Hi everybody! I’ve shifted my blog to http://www.blog.jashuat.com, which is also a part of my wedding blog (www.jashuat.com). New entry on diaper brand review, and how to take care of your baby’s butt is up on http://www.blog.jashuat.com! It’s an independent review free from advertisements, so you can trust what I say haha
Dear daddies out there
With the birth of a child, your first child, your life is the same no more. In this flurry of newness and activity, much has been fussed over the wife and the baby. More often than not, your role has been overlooked in favour of the moms, and it’s not without reason – afterall, they are the ones carrying the child for 9 months, and they are the ones going through the nasty little thing called labour.
What good are you, dear daddy? What value do you bring to the table?
As a cynical girlfriend once said, “What good is the role of the man other than in comforting the missus during labour? I can comfort too, that’s easy. Just a few sweet words and pats on the back, who can’t do that?”
Well honey, the truth is, whose hands matters. Labour taught me that. When your hubby’s hands are intertwined with yours, you’ll feel a strength and warm comfort coursing through you that lets you know, you’re NOT ALONE. That matters. More than you’ll ever know, dear hubby.
You are the one holding your wife’s hand as the two of you stroll through the park. While she is soaking in the morning sun, your eyes are intently watching out for cats or dogs or rodents that might frighten her and cause her to trip in her pregnant state.
You are the one fixing up the baby’s cot and cleaning up the room, all excited and ready for baby’s arrival. You clean and pack the nursery room, and forbid your wife from overly exerting herself. Your purchase a car in anticipation of the little one. You calculate the finances and make sure the
both of you, the three of you, are in good state.
It’s what you can do, you say, and she smiles at you, as you remind her once again of the man she married, and with your small little gestures, speak volumes of the father you are to become.
You are the one who come flying once THE CALL comes, in between sobs of pain “dearie, can you come now?” You are the one trying to drive safely yet flooring a 100, 120 in your anxiety, caught between wanting to be by your wife’s side this very instant, and fighting the overwhelming urge to speed. You are the one hastily rushing down to hail a cab while calling for one on your phone, and your iPad, ready to head to the hospital or rush to your wife’s side. You are the one who want to do everything within your means to make your wife feel better during labour, and yet, there is nothing more you can do than being by her side, holding her hands.
And that, dear daddies, is enough.
As you see your baby for the first time, your heart swells with pride, and you love this little crying human being immediately. Never mind that he looked abit gray when you first set eyes on him. For an instant, just an instant before your baby hollered a good one, your heart stopped for a moment – is he alright? Why does he look so gray and… lifeless?
And then the li’l babe cried, and once again, your heart bubbles with little floating balloons of happiness. You look at your wife, your brave missus who delivered this little package for the both of you, and you know that you love her more than ever. Not because she gave you a child, but because that moment told the story of all that you love about her, the journey the both of you walked, hand in hand, till now, where another beautiful chapter in your story is about to unfold.
You spend a precious week with your wife and baby, adjusting to life as a family nucleus of 3 (for now), and poof, before you know it, time has flown by you and now, you’re being packed off back to work. You rush through lunch and stay in during work, just so that you can be at 150% productivity, but dearie, don’t you realise? The work you have is for 2 or 3, and staying late will never be enough.
By the time you reach home, your child is asleep, and your wife is tired. You know the burning eagerness and duty you feel to see your baby and be with him, and to support your wife in any way you can. But you can’t. You’re away at work. All you can do now is to look at them, feeling sorry that another day has passed and you weren’t able to spend any decent time with them.
You understand how those soldiers sent overseas for missions feel; those soldiers who spend years out at war and are unable to hold their child and cradle their babies in their arms. You feel their pain, and know they are fighting a tougher war than you. So you grit your teeth and rage your own fight against the finiteness of time and the mounting work that never ceases.
Others who don’t know think you have it easy. You’re working, they reason. You don’t have to feed a hungry baby every few hours or decipher his cries. You just… work. But they don’t know the good 10 – 15 hours you put in at work every single day just so you can bring home the bacon. Just so you are a responsible employee. They don’t know your fatigue, and your desire to straddle both the duty of responsible dad and responsible employee within the same 24hours. They don’t know how dearly you hold the morning kisses or how immensely precious the moments are when your baby looks at you in the morning, beaming right at you, just before you leave for work. That’s your energy bar right there, that will fuel you as you work till the sun sets, and some more.
They don’t know the pain in your heart and the guilt you feel towards your wife and child, that you are not spending enough time with them. They don’t know and they won’t see the silent tears you shed.
But I do, dearie, and know that in this day and age, to be a good dad and a responsible worker is a near impossible task. I see you trying your best, I see the guilt and fatigue scrambling for the same space in your eyes.
So dear daddies, know that as you try your best, you are vindicated of all guilt that you feel of being an inadequate dad and husband. Your very effort is appreciated and you are very much loved. The toughest of times will pass all of us by, and what we can do now, is cherish every weekend that we have.
We love you, dad. We always will.
Ray is 2 months and 2 days old today. Hurrah to the li’l boy who has completely stolen my heart. It’s amazing how Pips and I can immediately love this little boy, who technically is a strange, foreign face when he was born. Guess the bonding and love started even before he was born 🙂
See how the lovable rascal has grown in less than 2 months!
Anyway, the purpose of this post today is to share my experience as a first time mom giving birth, and to share tips and advice that will help others (and remind myself) prior to giving birth. I’m going to write in a straight-off-the-bat style, and what I write is only limited to my own experience giving birth at NUH.
- My mucus plug came out at about 5pm on 15 December, 2013. From what I read, this can be a sign that labour is imminent or near, or it can be about 2 weeks later that you’ll give birth. In any case, when you experience mucus plug, be prepared! You may start experiencing contractions in the next few days!
* Mucus Plug, aka Bloody Show or Show is a vaginal discharge tinged with blood. It can be dark brown or pinkish in colour, a sorta jelly like consistency to it. Mine was the colour of normal vaginal discharge tinged with fresh blood streaks.
- Monitor the regularity of your contractions and the Pain Intensity: In my previous post, I mentioned that I had pretty regular contractions (30 secs of pain every 5 mins) in the morning of 16 Dec 2013. This is a sign of early contractions and you should monitor the frequency. On a pain scale, it was about 5/10 or 6/10 thereabouts. I could still do my own thing like blogging, facebooking etc.If you can still go about your daily chores, you are still fine. Labour is not knocking on your door just yet, but most likely, it is very near!
- Call the labour ward or the number that your obstetrician has given you when you experience early labour: Calling the labour ward will set your mind at ease. Before you call them though, make sure that you have monitored the regularity of the contractions, and mentally gauged how intense the pain is, on a scale of 1-10. Given that you may not have experienced labour pain before (like me), you may wish to compare it to menstrual cramps or stomach flu/gastric pains etc. When I described the initial pain to Boo, she said it seemed like her experience when having menstrual cramps, so that’s a rough gauge for you ladies. When the pain gets consistently worse, do call your labour ward again to keep them updated and to set your mind at ease. I think I called the labour ward thrice that day.TIMELINE LEADING UP TO LABOUR: A timeline of my experience in brief below:
- 1) 15 Dec 2013, 5pm: Mucus Plug
2) 15 Dec night, bedtime: Experienced abit of contractions, but still able to sleep
3) 16 Dec, 7am: Woke up with stomach contractions. Regularity of 30secs pain every 5mins
4) 16 Dec, 2/3pm: Headed to United Square with Pips to purchase a breast pump tube (Medela)
5) 16 Dec, 5pm: Checked into NUH Labour Ward for them to monitor my contractions and baby’s heartbeat. Contractions are fairly regular, 30 secs every 4/5mins, and pain is more intense than in the morning, at about 7/10. Cervix is only 1cm dilated, and labour may be a few hours away, or a few days. In-house Doctor does a cervix membrane sweep (supposed to quicken or kickstart the labour process). My obstetrician, the gentle Dr Roy Ng, instructed the doctors to keep me warded as my contractions were fairly regular, and also because I have Strep B virus. I am sent out of the labour ward to a normal ward as I am not in labour just yet.
6) 16 Dec, 10pm: Pips and I are pushed to a 4 bedder ward as there are no single bedders available. In-house doctor does a cervix check again, and I am only 1cm dilated still. Pain is getting progressively worse. 8/10 to 9/10. I tell Pips to go home first as he can’t stay overnight in the 4 bedder ward. Labour may be a few days away (The medical professionals and everyone else tell me that first time labour is usually quite long). Pips stayed with me till 11pm when I shooed him home, assuring him that I am fine
6) 16 Dec, 11pm – 2am: I am in PAIN, I am in absolute AGONY, and I am whining piteously to myself. I wanted to wait for my cervix to dilate to 3cm so that I can be given epidural immediately instead of taking an additional form of painkiller (Laughing gas). But the pain proved too great and I cave in. I am thereafter, wheeled to the labour ward.
7) 16 Dec, 2plus am: I am given gas, while being monitored for my contractions, and baby’s heartbeat. The nurse checks my cervix again, and I am suddenly at 3 – 4cm. No wonder. The pain’s a real bitch. I call Pips and he is flying over in his car. Labour has begun!Hope the above timeline is useful in helping you to gauge your own labour process.In my next entry, I will talk about the labour process and tips to manage the whole labour better, as well as the brands of items to buy that I find good. Below are some information regarding pre-labour, such as what you need to pack in your hospital bag, and items that you need to have ready, before you give birth.
STREP B VIRUS/WATER BAG BURSTING
- Water Bag burst, how quickly to check into the hospital? Many people have told me that when your water bag bursts, there is no need for you to check into the hospital right away. You can still take a warm shower and get yourself clean and ready for the next stage in your life, and leisurely make your way to the hospital. Be calm, don’t rush. Make sure you have your hospital bag ready with you to take to the hospital, and do take a clean towel with you to absorb the leaking or gushing water so you don’t dirty the car seat/interior. Call the labour ward and inform them, so that they can prepare a room for you in advance, and you can go directly into the room to be checked, and to give birth if labour is imminent.
- STREP B virus: Taking a leisurely bath before checking into the hospital when my water bag burst was exactly my plan, but it was discovered during a routine check at abt 36/37 weeks that I have the strep B virus for this pregnancy (harmless to moms, can be harmful to baby when you have a natural delivery. Baby can contract chest infections etc) I was very worried initially, but this virus is pretty common, and it comes and goes, which means that you may have strep B virus for pregnancy 1, but may not have it for pregnancy 2. In any case, should you have strep B virus and your water bag bursts, please check into the hospital IMMEDIATELY, because you need to have at least 4 hours of penicillin coursing through you before your baby comes out, so that the baby is well protected against the virus before he is delivered.
For Baby Ray, my labour progressed very quickly (2 hours plus!) and he did not get the full 4 hours protection. Thus, he had to get 4 injections spread out in the next 48 hours after he was born.
- What does your hospital provide?: Your hospital would have given you a checklist of what to pack in the hospital bag, so do use that as a guide. I was checked into Coral Suite, a private room with ensuite bathroom and living room at NUH, and the hospital provided the following (I think generally, hospitals should be providing roughly the same items):
a) Clothes for me during my stay in hospital
b) Clothes and blanket for baby Ray during his stay in hospital
c) Baby Wipes (Pigeon) for baby Ray
d) Diapers (One pack of Huggies) for baby Ray
e)Formula Milk for the baby if you are not breastfeeding
f) Toothbrush and toothpaste
g) Meals were provided for me
h) Sanitary Pad (Kotex, no wings) and Maternity Pad for me
i) Soap and shampoo, and towels (you can request for an additional one for your hubby if he is staying over)
j) Pillow and blanket for your hubby if he is staying over
- Additional items you should pack in your hospital bag: Pips stayed with me and Baby Ray throughout our stay in hospital, so we had to pack extra items for Daddy Pips. Other than the guide, you should pack the following:
a) Clothes for Daddy throughout his stay in the hospital.
b) Clothes for Mommy for the day she leaves the hospital
c) Clothes for Baby for the day he leaves the hospital
d) Blanket or Wrap for Baby for the day he leaves the hospital so that he’ll be warm
e) 2 pairs of Mittens for Baby as his fingernails will be long, and you don’t want him scratching himself.
f) Booties and hat for Baby to keep him warm when he leaves the hospital
g) Facial wash and body foam/shampoo if you do not wish to use the ones provided by the hospital
h) Breastpump (They will teach you how to use the breastpump. They also provided a steriliser for use during my stay in hospital)
i) Bottles to store your breastmilk or colostrum (not a lot is needed during those early days. One or two small bottles is enough and will be especially useful if your child has jaundice, as the nurses can give it to your baby for top up feeds. If you do not have any, you can ask your hospital to see if they have any bottles that you can use)
j) Important documents such as NRIC
k) Cordblood banking items if you opted for it
l) Clean towel in case your water bag bursts
- Other items you need in the hospital:
a) Your hubby needs to buy his own meals
TIPS AND THINGS TO BUY: (PRE-LABOUR)
- SHAVE/BRAZILIAN WAX: When you are doing a natural birth, you don’t want to have all that hair in the way. It’s gonna get messy. It will trap gunk (Ewww). Enough said, you’ll thank me for this.
- Get a haircut: After giving birth, you’ll be too shacked or will simply have no time to get a haircut. So do it now.
- Buy Disposable underwear in advance. Lots of them: Post-delivery, you’re gonna be bleeding for about 4-8wks on average, as if you were menstruating. This is known as lochia. You’re gonna be extremely tired from giving birth, and taking care of your baby, and disposable underwear is just perfect. Excess can be used for when you go on holidays
- Buy breast pads in advance: In the first few days post delivery, a lack of disposable breast pads is not that much of a problem as you’re producing colostrum, which is small in amount but big in nutrition for your babe. However, when your mature milk comes in, and your milk production cranks up and goes into overdrive, you’re gonna need those disposable breast pads desperately. For environmentally-friendly people, there are also rewashable breast pads.
- Buy 1 Nursing Bra or Maximum, 2: Do not buy too many nursing bras before giving birth. This is because your boob size may increase even further after giving birth. During my pregnancy and post-delivery, my cup size increased by 3, 1 during early-mid pregnancy, 1 during mid-late pregnancy, and 1 post-delivery. Wearing an ill-fitting bra size may lead to mastitis (Breast infection), so be sure to be comfortable in your bra. When your milk production comes in, your boobs will likely be that size throughout the time you’re breastfeeding, so that will be the size of the nursing bras that you can buy. I would recommend a sleeping nursing bra, which is super comfortable to wear and nurse your child when you’re home.
- Buy a few nursing clothes: I am a supporter of the breastfeeding movement, and having a few nursing clothes at hand will help you to feed your baby more easily, especially when you head outdoors.
- Mattress Protector/Diaper Changing Table: If you are changing baby’s diapers on your bed, I highly recommend a mattress protector because baby WILL dirty your bed. Ray has had explosive poop which literally shot out of his butt, and his pee has sprayed in all directions.
- Nipple Cream: In the first few days/weeks of breastfeeding, you and your baby both are learning the art of it, and the journey is usually tough at the start. Apply the nipple cream after breastfeeding or when your nipples are starting to feel sore. You can express abit of breastmilk on your nipples, let it dry, before applying the cream. Be liberal with the usage. Once you and your baby get the hang of breastfeeding, you won’t need the nipple cream at all.
- Essential Items you’ll need for your baby:
a) Diapers: Pips and I bought 2 packs of newborn diapers (90pcs x2) for Baby Ray and it didn’t even last us two months. As Baby Ray is exclusively breastfed, he goes through diapers like nobody’s business.
b) Diaper Rash Cream: A smooth baby’s bottom will soon become a myth if you do not take care of your babe’s sensitive butt. A baby’s skin is 6 times thinner than that of an adult’s, and is hence, extremely sensitive. A diaper rash cream will help you to prevent angry, red rashes from surfacing on baby’s bottom, and if rashes do appear, to treat it.
c) Bibs: When your milk production comes in, bibs will be extremely useful in preventing milk from dribbling all over baby’s clothes.
d) Small Handkerchiefs: This will be supremely handy as it serves a few purposes: As a washcloth to clean baby’s mouth and tongue, washcloth for bathing, handkerchief to wipe baby’s mouth after drinking and other misc uses.
e) Mittens: Mittens are extremely important to prevent your baby from scratching his face, even if you do trim his nails. Booties/Socks are not as important, but good to have when you head to air-conditioned places.
f) Baby Nail Clipper or Small, normal Nail Clipper: I tried using both a baby nail clipper and a normal one, and in fact, prefer the latter because it allows me to trim baby’s nails more cleanly. I find that the baby nail clipper prevents me from trimming too deeply, and as such, I always find that Ray’s nails are still long even after I trim it. In the end, I reckon that I have to spend twice as much time to trim it short and proper, which takes up alot of time, and is harder to achieve as baby grows bigger and more active.
g) Diaper Changing Mat: Extremely essential. Would be good to have a spare in case baby dirties one, and you have to clean and dry it.
h) Swaddle: Initially, I was against the idea of swaddling as I read articles that warned of hip dysplasia in babies due to swaddling. However, Ray didn’t sleep too well without being swaddled and would only catnap throughout the day initially. Concerned that he was not getting the deep sleep that he needed in order to grow and learn, we swaddled him and he really sleeps better when he is swaddled, as it is more difficult for him to stretch himself awake now.
i) Clothes Hanger:
A clothes hanger that looks like the above pic will be extremely useful in drying baby’s items such as mittens, booties, hats, handkerchiefs etc. Trust me, baby will be going through alot of clothes changes etc.
j) Baby Wipes: Considering how often your baby will poop, you’ll need quite a bit of it.
The above is just about what I can remember, hope it helps you! In the next post, I will be writing about my experience with the different brands, e.g. diaper brands etc, and which ones I like. May help you with your decision making process! Will also talk about the labour process too, how to manage the pain etc.
Good luck for your pregnancy and labour!
Was looking through my iPad photos when I came across the below series of screenshots I took while playing ‘Draw Something’, which was all the rage in mobile gaming a while back. Think I was annoying the hell out of whoever I was playing with when I took my own sweet time to draw lol…
Above pic is an inspiration from ‘Hunter X Hunter’, one of the best manga I’ve read. His name is Killua and he’s my favourite character. Do read it if you’re into mangas or would like to try to start on one. Terribly addictive with an awesome plot, interesting characters and good pacing all round.
“Ah, how quickly the hands on the clock circle toward the future we thought was far away! And how soon we become our mothers.”
― Peggy Toney Horton
Came across this quote while thinking and then, googling about how quickly time passes us by. What an apt quote, considering I’m gonna be a mom soon, and experience all the headaches that I gave (or rather, still give) my mom. Life certainly comes full circle eh.
In the first half of this year, Pips and I suddenly found ourselves with the surprising news that I was pregnant. Just a single opportunity, and this little warrior and opportunist of a baby grabbed it tightly. We went for our Europe holiday (planned in January this year before baby news) this year when I was 5.5 months preggers, and now, in the blink of an eye, it’s the end of the year. We just celebrated Pips’ birthday, and now, I’m 39 wks and 6 days into my pregnancy. Baby Ray is due tomorrow. Holy crap! Can time pass any quicker?
Throughout my pregnancy, I was hoping Baby Ray would come out to say hello on his dad’s birthday, but nooooooooooooo…. He is obviously very comfortable and happy inside my tummy. I have such HORRIBLE stretch marks on my tummy now. Lousy Pips just said the other day, “Wow, those stretch marks are pretty darn obvious huh.” Erm, Thanks for the vote of confidence and support, dear. I love you deep deep.
Anyway, here to share some preggers info which may be useful to all parents out there:
* OSCAR TEST: Between the 11-14 wks of pregnancy, preggers will go through a test called the OSCAR test to test for risk of DOWNs. This is a screening test, and cannot give a definite YES or NO as to whether your child has DOWNs, but will give the percentage risk. The test involves combination of blood test and nuchal translucency scan measurement, which essentially is a scan that measures the thickness of your baby’s neck, presence of nose bone etc, to come up with the percentage risk of DOWNs. Pips and I missed the date of this test due to a serious of kok-ups, and I only did the scan when I was 14.5wks preggers. This is PAST the time period of OSCAR, and I was not able to do the OSCAR test. Instead, So preggers out there, REMEMBER your OSCAR TEST!
* GENETIC SCAN: Since I missed the OSCAR test, I went for the next best option recommended by my obstetrician, a quadruple screen test, which works like the oscar (but any scans done on the baby will not be computed into the risk assessment of DOWNs for the baby) but is less accurate. I was not assuaged by the returned results, and decided to do further testing, This time, we went for a GENETIC SCAN at Camden Medical Centre in Orchard, in which the scan was done by this Indian doctor, Dr Ananda Kumar. The genetic scan is basically a very detailed scan of the baby’s body parts, like the lungs, heart, etc, to see the development of the foetus with respect to his gestational age. The doc was clicking on all sorts of things on the screen and marking them as left kidney, right kidney etc, and then all these measurements were computed by the computer to give you a risk assessment of your baby having DOWNs. The good old doc was a frank and jolly good fellow, and has abit of that eccentric feel. He totally reminds me of Amb Tony Siddique haha, Prior to the scan, I hadn’t known the gender of the baby, so Dr Ananda was like, “do you see this thing here? This is the kukubird, so you’re having a boy.” in a very matter-of-fact manner haha. Anyway, for parents who are jittery abt DOWNs and all, I highly recommend you guys to make a trip down to Camden and visit Dr Ananda Kumar and his clinic, and it will set your mind at ease. When I called, the nurses said that the accuracy of the genetic scan is very high, about 95%. If you want a test with 99-100% accuracy, then I suggest you to try AMNIOCENTESIS, which will also tell you the gender of your baby, but it does carry a small percentage risk of miscarriage though. It is also rather expensive, costing about $1000? Comparatively, the genetic scan at Dr Ananda’s cost about $500+, and they give you a CD with your baby’s scan. I could make out his face somewhat with a coloured 3D imaging of Baby Ray, but cuz he was moving too much, and his hands were covering his face, I couldn’t really make out his features all that much. If you would like to visit Dr Ananda and make an appointment for a genetic scan, do call early as his clinic is almost always fully booked. I pleaded with the nurses to slot me in last-minute, as I was about to depart for Europe in a week’s time, and I know I couldn’t possibly enjoy my trip fully without knowing the health status of lil baby Ray. The link to Dr Ananda’s clinic is here.
* STRETCH MARKS: From what I read, stretch marks is mostly hereditary. My mom has horrible stretch marks, and her tummy skin is all wrinkly and gross. She didn’t do anything to take care of it though. When I found out I was pregnant, I rubbed oil on my tummy twice a day, for almost everyday to date. That’s many many months of tummy prep. Now that I am almost popping, I have gone through 3 bottles of bio-oil and a 3/4 bottle of cocoa butter. Sighs, can’t escape from my genes though. At 37.5wks, I started noticing the beginnings of stretch marks. Angry, red lines etched across my once plain, beautiful tummy. A once-blank canvas that became increasingly scratched raggedly in an uneven, circular fashion with with more and more lines added as my tummy grew bigger by the day. At 39.5wks, I’m resigned to having stretch marks, but am still faithfully putting on the oil in hope for some miracle when Ray is out. My only consolation is, I know that I’ve tried my best, and I have no regrets. Haha. Totally gonna hire a masseuse post-pregnancy.
* PEEING: Since pregnancy, I’ve been peeing at least twice every night. It’s routine to wake up several times into the night to pee. During the day, I pee a lot more than I used to as well. Sometimes though, it’s false alarm. It’s like, I get this HUGEEEEEEEEEEE urge to pee, the feeling that I have a truckload full of liquid to unload, and I make a mad and desperate rush to the toilet. The moment I sit my butt on the toilet bowl, out comes this pathetic dribble and I’ll be like, wait, that’s it??? You preggers out there will experience alot of this, trust me. These past few weeks, since I am in the last run-up to giving birth, I walk like a duck and sometimes when I pee, there will be this spurt of pee towards the end. Haha. Anyway, a tip for preggers – TRY TO BEND FORWARD WHEN YOU PEE because it helps to empty your bowels more completely. It really works. Not all the times, but sometimes.
* At 38wks, preggers will also be started on this CTG thing that tracks the baby’s heartrate to ensure that all is fine, and also to check for any signs of contractions in the mom.
Look at my smiling face above at wk 3 while doing the CTG. Obviously I had no idea what labour contractions were then…
* The FINAL LAP: Pre-Labour and Labour: I last went for a checkup last thursday, when I was 39 wks and 2 days along. Doc did an internal examination (he put on gloves and and swept his fingers inside the vagina. It was uncomfortable and I felt the urge to pee for about 20 mins thereafter) and said my cervix was still closed. We then proceeded to do a scan and baby’s growth and estimated size is good. I lamented aloud that it’s high time baby should come out and greet the world, so the doc was telling me about inducing, and that I can try having more SEX to start labour going naturally. Haha. The scientific explanation is that when docs induce a preggers, they insert a pill into the vagina, which produces this hormone-like substance called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin kickstarts labour by causing contractions to start. Similarly when one has sex, ejaculated semen into the vagina also contains prostaglandin, which has a similar effect to inducing labour.
Anyway, on thursday last week, baby apparently wasn’t ready yet. On friday afternoon, after returning home from a haircut, I suddenly felt this pressure in my pelvic area which hasn’t gone away since. It makes me have the constant feeling of wanting to pee (even more so than before, can you believe it?), or kinda like a bowling ball between front of my legs. I totally walk like a duck now, especially when I get off a bed or a chair. Saturday came and went after that. On Sunday, which was yesterday, my mucus plug came out at about 5pm. Mucus Plug, also known as a Show or Bloody Show, is vaginal discharge tinged with blood. It isn’t like menses, more like blood-streaked jelly-like substance. Some can be dark brown some can be pinkish. Mine was like tinged with ‘fresh blood streaks’. Hahah. TMI, but useful info for new moms.
I called up the delivery suite soon after and the nurse told me to monitor the situation and check if baby’s movements are good (not lesser than before). She also informed me that after a show, it may takes hours or weeks thereafter before one goes into labour. I was to monitor to see if there were any contractions. There was, but they were irregular, so there was no need to hurry down to the hospital. The mucus plug hasn’t stopped since yesterday and this is also normal too. For some, the mucus plug may be a one-off thing, for others, it may continue all the way until the baby is born. If you find yourself bleeding though, it’s best to check with the nurses at the delivery suite and maybe check yourself into the hospital.
Anyway, this morning, I woke up with fairly regular contractions. Crap man, contractions are a bitch. I am lucky enough not to experience menses cramp, which I am absolutely thankful for. I’ve only have had one bad menstrual cramp experience in the first few months when I first had my period as a tween, and it was HORRIBLE. I was rolling on the floor in my room for one hour straight, limp like a lifeless rag doll save for the stupid cramps. This contraction thing, though it hurts, is still fairly manageable thus far, compared to this January when I suffered from a bout of stomach flu. Manageable mostly because when the contraction comes, it’s painful for say, 30 secs, and then you get 5 mins of normalcy, which is bliss.
Anyway, waiting for hubby to come home now before we go to the hospital to check how far away labour is. It’s a new journey, and every step of the way is exciting, and a little scary too! Baby Ray, let’s see how punctual you are! Can’t believe parenthood is just round the corner for Pips and I. Hope I can still celebrate Christmas instead of being all lembek at home!
It has been many years since I last wrote an article or blog entry, and there has been no better impetus for me to do so than now. I am preggers! About 4.5 mths along now with Baby Ong.
I know I told all of you, my friends, that Pips and I had no intention to be addressed as mom and pop just yet, but Baby Ong just happened! Erm, this is what happens when one is not careful! hahha. It’s a happy surprise though, and now, as my tummy grows bigger, Pips and I are getting more excited to welcome Baby Ong into the world this December!
Look, that’s my 4.5 mths pregnant tummy! In pregnancy speak (for pregnancy, we count in weeks, not months. 40 weeks for a full term pregnancy), I am 20 weeks along now, almost 21 weeks, right at the halfway mark.
So far, I haven’t had any bad pregnancy episodes (cross fingers!) of horror puking stories, loss of appetite or anything so thank goodness for that! I do feel breathless though, especially after a meal, and squeamish whenever I smell things that doesn’t agree with me (like a fresh paint job). There was this one time when Pips was trying to be funny and blew hard into my mouth while kissing me. My face changed colour and I nearly retched. Pips was horrified naturally, That bugger LOL.
Since we are at the halfway mark, Pips and I have been to the gynae a couple of times. Baby is developing well, and is very active in the womb. At 18 weeks, that was the first time I felt the baby moving. (Take a guess at the baby’s gender!) Initially, the feelings are pretty fleeting and soft. I think it can be best described as popping bubbles or popcorn in your tummy. You wouldn’t be too sure if it’s your stomach churning or gastric juices, but with time, you will realise that this feeling is different from what you have felt your whole life before you became pregnant. It’s pretty cool.
Now, the baby’s movements are stronger than when I first felt it at 18 weeks. I can also feel the baby’s kicks when I place my hands on my tummy (19 weeks) and can also see my tummy moving (as if it was jabbed from the inside) when the baby kicks strongly.
I know babies kick, punch and roll, but so far, I think this baby kicks more than he rolls, cuz I feel little jabbing motions all the time. For would-be moms, do you know that if your baby is more active in the womb, your baby would also be more likely to be active after he/she is born?
Anyway, back to Baby Ong’s gender. We first found out baby’s gender at 19 weeks when we went for a genetic ultrasound scan at Camden Medical Centre, which our hospital (NUH) doesn’t offer. The genetic ultrasound is pretty cool, and offers a detailed scan of your baby’s development which normal hospital facilities do not have. I recommend would-be parents to go for this genetic ultrasound scan if you want to scan for any birth defects but do not want to go through amniocentesis. More on that in a later post.
Anyway, the indian doctor was really funny. His straight-talking nature really reminds me of Amb Tony Siddique hahah. While scanning halfway, he suddenly pointed to the screen, and said, “See, this is the kukubird”, and that, my friends, is how I know the baby’s gender! hahah.
Yup, so Baby Ong is a boy. Quite excited to welcome little Baby Ong to our family this December, and who knows, he just might share his daddy’s birthday if he so chooses to be! Guess this baby is quite a little fighter, and a very lucky baby, with lots of godmas to dote on him as well as Pips and my family.
Pips and Jasmine
I will be heading off to Australia the day after my exams! Talk about cool, talk about being a jetsetter! I am a little concerned though, whether this will clash with interviews and stuff… So I must remember to:
1) Activate my phone to Pay as you roam in case I receive important calls. I will reject all other calls that are deemed unimportant unless you offer to pay my bills,which is unlikely, I know. Recession….
2) Wash my clothes before I fly (if there’s time)
Hmm… Nothing much is up otherwise. Kinda excited to see Pips tomorrow. It’s been like 5 days! The longest so far? Heh. The cutie was checking out locations of flats to buy. How can I NOT love him?
In other news, Australia should be fun if Boo and I don’t tear each other’s hair out by the end of it haha…