I believe every pregnancy is different.
In my first pregnancy, for example, I never knew I was pregnant not until a relative urged me to take a pregnancy test. I had no symptoms at all. I never had morning sickness or craved for anything unusual.
My menstrual period has always been irregular so I felt everything was normal except, as a relative whispered to me one fine day, “You’re breasts look bigger and you’re hips look rounder, are you sure you’re not pregnant?”
Thank goodness I’m in a good mood that time and we were at a baptismal party or this relative of mine could have gotten a real nice high five – in the face. Kidding aside, I still took her advise thinking that she meant no offense but a friendly check on me. So I bought a pregnancy test, went to the toilet and saw the positive news. It was in 2002 and I was then 24 years old.
The pregnancy turned out smooth. I remember having not much back problem. I can walk a lot, can drive, and had natural inclination to do and eat anything healthy. I remember eating lots of fruits and religiously taking milk and vitamin supplements throughout the pregnancy.
One night on my 9th month, I just felt weird that after peeing, water kept dripping down to my legs. There were no dramatic contractions whatsoever. I re-read pages about labor signs in the book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and called my husband who was working overtime in his office that night. He then rushed home and we proceeded to the hospital. That was around 11:30 pm.
I was calm from the time of hospital admission and through the entire waiting time at the delivery room until the doctors gave me a shot to induce labor.
Contractions begun around 4:00 am and the pain became so insane. I guess I lost contact with the world for some time and honestly, I don’t even remember the baby coming out or hear her cry for the first time because of the grueling pain and much exhaustion. My baby came out at 8:08 am as her records showed.
My baby was healthy and I was able to breastfeed on the same morning in the recovery room. We went home on schedule, safe and sound.
My second pregnancy now is quite a different story. Nobody urged me to take a pregnancy test. I just felt weird after returning from our vacation in Manila. This was in January of this year, 2014 and I was 36 years old.
I felt my breasts were engorged for days. I also felt sick. I would throw up for no reason. I said to myself that I must be pregnant or while it’s too early, I might be experiencing signs of hot flashes or midlife (health) crisis.
I bought a pregnancy kit and it checked out positive. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I showed the results to my daughter, now 11 years old, and she too was so surprised and she urged me to do another test just to confirm the result. As they say it here in Singlish, we had to double confirm.
After 2 positive test results and a confirmation with a doctor, my family was ready to tell the world that we are expecting another child after 12 long years. Facebook was the perfect venue to let out the announcement.
My first trimester was something similar to what we see in the movies. I threw up a lot and I actually lost some weight. I was craving for only Filipino food. None of the appetizing food in hawker centers or even in any fancy local resto here seems to appeal to me. I want Biko, Palabok, Sinigang… we had to go to Lucky Plaza on weekends to satisfy my cravings. I get tired too easily and back problems started to set in. I am not getting enough sleep at night. While I regularly take my vitamin supplements , it takes real effort to finish a glass of milk and eat something healthy.
Second trimester was a bit good to me. Back pain was still there but I could sleep on my side better. I still easily get tired but I had the energy to do home chores and run errands. The unusual cravings and throw ups had stopped.
Third trimester came. The back pain is getting even worse as I gained more weight. I can’t find the right sleeping position and could hardly sleep at night. I usually come to work with not enough sleep. I always feel so tired and unenthusiastic to do chores at home. I eat whatever is available in the nearby food shops. My only exercise is walking from home to the train station and back. I still struggle to finish a glassful of milk and the much needed fruits and vegetables. I feel literally sluggish and crappy.
I’m now exactly on my 36th week and anxiously waiting for the slightest contraction, a show of blood or water. I already left work for maternity break. I still feel the same sluggish and crappy preggy me but at least this time, I’m within the comforts of our home. I have the time to cook healthy meal not just for myself but for the whole family. I have the time to lie down and rest in between chores or errands.
I do not mind the hardships in my second pregnancy. There are others who experienced worst. What I am praying now is to have the same smooth natural delivery I had with my first child and that we will be both safe and healthy. I am slowly preparing myself physically, emotionally and mentally for the D day.