Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BIG NEWS: We're expecting baby #2.

Photo by Kylie Petts of WonderLight Photography.
We are thrilled to share the news that Mama Saigh is pregnant with Baby #2! I am writing this with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. It is unreal to think that we will go from being a family of three, to a family of FOUR before the end of the year. We have been trying to conceive since October/November of last year, and have experienced a few bumps in the road since then (more on this below). But we're so excited to welcome Baby Saigh #2 into the world on Thanksgiving Day (estimated due date: November 26th, 2015), and FINALLY give our 3 1/2-year-old the sibling that she's been dreaming about! Here's a little more about the road to Baby Saigh #2...

Early Miscarriage in January 2015

I was heartbroken to find out that I had a very early miscarriage earlier this year. After a few months of trying to get pregnant while Papa Saigh and I were barely ever in the same country, I finally got a faint positive on a Guardian brand at-home pregnancy test (in Singapore). Since late last year, I became completely obsessed with getting pregnant, and extremely frustrated at our failed attempts. We were barely married for a month back in 2010, when Papa Saigh knocked me up with our now 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Linna. We weren't even trying and I fell pregnant. I just assumed we would be able to get pregnant on the first try the second time around. When that didn't happen, I became obsessed with peeing on ovulation test sticks and pregnancy tests. I'm not kidding you when I say that I would spend like $300/month on things to pee on (pregnancy tests are super expensive in Singapore). I tested positive (a faint, but present line) at just 7 days past ovulation in January this year. In the following days, I peed on dozens of pregnancy tests, only to have the test line show up very faint, or not even there at all. I was devastated when my doctor called to tell me that my hcg level from my blood test was below 5 (less than 5 is a negative pregnancy result). How could this be?! I had what is known as a chemical pregnancy - where a fertilized egg implants briefly into your uterus, but for some reason it doesn't stick. It's very common,
and most women don't even know it happens because they aren't POS (pee on stick) addicts. Although I was very sad and felt a sense of loss, I am also very thankful that my body did what it was supposed to do. For some reason, whether it was a chromosome abnormality or something else, this little egg was just not meant to stick. While this early miscarriage seriously tested my emotions, I realize that things could have been much, much worse. I'm not a religious person, but I do believe that God doesn't give us any more than we can handle, and this experience was a true test of that.

The original Minnesota Baby is FINALLY going to be a big sister!

4 Weeks Pregnant

I tested positive on an at-home Clearblue Compact pregnancy test on St. Patrick's Day (one day before my period due date - sorry if that's TMI, but get used to it). I kept the news from Papa Saigh until I had a positive blood test at the doctor. I was very fearful that this little egg would once again,
fail to stick. I peed on two more Predictor brand (Singapore) at-home pregnancy tests, which both
came back positive (be careful with this brand though because unlike other brands, Predictor tells you to wait at LEAST 5 minutes before reading the test result - most tests tell you to discard results if read after the 5-minute time limit). I got my hcg number back from the doctor on March 19th, and was thrilled to hear that it was 48 at 4 weeks pregnant! I actually went in to see a new doctor (Dr. Chew at NUH in Singapore) for an ultrasound around my estimated ovulation date that month, to make sure nothing was "wrong" with me following the early miscarriage. During this scan on Saturday, March 7th (day 17 of my cycle), Dr. Chew excitedly showed me a 27mm follicle that he thought would ovulate that night (I know what this means because I became a Google addict while trying to conceive Baby #2). How incredibly exciting! We actually got to see the follicle that contained the egg that is now Baby Saigh #2. Most people never get to see something like this!
"You go home and make love to your husband!", my fantastically funny Asian doctor instructed. Haha! I love him. Other than an awful wave of nausea about 3 days after conception, eating a LOT,
some super sore boobs and nipples that feel like they are on fire, week 4 has been pretty boring. I'm a tummy sleeper, which has been rough because of my sore boobies. I feel a lot more hungry throughout the day, and get tired in the afternoon. One day this week, all of my symptoms seemed to disappear overnight, which really freaked me out. However, the swollen boobs and fatigue came back with a vengeance toward the end of the week. Taking my bra off used to be one of my favorite parts of the day... Now, I dread it. OUUUUUUUCH!

This scan was done on March 7th, 2015, around my ovulation time. This is the actual follicle
that released the egg that is now Baby Saigh #2. Simply amazing.

5 Weeks Pregnant

OMG my boobs look like full, veiny, cow utters. It's disgusting. My boobs are still incredibly sore, and I can't describe the pain I feel when taking off my bra. I might become a hippy and just go bra-
less every day. I actually had to take my bra off on our plane ride home to Singapore from Lombok
this week (as Papa Saigh shuttered in embarrassment), because I couldn't stand how painful my boobs
felt. My stomach also feels super swollen and tender. I'm not wearing maternity clothes yet, but even a waistband around my abdomen is uncomfortable. I have pregnancy brain as well. OMG, I've become stupid-er. I've poured milk on Linna's yogurt, forgotten things I never did before, and can't seem to find ANYTHING! Papa Saigh shakes his head at me on a daily basis, but I don't blame him. Pregnancy brain is an incredibly thing! I don't remember having these symptoms this early, or at all,
with Linna. I can't stop eating, and have gained so much weight. Yikes! We told our parents, some close friends, and our brothers and sisters that I'm pregnant this week, AND we took a family vacation to Lombok and the Gili Islands (Indonesia). All three of us napped every afternoon in Lombok, which was much-needed for this preggo. I didn't nap on Monday when we flew back to Singapore, and I felt completely exhausted by 3 p.m. Although these pregnancy symptoms can be a bit of a bother, I'm thankful for them every day because they let me know that everything is moving in the right direction (hopefully). I have an ultrasound appointment scheduled on Thursday, April 2nd, where we should be able to see the baby's heartbeat! I'll be able to relax a little bit once that happens.

One of my pregnancy tests... Positive

6 Weeks Pregnant

I went in for a scan on Thursday, April 2nd to see the baby's heartbeat, and while it was still too early for me to see it, Dr. Chew assured me that his trained eye could see it. What a relief! I did get too see
the baby, which is currently just a tadpole attached to a yolk sack... But he or she was beautiful! Linna is on break from school, so she came with, but she stayed glued to her iPad during my scan. We haven't told her yet, and we're just kind of waiting for my belly to pop and her to notice. I don't think that will be too far off, because my belly is already swollen-looking and I'm at the point where I
can't just "suck it in". My boobs still hurt, my nipples are beyond sensitive, and they've gotten disgustingly darker too. Oh, and my morning sickness reared it's ugly head this week. Some days are
worse than others, and sometimes it's just my sore boobs. I woke up incredibly nauseous at 4am on Easter Sunday, but it tapered off before our brunch guests arrived at 11am. It's not nearly as bad as it was with Linna, but awful nonetheless.  I constantly feel rundown, tired, and crabby.... Oh, and hungry. I can no longer sleep on my stomach, which sucks because I'm a tummy sleeper. My tummy is just too sore. I'm also peeing and drinking a lot more water this week! I go in for another scan on Friday, April 10th, so I can see the heartbeat. I'm hoping that Papa Saigh will be able to make this

Baby Saigh #2 at 7 weeks. He/she looks like a tiny octopus.

7 Weeks Pregnant

The baby is the size of a blueberry! We had a scan done on Friday, April 10th, where Papa Saigh and I both got to see the baby's heartbeat. My good friend (Mama Bryce) watched Linna for us, so we could share this moment without our sick and grouchy "threenager" (Linna has a bacterial infection). The baby measured exactly 7 weeks and 1 day, so it looks like we'll be popping out a little turkey on
Thanksgiving Day if this baby stays on schedule! The heartbeat was 132 beats per minute. I've been sleeping very well at night on my side, but wake up nauseous. My boobs are sore all day, and my nausea comes and goes throughout the day. Nothing awful though. It's just like being a bit seasick all day long. My skin though... WOOF! Mama Saigh has sprouted some acne. Gross. Linna is on school break, so I can't nap during the day like I want too. I get pretty tired midday, but nothing unbearable. My tummy is getting hard, but I'm also eating a lot! I'm convinced I'm having a boy. This pregnancy is just different than my first. My pants are super snug, so I think I'll be into maternity clothes soon. Not going to lie, I die for maternity bottoms! I'm also on the hunt for a good maternity body-pillow. I'm still taking my prenatal vitamins and an extra 800mg folic acid tablet, just as I've been since we started trying for Baby #2. No real cravings currently... Just food. Next scan is in 2 weeks.

(Baby Saigh #2's heartbeat at 7 weeks.)

8 Weeks Pregnant

I am SO exhausted, and feel like sh*t... ALL DAY LONG. I now remember what it was like being pregnant with Linna, and feeling like this during the first 13 weeks. I am completely wiped by the time Linna goes to bed, but I deal with insomnia at night. Once I'm out, I'm OUT, but it takes me awhile to get there. If I don't have an afternoon nap, I am a walking zombie by 3pm. My boobs are still incredibly sore, and I have started to have to go to the bathroom a lot more than normal. I am a lot more thirsty too, so I am drinking a lot of water. I'm also incredibly emotional. Any YouTube videos with moms and their kids, soldiers reuniting with their kids, etc., make me absolutely lose it. However inconvenient my morning/all-day sickness may be, I am thankful for the daily reminders that my body is taking care of our little raspberry (that's the size of the baby this week)! I've been eating a lot of Preggie Pops and Preggie Drops by Three Lollies, which have helped to ease my daily nausea. My friend Ruth gave me some ginger tea and chocolate-covered ginger that have helped as well. I'm totally starting to look more pregnant than fat. It's crazy how much more quickly my belly has started to pop this time around. One night this week, I went to bed at 8 p.m., and woke up feeling completely refreshed and morning-sickness free the next day, which was unexpected. My
boobs weren't sore, I wasn't nauseous, but it all came back later that day. Linna and I were also treated for walking pneumonia this week. I was put on a 3-day, 500mg/day prescription for Azithromycin (Z-pack), which is "safe" for pregnant women. I hate taking medication when I'm pregnant.

Baby Saigh #2 at my 9-week scan (9 weeks 2 days). Baby actually measured 8 weeks 5 days.

9 Weeks Pregnant

We went in for another scan this week, and Baby Saigh #2 is actually starting to look like a baby! We went in when I was 9 weeks 2 days, but the baby was measuring 8 weeks 5 days. He/she is the size of a green olive! This is JUST like my pregnancy with Linna, but she was actually measuring 10 days behind at my 12-week scan. Although this news had me super worried, the doctor wasn't concerned at all. The baby has a strong heartbeat (we didn't listen this time because Dr. Chew said that the frequencies are very high and not good for the baby), and we saw he/she swimming around and waving his/her arms. It was so cute! I'm also actually feeling a little bit better this week. I'm still nauseous and tired on and off throughout the day, but I'm not exhausted like I was earlier. My boobs are still super sore, and sleeping has been challenging. I also think I may have felt the baby moving around this week. I know it's early, but sometimes it feels like there is a fish swimming around in my belly and rubbing up against things, to the point that I can feel a vibration sensation in my belly (not like gas). It's pretty cool, but who really knows what it is. Oh, and there's no hiding my bump anymore. Whether I've just been eating too much food, or I'm actually sporting an official baby bump... I'm going with it. No more sucking it in. I'm stickin' my gut out, without a doubt;) I have another scan next week, just to make sure the baby is growing on track. We also think that Linna is starting to pick up on the idea that I am pregnant, because the other day she sat on my lap and said, "Mama, I don't want you to have a baby in your belly." This is coming from the little girl who is currently COMPLETELY obsessed with babies! Gotta love her.

(Baby Saigh #2 at 9 weeks - Measuring 8 weeks 5 days.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Easter with friends in singapore.

This year, instead of going to a spendy Singapore brunch on Easter Sunday, we decided to have some of our friends over for a little brunch and Easter eggs hunt of our own. It was a super hot day, so we spent most of our time in the pool... and eating. The kids (Emily, Josh, Zach, Brae, Linna, and Baby Oliva) all had a great time hunting for eggs, and devouring their sweets. I don't think Linna ate one healthy food the entire day (Mom of the Year). Here are some photos from our Easter festivities this year...

All the big kids before the big hunt.

On a mission.

"Let's go find some eggs!"

Emily was totally in the zone during the hunt.

And he's off!

"Now where is the CANDY!"

Linna spotting one of the BIG eggs.

"This is mine, right mom?!"

"Found one!"

"Give me the egg mister, and no one gets hurt."

Suzanne and her gorgeous baby Olivia.

"Look Linna, Papa found a beer!"

Five extremely happy Easter eggs hunters!
My from-scratch Eater bunny cake from the Surprise Inside Cakes book, written by my friend Amanda Rettke.
I'd call this a success/fail, because while my bunny looks a bit scary, the cake was delicious! 

Cute and easy zip-lock bag butterfly snacks for the kids, put together by Papa Saigh.
I put one of the Australian Dads in charge of making deviled eggs. This was his first
attempt, and he did an excellent job! Well done, Papa Cox.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The three billy goats gruff in singapore.

A very excited Linna, ready to see The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Every now and again, we'll run into a show that is definitely worth seeing. The Singapore Repertory Theatre's performance of The Three Billy Goats Gruff is one of these shows. Both Papa Saigh and I took our 3.5-year-old to see the show on a Saturday morning, and we were delighted with the performance. The characters, music, and story-line had Linna engaged during the entire show, and Papa Saigh and I enjoyed the humor during the show (not just kiddy humor). There was rapping, tap dancing, and a lot of movement on stage, with cool sound, lighting, puppets, and stage props. I really appreciated that there were no "slow" scenes during the entire show, so our preschooler didn't have time to lose interest. The costumes were also very fun, and while the troll under the bridge was a little scary... he wasn't TOO scary for the little ones. He was actually very funny, and our timid preschooler liked him. This is a great show that kids and adults will enjoy, with important lessons about patience and appreciating what you have! A good idea might be to read this book to your kids before seeing the show. The show is a little different than that book, but it follows the same idea.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
April 2nd - May 10th, 2015
DBS Arts Centre
Tickets start at $22SGD