Warning: this will be a pretty long entry :P I've divided it up so it's easier to get back to if you need more than one sitting to read through it hehe

Morning sickness: what morning sickness??? I didn't really expect myself to get it because neither my mum nor my sister got it when they were pregnant. The closest I got to having morning sickness is not being able to eat as much in my first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I'd get really really hungry and when I get that hungry I'm happy to eat absolutely anything -- I usually think of what I want to eat in my head and it sounds so good that I start salivating just from the thought. But in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy that wasn't the case. I was SO picky with what I wanted to eat and even when I made a big batch of food from being really hungry, I was only able to have a few bites before feeling a tiny  bit nauseous... In fact just thinking of food sometimes made me feel a bit nauseous and Oli was getting pretty worried about me and the baby by about 10 weeks, but in the 13th week all of that stopped like clockwork. I started craving sweets like cakes, chocolates, muffins, and ice cream (things I never usually pay attention to coz I don't have a sweet tooth). I was still pretty picky though, and I had completely stopped eating beef. My sense of smell has always been pretty good but it basically became canine-like and the smell of beef (red meat) put me off BIG TIME but Oli loves his red meat so we had to cook different meals at times.

Considering there are women out there that can't get out of bed or are constantly throwing up throughout the day, or even get hospitalized, I consider my pregnancy to be free of morning sickness and feel very lucky indeed.

Weight gain: what weight gain?? Haha, just kidding. I was already overweight when I first got pregnant.. Dr. Campbell, a general practitioner at a clinic, weighed me and I was 50kg (-_-) which is quite a lot considering my tiny stature..sigh. Anyway, I'm at 35 weeks now and am 55.6kg so I'm doing great! I kept gaining 1kg every 2 weeks (after 24 weeks I have to go see them every 2 weeks) and got into trouble about it from the midwives and the doc a couple of times but then I manage to either lose weight or maintain it the next 2 weeks so all in all I only gain about 1kg a month. When I first got here it was impossible to NOT eat what I wanted because the food and desserts here are oh so delicious! Considering I'm 55.6kg now and still could have 5 weeks to go and assuming Natalie will be at least 3000g, I can only gain 2kg extra which I should be able to do! ;)

Cravings: a few weeks into pregnancy I started dreaming of desserts -- me walking into a massive refrigerated room full of different flavoured ice cream, cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. all free and all for me. I swear I have never in my life dreamed of desserts before. Oli didn't let me buy anything I wanted to though and that pissed me off at times (especially coz I was hormonal) and we got into a couple of huge arguments in the grocery store lol. Funny to think back on it now but seriously pissed me off at the time. I also only ate white bread with delicious organic raspberry jam and hot milk tea for breakfast everyday. Ask anyone, I never ate jam with such frequency ever before in my life so that was a big change for me. Since I've been back here I have the Neways protein shake for brekky every day (which has fixed my constipation big time) and I've also been craving for and stuffing my face with apples and apple juice. I only have 6 weeks or so to go until the little one decides to come into the world and I don't think my food cravings will differ much anymore.

Ultrasounds/Natalie's acrobatics: I only had 2 scans while I was in Australia, the first one to see how far along I was (at 8 weeks) and a second one when I was 20 weeks to find out the gender of the little one and whether everything was developing normally. The 20 week scan was amazing. I started feeling Natalie's little kicks at 18 weeks which felt like little flutters. I wasn't so sure at first but realized that it couldn't be anything else and once I started paying attention to them I could feel her moving a lot throughout the day. Oli and I both thought it was going to be a boy and with how much Natalie was moving Oli was saying "it's got to be a boy because he's moving so much. Girls are a bit more lazy so if it was a girl she wouldn't be moving this much." Well well well look who was completely off, lol! At the 20 week scan he was still referring to the baby as "he/him" and the radiologist said, "well...it's actually a girl". That was a bit embarrassing and we all had a bit of a laugh then. It's funny though because we had such a hard time coming up with a good name for a boy and we were still thinking about it when we found out it was a girl and I knew straight away that her name was going to be Natalie so it must have been a sign :) She was moving around a lot at the start of the scan and even looked like she was waving at us. Everything was perfectly normal which is what every parent wants to hear.

As I mentioned earlier you get a scan every time you go to the doctor here so I've enjoyed watching her grow over the last several weeks. The doctor also tells us the baby's approximate weight and Natalie's been gaining about 200g every fortnight. At 34 weeks she was just over 2000g which means she'll probably go through her last growth spurt in the next few weeks left of this journey. My belly's already about 92cm around so don't know how much bigger it will get but the growth of the baby isn't proportionate to that of your belly so it's impossible to tell. It's hard to see her face in the scan now because it's getting tighter and tighter in there and when we manage to catch her face it looks like someone who has their face squished against a window lol. She's definitely packed on some fat because even at 24 weeks her face looked like a skull, thanks to the ultrasound that tend to mostly catch bone structure more than cartilage or fat depending on the angle. Regardless I think she looks gorgeous and Oli does too :D

She's been moving around like crazy and right now she still hasn't dropped at 35 weeks which is all good because I want her to be in there for 40 weeks. She tends to be on the right side all the time, kicking and whatnot so my ribs are getting really sore these days. My right upper back starts aching when I'm sitting for a long time
and I can't curl my back to stretch it because she's in the way so it gets quite uncomfortable... You can easily see her movements with the naked eye now and my stomach moves in waves and sometimes you can see a little foot poke out. When I felt her little foot moving against my hand for the first time it freaked me out a bit because I wasn't expecting it lol. It's a surreal feeling and I truly love it. I always have my hand on my stomach when I get into bed and her movements sort of rock me to sleep.. I always think "if only Oli was here to feel her little kicks and experience everything with me" and get sad at times, but thank God for skype and the internet. We're able to keep in touch and talk to each other almost every day which is the best we can do until we're all together again for the first time as a family <3

5/5/2013 09:17:07 pm

Hey Yoko, It is so beautiful to know that you are sharing all the details on your blog. I am amazed that the information is so insightful and helpful... I am following it and reading all of it... Happy that you are in Japan and everyone is taking good care of you. Take care girl... and keep us posted :)

5/5/2013 09:28:18 pm

Hey Himani! Thanks so much for taking time to read through my blog :) I know there's lots to read so it's good to know I didn't do all of this in vain. I'll definitely be updating this blog as often as I can so hope you come back now and again! Thanks lady, miss you xoxo

5/9/2013 02:13:30 pm

Hey Yoko, I am waiting for more updates... missing you too lovely.... xoxo

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