My sense of smell was heightened. Food that I once enjoyed, like cheese was now intolerable. It was like I was a super-hero with an acute sense of smell. Except that I couldn’t turn my super-power off.

I could smell cigarette smoke from a distance, and it irritated me. While I use to be fine taking in second-hand smoke while chatting with my smoking friends, it was as if maternal instincts had developed overnight and I wanted to protect my foetus any way I could. 

My driving style changed from being a confident ‘precision driver’ to someone who exercised caution. I was no longer just responsible for my own life. I was responsible for a tiny life about the size of a blueberry (at week 7) and while nothing had changed physically for me, I found myself being AWARE of this life.

Then, my breasts began to feel more tender and swollen. It seemed to grow! And I thought I was over puberty! Having small breasts, I thought it was great, and wondered how much bigger they would grow. I felt sexier.

Fortunately, my first pregnancy had no symptoms that most pregnant women claim.

Hardly any nausea, NO food cravings, resulted in little weight gain. Maybe my active lifestyle kept me busy so I hardly had time to think about being pregnant till my 5th month.

At about 20 weeks, she was the size of a mango and a bulge was beginning to show. I also started to feel little jabs. Whether they were her arms or legs, it initially felt weird. I had never had something moving inside me, and the best description would be ‘wind’.

You know when you have a lot of wind in your tummy and it feels bloated? This ‘wind’ moved! While it initially alarmed me (I’ve never felt anything like this before), I got used to it and smiled every time I felt a poke from within.

As the months passed, I ate more. My appetite improved and my justification was “I was eating for two!” By now, my weight steadily increased and I learnt to enjoy the attention everyone was giving this pregnant mother. 

Parents insisted I eat more, my husband would carry things for me, while my friends would remind me to slow down. 

Being a strong and independent woman, my initial resistance gave way to gratitude when people started to give up their seats for me on public transport. I began to allow myself more time to rest instead of making myself wrong because I was tired more easily. I actually began to enjoy longer sleep time…

Junia Tan

About Author

Junia Tan is a mother of 5 amazing kids and she runs her own YouTube Modern Asian Mother.

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