An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Mama Chronicles: Life after having a Baby & 2016 thus far

So my priorities have somewhat changed since the birth of our son and it’s been months since I last updated this blog.

In the last post I wrote about my new motherhood being sabotaged by the universe and the battles we might face. Those challenges have been so real and have kept me away from my blog these last few months. And because they take up so much of my energy and focus, I’ve found bite sized social media to be much more suitable for the delivery and documenting of my daily life. I mostly blog for myself as a kind of cathartic release and frivolous archival of my interests so I haven’t been too concerned about maintaining readership with constant updates. That being said, I think people who are still reading or following me on Instagram are really cool. Thanks for the interest and your friendship. If I haven’t already met you, let’s hope you reach out and we have brunch some day!


It breaks my heart to acknowledge that my baby was dealt with a really lousy deck shortly after he was born and while I’m often overwhelmed by it (several times a week we see doctors, go for tests or have ongoing therapy appointments), I’m also thankful that we are able to afford all the time and money for all the care he needs.

T’s game has sold decently well since it launched a year ago. Other than on the Sony PlayStation 4, Axiom Verge is now also available on Steam & The Humble Store for PC, Mac and Linux; and most recently for the PSVita. Later this year, it’ll also be available on the Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft Xbox One. While sales have started to plateau, we’ve managed our finances well enough to see us through the next couple of years as the next game is being developed. We still live a modest lifestyle but we can now afford more fresh, organic produce as opposed to mostly eating frozen veggies, and no longer need to maintain a $25 weekly grocery budget – very important when you have a new baby.


The most exciting thing in our lives now is Happ Home 2, which Dan (T’s business guy) dubbed “The House That Axiom Verge Built”. It’s a new construction home in the southwest of Las Vegas that we found after almost half a year of searching – we took as much as 80% of the available upgrades to customize everything to our liking and a few days ago, decided to pay for the house in full. This is basically the nicest and most appropriate house we can afford at the moment. To be honest, the cost of living in Las Vegas makes the deal really sweet and this house would cost 6 times as much in Singapore. With no major debts – car, house and T’s student loans fully paid for, I feel we are ahead of the game compared to other people in their late 30s and intend to keep it that way.


The Universe gives and the Universe takes. After T made the transfer of funds for the house, he told Gummi “Daddy bought you a house today! What do you think about that?” and that made me cry because I felt so emotional about how we are at this stage of our lives. Then T turned to me and said “the house is like life insurance now that it’s paid for. If I die or should anything happen to me, at least you have the house”. That made me cry too… WHO DOES THAT?!?! Why on earth would you talk about dying to your wife?!?!!!?! My husband’s idea of sweet talk… Le sigh.

I guess that’s all I need to put down for posterity. In the near future, I hope to be able to update my blog at least once or twice a month – maybe some OOTDs, maybe about the progress of Gummi’s condition, maybe about the new house… There are so many things going on in my life now, I don’t want my thoughts on them to completely slip through my stubby fingers. But till then…


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Mama Chronicles: Things people say to pregnant women

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.


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Mama Chronicles: 6 things I’ve learnt about being pregnant

1. My body is no longer mine

Other than the fact that it’s changing shape, growing a human does strange things to your physiology. For me, the scariest is how my pancreas started shutting down or stopped working like it should. I became insulin-deficient and also suffer from hypoglycemic shock – the kind where I start shaking, start becoming incoherent and require chewing of glucose tablets. If I faint or blackout, I not only risk physically hurting myself if I hit something but oxygen to my foetus would be cut off. I’ve been told it’s the pregnancy hormones that take over and things can get crazier as the pregnancy progresses.

I have also willingly become a human pin-cushion and at one point, was going in and out of clinics several times a week (for several weeks in a row) to get my blood drawn for tests. I now stick needles in myself 6-8 times daily. Forget about the pregnancy glow and how pregnant mamas should eat everything they crave because they’re eating for two. I struggle on a daily basis to eat and live properly on a very basic level. This blog used to be frivolous and I really enjoyed being all about “hey! This is what I’m wearing today” but you know, when you’re obsessed about just getting medication inside you at appropriate intervals several times a day, that’s the last thing on your mind.

These days, I look like I have black inky fingers all the time, but they’re actually bruises from the needles. Bruises also appear alongside red welts around my belly when I hit some capillaries by accident when giving myself a shot. T’s a sweetie pie but also a pragmatist and not exactly the smoothest guy around. He would sing to me while trying to coax me to stick the needles in BUT he would also tell me straight up “if you don’t, our baby will die. You just have to do it.” And while I still struggle to, I do it. Because my body is no longer mine.

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2. Wonky emotions, alert!!

More than ever, my emotions run amok. Mood swings, irrational crying episodes. You name it, I’ve got it. Before we got married, T already knew I cry so well. But each time I get pregnant, he braces himself for the craziness that ensues. Our dog is so cute – cry. Why did I fall off the stationary bike – angry. This food is so delicious – cry. Why am I eating toilet paper – cry… angry… cry… It’s true. I ate toilet paper (but that was the last pregnancy) and I couldn’t stop myself even though I knew it’s crazy, so I just kept crying and got really furious with myself all at once. It’s nuts but a story for another time. Maybe.

With a history of depression, my perinatologist has advised that I should seek help if I feel like I need it. Despite what you might think, doctors feel that in general the benefits of psych meds outweigh the harm in this case. I’m lucky that T works from home so he’s around me all the time. For some unexplained reason (pregnancy hormones obviously), I refused to get out of the car for our OBGYN appointment last week. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the fear that they will give us bad news again and our baby is dead. I remember telling T that maybe if I don’t get out, we’ll never know. Like Schrodinger’s cat, I said. I would rather carry around a dead foetus than have to digest another tragedy. It was irrational. I can see that after the episode was over but my judgement was so clouded at that moment, it was rather frightening.

Also I’ve had friends with postpartum depression and I know how real it gets. So even if we manage to survive the pregnancy, post-delivery is another battle that might await us.

3. Pregnancy Brains is REAL

T read somewhere that pregnant women’s brains shrink. Have no idea if that is true but in general, I feel like my body is being overworked so resources are spread thin. Did you watch that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Lily found a melted ice cube tray in her handbag? I lose concentration very easily and my short term memory is fuzzy. Just 2 weeks ago, I came home and hunted for 4 bottles of hand soap I distinctively purchased. Checked the receipt and it was there. I remember being handed all my groceries and sundries, walking to the car, unloading everything from the supermarket trolley… and everything was a blur after that. I seriously don’t even remember driving home.

4. The Bane of Bowel movements

Okay, not just bowel movements but in general, excretion of waste. I pee every 15 minutes or so but I rarely poop. One night, T heard me go into the loo and he fell asleep while I was halfway through my pee. When he regained consciousness, I was still peeing the same pee. And upon my return to bed, he remarked “Wow! That was a super long one!”. Yup! They tend to be.

Also about 2 months ago, I had to do this test where I was required to collect 24hrs worth of all the pee that came out of me – the clinic gave me a gallon jug and a collection trough, I had so much pee within the 24-hr period that I had to throw the last few away because the jug was full before the 24 hours were up. Obvious conclusion: I pee more than a gallon worth a day.

On the flip side, pregnancy hormones slows down your digestive system and everything becomes super sluggish. What this means is, while my IBS meant that diarrhoea was commonplace in my life previously, I now barely move my bowels even with a fibre supplement, mild laxative AND stool softener. I do a happy jig and proudly announce to my poor husband whenever I get to poop (which is once every 3-4 days) AND I get insanely jealous when he gets to go while I don’t.

5. Pregnant women get Electrocuted Vagina (or Lightning crotch)

When I first experienced it, I yelped and screamed for T. I thought I was dying. Actually, a lot of pregnancy symptoms made me think I was having a stroke or dying. I described it as electric shocks in my lady parts and looked it up. Other people call it lightning crotch. IT IS A THING!! OH MY GOD! If you’ve had laser hair removal, you’ll know the stinging sensation and it is SO ANNOYINGLY UNCOMFORTABLE in a super sensitive area! I started experiencing this towards the end of my 1st trimester – which apparently is unusual, so I thought it was something else until the doctor said it’s normal.

So I’ve learnt that lighting crotch is related to your nerves being pinched and at a later stage, it’s the baby lying at some weird angle. I started feeling something like popcorn popping inside me about 2 weeks ago and I thought it was bad gas initially. The ultrasound however confirmed that we’ve got a super active baby. We’ve had 3 ultrasounds now and in the last 2, he was kicking and flipping and squirming – he looked like he was headbanging and doing sit-ups (I swear that’s what it looks like). I can only imagine that lightning crotch is going to get worse for me as he gets bigger.

6. It should be called All Day Sickness 

Forget the misnomer Morning Sickness. With all my pregnancies, I was throwing up all day and I typically lose about 5kgs in the first trimester. I carry those free doggie poop bags I collect from the streets and they are always in my pockets, handbag, the car, night stand etc. Somewhere in the middle of January, it got so bad that I actually lost my voice. The bile scratched up my throat so much that I was hoarse and could barely speak. I’m further along in my pregnancy than I’ve ever been now, and it appears to have stopped. “They” whoever they are, say that it usually ends in the 1st trimester. It took me a few weeks longer than that but I haven’t had an episode for a while now. Fingers crossed. Dry heaving maybe once or twice but no actual purging.

This post was actually called “10 things” but I have forgotten what I want to say (see point 3: Pregnancy Brains). Hahaha!

With all of that said, I want people to rest assured that I’m definitely not alone in experiencing these challenges and pregnancy is not a breeze in general.  I’m not complaining and it is, what it is. I’ve learnt that all pregnant women go through a combination of different issues and even if you think you’re so special and unique, you’re most probably not, so don’t be afraid to seek a support group for help – unless you’re like Daffyd Thomas in Little Britain and enjoy it that way.