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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New Year resolution

I’ve never really put into thought about the resolutions for the new year since I know very well I won’t keep it.

During the trip, I guess somewhere in Paris, a sudden urge to make a resolution came. There and then I actually had a realistic and possible to fulfil resolution in my mind.

The moment I reach SG, it disappeared from my mind, as if it never crossed path with me at all. No matter how hard I try to recall, nothing strikes me. It’s either something to do with adopting a dog and saving a shelter’s life or just a random self-improvement motivation.

So much for resolution-planning.

Stuff we say #02

It’s an understatement to say that my husband is weak in the Chinese language. In fact, I sometimes wonder how could he have passed his O’Levels.

Especially the period where his dad gave him a list of relatives’ names in Traditional Chinese for him to contact them via SMS, he had a horrible time trying to find the word on his phone. He just couldn’t get the word in hanyu pinyin.

So these are some instances he ‘consulted’ me for the hanyu pinyin for the word. I would usually just type it out for him so he could just do a copy and paste thing instead.

Hey, I’m a good wife like that.

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HAHAHAHA! Seriously??

He was describing the words to me like they are pictures.

I would say his english is much stronger than his mother tongue, despite both his parents being educated and more fluent in Chinese writing and Mandarin speaking. I find myself struggling to come up with chinese words when speaking to them at times, but even I am better in hanyu pinyin than him hahaha.

I am in no position to make fun of his chinese when I myself did not achieve an A1 in my O’Levels, neither was I in Higher Chinese class. But for a person who used to fail chinese til a B3 for my final results, I must say, I should be proud of myself. Haha!

Random updates because this bride is too busy

10 days to AD!!

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I have somewhat finalized the gowns for my AD – both 8 and 10 Oct. Took me two trips – one on 29 Aug, the other time after work on 22 Sep. I guess I’m addicted to gown fitting! It was so much fun trying on different gowns of different cutting and designs. I also found my favourite gown! Like it so much I feel like buying it. But no point.

So on 29 Aug, we also collected our wedding album! So heavy omg! It was beautifully made.

Version 2

It came in a nice white leather box, with each album in its own individual dust pouch. I am pretty sure we will probably keep it in the storeroom unless we have guests over (at our new place) then we could possibly take it out again to show them. Haha!

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Invites have also been distributed and mailed out to friends and relatives.

Before that, we took some time to stick each insert onto the card, tie up with bling to the ribbon and eventually sealed it with hot wax. Took Leland much effort to cut the wax into small pieces for easy melting. It was fun doing it. From the first few failed ones to becoming (almost) a professional wax sealer haha.

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Makes me so happy when my colleagues received them and complimented on the stamps which I got them custom-made. At least they made me feel my efforts paid off.

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Completed my childhood montage! Finally! It took me months of preparation, from choosing the photos, to organising them, to choosing songs, to editing the songs, to ensuring the timing is right, to adding transitions between each photo, adding captions etc. Wow! I’m glad I finally did it because it was really hanging there for so long just because I had no motivation to do it.

I’m glad I found the perfect songs to be put in the montage. I used When God Made You and Moment (instrumental) from The Heirs OST. Perfect. *pat my own back*

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Additionally, I also chop chop created a photo slideshow to be played throughout the dinner, for the sake of my guests who have no chance in viewing my wedding album.

I have (almost) become an expert in iMovie! I bought a Macbook Air for the convenience of doing up my montage, by the way. Instead of borrowing my sister’s Macbook Air all the time, I thought I should just get it for myself.

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I also managed to plan my guests’ seating plan rather effortlessly. I thought it might take a while but it seems everything could fit together well afterall. *fingers crossed*

Actually it’s because I only have 18 tables for my side. I would have more if other relatives could make it, however recently an grand uncle passed away, so it cut by a few. Leland’s side has taken up more than 2/3 of the entire ballroom. So he should be having a bigger headache than me.

And then Leland just told me a few ministers might be attending our wedding! OMG. Because his Dad has friends in his Ang-clan, and those ministers are also part of it. Suddenly feeling stressed about it. But really, I only wish to look pretty and smile without cramps on that day hahaha.

Extremely hectic period

Just some quick updates.

I’m 28 days to my Actual Day 1 (gatecrash and customary) and 30 days to my Actual Day 2 (dinner banquet). Nobody panics!

That also means it’s another 30 days to Casper’s 8th birthday! My old boy…

We celebrated our 5th pak-tor anniversary yesterday by having a simple dinner at RedDot Brewhouse @ Dempsey over some beer, awesome food and great live band singing. Probably a good place to chill out after work. Just that their happy-hour ended too early, at 7pm.

It’s the extremely peak period for me at work now. Sometimes I have to OT to ensure I don’t have too much leftovers overflowing to the next day. By the time I reached home, I would be too tired to continue with my wedding preparation. I could only force myself to do bit by bit. Oh God!

I only wish to have more energy as the date nears. I won’t give up! I wanna be a pretty and happy bride on my big day!