Indeed, it isn’t. But sometimes, it makes you feel handicapped. Because not every woman has the good fortune of experiencing a growing uterus (and baby of course) without the accompanying side effects of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, food aversions and mood swings. And mind you, these are totally beyond your control. You’ll never know when any of these ailments would strike. It could happen anytime, anywhere.
During my first trimester, I threw up whenever I saw food on TV. Or I would be at my cafe prepping food, and the next minute, without warning, I’d be grabbing a plastic bag doing a Merlion with bloodshot eyes.
It’s not like the common flu where you can just pop some pills and keep symptoms under control. Plus there are days or weeks, especially in the first trimester, when you just feel like shit and the only way to feel better is to lie in bed.
Sadly, no medication will make you feel better. Even if there is, you will think twice about taking them unless absolutely necessary because you’ll worry about potential impact on your unborn child. Honestly, if that doesn’t make you feel handicapped, I don’t know what does.
I remember managing an 11-day event that ended at 3am everyday while nursing a bad flu and high fever before I was pregnant. I’m very sure I couldn’t have done the same now. Case in point: I went on a 4 day staycation with my hubby and all I could do was lie in bed all day because I was constantly nauseous and tired. I felt like someone else had taken over my body. I nearly blacked out on a few occasions too – when I was standing in line to buy breakfast and when I was standing on the train for an extended period of time.
I also hated plain water until recently. I couldn’t stomach anything other than home cooked Chinese food till the middle of my second trimester. If you know how much I love food, you’ll know that my food aversions did nothing to lift my mood. I cried more easily too and the slightest trigger would set me off.
Every pregnancy is different. Some people have it good. Some people have it bad. Even if you had a baby previously, that doesn’t guarantee your next pregnancy would be smooth-sailing.
Admittedly, I would never have understood how tough being a working preggy mum is until I’ve experienced it for myself. The intention of writing this piece is not to whine, rant or seek sympathy. In fact, I’ve never told anyone the extent of discomfort I felt till now and I know many have it far worse than I did. I hope that by sharing my experience, people around us can better understand what expectant mothers go through and try to empathise with them, regardless of whether their pregnancy was by choice or not.
After all, being able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes is one of the most desirable traits of human beings.
Be kind, because pregnant ladies are fighting battles too, just like you. Nobody expects you to kiss their feet or worship them just because they’re bringing life to this world but basic courtesy/common sense and little gestures like giving up your seat on public transport would certainly help. A little compassion goes a long way, especially in our increasingly self-entitled society, and if we could all be more understanding, perhaps, just perhaps, our dwindling birth rate is more likely to pick up? 😉