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Mind games

For various reasons that I won’t go into, Mr Thick and I have decided that we will not be finding out the sex of Number Two before delivery. Throughout our visits to our obstetrician, we made it clear to the doctor that we are not interested to know if baby has any hanging appendage and he has kindly obliged us thus far.

“Makes my job easier!” he says.

Until the detailed scan. (This. This should remind you of what the detailed scan is all about.)

We were sitting in his office discussing the results of the scan (all good) when we got to the measurement of the baby’s head.

Dr T: It’s consistent with all the other measurements, an average number.
Me: Oh! And I thought baby has a big head.
Dr T: The measurement actually falls in the middle.
Me: Oh, my son has a big head so naturally, I assumed that this one’s head is big too.
Dr T: Well, maybe this is a girl then.
Me: WHAT!
Dr T: I don’t know, I’m just making it up.
Me: Nooooooooo. You can’t say stuff like that.
Dr T: (laughs) I really don’t know, I am just saying.
Me: No no no no no, don’t say anymore!

For the record, we still have no clue. And we aim to remain clueless!

Bun in oven, Letters to

Moments

Dear Number Two,

How are you? How’s life in mama’s cosy, watery womb?

While I haven’t been updating the world about your every move and every flutter, I don’t want you to think that it’s because I love you any lesser. We have had moments, you and me and papa and gor gor, but I just never got round to penning these moments down.

Let’s talk about this afternoon. It had been an exhausting day for me, having sat through four hours of assessments. I was this close to putting my head down to sleep but I had work to do. As I was powering through my slides, you started reminding me of your presence.

You started bubbling away in my belly, first here then there. And it was so adorable. You are at the stage (20 weeks) where you flutter around oh so gently, because you are still teeny tiny. And as you pop around under my skin, I started tapping on the belly and you would respond.

It was a good moment.

Just the other morning, your papa and Aidan were snoozing in the other bedroom. It was just me and you on that big bed of ours. The morning was cool and there was a gentle breeze. The sun was slowly rising over the horizon and the day was blissfully still.

I laid on the bed, saying nothing, doing nothing. And then you went POP! Before I knew it, there was a trail of “bubbles” running across the belly. I smiled and said hi to you, and you continued fluttering for a while.

And then the door opened and your brother burst into the room with loud pitter-patters, and the moment ended.

It was a good moment.

And then, there was the other night. Papa and I were trying to put Aidan to bed. That boy, he loves, LOVES to kiss you. At ever opportunity that he has, he will ask to “kiss mama baby”. It was exactly like that, that night.

I was lying down on his bed and he asked to kiss my tummy. I said, yes please and he obliged with a MMMMM-MUAH. Only this time, he kept going at it, kissing and giggling at my belly. Papa and I laughed at his gleeful smile, and there was so much love and happiness enveloping the room.

It was a beautiful moment.

Right now, I am relishing this: the feeling of you in my tummy, carrying you everywhere with me. I daresay this is something that all mothers love and miss the most. (Also, the baby is here but not throwing tantrums! Or pooping at the wrong time! Or crying incessantly!)

We are at the halfway mark, Two. Hang in there, we still have just a little bit more to go.

Love you always,
mama

Bun in oven

Musings about Two

So, I’ve unlocked some of my previously-private posts on Number Two, if anyone is remotely interested in reading.

Unlike the first pregnancy, I have not been writing much. Partly because I was absolutely gutted by the first trimester twin terrors of morning sickness and exhaustion, and also partly because I have had my hands full at work.

While the horrible, sick feeling of nausea has mostly abated, I still get the occasional heave ho. Which is incredibly awful, considering that I am already in week 17 (or is it 18? Can’t recall. Maybe 19?).

Anyway, Two. My beautiful in-utero baby. My second chance to experience a “normal” pregnancy – less Dead Baby Thoughts, less paranoia, more joyful tears.

I love you already.

Unlocked posts: What’s that they say?, Same same but different, Oh bile!, Hey you! Yes you!.

Bun in oven

What’s that they say?

As a mother, I always repeat this to anyone who listens: EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT.

And now that I have Number Two all snuggling up in my belly, I can safely say that the differences extend to pregnancy.

ALL PREGNANCIES ARE DIFFERENT.

So, Number Two.

The morning sickness is perpetual. It was terrible just a couple of weeks ago, I would lie down in bed immediately after husband got home. I still get the regular heaving on a daily basis and I did throw up more than the previous pregnancy, but the general sense of sickness has thankfully dissipated. With Aidan, I was sick all the way up till about 14 weeks or so and those days were bad. I had to take the train to and fro work and it was a nightmare. All I can remember is me clinging on to the pole for dear life as I tried not to retch in the jerky, stuffy MRT cabin. These days, I’d heave as I am driving and thank the gods that I am sitting in the air-conditioned comforts of my own car. Perspective, people.

I’m still tired as hell but hey, with a 20-month-old who does not sleep through the night, ANYONE would feel tired. Most days, I go to bed at 930 or so.

See, back when I was pregnant the first time, I had nothing else to care for. When I got home, I would lie down on the sofa and rest. Or I would watch mindless TV programs like “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant!” and get all WTF over them. Now? Hah! I have to constantly chase after the little boy who cannot sit still. No time to lie down and moan about feeling sick!

Oh, Number Two.

We saw him/her the other day when we had our 9-week scan. My baby is, for the lack of a better word, a BLOB. Really. It was a blob with what looked like a tail. But he/she was clearly moving, the doctor pointed out. Too cute! I have a moving blob of a baby!

Also, please do not be as active as your brother. I’m not sure my aging legs and lungs can handle the two of you.

All’s good, we are proceeding with the OSCAR screening and I no longer have Dead Baby Thoughts.

Second time around, I am a chill mum.

Also, a mum who is crazy busy at work and dead tired after work, therefore has no energies to waste on Dead Baby Thoughts.

And who is going to bed now. At the late timing of 11pm. Goodnight grandma me.

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Same same but different

So. Barely seven weeks in and I can already see how different this pregnancy is from the previous one, and how similar.

For starters, I am getting the pre-requsite nausea. All the time. There is no “morning sickness” for me, it’s mostly “all-day sickness”. The difference this time, however, is that the nausea peaks in the evening. Just before I leave work, I can feel the bile rising and churning around my chest. Just awful. Luckily, my boss has been quite kind and has allowed me to go off earlier should I feel unwell. Hurray!

And oh, the eating! Back then, the nausea was enough to put me off food. I hardly ate! This time, I get hungry thinking about my food cravings despite the nausea. I’d be all RETCH RETCH RETCH and still be thinking of char kway teow and prawn noodles. Very odd! As husband says, it’s obvious that my stomach and my brains are NOT on talking terms.

This also means that I eat. A lot. And feel pukey. A lot.

How, like that. I’m going to be one of those waddling, fat mamas soon, hur hur.

Bun in oven

Oh, bile!

Officially, we are almost seven weeks pregnant.

According to the scan we did a week ago, I was 5W6D. Which is slightly further along than I thought we were, based on my last period. But then again, baby has his father’s genes so I should not be too surprised.

The odd thing with this pregnancy is that I had the symptoms way before I peed on the stick. I suppose I was in denial. You see, after going through infertility, you become wary of hope. All those months of thinking, am I pregnant, and then realising that you are not, can have quite the impact on your mental wellbeing.

Days leading up to the date of my expected period, I was feeling slightly nauseated. But I, unfortunately, always get the full pregnancy works BEFORE my period arrives (think nausea, backache, headache, fatigue) so I refused to put too much thought into it. Defense mechanism kicking in, you see.

Until three days after my period was due. I realised that I needed dried mango to keep from retching and then it clicked in my mind.

Told husband to buy a pee test – the cheapest, please, in case it’s a negative – and he came home with TWO. One, a house brand and the other, a premium brand. I sat on the loo, peed and LO AND BEHOLD. And then I did it again the next morning and TWO LINES AGAIN.

As Singaporeans like to say, confirm chop and guarantee.

Since then, I have been plagued by nausea. It’s awful, really, having that sick, burning feeling in the middle of your chest all day long. Bad enough for me to tell husband that I am NEVER going through this again.

Hah. Pregnancy is the best contraception. WHO KNEW.

As for fatigue…well, har har. I mean, Older Child is not sleeping through the night so I am perpetually tired anyway, irregardless of Younger.

The school term starts tomorrow so it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Bun in oven, Letters to

Hey you! Yes you!

Dear Number Two,

HELLO LOVE!

You, my darling, have finally been made. After all that teenage angst and drama from your mama here, you slipped into our lives quietly and unexpectedly.

We had a quick look at you at the doctor’s about a week ago and it was beautiful. You are just a round little blob on the ultrasound but you are here, with us, reassuringly.

Just like your brother, you are a lesson for me to learn. Initially, I had been pessimistic. You see, with our history, I didn’t think it was going to be easy conceiving you. I didn’t dare to be optimistic at all, for fear of having my heart broken all over again. And this time, I knew that I didn’t want to go through fertility treatments to have a child. There was nothing for me to fall back on.

So I fretted and sighed. (Whenever I had the time to, that is. Between work and your brother, I hardly had energy to even watch TV!) Ideally, I wanted to have you in March or April, so that I could spend extra time with you before going back to work in time for the October semester. And when you didn’t arrive in time for March, nor in April, nor in May – I was sad.

And then it hit me that three women I knew had their babies due in March. Now that made me mad.

Didn’t God know what I was hoping for? Why was it that He gave it to other women but not me?

Boo.

I was pissed off. I ranted to your father – just a little bit – and decided that sod it, I wasn’t going to care anymore. If we never had a second child, then SO BE IT.

Two weeks later, my period was late, I peed on a stick and BEHOLD. Your presence was announced to us, loud and clear.

I believe that the lesson God intended for me is that of patience.

Your brother was in the bathroom with me when I did the test – is he ever NOT in the bathroom with me, I wonder – and I told him to bring the stick to your dad. After cleaning it, of course. He ran, shouting PAPA! and shoved the stick into your father’s hands.

This means…? he asked.

I smiled. And then the grin on his face grew wider.

Welcome, my little one. We love you already.

Love,
mama

Bun in oven, Silly things

The Nose

So I am feeling more than a little smug because I had guessed correctly the gender of the “royal baby”. This was how it happened – the guessing, I mean. Not the birth of the baby. Who is now the Prince of Cambridge. How cute is that title? Also, he is the real prince – it irritates me when parents refer to their offspring as “princess” or “prince”. Who made you king?

Anyway, back to the story. Mr Thick and I were sitting in Mr A’s room, just talking about everything and anything while the kiddo plays on his own. It’s part of his bedtime routine and we usually leave him to do stuff by himself while we catch up for a bit.

Mr Thick: Oh Kate is in labour.

Me: I bet it’s a girl.

Mr Thick: How do you know?

Me: Don’t know. Just guessing. Actually, let me look at her pregnant photos.

(Googles for pictures of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.)

Me: It’s definitely a boy. I mean, look at that nose!

Mr Thick: What nose?

Me: THIS NOSE. Plus, she looks uglier in some photos. She has never looked ugly before she got pregnant. Therefore, it must be a boy.

AND I WAS RIGHT.

That’s because I sported THE NOSE during my pregnancy. Never get between a mama and her nose (evidence below).

Bun in oven, Letters to, Motherhood

A letter to my pregnant self

Dear 37-weeks pregnant me,

I remember that when the photo for that week was taken, I was so full of joy and excitement. I didn’t know what awaited me, except that I was oh so looking forward to meeting my little man.

I also didn’t know that barely a day after the photo was taken, I would go into labour. Nor that my prayed for labour never happened.

Eight weeks on, I am older and wiser. My life has been taken off its hinges and spun 360 degrees around. It hasn’t settled yet, no, far from it, but at least I feel more or less like myself again. And looking back at the time when I was still pregnant, I wish somebody had told me what I am able to tell you now.

1. Enjoy pregnancy
I was fortunate to have a pretty smooth pregnancy and despite some of the aches and pains, I have tried to stay positive and happy. I loved every moment of being pregnant and if there is one thing that I do regret about the early delivery of Aidan, it would be that I never did enjoy more of my pregnancy.

So treasure that bump. Immerse in every hiccup, every little kick that the baby delivers from within. Sing to baby, dance with him. Imagine and daydream of your life with him.

You will miss being pregnant.

2. Enjoy couplehood
You wouldn’t believe how much parenthood can transform your relationship with husband. It’s been eight weeks and our marriage, while intact, has definitely changed. There are so many things I miss about being just us: going out on a whim, watching a movie together, chatting about politics and other topics not related to baby, sharing details of our day, watching telly together while having our dinner. If somebody had told me that I would give birth to Aidan at merely 37 weeks, I would have done more, luxuriated more in being just the two of us.

At the same time, I am grateful that we made the decision to have a little Hong Kong holiday last December. There were lots of lovely memories and it will forever be a trip to remember.

(Funny how things always happen in Hong Kong for us.)

3. Be open to help
Back then, I was adamant that I could handle everything by myself after birth. How wrong was I, how STUPID, how NAIVE! In the end, I was a complete wreck and right now, the dreadfulness of the first four weeks have become hazy to me. Selective memory, I say. Motherhood is tough shit and the lesson that I have learnt is to never say never to help.

4. Be firm but flexible
The one thing that I love about me is that I research to death and then make my decisions on how I want to lead my life. It’s a strong trait and something that has guided me through many tough times.

I was insistent on hypnobirthing. I was insistent on going drug-free during labour. I was insistent on many things.

We all know how that panned out.

So yes, we can hold on to our beliefs but we cannot be blind to other options as well. Always go with the flow and do not cast decisions in stone.

5. You WILL fit into your clothes again
Honestly, that should be the least of your worries. Right now, I can squeeze into my pre-pregnancy bottoms. There might be an extra kilo here and there but it’s not a big deal. You CAN afford to put on a bit of weight.

Don’t fret. You WILL don those gorgeous frocks again, sooner than you think.

Oh, and that nose? GONE.

6. Wear your eye bags with pride
You won’t look the same anymore. Those eye bags that you have been desperately wishing away your entire life? THEY WILL GET WORSE.

But it’s okay, if it means that your little man will get all the goodness of the breast milk that you can offer. And nursing is NOT forever. Enjoy it and forget about how shitty you look.

(There’s always Botox.)

Love,
Mama me