Tuesday, 30 October 2007


When we were at Dr N’s clinic the last time, we found out that for some reason Baby’s abdomen was slightly smaller than the average size. Dr N was a little concerned so he had scheduled an appointment for us to do another scan at Dr C at TMC. So much for being average huh?!

We went for the scan yesterday and the result is not too ideal. Baby is indeed slightly below average when compared to other babies at the same stage. According to Dr C, Baby weighs almost 1.3kg now so he / she is about 200g behind.

During the scan, Dr C paid particular attention to the placenta and the umbilical cord in case there are blockages. However the findings came back with good results. Baby is getting all the oxygen and blood properly to both the heart and brain. So no concerns there.

In fact other than the smaller abdomen, Dr C assured us that Baby is in the pink of health and is getting all the nutrients.

The funny thing is Baby’s limbs, spine and head circumference are all growing fine and by that I mean average. It is only his / her abdomen which probably results in the lighter weight.

As of now Dr C only terms it as Placenta Restricted Growth. Although this can be caused by stress and malnutrition but he has rule it out in this case because the Mrs has to be extremely stressed up in order for it to affect Baby like that.

The only advice he has for now is to continue to eat regularly, have plenty of rest and carry on with the vitamins. We will be back in about a month’s time to see if Baby has grown. By then Baby will be about 33 weeks so the picture will be a lot clearer. They will be able to estimate better how big will Baby roughly be during labour.

I guess the most important thing here is Baby must continue to grow. So long as this is the case then we can still wait for Baby to decide to come out at his / her own time and terms. However if after a month and we found that Baby has not grown by much then we may have to think of the worst and that is to have Baby out via Caesarean Section.

Actually my nephew who was born only this month was quite premature too. He was only about 32 weeks when the Gynae found that he has not grown by much so my SIL went through C-Section and had him out. He is still in the hospital after spending about 2 weeks in ICU. I understand that he has to gain his weight till above 2kg before he can be discharged. The doctors are expecting it to be around December before he can be discharged.

How I felt while waiting to make payment was probably how my parents felt when they found out that my pelvis was dislocated (during child birth by the way) when I was much younger many moons ago (who am I kidding here, its more like many; many; many years ago). Now I truly understand how my parents must have felt when what the doctor had to say was not too positive and encouraging.

While being a little worried I had to be strong for the Mrs and Baby. I know that she is already very disturbed and how she feels will directly affect Baby. I could see her eyes turning red and watery sitting there a little lost and replaying what Dr C had said over and over again in her confused and puzzled mind. I believe she alone has done enough worrying for the 3 of us hence I had to be the positive and encouraging one.

Honestly I am positive to a large extend because Dr C did say that Baby is very healthy and there is nothing wrong with the umbilical cord and placenta. Baby is also getting sufficient blood and oxygen. I suddenly feel like I am in the TV commercial for the radio station where although the tennis coach and driving instructor are really criticizing, the fat boy’s father and the driver can only hear the good words. You couch potatoes will know what I’m referring to.

No, seriously. Dr C has already confirmed that Baby will not be a 3 over kg baby. If everything goes well, Baby will most probably be just below the 3kg mark. Which if you ask me is really not too bad, right? So we will have a slightly smaller baby but surely we can fix that once Baby is out. I’m sure with the right care, love and of course lots of food, Baby will eventually catch up with the rest in terms of size. And with so many people loving him / her around, I wouldn’t be surprised if Baby actually over shoots and ends up weighing a little heavier than the rest. I am not even going to imagine obese here.

Looking at the bright side, by being that bit smaller, maybe Baby is really trying to help mummy goes through a easy, fast and drug free labour. After all we did pay good money for the HypnoBirthing class.

Thursday, 25 October 2007


It has been almost a month since we attended our last lesson on HypnoBirthing and I still have not imparted what I learned to those of you who are interested.

I mentioned in my earlier post, Relax that the first half of the training was on the various breathing techniques, positive affirmations and visualizations as well as the different birthing positions.

If I have to summarize the second half of what we learned in one word, it will have to be Knowledge.

HypnoBirthing believes in arming all MTB with more knowledge and information so that they will be able to decide on the kind of birth they want.

We were taught to design the kind of birth we want just like the extensive hours we spent on researching for our next vacation. We will normally plan where we want to go and how we are going to get there. We will also make out a list of things to bring and for some people contingency plans in case there is rain or the places of interests are not open etc.

According to HypnoBirthing practitioners birthing should be like that as well. MTB should make out a list of things they want for their birth and also Plan B (in case things do not go as planned). This is what we call Birth Plan. From what I gathered Birth Plan is not too big in Asia. They are prepared mainly by the European and American MTB.

Initially I thought we might have some problem with Dr N on bringing up the fact that we have a birth plan but I realized very quickly how naive I was to think that he is not exposed to such “new age” things. He has many patients, hence the 3 over hours wait, and a substantial number of them are in fact Caucasians.

Actually till date we have only mentioned to him that we have a birth plan but have not discussed in details. So far he has proven to be accommodating and the only point he brought up that he does not wish to compromise is on the expulsion of the placenta. He is not comfortable with waiting for it to detach on its own.

We also discussed the different types of pain relief and methods of inductions.

Well here it is, our Birth Plan:

Name: The Mrs
Doctor: Dr N
Husband’s Name: A Husband
Doula: N.A.
EDD: 9th January 2008
Hospital: Mount Elizabeth
Paediatrician: Not appointed at this point in time

Birth Plan

Introduction / Overview:

I have attended HypnoBirthing class and would like to apply what I have learned during labour and childbirth. I would like to go for a natural vaginal birth without the aid of any drugs or induction and as little intervention as possible unless there is any danger to my baby or myself.

Note: At any stage of my labour, should the need arise please discuss any proposed intervention with my husband and I before proceeding.

Labour – 1st stage of labour:

I would like to be able to move and walk about freely as well as change positions at will during labour

I will be bringing along my own music to play during labour

I wish to wear the hospital gown throughout labour

I wish to be consulted before we proceed with vaginal examination as I want to keep it to a minimum

I prefer to have intermittent monitoring of the baby’s heart rate in order to remain mobile

I wish to hydrate myself through normal intake of water instead on being put onto the IV

I prefer to be patient and allow the membrane to break on its own

In case induction really becomes necessary then I prefer to have the amniotic membrane ruptured before other methods are used

I understand that pain medications exist and I will ask for them if I need them

Birth – 2nd stage of labour:

I would prefer not to have an episiotomy

Unless there is a medical emergency I would like to avoid a Cesarean

I would like to protect the perineum hence I will practice ahead by doing Kegel exercises and massaging the perineum

I would like to be allowed to choose the position to give birth in, i.e. standing and squatting etc.

Birth of Placenta – 3rd stage of labour:

As I am storing the cord hence I will require the cord be clamped early

I wish to have my baby brought to me immediately after birth before any administrative procedure is carried out

Baby’s care in hospital

I prefer to breastfeed my baby instead of formula milk

I would like to have baby with me during the day but in the nursery at night but brought to me for breastfeeding

Noted By:


Dr N
Consultant ObGyn

I would like to add that HypnoBirthing class is definitely not for the weak stomachs because I have never seen so many women give birth in my life. And I am not talking about camera focusing only on the facial expressions of the mother. We are talking about the camera panning into ground zero where you can see the baby’s crowning to the twisting of its body to the final push.

I remembered the Mrs cringing when she saw the first video but by the end of our 4 lessons I think she has grown accustomed to watching them. I believe the fact mothers in the videos were not cursing and swearing helped.

Monday, 22 October 2007


I was once sent for a sales training course a few years ago with my previous job. It was more of a motivational refresher course than a sales technique training. The course was for 3 days and I enjoyed myself quite a fair bit because besides getting away from office for a few days I also get to meet other sales people from the various industries and learn a little more about their business.

I also truly believe that it is important for sales people to go for some motivational course every once in a while because for most sales people there will come a time when their morale will be rather low or they may simply lose that motivation and the drive that they initially possessed. These motivational courses are like fuel to keep their mind and heart going for another period of time.

During this training we were taught to think of ourselves as eagles and in order to fly high and far we need to dissociate ourselves with the chickens. The analogy is we are all born as eagles but if we stick with the chickens then they will influence us to think that like them, although we have wings we will never be able to fly. In other words we will never reach our full potential.

This is also the reason why the rich and successful are getting richer and more successful because they always associate themselves with one another. They learn and encourage each other instead of getting discouraged and disheartened by receiving all the negative feedbacks and pessimism from those who dare not even try.

You can tell the chickens from the eagles in your life rather easily. If you have an idea or business plan, the chickens will be the ones to discourage you and instead of being supportive and look at things in a more constructive and positive manner, they will tell you 1001 ways why your idea will fail and you should just be happy and contented with what you have and where you are now.

I do not know about you but I have come across many chickens in my life. One example was two of my ex-colleagues. We were all at our annual sales conference and this time the company invited a guest to talk to us on people and their different personalities. He generally broke it down into 4 categories and identified them by colours. We termed this the colour training. I am sure some of you readers have been through this before. A person will usually have all 4 colours in them but we were taught to look and identify which is his primary one. Once we can identify that then we will know how best to sell him.

Anyway the company arranged for the speaker to come to our office to coach the remaining staffs that missed out on the sales conference because they were not required to attend. Now these 2 ex-colleagues tried so hard to discourage another colleague from attending. They were telling him it will be a waste of his time (even though it will be conducted during office hours) and not useful etc. So this person made up some excuse and missed the training without realizing that it could have been useful for him. Clearly this person is a chicken too for being dissuaded so easily.

Personally I do not think these chickens are necessarily bad people. To me they either do not have the hunger to succeed in life or are too afraid of failure to even try. They can be good buddies when it comes to recreational stuffs like a beer or a game or two of golf and tennis but it should really remain just that.

The reason I bring this up is because over the weekend the Mrs told me that recently she has been hearing too many negative stories of mishaps during childbirth which resulted in the babies being hurt.

She is in the service industry so she deals with many people on a daily basis and some of them are very nice and genuinely excited for us being pregnant. These people will share with her their experiences, first hand or otherwise and will tell the Mrs to take care and not overwork etc.

Then there is the other group of people. It is not that they are not nice because they are also genuinely happy for us. Unfortunately they do not know the negative impact their stories will have on a pregnant lady.

One of the stories goes like this. A friend’s friend (aren’t most stories related in this way?) was all good and fine during the entire pregnancy period. All the scans and tests came back alright. Gynae has no reason to believe that there should be any concern for both mother and baby. Unfortunately during labour, something went wrong (story teller doesn’t know what was the problem or complication) and as a result the baby had chest infections.

Another story from another person; this lady and her baby were both doing good that is up till labour where the mum’s waste somehow went to the baby resulting in his brain being damaged.

Now my question is this, since both the incidents are not preventable by the mummies in the first place why bring it up? To me unless it is something that we can learn from and take the necessary precautions otherwise these people should not be mentioning such stories. Their intentions may be good but all they achieve are leaving the mummies to wonder will the same happen to their babies.

I have told the Mrs to stop them from continuing as soon as she can sense that it is another negative story. Politely tell them that she has been hearing too many horror stories and it is directly affecting her and our baby so unless it has a happy ending she is not interested.

Did you know that people in general seem to like sad and negative stories? You can try this on your own. Take the daily newspaper and mark in red any stories that are negative and you will realize that today’s newspapers are selling us negative stories.

Perhaps this is the reason why most people like to share and relate only the negative stories. Do give it a little thought before you relate any story to the next person.

Friday, 12 October 2007


While being pregnant has brought us a lot of joy and excitement, it has its downside too.

Recently I discovered that I really dislike going to the Gynae. It is not due to Dr N of course as he is really a very caring and nice Gynae. The dislike that I am referring to here is the waiting.

I’m sure most of you will agree that a typical visit to your friendly neighbour Gynae will take about 2 – 3 hours easy right? Depending on the popularity of your Gynae, this waiting time can be much longer.

Our appointment is normally at 4.30pm but we will usually find ourselves still in the clinic by about 7.30pm. This is also the reason why we have chosen to pick the time slot that is as late as possible. Those of you who have been reading this blog since day 1 will know that the Mrs works very close to Dr N’s clinic so what she usually does is to go over and register at 4.30pm and then go back to her office. She has established this rapport with the staffs so they will call her when it is soon to be her turn.

This is all good for the Mrs but to me it makes little difference. To get from my office to the clinic is at least half an hour if I am lucky enough to find a parking lot fast so I cannot wait till they call the Mrs before heading over. I try to make it a point to be there every time she visits Dr N so I will have to leave earlier and make sure I am there when it is her turn.

Initially I was there at about 5pm when appointment was at 4.30pm but this has been pushed back little by little with each visit. During our last visit this week I was there at 6pm but we still finished at about 7.30pm. At least this time the waiting has been cut down to about 1.5 hours only. Since the Mrs was back in her office working, I will be there alone most of the time.

I find sitting there and not doing anything a really waste of time. As it is I am already busy to the extent that my routine car servicing has been delayed by almost 3 months now yet I still am unable to find the time to drop the car off. This is also partly due to the fact that I move around a lot hence I do require the car.

Normally I will bring along some reading materials like books and newspapers but very quickly these will be exhausted.

Recently I have resorted to bringing my laptop along so I can work on this blog. Unfortunately the clinic does not have WIFI otherwise I can do a lot more. So now I have to be contented with just writing my next post using Word and then upload it later once I’m home.

Noticing that they still have new patients (first-timers) walking in at 7.30pm during our last visit, I have decided to push our luck a little more the next time. I am targeting to go in only at about 7pm after having our dinner even though our appointment is again at 4.30pm. In most cases the clinic does not close anytime before 7.30pm anyway.

Come to think of it this is the same mind set I have whenever I bring Ah No to the family Vet. Yes, we have a family Vet and her initial is also 'N' coincidentally. Dr N, the Vet has been tending to our dogs since many years back. When we were younger and all living under one roof we used to have this fox terrier, ‘Russell the rascal’ as we affectionately called him. After my sis and I moved out, my dad and mum kept him until he passed away about 2 years back at the age of 12.

Now my sis has 2 cocker spaniels and I have Ah No of course and we still go back to Dr N for the yearly vaccination and check up.

So, whenever I had to make an appointment for Ah No, it will always be the very last one for the day. So it was usually either 7 or 7.30pm. I like being the last one because knowing very well that everyone wants to knock off on time we were normally made to wait for only a rather short while even if we arrived about half an hour earlier for Ah No’s appointment . This is compared to between 1 – 2 hours if my appointment is for any other time of the day.

I guess part of the reason why I dislike waiting at clinics is also due to the fact that the time we spent in the room for the consultation does not quite justify the waiting time. Imagine we wait for 3 hours and we are usually done in about 15 minutes or less.

Any of you also ever noticed that for some strange reasons the people before you will usually take longer than you? Take going to the GP for example. The waiting time can be an hour with most patients going in before you taking rather long. Some can take up to 20 mins and when it is your turn, that lousy 5 mins.

In order to justify the waiting time I have resorted to .................... no, I did not intentionally spend longer time in the room with the Doctor consulting him on symptoms and conditions that my colleagues and neighbours are having. Although the thought did cross my mind. Ha Ha

There is this beef noodle stall in East Coast Park hawker centre that we rather like. Before the renovation the queue there is typically half an hour easy. So in the past whenever we were there I will buy 3 or maybe 4 bowls of noodles for the 2 of us to justify the long wait. Hee Hee

For your information I will never queue 4 hours just to buy donuts. I believe no food is worth that kind of wait. Anyway we managed to eat their donuts by waiting in line for only 5 mins at the new Suntec City outlet. It is actually rather good. Maybe worth half hour wait by my book.

Friday, 5 October 2007


I believe to most husbands like me, going away on a business trip is not the easiest thing to do especially when his wife is pregnant.

The Mrs and I are blessed in a sense that we have an excellent relationship and we do almost everything together. We go to work together, we have dinner together everyday after work and we spent every weekend together as well.

This is all good except when I have to go away occasionally for my work. During these times I will always wonder if she will be alright on her own. It is made worse now that she is pregnant.

It would have been easier if we were living with our parents but we only have Ah No in our small family. Initially I made the wrong decision of leaving Ah No with my parents whenever I travel because it requires some work taking care of him and since the Mrs is pregnant I do prefer for her to rest more and not have to look after Ah No. Did I mention that Ah No likes to “bully” her? He likes to hop onto the bed whenever my back is turned and while the Mrs is on it. No matter what she does he will not leave the bed.

This trip however I decided to leave Ah No behind to accompany the Mrs because from my last trip I learned that she will be better off with him by her side. I know she will feel lonelier if she were to come back to an empty home every night. At least with Dino around she has some form of contact and companionship.

I normally take care of most of the things at home. She can sleep through a mini storm knowing that I will wake up to close all the windows. Up until about 2 months ago when I lost my phone from one of my business trips, I had also always been the one to set the alarm to wake us up every morning.

I will normally be the one to ensure that nothing new is left on our bedside tables because Ah No will pick it up in the middle of the night and would have eaten half of it by the next morning. The Mrs has lost a couple of things, most notably her Nokia Sirocco handphone pouch this way. This is an item that we are unable to replace till today.

I had half a day at home to pack and prepare for my trip to Mumbai, India so I took the opportunity to try and get things organized for her. Some of the things that went through my mind was to remove the phone and iPod cables that were lying on the bedside table, replace the battery on our 2 face clock. Ensure that Dino has enough food to last him till this weekend when I will be back. Knowing that she will be driving to work everyday while I’m away, I made sure the cashcard and petrol are topped up. I had to ensure that the PC headphone is taken out for her so that we can chat via Skype every night.

I had originally wanted to pick up some TVB Cantonese drama serial for her but she insisted that she will be fine. That prompted me to remind her not to work too late while I’m away. Knowing her, she will work much later knowing that I will not be waiting for her to knock off each day.

For the 4 days that I will be away, a lot of preparation and thinking had to be put in hence I am really not looking forward to my next trip away to Shanghai in November unless of course the Mrs can tag along and believe me, she would very much like to.