Friday, March 16, 2018

Time Flies

Tick tock tick tock... and it is nearly the end of my first trimester. Well, I found out I was pregnant pun at 9 weeks, naturally lah the first trimester just flew past in a blink of an eye.

I am really suffering from nausea these past few days. Honestly, I don’t know whether this is a genuine pregnancy sickness nausea, or just ‘psycho’ nausea. Sebab dulu before I knew I was pregnant, takde pulak pening kepala, mual, mabuk bagai. Now dah tahu, mula lah mengada ngada.

As usual, I cannot be hungry at all. Must be fed at all times! Lambat makan sikit, and the headache would not subside no matter how much I eat. And it’s not just the customary three meals per day! Just to give you an example of my meal from last Thursday:
  • Breakfast with two pieces of bread with Nutella
  • Second breakfast with nasi kerabu bungkus
  • Lunch at Rakuzen with garlic fried rice and teriyaki beef
  • Snacks at the office makan keropok and breakfast bars
  • Tea time at Asam Pedas with mee kari
  • Dinner at home with white rice and lauk
  • Supper with Fitness cereal.
Fuh, can you imagine my weight now? Kalau tak makan, pening. Kalau makan, gemuk. Le sigh.

My tummy is really protruding out. Not sure whether it’s due to the baby or just the sheer amount of food I eat. It is getting uncomfortable to sleep no matter how many pillows I use to support my tummy and my back. Sooooo miserable.

Other than that, the itching at the tummy area is starting already. Although I am religiously putting Bio Oil and Clarins stretch mark cream after every shower (doesn’t really help my old stretch marks but hey, I don’t want to make them worse)... but sometimes I just feel like scratching the hell away. But sabar sabar. Still can tahan.

With this pregnancy, I'm still having the occasional acne breakouts, and my hair is absolutely limp. Hence, I have zero motivation to dress up and look good. I guess it is true - common wisdom explains that this is because the baby girl is stealing the mother's beauty. All I want to do is to dress myself up in comfy baggy clothes and curl up on the sofa and sleep. I have no interest in updating my social media nor take photos of myself. I still have to look presentable to work, but honestly I’m running out of clothes to wear to hide my bump. My mood is generally neutral in the office (as long as I am constantly fed), but just the other day a staff of mine had to bear the wrath of my hormonal crankiness. No I didn’t scream or anything, but damn - I was strict and direct. Zero smiles. 

My sweet sister in laws arranged for a surprise bouquet of flowers to be sent to the office - they're as excited as I am to welcome their first niece! Meanwhile, the boys are starting to accompany yours truly at shopping for girls clothes. OMG I gravitate towards anything pink... and everything is so cute!!!

Just one more week before I jump into my second trimester. Usually then, the ‘I need to eat all the time’ phase eases up, and my headaches go away too. I am sooooo looking forward to that.

Wish me luck peeps.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Unexpected #3

I’m struggling to put my thoughts onto paper as I am still struggling to process the news.

Not many people know this, but Hubby and I went though an IVF back in October 2017 which failed miserably. (I mentioned a lost in October a few times via blog and IG - this was what I meant.) I documented my whole IVF process which I’m not ready to share just yet - but all I can say is, IVF is not an easy experience for anyone; even for someone like me who is blessed with multiple eggs, two successful drama free pregnancies and a controllable PCOS.

Why IVF? Cos we wanted to determine when I would get pregnant plus most importantly, the gender. I know it might sound selfish to some - doing IVF to determine the gender while some people are simply struggling to conceive. All I can say is, I am one of the few who struggles with not being in control of something. And being pregnant with a 50/50 chance of having yet another boy was not something I wanted to gamble with. Especially since we had collectively agreed to max our number of kids to only three.

But of course, Allah had greater plans for me (and He wanted to show me who’s the real boss of life)!

Hubby and I wanted to kick start our 2nd IVF round in March. Well guess what. We didn’t even get around to doing so... Because on 18th February, I found out that I was pregnant!

I swear, this is my smoothest first trimester ever. Since I have PCOS, my last period was in November (right after the end of my IVF cycle). Of course, I started getting worried about a no show of period in Jan but decided to just brush it off. I did notice an elevated sense of hunger. Asyik lapar jer. To the point that I avoided the weighing scale like a plague. And my face started breaking out pretty badly, specifically a cluster on my left chin, but I thought it was due to stress at work. Because of the absence of my period, the thought of buying a pregnancy test occurred a few times, but I never got around to buying one - sebab the chance of me being pregnant without some form of artificial help, is practically slim to none.

We went for a day trip to Kuantan and that was when I started getting suspicious. Pening pening the whole trip (which I chalked off due to tiredness from traveling) and an elevated sense of smell (I wanted to puke from the smell of my nephew’s stained diapers in the dustbin). On the way home we made a pit stop to GPO and my headache got worse. Kids were hungry but we didn’t want to stop for dinner so we picked up a few tidbits at a kiosk. Upon having a few bites of Pringles (not exactly the most nutritious food), the headaches went away. Masa tuh dah nervous cos usually if I am pregnant, I cannot be left hungry. Must always be fed to reduce my pening pening. But still I was in denial. Tried to blame the acne antibiotics for causing the headaches, but Hubby was having none of it so the next day we got ourselves two packs of pregnancy tests.

By the time we got home from our trip to the pharmacy it was already night and we were just about to cuddle up in front of the TV to watch Transformers the Last Knight. Plus baru jer zip my luggage as Aiden and I were due to fly to Kuching the next day. Dragged myself to the toilet downstairs to do the test (masih denial lagi masa nie) and I remember muttering the F word non stop as the second line started appearing. As I told Hubby, “That second line came up tanpa segan silu... hence I must be pretty far along and there is no such thing as a false positive. Ini semua salah you!” (Hahaha ibu mengandung is allowed to blame anyone under the sun except herself.) Seriously, it was such bad timing for me especially since I just started my new role at work. The original plan was to do a second round of IVF and then store the embryo until a suitable period at work appeared.

Because it was late night and my flight was at 8am the next day, I had to wait until I got home from my business trip to do a scan at our local clinic. This was what we found:

Baby's first picture - 22nd Feb 2018. EDD end Sept.

At barely 2 centimeters, the baby was already 9 weeks old! See how I practically breezed through the first trimester??!! Finally got a gynae appointment with my fertility gynae on 28th Feb. We saw the baby waving his/her arm towards us! Also requested to do a blood test to check for abnormalities and most importantly to check the gender. MasyaAllah, I cannot even begin to tell you the nervousness I was carrying around for the past few weeks, waiting for the results to come out. Last child slot, and it turned out to be an accident baby. *cries*

As a coping mechanism, I completely shut everything off. Zero blog updates, zero social media presence. I distanced myself from family and friends and started wearing baggy clothes to work. I didn't want to tell anyone that I was pregnant... at least not until the gender is known. Practically everyone around me knows how much I wanted a girl, so if they knew that I was pregnant, they would probably comfort me by diagnosing my pregnancy sickness, comparing it to theirs, checking the shape of my tummy and then correlating it to the chances of it being a girl. I don't think I can cope with that, especially if my hopes get crushed.

So yesterday afternoon, I was lying on the couch nursing a headache after a long day at work. Lab results were due the next day. Suddenly the hospital called. Answered the call, and it was my gynae's nurse. It was close to 7pm already so I was very nervous about the reason for her call. I remember her introducing herself, and then she started giggling. (I couldn't tell whether it was a joyful or nervous laugh.)

Then she said these magic words, "It's a girl!!!!"

OMG I felt tears of joy spring into my eyes. Alhamdulillah Ya Allah. I asked her whether she was sure and she said, "Test results tulis absence of Y chromosome, so kalau XX means it's a girl!" I asked her the accuracy of the test and she confirmed 99% accurate. After saying thank you and goodbye, I disconnected the call and the first thing I did was hug my helper!!!! *chuckles* She was as elated as I was.

Immediately called Hubby afterwards. He was buying groceries before heading home, and when I gave him the good news, his voice raised excitedly, so much so that he said everyone looked at him in curiousity. *giggles* He actually had to abandon the groceries trolley and walked out to continue our conversation! After the call, I did a sujud syukur. Alhamdulillah, termakbul doa. Until today, I still have goosebumps whenever I remember the exact time that I found out the news. Syukur sangat sangat, feels so surreal!

The announcement.

The kids? Frankly they don't care about what gender the baby is. Ian has absolutely no preference (although he loves his boy baby cousin to bits) but Aiden can be swayed to either side. I tried baiting him by saying, "Well the baby girl won't take any of your toys cos she will need new girl toys!" and he curtly answered, "But she will take over my TV and watch princess movies all the time!"

Will I need another TV? Only time will tell. *chuckles*

Wish me luck with the pregnancy!

Monday, March 5, 2018


I was this *shows tiny space between index finger and thumb* to buying a Samsung.

Despite my arguments on how Samsung has a non user-friendly interface (which is still true, by the way), I found myself swaying to the dark side purely due to the superb quality photos and beautiful selfies that Samsung produces.

Up until I found out that I was going to get a company phone with this new role. And guess what it was? An iPhone *rolls eyes*

So here it is, the only reason why I'm still an iPhone fan:

Company phone = no more excuses of not being reachable at all times.

#stillaniphonefan #unfortunately

Friday, February 9, 2018

Beard Brothers' BBQ

I received a few emails asking me to review Beard Brothers' BBQ, based on our recent trip as mentioned here.

Sooooo sinful.

Honestly, I'm no food blogger. But I do know how to appreciate good food. And Beard Brothers' BBQ certainly serves good food. Their beef ribs are so tender, your plastic (I repeat, plastic) cutleries will literally glide through the meat.

Beard Brothers' BBQ serves not just beef ribs, but also beef briskets, lamb, chicken and occasionally sausages during the weekend. Cornbread is good too. (Ian walloped two in one sitting!) The side orders are so-so. But trust me, the succulent beef ribs are the real winners here.

We managed to get a beef sausage during this round!

However, do note that this is not a posh place for a first date or anything special like that. Expect plastic tables and fold-able chairs, self serve cutleries and drinks, and canned drinks from a chiller. But don't worry, the food will make up for all these inadequacies. You're here for the good food anyway, not to impress your future better half.

The menu. Hubby and I usually share the Triple Threat. Price may slightly vary depending on the weight of your beef ribs.

Just after the table and chairs, you will see giant impressive meat smokers tucked at the far back. And piles of wood! I was told that the meat is smoked for a good 12 hours, and the whole process from start (marinating the meat) to finish (end of smoking) is a whopping 20 hours! Due to all the work that goes behind the scene, be prepared to pay a slightly hefty price for your beef ribs. But trust me, hands down - it is well worth it.

Weighing our beef ribs.

Rest assured, Beard Brothers' BBQ is completely halal. Heck, the name originated from the owners' facial hair - sunnah nabi, kan? What you do have to worry though, is how fast they run out. I have completely given up on going over on weekend evenings. They sometimes sell out as early as 3pm! If you need to go during the weekend, I suggest lunch (no air-conditioning, mind you). Or do weekday dinners.

Happy carnivore-ing!

Beard Brothers’ BBQ

PG-01, Tropicana Avenue
Persiaran Tropicana
47410 Petaling Jaya
T: 012-319 0962
Open Tuesday to Thursday: noon-2pm and 6-10pm; 
Friday: 6-10pm; Saturday to Sunday: 11am till sellout
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