since i already let the cat out of the box, yes, i’m pregnant.
when you’re young and pregnant, you’ll encounter a lot of mixed feelings about it. i’ve always wanted a baby of my own.
i remember back in kelana jaya, i would hear my (still) baby niece back then, squealing out of joy as her father plays catch with her. my sister would be sitting somewhere closeby, rubbing her enormous nine-month belly as she talks to my mother. i would hear it all from the kitchen as i wash my own plate after dinner.
my baby niece would then run into the kitchen, looking at me with a cheeky expression carved onto her face, then run over for a little hug before she goes back outside to continue with her play-time.
back then, i would think to myself, how wonderful would it be to have my own child. regardless of how they would soon grow up into potentially grumpy adults (finger’s crossed here please), knowing that your body is capable of actually regenerating cells and forming an actual living being inside your stomach, is absolutely thrilling. i would then imagine having to wake up after midnight, dreading everything i thought was magical while i reach for my screaming baby inside a cot.
now here i sit, with a protruding stomach of my own, typing everything out after what seems to be two years after.
i wouldn’t deny it though. it was tough for me to digest and understand, in the early stages. the moment i found out i was pregnant, i was practically drowned in a mixture of all in one go: excitement, gratitude, and fear. who wouldn’t be grateful, knowing that they’re actually able to bare a child in their womb? then again, who wouldn’t be fearful of what’s to come at such a young age?
when i told ag the good news (that i thought was half-bad) though, all the fear i’d felt earlier immediately vanished. the moment he found out, he said nothing but let out a humungous smile- one that was so wide, enough to cover an entire planet with. that’s a pretty rare smile, you know, even for me to witness.
it was then that i knew that i had to be stronger than i thought i was, to pull through. i knew i had to give him our child, no matter how afraid i’d felt in the beginning.
in all honesty, i wasn’t as ready as i thought i was. i wasn’t ready for mainly the physical body-changes i would have to pull through, and being such a free-spirited swift and agile girl that i had always been, i was definitely not ready for all the things i wouldn’t be able to do as a pregnant lady.
i struggled with myself, and i sometimes still do- but as my baby grows over the months, i slowly discover the beauty of being pregnant. it’s so much more than growing a child and suddenly becoming puffy, then pushing it out when the time comes. it’s about discovering you, yourself, as a person, mentally, spiritually and physically, and about bonding with every person you love.
i lost count, the number of people who gave me advices on my pregnancy. it’s as though they know how fearful it can be, for a young first-timer (well of course they’d know, they went through it as well!).
i would get advices on my bodily posture, on what i can and cannot eat/drink, how i can’t climb a lot of steps and if i do, i have to go slowly (slow was never part of my vocabulary when it came to climbing steps back then), what i should and shouldn’t expose my body to, to the extent of what i should and shouldn’t say. all in all, they keep reminding me that whatever i do affects my child later on when he/she has started his/her life outside of you- even the tone that i speak in while i carry him, and what i see or hear.
it was exceptionally difficult for me to adapt to all these limitations, and i sometimes pretend i never heard/understood any of these tips and proceeded to just wing it.
but that’s where i was wrong. being active before, i still wanted to be active despite being pregnant. however, i started getting back-aches (which shouldn’t happen because i was still rather small and bumpless), my legs would cramp up much faster and i had short-breaths. all, at an early stage of my pregnancy. therefore, when people advise you, especially people who have experienced it, just listen and heed.
when i was performing my umrah, i was already pregnant.
it was tough. incase you’re not aware, here, i’ll give you a short walk-through on how the 9-months of pregnancy works.
a pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. the first trimester (1-3 months), second trimester (4-6 months) and third trimester (7-9 months). as deceiving as it may seem to be, the first trimester is the most dangerous period of a pregnancy. that’s when you’re at highest risk of miscarriage, despite the bump-less tummy. you’re still unsure of whether or not, the baby has attached itself strongly onto your wall. it’s when you should take care of what you eat, and how active you are. this is also the trimester that you would most probably feel nauseous and where the familiar term, “morning sickness” comes into the picture. the second trimester’s basically your honeymoon trimester (and i’m not joking because i sometimes feel like a Goddess), and the third, when things start shaking up again because of how big your belly has grown.
i never really had “morning sickness”, alhamdulillah. i admit to having intense nausea though, when i wake up, before i sleep, and it worsens when i dont eat in two to three hours. i once went to the supermarket feeling so nauseous just seeing everybody walking and rushing around with their trolleys, and to make it worse, hearing makciks and aunties going, “eh tu tak cukup tu kita nak buat banyak ni malam ni,” and, “eh boy who said i want that fish? i gave you the siakap, not this one, why you clean this one” at high pitch.
oh the horror.
imagine performing umrah with all that going on, and to top it off, falling super ill? i was, in actual fact, hospitalized in mekah because of high-fever and due to my pregnancy, but alhamdulillah, God is of course the Almighty and most gracious. he protected me despite all the pushing that went through in the raudhah, all the walking i had to do to perform the umrah, and all the puking-sensations i’d felt as i sniffed in the scent of arabic (or indonesian) food. performing umrah was both a blessing and a trial, i have to say, and no matter how much i loved and enjoyed my experience being pregnant while i performed it, i’d most probably have to mentally prepare myself (and my body) for the next round (got to stock up on malaysian rempah/food before going, next time!!).
so if you think 23 is still “too young to be pregnant”, think otherwise. i know people who are pregnant at the age of 18, and gloriously gave birth to such cute babies, then triumphing in their career and living life. all y’all married people who tell me, “too early lah, enjoy first lah, baby later also can get what,” can go enjoy, hoo haa, and make babies later in life then. i stand with the belief that if God wants to grant a baby for me this early in life, i’ll take it.
i would never wish for time to turn and for anything to change, because every single day i wake up feeling grateful as ever, knowing that regardless of all the hardship i’ve had to endure, i’ve been truly, blessed.