2nd Trimester: Like a Slap in the Face

So my big project of the year was still on. The doctor did any extra tests to see if all my sugar, blood, iron levels (and more) were alright and I did not need any supplements. When you search online for information about pregnancy and extreme high altitude (we were going over 6,000m, that is just some 2,000m lower than Everest), there is not much to be found. I mean, it would probably not occur to any pregnant woman to even attempt going to high altitudes, especially with little experience. But my doctor told me I could go ahead and that there was actually no risk for the baby. So the organizing continued. I was maybe 14 weeks pregnant when the actual expedition happened. You could definitely not tell by looking at me and I was feeling absolutely incredible. Until I hit 5,800m above sea level and felt heart pain that I knew was not normal. And back down I went. Read more about my experience, here.

So even after the big project of the year was completed, our busy lives continued: my parents were here, then we moved, then the holidays. I was still in that mindset of: really? Is there something in there? It was again, easy to just push my pregnancy aside for me to “deal with” later.

I have even been organizing the baby’s room and other logistics almost on auto-pilot. I find comfort in lists and having my Excel spreadsheet with what I need, what I have, etc. I have been reading books and even still, throughout all these preparations and this organizing, I hadn’t really taken the time, or allowed myself to let everything sink in.

Slowly but surely, my belly started growing. But for so long, I just looked bloated or like I hadn’t been to the bathroom. Still, I felt like I was huge, and then it really came out. Soon enough, I could feel the baby’s movements, and the full moon and eclipse, and all my hormones and emotions started to bubble up. Finally, the tears came down and I got these waves of crying.

One day, my husband came home to me just balling my eyes out naked in the bathroom. That was one moment where I really let my mind take over: what have you done? do you really want this? Are you even ready to be a mother? do you even want to be in Peru? are you making the right decision as to where the baby is going to be born? will he be a good father? Will I be a good mother? Will I ever start feeling joy and love for this stranger inside me? etc etc etc. Wow, what a spiraling thread your mind can start and get involved in. But in the end, that crying felt so good. Meditation has helped me a lot (again!). I am able to sit and watch all these thoughts and small judgements and worries, but not get too involved in the story that my mind tries to create. I sit and watch as the process unfolds, I try to do it with an open heart and mind, and I wait for the ripples of happiness to settle in after the storm.

I started becoming so aware and preoccupied with my external self: my weight gain, the de-colouration of my skin, the small spider veins all over my legs, my hair, my this, my that. I was never one to really pay attention to these things, I mean, yes but I didn’t really care. Hair in a bun and getting things done.

I am days away from entering the third trimester. And now I am definitely, quite obviously pregnant. Although I still find it hard to look at my naked self in the mirror and say: Wow you look amazing. But I do tell myself: “You got this”.

Symptoms during the 2nd trimester:
– Headaches
– Varicose veins
– Bloody gums when brushing

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