Sunday 12 March 2017

The Miracle - Bumps on the Way Out

In my last pregnancy-related blog post, I shared about how I had 3 baby showers.
Those were indeed happy times, and if anyone were to ask me, the second trimester was definitely the best. I could do as I pleased, eat whatever I liked and dance even, if I wished so.
The third trimester was not as pleasant, however.

Luckily in my third trimester, I was working at an acute care clinic, which definitely wasn't as busy as the previous emergency departments I worked at, so work related stress was minimal, if not zero! However, there were other things on my plate, that added to the general displeasure.

To begin with, physically, I was obviously getting BIG. So much so, I stopped fitting into a lot of my clothes, including some of my favourite dresses and tops. I had to resort to wearing loose clothes, so I wouldn't feel suffocated. It isn't a bad idea to invest in some maternity/nursing dresses, if you like. My bump was big enough, I could only strain enough to see the tips of my toes; and bending to trim toenails, was a task, that left me catching my breath. The growing uterus not only left me breathless, at times, on physical exertion; with it pressing on my bladder, I also had stress urinary incontinence, occasionally. Additionally, my gastric reflux was back again.

To add to all of this, I ended up with some back ache too, thanks to the house-moving that happened, just a month before I delivered. The husband had to make an overseas work trip, the week just before our house moving was slated for; which meant, I had to do a lot of the packing, without him and juggle house possession/key handover/contractor work etc with my work shifts. Thankfully, my mum had flown down for the week, as she didn't want me staying alone at the time, especially considering I had had some dizzy spells intermittently. Yes, my BP fluctuated between low and normal, then too. My parents, brother and in-laws were in town, for the house-warming weekend; so they all helped to unpack; yet, the strain on my pregnant body was enough to make me call in sick, and stay in bed all day, nursing my ailing back.

Couple all of this, with the emotions of anxiety and nervousness. What about, you may ask?
The latest ultrasound, showed that the foetus wasn't growing too well - despite having a normal pregnancy, without any complications, textbook-recommended weight gain, eating healthy, staying active by walking and working, till a week before my due date - I kept wondering why there would be intra-uterine growth restriction? This effectively meant I would be required to terminate my pregnancy and be 'induced' to deliver the baby, earlier than the actual due date - the logic being the baby can be nourished with breastmilk and hence, grow better in the outside environment. When my doctor, gave me this piece of  news, after many hours of waiting in the hospital, I was alone, and probably, low on sugar too; so I think I blacked out for a while, when she mentioned that she was adding me to the admission list for next Saturday - she then repeated the date; and when it sunk in, I had butterflies running wild in my tummy!

Was I prepared to be a mother, a week earlier?! Haha! It sounds funny now, but to say that I was nervous and hyperventilating at the time, would be an understatement.  Just the week ago, I was busy executing my father-in-law's 60th birthday treats - sending them for a romantic lunch for two, couple spa; dinners with the family; attending music and dance concerts etc. and that day, suddenly, I realized that in a matter of a few days, my life would be so different! Even though I had attended ante-natal classes, I wasn't sure if I was all set and prepared for the challenging journey of motherhood.

I really wasn't worried about missing out on my social life and movies, concerts etc as much as the physical and emotional toil that was going to wash over me. Labour to begin with - did I have it in me to push till the end? How was I going to deal with the tremendous pain, that is going to make me feel like my body was tearing apart? Could there be other complications during birth? Would it be a boy or a girl - okay, this I wasn't worried about - but I certainly thought about it quite often. Would I be able to successfully breastfeed my little one? How would I feel when I first held my newborn? Would I be a good mom? What kind of a mom would I be?
And well, practically speaking - What are the things I need to keep ready in my hospital bag - for me and for the baby? You see, in our culture, we do have baby showers, but we refrain from buying anything for the baby, as it is considered a bad omen - which in turn, adds to stress! - imagine bringing a new baby to an unprepared home - so anyways, I kept ready a to-buy list; I even researched and added items to my online shopping cart :) So, it was uber easy when the baby was finally born.

I must admit, the last couple of weeks, I had a slight flu and I chose to keep to myself more. I preferred some me-time and I wasn't really, in the mood to socialize and converse, even at the dinner table at home. My in-laws, who stayed back post the housewarming, obviously thought I was being queer, as I was a stark contrast from my usual cheerful, bubbly, talkative girl. My husband, thankfully, gave me my space; and cuddled me, even when I was difficult.

That quiet gave me time not just to think, but to also realize that these were questions with no real answers. For there was absolutely no way of knowing. When the time is right, I'm sure I'll figure it all out, just like the million other mothers and parents out there. So, the last weekend, before the baby was slated to arrive, Prantik and I decided to focus on the now, and have a ball of a time together. So, we got a friend of ours to click some baby bump photographs for us; we headed to the temple to surrender and give thanks for the beautiful journey, thus far; we stopped for an early lunch at SLN nearby, I had my favourite idlis, and filter coffee as well. We even caught a rom-com matinee show at the theatre. We chilled at our own home, perhaps for the first and last time, just the two of us; while our unborn one continued to excitedly kick within my womb, as though expressing his/her eagerness to be a part of our lives. Our dear friends, even surprise gifted us a staycation at Marina Bay Sands! That night, we had a lovely time, staring far, from the infinity pool and beholding the beauty, of the city skyline, our togetherness and mind-conjured bonny face of our soon-to-be-born baby.