This school year has, in general, been easier than last school year. Being second-year teachers is a big improvement to being first-year teachers.
That being said, we did come into the school year a couple weeks late, start teaching within a few days of arriving in the country, move into a new apartment soon after that, and find out about our pregnancy all around the same time. First quarter/first trimester was crazy, but it settled down after that.
It was really nice to spend the Christmas break here, just the two of us. We didn't do much. It was the biggest chunk of unplanned time I've had since I got my license and started having summer jobs. We read a lot, and we would highly recommend Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.
It has been interesting to get to know the Colombian medical system better this year by going for prenatal checkups. We pay about $35 a month for basic insurance for both of us and about $1.25 for an appointment, but now that I'm enrolled in the prenatal care program, appointments are free. Of course, this is because it's all subsidized by the government, but they also keep costs low by making it simple and efficient. No big entryways with skylights and aquariums. No magazines in the waiting room. No toilet paper in the bathroom.
We've also been researching options for the birth. In Colombia, most woman give birth in a birthing ward. From what I've been told, in Bogotá, a city of 9 million people, there are only seven nice private birthing suites where the mother can labor in relative peace without being moved from ward to ward. Maybe that's why elective caesareans are not uncommon in the middle and upper class here– at least the operating rooms are more private? Anyway, researching our birth options has been quite educational. We are excited about the options we do have and we're looking forward to giving birth here in Colombia. And all our Colombian friends are excited when we tell them that, no, we are not going to fly to the States to have the baby.
The baby seems to be doing very well in there– moving faster and stronger every day. There are two other ECA couples who are pregnant. One couple's baby is due within about a week of our baby. The other couple actually had to move back to Canada because the morning sickness just wasn't going away. The altitude and the city air can make pregnancy really difficult. I had quite a bit of nausea, but not much vomiting at all. I had a lot of migraines at the beginning of the second trimester. I've often been tired and I'm on my third nasty-sinus-infection-cough-cold of the year, but otherwise I've been pretty healthy.
Thanks to Ryan, I have been eating very well. He has been taking care of me in such a sweet and sacrificial way. It's our second year of marriage. We're getting to know each other better and we're learning to communicate better. We've had a lot of opportunities to practice communication as we talk about our growing family and our plans for the coming years. I look back at our first year of marriage and think, "…and I thought I loved you then." And then I think of all the years ahead!
So maybe that's the profound thing I have to write about: that we are learning a lot, but as we learn we realize how much we don't know. As my baby bump grows, we realize that we will never be prepared for parenting (scary). As teaching becomes less overwhelming, we realize what an overwhelming responsibility it is. As Ryan and I grow closer, we realize we have a long way to go. We realize that there will be challenges ahead, but that God has strengthened us through the challenges in the last year and a half, so if we keep following him, we're just going to get stronger.