Tuesday, April 26, 2016

10 Things I Didn't Know About Pregnancy

Hello, Baby.

Sorry, I missed writing to you for a couple of days. Work has been tough lately.

So... I have carried you for a while now, I can't believe days gone by so quickly - but also so slowly! Oh, the anticipation. And since you are Population Number One in my womb, so that makes me a rookie in being pregnant. Yes, I had spent quite a long time getting my body ready for being pregnant. But when I did find out that I conceive you, I was not prepared at all. I'm sure my mom must have dropped a memo about this, but to feel every single bit of pregnancy ups and downs by myself is truly a surprise for me.

I am no expert, but these are some of the things I learn during my pregnancy up to this day. To share with you and probably other rookie mommies out there about what to expect when you're expecting, here's my list of 10 things I didn't know about pregnancy.

1. Morning sickness is not a myth.
Fire-breathing dragon is a myth. But morning sickness is as real as it gets. Because in you-and-me case, it was an all-day sickness. During your first trimester journey, I named myself The Toilet Face just because I had to 'face' the toilet ever so often. I am still having this symptom nowadays, even though it has lessened a lot - now it's about once every one week. It's basically because you're getting bigger and bigger inside, so your movement seems to affect my gastric acid (that's a clever term for 'sour tummy juice') to go up onto my neck and create a burning sensation.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Always carry with you some plastic bags even until you've graduated from the first trimester, they surely come in handy. Avoid greasy/oily food; gorengan, sambalsayur tumisan, and even kerupuk - I ate lots of warm, clear vegetable/noodle soup (less oil) during this period. Drink lots of warm water or tea to calm you down after the sickness storm hits you over and over again. Some times fruits help, some times they don't - especially when your tummy is already too acidic. Make sure to choose 'neutral' fruits like apple and banana instead of orange.

2. Nothing cures morning sickness, except...
Sleeping. And more sleeping. Lots of sleeping.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Have a day-off from work whenever possible and try to sleep early at night.

3. Wait until you invest on maternity clothes.
During the early days, I woke up every morning thinking about what clothes to wear to the office. Every piece of clothing in the closet seemed to make me look like a whale, no matter how tight or loose it was. I used to cry a bit and felt like I had to go to the nearest mall to buy every cute maternity clothes available. But honestly, until today I only own two pairs of maternity pants - they cost a heaping lot than regular clothes and I rarely wear them!
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Don't rush for online shopping even if they send you voucher codes. Even if you have to, it doesn't have to be maternity clothes. Just buy regular clothes but go one or two sizes bigger gradually. I suggest to prioritize on bras and undies - you need them at the right sizes. Remember, it's important to stay comfortable in whatever clothing you wear.

4. Drink milk.
I saw the Gyno when you were around 12 weeks old and he said that your femur length was a bit behind. It got better during your 15 weeks check, but in another month the problem came back. I realized that even though I have taken calcium supplement, I tend to skip drinking milk. Short femur length may be one of the soft indications of fetal restriction growth or other worse dysfunction. But as long as your mommy stays healthy, I hope we have nothing to worry.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Choose any milk brand of your liking and stick to it. I do mean "any milk". Seriously, you don't need to limit yourself and hop into the pregnancy milk bandwagon just because the advertisements told you so. Milk contains calcium which is really important for the baby and the mother. Pregnancy milk may contain additional vitamins and ingredients which are good for expectant mother, but it is really the calcium that you need. In case you are worried about your baby's short femur length, there are many health journals on this topic - just Google it. Or better yet, consult with your Gyno.

5. I miss coffee, sashimi, and Indomie.
I'm sorry, Baby. I perfectly understand that I need to eat healthy for your sake. But passing Starbucks in the morning, suppressing the urge to buy a tall latte was quite tough at the beginning. Skipping sushi and sashimi are also hard to do, and don't get me started on a bowl of Indomie kuah. But you know I love you more than life and I am willing to do every thing for you, including missing those things. Plus, I save more money now because I no longer buy overpriced coffee.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Try to find another craving. I find martabak manis to be a great (fattening) food that can cure any type of food craving. Be a good friend to food delivery guys or your nearby abang ojek, they can do magic - as in delivering any kind of food you are craving in less than an hour. 

6. I hate my husband's ... smell.
Yes, I hate your father's smell so bad since you were just a tiny dot. Every time he arrives home from work, I immediately ask him to wash up and change into clean clothes. I hate to hug him in the morning (so not me, I was all about hugging before). I even use an odor-neutralizer AND a super-power air freshener in our room to make sure the room doesn't smell like him. He used to frown at me for doing this, but nowadays he understands that I do this keep you comfy (always a good excuse, gets me out of difficult situation every time).
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: It's okay to let him know. He may be offended but he will accept the fact that you are not feeling that well. Thanks to the fluctuation of estrogen in your body which can make every little scent coming your way feel like a blizzard on the nose.

7. I love your grandma so much more.
She was soooo happy to know that you would soon be here among us. I know she wants a baby in the family as much as I do. She is truly a caring and loving person, she loves to take care of other people. She takes time to arrange your pengajian, it's like a baby shower without the frilly stuffs - reciting prayers for you and me. She had quite a troublesome pregnancy when she carried me and my siblings. Hearing her stories just makes me weep, I often reflect on how much she has done for me and how could I ever repay her. You will love her, no doubt.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Hug her, kiss her, tell her you love her every day 

8. Pardon my pregnancy brain.
I once left my purse in the office, I was already in the parking lot and had to go back up to get it. I got home later only to find that I also left my laptop bag in the office so I had to beg your daddy to drive me back to the office late at night. I occasionally take the wrong turns when I am driving. I forget my lines during a few important video conferences. I wasn't that good in remembering things (except your father's past mistakes) but this is surely worse.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Keep calm, being pregnant doesn't mean that your brain is shrinking. However, it may affect how sharp are you mentally. Not only because of the changing hormones, but you may also have lots of things in mind so it's harder to focus. Not to forget the backache and lack of good sleep. If you are working, this is a real challenge. Take notes, set reminder, try to keep every thing in writing to ensure you don't forget important task or dates. Get more sleep or short nap whenever possible.

9. I dream a very lucid, detailed dream.
During the first trimester, I kept having these weird dreams. They were quite detail, most of the times involving people I know. Gardens, flowers and every other thing seemed to be in colors. It was strange and disturbing.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: Again, blame the hormones. Some says it reflects the mother's anxiety - hopes and fears for the growing baby. Nothing to worry and do not overreact because it's just a dream. No matter how vivid it may be, you will easily forget it in couple of hours - thanks to your pregnancy brain!

10. I become a more positive person.
Even your father admits this. I used to give him a hard time, he used to complain a lot about me being short-fused and grumpy, but I have changed since I conceive you. We argue less and less. I am much more relaxed and spend more time being grateful.
Tips for rookie mommy-to-be: It's important to stay happy and positive to support the development of your baby. Unhappy mommies may have difficulty to take good care of themselves and the babies. Research has shown that babies born to mothers who are not happy during pregnancy may be less active, show less attention and be more agitated. If you feel unhappy, anxious, restless in any way, better to consult with your Gyno so he/she can refer you to have proper treatment.

I think that's all for now. See you on your 4D screening this coming Thursday - hope you're all healthy and happy there!

Your mother.

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