When we found out we were pregnant (yes 'we' because the man's life drastically changes as well) just months before our planned departure for Costa Rica, we were a bit apprehensive because we weren't familiar with Costa Rica or their health system. When we voiced our concern to my OBGYN she said 'you're going to Costa Rica not Jupiter'. So we found a reputed Costa Rican doctor who could deal with at risk pregnancies (since I was on strict bed rest from 24 weeks with my first) and away we went.
(left pic: pregnant in Switzerland, winter 2013. Right pict: pregnant in Costa Rica, 'winter' 2014)
With my first pregnancy in Switzerland, on many occasions, I remember having to rub on my belly so people could take a hint and offer me a seat on a crowded tram. Here in Costa Rica, people go out of their way to make sure a pregnant woman feels as comfortable as possible. Case and point - at the bank 2 men literally tripped over each other while getting a seat for me to sit in. At first I thought this was an anomaly. Maybe people felt sorry seeing me slowly waddle by, trying to do everyday tasks. However, everywhere I went it seemed as if a red carpet had been rolled out just for me. For example, at 7 months pregnant I went to a Marc Anthony concert at the National Stadium in San Jose. I needed to go to the bathroom and the line wrapped all the way around the corner. Before I could even step into the line, 2 ladies gently grabbed me by the elbows to escort me to the front of the line. As I'm walking by, the women all say 'pasa' (go ahead) with big sympathetic smiles on their faces.
(mandatory pregnant bathroom selfie)
Need another example? We went to Punta Leona resort for a weekend and at the lobby, the hotel clerk looked at my belly and gave us an upgrade.
(In Punta Leona, all smiles thanks to our upgrade)
Even at restaurants it seemed like our food came out faster than everyone else's. Needless to say, my husband enjoyed the second hand benefits of having a pregnant wife. Whenever possible, he made sure I was by his side if he anticipated a line. What's not to love about a country that has 'preferential service' lines for the pregnant, elderly and disabled? Don't get me wrong, being pregnant isn't a disability but it does feel good to be recognized for the hard work that comes with carrying life!
(top left: Nov.'14-Guanacaste, top right: Christmas '14-Ciudad Colon, bottom left: New Years Day '15-La Paz Waterfalls, bottom right: 3 days before delivery)
Have you or a loved one had any unusual experiences while pregnant? Please share in the comments below.