20 Feb Something is floating in my boat
When you’re young and single, all you have to worry about is yourself, your laundry, lunch/dinner plans, friends you’re gonna meet over the weekend, etc. Then when you find The One, your life changes. Everything revolves around this person. His/her needs, wants, interests, health, happiness, become primary (for some of us at least) and you wonder how were you living until now?! Everything is so complete with your partner, he/she has given a new meaning to life and without him/her nothing seems fun anymore. You feel this is it, life is set and nothing can replace this feeling of absolute bliss.
Me and my significant other at his firm’s year end party, Dec ’17
Right then, in the middle of nowhere, you see the two blue lines which shake up your world. Woohoo you’re pregnant!
What does it mean to be pregnant?
When I first found out I was expecting, my husband was overseas and I was at work! The moment I heard the doctor say, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant” I had this surge of emotions. I was happy, of course but also sad. I didn’t have any family member around me to share this happiness with. Instantly I called my husband and he exclaimed, “We created a baby, baby! We’re gonna be parents!” It was a beautiful moment, when it actually hit, that I’m going to be a Mummy! I remember going to the church that evening touching my flat belly and imagining a little baby inside, feeling grateful and overwhelmed.
First trimester, is an interesting fast paced 3 months. By the time you know, it’s down 5-6 weeks from your last menstrual period aka LMP. The next few weeks pass by in informing friends and family, food aversions, nausea and growing boobs. I was lucky, I didn’t have morning sickness (which btw can occur at any time of the day, wonder why it’s called morning sickness then!) or any major issues, but I’m a worry pot. So I create my own worries.
Who rocked my boat #1 – Growing “fat” – I remember gaining a bit of weight in my first month as I was traveling a lot. After my trip, when I shared the news with my colleagues, i remember them exclaiming, “Oh wow you’re expecting, you look so big! Must be 4 months right?” I remember fuming and screaming in my head, ” Are you CRAZY? stop guessing! Just ask me!” I know I’m a tall human (178cm) and I love food, doesn’t mean I’m starting my pregnancy at the 4th month mark! FYI, at that point I was only 1 month pregnant! Embarrassed I went, “ermm… Just 2 actually!” #facepalm
I remember fretting about my weight and going running that very evening. But in retrospect, I know now – It’s ok if you gain weight, it’s ok if you look bigger than what you’re supposed to, it’s ok if you look smaller than what you’re supposed to. All this really doesn’t matter, what matters is that you’re happy and you’re eating well. This is the time to enjoy life and not worry about things like fat, bumps and humps. Of course, when you’re in it, you think and behave differently. If there was one advice I could give my first trimester self, take a chill pill and let it go!
Who rocked my boat #2 – Food – This was a major issue for me. I am a healthy eater (which means, I don’t order fried food in restaurants, do not eat McDonald’s or any kind of unhealthy fast food, try to eat home cooked food as much as possible). So obviously now that I was pregnant, I wanted to eat healthy, but wasn’t allowed to eat raw food (salads, subway, wraps, sandwiches all OUT), MSG (Food courts, hawker centers, cheap yummy food joints OUT), raw/ undercooked meat (especially fish, sushi, Japanese / Korean food, so basically everything in the world OUT), which basically left air for me to swallow! Either I could pack from home (which is healthier but needs a lot of effort) or I end up eating at Real Food every day! If you guys don’t know, Real Food is a vegan food joint in Clarkquay, Central and another branch at South Beach. They have a great variety of healthy vegan options from salads to beet burgers to pizzas. I became their loyal platinum member in a month (only if they had membership)! Only problem – $$. But when it’s good for the baby, pocket takes a back seat (each meal was about $15-17). Point is, my obsession with healthy food caused me to stay hungry for long hours as I couldn’t bring myself to eat ‘crap’ while other pregnant mummies around me were enjoying muffins, burgers, dumplings, non stop! This ended up giving me gastric, which definitely is not recommended during pregnancy. Lesson learnt – While balanced meal is important, especially rich in folic acid and iron as these are two key ingredients that are crucial for the baby’s initial development, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little unhealthy stuff once in a while. So I started stocking more fruits, yogurt, nuts, dried mango, oreo, granola bars – all kinds of things I liked and were sorta healthy, in office, to curb those 4pm hunger pangs. If nothing, I would just go and treat myself to a blueberry muffin (Blueberry is Rich in anti-oxidants isn’t it?) 😎. Again, the mantra to follow was – Take a chill pill and let it go!
Who rocked my boat #3 – Distracting gossip – I remember my friend sharing about another friend who started her folic acid tablets 1 month prior to getting pregnant. Obviously, at 6 weeks pregnant I freaked out! I didn’t even know wth was folic acid and why haven’t I been taking it! Just because of this, I arranged for an emergency visit to the gynaecologist so she could prescribe me some of these wonder pills! But guess what, my gynae said – Our mothers, grand mothers, great grand mothers, all had normal pregnancies and didn’t really gorge on folic acid prior to pregnancy! So she asked me to (guess what) chill! I started my folic acid tablets 7th week onwards, decided to chill and do the best (become Popeye aka gobble spinach) I could AFTER I knew I had a little one inside, who needed the good stuff to grow and become strong!
Who rocked my boat #4 – Need to continue exercising – In the first trimester, you might not look or ‘feel’ pregnant. Stomach is still pretty flat (at least that’s what I thought mine looked contrary to popular belief), everything seems fairly normal and the same except you cringe at anything that smells too strong or foul. Other than that, there’s no symptom that could keep reminding you that you’re pregnant. Given the lack of the look and feel, I was exercising as per normal, dancing, running, swimming etc until the doctor told me to calm it down. First trimester can be tricky as the baby is still in the process of firming his attachment to the womb. If you jump around too much, it might result in a miscarriage. So after a mini scolding sesh I learnt that best is to be active but in moderation and a much milder form – slow jogging/brisk walking instead of running, walking in the pool instead of swimming, etc.
Luckily I’m done with the first trimester and my bloodhound sense of smell has also calmed down. I’ve been told second trimester is the best, you can travel, enjoy the bump and of course get to find out whether it’s Alexander or Alexandra growing inside! Yes my husband has very interesting suggestions for names 🤦♀️
Until next time, cheers.. oops sorry can’t 😄