Short Version: another no-news/good-news appointment, and then I talk about baby kicks. And don't forget the IIFF!

I had another no-news appointment this morning. I am now at the same weight I reached at the peak of my OHSS. I thoroughly recommend that anyone who wants to stack on over a dozen kilos does so over a few trimesters, rather than a few days. Also, I love my exercise ball! I am back to not feeling achey and stiff, although I do still have to be careful about moving around, stretching and changing positions.


When I returned from my latest "IVF Holiday", back in August last year, I decided to watch Saturday Night Fever on the plane. They say babies start learning things long before birth. The Foetus seems to have picked up some disco moves. "Ah, ah, ow, ooh... staying alive." I'm telling you, he's been simultaneously jabbing me in the upper right rib and the lower left pelvis, just like Johnny T on the dance floor.

I've been meaning to describe how it feels for a while now. For some reason, I kind of expected the kicking to be a pleasant sensation, and, well, it is and it's not. I mean, fundamentally, it is. It is because it tells me he's still alive. Heck, it is because it reminds me he's in there at all. I like thinking about his little hands and feet as they pummel against my insides. "That was a foot," I think, and I get a wonderfully giddy sensation just thinking about these feet.

On the other hand, I am surprised (even though I shouldn't be, now I come to think about it) to find that the physical sensation itself is not really what you'd call pleasant. Put it this way: if I didn't know it was being caused by a baby, I'd probably say it was irritating. So did I, in the throes of our battle with infertility, spend one too many days thinking how great it would be to feel a baby in my belly, and not quite enough being logical about the whole thing? I was pretty sure I hadn't done that. I was pretty sure I had things in perspective, and not in some idealised, rose-coloured view. Luckily, I still feel I would have done it anyway. It's one of those "hurts so good" things.

"What does it feel like, exactly?" asked Mr Bea.

I tilted my head to the side and considered. "It feels like..." Bubbles? Pops? Gas? "It feels like..." Dancing? Mini earthquakes in the belly? Shocks? "It feels like a small creature moving around inside my abdomen."


"But not just any creature. Not, for example, like a large mouse with scratchy, tickly nails or anything like that. More like..."

"A pre-term human baby?"


It might be more comfortable if I could teach the little Disco Monkey in there to moonwalk, but I think Staying Alive is a much better theme than Thriller.

Short Version: I am beginning to feel physically uncomfortable, but I'll cope. Everything otherwise fine.

Extra note: don't forget to put your entries together for the upcoming IIFF!

It's finally happening. I guess it was bound to sooner or later, although, actually, scratch that - I can think of a whole range of scenarios in which late-pregnancy discomfort doesn't happen, and I think I'll take the backache, thankyouverymuch - but nevertheless it's here, so I am writing to sigh resignedly about it.

I can't do things for long. This is somewhat annoying. For instance, my back gets sore when I sleep. I'm still getting enough sleep, it's just happening in shorter snatches over a longer period. My back gets sore - in a different place - when I sit. I am still working on my course, but it's happening in shorter snatches over a longer period. My feet get sore, and sometimes swollen, when I stand. I am still doing the housework, shopping, etc, but it's happening, well, in shorter snatches over a longer period. The leg cramps have come back. It's distracting, and just not nice.

My work area looks like some kind of low-impact, executive gym (but with much cheaper decor). In addition to the laptop, books, notes etc, there is an exercise ball, a yoga mat, and an airer with towel and swimming togs hanging over it. Add a beanbag and a few cushions and you get the idea. This is because, over my long period of getting things done in short snatches, I need to stop and stretch the achey bits out, rest them quietly, and eventually immerse them all in water for twenty minutes so they can go back to their normal size. This leaves much less time for goofing off, and goofing off was so one of my favourite things. I suppose you could say this is nature's way of reconciling me to the end of pregnancy, the process of labour, and the start of infant care. Nature is such a bitch sometimes. She couldn't think of a nicer way?

Nevertheless, with a little extra work, I am still able to keep the symptoms under control, which is one more thing to be thankful for on top of everything else. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go and be thankful for it on my exercise ball.

Short Version: 32wk appointment, hospital tour, prenatal classes, shopping list - all coming along fine.

The Wardrobe Begins

A couple of days ago, we got our first baby clothes. My sister sent them, and they arrived in the mail. One T-shirt says, "If you think I'm cute, you should see my aunt." Apparently she considered, but eventually decided against, writing her phone number underneath.

When I took the clothes out of the package, Mr Bea took them to look at. "They're so tiny!" he breathed. "Are babies really that small?" I had to gently point out the tags that read, "Size 3-6 months."

My mum and mum-in-law also announced purchases, so I gave in and bought a few cloth nappies to round out the mini-collection.

Prenatal 101

Saturday was our first prenatal class. Friday night, Mr Bea asked if there was anything he should have read up on beforehand. "I think the purpose of the class is to learn stuff, rather than to show off your knowledge," I responded. Nevertheless, when I arose in the morning, he was already on the couch studying Breastfeeding Made Simple. I raised an eyebrow at him, and he said, "Hey - this could totally be on the exam."

In this first of three classes, we discussed normal labour, starting with anatomy.

"This is the cervix," the midwife said, referring to her poster. "In this picture it's closed, as it has been since it let through that tiny little sperm who swam up your reproductive tract and fused with the egg to make your baby." Um, yeah, whatever.

There was a run-through of the stages of labour. "Early signs might include nesting behaviour such as cleaning and tidying..."

"That'll be easy to spot," Mr Bea whispered from the corner of his mouth.

"...or irrational displays of emotion..."

"No help there, though."

Lastly, we learned some massage techniques. Mr Bea was instructed in light massage, sacral counterpressure, hip and pelvic massage, head and jaw massage, and various pressure points. "So how did you all feel about that?" the midwife asked when we were done.

"Maybe you should set him a homework assignment for practice," I replied. "After all, massage is going to be on the exam, right?"

The Fortnight Zone

We have hit SOB's fortnight zone. No more monthly appointments for us - the longest I'll go without seeing him from now til the end is two weeks. Next appointment we get to discuss our "birth plan", which in our classes is more accurately referred to as our "birth philosophy". Everything is fine, except that the boy, who is apparently already big enough to fit into newborn nappies, has decided that the normal presentation he's been dutifully displaying on pretty much every ultrasound so far is getting kind of old, so he's trying out breech. We're not to worry about that until next appointment. I think I'll be not-worrying in cat-stretch position, for what it's worth.

Tour of Delivery

After the appointment we went on a hospital tour, and learned all about hospital policies such as immediate bonding and breastfeeding, rooming in, free lactation advice and consultation, etc etc.

"Is it your first baby?" the tour guide asked us, and I affirmed that it was. "It'll be very exciting for you!" she enthused, to which I answered, "Not too exciting, I hope." Everyone laughed except me.

Near the end, we went up to the fifth floor to see the VIP suit where local celebrities and other people who have much more money than we do stay. The fertility clinic is on the fifth floor. A couple excused themselves as they shuffled from the back of the lift through our tour group of half a dozen heavily pregnant women and their doting partners and down the hall in the direction of the IVF centre. Most of the group moved aside absently and continued listening to the tour guide. Mr Bea and I turned to watch them disappear round the corner.

I hope they get here one day.

Short Version: complaint story about a restaurant's chef.

Sometimes I forget to specify that I want my meat well done on account of the pregnancy and the parasites and so forth, and sometimes the wait staff forget to ask. And sometimes I mistakenly assume things, like that crumbed, fried fish will come thoroughly cooked.

This is no problem.

But when I apologetically explain that I should have requested it well done in the first place and could you humour me by just please putting it on for a little longer til it's cooked through because, you know, doctor's orders, the long-term welfare of my unborn child, etc, there's something I want you to understand.

I don't care, chef, if you feel insulted for some unknown reason.

I don't care, chef, if your "professional opinion" is that this is how the fish is supposed to be cooked.

I don't care, chef, if the fish will end up tough, or dry.

I don't care, chef, if it will take too long (and thanks, by the way, for deliberately making me wait forty minutes until others had finished and were getting restless before serving my revised meal, and I hope that made you feel better about your inadequate penis size).

I don't care, chef, if you send the dish backwards and forwards from the kitchen via an increasingly uncomfortable and apologetic waiter with fresh arguments as to why I should just eat it like it is.

I don't care, chef. I don't care. Why would you even think I'd care?

You see, I'm too busy, monsenior fricking chef, considering the fact that I don't want to risk ingesting live parasites that might cause permanent disability to my child. It's what you might call an "overriding concern". If you think I'm going to stop caring about that for long enough to bow to your overly-weighty ego (or perhaps your insecurity complex?), then you are profoundly confused in your thinking.

And just, like, deeply, freakishly stupid.

And a prick.

Our neighbours moved out a couple of weeks ago, and so far, no-one else has moved in. On the weekend I was just stepping out when some prospective tenants came to view, and in a prospective-neighbourly way I said hi.

"Hello!" they responded, and then, giving a downward flick of the eyes towards my belly, one added, "Do you live next door?"

"Yes, we've been here about a year now*," I told them, turning the key in the door and pressing the button for the lift. "You're looking at moving in, then?"

"Well, we're just having a look," they replied, as the real estate agent grinned woodenly in the background and vaguely tried to usher them inside. The lift came, we said our goodbyes and I stepped inside.

I wonder if, two seconds after the door closed, they turned to the agent and said, "You know what? I think we've seen enough."

*Tenancies in Singapore are generally two years long.

Powered by Blogger.