Fresh Air

Kelsey Breseman
3 min readMay 24, 2024

The second trimester is supposed to be the good one: the nausea fades, your energy comes back, you get a baby bump that's cute but not yet unwieldy. It seems to be bearing out. My London days get better, and though they're tiring, I can take whole-day outings again.

I go to the azalea garden in Richmond Park, see the King's deer that still roam there. I take tea under the wisteria in a greenhouse garden. The days grow warm, and I go to my favorite bakery for perfect sourdough sandwiches. Six hijabi women and one small boy are straddling bikes on the dirt running track in Victoria Park. All are tentative, but the boy's tiny pedal-less push bike is the steadiest. Impatient, he urges them on.

Pregnancy in London has been lonely; I'm an observer, or alone. I find strangers and meetups to make plans with, and then cancel because I'm not well. I have a handful of new friends now, but it feels sparse compared to living in community. By evening, when Robert is home, I'm collapsed on the couch. So it's a joy and relief to pack for Alaska: a span of weeks in my other homes.

The flights are rough, and there are three of them. I lose all the contents of my stomach on the tarmac in Keflavic, and Iceland Air neither seats us together nor offers food service on the eight-hour next leg. I order multiple rounds of €8 cup noodles while Robert sleeps somewhere behind me. We get first-class…