Another sleepless night with less than 48 hours to go for a long trip! Too many things on my mind and as I was thinking about a hundred different things, my mind came to rest at my first pregnancy which was 9 years ago!
While each one is different and each of us goes through different feelings, I think no one ever bothered documenting their feelings during pregnancy for the “men folk” to know how it feels like, because of which our feelings are never understood or acknowledged.
Every mother has been pregnant at least once! But that does not make pregnancy easy or less scary. I still remember the evening that I tested positive!
We had been trying for a while and there was pressure from both sides of the family. I was in my thirties and needless to say, a bit stressed with everything that was going on! It was Monday evening and I was cleaning up the kitchen cupboard. I found a bottle of primrose oil capsules and threw it at my husband who was in the kitchen doing something. I said, “You can have them, it says not safe to have when pregnant!”. He laughed and said, “Who said you are pregnant?”. “Now that you have hurt my sentiments you can go and buy me a stick to pee on. And do that right now please!” was my reply.
He looked at me strangely and for some reason he obliged. Those ten minutes that he took to go out and get one of those home pregnancy test kits made me a nervous wreck. I continued to clean till he came back and when I walked into the loo to check and waited the three minutes there were a million thoughts in my head.
Will it be positive? How will my husband react? How will I break the news to my parents? Will it be a boy or girl? Will it be twins? Actually, my mind even went up to my child’s college degree and job before confirming if it was positive or not.
The extra line meant it was positive and I am still not sure how I was so calm and collected when I told my husband that. I was expecting him to jump with joy, carry me around the house and do a million other things… unfortunately, he did not even say congratulations! Probably he was in a state of shock!
The next evening we went to the doctor who confirmed the pregnancy after making me pee on the stick once again! I was hoping they wouldn’t do that at the first appointment at the hospital and they didn’t thankfully!
I had seen and heard from my friends how they were treated like a queen when they got pregnant. A friend got his wife a solitaire diamond ring when they found out about their baby. Another friend had got his wife a mini fridge and microwave and cooked for her and left it in the bedroom upstairs so that she never had to get down for anything! Here in my life nothing had changed.
The next few days I had to keep reminding myself that I was pregnant. I would touch my stomach and think about the little baby inside. All this lasted for a couple of weeks more till one morning I woke up with all the pregnancy hormones kicking in all of a sudden! All I wanted to do was puke and puke some more! I am a person who is super sensitive to smell and the pregnancy had made it worse. I could not have my shower without wanting to throw up because I hated the smell of water. I hated the smell of my towel, my bed spread, my duvet and everything else. I ate very little and threw up more than what I ate. I wanted someone to hold me tight and tell me I would be fine but all of a sudden I felt lost.
I know it is said that “It takes a village to bring up a child”, actually, I have to say the village should come in right from the time the woman is pregnant! I tried every single home remedy, I wore the bands, ate ginger drops, tried lemon juice and anything else anyone said worked for them. Nope, my baby hormones just weren’t happy! I couldn’t enter the kitchen because I hated the smell of food but I was hungry, constantly starving. I didn’t want to eat because I knew I would throw up for sure. There were days when I would open the fridge look into it and wonder which one of those things there didn’t smell. Carrot, cucumber. tomato? I would pick that food, eat it, only to throw up ten minutes later and feel much more hungrier than I ever was!
At one stage I had lost weight and was so dehydrated that I had to go and get admitted in the hospital so they could pump some fluids into me! I was not even three months pregnant and I was going through all this! I nearly wanted to give up and stick to my earlier idea of adopting a baby! To make things worse, I was feeling guilty about feeling this way.
Then came the trip to India, which luckily saw the end of my “see food and throw up” sessions for a bit. At least, it wasn’t as bad anymore. But now there was a new problem. I was feeling hungry at all times. For instance, I was in the airport in the middle of the night, trying to organise tickets for someone who had lost their mother and here I was demanding that I get food right now! It was embarrassing but I had to do it! I wish someone had told me not to feel embarrassed and it was ok!
Then came the crazy period of craving, I was craving for mutton and “maasi”, which is dried tuna. A friend from Germany brought me maasi, but mutton somehow was out of reach for several reasons.
Anyway, I was keeping myself busy reading books, doing my day to day work, attending my music classes, etc. But I still had a million questions and fears in my mind that I could not talk about or ask anyone. They were my own “fears” and there was not one person I could share any of this with.
I was working from home most of the time, which suited me. The one time I did have to go in for a conference, I had to take the peak hour train and I nearly collapsed when I got out. I decided that day I was not going to go out in crowded public transport anymore till the baby arrived.
Then came the big blow, with six weeks to go for the due date, husband broke his leg playing cricket. This was the second time breaking his leg! I wasn’t driving then though I could technically drive. My concentration problems made me avoid driving for my own safety and for the safety of the others on the road. The first few days that he was in hospital was horrible. I had to put up a brave face, be strong and run around with my huge stomach in public transport. Somehow I was expected to be strong and again there were people visiting us to see him and his broken leg, and no one thought of bringing over a meal to make things easy, instead I was feeding every single visitor that came over. I wish people understood that pregnancy is not an easy thing.
Thankfully my parents came three weeks before I delivered. I was driving around till the day I got my pains, I had no choice and I was back driving on day five.
Given a choice, I wouldn’t do any of that. I needed a lot of rest and I didn’t get a chance to get enough rest at all. I should have spent all day in bed which I did not get a chance to do in either of the deliveries.
By the time I got pregnant the second time around, I knew all the diamond ring and “push presents” and treating like a queen happened only to friends and not to me. So I had very little expectations. Pregnancy is a part of life, so nothing changes, specially for the women is what I learnt. It does not matter what she goes through mentally and physically.
Somehow not all men are clued in to treat pregnant women with extra care and it is ok!
I did learn much more than all this though, if I ever think about having my third baby, things would be very very different! I think I have it all figured out after two babies!
Would be interesting to read about what other women went through during their pregnancy!