I have been M.I.A. on U be cute for almost 6 months now, but at least I have a good excuse. ***Drumrolls *** “I am having a baby! Yes I am.”
In all honesty I had given up all hopes of ever having a baby. In the past 7 years of marriage I have planned and celebrated countless baby showers for friends and family. I had almost come to terms with the fear that my time may have come and gone. Only one regret gnawed at my heart; that I should not be able to give the love to someone, that I received so wholeheartedly and unconditionally from my own parents. So when I found out last November that I was pregnant it felt more surreal than anything else.
I am now 38 weeks pregnant and really far along my journey. Overall, I have enjoyed a healthy and peaceful pregnancy. So I wanted to share my honest and true account for all of you ladies out there, who are either planning on getting pregnant or are in the early stages of pregnancy.
1st Trimester: This was according to me the hardest part of my journey. Almost overnight after finding I was pregnant I started suffering from nausea, bloating, heartburn and breast tenderness. As most women will agree, morning sickness is a misnomer. It is truly all day sickness and in my case it was night sickness. Although I did not ever have to throw up my food, I just felt this constant distastefulness in my mouth. I also had severe aversions to many foods I previously enjoyed. I tried to stay healthy by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables so much so that I am almost infamous at work for being “overly healthy”. Despite all my efforts to maintain a healthy diet I was bloated and constipated in the beginning. I read a book by Dr. Walker on the benefits of raw vegetable juices ‘Raw Vegetable Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body?” and started juicing carrots, spinach, tomatoes and apples regularly. This relieved not only my constipation but also the heartburn and distaste in my mouth. I knew you don’t have to eat extra calories in the first trimester as the needs of the fetus are far too little at this point. So I ate what I enjoyed but almost never what my family, friends and colleagues suggested which were cookies, butter, cheese, milk! Instead I focused on smoothies, fruits and vegetables. I am also not into uncooked, raw vegan diet. I like my vegetables cooked and enjoy them with whole wheat bread or chapattis so I stayed with that.
2nd Trimester: Almost everyone will tell you the second trimester is a breeze. I am here to tell you they are right. By the time you reach your second trimester some of the morning sickness and discomfort eases up on its own, the rest you learn to live with or have figured ways to cope with. By the fifth month I started to show my baby bump although it could easily have been hidden if I so chose it. Instead I went to “Destination Maternity” and bought myself clothes that rocked my baby bump. I was eager to flaunt my bump and sought clothes that exaggerated it. This is when people started to notice at work that I was pregnant. Women chose to ask openly while men probably noticed but politely ignored. This is when I stopped wearing high heels to work and bought myself a ton of cushioned flats.
A positive side effect of pregnancy was that I absolutely glowed during my second trimester (forgive the cockiness). Not only did my skin glow effortlessly but almost overnight my hair grew like 3 inches. I am sure it was due to the prenatal I had been taking all this while.
My mom and dad had been planning on visiting me for so long and I was sure they will be happy to fly over to visit me now. However, almost at the last minute, they both were unable to make it due to health issues. This was the saddest part for me as I had really been looking forward to sharing these days with my mom and dad. If they visited me they would have to fly from Goa to Bombay and Bombay to Dubai and then Dubai to Los Angeles which is one of the longest and most arduous stretches in plane journeys. So it is best that they should not take extra burden on their health.
Back at work things were very hectic. I was working on a couple projects both of which were demanding and I was getting little time for exercise. Falling off the exercise bandwagon was the biggest mistake I made during my pregnancy. To all other pregnant women I would highly encourage you to stick with some form of exercise regime throughout. The health of my baby is important to me so no matter what I tried to leave on time from work. By experience I know work has a tendency to fill the time you spend at it. If I had too much work I would just finish it at home with my legs up on the couch (so much better that way).
3rd Trimester: One other advice I would like to give to first time mommies is not to give too much importance to the stories on the internet. I had read far too many horror stories on the net about 3rd trimester and was very scared. Fortunately enough I have survived to tell you most of it is wrong. Pregnancy is what you will make of it. I never took it lightly before I was pregnant but once I got pregnant I learned that although it is not easy or fun it is natural. The body takes care of everything like flying on “auto-pilot” mode and all you have to do is to let go and fly or “waddle” to be more precise.
Around the 7th month I started to notice a lot of fetal movements, although you may notice it a lot sooner. Also second time moms will notice them a lot sooner by virtue of experience. At first it was really exciting but by the 8th month the movements got stronger as did the Braxton Hick contractions. These added a whole new range of discomfort. I constantly felt the urge to pee and getting a good night sleep was harder and harder. Falling asleep at night has been the hardest part of pregnancy for me almost from day one. In general I am a light sleeper and cannot fall asleep if disturbed. All the rushed bathroom visits through the night do nothing to help my case. So when people at work would remark my complexion glowed or that I looked well “rested” or that pregnancy suited me, I sometimes wanted to murder them. My 3rd trimester is also the time when I started to get swelling on my hands and feet, this is what turned my walk to waddle. Keeping feet elevated helped but only during the duration. It’s impossible to walk, cook, clean or do basic functions while keeping your feet up. I also got some carpal tunnel in my hands especially in the morning. For those of you first time mommies that I have successfully scared by now, my heartfelt apologies. I won’t lie to you, there is discomfort and pain but honestly as uncomfortable as things may sometimes get, nature continues to give you strength. Just remember the “auto-pilot” mode I was talking about and things will go far better.
Now in my 38th week, I have stopped driving too much by myself. Therefore, I am dependent on my husband to help me with groceries or run chores outside the house. P.S. I tried Amazon fresh membership and was pleasantly surprised. Although nothing beats being able to smell and pick the freshest produce, Amazon fresh is a good option for disabled, sick or just really busy folks.
Overall what do I think of Pregnancy? I always said having a baby is like experiencing a miracle. Now I truly lived the miracle. The myriad changes your body goes through to make life happen is not just a miracle but a blessing and I am so grateful I got to experience it. At the start of my journey I had so many qualms and concerns. I was scared I will never be able to make it this far, that maybe I did not have it in me. I was wrong. Now that I look back at it, I know I really had to do nothing. Nature takes care of everything. She is the mother far greater than any of us will be 🙂
I will write back how my labor and delivery went. Until then.