35 Weeks Pregnant

The day after we turned 35, due to job hazard, husby had to attend to an incident where there was a subject who has chicken pox. Husby has not had chicken pox before and neither has he been vaccinated. While I had chicken pox when I was in primary school, I didn’t think that my pox outbreak was full-blow, as compared to my elder brother who had the pox as well. But I checked with my mummy and she said that I also had full-blown chicken pox. Guess what they said it’s true; when you have the pox when you are a child, the outbreak is not as bad as having it when you’re an adult (my elder brother is 8 years older than me so he was prolly around 18 when he had it).

Upon getting to know about it from husby, I started googling (when will I learn my lesson that googling does not alleviate fears??). I read that if I were to be infected, baby has a chance of developing neo-natal chicken pox which can lead to severe consequences. But what really freaked me out was the term “stillbirth” as I continued reading. 😦

I’m glad I married a wonderful husband who is willing to sacrifice his comfort for the sake of the baby. My husband volunteered to sleep at his work place, upon receiving my texts, and the next day, before coming home, he went to get himself vaccinated. He asked the doctor if there’s any concern getting vaccinated when his wife is pregnant at 35 weeks and the doctor generally told him no. The vaccine supposedly decreases his chances of getting infected to 10% and today is day 3. So far, husby has been feeling fine but I guess it’s still too early to say since the chicken pox virus incubates for 10-14 days. I also hope that I’m immune to chicken pox and this serves as a reminder for me to get myself vaccinated for pox and rubella (apparently my vaccine wore off and we only found out after we got pregnant) before we try for our second child in the future. If I am truly immune from chicken pox, there’s nothing to worry at all as my antibodies will be passed down to Ayshan. I don’t even want to think what happens if I’m not. Haiz.

Anw, at this point, I think we’ve taken all the precaution we could take and therefore, we will leave everything up to God. We really do hope and pray that God will protect baby Ayshan like how He’s been protecting him all this while. Amin.

34 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Ayshan is still in breech position. His head is towards my right rib cage and his butts are towards my left kidney. He weighs 2.7kg now. We’ll be seeing Dr Wong on NYE and if Ayshan has still not turned, we will schedule for an elective c-section between weeks 37 and 38.

We also got to see Ayshan’s face today and he seems to be munching when we were looking at him (either he’s munching his amniotic fluid or he munches in his sleep, like me). Got a full view of his thick lips and I’m secretly hoping that his thick lips will make breastfeeding easier (with all the lip cushioning). Well, a mummy can hope, right? 🙂

After the scan, Dr Wong said, “You must be feeling very uncomfortable by now, considering the baby is big and is in breech.” I answered, “Yeah. I can’t breathe properly, particularly when I lie down to sleep.”

These days, I sleep on 2-3 pillows each time but whether it’s on my sides or my back, I rarely feel comfortable enough to go into a deep sleep. It’s ok. I shall take this as training for when Ayshan is out.

Anw, Dr Wong also did a vaginal swab today to check if there’s any vaginal virus and if there is, antibiotics will be administered on the day of delivery.

Well, right now, I can only pray that Ayshan will somersault back down in the next 2 weeks. But if he doesn’t, c-section is fine with me too.

33 Weeks Pregnant and baby is in breech

We had an unscheduled visit to Dr Wong last week as I’ve been feeling this sharp, pulling feeling near my bladder area for the past 2 days. I didn’t think it was a source of concern, although every time it happens, it takes my breath away. It lasts about 1-2 seconds max each time and would come every few minutes during a specific period.

When I spoke to my colleagues who have had experience in childbirth, both of them suggested that I asked my gynae about it. So, I decided to text Dr Wong and the next thing I knew, he asked us to come down to the clinic for a cardiotocography (CTG) scan that same morning.

Note: A CTG is done to see if your baby’s heart beats at a normal rate and variability. A CTG done in your third trimester is also known as a ‘non stress test’ because your baby is not under the ‘stress’ of labour. Normally, a baby’s heart rate is anywhere between 110 and 160 beats per minute and increases when the baby moves.

I panicked after googling what a CTG scan is for and prayed to God that Ayshan is not in distress as it’s still a little early for him to meet us for our first date. Upon reaching the clinic, I was put on the CTG machine where Ayshan’s heartrate was monitored. My “contractions” were also monitored but that stupid, pulling feeling did not happen when I was being monitored. So, the CTG scan results were inconclusive and Ayshan’s heartbeat was normal and it did rise when he was wriggling around.

Unfortunately, we got an alarming news when Dr Wong did an u/s scan. During our 32 weeks scan, Ayshan’s head was already facing down, preparing to enter the world. However, during the 33 weeks scan, Dr Wong discovered that he has somersaulted back up. I don’t know how my dear baby is able to somersault back up when there’s barely any space to do so anymore. It’s really getting cramp in here. As it is uncommon for babies to somersault back up so late in the pregnancy, considering the lack of space and all, Dr Wong basically told me to be mentally prepared that I may need to deliver thru c-section.

To me, I personally don’t care how Ayshan is being delivered, as long as he is safe. Being a mummy-to-be really puts my life to perspective. I really don’t care what happens to me, as long as my dearest baby is fine. Of course, ideally, I would prefer to deliver naturally as the recovery rate is much faster for the mother and I can go back to being active and shed this unwanted pregnancy pounds pronto. But if God decreeds that I give birth thru c-section, then so be it. I would not be fussy and demand that I give birth naturally to a baby in a breech position.

Anw, at 33 weeks pregnant, dearest Ayshan is between 2.3 to 2.4kg. While his growing weight assures me, it also means that Ayshan is running out of time to somersault back down, for me to have a natural delivery. We shall see what happens during our 34 weeks scan. If c-section is truly needed, I think I will opt for Ayshan to be delivered the day he supposedly turns 37 weeks, which is on 7 January 2016 (about 3 weeks away).

Dr Wong gave me 3 days mc, following the CTG scan as he say that pre-term labour is worrying and that I should have enough rest. He did, however, advised that if I truly am having contractions and delivering a pre-term baby, I should consider heading down to KK Hospital to deliver instead of delivering at TMC. He said that a pre-term baby will have to stay in the ICU for a while and it will get expensive for the parents. How nice is my gynae right? Although, considering the conjunctivitis case at KKH, I told husby that even if I have to give birth pre-term, there’s no way I’d go to KKH. My baby’s health is the most impt. Money can always be earned.

To prepare for Ayshan’s arrival, husby and I have washed all his “home” clothes, towels, mittens, booties and caps. We’re only left with his “outside” clothes, bedding and soft toys. We’ll prolly wash his bedding and soft toys in 2 weeks time and prepare his crib. I cannot state enough how excited I am at Ayshan’s arrival and holding him in my arms, despite knowing how much our life is going to change. 🙂

Childbirth Education Course by Thomson Medical Centre

We are lucky to be surrounded by close friends who are also pregnant around the same time. Thomson Medical Centre’s Childbirth Education Course (CEC) was highly recommended by a close friend of mine who had attended the course and raved about how useful it was. 2 of my colleagues whose wives also delivered at TMC had also attended the course and said it was useful. So, we decided to sign up for it and since we’re TMC First Born Incentive (FBI) members, the course is slightly cheaper at around $280 per couple.

Note: We would encourage parents who are planning to deliver at TMC to sign up as FBI or Subsequent Born Incentive (SBI) members as you get a lot of freebies and signing up for Cordlife also comes at a highly discounted rate (which we did).

Anw, the CEC is a 5-day course (once per week, on a day of your choosing) with one complimentary doctor lecture at the end of the course. We opted to attend the Thursday night sessions at AMK Hub (the weekend sessions are more expensive, and understandably, more packed). Our Nurse Educator (NE) is Ms Wong Boh Boi, who is also the author of 3 books which parents will receive when they sign up as FBI/SBI members. I shall attempt to provide a brief overview of each class.

1st lesson – Physical & Mental Preparation

We found this lesson particularly useful. Some of the stuff I picked up was how you should not succumb to traditional beliefs during the confinement period just because your mother/grandmother/great-grandmother tells you so. The NE explained why, in the olden days, mothers were told not to shower. It was because they had to let their wounds below heal naturally, unlike today, where doctors are more trained to sew your perineum tears.

Heard this before, “If you shower, wind will get into your body.” Please ah. Last time, there was no such thing as a water heater so mothers had to bathe the cold water and in turn, their bodies are not heated enough. Now, there’s the damn water heater and hair dryer to dry your hair right after showering. And in Singapore, where the weather is humid, it’s simply ridiculous not to bathe, especially for mothers who are planning to breastfeed. Imagine feeding your poor little baby with sweat trickling down your boobs and nipples. Ewww.

We also learnt how to correctly “stroke” the baby while in the belly and not simply rub the belly round and round. Imagine being in a pool and suddenly someone made the pool into a whirlpool. Would you like it? No, right? Same goes for babies. You’re supposed to stroke your hand bottom up or for some “action”, you can just tap left-right-centre-down. You’re encouraged to get some “action” from your baby during the day. Ever wonder why your baby is more active at night? It’s because you have “neglected” him during the day and only giving him attention at night!  Daddies are also encouraged to talk to the baby when he’s home and if daddy is coming home late that day, mummy should then let baby know not to “wait up” for daddy. This constant communication will also allow baby to adopt similar practice when he’s out of the womb.

2nd lesson – Pain Relief

We learnt the different types of pain relief during labour. I’m sure ‘laughing gas’ and epidural are widely used words when you’re pregnant. Impt takeaway is that some mothers complained that the laughing gas is smelly. Actually, the laughing gas does not have any smell.  It’s the mask that smells.

The daddies were also thought on how to give the mummies massages during labour to alleviate some of the pain. It’s useful because my baby daddy uses the technique (some what) to massage me now. 🙂

Anw, for info, we have decided to opt for epidural for our pain relief. Hopefully, we reach the hospital early enough, to have it administered.

3rd lesson – Labour & Delivery

During this lesson, we learnt how to manage our breaths during labour. There are so many different types of breathing techniques but if all else fails, just do deep breathing when contraction hits.

In a nutshell, when the pain heightens (usually during the later dilations…not at the 1-2cm ones), you need to do this technique – Breathe a deep breath, blow, blow, blow, blow. Once the contraction subsides, sigh deeply.

We were also taught that when one is in pain, you will only be able to hear the voice of your loved ones. So your delivery partner (may be baby daddy or someone else) plays a very crucial part during delivery. Because when the midwife tells you to push, you are likely not to do anything until your partner tells you to push. So, it’s very impt for your partner to pay extra attention during this class. Because, in order for your perineum not to tear mercilessly, you have to do the quick breaths technique

4th lesson – Breastfeeding

This lesson was held at SCGS auditorium. Pls note that the seats in the auditorium is not especially comfortable for mummies and for those like me, who perspire even in aircon rooms, be prepared to bring a fan along.

This lesson teaches you how to stimulate your breasts and prepare it for breastfeeding, how to prevent engorgement, what to do when there’s engorgement. My friend who is able to produce milk like a fountain, told me that she has engorged breasts the moment she sleeps a little longer and not pump the milk out at the 4-hour mark. And that the pain of engorgement hurts more than her C-section. Poor dear.

5th lesson – Practical Hands-on Baby Care

This particular lesson was painful for us. The NE had a lot of stories up her sleeve and after each practical lesson, she shared with us a couple of stories. The class was supposed to end by 9pm and at 9.45pm, she said, “I don’t care, the class will finish late.” By then, my back was aching (we had to sit on uncomfortable chairs this time, unlike the other lessons where we were given a mat and pillows to lean against/lie down on) and I started to have water retention at my legs and hands.  And I’m like…hey, not everyone here is comfortably in their second trimester. There are mothers like me who are in their 3rd, and frankly, quite uncomfortable, trimester! So, since she didn’t care, I also didn’t care about her and decided to just leave the class there and then. Poor husby was also very tired by then because he was from another course in the day and was mentally fried.

Anw, during this lesson, we learnt how to bathe, wear clothes and diapers for the baby (more for the daddies’ benefits as such things do not usually come naturally to them). Also, different ways on how to carry the baby, burp the baby and perform CPR when an emergency occurs. The practical lesson took about 2 hours, when it could have been shrunk to an hour (if you remove like 5 stories).

The part where we left was when she went into the 5 S’s on how to soothe your crying baby. I figured that I could probably google this info and so, we left when she launched into yet another story, during the 3rd S. Here’s what I had googled:

Swaddling – Snug wrapping is the cornerstone of calming, the essential first step in baby soothing. Swaddling is like the soft caresses babies feel during pregnancy. Babies often struggle during the wrapping, but it helps keep them from flailing. And, as soon as you add the other S’s the calming will begin. (Avoid loose blankets around the face and overheating. They are associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)

Side or Stomach Position – The back is the only safe sleeping position. But, it makes crying babies cry even more because they feel a bit like they’re falling. The side or stomach position cancels that feeling and switches on the calming.

Shushing – Shushing is “music to your baby’s ears.” Remember, the sound in the womb is louder than a vacuum, so when your baby is crying you’ll need to shush as loudly as she’s wailing, then gradually lessen your intensity as she settles.

Swinging – Infants love rocking, but crying babies need fast, tiny, jiggly movements back and forth like a shiver when they’re really upset. Swings, slings and rocking chairs help to keep them calm once they settle. Always support your baby’s head and never jiggle her when you’re angry.

Sucking – This wonderful S is the “icing on the cake.” It lulls babies into profound tranquility. Nursing moms offer the breast for soothing and avoid using pacifiers until the baby is nursing well for a couple of weeks.

Info from here

Anw, overall, apart from the long-windedness of the NE during the last lesson, we enjoy the course tremendously as we learnt a lot of useful information that we would not have if we didn’t attend the course. We would highly encourage soon-to-be parents to sign up for this course and hope you find the course as informative as we did.

32 Weeks Pregnant (Update)

This will be a short entry as I’m just updating what happened at the gynae’s visit yday.

Baby Ayshan is now weighing at 2.1kg. While not overly big, Dr Wong is still insisting for us to go for early labour at 37 weeks (hopefully, Ayshan is ready to meet us for our first date then). He suggested for us to swim/brisk walk/climb stairs religiously from week 35 onwards, for at least an hour each day. As he was advising, I can’t help lamenting silently that I can barely walk 15 mins without the urge to pee, much less an hour. Oh well. May be I should just climb the stairs at my place. At least the toilet will be well within reach. 🙂

We also received our gestational diabetes result and I’m glad to announce that we’re in the clear! So happy to know the wonderful results as I was born a diabetic baby and therefore, the chances of me having GD was highly likely.

We’re seeing Dr Wong in 2 weeks time next. For now, we hope and pray that our baby boy will steadily continue to grow into his perfect self, ready to meet us in a bit.

I can’t believe how much I love him, even before I meet him. And I’m sure this love will only continue to grow.

32 Weeks Pregnant (thereabouts)

We’ll be entering the 32nd week of pregnancy this coming Thursday (3 November). Based on the size of my tummy, I wonder how much baby Ayshan has grown, be it length or weight. When he’s awake and doing his thing, I can feel his bum/back against my tummy and husby and I can’t resist poking him. 🙂 Ayshan will then move around to avoid our gentle poking. I hope he sees these pokes as a game we’re playing with him and not that we’re purposely disturbing him.

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Look at the ball of a tummy I’m carrying!

We hope that Ayshan will be ready to meet us for our first date in about 5 weeks time (37 weeks is full-term, btw). We’re so excited to meet him and we’ve bought so many different kinds of diapers (I think we have 4) for him to try; Huggies (ok, we didn’t buy this coz we got free packs being TMC members), Drypers, Mamypoko and Tesco (we bought the diapers while on vacation in Malaysia and decided to throw in the supermarket brand in).

5 weeks seem so near and while thoroughly excited to meet Ayshan, I’m also anxious about the birthing process. I hope I would be able to deliver Ayshan naturally, with Epidural, and that I don’t need to go through a c-section delivery. That is why, I hope he’ll make his stellar apperance in 5 weeks so that he isn’t too big to be delivered naturally. Dr Wong is not positive that I will be able to deliver him naturally if we wait til 40 weeks as Ayshan may be too large.

Separately, we’ve been for the Childbirth Education Course conducted by TMC and have learnt a lot on what and how to get ready for labour (more on this on the next post). Husby and I enjoyed the classes so much and we found it so informative that we strongly encourage all pregnant couples to attend this course, if you are able to afford it and attend the classes.

I’ve also started feeling some water retention swelling at the legs..Every time I look down (when I can look down), I feel like my legs are humongous.. 😦 Although, husby says that he’s amazed at how light I seem to be when I walk coz I can still walk pretty fast. I’m also still driving to work and it only tires me when I’m stuck in a dreadful jam. Else, I still feel fine enough to do the things I had been doing before I got pregnant.

Anyway, we’re seeing Dr Wong this Thursday and hope to have good news for our glucose test result!

Maternity Shoot

During week 30 of our pregnancy, we went for a maternity shoot (seems like the “in” thing for pregnant couples). I bought a Groupon voucher which only costs $15. The package comes with 5 edited photos.

As I want my husby to join in the shoot, we had to top up an additional $10 and since we want the softcopy for all our photos, we had to top up $60 (for 3 additional edited photos as well). In total, the maternity shoot cost us $85. I think it was worth it.

Of course, I had to do my own make-up and prepared our own outfits but because we had everything we needed (including fake eye-lashes), we didn’t need to fork out anything else extra.

This is an edited photo, provided by Smile Moment studio. They also asked our permission if they can use this photo as one of their promotional advertisements for their company. Since we don’t look too bad in this photo, we agreed for them to use it. 🙂

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And below is an un-edited photo. Our little Superhero family – SuperDaddy, WonderMummy and BatBaby!

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We’re excited to receive the rest of our edited photos. It will be a great momento for this wonderful pregnancy period. 🙂