I was originally preparing a post to cover topics about my third trimester and how things have been going so far, lessons, feelings, tips that are helpful as I journey into motherhood and as my belly keeps growing. And although this post will touch upon some of these, there is obviously the unavoidable topic of recent news: an international pandemic of COVID-19.
PLANS ALWAYS CHANGE.
When you travel a lot, you learn this quickly: plans change constantly, either because you meet people along the way, for political reasons, because some places might not be recommended, or others you hadn’t considered make it onto your bucket list. So, you adapt and change your plans.
I make the parallel here with pregnancy because many people and books actually recommend that you do not create a strict birth plan because, these plans can change in the split of a second. And well, this virus has brought the most unexpected twist to my pregnancy and plans: where, with whom (or without whom), and all the logistics that come along with bringing a new human into the world. I am in Canada and unable to go back to my house and doctor in Peru.
As the borders of some countries started closing, flights were getting canceled, and people started being in quarantine, my plans were thrown right out the window. And so, here I am: making new plans and adapting to these changes. But, on the bright side, I am going to be with my family and friends, I will be able to enjoy spring and summer and baby has the best quarantine ever: in my belly, warm, floating, and free from the outside craziness.
PHYSICAL CHANGES ARE GETTING MORE REAL.
This one has been a harder journey for me. During the first two trimesters, I was feeling so good, my belly was basically non-existent (although I felt like every week my “belly” was growing so much).
Now, at 32 weeks, this is truer than ever. I joke with my husband who says that I have been astonished by the size of it since week 15, well look at me now and in another few weeks. Physical changes are getting more real than ever and the ones I have noticed the most are: my breathing, my heart rate, and some movements that are becoming uncomfortable. I bend down to tie my boots and that takes a little longer than usual. My breathing is definitely not as deep as usual or it tends to be more broken up. My belly is starting to pop out more and more, but I still fit in all my clothing (for now!).
Sometimes, I feel so full, like my belly might explode; while at other times I am ravenous (two days in a row now this has happened at 5:30am!).
The baby moves around SO much more. And each movement is like a reminder that someone else is in there, or that life is much bigger than everything our minds worry about.
LEARNING TO SLOW DOWN.
For some, getting up too fast can cause dizziness. Our normal routines become challenged by the extension of our bodies, maybe fatigue, or any other symptom you may have.
I knew from friends and I also read about the third trimester being the time for slowing down, and during this time, the nesting phase also comes in. Slowing down is easier said than done and it is difficult for anyone to do. I was expecting to have to slow down on my own, as the whole world around me continued at its fast pace. Or that I would envy everyone because they can go ahead and do everything that they normally do, whereas I might need help for things I can usually do on my own.
COVID-19 has changed this completely. I feel accompanied in this journey of slowing down as the entire world has to do it also. And now, many realize that it is not that easy. We don’t realize how quickly things are always going and passing by us. We don’t take the time to really sit and enjoy the world around us: we are always busy on our phones, at work, checking things off our to-do lists (trust me, I love those!). We don’t appreciate other things that are right in front of us every day. I am at that stage of my pregnancy where I would be slowing down, nesting, and preparing my body and mind to welcome a new being into the world, and a part of me is grateful that the rest of the world is slowing down as well. We are always adapting to new circumstances, to changes, to the world around us. This time in quarantine makes us look at things with new perspectives, it opens our eyes to the possibilities and hopefully, allows us to incorporate some of these lessons into our lives when things start moving at a fast pace again.
I constantly come back to the analogy of the blue sky that is right there above us. At times, we only see or think about the clouds, the rain, the storm. But they always pass by and that blue sky is always right there in the background.
At this stage in my pregnancy, my wellbeing and mindset are important since these feelings and emotions are shared with another tiny being. Pregnancy in general brings up so many concerns, fears, uncertainties.
Right now, I feel like there is an additional row of clouds that include preoccupations regarding health, transport, insurance companies, logistics, and more. The entire world is feeling fear and panic as some people might be stranded in foreign countries while others might be losing loved ones. But we are not alone. We are all in this together. And we must not allow fear to take over.
Meditation is a tool that has helped me in so many life situations before, and it continues to do the same. It allows me to come back to my breath, to feel what I need to feel, to not get too involved in the stories my mind wishes me to believe, and to stay calm amidst the storm.
Along with this time for us to reflect, read, take up a new hobby or go back to one we may have lost as adulthood responsibilities took over, there is one thing that allows us to come together: the internet, social media, apps like Facetime and Skype. There are many teachers, coaches and gyms offering free online classes, which allow us to unite with others and to take care our ourselves: our minds and bodies. Now is also a good time to incorporate new practices to your routine, like meditation. This practice can be helpful in times like these, no matter how you are feeling.
FOR FREE MEDITATION PRACTICES, CHECK OUT:
Headspace App: they have a section on “Weathering the storm” free for everyone around the world.
Dawn Mauricio: Morning “Beditation”. They are available every day on her IG (@dawnmauricio) and you can join in right from your bed.
Original article written by myself, from Healthy is Hot