From Bump to Mum-trepreneur
Dedicating the first For The Wedding blog entry to the journey of a preggers-entrepreneur to a soon to be mumtreprenuer, detailing the transitions as I prepare myself in welcoming my first bundle of joy in few days' time (if I'm lucky to pop at week 38!). Also using this chance to introduce myself, the face behind For The Wedding in proper, and sharing the unmasked feelings and real time situations with our long time supporters. BTBs can probably tap the sharing as something to expect when you get pregnant after your wedding in near future! ;)
Side note: We'll start sharing on the behind the scenes and wedding insights / projects from next entry onwards.
I didn't think much of working mums previously, as I merely took them as normal colleagues with equal capabilities as singles. Writing in the shoes of a working mum-to-be, I must really take my hat off the more-than-capable working mums, especially those who are expecting while at work.
So here, I'll like to share the challenges that I've encountered and pregnancy insights in relation to expecting mums who are constantly on the move. Apart from applauding for these amazing ladies, I'm writing this partly in hope to remember the bitter sweet (more sweet than bitter to be honest) 40 weeks:)
*I gonna skip the usual pregnancy tips that many other mummy articles carry, and focus on the more prominent 4 changes I've personally experienced and can relate to*
1. Early Trimester: Overwhelming "Do Nots"
Expecting the first grandchild of both families means pouring concerns and loves from the elders. Other than enjoying nourishing delicacies, there was a long list of carefully curated "Do Nots" being handed down to this green horn preggers, with some of the food / activity catching me off guard. Despite having assurance from my gynecologist that certain food and activities are safe to proceed, I heeded the elders' advices nevertheless to ease everyone's worries and well, to be "safe than sorry".
With that, FTW officially turned down the first wedding that was slated to happen in June'15. Meetings were done, colour palette was selected from our displays, site recce at hotel completed and deposits collected. I was really apologetic towards the couple, but the heartaches of not being able to re-create their dream wedding was more intense. The couple was sweet and understanding, and if you're reading this right now, I just want to thank you guys for loving our works at the very start and extended the loves to the little one there after. You'll be blessed with many good returns!
One of the "Do Nots" encompass keeping mum of the good news due to superstitious and logical beliefs. Most asians think that it's inauspicious to declare the pregnancy status before 3 months are up. Others believe that being in the most vulnerable state of first trimester means higher chances of a miscarriage. Should they make an announcement and meet with a miscarriage unfortunately, they may not be ready to make another announcement so quickly. Unknown to the situations, friends and relatives may continue to shower congratulatory words on social medias, texts or face to face that may just aggravate the pain.
Due to the various restrictions, working preggers who are required to exercise high level of physical involvements in projects may start requesting on easier jobs without having a strong supporting reason, or it seems. Misunderstandings may surface but of course, when the big news is released, everything will make more sense. So the next time you see a female colleague turns seemingly secretive with many limitations on job and lunch choices, just give them some space and not chide them for being difficult. They may be facing some hormonal changes within them for all you know!
2. Early Trimester: Forever Hunger
I had the impressions that much energies were used up to "produce" a baby during the early stages, and attributed the incessant hunger to that. According to my weight gain chart, I gained the most weight during my first trimester. I recalled being awakened by my hunger halfway through sleeps, and how desperate I was to get to the restaurants during meal times. I'm glad that glutton behaviour got better after some months, though I still look like whale now. Well, it might be worse.
Hunger is real, and not something we made up with. Often during my meetings with corporate clients in the day, I would hear the rumbling noises from the stomach and would often laugh it off with reasons like a busy day without a proper meal yet (but the fact is I just ate something not too long ago). To my clients: Sorry for the white lies, but at least you know it now;)
Desk bound working preggers could've have it worse. Being bounded at the desk whole day gives you little reasons to pick up snacks on the go, hence you'll stock up tons of food at your work station. Binge eating with little movements will escalate your weight gain, and make you sleepier as you progress. That brings me to the next point.
3. Early & Second Trimester: Constant Fatigue
I'm quite lucky to not have morning sickness like many others do, but I'm constantly tired no matter how much I had rested. If I could grant myself a day or two off, I would simply sleep in the entire day.
Not many knows that paper flower crafting is an arduous process especially when orders swim in quick and timeline-tight. I enjoy my work very much, but the changes in my body just couldn't keep up with the influx of orders and I've got to give up a handful of other potential jobs just so that those on hand ones would enjoy the finest quality of final products - I'm very particular about quality over quantity in this case. We are very honoured to be invited on board for a prestigious overseas project, but I got to give it a miss in the end for the very same reasons. I pride the blessing of having a child over fame, and hopefully clients who got turned down could understand this mother-to-be's plight.
Sorrowfully, my dear father left us while I was heading into my second trimester, and the grieves took a toll on the body further. My father left with a deteriorated health that was resulted from poor health awareness in his younger days. Just hours before he left, he was still making efforts in reminding me on getting ample rest and balanced diet - recollecting these scenes saddens me without fail...
I tried to cover up as much as I could while at work, just so that our clients' joyous mood would not be dampened. I'm very lucky to have appreciative clients who showed us utmost support and understanding when they learnt about the news through other channels, and that helped me to be back on the working track faster.
It's not easy handling hormonal body changes while at work. For those working preggers who managed to display high level of discipline at work, please give yourselves a pat on the back. It takes more than twice the effort to stay alert at work and think critically, thought it seemed effortless to other s or the then ignorant me. I'm grateful to enjoy the honeymoon-second-trimester with much ease, and picked up more projects during this time.
4. Final Trimester: Everyday Feels Like a Work-Out Day
Paper flower crafting and set-up execution can be tiring (as any events personnel would understand) but I took it quite well till recently. I could conceal the tummy up to 28 or 30 weeks, when the tummy ballooned uncontrollably in the final trimester. Some clients got a shock, while the others got reminded that I'm expecting. I have been rather active throughout my pregnancy, with constant weekly swims regardless of workload. However, the baby's growth spurt and the steady weight gain finally feels evident.
I need my husband's help to get up from a stationary position at times, I feel the feet getting sore after standing for a mere 5 minutes, it gets relatively challenging to soap my legs during bath and more realistically, it takes effort to wear shorts or any bottoms as lifting up one leg and balancing on the other for even 1 second feels forever (Not mentioning how I can't bend much to wear the bottoms now with a little one residing within). Everyday, does feel like a work-out day.
Hence, FTW has stopped taking in large scale works since October, and completely cut off all works from December onwards till next March 2016 as some work plans are already in the pipeline for February 2016. A big thank you to all corporate and wedding clients who are willing to wait for us, and of course trusting in our work philosophies all along.
You must be wondering how does the woman behind the entire line of work look like. Choosing from our DIY maternity photoshoot pictures, I think these pictures best represent me and my work, amongst other shots that we took:)
To the readers: If you can, kindly give up seats to preggers if you happen to see one on public transport, in particular the ones with huge tummy and look like they are about to pop. It gets really tiring while standing on a moving vehicle while fighting all of the above hunger / fatigue / exhaustion.
FTW is a lean team, with the chief paper artist overseeing project design directions, production and execution entirely. We rely on ad hoc assistances from the drop-from-skies elves and enjoy the good helps from long-time FTW helpers. We can better train more hands next year when things get more settled as a mum. I'm getting really excited on the new status and journey ahead, do stay with us while we prepare for 2016 projects along the way. We'll be back sooner than you think:) Till then, have a joyous December FTWers!