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Expecting the unexpected

5 months ago / being mommy

We're pregnant!

We're pregnant!

To be honest I don't know why people say we're pregnant when I am the one suffering all that horrible morning sickness (will come to that in a bit) and weight gain. Alongside other side effects like bloating, dry skin (now you know why I've been complaining SO MUCH about it) and the inability to stomach durian :sob:

Anyway.... where do I begin? This post has been six months in the baking (lol) and for the longest time, I wasn't sure if i would ever announce my pregnancy mostly cause

  • I was afraid of unsolicited advice (you should eat more beef so your kid will have more hair! you can't eat dark stuff or your child will be very tanned - then chocolate how?)

  • I was afraid of the 1001 what-ifs in the pregnancy and I kept telling myself to wait till "the next doctor visit" to make sure the foetus is ok...I also did EVERY test out there to make sure chance of birth defects is minimal.

  • I was afraid of what would happen to my career. My influenza life was picking up and we were about to embark on the new business.

In short I was afraid of every single thing (this pregnancy has made the already very scaredy cat me more timid than ever) and I think if not for the fact that I'm hitting my 7th month and people are starting to give me skeptical looks when I show up in maxi dresses and tell them that I ate too much at the buffet tables the night before... I would keep mum (hahahah I'm getting good at this) until Junior is out.

So here's my longest blog post ever.

(Maybe I should just publish a book. I've spent so much time on Google these past months, I've practically earned my M.D. in obstetrics.)

Getting Preggers

As you guys know, I plan my whole damn life (I already know what I want to eat NEXT Friday) and I study really hard for every test that comes my way. Except that you can't study for a pregnancy test haha.

And it was always my plan to have my first child only at 35 (after all, you have your whole life to be a mother! what's the rush?) and conception will happen around April so my kid will be born in January. I subscribe to the school of thought that children who're born at the start of the year have a competitive edge at doing better in school (and hopefully life)... go read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers for the deets.

But life doesn't always go to plan. Baby's due in September (I console myself that I am also a September baby and I didn't turn out too bad right? RIGHT?) and no, I didn't get knocked up and neither is it because we got drunk and randy one night.

Basically, remember the fertility health test we did last year? It was for a ILC campaign and I had went into the test (that again I couldn't study for!!!) expecting everything to be pink and rosy and for the doctor to say OK GOOD! YOU CAN WAIT TILL 35! but as it turns out, I suffer from endometriosis and some other conditions that make it not very easy for me to conceive. Btw kudos to the hubs who went through the press conference with me RIGHT after the test despite the dismal results lol.

So that was in July I think? Then he went away for detachment and in November, I was totally geared up for babymaking lol. Mostly cause I was pretty sure it would take us at least two years of trying before we consider IVF. Then came December and I still wasn't pregnant so that's when I tried all sorts of weird things... We went to Japan to touch a baby wishing tree (for real), I bought crystals to put under my pillow (and coincidentally I had a blog client who decided to send me a FERTILITY CRYSTAL haha) and I also tried this babymaking concoction of raisins + dates + honey a friend recommended. I know I said I was willing to wait two years but I'm such a "go-getter" (or a very impatient person) that I can't accept failure. Not even a failed pregnancy test lol.

The Hakone shrine where the tree's at

So I bought ovulation kits and got really obsessed at acing this babymaking thing... when I was clearing work with Smith at the hospital when he broke his leg, I was stuffing my face with ice cream (cause I read on Google that it increases chances of conception) and randomly babbling to some friend of his who came to visit him about HOW MUCH I WANT TO GET PREGNANT. Poor girl had to sit through that :(

Then in the last week of December,

small People take 1 photo of their pregnancy test for memory's sake. I take 120 photos (of 6 different test kits) to be sure.

I still remember that morning. I had jumped out of bed at 7am, peed on a stick, set my iPhone counter on (yah I wanted to wait till PRECISELY two minutes to read the results) then woke the hubs to tell him that I'm preggers.

His reaction?

"Thank god, finally." before going back to sleep.

Christmas 2016. The last December with just the two of us.

Come Jan 2017, things started going downhill.

Morning Sickness

For the first few weeks, life was pretty good tbh. I didn't feel pregnant at all... I had no cravings but I ate a lot of (mercury-safe) fish because the older folks said fish will make your kids smarter.

I even told people that "I can't wait for morning sickness to kick in" HAHAHAHA so I can feel nauseated and start eating less.

I literally ate my words.

When morning sickness finally kicked in around week 6, I was feeling super nauseated all the time alright (srsly which joker named it morning sickness?! it's a bloody morning, afternoon, night, midnight sickness????) BUT the nausea only sets in WHEN I AM NOT EATING. So to deal with it, I had to KEEP EATING. Even when I'm not hungry. To make things worse, all I could stomach was carbs. Plain white carbs like white rice, biscuits, bread, crackers... I once stuffed an entire Jacob's cracker into my mouth inappropriately during a meeting (I thought nobody was looking but everybody turned round at the same time to see me puffed up like a chipmunk sigh)... I also kept a loaf of bread by my bedside. I would have a slice or two before sleeping and wake up in the middle of the night to eat some more.

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Conversation with the sister

What's worse than potato and bread? Potato IN bread.

Needless to say for someone who was on a carb-free diet, I gained weight pretty quickly.

Caught chomping on Pocky when I was in Taiwan. They didn't know I was preggers then and found me and my constant eating extremely disturbing.

And the most ridiculous thing was, my body kept rejecting plain water wtf. Every time I tried to drink it, I will end up vomiting like crazy. So for those few months, I survived on sweet drinks - juices, cordial, soft drinks, milo all of which I couldn't drink more than a few sips before the next great projectile motion... so I was constantly dehydrated. My mouth was dry all the time, my skin got super wrinkly (plus I had to stop my anti-ageing Retin A products) so I was really starting to look old.

Life was miserable.

Cravings + Food

But it got better.

Somehow when you hit second trimester (or at least in my case), the morning sickness - mostly the constant vomiting - just disappears (but unfortunately the bloating and weight gain stay with you).

This baby, however, eats like Garry.

While I don't get the in the middle of the night OMG-I-need-the-charkwaytiao-from-Jurong-West-NOW kinda cravings, I now have a whole long list of things I DON'T eat anymore. Stuff like blackforest cake, durian (my body simply can't digest this anymore. The last time I tried I ended up with super bad cramps that lasted for 3 days), salads... which I used to love so much.

Hunger, as I know it, is very different now. My stomach no longer growls when it's hungry? In fact, I feel VERY FULL when it's time to put food in... like WTF is wrong with my brain. The first time I discovered this was when I ended up in the hospital for gastritis. I had thought it was food poisoning but nooo... as it turns out I was throwing up continuously the entire day because I lacked food?!

So now I always have food in my handbag and eat all. the. time. I'm munching on chips as I type this.

Test shot at HK Disneyland which errr, caught me eating. Again.

I am also EXTREMELY paranoid about food safety and what I can or cannot eat (I google everything before I put it into my mouth). I wash my hands before eating, after eating, after touching a doorknob, after touching my dog... in total, about 60 times a day lol. I also closely examine a food stall's cleanliness and go through 1234567 scenarios in my head before I decide if I want to eat there or not.

Like yesterday I wanted to buy takoyaki and the thought process was like,

  • Ok I can't eat ham cause nitrates.
  • Octopus then because it is the easiest to throw out from the takopachi ball.
  • Oh no, the bag of uncooked octopus is sitting ON TOP of the freezer. How long do you think it has been left out?
  • She's handling the food (although with tongs) without gloves. THEN SHE TOUCHES MONEY OMG.
  • Ok no takopachi then.

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My standard instructions to UberEATS. At least I acknowledge that I'm troublesome.

I also wonder a lot about how long food has been sitting out, whether they keep a schedule to make sure it's not more than 4 hours and the first-in-first-out feasibility of their workflow.

I should totally join NEA as my second career.

In Taiwan where I took a lot of pictures but ate NOTHING from the night markets lol.

Gender

It's a boy! And as of now, he's called Garry Junior because we cannot agree on a name. Mainly because of the hub's last name.

For the longest time, I have always wanted to name my son Chase. but Chase Go hahahah. Can you imagine during Sports Day and his classmates start chanting "Go, Chase Go! Go, Chase Go!"

The husband hasn't been the most helpful either. His only suggestion so far is Bin. Go figure.

I also want only one character for his Chinese name. But his surname in Chinese is Wu... and the hub's suggestion? Wu Liao.

Pregnancy Brain

I used to have an elephant memory. Now all I have is an elephant's body wtf.

What they say about pregnancy brain is true... I never had to use a calendar until recently and I often find myself stopping mid-sentence with, "What was I saying ah?" Misplaced my phone, car key, wallet only like a million times so far.

The strange thing is, I still remember everything pre-pregnancy VERY CLEARLY. Enough to drive the partners crazy... no that's not what you said last May, I'd claim. Then I'll proceed to dig out emails and group chats (which they call the screenshots of death) to prove it. Just that what has been happening this year has sadly disappeared into a black hole.

Work

For the first trimester, because of the morning all-day sickness, I ended up rejecting several opportunities (with the most ridiculous reasons I must add. I am not feeling well. I am STILL not feeling well. Ok... my pet rhinoceros isn't feeling well either).

We did this shoot for Opel which took two days instead of our usual half day because they had to put up with my constant eating. And whining. And bathroom breaks.

I've also cut down on my travels... involuntarily. I was supposed to go on a Japan Tourism campaign to Japan (duh...) earlier this year. Me throwing up + intense dehydration + suffering in the wintry cold just didn't feel like the right things to torture my client with. I also skipped HK Fashion Week for the same reasons.

I honestly felt quite shitty about my productivity because I felt that I wasn't pulling my own weight at work.

But things got back on track come trimester 2 thankfully.

When I could FINALLY travel (albeit with a lot of precaution such as wearing ridiculously-priced $50 compression stockings and refusing to go through the scanners at the airports... I'd request for a pat down and gleefully flash my doctor's letter to prove that I'm pregnant), I had to work around very limited angles cause of the bump.

Now you see it...

Now you don't.

Taken last week on the same day I took this announcement bump shot

I am still somewhat able to hide it these days with the right clothes (babydoll dresses ftw) and angles. There are days that my water retention isn't too bad and I can actually pass off as a somewhat skinny non-pregnant chick.

At the army open house, where the best angle is that of my face LOL.

There are also days that I like to flaunt my entitled pregnant woman's right to wear bodycon dresses lol.

As you guys know, we started a social media agency and some of our clients are in the travel line. I have passed on a few opportunities and have been living vicariously through the partner's IG posts. My trip to Japan next week (to thank the baby wishing tree!) should be my last until I pop BUT I'm determined to be back in action by Q4.

I'm also not taking any maternity leave cause I don't believe in it (and not because the partner is an asshole lolol) but I guess I'll spend the first month working from home. I'm also not engaging a confinement nanny (the hubs says "Nobody in USA has a nanny and the kids look well and alive to me?!") so please pray for me, thanks.

What happens next?

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I'm still figuring out a lot of things on how to be a mother.

But one thing I do know for sure is that being a mother is just a part to who I am. This blog won't become a parenting blog (I'm too narcissistic to let that happen lol. I mean I got a dog and this didn't become a how-to-cook-for-your-sheltie blog right?) but I look forward to sharing about the adventures (and misadventures) about this new chapter of my life.

I also CANNOT WAIT to start working out properly after delivery (slow swimming weekly hardly counts as exercise), travelling properly again on long haul flights (maybe with baby in tow), grow the business well (have you seen the school fees at Chiltern?!) and hope the kid doesn't irritate me as much as his father.

I constantly remind myself NOT to become one of those annoying entitled mothers who behave like the world revolves solely around them and their child (please tell me if I ever sound like that!!!) and more importantly, I believe that life - motherhood or not - is all about balance and I hope I will find that balance eventually.

As for Junior, I can't promise him that I won't be a Tiger Mom. I started reading to him at 25 weeks and realised that WE ARE LATE cause people typically start at 23 weeks when hearing is developed? But I won't force him to learn the piano (because he's gonna learn the cello lol #jkmaybenot) and I'll provide to the best of my ability. It is my personal belief that if my child fucks up at life because of his own decisions, then too bad his life his choice. But if it's because of what we could have given him (be it time, financial support or nurturing etc) and didn't, then it's on us that we failed as parents.

So baby, here we GO!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)