The sideline pregnancy & how I did’t start sewing when I became a mother

Hannah – April 2018

“How far along are you?” “What? With what? Where? Oh, right. I am not sure, week 27 or 28.” This is usually my answer to questions like this. To be honest, I don’t really know. I’d have to check my calendar, or better my app.

My due date is sometime in the middle of June – I am very sure about that at least. It was the first thing my doctor said. This second pregnancy is just a sideline. And she was right. Sometimes I am really sorry for that little boy growing right underneath my heart, and I wonder if he already recognizes that he doesn’t get as much attention as his big brother, Henry, did. I knew every week, every day how far along I was. I checked all the time on what was going on with him, when his liver grew or he was able to hear sounds.

In retrospect however, I wish I would have been less afraid during my first pregnancy. And that’s the good thing about this “sideline pregnancy”: I don’t worry all the time, but I’m still really looking forward to the little miracle that will soon make our summer exciting.

For me, it’s the perfect time to start a business, and the great thing is that I don’t meet anyone who sees it differently. At least nobody tells me. So why is it the perfect timing? Surely some wouldn’t dare. Others ask me how I manage all of it. They will quickly notice how I feel about it and how relaxed I am. Is our Henry so relaxed because our life requires it? Or is it his temper all along? Probably a mixture. I guess that’s why I am having another son and not a girl. Honestly, I was a little sad. I wished to have a girl to have someone in the family who also rides a motorcycle, like I do. Someone told me, boys can do that aswell. We will see. So now he might, like his big brother, rather look at the toolbox with my husband, and I can work during this time.

And the people who know me know what I can and want to do and don’t question whether I will achieve what we have planned with CoWomen. We are a great team, and we have met awesome women who will support us.

In my first pregnancy, I already announced my idea of a life with work and family and encountered surprisingly much headwind. I thought, we are living in the 21st century, aren’t we?! When I said that I wanted to get back into work very soon, I often heard, “Just wait until the baby arrives,” or, “You will see.” What was I supposed to see? I didn’t become a supermom who started sewing. Henry got a glass from the supermarket every now and then, if there was no other way. Or just a banana instead of something from the balanced diet you should follow. You just shouldn’t make it so hard on yourself.

Our lives didn’t turn 180 degrees. We have become a larger family, and our son is a part of it. Not we of his life. Of course I stood in the kitchen all night, cooked the fresh vegetables and pureed them. Ok, I did it once or twice. And yet I kept my appointments, which sometimes required breastfeeding Henry while standing up in the S-Bahn somewhere in Berlin. That’s life!

I started working when Henry was three months old. I was done talking about cloth diapers all day already. My early start however has cost us a lot of money as well as organizing effort. Nevertheless, it is an investment in my career, our partnership and our happy life.

I am proud that I didn’t change my whole being for motherhood. It is a part of me, just as I am a woman, wife, partner, friend, employee, and founder. Making these decisions, I was very lucky having found a great example of being a modern family. At the right moment, I was able to entrust myself to a colleague who had just returned from parental leave. From then on Anna and her family, whom I did not know until then, were my role models for a modern family. She and her husband go to work, travel an incredible amount, and remain husband and wife, friend, and girlfriend. Thanks to them, for example, we had the courage to spend our parental leave in Malaysia for three and a half weeks – a great country to travel with kids.

Those friends of mine, who had the strongest opinion during my last pregnancy on how my idea of living as a family would not work, they are amazed today when they see us. When we got on the train with Henry, when he was three weeks old, and went to the wedding of my husband’s cousin, we could convince them. When Henry was two months old, we left for Romania to attend another wedding. And we will not stop there and are doing it again: My best friend is getting married in Spain when Henry’s little brother will be four weeks old. Everything works out, if you are willing to make the compromises and the effort. I’m looking forward to it!

I admit I don’t sew, but I knit a blanket for Henry. And of course I’m knitting one for his little brother.

Be brave! Do it anyway.