The birth plan

So. As the time for Two to make his/her appearance draws nearer (under six weeks, GAH!), the need for putting together my birth plan becomes more urgent.

(Oh yes, I am one of those who are admitted into the hospital armed with a birth plan. I sincerely believe that women should be empowered with the knowledge on how they should deliver their children, and the types of options available to them. Switching to the care of Dr T has been one of the best choices that I have made.)

Just as it was with my previous birth plan, I am hoping to avoid all unnecessary medical interventions, a Casearean will be my last resort, and I will be relying on Hypnobirthing once again. And this time around, the imperative to have a vaginal birth is even stronger than before because I need to recover as quickly as possible, to jump straight back into parenting my firstborn AND my newborn.
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Quit playing with my mind

Ever since our detailed scan, we have been bringing Aidan along with us whenever we had our checkups with the obstetrician. In a way, it’s to prepare him for the impending arrival of his little brother/sister – we want to include him in the process as much as possible. I’m not really sure how much of it he really understands but so far, he seems to know that mama needs to go to the doctor’s quite regularly and that he gets to see baby on a “TV”.

On our first visit, we prepped him by saying that we were going to see the doctor. And hilariously, once we got to the clinic, he started asking all and sundry, “Doctor? Hi doctor?” The clinic nurses had a good laugh!

Last week, we had another visit and this time around, husband hauled him up to the bed and sat him down next to me. And to our surprise, Dr T said to him, “Would you like to do the scan?” He promptly wrapped Aidan’s little hand around the ultrasound stick and began scanning.
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My pregnancy must-haves, circa 2014

Second time around, this body of mine is definitely feeling the strain of pregnancy a lot earlier. I suppose there are many reasons for this: the fact that I had a Caesarean birth (it’s a surgery, after all); I have to haul an 11kg toddler, who likes to say “Mama carry”, around; I’m OLDER and horribly sleep-deprived; I’m not half as fit as I was during my first pregnancy.

Gah. No wonder the older folks always say that it’s better to have kids when you are young. IT IS TRUE. GO FORTH AND PROCREATE NAO.

Anyway, to keep this machine of mine functioning, I have had to rely heavily on a few new things.

Pregnancy-must-haves
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My pregnancy must-haves, circa 2012

(This was written when I was pregnant with Aidan, back in 2012. While they are still essentials for me, I’ll share my must-haves for this pregnancy in another post soon. Watch this space!)

I have loved every moment of being pregnant. Even as my body is being stretched to its limits and causing me some grief, I have enjoyed this journey of ours.

That said, it IS amazing how incubating a little person can change your body profoundly. At 36 weeks, I am finally feeling the impact of how uncomfortable pregnancy can get. And sometimes, pregnancy can make you feel downright unglamorous and unpretty. The following list contains a few things that have made me feel better about looking like a beached whale.

1. Clarins Huile “Tonic” Body Treatment Oil
I know, stretch marks are mostly genetic and no amount of oiling will prevent that if you have the genes. And I DO have the unfortunate genes. I mean, my poor ass is full of white lines from adolescence. I started using this once I was past my first trimester and my tummy is free from marks. It was a gift from my Cousin Wan and since it’s so pricey, I alternate it with the cheaper Boots Expert Stretch Mark Oil that I had bought in Thailand.

2. Burt’s Bees Rich and Repairing Cocoa Butter & Macadamia Nut Oil Body Butter
The hormones really threw my body out of whack and turned it into the human equivalent of the Sahara Desert. The body butter has helped to protect my arms and legs from the blasting dry air of the air-conditioner at night without that oily, sticky feeling. Plus, it’s made from plant-based ingredients!

3. Motherlove Birth & Body Oil
Every night, husband rubs a little of this onto my calves before kneading the tightness away. It’s organic and smells very faintly of lavender, which I adore. Once the little man is out, this can be used on him as a massage oil and is said to be excellent for treating cradle cap. I got mine from iherb, together with the organic bath products for the nugget, and if you order using this discount code OTI683, you’ll get 5 percent off your first purchase.

4. Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser + essential oils
We bought this during our Tokyo trip back in 2009 and it’s been a godsend so far! The integrated LED light is dim and perfect for winding down the day, and I like to drift off to sleep pretending that I am in a luxurious spa. Some of the essential oils that are in rotation include Royal Doulton’s Sleep Easy blend, lavender, bergamot, The Body Shop’s Divine Calm blend and the Sensual Aromatic Blend from Thann. It’s now available in Singapore.

5. Birkenstocks Madrid sandals
Now that I am waddling into my last month of pregnancy, I find that nothing but Birkenstocks will do for my lower body. It’s so tiring carrying this little tenant of mine everywhere! My legs ache, my hips ache and my back ache. I practically live in my Birkenstocks these days and I should have bought them much, much earlier. I got these in patent purple – my favourite colour!

I hope this list will help some of you during your last stage of pregnancy in some way. And if you have any pregnancy lifesavers, please share! I’d love to know what they are (and maybe they can help me ignore that pain in my hips).

This pregnancy so far

Poor Number Two.

It’s true, second kids usually get less attention than the first, even when they are in-utero. Back when I was pregnant with A, I diligently took bump photos and documented every fear, every worry, every joyful moment, every flutter. Second time around, I feel the same fear, worry, joyful moment and flutter but it’s mostly kept in my mind. Blogging? What the heck is THAT?

I’m trying to write but the flesh is simply not willing. I mean, I’d rather laze in bed when A goes to bed and look at random things on the WWW. Like, erm, maternity clothes and powerful hairdryers and prime lens and diaper backpacks. Speaking of which, why are diaper backpacks so hideous or overpriced?

Okay, enough of being a sloth. Let’s count the ways that being pregnant with Two has been different from the first pregnancy.
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