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My Pregnancy Journey: A Bumpy but Blissful Ride

The reason why I decided to talk about my pregnancy journey today and not about any pregnancy products or elements, is because I felt a raging need to reach out to women, about the entire process a woman goes through during her pregnancy, the significance, and the drawbacks of it.

Pregnancy: Expectation vs. Reality

Pregnancy is indeed a life-altering journey for women. It is a process that changes you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes it can make you feel enlightened, but it can also scar you for life.

Usually, the concept of pregnancy embodies joy and empowerment, it is women happily smelling baby clothes, setting up nurseries, nurturing their bumps, baking cupcakes, and all. It shows women elated over the news of getting pregnant. While this may be true for most women, this is not the entire picture.

This is more of a capitalist approach to make you feel like pregnancy is the best thing in the world, so that you may feel motivated to go through the same path and then these advertisements can shove one million products down your throat.

Yes, pregnancy does have numerous, if not endless positives to it. You are bringing an entire human being into this world, this in itself should be the most empowering part of it. This is your moment to bring about a slight change in this world.

Pregnancy Expectation vs. Reality

Thinking about your little one does make butterflies flutter in your tummy, wondering how the little one would turn out, whether he/she would look like you, or like your partner, what eye color will he/she have, and what would be the texture of their hair. All of these things are very much true and most women do feel this way.

However, what people do not tell you is that where on one hand, pregnancy is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world, it is also a painstakingly arduous journey, and many women embark upon it without pondering over the responsibility they are taking upon themselves.

Being a mum of two little munchkins; a boy aged six, and a girl aged one (yes, I embarked on this journey twice!) I have to say, I was one of the latter kind who went through a tumultuous pregnancy ride in both of my pregnancies.

Both my pregnancies were absolutely poles apart from each other, and both had their ups and downs and it really was a belly-bumpy ride for me. I will talk about both of my pregnancies and try to draw comparisons between the two.

Pre-Pregnancy: The Day I Decided To Get Pregnant

Being a FTM (First Time Mom)

Well, my first pregnancy was more of a surprise as my partner and I hadn’t really planned it, but we weren’t aversive to it either. It was more of an ‘if it happens it happens’ kind of thing.

So, I missed my menstrual cycle and was four days late, and I’ve never been late, so I did a pregnancy test using those over-the-counter pregnancy strips, and there they were, the two red lines that would seal out fate and alter the course of our lives.

The first person I told was my partner, he, obviously, was skeptical, being a first-time dad, this was too much information and he did not know whether he wanted to be happy because he was about to become a father or sulk because now there was a mountain of responsibility coming towards him.

Sometimes I feel the reality check for men is stronger than it is for women because apparently, they think the onus of ALL the burden will be on their poor shoulders.

We went on to get my blood samples taken, and then the blood report confirmed that I was pregnant. Of course, I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to tell everyone and their neighbors that I was going to have a baby!

My second pregnancy was planned. Yes, I planned to have another baby after all the problems I went through during my first (you’ll read below what happened). Don’t ask me why. Well, I’ll tell you why, and in all honesty, it was because of my firstborn that I decided to have another child (he better love me unconditionally for this)

As my firstborn was growing up, I got a feeling that he felt alone, all the kids around him had a crew (that’s the new word for friends’ group, as my firstborn tells me). All the kids his age had elder or younger siblings that would team up and my kid would be alone. He didn’t have any sibling stories to tell his classmates and didn’t have anyone to play with at home.

Due to my traumatizing first pregnancy, I took a four-and-a-half-year gap before conceiving again and I felt that my child needed someone at home besides us. That was the sole reason why I decided to have a baby AGAIN.

Becoming a Mom for the Second Time

The second time around, things weren’t that easy. My partner and I had been trying for almost a year and I didn’t conceive. Every time I’d miss a period, I’d end up checking with those at-home pregnancy tests, but all in vain and every time my heart would break just a little bit.

Yes, there were other options we could go for, such as IVF, artificial insemination, surrogacy, and adoption but we wanted to try naturally before opting for any other option. So, I visited my ob-gyn who gave me supplements and asked me to just maintain a healthy lifestyle as all my tests were clear, and that did the job. I quit sugary foods, and fizzy drinks, started exercising more, and guess what happened, Those two red lines came back in our lives.

This time, my partner knew how to react and needless to say, both of us were elated.

First Trimester: Morning Sickness At Its Worst

The first trimester, or the first three months of your pregnancy is perhaps the most crucial (well, you can say that about the entire course of pregnancy). The first three months of pregnancy are when the baby is forming from an embryo into a fetus.

First Trimester Morning Sickness

Usually, when you find out that you are pregnant, you’ve already been pregnant for around 4-5 weeks. Yes, pregnancy is usually measured in weeks rather than months. So, you’re already way in your first trimester when you find out you are pregnant.

The reason why people say that the first three months are crucial is because the chances of miscarriage are quite high during this time. There are several reasons why miscarriages can happen in the first three months. They could be due to:

  • an ectopic pregnancy
  • a chemical pregnancy
  • The fetus didn’t get a heartbeat
  • The fetus didn’t grow

These are the most common reasons, although there are many more.

My first pregnancy, that of my son, was quite smooth all through the first trimester. Nothing critical happened and it was all pretty good. The only issue was the menace of pregnancy: Morning sickness.

Morning sickness is one of the worst things that could happen to you. Morning sickness usually means nausea and vomiting. I don’t know why people have termed it ‘morning’ sickness because it prevails throughout the day.

Imagine having a feeling of nausea all day long, all week long, all month long. Then, imagine vomiting every other minute, or hour. Going to work becomes a nuisance because you need to get up every so often and use the communal bathroom to throw up. It is absolutely horrible.

Food and smell aversion is another problem that most women have during their first trimester. The sight of certain food and certain smells make you throw up. Certain smells that otherwise never impacted you. For me, it was the smell of soap and fabric softener. I absolutely detested them. Ginger-flavored organic pregnancy tea did help me with nausea, but it didn’t eradicate it completely.

So, the first trimester, apart from just being annoying, was not much of a big deal. However, in my second pregnancy, all that could go wrong went wrong.

From not getting a fetal heartbeat for a prolonged time, to vaginal spotting and the threat of a miscarriage, the first trimester of my second pregnancy was quite horrifying. I was put on bed rest and the probability of losing my baby tormented me to the extent that I developed anxiety.

But thankfully, we made it through and despite the ups and downs, we made it through to the second trimester.

Second Trimester: Oh The Heartburn

The second trimester is generally the 4th to 6th month of your pregnancy. This is perhaps the least eventful time of your pregnancy (thankfully). By the time you reach the second trimester, your morning sickness usually fades away, unless you have hyperemesis gravidarum, then help you God.

You start feeling better as the nausea recedes, your appetite comes back and is usually in full swing. The best part about this trimester though is your growing belly bump. It is during the second trimester that you start ‘showing’ your bump and this would be a good time to tell your friends and family the good news.

Everything is hunky-dory till the heartburn kicks in. In both of my pregnancies, this was something I absolutely could not stand. Heartburn and acidity a common ailments of the second trimester. The reason is that your growing baby starts taking up a lot of space in your tummy and so all your organs are squished and pushed up, causing heartburn.


Apart from this, the second trimester seems like a gentle breeze before the imminent storm. No aches and pains, you feel good about the growing bump, you can eat to your heart’s desire, or as I like to say, ‘eating for two’. Although my ob-gyn did ask me to control my cravings and not to consume too much sugary food as many people do tend to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Yes, food cravings do exist. It is not just a cliche that is shown in films, food cravings do happen and a lot of times food cravings actually denote certain deficiencies that you may have developed. People do have weird cravings, mine were pretty straightforward though. In my first pregnancy, all I wanted and all I could keep inside was Sprite. In my second pregnancy, my craving was pretty simple: cheese pizza.

Third Trimester: Brace Yourself for What Is Ahead

The third trimester is the 7th to 9th month of your pregnancy journey. The third and final trimester has a bittersweet feeling attached to it. The reason is that it is quite challenging, but the feeling that you came all the way, and are about to meet your favorite person makes the journey worthwhile.

The third trimester brings a storm of emotional changes in you. Your body grows considerably and sometimes when you look in the mirror, you can’t seem to accept the fact that THAT is your body. It looks unreal but is very much real. Hormonal changes also add to your emotions becoming overwhelming, you cry a lot, you panic frequently, and you can get angered at mere inconveniences.

On the contrary, you also become gentle, and more welcoming, and your patience increases. There is a phase called the ‘nesting’ phase where you instinctively start preparing for your baby’s arrival and you get this urge to clean everything down to the last spot.

Third Trimester Belly Kick Baby

The third trimester is when your baby actively kicks and that is the sweetest feeling in the world. It is as if the baby is communicating with you. Your baby listens to the music you listen to, he/she can hear you when you talk, laugh, and communicate with them. The whole journey is nearing its end and the anticipation starts becoming overwhelming.

Having said that, along with the sweet feelings, you might also have to face carpal tunnel syndrome. This syndrome causes numbness and pain in your wrists due to some neurological issue. Another prevailing problem is leg cramping. You might suddenly feel a severe cramp in your leg in the middle of the night while you are asleep.

It is also very common to have back pain and pain in your pelvis because of your growing body and the weight of your baby. I personally also experienced shortness of breath due to the growing weight and it made me feel suffocated. A belly band did help me in this regard but living in a humid city, I couldn’t wear it for a long time.

During my first pregnancy, the third trimester felt tougher, I had constant pain in my back, I felt lethargic and I ended up having false pains way too early for their time. I rushed to my ob-gyn and she treated it and I felt much better.

In my second pregnancy, what I noticed was that my third trimester was much easier and did not feel like a hassle. This could be because I knew what it was supposed to be like and I had already experienced it before, or maybe because I was more active during my second pregnancy (I was a couch potato in my first).

I was always up on my feet, went to work till the last day of my pregnancy, and did not take maternity leave early on only because I knew the day I started staying at home, time would stop ticking for me. This is very common in the 9th month, it feels as if time is moving sluggishly and you are eagerly waiting for your due date, or for labor pains or something that is a sign of labor.

I believe that staying active throughout the length of your pregnancy is one of the vital elements of a healthy pregnancy, and keeping yourself busy would keep you distracted and you would not feel the weight of things on you. Whether it is the weight of the baby or the weight of responsibility. It is essential to stay active and fit during your pregnancy.

Labor & Delivery

So, the day finally came. My due date as given to me by my ob-gyn arrived and there were no labor pains in sight. No water bag leaking, the mucus plug had not even come out, and I didn’t even get many Braxton Hicks for some reason. I went to the hospital, all set with my hospital bag, and the doctor told me I had to be induced.

Induction means you are given artificial labor pains so that your labor is stimulated and this usually happens when your uterus is not really ready. I was induced but by the evening, my induction had failed and due to unavoidable circumstances, I had to go through a C-section.

For my second pregnancy, I elected for a C-section early on, which means I chose to have a C-section rather than trying naturally to deliver a baby.

In both cases, my C-section was seamless and I was in my room, with my baby quite soon. I was given spinal anesthesia in both of my pregnancies, so when the anesthesia started to wear off, the pain started to kick in but thank God for painkillers.


The postpartum or postnatal phase is the period after childbirth. It is the time you go home with your baby and try to settle into your supposedly new life, along with a baby attached to you. Needless to say, you go home a happy person and content after seeing your baby (even if your baby looks like your partner).

Your postpartum phase will have its own set of challenges that you will have to conquer but after going through nine months of pregnancy, and then the course of labor and delivery, you know you’ve become strong and you will overcome this as well.

The postpartum phase is one that tires you out the most. All you want is to have a good night’s sleep and even that is too much to ask for sometimes. Most babies usually cry throughout the night, they want you to cuddle them, rock them, and just keep them close to you and all you want is to close your eyes and take a tiny nap.

Breastfeeding is another daunting feat that you need to overcome. People undermine breastfeeding tremendously. Women make it look so easy and natural, and it is, once you get the hang of it but getting the hang of it is one of the most arduous tasks that you will ever come across.

Babies have latching issues in the start and they wouldn’t latch onto you. I had a similar problem during my first pregnancy. I was having all lactation stimulants such as lactation cookies, semolina pudding, cumin, fennel tea, and whatnot to boost lactation but my baby just couldn’t latch so I ended up with mastitis.

Mastitis is when you have clogged ducts and if not drained properly, they develop an abscess which has to be surgically removed, Not to forget that mastitis is excruciatingly painful.

Postpartum Depression

Another problem I developed postnatally was Postpartum Depression (PPD). Nearly all women have baby blues after they give birth. Baby blues is when you feel down and low because of your hectic routine, altered lifestyle, and changed body but baby blues usually fade away with time. Sometimes, these baby blues take a serious turn and convert into postpartum depression. You will have to seek specialist help to treat this, as it is difficult for it to go away on its own.

Mastitis and PPD were two main reasons why I was traumatized by the thought of getting pregnant again and took such a long gap before even thinking of conceiving another child.

Where my first pregnancy was physically exhausting and took a toll on my physical and mental health, the postpartum phase of my second pregnancy was quite different.

I felt completely fine and on my toes with both my kids. I had no issues and I was very calm and thought I had everything under control. Everything was great, but then my 7-day-old daughter developed sepsis, which is a fatal blood infection and she was in the NICU for two days, in critical condition.

So, there I was, back in the hospital, with my stitches still not removed, waiting to see my baby, hoping and praying against all odds that I get her back in good health. It was during this time that I forgot all about my aches and pains, about my stitches and I believe this is the crux of motherhood; forgetting about yourself and putting the needs of your child first.

Thankfully, my baby is a warrior and fought her way back to me. Looking after her and my 6-year-old son made me forget I had a C-section recently and I was on the get-go from the first day.

To Sum It Up

My pregnancy journey was indeed a daunting one. Not everyone has a daunting pregnancy, some of them have a breezy and easy pregnancy, but some women go through worse ordeals.

Whether better or worse, all women go through a life-changing experience during these nine months, some decide to go through it multiple times, and others think once in a lifetime is good to go for them. Regardless of what a woman chooses, her feat is extraordinary and unlike any other in the world.

For all the pain and exertion that women go through during pregnancy, each one of you deserves a round of applause. And a big hug.