Thursday, April 18, 2019

(P) PRAYER (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

On my journey of trials and tribulations, I often derive strength from prayer. I follow the ritual to pray each day. It helps me connect with the supreme being beyond the realm of this world. For me - 

Prayer is a habit
In prayer, I believe
It invokes devotion
and strength
deep within!

Prayer unfolds compassion -
layers and layers 
of love and care
for each living being.

Prayer connects
Universal soul
with inner soul,
I bow with reverence
to the unseen.

Prayers are heard -
Believe in 
the power of words!
Uttered with 
right intent,
Prayers bring 
a time of content.

In times of despair
I fetch from
the reservoir of energy
derived from prayer;
In rough times and smooth
Prayer soothes!

Pray for peace
I Pray for silence within
I Pray for persistence to carry on
I Pray to find my true self!

Do you also pray daily? What is your ritual to derive peace and strength?

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels & mechanisms to cope, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

(O) OPPORTUNITY COST (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

I may sound selfish when you finish reading this. 

I often wonder the opportunity cost of being pregnant, giving birth and raising a child.

(Opportunity cost - loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen)

Since the time I have conceived, I have become less productive at work and in general. I have given up on various luxuries like monthly outings and weekend trips as it was not safe initially, and later on due to physical constraints, I did not like to take road trips etc. 

In my first and second trimester. I suffered from frequent urticaria*. On consulting the dermatologist she explained that many pregnant women have an onset, due to rising progesterone levels. I was prescribed medicines. I also had to observe my diet every day to notice if any food was acting as an allergen. I was advised against eating nuts and eggs. I was prohibited from going to the park for a walk as pollens also act as an allergen. In short, I had to be extra careful. Once carefree, I felt trapped sometimes.

Before I conceived, I was working on a business plan with my H. This was going great and I had made a decent customer base in a short period of three months. But due to nausea and tiredness, I could not focus much on the business with the same enthusiasm as before.  

Due to the care and support needed in the final stages of pregnancy, I took a break from work, business and daily life and visited my parents. There was a shift in location, hence I had to pause everything that was continuing in my life as usual. 

Of course, I may restart from where I left, but this also means that I will be behind by a specific number of months compared to those who did not have to take a maternity break.

I often think about the effort and sleepless nights that go in raising a child. I know my H will be equally responsible and family will chip in, but at the end of the day, the crucial role of mother can't be ignored. 

There will be a constant juggle between work and home and both needs to be justified with equal effort. Sometimes the effort that we put in as women is treated as a thankless job. In this context, I always think about my grandmothers - their entire life revolved around raising and feeding their kids. 

They devoted themselves for their family and usually, no one thought about their individual aspirations if any. This may not lead to positive rewards during their old age as the kind of selfless love they showered on their children may not be reciprocated with the same vigor. Sons and daughter might fulfill their obligation but not with the same affection that they received from their parents (I am not saying that this might always be the case, but such incidents are increasing, else there would be no old age homes).

The world human population is close to 7.7 billion but are we so humane to love our parents esp our mothers with the same intent with which they brought us into the world and raised us to be able individuals. 

For mothers - 9 months and beyond - does it justify the opportunity cost she forgoes when she could have been doing so many different things as an individual?!

Please share your thoughts. Did you or your spouse share the same feelings?
Is it okay to think like this?
Am I being selfish?

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


*Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques on the skin that appear suddenly -- either as a result of the body's reaction to certain allergens or for unknown reasons. Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

(N) NEVER SAY NEVER (#A2ZChallenge 2019)

I have observed a typical pattern in my behavior - I have said words like No and Never with conviction but later I have happily said Yes to those things!

These usually pertain to various decisions. For instance, I was convinced that I do not want to do an MBA. I was very sure that I never wanted to marry. I was very clear in my mind that I never wanted to have children. But I did all of these things 😁

Eventually, I tend to do the opposite of what I never wanted to do. This habit has also been prevalent in the small decisions of my life. I can recall various incidents when my friends planned a weekend outing, I would blatantly say No but ended up going with them. At other instances in the past, my H would persuade me to eat outside, I would simply deny and a few moments later ended up eating in a restaurant. 

But as I tread on the journey of life, I think it is time that I change this attitude. I should be thorough with the pros and cons of any decision before saying yes or no. 

I do not want to end up saying No and Never to my kid and then later give in. I want to be sure that what I do is the right thing for her/him. 

Have you also noticed such a pattern in your behavior? Do share your viewpoints.

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


(M) MA AND PA - I SALUTE YOU (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

While growing up, I am sure we all must have had disagreements with our parents on various issues! In such moments of tussle, my Ma said - 'As parents, we are your guide. We always keep your best interest in our mind. You will understand these things when you become a mother.' 

Now on the journey of motherhood, I wonder if my child will listen to me while growing up. Generation gap is increasing at a great pace due to rapid technological advancements and increasing consumerism. One becomes technology and fashion illiterate if one does not keep up! I have come across many youths of today's generation who show contempt towards their parents because of the stated reason.

In moments of contemplation, I always feel bad for those times when I argued with my ma and papa. Disagreement is not a sign of lack of respect, but an argument is! 

As parents, they have always stood by me. They have supported me in my decisions related to studying in a specific college, pursuing a career path or change of career path, etc. My choice has always been prioritized and respected. Nothing has ever been forced and every decision has been a result of discussion and deliberation. Resources have never been a constraint. 

Truly, they are a blessing. I exist, because of them. I am because they are. 

Loving, nurturing and understanding parents are the symbol of the ultimate sacrifice of human beings.  

I realize this now, more than ever before. I salute my parents. "Unki charano mein koti koti naman." (I bow down to them millions of times).

Do share your thoughts on this topic.

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


Saturday, April 13, 2019

(L) LIVE LOVE LAUGH (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

I have been very enthusiastic about life. I have cherished each moment of fun and laughter that I have got! In school and college, my friends used to comment that I have the loudest and most uncontrollable laughter. It was contagious. Once I started laughing, I would roll on the bed till tears came out of my eyes and I was totally breathless.

In recent times, I have realized that being pregnant is like riding on a roller coaster. I have already written about the distress I faced due to the rush of hormones and other physical and mental changes. By being mindful I overcame these fleeting feelings. 

Happiness is a way of life. We just have to be observant of the beauty and blessings that surround us. My mantra of 'Live Love Laugh' has helped me course through a lot of upheavals in my life.

It is said that when a mother cries the child in the womb cries and when a mother smiles the child smiles! I have observed that on days when I am sad, my baby is lethargic. On days when I am chirpy, my baby is active, vigorously kicking and moving inside me. Mother and child are linked in an inseparable bond! This bond has to be respected and nurtured. 

Live your life to the fullest, love more than you are capable of and laugh whenever you get the slightest chance. It creates a ripple of positive effect in your own life and that of your child. It extends to your family, friends and even strangers that you meet.

Do share your mantra of living and loving life!

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


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Thursday, April 11, 2019

(K) KARMIC CONNECTION (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

According to Vedanta philosophy - 'We are Spiritual beings, having a Human experience.' I try to be conscious of this fact. In the rat race of life, it is easy to forget this simple mantra which keeps us happy and at peace with people and situations beyond our control.

The cycle of life and death is related to Karma (our actions in various past lives). I have started believing in this theory more firmly with each passing day. 
Why does bad thing happen to good people? The answer is Karma.

I came across an article (translated from holy Bhagavad Gita) which explained that when a child is conceived in a mother's womb; the unborn child chooses his/her parents, family, place of birth according to Karma of previous births. Even parents' Karma influences the nature of the child born to them.

A karmic connection is established before a mother gives birth to her child. Good actions and thoughts should be our constant companion!

Do you also believe in this? Do share your thoughts!

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


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(J) JOY (#AtoZChallenge 2019)

Read my previous post here to know about my journey till now.

As my journey progressed, timely help and turning inwards brought me on track. I became mindful of various things and loving people surrounding me. 

Little and big things delighted me once again. I became aware of the blessings I was bestowed with. I thanked God for lots of positive things in my life - a good home, loving family, bountiful food on the platter, access to the best healthcare and nutrition.

I felt an inexplicable joy that a new life was taking shape inside me. I was mesmerized by its presence. I was awed at the beauty of life and the power to bring forth humanity! 

I became joyous once again. Do share with me your joyful moments!

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


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Wednesday, April 10, 2019


I am a cheerful soul. Most of the time, I have dealt with situations as and when they occur. I have tried things at school, college and at work - sometimes I have succeeded and at other times I  have failed. But I have quickly moved on. I guess we all do!

The new phase of pregnancy brought about changes beyond my comprehension. I felt like a different person. 

Laziness crept in. I started getting irritated at small things not done as per my wishes. Any comments were unwelcome. I despised food and everything around me. Sometimes I felt very sad. 

The brunt of my severe mood swings was borne by my H. Some thoughts just lingered on in my mind. It affected me negatively. Hormones were wreaking havoc.

During that time, I started watching YouTube videos on ways to deal with such hopeless feelings. I also attended a conference on 'How to handle depression during and post pregnancy'. The prime message was to ignore things beyond one's control. The doctor suggested ways to be happy and to not dwell on a single thought for more than a moment. 

I became more observant of my actions and took time before reacting to trivial things. Normalcy returned.

Did you or your spouse go through such a phase? Do share your experience! 

(These AtoZ Challenge posts pertain to my thought process, physical and mental changes, stress levels, perspective, journey and experience as a first-time mother who has yet not delivered her baby.)


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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

(H) HESITATION (AtoZChallenge 2019)

I am sure most of you have faced the pressures of getting married either from relatives or from your parents. They always say - 'Beta (son/daughter) it's almost time, you should get married at the right age!' Once that is done and dusted as per their wishes, they want to hear the "Good news" soon. 😁

I and my H had planned not to immediately raise a child. We celebrated 2 years anniversary and then we thought it was the right time for having a kid in our lives.

Once pregnancy news was positive, I hesitated to share it with my parents or my in-laws. 

For some strange reason, I felt very shy! Even my H  was hesitant and not sure about the ways to share this news. After mentally preparing himself for a week, he broke the news to my mother.  He could not disclose the same to his father so had to announce the happy news to his sister who acted as our messenger. 🙂

(Trivia - In our tradition, the news is usually not broken to kith and kin until the start of the second trimester. The news is only disclosed to parents and in-laws. This is due to the reason that chances of miscarriage are high in the first trimester.)

Have you or your spouse hesitated or felt shy while sharing your first time "good news"? Do share your experience!


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Monday, April 8, 2019

(G) GROW UP!? (AtoZChallenge)

When I was a Kindergarten student, the world around me seemed so grown up. I always thought that I do not want to grow up!

That is exactly what happened. In my mind! 

Throughout school, on completion of my graduation and post graduation, while doing a job - I felt like a kid that I used to be. Even after marriage, nothing changed in the perception that I had of myself. The child in me refused to grow up though I would not equate that with immaturity. 

I am always seen as a child through the eyes of my parents and grandparents. They always tell me - 'You will be our small kid even if you grow old!'

My perception suddenly changed with the news of my pregnancy. I feel like a grown up. Though the feeling that I am going to be a mother is yet to sink; a notion has occupied my mind that life has changed and I am going to be responsible for someone completely new on this planet earth.

Is it time for me to grow up? Share your thoughts and let me know. Do you also feel the same about yourself?

#AtoZ Challenge


Saturday, April 6, 2019

(F) FAMILY & FRIENDS (#AtoZ Challenge)

Most married couples are earning a living in different cities away from their hometown. Their life revolves around office chores and colleagues (whom we assume to be our friends). 

I have always felt pangs of separation from my family, especially during festivals. But it is not feasible to take holidays during all major celebrations throughout the year.

During pregnancy, this desperation increased. I craved for my family and best friends deeply. I was in touch with them over audio and video call, but their physical presence was dearly missed.

My husband was always there for me, but this phase has its own special emotional needs.

I felt that my friends and family members should pamper me, feed me my favorite dishes and shower all the love that exists in this world! My better half always tried his best, but I was hungry for more. Sometimes I felt very lonely. During the first two trimesters, I always felt the need for social gatherings.

During the third trimester, I visited my parents and things were better. I got the attention, care and pampering that I desired. 

I realized that the entire process of giving birth is not an individual endeavor. It needs all the support it can get. After all, we are social beings.

Do let me know if you also felt the need of people around you during this phase of your life.

Read ABCD, E

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Friday, April 5, 2019

(E) EXERCISE (#AtoZChallenge)

Exercise cannot be emphasized enough! Before conceiving, I was very active. I did Yoga, Zumba and Swimming alternatively. But the news of pregnancy put a self-imposed full stop to this. This was more due to drowsiness, nausea and a lack of appetite. Most of the time I felt weak.

I must say this had a negative toll on me.

1st trimester - By the end of this trimester, I started having severe Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. I could not use my hands. It was very painful. I distressed. It felt as if someone else had occupied my body (Pun intended!).

2nd trimester - After consulting my Mother (who also happens to be gynecologist) I started simple exercises for CTS. I also started walking and doing Pranayams in the morning. As I have written in my earlier post - my diet improved during this phase. Exercise and proper diet helped me back on track.

3rd trimester - I continued walking and doing Pranayams. Once a week, I also started swimming. It was fun. It is said that Swimming is one of the best exercises for pregnant mothers. Now me and my baby - we feel like being a single entity 🙂

Exercise is very crucial during this phase. Please do not ignore your physical health as it affects the baby in the womb as well. Being active also increases the chances of natural birth. 

Do share your story!

Read A, B, C, D 

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

(D) DREAMS (#AtoZChallenge)

We all dream! I am not talking about day-dreaming but dreams that we see when we are asleep.

During my pregnancy, I saw vivid dreams. Not that I didn't have dreams before, but they were few and far in between and most of the time I couldn't even recall it in the morning - only bits and pieces.

Now, dreams were frequent - almost every day I had one. I remembered everything clearly. After waking, I pondered over them. I tried to find connections. I started maintaining a dream journal. 

I wrote every dream in minute detail. I found a pattern - most of them were set in my grandparent's home where I have spent the majority of my childhood. Many times some college incident or events that took place more than 5-10 years earlier were superimposed in my grandparent's house. 

A lot of childhood memories were intertwined in those dreams. I wondered if it was due to the baby I was carrying? I read that unborn children spend most of the time sleeping and dreaming! 

Though, during the 3rd trimester, I am mostly having dreamless sleep (of course I must be dreaming but I do not remember them).

Was my baby's dream pattern compelling me to have dreams? 

Share your dream stories! Did you or your wife experience what I did?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

(C) CRAVINGS (#AtoZChallenge)

It took me a few days to come to terms with the ongoing emotional turmoil. Now I was at peace with reality.

Today, I will write about one of the most prominent aspects of pregnancy - Cravings!

I never have experienced such huge fluctuation in my cravings. Sometimes I felt - I am not me! It is said that pregnant women should not curb their cravings as it affects their unborn child and their taste palette. I wonder to what extent this is true.

I will divide it trimester wise - 

1st trimester
I was repulsed by food. Only at times, I felt like eating chatpata or spicy food. During the last phase of the first trimester, I craved for cheese. 

Since I had suffered from typhoid before conceiving - restaurant food was a strict no. So I started baking Pizza and Pasta with loads of cheese almost every other day. My husband had to bear with me 😉 while I had to bear nausea and vomiting throughout these 3 months.

During this phase - My weight reduced by 3-4kgs, though this is normal for many as my gynecologist confirmed.

2nd trimester
My diet returned to normal but my hemoglobin reduced which was a cause of concern despite taking supplements. This may be due to lack of proper diet in the first trimester. 

So I started including pomegranate, beetroot, lots of green leafy vegetable like spinach, fenugreek in my food.  During this phase cravings for spicy and namkeen i.e, salty food increased. 

The increase in weight was steady and I gained almost 7 kgs and compensated for Hb loss.

3rd trimester
I started craving sweets - be it ice cream, mithai, chocolates, etc. Since I had successfully taken Glucose challenge test (GCT) twice - I was fearless of developing gestational diabetes. 

So I devoured sweets like crazy though I took care to replace sugar with jaggery or coconut sugar in the sweet dish being cooked at home.

Till now, in this trimester my weight has increased by almost 5kgs.

A steady weight gain of 12-15kg is healthy during the entire term.

Everyone said that - liking for a particular kind of food determines the gender of the baby but my cravings have extremely fluctuated. Hence, I can't say for sure, not that it matters. We crave equally for baby girl and baby boy!

Let me know your food cravings or your wives cravings during her pregnancy.