Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top 10 Life Savers That Helped Me Survive the Pregnancy

Decided that I should write these down - serves as a reminder to myself (if I do get pregnant again!), also a record of what we have been through for the past 7 months. I'm 36 weeks pregnant - Brian seems to be enjoying his time in my tummy so with God's grace, looking forward to a smooth delivery and meet my full-term little boyfriend!

It hasn't exactly been the easiest pregnancy - thank God there wasn't any vomiting during first trimester, but the morning sickness (nausea and exhaustion) still knocked me over completely, left me completely unproductive, only capable of watching TV while being a couch potato.

Thought it would all be better during second trimester - but only managed to enjoy 2-3 weeks before the unbelievable allergy hit me - swollen face, burnt skin on arms and shoulders, sleepless nights cause of itch and pain, steroid pills - and it hit twice. End result? Strict diet without durian, seafood (except fish), dairy and eggs - leaving me relying heavily on supplements (will talk more about that later - no complaints cause I feel really good now, thanks to supplements).

So my real honeymoon started by the time we hit third trimester. Finally a working brain, able to eat-sleep-poop, mood totally uplifted - except the growing weight which is giving me other challenges.

Nonetheless - there are the top 10 life savers that have really helped me survive the pregnancy, made my life much easier and less painful.

1. Theraline - http://www.theraline.com/us/nursingpillows-original-theraline.htm

We bought this as we entered second trimester, recommended by friend. Back then sleeping still wasn't a huge problem, but as we progressed further with a bigger belly and it gets impossible to sleep in the back, this is a total life saver.

The micro beads are amazing - you can push and shove them into any shape, and once you rest your belly/arm/leg on them, they remain firm holding the weight. And it's light - we used to carry this with us whenever we traveled outstation. Get an extra cover so that you can change it out and wash it.

We found it at Mothercare - selling for RM 330 (we bought it with 10% discount).

2. Mini Slow Cooker

I used to cook dinner 4-5 times a week - we hardly eat out during dinner for the past 1 plus years until my morning sickness hit. And with my hopeless appetite and stamina, I resorted to cooking porridge using slow cooker - just chuck rice, a bit of carrot and minced meat (or no meat) inside, go back to couch-potato-ing or sleeping - 1.5 hours later you get a MSG-free lunch/dinner with minimal effort.

Of course later I used it to boil red dates water and red bean soup whenever I need iron-booster.

And we just ordered a confinement herbs set - the shop packs them into daily packets, my confinement aunty just need to chuck those herbs plus some lean meat into slow cooker, and I'll get my confinement soup everyday, according the needs during different stages of confinement.

3. Mini Clip-on Fan

We bought this for Brian - to be used on stroller, cot, car seat etc. But when power outage happened (3 times during pregnancy!), I decided to use it. That's how I managed to stay at home without electricity for 2 hours last week - I live on the 7th floor of a condominium, I'm not going down the stairs with my huge belly without hubby being around.

And another use? When toilet gets too warm and stuffy, I bring it along with me, haha...

4. IKEA Throw, Cushion and Chair Pad

They are so versatile! And cheap too! Especially the IKEA throw, I'm using 3 of them now - one as back support in my car, one as my blanket and the last one - cushion between my knees when I sleep.

And that black little chair pad - I bring one everywhere I go (including kopitiam), cause those solid chairs out there are all not very butt-friendly.

Slide the throw up and down - depending on where the ache is

See them everywhere on my bed?

5. Bra Extenders

This one don't need photo gua...

I'm currently using 2 extenders connected back to back - cause my boobs decided to suddenly swell over the past one week and I haven't got the chance to buy new bras. So ladies - standby several pieces of this at home - unless you want your hubby to do some emergency bra shopping on your behalf!

Note: bought new nursing bra - but somehow it shrank after wash! (Or my boobs gone bigger again?)

6. Inverter Air-cond

I'm practically under air-cond 24 hours a day now - and I foresee it'll be like that throughout the confinement, and it'll be necessary to keep Brian cosy.

Thanks to my landlord who decided to install inverter air-conds in all rooms and living room - at least our electricity bill didn't balloon out of control during the third trimester.

7. Moogoo!

When my swollen face was at it's worst - I looked like a balloon. You wouldn't be able to recognise me. And the skin was flaking off like nobody's business, leaving me in so much itch and pain that I couldn't sleep. I tried everything - Clinique moisturiser, virgin coconut oil, cold towels and etc - but nothing worked until I found Moogoo Full Cream moisturiser. Everything else (including VCO) has led to more redness on my skin.

Then when my arms started to burn and face started swelling again during the second allergy attack, I no longer panicked cause I knew Moogoo would work. At least it gave me enough relief and I could sleep. Combining Moogoo and Vitamin C - my second recovery took only 2 weeks, compared to 3-4 weeks during the first round.

Now I'm still using it - from face to feet. Definitely much cheaper than my Cellnique moisturiser, and I think it works better too.

8. Gym/Exercise Ball

Been planning to buy one for labour few months ago. Hubby did some shopping online and got me one - which I'm now using as my chair! It's the only chair that I don't feel sore sitting on - in fact it's so comfy that I'm getting another problem - I tend to sit on it for too long and it gets difficult to get up!

Will be bringing this ball with me during labour - when I told my gynae about it, he was so excited! He has heard about the benefits of it but has never tried it on his patients, so I'll be his voluntary white rat. (And he got even happier when I told him I'm happy to leave the ball behind for him.)

Get something burst-resistant!

9. Supplements

I will write a separate post on this - more detailed record on each of the supplements, why I started taking them and how my body reacted to them etc.

Been eating wild honey for 2 years - only caught flu once before pregnant, thanks to hubby!
I started with just Elevit (pregnancy multivitamin from Australia) before I got pregnant.
Then we added Folic Acid 5mg during first trimester.
Come 2nd trimester we added Neurogain (fish oil with higher DHA and lower EPA content).
By late 2nd trimester I started taking pure Calcium pills (1000mg).
Then sustained release Vitamin C to fight the allergy.
Soy protein powder cause I became allergic to dairy.
Probiotics to help with digestion, avoid constipation and keeping allergy at bay.

Allergic to my little boyfriend! (Nah - it was durian and dairy)

Note: one thing that my gynae prescribed but I stopped taking is the 100mg artificial iron supplement - it was too heaty/poisonous that I had constipation and mouth ulcers after taking it.

I'm popping between 12-15 pills/capsules/caplets a day.
But thanks to this complete regime of supplements - I have not caught any flu/cough for the past 3 months, no constipation (common among pregnant ladies), no leg cramps during sleep, very rare occurrence of dizziness, no excessive weight gain, no bleeding gum, minimal heartburn/indigestion - in fact I feel really good, except for the belly weight which makes me feel like a whale in the evenings. And one thing for sure - I don't feel that Brian is sucking nutrients away from my body, cause its all being replaced promptly.

Can't believe I'm taking so much supplements, haha...

10. Fellow Mummies, Brian and Hubby

And of course - totally wouldn't be able to survive this past 8 months without:

A group of supportive mummies who recently gave birth (or going to soon), who have walked through the path that I'm walking now, showered me with encouragements, useful knowledge, baby and mama clothes, and even frozen breast milk!

100% accommodating hubby who has to endure all the hormonal roller-coaster, crying and whining, wife at 5% functionality (no cooking, no cleaning, limited working, mushy brain half the time etc), footing all sorts of bills (medical, baby shopping, pregnancy tools, more expensive dinners - kopitiam too hot!) - well at least I voluntarily moved to another room, which gives him uninterrupted sleep!

And of all, I'm deeply grateful to the Lord for blessing me with a responsive, healthy and considerate baby. It's amazing how he could feel me and react towards my thoughts - he would kick when I start to worry, he would wriggle in my tummy when I'm stressed, and...

He gets very excited whenever I'm working or talking on the phone about work/business.
He loves to play with Brian Sr - kicking and punching him.
He sleeps when I sleep, play when I'm awake - which I'm super grateful for.
And for some unknown reason, he knows whenever I try to film him on my phone!

These 2 boys gave me the strength to endure all the pain/itch/discomfort, and they reminded me constantly of the wonderful journey of pregnancy that's coming to an end very soon.

Other useful tools:
11. Baby Plus - I believe this has helped Brian to develop a routine even before birth, more observation to come after birth, I'll try to write a review on this.
12. Pregger leggings - got one pair from H&M, been wearing it since 2nd trimester till now.
13. Mini boombox - used it to play classical music in bedroom before sleep, gonna bring it to labour suite for some good music.
14. Dayre - mini-blog app that I've been using for pregnancy journal.
15. TBAN - must join this FB group if you plan to breastfeed! This is where I learnt 80% of the BF and baby care knowledge that I have stored in my brain. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBreastfeedingAdvocatesNetwork/

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