of COVID, my partner couldn't be with me at the beginning. So I felt like the first part of my labor was hard. With some contractions already hitting me the night before, I'd been up and hadn't slept so much. When I went to the hospital in the afternoon, I just didn't have a lot of energy left. In combination with my boyfriend wasn't there, it just meant that there was no way I was gonna do it without pain relief. But once I had the epidural, it was so much better. I was just completely calm and it took me just a bit more time and a few pushes until my baby was there.
Maybe the fact that I hadn't got an idea in my mind exactly what I wanted makes it easier.
Q: What was the best and hardest thing in the first week?
A: The hardest thing definitely was breastfeeding. I should have done more research because I just thought, Oh, well, I'll just cross that bridge when it comes to it. Whereas actually, I could have found out a bit more about how often they feed and what you need to be doing in the first few weeks. Luckily my boyfriend took a 4-month parental leave and that was such a big help. Also, my Midwife was really helpful and helped me with breastfeeding too.
Q: Give us a few breastfeeding tips!
A: One of my boyfriend's friends told him something really helpful: make it into like you just basically enjoy it. So kind of move to the sofa, get yourself comfortable, have snacks and water, get something on Netflix, and that is! It makes you enjoy and relax instead of feeling frustrated. For me once I changed my mindset in that way, then it became quite nice.
Q: What is the #1 baby item you can’t live without?
A: I might say, baby carrier. Because it's the quickest way to get her to sleep. And it means we can go out for a walk. And we can also have it so that she can face outwards. Now that she's more aware, I can do jobs around the house, and she's entertained by that. So it has been a bit of a lifesaver!
Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened to date?
A: We've had lots of explosions, and sometimes the timing was just right!!! Like once we were having a tense conversation. And suddenly came the right comment from our baby which made us laugh.
Another thing is changing. I didn't have younger brothers or sisters. So I'd never changed the diaper before. And that was like a complete learning curve. At the hospital, the midwives would change her and she looked really good. But then when they came to our house, they kind of took it off and look at me like what have you done?
Q: If you could tell an “about-to-be first-time mom” something, what would it be?
A: You'll hear this a lot: every stage is just temporary. It's easy to worry about things like if she is sleeping enough? Is she eating enough? Is she awake too much? is she going to sleep in her own bed. Like I remember at one stage, I was worried because she kept going to bed at nine o'clock. But these things just work themselves out. It is important to know that if something is bad, it's just temporary, and it's not always gonna last!
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