The lady at the reception glanced disbelievingly at my belly before meeting my gaze again.
She obviously was not convinced that I was in need of a gynaecologist. Much less so for reasons of being pregnant. Nevertheless, probably just because her job obliges her to be nice to clueless looking women like me, she gave my husband and I the information we asked for.
It was the first few hurdles we had to overcome: deciding on a doctor that we were reasonably comfortable with to examine me and to confirm whether or not I was indeed pregnant.
I recall us being flat out tired after visiting two destinations on our list that were in our consideration. Having returned home, we both sat on the bed, poring over the brochures we had taken home with us.
Not long afterwards, we were both sound asleep, and remained so for a good few hours.
That was just a week ago, actually.
Since then, we have not only decided which gynae to consult, but have also had our first appointment with him. It was really reassuring to finally have an ultrasound done and to confirm what we suspected all along: that I am indeed pregnant.
Of course, prior to that, Deric and I had actually done one of those simple pregnancy kit tests at home. And on the day after Merdeka, in fact. But somehow, perhaps because we are new to all of this, we somehow felt the need to hear a doctor confirm it. Well, at least I needed that.
So we took a visit to our regular GP a day later, but he didn’t perform any further tests and instead, merely dished out to us some general advice and handed me a month’s worth of folic acid pills to take for the benefit of the baby.
“Home pregnancy kits are quite accurate,” he told us. “Even if you had gotten a negative result, you could still be pregnant.”
He counted off on his fingers the other reasons that made it very likely that I was pregnant: I had missed my period. The fact that we had been trying for children (which in our terms just meant that we stopped using condoms). And the results of that pregnancy test we’d done.
But it was only after we’d seen the gynae at Assunta Hospital that I finally did truly believe that I was pregnant. And that’s not all: Our Little Dot already had a heartbeat by the time of that first ultrasound scan at the gynae’s office.
But of course, this is only just a brief description of what has been going on ever since I took that pregnancy test.
Your body goes through an awful lot of changes once you are pregnant, and by the time Deric and I had begun the process of seeking out medical help, these symptoms were starting to slowly but surely manifest themselves.
I was often tired, often by midday, and almost always wanting to sleep.
My appetite was erratic: some days I could eat normally while on other days, I didn’t feel like I wanted any food at all. Usually, whenever my appetite was absent, my stomach tended to feel queasy as well.
Randomly, I’d develop light headaches and sometimes I’d feel dizzy. It was hard to concentrate at work. The air conditioning in the office was too cold.
Oh, and did I mention yet? My boobs felt terribly sore and I had tiny twinges of pain that would come and go at various spots around my abdominal area.
While at the gynae’s, he informed Deric and I that there was some bleeding in my uterus, and for this he promptly prescribed me some medication and gave me a 14 days MC (weekends included).
I was really thankful for this unexpected break where I can rest at home, although I’m pretty certain my colleagues have developed an unhealthy suspicion of me and my motives for disappearing from work by now.
But hey, I guess there are more important things for me to care about. Little Dot being one of them.
I’ve gotten into this queer habit of talking to it whenever no one is around. In fact, I’ve even started doing it while Deric is present too. It’s funny, but I guess it’s my way of frequently reminding myself that a tiny life has started budding inside of me.
It’s a strange feeling, and one that at this point I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to. I feel a sense of responsibility I have never felt before, and have surprised myself with how eagerly I have taken to adopting immediate changes to my diet and lifestyle.
I’ve been advised by the doctor not to do any vigorous physical activities for now, and that includes swimming – my currently preferred method of exercise. It helps relieve me of my back pains, and I tend to swim at least once or twice a week. None of that now.
Intake of both coffee and tea have to be regulated daily and I am not supposed to exceed consuming a cup of either beverage each day. I also have to avoid raw foods which means that some things like sushi (which is among my favourites) is off the list for as long as I am pregnant.
Every single form of medication and even health supplements that I take has to be scrutinised and reviewed for whether they are safe to consume during pregnancy. Even the medicated plaster patches I use for my back aches are not permitted. And neither are the pills I like to use whenever I develop gastric problems.
This Little Dot really is a fussy sort, but I guess I don’t mind it that much seeing that he/she is a blessing from God.
Unlike some other couples, Deric and I brought Little Dot into existence after laying off condoms for only around two to three months. It’s something to be thankful for, given that we’ve heard of others having to try for much longer before they’ve yielded positive results.
So this marks the start of my journey as a pregnant woman and a future mother. It’s both scary and exciting at the same time.
No amount of reading or listening to the advice of others could have prepared me for what it’s really like. In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve learned fairly quickly since confirming my pregnancy, it’s that every woman’s experience of it is uniquely different.
I would say I still have my doubts and fears about what’s ahead, particularly how our daily lives and future plans will be affected. But Deric and I are really looking forward to having Little Dot become a bigger part in our lives.
And after some point, we’d probably need to give him/her a more respectable name.