Monday, October 31, 2011
Passport to a healthy pregnancy
I've been pregnant twice before. The first time I conceived after a year and 2 months of trying for a child. I was delirously happy and looking forward to my child as soon as I saw the faintest of pink lines on my home pregnancy test.
We were staying alone in Bangalore then, just the spouse and I and I didn't believe in taking it easy during the early days of a pregnancy. I continued to do all my household tasks, travelled by two wheeler and auto just as I used to before and continued to go to work at my highly stressful job.
The thought of a miscarriage happening to me never even crossed my mind. The doctor didn't confirm my pregancy when I made my first visit. They wanted to see doubling Beta HCG numbers, heartbeat on the scan before they could declare my pregnancy 'viable'. 'Viable' - this was the first time I had thought that my pregnancy could actually be non-viable. Anyway to cut a long story short, I miscarried at just over 6 weeks on Aug 3 2008. It was a nightmarish experience and no matter what anyone tells you - it is still the loss of a potential child. A child that you had already conjured in your dreams when you realized you were pregnant. Your heart does not care if it was only 6 weeks - to me it was the culmination of a longheld dream and the dream was shattered.
I was asked to avoid pregnancy for three months following my miscarriage. Every single day of these three months, I shed tears for my lost unborn baby. I would be in control of myself through most of the day, only to lose it at the end. I was asked by family to visit a Krishna temple and hold the idol of the baby Krishna in my arms, in prayer that I would soon be blessed with a live baby. I hated every minute of the temple visit. People told me that God didn't want me to carry that particular pregnancy to term because there was probably something wrong with the fetus. To me these words were not consolation but nails raking on my bare wounds.
After the three months, I was fortunate enough to concieve immediately. How was I supposed to not treat myself as an invalid? I questioned every step I had taken in my previous pregnancy, every drink of coffee, every auto ride, every two wheeler ride, every stressful project call. I took it easy during my second pregnancy - I was on 'bed' rest, working from home for the first trimester. I didn't do much household chores though I went on my daily walks. I wiped every time i went to the toilet, suspecting that my lack of morning sickness meant i was going to miscarry any day. During my first scan I was rigid on the narrow bed, anxious to know if there was a 'viable' fetus in me. This state of nerves and anxiety continued well until my second trimester, when i finally gained the confidence to know that things might go well this time.
It is very easy to tell a pregnant woman that things will go well for her, that she's not an invalid. It is also more important to remember the personal experiences that colour each of our lives and tint the glasses we see our world with. The most important passport I can think of for a healthy pregnancy is to stay tuned to your bodies. Eat when you are hungry, eat good nutritious food, take rest when your body asks you to, don't ignore your body's signals. Don't spend all your time researching for information on labor and delivery and the symptoms that you are supposed to feel week after week. Take each day at a time and live in the moment. Enjoy your pregnancy for what it is at that moment - a fresh glowing promise of a new life.
Posted by Harini at Monday, October 31, 2011