You know how you meet someone you last saw like 10 years ago and you have no idea how to start a conversation without making a fool of yourself, well that is exactly how I feel. So much has happened since we last saw each other.
Remember the bun that was in the oven, it cooked already; I have the most amazing 9 weeks old daughter. Melina is her name. Not her real name though. Melina is the closest I could come up with seeing that her African name means honey, and Melina is its Greek equivalent.
Going through with pregnancy, giving birth and watching the young one grow is nothing short of a miracle. I remember people asking how I felt when I was expecting. Does is feel heavy? Are the kicks painful? Do you have any cravings? Are you scared of the labor and such and I always gave the same answer.
You see, one is pregnant for a whole nine months. The sickness, cravings, tiredness and even getting bigger all happen gradually. This gives the body time to get used and appreciate the new, though sometimes very awful, feelings as the new normal. I totally forgot how normal used to feel like. How it was like being able to tie my own shoes or eat beef or onions without puking my guts out. And now that all that is behind me, I barely remember how it used to feel like being pregnant. Heck, I even stare at the pregnant women the same way people used to stare at me with questions on their faces.
When the 40 long weeks were over, my body did yet another amazing thing. It endured the most unbearable pain it had ever been subjected to and brought forth a beautiful baby girl.
And here are answers to some of the questions I’ve been asked time and time again.
How did you feel when you realized you were pregnant?
I’d say overwhelmed. No matter how ready you are for a baby, the reality brings with it a roller-coaster of emotions. One minute I’d be crying, the next I’d be so happy, the next I’d be scared shitless, and the next I’d be laughing hysterically. It’s all so weird. The men on the other hand are more terrified, but better at hiding it. Boyfriend looked totally composed. I only learnt later, way much later, that he was more terrified than I was.
Every woman is different. Mine was rather smooth. But I’d be lying if I said that the first three months weren’t a nightmare. Everything smelt bad. Perfume, beef, pilau, onions, samosas… And the normally nasty smells like sweat smelt 100 times worse. I was also so tired. This is attributed to the fact that in the first 10 weeks, the placenta is not yet ready to take over its tasks which means that your body does all the work. I’d relate the feeling to how one feels when on acute malaria medication.
Then there’s another uncomfortable feeling you get in the stomach every 30 minutes. Like when one has amoeba. This requires one to eat constantly. I carried bananas everywhere I went.
How does it feel? Heavy?
Like I said, you don’t wake up one morning and find your stomach has extended to your nose. It happens slowly and is therefore not as bad. Sometimes you feel heavy though, mostly after sitting for too long, but most times I barely felt the difference.
I’d say that sleeping was the trickiest part. And you can only sleep on your left side. Woe unto you if you get tired.
I did not crave anything in particular, but I liked ripe bananas, omena and Tusky’s loaf.
How bad was labor?
Someone once described giving birth as trying to pull your lower lip over your head. Painful, right? Well, wrong. I’d watched delivery videos prior to labor so as to know what to expect, but I was surprised to find out that compared to labor, pushing is simply a walk in the park. Labor was so painful that when it came to pushing, the pain was barely there. And when I saw my baby, I forgot completely.
It’s crazy that I now ask boyfriend, ‘Did it look that bad?’
And the answer he gives tells me that he felt more pain than I did.
But I must say that it was a lot better than I expected.
Melina fills my heart with so much joy that I cannot even begin to explain.
There’s this feeling you get to have the absolute responsibility of someone so tiny that they cannot even tell you what it is that they want. How good it feels watching her trust that you’ll meet all her needs, learning to understand her language, and being ready to do anything under the sun to make sure that she’s happy.
P.S. Boyfriend is now Hubby; I call him that coz it makes me feel young. 😉