Thursday, January 31, 2008

Visit to the Ostrich Farm

Joe's daddy took him to the Ostrich Farm this morning.
Entrance fee is RM8 per adult, which includes a ride on a ostrich. Joe went in free.

Checking out the ostrich eggs.

The farm has ostrich (abuthen?), emus, camels
and flamingos as well.

Joe wouldn't ride the ostrich. Not surprising to me since he wouldn't even let me put money into those car rides that you see in shopping centers.
Nope...I'm not getting on the ostrich.

But he did have fun and it was educational for him to see the real animals instead of looking at pictures in books.

30 years!

Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

20-something no more

As of today, I'm no longer 20-something. Getting's inevitable! Good thing is I don't quite look it. Must be the youthful genes I inherited.

yup...good genes!

I'm just happy to have baby home... it's a happy birthday indeed!

Don't I look sexy?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Joe's bedtime fun

Since Joy-Anne was in the hospital last night, I managed to spend a bit more time with Joseph. After reading to him for a while, he was more happy to jump around on the bed and happily smiled for the camera.

Pretending to do the hop-scotch. He saw the numbers on the floor at Ikea and learnt to jump on them.

In this position, he says, 'I can see the shooting star..."

Finally all tired out. Like father, like son.

baby is home

Joy-Anne came home today after 24 hours at the hospital. Her bilirubin levels have dropped but Dr still advise to sun her every morning for the next few days. Damage to the pocket - about RM450.
I'm just glad to have her home. Last night I had to pump at midnight, 3am, 5am and 7am and each time I was already so engorged, it was painful and I couldn't sleep. Even getting up was difficult. After the 7am pump, we went to the hospital and I stayed there all morning to nurse her, until the time she was discharged.

Monday, January 28, 2008

yellow yellow...

I just got home from the hospital....with empty arms. Joy-Anne is admitted for 24hours for phototherapy. We took her for her 1-week check up this morning and her paed said she looks very yellow. We had to get her pricked (on the heel) for blood test.
I hope the bilirubin levels come down quickly so she can come home tomorrow. Then I'll have a very happy birthday.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My baby's name

I’ve been asked the meaning of my new baby’s name. Comments also include :

- so long

- pretty name

- so sweet

- sounds complicated

We actually had this name picked out in case our first baby had been a girl. Since we couldn’t agree on anything else, we stuck with this. I did want the name Isabel. But Edwin said it sounds too European and Joseph started teasing his yet-to-be-born sister by singing “Jingle Bells….Jingle Bells” every time I asked if he would like that to be mei mei’s name.

So Joy-Anne she is. What does it mean? Well, Joy means just that – joy! Lots of happiness. Anne is the modern version of Anna which means God is gracious.

Her Chinese name Soong Hwei is from the phrase ker song and ern hui which together mean song of praise. We modified the spelling because ‘sung’ might be pronounced as the past tense of sing. You know….sung, lung, hung, dung. If spelt ‘song’, it might be pronounced as rhyming with long, gong, tong. So we have spelt it as “Soong”.

As for the “Hwei”, it’s to go with Joseph’s “Wei”. Kinda like the feminine version. And I think it sounds more accurate than “Hui” or “Hooi”.

Put together, it certainly looks long if you count the number of letters. But it has the same number of syllable as Joseph’s name. In fact, my own name has more syllables.

I didn’t want a single syllable Christian name because I just didn’t think it would sound nice. You know….Joy Tan....Rotan…Hutan.

Of course we could have picked Babihu Tan or Rambu Tan or Pakis Tan but I don’t think our kid would like it very much when he/she grows up.

Looking back, her name couldn’t be more appropriate even though it was chosen about 3 years before her birth. Her conception brought much joy to us, having been conceived soon after my miscarriage. She’s a gift from our gracious God – we did not try for her. We praise God for answering all our prayers – a healthy baby and a natural delivery. Indeed, God is good all the time!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

moo moo

Joy-Anne having breakfast...

Breastfeeding is tiring and challenging. There's no doubt about it. It takes a lot of determination! I'm more a moo-my than a mummy. But once you get the hang of it, it's so much more convenient. And so satisfying to see baby grow!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Joe's produce

Joe has always been on a staple diet of Quaker Oats. He eats it well and it keeps constipation at bay. In fact, Joe can 'bom' up to 3 times a day.

Recently however, he started eating rice more. Subsequently his faecal product has also changed in shape, texture and consistency.

He's very creative in describing his potty deposits...

This he calls, "serpent"

This is serpent - no friend.

This is kacang puteh. Then he'll sing "kacang puteh kacang puteh....sepuluh sen...sepuluh sen..." (sung to the tune of Are you sleeping?)

And this is kacang puteh - no friend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

photo update...

Ahh....satisfied and full of mummy's milk.

Taken just this morning...
(flowers from Pastor Nancy)

Still haven't got a family photo. Joe won't oblige.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A different time zone

Joy-Anne seems to be operating out of yee yee's time-zone. She sleeps well in the day and keeps looking for food at night. At least that's what I thought.

I was so distressed that she might not be getting enough milk. Or that she's using me as a pacifier. Thanks to a friend, I spoke to Dr Koe, a lactation consultant and she assured me that I have enough milk. All mummies do.

And babies do not know what pacifiers are. They suck for comfort.

I just got to readjust my sleeping hours for now. Don't look too much like a zombie do I?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 5

...and I'm starting to wonder how long more I have to nurse this sore butt. Feels like something's pricking me and I can't sit properly.

see what?

Joe has been wonderful. He's taking to his sister quite well except at bed time when he wants mama to pat, which is a problem if Joy-Anne is nursing. Other times, he'll go look at baby and say, "she's sooooooooo cute!"

Joy-Anne has given me 2 rough nights thus far. She sleeps all day and sucks all night. I feel like a zombie in the morning.

In the mean time, the yong peng tribe is here and the 2 boys are just happy to see each other and mess the house together!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Birth story

I had my last check-up at 39 weeks on Monday, 14 Jan. My gynae advised us to induce birth by the end of the week because she did not want me to go post-EDD due to previous complications. (Joseph was born via emergency c-section at 41 weeks due to fetal distress) So I said ok la….Friday 18 Jan induce. I wasn’t too keen because I’ve heard that the pain is terrible but at that point….I was eager to deliver already.

On Thursday 17 Jan morning, I had the show. Ahh….I thought…this is good. Finally something’s happening. However, nothing happened after that. All day I was waiting for contractions to start or water to trickle down my legs but nope, nothing happened! We even went shopping at Jusco that night just to get me walking. Still, nothing happened.

Friday 18 January :
I woke up at 4am to go to the toilet (I had been having to go to the toilet 2-3 times a night). I felt some contractions and started to time them. After several painless contractions every 15-20 minutes apart, I fell asleep at 5.30am.

I woke up again at 7am and we got ready to go the hospital. No more contractions felt. Once in the delivery suite (that’s what it says on the door - “Delivery Suite”. Not “Labour Room”), the nurses started the pitocin drip at 8.05am. Edwin and I read the Psalms for baby and prayed together. Some time later, my gynae came in and was surprised to me reading the newspaper. “No pain?” she asked me. And I bravely told her that I was feeling absolutely fine. So she did a VE (vaginal examination) and said I was only 1.5 cm dilated but the good part was that the cervix was soft. She then proceeded to burst my water bag and it was so extremely painful. Ahh….little did I know that would be the less painful part of the day.

By 10am, I was having contractions every 3 minutes and it was getting very painful. In my mind, I contemplated asking for an epidural. But I told myself not to be a wimp! All women go through this and I wanted to see how much I could tahan!

Then the nurse asked me if I wanted pethidine. And I relented and said ok la….since she said it would help me relax and that would help me dilate. But all the pethidine did was to make me groggy in between contractions. I was offered entonox (gas) as well but it was so smelly and it didn’t work either.

Hours later, the pain was getting excruciating. My gynae came and did another VE to find me 4cm dilated. She stretched my cervix further and said it was about 7cm now. Ahhh….the pain…it’s indescribable! Only women who have gone through the same thing will ever understand.

Soon after, I felt very strong urges to push. Actually it felt more like I had a very big sai to pang. I insisted that Edwin call the nurse who came to check and found that I was fully dilated. She asked me to push with each contraction and I did. It felt like forever and with each contraction, I was thinking ‘that’s it….we’re closing shop after this baby’. The nurse laughed and said that all mothers say that while in labour. But human beings are forgetful creatures. We soon find ourselves back in the labour room after a few years.

Edwin tried to encourage me telling me that he could see baby’s head and black hair. But I just felt like I couldn’t push anymore. Finally my gynae showed up and with the final contraction, made a 2-inch snip in my perineum and baby plopped out head-first. Wah….that final sensation was like one big cannon ball rolling out of me. And then there she was, on my tummy, crying as Dr clamped and cut her umbilical cord.

The aftermath was still painful as I could feel every needle prick when my gynae sewed me up. She had to top-up with local anesthetic to make me more comfortable. And then…she gave me some painkiller suppository. I found out later that she gave me Voltaren to which I’m allergic. I had forgotten to tell her that I’m allergic to all painkillers. So a couple of hours after that, I found my eyes puffy and swollen. Thankfully the effect of Voltaren is not as keng chow as aspirin or ibuprofen. A tablet of piriton soon reversed the effect.

I could breastfeed Joy-Anne within the hour after her birth. It’s such a different experience from having Joseph. With Joseph, I didn’t even see him till several hours after the birth. Also, private hospital staff are certainly more smiley and friendly compared to govt hospital staff.

We were discharged the next day – about 22hours after Joy-Anne’s birth. I could walk but was still feeling a little woozy from all that blood loss.
In spite of the pain, I’m thankful for this experience. I really thank God that I didn’t need another operation and He answered my prayers. Now I understand the pain of childbirth. Since not all women get to experience it, I should count myself amongst the privileged. My gynae says that next time round, I won’t need an episiotomy. Ahh….we’ll take one thing at a time and wait and see it there’s a next time round.

Saturday, 19 January 2008.

It’s 11.30pm and both my children are finally asleep. Yup…2 kids! It’s our first night home and I’m still trying to let it all sink in. I look at both of them peacefully asleep and feel so blessed!

Sunday, 20 January 2008.

Not going to church today for obvious reasons. My butt is still sore. It’s the same kind of sore after having minor oral surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth except that with the tooth, you can avoid eating on that particular side. But I’ve only got one butt! I hope it gets better in the next couple of days.

Taking care of Joy-Anne is so far a breeze compared with Joe as a newborn. She’s a pig baby and according to a friend who also had a pig baby last July, they eat and sleep a lot. Thus far, it’s kinda true for me. Joy-Anne feeds for about 30minutes and then sleeps for the next 3-4 hours. She doesn’t need to be rocked to sleep. No dancing needed.

Milk came in today. What a relief. But I’ve yet to poo since I went to the hospital on Friday morning. I literally feel full of s**t. Now I’m a very constipated milking cow with a sore butt!

Monday, 21 January 2008.

Just when I said Joy-Anne was an easy baby, she gave me one rough night. I hardly slept a wink all of last night. Well, maybe 40winks sometime between 3.30-4.30am. Firstly, my butt still hurt. Moving around is mighty painful. Secondly, my milk suddenly came in and my boobs became hard and painful. Joy-Anne’s sucking was more like sucking on a pacifier and so she didn’t properly drain all the milk. But she kept on wanting to suckle. And thirdly, I had a splitting headache because of tiredness. So between the buttache, breastache and headache, plus a baby stuck to my breast and having to pat Joe (who woke up at 4.30am demanding that I take off his diaper and then pat him) all at the same time, I felt like crap by the time morning dawned. It also didn’t help that the fan was creaking and my head throbbed with each creak it made.

In desperation, I popped 2 paracetamols at 8am and soon felt much better. I also finally poo-ed (yay!!!!) with the help of a piece of soap (I shall not go into all the gross details) and that certainly helps.

Today, she spent most of the day sleeping again. I managed to get a nap in the morning and again in the afternoon when Joe also napped. Feel much better now. Joe has gone to the park with Edwin to feed the fishes in the lake. Father-son time!

When my friends had babies, I always encouraged them that things will get better as baby grows. I’m reminded of that myself. The first week is usually the worst time. Pain here there and everywhere, too much ginger, and there’s no track of time. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment while also looking forward to the future.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


My daughter finally decided to come into the world yesterday, 18 January 2008. It was a very painful experience. I tried hard to avoid needing an epidural. Mainly because I wanted to see how much I could 'tahan'. And also tried to be a hero la... So I did it! By God's grace and strength and without the epidural.

Now I feel like a milking cow with a very sore butt. Hope the stitches heal fast. More updates later..... in the mean time, here's what the placenta looked like.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

39 weeks and waiting...

...waiting to pop!
I was hoping that this pregnancy would be shorter than the 41 weeks I had with Joseph. But I guess being Tans (meaning wait in hokkien), they find it very comfy in my womb and want to wait!
In the mean time...
I've been having to wake up 2-3 times a night to pee! This must be baby's way of training me for midnight feeds.
Joe has been extra manja and sticky. He probably senses that in the very near future, I will no longer be mama exclusively to him.
I feel a lot of pressure on my hip bones and it's getting pretty difficult to even walk. Makes me wonder how some people can live being obese. I find it uncomfortable to even sit. My breasts touch my tummy. My tummy touches my thighs. Gosh... I have problems even putting pants on.
Baby's birth will make it 4 generations born in January for my family. My dad's birthday is 1st January. My grandma's is on 21st and my own is on 30th. Yup, I'll turn 30 this 30th of January. Baby's safe and natural arrival will certainly be the best birthday present I could have.