One of the reason why I started this blog was to write about my experiences. I have previously written about my experience with re-modelling my kitchen, but what I failed to include in all the kitchen planning and designing, was that the day that I had finalised the design and paid the deposits to the contractor, did I find myself having to suddenly plan for a baby as well.
At the moment. I’m at the 23 week pregnancy mark, and it has taken me a while to feel ready enough to open up about it. I have been very reluctant to share my experience, partially out of fear for the comments and questions, but mostly because many people do not know about boundaries when it comes to an expectant mother. I also did not want people to question my priorities, when I decided to continue with the kitchen re-model I had been dreaming about.
Now that the dust has settled and my husband and I are enjoying our kitchen and the added space it provided, have we decided to start openly sharing the news about our pregnancy to our greater audience of friends, colleagues and social media. I also felt that waiting a little longer would give me an opportunity to try to hold onto some privacy, but this privacy was getting slightly (a lot) more difficult to hide with an ever-growing bump.
It’s been a long journey this far, but I will admit that most of my 23 weeks of pregnancy, was spent in a small village called “Denial”. Denial offered some great comforts, but my stay there was abruptly interrupted, which I guess I should explain…
The weekend of my 26th Birthday, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the building materials for my kitchen project but also patiently awaiting the arrival of my menstruation cycle. The building materials arrived on time, but the menstruation cycle, he was late (yes, my cycle is male – unpredictable and sometimes unreliable). At first, I wasn’t too concerned about the tardiness, as I had just been through hell-week at work, where I had probably had about 5 mental breakdowns accompanied by thoughts of ‘do I really need a job?’. I mean stress can do that to a person, right? A week and a half passed and I had realised that I should not be as confident about the cycle arriving as I was about it a week ago. This was my first time really considering that I could be with child, and honestly I was scared out of my mind. I did not know what to think or how to feel. But then I realised I had to put on my big girl pants and send my husband to the pharmacy to purchase the tests.
Well, 3 positive tests later, my husband was exploding with excitement, it was pretty hard to believe and come to terms with, and that was when I found myself on the bus to Denial Ville. I kept telling myself, all three tests were duds, until a few days later, as if the universe was trying to bring me back to reality, I was hit with a cold, but not like an average head cold, a tornado cold! I was feeling awful, my throat had closed, I couldn’t swallow and I had nasal congestion – this forced to seek medical attention. My cold was so obvious, the doctor was ready to prescribe me all the medications that would swiftly take the cold away, but I had to break the news of my 3 positive tests to him. The doctor then sent me home with some Panado’s and a home remedy – the cold lasted 10 solid days; and the weather in Denial Ville probably didn’t help much anyway. It wasn’t long after my doctors visit, that I was able to meet with my OBGYN to confirm that there was indeed a little bud growing who was about 7 weeks young.
The news had me pretty shook, and even 16 weeks later, I find that I am still in a bubble of disbelief. It is so true that “life is busy happening while you are making plans. Laying in the doctor’s office, I wasn’t sure if I was scared or excited. The first thought that came to mind was “oh well, there goes the plans that I had made”, and then “why didn’t I enjoy that last tray of sushi like I should have”; but I couldn’t wait to call my husband and tell him the news. It goes without saying, that my husband has been walking around with the biggest smile on his face ever since.
We decided to wait till the 12 week mark before we shared the news with our parents – the soon to be grandparents, and then share the news with the closer circle after the NIPT scan (14 weeks).
I have had a very positive journey and been very lucky to not experience many of the side effects some expectant mothers experience. The worst for me was probably having slight sensitivities toward smells and textures of food, and at one point all I wanted to eat was potatoes – any shape and style. For many people who I’ve spoken to about, about my pregnancy always ask about the symptoms and found that, when I do tell them about my good fortune, they express signs disappointment, almost like they were hoping to hear me complain about my experience or hear negative feedback.
I do not regret my decision to wait as long as I did to make a more public announcement about my pregnancy. I feel that I have allowed myself some time to come to terms, get more excited, plan a future and prepare for my new future. The period of prolonged privacy has also given me a chance to enjoy moments that would have been spoilt by constant conversations with people offering me unsolicited advice and hearing unending stories about their experiences and how utterly miserable they were but how “it was such an amazing experience”.
In some ways, now that the news is out there, I am starting to feel like I should have kept it a little longer. I’m finding it difficult to relate to people or have them relate to me if they haven’t experienced pregnancy before. I always tried to lend my ear and offer whatever comfort a friend in my situation required, but now that I’m experiencing it, it doesn’t feel as if others know how to respond. I also think that people who have not experienced pregnancy themselves, do not know the boundaries of a pregnant woman. Like for example, I have no problem with people placing their hand over my belly to embrace the size that it is now growing towards, or people asking to see the photo’s from the scans – those are normal and expected things. What is considered inappropriate though, is trying to tickle my stretched and sensitive tummy skin or asking me particulars about my baby’s health and movements and wanting to compare that to the health and movements of other in utero’s. There are just some things that are absolutely uncomfortable, and with that being said, it is also very difficult to establish and set boundaries with those we are close to or come into contact with.
What has been a blessing, is that I am lucky enough to have a friend who is about 11 weeks ahead of me (+- 34 weeks). She has honestly been a saving grace. Having someone who understands how you feel because she is feeling the exact same, makes me feel so much better. I am also learning so much from her and her experience as well.
I have heard that I’m still in for a bumpy ride to the end of the 9 months, and then it just goes off-road from there. I am excited, I’m feeling positive and I hope I will have more to share in the coming months.
#BabyWitbooi #ComingSoon #AprilBaby