Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places


that green feeling

The yuck factor. Coming soon to a baby near you.

One of the things I’ve been told by a midwife to bring to the hospital is a Snappi nappy fastener – the modern and supposedly safer equivalent of the old nappy pin to hold a traditional cloth nappy together. Apparently, the hospital insists on using cloth nappies for the duration of our stay, as that enables them to monitor baby’s output easily.

Those suckers are really hard to find. Tried the usual suspects – BigW and Target – and got nothing. I stared and stared at a packet of nappy safety pins (the old-fashioned ones) and tried to imagine myself fastening the nappy competently. One scenario had me fastening the nappy so loosely, it dropped as soon as I picked up Blobette. One other scenario made me blanche. There is no way I want to wield a sharp object anywhere near a very soft, piercable baby.

So it was back to the Snappi hunt. Tonight, I thought I’d turn to the interweb to scrounge around for an online seller, only to read about this… er… health warning on the Natural Parenting website:

WARNING Snappy/ Nappy Nippa danger

Today a mum from the south east of Sydney experienced first hand the dangers of nappy Snappy’s (known as Nappy Nippa’s in the northern hemisphere). Whilst manouvering over-flowing faeces, feet, flannels & fingers in an attempt to change her baby, the bottom Snappy teeth, which were covered in rouge faeces, got re-caught on the nappy. When the mum applied a combination of wriggling & pressure to release the Snappy it suddenly flung faeces at great speed directly into her mouth. Authorities have released an offical warning.

Yah. The joys of parenthood. Admit it – you’re now cursing my name, and surreptitiously scraping imaginary baby poo from the roof of your mouth. I hear that other people’s babies excretions are always gross, but you’ll be fine with your own baby’s liquid goods. I’m counting on the fact that God might have hardwired mothers and fathers to remain impervious and immune to their child’s stinky bits. But we’ll see.

Stomach smiles, and other strangeness

It’s Week 9, and I’m feeling freakishly unpregnant.

Sure, there’s the odd nausea hit now and then. But I’ve gone off yogurt (or at least don’t think of it and salivate anymore), and my skin is clear again. Apart from twinges when I laugh too hard, cough, or sneeze 7 times in a row (darn genetics), I’m feeling pretty normal in a most pre-pregnant way. Most of all, I got my energy back.

Which is freaky. FREAKY.

Meanwhile, I’m down to a single pair of work pants that actually fit because they’re hipsters. Anything else splits my body in half just about, and then there’s that terribly unsexy muffin top which – coupled with water retention and that Canberra “Tan” – makes me ooze as much come-hither appeal as a beached whale. They promise all sorts of hormonal overdrive and sex-kittenry when you’re pregnant. I really don’t see how that can come about when you’re at that weird in-between stage and skinny all over, except for this jiggly mid-section. The albino starving-ethiopian look was never really in vogue, methinks.

Everyone who knows assures me that I look Exactly The Same. But I’m eating 50% more than normal which, given the fact that Blob is the size of a grape right now, seems like overkill. I know it’s 50%, because today I wolfed down 3 sushi rolls instead of my usual 2. (YES, they were cooked… stop yelling at me about listeria.)

Hmm. So maybe I still am pregnant. Just not tired.

Got out of the work car today to get some petrol, and felt my belly button grin so hard, I thought it was about to split sideways. Lovely that my body seems to want to demonstrate its happiness from the mid-section, but it weirded me out for a full minute, AND I had to waddle to the pump. Also very un-yummy. Went home and read up as much as possible about errant belly-button behaviour. As usual, everything on the internet is both reassuring and horrifying at the same time.

One thing’s unanimous, though. If there is a way to test to see if you’re still healthily pregnant every day, every DAY… there’s heaps of paranoid pregnant women who’d love to know.

Called Calvary Hospital to try and book a place, just in case I change my mind at the last minute and want to go public. Got the forms in the mail today and to my chagrin, I have to submit a plethora of referrals from my GP together with the forms. Except I just had my last appointment with my GP 4 days ago, didn’t I.

If we ever make it to Week 40 and beyond, I am SO going to whip up a flowchart in Visio and post it on this blog, so every n00b mother can figure out this convoluted chicken and egg dance. Meanwhile, I’m going to try and wheedle two referrals ASAP, without paying yet another $70…

“Look, ma! No tail!”

Blob is now looking less Tadpole, more Cashew Nut by Dali. Congratulations, kiddo.

Also, did you know that “‘fetus” means “little one” in Latin? Forshizz.  This is the first week that Blob gets to be called a fetus officially, and stops becoming an embryo. Sneef. They grow up so fast.

Today was also the first day I felt green pretty much the whole time I was at work. It came and went, but there goes my theory about nausea starting from mid-afternoon. I’m hoping it’s just a one-off. It’s one thing to feel uncomfortable during the remaining 3 hours of the work day. Quite another when you’re reviewing work and want to barf. Just sending completely the wrong signals here.

Met up with Fertility Friend last night for coffee, and spilled the beans. FF is a treasure trove of baby trivia, and has the gift of condensing complex biological processes in 10 dot points or less. Already, I’m given names of competent obstetricians and websites and tips on reading up about baby routines and the importance of progesterone during gestation and how there’s this other bunch of pregnancy supplement pills that completely kick Elevit’s shiny beige butt.

Best of all, she was completely delighted for us. And knew that Mama Wear now has a 40% discount because they’re relocating.

On a completely different note… my colleague recently bought a new pad with his partner, and just learnt that their new neighbour is a Ralph model. Which is such a great reality check for me because until this revelation, I figured they’d always lived on magazine covers.

The things you realise you don’t think about, until you do.

Links from FF:


I feel nauseous AND hungry, hot AND cold and… yogurt! *nom nom nom* bleah

Constant Craving

You are 7 Weeks Pregnant!


Rapid acceleration of hormones can cause your face to break out. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleaner and drink plenty of water. If you are taking vitamin B6 to help with nausea, you may find it also improves the condition of your skin.

During pregnancy week 7 everything you place in your mouth has the potential to affect your unborn baby.

Many women start having cravings during pregnancy. Cravings are a perfectly natural part of pregnancy, but taken to the extreme can lead to excessive weight gain.

Cravings may also be an indication that your body is deficient in certain nutrients. You may, for example, need more calcium if you are craving products with milk in them.

Three things are starting to become the norm this week:

  1. Icky pimples
  2. The perpetual green feeling of Blah
  3. My fascination with Yoplait Mango.

Hence, if I were a caricature, I would be spotty, green, and sporting a pooch that is courtesy of my newfound love for yogurt. And because I have been shaped like a beanpole for years, having a paunch makes me look like a straw with a pea lodged in it. Today, I had to abandon a pair of low-waisted board shorts because the waistband and fly is held together by Velcro. And well… modesty really should be held together by something far sturdier and lasting. Like metal and teeth.

But oh, let me explain the phenomenon of being quite in love with yogurt. And yes, yes… it’s probably poor Blob screaming for more calcium and less chilli, thankyouverymuch. But you have to understand something. Pre-Blob, I loathed yogurt.

I can have ice-cream by the pail, and I can down a cheese melt in 15 seconds flat. I don’t mind pizza, and since migrating to Australia, I’ve started to understand why soft cheeses are divine. (Not that I have any now, mind you.) I have to avoid cream because my body repels it faster than you can say “dunny hog”, and I tolerate whole glasses of milk. But I have never been able to stand the taste and texture of yogurt.

I’ve tried, you know. I used to be really lactose intolerant but I’ve gotten over most things, and when I got to Australia and had real quality dairy for once in my life (Asians cannot do dairy, sadly), I told myself I’d give yogurt a go because it’s such a great snack and awesome for my calcium intake, etc etc. Nuh uh. Yogurt, no matter what the flavour or brand, has never stopped feeling like I’m shovelling spoonfuls of curdled milk into my mouth and try as I did, I could never finish even half of those tiny snack-tubs.  Such a lost cause.

Enter Week 7.

The Chinese way of handling nausea is to suck on sour plums. And we’ve already talked about ginger biscuits. (Such a gross invention, BTW. As incongruous to me as fish with ice-cream.) But yesterday, while feeling particularly poorly, I flung open the refrigerator door in a desperate bid to find something – anything! – that would take this misery away, and then my eyes fell on Tony’s tub of yogurt and mango.

Two thoughts:

“Actually, that looks really, really good right now.”

“What the!”

And before I knew what had possessed me, I had polished off – and I kid you not – a third of that tub of yogurt. That’s, like, Tony’s yogurt rations for the week. And because I was making a mango chicken dish for a farewell lunch at church today (which was what was making me feel awful, I suspect), I had to run over to the stove, hold my nose while I stirred, and then run back to my yogurt, because it was the only thing that would make me feel better.

It also means this child is turning out more Tony’s than mine. Yogurt, indeed.

“It’s a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll…”

So it’s Week Seven, Day 1, and I am apparently in the throes of creating lots and lots of internal organs, and more limbs. And I am schleepy, and tired, and now understand what it must feel like to sport a ladylike beer gut. And honey, there ain’t nothin’ sexy about a beer gut.

Yesterday, I ate my weight in carbohydrates (or just about), and then trotted off to bed at 8.30pm and slept until quarter to eight this morning.  Hugely piggy. Eating lots meant I didn’t get a visit from Dame Nausea yesterday, which also ironically brought on the paranoia. I’ve heard about women who get nausea daily, only for it to screech to a halt as soon as their body starts to miscarry the baby. So naturally, Not Feeling Pukey felt emotionally worse than Always Feeling Pukey, and I snuck a peek at some online articles about miscarriages today until about 4.oopm, when I started to feel rather green again.

And then I felt great.

Blurted out the fact that I’m Preggers to the Big Kahuna yesterday, partly because we were starting to talk about project deliverables for the next calendar year – but mostly because it “felt right” and I was feeling like I wanted to share. He was rather surprised, but seemed pleased. Then I over-compensated, and practically apologised for not planning things better so that bub didn’t come a month AFTER we went live with my year-long project. What is it with women and apologising for nothing! Anyhoo… Told him it was early days, and then we left it as that. So three people at work know now – and I’ve told each of them for varying reasons.

Funnily, I haven’t felt like telling any close friends yet. I’m not quite sure why. I think I want to surprise them all, for kicks. And perhaps it feels easier not telling people closer to me, just in case Blob decides he or she’s had it, and is going splitsville come Week 8. I think I’d find it easier to tell people I work with – especially men – that it didn’t work out, but it’d be really hard to avoid the emotional mumble-jumble if it came to the sisterhood.

Tony wonders why I keep thinking about miscarriages. I’m not sure I can explain it. I guess I’ve always gotten carried away by hope in the past, and sometimes gotten sorely disappointed. And in this instance, my survival instinct is telling me to hope for the best, but absolutely prepare for the worst. Sometimes, I wonder if such an attitude smacks of smug self-reliance and the inability to trust that God can comfort and work all things out for the best.

Former colleague emailed a bunch of us today to announce the impending arrival of her Number Two. And there was much squealing and rejoicing in the office. “I knew these announcements come in threes!” said one colleague sagely. “And true enough – it has!” And I’m just standing there grinning, because I’m about to blow her theory out the water. But yeah – this is the fourth pregnancy I’ve learnt about, and they’re all due in May. All I can say is… there must have been one really cold fortnight in August this year that was super-conducive for cuddling.

Baby, you’re so nauseating

This pregnancy is turning out a little textbook, as far as Week 6 is concerned.

Week 5 day 6 – no nausea

Week 5 day 7 – no nausea

Week 6 day 1 – Hello.

Another colleague on my floor announced her baby news on Tuesday, which didn’t quite surprise me because I once saw her make her quick escape to the bathroom. The escape was followed closely by noises that sounded rather green. Yes. Nausea is challenging at the best of times, but then it adds this other level of complexity when you have back to back meetings, and your nausea sets in from 3.00pm to dinner time.

I’ve been told  ginger biscuits do the trick. I’m not sure Chinese Singaporeans do ginger biscuits, when it comes to combating nausea. Sour plums are more our thing, and today I was so desperate for something sour to suck on, I cancelled a phone meeting so that I could nip out in between my other meetings to get a bagload of killer-sour lollies.

Verdict: Skittles (sour) and those sour teddy gummy bears? Great for two seconds a pop, and then it’s just sugar. Chinese plums rock.

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