I’ve never blogged on wordpress before but since so many people who seem to know what they are doing do, I figured it must be pretty decent. New blogging experience; new parenting experience.
I plan to share all the trials and tribulations of being a first time mum here, who knows, this may progress into a blog generally about parenting if I ever become an “expert” mum of 2 or 3 but for now its really about new discoveries I’m making along the way.
To set the stage, I’m now well into my second trimester. Today’s the last day of week 25, whatever that means in terms of development of my foetus, tentatively named Sophia (I was warned that babies sometimes come out looking nothing like the planned name). I don’t really know what a Sophia baby looks like although I have a mental image of a quiet, pretty in an understated way and wise-for-her-age Sophia child.
Where am I in terms of preparing for parenthood? Well obviously I have a regular obstetrician by now, she’s Dr Christine Yap whose clinic is at Mt Elizabeth hospital in Singapore. No prizes where I’m based now and in the foreseeable future.
I haven’t decided which hospital to give birth at. Dr Yap seems most familiar with Mt E among the private hospitals and SGH among the public hospitals. Kenny and I went for maternity tours with Gleneagles, Thomson Medical Centre and Mt Alvernia (in that order) and have made an appointment to go for Mt Elizabeth’s tour in a couple of weeks. Among those we have visited Kenny was most impressed with Gleneagles. I was too but at the same time have heard raving comments for Mt Alvernia. It is also the only hospital that had both delivery rooms and wards for viewing. Gleneagles’ wards were full though we saw the delivery room and Thomson had neither wards nor delivery rooms to show (which was scary). XY told me that when she delivered in TMC, the delivery itself was good enough but thereafter the hospital seemed terribly understaffed and it was difficult to get the nurses’ attention. She even had to pick up her baby from the nursery herself. Not good at all. Everyone I spoke to dissed SGH so I’m not as inclined to go with that choice despite the fact that its significantly cheaper.
Another choice I’ve been struggling with is whether to do cord blood banking and if so with which private bank. There are two in Singapore, each with advantages and disadvantages. Cordlife is AABB accredited, Stemcord has no accreditation at the time being but is going for FACT accreditation and “is confident of their prospect of getting it” to quote the “medical director” at their talk. The same medical director also claimed that if AABB were a toyata, FACT would be a porsche. I have seen no evidence in my online research to back this, not to say it isn’t true, I just haven’t been able to verify that it is. Stemcord separates its collected blood into 2 packs and stores them separately. The claim is that this allows multiple use, and if one facility ran into trouble, at least there will be the other pack. Cordlife countered this by saying that usually all the cordblood will be needed for any therapy. Further, Science park 1 and 2 (location of Stemcord’s 2 facilities) are so close together if any disaster strikes, chances of affecting both at the same time is high. Stemcord’s only use of their stored cordblood indeed required both packs. Stemcord claims that sometimes the bags for storate cracks and if it did then at least there will be another pack but if it were true that both packs would be needed then separating into different packs actually doubles the chances of anything going wrong! Lastly, Cordlife claims to use the Sepax machine which extracts more stem cells. Stemcord’s counter is that all methods result in between 60% to 85% recovery, nobody can go beyond that anyway. I find that a very weak argument since there is a great difference between 60% and 85%! Cordlife also actually works out to be cheaper if storing for a long time, although it does tie parents up for 21 years whereas Stemcord appears to adopt a year on year storage plan. Kenny was attracted by Stemcord’s marketing because they organised a seminar where professionals shares useful information about taking care of a pregnant mother, baby massage, breastfeeding etc. The Cordlife event we attended was a movie screening and before that there was a one-to-one sales pitch by a saleslady who was neither very convincing nor very knowledgeable. She even tried to argue with me about law! Clear case of picking the wrong fight.
As for baby supplies my boss, S, has very kindly offered me her crib and matching drawers. I’ve bought myself a car seat that is supposedly suitable for ages 0 to 4 as it is reversible (though MF has the same one and told me her girl is fast growing out of it at age 1 plus). Have also bought an Inglesina pram which is sturdy and can be opened and closed with just one hand without bending down or needing to use to much force, but has the disadvantage of being heavy. As a result of these 2 purchases we have exchanged for 3 toys at a baby fair and a towel with hood (Pokemon no less, I guess it can be cute even though the cartoon itself is dumb). A couple of Kenny’s colleagues have also passed us their babies’ clothes and Kenny’s parents bought us some from Guangzhou. My sis-in-law, SC, has promised to pass us a bouncer. And lastly, this is not really a baby thing but we did buy it only because of the baby – a Nikon Digital SLR which I am in love with at the moment but really need to buy a lens for low light conditions.
In terms of diet, I’ve been trying to eat healthily but I’ve generally been a healthy eater anyway so I’m not sure I really need to make all that much adjustments. I’ve just been trying to drink more milk and have a glass of Anmum materna formula every night. Have also been taking a multivit every morning and DHA pills whenever I remember to (which is probably about 2 days every week :P) I have some folic acid pills but I figured there’s folic acid in the multivit and my breakfast cereal and the milk formula so I shouldn’t take it too often in case I overdose on it. I shouldn’t say this because they are such well meaning people but the in-laws are getting in the way of me getting essential nutrients. For example they have been putting soybean milk and mains of either croissants or steamed frozen paos or polo buns or some kind of kueh on the breakfast table and so I have to have these quite empty calories rather than my usual cereal with freash milk topped with fresh fruit when I have time to cut them up. The MIL also has the habit of cooking vegetables until they are too wilted and have lost their crunch. Not only does this lose out on taste, it also kills much of the nutrients. I’ve really got to make up for lost time when I get to start planning my own meals again!