all I ever wanted…

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baby T updates

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It’s another 4 days to baby T turning 11 months. Been feeling rather emotional these couple of days because all of a sudden, she seem so big already and just another month, she is officially no longer a baby but a toddler!

I skipped the last update (6-9 months) because it was a crazy period, baby T was hospitalized the first time around Christmas, and then another round in Feb during the week that I had to be away for a business trip ;( Maybe I will write about this some other time because I want to keep this post mainly positive!

So my little sweetheart has suddenly progressed so much! Here are the things I have noticed this past week.

– climb up stairs (she can do this a while back but is much more stable now)

– stack the Fisher Price Brillant Basics Rock a Stack

– clap her hands

– say mum mum when she is hungry. Is this her first word then? She knows how to say mum mum some time ago, but I didn’t think that she knows what it means. These days she will say it when she’s really hungry though! One more interesting word is gei gei, she said that when she was super impatient while waiting for us to get ready to go out. I wonder if she knows that means gai gai? I only heard that once before, so definitely going to pay more attention to her blabbering these days!

– comb her hair. I bought a comb for her recently and she actually know how to use it! I wonder how since I don’t really comb my hair very often hahahaha.

– shake her head when she doesn’t want something

– hold her own milk bottle, not throughout the whole feed though because she gets distracted. but there was once when I left the bottle near her and went to do something else, and she just picked it up and just started drinking while standing up holding on to the coffee table haha

– stand on her own for a few seconds. she started doing this a few weeks back but wasn’t too frequent but this past week she seem to have gotten stronger (and more confident) in standing!

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This is all I can think of right now, but I am quite amazed by how much she has grown! Other notable things are that she can understand what I am saying most of the time, like no, pass me things, bye bye to mean that I am going off etc. She is also super sensitive, whenever I raise my voice a little to shout that I mean business, she will burst into tears. T and I find it very amusing, but I am sure it will turn into an annoying habit if she rolls around on the floor hahaha.

 

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Written by whitepaperroses

March 10, 2015 at 10:01 PM

Posted in Parenthood

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6 months old!

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Baby T is 6 months old now! *throws confetti

I feel much more settled into my role as a mother now. During my last update, I was still hormonal and trying to adjust to this huge change in my life but right now I can’t imagine a life without her already. I do think it’s because she has become much more interactive and clearly shows a preference for me hehe 😉

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So much love for this tiny human!

Eating

She is taking 130mL milk every ~3.5hrs during the day, and supplementing with formula once a day. There was a few weeks before week 26 when every feed was a nightmare, i.e. took a long time to finish or don’t want to drink at all but thinking back now, it’s probably a combination of teething and fussiness before Wonder Week 26. She is ok now, but gets easily distracted and bored so it is definitely much more difficult to feed her now compared to when she’s younger! I find that letting her hold on to a toy while drinking milk keeps her occupied, if not she will just keep fidgeting around.

Regarding solids, I initially wanted to start only after she reached 6 months old, but with friends/relatives starting their babies on solids and eating loads BEFORE their babies even reached 6 months made me nervous about baby T not being able to catch up #kaisumom So I got her started around 5 months.

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Her first solid food was apple, which I steamed and pureed myself. But because she still has that tongue reflex, she can’t eat much at all so I felt like I wasted my effort. Then we started her on cereal which is mixed with EBM so at least there is something familiar to her. But still, the tongue reflex! The thing is, since she goes to school we can only let her try during the weekend since the school they won’t start any babies on solids until they are 6 months old. So, I have given up on pureeing food myself and have succumbed to buying jars from supermarket. I only started seeing a major improvement when she was a week away from being 6 months old when I gave her solids every day since she is home bound due to an episode of HFMD. So far, I have tried apple, butternut squash, carrots, banana. Planning to start on sweet potato and prunes next! And then back to trying making my own baby food again once her appetites goes up.

Weight

She is 8.2kg already! She has doubled her birth weight which is a good thing, and still at 90 percentile. Am amazed by how quickly babies grow in the first year of their life. One thing I know for sure, my arms are getting more toned these days from carrying her. 

Playing

She is super playful! Especially love it when I sing to her, read rhymes but doesn’t get the concept of stories yet, play peek-a-boo. She loves it when we bring her out, because there’s so many people and things happening all at the same time. I love that she is super generous with her smiles, even to strangers as long as I am carrying her.

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I try not to buy too many toys since she doesn’t really spend too much time at home, but even then, I find that she grows sick of the toys so quickly. Sigh! How should I entertain a baby at home?

Sleeping

She still goes to bed around 8pm every night and wakes up once a night. When she first started school, she woke up quite regularly around 4am every night but the past few weeks it has been unstable like between 2-5am. Well, at least it’s still once a night! We have shifted her to the cot after I started work and she adjusted well so yay to that. A few weeks before Wonder week 26, she also slept rather poorly, waking up every few hours. But thankfully after the Wonder Week has passed, she is back to being a sweet sleeping angel again. Phew. Same goes for naps! She napped super poorly, the worst was waking up after ten minutes! Of course she is cranky. One other thing that I wanted to note down here is that we still experience witching hour between 6-8pm. Some days are better than others, but today was especially bad. Bad = won’t stop crying unless someone is carrying her ._.

Talking/Blabber

She doesn’t really blabber too much when she’s busy playing, only when she’s bored or sleepy. Like, before she sleeps especially for naps, she will go bah bah bah bah bah before nodding off haha. She now knows how to make ‘papapa’ sounds so T is really excited even though she doesn’t mean it. But she makes Mama sounds quite distinctively, still I am unsure if she knows what that means. One other significant thing that I want to record down is that when I ask her to say bye to her teachers, she will go ‘En’ or ‘Ey’. Most of the times anyway.

Motor Skills

She learnt to crawl one week before she turned 6 months! I think getting the playmat really helped because it is easy for her to move around. However, she can’t really sit up right but definitely getting better these days at 6.5 months. About a week back, she was able to go from sitting position to tummy position, and right now she is trying to do tummy to sitting. Sometimes she succeed and sometimes she don’t but it is something that I keep seeing her do.

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She is also learning how to hold her cup! So cute.

Others

She has HFMD during my birthday week, so that really sucks. I spent the whole week at home together with her and the first day was really heart breaking because she had fever and even vomiting 😦 Am glad that this is over already.

Also brought her to baby spa for the first time!

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She was a little scared, especially when strangers touched her but I do think she will enjoy it if she goes again. But it is ridiculously expensive though, so I will probably just bring her to the pool.

That is all for now, and I am looking forward to creating more memories as a family. XOXO

Written by whitepaperroses

November 1, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Posted in Parenthood

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Back to work!

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Started work 2 weeks ago on 4 Aug and sent baby T for her first day of infant care on 1 Aug which is a Friday.

Her first day was uneventful, albeit the fact that they actually gave her some other baby’s EBM because there were 2 new babies on that day wtf. Don’t know whether to be happy that she accidentally got an extra bottle of breastmilk or freak out. Anyway, the teacher said that she didn’t fuss while drinking which is expected because she is ok with BM or formula, and even the oral Rotavirus vaccine hahaha.

And on Monday when we brought her back, she was so tired that she actually slept through the night (usually she still has to wake up for 1 night feed). She also started coughing and it soon developed into a phlegmy cough along with a runny nose that we brought her to the PD on Wednesday. After bringing her to the PD, she started pooping even more often (after every feed) zzz. I think this is the first time I have seen her being so listless so we decided to keep her home on Thursday since T was around and my mom could come over in the afternoon to help. Even then, she slept a lot and even fell asleep by herself while T took his morning shower. Friday I worked from home and thankfully we had a long weekend since Saturday is National Day so she rested for 5 days at home.

By then, she has slowly recovered so we sent her back on Tuesday. Actually is because we had no choice since both of us had to work. And Thursday morning T flew off (morning flight at 7am!) so I had to handle baby T all by myself for 2 nights. Thank God it is a very short trip this time round! T opt for ungodly hours just so he could minimize the time away from home J He is super worried because I always have a ton of things to carry, i.e. my bag, pump, baby T’s school bag and of course the baby who is already a hefty 7.3kg! He even casually mentioned to my mom that he is worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope after I reached home from work but he said that my mom’s reaction is that I should be fine. To that, I felt disappointed but I should have expected it I guess. Even though she kept saying that she is willing to help but talk is cheap. I told her that I am looking for a new house and she told me that I should move closer to her so that it will be easier for her to come over if I need the help, but come on, how often will she be willing to come over?

So, on Thursday morning, I was all ready for a battle but surprisingly, baby T slept after I nursed her during the morning so I breezed through my morning chores. At night she was not too grumpy, and I even managed to sneak a quick shower before starting her bedtime routine! *fist pump* She refused to drink from the bottle that night though so I nursed her.

On Friday, it wasn’t as easy as Thursday because she woke up around 6plus but still manageable while I whizzed around the house trying to get stuff done. It was Friday evening that I was most amazed by myself. Because it was the weekend, I had to bring baby T’s bedding stuff on top of her regular clothes and whatnot from the centre to wash. And so I carried her, my pump, her stuff, and my bag up in one go! The most difficult part was locking the car and opening the door but I DID IT. For a moment I did feel like my back was going to break though haha.

But I am glad to have survived.

Everyone is always asking me why my mom is not willing to take care of baby T, especially since she is the FIRST grandchild in the family. I really do not know what to say, make up some feeble excuse or tell the truth? The truth is that she rather have her freedom! Who cares about baby T potentially exposed to a lot of germs and very possibly HFMD? Who cares about me having to spend a ridiculous amount on infant care? True, she did come over a few times during my maternity leave in the afternoon when T is traveling (and that is only after telling my auntie that I had intended on getting part time help and my auntie said that my mom should come over so I can save that money for baby T’s other expenses). But everytime I ask her for help, she always guilt trip me and I know that this will come back and haunt me one day too. She says that she doesn’t show favoritism. She said that she spent the most time on me during my childhood to make me feel more loved (only after learning from my friend that I repeatedly told everyone in school that I hate my mom). And she kept saying that I am her daughter and she is willing to do anything for me and I should understand since I have baby T now.

Right and? All these are just talk. And she asks why I keep holding onto old grudges, then proceeds to complain to everyone about what an unfeeling daughter I am for not calling her to show concern.

Ugh. I can’t even. Gonna end this post right here.

Written by whitepaperroses

August 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Posted in Parenthood, ranting

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

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

Posted in Parenthood

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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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