Monday, June 30, 2014

Her first school kermesse

Last year, we were in Malaysia when the school's annual Kermesse was held. Kermesse is a yearly fun raising event which involves students performing on the stage and some stands to provide food and games to kids and parents. Hubby reiterated that Kermesse is an event that every kid loves and he has such a good memories on them from his childhood. So basically, missing it is a big no no.

Kids from every grade had had training since March with a dancing teacher. Aelig looked forward to Monday when they had their weekly rehearsal. 

This year they dressed as little cat. Photo shows Aelig and her playmate. She was showing her playmate where hubby was standing.

She really likes this boy. They are in the same group so they sit around the same table every school day. They kiss on the mouth every morning they meet. She mentions him a million time at home.

Since Kermesse is a fund raising event, the school sold us coupon, which we were happily sold to her grandparents. We then used the coupon to buy foods and drinks and entrance to games (sponsored by parents & stands handled by volunteers). Photo shows both grandparents were busy taking photos of Aelig.

It could have been a real fun event but it was raining throughout the whole afternoon. Some dancing involved sitting and rolling on the stage, so students had to alter some dances to prevent themselves from getting wet or falling down. It was also the first public outing for Awena to crowded place, the whole time being tied to a scalf against hubby's chest.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Challenges during my second pregnancy

I didn't announce my second pregnancy publicly because it was a more complicated one, with some challenges along the way.

Getting pregnant:
We know we would like to have another kid. I went to see my doctor to get ready for my second pregnancy. I had to first take some medicine to regularize my menstrual cycle. At one point, I was blocked mentally as I was afraid that by having second kid we would neglect Aelig. She couldn't stand me holding a baby, so I knew she was not ready. And then I was transferred back to my city, I told myself that it was not a good time to get pregnant since I only got into the team. By the time I was ready job wise, Aelig gave us green light for a brother or a sister. I thought we could finally go on full speed but once again it was put off since my doctor insisted that I got vaccinated against chicken pox before hand. That took 4 months. Then I was diagnosed with cervix polyps which led to long menstrual bleeding. An operation was scheduled but I got pregnant right before it. Basically, we tried on and off during two years.  I still remember having those low moments in the toilets after taking pregnancy test with negative results shown.

First trimester:
The day I got the double stripes on the pregnancy kit, I couldn't believe it. Each month before taking the test, I thought the moment would come, but when it did come, my feelings went numb. I put the kit on hubby's desk, when he saw it, he asked me what was it. We concluded that we shouldn't be too happy about it until the first ultrasound.

So we held on to the joy, but still feel obligated to inform our family.

Photo shows hubby teaching his parents what does "a bun in the oven" mean in English. He put a bun in the oven, everyone gathered in the kitchen, then his parents checked online the meaning. They were thrilled of course.

During the first ultrasound in December 2013 (13 weeks), we finally met the baby. It looked real this time. So did the monthly urine and blood test and all that jazz as I was not immunized against Toxoplasmosis. By the way, testing for Toxoplasmosis was mandatory in France, but not in Malaysia as Malaysians do not eat as much raw foods as French. We informed some friends but I still feel unease. I was very confident on my first pregnancy but not this one. I felt that I could lose it anytime. The nausea was less severe though.

Then I got challenged by the gestational diabetes. Me? Diabetes? I was in shock as I'm not someone with sweet tooth. If you let me choose between a fruit and a cake, I would choose fruit anytime. Mentally, I couldn't accept that I have diabetes. I had to prick myself 6 times per day to check my glucose level, during Christmas. That continued for a week, my glucose level was too high after some meals, so the dietitian asked me to continue for another week. I was in tears. The pricking eventually lasted throughout the whole pregnancy.

My glucose monitor kit.

Second trimester:
Moving into the second trimester, my diabetes was under control with some adjustments to my diet. No more sushi and raw food to prevent having Toxoplasmosis virus.

But then we got hit by another challenge: baby's gallbladder (vésicule biliaire) was not visible during the second ultrasound (22 weeks). One week later I went back for another ultrasound and it was still not visible. At that point, we got panic as we didn't know what it really meant for someone to not have gallbladder. My OB instructed us to perform a blood test to analyse if me and hubby carry genetically disorder of cystic fibrosis (mucoviscidose). Kids with this disease do not live long. I spent hours searching on internet about it. Two weeks later we got the result : both were negative. The sonologist told us not to worry, it happened to some babies that gallbladder not visible during pre-natal ultrasound but visible during post-natal ultrasound. My OB also consoled us that some people got their gallbladder removed and they live without problem.

Third trimester:
Gallbladder still not visible during the last ultrasound (32 weeks).
Gestational diabetes lost control. My body couldn't even digest the French baguette (contains gluten). I called my dietitian to know if I have to go through induction as my OB stated that it would be too dangerous for the baby to stay in. We decided to observe for another week, I only ate food that I could digest well. The glucose level was back to under control, we voted against induction, but the baby popped out earlier than the due date anyway. Sleeping wise, it was difficult to sleep with the huge stomach, and I was snoring like hell.

Pre-natal maternity leaves:
In France, for the second kid,  it is recommended to take 6 weeks of pre-natal maternity leaves before the baby arrives. It is possible to push it to 3 weeks before birth and add the 3 weeks pre-natal to the 10 weeks post-natal leaves. I opted for this, but job wise my boss had pushed me to transfer all my tasks to my coworkers. His concern being that I would leave earlier due to unforeseen circumstances. So starting from April, I was on support mode so I got bored. My OB has wanted me to stop working as she sensed that I was tired (I was not and I loved my job). With the boredom at work, my OB suggestion that I could take off anytime, I decided to be on pre-natal maternity leaves 7 weeks before my due date (6 weeks of pre-natal + 4 days of pathology leaves). I have to say that I did enjoy those quiet moments.

Post-natal follow up:
Gallbladder ultrasound was performed after the baby is born. Yes, she has one, but relatively small.
I was afraid that my diabetes would affect the baby in anyway. The nurse took her sugar level 3 times before feeding (from her feet), then 24 hours, 36 hours and 48 hours (from her back palm) after she is born. For the last test, they took the blood sample for lab analysis, and everything went well. I was so glad to hear that my diabetes has no impact on my baby.

It was a tough pregnancy with many issues to worry about. We are glad that all those are over and the baby is healthy. That's the most important.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Speedy Delivery Process

I know second labor tend to be faster than the first one, but I thought it would still take two to three hours. Instead, we were at the hospital around 12:25 am, and the baby was born around 30 minutes later. Yeah, I didn't expect a speedy delivery process like this! Aelig was born after 15 hours of labor!

A week before the labor, my OB told me that I was already 2cm diluted, but she didn't know when the baby would arrive, she even prescribed me the regular urine test on 20th of June. So, I thought I still have time.

Friday night, I had my first contraction around 10:40 pm. I didn't pay much attention until I noticed that it was regular, like every six minutes. I told hubby, we decided to wait for one hour to make sure it was not a false alarm. I thought the contractions would ease away, just like what happened for my first pregnancy. But it persisted, by the time we left home, it was so painful that I had to stop walking.

We were in the car at 12 am sharp. We sent Aelig to a friend's house, then rush to the clinic. When I entered the delivery room, the contractions became so unbearable that I didn't even manage to take off my clothes. The midwife instructed me to go directly to the delivery bed, at that moment I sensed a splash of water leaked out. Oh, my water just broke! The midwife quickly checked on me and announced that I was fully dilated at 10 cm, so no time for epidural. Oh no, I was hoping to have epidural right away to ease the pain.

I was on panic mood. I never expected that I have to deliver without epidural. The midwife told me that the harder I push, the quicker the pain will be over. She asked me to push right away while she was preparing for the delivery. At that point, I can really feel the contractions, there were so much pain that I felt I can't handle it. The delivery team consisted of the midwife, a doctor and a nurse. They urged me to start pushing right away. They repeated several times that I'm the only one that could make the suffering stops as they can't help me. I tried hard but it was not enough. I couldn't concentrate, my body was fighting the pain, instead of using it. I had several successful pushes but each time I stopped to take my breath but the team kept asking me to continue. I told hubby I can't do it and I was screaming out of my lung. I even asked him to help me. The doctor was tough on me, he asked me to cooperate seriously as there was no kidding anymore. I did try but I think I failed. I had not enough breath for continue pushes.

After 25 minutes of pushing, the doctor decided to use a spatula to guide the baby out. He did that because the baby's heart beat was deteriorating. I thought I could relax when the baby was out, but the whole sewing process was killing me. It lasted forever and the midwife kept pressing my stomach. I had never had so much pain in my life. Because of my failure in pushing, my perineum was severely torn.

Every labor is different, now I know. I don't know if I would prefer the first delivery experience, but for sure I need a break.

Here the proud hubby presenting his daughter : Awena. She is in good health, I think that's the most important after all.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

His father's day gifts

Hubby received two father's day gifts this year.

Just like Mother's day, Aelig's school taught the class to prepare a craft work, and wrapped it with gift paper. She handed the craft and a poem to hubby on Friday after school. 

And God sent hubby his long awaited gift : his second daughter. Born on Saturday after a short labor. Hubby is really proud of his girls.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Giant Grandma in Nantes

Last weekend the Royal de luxe, the French mechanical marionette street performing art company is back in Nantes. 

This year they created a new member : a giant grandma with her affectious smile.

The event lasted for three days. The weather was coperating so it attracted a large crowd.

She moved very slowly as each movement was coordinated by real humans. Sometimes she had to avoid power lines or trees so the coordinators had to bench down her wheel chair or her body.

It was a nice weekend to go out in family to enjoy the weather. In fact, we went out everyday from Saturday to Monday (Public Holiday).