Christmas is in the Neighbourhood

Is everyone in a Christmasy mood yet?

I've just given out my first few rounds of Christmas pressies. Doing this always puts me in a warm glowy mood.

Roboman and I will be cooking a Christmas dinner for the family this Saturday, and we'll be joining some close friends for a house gathering on Christmas night. I really do look forward to this weekend.

One of our lovely neighbours left adorable Christmas ornaments on the doors of our homes. Each has a personal message written on the back. Isn't this such a simple but sweet idea? Our whole floor looks pretty with this little neighbourly touch. Bubbles says hello to the ornaments each time she sees them, and informs us (almost every single time) that they are still there.

I hope you're having a wonderful couple of days leading up to Christmas, and that it will be a season where you and your family are swath in love of the people most important to you.

We will be remembering the birth of Jesus with thanksgiving for the hope and love brought to this world.

Baby-inspired Conversations

Besides the initial ‘Why the baby cannot come out?’ question, I’ve been enjoying getting to know my little 2-year-old Bubbles more through the questions and comments she has put forth about her upcoming baby sibling. They really make me wonder what else could be stirring in that little brain of hers!

First of all, she used to say that the baby is in ‘Mummy’s stomach’. I’ve since taught her that the baby is in my womb. She has also suddenly developed a keen interest in looking at photos of herself as a baby. As we looked through her baby photos (countless times), I took the opportunity to explain terms like umbilical cord and breastfeeding, and draw attention to fun things like how tiny her toes were. I also introduced the concept of her being an older sister (jie jie), by pointing out other kids she knows who have younger siblings. She seems to have taken very well to the idea of being a jie jie!

Here’re a few memorable things Bubbles has said about Bun, or about babies in general. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed hearing them first-hand!

Mummy, I want to talk to the baby!
Moves my arms away so that my belly is not blocked.
She shouts to my belly. (She always raises her voice when talking directly to my belly)
Holds up her most prized possession to my belly – a squashed little bolster.
She waits a while and asks:
Mummy, what is the baby saying??

Mummy, why babies cannot walk?
That’s because they are not strong enough to walk my dear.
When you were a baby, you couldn’t walk either and had to be carried.

A couple of days later:
Mummy, can you buy a stroller for my baby doll?
Because she is a baby and cannot walk. I NEED a stroller.
(Guess what she’s getting for Christmas?)

Mummy, when the baby comes out I will tickle the baby’s ears.
Then the baby with laugh and laugh.

Mummy, when the baby is born then the baby will sit on your lap then I will play with the baby and the baby will be SOOO happy.

I come home from work one day and she reaches out both hands to stroke my belly.
Hello baby. Sayang, sayang.
Kisses my belly.

She comes to my room one day and sees me lying on my back hugging a big pillow.
Mummy! You are hurting the baby!
Motions for me to remove the pillow from my belly.

In the car, she suddenly said:
Mummy, I want you to breastfeed the baby.
Yes dear, I will when the baby is born.
Now, Mummy, now!
(This led to a lengthy discussion about how Bun is receiving nutrients from me through the umbilical cord.)

2 conversations stood out as most memorable because they happened when I was putting her to bed. I had turned off the lights, and she was already on her side hugging her bolster and sucking her thumb:

Before bed 1:
She suddenly flips over.
Mummy, I want to talk!
Huh? (a tad concerned) Okay, what do you want to talk about?
WHO put the baby in your womb?
Oh (taken aback) God put the baby in my womb, my dear.
Well, God gave me my 1st baby, that is you, and now He is giving us another baby. Just like He gave Por Por 2 babies – Mummy and Yi Yi, and He gave Ah Ma 3 babies – Daddy, Tua Pek and Tua Gor.
she nodded, flips back to her side and sucks her thumb to sleep.

Phew. I’m not ready to talk about birds and the bees with a 2-year-old!

Before bed 2:
She earnestly calls for me in the dark.
Yes? I drearily said, wishing she would just sleep already.
Did you get a Bumbo seat for the baby?
I was immediately alert, surprised that she remembered the Bumbo seat I borrowed for her
and have since returned to a friend.
Erm, no I haven’t. I’ll need to borrow it from someone.
Yes Mummy, you MUST borrow it from someone.
Do you think the baby would like a Bumbo seat?

That’s it for now folks, the conversations that brought smiles and giggles the last few difficult weeks =)

By the way, I'm now 16 weeks into my pregnancy! Am still -1kg from pre-pregnancy weight though, so many people have commented that I look slimmer (when they don't notice my tummy). Pregnancy has by far been my most effective weight loss programme. Ahem.

A Toddler's Reaction to a New Baby

Many people have asked me if Bubbles knows about Bun, and if so, how her reaction has been.

I decided to tell Bubbles really early on about her soon-to-be new sibling. In fact, she was the 2nd person I told after Roboman! She reacted with a question: ‘Why the baby cannot come out, Mummy?!’
She has since asked many questions and talked a lot about Bun. I’m glad I made the decision to share the news with her so early, as this piece of information obviously interests her very much, and thoughts about it are constantly brewing in that little head of hers. I’m hoping this gives her enough time to get used to the idea, and subsequently better accept her new sibling, and the new status of no longer being an only child (and grandchild).

We took her to my very first gynae visit, where Roboman carried her up to see the scan of the foetus. In the 2 weeks that followed, she suddenly became very unfriendly to other younger kids/babies, and acted out violent behaviour on her little baby doll. I was slightly shocked although I understood that she was dealing with feelings that were unfamiliar to her. She would squeeze her baby doll’s head, or poke the eyes, while keeping a lookout for my reaction. Each time she did it, I could sense that she was confused by her own feelings, like she didn’t know why she was doing what she did!

I would ask her: Would you like it if someone squeezes your head/pokes your eyes? She would immediately say No. Sometimes I would ask: How would you feel if someone does that to you? She would pause and reply Sad, or Bad. She would then stop what she was doing.

Once, alarmingly for me, she suddenly poked my stomach and said: I poke poke poke the baby and the baby will cry and cry. Thankfully this only happened that one time.

I suspect her acting out was partly because I couldn’t give her much attention those 2 weeks as well. She was dealing with the uncomfortable new feelings while having to handle Mummy being bed-bound, and unable to carry or entertain her. I was thus very careful never to tell her that I couldn’t do anything because of Bun. I would give other truthful reasons like being dizzy, or having a backache.

We are very thankful now that those ‘violent behaviour’ moments have now dwindled and are few and far in between. Instead, it has been replaced with the most interesting questions, and sometimes really sweet thoughts that she has been sharing regularly with me.

I will write about these in an upcoming post :)

A Threatened Miscarriage

When I found out I was preggers, I was excited to share the news with everyone. 'After my 1st gynae visit and scan' I told myself.

At around 7 weeks, Roboman and Bubbles accompanied me to the gynae. It was a happy occasion as we heard a good, steady heartbeat. The Bun was then only 3.3cm in length.

Unfortunately things went downhill from that very evening, without me quite knowing it. I was spotting before I went to bed. I didn't worry much though, as I also experienced some spotting during my 1st pregnancy. I went to bed, woke up the next day (a Sunday), prepped Bubbles' lunch to take along, and we all headed off to church.

Halfway through service, I felt my tummy area cramp up a couple of times. I thought it strange, and tried to adjust my sitting position. The cramps kept coming, but weren't really painful. Just another pregnancy discomfort, I thought. After service though, I was a little shocked when I went to the toilet. I realised I had bled fresh blood. But would you believe it, as it wasn't a lot of blood, I still told myself that it is ok.

I was starving (my morning sickness had not started then), so we all headed off to lunch. During the meal though, was when I really got worried. The cramps kept coming, and this time they were stronger and actually painful. My lower back hurt as well, which sent alarm bells off in my head, as it reminded me of the labour pains I endured when I was carrying Bubbles.

Roboman immediately sent me to the hospital where my gynae is based, and I was warded that very day. My doctor put me on complete bedrest. Don't walk unless you need to go to the toilet! I was told. I was also put on a hormone pill and monitored a couple of times in a day.
Thinking back, I am incredibly grateful that my little Bun was alright, and shiver at the thought of what could have been. I thank God for protecting the little one. I was on bedrest for around 2 weeks. It was a miserable time, as my morning sickness set in around then, and I suffered from horrible dizzy spells. This dizziness I've been experiencing truly is a mark of this 2nd pregnancy, as I never experienced it with my 1st. This meant that I truly was stuck to my bed almost the entire time, and the feeling of being on a rocking boat didn't go away even when I was lying down! There was no way I could access a computer without feeling sick, although I thankfully could surf the Net a little on my phone for short spans of time.

I am so grateful that my parents, my sis, and a dear friend came by everyday so that I was never alone with the Bubs. I was not able to manage her on my own at all, and the poor girl had to accept a Mummy that was forever lying down and not able to carry her. (She was very sweet though and 'cooked' food for me as I was - in her words - dizzy and had a backache). I felt really helpless.

The weeks that followed were nightmare ones as well. I won't elaborate but basically this is what happened:
- Roboman and I fell really ill with a full-blown flu that took a long time to go away. We had to place Bubbles at my parents' place for an entire week.
- Bubbles had a bad eczema outbreak that I had to help sort out
- Bubbles fell ill with a different bout of flu
- I caught her flu and fell ill again

The Bubs and I are both still recovering. Roboman is trying his best not to fall ill the 2nd time. At one point I counted that we were at the PD 4 times, the gynae and GP one time each, all in a span of 2 weeks. It was horrible.

We're praying that this bout will pass soon enough so that we can all enjoy Christmas with healthy bodies.

For the Bun, I'm thankful again that indeed:
"...children are a gift of the LORD..." Psalm 127:3
We will continue to trust Him!

A Lil' Announcement

Hey, hey, hey :)

Yes folks, you're not seeing things - there is a little bun in the oven. Our second baby, quite a surprise gift. We're very happy and grateful.

We didn't expect this gift to come so soon. In fact, to be honest, I discovered I was expecting through a home pregnancy test kit when I was drafting this post. I couldn't believe that I actually was pregnant when I was thinking about writing the post. Roboman was surprised too as it was a super stressful and busy few weeks for me then. I therefore took the test twice on different days to be sure. 

Things however, hasn't been smooth sailing for me at all the last 2 months or so. I've been warded and gone in and out of doctors' clinics. The past few weeks has been an awful blur of discomfort and pain. It has been really tough on not just me, but on the family - my pillar of support.

I will share more in my next few posts, which will give everyone a better idea why I disappeared from this space.

I must apologise to my blog sponsors for MIA-ing, as I just couldn't muster up energy to properly clear my emails. I will get back to each of you as soon as I can.

Sorry too to some of you who asked about me early on, and I wasn't able to give satisfactory answers. I was just too down during that period, and didn't want to talk about my pregnancy.

Thank you to all who sent me messages to ask how I was doing. I was really touched by every single one, and truly appreciate your thoughts.

I'm back. Slowly but surely :)