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Psst! I’ve got a secret.

8 Jun

Conventional wisdom dictates that you hold off telling people about your pregnancy until after the first trimester.

This makes sense for several reasons (job security and advancement spring to mind among others).

But once you start to show, and this happens faster in consequent pregnancies, the jig is up.

So when is too soon?

Naturally, this is a personal decision. I have no history of miscarriages and/or high risk pregnancies so I was less inclined to conceal the news this time round.

And why exactly do we hold off on spilling the beans, so to speak. For if the worst should happen  then surely you are going to need a support network to get you through that. You’re gonna need your girlfriends. And frankly, you’re gonna need them to be at their empathetic best. And for this to happen, it helps to know that even if they’ve never gone through exactly what you’re going through, that they are nonetheless feeling a sense of loss as well. What I mean by this is that they’ll need to have been given time to get excited about this baby. To have started to feel anticipation at it’s arrival. To have begun making plans too.

So yeah, my suggestion to expectant momma’s is to let your mother’s, sisters and sisters-in-life in on your little secret even if you’re not quite ready to tell HR. Because regardless, you’re gonna need them.

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The early days

30 May

May 10th, 2011

One of the toughest things for me when I found out I was pregnant with Aidan was not being able to shout it from the rooftops.

The secrecy nearly killed me. I’m not good at keeping surprises. I think that that’s one of the reasons that I do most of my Christmas shopping at the last minute. Otherwise everyone would know what I got them before they finished off the last of their Halloween candy.

It’s these early weeks that are the hardest. Those weeks when conventional wisdom dictates that you keep the pregnancy private lest the unspeakable happen.

I find this period infuriating because you have a whole load of symptoms but no sympathy.

It’s infuriating to have to pretend to be perky when you are dog tired. I get up a minimum of 3 times a night to use the bathroom. Considering this baby is currently the size of a blueberry it makes no sense to me whatsoever that my bladder feels the need to void itself so often in the witching hours. It must be Mother Nature’s way of priming a woman’s body for the months of consistently interrupted sleep that follow delivery. Man, that woman has a twisted sense of timing. Just when you need and crave rest the most she throws this at you.

Oh, and have I mentioned the bloating? Because of the slowed down digestive tract, every time I eat  or drink my abdominal cavity expands to a rather unattractive size. Good for getting a seat on the BTS after a nice meal out. Bad for trying to hide a pregnancy. Looking at old pictures from my first pregnancy, I easily look as round as I did at 3 months. Not a heartwarming sight.

Nor is the fact that I’ve gone up a whole cup size in under 4 weeks! While my husband thinks this is great, he is not the one who has the following to look forward to:

  • sore breasts
  • sore back
  • acne the likes of which I haven’t seen since puberty
  • stretch marks
  • heartburn
  • swollen everything
  • carpal tunnel in the wrists
  • foggy brain
  • chronic fatigue
  • oh, and let’s not even go into what a woman’s body goes through after the birth!
But it’s going to all be worth it. I know that. I am reminded of that every time I come home to a smiling toddler running to meet me at the door screaming, “Momma!” It’s just  that these early weeks are the hardest.

My heart skipped a beat.

30 May

May 9th, 2011

I’ve heard it said that to become a mother is to learn to live with your heart walking around outside your body. I get that now.

There have been moments when I see my son out there, walking around, laughing, playing, falling, crying, shaking it off and doing it all over again, that I’ve stopped to ponder the magnitude of sheer awesomeness it is to know that he is mine. I am his. We are each other’s. And we were once one vessel.

Today I heard my unborn child’s heartbeat for the first time.

We are one vessel. I am hers or his and she or he is mine. I have stopped many times to ponder the magnitude of sheer awesomeness that is this experience of being charged with carrying another human life in my body. And before I know it, he or she will be a physical reality to the rest of the world in a way that he or she already is to me. Too soon this child will be walking around, laughing, playing, falling, crying, shaking it off and doing it all over again.

And I will have to learn all over again how to watch my heart walking around outside my body.