“Generation by generation, we figure out new things, new parenting techniques, and new ways to discipline.”
Meet Sara-Ann K, presenter, journalist and mum of two. In this edition of The Motherhood Diaries, she shares her experiences with a difficult first pregnancy, giving birth during the pandemic, and her post-partum weight loss journey.
“As cliché as it sounds, my mum is my role model.”
My mum and I went through some extremely tough times as a family and she was a rock through it all. Seeing her patience, resilience, grace and faith through all the ups and many downs the family weathered through really showed me what motherhood was about.
I really love getting to know people and genuinely talk to them. And hosting allows me to do this, sometimes with the most incredible people. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing heads of state, Formula One drivers, celebrities and experts. Furthermore, I usually learn something from each and every single hosting experience.
“The first pregnancy was really tough on me.”
At two months we found out that the baby had a Single Umbilical Artery. This is an in-womb defect that can affect input and output drastically. Ultimately, it could result in an undersized baby with underdeveloped organs. I basically decided there and then that baby came first. This meant that I happily enjoyed my food with no restraints for the next few months, piling on 33kg during my pregnancy.
In the fourth month, we had to rush down to A&E as I started bleeding rather profusely. My gynae, Dr Ann Tan, rushed down to the hospital before we got there in the wee hours of the morning. With a phone torch in one hand and forceps in the other, she located some burst vessel, tied a knot and basically fixed it, all by herself! No assistance! It felt like she suddenly grew a few other hands whole she was doing it.
In the sixth month, on a Monday, I started feeling my baby’s movements were a lot more sluggish. I was worried but my husband thought I was overthinking it. On Saturday, I decided to just go in for a check. Turns out, during the week, I leaked about 2kg of amniotic fluid, my uterus had flattened and was sticking to the baby; he hardly had any room to move it breathe! However, all I could do was pump myself with a minimum of four litres of water each day. As he had little room to move, the umbilical cord got knotted around his neck.
Close to a month before my due date, my water broke at my friend’s birthday party! So…emergency C-section! The hardest part for me was really losing the weight after because I put on 33kg! My baby was close to 3kg and I left the hospital only 2kg lighter!
I lost about 23kg from a combination of TCM treatments and still had about 10kg to go when I got pregnant with my second child.
“My second pregnancy was a breeze!”
With some weight management (a special shout out to Coach Vanessa Lim from Herbalife), I only put on 6kg for my second pregnancy. That being said, I was a lot healthier and happier. As I knew what to expect, the journey was a lot easier.
Despite yet another emergency C-section with Dr Ann Tan and her dream team, I bounced back and was hosting in 10 days post-partum!
I think having my second baby during the pandemic was a blessing in disguise as I was able to work throughout my pregnancy because most hosting gigs were via Zoom! I was also blessed as my hubby being at home made him realise that with the first baby, he really wasn’t doing much at all (as hands on as he thought he was). Perhaps that really made the difference between him “babysitting” to coming into his own as a parent.
Now I’m proud to say he’s super confident handling both the kids by himself. This, I’m
thankful for, and it came in handy especially in our recent family trip where I had Covid and he had to solo parent the two boys!
“Joy. Exhaustion. And joy.”
I’m honestly loving it. Motherhood is tough with two because it has changed the dynamics. What’s more, it’s not easy as my first boy was the first grandson on both sides, so he felt the loss of attention keenly when the second arrived. However, we’re constantly adjusting. Vernon and I try to read up on parenting skills and attend parenting workshops.
I was brought up with a lot of love and affection. That has definitely spilled into my parenting style, though I daresay that both our parents were definitely stricter with us than we are with our children.
Generation by generation, we figure out new things, new parenting techniques, and new ways to discipline. So for now I’d say I try to be a positive parent.
Having me time is hard. Having couple time is hard. So you really need to carve out time for both. Don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget why you married your partner.
“…weight loss. It’s definitely a journey. Not a short one.”
I think many people are definitely more curious about the weight loss. I was confident wearing cropped tops and tight clothes when I was heavier as I am now. That makes the difference. I loved myself in my own skin, whatever size I was in.
For me, the decision to lose weight was for health reasons. Several deaths in the family and around me has occurred. Furthermore, being a geriatric mom (I was 39 when I had the first, 41 when I had the second), I really want to be around for the kids for a long time.
For both pregnancies, I had TCM treatments that involved acupuncture, guasha and cupping. I also had a Chinese post-natal masseuse who I’ve engaged for both pregnancies.
In my second, I only put on 6kg with the help of (@thevanessalim) and her Herbalife and nutrition program. When I lost all that weight and started to move around a bit more, I tried Coolsculpting to target some of the areas I really didn’t like from even before like my arms, which I’ve always thought looked like salami! Unfortunately, due to an ill-fitting girdle that was too tight for me in my first pregnancy, I landed up squeezing fat above and below my flanks. Coolsculpt managed to smoothed out that very visible muffin top lump!
After getting visible results with that, I thought, why not try losing more weight? I made 2021 the year of me!
My metabolism is really out of whack thanks to tons of slimming pills in my youth, so I don’t lose weight easily at all. Thereafter, I embarked on Reculture (@reculturelife) rejuvenate program and lost 6.3kg in about 20 plus days.
After dropping weight, I definitely felt better, but I still felt “squishy”. This was when I started the @itssosimple_rs program started by my Junior College best friend, Rachael. She has moved to the UK, but I saw her transformation! She had gone from 80 plus kg to her now svelte and super toned 58kg after three kids! And I thought, if she could do it, she could teach me how to as well. After 12 weeks on the program, BOOM! I had abs for the first time!
I’m still on the program for maintenance and to keep me straight. However, what I liked about it is that it’s about inculcating good habits. On the program I could eat on certain days and not feel like I had sinned. Just steer back and make better choices over the next few days. Usually, I’d be back to the same weight in the next two days.
Don’t get me wrong. It was HARD work. It took a lot of dedication with the workouts. Furthermore, the only time I could work out was late at night after the kids were in bed. Then, I could switch on my TV, watch some Korean Drama and be motivated to get in shape.
The entire process took about a six months to see a huge difference and a year for it to really be a part of my lifestyle. Now, I’m even lighter and fitter than on my wedding day! So no regrets! In fact, we are seriously thinking and praying if we should have number three!
This article was first published on Motherswork.