As I entered the second trimester, the fact that I was pregnant had landed, I was no longer "surprised" about my growing belly every morning when I woke up. My breasts weren't as big and sensitive anymore and best of all, I was getting my energy back. Now I could make it through days with just one nap ideally, which is my usual (but let's just blame it on the pregnancy, shall we?).
My libido lowered drastically though, not necesarily because of hormones changing, but because of a continual yeast infection. Sure, maybe I had eaten a bit much sugar and not enough greens, but my usual natural remedies such as a vinegar infused rinse, or upping my probiotic foods, weren't working. I struggled with a lot of discomfort. Maybe you have also experienced that when your vagina is irritated, so are you.
Let's dive a little into this as you may know that I never leave an opportunity to break a tabboo. Something you may have never thought about pre-pregnancy, like me, is how your vaginal discharge changes when pregnant. It increases to prevent infections to travel up to the womb and increases even further towards the end of the pregnancy. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, I'll have discharge run down my legs or simply drip on the floor, that's how much it can get! I actually enjoy this. Another pregnancy thing I never knew about was the mucus plug, a collection of mucus in the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the womb. As through the fertility awareness method (FAM) I am very familiar with my cervix, I noticed a little bump now on my cervix that feels pretty strange!
Anyways, back to the yeast infection. Eventually I just got a regular treatment at the pharmacy and a cream that helped, at least temporarily. But I felt like my vaginal tissue got affected by the yeast infection and the treatments to a point that the tissue is still a bit irritated, well into my third trimester as I am writing this.
I am not sharing all these uncomfortable details about my yoni because I necesarily want everyone to know about them, but because I feel like it's imporant that we share these things so we can help each other and so that maybe you will be less surprised if you're pregnant and coming across similar issues. No-one ever told me, so I guess it might be the same for you, if that's the case, please send me a DM so we can release yoni shame and make them feel heard!
I know that we cannot rush the healing of the vagina, and I see my symptoms as a sign to 'yonify' my lifestyle: slow down, move more, sending her loving awareness, pay more attention to what I am eating and return to my de-armoring and self-pleasure practice (oh how I miss my yoni steams that aren't pregnancy safe!). Which feels also really important to prepare my yoni on a physical and energetic level for birth. I want my yoni to be as healthy and the tissue to be as supple as possible for birth because to me it only makes sense that a tensed yoni is a tensed and therefore painful birth.
Besides the "underworlds" of my yoni, during the second trimester I went on a trip to Morocco. This was a trip I had been imagining for years, as it meant a lot in my life. This trip meant an acknowledgement of my long-lost Moroccan heritage, that felt even more important with now a quarter-Moroccan baby in my belly. Perhaps the baby knew the significance of this trip, because just before take-off in the airplane, I felt the first kick! Then Tolde placed his hand on my belly and also felt a kick. What a pure joyful feeling from this growing life making it's presence known more and more!
It was lovely and emotional to meet my family and see my face in their faces. To introduce my partner to everyone, to dance and enjoy the food and basically a whole new world that opened up to me. Don't even get me started on the shopping in Morocco.
But the trip also came with it's challenges with limited energy and stomach-issues. It was a great practice to set my boundaries, that feels in a way easier with my belly as a testimony for why it is so important to listen to my bodily signals. It was quite a culture shock for me though and I realised just how Dutch, and perhaps even Swedish, I have become in the way that I need my space and get overwhelmed by having lot's of people and sounds around.
And so I was glad to return to our peaceful forest house in Sweden, that can best be described as the polar opposite of Morocco. No wonder that after a year of living like this, quite isolated and in nature, it was challenging to be in the hectic, sounds, music, and non-stop buzz of Morocco.
Now it was time for a next challenge: hiring a midwife for our homebirth. You see, in Sweden homebirths aren't part of the regular health care and therefore, when you want a homebirth, you need to hire one yourself (or actually two, as there are always 2 midwives present at a homebirth). And because of the price of such a midwife (around 25 000 to 30 000 Swedish krown, or 2200 to 2700 USD) and the non-popularity of homebirths in Sweden (around 180 homebirths per year!), there just aren't many such midwifes available, especially not in our area. We had already called around and spoken to a few, but had received 'no's' so far, also because of our tricky due date (29th december).
But then in October we met Camilla, a lovely midwife who came to visit us in the forest one evening. We had dinner and sat in front of the fire, cozy, personal, human, as it should be! Nothing compared to the cold clinic offices and white overalls. I loved how Camilla made me feel seen and heard, how she acknowledged my experiences with the regular health care, as she has seen her fair share of it herself while working as a midwife in the hospital. Her relaxed attitude towards birth and homebith helped me to get back to my intuition and my positive feelings that were there from the beginning, but at some points were a bit overshadowed by my frustrations about the care and stress around finding support for the homebirth.
Now I could finally relax into knowing there will be support and that the homebirth of my dreams is so much more tangible. Along with the support, came the importance of a birth place, since our little forest house is too cold in winter. Tolde and I had thought about buying a house for over a year now, and looked around a bit, but it wasn't until a beautiful house popped up on one of the real-estate sites that Tolde, and then I, got really excited. On our anniversary, we went and viewed it. And it just felt right. Warm, spaceous, but still cozy with a beautiful fireplace, a big garden and in a great state. I did not want to leave. And that's how we knew!
We actually bought the house! And are moving in on the 1st of December. The house is located in a small village called Hällaryd, and is close to a city called Karlshamn. We are both so happy to get back to civilisation. To have neighbours, a busstop around the corner, and the possibility to bike to the city so it'll be easier to create a sense of community. We have really started to miss that where we live now.
And so to conclude this blog, the second trimester was all about getting things in place after a quite hectic first trimester. I settled down and we manifested big time on visions that we've held for a long time. I feel so held by Tolde and by how everything is unfolding, by how the universe is guiding us, supporting us. And I feel such a deep love for this baby that already has shifted everything inside of me, making me feel joy and love with every movement, and making me give more love to myself and therefore the baby, than ever before.
I am already a mother, as everything I do, I now do for two.
Stay tuned for the blog on Trimester 3 that will be about pleasure-centered pregnancy and moving through transitions with grace as I come to the end of my pregnancy.
Join me in the Pregnant Goddess Circle where an intimate group of pregnant, pre-pregnant and post-partum women (anyone who is going through the transition into motherhood), come together, mainly to share and support eachother, but where I also share all tools & resources that have helped me so far to experience my pregnancy mainly as joyful and as a deep spiritual initiation. We will sit in ceremony with eachother and do practices to anchor us into deep connection with our bodies, babies, and a sense of sisterhood. Early-bird prices end on Thursday 10th November midnight!
We start Friday 11th at 19 CET