Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 34 Day 5 - Myself @ Week 34

Everyone warns me about the end part of pregnancy.

Fortunately, everything seems to be going smoothly so far, apart from the glucose scare.

I have had my share of late pregnancy symptoms.
For a day or two after attending the Currie Cup Finals between Western Province and Sharks, both my feet and hands were bloating as well, but it all appears to be back to normal size now.

Hubby said my nose is wider, but then, I always have a wide nose..

Also, my finger joints are beginning  feel a bit stiff at times, but not to the point where it's painful.

So far so good, and I am really still enjoying my pregnancy. Just a few more weeks to go!

Me @ 34 weeks

Compare my bump at 30 and 25 weeks, 22 weeks and 16, 12, 8 weeks!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Shower Day

Last Saturday was perfect weather for having our baby shower. It was as if we ordered a perfect summer's day.

It wasn't a surprise shower as I was quite determined I do not want to go through the traditional way of how mum-to-bes are ridiculed for the sake of fun. With my hormones raging, I am sure I would have screamed at the top of my lungs if I am forced to sift through flour to find gummy bears or forced to drink overly sweet syrups if I don't know what is meconium.

So, Ian and I decided we would rather have a celebration where both the men and ladies and even the kids are invited so we can celebrate the soon-to-arrive baby.
When we discussed it with our close friends, the women insisted they wanted to help to prepare the baby shower as to keep with the tradition, so they took it into their own hands to get the food ready, while I prepare the games.

Early Saturday morning I laid down the table cloths, the games table, some simple flowers decor and wait for the food and guests :) We even managed to incorporate the baby names suggested by our wedding guests back in Dec 2011. It was really funny reading the names again.

Hmmm, somehow the camera man only managed to take the photo of the dessert table and forgot the other table. I guess he must be busy with the food as there were abundance of them from cupcakes, to cheese platters, fruit tarts, samoosas, koeksisters,  the list goes on.

Main dessert table

Baby names suggested by our wedding guests in Dec 2011.

Games and gift table and two little cuties waiting for their mum.

Cupcakes made by my friend Natasha

Flowers decor
The idea is that nobody should be forced to play baby shower games while sitting in a circle :-) Therefore,  I made it that the games are there on the table, who wants to play it can do so. If you have to leave early with other appointments, you can do so and come back to join us again if they can.

So I had the 'Pin-the-sperm' game, 'Baby scramble', 'Beer bottles' and the traditional 'Candy Counting' game for the day.

'Pin the sperm'  game

Count the candy

Beer bottles

Prizes up for grabs!

Coincidently, the Currie Cup semi-finals was on that day, with Western Province - Lions game, we made sure our DSTV is working so they can enjoy the game before the celebration begins, while the kiddies and parents are all downstairs enjoying a swim or just laze in the garden. It was really a relaxing day, where everyone does whatever they want to while catching up and spending time with each other.

Western Province fans watching the rugby on TV

Parents keeping a watchful eye over their kids swimming in the pool

Kids enjoying the grass and outdoors

Ahh... I really don't know how they can stand the cold water !

Hadley and son rolling on the grass

Men getting fire ready for braai-ing of boerewors

Kiddies making use of the activity table

The only time when we got the group together is during the gift opening session. Although reluctant at first, I later realized that most people enjoy seeing what cute baby stuff everyone got for us. So we just announced to the people that we are opening the gifts, and they can choose to join or continue with whatever they are busy with.

Opening cute pressies

Very lovely presents from everyone

It was really a very enjoyable and relaxing day.  As the day came to an end, the women cuddled at the kitchen island, enjoying some coffee. While kids strutting their stuff dancing along with a sing-along dvd.

ABC, 123, swing your hips! 

Mummies just chatting and enjoying a cuppa

I am really grateful to have friends for making this celebration so special. The gifts came in so handy and I'm sure baby is going to love them as much as we do!

Gifts all wrapped up

Opened gifts!

Previous post on baby shower preparation

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 33 Day 3 - Gynae Visit

Went for my 33 weeks gynae visit two days ago.
First question gynae asked was what list of complains I have ? lol
I actually don't have any real complains, except that when I sit for too long in front of the computer at work then I feel some pain at my ribs.

I was then weighed, standing at 65kg now. Gee.... I was 49kg before pregnancy, so that means I have gained 16kg so far! To imagine I was never pass the 50kg mark, but now im going towards 70kg....
However, Doctor was worried about my glucose level in my urine sample. It was +3 (normal level is until +2). My previous visit also showed a slightly higher glucose level in my urine sample. I had to go have my blood taken to test for my glucose level as well as full blood count. Will know the results tomorrow.

I was then told to lie down and meet baby again. He is now at 2.5kg! Wow... just a month ago, he was at 1.6kg. A whole 1kg increase! Gynae said baby has a big head, abdomen , feet and (ah-hem) willy. Baby is already head down. The gynae also mentioned that she noticed some signs of placenta calcification starting. (I hope it's not too early or too quick).

Baby @ 33 weeks

All in all, gynae seems to be not worried, and that baby is healthy. My next appointment will be in 3 weeks, which I will then be 36 weeks +. Can't wait till I get the blood results, in the meantime I am just making sure I am being strict with my sugar intake.
Guess this is one of the first few sacrifices a mom takes for their child. Many more to come, but I am soo excited for baby to arrive!

Update : 2013-10-25  11:20 am
Gynae just gave me a call, to let me know that my blood test showed that my glucose level is a little high at 5.7.  She said the normal range is 5.5 (Not sure if that's the highest of normal range, or?)  She then said I must go for a further blood test tomorrow early in the morning, and not to eat the night before. 
Being me, I have googled "gestational diabetes" and it is a bit depressing.  *Sigh*
I'm crossing my fingers that the blood test tomorrow says it's not that.

Anyone experienced or know someone that experienced this?

Update : 2013-10-30  09:00 am
Went for a fasting blood test on Saturday morning, and after a few days of waiting in anticipation, got an SMS early this morning!

A call to the laboratory shows that my glucose level was tested to be 4.2  (Normal range 3.5 - 5.5 ). So I'm really happy! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baby Shower Preparations

Busy drafting my super long post of baby shower that happened last Saturday. Unfortunately internet is really slow today so getting the photos to upload into Blogger is making me all irritated...

So this will be a Before-Baby-Shower post, while getting the real post done :)

I really enjoyed making the invitations for the baby shower. I love different textures in papers and not to mention, colours !
Unfortunately I do not have Illustrator installed in my new laptop, so have to use Microsoft Words instead, and managed to ask Ian's mum to do the final touch of sewing on top! The aim is to spend as little as possible and something simple. How do you like it?

Even sperms and uterus (yes, you read right) made its debut on the day!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pregnancy Brain, I shall not bow to you!

So I wrote a post on Pregnancy Brain - Myth or Reality about a week ago.
Believe it or not, I had another encounter that is nudging me towards facing the reality :(

Every 6 weeks or so, I would bring Rainbow to the groomers. I do the regular washing myself from time to time, but as she is a Shih Tzu breed, her hair is similar to our human hair, it grows and grows. I  keep her hair short, as I find it neater and she is more comfortable and easier to maintain with it. Also, the groomers take care of her nails and ears.

So the plan today was to drop her off on my way to work, and pick her up during my lunchtime. Got into my usual routine, packed my laptop and bag into the car. I usually put Rainbow on the passenger seat next to me, but today I decided to rather leave her at the back car seat as it is not so convenient anymore to fetch carry her from the other side of the car to my side, due to my bump.

Off to work I went, and yes, you guessed right. I was about 90% of my journey to work when I realised that I forgot to drop her off! Normally, this would not be that big an issue as it would probably take me another 20 mins to turn back and drive to work again. But today of all days, the traffic lights by Sable Road decided to play along. There was a long queue at the traffic lights as the "turn right" light does not appear in its sequence, so all the cars in my lane could not find the gap to make the turn and took me more than 20 mins just for that 10 metres to U-Turn back on to the highway.

It is really frustrating and made me feel so much less competent when I forget something as I am usually organised. To the point that I truly enjoy checking my phone calendar and look at my to-do list. Seriously, I am that crazy, not that anyone needs any convincing in that. Have a look at my September calendar / to do list / reminders.

Screenshot from my phone

 At last, all's well ends well. Rainbow got her grooming done and I got to work safely.

Rainbow after grooming

Pregnancy Brain, I shall not bow to you!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter Review

At almost 32 weeks pregnant, my tummy has swelled like a balloon. Really.

Yes, this tummy is mine!

Just so you know, there is an Old Wives' Tale on how to predict the gender of your baby by looking at your linea nigra. If it's straight, you are getting a girl and if it's crooked it will be a boy. Guess it's true in my case!

With my skin stretching to accommodate my big baby boy, I have been trying on a few different stretch marks cream. Yes, I know it is genetic and very much to do with your skin elasticity and no cream / oil can prevent that from happening.

However, curiosity got the better of me when I heard about Mama Mio's range. Specifically the pregnancy range. It was even a favorite of famous people like Penelope Cruz, Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian. And yes, it comes with a price of ZAR420 per tube of 120ml.

So when I walked past a spa shop close by and there was 20% discount on the item, I got myself the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter.

This tube is a best seller. Protects your tummy (and boobs, hips and thighs) against stretch marks with their super-easticising omega-packed blend of natural oils in a hydrating shea butter base.

  • maximum protection against stretch marks and itchy tummies
  • No Nasties, safe to use when pregnant and nursing ( meaning no petrolatum, parabens, SLS, xenoestrogens, pthlalates, synthetic fragrances and any artificial colourants
  • helps body bounce back quicker after baby

Shea Butter is the most potent healing butter. It helps restore skin tone and provides a protective barrier to lock in moisture. Interestingly, it contains a form of natural latex that helps build elasticity within skin to stave off stretch marks.
Borage Oil is an ancient oil used in the Far East for thousands of years, it’s one of the richest sources of Essential Fatty Acids omegas, specifically gamma-linolenic acid (rich in Omega 6) is very effective in healing damaged skin.
Wheatgerm Oil is rich in Vitamin E and is amazingly healing and nourishing to the skin. In addition Vitamin E is useful for its role as a powerful anti-oxidant, soaking up free radicals (so that’s age-defying) and helping those Omega-rich superfoods get on with their vital work.
Rosehip Seed Oil is very rich in Omega 3 and 6, which are beneficial for the treatment of damaged and distressed skin by providing intense moisturisation. This oil has the added benefit of naturally occurring trans-retinoic acid (think benefits of retin–A but without side effects) which is very helpful in preventing stretch marks.
Sweet Almond Oi(cold-pressed to get the very best quality) is rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9, and very nourishing. It is highly moisturising and quickly absorbed, leaving a soft sheen on the skin with no residue.
Gravida is our amazing essential oil fragrance; a blend of 10 pregnancy-safe, pregnancy-specific natural oils – smells gorgeous to even the most sensitive of noses.
And a full monty ingredients list with extra info for the non-scientists amongst us, which I will spare you from reading here, is available on their site at

The Verdict

I love the fact that it consists of natural ingredients with "No Nasties". This is probably my most important criteria in a tummy stretch mark cream / oil.  After ditching Bio Oil (which took too long to dry and stained my clothes with oil marks) and trying Oh-Lief's Tummy Wax (which I did a review on), I was really hoping to find something that is moisturizing yet non-oily and easy to apply.

I must say Mama Mio's Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter did the followings. I apply in the mornings before I go to work, and it still feels moisturized when I got home. I do notice that there is a waxy layer which looks like thin dried glue on my skin. Might be the ingredients creating a protective layer?

Texture and application
It is more creamy, and the consistency of the butter is easy to apply compared to Oh-Lief's. It is not at all oily.

However I find that I have to use quite a lot to fully cover my tummy as well as the sides. I need at least 3cm of butter to at least have a thin layer on me. I was not able to even put on my hips and bum!
After using it about two weeks, I am now applying it together with my no-name natural baby oil so that I won't use too much of it. Mama Mio also has similar product in oil form "Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil" which I did not purchase. Most of the reviews use them both together, which personally I think is a lot of money to put on my tummy.

From other reviews, many raved about the smell of the butter. I find it not offensive, but not my favorite smell either. It is much much better than cocoa butter smell though, which I find too sweet. I must say I am not the best in judgings of smells as reviews show 9/10 people love this smell. I guess it's a personal preference.

I bought this tube as a preventative measure against stretch marks, so far so good. I am now at almost 32 weeks with no stretch marks.

Value for Money
Considering the price and the amount I have to put on, it is not going to last me long. My application together with baby oil does help though.

As someone who has sensitive skin and history of eczema, I am hugely satisfied to say they have not upset my skin at all.
Considering the value of money and usage, I will only buy the tube of butter again only if I use it with oil. However, I am interested to try Mama Mio's Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil next. I hope that it is more economical when it comes to application and hopefully absorbs quick and not leave a stain like other stretch marks oil did.
I really love the fact that all Mama Mio products have no nasties and are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 
However, I will need to feel rich again before I can try on the Tummy Rub Oil to do a review :-) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pregnancy Brain - Myth or Reality?

So after a short weekend (it's always too short), it was back to business as usual. I usually only got my bum out of bed after hubby kissed me goodbye when he goes off to work. Got Rainbow's food, let her out to pee, medication on her eyes. Quick shower, changed to any remaining clothes I could fit, set the house alarm, and off to work!

It was surprisingly not too hectic traffic for a Monday. It wasn't a breeze but it wasn't crawling traffic either. I for one, am a calm driver. I don't unnecessary change lanes or get angry at slow cars. I do change lanes when there is someone really slow in front of me or a big truck ahead. But I don't squeeze my way through just to get to work 2 minutes earlier and risk getting a heart attack while doing that. Humming my favourite tune,  I got to work at my usual time around 8:20-8:30am and found a nice parking spot. Then it suddenly hit me! I realize that I forgot to bring my work laptop with this morning!! Whaat...... Yes, it really happened :-(

Now, everyone has been mentioning the word "Preggy brain", "Chicken brain", "Porridge brain" since I announced that I am pregnant. To tell you the truth, it got to me at one point that I barred my hubby from calling me that. It made me feel as if I am less competent and just because I am pregnant I am now all dumb and forgetful.

 So, is pregnancy brain real?

 According to one article, Jane Martin, MD, director of the Neuropsychological Testing and Evaluation Center at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center: "When you are not getting enough sleep and are multitasking, nobody's memory is good," she says. "You are not cognitively sharp when you haven't slept well." Hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and/or the distractions of spending a lot of time thinking (and stressing) about a new baby are the likely causes. Pregnancy also shuffles what gets your attention.
Your IQ doesn't change, but your priorities do.

I drove all the way home, found my laptop amongst the pile of clothes next to my bed which was waiting for me to chuck in the laundry bin.

Spot the laptop
There you are!

So was it pregnancy brain, or was it just Monday morning blues? What do you think?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 31 - Maternity Shoot with Veronique Photography

Our maternity shoot was postponed from last weekend due to bad weather, but yesterday proved to be the perfect weather to have one done.

I was at Veronique's house at 2pm just 5 minutes away from home, to have my makeup done by Leverne.
Leverne was friendly, thoughtful and all the time assured me that the makeup may seem a bit darker than what I would be used to, but Veronique's camera would filter most of them out.
We decided to leave my hair as is, so that it is natural and not too over the top.

Ian decided to only come an hour later to meet up before we drive to the venue. Makeup done and while waiting for Ian, we even managed to take a few photos in Veronique's studio.

Once Ian got there, both of us got into my car and then followed Veronique's car to the venue recommended by her, at Langkloof Roses, Wellington. It is such a beautiful venue. It made me feel like having a wedding all over again.

Photo by Veronique Photography

The inside venue itself was closed as it was Sunday, but Veronique had an arrangement to use the farm and surrounding areas which was what we wanted. The mood and colours and vintage-y feel were perfect.  Veronique even managed to arrange a horse to have some pics taken with! She was really professional yet friendly. She loves what she is doing, and I think the passion and dedication in her was obvious. She even took note of the Pinterest board I sent to her and took that into consideration while we took photos.

It was the perfect day for the shoot. I managed to wear a knee-length dress for the first time in many months, without getting goosebumps or chills on my arms.

These are some of the photos she released in her Facebook this morning as a sneak peek. Yes, barely 24 hours later.  I love it. I do look very heavily pregnant in that white dress (which by the way was not a maternity dress but a dress bought in YDE with my own belt) but I love every little bit of the end result. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Without you Leverne, I would feel so much less confident with my far-from-perfect skin. Thank you for bringing out my best features and make me feel beautiful.
And without you Veronique, I would not be able to capture this wonderful memory of my first pregnancy, filled with love as we await our baby boy. Thank you for having the patience and your wonderful skills to create this beautiful pictures.
Not to forget my hubby who was carrying chairs and blankets and flicking my hair out of my face.

You guys helped a growing elephant feels so beautiful :-)

Photographer : Veronique Mills @ Veronique Photography
Makeup  : Leverne @  Leverne Professional Hair & Makeup Artist

Can't wait for our Newborn shoot with baby !

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 30 Day 5 - Final Quarter

Final quarter of my pregnancy.
I must say, everything is pretty good so far.
No swollen feet, no nausea, no cravings, no constipation, no fatigue. At least, until now.

I do have pains but only when I sit too long at a time. Usually happens when I am sitting in front of computer at work :-(   I will have this pain on my mid back ribs on both sides, more on my left. Not backache, but right where the ribs are on the sides. Weird.
And i feel no pain if I am up standing and walking around whole day which usually happens on weekends when we clean or work around the house.

I am growing so much. My last visit to the gynae, I already gained 13kg!
However, I am not really eating any junk food so I'm not really worried.
I drank more water though, I think probably 5x more than before I got pregnant. Seriously!

So this is a picture update of my tummy when I was 25 weeks and 30 weeks.

Compare the big tummy to my previous photos of my bump here and here!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Women'Secret Pyjamas fit for nursing wear!

Why do maternity shops / sites either sell nursing pyjamas that are ugly, OR they are pretty but burns the wallet? Even when it is my luckiest day and I do find one that is pretty AND cheap, they have pants so long I no more need the mop.

My quest to lookout for wearable pretty nursing wear was fulfilled last week.
I was practically skipping into the shop when I walked past Women'secret and saw that they were having a store-wide sale at 70-80% off. Okay, I was a bit sad because it was actually a closing down sale, they were closing all Women's Secret in South Africa. But hey, I was lucky enough to pop in as they just started their sale, hence all the small sizes are still available. They haven't even change their price tags for some yet, so a lot of nice ones were still there. I chose only pyjamas with buttons in front, hoping that it would be easier for nursing purposes.

I have always known that I want to breastfeed my baby.
Yes, I know it might be a difficult journey, and experienced mums are probably muttering under their breaths by now after reading this. "You do not know what you are in for!".

True, I will never know until I experience it myself, but I have done my homework, and I understand there is no way to prevent things from happening. However I have made up my mind that whether if there's milk or no milk, cracked nipples, engorgement, anything similar or worse, I am going to get through that, with help and support. I have already identified and build my support system who will guide me through this. *cross fingers!*

Back to the topic of nursing wear. I didn't used to be a pyjamas person, I sleep with over sized T-shirts (usually hubby's) and long pants / shorts depending on weather. However, the older I get, the more I love my pyjamas. I like the fact that they are usually made of comfy material., my size and I feel happy when I wear pretty clean clothes to sleep. However, none of my pyjamas has buttons in front, which means none of them makes my boobies easily accessible to baby.

So below are my new collection of pretty mummy wearable pyjamas, to celebrate my new journey of motherhood. *Ok, I need a reason for getting these anyway!*

Pink button long sleeve with flowery long pants

Pink small blossoms long sleeve with grey long pants

Winnie the Pooh short sleeve top with matching long pants

101 Dalmations spaghetti top with matching shorts

And then I couldn't resist the socks as well for ZAR35 each !

Hopefully they will reopen Women'secret in South Africa again soon. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my pyjamas :)