"You have completed the first trimester of your pregnancy, and everything is good so far," the doctor said.
I never thought that I would break my life into months and trimesters like this, but what a relief those words were! While I had tried not to fret over my baby's and my own health each day, I did count the weeks down until I could happily declare myself a first trimester graduate. Now that I am in my fourth month of pregnancy, I can move around knowing that my baby has grown and is better protected inside the womb.
Pregnancy has brought about many changes in my life, and I have made a few on my own so that I am able to adjust better to this beautiful process. Compared to my carefree ways earlier, I'm more cautious now. And now, before jumping into any situation, I stop and ask myself if my baby would be better off without it.
No two pregnancies are ever the same, so while some things work well for some people, they may not be the right thing for others. Here are a few changes I made in my life, which have worked well for me:
Eating healthy: Thankfully, I have not suffered from the morning sickness that usually accompanies pregnancy. On the contrary, I've been eating more than before. I get constant hunger pangs, and sometimes, I forget that I don't really need to eat for two. However, I also make a point to not binge on unhealthy food. As much as possible, especially on days when I'm at home, I try and eat 6 small meals, starting off with whole wheat bread with my tea in the morning to avoid acidity (being an avid tea drinker, a bad case of acidity has forced me to cut down my intake), to eating a wholesome breakfast, fruits, vegetables and drinking lots of water.
Regular exercise: I have never been one for gyms; I personally believe that a walk in the garden is better than sweating it out in an air-conditioned room. I'm lucky I live next to a garden-it's huge, with lots of trees, walking space and other serious walkers and joggers to keep me inspired. While I have reduced my speed to a more comfortable pace and I take breaks as soon as I start getting tired, I've made it a point to make sure that I walk for half an hour every day. And, as I've been walking regularly since before pregnancy, I'm not putting sudden strain on my body.
Antenatal checkups: After becoming pregnant, I've had more number of doctors and lab visits than I've had in my entire life! But ensuring that every test is taken and regular visits are made to the gynaecologist to keep a check on the BP, weight, foetal heartbeat and other vital factors, go a long way in making pregnancy easier. In my 13th week, when I had gone for my NT Scan (Nuchal Transmission, a sonographic prenatal scan which tests for chromosomal disorders such as Down's syndrome, etc.), I had been praying throughout to hear that my baby is all right. Not only did I get to hear the good news, I also saw my baby move in my tummy and heard the radiologist happily point out that my baby is an active one. That's when it truly dawned on my husband and I that we were going to become parents soon.
Supplements: I've never been good at taking pills and avoid them as much as possible. But, I've now been saddled with calcium and iron plus folic acid tablets that are half the size of my throat (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration!). I just look at the bright side and think of all the nutrients and minerals that my body and baby are taking in.
I'm taking pregnancy one day at a time, and have learned to listen to the body's signals. Most importantly, I take time off to bond with my little niece as that gives me a feeling of being closer to my baby.