I always knew that pregnancy changes a woman. I learnt this because a lot of women I knew who rode before pregnancy stopped riding once they had kids, or rode in a very different way. I was told it was because the body changes and also that they have someone else they put ahead of themselves and they needed to be more careful.
How did pregnancy change your attitude towards riding?
Whatever the reason I knew that women were not the same after having kids, and because my life revolved around horses I learnt this in relation to riding.
5 months into pregnancy and I am learning a lot about myself. I feel like pregnancy pushes up parts of you or your character that perhaps you need to work on. Or it’s just that you have less tolerance and feel more aware of your basic needs…or at least other people are made more aware of your basics needs 😉
Also I guess because there are so many changes going on all the time, you are more emotional.
I feel homesick which is not something I usually feel, but I think it’s more that I feel different everyday so I guess I am searching for familiarity.
I have lived ten years on the other side of the world and I absolutely love it here. But home isn’t something I associate with a place, but with a feeling. I guess during pregnancy you search for comfort because your body is sending out so many different highs and lows. I left Australia not really sure of who I was and Portugal helped me find it. My family came out this year for my wedding and I realized that I still fit with them and how much I just love them and how important they are to who I am. Home for me is being with people who know you and you can be yourself around, even when you are moody or hangry (hungry/angry), and they love you anyway. Home is the feeling I used to get being on my horse alone away from the world, cantering out on open paddocks. Home is when I am with my husband and he looks at me, pregnant with his child, and I feel closer to anyone than I ever have. Home is when the baby kicks me and I know I will never be alone, or the same, ever again.
I have learnt a lot in the last few months. I have learnt that I need to keep that connection to Australia as it’s a huge part of who I am, and while my home is Portugal, I am Australian and I will make sure to visit my family more often.
I know that if my body recovers from pregnancy and I can one day ride without pain then I will. It’s a part of me and I miss my relationship and the freedom I feel with my horse!
I also have a new perspective on my own childhood. My father was not much older than me and my husband when he committed suicide. An 11 year old girl sees her father as having it all figured out but as I sit here typing this I know that no one ever really does. We are all just older versions of our younger selves, still searching for ways to better ourselves, and still facing the same challenges that life presents. He was just a person, and his death was not related to what I, for many years convinced myself, must have been lacking in me.
Another thing I have learnt is that just because you weren’t always the “mothering” type doesn’t make you any less capable of assuming it. I feel more sure and comfortable with myself and my future than I ever have. I was never one to gush over babies and I never asked to hold them. However, I find myself overwhelmingly excited and happy, getting butterflies at the thought of the toys or tiny shoes which my daughter will wear, which is extremely unlike me and something I certainly wasn’t expecting. It’s a really nice feeling though.
I realize though that being pregnant with your first child allows a sort of romantic idea of how it will go, and while everyone tells me how hard it really is and how you will never be more tired, I am going to enjoy being pregnant and understand that life is full of challenges, but that’s what makes it interesting!