“Who’s actually pregnant? You or Mai?”, followed by laughs and smirks by a lot of people we have come in contact with. This is what my husband has to put up with ever since I got pregnant, and he tremendously gained weight.
Azim is the most loyal companion of mine from the very first day I ate for two. He has been steadily piling on the pounds with me, even suffered from bloating, bouts of nausea and backaches. In fact, we endured the most terrible stage in pregnancy-morning sickness, together. The only difference was he did not vomit as bad as I did.
I always feel that twinge of annoyance when some friends kept asking on why I looked so thin and pointed that out to my husband. ‘Azim, ko tak bagi mai makan ke?“. Some people meant well and were just being funny, but I just wish that they would spare such jokes. Because it’s not funny to me, but it hurts instead.
I did not gain much weight being pregnant. Probably because I was skinny and petite, so the increase on the weight does not look that obvious. I weighed 45kg pre-pregnancy, lost 2 to 3 kilos in the first three months of pregnancy as my morning sickness was so bad that I kept vomiting the minute I put something in the mouth, and constantly gained 2kilos or more for the next months that I am now weighing 53kg at 31 weeks pf pregnancy. It is an achievement, as I always had trouble putting on weight ever since I started working. I just love being 53. And I just love the fact that my belly finally outgrew Azim’s after 31 weeks. (At least, he would not have to put up with such remarks and stares anymore lol)
Pregnancy had in some ways intruded my ordered life. I can’t do much work as I was tired all the time. Personally, I used to resent the fact that I got pregnant so early that I myself wasn’t so sure if I am all prepared. Being only two months married, I still missed curling up on the sofa watching tv with hubby after a long day at work, instead of puking at every corner of the bathroom and choosing bed over outings. It was the first three months that I had been in the company of this overwhelming feeling. I missed a lot of family occasions, gathering session with friends, and even isolated myself from office functions as I looked too hideous to mingle with. My husband was the one who was used to canceled plans, arranged holidays and dealing with abundance of progesterone (yes, I am not lovable at times).
However, things got better when the sicknesses subsided by the fourth month. I know I gradually got my momentum back that I no longer say no when Azim asked me out for some midnight movies. The first outing was a form of catharsis, and I couldn’t believe that a 3-hour movie could provide me with such a respite. I also began to develop my maternal instinct during this time, as my belly started showing. It’s true to the elders’ saying that once you have kids, other things become less of a priority. This child of ours hasn’t been born yet, but the feeling is priceless. Husband used to calm me with series of advices when I expressed my doubts about having a baby so early. It’s not that I did not want babies at the first place (God knows how much I wanted this), but such doubts were inevitable especially when you realised that you just got everything shelved with a stranger-cum-life partner when the baby comes. You started to wonder if you would be able to juggle everything into a balance, and what would happen if you failed to please your husband as the demands to be a mother is much more higher, and would you make it without losing your inner peace. It was all a bunch of ‘if’s, and over time, I realised it was the satan who whispered me such thoughts to stretch my doubts. One of many Azim’s advices that I live by is ‘being grateful and worry less’, and ‘have a firm belief that Allah has plans for us’. A baby would demonstrate our commitment to each other in a very tangible way. I know I could not be the most perfect wife and mother in the world and so is Azim, but we could give our best. And while we are at it, we must accept the fact that we still have L-plates on, and there’s always rooms for improvement. Insyaallah.
Finished with ramblings about my self-doubt, some friends had been asking me about my eating patterns. Questions vary from whether it has changed, or was my appetite easing up, and did I have unusual cravings throughout the pregnancy. I’m not a good cook, but Azim is. So he dictates what I eat. My pregnancy journey was not all smooth sailing as I did face a few complications. My Hb level was low, and kept dropping, leading to series of blood tests and hospital visits. Azim encouraged me on eating more shellfish (kerang), spinach (bayam), and red meat. But as the aforementioned seemed not to work, he started me on dates (kurma). I have been eating it religiously until now, and my Hb level, though still low, has been slightly better. Dates have a lot of benefits as explained in the Al-Quran. It is honoured as one of the blessings in the paradise (Jannah). You can discover the history of it from Surah Al-Maryam, as I pasted below:
The pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She [Maryam] said, “Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!” A voice called out to her from under her, “Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes…” (Qur’an, 19:23-26)
Azim and I both have done many research on the fruit after being reminded on its benefits to pregnant women (and immediately bought three boxes of it for my stock throughout pregnancy). From the above surah, Allah recommended Maryam to eat the fruit while she was fighting with labour pain. Even doctors recommend pregnant women be given foods containing fruit sugar on the day they give birth to energise the mothers’ weakened body. I always remind myself to bring dates along when I’m going into labour, as it could give me the energy to push the baby out. And the best info that piqued my interest is that dates has been the best milk booster there is. It could stimulate the milk hormones and increase the levels of mother’s milk to the new-born baby. Reason not to stop eating dates even after giving birth, husband said. This gives me a newfound inspiration to breastfeed my child exclusively for 6 months, and up until 2 years, as encouraged too in the religion. I will post an article about my research on milk booster in some other time for other first time mothers to benefit. Insyaallah, I will make time to do it besides writing on my own whim, which I have been doing lately.
Must stop here for some errands to do. I will continue writing about my pregnancy experience in the second and third trimester some other time. Well, this is not really a diary, but just a place to write down my thoughts, cause I miss writing, and I found myself refused to stop when I started. It’s really addictive, sometimes, that I tried to refrain myself from logging in tumblr when I have not done with the laundry, or Azim has no one to talk to 🙂
Us at Sungai Gabai waterfall. I was 26weeks pregnant at that time. I am lucky I didn’t suffer much from swollen feet or backpain that I could climb until the upper cascade. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Wish I could write a review about it, but we didn’t take much photos as both were too engrossed swimming and admiring the beauty. I had to be extra careful so I did not slide or walk much (plus it was too slippery so make sure you have a strong husband to hold you and refrain you from slipping if you want to move around here lol)