the ups and downs of pregnancy

this post may be a bit late as i’m due to give birth anytime soon (soonest i hope!). i’ve been carrying this bundle for the past 37 weeks although i was only made aware of her presence in the last 32. somehow during those past eight months, nothing has ever took a place of honor in my and michael’s attention. it’s really funny how that teeny speck of life has turned our lives upside down, and has demanded our complete attention. our wedding comes only at a distant second. i’ve already said that it was the happiest day of my life but i know in my heart that seeing and holding my baby will surely top that. even inside the womb, my little girl has already wrapped me ’round her little finger. she’s number 1 in my book at the moment.

preg3i will forever be grateful for the honor, joy and happiness bestowed upon me by whatever forces of nature so that i could carry this child in my belly. it’s a great feeling knowing that you are responsible for one helpless being, and molding her physically and emotionally. yes, the genes are already there, but i always get to thinking that everything i eat, take in, get out of my system affects her. i was religious about drinking my milk, prenatal vitamins, veggies, and going to regular visits to the doctor. i totally stopped whatever vices i have. i just had a hard time getting off coffee. but what the heck, the ob said two cups are ok. so i sneak a cup every now and then behind hubby’s back 🙂 if there’a anything i missed, it’s the morning coffee and occasional starbucks fix.

not everyone is given this privilege though, this rite of womanhood. it’s like being in a secret society where only those who have gone the same rite of passage will fully understand you and your quirks as you go along the same albeit different, journey. mind you, it was never all honey and roses. it was more like being in those thrilling rides at some theme park or carnival that leaves you gasping for breath while feeling your stomach drop a hundred feet. at the same time you feel the exhilaration and you want to do it over and over again. although some would throw up at this point and vowed never to get near any of these damned machines.

cartoon14i enjoyed this ride for the most part. you could say that i was a little different than most “normal” expectant women have for the duration of my pregnancy. i didn’t go through the normal symptoms. for one, it was pretty much smooth sailing for me during the 1st and 2nd trimesters, except for the fact that i found out i had uterine fibroids and had some very mild spotting and internal hemorrhage in my 9th week. aside from that, there was no morning sickness that besets almost all pregnant women, thank god! i also didn’t have cravings or aversions to food, smells, people and whatnots. i didn’t have mood swings although this, in my opinion, is only psychological and really doesn’t have anything to do with one’s pregnancy (though some would claim hormonal imbalances). i’m overly emotional for most of the time but surprisingly, pregnancy blues did not hit me during this phase in my life. i was generally cheerful because i really felt good about all this. (maybe i spoke too soon). i even have the “pregnancy glow” as people keep on coming up to me and saying “wow, must be girl inside” because i was exuding a happy aura. i wouldn’t have thought i was pregnant, except of course, i have been missing my period for the past months already. i was really really lucky because our wedding preparations demanded attention to detail, setting up appointments, having taste tests, makeup trials, meetings with suppliers, fittings, endless shopping, and the list goes on. i was my normal self, only my burgeoning tummy is a dead giveaway. not that we were trying to hide her. oh, and i have this need to go to the bathroom about 50 times a day. twas okay except when i wake up at night and had to maneouver my body from the bed to the bathroom. likewise, i was mightily glad varicose veins did not make their appearance at all, and so has those dark underarms and neck whew! as i said, i was pretty much glowing like a light bulb.

preg2but enter the 3rd trimester and the tranquil life i’ve known was blown to bits. for one, people kept on asking me if i was due to give birth anytime when i was just in my seventh month. i’ve never been rail thin and always bordered on the chubby side. but in the last stages of my pregnancy, i became the epitome of B-I-G. gosh, thank god my face, arms and hips remained the same. or almost. and as she grows and gain the needed baby fat to fill her up, the harder it became for me to move around. standing a little below 5 feet, baby’s size began taking its toll on me. walking, climbing even a flight of stairs or taking public transportation became the bane of my existence. i have constantly aching hips, back and singit. everytime i stand up, i feel like baby compresses my bladder and my lungs at the same time. nice huh?

and have i already mentioned my rashes? my ugly, red rashes that erupted all over my body??? they appeared round my 32nd week, first on top of my already itching stretch marks then eventually spreading their way up my arms and down my thighs, legs and feet. arrrggghhhh!!! itchy wasn’t the word for them. i was constantly scratching and scratching. my husband and mother wanted to slap my hands and fingers all the time to stop me from doing so. i had to keep my nails short. even then, my skin became raw that scabs formed on some of them. i felt that there wasn’t an inch that didn’t itch. i wanted to claw at myself and rub my whole body up on the wall or any rough surface for that matter. this went on for weeks and weeks (it felt like forever to me). i wake up at night just so i could relieve myself of the itching. i could say that this was the hardest and most irritating i’ve ever felt during my whole pregnancy. it didn’t help that we’re right smack in the middle of the hottest summer ever, making the sweat passing through the rashes on my skin. it felt like my body is on fire. i tried every bit of safe medication i could think of and get my hands on such as baby powder, lotion, cornstarch (that one used for cooking) and tried showering five times a day. i waited for two weeks before i went to two dermatologists (one of which i feel is an old fraud who prescribed expensive medicines but didn’t make me feel any better). the second one luckily, although gave me the bad news that these would all go away when i give birth, managed to diagnose me with pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPP. what a mouthfull! the important thing is, she gave me some antihistamines and topical lotion, and now my skin is healing nicely, although a few rashes remain here and there.

but all these annoyances and irritants dim somehow when i think about her. anything for her. i would have gladly done it all over again just for the love of her. hmmm, on second thought i would have to think twice, thrice, about a hundred times before i consider having another baby. heehee… but it makes it all worthwhile when i feel her inside me, when the husband and i would watch my tummy go up and down following her movements. she’s gonna kick ass someday if her antics are any indication of her temperament. anyhow, the home stretch is upon me. i can now wait for labor or my scheduled cs (whichever comes first) in rash-less peace.
preg1

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