The pregnancy diaries—The myth of the glow


If only Eve never ate the fruit. 

Eve may have been cursed but she was also given a promise: the Messiah.

As I once again found myself hugging the toilet bowl, the curse Eve received looped in my head: “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children” (Genesis 3:16). Except I’m sure the pains don’t only materialise at the end of gestation. 

Almost two months’ pregnant, I was spending a lot of time kneeling on the cold, tiled floor of my bathroom—not in prayer, although with how I was feeling, that happened often as well. 

With food poisoning you feel some relief once you’ve been sick. There’s none of that when it came to my morning sickness (why do we call it that when it happens all day?). And it didn’t even matter if I hadn’t eaten; stomach acid was adequate.

I knew I had to eat to nourish my growing baby but had no motivation, knowing it would all come back up again. And eating out? “I just flushed away $30,” I would tell my husband as I emerged once again from the bathroom.

My husband has taken to walking around with a sympathetic and apologetic look on his face. As he later admitted, “I felt so helpless, seeing you suffer like that.” I had to hug the man.

Then there is the severe exhaustion. Being the only employee of a round-the-clock baby factory, I was napping during lunch and after work, and going to bed earlier than normal. Sick and tired, my regular gym visits fell by the wayside.

People talk about the “pregnancy glow” but I wonder if it’s a lie to lure women into motherhood. I’m not discouraging anybody from pregnancy but remember: sometimes the only glow you get will be from the exertion of vomiting.

But for every bad thing there is a silver lining—sometimes it just takes longer to find it. Eve may have been cursed but she was also given a promise: the Messiah. As for my all-day sickness? We had our first ultrasound and the baby was an indecipherable black dot. My promise: I was most definitely still pregnant. 

Melody Tan is associate editor of Signs of the Times and is expecting her first child.