Bump Ahead

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Above: ain't mine, but the belly button's really resembles. So interesting that some have their belly button protruding whilst others have them flat.

Below: The hubs and I have been fascinating about how it'd look when one day the little bub decides to kick and make an imprint of its little foot. Will this be how it'd look?

The baby bump is getting bigger and bigger. I'm blessed however that it's not exponentially bigger. To date (approximately wk26), it's 36 inches and I've put on a mere 4kg (as of 21 July) since the beginning! Nice. Banish all thoughts of a bulbous-nosed, ashen-faced hag with limp hair and spotty skin waddling painfully along...I think I've been really blessed thus far. However, I should really make more effort in keeping up with my grooming. Not very innovative when it comes to mix and match. It's more of see-and-grab. However, the shopping bug's back and July's budget was way blown!

With my due date in early November (which means our progeny was produced probably on Valentine's day 2011), I am on the home stretch of the nine-month long journey. It's really a blink of an eye and soon I'd be able to see my little bundle of light at the end of the tunnel. It's really amazing how time flies! Freaking me out honestly as I'm so not prepared for this "PHD". Procrastination -- Have yet to book massage lady; have yet to register for antenatal classes; have yet to think of names; have yet to collect various hand-me-downs from friends; hv yet to complete reading Gina Ford's Little Contented Baby (u can't blame me, I fall asleep when reading); have yet to buy big ticket items like cots, prams, carseat etc (really gotto find time to visit the TAKA/ Isetan BB fair which ends August 14)...n the list goes on!

It was a really tough first tri, but I must say the 2nd tri was a honeymoon and I was filled with utmost energy and productivity. There seems to be an unseen strength that comes from within (pun intended). However, things seems to be slowing down as I move into the 3rd tri. Am experiencing some of the less glamorous sides of pregnancy like backaches and leg cramps (luckily twice only!) Skin has also been a little oilier and this wk I found 3 new spots! URGH. I've been using a specially formulated stretchcream (thanks to willing-to-share mummy LM) religiously every night to prevent the skin from being dry and stretched. I've also been elevating my feet to prevent any chance of water retention. So far, the lymphatic drainage and blood circulation has been good. With traditional Chinese medicine and organic calcium, vits and DHA from the OBY, I've never felt healthier! During pregnancy, one needs to be properly-nourished with good blood circulation, so I made sure I had a good portion of fruits and herbal concoction like black chicken soup, ginseng, cordyceps, and other blood-nourishing herbs from the MIL.

With the due date drawing close, I'm a little worried about confinement. Have very much confirmed that the MIL will be there for me. She has been kind enough to say that all she needs is a bed in my house. But am still a little skeptical, worried that she'd be overworked. On the other hand, my own Empress Dowager has been a little senile and refused to speak to me for 2 wks when my uncle asked her who's looking after little bub. Seriously, if you are any bit concerned and willing to offer, I'm most willing to discuss. But if tantrums is all you throw, I'm terribly sorry, but I can't entertain.

On confinement 'myths"

  1. One is not supposed to bathe or touch water for one mth! OMG! can u imagine being sweaty and hot and dirty with unwashed hair? Thankfully, the MIL said there's some kind of herbs for bathing.
  2. Not using the fan or aircon! Are you kidding me?! Singapore's 365 days of summer, I really hope I can survive this! My electrical bills have gone up by 50% due to the heat I'm experiencing currently. Waking up in a puddle of sweat each day is no joke.
  3. Nourish, Nourish and more nourishment! Have passed a confinement recipe book to the MIL and she has been ploughing through it like a bible. It is said that during this period, if one eats well, every ailment can be cured! GO MIGRAINE GO! GO BACKACHE GO!

  4. "No no" to going out during the first 30 days! Thankfully, the MIL again, shared that she sneaked out once or twice on the pretext to buy milk powder during her confinement. hmmm...hint hint..
  5. Ginger (to dispel wind) and Vinegar (to cleanse the womb) are a must. Some believe in black fungus too. To some however, ginger will cause the bb to be yellow especially if one decides to breastfeed. As for vinegar pig trotters, I've been instructed by my TCM physician that I should avoid. Can't quite remember the reason but am just thankful coz I hate Vinegar and i hate pig trotters!

Honestly, I'm a more traditional person than my parents or parents-in-law, so I'd probably survive the above. *PRAYING FERVENTLY*

The Almighty M.I.L

Recently, I read that a young English couple, Heidi Withers and Freddie Bourne have been thrust into the media spotlight, due to a letter written by the groom's mothers. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2009518/Carolyn-Bourne-Mother-law-hell-sends-email-bride-Heidi-Withers.html) In her missive, Carolyn Bourne gives her future daughter-in-law a dressing down about her apparent lack of manners. She berates Withers for her behaviour during a visit to the family in April, which she describes as "staggering in its uncouthness and lack of grace". Bourne is now labelled by the media here as the "mother-in-law from hell". In this respect, I'm lucky. The horror stories of formidable M.I.L came thick and fast the moment we got married, but I must say, mine is no Empress Dowager-style monster-in-law. In retrospect, I think my own mother is the wicked witch! haha...One reason for our good in-law relationship is coz we aren't living together. With all those hormones under one roof, it's no surprise that sparks will fly. There is a comfortable distance between us yet we are close enough (just 2 blocks away for that matters) to foster good relations.

During this difficult time, particularly during the first tri, with the hubs always away and nonchalant about my well-being, the MIL has been showering me with care and food. Each night when I arrive home at 10pm, I'd have home-cooked food by her. Without qualms (or at least I'd like to think of it that way), she'd bring it over to my house. Very often, there's also the infamous ginseng, double boiled soup and birds' nest soup. I feel so blessed and cared for. On the contrary, my mom will buzz me for a bottle of birds' nest. Yes, this is the sad fact. The MIL has also offered her services during my confinement. I m tremendously thankful else I would have to incur a minimum of $2k for a confinement nanny. Many have urged me to get one regardless as my MIL may not be able to cope with the nights but she has insisted that she is able to. Given her record, I must say, she's a superwoman! Waking up at 4+am to do chores, then goes to work; after work, comes home to cook for the family and be at the beck and call of her children and her picky husband. Totally salute her! Thus, I have faith that she'll be able to do a good job during my confinement month *cross fingers*. Am praying we won't have conflict as to how to take care of the little bub. Many friends have caved in to the pressures of an almighty MIL and hv been battling with depression. Currently, whenever I mention that there's something to help in pregnancy, she'd go all out to get it for me. Upon knowing the gender, she went shopping for clothes the very next day! Excited much? Amidst the domestic flurry, you'd think she doesn't have much of a life balance but WRONG! She manages to travel every now and then and recently came back from a wk long trip with 6 other aunties to Australia! Half her luggage was filled with baby stuff and health food for me! haha...the sis-in-law was desperately wagging her tail in hope of pressies, but all she received were pink socks! haha..I guess as long as we don't overstep their boundaries, it should be less difficult to extricate yourself from any ensuing drama. It's a precarious balancing act and I had good training from my own mother!

PS: Credit should also be given to my sis-in-law who has been a dear during the absence of the mil. Whipped up a simple meal for me and even helped me with my massive books at unearthly hour when her bro, my hubs, isn't around for me. Am truly blessed.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The active incubation has a funny effect on the brain. Apparently I've been told that the woman will become forgetful especially after giving birth. Somehow, mine came early. I decided to pen down the following events just for laughs in case I forget in time to come.

Incident 1:

was walking with the hubs one night and saw the back of my car....

ME: dear, look, the number on the plate is quite nice hor? (rattled out the number)

Hub: mmmm...(thinking that I was boasting about my own car)

ME: (as we walked towards the front and I stared at the frontal view) Wah, this driver is so creative too! places soft toys on his dashboard just like me! The pig is just like mine too! (saw the number plate again) n look! the number is very much like mine too! So coincidental!

Hub: are u alright?

ME: OMG! It's my car!!

Incident 2:

Was having dinner with gfs n faced X for almost 3 hrs before proceeding to her home.

She took a quick shower and...

ME: wow! U shower real quick considering that you have long hair!

X: huh? Are u ok? u stared at me for the last 3 hrs and dont know that I have short hair?

ME: Really? OMG!!

Incident 3:

the hub and I decided to visit the NTUC down our blk for a quick grocery shopping.

Upon entering the lift, he looked at my feet and went:

HUB: Why are u in your bedroom slippers??

Sigh....Need I say more?.....

A Whole new challenge

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I've been incubating. Literally. The feeling has been very surreal since the day of discovery. It's an awkward moment, trying to reconcile the fact that I entered the A&E ward purely due to a sprained ankle and a bad sprained back, to knowing that I'm an incubator with a little embryo growing inside me!

Been keeping mum about it due to the 3 mths taboo. According to Chinese myths, we should not reveal during the first tri to keep the little one safe. In anycase, it didn't really sink into both sweetie and me for the first few months. Partly due to the fact that I did not balloon (Thank God for that!). In fact, at Wk23 currently, I'm still wearing my pre-preg clothes! though they are slowly getting tight. We didn't quite indulge in the good news till quite recently. Even my dearest daddy didn't show an ounce of happiness at the A&E ward. His reaction: Gal, if u have any financial problems, u must tell daddy ok? With that, my tears simply streamed down incessantly.

Meanwhile, I've been inundated with websites and reading material. Trying to equip myself both scientifically and mythically! Just to share, here are some old wive's tales:

Carrying High, Carrying Low (I would say mine's low)

The way you are carrying during your pregnancy is one of the most oft cited ways of determining the sex of your baby. The general story goes that, if you're carrying low, you're having a boy. If you are carrying high, then you must be having a girl.

What Your Urine Says (ok i've not tried with Drano but the colour is mostly brownish and yellowish. The Chinese physician claims it's due to the lack of water)

This next test to determine a baby's sex may not be for everyone, although it is very simple. Just take a sample of your urine and mix it with Drano. Depending on the color change of your urine, you will have a boy or a girl. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on what color equals which sex. So, if you do decided to try this and your urine turns bluish yellow, brownish, brown, black or blue you will be having a boy. If your urine looks more greenish brown, green, blue or doesn't change at all, then you're having a girl. But be warned: if you decide to do this test, there could be some pretty harsh fumes produced - not to mention the possibility of an explosion!

Heartbeats (initially sweetie said our little one's heart rate seems below 140. It's really hard to decipher)

One belief that has been around for some time, and even had some acceptance in the medical community at one point, is that the fetal heartbeat differs for boys and girls. If you're having a girl, then the fetal heart rate will be above 140. A boy will have a heart rate below 140. However, that pesky science has reared its little head again to say that this is complete fiction. A baby's heart rate is not affected by its sex until it is born, when a girl's heart rate will increase considerably compared with boys during labor.

Craving Something…Sweet? (i was craving for ASSAM fish and anything sour initially. Hate chocolates and puked upon eating them. But lately am into desserts)

Many people believe that your cravings are caused by the sex of your baby. So, if you can't get enough chocolate, you could be having a girl. Does the idea of drinking straight lemon juice sound delicious to you? Then those sour cravings are a result of the little boy inside of you. However, if you go by the scientists, then some of them will claim that you're not even having cravings because cravings just don't exist.

Weight Gain (ok this is a tough one. the hub has been eating chocolates every night, so naturally he's been putting on weight. His tummy to date is still bigger than mine but it's not coz I'm passing on the food to him. Strange)

Thankfully, this one doesn't refer to your weight gain. The belief is that, if your husband puts on weight during your pregnancy, then you will be having a girl. If he doesn't put on a pound, then you're carrying a boy.

Is Her Face Round and Full? (quite the same actually. But the complexion's much much better)

Some say that the shape and fullness of your face during pregnancy can indicate your baby's sex. Every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy, and every woman experiences different skin changes. If people tell you that because your face is round and rosy you are having a girl, they might be right - but it's just as likely that they are wrong! There's also another saying that boys give mommies beauty whilst girls suck away the beauty. I find myself much prettier than before whilst my mom commented that I look UGLY! (yes, what sort of mother says that?) a friend of mine who is bearing a boy has huge nose and claims she looks like a hippo. Guess beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder?

At-Home Tests

Here's a test that you can do next time you change or get out of the bath. Look in the mirror at your breasts. If the right one is larger, you're having a boy! A larger left breast indicates a girl (if they're the same size, does that mean you're having one of each?). --Oh come on! To begin with, mine's bigger on the right already, so what does that mean?

ACNE (not a bit! Yeepee!)

Do you have acne? Some believe that getting acne during your pregnancy indicates you're carrying a girl. Maybe the acne is caused by twice the amount of female hormones?

Hairy belly

Some say this is due to the influx of testosterone. It's quite disturbing as I'm having a really hairy belly! The hubs is worried that I might turn into a man! It is also said that hair growth on the legs and pits will slow down if it's a princess.


Don't we love it when they grow infinitely during pregnancy? Well according to my mom, she said that if it's a princess, boobies will grow all the way whilst if it's a boy, it will stop around the 5th mth.

Honestly, these myths don't work on me. Well all the better as it suits the mil's and hub's preference. :) The mil has been a gem and I m very blessed to have her around. Hub has been jet-setting across half the world thus leaving me pretty lonely during the first three torturous months. I was literally hugging the toilet bowl and feeling so knackered. The constant nauseousness really made me depressed as I'm lost as to what to eat. Fortunately the mil has been cooking stuff and bringing them over to my place so i'd have a warm meal at the end of the day (which incidentally is at 10pm on the average). Double boiled soups, birds nest soup just to name a few. It's a world of difference over at my own maternal side. Empress Dowager probably thinks she's the one who is pregnant and has been whiny when she was down with a cough. She even asked me for a bottle of Birds nest instead of buying me some! And if I don't call or visit for more than a week, she'll fly into a tirade. Talk about being emo! I think I should get the priority ain't it? Another clear distinction between the two mothers -- MIL went shopping for baby clothes the next day she knew of the gender...mom on the other hand replied "u are so ugly, i knew u'd be having a girl! good for u lor"...mind u, the words "good for u" wasn't delivered in the most sincere or pleasurable manner. She'll really be the death of me. Having to manage a little fetus growing within me and an overgrown baby isn't quite my idea of enjoyment. okok...GOOD THOUGHTS GOOD THOUGHTS!

Anyhow, with the 23rd wk in place, there's no more nausea and a lot less exhaustion. I can't say that much for the mood swings though, but i try to keep them at bay. The little flutters in my belly are no longer jabs and they are pretty pleasurable now. Each time the hub places his ear on my tum tum, I feel a sense of love and warmth. There was even this instance when our little one kicked him in the ear! haha...I can start talking to her and tapping to evoke a response. The only three things which are really bugging me now are: Amnesia, the bladder alarm and backaches. I guess they are mild compared to what other mommies are experiencing. It's probably also the big guy's way of giving me a rehearsal of what's to come.