I had always said, if I were to get pregnant, I’d have to be in a financial situation – rich, basically- where I could afford to be unemployed for my entire pregnancy and just relax. No hassle, no movement. Just pure relaxation.
Unfortunately, I was in no such situation.
The first three to four months of pregnancy weren’t that drastic for me. Luckily, I was not plagued with the dreaded morning sickness, tiredness, lack of energy or other pregnancy symptoms. Thank goodness. I still tried to maintain somewhat of a workout schedule initially but eventually that, too, fizzled out. However, I didn’t have the time nor luxury to be a couch potato. Aavas school term had recently begun so getting her ready and to school was a daily routine. Thankfully, I had the help of John and her godmother, Emily, with transportation. At this time, I would have been working at a baby store, which happened to be five minutes away from home, and so, was only a brisk morning walk.
I didn’t begin to “show” until I was about five to six months and even then, no one seemed to notice I was pregnant just by looking at me. Awesome, right? Yea, not quite. It was both a blessing and a curse. From the gawking strangers trying to figure out if I was indeed pregnant, or just generous in the stomach region, to the completely oblivious passengers on the bus who refused to give me more than an index finger length of space to maneuver my growing bump around them, to the few that noticed and made a huge debacle out of it, it was an overall awkward and somewhat annoying period of my pregnancy. I literally felt like crawling into a dark hole and just waiting there till it was time to give birth.
Dramatic, but true.
Around this time, I suppose the “pregnancy hormones” began to kick in too. (Jade and John were convinced I was hormonal earlier, but that was just their excuse to retort “It’s her hormones,” whenever I had a BF. Yes, bitch fit.) Either way, around this time period, I could definitely tell the changes. First of all, I was crying at frigging Facebook videos. I mean, like full on sobbing. Let one person shed a tear or show any form of emotion, and the faucet was turned on. In fact, that faucet handle practically broke off.
I was slowly losing my patience with Aava as well. By this time, Aava had become very much her own character at her age and I would embrace her changes and vocal growth rather than try to curb or soften it. I almost felt like I was living with another adult instead of raising a baby and I sort of enjoyed the dynamic. However, during these months, I honestly thought I was going to go insane. Like, white walls, rocking in a corner, insane and the sound “Aunty Ash, whats that?” would be the crazy tune in my head. If I could collect a dollar for every time I heard that question in the morning, I’d have been able to quit my job and live the relaxing pregnant life I had originally imagined. From six a.m. until when Aava left for school, “Aunty Ash, whats that?” made up eighty five percent of the morning dialogue. If I didn’t answer, Aava wouldn’t grow weary and stop, oh no no no. She would continue, to ask the question. Over. And over. And over. And over. Trying to apply my eyeliner while forcing back tears of frustration, was my day to day struggle.
If it wasn’t Facebook, or Aava, or John, it was nothing at all. Literally. Nothing at all would have me in a terrible mood. It was something I could not control and poor John received most of the backlash of it. If you didn’t think I had the potential to be a callous bitch, think again. My sarcasm was boundless, even more so than before my pregnancy, to the point where I think people actually began to take my sarcasm as serious responses.
At this point, however, I was growing quite protective over my bump. I found my hands would always find their safe haven cradling or rubbing the bump and John received one too many slaps if I felt he was being too rough or heavy handed in his attention. By this time, many people were asking me if I felt the “flutter”. Which I never did. I began to wonder if I was so oblivious to this feeling, that was indeed occurring, because so many people expected me to respond “Yes”. Truth is, I never felt the flutter. In fact, it wasn’t until well into my sixth month when I actually felt movement. And boy, did it move. The baby skipped the entire fluttering phase and went straight to the hardcore power kicks. My first experience was lying on the bed and I saw my stomach raise in my peripheral vision, although I can’t say I felt it. I lay silently for a few minutes staring at my bump and then I tapped it. And there it was. A response. I teared up, of course (hormonal) and called John and told him “It moved!” As time went on, the kicks became more powerful and more frequent, and as uncomfortable as the feeling itself was, I quite enjoyed this form of “communication” from my bump.
As I continued to grow, Aava became more curious as to why Aunty Ash seemed to be changing in shape. When I would undress in front of her, her eyes would zone in on my bump and she’d point, “Aunty Ash, whats that?” I would respond with, “There’s a baby in there, do you want to touch it?” She would always get shy at this moment and once plucking up the courage to touch it she’d say, “Aww, so cute.” It was at times like this I wondered how much she really understood of what I was explaining to her.
Answer to that- more than I thought.
In a Skype conversation with her mother one day, her dad jokingly asked her, “Aava, why is your stomach so big?” Aava looked down at her stomach and said “Cause there’s a baby in there.” She then proceeded to look at her dads stomach, “There’s a baby in there?” Her dad laughed and replied, ” No, daddies don’t have babies.” She then diverted her attention to Jade on webcam, questioningly. Jade could not contain her laughter while replying, “No sweetie, you are mummys baby.” As time progressed, Aava became more and more aware of my bump and the fact there was a baby in it. Although still a baby herself, Aava considered any one smaller than her, and even the same size, a baby. And according to Aava, all babies were “so cute”. Some evenings, Aava would crawl up on the couch or bed with me and rub my stomach and look up at me with the most innocent of smiles. Even after a hectic day, it was in that exact moment all my cares and worries seemed to vanish.
As far as Aava was concerned, this baby was the cutest thing to ever happen.