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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Baby No.2- First Trimester Symptoms and Milestones

Hello again! I'm back sooner than I expected. Felt like it was just a while ago that we found out that we're expecting our little miracle, and now, I'm back to share about my First Trimester! Which means I have successfully survived one of the toughest periods of the pregnancy! Somebody pop a champagne and drink on my behalf please! 😂🎉🥂

When I was conceiving Tyler, I had a tough First Trimester (first 3 months of the pregnancy) with all the nausea, vomiting after each meal, bloat, etc, and also quite a tough Third Trimester with water retention which causes my legs to swell after walking for 10 mins, swollen limbs, huge bursting belly, backache and so on. I actually thought long and hard whether the first or third trimester was more bearable, and I still voted for the third trimester to be more bearable despite all the discomfort. Seriously, the morning sickness throughout first trimester is no joke. And I was secretly hoping that this time around, it will be different and I would be free from morning sickness like some other lucky mamas out there!

But, no. I still had morning sickness. Is it worse this time around? Well, I get asked this question a lot and I honestly can't really answer cos both are really quite different.

1. Morning Sickness

With Tyler, my morning sickness was very predictable (which produced quite an orderly and OCD baby hmmm). Each morning I would vomit some ultra bitter bile liquid (cos my stomach would be empty in the morning), and then approximately 1 hour after each meal, I would know it's time and calmly walk to the nearest toilet bowl I can find to let it all out. I became such an expert in vomiting that I didn't have to struggle. I just open my mouth and vomit rainbows like a pro without making any gagging sounds at all hahahaha. I also had all the bloat and gas, backache, fatigue and so on, which I also do this time around but, it all felt different from the first time.

This time, I would say accumulatively, I do vomit less. And my morning sickness is not predictable or systematic at all (does this mean this baby is more random and spontaneous? 😅). AND, I have A LOT MORE GAS. Oh my goodness this may sound dramatic but seriously, I can burp perpetually. Naturally or by demand. Cos I just have SO MUCH GAS IN MY BODDEH. Where did all these gas come from? From the air I breathe?? I'm quite careful with the way I eat, hardly take cold stuff, etc but wow, they just keep coming and they never truly leave.

Sometimes I fantasize about deflating myself of all the gas by poking a needle into my skin to let out ALL THE GAS, just like how we release air from swimming floats. The image of that made me feel so good. And I would also dream about going for a hot oil massage that releases gas immediately as they massage me, and I can just let go huge farts and burps while they massage me. And then that's it, that's the end of my gas suffering. I am back to normal. WHAT A DREAM.

Having a lot of gas in my body means that I'm constantly bloated, which means that I almost never feel hungry because I have so much gas in my tummy, my body thinks I don't need any more food in my system. And as long as these gas are still making my tummy bloat, whatever I eat or drink will bounce back out eventually (like, 30 mins after the meal? I would feel miserable and nauseous until I let them all out). You can imagine that they can't really go down or be digested cos there's this stubborn layer of gas that is preventing anything from going down.

So it came to a point where I had to clear the gas as much as I could first before each meal by going to the nearest toilet bowl (at home, in my office, public toilet in the mall, you name it) and forcing myself to gag and let out hugeeeee burps and vomit whatever liquid is left in my tummy. Many times the session would end with the nasty ultra bitter bile that I would literally shiver and be in tears cos they're soooooo bitter.

But this doesn't mean that I'll gain my appetite after all the gas is out too, cos not all the gas are out. They never truly leave fully, remember? So I would feel slightly better cos less bloated in my tummy, but still lose my appetite and would slowly force-feed myself cos I gotta eat, else the whole cycle happens again. If I'm left hungry for too long, gas builds up and yeah, you get the drift.

This time, though I vomit less (in frequency and volume) compared to Tyler, I do feel slightly more miserable. Because during Tyler I still had appetite to eat. I would crave for certain cuisines like Korean (Kimchi, Korean BBQ, the sesame oil and salt dip), Indian cuisine (Mutton Briyani, Butter Chicken, Banana Leaf Rice), and Thai (OMG just everything Thai). Food like steam fish (and fish in general), cheesy stuff and western food would put me off, and Asian, spicy, savoury food would make me happy.

This time, I have no cravings. I am indifferent and lukewarm towards any food because I simply have got zero appetite. Many a times my family and friends would ask me to decide what to eat cos I'm the pregnant one with cravings. But I told them I have zero cravings so just choose somewhere and I'll be fine, as long as I put food in my tummy. For someone who loves food and value a good appetite a lot (I literally don't snack before meals because I love the feeling of hunger and actually enjoying my food), it's a very sad situation to not enjoy food. I literally "Eat to Live", as opposed to "Live to Eat" as I normally do.

When I go out to eat, the first question I ask myself is, "Will this produce more gas in my tummy?" instead of, "What do I feel like eating today?" And it's a miserable situation to be in. So I've been praying that this will soon be over and I'll gain back my appetite and at least have some form of food craving.

Towards the end of my first trimester, I DID start to have some cravings. 
Guess what they are?

Salmon sushi. Salmon sashimi. And UNIIIIIIIII.


Me: Bee, do you know what would make me happy right now?

Boon: What bee? *eager to find out*

Careen: Cold Somen at Bref by Darren Chin.

Boon: CANNOT!!!


2. Fatigue

In terms of fatigue, I really prayed that I would have more energy than my pregnancy with Tyler, and thankfully I did. Still sleepy and tired all the time, but at least I'm still able to hold on and summon more energy to get through the day if I needed to.

With Tyler, I was sleeping ALL THE TIME. Also cos I had a lot less commitments. I stayed at my parents' place most of my first trimester cos Boon was posted out of town for work, so my routine was literally -> Wake up, vomit, have breakfast, feel energetic and reply a few emails thinking today is different and I can accomplish many things today, suddenly feel sleepy and strengthless, lug my heavy self for a short nap, two hours short nap later, late lunch, vomit, do some work and sleepy again, nap for another hour or so, dinner, vomit, energetic for a few hours, supper and sleep again.

This time, I don't have such luxury at all lol. With a growing toddler who just started school, I can't afford to sleep in even if I wanted to. By hook or by crook, I gotta wake up at 7.30am to drive him and Boon to school and work, go somewhere to have breakfast (before I bloat again), get work done while waiting to pick Tyler up. 

Breakfast-work situation.

By 11.30am I'm usually hit with a wave of sleepiness but I can't sleep and drive so no choice gotta stay awake. Usually while driving to get Tyler I'll feel nauseous so I would have to stop by the roadside to vomit under some trees in the school neighbourhood.

If I go to my parents place, I would have the luxury to nap a little (can't nap more than an hour or two for this pregnancy which is quite sad cos I love long naps!), and get work done in between while Tyler is taken care of. On other days when I send him to my in laws', I would go into the studio for appointments and they're usually back-to-back cos I would try to schedule them within a few days so I get to rest more on other days. No matter how nauseous I still gotta keep it in, and no matter how sleepy I still gotta power through each and every appointment with all the energy that's left in my system.

But I'm not all iron pregger lady too, though I wish I am. I usually take quite a lot of back-to-back appointments on Saturdays so that means no nap at all for me that day, and I would suffer the consequences cos I would feel even sicker and have trouble waking up the next day for church. Seriously we skipped Sunday service two weeks in a row cos that happened. I just couldn't muster enough strength to go anywhere, and needed a few more hours of sleep to feel normal again.

Besides Morning Sickness and Fatigue, I also have the rest but they pale in comparison. Occasional backache from sitting to standing, peeing all the time, stretch in my lower abdomen due to expanding uterus, swollen boobies, dry skin and lips were just but some of the other symptoms from this first trimester.

Overall, I'm just glad it's come to an end and I'm slowly but surely feeling better and eating better too.

All the rants aside, I wanna remember and celebrate the achievements from these 3 months!

Survived and nailed a high intensity photoshoot by One Way Tix with a high energy toddler amidst nausea and fatigue on full swing (I was about 8 weeks pregnant). The dolling up and posing in heels took more effort than usual 😅

Just so grateful that I managed to stay up late enough to celebrate Christmas with my friends (until 2am!)

And enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner with the family
(though I wished I could have enjoyed the buffet spread a lot more).

Stayed up to welcome 2019 with these people! Though I must say I really suffered the day after cos slept at 3am hahahaha. Preggers really got physical limit one 😂

Fake first day of school lol. It was a long story (refer to my IG Stories highlight for more info lol)

After-school sweaty mess and choc milk reward for the first few days of school (only).

Tyler's masterpieces of two weeks, taken during Parents Orientation day!

Settled into our new family routine with a newly schooling toddler! Slowly embracing it but still missing my morning sleep-in. No more for this mama for another 10+ years with schooling kids 😂

 Survived and nailed another high intensity shoot, this time a video shoot for Signature Market! They needed Tyler in a few scenes too which included strolling with him in the park and swimming in the pool *phew*. It was indeed very tiring but I was just glad that the team was super nice and efficient, and I had my boys with me the whole shoot.

Got a new haircut! As much as I loved my nice, long hair, it was getting too heavy and uncomfortable. It became even more of a burden to maintain on top of my physical discomforts and daily commitments, so I decided to chop them off and now I feel FREEEEEEE! Thank you Jason from Number 76 Midvalley for the easy breezy haircut 💛

Using a lot less shampoo and conditioner, a lot less time to blow dry and style my hair, and a lot less hair falls. WIN! 🙌

Beginning to slowly regain appetite towards the end of the first trimester, and just grateful that I can start enjoying food again like a normal human being :')

Entering into the second trimester also means...


Had one bowl at least twice in a week when I was pregnant with Tyler, and his skin was indeed really smooth and healthy. So this time, I'm continuing this Birds Nest supplement hoping that Baby No.2 will also have nice skin!

We went for our 12-week check with a new gynae this time! Trying out this gynae highly recommended by friends, and liked him on our first visit.

Here are some milestones for Week 12:

1. Baby was 5.5cm at Week 12

2. Everything looked good according to the doctor 
(placenta, amniotic fluid, baby's measurements, etc)

3. My cyst of 5cm was down to 3cm.

I didn't mention this previously but during my initial pregnancy scans, doctors found a 5cm cyst in my womb along with the pregnancy, which I didn't have prior. One of the gynaes I saw previously even made an insensitive remark that the cyst was bigger than my baby (who was only like 1-2cm plus at that point), whom we never went back to. I was quite affected though I was told it was common (cysts that develop from ovulation and stayed on during pregnancy), and might go away as the pregnancy progresses just as what happened with some of my friends. I guess no matter how common, knowing that something foreign is somewhere it's not supposed to be still bothers me.

But I got over it after a while and had the peace and assurance that I'll be okay. It'll be great if the cyst will reduce in size and eventually disappear as the pregnancy progresses, but if the cyst is still going to be around, I prayed that it wouldn't affect me and the baby is any way at all. Just sit there and be a good cyst 😂

So when we heard from our gynae that the cyst is measuring at 3cm now, and from the looks of it will disappear in time, we were relieved to say the least. Hearing that and knowing that baby is doing well, I'm just thankful and happy. Thank you, God for your protection.

And this was us (me and baby) at Week 12! Don't know why the photo on the right looks like I'm so pregnant but maybe it's the angle lol.

Making a conscious effort to take more photos this time around though I really don't feel like it. 
I just wanna watch Netflix and sleep 😂

Okay that's all from me for now! We're excited for the months ahead cos it's CNY, and we're moving to a new studio space for The White Atelier AND we are going for our Babymoon!! 

Can't wait to share more.
Okay going to nap now! 😴

Love, Careen.
This post is filed under PersonalPregnancyFamily

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