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  • The first trimester

    To read about how we got to know about our pregnancy, you may read (https://www.aakanshamahajan.com/post/j1-breaking-news-and-the-new-emotions) Like many of the new mommies out there, I was also not clear about the concept of week-wise pregnant and month-wise pregnant. All I always knew was what I was told by my mom and elders which was a little different from the week wise pregnancy commonly used by my doctor, and I kept getting confused for quite a few days. So, I decided to read on my own and make a comprehensive chart of week-wise pregnancy. Here is how it is: The total pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (9 months plus 9 days) Ist trimester: week 1 to week 13: Month1-3 IInd trimester- week 14- week 28: Month 4-6 IIIrd trimester- week 29- week 40: Month 7-9 In these trimester wise blogs, I will try to share all my experiences. The symptoms, issues, things to take care of, what to eat, what to avoid, what to prepare for, when to announce the news to friends and relatives and how to stay happy. I wish and hope that this will be useful to my readers. Trimester I: 18th October 2021- 17th January 2021 The beginning of anything new is always exciting. Most of my time was spent in reading and finding out what could be happening inside of me. I used to look at myself in the mirror and wonder what and how my body would change. I read a lot and realised that reading really helps. I made my own personal notes which all helped me to jot down the essential points here. 1. Reading is crucial but we must read from authentic sources. I researched from multiple sources and from the entire lot of books which are available on pregnancy, I chose the following three books to be read over the course of my pregnancy: a. Pregnancy notes by Rujuta Diwekar b. My Yummy Mummy Guide by Karisma Kapoor c. What no one tells you by Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf 2. There is nothing to be over concerned about. The most important thing is to stay happy and active- physically and mentally. Keep yourself as happy and as calm as possible. Everything will turn out beautiful. So here is the comprehensive list of things which my mommy-to-be’s would need to know: · What exactly is the first trimester of pregnancy? It is the earliest phase of pregnancy and as mentioned it begins on the first day of your last period- before you are even actually pregnant and lasts until the end of the 13th week. It’s a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both of you and your baby. Knowing what to expect always help us get ready for the months ahead of us. · Changes in the women’s body: Pregnancy is different for every woman. In these months, a woman’s body goes through many changes. The body releases hormones that affect almost every single organ in the body. Some woman glow with good health during those 3 months and others feel absolutely miserable. And I fall in the later category. Some of the common changes which you might notice are breast tenderness, headaches, constipation, acne, discharge, fatigue, change in liking and disliking of food items, peeing a lot, heartburn, mood swings, morning sickness and weight gain. I went through a major issue of morning sickness during the first three months of my pregnancy along with the outbreak of acne. No matter how hard I tried to eat clean and healthy, I used to vomit every single day. Sometimes even 3-4 times every day. However, it is only you who understands your own body so after a lot of hit and trial, I realised that staying empty stomach overnight was creating issue in my stomach and the only thing which prevented nausea was having one non- citrus food as soon as I woke up. So, I used to start my day with either an apple or banana and it resolved the problem to a great extent. Anything other than a fruit used to mess up my whole day. · Visit to the doctor: As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, you know it is time to visit your OB gynaecologist. During the first visit, a doctor takes a full health history and performs a full physical and pelvic exam. The doctor also: o Performs an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy o Perform a Pap test o Takes the blood pressure o Test for sexually transmitted infections, HIV and hepatitis o Estimate your date of delivery or ‘due date’ which comes out to be around 266 days from the first day of your last period o Screen for risk factors like anaemia o Check thyroid levels and weight At around 12 weeks, the doctor will perform a test called a nuchal translucency (NT) scan. This test uses an ultrasound to measure the baby’s head and thickness of the baby’s neck. The measurements can help determine the chance that your baby will be born with a genetic disorder called Down syndrome. My first ultrasound: · Checklist for the first trimester: o Find a good gynaecologist near your place who can help you throughout your pregnancy and during childbirth. Make your first appointment as soon as you know you are pregnant. o Talk to your doctor, you may have a lot of questions- ask them all- the medications you could be currently taking- are they safe or not, do you need to take folic acid and prenatal vitamins, how can you stay healthy, what exercises you may do and so on. Get clarity on everything. o Make a week-wise calendar for yourself to be clear and sorted throughout your pregnancy. o Find out about maternity and paternity leave, you and your partner may be eligible for. o Check your health insurance policies to check if you have the coverage, you may want and need. o As your breasts grow, you can go for a bra fitting store nearby to ensure you are using the right size. o Start a pregnancy journal or memory book if this is something you think you would like to look back on the years to come. I ordered a personalised journal from www.happyhippo.in and you may also check those out. They have great stuff. o If you like, start taking your belly pictures (however you may want to show off may be later- week wise or month wise) o You and your partner may start to brainstorm name ideas and start putting a short list of baby names together. · Baby’s development in the first trimester: o During the first trimester of pregnancy, what starts as a tiny bindle of cells quickly turns into an embryo and then a fetus that’s about the size of a large plum. In these first few weeks of pregnancy, your little one’s brain, spinal cord, heart and tiny limbs- complete with fingers and toes will form. Meanwhile, your uterus is becoming a comfortable home for your little one, who will be nourished by the developing placenta and umbilical cord. By the end of third month of pregnancy, all essential organs and body parts will be in place- although in teeny-tiny size. · Top food items for the first trimester: o Asafoetida or hing:Hing has anti- bacterial and anti- viral properties and is a digestive aid. It will help keep the nausea and bloating down, stoke your appetite and help you eat better. It aids in absorption of nutrients from the daal. It also plays an important role to improve our moods and relieves fatigue or drowsiness that sometimes accompanies the first trimester. Use it in whichever form you wish to. o Ragi or nachni or finger millet: To those who do not know, Ragi is a millet which is produced in largest quantity in our country. It is a nutrient rich food and from amino acids to calcium, iron to fibre, it provides us everything that we need in this crucial phase. It regulates our appetite and prevents over-eating, is very easy to both cook and digest and even keeps the lipids levels in check. Also, in long term, it is required for good lactation too, so it is a good idea to start including it in your meals, if not doing already. I prefer to make ragi rotis (add all kinds of attas- ragi, bajra, oats, wheat and barley). It is delicious, light and fulfilling. You can use ragi in any form (check internet for the various recipes) o Beet: Beet has antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent source of folic acid and contains high amounts of manganese, magnesium and copper, and even vitamins like B6 and C. This nutrition profile is good for nerve support, prevents calf pain and varicose veins too. [Source:Book- Pregnancy notes by Rujuta Diwekar] o Apart from these, drink lots of water everyday (only water and not the sugar loaded drinks), exercise everyday (basic ones after consultation with your gynaecologist), eat healthy and balanced home-cooked food (which has all the nutrients) and avoid junk food as much as possible. I will not say that was able to do all of these, I had my own reasons for slipping from the regular routine, but I tried to follow it as much as I could. And it helped. Trust me, it did. Listen to your body and do what makes you happy keeping in mind your and your baby’s health. I hope this blog will be of some use to some of you. Do share your thoughts/experiences in the comment section below. Stay happy, stay healthy. Have a great pregnancy to all the mommies-to-be.

  • J1: Breaking news and the new emotions

    It was the festival time of the year, the Diwali time. Both of us(me and Akshay) were busy decorating our house, eating good food and getting all ready for the evening pooja. In the middle of all of it, I was feeling a little dizzy every now and then, which I was comfortably ignoring. However, the intensity and the frequency of the dizziness increased by the time it was pooja time and all I could do was to tell Akshay that I cannot do any more work and that I need to sit. I was wondering what new could have happened now (considering my long history of getting sick) and was wishing deeply that it is nothing but just exertion. The dizziness however did not stop. It continued for another two days. Since my periods date was 18th, I could not even think of it as anything related to pregnancy. However, when it continued for 2-3 days, I discussed it with Akshay and we just randomly decided to take the pregnancy test at home (that too a day before getting my periods, can you imagine, how impatient we both are) To our surprise, the test came out to be positive (as you can see above) however, the pink line was so light that it wasn’t a clear indication of a true pregnancy (for the obvious reasons that we took it very early). Haha, we didn’t know what to do- we looked at each other- all lost and surprised and amazed- what should we do? Are we pregnant? Should we be happy? Should we wait to be happy till we are completely sure about it? Is there something called false pregnancy? Half pregnant? We were absolutely clueless. All I could think was that I need to be extremely cautious now because, you know, I may be pregnant. I felt a lot of butterflies in my stomach, and I didn’t know what exactly those feelings were. We decided to retake the test after one week and to not talk about it till then. Akshay just asked me to walk carefully and climb the stairs at home very cautiously (haha, funny now, I know but at that time it was big). We could not wait for another week; all we could wait was for two days and that too was very difficult for us. We took the test again on 19th Nov, 2020. Similar results again. But we had a feeling that it was positive. So, we decided to get it confirmed by getting the blood tests done. Since, it was our first time, I wanted to share it first with my mother-in-law and we did that. She was happy and we three (me, Akshay and MIL) planned to visit an OB the next day to get it confirmed. We went to the doctor on 20th Nov, 2020, Friday, got all the blood tests done and as thought, got our results positive. WE WERE PREGNANT. We both were on cloud nine. We didn’t know how to express our emotions; we were just both smiling throughout our drive back to home. It was pure happiness. We then shared our big news my father-in-law and he congratulated us. Akshay and I were so excited and deep down we were wishing to see the similar kind of excitement from our family too, so Akshay decided to share the news with my mom, bhai and bhabhi on the same day. We were told to keep it to us for a few days but we were not able to hold our horses so we went to visit and surprise my mom on the same evening. Ohh my my..!!! The expressions and the reaction which we got from my mom, bhai and bhabhi are those amazing moments which can never be expressed or described in words (I wish I could capture those moments in some pictures, but the level of happiness was so high that no one remembered to click any photo). When Akshay told mummy that she was going to become nani, all she could do was jump and hug Akshay again and again. She could not believe it and she kept asking- sure na? really? Yayaya..!! With all her jumps and hugs. By looking at her happiness, I felt so happy and peaceful. Shivam and Samiksha, were jumping and shouting like anything. They jumped again and again with Yayayaya and kept hugging me and Akshay. We all were so thrilled. We all felt so great. That is one day which I am going to cherish throughout my life. Even though my papa was not there physically, but I knew, he was also jumping high with all of us, in the same room and no one else could be as happy to hear this as he would be. I missed his physical presence so much in that moment (though I know he is always with me). He would be the happiest. Now the next few days were a little weird. Since we didn’t know what exactly we were supposed to do (actually, we are not supposed to do anything as we were in the 5th week of pregnancy :P), all we could do was to read here and there about pregnancy and talk about it all the time. Akshay was extra careful when it came to me walking, climbing stairs, or doing any other household chore. That happiness continued but the thrill and the high got normal in a few days. I was 5 weeks pregnant. We were happy. And yes- my expected due date given by the doctor was 26th July, 2021- same as my papa’s birthday. I knew papa was there with me-blessing us and our baby. How I spent my first trimester will be shared in the next blog super soon. Do share how you felt after reading this. To all the mommies out there- do you relate? Do you remember how you felt? Share your experiences and stories in the comment section below. Would love to read them all. Next blogs will be out soon.

  • F3: 3 things to avoid for a peaceful life..!!

    “Letting go of certain things can open the door to true contentment in life”. Unknown Do you feel not-so-happy and not-at peace many times in your life? Are these thoughts common and you are not sure what to do about them? Are the situations around making you feel suffocated but you are unaware of what you can do about it? Do you want to be at peace and be happy but confused about the process? We all go through this phase when even though everything looks fancy and lovely from outside, you are struggling to be at peace. And the worst part is that you are unable to explain it to anyone. It may be due to many factors- not having a good job, not being able to meet targets at work, chaos at home, turmoil with friends, misunderstanding with kids, etc. The list as always is never ending. However, I have tried to cover it all for you. Achieving real happiness and true peace isn’t a one-step process. It's an alteration of a current lifestyle; it’s trimming the fat and removing what is bringing negativity in your life. It is realising the difference between what is worth your time and energy and what is not. The feat is not easy, but once the process begins, you will ask yourself why you didn’t make any of these changes sooner. Despite what many believe, it's not too late to bring happiness and peace in your life. To be at peace during chaotic and taxing circumstances, you must be ready to look into the eye of the storm, knowing how uncomfortable you may feel, and be willing to accept it. And, accepting it does not mean that you do nothing, it only means that instead of running or resisting, you stand tall in the face of all that life brings because you are committed to bringing about a transformation. It is when you stop designing ways to avoid your problems and instead find the courage to move forward with an open mind and heart, that you start enjoying peace, and gain confidence you need to move on. Here are the three main changes which you may adopt for a more peaceful and happier life: Act, don’t react: Many of us feel like if we don’t react to other people’s negative actions or flaws, people could possibly perceive us as weak because they hurt us and we don’t react. However, this is no way to live a peaceful life. See it this way- most of the time, when we react to other people’s flaws, you do it without thinking and out of habit. This means- you respond through a fixed pattern, but reacting in the heat of the situation never brings peace or calmness. Remember: doing nothing also means doing something..!! Take your time to observe this- whenever you react to issues, it robs you of your peace. Even though you feel like you have measured up to the person by retaliating in anger, you will never feel at peace. Wondering- what could you do instead? Act, but do not react! There is a huge difference between acting and reacting. Acting is what makes you happy, reacting is what makes you miserable. Reacting is based on the moment, and it doesn’t take into consideration the consequences that follow. It is like a defense mechanism which is usually automatically activated in a person, which may bring about regret later on. While, on the other hand, when you act, you make a conscious choice of deciding what you’re going to do. You become responsible for your actions. So, in such a situation, take a deep breath and think- does this action/situation need my reaction? Most of the time, the answer will be no. Stay quiet. Stay low. Speak, if need be but be polite. You will feel more powerful and peaceful later. 2. Set boundaries: Avoid drama instead of involving yourself in it: It is very horrific for me to see that many people as adults, still engage in petty behavior, still interfere in the life of others even when they know that the other person does not like it, still try to make others life miserable just for fun and this kind of attitude is beyond me and my understanding. As adults, we must bypass the bullshit and focus on just ourselves instead to poking into others lives. Too much interest and interference in anybody’s life, without their consent is a reason for a lot of our struggles and mental irritation. None of us like interference, right? Then why we do forget that other don’t like it, too? It does happen. With all of us. Our boss at work, a colleague, a friend, or a family member- if anyone tries to over involve themselves in our lives, it does create frustration and rift in the relationship. But what is that we can do to get away with it? The simple answer is - set boundaries to avoid drama. Over and unnecessary involvement of anybody in your life will definitely bring drama wherein you will try to get away from those situations. However, the best way to maintain your own peace is to set your own boundaries. Tell the other person politely (directly or through your actions, if not possible to say it directly) - what and how much you are okay with their involvement. It won't be easy. The other person may not take it easy and may try to do things which may upset you further. But the best way is to keep your calm. Go slow. Set boundaries one by one. And once you set your boundaries, stick to them. Follow them and let them know that you are not going to go back, you are not allowing them anymore in your life beyond this, no matter what. It might be difficult in the beginning, but you and everyone around will be at peace very soon. 3. Listen to your heart: Only you can make your life calm, peaceful and simple. If you would keep listening to others and let them control you, then your life would definitely become difficult. And if you let this keep going then you would not be able to achieve what you wish to. So always listen to your heart and do what you think is best for you. People will have problems anyway. You cannot make everyone happy at all times. No matter how hard you may try, your best will never be enough. So why fret, eh? Always be good to people, be kind, think positive but keep yourself as your priority. People will try to bring you down but you have to remember- follow your heart. Beyond these three important changes, there are a few more things to adapt to have a more peaceful life: 4. Stop saying YES always: Learning to say no is one of the most freeing and powerful things you can learn in your lifetime. Rarely do people say no to someone if they don’t have an excuse. You need to realize that not wanting to do something is an excuse enough. Do what you enjoy to do rather than trying to fulfil everyone else’s wishes at all times. Remember- your best will never be enough. 5. Taking on more than you can handle: Life is one huge balancing act and if you bury yourself under too many tasks, you may never emerge again. Learning how to prioritise is an essential skill in life and one that will render a lifetime of happiness and peace. So, use principle number 4 and take only what you can handle. It is all right to do less. What is important is to do everything to the best of your ability and excel in it. Enjoy what you do and see how your life will be filled with happiness and joy. 6. Comparing yourself to others: You are not someone else and no matter how you may try, you can never be. And my darling, you need not to be. You are amazing, just the way you are. So, stop trying to become someone else, stop trying to work like someone else and focus on being a better version of yourself every day. And remember: Do you relate to these issues as well? Are these principles helpful to you in any way? Do you have any other idea which might help others to be at peace? Do share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

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  • From Ms. to Mrs. | Aakansha Mahajan

    From Miss to Mrs. My journey from Ms. to Mrs. has been extremely beautiful. It gave me my most memorable moments of my life. For the hitched ones- this will help you re-live your courtship moments and for those who are about to get hitched- this might be useful or interesting. You may get to know more in the blogs below: ​ A1: And t hat's how it Began..!! ​ A2: Our First Valentine's Day

  • About | Aakansha Mahajan

    About Me Welcome to My Beautiful World Hi! I'm Aakansha A reader. Learner. Happy wife. A proud teacher. I am just another girl like all other girls around me, who wishes to share her thoughts, feelings and ideas with everyone. ​ Okay, by profession, I am a teacher, a Chemistry teacher. I teach and learn everyday. Personally, I like to read, travel, eat & to love. I try to read as much as I can & travel to as many places as possible (considering the amount of time that I have). I am a big time foodie & I love to explore different cuisines at various places. ​ I am a happy wife, a proud daughter & a content sister. I love my family. ​ I love to write relatable things. I believe that there must be a good connect between the writer and the readers which can happen only if you match each other's frequency. I hope my writing will touch everyone's heart & I will be able to bring a change. ​ Do let me know if you like what I write & also if you don't. I am just a mail away. Out of gallery E-mail Me Connect On Social Platforms

  • From the critic me | Aakansha Mahajan

    From the Critic me Because reviews are important. Very important. ​ ​ ​ To begin with, Here are my two blogs: ​ Post 1 Blog #D1 : #MadeInHeaven- A blockbuster..! ​ Post 2 Blog D2 : #Jamtara- a hit or a miss ​ There are many times when we wish to start with a new series but we are not sure whether to start it or not. Will it be good? Will it interest me? I hope my time will not be wasted. All these thoughts are common and we all get stuck in these thoughts before starting a new series. To help you get through it, I have started with this new series where I will be writing about my personal reviews on the most common web series/shows and maybe movies, with a brief description of what is it all about. The reviews might be useful for you in your decision to watch it or not.

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