Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pregnancy diary: 28 weeks.

I've always wanted to write a whole post on being pregnant - this time not so much focusing on Seed, but rather, ME.

1. Of gaining weight.

One of my biggest fears of pregnancy is gaining weight. Yes, weight. Both my mum and sister are on the chunkier side - imagine the pressure. Yes, I never had any weight issues growing up, but man am I scared of gaining weight..

And my mum used to tell me that she weighed way less than I did pre-pregnancy. Lagi lah pressure kau. And to be veeery honest, I take pride of my figure. I did not just magically have toned abs (not six-packs!) - I planked, I ran, I did crunches for years. I even went on healthy diet at some point, ha! So yes, I can honestly say I was quite fit pre-pregnancy, despite being on the rather 'small' side.

I've not gained massive weight so far on this pregnancy just yet, but I really am scared. For someone who's never had any weight issue, my fear of gaining weight can be rather irrational..

2. Of stretch marks.

Again, this one.. I did a whole lot of research at the early stages of pregnancy. Even considered buying high-end creams with a hefty price tag in an effort to 'prevent' them! But sooner than later I learned that stretch marks are mainly genetics. And luck. Some people never had one, some had it in first trimester. My mum definitely had them, although I'm sure having 5 children plays a role in that matter. I succumbed to the fact that there's not much that can be done about it, so mehh, let's just embrace it. I still, religiously put creams on my tummy - Diprobase emolient, no less, because we had a heck of 500g bottle of that stuff when Adam had some skin rash last year. Alhamdulillah, not a streak of line (apart from linea nigra, that's some serious strange business man!!).

To be fair I did have a habit of applying lotions on my skin after every shower pre-pregnancy, not sure if that contributes.

3. Of uncomfortable sleeps.

Adam and I.. We're both independent sleepers (more so me than him). Which means we don't really cuddle to sleep with the exception of some midnight cuddles when we're both half-asleep. But man.. Do I crave to have the whole bed to myself.

There was a time when Adam did his night shift over the weekend, and I have to admit I loved the 3 nights that I got the whole bed to myself. It's just impossible to be comfortable with such growing bump - and having another person sharing the bed doesn't really help.

I feel bad saying this, but honestly, the thought of going to bed doesn't equate to being well-rested, no matter how tired I already am. And every now and then I end up sleeping in the lounge surrounded by a bunch of thick duvets on the floor - all the space I can get to roll around!

4. Of random twinges of pain and discomfort.

Getting up from the chair is uncomfortable. Peeing is uncomfortable. Putting on the socks can be a struggle. And worst of all, waking up from lying down, man, that's serious business.

Heck my tummy feels so stretched and tight even now as I'm typing this.

It's about 15-minute walk to hospital where I work, and it's an uphill walk. Not the most pleasant walk unfortunately.

5. Of drinking for England.

On one occasion, I couldn't feel Seed moving very much. Had to get myself checked out by the midwife, and I turned out to be very dehydrated. Since then I've been drinking for England. And peeing like a tap too.

I don't know what is it about pregnancy but I never seem to be getting enough fluid intake. The moment I felt good about my drinking habit, my pee was still dark yellow. I mean, come on, I've had 1.5L in already!

And yes, hello midnight bathroom trips. There was a time I was so knackered in the morning as I had to get up 4-5 times at night to pee just because I've been drinking a gallon during the evening. I kinda learn the trick now - drink like a champ during the day, even if that means going to the toilet after seeing each patient on ward round (can be hilarious), and then limit myself to one cup in the evening. Of course, the moment I wake up in the morning, the pee would still be dark, but heck, mommy need that 8-hr minimum sleep.

6. Of loneliness.

They say motherhood can be a lonely journey. They never said anything about pregnancy. I cannot help but feel so alone sometimes. Unless you've been pregnant before, you would never know how it feels to carry a >5kg bump 24/7. I didn't. I used to think, ahh look at those pregnant ladies, all glowing and smiling. I always thought pregnant women are beautiful. But I don't feel like one, how come? I'm all puffed up, my eye bags alone might have contributed to 1kg of the weight gain. The loneliness.. Is real. They say pregnancy is not a disease. I agree, but it's "normal" to a whole new level. It's the strangest physiological thing that can ever happen to your body.

A lot of times.. It's between you and baby and God.

****************

This was written when I was at 28w. Didn't get to finish it then (typical!). I'm waaay beyond that now, so you might want to multiply the above by 1.25 or something. I'm heavier, bumpier, slower - everything you can ever imagine.

BUT,

I'm more contented too. (Surprise!). Somehow knowing that the baby's growing nice and healthy.. And realising that we're going to meet him sooner than later.. That, my friends, is such an indescribable feeling. Every kick, every swish, every roll, every Braxon Hicks (!!), means we're a step closer. And that is always something to be grateful for.

Friday, March 3, 2017

"Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship."

I have a small confession.

I never really wanted to do Medicine.

Not news? Alright, how about.. I'm still not sure if I want to.

Despite the nearly 7 months of doctoring.
Despite the kind words from my colleagues and staff nurses.
Despite the praises from my seniors.
Despite the look of appreciation from my patients.
Despite the glowing assessment by my team members.

"You're a good doctor, you really are, but that's probably not what you wanted to hear."

I have another month or so to finish this rotation before going off on my maternity leave. The initial plan was to leave and never come back, ever (there, I said it), but I created a whole fuss in management department because I left my online portfolio completely untouched, apart from some team assessments and meetings with supervisors. They're not too happy, especially given that I would've completed 8 months of FY1 by the time I leave and not a single evidence of competencies. That's 2/3rd of becoming fully a registered/certified doctor!

"Your lack of engagement with the portfolio is almost like your way of saying 'that's it, you've had enough.'"

An act of rebellion.

True, it's that one thing that I can (sort of) control within my power. I cannot choose to not go to work - professionalism. I cannot choose to not see sick patients - patient safety. I cannot choose to not do my job sloppily - heck, have some standard, will you? You're a flippin' doctor!

But I can choose to not do any of the online things, can I? 

Well until I got caught anyway.

So I agreed to work on that bit - at least giving myself an option to return to medicine after 1 year of maternity leave, as my visa would still be running/ongoing throughout that period.

I have to say, it felt such a relief to finally be able to voice out how I've been feeling and finally be heard/taken seriously. For once, it didn't feel like everyone is on my back to complete this, ie continue medicine. I tried seeking help when I was in medical school, but all I got was "you have to finish this", or "you'll be fine", or "try working as a doctor first see how you feel". Well, I am a friggin' doctor and this is how I feel.

Unhappy.

There's a massive hikmah on me not working on my eportfolio. It's amazing how Allah always knows what's best for you.

A part of me feels that if only I sought help earlier at work.. Although I doubt it's going to change the outcome anyway, at least I won't struggle alone - hidden by a confident, chilled facade on everyday work.

"Find light in the beautiful sea 
I choose to be happy" - Diamonds, Rihanna

Happiness is a choice, indeed. And I choose to be happy.

We are currently presented with an opportunity to finally stop doctoring. We, because Adam too, isn't really the biggest fan of doctoring. And opportunity, because I've learnt to see every difficulty as an opportunity since my epic fallout many years ago.

We've spent years of our lives following a path that's been carved right in front of us. It was challenging, but it's a rather straight path, nevertheless. All we had to do was follow the path, survive through the path, and it brought us here - by choice or not.

I feel that it's time for us to make an active decision and take charge of our life and not let the path decide for us. We've been at ease all these while, and somehow this speech by Denzel Washington came at a right time, hitting home.


"Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship."

Link here.

In the end, Allah is the best planner, after all.