My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

34 weeks + 5 days

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HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!!!

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I meant to do this bumpdate last Wednesday when I turned 34 weeks, but heck, I was so tired from being unable to sleep between 2-6am (literally!) and then waking up at 9am. And then, the next day was New Year’s eve and I had a horrible day at work. Come Friday, it was New Years and I wanted to spend with with my family through the weekend so I decided to delay this update until today.

I have quite a lot to talk about this week, things have been pretty challenging. Let me break it down for you a little.

Physically

Stretch marks: I can feel my belly is getting bigger and tighter by the day. That means that baby is growing and she should weigh about 2.5kgs by now.

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Stretch marks are saying hello to me too! Now, I know there are many products outside to “prevent” these marks, but really, there is nothing you can do about it. It’s partly genetics and with the rate of how fast your belly is growing, it is inevitable. My skin is not that elastic and the marks have gone up above my belly button stretching even more from the precious marks I got from Leo. I know of some people whose belly went super huge and no stretch marks; NONE. Well, good for them. I am not super sad about it. In fact, these are my battle scars. A reminder that life was formed and that my body did whatever it needs to do to support it.

Fatigue: I am feeling very tired the past week. So tired that I just want to lay in bed all day and go to bed at 7pm. Of course I didn’t coz I couldn’t fall asleep. Even when I do, it’s not long before I have to wake to pee and then the cycle repeats itself. I decided to hit the gym instead to join a BODYPUMP class which helped me get my mind off things and I really enjoyed it. I forgot how nice it was being a member and not having to teach.

Pains: I have been having some pelvic pain especially on my right side. It’s like as if my legs are gonna detach from my body. My tailbone is hurting too which is weird, because I didn’t have that with Leo. Someone told me that it could be because my pelvis/birth canal is widening hence it affects the tailbone too. Thankfully though, that my feet aren’t swollen and my blood pressure seems good. Oh, and I almost can’t see my foot!

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Braxton Hicks: These practice contractions are happening so often especially at night. They don’t really hurt, but they are uncomfortable. When it happens, my belly would get super tight and then I can’t breathe normally. It almost feels like I needed to hold my breath or breathe out very very slowly. There was one day (that day that I didn’t sleep from 2-6am), these contractions were coming so regularly that I downloaded an app to time the contractions, just in case it may be the real thing. But thankfully they went away. I wonder if the regularity of these contractions are caused by the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea that I’ve been drinking daily.

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It tones the uterus and supports the organ to prepare for birth. If it is, then it is doing it’s job well. So far I have been loving this tea. I drink 2 cups throughout the day and then another at night before bed.

Emotionally

Emotionally it has been rough. I’ve done so much crying this past week and it’s still on going. I cry at every emotion that runs through my body. Memories of my late grandma made me cry and parenting made me cry too. Sometimes I wished that the people around me would understand and at least try to accommodate my feelings and appreciate the effort I put in to make this house a home. But I’ve reminded myself to never expect anything from anyone because I’m just gonna be disappointed at the end. I will stop expecting anyone to help carry furniture, heavy groceries, laundry baskets and so on. The nurse told me to stop carrying heavy items (because of my weak pelvic floor), but what am I to do? It upsets me when people chose to see without their heart.

Rants aside. I am thankful for my husband who helps me when he can. I couldn’t have done it without him. Thanks Darling.

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I also have been having some mild anxiety as to how am I going to birth this baby out. The memories of the pain I went through with Leo plays in my head and I am so scared. I know in time, that it will all be alright and it is going to be ok. It’ll be over before you know it. But still, the anxiousness makes me nervous and I hope that it’ll be easier second time around.

Spiritually

I have been asking God for a quick and easy delivery for this baby. I’ve also learnt to pray specifically for my body, that it’ll do that it needs to when time comes. I am also so thankful to Him for this gift and miracle. So grateful to have a daughter and appreciating life more than ever.

Honestly my spirit has been up and down. Probably my hormones are out of whack and it may stay the same even till after the baby is born. I have no idea what’s going to happen after she’s born; how are we going to manage a newborn AND a toddler? How am I gonna keep the house running and making sure there’s food on the table? How is laundry going to be like for 5 people? Am I ever able to go back to work? Who is going to take care of the baby? All these thoughts circulate my mind daily. I am reminding myself that God is the Almighty and He is in control. If he opens a door, no one can ever close it. I am trying really hard to remember the scriptures and see things in His eyes. Ultimately, He is my provider and everything will fall into place when time comes.

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One step at a time. One day at a time. 

I guess these are all the reasons for the tough week last week. Waves of emotions as time gets closer and closer. I hope this week will be a better one. I am also trying to find as much time to spend with Leo because I know, in less than 40 days, he will not be the only child anymore and I may not even have the time to spend with him. He’s such a joy and he makes me so happy. I thank God for a good toddler and I hope he’ll love his little sister too.

Thanks for reading this post. I know it’s kinda “all over the place” but I wanted to let it out and express how I am feeling. Looking forward for a better week and I hope 2016 has been kind to you!

 

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18 weeks & God’s favor is upon us!

I will try to keep this update short and straight to the point as much as possible. But before I do that, I will have to explain a little bit of our situation so that you’ll understand better.

This is actually my 3rd pregnancy. I had a miscarriage with my first back in 2012, then Leo was born in 2013, and now I’m at 18 weeks, expecting our 2nd miracle in 2016. With my first and second pregnancy, we visited private hospitals and got our prenatal care at the private sector. Why did we choose that? Honestly, because we didn’t know any better. All of our friends seem to recommend certain hospitals and doctors and shared their experiences with us. So because if that, it was only natural that we choose wherever we want and where we felt most comfortable. Here’s the list of hospitals that we’ve visited and have a prenatal record:

  1. Assunta Hospital – I was here with my first pregnancy and doc was recommended by a friend.
  2. Columbia Asia, Puchong – I came here for a second opinion when the doc at Assunta told me that our pregnancy was not successful. I also did a D&C here in 2012. Doc also recommended by a friend. Check out blog post here.
  3. Pantai Bangsar – When we found out our little miracle was here, we immediately checked in here and went to a doc that a friend recommended, again. I loved this doc very much and he was very informative. Everything went well, until he told us that he’s retiring and will not be able to deliver our first miracle.
  4. UMSC – We came here after a long research and decided to try this doc. I googled about him and decided to take the chance. Doc from Pantai said he is good and we should proceed. UMSC is the private side of PPUM, which is a teaching hospital and this doc that we’re seeing is a professor too.

Leo was born at UMSC in 2013 and we were glad that things went pretty well in this hospital. Birth story here. Not really a whole bunch to complain about but we accepted it and we were just thankful that Leo was healthy and there was nothing major to be overly concerned about.

This time, I decided to take a big chance to get my prenatal care at a government clinic and birth in a government hospital. Along the journey of motherhood, I met other new mothers too and they shared their experiences with govern hospitals. I honestly never knew how to start or register in a govern clinic, as to private, we literally just walk in and chose our doctor. Long story short, I decided to give it a try. There were some factors that helped me make this decision:

  1. Finances.
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    Both of us were working full time during our first and second pregnancy so money was not really something we were overly concerned about. Of course we chose UMSC because it was cheaper than most hospitals, but it was more of a necessity and we didn’t really have a choice. But this time, I am no longer earning a fixed income where we can be comfortable anywhere. In fact, finances were tighter than it has ever been. We’re going through a wave in our family. So choosing free prenatal care was what seems natural to me. I did not have to pay at my appointments and I have prenatal vitamins for free.  And we are saving thousands of dollars here. I would rather spend that money on good food/nutrition and stuff we need for the new baby (be it clothes, diapers, furniture, etc.) or even save it for organic baby food later on.
  2. Government hospitals support natural births and breastfeeding.

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    This was a huge one for me. In the “supernatural” world of gentle birthing and breastfeeding, we see many extremes. Most of them will be pro natural births (no vaginal exams, no Pitocin, no epidural, no episiotomy, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin with baby, no baths for baby, etc). Pro breastfeeding (no formula, no bottles, no pacifiers, breast crawl, no pumping, etc). Uhhh, yes. Very extreme indeed. I’m just saying what I know and have read. I’m not against it and I am not super pro about it and I am not judging anyone. I did have everything naturally and smoothly with Leo when he was born. Birth and breastfeeding was great for us. It was great because I’ve done a ton of research on everything before I decided my birth plan and what I wanted. I was very well equipped and I am so thankful that we didn’t go through any major hiccups. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that birth or breastfeeding was easy. I’m just saying that it went well for us and I knew 100% what I was doing.

    This time, I’ve done and still doing my research on how much was it to birth in government hospital vs private and the numbers are very extreme. This prompted me even more to have the baby in a govern hospital. You rarely read about “emergency C-sections” happening in government hospitals. Why is that? Because there is nothing emergency about it. I will share my research about this in another post. So yes, govern hospitals only do natural births unless you have a certain condition or you already had a precious C-section.

    Govern hospitals are also pro breastfeeding. They are not equipped with “emergency” formula. I was shocked when UMSC gave me a form to fill and it had a box where I had to tick if I wanted formula for the baby or not. The nurse asked me “what if I didn’t have milk and the baby is crying?” I said “I will definitely have milk for him!”. Every mother will have, and it’s all in your willpower to believe that and to trust that your body knows what to do. Educate yourself and to do lots of research before you birth. Knowledge is power when it comes to breastfeeding. Again, I am not against formula. If there is a need, please go ahead. If you need a break, go ahead. It is there as an option to help mothers. This too, I shall share my research and thoughts on in a different post.

  3. Thorough checkups and waiting time.

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    Prenatal care is done at the Klinik Kesihatan, and not the hospital. So far, my experiences with the nurses were positive. They we’re friendly and informative with all the questions I asked and even helped me decide which hospital I can birth at. The usual time spent at the clinic is around 1-2 hours. Today I’ve only spend an hour (inclusive of parking, taking a number, taking regular tests, seeing the nurse and leaving afterwards). On some days when there may be more people, I’ve never waited longer than 2 hours, for everything done. I’ve spend a very, VERY long time at those private hospitals listed above, probably half a day! I can guarantee most women you ask, they will agree that waiting time is long and often; taking a number doesn’t really mean anything! I also like the fact that I know the results of all the tests done at each visit and I am aware if there may be any problems because it is all written in the pink book. You get to have a copy and so does the clinic. In private, I don’t remember having any record in my hand, except the ultrasound scans. Everything was with my doctor. There is always an advantage go this. Say I decided to enter private halfway through or decided last minute that I wanted to switch; my records are all with me. Oh, and I do not have to pay for anything.

    God’s favor is upon us!

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    I am so grateful to hear this awesome news from the nurse at my appointment today. We were planning to go for a detailed scan for the baby sometime around 20 weeks. This is for my peace of mind. If you can relate, I often get a sudden anxiety of how the baby is developing. Checkups at the clinic do not include ultrasounds. Of course we can do it anytime in private clinics but I try to avoid having scans so many times as it is not necessary. A detailed scan is where they scan the baby to check for development abnormalities (brain, heart, liver, kidney, etc.) Initially we were going to do it at FMGC which is a private fetal medicine practice but I did not make an appointment because the price was a little too high for us. It was going to cost RM500 for the detailed scan. Today I found out that usually they cost around RM300. I guess the doctors at FMGC cost more because they are practicing at Pantai, Bangsar and because they have great reviews and experience. Today, the nurse told me that there is a free detailed scan given to govern clinic patients at a diagnostic center. It is a learning school for trainee radiologists to learn/practice and their job is to look for abnormalities in ultrasounds. I was thrilled and immediately felt that God was answering my prayers. The nurse also said that the scans are done by the sonographer and if there was anything wrong, we will be referred to the doc at the hospital. I am sure at private fertility clinics; the scans are not done by the doctor themselves too. I was relived and felt that this is what we are going to do. Again, if we were not satisfied by any of the services or scans, we can always go to FMGC later on.

    My heart is so relieved by this news and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I know that God is in control of everything and His favor is upon this baby and our family. We did not have to spend a fortune at appointments (which is what we worry about and even wondered if we can ever afford to grow our family!) and He is really providing for us. Every step of the way. Thank you, Lord. Thank you!

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Changes and Challenges

I know I didn’t mention to most people that I had stepped down from my previous job. I was a FTWM in a fitness company and it was a pretty demanding job. I have been in this line since 2011 and I enjoyed work very much. If I hadn’t had kids, I would probably still be doing what I did.

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Having Leo changed it all. I started going back to work 3 months postpartum in November 2013. From Nov 2012 until August 2014, I was a FTWM. Those were the toughest months, in my whole working life. I thought I could do it. Just like most moms out there, it pretty normal to go back to work and life just goes on. If you haven’t known, the work I was doing is not an office job. I don’t sit with a desk and computer in front of me most of the time and I don’t get the normal lunch hour and working hours. The fitness industry is great. You meet a lot of people and let me say, it’s a busy, busy day all day, every day. It requires a lot of physical activity and sweat. I teach group fitness and also manage a bunch of trainers with my colleague. The working hours can be very long and tiring.

For that period of 10 months, I haven’t been the “best” employee. My gut tells me and I have nothing to hide. I wasn’t like that before I had kids and now things aren’t the same anymore. I live with my husband, baby, father-in-law, and dog at home. Not a huge family, but there are a lot of thing to be done at home. Often I feel that being the only girl at home, I have much to do. Ok, this is not about me complaining that I’m doing all the chores ok? My husband helps me a lot and he’s been working hard and sharing the chores with me. But there are some stuff that I feel I need to do and it is what mothers/wives do (i.e. cleaning out the fridge and throwing old stuff in there, rearrange the closet and pack away baby’s old clothes, washing laundry, drying and folding them; laundry is NEVER ENDING here, changing bed sheets, preparing meals for the day, sewing some buttons that came off our clothes, filing our bills, etc). Yup, that’s a lot! Maybe not all of them need to be done daily, but you get the idea.

I only get home typically around 7 or 730pm, sometimes even later. And then I start to prep dinner, by the time we eat, it is 830pm or sometimes 9pm. Is that crazy? YES IT WAS. But I had no choice. Slow cooker meals are great but sometimes, I forget to prep them the day before too. If you are a mom that cooks, you KNOW that you plan a day or two ahead and rarely have a last minute decision. After dinner, its bath time and time spent with baby before he sleeps which is 10 or 1030pm if we’re lucky. I did write about my schedule in a previous post, you can read it here.

So it was a struggle for me and I have come to face the fact that I am not a super human. I cannot do all of that perfectly and I am not a super mom. I was so tired and sleep deprived. Leo wakes up 2-3 times at night and I was breastfeeding. When I get home, I was a cranky old goat! I didn’t have smiles on my face and I was grumpy. I took it out on my poor husband, screamed at Leo, frowned and I was just too tired. I cried a lot and struggled at work. It dawned on me that I have to give up something in order to be happier. I gave up my steady income and stepped down to a group fitness instructor. I teach classes, and then I’m off to do whatever I need. Depending on the day, my hours are different. It does gives me some sort of flexibility but teaching classes in several different places takes traveling time and time to shower/change after class and then travel again. But I’m sure you get the idea.

Honestly, I took a huge pay cut and I don’t even know how we will manage our finances in the months to come, but I do know that my Father in Heaven will provide for us. If one door closes behind me, another will open. If there are no doors, the Lord can build one. This is how we are placing our trust in Him and that everything will work out just fine. I know for sure He wants me to be happy and to live life experiencing His blessings and peace.

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It has been one and a half months since I’ve stepped down and I am loving it. Am I still a FTWM? I would say yes, but with less hours and not in an office environment. Maybe you can consider it a PTWM but then my hours are fixed, from my weekly classes. Because my hours are here and there (some days it is morning, some afternoon and some evening), I get to stay at home a little longer to do what’s needed. Here’s what I get to do now, that I never could before:-

1. Cook dinner earlier and my family can eat at normal time. Sometimes we still do so at 8pm, but the difference is I am happy. I am not stressed that I have no time to cook. Also, if I have an evening class, dinner is already on the table and they can have home cooked meals at without having to take out all the time. It gives me an opportunity to prepare healthier meals too.

10411113_10152447668812998_7194448772227731247_n2. Laundry is done in the morning or noon, and no chores are after 10pm! If I had laundry waiting, I can easily say “I’ll just do it tomorrow!” This allows time for me to spend with Leo and my husband. Laundry is also dry by the day and I don’t have to worry if I have no place to hang them when it rains (we have TONS of laundry).

l3. On certain days, I get to be home when Leo gets back from daycare. Yes, he still goes to daycare because my working hours are different every day. I get to take him out of his car seat and see his precious smiley face! He is also less clingy when I do that. If I get home after him, he will not let me put him down sometimes.

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4. I no longer need to pump milk at work! (in the hot changing room, toilet; yuck, in the car). This is such an awesome change. I no longer need to worry if my pump is not charged or if I forgot to bring bottles/lids or if there is no fridge around. I still do pump outside on certain days when my classes are closer to each other. But I can easily just bring the milk back home afterwards.

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5. I don’t have to worry that I’ve no time to pump! If I didn’t pump before class, I could NOT fit into my sports bra. Now, I can just pump anytime needed, without having to attend meetings or excusing myself for it because I am engorged (like I said, I wasn’t the “best” employee coz I had to take time off to pump).

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6. Take Leo out for a day or two to have fun and play. Without having to take leave or step out of work when he’s sick. Do you know how many times I had to tell my boss I can’t come to work coz my baby is sick? (It’s not like they tell you a day before they are gonna wake up with a fever). If you’re a mom, you will know what I mean. There were days my boss wasn’t happy that I’m not at work and I felt that I was being judged.

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Those were just some of the major things/changes I could think of that I can do now. Surely there’s more. Having said that, there is one other con to doing what I do now in my nature of work. I am physically tired and sore. Teaching requires a lot of energy and strength. Yes, I am physically tired but I am happy. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, it has been a great 1.5 months. Who knows what would happen later on. Maybe more doors will open and things can only get better. This too, gives me more opportunity to write more and keep you guys updated and share experiences. Sorry for being away again, I will be more frequent now.

What about you? Have you ever taken a huge step like me? What are your thoughts and did you have insecurities too?

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