Friday, January 29, 2010

Piling on the pounds

Mariel and I were at Kate's atelier and we had such a fun time just choosing cloth swatches, designs, accessories. Well, the truth is Kate drew and drew and Mariel and I just oohed and clapped in delight. Why were we there? Mariel's wedding is coming up! So excited for my dear friend.

So I had my measurements taken for my gown and, let me tell ya, I'm a little alarmed at my size. Everything's about 3-5 inches bigger. Good for the boobies but the waist and hips? Yikes! It's not that I'm being vain. It's more like I feel this is a stranger's body. Last time I checked, my waist was 26; now it's 31! I guess if it was a gradual gain, I'd think nothing of it but, my goodness, every time I look in the mirror, I do a double take, "Who's that?!"

For the first time in my life, I've started thinking seriously about exercise and diets. I look at the Kardashian sisters' bodies for example and I find myself wondering if I'm ever going to need to work hard to get thin again.All my mommy friends tell me--almost gleefully--that, "No, you'll never get your body back!" and I feel a little sad. Not because I'm vain but because I like my body--the skinny, flat-chested, bony-kneed me. It's who I am and, despite being taunted for being a skeleton all my life, I really like my eat-all-I-can-yet-remain-skinny self.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How I beat morning sickness

Of all the pregnancy symptoms, morning sickness is what I abhor the most. The nausea can be paralyzing--you don't want to eat, move, talk, watch TV or go anywhere far from a bathroom. I started feeling nauseous on the sixth week of my pregnancy. At first, it was just a bad feeling in the tummy and a slight dizziness, worsened by heat and smells. Then one day, the full brunt of it struck and I was bent over the toilet bowl in sheer agony, vomiting convulsively nearly all day long.

Because I can afford to stay home, I didn't really mind feeling this way. Especially since studies have shown that morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy. But I was afraid this pregnancy won't stay healthy for long if everything I ate came up and out even before I can digest those all important nutrients for Jelly Bean! So I immediately looked for ways to stop the vomiting.

I'm so glad then that I bought this Reader's Digest book a few months ago. It's called 1801 Home Remedies and it contains natural cures that I can find in my own kitchen! For morning sickness, there were many remedies but these are what I found most helpful:

Ginger tea - This spicy herbal infusion (also known as salabat) has long been known for being a cure-all drink. From sore throats to motion sickness, ginger tea seems to be able to soothe any ailment. I like how warm and slightly spicy the tea feels down my throat and in my tummy. And sure enough, just a cup in the morning and in the evening and my tummy stayed quiet. Thank you, Twinings!

Water therapy - Keeping yourself hydrated is important especially if you're losing liquids from frequent bouts of vomiting. But here's a wonderful thing: a glass of water every hour or so keeps the tummy calm! I sip water continually since I find a big glass of water heavy on my tummy and I don't like it sloshing about in there. Muchos gracias, agua!

Crackers - Preggy moms will soon notice that both an empty stomach and a too-full tummy can induce nausea. So it's important to keep snacking so that you're never hungry but neither are you too full. To prevent nausea in the morning (and I found that no morning nausea means it can be a very good day!), have crackers by your bedside. Munch on some about 10 to 15 minutes before you get up. Sometimes, my throw-uppy tummy woke me up at 2am and 4am and I'd just munch on some crackers and it will settle down. Thank you, Skyflakes!

Acupressure - This is the best cure! In the absence of salabat, a glass of water and crackers, a simple and steady pressure on the inside of my forearm (about two thumbs from the crease of the wrist) for about a minute and the nausea subsides. It's amazing!  Thank you, Chinese people!

Also, I'm just past 10 weeks so I do believe the worst is over. Thank you, God!

UPDATE: If you're one of the few women who experience nausea throughout pregnancy, do not use acupressure after the first trimester. Certain points in the wrist and ankle may trigger labor.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Who's the baby in this house?

Tired, tired, tired. But can't sleep. Too gassy, too bloated, too uncomfy. I have so many things to do! There's the magazine, taxes, visits to my facialist and the OBG, chores, bills... I also need to announce the winners of two contests on my personal blog, Topaz Horizon. I just want to tell those who joined the OK! contest that I have some very very good news for you! I just haven't picked up the prizes yet so I don't want to announce anything yet! Super sorry!

So Mommy Frances has a ton to do but I'm happy. It's so strange. I kinda go about my days fussy, farty, burpy, weepy, sleepy, hungry, happy. Vince, the poor victim of my pregnant state, finally exclaimed, "Are you having a baby or are you turning into a baby?!"

Oh, sweetheart, don't you know? I'll always be your baby!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pregnancy has turned me into a despicable person

I'm feeling rotten tonight. Tonight should've been Rock Band Night--early this week, I invited a few friends over to the house, we planned the songs we'll play, outfits we'll wear, food we'll eat, everyone was so excited... We were all going to have a blast playing what could be the coolest PS3 game ever invented!

Then this afternoon, one of my guests coughed. And coughed. It was a bad cough, the kind that needed medical attention, or at the very least, lots of rest and liquids. Instead of expressing concern, I panicked, "You're sick?! You can't come to my house. I can get infected! I'm pregnant! My baby has to be protected from germs." The rest of my guests got deflated and then we all just agreed to take a rain check.

Frances is fat and rude. Shame on me!

When I did that, I felt righteous--I was protecting my child! But now I feel bad. Really really bad. I always despised those pregnant women who thought they were so special--demanding the best seats, refusing to patiently fall in line, covering/wrinkling their nose in plain disgust when they pass by smokers/sweaty people/etc, complaining loudly when they don't get their way. I always believed that there is no excuse for bad behavior and being pregnant is not a good enough reason to be rude.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm using my beauty products again. Yey!

Okay, despite a lot of you telling me to go natural for the sake of the baby, I still believe in science. And science just told me that the skin is a barrier that prevents stuff from getting inside the body so topical creams are absolutely safe. I asked a chemist and a dermatologist and they agreed. Even my OBG told me a beautiful happy mommy is better than an ugly miserable mommy.

So it is perfectly safe for me to continue using the products that I've been using except for the following reasons:

1. My heightened and strange new sense of smell may make me averse to certain fragrances. So if a beloved cream/shampoo/lotion makes me feel like throwing up, then by all means switch to a product with a more pleasant scent or, better yet, go fragrance-free!

2. Vitamin A is good for the skin but research has shown that large amounts of it can harm fetal development. The good news is those large amounts need to be ingested (that means swallowed). Since creams applied on the skin have very little Vitamin A (found in products with Retinol), there's really no effect on the baby. But to be on the safest side, just switch to a cream without Retinol. As I do not use creams with Retinol, this is not a problem.

3. Stretchmarks are caused by rapidly expanding skin so keep the weight down. I truly believe I'm not going to get fat because my mom was super thin when she was pregnant (think Angelina Jolie or Nicole Richie). Besides, it takes me forever to gain a pound so gaining weight can actually be a problem.
    Alas, stretchmarks are also mostly genetic. So I can apply Palmer's Cocoa Butter, olive oil, Star margarine or what-have-you all day but if my mom had it, I most likely will. Well, my ultra-slim mom had tons of it so I'll be seeing stretchmarks soon.

So thanks to all of you who answered my beauty question here, on Facebook and via email. It's interesting how some of you just stopped using your beauty products. Ack, I cannot do that, not even for the sake of my baby! After all, all the experts told me if I'll be depressed throughout my pregnancy, that can prove to be more harmful to my child. I just want to say that I know a ton of other women who smoked, drank and took drugs (they didn't know they were pregnant) and still their babies are some of the healthiest, smartest, most beautiful children I have ever seen!

Don't worry! I'm not going to do anything dumb like that! But I'm just glad I don't have to be so paranoid now. All this fear from paranoid moms is freaking me out. I'm going to enjoy my pregnancy and I'm going to be absolutely beautiful while I'm at it! 

*free image from Dreamstime

Feeling much better--thanks!

Ladies, you've all been very sweet, compassionate and understanding. Thank you for all your comments encouraging me through my misery. I realize now that my whining sounds so petulant and bratty--I may think this pregnancy is difficult but when I read your stories, my goodness, I am actually doing well after all!

My friend Jing wrote about her own pregnancy stories to keep my spirits up (by telling me pregnancy can be horrible haha!). It's a beautiful letter that made me tear up a bit so, ladies, go to Hypermom right now to read it!

Now, everyone seems to tell me to use Palmer's Cocoa Butter. So I'm going to Rustan's this Saturday to buy it. Now I have another favor--what beauty products did you use when you were pregnant? You have to help me!!!

Since I found out I was with child (ooh, what a term! Love it!), I've stopped using everything except the gentlest shampoo and baby soap. Good-bye moisturizers, night creams, serums, lotions, eye creams, sunblock! And I look absolutely horrible now. The shampoo is so gentle, my hair is oilier than ever and baby soap is so drying! I'm never using baby soap on my baby!



It's a good thing I had my hair colored red in late October. It's time for a retouch since my roots are showing but I'll have to postpone the coloring till my third trimester. Don't worry--hair dye won't harm the baby! But I was advised to do it just once or twice throughout the pregnancy and to use organic dye, if possible.

As for my skin, well, a dermatologist I saw insists I use her creams but since I think that's a bit self-serving, I'm going to ask fellow moms instead. Pleeeeease tell me what beauty products you used when you were pregnant because I'm sick of people telling me I'm going to have a boy. Really, what is it about pregnant women that makes people suddenly become psychics? Some people should just keep their clairvoyance to themselves!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eighth week! (And how I'm really feeling)

So today means I'm officially 2 months pregnant, but since conception happened only about 6 weeks ago, Jelly Bean is really about 6 weeks old. If you're a mommy reading this, you know that made sense. If you're not a mommy, then you realize how absolutely confusing that statement is. And to be honest, everything about pregnancy is leaving me in a confused state.

I'm still waiting for the overwhelming joy everyone trumpets about in such shrill tones. First, how can anyone feel deliriously happy about this constant state of nausea, fatigue, hunger and a dozen aches and pains everywhere? Then there's my lank oily hair and my pimply skin. Actually, I'm fine with all of that except for the hunger. This hunger is insane. I'm hungry all the frikkin' time. It's a hunger that consumes you absolutely. All you think about is food, food, food. I don't even think about my chores, my family, my work--I'm just all about the food and it's maddening and depressing.