All posts tagged: personal

Brielle Turns One

I’ve never considered myself to be a motherly person by nature, by any measure. Before having a child, if you’d asked me whether I like kids, I’d say I like them, enough. If you ask me the same question today, I’d tell you no different. But what’s changed is my newfound empathy I have for parents, especially those with babies and toddlers. I admit I used to be one of those people who silently prays they never have to sit close by babies or toddlers on the plane, dreading the possibilities of having to tolerate the relentless and tormenting cycle of crying, screaming, and chair-kicking. I guess I still pray so. But knowing that the crying, screaming, and chair-kicking toddler could be mine, I absolutely feel for parents who are trying their best to keep things under control (and their sanity). As I watch B grow everyday, it’s a bittersweet reality for me. As she learns about the world and becomes more and more independent, she will need less and less of me. A time …

10 Surprising Things About Being A New Mom

When Brielle goes down for a nap and I have a moment to myself, I would sometimes think about life before she came along. There wasn’t a specific point in time when we decided to have kids; we just knew we didn’t want to wait too long. The excitement of finding out I was pregnant was unlike any other. And while the warm feeling of carrying a little human inside me never left, pregnancy and childbirth are not without their own woes. But after actually giving birth and discovering there’s a tiny person who’s convinced she’s a koala and constantly needs to tag on to her mama, I realized pregnancy was in fact the easy part. From the day this baby popped out of me, I am forever a mother. No matter how old she or I turn. Without a doubt, becoming a mom has been the biggest thing that’s happened in my life and I’ve been reflecting on what has surprised me the most. 1. It’s more exhausting than I ever imagined. Everyone always …

16 Things Every New Parent Needs

Months before Brielle’s birth, we had frequented many baby shops. From the start, I was cautious not to go overboard and to buy only the essentials, with the exception of too-cute-to-pass-up socks, mittens, onesies, dresses, headbands, and actually anything borderline cute. Which was most everything. Obviously, I bended. Most times I couldn’t resist and always justified every non-essential purchase with the thought that this was our first. But among the things we have for Brielle, I’ve rounded up sixteen of ones I use on an everyday or almost everyday basis and have proven to work well for us. Here’s a list of the items new parents may find useful. 1. Medela Freestyle Pump This double-pump has truly been my best friend, only second to the baby. While it’s considerably pricey compared to other pumps, it’s totally worth it since I’ve gotten so much use out of it day in day out. 2. PumpEase Pumping Bra To go with the pump, I use this wrap-around bra so I can pump hands-free, easily move about and get …

Brielle’s Birth Story

On Friday September 2nd, twelve days before my due date, I woke up noticing a little blood discharge when I went to pee. I didn’t think much of it and went about my day as I normally did. R had been working from home for the past week to stay with me so we would be ready to drive to the hospital whenever baby decided to pop. In the afternoon I started feeling some cramps here and there, but still did groceries and went for my 30-minute walk which I had started every day since entering 37 weeks. That night I went to bed like any other night, except I was awakened every hour by a piercing sensation in my anus, a feeling like I kept needing to poop. While I pooped a little, the rest of the night was just me going back and forth to sit at the toilet and breathing through what I later realized were in fact contractions! I didn’t wake R because I didn’t want to alarm him and since …

What’s in My Hospital Bag

We’re just 12 days away from baby’s due date. At 38 weeks and 2 days today, she could decide to pop at any time now. Whoa! Things are starting to get very real. The sleepless nights, toilet runs, and worries aside, I’m feeling ecstatic about welcoming baby to this world, and to our growing little family. Spending time in the nursery and putting together baby’s things makes me feel close to baby. Feeling baby’s movements inside of me keeps me entertained and lets me know baby is well. It’s funny that I always used to feel cold and get the chills, but now it’s the opposite. And I have this tiny human inside of me to thank for keeping me warm. Now, onto serious business. I know it may be premature, but I’m not an advocate of anything last-minute—unless it’s something yummy like ice cream or crepes. So to avoid havoc, I’m packing our hospital bag so it’s ready to grab to go with us on the big day. Here’s a list of things (which I’ve …

Pregnancy Post: One-Month Countdown

When we found out we were expecting back in January, the idea that we would be welcoming a child into our family felt a long ways away. I was focused on me, my well-being, and my newly pregnant situation. Now looking back, the first trimester is a distant memory—a blurry few months of nausea, lethargy, and unproductivity, all looped in a cycle of a confused jetlag. And now that it’s less than a month away from baby’s birth, I’m all about baby and everything I can think of that she’ll need. So far I’ve gained 10 kilograms, while baby is measured at 2.8, which according to the doctor is whopper! And that worries me a whole lot. I’ve always known I wanted to go the natural route and have been watching (for the most part) my food intake to avoid baby from gaining too much. Clearly this little one is a big eater. And now hearing and reading about how labor pain is pretty high up there on the pain index, trumping breaking one’s bones …

Remembering the Bump: Celebrating Our First

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t pregnant. I’d watch in envy women in body-hugging dresses and skirts and be reminded of my own collection that I haven’t been able to touch for months now. And probably won’t for the many months to come. And now that I’m nearing the end of my third trimester, with an ever sprouting bump, I find myself wearing the same few pieces over and over. Just because nothing else fits comfortably anymore. And being a size petite, I won’t lie this freaks me out a little bit. But I pat myself on the back for having gone this far without buying any maternity clothing. People I meet would always comment how “small” I am, surprised to hear that I’m this far into my pregnancy, and how I have a “belly-only pregnancy.” I suppose my belly is still relatively manageable, despite bumping into the fridge door on a daily basis. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and I’m grateful for a relatively smooth ride so far. No serious cravings, impulses, …

Pregnancy Post: Monthly Update – July

It shouldn’t come as a surprise but I’m amazed by how kind strangers are to pregnant women. Just last week I was waiting for R to pull up at Ikea and haul our shopping, when a father of three with his wife offered me their seat on the bench after he’d asked his daughters to stand on the side. He offered me the. entire. bench. I thanked him but didn’t take the seat because I knew R would drive by any moment then. And by the looks of me he clearly thought I needed the whole bench – ha! R joked that once baby is born I should strap a pillow around my belly so we’d continue benefitting from special treatment. Speaking of looks, it’s insane how big my bump has grown this third trimester! And it’s even crazier how more and more active baby is getting. While baby’s smooth dance moves are my daily entertainment, they are keeping me up at night (and waking me up from my morning sleep). And in general I’ve …

My Morning Routine

I’ve always been a morning person, so mornings are my favorite part of day. It’s when I feel most active and alert, in anticipation of the day ahead. Back in school, my mornings used to be hectic and I’d be running around the house scrambling, grabbing things as I went, and eating breakfast on the go. But now that I operate on my own schedule, I ease into my mornings with calm. I get to do the things I want and need to do, which mostly involves taking care of myself, R, and our home. I take comfort in my morning routine as it helps set the tone for the rest of my day which I try to make the most of, everyday. So here’s what my current typical morning routine is like. I wake up: typically before 7. The first thing I do is drink a tall glass of water before emptying out my loaded bladder and brushing my teeth. I feel: energized and ready to start the day! The sun is up but …

Pregnancy Post: Monthly Update – June

I can’t believe I’m now in my third trimester! That means no more flying, which means mentally preparing for months of hibernation ahead, which I don’t think I’ll mind that much since I’m more of a homebody anyway. I finally got around to putting on some Mozart for baby! And baby noticeably responds to the music, dancing and bouncing in my disco of a belly. This now has become the highlight of my evening right before going to bed. Just several days ago I started noticing my swelling legs. At first I flipped out but quickly found the remedy by resting my feet on a stack of pillows when sleeping. Beyond the elephant legs, I’ve accepted my ever aching lower back as normal. And it doesn’t help when I’m sitting at the computer most days of the week and neglect to periodically alternate between sitting and standing. R sympathizes and gives me a serious back massage from time to time (unacceptable—he should be doing it every day). I’ve also now created a barricade of two …