Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Week 29 - Getting all geared up

This week, we decided to take stock of all that we have ready for the baby and also my emergency bag to the hospital. We've been really lucky as my sister, aunties and friends have been giving us some items to start us off:

1. Baby crib - loan from friend
2. Bath tub - from Sis
3. Pram (upcoming Christmas present from Sis)
4. Three bouncers - have not seen any of them yet to choose
5. Almost 120 cloth diapers (hand-me-downs from Sis, friend and auntie)
6. A mini wardrobe for the newborn (hand-me-downs from his cousins)
7. Bottles and bottle warmer from Sis
8. Pillow and bolsters to be sewn by Grandma

Don't we look all set for his arrival already?? I had a good time looking through the old baby clothes - they are very sweet looking coz they are so cute, tiny and soft. After we ran through this inventory, we went out shopping for some stuff to supplement these:

1. 3 new suits - blue, white and yellow with some fav cartoon characters i.e. Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse.
2. Bath towels and hankies
3. Grooming products for this could-be metrosexual
4. Nappy liners
5. Rubber sheet
6. Rubber pants
7. Cotton for cleaning

I wanted to get more clothes and also some soft toys but Hubby reined this shopaholic back to earth to hold on till later. We also got some stuff for my hospital bag (not so fun stuff so not worth mentioning here!).

Now that we've got some things started, I'm a bit more relieved now esp since walking too much is a problem that we may not have the energy to look for them later.

Next week, we'll be bucking down to practising breathing exercises and coaching strategies for the labor room. A friend lent us a book on Lamaze so I'm all set for being armed and ready for the big day!

BABY NOTES: Your baby is now about 10.4 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 16.7 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.7 pounds. He or she continues to be active and grow; however, you may be feeling fewer kicks and punches. This is because even though your baby is getting larger and stronger, he or she also has less space in which to gain momentum for these movements.

Your baby's brain is developing billions of neurons (important for later learning) at an amazing rate no wonder her head is getting bigger now! To meet his nutritional demands which peak this trimester you'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.

His bones, in particular, are soaking up lots of calcium now, so drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, like cheese or enriched orange juice). And get enough fiber in your diet to help prevent constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids, a common occurrence in late pregnancy.

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Week 28 - Welcome to the Third Trimester!

Welcome to the 3rd trimester

It's hard to believe that I'm now in the 28th week of pregnancy - time has really flown by and we've got to prepare for labor and delivery soon. I'm in a half-and-half situation now where I'm sorry that it has been so fast but also excited that we're going to see the baby soon.

It's weird but I actually miss the early days of seeing the little "bean" grow through the ultrasound scan, to the surprise of seeing a baby form later and also the first little flutters and sensations. At the same time with the delivery date crouching nearer and nearer, the fears and worries of D-day are beginning to take on very realistic forms too.

Firstly, I am very surprised by the change from the 2nd trimester to the 3rd as I can literally feel my energy levels dropping gradually, the weight of the baby increasing and the accompanying strain on my ankles and spine.

I'm really glad we got all the house stuff out of the way before all these changes took place. Initially, I could cope with standing to prepare and cook a meal but now I've got to do them sitting down, which is good anyway since I read that standing for long periods may trigger a premature delivery.

The fun part though is that the baby is now actively rockin' and rollin' in my stomach - his punches and kicks are more energetic and forceful now and a new sensation is his rolling around inside.

It's really weird and I felt the urge to hold my stomach when he did that initially as it's quite a big movement sort of like a cement mixer turning around! And he doesn't seem to mind Papa's hand anymore coz he still goes on with his kicking and punching business regardless of whose hand it is or he's finally buddied up to him.

Another cute (though initially scary) development is that sometimes his position ends up with his hand or leg appearing as a little bump on my stomach. When that happened initially, I was surprised to feel a bump and rubbed it gently, asking him if it's his little hand or leg. I was quite glad when he shifted again and the bump disappeared coz I felt that he was stuck in some ways. Phew!

I asked Dr about it and he assured me that it was alright. Good news is that he's now in the cephalic position (head down) though it'll be another 6 weeks before he settles down in his final position. I keep telling him to be a good boy and to swim down and not up ---- I hope he can understand half the nonsense his Mum tells him.

Another piece of good news is that Dr will be on call during the Chinese New Year week! This is a major relief off my shoulders as I couldn't bear the thought of being delivered by a totally different and strange doctor after seeing this kindly, familiar one for months.
Of course Dr Ng himself was quite sad about this as he planned to go away with his family but he was quite smiley when he told me about it and probably got frightened when I exploded on him.
I felt so bad about being happy that we plan to give him a nice little homey Christmas hamper as a sign of thanks and appreciation. Hopefully, my good-intentioned baking plans will turn out decent...

BABY NOTES: Your third trimester is starting, which means both you and your baby are in the homestretch! With his eyesight maturing, your baby can actually see light through the womb and will even turn toward a light now. You may start experiencing more uncomfortable symptoms, like restless legs that make it hard to sleep at night. Soon you'll see why it's all worth it, though! And if you haven't already, it's time to nail down your maternity leave plans.

Your baby weighs approximately 2.4 pounds and is about 10 inches from crown to rump, or a little under 16 inches from head to toe. He or she has been gaining weight steadily during the past 27 weeks as its stem cells develop into organs, blood and immune systems, and bones. From this point forward, your baby's weight gain will be due to increasing amounts of body fat. A quick way to predict your baby's birth weight is to average your husband's and your birth weights.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Week 25 - Going swimming

This week, our mission was to search for a great, big swimsuit that I would be comfortable and "alright" in (translation: not looking like an elephant/rhino/circus bear).

Since maternity wear nowadays are pretty decent, we thought buying a swimsuit would be quite easy...ha, ha, ha, what a big laugh!

The usual route of maternitywear shops turned out the usual pouchy pants, maternity blouses, dresses and low-heeled shoes and sandals. We headed back to the swimwear department and checked out the XL and XXL sized swimsuits.

I find it very ironic and painful that there are many designers out there (in Malaysia at least) who think that just because women are oversized at certain periods of their lives (for whatever reason), they would choose outfits that are brighter than Ronald McDonald's uniform and patterned with huge flowers/polka dots/stars or other equally ridiculous motifs.

Hello - just because our waists left us, it doesn't mean that our taste did too!

I was very frustrated that the slimming ones i.e. vertical lines, small prints, dark colors, one color were all only available in S, M or L sizes. So, slim people need more help to look slimmer?

Seriously, it seems like the XL and XXL ones were designed to make the person seem bigger! Or are they using reverse psychology to motivate the wearer to downsize? [GRRR...]

Thankfully, I found one that was OK and moved on with life. With the rain pouring down almost everyday, we kept our fingers crossed that Sunday would be the perfect day to go on my maiden swim. And it was!

I made sure to have a light snack an hour before and also did my warm-up stretches dutifully and we were off. Of course, we had to psych the baby up for this too and so told him,

"Baby, we're going swimming today, ok?" Duh...how obvious can you get, right? ;-) If our son shows up with a limited vocabulary, you know who's to blame.

The pool was welcomingly empty except for 2 little girls testing out their negotiation skills on their swimming instructors. After dumping my bag in the changing room, Hubby helped me to slowly lower myself into the pool (only 4 ft deep) and gain my footing.

Ooh, the water and buoyancy felt good!

Kicking off, I took my first stroke and almost drowned!!! I thought I could start swim again as usual but it turns out that 6 months of not exericising and having an extra package in your belly changes your body structure drastically. My obstacles were a) weak legs and b) the absence of stomach muscles and neck strain when coming up for air.

Plan B: I grabbed the kickboard and gently kicked my way across a small section. As breaststroke kicks didn't work, I resorted to freestyle kicks which were easier. Gently does it and I managed to finish 1 lap. I took a break and relaxed in the water.

I followed this interval and managed 4 laps then Hubby decided that was good enough for the first day. I thought that we'd only been there for 30 mins but we were actually there for a good hour.

The swim was great as I felt energized and jubilant for the next couple of days. Endorphins? Who knows? Baby was also ok throughout and after that - we were careful to check that his little kicks were as regular as before and thank God, they are.

The rain (and work!!!) prevented us from going again on a weekday but we're aiming for another session on the weekend. It's gonna be a regular workout for Baby and me!

BABY NOTES: Your baby weighs about 1.5 pounds and measures 8.8 inches from crown to rump. Your baby is becoming stronger as its stem cells continue to develop into bone tissue, and its bones become solid through a process called ossification. Your baby is probably becoming more and more active each day, and a moving baby is a sign of a healthy baby.