A Letter to My Pregnant Self

22 Jan

Apologies, apologies.

I have been away for months now and that’s mostly because of hormonal changes, morning sickness, changing jobs, switching careers and… well, what do you know? From MarCom to Marcus’ mom! Yeap, that’s my son, my two-week-old buddy, as of this writing.

Anyway, I would like to share with you a letter I wrote to myself when I found out I was five weeks pregnant. Rewind to May 2013: I had a lot on my plate plus the pregnancy, rested for a month and got a new job, and then juggled several things at the same time. The first trimester wasn’t really my favorite part of the pregnancy. The second tri, however, was a different story. I got my energy back and was running after buses (in heels!) to work. Oh, and the first time I was offered an MRT seat, I was really, really thankful. And delighted. And happy.

Fast forward to today: it’s been two weeks and three days since I delivered a bouncing baby boy.

Motherhood, you see, is an entirely new world to me. It’s a completely different ballgame that no amount of “getting ready” can prep you for it. Right now, I can’t fully describe it (given that it feels “new” to romance my keyboard again as I watch my son sleep, whimper like a kitten and make the softest, cutest little sounds newborns make. A-do-ra-ble!) but in my future posts, I’m sure I will. At least, I will try to.

Enough of the very long intro. Here goes the letter.

***
5 May 2013
Singapore

Hello soon-to-be Mommy,

This is a reminder that you are not alone in this nine-month, life-changing journey. Your loving husband, supportive family and friends are with you; so before you even think that you are alone and go “hormonal” again, pause for a while and think. You’re not.

Plus, how could you even think that when the growing life inside of you is practically absorbing all your energy and turning your stomach into a bottomless pit? It’s the little one’s handiwork!

Stop wondering why the fats have decided to comfortably sit around your hips and, all of a sudden, your waistline seems non-existent. Your new best friend, online handyman and pregnancy adviser, Google, says you need those extra fats to support the baby, so quit pining over your larger-than-usual hips. Just let those skinny jeans motivate you to get back in shape when the baby arrives.

Do yoga or Bikram again, perhaps? Or, there’s always that set of cardio that you love, that helped you fit into that white gown six months ago. But we can get to that later.

And don’t get me started on your chest! They really are heavy and no amount of whining could shrink them back to their original size… or cup at this stage. Enjoy the “Baywatch boozies” minus the 24-inch waistline and enviable toned abs.

You can blame all the hormones you want for every noticeable change in your body, your mood, your appetite and even your memory. When the baby is out, they’re going to be the least of your concerns because the little one comes first. You’ll have a whole new world of worries to attend to and a tiny, needy person that will hold you in a trance and make you do things you normally wouldn’t do. That’s your future boss right there!

The morning sickness will pass. I know that this seems unlikely but it will (according to our “mommy friends” and Google). Take it easy and reward yourself with a can of Sprite from time to time, or have a scoop of your favourite Toblerone gelato. Have some crackers and potato chips to combat this non-Tequila hangover.

Oh, and I know how much you miss your daily caffeine fix—that tall latte that kick starts your day, the intoxicating scent of freshly brewed coffee that now drives you mad. Good job for avoiding it like the plague. You’re doing yourself and the baby a huge favour!

I noticed that you no longer frequent Sephora, MAC and Starbucks. Did I catch you smiling while holding those cute onesies at Baby Gap? And did you just make a mental note to get that adorable sleepwear on your next trip to H&M? And yes, admit it: you’ve been to MotherCare six times over the past week!

Apart from these changes, I know you worry a lot. I can feel you are terrified of labour, of “pushing”, delivery and stitches, plus a long list of post-partum woes. Who isn’t? Every first-time mom has those worries. Chill. Believe it or not, the sound of your baby’s first cry will make those physical pains disappear, like a shot of morphine that can make you high. Okay, I don’t exactly know how THAT feels but you get the idea.

Or like a warm, moist fudge brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce just the way you like it, on a Friday night. And a freezer full of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tubs all to yourself. Or think Jo Malone high.

In a nutshell, heaven.

You’re going to be a good mother because He won’t bless you with this bundle of joy, unless you’re ready. Now’s the perfect time, enjoy it.

I know how much you miss your old, energetic self. Perfect days without morning sickness, running after buses in heels, long walks minus the fatigue, eight or more hours of work plus extra energy to workout at night, and carefree lifestyle. Believe me, your child is worth all your sacrifices. Your baby will rock your world off its axis that “you’ll never know what hit you”. Cliché but true.

Some say it’s like falling in love all over again but better. Others say it’s pure happiness beyond words, like seeing part of yourself in another person. And, of course, you must’ve heard this a million times from (new) parents: “Your baby is going to be the world’s best stress reliever ever. His smile will melt all your worries away.”

Wow! Your baby’s going to be one heck of a stimulant! Beat that, caffeine!

“What comes as an even bigger surprise is, you are and will always be wiling to give up your life for your kid.” You read this line from an article online. I know it doesn’t make sense at the moment but it will. Soon.

I also know this amazes you. You’ll get there. You’re bound to discover that you are capable of giving love that’s even grander than life itself. Welcome to parenthood.

There’ll come a time when it’s most inconvenient for you to sit down, stand up, walk and sleep, that you’d wish you could somehow make one big push to get the baby out. Patience, a virtue that you’re not blessed with, is key. Now is the time to have it.

For now, snack on fruits and eat your veggies. Down that glass of milk. Never mind that you have to change milk brands each week because the taste makes you want to throw up. The important thing is, you are drinking your milk and your pre-natals like a good girl. Er, like a good mom.

Never mind that your travel adventures will have to take a back seat or a long hiatus. Your journey to motherhood is much more rewarding than the sunset in Bali, the mysterious Mona Lisa in Paris, the romantic Fontana di Trevi in Rome or the majestic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Not to mention the astrological clock in Prague, its cobblestones and storybook-like streets—nothing compares to your child.

Your passport needs to take a rest for now and that’s fine. Keep in mind that not everyone is blessed with a “visa to mommyhood”. You are “chosen” and blessed.

Stop worrying about labour, delivery, stitches, stretch marks as well as the health of the baby. The angels in heaven as well as on earth are already guiding you in your journey.

Keep calm and be a mom,
Me

P.S
Those stretch marks, by the way, will soon become your badges of honour. Not attractive, I know, but definitely a reason to be proud of.

***

Blogging from my side of the globe,

Marie

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