18 weeks young!

Caleb, my dear boy, has been a bit mischievous of late. Crankiness is his new best friend. Exhaustion is mine.

Recently turned 4 months young on Monday. Apart from the 4th-month growth spurt, he is also going through a leap (according to The Wonder Weeks) which will last for a while. Some days he latches non-stop, some days he doesn’t seem hungry at all.

Currently he’s still on a 2-hourly feed, if lucky, 3. At night, he’s still latching every 3 hourly and hasn’t slept through the night ever since his 2 nights of peace back when he was about 10 weeks young. I’m not too crazy about having him sttn since I know some mummies who are obsessed about achieving this as early as 2 months old. I’ll let Caleb be ready when he’s ready.

I’ve been depressed at the thought that my maternity leave has ended and I’ve extended using my annual leave, as well as unpaid leave. Mum’s gonna come babysit him in January as she’s retiring from her 30-year career as of today. Happy for her but she’s gonna take over a more difficult job after that haha.

Continue reading “18 weeks young!”

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Casper, my stranger, my angel

Ever since I got pregnant, I have been trying to introduce this new change in me to Casper to prepare him for a new additional to the family. Because he’s probably gonna lose his baby status at home very soon, I figured it would be good to preempt him, whether he understood or not.

Apparently, he is well aware of this and probably is angry about it.

He ignores me. In fact, he has been ignoring me ever since we moved to Punggol. Pretty much the same time we found out we’re pregnant. He would whine every single time Leland goes out without us, maybe just to get lunch, or to throw the garbage, or just to sweep the corridor outside our unit.

Every single time Leland is out of Casper’s sight, he whines. Even within the house, when I’m in the room and I lure Casper in since I’ve already turned on the aircon, he would just sit at the door and wait for his daddy to come in.

He ignores my commands. He ignores me calling his name. He avoids eye contact. He does the opposite of what I tell him to do.

I’m literally invisible to him.

I would try to carry him and put him near my tummy to tell him “Didi (younger brother) is inside, he’s coming out soon so you must be nice to him ok? Must sayang (love) Didi ok?”

He would either struggle to get off my tummy or give a completely unconcerned expression. “Damn you Mummy. I should be your ONLY baby!”

Damn. This boy’s got attitude.

Continue reading “Casper, my stranger, my angel”

Pregnancy Taboos

I’m Chinese. And I have Chinese parents-in-law. VERY Chinese ones. The ones that could simply make up a new grandmother’s tale and it would totally be legit (to them).

I got inspired one day to make a list of the taboos after reading, been told about and was strictly instructed to follow during pregnancy.

I’ve never been restricted in my life, not even by my own mother. That’s why I feel pretty suffocated ever since this pregnancy became their issue.

I’ll try my best to keep the whiny level to a low.

1) 3-month safe period

Some elderly would advise not to announce the pregnancy until the 1st trimester has passed as they fear the baby will be lost during the first 3 months. I myself believe in this more because I’m more worried the pregnancy isn’t stable until after 3 months. So I would rather announce only when I feel safer to do so, avoiding any explanation or disappointments should anything bad happens.

Leland and I kept it a secret only until after the 12th week, even to our families.

2) No cold drinks

This is definitely one of the hardest ‘rule’ to follow since I have always been drinking cold drinks right out of the fridge. I can cut down on gassy drinks, but don’t tell me I cannot even drink cold milk. One of the most absurd thing I heard during my pregnancy was “You cannot drink Yakult when it’s cold.” Then am I to drink it when it’s stale??

Once I accidentally ordered a cold drink and was nagged by my MIL. Even after the ice have melted and the drink no longer as cold, I still felt the dagger stare when I drank it. For someone who completely avoids cold drinks, I’m also expected to do the same.

3) Forbidden food

Everyone I know tells me to avoid raw food like sashimi and oyster. No problem at all. I don’t even eat them in the first place. However, I was also told to avoid salads since they are considered uncooked vegetables. But I still eat them once in a long while. I do have an issue with ramen runny eggs though. I miss them!

This one food I am constantly craving for but I’m strictly warned against it. Crabs! OMG I feasted on crabs at least once every 2 months or so pre-pregnancy, so this was definitely the worst! How could anyone resist our chilli/black pepper/salted egg yolk crabs? I mean, Dr Goh said there are no scientific proof saying we can’t eat them so eat moderately. But of course, the hubby and MIL have the final say.

Fish without scales. That includes stingray and pomfret, just to name some. This is purely pantang as the elders would say the baby would be born with ‘scaly’ skin.

On the contrary, we are encouraged to eat more fish. Those with scales, of course.

Dark-coloured food or food that are highly-pigmented such as oranges, carrots, papaya also made the list. According to the elders, baby’s skin will be orangey or yellowish when born. It also increases the risk of jaundice. However, my gynae said this is not true at all.

4) Drink bird’s nest and eat more gingko nuts

Bird’s nest is for baby to have good skin. I’m having a boy. Is it really important for my boy to have fair skin like snow? Good complexion yes, but I don’t want my boy to look weak and sickly.

Gingko nuts for good memory. But I’m allergic. Heng ah!! I absolutely hate the smell of these nuts.

5) Avoid house renovation/nailing/drilling/moving of house/carrying of heavy items

This was an issue we couldn’t avoid. We got our house in Nov, went for honeymoon in Dec, returned home and started immediately on the renovation without even knowing I was already pregnant. So we couldn’t possibly stop the renovation and put on hold til I gave birth. We needed the house to be ready by CNY.

I just avoided appearing in the house during the renovation and could only do site visits on weekends when the workers weren’t around. Leland did most of the work – from coordinating, moving, carrying. I just waited for the house to be ready for staying.

Even when furniture and appliances came, I had to be away when the workers fixed them up. Pretty restricted even in my own house.

6) No attending funerals/weddings

So far, I skipped 3 funerals of 3 close friends’ family members and I feel extremely bad I couldn’t be there for them at their most difficult time. But this was a pretty strict taboo that even my Mum and Sis insisted that I’d better follow.

However, I still attend weddings since they are happy events. I see no problem with bringing my pregnant belly to a happy event. Double happiness! But I did get the consent of the bride/groom beforehand to find out if they are pantang about this.

7) No horror/tear-jerking shows

Leland forbids me from watching horror movies or anything that might startle me, saying that it might startle our baby as well.

I wasn’t allowed to watch shows that would make me bawl my eyes out too. I stopped myself from watching dog-related videos such as rescue or abuse videos because they trigger my tear ducts most effectively. I didn’t want to make Redbean a crybaby like me. Only once in awhile I let myself let it out. Blame the pregnancy emotions!

8) No sudden/abrupt startling actions

I’ve heard some people say I should not let people scare me from the back, or even tap my shoulders. They say this action will usually cause my baby to ‘drop’.

Once, my colleague did a strong tap on both my shoulders that really freaked me out quite badly. I was shaking so badly from that scare it got me really paranoid. I couldn’t blame her since she didn’t know I was pregnant yet.

9) No sewing/cutting (on bed especially)

No idea why not because I have tons of clothes to alter especially after buying some new ones for the new figure. But Leland strictly disallows this. I can’t even hold a needle. Yet he never offered to sew anything for me. Hmph!

I am frequently cutting things at home since I have to cook. I just become more caution about it.

10) No hair treatments

Because old people say chemicals are harmful and will enter our scalp, be absorbed by baby and will cause harm.

Dr Goh, on the other hand, said it would be best to do it after 14 weeks. Some mummies are pretty strict about this and they leave their hair untouched for the whole pregnancy, even after delivering.

11) No vigorous activities

This was quite a big transition. I did zumba and yogalates on a weekly basis at work during lunch. So when I didn’t sign up for the new round of lessons, I had to give excuses to colleagues who asked. Because of the lack of exercises, I found myself becoming lazy too.

12) Watch my tongue

No vulgarities or scolding/insulting others. I do find myself scolding myself stupid most of the time because of my preggy brains.

13) No rubbing of tummy

Because elders say you are spoiling the kid even before he’s born.

I gotta admit. When your tummy gets this big and out of the way, you rub it not only because it’s amazing how a tummy can grow this way, but also because his kicks can be painful, you just have to rub it to distract yourself. I rub my tummy as and when I like it no matter what they elders say. I’m blessed to be pregnant and I should be glad I am able to grow a life in me. So yes. *rub tummy*

Here’s a sneak shot from my maternity photoshoot!

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Being Pregnant – Week 34

It was the first time I had my checkup alone since the hubby was called up for reservist. What a bummer.

Also my first time grabbing car with GrabCar. Quite a pleasant experience even though the first driver cancelled on me. At least the one who eventually came was nice.

Visiting the gynae alone was somewhat intimidating. I wished Leland was with me but he had his national duty to fulfill. Redbean understands.

I felt somewhat comforted after seeing a couple of MTBs alone as well even though I was sure they also wished their hubbies were with them.

Week 34 checkup included a GBS test – basically what Dr Goh did was a vaginal swab test with a cotton bud – to test for bacteria infection in the inner region. She said about 30% preggies will get this infection and will require antibiotics to prevent baby from getting it as well.

I also found out I didn’t gain much weight in 2 weeks as compared to the last 2 visits. Probably around 300g from the last checkup 2 weeks ago. Redbean absorbed ALL of the 300g! He’s currently weighing at 2.39kg now to which Dr Goh was pleasant with the rate he’s growing.

Previously she kept emphasizing he was chubby and I had to cut down on carbs. I guess I have tried to cut down but still gotta take 1 portion of rice/noodles at least. Was kinda surprised I only gained 300g in 2 weeks, but good news, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about losing them after.

She also estimated his birth weight to be around 3.1kg if the rate is constant. Hopefully Redbean doesn’t get my heavy birth genes. I weighed almost 4.1kg at birth! My mum must have had a really tough time.

As the weeks draw nearer to my EDD, I am slightly panicking. Especially when some of the other August mummies are already popping one by one (some preemie, some induced). I do hope Redbean comes ON time. Not too early please. I mean, I don’t like surprises like this. I prefer to plan my life instead of getting impromptu changes. So Redbean, please behave. As much as we are eager to see you, but it’s still a lil early. Stay inside and enjoy the warmth for now!

His movements are getting more uncomfortable as days go by. His nudges and pushes are getting aggressive. One night, I had a sharp pain on the left side of my tummy. Looked down and noticed a RIGHT ANGLE tummy, probably his leg pushing my stomach wall, jutting out from the usual roundness. It hurt for that few seconds while I was amazed at his strength.

I’m not sure if I will miss his movements after he’s out since my sleep is already affected by them. Every angle is an uncomfortable angle.

I’m tired. And emotional. I thought I have passed that emotional phase since my 3rd trimester hit. But now I can really just burst out in tears for no absolute reason. Ok maybe out of fear and anxiety for most part of it.

I am indirectly affecting Redbean by crying a lot lately. I foresee he would be a crybaby, or at least a frowny one.

Sorry Redbean. Mummy’s been really cranky nowadays. 

Being Pregnant – 3rd trimester woes

Woah! I seriously cannot understand how timely the symptoms kick in each semester.

I had very mild morning sickness in my 1st trimester and it miraculously stopped once I hit 2nd trimester.

And even though my 2nd trimester wasn’t as pleasant as what everyone claimed it should be, I still feel pretty much most at ease during the 2nd tri – apart from the mood swings and random anxiety attacks. Ok who am I kidding? I felt discomfort everywhere and my body constantly yearned for the bed. But hey, the 3rd tri is the worst!

At my 33rd week, I already feel like this should be enough. The discomfort and pain I’m experiencing now should just stay constant til the day Redbean is born. I am losing sleep every night because I would feel uncomfortable at every angle or side I turn to.

The muscle aches are so bad that I cringe at the thought of getting down the bed just to pee. It is always the worst after I shift from a lying to standing position. I limp like an elderly woman with arthritis problems. Every step hurts even though it gradually eases.

I have probably gained 7 to 8 kg since day 1 and I have been walking with my legs slightly apart now to gain better balance due to the extra weight. Dr Goh told me I could gain 12 to 16kg, no problem, considering my petite frame. Apparently, I had the ‘allowance’. But it’s already straining me quite a bit. Now I know how do hippos feel.

I’ve already been called “big” and “round”. It’s humiliating. I don’t go round calling people that, but the mean colleagues who see me everyday are doing that. Hmph! What do y’all expect? I’m having a baby growing inside me. I should get big! So… Thanks ya.

It’s not everyday they see a pregnant lady coming their way. Just these 9 months.

I am beyond the “Omg I’m so fat” phase. I’m HUGE! For my size, that is. And I’ll get even bigger in the next 7 weeks or lesser! I miss being thin and having a flat tummy. I miss lying on my tummy. I miss squeezing into those tight-fit dresses. I miss having normal boobs that don’t spill out of my bras.

Oh shit! 7 weeks before I officially lose my freedom!!