Our Cupcake- The journey so far, raw and real !

I am 35 weeks pregnant, sailing into the last weeks of my term, tired, sore yet anxiously waiting to birth the little human growing inside me.Let me begin with a little disclaimer that my journey was not the sweetest or fanciest and that the content below has not been penned with the intention of giving second thoughts to those planning on becoming parents.

The Late Baby Tag

How early is early? Or how late is late? I am nobody to judge.However, for this one question, we as a couple have been fidgeting for answers over the years and have now come around to figuring it all out for ourselves, and ourselves alone.When we walked down the aisle and took our vows five years ago, we already had a fair idea as to what the next few years ahead were going to look like.We foresaw a lot of financial and family commitments which could not be ignored and had to be prioritized.With the dawn of tough luck with my career and a single bread winner, our hopes of bringing in a baby diminished.

What we did not forget all along was that those two words “I do” was a yes to procreation as well which we very much valued and upheld in our hearts.We did not want to have a child just because it had to be done.We wanted to be able to bear a child without fretting over how unfit we were mentally,physically and financially.I was determined to push my boundaries and make it happen.So, in a nutshell, all that struggle behind setting up my career from scratch as a Cake Artist had many many deeper layers,feelings and goals to it out of which creating our little one was at the top.Late baby much?

A chaotic start

There are always some inevitable issues during this term that no pre-preggo diet, exercise or medication can save you from.My pregnancy kicked off with Hyperemesis, Placenta Previa and Mastitis.I have been quite a victim of these issues that had me confined to hospitals, countless IVs, injections and medication side effects beyond the first trimester.

While nausea/all day sickness was what I prepared myself for , I had generous servings of vomit round the clock.There isn’t a room or hour that hasn't seen vomit at my place.Each session of barfing triggered more bleeding.The last thing you wish to see is yourself bleeding during your term and rushing late night for emergency ultrasounds to check for fetal heartbeats and internal bleeding.We battled this together through a lot of tears and giving up.I still recall shaking uncontrollably in tears while I relieved myself over the toilet seat thanking God at the end of every impromptu scan upon hearing those heartbeats.Mastitis,being often a thing of the post partum days came knocking on the door right in the first trimester and only those who have had it can probably fathom how painful it is to have even before you pop.Yes, I have been very very hormonal during my term and probably is one of the reasons for getting into these issues.

Getting help

They say you need to be daring yet compassionate and undeniably strong once you learn of your conception.It is also a time to let go of your ego and embrace any form of help offered.Never in these five years of our marriage have we hired house help, simply because it was beyond our spending capacity and we invariably learned to make time to look after our own space.With the influx of so much chaos in the initial months I began to fret over how little we could contribute to getting our chores done.The layers of dust piled on, the dishes in the sink could not be attended, cooking hardly took place, the laundry bag was overflowing, my existing unruly, frizzy mop of curls stayed unwashed for over 10 days and I barely looked at myself in the mirror because I couldn’t stand the horror of acne filling up my face.We did end up getting help for a short period and things got better. Nevertheless I learned that it was necessary to stop worrying over such matters as bigger worries crept into our hours. Worries that involved saving a baby that came in after so much preparation. So don’t sweat the chores and personal grooming at times like these because it will all fall back in place in due course of time !

Stress,Emotions and Expectations

We women, I assume are eternal victims being labelled as “Hormonal”.Yes it is for real to an extent. However, know that once the awareness sets in, most of the time we condition our minds and emotions to not succumb to it.This sort of self examination and conditioning helped me gather myself together many times during my term.

These 35 weeks have presented me in various trying situations that have left me cribbing, crying and increasingly pessimistic.Somewhere along the way I forgot to sit down, breathe and ponder over the various other dimensions this pregnancy has projected me.

Becoming mentally strong happened to be one of the most demanding tasks during my term.There have been months when I felt that everything was falling apart, hell about to break lose and it was hard to keep calm and accept that it was all for real.The acceptance and mental health happened.Slowly and steadily after a lot of self examination,rational reasoning and contemplating.

There were those days when I felt that everybody else around me was more hormonal and pregnant than the real pregnant me.I ended up forgetting what I was carrying within me.A horrible mistake that several other mom-to-bes’ make.

This term has taught me one of the greatest miracles of life.LIFE in itself ! Being able to grow a human inside with divine intervention from God is something that I kept and continue to remind myself every time I hit my lows.To fathom that I too was once a mere clump of cells grown inside my mother amidst all adversities....physical, mental and social.Boy ! It was hard and indeed a great revelation to me personally.

Coming to expectations.This has to be one of the biggest lessons I learned this year.Majority of the time I have been just dropped off at the emergency room for self admission to get IVs for the uncontrollable vomiting. I wanted to be mad at my husband for not being by my side but I chose not to and you will know why in a bit.I have grown up listening to numerous chapters from my mom about the hardships she and her mother(aka my maternal Granny) faced during their pregnancies.Back in the days, there were no ultrasound scans.There was no mercy from the in-laws.No special food or treatment for the craving gut, and to my disappointment…no sign of love and affection from the dad-to-be.Their heavily pregnant bodies worked all day in the kitchen,backyard and even more relentlessly by ploughing the fields. So when my heart sank during my times of solitude, I look back to what these ladies and probably a million others have been through in those days.My husband couldn’t keep company simply because he had his own emergencies at work which I had to understand and relate to.

The saga of expectations don’t quite end here.However, my point is that as much as I emphasize on taking all the help you can while you are pregnant, be just as willing to expect zero help, attention or love from the people that surround you.If you don’t get cooked food at home, make arrangements to get it from elsewhere or try and cook a little something yourself. If you are living amidst immense stress and depression, find a solution to wriggle out of it.If you don’t have the best of friends to pamper you, be your own best company.I could go on all day !

Striving to “Glow”

I have heard that the “Glow” isn’t for everyone.Some have the healthiest of terms and yet have zero glow.Some glow all through no matter what.Some glow when the Sun shines on them.That happens to be the category where I fall in.The first five months were pure horror.From massive Acne storms that resembled Pox attacks to clumps of puke stuck in my hair (curly hair issues), I went on to think that this “Glow” was not written for me.I didn’t give up.When my symptoms began to fade, I was able to adopt a flexible skin and hair care routine that was pregnancy safe and helped clean up the acne.With time, the glow happened, and the weather Gods were kind to me.The oil on my skin balanced out, healthy eating habits helped and yes, a small swipe of Becca’s highlighter always made them cheeks pop ! If I may add, don’t get worked up if the glow never shows up. Staying in the best of health, by eating right and being active for both yourself and baby is what matters the most.

Earn that bump

Nothing comes easy these days with this busy, expensive and selfish lifestyle.Getting geared up for a baby was a lot of effort for me personally.I have already spoken about my battle with Poly cystic ovaries and the weight loss journey that followed on Instagram.In my perspective, if you wish to earn that bump, do whatever it takes to embark on it with natural, science and evidence based methods and the assistance of a good doctor.The learning process doesn’t end there. Read and educate yourself, inculcate good eating habits and exercise routines even while you are pregnant to help sail into an active metabolism instead of the sluggish whale mode that many pregnant women sink into.During my term, I have had great energetic weeks as well as those which got me glued to the couch.What I have observed is that a light exercise routine four days a week after my doctor’s approval landed me in great health and zeal.Whenever I go overboard or choose to laze around, the lows await me and I shutdown for days.

If I were to talk about what helped me in terms of pregnancy literature it would be Rujuta Diwekar’s Pregnancy Notes.I also remain an active user of the Ovia app, a space where you can log in everything before, during and after pregnancy.With great articles and daily updates on your baby’s development, this one is a keeper !

The finish line

The pessimistic me never ever imagined coming this far, far enough to pen this post and open up about my term.I still leave everything to the Almighty and ask for nothing but a safe birthing hour and a healthy baby. Many of you have been mighty kind and helpful in several ways to get me through this and I cannot thank you all enough. So here is us, signing off seeking your prayers and well wishes to make it to the finish line.

These beautiful photographs were taken by Elena, owner at @ojakesphotography. The locations used for the shoot are a stretch of dunes and farms on Dammam-Khafji highway.The floral wreath and bouquet were created by Dana Memories,Dammam. My dress was picked up from Dorothy Perkins, Othaim Mall while Jovi’s shirt is from Giordano. The Make up, concept and styling was done by myself. Many thanks to our friend Ancel for assisting us during the shoot.There are many more details about how the shoot happened on my Instagram grid @elmaaug so do give me a thumbs up if you like what you see out there !