Gender disappointments

I'm having a baby girl !  We're very excited for her arrival and that she's a girl ! Unfortunately, we can't say the same for others, you know, the strangers at markets, the collegues we barely talk to, the sales ladies at the stores, the asian friends' parents...their disappointments surprised us.  It's like as if they are directly affected by my pregnancy !  What's going on ?

Hubby expressed with me his annoyance of people, of how they would say to him "so now you have to try for a boy !"  Why ? is the world evolved around men ?  he asked me.  I laughed because I've heard it way more than him !!!  Stuff like "maybe the ultrasound is wrong", "your 3rd will surely be a boy", or "try again", blah blah blah.  I don't think the world evolve around men, but I do think people think your family is only "perfect" when you have 1 of each gender.  If you have 2 girls, you must try for a boy.  If you have 2 boys, you must try for a girl.  Just very stereo typical thinking.  People wants the best of both world.  If there's a third gender, I'm sure people would ask us to try to have all three. 

While at a store shopping for clothes, the sales lady noticed my bulging stomach.  When she found out that I'm having another girl, she tried to console me !!!  I was like, I'm happy with my girls.  She didn't believe me ! she told me, to have one of each is so much better (because she has one of each).  I wanted to share my thoughts on that subject with her, but looking at her sincere eyes, I let it go.  She is one of those sweet but closed minded woman that no matter what I say to her would make her think that there are people who don't really care about gender.

I know I know, people just want to start a conversation, what comes out of their mouth are just words, small talk stuff, conversation starter.  They don't really care and maybe are just nosy.  However, as a mom of a child who is yet to come out to meet the world, I can't help but feel defensive of her.  Thing is though, there's really nothing I can say to get it through to them that hubby & I are perfectly happy with 2 girls.  But they weren't seeking for my thought/opinion.  They just want to pin their opinion on me.  If I expressed my feeling, they would think I'm in denial.  If I don't say anything then it means I agreed with them.  Either way they already made up their mind about me.  So no point of saying anything !  It is what it is. 

Ahh, this is just one of those annoying thing in life !!!  Like when you're single, people keep asking: Are you still single ?  and once you're married, they'll will ask: When are you having kid ?  it's a never ending roller coaster.  I know people don't really think about what they're saying.  I know they don't mean any harm.  But when you hear it enough time it's a pain in the behind.

As a mother myself, I think majority of mothers dont fuss too much in the gender dept ! we just want to make it through the gruesome 9 months with a healthy baby.  Sure we do think about the pink and the blue but I don't think it's top on the priority list.  Our focus and energy are all on taking care of our baby and praying for a fast, safe delivery !

When I first found out I was pregnant, I bury my head in all books + articles under the sun on babies !  Make sure I take all precautions to ensure the health of the baby.  While doing all that,  I wait patiently each day, in anticipation, to hear the 1st heart beat, 1st sign of movement, then trying to feel out where the feet, the hand of the baby is !  Praying there are five fingers & toes.  Each week, each trimester marked a milestone that was met with a sign of relief !  thankful to the Lord that we passed it with no complications.  Pregnancy is a blessing but it also come with anxiety because we don't know exactly how well the baby is until we give birth.  So trust me, the last thing we stress over is gender.  Not like we can choose anyways ! 

***After I posted this, more than one mom has told me they do long for a certain gender, and it's completely ok to.  Longing is natural as we're human after all.  But be prepare and willing to let it go if you don't get what you long for.  An acquaintance of our family was so disappointed when her boy wasn't a girl that she avoided him for a while after birth.  It was hard on the family and on the little boy.  They are fine now but I couldn't help but feel so bad for the little guy.  As parent, mom or dad,  it's so important to love your child as who they are, from birth to adulthood, and not what you want them to be !  just something for thought that's all.

Personally, I am envious of those who have sisters :-)  I wouldn't trade my brother for the world though, I appreciate him for who he is.  My mom has a lot of sisters and they are best of friends since like pre-school.  Now in their 60s, they travel together, shop together, go for walk together.  It's so sweet.  My friends are best friends with their sisters too and they do everything together.  I'm lucky if I have a conversation longer than 15 min. with my brother :-)

The short shorts story

My best friend K and I both have kid at almost the same time. While many of our friends were enjoying their single life or newly wedded bliss, we were busy growing our family.  We switched our heels for flats and stylish clothes for comfortable pants and loose shirts, the kind that let your little bulgy tummy hanging out freely yet no one can see its existence :-)

In the first year of being "mom", whenever we stop by one of our favorite clothing store, we would share a laugh or two when we noticed the majority of the clientele were teens or early 20s.  But we don't know where to shop otherwise ?  We don't want to look like "mommy" yet !  Our body is not perfect but still decent looking, so we still want to look stylish, look good :)  we feel young, and we look young too (we think).

Now at 33, suddenly I found myself at a cross road.  Summer is coming and one item that can be found in both of our drawer is short shorts. I love it more than K. And probably prefer it shorter than hers too. Tank & short is my staple outfit for the summer. They allow me to expose the most of my skin to the sun to tan my pale skin, and short is more suitable for us moms, when we're chasing our babe around (no fear of exposing our bum). The way I see it, I don't dress overtly sexy, my clevage aren't exposed, bum cheeks are hidden, all the parts that needs to be covered are covered, so I don't see the problem with me showing as much arms and legs as I want.

Maybe age (and soon to be mom of two) has something to do with it, but it dawned on me the other day > Do I continue or take a detour on this short shorts loving journey ?  K and I had a good laugh the other night talking about this very topic and contemplating when we should retiring them.  I'm so so not ready for it yet.  I like the look and comfort they provide !  Being short and having not-so-perfect legs, short shorts give me a few inches of skin to make my legs look somewhat bareable to me.   So, at what age is it deemed inappropriate to wear short shorts ?  I can't seems to think of one.  I googled to see what other moms got to say about it and got the extreme on both sides of the pond !  The decission in the end lies with me, as it should be anyway !

With fashion, there's really no defined line of age-appropriate clothes me think.  I feel it's all about HOW you wear it and how you carry yourself.  I've seen people older than me wearing short shorts and they look great in them.  Understand though, that with shorts, it can go from it's-just-short to trashy unappropriate if you don't wear the right one, like when underwear disguise itself as short then it's too much, and that goes for any age group.  And of course your body type play a role in it too.  If the fabric is just big enough to barely cup your bum bum then I must say its too short.  Add another inch or two would make it easier on the eyes :-)  My test for appropriate casual summer attire is > after I put them on, I would bend down infront of a mirror, if boobs is out, it's a no, if bum is close to be shown, is a no.  Simple !

With time on hand to play, I decided to google some shorts images to show you what I mean.  These are what I think is just a tad too shorts (there were worse ones):

And these are some nice ones.  They're just a tiny bit longer than others, but see the different an inch or two make ? 

Bottom line is, when it comes to clothes, I think if you feel good and comfortable in them go for it !  Just make sure you dress appropriate for the occaision !  like, no shorts at wedding !!!  And people who likes to judge, will find ways to do it anyways.  I mean, my big long wavy hair was once pointed out by a lady at the mall that my hair is "stripper hair" !  Did I change it ?  No way !!!  If the topic of "omg look at her shorts" is all people got to talk about, then I'm glad I give them something to talk about. I mean, people must have a pretty boring life to slander about such trivial thing in the first place.

So in short, I can't wait until summer so I can break out in my short shorts !

Pregnancy: 35 going 36 weeks

While waiting for the arrival of my 2nd baby and being too large to go anywhere, I've been baking a lot !  I've made all sorts of waffles (traditional, blueberries, chinese egg style waffle (sweet), condense milk waffle), vietnamese style egg rolls, assorted cookies (organic & non), sweet potato cake, chard chips, kale chips, etc etc etc.  It was time consuming but fun !  Our family get special treats everyday or every other day.  I wish I can eat more but this baby of mine is taking up all the room in my tummy and leave little space for food.

This waiting period feels like eternity.  I'm 35 weeks and a few days now.  36 weeks will put me in the safe zone !!!  I really don't mind if the baby decided to come out then because I'm so ready !!!  I can feel her fighting her way out too.  It's getting tight in there for sure.  She moves morning and night, punching me in every corners.  She used to be like a fish, swimming, flipping from one side to another but not anymore.  There's no room for all that excitement and fun ! 

C and I couldn't agreed on a name for her yet.  It's been hard finding a name we like starting with the letter K !  and not only just a name, we want a meaningful name too.  It doesn't have to be a K really but I'm just one of those picky, obsessive compulsive person who like orderliness.  And with one girl name starting with a K, I thought another K would keep it "together" :-)  and well, there isn't any other name we like so having a preference for "K" kinda helps us to have a starting point.

Oddly though, we can't seem to have a girl name that we likes but we have a boy's name that we like !  It was picked while we were looking for names. We thought we would soon find a girl's name but it proves harded than we thought.  I'm sure once she's out something will come to mind.  

Hospital bags check list:

Bag for Mommy

Before you pack, keep in mind, you will be bleeding down there, and your tummy will look like you're still pregnant ! so pack comfy, easy to slip on/out clothes !!!

- Button down pyjamas and pants
- Loose t shirt and sweat pants
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hair brush, deodorant etc.)
- Underwear, not the skinny kind but the granny one
- Overnight Maxi Pads (the hospital do give out pads but they are super thick and hard)
- Nursing bras/pads
- Hair tie/band
- Light cardigan (hospital room can get cold)
- Flip flop (you can wear in shower) or slippers
- Snacks (Granola bars, crackers, etc. You will get hungry after nursing)
- Water, juice
- Camera

Bag for Baby

- approved and valid (not expired) baby car seat (hospital will check and won't let you take baby home if you don't have a valid one)
- onesies (short or long sleeve depending on season)
- hats, mitts, socks
- burping cloths
- receiving blankets (to cover bottom half of baby when secured in car seat)

Bag for Daddy

- Pyjamas
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant etc.)
- Change of clothes (jeans, sweatpants, t-shirt, etc.)
- Underwear, socks
- Flip flop (you can wear in shower)
- Snacks
- Towel
- Neck pillow (like the kind people use on airplane, it's great for when you have to catch a quick nap on the couch)
- Electronic chargers
- Stuff to past time:  book, magazine, ipad, etc.


Birth Plan: how do you want to delivery your baby

Birth plan is a list of preferences you would like your baby's birth to be.  Is it mandatory ?  nope, but it's good to write one.  It's a great way to help get you thinking about your baby's big day, of what to expect.  It helps you to consider your options and make some important decision.  If you're high risk or unsure about anything, talk it over with your doctor. 

There are loads of info out there on birthing and pain relief options for you to read/research on so give yourself plenty of time !!!  Don't forget to discuss your preferences with your birth partner (the person who will be in the delivery room with you) !

Here is a small list to get your brain going on your birth plan.  These are just the few items that I feel are important (based on my experience of low risk pregnancy & hospital birth).  There are some great birthing worksheets available on the net that you can google for.  If you're doing homebirth, sorry I got no experience on that to share :-(

1.  Method of childbirth:  vaginal is most common and safe.  However in certain circumstance, forceps or vacuum has to be used, or a C-section has to be done.  Do your research on these or ask your doctor about them, what are the risks, recovery period, and possible side effects for you and baby.

2.  Your pain relief options.  Do you want to deliver baby naturally the whole way ?  or when it's unbearable, you want Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or epidural (spinal anesthesia).  Read about the pros. & cons, side effects of each, recovery time, and how it will affect you and baby in the long term, etc.
3.  Episiotomy ?
4.  Do you want your partner to cut the umbilical cord, Yes or No ? 

5.  Your thought on inducing labour
I wish I read more on this when I was induced with my 2nd.  There was no risk and all I needed to do was wait until she's ready.  But my doctor was impatience and suggested we go ahead with inducing her because I've been at the hospital too long.  She assured me they do it all the time and it's safe so we agreed to do it.  Looking back, I wish I didn't go through with it.  My baby girl is fine but still, I don't like to do something when it wasn't needed.
Keep in mind, this birthing plan is what you IDEALLY would like your birth plan to be.  Be flexible because sometime things will arise and alternative route needs to be taken.  That's why I suggested you read on all the options, to educate yourself, to know what they are in case you have to make an executive decision on it.  If you're not sure, always always ASK the doctor for options, and what are the pros./cons. 

What you need to do before giving birth

I heart being pregnant.  I remember the anticipation, the excitement, counting down to the day of the baby's arrival.  But before you can hold your bundle of joy and inhale in their wonderfully addicting baby smell, there are a few things you need to do to help prepare for their big debut.

In no particular order:

- Write a birthing plan

Purchase newborn essentials:  MY LIST: approved car seat, crib, stroller, change table & pad, diapers, wipes, baby bath tub, organic body wash, bum cream (for rash), bibs, burp cloths (10 or more), receiving blankets, onesies, socks, mitts, hats, baby bottles, breast bump, nursing pad, soother/pacifier and thermometer. 

I feel these were what I needed right away after I bring baby home (breast feeding).  If you're going the formula route then stock up on newborn formula .  I didn't like diaper bag so I just used my carry-all bag.  I bought more baby stuff as we go along, as needed.  It works for me but in case you like to have everything prepared in advance, check out the link below for a more detailed/complete list:

- Attend Lamaze class.  I know some people who opted out.  Personally I think it's good to attend one.  I found it beneficial to us.  Our instructor was very detailed, giving the class info. on all the pros. and cons. of birthing methods, pain relief options, the dos and don'ts, and best practices.  We even have a short briefing on infant CPR.  The question period was great and we learned a lot.  If anything, it's good to know what to expect leading to your birthing date !

- Take a hospital tourNot necessary but if you have time, I think it's good to take a tour of the hospital before you deliver.  Note where to sign in, emergency entrance, parking lot, delivering unit, etc.  Do a brief drive by around the hospital too, to figure out the best location to park, nearest entrance to delivering unit, etc. 

- Decide if you want private or shared overnight hospital room.  Is your partner going to sleep there with you and baby the first day or two ? 

I had a private room with my first and a shared room with my 2nd.  I recommend the private room (extended health care coverage paid for it).  The benefit is huge !  No one to worry about when you try to latch baby, when you nurse, when hubby help massage to get milk down, etc !!!  Also, the best part, you can use the bathroom whenever you want and take your time (trust me, you can't pee too fast in the first day or two !!!  your body is a bit lost on its ability to send messages to your brain:-) 
Also, hubby was sleeping over so in the private room, there were extra seats for him to stretch out and sleep.

The shared room is ok, you have SOME privacy but I dread waiting for the bathroom.  I also hate it when my baby just fall asleep and theirs decided to wake up and cry thunders & storms right then !  obviously my baby decided to wake up and join the fun.  No one gets a wink and if any one of us do, none get to shut their eyes for longer than 15 !!!