An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

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


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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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Stress Away from Young Living

As you’d have read from my post about 3 weeks ago, I’ve started using Young Living essential oils on the recommendation of my friend Ana. Ana uses the oils for the health of her young family and gave me some that she thought might help me too. In the last few weeks, I’ve been faithfully using the oils she selected for me, including some of the ones that came in the Basic Starter Kit. In fact, the one that I felt worked for me almost immediately is STRESS AWAY.

IMG_8177My small bottle of STRESS AWAY was included in the Basic Starter Kit and came with the AromaGlide Fitment – basically a roll-on attachment which makes applying topically such a breeze. Every night as I wind down (it takes me a while to settle into my bedtime hygiene), I roll some onto my wrists and I do the same for T as well.

IMG_8176We have a bottle of Melatonin right next to us (actually on his nightstand) because for some reason, it’s difficult for us to fall asleep. I don’t use Melatonin as much as T because I don’t work and I basically have the luxury of waking/sleeping as my body clock decrees but sometimes, it’s just annoying to be tossing and turning. I’ve noticed that I haven’t needed any Melatonin for the last 3 weeks since I started using Stress Away to relax before turning in.

I can’t say for sure that it’s all attributed to STRESS AWAY but it is an obvious variable and it doesn’t hurt that it smells really nice.

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why it brings back childhood memories. T and I actually looked up the ingredients to see what it contains – it has lime, vanilla pure, copaiba and lavender. The only conclusion I have is that it smells like incense or something we use during the Hare Krishna Kirtans we used to host at my parents’ house when I was growing up. Whatever it is, Stress Away seems to work for me right now and I’m going to continue using it.

If you’re keen to learn more, hit up my pal Ana and she’ll be happy to answer more questions about essential oils.


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My foray into Young Living Essential Oils

I got my first packages from Young Living a few days ago and I’ll be sharing my journey over the next few months. My friend Ana (One Drop Nirvana) kinda offered them to me and hopes that they would be beneficial to some health issues I’ve been facing. Ana was an ex-colleague and when I first met her, she was a new mother. Now she has 2 beautiful children and is using essential oils regularly to keep her family healthy and safe.

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Before I told her to sign me up, I asked her some questions to find out more.

1. How did you get started with this?

I started becoming acquainted with Young Living oils in 2009 when a very good friend gifted me with some, but only began using them seriously in 2011. Keyaan had started preschool and was falling sick every fortnight. It got to a point where it was ridiculous – fever every two weeks and doctors kept plying him with paracetamol, ibuprofen and antibiotics. All didn’t really help except to force the symptoms into submission. But his immunity was poor and so kept falling sick.

I decided enough was enough, pulled Keyaan out of school for a week or two and decided to really try out the oils exclusively. I went back to the friend and asked for help. The specific oil that did the trick was a blend called Thieves (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/products/essential-oils/blends/thieves-essential-oil), a highly anti-viral oil.

The difference was palpable because when Keyaan recovered this time, he didn’t fall ill again. In fact, my kids now rarely fall sick and when even they do, they recover quickly.

I keep up a maintenance routine of using one drop of Thieves essential oil on the soles of their feet, twice a day or before and after they enter an indoor playground or visit people’s homes (as much as possible).  When they’re ill, I ramp it up to every 15 mins or every hour.

2. Why Young Living and not other essential oils?

Young Living is the only company in the world that produces essential oils to a level that makes them therapeutic grade. Any grade lower than theirs’ would not be suitable for healing purposes. I’ve been to the farm (and about to visit two more this year), learned their Seed to Seal (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/discover/quality) process and am utterly convinced that it is the only oils that I would trust to use on myself and family.

Other oils (like NOW from iHerb) might be good enough for fragrance purposes or at best, food grade (doesn’t kill you to ingest, but no real benefits). I’ve smelled doTERRA, Mt Sapola and other types of oils – they range between smelling very “nice” and perfumy (i.e. fake) or rancid/faint (adulterated with alcohol, liquid paraffin and other fillers).

3. What are the 3 most common things you use essential oils for?

The health of my family is top priority for me, so I use a lot of anti-viral single and blended essential oils to build immunity and prevent disease. These include the aforementioned Thieves, singles like Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Frankincense, Idaho Blue Spruce, Copaiba, the Eucalyptus varieties and many more, including a collection called Raindrop (http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/media/events/raindrop) and other blends such as DiGize, ImmuPower and Purification.

I also practice drawing from what I call the Source or Universal Law of Attraction, so I use oils with a higher frequency for emotional and spiritual purposes. Some of my favourite blends (and the names of the oils gives you an idea of its purpose) are: Abundance, Believe, Magnify Your Purpose, Build Your Dream, Awaken and Valor.

On a more practical front, the oils are so versatile that they can actually replace some of my beauty and personal care products on a daily basis and even more so when I’m travelling and on the go. For example, Frankincense and/or Lavender make a great face serum; Sage is a great anti-perspirant; Petitgrain is a mild deodorant, and in a pinch I’ve even used the blend Valor (which is made with fractionated coconut oil base) as an eye make-up remover!

Hope these answer your questions.

And yes, they did and I want to experience some of those benefits too. Her answers were enough to pique my curiosity and so Ana got me a Basic Starter Kit as well as 4 other oils.

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The starter kit itself contained information about Young Living as well as some of their products. I got 1 small bottle of STRESS AWAY with a roll-on attachment, samples of the Ningxia Red dietary supplement (2 packets) and several small sachets of other oils like Lavender, Peppermint, Thieves, Lemon and Peace & Calming. I tried the STRESS AWAY immediately because the roll-on applicator made it very convenient to apply topically on my wrists. I also rolled some onto T’s wrists and he really liked how it smelt.

IMG_8072Ana also gifted me Lemon, Thieves, Progessence Plus and Geranium with some instructions on how to use them:

1. Progessence (for hormonal health) – apply one drop on either sides of your neck (carotid arteries) before bedtime and in the morning daily. Alternatively, apply on inner thighs.

2. Geranium (for stress) – apply one drop on your inner ankles before bedtime and also one tiny drop, rub lightly on your palms and dab it on your face as a serum. In addition to providing stress relief, is a great way to gently rebalance female hormones, especially for those facing some challenges in that area (e.g. PMS, PCOS, irregular menses, fertility etc).

3. Thieves (prevent disease, antiviral) – one drop on soles of feet, twice a day. If sick (or going to be), ingest one drop in a spoonfool of organic honey.

4. Lemon (antioxidant) – 3 drops in a litre bottle of water, once a day.

I posted some pictures of the products I’ve been using on Instagram and have started a healthy discussion with some friends who are also into essential oils. I’m keen to learn and would love to engage you in a conversation with them too. If you have any knowledge of essential oils or are curious about them, leave me some comments below or else just follow my journey over the next few months.

IMG_8087And here’s a picture of the lovely Ana and the Melissa plant. She visited Washington State a few months ago and got to experience the Young Living farms herself. In fact, they are also open for anyone to visit! Imagine fields of LAVENDER… Anyway, visit Ana’s blog ONE DROP NIRVANA and write to her if you are interested to learn more about oils.