oct/nov baby gear haul

wellll so much for waiting for my Nov pay check to continue my purchases after the baby fair. I continued buying stuff in late Oct heh. here’s the haul! first five from good ole Carousell 😀

nov-baby-purchases

1. Cosatto diaper changing station
I know changing diapers on beds/tables/floors work just fine, but I wanted a diaper changing station because my sis had one and I thought it was pretty neat having a diaper changing corner in the house. I was considering Mothercare’s but found it too round/oval and less space efficient. I later read that the problem with these stations is that it’s the right setup for babies to kick you in the stomach so erm hope it doesn’t happen to us *nervous laughter*

2. Jujube Be Right Back in Countess
Out of all the current Jujube designs, I liked Countess the most. You know, geometric and all. The problem is that it’s sold out all over so I camped out on Carousell, searching daily over a few days. I initially wanted the BFF model but had a change of heart and decided on BRB, and lo and behold someone listed one in v good condition. The seller was also one of the sweetest!

Heart pain moment was when I realised that someone finally listed a BFF on the same day I closed the BRB deal, and at a relatively better price too. Oh well!

3. Combi parenting station (Roanju)
Again, another thing I wanted just cause my sis had one. NG said I was turning into an overzealous mother. Whaaaat. It was useful for my niece and nephew kay. I hunted high and low for somethibg like the bassinet that my sister had (7-10 years ago!) and was unsuccessfully looking at Moses baskets, cribs with frills, or minimalist/chio but expensive cribs. Finally I teringat this old post by an Instagram acquaintance which featured just what I wanted, went back to it, and msged her to ask her about the brand and model. Then I found an EUC (excellent used condition) one on Carousell so tadah. This thing rocks (literally) and can be wheeled around the house. Apparently can be used as a high chair too. Hope Watermelon likes it or NG is gonna give me a hard time about this!!

4. Philips 3-in-1 bottle steriliser
Another thing which NG wasn’t keen on — he said we could boil our bottles. It wasn’t until my friend half-jokingly snickered and commented that a bottle steriliser and warmer are more useful than a Tula (which I already have lulzzz) that I kuatkan my semangat to get one. Again from Carousell coz I was sure families grow out of it. Managed to find one with a clean metal plate! (There are many used ones with brown metal plates from calcium deposits, which you can clean with vinegar cuma leceh lah.)

5. Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano Activity Gym
Ok I know, was a little too enthusiastic with this one. I was already strategising/thinking of ways of how to distract her lulz though i probably can’t use it until she’s at least 2 months insyaAllah (approx March/April).

6. Mamypoko Extra Dry Newborn diapers
Hmm I read that you should wait till your baby is born before buying a lot of diapers, so that you can see which brand suits him/her best. But then a pregnant friend on FB shared her diaper stash and I was like hmm I guess it also makes sense to “take the risk” and prepare some packs? So I went on a diaper research and started calculating prices per diaper like a true blue auntie. Snagged a good deal from Lazada on Singles Day ($50.87 vs $71.70), made even sweeter by Shopback’s 9% rebate (-$4.58) woot!

7. Nursing cover from Milc
I went to the Baby Land expo and found it mostly underwhelming! The BabySafe mattress I had in mind is cheaper online..?! To be fair, it was sold by Jarrons (cot brand) and not BabySafe itself. So anyway, the only saving grace from the fair was this super cute cupcake-printed nursing cover. The brand’s IG is @mmmmilcc, though why business pages don’t make themselves public, I’ll never know…

8. Spectra S9+ Breast Pump
Finally ordered from Qoo10. The research process was a bit overwhelming but after talking to colleagues and friends, I gathered that I should get a double pump (as opposed to single pump) and that Spectra is a trustworthy brand from Korea. And that if you buy from Qoo10, you can get it at a steal ($119.90!) albeit with no warranty (or lesser? maybe can send back to Korea but omo so leceh). Anyhoos I picked a portable model (as opposed to hospital grade) so that it’ll be easier to carry around. To be honest, I’m still 50-50 about pumping at work, but we’ll see how it goes…

9. BBB x Solly Baby wrap
I’d been planning to buy a Solly Baby stretchy wrap for some time, after reading a review on the Babywearing Singapore Facebook Group, and decided to wait for the Black Friday sale. Was getting a lil nervous as the USD exchange rate crept up over the weeks (even with the Presidential elections results!) but I’m so happy I waited coz they gave a 20% discount! Yay. Picked a grey with white triangle prints. Watched the tutorial video after adding the item into the cart (lol wrong order of events eh) and it looked manageable enough.

Sooo … with the Black Friday sale this weekend, I ended up grabbing some unplanned things. Like more baby toiletries! Dresses! Bath and Body Works handsoaps! Hai, so bad I tell you. I just hope that in the many months to come, I’ll look back and thank my old self for grabbing the deals while they were there. It’s so funny (and scary) how I hardly batted an eyelid as I added baby dresses into my cart and checked them out. The equivalent for me would be to walk through Zara and happily put things into my basket without reconsidering 2x, 3x, 4x — which I have never done because I would feel so bad about spending three figures on a few pieces of clothes for myself. Haa motherhood and shopping. Watermelon’s not even here yet and I’ve already started. Hoboy!

third tri resolutions + Amani birth class review

when November rolled around, I committed myself to start preparing for labour. I had about 14 weeks to go until I hit 40 weeks. so I came up with a plan to do the following:

1. exercise daily
2. eat healthily + avoid processed food
3. increase my ibadah
4. seek more knowledge on labour and parenting

it’s been hard to chiong on all four fronts, so I’ve been doing what I can. I know I could probably do more, so I’ll try, I’ll try. for one I know I should green juice more often. hoping to pump up my new gym ball and start the exercises + do Zumba weekly too.

Amani natural birthing class review

the class finally concluded last week! I say “finally” coz two (out of five) sessions were postponed because the instructor had to attend to births. so tip number 1 is to budget 2-3 extra sessions in your calendar if your instructor is also actively assisting births and has to cancel class last minute.

overall it was a super informative course and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a gentle birthing experience. of coz I’ve not gone through labour yet so it may be premature for me to vouch for its effectiveness, but insyaAllah I’ll have a positive labour experience 😀 –> must use power of attraction and husnudzon mah. and also as kak fad says, if you take care of your pregnancy, insyaAllah your labour will take care of itself. amiin!

I can’t possibly recap everything because soooo much good stuff was shared, so I’ll highlight my top 3 takeaways from each class k.

session 1: exercise & nutrition
wah a real eye opener on all the things I’ve been doing wrong :p like drinking Coke because konon plain water sucks, when pre-pregnancy I avoided Coke! even NG, who loooves Coke, got worried about how much I was consuming. heheh. i was that bad, guys.

ok so top 3 most interesting facts learned:
– the water in your waterbag refreshes itself! which is why it’s important for pregnant ladies to drink up. babies in wombs also excrete waste, so refreshing our waterbag punya water helps to keep them comfy and clean. “so don’t feel annoyed by the frequent toilet trips!” yes ma’am!
– from kak fad’s experience, a tablespoon-ful of extra virgin coconut oil (cold pressed, not the one for cooking) consumed every day helps with an easy labour. you can swallow (as I do, doesn’t taste bad) or use it to cook or drizzle it all over your rice or add it into a smoothie/juice. personally I use this one, available at NTUC Fair Price Finest. 
– green juicing (blending and drinking green leafy veg + fruits) is very important to help us get the vitamins and minerals we need. the darker green the vegetable is, the better. top of the table is ulam, which she warned can taste a little tajam. can start off with spinach, which doesn’t have a strong taste.
– (gonna cheat and add a fourth) also a diet high in sugar will not help with dilation later. so in the beginning I was quite semangat in avoiding desserts and sweet stuff, but 7 weeks later, I’m starting to miss chocolates and allowing myself some desserts… 😔

session 2: the physiology of birth
a really cool class where we learned details of how natural labour works, and how women’s bodies are perfectly designed for it. SubhanAllah. this class also made reference to the Quran, more specifically Surah Maryam.

– birthing while lying down, with your legs in stirrups, is not the best position for birthing even though it is the most common one in hospitals today. by lying on your back, your pelvis isn’t at the best angle for baby to emerge.
– the most optimal position for the baby to descend is LOA (left occiput anterior) which means that baby is head down and facing where your right butt cheek is, sorta. gawd I paraphrase so crudely. this reduces the rotation she needs to fit through our pelvic bones.
– when the baby is inside the womb, she’s submerged in water. even her lungs are filled with water. as she goes through the tight tight birth canal, the water is forced out of her lungs, so that she can breathe air once she’s out. so cool right! that’s why babies who are assisted may need the water to be suctioned out of them.

session 3: exercise and massage
highlight of this class was having them teach NG how to massage me! ooh yeaaah.

– statistics have found that pregnant mommas who exercise regularly will have shorter labours..!
– learnt some massage techniques that husbands can do to help relief the discomfort during contractions
– importance of doing kegel exercises and perineal massage (from week 34 onwards) to help us s-t-r-e-t-c-h-h-h

session 4: the 3 stages of labour
spent the whole 4 hours just talking about the labour process.

– labour has 3 stages: active labour, birth of baby, and birth of placenta
– within active labour, there’s this phase called transition ie you’re 7-9cm dilated. this last phase of dilation before you hit 10cm will be the toughest both physically and mentally, because the contractions will be the strongest and will not have a rhythmic pattern, unlike in early labour.
– when a baby is born, 30% of her blood is left behind in the placenta so that she’s smaller and can fit through the birth canal better. that’s why it’s beneficial to practice delayed cord clamping (ie waiting for say 15-30 mins before cutting the cord) so that the blood and stem cells can be transferred back into baby. however, not all hospitals, doctors and midwives are supportive of this, mostly due to time constraints.

session 5: breastfeeding
the most interactive class because the other mummies shared their own experiences. it’s a deeply personal topic so having them open up was like awww, privilege. it was a bit paiseh practising the different cradles using the baby doll around the experienced mummies, but ok lah at least dapat practice jugak :p

– learnt the various cradles/positions: cradle, cross cradle, football hold, baby on chest (?? can’t remember the official name) and side lying, which all the other mummies cheered for. lol.
– even if the baby does a good first latch right after birth, it still takes 1-2 weeks of trial and error to teach the baby how to latch correctly. basically, expect some pain.
– husbands’ emotional support is super important, espesh when faced with “criticism” from parents, aunts, and grandparents who have different attitudes towards breastmilk. the mummies also warned the first time daddies not to be lounging around while their wives are struggling with breastfeeding, and/or lepas tangan with the excuse that they can’t help much (espesh at night!). otherwise, expect things flying your way. …kidding.

so yeppp that’s a brief overview of the course. other than Kak Fad, there are other instructors teaching it. most likely they’ll cover similar topics since they’re supposed to follow the official Amani syllabus. again, I will definitely, highly recommend this course to anyone who’s considering a natural/gentle birth or a VBAC. insyaAllah it is worth the time and money investment! 😊

of lessons learnt and eternal sunshine

alhamdulillah, we hit 7 months 🙂 🙂 always nice when our weekly count hits a multiple of 4, so I can update my lines from “I’m 6 months along” to “7 months”! haha cheap thrill. don’t know whether it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I’ve been feeling more tired than usual lately. and also a little uneasy after some meals.

i got into a home accident the other day. it involved my big, fat, high-tech iron — the kind that has an in-built water tank. i had been grumpy all day, and in the evening i needed to iron my tudung just before going out. so i switched on the iron, and waited for 2 mins for the iron to heat up per SOP. after 2 mins, the iron still wasn’t ready. hmmm? i checked. oh, turns out it needed to be de-calc. de-calc is this thing where you’re supposed to drain out the water that collects inside the iron from all the steaming after some time of use. it helps prevent the iron’s metal plate from turning brown. a very, very important thing to note is that you’re supposed to do it after the iron has cooled down…

but anyway, back to my situation.

oh great, i think to myself. i need to iron NOW and you want me to de-calc first? OK FINE. so i switched off the iron, got down on my knees, and started unscrewing the plug.

urgh!!! it’s so tight!!! i got even more annoyed.

finally, the plug came a little loose except … hot steam started oozing out of it. some hot water dripped onto my fingers and thigh. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! i let out what NG called a blood curling shriek as i rolled away. he came running from our room to where i was. i sulkily told him to help me wipe the water on the floor, while i walked to the bathroom to rinse my fingers under the water. luckily my thigh was okay because it was covered by my leggings.

the skin on my right index finger didn’t seem to be visibly damaged, although it throbbed the whole night. it was bearable though, and i felt so, SO stupid and silly for letting it happen to me. and to NG too — poor guy, he was only trying to help his suuuper grumpy wife.

(the next day, i friend-ed my iron again as i accepted that despite its potential hazards, it does make ironing easier and more tolerable.)

but … for the next 1.5 days, i could have sworn i felt lesser movements from Watermelon 😦 i felt anxious and started reflecting. the split-second incident must have sent an *intense* dose of stress hormones towards her. even though i recovered quickly from the incident (well ok, the skin on my finger is still a little shrivelled ha ha), she needed a longer time. it made me realise that she is so closely wired to me, and whatever i do/eat/think will affect her too. poor baby. i was relieved when i felt her kicking more actively again the next next afternoon, and swore to myself that i would feel grateful for her kicks instead of feeling mildly annoyed or distracted by the ticklish sensations. sigh. alhamdulillah ala kulli haal.

speaking of which, I’ve always had this idea that when I’m pregnant, I should be as zen as possible so that I’ll positively influence my baby’s personality and temperament. well … it hasn’t been easy. heh. I find myself getting easily annoyed, especially at strangers, for things like littering or not getting my order right or not holding the lift doors for others. so I’m tryinggg to be extra patient and extra conscious of my thoughts. after all, it’s just three more months of being the best version of myself while she’s inside me, hor?

Watermelon, don’t learn the bad stuff for me ok? I hope you will be born with eternal sunshine in your heart.

our baby fair haul

another long mummy/baby post! I’m on a roll. though I suspect my 2nd trimester energy may wear off in the next 4-8 weeks and I’ll be all lembik and whiny again.

glad I came across, pretty early on, the advice to do most of your baby shopping in 2nd tri when you’re most energetic. I won’t lie, part of me in anxious about the “what ifs…” but I’m trying to think positive and have more faith in myself.

anyways, we dropped by the Baby Fair last two weekends at Expo to do some shopping. unfortch I don’t have a nice/kecoh haul picture coz we went home relatively empty handed after arranging for 3 of our big purchases to be delivered, but here’s what we bought.

oh ya, quick side note: I’ve decided to refer to the baby as Watermelon henceforth because (a) they were my first cravings amidst first tri misery and (b) I think their colour combi is so gorgeous.

so anyway, back to the haul:

moo-moo kow portable changing pad (pre-order)

the organisers published some pre-order deals about a month before the fair. I browsed through the listings — feeling overwhelmed by all the bundles (some were suspiciously frilly) — and chanced upon this deal which I thought would be an OK buy. think it was mostly my emotional need of wanting to buy at least one thing from the website.

when I reached the fair on day 2 afternoon, I thought “nvm lah I’ll collect the pads later so that I don’t have to browse other stalls with an annoying plastic bag.” turns out almost everybody collected theirs before me!!! and I was left with 6 plain colours to choose from, though they also have the pads in prints. they got say lah it’s first come first served, but I didn’t know everybody else was going to be so kancheong about it 😦

so now I’m feeling a little tawar hati towards the pads. heh. vain me. hope I eventually find a good use for them… am counting on my diaper bag to give me a cuter one. *sniff*

maclaren quest stroller

I started my research on strollers about 3-4 days before the fair. kecoh babe!! all the brands! other than combi and maclaren, all the other names sounded foreign to me. took a shortcut and chatted with my colleague and mummy friends on what to look out for, and alhamdulillah they gave me some tips such as:

– bigger wheels will ensure a less bumpy ride for baby
– however, strollers with bigger wheels may be bulkier to store
– get those one-hand mechanisms so I can open/close it obamaself while carrying baby
– ensure wheels can swivel; will help with avoiding people in shopping malls (haha)
– seat should be able to recline for baby to lie down or sit up

one of them recommended for us to buy maclaren, so I went straight for the booth. got us a black Quest. it’s higher than my initial budget for strollers, so I hope it’ll serve us long and well. anyway insyaAllah I also plan to baby wear (uh, already got a Tula. and a woven wrap … I should stop. after I buy just ooone more stretchy wrap.) so we may not be too, too reliant on this stroller.

k-mom wipes, nail clipper set, and detergent/softener

never heard of k-mom before. apparently it’s a Korean brand focusing on organic baby products. bought their bundle with 10 packs of wet wipes, 4 packs of baby laundry detergent, 2 packs of baby laundry softener (I think lah, based on the photos) for $100. also bought a baby nail clipper set since they had it and I’ll need it. hopefully the wipes won’t give Watermelon skin problems or I won’t know what to do with all of them. lol.

parklon bubble playmat

it was love at first sight when I saw this on pupsik! and I’m glad NG agreed to get this design hehehe. it was retailing for $265 online but we got it for $200 at the fair, so hurrah! [edited to add: ok but wait, my happiness is shortlived because we ended up missing the delivery and having to pay $15 to reschedule. ouch.]

mama kraken used to have one at her house, even after her cucu-s started attending kindergarten and primary school. because let’s face it, the adults love it too. so squishy and nice to lie on!

pigeon breast pads

got pigeon’s coz I’ve read a few good reviews on them … if I recall correctly. got a box for $12.10; saw fairprice finest selling them for $13++ so uh yay, savings!

avent milk bottles + bottle brush + milk storage bags

got us a newborn starter kit for $40 (saw it retailing for $69 at kiddy palace day after; it became an addiction to check out the prices of our purchases), a bottle brush cleaner which I later realised was unnecessary because there’s already one inside the starter kit … *slaps forehead* and 6 packs of milk storage bags which I also had some insecurities about after. like what if I don’t need them, what am I going to do with 150 of these bags?!?! but yeah I bought 6 because there was a bundle promo and makcik me couldn’t resist. haha.

what we didn’t end up buying from the fair

cot – was eyeing a cot that was being advertised for $169. however when we saw the real thing, it looked too low! I’m all for ergonomics these days, so I decided to give it a pass coz all that bending low to pick up Watermelon ain’t going to be fun.

we eventually bought a used cot off carousell. same brand (jarrons & co) but different model but … I think the one we bought is quite low too. oh crap! so now to find a high mattress to compensate.

also a side note that NG’s friend recommended us to get a playpen because it’s more practical. can use for sleep, play, and nowadays they come with diaper changing stations too. but I really couldn’t warm up to the idea of a playpen. mostly because I’d never seen my niece and nephew playing in one, which made me realise that watching my sister and mama kraken bring them up shapes a lot of my baby gear preferences today.

car seat – coz we were too overwhelmed by the brands and models, and also coz we thought we could save money buying second hand. we eventually bought one from the same seller who sold us the cot. heh. I later read that it’s not good to buy second hand car seats coz you don’t know if the previous owners have been in an accident, which may affect the usefulness of the car seat. whoops! but wow it sure is an expensive thing to discard once your kid outgrows it.

breast pump – I already know that I want the Spectra S9+. the bundle deal that was offered during the fair was not cheap, I guess because it had a lot of things inside. planning to order from a Korean supplier on Qoo10. it won’t come with a warranty, but I think the $200+ savings (compared to buying a set with local warranty) may justify it. hee.

so yes these days I’m very kemaruk baby gear. told myself not to buy any more baby clothes because I already bought a bunch, so am focusing on the bulkier and/or more expensive stuff. i’ll have to wait for nov’s pay check to continue my purchases, since i blew my entire oct baby fund over one weekend hee. then hopefully by late dec/early jan we can start washing her clothes and setting up her cot, playmat, etc. can’t wait for the time to meet you, Watermelon! 🤗 insyaAllah.

baby steps towards bigger things

I don’t know what third trimester is like, but people say second trimester is the “golden trimester” and I gotta say alhamdulillah I’m loving it 😊 I’m more energetic, feel more like myself, and feel (more?) positive and excited about being on this journey.

I still throw up about once a week, usually around the turn of my weekly cycle, but I can live with it. In fact I find my body cute. You know why? Dia dah pandai memilih. For example: one night I ate grapes followed by peach. Previously I would throw up what I last ate, but this time my body somehow saved the peach and ejected only the grapes. 👏🏻👏🏻.

But anyways! Here are some of the exciting pregnancy and/or parenting milestones that we’ve achieved:

1. enrolling in birthing classes

I enrolled NG and me in two classes: Amani Birth Classes and Parentlink’s Child Antenatal Programme.

Amani Birth is an Islamic childbirth education. Their goal is to teach trust in Allah swt and that birth is a form of worship. Their basic premise is that birth is a natural life event, is inherently safe, and women should be empowered during their births. There are a couple of Malay-Muslim instructors in Singapore conducting this course. We’re with Kak Fadillah Yusope from Birth Maia. It’s 5 x 4hr sessions. InsyaAllah will share a course review when we’re done 😄

ParentLink’s classes, on the other hand, are only 3 x 3hr sessions. The first one is on the physiology of labour, the second on breastfeeding and part 1 of the Dunstan Baby Language, and third on part 2 and parenting scenarios. Quite excited for this to start!

Anyway yeah I’m quite semangat in enrolling us in two different courses. But yes judging from how we went for two pre-marriage preparation courses, I am quite the course junkie. Hee. Can’t help it!

2. engaging a doula

The first time I heard about engaging a doula was from another couple during a gathering last year. They had paid a little extra to engage one for their first pregnancy and said they had a good experience. This didn’t cross my mind until another friend asked me if I was going to. She was moved by her friend’s doula-accompanied birth story which was so positive, so gentle, and in humble remembrance of Allah (I went to read it too because I was super kpo). In my mind, doula fees were $2-3k which I thought were kinda steep. However, I went ahead to research and found that they’re actually about high ratusan to about $1.5k depending on what packages you take, which is a liiittle better lah.

So after reading positive birthing stories from Amani Birth and hypnobirthing students (another form of childbirth education that is pro-natural and focuses on relaxation for a positive birth experience), I decided that I wanted to go down that route as well. Sooo we’ve decided to engage Kak Fad after reading super glowing reviews by her clients. We don’t start our prenatal sessions until end of the year though, insyaAllah.

3. touring an infantcare

Ahh, the issue of childcare. Before even trying to conceive, this was something I was already worrying about. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution does it 😦

I’ve always been leaning towards infantcare, despite having some well-meaning friends warn that I eventually may not have the heart to leave my baby behind in a centre. Unfortch getting either our mums to help take care is not quite an option unless we get a helper — because both are already taking care of our sisters’ kids — and I’m not keen on getting a helper hee.

So anyways, I searched online and found a private/NGO-run infantcare near ish our place. We dropped by for a visit and it seems pretty pleasant. So we’re on the waiting list. The lady said she’ll update me if there’s a vacancy for the month I’m looking at. Hope it goes smoothly! Which brings me to the next development…

4. getting my maternity leave extended!

To be specific, my bosses agreed to let me go on no pay leave for 2 months, alhamdulillah  🙂 My manager discussed with my director about how it’ll be good to support my request since NG and I are first time parents and child care arrangements may change when the time really comes. Felt very thankful for understanding bosses ❤️

Though honestly my main concern was Ramadhan which falls in June next year. I heard that fasting while breastfeeding is another type of challenge, and this is the first year that we’re staying on our own so it could be a steep learning curve, idk yet. Didn’t want June to be extra overwhelming with the added adjustments of returning to work and being apart from the baby and testing our child care arrangements, so I’m super glad they’re letting me return to work around first week of Raya. Phewww.

I’ve also worked out my new monthly budget, taking my salary x 4 months but divided by 6 months. Also figured out that my HDB monthly instalments for the two months should be covered by my bonus contributions insyaAllah.

Now I just hope HR will let them hire a temp to relief me or it’ll be quite shiong for my team coz their top sai kang warrior is not around. Haa.

5. buying maternity insurance for me

Ok la not a milestone per se, but a pretty big ticket item on our list. NG got me Great Eastern’s Flexi Maternity Cover for pregnancy complications and insurance coverage for congenital diseases our child until she’s 3 years old. It’s a one-time payment – a bit hefty because he chose the higher tier – but it’s a standalone product that doesn’t require parents to commit to life plans for our child. Though I really hope it’s not a product we have to tap on, na’uzubillah 😔

keep calm and husnudzon

last week I decided to push myself and attend an alumni event, though I felt paiseh and asked myself what do I have to offer at such networking events 😕

so anyway, I planned to tumpang sembahyang at the school’s prayer room before heading there. we have a nice prayer room tucked in a secluded corner, but it is only accessible with a student card. me being the kental person that I am, worried about the small problem of being stranded outside the room like a fool with nobody to help let me in. but while whining about this to NG over the phone while on the way there, I felt tergerak to optimistically say “I think I should be okay lah, since dah ada niat.”

and true enough, I bumped into two girls in the toilet who were taking their wudhu. scurried quickly after one of them so I could also get into the room (padahal belum habis roll down my sleeves). soon after us, two boys entered the prayer room. and what do ya know, one of them decided to be imam. so we joined in the congregational prayer, with the anonymous imam lending us his beautiful recitations of the surahs.

I left in awe thinking about how this waaay exceeded what I had hoped for (i.e. simply for someone to help me tap open the door) and about the beautiful power of dua and husnudzon (sangka baik kepada Allah swt). this little incident showed me that if your niat is baik and if you believe that He will help you and make your affairs easy, then insyaAllah He will really ❤️

okay so that’s a rainy Friday morning story for y’all. TGIF!

other ramblings and our detailed scan

1. we got a nice 20-week present from the lil one the other day. NG got to feel her kick! his jakun face was both awww and funny. and then he asked me “that wasn’t you, right?”

I can understand why he could mistake it as one of my six-pack abs doing a quick flex, but no, it wasn’t me 😒

2. just ordered earth mama angel stuff from iherb whoop whoop. also spent some time browsing through the pre-order deals for the Oct baby fair, but frankly, still feeling lost among all the baby paraphernalia. meh.

3. nothing makes NG move faster than the magic words, “can you bring me my pail?”

4. bought maternity jeans and uh, leggings from h&m last week. was soooo happy with them. the jeans with its maternity band made my bump look smoother (and cuter? lulz puji sendiri) because heyyy no more muffin top! my next mini project is to stow away “pre-pregnancy clothes” under my bed coz no point for them to occupy my super limited (thanks to BTO housing) wardrobe space.

5. my latest strange happenings? dry skin. which gives me mild rashes on my wrists and legs. what a dirty word, rashes. especially in the current climate of the zika scare. insyaAllah the itches are from the dry skin and not anything more alarming. Google says that the trick is to avoid moisturiser without fragrance, which rules out 90% of my moisturiser collection. thanks. I found a travel sized bottle of no nonsense Nivea cream, so hopefully it rescues me from myself.

6. been occasionally working up a storm of a sinus these days. read that pregnancy hormones can also cause sinus, hai. this morning I asked NG to make me a tissue box handbag, you know like tie a raffia string to our Kleenex box so I can go around the house with easy access to tissues…

then I realised this is the sort of “letting go” that pre-marriage courses warn you about, so I cancelled my request.

7. my pregnancy hormones are on fire 🔥🔥 started with a work event last weekend — a public talk — where I felt extra intolerant of silly people. why are they everywhere?previously I felt ~depressed~ coz of the blues, but this is a different feeling. I want to bite people’s heads off so bad if they annoy me the slightest bit.

8. we went for our detailed scan and it’s a … girl! toldja 😉

I’m glad I’m right so that I don’t have to get taunted by NG for being soooo confident that it was a girl. I’m also glad I’m right coz what if all that thinking it was a girl makes my boy a little … lembut? heh.

to be honest, I’ve always fantasised that my firstborn would be a boy. even when I was a young un at 17 years old. haha mentelll. when I first found out I was pregnant, I harboured some hope that it was gonna be a boy. until that fateful morning where I was namastay-ing in bed and then I caught a whiff of NG’s manly smells (cologne and facial wash la) and felt disturbed — that was when I first suspected that hmmm maybe this one is a girl after all.

oh well, flower preens rompers from carter’s: ORDERED!

the elephant in the room

my bump’s at that stage where friends are like guessing it’s 65% baby, 35% rendang. not wanting to take the 35% risk that they’ll offend me, they resort to whispering with each other discussing whether I’m pregnant or not. haha! and for me, I still find it awkward to announce my pregnancy smoothly in conversations, especially in group settings. and so the elephant in the room is born: is kraken pregnant, or not? do I need to tell them that I’m pregnant, or not? *awkward*

anyway, I’ve been recording my journey in entries that are now published 😄 if it’s the sort of thing you like to read (warning: I talk about throwing up a wee bit too much), you can check out part 1, part 2, and part 3.

like BTB blogging, I hesitated at first. but then I realised that I was digging up again all the pregnancy posts that I have ever come across — in other words, stalking people’s old entries — to reaffirm my own strange experiences. so here’s hoping my entries will one day do the same for someone. heh.

I mean I was very blur lor. the small things can be so surprising. for example, it took me a few days to realise that I was experiencing morning sickness. in TV shows, it’s always shown as a sudden bout of vomitting, with no warning. nobody told me that morning sickness can also be prolonged nausea that makes you want to curl up in bed all day errday (even when you’re on holiday in another city!) or hang a flag above your office desk that says “Please don’t talk to me, I’m not interested in conversations.”

I haven’t recorded pregnancy updates in a while, for a reason I explained in part 3. insyaAllah I’ll share about our next appointment, where we find out the gender! it’s taking me all the willpower in the world not to presumptively add things to my cart on carter’s. haha.

for now, labour is still a little far in my mind. i think of it as skydiving: something i’m super scared about, but committed to. and i take comfort in the fact that so many people before me have experienced it and have come out okay, so insyaAllah, i will be okay too.

proud homeowners us

over the long national day weekend last month, we followed the rite of passage for 80% of Singaporeans by moving into our own HDB flat. so it’s almost been a month of staying on our own 🙂

there were a lot of adjustments to make but as pointless as it sounds, I can’t recall much now. haha. at first doing something different felt like a change, but soon after it became the norm. top of my head, some of these things are: planning my outfits for the week in advance and ironing them one shot over the weekend (used to decide what to wear + iron matching tudung every morning); planning our meals (maaaan it was hardly an issue when we were staying with our mums); trying to keep up with a weekly cleaning schedule … toilets especially was something that I didn’t have to clean previously hee. oh yah and also discovering each other’s habits and patterns at a bigger scale, and then scuffling over them 😇

moving in & settling down

when we first moved in, our house was missing a lot of things: couch, coffee table, tv console, tv, fridge, washing machine, dining table, small appliances, INTERNET… but we had to proceed with moving because my parents had to vacate their house for their buyers, and they had engaged a mover so we thought we could tumpang their services. we ended up having to pay for our own trip ($300) but it was still worth it considering that they did ALL the heavy lifting and helped dismantle our storage bed and set it back up — something I was very worried about. it was quite sad eating our breakfast on top of our boxes on the first few days though. lol.

oh yeah and I cried before leaving my mum’s house for my new one, asking myself why I had to grow up. lolol. ok I just teared from typing that.

so anyway, our biggest lesson from moving into our new house was: sign up with your internet service provider early! we were busy and left it to a few days before the move. then we discovered that the earliest apmt we could get for cabling and set up was only the following week soooo we burned through our data plans in our first week of moving in. some more there were rio olympics videos that I wanted to watch immediately on toggle. I did try calling Starhub to charm the call centre guy into giving us an earlier apmt date, but best he could offer was the day before, which I grabbed anyway because dah desperate.

our block is still fairly empty and we’re the only ones on our floor. I kinda like it actually! heh. it’s quiet, private, and we easily get the best parking lots. perhaps coz our unit is near the lift landing and disposal chute, so it doesn’t scare me that rest of our level is empty.

hosting guests

we hosted my friends over the weekend and boy, it’s like a mini preview of hosting a hari raya open house seh. we went marketing for ingredients, cooked, cleaned the whole house, squeezed in laundry, then fried finger food and reheated the dishes and made drinks just before they arrived. tiring pe! but also satisfying and nice lah. I remember being super thankful that our house is small haha. looking at the bright side of our 90 sq m home!

so what did we cook? roti kirai! amacam, pro tak? actually we got mama kraken to come over last week to teach us how to cook it lulz. we figured that we needed to rehearse first before anyhow cooking for other people. insyaAllah next week we’re hosting NG’s colleagues, and the menu is … tulang! but MIL is helping us cook it lah hee. though we will probably try to learn from her too.

so yep, ending this entry with our first selfie in our new house. trying to enjoy our matrimonial home as it is now as much as poss, coz insyaAllah come next Jan, it’s gonna be population: 3!

hello, you!

28 Jul 2016

the six weeks to my wedding may have flown by quickly, but my gosh the six weeks to our 12 week scan crawled by! I had to endure so many work events in the meanwhile! on top of that I had to postpone the appointment by a week coz NG’s on reservist and couldn’t get leave on our original appointment date. the excitement I had yesterday was akin to the feeling of leaving for Changi airport to fly off for a holiday seh.

we only met the sonographer, not the gynae. when I was lying down, with my tummy already exposed, I suddenly asked her “er, this is not for the Down syndrome test right? coz we’d like to opt out.”

“oh is it? the test is optional right? ok let me go out and confirm”. phew! just in the nick of time. otherwise we would have to pay $100 extra 😅

after she returned, we continued to do the normal scan. it took a (short) while for me to get used to the pressure on my tummy but waahhh to see our 13 week old foetus was so so amazing! subhanAllah, there’s nothing more wondrous to me than to see the foetus evolve from a 0.6cm pea (at our 6 weeks scan) to a 7cm baby-like figure.

it looked really active, bouncing and moving about in a tight cavity, also looked like its right hand was waving at us! awwwwwwwww. though the more likely explanation is probably that aunty sonographer was poking my womb quite hard with her ultrasound thingie hence all the movements. wallahualam :’) I was so touched that I teared hee. I thought I caught a glimpse of its spine and brain(s) too. wowowow. really loved the experience, alhamdulillah. can’t wait for moar!

so anyways, I think I feel slightly more energetic now that I’m nearing second trimester, though the throwing up is still happening. perhaps even worse :/

as you may have observed, each sub-entry must come with a mention of my most memorable vomit story since the last, kan? today’s is about the other time when I puked in public(!) we were walking home after having dinner at a nearby coffee shop when it happened. I didn’t have anything on me other than my wallet, phone and key (which I faithfully clutched while purging the dinner I juuust ate) so I had to have a go at the grass patch in my ‘hood. 😕

in fact, after the first bout, I still had the cheek to tell NG that the lychee drink “still tasted sweet!” we walked 10m before I realised I wasn’t done, so I let go the rest at a different grass patch. whoops. I saw an apek observing me as he lepak-ed on a bench… so paiseh please. 

one key insight gained is that I can’t stay up late (ie past midnight) or I will puke. apparently my stomach has strict operating hours. twice I slept late because I was packing orders. when I wanted to sleep, I felt my body being overtaken by a huge sense of fatigue and then the fountain works started. last weekend we stayed out late for raya. by 12am I was starting to get fidgety, scared that I would throw up while at a friend’s house or in the car on the way home with them. I held on OK until it was 1am. dia kasi chance sikit. heh. dulu sebelum kahwin, mak bapak kasi curfew. now pregnant also got curfew! fuh. now that I know this, I make it a point to sleep early – sometimes even comically rushing macam lah I’m Cinderella – though sometimes I naturally crash in bed cos I’m toooo tired.

also, I suspect my baby is a girl. actually more like really hope for lah. my layman theory is 1) my face has been breaking out baaad and 2) I can’t stand the masculine smell of NG’s cologne and facial wash and aftershave urgh. on 1), there’s that saying that if you’re pregnant with a boy, you’ll be glowing, and if you’re pregnant with a girl, it’s the opposite kan? dunno whether true or not lah. the pimples are freaking stubborn and i have basically given up. all that obsession on The Regimen and korean facial products gone to waste.

Islamic Hadith says that gender is determined at around 40 days (~6 weeks) but we only find out in 5th month, so we shall see whether I’m right!

3 Aug 2016

it’s easy to notice when new symptoms set in, but sometimes hard to notice when they stop. here are three symptoms I say a belated goodbye to:

1. morning sickness

yeah! my first day of MS-free day was … first day of raya yeay yeay. I was initially expecting myself to be very cranks that day, but alhamdulillah nausea spared me so I was able to flit from house to house relatively cheerfully.

I was abt 10-11 weeks then, and didn’t feel comfy telling those whom mama kraken had not already broadcasted to. mothers! an aunt on my paternal side did however ask me when I’m going to have a baby. “your cousin so and so dah ada anak. so and so pun ada anak. when’s your turn? I am waiting.”

fuh, I am waiting seh! I gave a tight smile towards the watermelons I was scooping (tengah obsession masa tu) and said “I … will let you know.”

when morning sickness is gone, it sure feels like the fog has lifted. although I didn’t kena the wau yuck MS-vomit a second time — ALHAMDULILLAH — the nausea alone is uncomfortable and quite the mood spoiler.

p.s. if you ever want to wish badly for another lady you just have to wish her a bad bout of morning sickness though I’m not saying you should curse anybody in the first place ya …

p.p.s when I was absent during a jalan raya with my dad’s side, my niece helpfully announced that I was due for an ultrasound scan in the coming week and that I was still in my PJs when she left my parents’ house that early afternoon … 😒

2. vivid dreams

I was amused when my then-pregnant colleague told me that she was having lots of vivid dreams and that it’s common for pregnant women to experience this. macam wow, interesting or what.

I assumed that vivid = scary, but actually it’s not. in my vivid dreams, I could see details right down to the handwriting on documents. the imagery feels stronger and more convincing. I only realised last night that I haven’t been having such dreams for past few nights. not sure whether it’s coz I’ve been extra tired or coz the vivid dream train has left me behind now that I’m in second tri (alhamdulillah, btw!)

my most memorable dream was the one where I gave birth and resumed work the next day and then forgot I had a newborn baby at home. labour in my dream was quick, painless, with no need for recovery. ha…ha. I woke up feeling disappointed that firstly, there is no baby (yet) and secondly, we still have a long way to go…! insyaAllah we will get there. doakan please!

3. blues

um so I haven’t mentioned this to anyone, not even NG, but I know I felt the blues (albeit mildly) and didn’t want to acknowledge it. mostly because I was afraid of coming across as ungrateful, espesh when I know there are women out there waiting patiently for their turns to conceive. the truth is that sometimes the feeling *was* very, very close to ungratefulness :/ I wished to go back to how things were — to be able to enjoy my (expensive) holiday instead of counting down to going home; to not feel so queasy or tired all the time; and to not have these potent, incurable breakouts on my face; and to recognise my body again.

I don’t know if the blues will come back before I give birth, but I know I’m in a better place now. the other day my friend was so happy for us that she offered me a hug. seeing her excitement for my baby instinctively made me say “alhamdulillah” as i hugged her back, but I remember that moment dearly because it was the first time in two months that I truly and sincerely meant it 😔

23 Aug 2016

I saved this update for my 16 weeks apmt coz I thought we would be doing another scan. turns out doctor said no need, since we already scanned 3 weeks ago. was a teeny disappointed at first, then thought “well, at least we save money.” hur hur.

then she listened to the baby’s heartbeat.

“your baby’s heartbeat is 135, which is normal,” she said, beaming assuredly.

I guess end of the day, it’s more than enough to know everything’s ok.

I’ve stopped writing about the pregnancy for a while now because … thinking about it sometimes makes me nauseated! as funny as it sounds. I wondered if it’s my balasan for glorifying my merlion tales previously, so I decided better to keep quiet for now. the frequency has gone down to about once per week, which is a good improvement. I didn’t even get to tell my doctor about my vomitting, but a friend pointed out that they’re probably not interested. in the grand scheme of things, vomitting is a small issue (unless you get to the point of dehydration, of cos).

our next apmt will be in late Sep insyaAllah. will be doing the OGTT (blood test for gestational diabetes, if I’m not wrong) and a detailed scan. can’t wait to confirm baby’s gender! and then full blown shopping can commence hehhh.

till then, it’s watching my bump grow, missing sushi and half-boiled eggs, and letting myself enjoy the second trimester. oh ya, and playing Pokemon Go. gotta catch em all!