tahnik, aqiqah & majlis kesyukuran

tahnik & cukur rambut – applying honey into newborn’s mouth & first shave of hair

we did her tahnik at home when she turned a week old. we got Uztaz Abdul Aziz from Darul Ghufran Mosque to help shave her head and feed her some honey. he then estimated the weight of her hair and the corresponding donation amount, and we passed him the money to kirim to the mosque for administration. since Ghufran is raising funds for their re-construction efforts, i thought we could have donated to them instead. however, one thing we learnt is that donations from tahnik must go to the poor.

anyhoos it was a good session coz we also chatted on the origins of the sunnah, and discussed tips to help make her hair grow faster hee. we also sought his help to confirm how to write Watermelon’s name in Jawi for her birth certificate registration. luckily i didn’t make my own attempt, i would have been sooo wrong!

here’s an IG story that i wanted to share here coz y’all get watermelon references, and some photos of the tahnik. alhamdulillah Watermelon slept through the shaving until she got jolted awake by the sweet sweet honey.

aqiqah – sacrifice of animal on the occasion of a child’s birth

for aqiqah, also done on her one week, mama kraken helped arrange it through a relative who has contacts in Cambodia. they were erm, very enthusiastic. they promptly sent us photos to show the sacrificed sheep, and also the subsequent meal session organised for underprivileged kids. the funny/cute/not really cute thing is that in each photo they had a placard with Watermelon’s name on it and … blood splatters! keeping it very real ๐Ÿ˜ณ

majlis kesyukuran

we also held a majlis kesyukuran for family and friends on Watermelon’s first month anniversary. it’s an idea we’ve toyed with for months, and also meant it to be an open house since we’ve not invited relatives over yet. it was purely a makan-makan session with no marhaban since we already did the tahnik and cukur rambut earlier.

wellll as hosting open houses go, it was pure madness for NG and me! tried to catch up with guests as much as possible, but even then i’m sure there were some who fell through the cracks ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

thankfully Watermelon was not overly fussy during the event though i felt bad that her feeding times were delayed. after latching her in my room, i’d throw on my nursing cover and go back outside to catch them guests. think she was so tired that she would fall asleep immediately despite me being sweaty and the warmth from the crowd.

alhamdulillah, although the idea was to share some rezeki with guests out of gratitude that Watermelon has been safely delivered, our guests shared rezeki with us instead โค may Allah swt multiply their rezeki back! aamiin.

oh yes and i got to order a huge 10 inch thai iced milk tea birthday cake for NG and some chocolate/salted caramel pods from my baker friends. love it when i have an excuse to order sweet treats heheh.

regret not taking a family photo with NG and baby before the event started ๐Ÿ˜ฆ so here’s my favourite photo of Watermelon instead. this was taken by her dad in our bedroom back when she was less than a week old. can’t wait for her hair to grow back! โญ

the first month of maternity leaveย 

Dr Harvey Karp from the Happiest Baby on the Block shared this theory that human babies are immature at birth, compared to other mammals. human babies’ brains are only 25% of their adult size, while other mammal babies’ brains are between 60% to 90% of their adults’. human babies are born 3-4 months earlier, before their heads become too large to pass through the birth canal. that’s why this period is sometimes referred to as the “fourth trimester”.

our first month at home has been about getting to know Watermelon and her temperaments. the first night at home, she wailed and wailed instead of falling asleep. NG and i stared at her blankly as we exhausted the different soothing tricks we learnt during our childbirth class — none of which worked. i was so desperate i almost wanted to Phone a Nenek for some emergency help.

on hindsight though, i would have given her the boob. i didn’t at that time because i had this notion that newborns feed every 3-4h in the early days, and i had just fed her. i didn’t know that babies can want feeds that are 5 min apart. but now i do. ha! and also the day that Watermelon becomes inconsolable by the boob will be the worst day of my life. it’s been a great solution for almost everything hurhur.

luckily we didn’t have anymore wailing + panicked nights. nonetheless the first few nights were still scary. i took things night by night, and learnt to adjust to her various behaviours. some nights i was sooo tired during feeds because i hadn’t napped enough in the day. other nights were quite shiok because she slept relatively long, usually when she’s beside me in bed. there was one night in the first week which was a good night because she mostly slept in the cot. the thing i still struggle with is getting her to sleep in her cot peacefully. it’s something i really want to work towards for the long term, but i think i’ll give us more time coz some nights i really don’t have the perseverance to re-nurse her to sleep after she wakes up crying in the cot. hai~

i also noticed that she seemed calmer around both our mums and my makcik urut. apparently babies can sense if you’re anxious or scared, so i tried to work on my ~energy~ in the initial days, as abstract as that sounds. tried to be more calm and firm, especially when swaddling her. makcik urut even joked that her hands have handled so many babies that Watermelon can probably smell her “members” and therefore feels relaxed/assured by it. lol!

but yes going by the fourth trimester theory above, sometimes i pity her also lah. nine months of being in a womb and suddenly out in this big, open world … because i miss my pregnancy, she would have been welcome to stay longer. notwithstanding the problems that will arise from that, this is just my fantasy talking ya. so sometimes i will “manjakan” her and let her sleep in my arms, on or beside me, so she knows that i’m still around for her.

i hope she will gradually learn to be more independent though coz if we really go the infantcare route, ain’t nobody going to do these for her there ๐Ÿ˜”

other than that, breastfeeding has been going relatively well so far, alhamdulillah. the sweetest parts are to be needed and to be able to give. the least savoury parts are when she wants to nurse AGAIN! and when she wants to nurse during my meal time … almost every time.

i swear babies take a pledge in the womb underworld that goes like this:

we will to eat when they want to eat, and will wake up when they want to sleep.

i try not to worry about my milk supply, and instead trust that my body will produce enough based on our direct latching. i’ve not tried pumping yet. i also consciously try not to be overly stressed or upset though this is sometimes hard, very hard.

my confinement food is catered by Nar Bakings’ and Culinary. so far i’m quite happy with the service, though i also don’t have high expectations because it is after all, confinement food. i’m just glad that i get to eat balanced meals and that i don’t have to cook … for now. (cue: horror movie music)

i also opted for a 7-day post natal massage. i was scared that it would hurt but it turned out to be so gooood. it was such a nice treat for myself. the breast massage was the most painful to me, but it helped prevent engorgement and blocked ducts — two things that i don’t know much about, especially in the early days — so i didn’t mind. i cried when the 7 days ended. and sobbed a little more when i saw that sweet makcik urut left a little envelope for Watermelon. heh, hormones!

other first month achievements include watching the Korean drama Goblin! heard friends raving about it and decided to reserve it for my maternity leave. NG taught me how to stream the videos on our TV (i’m so left behind on TV technology) so seeing Gong Yoo’s face on our TV instead of my phone screen is just urgh! ๐Ÿ˜ am currently watching Reply 1988 after seeing a few people mention that it’s one of their all time favourites. it’s funny how much TV i’ve started watching.

i almost can’t believe i’ve been a mum for one month now! some days i still have a bit of an identity crisis, wondering how to juggle my new responsibilities; why women  have it tough when new dads have it seemingly easy; and when my hips will shrink back and stretch marks fade… 

can’t wait for her to start smiling and recognising us. till then, Watermelon you sleep lots, get chubby, and grow back your hair ok!!

what was in my hospital bag

here’s my hospital bag list and some notes. the moment where we prepared to exit the car park after 3 days was most scary … haha.

for me

  • night gown to labour in (ya i action choose to wear my own clothes in the delivery suite; it was a cute but worn out BF-friendly dress which i planned to throw away after)
  • husband’s tshirt to also labour in (change of my own clothes in case i wanted to get into the shower for some hydrotherapy)
  • socks – 2 pairs (labour + post delivery)
  • disposable undies (the premium ones from qoo10 here have cottony texture, so much more comfy than the paper-y ones!)
  • cardigan and instant shawl (for when guests visit; i even colour coordinated with expected hospital gown colour)
  • nipple cream
  • water bottle
  • lactation cookies (ordered mine in advance from @mamalait)
  • kurma ajwa and air zam-zam (i asked a friend who had just returned from umrah for some; for snacking and first tahnik by husband)
  • air kurma – ended up forgetting to bring to delivery suite
  • exercise ball – deflated (NUH no longer lends patients theirs)
  • maternity pads (actually no need; ended up using theirs)
  • for going home, a jubah (was advised to pack something roomy enough for a 5 month-ish bump), clean tudung + inner + brooches
  • nursing bra
  • nursing pads (ended up not using these)
  • telekung + sejadah
  • toiletries – toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, facial wash etc (can check whether hospital will provide you a set, if you’re not picky)
  • preferred soundtracks – we planned to play pre-downloaded recitations from our Quran apps; i also had the Hypnobirthing relaxation tracks which i ended up not using
  • Vicks inhaler – was useful on my first day when the aircon gave me the sniffles; the plan was to do deep breathing during labour, so wanted to clear my airways!
  • make up – snuck eyeliner, eyelash curler and mascara into my handbag before leaving home
  • contact lens – ended up not wearing; also forgot to bring my spectacle casing so i couldn’t clean my glasses properly
  • what i wish i had: extra change of maternity clothes; had to wear back my sweaty clothes when we walked around the hospital next morning, yuck
  • what i wish i had: my own slippers. NG didn’t let me pack coz he wanted to keep the bag light. so i kept borrowing his to go into the toilet, coz wearing my sandals was too troublesome
  • what i wish i had: my dSLR; also shot down by husband. but ok lah, phone camera also not bad.
  • what i wish i had: foldable bag to bring home extra stuff. we made do with plastic bags, but could have been better prepared!
  • what i almost needed: compression socks, to bring down swelling feet. it was a hikmah that i procrastinated buying it in my last week of work, because my water retention miraculously went away on first day of maternity leave. but anyways the hospital pharmacy should sell it too. not cheap though – $70ish? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

for husband

  • 2 sets of clothes (which was almost not enough due to extended stay; will recommend packing extra)
  • sweater
  • energy bars
  • what he wishes he had: pre-paid extra data, because he burnt through his data plan out of boredom
  • what he wishes he had: socks, cause hospital was cold
  • what he wishes he had: instant drinks e.g. milo, tea and his tumbler, coz there was plenty of hot water

for baby

  • 1 romper
  • 1 swaddle
  • 1 set of beanie, mittens and booties
  • stretchy wrap, which i ended up not using coz i wasn’t confident

others

  • handphone chargers (should consider bringing multi-plug too)
  • NRIC
  • marriage cert (we thought we would register baby’s birth cert at NUH but ended up not doing so because (i) we were still undecided on her name and (ii) it’s slightly cheaper to do it at ICA haha and (iii) we were too tired)
  • Baby Blues comic books (konon for some comedy relief during labour or for NG to read when bored, haha)

choice of hospital bag: a check in-sized luggage. which still wasn’t big enough because when we checked out, we had the gift bag from hospital, some gifts from guests (alhamdulillah!) and a basin for me to do my sitz salt bath. i saw another family checking out where the dad had a backpack + 3 big plastic bags to carry. so i say just bring a huge bag with wheels, save yourself the trouble!

hospital parking at NUH: sadly we didn’t know better, and was prepared to pay $275 upon exit after 3 days, based on our per hourly calculations. luckily only kena $75, because they cap per day charges. turns out you can either opt for valet ($6/day + someone will have to collect key in evening when the valet office closes) or buy season parking ($60 for 2 weeks; can aim to include your last 1-2 antenatal visits).

breast pump: i didn’t bring mine because i didn’t think there’s much to pump in the first 1-2 days. in the first 2 days of life, a newborn’s stomach is the size of a cherry, and needs only 1-1.25 teaspoons of colostrum to keep full. if necessary, hand expression would be better; see this helpful Stanford video on how to (thanks Sue for sharing this link!) nonetheless some mummies choose to use their pumps to massage boobs for oxytocin to speed up labour.

kopitiam at NUH: for husbands, NG says the Kopitiam at the Medical Centre is nearer though the one at the Main Building has more selections.

 

watermelon’s birth story

the story started with my waterbag leaking at 1.30am on tuesday morning. at first i thought it was pee, and was like “issit because i never do my kegels?” but then i realised that okay it was probably the waterbag. apparently amniotic fluid has a certain smell but my nose is perpetually blocked so…

put on a pad and went back to sleep. felt my first contractions — like a wave running up my tummy. wasn’t a good sleep, think i managed only 3h. after subuh, i folded the laundry and mended a button on NG’s shirt. basically, things that were supposed to be done already except i procrastinated on my first day of maternity leave (that super rainy everywhere-flooded monday) because i was too happy and only wanted to play. then we left for the airport — wait, not to fly off but for a 2h birth walk to bring baby down, down, down. half an hour into our stroll at T3, i spotted some yellowish-greenish discharge in my pad which alarmed us because what if it’s meconium (baby poop, usually a sign of distress in the womb)? consulted our doula, Azlin from Your Doula Next Door, who advised to check with the hospital. nurse on the phone advised us to come in for a check since it would have been close to 12h since my waterbag leaked.

we headed home to fetch our hospital bag, played some computer games, napped, passed our neighbours some CNY goodies before we left again for the hospital. at the observation area of the delivery suite, the doctors used a speculum to confirm that waterbag had broken. they also strapped me to the CTG machine to check on Watermelon’s heartbeat and my contractions. they wanted us to check in immediately but we wanted to go home to labour, and come back only when my contractions are 3 min apart. at that time, my contractions were maybe 30 min apart? still quite relaxed. the resident kept harping on the fact that the waterbag had broken 12h ago. he didn’t seem as concerned about the discharge as we were. and we weren’t as concerned about the time as he was. but anyways we compromised and agreed to check in to the labour ward around 8pm that night. meanwhile, we went to Kopitiam for a late lunch (was starving!) and walked around NUS for close to 2h with Azlin. also, i declined a VE because (i) once your waterbag breaks, any insertion increases risk of infection (ii) i knew i was still far from full dilation since i was doing okay and (iii) actually i’m just a scaredy cat.

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guess who’s here…

alhamdulillah, Watermelon made her appearance at 39+2 on Wed, 25 Jan 2017 ๐Ÿ™‚ i never expected to have to go through a 41 hour labour, but at least it’s overrr! Allah swt was most Merciful to allow me a gentle and easy birth in the finale, so i still have lots to be thankful for.

we had a lovely stay at NUH. i was telling NG that i especially like one of the nurses here, before changing my mind to say that no, actually i love her. hahaha. the nurses here have been *fantastic* and i would super recommend them to any pregnant mummies out there shopping for maternity services ๐Ÿ™‚ and i will miss my hospital bed with its cool recline/incline buttons! hahaha.

so here’s to the start of our adventure + jihad as parents. may Watermelon grow up to be healthy and happy; steadfast in her deen; and learn to serve those around her. ameen!

musings on infantcare

the other day, I realised that infantcare is more expensive than I thought it would be. the back story is that some time ago, one of NG’s clients told him about the dollar for dollar matching scheme that the govt gives when you contribute to the child development account (CDA). so if you deposit the school fees into the CDA for deduction, you’re effectively paying only 50%.

however I only just learnt that the dollar for dollar matching is capped at $3,000. so if the monthly fees are $750 (after deducting subsidies), it’ll only last us about 8 months of 50% co-payment. dang! I was hoping it could go on forever. ha ha. we’ll also get $3,000 from opening the account, but I know this pool will run out quickly so I was hoping to capitalise on the dollar for dollar matching in the long run.

(after note: alternatively the $3,000 could last 13 months of 70% co-payment, I realise. still not too shabby. 13 months because enrol at 5 months + 13 months of infantcare before qualifying for childcare at 18 months)

so I was feeling a bit down that my cash flow won’t be as free as I thought it would be. and then as timely reminders come, a Facebook friend posted about being grateful about the rezeki you have. and I thought to myself, ah that’s a gentle wake up call. insyaAllah we’ll still be able to tide through the relatively expensive infantcare phase, even if it means I’ll have to give up some of my “fun” money. by the time Watermelon enrols in childcare at 18 months, our CDA benefits would have dried up. but childcare is generally also cheaper so insyaAllah it’ll still work out lah.

anyway, all this mulling and we’ve not even (a) secured her spot or (b) confirmed that we’re doing infantcare. haha. just trying to think ahead!

also, a part of me is a little … sad? … that I’ve always been saving up for the next phase since I started working and will continue to do so. at first it was saving up for the wedding and honeymoon which took about 2+ years, then after marriage it was reno, then now it’s all the baby gear purchases and childbirth prep, and soon it’ll be childcare fees. and who knows, soon after it could be baby no 2 hor? on the bright side, myย milestones didn’t happen serentak, which would have undermined the budget I could target for each of them.

I was hoping for a little break where I could put the money into a Big Holiday fund or something, but I guess I’ll have to squirrel away money every month and allocate a lump sum of my bonuses for that instead. insyaAllah everything’s possible with some planning and discipline, and need to remind myself to always, always be grateful for all that i have.

almost 38 weeks!

one day to 38 weeks and our sweet Watermelon still be harvesting! was so excited to turn full term at 37 weeks. i realised i hadn’t thought about coming this far back when i was taking things one day at a time during the first tri. haha masih eh, the trauma of first tri. seared deep in my mind for now…

i’ve been doing fairly okay, minus feeling extra irritable and occasionally depressed. can i blame it on the hormones? or is it just me being ngada2.

physically, my pelvis has been creaky(?) espesh when i try to get out of bed. water retention has also caught up on me. at first i was upset by my swollen feet … so tak cute pls. i would wriggle my toes and wonder ALL THE TOES ON THIS PUDGY FOOT ARE BELONG TO ME?? then i read on baby centre that water retention — or nama glamour edema — is a sign of our bodies preparing itself for labour, so then i pasrah redha kepada kuasa Tuhan.

baby centre also said that it’s normal for vivid dreams to reappear late into the term, stemming from labour anxieties etc. and they’re right! this time, my vivid dreams are not so much super detailed as in first tri. instead, the plot twists are like fuyoo, exciting ke pe. hahaha.

one time i dreamt i gave birth at 35+ weeks and woke up feeling for my bump to confirm it’s still there. (still was.) another time i dreamt about violence — it involved batman, robin, my house, a particular gun i saw in the movie The Accountant, and betrayal … yeah, toldja. so anyway, i became semi-awake and felt Watermelon moving extra actively. not sure whether she was feeling stressed from the bad dream (i was about to die after realising that it’s not physically possible for me to be hiding under a couch with a 36 week bump), or she wanted to wake me out of the dream (it worked!) or it was just her playing as usual in the wee hours of the night (our girl runs on nightclub hours, you see).

popped by the baby fair at expo this weekend and quickly zipped around the booths to get the cot mattress, mattress protector, cot bedsheet (just one first out of desperation, because the selection wasn’t “hygge” enough for me lulz, seriously kraken your priorities…), bamboo towels and a pillow. think we were done in 20 mins or less? heh. i wanted to get wet bags too but the nice designs had already sold out by friday evening. seriously man, if prints matter a lot to you as they do to me, you need to be first at the door on opening day ๐Ÿ™„

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babymoon in KL

some time in October, NG and I got scared into planning a babymoon. parent-friends be all like “you should enjoy your couple time now,” “you should go out on Friday nights while you can,” “you should watch movies now because once your kid(s) come, you may not get the chance,” “you should sleep all you can,” and “we used to enjoy doing housework together but nowadays one of us does the housework while the other person has to jaga the baby” etc etc.

travelling at 34 weeks(!) is probably not the best idea but October wasn’t good for me and November wasn’t good for NG, so December it had to be. we drove up to KL over this past Christmas weekend where we rested well and ate well. heheh. splurged on Doubletree Hilton which had a very nice breakfast spread (but must arrive early to properly enjoy). we were torn between this and Sheraton but I mati2 didn’t want a business hotel … only to be served one. Chet! Doubletree is beside The Intermark, which is a mall + office building. seems like it’s a popular choice among business travellers after all. meh. perhaps I should have listened/gave in to my husband re: Sheraton after all ha ha mintak paiseh.

also, I could get away with travelling this late because it’s a road trip. doubt the airlines would let me board yah. I read that preggo ladies should try to avoid reclining for too long so I brought along a pillow to lean on while in the car. and also budgeted an extra day (4d3n instead of our usual 3d2n) so we would have more time to recover and enjoy. not that I did any of the driving but sitting at the passenger seat for long can be very tiring too, kay.

picking a baby name

one of the things on our agenda was to pick a baby name! truthfully speaking, I already chose a name since last year. it’s a word that I came across a few times while ngaji-ing and I thought it to be a virtuous and beautiful name for a girl. if Watermelon had been a boy, I also already have a name in mind. where’s NG in all this decision making you may ask? I also dunno hahaha #lastchildsyndrome #everythingmyway

ok but for months/weeks, we asked ourselves if that one (short) name is enough, or if we wanted a second name. and if yes, what it would be. NG wanted a flower-related name. he wanted to name Watermelon “Mawar” …

“ummm how about Lily? Dahlia?” I counter proposed, somewhat eagerly.

he changed his mind and decided he wanted a name that means “intelligent”. sounds easy right? well actually there’s not thaaat many choices, surprisingly. one of the names that cropped up a lot is “Aqilah”, but his nephew is already “Aqil”. macam dalam banyak-banyak nama, kene rebut itu satu nama jugak eh.

we finally settled on a second name on the way to KL. exciting and fun! feel sooo empowered as parents to be. this is Watermelon’s whole life we are talking about. if we wanted to, we could make life hard for her future husband waktu akad nikah — but I kid, I kid. Continue reading

the lazy bug

friends! I have been feeling so lazy. it’s different from first tri fatigue. fatigue is like “I cannot open my eyes.” third tri laziness is like “oh god I just want to close my eyes.”

alas! baby laundry needs to be done. so I have to snap myself out of my own laziness ๐Ÿ˜ญ

I’ve done three small rounds of hand washing so far, and all that squatting and wringing action is giving my body a much needed but dreaded work out. and still lots more to go! for pre-washing clothes, I’m going to *tryyy* be ambitious and hand wash them so they don’t get stretched/ruined in the washing machine before she gets to wear them. once Watermelon is here, I’ll prob zip them up in laundry bags and throw them into the washing machine — never mind if it’s not a full load (and therefore a waste of water and electricity), I don’t think I can sustain lovingly hand washing and rinsing her clothes forever. hee.

for now I’m still able to get out of bed relatively easily, but getting up after sitting down on the floor is another story: a half-sad, half-comical kind of story. haha.

I also sometimes feel tired after walking for a few steps. the advice to “walk a lot” in your third tri sounds easier than it is, espesh now that I have to overcome my low energy.

I booked a prenatal massage sesh for tomorrow. hope it’ll be good!

I start my maternity leave on week 39 onwards, because I wanted to save the bulk of it for after Watermelon’s arrival. but now I’m half-wishing I chose to start at week 38 instead coz going to work is beginning to feel more berat. and it’s not like I have to stand up lots or do anything more strenuous than sitting in my office chair..! luckily the Dec lull period has started, and hopefully will continue to stay.

speaking of which, I’m hoping for Watermelon to be a 39 weeker. hopefully she can wait till I start my ML — though I also think going into labour when at work will spice up my department’s life — and it’s late enough without sending me into the agony of waiting and wondering if I’ll end up having to be induced if we go past 41 weeks ๐Ÿ˜ฃ NG said he dreamt she’s a 37 weeker though, so we shall see! Only Allah swt knows. (I’m praying for a January baby though. she might be a February baby if she goes past EDD…)

meanwhile, I’ve been trying to shorten my work weeks since October, by taking half day or full day leave/time off here and there, or making sure I have ad hoc stuff like department retreat or courses to sorta relieve me from the stresses of work. the breaks have been really good! in January I have to work for two full weeks though, so jiayou to me. my own fault for spoiling myself. heh.

second lastly, I was doula-less for a short period two weeks ago. decided to cancel with the initial one after our appointments kept getting postponed because of other things that kept cropping up for her. I was really miserable at the thought of my hopes and plans falling apart (sampai cry in office toilet all, lol so drama) but alhamdulillah, the situation resolved itself with a little more time. she referred me to another doula, whom we successfully met despite a short notice to discuss my birth plan before the doc appointment and to place our deposit. hopefully we are still on track to getting the positive birth experience that I’m envisioning for myself. amiin, amiin.

and lastly! we had the growth scan last week. it was our longest appointment ever because we waited over an hour for the sonographer. by the time we did the scan, my excitement pun dah fade and the novelty of seeing Watermelon on screen had worn off, at least for me ๐Ÿ˜•

thankfully the doctor was really kind and much gentler than the previous one who seemed to be pressing the Doppler haaard into my tummy. not sure whether it’s a person thing or the fact that a bigger baby (32 weeks vs 21 weeks) means they don’t have to prod us so hard. so anyways! when it came to Watermelon’s face, she used some 4D tech to let us have a look. Watermelon’s hands kept blocking her face so below is the best shot we got. not super flattering, but still pretty cool for a pregnant mum to see ๐Ÿค—


smiiile!

p.s. gentle reminder to mums who share ultrasound photos online – do remember to crop/block your personal details such as your full name and NRIC! 

32 weeks / 8 months!ย 

32 weeks and my bump is growing faster than I can say “Watermelon”! her movements are getting stronger and more intriguing. the other night I told NG that it felt like I was sleeping on a hand phone although I wasn’t. like there was something angular poking into my body. haha. I guess I’ll miss this when I’ve safely delivered? insyaAllah. I think I never stop being anxious while pregnant. trying very hard to think and stay positive that everything will go well. amiin, amiin, amiin.

two colleagues have commented that my bump is “very big”. to which my half-snarky answer is that “I’m going to grow even bigger, you know!” at 7+ months you say I’m very big, what are you going to call me when I’m at 9 months?! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

but yes, dressing up is starting to be a chore. my list of pre-natal exercises should include “trying to squeeze into my maternity jeans”. *wipes away droplets of sweat* don’t know how many clothes I’ll be reduced to for the next 8 weeks.

I went swimming the other night. each time I choose to go to a public pool to do laps should be considered a significant life event. (the last time I did this was many years ago) mostly because I’m not a strong nor confident swimmer. going into the water makes my head freak out, espesh when I’m passing over the deepest part of the pool. lagi-lagi when I’m forced to use lanes 4-5 because swimming classes are occupying the side lanes ๐Ÿ˜”

but I think swimming’s good for me. not just for the cardio exercise, but as a practice for me to calm down my thoughts and persuade myself to relaaaaax.

also swimming with hijab is already a logistics nightmare. at least for me, rejecter of muslimah swim suits (sorry!) swimming with a baby bump makes it more complicated. I almost bought a new long sleeve swim top for myself until I realised I could still squeeze into my usual one, for now. it was only underwater that I realised my top likes to ride up, hee. luckily I wear a onesie inside, so nobody was traumatised from any exposed, swollen belly. from a “muslimah swimmer”, no less.

for sake of documentation, other early third trimester symptoms include aching legs (usually after I alight from the car); pressure on my bladder which is very unsettling; wider feet which I think is giving me a blister from the straps of my usual slippers; sweating more easily, etc. I can still clip my toenails myself, for now. my back is looking more and more like the diagram below — I recently complained to NG about GV’s movie seats because it was poking into my back. he laughed and said it’s because you’re pregnant …

oh.

oh yah I also conceded that a balanced diet needs to include chocolates. I trieddd to stay away from them but I can’t. I’ve also been snacking on some desserts and junk food ๐Ÿ™Š I know a little bit won’t kill my baby but omg it really is not easy to uphold a gold standard kind of healthy diet.

also I just finished drafting my birth plan. my favourite resource (after going for classes and relying on the Internetz) is SassyMama. in particular, the language and style of the first one resonates most with me, even though I’m not doing a water birth. well, that’s not the plan … yet. unless NG doesn’t mind spending more to get me the water birth suite heh heh heh. 

we’re doing the 32 weeks growth scan later this week, insyaAllah. excited! will also be running the above birth plan with my gynae. hopefully she’s willing to be on the same page as me.