Being Pregnant

Being a mom wasn't something I waited around all day for or the reason I got married. When I was 34 years old I told myself that I would be a mom at 36, it seemed like a pretty good age because I had already done many things in life so far, but I needed to focus at least two years on CadaVida, my foundation, in Colombia. Also, I was living in a different country than Nathan at the time. Two years was a reasonable time... not too "old," not too young.

My 36th arrived and I was still traveling the world, attending congresses, events, conferences, working more than ever at my foundation, at TEDx, handling a thousand things and, above all, still living in a different country from my husband (he lived in an airplane, but his house was in Shanghai). Long story short, I forgot what I promised myself.

Anyway, it did not take long because, at the end of 2017, exactly on November 23, I officially returned to live with Nathan in the same country. This time we chose Amsterdam! And why Amsterdam? Because I was already familiar with the city having studied at THNK a few years earlier, it offers a high quality of life (cycling around, museums, canals, parks, forests), it’s connected to the world, there’s international talent, and also, after years of learning (and struggling with Mandarin) in China, we very much welcomed a place where most everyone communicates in English... so done, done, done on our checklist!

By February 2018 I was already pregnant with Thiago. He knew that it was time to come to this world since his parents were back to living together and we had built our new home together again for him to join :)

It was very special to be able to be pregnant in Colombia during the first months because, in Medellin, my gynecologist gave me the opportunity to constantly see Thiago. Being surrounded by my family, eating everything, working from my apartment there were some of the things that made it magical.

When I returned to Amsterdam, it was quite difficult at first to understand this whole thing about midwives, doulas, etc., and at some point, I wanted to return to Colombia; it was all very overwhelming. But finally, I found the best midwife, and I said to myself: if there are so many happy children playing on the streets, it must be because something is done well here. I accepted that if I wanted to stay here, I had to get involved with the culture.

Being pregnant is like the Russian roulette: you gain (a lot of weight), you lose... but seriously. While some days I felt like a goddess, others I didn’t want to know about anything or anyone, others I threw up all around Amsterdam, others I danced over the tables, others I ate liters of ice cream, others I watched a complete TV series, others I traveled, others I cried, others I read. But I was so happy to receive Thiago, the name my brother gave him.

My brother's name is Santiago, which I chose when I was just 4 years old; I told my mom, at a time when we couldn't know what she was expecting, that my brother Santiago was in her belly. When I found out that I was expecting a baby boy, I asked my brother to give me his name back, but he didn’t accept, and suggested Thiago instead!

Thiago was born when I was close to my 38 and a half years. If you ask me, is it the best thing that has happened to me, is it my greatest achievement, the answer is YES, YES and YES. Thanks to him, I am now in a constant process of being a better version of myself.

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