Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 28: Cramps and dreams

Tossing and turning, lower back aches, hyperactive baby in belly, sudden leg cramps ... and dreams!

Best dream to date: I was having a really short labour, our baby boy came out and started speaking to us.  Heh. This beats my giving-birth-to-aliens dream hands down. I also found some hillarious illustrations on expecting fathers' dreams -- see right :)

Meanwhile, some tips for those nasty leg cramps:
  • Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for too long
  • Stretch calf muscles regularly - upon waking, daytime, before sleep
  • Rotate ankles, wiggle toes when you sit, eat, be a "couch potato"
  • Take a walk every day, unless you're on bed rest
  • Avoid getting too tired. Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs. However, if baby feels cramped on the left (and kicks/punches you!), switch sides as needed
  • Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly
  • Try a warm bath or massage before bed to relax your muscles

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Week 27: Old Wives Tales

    Evidently, they're right so far about me and the little one!  Then again, it's a 50/50 probability, eh?
    1. Linea Nigra (belly line pigmentation due to hormones):  Pubic to belly button only - Girl. Pubic all the way to lower rib - Boy.  Verdict:  Boy
    2. Carrying position (own body, baby's position):  High, sideways (weight around hip and bum) - Girl. Low, front - Boy.  Verdict: Boy
    3. Mom's skin: Soft - Girl. Dry - Boy.  Verdict: Boy
    4. Mom's hair: Thin/Dull - Girl.  Full/glossy - Boy.  Verdict: Boy (but my hair's always like this!)
    5. Food craving: Sweet - Girl. Sour/Salty/Proteins - Boy. Verdict: Boy (again though, that's my preference too)
    6. Early morning sickness:  Yes/Bad - Girl. No/OK - Boy. Verdict: Boy
    7. Feet vs pre-pregnancy:  Same - Girl.  Colder - Boy.  Verdict: Boy 
    8. Baby's heartrate (changes by baby's age and movement): Above 140 bpm - Girl.  Below 140 bpm - Boy. Verdict: N/A. (Between 120-160 bpm is good)
    9. Math: Time of conception + Number of month conceived: Odd - Girl. Even - Boy. Verdict: ?!
    10. Movement of (dangled) wedding ring over belly: Pendulum - Girl. Circles - Boy. Verdict: ?!

    Week 27: Down to the last trimester

    Yikes! Third trimester is here. Where has all the time gone?!

    We're making good progress towards relocating my parents here.  That said, some logistics can only be sorted out in order: Making room for our live-in helper, shifting some of our furniture to my parents' new place nearby and setting up the baby nursery. Maybe we'll do an IKEA run next week?

    I officially applied for maternity leave from work - 3 months off followed by a 3 day flexi-work week for 2 months.  One colleague gave me a new baby bottle steriliser once I start mixing breast and bottle feeding upon my return to work. Thank God for a supportive work-life environment, friends and family! 

    From now on, I should gain a pound or ~500g a week which puts my final estimated weight gain at 13-14 kg - on par for most Asian pregnancies.  I haven't done a glucose screening test yet (supposedly done between weeks 24-28) as my regular urine tests have been normal so far. Will check with the doc on that.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Week 26: Checking the checklists

    The maternity checklists available these days give me a (temporary?) sense of sanity and progress about our baby/parent preparations, esp. with the pending 3rd trimester.  Time flies!  This week, I discovered a comprehensive pregnancy checklist from The Bump -- part of the same umbrella site we used for our wedding 6+ years ago, The Knot. Pretty cool.

    Notable checks for this week:
    1. Long term visit pass for parents - Application sent and under review.
    2. Accomodation for parents - Rental bid accepted. Letter of Intent received.
    3. Baby crib and mattress - Thanks, Kenny! 
    4. Newborn suits/hats/mits/booties/bibs/sleeping bags/blankets - Yay for friends, Mothercare and Kiddy Palace
    5. Upsized exercise tops, dresses and work pants - Sales at Vivocity, Novena and Marina Square :)
    6. Little one is ACTIVE.  Hmm... many sleepless nights and days ahead?
    Our hospital antenatal class just finished part 1 of physiotherapy with the highlight being the massage section. Hubby now knows how to give great back massages. No more excuses ;)  Also, I have somehow developed the biggest bump in my prenatal pilates class.  How did this happen?!

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Week 25: Rash :(

    Uck. So that itchy belly has transformed into a nasty body rash.... I seem to have an onset of PUPPP or AEP.  May need stronger anti-itch lotions soon!
    • PUPPP affects first pregnancies in the 3rd trimester, ~1% of women
    • AEP affects women with a prior history of topical excema
    • Starts out in the abdomen, i.e. close to where stretch marks would be
    • Doesn't involve the belly button
    • Spreads to thighs, butt, breasts, arms, necks, limb joints
    • Harmless to mom and babe - just ridiculously annoying!  
    • Most severe itching lasts < 1 week (please....)
    • Resolves 1 to 2 weeks after delivery (sob!)
    • Cause unknown.  Likely due to inflammation from damaged tissue from the expanding abdomen. One study suggests that male fetal DNA acts as a skin irritant (aiya, my baby boy!)
    • Treat with steroids - creams/ointments/oral
    • Antihistamines are not as effective but help with sleep
    • Avoid things that normally make you itch (e.g. no seafood)
    • Avoid hot showers and baths, rinse off well, towel off lightly
    • Apply mild soap, unscented moisturiser - preferably oatmeal based
    • Wear loose cotton clothing
    • Avoid going out when it's hot (er, that's like everyday in Singapore)

      Sunday, August 7, 2011

      Week 25: Where's my belly button?

      This week has been all about the belly :)

      My belly button popped! I've been feeling like the last (wo)man standing in our prenatal pilates class, so I now wear my tight tops with pride. It's also kinda nice to be able to "thoroughly" clean my belly button now after all these years...

      I can also start to tell when our little one is upright (aka in breech position). The skin's really taut above my belly button to make room for the head "lump" and that's when I have difficulty breathing and can't eat too much at one go - else, heartburn ensues. Learnt that lesson while having Thai for dinner!

      Due to the heat and expanding abdomen, my belly has started to itch like mad. Seeking solace in oatmeal lotions (Aveeno), keeping cool with the fan or AC, and taking antihistamines (chlorpheniramine) so I can sleep easier through the night.

      Last but not least, my belly appears to be public property. Everyone touches it! Which is OK so far for me unless they have really hot or clammy hands ;0