My Pregnancy Journal - Skincare Nightmares
Although the basics of pregnancy is the same for all, everyone has a different pregnancy journey. Some are lucky to have an eventless pregnancy while others suffer terrible morning sickness, gestational diabetes, premature labour or in my case horrible skin problems like pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP).
Here’s my pregnancy journey, highlighting the good, the bad and the worst moments.
Week 3: The Discovery
My husband longed to be a father and when I finally agreed, we had to seek help from a fertility doctor after trying for over one year. Hence when I discovered I was pregnant, I had to create a memorable announcement. I surprised my husband with a card saying “Welcome to Fatherhood”, the positive pregnancy test kit and a baby romper “My Daddy is Awesome”. His reaction was priceless; and I’m glad that I went through the trouble of surprising him.
Much thought went into the pregnancy and gender announcement for our parents and grandparents. The joyful reactions, tears of joy and words of encouragement, made the effort worthwhile. After all, this has been a long anticipated 1st grandchild for both families. Definitely, I do encourage people to create a special and memorable announcement for their loved ones.
Week 10: Down Syndrome Test
What would we do if our child has Down Syndrome? Are we capable of caring and providing for such a child? Even though we had no family history of the condition, these were some questions that we asked ourselves. To ease our minds, we eventually opted to pay more to take the Harmony prenatal blood screening test which is above 99%.
Thankfully, the results showed that our child has a less than 0.1% chance of down syndrome and that it was a boy. This helped ticked off of two of concerns, one being Down Syndrome and the other a Chinese tradition of having a boy.
My skin problems began at Week 13. Read about it on the next page.
Week 13: Skin Problems
The first trimester was finally over, and so was the morning sickness and keeping the pregnancy a secret from friends. I was looking forward to showing off my radiant, flawless glow that many said comes with pregnancy.
While it's true that pregnancy hormones can change your skin, I did not get the “perfect” complexion. In fact, my skin got drier and little more sensitive especially my legs, arms and face. And to make things worse, I discovered a list of ingredients in skincare products that should be avoided during pregnancy. This made me a paranoid mum-to-be, researching online and asking lots of questions in forums.
The product I ended up using - my trusted Bio-Oil - is a product that I have been using since 2008. It helped my burn scar fade away and now it helps with my dry skin issues. Lucky for me, I don’t have to trouble friends to buy from South Africa anymore, since it is available in Singapore in various sizes.
Week 25: Stretch Marks
The happiness of the second trimester (generally known as the better trimester compared to the first and third) was short lived. While I was on cloud nine shopping online, going to baby fairs and preparing the baby room with tiny adorable baby items. I noticed stretch marks starting to surface on the left and right side of my abdomen.
I wish someone had told me to start applying Bio-Oil on to the areas which are expanding especially my abdomen from the time I knew I was pregnant. The fact that my weight gain was inconsistent created more stretch marks.
However, knowing that Bio-Oil has worked for many mums with their stretch marks, I was reassured that it would help me too.
Week 34: Worst nightmare - PUPPP
I knew pregnancy wasn’t a bed of roses, but PUPPP was not something I predicted. Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy are chronic hives-like rash that occurs in 1% of pregnant women.
They started within the stretch marks in my abdomen. After two days, there was an outbreak of red bumps/lesions from my neck down to my toes, which caused unbearable itching. They ranged in size from a 50-cent coin, and which eventually formed together in a large area, called plaques.
The medication and cream from the dermatologist helped make the itch bearable and improved the condition. However, there was no cure to it, other than giving birth to my baby. Since I was not keen on the idea of giving birth prematurely, I decided to tolerate the itch and prepared myself to the idea that I would have marks or scars from neck to toe.
The only consolation I had was knowing that Bio-Oil has helped me in the past with scars. I didn't have to worry too much for my pregnancy skin condition.
Week 36: Preparation for D-Day
The list of items to pack into the hospital bag was well-researched, using materials provided from forums, blogs, parenting websites and hospital information. But one thing they didn’t include was face or body moisturizer and a stretch mark product. Lucky for me, since I’ve been using Bio-Oil as a face moisturizer, body moisturizer and stretch mark solution, one bottle solves it all.
Week 38: D-Day
D-day finally arrived, the aches, pain, stress and skin issues I suffered were all worth it. I’m glad that Lucas is born healthy after 6 hours, weighing 3.335kg and 49cm height.
I hope my pregnancy journey has provided some tips to better prepare mums-to-be.
And I’m grateful to Bio-Oil for sending over a lovely hamper to a thankful fan. Thanks for bringing this product to Singapore which has helped and will continue to help me through my skincare journey.