Big News!


For those of you who may not already know, Matt and I are expecting another baby!  We found out in May and I am due on January 30, 2010.  Lydia’s due date was January 31, but she was fashionably late and arrived on February 4 🙂  It has been a bit overwhleming to be pregnant and navigate healthcare in a foreign country, but we have been blessed by helpful friends and an uneventful pregnancy.

I had much worse “morning” sickness, lasting quite a bit longer than with Lydia, but I am thankful that seems to be past.  It is hard to be in the chubby stage, rather than looking all cute and obviously pregnant, but I’ll be thankful for every day I can still wear my own clothes.  It is a little discouraging to have a couple of boxes of really nice maternity clothes buried in a storage unit in WV, but it’s not the end of the world.  It’s even harder not to think longingly of all the nice baby things we kept in anticipation of Lydia’s sibling(s).  I will say that we may well be having a boy, so I’m not too bummed about not having access to all the girly things Lydia had!  But I have to admit that I will miss the rocking chair, airplane mobile, heavy sleepers and blankets, and the stroller/car seat.

My dr is nice enough, though he doesn’t speak English, and he thought it was pretty likely at 13-14 weeks that we would be blessed with a boy.  My only real reason for thinking that is that I feel so differently this time.  As for other medical things, the baby and I look good.  I have had 2 ultrasounds and bloodwork done so far (both in June and July), and they don’t want to see me again until September.  It is a little different here, at least in our small-ish town.  My first appointment involved no history, no weight/height/BP/temp/etc…, just the ultrasound, a question about my c-section scar, and a question to my friend as to whether my first pregnancy was good.  The second visit was a little more like what I was used to in the States.  I had an u/s, BP and weight checked (both good), and an exam.  

A quick side note…  At my first visit in mid-June, I got a “rx” for vitamins C, E, and folic acid.  After talking to my US OB’s office, I just continued the mulitivitamins I already had.  I was prescribed proper prenatal vitamins in late July, so I am now taking those!

I had mixed feelings about delivering in Cacak, given the age/condition of the facilities and the lack of English speaking personnel (since my Serbian is only about a half step above survival level).  I don’t expect to be treated specially as a foreigner, but I do want to be able to talk to my dr and going through a translator, especially depending on one during the actual birth, is something I do not feel comfortable with.  A friend’s mom recommended an English speaking dr at the hospital.  She speaks no English, but took me to meet him.  The age of the facility was not a huge deal as it seemed clean and I know other ladies have babies there every day (though the squatty bathroom that looked to be in the middle of an abandoned remodel was pretty scary), but talking to the dr was not reassuring.  He mostly talked to my friend’s mom in Serbian (which I sort-of followed), asked me a couple of questions in English (his seemed fine), looked at my papers from the other dr and told me to come back in September.  This 5 minute exchange left me more firmly convinced that having a baby in Cacak was not the best choice for me.

One of the main considerations for this is our plan to deliver by c-section.  Even if everything were “normal,” I would labor in a room with several other women (no husbands allowed), deliver without Matt, and stay in a ward where Matt could not visit.  He could visit the hospital to see me, but only briefly if I could make it to a particular area at the designated times.  I know there is little chance that he could be with me for the c-section even in Belgrade, but we could have a private room and he could visit and be with me and the baby much more.  Setting aside such preferences, there is also the matter of safety.  If anything would be wrong with me and/or the baby, we would be faced with a 3 hour ambulance ride to the capital (barring traffic and winter weather).  We are not expecting problems, but we feel it is the wisest thing to start out in Belgrade, taking advantage of the best facilities available.  We still have to navigate the system and figure out the real scoop on procedures and payments (we have heard some wild tales about both things!).  It can be overwhelming at times, but God is not surprised by any of this.  He knew this child before “he” was ever conceived and He is with us through this whole experience and beyond.  Even if we don’t know what’s going on, He does!!

I do have a word to say about VBAC (vaginal birth after Ceasarean) vs. c-section.  I did not plan to have a section with Lydia, but given her breech position after the onset of labor, I tearfully accepted the dr’s recommendation.  The experience was so much better than I could have hoped and I would have had mixed feelings about VBAC in the States, even if my dr encouraged it.  I was challenged yesterday to think more about it, which I did.  I couldn’t sleep last night after Lydia woke up thirsty, so I spend half the night reading tons of articles and stories.  Everything confirms that with the right set of circumstances, VBAC can have positive outcomes for mothers and babies.  Many hospitals and drs will not support VBAC given the additional risks and liabilities, though just as many seem to be fully supportive.  I read plenty of success stories (even women having successful home births after multiple c-sections), but also heartbreaking stories of failed attempts at VBAC or those that resulted in trauma or death for the baby.  Knowing that it is really my choice, I feel great peace about proceeding with a planned section.  Personally, having a great previous c-section does have an impact on my feelings.  I am 3 yrs older and in a completely different environment, so it may not be nearly so easy this time around.  But I feel that it would be reckless, especially given our distance from Belgrade, to attempt a VBAC and end up having an emergency c-section in a foreign country.  By making arrangments with the dr and scheduling in advance, we are making the best of a less than ideal situation and giving the baby and I the best chance to have a positive experience.  I am not sad or scared to have the baby here, but I am realistic and recognize that being an outsider has a direct impact on my ability to understand and be understood during this special time.

I have pictures from my last ultrasound to post soon and I will do my best to share interesting pregnancy and parenting stories from abroad in the months to come!!


It’s snowing in Cacak!  A big cold front blew in last night after pretty mild weather yesterday.  The ground is still too warm, and also too wet from the rain that fell through the night, for anything to stick.  But it’s still snow, even if it’s mostly some pitiful flurries 🙂

Our first snow in Serbia!  We are very excited and even have some pics of snow on the ground in the hills/mountains outside of town.  The flurries didn’t last, but the view from our window is still awesome and we’re ready for “mnogo sneg.”  Volimo sneg (we love snow)!!

July Through Now


The summer has positively flown by and October is just around the corner. Our days have been a whirlwind of Lydia, language, and building relationships. We still have all the ordinary things on our to-do list that we would have back home: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, paying bills, etc… (which we have blogged about). But things take just a little bit longer. Not to mention the main reason we’re here, which is to meet people and tell them about Jesus!



Much of our first 4 months in Serbia have been spent learning the language and keeping up with Lydia. She is getting so big, and even though she is rapidly approaching the terrible 2’s, she’s such a sweet, happy little thing. Children are truly a blessing from the Lord! You can read more about Lydia by following this link.

As we slowly (painfully slowly) learn more language, we try to use everyday excursions to meet people and practice. We have a little routine and have made friends at the piaca and at some of our other stops around town. Lydia is certainly a big help with this 🙂 While we don’t yet have enough Serbian to really witness with words, we are thankful that we know enough to at least give glory to God for simple things. It is awesome to be able to thank God for His love and provision. And we had a few exciting language moments this month! We just ask that you please pray for us as we try to memorize scriptures in Serbian and as we seek opportunities to share the Truth.


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It has been such a blessing to participate in Bible studies with local believers and seekers, most of whom speak at least a little bit (if not quite a lot) of English. Even though the studies are in Serbian, our friends graciously translate for us. We have rejoiced in opportunities to worship, certainly with our teammates, but especially with our Serbian friends. And we have also been blessed to have spiritual conversations in English during our short time here.

As we look to our post-language schedule, we are excited about different opportunities both to meet people and to build relationships. Teaching opportunities abound, as well sports activities…and people are always ready to hang out at a cafe. Please join us in praying for wisdom and discernment as we walk through each day and plan our activities, both individually and as a family!


One brief update from Matt: As you can tell, we haven’t been the best at doing large summary posts like this over the past few months. However, we have kept our blog up-to-date. If you want to see what is going on virtually as it is happening, check out our blog regularly. If you want, you can also subscribe to our RSS feeds. Either check over on the left-hand portion of the screen or use the links below:

Don’t know what RSS is? Need some help? Here are some excellent links that will let you know what you need and how to use them.

All About RSS
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