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10th October
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  • 100 days old
  • Sponsored review: Esemtan Wash Lotion and Skin Bal...
  • My pregnancy/birth journey
  • US trip 2014: Philadelphia & Washington DC
  • Review: UUcare Sanitary Pads
  • Nivea Body Intensive Moisture Serum
  • Biore Micellar Cleansing Water
  • Alive Museum on our day off :)
  • SJM on a Saturday
  • Adrian’s birthday

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    Credits

    Basecode by: Aina Syaza
    Editor: Amel Jasmeen

  • Monday, September 21, 2015, 3:51 PM
    100 days old

    My baby girl is 100 days old today.

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    The day she was born, I didn’t know what to expect. Sure, I heard lots of stories, of sleep deprivation, of anxiety, of postnatal blues. But I still didn’t know what was coming.

    There I was, lying in delivery suite, having needles and tubes all inserted into me, thinking that once this is over, it’ll all be okay. I was induced with epidural so I didn’t feel any pain at all. Not even the pain of contractions cos they only came after epidural and after they burst my waterbag. But still, the pressure from the contraction felt so intense I really couldn’t wait for it to be all over.

    & before I knew it, there she was.

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    She had to be put under oxygen for a while right after birth though, so I didn’t get to hold her until later. We didn’t get to do the skin to skin contact either, only until much much later. But I remember the first time she was in my arms. It just felt really weird. She was warm and rather heavy. And kinda sticky.

    And I thought, wow, that’s it, I’m done!

    How wrong I was.

    The first night was when I realised what I was in for. I couldn’t latch her on properly to breastfeed. So the nurses helped me to extract the milk into a syringe and feed it to her. She was really sleepy all day too, I had to set alarm to wake up every 3 hours to wake her up and feed her. The subsequent days after that I was a wreck. I cried so much, worried so much. Worrying that she didn’t drink enough, that she’ll never learn to latch on properly. When she finally latched on, it was so painful but I grit my teeth, & ended up with blisters.

    It wasn’t so bad in the hospital.

    Because I had nurses all around, and I could just press a bell to get a nurse to help me. Even at night, I could let the nurses take care of her for a few hours while I catch some sleep.

    & then I came home.

    I still couldn’t latch her on properly & cried so much everyday. She had jaundice which made her a very sleepy baby. Together with not being able to latch on properly, it just made the whole situation worse. Cos to clear jaundice, she should drink more, pee more, poo more.

    But after some weeks, the jaundice cleared and the both of us got better at breastfeeding.

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    Look at her, so small and skinny then.

    I didn’t take many pictures of her then, which I really regret now. Because I was too busy being upset and crying and being worried. And also catching up on sleep whenever she naps. Sleep deprivation is really quite something.

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    She used to be so tiny! Now she is almost outgrowing this diaper changing station already.

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    I look at these photos taken when she’s about 2 weeks old and omg my heart turns to mush. I can’t believe how much she’s grown already! I don’t realise it, only until I look back at her older photos and she looks so tiny then.

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    After her full month party. She was already 2 weeks past 1 month then.

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    This is how she looks now. She’s actually still really tiny, but because I always spend time upclose with her, I don’t feel it! Only until other people mention it then I realise how small she still is.

    We’re doing well in the breastfeeding department, room for improvement in the bottle feeding department.

    I can’t imagine how it’s going to be like when I return to work next month. Sad smile Already pushed back for 2 weeks but I still feel like I’m not ready to leave her. But I guess there’s no choice. We’ll get used to it. Oh man, thinking about it now makes my heart ache again. She’s so sweet now it’s just amazing spending time with her.

    Time to wake her up from her nap now. Smile 

    /XOXO!


    Monday, August 03, 2015, 2:22 PM
    Sponsored review: Esemtan Wash Lotion and Skin Balm

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    I got to try 2 new products! The Esemtan wash lotion as well as the skin balm. Since I’m at home, might as well make use of it and review some products right.

    With baby Elysia now around, I’m always very careful on the products I use everywhere, even on my skin! During the first few days of being home, I applied my stretch mark oil – clarins huile tonic oil after showering. But after breastfeeding, I realised that my baby’s face will come into contact with the product! I noticed small bumps on her face. May very well be just heat rash but its always better to err on the side of caution. So I stopped applying it and made sure I was always very clean.

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    Esemtan Wash Lotion can be used as a shower lotion, or as a hand wash.

    The wash lotion is universally usable - for the whole body, face and hair, for all skin types, for the skin of babies and old people. With Allantoin, it is pH neutral for the skin and soap free, suitable for sensitive and stressed skin. It had passed strict skin sensitivity tests and was approved by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) – a body dedicated to the safe use of fragrant chemicals, and essential oils in perfume and skincare.

    I use this mainly as a hand wash because it’s mild and great for sensitive skin! Because we have a baby at home, we need to wash our hands all the time to ensure its really clean before handling baby. Having a mild, soap-free handwash helps to not strip my hands of their natural oils.

    It also smells really nice!

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    Put 3-5ml of product on your hands

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    Add a little water to froth it, and then rinse off as per usual hand wash. I like how it lathers up eventhough its soap-free.

    Retail Price: $19.75/500ml, $35.30/1L

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    Esemtan Skin Balm is a moisturiser. After washing hands or showering, its best to put on some moisturiser to keep your skin soft and moisturised.

    Suitable for daily hand and body care for all skin types, it permeates deeply into the skin with oil-in water emulsion, and supports and cares for the skin to protect it from drying. It is also suitable for children's skin. It also contains added urea as a moisturising agent and also to speed up skin cell renewal, is dermatologically tested and reduces skin irritation and itch. Besides that, Esemtan skin balm also comes with mild soothing fragrance, to allow users with dry & sensitive skin to enjoy a soothing touch of fragrance.

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    Apply and rub it gently to the back of one hand and spread it, first from one back to the other back of the hand and then also to the palms of the hands. Recommended to use daily, morning and evening after each wash. Suitable for: All skin types, especially dehydrated, dry, & sensitive skin.

    The texture is pretty expected, like a generic moisturiser. But it gets absorbed quite quickly and leaves a nice light fragrance. I also like that it doesn’t leave a sticky/oily residue on my hands after applying.

    Retail Price: $20/500ml

    I like these 2 products, and will definitely be using them! *sniffs hands* they smell nice. :D

    Where To Buy: Guardian, Unity, Watsons, Independent pharmacy (Pink beauty, Beauty essential), NHG

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    /XOXO!


    Monday, July 27, 2015, 5:48 PM
    My pregnancy/birth journey

    So, my status has upgraded. I am now a mother to a beautiful little girl.

    The road here wasn’t easy at all, and I certainly didn’t expect the many things that happened along the way. I don’t know if I had it particularly difficult, or other parents simply didn’t talk about it. But I want to write my experience down anyway.

    We had decided to just give it a shot and try for a baby. Afterall, people left, right and center were telling us its not so easy and we shouldn’t wait too long to begin trying. The first month (of trying) came and the first month went. I thought “okay I guess it really isn’t that easy to conceive, just like what everyone had been saying.” And then the second month came, and my period didn’t come! I’m not super regular so it wasn’t a good indicator yet. However, something told me this was different. So we went out and bought the test kits. (cheapo Watson’s ones, but already $5 each hor!) Held out for another day before I gave in and did the test. It was positive! (Need to test first thing in the morning, so husband at this point didn’t bother waking up –.-) Went out & woke Adrian & he gave me the silliest grin. :D

    Adrian previously got a gynae contact from one of his friends and we called her up to make an appointment. She was based at Thomson Medical Centre and its one of the closest to our home so it all fits. 13th October was the first time we actually saw our baby on screen! (not so much a baby but more of a tiny dot of 1.8mm lol) At this point, nothing much to say, just confirm that the yolk sac and the baby is indeed there. We were only worried about our US trip coming up, with the long flight and cold weather and if it was safe to travel. So we scheduled another appointment 3 weeks later, on 3rd November to confirm that we were okay to travel.

    3rd November came and that was the beginning of our nightmare.

    Our gynae told us about this swelling – a liquid that was surrounding our baby that she was worried about. There were 2 ways this could turn at the point. One was that the swelling would subside and then everything would be okay & we could go on our trip. Two was that the swelling would overwhelm our baby and his/her heartbeat would stop. & then we probably shouldn’t go on the trip cos I might bleed & then need medical attention yada yada.

    Just imagine hearing that.

    You know how we tend to assume that everything is going to be okay? Like when I was lying down on the bed doing the scan, it never once crossed my mind that something could be wrong with my baby. I am so young! Adrian is young too! We’re not high risk of any sort. So why? Why is this happening?

    So at that point, we had 2 options – to forfeit our payment (by then already full payment was made) and cancel the trip, or just go ahead no matter what.

    We decided to hold on and come back for another check before deciding. We asked her what we could do to help the situation. She told us nada. There was nothing we could do. She gave me medical leave for the rest of the week and told me to rest. Not that it was going to help, but that should anything happen, I will have done my best- by resting. (How sad is it to know that?)

    Meanwhile, all we could do was pray. Pray every morning and every night. Pray together and on our own. Just pray everyday that God will heal my baby and that the swelling would disappear.

    1 week later, there I was lying on the same bed but this time with a different set of feelings. Anticipating yet fearful. & there it was on the screen. My baby. & the swelling still there. My heart sank. I prayed so much and so hard. We prayed so hard. But there was some good news out of the bad news – my baby wasn’t going to die. The swelling did not disappear but now it was just confined to the neck and spine area. We could go for our trip!

    In the good news came bad news again. Gynae told us that this was an indicator of a birth defect. She can’t tell us what, but at this point she highly suspects that baby will turn out to be a girl, and have Turner’s syndrome. If not, then maybe heart problems or down’s. We asked her how likely was it that our baby still turn out normal in this situation. She told us very unlikely. & then she gave us three options.

    1. To keep the baby no matter what.
    2. To not keep the baby no matter what.
    3. Go for invasive testing (CVS) that will determine if our baby had a chromosomal problem and then decide to terminate or not. (There was about a 1-2% chance of miscarriage due to this test)

    So we went on our 2 week trip anyhows. On the 2nd last day of our trip, I woke up and saw spotting. What the gynae told us about bleeding came into my mind & I prayed so hard for the bleeding to subside. Thankfully it was just 2 days before we were coming back. Thank God, for it did not get worse.

    We came back, rested one day and then saw the gynae again. I told her about the spotting & she gave me the rest of the week off work to rest again. This time I think it helped cos the spotting was probably due to over exertion while travelling – walking too much maybe. The bleeding never came back thank God. We did another scan and the swelling was still there. She asked us about our decision- if we wanted to do CVS, if we wanted to keep the baby.

    We had discussed and decided to keep the baby no matter what. So there was no point in doing CVS because firstly, there was a risk to the baby, and secondly, there’s no difference even if I find out what’s wrong because we’re keeping our baby no matter what.

    It seems like an easy decision but it certainly wasn’t. I struggled so hard. Its easy to say “I am pro-life”, but not so easy to know that there’s a high chance something could be wrong and still go ahead with it. It was even difficult to discuss this with Adrian. Its difficult to even realise that I was considering the option of terminating the pregnancy. But through our prayers, God constantly reminded me that He knows my child. He created this child in my womb.

    Psalm 139:13-16

    For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

    So how could I decide on my own that this child should not be born into this world? I surrendered my child, my life to God. I do not know if I would be up to it. I do not know if I can take care of a child who is intellectually slow. I do not know if I can handle the stress. I do not know how to explain to my child when he/she one day blames me for bringing him/her into this world. But I know that God will provide a way for me. He created this child. He gave us this present. and He will see us through this journey.

    We still kept our faith and kept on praying. Praying for a miracle, that our baby will be born at full term into this world, a perfect, intelligent, beautiful baby. Praying that our baby will be a testimony to the world that our God is the God of healing, and that he can perform miracles.

    We also decided to seek for a second opinion.

    We managed to get an appointment with Prof Biswas at NUH through my sister in law (who had 2 kids delivered by him).

    He looked at our baby through the ultrasound and told us that yes, the swelling is there. We can’t deny it. (This, we both know because we both saw it in the previous gynae’s clinic already) However, he wouldn’t put a diagnosis on this so early on. He sent me for a blood test and told me to go back for a consultation to assess my risk, and then he would advise us.

    So I did the blood test. (Btw blood tests are my worst nightmare. Almost scared myself to death while waiting for it to happen. But thank God the pregnant nurse was so kind and gentle she made it so much easier to go through.) Blood test came back okay, no problems. But because of the high NT (Nuchal Thickness – which is the swelling) reading, my risk was 1 in 499 (I think). He wouldn’t recommend a CVS because the risk of miscarriage by the test was even higher than my risk of having a baby with a birth defect.

    So he recommended for us to go for a Harmony pre-natal test. This has no risk to the baby, and just needs a sample of your blood. i.e. blood test again!!! Baby, the things I go through for you. This time the nurse wasn’t very friendly and it kinda hurt, but still thankfully she still managed to get enough blood (4 tubes!!) in one drawing la.

    If you haven’t guessed, we switched gynaes. Its a world of difference having a gynae that’s so negative about everything, compared to one that tells us to keep the faith. That’s the thing about recommendations. You wouldn’t know how good they are unless something goes wrong. We’d otherwise just be cruising through every appointment, seeing our baby and just hearing that “oh, everything’s okay everything’s normal. Nothing to worry about.”

    Its also not just about the negativity, but also the way they come to the conclusion. With our previous gynae (from Thomson Medical), she saw the scan and practically said its Turner’s syndrome. Whereas Prof Biswas (at NUH) ran me through a couple of tests, gave me my risk in actual figures, and suggested Harmony testing (which our previous gynae did not even suggest). We feel a lot more comfortable with his diagnosis because it comes from many tests.

    The Harmony test came back clear. Our risk was very low. Praise God! But can you imagine if we never had a second opinion, if we never took this test, up till today, I’d have gone through the pregnancy thinking that my baby would be born with some kind of abnormality. We’d be worrying about how to take care of a special needs child, instead of basking in the awesomeness of having a little life kicking around inside of me.

    On Christmas day last year, I went for a shopping spree with Adrian and we walked around town for something like 7 hours - with breaks in between la, but obviously not enough- becos I woke up in the middle of the night cramping and bleeding like nobody’s business. That was the most scary experience in my entire life. I was so scared I couldn’t even cry. We called my sister in law to ask her what we should do. (Not obviously head to hospital meh? But it was 3am and I was thinking maybe can wait until morning.) So my FIL drove us to the hospital.

    All glory to God because on the ultrasound, we saw her little heart beating. I thought that we’d lost her for sure. I got sent to take a hormone jab, got prescribed some pills and sent home! :D (Subsequently got prescribed on weekly jabs which really sucked cos they REALLY HURT but I’m glad its over now)

    After that scare, it was pretty smooth sailing.

    at 39 weeks, I was preparing myself to go into labour. But it never happened. come 40 weeks & Prof was like “why you haven’t give birth?” So I was scheduled for induction at 41 weeks. I was hoping for baby to come before we required induction but it didn’t happen. So on the morning of 12th June, we went to the hospital to begin the induction process.

    I was so scared. O_O

    But then the first tablet went in & I braced myself. Tick tock, hours later, there I was still lying in labour ward waiting for something to happen. The doctor came to check me & told me my cervix was completely closed. Super tightly closed he can’t even try to open it a bit.

    So we went out and had lunch, came back & in went the 2nd tablet. They then transferred me to a normal ward. Hospital too full so no single bedder rooms available even though we’d requested for it. I was super upset because that meant that Adrian had to go home. Sad smile I was so scared I’d deliver in the middle of the night & I’d be all alone. O_O That night contractions started getting slightly stronger. Together with having a very unwell lady (& noisy cos doctors/nurses kept tending to her) next to me, I didn’t get any sleep.

    At 8am on 13th June, I got sent back to labour ward delivery suite to prepare for my 3rd tablet. But doctor checked and I was dilated 3cm! Hurray. They started oxytocin to speed up the process. Very quickly, I was 5cm & they broke my waterbag. O_O Oh wait, I got epidural first before they broke my waterbag. THANK GOD FOR EPIDURAL. The nurse told us it’d take a few more hours before we’d expect me to be fully dilated. But suddenly I felt this super strong pressure! Pressed the call button, the nurse checked me & suddenly I was fully dilated already. O___________O

    Wham Bam and at 1347hrs baby was born.

    I will totally recommend epidural to everyone & myself for the next kid. I struggled quite a bit before finally deciding to get epi becos of everyone talking about side effects and prolonged labour and dunno what. But seriously, I don’t know how I’d have gotten through without the epidural and with my zero tolerance of pain.

    With the epidural, I felt no pain at all. Only really super strong pressure when I had to push. It is amazing. Of course, I have to also thank God that the epidural worked perfectly for me.

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    This was me at 13 weeks. and Surprised smile this is my face now. I used to be so skinny?! Is that a thigh gap?! Where is the tummy?

    Oh yes I haven’t talked about my weight gain huh. I started off at 47kg (pretty heavy already), and dropped to 41kg during the first 3 months (because I couldn’t eat much and was puking all day). But since 2nd trimester, my weight has been a steady 3kg increase per month. I was ~60kg when I gave birth.

    Here’s my baby bump pics! (When I remembered to take them)

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    1 month after giving birth… I am still an L size. *sob* I guess I just put on too much fats/weight during pregnancy. But its okay! I’ll eventually lose the fats I hope!

    Hehe bye bye! Will come back with baby pics again when I’m free! (Most of this post was written when I was preggers. Now don’t have so much time to sit here & type. Baby E is very demanding.)

    /XOXO!


    Sunday, May 03, 2015, 3:12 PM
    US trip 2014: Philadelphia & Washington DC

    We went to the US for our year-end trip last year. It was in November but I’ve been too lazy to go through the 1668 photos properly (actually still am so I am only going to post a few). I didn’t think we took many photos because it was way too cold and we were too underdressed. 1668 isn’t a very small number, but its because a lot of the photos were repeated shots.

    Both of us weren’t expecting it to be very cold. Even though the itinerary guide did say that it would go negative. Somehow my brain goes “no snow, not gonna be that cold la”. So… I went there with a jacket that honestly did almost nothing to block the cold out of my bones.

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    It was a really long flight, so here’s us after the gruelling 21 hour flight with minimal sleep & lots of aches and cramps all over. (12h 40m to Frankfurt & then 8h 40m to New York)

    As usual tour packages go (ours was with Chan Brothers), our day started immediately after we touched down.

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    Once I reach each country I’m always so excited to quickly take photos of the place! Doesn’t matter even if its not really that scenic. I just want to capture every moment, cos afterall we can always delete photos after coming back, but we can never “take back” those moments we’ve missed. I guess that’s how I’ve accumulated so many photos.

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    Of course, selfies are also very important. :D

    To be honest, I have a pea memory and so… I can’t remember 90% of the trip already. So what I have left are all these pictures that occasionally jolt my memory. Adrian always says its such a waste to bring me to places cos I simply can’t remember much after a while. :x

    Day 1: Philadelphia

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    ‘cos of the really long flight and the time difference, our first day itinerary was really light. Here’s us at the liberty bell.

    Oh yeah and my #OOTD here. I was wearing 2 layers of Uniqlo Heattech leggings, & I was still really cold. So that was the last day I wore only leggings. I cannot imagine how people can just wear leggings and go out into the snow-cold weather!!!

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    Happy feet just because

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    Independence hall

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    Seeing squirrels always makes all of us so excited. Squealing and trying to take pictures of them while they scamper away quickly.

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    Dinner was Chinese food. Our meals this trip was 90% Chinese. We had free time to roam about before dinner time. But I was too cold and jet lagged we headed to the restaurant early.

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    Our accommodation for the night. Was surprised at how huge the room was! There was a separate living room & bedroom. There were 2 double beds! We used one to put our luggage & clothes. :D Although now in hindsight it doesn’t look all that impressive, but when we were there it was really nice! I guess travelling to Europe for our last 2 trips has significantly lowered our expectations of hotels.

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    Most of the hotels we stayed in served Starbucks / coffee bean in the rooms too.

    Day 2: Philadelphia / Washington DC

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    My breakfast everyday. Eventhough at different places, what I eat is pretty much just this. I super loved the philadelphia cheese + toast.

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    Help yourself to Florida’s Natural or Starbucks! I am just so used to normal orange juice / coffee / tea.

    Most days began with a really long bus journey. After breakfast, we hopped onto the bus to go to Washington DC.

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    First stop to look at some cash.

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    & then.. Can’t remember what this was.

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    US trip1

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    Lunch on our own and we voluntarily chose Chinese food. Partly because there weren’t much options around. We later saw a few more of our tour mates coming to eat in the same restaurant too.

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    White house.

    The highlight of the White House trip for me were the squirrels. So inquisitive & fearless!

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    Then we went to the Thomas Jefferson memorial. Best part was that we were there before the crowds came so we had time to slowly take photos and read everything!

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    Final stop was at the Smithsonian museum!

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    Didn’t take many photos inside cos I was so jetlagged and tired by then I really needed to sleep and rest. My body was shutting down I didn’t even walk into some of the exhibits! Adrian had to quickly go look around himself while I found a seat to close my eyes and rest a little. :x

    The Smithsonian museum was really nice but I couldn’t enjoy it fully. :( Also, the dinosaur exhibit was closed which was really such a pity!

    & that concluded our Day 2, which also concludes this post. Will come back later! :D

    /XOXO!



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