I never gave much thought to how my pregnancy would be. If anyone told me that half of this journey I would have to do on my own, I wouldn’t believe them. But, this is how it happened.
My husband used to say that one thing he’d never recommend to anyone would be long-distance dating. With that said, ironically he ended up dating me. We were living in different countries 10 hours apart. To maintain all the romance (and simply because we were in love), we would video chat daily and use up all our money by travelling to see one another; at least every 2 months.
We wanted to move in together, but there was one obstacle—I needed a visa. The perfect plan I came up with was to start the visa process, quit my job and travel places I had always wanted to while waiting on the paperwork to be done.
A few weeks after we got married, I noticed that my period was late. One early morning I saw a plus sign on a pregnancy test.
My visa wouldn’t be ready for a few more months.
The irony of it all.
Being away from your partner while being pregnant is not an easy thing. There was no way for us to speed up the process with my documents, so I had to be by myself up until the 20th week of my pregnancy.
My family was living in a different country.
My mother died half a year earlier.
The first trimester brought me morning sickness, as well as day sickness, fatigue, and long hours of sleeping, which sucked out all of my physical strength.
The list of countries I always dreamt to visit was still there, but I had to cancel my travel plans. I was not physically fit to get on a plane, let alone enjoy visiting new countries, trying new food and walking around.
I stayed at home. I’ve always had a habit of keeping myself busy, so I made sure to walk daily, go to the gym, swim, and read. Nonetheless, it seemed as if I had nothing to do.
Those months felt very empty. My husband tried to visit me as often as he could. We were used to being apart, but once I got pregnant it didn’t feel the same.
Not having a job contributed to how I was feeling. Whilst I would’ve hated any job at that time, because of all the dizziness and fatigue, having something to do other than hobbies could have been a great way to keep the mind away from all the sad thoughts.
Work also gives opportunity to socialise. Though I did see my friends regularly, it didn’t seem like enough. I felt lonely. I needed my husband.
With all the articles read on healthy thinking, with all the therapy sessions I went to, I still didn’t feel happy.
As I mentioned, my mom died only 6 months earlier. I was still grieving. I lost my mom and was going to become one myself. That seemed too soon.
I knew this was not a way to go, and that it was vital for me to be happy for my baby. However, happiness doesn’t come forcefully. Once the paperwork was ready and I moved in with my husband, I thought the hard part was over. But I faced another challenge of getting used to a new country, new environment, and new weather. It took at least another 2 months to adjust.
Now, 33 weeks into my pregnancy, I finally feel better.
When I found out about my pregnancy, I thought I’ll be a superhero mom, happy at all times, active, and thinking positively. In reality, I was far from being a strong woman. Pregnancy made me vulnerable. I wasn’t prepared to go through this alone: my husband had to be there too.
I hope that the moms out there who also have to face their own challenges will go through them better than I did. But if you don’t, it’s ok. After all we’re just humans. We often need each other.
Words by Tatiana Yoon