I have been meaning to catch up with blogging and my blogging and blog-reading sisters for ages. After three months of feeling exhausted and so nauseous, I have been spending most of my time lying down, last Monday I woke up feeling...normal.
I was both amazed and extremely grateful. I remember when I suffered nausea with my molar pregnancy. I was so sick that on recovering, I spent every day for a year putting my health and lack of nausea at the top of my daily gratitude list, before I became complacent and took being normal and healthy for granted again.
I feel that way again, immensely grateful, very happy and so hopeful. For three months I have been letting the house turn into a jungle, letting the kids go wild and slowly letting all of the things I take pleasure in fall away – corresponding with sisters, blogging and writing, crafts, jewellery, even reading.
Now that I feel like I have come back to life, I want to bring some sanity, order and fun back into my world insh’Allah. The kids were my first port of call; they had no idea what hit them! Despite their dad’s best efforts they had been sleeping at ridiculous times, spending too much time on the computer and eating all sorts of rubbish. I marched them in and out of the bath and into bed early for the next few days, took charge of packed lunches again, re-introduce time-outs and distract them from the computer.
Next, I tried to mange my diet a bit better. I have been surviving on 7UP instead of water, takeaways which I am heartily sick of and lattes, no home cooked food at all. Now that I am being less controlled by my nausea and my miserable, emotional reaction to it, I am overdosing on salads, sandwiches, wraps and very simple curries without any chilli. I still can’t eat any trace of chilli at all as it burns my gullet and stomach. It turns out rather to have been a blessing, now that I have to find alternatives to our usual spicy foods; it has opened up a whole world of flavours other than sweet and burn-your-face off hot. I am not attracted to sweet foods either – this from a life- long chocoholic. It’s funny how my children have taken me over taste buds during pregnancy - Little Lady and Little Man made me eat sweet foods, Gorgeous made me crave red meat and chilli and this baby bland food. They have retained these same tastes as they grow up.
Finally, I am trying to take charge of the house. I have been taking one small area at a time – book shelf, cutlery draw, kid’s shoes and clear things out – I have lots of ideas for the house this summer and there is lots to refurbish and repair. I want to reduce our belongings so that this is easier to manage. Last night I spent hours filling bags with about half of the kid’s books and about a hundred of mine. I am trying to be sensible about this as I still get exhausted and my back gets very sore very quickly.
Sister Sumaiyah Umm Imran encouraged me to visit the wonderful Hakimah Midwifery website recently. One of the things that Sister Shannon Staloch, who manages the site, mentions that one of her teachers insisted that the more out of touch a woman is with her body, the worse the nausea is. This got me thinking as it felt intuitively to make sense. I have always been bloody-minded and felt a sense of pride in ignoring my body and carrying on like a machine. Maybe this came back to bite me in the behind with the nausea?
I have been trying to read about how I might get in touch with my body, suggestions I have come across include eating healthily, eating raw foods, breathing and meditating. I am certainly being kinder to my body and resting when I am tired instead of pushing myself - something new to me.
Other reading and research I have been doing has been around having a better birth experience. All I have felt during labour in the past is pain and terror. This time round I felt frightened at the thought of what was to come and then tried not to think about it. Now, instead I am trying to learn more about making myself stronger, making childbirth gentler and the whole experience less traumatic (or barbaric as I have called it in the past).
Subhan’Allah, this baby is lively and I feel like we are bonding already – is that strange? I am only just over four months along, but have been feeling strong movements, even more so that Gorgeous, who was a big strong baby. One morning I fell asleep on my side, I woke and stood up only to receive a volley of sharp kicks. Did you have your foot stuck all night? I wondered, laughing at what seemed like a mini temper tantrum.
Alhamdlillah, I feel like I have the prayers of so many good people with me. I feel like I am connecting to myself, my body, my family and my home again and revisiting my priorities insh’Allah.