Counting my blessings at pregnancy week 22

They say that gratefulness is the key to happiness.

Here are the little blessings I’m grateful for this week.

1) Detailed scan @ 22 weeks

I went for my detailed scan last week. Because I chose not to do the Oscar test, the detailed scan is like a first detailed assessment of the baby, and I was praying that it wouldn’t show up any abnormalities or points for concern.

Thankfully, all went well. And the scanologist (or whatever you call the person doing the scan) even mentioned that baby was growing very well and was on the higher percentile for its stage of growth.

Well, it turned out that they got my edd wrong, and I’m about a week further into my pregnancy than she thought, which would bring the measurements closer to mid-range. Anyway the gynae clarified that, and we’re just happy that all is well with baby!

Also glad to bring home this close-up shot of baby dozing comfortably in the womb. (His arms tucked under his cheek.) The kids were all excited and going, “I wanna see baby!”

2) Freedom from UTI

Last week marked the last of my UTI woes. You might be wondering how come it took so long to heal? Doesn’t it normally clear up with antibiotics?

Apparently my case was a little abnormal. But whatever the case, I’m thankful that the bleeding and abdominal pains are over. And I’m doing all I can to stay clear and healthy for the remaining four months of pregnancy. (Mainly upping my daily dose of probiotics from yoghurt, miso and kimchi, taking more raw vegetables and fruits, and cutting down on sweet treats and processed stuff like bread.)

3) JJ’s new milestones
He’s recently learnt to wear his own slippers. It has an elastic band at the back and he’s able to now pull the band up behind his ankle and wriggle his toes into the right position. He’s also picking up lots of new words and phrases from his big sister.

Perhaps more importantly, he’s starting to show a growing desire to want to please us and is eager to be helpful whenever help is called upon. I’m ever so glad for these sunshine moments because it shows me a glimpse of who he can be, who he is capable of becoming, rather than just focusing on the negative — you know, the tantrums that are of course still rearing their head from time to time.

He is also able to gurgle his mouth after brushing his teeth now. Still we probably won’t be transitioning from the baby-safe toothpaste until he’s well into his third or fourth year.

On my wishlist is to be able to get him to sit on the potty, something he’s been quite resistant to this past year. Well one step at a time I guess…For now, we’re enjoying his sunshine smiles and cheeky contagious laughter. 🙂

4) Exercise time at the pool – I’ve been making swim dates with my girlfriends and I must say, without the kids in tow, I’m relishing the freedom to exercise and relax. I know now that I need to schedule this regularly, not just to improve the state of my health, but also to have some space to myself, to breathe and just be with good friends.

When I take the time to count my blessings, it’s like putting on a different lens. Life looks good from here…

What are you thankful for this week?

Linking up with Mum in the Making’s Grateful Gatherings.

 

Congrats, you’re pregnant! Now what? (pregnancy tips)

So you’ve just found out you’re pregnant. Congrats! If you’re not sure on what you should be doing next, here are some ideas…

First trimester: Zzz

1. Sleep — as much as you can. If you’re working, seek the understanding of your boss and colleagues if you don’t feel up to doing certain tasks. Take naps during lunchtime whenever possible.

2. Bond with books & mums — Hang out with experienced mums, ask questions, and learn from them. Better still, camp at your girlfriend’s place and get a taste of what having a little baby in the house is like. (Kidding. I just said you need to rest right?) There’s something universal about becoming a mum that makes it easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger…so go ahead, widen your mummy social circle.

Check out the following books:

3. Eat like goldilocks — By that I mean everything must be “just nice” and in moderate amounts. Feel free to pig out on fruits and veggies. Fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 and are safe to consume for expecting mums. I think it’s okay to satisfy your cravings once-in-a-while, as long as your weight is in check. I put on nearly 20kg in my first pregnancy, which is something you SHOULD NOT DO as it puts you at higher risk of complications. Eating small frequent meals help.

4. Oil your tummy — and everywhere around the tummy area and thighs to help prevent stretch marks. Never too early to start this. I used bio-oil, but most stretch-mark oils and creams should do the trick.

5. Acknowledge your emotions — Talk to your partner about your thoughts, fears or emotions that you are feeling. Ask for extra understanding and support during this time, as it’s quite common for pregnant ladies to experience general grouchiness (to put it rather mildly). I found myself crying quite a bit, and at the littlest of things, so there you go.

Second trimester: Let’s get moving

6. Exercise — “Fit women have to push less.” (Brain Rules for Baby) Exercise also buffers against stress. So as long as you get your gynae’s okay, pencil in regular exercise into your schedule. But start slowly if you have not been exercising regularly pre-pregnancy, and always listen to your body.

7. Talk to your baby — or sing or even slow-dance. I learnt from Brain Rules for Baby that there is actually a prime time to start communicating with the baby – in the second half of pregnancy when their senses have developed.

8. Book your confinement nanny — good ones tend to be booked early, so it’s a good time to do it once you cross your third month. Always ask for recommendations, and do interview her over the phone to make sure you’re totally comfortable, and you know what her roles and responsibilities are. I prefer younger nannies who are more up-to-date with their knowledge of caring for the baby and who will respect my desire to breastfeed / not eat certain foods. Even then, prepare to be upfront about what you want or don’t want her to do.

9. Shortlist hospitals and go take a tour — talk to friends and suss out which hospital matches your needs best. Once you have shortlisted a few, sign up for their hospital tours to have a closer look. Remember to ask questions.

10. Attend classes — Sign up for pre-natal classes once you’ve settled on your hospital of choice. The Singapore Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group also conducts regular courses on breastfeeding, so do check those out.

11. Go shopping — Shop for baby stuff around the 5th or 6th month of pregnancy, when you’re not too big or heavy, and can still walk comfortably. Besides physical stores such as Mums & Babes, Kiddie Palace, and Baby KingdomSingapore Motherhood Forum is a good place to get some baby essentials too, if you know exactly what you are looking for. Of course, it’s always a blessing to get hand-me-downs. 😉

Third trimester: Happy belly

12. Go for pedicures — I’m serious. A good massage for your leg and feet will do wonders for blood circulation, and help to ease water retention and prevent those late-night foot cramps (ouch). Besides, pretty feet always make us happy, don’t they?

13. Embrace your new body — It’s easy to feel down about that bulging belly, and those new wobbly bits at some point. But you know what? There’s a miracle growing inside of you, so flaunt that baby bump!

14. Stay happy — Relax, unwind, pamper yourself, and do all it takes (within budget of course) to keep yourself in good cheer. Confide in your best buddies when you’re down, and learn to walk away from stressful situations.

15. Set up a baby gift registry — Make it easy for friends and family by letting them buy you the things that you really need. You can check out the ones at Robinsons and Mothers Work.

16. Be patient — as you play the waiting game. It helps to keep your mind occupied so you don’t keep moping and hoping for your time to come. Pack your hospital bag (at least a month before you are due), do the baby’s laundry, or schedule some quality time with your partner and good friends. (It’ll be a long time before you get some semblance of a social life back.)

Honestly, there’s so much to do that I can’t quite cover in 1 blog post. But I think the most important thing is… Enjoy the journey, and make memories of it (through a blog, scrapbook, or even a photo shoot). You are on the edge of probably the most exciting and challenging point of your life.

Have an amazing 9 months! Do check out my 10 tips for new mums and 10 essentials for breastfeeding mums as well!  🙂

How to distract yourself while waiting for natural labour

After some eight months, you’ve finally hit full term. You’ve just about had it with the extra 10kg of weight, constant need to pee, water retention, endless kegels, mid-of-night cravings, mood swings, Braxton Hicks, and…

Sometimes being pregnant can feel like you’re running a full marathon. Huff…puff…”When am I going to reach that finishing line?”

As I write, I’m painfully aware of the moment. I watched two mummies get admitted yesterday for labour, and I could only look on with envy.

I know it’s silly, but this kind of belly-heavy-emotions just can’t help it. Particularly if you stare at your swollen shape everyday…

So, I’ve been looking out for ways to distract myself while I wait. Here’s how I try to make my days go by quicker:

  • Spend quality time with your older kids, at the same time preparing them (or better still, involving them) for the arrival of the baby
  • Read motherhood forum pages / parenting websites and blogs which you’ve always been keen to dive into. If you’re a first time parent, this is a good time to store up practical information on stuff like breastfeeding, storing breast milk, caring for newborns, etc.
  • Schedule a meal / coffee with friends (or colleagues if you’re like me…already started maternity leave)

What are some ways you distract yourself in THE BIG WAIT? 🙂

Playing the waiting game – pregnancy week 38

I officially hit week 38 today in my pregnancy journey. At the gynae’s today, I was told that my cervix was still closed and tight.

I felt quite depressed after that.

Then I heard that baby is now 3.1 kg. (Quite heavy.)

As my first delivery was a c-section (due to a failed induction), I have an impending deadline, i.e., natural labour has to begin by due date (2 weeks time). It doesn’t help that baby also has a cap to his weight (anything above 3.3 kg is too risky in my doc’s opinion). FYI, he was 2.85 kg last week.

[Let me backtrack a bit. I’m aiming for natural birth because if I ever want to conceive again, going through a second caesarean now would mean compulsory caesarean for the third child. Also because of a quicker recovery period by natural, increased mobility, etc, which will allow me to still be able to play with Vera, my 2y.o. toddler]

So now, it feels like I can’t wait any longer. “Baby, come out now! Pleaseeee?”

Times like these, it’s good to put things back into perspective.

My opinion of waiting: a period marked by restlessness and not being able to focus on anything else but the object of that waiting. “I WANT IT NOW!

A better perspective of waiting: God’s timing is best, and sometimes it may not match with yours. And we have to trust that He’s in control and that He loves you.

Even though it seems like He’s late, He’s never late.

So I just have to keep waiting, and keep hoping.

Pregnancy update (Week 31)

I’m now 31 weeks pregnant, and eagerly (anxiously?) counting down the weeks till baby J is born.

We went to the gynae on Tuesday, for my routine check-up. The first thing that showed up on the ultrasound monitor was baby J’s head, with some fuzzy-looking things sticking out all round.

Doc: Wow, your baby’s got a lot of hair!
Me: Really?! (A sly grin spreads over the father’s face)
Me: more like the father then…

Doc went about taking the routine measurements, like the pro that she is. Baby J is about 1.2kg now, which is average. Then, she tried to capture a good shot of baby J’s face.

Doc: Hmm, your baby is lying face-down. Maybe you try turning to your left.
I did, but baby J didn’t budge a millimetre.
Doc: Try turning to your right.
I did, and again, baby J refused to turn.
Doc: Your baby very shy huh?

In that 5-minute scan, we found out that our baby boy has got loads of hair, like the father, and is apparently quite shy, not unlike the father too! Hmm, I wonder if he looks more like daddy too. 🙂

Well, anyway, doctor said that I will have to wait patiently for a couple more weeks, before we decide if a natural delivery is possible, which depends on baby’s size – not too big, position – cannot be breech, etc. We should be able to tell by week 36/37. If natural is possible, she will book me into Thomson Medical, since she’s based there and it’ll be better for her to be nearby so she can keep a close watch. If not, then she’ll book me into Mt Alvernia, since I had my first delivery there.

Sigh, though I really want to try natural this time, I’m also battling doubts about what if it fails, what if I need emergency c-section, and so on. But I know God knows the exact details about when and how baby J will be born, and I need not fret too much. I just need to pray and trust, and let his peace replace my anxious thoughts, then I will be fine.

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