The day before we met you

One week ago today (Sept.28 th) Per and I were ready to get the DB ferry bound to Central as we had the two Hospital appointments at Queen Mary at 2pm that same afternoon…Little we knew it was going to be one of the longest and most emotionally draining afternoons of our lives.

These appointments were made back in the beginning of September (6th or 8th) when we visited the Dr. at the hospital and we decided to book for the C-section date (i had 2 previous c-sections so this birth had to be through another c-section). On that day (beginning of September), we agreed in booking the c-section for September 29th – 2 days before the Official Due Date – October 1st.

 As we were approaching the Hong Kong Island, I knew more then ever that I was not ready to meet the Baby the next day. I was very committed to change the Birth Day to the 4th of October – considering the Hospital just perform elective c-sections on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 1st and 2nd were PH, 3rd was a Tuesday so the only possible date would be the 4th of October – a Wednesday.

 Well, we saw the Anesthetist 1st followed by a Dr. consultation. Loads of explanation and papers to read and to sign were given to us exactly because it was the eve of the operation. The more they explained to me, the more I knew I wanted to hold this Baby in as much longer as possible because i knew i did not want to go through everything i been through when Maya was born. 

As I spoke to the 2nd Dr. and explained my concerns for the billionth time, I actually got happy with the suggestion she gave us. Talking to the Surgeon – She told us we had to go to K9 and wait a bit for the him/her…

There we went, Me my Bump, my Husband and my hopes.

We made ourselves to K9 which is actually the Department of Gynecologist and Obstetrics of Queen Mary’s Hospital, the place where me, you and other hundreds and thousands of women gave birth and hundreds and thousands of husbands/partners/parents/ family members waited impatiently for news and the exit of the beloved wife/gf/partner with the newborn Baby. On that floor, you have the labour rooms, the operation theatre, the triage rooms and beds were women in labour have to wait until they are ready to give birth. It was surprisingly calm!!

It was the 1st live experience we had with the real scenario…I got happy to see and experience it. We saw women arriving in labor with their anxious partners, we saw women in labour, we saw women in pain, we saw women that thought they were in labour, we saw women that were prepped for giving birth – either vaginally or by csection. It was a very real moment for all of us…but again, everybody was so calm and silent.

Minutes turned into long minutes and long minutes turned into hours…hours turned into 4 to 5 hours all together…until finally a Dr…Dr.Jon came to us (she just finished performing an emergency c-section hence the delay).

During the wait, i had endless talks with my Husband, we had to make final decisions We were exhausted, i had a massive headache, i just could not think anymore. At that moment i already have spoken to my midwife to hear her opinion. I was soo sure i wanted the baby out on Wednesday, and i knew i could do it too. Hubby was totally on the Doctors side…Have the Baby tomorrow.

As we spoke with the Dr. and after she express her concerns – me going into labour and the risk of an emergency c-section instead of a planned one, we finally agreed on pushing it to Wednesday. I got happy. At that point, another Doctor have joined the conversation and also heard me carefully and got my point. I was extremely impressed and surprised with the Doctors patience, calmness and support. No matter what, it made me very relaxed and confident that no matter the Day the Baby was going to be born, i was in good hands.

Dr. Jon was booking my c-section on the computer, for Wednesday the 4th when suddenly all hopes and efforts had gone through the window. The was no spot for me on Wednesday, I got so anxious that i could not fight anymore, i got emotional but managed to hold the tears…No matter what, i knew that i was going to meet my Baby the next day, and that gave me comfort and an unexpected peace. I know that i have tried till the end and knew i was in good hands too….The only date available for my operation was Friday, and that was definitely pushing it to the limit. I couldn’t do that.

“Let’s do it like this” – said the Dr. that came earlier to support Dr. Jon’s opinion – “it have been an intense day, go home, don’t think about it anymore and just do it as if you were coming to the operation tomorrow. Fast from 00, take you first pill at 23 and the other at 7am. Have your bag and documents ready and be here at 7 am as per the schedule. Either call us before 7 or just be here at 7 and let us know what you decided. If you want to postpone the surgery or if you are going through with the schedule. Is up to you to decide, just let us know”. I was impressed with the attitude once again. I was not expecting such caring and compassion from their side. They were great…Like he said, either way, no matter what I choose, they will be there to help me to deliver the Baby safely.

Both Per and I dragged ourselves to DB. Guess we were not home before 20pm…Girls were sleeping already and all I could do was stare at the walls and rub the tummy for the very last moments before going to sleep. I think I had a croissant and plenty of water. Our alarm clocks had to ring at 4.30am in order to get ready and leave the house at 5.45 so we wouldn’t be late for the 6 o’clock ferry. The helper was home just before 5.30.

Forget the sleep that night…I was up at 3.30am, still with a few doubts in my mind…Per was yet to hear the “let’s do it”…This was a very personal choice that nobody could interfere actually…just Per and I…I was still talking to Alba and Duarte (my sister in law and my brother) that because of the time difference were still awake. I was still so confused and tired of thinking, debating and arguing with myself and Per, that at 4.50 (less then an hour before we had to leave home and right at the time I needed to start getting ready I said: “ok, let’s do it, let’s have the Baby today”.

(this post was written 1 week after Baby Silke was born).

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Big No No’S when Pregnant

What do avoid during pregnancy

  • Alcohol. Alcohol has been linked to premature delivery, mental retardation, birth defects, and low birth weight babies
  • Avoid drugs and smoking. Babies born to mothers who smoke weigh less on average. Doctors suspect the lower birth weight is due to restricted blood flow, which may also impair the passage of nutrients through the placenta to the baby. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke that enters the mother’s bloodstream also reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the uterus. For these reasons, doctors advise pregnant women to also steer clear of secondhand smoke
  • Limit your pills and medication intake unless supported by your doctor
  • Limit caffeine to no more than 200 mg per day. The caffeine content in various drinks depends on the beans or leaves used and how it was prepared. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine on average while black tea has typically about 80 mg. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30-60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine — the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.
  • The use of saccharin is strongly discouraged during pregnancy because it can cross the placenta and may remain in fetal tissues. But, the use of other non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners is acceptable during pregnancy like Equal or NutraSweet. These sweeteners are considered safe in moderation so is better to talk with your health care provider about how much non-nutritive sweetener is acceptable during pregnancy
  • Decrease the total amount of fat you eat to 30% or less of your total daily calories. For a person eating 2000 calories a day, this would be 65 grams of fat or less per day.
  • Limit cholesterol intake to 300 mg or less per day.
  • Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish (also called white snapper), because they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. These cheeses are often unpasteurized and may cause Listeria infection. There’s no need to avoid hard cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt. 
  • Avoid raw fish, especially shellfish like oysters and clams and sashimi.
  • Do not diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy — both you and your baby need the proper nutrients in order to be healthy. Keep in mind that you will lose some weight the first week your baby is born.
  • Avoid Packaged ramen noodles. These quick-cooking noodles are packed with salt, fat, and little else.
  • Avoid Soda. If you fill up on empty calories and sugar, you won’t have any room for more nutritious drinks. Low-fat milk, Vegan milk, water, and juice are better choices.
  • Avoid Shelf-stable commercial lunches. Preservatives, salt, and fat make most of them a poor choice. There are some okay packaged lunch options out there, though, so check the labels!
  • Avoid too many frozen prepared meals. There are some good choices out there, but many have high amounts of salt and fat. If you can’t avoid the occasional frozen meal, look for organic brands that are low in salt and fat.
  • Avoid Iceberg lettuce. When it comes to lettuce, choose greens, such as romaine, that are full of fiber, A and C vitamins, folic acid, calcium and potassium. Iceberg lettuce has only trace amounts of these nutrients.
  • Avoid or limit Spicy Foods: Such foods can cause complications for the mother, such as heartburn and acid reflux. This occurs more frequently in pregnant women because hormones released during pregnancy relax muscles in the digestive tract, allowing the stomach acids to rise more easily into the oesophagus, especially when lying down

                If you have any problems that prevent you from eating balanced meals and gaining weight properly, you should ask your doctor for advice. 

Herbal Support during Pregnancy: Pregnancy is not the time for a woman to start experimenting with herbal remedies. Herbs and herbal concoctions can exhibit powerful influence in a person’s body; a developing fetus can be even more directly (and negatively) affected.

EDD: October 1st 2017

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It’s amazing how early on your body gives you the signs that you might be pregnant. Some even know before they took the pregnancy test.

Some feel nothing and just realize they are pregnant after the missed period. Funny enough, one of the most common early pregnancy signs is the changes in your body, mainly the boobies…

January 2017 came and so did a few symptoms that made me think that something was going on – but never thought about the idea of being 4 weeks pregnant already.

Drinks, laughs, yummy food, good mood and good company set the mood for that Saturday night. It was the first time we were inviting our neighbors to our house. The party did not finished too late and i knew we did not have drunk that much to be feel absolutely miserable the next day. I have counted endless times the amount of wine bottles we have opened and I could swear I have indulged way more in previous parties/dinners and never felt as close to what I was feeling that Sunday – extremely bizarre I thought. I have spent that day hydrating myself with Ginger Ale and Orange Juice and it seemed like I could not keep it for to long… – endless trips to the washroom – if you know what I mean.

Not to mention the headache OMG!!That headache that you think your eyeballs are about to jump out at any minute…I did not want to admit that this was a combination of hangover symptoms…so for me, the headache was associated with the water Lily’s fragrance…but I never had a strong reaction to these flowers either.

At the end of the day as I was ironing Per’s shirt, I felt weak…not dizzy (as I felt before I knew I was pregnant with Sienna) but It felt like I was walking on clouds…and I had to stop and call it a day – I went to bed just after another trip to the toilet…

On Monday I realized my period was supposed to come that Saturday, and yes, I have been experiencing PMS symptoms as per normal including a lot of cramping but decided to purchase an OTC pregnancy test any way to rule out the possibility of being pregnant and just assume I was late because of stress, hormonal change due to a change of lifestyle.

Not giving too much importance, I did the test and came out Negative…weird I thought but accepted well, discarded the test in the bin and went for a run.

The cramps continued and so did my PMS – including sore breasts for a few days…Sore breasts came and went…but kept bothering me a bit specially on the right side…When I finally reached the 5th day of no menstruation I did another test – this time conscious that I had to call a Dr. in case the tests kept coming negative – it meant that something was going on with my body.

As I was about to place the stick on the counter a 2nd line was showing up – in a matter of seconds – and quite dark already…the pregnancy line was so dark that it did not let any doubts that a 3rd baby was on it’s way. There I was, in the bathroom hearing the girls knocking and calling for me over and over “Mommy where are you”. I was staring at the test and I smiled . Nothing crossed my mind in that very second. My mind took me to a place far away and I just “landed” when I heard the girls banging louder on the door and screaming “Mommy open the door, what you doing”. I shook my head and hide the test…washed my hands and opened the door.

Still dreaming I went to the living room with the girls following me. I sat down in front of Sienna and asked her to hug me very tight…also asked her to tell me that everything was going to be alright…As I hugged her, Sienna asked me “why are you talking to me like this Mommy” “why are you hugging me so tight Mommy”…I had no answers for her in that very moment…

As I released her from my arms. She rubbed my tummy and gave me a kiss.

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The II blue lines

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When you plan to have a Baby, one of the 1st things you need to do is Not to stress – things will happen when you don’t stress – and you learn to be patient. You need to be patient during the 2 weeks wait – the wait that you can’t afford to wait, that wait when you prepare yourself for a big fat positive or the frustrating big fat negative, that wait that you might possibly start feeling symptoms or you wonder if is the mind playing tricks with you, that wait when you want to start feeling nauseas already but you get confused with PMS symptoms…that wait, that you want to make a pregnancy test or as many pregnancy tests until you see a positive one…That wait that kills you, but also gives you a loving smile on your face because nobody – besides you and your partner knows what both of you are up to.

Your patience is put to test so many times: in case of a negative, you need to patiently wait till your cycle is back so you can try again, if you get a positive, you want to get over the 1st 12 weeks and finally breath and share – or not – the news with the world.

You also learn that the bump doesn’t grow over night…how many times you wonder if is bump or bloated? If is bump already or gas, if is bump already or it’s you’re your undigested dinner? ah ah . In my 1st pregnancy, I just start showing after at 4.5 months while with Maya, as soon as 6 weeks. With this pregnancy, I have start showing from week 10 but start feeling bloated at the end of the day (only) from 6 weeks…Until the 10th week I was still waking up as flat as I could possibly be.

When you plant to have a Baby, you want to make sure you are at your best. Physically and Psycologically. You want to make sure you prepare yourself with ante-natal care (we also got you covered here) , you want to make sure you take the supplements you are supposed to take for at least 3 months before you get pregnant, you want to make sure you have an active lifestyle and balanced diet too. I never get tired of telling you…If you start your pregnancy healthy and fit, you are half way there. You definitely want to make sure your health is at your prime. That happened with Sienna’s pregnancy.

Maya’s pregnancy not so, I admit – even though it was a planned pregnancy too – I got pregnant 14 months after Sienna was born and 4 months after I had a miscarriage. I admit that maybe I did not gave my body the enough rest needed…Health wise I was great don’t take me wrong, all levels were perfectly perfect…but I was tired…maybe that’s why it felt I was pregnant with Maya for years!

This pregnancy, not as planed as the others, I started as healthy as I could possibly be. I started this pregnancy 2 years after Maya was born. Still being this healthy and fit…I had morning sickness till the 16th week, Bammm!!