Wednesday, May 23, 2007

30-week check-up, and the doc gave me the ultimatum!

A bit nervous, I went in to see my ob-gyn on Monday. Head hung low, I explained reasons for missing last month's check-up. I didn't have to do that, but it was more to comfort myself, really.
Talked mostly on the trips and some fieldwork I did. And another trip in June to Kota Kinabalu.

Relieved to hear that the chills that left me in bed whole night, twice could be just normal fever. Also, I should not be worried too much of the exposure of malathion, chemical in anti-lice shampoo (that I applied to the girls, they got it from school) but later on myself as I thought I could be infected too. I only read the label again later and found out it is not meant for pregnant moms, got me a little freaked out but the doc said it is more worrying for prolong exposure, I only had it for less than 10 seconds.

Mothering Mothers is also like a small moms-get-together. That day, my tummy had been a topic to the moms, on why it was just too small for 29-week, and how my baby curled himself in there had been a huge question. I got too much of such remarks that sometimes I do wonder if the baby grows well. Mentioned that to the doc., but it is not new to her as she herself always comments on how small I am whenever I lift my shirt for scanning, during all pregnancies.

Upon getting the scan image, she annouced that the look of the tummy was deceiving. The baby grows well, even showed me that growth chart, he is eaxctly 30 week. But a few more seconds into it, she said "orang ni tak duduk diam, betul tak?". I instantly nodded, but said I just thought it could be due to him being a baby boy. She quickly went to the genital, and announced "He is still a boy" hehe;). A few more seconds she said he was getting his way down a little bit fast, and continued with "The best way to prevent premature birth is by resting a lot".

Thought I missed a heartbeat there. She asked if I'd been getting contractions. Said, I felt my womb hardened a few times (especially after sex;), but didn't say that to her) and I asked her if there was a possibility. She said she could not confirm but I'd been too active, and I should slow down a bit (thought she would continue...sexually and prepared myself to be a bit embarrassed, but she stopped at that...fuhhh lega!) . At the rate the baby is 'doing', there is a possibility for an early birth.
sidenote: I'm comfortable with her, she IS my doc for all pregnancies but still a bit uncomfortable when talking about sex

She then asked if I'd been under stress lately, and I let it go again, on the being in-out of hospital, BIL's death and hubby's outstation work. Though I never called it as stress, now I must admit it might have some affect on the pregnancy.

She further explained, the most crucial was the next 4 weeks, as normally babies born before 34 weeks still need ventilation. She emphasised that all I needed was that 4 weeks, and announced my next trip to KK would be the last one.

Head hung low again, I almost whispered "How about my fieldtrips in early July?" but I quickly said "Ok, ok...I will restructure my schedule". She said "People reschedule as soon as they find out they are pregnant" Adussss....

Anyway, I'm not overly worried about that and not taking it lightly too. For the past two nights, only very simple dinners and I left buttoms (the kids';)) cleaning to hubby. I shut my system down (dunno if I use the right words...hehe) by 10 pm, while getting Bea3 to sleep and left the other girls to their papa. It is good to wake up at 6 am, refreshed! And I got no contractions the whole two days.

I've been always a bit worry on premature birth, especially knowing that being underweigh before being pregnant (as I always am, and actually at 30 weeks, I only gained enough to reach my ideal weigh) is one of the factors. I always talked to all my babies to stay in me till the time they were supposed to be out;). And I'm talking a lot more now to my baby, on how I enjoyed having him in my tummy, on how I love having those poking little arms and legs that tickles me from the inside, on how beautiful it is having hubby too, feels the kicks whenever we cuddle with our tummies in contact, on how I enjoy sex without having to worry about being pregnant...opps, this one I never exactly mention to the baby;), only to the father hehe!

Anyway, at this stage, besides him growing just well, one good news is with his position, we are sure that we would not get the worry of having a breech baby. Though the doc could tell he's been active, he was just quiet during scanning. And you can see his hand on his cheeck on the pic above.

Talking (and writing) about my babies always lifts me up...I should get back to work.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Meme:10 bad and annoying habits that we think our spouse detests

Aiyak...another meme from 5xmom . Not that I don't like tag, tag = love to me always but another one would make my what-to-blog list longer. I tried to look for the meme title, and got the above a line in her sentences, and it is supposed to be written from the spouse's view.

Here goes...

1. She can't read map, ok she can do it verrrrry slowly and without distraction. With kids yelling, no way...and she is a geologist, and very proud of it, even put it in her blog banner (the first thing you see on top, I also dunno what you call it).

2. We fight a lot , no I mean she loves to pick up fights with me, and she would get upset when I turn my face away during one and got even more upset to see me smiling. Actually, I always think that pout is funny.

3. She uses the excuse of being pregnant to get anything, anything at all. I started to think that she must has 'tricked' me into getting her pregnant this frequent.

4. I can't believe how this woman can flip the Ikea catalogue over and over and over. She does not care if what is left from it is only a few pages (after being torn, chewed, thrown by the kids), and yet our place is still far from Ikea showroom (that's what she always wants the apartment to be).

5. She can get easily upset when I comment her cooking, whatever I say, she is always not satisfied. I've gained almost 10 kg since we got married, that's not enough for her.

6. She yells a lot from the kitchen, normally to get kids out of it. The thing is the kids just love to be with her! Not my fault at all.

7. She gets upset when food is not finished, and normally it is my 'duty' to settle it, and yet she nags I should reduce some weight. Does she ever know what she actually want?

8. If she has to bath the kids, putting on the clothes is left for me. If she has to clean their buttoms, she would then pass them to me to put on the diapers etc, in other words, it is clear that taking care of kids is meant to be shared....especially when I'm enjoying my rest watching the TV. She even makes "dodoi" the baby while I watch TV. Tak boleh tengok orang senang sikit.

9. She gathers kids toys, sweep the floor, get the the hot water ready for mopping ... and again when I have something really good on TV, she says she has done enough and passes the mob to me!

10. She makes me say things that I rarely say, during childbirth labor, normally with her eyes telling me that I have no choice but to say things that she wants, in the presence of doc and nurses in the labor room during all the kids birth. Ahhh...I have to prepare for another one in July!

Seriously, I never thought I could ever reach 10. And now, I'm passing this to
1. QOTH and
2. d
Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The trip

Be prepared for another longggg one;)
Like I mentioned earlier, it came as a surprise. It was the first time for me to fly Airasia, so as travelling with Airasia, alone with 3 kids below 6 and being 28 weeks pregnant.

For the kids, the fun started on the way to KL Sental in a taxi. But it was a headache for the mom. All my kids use carseats, so not being strapped in the cab, they were all excited. The "weeeeee...." and "woooooooo...." at every corner, even more louser in the bus to LCCT. That was manageable.

For a lot of people and depending on the clothes I wear, I still don't look pregnant. But I porposely tried to look pregnant that day. One Airasia staff, brought us directly to the counter to check-in, no queu while the kids were all attended to. But I had to fill a form, sort of an agreement that they would not be responsible to anything due to my condition.

A bit more chellanging while waiting to board. It was a long wait for the kids, at one stage I just let Bea3 rolled on the floor.

1/2 hour after take-off, she dosed off. Unbelievable, really though it was 10 pm, her bedtime. Bea2 insisted that the plane didn't move and asked to go back home. It was dark, and she could not see anything. By the way, it was her and Bea3's maiden flight. The girls played with a 'Mat Salleh' girl named Melina, and overall it was a pleasant flight.

We arrived at 12 am, with hubby waiting for us. Checked in the Promenade.

All day spent waiting for hubby, and I brought them to have lunch at a restaurant behind the hotel. We had seafood at the Ocean, just besides the hotel for dinner. Hubby placed an order for about 5 adults (in trying to get me to eat more, he said), and he paid almost RM200. Now, where can we get cheap seafood that people are talking about, I thought.

Checked out to check in Hyatt, as it is nearer to hubby's office. I ordered room service for lunch and me and girls went to Merdeka Mall to play games, and me to log in the internet.
Hubby finisshed work at almost 7 pm, we checked the Pasar Filipina. Went crazy over the pearls but didn't have much cash, and they almost closed, thought of going back on Sunday. Again had seafood at the market nearby. I just love the huge market, but a bit unhappy about that RM65-for-two dinner of not-that-fresh seafood. Hubby blamed me for not looking like a "Sabahan" as he said he got it much cheaper when eating alone.
Hubby made another surprise, he had to do some works at the Labuan branch. And we were all going.

Kids went to bed early. Though with the plan for Labuan the next day, hubby treated that night as a weekend night, and we had a quiet time together. We talked about serious stuffs, we cuddled, we laughed, we got serious again, laughed again, we got hungry and ordered pizza from the room service at 3 am (at home, we only got McD at that time), we talked again, cuddled again, it was fun and I felt grateful to have made that decision to go. Only managed to go to sleep after 6.

And we missed the ferry to Labuan. We didn't know there are only two trips a day from KK: 8am and 4 pm. Anyway, after a few calls, we took a taxi to Menumbok, and took a speedboat to Labuan. A new experience for the girls.
The taxi ride from KK to Menumbok is around 2 hours 15 minutes. Managed to snap some pics while waiting for the boat at the jetty. Bea3 got a little excited in the boat, but chicken out a bit when it moved, and hold on to papa tight;). But at least, she and the girls didn't show any sign of seasick at all. Luckily, the ride only took 20 minutes, more than that, I'd be surely get sick. Hubby tried hard not to get his face in my blog, but I think he had a good view to turn to ...hehe.
Hubby did some work in the office, and later our host, the manager at the company's Labuan branch drove us around. Apparently, all hotels in town were fully booked due to the Sea Challenge Festival or they also call it Pesta Air. Well I didn't know anything about it, being 'katak bawah tempurung'. We finally settled in Manikar Beach Resort. It looks like a good resort, but is being poorly maintained, due to downsizing exercise some time ago, according to our host.
Spent some time at the beach, but it is just sad-looking. Time there cut even shorter as hubby, in his way to teach the kids about nature, mentioned about small crabs in some holes. Bea2 is always scared of tinycreepy crawlies, and wailed her heart out. You can see that in the pic.

We slept like some logs and missed the sunrise.
I was still hoping that we could return to Labuan early as according to someone, pearls are much cheaper at the Gaya Street Tamu, which only happen on Sunday and close at 2 pm. Anyway, on the way to Manikar, out host sho wed us an old firehouse, and talked about an old coalmine. That really rang a bell, as I remembered two guys from the Geological Surveys have been talking to me about a project there. One phonecall, and I got to know they were also in Labuan, doing some exhibition about the project at the Pesta Air. Well, since I was there, I might as well give it a visit.
By the way, the cake is yummy. Bought it near Manikar during breakfast. They call it cheesecake, actually spongecake with grated cheese on top.

Our host brought us to a shopping mall, and I just bought some chcolate from the duty free shop. Later to a the War Memorial. My mind was still on the pearls in Gaya Street Tamu but I knew I just could not make it.
We took the speedboat ride to Menumbok, and a taxi to return to KK. After a bit of rest and prayers, we went down again to the pasar. Hubby seriously thought I would want to shop, but it was the last evening with him before I return. I just changed my mind, and he was pleasantly surprised.
We walked along the waterfront. We had peaceful dinner with a view of sunset. I'm glad with the decision, it is a lot better for them than having the evening spent with mama like a crazy woman in a shopping spree.
Me and girls left for airport after breakfast. With a normal blouse, no more previledge of no-qeueing for me. The whole flight was almost a 'disaster' but we managed. Sent them straight to the babysitter at 2pm in a taxi from KL Sentral, I arrived at the office with 5 final year students waiting for the thesis defence. I finished at 5.30, and without having lunch, I thought I'd starved myself to death.
We counted the days for papa's return, I kept myself busy with work and Mothering Mothers. He returned on Saturday, and gave me some mothers time-out at the hospital on Sunday.
I'm so grateful that the trip turned out to be yet another pleasant one (trying not to think about the return flight). Also in debt to our host in Labuan, her husband and their boy who helped a lot, also hubby's colleague and wife. The kids are just wonderful to travel with, and there will be more travelling for both hubby and me in the near future. Whenever I can follow him, the girls will surely follow. And for my trips, of course he has to take leave from his office;), if not I would try to make day-trip. The girls are at the stage that they would just want to be with the parents, and before they start formal school, think we better take as much oppurtunity to travel together. We will the meantime, we are happy to have papa home.
Anyway, I'm still having a prob to arrange the pics. They come out differently from what I intended during writing...urghhh!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothering Mothers done!

That's 175 gifts gathered at UMMC yesterday morning. Nine mothers were there to distribute the gifts, and one was there earlier to pass some of them. I received the pic from one of them, edited it as I'm not sure if they are willing to let their faces on the net;). With us were a few wonderful, helpful hospital staffs.

We reached out to all moms who are taking care of their sick children, also new moms at the maternity wards, and moms-to-be at the antenatal. We also have enough to distribute to geriatic ward.

Just like Shamira mentioned that mothers do not need gifts, all they want is their kids to be happy, healthy and safe. We hope our time there, and that little contributions brought some cheers, and time spent talking to us lifted a little burden off their shoulders.

Thanks again MMB, 5xmom and those who had contributed in whatever way you can.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mothering Mothers 2007

Latest update: Now, I have lost count of the number of parcels, but I'm pretty sure we have reached beyond our 150 target. Now I think we may extend our visit to maternity and geriatic wards too.

I collected altogether 71 from a few moms yesterday, and this is not even half of the amount. Despite a very slow beginning, and a little worry of a long downtime in MMB, the visit is confirmed and we will again reach out to as many mothers as we can

This is how the back of our MPV looks like. I can't wait to see the expression of hubby's face tomorrow when he is back from KK. This is one of the reasons I can't stay with him there for the whole 10 days.
Thanks everyone for the support.

Read more about Mothering Mothers here.

Ketupat sotong, another food entry just to show that I cook;)

It will take a while for me to write about the trip. Here is a fast one. A friend came to stay with us for two nights when hubby was outstation in Sarawak, and we came out with an food idea, something that's never been cooked in my kitchen before: Ketupat Sotong or I'd call it Stuffed Squid in English.
You don't always get this dish, most sold during Ramadhan and as far as I'm concerned only in Kelantan food stalls. We soaked some glutinous rice in water for a while, later stuffed it into some cleaned squids. Normally we need to have a smaller version of skewer (well I'm not sure if I use the right word, people use 'lidi') to secure the head there, as not to get the rice comes out. But on that day, we just could get any, so some forks came in handy.
In the pot, we just chunked slied garlic, onion, ginger and druised lemongrass in some coconut milk. We added palm sugar (brown sugar) when it almost cooked.
You can imagine how squid tastes in sweet sauce. To me it simply either you like it or hate it. I just love it since I was a small girl, and since it is not that easy to get, I enjoyed every bite. As for hubby, he hates it, that's why we cooked when he was not around.
Anyway, I stole the pics from here, think I can just do it as I was the one who suggested to blog it;).
By the way, my kitchen, the pot and kettle look cleaner in the pics;)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mothering Mothers 2007

I received an sms from a member of MMB saying that 5xmom blogged what we will do on Mother's Day. I was a bit surprised that earlier she suggested "Let's make it smallish, among MMB members". I'm alway a bit uncomfortable about putting it up in my blog as I just prefer to keep it low-profile, think we can do it even with the support from the members.

But now with my name mentioned in 5xmom, think I should just go ahead and say something about it. Not nice la, if people come here and I don't mention about it at all, busy with KK trip pulak;). Well, she already wrote and described a lot better that I do. Anyway, think I mentioned this to d and I think I owe her a detail explanation.

We did it twice in 2004, and 2005. See the link to 5xmom, she even put up a pic of me. I'm the one in red, just gave birth a few months to Bea2.

In 2005, we had overwhelming responce, thanks to 5xmom again who put it up in her famous blog. We had extra gifts that we later distributed to maternity wards, to mostly first-time moms there. The experience is simply undescribable. We even had extra to give to nurses (they are moms too) who accompanied us, and even to a few security guards (for their wives).

And we extra cash that we hired a baloon scupturor to entertain the kids. We learned in 2004 that it was a bit 'dissapointing' for the kids as normally any charity event would normally focus on the patients, but in this case it was a big surprise for the mothers. So, we came up with the balloon to entertain the kids a bit.

It is not only about distributing gifts but also to just be there, to listen to them. Think 5xmom explained it better in her blog.

To anyone who would like to contribute, please let us know if any transaction is made to my and Salwa accounts. And thanks to 5xmom whom without her consent, this is not possible. Also to all MMB members, despite the slow beginning, we are sure that we will make it again.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We're off to Kota Kinabalu

Hubby dropped another bombshell, two days after returning from 8-day outstation in Sarawak, 10 days Kota Kinabalu.

After done with crying, hair-pulling, we decided to follow him for 5 days. That's all I can afford, really have to be at work on Monday. He wanted us to stay for the 10 days.

We have no idea on which hotel, and what to do and we are flying off tonight. And hubby had flied earlier since the company already booked his ticket. I'm a bit jittery thinking about handling the girls all by myself at the LCCT.

But at least I'm prepared, with camera, swimming suit and all. And hubby will have 2 days leave during the weekend.

Wish me luck!