By Nancy Cherotich
This is about my pregnancy journey that I am calling “My first 42” and every week I will blog about my experience and hopefully there are mothers-to-be who will learn something or who will find something in common in either the struggles or challenges that come with being pregnant.
I had travelled home to see my parents and to plan for my traditional wedding. Everything went on well but as I was travelling back to Nairobi, I could not stop vomiting. I called my mother after I got to my place to tell her that everything I ate hated my guts. She told me to go get checked for any infections.
My appetite completely disappeared after that and I kept vomiting the little I managed to eat. In the midst of my agony, someone asked if I was pregnant and I laughed it off saying that I had a peaceful first pregnancy and the madness happening inside my stomach could not be pregnancy. She laughed. As I went home in the evening I decided to buy the pregnancy testing kit to ensure that I had the last laugh. I got home and went straight to the toilet with my kit. I swear, I could hear my friend’s laughter as the test confirmed that I was pregnancy.
I think my baby was waiting for me to get the memo that it was now the master of my body before it showed its true colors fully. The vomiting got worse, I was perpetually sleepy, dizziness and headaches became a part of me and my breasts were sore to the point I shed tears. Like I said, my first pregnancy was very peaceful to the point that at one time when I was four months long, I had to take another test to confirm because I did not feel pregnant at all.
I had no morning sickness, no fatigue or dizziness. I actually used to jog in the morning and when I was eight months pregnant as part of hustling, a group of friends and I washed graduation gowns for the whole campus just to make the extra coin. Fast forward eight years later and the level of fatigue I am experiencing cannot be explained. I fall asleep at every chance I get and it is a miracle that I’m yet to fall asleep on my desk at work. The only encouraging thing about the sore breasts is the cleavage that comes with it. This is one season of my life when I get to experience what it feels like to have a cleavage. As vain as it may sound that is the one thing that has made me not entertain the thought of chopping the damn things off when the pain was too much.
I was not keen on starting my clinic sessions early because of my very embarrassing level of laziness and the fact that I know every session involves stepping on the weighing scale with absolutely no hope that of having shed any kilos. However the nausea got so bad that I had to seek help. It is in my search that I discovered that bringing forth a child into this world is expensive.
Our private hospitals are not cheap. I took my time to compare the costs in private, mission and public hospitals and the difference is jaw dropping. I once lost consciousness in a mall and had to be taken in one of the hospitals in the mall and I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I did not have any medical cover. Having had a pregnancy that makes me visit the hospital almost every week made me to take a moment and wonder how women who have no access to maternal care or cannot afford one are able to cop. It has made me want to reach out and help.
Knowing that there is an expectant mother somewhere with Urinary Tract Infection, Yeast infection and all the other complications and are not able to get any treatment kills me inside. I also discovered that as Pregnacare has been packaged beautifully to hide the fact that it awakens all the nausea and vomiting in the world. The sight of that thing makes me shudder.
I’m clearly in the mood of whining and I am not about to stop. I have become so round and it takes hours for a dress that fit me so well to become so tiny. I think I have only three dresses that fit me. I do not know where people get the lovely maternity dresses because everywhere I go, I cannot find anything that can fit me. Maternity dresses for plus size women don’t exist. I want something that will make people know that there’s a little one on the way. I’m tired of being asked if I am pregnant or I have a big stomach like every other fat people. I want to be excused from queuing and struggling to get into matatus. I want to look cool for that pregnancy shoot.
I have confirmed that no matter how many children you have, nothing can prepare you for another pregnancy. Just like children, each pregnancy is unique. I have learned to love my little hurricane with all the nausea, low blood count, mood swings, weight gain and hate for food. I do know that at the end of it, it will be worth everything I go through. The worst is over. It can only get better……..