Category Archives: Motherhood

Pregnancy: 31 weeks and reflecting back to 12

I’m sitting here with a self-induced food coma, and finally getting this post finished….This entry was supposed to go up 3 days ago…but as life would have it, timing never works out as planned. Being pregnant (and I know that it becomes even more so when one becomes a mother after) you learn over time that you aren’t ever 100% in control of your own time… or your body! Currently, at 31 weeks, the fatigue that plagues the first trimester, has returned and has become a very unwelcome visitor every day this past week. So getting things done has been quite hard as I am always sleepy, my back always hurts, my feet (especially the heels!) are always screaming in pain, and the most comforting place is the bed where I can lay on my side…. the only position left nowadays that brings some long needed hours of rest and relief.

Thankfully though, at 31 weeks, while I am tired ALL the time, I do not have that WRETCHED all-day nausea anymore. Instead, I am hungry every 3 hours (although I cannot eat alot due to the diminishing amount of physical space inside me – it literally physically hurts to overeat, and I have learned the hard way that it is better to eat less, but more frequently instead of eating until I feel completely full and satisfied). Also, on the upside, most foods sit well with me now. Which is such a stark contrast to the first trimester where I hated anything and everything in sight – ESPECIALLY garlic. It is as if pregnancy has amplified my taste receptors to a scarily aware level because if I can taste even the slightest hint of garlic in a dish/food, I get sick… like the kind of nausea-sick I got in my first trimester. Which is sad… because anyone who knows me knows just HOW MUCH I loved garlic before I was pregnant…. I used to heap the stuff on in my food and could eat the cloves by themselves when they were baked in the oven. Now the thought and smell of the stuff sends me running in fear for my life. Yup, anything to avoid feeling as sick as I did during my first 4 months.

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If anyone asks me what I have been loving to eat lately? The usual burgers always hit the spot :D Sausage and egg mcmuffins (I love hashbrowns too but try really hard not to eat them too often for the sake of transfat health reasons haha), juicy beef burgers (although it has been a little sad to tell the kitchen to make the beef totally well done), DURIANS (omg, durians! especially when they have been refrigerated cold!), greek yoghurt with mango, fruits of ALL kinds, chilled fresh coconut juice, crackers and cheese, milk, and a special combination of chicken/rice/fried egg/steamed broccoli which has been a staple lunch for me lately :) The husband has been really really patient with me, and has been graciously providing food for the baby (ie. me haha) as and when I have wanted it. Thankfully, ridiculous late night food runs have not really been happening, except once. So the weight gain so far, has been about 11KG at 31 weeks.

And what has life looked like in the past week or two? Well, in terms of the baby…bub is moving ALL the time…. its kind of crazy that just weeks ago, catching baby movements was as hard as finding gold but now I am aware of when bub is rolling, turning, kicking, or having a dance party in my belly… more on that in the next post… For now, in terms of what life looks like at the moment?  I think the nesting stage has COMPLETELY taken over, because I have always hated cleaning the house. You’d have to beat me with a broom before I would get off my lazy bum and do it, but since entering my last trimester, I have had this intense need to wash all towels, linens, floors, dust shelves, clean mirrors and glass, organize rooms, cupboards, shoes, throw out SO MUCH CRAP, and work on the nursery. I don’t know what has come over me! I might leave “Project Nursery” for another post in my pregnancy journal series though, because all of you need to see what state this room used to be in (think dark, horrible store/junkyard kind of room), what our goal is, and what the end result ends up being :)

On another note, yes I am still working. It is insane how this workload never ends… so to those wondering, yup, I am still editing away, madly trying to finish up everything this month. My poor team members have been burning rubber with me… I am so grateful for them. Without this amazing team, I don’t know where I would be during this pregnancy. They have made it possible to still shoot, while working around nausea, tiredness, keep baby and me healthy, and still produce results that keep our clients happy. Thank you SO MUCH!!

Anyhow, I know at the end of my last post, I left you all with my thoughts on my first trimester, and how the 12 week scan changed so many things about how I felt about being pregnant and carrying a child. You see, when you have been sick for so many months, it is completely natural to question what on earth you got yourself into. Asking questions like, is this worth it? What am I doing? What if I suffer this sickness for the full nine months? All-day nausea was so completely debilitating that there were moments I swore I never wanted to ever be pregnant again. Does this opinion change as you get further along pregnancy? I think so… at least in my case it did :) And the 12 week scan was one of the things that helped kick start the change to appreciating carrying this beautiful God-given gift.

Pictured below is me at 31 weeks, holding my 12 week scan.

For the first time, I saw a baby. Before this, you don’t see anything much except a little black sac on the screen with a little nub that looks nothing more than a finger tip. But when I went into see what was inside me at 12 weeks, I was pretty much blown away that just after a few weeks, the baby looked so much like… a baby. I know this sounds incredibly stupid, but really, to see what you and your partner have created from just two cells in your body, and to see its beating heart, its legs, its arms, its head, is truly truly amazing. I don’t think you will ever understand the magnitude of this moment until you go through it yourself with your own child. So if at this point you think I’m a rambling pregnant lady, that is ok :) I know if/when it ever comes to your turn, you will get what I am talking about :) And just when I thought that was the most amazing thing ever….On the ultrasound screen, we then saw our baby roll around, wriggle its bottom to a different position and lift its hand up as if to say hello to us. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen…. so much so that I almost couldn’t stop laughing, to the point of near tears. It was at that point that it hit me…. bub is really there. It’s really alive. It’s growing. It’s real. And I think at that point is where I fell in love with my child, and was reminded just how amazing God’s creation is. Even despite my incredible sickness and the inability to eat (I lost weight in my first trimester!) for so many months, baby was still growing, looked beautiful, and was deemed healthy by our doctor. There was just so much to be thankful for at this moment. God had truly blessed us. And I prayed all the time from then onwards to please keep my child healthy, and that I would be more grateful for the life inside me when I knew alot of other women couldn’t have children.

I hope for all women out there who are pregnant (thank you, by the way to all the ladies who wrote in to me with your stories. I was so encouraged to know I am not alone, and that there are people out there who care. So much love goes out to all of you. Please don’t ever stop. Know that your words make my days brighter!), and are in the throws of sickness and suffering, know that what you are carrying and the work you are doing to carry a child and keep him/her healthy is truly amazing and a feat in itself. If anyone ever tells you otherwise or makes you feel otherwise, you can send them to talk to me! haha… I earnestly know just how hard it can be.

In my next post, I plan to talk about how pregnancy affected (or in my case, ruined!) my skin and my hair…. the things I did to help it…..baby movements and what they feel like, and how pregnancy has changed my marriage, amongst other things! :D

Thank you again for reading, and as always, my inbox and the comment bar below is always welcome to any questions or thoughts you may have :)

 

Jenny Signoff

Pregnancy: An initial summary

 

pregnantJS

The two sticks that changed my 2015 forever.

 

I am currently sitting at 29 weeks pregnant and finally getting down to this….. I have been sick for so much of this pregnancy, and then following that just so INSANELY busy trying to catch up on work before I entered my last trimester that I honestly haven’t even had time to set up the baby’s bed… bub will be sleeping on the floor at this rate! Anyway, I have been tossing and turning up the idea of sharing my pregnancy journey for months now… on one hand, I felt like it wasn’t anyone’s business to know what I was going through as all the important people in my life who needed to know already knew via personal and direct updates. On the other hand, there have been so many misunderstandings (especially on the work front) because people just don’t really know what it is really like to carry a child to full term for 9 months that it has actually caused me a great deal of stress which I really didn’t need on top of everything else I have been managing while being pregnant.

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Granted, there are a number of you out there who do get it…. you know, those who have been pregnant, those who are mummies, those of you who have wives or know ladies who have been/are pregnant…know that your encouragement and your advice has made the difference on some days. However, there is also a large number out there who don’t know…. those who have assumed I was just ‘under the weather’….those who thought being sick while pregnant was like having a common cold…. those who thought being tired had no idea it meant I was in bed 18 hours a day to just survive….and while every pregnancy is different, I felt it was time to write to clear things up… at least on my end  (Disclaimer: even sharing my stories shouldn’t be used as a benchmark or a comparison, but I hope to at least shed some light so people do not underestimate the monumental task of growing a baby, and grow to appreciate the sheer emotional and physical work it takes to create a fully healthy human being…and for those who have easy pregnancies and do not ever have to suffer what I have been through, I hope you can from this learn to count your blessings and know you are very very lucky woman! :D )

 

So while I am now in my 3rd trimester already, with this journal, to begin with anyway, I wanted to recount the milestones and the highlights (and the bottom lowpits too!) that I remember whether it was something physical, emotional, or something I learned about God in all this. Hopefully, by the time I finish my series, it will be just in time before bub arrives and I can start to share things about motherhood, how to balance life with a baby/family/work, amongst other things that I hope all you readers of Two Threaded Poppies have come to enjoy (ie. beauty, travel, fashion, food, and so on). I hope what I share offers some encouragement to those who may be going through something similar or know of someone going through the same, and for those who are not, feel free to ignore my sharings… or head on over to our instagram where there will be a much more varied mix of posts about all other things Two Threaded Poppies has curated for all of you to see :)

 

So… the back to the beginning. I found out I was pregnant in January. I will admit, that we were fortunate in the conceiving department. I don’t say it lightly, as I know quite a number of friends who have taken a long time to conceive, are still trying after years, or cannot get pregnant for various reasons. Ju and myself know how lucky and blessed we are … and don’t take it for granted in the slightest. To have been able to hold that test stick, and it read ‘positive’ was one of the craziest moments of elation I’ve ever had… It was almost surreal, so we went to the doctors for a blood test and it confirmed I was about 4+ weeks pregnant… and from there, it was a cautious but sure flurry in phone calls to our immediate families and our closest friends to let them know the news. After being married for 7 years, it was a welcomed piece of sharing that those around us rejoiced in together with us. I know most people tend to wait until after their first trimester to tell, but Ju and I have never been that kind of couple… we are fairly open and my only rule was that it was not allowed to be shared online anywhere, only personal and direct telling of friends which is what this kind of news should be received as anyway, right? :)

From there, I was excited, energised and just thrilled that I could finally enter a period in my life where I was granted the permission to eat whatever I felt like (well, almost haha, but we will go into that later) and not worry too much about getting fat! Yup, as a foodie, this was one part of being pregnant I was truly looking forward to. However, after a week of enjoying tonnes of good yummies, the dreaded nausea set in. It wasn’t overnight… in fact, only at about week 5.5 food started to go off in my mouth slowly… as if things that used to satisfy me and gave me great joy to consume began to switch off on my tastebuds. I then learned, this was what ‘morning sickness’ was. No one told me what it would feel like… nor did I know to what extent it could be suffered. Over the coming weeks, my sickness lasted all day, every day, and everything I put in my mouth tasted like poison. And it wasn’t like I was vomiting. It was just a severe WANT to vomit, severe motion sickness, but the body just wouldn’t let you purge or relieve itself. So it was complete torture….. it gave me vertigo, headaches, I went to bed hungry but unable to eat. I couldn’t even drink water without feeling like I wanted to throw it up. It just got progressively worse and worse with the peak around week 9 or 10 …. I remember only being awake long enough to eat my lunch and dinner (there were days I even forgot to shower because I was THAT sick), and I would be asleep the rest of the day/night just to pass the time. It felt like forever and an eternity in those few months. And nothing would relieve it. If anyone asks how I would describe the first trimester, I would use the word ‘survival’ – ie. do whatever you need to do to just get through each day one at a time. So what did I consume during that first trimester? Funny enough, I was able to eat burgers, fries, meat pies, only sweet drinks (I hated water), crackers, and oranges. Not consistently though… what I wanted would change on a daily basis, but it was kind of like within that group of foods for most of the time. I hated everything else… eggs, all meats, all seafood, all vegetables, all fruits (except oranges). And before any of you think I was making my baby suffer, our 8 week scan showed that bub had grown very well despite how awfully sick I was, and was 1 week ahead of size in terms of growth. It just goes to show that God’s creation is so amazing.

Throughout this period though, the house became somewhat of a mess (my poor husband did whatever he could when he wasn’t working/travelling for work), and I also had to cope with my own work. It was hard to explain to people why I was feeling poorly without telling them the reason why… I knew people were thinking with judgement I was either being lazy or slack for sitting at shoots, or not completing editing deadlines on time, and I hated that because if anyone knows me, knows just how hard I worked before I fell pregnant ….thankfully I have an amazing team of people who helped through this period… but would I go through the whole work (ie. my kind of work, which is very physical) AND being pregnant at the same time again? no….my advice to anyone who gets pregnant is to keep your workload and personal and home commitments as light as possible. Get help. Outsource your chores if need be. Do anything to survive those initial few months.

So yes, there were days I cursed being pregnant, and wondered what on earth I got myself into….but then at our 12 week scan, things changed. We did an 8 week scan as well, but at that point, all we saw was some odd shape that looked like the top part of an index finger, in a round sac. And at that point, you don’t develop any connection to your child. So it was hard to feel appreciative. However, at week 12, It was then that our doctor showed us for the first time the life we created. And I nearly cried looking at it. That experience I will share in my next entry along with how my body changed, all my emotional highs and lows, etc… so stay tuned :) And thank you for reading so far with me! If you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear them so please don’t be shy about chatting with me! :)

 

 

Jenny Signoff