Friday, May 29, 2015

Honeymoon - Grand Canyon (Arizion, USA)

Finally taking a break from the pregnancy/sports blogpost with a travelogue once again! :)  

I will be breaking the honeymoon blog posts into bit-size ones as it seems pretty impossible to document every area that we have covered during the three weeks. We have taken close to three thousands pictures so now it's just selecting which pictures get uploaded since no touching up of colours are required!

If we have to pick our top five places during the trip, Grand Canyon would definitely make it to the list. The place was as memorable as our Hawaii trip despite it being just a five hours stay. We could understand why it was labelled as one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the world.

That morning, we woke up at 5am with lots of anticipation for the long day. The thing about trips, we always look better in pictures and our skins are more glowy as compared to Singapore. Was it the climate, the fun we are having or the combination of both?


After a long 3-4 hours journey on our tour bus, we finally got our butts to Grand Canyon to tick it off our bucket list. Prior to visiting, I googled some images and didn't think too much of it until we finally saw the massive and magnificent structure with our own eyes.

1) I would highly recommend following tour groups for this place as driving up would take many hours. The tour group provided us with maps and guides on the place and we were left roaming on our own wee!

2) Helicopter rides were at USD200-500 per pax while the skywalks was priced at less than half the amount. The 15 minutes helicopter experience was an unforgettable one as you could literally tour the area by air before landing at the river beneath Grand Canyon for another tour. For the skywalks, tourists would walk above the nature wonder while taking in the scenery of Grand Canyon beneath their feet.

3) Not much food choices were available since the main attraction is on Grand Canyon! Bring drinks and titbits to keep your tummy full.

4) Bring some money as there were quite abit of souvenirs for purchase.

5) Take videos and lots of pictures as you wish around the place. Photography is allowed everywhere and you see people seeing at the edge (do at your own risk), doing yoga poses, couple shots and whatnots.

A little about Grand Canyon:-

"Located in the state of Arizona, USA, it is one of the deepest gorges on Earth with an average depth of one mile (1.6km) and an average width of ten miles (16km). The canyon was carved over the past 6 million years by the action of the Colorado River as it drops over 2,200 feet (670m) along the 277-mile (446 km) length of the gorge."

---

We were really fortunate to sit in the first row of the helicopter ride (fits about 6 pax) with our pilot to have the view to ourselves! Paid around USD500 for two pax if I recalled correctly and it was all worth it. The weather was really chilly with the 3 degrees Celsius wind blasting in our faces but nothing could dampen our excitement. All ready!



The hubby took lots of videos while I spammed photos once the helicopter arrived at the actual Grand Canyon. There were ample time for us to just sit at the river side and hopping onto the boat to enjoy the magnificent view. Everything was mind-blowing and there were lots of comfortable silences going around.
























And couple pictures of course all thanks to our tour mates ;)







TOO COLD.




During the short boat ride along Grand Canyon, we bombarded the locals with lots of burning questions that we had about the place. They were patient and answered as much as they could even though most replies were "This is still a mystery. We do not know."



The last glimpse before we took the helicopter back to shore.





Continuing the land tour by foot and spending our dollars on magnets.


Lunch with a view, literally. First and last before bidding goodbye.



Will blog about San Franciso, Los Angelos, Las Vegas up next.
And two of my favourites - Universal Studios and DISNEYLAND!!!






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pregnancy x Exercising


I must admit: second trimester is much more fun and I feel more alive now!

The morning sickness is still here to stay but it's 50% better so I'm grateful for that. Crossing fingers it fades off in June!

These days, working out has became such a joy with something to look forward to at the end of the day -  spending alone time with your body and the baby growing inside you.

Exercising used to serve as a way of keep fit, training my discipline and to look better in clothes in the past. However now, the objectives have doubled since I'm doing it for two! To maintain a fitter body for a healthy baby of normal weight as well as a smooth delivery.

The initial two weeks had me trying to figure out how to do since the baby is of priority! There are things that i used to thought is unsafe (like running) but turned out to be safe, and things that i thought is good but turned out otherwise.

真是一名学问

After  consulting my gynae and both gym & yoga instructors, I've scribbled all their wisdom of knowledge into my note pad:-

General rule of thumb:-

1. Always make sure your gynae has certified that you are safe to exercise with NO pregnancy complications or high risk for doing so. Stop doing anything if you have been alerted of any risk.

2. Never try a new activity coz your body is not accustomed to it esp during its most fragile stage. Instead, do something that your body has been doing prior to pregnancy.

3. Modify your existing workout immediately according to your current fitness level/ body state. The workouts in the first, second and third trimester could be vastly different, just twig it around according to you!

4. Always listen to your own body because everyone is different. Never never push it. Everyone has different body conditions and fitness levels so do what that makes you fee the most comfty and is certified safe.

5. Heart rate should not be more than 140beats/minute. I've been wearing a monitor since then and so far it's all kept within 110-130 range. Slow down your workout if the heart-rate gets too high.

6. Keep hydrating and you should be drinking up more than before. I find myself peeing more than usual and have to add in more breaks to clear the bladder.

7. Steer clear of hot rooms and conditions. Example hot yoga/bikram yoga or doing activities under the hot sun. It's when your foetus has risk of heating up with you having difficulty in breathing.

8. Balancing activities (certain yoga poses, body step) that might cause you to fall,  jumping exercises (body combat) and dangerous activities (rock climbing, trail running) should be avoided if possible.

9. During the second and third tri, it's best not to lie on your tummy or your back. Modify any workout that requires it.

10. On days where you feel tired or when the headache/nausea level get unbearable, just rest as exercising will make it worse! Only do it when your body gives you the go-ahead.

11 The key is to feel good without feeling fatigue or tired.

------


I've never done so much yoga classes in room temperature, wore heart-beat monitors for so long and drank so much water in my life. But it's all worth it! Initially it was tough getting used but now, my body had sorta got used to it.

The intensity of my workouts are now reduced by 50% during my second trimester as compared to pre-pregnancy with certain exercises crossed out and replaced. By the third trimester, it will probably be even lower than that depending on how my body reacts to it and what my gynae says.

I've learnt to let it go, rest when I need to and treat each session as a energy-boosting one. Most importantly, listen to your body because you know it best!

1) Brisk-walk / Jog / Run

Distance - Instead of the usual 10-15km runs on weekdays, I've learnt to limit the jogging to an hour max (instead of following distance) as that's what that works best for me without feeling tired or heated up.

Route - I've read that treadmills are encouraged but personally I feel very giddy when doing the hamster loops with the fear of falling backwards. Thus, i've stick to park connectors and non-rocky surfaces while keeping the runs before 8pm as the headlights are usually too dim to see clearly.

For the route, I twig it abit to add in more water and toilet breaks. I tend to pee so much more often than before and holding the bladder while running is no joke.

Pace - I've learnt to run at a comfortable pace and getting used to the feeling of listening to my slow heart-beat (<130), letting the sweat drip and making sure I can hold a conversation at any time. In the last trimester when it gets bigger, brisk walks would probably have to be included to replace jogging if the body gets uncomftable.

2) HITT workouts

The sequences in Kayla, Shaun T or Fitness Blender workouts seem to be still doable in some sense. But I find that despite the short duration, all the workouts tend to spike the heartbeat to the maximum that causes the breathing to get a little too heavy to my comfort.

I've now tried to do it but at a much slower pace with less sets. The moves have been modified with the jumping jacks and high intensity movements replaced with standing squats or jogging on the spot.

3) Gym

Gym workouts was the most mind-boggling issue. I would get really paranoid even while working out at the machines and after consulting the instructors, I've learnt that most are safe except for certain exercises.

I've stopped Body Combat, Body Step, Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga as I'm not prepared to risk it. While some have said it's still possible, it depends on individuals I guess.

My favourite activity is now spinning and body pump besides the machines. Cycling on a stationary bike was never my top favourite item but spinning now gives me the endorphins rush while modifying the resistance and all. The instructor has told me to reduce the bouncing sequence and remain seated on the bike when I get bigger.

Bodypump was still my favourite as I have been doing it since school days! I can't be any relieved when I got to know it was encouraged and safe as long as you are familiar with it. I have been pumping weekly since my first trimester which has helped me to maintain muscle tone in the body and limbs without any backaches so far. The instructors have told me that it is an encouraged activity for preggys except that:-

- weights have to be loaded down from your usual loads
- when your belly gets bigger, the bench has to be set to an incline position for chest presses, biceps or triceps presses
- abs exercise on the mat has to be avoided

4) Yoga

This was originally the easiest and safest I thought but turned out to be one the most complicated.

Bikram and Hot Yogas - highly discouraged as the heated room will heat up the foetus and is dangerous for babies (especially first trimester).

Room Temperature-

I spoke to three yogis whom advised me to stop Power Yoga & Vinyasa Yoga while watching out for certain poses and to avoid going too deep into any stretches (especially for the side-bend or back-bend) that may hurt the baby. Instead of looking at the back of the room, turn just 90-120 degrees.

Poses to avoid were inversions, core, wheel, inverted V, cobra etc. It was pretty scary at first trying to absorb that but I've learnt to just listen to the body while stopping if it causes discomfort.

I can't wait to attend the pre-natal classes with the other mummies once I passed the 20 weeks! It looks fun and there were even pillows provided in the class haha.

5) Swimming

The safest activity of them all as advised by my gynae! And being in the water is always therapeutic in some sense.

---

Workout regime so far, recorded down for my gynae visits.

First Tri

Week 9
Mon - Rest
Tues - 40 mins run
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1.5 hours (spin + run)
Fri - 2 hours (yoga)
Sat - 1.5 hours (spin+ run)
Sun - Rest

Week 10
Mon - Rest
Tues - Rest
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1 hour (spinning)
Fri - 1 hour (spinning)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 2 hours (yoga)

Week 11
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - 1.5 hour (circuit, run, climbing)
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 1 hour (spinning)
Sat - 1 hour (yoga)
Sun - 2.5 hours (spin, pump, run)

Week 12
Mon - 50 mins (run, climb)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 2 hours (yoga)
Fri - 2 hours (spin, pump, run)
Sat - 2 hours (yoga)
Sun - 1 hour (run)

Second Tri

Week 13
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 45 mins (climb)
Wed - 1 hour (run)
Thurs - Rest
Fri - 2 hours (yoga)
Sat - Rest
Sun - Rest

Week 14
Mon - 1 hour (run)
Tues - 1 hour (climb)
Wed - Rest
Thurs - 1.5 hour (pump + run)
Fri - 45 mins (run)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 45 mins (run)



Pregnancy is the happiest reason for feeling like crap at times.
Keep working out and loving your body!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Our best gift ever + first wedding anniv!



Today marks our first anniversary since the day we said "i will" on 10 May 2014 and how time flies!

The journey has been nothing but amazing so far growing together as a married couple and also learning to be a better person.The happiest part would be embarking on our honeymoon and having our own roof!

Never a bed of roses with slight bickering due to our individual weird characters hahaha. The tough periods would be his work as usual and adhoc trips, having to get used to an empty house on weekdays.


Just had a celebration at our favourite buffet place while enjoying their mothers day brunch! Very awesome spread that had us eating for three hours.

And with today being Mothers' Day, we decided to spill the beans finally:
 YES I'm expecting! 
Not a taobao or asos parcel.. but a BABY! 

14 weeks and counting. 

Now that all the reports have been cleared and I'm in my second trimester.. I can finally blurb it out to my colleagues and all!

Most of my friends have sorta suspected that due to my lack of high heels recently, weight gain (been 2kg so far), letting go of race slots,mood swings & lack of online posting. It's been tough keeping this mum for the first three months while making excuses for certain things but I somewhat made it. It was a secret while yet, I was trying to distract myself from the dramatic morning sickness that was such a huge part of my life. For me, its a all-day thing! I started posting less online since updating while trying to sugar-coat/ hide the partial truth is tough so I avoid it altogether.

I did spill it to my close friends (say 15) and obviously my parents for that listening ear. They were all genuinely excited for me which added on to my joy! More excited than me really.

I guess things happen for a reason. 很开心! 

The reason why i didn't get the NYC marathon slot for Nov. Cos obviously I can't go since it is my delivery month!

The day that I found out was just a day before the balloting of Chicago Marathon begins. So i get to save the registration fees!

And why my test kit was tested as negative before Tokyo so that i could ran my last marathon this year in peace despite already being pregnant for 3 weeks (!!!). Probably too tiny to be detected yet like what my gynae said so it didn't affect abit.

TC is obviously the happiest person ever. He has always wanted a kid before we hit 30 years old next year. When we got the piece of news, it was from shock to excitement for our sg50 baby. Better than any marathon slots for us!


For me, I had to go through the whole pregnancy process so I wasn't that enthusiastic as him initially. But i guess that adds on to the motherhood process with the range of emotions and body changes that I have been experiencing so far.

 
Not sure whether I can be as fantastic as my mum but she's the best role model for sure. 妈妈都是伟大的。

And now, we have one new team member for #racetcyt. Blue bib or pink bib we will only find out next month. We are both hoping for a pink one but 健健康康最重要!
-----

This post has been in my notepad that I have been jotting down to record my feelings and raging hormones. Now, 14 weeks have finally passed for me to publish it. :)

16 Feb:- 
Missed my period for two months since Jan which felt terribly strange. It has always been as accurate like the 4d results. For the first time in my life, I actually kinda missed the feeling of having cramps. Thus, we bought our first kit from watsons after dragging for weeks.
With the lack of experience, I pee-ed on top of the paper. LOL.

Result: Negative.

To be honest, I was kinda relieved since our trip was next week!

We realised only after the trip that i am supposed to pee below the blue line oops. The husband was still v convinced that his daughter (he says one) is in my tummy. So he made it a habit to talk to her daily.
"Papa bringing u to Tokyo soon leh. Hello baby. Good night baby"
"Errr.. Thats my fats la. Dont b silly leh" while rolling my eyes

19 Feb - As expected, we were bombarded with our relatives during CNY on when we will be trying for one since we already had a flat.
"要加油哦!"
"不可能啦没那么快"

Deep inside me, there was this nagging feeling on the slight possibility. Maybe 就是那么快了。


22 Feb
Tokyo Marathon 2015.



I went for the marathon with this weird feeling inside me. How is this 42km going to be like? Am i running with the baby inside me?!


After the run with an unexpected pb, i was even more convinced that i was not pregnant. I didn't felt abnormally tired, in fact i felt really good during the run. If i had a baby, this shouldn't be that kinda feeling right?

5 March -
The day that changed our lives.

TC was still ultra convinced and bought kits again. This time, he walked towards me with the biggest grin ever and showed me the double blue line on our second kit.
Positive!
My reaction - HUH?! 

I was initially in shocked and took awhile to accept that our "trying" could lead to success so soon.

Of course I was relieved that our parts are working LOL but trying to absorb the fact that this anticipated chapter is happening so soon. 

The next 12 hours went pass in a blur and i was majorly distracted at work. I googled on the symptoms and what i got was "morning sickness, swollen boobs etc" 没有 leh I felt completely okay. I can jump and eat as per normal.

I confided in my Scorpios buddies who seemed to read my mind immediately. They persuaded me to give it a check and so, I went to the clinic to verify on my own. Better to know than not to sleep in peace!

5.30pm came and I entered the room.
It was quite an awkward moment face to face with the gynae who was also one of my tenant. Jin jia paiseh.

"Are u pregnant?"
"Er, dunno leh, I'm here to check with you."
I was made to lie down on the bench where I held my breathe for that one long minute for the ultrasound.

"See the black dot? That's inside your waterbag"
"Erm okay. So means what? Yes or no?"
"Yes"
"Yes what??? I am pregnant? Confirm ?"
"Yes you are."


(This was the first picture we have of our little one!)
OMG.
"Erm can i still exercise? I'm meeting my friend now for gym."
"Better not, do very light one"

That evening, i had body combat and even the usual jumps felt very different. I was consciously aware that i had a delicate egg inside me. Jump also don't dare to really jump. During the next hot yoga class, I felt really weird as I am not supposed to be in the room (after a quick googling on its harmfulness). That marks the last time I've been in the hot room.

The next two weeks saw me trying to get used to my new identity and yet keeping this mum till everything is stabilisedIt's scary knowing miscarriage is a possibility and common thing so it was best to wait till everything in me is safe first.

My family was elated, my dad made me a point to chauffeur me everywhere while mum checked on me every single day for my own good. Her texts would sometimes made me cry.

Instead of surfing shopping sites or liking instagram photos, I find myself going on this social media hiatus while reading up pregnancy articles and googling random keywords "what to expect in first trimester" "bodypump safe for pregnancy" etc. I then found out answers directly from the yoga and gym instructors on the things to avoid.

Also, i would randomly replay toddlers videos on fb before i go to work and somehow feel that excitement of my mummy friends on their kids. Very strange feeling.

15 March

All of a sudden, I felt my body breaking down just after an innocent packet of kettle chips.

My head felt so painful, forehead felt so hot and my throat was worse like sandpaper. The next one week was torture on the bed just sleeping my life away. What is happening to me, is it related to my pregnancy? Meanwhile, my morning sickness was at the worst stage while work helps to distract me from everything.

The doctor assured me that I was plain silly and it was just a severe virus.He mentioned that miscarriages were common in the first tri (1 out of 5) and told me "in the event if our medicine is too heavy for you, please stop." like seriously doc?! The hubs was extremely worried and I felt really lost.

After 4 days of MC, i finally went back to work but it didn't seem to get better. Getting worse. I was dreading friday's checkup with the gynae where he would do another scan.. Is my baby okay???

20 march: 
Second appointment with my gynae.

The hubs was super sweet to take his time off to accompany me to the clinic. Deep inside me, i was mad worried about my present condition. Why am i so sick for the last week.. Is the baby inside me okay? Is my coughing and lack of appetite ruining him/her?!



I was made to lie down for another ultrasound scan. "See the heartbeat there? The baby is bigger now and this is his picture. Everything is okay see me in three weeks time"
Your delivery date is most likely November 8"
"Wah share my birthday month!
Phew. Best news this week! Head was throbbing pain but my heart was free.
Shared the news with Joy over dinner and her loud congrats at Prego made me feel even more excited!

The next two weeks were unbearable with all the sickness hitting at one go. Nothing made me better except some slight sweating which has became my daily antidote.

5 April- 
Run350 half-marathon which I've registered for last year. 

It was a special race for really many reasons. Finding myself again, listening to my body and reconnecting back with nature.


 

Today, i followed exactly what my gynae said and did a slow jog without taxing my body while enjoying the entire journey.

It was one of the most enjoyable race while taking my own time of 2.5 hours and waving at other friends who were on the opposite lane. And it marks my last 21k race for this year!

30 April;
Down-symptom test at Thomson.

The past two months has been the toughest with the endless puking and hunger pangs that distracted me from my routine.Is that how painful the first tri is? I thought and cried myself to sleep. It didn't helped that the hubs was away and I was trying to cope with it myself.

I went for the check-up myself at Thomson nervously and was greeted by many couples at the clinic. I was made to lie down on a bed where a lady did a detailed scan while showing me the live footage of our little one. It was the most emotional hour ever and the first time I heard her heartbeats, see her legs kick, side profile of the face and how comfortable she curl at the bottom of my waterbag. I couldn't help it but tear.



That moment, it's really amazing knowing that little one is actually inside growing well in your body which made me feel that whatever I have went through so far will be worth it.

After an additional 15 minutes of extracting my blood for the test, I left the clinic feeling like a brand new person. Crossing fingers that the test result next week will be good and our baby will be healthy and all!

5 May

This was a day before the hubby is finally back! Went for my check-up to find out about the test results. Dr Adrian calmly told me that the test result was "perfect" and that "the baby was strong and healthy with a pair of strong legs". Daddy's genes I think.

All in his words. I was also informed that the date should be about 4 November, 4 days earlier than what was shared earlier.. still within November. About 3 inches now!

During our next appointment, we should roughly know the gender and commence our shopping whee!

I quickly whataps the hubby despite him being on the plane with the full pages of the test results. That night, he surprised me by creeping into the house at midnight, a day earlier than what I thought he would be that. That made my night despite the heart-attacks and he showered us with lots of hugs.


1 May;
FINALLY the start of the second trimester yay!



In the second trimester, I felt that the all-day sickness was slowly fading and my meals were getting more proper.

Exercising now became so much more enjoyable as well! It has been horrible not having the mood for my favourite routines - dressing up, exercising and friends time. Now Im hoping it will get better!

For now, exercising and a cleaner diet have now been of utmost importance to watch my health for a healthy baby and smooth delivery process. As my activity level has been v high previously, my gynae advised that stopping it totally will bring me more harm than good. Good news: i can resume my activity but at a lower intensity level with everything done in moderation! Instead of a two hours usual run, I can now clock say 1 hour at a slower pace.

Run like a snail, sweat alot, drink alot and make sure you can still sing. 

His advice proved to be working well with the reports all good and after working out 4-5 times a week for the last month. My body also felt so much better!

I haven't been entering any hot yoga rooms for the longest time nor doing any jumping/ inversions activity.. missing it tons but it will be over in 6 months!

Diet is probably the hardest since I'm always eating junk. Now i'm trying to check off lists of protein, iron, carb, vitamins, frolic acid etc and determined to do it for the baby.


Using the app to calculate the nutrients and to avoid fatty food.
This bump app is like my BFF since day one to record pics and to countdown.

I'm having a LEMON inside me at 3.4 inches! 

Hopefully this journey gets smoother and less bumpy. Very excited!

Now, our top wish is for a smooth pregnancy process and a healthy+fit baby.

Ps/ So pardon me while I finally document my random belly pics, modified exercising regimes, rants, happiness and all. Pregnancy ootds maybe. I bought too much ASOS! 

And thanks to everyone who has wished us over the good news! Thank you so much for sharing our joy on this day that meant so much to us! 

Hello little one, i can't wait to meet you finally... in 6 months time? 
Our new family member for 2015!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hello, May!

Finally it's May!

The last two months have been the most challenging experience ever but yet rewarding in a way. On a bright side, it's over and I emerged stronger from everything! It felt terrible to be more than under the weather but I made it through with the love from the hubs and friends. Those were the days where everyday was a dread and losing interest for things that I used to love: dressing up, posting things on social media (negativity kills so i avoid it) and proper meals. 

Absolutely nothing can be compared to the feeling of going back to your favourite modified workouts and sweating it all out. How I've missed that so much.

It didn't made things better that the hubs is currently away for three weeks for a work trip. Initially I thought the coping will be a breeze since it's one of his shortest trip ever. For three months trip, I could get by perfectly well and thus, this time round should be okay right? I realised I over-estimated myself.


Living together has taught me so much about reliance and bonding of two individuals. It made me appreciate every bit of his presence without giving up the independence that I value so much.  In the past, I had my own home to go to and communicate with my parents daily. We only met during the weekends unlike now where we see each other every single day. That was the main difference I realised.

The initial week was tougher going back to an empty house, doing chores myself, getting paranoid with strangers entering the house when I'm sleeping and whatnots. Seeing his personal items at every corner of the house made the heart grew fonder. We kept in touch via whataps daily despite the 13 hours time difference and that helped both of us to cope better. 

"Good morning dear, I'm going to sleep now."
"Good night b, are you eating breakfast now?"

Counting down just two days and it will be over!


It's amazing how a year has flew by just like that and we will be celebrating our first year anniversary this weekend. 365 days since we have said "I will" in front of our loved ones and tied the knot after 4 years.

Now, back to my therapy that made me happy - shopping, working out, soaking in nature and genuine laughter with my favourite people.



























Every morning, we get a chance to be different.
Have a colourful May everyone :)