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I am grateful that I made it to 40 weeks of pregnancy and am grateful that the practice I went/go to does not induce until 41st week (unless there's some medical urgency) and I am glad that D came the night/morning/afternoon that the doctor I preferred was on duty.

People began looking tired and frustrated on my behalf when I hit 37 weeks. Their questions often were, "oh you must be so ready to get the little one out!?" or "she/he is taking her/his time in there, huh?!" But really I enjoyed my pregnancy. Of course, mine had absolutely no complications. There were days/nights of discomfort. But I never expected it to be easy.

I am/was fortunate and so I enjoyed a smooth pregnancy. But even amongst friends who had relatively smooth pregnancy, they were in such a rush.

All this came up because of this article on NPR: 

Doctors To Pregnant Women: Wait At Least 39 Weeks

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December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.


N took this photo on May 23rd in the lawn by our apartment building. The day was D's estimated due date. I was happy that day. I was happy with what life threw my way. Swollen feet, hard to sit/stand/walk/lay down, but I was happy being pregnant. I was in no rush to get the baby out. All in its due course. So many people would ask me if I was done with it, etc. But really why? I enjoyed the calm and peace till the last moment. And baby surely let me arrived the next day!

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

Every now and then, D throws a huge fit. Nothing is obviously wrong but there is something that is bothering her. After twenty minutes of comforting, feeding, changing, when she finally dozes off for a nap the world seems to be alright. It feels like everything's going to be fine. I can manage this. I can do it.
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December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

I like to say that through my pregnancy, I lent my body to the new form that was created within. All my organs were squished this way and that to make physical room, my hormones went all topsy-turvy to adjust to the new life and dear hubby had to bite his tongue at my not-so-frequent-but-happened mood swings toward the end of the road. Having the baby began the healing process of my mind and body. I got it back. And it's still working towards the full strength. It has been a wonderful and often amusing time - yes with the baby and all but rediscovering things about what I could do before I got pregnant.

My first evolutionary change I noticed was the ease in how I once again could bend down and pick things up from the floor! I didn't need to strategise each and every move to get the item or call for N to help! The other big change was the fact that the world wouldn't come to an end if I slept on my belly! Those two were the big things that truly amused me and helped me realise that my body was mine again! This weekend helped me realise that I am almost there. As we put together the IKEA shelf, I realised I didn't need to sit and observe N put the things together but could actually do a lot of the assembling! (Of course, am a bit sore after all the squatting and bending - but I see it as a preparation for me to be running behind D in the coming months!!)

And I hope in 2011 that healing process will be complete!

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

In 2011,
1) I want to make something - restart my quilting project
2) I want to try my hands at baking!
3) And to continue creating the scrapbook of the last three years! The photos are all ready. Other non-photo scraps are also saved. Now, I just need to get to it!

This past year I tried knitting and I gave up. It was too much for me to do. Sounds silly but I found sewing easier. I had gotten a good start and then baby happened and never got to it. I am not exactly sure how I will get that going again, but would like to get it going!
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There were numerous joys of being pregnant and having the baby. In the last two weeks I have reclaimed my body and have been enjoying the many little things we mostly take for granted!
  • Bladder control - oh my goodness I can hold if I want to and I don't need to run to a bathroom every 15-20 minutes or have to first scope out a bathroom wherever I go!
  • Rediscovering toes - I can see my toes!! It's so much easier to walk about. Towards  the end of pregnancy I was getting nervous getting onto an escalator as I couldn't really see where my feet were stepping onto!
  • Bending - I don't have to moan and groan and strategise my movements when I drop something on the floor! I was so ecstatic that I was able to just bend down and pick things up!
  • Sleeping arrangements - I can sleep comfortably on my side and my back! woot! Of course, with the baby's arrival, I haven't had the opportunity to fully enjoy this! I don't have to waddle about like an elephant to get up off the bed!
  • Crossing legs - I can cross my legs! Although after so many months of not doing so, I seem to have lost the habit of it. Maybe a good thing.
There were so many more... but I can't think of them now. I guess one thing that has stuck still is forgetfullness! I blame it more on the sleep deprivation!
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The other day I was delayed getting to work. Something was wrong with the metro system and my cell phone was running low on battery and no one had come into work yet. I had enough battery to call up my husband to call the office and let them know I was going to be late (I was going for a meeting otherwise the call wouldn't have been necessary).

I get to office and everyone releases a big sigh of relief. I wondered why. Then one of them shared. These days if I am even a bit late, they think I have gone into labour! So that afternoon when I left work late and was again delayed because of metro, I called up my husband and mom telling them that I was going to be late and not to worry. They were a bit puzzled until they heard my story above.

So, dear LJ-friends, I am still around. playing the waiting game now! ;)
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I need some advice... I have been going for prenatal yoga classes once a week! I love the time there. I feel completely relaxed and yet feel like a good workout had. After three classes I already feel a difference in my posture and have found some ways to alleviate hip pain/discomfort! phew...

I seem to have a horrible memory however -  I want to practice the yoga postures at least twice during the week if not more on my own at home. So, from the library I had gotten two DVDs on prenatal yoga. I like one of the two and it seems all the other pregnant women in Northern Virginia do too. So, I get the DVD a week at a time. So, I was thinking to buy one from amazon or eBay.

But if that's the case, there are so many options out there. Anyone tried any that they liked?

The one from the library that I liked was the Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea - a clip of it is on YouTube. This one is not as  "hard" as the one I get in the actual class but has similar postures and so helps me to practice what I have learnt in class. The other one I got which I didn't like as much was Yoga Pre & Post natal workout - this was too easy for me and I liked how the one with Shiva Rea had women in different stages show the same poses to give an idea of what I can do as time progresses.

These were the only two at the library. But if I intend to buy one the options increase to so many! Any suggestions on what you liked or didn't like from DVDs you have tried?
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I was at Smithsonian today volunteering my time. I had to first fight the crowds of participants who were attending the March For Life (Pro-life gathering). It made me cry.... reasons will be shared another time. I am just happy at the moment. I went up in my usual uniform and took up my post.

The usual Friday volunteers & staff were there. Hellos, Happy New Year wishes, holiday stories were shared as it's been a month since I have been there! I noticd some of them kept taking glances at my belly. They never did this before! I just ignored it. There's this cashier who also has her shift every Friday. She looks in her early 20s. She never smiles at least not the times I have shown up in the last six months. I swear I could crack a joke and she would just stare at me blankly. As she was letting some people in, she actually smiled ever so cutely and asked lowering my voice if I was going to have a baby! When I said yes, she looked so happy and went on to asking me if I knew the gender. I replied, no not yet. And then she had to let the customers through and so that ended our conversation and ended the smile on her face.

yay! My first stranger encounter about my pregnancy! 

I think I felt baby's first hiccups last night! oh how cute! I think I felt it earlier but didn't realise it at the time.

The baby was so much more active today!! I felt the movements every 30-40 minutes! Earlier it was only after eating and in the late afternoon around 4-5pm and at 11pm for a bit. Lets hope it doesn't stay this active as it grows bigger!! hehehe...
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One type of Hindu "Baby Shower" is called Valai Kaapu (apparently there are a few different types, but this one is the most commonly celebrated in both sides of our family) is performed usually in the 7th month of pregnancy. Well, since mom is in India and MIL will be leaving by then, we chose to do it at Sankranthi - yesterday.

In family custom this is generally done at my mom's place. It also marks the time mom would take me home for childbirth. Here's a brief summary of what traditionally happens.

"The arrival of a new baby to an Indian household is a joyous occasion, associating the changes with better fortunes to the family.  In the olden days an addition to the family was considered augmentation of wealth, since more members would carry the lineage of the family forward.   Parents felt secure to pass on their property and their wealth to their biological sons and daughters with the anticipation that these children would take care of the economic prosperity of the parents, in their golden years.
In the olden days when medicine was not so advanced, pregnancy was considered a very difficult time in a woman’s life, giving birth and remaining alive was considered rebirth.  Unfortunately many women died at childbirth, due to complications that were not diagnosed.   In order to fulfill the desires of expectant mothers, family members and friends, usually go out of their way, to fulfill the desires of the pregnant mother, just in case the mother did not survive the pangs of childbirth.

VALAI_KAAPU   and the Pooch-chootal is a social tradition celebrated in South India. Valaikaappu literally means adorning/decorating with bangles. It is more of a social function than having any vedic meaning.  Women of the family and friends are invited to participate.  A seller of bangles usually waits in attendance.  The day before this function, the pregnant girl’s hands and legs are decorated with henna and mehendi designs, on the morning of the day, she is treated to an oil bath and dressed in new clothes and jewelry. The pregnant girl is then ceremoniously seated on a chair with all sorts of festivities around her. 

The family cooks  sweets and savories,  which are all tied up in a bag and placed in the pallu of the girl’s sari and secured around her waist (called appam samaitthu kattal in Tamil). The oldest Sumangali (married matriarch) will be bestowed with the honor of slipping the first gold and silver bangles on to the wrist of the pregnant women, furnished by the mother.   The women folk select bangles for themselves from the vendor. 

Other members of the husband's family also join in this honor,  slipping bangles of various colors and designs on to the wrist of the girl.  The husband’s sisters usually play an important role by giving gifts and clothes to the brother’s wife and placing flowers on the girls hair which is called “Pooch-chootal” (meaning of which is adorning with flowers).  At the end of the day the girl usually ends up with bangles from her wrist to half way across her elbow sometimes.   Usually a feast follows all these functions.

Taken from here.

Well, we didn't do the full elaborate bangle ceremony. Atta let me choose a bracelet that I'd like and that was it. We kept it very simple and had a few people come over for dinner. MIL did cook up a feast and we really don't need to cook for the next 4 days at least!! Ash also joined us for dinner and MIL also had her be part of the ceremony. Her mom would be so happy about this as she wouldn't be able to come to see her daughter give birth!

I wouldn't have minded a bit of henna though! Apparently at your wedding and pregnancy would be the time the woman is allowed to have very elaborate henna! So, they tell me anyhow.

The mothers-to-be seated in front of our temple-altar (I don't know if that translates right).


Read more...a few pics )


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