Wednesday, 3 August 2005

Week 14 – Life changes…

Starting out on this post, I'm reminded of a dinner gathering I attended some years back with a few colleagues:
  • a young married couple (ha, ha, us!)
  • a newly married couple whose wife was 2 months pregnant
  • a married couple with a 1 year old son
  • a young, very happy-go-lucky single person
Since it was potluck, the party started off on high spirits as everyone was piqued by one another's culinary skills. The party continued with everyone tucking into the food, drinks and also active catch-up chatter but things started to wind down when almost all the food was consumed. It was only 9 pm but the 1 year old kid started to get cranky.

Then, the pregnant pregnant lady had to go out the balcony for some air. The little boy's poor parents were actually midway through dessert but his Mom hurriedly shoved in the last bit of fruit and picked him up while Dad started saying their apologetic good-byes.

 In a flash of 2 minutes, they had bundled up their stuff and left quickly with the rest of us to deciding if we should pick up where we left off or get ready to go home too. The pregnant lady was the most flabbergasted by this sudden turn of events and commented wistfully, "It's amazing how much your life changes when you have a child."

 Well, this flashback pretty much sums up the mood I'm in nowadays. If Blogger allowed emoticons to mark posts, I'd definitely choose the one with the lemon-sour face...

I have to REALLY confess that I'm NO saint and this is what makes me appreciate my dear husband very much nowadays because I am not myself - I have become *Godzilla*.

Firstly, the morning sickness (HUGE misnomer since it occurs any time of day) really throws you out of whack - in the first couple of months, I felt comfortable with a boiling cup of Milo/soup every time I felt hunger pangs but lately, it's like "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!"

 We thought we had our routine down pat, with meals prepared in advance of that 3 hr intervals but no, I'd still feel queasy and bloated. My food choices are limited to bland home cooked foos. We've tried KFC's, McDonald's, Nando's, Italian food, Sushi King but with disastrous results so it's back to healthy eating.

 Then, there's this metallic taste in my mouth. Brushing or mouthwash is useless. I'd suck sweets/assam (there's a very rich man name Uncle Mo out there) and what-not till the roof of my mouth is sore, yet the metallic taste stays.

Ugh... Next, are the changes in bodily functions. Ok, I read 3 pregnancy books including the famous 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' Still, nothing prepares you for all this eat, vomit, pee, sleep, eat, pee pattern. Yes, if eating doesn't occupy the waking hours of your day, then the trips to the toilet will.

 I try to find the comedy in all this but it's frustrating when you come back dead tired from a day's work and all you want to do is go to bed but you've got to feed yourself first. You can't go to sleep immediately so I'm propped up on a mountain of pillows while I let the food/gas settle down. Just when it's settled down, 1.5 hrs have passed and whaddaya know, you're hungry again!

Many a time, I've literally crawled into bed after a meal and dropped off to dreamland the minute my head touches the pillow. Then, you wake up a couple of times during the night to pee. During these visits, I try to move really slowly so I won't burn so much energy that I'd feel hungry --- ahh, the horror of those midnight/twilight snacks!

 When we first started noticing the bulge and all was still under control, we found it cute and even make friendly jokes with the 'pea'. Now that the bulge has grown (it's supposedly the size of an apple now), so have I and with this comes the depressing reality of ALL your clothes do not fit!

 It was already hard for me to find clothes before but now, it's downright depressing when you're faced with racks of clothes but nothing fits either your size/taste/budget. For this transitional period, the baby gurus advise getting clothes a size larger than normal and I've discovered something about Plus-sized clothes: the general belief (a fallacy) is that plus-sized women don't wear tank tops or shorts??

 It was amazing coz we only found racks of long-sleeved/3 quarter sleeved shirts/blouses in hideous brights or prints. There's an untapped market out there. To survive this period, I've been wearing the Man's t-shirts and polo shirts.

Thankfully, during the start of the mega sale, I managed to get some 'cute' t-shirts (AKA hideous) for home and a couple of shirts for work. At work, I've got comments like, "You don't look pregnant when you wear this" and "You look really pregnant when you wear that" so I think the euphemism used for "fat" is "pregnant".

 Of course, my loyal and endearing husband thinks I'm cute in my new shape but it sure takes a lot of getting used to - I'm beginning to understand why those newspaper ads of Marie France Bodyline and Mayfair have a regular horde of postpartum women as their satisfied customers.

I'm truly envious of women who stay slim during their pregnancy where only their bellies expand and the rest of their body stay the same. In the past, I've raised my eyebrows at pregnant women dressed in spaghetti straps and other flashy clothes.

Now, I totally understand why they do it - WE NEED TO LOOK AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL. Please forgive me if you see me parading in a spaghetti strap or God forbid, halter top --- I am delusional and hallucinatory.

 Another new (un)welcome change is body heat. When I was earlier given progesterone to prevent an abortion, I felt a surge in my body temperature and sweated buckets unless I was right under a fan in a sleeveless, thin blouse. Now, my body temperature changes like a reptile! I don't bother trying to figure it out, I just go with the flow.

Sometimes, I feel sweaty after a bath but I could also feel frozen after one and would bundle up in a sweater, track pants and socks only to peel them off hurriedly 30 minutes later. In the office, I'd be quite comfortable at 24 degrees C but after a while, my shirt is plastered to my back and I need to switch the temp to a low 20 degrees Celcius, which sets my co-workers sneezing their heads off.

You can only imagine the laundry count during the weekends when I'm at home the whole day. To top the list would be the exhaustion. I read that a woman's body's changes fast to accommodate the growth of a baby i.e. the uterus expanding, the placenta developing and the baby's cells building and so we use up more energy than that burned by a marathon race runner.

I find this change the most annoying as I'm used to walking fast and having loads of energy to do anything I wanted to i.e. work (pathetic I know), shop, browse in a bookstore or watch hours of TV. 

Nowadays, I get tired after walking around ONE shop floor for about ONE hour, or barely surpassed one rack of books and most amazing of all, missing lots of my favorite sitcoms, mini-series and cutting down on the no. of DVDs I've been buying.

I was quite excited to see 'Desperate Housewives' coming up in July on Astro but believe it or not, I've missed the first 4 episodes. Would you believe that I followed 100 over episodes of the long-playing 'Manchu Princess' Cantonese drama serial!

In the bigger picture, my life seems to have slowed down drastically and I think even my brain works slower now esp when faced with a fast-talking person. Can you guess that we had planned for another holiday, to take up dancing lessons, take road trips on weekends, do more sports to get toned bodies and a million other things when I finished my masters' degree?

Now, all these plans are shelved indefinitely! I'm most impressed with how well my husband is taking this 360 degree turn in life.

I hope that I have not scared anyone thinking of having a child. Please don't be afraid. This is one frenetic post by a hormonally-imbalanced pregnant woman (in her 14th week) anxious for the all-you-can-eat period of the 2nd trimester.

 I promise - the minute I can eat like a normal person, it'll be blue skies again! :D

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