My Birth Story – Part Two.

My Birth Story – Part Two.

“Can you hear her crying?” the anaesthesiologist asked.
“She’s here! Congratulations!”
Unlike the movies this time, I was not able to see her right after they got her out of me. She was taken away to have the APGAR test and be cleaned, while I was getting stitched for the following 30 minutes.
I was glad that my anaesthesiologist had stayed with me during the whole surgery and explained everything that was going on and supported me emotionally.


To back up a little, here I was on the operating table: IV in my arm, various monitors in place around me-to keep an eye on my heart rate, breathing and blood pressure- arms strapped down to the table, and a privacy sheet between me and the doctors -all while still wearing an FFP2 mask, mind you.

Tawa was right next to me, and I could see the excitement in his eyes.
Believe it or not, the OR was such a peaceful place to be in in that moment.
The bright lights were not tiresome, the doctors friendly, the midwives helpful, and the mood? As good as it gets. I was so excited.

I knew in that moment that I was going to see my daughter soon.
“My daughter!”, I thought. I had 8 months of pregnancy to get used to that term, to the idea, to motherhood being my reality, and yet I could not believe this was really happening! I was so excited.

During all the tugging and pulling, Thea was born, my placenta was pulled out, and soon enough I was ready to be stitched up.

After giving me these updates, the anaesthesiologist knew I was worried about a lot of blood loss so she also reassured me that I had less than average blood loss. Yay.
However, *surprise surprise* I wasn’t that reassured, because then I got worried about a postpartum haemorrhage. A piece of placenta that gets left behind and causes me an infection. So many thoughts. Oh how wild my brain went. “It’s what you get for getting informed about a surgery beforehand and reading too much about it. Is ignorance a bliss?” I thought.

Before I knew it though, I was in my room with Thea on my chest.
Let me tell you, the moment they gave her to me, all the pain in the world felt it could wait and all the worries and all the anxiousness of the c-section somehow disappeared as I gazed into her beautiful eyes. She had such a small face – as all premature babies do- and it was such a familiar face, Tawa and I agreed.
It was like looking at the both of us at once.

For 8 months I thought “I can’t wait to meet this stranger, I wonder what she looks like”.
I finally knew the answer to that. She looks like home, and we are always going to be hers.

Thea was born 2210g and 47cm, with thick brown hair, beautiful round eyes and stole our hearts in a second.

A few days later she got jaundice, but that’s a story for another time.

Cheers to a new chapter, cheers to you Thea. May you always be healthy and happy and grow to be a smart and successful woman surrounded by people who love you a love you truly deserve.

*raises bottle of milk to toast*


My Birth Story – Part One.

My Birth Story – Part One.

I look at her and I can’t believe she’s mine. Right this moment, as I write my birth story, she’s in her crib next to me and I look at her like she’s…magic. Even though it didn’t feel like it at the time, I’ve indeed created it. My own magic, all mine to love and hold till the rest of time.

I’m not sure where to begin with, but to give you a bit of background I’ll walk you through my pregnancy journey really quickly.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I could not contain my happiness and rushed to the next room to tell Tawa as soon as the test came back positive. Wait, scratch that. As soon as he finished a meeting he had at work. Alright fine, in between meetings, he only had two minutes to absorb the news before his next one.
You can clearly see how working from home was like a blessing to me, because can you imagine having to wait for him to get home to tell him? With my impatience? I highly doubt it.

Anyhow, nausea aside, the only thing that annoyed – and surprised – me during pregnancy was how much I needed to pee the whole damn time. I couldn’t leave home for 15 minutes without having to search for a public toilet -like my life depended on it.
My mood swings were terrible by the third trimester, but it was all worth it and I was so eager to finally meet her.

Apparently, so was she.

On November 9th, one month ago today, I woke up at 2am – once again- to pee, or so I thought.
As soon as I sat down, I heard a little pop, followed by a gush of water. I froze. I wondered if that’s my water breaking, but as I was half asleep I decided I must be going crazy. After all, I still had 6 weeks until my due date. “I must be dreaming”, I kept convincing myself.

So I went back to my room and as I was getting into bed, I realized water was gushing out of me once more, and I did not have any control over my bladder. “IT IS JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES”, I thought. Right, except in the movies they are usually prepared for it.
I stood there for a minute processing what just happened. That pop wasn’t me dreaming. That was not an urge to pee. That was my water breaking, at 34 + 5 weeks, in Berlin Germany, and I was about to give birth.

I woke Tawa up by saying very calmly “Tawa my water broke”, so he got out of bed faster than I’ve ever seen him get out of bed, and asked me what he can do to help and if it’s a good idea to call the midwife, and I think I let my phone ring twice before realizing it was 2 am in the morning. I hung up and started packing my hospital bag because guess what? I thought I still had 6 weeks to do it.

As soon as I was done with that, I wore a DIAPER to go to the hospital, as I was still losing water and it did not occur to me to call an ambulance for help. I just needed to get there and understand what’s what. Was I actually about to give birth? Would they send me home with some meds and ask me to wait and stay on bed rest?

I was not emotionally prepared for it. I needed time to process, I kept thinking, and time was the one thing I did not have.

15 minutes later, I got to the hospital where I had planned to give birth in December.
They started to monitor me and confirmed I was having contractions, and that they needed to move me to another hospital with an intensive care unit for premature babies.
It felt like yet another slap in the face: not only was I having a premature baby, I also did not have control over which hospital I get to give birth in!

An ambulance took me to the second hospital, where I was examined once again, only to find out I am 4cm dilated – and with a breech premature baby, a vaginal delivery would be a big risk.

The doctor explained to me my options and I decided to naturally opt for a c-section. If I remember correctly, I think they started to prep me for surgery around 6:30 am.

SURGERY. I always need a moment to process this word when I tell this story.

I remember they gave me something to drink for the acid reflux that could happen during the OP, and they took me to have the anaesthesia afterwards.
The anaesthesiologist told me to bend my back and relax my shoulders so she can proceed, and I couldn’t for the life of me get my goddamn shoulders to relax.

I remember thinking “how do you expect me to relax when you’re about to cut me open when I wasn’t even expecting this to happen tonight? Take me back home so I can finish sleeping in peace!”
Then it hit me, yet again, that this is actually happening.

I asked them to bring me my phone, and as soon as I had it, I played some german songs I liked -songs for kids I first learned when I got to Germany- and I started singing them out loud to forget where I am and what is about to happen. To my surprise, the nurses and midwives in the OR started singing with me. It worked. I forgot where I was, I was able to relax my shoulders and next thing I knew, I was ready for surgery.

Moving to Germany from Lebanon

Moving to Germany from Lebanon

Following this tweet I had posted a week ago, I got many direct messages or replies asking me more about the procedure of moving to Germany from Lebanon. In order to answer everyone including people those of you who were hesitant to reach out, I am writing this blog post in hopes that it would be of help!

How can I move to Germany?

Since you can’t apply for immigration, you simply have two options:

  • Study in a public or private university, which can help you get an internship and maybe a job later on if you’re lucky enough,
  • Find a job that offers a visa sponsorship.

How fluent do I have to be in german?

If you are willing to study here, you need to have a certificate of C1 to be able to get accepted (many of your courses might be in German). There are some universities though that teach all of their courses in English, and don’t request a certificate of proficiency.

If you find a job that offers a visa sponsorship, chances are this job is in English. In any case, you will often have to speak with locals. Obvious as it may sound, this is very important for your integration as well.

What is the best way for me to learn German for free?

I studied one level and a half of German all by myself way before coming to Germany and resuming my studies in school. I would recommend you check out my three favorite channels on YouTube, they really helped me understand the basics before my move to Berlin.

German with Jenny | Lingoni

German with Anja

Easy German

Which websites can I use to search for a job?

It’s websites you’ve heard of like,,, or LinkedIn.

Just make sure to look for jobs that offer a visa sponsorship.

If you have any more questions for me, I will try my best to answer them, please let me know in the comments! x

Berlin in Pictures

Berlin in Pictures

I find myself wandering in Berlin and taking pictures that I end up falling in love with.

I use my iPhone X, then edit them using Lightroom (mobile app).

I’m sharing some of them with you today, in hope that you would visit this city soon!

Berlin, I love you.




Getting Married in Cyprus: Your Questions Answered

Getting Married in Cyprus: Your Questions Answered

With civil marriage not happening anytime soon in Lebanon, it’s not a surprise that most couples pick the nearest country to go and get the ceremony done.
If you’re interested in reading this blog post, chances are you’re considering getting married in Cyprus yourself.
But you’ve got many questions in mind, so I’m here to answer them all- or at least try!

Our Story

Tawa and I decided to get married in Cyprus and we were lucky enough to have the support of both our families.
We got married on 24.01.2018 and had a small and simple wedding party back in Lebanon on 17.02.2018 with family and friends!
The following procedure I wrote is for Larnaca’s ceremony.
Should you decide to get married in Nicosia where the Lebanese Embassy is, please contact them on (0035722797238) to allocate a date and time for your wedding day after you prepare all the required documents.

How Things Work

The procedure is the following:

1) Contact Larnaca’s municipality (where the ceremony will take place) by email on:

2) You can ask them about all the documents and (updated) fees, but I will also share them with you in a bit so you can have a general idea on what to expect.

3) You’ll be asked to prepare the documents, get them translated in English by an official translator, stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy of Cyprus in Lebanon. You’ll also pick a day and a time!:)
(For us, it was at 9am!! Mind you, we had breakfast after getting married!)

4) Once in Cyprus, you’ll need to have with you your passports and all original documents stamped and translated.
From here on, it will be different depending on whether you asked for an indoor or outdoor wedding.
But the procedure is still the same 🙂

5) You’ll be asked to sign a paper that has all your names & info to be used later on for the marriage certificate. (Don’t panic, that’s not the actual thing yet, but make sure all the written names are correct because it will be so hard to edit them later on.)

6) You’ll be asked to enter the marriage officiant’s room where the ceremony will take place, (so where the vows will be exchanged- don’t panic as well, we read vows suggested by them, nothing romantic because we aren’t-yay).
Finally, signatures of you and your spouse as well as the witnesses’ will be the final step before you can leave the room as Mr.&Mrs. 🙂

7)3 days after your ceremony, you can go back to pick up your original marriage certificate as well as the number of copies you had asked for beforehand. (All stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- and Ministry of Justice if you ask for it)
Little tip:
Please keep in mind to ask for a marriage certificate with an “Apostil” (Ministry of Justice stamp) in case you decide to live in Europe afterwards. It’s mandatory.

8)Next, you’ll need to go to Lebanon’s embassy in Cyprus where you can submit your papers once again to get them registered in your *lovely* country.

9)Once you’re back in Lebanon, contact the Lebanese embassy in Cyprus again after a month, and they will assign you a number for your diplomatic case.

10) Finally, when all the wait is over, you will be able to get your new family registry record, and a new civil registry record:) Congrats!

Required documents

-Civil Registry Record 2 copies for each
اخراج قيد فردي
-Family Registry Record 2 copies for each
اخراج قيد عائلي
-Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate if divorced or widowed


If you and your partner don’t hold a Schengen Visa, please apply for a visa at the embassy of Cyprus in Lebanon and take all the required documents as well as your travel tickets, hotel reservations, insurance, and a bank statement with you. Click here to check all the details on their website.


-€281,90 for the ceremony which includes one certificate of marriage.
-€13,65 for every extra marriage certificate you may need.
-€20 for one marriage certificate with an Apostil (Ministry of Justice stamp) and an additional €5 for every extra certificate with an Apostil.
-€20 for one stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an additional €5 for every extra certificate you may need.
-€150 for a wedding outdoors.
-€17 for the embassy of Lebanon in Cyprus.

Note that the payment for the ceremony should be in cash, in euro and on the same day of the wedding.

I hope I helped a little bit, but please contact the municipality on their email to get a better understanding of the steps to take!
Congrats to all the couples! ❤

Don’t forget to take a photo by the famous door of the municipality 🙂


Berlin In 3 Days: What To Do

Berlin In 3 Days: What To Do

If it were up to me, I would tell you to stay in Berlin for at least 10 days and enjoy the city slowly, as you fall in love with every corner of it.
But because I know the thrill of being in Europe and wanting to visit every part of it at once, I’m hoping this blog post can help you get an idea on what to visit in Berlin, Germany, even if your time is limited!

If you want, skip to the trip details or read a couple of tips I wrote for you!

Once you’re in Berlin:

  • You’re going to want to try BEER!
    Tawa and I’s absolute favorite is the Augustiner.
    You can buy this bottle in shops or order it in some restaurants/pubs.
    This Bavarian beer comes from Munich’s oldest brewery. It is the most successful beer in Mitte Berlin, even though the company does not advertise it. The labels haven’t changed for 20 years!
    Talk about a retro look 🙂 !

  • You can have MANY choices of food-on-the-go while you’re touring.
    If you’re near Alexanderplatz, you can choose from Doner Kebab, Dürüm or Curry Wurst.
    But you’ll also find them anywhere else, Berlin has some of the best kebabs!


  • Watch out!
    This goes without saying, but please keep an eye on your wallet and bags.
    I’m not saying you should be terrified all the time, but pickpocketing is likely to happen.
  • Transportation
    You can buy your daily ticket that costs 7 EUROS at the metro station, on the bus or using the app BVG TICKETS.
    In case you decide to stay for more than 3 days, you can also buy a weekly ticket, which is around 30 EUROS.
    Please note that a SINGLE TRIP TICKET means that for 2 hours, you can go anywhere without returns or round trips. Changes and interruptions are permitted.


  • Clubs
    Due to my lack of interest in clubs, I won’t be recommending any. But I’m sure if you’re a fan of partying, you’re probably going to Berlin for Berghain. Good luck getting in there! ❤ 
  • Pubs
    Click here to see the list of my favorite pubs in Berlin.



Start your first day in Berlin at Alexanderplatz. After passing next to the World Clock, walk towards the TV Tower (Fernsehturm). Once you’re up there, you can have a phenomenal view of the city, and learn about the history of every part of it, written there for you to read!

Buy the Tickets here 🙂 
Personal tip: Don’t have a drink at the bar there, it’s not worth it.





Before you start shopping at Alexanderplatz, walk 600m from Alexanderplatz to Nikolaiviertel, Berlin’s oldest district. There you can find St.Nicolas’ Church, some cozy cafés and restaurants where you can stop for lunch.

Next up is the amazing Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom), 550m away from Nikolaiviertel.
If you decide to enter the Cathedral and go up all the way to the top, you can also enjoy a fascinating view.




From Berlin Cathedral to Brandenburg Gate, pass by Unter den Linden, a boulevard in the central district: Mitte.
Starting from the Schlossbrücke, this 1.5km road lets you see numerous important buildings such as the Humboldt University and the Staatsoper (Berlin State Opera).
The boulevard also has shops and restaurants and cafés in case you decide to postpone lunch till then!

Take a detour at Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful square in Berlin.
If you’re there during December, you might enjoy Gendarmenmarkt’s Christmas Market!

Now it’s only a few meters left to the Brandenburg Gate, the most famous landmark of Berlin.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it became a symbol of German unity.


Side Story: After winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the German national football team held their victory rally in front of the gate.


Start this day with historical destinations, first off at the Jewish Museum of Berlin, “Welcome to Jerusalem”.
It’s recommended to take the tour with an audio guide, that way you can enjoy a full experience. 
It can take you up to 40 minutes to tour it if you take your time! 


Following this trip back in time, 850m away is the famous Checkpoint Charlie! 

After that, how about another interesting Museum tour?
Head to Niederkirchnerstraße 8, to check out “Topography of Terror”.
On this site between 1933 and 1945, the principal instruments of Nazi persecution and terror were located: the headquarters of the Gestapo, the high command and security service of the SS, and from 1939 the Reich Security Main Office.

Topographie des Terrors outside
After that emotional ride, head to Tierpark for a tour in the largest animal park or grab a beer and chill at your nearest park. 🙂 


Did you really come to Berlin if you didn’t see the Berlin Wall? 
Separating East and West Berlin, the Wall’s demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and finished in 1992. Not so long ago!
You probably saw parts of it during your visits at the Topography of Terror, but I find the one along the Spree River near the Oberbaumbrücke- nicknamed East Side Gallery– to be the most touristic one of all.
P.S: Don’t have high expectations before visiting the East Side Gallery, or you’re up for a big disappointment!
Image result for east side gallery

Here’s the last stop for the day: Gärten der Welt
Gardens of the World is a large space for fun and relaxation in natural surroundings! 
You get to experience different gardens from around the world, from Japanese, Balinese, Middle Eastern, Korean and Christian-themed gardens to the Italian Renaissance Garden and the Chinese Garden of the Recovered Moon. 
Get lost in the maze garden and the labyrinth for some extra fun! 

Opening hours

Mon. – Sun. (Nov. – Feb.)

9:00 – 16:00

Mon-Sun (Mar. + Oct.)

9:00 – 18:00

Mon – Sun (Apr. – Sep.)

9:00 – 20:00


Enjoy an easy going end of this third day, where you probably have to get ready to say goodbye to this beautiful city.
But in case you still have time, you have the choice to check out one of the many cafés by the Landwehr Canal or the Neuköllner Schiffahrtskanal (Neukölln Ship Canal),  or even take a Spree river cruise!

Don’t forget to check out the 5 pubs I love visiting in Berlin.
I hope this blog post was all you needed to know, and I hope you enjoy your stay in this historical and magical city.
Bis bald! 


A Long Distance Marriage

A Long Distance Marriage

I’m not going to lie to you, this has been the most tiring year of my life.
So many things happened that would leave all of you speechless, but that’s not what you’re here to read.

I always looked at people going through this and thought to myself “they’re doing great” and “they’re really strong people” and “I’m glad they are able to manage this LDR”.
What I didn’t know, soon became my own reality.

Even after moving to Berlin, I am still not done working on my visa papers to be able to stay there for good.
So the long-distance marriage begins, and it’s not quite the dream.

First of all, let me begin by explaining to you that I am the worst person you could talk to on WhatsApp. I rarely ever understand if you’re serious, joking, sarcastic, or just not in the mood to talk.
How would anyone ever know anyway?
That was the first problem I had because when you misunderstand someone who’s kilometers away, there’s nothing you can do about it except call and try to fix it.
Which leads me to the second problem!
Calling anyone who’s abroad with our terrible internet is really a challenge.
I recommend subscribing to the largest Mobile Data your cell phone provider has to offer unless you have a badass internet at home. Then you’re just really lucky.
And speaking of luck, it’s a good thing we only have a one hour difference otherwise I don’t know what I would’ve done. I like my good night sleep.

So if you’re here for some tips, I would gladly add a few things to what Nicole had to say in her own blog post, from my own perspective.

Enjoy your time alone with your family, it won’t be long before you have to join your partner abroad.

It’s important to know each others’ schedules during the day to avoid texting or calling at the wrong time.

Use the same Netflix account and watch the same series together: you’ll have something new to discuss.

Try to stay as positive as you can, it keeps the relationship alive. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety!

Set a date. Decide when one of you will get to see the other again, don’t leave this subject hanging. It literally destroys all hope.




Try to celebrate all the little things you wouldn’t even notice before.

See this as a new way to accumulate airline miles!

It will never be 100% perfect, don’t beat yourself up every time something happens.

It’s been 5 months for us. I’m still learning, discovering, making mistakes and laughing at myself. This will never be a piece of cake, but it can be bearable when you want it to work.
I know many people who live together and yet aren’t as close as a LDR couple is.
Which reminds me of something I read on Twitter:

“You can be in the same room with the same person for years, and be in a long distance relationship.” 

Distance is only as hard as you make it!


I hope that after Nicole’s tips and mine, you can understand that every relationship takes work, but one with a long distance, takes twice the hard work- but it does not mean it is not feasible.

If you’re in a LDR, please share your tips in the comments below!

My Story with Anxiety

My Story with Anxiety

“Why are you so angry?”
“How come you never socialize, don’t you like these people?”
“Do something about it”
“Why don’t you face them with the truth?”
“Go ahead you’ll be fine all by yourself, what do you need me for?”
“You’re canceling this event, AGAIN?”
“But you said you were coming this time.”
These are all the things I grew up hearing from people without knowing the reason behind them.
I always considered myself as a shy introvert, and never really knew what the problem was.

But then came Nour.

She doesn’t call herself an advocate of mental health on Instagram for no reason.
She was there for me since day one, and I’m so grateful.
That problem I was telling you about, was nothing but anxiety.
Nour drove me to my first psychiatrist’ appointment in 2016. She made sure my anxiety wouldn’t push me to run away from it as she stayed in the waiting room patiently while I went on to discover what this anxiety means.

What is anxiety, really?

Anxiety is a reaction to something that might happen that is out of proportion. It’s thoughts and concerns, that last longer than 6 months and interfere with your life.

For me, it was the constant feeling that something bad is going to happen. A yet unexplained fear, affecting my day-to-day living. It was stomach pain, sweaty hands, headache and nausea all at once.

Sometimes, it was anxiety attacks or panic attacks.

Aren’t anxiety and panic attacks the same?

During an anxiety attack, a person is usually reacting to a stressor.
They would feel their heart racing and a shortness of breath, but it would all go away as soon as the stressor goes away.

A panic attack, on the other hand, doesn’t come in reaction to a stressor.
It’s unpredictable and unprovoked.
During a panic attack, a person usually feels like they’re having a heart attack, like they’re going to die.Add to that a series of physical symptoms which may include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea.

What triggers anxiety?

It’s basically a combination of personal, genetics, and environmental factors.

Anxiety is different for each person, and I recommend seeing a psychologist to determine your own reasons for it.

How can I avoid being anxious?

Like I said, seeing a psychologist is the best option.
But for me, there are things I do on a daily basis that help me control it better.

1.Caffeine: I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible as it may trigger or worsen anxiety.
2.Never Skipping Meals: When I skip meals, my blood sugar drops. When my blood sugar drops, my body confuses hunger with anxiety. When you’re hungry you get jittery hands and an upset stomach, and same goes for anxiety.
3.Breathing slowly: Another symptom of anxiety is breathing uncontrollably fast. I always make sure to try to stop myself from overreacting by inhaling through my nose, and exhaling through my mouth.
4.Sleep: Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is necessary for me, or I won’t wake up with a fully rested mind.
5.Start a journal: Write your thoughts, watch them as they become real, and realize how silly they are. They say it’s all in your mind, so change that.

I follow these tips myself, and other tips my psychologist recommended.
I can manage my anxiety better, even when it hits me with no warning!

That was something I never thought was possible, until Nour helped.

How to help someone with anxiety, the dos and don’ts

What to do:

1. Always make sure to let them know they’re not alone in this. And actually mean it.
2. Give them a tight hug, until it doesn’t hurt anymore.
3. Pamper them in any way they like! Chocolate, movies, anything would do.
4. Talk to them and listen to them. Understand them and let them know that you’ll do your best to help- and again, mean it.
5. Check up on them from time to time!
6. Things you could say that could help:
• I’m here for you
• I probably don’t understand you, but I’ll try if you let me
• I care about you, you are not alone in this
• What can I do to help?
• I don’t want to leave you alone, I’m coming over
• It’s going to be okay
• I know it may seem like the end of the world, but from my perspective it isn’t, and I want you to understand that
• Let’s do something else and we’ll discuss this in exactly 15 minutes. (This keeps their mind off of it for a while)

What not to do:
Tell them these things:
• Other people have it worse.
• You think you’re anxious? You should hear about what happened with…
• That’s not anxiety, are you sure?
• Why would you need a psychologist? You’re not mentally ill.
• When I was your age, I had more problems and I wasn’t as scared as you are now. I was strong.
• You should pray, it will go away that way.
• These are silly problems, what the hell are you worried about?
• You’re being stupid, come on.
• You’re just overreacting


Anxiety isn’t exactly every person’s dream but it’s real, and it happens.
I was lucky enough to have someone explain it all to me, thank you Nour!

Thank you to everyone who was ever there for me and still is, feeling like you’re not alone is what really helps.
Thank you to my understanding family, to my supportive husband, and my amazing friends.

I’m one lucky person.