I am currently sitting at 29 weeks pregnant and finally getting down to this….. I have been sick for so much of this pregnancy, and then following that just so INSANELY busy trying to catch up on work before I entered my last trimester that I honestly haven’t even had time to set up the baby’s bed… bub will be sleeping on the floor at this rate! Anyway, I have been tossing and turning up the idea of sharing my pregnancy journey for months now… on one hand, I felt like it wasn’t anyone’s business to know what I was going through as all the important people in my life who needed to know already knew via personal and direct updates. On the other hand, there have been so many misunderstandings (especially on the work front) because people just don’t really know what it is really like to carry a child to full term for 9 months that it has actually caused me a great deal of stress which I really didn’t need on top of everything else I have been managing while being pregnant.
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Granted, there are a number of you out there who do get it…. you know, those who have been pregnant, those who are mummies, those of you who have wives or know ladies who have been/are pregnant…know that your encouragement and your advice has made the difference on some days. However, there is also a large number out there who don’t know…. those who have assumed I was just ‘under the weather’….those who thought being sick while pregnant was like having a common cold…. those who thought being tired had no idea it meant I was in bed 18 hours a day to just survive….and while every pregnancy is different, I felt it was time to write to clear things up… at least on my end (Disclaimer: even sharing my stories shouldn’t be used as a benchmark or a comparison, but I hope to at least shed some light so people do not underestimate the monumental task of growing a baby, and grow to appreciate the sheer emotional and physical work it takes to create a fully healthy human being…and for those who have easy pregnancies and do not ever have to suffer what I have been through, I hope you can from this learn to count your blessings and know you are very very lucky woman! :D )
So while I am now in my 3rd trimester already, with this journal, to begin with anyway, I wanted to recount the milestones and the highlights (and the bottom lowpits too!) that I remember whether it was something physical, emotional, or something I learned about God in all this. Hopefully, by the time I finish my series, it will be just in time before bub arrives and I can start to share things about motherhood, how to balance life with a baby/family/work, amongst other things that I hope all you readers of Two Threaded Poppies have come to enjoy (ie. beauty, travel, fashion, food, and so on). I hope what I share offers some encouragement to those who may be going through something similar or know of someone going through the same, and for those who are not, feel free to ignore my sharings… or head on over to our instagram where there will be a much more varied mix of posts about all other things Two Threaded Poppies has curated for all of you to see :)
So… the back to the beginning. I found out I was pregnant in January. I will admit, that we were fortunate in the conceiving department. I don’t say it lightly, as I know quite a number of friends who have taken a long time to conceive, are still trying after years, or cannot get pregnant for various reasons. Ju and myself know how lucky and blessed we are … and don’t take it for granted in the slightest. To have been able to hold that test stick, and it read ‘positive’ was one of the craziest moments of elation I’ve ever had… It was almost surreal, so we went to the doctors for a blood test and it confirmed I was about 4+ weeks pregnant… and from there, it was a cautious but sure flurry in phone calls to our immediate families and our closest friends to let them know the news. After being married for 7 years, it was a welcomed piece of sharing that those around us rejoiced in together with us. I know most people tend to wait until after their first trimester to tell, but Ju and I have never been that kind of couple… we are fairly open and my only rule was that it was not allowed to be shared online anywhere, only personal and direct telling of friends which is what this kind of news should be received as anyway, right? :)
From there, I was excited, energised and just thrilled that I could finally enter a period in my life where I was granted the permission to eat whatever I felt like (well, almost haha, but we will go into that later) and not worry too much about getting fat! Yup, as a foodie, this was one part of being pregnant I was truly looking forward to. However, after a week of enjoying tonnes of good yummies, the dreaded nausea set in. It wasn’t overnight… in fact, only at about week 5.5 food started to go off in my mouth slowly… as if things that used to satisfy me and gave me great joy to consume began to switch off on my tastebuds. I then learned, this was what ‘morning sickness’ was. No one told me what it would feel like… nor did I know to what extent it could be suffered. Over the coming weeks, my sickness lasted all day, every day, and everything I put in my mouth tasted like poison. And it wasn’t like I was vomiting. It was just a severe WANT to vomit, severe motion sickness, but the body just wouldn’t let you purge or relieve itself. So it was complete torture….. it gave me vertigo, headaches, I went to bed hungry but unable to eat. I couldn’t even drink water without feeling like I wanted to throw it up. It just got progressively worse and worse with the peak around week 9 or 10 …. I remember only being awake long enough to eat my lunch and dinner (there were days I even forgot to shower because I was THAT sick), and I would be asleep the rest of the day/night just to pass the time. It felt like forever and an eternity in those few months. And nothing would relieve it. If anyone asks how I would describe the first trimester, I would use the word ‘survival’ – ie. do whatever you need to do to just get through each day one at a time. So what did I consume during that first trimester? Funny enough, I was able to eat burgers, fries, meat pies, only sweet drinks (I hated water), crackers, and oranges. Not consistently though… what I wanted would change on a daily basis, but it was kind of like within that group of foods for most of the time. I hated everything else… eggs, all meats, all seafood, all vegetables, all fruits (except oranges). And before any of you think I was making my baby suffer, our 8 week scan showed that bub had grown very well despite how awfully sick I was, and was 1 week ahead of size in terms of growth. It just goes to show that God’s creation is so amazing.
Throughout this period though, the house became somewhat of a mess (my poor husband did whatever he could when he wasn’t working/travelling for work), and I also had to cope with my own work. It was hard to explain to people why I was feeling poorly without telling them the reason why… I knew people were thinking with judgement I was either being lazy or slack for sitting at shoots, or not completing editing deadlines on time, and I hated that because if anyone knows me, knows just how hard I worked before I fell pregnant ….thankfully I have an amazing team of people who helped through this period… but would I go through the whole work (ie. my kind of work, which is very physical) AND being pregnant at the same time again? no….my advice to anyone who gets pregnant is to keep your workload and personal and home commitments as light as possible. Get help. Outsource your chores if need be. Do anything to survive those initial few months.
So yes, there were days I cursed being pregnant, and wondered what on earth I got myself into….but then at our 12 week scan, things changed. We did an 8 week scan as well, but at that point, all we saw was some odd shape that looked like the top part of an index finger, in a round sac. And at that point, you don’t develop any connection to your child. So it was hard to feel appreciative. However, at week 12, It was then that our doctor showed us for the first time the life we created. And I nearly cried looking at it. That experience I will share in my next entry along with how my body changed, all my emotional highs and lows, etc… so stay tuned :) And thank you for reading so far with me! If you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear them so please don’t be shy about chatting with me! :)
Jenny, I truly understand how you feel for the morning sickness as I had the same as you too. Felt like half dead for the first and early second trimester. But nothing beats the amazing scans that connects you to your child. It is all worth it. I very much agree that getting pregnant and doing physical work is totally very tough. I was very glad i switched to office based job before my pregnancy as I was working for physical job before I was pregnancy. Now my baby is nearing to 1 years old, indeed I feel very blessed. Pregnancy is just a pre-training. Once bub is out, there will be more zombie moments to come :P
I am so happy to hear the news and appreciate to listen to your current journey. I am at the beginning of the similar journey and feel a great sense of relief that what I am currently facing is normal after reading your experiences. Looking forward to read the next part of your journey.
Take good care!