Category Archives: pregnancy

Week 25: Where’s my belly button?

This week has been all about the belly 🙂

My belly button popped! I’ve been feeling like the last (wo)man standing in our prenatal pilates class, so I now wear my tight tops with pride. It’s also kinda nice to be able to “thoroughly” clean my belly button now after all these years…

I can also start to tell when our little one is upright (aka in breech position). The skin’s really taut above my belly button to make room for the head “lump” and that’s when I have difficulty breathing and can’t eat too much at one go – else, heartburn ensues. Learnt that lesson while having Thai for dinner!

Due to the heat and expanding abdomen, my belly has started to itch like mad. Seeking solace in oatmeal lotions (Aveeno), keeping cool with the fan or AC, and taking antihistamines (chlorpheniramine) so I can sleep easier through the night.

Last but not least, my belly appears to be public property. Everyone touches it! Which is OK so far for me unless they have really hot or clammy hands ;0

Week 22: Life goes on

Caught Harry Potter’s final movie installment – The Deathly Hallows (Part 2) – last night. I remember watching the first movie 10 years ago with the then-boyfriend-now-hubby. Just like the actors and actresses on screen, we’ve both grown up since, hopefully in many ways beyond just our age, and are approaching the end of our book series – the married-with-no-kids life 🙂

Here’s an amazing fact from my weekly pregnancy e-newsletter: If your baby were born prematurely this week, he would have between a 10 and 20 percent chance of survival (higher with intensive care). With each day that your baby stays in the womb, his survival rate increases 3 percent.  I came across stories and images of preemies in NICU, truly heartbreaking yet what a testimony to the resilience of life (and benefits of modern medicine and healthcare) that preemies CAN survive from this week on….

Week 21: Maternity mocktails

All work, no play and no alcohol makes for one helluva dry week! Argh. When the dust settles somewhat or 3rd trimester kicks in, I should get my momma friends over for a sparty (spa party) with some classic maternity mocktails and milkshakes!

NYC Maternitini
Mix it up: In a chilled cocktail shaker, mix 1 1/2 ounces of raspberry sorbet, 4 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice, and a squeeze of lime. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lollipop or rock candy.

Bouncing Baby Bellini
Mix it up: Stir 2 ounces of chilled peach nectar with 2 ounces of nonalcoholic sparkling wine (or sparkling apple cider). Pour into a champagne glass and add a splash of grenadine. Garnish with sliced peaches.

Pregnan-Sea Breeze
Mix it up: In a shaker with ice, combine 3 ounces of cranberry juice with 3 ounces of pineapple juice. Strain the mixture into a tall glass. Finish with a splash of 7 UP and garnish with a sprig of mint and strawberries.

Raspberry “Hot Flash” Cooler
Mix it up: Wet the rim of a martini glass with a lime wedge, then dip the glass in sugar. In a shaker with ice, mix 1/2 ounce of crushed fresh or defrosted raspberries with 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon or lime juice, plus 1 ounce of pineapple juice. Shake the mixture, then pour into the glass, straining out the ice and crushed raspberries. Top with a splash of sparkling water and add a spear of raspberries.

Next Generation Ginger Soda
Mix it up: Peel a ginger root and cut into pieces. Marinate them in an 8-ounce glass of soda water for a few hours. Strain 1/2 to 3/4 of the ginger mixture into a tall glass with ice. Top it off with a splash of Sprite (or caffeine-free Coke, for color). Garnish with a slice of starfruit and a lime.

Mama Mango Margarita
Mix it up: First, make a simple syrup by heating 2 cups of sugar with 3 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Chill. Fill a blender or food processor with ice. Add a cup of fresh or defrosted mango. Add 3 ounces of the syrup and 1 1/2 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice. After blending, add more syrup to sweeten, if necessary.

Week 20/21: Cute as a button

Little one was rather shy during his first 3D ultrasound scan but we managed to get this almost-full view in. Thank God all is progressing well – placenta, amniotic fluid and cord vessels; baby’s head, nervous system, chest, abdomen, limbs… and yup, he’s definitely still a boy! Gestational age is around week 20 and 21 so EDD remains sometime between mid to late November.

Here’s the first “snapshot” of our Thanksgiving bundle of joy 🙂

Week 20: Kicking along

It’s been pretty much routine sleep-eat-work-eat-sleep. The highlight (or rather, lowlight) being a nasty bout of allergies – mainly a runny/blocked nose – since Thursday night. Called the doc on Saturday morning for some pregnancy-safe antihistamines. She suggested chlorpheniramine which cost peanuts from the nearby pharmacy AND worked beautifully, except that it knocked me out pretty good! As hubby had also just completed his Lasik operation, we both ended up recovering at home and eating home-made chicken soup most of the weekend.

On the plus side, after a string of busy days, we both got some R&R and felt the baby kick several times! On Sat afternoon, we also went for part 1 of our church’s Christian parenting course though honestly, I was so groggy from the meds I barely remember most of it. Thankfully, hubby took copious notes 🙂

Oh yes. Happy Independence Day, America!

Week 19: The other baby

Little one was eclipsed by the announcement of my other expectant baby-at-work aka new product launches this week. Lots of back and forth between campaign research tests and follow up, global and regional management meetings and a tight conference schedule of demos, interviews, events and post-launch tracking…  Despite all that, it was great to spend a few moments each night just reconnecting with our baby boy, and feeling his tiny movements inside.

Week 18: pilates and GBS

Happy Fathers’ Day weekend!  Hubby has been thinking more about his pending fatherhood. Pray that the start of our parenting journey together will be filled with joyful (and not too anxious!) preparation…

Second trimester blood test results came back normal for the baby – hooray! I was diagnosed with Group B strep early on during the placenta tear scare so will follow up with the doc at our next checkup on this. I’ve finished the course of oral antibiotics so far, though we’ve also talked about another round via IV during labor.  Meanwhile, work has been keeping me busy and the rains (and nearby floods!) have kept me indoors, so prenatal pilates is proving to be my only regular exercise these days.  Rather enjoying the “support group” so far.

Food of the week: Tie between apple pork ribs soup and beef brisket claypot – served home-style at Manhill Restaurant in the company of good friends.

Week 17B: Enlightened confinement

Mom sent me a good article about new confinement practices among the Chinese.  Pheew. Modern moms are enlightened! Excerpts below.

In medical terms, the confinement period is known as puerperium, the period of adjustment after childbirth during which the mother’s reproductive system returns to its normal pre-pregnancy state. It generally lasts six to eight weeks and ends with the first ovulation and the return of normal menstruation.

With increased information and awareness about health, nutrition and breastfeeding, current confinement trends have certainly become more progressive. For one, a mum who breastfeeds knows the need to consume a variety of foods that provides adequate nutrients, and avoid or limit substances like alcohol and caffeine.  Modern lifestyles and working mothers also mean convenience is key in shaping trends.  Modern confinement practices emphasise rest, a balanced, nutritious diet and good hygiene.

Many traditional habits are no longer blindly followed [as] mothers are more educated and will ask the logic behind each practice. For instance, 20 years ago, mothers were encouraged to eat one whole chicken a day to regain their strength.  No fish or vegetables were allowed, [curtains were] drawn at all times to avoid any draft, mothers were prevented from watching TV or reading lest their eyesight weakens later in life.  A woman should also refrain from taking a bath for the first 30 days after childbirth.

Women these days are not so old-fashioned and can accept new trends.  Now, after 12 to 14 days when lochia discharge stops, mothers can [take a shower/bath/hair wash]. In addition, mothers need to be relaxed, comfortable, consume enough nutrients to breastfeed successfully and also prevent post-natal depression. [Given] our weather, air-conditioning and fans are necessary as long as the air flow is not aimed directly at the mother. Mothers are also watching TV, surfing the Internet and reading during confinement.

In the first two weeks of confinement, a mother should take foods that are mildly nutritive while in the last two weeks, stronger herbs to revitalise the body. [Avoid vegetables] that are ‘cooling’ or cause ‘wind’ in the stomach [and go for greens] like kai lan (kale) and French beans … fried with ginger and sometimes minced meat. However, the basic practice of consuming ginger, sesame oil, red dates drink and herbal soups remains.

Week 17a: I’ll tolerate confinement food, but no nannies please

Hubby’s been complaining of the heat so this week’s soup is especially for him:  绿豆汤 – green bean / mung bean soup, served chilled.  Since our babymoon, I’ve also decided to swim more (when it stops raining, that is) now that our condo pool is finally “fixed.” I do feel quite self-conscious about my body lately though – definitely look forward to start my prenatal pilates class on Monday!

Meanwhile, received a confirmation email for our childbirth education classes in August (starting week 24 onwards).  The Parentcraft Centre also included details on confinement nannies trained by the hospital plus home delivery/catering options.  I know nannies have been a life-saver for many, but I still would prefer to be hands-on and besides, our apartment doesn’t have room for more than the three of us.

Gotta admit the sample confinement menu (see below) looks terribly UN-appetizing even if it’s 100% nutritious for recovering moms.  Maybe I can convince folks to join me on those liver/kidney/ginger days – misery loves company, right? =8

Week 16B: Quickening!

Back from our anniversary/babymoon – local food, fun at the beach, frequent naps in the shade, and wonderfully attentive hotel staff, esp. when they found out I was pregnant. Highlight of the trip was feeling our baby flutter while lazing by the pool! It’s like tiny bubbles, butterflies or those spa fish in your tummy 😀

Monthly baby checkup before we return to work tomorrow: Still a boy, spine and organs developing well, fetal measurements and both our weight gains on track.

Also caught baby upside down for the first time on ultrasound — guess he’s been living it up too inside mommy this past week!