The Last Stretch


“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.”

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year


Just as Week 35 of my pregnancy began, I woke up that weekend to an attack of  horrible itchy rash on my pregnant body. The angry rash spread all over without mercy. I went to my doctor during the week, who put me on antihistamine and ordered some blood tests. When I asked her about relief from the itching, she said perhaps I could try cold water or ice? She sent me home with an appointment to see her the next week.

Those two weeks were the worst thing I have experienced. I couldn’t sleep, because I would wake up in the middle of the night to terrible itching, and sit for hours with ice packs over my raw skin, because nothing else helped. The antihistamine did not work, even though it came to a point where I was taking three tablets a day. I tried aloe vera gel, oatmeal baths, oatmeal paste, none of which worked for beyond a couple of hours. I’ve never missed calamine lotion more in my life. In the summer, I was cold and shivering most of the time, from ice packs and cold showers. This went on for about ten days till I found myself sitting on my couch one morning, applying another ice pack and crying. If I couldn’t deal with this, how was I going to deal with labour and motherhood?

The finishing line
Photo Credit: schiiiinken via Compfight cc

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To My Unborn Child


“Now may every living thing, young or old,

weak or strong, living near or far, known or

unknown, living or departed or yet unborn,

may every living thing be full of bliss.” 

― AnonymousThe Dhammapada


A pregnant woman with her hand over her belly and a butterfly on her hand
Photo Credit: adamjonfuller via Compfight cc

To my little boy

Yet to be born

I do not care if you get my eyes

Nose, ears, or curly hair

You have lived in me

A part of me

My son

We will forever be bound together

The only thing I wish for you

What I hope you will do

Be a better man my son

Than what the world expects you to be

It sets the bar oh so low

For a boy to become a man

As if

That’s all a man can be

But you my child

Are a butterfly in the making

Spreading your wings in the cocoon I weave

Be everything you wish to be

You my darling son

Are born to a man

Who will show you how to be patient and kind

You are born to a woman

Who will do her best to teach you

That doing right is worth doing

You might hear ridicule

That’s what the world does

To souls that do not melt into the crowd

To the lion-hearted who stand apart

I’d rather you be different my son

Than be the man the world expects you to be

5 Stressful Things To Avoid While Pregnant


“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” 

― David Mamet


A stressed woman holding a cup with red frown
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1. House hunting in Oslo

It all started with an innocuous little idea of wanting more space when the baby comes. Much as I did not enjoy the idea of having to, once again, in little over a year, shove all my belongings into boxes and move them one by one to another place, which will be my baby’s first home, this should’ve been easy and simple, right? Turns out not so much, not when you live in Oslo.

The rental market in Oslo is awful, and I’m sure I’m putting it mildly. C’mon Oslo, I was willing to put you on the top of my list of favourite places. I was willing to dethrone North Wales for you. Okay, we both know the probability of that happening is rather slim. But still,  you can’t give me a home without putting me through the wringer? You are beautiful and lovely, but when it comes to renting flats, you have a lot to learn from London.

And for god’s sake, when you have so much space, trust me you do, put a second bathroom in your flats and houses already. Don’t look at me as though I’m fussy. I’m not. Oh yes, everything is expensive here. But I want value for my money, and good quality doesn’t have to cost a limb and a leg. And give me a break, will you? I’m trying to have a baby here.

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13th Week of Pregnancy – Graves to Hello


“You are the closest I will ever come to magic.” 

― Suzanne Finnamore


image of a baby's hand on its parents' hands
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Tuesday

When I went to the GP for the first time after I found out I’m pregnant, she did some blood tests. The results showed that I might have a problem with my thyroid. So she referred me to an Endocrinologist, who ordered another round of complete blood work. They took so many blood samples, when they were done and they placed all the tubes with my blood on a holder, it looked like a Ferris wheel! I went to see the Endocrinologist on Tuesday to get the results.

She walked me through it and she was clear about the diagnosis: I have Graves’ Disease.

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How Do You Tell People You Are Pregnant?


“The world was full of dangers now that she was pregnant: mercury in tuna, hot tubs, beer, secondhand smoke, over-the-counter medicine. Not to mention crazy baby-abducting fairy kings.” 

– Jennifer McMahon


Little toys in a crib
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Thirteen has always been a lucky number for me. It feels strange to say that because I don’t believe in lucky things or numbers. On 13th December 2014, I was far away from Oslo at my parents’ house. That morning, I decided to pee on a stick. It came out positive. I peed on one more stick, you know, just to be sure. That turned positive as well. I calmly walked up to my mum in the kitchen and told her I might be pregnant and I need to do a blood test to be sure. My mum told my dad who wanted to call the whole world that very moment. Fortunately, she talked him out of it.

I had travelled thousands of miles to my parents’ house so I could see my one-year old niece for the first time since she came into this world. My brother asked what was going on. I told him that the sticks I peed on say that I’m pregnant. He told my sister-in-law. We had a hug fest.

The person I wanted to tell first, the person I wanted to share the joyous news with the most, was the one person who wasn’t around. My husband. K was traveling that very day from Oslo to join me. Now you don’t tell a man over the phone that he’s about to become a father, do you? No, seriously, I asked that question. I wasn’t sure what the protocol was. Do I call him? Do I wait till I see him? It seems wrong to tell him over the phone doesn’t it? But how can he be the person who doesn’t know? After a lot of back and forth, and with a little encouragement from my sister-in-law, I called him. He was just about to board the plane from Oslo airport. He sounded excited to hear it. He said he was happy about it. I asked him later what he thought about during the almost 12-hour journey. Did he ponder over impending fatherhood? He is yet to give me a proper answer!

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