Friday, 28 June 2013

Second Pregnancy: Week 39

The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion by Robin Elise Weiss states that, "Baby is settled into your pelvis and preparing for birth. Not every baby us perfectly ready at the 37 week mark, which is why there is a range given for due dates. The last to mature on babies is their lungs. In other news, your baby's weight gain has slowed considerably. Some babies will gain a few ounces here or there but the weight gain has pretty much stopped. On average, babies, babies weigh seven and a half pounds (3.4 kg) by this point and measures twenty inches (52 cm) long."
We had 24 June 2013 marked on our calendars as the estimated due date, and a weekly check up was scheduled for 19 June 2013 (Wednesday) at 2.45 pm.
As excited as we were to see what Bean was up to, we did not make it to the intended appointment.
For an extremely good reason, masyaAllah!
Hint: Birth story coming up next!
Thursday, 13 June 2013

Second Pregnancy: Week 38 Check-Up

12 June 2013 appointment finally came and I remain pregnant.
Seems like Bean loves Hotel Mama (very much?).
The Little Girl stayed with her Grandma after play school to afford me some shut eye before the appointment. We left The Apartment at 4 p.m. for the 4.45 p.m. appointment via "the back route" going past our previous flat, park and neighbourhood lanes that are now congested due to over-development and over-crowding. What was once a quiet avenue is now potholed narrow streets full of cars and construction sites to house tall glass and steel office buildings and condominiums. How unsightly.
The car park at the hospital was not too full at that hour and we were glad to find a spot quite near the lift -  my pregnant body now appreciates shorter and cooler walks.
So up we went to Level 6, got my blood pressure, weight (I am 63.5 kg!) and urine sample taken. Then the short wait. The Other Half was sent to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves at Level 1 for a cup of decaf mocha and came back just in time when my name was called.
Dr. Seri Suniza Sufian is such a cheerful doctor I feel like all my complaints of waddling like a penquin, nose bleeds from relaxin hormones in my body, increased pelvic pressure, increased bowel pressure etc. are all thrown out of the window the second we exchange our salam.
How not to when she acts out how a penquin waddles? Too cute, too real!
I am of the opinion that she does know her profession really well being a woman herself and has been pregnant 4 times previously with her own offsprings. First hand experience.
We discussed the pre-admission letter this time. I told her that after touring the junior suite and single room, I prefer the single room. My reasons are simple - I love the big glass windows that lets in a lot of view of KLCC and sunlight (just like home from a different side of the KLCC park!). The junior suite is bigger and comfortable but I cannot imagine holing up in there without sunlight and good view. I am spoilt that way.
We also informed her that just in case Bean has jaundice and needs UV sunbathing bunk, I will prefer to room in at the hospital to save time and energy on breastfeeding directly from across the hall/pumping if need be/cut down on travelling back and forth/lacking the privacy if I do not have a room. All practical reasons. All lessons learnt from the early days with The Little Girl.
Finally, a pre-admission letter was issued. Phew! Now that letter must remain in my daily handbag until the time comes when I need it.
We also rehearsed the flow once I go into labour. Call ER, inform them that I am coming, go to ER, ask for wheelchair and labour room, give them the pre-admission letter, get on with CTG, enema, vaginal exams, prostin 3mg and the midwives will call Dr. Seri once we mean business.
With all that concluded, we got to the treat of the week - the ultrasound scan.
Amniotic fluid index is relatively high, Bean is still facing sunny side up (occiput posterior - longer and painful back labour to be expected) and head is not engaged. The kind doctor advised me to sleep on my left side more now to encourage the turning. Spinning the baby methods may help too.
After the fundamental scans and measurements were taken, Dr. Seri switched it to 4D.
Bean smiled at us! We are so blessed to have his sweet smile captured. Syukur Alhamdulillah!
That concluded our visit on a high note, don't you think?
Measurements taken by Dr. Seri Suniza Sufian on 12.06.2013:
BPD: 8.94 cm (was 8.75 cm)
Head circumference: 32.15 cm (was 30.07 cm)
Abdominal circumference: 31.64 cm (was 31.73 cm) - Bean slimmed down?
Femur length: 7.48 cm (was 6.98 cm)
Estimated fetal weight: 2.93 kg (was 2.66 kg)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Second Pregnancy: Week 38

I finally get to utilise a part of the book I was previously denied *smirk*
The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion by Robin Elise Weiss writes that, " Your baby has been gaining quite a bit of weight up until this point. Starting now, the baby's weight gain slows dramatically or evens tops. Your baby is still moving around, but there is usually a pattern to which times of day your baby becomes active."
I sure hope Bean has not stopped gaining weight because at the previous check up, 2.66kg is not exactly "big".
We will see in a couple of days' time during the check-up.
As for now, it does feel big and heavy. My favourite recliner is now more like a life saver during pelvic cramps and Braxton-Hicks.
Agility seems like distant memory.
Waddling is in.
Bending is almost impossible with such a large watermelon in the way.
Sleep is b.r.o.k.e.n. leaving me to be zombie like in the mornings (training me for all the waking up to feed and change, much).
Good news for this week: The Little Girl returns to playschool! Yippie! I get some morning time to myself again to catch up on stuffs.
How is your week going?
Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Second Pregnancy: Week 37

"The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion by Robin Elise Weiss writes: Your baby is nearing his or her final birth weight and getting ready to be born. You may feel like the baby is moving around a lot, though not with large movements. Your baby is looking for the path of least resistance to be born most easily. Your baby is more than eighteen inches (46 centimetres) long."

So we made it to Week 37 this time!
My Tanamera set arrived last week and I have been using the virgin coconut oil on my badly stretched watermelon I once called my belly. It absorbs really well and smells fruity. Truth be told, it worked even better than Lansinoh and Medela Purelan 100 on dry and cracked nipples - if only I knew this from beginning.
I now weigh 63.5 kg but in reality, I feel like a 80 kg baby whale (no offence to cute baby whales). It is hard to be agile when the watermelon (no offence to watermelon too, I love eating and drinking this wonderful fruit) is in the way of most direction. My pregnancy maxi dresses have hiked up a few inches thanks to increased fundus height compared to the time I first bought those comfortable staples.
On a more productive end, I managed to get my monthly waxing done (not a fan of being shaven by nurses with disposable razors!) at my regular place. My waxing technician is thrilled to see me still pregnant and she actually wished me all the best when we parted ways.
Nesting instinct come and go.
In the last two days, I have shopped for Eid baju kurung and shoes for The Little Girl. She is excited about all the pretty, stylish and pink stuffs! We got her a set of pink floral baju kurung from my tailors' at The Curve, one pair of pink school/playground shoes, one pair of pink glittery and blinking shoes for going out and one pair of silver gladiators. I have a weakness for shoes and have obviously passed this "disease" on to The Little Girl. Well, I believe in the right shoe for the right purpose for the right occasion (honestly, it is not really exciting having to live with my Fitflops only since I got pregnant - but they are the most comfortable cushions for my feet at the moment).
The shopping and preparation extend to groceries. I stock up on consumables like toilets rolls, kitchen rolls, cleaning agents and cleaning cloths. Mostly in preparation for the weekend cleaning helper we have so that she does not run out of supply.
Speaking of cleaning, I am getting a bit mental when it comes to cleaning. I magic mopped the floor and did the laundry and actually wanted to iron clothes way past 11 pm. I tell myself not to indulge too much and get too tired as that will only trigger more contractions. So I trimmed The Little Girl's toe nails and feel much better (she still won't let me trim her toe nails when she is awake).
The contractions? Oh, they come and they go as they please. Stronger, yes. More regular, also yes. False alarm? No. I am waiting for the clear labour sign this time.

Dreamt so vividly that I was in labour last night. I told The Other Half when I woke up this morning and he asked if I pushed baby out in my sleep. Jokingly, I told him, "Bean is asleep in his crib next door, have you checked?". OK. Jokes aside, that better not happen!
I can feel that Bean is still sunny side up/occiput posterior. Here's hoping that Bean will turn and not torture me with painful back labour *crossing fingers and toes, saying my prayers and Amin*
Right. Better go try to sleep now. Night night, peeps.
Sunday, 2 June 2013

Confinement Recipe: Pumpkin Rice

Pumpkin provides much needed nutrients and fibres. Delicious nutty taste makes a great accompaniment to soups and vegetables dishes, especially when one is already tired of consuming plain brown rice or mashed potatoes...
1/2 cup brown rice, washed and drained
100g pumpkin, cubed
3/4 cup water

Place brown rice and pumpkin with water into an electrical/automatic rice pot.
Press cook.

*increase amount of rice and pumpkin to water ratio accordingly if cooking for more than 1 person.

Bon appetit!

Confinement Recipe: Vegetarian Stock

44 days x 2 main meals per day = 88 meals.

Surely you will not want every meal to taste the same, with the predictable chicken stock becoming staple and boring. As a breastfeeding mum, I like exposing my new bub to new tastes as well just like I did with The Little Girl previously. When we introduced her to solids, she took to fruits and vegetables like duck to water.

Here is an alternative stock to prepare ahead, freeze and thaw as needed.

Group A
200g dried mushroom stems, washed and drained (keep mushrooms for cooking other dishes)
2kg carrots, cut into chunks
1kg soya beans, soaked for 1 hour and drained
120g red dates, pitted and rinsed
20g ginger, smashed
1 tsp white pepper powder

Group B
5 litres of water

Bring 5 litres of water to boil.
Pour all Group A ingredients into pot and bring to boil.
Turn heat to low and boil for 3 hours.

Cool stock and sieve well.
Pour 250ml equivalent to one cup of stock per portion into each container and freeze (I freeze mine at -18C).

Thaw in the fridge overnight before using. 
Heat thoroughly to boiling point when put through vegetables.

Stock can be used for cooking with vegetables instead of using water, salt, soya sauce and oyster sauce. 
Keeps well frozen for up to a month.
Bon appetit!

Confinement Recipe: Chicken Stock

I love my food freshly prepared but since I may not be able to cook every single meal myself, I may have to delegate the task to The Other Half, MIL or a confinement helper.
Since I do not consume soya sauce, oyster sauce and the likes of MSG laden stocks, this is one staple that can be prepared ahead to time, frozen per portion and thawed as needed (to reduce the trouble/inconvenience I cause to delegatee). 
Hope you will find this useful:

Group A
5kg chicken, washed and cut into pieces

Group B
50g dried scallops, soaked and drained
20g ginger, smashed
1 tsp white pepper powder

Group C
5 litres water

Briefly boil Group A in water.
Water amount: sufficient to cover all chicken pieces.
Scoop out all boiled chicken and rinse with cool boiled water.
Set aside boiled chicken.

Bring Group C to boil.
Add in Group B and previously boiled Group A ingredients.
Bring to boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 3 hours.
Skim oil at top layer.
Cool stock.
Sieve well.
Pour 250ml into container for each portion.
Freeze at -18C.
Thaw overnight in fridge before use.
Bring to boil when cooking with vegetables.
Keeps frozen for up to one month.

Replaces water, salt, soya sauce and oyster sauce.
Replace chicken with beef ribs for variety. Add 1 piece of bay leaf.
Bon appetit!