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Kristin Heusinkveld-Gerlach: ‘Still Hating Everything About Pregnancy’

There are tens of thousands of expatriates in Berlin. Not all of them are pregnant, but Kristin Heusinkveld-Gerlach from the United States is. Since she does not exactly love her pregnancy so far, she freaked out.

Poor husband, poor neighbors, poor Berlin, poor local politicians, poor Kristin. Better get out of the way when she comes along. This is her account of the first half of her pregnancy.

Pretzels Only

*Made ambitious plans for a fit pregnancy, and powering through 9 months of hyper productivity. Scortched that earth around week 7.

*Cursed the phase when sunlight made me vomit. And warm showers. And brushing my hair. And anything with detectable odor. And anything I put in my mouth. And sitting in the wrong position. And loud noises. And talking above a whisper. And watching dramatic or hyper films. And even reading.

*The phase where I could only eat pretzels for weeks. Now I hate pretzels.

*Husband somehow survives the month where he must eat in the kitchen alone with the door closed and the window open because I cannot stomach the smells.

Foot Massages

*Watching Japanese foodie videos for hours on youtube because I cannot actually eat anything and its just such artistic presentation.

*Decided I dislike all the women who lied to me that pregnancy was so beautiful. Even the smiling women in pregnancy ads piss me off. This is why disney movies never feature after the wedding scenes.

*Realised foot massages are the best thing ever, though I was not a fan of massage for the first 37 years of my life.

*Gave up expecting that pregnancy glow, when my skin and hair magically become radiant, settling into homeless drug addict look instead.

Hypermesis Gravidarum

*Six ER visits and a five-day inpatient stint at the hospital for hypermesis gravidarum, including a psychotic episode due to malnutrition and lack of sleep. Legitimately considered a health-related abortion.

*Decided I am suddenly a pro surrogacy, and pro adoption activist.

*Writing a five-page report complaining about the hospitals crap customer service, and threatening to sue.

*That time husband had to help me work a knot out of my hair for an hour because I literally was too sick to brush it for 3 weeks.

In the meantime, the tiny one seems to be relaxing with Netflix. Photo: The Gerlach family

Aggressive E-Mails

*Wrote countless aggressive e-mails to local politicians flaming them for everything thats wrong with the world. Never really stopped that.

*Consumed a pharmacy worth of pills daily.

*Shocked when my clothes no longer fit me but then resigned when my husband’s clothes no longer fit me.

*Wrote and called over 50 midwives for hire and still got nothing.

Extra Mayo

*Husband spends 500 bucks on a custom air conditioning system so I dont get overheated this summer. Loving it.

*Became a black-belt level keyboard warrior on Facebook. In my own opinion.

*Fighting with the neighbors until another resident calls the police. I almost faint and grumpy old bully almost has a heart attack. Of course I was right.

*The phase where I ate 3-foot-long Subway sub sandwiches daily for 2 weeks. Veggie, extra mayo.

Diet Coke Ban

*Sadly sold my 100 bucks COVID-19 stockpile of Diet Coke when I realized I literally can’t handle caffeine anymore.

*Got fluffy and at some point could not bend over anymore.

*Being paranoid of getting COVID-19 everytime we leave the house, including briefly considering my husband is actually trying to kill me with his abysmal hygiene standards. There was divorce talk, no lie.

*Spent under 150 bucks on used baby furniture and talked Roy out of buying a house so I can save money for a surrogate for our second and third child.

Kristin Heusinkveld-Gerlach and her husband are on their way to get more Fettucini Alfredo. Photo: The Gerlach family

Preggo Brain

*Eurphoric gratitude for Germany’s healthcare for all. And not being a single mother. And grocery delivery. And Facebook. And that I don’t live under the U.S. healthcare system anymore.

*Pissed that my 2021 gym membership is non-refundable.

*Husband purchases personal lawsuit insurance for me because of all the fires I’m starting. Now I can sue anyone for just 150 bucks a pop.

*Realised reading that 500-page classic pregnancy book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was a waste of time because I literally can’t remember anything anymore after week 12 or so, thats preggo brain.

Hospice Type

*Ate more pasta in the last week than the previous 15 years combined. Thank you Italy for the gift of Fettucini Alfredo.

*Cherished all the sweet messages from new and old friends privately confessing how awful pregnancy is / was.

*Still not on speaking terms with my mother since week 8, but may reconsider around week 39.

*Husband bought me an orthopedic bed for my aching joints, like the hospice type for old people. Loving it.

Still hating everything about pregnancy. Not even half done.