The weekend

I’m starting to get some routine set in place…for weekends.

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Saturday morning is the time to go to the wet market to purchase a week’s supply of grocery while the hubs take over to take care of Faith (ever so happy to do so!). To avoid the crowd, going there early is crucial. So, I started at 7am and I was done with it very soon, knowing what I wanted to purchase.

Then we went out for Saturday brekky, a practice we started when I was still carrying Faith in the womb. We went back to The Swiss Backer and as usual, we were the first customers. Ordered the same old stuff (non-adventurers) and chilled out until it’s time to go to my colleague’s place to collect some clothes from her and then more shopping!

I wanted to purchase a good carrier. Sling is still out because I really, seriously can’t get the hang of it and have become demoralised. The current carrier works well but sadly it couldn’t give a lot of support for the shoulder and the back. Wanted to buy a Manduca carrier after doing some online research but the salespeople at Baby Sling and Carrier told me that Boba Carrier might be a better option for me if I want a fuss-free and equally good carrier at a slightly lower price. I tried both and found the Boba to be better for me. It’s light-weight and easy to IMG_1997use. Making use of the opportunity, I asked how to use the sling and the ‘auntie’ had me show her how I did it using her sling and it was relatively on the right track. She asked about the brand that I am using and commented that it would be difficult to use mine because of some factors. Hmmm….Anyway, I went home (after a long conversation at the shop and thank goodness we were the only customers) with a carrier, along with some accessories and a nursing cover. Burnt a hole in the pocket. =(

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We have also resumed our attendance at CG and church service. Faith has been extremely cooperative, waking up only to be fed and then went back to sleep. Thank God for an easy baby! Please stay this way.

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All by myself

The confinement lady’s gone.
The hubs’ back to work.
Mom’s no longer helping to do grocery, unless asked to.
After four full-month celebrations for Faith, I’m officially on my own now.

Each day sees myself going through the same routine with the day starting at 5am which is the time for Faith’s feed. Now, she is able to latch on more than she is comfortable with the teat. Thankfully, she is able to adapt to both which makes weaning off breastfeeding easier when that day approaches.

IMG_1851 Each day passes quickly. There is very little opportunity for real rest. Being a light sleeper and a clingy baby, she wakes up every 15 minutes in her cot and cries, not loudly but pathetically. She gives the most innocent and hurtful expression that it is impossible not to pick her up. Perhaps the mattress is hard. She prefers our bed (and she sleeps well without having to swaddle her). Or perhaps it’s because I’m around and she senses my presence. I don’t know. I’m hoping it’s because of the mattress. But thankfully, she is able to stay in her cot when the night falls or else we would have to share the bed with her.

Bathing her gets easier when I gain more confidence. Impatience arises when I have to wait for her to wake up to have a little milk before resting a while and then cleaning her. Thereafter, it’s more soothing before I can get to wash her clothes and then clean the floor.

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And then it’s lunch time which I have to prepare quickly before she wakes up. To make a quick lunch, preparation has to be made in the night time when the hubs return from work to be with Faith. No elaborated meal but it’s essential that I have a nutritious one since what I eat will eventually pass on to Faith. Today is baked salmon belly with spaghetti in marinara sauce.

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Other times, I’ve been trying to learn how to use the baby sling without much success. I felt quite sorry for Faith who has to endure the poor skills of her mother. Thankfully, at this stage she is still very flexible and will not even whimper whichever position I place her in the sling. But seriously, how does one use the ring sling and the Baba sling? I’ve both, thanks to friends who pass on to me but I can’t/don’t know how to use them!

So, such a life is a continuation of the confinement month, just a bit tougher, with no helper. I look forward to weekends, that I can go out with the hubs. I think I need to learn to go out on my own with Faith and to be daring enough to breastfeed in public. If not, I will be ‘imprisoned’ by my own fears.

It can be tiring, being on my own. But when I gaze at the cutie face of Faith, all exhaustion and boredom fade. It’s worth it.

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Welcome to motherhood, Lynn.

Survivor: The first day

Many have told me that in order to catch some sleep, you need to sleep when the baby is in Lala land and you have to work around her schedule.

I concur with the latter statement but to catch a wink when she’s asleep? I can’t seem to get around to doing that!

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Friday. The first day that I was on my own. The hubs has gone back to work and I was absolutely certain that I could manage on my own. Breakfast was no longer prepared by Jenny but thankfully, SIL bought cupcakes from Twelve and I indulged in one, along with a cup of milo, a habit that Jenny had left with me (she adores MILO).

Thereafter, it was breastfeeding Faith, soothing her, expressing milk, cleaning and sterilising bottles, bathing Faith (phew!), washing her clothes and cleaning the floor. All these take up time, especially the first two activities.

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So, in that one day, I have learnt to shower in 7 mins or less (before she cries) and managed to do up three dishes for the full month celebration with ex-colleagues from TDD. Unfortunately, with a baby, I couldn’t have quality conversation with the guests as Faith was rather cranky that night (change of routine with the guests). But I’m pleased to announce that I have survived… the first day! Now, my back is aching and my wrists sprained. =( I need my yoga and pilates sessions!

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When the CL left

The day Jenny (Confinement Lady) left, I felt a tinge of sadness.

That would be the last day that she would prepare my breakfast at 7am sharp and it was always bee hoon with vegetables and lean pork cooked with ginger. It was also my last practical session for bathing Faith. Before she left, she washed all outstanding clothes, cleaned up the whole apartment, scrubbed the toilet and returned the kitchen just as it was on the first day she stepped in. Impressed. And then, she left, leaving me with a big pot of pig trotters cooked in vinegar. ❤

Thereafter, I was on my own. Thankfully, the hubs came back in the afternoon to make sure that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

Life with a baby is so different. I become very mindful of time and make sure that we will not be out for too long lest she asks for milk (shopping and feeding is still a very new concept to me). Before we knew it, the whole afternoon was gone after we  did some grocery shopping!

Thankfully, Faith is relatively easy to look after. She wakes up for milk and then goes back to sleep. At night, she only wakes up twice which is manageable for me but I must say it is tiring.

Faith has also gotten used to breastfeeding now. Phew! Right now, I just need to practise how to do so when I’m out.

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And the following day, I had a Ngoh Hiang party on her full month with my colleagues. Managed to prepared four dishes to go with the Ngoh Hiang, thanks to the hubs who helped in one way or another. Didn’t manage to bake though. Sad!

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What a nice way to spend her full month. There was much laughter in the apartment though it was a tad too loud. Wonderful times. Thank God for that. =)

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One year on…

This time last year, we took our flight back home from Boston.

I kinda miss the cold weather, the walk around Boston Common, the Chai Latte at the joint opposite Park Street Church, Boston Public Library and …the snow.

I guess I have to be thankful to have the chance to live there for that short period of time. Wonderful times.

One of my favourite bands – 53A. ❤ the voice of Sara. And I miss Timbre too.

Swaddle for comfort

I didn’t know the importance of swaddling until I received this book ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’ by Harvey Karp. In it, the author mentioned that 5S for calming crying babies and then I discovered the art of swaddling and its effect on babies. I should have read more widely before the delivery.

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Of the swaddles that we have bought, I find Anais + Anais’ swaddling blanket the best. The material is soft and the size big so Faith won’t get out of the swaddle easily, if we do it well.

Infants at this stage need security and it is absolutely all right to keep them intact and close to you. In their fourth trimester, the infants will accustom well if we provide them with an environment that is likened to that of the womb.

Here are some notes on how to swaddle, for my sake. Memory is bad, nowadays. Extracted from the book.

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Expressions

The little bub has packed on some weight again. She has a more rounded face than before and when she gives us the different facial expressions, we cannot help but blurt out laughing, even when she is crying!

Meanwhile, the mom has been trying to ease into her new role and she is trying to anticipate what might happen when the CL is gone. So she tries to breastfeed whenever she has the opportunity with some degree of success. She knows she cannot give up for the sake of her sanity when she is alone with the child. It will be ideal if the baby can both adapt to breastfeeding and drinking from the bottle.

Another thing is to try using the baby carrier which might be god-sent! The mom tried putting her into the carrier and the latter was so comfy she dozed off minutes later. This could mean that mom could continue with some of her other routines. Hopefully, it will work in the long term.

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The day will come

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Faith’s full month celebration is coming soon and that means end of confinement and an exciting (torturing) period awaits! Yay to the end of being confined. Boo to more sleepless nights and tiring days.

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One more week

Faith is already into her third week without you knowing. Goodness! It felt as if she was born just yesterday. Time and tide really wait for no man! And before I know it, I have been confined for 3 weeks. What an achievement for a woman who likes to go out.

Being confined has its ups and downs. I appreciate the food that my Confinement Lady (CL) cooks for me and thank God they are all delicious or perhaps my tastebuds have changed. I don’t even mind the red dates drink that I have to consume instead of good o’ plain water. I appreciate the cleaning of the floor and whatever washing she does. I do feel weird that she has to serve me since I have never liked that idea. And I do feel like I’m an irresponsible mom when she tends to Faith most of the time. Somehow, I have this nagging feeling that Faith will not want me anymore. =(

I am not entirely an obedient person when it comes to confinement. I do go out and the hubs, knowing that I am terribly bored, told me that it is fine that I do some shopping. And I did that. I don’t really understand why we cannot step out of the house (makes no sense to me) and thus my defiant mode is switched on.

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Tomorrow is my last Jamu Massage session and I am craving for more hard core one. The more painful, the better. Hah! So, maybe I should treat myself to some spa session.

For the past ten months too, I have been consuming very low amount of coffee. It’s time to break free and get myself a cuppa nice artisan coffee. I also miss the weekend brekky with the hubs.

I miss running too and to do so with the hubs. But that has to wait a while more, just to make sure that I am completely healed. It’s silly to rush into jogging now. But I’m certainly looking forward to yoga sessions in January!

medelaTwo challenges await me when the CL bids farewell next Wednesday. Faith still cannot latch for a long time although she is able to do so for a short while. It will be difficult to get her off the bottle since the teat facilitates the flow of the milk. The Sngs got Faith the Medela Calma teat and I would be trying that out soon. The CL got Faith to use it the other day and apparently, she didn’t like it. Oh no! I foresee trouble!

Another challenge would be bathing Faith. So far, I have only watched the CL do it but have not gotten down to the real act. Soon, soon!

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I had a pleasant surprise on my birthday.
Nope, I didn’t get to celebrate it like others but what I received was a gift so touching that I am continually reminded of my mother’s love for me.

Mom sent me a text msg. Loosely translated, it stated, “Daughter, it’s your birthday today right? Wishing you a happy birthday. Do you want me to do groceries tomorrow?”

I should be the one thanking her for bringing me into this world. Being a mother myself now, I appreciate all that she has done for her children. So, a text message from her brightened my day. She remembers.

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Another gift is that Faith has been growing well. Went to the pediatrician and she is now a whopping 3.7kg baby. That, is another precious gift to me.

So, as long as my family is with me and that they are well, that is a wonderful gift.

And the hubs who didn’t know what to do on my birthday, resorted to poetry. Maybe I should ask for a belated birthday gift… nah.

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