I grew a person... what's your superpower?

Friday, 18 May 2012

When I found out I was expecting, I was surprised that I didn't feel ecstatic or that my reactions were not what is usually depicted in movies or in books. I didn't jump for joy (that would be unbecoming, not to mention utterly ridiculous for someone my age), neither did I have any urge to start screaming at the top of my lungs: "We're having a baby!!"

In any case - none of the 'We are pregnant / having a baby' thing for me. *I* am the vessel in which baby grows. *I* am the one who has to contend with looking like a blimp for the next 5 months or so, along with water retention (bloated-ness sounds so utterly horrifying, but that's what it is), bluish green spidery veins which pop out along the legs, fatigue, discomfort and carrying that extra weight around. So... no 'we'. Just 'me'.

I avoided saying that I'm pregnant, too. Somehow that term conjures up images of frumpy waddling women with their hands supporting their backs, having difficulty walking about, having to sit down with legs splayed, and with a muumuu as a garment of choice. I much prefer to use 'with child'... it seems a tad more rosy-hued romantic - but that's just me, most of the time I delude even myself. 

After I peed on those 3 sticks and there were two lines on each (I thought the first 2 sticks were faulty or expired!!) I told the husband and received a response which mirrored mine. I think we were both shell-shocked more than anything else because I was on the Pill and I was not expecting to fall into that 0.01% of the women population who went ahead and got pregnant anyway. We decided to visit a gynaecologist to be sure, and to check if there were any side effects which we should worry about that could be the result of being on contraception, since I did not even realise that I had missed my period and had started on another month's dosage even while baby has been conceived.

When I was informed that there was a high possibility of me having a blighted ovum (which I had documented about here), I got upset. And I mean really down and out. I didn't realise that I had psyched myself up so much within the week after I found out that I have this little being growing inside of me that the thought of not having one really affected me. I couldn't eat or sleep much for the next two weeks, and if it was not for the uncontrollable, gnawing hunger during that fortnight, I suppose I would have gone without any sustenance.

For the first time in my life, I realised that I was actually looking forward to having a little one of my own. Someone whom I created (yea, yea... with the husband's help) and a being which cannot be bought, duplicated, replicated or imitated. He is his own person, a separate entity from me, yet connected to us on so many different levels.

After 4 agonising weeks of waiting, the moment I saw his heart beat - I know that I have never known such joy and relief, until maybe when I first held him in my arms. Well... that was more like love and disbelief, but well - you understand how that feeling goes.

I breezed through the pregnancy. I was one of the fortunate women in the world (please don't hate me!) who didn't know what morning sickness felt like. On the downside, I couldn't stop eating. It was an unnatural hunger that made me get an excruciating gastric pain until it was sated. As a result, I gained about 10kg in the 1st 4 months of pregnancy alone, and was so fearful of the insane weight gain that I almost stopped eating, to the husband's consternation. Weirdly, my tummy didn't grow out much... in fact, people were fooled into thinking that I had just gained a lot of weight until perhaps the 28th week, when my bump became more visible. I voiced my concerns to my gynae, who chided me and told me that I should be lucky not to worry about an over stretched tummy, since baby was growing well and nothing was off kilter. Thankfully, the weight gain evened out from the 25th week onward and I gained a total of 15 kg throughout the entire pregnancy.

I also didn't suffer from fatigue or pains - apart from a recurring bad backache from the 7th month onward, which doc told me was due to baby choosing to lie comfortably close to my spine instead of growing outward (which was the reason why my stomach didn't jut out much). I had the usual slight water retention which made my toes rather ugly, but thankfully, the varicose veins didn't bother my legs. I tried not to waddle (sometimes I forget) - and the husband will gleefully tell me he thinks it's endearing (!!) that I'm human, after all. I get the tingling aches on my legs, especially at night... but that just gives me reason to kick the hubs next to me, and present him with the leg and a grunt for a great massage. I loved getting away with things because I was 'with child'!

It's amazing how the human body works. Subconsciously, it prepares itself for the task at hand... and I have never been more convinced of the power of the body and mind as when I was pregnant. It's as though the body shields and protects the unborn child from the harsh elements naturally, sending signals to our brains that make us abhor or adore certain things which work best in its favour. At least, this is what I believe happens when pregnancy brings about certain cravings for certain food items, or makes us avoid other things because it repulsed us.

I grew as big as a house. I waddled. I wasn't allowed to eat my meats rare or have any sashimi at Japanese restaurants. I had to watch my step, and my shoes went down a good two inches from the usual 4 inch ones which was a wardrobe staple. I needed to pee 2 million times a day. My tummy itched like the devil as it grew along with baby. I had to ditch the short skirts because I couldn't cross my legs when I sat down. On top of all these, I had someone who was intent on kicking my guts out in the wee hours. He conveniently sleeps in the daytime when I need to work.

Did I regret all that? Heck no.
Those were the most beautiful things that ever happened to me, and the start to the rest of my life. I grew a person, and from now on, nothing else can daunt me.

BabyMoo - one hour old... and look at me, still as big as a house!


6 comments :

  1. Your post really resonates with my feelings of motherhood. I felt the same way when I got pregnant, I was thinking 'Why now'? I was this ambitious corporate person that had aspirations for big things for my marketing career. And when I finally got a bit more excited in the end of the 2nd trimester, that's when the tough ride started. I was confined rest in bed for 2 weeks in the 4 month, hospitalized because i bled, hospitalized again in the 7th month. So pregnancy was no smooth journey at all..

    Motherhood has majorly changed me as a person - I was no more ambitious when I gave birth to Kyle, family became first priority. To a point that I made my choice to quit full time work, become a SAHM for a year then discovering I could become a WAHM in the second year of staying at home. I realized that I have changed so much and my heart grew so much bigger with Motherhood. This journey has been nothing short of amazing so far, and I glad to know it is same with u too :)

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    1. Rachel,

      I totally understand where you're coming from. I didn't think I was ready for such a change in my life. I wasn't comfortable with changing my lifestyle to accommodate a baby. I was resistant to it because I didn't have the confidence to go through it. I've never lacked self-confidence, but this was one instance when things unnerved me because I didn't know what to expect.

      I'm so sorry that you have had to go through the pain, and I can imagine what a relief for you to have made it through. Kyle is a testament to your sacrifice, and I'm sure not a day goes by that you have not thanked the powers that be for the blessing.

      Motherhood changes everyone in a lot of different ways, but I believe that not only has it made me change as a person, it has made me finally grow up. Knowing that there is someone who looks up to me and depends on me to guide him made me really assess my life and take charge of the important things that matter most.

      It's been life changing, yes... but it's all good.

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  2. I remember the first time I found out I was pregnant; what a rude shock! It was totally unplanned and unexpected. Well so was my #2, but I was more relaxed about it by then!

    Motherhood has given order and purpose to my life; I'm not always a good mom but given a choice I would definitely pick my post-parenthood existence. When I think back to how I used to spend my time before kids (and before marriage), there was so much aimlessness and wasted time and money... I wouldn't go back there!

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    1. I'd like to think that for many of us - more than many mums would care to admit - pregnancy was somewhat of a 'rude awakening'. At least, for me it was. I did the 1st crazy thing (which I never wanted to do) by getting married, and then I have to go do the pregnancy thing and go along with the rest of the general population! I can't drink, can't smoke, can't fit into my clothes and have to watch what I do / say because it's just not 'done' for a mum-to-be.

      But as I grew, literally, I began to actually take stock of my life. I started unconsciously looking around for changing rooms in malls. I peeped inside strollers. I suddenly think that children can be (GAH!) cute.

      When baby's had, I realised I couldn't pass him back to his mummy when he started yelling. That was when the truth finally sank in.

      I am loving this motherhood business, though. Mummy melting moments, meltdown moments, poopy ones and all. You're right... it gives me a direction, and a sense of purpose in life, somehow.

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  3. Disbelief was the first thing that hit me when I found out I was pregnant with #1. The day I found out was the day I was about to make a booking for a holiday to Europe.

    I decided to do a test because I threw up on that day and had a nagging feeling that something was up. So it was unplanned and untimely. And that trip to Europe is still tops on my list of unfulfilled desires!

    That minor regret aside ;) I've been so wonderfully enriched by motherhood. The resilient side in me surfaced and there is joy and a sense of fulfillment in facing challenges head on and overcoming. Like being a SAHM which was something I never imagined I wanted or could do!

    Hmm, that could be fodder for another post, if I find the time!

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  4. My goodness! Look at your pic! Still in hospital gown and already so glam!!

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