Sunday, December 8, 2013

A pregger's wishlists....nappy bag.

I've always wanted to have an Allerhand nappy bag eversince my first pregnancy...but back then the thought of forking out at least RM450 for a medium/decent size nappy bag sounds a bit too much for me (it still does anyway).

This time around, Allerhand still makes it in my "nappy bag wishlists" and so I've started my search for a bargain when I entered my 6 months' mark. Let me attest to you folks, at least here in the Klang Valley, there isn't any shops (as in malls) or even online shops (that has a physical shops too not those FB resellers alike...) who sells Allerhand bags at less than RM400 (for the normal retail of RM449).

At malls such as Parkson, Tangs or Isetan...would normally cut the price 10% during their sales time but still they don't carry much designs/options...

And so, I thought of purchasing (making a maiden purchase at that...) of my Allerhand via a FB reseller called 'Baby Clig'. Got this name as she is the only reseller that I often come across to when browsing for Allerhand bargains. 

Unfortunately, while most of her stuffs are indeed relatively cheap than normal market price, but they're cheap because most of them are pre-loved items. 

I have a thing with pre-loved items. I mean, unless it's a house or a car...am quite open to the idea of having them as mine after someone else's have used it, however normal day products like clothing/bags/accessories...things that are prone to wear&tear, I am a bit skeptical that the conditions can be as good as they normally would claim it to be.

Thus, that's the only reason that kept myself from making a purchase at the said reseller (she's a good, nice person i reckon by the way based on my chitchatting when enquiring her products).

Other than Allerhand, I got my eyes fixed to another similarly close designer-compartmentalized nappy bags, the Storksak. But, this brand that hailed from UK is slightly more expensive than the German made competitor- Allerhand. A decent/medium size (non-leather) Storksak will set you back at RM500-RM600. Not that much different than Allerhand's. The plus size on Storksak though is it's sleek, stylish, not-your-average-type-looking-nappy bag. 

Honestly, all Storksak looks like a chic handbags albeit the secrets lie within - compartmentalized, detachable insulated bottle bag & changing mat. 

Another thing is based on my little research, I haven't seen any of Storksak bags at any department stores that i frequent to. Even online shops, suffice to say there's only two reseller that carry these branded nappy bags; 1) Bebe Totz,  2) Ergohand / Persatuan Mama Papa (FB). 

My other options would be JJ Coles (but this brand also aren't mainstream yet and so it is quite difficult to find them in stores), and the rest (of nappy bags that sells over RM200) are okiedog and another brand (Forgot, but you can normally see them at Anakku or baby shops).

Anyway, just as I about to give in to online temptations and succumb to purchasing a Storksak that would cost me RM500++ (or also salivating on a leather type that costs RM800++)...I come across a shop that sells Allerhand at 40%-50%!!!

I was surprised and happy too. so the first time (and since I was going back home) I only managed to surveyed briefly the items on sales and there were alot to choose from. Naturally as someone who has been salivating on these bags, that night, I couldn't sleep the way I usually do. Mind kept thinking on whether I should or should not buy that Allerhand. 

The following day, I woke up feeling ...yes, I need to make that purchase as I have been surveying the past 3 months and even since last 4 years...never have I seen them on sales for 40%-50%!

Went back to the store, as early as I could (10am) and took the liberty to pick and choose and try out every single one of the designs that caught my eyes...naturally, if you're familiar with Allerhand, most of the designs common here are the stripey ones in orange/yellow, brown/pink, or brown/blue. Rarely have I seen in stores Allerhand in solid colors. 

And so since am expecting another baby girl, I thought of choosing something in pink. And the store has solid pink on sales. 

However, I really couldn't decide whether to get a stripey brown/pink Allerhand Trendy Shoulder Nappy Bag

Or this ...Allerhand Trendy Tote Large 

Or...this one Allerhand Carry-on Pure 

.....see? Sure mommies out there can relate to my little dilemma here. I mean all of these 3 bags that I have my eyes on are nice and pinky. However, a lil rundown on its features/differences (according to picture).

1) The straps aren't adjustable enough to make it a sling bag, but it is quite roomy in the middle compartment.

2) like a tote bag, not as much compartment with only one big zip and smaller zips on the sides (with small space to place small items). Straps adjustable but can't make it into a sling bag.

3) there's a small strap in the middle thus it's called carry-on (like a briefcase) with the middle part lined with a hard material (meaning the size can't extend that much once you place your stuffs in it), straps are adjustable and padded. But my only fret because of the hard-briefcase like material, space can't be compromised and it feels a bit heavier than the other two. however, because of this design, it looks much sturdier and could pass on like a handbag/non-conventional nappy bag. 

Alas, which you think I took home? 
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Tadaaa....option number 3. 

But now being me, the ever indecisive ...am having second thoughts. This one does look nice but the space is what I fret. And as always, when asked my hubs, he answered "oklah tu" (typical him haha).

But yes, the price is pure bargain! Got this for only RM220! (Normal price RM450) + extra free gift mini Allerhand Sweet Pink Umbrella worth RM69. Now, this is why I am still an online shopping virgin.... ;) nothing can beat the feelings prior selecting a product, the touch&feel...plus, most online shops can potentially be dubious sellers. Who knows. 

Am still deciding whether or not to have this bag changed to the other two options mentioned. By the way, the other colors of the same trendy bags are selling at lesser price, and the common messenger bag type are even cheaper. A real bargain. Go to one utama pj for this sales! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kullun Nafsin Za Ikatul Maut

Kullun Nafsin Za Ikatul Maut... Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun...may his soul rest in peace. AlFatihah and condolences to the family of Datuk Bukhari Che Muda, the CEO of AlHijrah TV and was also the ex-COO of TV9. He suffered brain tumour/cancer and was reportedly ill/ condition worsen since the past 4-6 months. 


I am just a figment of his past. 


During my short stint as TV9 journo, I had the honor of knowing him, as that Big Boss. And, he was quite close with all his staffs (TV9 wasn't as big and for the news department, we were very new thus he was on close monitor on our progresses).


I remember he was a soft spoken man, who talks little and smiles a lot. And if he's angry, his face will turn red (as he has a very fair skin).


And of course, my most memorable time was during that "black episode" of my life. I and another soul went in to see him and...well, the rest I couldn't say was the fondest memories or experiences I've had with him. BUT, he did in the end "granted" my renewal. 


As numero uno at that time and who has my fate in his hands, he did graciously "save" me. And for that, I must thanked him. 


When he resigned as the COO, he got to be the CEO of another tv station and must say, many...many TV9's staffs follow suit. Berhijrah as the say. Aptly so in a TV station called "AlHijrah". And right about 2 years in operation, he was bestowed the honorary title of 'Datuk'. 


Guess that's about what I know of him.


And, if it's not due to my hub working in the media realm, I wouldn't know about his deterioarating health due to cancer. 


And, in the final moments, my ex-Editor in Chief were the one who keep me updated with his condition.


Alas, this one man is gone. A man who has touched life of many. As the head of 2 TV stations. It was reported he died at 6.08 this morning, and when I received the news, was up for Subuh prayer, and noticed the weather was somber, rainy and cold. As if in mourning of his passing.


AlFatihah to Datuk Bukhari and my heartfelt condolences to grieving family. In Shaa Allah, his soul is placed in the everlasting jannah. Amin. 

And The Baby Shopping/ Prepping Frenzy (Or Trepidation)…Begins.


Disclaimer: This entry contains nonchalant, emotional…pure ramblings on everything pregnancy and baby related issues. Readers’ discretion advised (especially those who finds pregnancy/ baby related issues as “icky”)

Salaams.

As been noted on previous entry, I am now pregnant with my second child. At the moment, I am just days before entering the final trimester; 7 months or approximately 28 weeks. Alhamdulillah…

Apart from the fact I got a slight morning (or rather all-day) sickness (read: nausea, lack of appetite, extreme fatigue…but thank god no vomiting) since the start of this pregnancy, this time around I am face with a GDM condition. That’s Gestational Diabetes Mellitus for those who aren’t aware of the abbreviation. Layman translation: no tasty, awesome, glucose inducing food for me. As a chocolate enthusiast and a foodie for anything yummy, having a GDM is a big blow for me. Addendum, from the onset, I couldn’t eat one of my all time favourite food – SUSHI. For some weird reasons, my little womb occupant finds the taste not to his/her liking. Which is a double blow for me as anyone who knows me will agree that I am a SUSHI FREAK. Sushi totemo daisuki! But as far as consuming sushi is concern, I finally got to eat (with modest amount akin to a novice of sushi that is) just when I got to around 22 weeks. So that is a relief ( as I thought my “desire” for sushi is slashed and I become mundane just like most people when face with raw fish’s fillet).

Anyway, foods aside (I can go on for paragraphs…), one thing I learnt about this pregnancy to try to “improve” on whatever lacking I’ve had with the first one – in terms of prepping for baby stuffs, birth plans etc. BUT mostly, about prepping. As been casually mentioned before, this time around we have to start from scratch on baby items as most of Raihanna’s stuffs are either given away to my niece or returned to my second older sister, OR ruined/incomplete or simply just MIA. And, taking the cue from my past experiences, I thought this time around I should start the prep a little bit early and minimize my “craze” for any baby sales/expos etc.

When I was expecting my first born, I went cuckoo every month until the very end, always on the constant look out for any baby sales especially any J-card member sales (as Jusco was just next to my then office, and the fact it gives vouchers on J-card member sales, I would spend/visit for this monthly sales and go just about any Jusco in Klang Valley for that purpose…to the extent I “finally” tripped on a split-level pavement at IOI Mall Puchong while heading, yes, to Jusco sales…was wearing my 3 inch platform shoes and was 8 months pregnant. Luckily, I fell on my side (and not face forward/ belly forward). While my feet got instantly swollen and could barely walk right after, my baby then was safe. This horrendous experience literally have its effects on me, as that swollen feet wasn’t taken care of well enough (for one reason, no thanks to being denied my medical rest from the office the day after despite the doctor granted me 3 days of MC with full rest). From then on, I couldn’t wear any heels shoes and resorted to flat, most of the times – slipper. Yes, even wore slipper to office back then! I am a crippled mommy. LOL.

So with that in mind, I got to woo hub ever since knowing that I got pregnant that he has to start providing for the baby prep soon. Thus, when I entered 6 months, I started my baby quest for everything baby. Of course, the difference this time around is that hub is the only one who has to pay for…everything. So that in a way proves to be a little bit of a headache for him. Sorry hub. BUT I TOLD YOU SO, got me bloated this time you got to “pay” the price as I am currently just a pauper grad student. LOL.

Naturally, I have my own wish lists. Things that I didn’t buy or couldn’t buy when I had Raihanna, I thought of having them now for this baby. And, am sure just like with most parents, one of the baby must-haves that they thought of the soonest is, STROLLER. Now, when I had Raihanna, that was the first thing that I bought. BUT being me, with a tiny paycheck as journalist back then, looking for a bargain is a must. Think economical. Strict budget. I didn’t go for foreign brand, bought a very comfy yet bulky Anakku stroller that has all the features I wanted – padded, fully recline like a pram, reversible handle, large canopy, large basket, sturdy four wheels. ONLY fret, it is BULKY. I wasn’t brand freaks back then (still not today). With the stroller, I bought an Anakku infant car seat. The total back then (in 2008) was only around RM700. Back then, this bulky stroller filled my whole little compact car’s boot. BUT, I didn’t care much. I was happy with it. As I think my Raihanna was very comfortable in it. HOWEVER, just when Raihanna turns 1 year older, this bulky stroller seems to be a fuss to carry around with us. In fact, it was so big to be fitted in my little Savvy, one of its tyre got dented due to rigorous pushing when closing the boot. As with the infant car seat, Raihanna outgrew them just when she reached 1 year old. Thus, I bought another stroller (umbrella fold) – wanted to buy Maclaren but it was a bit pricey, and almost settled for a Silvercross model, BUT being non-brand conscious and so-called bargain hunter-value for money-type of a person, I ended up with a local copycat baby brand– Sweet Cherry.  It was not that I didn’t have extra bucks for something better (as a matter of fact I did have extra bucks, thanks to the oversea trip I had then, hence wanting to replace Raihanna’s stroller). With this, I also bought from the same brand, a convertible car seat – total costs (in 2010) was around RM800. So, that was RM1500 spent in 1 year for 2 strollers and 2 car seats. BUT, this umbrella Maclaren’s copy cat version was dented (the canopy) even after 2 days of purchase and I got it replaced but only to an even worse condition of canopy, LOL. Talk about Malaysian brand huh. Nevertheless, Raihanna strolled in them for the next 1 ½ years of her life (right about to she’s 3 years old) and soon even though she’d still wants to sit in the stroller, I couldn’t strapped her in properly as the harness isn’t adjustable and not long enough for a toddler.

ANYWAY, that was Raihanna’s stroller stories. Learning from that “awful” experience, I kept pestering hub that we need to get a better quality stroller this time. Money should not be main concern, but quality. Luckily, hub is on the same page on this. Thus, we “vow” not to have a copy cat Sweet Cherry products anymore no matter how seemingly sturdy or stylish it looks (but in all honesty, all of its “stylish” designs now are copied from Quinny, Maclaren or Preg Perego). BUT of course, for those who kept drooling on Quinny but couldn’t fork out money for that luxury, can always resort to Sweet Cherry’s version of “quinny”. BUT not for me. NOT being pompous or anything, as mentioned, I’ve got bitter experience with SC. LOL.  Thus, the search for the new stroller begins. At first I was quite concern with hub’s budget, didn’t dare to ask him though, but when we started to shop around, he seemed OK on a travel system by Chicco (Italy made but not as expensive as Preg Perego) which costs around RM1300. I was like, “yey cool. Perhaps hub IS willing to splurge a little”. Thus keeping that in mind, I put on my wish lists.

Of course I hope for a travel system, but most travel system comes with the infant car seat mounted over the stroller – thus it looks bulkier and heavier. And as someone who is skeptical with online shopping, I start my quest only at malls. Of course the ones nearby my “play area” – namely Jusco, Parkson, Isetan, Mothercare and few others. From the little recce, I fancy, of course Quinny, Maclaren, Preg Perego, and Combi. But there are few features that I needed to checked on before deciding the purchase.

This time around the stroller, if preferable, comes with travel system, isn’t bulky when folded, sturdy, and suitable from birth.

Of course I had my eyes fixed on Quinny. BUT most definitely, Quinny Moodd out of my reach, too expensive for a stroller and yet very bulky. The choices for Quinny down to two; Zapp Extra or Buzz. Of course, Buzz more expensive than Zapp’s but the seat’s look more comfy. So, as someone who’s been dreaming to own a Quinny, I kept checking out the stroller whenever I had the chance – and I must say, Buzz is BULKY and HEAVY. And with that same price, I could get a Preg Perego Pliko which happens to be on my second wish list. BUT, Preg Perego still when folded is quite bulky and brings back memories of Raihanna’s Anakku stroller. Of course the quality is way better. BUT still bulkier and pricey. Which brings to my third wish list – a Maclaren. Read many good reviews on Maclaren and it is highly maneuverable, lightweight and stylish too. BUT the only “travel system” it has still a mounted over type and for that I think I’d better chose a Chicco liteway plus which costs less. And finally, on the bottom of my wish lists are either Chicco or Combi. The thing with Combi, it is quite pricey for a Japanese made stroller (read: Asian) BUT of course you’re paying for the technology and with Combi you can’t beat its one-hand folded system and lightweight. And my last resort, would be either Graco or Hauck (Germany made).

Anyhow, found a few bargains on stroller:-
1)   Combi Urban Walker – retail price RM1299. BUT found the cheapest for RM858. The fret: it feels so shaky, too lightweight, and too low. However, good storage, sturdier because it has 4 wheels. And the colors available/combo – not so nice. The pros: lightweight, easy folding, reversible handle.
2)   Graco Ultima Travel System – retail price Rm1399. BUT found the cheapest for as low as RM660. The fret: super bulky when infant car seat attached. The pros: Super value for money, looks super sturdy, reversible handle and very cushiony, well padded and easy folding.
3)   Chicco Liteway Plus Travel System – retail price RM1599. Found the cheapest for RM1199. The fret: car seat attached on the stroller making it bulky and only available in red. Pros: car seat well padded, stroller quite padded and 180 degrees recline.
4)   Maclaren Techno XT 2013 – retail price RM1299. Found the cheapest for RM900. Fret: claims to be suitable from birth, BUT doesn’t look like its fully 180 degree recline, tiny basket, no reversible handle, not really padded, not compatible with travel system, no bumper bar. Pros: umbrella folding, sturdy, high maneuverability, large canopy, stylish and very popular brand.

ANYWAY, guess which I bought on impulse? LOL! Yes, number 4. A Maclaren. Wasn’t that super bargain? I’ve never seen it on sales as cheap as RM900! Only thing was when I saw the sales, went in the shop and asked for 3 times! for what available colors they have as I wanted it in Black… the salesperson assured me (3 different people) that they have in Black. Then when the card swiped, turns outs they did not have black!!! And only two colors left (and two strollers left). One in red with silver frame and another champagne with bronze/champagne frame. I chose Champagne (this color I rarely sees people have it, mostly in silver or black).

Anyhow, being the indecisive me as always, as soon as I got home I got a little panicky with this purchase. Simply because of all of concerns stated before as the “frets” with this stroller. I then begin to “research” on the net about this stroller being used from infant – but only found 1 review and she’s a happy customer (with an older version of Techno XT). And so between worrying about this purchase and looking for either infant car seat or convertible seat, I suddenly found another bargain!

>>>>>>>>>the new Quinny Zapp Xtra3 (with foldable seat) selling at only RM1109! With another 10% discount if I am a member (which I am). So that means it will costs only RM998.10. Now, this is the latest Quinny which not many stores are selling and even if they are mostly online shops – with the lowest I found selling at RM1799! (that’s online price, but being me a skeptic in online I’d ruled that out). So the lowest price I found in stores is RM1899! And suddenly I found this latest bargain at less than RM1000! Don’t I went crazzzzzzzzzzzy. Now day dreaming about this on whether should I buy this dream Quinny. Since this store is on sales, even the Maxi Cosi carbio is on sales to RM630! The cheapest I found is RM699! So IF am buying this travel system it will costs me RM1670, just slightly more than what hub initially wanted to purchase with Chicco! Am getting excited.

I started my calculations. Thing is, we still need to buy a car seat if we decide to hold on with that champagne Maclaren. Now, with decent convertible car seat the cheapest I found is either Recaro Sparco at RM630 or Ferrari Cosmo RM528. BUT these both at an online shop (but they do have a showroom). Now based on survey am not keen on a Recaro as it is bulkier than Ferrari’s. So my pick would be Ferrari Cosmo which would bring my total costs to around RM1430. BUT here’s another fret about these convertible car seats: while they do claim it is suitable from birth, it is still lacking the comfort for an infant/newborn as it doesn’t fully recline. And here’s where am fretting and cracking my head to make a decision. Should go for an infant car seat (like I did with Raihanna) or go on with a convertible car seat? Thing with car seats, they aren’t cheap too. Good, decent ones (read: not local brand) are all above RM400 and less than RM700. Which would means the same total costs for me, in the end.

NOW getting back on the fancy Quinny, for another RM200 I could get my dream brand. Thing is I MUST let go my new, pristine, unused, still in a box Maclaren Techno XT 2013. On one hand I do love this Maclaren though have not used it because it is such a bargain I don’t think it easily come by. BUT on another hand, it lacks the things I wanted – compatibility with car seat, reversible handles. BUT both (quinny zapp) and Maclaren have dismal basket storage and lightweight with possible tip off when you put diaper bags at the handles (or so I read, am not sure).

With all things of dreams, IF I buy this Zapp it will make my “dreams of baby items” this time around complete. Alhamdulillah. As I got my “dream” breastpump – Medela Swing with Medela bag and cooler bag, my “dream” sterilizer and bottles (Avent),  my “dream” solid wood baby cot…(so far those are the things we’ve purchased) and In Shaa Allah will give birth at “paid rate” hospital aka private (though not as “dreamy” as Prince Court Hospital LOL)….thing is Alhamdulilah for all the things we have, not that I push hub for all these things, I just “dream” and “hope” but it seems hub give in (this time around very unlike when we had Raihanna lol) so thank you to hub. Anyway, will contemplate further on this Quinny. And the purchase will only be possible IF I SELL that Maclaren. But if not, fat chance. Nevertheless, Alhamdulillah for this new stroller, I didn’t even put it in my baby budget/lists to hub but hub wanted to buy a stroller and we found a bargain.

Till then… my next quest: baby clothing (but not that excited as much as I don’t know my baby gender for certain L), and yes another drooling “dream” – baby diaper bags either Storksak or some really cool desings of Allerhand (not like the stripey ones we see often at Parkson)…oh yes, that would mean around RM500-RM700…but aren’t Storksak just “dreammmmmmmmmmmmy”, Angelina Jolie wears them too!

Now, time to zzz and dreammmm J


Thursday, November 7, 2013

When The Wait Is Over...Almost.

Salaam.

It has been awhile since me last update. This blog has been collecting cobwebs (virtual that is) ever since...and from the last entry until today, there has been many happenings, good and bad...but mostly average good, even when it is bad, I'd still count me blessings, Alhamdulillah.

Some of you folks blog for audience, traffics, attention, money, fame etc. Be as it may, I blog for myself. I do realise that I don't have any (or lack of) audience, traffics etc. but that isn't the reason for me ramblings here on the websphere. I blog,  admittedly, for my own records. For myself, reminiscing me past happenings, and future aspirations. Just for me. WHILE there could be times, I get rare visitor(s) commenting about a certain post, that doesn't change the perspectives of my reason getting into blogging.

Anyhow, that's aside. This entry is going to be quite a lengthy one.

Since July 2010, my obsession/focus has been on graduating, preferably on time. Of course that didn't happen, unfortunately (or fortunately, only Allah knows best). Then, from around end of 2011, I have been obsessing and stressing out on finishing the dreadful thesis. Was lucky to get an extension (full paid) however, as fate has it for me...that also didn't work out to my advantage. And from then on (July 20120, it was painful journey ALL ALONG, without the cushiony monthly stipends, stressing out about replacing SV, stressing out about writing, stressing out about everything. LIFE was HARD for me. Only Allah knows. Often times I break in tears, giving up hopes (and I did give up). Emotionless, sedentary just dazed out. And for the past 7-10 months, was crazy. Everything it seems, happened around the same time to me. Everything big. Alas, I finally get my VIVA done end of May, and passed with excellent comments from all three examiners. That was pure relief. BUT feels surreal about it all. The thesis STILL got 10% work before printing (UM way of submission - student has to present twice; proposal & defense, after which, if pass, got to print and submit within 3 months for checks with soft bound copy, wait for another 1-2 months for final verdicts and PRINT hard bound copy before the senate grants you a pass).

My family was rejoicing the fact that I passed my VIVA. BUT I, deep inside knew, the end wasn't as easy. As such, I wasn't that happy. And just between VIVA and more stressing out mode, I found out.....I am PREGNANT! I wasn't thrilled at all. I always had a family plan, at least mentally. From the first birth, I knew I wanted to wait for another tot. Reason: juggling work as student, mommy wasn't easy, as this blog has it...let alone, another edition to the family...will make it worse for me. Then came 2013, my first child is already four years old, my older sister has another baby after 7 years...and suddenly the sight of a newborn excites my hubby and me (though I am still adamant about my little family planning and made this known to my hub). He was supportive of my plan yet he is also contemplating about adding another child.

His reasons: our first born is old enough and in need of a sibling ie. she's lonely, need a friend, kept talking to herself etc.

My reasons: Can't have another baby at the moment. Am not ready, am not financially independent, student life still a mess. Thesis unsettled. BUT mostly, AM not working (this is my biggest concern).

Of course hub says, I can't state money as reason for denying the chance to have another baby. He even said that is against the principle of beliefs in line with Islam that with every child, there will be blessings / prosperity that comes along with it. Prosperity or rezeki as Malay refers it. One just have to belief in that. Of course being the liberal me, I debated him. Not to be a disbeliever, but am being realistic...money IS important in bringing another life onto this world. IT IS COSTLY to have kid these days. Added to that, all my first born's baby items has been given to my niece and some (the bulky and important ones) have been returned to my older sister since she's having that new baby again....I argued to hub that we will need to start from scratch. It is all over again. AND that will costs us, rather costs him. Since he is the only breadwinner now. BUT hub, being the every optimistic, strong believer, only says "Insya-ALLAH (god willing), all will be ease for us, you have to believe dear".

Wow. what a digression. More on baby stories next. So, the thesis....amid my "unprepared-shocked-pregnancy" news, thesis was halted even further just after the rejoicing news of VIVA. BECAUSE, with this pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetic mellitus (GDM), a diabetic condition common among pregnant women, at least. For more on GDM I was diagnosed as early as 9 weeks! That was just before Ramadhan, and you could imagine my horror and sadness. I was never diabetic although diabetes runs in my family (from my Dad's side). I guess, it is just a matter of time before it happened to me. BUT I was still devastated. My first thought, am going to be on insulin (god forbids) and that scares the shit out of me. I can't bare the thoughts of self-injecting myself with a syringe of insulin, everyday. Furthermore, with GDM means I have to be on a strict diet control; no sugar, less carb = NO tasty food. AND mind you it was almost ramadhan....a month where food is abundance, good food!

To derail my focus from thesis further, with GDM means I had to meet the antenatal visits twice a week, at two different clinics. One in the regular government family clinic PKD KJ, another in government hospital Sg Buloh. Twice a week of visits means fingers poking more for blood, urinating in cups and just the long wait for a brief, most of the time disappointing consultation session with NURSE.

My stress level was crazy. I was down low. Because of GDM, I lost my weight and has not gained any ever since (at 9 weeks).

Because of GDM, I couldn't fast. I missed the whole ramadhan. To me, lost of energy, and couldn't cope because of the strict diet and there's the morning sickness and all.

THESE reasons ultimately make me lose faith on thesis and I just want to slump in my chair all day long despite knowing well I need to make it to print.

And Syawal came. Before long, it was Eid-Fitr. Month of rejoice. For me, I wasn't that happy. As if things were not bad enough, just 2 days before Eid, I got a devastating call from my scholarship sponsor. So devastating it made me feel that ending my life would be the best choice. Yes, I was that depressed by the call. Thus, Eid was nothing, no joy, nothing to be happy about, for the foolish me. I sink further into the abyss of sadness and self-pity. So much so, I even refused to grant my hub his wish to visit his hometown i.e.. mom, family for Eid, as usual practice has it. I just did not want to go anywhere except be within the comfort of my own family, my mom, my dad, my family. Others, for me, can go to he**.

I got no courage to finish the final 10% of thesis. I gave up.

Until...I had my first baby full ultrasound. I see it, fully formed. Though couldn't make out the gender as yet as the baby always in an upside down position, and kicking ever so actively. Despite GDM, the baby is looking good. Fetal growth - normal. I sighed a deep relief of Alhamdulillah. In all my misery, I heard the baby's heart beating for the first time, and I feel like crying. Here I was fretting, stressing out even to a point of blaming this baby for all the mishaps that's happening in my life and failed to see the miracle behind Allah's creation. THIS baby, MY BABY is a gift from Allah. In time of my misery, in time of all things hopeless, Allah give me another life.

That jolts me back to reality. I quickly picked up the pieces, I summoned the courage to finish the unfinished, and finally did it just within a week. Submitted to my dear mr. supervisor who has been wondering of my MIA when I am supposed to end with pride, he checked my work and promised to get back in 3 weeks time. This was right after Eid, somewhere around end of August/ early September. I made a visit to my sponsor, met the person in-charge, showed my reason and pleaded for some leverage...and the rest I just leave it Allah. In my hearts, if this is meant to be, it will be. Kun fa ya kun. If Allah says, be it, it will be. From this point onwards, I got nothing else to do but wait and pray hard.

AND, finally, in mid October...my SV got back to me and give a thumbs up for the thesis for printing. My reaction was, relief, yet I am worried if he was being too lenient to me. BUT he reiterated that the work is commendable, my hard work showed, and he was pleased with it. Alhamdulillah. I drove home, with tears in my eyes, envisioning the end of my journey, my graduation in October 2014, Insya-ALLAH.

BUT as I am about to submit, found out that I need to forked out RM1100 for semester's fees (again?) and RM1000 submission fees. My heart just broke. With a burnt pocket, even my "savings" in my piggy wouldn't suffice by half. I was in dilemma in between asking for help from my siblings or my parents (all of them I knew well will be hard to ask favours from, except mom but mom....I just couldn't ask from...as she isn't working). the other alternative, even thought of selling my beloved Macbook Pro to make ends meet. Or my jewelry. Pawn it all, I figured. That ought to be enough. OF course hub was against all this. Thus, hub, feeling obligated as the other half of my life, gave me that extra RM needed for my school fees, something of which I feel awful of. I mean, on top of me not working for the past 3 years, he has taken over all my monthly bills, giving me extra "pocket allowance" and every whims and needs I had..and now that we're expecting another baby, I feel bad that he'll need to cover the whole expense. As such, "asking" from him for "my mistake", "my additional need" that is not his, I feel wrong. TO HUB, thank you sayang. I promised, I will make it up to you, Insya-ALLAH.



The end (almost, this is a soft-bound copy version) of my thesis. The "fruit" of 2 years of waiting.


However, as luck would have it, I found out that I needn't pay that extra RM1000 for submission fees as it was covered in my scholarship. Alhamdulillah. And in the heat of the day at UM, walking to and fro from one building to another, from one floor to another (no elevators), with my bloated self, I was thirsty as hell when I stumbled upon a vending machine with only sugary drinks available, I thought "Oh no!" but I was thirsty, really thirsty, I could die (ok exaggeration, but I was all tired). Chose iced-tea, and drank half of it before I felt dizzy with the sugar (for someone who hasn't been drinking full sugary drinks, after a while your body tend not to recognise large amount of sugar intake...thus when you do consume sugar, you got "Sugar-rush"). The iced-tea made me feel even weaker and sick. And while huffing and puffing, one kind soul at the HQ faculty, gave me a bottle of mineral water (after I related to her my quest for a mineral water or any non-sugary drink). I felt like crying, again. Alhamdulillah. To that kind soul, may Allah bless you. 

All in all, I finally submitted the thesis last 29 OCT. and according to my SV and if luck is on my side, the marking will only take a month. BUT if not, it will take latest 3 months (god forbids). either way, I truly hope for a pass (in UM only pass with minor or major corrections or fail). And that will take me into my last leg of pregnancy months. Somewhere in December (hope hope hope) or January. If January, I will be a busy bee then, preparing for birth, possibly already at my mom's place. So any "minor corrections" will be difficult to achieved with a baby on its way out. O Allah, make it easy for me...Allahumma yassir wala tu assir. 

In sum, I got nothing much to fret about this journey. It hasn't been smooth as others would have it. Mine is stumbling block of one after another. What I do fret is just that whatever I have sent in, the work was already 60% done even way back in June 2011. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, I didn't have a "smooth" ride with my previous SV as she was sick, intermittently on leave until she took unpaid leave in the end, right about August 2012. Thus, this 60% was just sitting idly for one whole year....until around October 2012 when I got a new SV. and from Oct 2012 to May 2013, that was when it showed progress. IF ONLY my SV wasn't sick, probably I got a better push at my work, better supervision, better input thus would not have dragged this long. 

BUT even then, I can't blame the SV only. I know, I have myself to blame. Truth is, my fault is that I wasn't STRONG ENOUGH TO BE SELFISH ENOUGH. From the get-go, July 2010, everything started to rumble a bit. Dad got cancer, then the devastating news about the state of my mom's house, then two of my maids run off, my daughter keeps falling sick intermittently pushing me to not send her to any nanny or nursery. My life as a student was focus by NOT STUDYING instead on the need of my DAUGHTER, MY PARENTS and my household. I PUT MY STUDY ON HOLD. I thought I was a superwoman, I thought I could juggle it all. BUT ALAS, I couldn't. Almost falter even. 

I started my student life as a young first time mother to a very young child. My Raihanna was barely 1 year when I started out. I remember getting this scholarship, attending the interview when I was heavily 8 months pregnant. And now, I am about to end it with another child. Being heavily pregnant again. The works of Allah indeed has its own mystery. And it will be unfolding soon. To the end of a new beginning, Insya-ALLAH I can only hope. HOPE, HOPE, HOPE. 

Along this journey, I have "lost" a few friends, one friend in particular I actually have lost, as she passed due to cancer, others "lost" as in failing to "recognise" me anymore. Some, looked at me differently, with their judging eyes that I took so long to finish. Only a few good ones stand to be the encouraging, motivating, understanding souls. To these few good ones, I vow to always have you folks in my hearts, and will always be your friends, returning the gestures the favours when in need. Doesn't matter, if I lose some few friends, most importantly I didn't lose the important ones in my life - MY FAMILY. 

To dear hub, I've had my doubts about you regarding this whole episode of my student life, there had been a few "turbulences" especially the early years, but it turns out, you came to your senses and showed your support when I needed most. When I was at my most vulnerable state. Sayang Mohd Redzuan Abdul Manap , thank you for everything and forgive me for all the bad things I did and say to you. May we live years of blissful wedded life, you being the Imam of our prayers and the responsible father to our children. Amin Ya Rabb.  (Disclaimer: I don't think my hub ever reads my blog, or if he's even aware of its existence...nevertheless, it is here, hub, in case I am gone one day, my words "engraved" to the cyber world, in bits and bytes for all to see and for posterity).