Note : These are very very personal thought, struggles and experience, that I can’t believe I’m sharing so freely on my blog. But I hope it will inform / inspire some of you.
I had a draft of the follow up posts to this “Confessions…” series which I wanted to publish before I give birth. But I got tied up. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you’d know that I welcomed my baby to the world already. 🙂
Nevertheless, this series of post is still good. So, let’s continue on with the program…
In my last PERSONAL post, after much reluctance to get too personal in this “tech blog”, I shared with you my pregnancy announcement and struggles of conceiving. While I thought it would be a post that would go unnoticed, since most of you are here to read about tech. Surprisingly, and most pleasantly, I got a lot of congratulatory notes and words of encouragement from a lot of you. I am deeply touched. Truly, I am.
So, here’s more to the 10 Confessions through my 9 months pregnancy.
4. It’s a BOY!
I was fortunate that baby was in the right position and the doctor could tell it’s gender in about Month 3 or 4. Most people usually get a confirmation in Month 5. Then again, it’s easier to tell a boy than a girl. Well, for obvious reasons – the presence of something “extra” between the legs is rather unmistakeable.
Truth be told, I was really hoping for a girl. I have been chanting (and trying to subliminally psyche my body) to “Baby Girl. Baby Girl. Baby Girl”. You see, I have 2 brothers. I grew up playing more boys’ toys and wearing boys’ hand-me-down clothes than girlie girl stuff. I remember having to kick and scream to get a Barbie doll when I was young. My 2 nephews are also boys. Also, Hubby is a single child and has 2 boys from before. So, the whole family was hoping for a girl.
When the doctor asked if I wanted to know the gender, I was excited, and still chanting, “Baby Girl. Baby Girl. Baby Girl.” in my head. When he broke the news that it’s a BOY! He can visibly see a look of disappointment wash over my face!
Hubby let out a “Hah!” followed by a smirk.
I know, I’m supposed to love the child regardless, and be thankful that he’s healthy. Especially after going through such a long journey of surgeries and fertility treatments to conceive.
For a few weeks after that, I wasn’t super enthusiastic to tell people that we’re having a boy. Over time, I let the news sink in. Oh well.
Funny thing about my OB-GYN though… For almost every scan after that, he always point out, “I told you that it’s a boy, right?” For which I responded, “If I didn’t want to know til birth, you kinda spoilt the excitement with that statement, no?” But yeah – I keep getting that confirmation of his gender at every visit to the doctor’s.
All those disappointments throughout my pregnancy, holding my boy in my arms now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely love him to bits. 🙂
5. Oh, the countless discomfort
Here it is, the pictures of my growing bump…
I kept most of these pictures to myself, really. Just to chart my growing bump. I shared it with, maybe, less than a handful of family members.
I don’t know what to tell you – was I happy about the growing human inside me? That I didn’t care about all the discomforts that came with it for NINE FRICKIN’ MONTHS?
Let me break down to you some of the main annoyances I’ve been moaning and groaning about:-
- Cankles – Yep. Calves + Ankles combined. My feet got so bloated that my shoe size went up 2 sizes. All my gorgeous heels and even ballerina flats don’t fit anymore. I started buying a pair of bigger flats, then another and another. I now have a few “pregnant shoes” which I thought I’d never wear again. Looks like, my feet is not going back to its normal size. Oh noes…
- Morning Sickness – Everyday, all day sickness. For the first 4 months (yes, mine lasted way longer than most) I couldn’t keep food down, lost my appetite and just chowing down assam every day. It wasn’t so severe that I had to be admitted to get IV drip (the nurses told me stories) for nutrition, but I did lose about 3 kg in my first trimester.
- All my clothes don’t fit – I was hoping I could get away with not buying maternity clothes. I always thought they make women look like tents. Unfortunately, I realised I have limited loose or oversized clothes. So, I had to shop! Surprisingly, H&M (for example) has a good Maternity section with nice clothes. Asos.com does good basic maternity wear, too. I bought a few pieces. Some of which can still be worn after pregnancy. Yay!
- Gases – It is rather un-lady like, I know. But I have gases coming from all directions – burps and farts. It’s a funny subject, but Hubby finds it endearing when I fart. To be fair, I contained it as best as I could. The times I actually farted in any company, it was uncontrollable. Honestly, I would never…
- Waddling – While I really wasn’t that big and my belly wasn’t humongous, I learnt that the waddling for most pregnant women is not due to the size. It’s called “Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)” which is a pelvic pain caused by hormones your body releases to prepare your pelvic area for the upcoming birth of the baby. The pain is so bad sometimes that the only way to walk around is to waddle. Like The Penguin from Batman.
- Backache – I have a bad back. It’s been a nagging pain for about a decade already, from an old injury way back. With the weight of the baby bump, it puts more strain on my back. I can’t stand or walk for more than 30 mins straight anymore., before I have to find a place to sit down. And no sitting position can relief the nagging back pains, too. Even with a thousand throw pillows around me. Oh – and the standing swells my feet so much, it creates bigger cankles. Jeez!
- Slow movements in general – Waddling aside, every body movement slowed down tremendously. It’s like my body is not cooperating with me anymore and needs me to slow down, like 10 times or more. I move at snail’s pace, because it’s too uncomfortable to move at human speed.
- Shortness of breath – I feel like a 600 pound fat person. With all the aches and discomfort, together with the fact that most of my oxygen likely went straight to the baby inside me, forget about exercising. I climb up a small flight of stairs (already at snail’s pace, by the way) and I’m huffing and puffing.
- Baby Brains – This is surprising for me. I suddenly feel like my brains are not working well anymore. I can’t seem to think straight or make the simplest decisions. Weird.
- Insomnia – I have been struggling with insomnia for years anyways. Throughout my pregnancy, especially towards the last trimester, I barely slept. Because the insomnia got worst (anxious about the baby’s arrival, maybe) and also due to the discomfort of the belly. It was really tough for me to find a good position to sleep. I normally sleep with 2 pillows + a bolster anyways, I added and rotated between more pillows and bolsters and stuff throughout and still couldn’t find a comfortable position.
- Cravings – I’ve heard of weird pregnancy cravings. Some women crave non-edible stuff like cardboard, paper and cotton. ??? Honestly, I didn’t crave anything too badly. I just felt like eating certain foods at mealtime and I just go eat it. Nothing out of the ordinary. Although in the last month of pregnancy, I really wanted to eat loads of fruits and vege.
OK. I think that’s enough complains…
6. Unsolicited touching / advice / offers
When people hear the news that I’m pregnant, many starts to gush. I am not a gushy person. So, when I’m confronted with the, “OMG! Congratulations! You must be so excited!” I muster the best smile I could.
Yes, I am happy. But sorry I can’t be jumping with joy, clapping and dancing with excitement that most were hoping for. Sorry if my excitement doesn’t live up to your level of enthusiasm. -_-
Then, my bump starts showing. Thankfully, this only really start looking like a pregnancy bump later in my second trimester, perhaps around Month 6 or so. When it’s significant that I have a pregnant belly, I get people coming up to me, congratulating me and …. *gasp* touching my belly.
How is it appropriate to randomly reach out and touch someone’s body part? Keep your hands to yourself!
I appreciate some closer friends, who ask beforehand, if it’s OK to touch my belly. I remember reading somewhere that it’s perfectly alright to tell people that you don’t like your belly to be touched. It’s bad enough that I’m grumpy and annoyed with my changing body, I don’t need to fend off people who automatically reach out to touch me. Stahp!
Was hesitant to share a picture, but this is how my bump look like now. Counting down… #babyHEAD #pregnant #babybump #8months #bump A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on
Because we live in a day and age where we have an abundance of information overload and more at our fingertips. I work in the Internet business, for goodness sake. Google is my friend. If I needed to know anything, I Google it in a second.
Which is why, throughout my pregnancy, I have read so much online via baby websites, mobile apps, forums, Facebook Groups, etc. I am thankful for the Internet for this. Books may have outdated information, while advise may work for certain individuals. When I read more online about any specific topic, I get opinions and thoughts from different angles and can make my own informed decision. I love the Internet!
I appreciate some mothers who share their experiences and impart their wisdom, especially the many of them online which contributed to my online research.
There’s sharing experiences and there’s preaching. What works for one might not work for all. You don’t have to force your opinion on others. There are different types of pregnancies. There are different types of parenting styles. Your way is not the only way.
Natural birth vs Caesarian Section. Breast feeding vs Formula feeding. Co-sleeping vs Cot sleeping. Stay-at-home mom vs Working mom. Stop the mommy shaming!
I have a lot of mommy and daddy friends. I appreciate some of them will want to offer me their baby’s hand-me-downs. Some of which I truly appreciate, but then there are certain things that as a first-time parent, I’d like to buy new and experience mommyhood on my own.
Without getting into details, I would never be comfortable using a second hand breast pump. No matter how perfect the condition or sterilised it is. I just can’t.
In the 9 months, more so towards the last few weeks, I get more antsy and want to have the baby out of my body already. As some mom’s tell me, it feels like I have been pregnant forever. Sometimes, I think my friends might be so fed-up with me already.
“Winnie’s still pregnant?”
Yeah – I was, slowly but surely, ready to welcome Baby Head into the family already.
[To Be Continued…]