Friday, August 30, 2013

[Flashback] Pages from my Pregnancy Journal: The first movement

I was only about 3.5 months pregnant, when one day lazying on the couch, after quite a rejuvenating short vacation in LA, I felt a flutter. My first reaction was, "Oh wow! It's the baby." But then, I tried to reason it could be some other discomfort too. I felt a little uncertain and when no other movement happened for the next couple of days, I dismissed the thought. At our next prenatal appointment, the doc couldn't confirm either.

We went to watch Rock of Ages sometime in the 4th month, and in the middle of the movie, I felt what was most definitely a kick. It was certain. During the next hour, there were a lot of movements and much to the embarrassment of Vish, I was extremely squirmish and uncomfortable. It was a late night show, and I just wanted to go sleep. Early morning, the next day, the movements were quite frequent again. It had to be the baby. Finally, I made Vish touch my belly, and he felt the movement. His first reaction, "Holy S@#!, the baby's kicking! How awesome is that!" The excitement in his voice was so endearing. Come to think of it - it was his first physical proof of the baby (apart from the ultrasound). 

After that, till the day I delivered, Vish would many a times during the day, come and try to tickle my tummy, or do something to get a reaction from inside. It didn't matter if I yelled and told him he was causing discomfort to me. He's dismiss me, saying, "I need to talk to my daughter, can't help it if you are the carrier." 

Haa! Carrier indeed!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

[Flashback] Pages from my Pregnancy Journal: Finally, the baby bump shows!

I still remember going in for my 6th month prenatal appointment, and the nurse exclaiming, "Every time I look at you I wonder why she is here and then I see your file and I am reminded you are pregnant! You don't have a belly at all!"

Any other time, I would have loved the complement but at the fag end of my second trimester and nobody could really tell I was carrying - I was disappointed. Now that I look back, it all seems so stupid but at that time I hated the fact that I was fitting into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes and those that I didn't were just a wee bit tight at the waist! Hell! I wanted to go maternity clothes' shopping. In retrospect, it must have been my hormones acting up but at every visit to my OB/Gyn, I used to ask, "So when will I start showing." She'd quite cheerfully laugh my query off and say, "When you are ready."

And, swear to god, I developed a bump over night. In the first few days of my 3rd trimester, I just had a small little paunch - like the kinds you get when you eat a lot and don't exercise for a couple of months. But, by the end of the 7th month - I had quite the belly. The baby was showing alright. 

I was delighted but my ecstasy was short lived. A growing bump also meant more discomfort in sleeping, moving around, trimming toe nails, going up and down the stairs, etc. It also made strangers in malls and grocery stores, and parks, walk upto me with a knowing (and very annoying) smile and asking, "When are you due?" "You are carrying low, it has to be a girl!" "Do you know what you are having?" "Are you looking forward to being a mommy?" 

The funniest experience was when I was picking up fruits at an aisle in the grocery store and a very shy looking American guy (in his late 20s, maybe), walked upto me and said, "Hello, How are you doing? I just wanted to say Congratulations." I was taken aback and didn't realize why he was wishing me. He ever so hesitantly pointed at my tummy and said, "For that. All the best." Oh god, I laughed so loudly, I think I scared him. I did manage a giggly "thank you", though. Poor guy, hastily retreated to one of the other aisles.

Oh, and I cannot end without narrating this other equally hilarious incident. I was walking to the gym (those rare days when I'd come to a sudden realization that I need to be active to be fit), a neighbor's kid (a 5-6 years old boy) came running towards me and impishly grinned a hi! I gave him a warm hello and complimented him on his cap (a cool thing with lots of lights and all) - I was sure being a typical child he probably wanted to just show off his accessory. But I was wrong. He directed his finger to my bump, and said. "I know what's in there! My mom has it too but her's is bigger." If I didn't have a couple of other pairs of eyes focusing on this conversation and hence embarrassing me, I would have rolled on the grass laughing. 

Clearly, showing your growing baby in your belly is not an easy task!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

[Flashback] Pages from my Pregnancy Journal: The first heart beat

A very sick and pukish morning, I pulled myself together with great difficulty for our 6th week ultrasound. The doctor has prescribed an early ultrasound because my HCG levels were unusually high (as per the blood test). My morning sickness was so acute that all feelings of anxiety were pushed to the periphery - I was just praying that I don't throw up during the ultrasound!

So, I lay down - the gooey stuff sprayed on my abdomen and the large screen in front of us switched on. In a minute or two, there was an unidentifiable mass of white on the black screen. "That's the baby!", the technician exclaimed. Both, Vish and I were like, "Oh, okay". We couldn't make out anything and so we didn't really jump with joy you know.

Then we heard beats - like a horse galloping. The tech asked us, "Do you know what that sound is?" We both, like eager children wanting to please the teacher, said "my/her heart beat." Haa! The tech laughed at us. She said, "That's the baby's heart - beating at 164 beats a minute".

Oh my god! We were shocked. The little bundle of cells already had a heart that beats. It was a miracle. 
You might be as scientific in your outlook as you want but that first heart beat throws you off the highway. You become a believer in the miracle - the miracle of life. 

For days, afterwards, I couldn't get over that heartbeat - and would often (in a very filmy style) place my hand over a much non-existent belly and think to myself - someone's living inside. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Flashback] Pages from my Pregnancy Journal: Morning sickness

As M completes three-quarters of a year, I thought I'd do some flashback posts on the other nine months - and what better event to start with than the first on my pregnancy journal: morning sickness.

If you have never been pregnant and have watched a good number of bollywood and hollywood movies that somehow have someone pregnant, chances are that your expectations from morning sickness are very similar to those that I had. That classic scene: The woman feels slightly nauseous, pukes on her favorite chicken sandwich, eyeballs roll across the table, a pregnancy kit is bought, the pink line flashes, there are exaggerated expressions of joy or immense mortification (depending on the situation), and the tummy begins to blossom. Once in a while, in some rare true-to-life-swearing film might include extra shots of throwing up. But that's about it. And that was my naive understanding of the highly misconstrued term: 'morning sickness'.

And here's the truth.

First and foremost, whoever coined the term "Morning sickness" should be shot dead. It can happen anytime of the day - and all the time too. One fine day during my 5th week, I got up with a dizzy head and an intense sensation of nausea. That was just the beginning. After that for the rest 8 to 9 weeks, I was sick 24*7. There was absolutely no respite. When I went in for my second prenatal appointment at about the 3rd month mark, the doctor was shocked and so were we. I had lost 6 kgs! The slimmest I had been in decades - a mere 43 kgs - I swear to god, if it was not for the constant throwing up, I'd have done a chicken dance right on the middle of the road. I was size zero - all my clothes were oh so loose - But, all that elation was only momentary - the doctor said I needed to get back on track by eating just about anything - ice creams, desserts, anything to get the calories in. You'd think: wow! Just when you begin to wonder about a balanced pregnancy diet, here I was on a binge prescription.

The sad story: I could not bring myself to eat any of my favorite foods - no desserts, no Italian, no Thai, no spicy Indian street food, no Mexican - nothing would taste okay and nothing would smell okay. The faintest of smells like the rice boiling would trigger massive bouts of nausea - we stopped cooking at home - Vish had to give up on coffee. At one time, I thought I had become a lunatic because I could smell the running water from the tap and find it sickening. For a whole month, my diet included Gatorade, watermelon, sips of chocolate milk, an occasional yogurt parfait from McDonald's and some dhoklas from a nearby Indian shop. If about 20% would stay in, I'd consider that a lucky day.

Finally, when things refused to improve, the doctor put me on Zofran. It only helped to keep my food in - did little with the "sickness" sensation. Plus, it was so strong it would just knock me off for hours together or I'd get those really severe headaches. 

I had given up all my dreams of that Utopian pregnancy that involves good food and good shopping. We were struggling to keep everything sane and bracing ourselves for a full nine-month haul (yes, some women suffer from acute nausea all the way), when a week or two into the second trimester, I woke up one day to no nausea at all. It stopped as suddenly as it had started. And, I must admit after that everything was brighter, more cheerful, and more ballooned. I went on to not only regain those lost 6 kgs but gain another whooping 13 more - to be the fattest and hugest I have ever been. More about such "weighty" gains and losses in some other post :).

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not okay!

Just posted this on FB, and thought it must be recorded here as well.

The madame has been talking, a lot. 

No mommy (no 'm' syllable at all, btw), no daddy (tho there's lot of dada) - apart from the undecipherable (constant) babbles of tata, papa, baba, Manya's first "meaningful" word "AAIKAY" - her version of okay! 

She picked it from me, I guess, all day I go on, "This is dangerous, don't touch it, okay?" blah blah, okay? And she says it so effortlessly, which is cute. But what is not is, that she says it ALL THE TIME.

I love you.

You are the naughtiest girl ever.

We need to eat lunch now.

Come, let's read you a story.

Mommy is fed up of you.

Manya, enough of okays, now this is far from being okay.

Good lord, Save me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Three-quarters of a year!

Oh my god, the pace at which we are toddling towards the first year mark is actually frightening. Today, Vish joked that we have known M for 18 months now - 9 months outside and 9 months in the womb :). That got me thinking that I should be doing some posts about the earlier nine months too! Let's see if I can come up with something in successive posts. 

Meanwhile our 9 month old monster has been upto a lot recently.
  • She is trying to take a few steps while holding onto the couch. She seems a little unsure, even scared to do the walk really. Still can stand only with support. It's her crawling that is becoming so difficult to cope with these days - she's so fast - in a blink of an eye she's gone!
  • She can babble for a good 5-10 minutes at stretch - she sometimes even answers back. Thankfully, we can't figure out what she's saying!
  • The first signs of tantrum-throwing are apparent. Every once in a while she throws herself on the floor and kicks her legs. Now where do all these babies learn and come from?
  • We are experimenting a lot with food - a whole variety of thick soups, combination foods like daliya khichdi, veggie upma etc.,  yogurts, finger foods like pasta, rice, chappathis, breads, cheeses, and even fruit shakes! The good part: M loves new flavors- she doesn't really "reject" any new taste - btw, I must mention she loves cinnamon! The downside: she doesn't eat too much at one go! She is on some kind of diet you know - doesn't much care for sweet stuff too :(.
  • We have made quite a bot of shopping and other outdoor trips, and touch wood, she seems a cheerful companion. Might I add, she loves changing rooms - all the mirrors and lights - I think (hope) we have a shopaholic in the making :).