Knocked-Up Abroad: Macedonia Edition – 10 Weeks and the first prenatal visit

KnockedUp Aborad Main Photo

Knocked Up Info

If you missed last week’s post with the big announcement, you can read it here.

I’m excited about this new series (and I hope you are, too!). I’m not committing to write posts for this series on any form of a regular schedule. I’ll probably post after each visit with my doctor, so about once a month for sure but I will also write whenever there’s something share-worthy. I’m already a bit behind because my first doctor’s appointment was already 3 weeks ago! Oh well.

Also: I’m quitting my kids’ pseudonyms. They’re just annoying. My daughter is Audrey, not Eleanor, and my son is Alistair, not Edward (though his middle name is Edwards, so it’s close). Bear with me as I get old posts updated.

When I found out I was pregnant with Audrey we had lived in Hungary for over a year and though I had basically no experience with the medical system there I felt comfortable having my first child there because we had an amazing community who immediately surrounded us with support. I also had complete medical coverage through my work and if we returned to the US we would have paid out of pocket for everything. It was an easy decision to have her there. Continue reading


Three countries. Three babies.


baby#3 announcement

Sometimes we set off on a great journey and we don’t even realize it’s happening. The beginning can be so subtle or such a tiny hint at what’s to come we can’t know we just embarked on a path that with transform us.

In March 2010 I stood in our bathroom in Hungary shaking with anticipation, waiting for Ryan to tell me if there was one line or two on the pregnancy test.


I knew this marked the beginning of my journey of motherhood, one that would change my life and me in ways that nothing else could.

I didn’t know that I was starting another journey at the same time. That journey would also become part of my identity, a defining part of my story.

Eight months later our daughter was born in Hungary. Continue reading


The story of Alistair’s birth

Like most good stories, Alistair’s birth story needs context. It actually begins with the birth of his sister, Audrey.  If you want to read Audrey’s full birth story, it’s posted before this one but here’s the short version: Early on in labor her heart rate dropped drastically with each contraction. I was immediately sent in for a C-section. While I was happy my daughter arrived healthy and safe, I mourned not delivering her vaginally. I had prepared for and anticipated a natural birth and a C-section derailed me. Fifteen-months later I was pregnant again and determined to do everything in my power to have a vaginal birth after cesarian (VBAC).

Most of my friend’s birth stories go something like this: Around my due date they felt weird, contractions started and got regular, increased in intensity, they pushed, they had a baby.

Wow. That must be nice. As my midwife put it after Alistair was born, ‘You have interesting births’.

photo-6 Continue reading


The story of Audrey’s birth

Sometimes the most unlikely circumstance turns out to be exactly right. That was the case for Ryan and I when we found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant a year after moving to Hungary to teach English. After deliberating where to have our baby, we decided to stay in Hungary. I had full medical coverage and we had a community of Hungarian friends willing to support us and the blessing of our parents. The pregnancy was smooth and at every ultrasound my doctor described our growing daughter as ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’. Just what every expectant mother wants to hear.

At church eleven days before the due date, our pastor prayed for us. We joked with friends after the service that labor could start any time. I didn’t anticipate giving birth any time soon but it was fun to think that it was coming. Continue reading