A GIRLFRIEND OF MINE is newly pregnant and I have the good fortune to be able to go with her to her “dating” appointment.
This is her first ultrasound appointment where she is going to find out how far along she is in her pregnancy. Although she is pretty sure when she conceived, the technician will be able to estimate the baby’s due date based on her menstrual cycle and the development of the fetus.
One of the best things for someone who wants to be pregnant but doesn’t have any experience with pregnancy or raising kids is to surround yourself with pregnant women, mummies and children.
I am fortunate to have lots of mummies and pregnant bellies around me to get comfortable with the process of transitioning into parenthood.
Despite always wanting to be a mummy, I’ve never taken an interest in women’s health, except for my own. As a Naturopathic doctor I’ve always focused on pain management and psychological support.
I assume this is because of my history with competitive sports. As a young athlete, I was constantly in pain from training or being injured.
Each morning, I could instantaneously know if it was raining outside without even opening my eyes because my joints would ache like an elderly person. My elbows and hips were the worse.
And although those days are long gone, I still have a strong interest in helping those suffering from physical and mental pain find relieve and healing.
The skills I have learned will definitely help me when I become pregnant, go through labour, breastfeed and take care of my children.
That being said, working with women to help them become pregnant and have an empowering labor I will reserve to my colleagues. Parenthood is such a special journey.
It’s intense, challenging and the most rewarding job for anyone who wants to take on parenthood.
But I know many people who do not want to become parents. And I completely understand. The responsibility, commitment, sacrifice and physical changes aren’t for everyone.
Jon and I live a pretty incredible life right now. Traveling for 6 months during the Canadian winters to a tropical destination somewhere around the world. We work from home and can take off time whenever we please.
We don’t own anything… no car or home.
This means we can take off, travel, move or explore the world with just a backpack with our toothbrush and laptop.
We live as minimal as we can, while still being comfortable. This is a luxury that we have created for ourselves. And most people’s first question to us is, “Will you settle down when children come?”… or some version of “You know this will end with kids”.
Well, not necessarily.
I have a colleague who lived in Thailand with her 1 year old for a whole year.
I have other friends who are raising their kids in Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Nicaragua. I mean, people live all over the world with healthy children.
Jon and I plan to continue traveling with little ones. It will take some extra planning and organization to ensure your family is safe and healthy. But Jon and I still want to be able to design an inspiring and empowering life, regardless of children.
Children are a blessing and not an inconvenience.
So as I accompany my girlfriend to her “dating” appointment I think about many pregnancy questions:
- Will I have a midwife or Ob/Gyn?
- Will I feel safe to travel to Florida or the Bahamas with the recent Zika outbreaks?
- Will I have an easy pregnancy?
- Will I want to continue traveling while pregnant?
- What happens if I need medical attention while traveling?
- Should we leave North America and be exposed to different “bugs” (aka microorganisms)?
- Will I give birth in Toronto?
- Will I have a home birth?
- How long will it take to get pregnant?
- Will traveling be a blessing for our children? Will it help them be more uninhibited, adventurous, confident and curious?
- Will I use reusable diapers?
- Will I be able to be a patient and understanding mum?
- Will we split our time in 2 places only or different locations?
- Will our children be able to build a consistent community and bonds with our family if we travel so much?
- What about schooling? Is formal or home schooling best?
I mean, these are just the tip of the iceberg! As a parent you are always questioning if you’ve made the right decision. But as my mummy friends always tell me, trust your instincts and do what makes you happy and fulfilled.
So thank you to all my mummy friends who have helped inspire me to live a life by design. To choose to explore and live vivaciously, especially with children!
I’m learning so much and hope that I can share these words of wisdom with you all.
Mummy G 😉