Dear Baby C,
Today we’re going to start the process of inducing you out. I’m really nervous because I’ve heard a number of horror stories about induced labor often leading to emergency C-section or just being plain painful. Some induced labor take as many as two to three days! I’d also much rather have had you choose when you want to come out like Baby N.
Please help me to be strong and to work hard with mommy to get you out safely ok? I’d like for you to come out tomorrow morning or early afternoon. It’s silly, I know. But I checked out the Chinese calendar and since you refuse to choose your own birthday (no contractions for mommy even in week 39!), I thought it would be nice if you could go along with my preferred date and time.
See you soon!
Google “birth plan” and you’ll find a whole slew of guides and sample birth plans. My gynae doesn’t really see the point of a birth plan but I think it’s a document that helps you to better understand the delivery process. Some people (like what I did initially), copy and paste the sample birth plans with only a few minor edits. Others (like what I did after learning more about each bullet point) make it a point to really understand and customize their birth plan.
On a higher level, it also helps the more anal first-time mommies feel like they are in control of this completely unknown trauma that will soon be inflicted on their bodies. Yes, I know to say that the birthing process is a huge trauma on the body seems to be a little dramatic given the beautiful bundle of joy you will get after the process. But the pain and suffering the mommy goes through should not be undermined. A friend mentioned how she was in induced labor for nearly three days and almost needed blood transfusion post-delivery. Even a short labor is at least 3-5 hours and something tells me I’m not one of these lucky mommies.
I have paid the fifty percent deposit (SG$140) to Placenta Advantage. A very amazing friend, L, recommended them to me, among many things (confinement lady, massage lady, traditional Chinese medicine shop, etc). L is a very hands-on person in everything she does from work to family so I’d be a fool not to at least check out her recommendations.
Anyways, I called Pauline from PA and she recommended that I read this website for more information on consuming placenta. Since I’d already done most of my research online before contacting her, I was more interested in reading her service contract.
Before signing up with them, they recommend that you get a doctor’s opinion on your health. For example, if you have any blood disease or other health conditions that would make the placenta consumption ineffective. My gynae isn’t very pro-placenta consumption so I think she gave me a bewildered look when I asked her if my health conditions were suitable. I took her look as a positive sign since I hadn’t heard anything otherwise.
Pauline prefers to talk to the client personally instead of having me elaborate so if you are interested to find out more, email her at placenta.adv.sg at gmail.com or call her at 9362-8425. The service contract details the process and also tells you how to instruct the hospital staff should they be unfamiliar with the process. You should also have a small ice box ready for the placenta storage.
First rule to remember when buying diapers as a first-time parent is to not get too excited at baby fairs when the diapers are going at super-low deals. You see, babies grow really fast and each baby’s build is different. Diapers have a shelf live of maximum two years so if you buy too many, you probably want to sell it off somehow unless you plan to pop another one in a year or two.
Some guidelines when choosing diapers and planning how many to buy:
About six weeks ago, I was eating seaweed like it was going extinct because of my hypo-thyroid condition. I was also told to have more protein in my diet to help reduce the swelling in my feet. Then in early May, I went for my follow-up visit and learned that I no longer had hypo-thyroid. Instead, I was now diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) and hemorrhoids. This meant an even stricter diet since my swollen feet were still persisting and I had to cut down on carbs to control the GD.
As if that wasn’t enough, over the last week or so, I have developed rashes all over my feet, calves, thighs and fingers. I’ve tried using sodium bicarbonate bath, slightly acidic water, fresh aloe vera, aloe vera gel, menthol rubs, anti-histamine pills and calamine lotion. But none have given me anything beyond a temporary relief. Apparently, it’s a chronic hives-like rash that strikes women during pregnancy, known as PUPPP. In severe cases, the doctor may have to induce labor. The silver lining in my case is that PUPPP struck only in my 32nd week and only on my limbs.
About two-thirds of what I bought. The rest are in the wine fridge as they have to be kept cool.
A friend, L, brought me to a medical hall that she swears by all the way in the northern part of the island. You see, we live on the west and I can still (easily) get lost in the city, so going to the north is almost like driving all the way to Malaysia. But, I digress.
The Chinese medical store is packed full of herbs and ointments, including many unidentifiable dried animal parts. The owners are a couple in their late 40s / early 50s with three kids. The husband, Peter, is Singaporean and fluent in English but the wife, Anna, who also happens to be the main expert, prefers to converse in Mandarin.
We’ve finally settled on a cot after considering the total room dimension and space to fit a single bed for the helper. It took us two baby fairs, two trips to the baby outlet stores, and lots of online research.
Our criteria for the cot:
1. Must have wheels to move from room to room
2. Must not be wider than 75cm to fit through the door
3. Preferably not too long so we can fit a single bed and a small drawer on the same side of the wall.
With the criteria above, we have a cot that is probably not going to last more than the first two years. But we figure it’s a decent amount of time because we may move to our own place before that. Will post pictures when we have everything in place. =)
We’ve been worrying about the size of our belly/baby even though the gynae said that we’re within the average range. At the same time, we’ve also been wondering whether our son should be kicking more especially since we’re supposed to be monitoring his kicks regularly from now on. I guess such is the fate of parenthood; the beginning of a lifetime of worrying about everything and anything.
The app we’re using (BabyBump) has a kick counter that helps to record up to 10 kicks or 2 hours, whichever comes first. We’re planning to start counting at least every other day before or after dinner time.
In the meantime, we’re looking forward to our next gynae visit in Week 29. Our gynae, Dr Ann Tan, doesn’t have any packages so we have to pay for each visit as we go along. She also only operates at Mount Elizabeth hospital (not exactly one of the cheapest places to deliver) so we have been (and will continue) burning quite a substantial hole in our pockets. However, she is very recognized in her field of expertise and I feel more comfortable with her, despite her no-nonsense approach, than my previously also-renowned gynae.
BabyBump reports: Baby Size ~ 36.8cm (cauliflower). Baby Weight ~ 0.907 kg
This week your baby looks like a thinner, redder, more wrinkled version of what he will look like at birth, but in the next few weeks more fat will fill out his appearance. Your baby’s immune system is continuing to mature as are your baby’s lungs which are still practicing breathing amniotic fluid.
It seems like it wasn’t too long ago when I was having a minor breakdown from not feeling any kicks to feeling kicks all over my belly today. Not sure if it’s psychological but it feels like Junior has been kicking a lot more vigorously since I’ve started taking the medication that the doctor prescribed for my hypo-thyroid condition that was diagnosed in late March. Hopefully the euthyrox is helping to increase the hormone production and increasing our overall energy levels.
Ankle-less feet at week 25
During our gynae visit on Friday, the doc expressed concern over my seriously swollen feet. I’d thought it was a common condition in an earlier post and have been told that having swollen feet means that there is enough water for the baby to swim in. However, apparently it is just not normal to have such swollen feet this early in the pregnancy so the doc prescribed me some daflon.
The doc also chided me for wearing shoes that allowed my feet to expand further when I had purposely bought the softest and widest pair of Crocs I could find. It just seemed counter-intuitive to keep my feet in a covered-up shoe but the doc said not only should I switch to sneakers, I should also wear socks to help increase compression! Fortunately, I hadn’t gone out to buy a pair of the soft+wide Crocs in a few different colors just yet.