Relearning the basics – week 2

The confinement lady would not be here forever and I should take every opportunity between rest time to learn from her.

You would have thought that taking care of the newborn would come natural for me since I have had some experience with my firstborn. Alas, my memory is so finite that it took me a while to get used to taking care of a newborn.

For instance, I have to be mindful of the neck when carrying the baby and not lift him from the armpits, a habit that I’m so used to by now. I have also long forgotten how to clean a newborn and had to ask the confinement lady to demonstrate it for me. The other day, I was trying to change the diaper and got a bit lost because the genital organs of the boy differ from Faith’s. I was so afraid of hurting him but my confinement lady assured me that it is easier to care for a boy than for a girl since the parts are, well, external. 😳

Changing the clothes of a newborn can be rather daunting because I’m not so sure if the force I apply is too much. Oh, that fragile being! So I find vest-like romper to be the best choice of clothing when dressing a newborn since it’s much easier to slip the hands through the sleeves as compared to a onesie.

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When it comes to baby clothes, I certainly appreciate materials that are friendly on the skin just like this piece from Simply Life, a new homegrown brand. The material is made of superior bamboo fibres, which are more hypoallergenic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Not only is it breathable and thermo regulating, the all-natural bamboo material is also highly absorbent and moisture-wicking. This romper went through a first wash and it remained as soft as when it was first delivered to my home. My confinement lady, upon seeing and feeling the material, instantly exclaimed (in Mandarin), “Whoah, this is quality stuff!”

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Indeed it is. I have always loved bamboo apparel and its feel on my own skin. In fact, many of my maternity clothing are made of bamboo fibres and I’m sure baby Daniel would appreciate such a material too.

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Let’s not forget the girl who also gets to enjoy the softness of the bamboo towel. Life is fair. 😉

So, I’m at the halfway mark of the confinement period. Disrupted sleep, 2 to 3-hourly feed and the need to divide my time between the two siblings are part of the whole package. I’m not sure how life will be like when the confinement lady departs. Busier? Most definitely. Would I get to take some time off for self-care? I don’t know. I will only know when that time comes.

Meanwhile, I need to learn and relearn some of the skills in dealing with an infant.

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Thank you, Simply Life for sending the baby products over. I was won over.

Simply Life is a brand founded under Creative Moms Pte Ltd. Built on the belief that our journey through life should be a joyous and uplifting one, Simply Life designs and produces products ranging from baby care and children’s wear to homeware and other lifestyle essentials, all with safe and top quality materials and come with encouraging messages. Their products are available at major departmental stores, children specialty stores and via their online shop simplylife.com.sg. Do check them out!

The little boy is presented with Simply Life’s newborn bamboo apparel for review purposes. No other forms of monetary compensation is given. All opinions are mine.

[Thankful Tuesday] Being a second time mom – the 1st week

Has it been a week since Dan was born?

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I’m having a thankful spirit as I pen down these thoughts. Being a second time mom is… much pleasurable than the first. One may say it’s because I’m more experienced but I would like to attribute it to ‘letting go’.

As a mom, you want the best for your child and when Faith was born, I told myself that I would never get her to drink formula milk. She could only be breastfed. My mind was made up before she came into the world but oh, that put an immense amount of stress on me during that first week.

My milk supply didn’t come in until a few days later but clearly Faith was dehydrated because she couldn’t latch on well and that means she wasn’t really taking in the colostrum that was given to her. Her jaundice level was high and she underwent photo therapy at home which added to the stress. I nearly got into depression but thankfully, we engaged a lactation consultant who showed me the ropes to get the baby to latch on properly.

This time round for Dan, I have no issue with giving him formula milk. Because there is no ideal anymore, there is also no pressure. The milk supply came in very soon and Dan was able to latch on well. The can of formula milk has been left untouched just after a couple of scoops (anyone wants to take over?).

We have an experienced confinement nanny and I leave most of the tasks to her. Previously, I did what the nanny was supposed to do (except cooking) because it just didn’t make sense to me to leave the job of a mother to someone else. How irresponsible is that? What I didn’t realise then was the need for the mom to rest, especially after she had carried the child for 9.5 months, gone through physiological changes and then a traumatic experience at the hospital with wounds and all.

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It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself first. How else would you be able to take care of the kids if you are not rested?

I’m thankful to have a confinement lady who keeps asking me to rest and a husband who has been so willing to help out in whatever capacity he has been called to. And Faith? She has shown herself to be ready to take on the role of a big sister. She understands that I have to feed the brother most of the time and will stay off the newborn when told to. She must have realised that the little brother isn’t really a lot of fun after all and does her own stuff or pesters us to play with her. I guess it’s not easy for her too that she has to handle such a major change in her life and to have to share her parents with her brother. I am told that she became emotional in school today and burst out crying, “I want my mummy…”

Poor girl.

But she will survive.

So, I’ve learnt. That if I don’t try to be a perfectionist but learn to let go, life will not be so difficult after all. There are indeed many things in life that we cannot control and since that is the case, why do I need to be so dogmatic and insist on one method to doing things? Learn to commit it to the Lord and all will be well.

Hope your Tuesday’s been good!

The birth story of Daniel

Every pregnancy is different.

This time round with Daniel (he’s our second child), I had mild nauseous during my first trimester but apart from that, there was no swollen feet or cramps of the legs during bedtime unlike the first pregnancy. There was little craving (or next to none) and life was business as usual.

However, this time round, I was more anxious than the first during the last stage because the baby kept turning his position while in the womb. He was in the downward position in week 36 and 37 but turned breech and horizontal during the last 2 weeks.

He was too active.

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On Monday, 5 October, I had my last checkup and it seemed that he had moved head-down again and we decided to induce him the following morning. I have wanted a vaginal birth as opposed to a C-sect as much as possible and thus this decision.

It was however, a decision that was not without much struggle. At the back of our minds, K and I were asking ourselves if we were playing God by going ahead with induction. In His time. .. In His time… but were we intervening when we agreed to induce?

Of course, there is always the possibility that Daniel will flip again and this was really beyond my control. That afternoon, a BSF-mate called and prayed for me from which I got the peace to go ahead with the plan.

That night, I didn’t sleep well. I was sitting on the armchair hoping that gravity will help in stabilising Daniel’s position and that means ‘bye bye’ to sleep. Obviously, this is not proven and I should be gathering as much rest as possible but as long as he’s in a downward position, I could do with little sleep.

We checked in at 8.15am after sending F to school. The reception counter was busy and we had to wait a while. Dr Poon had quite a busy day ahead and I was panicking.

Anyway, on instruction, the nurse gave me the liquid thing and I did the big poo (sry, can’t remember the term for it).

Dr Poon came and did the scan. Ok great, Daniel’s head was still down and I was 2cm dilated. He broke my water bag and I was put on drip immediately. That was 9.40am.

The pain was all bearable until about 11am. I was 4cm dilated and there was a drop in the Daniel’s heartbeat. The nurse reported this to Dr Poon and he instructed her to stop my drip. I was given oxygen due to that and from then on, contractions started to kick in.

Daniel’s head, however, was too high up.

My instruction to the nurse was to have the laughing gas and the jab on the thigh. At 11.30am, I asked for laughing gas because the pain has increased.

At about 1 plus pm, Dr Poon came and told me that it would still take about 3 to 4 hours before I became fully dilated. I nearly fainted upon hearing that. The pain was increasing in leaps and bounds and I told the nurse that I needed the jab. I rejected epidural and minutes later, I regretted.

After about 30 minutes, the pain was unbearable.

I was gripping on to the sides of the bed and the pain intensified. I suddenly felt the urge to push but was told earlier that I could not lest the cervix area rupture. But then the urge to push was automatic and I cried out. The nurses came in, checked my dilation and said it’s fully open!

Thankfully Dr Poon was still around and I heard him put on the gown and more nurses came in. They got me in a ready position and asked me to push.

I think I pushed a total of 5 times before Daniel came out.

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It was crazy, the pain.

I think I must have forgotten how painful it was the previous time. After Daniel came out, Dr Poon took out the placenta and stored the blood cord for us. He showed me the placenta but I was like ‘ok, whatever ‘ and drifted back to drowsy state.

Too much pain.

Daniel weighed 3.154kg and measured 51cm long at birth.

IMG_20151007_0705540.9837929173298327Skin-to-skin contact but I was semi conscious. Was too tired by the whole episode.

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This is joy… when I held him at a more conscious state.

I’m thankful that the Lord allows me to deliver him naturally and without epidural. During that last stage, I was mentally scolding myself for not using it. But I really don’t want to suffer the side-effects too (it’s a personal preference). Sigh… but all is well now.

Sleepless nights ahead. For now, I’m just thankful that he’s out safely.

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Holding my finger tightly with his, while being breastfed.

PD examined the boy and all was well. But we will only know his jaundice level the next day and if he could be discharged.

The boy didn’t pee and it was advised that we give him formula milk. I would be dead against it for my firstborn but now my reply is, “Ok loh”.

Poor second child.

I have gained a total of 11kg for this pregnancy and hopefully I could go back to my pre-pregnancy weight in time to come. For now, I would have to rest (not sure if I could) and eat well so that the milk could come in.

IMG_20151007_2044130.7896567479734887Faith was excited about his brother and wanted to touch and ‘sayang’ him all the time. Of course, we were afraid that the force that she exerts would be wrong and kept reminding her to be gentle. Think she was frustrated by our concern!

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Presenting you our family of four!