Friday, November 13, 2015

Stryder's Birth Story




Finally sparing some time to blog about Stryder's birth story that is still etched in my mind in between feeds. I realised that jotting the story down actually helps in the post-natal process as a form of recovery for myself.

Warning: Super long post ahead.

Week 40: To induce or not?

Upon commencing my ML on week 38, I've been advised to wait for signs of labour (contractions, blood, ache etc) while getting as much rest as possible. I kept my evenings clear for this long-awaited blind date, while trying my best to get enough sleep before his surprise arrival.

Day after day, I waited and there were no signs of labour at all. Friends and gym instructors were asking "You still haven't popped?!" and my answer was the same each time.

I could still gym daily and didn't feel that "pregnant" at all as compared to first tri despite hitting full-term. Stryder was still actively kicking inside me and I was enjoying his daily movements.

One of his favourite songs I realised was "Uptown funk" that was played during the chest weight track at Bodypump. He would turn into this hyper-bunny with his kicks synchronizing with the music beats. 

Finally on the last day of week 39, I had my gynae appointment. At last. My last visit after 40 weeks!

"Issit normal not to feel anything? I think baby is getting too comfortable"
"Do you want to induce baby this coming Sunday as you will be hitting week 40 tml? Or wait till the final deadline of 41?"
"I can wait but will there be any risks?"
"Baby MAY poo inside you after 40 so if that happens we have to opt for C-Sect instead of natural birth"
"Erm induce then. But what if baby comes out during the next four days before November?"
"Then no need to say, it's fated lor."

We thought it was the best decision at that point since the risks of waiting for labour is higher than the risks of procedures to get it going.

Over the next four days, hubs and I were speaking to him to feel free to come out so we didn't need to opt for an induce on 40w+4.

Outdoor shoot @ 36 weeks


Maternity shoot at 39 weeks @ home! Thanks to Mel, will post up when they are processed :)



Hubs was extremely sweet to get me my chocolate cake for an early birthday celebration! Together with my fav mango sticky rice too.

Earlier in the year, I was casually mentioning that I wanted either a chocolate or matcha cake for my birthday this year and he remembered! My wish was simple this year, just a smooth delivery for Stry and mummy.


Last carbo-loading dinner - Samurai Beef burger with twister fries. Our last meal as a family of 2.

Stry's Birth Story

On 31 Oct, there were still zero contractions so we made our way to the hospital at 11.30pm. Stry was adamant about being a November baby!
Final look at the bump before grabbing our bags. Still feeling rather calm. 


S's first go-home #ootd that I've prep for him!
With our staycation barangs like fighting war lol.

11.30pm- 
I was immediately brought into the delivery ward to be checked. My cervix was still closed with no signs of dilation at all. 
Seems like my first labour is going to take damn long. Hubs then texted our family to NOT to visit us the next day before 5pm.



Next, the nurses inserted this pill that contained prostaglandins to help ripen the cervix and stimulate the contractions. Pretty uncomfortable to have a nurse sticking her finger up your V twice lol. Given a jab as well but I've no idea what it's for.

I was made to lie down on the bed for two more hours to monitor before going up to my ward to rest. By 2am, we were feeling really exhausted and were told that the delivery process will start on 9am the following day.

Computer that shows the contraction level. Just 1 only. 
I was actually feeling relieved that there were still no contractions so I could sleep in my ward! 

2.30am-
Checked out our ward happily which was of a decent size. I kept telling myself it was a staycation - just relax and all will be fine! Still, that night I had trouble falling asleep at a new environment while hubs was snoring away. 


1 November

At 7am, I was served some toast and milo for energy to "push and work hard", as quoted from the nurse. I slapped on my full skincare regime to distract myself a little and packed a lipbalm in my pocket before heading down.


Last couple pic!


Last #ootd and #dressingthebump while holding to Stry's toy elephant for that extra motivation. The nurses thought it was my own personal 臭臭 LOL! 

9.30am-
I was first given pre-labour enemas to clear my bowels and in less than 5 minutes, the medication took effect.

Started the process with the nurse checking my cervix again. I dreaded the cervix checking process as each time, it was so uncomfortable that I did a bridge pose with my bum being super tensed up.

"2cm. Finally. Not too bad a start but long way to go! "

Nurse warned that with my low pain threshold, I might not be able to survive vaginal birth and checked if I wanted epidural. She said that with pitocin used during induction, the contractions would be way more intense. I insisted on sticking to our birth plan and not use epidural if possible. Back at my mind, I just wanted to avoid any side-effects if possible and also, to undergo that pain that my mum went through while having me.

11am -
Contractions were building up at an intense rate and I could no longer have that strength to text anymore. I was then given the good old laughing gas which helped a little. Read about a tip about breathing the gas even before the contractions kicked in so as to distract the mind on the impending pain. It actually works!

Gynae then entered the room to burst my waterbag.

We were monitoring Stry's heartbeat at the side computer and my contractions level were going up rapidly. Hitting 80 at a point which had me clutching to the side bed and squeezing my elephant at the other hand. I felt so helpless and was at the mercy of the contractions that were coming quickly every few minutes.

Hubs was beside me all along and kept asking if I was okay by patting me. I didn't reply him a single bit and he said I was shivering endlessly scaring the wits out of him.

"Another cervix checking session - 5cm"

5cm. Which means another 5 long hours to go with this crazy pain.

12pm - 
Hubs asked if I wanted to opt in for the epidural and was afraid I would pass out any moment. I was very pale and the laughing gas had no effect while I was holding on to my mask like some drug addict.
We took the form from the nurse and on it, was a whole list of possible side-effects ranging from mild to severe for us to accept. I decided that since we are almost half-way through this race, I would just bite on for "awhile". It didn't make sense to opt in only at such a late stage. The nurse also told us the epi doctor would only come in 1 hour later as it's a Sunday.

"Cervix check - 6cm."
1pm-
By then, I was shivering like mad and tilting towards the left of the bed while the contraction levels have exceeded 100. Laughing gas was losing its effect and like what hubs said, maybe it was just a placebo instead of pain relief haha.

My poor husband was helplessly watching and tried to talk to me but I couldn't hear a single bit.

I think I irritated the nurse so much that she kept coaxing me and said

"If you want me to help you, you have to help yourself"

By that hour, I was closing my eyes tight while imagining I was at my usual yoga class just inhaling and exhaling out calmly. It was tough to clear the mind at that point but I kept telling myself to numb off the pain and stay calm. 

Mind over body. Almost at the finishing line!

Gynae then arrived to check my cervix. Again.

"10cm and baby's head was at the bottom finally!"

Somehow, he has decided to sprint that 4cm in 30 minutes to see the world a little earlier! 

Gynae did the episiotomy procedure on me and by then, any pain was already overshadowed by the previous contractions. 

TC was feeling more calm by then while holding my hands to motivate me to push with all my might.

1.30pm-
My legs were then propped up onto this elevator thingky while I was given cues to just squat and squeeze with all my might.

Luckily for me, the contractions have declined and I was feeling more alive despite sweating profusely for hours. It was a continuous feeling of having this urge to poo since baby's head was adding so much pressure on my pelvic.

Pushing was like doing squats so pain factor was low, just alot of discomfort with so many people scrutinizing your sensitive bits.

"In four pushes, his head was out!"

"Baby is out soon dear, you are doing a good job!"

Last 500m to go. 

I closed my eyes and pushed with all the remaining strength inside me with my hands still squeezing my elephant. Super intense feeling.

Before I knew it, Stry was out and placed on my chest by the nurses!


"Congrats Mummy, you did it!!!"




Super emotional moment while I teared non-stop with his face on my chest. 

The subsequent stitching of the wound hurts like a bitch but my heart was free, Stry was healthy and safe.


I was fortunate that my four hours vaginal birth delivery process was generally smooth. It could have been even longer. Half of the time, it was about the mental mind to stay focus while the next half was for the body to cooperate. Staying active has definitely helped to speed things up.



Big smile by Daddy who has been through so much with me :)


Our first family picture taken by the nurse who insisted on capturing the moment. I felt like a wreck but holding him made everything worthwhile. 

Obviously cheating with my lash extension & brows embroidery so as to look less cui 

Next subsequent hours were equally crazy with me bleeding so much and beyond exhausted. Hubs said I was throwing so much temper around and showing my hunger fangs oops. 

Toilet affairs were like a halloween scene and the worst thing was that I couldn't bathe.


That night (or rather morning), I sent my first long email to S, an idea given to me by my friend. 

His email address was created while waiting for his arrival and I plan to pass him the password on his birthday when he grows older. Probably by then it would be flooded with hundreds of emails from the crazy mummy. :)


Stryder which meant "warrior", was inspired from Lord Of The Ring's Strider which was TC's favourite movie. 

We decided on the variant spelling - Stryder in the end. Besides t & y being our initials, we hope that with the meaningful "try" letters incorporated, he would do his best in his life journey without giving up.


Happy one week+ old darling. 
 To you and to us too. 

 I don't know how all this happened but thank you for being ours. <3 



Monday, October 5, 2015

Third Trimester @ Week 32-35

I'm finally counting down towards the last two weeks of the third trimester so this might be my last #dressingthebump entry!

My not-so-small belly has been growing like crazy and I'm in awe of our my skin can stretch each day. Third trimester has been rather manageable so far with the exception of the endless pelvic pain since baby's head is already down and slowing down in my walking pace.

Dressing up is the hardest at this point as well with most of my dresses riding up so I'm relying on the wardrobe staples to take me through the final stage.

A tip for mum-to-bes: besides the maternity range that may not see the sunlight after popping, you can turn to skater dresses (flare bottoms), shift dresses, t-shirt dresses, midis and maxis to take you through this journey. For nursing wear, I love those wrap dresses and tops from ASOS which are chic enough to pass as normal wear. Also, the uniqlo's airism range is super comfortable and affordable which could be used for post-natal nursing too.



ASOS dress// Melissa shoes


ASOS Dress// HVV Flats


Smooch dress // C&K Bag


ASOS top // BKK pants


ASOS Dress// Keds shoes


ASOS dress & clutch // LB flats


VGY Dress// Celine Bag// HVV Shoes


ASOS Dress// Melissa Flats// Taobao Shoes


The Nine Dame Dress // Taobao Bag



ASOS top & skirt // TB Bag


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Introducing Dote Nursing Wear, a nursing label that aims to style mothers with stylish nursing apparels. Most of their apparels are duo-function to take mothers through pregnancy and breast-feeding with ease.

This Mia Colour Blockdress is my favourite as it's of a flattering pencil cutting with work-appropriate length. It got me compliments the whole day and it was classy enough to attend a movie-premier after work as well. I'm currently wearing S for all their apparel which fits me fine with abit of allowance.



Nursing function which was hardly visible.

Another dress that Dorothy picked for me was 9th Street Dress in Turquoise which sport a light fabric empire dress with plenty of room to expand through the third trimester. The flirty hem and turquoise colour were not things that I usually wear so it was a girly change for the day.



I love how this Cheryl Dress flaunts the shoulders and flatters the bump at the same time.




Quote "eyelet10" for all orders on DOTE (valid till 30 November). 

http://dotestudio.com/

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mizuno Ekiden Relay 2015


Two months back, I participated in Mizuno Ekiden Relay 2015 which marks my second relay after Bloomberg Square Mile.

Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is the first full-fledged Ekiden relay race in Singapore, consisting of two categories - full marathon 42.195km or a half-marathon 21.1km. The inaugural event will feature teams of four runners competing in a relay race over the same race course before finishing at a Matsuri race village.

I love team relays as they are usually more fun than solo races - cheering your team mates on while waiting for your turn and the distances are usually shorter too! Sometimes, it's not just about attaining a personal best but having fun and enjoying the race with ur friends!

What makes this race so special was that it's my third race running with Baby S (apart from Tokyo Marathon & Run 350). I was almost 6 months pregnant back then and not sure how the short 5.2km run (per team member) will pan out that day.



Pre-race

By 7am, my team mates and I were at the race site at Gardens By The Bay. We were surrounded with runners clad in blue and plenty of photo-worthy spots before the race.

Pre-race picture - I think we all looked pretty fresh despite the early wake-up call!


And my purple friend who is always towering over me, even when I am in my previous 6" heels!


With dearest Kat in our lulus!



The lovely couple was the first two runners to go and did a great job in clocking a decent timing for our #candowhat team. I was the third runner and after retrieving the sash from Kat, my legs were raring to move.

Despite the short 5.2km distance, the run felt like a 10km effort clocked pre-pregnancy. At 6 months, I realised that my fitness level and pace were very much different so every km was a feat to me especially in the hot weather. The volunteers were really sweet to give me extra drinks and to cheer me on while I alternated between a jog and brisk walk to press on.




Spotted 4km outside MBS which means I' m down to my final 25% of the distance! By then, it was all about disregarding the timing and getting back to the finishing line in one piece to pass my teammate the sash for the final dash.

And yay, I completed my leg!!




Post-race


We did it!


Thanks to my awesome team mates for a great job well done and running their best to make up for my weakest link timing! :)

Another highlight of this Japanese relay was the special Matsuri race village for the participants to fill their tummies.





Being a Japanese food lover, I just had to get my Nana Green Tea Float and a red bean fish pancake after purchasing the coupons at the information booth. It was the best reward after a run on that hot morning!

And then it was more photos taken with the team mates and my running family!








With Abby whom is handling the PR for the relay this time round!


With the RD girls!



And my RD family.



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Many thanks to Mizuno Ekiden Sg for the race slots, apparels and feature in Run Magazine. 

It was a pleasure working with you guys and I'm indeed flattered for this opportunity! My team had loads of fun during the relay and I hope the race will be back next year again.










Many have asked "How does it feel like to be exercising with a baby now?".

Very, very different definitely. I've been living in this body since forever and overnight it has now turned into this unfamiliar zone that is transforming day by day.

Exercising when pregnant takes more effort than before but knowing that I'm exercising for two helps to keep it going. I'm still amazed by its ability to grow a human inside (!!!!!) and yet trying to get familiar with it again by embracing it. Be it the imperfections, bulges or heavy butt. It's still my body after all and I love it no matter what!

I've forgotten how my body feels or looks like pre-pregnancy as it's all focusing on the present. Skin feels stretched like a rubber band, core is loaded with additional weights with extra pressure on my leg joints.

Exercising with this body is a completely difference experience now - more sluggish feeling with a constant need to hydrate but I listen to it more than ever. The benefits are amazing as well - you feel more refreshed and every session is a bonus gift to ur body!

My first trimester was the hardest to work-out even though my bump was relatively tiny. My morning sickness was very bad which affected my mood completely. Nothing I do seems to make it any better except working out which makes me forget a little about the gagging feeling! On tired moments or bad days, I just rest and listen to my body. When I meet feel good days where my body says "yes", I would proceed for my workout and feel even more awesome after that. Lucky for me the latter happens more frequently during the second and third trimesters.

Over the last 8 months, I've realised that it's not so much about the duration or the intensity. Any form of exercise is enough as long you try to keep yourself active. Every little step counts, even a longer route back home just to do more walking. 

Going slow, listening to your body all the time, staying positive and getting extra motivation from the baby helps to keep it going! Most importantly, listen to your body as no two bodies are the same.

I would say I'm reaping the benefits so far - no tiredness so far, no back aches,no swollen legs or arms yet.. so hopefully I can continue to exercise till I pop (which is very soon)!