Life Changes and Decisions: Taking Unforeseen Roads

life changes and decisions

7 months and 7 days. That’s how long it took me to return to this site.

Where to begin…

Well, a few life changes and decisions have led me to rethink the purpose of this tiny blog. First, and most important, I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant.

Becoming a Mother

five-month pregnant bump in prague
Capturing my almost five-month bump along the Charles Bridge in Prague back in May.

I found out right after I returned from my trip to Iowa in January. Actually, if you’re curious about exact dates, I discovered that smiley face on my First Response stick on January 19th, 2017. Yes, just a day before Trump’s inauguration. I was alone when I found out since Leon was at work, and I had a sneaking feeling that something was different. I raced home after work and decided to find out the truth. About a dozen different expressions passed across my face as I stared in the mirror, all ranging from elation to fear to anxiety.

Suddenly, my first maternal instinct kicked in: I was pacing my apartment when I realized that I’d left the news blaring in the living room. Trump was being broadcast with his ridiculous antics, and I did not want my baby being influenced by that man at all. I covered by stomach and ran out of the room. Motherhood had finally begun for me. (Yes, I know, the baby had no ears at the time, but I wasn’t thinking rationally.)

I’ve kept my pregnancy very quiet on social media. No mentions on Facebook, no pictures of my sonograms, and definitely no comments on motherhood pages. In fact, I’ve chosen to abstain from social media in general (more about that later). I am a superstitious person, and it felt right for me to keep everything between myself and my family. No outside voices, no unsolicited advice, and no preconceived notions about what I’ll be like as a mother. As beautiful and miraculous as it is, pregnancy is also terrifying and stressful. The last few months have let me come to terms with the various changes taking place in my life without the influence of the world-wide web.

At this time, I’m full-term and can’t wait to meet my little boy. My fears and anxieties have not abated, but I don’t expect them to since that’s part of motherhood. Only time will tell how I will handle these life changes. For now, I’m taking it one day at a time.

Building our Home

Leon and I spent the last year intensively searching for, finding, and piecing together a new home for our little boy. Yes, I know how blessed I am, but do you know what it’s like to go through the process of buying a home in the last trimester of pregnancy? Ohhh man, stress doesn’t even begin to cut it. Between renovations to our house, plus the time and finances we put into the moving process, these last few months have felt like a roller coaster. Did I mention that we finally moved in while I was 8.5 months pregnant?

Like I said, we can’t complain because now we have a home for our son, who is due to arrive anytime between today and the end of the month. But one can see how this little blog would be placed on hold while we figured out our living situation amidst all of these life changes. Finally, I can sit at my desk and type without thinking about couches or paint colors. Meanwhile, I keep hoping the roof doesn’t cave in before little B. arrives and my home can remain in one piece while he grows up during his first year.

first home purchase
We purchased our first home at the end of July, just in time to welcome baby B.

Accepting Curveballs: Coming to Terms with Life Changes

Of course, life is just full of unexpected events. Last week, we received a huge curveball when Hurricane Irma came barreling towards South Florida. Since I’m full-term, we went to the hospital where we spent 3 nights camping out in the auditorium. [If you’re more than 36 weeks pregnant, doctors recommend being in the hospital during a natural disaster since paramedics won’t be dispatched in winds more than 45 mph. Irma was at least 70 mph when it hit us.]

Australia definitely prepared us for this. However, the howls of dingoes don’t compare to the pregnant snores of women in their last few weeks of pregnancy. If truth be told, I was more comfortable sleeping on a cot in the cool night air of the Outback vs sleeping on an air mattress in a stuffy auditorium while 37 weeks pregnant. All that mattered is that we were in the safest spot in case our little one made a surprise appearance.

camping in western australia more comfortable than hospital
Our camping tents in Western Australia were surprisingly more comfortable than the conditions in the hospital. I think my full-term pregnancy had something to do with that.

Alas, he’s still snuggled inside my womb taking his time to prepare for his debut. Maybe he doesn’t want to face the heat of South Florida?

Now we must face the (mild) damage we incurred from the storm, but our situation doesn’t hold a candle to those who really got the worst of its wrath. For those looking to help, here’s an article from the Miami Herald that details how you can contribute to people affected by the storm in the U.S. and on the islands.

I’ve been trying to figure out why all of these events had to take place during the later stages of my pregnancy. Isn’t pregnancy supposed to be a time of reflection and self-care? Well…no. Pregnancy, as is life, is unpredictable and scary. It’s also a wonderful upheaval that reveals so much you never knew about yourself. For me, my pregnancy forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted to teach my little boy. As I came to grips with everything, I also figured out how I would like to move forward with this blog.

Life Changes and Decisions

I barely had a chance to work on Little Blue Earth before I got pregnant. (4 months, give or take?) However, after reading dozens of travel blogs and updates from blogging groups on Facebook, I realized that I needed to rethink the purpose of this blog. The travel blog industry is saturated with curated content  to maximize traffic and popularity in order to obtain free trips and perks. Social media, especially Instagram, is further inundated with posts that have all the wrong intentions. Several blogs have written in-depth articles about the “Follow for Follow” phenomenon and how social media has lost its appeal because of the poor intentions of its users. I mean, how many times will I see the same picture of a girl staring off into the sunset with her arms widespread? Truth be told, that sort of content gets old and boring.

I don’t know nearly enough about social media to write an entire post about it. All I know is that I didn’t start this blog just to join the conga line of people looking to “make it big” in the travel industry. I did it because I needed a creative outlet where I could freely discuss travel-related issues.

However, the idea of creating a blog that focused only travel waned on me even before I found out I was pregnant. Travel remains one of my favorite conversation topics, and I plan on introducing the world to my son as soon as he’s healthy enough to get on a plane. However, there are other topics that interest me and I plan on discussing them as I slowly develop this blog.

Now if only my little dude would finally make an appearance…

life changes and decisions
Ultrasound of our bundle of joy at 18 weeks.
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