a Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Lest We Forget

Olive’s Birth Story

13th Oct 4am: Started experiencing Braxton Hicks.

14th Oct 10pm: Regular contractions commenced. 40 seconds to a minute of pain, 5 minutes interval.

14th Oct 11pm: Admitted to the hospital. 2cm dilated. Enema administered.

14th Oct 2am: Needed rest and sleep badly but the pain was getting to me. Caved and signed the indemnity form for epidural.

14th Oct 3am: 4-5cm dilated.

14th Oct 5am: 7cm dilated.

14th Oct 7.30am: 10cm dilated. Pushing with the encouragement of the oldest nurse/midwife in Singapore started. Comically choked while exerting, spat at her, and laughed like a mad woman.

14th Oct 8.15am: Nurse called for the Doc and Olive was delivered at 0838hrs after 2 rounds of contractions/pushing.

No birth plan, just went with the flow, and eternally grateful for the very encouraging and supportive husband who stuck by me the whole time.



My Husband Says the Darndest Things

I think I should have daily posts titled ‘My Husband Says the Darndest Things’.

Today, over a lunch date with Oska, we were on the topic of our daughter (yes, she is always a topic in all our conversations ever since I got pregnant with her). I was asked to rate Olive on a scale of 1 to 10 for the following questions which Oska ended up rating on his own before I could even respond:

1. Cuteness – His response: “20. She is the ultimate cute. She is going to be the cutest now right?”

2. Expressiveness – His response: “20. When she is happy and when she is angry, she is oh my God…”

3. Fats content – His response: “Above average.”

4. Thigh ratio (I think he meant thigh to body ratio) – His response: “Above average.”

You see, Olive is so lovable in her Daddy’s eyes that she cannot even be placed within a scale, whatever the scale might be.

Bow from thelittlebowco; Sunsuit from Sapling Child; Shoes from Carters.

Bow from thelittlebowco; Sunsuit from Sapling Child; Shoes from Carters.

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The Woman in Me

One fine day, while waiting for me to doll up Olive before we headed out, my husband suddenly remarked, “All the bad habits of a woman in you have been unleashed after having Olive.” I broke out into laughter because I couldn’t agree more.

Here are my top 3 transformations pre- and post-delivery:

  1. Pre – Always ready to head out in less than 10 minutes, sometimes even 5. Yes, I was, and still am very low maintenance.
    Post – Probably need close to an hour to prepare Olive’s diaper bag, make sure she is well fed, and well dressed but still don’t give two hoots about myself.
  2. Pre – Never a fan of shopping. In fact, my husband, Oska, shops more than I do.
    Post – Non-stop shopping for Olive, especially online.
  3. Pre – Very chill with a high level of tolerance, and zero pet peeves about Oska.
    Post – The nesting mother who wants everything spick and span, and who would love to have a husband who cleans up after himself (think dirty laundry strewn all over the floor, food/beverage packaging left on the table etc.).
Blanket from Jamiekay; Bow from thelittlebowco; Tee from Adidas; Leggings from Bonds; Shoes from H&M; Flounder from Singapore Airlines.

Blanket from Jamiekay; Bow from thelittlebowco; Tee from Adidas; Leggings from Bonds; Shoes from H&M; Flounder from Singapore Airlines.

So, I made a pie chart of where I am at now:


And this is where I aim to be at:

pieChart_jpg_to beBut you know, nothing is quite fair in this world, so I will just have to do my best in finding equilibrium, finding the balance, the harmony, the rhythm, the highs and the lows, the yin and the yang, the blues and all that jazz.

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Not just a Mama

Because I am not just Olive’s mama. I’m me, I have my own identity, and I am also Oska’s wife, lover, and friend.

Therefore, I posted this on Facebook on 10.11.14:

Only been a year since 10.11.13 and we have been blessed with the cutest, sweetest, (insert all positive adjectives)-est baby girl, Olive.

Now I’ve not one, but two babies to love because you have been and always will be the first. Happy 1st wedding anniversary Oska.

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My Precious

Posted this on my Facebook account:

Another moment that reminds me just how precious and beautiful life is.

Thank you Oska, for being the ever endearing and reliable friend, lover, husband, and now daddy.

Thank you baby Olive for such a fuss free and enjoyable pregnancy, and for coming to this world healthy.

They say it takes a village to raise a child but it feels as though Sophie and I have an entire military contingent looking out for us. So thank you, family and friends, for all the support and pampering. I hope Olive continues to bring you joy.

the extremely grateful new mummy.

Our very first family picture, right after Sophie was born, 141014.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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Met up with my girlfriends last night and was posed the question, “Is it ok to have sex during pregnancy?” This happened to be one of the first few questions I unabashedly asked my obstetrician during my first visit.

And the answer? A big fat ‘Yes’ (except for women with high risk pregnancies).

For the nitty gritty details, our Health Promotion Board actually has a pretty good article on ‘Sex During Pregnancy‘. Not bad, Singapore!

As compared to our SEA neighbours, Singapore is at the very least making an effort to improve on our pronatalist policies. In my course of work, I have to be familiar with the labor laws across countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, as well as India and Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). ANZ aside, Singapore ranks first in terms of our government mandated maternity/ paternity/ parental/ childcare leave entitlement. But I do think Singapore needs to strive harder and benchmark against the developed countries. Better pro-family schemes and bigger baby bonuses please.

Back to sex, here are 10 Things Dads-to-Be Need to Know About Sex During Pregnancy. My favourite slides are:
2. She Really Is “Too Tired” – I may look like I’m glowing but pregnancy fatigue is real.
4. The Second Trimester Is Your Best Bet – It sure felt good to be pampered at Maalifushi by COMO, Maldives. Babymoon in the second trimester is a sure win!
5. Your Baby Won’t Get Hurt When You Get Busy – Just kidding when I said you were poking Olive’s eyes.
11. Tell Her She Looks Great — No Matter What – The husband made me feel like I’m at my sexiest when pregnant and it really helped me embrace pregnancy fully.

Babymoon @ Maalifushi by Como, Maldives.

Babymoon @ Maalifushi by Como, Maldives.

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Mine, immaculate dream

Thanks to Oska for indulging me with a Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow, I had the best night sleep in both my second and third trimester so far.

– Supports the contours of the body, especially needed for the back and belly.
– Whichever side you turn to, there is something to hug.
– Great comfort in general.
– Looks like it can double up as a nursing pillow (to be confirmed at a later date).

– Pricey (The husband bought it on impulse at SGD$219 from First Few Years in Paragon. He caught me eyeing the body pillow section and knew how reluctant I was to spend on myself given the huge expenses already incurred and to be incurred on both Olive and our new home. Pretty sure there are cheaper alternatives out there e.g. Amazon, Groupon, Qoo10, but I am so grateful that Oska bought it there and then.)
– Takes up too much space, transforming my queen bed to a single bed. I had to store my pillows and bolsters elsewhere. Leachco Back N Belly Pillow

And it’s true that vivid dreams happen more during pregnancy, nightmares included. I had the sweetest dream last night, of Oska carrying Olive in a toy store, and him fulfilling all her whims and fancies. I was just standing there, watching them laugh and giggle as they reach out to the racks and racks of rainbow-colored toys displayed.

If I can paint out this scene, I would call it “Oska, Olive and the Amazing Technicolor Toystore”. Can you imagine it, this beautiful scene?

Oska and I have been discussing at length on how we would like to bring Olive up and there was always mention of how we will try not to spoil our child. But my dream had already shown otherwise and I absolutely cannot wait to see how it will pan out in reality.