First Pregnancy Update - Sydney, Australia

I was supposed to put up a post about our wedding in this blog many months ago. But things have taken a rapid turn that I’m guessing I can reserve that post sometime in the future or in time for our anniversary. I am hardly promising anything because October will be a pretty major month.

Sydney, Australia

First off, my husband and I are expecting our first baby — BABY GIRL! YES. A GIRL. I announced more than a month ago that we were having a boy. But the last two ultrasounds have cleared that up and confirmed our little girl! It was a shock and I felt all sorts of emotions until, at one point, several sonologists (yes, there were three!) during our Congenital Anomaly Scan explained how healthy she was and gushed about how beautiful her heart and blood flow were. I have always thought our baby is a girl deep down. We are more than happy!

I am pregnant 24 weeks as of writing this entry and gradually getting bigger by the day. I am finding these days to be very fleeting and so, so precious. As each day progresses, I am constantly feeling and learning new things. I’d say it has not been easy. There are still days when I feel insecure, anxious, and uncomfortable. But I would not trade having this experience at this point in time.

Prior to getting married, we wanted to try and start a family as soon as God will allow us. We even wanted a honeymoon baby! Parenting was not something we discussed extensively prior to marriage despite knowing how different we are. It was really more of a quiet, calm, and peaceful sort of understanding between the two of us that we both want to try and start a family as soon as we got married. It was definitely not about being financially ready, the reality that we were on our 30s, or even our readiness to become parents.

I had an inkling that I was pregnant even before taking a pregnancy test. With a very regular cycle, the last time I was delayed was during my bar exams when I prayed for it because I consistently experience horrible menstruation cramps. We waited a week from the supposed first day of my period to take the test. I was not even shocked when I saw two clear lines summing up a positive pregnancy. We took another one the morning after to confirm before we called family. My husband, in his own way, was definitely happy about it.

Since then, I was completely aware that I was pregnant all the time. I couldn’t shake it out of my head. It was all I could think about. Mostly because the first trimester symptoms started to manifest furiously — making it difficult for me to forget I was pregnant. The fatigue, nausea, and food aversions were all very present. I did not have morning sickness, but it was still a difficult time, especially late in the afternoon at work and right before going to bed. I just got promoted at work and I could barely function. All I wanted was to sleep and go home early because the nausea was debilitating at times. I would come home by 5 p.m. to just lie in the couch unable to move for hours until I gather enough strength to bathe and freshen up for bed by around 8:30 p.m.

Food was also extremely challenging. Before pregnancy, I was aware of my carb and sugar intake. I could live with very minimal simple carbs (except for dessert). But during my first trimester, all I could eat was pasta, bread, and pizza. I had no specific cravings that lasted more than a day.

During our first check-up with our OB, Dra. Eileen Manalo, I learned I have severe endometriosis. It is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with menstrual periods. This explains all those sleepless nights in agony whenever I got my period. This has increased my pain tolerance though. Another symptom of having this condition is infertility. My OB informed us how lucky we are that we were able to conceive immediately. I felt so much gratitude right then and there. We were advised to be extra careful since my condition slightly increased the risk of miscarriage. Although I was not made to be put on bed rest, there were so many things I couldn’t consume and do. We also left with prescriptions for natural and artificial progesterone or the pampakapit meds.

Tokyo - Guillermo Alarcon Photography
Tokyo, Japan. Six weeks pregnant. It was a difficult time.

We traveled to Japan while I was six/seven weeks pregnant. I was given medical clearance with strict orders to have ample rest in between all the walking. Honestly, I was too fatigued and nauseated to survive the usual walkathon Tokyo entailed. To make it worse, most Japanese food that I used to love just made me sick. I was also so bloated the entire trip making it quite uncomfortable. It was incredibly frustrating. Looking back, it brings back awesome stories that I know I’ll fondly look back on when my baby is born.

The anticipation to move forward into the honeymoon phase of the second trimester was definitely there. By the time I reached 14 weeks, I was so happy. I started to feel myself again. Nausea slowly dissipated. I finally had an appetite and was definitely hungrier. I had energy again! Work was so much more bearable! I was excited to travel with my family to Sydney knowing it will be much different this time around. I was able to walk and eat more. My bump finally started to show. It was such a memorable trip that I am glad I was able to thoroughly enjoy.

With a growing bump and the inevitable weight gain (at least for me!), I am finally feeling all sorts of discomfort. I’ve been advised by my OB to sleep on my left side from the beginning since it helps with blood circulation for me and my baby. As a back sleeper, this definitely required some effort. I usually end up waking up in the middle of the night quite sore on my left side because of all the weight. TIP: Buy good pillows and a maternity one!

I have also become obsessed with watching videos on labor and all things baby related. I get exhausted just looking and reading up on all the required baby gear. The options are endless and I think it is so much more challenging and overwhelming than looking for a wedding supplier. Don’t even get me started with the mommy online communities.

Apart from all the pre-baby preparation to be done, we are also planning for a big construction project in preparation for a big move within the next few months. This has also occupied my pregnancy brain. Building a dream home and being on nesting mode has made me very excited about our life ahead.

We recently attended a Birthing Basics class by Doula Betty and her husband, Manny. I would definitely recommend it especially to those who have apprehensions and fear with the labor part. At one point, we were made to express and articulate how we felt about pregnancy and birthing. All throughout this time, I have never really felt anything resembling fear. I knew that it was all because of my husband. I am still in awe with how much our relationship has positively changed and grown since. I just don’t think I could ever trust anyone the way I trust him. Just the mere thought of us going through the next few months, years, lifetime together comforts me.

Ending this post with a few photos from Sweet Escape during our trip to Sydney at the end of May. It was a very windy day and most of these shots show my extremely bloated self. I may not look the way I would want to. But this was just such a happy day filled with so much joy and love. Nothing can really beat that.

Sydney, Australia

Image Credits: SweetEscape, Rubie Ganzon, Guillermo Alarcon