Expecting what? Where's the evidence? These and other questions my colleagues asked.
No, dear Reader. The above image was never me. I did not stand a chance to be that popping, even in a million years. Two pregnancies later, the mysteries surrounding both are still just that…mysterious for me to explain.
From how I only gained 8 lbs. during my first pregnancy to losing 7 lbs. my second time around. I was just as intrigued as the outstanding medical professionals that cared for me.
At times, I was also scared that something was wrong with me; as I recall, at one of my appointments during my second pregnancy, the nurse completed my weigh-in and shook her head. Another time, she commented:
“Same as usual.”
With zero weight gain, month after month, it was becoming old. I panicked inside. Why was I losing weight while my baby was growing? What was wrong with me? In the end, though, everything worked out superbly. Both boys weighed 7lbs. each at their respective births, and the kicker was I had zero baby weight to lose. If I should talk about a sweet deal, this was one of them.
And I know there are many medical marvels globally, and I am not one of them. However, in my world, I was the talk of my household and workplace and became a comical queen.
Pregnant? Where? Who, you? Nope. Can you show us the proof?
My emotions were two-fold
On the verge of becoming a first-time mom, I was recently promoted to Senior Analyst in a new division. In anticipation of my upcoming delivery and the fact that I would need to take maternity leave, I felt guilty that I would leave my colleagues and supervisor in a difficult spot.
To complicate what felt like a personal predicament, another colleague from my division was scheduled to be off around the same time I would begin my maternity leave. That colleague was about to get married the day after my anticipated delivery date. Talk about timing and life events colliding.
Hence, announcing my pregnancy to my employer did not feel like an easy task. Somehow, the timing felt off. Of course, I was super excited about my baby. I was also concerned that my loyalty to the department and recent promotion would be questioned.
Still, being a conscientious employee, I wanted to announce my pregnancy to allow my employer time to adequately plan for reassigning work during the time I was expected to be on leave. And so, with all the courage I could gather, I walked into my Assistant Director’s office and let her know I was seven months pregnant and would be requesting maternity leave in the upcoming months.
Yes, seven months pregnant with zero baby bump to accompany my announcement. Much to her surprise, or rather a shock, she congratulated me. Again, the most significant evidence was missing; I had no growing stomach to accompany my pregnancy announcement.
“Typically,” at seven months, it’s a reasonable expectation that “something” should have been showing by then. Nope. I had nothing. And so my Assistant Director took my words by faith that my “baby bump” would appear and requested permission to share my news with the rest of the department, to which I agreed.
Within minutes of the department-wide announcement, a group of four female colleagues arrived at my door simultaneously. Their questions came fast and furious, to which I assured them I was pregnant. Their mission was twofold: first, hearty congratulations were in order, and second, they refuted my pregnancy claim.
One colleague even conjectured that it had to be the following year that I would be due because, with two months out, it was unbelievable that I had no stomach. Still, I know it all was in good fun and jest.
I was happy with anticipation for my baby and felt blessed and supported by my colleagues. Later, they threw me a beautiful baby shower, which brought me to tears.
And almost eight years later, I’m still waiting for folks to retract their words and how they doubled down on their doubts about me. No, I was not making stories up or delusional, and while I can craft a great tale, this was not one of them. I know I was carrying my sweet baby. Besides, time eventually reveals all truth, and pregnancy is no exception. I would have the last say. And I did.
Becoming a mom has been the single-life-defining event that changed me. Reflecting on my motherhood experience and journey with my sweet boy turning 9 years old in a few months, I am delighted with profound emotions — too intense for words to express.
As I’ve written prior, motherhood has been a single, life-defining experience for me. No other role, title, accomplishment, position, or experience has challenged but yet dually fulfilled me as being a mom to my two darling boys.
Sometimes I feel selfish for having this much satisfaction from my experience being a mom. However, this is my path. This is my story. My experience. Hence, I remind myself that my children are my treasures. They are also a heritage from the Lord, and I enjoy them thoroughly.
And yet, there are days when motherhood becomes overwhelmingly challenging, and I want a quiet timeout in my head. Just for an hour, a minute, maybe two, pretty please? But alas, each day eventually works out...somehow.
And the greatest joy is always when I return to the basics of these two precious souls for whom I was handpicked by the Divine to be called mom.
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