Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Baby gender

I just realised that I never announce the baby gender in my blog. Opsss! To think that I normally pen down important milestones in my life here, how could I miss out this one. That is pregnancy brain, I tell you.

But if you know me personally, of course you would have known by now.

Anyway, we're having a baby girl :)

At first I was so sure that I'm carrying boy because my instinct told me so. Actually I just assumed my baby is a boy in the beginning because everyone around me been popping baby boys. But my husband have a feeling we're having girl because of the old wives tales that baby girl brings luck to their dad. And true enough, the husband been having lots of new opportunities thrown at him and good luck really been on our side.

When my gynae confirmed that we're having girl, next thing I did was start shopping. Now that I know the gender, it made shopping a lot more fun. More pink and pastel dresses please. Hehehhe
But one thing that really cross my mind after finding out my baby is a girl is the worry when she starts to learn about puberty, makeup, boys and etc. A younger version of me really flashes into my mind. Lying to my parents about school activities, sneaking out to hang out with my friends. Oh, the horror.

Okay, that's it. I'm gonna monitor my daughter like a hawk and no boys are allowed near my princess until she turns 18.

Mother do worry a lot, isn't it.

Baby H, if you're reading this in the future. I want you to know that mummy and daddy love you so much and will try our best to provide the best for you. But, you're still not allowed to date until you're 18 hahahahahha. And we're gonna tag along for your date. hehehehe

Monday, November 28, 2016

What I'm thankful for

Thanksgiving just passed for a few days but I think it is still appropriate to pen down things that I'm thankful for. Now that I've grown older and wiser, I realized that grateful is the key to happiness. Not trying to be preachy la but I've found that feeling grateful and thankful has help me to feel better and happier.

1) Smooth pregnancy
Okay, this is of course is on top of my list. I'm 4 weeks away from my due date and so far everything has been smooth for me. Albeit some hiccups during the last trimester, everything else is doing fine especially my baby. My baby is right on track for her development except that she's in breech position now and we probably will see her earlier if she's still not turning till next week.

2) The husband

I have to say the husband is the reason that I'm at ease and feeling stress-free during this pregnancy. He's been really good and always putting me as priority. Although there are times when things are challenging for both of us, I'm glad that we worked it out. Now that we're becoming parents, I can see the obvious changes in the husband. Last time our priority would be planning holidays, eyeing gadgets and went out having fun. But now he is all about saving for future and looking for more opportunity to improve our financial so that he can provide the best for our child and me. Yeah, you will start to worry about future when you have child even though she's still in the oven baking.

3) My family

Distance makes the heart grow fonder and it is true in this case. My siblings are all in different districts now due to work commitment and study and we all grow closer than ever now that we're not living together anymore wtf. We even talked more and texted more now which brings all of us closer than ever.

4) The opportunity to travel

I'm so grateful that I got a job that pays the bill and let me have the freedom to travel the world. The addiction to travel started when I got my first paycheck and I always set myself to visit at least 3 countries per year. So far I have been good except for this year because I have to forfeit my trip to Perth but for a very good reason (I'm heavily pregnant during the travel period). And my plan for next year is looking good with two trips confirmed but I'm still hoping to squeeze in more holidays even with baby.  

Disneyland Hong Kong

Angkor Wat Cambodia



5) My friends

I don't have a lot of friends but I have a handful of friends that I know I can count on. And these are the people that I had known for more than 10 years. We had been through a lot from hitting puberty to first love and now figuring out adulthood. Having these friends around really makes my life happier and livelier. 

All of my thankful points are probably sound cliche but it is true. These are what I'm really thankful for. All of the above made up a big part of my life and add meaning to it. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Private clinic vs Polyclinic

Sorry if you're bored with all the baby and pregnancy posts lately. I'm coming to my 34 weeks now and to be frank, I'm a little bit freaking out about the baby arrival. I have a long checklist for things to prepare for baby arrival and my confinement and slowly ticking things off the list. But I still feel like I'm not fully ready yet.

We have our baby cot ready and her mattress will come in next week but we haven't even arrange the furniture in our room yet. Is there really a pantang where you're not allowed to move furniture around if you're expecting? My MIL told me this but I'm not subscribe to any pantang, so I'm not sure what to do.

Anyway, the most popular question that people been asking me aside from baby gender is who is my doctor? We first went to a private doctor to confirm the pregnancy and check up with him for a few times before I decided to change to my current one.

The reason being is that my previous doctor didn't give me a good vibe. Every time I went in to see him, he said the same things as if he's reading off script to every patients. Plus, he's not details enough about my check up. Normally we're done in less than 5 minutes. I'm carrying a live in me, I need that peace of mind that everything is okay and smooth, not the same scripts every time.

So we switched doctor and I'm glad we did. My new gynae gave me details explanation about everything that is going on in my pregnancy. She even took her time during scanning to show me baby progress, baby weight, show me her body parts and all. She makes me and my husband feel connected to our baby. On the plus side, she's very chill. She allowed me to eat and do whatever I want as long as it doesn't directly harm my baby and moderation is the key.

My favorite quote from her is "You're pregnant, not sick." So, I'll just do whatever makes me happy. She's the one that advised me to register myself at polyclinic.

So that's how I started to go to polyclinic too. I've heard lots of horror stories bashing polyclinic before. The most common one are how rude the nurses and how slow the service is.

I've set my appointment and came with open mind. I was shocked to see how full the clinic was at 8 am, the opening time. I guess I'm not the only kiasu one. Registration progress went well for me and all the nurses that attending to me are nice and friendly.

Maybe the facility in polyclinic is nothing if compared to private clinic but I think the nurses and staff are doing well in their job. My checkup normally took a hour and a half then I'm done for the day. Of course not everything is perfect because when I got my blood test done, the nurse had to withdraw my blood twice on both arms because she made a mistake during the first time. But she's very apologetic about it and it didn't hurt me much. So no big deal for me.

The reason that most people complained about how long it took for them for the check up is because they had no idea how the process go. I've seen many clueless expectant mothers and their company went in the wrong room, missing their numbers  and etc. The process at polyclinic can be quite confusing because each time to see the nurse you have to get a number, then move to another area for blood test and take another number to see the doctor. But once you get the hang of it, everything will be a breeze.

My only concern about polyclinic is the doctor. Each time I had different doctors attending me and so far, none of them are satisfactory. I know I'm not paying a single cent at polyclinic but I expect the medical advice to be good too. Once I went in to see a doctor and in less than 3 minutes she dismissed me without any consultation. I know the nurses had done a thorough check up but at least the doctor can elaborate more about anything because after all I'm a first time mother.

If you wish for scanning at polyclinic, you can forget about it. They do not do scanning for your baby, this is what the doctor told me when I asked for a scan to see baby development. So you will have no idea about your baby condition until you're reaching full term.

What if something alarming about the baby happens but the clinic didn't scan for you? I shudders at the thought of that. The only checkup that involving baby in polyclinic are they check for baby heart beat and your baby bump size.

And today the doctor at polyclinic Googled my problem in front me when I told her I'm starting to get numbness at my hands and legs. Her results of course is the same as what I Googled when I first experienced the numbness. But hello, you're trained medical staff, why are you Googling it like me too?

My confidence with the doctor totally flew out of the window.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hitting second trimester and how it feels

Now that I'm in my third trimester (just hitting 32 weeks today!), I think my favorite trimester is the second one. Entering my 2nd trimester, I'm not as uptight as I was before knowing that my baby is stable in my belly. You have no idea how many unnecessary worries that I've had when I first found out about the pregnancy and all of these worries are related to my baby.

Not helping that I'm fed with horror stories of how pregnancies had gone wrong for some people. I know how precious is the little life that I carry in me and hearing some tragedies where parents lost their unborn child really break my heart. It makes me appreciate and be really grateful for my bundle of joy.

I was just entering my second trimester during our Krabi trip back in July. I still get tired all the times and back pain is my constant friend. So, the husband and I take it very easy in Krabi. We slept in and relaxing more instead of rushing everywhere. Upon returning from Krabi, I've got a nasty rash on the back of my knees. Maybe it was the weather or just my body but I'm always feel hot. The rashes resembled bug bites and left my skin red and bumpy. Not a beautiful sight for stranger. To make matter worst, it's itches like crazy. There's nothing that I can do about it except to let time heals my skin.

Another common occurrence for me during the second semester is nose bleed. I've got dried blood clot in my nose occasionally during the first trimester and I blamed it on the weather. But during second trimester, it got worst.

Normally it is just dried blood clot every few days and then it happened every day. Sometimes when I stuffed tissue up my nose. it's drenched in blood. Not a beautiful sight I told you. I've read that it is common during pregnancy, so it didn't bother me much.

But at one point, it got really worst that I think the blood capillaries in my nose is injured because it's hurt for me to even twitch my nose. I did consulted my doctor and she explained to me that my intake of irons tablet may have contribute to the nose bleed but it is nothing to worry about.

One thing that I really love during my second trimester is that I've slowly gained my energy back. I no longer feel tired and wanted to nap all the time. I also no longer feeling nauseous at night anymore. It feels like my old self is back again and the husband and I went on more date nights before the baby comes.

Must doll up because I don't want to be an ugly pregnant lady

Called me vain or narcissistic but I really cannot accept letting myself go even during pregnancy. It's bad enough that I sometimes feel like a whale and my self esteem dropped a notch, if I'm not allowed to put on makeup to make myself feel better, I'm really gonna flipped. Actually someone once came up to me and told me to stop putting on make up because the chemical will hurt my unborn child. Seriously? Which era are you living in?

I was furious but held my tongue since it is not worth it to argue with Mr. Know-It-All.  I did what I did best in these kind of situation. I ignored them totally. 

Since I'm feeling like my old self again, I started to be more laid back and had my cold drinks. Yes, I was totally off cold drink during the first trimester because people have been advising me so. I did asked my mom is it true but she brushed it off and said just eat whatever I want but in moderation. Even my doctor said so too.

So if you must know, cold drinks has no effect to your pregnancy. I was told to be off tea too which I'm sad about because I love my green tea. At first, I followed it diligently but the more I've researched into it, I've found that a little caffeine won't hurt you or your unborn child.

Pfft.. these people with their old wives tales! I really get tired of listening to people preaching to me about what pregnant woman can eat what cannot eat because mostly those are the old wife tales. I know certain stuff I really cannot consume eg raw fish/meat, raw egg etc. 

Luckily the husband is on my side all the times and even fed me my ice cream craving

I love bubble tea too

My appetite maintain the same but I've started to love junk food more now. I tried to limit my junk food intake but I really loves ice cream. I always sneak a scoop every nights because it is so good. Give my any flavor and I'll polish it off.

My weight during second trimester

At this point, I think I've gained around 5kg. When I went to polyclinic for check up, I was told to watch my diet because the weight gain is too rapid according to the nurse. But most of my friends commented how skinny I am even though I'm pregnant. Actually I eat a lot but in smaller portion and as much as I love my junk food now, I still try to eat as healthy as possible. Most of time I brought fruits as snack during working hour.

My favourite dinner combo is rice and fish 

These are my portion when I prepared my own dinner

The only time I ever wear maternity top, I was around 6 months pregnant here. 

I'm really grateful that my pregnancy has been a smooth sailing journey so far. Now that we are getting closer to the due date, my husband and I started to discuss about parenting. Both of us are chill, so I'm not gonna be the Asian tiger mom (finger cross I won't turn into one) that only emphasise on academic for my children. I want them to have the childhood that I've had. I've spent majority of my childhood exploring the world outside. I played with stick and dirt, I ran around with my siblings, we played doctor/house and anything that our imagination took us and my parents took us to playground or swimming pool on weekends. I want my children to experience all of these too instead of gluing themselves to technology that we have now. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Krabi 2016

I nearly forgot to blog about the Krabi trip that I took last July. The main reason it slipped my mind is that I've been to Phuket and Krabi is very similar to Phuket. Beaches, sand, sun, Thai food, island hopping yadaa yadaa yadaaa. So, you get the gist. But it would not be fair to dismiss Krabi just because of that. Yes, it can be very similar to Phuket but Krabi do have its own attraction. 

This is the first real holiday that I took with the husband and his family. We planned the trip last year as couple but went as husband and wife. And I am 4 months pregnant during the trip. Amazing what can happen in a year time,eh?

The deep blue sea view never fails to amaze me.

If you're long time reader, you would know that I love love love beach holiday. I love the sea, I love the sand and I love the sun too! It just makes me happy. Actually I love travelling in general, so I love every holidays. Sorting through the photos makes me wanna book myself a ticket right now and flying off somewhere new for a change of routine. Too bad being heavily pregnant at almost 31 weeks, I'm confined here. But I already lined up some vacations for next year hehehe. If you think that having a baby will stop me from travelling, then you're so wrong.

We stayed at Oscar Villa in Aonang.

We had our own villa and had all the privacy that needed. The villa is equipped with kitchenette which really comes in handy when I need to make a simple breakfast or late supper. Since the husband and I are super chill, we often slept in while others are out exploring.So we prefer to settle our breakfast at the villa. Plus a hungry pregnant lady is not someone you want to mess it ;p

Instant noodles, fresh kiwi and yogurt drinks that we got from 7-11 are enough to fuel us up till lunch time.

Since our villa is located between Aonang and Krabi town and only accessible by car, it is a wise decision for us to rent a car for our 5 days stay. The car renting process was done online prior to our departure and we collected our car at the airport. With our tourist sim card that we got at the airport, we rely on the data to google for maps. 

A 4 wheel drive to accommodate 8 of us. 

One of the must go places that we slipped into our itinerary is to visit Krabi Night Market. Word has it that it only open on weekend, so we were mad rush from the airport and checked into Oscar Villa and then drive out to Krabi Town because that's the only weekend that we had.

But the next night we passed by the area, the night market still open -'-

The night market is no different from other night markets that I had been to. The abundance of food stalls, souvenirs stalls selling trinklets, phone casing, t-shirts, handmade crafts, clothes and so on lined the whole street. There are some local performance going on too where the local play musical instruments.

You can never go wrong with Thai food

This is an old coffee shop that we stopped at on our way to Emerald Pool

Not a hint of tourists are in sight and because we were hungry and their food looks delicious, we decided to just wing it and dine there. Language is the biggest barrier for us because they speak nil English. So, to order we basically just point and nod, they got some of our orders wrong but it's okay because it is delicious. This shop is specialise in innards of pork and beef paired with broth of your choice (pork/beef/chicken) and noddles of your choice too (rice vermicelli/yellow noodles etc)

Islands hopping day

My memory is hazy about the islands that we visited but we did stopped at a few spots for snorkelling. It was fun to see all the colourful fish underwater, too bad I have no waterproof camera. At our second snorkelling spot, we stopped quite far from the shore and the waves was quite strong. I was so into my snorkelling session, chasing fish with the husband and before we realised it, we  had swam away quite far from our boat.

Frankly, I was scared because we're in the middle of the sea and the waves was strong. Each waves coming in and swept us even further from the boat. Suddenly, the dark blue sea looked almost greenish black to me. When our guide signalling us to get back on the boat, I tried to swim back several times only to realise the waves sent me back to my original spot.

But luckily the husband is by my side. If I were alone, I think I would have spiralled into panic mode and cried on the spot. I gathered myself and continued swimming to the boat with the husband. It was the most tiring swim ever and I was 4 months pregnant. Every time I stroked harder, I could feel my stomach cramp a little.

But I'm not the one that will give up, so yeah, we reached the boat and our guide was grinning at breathless us. ='=

Our guide brought us to an island, sorry ah I forgot the name and gave us a an hour to chill there. Unlike most of the islands that I've visited, this one has not much activities going on. Even the kayaks are quite deserted. I guess it is a lazy day for beach goers as everyone opted to make full use of the sun and sunbathing. 

The only centre of attraction is the boat that sells food. They really made an awesome BBQ chicken which left us wanting for more but the waiting time.....

Me seeking refugee under the tree while waiting for my BBQ chicken

A visit to the Tiger Cave Temple is totally impromptu because my MIL is not fond of temples. But we all are eager to have a look around, so the majority won. I mean it doesn't hurt to appreciate other religions prayer places. I love to learn and explore about the local traditions and stories behind these temples. 

The local name of the temple is Wat Tham Suea and the entrance is free. But it has a strict dress code for visitors. Shorts and revealing outfits are big no no as it shown no respect to the holy ground. We came unprepared since it is not in the plan. 

Because of that we didn't go up the hill and actually got told off by the guard. But the ground area is very interesting to explore as well. Some of the monuments are still under construction.

By the way, if you're coming here to look for tiger due to its name, you will be disappointed because there are no tiger around but they do have monkeys I heard. But the temple is filled with tiger statues and I heard the view of the top of the hill is amazing.

One of the things that I'm excited about during this trip is the visit to Emerald Pool. I've never been to any emerald pool before. The emerald pool is the blueish green pond that filled with clear warm water from nearby stream. The entrance fee is 200THB for adult. 

Spamming our photos at the entrance because halfway through our hike into the forest, it rained. 

We need to walk through a trail for almost a kilometre before reaching the emerald pool. Walking through the trail with some of the trees are tagged reminded me so much of my field trip days. Halfway through the trail, it poured heavily. 

We had no choice but to seek shelter at the nearby abandon building along with other visitors. There were no guide in sight, not sure if they even have any guides there because the trail is pretty straight forward. 

Since we're going to get wet swimming anyway, we decided to just wing it and walked under the rain. Quite a genius decision because the rain didn't stop at all. I was shivering but it was refreshing. 

Before the rainfall

The emerald pool, nah I'm kidding. This is just the surrounding area

I have no photos of the emerald pool because it was drizzling and I put away my camera. It was quite packed with people. We swam for awhile before taking a break. Too bad the facility nearby is not quite well. There is only one hut for the visitors to rest or put away their stuff or in our case, to put our stuff from being drenched in rain. 

I also dropped my camera here and broke my lens here :(

We also took tour for elephant ride + ATV and rafting. I did not fancy the elephant ride because we did it before in Phuket and it breaks my heart to see those elephants being forced to work. I even see it with my own eyes that the elephant is hit by the trainer if they refused to walk.

Our first stop during the car ride to the trekking place, again I forgot which tour company that we signed up with.

It was a full day trip that included pick up from our villa, buffet lunch and activities such as elephant trekking, ATV, rafting and a visit to the fruit orchard. I think July is the wettest month in Krabi because it rains almost every day for the whole week we're there.

So, this is my OOTD for the tour.

Monkey and elephant shows are available too but for merely less than 5 minutes. Very disappointing and there is no interaction between the host and the audience too.

We did get on the elephant ride but cut it short because the downpour was getting heavier. Our track is muddy and some are even blocked by landslide. Even the ATV activity was cancelled too. 

And this is the activity that I'm so bummed to miss. Rafting!

I've never go rafting before and it is so much fun, according to the husband that he even extended their rafting journey. ='= I wanna try it too but maybe next time after I deliver our baby. I also missed out on flying fox for safety sake but also it is rather boring. 

When I heard that we're going to get fruit tasting, I thought we're going to a real fruit orchard.

Turned out this is the fruit orchard that they're referring to.

Fail to the max la, I was expecting the real trekking into the orchard and picking up fruits ourselves. Instead we're served with fruit platter consisted of guava, watermelon, jack fruit, honeydew and pomelo. Nothing special but you can buy other fruits that available there. We came back empty handed tho.