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This Fall/Winter 19/20, we see Christian Louboutin’s imagination come to live as he embarks on inspirational journeys from sunny Portugal to the snow-kissed beauty of the Himalayan steppes. 
 
Aside from their trademarked-lacquered soles, Louboutin is always about going wild, bold, fun and creative.
The collection reflects a new mood board print inspired by Christian’s memories; childhood theme parks; colour-blocking pieces and bright rainbows that inject the season with a much-needed dose of levity and verve. 
 
Be teleported back to 70’s Milan, where ornate styles whisper of the art world’s quiet opulence. Inspired by iconoclastic interior design, innovations such as the Cube heel and hand embellished bijou Vasa heel are a nonchalant take on evening elegance. 
 
The Fall-Winter 2019/20 Collection will be available worldwide on www.christianlouboutin.com and in the Christian Louboutin boutiques starting from May 2019.

The post Christian Louboutin FW19 appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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So here’s my birth story from the point I found out that I was “getting into labour” all the way until baby Noah was born into this world.

 I visited my gynae in the morning for my 38th week check up. She strapped me to a CTG machine to study my contractions and baby’s heartbeat. She told us that I was already getting contractions at a 15-minute interval and I was 2 cm dilated that meant that the labour would happen anytime within the next week. James and I were quite taken aback because we were positive that baby Noah would only make his entrance in June and I had work appointments and engagements arranged all the way until the 1st of June. 

I actually did not feel a thing. I did not have a difficult or uncomfortable pregnancy (apart from increasingly painful backaches towards the end) but the 24th felt like any other day normal day and I thought I was not showing any signs of labour yet. I couldn’t even identify what Braxton Hicks contractions felt like. Once in a while, I felt my uterus tightening. It felt a little like slight cramps but it was easily brushed off and I could still go about my day, as per usual. 

That very night, however, I had that “bloody show” that everyone was telling me about. It is a bloody discharge which signals that labour is near. I guess it affirmed what my doctor had told us earlier in the morning. 

In my mind, I was like “OMG no. Baby, please stay in for just a while longer, I am not ready”. In my heart, I could not wait to meet my precious little one. 

 During this period of time was when it dawned on us that “shit was hitting the fan” and it could be any moment that my water bag could burst or I could dilate further and start feeling much more regular contractions. Yet, I was extremely determined to get as much done in the little time that we had as possible. 

These were the things we accomplished in the span of 3 days (while I was technically still 2cm dilated)..
-We packed our hospital bag
-Made a hospital bag check list and blog article for you guys (click here)
-Completed our baby laundry
-Got Steigen to install their Ultra in my laundry room

– Visited the dentist for scaling and polishing
-Did an office viewing for a potential space
-Went to get my lashes done
-Wrapped up a couple of my outstanding campaigns 
– Called a cleaning company to help steam clean our carpets and mattresses
– Visited Ikea to get racks for our baby nursery
– Organised all the drawers in our nursery changing unit
– Videoed some scenes of our nursery reveal room tour 

23:00: “Let’s go for supper!”

Something in my mind just told me that “it could be any moment now”. I brushed it off once again and thought I was just overthinking it— “maybe I was just slightly anxious and also very excited”, I told myself. Nonetheless, I told James to finish up packing his stuff (camera equipment and laptop fully charged) and get them ready as if we were going to leave for the hospital. 

Obviously, while getting this done, it took us a good one hour to dilly dally around the house, work a little on our laptops, before deciding to go for supper, as I was feeling quite hungry.

00:50: Waterbag Broke

I was getting ready to leave the house. James had our front door open and had the car keys in his hand when I said I had to use the bathroom to pee before heading out. Not an unusual situation as I felt like I needed to pee around the clock, given the baby was sitting right on my bladder.
While peeing, I felt a gush of water coming down and it occurred to me that “my water bag might have broken”. But I still wasn’t too sure. I’m a first-time mom and I had absolutely no clue what a bursting water bag felt like. I shouted to James from inside the toilet and said, “OMG MY WATER BAG MIGHT HAVE BROKEN!” and he started to panic! I very calmly got out and told him “let’s wait and see if it’s really my water bag!”, and within seconds more water flowed down through my legs and onto the floor.

I decided to take a quick shower, put on my skincare, dry my hair and get ready to leave for Mt. Alvernia Hospital. 

James was baffled at how calm I was because during the ParentCraft workshop, we learnt that we had to head to the hospital “IMMEDIATELY” if and should my water bag burst. 

01:30: Checked Into Mt. Alvernia Hospital

We left the house at around 1.30AM and aside from the uncomfortable feeling of wetting my pants and slight contractions, I was still feeling fine. 

P.S. I even offered to take the wheel as James looked pale and drenched in cold sweat. My poor husband. 

We arrived to the hospital and got settled in. I was a little bummed that I had missed supper and I would be famished by the end of my labour so I requested for some food before it was too late. (Usually we’re not advised/ allowed to have a heavy meal too close to delivery) 

By then, I was still 2-3cm dilated and my contractions were around 10 minutes apart, but I was progressing fast. 

After eating a little, we decided to get some shut eye. Obviously, we hardly managed to get restful sleep (or any sleep at all)— James was feeling way too anxious and I would be awoken by my contractions every single time I dozed off. 

7:00: 5CM Dilated

By 7AM, I was feeling so tired. I was not in intolerable pain but I could definitely feel that my contraction were increasing in intensity. My gynaecologist came in to check on my dilation and I was 5CM dilated. She said that I would have about 5 hours to go and she would expect baby Noah to arrive around early to mid afternoon. I then made the decision to order for epidural. I wanted to take a nap and have a good breakfast so that I would have the energy to push.

8:00: Got The Epidural

At 8AM, I should have been about 6CM dilated and the anesthetist came to administer epidural on me. James left the room as he was feeling faint from all that was going on. It was hilarious. 
I had my breakfast after getting the epidural. 
We started on a really low dose, so I could still feel the contractions and sensation in my feet. The nurses said that if I could still lift my legs, I could still feel a good percentage of what’s going on down there. 
True enough, I could wriggle my toes and lift my legs although they felt heavier than usual. 

10:00: 8-9CM Dilated

10AM: the nurses came in to do another check on my dilation and said that I was 8-9 CM dilated already and my contractions were at very regular intervals. 
Sister Kang and Sister Angela came to visit me in the delivery suite. We took a few pictures and they gave me some words of encouragement.
Soon after, another sister who was doing her rounds came in to pray with James and gave us Holy Communion. 

11:00: Ready To Push!

The midwife came in to check on me again and no surprises but I got to the magic number— 10 CM! I was quite relieved that everything seem to have expedited. I was extremely calm and collected, perhaps due to my decision to take epidural? I was actually still replying my emails and dm’s to take my mind off the contraction pains. She said she was going to call for the doctor as I would be ready to push soon.

As I could still feel the intervals of my contractions, I knew exactly when I had to push. James counted down from 10 to zero during which I would be pushing for as hard as I could. 

I guess I did pretty well as we saw the baby’s head after 2 to 3 pushes. Shortly apart, the gynae came in to guide me through the final moments of labour.

Everything happened so quickly, it really happened like a blink of an eye. 

11:20: Baby Is Here!

 I heard his first cry and Baby Noah was born. It felt like the most surreal feeling in the whole world, when they handed him over to me, my heart was bursting with so much relief and joy, I can’t even put to words. 9.5 months of prayers, waiting and baking and here I am, finally able to hold him in my arms. 

 

I somehow felt a great sense of comfort and assurance that everything would go well and smoothly during my entire labour journey and I am so blessed that this sensing materialised. I was confident and had faith that I was in good hands and under good care.

I am ever so thankful for everyone that has played a part in bringing my precious little son into this world, and I am loving every minute of being his mom. 

The post Baby Noah’s Birth Story appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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The first week at home with baby Noah might have seemed like a total blur. There were so many adjustments to make— not just limited to my sleeping habits or to my confinement diet, or to my lifestyle at large but also to my physical well being as a whole.

The first week might have zoomed past in a blink of an eye, but I am ever so grateful to the helplines that I received along the way and I want to share with you each and every aspect with you so that it could possibly help ease you into motherhood as well. 

Leaving the hospital after a very comfortable 3-day stay was a little nerve wrecking at first. I felt some anxieties that I would not be able to cope (especially with breast-feeding) back at home, so I extended my check out time from 11AM to 4PM. The nurses and lactation team at Mt. Alvernia Hospital were the strongest pillars for both James and I. It is all thanks to them and Sister Kang, that my breastfeeding journey started out on a good note. I will share more about that in another article.  

Thankfully, we had arranged for our confinement nanny to come on the same day of our hospital check-out. Given that we extended our stay, she met us directly at Mt. Alvernia hospital and helped us with everything she possibly could — from the packing of our bags, to changing the baby and basically everything that took us to get from hospital back home. It sounds kinda silly that I make it seem like a big ordeal but looking back, we did take a good 30 minutes to transfer all our baggage, hampers and gifts from our room to the car, and another 10 minutes to figure out how to set up the car seat. Both James and Aunty had to make a couple of trips back and forth. 

So here are a few tips (summarised) that could help you to overcome the first week of motherhood. 

Breastfeeding 

Note: I have chosen to exclusively breast-feed baby Noah, so all that I am sharing is based on my personal experience. 

Make feedings comfortable. 

Develop a good latch as this will ensure that your nipple is spared and that baby gets the milk he/she needs.
They spend a lot of time feeding over the course of the day, so you want to make sure that this process Is as comfortable for both you and your baby, as possible. A nursing pillow would be your bestfriend/lifesaver. I am using the one from Dreamgenii. It is a pregnancy and feeding support pillow that provides a great amount of comfort and support when breastfeeding. Prior to baby Noah’s arrival, I used this pillow in my third trimester to ease my backaches when I sleep. 

Track feedings 

I’m usually quite a traditionalist. I keep a journal for my travels, I maintain a physical calendar/diary and I write a manual to-do-list on top of the “productivity apps” that I share with my team. However, this app helps me to track my feedings with Noah very efficiently. It has a cute and simply interface and it helps you to track everything from your feeding sessions to your pumping frequency to the baby’s sleep schedule to his wet/dirty diaper frequency. My confinement nanny actually also tracks his dirty diapers, so I use the app mainly to track his feeding time. 

Ask for help 

This is one of those things that other mom’s advise a million times over but let me reiterate it once more: it is okay to ask for help. 
Don’t be afraid of not having enough time to bond with your baby. Know that you are doing everything in your best capacity to care for the child and get whatever help you can when you need it. 

To be brutally honest, I feel a great deal of anxiety leaving my baby with anyone else but Aunty Siew Fong (my confinement nanny) or James (I still feel the same right now). I get psychological attacks of the worse things that could happen to Baby Noah when left unattended or with a person whom I do not trust. I find myself going to check on him every now and then because I just want to make sure he is okay. 

Here’s a really silly story to share: When city gas came over to my house to fix the stove, I had the craziest and most vivid imaginations of a pipe exploding and the kitchen catching fire. I started to plan my route out of the house and ways I could best protect my child. I asked James which blanket in the house is actually fire-proof. I thought I was going mental at one point. 

It is really not easy trusting someone (an outsider especially) with a tiny human that means the world to me, but trust is built over time and one week later, I find myself letting go a little more. I so extremely grateful for being blessed with such good help like Aunty Siew Fong. The way she cares for Noah and loves him like her own, moves me to tears. Her most easy-going nature and most of all, selflessness, really puts me so much at ease. During the first two days, I asked her to rest because like us, she was up every 2 hours all night, and during the day (while we were napping), she was busy with the baby’s laundry, marketing, preparing my herbal bath, and meals. But her reply to us was, “我做这行是这样的” (Translated to: “I’m used to it. It is like that in my line of work.”) 

Swaddle

Never underestimate what a good swaddle can do for you and your new born. Swaddling the baby gives them comfort and a mimic of what they used to feel in the womb. Feeling all snug and cosy can help the baby to sleep better and longer. When wrapped in a swaddle, it prevents them from being disturbed by their startle reflex. During this period of adjustment to the outside world, I am down for anything that helps to comfort them! Given our humid weather in Singapore, opt for swaddles that are breathable and lightweight like the ones I’ve chosen from Aden + Anais. This one is a soft muslin blanket that combines breathability and versatility with viscose made from bamboo, making it the most luxurious fabric that has a multi-usage for a blanket, burp cloth, stroller cover or nursing cover. You can also look at sleep suit options for the night if you’d like something fuss-free.

Be extremely patient 

Patience is key not just in handling a new born baby but with yourself. The learning curve is steep and you’re only just at the beginning of it, so give yourself adequate time to adjust and learn the ropes. Breastfeeding is a tough journey on its own but confinement at large is also another hurdle to cross. Know that everything takes time and soon, you’ll be all well-adjusted. 

Organisation

Being organised with your baby supplies will help you a great deal. Keep all the essentials easily accessible with each item allocated a specific place. In the event of a baby meltdown, you’ll know exactly where to head to get what you need. I’ve bought storage organisers from Ikea to help me to section his 0-3 month old clothing and 3-6 month clothing and beyond. Coming home, I realised that not all his 0-3 month clothing could fit as he was a little too tiny for some of them. So, I re-organised into “new born” sizing and then 1-3 months. I also have a diaper changing drawer with all the changing essentials like my clover soft wet wipes, dry tissues, diaper cream, cotton balls, diapers etc. Invest in small baskets or bins so that you can allocate them for various usages. Orientating ourselves into the baby nursery for just the first week had us make so many changes to the space. Like I mentioned, we’re still learning on the go, and we’ll always be learning.

Looking back on our first week home with baby, I still feel all the butterflies stomach. Yet, it was the most rewarding and life-changing time ever. Not sure how I survived it but I did, and I’m only looking forward to the rest of our time together. I want him to remain a baby, yet I want him to grow up quickly! 

Not sure if you first time mom’s share my sentiments! But if you’re entering this very precious period of your life, I want to give you a pat on your back and a word of encouragement! You’re made for this mama, you’re strong! 

The post Surviving The First Week Of Motherhood appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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If you are a new home owner, congratulations! It’s gonna be an exciting journey ahead, I promise you. Looking back a year ago when James and I were purchasing our home, we’d never have expected the entire journey to be such an arduous one. It was both our first times and we were honestly pretty clueless. Thanks to all the help we got along the way from my mom and our friends who gave us advice, we got through it! After you’ve gotten your keys, you would probably be looking at renovating your home, and buying furniture.

With so many aspects of your home renovation to look out for, it’s easy to forget the things that are less significant yet will make a difference. Here’s sharing some essentials for the home people tend to overlook!

A wastepaper basket is definitely a necessity in every household. Whether for your vanity, the study room or the hall, this quaint spiral-woven basket gives trash bins a new look. It can also be used to store magazines or other knick-knacks.

Get it here.

For the not-so-big drinkers who do not have a cabinet specially for them bottles, don’t forget to still get a rack! Rather than letting bottles sit on the counter, or in your kitchen’s cupboards, a proper wine rack will allow your bottles to be stored properly in the correct position and unmoved. You wouldn’t want that cork to dry out before you get to opening it. This one gives off a very rustic look and holds up to 5 bottles!

Get this now.

Nothing beats coming home to a clutter free house so organisation is a must in every home! Boxes are great to categorise and sort stuff out. But you can also opt for organisational options that serves as decorative pieces, just like these baskets. There are a variety of sizes and you can definitely find one that suits your liking. Large ones for laundry, medium ones for books and magazines, and small ones can hold appliances such as your curling iron or hairdryer!

Get this now.

Another item that requires frequent organisation but easily forgotten is the mail. You’ll find it much harder to find your letters if you let them pile up. A letter holder will do the job just fine and you will not be digging through envelopes trying to find last month’s bill that is due tomorrow. With a white marble base and gold metal dividers, this chic holder makes a great decorative piece for the study table or mantelpiece.

Get this now.

A pillow can instantly makeover the look of your home. Whether adding texture to your space or giving the room a brighter look, a simple pillow will make all the difference. Also, pillows are much easier to change up than your entire sofa set or bed, so you would be better off picking a classic or simple design and snazz it up with beautiful pillows. This one is woven and the intricate boho details just pops! It also comes in two different sizes so you can select which suits your couch or daybed better.

Get this now.

Until the day where everything can run wirelessly, we will have to deal with cables and cords. It irks me to see them in an unsightly mess and they can get tangled easily. With a cable organising box, you can keep your floors free of cables and they can remain dust free and untangled. The lid is specially designed to keep your cords in place and you can leave your devices charging right on top of it.

Get this now.

 

 

 

Plates! Don’t forget about these when you are setting up your new home. Set the table in style with printed plates that are not only unique in style, they’ll also add a pop of colour to your dining area. Perfect for hosting as well! 

Get this now. 

If you are a new home owner, congratulations! It’s gonna be an exciting journey ahead, I promise you. Looking back a year ago when James and I were purchasing our home, we’d never have expected the entire journey to be such an arduous one. It was both our first times and we were honestly pretty clueless. Thanks to all the help we got along the way from my mom and our friends who gave us advice, we got through it! And especially our interior designer who’s really knowledgeable and gave us plenty of tips along the way. After you’ve gotten your keys, you would probably be looking at renovating your home, and buying furniture.

With so many aspects of your home renovation to look out for, it’s easy to forget the things that are less significant yet will make a difference. Here’s sharing some essentials for the home people tend to overlook!

A wastepaper basket is definitely a necessity in every household. Whether for your vanity, the study room or the hall, this quaint spiral-woven basket gives trash bins a new look. It can also be used to store magazines or other knick-knacks.

Get it here.

For the not-so-big drinkers who do not have a cabinet specially for them bottles, don’t forget to still get a rack! Rather than letting bottles sit on the counter, or in your kitchen’s cupboards, a proper wine rack will allow your bottles to be stored properly in the correct position and unmoved. You wouldn’t want that cork to dry out before you get to opening it. This one gives off a very rustic look and holds up to 5 bottles!

Get this now.

Nothing beats coming home to a clutter free house so organisation is a must in every home! Boxes are great to categorise and sort stuff out. But you can also opt for organisational options that serves as decorative pieces, just like these baskets. There are a variety of sizes and you can definitely find one that suits your liking. Large ones for laundry, medium ones for books and magazines, and small ones can hold appliances such as your curling iron or hairdryer!

Get this now.

Another item that requires frequent organisation but easily forgotten is the mail. You’ll find it much harder to find your letters if you let them pile up. A letter holder will do the job just fine and you will not be digging through envelopes trying to find last month’s bill that is due tomorrow. With a white marble base and gold metal dividers, this chic holder makes a great decorative piece for the study table or mantelpiece.

Get this now.

A pillow can instantly makeover the look of your home. Whether adding texture to your space or giving the room a brighter look, a simple pillow will make all the difference. Also, pillows are much easier to change up than your entire sofa set or bed, so you would be better off picking a classic or simple design and snazz it up with beautiful pillows. This one is woven and the intricate boho details just pops! It also comes in two different sizes so you can select which suits your couch or daybed better.

Get this now.

Until the day where everything can run wirelessly, we will have to deal with cables and cords. It irks me to see them in an unsightly mess and they can get tangled easily. With a cable organising box, you can keep your floors free of cables and they can remain dust free and untangled. The lid is specially designed to keep your cords in place and you can leave your devices charging right on top of it.

Get this now.

The post Essentials for your First Home appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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Shopping for Dad’s might just be the hardest thing ever. With Father’s day just round the corner, I’ve rounded up a few items that are under $100 that you can consider as gifts for your SuperDad!

Find some fun tech-y items for the tech savvy dad, fashion items for the dad who loves to dress up and skin care and products that every dad who takes pride in grooming would love.

This year will be James’ first year celebrating Father’s day and I’m wrecking my brains on how to show him appreciation for all that he’s done for me and baby Noah. For now, here’s a fall-back list that I can refer to when shopping online!

For The Tech-savvy Lovers
We swear your dad will get psych over these gifts.

For The Fashionable Dad
Add some chicness to your dad’s wardrobe!

For The One Who Takes His Grooming Seriously
Turn back the clock for your dad this Father’s Day with these products

Above all, don’t forget that quality time and a thank you card would mean the most to any dad. He deserves all the appreciation and love not just this Father’s Day but every single day of fatherhood!

The post Father’s Day Gift Guide appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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BABY STATS
Gender: Boy
How Far Along: 1 week postpartum 
Size of baby:
Weight at birth – 2.88kg
Weight at 1 week old – Close to 3kg
Movement: He is super active. He loves stretching, kicking and quirky hand movements (especially when feeding). When baby Noah was in my womb, he would usually be most active at night and before and after my meals.  

 

CRAVINGS, SYMPTOMS, BODY CHANGES

My body started changing rapidly in my third trimester. I felt a lot of pressure on my lower back, and my tail bone started to hurt a lot when I sit. By the 37th going to the 38th week, I’d wake up with soreness, and on occasion, stiffness and leg cramps. I felt like I had to pee all the time as baby Noah was sitting right on my bladder. I did not have swollen feet or any water retention at all (thank goodness) so I was still very active and on my feet a lot in the day!

 

WEIGHT GAIN, EXERCISE, DIET
Throughout pregnancy, I gained a total of 8.8kg (51.8-43kg). A little on the low side but I promise I was doing my best to eat well and frequently so that my baby could get all the nutrition he needed. I was not the most disciplined at eating a “healthy” diet as I ate out a lot but I did try to incorporate more fruits into my grocery basket (like avocados, berries and grapes) and I also made it a point to increase my calcium intake with fresh regular milk, on top of calcium supplements. Immediately after delivering, I lost about 5kg and I haven’t weighed myself since. 

I actually failed so miserably at incorporating a work-out routine during my entire pregnancy. I wanted to sign up for some pre-natal classes but I did not manage to as I kept procrastinating. In total, I had only 1 super work out during the WeBarre retreat back in Bali. That was it. However, I’m running around a lot and am on my feet so much, especially during my travels. They say that walking might induce an early labour— also a possible reason why baby Noah came at 38 weeks? 

FEARS

I am actually not afraid of weight gain, or that mom tummy. Nothing bothers or concerns me more than the well-being and health of my baby. I pray every day that the delivery will be smooth-sailing and that he will be in healthy. 
Of course there are other concerns (although secondary), like my ability in taking on the role as a mom. Questions about whether I will be able to be the best mom for my son, whether I’ll be able to provide him with the best, whether I’ll be able to care for him, protect him and shelter him, while still being a full-time entrepreneur. I am already so much in love with this tiny human being that I just want to do everything right. 

I feel mentally prepared to take on whatever challenges that may arise, and while I am anxious about this new role, I am extremely happy and grateful to becoming a new mommy to my most precious and loved baby Noah. 

The post Pregnancy Bump Update appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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Dear Baby /Noah 
 

Your father and I met each other 16 years ago. Best friends turned lovers, we said yes to spending forever together on 12 August 2017. About a year later, in Korea, we found out that we were having you. Knowing that you were coming into this world filled our hearts with so much joy. 

We have no idea what kind of parents we’re going to be but we know for certain that we will shower you with all our love, constantly and unconditionally. We hope that you’ll never be embarrassed by how much we love and adore you. 
 

Well even if you are, that won’t really stop us. 

We promise that we will protect you, listen to you, respect you and be your strongest supporters.

We promise to be your best friends who will always provide a shoulder to cry on and celebrate, enthusiastically, every single one of your victories, whether big or small. 
 
We’ll work hard to make sure you lead a comfortable life but teach you gratitude so you will never take that comfort for granted. 
 
Above all, we hope and pray that you will grow into a fine young man who will allow God to always take the front seat, and that you will allow Him to manifest His plan and purpose in your life. 

Our beautiful baby boy. There’s so much in this world that we want to show you. There are so many discoveries that we want to share with you and adventures that we want to be on as a family, together. 

We’ve yet to meet you but we’ve already love you. See you really soon. 

The post Dear Baby (A letter to our unborn son) appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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I’m currently at week 38 of my pregnancy and based on my last gynaecologist visit, I’m already getting contractions and 2cm dilated. So I guess the waiting game has started and I am ready to pop ANYTIME. 

I would recommend packing your hospital bag earlier (at week 36 at least) because you really never know when your little one will arrive. It is truly surreal to think that our life is going to drastically change in a matter of days now. 

I scrambled to make this packing list for you guys but some thoughts have been put into it for weeks. In fact, I’ve been slowly collecting and buying things for my hospital bag since as early as the tail end of my second trimester. At the bottom of this post, I’ve created a printable checklist for you so that you can check all the items off when it is your turn to pack your hospital bag. It is not all-inclusive but I’d say most of the basic needs are covered in there. 

For Mummy

This is definitely going to be the longest list as there is so much going on and happening post-birth. The ultimate consideration here is COMFORT.

1. Clothes

I am most likely going to dress in the hospital gowns provided by the hospital but I felt a little extra and bought myself my own maternity/delivery robe from ETSY some time a month back! Not sure if it was an impulse buy (I think it pretty much was!) but I kinda regret it now. Anyway, it is in full linen, has pretty embroidery details on the sleeve (which drew me to it) and I guess will act as a memento to mark my first birthing experience. 

Additionally, I am planning to pack some comfy PJs with buttons all the way down for easy nursing. For my going home outfit, I will probably pack a simple dress from my maternity wardrobe. I have yet to decide on which one but I don’t think I’ll be fussing much about this one. Dresses are a good option in case I end up doing an emergency c-sect and need to care for the wound. 

I’ll also be throwing in a pair of comfy flip flops to walk around in the hospital. I love these easy slip on’s from SomeDaysAtHome. They’re fuss free, minimal and the softest pair of flats I’ve ever owned. I am bringing this instead of my usual flip flops in case my feet get cold and I want to throw on a pair of socks. I wouldn’t want anything in between my toes to get in the way!

2. Nipple Cream, Breast Pads and Breast Pump

My dear friend, Jenn, highly recommended the Nipple Balm from Earth Mama. She actually bought it to me alongside some other really sweet personalised gifts for my baby. The nipple balm is organic, breastfeeding-safe and perfect for dry skin. I’ve heard many terrible stories of painful bleeding nipples especially at the start when the baby first latches. Jenn advised me to already start applying the balm now as she did the same and it helped her a great deal. The organic nipple butter is botanical-rich, lanolin-free and non-sticky. This is definitely an item going into my hospital bag. 

I’m also bringing along with me my breast pump from Hegen. I actually have not figured out how to use it (yet) but during a recent ParentCraft session at Mount A, Sister Kang advised me to bring along a breast pump (she specifically advised the brand: HAAKAA) to collect milk from the other lactating boob while the baby feeds on the other.  Also, since I’ll be getting so much help, advice and assistance from the nurses and lactation consultatnts, I thought it’d be helpful if I bring along the breast pump that I’ll be using when I return back home so I can do some practical learning there! 

For my breast pads, I’m bringing the entire box which I got from Tomme Tippee! They’re disposable so I don’t have to worry about keeping them after each use.  

3. Nursing Bra and Disposable Cotton Undies

I bought two different nursing bras to test out and I’ve determined that my favourite is the one I got Pret-a-Pregger. It’s semi thick band provides wonderful support, the padding is insanely comfy and I absolutely love the snugness and fit of the material against my skin. 
I got my disposable maternity briefs from Mothercare for convenience sake as I was running out of time to buy everything I needed. They’re made from a breathable material that is ideal for use with maternity towels. I got fitted by one of the staff in the store and she advised me the right size to get. 

4. Toiletries, Skincare, Make Up

Definitely, my mini set of shampoo and condition from Percy and Reed, as well as my body wash from DrJart + my toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash for my basic toiletries. I’m also considering bringing my make up pouch and curling iron in case we want to take some photos on Day 2. My lips are always chapped and I cannot imagine how chapped they’ll be. I’m throwing in my favourite lip tint from Handmade Heroes. Don’t forget your hair ties, body lotions, face masks and make up remover too! Packing this bag like I would for a trip, all in my same trusty travel toiletries pouch. 

5. Perineal Spray

Many recommend to use a vagina numbing spray to soothe soreness and pain after giving birth. I’ve decided to go with Earth Mama again as it has no paragons, butane, propellants or artificial fragrance. It’s been highly raved about by other mamas for it’s cooling ingredients like cucumber and organic herbs that are traditionally used for postpartum relief. I got the spray on version instead of the balm as I thought it’d be a lot more convenient for application. 

9. Extra Thick Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads are sanitary pads right? But I decided to get maternity specific ones from Mothercare as they are proven to be “thick enough” and absorbent enough for my postpartum needs. Vaginal bleeding is expected to be heavy and I’ve stocked up on these thick sanitary pads that will prevent leaks. Choose one that is smooth enough so that it will not irritate the stitches. It has a soothing aloe vera infused towel and wings for extra security. 

For Baby

1. Onesies, new-born cap, mittens and booties, swaddlers, burp cloth

There’s definitely that option to bring a couple of sets or just one for going home. We have brought along our favourite/most-striking one for photos! I got this entire matching set from Mothercare and it even came with matching mittens! 

I believe the hospital will dress him and swaddle him for the rest of his stint there!  Be sure to take note of dressing them in button up onesies so diaper changing will be a breeze. 

I am also bringing my own swaddle options for various photo opportunities! I got one really soft one from Petite Basics and it is so cute because it comes with a matching beanie. I’ve also stocked up on additional Muslin Wraps from Mothercare. I especially love the safari prints as they are super in theme with my nursery (which I’ll be revealing soon). I also brought his cute little Lion jelly cat stuffed toy for photos. Option are always good! 

2. Car Seat

This is probably the most important item to bring for the baby. The car seat should be properly and safely installed prior to labour.  It is something that will not fit into your hospital delivery bag and this might slip off from mind so best to get this sorted slightly further in advance. We got the highly raved Cyber Cloud Q Car Seat in graphite black and we can’t wait to put it to use. We have also made it a point to include an intensive interior car wash before the baby comes. 

3. Letterboard /Announcement cards

If you’re looking to document his first ever photo with birth details like his weight, height, time of birth, etc.. You can consider preparing this in advance. I’m always a huge fan of letter boards as it is fully customisable. I managed to get some additional letters and numbers from Letter Soiree just yesterday (in time before my baby’s arrival)! Other options include announcement cards like the cute stack of cards which I recently got from iShopChangi (ThePaperBunny)! Again, options are always nice! 

Essential Documents

Pack along a copy of your insurance papers, identification cards (mom and dad), marriage certification, a letter from gynae, blood test results, hospital admission form and your hospital file so that your doctor can run through your medical history easily. Don’t forget your receipts for Medisave claims and also your Cord Life Kit if you’ve opted to save your baby’s cord blood/cord lining. 

The post Things To Pack In My Hospital Bag appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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The first trimester seemed to have passed in a blink of an eye. We didn’t find out that I was pregnant until I was mid-way through my first trimester (around 8 weeks)!

So of course, all the anticipation, the celebration with James, the planning of how to reveal it to our family and friends, seemed like it was the first and most important things on our mind, aside from arranging our first visit to the gynaecologist to check on the baby’s development and heartbeat.

Now that I am in my third (and final) trimester, I’ve just realised that there is already so much you can do to get your pregnancy started on the right footing. Getting started and planning for the baby’s arrival does not need to wait until the second or third trimester, it should begin immediately!

The first trimester (first 14 weeks) is the time you focus on your health, nutrition, do some financial and life planning and choose your gynaecologist and hospital to deliver in.

It might seem like there are a million and one things suddenly added on to your plate, but I recommend setting weekly goals and taking baby steps, so you can enjoy the planning and anticipation of your little one every step of the way!

In this post, I’m sharing with you a list of 10 things to do in your first trimester so that you can be on track:

1) Download a pregnancy app!
This app can help you to track your pregnancy and count down till when your baby is due by the week. Each week, you’ll receive updates and relevant articles and information about what to expect and also learn about the baby’s growth, development and progress. I use 280 days as I love that I am also able to journal my day-to-day thoughts and record my milestones. Even if you’re in your first or second month, your bump and feelings are going to massively evolve by the day, so it’s never too late to start a keepsake.

2) Research on where you want to deliver
This is a big decision and the best time to do research is now. Most people like myself tend to go with what’s convenient and available. As we hadn’t shared this piece of news with family of friends in my first trimester, we did not seek for any recommendations or help. James’ dad/my father-in-law is actually a retired gynaecologist himself, so he actually had a wealth of information to share, but we jumped into one before we had spoken to him.

I did not also consider which hospital I wanted to deliver in during that stage of my pregnancy, and only realised a little later that my OB/GYN only delivers in one particular hospital. Thankfully, I’m happy to be delivering in that hospital as both James and I were also born there and we’ve heard many raving reviews and experiences from our family and friends.

My point though, is that we were left without options as we had not considered this in the earlier stage of my pregnancy.

3) Start taking prenatal vitamins, fish oils and folic acid
The best case scenario would be if you had already been consuming a folate-rich diet pre-pregnancy. But otherwise, start right away as the early weeks of pregnancy are the most important in the baby’s development. Research shows that nutrient-deficiencies can be linked to neuro-abnormalities and disease later in life. Always eat well, sleep well and stay positive! Nothing at this stage can trade for health, so don’t compromise.

4) Prepare for your first prenatal appointment
The first appointment is always the most exciting and nerve-wrecking one. It will confirm that the positive results you’ve seen at home are indeed positive. For James and I, we made our appointment as soon as we were back from our trip as we wanted to be sure that everything is okay. It was also the first time listening to the baby’s heartbeat and that was probably the most surreal feeling ever. You can prepare for this appointment by asking any questions you may have, especially if you’re a first time mom.

The questions I had for my OB/GYN were:

– Can I travel? (As I had an upcoming trip planned): Her response was that it is not recommended unless absolutely necessary and that she would give me a flu jab just to boost my immunity before the trip.
– What can I eat/not eat? Her response was to avoid alcohol, raw food, unripe papaya and pineapple in the first trimester.
– What extra precautions do I have to take? How do I stop feeling so tired?
– Are there any anti-nausea medicine I can take to help with any symptoms?

5) Listen to your body
The first trimester might feel like the hardest in the entire pregnancy but I promise you, it’ll be over in due course. I highly recommend listening to your body very closely. Sleep as much as you need to and do not feel guilty for resting. As my pregnancy was still kept a secret then, I was trying so hard to be at my 100% all the time. I would still work 10 hours each day, prioritise events and engagements over proper meals and beat myself up when I could not stay awake past 12 to reply to my emails at night. I got frustrated at myself up for needing naps in between the day and being so comparatively unproductive. Looking back on this part of the journey, I wish I had been kinder to myself and my body. I guess it hadn’t yet dawn on me at that point that I was actually growing another human being inside of me. It was selfish thinking to want to do-it-all despite my body saying no.

6) Thinking about the BIG PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
This was the favourite topic during meals for James and I as we put our heads together to brainstorm ideas on how to break the news to each family member/friend. We wanted to be as creative as possible so we actually started a shared document to pen down our ideas. We decided to let our family know during my 12th week and 13th week and my friends know from the 14th week onwards. We were also brainstorming so hard on how to reveal this piece of news to my social media fam (on YouTube & Instagram) and we only managed to come up with something, on impulse, when I was in my 16th week!

In case you missed it, this is a compilation of the priceless reactions from my family and friends, and the very first announcement post I made to my M-list subscribers and Insta-family.

Reactions to Our Pregnancy Reveal | Melissackoh - YouTube

7) Commit to a prenatal fitness programme
This might seem like a low-priority but trust me, it is something you would want to include in your list of commitments. Somehow, since learning about my pregnancy, everything else seemed to take precedence and somehow exercise just took the back seat. I can cross my heart and say with all honesty that my last exercise was since before finding out that I was pregnant, with the exception of ONE prenatal class that I thoroughly enjoyed while being on a work trip to Bali with WeBarre. It is so disappointing to own up to this, especially since I really enjoy being active and physically fit. I enjoyed the prenatal class in Bali so much because just that bit of a sweat-session and muscle burn made me feel so much stronger physically. It made me thoroughly regret not giving more priority to my physical well-being since an earlier stage.

There are many pregnancy safe & low-impact exercise options that are highly recommended from the start of the second trimester. Exercise not only helps to keep you in shape but I’ve heard that it has many positive spillover effects on your entire pregnancy journey — like an easier delivery, better sleep and better mood. Well it is not too late to pick up in the middle of my third trimester, I wish I had made a commitment to myself in the first to make time to exercise. If you’re in your first, I strongly recommend you committing to a pregnancy-suitable exercise routine as soon as you reach your second. You need not enroll for a class, but you can start building habits like taking daily walks after meals or looking up online videos/classes where you can exercise from home.

8) Start investing in maternity wear
It is never “too early” to start in building your maternity wear stash. My bump was considerably small all the way until 5 or 6 months and I was still relying on my loose fit clothing for dressing. On occasion, I’d buy one or two outfits that are a size up from my usual (S instead of XS or even M for bottoms). However, I’ve learnt that all these impulse buys, although they fit at that time, were not a long term solution. I’m in my 8th going to 9th month now and some of these do not fit anymore. I’d consider them a “transitioning” part of my wardrobe and it is ultimately still quite a waste of money. Recently, I invested in a few good maternity pieces that actually accommodates the growing bump and can be worn all the way till postpartum as they are nursing friendly too. I might as well have invested in these pieces earlier so I’d get more use for it instead of trying to still fit in my current wardrobe/purchase a new transitioning wardrobe that would only last me for a month or two.

9) Start pinning your nursery inspirations
If this might seem too early a stage to even start thinking about your nursery, you are so wrong. I thought the same way and time just flew by in a blink that I’m left scrambling just less than a month to my due date. The nursery is something you want to take your time and ponder over and pinning inspirations or scouting around to get familiar with the various baby furniture brands is never too late. There will definitely be an information overload in terms of the cot brand to choose, on whether the nursing chair is a need or a want, the storage space you need etc. Giving yourself time is a good way for you to do adequate research and make the best decision possible when the time comes. James and I were going to transform the entire home office to a baby nursery so it was quite a big project. We wanted to change in wall paint colour, some added wall decals, a new rug and a curation of furniture pieces that would still match the aesthetics of our home. Thankfully we work pretty well under pressure and the room has been taking shape in the past week. But my recommendation to you, parents, is to start as early as you can, and take your time with it!

10) Start taking weekly bump photos and recording milestones
This is one thing you should do if you are sentimental like me about recording milestones. Once the time has past, there is no turning back.

Unfortunately, this was not something that were at the top of our minds during the first trimester. Besides, my body was not changing too significantly so I had no inclination to record my bump with weekly photos. We only started documenting this in my second trimester!

But in case you start growing earlier, don’t forget to snap weekly photos of your little bump! I’m intending to print my bump photos at the end of my pregnancy to see at a glance how my body has changed and grown. It is quite a fun and personal way to track your pregnancy!

My two cents for your takeaway is that the weeks of pregnancy really does fly back and you’ll have a million other things to focus on towards the end. So start pacing yourself by setting short term goals! Some items in the list are more fun than others, but nonetheless, they’re just important and can be accomplished with good pacing. Be sure to work with your partner in a team! It is also a great opportunity to build your relationship with one another. 

The post Things I Wish I Had Done In My First Trimester appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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When Mel and I found out that she was pregnant, we were in our hotel room in Korea and, if you watched her pregnancy reveal video on YouTube, you would know that we did the test as a precaution because Mel wanted to eat Sashimi and we didn’t want to take any chances.
 
Being the skeptics that we are, as well as not being able to read the instructions written in Korean on the back of the test-kit, we weren’t a hundred percent positive that Mel was … well, positive. So we saw a gynae once we were back in Singapore and confirmed it. 
 
“You know you’re pregnant right?” 
 
In response to that question posed to us by the gynae, I had one word “Wow”. 
 
“Wow”, I’m going to be a dad. 
It’s one thing to see your relatives and friends around you have children. But finding out that you’re having a baby yourself is kinda the best feeling in the world. Or at least I was for me. I’m not the kind of guy who day dreams about being a father and sits down to plan way in advance how I want to be like as a parent. 
 
But there I was, with the goofiest of smiles on my face, elated having found out that my going to be a father. Even up till now, I catch myself smiling when thinking about it. 
 
“Wow”, it’s a person in there. 
 
After the initial shock and euphoria, it started to sink in that Mel’s growing a little human in her womb. I started to realise that we were entirely responsible for a life and basically had to get our shit together. Conversations between Mel and I over the past few months have been dominated by topics about baby prep. When we worked through the night, previously it was for our business. Now it’s clearing the house to make space for the nursery or planning for our baby. 
I have to admit we often had feelings of unpreparedness and inadequacy, doubting our capability of being good parents, and feeling guilty for not being optimal parents for our child. 
 
But we are trying our best and we pray, constantly, that God takes care of the rest. 
 
I’ve always been in awe of Mel’s grit, creativity, grace, boundless energy, and ability to see the glass half full. 
 
We’re at week #36 as I’m writing this post and having seen how she’s handled all the effects of pregnancy such as the backaches, fatigue and nausea all while hustling like a mad lady to manage all her businesses, has left me both dumbfounded and inspired. I know for certain that she’s be applying the same focus and determination to provide and care for our son. 
 
Being the youngest of my family and not having any nieces of nephews, I don’t really know what to expect. Mel, on the other hand, has three younger siblings all of whom are 12 or more years her junior. I’ve always been admiration of how close she is to her siblings and how she’s cared for an guided them over the years. 
Being as inexperienced as I am, I’m preparing to be a father by drawing inspiration from the exemplary father figures in my life. My father who worked obsessively to provide for the family and my godfather who guided my spiritual journey in my younger years are just two of many role models whom I’ll do my best to emulate. 
 
We’ve looked forward to every doctor’s appointment because we get to see our baby boy via the sonogram, we take joy in noticing his little movements and what he’s doing with his tiny hands and legs. (Once, he was showing the “peace out” sign and we, including our gynae, found it absolutely adorable). 
 
As unprepared as I feel and probably am, I can’t wait for him to arrive and to witness all his “firsts”. From his first burp to his first word to his first crawl and walk. I’ll cherish and keep every moment in my heart.  
 
Life’s an adventure and it’s about to get a whole lot more interesting.

The post Thoughts On Becoming A Dad appeared first on Melissa C. Koh.

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