Friday, November 21, 2014

Surviving confinement alone

l feel persuaded to write on this. My latest postpartum experience differed remarkably from the former two.  Previously I had  full time carers to look after my needs and my newborns'. but this time I had to do it solo. Not to mention I have another two kids to look after.  both my mom and mom in laws are still working. My gran is already too old to care for us. My maid was due for her  3 months term  break around that time. Therefore I pre planned my confinement arrangement 2 - 3 months prior.

1 ) the elder kids

I didn't think I could handle three kids at the same time when i was supposed to recuperate from the delivery aftermath. ( but I have proven I  actually could haha)
So 2 weeks prior to my due date I began my maternity leave.  We enrolled Harris to a nearby preschool 1 week before delivery (on our 7th engagement anniversary to be exact) . we initially planned to send Sarah to a babysitter house who lives opposite ours. but the plan was scrapped off eventually  as Sarah seemed not ready to be sent away  plus (after testing for a day or two post partum)  I was able to look after her after all. hehe. though not easy, but manageable.

2) the part time domestic helper

I did look around for a confinement lady. and didn't find one that tailored to my need and budget. ( RM 3k for a 2 weeks service seemed too much)  but there were still  plan b which I think is better. after all, me being me ,who never condone to the traditional confinement rules, getting a proper confinement lady is quite a waste of money. haha. a helper is what i need. we were lucky to be able to convince a day time maid to stay with  us for 3 nights a week to help us with the house chores. otherwise tongkang pecah la rumah hihi..
she mainly look after the house and sarah. and she was only available after week 3 post delivery.  so prior to that ( except for the  first 2 3 days  when my husband was still around) I was totally on my own.
During these days, mr hubby had abruptly changed to be a very effective housemaid/ chauffeur/ shopper and many other domestic posts. I was both thankful and impressed.  lolz.  but I ve got to say his working efficacy and performance was inversely proportional to mine over time.  mentang2 la bini ni mobile n x brp berpantang. lolz. gradually he left the house chores back to me except for the shopping and the chauffeuring part . lolz. my mom also did come by for a while after work ( if she didnt have any other programmes/duties) helping me tending to the baby, particularly during the first few weeks. alhamdulillah.

3) post partum friendly baby equipments

these are rather important and very very very helpful when you have to care for your baby yourself during the delicate days. General rules post delivery mom shouldn't be bending down or squatting too much ( in fact I believe the pantang hardcore people prohibit this all together until certain period of time)
so we bought these :
a bathtub stand. we had had that white baby support since Harris' time.previously, most of the time my older newborns were bathed by my maid/mom/gran. I would only bathe them myself once in a while and a stool would suffice as an extra helping tool. but  this time, since it s gonna be a twice daily routine, i need the bathtub stand.  so i bought it online   (much cheaper than the ones sold in the local baby outlets)

changing table . bought this during my impromptu solo visit to ikea at 9 months preggie age! everone was concerned and offered to help me with the trolley ,queuing and all (except for the ikea staffs themselves, ironically. at least not until i asked them to help with the loading and unloading) good to see there are still many noble-hearted Malaysians!

the nursing pillow. really a great help too for a more comfortable posture during nursing.

4. confinement gadgets

i may not observe all the malay confinement rules but i did follow some which i think is practical in reshaping your body and skin contour as long as it doesn't involve oral jamu /herbs. 

i used leesa's girdles and body contour gel for postpartum body shaping. the packet with the chinese writing is a mix of chinese herbs i used for a more refreshing hot shower. bought it from my masseuse.  
this is my 'batu tungku'. an electric water pillow that can be heated ( given by my grandma).  during previous confinements i did use the real batu tungku wrapped in some sort of leaves. but that would be a bit too tedious for me to do by myself daily. 

All in all, it was a very challenging but no less wonderful experience for me. i was tired for sure, but it makes me value motherhood more. and allowed me to spend more time with my kids as a mother should be. I owed them this because of work commitment, and  I'm going to have to leave them again for the very same reason. I hope my children would understand.

soon babies.  we'll be chillaxing more. for now, mommy have to strive to become paediatrician first, muah muahx.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The arrival of Hannah

Praise be to Allah. The birth of Hannah is like a dawning sunrise to my life. Alhamdulillah. I am a happy mother today.
I believe this is the first time I wrote about my 3rd pregnancy. I first discovered I was pregnant encore for the 3rd time  on november 17th 2013. My feeling? Honestly it was a cocktail. Surprised, scared, why too soon? What would they think? Two is already a headache are we capable of three, now? I hugged my husband, took a deep breath and told him the news. He was much calmer and said he's happy about it and welcomed a third child all the same. Even at that moment. A pillar that I really needed then. And he was one. Still is.
So life went on.  I kept the news to myself (apart from my husband) for quite a while. I had the worst URTI in my life during the early days. For good three weeks I tried to avoid taking any form of medicine as I was still in the first trimester.  but it just got worse over time.   I took a course of cefuroxime eventually. I also suffered from a very bad rhinitis almost throughout the pregnancy, especially during the first half .with a farfetched wide  jobscope and hectic, stressful on-calls,  It was, in a way, physically challenging. But alhamdulillah,  I was free from morning sickness and emesis gravidarum. ( though there was another kind of 'morning sickness' occured on most of the working days of which had nothing to do with my gravid uterus. Huh!)
I didn't make it public till I was over 4 months pregnant.  Bump had started to show up a little and I think I should at that point tell my colleagues. So they knew. And many congratulated sincerely. Alhamdulillah.
My first scan  was around 9 week+ . Parametres were corresponding well with gestational age. Just  like the previous pregnancies, I did not encounter any major problems while bearing little hannah inside. My kk follow ups went smooth sailing all the way.
Except for 1 thing. She was a little bit small. We first noticed it when I booked my obstetrician around 24 weeks ( dr suraya of ksh again :))) ) a scan at that time revealed that her parametres were about 2-3 weeks lagged from her supposed age. However  based on the repeated scan two weeks later  she seemed to have caught up.  So, apart from the bad daily sneezing and annoying superior,  all went well again.
Then during my 3rd trimester scan  at 34 week poa by a colleague, she was found to be small again. Parametres was just about 30-31 weeks weighing about 1.7 kg. A scan by an obstetrician 3 days later confirmed this findings.  But other things were good. The fluid seemed adequate, placenta looked healthy, and blood flow through the placenta were excellent.  Eversince, I was given  2 weekly appointment with obsterician. Despite being a lil bit small for her age, she's  growing steadily, following the centile chart. She s otherwise fine all the way. As one of the  specialists ( dr melati) put it, may be she's just petite. Nothing wrong with that. She was estimated to be 2.1 kg by 36th week, 2.5 kg by 38th, and 2.85 kg 2 days before delivery at 39week6 days.
I took maternity leave 2 weeks earlier than my edd. We were in the process of shifting places too at that  time plus my maid was about to go back  for a long end of term break . I needed to settle a few things before the baby popped out, like enrolling my first born to pre school.
I had irregular painful contraction since 39 weeks but it merely came and go in paroxysmal pattern. Within that seven days or so, I woke up with the tinge of butterfly in my stomach wondering could this be the day ? At this point I had almost zero sadness and things were  pleasurable . I remember feeling this pleasant anticipation each day and closed my eye at the end of the day thinking may be she d come out tomorrow.
I was a bit confused when I should go to hospital initially. At what frequency and intensity of pain should I packed up for hospital ? The irregular bouts of contraction was playing trick on me. Sometime it was as frequent as every 3 to 4 minutes lasting like 20seconds , before gradually dissappearing for like 3-4 hours. This kept giving me false alarms, that I ended up in the hospital 2 days before edd. I was reassured and went back again.
I went again on my due date as I was advised not to allow post date. I was lying on the hospital bed by 12 noon and was induced with prostin by 12.30.  Pain began to be more consistent,  more frequent and more intense gradually. I had my loving husband by my side all the way and was joined by an ex primary school mate a while later. He was warded at that point of time too. I have to say, these two men helped taking my mind off the pain by chitchatting away. He was with us for more than 3 hours and eventually left ( for iftar - at home! ). So it was me and my husband again with nothing much left to say. My mind started to refocus on the pain and after 15 minutes I asked for a nubain.  Nubain was good. I felt light headed, drowsy, calm,  more clingy to hubby and much less in pain. This lasted for a good 4  hours before the contraction became agonisingly painful again. Hub was in the bathroom when it first came, to the point i shed tears. And when he came out, he called out for the nurse to have a look. I asked for another dose of nubain but the nurse was reluctant to give as it should be at 6 hour interval. She  offered to bring me to the labour room instead,  so that I could inhale the laughing gas ( nitrous oxide). I immediately agreed to this. 
We were in labour room by 10 30 pm. Contraction was searing and tearing my stomach apart. The initial os was about 4-5 cm effaced. By the next hour I was crying hopelessly in the labour room. All the time reciting zikir like the simple 'Allah' and the one that was recited by prophet  yunus 'lailaha illa anta subhanaka inna kuntu mina zoolimin'. Continuous head and back massage from the husband , tummy massage and soothing voice of guidance from the midwife was a big  -huge- help at that moment.  people always told me that the entanox was just a waste of time. For a long time, even with two previous labours, I believed this.  But this time i realised you have to do it right to make it work. It was all about timing when to inhale and when to hold your breath. I wouldnt have been able to do it without the midwife guidance ( when you were in such pain it was hard to take control of everything, even yourself!)
You see, this labour experience was rather different from the previous two. 
1) previous pregnancies, I had water break first before contraction pain. This time, I needed to be induced to go  into labour and even up the point that written above ,the amniotic sac was still intact!
2) I received epidural analgesia for the  former labours.  Though there were mishaps in both occasions ( harris - epidural jab was a bit too late. I went into 2nd stage right after. So I felt the strong painful contraction but not the bearing down pain. As with sarah, I had epidural from the beginning but it got blocked right before 2nd stage so I felt the bearing down pain but not the maximally intensified contraction pain.
This time I chose to try to do it without epidural analgesia. Hahaha kinda bad choice but I didn't regret it. It gave me a new level of confidence and I know I can bear such pain.
After 12 midnight the pain was so excruciating I was screaming  ( within tolerable range I think , lolz. This is one of the reason I chose to deliver in private centre. I couldn't bear hearing the ladies in adjacent cubicles screaming and all the supposedly encouraging shoutings from the doctors/midwives. I need the quiet and calm ambience.  So if there s anyone need to  scream it would be only me. Just me. Hehe). The doctor was called immediately.  Os was already 8-9 cm. Membrane was bulging  but  for goodness sake it just  wouldnt burst by itself!
Dr suraya attended calmly and ruptured the membrane with a hook. There was sudden temporary relief of pain while the liquour gushed as if coming out from a water hose . But not for long. I then knew the baby was about to come out. I could feel her head down within my pelvic cavity and crowned with each push.  The pain was indescribable.  I was among the luckiest not to have to experience it too long. Though it felt like forever,  it was just a less than 10 minutes deal. And there,   My 3rd baby was delivered and was put on my belly at 0025 on july 17th 2014. 25 minutes  exceeding her due date ;)  alhamdulillah , she was a beautiful perfect baby girl with excellent APGAR score. She weighed 2.86 kg. So the estimation was almost accurate! I was so tired post delivery that all I wanted to do was to sleep. I didn't have any tear . Just received 1 lap  of suture to catch a bleeder.
The ambience was just as I dreamt of. Calm, surreal and filled with tons of love. Everytime I delivered there would be this feeling of enormous gratitude to Allah and also as if our marital bond was tightened and upgraded to a new level. I didnt just say it. But  by God,  I can feel it does.
Our little baby was nursed under radiant warmer initially, as she was slightly and transiently tachypnoiec. Her initial blood glucose was also quite low. It was 1.5 mmol/l . I consented for formula milk enteral feed as a rescue measure, and since it was significantly low, we decided for  immediate intravenous dextrose bolus  too ( though the reading just prior to bolus was actually 3mmol/l) followed by maintenance infusion. She was fed via ryles tube as they were worried she might aspirate from the rapid breathing. But I breast fed her anyway ( the  breast milk was very scarce in amount at this point and she wasn't too tachypnoiec afterall ,  hence I felt it would be safe to do so ).  I let them continued enteral feeding via ryle's tube throughout the night as I didn't want to risk another episode of hypoglycaemia.
She was  perfectly well the next morning. We took off all the 'wires'  from her, put her in a cot and roomed her in with me. Yeay!
Her haematological investigations came back normal. Full blood count and film, crp ( though I dont see the point of performing this before 12 hours of life,
G6pd and cord tsh test : all were perfecto.
We were allowed home by noon.
it was a wonderful  journey bearing and giving birth to this lil baby. It s even more wonderful to have her in my arm , so tender and pure.
We name her  after one of the greatest women in  history, the mother of Maryam / mary : Hannah
Mommy loves you dearly little Hannah ..

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


It s been a bad bad day.
dear lord give some strength.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Home is where the heart is

Been going through a lot of turmoils for the past 1 year.  Mean and selfish people were everywhere.  But the gift of a beautiful family and a handful of  rezeki has always surpassed these negativity in life. 
Kids and hubbay are away for the evening. Bibik 'loaned' to mom's house.  So am left alone supposedly to study . But too bored and feel like sharing these pics. Humble abode but just like what I dream of. Or at least its going the right track as I ve always dreamt of. Haha. 

I need to do something with this conner. Next furniture hunting wd definitely be a shelves w cabinets. Inshaallah.
my favourite place