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conciouslyconcious

The ramblings and musings of a slightly eccentric thirty something year old.

Month

January 2016

Fish and Family

So.

Week 8 has been characterised by a gentle increase in appetite (much better than last week anyhoo) and persistent tummy cramps in the lower abdominal area. I’m in danger of bringing on the onset of repetitive strain injury as it feels like I’m wiping out my phone (on the hour) and reading up on every probable cause of every niggle (courtesy of  ‘The Bump’).

 Who am I kidding? I also like to look at the cute little pictures that show me how big the baby is week by week.

Raspberry

Computer says that  baby is currently as big as a raspberry and takes much joy in moving it’s arms and legs around like crazy!

(The mind boggles… cue mental image of my foetus performing the Nae Nae).

Dancing baby

 

 

And watch out for discharge! Apparently an abundance of discharge is rife around now. Apparently it’s normal (your body is over producing the stuff to protect your womb against infections) and until I read up on it I was freaking out slightly.

 

I had interactions with two really close family members this week (the ones that weren’t able to come round for Christmas), and what struck me was just how disinterested they were on finding out that I was pregnant for a second time. This was in stark contrast to the celebrations and fanfare which surrounded the announcement of my firstborn.

When pregnant with my son and throughout his infanthood – both women (one a staunch matriarch within our family and the other a very close older cousin), stepped in and played major roles in both guiding me on the practicalities of looking after a child and by often assisting me with childcare. I can honestly say I probably couldn’t have raised my first born without them.

Both women have always been very vocal about me having a brother or sister for my son so imagine my surprise (on telling them that I was pregnant again) when all it was greeted by was a shrug and a ‘that’s very nice dear’.

I guess I can put their reactions down to a couple of things;

  1. I’m a grown woman this time round (so they probably figure I can handle it better). First time round I was 18 and almost a child myself so probably more of a need to be there for me.
  2. The Matriarch (in the last 10 years) has gone on to amass no less than 10 grandkids of her own. While my son was the first in the family – she’s probably tired of making that excited face whenever someone announces that their pregnant. Again.
  3. Despite my understanding around this it still doesn’t make their reactions easier to swallow.

As a woman, a baby heralds a time of celebration, of friends and family members sharing in your good news and that collective joy that you hope to recount with them in years to come but sadly, not all of us get to experience that…..

And it got me thinking…..our perception and enjoyment of pregnancy often goes hand in hand with support from our family and when that isn’t there. When that’s lacking or when there aren’t other people to share your good news with, and without that….without people to share in your joy your perception of the whole experience can really get skewed.

Feeling alone and unsupported can really have an negative impact on your whole experience.

Perturbed (and frankly a bit saddened), I went home that day and told my hubby and you know what he did?

He gave me a big hug and said….

”It doesn’t matter – you have me”

And just like that everything was all better again.

 

On a final note

Genius Kids…….

So we’ve been getting into all these kiddie factual programmes which are absolutely fascinating (and also rate very highly on the entertainment factor scale – think ‘The Secret Life of 4 year olds’, and we came across a series about child geniuses.

In one episode, a mother with a 10 year old (whose IQ was on par with that of Einstein) divulged that she had snacked one tin of sardines every day throughout the whole 1st trimester and she was convinced that this was the reason for his mental prowess.

Now I ain’t no sardine lover……..but since HEARING THAT I’ve made it my life’s mission to consume one tin of sardines a day!

(Sardines are slimey as HECK but for that child genius I’ll happily give it a go – and who knows, being proactive now might save on private tuition fees later on:)

Sardines

7 Weeks

So I’ve finally got over the irrational fear of going to pee pee (if you’re pregnant you’ll know exactly what I mean) and am starting to accept and embrace the physical aspects of being pregnant after what feels like a lifetime of  doing everything in my power ‘to NOT get pregnant’! (life is strange isn’t it)?

scary toilet

 

Symptoms

Unlike the first time (16 years ago!) I’m taking a painstaking interest in the babies week by week growth and development this time round. I’m taking my Pregnacare supplements religiously and I’m stocking up on the fruit and veg (although keeping up with the RDA is proving somewhat difficult with this bloody morning sickness that has just reared it’s ugly head).

So today I’m bang on the 7 week mark and the internet says the little sprog (that’s what we’ll call it for now), is as big as a Blueberry. In real terms it feels more like an orange though. I can pinpoint the exact part of my tummy where it must be sitting. It’s weird how you can almost feel it just ‘sitting there’.

fruit

The physical effects of being pregnant have really been making themselves felt over the past week or so. It went from nothing to:

Appetite Loss/ Nausea: So I’m not actually throwing up – but I walk around all day feeling like I’m about to throw up. By product of this is a complete lack of appetite which is virtually unheard of with me. I am a textbook grazer – since five I’ve been ‘the chubby one’ so at first not needing to munch on something every two hours was greeted with a certain joie d virie. Five days in (and at times going 6 hours without wanting to snack on anything) it’s started to admittedly get a bit concerning. I’m now physically forcing myself to eat and drink which is a bit nuts.

fat pic

No points for guessing which one is me 🙂

Sore boobs: Think someone scraping yer nipples with a cheese grater whenever ya swing em round too quickly. On Tuesday I had them pressed up against the wall radiator which seemed to work (don’t judge me – it was the only thing that seemed to offer some kind of pain relief).

Tiredness: Don’t get me started – I basically slept from Tuesday through to Friday of this week stopping only to watch back to back re-runs of Judge Judy and Cheaters on Wednesday (and even then that was indispersed with sleeping on the sofa in between).

Wind: Earlier in the week I had two days worth of bloating (accompanied with the farts) which was only made bearable by the fact that I was off work all this week (and could get away with sneaky silent ones when no one was around).

On a more serious note, since yesterday I’ve been experiencing intense dizziness  and lightheadedness. I’m sure this hasn’t been helped by my lack of food intake. Drinking Peppermint team, eating crackers and trying everything else that might aid to suppress the nausea. It’s funny – when I was pregnant with my son (as a teen mum 16 years ago) I don’t remember experiencing any of this at all.

 

Zee Physical

So the belly doesn’t look too out of the ordinary – possibly a little more rotund than normal but in a way that’s simillar to the bloating you get after eating too much bread or pasta. The top button on my stretch jeans feels a little too tight though and I’ve been walking around with them undone (which is okay for home but might not go down too well back in the office).

Other than the above my skin seems to be glowing – I mean really, really flawless (which I don’t understand) but hey – who am I to complain. I guess this just means that I can go easy on the foundation and concealer 🙂

 

Zee Family

So we told our immediate family this Christmas. We’ve just moved into a new house and I had 10 members of extended family sleep over for two days. It was an opp for me to show my mother in law that I can cook, keep a nice house and look after her son (she’s still speaking to me so I think I did okay)  – and it was after her prayer over Christmas day dinner – the one that went ‘Dear Lord, please give them a baby so I can become a grandmama’ that we broke the news to the group.

Cue rapturous screaming from the Mother in law (testimony that God moves quickly in her world) and general happy murmurings all around.

I guess that’s it for now. More next week.

Possibly.

 

 

Conflicting Feelings

black baby

So it’s been 6 months since my last blog post and in true fashion my life has been hurtling along at 150 miles an hour for God knows how long.

So the latest is I’m pregnant! After trying for 4 months, one false reading (it started to get a bit fraught after month 2), it finally happened.

Having a baby is never straightforward is it? It’s always emotional I guess….you have the women who feel absolute euphoria from the beginning, particularly if they’ve been trying for a baby for a while or feel secure within themselves. You have the women who feel fear from the beginning about possibly losing the baby and instantly wrap themselves both mentally and figuratively in a ball of cotton wool, and you have the women (who perhaps like me) find that they are not unhappy but absolutely terrified about the impact that the new addition will potentially have on their lives.

So I’ve been pregnant before. I got pregnant while in my first year of university. This was 16 looooong years ago and coming from a strict African family my dad was naturally furious at the time. I had shown alot of promise academically until that point and the general feeling (from my family) was if I went ahead and had this child I would basically become a nothing, a statistic, a woman on benefits who would most likely go on to a lifetime of missed opportunities for having a baby so young.

My feelings were conflicted back then. I can remember feeling very alone, I remember the ‘baby daddy’ not being very supportive and I remember crying alot as I tried to make a decision but I also remember feeling strong, optimistic and feeling that this baby would give me the determination and the focus to really make something of myself and prove everyone wrong.

I subsequently moved out of my parents home, went on to have that child and also went on to forge a long and successful career for myself in the City over the following 16 years.

And now – fast forward January 2016

black woman

I find that I’m having a baby again (recently got married) and while I have the most amazing husband I’m scared shitless (scuse the french) about what this will mean for me as a woman – an individual.

I’m an expert in my field but that doesn’t mean I’m indispensable. How will having a baby at this point in my life affect my earnings or prospects for promotion?

I’m intensely independent – I’ve always been able to pay my own way, taken pride in the fact that I can get up and go at a moments notice (locally, geographically). I’m not sure whether I’m really ready to have limitations imposed on me in this way?

My friendship circle is not as large as it was when I was younger – this has happened through a combination of working too hard and moving away from my extended friends and family in recent years (marriage, my old friends have also settled down and moved away – it happens). How will I manage without the support circle I enjoyed before?

And last but not least;

How will I cope with being financially dependent on my husband for 12 months or more? He’s more than happy to step up to the plate, but I’m finding it very difficult to reconcile the thought of having to ask him for money (for things that he might not deem as important), when I’m taking time off for maternity. I don’t want to have to ask him for money if my funds are low. I don’t want to be in the position where I have to haggle with him or have to explain the benefits of shellac nails versus acrylic nails for example or I would hate it if I had to go into detail over the benefits of buying say a Dyson hoover say over a Vax when I might ordinarily just go out and buy the one I wanted (with my own money) without having to pursuad him or even have the debate at all.

So in short;

  • I’m scared
  • I’m excited
  • I’m grateful (after a 16 year gap I wasn’t sure whether it would happen again)
  • But I am utterly, utterly terrified.

On the plus side  I feel that I’m going to enjoy the physical aspect of the pregnancy more this time round, but I can’t shake this feeling that there’s still more that I want to achieve in life and I’m not sure how becoming a mother in my mid thirties will fit in with this.

It’s almost like I’m about to wave goodbye to myself and any dreams and aspirations that I still have. There’s still so much more that I’d like to achieve in this lifetime.

Am I wrong to feel like this?

Am I the only person feeling like this?

 

 

 

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