Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is this a reflection of our society?

First of all, a disclaimer that I have no experience with the healthcare in the home country - this is purely from my hearsay of others who have gone through the experience vs what I am experiencing in this country.

So I attended my third childbirth class and concluded that

  1. This country really allows people choices - from having your own birth plan, allowing the dad to participate during the birth, positions you can birth from, coping mechanism they provide and allow during contractions are all unheard of back home.
  2. Interesting to note that back home, there are "packages" which basically tells you that you have 8 hours in the delivery suite, any more, you need to pay extra.
  3. Choices are not given to you UNLESS you ask - otherwise they will just perform what is normal.
Is this a reflection of our society - where time = money and efficiency and 'chopchop-ness' outweighs the rights, preferences and comfort of mums (to the extend where I am hearing epistomy is not common and only necessary if baby is in distress, v.s. back home where it is fairly common. I wonder if it is a preventive measure instead of doing so only when necessary - cut already easier for baby to pop out = faster and more effective).

I find this pretty disturbing considering I am returning home for good and should I decide to have a second child, I will have to fight for my own rights and preferences. Or maybe I am mistaken - only public hospitals are such and the "high class" private ones are the same. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

rewarding self

After months of buying stuffs for baby Emma, as the date draws closer, I decided it is now time to pamper the mummy. Shopping for comfortable and pretty looking nursing wear, sleep wear, new undies and bras, just because I deserve it.

Oh and today I found out I am low on iron again. Time for the revenge of the red meat!

today i learn

in my 2nd birthing class, that :

- babies are born ugly. They are shriveled (from living in water for 9 months), purple (from the pushing, pink afterwards), likely have elongated heads if naturally birthed (through tight birth canal)
- if you have an all natural birth with no pain medication, you can hang upside down on a pole to give birth if you want to. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

pregnancy blues

so one day after posting on how great pregnancy is, I am hit with a day of gas and indigestion + feeling lethargic the whole day. Just as I have exclaimed before during the first trimester - this body no longer belong to me!

On a separate note, C and I have been creating personality for Emma. Like how when she responds to daddy's voice, we give her a "simi sai" ah lian voice, or some nonchalant hipster voice. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

pregnancy perks

Yet another perk of being pregnant is the wonderful positive smiles given freely by complete strangers, and their desire to help you.

So today 2 of us wives went shopping and when we got to the changing room, the sales assistant was all smiles and asked what I was having, and even allowed me to bring the underwear I was going to buy, but with no intention to buy, into the changing room (okay that's a bit gross, but she meant well and I really didn't try it on, and have every intention to wash it before wearing)

While S was trying on shoes, I took a seat on the floor and rubbed my tummy, and no one bat an eyelid at me for being a little silly sitting on the floor in the middle of nowhere.

Later when we went to pay, and an additional 10% off coupon was presented to us, and she helped us to use the coupon for a purchase which wasn't regular priced - and she was so happy helping us so, all smiles and glad to have helped us to save some money.

So there we have it. Little things like this to make me happy. And of course my almost negligible discomfort as compared to others throughout the pregnancy is something I need to give thanks for.

Let's wish the following fifty-something days will continue to be as smooth sailing and happy as it has been, and a happy and healthy and beautiful baby Emma will be delivered smooth sailing as well.

Friday, February 15, 2013

V day love

Casually mentioned I miss eating crab tang hoon, thai style, and my lovely husband recreated it! He had to euthanise 6 poor blue crabs in the process, but it was all worth it. <3 p="">

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A preggy journal

Today we attended our first birthing class and one of the suggestions made by the nurse who runs the program, is to have some form of way to record down our journey, so that we can benefit our child in the future. Since it is now week 31 and I have been unsuccessful in keeping any journals of any sort throughout this journey, it's still not too late to start. Better now than never yeah?

So we first discovered our pregnancy when we were halfway through our trip in Alaska. I was 5 days late and showing some symptoms - really, really sore and tender breast, some bloating and general fatigue. So we drove to a Walmart on our way to Denali National Park, and actually waited for 2 more days before we tested it.

I suppose I can say the conditions were less than ideal - we were staying in a tent for 2 nights, clearly with no attached bathroom. So I peed in the communal toilet while Clifton waited outside. 1 line means you are not pregnant, and 2 lines means you are. We had a 1.5 line - 1 very dark line and 1 super faint line. After stressing and reading online about what faint line means - conclusion was there is a higher chance of it being we are pregnant than we are not. So we took it easy for the rest of the trip, tried to eat a little more healthily and made our first appointment to see an OB/GYN. On 28th August 2012, we found out our small fry exist.

Throughout the whole pregnancy, I am really blessed. No drama in the first trimester - just really really tired and needed to sleep all the time. Did not have to throw up even once, nor was there any acid reflux. The weight gain was almost negligible up until about end of second trimester - to the extent that the hubs was worried and wanted to go on a fatten hui up mission. Thankfully our doctor said it's okay and our little bub was on track in growth and weight, so I was spared.

In my second trimester, I felt like a superwoman. The fatigue was gone, I was still small and did not feel any discomfort, so was able to bounce around and drove half of the 3000 miles we clocked during the big fat family trip. I even took some rides in Universal Studios.

Now in my third trimester, I am starting to feel the energy draining from me. The first trimester feeling is back - tired, can't eat much, now adding 15 lbs of weight, an active little girl kicking and moving all the time, and a tummy that I no longer know my clearance distance. A body that does not look like it belongs to me, and it will continue to grow for the next 8 weeks and 2 days. I am told, it is a blessing to feel the moving of the baby because it means she is well, even if she keeps me awake from all the movement. *weak smile*

Back to positive thoughts - here is what we did while I was pregnant :

First trimester : Went to New York and Alaska
Second trimester : Went to the Great Smoky Mountains, went on a Thanksgiving trip to Destin and New Orleans with our friends, did a big 3 week family trip to Atlanta, St Augustine, Cape Canaveral, Miami, Keys, Orlando, Great Smoky Mountains (again)
Third trimester : Went to Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding.

So dear baby Emma, I am in full expectation that you will grow up being an adventurous girl who loves travelling, because mum and dad brought you to so many places before you were even born. xx

Friday, February 08, 2013

Week 30

Week 30 and I have put on about 14 lbs (~6.3kg). Have this fear that I will not go back to my original weight, and is hoping to drop a little more even.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Favorite National Parks

So the National Parks has this passport thing which is quite awesome - you get to do a stamp (or chop, in our terms) at every national park we visited. 2012 was the 100 years anniversary, and there was some special edition version, which we did not buy. Of course, after visiting countless parks and having the wife swearing under her breath about not getting the passport any sooner, FINALLY, after 1 year in the United States, we bought our passport!

Unfortunately, all the places we visited prior to the purchase were not stamped, but I did note down all the national parks and monuments we have visited by state, and we will talk about the favourites later.

DC (all in April 2012)

  • Lincoln memorial - the old man super sized - pretty majestic, but toooooo many tourist trying to snap pictures.
  • Washington memorial - had a wonderful picture taken as I was walking up to it during the wonderful twilight hours of sunset, so it was sweet
  • White House - MEH. Anyway, can only view from so far away.

CA (April 2012)

  • Yosemite NP - Great trip with our friends, the drive up and back, the almost ridiculously long trek which we decided to go uphill all the way instead of the usually taken downhill route - going back to nature living in Curry Village, which later we found later in the season, had some fatality resulting in some rat poop. But we are alive.

UT (May 2012)

  • Zion NP - who would have thought after Yosemite, that hui will still be crazy enough to continue with all the cheong sua - namely, "Observation Point" and the river wading through slot canyon "The Narrows". Although my feet was blistered and the last mile down from Observation Point was almost the most painful experience in my life walking, Zion still is one of my favourites.
  • Bryce Canyon NP - The natural formations were amazing, the walk, like Badlands NP, was as though you are going through Mars. Nice
  • Arches NP - Very interesting natural formations of Arches too. One of my favourite parts was the Fiery Furnace, it felt very backcountry and wild and untouched - without well marked signs etc.
  • Canyonlands NP - voted for best scenic and panoramic view of the Utah area. Awesome and nice that there wasn't too many mad hikes to take (you can imagine hui is pretty physically exhausted at this point)

AK (August 2012)

  • Kenai Fjords NP - What can I say - Glaciers!!
  • Denali NP & Preservation - this park holds a special place in our hearts because this was where we found out we were expecting little Emma (yes, peeing onto a stick when we were living in a tent!). Mt McKinley, or Mt Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, is indeed impressive, but not as much as the cool tundra vegetation we hardly get to see.

FL (Dec 2012)

  • Everglades NP - I know, we live in FL and visited 1 national park? See the thing is, there is only 3 national parks in FL. So.... But anyway, it was gators galore and pretty fun, although not one of my top picks.

TN/NC (twice - Nov 2012 and Jan 2013)

  • Great Smoky Mountains NP - The mystic blue smoke effect, the beautiful autumn leaves set the Smoky Mountains apart from some of the other parks we have seen. We also had some beautiful hikes there too. Just a shame (no thanks to Superstorm Sandy) that some of the hikes we wanted to do was too snowed in (in November!), and by January, we were with the wrong crowd to attempt the hikes.

WY (Jan 2013)

  • Devil's Tower - awesome natural formation and funny legend of the bear who scratched the lines of the tower.
  • Grand Teton National Park - sort of last minute decision, but the tetons were really grand and amazing. A little too cold visiting in the dead of winter, but nonetheless great experience snowshoeing with the rangers using the old skool tennis racquet style snowshoes. 
  • John D Rockerfeller, JR, Memorial Pkwy - a nice long scenic road that brings you to Yellowstone directly (during non winter months)
  • Yellowstone NP - also up in the running for one of the favourite national parks of all times because of the beautiful snowy background with the random geysers going off. And just how amazing that it is a super volcano - really cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

SD (Jan 2013)

  • Badlands NP - rating it and comparing it to Bryce Canyon National Park, except we did not do as many big hikes there because of our company, but nonetheless pretty amazing and yet another of the feeling you are on the moon or in Mars.
  • Minuteman Missile NHS - A random find on the road - got the boys so excited being able to visit the actual missile stations and launch sites - they were what prevented a nuclear warfare with Russia. Awesome.
  • Mount Rushmore - I wasn't initially impressed with 4 presidents' heads on some granite mountain, but after knowing the story behind it - how precise and accurate, and how much attention to details and changes was needed, respect!
  • Windcave NP - A cave is a national park? Until you actually visit that you realised how intricate the cave system is, and how lucky we are, to be able to experience just a small percentage of its wonder.

The world is a wonderful place.

Wallace Stegner, 1983:
"National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Reviving blog in 2013

So erm, I have decided to revive this blog again. It is strange to do so after being away in a foreign land for more than a year - however it has been proven that no paper journals, iPad diary apps have been useful so far, to keep me from updating. So let's try this, if not for anything, to preserve some memories of being preggie.

To start off I shall post at the top of my head, what I liked most about being pregnant.

1. Big boobs!
2. Nice hair
3. Caring husband who allows me to throw tantrums
4. Legal rights to laze around and sleep anytime I want to
5. Never being alone - especially in the past few weeks, it is an amazing and awesome feeling to be connected to your baby. Favourite moments include her responding and communicating with me. E.g. today, driving in the car the both of us were (or so I think) singing and dancing to the music on radio
6. Smiles from strangers when they do a double take on the tums and confirm in their mind that I am expecting
7. License to be blur and forgetful

That's all for now. Stay tuned!