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Mama Chronicles: Things people say to pregnant women

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I can’t believe I’ve made it! We’re near the end of the pregnancy and if anything were to happen now, he can be safely delivered. You know, I’ve stayed away from the blog mostly because I haven’t had much time to sit down to even cobble a post together and I’ve been focussing my energy on getting through the pregnancy as well as the next phase of our lives.

T and I are planning to move to a slightly bigger house (a modest upgrade from our current home) with a more child-friendly layout. If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that we live in a 3-storey house and child-proofing the stairs is a nightmare in itself. We also don’t have a nursery at the moment because the other bedrooms are on a separate floor from our master bedroom. So house hunting has been a big part of the last few months other than the fact that we’ve been busy with the business since the game launched.

Among the many things people say to me, they want to know what exactly I do? Am I not just a housewife? Technically I am because I don’t have a day job and I work for my husband, from home. I manage the merchandise sales, stock as well as the bookkeeping. We do have an accountant to help us file taxes several times a year, but I have to do the daily nitty gritty administrative work for them to do their work. I spend about 3-4 hours a day on the business – packing parcels, post office runs, stock taking, reordering stocks, managing the administrative work, talk with our accountants etc. The rest of the day, I actually do household chores and run errands. So yup, I do kinda/sorta work even though my time is my own to manage.

Coming back to the title of this post, here are some of the things that people have said to me since I’ve gotten pregnant – things that have stuck me as rather odd.

1. What tips do you have to get pregnant? 

So I had a miscarriage a few months prior to getting pregnant again. T and I weren’t in a hurry as I was still emotionally traumatised. We actually took our time and got pregnant 6 months after the D&C. I have nothing to add to the equation except, have sex. Lots of it!! I didn’t go for any fertility treatments or ingest any medicinal concoctions (or cross my legs in the air HAHAHAHAH).

Other than that, my friend Ana did give me some Young Living Progessence Plus and Geranium. She gave me some tips on how to use the oils and I just did as I was told. She has lots of tips and tricks with regards to using essential oils so check out her blog!

2. Don’t listen to your doctor! Get a second opinion.

I’ve had this said to me several times. One person said that “nobody dies from childbirth anymore! Medical science is so advanced!” when I told them that my doctors classified me as high risk and it might be a really difficult pregnancy. Ironically, this person failed to realise that people don’t die from childbirth anymore because they LISTEN TO THEIR DOCTORS!

Another person said that advanced maternal age “is something that American doctors came up with” and you’re not at risk just because you’re over 35. But I’m from Singapore and even there, we have precautionary measures for mothers over 35, you know?

I know the number is quite arbitrary because you could be 3 months shy of 35 when you deliver and be in the “safe zone”. But why take the risk?

I also had someone who told me to ALWAYS seek a second opinion because doctors tend to be pushy about their own agenda. So far, I haven’t had a doctor whose opinions I’ve been uncomfortable with so I feel sorry for those who’ve had such an experience.

Anyway, there is the internet and you have a mouth. Look up information on your own or ASK!

3. Why aren’t you trying for natural birth first? 

Until I told people I was pregnant, I didn’t realise there was a special club for mothers who endure labour and get inducted into the Motherhood Hall of Fame. I’ve had this asked of me several times by different people.

My stand is, I want to science it. Sorry, I’ll take recommendations from medical professionals only. Medical science is there for a reason. It works. I told T that I want ALL THE DRUGS! And everything that will help the delivery go as smooth as possible. My pregnancy has been fraught with so many unexpected issues, I think I’ve done enough to earn my badge. If I don’t need to deal with any pain, I don’t want any of it.

If I can avoid having an emergency c-section or a tear in my privates or some crazy painful long-drawn experience, why shouldn’t I?

4. You should totally try this diet/supplement because my dad/friend/aunt has and it works. 

One key issue that has plagued me throughout the pregnancy is my diabetes. While it was well controlled with proper diet and exercise before I got pregnant, pregnancy hormones kinda pushed it out of whack.

Your organs basically overwork when you’re growing a human and that’s just what it is. I’ve been told by the perinatologist that once I deliver the placenta, my levels should return to pre-pregnancy normalcy.

I know that people think gestational diabetes is totally different because I was diagnosed as having Type 2 before I got pregnant, but IT IS NOT. When you’re pregnant and have diabetes, the treatment is the same as gestational diabetes. I’m sorry even if you’re a mother who’ve had 3 children *koffkoff* I trust my OBGYN and the Perinatologist more, okay?

5. Every pregnant woman has the same problems. Don’t complain.

UNTRUE! Even my Perinatologist sighed and said she pitied me. Some people have almost no symptoms, most people have a combination of some but I am one of the unfortunate ones with lots of issues.

Like most women, I suffer from the regular pregnancy-related problems – backaches, body swelling, cankles, toes that look like little sausages, major water retention, pregnancy carpel tunnel, blurry vision, lethargy etc on top of some others. In fact, my morning sickness didn’t stop till a few weeks ago in the early part of my 3rd trimester. Even then, I’ve thrown up a few times in the last few days. The surprising thing is I’m not eating and drinking enough even though I’m far from thin – so I’ve had to supplement with whey protein shakes.

2 weeks ago, I start twice-weekly monitoring sessions (30 minutes each time. They do a short ultrasound and strap a machine on my belly to monitor G’s heart/breathing for 20 minutes), on top of my OBGYN appointments twice a month and perinatologist appointments once a month at the high risk pregnancy center. My own mother said she would’ve fired me a long time ago if she had such a troublesome staff in her company. T assures me you can’t do that in the US. HAH!

I’ve worked really hard to keep my blood sugar level steady and I do everything they tell me to. In fact, they initially predicted a large “sugar baby” and thought I might have to have an early c-section. Now G is considered smaller than the average American baby and I might be able to deliver vaginally. AND I’ve been so strict with my control that I actually suffer from hypoglycemic shock quite often. My insulin intake has been monitored closely and I get the dosages adjusted weekly but even then, it’s so difficult to predict.

Recently, my body started this thing that’s puzzling even to the OBGYN. I have hot sweats AND cold sweats at the same time. It starts with me feeling generally unwell and I’ll break out in a sweat. My head (and hair) would be wet and freezing cold while my chest (and neck) would be sticky and super hot. In the beginning, I thought I wasn’t doing it right but T checks me out each time it happens and he can tell the difference. From what we can tell, it’s pregnancy hormones doing a number on me again. We’ve taken my temperature several times it happened, with a digital thermometer, and it’s always the same – a little lower than normal, even though I just want to take a cold shower.

So to other pregnant Mamas out there, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your experience is yours. If you’re lucky to enjoy a smooth pregnancy, embrace every moment of it! If you’re not, I hope you have good support like I do.

Author: Chloe Happ

I left Singapore for the US of A in 2013 and now live in Las Vegas with my indie game dev husband and our son Gummi Gumdrop. I am also probably much older than you think I am.

One thought on “Mama Chronicles: Things people say to pregnant women

  1. no one here except me to tell you you’r a hero?!
    you’r a hero!!)))
    myself, my main problems were getting pregnant at all and then delivering (it definitely didn’t go smooth) at the age of 34.
    keep doing the good job, chloe, it will all end soon….

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