Well, talking pregnancy! When is the best time to talk about all that has been going on in your mind? During or after?
I have a feeling baby won’t let you remember much so I might as well write everything down now!
8 months has gone by so fast and I am now entering the stressful/impatience last phase!
When everyone is wondering if you have given birth in the last few hours they have not heard from you! “Suggesting to rest, to have as much me-time as you can, to have more couple time, to go for walk, to rest, to sleep.. and on top to enjoy these last few days of freedom! “
Add these to what has already been in my list: Finalising work, making notes for myself in 3-4 months when I am gonna be back to work and probably can not remember much!, craving for a one day trip ( maybe to the beach? ), where in the freezer to fit if I batch cook, hospital bag, last minute exercise to keep my body ready for birth, Hypnobirthing practice, dealing with questions like “a doula, yes or no!”, when to readabout breastfeeding!, tidying up the house pre-baby, organising the house ( never-ending ), last minute friend’s meet-ups after a long lockdown, deciding if we need extra pair of hands at those early days? and… the list goes on and on…
With these being the main things in my mind right now! I have also come up with a list of concerns, questions, worries, ambiguities, fears and all that I have gone through during last 7 months! Making these notes for myself to come back to, the newly pregnant mammas out there and my lovely pregnant clients.. As the list is long, let’s begin with the top 5 things that has been inside my mind all over this pregnancy!
Being in lockdown during pregnancy, having only a couple of friends to get advice from and be away from the community of women-at-the-same-stage.. would definitely make it more clear how much we need to socialise, share, support and be there for each other! How much all of these are missed!
All begins after that first encounter!
It might be the strangest! When you first see those two lines! repeat the test.. repeat it again and again.. and all that is going on in your mind is ‘Can it be true?’..’It might be a false read!” .. ‘Is something, someone, inside me? really!’ .. and those were all over my mind after the test, on the shower, during the dinner before I mention anything to my other half, and still the days and a month after, right before the first scan at 8 weeks! That was another first encounter! That was another first, difficult, unexpected encounter, with many controversial feelings!
No need to say it was the same feeling in my partner’s mind too! He mentioned later on that it was all unbelievable to him until he saw the first scan!
What was going on inside my mind from that first encounter to 36 weeks!
1. Nutrition and exercise
How much of is enough? What is right or wrong?
These were the next immediate questions popped in my mind! Being responsible for someone else’s health on top of yours, and to keep healthy for all that is coming after birth, I kept asking those questions from anyone and Internet!
- Being anaemic for a long time, do I get enough Iron and then Calcium another one on top of the list!
- I did’t do calorie count, just it seemed a lot of work and restrictions but I knew my sugar intake has been down anyway being at home and not being exposed to all those yummy pastries! and the blood result was assuring! A bar of dark chocolate every few days was my main possible guilt from hubby’s point of view as well as a few bakings here and there!
Well, that was one of those ambiguities! With my midwife insisting on no need for them, to most of my friends taking them and then the obstetrician’s suggestion of “why not?!”
Guess at the end I decided for myself to go for it randomly, but not consistently!
I soon had to stop running! due to a constant pain on my lower abdomen! It was certainly an alarming one, appearing whenever I put any pressure – Physically or mentally – on myself from very early on my pregnancy! From running in even slow speed, to a bit of a heavy shopping bag or to be deeply upset on an argument!
Then being in lockdown means I had to make my own routine, which soon happen to be limited to a morning yoga and 1-2 hours afternoon walk in the park! I have so far kept them both, still not sure if they are enough or I should have done more!
2. Connecting with baby!
When? How? What ifs?
Well, pre-pregnancy we all hear stories about pregnant mum talking to the baby all the time, telling stories, singing, and dreaming while sitting on a rocking chair rubbing her bump!
That was not me, I should say!
I only began to address him rarely here and there after those big kicks! but I did’t have any feelings yet of talking to him.. Maybe running a business, concentrating on new creative products after a long lockdown.. when you truly love your job, does not help!
Maybe having a rocking chair would help! 😀 but certainly a free and more concentrated mind, which I managed to find from when I stopped working at 37 weeks!
Who knows how much time I’d have!
I felt guilt from right at the beginning.. hearing everyone’s questions of whether or not we sing to him and etc.. but you can’t fake this! and “you should not be even ashamed of it! It comes by time!” a friend once told me a few months ago! and It felt much better hearing it was not only me!
3. Motherhood feelings
That was another one! When you feel ashamed of saying “Not much yet motherhood, but I am absolutely stunned by experiencing a new stage of womanhood! I am drown into new feelings, witnessing what my body is capable of and how it is evolving to grow a human being inside, without expecting much from me!”
Yes, while that was my biggest astonishment in this journey, it was so hard to face with friend’s and family’s comments on “Wow, you look like a mum! I bet you are feeling all the motherhood things inside you”! Well, the answer was simple: I don’t know those feelings yet! I don’t consider myself a mum yet and definitely have no idea how it feels! but I am sure it happens when the time comes!
But feel free to ask me how indescribably amazing it is to be pregnant, how much I already crave for a second pregnancy ( yes, I do! ) .. and how much your body is surprising you with everyday changes! I will talk about motherhood when it finally hits me!
How interesting it is to see what society dictates you to feel, to behave as.. only because others have felt this or that.. no we are all different.. we see and experience things differently.. and parenthood is no difference!
4. Partners, how to engage them?
How to know what they feel and how to help them in this process
well, that question is still there and I don’t yet seem to have found an answer for it!
I know people are different so as their reaction to such a life-changing event! whether or not it was planned, what they have intended for or a complete surprise!
While the changes are happening inevitably inside a woman body, you have no choice bur embracing it! ( I mean if it’s a keeper! ). You face with changes everyday and you know it is happening so better to be prepared for!
But it is so opposite for the other half! At least there is no evidence until the bump really shows at 7 months! or until the strong kicks start to be felt occasionally! Or for some until the baby is here! So how to keep them excited, informed, encouraged, provide them with even the minor knowledge they’d need – not to support you necessarily, but to be part of it, to enjoy the process, to fully experience it and to be hands-on vs being an audience!
I might not have an answer to it yet, but what I know is that I wanted him to feel what I was feeling inside me, or at least the masculine version of it!! To enjoy the movements as much I do, to be stunned by the human body, what it’s capable of and these everyday changes..
After all although it’s the woman who’s pregnant, but isn’t it a unique opportunity for men to experience this incredible stage of life – in full – too ?
5. Documenting the moments!
Well the last but probably one of the very first thoughts in my mind, was how am I going to document these moments? For myself, my family and then for my son! At first this might sound to be the easiest of all, considering myself an expert on documenting childhood moments! But the answer is no! for that same reason!
Well, I knew from the beginning I need to make a plan:
For photography: What stages am I going to photograph and what stages I would need another photographer to take over!
For printing: What kind of a family heirloom I’d like to have? A yearly album? a few frames every year around the house to make a story wall?
For archiving: to make sure I am organised on having back-ups and printed all those favourite ones at every occasion!
That sounds like a big task! Yes, that is what I usually do for my clients, planning for every milestone, suggesting the best quality printed products and hold their hands on archiving and back-ups! then why does it sound scary when it comes to myself! 🤦♀️
And if you have read this all, here is my last but maybe most important moment of this whole pregnancy!
This is about my fears at those very early stage, week 8, facing with constant bleeding and that very first scan to face with what was going on, what have we’d lost and what to hope for!
and … that first scan
There is no doubt that the first time you see a wriggling thing on those blue and black monitors could be the most breath-taking moment of this 9 months!
The first time, you see there IS something inside me.. which moves! and has hands and feet! and it’s in my tummy! It is incredible…
and it certainly was for me.. I could still feel the shake on my body at that moment.. it’s there..was assuring and extraordinary! After a night of heavy bleeding and being scanned for almost half an hour in absolute silence.. It is still there.. and it’s moving.. Isn’t all you’d craved for to hear?
But then the camera moves and show you another one.. same shape, looks like sleeping twin.. not moving though.. and you hear the words: “I am sorry for your loss!..
What would you feel, do, say.. I could only recall the tears none-stop on my face.. hearing the nurse “You had a twin pregnancy!” I could not stop crying .. I did’t know what to say.. thinking but one is there.. so I would be happy.. but one is not there..so the tears went on..
I left hospital with the very first photograph of my baby… the very very first one.. with a controversial feeling of what should I feel now.. having lost something/someone I didn’t even know it exists..
Going home with the news I have been craving to hear all night..
Thinking about documenting your motherhood journey?
Not sure about when and how to begin planning?