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Things to be enjoyed about being pregnant

I’ve made it past the halfway mark for this pregnancy (hello, second trimester!) and I think for the first time since November, I’m starting to have a bit of fun with the pregnancy (as much as one can enjoy being pregnant, I suppose).

Maybe it’s because I know that this will be the last time I’m ever going to feel the tiny flutter of a baby’s little dance in my uterus and I’m feeling a bit sentimental. *The husband says there’s no need to be sentimental because hey, maybe #5 will be a girl and we should consider maybe going for it but… 1. looking at our track record, it’s far more likely #5 will be a boy and 2. until he grows a uterus, there will be no #5.

I’m still mildly nauseous and the heartburn is setting in plus I’m starting to look/feel like a whale but there are things to be enjoyed about being pregnant and these are some of my favourites.

1. Feeling the baby move. 

Biological? Maybe. For me, it’s possibly the best part about being pregnant. Usually, I’m going about my day and it’s turning out to be all kinds of stressful and then I feel the baby do a little somersault inside and it always makes me smile.

2. One word: BOOBS. 

Pregnancy boobs is like God’s way of making up for the year or so of trauma that follows after the baby is born, no question about it. Besides, this is the biggest they’ll ever be so I say milk it (sorry, that was impossible to resist).

3. Happy hormones.

Mood swings kind of go both ways. There’s having to learn how to manage the downs, which can be a bummer but there’s also the happy hormones that are just so full of happy. I guess the one good thing about a fourth pregnancy is being better equipped to bask in the happy hormones.

4. Nice hair.

Not really a big deal for some but I’ve had to deal with crazy hair all my life so in the 9 months that it stops and listens to reason, I’m going to throw a party and celebrate.

5. #WIN

Being pregnant is like having an all-access automatic win card. These days, I don’t even have to think of logical ways to explain why my argument is better. I simply point to my stomach like it’s a magical orb of awesomeness and the husband has to make nice.


On a semi related note, the husband was applying anti-stretch marks oil on my bump (I have a thing about oily textures on my hands) and the whole stomach rubbing episode must have seemed really weird to Truett, who was watching intently and finally, he was like “what’s that for?”


There has to be a universe where that’s a compliment so I’m going with it.


Baby naming rules

Now that we know for sure it’s going to be a boy, we’re pretty much back to the drawing board in the naming department.

Choosing a name is so fun (all the possibilities!) but also terribly stressful because it’s kind of a big deal, choosing a name that will stick with him for life. I’ve gone through hundreds of boys names and I’m just not feeling the name for this baby yet. And much as I love the sound of Olaf Kao (for real!), the husband has exercised his veto power so I guess boo to that.

Anyhow, in case you’re interested, here are some of my universal rules when it comes to choosing a name:

1. Thou shalt not name thy child after friends/family because…awkward.

Basically, anyone within 1 degree of separation is off limits. I like names like Joseph, James, Jayme, Fred and Ellen but it would be so awkward to name my kid after a friend. Like hey son, meet this uncle with the same name as you do and um, any resemblance is purely coincidental. Think of all the unnecessary questions that will pop up, that’ll be fun.

2. Thou shalt not name thy child after friends’ kids because…dibs. 

The rules are that whoever has a baby first gets to claim dibs on the cool names before everyone else. Which means that as much as I like Jude or Carter or Vera or Oliver, I’m a little late to the game and these names have already been taken by friends’ kids. Also, playdates would be so complicated.

3. Thou shalt not name thy offspring after random stuff because…why would anyone do this?

Why am I even explaining this? Names of products or animals or colours are not suitable options for a child, no matter how much we may like those things. Apple, Unicorn, Blue, Shadow, Breeze, these are items, and naming tiny humans after them would be way too confusing.

4. Thou shalt not name thy child anything too pretentious because…he might get punched in the face.

The caveat here is that there’s a slim chance my baby could pull off a name like Einstein or Voltaire or Black Sabbath but do I really want to take that chance? The answer the no. It’s far more likely that he will be mocked mercilessly by everyone he meets or occasionally take one in the nose.

5. Thou shalt not name thy child something too common because…ok, yawn.

I know 7 Johns, 7 Rachels, 6 Esthers and 8 Seans/Shawns. They’re all great names, which is probably why so many people have them but I’d be bummed if my kid is 1 of 4 Ryans in class.

So that leaves me with the incredibly difficult task of selecting a name that hasn’t already been taken by people I know, that’s cool but not (too) pretentious, unique but not weird, and one that feels just right for this baby I haven’t even met.

Here are the contenders for this baby for now:

i. Theo

ii. Connor

iii. Axil

iv. Declan

v. Everitt

vi. Titus

vii. Avery

viii. Rhys

ix. Hayden

x. Lincoln

Votes are welcome. 


3 boys and a girl

I’ll admit that I’ve been in a state of semi-denial since my last ultrasound scan. I suppose I already knew then that it was a boy but with this being my last baby and I had all these dreams of having 2 girls that I wasn’t ready to give up just yet, I thought I’d hold on to hope for as long as I could.

Well, that hope is all gone now because it’s most definitely a boy.

During my prenatal scan this morning, I asked the lady (I’m not sure if she was a doctor or nurse or lab tech person so I’m just going to refer to her as the lady with the impressive-looking ultrasound machine) who was doing my detailed scan if it was definitive and she gave me a look like I was questioning her scanning abilities so for dramatic effect, she magnified the image of my baby’s man parts several times then said “Trust me, that’s not a finger” followed by “Congratulations, you’re having a boy.”

I thought I’d be devastated but I’d describe this feeling as mild panic mixed with severe panic. And maybe a little bit thrilled because 3 boys? That’s serious street cred.

I’m doing 2 things today, which are to pack up my stash of baby girl dresses to give away (sad face) and settle on a boy’s name (happy face). And then if I have time leftover, I will build a secret girl’s hideout for us outnumbered girls to retreat to the moment we get overrun with testosterone.

Upon hearing the news, these were the kids’ reactions. They’re probably best described in pictures.




Speaking of names, I asked Truett & Kirsten what they wanted to name their newest baby brother and they unanimously picked…Olaf.

According to Kirsten, it’s the “cutest name in the whole world” and “it will be so cool because when I wake up every morning, I will say “GOOD MORNING OLAF!” and he will give me a hug.”


Question: What are the chances that’s not a penis?

Yesterday’s OBGYN check up appointment was exciting – it was the moment of truth, the big reveal. In my head, it was the one where we would find out that baby Hayley is a girl and we’d celebrate because YEAH GIRLS!!! It was supposed to be an epic moment where we’d look at her all serious (through the ultrasound machine) and say “your destiny is to bring balance to the force, young one.

My doctor had the ultrasound machine ready and he was taking his time like “and here’s the head…and the eyes…that’s the little tummy…” while I was like “how about we just skip to the fun girly bits and do the head later.”

Finally, we got to it and there were no girly bits to be seen. Instead, there it was. What seemed like a little package at a spot where I was hoping not to see any um, packages. For a moment, we were all silent, peering intently at what was unmistakably a tiny lump between the baby’s legs.

And then my OBGYN said, “Hmm, it’s not definitive but that sure looks like a penis.”

Ok, I’ve seen penises and he was right, that did look an awful lot like a penis.

My dreams of having another girl was rapidly becoming as fuzzy as that ultrasound image I was peering at.

“What are the chances that’s not a penis?” I asked hopefully. “Could it be part of my umbilical cord tucked at a weird angle?” Or like a slightly lumpy vagina? One time, I saw some really weird, logic-defying pictures on buzzfeed, maybe this is one of those times.”

“Uh, definitely! It’s just a preliminary scan, we’ll know for sure when you do the detailed scan the next round,” he added, sounding a little too sympathetic.

I’m an optimist but I have a feeling it’s time we started thinking of backup boy names.

Well, penis or no penis, baby sure is looking cute and tubby. I already can’t wait to meet him (and yes, I’m reluctantly going with a him).



The cure for body image issues

There comes a point in each pregnancy where my body image issues start to get out of control. I become very aware that I’m going to balloon and I start to freak out once I start seeing signs of it happening.

I can’t remember when the it all started. For better or worse, I didn’t use to care much about how I looked, as was evident from my childhood photos. Browsing the old photos albums, also evident was the fact that my folks didn’t care much about how I looked either. For the entire duration of my primary school life, I was basically known for my ridiculous specs and let’s just say that for an 8-year-old who is not Harry Potter, thick round plastic specs is the equivalent of sartorial suicide. But I wore it with pride because I was more concerned about being able to see clearly than how I was being seen.

Along the way though, those body image issues came creeping in and once they did, there was no turning back. That list has been steadily growing till this very day.

Let’s see, we’ve got:

The eyebrows. If left unattended to, they will stop existing in the plural form and grow into one singular eyebrow stretching across my face.

Crazy hair that does not listen to reason or hair products.

Cheeks that are prone to chubbiness. Chubby cheeks are cute to have at 3, but not so much at 30 and yet somehow, any additional weight I put on seems to find its way straight to my face.

Athletic calves. Some might call them stumpy. I prefer to call them muscular.

Giant feet. My feet are about the same size as the husbands’ so…that’s sexy.

Child bearing hips. It might have been considered hot once upon a time in ancient China but they’re not so good when you’re attempting to put on a pair of skinny jeans in 2014 Singapore.

A post-baby tummy that does not seem to go away no matter how many crunches I do. Which is mostly none.

Last weekend, I was trying to fit into my jeans while peering at my ass from 15 different angles to ascertain if it has gotten bigger. I’m fairly certain that it has. That colossally sucks. As I was wallowing, Kirsten burst into the room to show me her new hairband. I know because she said, “Mom, see my new hairband!” Then without skipping a beat, she said, “wah, you look so pretty” before turning around and walking right out.

I felt pretty good about myself for the rest of the day.

So the ass might gotten a little bigger but body image issues can kiss my um… you know, because my baby girl sees the good parts and those are the parts I should be looking at too.


Of things related to the baby

Since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been waiting and waiting for the second trimester to arrive. I’ve marked down the date, added tiny pink hearts, some smiley faces and I’m more excited about its arrival than I was on christmas morning. And you all know how excited I get on christmas morning.

That date has come and gone and…nothing. I feel exactly the same. It’s like waiting for santa to arrive (I even prepared milk! cookies!) and he finally does and he comes with a big fat bag of not a single thing.

Where’s my extra energy? My ability to eat without puking? My regular non-constipated self?

So that’s been a bummer. One of these days I’m going to wake up and remember what it’s like to properly enjoy a juicy piece of steak but clearly, that day is not today.

I think baby Finn suspects that I’m pregnant and that his days as the baby of the family are numbered. I did tell him as much on several occasions but I was never really sure that he was paying much attention. I need to have a word with him about taking me seriously. In any case, I think he’s getting it, thus the onset of a sticky baby phase. Or it could be that he’s just entering the sticky phase all on his own. Either way, he’s milking his babyness for all it’s worth.

Some days, his sticky phase means coming to me and resting his head on my chest for no reason at all (awesomest feeling in the world – sticky phase please don’t go away!) but other days, he grabs my ankles and gets all frenzied in his meltdown zone (sticky phase, I can be so done with you like now).

I just made a deal with him that he gets to be a baby for the next 6 months but then he’s got to step up by the time Hailey arrives. He doesn’t look too enthusiastic about the idea but I think he gets it.

another baby


Pregnancy induced narcolepsy

It’s been an excellent Christmas by all accounts but I just haven’t been enjoying it like I should. My head tells me that all this is great and I should be having a good time but you know how when you’re pregnant and everything just draaaaags…

This pregnancy has not been kind to me, is all I’m going to say.

ALL THAT DELICIOUS FOOD EVERYWHERE AND MY BRAIN WON’T LET ME ENJOY IT. Nausea and vomiting aside, I’m also flat out exhausted. So many fun christmas parties to attend but I just want to be in a horizontal position all day. By the time I get to 10 in the morning, my system starts to go into shut down mode and I lie down for just a minute because my head feels so heavy and bam, I’m out cold. It’s like full on narcolepsy hitting me square in the face. I try to will myself to focus but none of those mind over matter techniques seem to be working. It’s no good, my body just won’t cooperate.

All I could think of is that I’ve never be gladder to be working from home because if I was working in an office and falling asleep all over the place like that, I’d be so fired.

My OBGYN says I should be *ahem* getting as much rest as I can, even if it involves 4-hour naps in the middle of the morning. He even offered me MCs to be on bed rest until I felt better – best doctor ever.

I’d love to say that I’m enjoying all the extra rest but most of the time, I wake up feeling as tired as before I napped and increasingly miserable because I just lost two hours taking a nap that doesn’t seem to help. I feel like I’m sluggish and unproductive and half drugged and there’s so much to do and I need to snap out of this.

On the bright side, the kids have been the sweetest. They take turns to tuck me into bed and fuss over me and the other day, I heard Kirsten shushing baby Finn and saying “shhhh, be quiet, mommy is pregnant she needs to rest.”

what does mommy do