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Just Halla!

This cost a bomb but its all worth it!}
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 | 12:34 pm | 0Comment

Many would agree that if you wish to branch out your family tree, the most important factor you need to consider is your FINANCE! If you're not financially stable, its gonna be a tough journey ahead.

Now, I'm not saying that I have lots of moolahs that I decided to have a baby (read on my previous post on why I decided to get pregnant). Its just that, for me, I believe money is everywhere. You just gotta strive & earn it cause obviously money doesn't grow on trees.
Unless your family tree are rich bunch of people & that they love you so much to actually not mind throwing (giving) money to you without the need of you working hard & earning it. 
Some might not be financially strong but with hard work, perseverance & patience, you will be just fine. Another thing I believe is that, you don't have to be rich to lead a normal pleasant life.
Also, some people say, "Inshaa'allah, akan ade rezeki anak."
Realistically, you would definitely want everything to turn out well, wouldn't you? Both financially & physically. Right? You will plan on which gynaecologist you wanna visit for your monthly check-ups, deciding on the possibilities of giving birth at a pte. hospital rather than govt. hospital in order to receive the best service & care, the things that needed to be prepared before baby's arrival, buying of clothes, strollers, carriers, baby's furnitures & etc. All of that requires money right? So tell me, how the hell does the Mats/Minahs manage each time they bom? For the ones who actually work & all, okaylah. But surprisingly, there are a few who simply jerks off parent's earnings (menganggur) & can still have lots & lots of babies. That I wonder cause it is seriously not freaking easy to be having babies. (Alamak! Ter-side-track pulak!) ESPECIALLY in Singapore (an extremely expensive island). Medical check-ups, monthly expenses like milk, diapers, snacks, wipes & every little thing related to babies. So let me start sharing my pregnancy experience.

I got to know that I was pregnant somewhere in end July 2012 (about 6 months after my wedding). I missed my period & decided to get a pregnancy test kit to just, you know, try it out (was kinda curious on using a test kit because have never pee-ed on a stick before!haha!). I tested in the morning before going to work. Oh, medical research shows that testing in the morning would be better cause during that time your HCG count will be higher & will be more accurate. Something of that sort lah. Google it! Since it takes time to develop the results (actually just a couple of minutes) so I took a shower first. As soon as I was done bathing, I picked up the stick & saw a positive sign to show that I was positive (obviously) & a line on another window to show that the test kit actually worked.

(This pictures are from Google. I didn't take any picture of the test kit.)

I actually did use the brand as per the above picture. As soon as I understand the results, I went into my room, waked ZR up & then showed it to him. Received a wide smile instantly. That day, throughout our working hours, we couldn't stop talking about it. At the same time, we kinda can't believe it. After work, ZR insisted that we should go to a nearby GP just to reaffirm what happened. Oh btw, 1st financial step. Buying of the pregnancy test kit. That box cost about +/- $20 & has 2 sticks inside. So if you're one of the couples who wants to have a baby but is having difficulties, you may need to keep on buying the kit & keep on trying till you get the results you yearn for.

In the evening, ZR brought me to a nearby GP near my granny's place, Universal Medical Clinic (Tampines) at;

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  • I requested to get my urine test without the need of seeing the doctor hence the clinic assistant handed me a plastic cup & asked me to go collect my urine & return it to her. The funny part was, you know how a plastic cup looks like right? Imagine you walking very slowly to the clinic assistant & giving the lady a cup of urine. Literally! My bladder was kinda full so when I urinated, I thought to myself, "Hmmm.. how much would she actually need? Ahh... Just give her a cup full lah.. Biar lebih jangan kurang.." I walked slow & steady while handling the cup (FULL!) & handed to her carefully. ZR laughed at me cause I literally gave her a full cup of pee! HAHA! Embarrassing. She then called my name & gave us the news. "Yeah! Confirm you're pregnant. Congrats!" What a happy moment. Another money-involved stage here. I paid for $15 just to confirm that I was pregnant. Again, if you're the "trying-couple", get ready to be paying a lot of this if you're trying to get pregnant & don't really trust over-the-counter test kits. However, if you want to save cost, just visit your nearby GP or Polyclinic only after you missed your period for more that 2 weeks, instead of buying the pharmacy test kit then going to the clinic to get confirmation.

    The next day, ZR decided to tell his parents & I decided to tell mine. Everyone gave positive response. Alhamdulillah. Except that ZR's mom said don't let anyone else know cause the pregnancy is still at a very fragile stage. Which I am totally against cause it is such a happy news that I would want the whole world to know about & if just so happens that I had a miscarriage, its allah's will. Instead of having the thought of what if you have a miscarriage then everyone will start questioning you non-stop, it would be better to not even have that thought at the first place. Just be positive & hope/pray for the best. I'm not saying that my MIL is bad for saying such thing cause I know, many elderly would say the same thing. Just a typical malay superstition I guess.

    Thus, my 9 month journey started. ZR & I decided to take up Dr Loke Kah Leong as our gynaecologist (as recommended by the clinic assistant at Universal Medical Clinic) from Singapore Women's Clinic (SWC) located at;
    Blk 821 Tampines Street 81
    #01-216 Singapore 520821
    Tel: 6786 3188
    Fax: 6786 3983
    Email: info@singaporewomensclinic.com.sg
    You can visit his website here.

    The next money-related stage. Our 1st check up cost about $150. $50 for consultation, $50 for ultrasound & another $50 for supplements & meds. When we were in our early trimester, we had to go for check up twice every month. Each time will cost at least $100. So you do the math. There were also side expenses like blood tests & full scanning at Thomson Medical Centre. But what I like about Dr Loke's service is that his clinic provides an Antenatal package that you can sign up for which covers your check up fees (consultation + ultrasound) starting from 5th month onwards. Meaning to say, when you reached your 5th month, you just need to pay this one time $500 & from then onwards, all consultation & ultrasound fees will be waived. You only pay for meds, if any, till the day you give birth. Cost-saving right? For a pte. clinic that is.

    Not forgetting, my expenses doubled-up during my pregnancy. ZR wouldn't let me skip lunch or meals so I had to keep stock of milk & tidbits in the office. I was so used to not having lunch before I was pregnant therefore by having lunch itself made my expenses went up since food nowadays are freaking costly (especially from the malay stall at the Kopitiam near my workplace). In fact, ever since I was in school I would skip lunch. Just a habit cause it helps me save money. (Then again, I am a smoker. So even if I don't eat, it still doesn't help me save! Haha!)

    Naturally, pregnant women tend to crave for food that they don't cook themselves so this also adds on to the expenses list. It gets pretty scary when you always crave for high-end food but lucky for me, the only high-end food I craved for was Shark's Fin Soup!

    (6 +/- month pregnant. Sorry don't have any earlier pregnancy photos to share.)
    (7 month pregnant.)
    (This was taken on 2nd February this year. 1 month before my EDD.)
    (This was taken on 19th February this year. 4 days before my son popped out.)

    So if you're not financially stable, how would you pay for all this? Even if you go to govt. clinics, nothing is for free here in this world. You can't assume that every check up will cost the same. You won't be able to predict what type of food you'll crave for. Sekali the food you crave for is damn expensive & you've been drooling over the thought of it. For sure you wanna fulfill your craving right? Besides, old folks said that if you don't fulfill your craving during pregnancy, your child will drool a lot once he's out of your tummy. Therefore, be absolutely sure you can cope with this expenses before the big one arrives! What big one you asked? HOSPITAL BILL of course!

    (In labour ward, 2cm dilated. Masih boleh senyum lagi!)

    We got 3 choices of hospitals that we can choose from.
    1. Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) (which I think is the most expensive hospital)2. Mount Alvernia Hospital (MAH) (mainly for christians as I think all their rooms have a cross)3. Parkway East Hospital (PEH) (a.k.a Eastshore Hospital & one of the rising pte. hospitals)
    We made a decision to go for no. 3 cause its the nearest, the cheapest & also because I read a couple of good reviews about their service. Dr Loke also recommended us to go for PEH. When I got admitted, ZR had to deposit $1540. When I was about to be discharged, ZR went to the counter again to make final payments. He was so afraid that we'll be short of cash to pay for the bill, being a pte. hospital, but to our surprise, we got $191 back after using his medisave. About a week later, his Medisave statement came & we saw that the total bill for both mother & baby was +/- $4000. We were so grateful that his Medisave got approved & that I had normal delivery cause at that point, ZR only had $2000 cash with him. If I were to undergo C-sect, the bill would have definitely gone up! (Got a story to share about this in a bit.)
    (23rd February 2013, 1612 hours, arrival of my precious!)

    Looking at how healthy he is & how handsome his looks are, he made it all worth it. The money we had to spend, the sleepless nights I went through, the backache I endured, the extra care ZR had to give me. It is all worth it!
    The journey might have cost a bomb but again, it is all worth it!
    As dumb as someone can be, they'll definitely know that the journey doesn't end here. Expenses increase again from here henceforth. Honestly, ZR & I spend about $300-$400 each month just for SQ's needs. Which is quite berat cause we don't earn that much.

    (SQ couldn't fit into Huggies Ultra Newborn when we brought him home.)
    Huggies Ultra
    Size: Small
    Packaging: 44pcs/bag
    Price: $12.95/bag
    (Suitable for babies between 3-7 kg)
     (Sadly, he didn't want breast milk after 2 months.)
    Frisolac Gold
    Packaging: 400g/tin
    Price: +/- $55/tin
    (Suitable for babies from 0-6 months)

     Lucky for us, we decided not to buy any Newborn diapers cause was afraid that SQ will not be able to fit into it. We made a right choice. We brought back the remaining diapers provided by PEH to use up first. (We also tried Huggies Ultra Newborn, a sample given by SWC & yea, it didn't fit. I guess mainly because the Newborn size doesn't have any elasticity on the waistband.) I suggest during your last check up before giving birth, take note of baby's estimated weight. If he/she still hasn't reach 3kg mark, then you may purchase Newborn size, otherwise, forget it. They won't fit if he/she is over. (I think that Newborn size is basically meant for pre-mature babies.) Also, if you decide to buy Newborn size, don't grab a lot. It doesn't matter if you gotta go to & fro to the supermarket. At least you won't waste it if baby suddenly grow! Remember, babies do grow quite fast! I'll just share with you (parents-to-be who reads my blog, if any) the prices of the brands I use (as mentioned above together with the picture). If you are intending to use the same brand, you can plan your expenses way ahead of time with the informations I've provided. (I know, your welcome!Haha!) The prices are either from NTUC Fairprice or Giant Supermarket (because I think its the most expensive one) but do note that you can get cheaper elsewhere. (You just gotta search for it. We did & it is way way cheaper! If you stay in the east & want to know where I buy SQ's supplies, just Halla! at my tagboard.) Like I mentioned before, we spend about $300-$400 each month basically on this two items. Newborn poops a lot hence we always stock up a lot of diapers. Milk, if you're breastfeeding, LUCKY YOU! First stage milk normally cost bloody expensive. Thats why people encourage you to breastfeed. If your newborn is like mine, dislikes breast milk for don't know what reason, or if your breast just wouldn't produce lotsa milk, then you gotta prepare yourself for this. Shocking right? Just a small tin of milk powder could cost over $50?! There are cheaper ones on the market but it all depends on your liking or actually your babies liking. Don't overlook the suitability for your baby too cause some milk might cause heatiness or rash to his/her baby. So if you're doing trial & error (testing the product), just spare a little bit more cash, just in case.

    SQ is eight months now & usage of diapers have lessen. Thank god! Already moved on to Huggies Ultra Medium since he is weighing more than 8kg. Same goes to his milk powder. He is taking Friso Gold 2.
    Huggies Ultra
    Size: Medium
    Packaging: 40pcs/bag
    Price: $16.70/bag
    (Suitable for babies between 5-10 kg)
     Friso Gold 2
    Packaging: 1.8kg/tin
    Price: $82/tin
    (Suitable for babies from 6-12 months)

    Expensive right the baby stuff? Thus the need to survey where you can find the best selling price. This is not because you're a cheapskate or something. It just shows that you are money savvy & that the savings can be use for any emergencies or can also be put into a piggy bank for your child.

    READY TO BE A PARENT? Whatever it is, don't let finance scare you. Having a baby & being a parent is a wonderful thing. Financial state or Money doesn't define whether or not you're a good parent. Yes it'll cost a bomb but inshaa'allah, you & spouse will definitely be able to go through it. Just stand by each other & exchange support needed.

    OK, i got to go now. I'll story story to you about something I mentioned above later. Out for lunch now!

    Eh wait wait. I forgot! Don't forget baby wipes & cotton buds to clean your baby. Also Drapolene Cream to care for their buttocks. & probably some moisturizers for their sensitive delicate skin if required.
    (Can get this from any supermarket or you may go to Kiddy Palace like I always do)
    NTUC Price: $19.50
    Promotion Price: $10.50
    (I usually get it when its on promotion)
    The holder box with 1 refill inside is different price. I can't remember how much I bought it.
     NTUC Price: $6.05
    (I normally get it when its selling at 2 for $something at NTUC)

     NTUC Price: $4.50

    OK, will continue some other time aite?

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