Saturday, May 5, 2012

A mindful blessing (part one)

When i first found out i was pregnant, i wasn't jumping around or being lifted up by my husband like in the movies. Instead i stood silently looking at the test pack for about eight minutes just alone in the toilet, absorbing and feeling amazed.

"Wow!", that was my first thought. I had just submitted my resignation letter and we only had been married for almost four months. The question "Now what?" barging in thousand times attacking my mind at that same time surrounded by that overwhelmed feeling especially right after i first shared the wonderful news to my husband.

We were just starting to fit in into our new roles as husband and wife, along came this bundle of joy. All those mixed feelings were overwhelming along that little worry slip right in bit by bit. The worry of not being able to be that "little girl" anymore, the worry of pregnancy defect, the worry of being incompetent as a parent, the worry of labour, most of all, the worry for this little one in my tummy.

As my pregnancy grows, seeing my first ultra-sonogram was our first kick to reality that this is really happening! Oh my GOD, we are going to be parents. HELLO THERE LITTLE ANGEL! Suddenly all those worries slowly slipped away replaced by a feeling of gratitude and joy.

The doctor that was suppose to do our first check up dr Indra N.C Anwar SpOG in Bunda Hospital Menteng, suddenly called in canceling our appointment and we were being replaced by a much younger doctor, dr Irham Suheimi SpOG. To our surprise, we both clicked instantly with this doctor, he was bubbly and kind, informative and was patiently answering my 27 list of basic pregnancies questions (in which i wrote it all down on a note book looking more like a journalist rather than a patient). The doctor prescribed me folic acid 5mg daily which is the most mandatory medicine for pregnancy, it is a B Vitamin, it reduces the risk of a birth defect (it is even best to take before pregnancy) and duphaston that we were told helped strengthen the womb's early stage. Which later i found out that this medicine is not necessary at all, most search engine says, it is given to women who are trying conceive or have had repeated miscarriages, also used for women with breast and genital cancer along many others reasons but it all lead to irrelevancy to my own condition. So i stopped taking them. Then why was this given to me?

One question after the other, as i started to enjoy my new role as being happily pregnant, i also began being super critical. On my second month, i decided to have a mindful pregnancy, being pregnant is wonderful and a natural thing but we are too consumed with the modern world that we are unconsciously treated as a commodity by doctors and commercial hospitals, we are often too easy to believe whatever they dictate us to. So I took up a lot of reading, i dig in a lot into great birth and pregnancy sites which i found in handy, i carried a book in my bag almost everywhere i go. I didn't want to spend a moment missing information or a new knowledge. I affirmed my self that being critical is not the same as being paranoid. It is my nature to know my own body and it is my responsibility to care for this baby that is growing inside me. Not that i dont trust a doctor, but I should not leave everything to my doctor. 

My first hand book was the infamous"What to expect when you're expecting" by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Meizel (this book is so famous that this year in 2012 the book will soon be adapted into a film released by lionsgate!). Lucky me, a dear friend then gave me the second version of the "What to expect "Eating well" when you're expecting" which i found EXTREMELY useful to keep up with a healthy diet during pregnant. I am a lactose intolerant so i found many substitute on dairy products. It also gave me ideas on how to maintain my nutrition level by creating and serving myself a selection of yummy healthy food from fruits and vegetables, to lean meat. Although i believe to never deprive myself during pregnancy but thanks to this book and thanks to MY MOM, i am more aware and again, mindful with what i eat. Not to be rigid, i can still enjoy other junk food once in a while (pregnant or not who doesn't enjoy a guilty pleasure?). Being pregnant is the time to fully enjoy my body and food at the same time being smart. One good thing my doctor reminded me that the myth of eating for two is misleading, people use it to excuse themselves to over eat, while being healthy is far more important than being overweight. Eat like normal, watch your nutrition, quality is always better than quantity. A big baby inside does not guaranteed a healthy baby. I want a normal labour so I always make sure i eat in a decent portion. One of the BEST tips from this book is to eat six small meals a day followed by little healthy snacks in between instead of eating three big meals a day. This way, not only it helps to maintain nausea, it keeps a good balance of any weight increased. One awesome tip from my mother is to eat my fruits before each meal also works, the fiber from the fruit moisten up the small and larger intestine, which helps loosen up the organs and digest each food. This way, i keep my metabolism intact and i never had constipation like most pregnant women would say in their first semesters. With all these awareness i feel more awake and alive! So far this book works like wonder for me. 

Another of my favorite read was the controversial "The contented little baby book" by Gina Ford. While most majority baby books are adapting the "feeding on demand" concept, Gina Ford is like a breath of fresh air to me. She firmly believed that having a baby should not turn one's life miserable due to sleepless nights and continuos feedings. We as parents should be able to find middle grounds to what the baby's needs and ours. She confirmed that a baby's cry for help is not all the same, it is our duty to learn to listen, associate and identify each different cry. Starting a good routine as early as possible is a good start of discipline and balance (such as setting a time frame for light and heavy feedings throughout the day and night manages baby to have longer sleeps at night WHICH give us back our sleeping hours!). Although i didn't entirely agree with all her theories, but the rest of them made sense to me, i also dont want a clinging baby but i want my baby to be happy and independent. Nevertheless, i think this book gives a whole different perspective on parenting, which is great!

Apart from all the readings, i also started attending workshops and seminars, from free classes to paid ones. I found some pretty good free prenatal yoga classes at the middle of my second trimester (mixed theories on when is best to start yoga, some say the earlier the better, some say it is best when you hit your four months). My baby steps on pregnancy became a snowball effect of information and knowledge. I found myself fully in tuned with my mind, body and spirit. This whole process gives me a contented feeling and relaxation, i never thought i could enjoy being pregnant so much!