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Baby Story: Surviving the First Month

September 06, 2019

I had a baby 6 weeks ago, on the 23rd of July 2019.
We named her Ana Sofi (I am wisdom).

People always say that the fourth trimester is the hardest phase. I wasn't fully prepared for this phase - it was definitely not as easy as the months during my pregnancy. Although I finally got my body back and it slowly starting to feel like myself, the emotional and physical changes after the pregnancy phase was a bit tough on me.

Let me share some of it with you :
  1. The Pain & Exhaustion - My body was really weak in the first few weeks, even by the second week I still have to be aware of all my movements. My back was in a lot of pain after the delivery and even though 5 weeks passed and all my stitches were healing well, my back was still in pain (I can't sit properly and I had limited movements). I only took a 4-days confinement massage sessions, and I don't think it was enough (added extra massage session).  
    • What you can do : Get a 5 / 7 days confinement massage sessions, get help from your mom / sister / hire confinement lady in the first + second week after the delivery, ask your husband to take a full week off to help around (you will need the help and moral support). 
  2. The Jaundice Phase - Sofi got jaundice on the first day but nobody told us about how to get better from jaundice right-away, that she needed to drink a lot of milk and the more she pee/poo, the faster she will heal from jaundice. We thought she was an easy baby because she slept through most of the time (we found out later that it was one of the symptom), so we didn't wake her up during the first few days. Later when her jaundice spiked, Sofi was admitted, got blue-screened for the whole day, I tried to fed her my milk (and it wasn't enough). We got the hang of it after a week, we had to monitor her poo + pee, forced feed her every 2 hours, and went to the clinic to get it checked every few days. After 2 weeks of the routine, she was finally discharged. It was a tough phase for a person healing from delivering a baby.  
    • What you can do : You need to start milking up at least a week before the delivery, get milk supplements / booster. Pump it out and keep in your fridge so you can feed your baby first thing after the delivery. Don't wait because it might take days after the delivery for some people and babies with jaundice need milk every 2 hours.
  3. The Milk Issue - in order to reduce jaundice level in babies, babies need to drink a LOT of their mommies' milk and for some of new mommies, milk production takes some time. I had that problem, my milk wasn't enough and Sofi needs my milk to get better. What she had wasn't enough, so the first few days we had to combine with milk formula to cater to her every 2 hours feeding time. It was such a difficult time for me, because I felt like I wasn't enough for her that I can't even feed her. I was stressed out and exhausted, on the verge of crying all the time :F 
    • What you can do : Get supplement or milk booster : kurma, milk, halba, brown rice, horlicks, honey, etc. I tried the hot halba + honey (and it worked), now I also take milk supplement (MaMom) so I can get ahead of Sofi's need. I got myself an electric pump and pump out my milk every 3 hours to activate the milk production.
  4. The Breast Engorgement Phase - I wanted to produce milk as much and as soon as possible so we tried one of the nurse's tips : drink a mixture of hot halba + honey. A day after 2 drinks of the mixture, I woke up with a prickling pain all over my body, my mom in law said it was because of the milk accumulation and if I didn't treat it soon, it will caught on with fever (and we were avoiding that). Thank God my confinement lady was scheduled that day, and so I had the most worst breast massage session (because of the pain) but she taught me a great way to do breast massage myself to avoid future engorgement. I will never forget this lesson. 
    • What you can do : I don't want anyone in the world to ever have to experience this to know the seriousness of breast engorgement. Breast engorgement will happen to you if you keep the milk for long - so we need to avoid this. Just let your baby drink it up and don't forget to religiously pump it all out every few hours. Learn breast massage to let the milk out and on emergency cases when breast engorgement happened to you, please call in the professionals to help you out. In my case, here's a number : Kak Effa, Opah Heritage : 017 272 7278.
  5. The Sleepless Night - I thought we were ready for this. No. Sleepless nights meant waking up at random hours when your baby cries or when it is time for you to feed your baby (jaundice babies need milk every 2 hours). So the random hours were the tough part, sometimes every few hours, sometimes every hour, and sometimes even minutes right after we closed our eyes. There is no planning here, we weren't getting proper sleep for weeks now.
    • What you can do : Take turn, do it together with your husband. You are in this together. 
  6. The Postpartum Depression Scare - it was tough on me. I kept on getting anxious, my hormones weren't stable yet, I cried almost every day during the first 2 weeks. It was too much. I was constantly afraid of making mistakes, anxious every time I hear her cry, still in a lot of pain, I felt weak and helpless, I miss my husband so much - even though he was with me on the first week, I felt so far from him, I didn't feel like myself, I didn't feel connected with Sofi, everything felt wrong. I kept on repeating the past over and over again, and I shared all this with Af. Every time I talk about it, I cried. When I pumped my milk, I cried. Af was really worried with my condition - but we talked about postpartum depression or baby blues before and usually it will end in 2-3 weeks. I also shared + whined to my sister and Tasya (she just had a baby few months back). By the end of the 3rd week, I felt okay :F
    • What you can do : Share with your partner, or your close friends. In my case, I shared my whines and cries with my sister and my best friend Tasya (she just had a baby few months back and she survived the fourth trimester without whining to me). Without them, I don't know how I can survive this phase. Af also seen me cry the most during this 2 weeks - and I almost never cried in front of him in our 4-years of marriage :F
  7. The Postpartum Hives - This was weird. I got an allergic reaction for 3 days, and it was really bad (it attacked my whole body : lower body, upper body, head, face, back, lips). Everything went red, super itchy, and hot. Like huge maps all over my body. Nothing worked, I just had to stop myself from touching it and I can't even sleep at night. 
    • What you can do : Please please please avoid stress. It takes a toll on your body. 
  8. The Colic - Be ready for a colic phase. It is a tough phase, for the baby, for you as parents because your baby will cry and cry for hours. Nothing seems right and they will look uncomfortable and in pain. She cried, I cried T^T This is a normal phase for newborn (0-3 months), so be patient and try to avoid it at any cost. 
    • What you can do : Burp your baby after every feeding, bicycle leg exercise before feeding, essential oil massages to avoid gas. Every burp matters, invest your time in those small exercises and massages to avoid this awful situation. 
  9. The Awkward Public Breast Feeding - I hate it. It is so public and Sofi is crying :F
    • What you can do : Buy a nursing cover and practice. Try it while standing up, try it while sitting down, practice latching the baby under the cover, during stressful moments when your baby is crying like crazy. If lucky, go and find nursing room.

If I don't push myself to write all this down, I'll probably forget this after several years. But I don't want to forget this phase, I want to remember and remind myself (so I'll consider if I want to keep making babies) :D Surviving the first month for new parents is tough, depressing and super stressful, but you'll adapt and it will be over soon.

May the force be with you.

Pregnancy : The Last Few Dates before The Baby Comes

July 17, 2019

We had 4 silent years together.
We are both introverts and we hardly have any friends, so we were just together most of the time.
We fill each other's silences.

Those time we spent together next to each other, doing our things and not saying anything. When we walk along the beach, when we hike during our trips, when we explore new places on foot, when we go on dates after dates. I love that we can stay silent and be ourselves without feeling uncomfortable. And I love how we can talk endlessly to one another as well. No one knows me as much as he does. 

I'm thanking God for the time I had with him when I was not sharing him with anyone else. He let me be myself, and I can't thank him enough.


Our lives will definitely change once the baby arrives. 
We are saying goodbye to our honeymoon phase at this moment and getting ready for parenthood with open hands. Thank you Af for the blessed 4 years together ♥️

Wish us all the love and strength in this world.

Pregnancy : 8 Things I wish I'd Bought from the Start

July 09, 2019

I discussed with Af before about how the uncomfortable phases during pregnancy can be avoided/reduced if I had known what to spend on from the start. But it is already too late (for me) because I'm already reaching my final weeks but hopefully this will help new mothers in the future. 

This is for you, as a pregnant woman, not for the baby yet :D


1. Pregnancy body pillow - starting from the 2nd trimester
Yes, it is ugly, I understand that. But, to be honest, pregnancy is one of the most uncomfortable phase that I've endured for almost 7 months (especially after the first half of the pregnancy). If you have the budget for it, do spend it on the U-shaped pregnancy pillow, or you can always put a pillow shield around you every time you want to lie down (what I did throughout the pregnancy). But the pregnancy pillow will definitely help - I can assure you that because you'll be needing the good rest every day and sleeping is no longer your best friend when you are heavily pregnant. You can always pass the pillow to the next mother (like your siblings!) once your pregnancy phase is over. 

Alternative/cheaper way : You can get the affordable ones for RM RM 30+ to RM 100+ from Shopee/Lazada or you can make pillow fort every night using all the pillows at home. 


2. Lotion/oil for your tummy (or stretch mark) - starting from the 2nd trimester
I've been using Cosmoderm's Vitamin E oil for few months since I got pregnant. But by the 7th - 8th month, I started having these tiny rashes bumps on my tummy due to the sudden third trimester stretch. It got worse day by day. The oil (+the hot weather) didn't help much. It got to the point where I need to expose my tummy part for air at home and avoid fabric to reduce the friction =.= 

What changed was the free trial I got : Garden of Eden's - Jojo E Stretch Mark cream + skin serum. That helped a lot, the rashes got better, and the skin around my tummy got softer and moistured well enough. If I had known better, I would definitely splurge on this from the start. They are definitely expensive - but it works wonder. No more annoying rashes :F

Alternative/cheaper way : I didn't have time to experiment on this. I wish I know about this product earlier so I wouldn't have to endure the rashes phase. 

But regarding whether it works for stretch marks, I'm not sure - I haven't got them yet and I'm currently on the 38th week of my pregnancy. I'll update this after the baby comes out !


3. Pregnancy/nursing Bra - starting from the 1st trimester
You have to spend on this in 2 phases : 
  • The first trimester when your body starts welcoming the pregnancy phase, 
  • The third trimester, when it gets ready for the baby (the breast milk phase)
Say hello to your new body and just embrace this phase. 
No wires ladies, opt for comfort.

Alternative/cheaper way : You can buy bra extender clip for RM 1 - RM 3 on Shopee/Lazada, this will buy you some time during the early pregnancy phase. But eventually you'll be needing new bras. Checkout those online shopping sites (Lazada/Shopee), you can get good quality nursing bra from RM 9+. You'll go through changes, for sure. 


4. Spray Sanitizer - starting from the 1st trimester
You'll be visiting a LOT of public toilet (you can't avoid this) and sometimes those toilets aren't so friendly and you can no longer use the Asian squatting toilet because you are huge and no longer flexible :F Embrace the sitting toilet, use the spray sanitizer, bring tissues all the time when you go out. 

Alternative/cheaper way : Buy the combo pack, I think it will be enough throughout the pregnancy.


5. Compression socks - starting from the 2nd trimester
Please do spend on compression socks because you will have to endure the pain throughout the second half of the pregnancy. Muscle sores, feet aches, cramps at night. I didn't buy compression socks, so I know I'm talking by experience here. I do wake up at night because of the cramps, and every single day during my third trimester was tough on my legs and feet. It felt like I did half-marathon every day. 

Alternative/cheaper way : I don't know any cheaper way to reduce the muscle sores because they are every where, from your pubic + pelvic bones, down to your thigh, your calf, and your feet :F Daily foot massage from your husband helps too ! :D


6. Gym ball - starting from the 2nd trimester
I read that it helps reduce back pain, it gets you to move (minor exercise) and it helps a lot during your labour. I'm not talking based on experience because I didn't have a gym ball so I'm not sure whether it works or not. My back pain started during the 2nd trimester and it got better by the 3rd trimester when the pain moved to my lower body instead. But anything that help with your pregnancy exercise is supposed to be good :) 

Alternative/cheaper way : Pregnancy pilate/yoga 


7. Pregnancy clothes - starting from the 2nd trimester
I wish I bought at least :
  • 1 comfy maternity blouse,
  • 1 maternity jeans/much leaner comfy pants, 
  • 3 x lower waist maternity panties (the high-raised ones didn't work for me)
I don't have to go 'out' to work, but I do go out a lot for my checkups so I need outing clothes that are comfortable throughout the pregnancy (until the last few weeks). My maternity friendly clothes did worked for me from month 2-8, but probably not in month 9 when everything I wear looked hanging because my body was still not that big but my tummy is pretty huge and high-up. You can always wear loose blouse/jubah on repeat - those are the ultimate maternity-friendly clothes. but you need to figure out about the pants because it gets uncomfortable eventually.


8. Nursing Chair - starting from the 2nd trimester
I'm glad I bought Poang from Ikea quite early - I wanted a reason to buy a resting chair for reading actually and that's how I decided on Poang during the 2nd trimester. But I didn't realized how useful the armchair turned out to be during my back-ache phase. No chairs/sofa/bed in my house that are as comfortable as sitting on that chair (but I need to put a pillow behind my back during my 3rd trimester because of the huff-and-puff). I spent a LOT of time there during my pregnancy phase and I am soooo glad I bought it.  

I spent : RM 300 for the chair, but I'm sure there are other affordable nursing chairs around.  


Pregnancy is different for each person and even for each pregnancy itself. So you might find things that works for others might not work for you. But from what I can see, a lot of maternity products do help with the pregnancy symptoms, ease some discomforts, or make life better throughout some  of the phases. If you have some money to spend on any of the items, do so, if not, then improvise :D 

You don't have to spend on the most expensive/branded items because it is just a phase :) They are just going to make your life better. Good luck !

Little House : Our Mini Studio

June 30, 2019

Since we got the news end of last year about my pregnancy, we've been moving and cleaning things around the apartment. Our favorite space is our small studio/playroom where we spend most of the time working, watching movies/series and playing games. We were just 2 people in a 3 bedroom apartment for the past 2 years (not including when we were living elsewhere), so we have the privilege to dedicate the whole room for this alone. 

Several months back we decided on moving the studio from the master bedroom to the second biggest room in the middle of apartment (that used to be our bedroom) - because 3 people sleeping in a master bedroom seems like a rational idea (we decided on co-sleeping for a few years). 

So we moved everything to that room and managed to get the most decent space in the apartment. There are enough light and very airy. But a little cram because we put our 13 year old huge L-shaped sofa inside the room as well.


About the red awkward sofa :

The sofa is an old red-coloured sofa in the living room that never been used for years because it became Awan's play-space and I'm allergic to her fur. We've been ignoring the sofa for so long. But after the news came and we decided on 'really' put an effort in improving our space, I decided to only keep items that are functional in the apartment - that, including the sofa.    

So I called a guy from a cleaning service to professionally 'deep-cleanse' the sofa. The sofa cleaning service costed RM 150 and took around 1.5 hours to finish : 

There are still old patches and stains that can't be removed, but as long as it is cleaned and sanitized, I can use it, Af can use it, so it can fill the purpose and be used instead of being thrown. We then moved the sofa to our studio room and we put behind our desk, where we spend the nights watching movies/series and playing games and sometimes napping in the afternoon. 

The only awkward thing about the sofa is : it is bright red, and our whole apartment is in natural soft colour (beige, chocolate, white). So I hate the colour of the sofa, but oh well. And we trained Awan to not step on the sofa anymore, and it worked for now.


Our desks after moving on our first move (to the middle room) :

We had fun spending the time in this room throughout my whole 2nd trimester. One thing I noticed in this past 3 months : we no longer used the master bedroom except for praying and changing clothes (we spent most nights sleeping in the living room because I'm in the pregnancy phase where I'm super hot and sweaty all day everyday). 

I thought this was such a waste of space, because the master bedroom is huge and we no longer use the space. When I mentioned that to Af, he was thinking the same thing, so we decided to move back the studio to the master bedroom :D Haha.


Pregnancy : It is Okay to Feel Weak and Ask for Help

June 17, 2019

I won't deny that since I got pregnant, I've been feeling a bit 'weak'. I mean, I'm used to feeling strong and energized. I did half-marathons, I ran 10km so many times I lost count, I can walk the whole day while travelling, I'm physically fit (or I used to). Now I can't even slow-walk 2km without feeling pain in my pubic bones, my back and feet.  

The truth is, all throughout my pregnancy I was either in pain, uncomfortable, or exhausted. The first trimester was awful internally and mentally, the second trimester was a bit mild (registering myself to the final months), and the third trimester was everything physical (there's pain everywhere, all over my body, every day). 

I'm not sure why people don't share much about this awful part of not feeling like yourself for almost a year (considering several month of early breast-feeding phase might feel the same way as well). People talk about how when the baby comes, you'll forget all the pain. But I think it is important to share with people about this phase as well because the experience is different for each pregnancy and it is okay to feel weak or to ask for help. 


My mom mentioned about how when she was pregnant, she was still very active (compared to me) and she didn't whined as much. So I didn't really share much about what I feel with her because every time I said something about the pain, or how I can't sleep, or how tired I was, she brushed it off. I don't think my siblings understand this as well :F So the only person I'm sharing with about this phase is Af (and thank God he pampered me with attention and love and care throughout this uncomfortable phase). Yes, I whined because I am human and I'm not used to feeling pain and weakness every single day. 

So why I share this ? 
I want to say that it is okay to feel weak. 
It is okay to ask for help. 
It is okay to sit when people offer you to sit.
It is okay to say you need to get back home if you are tired.
It is okay to want to rest. 

This is a really weird phase where for some people, they will feel a lot of pain, uncomfortableness, exhaustion, weakness, and ultimately not feeling like yourself. You don't have to feel sorry for yourself or try to explain to others every single time. 

Just do what feels right to you and give yourself a break.  

Pregnancy : All Things Fabric Related

June 11, 2019
Here are some of my experiences during my pregnancy phase - whether you'll be needing more clothes or not, it is entirely up to you and your body. As for me, I stayed at home most of the time and not so fancy with my clothing styles, so I don't need that many. I wore the same thing repeatedly all the time :D

By the third month of my pregnancy, I can't no longer wear my jeans (so I stopped wearing them). By the 5th month of my pregnancy, I can't wear most of my loose shirts - so I washed, folded and kept them in my cloth packs (because I know I might not be wearing it for another 6 months). So there is no surviving without having to buy new clothes - even how hard you try, your body will change during this new phase. I hate having to buy new clothes, especially after I've done so many cloth-filtering and donated most of my old clothes throughout the year since I got married. But I had to adapt with my new body.

Roughly by the end of my 2nd trimester, I think I gained almost 5kg. Still skinny on some parts, but gaining weights on important parts that play roles in pregnancy : middle area. 


About clothes :

1. Maternity friendly shirts : I don't think I bought any maternity shirt, but I bought several loose shirts on Lazada/Shopee tho. Previously, my clothes were mostly loose with linen-like-thin fabrics so I got to use most of them half of the pregnancy phase. Eventually I slowly stopped wearing some of my favorite shirts because my tummy got bigger. 

I bought 3 cotton t-shirts in different colours (they are big loose style, non-iron, and airy material + cheap) and another 1 loose red casual shirt for more formal event (if needed). Keep repeating the same clothes over and over again when we go out. Even still using them during my 8 month of pregnancy. 

It is advisable to buy something that you would wear even when you are no longer in a pregnancy phase so you wouldn't be wasting fabric & money.

And I can imagine wearing this with slim jeans after the pregnancy, so, this works. 


2. The maternity pants : Most of the time, my favorite pants so far is the Uniqlo drape jogger pants (black) that I bought long ago. I think I've been wearing it in my first and whole second trimester because it is loose and comfortable. It is not even a maternity pants - just a normal casual pants :

But eventually I had to buy maternity pants with stretch rubber on the abdomen area because why la everything become so uncomfortable during pregnancy phase :F The cons about wearing a maternity pants is when you are having rashes around the abdomen area due to the stretches, it will become uncomfortable and itchy :(


3. The maternity undergarments : I wore the same set of my normal panties throughout first and 2nd trimester, did bought some for the third trimester but not wearing them as much. I guess all my old panties works just fine. Whether I didn't gain that much on those area, or they are now super stretchy and huge by the end of the pregnancy.
Bra is a different story, you need new bras or at least a bra extension clasp (definitely - by the 2nd trimester). Earliest investment. Goodbye flat-chest, hello adulthood. 


4. Comfortable house wear : I bought 2 men's singlet at a second-hand shop in Raub, as huge as what Af would probably wear because they are comfy, loose and huge (like a skirt). You have no problem with the abdomen area and you know this is just a phase, why not buy something used to be more eco-friendly? It only costed RM 4 for each singlet and I wore it everyday.
Sometimes I even wear Af's shirt around the house because they are big, and they smell like him ♥️


5. Raya wear : I decided to not buy any Raya clothes this time. I wanted to wear something that I would like to wear that felt like me. Plain, clean, natural colour. Normally, we don't have the freedom to choose our own Raya clothes because we had to wear the same thing - or almost the same thing. But this time, I told them that I'll be wearing something that I already picked months back (and due to the pregnancy, my clothes choice is quite limited so I want the freedom to choose).

So I chose to wear a long linen top in lightest green and wear it with the dark green skirt that I sew back in the sewing class. For the first time in my life, I get to wear something that felt like me during Raya :D

I felt like myself, I look exactly like how I wanted to be seen - plain and natural :


Extra :

Thoughts on Pregnancy Pillow -
I would love the idea of having the pregnancy pillow (the G/U-shaped one) but reluctant to buy it due to the ugly design and knowing that this phase will only last for only 9 months (or even less). I hate the idea of keeping such an ugly thing on my bed afterwards - even how comfy it might look. 

My solution, I have a lot of square-shaped thin zabuton (Japanese sitting cushion) that my mom made for me. I slept on my left side most of the time, so one cushion below my abdomen on the left, one cushion behind me (on my right), and a bolster for me to hug. Sometimes I even put another zabuton beneath my legs to make my legs higher (during the night-cramp phase). The perks of having a lot of zabuton in my house :p


Big News

May 16, 2019
Note :  This is an on-going post throughout 9 months

In December last year I mentioned about the 4th goal in 2018 that I failed to achieve, that is having our own child/getting pregnant. It was the first public statement (online) that I wrote to mention about the situation i.e. we were married for 3.5 years and I've never been pregnant, not even once. We've tried. 

For the past 3 years, I've been hoping, praying, trying, meditating, exercising, not exercising, eating clean, not eating clean, running, stop running, and quitting my permanent job. I've never really told anyone, but one of the reason why I actually quitted, was to try to be in a stress-free environment so I could prepare my body and soul for the pregnancy. But it never happened. 

I've been in small patches of darkness, thinking and blaming myself. Why can't I get pregnant ? :F It was depressing to even think about how many times did I secretly buy the UPT stick to check whether I was pregnant or not every time my period was late (I have irregular menses). 

I've always talked about considering adoption. I don't really mind if we are not related by blood, children are children as they are. 

But I've finally accepted this. I told myself that it is okay. I stopped tracking, I stopped punishing myself, I stopped planning for the unforeseen future. I finally shared with you guys about the struggle. It was the first step, acceptance. 

We were the odd 1 in every 8 couples.

Just several days after I finally wrote something about my situation in this blog, we finally got the great news. At that time I just got a back-injury from yoga and the longest bloatedness in my life so I had to rest for the whole week. I felt bad, my body felt weird. I didn't get my period for over 2 months but I didn't feel like there was anything wrong. Af insisted on checking whether I was pregnant or not. So we just bought a pregnancy test stick.

That night, I just took it out from the box and peed on the UPT stick. I know that it is advisable to use in it in the morning (the-first-pee-of-the-day), that was the excuse I used to Af so he wouldn't nag me on it that night. I didn't expect anything, at all. I just wanted to be over with it. 

But the 2 lines slowly appeared, I had a 5 seconds blank. I even considered whether I should wake Af up and then I did. I asked him to buy another UPT stick at 7/11 and I got tested again that night. Still positive.

I found out when I was 7 weeks pregnant.


The first trimester :

3 - 4 weeks : I was in Turkey. I had the light spotting that I was mistaken as period.

5 weeks : I got back from Turkey, went to Penang for a workshop and meeting, explored Penang on foot. A lot of walking, exhaustion more than usual, but I didn't noticed everything else. I was so used to walking - thought I was just extra tired because of the travels.

6 - 7 weeks : I mentioned about the 'telur pindang' incident in my previous post. I guess that was my first real craving :F I was bloated for almost 2 weeks. I felt bad because it was uncomfortable and it aches everywhere around my abdomen. I rested a lot. I nap during the afternoon - one thing I didn't do for most of my adult life. Af nagged me to get tested, this is the week we found out about the pregnancy.

8 weeks : I officially got tested at Klinik Kesihatan (KK) and opened my first pink book of pregnancy. The whole process took 4 hours. First scan, the doctor can't confirm on the exact weeks, so she asked me to come again for 2nd scan in 2 weeks. I finally believed that I was pregnant when I saw the tiny little thing during the scan. We managed to keep it as a secret from the family for 3 long days.

9 weeks : Comic Fiesta and children workshop week. I was still exhausted, hungry, nauseated, and bloated almost all day everyday. My body felt different and it was by-far the longest ill I've ever felt. I rather stay at home and I can't work. I woke up at night to pee. I need to eat every 2 hours, or I'll get too hungry to function. After I eat, I'll get bloated and uncomfortable. I was already showing a little - not sure by the constant bloatedness, or the pregnancy itself.

10 weeks : 2nd scan checkup at KK and specialist checkup at the Serdang Hospital. Weeks confirmed, I was 11 weeks pregnant and will due in the end of July 2019. There was a worrying look during my scan - a possible fibroid, so I was sent to a specialist to confirm about it. The specialist said she can't see anything worth worrying, so I don't have to worry about anything. If there is even a fibroid, she can't do anything about it at this point - just a 2nd checkup in 2 months time to see if there's anything worth to worry about :F
The symptoms slowly subside, sometimes I felt okay, sometimes I felt bad. But most of the time, really bad.

11 weeks : The week I turned 32. I woke up at 4 am in the morning once because I was too hungry. I slept in early that night when the hunger kicked in, and ignored it. But turned out I can't no longer ignore it when I was awake by the hunger itself =.= This pregnancy phase is the weirdest phase ever. I started buying new pant and bras to cope with the sudden body changes, no longer flat on board guys :F

12 weeks : January checkup at KK. I realized that I lost some of the weight that I've been gaining - maybe due to the minimal eating (even though it was constant - I started eating in very small potion because I get bloated almost every single time after I eat). Not only that, the nurse checked my iron level and said that it was quite low and I had to eat new supplement to make more blood :F This pills make me nauseous more than ever, I had to eat it before sleep and I hate it very much T^T

13 weeks : I already slowly reaching the 2nd trimester and most of the awful symptoms like super exhaustion, daily afternoon nap, nauseous throughout the day - slowly subside. I feel like myself, I started working again, sitting in front of my laptop and beginning to make new projects on my desk was the most fulfilling activity. I've missed it.

The second trimester :

14 weeks : Officially on the 2nd trimester week. We went to another free trip, this time a free room at Rosa Hotel in Malacca - a lovely boutique hotel. We walked at Mahkota Parade for several hours the next day and although everyone was still energized, I had to rest earlier than normal. I even suggested the early lunch due to my hunger. It was still weird (to be the one that asked to eat first and go home early).

15 weeks : Finally called Hospital Putrajaya to make an appointment with Dr Hamidah for my delivery in July. I planned to take the Full-Paying Patient (FPP) program at Hospital Putrajaya. It is a program where we can choose to pay for a 1st class service with a choice of specialist in hand. My first appointment will be in May.

16 weeks : CNY week. Longest holiday - since Saturday until the next Wednesday. Most of the companies are on holiday, so all my projects are currently on pause as well. We went to PD for another free trip.
I also passed some of my shirts and past working attire to my little sister, I only kept the ones that are still wearable, free-sized blouses. By this time, I only have 6 clothes + 2 comfy pants left. I stopped wearing my jeans weeks ago and finally kept only 1 jeans + 2 fav t-shirts for "someday". Saying goodbye to lean figure for now.

17 weeks : Monthly checkup at KK, everything went normal back again. My blood level increased, I gained some weight, and I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. The nurse changed my supplement from Zincofer to Obimin.
I also felt something for the first time, like finger flicks once or twice at a time. The nurse confirm that it is what called as 'quickening'.

18 weeks : I had to make an appointment for a glucose test. I brought a book, tissue and water bottle. Took my number, waited for my turn, the nurse took my blood, I had to drink the watery sugar, and stayed at the clinic for 2 hours, reading. After 2 hours, I waited for my number to be called again and the nurse took my blood again. That's it. The result will be shared later.
My stomach felt tight most of the time - like I ate just a little too much (all the time). Wondering how my stretch mark will look like soon, I will wear it like a badge of survival honour. Every night I will wait for the baby to give me those precious tiny kicks. Af still haven't experienced it yet, every time I put his hand on my abdomen, he didn't feel anything.

19 weeks : 2nd checkup with the referral specialist at Serdang Hospital regarding my 'possible' fibroid. It was one of the worst waiting session ever, more than 3 hours just to take a number and pay for a fees before meeting up with the specialist. We finally met a doctor and she did a scan. This was the first time Af meeting the baby on screen. The baby is much bigger than I last seen 2 months back. It was such an exciting moment. Another good news, she can't see any fibroid or anything worth worrying. The baby is healthy ♥️

20 weeks : I started having back pain - almost daily. I can't no longer work for hours, I need rest at least every 1 hour. Sleeping is no longer comfortable, there's actually no suitable position for pregnant people to sleep, sleep to the right or sleep to the left - and both aren't comfortable. I wake up to leg cramps in the middle of the night every day. But the baby is active, I can feel the baby moving and kicking all day and it ease my mind.
We met my best friend Tasya and her new baby Zara (3 weeks old), such a precious little angel - happy for having to share the same year of pregnancy and new life phase together.

21 weeks : We make an appointment for a detailed scan at a local clinic near our area. The detailed scan costed RM 198 and we took around 1 hour to finish the session. All in all, the sonogrammer can't find any abnormalities, all looked fine - Alhamdulillah. The baby was very active during the session. By the end of the session, the sonogrammer told us the good news; we are having a baby girl ♥️Just as I predicted long ago.

22 weeks : I started buying my first baby clothes ! :D There was a family party to celebrate my grandma's birthday that weekend and almost everyone was there, I finally told my dad's family about my pregnancy - and I was already obviously showing so everyone noticed it right-away.

23 weeks : I could not longer wear my usual pants and clothes. Most of my clothes are already washed, folded and kept in one bag because it might take another half a year before I start wearing my old clothes back. I had to buy several comfy loose shirts, pregnancy pants and underwear. I bought everything on Lazada and Shopee because they are much cheaper and easier to find (without having to go out).
I felt active kicks and movements every single day, at least around every 5-6 hours : early in the morning, in the afternoon, evening and at night. I already familiarized her time-table :D

24 weeks : I still splurge on fruits, I think I spent around RM 30 - RM 50 a week for fruits. As snacks, smoothies, add in yogurts, or eat just like that because I am still constantly hungry. Other than local pasar malam, I buy my fruit stocks at MBGonline or Happy Fresh app. I ate a LOT.
This week was also Af's 32nd birthday !

25 weeks : Monthly checkup at the KK. Everything was fine, I listened to the baby's heart beat again, did normal checkup and scheduled for next big appointment reaching the my third trimester soon.

26 weeks : I started having little bumps and rashes around my tummy, I think my body is stretching and it is beginning to become extra itchy (especially during this hot season). I think I even take shower up to 3-4 times a day. My legs and feet are also aching, especially when I wake up early in the morning. Eating habit is still over-whelming, I am still hungry every 2 hours.
The kicking changes this week, from tiny kicks, they turned into something more subtle but a repetition of someone exploring your body from the inside.

27 weeks : The final week of the second trimester ! ♥️ I'll start counting her movement daily soon :D

The third trimester :

28 weeks : I started counting her daily movement and need to record it in my pregnancy log book. This week I've started having new daily symptoms where my feet aches, my thigh, my pubic bones, my soles all sore especially when I wake up in the morning or from a long sitting.

And so I started to make it a habit to have a short walk everyday (but just started this week :p not throughout the whole pregnancy)

We finally shared the news on social media :D

29 weeks : I have 2 appointments : 1. The now twice-weekly at Klinik Kesihatan. During the KK appointment, I had to do the normal blood and urine test, 2nd glucose test (because I was in borderline gestational diabetes - yikes !), got tetanus shot, meet-up with the doctor for my 3rd trimester scan, check the baby's heartbeat and position, and topup my Obimin stock. Note : Every single thing I've done at KK at this point has been free of charge. That means all the monthly checkups, scans, supplements, tests, shots are all FREE. You just had to bear the waiting (usually around 4 hours). 

2. Another appointment was first meet-up with my doctor that will deliver my baby at Hospital Putrajaya (InsyaAllah). I booked for Dr. Hamidah and I actually came on the wrong date :F My appointment was on the 10th but I came on the 11th - on Saturday where she already had a list of patients she needs to meet (had to squeeze me in).
When we first came, we had to register as FPPatient (fill in a form) and make a payment of RM 235 (including registration, consultation and scan). Then I had to take a number at the gynaecologist counter and did a urine test. Then the waiting began - in between that a nurse called my name and asked about why I missed the day before :F Anyway, meeting the doctor was quick (maybe around 10 minutes), updated her on my case, did a scan to check on the baby and set for the next appointment. That's it - it took around almost 3 hours.

We also bought both baby stroller and baby car seat this week ! (Presents from her grandma - but we did the choosing and buying). 

30 weeks : I got a call from KK, to inform me that I have gestational diabetes and I had to come in for a blood monitoring that night, and twice the next day to proceed with the next step (to see how serious it is and whether I'll be needing a reference with a specialist at Hospital Serdang) T^T It was a shocking news to me, considering I've been one of the most food-conscious person in the family i.e I haven't drink soft drinks for years, I hardly eat junk foods, my rice intake has always been limited. But usually gestational diabetes caused by hormonal imbalance (that, I can't deny - I've been suspecting it throughout the years).

31 weeks : It was confirmed that I got gestational diabetes, so I bought a blood glucose monitoring machine and started to have a really strict less-carbs, no processed sugar diet to prepare for the next 2 week's checkup (because the doctor said if I'm not capable to monitor my glucose level, I might need to take a medication and I don't want that). I ate double the veggies in every meal, limited fruits and carbs, also checked my glucose level twice a week (4 times a day).

32 weeks : My 2nd monthly checkup at KK - my glucose level is good, the doctor said I can monitor on my own for the time-being, also had a free consultation with a dietician regarding how to eat when you have gestational diabetes that day.
But I weighed down to 56.7 - loss 300 gram in less than 2 weeks due to my changed diet. At the time being, I just gained almost 5kg since I got pregnant :F Also, after 2 weeks of no processed sugar, my skin cleared up I got no pimples on my face at all (which was kind-of surprising) but my hormonal back-acne came back aggressive as ever (like in my 2nd trimester). Pregnancy is weird.
I also had another checkup at Hospital Serdang regarding my past fibroid scare - now that there's nothing worth worrying, it become a monthly free checkup by the specialist :D

33 weeks : Raya week !
I had 2 days of cheat days during Raya, I gave myself a chance to eat anything - in moderation. We also had an extra time to walk at the beach - twice, really early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Although I can't no longer walk that far without having aches all over, I had to use up the energy I consumed on those cheat days :F Got back from Raya and check my blood sugar level, all normal, nice and clean :D

I also didn't buy any baju raya, wore something comfy that looked decent for Eid that matches Af (he wore the same shirt he bought 2 Eids before). By far, I felt like myself during this Raya and I really loved the first few shots that we took (until we forgot to take other pictures afterwards).
My body still aches all over and sleeping becoming like a chore - I don't sleep for long, other than waking up twice to pee, I can't sleep well resulting a constant exhaustion.

Raya shot (8 months) :

34th week : I think my pregnancy-tummy is getting bigger. Visually bigger and higher - no longer comfortable wearing anything with pants. The rashes on my tummy is still one of the most challenging thing (PUPPP) in my 3rd trimester - they are all itchy all day every day, much worst than mosquito bites. I had to sleep with my stomach exposed - just so I won't be triggering the rashes.
I am still super hungry all the time, but I can't no longer eat as much as before because I feel full right after several bites. Sleeping is no longer easy, I'm having minor insomnia. My lower body is still sore  all day - the pelvic, the thigh, the feet. I'm not sure how exercising is possible although people say it helps a lot :F I'm avoiding that.

35th week : We had a nice weekend in Pekan again. I had my early morning walk on Sunday, we woke up at 5.30 and arrived at the beach before the sun rise with coffee (for Af) and light breakfast. Took this picture of me with my big baby bump and managed to walk 2km before heading back :D

36th week : I have 3 appointments this week : weekly KK appointment, monthly update to Hospital Serdang and Hospital Putrajaya :F So I got 3 scans of the baby, all roughly said that the baby is already reaching 3kg !

The doctor gave me an option to do a czer right-away to avoid any complication during labour when she saw my history with sub-infertility and found out that I've been trying for the last 3.5 years before I got pregnant. She said to discuss and decide with Af when we meet again on the 38th week. After the meet-up, I met another 2 doctors (in KK and Hospital Serdang) and asked for their opinion (I got free consultation in both these place). All doctors said the same thing : the reason my doctor suggested to do a czer is because she can control the surgery and focus on the baby's delivery and not because I'm at higher risk to have a normal delivery than anyone else. So that ease my mind.

37th week : Just my weekly appointment at KK and deciding on the delivery procedure with Af. I'm still doing the weekly glucose monitoring for my gestational diabetes. Usually all my results are normal, below 5 during all-nighter fast, under 5.5 after breakfast, under 6 after lunch/dinner.
Quite clean - EXCEPT, that one time I ate 5 kuih raya and 2 hours later my glucose level won't budge, the result was 7.3 and I failed the BSP and all the doctors recorded the result. One doctor wrote a statement "she took kuih raya" in her record =.='.


Latest :

38th week : I met my doctor and we decided on the procedure, the date and time to induce the baby - because I have gestational diabetes so we can't postpone or wait for long :F The baby is already  roughly around 3.3kg and I can't exceed 3.6kg or again, the doctor will suggest to do a czer procedure right-away because she's too big. Less than 10 days to go !

New symptoms this week :
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome - my fingers are now in tingling pain - I thought it was odd because I thought hands aren't related to pregnancy at all but I read that it is due to the fluid build-up and this symptom came with my swollen feet so the connection is there. 
  • Swollen feet - it's really funny to see my feet full and thick because I'm used to see the skin and bones.  

39th week : Final meet-up with my nurse at KK for my weekly update. The doctor in KK wanted to do a final scan and when he did, he said that the baby is already reaching 3.5kg (a bit too big - maybe due to my GDM) so he referred me to the hospital to get an assessment - maybe to be induced much earlier and not wait for another 1 week for the exact date. But when we arrived at the hospital, the doctor said to follow our original plan and come in to be admitted on the 23rd to be assessed and induced =.=

My mom-in-law just arrived and is staying over for a few weeks to take care of me.

My Braxton-Hick contraction became really intense lately, harder and longer. I guess my body is preparing for the labour soon. It came to the point when I had to sleep at my armchair because every time I lay down, the contraction started =.= (last night it was almost every 5 minutes and at least 40 secs long, I even thought it was an early labour sign, but it was false labour weyyy).
Plus the pain level during this final week is also intense. At this point, usually by 4 am, I'll be awake and start my day because laying down is not comfortable at all. Trying to sleep for long is also pointless. My lower body is constantly in pain (especially my pelvic + pubic bones, and also my thigh and swollen feet).
But although the baby is already considered big and heavier than average baby, I don't have back pain throughout this month (thank God) :F

This is me on my 39th week + 5 days, trying to walk in Putrajaya to naturally induce the labour but it was just a hard-slow-painful walk and no sign of labour yet :F

Today is the 22nd July and I'll be admitted and induced tomorrow ! 
Doakan yang baik2 dan dipermudahkan segala urusan ♥️


40th week : The delivery week !


Food : Healthy Snacks, Fruits and Smoothies

April 25, 2019

I've been splurging on healthy fruits and snacks since early this year - due to my constant hunger, probably *boredom* of staying alone most of the time at home and being extra health conscious. I don't eat-out as much as I used to (due to being at home at least 6 days a week), I make home-made foods and I'm having fun experimenting. 

Things I learned :
  • I eat fruits with yogurts for snack and smoothies for breakfast - almost every single day. So I mix and match a lot. 
  • I slowly changed from flavored yogurt to natural and sugarless yogurt (which I hated months ago). It takes time, and a LOT of fruits to wash the yogurt's natural taste.
  • I learned that local banana is tastier and sweeter but don't last as long as imported bananas. 
  • I learned that if you received several boxes of strawberry (especially if someone that just came back from Cameron Highlands) - keep the strawberries in the icebox/freezer right away, just keep some of them down to eat as snack or with yogurt, or they will rot in 3-5 days. 
  • Berries are weird - you don't have to eat them fresh, smoothies always work with berries.
  • Oat, granola and seeds are a nice addition into your yogurt - they give a bunch of mixed taste and crunchiness. 
  • No longer buying Boost - because it is much cheaper to make one at home and it tastes the same depending on which fruits you have at home. You can make 3-4 juices/smoothies for 2 people and for several days with the same amount you spend at Boost. 
  • Local/tropical fruits are always the best, sweeter and juicier : Over-riped guava, jambu air, mangoes, rambutan, jackfruit, watermelon, dragonfruit, mata kucing, papaya, mangosteen etc - but they are not so smoothies/yogurt friendly. You can always eat them as snack tho. 


Here are some ideas to help you start eat healthy :

Early morning smoothies consists of :
  • Watermelon
  • Red apple
  • Green apple
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Frozen banana
  • Milk
  • Frozen berries 
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds

Morning breakfast / Tea-time snack consists of :
  • Natural / greek yogurt
  • Oat
  • Granola
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fruits of the day on top (apple/watermelon/kiwi/berries/grapes)


Night snack (usually around 10pm) :
  • Easy to eat fruit of the day (apple/watermelon/mango/guava/dragonfruit/jambu air)

To Buy :

Local fruits are much cheaper, need to go to weekly pasar malam, they are usually great for daily snacks (to be enjoyed just like that) but not so suitable for smoothies or to be eaten with yogurt, they also stay fresh for 3-5 days so you can't buy a lot at a time. The trick is to buy the seasonal fruits during the season - not after or before the season. 

Imported fruits are usually more expensive, you can get it anytime at the supermarket, fresh for longer time and you can also put them up in the freezer for smoothies. 

I buy both - local fruits every week, imported fruits probably every 3-4 weeks. I think at this point, I spend around RM 50 per week for fruits. 

Apps/websites I tried to buy fruits or healthy snacks or fruits :

Some of thoughts about the things I've tried :

1. From Amazin'Graze : I really love their Hazelnut Blackforest Granola that you can put on top of your yogurt or overnight oat. The granola tasted like chocolate so it balances out the fruit taste in my yogurt, and there's no refined sugar in it. I first bought it in JayaOne last Feb and enjoyed it so I bought 2 packets online with Super Seed Butter (my first try) this month during the promo season. During my first order I received free stuff and shipping.

The Super Seed Butter consists of sunflower seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, with no palm oil, no salt and no refined sugar. Af needs less unhealthy fats to lower down his blood pressure and cholesterol level, and I need to control my sugar intake. Although it is much expensive than my favorite peanut butter and jam, I think I need to start putting on extra thought on what I'm really eating every day - so why not. The verdict : it tasted decent with bread, not as I imagined combined seeds would taste like, a bit less sugary and less oily. I might try their other nut butter options in the future. 

2. The Frozen Mixed Berries that I ordered from HappyFresh (Aeon Equine) : These frozen berries are very nice for our morning smoothies but not so nice for yogurt/overnight oat - the taste is just different. They are frozen fruits, more brittle and not that fresh anymore - so I just add them up in our morning banana smoothies.

First buy from HappyFresh, ordered early in the morning and arrived at 11am on the same morning. The strawberry that I ordered were sold out, so the buyer asked whether I would want a change in different strawberry (a bit more expensive) - I said yes and apparently it was then credited in my account after the purchase was made (I thought there was no extra charge because he didn't mentioned it) :

3. From MBGonline : The blueberries that I ordered were sold out while they were processing, so I got free upgrade to a pack of seedless grapes - I think they played the right card here because I like their services since then. You can also wait for seasonal/promo items here, because sometimes they are much cheaper than the ones in the supermarket. 

4. From SignatureMarket : Most of the seeds and nuts that I bought since last year were from Signature Market. Seeds are mostly cheap, nuts are crazy expensive. I usually need 3 things : chia seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed. You can sprinkle chia seeds/sunflower seeds on almost anything : smoothies, yogurt, overnight oat. As for flaxseed, you need to grind it - so I usually only add it up in my smoothies or juice. Nuts and dried fruits are luxury items bought every 6 months. 


How long will this fruit-craze phase stay ? 
I'm not so sure - I've always think about fruits as luxury foods because they are expensive. But this year I'm giving my body what it wants :F 

Did my skin cleared up ?
I'm in a hormonal phase - so I can't be sure. The small acnes on my face come and go, my skin is still oily like a teenager. But, the small bumps and rashes on my arms are gone (like chicken skin, but less). 

I don't know whether this past 6 months changes anything in my body, roughly I still feel the same even though my diet changed a lot. But I think I'm staying in this course as long as we can ♥️I didn't even drink coffees or tea - no daily/weekly caffeine anymore.

Hope you'll start your journey soon !