Waiting game

October 11th, 2012

Week 39, with 5 days to EDD.

Been on leave since the start of October, in preparation of my room for our move back to mummy’s home for confinement, and to wait for the tell tale signs of labour. Won’t go into too much detail for that. Labour isn’t very pretty or glamourous.

I couldn’t wait for him to arrive. I dreamt one night that he was born and that I was learning to feed him. But woke up disappointed to see that he was still in my tummy. Sigh.

Of course there was also a see-saw of emotions:

  • Baby, are you coming out yet?
  • Baby, wait don’t come out yet. Daddy needs to finish his work.
  • Baby, today can be the day.
  • Baby, maybe another day. Mummy wants to enjoy another day’s quiet breakfast and go shopping.

Everyone I know seems really excited:

  • The Godmama-to-be asked if there were any signs from baby. I told her there were. It said “Do Not Disturb”.
  • The sister in law has been dreaming about baby. Apparently he’s fat and chubby, and has started walking already.
  • My whatsapp has been flooded with excited comments about baby’s impending birth. Some who can even tell me when my EDD is.
  • Big sister calls me every morning to check if I’m on my way to the hospital, and has been reminding me to go for a stroll everyday to induce labour.
  • A guy friend calls me out of the blue to see if the baby is arriving soon. He wants to visit the baby before flying off for his holiday.
  • Not to mention the countless messages I’ve been getting on Facebook from new mummies and expectant mummies.

There was some speculation that baby would be early because both Aaron and I were 1 week early. But that’s nonsense of course. Though I couldn’t help wondering if it might be true.

Most of what we need to prepare has been prepared already. So there’s really not much else to do. Besides wait some more.

Come out soon baby! Daddy & Mummy want to meet you!

Playtime

September 24th, 2012

During Sunday dinner, little one was messing about so much in my tummy that I could hardly eat without constantly being interrupted by his kicking. He was stretching his little long legs to my right side in quick and sudden movements which sometimes really hurts.

So I decided to put him in his place. Kind of.

I’d tried restricting the extent of his kicks before, in the middle of the night, by pressing my elbow against my side so he couldn’t kick beyond it. And it worked, allowing me to sleep that night. I decided to modify it this time.

I placed my hand on my side, to where his little feet had landed, and gently pushed his foot closer to the centre, where it didn’t hurt me. He isn’t in any pain or harm of course, I’m just coaxing him to bend his leg.

Unfortunately, little one thought mama was playing with him, and decidedly pushed back against my hand, with nearly the same amount of force, until his leg was fully extended to my side and my hand was back to where I started from.

The pain came back of course, but I was more amazed that the little one could play with me, while separated by several layers of fluid, tissue and skin.

And at least, I hope he was playing. Because he could have just as easily been showing me exactly how territorial and stubborn he can be.

Observations of a very preggy lady

September 18th, 2012

With 1 month left on the pregnancy clock, my tummy is now looking rather advanced. In fact, I’ve heard so many people telling me that I’m looking “VERY pregnant”.

Of course, there’s no such thing as being very pregnant or less so. Either I’m pregnant or I’m not. It’s just people’s nicer way of saying, “OMG, you look like you’re gonna explode!”

Yes, I get it.

Considering that my baby is probably going to weigh about 3kg at birth and be about 50 cm in length, it’s hard to contain something like that in a container/uterus/tummy that is anything smaller. So fine, I’ll give or take a few clothing sizes and a couple more smart ass comments.

But things do get rather inconvenient with a tummy this big, as I’ve come to realise.

  • Carrying heavy loads - I couldn’t do this one for quite a while already, but in the earlier stages it was mostly due to the sheer exhaustion from it. Now that I’m bigger in the belly, there’s another problem. I can’t quite balance both my bag and my belly and it makes for a very clumsy sight.
  • Changing sleep positions - The preggy tummy is a heavy load, and it gets tiring sleeping in just 1 position for the entire night. But the tummy also has a life of its own, my cheeky little one living inside. When the little one settles into a certain position in my tummy, it gets difficult to shift myself with his arm or leg in the way. So I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, just to gently and slowly move myself to another position. And if his settled position hurts me, I also have to coax him into another position for me to move at all.
  • Sitting on the ground, getting off the ground, lying down, getting up from lying down - Basically, anything that requires me to change my position from the ground or from a lying down position is a challenge. It’s the weight of the tummy, and my inability to use my abdominal muscles. At this stage, when I try to get up, all my abs can do is try and flex itself, resulting in a triangular looking tummy, with no real effect on my position. (sigh) So I have to get up sideways, and slowly hoist myself from a squatting/kneeling position. It looks just as silly as it sounds. On some really tiring days, I can’t even do the hoisting on my own, and baby papa has had to come to my rescue several times.
  • Putting on complicated shoes, picking things from the ground - Not quite as bad as the shifting position, but just as silly looking. I’ve learnt the technique of getting around the big belly by squatting with my knees wide open and leaning slightly forward (with the support of a wall or heavy cabinet) to pick things up from the ground, and to put on my nice velcro good-for-feet shoes.
    It’s really unsightly, especially when I’m wearing a skirt or dress, so I have to face a wall when I do it. But it’s either that, or leave my trash on the ground and not wear my shoes at all. Not much of a choice there.
  • Cutting toenails - This one deserves a special mention. It never occurred to me before how complicated the cutting of toenails can get. But it requires a certain amount of flexibility and dexterity, because you need to fold your legs close enough to you to hold your toes with one hand and clip it with the other. I can assure you, they don’t quite fold with water retaining feet and calves.
    I spent over 20 mins trying to get all my toenails trimmed nicely, starting from my right foot which being the closest to my nail clipping right hand made it the easiest side to start from. But then, I got stuck at the little right toe because my tummy prevented me from folding my legs close enough to me. I had to clip it freehand, being careful not to clip my flesh as well. The left foot nearly made me give up, because I could barely reach the middle toe and I couldn’t even twist the big toe around far enough to make a clean clip. By the end of the ordeal, I’d used my uninitiated left hand to clip the last two toenails.

So yes, being pregnant isn’t always all nice and pretty. I didn’t even mention the acid reflux from overeating, the constant burping/farting, or even the awful awful waddling. My colleague said I’d started waddling, but I refused to believe her and vehemently denied it. (Actually I suspect I did waddle. Waddling is an easier way to move about fast.)

But, with the end result of seeing the little one born safe and healthy, I’d take the silliness of pregnancy any day.

Tummy break

September 18th, 2012

Little one is now at the start of 37 weeks. Which basically means he can be born anytime now and still be considered full term.

Yay!

His little coccoon of a tummy is unfortunately getting a little tight for him. As of yesterday, he hasn’t been able to shift around, and has only been able to push and kick me in the exact same spots all day.

Poor baby. Pain mummy.

Baby papa thinks his little one is going to get upset, but at least he can sleep quite comfortably resting against my stomach. Which is true, seeing as he has decided to give my innards a rest and settled in for a snooze.

Anyhow I read a little piece of information in my weekly newsletter from Whattoexpect that has fully explained my excessive consumption habits.

Moms carrying boys tend to eat more than moms carrying girls.

Loving a stranger

September 12th, 2012

“I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life. I knew I loved you before I met you, I have been waiting all my life.”

Anyone who grew up in my era would remember this Savage Garden love song. It spoke of love that is almost predestined and captured the hearts of every single girl friend I knew at the time. Granted we were all teenagers and such heart melting songs were always well-loved, and oversung.

I didn’t really believe it though. I would have liked to believe it, with all that talk about “how will I ever find THE ONE” and “how will I know exactly which one is THE ONE” going on at the time. But my relationships never felt like the song. Not even remotely. I usually didn’t like anyone until I’d gotten to know them more.

In fact, if you think deeper into it, Darren Hayes sounds a bit like a creepy stalker who tries to convince you that you are meant to be with him. Eww.

But I felt it the other day.

Little one had gotten tired after a particularly active day at the office, and didn’t want to play even while I was lounging in front of the TV. I looked down at my tummy and asked him if he’d like to get up.

He shifted a little and stopped. Very unlike him.

I guessed he was still exhausted and decided to pat his little behind gently, and soothe him to sleep. As I patted my tummy, mimicking the action as if he were already born, it made me realise that this little one is the only person in the world whom I can love so dearly, even before I can physically see him.

No pre-destiny involved, no creepy stalkery feelings. Just plain simple love.

Suddenly, the song made sense.

And my baby, though still a stranger, is already dearly and clearly loved by me.

Nesting Instinct

September 10th, 2012

35 weeks starting tomorrow. 5 more weeks to see baby. Last month at work. Woohoo!

The last visit revealed little one’s crop of fine hairs, and super chubby cheeks. And weighing in at 2.3kg, he is doing well in the weight department too.

Activity in the womb? Just fine. The Whattoexpect book says I should count how long it takes for baby to make 10 movements. Anything within an hour or 2 is normal. I have a feeling that is nonsense. My little one makes so many movements that 10 wouldn’t take more than 5 mins. In fact, he has already made 3 in the time it has taken for me to write this far. And that’s for a slow day.

Perhaps the least of my worries in my list of concerns during this pregnancy, has been baby’s level of activity. He never fails to wake me up in the morning with his antics, and proceeds to keep me company during the workday. His favourite activity time is during my TV time, when I’m relaxed and lying backwards giving him extra room to move. (That’s when the movements are most visible to my TV companion, his daddy.) Even on days when I feel faint from breathlessness, or get acid reflux from a heavy meal, he never fails to remind me that he feels none of the sort.

“Do I feel sick Mummy? No. What’s feeling sick, Mummy? Are we going out now?”

3 more movements. 6 now.

Now that he’s so big, the gynae predicts that his movements will start to slow down from the lack of space. Clearly not. He seems to have found lots of extra space around my sides and likes to stick his feet there, jabbing my ribs. I could even feel his feet rubbing rapidly down my side all through the night. I had to lie on my back, for fear of crushing his little limbs by accident. (Which of cos isn’t actually possible, but feels like it.)

Just got to the 10th movement in 8 mins or less. He continues with 4 new movements. I told you he’s quick.

Anyhow, I’m starting to feel the nesting instinct kicking in. That’s the urge to make things nice for the baby when he arrives. Fortunately the nesting instinct kicked in far earlier for my hubby. If left for the last minute as it is now, baby would have a very empty nest to start life in. Thank God for overzealous planners like Aaron.

Our nice Quinny stroller is almost ready. Now I’m thinking of getting a few extra things for it. Stuff I suspect I may not really need, but would be nice to have.

Quinny cup holder - It would be so useful for holding an extra bottle with water for baby to drink, when necessary.

Quinny zapp travel bag - For short trips and holidays. I’m already dreaming of the day we’ll bring baby out for a nice little holiday. I suspect Quinny will be coming out with a new Quinny Zapp Xtra travel bag very soon, now that they’ve announced a new folding seat conversion kit to make the Zapp Xtras foldable with the seats attached. Which also means the conversion kit would be another thing I’d like to get too.

Quinny parasol - For rainy days.

Para Kito hanging insect repellent - Hangs from the stroller. Good for walks without having to apply anything on the little one. The DEET in most repellents are no good for infants under 2 months. Downside: It lasts for 15 days straight and then you need to replace the pellet inside. :(

Hamster side saddle bags for strollers - Quinny strollers don’t have enough storage space for baby’s necessities, save for the small shopping bag at the bottom that doesn’t even have a cover or a zip. I like that these Hamster bags come as a set of two, to be hung on two sides, so it balances the whole stroller and prevents it from tipping backwards from excessive weight. Plus, they can be detached and carried as a sling bag. I love the idea. Hubby hates it. Jury’s still out.

I’m spending way too much time looking forward to baby, checking out these online stores. I can’t even read too much of my book regarding the labour process because it makes me think I might go into labour at that very moment!

3 more kicks from baby who is clearly excited too.

Got to remind myself to calm down. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Taking a breather

September 3rd, 2012

The choosing of little one’s name has been a terrible source of consternation.

The constant discontent coming from people who probably mean well but appear to muscle their singular opinion into the decision making process with nary an attempt to be a part of any discussion at all, is getting on my nerves.

Without getting into the details, it suffices to say that I’m quite sick of the whole matter, and that I’m really going to need a breather. A breather that goes beyond the physical breathlessness from carrying the weight of a pineapple from my abdomen all the time.

Ironically, the name that I really like at this point means “breath”. While the meaning of the name isn’t much, the person who embodies the name is one I could aspire toward. And besides, it’s a short and sensible modern-sounding name from the Bible that hasn’t been used to death (think the likes of James, Paul, Peter, John, Mark, Luke, & David). Where else am I going to find another one of those??

ABEL

Adam’s second born. When the time came for Abel and his older brother Cain to offer a sacrifice to the Lord, Abel picked some of the firstborn from the flock, including the fattest ones. Cain, on the other hand, just picked “some of the fruits”. The Lord was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, and wasn’t with Cain’s. Succumbing to jealousy, Cain killed Abel.

Problem?
Abel was always remembered as the first martyr in the bible. Chinese people don’t like the name because he was murdered.

Reasons why I think that doesn’t matter:

  1. Abel was remembered as a person with faith.
    Hebrews 11:4 - Faith in Action
    “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”
  2. The bible is full of people who died. Even Jesus did and his death was far more horrific.
  3. And come on, it’s not like I’m going to call him Cain.

Perhaps people think this is my first child so I wouldn’t know anything about naming my own child. Others seem to think we’re picking this name in spite. While I am having my first child, it’s true, I don’t think it undermines my ability to choose a name for my offspring. Besides, everyone has a first child, I don’t see anyone else having the problem.

Names are very very important to me.

I know that a name sticks with you forever and when given at birth, the child grows into the name he is given. By the same coin, I refuse to “just give any name” simply because I’m being pressured to. That’s not how I do things. If the discussion gets any uglier, then my boy will not be given any English name at all. He’s Chinese after all. He can live with only a Chinese name. And everyone else can try to call him whatever random English name they want, if they are so determined to.

Besides Abel is definitely not a name chosen out of spite. I think it’s a lovely name, with a strong story behind it, and a meaning that I’d be glad to have my son embody.

Abel: To be a person who has faith and acts upon it, without any worry about what others might think.

And if I’m gonna be punny, no matter what you need him to do, he’s always Abel to do it. :)

Who you calling fat?

August 14th, 2012

Lots of people get fat during a pregnancy.

The mommies-to-be would be the most obvious.

Every monthly checkup involves measuring my weight gain, something I don’t really enjoy because I’m always busting the recommended weight gain and being nagged at by our gynae isn’t exactly my idea of fun. Also, my pregnancy brain means I always have to ask the nurse what I weighed the month before. Most embarrassing.

Babycentre even has an entire weekly post dedicated to reminding mommies-to-be that they aren’t getting fat. They are growing a baby.

Right.

Then there are the daddies-to-be who seem to gain weight just by association. In the first trimester, they eat everything that the mommies-to-be can’t seem to eat. In the second trimester, they try to keep up with the mommies’ ferocious and almost insatiable appetites for desserts and sweet things. By third trimester, it’s a lost cause. They might as well be growing a baby too.

Finally, there are the babies-to-be who actually don’t gain much weight until the third trimester. They’re too busy building up all their other vital organs before that.

But as soon as they start gaining, there’s no stopping them. Little one gained 500g between weeks 28 and 30 when he only weighed 900g for the 20 odd weeks prior to that. And he’s going to gain another 1.5 kg or more in the next 6-8 weeks by the time he’s ready to be born.

That’s some rapid weight gain if you ask me. Almost as good as mine. (sigh)

Not sure how little one is going to adjust to the change. He’s been so accustomed to the space he had in my tummy, but as he gets bigger and heavier, he’s going to lose the luxury of space. When I lie on my back now, I can already feel him getting heavier and he weighs me down more when I walk. His movements are also starting to get slower, and harder. Partly due to all that calcium he’s taking into his bones, and partly due to his increasing size.

Some days I feel him pushing hard against the walls of my tummy, as if he was trying to stretch my skin out for a little more room.

Arms push on right. Stop. Legs push on left. Stop. Head butt near my naval. Stop.

I shake my head and whisper to my moving tummy, “Darling, this is as big as mummy’s gonna get, you’ll have to make do ok?”

My favourite preggy pic for now

August 8th, 2012

You hug me, I hug mug.

You hug me, I hug mug.

Skiving

August 8th, 2012

Sometimes I stop working to stare at my tummy moving.

I need to have my video camera ready for these things.