Month: December 2012

My ‘Textbook’ Baby

I have not been posting for quite sometimes. I was a bit tied down for the past few weeks. In between an unwell baby, my sister-in-law’s wedding, and tonnes of works in the office I just could not find the mood to write down anything.

Anyway, as my FIL dubbed it – Isa stole the limelight from my sister-in-law during her wedding! It was his first time meeting some of her uncles and aunties (my husband’s siblings) and also my husband’s extended relatives but he seemed to be extremely fine being held by them – he didn’t seem to miss mommy much – well, until he’s tired and hungry at least! It was surely a relief, then I could lend a hand in preparing for the wedding.

Everyone has pointed out on how relatively easy for Isa to get along with everyone. He wasn’t really well that weekend (a bit of cold and cough), but it wasn’t a cause for him to become a fussy baby.

I answered a test/quiz on baby personalities just for fun here, and Isa, based on this quiz turns out to be a Textbook/Angel baby .

The Textbook baby.

This is our predictable baby, and as such, he’s fairly easy to handle. Oliver does everything on cue, so there are few surprises with him. He reaches all the milestones right on schedule – sleeps through the night by three months, rolls over by five, sits up by six. He’ll have growth spurts like clockwork – periods during which his appetite will suddenly increase because he’s putting on extra body weight or making a developmental leap. Even as young as a week, he can play on his own for short periods – fifteen minutes or so – and he’ll coo a lot and look around. And he smiles when someone smiles at him. Though Oliver has normal cranky periods, just like the books describe, he’s easy to calm. It’s not hard to get him to sleep, either.

The Angel baby.

As you might expect, this is the kind of baby every first-time pregnant woman imagines herself to have: good as gold. Pauline is such a baby – mellow, eternally smiling, and consistently undemanding. Her cues are easy to read. She’s not bothered by new surroundings, and she’s extremely portable – in fact, you can take her anywhere. She feeds, plays and sleeps easily, and usually doesn’t cry when she wakes up. You’ll find Pauline babbling in her crib most mornings, talking to a stuffed animal or just amusing herself by staring at a stripe on the wall. An Angel baby often can calm herself down, but if she gets a little overtired, perhaps because her cues were misread, all you have to do is snuggle her and tell her “I can see that you’re overtired”. Then, turn on a lullaby, make the room nice and dim and quiet, and she will put herself to sleep.

Okay, I admit, they made it sounds boring these two personalities, but oh boy, am I not thankful for Isa!

It’s a Small World

I used to admire a guy back in high school – well, for a long four years. I mean, I was sort of fall head-over-heel, heart-skip-a-beat kind of admirer. He became my inspiration for my (so-called) academic excellence in some ways.

I heard stories about him over these 10 odd years, and I knew I have no whatsoever interest in him any more.

This post is entitled as such because a few weeks back my husband received a wedding invitation from his friend who’s getting married to him.

Apparently all three of them – my husband, him and the girl work in the same company now. Which made me laugh.

It is indeed a small world, isn’t it?

Still on Leave…

Someone is still on leave today and it is me.

My eye is still red and produces discharge, and there’s no way I could go to the office and ruin everyone’s end-year holiday by possibly infecting them. I still have headache, and Isa still coughs badly. My husband is mildly infected as well this morning so he called in sick too.

I still need to finish drafting the blueprint I am supposed to present next week. I don’t know when actually I can start doing that (though I have all the necessary documents laid on the dining table). Isa wants to stick with me all the time. I have exhausted all toys to distract him from me. It seems that all those we have already lack novelty so I made a new toy for him.

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Tadaaa!! A recycled water bottle with beads! How girly is that?

I took an empty water bottle (didn’t even bother to dry them out of my desperation), filled it with variety of beads from my beading box (I add embellishment to my dresses myself so I have quite a number of various size, shape and colour), and now Isa gets a new toy.

But still, since he can’t move forward I still need to be beside him most of the time.

Mission almost failed!

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That’s him, about to scream for the bottle he could not reach.

Little That I Won’t Do

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Isa is having a bit of cough and cold again. He can’t sleep well these few nights, that bloody thing tickled his throat he had to throw up all the milk he was fed with and even blocked his little button nose.

And for those nights, I could not let myself sleep well even I was myself down with cold which comes with severe headache and body ache. I fear that he would accidentally swallow his vomit, which could cause infection if enters into his lung like what happened before.

I got myself two days of sick leave. My husband is on his study leave, and yesterday he let me rest, by taking care of Isa and playing with him whenever I needed to sleep.

And earlier today, when both of us were supposed to be heading to work I told him I could not yet leave Isa at the creche. I asked him he could take another leave and stay at home with us. I could use some more rest in the mean time.

He said yes.

And I missed a day of work when there’s a meeting I have to attend and work assignments I need to catch up too after days of absence.

People might say I seem to be like a workaholic, but there is little that I won’t do for him.

Even letting go these many opportunities for recognition and promotion.

And So I Delivered a Baby

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My baby, fresh from oven

*This is a long post, intended mostly as a record of what happened. Feel free to read if you have time! Pardon the incorrect medical terms used by the way. This is reblogged from my other page, written some moments  after I delivered Isa.

I gave birth to a boy last Saturday, all praise be to Allah.

I know a post on such a momentous event deserves a more dramatic opening line but i suppose the first line summarises every important points I’d like to convey. It was not until I hear how my mother described my labour process to others that I realised mine was not exactly a smooth one – the truth is I did not know what exactly is normal!

It was on Thursday when I went for my weekly checkup that the doctor again reiterated the fact that I didn’t ‘look’ engaged (and I was not) and we found out that I was 1cm dilated. She warned me, it could be tomorrow the D-day – and I should come back tomorrow for another checkup. The verdict was still 50-50 on whether it would be normal or Caesarean, given that my baby is in posterior position and the head is considerably large at 9.8cm.

I prepared myself for the possibility of C-sect. I am not at all sentimental about how I’d deliver; vaginal or otherwise. The most important thing is the safety of the baby. I informed everyone necessary that I might go into labour the next day, and at 1 cm dilated I didn’t feel a thing. I drove my way back home (the partner, for the first time could not accompany me to checkup), even managed dropped by a stall selling coconut juice after having my lunch.

The next day my husband took a leave – one that we thought would be a paternity leave – and went to the hospital, only to find out that I was only 2 cm dilated (I’d have been warded if it’s 3) with mild contractions. The doctor said that since it is slow-progressing we should only come back on the due date itself which is 4 days away.

That afternoon both of us paid a visit to my parents who arrived in Shah Alam the day before. There were contractions along the way but mild enough for me to ignore it.

The night came and as usual I woke up several times to go to the toilet. At around 3 in the morning when I woke up for the third or fourth time perhaps, the contractions were already bothering me. I managed to sleep but the pain got me turning left and right – I was restless by the time we rose for Fajr prayer.

My husband was concern of course,  he kept asking on whether we should head for the hospital, which is less than 5 minutes away. I said no – with the sole reason of me not knowing what contraction should feel like! I had breakfast in such a discomfort, and by 10 am I have basically tried every single position suggested in Miriam Stoppard’s book to ease early labour pain. I told my husband if this lasted until 12 we’d go to hospital, but at 11 things seemed to get better I refused to go, to the dismay of my husband who called my doctor.

The doctor asked how far apart the contractions were and I said 20-30 minutes. Funnily, as soon as I hung up the contractions came less than 10 minutes apart!

My husband went to buy lunch, as I said I could wait until after Zuhur( mid day prayer) prayer before going to the medical centre and if I were to deliver I would want a full stomach. I was hungry, but I could not finish the meal – I tried squatting (which was the most efficient position to reduce discomfort so far) but it didn’t help – then only I begged my husband to rush me to hospital – not to the A&E, but to get CTG done (even at this time I still did not think that I am actually close to labour).CTG showed some contractions and upon internal exam I was found to be 3cm dilated – which means I had to be admitted.

I was then transferred to the Labour Room (I think it was LR2 for record purpose), asked to change, given enema and told to relax. Seeing me in so much pain (I would not call that pain actually, it was more like menstruation cramp that does not go away), the nurse asked whether I would like to get epidural anesthesia – I said I would think about it (and no, you could not think while you have a cramp) and when my husband arrived in the labour room after settling the admission thingy, I already surrendered.

The nurse then prepped me for the procedure – the drip and urinary catheter. I did squirmed when the anaesthetist tried to insert the catheter; my spine is always too sensitive to touching. Looking at the unusual mess the anaesthetist left, my doctor who came later  guessed that it was an abnormal  procedure – because he is a neat one in normal condition!

And now I have to say, the pain relief is such a Godsend mercy! As soon as it took effect I felt relieved and my body started to relax. I recalled the fact that I have been restless since 3 in the morning – which means my body is tired due to 12 hours of turning left and right, sitting and standing due to the contractions, so the pain relief is very much welcome.

At 5pm I was 6 cm dilated, and the doctor said she will come back at 7.30, predicting that by then I’d be ready for delivery. I was laden with surges of tiredness at that time, and I told them I wanted to sleep and rest. My husband went off to pray, and came back informing me that my parents and siblings, as well as my in-laws were already there.

The truth was I could not sleep except for a bit during that 2-hour window. After a while the pain came back, though of a lower level than  before – to the dismay of my husband who thinks I should not feel any pain AT ALL. The nurse told us that at 8cm dilation it is normal that I would still feel the pain – and I could not help imagining how much worse it could be without the relief.

The nurses trained me to push – which mostly was a failure because they could not feel a thing when I said I have pushed, in rhythm with the tightening of the uterus. My husband was coaching me on breathing (thanks to the antenatal class we attended and a partner who doesn’t suffer pregnancy brain) – but all I could think of at that time was how cold it was that I shivered. Lying there in a hospital gown, there was nothing much i could do – I tried pulling the blanket but the nurses persistently removed it from me.

The doctor came at around 7.40 pm. I was not so sure if I was already fully dilated, but what I knew was that the baby was still high. The nurse had to help pushing him down while I waited for the contraction to come to start pushing.
It did not work even after a number of tries – I was sleepy ( my eyes were half-opened most of the time.) The doc and the nurses were, credit to them, a very good team of cheerleaders I would say. And so was my husband who’s there, catching my hand whenever I took a break from pushing.

With the baby pretty high and his head in posterior position, the doctor gave me until 8pm to push on my own, and if he’s still not out I’d need the help of vacuum. She kept motivating me to push ‘Buat geram, betul-betul geram’, ‘Doktor cuma boleh tolong je, ibu sendiri kena usaha untuk anak (Loosely translated: Push as if you are angry, really really angry. I can only help, but you yourself got to push hard for your baby.) ‘. At 8pm I still could not have him out, so the doctor started briefing me about using vacuum – the fact that I still need to push hard because the work is still 50-50 between me and the machine. And she gave me three pushes max – or we’d have to resort to C-sect.

I waited for the tightening to come – it was all on my own time having told the nurses not to help push the baby out of my belly until I started pushing (I could not feel the contractions when my belly is being pressed). My husband, without any invitation help out too – and to the surprise of the doctor, a father’s push worked wonder – it seemed to give more effects than the nurses’!

To tell you the truth, I almost gave up that I asked for a C-sect (of course the doctor rejected this idea seeing me still able to produce polite smiles now and then) in the middle of pushing – what was I thinking, right? My husband still teases me about this – and I guess he is right to do so: you claim to be tough and now half an hour into labour, fully dilated and all you choose to Give up?

In the midst of all that, there were several things that I noticed: it was raining outside ( which contributed to my shivering) and the tv screen before me were showing a documentary about crop circles on Nat Geo.

Despite the pain relief  giving me a dry mouth and stuffy nose which didn’t help when I was to make several pushes in one breath, All praise be to Him, I managed to nail it in one try (and one continuous push) – I remember telling myself just do it once and for all, and when the husband told me the head was already crowning that he could see the baby’s hair (I doubted it though, he was beside me he could not really see any of that) and the nurses cheering in high pitch that I should not stop.  I kept pushing until this weird sensation came – as if you are passing a very big stool – then I knew it was almost over.

The next thing I remember was a warm little creature was put onto my chest that is my little angel. There was my son, my child – one that I carried for nine months, who causes such a mixture of feelings – but still a blessing I would not trade for anything.

Within seconds all that I could hear was his screaming – loud and clear – announcing his arrival. I remember my husband kissing my forehead whispering softly ‘Afni, this is Isa, Afni’.

And no, I did not cry. Or to put it correctly – I could not cry. I have rehearsed this moment in my mind so many times before, and I knew I would not be able to hold my tears when it actually happens but the sleepiness took the best of me. All that I do was hugging my baby while the doctor finished her job and stitched me up.

I bled – a lot – according to the doctor and my husband who witnessed the whole thing and my blood pressure was pretty low. The doctor most probably won’t say this out loud that I tore up pretty badly – and stitching me up took quite sometimes, but she kindly increased the anesthesia dose (previously lowered to help me feel the contractions hence assists in pushing) while letting me cuddle my precious child.

I think it was quite some times before they removed my son and put him next to me in his warmer, nicely swaddled.

I could not take my eyes off him.

He is indeed the most beautiful baby I have seen.

Nursery?

I am saving one room for Isa. We have three bedrooms, where one is converted into study room cum guest room, while the other one I just put a single bed along with Isa’s clothes drawers. Well, it was actually boxes from IKEA’s Antonius storage system which I am yet to get its frame. And a towel rack perhaps. The idea is to make sure that when Isa has come to an age where he’s comfortable with sleeping separately from us, the room will need minimal changes before he moves in.

At first I was tempted into making it more like a nursery or baby room, but it is actually a very foreign idea in our culture I suppose. There’s no kids’ room until they are sleeping on their own, which is normally pretty late by western standard since we Asians mostly c0-sleep. I mean, my nephew still sleeps on his parents’ bed and he’s five this year.

From what I get, a baby room is where the kid will be spending time doing whatever activities he likes, especially when he’s come of age where he can play on his own. I did ponder about this for a while you know, decorating the walls with cute photos and all, but then, when will Isa actually spend his time in that room apart from weekends? We arrive home mostly around 6.30 p.m, and by 8 he’s normally sleepy already.

I have no heart to leave him alone playing (if he ever will anyway) in a small room, let alone in a crib. Though I recognise that this will save me time in childproofing the house (by only focusing on this room only), the idea still seems impractical to me.

Sure, Isa needs a play/activity area.

That is why I am sparing an area in our living hall for him to play around. Well, since he can only now roll over, it is not much of a problem when it comes to childproofing, but knowing what future will bring, I have minimised the number of furniture in the living hall (which is adjacent to the dining area). I’ll try to childproof it as much as I can, get a huge playmat, get a storage basket for his toys, add some pillows and a bit of soft comforter/playmat/blanket for him lie on – voila, we have a play area.

For the time being, here’s how it looks like:

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Bare wall and all.

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This would last only a few minutes.

 

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And now I want mommy!

On a separate note, separation anxiety does strike early with this child. *Sigh*