Category Archives: My pregnancy

My feet got bigger after the pregnancy

I never knew that pregnancy could increase a woman’s foot size until I discovered that it happened to me.

my pregnancy

During my pregnancy, as my belly grew my feet did too but it is absolutely normal not to fit into your normal shoe during pregnancy due to the swelling from the extra fluid in the body. I thought it was a temporary thing but now I have discovered that my feet have permanently become bigger around half a shoe size.

I think I have no problems with most of my open shoes but the closed ones feel a little tight. I have a few favourite shoes and now I can’t wear them comfortably 😦 😦 😦

my shoes

Doing some research, I discovered that it is normal to get bigger feet because of the hormone relaxin, which loosens the joints around your pelvis so your baby can make the way down the birth canal. This also loosens the ligaments in your feet, causing the foot bones to spread. 😦 Your foot bones aren’t actually growing but it’s just that the ligaments that hold these 26 bones together aren’t as tight as they were.

As we know, I am crazy about my shoes and I feel really sad to let go of some of my favourite shoes. I know I can go crazy buying new shoes but I am not really ready to let go of my old shoes.

How I saved my shoes?During the research they also mentioned that the feet tend to grow with each pregnancy, so I may need to have another baby first before spending money on good expensive shoes.

All the mommas out there, did this happen to you as well? I am sure I am not the only one here looking at rows of beautiful pairs of shoes, that won’t fit in any more.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Getting back to a healthier happier me

I am not sure if it is normal or not but I normally look at my old photos and realise that I had a better body pre-pregnancy.

myoga

During pregnancy I put on 18 kilos in total which was 3 kg more than the recommended weight. I have to admit that most of the weight was around my tummy. My weight gain was normal for the first 6 months but  I was hungry a lot during the last few months of the pregnancy and I was munching on lots of junk food too.

my pregnancy

I continued with my walking and swimming routine but still managed to put on a good amount of weight. The last month was the worst with swollen hands and legs. Summer heat of Sydney didn’t help at all.

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Then my beautiful angle arrived on this earth; healthy and happy which made everything I did seem worth it.

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I thought my tummy would go down straight after the birth of Chhori but I looked like I was still 5 months pregnant when I came home from the hospital.

The weight kept dropping every day after that as I was breastfeeding. Even though  the doctor gave me an all clear to exercise after 6 weeks, I didn’t do much for the first 3 months as I was too busy looking after Chhori and catching up on sleep whenever I had any spare time.

Traditionally in Nepal new mums are given 3-4 meals of rice with jwano ko jhol, minced chicken, lots of ghee (clarified butter) and chaku (molasses). So my mum had similar ideas in her mind for me. For the first month, I was eating everything my mum cooked minus chaku (molasses) without complaining. I was eating rices 2-3 times a day and also consuming chocolate muffins and other junk food.

But after a month I reduced my intake of rice and slowly tried to go back to my normal pre-pregnancy diet but it was a bit difficult at times. I felt so hungry due to breast feeding that it was hard not to eat junk lying around.

I have lost 13 kg so far and so have 5 kg remaining. In order to help me lose the rest and regain my exercise routine, I joined a gym as soon as Chhori turned 3 months.

The first few sessions almost seemed to kill me with the pains and aches but things are getting better now. I am going twice a week these days which should get me into my normal routine slowly and I hope to lose those remaining kilos too.

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I have started to fit into most of my clothes now and hope to fit into everything soon.

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Wish me luck everyone, I will keep you posted on how I go.

Have a great week.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Jwano ko Jhol (Thyme Seeds Soup)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Jwano ko Jhol is a traditional Nepali soup which is given to new mums to increase their supply of milk. I wasn’t very sure about it before but I now swear by it.

Jwano ko Jhol  (1)

Initially when I started drinking it, I had an over supply of milk so I needed to decrease the amount I drank. Then after a while when I stopped drinking it completely, I could feel the supply of my milk went low as well. So I started drinking it in again but in small amount.

Jwana ko jhol is also believed to have lots of health benefits like helping to heal the wounds, relieve body aches and help with cold and cough. Thyme also has potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium for the well-being of our body.

The soup is very easy to make.

Ingredients for 2 cups of soup

  • 2 tea spoon Jwano (Thyme seed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tea spoon of fresh ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tea spoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 ½ cups water

Method

  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add ghee when hot.
  • When ghee is melted, add jwano, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste and salt and stir them together.

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  • After about a minute once you smell the ginger garlic flavour add water and let it boil for a few minutes.

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  • Jwana ko jhol is now ready to serve
  • Enjoy!

Take care everyone till next post.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Experience of 3 months old mum

They say time flies when you are having fun and it is fun at times being a mum apart from being busy feeding, cleaning and entertaining the baby. Chhori is over 3 months old now and so here are a few things I have learnt as a new mum.

Chhori (3)

  • Having the baby is one of the best things you can do in life, you will never love anyone more that your baby.
  • Breastfeeding is an art which takes a while to master.
  • I had no idea that such a small baby poos so much, 15-20 nappy changes in 24 hours is normal.
  • Be careful if you use baby wipes on a newborn as they can easily get rashes and it breaks your heart when they cry with pain
  • I am still figuring out the difference between a hunger cry, change nappy cry and pain cry.
  • Breastfeeding makes you very hungry and thirsty.
  • Baby do grow very fast, my Choori has already put on a few kilos and a few centimetres. I really don’t want her to grow up so fast.
  • Talking about growing, Choori has already outgrown 0000 and 000 clothes and is now into 00 which means she won’t be able to wear a lot of cute dresses/outfits the she got as gifts.
  • The best gift a new mum /baby can get is nappies so if you are going to visit a newborn take a box of nappies instead of flowers.
  • Listen to everyone but do what you believe in regarding your baby. Always remember happy mum means happy baby.
  • Babies always seem to cry when you are about to eat so learn to break the world record as the fastest eater.

Chhori

  • If you are the only one looking after the baby, you need to even have a plan to go to the toilet and the when and how long depends on the baby.
  • Sometimes I spend an hour getting the baby to sleep and then I wake her up two minutes later just to make sure she is still breathing.

Chhori (2)I am sure there are a lot more to learn in the coming days and I will definitely share them with you.

Do share your tips for a new mum and any magic you have to get the baby settled quickly and to make her go to sleep.

Take care everyone till next post.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

From labour to birth – My experience

They say every pregnancy and every birth is different and I believe it 100%. You can never know what will happen with your pregnancy until you give birth. You can never plan your pregnancy and birth and that is exactly what happened with me.

nepaliaustralian

To prepare for the birth of Chhori, I planned to take off from work two weeks before the due date. I knew that I might have the baby a few days before or after the due date. As my due date was 4 March ,I decided to make 19 Feb my last day at work. That day my boss and my colleagues had planned a farewell for me and it was going to be a nice send off for me.

farewell (1)

They made this sign 🙂

I was already having some contractions from a few days before and when I googled it ,all seemed to be normal. It was just my body getting ready to give birth.

So on the morning of 19 Feb, I drove to work as normal. I was experiencing some contractions and when I timed it at work, it was coming in at around a 10 minute intervals or more.

I was a bit concerned so I called the midwife and she told me that it is normal before the birth and I might even be around a week from giving birth. She suggested to keep recording the contractions but go on with my normal life. The contractions were painful but after talking to the midwife I felt better. I kept working and wrapping things up as it was the last day for me at work for a whole year.

Because of the pain it was getting hard at times for me to stay clam but I tried my best to stay normal and complete the day. The farewell stared in the afternoon and I loved the special cupcakes and food we had. I was also given a nice gift for the baby and I had a great time with my colleagues and it was a fun day.

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By the time I said goodbye to everyone at work, it was 5 pm and my contractions were getting stronger. I just wanted to go home and rest but we were invited to another dahi chiura at one of my friend’s place.

So I drove there, had the ceremony and was home around 11pm. I was really tired and the contractions were making it worse. I went to bed straight away hoping the pain of contraction would go away. I was glad that from the next day I would be home resting before the baby’s arrival.

But God had a different plan for me. I couldn’t fall asleep as the contractions were getting stronger and coming quicker. AS was also awake supporting me through my pain. We kept timing the contractions and around 1 am they were 7 minutes apart and very painful. We decided that it would be wise to call the hospital and let them know what was happening. The nurse on the line gave us the option to either wait till the contraction were 5 minutes apart then calling back or to come in for and observation. We chose the latter.

It was the middle of the night so the drive to the hospital was quick. I was admitted for observation and the nurse told me that the baby was doing fine but recommended me to stay the night as my legs were very swollen and due to the contractions I was not able to feel the baby kick. In the morning they would be able to recommend how to proceed.

Because I was in pain, I couldn’t sleep so the nurse recommended that I take some morphine. At first I refused as I didn’t want to take unnecessary drugs but she reminded me that I would need all my energy for the labour so it would be better for both me and baby to have some rest.

I am glad I listened to her as I fell asleep with of the help of the morphine. I still felt the pain but I was able to sleep. AS slept next to me in a chair.

Around 6 am the next morning I was woken up by the noise of people talking. When I opened my eyes, there was a doctor and nurse talking about my condition and what would happen next. They did a few tests and there were people going in and out of the room for the next few hours checking up on me. Then the doctor came back and told me that I would be going to go home with the baby.

I was not at all prepared because I had just finished work the day before and was expecting at least a week before the baby’s arrival. I had plans to pamper myself and rest but all the plans went out the window.

They assured me that I was doing well and so was the baby but because my contraction intervals were not consistent they decided to induce me. If the pain I had before was not bad enough, once the chemical started to work, it was worse. I asked the midwife if I could have epidural as I had heard that it is nearly a miracle drug for pain but she told me I can’t as I was not dilated enough. Instead she gave me the laughing gas. I was in so much of pain that I was happy to take anything to feel better.

Once I started taking the gas, I slowly lost control of my body and at the end I was so out that I had to lean on AS fully for support. It was still painful with every contraction but I was too drugged up to do anything.

After what felt like forever, finally I was dilated enough to take the epidural. An epidural is a painkilling drug which is passed into the small of your back via a fine tube. It is called a regional anaesthetic, which means the drug is injected around the nerves that carry signals from the part of your body that feels pain when you’re in labour. The result  is that your belly feels numb, giving you very effective pain relief.

Once the drug started to work, I was in heaven as I didn’t feel any pain. I didn’t even feel like I was in labour. After more than 4 hours of severe pain, I was pain free at last.

The midwife told me that I was doing well and the labour was going well.  The process continued for another few hours and I was very near to giving birth when suddenly the midwife called the doctor as the baby was refusing to come out and she was head bridged.

No matter how hard we tried, she refused to come out and her heart rate was started to fluctuate.

The doctor decided that it was risky to wait so they decided to perform and emergency cesarean. They explained to us that it would be riskier the longer we waited to perform the cesarean and asked me to fill a consent form. I had no choice but to sign whatever paperwork they gave me.

Suddenly there were more than 10 people around me doing different things. They transfered me from the bed to a stretcher and I was rushed to the operation theatre. They told AS to wait outside until they prepared me for the operation.

After they were prepared, AS was allowed to sit next to me and hold my hand while they cut open my body and after a while I could hear the baby cry. That was one of the best moments of my life.chhori (4)

AS cut the cord and brought the baby next to me. When I saw Chhori for the first time, I couldn’t help but cry. Everyone got worried because they didn’t know why I was crying. They asked me to confirm if it was a happy tear or I if was in pain. I seriously couldn’t feel anything so I was not in pain.

I was so happy when I saw my Chhori for the first time that I got too emotional. We also decided we were going to call her little M right there in the operating theater.

chhori (3)

Finally after more than 17 hours in the hospital, we were the proud parents of a beautiful girl who would call us mum and dad.

I will write more about being mum soon ,till  then take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Superstitions Practices during Pregnancy in Nepali culture

As I come from a background where there are lots of superstitions and beliefs practiced till today. It is normal to hear dos and don’ts regarding pregnancy. I can see the logic behind some of the beliefs while about others I have no idea why they are followed.

In Nepal, they believe that when the baby is in the womb it picks up a lot from his/her surroundings and emotions and thoughts of the mother. Even though we may not realize his/her senses are active at that time, our actions have a great impact on babies even before they arrive on earth.

From the type of food to the mother’s daily actions, what to wear and what to do are some of the traditions that amazed me. Some of them I did considered following while others I couldn’t. Most of these superstitions don’t cost more money and doesn’t hurt anybody. It just may prove to be a little more inconvenient at times.

As educated as I am in the 21st century of advanced science, I am still scared sometimes not to follow the superstitions. At the back of my mind, I think that if something does happen to the baby, it will be my fault. I definitely do not follow the beliefs blindly but I do follow them as long as they sound reasonable enough and it are morally right.

Not announcing the pregnancy until after 3 months have passed

I wrote a whole post regarding this because I have my own idea why we shouldn’t announce the pregnancy very early. A higher percentage of miscarriages occur during the first trimester. Some people may feel it is just wiser to wait until after the period of instability is over. We did tell our immediate family members early and waited 3 months to tell the rest of the world, but at the end of the day it is a personal preference.

nepaliaustralian

Eating lots of almond, milk and saffron to have fair skin baby

I have talked about Asian people’s obsession with fair skin before in my blog. I thinking living in Australia for more than a decade now I have come to love my skin tone. Most people around always complement me about it and I am proud of my colour.

But in Nepal, they still believe that fair is beautiful. Everyone wants a fair baby regardless of the colour of parents’ skin. Most people will call a fair person beautiful disregarding any other quality.

So when I told people that I am having a baby, they asked me to drink lots of milk with saffron and almonds. Some of my friends and cousins swear by it.

I do drink plenty of milk for calcium and snack on almonds but don’t do saffron at all. But in my head, I can’t imagine my baby being too fair as both AS and I are brown and I am sure we are going to have a brown baby no matter what I eat or drink.

Not watching Horror/scary/action movie

I know lots of people have asked me not to watch scary movies/ TV during pregnancy. It’s advisable not to watch horror or action movies which involve a lot of blood during pregnancy because it is believed that it may indirectly effect the growing baby. Watching violent and horror stuff on television or reading such books can create fear or violence in your child.

I do see some logic behind this because when we watch such movies, our heart may pump heavily as we get excited and this could lead to pressure on our womb.

I generally don’t watch horror movies but I do watch lots of cops/ detective dramas so I am not sure what it is doing that to the baby. I think if you feel happy after watching a movie and not frightened then go for anything that you like.

Look at the photo/picture of great people or God

Lots of people believe that you should have a photo of a god/goddess or some famous person in your room while you are pregnant. It is also believed that keeping pictures of baby Lord Krishna and smiling faces around you in the room will also create a harmonious environment.

When my SIL was pregnant, my brother put up president Obama’s photo in their bedroom. I really don’t know what was going on in his head but if my nephew becomes a prime mister/president one day, then I will be sure that this theory works.

Also having photos of beautiful baby is supposed to make your baby beautiful as well.

Do not touch the baby in tummy during eclipse

It is believed that if one is expecting and there is an eclipse during that time both parents should be very careful and cautious. Parents should not do any activity like using a knife, scissors, pen as their child will have a mark or mole or cut on his body.  So during eclipse, one should not leave the house and should lie on the bed straight and stay indoors. Reading holy books during eclipse is beneficial for everyone specially couples expecting a baby.

Read holy/spiritual book

Parents who are more into spiritualism and read spiritual books during pregnancy believe that they notice their children will be coming from the same thought process because they read these books during pregnancy.

There is a myth people believe in for a long time in our holy book Gita.

Abhimanyu, who is the son of Arjuna & Subhadra (half-sister of lord Krishna). As an unborn child in his mother’s womb, Abhimanyu learned the knowledge of entering the deadly and virtually impenetrable Chakravyuha from Arjun. The epic explains that he overheard Arjun talking about this with his mother Subhadra from the womb. Arjun explains to Subhadra in detail, the technique of attacking and escaping from various vyoohs (an array of army formation) such as Makaravyoha, Kurmavyooha, and Sarpavyuha etc. After explaining all the vyoohs, he explains about the technique of cracking Chakravyuha. Arjun tells how to enter the Chakryavyuha. When he was about to explain how to exit from the Chakravyuha, he realizes that Subhadra is asleep and stops explaining about the Chakravyuha further. Thus the baby Abhimanyu in the womb did not get a chance to learn how to come out of it, which played a big role in his life.

Be around and in contact with positive and cheerful people.

I completely agree with this one because you don’t need extra stress during pregnancy apart from what you are already going through. If the mom to be is depressed and sad most of the time during pregnancy it will affect the child in the same manner.

I made sure that I only met people who had a positive attitude so I didn’t dwell on negative thoughts and kept myself happy during the journey.

Reciting, chanting or listening to devotional mantras

Good, peaceful thoughts and reciting, chanting or listening to devotional mantras plays a great role at the time one is expecting.  It is believed that if you listen to devotional mantras when the baby is in the tummy, he/she will have a calm personality.

Wearing loose clothing

You don’t want to show off your pregnancy in case you get an evil eye from someone. They even suggest wearing scarfs (kasto) so people won’t notice you are pregnant. Making sure you stay away from evil eyes and evil thought seems to be very important in Nepali culture.

For me it was not possible for me to wear covered clothing as most of my pregnancy was during spring and summer. I was happy to wear comfortable clothes that were not too tight but never went beyond that to make people think I was not pregnant.

Until around 5 months, I think it was not a problem anyway as it was not obvious but after that no matter what I wore, it was obvious.

I am sure there are a lot of other superstations and beliefs in Nepali/Newari culture I could add to this list. But I am going to stop here.

Please do share superstitions and practices during pregnancy in your culture. I am sure there are some interesting ones and some weird ones out there.

Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Dahi Chiura Ceremony

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my baby shower but I was waiting for my parents to arrive from Nepal to do a traditional baby shower, also known as Dahi chiura ceremony in Nepali or Dhau-baji in Newari.

In this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.

My parents have arrived in Sydney now so I am extremely happy as I will have a helping hand to look after the little one for the first few months. I could not imagine how I would have managed if they were not here.

Last weekend, my parents along with the help of my brother and SIL organised the Dahi Chiura ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with the ladies all wearing saris.

Dhai Chiura (14)

My mum made Yomari and sagun (bara, boiled eggs, chicken and fish) for the occasion and bought some sweets, fruits and cakes as well. They also bought clothes for me along with jewelleries as well as things for little one.

Dhai Chiura (5) Dhai Chiura (4) Dhai Chiura (3) Dhai Chiura (1)

It was a family affair with just me, AS, my parents, brother, SIL and my little nephew.

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For the ceremony, my mum followed the followings steps, if anyone wants to know. It might be different for different cultures but I believe the basic will remain the same.

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  • The ritual started with my mother worshipping Lord Ganesh in the Sukanda. She put tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt and flowers on Lord Ganesh..
  • Then she put tika for me and AS.
  • Then she gave us the gifts of fruits, sweets, clothes, and jewelleries.
  • This was followed by Sagun and then the main event of dahi chiura, where everyone feeds me dahi chiura.
  • Everyone was given Sagun and sweet as well after this.
  • Thus the main event of dahi chiura is was conclude.
  • Cake is normally not a traditional inclusion for dahi chiura but we had one so I and AS cut the cake together

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For many reasons, the dahi chiura ceremony is one of my favourite celebrations for our coming daughter.

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In addition to normal family dahi chiura, the pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. I had invited many of my family and friends who were pregnant to my place and done the same ceremony so it is my turn to be invited to my close friends and family’s place for the dahi chiura ceremony as well.

It was really nice of all of them to get involved making me and the baby feel special. Here are some of the pics from various occasions of dahi chiura. I was spoiled with lots of blessings, yummy foods and lots of useful gifts .

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I am so glad that we are keeping Nepali traditional alive living so far from home and I want to show all these photos to my daughter one day and explain the traditions and culture.

Hope you enjoyed the traditional way of Nepali/Newari baby shower.

Take care,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO