It’s been more than four months since my last blog post. I’m a Newbie in blogging terms, having only written a handful of posts since moving to the Caribbean last February, but despite this, I’ve been struggling to find content. After some self-reflection, the reasons for this are clear: When I first started my blog back in March, my life looked significantly different to what it does now. Whilst I think I’ll always have the soul of a free-spirited traveller, one can’t deny that I’m now embarking on a new chapter, one where everything I’ve known changes exponentially, and the new life growing in my belly takes top priority. Unsurprisingly, planning for birth and parenthood have taken centre stage, leaving little time to consider travel or adventure, at least for the time being.
Writing in any medium is a form of self-expression and I’d like this blog to be authentic to my interests. Therefore, I’ve decided to change direction slightly: In future I’ll be blogging more about pregnancy, and expat life as a parent; topics which I love to read about on other people’s blogs! I think this will give me more to write about, but most importantly, more motivation to continue writing.
Another issue which I must address is my perfectionism! I’ve confused blogging with high-brow journalism, agonising over every adjective and sentence. This inevitably sucks all joy out of my hobby, as a short post which should take no longer than a couple of hours takes days or even weeks of tweaking. From now on I’m going to try and write in a more concise and down-to-earth narrative. Not least because I won’t have time for great elaboration once my arms are full with a newborn! I’m searching for a new name for my site too – please get in touch if you’ve got any ideas for suitable names.
I’m excited to say I’m now almost thirty-two weeks pregnant. I’m currently back in the UK and loving the cooler weather, which has made pregnancy much more comfortable. Generally I feel fine in myself but have some mild pelvic girdle pain. My midwife told me to slow down all activity and be careful not to overstretch in yoga. I’m also struggling to complete some basic tasks such as taking off my shoes. Bending over strains my back so I have to squat or sit down to reach things at a low level. My hips are also sore at night and turning over is a nightmare, I often get stuck on my back whilst trying to change sides! However, I must say all of this is a small price to pay for the joy of feeling our baby squirming and kicking every day. 😊
By the time we’d arrived in Grenada in February, my husband’s broodiness had reached feverish levels. I had my usual ambivalence towards the issue; I’d always wanted a family, but was selfishly reluctant to give up the freedom one become’s accustomed to after living child-free beyond the age of thirty. I was also plagued with the common anxiety of wondering what a good parent was, and if I was even capable of being one.
Moving abroad forced me to examine the unforeseen direction my life had suddenly taken. Now prohibited from conventional employment due to visa restrictions, I explored different ideas, from starting my own business to embarking on another stint of travelling. Neither idea came to fruition for the simple reason that most ideas fail to come to fruition: I lacked the passion to pursue either. Starting a business felt too big a leap for a novice expat who’d just arrived in their adopted land, and whilst I loved travelling, the one and only time I travelled sans husband, I missed him terribly.
After a couple of months in Grenada I finally found myself on the same page as my husband. I’ve been practicing Buddhist meditation since last summer and have begun to use it as a tool for tuning in to my intuition. By honing intuition, one is supposedly able to follow their heart’s desires, as opposed to the conflicting desires of the mind, and in turn lead a life which is more authentic to their true self rather than what society and other influences expect of them. So what does any of this spiritual mumbo jumbo have to do with starting a family I hear you cry? Whilst I’ve reluctantly come to accept that there is never a perfect time to procreate, a messy home filled with happy children is an ambition I’d wholeheartedly love to fulfill at this time in my life. In my gut, the decision to grow our family feels right.
I took a pregnancy test a few days before my period was due on the 17th of May 2016. I knew I was pregnant as I waited for the results whilst simultaneously trying not to vomit! Nonetheless, a haze of surreal excitement and disbelief hit me as I watched two positive lines slowly appear in the test window. What followed has been a roller coaster few months. We’ve felt jubilation as we watched our baby dance in my womb at our first ultrasound scan, and apprehension as the Zika epidemic predictably took hold of the Caribbean at the start of the rainy season. We realised we’d seriously underestimated the emotional upheaval of having a baby abroad as we navigated foreign health systems, but felt relieved I was unemployed as I battled debilitating morning sickness that had me bed bound for a month.
I will try my very best not to morph into that social media nuisance who posts incessantly about pregnancy and babies, as I’m aware that many people have zero interest in either topic. However, our journey into parenthood is now a significant story in our expat life here. I hope you won’t think me self-indulgent for including a few posts on the topic and I hope that these are both interesting and informative.