Bali: A Sweet Escape and A Wedding

Finally, vacation!

After taking a long break from traveling, we finally had our chance to go for a quick getaway as a family. We went to Bali over the weekend to attend my best friend’s wedding and thanks to my love here—Priska and JP—we were able to go places in Bali.

My greatest treasure in the world
My greatest treasure in the world
We planned this trip even before Sam was born, exactly when my best friend told me that her wedding will be held in Bali and some of our good friends will be there as well. I was hesitant at first, but deep inside I didn’t wanna miss it and I knew that I had to go. I’m just glad that we decided to go!

During the trip Sam was busy squeezing her afternoon naps, getting enough rest and charming everyone wherever we went. They all smiled and approached her, some even asked to carry her! Her charm works like magic!

Sam being charming and all
Sam being charming and all
Airplane rides with Sam

Unlike a few months ago when we first flew with Sam, everything was so much easier now. Sam slept through the take off and thus, our flight was fuss-free. We brought her toys along, like all of them, just in case she gets bored. She remained calm throughout the flight and mostly just slept, played, munched on her snacks and watched the clouds. She was so well-behaved!

Quick! Hold my hand before your Daddy sees!
Quick! Hold my hand before your Daddy sees!
Check out this cute little boy who was trying to hold Sam’s hands by sneaking out (I think he didn’t want his parents to see LOL) It happened multiple times and Sam was just ignoring him the whole time, poor boy LOL

I think all parents know that it’s not easy to travel with a baby. Quick tips for flying with infants:

  • Make sure they’re well-rested. Well-rested babies are happy babies. We booked flights that matched Sam’s naptime, so she can just sleep throughout the flights. I noticed that babies tend to get bored easily and of course they will start crying, especially when they have to sit tight for hours (not to mention the crazy noise, change in air pressure during landing/take-off and even worse, bumpy flights!) so I prefer to board the plane with Sam sleeping soundly even if it means I have to carry her for hours.
  • Check their diapers before boarding the plane. Make sure it’s clean and dry, so they can rest and are ready to sleep once you board the plane. It’s also very inconvenient to change diapers in the lavatory as it’s very unsafe. Drop by a nursery or a baby changing room before you board your plane.
  • Bring their favorite toys along with you. Before Sam got bored with sitting down and staring out of the window, we already prepared some toys to distract her. The main purpose is to kill the time and distract her from whatever it is that makes her feel uncomfortable.
  • Be creative. Some things are not allowed to be used during take off and landing, but your baby keeps on crying so you just gotta do something, right? Good thing they have magazines! Sam loved browsing through the pages and looking at the pretty colors. It was good enough to distract her for a few minutes before we were able to let her play with her toys again. Just be careful ’cause your baby might tear off the pages! Another thing that we did was walking around the aisle. It doesn’t just help your baby but you, too! Stretch your body and walk around before you go back to sit for another few hours. Other friendly passengers might also be able to distract your baby by playing with them for a couple of minutes.
  • Nurse your baby. If you travel often, you might know that babies tend to get very fussy and cry a lot during take-off and landing as their ears hurt because of the change in air pressure. According to BabyCenter, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby during take-off and landing will help to ease any painful ear popping. The sucking and swallowing will relieve the pressure that builds up in your baby’s ears. If your baby doesn’t want to nurse, you can give them something to suck or chew like pacifier or a snack to munch on.

Do you have any other tips on flying with babies? Let me know! 🙂

Days in Bali

Sun-kissed
Sun-kissed
As you know, Bali is one of the most popular holiday destinations, especially during summer. Lucky me, I grew up in Indonesia and my parents have brought me to Bali for vacation many times when I was younger. We traveled by land, my Dad drove all the way from Jakarta to Bali which took us a few days. It’s tiring of course, but we had a chance to visit other interesting places along the way, too! Road-tripping to Bali every holiday was like a norm back then, that was before they invented low-cost airlines. Bali is so well-developed now compared with a few years back and there are so many things/places that we haven’t been to before.

We were so blessed that the weather was just perfect and it didn’t rain. Sam wasn’t fussy and she stopped growth-spurting right before we left so I can say, our trip was amazing. Thanks to you, Priska and your hubby, we got to try and see what Bali has to offer. The food and the beach were the best part, I’ll definitely go back for more someday! *fingers crossed*

Speaking of beach, it was Sam’s first time to experience beach and she was soooo curious about the waves and the sand in her toes. She just woke up from her afternoon nap when we arrived at the beach and yes, that’s her default after-nap face LOL

I can’t wait to bring Sam to beach again when she gets older!

The Wedding

The main reason of our visit, my best friend’s wedding.

(From left to right: Vina, Priska, Me and Sam, Stella)
The four of us have been best friends since college, like, day one in college. I knew Priska on the very first day during college orientation day, she sat right behind me and we ended up in the same class with Vina and Stella.

For what I remember, we had bright happy days in college despite all crazy deadlines and assignments. We often went for a stroll at nearby malls and grabbed a quick lunch before we all went back to our places. Every single day Vina and Stella chased this shuttle bus called “bebek/duck” (simply because it has a huge duck picture on it) back to their place in Bogor (it’s like a few hours of drive from Jakarta) and Priska and I squeezed ourselves in the middle of the crowd inside a Transjakarta busway. Oh, good old days.

The de Pontis
The de Pontis

It’s been years since the four of us got together and it was definitely great to see them all again last weekend.

After college, we kind of went separate ways and meeting up is such a pain as it’s so hard to match our schedules together. We still met and hung out but I rarely made it since I live in another country, or even when I come back, one of them is unavailable so there’s always one of us who couldn’t make it.

During college years, we all had boyfriends and the lame drama that never ends (oh well, all teenagers have been through it) Vina was the only single lady among us, happy and carefree. College assignments are the only thing that occupied most of her days. But look at her now, she’s a brand new wife to a very lucky man and both of them just embarked upon a new journey, writing beautiful chapters together as husband and wife.

How was Sam during the wedding, you say?

Well, she was okay, thank God. I put her to bed before we headed out to the wedding venue and she was peachy after two hours of nap. She loved watching the pretty hanging lights, and when her mood acted up, Liam brought her to watch the fire dance and she just lit up like a candle.

It’s also a good thing that the party took place just a few steps away from the shore and the wind somehow cooled her off.

I just can’t imagine how fussy she would be, wearing that dress in this humid weather without wind blowing. Speaking of, she hates wearing dresses and hats. She likes to be naked with only her diaper attached to her. Oh my..

All right, that’s about it.

We had a pleasant time in Bali and we’ll definitely go back someday!

Planning to go to Bali anytime soon? Read my post about what to eat in Bali and where to find cool hangout spots here. Cheers!

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The Third Years—Wedding Anniversary 

What?! It has been three years already?! Where did all the time go?

That’s exactly what Liam and I have been saying lately. Especially with our new occupation as parents, time just flies incredibly fast. It seems as if we were lost in time for a moment there, overwhelmed with responsibilities and not to mention our focus is stuck on Sam all the time, we barely have the interest on other things.


Exactly three years ago today, I had the privilege of marrying my best friend, someone that I want to love forever and to grow old with. Liam may not be perfect, in fact, he has a lot of flaws. Well, I do, too. I’m a very impatient woman, but he’s the opposite so he can easily calm me down. He’s forgetful and I often pay attention to details so I make sure nothing will be missed. He sees the goodness when I cannot, and sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s our imperfections which make us perfect for one another. It may sound corny, I know, but that’s the best way to put it. We all need cheesy pick up lines once in awhile, don’t we?


As I looked back over the past three years, I’m still amazed at how we managed to survive it all. My heart is bursting with gratitude thinking about how many incredible doors God has opened up for us over the years. It goes without saying that challenges rise as we grow, we have fallen, stumbled, drowned and yet we rose up again by God’s amazing grace. We have been molded into who we are today and yet we’re still a work in progress as we keep on learning every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way and there’s no one else I would rather be with aside from him.

Three years, two weddings in two different countries, three apartments and one beautiful baby to be loved and to be cherished forever. I am beyond grateful to have him by my side to go through it all, someone who supports me, copes up with my craziness and loves me for who I am.

All right, enough with the cheesy pick up lines.

Yesterday we went to the aquarium to celebrate our third wedding anniversary. We can tell that Sam likes animals a lot, looking at how excited she gets when she watches the birds flying by from our window. I want to have a pet badly and the idea of having a furry friend for Sam thrills me, but sadly we’re not allowed to bring in pets in our apartment.


Anyway, it was such a perfect day yesterday—The weather was great, Sam wasn’t cranky, everything was awesome. We started with lunch at Chili’s as we’ve been craving for some Tex-Mex food for a while, then we headed straight to the Aquaria KLCC.

The highlight of our visit was the tunnel. Sam was tired and ended up falling asleep on my arms during our first tour. I guess looking at fishes swimming around made her sleepy. We let her sleep for one hour or so then we went back inside the tunnel once she woke up.


Boy, how excited she was! She kept wiggling her hands around and clapping her hands when some fishes approached us, even sharks!

Speaking of, our little babe can clap her hands now! She caught us by surprise, she first clapped her hands when we went to Toys R Us. Toys huh! I bet she doesn’t even know what it means and how happy it makes us. It sure is one big milestone for her!

Samantha Althea: Six Month Updates

All right, where do I start?

Things are moving very quickly and all of the sudden our little angel is half a year old. A lot has happened these past six months and we have been so busy focusing on our main priorityour baby Sam. With everything in our handsLiam, busy doing more than one projects at work all at once and me, trying my best to juggle house chores (cooking, cleaning and yes, that painstaking laundry!) and taking care of an infant who stuffs her toys in her mouth in a matter of seconds when I’m not looking. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy, I just feel like 24 hours a day isn’t enough. Gosh, for a moment there I even forgot that this blog exists!

Sam at Two Months

As Sam gets older and discovers a lot of new things, she’s showing us more of her personality. She’s cheeky, happy and all smiles when she wakes up in the morning or after her long afternoon nap. She always seems intrigued whenever she sees something new and would immediately reach out her hands to grab it.

Sam at Three Months

A lot has changed since those first foggy months and as a new mother, I face a new challenge every day. As Sam grows and learns new things, she doesn’t allow consistency. One day she would follow her regular schedule but she wants something completely different the next day. Liam and I have to keep adjusting to her needs, sometimes we even experiment on a few things when Sam won’t settle.

Six months is a long time yet it feels incredibly fast. So here we go, it’s gonna be a long post!

Milestones

We love watching Sam reaching her milestones as she grows from a teeny tiny baby into a strong, determined little lady. She is such a fast learner and she keeps on surprising us every day. She was able to lift up her head completely at two months age and she just loved standing and bouncing on my gym ball. Not to mention, our babe’s got some killer legs! It’s so strong that she can even stand on her own now (with a little bit of support, of course) She mastered rolling over a few days after she turned five months and she could sit down on her own without support (and she loves it!) I suppose, she’ll be crawling soon as she keeps kicking her legs whenever she’s down on the floor. Figuring out how to crawl, I guess.

Food

Sam couldn’t wait ‘til she reached exactly 6 months to eat. She was just too excited whenever she sees food so we gave her a taste of banana cereal for her first food a few days before she turned six month. I mixed it with breastmilk which made it a bit runny. Verdict? Well, I can’t really tell if she liked it or not. She ate only one spoonful (That’s normal for starter, I suppose) but then her appetite gradually increases as days go by. She now has feeding routine (breakfast/lunch/dinner but still, I follow her cue) and light snacks in between. We also tried Baby-Led Weaning which she loves, a lot.

#doublechindontcare :D
#doublechindontcare 😀

It’s fun to see her digging in her food, mashing it in her hands, licking it and having a good taste. Her first finger food was wheat bread. I gave her a small piece of it while Liam and I were having toasts for breakfast, just enough for her to hold but not too big so she wouldn’t choke on her food. Speaking of, I’m not really worried about her getting choked, as long as she sits up straight, as said on Baby Center here.

So far she has tried potato (purée), pumpkin (purée), green beans, watermelon and avocado. She loves pumpkin and watermelon a lot!

Sleep

We are so blessed with a very kind, sweet and cooperative baby! Thank God, Sam’s a pretty easy napper and she would fall asleep easily whenever (and wherever!) she feels sleepy. Yes, even in seating position or while walking around the mall, our babe loves chatters and white noises, it makes her sleepy almost immediately. There was one time, we just finished our Sunday service at church and was having lunch together with our fellow churchmates. I knew that Sam was tired and sleepy, so I just sat her down on my lap and she fell asleep a few minutes after. Just like that!

She also gets very sleepy during car trips and can easily doze off on her car seat. How awesome is that?

At night, she usually gets sleepy around 9-10pm ish and sleeps 10-12 hours straight until morning then she would be awake for 2 hours or less for playtime and her morning bath, then she would doze off again quickly after. She usually takes three naps a day, two short naps and one long afternoon nap.

Sam at Four Months
Sam at Four Months

Car Trips

Did I mention that Sam also sleep on her car seat earlier? Yes, it’s such a blessing after all the struggle we’ve been through!

Okay, during her first month, it’s no doubt that she hated her car seat so much. By so much, I mean she’d cry and scream whenever we put her down on her car seat and she wouldn’t stop until I pick her up. So glad those days are long gone!

Now it’s one of her favorite spot to chill, yes! I almost couldn’t believe it! She loves sitting on her car seat, kicking the toys that I put near her feet, biting her favorite teether, staring at herself in the mirror and watch the passing trees as we drive by. She also would doze off easily after a long busy day, works like magic.

Sam’s first word

Was it Momma or Dada?

Sam’s first word was, “Ma,” and yes, I was on a cloud nine when she said that. She was two and a half months when she first said it, then it just gets more and more often now. At six months, she can now pronounce, “Mam-ma,” more clearly and she would call for me if I leave her with Liam for quite some time or whenever I’m out of her sight. So Da-da would have to wait for a while, I suppose.

Wearing our favorite TULA baby carrier
Wearing our favorite TULA baby carrier

Sam’s first flight

We got the chance to go back to my hometown for Chinese New Year last February. It was our first time to fly out of the country with an infant (Sam was three and a half months old) and we were both excited and nervous ’cause we had no idea how it was gonna be. It takes only two hours from Malaysia to Indonesia but gosh, it felt like a decade for me!

I intentionally booked flights which departs on Sam’s naptime, hoping that she’d sleep along the flight. Guess what? She didn’t. Well, she did sleep for the first one hour but then was fully awake for the rest of the flight.

From Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta: We had to leave early in the morning so we wouldn’t miss our flight and it means Sam needs to be awake too. Believe me, I tried carrying her while she was sleeping, hoping that she can get more sleep in the car, but sometimes things just don’t go smoothly as planned. She stayed awake until the moment of our departure, but then quickly passed out once we were in the plane for a good one hour or so. She remained silent for the remaining of the flight, it’s just that the landing wasn’t so smooth and she was quite in shock to her such loud noise, my poor baby.

From Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur: Gosh, what a tiring day it was. I have to admit that I made a mistake by squeezing a meet up with some friends  before we left. She was overly tired and wouldn’t go to sleep until it was the time for our departure. She was fussy and cranky even in the plane. She was tired and bored at the same time, definitely not a good combination. Liam had to carry her and walk around the aisle to brighten up her mood. We also noticed other parents were doing the same to calm their kids as well. Thank goodness, she calmed down and went to sleep right after.

After that incident, I think we’ve learned our lesson. No tiring activity before the flight, make sure she’s full, her diaper’s dry and she’s ready to sleep in the plane.

Sam at Five Months

Teething

Sam started teething a few weeks before she turned five months. She drooled almost everywhere, on her shirt, her bibs, her toys and of course, my shirts. She kept on pulling her ear and wouldn’t stop biting. I thought she was just going through another growth spurts and that she’s learning something new, until I spotted a teeny tiny tooth bud on her pink gums. So that’s what this is all about!

Teething Fever :(
Teething Fever 😦

Now that she’s more than six months old, she might be teething again soon as her Pediatrician told us. To be honest, I wasn’t very happy to hear that. Well, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that Sam is reaching such a big milestone in the first few months of her life, it’s just that I’m not looking forward to the pain that she’s going through. Teething is such a pain and to see her suffer like that hurts me too. When Sam was teething, she caught a mild fever. She was cranky, she kept on crying and she couldn’t sleep all night, I’m so not looking forward to that again. Can’t they just teethe without all those struggles?

Motherhood

Here we go, the FAQ that has been asked countless times, “How does it feel to be a mother?” So many people asked me this question ever since Sam was born, so many that I lost count. I even forgot how I answered them!

“I am proud of many things in life, but nothing beats being a mother.”
— Anonymous

Being a mother isn’t all glamorous and it’s not as easy as one two three. Now that I think about all the sacrifices, the sleepless nights, aches, cramps and not to mention, hours of battling pain in the labor room—being a mother requires hardwork. But does it make me happy?

For me, happy is not quite the exact word to define it. It’s so much more—It’s satisfying, rewarding and it brings so much joy even if it means you have to live with endless sacrifices by putting your child as your #1 priority. Motherhood just unleashed a new kind of strength in me that I never thought I could do. It taught me to be be selfless, to be strong, and to love unconditionally.

I often get lost in my own thoughts, thinking about all the things that I thought I could never do but somehow I survived, thank God. It took me awhile to realize that hey, I’m a mother! In fact, I still couldn’t believe that I went through all that, yes, even until now. It makes me proud as a woman, I feel like a winner, especially when I see Sam sleeping soundly in my arms. Even more, I think every mother deserves a trophy, every-single-one-of-them. It doesn’t matter if she’s a stay-at-home mom, a mom who works from home, or a full-time working mom; Whether or not she breastfeeds, hires a nanny or a hands-on mom. Every mother is a hero, there is no exception, and I am beyond grateful to become one.

What Sam has taught me in the first months of her life

In the first six months of her life, Sam has taught me a lot of things—she taught me how to love unconditionally. She taught me that love knows no boundaries and love sees not with the eyes but with the heart. She doesn’t care if I haven’t taken a shower or how dull I look, she always greets me with excitements and a pretty smile. She loves me despite all my flaws, even if I’m not a perfect mother to her. Her love is so pure, so deep and so sweet. If this isn’t what unconditional love actually means, I don’t know what else is.

Sam is a reminder that I have so many things to be grateful for. I have a pretty daughter who often pats my back as if she knows how to say, “Everything will be just fine, Mommy,” I have a very loving husband who supports me through hard times and is willing to take care of Sam when I’m too tired to wake up. I am blessed with a beautiful family and it’s more than I could ever ask for.

Phew, are you still with me? Thank you for reading this super long post! This post was long overdue, I am so glad to finally able to post this!

It is also a shoutout to every strong, beautiful and courageous mother out there as Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days. I admire every single one of you!

By the way, you can follow me on my Instagram account here. I still post regularly on my Instagram, especially when Sam is keeping me occupied and when blogging/writing needs to wait awhile. Feel free to follow me! 🙂

The First Month

Our sweet blossom turns one month today!

It has been one blissful month watching her grow up, from every tiny smirks, chuckles, even the sounds she makes whenever she grunts. I never thought motherhood could make me this happy—nor did I realize that it’s possible to feel so much love everytime she looks into your eyes or by simply smiling back at you when you least expect it.

I’ve never felt this complete until she came into our lives, now life means so much more with her by my side. I don’t think anything else could make me as happy as she makes me. She’s everything—I don’t mean to sugarcoat it—but there’s nothing else in this world I’d rather have than her.

Read about my birth story here: https://liamandnita.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/our-little-flower-has-arrived/

Our little flower has arrived!

Disclaimer: This is going to be a loooong post. So keep calm and read on! 🙂

My Birth Story

Exactly when my pregnancy hit 38 weeks on Tuesday, October 27th 2015 at 3 in the morning, I woke up with a thought, “What if the baby arrives today?” It was just a random thought, I didn’t feel any pain or contractions. I was even still doing my routines a day before, still driving, doing grocery shopping with my mother in law and even hit the gym in the afternoon running on the treadmill for 30 minutes. But then after I finished my first morning BM, I noticed some brown discharge which could be a sign of labor. I didn’t panic, nor excited. I experienced the same thing on the day my gynae did internal examination, so I thought it was normal. I didn’t wake Liam up, if it’s true that I’m going into labor soon, he should get some rest.

But an hour later, I started feeling crampy and I noticed there was a bit of blood coming out, so I prepared myself. I took a quick shower and woke everyone up. No rush, I was still very calm and the contractions weren’t really painful. I even started doubting, “Am I really in labor now?” ‘Cause I could hardly feel a thing.

We dashed to the hospital and I was quickly admitted to the delivery suite around 7 in the morning. My dilation was 1.5 cm and the contractions weren’t strong enough but I was already in labor. Baby’s heartbeat was still normal, very healthy in fact. Once my gynae came in, she said the contractions weren’t strong enough and she recommended “augmentation” which will increase the contractions and cervical dilation by infusing oxytocin. So that was final, the baby’s arriving today, I said to myself. We were still very calm, we even managed to take quick selfies lol 😀

While waiting for more contractions to come, I walked around the room and even did squats to increase the intensity. Around 12 p.m, I asked Liam to grab some lunch, then everything changed once he left. The contractions were so frequent and intense, it all started at the lower back and spreaded around my lower abdomen, that was 2-4 cm dilation. The nurse asked me to pass urine, ’cause it seemed like my bladder was blocking the birth canal so our baby could not go down. I couldn’t pee at all, I didn’t feel the urge to pee so they decided to put catheter to remove my urine.

Once the bad guy has been removed, everything just got more and more intense. Around 1:30 p.m. I was 8 cm dilated already and boy, that was painful! I couldn’t handle the pain, yet we decided not to go for epidural, so good breathing technique was the only thing I could count on, but I suck at it too. The nurses were all very helpful, they all kept repeating “Breathe and blow.” Like some sort of chant and somehow it worked! 😀

Our gynae, Dr Cecilia Wong was also very helpful during the whole process. She kept on encouraging me and saying that I was doing very well and I was this close to finally see my baby face to face. It somehow helped me to endure the pain when I felt like giving up. But that’s it, baby just decided to go out and I started crying because of the excruciating pain which I couldn’t handle anymore. Liam was just beside me the whole time, holding my hand and feeling helpless.

Around 2:35 p.m. I was fully dilated and guess what? It’s pushing time! Everything happened so fast, less than five minutes even. Just three pushes and our bundle of joy came to greet her Mommy and Daddy with her loud cry. Oh baby, your first breath took ours away.

I glanced at Liam and he was already crying. That exact moment, everything was so precious.

The first time I held her skin-to-skin, I felt so overwhelmed. My heart was filled with love and gratitude. This sweet little bundle of joy was inside my tummy for 38 weeks and now I’m holding her in my arms. She looked so beautiful, so fragile, it felt as if I was holding a porcelain.

Our sweet Samantha Althea was born at 2:39 p.m on Tuesday, October 27th 2015, weighed 3.370 gr and was 49 cm long. My little angel, I have loved you even before I met you, and now I love you even more.

Our First Weeks

The days just seem to move faster since Sam came into our lives. Before she arrived, I’ve been wondering how our lives would change and this is it, it’s finally happening.

People weren’t kidding when they said Liam and I are going to be sleepless for a while. On the first few days, we barely had enough sleep ’cause we had to constantly watch her and fulfill her needs. Liam and I have our own shifts, so one of us could get some rest while the other is awake. Breast pump is a huge help! Liam can now feed Sam without waking me up in the middle of the night.

Thank God, Sam is not one of those babies who cry throughout the night. She’s actually quite patient! She doesn’t cry much, rather, she grunts when she feels uncomfortable or hungry. During the first week, it was us who adjusted to her sleeping time but her sleeping patterns changed once she turned two weeks old. She sleeps better at night and wakes up only twice or thrice for feeding.

Today she turns three weeks old. She knows how to smile at the camera and she can even lift her head during tummy time! It seems as though she never stops drinking milk and that’s exactly the reason behind those pinchable chubby cheeks.

How do I feel?

I’ve never been this tired in my entire life. I spend my whole day attending to Sam’s needs, feed her, burp her, change her, bathe her, play with her and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s indeed tiring, but the feeling is extraordinary. From all the tiny smirks and the look she gives you when you stare into her eyes, I just feel like I’m the luckiest person on earth. Our stories and memories are built every single minute and I’m beyond blessed to be the one who share it together with her and her Daddy. I really can’t wait until she makes another milestones and her first few steps.

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

Exciting things are coming, yay!

How do I feel?

The day I entered 37th week, I had a loooong check-up and chit chat with my gynae. Mostly about the things I should expect after I entered my 37th week. She also did internal examination to check for cervical dilation, and gosh, that was painful. It turned out I was 1 cm dilated already, good news! She said that labor can start anytime soon and I should monitor every contraction and discharges. It seems a little bit daunting at first, but I’ve been waiting for this for so long and I’m actually very excited!

The day after we went for check-up, I kept on having Braxton-Hicks contractions that came and went away several times in a day, then the frequency and intensity just keep increasing until today. Yesterday I had lower back pain, not that painful, still manageable. But as our gynae said, “Welcome the pain! Pain is good!” ’cause it means I’m getting there, naturally!

Honestly, patience isn’t my strongest suit. I hate waiting, it bores me to death. And now that I have to keep counting the days until Althea arrives, I’ve run out of things to do, inducing labor is the only thing that keeps me busy lately. Our gynae recommended to take a walk at least 30 minutes to one hour per day to induce labor. There are also other things you can do, such as exercise on the birthing ball, having intimate time with your husband, swimming, yoga, etc. It helps to drop the baby lower towards the birth canal and to prepare your body for the big day. I also started equipping myself (and Liam, too!) with everything I can learn about labor from the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, it’s very helpful since we’re both first timers.

How’s baby?

Our little Althea is finally full term today! She’s ready to go out anytime soon, and we are beyond excited for her to arrive!

Still busy prepping for her big day, our little angel is just in the right size for birth, around 3 kg and growing even taller than ever. I can feel her head pressed against my pelvic, especially during contractions, she’s so close!

Read more about 37 weeks of pregnancy here.

Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks and Baby Shower

Entering the first week of my last month of pregnancy, woot! woot!

How do I feel?

Excited and anxious at the same time! Little one’s arrival is drawing near, it feels like we still have so much things to do yet so little time! My body is also experiencing some major changes lately. The pressure around my pelvic area is getting more intense and it happens quite often in a day. It seems as though Braxton Hicks contractions is a normal thing that happens every day and it gets more intense as I’m asleep and often wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Also, I have been walking a lot recently, a friend of mine suggested that walking can help to induce labor and contractions which helped her a lot during her last weeks of pregnancy. The thing is, as I walk, I can feel the baby dropping and I have to waddle like a penguin because of the pressure down there. I think it’s pretty common during the last weeks of pregnancy.

My bump looks different too! It looks as if the baby has dropped, it’s fuller and feels much harder down below. Unlike before, there’s a space for me to breathe. No more heartburn or shortness of breath! But heck, I feel like she’s squeezing my bladder all the time and I have to deal with countless of bathroom trips even in the middle of the night.

How’s baby?

May I introduce you to our adorable little peach, Samantha Althea!

She’s now as big as a ripe papaya, but definitely a lot sweeter! After this week, our little Sam will be full term, then she can come anytime she pleases! She’s still comfortable in her position, bottoms-up, head-down and her tiny feet are stuck under my ribcage.

Last Sunday, we also had a small celebration in our home, organized by a few close friends from church. It was a great time, she’s indeed one blessed baby!

Everyone’s excited to meet you, sweetheart!

Read more about 36 weeks of pregnancy by Ovuline here.