Lil’ Miso – Week 17 to Week 20

Week 17
* The week where the belly goes from just-a-heavy-lunch to it’s-a-baby-bump! Even E and Xan kept commenting how my tummy has grown suddenly. Friends, whom have been suspicious but too cautious to ask, finally reacted with a “OMG!” Okay, some “Congratulations!” but with an expression itching to ask “Was it accidental?”
* I began to feel more normal, more energetic though there were still occasional bouts of nausea especially if I were a bit slow in filling my hungry stomach.
* More kicks, more flutters, more knocks from Miso. He/she seems to know when I’m just sitting down and doing nothing.

Week 18
* We are back in Malaysia for CNY. The trip didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to be but alas, I fulfilled my role, ate what I wanted to and flew back with a fresh piece of mind that from then on, I would focus on nothing but growing Miso, and spending time with the Husband, E and Xan. Nothing else.
* Because I will be DIY-ing my own confinement (actually, there won’t even be a confinement), I took the opportunity to buy some herbs, essential supplements and baby diapers from Malaysia. I’m grateful that my friend Sam helped me out in this. I would have been really clueless otherwise.
* While we were in Malacca, we also did the required antenatal blood test. Because my health insurance in Dubai only covers up to a certain amount and such test could cost about 10 times more than in Malaysia, my obgyn kindly gave the go-ahead to get it done elsewhere. We saw Dr Tan Nugroho Cipto at Oriental Straits Medical Centre, who swiftly helped me with what was required. We got ultrasound photos of Miso too. I am pretty impressed with the efficiency and customer service of that hospital.

Week 19
* Xan napped on my lap during our flight back. Sensing something brushing against the belly, Miso began playing knock-knock.
* It was time for my prenatal check-up with Dr Anni and this time, we had the detailed scan. Miso moved a lot throughout the scan. All seemed great and healthy, according to Dr Anni. “Good baby!” she said.
* Weird thing was, my EDD kept changing between early and mid July. I’ll just stick to the calculation based on my LMP.

Week 20

* The week when everyone REALLY noticed that I’m pregnant. Congratulatory wishes started pouring in from Xan’s and E’s friends’ mums and teachers whom never noticed the bump all these while. The great thing about living in such multicultural place is, most people thought the bump is just a heavy meal or a result of stationary lifestyle because I’m small in frame. If I were in Malaysia, my pregnancy would have been noticed probably a month ago 😀
* Started browsing through my Hypnobirthing book. Miso and I invented a new prebirth bonding game. Now that my issues are behind me, I began putting in more effort in talking to Miso.
* The hunt for a prenatal exercise class that isn’t too intensive nor relaxing begins. I really need to get active for an easier birth. I have been working out in the gym 1-2 times a week prior to this, but somehow I felt that the outdoor activity level could be increased. My first stop was Urban Energy Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness class held at a park nearby where I live. It’s like circuit training but on a milder manner suitable for expectant mums. I was sore all over the next day. Next to try is Prenatal Yoga or Pilates.



Lil’ Miso – Week 13 to Week 16

Week 13
* Okay I take back my word. Morning sickness is still here! Vomited my breakfast this morning. The taste of salmon oil capsule regurgitating in my throat was awful. Ewwww…
* Sleep, wake up, eat, nap, eat – I like this lifestyle. The couch has become my nausea retreat.
* Felt my first official twitch from baby too! Hello back, baby!
Week 14
* My cough from the nasty cold a few weeks ago didn’t really go away. It wasn’t actually a cough, more like an allergy to something. I coughed whenever I was home. Not so much outside. The kind of cough that made me want to vomit.
* This week was spent feeling like I was going to vomit all the time. Like I couldn’t keep my food down. I vomited nothing much out for three times one of those days.
* The vomiting gets worse each time after my gym workout the next day. The Husband said I should take it easier. Maybe my body couldn’t take it. But if I were to lighten the routine, it would be as good as not doing.
* Bought baby’s first possession! The best thing about working for a baby store is knowing the latest products in town yet the worse thing is joining in the purchase when I got the first-hand promotion news. But we were luckier; I went to the secondhand site Dubizzle, searched for the similar item and voila, someone was selling theirs! At 90% off the normal price. Just a little stain on our Beaba Up & Down Bouncer. Nothing the Husband can’t handle.
* Miso is most active when I relax on the couch in the evenings. Once in a while, he/she would even respond to my touch.
Week 15
* Miso is a very blessed baby because every time I set my eyes on a certain baby product, it would miraculously appear on the preloved site. Second time lucky, we got a very good condition Doona at half the retail price!
* The key thing about this pregnancy is, “take it easy and don’t overwork myself” This makes me rather relaxed about many things. For the upcoming CNY, I decided to take a step back this year and skip the festive sharing celebration with E’s and Xan’s class.
* Okay, I did summon up some energy to make Monkey cookies with Xan and tried out some other new recipes.
Week 16
* I parted with my Honda Jazz of two years. After weeks of shopping for a car that’s affordable and can fit three car seats in a row, we finally settled on a Mitsubishi Pajero. The deal was too good to miss. Why? I’ll share in another post.
* The Dubai Shopping Festival Sale is on and I’m so itching to stock up on some rompers for Miso. I did not because after looking at the unisex designs, I still felt that the gender-oriented clothes are cuter.
* Miso’s movements became more prominent, especially in the evenings. The other day before falling asleep, we ‘talked’. I asked Miso to kick once if he’s a boy, twice if she’s a girl. Guess how many times Miso kick? 🙂

OMG! Serious ah?

The reactions we got with every pregnancy differed. So much so I felt it was worth documenting for the humour in it:

  • With the first child – A big, no doubt “CONGRATULATIONS!!”
  • With the second child – “Congratulations! Hoping for a girl/boy?”‘
  • With the third child – A big, no doubt “OMG!” or “Serious ah? Eh, don’t joke leh” followed by a worried “Accidental or planned one?”

For the record, especially for Lil’ Miso’s when he/she chances upon this post in the future: “You were not accidental. You were planned but very much so unexpected, we didn’t think we would be this lucky. We couldn’t have wanted you more.”

Breaking the News
The Husband did not know about Lil’ Miso until three days after I got the positive pregnancy test, mainly because I wanted to wait until his birthday. Why Lil’ Miso? To avoid suspicion, I placed the test kit in a miso soup box, wrapped it up with a fancy paper and presented it to him on the eve of his birthday in Tokyo, after the kids had gone to bed.

His reaction? Surprised and happy. No “OMG!” but more of “Really?” with a big grin. Definitely calmer than me :

12195942_10153583597166140_492924419438632851_nFor privacy, we only told some close friends at the beginning. My second sister got the honour of a first-hand news. She’s a time-tested, good secret keeper. My parents and in-law knew weeks later.

We kept the pregnancy news to ourselves until the New Year, at week 14, when I announced it in my Instagram via a video I took of the Husband’s instant reaction when presented with the ‘gift’.

Because my bump looked more like couch belly at this point of time, many friends whom I met were still unaware and thought I have just grown fat. Just two days ago, an acquaintance in school gathered the courage to ask if I’m pregnant. Won’t be able to keep this under wraps for long anymore now… 🙂

Lil’ Miso – Week 9 to Week 12

Week 9
* The queasiness and lethargy continued.
* The thought of cooking turned me off. For a moment there, I thought I would never been interested in cooking ever again. Greatest wish was to have freshly cooked food served to me every meal. The sight of overnight food in the fridge irritated me to the max.
Week 10
* Wished I could rest and sleep longer. Wished I didn’t have to lift a finger. But it was the busiest week in December, with my sister and her family visiting, upcoming class parties, school concerts and planned charity project. Playing tour guide, doing school pick ups/drop offs and cooking for a large group of people all at one go took a toll on me.
* I don’t know what else happened because I was THAT busy (and exhausted).
Week 11
* Amidst the chaos, I managed to squeeze in a job interview too, which I didn’t really cared about the outcome after that.
* I wore myself out, evident from the photos taken by my sister.
* Fell sick big time, with strep throat. What began with really bad and dry throat turned into fever and lack of energy all over. I consulted a doctor, knew what was wrong yet was hanging on to the hope that my body would fight the infection on its own without medication. It was one of the lowest points of my year, feeling helpless and resentful.
* I couldn’t get out of bed for 4 days, gave in and after assurance from GP, pharmacist and my own obgyn, I took a five-day course of Cefuroxime. Actually I cut it short to 3 days because the guilt of harming baby was too much to take.
Vomited with no warning one morning. It was a mix of the cold and morning sickness.
iath week 12
Week 12
* The antibiotic took 3 days to take effect. I gradually began to feel like myself again though still coughing, sneezing and groggy.
* Morning sickness seemed to subside too. I dare not celebrate too soon yet.
* I knew I was back to myself again when I woke up one morning with the motivation to continue on my attempt to make onde-onde, from my last attempt a few months ago.
* Went back to gym after a 3-week hiatus.

Pregnant in Dubai – My first obgyn visit

A month after discovering double lines in my home pregnancy test, the day finally came to meet Lil’ Miso and my obgyn. I was 8 weeks 4 days along and have been looking forward to this day.

After attending E’s and Xan’s school assembly in conjunction with the UAE National Day celebration, I made my way to Marina Walk and reached the clinic 40 minutes early. I wasn’t sure of the place and wanted to be on time. The Husband couldn’t come along as he was on night shift the day before and had to sleep in for work the following night.

This was my first pregnancy in Dubai, I’ve never seen an obgyn here prior to this and had no idea what to expect. Shortly after I checked in, an elderly lady in white coat approached, trying to pronounce my name. It was the first time I met Dr Anni Engberg, an obgyn whom came highly recommended by mums in the Natural UAE Group. I wanted someone who is experienced, pro-natural in terms of respecting birth wishes yet knowing when’s best to act, puts in a personal human touch when dealing with patients and preferably delivers in my preferred hospital. Most of all, he/she needs to believe in the body’s natural ability to birth a baby and intervene only when necessary. At the same time, someone who isn’t so popular with long waitlist and queuing time. Quality is always compromised that way.

Dr Anni ticked all the boxes. She’s like the Dr Choong KH of UAE – very experienced, friendly, easy to talk to and open to ideas. I’ve heard about the extra mile she has gone for mums under her care and was really impressed.

Dr Anni is a Danish, I believe (judging based on where she received her accreditation). She walked me into her consultation room and the check-up began. I gave her a quick background about my pregnancy histories, and off I went to the bed for an ultrasound. The nurse initially asked me to take off my pants for an intravaginal ultrasound but I declined and requested for the belly scan instead. I held my pee and made sure my bladder was full for this purpose.

My oh my, their machine was so high-tech that it generated 3D images and printed a few coloured photos for me at one go. For the grand start, Dr Anni began by saying “There were two embryoes here prior to this. Did you have any bleeding?”

No I didn’t.

Wait a second. Two?! What two?! I beg your pardon? My heart dropped. Keep calm, Joey. BREATHE.

Then Dr Anni went on and described where Miso was, “There’s the heartbeat, all looking good, about 1.3cm and it looks like you’re 7 weeks 4 days instead.” Oh? Then I know when Miso was conceived ;P

Trying to sound relaxed, I summoned up the courage to ask “Why did you say there were two embryoes?”

She continued to scan and showed me the two sacs in my womb but only one has a tenant inside. I squinted my eyes to check, to be sure that there’s indeed one only. Imagine the Husband’s reaction if he were here with me LOL! What happened was two eggs got fertilised but only one made it through. He would have fainted, I assure you.

I could see Lil’ Miso dancing inside the sac and the heartbeat moving a steady rhythm. Despite being a mum to two children already, seeing each baby on the ultrasound for the first time continues to be life-changing. Lil’ Miso never felt more real than ever! I’m going to be a mum of 3 😀

Now here’s the second shocker…the bill. Although we could claim from the insurance, the charges were still an eye-opener. Guess how much did this visit cost us?


Consultation fee – AED530 (approximately RM615)
Ultrasound charge – AED875 (approximately RM1,000)

Did you just choke?