Took me a long time to write this post! (it is so long i may as well print a book.)
When it comes to pregnancy i was planning to keep it a secret for as long as i can so mum’s the word (lolol sorry can’t resist the pun opportunity), for several reasons: 1. just like everyone else, i was extremely paranoid during early pregnancy (is the baby’s heart still beating? How come i don’t feel pregnant anymore?! WILL COLD JUICES KILL THE FETUS???) so it’s best i wait till everything settles down before the announcement, and 2. announcing pregnancy is extremely stressful with a platozillion of different advices and opinions coming your way without you asking for one.
I was really gonna post just face shots all the way and one day i’ll be like, “You know the teenage girl you follow on Instagram? She is actually my daughter.”
So on my near-5th month, i decided to announce it publicly, mainly because it was more convenient for social and work purposes, and also because i owed a lot of people an explanation and a lot of apologies for all the lies i have told (i can’t attend the meeting i’ve got food poisoning/i have a stomachache/i have an allergy to margarita/i need to go home early to feed my pet ostrich… etc) due to horrible morning sickness for two months. So i’m really sorry. I’ll make it up to you by… writing this post wtf.
So here’s a compilation of little stories, emotions and happenings throughout these few months.
1. Finding Out
I suspected i was pregnant the day i came back from Japan. But then again i’ve suspected that i got pregnant inaccurately a few times before, (which explains the near-expired pregnancy tester in my house later) so to be fair it was just a half-hearted suspicion.
The danna had to go overseas the very next day and in case i really got pregnant i didn’t want to tell him over an emoticon stamp (? ? ?), which sounds like what highschool girls do (and they will never see the baby’s father again wtf). I couldn’t take the suspense, so i took a huge pee and stuck a stick through it.
I was like OMGOMGOMG. I told the danna when he came back, we exchanged some thoughts and feelings, and decided that i would test again in the morning to double confirm.
The next morning after he flew off, i went to the pharmacy and bought another tester to try out.
I waited for a few minutes, still negative. My heart sank a little. Maybe the tester i used the night before was spoilt? Even though it’s not like i was desperate for an offspring and had not told anybody besides the danna yet, a false positive was still quite shitty.
I gulped a bottle of water Juno-style, quickly went to another drugstore (was embarrassed) and bought 3 other different testers, just in case. Worse comes to worst i can keep for future use la. The cashier guy was like, “wow that’s a lot of pregnancy testers”. I briefly considered telling him it was for my pet ostrich, but i just forced a smile politely. He was just like, “good luck“. The safest thing to say to a pale girl in shock.
I got back home and peed again. I don’t think i’ve intentionally peed so many times in my life.
What the hell, pregnancy tester?
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!? That I am kind of, sort of, maybe, but not really pregnant?
Angrily confused, i took another one when i gathered enough pee.
I guess it tries to tell me that i was ambiguously if by any chance perhaps just a little bit pregnant.
I took 5 tests in total. One of which is not in this photo because it got all rotten-pee yellow and i didn’t want to ruin your breakfast. You are welcome.
Also i can just say that 4 out of these 5 testers are shit.
Anyway, after 15 minutes or so all the lines got a little clearer, so it could either mean my hormone levels were still too low or my pee was just too diluted.
So we are having a baby!!
2. Morning Sickness
I was losing weight.
I got to the skinniest i have been in years, to the point some friends (who later confessed to me) were concerned if i was having some kind of eating disorder. I looked pale and perpetually tired. Some close friends who knew about the pregnancy asked how i felt, and my answer was always, “like a cancer patient”. All i did was wake up, feel vomity, sleep, force self to eat, feel vomity, sleep, feel vomitty. How did women in their first trimester deal with life (their own, before they have to deal with a new one)?!
And to be honest i wasn’t even anywhere near as bad as those people who have to “hug a puke bowl during dinner”. What happened to me was that i just completely lost the desire for food, completely, which wasn’t something i expect a human being is capable of. And i mean food in general. ANY FOOD. The mere thought of food made me gag. An image of a burger sent my acid reflex straight up. I had never dreaded meal times so much in my entire life.
Pretty much what i survived on for two months plus the prenatal vitamins.
And on a good day:
I stopped cooking altogether because the kitchen was my most hated place on earth. Not only that, i couldn’t even do the laundry because the smell of detergent made me suicidal. That plus pretty much every other scent in this world olfactorily perceivable.
This diary on 31st Oct 2-13 pretty much sums up the entire two months of early pregnancy. The irony is that I would have made a pretty good Halloween impersonation by just being myself.
3. The Shishamo
This is a very long story i’ll have to tell it in a separate blog entry.
Soon. Maybe. Or maybe never.
4. The Announcement
Would have loved to keep this a nice little secret between my family forever but i decided to publicly announce the news on our 1st wedding anniversary, mainly because it was a really happy day to celebrate just about anything.
I was fully prepared to embrace the consequences of this decision, and soon enough they came. With just one Instagram picture, everybody suddenly becomes a doctor: you can’t do this and that, shouldn’t you be doing this instead and stop eating this and your baby will thank you for it.
No. My baby will thank you if you just shut up and keep its mother at peace. I know most people meant good and some are pretty sound advices, but when you get comments like “stop eating strawberries it will give your baby allergies” or “you shouldn’t be drinking!!” on a picture of me with ANOTHER HUMAN who is holding a glass of suspiciously alcoholic-looking beverage, you just want to stop looking at them altogether. I wonder if it ever crossed these people’s minds that, surprisingly and unexpectedly, i may actually care about my own baby perhaps a little more than they do?
Initially i was also quite bothered by the whole food thing, what i should eat, what i cannot eat, what i should maybe not eat, what i can kind of eat but better not eat, etc etc etc etc. But then one day the danna told me, “just eat whatever the hell you want”. Knowing him being typically Japanese and super careful and generally doubtful, i was taken aback. Then he said, the most important thing is to keep a mother happy and stress-free. If you keep worrying about every damn thing you put in your mouth, that stress is gonna do your baby more harm than a piece of Aburi Salmon. And then i thought i married the best husband in the world.
Of course i’m not suggesting you can down a bottle of Vodka la! Just saying if you read enough and know what’s good for you, you shouldn’t stress over every little thing! So in the end i have decided to take the following Cheesism approach:
If someone is not
B. My family members
C: My ob-gyn
then their opinion is not really all that important to me. And i shall feel free to ignore all. And to be honest, i feel so so so relieved and happy.
5. Baby Bump
So the baby bump is the only solid proof to other people that you are pregnant! And I had quite a difficult time dealing with that because up until now i am still looking awkwardly like a person who just ate too much last night. #awkwardbabybump.
I lost about 3kg due to morning sickness, and then miraculously the nausea disappeared when i entered the second trimester so i started eating again. So happened i was going to Japan, so it was like a godsent message that i should EAT ALL THE YUMMY NOMS!!!! True enough i did and thoroughly enjoyed myself, but i couldn’t seem to put the weight back on. When i came back, everybody was shocked how small i look and it bothered me a little. Somehow everyone here (especially the older generation ah) thinks that if you don’t look like a beached whale while pregnant, there’s definitely something wrong with you. Either you are mental and trying to starve your fetus to death, or are seriously ill. Contrary to popular belief, i actually put things in my mouth, swallowed them without regurgitating them, (Proof, proof) but most people just looked at me with great concern and that bitch you need to eat look.
And to add extra worry to that, my belly actually became smaller when i was in Japan.
I take belly pix every week for a keepsake, and had a big shock at the 15th week picture taken in Japan.
I stalk quite a lot of pregnant people’s belly pic and i have never ever come across one where the stomach shrinks wtf.
And to add even more extra worry to that, i started to feel totally not pregnant at all. I wasn’t nauseous, or tired, or having sore breasts, or special craving, or having maternity instinct or this whatever bond with your unborn baby. I felt normal. I just felt so normal like i wasn’t pregnant and that freaked me out. It is weird but sometimes i felt that this whole pregnancy was just a hallucination made up in my own mind. And i would have a hard time explaining to everyone why i went crazy and it would be a massive embarrassment. And it scared the hell out of me.
Was it something i did wrong?! Is my baby shrinking?!? Or even still alive?!? Is there something wrong?
It drove me crazy so i was stalking more pictures on Instagram of other pregnant women about the same week as i was.
And the conclusion of my stalkish research was that Japanese women carry insanely small (insane for our standard, normal for their standard maybe).
They were further along than me, but also just looked like they just had lunch. And it is normal. And i actually talked to a few of them, none of them nor their friends were concerned about the size of their belly so it made me feel a little better.
In the end i found out that before the 13th week i was probably just super gassy and bloated, and on the 15th week in Japan it got much better. That or Japan just makes you lose weight all the damn time no matter what elephant amount you consume, which i still truly believe wtf.
And then on my next prenatal check up which i was both desperate and incredibly dreading to go, i saw the little fella moving with great heartbeat and growing perfectly. It was the best feeling ever.
Oh. did i also mention that it turned out to be a boy?
6. Getting a kick out of it
As i entered the second trimester (in Japan 16th week marks what they call the 安定期, which means “safety period”) and everything stabilizes, i started to feel irrationally happy every day. I am always in good mood and i started to really, REALLY love being pregnant (if i can minus the vegetarian zombie part of course).
People around you are generally more helpful and considerate just because you carry an extra life inside you, and you get some special privileges (“you all should let the 大肚婆 choose what to eat!”), and you can always blame everything on pregnancy, although i’m trying not to abuse that XD. And best of all, you enjoy all these things and all these new attention without having to deal with real responsibility just yet (soiled diapers!! midnight feed!!! Infant screams!!!).
Whenever i come across mothers who are desperately trying to bounce a screaming infant to silence and they are looking at me as if saying “you just wait, young lady, THIS is your future!!! There’s no escape from it!!!”, i try to remind myself everyday to really cherish this precious moment before it changes forever.
Other than feeling really care free everyday, i’m also getting a kick of out it… literally.
One day i was reading quietly at home and suddenly there’s this weird thump in my lower abdomen. I was stunned for a few seconds before screaming to myself OH MY GOD IS THAT YOU?! IS THAT REALLY YOU?! CAN YOU DO THAT AGAIN? PLEASE??? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!??!
And from that day onwards, i could feel movements every single day, and every time he kicks i would try to talk to him and see if he responds lolol. But it became a habit i started to talk to the baby when i’m alone or bored. So just yesterday i was doing laundry at the backyard and blabbering to my own belly and my neighbor walked pass. So now i am probably referred to as “that mad woman who talks to herself in our apartment” to the rest of the residents sigh.
But feeling the movements is incredibly reassuring, now that it becomes real and you know that everything is fine.
So today i turned 20-week, which is 6-month pregnant (in Japanese calendar, they use a 10-month system), which also means that i’m half way through it, yay!
It’s all very cliched but i now i feel very relieved, happy and positive (since i prayed to so many different kinds of trees and stones and other assorted spirits in Japan), and just feeling so thankful every day and can’t wait to meet my baby. <3