MS. ULB

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.

IMG_3485


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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.

Xoxo,
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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3, 2, 1…

36 weeks going on 37 and I will officially be on maternity leave from tomorrow onwards. Also counting down to the move to our new home and Olive’s birth day.

My nesting instinct has kicked in and is at full throttle just like the mama cats, dogs, birds, and bees. While packing and organising, here’s what I discovered:

Baby clothes

Olive’s endless supply of new clothes for her first year contributed by her overly excited parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties.

Now now, everybody, keep calm and meditate together with me, “Ommmmmmmmmm…”.


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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.