Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Belly shot at 36 weeks

Here's the tum-tum at 36 weeks. It's been quite some time since we last took a photo so you can really see a difference between the previous shot and today's shot.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

It's Christmas! Our favourite time of the year! We had some house guests over the season - Leona's brother and her ex-classmate, Oi Lin, came to visit for a few days and so did Richard's sister Mary. We had a great time with everyone and also managed to meet up with Sheri and family and Voon Hooi as well.

Mary gave us a lovely Christmas present for our baby. It's a photoframe for photos of our baby taken at each month of his first year. Here's a picture.

Next Christmas we will have a little one with us. Looking forward to sharing all our Christmas traditions with him and tell him stories of Santa Claus and the birth of baby Jesus and have him participate in the Christmas baking and cooking and eating and festive fun! Can't wait!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Scan at 35 weeks

Gynae visit!

This must be what it feels like when you send your child to boarding school and you only see him once every few weeks. You wonder whether he's doing all right, whether he's put on/lost weight, whether he's developed well, whether he's eating well, whether he looks any different.

Well, today's peek at our baby brought some fantastic news. Firstly, baby is heads down again! Yay! Dr Chan asked me whether baby was heads down and I said I couldn't tell, because my visits to the toilet have not been more frequent and the baby's kicks have been all over the place and not limited to my ribs. Well, the ultrasound scan answered our questions: baby is upside down now, although there are no guarantees that the naughty fellow will stay that way.

Second piece of good news is that baby has reached safe weight - he is 2.520 kg now. Dr Chan estimated that baby will be about 3.2 - 3.3 kg upon delivery.

Dr Chan also asked us if we were going to bank baby's cord blood and he mentioned that we could consider either Cordlife or Stemcord.

Here are the 2D printouts. No 3D/4D scans today because baby's face was too near (you need a certain amount of space/fluid between the baby and the scanner to take a 3D/4D shot).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Herbs for confinement

Today we went to Chinatown to buy herbs for use during confinement.

According to Chinese confinement rules, the mummy is not supposed to drink plain water or touch plain water during her confinement. If she wants to bathe (and some don't bathe at all for the whole confinement period), she must bathe with water boiled with herbs. For drinking water, she has to drink water boiled with red dates and longan. Apart from these herbs, there are (many) more that she can take to expel wind, expel "bad blood" and regain her health. She also has got to be put on a confinement diet, which contains lots of sesame oil and ginger.

Here is a shot of all the herbs we bought today.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Antenatal classes

We have just finished a Childbirth Education course conducted by Thomson Parentcraft. The course comprises 5 weekly two-hourly lessons (conducted by nurses) and one two-hour session comprising 2 talks by doctors.

Although we were late for 5 out of the 6 sessions (haha!), we did find the course educational and helpful, especially the lessons on baby care and breastfeeding. Here's a summary of the course topics.

Lesson 1
Physical & Mental Preparation, Antenatal Exercise, Nutrition Before & After Delivery, Myths & Traditions, Coping with Pregnancy Discomfort, Back Care & Postures

Lesson 2
Pain Relief , Antenatal Exercise, Physiological Approach to Breathing Relaxation, Changes in Pregnancy Leading to Signs & Symptoms of Labour, Other Alternative Types of Pain Relief in Labour

Lesson 3
Labour, Antenatal Exercise, Physiological Approach to Breathing Relaxation, Learning to Cope in Labour, Mechanisms of Normal Childbirth, Husband’s Role

Lesson 4
Practical Hands-on Baby Care, Hands-on Child Care, General Care, Skin Care, Diaper Care, Bathing, Coping with a Fretting, Crying Baby, Coping with a Sleepy or Wakeful Baby, Coping with Colic

Lesson 5
Feeding, Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, Sterilization of Feeding Equipment, Weaning (introducing solid food), Learning to Enhance your Child’s Physical & Mental Development

Lesson 6
(Doctor’s Talk)
Talk 1: Husband’s Role during Childbirth, Problems Associated with a Newborn, The Process of Labour
Talk 2: Living with the In-laws, Post-natal Depression

Monday, December 8, 2008

Toys Toys Toys!

Yesterday we went to Toys R Us to buy an activity playmat for our baby. Richard chose one from Fisher Price. It's called the Kick n Crawl Aquarium.

Today we went to the Mattel warehouse sale, where they were selling toys and baby equipment (like bouncers and booster seats) at discounted prices. We spent $603 there! Here's a picture of our 'toy mountain', which includes the playmat we bought yesterday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Belly shot at 32.5 weeks

Here's my tum-tum at 32.5 weeks.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Scan at 32 weeks

We are 32 weeks and 2 days today. Time to see gynae again and take a look at our boy!

Baby is 1.925 kg today, doing well. Dr Chan checked the placenta today and confirmed that it's no longer low-lying so natural birth is definitely possible. However, baby has decided to turn heads up again! What a naughty fellow! Hope he will somersault heads down again so that we can birth naturally. Dr Chan also checked the cervix and he said that it's tubular. He told us that this indicates low-risk of pre-term delivery.

We got a good look at baby today through the 4D shots - even got a look at him yawning!

Here are the 3D printouts.

Here are the 2D shots.

We have decided that we will enrol our son in an infant care centre where he will be cared for while we are working. We sourced for centres that were either near home or near the office and managed to find two which we visited last weekend. We also visited one more centre today, although it is not as near as the first two.

The first one we visited was Sam's Early Learning Centre which is located along the street where we live. It's in a bungalow with a big garden with swings, a sandpit and lots of playground equipment. The centre provides child care as well as infant care. We peeked into the infant care section and it looked wonderful. All the babies looked happy and well cared for and there is a large activity area for the babies to crawl around and play. They cater for about 12 babies and the ratio of caregivers to babies is 1 to 3. The place was non air-conditioned (which is good) and bright and airy. The infant care fees are S$1,000 per month. The centre has been operating for about 20 years now although the infant care has only been in place for 2 years. The director told us that we need to confirm our interest within the week because there was only one available spot left and a few couples had already expressed interest. The only downside is that the pick-up time everyday is 7 pm. It is unlikely that we will be able to meet this pick-up time on most days.

The next one we visited was Citikids Academy which is near Leona's office. This is a much smaller child care/infant care facility than Sam's Early Learning Centre. The infant care section was started three years ago as an added service to their child care customers, which is their main business. The child care used to be affiliated to Pat's Schoolhouse, in the sense that they bought the curriculum from Pat's Schoolhouse but their contract has now ended and they are now free to tailor their curriculum as they wish. The centre is located in a narrow and long shophouse, which is air-conditioned for ventilation. In the morning, the windows are opened for venting. We did not see any babies there when we visited as it was a Saturday. There did not seem to be any activity area for the babies - the infant care section is really quite small. Apparently, they take the babies outside in the morning to just spend some time outside. The ratio of caregivers to infants is very good - one to two. The real plus point is that the centre's pick-up time will be 8 pm starting from next year. Also, the proximity of the centre to Leona's office means that she can be there quickly in any case of emergency or if she simply wants to pop by and spend some time with the baby, perhaps even for feeding him. The infant care fees are S$1,750 but the lady that gave us the tour (Christina) told us that she could offer us a place for S$1,550. Christina said we can let her know in January 2009 if we are interested.

[UPDATE: Citikids Academy has since moved out from the premises that we visited.]

The third centre we went to (today) was Zion Babies. This is in a shopping centre in a nearby estate. It's also a bright, airy place with high ceilings and large windows. The centre also does not use any air-conditioning. The babies were happy and active, crawling around the large play area. Unfortunately, the pick-up time is 7 pm. They also have a waiting list for a place in April 2009. Their fees are about S$1,300. Although the place is lovely, it's not a serious contender as it is neither near our home nor the office so it is nearly impossible for us to meet the pick-up time of 7 pm.

All in all, although we like Sam's Early Learning Centre the best, it looks like the front contender is Citikids Academy, purely because of the pick-up time.

[UPDATE: We did not end up placing Ryan in an infant care centre. Instead, while we are working, he spends his time with a wonderful nanny who dotes on him and treats him as if he were part of her family.]

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