Thank you to everyone who responded to my call for feedback in my last post! It was very helpful and I will definitely be taking your ideas onboard. The winners of the giveaway are Ife, Sumbo and Nikki *rings bell* Congratulations! I’ll contact you directly on how to get your prizes. For everyone else, don’t worry. I have more giveaways planned this year! Now on to today’s post.
Announcing our Baby
I must be honest. Kae and I discussed whether going public with our pregnancy would be a good thing. The typical thing is to keep it private. Understandably. On one hand, there’s the superstition associated with sharing good news. Some believe it attracts envy, jealousy, ill-feelings, “bad bele” and in some cases, voodoo against the unborn child. Some others just want to enjoy these precious moments with only family members and close friends. And besides, being private about it means no awkward explanations are needed if there’s a miscarriage, a still-birth or other complications. Then there’s aesthetics. There are women who don’t think they look good pregnant. Between the chloasma (skin darkening), the weight gain, the acne and the wide nose (Kae was the first to point this out to me; I’d never noticed a difference in the noses of pregnant women), the last thing they want is to share pictures of themselves.
And the responses have been good. Everyone has been so kind and encouraging. It’s been one more reminder that pregnancy (and motherhood) doesn’t have to entail a radical change in lifestyle, so help us God. (Is that snickering I hear in the background?) Lol.
Some Random Things I Learned Along The Way
- Potash is bad for pregnant women.
- Rock salt is bad for pregnant women (main spice in Oghwo soup).
- Uda/Enge (the pepper soup spice) is bad for pregnant women. It’s actually supposed to help flush out lochia postpartum so I can understand how they’d be counter-productive before delivery.
- Sleeping on your back is bad according to the Internet. So many nights, I woke up to find myself belly up. I’d panic that the weight of my womb had cut off my child’s oxygen supply. I’d hold my breath till I felt the baby move. (My ob-gyn indulgently pointed out that if it was bad for me, my body would let me know. I’d get too uncomfortable way before I harmed the baby or myself).
- Driving through pothole-ridden roads will not induce labour. Kae was quite pleased to discover this. He stopped driving carefully. Lol.
- Nigerians will not let you skip to the beginning of the queue in banks even with your big belly. At best, they will point you towards the nearest bench to wait your turn.
- Turning over in bed is next to impossible.
- You will feel aches in parts of your pelvis you didn’t even know existed.
- Yoruba people call babies in the womb “Atinuke”. It literally means, “Something that’s being cared for in the belly”. How cool is that?
- You know the prayer “You will deliver like a Hebrew woman”? I did some research on how Hebrew women delivered. They delivered in a squat position. That’s right, squatting between two birthing stones. They did lots of exercise and walking around during their pregnancies and they ate relatively healthy. So yeah, delivery like a Hebrew woman starts with living a Hebrew woman lifestyle. No pain, no gain, Sister.
Baby is kicking harder now. Kae can feel the movements. I think Baby likes John Legend and I can prove it. All I have to do is play “All of Me” and my stomach starts to quiver in excitement. Lol. Or maybe the quivers are in protest. I found out babies hiccup in the womb, and they cry too. Did you know?
My stomach is a full-blown basket ball. Since my 2nd trimester, I have religiously massaged my belly with a wild concoction I made of shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter and 5 different oils. I will blog that recipe later. Unfortunately, I only massaged my belly. It is as smooth as a ball. The darned stretch-marks I was trying so hard to avoid have now appeared on my hips and thighs. Lol. I can’t even cry.
I’m determined not to waddle so I make sure I hold myself up and walk straight. But sometimes, I’m tired. Tired and achy and the waddle is the only way I can get myself from point A to B with minimum effort.
I’m using an app called Ovia to track my pregnancy and it’s actually not bad. It’s just that some of the references go right over my head. Your baby is now the size of a nectarine or an artichoke or an acorn squash or a Napa cabbage or a Romain lettuce… I find myself googling exotic vegetables so that I have some idea what they’re talking about.
We need a Nigerian app for these things, guys. I need an app that tells me, Your baby is the size of a truck-driver’s portion of eba… Your baby is the size of Derica… Amen?
I think about whether or not I will share pictures of baby on the blog or social media. On one hand, I would like to. It’s a thing of joy and baby pictures are cute, mostly. On the other hand, I think babies and children have a right to their own privacy and dignity. And so if they can’t give their consent to having their pictures online, then I owe it to not take it for granted just because I’m a parent.
Does this make sense? Only God knows what the world will be like in 2037 and the last thing I’d want is for my child’s future employer to google him/her and start bringing up baby pictures. It won’t matter if I’ve deleted it by then; Google might still have it cached somewhere. And I’ve learned the hard way that it’s almost impossible to delete images you don’t want from the internet. I’d rather my children made the decision themselves of what pictures they wanted to put up.
I don’t know. I’m still discussing it with Kae and we haven’t made a decision yet. Let’s see how it goes.
Delivery is in a few weeks and I pray for strength. This Christmas, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the Virgin Mary giving birth by herself in a manger, surrounded by animals and attended only by St. Joseph. If she could do it, if millions of women have done it for millenia, then I can too. Right? So watch out for Part 3 where I get to narrate everything that happens and answer questions like Does it hurt? How much does it hurt? What actually happens? etc. etc. Pray for me, will you?