How to Creat Life–the Danish Way

The first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was hop online and start Googling.  I took a test first thing in the morning, freaked out (in a good way), and resolved not to tell Andreas until he got home.  I finished knitting him a pair of socks, knitted a tiny baby sock to go with them (my way of telling him the news), and then it was about noon and I had four and a half hours until I could tell anyone.  So I Googled.  I googled “pregnancy tips,” “pregnancy week-by-week,” and “early pregnancy symptoms.”  And then I googled “graviditet.”  A lot of the advice was common sense, and overlapped: Eat a varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t take lots of medicine.  But a lot of it differed, albeit perhaps slightly.  The American advice said not to drink coffee, or eat sushi, soft serve ice cream, lunchmeat, soft cheeses, sprouts, soft boiled eggs, smoked fish, or even anything at a potluck.

Well, I ate soft serve ice cream,  sprouts, smoked salmon, brie, goat cheese, and soft boiled eggs.  Oops.  But really only “oops” if I was Googling in English, because the Danish advice never mentioned sprouts, or ice cream.  And as far as most other things on the list goes, the official advice is to eat as fresh of food as possible–keep raw things cold, and pay attention to hygiene when you prepare food.  They also say outright that pregnant women can eat sushi.

I joined the August due-date birth board on Babycenter.com, so throughout my pregnancy, I would check the forum.  The American women went to their doctor every month until the third trimester.  After that it was every two weeks until nearer to the end when it was every week.  I saw my doctor four times during my pregnancy (one visit was an “extra” to do a quick blood pressure check), and my midwife about the same number of times.  I went two weeks overdue, so I had another midwife visit, and a couple days before my induction, a hospital visit.  To be honest, I don’t know what these women talked about or did at all these appointments.  I could barely think of questions to ask at my few appointments.

I saw enormously pregnant women biking happily down the street (well, at least they looked as happy as anyone biking in Danish weather ever looks).  I saw them walking, running, lingering over lattes, and putting away that out-loud-allowed sushi.  Andreas and I attended a sort of parent-prep class, which wasn’t quite like anything I’d read about anyone else’s prenatal classes.  We talked about our relationship as a couple, and how to best sustain that under the stress of a new baby.  We talked about the birthing process and nursing, and I have to say, there wasn’t this sense of anxiety that I often get when I talk to American women or read American forums.  It was “here are pain relief options–which ones do you think you prefer?” not “here are pain relief options–and there’s no medal for women who don’t use them–but there are definitely risks to some of them–and these decisions you’re making will impact your birth experience, your baby’s alertness, your breastfeeding process, and pretty much the rest of your baby’s life.”

After Theo was born, it as more of the same, to my great relief!  But I’ll write about that a different day, or this post will *never* leave my drafts!

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Well, this is kind of embarrassing…

So I promise that I have another mouth-watering cake post coming up (I know that it’s mouth-watering, because I just finished taking the photos and I almost drooled on the camera).  But before that, I have to write this post, which is less fun, and a lot more embarrassing.

For the past few weeks, Andreas and I have debated whether or not we should find out if the baby I’m growing is a boy or a girl.  At first, I was all for having a surprise, but as the ultrasound got closer, and I realized more and more how much easier it would be to gather all our baby-things if we knew the sex, it was pretty tempting to find out.  We were at a standstill, but the lovely woman from MontgomeryFest acted as a tie-breaker, and we decided we’d find out!  We wanted our friends and family who are far away, and excited about the coming baby, to be able to feel more “a part” of what’s happening.

So, the scan was scheduled for Friday, and after a late night on Thursday, I woke up at 4am.  And couldn’t go back to sleep.  I spent the morning baking cake in a half-stupor, only staving off a severe case of the grumpies because I was excited about our afternoon appointment.  Andreas came home early, and we set off for the hospital.  When we got there, the waiting room was rather full, and we waited a bit longer than usual.  When they called our name, we went into a sort of strange room, where a student was going to do the first part of the scan, and her teacher, the second half.

Now, I had planned to tell Andreas ahead of time that if they don’t offer to tell us the sex, or ask if we want to know, that he would need to ask.  I know myself well enough to know that I would have a hard time speaking up, especially when I’m on a table with goo on my belly and a stranger prodding around.  But in my sleepy stupor, I’d forgotten to tell him.  Now, when I get overtired, I don’t just get grumpy (although goodness, do I get grumpy), but I also get anxious.  While they were doing the scan, showing us all the heart chambers, and the halves of the brain, I was taking it all in, and filing it under “things to be grateful for” in my brain, but I was also desperately trying to get up the courage to ask about the sex.  I couldn’t seem to find the right Danish words, and I sent Andreas some pleading looks, but he mistook them for beaming joy or something, because he didn’t say a word.  I was so anxious, I was practically paralyzed, my mouth just wouldn’t move.  I couldn’t ask.

The woman tried to get some good photos (although the baby had its head buried somewhere around my hipbone) and then wiped off the ultrasound wand, and told me I could dry off my belly.  Andreas and I were left alone for a few minutes, while they filled out some paperwork, and I could finally spill what I’d been dying to tell him the whole time.  Turns out, Andreas forgot to ask.  He just completely forgot that we could probably find out the sex today.  He asked when they came back, but they said that they don’t look unless we ask, which we hadn’t, so we thanked them, and went on our way.

When I get tired, I’m also prone to overreacting, which I promptly did, as I tried in vain to hold back my tears on the way back to the bus stop.  I knew that I was being ridiculous.  We had a healthy, perfect-looking baby, and I hadn’t even been that set on finding out the sex until a few days before the scan.  But I knew, at the same time, that I wasn’t crying because we didn’t know if Baby Us is a boy or a girl.

I was crying because I felt helpless.  I felt vulnerable and cowardly and really out of my depth.  I felt like “how am I going to be a mother here?  I can’t even speak to people here.”  I was mad at myself, and so frustrated about my anxiety.  Even now, when I’m not overtired, and I’ve had plenty of time to get over the disappointment of not knowing, it brings tears to my eyes.  I know that I’m incredibly lucky.  I have a perfect-for-me, loving husband (who totally understood why I was crying), who I get to live with and see every day.  I get to live in the Magical Land of Denmark that enchanted me from the moment my plane touched down three years ago, and we have a baby on the way–something I’ve dreamed about since I was small.  I know that my life is wonderful, and I’m incredibly grateful.  But that doesn’t mean it’s been very easy, or that it will get a lot easier anytime soon.

It’s just discouraging when I feel like I can’t get over my anxiety enough to do a “normal people” thing, like asking a simple question.  Some days are better than others, but the bad days are still just as discouraging as they ever were.

The good news is, that even though my anxiety doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, my writing skills are improving a lot with the class in Danish grammar that I’m taking these days!  Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll continue with this class, and also start the one to help me prepare for my big Danish test that’s coming up in May!  Crossing my fingers to get into a daytime class!

Catching Up (and a plea for your opinions at the end)

Life here seems to be settling into some sort of a routine.  On Mondays, we go to a Ruhi study circle.

*Sidenote* I started this blog post thinking I could get it done real quick before I went to sleep, but upon searching for a link for the Ruhi institute, I came across a Baha’i joke blog where I consequently spent more time than I had assumed writing this whole blog would take.  Oops.

Anyway, like I said we’re getting into a bit of a routine.  Wednesdays, I have my Danish class, so we have some sort of a salad for supper (lately it’s been Tuna Macaroni Slaw because it always reminds me of home).  Fridays, Andreas usually has badminton after work (how cute is that?!), and weekends have becoming less stressful, too!

We even managed to buy a TV last weekend, and although we live in a dead zone, so we can’t get any real channels, it came with Netflix and wi-fi, so it’s been really great to have a nice big screen to watch our movies on (as compared to my little laptop with the worst speakers ever).

My Danish class is still going well.  It’s still challenging, and even though my first assignment came back with a discouraging amount of red ink on it, I managed to not be too discouraged after all.  I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve never, ever learned this stuff (it’s review for most of the people in my class) and all I need is practice, practice, practice.  I’m already starting to get nervous for the Big Test coming up in May/June (the one I’m postponing my visit to the US for) but I’m trying to forget about it as much as possible.  I wouldn’t be nervous, but I have to get a B-equivalent to be able to move on to the next class which is preparation for the other Big Danish Test that I have to pass to get into university here.  I was told that if I pass, but don’t get a high enough score, I can retake it, but that I won’t be offered any more classes to prepare for the re-take and that I’ll have to pay for it myself (around $200-250) so I’m feeling a bit of pressure.  However, I’m trying to remind myself that I still have time to get better before May, and if my teacher at that point really doesn’t think I can do it, I can always back out and wait until November.  When I have a baby.  That sounds like a better time to take a Very Important Test, right?

Things have just been being good in general lately, and I’m trying to remember to be really grateful.  The Baha’i Fast is in full swing now, and although I obviously can’t fast because of my “delicate condition,”  I’m still getting up pre-dawn every day to make Andreas and myself a bowl of oatmeal and to say some prayers.  While I can’t physically fast, I’m trying to pay extra special attention to things I want to work on, and one of those is gratitude.  I actually think that I do very well with this normally.  All the work and waiting and stress that we had to go through to get to this point (married, settled (in Denmark), with a nice apartment and a baby on the way) makes a person really appreciate what they have.  But, I want to get better at remembering to be grateful when I go through my periodic bouts of the blues, when I get homesick, when I suddenly feel lonely and like I have no friends left, or when I run out of ice cream.

I’m also happy about being able to meet some of the Baha’is in Copenhagen.  This is becoming a little bit of a Baha’i-(and link-)heavy post, but bear with me!  It has been quite lonely here, and as probably most foreigners who have moved to Denmark can tell you, it’s not easy to make friends here.  Well, in my opinion, it’s not particularly easy to make friends anywhere, but especially when you don’t go to school or have a full-time job, the meeting-people thing is hard to do.  I’m really glad that the community has been so welcoming and I’ve met people that I feel genuinely connected to right away!  It’s exciting, and since a lot of the Baha’i community tends to be a bit international, I think there are a lot of sympathetic souls ready and waiting to lend an understanding ear.

So things aren’t particularly easy at the moment.  We’re still stressed about some things, I’m still a bit lonely, but I’m doing really well and I’m really happy about where we are.

Oh!  But one last thing…

We have our second (and probably last) ultrasound coming up next Friday.  The thing is, this is the one where one can normally tell if the baby is of the boy or girl persuasion.  We’re having the hardest time deciding whether or not to find out now, or to wait until it actually makes its entrance into the world.

I originally thought I would never find out, that it’s more exciting, and makes it easier to buy gender-neutral clothing, etc.  But the closer we get to the ultrasound, the more tempting it is to find out.  We’re also having a lot of trouble finding any boy-name possibilities we love, so we’d kind of like to be spared the trouble if it’s not even a boy after all (although I have a pretty good feeling that it is), and we’re going to mostly be using hand-me-downs as far as clothing goes, so we would be able to know ahead of time from whom we should borrow.

Thoughts?  Pros?  Cons?

I think we might end up flipping a coin…

One for the Blog

Today, I did something.

I took the level placement test for my Danish classes!  I don’t think I’ll start until early January (if they even have room for me then) but I’m on the road!  I’m applied and everything!  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how I did because the tester didn’t, and I was too scared to ask.  Scared that either 1) they wouldn’t tell me or 2) they would, and I would be disappointed.  So I guess it’ll just have to be a surprise when I get called in to start classes!  She said I was pretty good, so I’m not particularly worried about starting at the bottom, so I’m okay with the “surprise factor” for now.  I’ll just try not to think about it too much and get my curiosity a-stirring.

But that’s not really the part I wanted to talk about.

i was really nervous about this.  Like, really super belly-dropping nervous.  Of course I was nervous to be “evaluated” and to have to talk to a stranger in Danish (while being nervous) but mostly I was nervous about the journey there.  I’m a big fan of public transport, don’t get me wrong, but I’m still not comfortable using it here in Copenhagen.  I decided on a route last night that would take me onto two busses I’ve ridden before, and I figured that was that.  I would be golden!

Well, I got on the first bus just fine, using my handy-dandy blue-spot travel card.  You can use this all over Denmark and just have to check in and out on the blue spots when you start and end a trip.  Anyway, the first bus and the bus transfer went surprisingly well.  I was able to find where the other bus stopped and it came and I got on it and everything!  But things went downhill from there.  Apparently there has been some sort of adjustment to the route and it went to a certain station and just…..turned around.  And started going back.  And I started panicking!  I asked the bus driver if he didn’t stop at the stop that I needed, and he just said “No, I turned around.” So I got off at the next possible stop (a good three quarters of a mile from where I had to be in 9 minutes!).  So, I hesitated for a second realizing that I could have just stayed on the bus, and gone home and done it again tomorrow OR I could make a run for it.

Good thing I started running this summer because otherwise I don’t think I would’ve made it!  As it was, I made it with 2 minutes to spare and was shown into the room with four or five other women, completely breathless and red in the face.  Whoohoo!

un-under-over-qualified

So the other day I dipped my baby toe into the world of job searching.  I found a pretty standard job search site, which, while it was in Danish, I could figure out pretty well.  Then it all sort of went to hell.

I have no idea what I can do here.  I occasionally curse myself for not having a very valuable college degree, and not a whole lot of work experience.  I don’t know how to make a Danish CV (although I’m sure Andreas and probably the job center can help me out with that when I’m ready) and I don’t know what I’m qualified to do.  I don’t know how far I can get with the Danish skills that I’ve taught myself, and I fear that it’s nowhere near far enough.  There are a few jobs I think I’d like, but besides the possible language barrier, I don’t know if you have to have any specific education to have that sort of position (a helper at a daycare).  The ads didn’t mention anything like that, and although I’m sure they could let me know, if I called, I’m not quite to that point yet.

I’m not feeling particularly discouraged, (surprisingly, considering my history of being easily discouraged) but I am feeling a bit confused and leery.  I’d like to have work, but I should first probably concentrate on wedging myself into a Danish class as soon as I can.  I have a feeling I’ll have to pass a certain level before I can start midwifery school (if I even get into midwifery school) so that’s the priority, really, but I am also looking forward to maybe being able to contribute a bit, and since we’ve just moved and still need to buy quite a few things, we could use the extra money!

I’ll do a better search another day, maybe with Andreas peeking over my shoulder, and then after that see what the job center can help me with, but first, I’ll see what I can do about these Danish classes…

It’s really strange, having things to arrange and think about.  I have to shift out of neutral and get to work, but it’s pretty hard, considering I’ve been keeping myself in neutral for a pretty long period of time…we’ll see how much luck I have on that front…

Anyway, I almost blogged every day in November, and am pretty excited about that!  Now for the first day of December, and a nearby flea market!

My First Danish Thanksgiving

So this year was the first year that I wasn’t home with my family in Central Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  I anticipated the homesickness, especially since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I decided to make everything exactly how my family makes it back home.  And it was awesome.

The menu included:

Chicken (not a turkey, since there were only four meat-eaters, and turkeys are ridiculously expensive in Denmark anyways)

Mashed potatoes with gravy (and mushroom gravy for me!  Usually I don’t get any gravy at Thanksgiving, so this was a huge improvement)

Sweet potatoes- These fell flat.  I didn’t cook them quite long enough or add enough butter or something, so they were pretty bad, but I’ll do it better next year.

Stuffing/Dressing- This caused a whole lot of controversy (“it’s not dressing!” “Well, it’s not stuffing, you don’t stuff it into anything” etc.) but was well-received.  I think it was the thing we were all most skeptical about, but it turned out great!  I almost always end up cutting the bread into too large of chunks (even when I try really hard not to) but I think I got it just right this year.  I even put mushrooms in (in an attempt to make it as Moserish as possible) and I thought it was fantastic!  I think I’m slowly winning the battle in willing myself to like mushrooms.

Fresh veggies and dip-This is fairly self-expanatory, but was also well-received, especially the dip which I had to improvise

Applesauce/Cranberry sauce- I don’t think most of the Danish family cared much about this, but I love it, and I’m kind of glad they didn’t eat so much of it because there’s more left for meeeee!

Pumpkin Pan Rolls- there was so much other food, that not a lot of these were eaten, but they work better for breakfast anyway, so we’ll see how they’re received tomorrow.

Celery with Cream cheese- This is something that my family does at Thanksgiving, and it’s one of my mom’s favorites, so I had to have it!  Usually the youngest in the family makes them, but I had Andreas make them, and he did a stunner job 😉  Anyway, we used garlic cream cheese, and they tasted even more fantastic than usual.  I was pretty sure the Danes would think it was pretty weird, but they really liked them!

Pumpkin Pie- my family usually eats pumpkin pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving day, but I knew I couldn’t convince the whole family here to do so, so we had it for afternoon coffee, and it went well!  They liked it for the most part, even though it looked pretty weird, and I was glad since pumpkin pie is one of my favorite things to eat!

The thing that was on the menu, but not on the table, was a tray of assorted pickles and olives.  I bought them…but…you know, forgot to put them on the table.  No big deal!  We might have leftovers tomorrow, and we can add them then, otherwise I just get to eat a lot of pickles and olives over the next several weeks, and that’s fine with me, too…

The day was perfect, we all made dinner together and hung out and teased, and the actual food went over better than I thought it would, so I’m happy.  I was so happy I almost cried during dinner…(shh, don’t tell!)  It’s definitely a holiday I’ll be stubbornly celebrating every year in the wrong country!

I LOVE THANKSGIVING!

EDIT: We also had fruit salad, a staple of Moser Thanksgivings, but we were too full to eat it, so it became a nighttime snack, and it was great.  Note to self: fruit salad with whipped cream is awesome.

100th Post!

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging lull recently.  To tell the silly truth, it’s because I was coming up on my 100th post, and wanted to do something special for it, and couldn’t decide what to do!  But I’ve learned that if you procrastinate long enough, your 100th blog post will basically write itself!

In my last post, I wrote about a letter we’d gotten from the Danish immigration office asking me to come to the service center with my passport (something you’re supposed to do when you hand in your application, but we mailed ours).  Since I didn’t have a Swedish permit yet (it’s still under consideration, six months later), I didn’t think I should go over the border.  We made several calls and no one really seemed to know what we should do, however, Andreas’s helpful forum came to our rescue again, and we were advised to just go, so we planned to go on Monday (yesterday).

The weekend was fantastic.  I had just recovered from being sick, we got to babysit a one-year-old on Saturday morning (best morning!) and we went out for leisurely shoe and grocery shopping on Sunday, and then remembered that we have a ping-pong table in the basement, and played for hours!   We kept our minds off of the following day, trying not to hope, fearing for the worst, and preparing for the mediocre.

Sunday night I got one of the worst nights of sleep.  I woke up what seemed like every few minutes, and when I woke up at 4:48 am I was just relieved that it was close enough to the time my alarm was supposed to go off that I could finally just get up.  I had enough time to get dressed, and even put on some makeup (which I mostly only do when I’m nervous or excited).  I made sure to pee before I left (which is priority #1, if you know me) and we left on time!  We took the train which was kind of fun for me still (although I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough), and when we got to our stop, we had to walk about twenty minutes to get to the service center, so we arrived at about 7 am.

Here’s where the trouble started.   Andreas swore that it opened at 8, and that they let people in to wait half an hour early (at 7:30), but it turns out it doesn’t open until 8:30 and we can’t get in until 8.  Now it wasn’t freezing out, and I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t suddenly have to pee.  That glass of orange juice I had chugged before I left suddenly sounded like a terrible idea.  Over the next hour, I progressed from being uncomfortable, to having to pee so badly that I had to sit on the steps and breathe through the pain.  However, I am proud to say that I made it through to 8:00 and left Andreas to take a number while I ran (literally) to the nearest bathroom.

Now, that was probably too much information, but the point is that after I finally (finally) got to pee, I felt so good, that I was prepared for anything.  If they scolded me for coming to Denmark without a visa, so be it.  At least I wasn’t bursting with orange juice.  We got number 11, so we didn’t have to wait long, which was fortunate as Andreas and I discovered that we have very different ways of expressing nervousness.  He likes to talk.  I like to not talk.

When our number was called, I showed the woman my letter and my passport and she rifled through some papers behind her, pulled out a packet, and gave it to me.  For a moment I thought I’d forgotten how to read, but soon a cautious smile spread across my face.  “Udlændingstyrelsen giver dig opholdskort efter EU-reglerne”  It was a yes.

So I got my biometrics taken, and we left, Andreas taking the bus to work, and me hopping a train back to Sweden (and losing my phone on the way…)

I don’t remember the last time I felt this giddy, this comfortable, this excited, and nervous in the best sort of way.  As soon as we can find an apartment in Copenhagen (not particularly easy) we’ll move, and I will get my card, start my integration process, improve my Danish, apply for jobs…start a REAL LIFE.

As excited as I am I’m also nervous of course, as is expected with any life change, but it’s finally in a good way, and I’m so excited.  I’m also enjoying these last leisurely weeks before we have to deal with paperwork and the business of moving, buying furniture, kitchen stuff, etc. of which we have basically nothing.  I can enjoy my time here now that an end is in sight, and I’m treasuring the friendships I managed to make in my six months of living here.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter, and hoping I’ll be able to find new friends (ones I can keep!) and stay in touch with the old.

Copenhagen, here I come!  Now I really will be an American Hermit Crab in Denmark!

So in the end, I’m glad I held off on my 100th post…worth it.

Can we get some common sense over here?

So by now, I’m sure that everyone has heard about  the whole Todd Akin thing.  The ignorance, the “apology,” and all of the drama that ensues.

I heard about it first on Facebook, then from my husband while he was browsing Reddit, again while reading through blogs, and finally I saw it featured on the Danish six-thirty news.  American politics are embarrassing enough, with more drama than a trashy teen television show before you mix in the real idiots.

Now, my Danish has somehow still, miraculously been improving, and I actually understood a lot of what they were saying about the incident on the news.  To be fair, none of them called anyone an idiot, and didn’t mention the word ignorance, so they were a lot more objective than I’ve already been here, but while they were discussing it, it seemed that they couldn’t quite erase the bemused expressions off of their faces.  They even said “this is quite difficult for Danes to understand.”  Overall, it was even more embarrassing to see our news being covered in Europe.  They did a small spot on it again during the morning news that I was watching while attempting to finish the sleeve of my nephew’s sweater, and the anchor asked her guest why this was even an issue in the states.  The guest responded citing that American politics are quite entwined still with religion.  A president in the US is expected to pull out a few God Bless Americas every time he makes a public appearance, while she admitted that if a Danish politician were to do the same, he would be laughed at.  She mentioned that the US tends to play to and honor Christian values instead of science and common sense.  She even managed to say it in a fair, non-judgmental tone of voice.  Kudos.

Now, if some Americans heard that, they would probably say “you bet we do, and we’re proud of it!”  but even as I look at that sentence again, I can’t help but cringe and wonder when the US is going to catch up.

As an American here in Europe, I often feel the shadow of the US following me around.  I’m often the token American, and I feel like I have to answer for everything (ridiculous as it may be) that the US does.  The “US” being politicians, corporations, psychotic individuals, etc.  The title of this blog, An American Hermit Crab in Denmark, is actually the title of one of my poems, and I’m feeling more and more like I’m carrying my “home,” the US, on my back wherever I go here.  I wish it were easier to realize that the people who leave the states to live somewhere else are often the people who aren’t the most thrilled with how things are going there, and are the last people who can really answer for the shenanigans that play out on the news.

The best part about feeling the shame of having such awful human beings as leaders in my home country is seeing people rise against them.  Maybe if things get weird enough, the general public will have a breakthrough and we’ll turn, as a country, a bit more towards science and research, and if we’re lucky, maybe towards some common sense, too.

Mail!

Today when the mail came, and I jumped up (1% with excitement to go see what came in the mail 99% with the terror that strikes every single time the mail comes swishing through the mail slot and plops on the floor and makes me think someone just walked boldly into the apartment to steal me.) I noticed that I had mail!  Me!  With my name on it!  And look, it was from the Migration Office!

My heart pounded as I ripped it open, discarding the other mail–something about insurance, and some sort of newspapery thing–only to see that it was merely a notice that they received my application for a residence card two weeks ago when–surprise–I had turned it in.  Oh.

Maybe next time.

Ambitions? Me?

I’ve been bitten by the ambition bug.

I’ve always told people “Yeah, I’m really not ambitious.  Mostly, I just want to have babies.” and “I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.”  But suddenly, I feel like there’s something I must do.  I don’t know why it never hit me before, but I’ve realized recently in steps that I’m really excited about midwifery (heehee, such a funny word in English mid-whiff-er-ee).  Anyone who knows me knows my obsession about babies, and anyone who knows me a bit better knows about my obsession with being pregnant.
I feel like the reason I never really thought of it before was the sort of nonexistence of midwives in the states. Of course they exist, but the practice has been shunned and propaganda-ed and feared for so long that, though it’s making a comeback, it’s still not big. In Denmark, things are a lot different.  Midwives are almost all government-employed, working mainly in birthing centers and hospitals, and all uncomplicated pregnancies are referred to midwives.
I’ve always had a fascination for pregnancy and birth in general, and it’s only been growing stronger. Suddenly, I see myself with a future, and a plan and something besides having my own family that I’m really excited about doing.
In a way, that’s really scary to admit.  I’m used to being judged for not being an ambitious woman, like it’s un-feminist or something, but I feel like this is a different sort of judgment I’m fearing.  I am scared people will secretly whisper to each other about how hard it will be, or how I won’t be able to learn Danish well enough in time to study in Danish about how to be a midwife, or how I won’t be able to take the gory parts.  Now, I know that I think people will whisper these things about me because they’re the things that the meanie part of my brain is whispering to me,  and I also know that the majority of people in my life are going to be incredibly supportive.  I already told my mom about my tentative plans, and she’s really excited for me, as is my mother-in-law.  Both, oddly enough, have thought about it themselves in the past.
However, I also feel a bit excited about this new stage of fear that comes with having ambitions and hopes!  I’ve already become a bit overwhelmed by it and questioned my abilities, but this is something I’m really passionate about, and I will do what it takes.  Of course I’m afraid that I won’t get into the program, that I’ll take too long learning Danish and have to put it off, that it will be really scary and intimidating and stressful, but suddenly none of that is a reason to give up.  This is a new feeling for me, being so passionate and excited and positive about something that is so scary, but it’s also a relief in a sense.
I’ve been waiting years and years to have something matter this much to me.  I’ve been wondering most of my life what it is I will actually be when I grow up, and ever since I knew I’d be living in Denmark, I questioned my ability to be anything other than that weird American who can’t get a job.  Suddenly, I have an ambition, a goal, and even a (wait for it) PLAN!  Suddenly, I feel like a new woman, and also the same old girl, like I should have known my whole life that *duh* this is what I want to do.
To people who have always had a dream, and never knew what it felt like to be rather lost and directionless, this feeling is nothing new, but to me, who have been dreamless for a lot of my life, this is super-duper exciting.