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Seven

And just like that – half a year has passed since you came into our world. Just.like.that.

Seven months since I’ve actually gone shopping for myself.

Seven months since I’ve met up with my girlfriends for Din Tai Fung or coffee

Seven months since I’ve met the husband at work for a lunch date

Seven months since I’ve had a nap in the afternoon

Seven months since I’ve slept earlier than 00:45

Seven months since I’ve woken up later than 7 am (I know there are mum still struggling to get this)

Seven months since I’ve travelled anywhere that didn’t have the option of a nursing room or a place I could pump/express milk

Seven months since I’ve made less than two trips to my favourite place ever – the library

Seven months since I’ve worn regular underwear. Nursing bras simply are not attractive. (Sorry Bravado – you come pretty close but still no cigar)

Seven months since I’ve slept on my side (I miss that!)

Seven months since I’ve crocheted ‘anything’! Or painted. (I miss that too)

Do I regret not doing any of these things? Never. I miss them. But I love you. And you’e given me more than any of these ‘things’ ever ever could.

I look at you and you look right into me. Straight through my heart – I now understand exactly what that means. I love you sweet boy. I cannot imagine how I spent my entire life without you. These seven months have been the most trying, difficult, hard, soul searchingly honest and completely exhilarating months of my life! Thank you baby boy. Cheers to the future!

 

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Missing

Where does the time fly?

In a day my boy will be seven months old. How did that happen? Here I am planning a trip back home in December and the celebration of his first birthday and it’s slightly overwhelming dealing with the details. But when I step back and think for a moment -it hits me! A whole year has passed since I discovered I was pregnant. A whole year! ( and more actually) And I feel like I haven’t changed at all. Except the life I used to lead.

Some days are hard. Some days I wish I was able to move out more freely. Go to the library or roam the streets like I used to. Some days I wish every purchase I made wasn’t ‘baby related’. Heck – even now I’m desperately hoping I can buy an amazingly gorgeous cow leather ‘DIAPER BAG’! 😦

I guess I could still do these things but never in the same manner as I used to. I do miss the old days. *sigh* Guess it’s just one of those days.

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Look Ma! No Hands!

When I was in the hospital, after having delivered Z – I knew NOTHING about pumping. In fact in spite of all the reading I did prior to childbirth, I did not prepare AT ALL for pumping. Never thought of buying a pump, never thought of researching the different kinds or even considering if I may need one.

To make my life a bit easier, a good friend had donated her old Medela to me and although I took it gratefully I never really gave it much thought at all. So, coming back to the hospital – there I was, in my room, holding my brand new hours old baby boy and trying to nurse him. And not quite getting it. Along came Nurse no 1. who did a bot of fiddling and got him to latch. Yay! and 30 secs after she left the room, my boy unlatches. So off went the husband for the nurse and along came Nurse No.2, also got him to latch after some positioning adjustments and no sooner had she left that he unlatched AGAIN! This continued for the 4 days that I was in hospital. My ability to get him to have a proper latch was hit and miss. I saw lactation consultants, I was visited my numerous nurses, my breasts were prodded and twisted and grabbed and pressed but I still could not quite get it. But that is another story. Anyway, in the meantime – my milk had come in – in full force! And since he wasn’t taking it all in quite as fast I was told to use the hospital pun and express it out otherwise I could get engorged.

After one brief experience with chilled cabbage leaves, I decided maybe pumping would be better and so the husband kindly obliged and wheeled in a Medela Lactina (I didn’t know it was called that then) and thus began my pumping journey. That was just over six months ago. I still pump today. Still use a Medela and still have trouble latching.

In the early weeks my friend’s medela PISA helped tremendously! I’m not sure if it was a combination of the Lactina for the first five days and the PISA or just sheer luck but thank God my supply never really dipped. It wavered but never fell drastically. As the weeks passed and I realised that pumping was fast becoming a reality I began to read more about it. The various pumps available, the techniques to massage the breasts, the methods to increase supply and avoid clogs – there was so much there!

After my first clog I realised that the internet is not the best place to get information for exclusively pumping mums who face issues with milk production. Every single resource tells you to ‘latch the baby’. Huh? If I could do that I wouldn’t be exclusively pumping! So I joined a Facebook group for mothers like me and found that to be a fantastic resource and support system. And I fell into a comfortable routine. Except that now as my baby grows he’s getting more and more animated. He wants to interact more and is no longer satisfied with just lying back in his cot and staring at the dreamcatcher on the window.  I now needed to have a way of moving with him and yet sticking to my pump schedule.

So I got the Simple Wishes handsfree pumping bra. Used it for the first time this afternoon and my first impression? Super product! I managed to cook while pumping…brilliant! Will probably do a more detailed review once I’ve used it a fair bit but I just had to say it now that I love it so far!

Heres to pumping for as long as I can – its been a great journey so far and I know things will only get better 🙂

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Brainwave!

Before I forget! I need to write this down and share it because it really worked for me.

Thankfully, in the past six odd months of pumping I have had a clog just twice. Though that was twice too many it still features pretty low in the breastfeeding/pumping world.

When it did happen to me, every single search I did for solutions suggested massaging in some form or another. This along with heat applications should help loosen the clog. Well, the first time I did it I massaged the hell out of my breast until my entire hand was aching and my fingers cramped. I always take really hot showers so that was not a problem but the massaging was taking a toll on my hands not to mention that it really hurt too.

Then the second time I got a clog I was in the shower trying to use the hot water and massage at the same time when my eyes fell on the shelf that holds my shampoo and soap etc. Lying there since I think 2009 (I don’t think I ever used it honestly) was The Body Shop Cellulite Massager.

I picked it up and used it to massage my clog – and it felt great! One pump later and it was gone….I am so so glad I thought of using it for this because I honestly think it brilliant! Yay! so what if I still have cellulite, I am definitely clog free 🙂

Image Courtesy Amazon

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Squirt!

Isn’t that a brilliant name for a spoon? haha! I love it! both the name and the product.

When I first tried to feed Z some oatmeal with a baby spoon and bowl it created a terrible mess. There was oatmeal EVERYWHERE! in his hair, on his neck, on the chair and on me. And it is NOT something you can just wipe off especially if its made with breast milk. So although I looked forward to solids with the boy I dreaded the mess. And then the great and wonderful Husband remembered that a long long time ago (last year in October actually) before Z was born, we had gone for a baby fair and purchased this feeding spoon from Boon. Back when we bought it we never really thought much about just how helpful it will turn out to be. And I’m so so glad we did.

It’s a game changer for our meals really. Z loves it and I find it so much easier to feed him with. No time wasted refilling the spoon from the bowl and no time wasted wiping it off his face as somehow this spoon has a shape that fits perfectly into his tiny lil mouth.

Can’t wait to buy another one 🙂

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And So It Begins….

….my baby boy has started on solids. Never thought it would hurt so much. He will no longer be completely sustained by my milk. He is growing up. I guess we don’t really think about it much but our babies are constantly moving away from us. All through our pregnancy we walk about with this lil miracle growing inside us not really realising that the day this baby is born is the day we cease to have the ability to protect it the way we can when its inside our womb. And from that day onwards, our baby grows and grows independently.

While I (of course) think this is a wonderful thing, it doesn’t take away the pain felt each time my baby needs me a little less in his life. Solids is the first step. I guess if he was on formula I may have felt it a bit less, but the fact remains that he’s been exclusively breast milk fed so far (and it continues as long as I think I can manage pumping) and seeing hi take delight in tasting that tiny bit of avocado made my heart melt and then hurt – just a wee bit. *sigh*

I love you my darling boy! can’t believe how blessed we are to have you. Your joy at the little things in life. The way you approach each new day with a beaming smile and a furious shake of your tiny lil hands….your constant curiosity and alertness and your incredibly infections happy moods…the way you accept every single new food offered (avocados, rice cereal, oatmeal, pears, sweet potatoes) even though you don’t quite like a couple of them….you are the brightest spots in my day and I can only thank God for giving us you.

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Scratch Scratch the Back!

Huggies Super Dry diapers are horrible! We usually use cloth diapers but occasionally when we go out or visit people we use disposables – just to make it easier for everyone involved. About a month ago we were out and about a lot – resulting in a lot of disposes. The diaper used at the time was Huggies. Little did I know that it would be a horrible horrible decision. Z developed a rash. Not just on the butt cheeks but all along his waist and thighs. Lucas Papaw cream cured the part on his butt almost overnight, but the one on his girdle/waist and sides of his upper thighs remained. Thanks to their position my lil scamp constantly scratched and scratched and made it worse. There was almost no way we could stop him. I tried cutting his nails almost weekly (why do they grow so fast?!) making him wear his lil mittens (not a viable option as he sucks his fingers and the cloth would just get dirty and it wasn’t very hygienic) Singapore is so hot! putting him long pants was ridiculous…he sweats even when the aircon is on so no can do. We just had to struggle along trying to get his tiny hands away from his torso….diaper changes were such a challenge!

Norway was slightly better but even there the rash persisted. We had to obviously stop Huggies, stopped the cloth diapers too since he he scratched through them and they tended to heat his skin up when he scratched.

What worked for us? (its still a WIP as of now though)

  • Not too many baths (they tend to dry his skin up)
  • Cetaphil Moisturising cream/Cetaphil Restoraderm/Papaw Cream and Pure Therapy by Purist cream – a combination of these at various stages helped calm the rash down and like I said, its still a work in progress
  • Merries diapers. I do not like disposables but I have to admit these are pretty good when it comes to combatting a rash or allergic reaction
  • Libero diapers. Found these in Norway when we were running low on Merries. Worked just as well

Ah! its hard to see the lil puppy in discomfort but I’m hoping its on the recovery road and we can go back to our cloth bums 🙂