A Day In the Life...


Hey guys, while Natalie is sleeping I thought I would do a quick update of what my daily schedule is like. 2 weeks ago, my schedule was super unpredictable. Probably because it was her growth spurt week (6 weeks) and I was constantly breastfeeding. And sleep was all over the place, but for the past 2 weeks, her schedule has been somewhat constant (I know it'll probably change again soon!) but here's what it's like:

10:00am: Wake up properly for the day. If she's really hungry, I'll breastfeed. If she's curious and looking around, we'll give her a bath.

10:30am: Feed for 30 mins or a bath (depending on the above).

11:00am: Usually, I will chat with her and try to tidy up my breakfast with one hand (she needs to be carried all the time). Then we'll head to the poolside for a stroll.

11:30am: Another feed before her nap.

If it's a good day, she'll nap quietly from 12:00 - approximately 1:30 or 2:00pm. If not, I'll have to entertain her and carry her around the house.

2:00pm - 7:00pm: This time is a blur because she gets colicky. So it's feeding, urging her to let out wind/poop, changing her diaper, burping her up, feeding her again after she's pooped. :S The cycle continues. Sometimes she does take a good afternoon nap though.

7:30pm: Nick comes home and plays with her. We try to cook dinner and eat dinner. Sometimes I end up breastfeeding and eating dinner at the same time.

8;30pm: Nick keeps her entertained (or she falls asleep) while I clean up after dinner and take a shower,

Usually her last feed is around 9:00 - 10:00pm and then she is down for the night. She may wake up at 12:00mn to feed but sometimes she doesn't.

3:00am: Another feed and then she's crazily awake until 6am. This is the most ridiculous. I'm cutting all caffeine out of my diet and hoping this changes.

She falls asleep again at 6am.

8:30am: Sometime she wakes up for a mini feed before sleeping till 10am. (Tha's where I get my chores done and eat breakfast and prepare for the day again!


1st Month and 7th week Baby and Postpartum Update


I'm just going to go ahead and combine both the 1st and 7th Week baby and postpartum update together seeing as I'm so far behind on my updates. :S 

The week after

Me: So the week after I was discharged from hospital, my OB/GYN made an appointment for me to check in with her. She checked my episiotomy stitches (everything was alright) and whether I was still bleeding or not. I was but it was like the end of a period for me so she was happy with that. I weighed in (1 week postpartum) at around 57.9 kg (lost approximately 6 kg since I'd given birth - I know I didn't update the very last month before I popped but I last weighed in with my doctor that very Friday at 63.5kg before I gave birth on the Saturday). 

Baby: At birth, Natalie at 47cm and 2.525 kg but lost approximately 100g in the hospital. When we went back after a week, she weighed in at around 2.5kg again. 

1 month update (10th Feb 2015)

Baby: We went for Natalie's 1 month checkup with her pediatrician on the 10th Feb (exactly 1 month after she came out) and she weighed in at 3.4 kg; 51cm.  She had gained the required average of 900g from her birth weight of 2.525 kg. As a newborn, the first month was almost heaven. The best being the first week - she would eat, we would change her and then she'll just go straight back to sleep. I got so much done in that time, updating my friends and family and just trying to nurse myself back to health too. We noticed that she tended to stretch so much (!) and kept trying to take off her anti-scratch mittens and booties. She also smirked a lot in her sleep (super cute) and when she wasn't sleeping, had her eyes wide opened looking around at everything. Nearing the end of the first month, she started to not want to be swaddled anymore and generally slept a lot less because of all the noises, smells and sights around her that just stimulated her. 

Me: I went back for the last checkup with my OB/GYN and weighed in at 57.5kg (not much different!). My stitches had all disappeared and I'd stopped bleeding by then too. I didn't feel particularly tired but I definitely had massive eye bags! I still couldn't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes though :( I was struggling to breastfeed exclusively but it was so tough for the first few weeks. It felt like my milk wasn't enough (I pumped too after feeds to try to stimulate more milk) and I was eating like a horse during my confinement. Popular in Asian cultures, it is also the 'sit moon period' where the mother and the baby doesn't leave the house for 30 days, doesn't shower and wash her hair and has to eat a ton of ginger to get rid of all the 'wind' in the body.) Natalie used to be super impatient and cry her head off because she was so hungry. By the 3rd week though, I'd manage to exclusively breastfeed. One thing that really annoyed me during the first month (and it's still happening now) is that all the mothers I meet (including my MIL :S) kept telling me that I didn't produce enough milk and that I should supplement and that the baby was too skinny etc etc. I was furious. I know it's not so popular to breastfeed nowadays but women have been doing it since the stone ages (I'm sure they didn't have formula milk then!). During the middle of the night feeds, I would panic and google 'how do I know I'm producing enough breastmilk?!'. These links really helped: http://www.scarymommy.com/ and http://kellymom.com/ But the one thing I'll say is: Trust your maternal instincts!! 

7th Week Update

Baby: Nick and I weighed her and she's coming in at around 3.8kg (we're not sure if our weighing scale at home is accurate though). I'm pretty upset she's not gaining more! I would really like her to get up to 4.4kg by her 2nd month (*cross my fingers* I really hope I'm giving her enough nutrition - from her wet diapers and poop, everything seems okay though. The numbers are still not showing through though :() In terms of development, she's really holding her head up by herself and stretching wayyy more now! The bad side is that she tends to be very colicky during the afternoons right after her noon time feed and nap. This lasts all the way till her 7pm feed and then she goes down for the day. :S It is a huge struggle every afternoon - feeding, burping, urging her to get the wind out and pooping, changing, napping from all that and the cycle continues about 3 - 4 times. 

Me: I weighed myself at 58.2kg (argh - too much good food over the Chinese New Year festivities). My goal is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. (I'm not even sure what that was cos of my IBS and all - see my post about that here - read the part about my weight/body so that you don't have to wade through all that nonsense!). I guess I'll set myself the goal of 52kg. 50kg makes me look too gaunt I think! Hopefully I'll be able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes at 52kg! 6 more kg to go and I'm giving myself about 4 - 6 months to do it! I also developed a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and de Quervain's syndrome over the past few weeks. My UTI was cured within 2 days (thank goodness for the GP near us!) but my wrist is still hurting. Not sure when I should check in with a specialist though. :( The struggle with breastfeeding is not quite there (though the worry about whether I have enough milk is still a cloud over my head) but breastfeeding in public in Singapore has been a challenge. It's been interesting to say the least. Haha. Everyone expects you to whip out a bottle but I whip out a nursing cover instead and try not to show the whole world my boobs. Speaking of boobs, the ONLY downside that I can safely say about breastfeeding is huge, saggy, heavy boobs. :( So saggy that they touch my tummy without a bra on. :( Hopefully they 'bounce back' after I've stopped breastfeeding. 

Alright! It's almost baby's feeding time. I'll try to update at the 2nd month (it'll be 14th March cos that's when we see the pediatrician!). xx 

Baby! (Birth Story)


It's been ages since I've updated. And I think you can guess from the title of the post that baby is finally out! Actually, baby is already 2 weeks old today / tomorrow 7 weeks already! (I've kept this nugget in my drafts for so long!). Baby Natalie decided to make an early appearance on Saturday 10th January (36 weeks + 5 days - 1 day short of full term at 37 weeks). Just the Friday before (9th January), I was joking with some colleagues that she was a good girl and waited till I finished the busiest starting week of January and she still hadn't shown which meant I could possibly take 2 weeks Maternity Leave first before her EDD on the 2nd February. That night at 2am, I woke up coughing (I'd been having a horrible cough over Christmas and the New Year) and felt pee come out (TMI?). I relieved myself in the toilet and took a walk around the house because my throat was still tickly and I didn't want to wake Nick up. (Funnily enough too, I felt wide awake at that time. It felt like I had adrenaline in me and I was ready to go fight a war or something - little did I know that 10 hours later, a little baby would make an appearance). While I walked and waited, I felt a trickle and I wasn't sure if it was my water bag or just because I'd too much water? I went to the toilet again and saw a bit of blood. FML. I panicked (a little) and told Nick - maybe we should go to the hospital? I had also started to feel funny period cramping. Nick woke up groggy and told me off that it was 3am in the morning and that I should go back to bed. -___-" I insisted and finally, he got his stuff together and we made our way through the quiet highways to the hospital. 

Once we arrived at around 4am on Saturday morning, they made me strip naked, checked my dilation (the way they checked hurt like CRAZY) - I was 1 cm dilated, and my doctor didn't believe I was in labour already. She ordered a swab to check if it was really amniotic fluid or pee. -__-" It was amniotic fluid. So they wheeled me into the delivery room and Nick and I waited and waited for me to dilate further. It felt antagonising - the wait that is, not the pain. The pain was actually bearable up to 4cm dilation (which took 4 hours) - it felt like diarrhoea was about to set in (and because of my IBS, I was actually quite used to the pain already). Every time the monitor spiked, I squeezed Nick's hand. At 8am (when my OB/GYN checked that I was 4 cm dilated), she ordered oxytocin to move the contractions along and asked if I wanted the epidural. I said yes. I though why not, since I was going to be dripped already, might as well go for the epidural drip too. The anesthetist was nothing short of amazing, she talked throughout the entire time the catheter was inserted into my spinal cord and I didn't feel a thing. She also walked me through the entire process which was super helpful (I always need to know everything). With the epidural and the oxytocin, I managed to nap in between the contractions and it wasn't so bad until the catheter moved a little and I felt a cramp on my left abdomen. It was another 3 hours (at around 11am) that the nurse checked that I was 6cm dilated already and I called the anesthetist in to adjust the catheter since it felt weird having a pain on one side only.. (Also, my legs had gone absolutely numb and suffered the dead leg syndrome and felt SO heavy at that time). After what seemed like only 5 mins but was actually 2+ hours (at around 1:30pm), I suddenly felt a HUGE surge of pain in my womb (like period cramps but worse). Surely, with the epidural I wouldn't feel any pain? Isn't that the point of the epidural? I called the nurse in again (this time, an older nurse came in) and she checked and was super happy to announce that I was 9.5cm dilated and told me to get ready to push in 30 mins. 

Time flew by and my OB/GYN came in 15 mins and everyone told me to just PUSH. It took 4 pushes and around 7 mins to deliver my baby and it felt amazing after that. I was so high on epidural that I joked that I could do this all over again! 

AND THEN....

My OB/GYN started to have a really worried look on her face. She said my placenta came out fine and she'd finished my episiotomy but my uterus wasn't contracting properly so blood was oozing out. To top it off, my cough started kicking in (after the antibiotics wore off) and every time I coughed, so much blood came out. Eventually, Nick told me that the entire floor was covered in blood and they had to mop up after. 

But before the mopping up, the called in an emergency doctor to do an operation to insert a balloon in my uterus to hold it together. They filled the balloon with fluid to prop up the uterus and inserted so much packing gauze in me. Luckily, the epidural was still going strong for me and I couldn't feel a thing. Unfortunately, the medication they gave me created made me throw up and I threw up violently. 

With the blood lost and all the throwing up, I suddenly started blacking out and lost my vision and was turning cold fast. I called out and suddenly I felt it was all emergency around me. I heard a lot of commotion around me, I knew my anesthetist had come back to the delivery ward so there were 3 doctors around me. So many medications were shouted and called for and I felt pricked in many places in order to get the medication in me quickly. The anesthetist gave me something and suddenly, I felt warm again and could see properly around me. The next thing I knew, I was wheeled into the ICU and had to stay the night. :( I couldn't see my little one even right after. Luckily at 9pm, the  ICU nurses were nice enough to bring Natalie up to the ICU for a cuddle. 

On Sunday morning, my OB/GYN came back to release the fluids in the balloon bit by bit (over a course of 3 hours) and finally, they removed the balloon from my uterus. What followed later was the packing gauze. It felt like FOREVER to take out packing gauze and it hurt like CRAZY. Over the night, the epidural had disappeared and I wasn't on any pain killers. Finally, after half the day of pain and waiting around, we were given our room and moved right in! We couldn't even see our baby because she was being fed in the nursery (so upset that I couldn't breastfeed immediately and we didn't have the kangaroo cuddle because I was in ICU. My body was so stressed out.)

Loads of family and friends visited us over the time that we were in hospital (yep, Nick got to stay too!) so we're really thankful for that. That and looking at Natalie all the time kept us occupied during the days in hospital. I was given the green light to go home on Tuesday but the bad news that Natalie had mild jaundice came and she had to be under a photo-ultraviolet therapy overnight (heartbreaking!). Tuesday was the worse, we went home without the baby and the house just felt so empty. Plus, I was super exhausted and smelly (I had vomit all over my hair) and hadn't showered in what felt like FOREVER. We went back to the hospital at night though to see her and she was just the cutest (she is still the cutest!).

Finally, on Wednesday, we got to bring her home! Lots of love for her at home now!

Updates on the baby, postpartum me and more in the next few posts! 

Week 32 - 34


So technically, it's now 8 months and a half months (Week 34). Time flies! Saw the doctor 2 weeks ago (11th December) after another A5 scan. Baby is doing okay - she's slightly below average on everything but at least she's within the 5th and 95th percentile. My waterbag level is low again (I think it's the stress from the exhibition we had just held) and I'm starting to feel light-headed, nauseous and tired all the time. Is this normal?

I keep thinking about my birth plan - I'm not sure whether I should do the laughing gas and then plead for the epidural when I can't take the pain anymore or just go straight for the epidural and save myself the possible nausea from the laughing gas. :S It sounds terrifying no matter what way I choose. I don't think child birth is easy but I'm still scared!

On mine and the baby's weight

Baby was 1.8kg when I went for the A5 scan 2 weeks ago (not sure how heavy she is now). I'm 61.5kg. o.0 I really don't care about the numbers anymore, just whether I feel good or not and I'm really not getting used to the fact that I can't even fit into my loosest shorts anymore (I used to be able to slide right out of them even while they were buttoned up). My thighs rub against each other in the most unbecoming manner but luckily I'm wearing long dresses to hide that fact. :(

On Pregnancy

I just spent a huge, HUGE amount of money last weekend buying everything for the little one. Her cot, her mattress, sheets, bottles etc. I'm starting to feel anxious cos our house is almost but not quite ready yet and my urgent nesting instinct has started to kick in and I feel like I NEED to get her room sorted out! (We can't move in until next weekend :().

Just hanging in there until everything is sorted.

Until then, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lots of love and good cheer. x x x

A Prayer for a Peaceful Mind


There's a lot going on right now at work and I just had a really weird and intense dream last night where I actually woke up and yelled 'Leave Right Now'. I kind of scared Nick (cos he thought I was telling him to leave) but actually it was an anxious mind worrying about work and people in a meeting that were just talking and refused to listen to me. Now, my mind is on over-drive and I'm worrying about health (am I sick? :S) and the business and just everything. 

I found this prayer online and I'm going to pray it every day and when I feel particularly uncomfortable and anxious. 

Almighty God, We bless you for our lives, we give you praise for your abundant mercy and grace we receive. We thank you for your faithfulness even though we are not that faithful to you. Lord Jesus, we ask you to give us all around peace in our mind, body, soul and spirit. We want you to heal and remove everything that is causing stress, grief, and sorrow in our lives. Please guide our path through life and make our enemies be at peace with us. Let your peace reign in our family, at our place of work, businesses and everything we lay our hands on. Let your angels of peace go ahead of us when we go out and stay by our side when we return. In Jesus' name, Amen.