First, I am expecting a baba. This first-time, mind blowing event took over my entire being for about four and a half months, and it's only in the last week or so that I've begun to feel like an independent entity again. Aside from the emotional preparation and shift in thinking that had to take place, physically it took a huge toll on me. Round the clock nausea in the first 12 weeks were later replaced by gastro-intestinal issues I don't need to go into here. I was so tired for the first few months I was worried I'd never manage to do anything PhD related again. But I'm slowly and determinedly getting back to my old self, or as much of that old self as I can get back. Accepting changes, adapting and embracing all the new, wonderful things happening to me has been an incredible process.
Secondly, I'm moving back to Ireland. Well, I'm in Ireland right now, but I'm renting out my room in Durham soon and moving back officially at the end of October. Doubling up on hospital appointments and ante-natal care, and flying back and forth for me and Leo is no longer practical. I want us to enjoy this experience together, in one place, our home, so that means I'll be working from my desk in UCD from now on. It also means finding a new home for the three of us, good things in the works in that respect.
We're getting into the throes of autumn now, and I'm enjoying the cooler temperatures (I sweat a LOT in Summer) and abundance of produce. Long walks in Durham led to blackberry eating, and apples and plums have been made into crumbles and stewed with yoghurt.
Now that I have an appetite again, I am vigorously spending as much time cooking, savouring those hours spent in the kitchen. And of course, eating a varied and healthy died is much better for me and the baba than spaghetti hoops and tinned rice pudding (don't judge me til you've been there, folks). In Durham I've been enjoying a lot of smoothies, and porridge is making a comeback. I'm also embracing pizza making, with Leo teaching me the ways of yeast, which I've never used before.
I'm cycling as much as humanly possible, my preferred mode of transport and exercise. Leo got me this gorgeous bike which is sturdy and fast, and I am looking forward to the many thousands of kilometers I will travel on it. I intend to cycle for as long in the pregnancy as is physically possible (heavily pregnant Danish cyclists are my inspiration here) and will start back with baby in tow as soon as is safe.