It was somewhere in the beginning of November, and like every other day my husband and I were driving down to work. Before I even realised what I was saying I turned to my husband and said, ‘I think I’m pregnant.’ My husband just looked at me and smiled, and in his typical calm matter-of-fact manner replied, ‘take a test then to be sure.’ So I did. In the evening after dinner I took the test and to my surprise (yes I was still surprised), it was positive. Suddenly a feeling of numbness sunk in and I had one of those out of body experiences. I watched myself walk over to my husband and tell him. He was watching TV, and I didn’t enter the room. I just stood at the door and told him. He laughed and I howled. And since then it has been a roller-coaster of emotions.
No matter how much you read about it, watch in movies, or experience it with family and friends, nothing prepares you for what you are in store for.
First Trimester – OMG!!
After the shock of yay-I’m-having-a-baby fades out, it gets replaced by excitement, and in the blink of an eye sweeps in ‘Oh my god… I did not sign up for this!’ Everyday day started with morning sickness, which I think is a misnomer, as the sickness can strike anytime of the day. In my case it was ‘the all day sickness’. Followed my severe pelvic and backache, apparently since the uterus is expanding in preparation for the baby. You can’t stand the sight of food, especially things once you loved like coffee, tea, cheese, spices…. Basically everything! And you are supposed to be eating healthy, but anything you put in your mouth, comes out. Sigh! They say you glow through your pregnancy, I had pale skin and dark circles, and people constantly asking me are you okay? And all you men out there, if you think PMS is bad, then you haven’t met a hormonal pregnant woman in her first trimester. And to top it all, you cant tell anyone that the reason you are having a bad day, week or month is because – oh hey am pregnant. It’s all a big secret for now.
Second Trimester – It moves!!
Just when you are at breaking point, you wake up one morning and actually feel fresh. Umm… how did that happen? Congratulations you just crossed over from the dark side. Second trimester is definitely the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Firstly you can now finally talk about it. I think breaking the news to family and friends is the best. The look on their faces, the screaming and shouting, and pouring in of blessings and wishes – priceless. You really do feel on top of the world. And then finally the bump starts to show, And all those pictures that you clicked of your bump, starts to make sense. There is renewed sense of energy, and your face starts to glow. For me there was an added advantage of reduced hair growth, no more parlour visits. Woohoo!! And oh my god food, that’s all you can think of 24/7. So I did not have specific cravings, but man I could eat all day. My office drawer was full of chocolates, and all my colleagues started to blame me, as they would end up snacking with me.
And then one day as I was lying on my bed, I must have been 22 weeks, my bump moved. And to be honest it was the scariest moment of my life. This thing inside me was real, alive, moving, HUMAN! And then it occurred to me that all those flutters I had been feeling for a while, wasn’t gas, but teeny meeny kicks. And in that moment this realisation dawns on you, that I have this little living being inside me. Someone I was nurturing inside me all this while, unconsciously doing so. And I think, it’s at that very moment, you start being a mother. For every kick, every movement makes you alive, makes you aware of the presence of this little being, and how every action is for him or her. And it brings out in you the most protective instinct you have never thought yourself capable of. So you stop eating junk food, you consume healthy food that you would never ever touch, you start exercising, you stop listening or watching disturbing things, you surround yourself with happy people and happy music. And emotionally also you become strong and assertive. You don’t let anyone or anything put you into a situation where you feel any form of physical or emotional harm to your baby or you. It just changes you.
Third Trimester – Come out, already!
And then all the planning begins; you start setting up the nursery, shopping for the baby. The baby shower happens, and you just feel so blessed that you have so many family members and friends, who are already rooting for your child. And just as you are getting used to this pace of life, and enjoying it, you keep growing and growing and GROWING. And the kicks get fiercer, and fiercer and fiercer. The weight is too much for your legs and back, you’re constantly short of breath. And in my case the Delhi summer heat, just added to my woes. Delhi ladies my advice, make sure your last phase of pregnancy is not during the summers, or just move.
I decided to take my maternity leave in the beginning of my 9th month. And everyone wished me luck and advised me to rest as much as I could, cause it’s going to be crazy once the baby arrives. Umm… how do I rest? I could not stand as my legs would hurt, I could not sit for long as my back would hurt and I could not lie down, as then the baby would start to kick with all force. So the only option I had was to walk. So in my last few weeks I would be constantly pacing up and down. My baby was one squiggly little thing, which she is even now. So when I would eat she would kick, when I would listen to music she would kick, when I would sleep she would kick. Also I read this article, where it said 90% women report that their baby moved the most at night. I think that’s God’s way of preparing you for the sleepless nights that you are going to have once the baby arrives.
So by the end you’re like counting down to the due date, not because you can’t wait to hold your baby, that too. But because you just want to feel normal again. You want to be out of discomfort, you want to feel like your old self physically and you want to be able to sleep in any position.
Due date – It’s a girl!
So according to all ‘old wives tales’, everything pointed towards me having a boy. And in my heart I also wanted one. Even the famous Chinese calendar predicted I would have a boy. My delivery was one roller coaster, which maybe I will leave to talk about some other time. But all I cansay is that when the doctor said it’s a girl, I cried. In that moment you are just so relieved she’s safe and healthy and alive, that nothing else matters. Yes after I was back in my room I was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions, and maybe that over joyous feeling vanished. But, today as I hold her in my arms, I would do it all over again.
My pregnancy taught me a lot. I discovered a new me. It empowered me, made me strong, resilient and assertive. It made me realise that I was capable of so much physically and emotionally. But most importantly it made me feel like an adult, a woman.
Like I said in the beginning, nothing can prepare you for those 40 weeks. People say glorious things about pregnancy, but its okay to feel overwhelmed. There will be days when you wont enjoy it. My only ‘words of wisdom’ to all future mothers out there, you will find your way through it all. You will automatically end up doingthings for your baby, but don’t forget about yourself. Find your happy place, happy people, and happy activities. And once in a while, it’s okay for you to lose the plot and let the raging hormones take over.
Pictures Courtesy: Fotowalle (http://www.fotowalle.com/)