25 May 2011, by Tan Yi Lin
How time has flown. At 27 weeks, I’m now nearing the end of my second trimester and have one week left before I hit the final home stretch.
Just like what all pregnant women before have affirmed, the past three months have truly been the easiest and most enjoyable part of the pregnancy. Energy and alertness levels are high (except on truly hot and humid days when I just want to slump around like a boneless slug in an air-conditioned room) and my social life is back on track, unlike during the first trimester when I couldn’t stay awake past 9pm. Size-wise, the bump is growing well but remains nice and compact — very handy for moving around, doing pre-natal yoga and even snorkelling. My colleagues found the latter very surprising, although I find their shocked reactions rather perplexing because snorkelling is pretty much like swimming, except maybe less tiring. I’ve even managed to keep the slightest hint of stretch marks at bay, probably the result of lucky genes (thanks mum!) rather than the fact that I’ve been religiously slathering my belly with a daily concoction of creams and oils. Skin and hair have never looked better (although a thick head of hair is rather uncomfortable in hot weather.) As for the boobs — LOVE them. ‘Nuff said. I have to confess that there is a certain enjoyable smugness about ringing up new cup ‘C’ purchases at La Senza. I even signed the credit card charge slip with more flourish. (Just indulge me for now, please, and spare me the reminder of how everything goes downhill once breastfeeding stops.)
Even the heartburn is easing off. Plus, since I’ve discovered the more pleasant-tasting cooling minty Gaviscon in individual sachets that I can tote around in my bag, it’s been hello again to the occasional dose of teh-si, bubble tea, decaf latte and all things chocolate.
What is not so cool (literally) is the over-achieving body thermostat, which leaves me fanning myself even when the air-conditioning is on. When I ate durians last week, I swear I was radiating enough heat to create a heat wave around me despite the air-conditioning.
Now, I’m waiting for the legendary third trimester heaviness to set in and wondering when my fingers and toes will be replaced with sausage-like balloon art sculptures. The increasing space constraint in my torso is already causing me to huff and puff like a WWE wrestler after too-heavy a meal, so I’m not too thrilled at the thought of turning into a giant wheezing waddling penguin *cross fingers*
Baby-wise, she’s developing beautifully (a subjective term used by all mothers, I’m sure) and is a nice, average-sized baby (a comforting term used by all doctors, probably.) Our last ultrasound showed her to be resting snugly with her feet propped up against the wall of my womb while her little hands rested on her knees. Other than being slightly mortified that our daughter sits with her legs hiked up like a kopitiam uncle, it was really nice to see how she has grown since the 20th week scan. Dan decided to accord her nose special attention by exclaiming, “Wah, her nose is so big, hor?” during the scan, to which our doctor hastily (and diplomatically) replied, “Aiyah, no lah…” Well, it didn’t look big to me! And if any of you out there are following Glee Season 2, in the episode where Rachael contemplates getting a nose job to correct her overly prominent genetic gift, you’ll learn that a distinctive family heirloom is a privilege to be proud of. I’m sure my dad, sister and brother will all agree with me…
What I found disconcerting was that at this point, she only weighs about 950g. While that is perfectly normal, the disturbing part is figuring out WHAT IN THE WORLD IS MAKING UP THE REMAINING 7KG THAT I’VE SINCE GAINED?! Sure, there is the amniotic stuff and placenta to blame some of the weight gain on, but let’s get real here, a little additional water and your baby’s personal 24/7 snack bar don’t weigh THAT much. I quote Shakira — Hips Don’t Lie. I now weigh in at 63kg (yes, I figured being pregnant is just about the ONLY time you can publicly reveal your weight without shame) and if we’re going by the gain-2kg-per-month rule for the third trimester, I’m going to ring in at just under 70kg. Wow. Dan expertly quotes from ‘The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy’ (yes, he’s been reading it) that every woman and every pregnancy is different, so I shouldn’t get too overly concerned with weight gain, as long as the doctor says it’s fine (which she did.) Good quote, my wise old man, good quote.
What I’m truly happy about is how active the baby is becoming. Her movements are fairly regular and frequent throughout the day (and night) and belly-watching has become one of my new pastimes – observing how my belly moves with her movements. It’s all pretty captivating (albeit very distracting when it happens in the midst of office meetings.) She wriggles, rather than kick or punch. While some mums-to-be may harbour hopes of creating an Olympic athlete or star soccer player in the making, I suspect that Miss Wrigglebums is already shaking up high aspirations of being a Brazilian samba dancer — like father, like daughter (see picture below.) Well, I say shake that booty and roll that body, baby! Ola to Carnaval at the Sambadromo in Rio de Janeiro!
The sharing of parenting duties is already falling in place quite naturally. At least, the fun ones are. Dan sings to her nightly while I tackle the storybooks. Unlike how we have a ready stash of songs on our iPhones complete with lyrics (although we have to filter the list for age-appropriate content), we have a dearth of children’s storybooks at home. I rummaged through my bookshelf and pulled out a slightly dusty Roald Dahl Treasury, featuring excerpts from his most popular tales.
I was delighted to find old favourites like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hansel and Gretal, The Three Little Pigs and Red Riding Hood rewritten into snazzy rhymes. What I had forgotten was how Roald Dahl had rewritten the content in his own style too — where Red Riding Hood kills the wolf with a gun and totes a new pigskin handbag, for example. Ah well. The baby’s too young to understand and remember any of this anyway. Thank goodness my colleagues gave me a whole bunch of Kinokuniya vouchers to get her some of the more standard reading fare.
And that pretty much sums up the second trimester. I’ve totally enjoyed the ride. The next time I blog , I’ll be into my eighth month of pregnancy and gearing up towards the final countdown.