Third Trimester ain’t so sexy!

mama and j Listen, it is so nice that pregnant women are glorified in the media and some celebrities do look a lot better with some actual fat on their bony bodies but let me tell ya – the average woman don’t look too sexy in the final months. What’s worse, she really doesn’t feel sexy either, AT ALL!

Here is what I mean.

First Trimester, I was like OH WOW, I am having a baby. So cool. Let me try my maternity clothes on and wear a cushion where the bump will be. Can people tell just by my glowing skin and shining mane? I feel so good, so energetic, so beautiful. Uh oh, do you think my mother can tell? I am not telling anyone until the third month. No way, no how. Ok, maybe just my mommy and daddy like c’mon they need to know. Oh, I slipped and told a few very very  close friends and co-workers. But that is it! No way, no how.  Ummmm, did I just tell that lady who is a complete stranger on the elevator? Why? Why did I do that? She doesn’t even know me? I am losing my mind- seriously- chill woman, you don’t even look pregnant! People will think you are making it up!

Second Trimester, oh yeah. Have you seen this little bump I am rocking in my tight tank top and “slimming-maternity” (oxymoron) pants?! That is right! The cat is out of the bag. The belly is out of the shirt too- I am officially preggo. I know. I look better than last time. It must be a boy/girl. Whatever. The energy is still somewhat there, I have my good days and my bad days (what is up with all these random zits?) Anyhow, I will not fret. I have an excuse not to have flawless skin anymore, besides, I am too busy drowning in people’s adoration/congratulations, I am sure they don’t notice the humungous whitehead on the top of my right cheek – right? Right! No one would say anything anyway because I can now cry about EVERYTHING. Say something, anything and that opens the floodgates. It’s like my tear ducts lost all control and are eternally open and ready. I cry when I am happy, sad, frustrated and even when I am hungry. This is insane, let’s go back and focus on the belly. That’s a nice belly 🙂 ooooh, are those little flutters I feel- yay, the baby is kicking!

Third Trimester. I have a headache. You are wearing too much perfume. The baby is karate-kicking me while I am mid-sentence and I am too tired to get up and eat. That doesn’t stop me of course but boy can’t I just catch a break. My bump isn’t cute anymore- it is HUGE. Stretch marks are indicating the paths to the various parts of my body like a little roadmap. I think it is a message but I can’t read it. I am a little gassy, I won’t lie and to be really, brutally honest (as if I haven’t been already), I think there is more facial hair growing in place of the hairs I wax almost instantly. I know that this is due to hormonal changes in my body but seriously, I have a five o’clock shadow at 10 am! (I am exaggerating a little but not by much) – I am forgetting things. My largest pants are too tight after I eat. I pee a little when I laugh. My legs are achy and my ankles are slowly disappearing. I have lost count of the sheer number of times I have to go pee at night and then trying to go back to sleep afterwards. My husband is so patient and so understanding and I am so not in the mood for anything. My waking thought revolves around what I will eat next and when my next nap or sleep will be. My belly is getting too heavy and my skin is itchy. I can’t sit comfortable anymore and I feel like I am suffocating when I lie down.

I want this baby out now.

I am done.

So yeah. Third trimester- ain’t so sexy sister.

 

Smartignani

 

Here we go again!

IMG_9611I don’t know if it’s the right time for her, for me, for us. I don’t know if she will end up loving the privilege of being a big sister or if she will end up sitting on the baby because it is crying too loudly. She loves her stuffed toys but she also has a tendency to sit on them and squeeze them and throw them down the stairs!

I am feeling blessed to be having another but the fear accompanying the first pregnancy is gripping me again. Oftentimes, people assume that the second pregnancy is easier than the first but the same laundry list of things that can go wrong is still there and I am afraid to have complications again this pregnancy.

Last time I had high blood pressure and a host of other problems. My baby was born small and I had to see her in the NICU for about 5 days before I can bring her home. I am trying my best this time to avoid making the same mistakes including getting a new OB/GYN instead of the old one. I am also eating healthier, taking the stairs and just focussed on my little toddler who needs a lot of love, attention and energy. I am staying positive and I just know that it will be better this time but not easier.

Here is a common fear that is apparently common but not common knowledge. When women have a C-section then they get pregnant again, all the baby weight and bulging belly sit on the existing scar which irritates it and makes it hurt. I would have never known this if the lady at Quizno’s had not shared her story with me. This is why it is important to talk to other moms and this is why I write my blog. Moms around the world need to connect and share with each other the good, the bad and the ugly. This was valuable information for me. She went on to advise me of two ways to deal with the pain; one, buy the back straps that wrap around your belly to take some weight off your lower body and two, buy a huge yoga ball and sit on it instead of a regular chair to spread the weight around while you are working or just relaxing at home. This also stretches your muscles and keeps you relaxed. I will take advice wherever I can get it from whoever wants to give it to me and I will share advice with whoever wants it as well.

Before I sign off, here are some valuable lessons for new and second time mommies like me:

1) Do NOT give in to the guilt trips that others may give you – you do NOT have to nurse if you can’t, you do NOT need to apologize for a screaming baby who is hungry, you do NOT have to apologize for needing some time alone or with your girlfriends, you are NOT a bad mother if you ask the grandparents to babysit while you take a nap/shower/straighten your hair or do your nails.

2) Do follow your maternal instincts: People will tell you that your baby is hungry, or tired, or sick, or fat, or skinny, too red, too pale… listen to your heart. If you feel like there is nothing wrong then you are most likely right! God gave mothers (and dads) the “instincts” necessary to care for their children without previous knowledge, education or others’ advice. You will get to know your baby and recognize their screams, eventually. Until you do, try everything when they cry- feed them, change them, rub them (they might be itchy), or give them Tempra if the crying continues (they may have a headache). Above all, remember- YOU ARE THE PARENT… you DO know best!

3) DO remember this: Sometimes babies cry because they just want to cry, sometimes you will cry because you are frustrated, sometimes you will fight because you disagree and your nerves are frayed, sometimes you will think of the desire to disappear and take a break, sometimes you will sleep four hours and get up frantically thinking your baby must surely have stopped breathing only to realize that they are just deep asleep and you should be too. Sometimes, you will make mistakes or not understand why or when your baby got a rash. Sometimes you don’t have to follow the rules or the doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes you will just need to complain to another mom about how the lack of sleep is killing your appetite or how you cannot manage to lose one pound of the baby weight you gained. In the end, DO NOT FORGET one thing- enjoy your baby and coo over their little hands and feet. Kiss them when they are asleep and get your fill of their scent and feel because before you know it they are almost 21 months old and are little miss independent who doesn’t want me to carry her or hold her or… sorry, tangent.

4) As they grow: It does NOT matter when your baby starts to roll over, or crawl, or walk, or talk or potty train or stop with the pacifier or stop the bottle. It only matters that they are healthy- EVERYTHING WILL HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN TIME. Please do not compare them to children their age, you will drive yourself crazy and maybe drive them crazy too!

5) DO NOT give up: on teaching your baby the alphabet, numbers, a second language, manners, songs, affection, about God or angels, who their family are and what important people do in the world. Don’t give up being a good wife/husband, taking care of yourself, trying to lose the baby weight, dying your gray hair or dressing well. DO not give up on visiting with friends or your volunteer activities. Your children will learn tenacity and perseverance only as you live them.

And that is all the humble advice I can give tonight. Maybe in my next blog, I will go on to explain how this pregnancy is so different than my first and the epic debate my husband and I are having about whether or not to find out the gender of our baby. That is all I am going to say about that for now!

Until next time,

SMartignani

Week 37- Still Waiting

So I am now in my ninth month gestating away as I say good-bye to my fellow workers and head home for a year long respite- or is it?
I was just thinking, I don’t think I ever stayed home for an entire year since I was a child. I was always in school or work. This is different! I am not completely clueless and I know that staying home with a newborn is no small feat but then again, I used to hold down two jobs, go to university and have time to style my hair- and that my friends is called multi-tasking. Have you even seen my hair?

So I am now at the stage where I see my doctor every week and there is always something new and exciting to learn. Like how I need to monitor the movements of the baby because it NEEDS to move 6 times every two hours. That alone is becoming a full-time gig for me. I have a spreadsheet and I check off movements because if there are none, I need to head to the emergency immidiately. I cannot pass GO or collect $200.
I was also instructed to monitor my sugar intake, increase my excercise routine to a 45 minute walk and to be wary that at any moment I can potentially leak which is a common sign that labour might begin. And here is the funny part, there are a lot of maybe’s at this stage. If your water breaks, you MAY go into labour right away but it MAY also take hours. If you feel contractions, you MAY be in active labour, you MAY not be. If you start feeling pressure on your pelvis, you MAY be experiencing the baby pushing its head into the birth canal or MAY be experiencing the normal effect of the baby turning (they call it lightening, I laugh at that term).

So after all the MAY be’s, there is one sure thing- I am still nervous about the whole labour thing. Truth is, I am afraid because I don’t know what the pain is like. I read on forums that it is “nothing like you have ever experienced before”- thanks. How the heck am I supposed to relate to that? Tell me something useful like “It will feel like a million papercuts” or “The pain will be like a migraine in your pelvis”… something… anything! Don’t people know that half the fear is not knowing?? For once, I just want one person to tell me the honest truth… only to prepare my poor and terrified pelvis!
I realize that this blog is about a mother-to-be but I think I will continue logging in after the baby is born and call it “A mother has been…” Only to share the stark reality of a newborn regimen and routine and ready moms who are taking the plunge into maternal heaven. I would like to be the one true voice in the wilderness that states it like it is… raw and unmodified from the facts of reality.

I am leaving work and everyone says, “You will be really busy with the little one, enjoy every minute”. I want to define what “busy” means. So keep reading…
But first, I will continue ranting about the rest of this gestational waiting game to either prepare moms to be or just to get a laugh. I just have to remember that there is no “undo” here and there is really no “refunds, exchanges or upgrades”. Nowhere to go but forward and onwards. So forward I march into the dark realm of labour and impending motherhood and I pray that as light is being shed on what it all feels like, that I will adjust quickly and with agility. I am ready and set, now all I need is the “Go”.

Smartignani

B. Ed and B.A Psychology

Update

So my belly is getting even bigger… which I thought was truly impossible from the last post but here we are. I feel my skin stretching in areas where undoubtedly my baby’s oversized head or shoulders may be. I know it is hard work being a mother but this is extremely alien to me!
Each night, I go to bed optimistic that I will fall asleep like the good old days and stay sleeping with dreams of fields of green and beautiful roses and every night, I wake up at least 5 times because I either have to go to the restroom to empty my bladder or adjust my body in a position that doesn’t make me want to gag.

I am like a truck getting in and out of bed and my poor husband is instantly awake asking “Are you ok?” each time. God love him for his patience, he truly has my undying gratitude but I wish he knew what it felt like to be a “beached whale”.

My self-esteem is beginning to suffer. Yes, me. I can’t believe it either! For those who do not know me, I usually love me. This is obvious through the hundreds of photos I take of myself and the endless hours I can spend laughing and giggling in my own company using only a mirror. I was the youngest of three children with a big age gap in between so I was left to entertain myself by myself quite often, thank you very much.

But even then, I try to strike up a conversation with my reflection but then I am distracted by the implosion of my nose or the sheer size of my chin(s). I am calling myself bad names like “whale” and “truck” (as aforementioned) and even my husband is alarmed and keeps reassuring me that I am beautiful (he is perfect, I am lucky but I am still whale-ish).
I am finding it hard to put make up on because everything enhances my larger than life features. I think my body is slowly turning against me and just taunting me sometimes. I look down and see my belly moving from side to side because the baby is shifting. We call the baby Peanut because we do not know the gender. So Peanut has decided to change positions and all of a sudden, my belly looks like an oddly shaped pear or mango. It is quite humourous when you can see a bulge sticking out (it looks like a small hernia really because the head or shoulders are running out of space in there).

The feelings I am experiencing are quite strange and I know I will miss Peanut once it decides to grace us with its presence! I just feel like I am becoming more of a U-Haul than a mom to be. Space for rent and this is why I ask, why is it taking so long?
This blog is helping me vent a litttle because I am not entirely sure how else to handle the longest three week wait of my life. I can’t wait till’ this is over and I am holding my new baby. Until then, I need to learn to love every stage of pregnancy and remind myself that I am one of the chosen people who will raise a generation of others to complete the circle of life (cue Lion King music here).

SMartignani

B. Ed and B.A Psychology

Thoughts of a mother to be- The Conception…

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

OK. Motherhood, here I come. Wow. Did 9 months really fly past? Where was I? It felt like one long string of doctor appointments and medical tests. I find out that I am “with child” and all of a sudden our lives change forever… and the baby is not even here yet!
 
I tell the husband and he is calm, collected and somewhat…apathetic? It hasn’t hit him yet. I am actually still waiting until it does. Some people say it strikes most at the moment when he first holds the newborn, others say it happens during labour (if he doesn’t faint or gag first). I know he is going to be a fabulous father but to be honest, I am worried.
 
We argued over the colour of the nursery furniture, the paint colour of the room, the type of stroller to purchase as well as the darn baby swing. We still argue about the potential names for our currently androgynous baby. We seem to agree that there will be many more of these disagreements and how do parents do it? How can you possibly be a united front when you are divided within? I hope the baby doesn’t pick up on our disagreements and decide to play us against each other; as in bawl when one parent wants to sing it to sleep just to get out of bedtime!
 
Here is the thing…my anxieties are mounting and the cumulative stress from the past 35 weeks is culminating into one big ball of hazardous and toxic ball. I am unable to sleep for fear that I will end up on my back and plug up the aorta and asphyxiate my unborn baby! Then there are the dreams of dropping the baby or having my water break at the grocery store- ewwwww. I also have the weirdest dreams of my husband cheating on me with one of my skinnier friends and images of my life-long struggle with obesity. Why? Why can’t I just close my eyes and sleep? Can’t I just ignore the what ifs and go with it?
 
Yeah. Tried that but to no end. There is a method to the madness and a rational explanation for this according to Google (my information god). Apparently, this is Mother Nature’s way of preparing me for motherhood. Want to know what I think of that? Screw you Mother Nature… I highly disfavour you right now and I don’t care if there is going to be an eternal rain cloud hovering over my head for the next millennia…
 
So here is the other thing – I am consistently hungry. It’s like my stomach has been overtaken by an alien that also happens to maintain an astounding bottomless pit. I think about food constantly and I am asking myself “when is the next time to eat? What will I eat? Do I want to eat now? What is she eating? Is he eating what I think he is eating”- What the FREAKIN’ heck is going on here?
 
And when did I become a tight a$$? I find myself sneering and leering at individuals who spit, swear and smoke. I have an unexplainable sense of self- righteousness which frankly, used to piss me off when I saw it in other people. Who the heck am I to be looking down on people who have extra saliva, no manners and those who practice a vice in which I partook…
 
I want my body back. I can just hear my spinal column sing with pain “What the hell have you done- carrying all this weight’s no fun- please get this weight off of me- or you’ll have a herniated disc to be”… can anyone else hear that crack? Oh yeah, and why does no on tell you about the sciatic nerve when you happily announce your pregnancy? I can’t sit, I can’t stand, I can’t walk and I can’t move. It is the single most painful feeling in the world; a shooting pain from the tips of you little toes to the top of you pounding skull.OMG. I am told that the best I can do is take Tylenol extra strength… BUT I NEED MORPHINE… something… the pain, oh the pain.
 
So coming back to the lies and deception of others’ who have had children. How could you? When I come to you with a big stupidly naive smile telling you I am pregnant, you should appropriately react with sympathy, pity or in the least- fair warning. Why did you not inform me of the gross invasion that this spawn will cast on my poor, unknowing body? Why wouldn’t you tell me that with my disappearing waist, there will also be endless bouts of starvation, hormonal hurricanes and incessant gas (enough to blow up a city)? Why would you hide the immeasurable pain involved in simply bending over and trying to get back up? Or how the stairs become insurmountable after the 30th week of pregnancy? And let me ask you this, because maybe you will know- WHERE ON FREAKIN’ EARTH ARE MY ANKLES????? I lost them somewhere between the 5th and 6th month of gestation and I have been walking around with gross looking blobs as feet ever since. They actually make people flinch but I don’t feel pain- just shame. You let me down, a little. But thanks for repeating the one line that sheds an even slight hope on the situation: “It will all be worth it in the end”… I hope you’re right. I will thank you when the kid is graduating from med school!
 
Well… there are other reasons why I should be thankful I guess. Some people can’t conceive so I am fortunate to be given the opportunity, even though adoption seems like a pretty good option now for remaining 5 children I wanted! Also, there is the whole enjoyment of seeing people light up when they cast their eyes upon my bulging belly. I am usually perceived as a sign of hope because I carry a future citizen of our planet earth. Then there is the intriguing and often unpredictable belly rubs that I get in anticipation of a kick. I was uncomfortable with this at first but it brings such joy to people’s eyes that I cannot resist to smile and shut up. So what if some random 40-year-old-gentleman is rubbing my belly… I am pretty sure there is NOTHING sexual about it. I think…I hope.
 
Finally, I wanted to rant about one more thing. With the ever increasing use of technology in all its forms, humanity can now predict the weather, the next major world war and even the possible fluctuations of the stock market- but why can’t we figure out a way to predict the exact date of delivery for a baby? I was told that women gestate for 40 weeks- that’s 10 months and hey, I only signed up for 9!! Also, I was asked to start counting from the date of my last menstrual cycle… why? I was not pregnant then, believe me, I actually got my period! Also, I was told that the first ultrasound is the most accurate in informing us of how many weeks I am pregnant. I go for my first ultrasound thinking I am 5 weeks preggo and lo and behold- nope, I am 8 weeks already!!! What? That doesn’t make sense! My husband and I weren’t even in the same country at the perceived point of the alleged conception. Now forums, Google and my doctor are saying that the baby can come anytime after 35 weeks… so I have to literally pack a towel in my bag in case my water breaks (how embarrassing if it happens at work- which is why most sane pregnant women take an early mat leave- who wants to “gush” while at work???)
 
I am honestly scared. I don’t know if I can stretch far enough to accommodate the enormous, disproportionate and obese skull of my baby. I know it is natural and that women (some kids in other countries) do it all the time but my hole might be freakishly smaller and I might end up with 1000 stitches. I am exaggerating of course but no one has fears that are realistic. Partially, this is due to being a first time mom. Apparently, it is easier the second time around which can be a totally different experience… because wouldn’t you know it but every pregnancy for each woman is different. So you think you own it… you think you know it all… you think you can predict the feeling… then BAM- new complications and new experiences hit you. Wow… motherhood is charming, isn’t it?
SMartignani B. Ed and B.A Psychology

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