Most of my first trimester was spent in Guatemala, where I not only had to deal with the idea of being pregnant, but battle the intestinal parasites I'd contracted whilst handling the constant nausea, fatigue, dizziness and mood swings of pregnancy. There was also the small matter of the Zika virus being prevalent in Guatemala, and with the rainy season here there were more mosquitos, and therefore, more of a threat of infection. So I left my home at the lake and headed to my parents home in England, where I could get healthy.
|An English country garden|
My Mum and Dad have been phenomenal - I am so lucky and could not ask for better parents. Although, what I didn't expect was this sense of guilt... I feel bad every time they tell one of their friends that I'm pregnant and then have to try and explain the whole situation. It seems unfair that because I'm not married or in a serious relationship we aren't met with an automatic look of joy and "Congratulations" when delivering the news. Yes, things are complicated but that doesn't mean this is a tragedy.
Of course, it can feel like a tragedy from time to time. Right now my best option is to live with my parents in the town I grew up in, yet have no close friends to call my own. I have no job and no savings. And despite all the kind words of love and support I've received from friends and family around the world since my last blog post, I have never felt more alone. I don't know anyone who is or has been in my position... who could possibly understand and relate to what I'm going through? I've gone from wild travelling woman, to ideal candidate for the Jerry Springer show!
Reading pregnancy and birthing books doesn't help because they all talk about how your partner can make everything easier. From birthing classes to emotional support - everywhere I look I am being told that I can't do this on my own. Even my old friend Ayurveda has turned against me, emphasising the great need for the mother to be surrounded by the love and care of her partner!
With all these pregnancy hormones swirling around inside me its hard not to break into tears when I start contemplating my situation in more detail. I get even more emotional when I think about how my feelings might affect the baby. The books tell me, "your baby receives physiological support from you on a continuous basis and also picks up on all your feelings. So when you feel loved and supported by your partner, so does your baby, absorbing all your endorphins." (Dr Gowri Motha) Great. Knowing that sends me into a downward spiral feeling like I'm letting my baby down by getting upset and stressed, and negatively affecting it on a physical level as well...
At times like these I reach out to a couple of very dear friends for words of wisdom and comfort to pull me back from the brink. I am so incredibly lucky to have some amazing women in my life who have truly been there for me, loving me and holding space for me, even at a distance. You know who you are :)
There are times when I wish that I didn't believe that this is my calling, and that an abortion was an option. But even saying those words hurts my heart. I cannot and will not ignore the feelings I have for this baby.
Last week I had a scan at the hospital. My Mum and Dad excitedly came with me, but in the end I decided to go into the ultrasound room on my own. I wanted this experience all to myself :) As the sonographer pressed into my belly through the icy cold gel, I saw it... It was a real baby! No longer just a grey peanut, but a bouncing (literally!) little baby. I saw its tiny feet and hands and as it wriggled around I felt its contentment. Maybe I'm doing an alright job afterall...
|Baby at 14 weeks|
After measuring the baby it was dated at 14 weeks, making my official due date Christmas Day. Talk about a gift!
Its funny when I think back to the beginning of my Central American adventure, and how I'd asked the Universe for "life-changing love". And instead of falling in love and finding a partner to change my life, I fell pregnant and will getting a baby for Christmas. The Universe has an interesting way of delivering exactly what you want, it just may not come about how you had envisioned! You can't get more life-changing than becoming a mother.
"... you might have tried to stack the odds to make the arrival of babies more or less likely to occur. Yet new life still arises or doesn't for undecipherable reasons. You cannot decide exactly when the sun shines and plants grow. So too, you can't control the flow of universal consciousness. All you can do is trust in life unfolding as it is." Naomi Chunilal
(Reading list consists of The Mindful Mother by Naomi Chunilal, Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and Gentle Birth Method by Dr Gowri Motha)