Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Before P, comes H

Image: Google

You know what's P here, though the H might be sounding strange. It's the most basic thing you need to take care of before, during and even post pregnancy. If you're still wondering, H refers to 'health'.

As we move on to other roles in life, our health is most neglected and takes a backseat completely. I, too, have always been careless; and while salary perks and job promotions kept coming, my health suffered. However, once I left my full time job, I was keen on feeling and looking better.

Yet, it was only during my pregnancy and now that I realise how important it truly was. Though I cannot take full credit here as it was also my hubs who ensures I eat and keep well.

These are some general things I feel every woman must follow, and more so, if you're planning to tread the family way.

  • Exercise! Of course, you've heard it before. Everywhere! From everyone! But again, the more fit you are, the easier would be your pregnancy. It could be anything you enjoy-running, walks, a game, the idea is to build physical strength and stamina. Trust me, you'll need loads of it. On the other hand, if you're pregnant, don't do anything strenuous. Morning or evening walks with hubs would be great, both for emotional as well as physical well being :)
  • Eat well and focus on your haemoglobin, iron, calcium levels. It dips during pregnancy, so the more, the better. Eat things you like; and if it's sinful, eat in moderation.
  • If you're expecting, eat well but stay away from oily and fried recipes. Avoid ghee and butter too. It's a myth that you need to eat for 2 when pregnant. An extra chapati in meals or a sandwich in the morning and evening suffice for the extra calories you require, which are around 300. Eating unabashedly would only lead to massive weight gain; and while we all want a healthy baby, we don't need to double ourselves for that. On the flip side, don't try dieting either. You can lose all the extra weight post delivery.
  • Do things you enjoy. Be it reading, shopping, lunching out with friends or anything else. Staying home all day, somehow, made me dull and I loved going out or spending evenings with my hubs.  Pregnancy brings on many mood swings. The only way I could deal with them was by distracting myself and indulging in things I liked doing.
  • Check with your doctor about what you should eat and what not. Of course, everyone around you will have lots to advise on this. Yet, not everything is true. For instance, brinjal has no effect on the baby's complexion. However, it's heavy to digest and best avoided. And coconut water doesn't make the baby any fairer, but it's good for your skin and digestion.
  • Most importantly, be happy. There's nothing else that matters more. Weed out those things that stress you. Whether you're planning to conceive or already have, being stress free is the key.

No, there's nothing that I've written that you haven't read or heard before. In the rat race called life, we tend to take our health for granted. But, if you're on the road to becoming a Maa, your health is crucial to ensure your baby's health and wellness.

Be back soon. Till then, take care and stay precious :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"MUST DO" Things Before and During Pregnancy

When I was expecting, everyone would tell me what to do and what not. While some were viable and logical suggestions, others were based on myths that have been passed down from generations.  However, there wasn't one person who told me things that are a must before and during the pregnancy phase.

The reason why I'm enlisting these here is that I would not want others to miss these later (later is when you are a mommy).

  • Enjoy your baths. Soak, scrub, shampoo. ..all you like. You've no idea what a luxury it would be to have a 10 minutes non interrupted bath when you're not looking out for your baby's wailing.

  • If you like it, sleep on your stomach as much as you want to. I'm one of those who'd only sleep that way, and I miss it terribly now. During pregnancy, you need to sleep on the left lateral position and once you have your baby, you can forget what sleep is like. You'll most likely learn to sleep like a horse within the first 2 weeks of motherhood. I have!!!

  • This is strictly for planning/pre pregnancy stage. Enjoy your golguppas or tikki or dahi bhallas, the roadside ones. They will be barred once you conceive, for obvious reasons. It's over a year since I've had these and I mentioned this yesterday to my husband, who said I should rather eat these at a good place.  So, you see, they are still out of reach for me.

  • Dress up, put on make-up and look and feel good. Wear those bling earrings a little more and that beaded necklace too. Put on that bright red lipstick often and the mascara as well. Take out the dress or skirt you've been thinking of wearing for some time now and match it up with your favourite stilletoes. Once you are a mom, you'd be dressing up your baby, rather than yourself. And of course, you'll master the art of applying kajal with one hand :)

  • Go shopping.  Wherever and whenever. Call your friends over and just head out to the markets that you're yet to explore. While this is quite doable during the first two trimesters, you'd get exasperated when those with you would constantly exclaim, 'Be careful', 'Watch out', 'Walk slowly', and one of the worse ones 'Don't buy that, you might not fit into it later!'

  • Enjoy your time at the parlour. I never knew getting a haircut is such a luxury, until now!

  • Have long telephonic conversations, with friends, family, siblings. .. whoever. Walk around while you talk, peep out of the window, pluck the yellow leaf from the plant, sip your favourite tea or coffee or simply flip the pages of a magazine. The idea is to enjoy a long hearty conversation without any interruption.

  • Watch as many movies or plays you like.  You can forget about going to a movie theatre for at least one year after you have a child. My husband and I are movie buffs and never missed any major release until you know when!

  • Go out for long drives and impromptu dates with your partner. Or order your favourite cuisine at home, put on a good movie and enjoy yourselves. Hang around in coffee shops and enjoy your moments of togetherness. If possible, go for a vacation. .. just you and him. These moments are way too precious, trust me.

Most importantly, take your time off to be just with yourself.  Do what you love doing. I read as much as I could during my pregnancy and it's been over 4 months now since I picked a book. Ohh yes, it's also been over 4 months since I became a Maa :)

This is a bucket list I wished I would have made earlier. Not that I miss them as much, but I sure feel I could have done more of them. 

Life certainly changes when you have a child. In fact, it takes a beautiful turn. The fact is that you get tuned to thinking about your little one first and everything else takes a back seat. And once you have a child, you'd be wondering what you had been doing all those years! Tell me, all you Maa's reading this, isn't it true?

Will be back soon with more. Till then, take care and stay precious :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So, You Think You're Ready?

Image: Google

When I was in my first trimester and totally drained with morning sickness, my better half, to cheer me up, would say, "Pregnancy is the ultimate dream of every woman." I, exhausted from all the throwing up, would snap back, "Motherhood it is... not pregnancy!"

So, yes, like any other woman, I, too, have always looked forward to becoming a mother. Isn't it amazing to have your own little baby to cuddle and hug all the time! Children, especially the tiny ones, have always had me in awe. And to have my own... well, could it be any better?

While the decision of stepping into motherhood may be a conscious one for many, yet very few realize what it would entail. And I certainly wasn't one of those few. Of course, I was looking forward to a cute little angel, but wasn't really up for what lay in store in the process.

So, if you are planning to tread down this path, there are a few things you need to be prepared for. Here goes:

  • The first to come are those fretful testing moments - have I conceived yet or not? Your hands tremble, your heart races and knees shake. Yes, those moments are worse than waiting for the results of the most competitive exam you may have appeared in.

  • So you have conceived? Great! Now? Yes, this is one question that even the most prepared cannot answer. I thought I was prepared until this moment. All my courage flew out of the window and a question that popped up was - "Would I be able to take up this kind of responsibility?"

  • So, here you are! All geared to enjoy the coming nine months where there is absolutely no restriction on eating! Of course, all thoughts of dieting can be shelved for later. For now, you are pregnant and have every reason to eat as much you like and all that you love. But wait! While it is true that women develop a craving for certain foods, there are others who simply begin detesting the look of it. I had begun to hate the very word 'food' and it was for all 9 months!

  • Everyone around would now advise you to rest as much as you can and eat well too. The body, too, goes on a different tandem completely and cries for more rest and sleep, all the time. But how can one get rest when the better part of the day is spent in the bathroom, either throwing up or having to go? And as the weeks progress, the body develops strange pains... sometimes, it's the back and at other times, your legs and feet. No position seems to be right while all you want and need is a good sleep.

  • Everyone around you is the most knowledgeable, from your house-help to a neighborhood aunty you never knew existed. Wherever you go, you will be showered with Do's & Don'ts! And it would always start with, "When I was expecting ____, I would _____. I tell you, it's the best way/thing."

  • As the months progress, the guessing game gets fiercer. I was shopping for my hospital bag items when every lady in the store told me what they felt it was - boy or girl. And mind you, these are not supposed to be guesses, but an accurate shot. After all, everyone is experienced, except you :).

  • Whenever and wherever you go, everyone would ask, "So, when is the baby coming?" I always found this funny. I mean, whenever the baby does arrive, everyone would know, won't they?
Have I scared you? Don't be. This is simply the other side of the coin; and I assure you that the better side outweighs all this. After all, experience counts :)

Be back soon. Till then, take care and stay precious.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Being a Maa...

When I was wheeled into the operation theatre after the labour pain lasting several hours and the doctor deciding to go for a c-sec due to certain reasons, I was scared, dead scared. My cousin, waiting with my husband outside, remarked that I looked very tensed. To this, my better half replied, 'The problem is that she reads too much.'

It was barely a few minutes after that when we heard the loud shrills of my newborn and I started crying inconsolably. My doctor smiled at me, saying that crying was good for my little one, but not for me.

These are those moments that changed my life completely. Motherhood has given a new meaning to my life and made me a person I never knew existed within me. Today, I am a mother first before anything else and everything I say or do now has me thinking about my little one first. Isn't that how every mother is? :)

And hence, this space - a platform where I could share my views with others and listen to what they have to say. A place where I can put down my thoughts as a mother and not be judged for it. A space where I can hear from other mothers about their experiences and views.

'Being a Maa' is not only about me, but about every mother and mother to-be. It's about all that we go through in the process of becoming a Maa, and those blessed moments when we are showered with gummy smiles, gentle touches, and endearing coos. It's about a Maa and her little child. :)