Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A different kind of confinement

This is by far my most 'liberal' confinement.

It's been 2.5 weeks and thus far, I've gone out 3 times - twice to the paediatrician's clinic and of course to Joseph's graduation.

The first time round in 2005, I just sat in an air-conditioned room, ate, fed and slept. I slept when baby slept. Joe puked after every feed so I was always changing him and myself and we had tonnes of laundry. My MIL cooked while my mum helped with baby - changing, washing, rocking etc. I had difficulty getting up, couldn't cough, couldn't laugh and very sore nipples. I also don't know who on earth said women in confinement had to wear sarong! I felt absolutely fat, flabby and so totally like a "Ah Soh".

My second confinement was actually in 2007 after my D&C. We lost the baby at 9 weeks - I had bleeding, there was no heartbeat and baby was small for date. We stayed in KL and I was 'confined' for only 2 weeks.

The third time round in 2008, I still had my MIL to cook and my mom to help with baby while Daalin and Ah Kong entertained Joe (aged 2 yrs 9 months then) with trips to the park and playgrounds. I got smarter and wore long pants instead of sarong. While I didn't suffer from sore nipples, I did have a episiotomy wound that hurt for 2 weeks - sitting and moving was agonizing!

This time round is by far the least painful confinement. I had some discomfort sitting for about only 3 days. Thereafter, I've more or less gone about the usual daily stuff including bathing the older kids, cleaning the house, changing the bedsheets and folding the laundry. My mum does the cooking while I see to all baby's needs except her daily bath which Nana sees to.

I feel a lot more normal. I don't know where the sarongs are. And I am amazed at how I'm surviving with so little sleep.

p/s : If you're wondering how I have the time to blog, it's because I've learnt to do a lot with just one hand. So I can breastfeed while making milk for the older kids, or getting their breakfast or folding laundry or eating or typing like what I'm doing right now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Standard 1 comes early...

...for this particular school that we registered Joe in. He started Std1 orientation this morning. Kinda teary eyed because he was very apprehensive.

This boy like familiarity. So new environments make him uncomfortable. He threw up twice this morning before going to school.

He also asked me, "New school don't have toilet time ah?"

We had earlier told him that big boy school is unlike kindy where they all choo-choo train to the toilet together. Here he will have to take care of himself. His daddy stayed with him all morning and from the photos, I guess he was trying really hard to NOT cry.

When he came home, he was looking much better. He said he saw a few of his kindy friends in his new school. I know he will be fine once he settles in. For now, I just have to help him overcome his fears.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Life with Isabel

It's been two weeks since Isabel arrived. Yes, that's the name Joy picked for her baby sister.Joy absolutely adores her sister, always wanting to hug and kiss baby Isabel. Isabel - she's relatively easier than Joe and Joy were at this stage. I say relatively. That means it's not entirely easy. But at least she doesn't keep throwing up like Joe did.

The first two nights after I got home from the hospital was tough. One night I fed her non-stop from midnight till 5am! That was on top of 3 rounds of formula (30ml each time)!

Thereafter things got better. Some nights she sleeps for at least a 4-hour stretch. It's also relatively easy because I don't have a c-section or an episiotomy wound to deal with. Having breastfed before, I also don't have to deal with sore nipples and I know how to deal with engorgement.

I used to say that I wish I could fast forward the first 6 months. Now I'm starting to enjoy every moment. After all, they do grow way too fast!

Last day at kindy - Circus Party

Joe's last day at kindy was celebrated with a circus-themed party. Knowing my son, he's more concerned about his comfort than costume so that meant no face paint and no long sleeved outfit.I made him a bow tie out of ribbons and he wore a propeller cap and red-nosed spectacles borrowed from Ah Ku a.k.a. Billy the Clown.
His friends were very fascinated with both items...

I had to miss the party since I'm supposed to be in confinement.

He came home and told me, "Today I'm really walking out of JC for the last time..." Though he previously whined about having to go to school (because he's not an early morning bird), I think he's really gonna miss JC.

Before leaving, he gave a small thank you gift to each of the teachers who have taught him. He decorated Ikea frames (with my help) and wrote thank you notes to be inserted into the frame.

Three years of wonderful memories...he still remembers how he threw up on Teacher Esther in the first week in 2009. JC has given him a great foundation. Though I'm apprehensive, I'm sure he'll be fine in Std 1.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Graduating from Kindy

My firstborn graduated from kindergarten yesterday. It seems like not so long ago that I cradled him in my arms. Just like how I now cradle his baby sister in the same sarong sling that I used for Joseph.

The 6-year-olds made a grand procession down the helium-balloon lined aisle in the main auditorium. My Joseph as always, had on a very serious face. He says he has to focus!

After the welcome and speeches, the graduands went on stage to receive their awards. This year, every child got an award e.g. Most Caring, Best Helper etc. I thought it was a very nice thing for the kindy to do to acknowledge that every child is special.
Joseph got the Awesome Artist award for his class. He told me this last week and was really pleased.
After the awards, each class performed an item. I thoroughly enjoyed every item. Joe's class did a choral-speaking one about a bear hunt.

And then all the graduands came on stage to sing 2 very lovely songs. I was indeed very surprised to see and hear my 'English' son sing a chinese song!

Joseph took some photos with his good friend...

..and also with some teachers (who were all dressed very nicely!)

I'm so nostalgic, looking back at the last 3 years and reflecting on how he has grown at Tadika Juara Cerdik. He can read very well and even big words in the Bible like synagogue and Nazareth are no problems.

He's kinda sad that he has only a few days left at TJC and I can feel his apprehension about going to Std 1. But I guess that's life - where the only constant is change. He will have to adapt and we will too.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Two, Three or More – No.3 is here!

5th November 2011 – one day to due date : I woke up at about 6am feeling a little crampy with a stuffy nose. Maybe it’s hunger pangs. Popped half a polaramine, drank some water and tried to go back to sleep. A short while later, I got up again and felt some mucus oozing out but no blood. I still wasn’t sure if this was for real.

7.00am – the blood-tinged mucus plug showed itself. I showered and washed my hair but did not tell Daalin, who was going out for his Men’s Group Breakfast Meeting, knowing that if I told him, he would not go.

Thereafter, I had irregular contractions, about 20 minutes apart. I took my time to do devotion with Joseph and then Joy woke up and I gave them both breakfast before Daalin came back and we left home at about 10.15am for the hospital.

10.30am – Arrived at Assunta hospital, strolled from the multi-storey parking to reception and walked up the stairs to the delivery suite. I still wasn’t really in pain. The midwife did an internal examination – I was just 3cm dialted. After browsing the newspaper I started to get kinda bored. Contractions were about 10 minutes apart – some a wee bit more painful but still very bearable.

2.00pm – I was getting really bored and started to wonder if this was going to take all day. Meanwhile, Daalin entertained himself on the ipad.

3.15pm – The midwife checked me again – 6cm dilated. I thought it was going to take a long while more. Contractions were still irregular at between 3-6 minutes apart, some stronger some not at all.

After that internal examination, things happened really fast. I suddenly had very strong contractions with the urge to push. At each contraction, I asked Daalin the time – 3.28pm, 3.30pm, 3.32pm… and the next contraction broke the water bag as I felt a gush of fluid. Daalin pushed the bell button to call for the nurse.

Dr arrived just in time to put on his gear and catch baby, born at 3.45pm.
I’m so thankful to God for answering my prayers for a natural birth. No Pitocin drip, no epidural, no pethidine jab and not even the gas! I didn’t have an episiotomy either. But dr did stitch up a small tear which he said was less than half an inch long. I guess this is as drug-free as it gets. I’m also not on any painkillers, most of which I’m allergic to.

Even though the entire labour was almost 10 hours long if you count from the first ‘pain’, I was really in pain for only the last 30minutes.

And now the fun and adventure begins….by God’s grace and strength!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

November Celebrations

1st November 2011 - we celebrated Daalin's 35th birthday. I was hoping that we would have a double celebration but baby seems to want her own birthday. 2nd November 2011- our 9th wedding anniversary. We didn't plan for anything so we took an impromptu walk to Amcorp Mall to utilise the Kenny Rogers vouchers that Ah Kong gave to us, courtesy of Berjaya Group.
I felt I needed the walk.
On the way back, we stopped by the shops across the road to buy eggs and bread and just as we were about to step out of the shop, it suddenly poured heavily. So we went to the mamak next door for roti pisang and milo ais.

It's been ages since we've been to a mamak.

After that we walked home in the slight drizzle. Kinda romantic if you ask me.