Adeus, my I-am-feeling-awesome-everyday second trimester and Olá, my I-am-getting-heavier third trimester!
My pregnancy journey has been like a jet coaster so far. Of course, the journey is not only mine but also my husband’s and our fetus’ who moves actively inside my womb. Although we are now living far away from our families in Indonesia, we are lucky to say that we are surrounded by supportive and helpful friends and colleagues here in Portugal.
I believe each pregnant woman has their own pregnancy story, but one thing for sure: our 9-month pregnancy journey is a blessing. Mine is a new experience for me as this fetus is going to be my husband’s & my first newborn and also the first grandchildren of my parents (forth for my in-laws’).
How was my first trimester?
I. WAS. CLUELESS. I was definitely clueless that I was in my early pregnancy when I took in total more than 30 hours round flight to Porto from Jakarta. None of my husband and I knew that I was already pregnant at that time.
WE. WERE. DEFINITELY. CLUELESS. My husband noticed several changes in my behavior. I suddenly had this mood swing, both in emotion and eating: (1) I finished large plate of meals — I usually had one third of any large plate; (2) I suddenly became an overacting drama queen — I was more sensitive than I used to, I cried to things because everything seemed awful for me; (3) I craved for specific food in unpredictive times and my husband had to get the food for me no matter the circumstance was; (4) I didnt have any interest in putting on makeup nor matching clothes — my colleagues at work recognized how awful were my clothing preferences during the time. When I was affected by nausea almost every day, luckily the university I worked at was on summer break so I had no class to teach to.
We knew nothing when we found out about the pregnancy. This. was. really. happening! Alhamdulillah. But, what should we (really) prepare then? We then started to read kinds of literature about pregnancy and talk to families and friends who had more experiences. My mom was overloaded with happiness while my father had a new joke that he told everyone proudly when my mom was around: “I am going to sleep with a grandma!”
My Second Trimester: Mamamia, I am feeling AWESOME
This was the period when we first moved to Lisbon (read more on We Have Moved to A New City!). This meant another long-haul flight. My mom warned me to always use my maternity belt during the flight. My husband brought more than half of the things we carried so that I didn’t have to carry heavy weight all the time (pregnancy perk, yeay!)
Do you see the bump?
After those nauseous days, I felt completely awesome. What everyone said about the second trimester being the most enjoyable pregnancy period was true! I managed to walk 20mins from my previous apartment to my office every day, doubled for a round trip. I had the mood to wear matching clothes (incl. wasting some minutes in front of my closet). And most importantly, I used this opportunity to do many things for the sake of my doctorate study (well, you know, before I get occupied with my upcoming demanding project — the baby).
My colleagues at work didn’t realize if I was pregnant unless I told them so. My research timeline was adjusted to my labor date, everything now has been moving at a fast pace. I had no complaint regarding my research activities and tasks, my coursework schedules and weekly assignments (I had to go back and forth to Porto for class every Friday), and other mobilities because I really enjoyed every process. Especially knowing that I wasn’t alone all the time since someone was kicking from inside my womb. Sstt…me & my colleague (who also a doctorate student) once joked: if the fetus kicked when I was reading a paper, then it meant that the paper was a good reference. Ha!
Third Trimester: I Need New Clothes
This time, I seriously told my husband, “I need new clothes.” I used to think that my oversized clothes were enough (I had plenty!), but I was wrong. My baby bump is getting bigger and more noticeable so my current set of rubber waist pants couldn’t handle it anymore. My husband was amazed as well seeing how fast the bump enlarges in this third trimester (that means our fetus growth is faster than the last trimester).
I had a leg pain at times if I stood for a longer period and leg cramps occasionally. I am not able to run to catch any bus, tram, or metro anymore. I have been increasing my walking steps and taking the stairs (sometimes) since I sit most of the times at the office. Having this bigger and heavier belly, I need to limit my physical activities. I have to say that I really miss my Zumba and belly dance classes back in Bandung so now I have been looking for a prenatal yoga class here. I found only a few have an after-office schedule. I am going to join a soft yoga class next Tuesday. Let’s see how it will be.
My Reflection So Far…
We have made it this far! There is one thing that both my husband and I learn during this pregnancy journey so far: how we communicate with each other. The first trimester was the hardest because both of us were in the learning and adaptation phase. He had difficulties in understanding what I want and need, while I wanted him to be able to read my mind (and mood!) without me telling him what to do. I struggled with changes in my body and somehow the changes also affected him.
We were occupied with Portuguese bureaucracies in our second trimester. I didn’t pay much attention to Portuguese bureaucracy way back in 2012, but now we wanted to ensure our fetus’ health, growth, and safety labor. Praise to Allah, we are now relieved because things related to that are now settled one by one. Once a clueless couple is now getting more prepared (both mentally and physically) than before. Our communication is getting way much better and we have more knowledge regarding the fetus and pregnancy.
Furthermore, I remember my parents a lot during this pregnancy. Being in this position, I imagined my parents’ (and my in laws’) struggle –and happiness — in raising us until we become who we are right now. Even though we only meet virtually with our parents right now, Allah will always hear our prayer for them.
“My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” (Al-Quran; Surah Al-Isra: Verse 24)
“Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.” (Al-Quran; Surah Ibrahim: Verse 41)