MS. ULB

a Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being


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Newborn Baby’s Checklist

So many newborn baby’s checklists out there as references but what do I really need?

NEWBORN_BABY_CHECKLIST-PJ

Seriously, what in the world are nipple shields? Madonna’s cone bra? Milk collection shells? Cows use buckets, women use bottles, mermaids use shells?

The things I have to google for motherhood…oh my.


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I like to move it, move it.

Olive is at her most active in week 31. I have felt fetal hiccups for four consecutive days now. She has lessened her yoga moves and is now trying to be a hip hop dancer or MMA fighter.

It’s amazing how every single effortless belly movement, that may be uncomfortable, still makes me feel so at ease.

By the way, in case you are put off by the dark vertical line right across my belly button, that’s the linea nigra. Another ugly stripe earned due to the pregnancy hormones, but perfectly normal and should fade away after birth.


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Sexytime

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.

Pros:
– 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).

Cons:
– 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.


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Pregnancy Insomnia. SOS!

Not an easy sleeper to begin with and then comes insomnia during pregnancy, especially now that I am in my third trimester.

The combination of Olive’s exponential growth enlarging my tummy, her frequent use of my bladder as a trampoline, and heartburn are all the reasons that lead to the sleepless nights.

The only consolation is that my usual sleeping position happens to be the best sleep position during pregnancy, i.e. the “SOS” (sleep on side) position and that helps to alleviate the discomfort. I am naturally more inclined to sleep on my left side which is supposed to be the better side as it lessens the pressure on the vena cava (main vein that returns blood to the heart) and the liver (located on the right side of the abdomen), and allows for optimum blood and nutrients flow to the placenta.

See how nature works? In your third trimester it starts preparing you for the sleepless nights to come when your baby is born.Pregnancy insomnia


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Pregnancy Test

So a week before my period was due, I had this gut feeling that I was pregnant and I spent a fair amount of time googling ‘When to take a pregnancy test’.

Read through some pregnancy/baby forums and some mothers responded in what seemed like gibberish to me. For example, “Hi, new here and got my BFP 5DPO.” BFP? 5DPO? What are we talking about here? Is 5DPO the next generation of C-3P0 that you need to update your Big Fat Pregnancy to?

And then I found this: http://www.babycenter.com/community-help-abbreviations

BFP = big fat positive (pregnancy)
5DPO = 5 days past ovulation

Based on what I had read, one can start testing for pregnancy 14 days past ovulation which coincides with the first day of one’s expected period. Honestly, without my period tracker app, I wouldn’t have a clue when ovulation day starts. To keep things simple and accurate, I bought two pregnancy test kits 6 days after I missed my period. The first Watsons house brand test kit failed me and the second ClearBlue test kit produced a big fat positive.

I will never forget the sudden surge of emotions and physical reactions that swept through me when those clear blue lines magically appeared.

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Surprise! Surprise!

 

 

Grinning from ear to ear, shedding a few tears, hands trembling, and shivers down my spine all at the same time.