Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Pregnancy Journey!

Ever since I got pregnant, I have been receiving some emails asking about pregnancy-related kind of questions like what products I use, what I have done so far, what I felt, what I'm allergic to, what I eat, what I buy and etc! I'm not really the best role model for pregnancy/motherhood but since some of you would like to know, I thought I would like to share my journey with other moms-to-be or first-time-moms like me, of my own pregnancy story, experience and journey so far.

The First Trimester:

Oh, this was the worst time ever! I hated my first trimester. It was horrible (the horrible part is actually around 8 weeks to 13 weeks!) I was so weak and tired and sick all the timeeeee!! When I was about 4-5 weeks (unknowingly) pregnant I suddenly was extremely fatigued and felt dizzy. I just wanted to sleep all day long. This was my first sign of pregnancy actually, but I didn't realized it at first. I thought I was just exhausted. haha. Then I also noticed that I get nausea when I ride the car. I didn't know it was motion sickness at that time..I thought I was just not well that week. haha

Around week 3 to 4, we went to Surabaya in September.. and I did notice that I couldn't stand the smoke from those cigarettes. Like I had a really bad headache and I wanted to throw up every time there's someone smoking in front of me! - Another sign of pregnancy! At that time, I didn't realize that it was part of the morning sickness, I thought I just couldn't stand the smell of the smoke since I have always hated smokers. >_<

I only found out I was pregnant when I was already in my 6 or 7 weeks, by the way! I checked earlier, quite a few times because I just had a feeling that I'm pregnant after realizing all these changes in me like being tired, nausea, sensitive boobs, always peeing and etc...but the test I did, showed a negative or a faintly positive result. So I thought, oh, false instinct! haha (You should wait another few days or a week and try again if you still haven't gotten your period).

So anyway...when we were back in KL from Surabaya, I realized I haven't had my period yet. And I realized, I love and want soupy food all of a sudden. Like weird craving for soups! But I refused to believe that I am pregnant because of the tests I did a few weeks before, so I didn't wanna check it just yet. haha. But after missing my period for about 2 weeks, I decided to purchase the pregnancy kit test again...

...and the results are positive!

I couldn't believe it. I'm pregnant??! For real? But it was only just that one time? LOL. So I went and purchased 10 more tests just to make sure I really am pregnant, before I get too excited! haha.

So yeah...every one of the test says I'm pregnant! I screamed and laughed and cried when I was in the bathroom because my instinct was right! Hazim ran to the bathroom and asked me, "Why did you laugh and cried at the same time? Are we pregnant??!",  I nodded and we hugged.  - I've been telling him "I think I'm pregnant" since week 3 of my pregnancy actually! I just had a feeling! :)

From that moment on, I was soooo cautious about what I eat and put on/in my body. So I went for organic and natural stuff. Then we went for our very first check up at Prince Court Medical Centre. I remembered the first time I heard the heartbeat! Awwwww... me and Hazim teared a little. We couldn't believe there's a life inside me! It was such a happy day for both of us.. Such an amazing and beautiful, beautiful feeling! (I can't imagine how I would feel on the day the baby arrives! Must be 1000000 times the feeling I had when I first heard the heartbeat and saw it beating on the monitor! Right, mommies? ^_^ )

Anyway, the happy pregnancy mood only lasted for a couple of weeks, because when I hit the 8 weeks of my pregnancy, I was so weak. I can't sleep, I can't rest. And I couldn't really eat anything. Everything makes me sick! My tummy bloated like crazyyyy!!! I didn't really vomited, but I just had a horrible, horrible feeling all over my body, especially my the extent that I had a slight feeling that maybe I shouldn't get pregnant yet because maybe my body isn't ready to be pregnant?? tskk. (Well, the body is actually preparing the best for the baby! That's why we get this sick feeling! - Looking back, I don't really mind being sick for my baby actually!)

So anyway, nothing I did, or ate can make the feeling go away. We tried a lot of things including massage to eliminate the bloatedness, but nothing has really worked out, and I ended up in hospital. But still, they couldn't really give me drugs because I am pregnant, so again...I just had to tahan and sabar and suffer..for about 2 weeks! :(

We went for a check up at PCMC for the second time, doctor said there's nothing really I can do apart from tahan the pain because I can't take strong drugs. So my doctor prescribed me some Gaviscon liquid, which work for only a few days...then maybe my body got so used to it, it didn't really do its job and I'm back to being sick, weak and helpless :(

If you ever feel bloated, try Gaviscon! It might help!

Then in October, we went for a holiday again, to Tokyo, Japan. I was already in my 9-10 weeks that time, and things were still the same. I was still gassy and bloated like crazy for 24/7. At first we wanted to cancel the trip, but since everything has been paid, I decided to still go for the trip because I thought maybe a holiday would make me feel a lot better? haha

Well....I was wrong! I am still sick despite taking a lot of Gaviscon. No shopping, no vacation, no ubat whatsoever can make the pain go away! So I ended up resting in our room and wasted 3 days there! haha. We only got out from the room on the fourth day! Kesian Hazim..he had to stay with me in the room, and had to take care of me while the others enjoyed touring Tokyo city, DisneyLand & DisneySea. - He has been such a GREAT husband throughout my pregnancy, by the way!!! From day one until today! I love you so much and thanks for everythinggggg!!! And oh, sorry baby we didn't get the chance to go to DisneySea/Land when we were in Tokyo...(but you did this to me! LOL) - we will go there again when Baby A is a bit bigger k? hehe

After the 13 weeks, my body got better. Well, I already entered the second trimester that time. The body is a bit stable I guess. So I got my energy and mood back! - This is the best time of your pregnancy! They called it the "honeymoon period" because all nausea or morning sickness typically subsides and you feel normal again and got your energy back! :) If you ever wanna travel during your pregnancy, well this is the time to do so! I never got the chance for a babymoon because our Bali trip was canceled as my husband had to work/travel on the week that we planned. tskkk

The Second Trimester:

As soon as I reached the second trimester, my energy was back and I hardly felt pregnant! It was the best time throughout this pregnancy! Normally people would begin to tell the world that they're pregnant around this time. But I didn't dare to say it just yet. In fact, I was hiding from my followers and only tell close friends/family. This was because when I was in my first trimester and got admitted to the hospital, my husband made a post on my Instagram telling people I was sick and to pray for me. But it turns out, some haters figured that I was pregnant I guess, so they made some cheap shot emails to me, sending me some really really disturbing images of babies and videos! >_< Not one but a few emails! I don't know why someone would do that! Just to mess up my mind I think? So I blocked them! I cried for days and days! The images/videos are soooo disturbing and scary to watch, I just can't handle it! T_T I don't know why in the world people would do such thing when you're pregnant and emotions are unstable! Especially when you're only in your first trimester where your emotions are all over the place and the fetus is not that strong yet! That's just pure cruel to me! Sigh.. I haven't even told the world that I'm pregnant yet, and already they made such thing to me! People can be so evil and cruel sometimes...Sigh :(

So I decided to keep my mouth shut until I'm mentally and emotionally prepared. I did whatever it takes to hide my pregnancy. But after awhile... I decided to just grab hold of my fears and move forward with my life. Once I learn how to be happy and positive, I won't tolerate people who make me feel anything less. - Someone once told me to “Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong.” It’s a quote I now use whenever my mind starts to slip. We should all strive to be our best especially during pregnancy. To me this means keeping your thoughts positive, staying active and eating clean most of the time. So after about 5 months of being pregnant, I decided it's time to tell my followers that I'm pregnant...

Anyways, when I hit 23-24 weeks (6 months), this is when I started having symptoms of SPD. Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction which is caused by the hormone relaxin. It’s job is to make your ligaments stretchy so your baby can ease his/her way into the world. When relaxin does its job too well, the ligaments around your pelvic bone become too loose too soon and causes instability and extreme pain in the pelvic area. It was the separation of the pubic bones from producing too much of the hormone relaxin too soon. So getting out of bed or rolling over in bed is enough to make tears roll down your face and lifting one foot off the ground to put on pants (while standing on the other foot) was impossibly painful too!! Seriously rasa macam kena tumbuk at that part! But the doctor told me this is completely normal because the body is preparing the pathway for the baby later on, and again I just have to bear with it.. The pain goes on until I reached 7 months pregnant! That's about a month of bearing the pain! T_T (Not all women experience this SPD though. Every woman carries every pregnancy differently and unfortunately I'm not really the lucky one!)

The Third Trimester:

I’m now in my third trimester and actually in my last few weeks of my pregnancy! Almost reaching to an end now! So exciting! hehe. This is the period where the baby grows rapidly! Especially now that I'm in my last few weeks, I am constantly every one to two hour I need to eat! I can feel the baby growing bigger and bigger each day! The third trimester is when you can really really feel the baby moves, kicks and turns. Mashaallah, the feeling is amazing!!! - But do take note that the third trimester is the most exhausting one! Seriously cepat gila penat...and susah nak bernafas, sometimes. tskk. But despite all these...I love being pregnant!!! It's the best feeling ever!

So anyway.. Let me just share with you guys what I have done so far throughout my journey of being pregnant..

Of Diet/Vitamins/Herbs:

When I became pregnant, I was suddenly craving foods I usually don't eat a lot, like breads. I hated our usual nasi with lauk. I just can't stand it! They make me bloated! When I was in my first trimester, I notice I love soupy food, fish, and also pasta. Mostly western food. I hated nasi so much. Then when I entered the second trimester, I begin to like beef, eggs and breads. I eat a lot of bread, which is weird because I don't really like bread before, unlike my husband who loves bread so much. I guess the baby is following daddy's footsteps. haha. So my main food throughout this pregnancy are sandwiches. I ate a lotttttt of sandwiches during this pregnancy!

I love buns from the bakery shops too!

After the first trimester, I don't really watch what I eat anymore because there's nothing much I can eat that won't make my tummy bloat. (Yes, even after the first trimester, my tummy still get bloated every now and then until now, but not as bad as the first trimester - Still bearable). So I still give in and eat what I want as long as it is not too much. - Surprisingly, McDonald's food are one of the foods that won't and don't make me bloat and sick at all! ishhh. I know tak elok, but I have NEVER vomited after I ate McD's! T__T

We also keep a mini bar in our room for late night snacks because being pregnant means hungry all the time! haha. The baby always asks for food in the middle of the night. So I stock up a lot healthy food like greek yogurts, cheese, milk, fruits, cereals, biscuits, oats, breads, etc.

The picture below is the actual vitamins and herbs I take daily as recommended by my doctor.

Prenatal Vitamins, Folic Acid, Calcium, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Zinc, Bilberry, Olive Oil & Habbastussauda capsules. 

Please check with your doctor about what vitamins you should be taking and remember your prenatal vitamin has just the minimum of what you should be taking. So you need to add the other vitamins in your daily supplements! In addition to this, I have been reading that I should be drinking the herbal tea starting week 30 to tone the muscles of the uterus (womb), to help it to work better during labour.

Not sure how effective this is, but it won't hurt to try as they're organic.  So I have purchased these two herbal teas from Earth Mama Angel Baby (EMAB) the Organic Third Trimester Tea, and another one from Yogi brand, the Raspberry Leaf tea.. I drink it every day since I reached my third trimester.

Of Skincare and Products I use:

Like I have mentioned before, since becoming pregnant..I have stop using a lot of my usual products that I use before I was pregnant. I use a lot of natural/organic products on my body.. Especially coconut oil. I used it as my make up remover, my moisturizer, my lip balm, and my anti-stretch mark oil for the body.

I recently just purchased the EMAB baby's products. I have been using their Mama-To-Be range quite religiously ever since I got it. I loveeee this brand because they're organic and work wonders! They smell nice too!

The yellow one is the for the baby range, the pink one is for new mummies, and the green one is for pregnant ladies - I will make a review for each of the products in another post!

As for the stretch marks, many will argue that it comes down to genetics, and while I agree with that, I do still think that it is important to use lotions or creams or oils to keep your skin moisturized and help in preventing dry itchy skin...and possibly stretch marks as well, regardless genetic or not.

So here is what I did. I ordered a bunch of all natural and raw butters as mentioned in the video above and made my very own home made body butter! - I used an old glass containers and kept it by my bedside and applied day and night. I love it!! The texture is awesome and it smells delicious too!

Many of you have asked me for this. Unfortunately, for the time being..I have to stop making/selling it because two of the ingredients are always out of stock when I wanted to repurchased them. So I'm still looking for it. Will announce it once I am able to find them!

Of Baby Shopping:

Unlike my other pregnant friends, I did not start shopping the minute I found out I was pregnant. My husband forbade me from doing so. haha. He said, we should wait until the baby is at least 6-7 months old. So I waited anxiously for 7 months...and in the mean time, I have spent my free time reading and doing a lot of research on baby products!

....and this is what happened when your husband forbade you from shopping for 7 months! LOL. 
I went buck wild and shop everyday for a month! hahahah. Ok I'm exaggerating... but you know what I mean. I went crazyy because I'm freaking out! haha
(Note to husbands: Don't forbid your wife from shopping for 7 months, and waited until 3 months before the arrival of your baby to buy things! Let her shop bit by bit every month, otherwise this would happen!! LOL)  

Anyway, since I was already in my third trimester that time, I was so lazy to go and check out the retail stores. So I did most of my baby shopping online. It's so much convenient...and not to mention, some of them are cheaper! When I look at the Baby Shopping Checklist that the Mothercare suggested, I got a headache! I mean...where do I start when I only have about 3 months before the baby arrives? Apparently there are a lot of categories and each one of them has a long list! - If you need to know, well here are basically the categories that they suggested:
  1. Clothing
  2. Feeding
  3. Cleaning Essentials
  4. Diapering
  5. Bath & Body
  6. Baby Care/Necessities  
  7. Blankets/Swaddlers
  8. Bed Time
  9. Traveling
  10. Play Time
  11. Weaning 
  12. Home Safety
So when I saw the list, I got freaked out a little as I really didn't know where to start! Then...I consulted my sisters and friends. Some say I can start off with the little things first like the baby clothes, but some also say that I should start with the big, important things like feeding items. So yeah, I shop according to the category and started off with the feeding essentials first. The first thing I ever bought for this pregnancy was the Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pump. Then the list continue to grow from know like the breast pads, milk storage containers, sterilizers, etc..

Then after I'm done purchasing the feeding items, I moved on to clothing. I have purchased quite a bit from Mothercare and Carter's. At first we didn't want to know the sex of the baby yet, so we bought gender neutral colors. But then after awhile..when I was already in my 7th month, we decided to find out the sex of the baby! - It's a....?! hehe

Even the clothing also got me a little headache. It's hard to predict which size clothing your baby will need at first, as many babies outgrow newborn or 0-3 months clothes so quickly, and some larger babies skip the newborn sizes completely and start with 3 months or 3-6 months sizes. And others will start out in preemie sizes and wear newborn clothes for months. So yeah, babies grow so rapidly within weeks/months, so you really gotta think how many clothing you should buy. The best tip is to buy clothing in several sizes.

I was told that how many of each item you'll need will depend on how often you plan to do laundry. So when I went to Mothercare, I grabbed a lot of 0-3 months size and a few 3-6 months, 6-9 months. Their sizes run big, so hopefully the baby can wear them for quite some time. I didn't really purchase a lot of newborn sizes, because newborns grow so fast! My friend told me, her newborn baby only wore the onesies that she bought from Carter's for about 10 days or so...and then the baby can't fit them anymore! So also is another pening punya subject! tskk

Don't forget to buy swaddlers as well when you're shopping for the baby's clothes

A little preparation goes a long way when shopping for baby clothes. I was told that we will be changing the baby's clothing, swaddlers, blankets several times a day as babies can be messy, with all those pooping and vomiting! So you gotta make sure outfits are uncomplicated and can open easily for diaper changes. In general, you want soft, comfortable clothing with no irritating tags or seams. Mothercare clothing are one of the good ones!

Anyhow, I am lucky because my sister decided to give me all of her baby's clothes from 0 to 18 months! All from Mothercare! - Now I don't have to think so much what's the next size to buy in case my baby grows so fast..because I basically have about a year punya stock!

Thank you sister! 
But I wish you could have told me earlier so I don't have to spend a lot on my baby's clothes the other day! haha

Then after feeding and clothing items are checked, I decided to buy the diaper and baby bath/body care next..

I bought Honest products! Because they're organic, safe for baby and awesome!

I bought a few brands for the diapers and bath/body care, just to see which ones I like the most and which one suits for my baby. I will definitely let you guys know which one is the best once I have started using all those brands I bought for my baby.. The next category I bought are the bedding items, and lastly traveling items. For me, I think it is easier to purchase according to the category.. Because that way, I won't miss any of the important items that are on the list.

As of now, my essential baby items are quite completed, I think? - It's funny how so many items needed, for such a small person! haha

Of preparing for the arrival of the baby!

Apart from buying all those baby stuff, other preparations are needed to do before the baby comes home.. One of them is of course, to wash your baby's clothes, blankets, beddings, swaddlers, etc.

I used this organic and natural laundry soap to clean my baby's clothes

Then I also arranged all the clothes based on sizes and store them accordingly in the drawer to avoid skipping/forgetting about certain clothes. I gotta tell you that it's quite challenging to sort and store the baby's clothes because no two clothing brands label their clothes the same way, and even clothes of the same size by the same brand can seem wildly different!!

Like these! The red sleepsuit is from Mothercare and the yellow one is from Carter's but both labeled for 0-3 months! And then the white onesies are all labeled as newborn size, but all from different brands. The left one is from Mothercare, middle is Carter's and right one is from Gerber. Mana mak tak pening nak susun baju? huhu

I've tried as much as possible to organize my baby's clothing not so much by what the label says but how the clothes match up to each other. That 0-3 month footed outfit from Mothercare is the same size as the 6-month footed outfit from Carter's, so those items are side-by-side in the closet. If you stick to what the label tells you, there's a good chance you'll wind up forgetting about certain articles of clothing and by the time you remember them your baby will have outgrown them.

The next preparation that we did before welcoming our little one is spring cleaning our room. I am now so big and heavy, I can't really do chores anymore. So I called up a cleaning agency to clean everything for me. I will call them again this week before the baby arrives.

Then the next thing that we did is buying a new set of bed since ours are quite old (taken from my old room) and quite sempit (Queen sized). So we switch to King sized bed in case the baby needs to sleep with me on the bed - my husband is a very wild sleeper. I have fell too many times in my sleep because of him. LOL. So I won't risk my baby's life by sleeping on a small bed with my husband..

Also, don't forget to plan for your confinement period. Who will take care of you and the baby during that crucial time. If you are blessed with a caring mother who will do everything for you while you regain your energy and strength, good for you! But if you prefer to get help from a professional confinement lady/nanny services, please book early as they usually all booked up for months!

The last thing that we did in preparing for the arrival of Baby A, is packing for our hospital bag!

I did a video on what to pack for your hospital bag, on my Instagram. If you wish to know, do check out my Instagram

Packing the toiletries bag for mummy and daddy! ;)

And lastly....put the bags near the front door so it'd be easier to grab on the panic day!

That's all, I guess? Let me know what have I missed out..

Now....all I have to do is to wait for the labor signs to show! Wish me luck! hehe. I cannot wait to meet my darling baby. Waited for almost 10 months now! Can't wait to be parents for the rest of our lives! - To create a life with the person I love more than anything will be my greatest achievement. I love you forever, dear husband! :)

 Hmm...I wonder who will Baby A look like? 
Sweet like daddy or garang like mummy? haha


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Almost Ready!

So I am officially full term - 38 weeks pregnant! Technically, I could go into labor at anytime now, and my baby would be just fine, God willing. Oh man...I couldn't believe that it's almost 10 months now that I'm carrying a life inside me! If the baby hasn't come out in another 2 weeks time, that means I am pregnant for exactly 10 months! - Wow, that's like almost a year!! A year of being tired all the timeeee! tskk T_T

Anyway... being pregnant has made me read a lot. Which is weird because I don't really like to read actually. Heee. From a fiction Shopaholic & Baby book, to reading some shopping catalogues on what products to get, to what happens to the body when you're pregnant, to breastfeeding tips and to birthing stories, etc. I have yet to read what happens after the baby is born though.. Still kinda clueless on the baby care and needs! - Some may call me obsessed or OCD or something (as I heard), but I am a first time it's only natural to want everything the best for my precious little one! So I gotta educate myself and READ!

Some of my pregnancy reads

Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I have been watching a lot of birthing and labor video until today! Some may find these videos disturbing or scary to watch, but I really do think that labor is a beautiful process. It's such a natural and a miracle thing, though I know it hurts SOOOO bad! - Otherwise, in Islam, it wouldn't be called as mati syahid, if we die from giving birth, right? It must be thaaaaatttttt hurt! But the rewards from Allah are hugeeee! Anyhow, I trust Allah and I know His creation is perfect! We women are designed to give birth and we could handle the pain, inshaallah. So which is why after watching a lotttttt of labor videos, I have decided to go completely natural.  I have written my birth plan and planning to give it to my doctor for my next visit to Prince Court. - I want completely natural labor, with no pain relief, no inducing drugs, no epidural, no laughing gas whatsoever, and I want to delay the clamping of the cord and have a skin-to-skin moment right after the birth. get the picture - COMPLETELY NATURAL! Thank God that PCMC is a baby-friendly hospital so they will respect my decision and support this I guess?

At first, I wanted to have a water birth actually. Somehow I can imagine that I would be more comfortable and confident when I'm in water (I spent most of my nights during this pregnancy, bathing and sitting in warm water for 1 to 2 hour, as it helps to keep me calm and happy).

This is how I spend my sweet me-time! Sitting in the tub for an hour or two!

But too bad, PCMC didn't have that option, and my husband didn't want to change hospitals and doctors after 8 months of being with the same doctor when I said I wanted to change hospital. Well, I guess I will have a water birth for my second child, maybe? hehe.

Anyway, so I have been listening to some Hypnobirthing audio, and I have read some of the methods, hoping that when the day comes, I will be in control, relax and calm. But I know... we can only plan, but Allah is the best of planners. As much as I want my labor to happen exactly like how I plan and want it to be, I know that it is not up to me, so whatever that is going to happen on that day, it's fate I guess. So, saya berserah, redha and tawakal :)  

Antenatal class/Parent Craft class that was held at Prince Court, 2 weeks ago! 
(I hope we will still be able to go to a Hypnobirthing class that I signed up, this coming Saturday!)

I still haven't finish reading this awesome book by Gina Yong. We went to her breastfeeding class a couple of months ago, and we're so glad we went for it! Seriously, after going to her class I learned a lot about breastfeeding and I hope I can breastfeed my baby exclusively!

Right now...I am still enjoying every bit of my pregnancy (Read: Eat a lot and Sleep! hehe) but also preparing mentally and physically for my labor. I have done packing my hospital bag...and put them near the door instead of inside the car because we haven't decide which car to take with us on that day..

Here are our things! If you want to know what are the stuff I bring, you may view my Instagram, or you may read this Baby Checklist I did a few weeks ago, and look under the Hospital Checklist

I have also been asked if I have a confinement lady or a nanny and help to take care of me after the labor. Well, since my mom is not well, I decided to berpantang on my own and hire a confinement lady that will be staying with us for 5 weeks. My sweet mother-in-law has offered to stay at her house and she can take care of me like she did with her daughter/my sister-in-law - She just gave birth, 2 months ago, so the gap between my baby and her baby is not much. So I don't want to susahkan dia lagi. Hence I decided to berpantang sendiri.. :)

The first few days, I will be taken care by a nurse, then after that, the confinement lady will take care of me for the rest of my pantang for 40 days. She will be cooking healthy, clean meals for me, giving me a postnatal massage, bertungku, bertangas, mandi herba, and all those traditional pantang stuff, and also she will help take care of the baby as well. Basically everything that a postnatal woman needs, will be taken care of! I really hope I can get back in shape and shrink to size S as fast as I can with her taking care of me for a month! hehe

Okay...the baby is kicking for food. We both are really hungry, so I guess I better eat something and stop writing now! Will write more inshaallah! :)

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