Saturday, 2 June 2012

8 months!

I thought I’d be really good at keeping a baby/pregnancy blog. I like to write out my thoughts, and I figured I’d have a lot of them during this new stage in life. But here we are, 8 months down the road, and there are only a handful of posts on here. It turns out that pregnancy has been one of those things that has been too personal for me to write about in minute detail. For the first few weeks, when I knew I was pregnant but there wasn’t much evidence, I would send emails to family updating them on the development. Now that the baby is more baby-like there hasn’t been as much to update on.

Pregnancy has been really different to what I thought. The first trimester was awful because I am not used to feeling unwell all the time. I complained a lot to a few choice people, but at the same time I knew I had it comparatively easy so I didn’t like to say too much. I managed to keep up with my 2-mile walks to work most days, although my friend Shilpa drove me home every evening. When I got home I would usually go straight to bed for a quick nap. I’d then spend the rest of the evening reading in bed or watching shows. I don’t remember doing much cooking or eating, because I suddenly had an aversion to almost everything except really plain foods like chicken, mashed potatoes, and pasta bakes. Fortunately I am constantly craving fruit, so I was able to get my 5-a-day no matter how sick was I feeling.  

Sometime in March my energy returned, just in time for me to prepare for our trip to America and the following family & friend visits. Now my energy is starting to wane again, but it’s different. Before, it did not matter how much rest I got—I was tired all the time. Now, I can actually get things done, but I use up my energy quite quickly. I’ve had to scale down on my 2-mile walks (from 4 to 2 a week), and my general “getting around town” walking pace is much slower. I can cook and do housework, but I can’t do much at one go. Even a relaxing day spent at a nearby heritage site had me tired out by 4pm. Still, I’m happy knowing that I can get things done in little spurts.

David has been great through everything. He has an insane workload but manages to come to all the relevant appointments unless there is someone else to go with me (thus my sister-in-law and my best friend both got to come to ultrasounds). He always ensures that I get enough rest and don’t overdo things without me catching on. I hate being constantly fussed over so this is really nice. He’s even relaxed his hatred of cellphones enough to carry one in case of emergencies. Basically, he treats me like a capable human being and lets me set my own limits, but when my limits are ridiculously low he doesn’t complain but just adjusts his own plans.

Health-wise, I think I’m actually healthier pregnant than I was before. I lost about 7kg between Christmas and my 12-week scan, and it’s not been until recently that I’ve gained anything. But since the baby now weighs about 1.6+ kg I figure a good portion of that is just baby-related weight. My vitamin levels etc are all normal, and best news of all is that I did not develop gestational diabetes. Given the number of diabetics in my family I thought it would pretty much be a given, but my blood sugar levels are nice and normal. I’ve been able to reduce my blood pressure with a few dietary changes, and basically everything is going on nice and normal.

Emotionally, I think I fall into the “keep calm and carry on” category (as a friend jokingly said to me yesterday). There are a lot of giant unknowns to be faced in the nearly immediate future. Some people thus reassuringly like to tell me about how stressful my life is going to be, especially with a baby thrown into the mix. The truth is that having a baby is going to make some things a lot more stressful, but other things will be a lot easier. It’s hard to keep the two things separate, so I find that I unfortunately let people’s negativity get to me sometimes and that’s a bit of a drag. My cousin Tara recently wrote a great blog post about anxiety vs letting God be in control. I need to keep reminding myself not to worry about a few months down the road, but just face down my problems as they crop up. Hence, keeping calm and carrying on.

David and I have chosen to live our lives differently than most, and it’s hard to go through major life events when you don’t follow the herd. The answers to my problems aren’t found any books except for St Paul’s letters (thanks for that, David). The easy way out is a constant temptation, but when I look back at all the other times I’ve chosen the road less traveled I can see that the short term stress of it all has been worth it. The easy way out often leads to misery. I can’t always, or often, remember my own advice and I’m not great at having positive faith all of the time. This past week has been really rough. It seems that every day since Wednesday has brought a new and negative, or at least shocking, surprise (not just in my own life). Add to that Britain’s gray skies and cold weather, and being positive has been damned hard. Still, I’m happy that I can look back on the past decade or so and see the positive changes in myself and my life. It gives me confidence and hope for the future.

And I don’t know what the future is holdin’ in store
I don’t know where I’m goin’, I’m not sure where I’ve been
There’s a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me
My life is worth the livin’, I don’t need to see the end

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