When we discovered that I was pregnant, I started to read books and blogs about pregnancy symptoms and common changes that was going to happen. What I found surprising so far was:
- Life has not changed so much compared to pre-pregnancy. I’ve always imaging that those 9 months would change everything in my life. That I wouldn’t feel normal, I wouldn’t eat as I used to be or I wouldn’t be able to workout. None of these happened to me, except few weeks of common-food-aversion, continued to eat as I was eating before, I continued to workout almost everyday. Except for the growing belly, I am still moving around easily without any convenience.
- No cravings, no more appetite than usual! I found it really surprising that I didn’t have ANY cravings. You’d read everywhere that pregnant women would wake up in the middle of the night and run to the fridge to get ice cream, or she’d wake up the husband and ask him to get a specific food for her, like chicken wings. I’ve been waiting for this to happen, like it would prove once more that I’m pregnant. When I was in my first trimester, friends would tell me to wait until those cravings come. I waited for two months, nope, nothing! Not a single time I had any craving for any weird food. Instead of craving, I would say I’ve inclined more to real food, vegetables in special, in their most natural state. Meat (fish/chicken/beef) sounds so not appetizing, I’d eat them just for nutrition purpose. I think partly was because of the bloating issue, partly because my digestive track is just weaker and slower to handle any more complicated food. I’ve heard that some vegetarian/vegan people started to eat meat when they got pregnant and it was a body natural reaction to get the lacking nutrient. Well… I guess I eat a balanced diet so I don’t get any kind of cravings. In addition to body’s natural reaction to crave nutrients that are lacking (assuming that this is true), I think a lot of the time, pregnant women just use the pregnancy to overeat. It seems legitimate to have cravings, the mind tricks our desire to eat as real cravings. And it’s legitimate to over eat during pregnancy. However, every pregnancy book would tell you that you need only 300 calories more during the last trimester. So there’s really no physical reason to over eat during the first 6 months. I started the pregnancy with an open mind. Although I care about my fitness, I told myself from the beginning that carrying a healthy baby would be my priority number one. I would listen to my body and not afraid of eating more, exercising less and gaining weight. I stopped working out for two weeks in the first trimester because I got some cramps while doing it. But then when first trimester was over, I started again and it felt great. My body, during the last 5 months, told me to continue with the healthy life style. Furthermore, I think the healthy eating habit and exercising actually made this pregnancy to be a really easy one. Looking at my friends who are pregnant now, they all suffered from morning sickness and fatigue. I wouldn’t say that it was because they didn’t have a healthy life style, but I think I’m lucky partly because of that.
- You can hide pregnancy for really long time. I’m almost 23 weeks pregnant and most of the people at work haven’t noticed it yet. Yes, I do have a bump by now, but other parties of my body haven’t changed yet. I can still fit into my pants (unbutton though), all the dresses and shirts fit well. I’ve been wearing more lose or long shirts like this
I’m sure in another few weeks, the bump cannot be hide with any trick. But I’m already very surprised that I could pass unnoticed for more than 20 weeks.
- You don’t read/think/talk about pregnancy or baby stuffs all the time. Well.. I have to admit that I was at first. I read 6 pregnancy books and one baby book. I was reading tons of blogs and websites to absorb all the information. Then I stopped. I felt I knew everything I needed to feel comfortable being pregnant and not to wonder every time I do or I eat something. But more information beyond that point was unnecessary and maybe even counterproductive. I started reading other books and “returned” to my usual leisure time entertainers. Sometime I don’t even feel or think I’m pregnant because my life continues to be just as before. Of course when I talk to my pregnant friends, we talk about being pregnant, but other than that, I wouldn’t mention pregnancy to other people. I even think it’s offensive to talk to a non-pregnant person when they don’t ask about it.
- People are expecting you to get fat! Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised. Every time I chat with a friend (who I don’t talk in a daily basis), the first thing she/he would ask is: ” so, are you getting fat?” And when I tell them how much weight I’ve gained, they would be so surprised and concerned. I think some friends know me as a thin girl for a long time, and they would expect that I’d get fat when I get pregnant. It’s specially the case for chinese culture. Women would eat 7 eggs a day when pregnant. The family would feed the pregnant women with the supposedly most nutritious food, mostly meat. That’s how most women ended up overweight, get pregnancy-diabetes, have big babies and ended up with c-section. It has been like that for thousands of years. With better economic conditions in China nowadays, most people can afford to feel “well” to the pregnant women. It’s only recently that people started to realize that over-eating does not equal over-nutrient. But it’s an ongoing process.
- Nesting symptom? Not for me yet. Except for the crib and dresser, I haven’t bought any baby-related stuff. And we bought those for logistic reason rather than nesting instincts. When I saw Kath’s already fully bought baby clothes and necessities, I was shocked. She’s only 3-4 weeks ahead of me and she already has the full nursery set up, decorated and all the baby clothes and diapers organized! I don’t usually like to prepare things in a lot of advance. I don’t even want to research in advance. When I want to do something, I’d just do it, right there. We bought a house in one weekend, we bought a car in one afternoon, I decorated the house in one month, and we planned the pregnancy in one month. My friends consider me to be super efficient because I don’t waste time on looking/thinking, I just do it and do it fast. Obviously I do the necessary research before making the decision, but I’d do everything in very short period of time. I’d first research on a subject, decide what I want and decide the way to proceed, and then just do it. I think I won’t start decorating the nursery until months 7 or 8, when my mom arrives.
I’m sure the next 3-4 months I’ll have more thoughts about pregnancy. So this post will have a part II.