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getting ready for baby

getting ready for baby

Too many tiny humans

I’m 16 weeks out from THE ARRIVAL of one baby Theo and it still feels a little bit surreal. I’m mostly a picture of calm but I get these “WHAT HAVE I DONE??!!” moments where I start to panic a little about having 4 kids and it’s been happening with increased frequency as the EDD draws nearer.

That’s normal right, moms with 4 kids?

It took me a while to get used to having 3 and for the most part, it already feels like we’re getting overrun by an army of tiny humans.

I still remember what it was like when Truett was born and we were reeling from the shock of having ONE teensy weensy little baby. That first day we brought him home from the hospital, he screamed all night in my arms and we felt like our entire universe was falling apart it was all WOE IS ME please make him STOP CRYING ouchies MY BOOBS ARE FILLED WITH ROCKS and THIS IS THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER HAD TO DO.

And then there were two and everything got…so much worse. Post natal depression? It hit me so hard that there as a time I thought I’d never walk out of it. I had 2 babies to feed, twice the amount of diapers, and what seemed like 20 times the amount of shrieking going on at any given moment.

2 years later, we were crazy enough to go for a third and now, we’re a couple of months away from welcoming a fourth. I suppose you could say that things escalated quickly.

Am I ready for 4? Between you and me, I feel like I’m way out of my depth. But looking back at every point of having (more) babies, I never really felt like I was ready until it happened and I found out that I was in fact, as ready as I could ever be. Ok, so there were (too many) moments where I could barely keep my head above water and I ended up drinking in more water than I would have liked to but that’s how we level up our kungfu skillz.

Besides, I have these adorable tiny humans to make up for it.


getting ready for baby, pregnancy


You know what’s worse than having to go through a traumatic experience? Waiting for that traumatic experience to happen.

Knowing that it is going to happen one way or another so you hyperventilate a little and try to brace yourself like “ok, bring it on, I’m ready” thinking that it’s time but then it doesn’t happen. Yet. And you’re like COME ON JUST GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY.

I’ve been having some intermittent contractions the past week and every time I feel my stomach tightening and the waves of pain are twisting my uterus into a ball, I run to the bathroom to wash my hair. Priorities, people! Because if I have to go into labor and roll around making terrible grunting noises, at least I’m doing it with bouncy, silky soft, nice-smelling hair. There’s nothing worse than sounding like a deranged neanderthal while looking like one.

So these contractions, they got really bad on Tuesday evening. Usually my Braxton Hicks have a pain level of like 2-3 but these were at least a 6. Thinking that it was finally time, I washed my hair, packed my baby bag, lay on my side and waited for the contractions to come in harder and faster.

By 1am, they were 13 minutes apart and the husband was all “I think we should go in now, please don’t make me deliver the baby at home with hot water and a bunch of towels.” I don’t know what shows he’s been watching but he obviously forgot about the scissors. It’s always hot water, towels and scissors, amirite?

I was determined to wait till they were 10 minutes apart before checking myself in, but before it got to that point, they just stopped. One minute, I was hissing and grunting in pain, then the next minute, just gone.

Husband: So how, is it time?

Me: Gone. The contractions are gone.

Husband: That’s all? So what do we do now?

Me: I have no idea. I think we can go to bed.

What? You were expecting a dramatic end to this story? So was I. But I’m still around, as pregnant as ever. Still waiting.

getting ready for baby, pregnancy

Five More Weeks.

Just like that, I’m at week 35 of this pregnancy. I’ve got 5 weeks to go and I’m not sure if I should be relieved or start throwing my arms in the air and shrieking a little. Maybe a bit of both.

Part of me just wants to give birth like NOW. I’m at the point of the pregnancy where I have difficulty doing simple tasks like taking off my pants or trimming my toenails. Just the other day, I was attempting to walk briskly when the husband leaned in real close and whispered “I need to tell you something, babe…you’re starting to waddle.” And then I punched him in the stomach. Ok, not really. It was more of a friendly jab to the abdominal region.

But with the reality of the impending birth setting in, I’m starting to remember the TRAUMA that is childbirth. Oh, you know, the whole having to push a human out of my vagina thing.

Apparently, mothers have this ability to block out the trauma after giving birth, which is why they can have another kid 6 months after a major screamfest in the hospital. What they don’t tell you is that while you’re able to block out the trauma when you’re having fun making the baby, it all comes flooding back when you’re about to deliver the baby.

Which is um, right about now.

And that brings me to my list of 3 most terrifying things about childbirth. If you’re planning to make a baby anytime soon, I’d recommend that you go see some pictures of cute babies first and come back a few months later when it’s too late and there’s no escaping the process.

1. Cervix check

To fully understand why this is such a nightmare, you have to know where the cervix is. I’d show you pictures but this is a wholesome family blog so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s located in a place that shouldn’t be checked with bare hands. In order to reach the cervix to check it, the nurse has to put her hand and jab around somewhere you really don’t want her to. And yes, it’s every bit as painful as it sounds.

2. Episiotomy

This process involves a scalpel (or scissors) and your lady bits. Those are 2 objects that shouldn’t be near each other but this is the kind of thing that happens in the wonderful world of childbirth. Especially for VBAC cases, the doctor has to make an incision so the baby’s head doesn’t get stuck and cause a wound rupture. How very fun and exciting.

3. Labor Pain

For better or worse, the pain of labor trumps any other sort of pain you feel at childbirth. The husband was standing by witnessing the episiotomy in horror but I had no idea that it was happening because the pain of labor was all I could think of. It’s like when you get shot in the leg, it really doesn’t matter that you also just stubbed your toe, which I guess is a good thing in a bizarre sort of way.

getting ready for baby

Yoga Flame, Yoga Fire


I won’t pretend to know what that means but I’ve always wanted to say it without sounding like a douche and what better time than after my first real yoga experience. I say real because that time where I had to do the Downward Facing Dog after losing a bet doesn’t count.

Yesterday, the husband and I attended a Prenatal Yoga Class conducted by COMO Shambhala as part of the Drypers Soon-To-Be Mother’s Day campaign. Even though Finn is our third baby, it was a first for us because the past two pregnancies, we went for a grand total of zero prenatal classes. Our birthing plan was relatively straightforward – get to the hospital and start screaming for an epidural. Bam, problem solved.

Instead of trying to breathe away the pain, I could lie back and enjoy HIMYM reruns painlessly until the baby was ready to come out.

This round, I’m contemplating holding off the epidural for as long as possible and hopefully go for a hardcore natural birth without any pain medication. It’s a long shot and I’m likely to cave and cry like a baby at the first signs of pain but I’m going to try the breathing thing to see if it works.

We showed up for the class not knowing what to expect. Our level of tolerance for New Agey stuff is notoriously low and watching someone do the Garudasana or Natarajasana makes me giggle involuntarily. Yes, ok, I’m 12. In fact, the only pose that makes me not laugh is the Savasana, also known as the corpse pose, of which I am an expert.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to do any of those advanced yoga moves. Most of the 2-hour class was spent on relaxation techniques and simple poses to help manage the pain. The general idea is to get off the bed and into positions that will help move the labor along, positions that included squatting, grabbing a wall, hugging a chair, that sort of thing.

My favorite one was lying on my side with a bolster while the husband massaged my feet. It was so good that I’m going to make him do it every night from now until I give birth.

Besides this prenatal yoga class, Drypers has also organized a series of 7 other complimentary classes for expectant moms, to help them get ready for pregnancy in as many different ways as possible. The classes range from cooking to scrapbooking to photography, and even a babies book club. There will be 2 more classes in May: a Massage class for Daddies and Interior Decoration for Babies’ Nurseries. Sign up via the Drypers Facebook page and parents will get a complimentary goodie bag when they attend.

This is part 1 of a series of sponsored conversations on behalf of Drypers Singapore. All opinions and text are my own.

getting ready for baby

Too early to be making plans

It’s got to be too early to be thinking of birth plans and post-birthing plans – like what I’m going to do with the third baby after he pops out, kicking and screaming. Actually, the kicking can be easily subdued with a baby swaddle but it’s the screaming part because that I’m mostly concerned about because it’s been almost 3 years since I’ve had to decipher the code that is an infant’s random but guttural and heart-wrenching cry. And then there’s the 3-hour feeding schedule, the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding battles, the blocked ducts and the post-natal depression.

The last couple of nights, I’ve been lying in bed tossing and turning, having a mild panic attack thinking about how I’m going to handle 3 kids on my own. I was expecting to hit this phase sometime in the last trimester but these blasted hormones are giving me an early delivery present.

I’ve been here before with the last 2 pregnancies and I know the best thing to do is to let the panic pass. After all, I do have a plan. Sort of. Ok, so it’s more like a fuzzy rough guideline I formulated in all of 2 minutes.

Which is this. 2 words: Do it.

Wake up every morning and face the madness head on. One feed after the next. One nap-time struggle after the next. One apocalyptic meltdown after the next. Sometimes several all the same time, but even the worst of those do pass.

I could possibly cave and hire a helper or a nanny to ease things a little bit but the masochistic part of me wants to give this a shot. Obviously, everyone is going to have to adjust. The husband will have to change a couple more diapers, the kids will have to take turns to entertain the baby and everyone is going to have fewer sets of clean underwear for a couple of months but we will find a way to soldier on. And there’s always disposable underwear to save the day.

Hopefully in the next couple of months, I’ll put together a more comprehensive plan but if there’s one thing I know about infants, it’s that they don’t give a rat’s ass about following plans.

So I’m probably better off taking all that time to catch up on my sleep now so I’ll be ready for the onslaught come August.

getting ready for baby, Kidspeak

Umbilical cords and other stuff

Truett has been asking questions about the pregnancy and the new baby so I spent the afternoon reading a pregnancy picture book with him. By that, I mean a book with pictures about the developing baby in utero.

He was completely fascinated with the entire process, like he couldn’t believe that’s where he came from. All he knew about pregnancy was that there’s a baby in the general region of my stomach (but he probably thought I ate the baby or something) and that it would eventually come out from the general region of my bottom.

He now understands the basics of how pregnancy works, so here’s Tru’s version of pregnancy and babies.

On the magical powers of the umbilical cord

Tru: The baby will eat food from the umbical cord?

Me: Yeap, whatever mommy eats will go to the baby via the umbilical cord.

Tru: And baby will drink milk with the mouth?

Me: No, baby doesn’t need to drink milk at the moment.

Tru: Then why does baby need a mouth when got umbical cord?

Me: You’re right, baby doesn’t technically need the mouth for now but when the baby is born, the umbilical cord will be cut off and that’s when they will start to drink milk.

Tru: *looks horrified* You are going to cut the baby’s umbical cord? Baby will be in pain and cry.

Me: Don’t worry, it’s like cutting hair, doesn’t hurt at all.

On the water in the womb (and more magical powers of the umbilical cord)

Tru: Mommy’s womb got a lot of water for baby to swim right?

Me: Right. The baby will be swimming in the water for 9 months.

Tru: Does baby have floats? What if baby drowns?

Me: Baby can breathe in the water because oxygen gets passed through the umbilical cord.

Tru: I want to have umbical cord too so I can breathe in the water when I go swimming.

On baby crying

Tru: How come baby doesn’t cry? Is it the umbical cord?

Me: Haha no. Because baby is in the water so it’s hard to cry when you’re underwater. Or it could be something about the vocal cord development. Either one.

Tru: Why baby got so many cords?

Me: Uh, I really don’t have an answer for that. Anyway, aren’t you glad the baby can’t cry now? There’ll be a lot of crying when the baby comes out.

getting ready for baby, pregnancy

First Trimester Wrap Up

The first two pregnancies, I spent a lot of time reading the baby guides, browsing the websites and kept up to date every week on exactly how many millimeters the baby has grown.

This time around, I have yet to blow the dust off my trusty What To Expect guidebook. Because I know what to expect. Nausea, bloatedness, heartburn, vomit, swollen feet, incontinence, hemorrhoids, and at the end of it all, a big, fat episiotomy to take home as a present. Fun times.

Well, now that I’m officially out of the first trimester, I thought I’d do a quick round up of all the things you need to know in the first 3 months of pregnancy.

1. Gas, gas, gas

The pregnancy books make it sound so tame – you may experience some bloatedness due to the increase in progesterone. Um, understatement of the year.

The reality is that being pregnant makes you burp and fart like a drunken sailor. The awesomeness of my day is now determined by how much gas I can expel and I’ve never been this happy to pass gas from either end. I certainly don’t enjoy burping and farting in the presence of other people but it’s causing me so much discomfort that I’m past the point of modesty and decorum. Some days, I’m throwing up bile because my gut is so filled with air that something’s got to give. On multiple occasions, I even contemplated sticking a giant needle into my intestines just so I can let out the air.

I’m only glad that I don’t have to sit in an office all day because given the present state of things, let’s just say that I’m not going to be very popular with the colleagues.

2. Sleep all day

Being pregnant is exhausting. It sounds like an excuse pregnant women concoct so they can laze around and be a slug all day but no. I liken it to taking drowsy flu meds – you’re out before you even know it.

Naturally, the husband doesn’t fully understand this concept and he’s all like “you’ve been sleeping a lot lately…what do you do all day?”

“Oh, what do I do all day? Well, on top of taking care of 2 kids, I just spent the day making another human with my uterus. In fact, I made like 2 fingers and half an eyeball today. What did you do all day? Paperwork? Pffffff.”

3. All-day Sickness

Commonly known as morning sickness, this bout of nausea and loss of appetite can in fact happen throughout the day. Smells that you normally wouldn’t mind will suddenly trigger off a gag reflex and next thing you know, you’ve got your face over a toilet bowl. That is if you don’t first throw up in the middle of the street or in the car.

The good news is that this general feeling of discomfort usually disappears after the first trimester, so yay!

4. Baby wants food

Closely related to the morning sickness is the pregnancy cravings. This heightened sense of smell makes you extra picky about what you want to put in your mouth, so you end up craving for food you might not typically want to eat. In a way, it’s not really you craving for stuff, it’s the baby craving for stuff, and we all know that when it comes to making the husband go out on midnight supper runs, using the baby is a far more convincing argument.

However, in an unfortunate turn of events, I find myself averse to meat this pregnancy. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love meat. I eat all kinds of meat, including pork, beef, lamb, crocodile, squirrel, turtle and any form of poultry. And the meatier, the better.

But of late, the thought of meat makes me want to vomit in my mouth so I’ve been loading up on fruits, veggies and carbs. My mom is thrilled because she’s been telling me to eat my vegetables for 29 years and I’m finally doing it out of my own volition. Actually, it’s the baby that’s making me do it.

5. What Libido?

Most doctors will say that it’s ok to do the naughty naughty during the entire pregnancy but the truth is, the first trimester is not a good time to be getting any action in at all. There’s the exhaustion, which means that I’m literally too tired to make the sexy-time because any time I spend in my bed is going to be the sleeping-time. And then there’s the gas, which not only makes me bloatey and uncomfortable, it makes me pass gas at the most inopportune times. Let’s not even go there.

What all this means is that my libido has packed her bags and is somewhere in the region of Inner Mongolia by now.

PS. Oh, and the baby is doing great.