I haven’t made a mention of it here on this here (on my sadly neglected blog!) but if you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll probably have heard that we are expecting a new addition to the family this year. Really soon in fact, with my EDD fast approaching in early-May!
I’ve actually kept rather quiet about this pregnancy, choosing to wearing my regular clothes for most of the initial months till the turn of the year. Loose fits and stretchy waists were my friends! But by January, about 5 months or so in, there was no hiding it. I made the switch to maternity wear and boom — insta-baby! (Or so it seemed.) It was actually quite fun surprising friends with my baby bump!
So in answer to all those questions that I’ve been fielding, I thought I’d write this pregnancy update in the form of a Q&A.
1. Was this planned? That is the big question, and my answer is: Mostly yes. Those who know me know that I’ve never shied away from the possibility of having a third child. In fact, I’ve always been open to the idea. “Just not right now,” was my regular refrain. “We’ll think about it after Mei turns 2, or maybe 3,” I thought. Then in a blink of an eye she was turning 5 and I was starting to think we had missed the boat. Things were getting comfortable, with the two kids who were mostly independent and self-entertaining, and spending an increasing amount of time at school and not stuck to me.
Then, a bit unexpectedly, I discovered early last year that I was pregnant. I was a bit stunned, despite it always being a possibility. It didn’t feel real, despite what the pregnancy test said. I didn’t suffer any of the usual pregnancy symptoms and occasionally even forgot that I was actually pregnant.
Well, that last bit should have been a red flag, because that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage shortly before the end of first trimester. We detected the baby’s heartbeat early on and all seemed well. Then I had some spotting and when I made it down to the clinic for a checkup, there was no heartbeat and we were told that the baby had stopped growing a while back. I was heartbroken — the husband and I both were. This was my second miscarriage (I had suffered one before I had Mei too) and like the previous time, there were no answers to why this had happened. We could only speculate, and grieve on our own for the life that ended almost as soon as it had begun.
The episode did make me more certain that I wanted another baby, and so, here we are, on the cusp of becoming a family of 5.
2. How has this pregnancy been? This pregnancy has been… hard. Age is definitely a factor and being pregnant in my late-30s while having two kids to run after and ferry around was tough. Add to that the fact that I am also needed to help the husband with his new start-up, I’ve barely had time to think about being pregnant. The first trimester was generally uncomfortable but given my past history, I was relieved to be feeling nauseated, as yucky as that may sound! I didn’t throw up too much but I found myself feeling very gassy and I burped ALOT when I was feeling queasy. This has continued to be the case throughout my pregnancy. I’ve suffered less heartburn this time round as compared to my previous pregnancies, but that bit of my system that stops the backflow of food up my throat seems to have gotten rather lax because I’ve frequently been jerked upright by the sudden feeling of regurgitation. It’s actually quite painful when it happens and I now know not to lie down after eating. Instead, I need to sit up, sometimes for quite a while. Combined with the insomnia that I’ve been having on and off throughout this pregnancy, that means that there have been nights when I’ve been uncomfortably shocked awake in the middle of the night by the need to throw up and then found myself unable to get back to sleep. Whee.
And those pelvic pains that I suffered with Mei? Yup, they hit me with a vengeance this time round, from quite early on. I’ve had them for so long that I honestly can’t remember when they started! Ironically, my sister says that I’ve complained less this time round about this discomfort, so she thought I was having an easier time. I think it was more because I was expecting the pain and therefore more resigned to the fact. Ouch. In the past couple of weeks, walking has sometimes been excruciating. Not fun. I really really hope it gets better after baby is out!
Crowning off my misery is the fact that I’ve also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes this time round. I didn’t have to take the test with the previous two kids but my gynae informed me that I had to take it this time because of my age (Boo!). I was quite confident that I wouldn’t have it since, hey, no past history plus baby’s measurements had him pegged at average size.
But alas! My results came back positive for higher than usual sugar levels. With that I was put on diet control, and on a regime of testing my blood sugar levels before and after food.
I don’t have to tell you that being pregnant is hard enough, but having to watch my diet — no ice-cream! no sweet treats! — is the ultimate misery.
The funny thing about this pregnancy is that despite the challenges, I’ve looked the best that I ever have, out of my three pregnancies. I’ve always looked wistfully at those Mums who barely look pregnant save for their bellies, and this time round, I get to be that Mum. Woohoo! It’s shallow but hey, cut this pregnant lady some slack. I’ve had no water retention and I’ve put on really little weight. Even at around 31 weeks, I had only put on about 7kg. Only my gynae has frowned and told me that I’m looking so thin that it seems like “the baby is sucking the life out of you“. Haha.
3. So are you having a boy or girl? Baby #3 is a BOY! Which every single person has guessed, thanks to my belly conforming to the popular old wives tale and being really, really pointed. I get a handful of strangers asking me everyday if I’m having a boy and they are always really pleased to hear that they are right!
4. Are the children excited about the new baby? Yes they are! The nice thing about this pregnancy is that my two older children are old enough to understand the concept of a new sibling and be excited about the new addition. Noey in particular has been really excited and looking forward to having a new sibling. There was a point early on when my gynae thought that we would be having a girl and although they both preferred a baby brother, Noey declared that he now wanted a sister since “she will be our baby.” It’s really sweet considering how he was really negative about Mei when I was expecting her. That’s the difference 6 years makes!
Mei has had the harder time of the two adjusting to the impending arrival. She’s extremely good with little kids, especially little E, my nephew, so I have confidence that she’ll be an awesome big sister. Still, it will be a change for her from being the youngest in the family, and there were a couple of times when she’s told me that she likes it being “just Gor gor and me” and once she asked me if we could “return baby once he’s born“. Her Papa and I are aware that she will need the extra attention after baby arrives.
5. Is baby going to have an “N” name? You know, the husband and I were prepared to choose a “non-N” name for baby, but the kids wouldn’t let us! That’s the thing about having older children — they want a say in naming the baby too! So on their insistence, baby is going to have an “N” name. Otherwise, he might have been named Luke (the husband’s first choice).
6. Are you all ready for baby’s arrival? To be honest, I think I’m a bit in denial about how different things will be. I mean, it’s just another baby and we’ve done this twice before. How hard can it be, right? Well, I’m about to find out.