A sudden change of plan

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Dear Baby,

Remember how for the past two weeks mommy pleaded and begged for you to begin making your way into this world? Well, forget that ever happened. I sort of need you to hang in there for a little while longer. I know this seems confusing right now after the stern tone mommy used and words like “eviction” and “ultimatum” but trust me there is a good reason behind all of this.

You will grow up to learn that life is sometimes unfair and some events are completely out of your control so all that’s left to do at time is – to deal with it. Three days ago, just hours before I wrote the post below (emphasizing that it’s time…) your daddy’s work compelled him to travel a few hours away from home  to a land of little network coverage and scarce transportation. As much as daddy didn’t want to go (because words like “eviction” and “ultimatum” were also used by his boss) he had no other choice but to comply. I made a promise to daddy that you and I will not do anything crazy (like be born at home or in the hospital without him) so please stand firmly by our promise. It would absolutely break his heart if you arrived into this world and he wasn’t the first person to hold you or check what color your eyes are…

I probably shouldn’t have promised him that we will absolutely not go into labor without him (because how could I know, right?) but something tells me you will hold on until he gets back. I know you guys have a very special bond (already) and waiting until he is there to welcome you into this world is just a crazy little stunt you are completely capable of pulling. So, lets wait, ok?

Hang in there until he gets back, which should be in the next 24 hrs and then we will just go ahead and pretend that mommy didn’t confuse and misguide you before you were even born by first bribing you to make a quick exit and then convincing you not even think about escaping for three whole days. Crazy, I know.

Thanks and hoping for your understanding in this situation!

Mommy

Are we there yet?

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Pregnancy- day two hundred seventy freakin’ three. No seriously. I am still pregnant.

although I am not overdue (yet…) statistics do show that most first time mothers give birth a week or two before their due date, the same darn statistics that promised me that only 5% of women deliver on the actual due date that has been forecast.

Yet, here I am. Excited, nervous and oh-so-sick of waiting. (Not to mention bloated, uncomfortable, tired, swollen…just peachy basically…)

I read somewhere that the most common craving that pregnant women have is not to be pregnant. That might seem a little over the top but trust me 9 months into it even the most “sunshine-up-their-butts” mothers start to feel like this just can’t end soon enough. The exhaustion you feel is both mental and physical, your mind is constantly replaying possibilities of “what could go wrong in labor” and your body aches from your toes to the ends of your hair.

I also miss the little things. Like seeing my feet when I look down, fitting into my clothes and shoes or simply getting out of bed without having to roll to the side and readjust the 4 pillows that are prompting my back. Ugh.

The general opinion here (amongst husband and family) is that I still have time and the baby will come out when she needs to and when she decides. But wait, I though I was the boss of this baby- why can’t she come out when I want her to? I pick now. Or at least today. Please?

I have friends calling me every single day asking me if she is here yet or every time I call one of them they thing it’s only because I am in labor…nope…still pregnant…just wanted to say hello. The conversation I have with My Cynthia everyday is a straight replay out of Shrek ” Are we there yet? ” ….” No not yet”….”What about now”….”Still not”….It’s rediculous.

I apologize if you were expecting a touchy-feely post about how prepared and excited we are to welcome our daughter any day now and instead you got stuck reading the rantings of a sick-and-oh-so-tired pregnant woman. Believe you me, we are ready. The bed is made, the hospital bags packed, the baby bottles sterilized and even the video camera is charged. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands…just waiting for the grand entrance now.

I shall keep you posted.

Maternity Leave

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With just a few weeks away from my due date I am finally going on maternity leave as of Christmas. Although I do still have some time and could theoretically work for a little while longer it as just proved too darn exhausting. Thinking the last 35 weeks over, I would say I had a generally easy pregnancy and I am in really good physical shape…I could easily go on working for another 2-3 weeks if it wasn’t for the simple fact that my ribs hurt. Yes ribs. ” What do ribs have to do with babies or going to work” you are probably wondering. Well, they have absolutely everything to do with not allowing you to be comfortable in a simple position like sitting on an office chair or the sofa. Because there is a little foot in your rib. It makes me feel as though this baby has bones of steel. The ribs on the right side of my body feel like they are on FIRE. The only way I can tolerate it is if I am standing up or lying down, basically anything that keeps my back straight.

So maternity leave. Here I come. As per the Omani Labour Law, women are entitled to 50 days pre and post maternity leave on full salary. That is incredibly little in comparison to other countries (up to 14 months in Germany, 16 weeks in France, 18 weeks in Russia, 22 weeks in Italy) but beggars can’t be chooser now can they? Combined with other pending leaves I have pending in total I am eligible to be away for about three months.

When I think it over in my head the first though that occurs is “Wow, three months! What am I going to do with all that time???” and then…I remember that every single moment of my day will be entirely wrapped around this bundle of joy that is about to arrive. I doubt I will be bored.

Also because life has the tendency to work out all by itself  these days, I was given a fantastic opportunity to come back to work part-time after I have the baby. Just 4 hours a day. You see, I work in the hospitality industry which sometimes calls for 10-14 hour working days, elaborate stress and continuous dedication. I am utterly immersed in this job and would be heart-broken if I had to leave the industry or even the position. I just found what I love to do. (The husband?…No he is not a big fan of my job)

When the offer to move departments and consequently move to a 4 hour working day came in, I accepted it immediately. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, I believe it would be better for my child if I was a well-rounded person in all aspects and if I had a life outside of changing diapers and wiping spit-up the whole day. (An opinion my husband also feels strongly about). So come March back to work I will be, into a brand new department with new challenges and responsibilities.

Up till then I will have to grow accustomed to my most challenging and exciting job yet…beeing a mommy.

Our maternity pictures

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A  few weeks ago we strolled into Qurum Park fiercely equipped with outfits, pink helium balloons, a pair of baby shoes and bags of curiosity. We were ready for our maternity photoshoot. Our photographer Aseya took the lead and quickly showed us the spot where we would start shooting. It was about 3pm, a cool breeze swept through the trees and the warm November sun was just right. There wasn’t a single moment of hesitation or awkwardness, we went straight into it. It’s amazing how simple movements like getting up off the grass can take on a whole new level of difficulty when you are almost 8 months pregnant. Nevertheless it was all good fun and Aseya found a lot of locations that exerted greenery, freshness and raw nature. She advised us on the poses to take and clearly had a vision of where it was all going. We wrapped the session in just under two hours and here are the results:

We are now very proud owners of 26 images that perfectly documented this special time in our lives and captured the moment that sees us transitioning from becoming a couple to become parents to a little girl. We are thrilled.

If you are planning to document your pregnancy with the help of a professional photographer here in Muscat then I would highly recommend Anastaseya Photography. 

When going in for your session make sure you:

  • Plan your outfits in advance. Matching? Sexy? In harmony with the landscape? Think about this in advance.
  • Bring props (baby items, flowers, balloons, ultrasound scans, soft toys…etc)
  • Don’t forget to accessorize (hats, glasses, necklaces, scarves…)
  • Bring a snack and beverages (my snickers bar literally saved my life)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want (but trust your photographer’s advice too…)
  • Don’t be fussy (it will show in pictures…)
  • Try not to have your session too late (I didn’t want mine during the 9th month to avoid looking bloated and tired)
  • Engage your partner and your kids in the pictures (it’s as much of a big deal for them as it is for you!)

Good luck and hope you enjoyed the photos!

It’s a miracle…

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…that I am awake at all right now.

The well-wishers, they warn you about everything; the nausea, the headaches, the cravings, the swollen ankles…but somehow they failed to mention to me that I will lose my ability to SLEEP during the last month.

Instead I would go to bed at a decent hour…and then lie there…and lie there…then I would go up and go to the bathroom…get a drink…go back to bed…toss and turn…readjust my 7 pillows…read another page of my book…

Hello 3 am. How did you get here?

Apparently insomnia during pregnancy has something to do with hormones, the adrenalin pumping through the body and the mind racing with hundreds of thoughts ranging from “Hey, did I lock my car?” to ” I will have to PUSH WHAT? THROUGH WHERE?”.

And if the baby hears that you are awake? 50 kicks to your bladder and another 25 right into your lung…that’s what you get for staying up so late. The hubby was resting his hand on my stomach when the baby kicked right into it. He asked me how I can sleep through that. Well I CANT. Because she is having a little fiesta in there. This child needs to learn curfew.

All this wouldn’t be so tragic if I didn’t have to get up for work a little after 7am.

Silly me, I though the sleepless nights start after the baby is born…

Maternity pictures

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I am a big (amateur) photography junkie so when I had the chance to document this amazing time in our lives through the lense- believe you me I did not pass on that opportunity! In one of my previous posts here I introduced you to Anastaseya Photography- a woman, a mother and a photographer who specializes in maternity, new-born, lifestyle and family photo sessions here in Muscat. I am incredibly lucky to know her personally and even more so to have been able to book a photo session for her for this Thursday!!!

Over the last few months I was collecting pins into my little board of inspirations over at Pinterest hoping to achieve similar results with our maternity photo shoot or to at least get ideas for locations, props and poses.

Below are some of my favorite moments “capturing” this amazing experience of being pregnant:

 As you can see I chose images that featured both the parents and I think that’s very important. I don’t want 45 pictures of me and my “belly” looking left and right and center and holding flowers and what-not. This isn’t about me. This is about us as a couple, as parents bringing a child into this world. She is ours. I want the pictures to show how involved her daddy was every step of the way and how obsessed he is with her already. I want her to see the bond. whether she is 3, 15 or 67 I want her to look back at these pictures and see how much we enjoyed become her parents and how important she was to us.

 Having said that you probably won’t see me publishing any pictures that look like this: (bummer…right?)

I don’t personally have anything against nude maternity photography it’s just not for me. The female body is beautiful during pregnancy absolutely, but if mine is to be captured on film I want it to be fully clothed!!! (I must admit the picture above disturbs me a little…)

In terms of the location, I would love to have an outdoors photo shoot. I initially had a very “alternative” idea that involved Boashar Sand Dune, Quad Bikes, Pink Baloons and some rough riding. Until my husband reminded me that I am pregnant… My idea was for the pictures to show the feminine aspect of pregnancy, all the tenderness and fragility of it combined with a rough exterior (that is my husband) represented in the sand bashing and quad-bike riding. This way the baby will know what she’s really made of…but then we settled for a park 🙂 The pictures will hopefully turn out to be very refreshing with heaps of greenery around us, cozy lawns and flower beds. Oh. But I am still bringing the pink balloons and maybe a few other props like baby items, ultrasound scans of the baby and maybe a black board with a “Coming Soon” message. I just can’t resist.

So look out for these next week…I am so  CRAZY excited!

(But that just might be all the sugar that I just ate talking…)

Pregnancy Yoga

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Yesterday I attended my first ever (pregnancy) yoga class. Closing in on my 6th month now I was getting quite achy and restless (see the house moving post) and felt that I needed to vent and channel my energy into something positive like my health. I came to know about this yoga class at the Hayati Spa because my little brother attends their Karate Classes and I happened to pick up a schedule of classes sometime back. Also a reader suggested I try it out and highly recommended the teacher- Karen.

I could not join them sooner because Pregnancy Yoga classes start at 6pm and that is exactly when I finish work, but miraculously since the 1st of October our working hours have  decreased and I am now as free as a bird by 5:30pm! I was seriously excited about this class because deep inside I am an untamed hippy-yoga/saving the planet/Greenpeace and all. Plus, some exercise definitely can’t hurt!

The Hayati Salon is a very nice place, well-lit, cozy and professional. Our pregnancy yoga class has about 8 women in it all between 24 weeks and 34 weeks pregnant. I was quite unprepared for how aware of my pregnancy I became during the class. With Karen constantly reminding us to “focus on the baby” or “direct your breathing at the baby”, I was suddenly completely consumed with the thought of THE BABY. Normally, because my days are so hectic and I have absolutely no time to think about it I only get to focus on THE BABY between 8pm and 10pm. It turns out that being surrounded by bulging bellies really puts things into perspective.

I would highly recommend this class to everyone who is expecting and don’t worry if you have never done yoga before- it isn’t critical. The most important lesson for me that evening was remembering to breath- deep long breaths and exhaling. The poses you will get into are by no means difficult- generally it is just a lot of stretching and balancing. I felt a lot better after, since I spend about 8 hours of my working day behind the computer- my back exhibited gratitude by cracking in 4 different places! Oh and being pregnant makes it very hard to balance on my leg- the stomach keeps tipping you over.

Here is their schedule and contacts if you feel like giving it a try(click to enlarge):

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