Honeymoon Baby ♡

Our honeymoon baby will be here soon! (The anticipation is unbearable.) He will be born within our one year wedding anniversary (a “honeymoon baby”). ♡

The baby’s nursery is finally complete! Thank you to all our family and friends for our baby’s gifts, from diaper rash cream to nursery furniture, and everything in between.

We appreciate everyone for taking the time to come celebrate with us at our baby shower; especially those that traveled from afar, and those that sent gifts from afar too… but most importantly, a huge thank you to my in-laws (the Dr. and Mrs.) for spending the time and money to give us our lovely baby shower and baby’s gifts. We appreciate them so much for everything that they’ve done for us. They are the best parents, grandparents, and in-laws anyone can ever ask for. ♡

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Pregnancy Insomnia

I have not been able to have a good night’s sleep in months, but these last few weeks have been awful. Finding a comfortable position seems impossible, and I’ve been having really bad bouts of heartburn. I have either no energy or random spurts of energy, where I’m hanging up curtain rods and having detailed conversations with myself.

I am so fortunate to be able to be a housewife. My husband is an amazing husband and provider. I know what it’s like being a working mom, a single mom, and a single working pregnant mom… it’s a hard-knock life out there! I am so blessed to be able to “take it easy” for this pregnancy (even though I’ve been dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, perinatal appointments, etc.), I am well aware of how fortunate I am.

But I’m also in the last few weeks of pregnancy, where I’m at the “nesting” stage; spending ridiculous money on things like artificial silk flowers for the guest bathroom, and metal garden peacock décor for the front yard (what’s wrong with me!?)… I can’t stop online shopping, and I’m currently going through a binge… but I’m also at that stage where I am tired of being pregnant too.

I know some women love being pregnant, but I hate it, and I just want him out already… but time goes by so slow when you’re anticipating something.

Almost there …

My third trimester is starting, hooray!

I am not as nauseous and sick as I was before… now I only throw up occasionally.

The other day, I took my glucose screening test. The nurse asked me what I ate. I said I had McDonald’s with a Powerade. She said, Are you sure you want to take the test? Because if it comes back high, you’ll have to fast and take the 4 hour test. I should have listened.

I hate going on post because I always get lost. I figured since I was there, I’d take it anyway, despite the Powerade — I was confident that since I usually eat healthy anyway, the McDonald’s wouldn’t make a difference. I was wrong.

The doctor called to tell me that my glucose screening test was high, and that I had to take the glucose tolerance test instead.

So I got lost driving for like 45 minutes, made it in there after 8:30-ish, and didn’t eat anything since the night before. The nurses said, We told you to take it another day instead! (This is true, I remembered for my son and daughter, I had taken it in the morning and had not had anything to eat or drink before taking it.)

They took my blood, and then I had to wait about an hour before they gave me that super sugary drink that tastes like Kool-Aid. After that, another hour for my first blood draw, and an hour after that, and the last hour after that (1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours intervals). I finally left a few minutes after noon. I hadn’t eaten all day either (and they took so much blood!).

Of course, my results were fine. (I mean really, I’m like almost 7 months pregnant and only weigh 125 lbs.! I knew I didn’t have gestational diabetes!)

I had a non-invasive genetic screening test done in November. Surprisingly, Tricare paid for the whole thing! (A lot of insurance companies won’t.) I had went to a civilian perinatologist for it. They had 3D/4D ultrasound capabilities and a genetic counselor on site. Tricare paid for it because my regular OB/GYN had deemed I was an “at-risk pregnancy”, so I was given a blanket authorization for all services (including testing) from the perinatologist.

I was worried about chromosomal abnormalities, especially since a woman’s chances of a baby with Down syndrome is 1 out of 350 at 35, and the ratio gets even slimmer with maternal age. My screening came back low-risk; but I was informed that a screening test is NOT the same as a diagnostic test. I did not want an amnio or a CVS since there is a risk of miscarriage with both tests.

However, my baby has two soft markers that I am worried about, at my second trimester ultrasound, an EIF and a short femur. I was told that the soft markers shouldn’t be a cause of concern because one, I am short; and two, EIF are somewhat common in babies whose mothers are Asian. I usually follow-up on these conversations with the fact that my father-in-law is a pediatrician. (Seriously though, how wonderful is it to have a father-in-law who is a pediatrician, especially when you’re pregnant!)

How wonderful would it be if Grandpa could be the baby’s pediatrician, am I right? I had actually asked my hubby if his dad was his pediatrician, and surprisingly he said no… I supposed it would be unethical to have your own children as your patients though. (Although my hubby’s pediatrician did come to our wedding; he works at the same clinic as my father-in-law.)

But I had loved my son’s pediatrician and my OB/GYN in NYC. He delivered my baby instead of some random doctor on-call in the labor ward; and my pediatrician came to the hospital to check my baby (again, instead of some random doctor that was on-call duty at the hospital). For my daughter, her pediatrician in NC was actually in the delivery room with me! After my doctor delivered her, her pediatrician whisked her off with her father to check her.

That’s one thing that I worry about… this will be my first time having a delivery at a military hospital. So I know that I will end up with whoever the doctor on-call is, which makes it very impersonal; the same for the pediatrician… and some Army hospitals don’t even have a pediatrician on-site, you just see a primary care “physician” instead (who sometimes isn’t even an actual medical doctor, but an advanced practice registered nurse instead). Like, my PCP is actually a FNP (family nurse practitioner), and not a MD.

Anyway… I guess I’m just praying that whoever delivers my baby isn’t some newbie on the job getting his feet wet for experience.

Baby Bump & Beach-Wear

I actually started blogging in 2008, when I had an infant, was working full-time, and being a single mom. Blogging was great, I even felt like a mini-celebrity for a while.

That’s how I transitioned to writing product reviews on Amazon; it started with getting all these coupons from the American Baby magazine publication — and because I lived in NYC, I got to enjoy all their trade shows and other big events from baby companies.

I figured since I still have a few (long) months to go, and being a housewife is so tedious, I’d write more in-depth about my pregnancy. Even though I’m a housewife now, I did work while I was pregnant, and under very stressful circumstances.

Now, you might hear of some women who love being pregnant. They have that pregnancy “glow”, great skin and hair, and never get sick — that’s not me. Although, with my daughter, it wasn’t nearly as bad (that was actually how I knew this baby would be a boy). I got very sick with my first baby, a boy. My hair also looked like a dried up mess… actually, I kind of looked like I fell out of a tree for 9 months. (I did have very nice hair and skin while I was pregnant with Ava though.)

I will say this, even though my pregnancy was miserable, I had some awesome post-partum changes, which I felt made up for the 9 months of misery — especially since, unlike the pregnancy changes, these were permanent.

Now, you might hear that some women get bigger feet, varicose veins, moles, stretch marks, etc. — I was very proud of the fact that I left the hospital in my size 3 jeans… both times.

But, that’s not to say I didn’t have unhappy body changes too! And to make you feel better, a break down of all the good (and bad) changes that happened — but remember, every woman is different, so don’t compare.

After Ollie was born, I noticed I had stretch marks on my butt and hips — although they weren’t very noticeable. (I was fortunate that they weren’t the purple-ish or blue-ish marks that some women get.) Really, I still wore a bikini even after my second was born, in fact:

Two fat babies later…

I would say that my C-section scar from Ava is way worse than any stretch marks, and you’d have to have your face right up to my ass to see the stretch marks (and the only person who has his face in my ass is my hubby, ha!).

I was petite before pregnancy, and didn’t gain much during pregnancy either; so although the skin did stretch, it isn’t very noticeable. (We are always our own worse critic though.) To help if you’re worried about getting the deep purple stretch marks because you’ve gained more weight than you wanted or expected, I hear lotion works wonder for helping to loosen up the skin. I personally never used it because during pregnancy my skin is very prone to acne, but if you don’t have pregnancy acne, then Palmer’s Cocoa Butter oil really makes your skin very soft.

I don’t really care about bikinis anymore now though, since I’m at that age where I just don’t feel I should — I mean, I’ve also stopped wearing crop-tops at 18, mini-skirts at 25, and anything leather at 21 too… but, I did still cared about wearing a bikini all the way until I was 31; at 34 I started wearing a one-piece:

I actually bought this bathing suit to wear for my honeymoon; at 34, I felt my bikini days belonged with my crop-tops and mini-skirts.

So don’t believe for definite that having a baby means not being able to wear a bikini again, or that you’ll lose your beach body — just look to the above photos as proof that every woman is different. Like I said, those pictures were  after TWO babies (oh, and just in case you’re wondering: one was 8 pounds, and the other was 7.5 pounds; so they weren’t small babies either!).

Now, my feet didn’t get bigger with either pregnancy, and I didn’t get any spider veins or varicose veins, but my nose did get wider when I was pregnant with Ava. People think I’m crazy, but these are subtle changes that only you would realize — because let’s be real, no one else is going to realize that you’re wearing size 6.5 shoes instead of a 6, right? As stated, these are subtle changes, I’m not talking Michael Jackson nose change… but unfortunately, it was a permanent change (I’d rather have bigger feet if given a choice!).

After my daughter was born, my hair was also falling out in clumps. Seriously, I felt I was going bald! The opposite with my boy; I had stringy hair during pregnancy, and nice hair afterwards. Both conditions were temporary for me; but many women do experience significant hair loss postpartum though, and a lot of it is hormones and hereditary causes.

This is going to sound super bizarre… but I had very nice teeth during my girl pregnancy.

The boobs… I never had big boobs to begin with, and even after both pregnancy, they stayed perky! Evidence (excuse my lobster tan):

Sagging may be a concern for women with big breasts though, as the skin on the breasts stretch A LOT during pregnancy, and even afterwards, as milk fills up the breasts.

Big breasted women will probably see some degree of sagging, but that’s to be expected — I mean, it’s the law of gravity; which is why I kind of like having small boobs, they stay perky! (If you’re a big breasted woman, there’s nothing a good bra can’t hold up!)

I had a vaginal birth with my son, and it actually helped a lot with menstrual cramps. My periods used to last for like 8 days; even on the 10th day my underwear would be stained with dried up blood that was still making its way out of the cervix. After my son, I only had cramps for the first two days, and my period was over by the 7th day; and the bleeding was only heavy the first two days — before, I used to get terrible blot clots with extremely heavy bleeding for like 5 days before the bleeding got lighter by the 6th or 7th day!

I had terrible acne with my boy pregnancy, I had very nice skin with my girl. I’d get these pimples on my chin, jawline, or my cheeks — like I was a teenager all over again! My skin is also super dry during my boy pregnancy; but I think it’s because I get so dehydrated from throwing up all the time.

With my first two pregnancies, I actually realized I was pregnant because I had a yeast infection both times. Ewww, I know — but pregnancy is kind of disgusting, if women are actually being honest about it.

I really want to be blunt about it, because I was 24 when I got pregnant the first time, and the smartphone hadn’t made its way into the US market yet; and because I think that so many women are just embarrassed by so many things during pregnancy that they don’t know what’s normal or not, or are afraid to bring it up to their doctor… and because I don’t want you to use Wikipedia as a diagnosis.

But the yeast infection wasn’t even the worse; I had these heavy vaginal discharges with my boy pregnancy, that I seriously wondered if something was wrong. It’s called leukorrhea, and it’s similar to the regular vaginal secretion that every woman gets, even non-pregnant women (ALL you women know exactly what I’m talking about too, so don’t pretend or deny!) — during ovulation, you produce more of it than at other times of your cycle; but during pregnancy, there’s an abundance of it! When you’re not pregnant, you might notice it while wiping, or during ovulation when you can actually feel that mucus-like glob ruining your underwear… but during pregnancy, it’s always there, and so much of it too!

But even that’s not as bad as when the baby gets bigger and presses up against your diaphragm making it hard to breathe easily, or when he pushes down on your bladder — which can cause you to leak urine when you sneeze or cough; this is especially problematic with petite women carrying big babies!

So these are MY good and bad pregnancy related body changes; so if you’re going through some of it yourself, don’t despair; or if you’re having completely different changes, know that many woman out there will share a similar (if not exact) change as you too. A lot of these changes are subtle and only noticeable to ourselves; and sure some of these changes are very noticeable too… I had a girlfriend whose body got completely “ruined” (yes, big purple stretch marks all over the place, and worse); but honestly, most women don’t care once their baby is born… and need I remind you, everyone gets old and wrinkles, less hair, less attractive each year; I mean, even Cher would feel silly at her age wearing a thong! But, at least you’ll have children who hopefully loves you and won’t stick you in a nursing home when you’re senile (hey, I’m just being realistic, have you watched the news!?).

The most exciting part is the last trimester, when you can physically see the baby moving just by looking at your belly — for you first time moms, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get to those last months! Hang in there. ♡

I’m dying!!! …

I’m dying!!! …

Okay, those that know me, know that I say that statement just about every day — my hubby said I’ve been dying since the day he’s met me.

I have a kidney infection, people!

It started as an untreated UTI because I thought my symptoms were all just pregnancy related; when my infection was finally diagnosed through a urine culture after at least a month of having the urinary symptoms, the doctor probably assumed it was an uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (in the bladder). He prescribed me a week of Macrobid, which would have treated it effectively if it was still a UTI, but the bacteria has had enough time to spread to the kidney(s).

The doctor wasn’t available to see me, and instead I saw a midwife. The more I tried to explain my symptoms, the more it seemed as if she was trying to tell me otherwise — so I pulled out the my-father-in-law-is-a-doctor card (ha!). I told her that the Dr. had said that my symptoms are a kidney infection and that Macrobid wouldn’t work for it. (The Dr. and Mrs. are actually out of the country on their annual spiritual vacation… but the “card” worked.)

I think sometimes people in the medical field are a bit condescending because they believe what they think is right as opposed to actually listening to the patient… (I could have said I wanted to see a real doctor instead of a midwife or nurse practitioner, but it’s like telling a security guard or meter-maid that they’re just wanna-be cops).

Well, after I dropped that card, she seemed more susceptible to what I was telling her about my symptoms. So I got a shot of Rocephin in my left butt cheek (which is a very strong antibiotic)… I’m starting to get paranoid about the baby, but Google is a nightmare when you are medically concerned — you start looking things up, and then you’re convinced you have penile cancer even though you’re a woman.

Afterwards, she prescribed me 270 pills of cephalexin (500mg)… seriously, 270 pills of it! I guess I’m covered for UTI infections for a while, so I’m not complaining — but I am concerned about the antibiotics and the baby though.

On a happy note, I saw the baby today! ♡

It wasn’t an official prenatal exam, but since my symptoms consisted of lower back pains, chills and shaking, and all that other I’m dying!!! symptoms; she wanted to do a vital exam on the baby. I had a vaginal ultrasound done… I saw my little jellybean and heard the heartbeat. Right now the baby looks like an ink blot. ♡

First month: nauseous, vomiting, everything has a stinky smell to it (the kitchen is the worse, it always smells so bad to me, even foods that I used to love now smells awful); sleepy, moody, cranky, do NOT want sex (shop is closed for business — my poor hubby); constant thirsty feeling, yucky feeling in my mouth.

My other symptoms are in conjunction with my kidney infection: cloudy, dark urine (it also had a terribly strong odor), lower back pain (specific to my kidney area), frequent urination and feeling of incomplete bladder emptying; sporadic chills and shaking, especially at night.

I’ve been craving dried fish with peanut congee (unfortunately the closest legit Chinese restaurant is in Atlanta, so I’ll have to wait until I go home for it), and of course dim sum (specifically steamed shrimp dumplings, shrimp noodle rolls, and sticky fried rice… omg, I’m salivating — I miss home so much!).

Well, that’s what I’m craving, but what I’m eating (and able to hold down) is lemonade, lemon water, pretzel, jello, yogurt, and fruit bowls. My poor baby.

Happy Mother’s Day ♡

Happy Mother’s Day to me! ♡

Pictured is my annual Mother’s Day bouquet. No filter by the way, my bouquet really is this lovely; some of the flowers are still budding, but will open in a few days… I just noticed the flower-pick looks like the Twitter bird, ha!

And a huge congratulations to my SIL for earning her second master degree; she now has a master in nursing (besides from her first master in theology). We are all so proud of her. ♡

Goodbye to the Pony

I think every woman’s goal when she meets a man is to get him on to her spider web. Ha!

Well, my man is definitely all tangled up in my web! Not only am I unbelievably spoiled rotten by him (I mean, I did choose my own obnoxiously priced engagement ring), but since the first day I met him, I’ve been working on removing every last bit of single-free-manhood from him (insert devious, sinister laughter) — my wonderful manly grunt drives the very symbolism of man, a Mustang.

So he’s a gym rat, and every time I call him he’s either running or lifting, at the gym, or playing on his Xbox (man-child!)… I can deal with certain Peter Pan syndromes in a grown man… but the Mustang, no.

There are only 3 types of men who drives around in performance cars — ridiculously rich men, men going through a mid-life crisis, and bachelors. Because no young man under 50 with a two-door car has a wife and kids waiting for him at home… how’s he going to put a car seat in something like that anyway!?

The mister did not want to get rid of the pony. He bought it brand new and it’s only four years old. It only has 30,000 miles on it, practically a showroom demo car with that low of a mileage; but lately I’ve been crocheting baby blankets for our non-existent baby because my baby fever has been through the roof.

He called me on Skype this morning and while we were talking he asked me what car he should get next. My man-child is trading in his Mustang for a much needed SUV for our little growing family. I said Jeep since it’s a very affordable line of SUVs, but he likes the Ford Explorer instead… one victory at a time, I suppose.

I think every man wants to hold on to being single forever, it’s like their dream of being a space cowboy or something. But eventually they fall in love with a woman and do boring things like get a 401K, and trade in their coupes for a vehicle that can seat 7 people and/or has a 60/40 split seating cargo option. I love him so much for always doing everything he can to make me happy… including putting away his space cowboy ideas.