November 15, 2020

Feeding Baby : Introduction to Solids & Useful Tools

Raj and I are huge foodies, so it was important for me to expose Amyra to different flavours and textures early, in hopes that in the future she won't be a picky-eater. 

When to Introduce Solids
I introduced solids to her at 6 and a half months, but every baby is different. She was showing interest in food at 5 months, but she wasn't able to sit up by herself, so I was waiting for that to happen before I introduced to her.

Check out this article by Kelly Mom, it outlines things to look for when you are deciding whether your baby is ready for solids. Most health experts suggest to wait till the baby is minimum 6 months old before you start feeding solids.

With any major milestone it is important to do your own research and consult a pediatrician / baby nutrition consultant. I consulted with my sister-in-law Sanchita Daswani who is a baby nutritionist over any questions or concerns I had.

Weaning Shopping Essentials

- Beaba Baby Cook (Steamer & Food Processor in one)
I use the Beaba Baby Cook and absolutely love it! I love that I can just press 1 button and walk away while it steams, and then grind it after in that SAME container. I chose the Beaba Baby Cook because its small and compact but I also really loved the Neo Beaba Baby Cook as it can steam Rice & Pasta too. If you don’t want to buy a dedicated cooker, you can steam food in a basket over a boiling pot or rice cooker, then use a blender or food processor to puree it. 

- Freezer Silicone Tray
When weaning, you can either choose to make fresh food everyday or if you plan on serving the same food for your baby for several days, a great way to store it is using a silicone freezer tray. Silicone Freezer Trays are free from harmful toxins - free bacteria, odour and stain resistant too making them completely safe for your baby. I use the Beaba Freezer Silicone Tray to store Chicken Bone Broth, but you can also use it to store : Breastmilk, Purees, Muffins or Cupcakes.

- Early Soft Spoon
I used this soft, pliable option from ChooMee Baby as Amyra's first spoon, and the Beaba spoon for a firmer option (my current favorite). You’ll want to start each meal with a few spoons since one (or all) will inevitably end up on the floor! 

- Baby Suction Bowls & Plates
It is important for your baby to have their own bowl and spoon to practice feeding themselves. Suction Plates and Bowls are literally the best, a your baby will try and fling the bowl off. I got 3-4 different types of bowls and plates to experiment with. My favourites are; Milk It Baby Bib, Suction Bowl & Spoon set , Avanchy Wooden Suction Bowl, Beaba Silicone Dinner Set and Beaba Glasswear Set. You don't need to have so many, but since I've gotten quite passionate about Amyra's meals I've tried all the options above and all are great in their own respective ways.

- Food Dispensing Spoon for on-the-go
I got the Boon Squirt Dispensing food if I needed to feed Amyra on the go. It dispenses baby food one bite at a time and minimizes mess. It is only great for completely pureed food. I didn't end up using this much as I always chose to feed her at home.

- Sleeved Bibs or Silicone Bibs
Feeding can get MESSY! In order to minimize clean up, you can get the Sleeved Bibs that cover the baby completely. I started using the Silicone Bibs from Milk It Baby to catch the food - I love it and I love how aesthetic it looks too. Now that Amyra is having 3 meals a day, I feel like shes changing 4 times a day which is a lot! Hence why I use the Bumpkins Sleeved Bib for one of the feeds to avoid a complete outfit change for that feed. 

- High Chair
So I really wanted to get the Stokke Tripp Trapp because it has an ergonomic adjustable footrest, looks visually nice, and can “grow” with Amyra as you can use the chair till their 8 years old. I plan to get it when I eventually do make it back to Bahrain, but for now since Im in Hong Kong staying with my parents I wanted an affordable chair as I know once I leave will give it away. I opted for the Ikea High Chair and it was too good for the price and so easy to clean. When I first put Amyra in it she was around 6 and a half months, and it was perfect as she could sit up by then.

Useful Books
- Baby-Led Feeding: A Natural Way to Raise Happy, Independent Eaters
- Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner 
- Wean in 15 : Up-to-date Advice and 100 Quick Recipes 

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Vs Spoon Feeding

As a new mom, I kept seeing the acronym “BLW” all over internet, and didn't know what it meant! Basically, baby led weaning is just the concept of letting your child self-feed regular (non pureed) pieces of food at their own pace. It supposedly teaches babies good eating habits, and encourages motor development with chewing and hand dexterity. 

I like the concept of this but I also wanted to know how much Amyra would be really eating too, which is why I decided to go with a combination approach finger foods at the start of each meal, and then spoon feed her the pureed or mashed up foods. Whilst spoon feeding her, I try to encourage her to grip the spoon and help her to guide it in her mouth.

Favourite First Food

I wouldn't say Amyra particularly had a favourite first food, as the flavours were all new and she was reacting to that. It was so exciting and entertaining to watch her eat. I've saved it in on my Instagram story highlights so you can see it there.

I kept food log and re-introduce her to things multiple times if she doesn’t like it on the first try. I mix the offending new food with something she’s already familiar with and loves, and gradually increase the ratio of the new food in the mix.

6-7 months (Stage 1 Weaning)
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potato 

7-8 (Stage 2 Weaning - High Allergens & Mixing Combinations) 
Boiled Egg Yolk + Avocado
Banana + Peanut butter /Almond butter / Pistachios 
Apple with Cinnamon
Yellow Lentils
Cod Fish + Mixed Herbs
Broccoli + Kale
Avocado + Sesame Seeds
Red Lentils + Sweet Potato
Rice + Bone Broth
Baked Sweet Potato with herbs mashed up
Baked Cauliflower with Tumeric + Herbs

8 + (Stage 3 Weaning - Adventurous) - saved in Highlights on my Instagram
Salmon with Tomato & Carrot
Chia Seed pudding variations
French Toast with Date Syrup
Poke Bowl
Avocado Toast
Baked Salmon with Cauliflower, Red Pepper & Corn Mash
Spinach, Kale & Peas Puree topped with Sesame Seeds
Cooked Oats or Overnight Oats Variations
Smoothie Bowls variations
Avocado Dosa
Apricot & Pear Semolina Pudding
Carrot Cake Oats Fingers
Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Rolls
Yellow Moong Daal
Cod Fish with Kale Pesto Sauce
Beetroot Sushi Balls
Broccoli Poha
Banana Sushi
Apple & Cinammon Wedges
CousCous Cups
Salmon Cakes
Zucchini Fritters
Strawberry Porridge

I found that Amyra was very receptive towards food, it has made me want to be adventurous and want her to explore meals that are healthy and delicious as well. I also believe that it is a myth that baby food needs to be bland. Research suggests that introducing babies to a wide variety of flavours early on will promote greater acceptance of different foods later on. 

Drinking Water
When you start feeding solids, it’s also recommended to start giving your baby a little bit of water to help wash down the food. Many guides suggested to start feeding with an open cup, so I helped her with using the cup in from the Beaba silicone meal set. I ordered the Munchkin 360 sippy cup for her to try and to see whether it gives her more independence as she LOVES water and always tries to chug it.

Bone Broth 
For those who don't know what Bone Broth is, it is made up of simmering bones and connective tissue of animals. I am obsessed with this soup and have been drinking this everyday with lunch and dinner since I delivered Amyra. I offer her, Chicken Bone Broth, Fish Head Soup, Pork Bone Broth, Lamb Bone Broth & Vegetable Broth. When cooking the Non-veg broth, I make sure to incorporate vegetables to.  

- Boosts Immunity - Amino acids in bone broth have been shown to boost immunity.
- Alleviates the common Cold and Bronchitis - provides easily digested nutrition
- Strengthens Bones & Teeth 
- Promotes Weight Loss - consuming soup before a meal promotes weight loss as you end up eating less during the meal itself as your full.
- Improves Hydration - it is known that Bone Broth is actually more hydrating then water alone due to the electrolytes
- Stimulates Collagen

With all these nourishing benefits, I knew I wanted to incorporate it into Amyra's diet as soon as possible. So both of us drink this everyday and she loves it! Chicken Bone Broth recipe is in my Instagram highlights.

Food Allergies 
Talk to your pediatrician, but it seems like most are on board these days with introducing major food allergens early to help lower the risk of allergies. That is, unless you have family history of allergies.  Research shows its best to offer high allergen foods regularly starting 6 months onwards and when your baby is ready. How you can introduce how allergen food is by rubbing a small amount of the food on the inside of your baby's lip as a starting point. If there is no reaction after a few minutes, you can start giving small amounts.

I introduced new allergen foods one at a time, two days apart to easily identify if any foods cause a reaction. Once the allergen was introduced, I keep offering and incorporating it in Amyra's diet at least twice a week to maintain tolerance.


May 26, 2020

My Hospital Bag & Postpartum Recovery Checklist

I got a lot of requests asking what I packed in my hospital bag. I must say, I overpacked and didn't end up using most of the things that I brought. So here I am sharing the USEFUL things that I packed, plus things that helped me heal during postpartum recovery.

Hospital Checklist for Mom
  • Nursing Bra's - Your body may or may not start producing milk while at the hospital, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. My milk did come in a little, so wearing soft nursing bras over nipples that were in bad shape from learning how to breastfeed was helpful.
    • Robe
      • Nursing friendly Pyjama's / Loungerwear - Night gowns or Pyjama's that can unbutton for breastfeeding. I got mine on Asos.
      • Socks - Your feet may get cold during labor and especially after you take the epidural
      • 1-2 outfits incase you have visitors - I packed a loungewear set & a dress to wear when I had visitors in the hospital
      • Breast Pump - You should find out if the hospital you are delivering at has a breast pump. I brought a breast pump as they did not bring me my baby to my room, I had to go to the nursery to breastfeed. For the late night feeds, I would express milk early on and send it for the nurses to feed.
      • Adult diaper Underwear - The hospital will provide you with pads and mesh disposable underwear's, which I found uncomfortable and annoying because it would keep moving (which can cause you to leak through it as you bleed A LOT). I loved the adult diapers - it was comfortable and secure.
      • Upside down Peri bottle for Postpartum - This was my most used gadget. I used the Frida Mom Peri Bottle to wash sensitive, healing lady parts instead of toilet paper, and yes the angled nozzle makes ALL the difference! The design of this bottle also provides a steady yet gentle stream of water pressure. I’d fill this with COLD water and use the entire bottle each bathroom trip as a soothing wash. If you had a C-section, its easy cleaning down there due to limited mobility
      •  Perineal Ice Max Pads for Postpartum - Crack the cold pack for instant first aid ice pack built into a pad. Chill your vagina whilst absorbing the blood. I didn't end up using this, but a lot of people said this was a life saviour. Check out : Medline Deluxe
      • Perineal Relief Spray - You’ll be quite sore after childbirth because of stretching, bruising and swelling, even if you don’t have a tear or episiotomy. Midwife developed and mum approved, this multi-award winning Spritz for Bits contains natural essential oils which can soothe discomfort after childbirth. Spritz for Bits spray contains lavender to soothe, tea tree oil for anti-bacterial properties and witch hazel to speed up healing.
      • Flip Flops - Some prefer comfy slippers, but I wanted shoes that could be easily washable and hospital shower-friendly.
      • Stretch Mark Oil/Cream - After delivery, your skin is dry & stretched. You need to continue applying your stretch mark oils/creams to help nourish and strengthen your skin as it bounces back. I used / am still using the Mama Mio oils/creams.
      • Stomach Binder - I wore the Belly Bandit Binder immediately after I delivered as it provides a light compression to shrink the uterus back and support abdominal muscles. I don't particularly like this stomach binder and am still searching for something better.  *Tip: Wear on top of a fitted top to avoid rashes on your skin from it.*
      • Toiletries / Make up - Pack the toiletries you use every day so you have what you need during your hospital stay. Be sure to include items like your toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, soap, deodorant and hairbrush
      • Dark Towel - Choose dark towels to avoid staining 
      • Snacks & Drinks - Labor can sometimes be very long and uses up an enormous amount of energy, the body requires a sufficient amount of nutrition to get through it. It is important to pack some drinks & snacks to help get you through it. I packed electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade, coconut water & lemon juice to keep hydrated throughout my labor and delivery.
      • Drinking Straws - Childbirth is thirsty work, but when you’re in labor the last thing you’re thinking of, or even capable of for that matter, is holding a cup of water. Having a few straws on hand means your partner can offer you sips of water without having to hold a cup so you can stay hydrated. Metal or silicone straws are best because you’ll be able to wash and reuse them. 
      • Mobile Charger - Easily forgotten, this was the last thing that went in my bag because I’d been using it. In future I’d definitely pack away a second, back up lead and charger to throw in my bag. Don’t forget your phone is likely your camera and video camera, as well as your lifeline to stay in touch with family and friends via phone or social media. If you’re in hospital for 3 days like I was, you'll want your charger. 
      • C-Section Silicone Scar Sheet - For those who choose to have an elective C-Section, the ScarAway silicone scar sheet helps to treat C-section scars.

      The hospital provides everything a newborn technically “needs” like diapers, onesies, and linens so I didn't end up using what I had packed, think it depends on the hospital you deliver it.

      Hospital Checklist for Baby 
      • 2 Going home outfit - I had packed two newborn sleepsuits (thank god), my baby girl was really tall, so the one I wanted to wear didn't fit her. Luckily I had another sleepsuit which just fit perfectly. For me this outfit was special, as it was the first time I dressed her since she was born and the first outfit she was going to wear outside the hospital.
      • Kimono Tie Vest - Right after birth, your baby will be sporting his umbilical cord stump for the first 10-20 days. It can be short or long depending on where it was clamped. If it’s on the longer side, you may want to stick to newborn kimonos and such, which won’t rub and irritate it.
        • Hat - A necessity for a newborn that is born in winter   
        • Mittens - Keep your baby warm but they will prevent little hands from scratching their delicate face. These are important if your growsuits don’t have in-built mittens.
        • Receiving Blanket
        • Swaddle - It is recommended that newborns be swaddled in breathable muslin wraps.
        • Car Seat - Infant car seat with base properly installed into your car. In most countries, you won't be allowed to go home until you have the car seat and its properly installed, in Hong Kong it was not compulsory. 

        Hospital Checklist for Dad

          • Passport / ID card's of Mom & Dad
              • Marriage certificate
                • Mom's Insurance Card - if you have maternity insurance
                  • Hospital Forms
                    • Folder - to organize all Baby's documents that you'll be receiving 
                      • Mobile
                          • Toiletries
                              • Extra Clothes
                                  • Pyjamas


                                    February 27, 2020

                                    Baby Essentials Shopping List

                                    MY OOTD:  Baby Carrier Baby Bjorn | Diaper Bag Prada | Beanie Asos | Boots Asos

                                    I received countless requests to share my baby essentials shopping list on my blog, so here it is! I have highlighted and hyperlinked in pink the brand that I am using / like / popular options for your reference. Just know every mother & baby are different, these are things that have personally worked for me & my baby.

                                    I know this list is super long and can feel overwhelming that there is so much to buy, but you don't have to buy everything in one shot, you can buy gradually. I have * the items that I feel are ESSENTIAL to have, the rest would be optional or nice to have. 

                                    Happy Shopping!

                                    Changing the Baby
                                    • Diapers* (newborn size to start) - I like Pure Protection Pampers for diapers as they are hypoallergenic & unscented, other popular diaper brands are Huggies / Moltex Biodegradable (eco-disposable nappies)
                                    • Rubber Changing Pad (optional)Skip Hop  or  Keekaroo - didn't need or use this but its good to have if the baby has its own room
                                    • Waterproof Changing Pad Liners* - I got this from Amazon and use this at the moment as I don't have space for a diaper changing station, so I roll this out on to my bed and change her on this. It waterpoof, washable & reusable.  You can also put this on top of the rubber changing pad.
                                    • Diaper Cream* - Sudocream and Vaseline both helpful when baby has a diaper rash
                                    • Baby Wipes* - Water Wipes for on the go
                                    • Dry Cotton for Baby Bum* - At home, I wipe the baby's bum with Suzuran baby dry cleaning cotton and hot water
                                    • Jug/Thermos of hot water* - for cleaning baby bum
                                    • Diaper Caddy for Nursery and Shower Organizer* - I use this caddy from Amazon. Other really nice ones are Skiphop / Ubbi / 
                                    • Wipe Case Storage (optional) - Ubbi                                     
                                    • Nappy Bin (optional) - Diaper Genie - didn't need this as we would discard the diapers immediately, but if you don't have help this is good
                                    • Drawers to organize clothes - Ikea
                                    • Kimono Tie-Vests* - I used this until the umbilical cord fell off. Uniqlo / Wing on / Amazon
                                    • Baby Bodysuits/ Vests* - Love the bodysuit vests from Uniqlo / Amazon
                                    • Sleep & Play suits* - Need quite alot of these, sometimes they poo through their clothes 2-3 times a day. I like the onesies with the hands and feet covered so I don't have to worry about wearing socks and mittens at home. AmazonMarks & Spencer / Mama's & Papa's / Bonds
                                    • Pants and Tops - Haven't used too many of these as I find the onesies easier
                                    • Socks - Mama's & Papa's / Amazon
                                    • Scratch Mittens  
                                    • Bibs* - I use the terry cloth bibs from Hudson Baby as they are durable and gentle on baby's skin.  
                                    • Sleeping Bag - Carters / Snuzpod
                                    • Muslin Swaddles* - Malabar Baby Aden and Anais  / Love to dream (zipper swaddles)
                                    • Laundry Basket* - any

                                    Baby Bathing & Toiletries

                                    • Towels with Hoods* - Mothercare / Mama's & Papa's / Carters, Hudson Baby, Burts Bees Baby
                                    • Face Towels* - Amazon
                                    • Bodywash & ShampooSebamed / Cetaphil / Mustela - All are good, you need to see which one suits your baby's skin, I am currently using the Mustela & love it. 
                                    • Bodylotion*Sebamed / Cetaphil / Mustela
                                    • Sponge / Wash Cloth*Wing on
                                    • Q-tips / Cotton Buds *- Get small ones and normal size ones. Small one is to clean the belly button and normal size ones to clean outside of ears
                                    • Alcohol / Alcohol pads* - For cleaning the belly button till the umbilical cord falls off
                                    • Comb / Brush* - Mothercare
                                    • Bathtub* - Stokke / Skip Hop / Amazon
                                    • Insert/Net for Bathtub (newborn) - StokkeSkip Hop
                                    • Bathtub Stool (optional) - 
                                    • Bucket to wash water
                                    • Massage Oil* - Sweet Almond Oil / Coconut Oil / Himalayan Oil - I use the Gaia Baby Massage oil ( sweet almond oil with a mix of organic lavender and organic camomile pure essential oil from Australia. I would suggest try and see what suits the baby. Another one that looks good too is Zarbee's Baby Massage oil if your massaging you baby in the evenings. 
                                    • Hair Massage Oil* - Too cold at the moment to use coconut oil, so using Almond & Avocado oil from Mamaearth baby nourishing hair oil as avocado oil is good for baby hair growth.
                                    • Baby Nail File & Nail Cutter*Pigeon Nail Scissor / Amazon
                                    • Bath Thermometer (optional) - Amazon
                                    • Oral Wipes* -  Jack n Jill 
                                    • Colic / Gas Relief* - Mother's Bliss Gripe Water / Manzilla Oil MinYak Telon Oil
                                    • Nasal Aspirator* - Nose Frida / Pigeon
                                    • Saline Spray*Little Remedies (#1 Pediatrician Recommended)
                                    • Portable Heater (optional) - Its winter at the moment, so I put the heater on before massage and showering so she doesn't feel cold
                                    • Wipe Warmer (optional) - Amazon

                                    Bedtime & Nap Sessions
                                    • Crib for your bedroom* - I use the Snuzpod and I absolutely love it! It's a 3-in-1 crib suitable for babies up to 6 months. It acts as a bedside cot, stand alone crib (which is a rocker/bassinet). You can co-sleep with this. Other popular options are the StokkeChicco next 2 me / Snoo Bassinet ( The COOLEST crib I've ever come across, its good if you have no help. Snoo Bassinet is a responsive baby bassinet that boosts a baby's sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise and snug, safe swaddling. Another one I came across second time round is the Nestig Wave crib, what I love about it is its 3-in-1, a mini crib, full crib and toddler bed.
                                    • Crib Mattress*Snuzpod
                                    • Fitted sheets for Crib*Snuzpod Sheets
                                    • Crib Pocket Accessory (optional) - Snuzpod
                                    • Blanket for Crib* - Malabar Baby / Aden and Anais / Mama's & Papa's 
                                    • Baby Lounger* - Sleepyhead Deluxe / Dockatot - Love this!!! Can move it around anywhere and put the baby in it. Can co-sleep in your bed sleeping with this, or I also put it inside the Snuzpod so she feels secure. Can use this from 0 - 8 months.
                                    • Baby Pillow* - BabymoovBBluv- Ergonomic head shaping pillow
                                    • Baby Bolsters - Malabar Baby
                                    • Waterproof matress cover for crib* - Snuzpod
                                    • Crib Toy Holder (optional)
                                    • Musical Toy/White noise for sleep (optional) - Skip Hop

                                    Feeding & Baby Munch Sessions
                                    • Baby Bottles - I use Dr Brown Anti-colic Bottles, but every baby is different. Some might prefer the wider nipple or different flows. You need to try and see. Other good and popular options are Comotomo / Tommie Tippee
                                    • Bottle Warmer Philips
                                    • Sterilizer - Philips
                                    • Bottle Brush - Dr Brown
                                    • Drying rack - BoonAmazon
                                    • Hospital Grade Breast pump - I haven't used this as of yet, but I am told it gets the milk out very fast.  Spectra - Rent from a hospital
                                    • Portable breast pump - I have the Medela freestyle pump which I used my first two weeks, but stopped once I started using the Elvie pump. I am obsessed with the Elvie pump, I use it 4-5 times a day. It's silent, wearable breast pump that fits into your bra. Can pump ANYTIME ANYWHERE.
                                    • Storage Milk Bags - Medela / Lansinoh
                                    • Nursing Pillow (optional) - My Brest Friend - I love this pillow as it encourages better posture when breastfeeding and it feels secure. 
                                    • Formula - I give Enfamil A+ one feed a day in the evening, to make her sleep through the night as formula is heavier then breastmilk also I want her to be used to having formula so in the future when I do stop breastfeeding it wont be an issue. Also she hasn't faced an issues with this formula which is why I've stuck to it. You need to see what suits the baby. Other popular formulas are Aptomil / HiPP / Bobbi
                                    • Milk powder containerAmazon / Mothercare /  Wing On
                                    • Bottle washing detergent for babies - Babyganics 
                                    • Cotton handkerchief - Wing on - I use this to wipe an extra milk around her mouth and neck
                                    • Nipple wipes - NUK
                                    • Burp pads - Amazon

                                    Baby's Day Out
                                    • Car seat - I haven't bought one yet, but saw some nices ones at MothercareMama's & Papa's 
                                    • Stroller(6 months +) - I got the Babyzen Yoyo + as its compact, lightweight and travel friendly. Other popular strollers are Bugaboo / StokkeUppababy Cruz
                                    • Newborn insert for stroller (0-6 months) - depends on what stroller you get. 
                                    • Baby CarrierBaby Bjorn
                                    • Baby bag/Diaper bag* - I wanted something a bit more sleek so I got the Prada diaper bag (other designer diaper bags: Fendi /  but also like the options from Skip Hop
                                    • Inserts for baby bag (optional)  - didn't need
                                    • Portable changing mat - Skip Hop
                                    • Plastic bag to throw away diaper 
                                    • Pacifier - I haven't used a pacifier yet but I got Bibs and Hevea natural rubber orthodontic pacifier
                                    • Wipes when on the goWater Wipes
                                    • Toys for Pram (optional) - Sofie the Giraffe Rattle
                                    • Handbag clip for stroller (optional) - Amazon / Baby Essentials

                                    Other Baby Essentials


                                    January 28, 2020

                                    My Childbirth Story

                                    So excited to introduce my daughter Amyra Kewalram to the world!  She was born on Saturday January 4th, 2020 at 6:01AM at St Teresa's Hospital in Hong Kong.

                                    I never imagined that one day I would be a writing a post about my labor story and the birth of our daughter. The feeling surreal in trying to find the right words to describe the whole experience while Amyra lays in her cot right next to me. 

                                    JANUARY 3RD, 2020

                                    5:00 AM
                                     - 4 DAYS BEFORE MY DUE DATE

                                    I woke up to use the toilet and noticed that I was slightly bleeding. My heart immediately started racing when it struck me that this might be it, my baby is coming. I quickly looked up online what this could mean and learned that my mucus plug had broken. It's basically a ton of mucus with blood clot. 

                                    I rushed back to tell Raj and text my doctor. My doctor replied immediately saying he thinks my mucus plug broke and asked me to come and see him by noon. I started having cramps as well since I got out of bed so I was finding it difficult to go back to sleep. I had nothing better to do so I gave into my cravings for a delicious chillie cheese toast whilst chilling on my birthing ball.

                                    11:00 AM

                                    I woke up again a few hours later to more discharge and bleeding and it started freaking me out. I thought this could be my water breaking but wasn't sure. I started getting mild contractions, which felt like a peaking period cramp that would subside. It was manageable but uncomfortable at first. I managed a quick showered and got ready and frantically put the last of  my items into my hospital bag, incase my doctor tells me to go to the hospital straight after visiting him.  

                                    My doctor's clinic was about a 7 minute walk from my house, It wasn’t an easy walk for me complete whilst having and dealing with my sporadic contractions.

                                    12:30 PM

                                    My Doctor did an internal examination and said my cervix was softening which indicates that I had entered into labor. and he predicted that that later the same evening or early next morning I would be delivering my baby . In that moment I felt an overwhelming sensation with a rush of emotions feeling the  day was ACTUALLY here. Soon our world was about to change forever. 

                                    1:30 PM

                                    I insisted to my husband that I wanted to go have one last dim sum meal before heading to the hospital. That is pretty much what I have consistently craved and wanted most of my pregnancy. We went to Hyatt Chinese Restaurant (one of my favourite Chinese restaurants) which is like 2 minutes walking distance from my house for lunch. Also I thought a good and yummy meal would distract me from the waves of contractions and pain that was about to commence. 

                                    2:45 PM

                                    Following lunch, I got home and tried to take a nap since I didn't sleep much and knew I had a long night ahead of me. It was hard to fall asleep with the contractions getting stronger and more frequent, my hubby helped by massaging me, and taking a warm shower really helped in managing the pain.

                                    11:30 PM

                                    The pain was unbearable, and my contractions had been 5 minutes apart for the last 30 minutes. That's when we decided to go to the hospital. My elevator wasn't working, so had to walk down 7 floors, so we timed it that as soon as I finished having a contraction at home, we rushed down the stairs to have my next contraction. I definitely felt this was the right time to go as my pain was slowly escalating to an unmanageable level.

                                    Once we got there, checked in, filled out some forms, declaring insurance forms etc. After 20 mins of dealing with that that, the resident nurse brought me to a room alone, where I had to put on a gown, I left my socks on as I heard your feet get cold (which they did). They hooked me to a monitor and it was showing I definitely was having contractions and they were getting stronger, the nurse said I came in at the perfect time. A nurse came in to do an internal examination, and check my cervix for dilation and effacement. I must say it was really painful and freaky feeling her push her entire fist and arm up there to check the cervix status. It turns out I was only 1cm dilated! 

                                    JANUARY 4TH, 2020

                                    12:45 AM

                                    The brought me to the labor and delivery room where my doctor had come in to do another internal examination on me (ahhh so much pain) and advised me to take the epidural now to help manage my pains, and he would also induce me with Oxytocin, as he said after 7-8 hours of having an epidural I could get a fever so he preferred to induce me to speed up my contractions. My husband was still not allowed inside to be with me yet.

                                    They then induced me, and then rolled my on the side and curved my back whilst the anaesthists gave me the epidural. I must say I was a bit worried about this, but it wasn't that painful. I was still feeling the contractions, they said it would take 15 mins to work.

                                    My doctor then went in and did another internal examination and said the induction was working well on me as I was now already 2 and a half cm dilated and my contractions were getting stronger. He also broke my water bag, I couldn't really feel that just water gushing out. My doctor said he thinks by 6am I would be ready to deliver so he'd come back later and have the nurses check on me.

                                    1:30 AM 

                                    My hubby was finally allowed in the room! I was relieved to finally have him there as I was scared, nervous and just overwhelmed with what was happening. By this time the contractions were SO STRONG, I didn’t think the epidural was working on me. I kept asking the nurse to give me more as I heard from so many people once you get the epidural you can sleep, relax chill. But I was crying hysterically to Raj telling him I can't do this.

                                    4:30 AM

                                    The nurse came in to check at every hour, by this time I was 9cm dilated and she said she was going to inform my doctor to come back to the hospital as I would soon be ready for the final push. 

                                    5:00 AM

                                    The Doctor was called in when I was 10cm dilated. Immediately our doctor along with the supporting nurses started coaching me on the correct technique on how to push for the final stage of labor. Honestly this was the most painful part. The forceful push sensation felt like I was trying to unload a massive poo but nothing was coming out,  it didn’t help either when I was feeling nerve spasms all down my legs from having them stretch and spread apart. Asides from the simulated constipate effect the entire positioning was very uncomfortable and testament to my lack of flexibility. Bearing in mind by this stage I was in active labor for the last 5 hours with accelerating pain and intensity the contractions.

                                    I was exhausted even before I started with the climatic push! Half hour into the final stage I kept crying and screaming as I felt like I had been running a marathon pushing forever! The doctor and the nurses said they could feel the head in the birth canal, but I was just too exhausted and frustrated to keep going. The Doctor with his wealth of experience was already prepared and inserted a vacuum cup and placed it against the baby's head to help guide her out. On the next wave of contractions I pushed whilst he also used the vacuum suction. In that moment, she immediately started crowning and her head was half out. That is when I noticed a slimy round and hairy human head emerging from me and I completely freaked out! I was screaming hysterically, shifting my waist and lifting my leg to give one ultimate final shock and awe mother of all pushes! Twisting of my waist in that hysterical state caused me to tear down there! 

                                    6:01 AM

                                    Out she came! It was the craziest feeling ever. They put her in my arms immediately. It was the wildest experience in the world. I was traumatized from the final push and in shock. I didn't understand what had just happened. I felt exhausted and told Raj to take our baby first and let her come in contact with his bare chest skin. In the meantime I was just trying to process the whole thing I just went through whilst they were pulling the placenta out as well and stitching me up from the tearing.

                                    It was a magical watching our daughter Amyra, skin to skin with Raj as she bonded with him. All Raj kept saying was this is on of the most exhilarating experience of his life. But I was still processing what just happened... They then took our baby away to clean her, give her a shot, measure her weight and height etc. to hand the details over the Hong Kong birth registry. The nurses informed us our baby had a mild yet very common issue of slight jaundice so they were going to keep her under the light for few hours and suggested my hubby and I get some rest. 

                                    December 22, 2019

                                    Maternity Magic

                                    MY OOTD: Maternity Dress Amazon

                                    And just like that, I'm near the end of my pregnancy. Before temporarily moving to Hong Kong for my last trimester, Raj would talk to my belly first thing in the morning, and at night as soon as he got home from work. Things are starting to feel quite real, and I'd be lying if I said we weren't nervous about whats to come. 

                                    I'm realizing in hindsight that the end of second trimester was the honeymoon phase. It's when the first trimester symptoms subside (the nausea, throwing up, acid refluxes and heartburn), your energy is back, and you generally feel pretty cute sporting the growing bump!

                                    Weight Gain

                                    Since many of you have messaged me on Instagram asking, I started at 55kg and have gained 20kg so far. The baby is around 3 pounds, and then there's the placenta and the rest is house fluids and a lot of blood paddling around. I've heard a lot of comments about how much weight I've gained, "Omg, you look so much bigger in pics than in real life", "Omg I thought you were Seema" (my mom), or "are you carrying twins?", I constantly have had to remind myself that every pregnancy is unique, and we all carry weight gain at different paces. 


                                    I have been doing Pilates throughout my first two trimesters, going whenever I can and have energy as I was quite sick the first 6 months so it was hard to be consistent with it. Once I got to Hong Kong, I started prenatal yoga regularly, as I know staying fit can only help, with overall health as well as labor and recovery.


                                    I've heard people lose hair post pregnancy, and I've felt my hair hasn't really become thicker during my pregnancy so I started taking Hairtamin Mom Formula the past few months and I have noticed a lot more baby hairs, which means I do have new hair growing. But will update you guys post pregnancy about this as thats what I'm most concerned about. If you would like to order, you can get 15% off your order using my discount code: ROSHINI

                                    Also I have been drinking 2-3 cups of Red Raspberry Tea for the last two months of my pregnancy as I read its a uterine toner, which helps your body prepare for child delivery. I won't know till post delivery whether this help aid labor, but no harm in trying anything that could help with a speedy labor.

                                    Additionally I have been eating Dates, as it may increase cervical ripening which could reduce the need for medical labor induction. It is also known to have a positive effect on postpartum blood loss - again I will only comment on this post delivery.

                                    Sleep & Baby Movements

                                    I am thankful to have no pregnancy complications, but rolling over feels like running a marathon these days. And I love that despite the loud grunts and groans coming from my side of the bed at night, Raj manages to sleep through all that.

                                    I was so giddy after feeling the first baby flutters. I was completely unaware how strong the movements would get. The baby's tumble and kicks would wake me up a few times each night, and I found my belly poking out at the oddest angles. Although I complain all the time about the lack of sleep, these movements are my most favourite thing about pregnancy.


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