all I ever wanted…

about my travelogues, adventures in life, fashion, beauty and the occasional rambling.

0-3 months update

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*just finished this post and realised that I rambled on for quite a bit so I am going to insert random photos of baby T to make it appear less wordy* ;)

3 months have passed! *pats self on back for surviving*

I wanted to do an update at 2 months but didn’t manage to find the time to finish the entry so 3 months it is then!

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my chubby bunny at 3 months old!

Eating

As I blogged before, breastfeeding has really been tough on me. I really did try a lot of things I can, and am still trying my best to increase my supply and am pleased to say that this past week I have been breastfeeding exclusively! *fist pump*

It has been a really long journey. When she was one month old, half of her feeds were formula. After the CL left, my supply dipped slightly because it was so stressful taking care of a baby. At two months, she takes breastmilk during the day, and formula during the night. So that means formula has dropped to about one third of her feeds. And now at 3 months, she is on full breastmilk! For now at least. Honestly, I don’t think I did anything different like pumping more. In fact, I pumped less and gave myself less stress. Anyway, my supply is just nice now. Would be good to have extra but…..fat hope I guess. Anyway, going back to work in 3 weeks time and I am feeling real jittery on how everything is going to work out. Don’t think I will have much time to pump at work zzz.

Noting down her feeds here: two months, she used to be able to finish 120mL easily and even 150mL at night but right now, she seems to start hating the bottle! It is always a struggle to get her to drink from the bottle and I have to get her in the right mood by carrying her around the house then waving the bottle in front of her before sticking it into her mouth at the right moment (usually takes a few tries) fml. So now, I always store breastmilk in 100mL portions to prevent wastage. Again, worrying about how she will do once I start work!

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when she’s less than a month old, which explains why she is swaddled up.

Weight

At week 6 she weighs in at 5.5kg, above the average percentile. At 14 weeks she is weighing in at 6.78kg, dropping into 95 percentile but still a big baby! Even though her weight gain is slowing down, PD says she is still growing well. T is worried though but I am not because I don’t want her to be overweight in future.

Playing

For the first month when the CL was around, she was sleeping a lot so I only did very minimal tummy time and playing. My mom keep nagging at me for letting her do tummy time because she said that baby T is still young so I stopped for a long while. Started again recently because my friends’ babies around the same age can already raise their heads effortlessly while on their tummies. Grrs, regret listening to my mom, AGAIN.

There are two main play things at home, the crib mobile and activity gym. She used to hate both when she was 1month+. For the crib mobile, she hates the sounds that it plays so I would only activate the movement because she seems to enjoy watching it. Afterwards I learnt that putting her further away actually helps as well, not sure why she doesn’t like to be too close to it, timid? These days, I can play the sound along with the movement and it can keep her entertained for about 10-15 minutes! Still doing the distance thing though haha. As for the activity gym, there was a time (1-2months old) when she would end up screaming most of the time when we put her on there wtf. Very stressful because I got to watch out for her fussy cues all the time while she’s on it so I don’t use it much until the last couple of weeks. Now she seems to enjoy it a little bit more, by looking at the toys dangling above her for a longer period of time and if there’s something near her mouth, she will try to taste it. Still not swiping at toys intentionally yet, but has started putting her hands together which is a start!

These couple of days, she also seem to have found control of her tongue and enjoy sticking it out for most part of the day.

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day 41, the day after we shaved her!

Sleeping

Amazingly enough, she knows the difference between night and day pretty early on. At 1month plus, she started sleeping for 4-5 hours stretch at night which is a relief for us. And she only wakes for milk, after drinking she will go right back to sleep which is awesome.

At 1-2 months old, sometimes she wakes up 1-2 times a night. We try to get her to sleep by 7pm and it was a torture every night. The internet wasn’t kidding about the witching hours man! There was a period when she would cry the whole house down every evening before sleeping. T and I will take turns to carry her. She cries while being carried and rocked, and cries even louder when you put her down. Those memories make me shudder in fear and I am glad we seem to be past that now.

Recently she has been consistently waking up twice for milk, and the first feed always throws T off (he takes the night shift and I pump) because she refuses to drink much at all! The second feed happens around 5am and he will pass her to me for direct latch and we both sleep till 8am+ while he gets some rest as well. As we always struggle with the feed, we decide that she must not be hungry at that time even though she wakes up! Anyway, trying to drag her bedtime for the past few days and it seems to be working. She is sleeping around 8pm+, then waking up at 2plus am for milk then in the morning and T is not having any problem with that feed anymore! :)

Another thing that I want to quickly note down here is that she used to want us to carry and rock her to sleep all the time, and carry her while she is sleeping as well (especially naptimes during the day). But for the past week, we have been able to put her to sleep by rocking her in the stroller for naps and night time, she will usually go back to sleep on her own. This is a huge relief for me because my back was just about to break from all the carrying, especially since she is so heavy now!

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1 month plus, still so small and sleepy all the time in the same pose as the bear on her onesie! 

Talking/Blabber

Even before she hit one month old, she has already started making cooing sounds. CL said she is a very sociable baby, and doesn’t like to be left alone. Very true because everytime we leave her sight, she freaks out. Now she can be alone for a longer period of time (10-20 minutes) but still very much prefer us to entertain her.

She now makes a variety of sounds, with oooo being one of the early ones she made, then ah-ooo, and ah ah ah. This past week she has also started shrieking. When I first heard it I thought she was in pain or something, but when I looked over, she was all smiles and her limbs are relaxed by her side so I am guessing she is just playing with her voice.

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my cutie pie

It has been a roller-coaster the past 3 months, both emotionally and physically but I feel that I am getting more adjusted now! Still I envy my friends who have their mothers who happily help them out. My mom comes over when I ask her to, but even then I don’t ask her to come unless it’s really necessary if not I feel like I owe her something. Even if I don’t, I know that she will make me feel that way in future somehow.

I pray that in future, baby T will never hesitate to come to me for anything and I will always be her pillar of support.

ok, off to catch a few hours sleep now before waking up for a pumping session!

Written by whitepaperroses

July 14, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Posted in Parenthood

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The other day I was just reflecting on my life journey, on what I have and have not accomplished so far since I am in this new chapter right now.

 

Here’s a summary of the key milestones in my life.

19 years old – my first full time job.

23 years old – graduated from my degree

24 years old – got married

25 years old – got pregnant

26 years old – had a baby

Looking at this makes me feel like I am on fast track in life because it seems like there is something major happening every year since 23! Wonder if that’s good or bad. To be honest, there will be something major happening for the next 3 years as well but not gonna share for now since it hasn’t happened yet! :p

These days I keep thinking that I should have traveled more before I got pregnant but then again, I have already traveled a lot for someone my age. So how much more is more? I have so many places that I want to go to!

For reference sake, this is the top 5 that I really want to go to, not in any order of preference.

1) New Zealand for its beautiful scenery

2) Italy for its architecture and gelato and bags of course ;)

3) Scandinavia for the Northern Lights

4) Africa for its safaris

5) Somewhere with a beautiful beach, like Bora Bora, Fiji, or Mauritius

Probably will try to fulfill one next year end. So looking forward to it already whoohoo!

Written by whitepaperroses

July 7, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Posted in musings

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The ‘Use-it-up’ Project (32) – June Edition

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Been crazy busy for the past month since taking care of a baby alone is no joke. I used to think that it will be easy peasy, since all babies do is eat sleep poop right? WRONG. There’s burping, playing, rocking her to sleep which takes up a ridiculous amount of time fml but I will not succumb to a yaolan, doing her laundry, while trying to get my hygiene and meals in order wtf.

Have been doing this post in bits and pieces and am glad that at least it isn’t going up too late. Only the second of July today! *pats self*

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1) thisworks – in transit, no traces

why did I buy it? always on the lookout to try new makeup wipes since I go through them so quickly!

first impressions? it has a strong sweet scent (on the packaging it says Rosewater and Water Mint Infused pads) and is very wet. Cleanses really well, though I have to use two pieces instead of the usual one piece because the size is smaller than other wipes.

upon finishing? I really did enjoy using this and wouldn’t mind purchasing this again if it goes on sale on ASOS since it is rather pricey at around sgd$41.80.

2) L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shower Gel 

why did I buy it? got this in a set of goodies I got in L’Occitane while I was in the states for my honeymoon. That was almost 2 years ago and I finally got around to using it!

first impressions? the smell isn’t something that I would usually go for, and it feels like an average shower gel but slightly thicker.

upon finishing? Don’t think I will repurchase unless I come across a scent that I can’t resist.

3) Simple – Soothing Facial Toner

why did I buy it? since I enjoyed the Simple makeup removing wipes so much, I decided to try more of their products!

first impressions? It has a strong witch hazel scent that threw me off when I first used it, but it is really gentle on my skin. I used it at night after I get out of the shower.

upon finishing? I got used to the smell and thought that it is a good basic toner. I may or may not repurchase this, because I am considering getting a softener instead so that my nighttime skincare can be absorbed even better.

4) Sephora Lipstick

why did I buy it? on a whim I guess, got this so long ago!

first impressions? I remembered enjoying this as it had a fruity scent and applies smoothly. However, since it is a dark color, I didn’t get a chance to use it as much as I would like to.

upon finishing? As you can see, I still have quite a bit left but like I said, I don’t use it much and it has been so long since I had it so I decided to throw it out. Planning to do some more purging in the upcoming months!

5) Lip Scrub

why did I buy it? got this in Tokyo few years back in a shop called Ranking Queen. It was ranked as one of the top sellers so I thought I would give this a try.

first impressions? it is rather thick and not rough at all. after washing it off, I feel like there’s a layer of moisture on my lips. tastes really sweet as well haha.

upon finishing? again I did not finish this product because I am not diligent about using it. But since I have it for so long already, I decided to toss this out. Currently using Fresh’s lip scrub instead :)

6) Aqualabel – White Up EX

why did I buy it? ever since last year, I decided to incorporate serums into my night time skincare routine as I was a quarter of a century old already. So I saw this on sale and thought of giving this a go as Aqualabel is a drugstore version of Shiseido.

first impressions? I like how it absorbs into the skin really quickly.

upon finishing? I am not sure of the whitening effect since much of my skincare is preventive so I guess we shall see if my routine works in the years to come. Overall I did enjoy the product as it was easy to use because of the pump and very lightweight. However, I didn’t manage to finish every mL of it since the pump couldn’t get everything out. Am not too concerned since this is not an expensive product.

 

Hope to be able to blog more in July!

Written by whitepaperroses

July 2, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Living the life

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These days I am at home mostly since I have a baby to take care of. So I am on social media a lot even more often to feel like I am still connected to the outside world.

That is the positive side of social media.

The negative thing is, it has lead me to a serious case of envy when I see friends my age enjoying their weekend brunches, weekday dinners, travels and whatnot. While I am stuck at home ALL DAY.

I thought to myself, wow (s)he is really living the life now!

Then I questioned myself, what does living the life really mean? Is travelling all over the world/spending extravagantly the only way(s)? I reflected upon myself and it occurred to me that I would have thought myself to be living the life too in my current circumstances. I mean, starting a family at 26 has always been ideal because I don’t want to have too much of an age gap and to be honest, I don’t think I will have the energy to keep up with the kids if I have them late in my life.

I really should take a step back and count my blessings more often instead of always looking over to the grass on the other side.

Hope you do and happy weekend!

Written by whitepaperroses

May 31, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Posted in musings

The ‘Use-it-up’ Project (31) – May Edition

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Another month has passed. I am not too sure if time is passing slowly or too quickly. Totally depends on when you ask me, if baby T is crying then I am most likely to be thinking that my days are as long as years now hahaha.

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1) Nivea – Sun Invisible Protection Transparent Spray

why did I buy it? there was a period when I went swimming every week so I bought this for sun protection.

first impressions? I really like how convenient the spray is and it was very easy to rub it into the skin as well.

upon finishing? I didn’t finish this at all because I stopped swimming in the mornings and started in the late afternoons when I felt that sun protection wasn’t necessary. Also this has a smell that I really didn’t enjoy. And I found another spray that is even more awesome from Biore which I used for my Maldives trip!

2) L’oreal – Smooth-Intense Anti-Frizz Serum (Leave-In)

why did I buy it? always looking for something to tame my hair!

first impressions? it did an average job at smoothing out my hair so I was quite inconsistent in using it.

upon finishing? I forced myself to use it everyday and I am glad that I managed to finish it but I very much prefer argan oil by Skinfood to this.

3) Clinique – All About Eyes Gel

why did I buy it? I have tried this before and it worked well so I repurchased it.

first impressions? love how hydrating it is.

upon finishing? The only complain I have about this is that it is in a tub which is unhygienic. It will also be great if it can solve my dark eye circle problems but overall, I do enjoy using this. Will definitely repurchase in future once I finished my current stash of eye creams.

4) Clinique – Even Better Eyes (Dark Circle Corrector)

why did I buy it? as I mentioned above, I really wanted something for my dark eye circles.

first impressions? love the cooling tip that depuffs the eye area.

upon finishing? I don’t see any improvements at all! Very disappointed as it was a rather expensive eye cream.

5) Steamcream

why did I buy it? another steamcream gone! Read here about what I think about it in previous posts.

6) Bath&Body Works – Candy Apple Anti-bacterial Hand Gel

why did I buy it? got this in a haul when they were having 5 for $5 promotion. So cheap! I always like to have anti-bacterial gel lying around in my purse and vanity area.

first impressions? love this scent! if I am not wrong, they only promote this during Christmas time. Not sure if they will still have it this year.

upon finishing? love it and don’t mind getting more of them since they are so cheap and smell ridiculously good.

7) Biotherm –  Anti-drying Body Milk

why did I buy it? got this in a Bellabox subscription.

first impressions? a rather thin body lotion that absorbs well into the skin.

upon finishing? I felt that it was pretty average, definitely not something that I would purchase myself.

8) Too Faeed – Lashgasm Mascara

why did I buy it? got this as part of a two faced makeup set that I decided to get!

first impressions? it is one of the better mascaras that I have tried as it lengthens well after a couple of coats.

upon finishing? Still prefer my falsies because they give me double eyelids!

 

Dreaming of a holiday right now ~.~

Written by whitepaperroses

May 28, 2014 at 7:08 PM

D-Day

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One month has passed since I gave birth. Thought I should pen down my labor process lest it gets forgotten down the road.

14 April 2014 – 2 days after my expected delivery date.

I started experiencing irregular contractions around 10plus in the morning and regular ones from noon onwards. However, I was still very unsure whether it’s real labor contractions or false ones because I could still bear the pain. When the contractions got closer together (5 minutes apart), we decided to call our doctor. He didn’t even ask me about my contractions, just asked me to head straight to the hospital! Anyway, during our last visit, he was pretty sure that I would be delivering within the next few days.

So T and I checked that we got everything and I managed to squeeze in a quick shower before heading over to the hospital.

The hospital we went to is Mount Elizabeth Hospital. T dropped me off at the entrance while he went to park the car and someone escorted me to the labor ward. Initial checks showed that I am already 5cm dilated! That was at 4pm.

Got the epidural in really quick and I was glad for that because the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. The nurse told me that if I feel any slight pain, I have to let her know to increase the epidural amount which I did eventually. There was a machine reading the strength of the concentration and T had fun looking at the graph climbing and peaking while I winced in pain waiting for the increased epidural dosage to kick in. Boo :(

We were also told to wait till the cervix is dilated till 10cm before baby can come out, and that 1cm usually takes about an hour. I was pretty on time, and my cervix was fully dilated around 8plus pm. I was also told to call the nurse if I feel like passing motion, because that would mean that the baby is pushing her way out. My water bag broke when the nurse did her final check on my cervix. It was a very strange feeling, like I had squeezed a water balloon with my thighs and it broke. The nurse gave my gynae another call (they called him frequently to update him on my status) and he totally took his time to come! Not sure if that’s the case or it’s just new parents’ nerves haha.

When he finally arrived, he dressed appropriately and the nurse put me into position. Everything happened so quickly and before I knew it, I was asked to push. I tried really hard, for the two chances he gave me anyway before it was decided that the vacuum is to be used! Before going into the hospital, T said that he definitely wouldn’t want the gynae to use vacuum but at that time, I think he was too shocked to say anything.

Soon, at 8.43pm, baby T was born! 

The gynae threw her to me immediately after and did his stuff like getting the placenta out and stitching me up. I feel ashamed to say that I didn’t want to carry my baby after birth at all! I felt so drained of energy after giving birth, and all I wanted was to quench my thirst and sleep. I begged the nurse to give me some water and she allowed two sips. Soon after, I was vomiting my guts and the nurse got chided by my gynae. Apparently, because I had epidural, I wasn’t allowed any drop of water or food at all.

Anyway, after all these drama, they finally took the baby to clean her up. The nurse said that she can help me latch on and start breastfeeding as soon as I am ready. But like I said, all I wanted to do was to sleep so I politely rejected her. Soon, everyone left the room and I drifted off while T carried her for a full hour.

After I regained a bit of my consciousness, I started breastfeeding for a little bit while waiting for them to transfer me to my ward. Which took forever by the way because they have to transfer another patient first wtf. The wait was horrible, it made me feel like nobody in the hospital cared about me and my newborn baby (read: hormones speaking).

I felt so much better after being transferred into my room. The absence of the smell of blood helped a lot as well. I finally got to have some milo since it was already midnight by the time I got to my room, and biscuits too.

And that is my labor journey! Not very exciting, and a relatively quick one considering that it’s my first. All these I am thankful for.

This also marks the end of my pregnancy and the start of parenthood! More updates to follow :p

Written by whitepaperroses

May 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

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My Breastfeeding Journey

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With breastfeeding touted as the best way (so to me, it’s the only way) to go these days, I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed even before I was pregnant. I read up quite a bit, though I wasn’t obsessed because I was quite optimistic that my breasts will not fail me.

After having the baby for almost 4 weeks now, I can say that my breastfeeding journey has not been the way I had expected at all and definitely not easy. I mean, I read like a million times ‘it’s going to be difficult in the beginning’ but it just didn’t register in my brain and I got the shock of my life when I finally understand how difficult it was going to be.

Let’s start from the beginning.

For the first two days of baby T’s life, I was still feeling smug because she was sleeping really well and I was ‘feeding on demand’. Well, now I know it’s my naive thinking. Nobody told me that babies ‘wake up’ on their third day. So for her third day, which is also the day I get to go home (and finally shower!), I have a  hungry baby who was crying non-stop while T was trying to get me discharged. Adding to that, PD who visited us in the morning told us that she lost weight (~200g) and asked us to supplement with formula. It was only a couple weeks later that I learnt that breastfed babies typically lose about 10% of their weight in the first week of birth pffft.

Anyway, can you even imagine how stressful I was that afternoon!

I had her on the breast for 90% of the time for the 3 hours in the hospital, and dreading going home since there’s no nurse to look for then. I literally begged for the nurses to send in a lactation consultant before I leave. I was expecting the same lady I had seen for the past couple of days but a different one came. She was super friendly and helped me with massaging my breast. I also raised my concerns about the PD wanting me to supplement with formula, and she didn’t insist that I should persevere with exclusively breastfeeding (which is what the previous LC did) and asked me to make the decision that will be best for me and the baby’s health and mental state when the time comes. And should I need to supplement, I should use a cup/baby spoon for feeding instead of bottle to avoid nipple confusion. This made me feel much less guilty about getting formula from hospital eventually.

Well, the silver lining for that afternoon is that at least she didn’t cry on the short car ride home.

We met the confinement lady at our house and my mom and sis came too and you guessed it, the baby started crying again soon after we reached home. No matter how much I have her on the breasts, she just doesn’t seem to be satisfied. I finally succumbed to feeding her with 20ml of formula at night as I couldn’t stand the feeling of her being hungry and she gobbled it up.

Looking at her greedily drinking up the milk made me teared because it made me feel like I starved her for too long! What kind of mother am I to make my child starve?

However, I was determined not to give up. I thought to myself, my milk supply will certainly be up by next week!

I tried latching on as much as I can, I finished every single dish the confinement nanny cooked for me, I drank red dates tea like crazy, I try as much as possible to pump after every feeding AND slot in a power pumping session a day but my milk supply still hasn’t caught up with her growing needs.

Since then I have been trying my best to feed her as much as I can and supplement with formula if she still seems really hungry. Some days, I feel good about this decision I have made because it certainly made everyone’s lives easier and happier of course. Other days, I cry uncontrollably, not being able to understand why I can’t be like those legendary 牛 (literally translated as milk cow). 

These days, I have more good days than bad. Instead of being depressed over the fact that I don’t have enough milk for her, I thank God that she is eating well and does not suffer from nipple confusion, and happily drinks both formula and breastmilk. I am also happy to report that her intake of breastmilk is more than formula.

Just the breastfeeding part alone has been quite a ride so far, and I still have so much to learn!

I need to keep in mind that there is no perfect parent and what’s most important is that I love her with all my heart!

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Written by whitepaperroses

May 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Posted in Parenthood

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