Labour Day- 22 December

At 3am in the morning, I was strangely woken up a second before my water broke. I felt a tiny leak and quickly got out of the bed. The moment I reached the toilet, a big gush of water came out. I washed up, wore a thick pad and woke Ab up. I was so so excited! It had already been 39 weeks and 6 days by then and baby J was putting on weight quite well. But my body was hurting and I just wanted to get him out.

We got changed, checked our hospital bag to ensure all was in, and called a cab to get to the hospital.

The reason why we didn’t choose to labour at home first was because of my GBS. I had to be put on antibiotics atleast 4 hours before delivery. And since I didn’t know how fast or slow my labour was going to be, we chose to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

Once we registered ourselves, I got warded first while Ab settled some administrative matters.

A PCR and ART test was done on me. After which a swab test at my vagina was done to confirm the leakage was amniotic fluid. The swab stick turned a dark blue once it touched the fluid. Then, an edema was done. A bottle with some liquid inside was squirted into my butthole. In a few minutes I rushed to the toilet to poop out everything. This is to reduce the amount of poop excreted while pushing baby.

Finally, I was given GBS antibiotics via IV. Now this was weird. Because the moment the nurse injected the fluid into my vein, I could smell the antibiotics. It got to my head so fast that I immediately started gagging! After a few minutes I felt fine.

Here’s where the antibiotics were given through. I got a dose every 4 hours. Got a total of 4 doses as I laboured about 17 hours.
Ab resting😂

A nurse then checked my cervix, noting that it was only 1cm. So we kinda took the early morning slow. Ab and I rested. We had breakfast. Napped a little more..

Used my peanut ball during early labour to keep my pelvic open. It eventually got uncomfortable so I stopped using it.

My gynae, Dr Pam, came in at about 9am. She checked my cervix once more and said I haven’t progressed much. She asked if we would like to be induced or wait a while more. I requested to wait another 3 hours.

At noon, I still did not dilate. So Ab and I agreed to the induction. The method used Cervidil. I did not use this for the first pregnancy. It kinda looked like a shoe lace and is inserted at the cervix to ripen it. As soon as the Cervidil was inserted, I began feeling the contractions pick up. And I was excited! This was by far the most effective induction method I’ve tried! I was looking forward to it getting more intense because I knew that meant we were getting closer to meeting our baby.

Taken from Google: Cervidil

Now, the next 6 hours were quite a blur to me. I remember continuously leaking amniotic fluid, baby’s meconium (he pooped inside me!), Discharge and blood. It was a very sticky affair. The Cervidil was also falling out of my vagina once in awhile and the nurse had to put it back in.

By about 6pm my contractions were so strong I couldn’t sit still. The labour ward bed was also VERY uncomfortable. My lower back was hurting just lying on it. I got up and tried to move. Ab practiced counter pressure methods of pain relief by squeezing my hips each time I got a contraction. Other than that, he recited phrases of affirmations and prayers during each surge. Something like “You are strong. You are a good mother. Nobody else can do this right now except you”. I found this very helpful. I focused on his face instead of the pain.

I also used Entonox (laughing gas) to provide some relief but that didn’t work much for pain. It just made me high enough to groan and moan without inhibitions. So groan and moan I did! And let me tell you, it was absolutely liberating. I grunted as deeply and as loudly as I could with each surge.

Laughing gas. Does NOT make you laugh. Just makes you a little high.
🥺
I left some scratches on his hands during the contractions, cervical checks and pushing stage. Sunk my nails in pretty deep but he just let me.

Then I felt it. The urge to push. I felt it starting. The midwife came in to check me once again and said I was only 5cm dilated. 5cm?? There was no way I was only 5cm with that intensity of pain along with the urge to push! So I just let my body do its thing. I felt baby steadily descending. By this point, chunks of blood and poop were coming out of me. More fluids, pee or amniotic I have no idea, was gushing down. And I kept telling the nurse I felt like pushing. She eventually called Dr Pam to come in.

While waiting for her, Ab kept the gas mask firmly on my face. The nurses kept telling me to breathe in the gas and they held my legs down (I really don’t know if this was necessary but I guess they really wanted me to hold it in until the gynae arrived). I kept trying to open my legs while my body just kept pushing the baby. I honestly had zero control over this. I read that this was something called the Ferguson Reflex.

The moment Dr Pam came in, gowned up and sat infront of me, I heard Ab say “I can see his head babe!”

And with the next involuntary push, I felt baby J ejecting out of my vagina! With that came the biggest relief my body has felt in 10 months! I breathed the biggest sigh of relief and cried. I saw Ab crying too. He was beside me, holding me the whole time.

Treated myself to an Oatmeal Cookie Confetti Latte the morning after! Blisssss.
Ab reciting prayers over our baby.
Blood stains on my feet after delivery
Baby Jonah’s first sleep on Earth side
The absolute best birth partner

Fresh out of the birth canal! He was given oxygen and meconium had to be suctioned out of his tummy too.
Ab feeding colostrum to baby. I harvested my colostrum almost daily from 37 weeks of pregnancy and froze it until baby was out. Saved them in 3ml syringes.

Hope you enjoyed reading this far! I love sharing and reading about birth stories. It still remains a mystery how something this common is also not talked about much. One thing that got me through the first birth trauma was to talk about it. Over and over. And then I read up about labour and delivery procedures including C-section. Just being in the know took a lot of anxiety off my shoulders.

In time I will share my birth plan and other preparations I did for this birth!

36 Weeks Update!

Back when I was pregnant with Noah, I was told I had minor thalassemia (common among Asians). I recall being scared and paranoid thinking about all the worst case scenarios for my child. Thankfully, Ab does not have thalassemia, which meant the probability of our child carrying it would be low.

Well this pregnancy came with several other scares.

Low Iron

At 32 weeks, I did a prick test for iron levels and it turned out to be lower than expected. My gynae gave me Iberet pills to supplement my diet. I took it once every morning along with fish oil capsules. At 35 weeks, my iron thankfully went up! But it is still not at the ideal level so I have to keep trying harder with the diet.

Transverse baby

Also at 32 weeks, my scan showed that baby was in transverse position (across my belly instead of head down into pelvis). Gynae asked me to google for some exercises to try at home, to get baby to move. Otherwise, when I do go into labour, I can only do a c-section. It is impossible to vaginally deliver a transverse baby. I tried doing some pelvic-opening exercises at home and during my 35 weeks check, baby had turned head down. BUT he is still not engaged. This means, his head is not low enough to stay in position till the labour. I managed to find a peanut yoga ball at Decathlon for $15 which I use at night for about 30 minutes to open my pelvic too.

I will be bring this peanut ball to my labour ward for pain management as well. Read here.

GBS Positive

Ahhh..yes. Yet another curveball. At 35 weeks I did a vaginal swab to test for GBS bacteria. I was told yesterday that I am GBS positive which could be problematic if I do a vaginal delivery since it exposes baby to the bacteria in the birth canal. Nobody really knows how this bacteria can be contracted?

So, once I go into labour, I need to be at the hospital for IV drips (at least 4 hours before delivering baby). This is pretty much the only mitigation plan I know for now. I will be discussing more about this with my gynae next week.

Overall, with the different challenges this pregnancy has thrown at me, I learn more and continue to educate myself on pregnancy, labour and postpartum. Here’s to praying nothing else major disappoints me.

Hello week 30!

We’ve just stepped into our 3rd trimester! The kicking has been intense and I’m starting to feel the effect of weight gain on my ankles. I am thankfully home most of the time so I can sit comfortably and take good quality naps when Noah is in school.

Here are some things I have been doing or using that is supporting my bodily changes so far!

Maternity Underwear I purchased here

I used them from the first trimester because I had bad bloating and the usual underwear were very uncomfortable. These are so comfortable and cheap!

Maternity bra I purchased here

Again, used them from the first trimester. I LOVE maternity bras because they’re so soft and do not have the underwire. The quality is good and price is cheap!

Maternity belt I purchased here

I wish I had this belt for my previous pregnancy! So glad I found it this time. It makes going for walks a little easier as I have a serious case of lightning crotch both pregnancies (baby pressing down into my crotch causing sharp pain). It takes a little pressure off the belly. Some branded shops sell them for higher cost. This worked perfectly well for me and is cheap too!

Prenatal massage

I signed up for a prenatal massage package with a masseuse who is a personal friend of Ab. She will be doing my postnatal massage as well. I personally felt like my postnatal massage back in 2018 wasn’t very effective so I hope this time it will be much better. I aim to be physically strong and recover well so I can continue being present in my family’s life.

100% pomegranate concentrate

My masseuse told me to consume a tablespoon of pomegranate concentrate every morning (refer here). I started from about 18 weeks. It is one of those things I am trying to be very consistent about. She said it will help regulate my sugar level and also ensure baby does not get jaundice. Now, while I do not have much evidence for the latter claim, I will still follow her advice as she has decades of experience in this area. Noah had jaundice and so I really hope and pray this makes a difference for baby no.2.

Starting on consuming dates

Ab helped me get a bag of medjool dates from Al Barakah (refer here). They have a wide variety of dates and several outlets around Singapore. My favourite type of dates are medjool because they are soft enough to consume as it is or chop up for baking desserts.

Low intensity exercises

I went for walks mostly in my second trimester. The weather was awesome and cloudy plus my nausea had eased by then. Now though, I don’t feel comfortable going for walks due to the lightning crotch issue. So Ab helped me purchase a spin bike (here) and we use it at home. It’s amazing, I do slow cycling and don’t need to be under the hot sun!

Other preparations

Over the next few weeks, Ab and I will be stocking up on baby items such as body wash, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and diapers. We are ordering them in bulk so that we don’t have to worry about items running out with a newborn and toddler in tow.

We will also be washing all the newborn clothes and swaddles. Few months ago we packed and organised them into months (eg. 0-6m, 6-9m etc). We do not have much space in our home so we will only open up the bags of clothes that are relevant.

We have purchased new pump parts for our Spectra breast pumps (same one I used from 2018), postpartum pads and disposable maternity underwear. Make full use of Shopee and Lazada monthly sales to get any bulk items!

I have done up my confinement menu which will be printed out for Ab’s reference. He will be in charge of preparing my meals again. Once tried and tested, I will upload it here!

I am doing up my birth plan which I will share here too after my postpartum recovery.

We’re Expecting!

How Did We Get Here

For a good two years after Noah was born, I repeatedly told Ab that the birth trauma was too much for me to handle and get past. I told him we shouldn’t try for another baby, Noah was enough. But since then, some incidents changed my mind. This is personal and should in no way affect anyone’s family planning decisions.

In Jan 2020 when my mom was severely ill at the hospital, I felt so alone with my sadness that the only person I could find comfort in was my sister, my only sibling. Her presence made me safe and less depressed.

In Sep 2020 when Ab’s father passed away overseas, it was his sister who kept him company for a month due to COVID regulations which required him to be quarantined twice (overseas and locally).

These two incidents showed me the importance of having a sibling. I didn’t want Noah to be alone the day Ab and I are no longer around. Sure, he may have his own family, but the assurance of having a sibling experiencing the same loss as you is different. After these incidents, I told Ab that we should try again for baby and I had to acknowledge my PTSD. He was fully supportive of my decisions as it was my body we’re dealing with.

Thankfully, I came across some wonderful Instagram accounts to help me overcome my fears. These were

@labor.nurse.mama, @midwifemarley and @painfreebirth

I followed them and read every post. I learned about different labour and pregnancy experiences, even my own with Noah. I came across new information I should have known about earlier. For example, why was I leaking for 18 hours after my water broke for Noah? Wasn’t it supposed to come out all at once? The doctors never explained it to me. I found out through these accounts that it was because my hind-water broke, instead of the fore-water. I also learned that you can say no to being induced or doing a membrane sweep. You can say no to procedures you are not comfortable with or require more information about. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so traumatised back then if I said no more.

While the experience of birthing in the water was overall positive with minimal interruption, the labouring process prior to that was intrusive. I did not like it and wish for it to be different this time round.

Hence, I worked on a more comprehensive birth plan. I will also be giving birth at a different hospital closer to home as I do not want to travel too far during a pandemic.

Current Pregnancy

Our baby is currently 18 weeks and we will be doing a fetal anatomy scan in 2 weeks time! Noah and I also read books of the human body weekly so we learn about the baby’s development together.

My morning sickness lasted about 6 weeks, from weeks 6-12 just like the first time. I did vomit a lot more this time but it was because I didn’t want to hold it in.

Things I did to ease the sickness:

Whenever I wanted to vomit, I did it and felt slightly better after

I took 1 Diclectin pill every night which seemed to help with the next morning

Orange juice was a hit once again as with the first pregnancy!

I couldn’t stomach water or food on some days so I bought a carton of 100 Plus Zero Sugar for post-vomit hydration, without the sugar

I ate meals in small portions

By week 13 I was feeling better and my appetite came back. But as I’m experiencing bloating and constipation due to the pregnancy hormones, I still try to eat smaller meals. I have also been going for regular walks before work starts just to get my muscles moving. Overall, I feel good.

Pregnancy Announcement?

Not yet. Both our immediate families and some friends know about it. But we are keeping it low profile this time. I want to enjoy the privacy without the speculations and excitement -which I’m sure comes from a good place- that I have no energy to deal with. I have a long way to go with regulation my emotions, coming to terms with my triggers and addressing them appropriately. I want to be an emotionally healthy mother and wife for my family. I want Ab and I to be great role models for our children in that aspect. I have so much to think about and do. The privacy matters a lot more this time.

Until the next post!

Circuit Breaker

The COVID-19 pandemic saw many countries entering a period of lock down. Singapore did too. Except that we affectionately called it a Circuit Breaker (CB). Companies switched to a work-from-home system and schools switched to home-based learning. So that meant Noah, Ab and I were home together for more than 2 months. No playgrounds, no eating out and no visiting allowed.

I couldn’t have thanked my lucky stars enough for despite the restrictions, several things went well and fell into place.

  1. I had quit my job. Yes, the job with the colleagues I enjoyed working with and dearly miss. I do not wish to dwell into the reasons for leaving but after 7 years of working different jobs, finishing uni and starting a family, I deserved the break. On my last day of employment, Singapore went into DORSCON-Orange mode. And shortly after, Noah’s preschool had to close. But because I wasn’t working, I could focus on him entirely. And that truly was a blessing.
  2. Ab, whose business was affected, landed a temporary job so we didn’t need to worry much about finances. I also made sure to have saved up sufficiently before resigning.
  3. I’m a homebody. Which means I did not experience any struggle staying indoor for two months straight HAHAHA. Can’t say the same for Ab and Noah though. So I would send them out to get groceries once in a while.
  4. I used the opportunity to bake A LOT and even shared them with strangers who in exchange gave me unexpected cute gifts!
  5. I was able to pray on time. I skipped many prayers because of exhaustion and work. That made me feel terribly guilty.
  6. We used the time together to teach Noah some Arabic, Malay and even Tamil. I never thought I would hear him speak a word of Tamil but we read some books and he picked up several words and sounds.
  7. I was inspired and motivated to create indoor activities for Noah. For the first month, I was on a roll. Did my research and developed games for him. His school also sent us lesson plans that we followed at home.
  8. On the second month of CB though, it was Ramadan and I was starting to feel burned out. So we took a pause on games and did a lot of reading and watching shows. Noah loves Blippi, Little Baby Bum, Dave & Ava, Cocomelon, Learning With Zaky and Omar and Hana. I don’t feel ashamed to say that we watched TV together for HOURS each day. We always watch his favourite shows as a family. We sing along and even dance sometimes. I couldn’t be bothered with the screen time restriction for toddlers. F*ck it, we’re in a pandemic.
  9. We prayed so much around Noah, especially during Ramadan, he was starting to pick up some of our actions and recognised certain prayer recitations.
  10. We ate countless dinners together as a family.
  11. I spent many nights sleeping next to Ab. This was something I did not have the privilege of doing frequently when working because of shifts.
  12. FINALLY, Noah’s sleep regression started shortly before he turned 2 and we were both home to deal with it. This coincided with us removing one side of his cot after he had a bad fall trying to climb out of it one day. From the night he discovered the freedom of stepping out of the cot, till today, he would wake up every night and find us in our room. Sometimes it is once a night. Other times, it is once every hour. It took a lot of adjustment for Ab and I because we have never co-slept with Noah. Since birth, he would sleep in his cot on his own. For a long time, he would self-soothe to sleep. But during the CB, none of this happened. He cried for us and demanded we were by his side all night. It is progressively getting better as we incorporate essential oils and assurance into his sleep routine daily. I have learnt to be patient and calmer in the process too (Not all the time. I snap when I’m too tired).

Overall, I think as a family we tried really hard to build on our r/s during the CB. I saw the worst parts of myself as a mom, as well as the best parts of it. I learned to cook the laziest, most delicious meals. I got in touch with my spirituality, so much so that I’ve decided to wear the hijab. I’ve developed a liking for essential oils and plants, enjoyed my own company, did a social media cleanse and am learning how to appreciate each day as it arrives and departs.

Ab and I also worked on our r/s, learned more about our likes and dislikes, and spent more time being intimate.  We actually sigh in unison often these days HAHA. I take it as sign that our bodies are in-sync with each other.

I’m learning to see the world from a toddler’s perspective. That “no!”‘ is frustrating to hear, but very liberating to yell. Textured items are fun to explore, and soil is exceptionally tasty. You don’t always need the priciest toys or a huge playground to have a fulfilling day. Sometimes, just watching TV with your parents and singing along to Wheels On The Bus countless times is sufficient. What’s important, is the kiss before bed, the high-fives, the prayers, the piggy backs, tickles, laughter, cake and silly dance moves.

I don’t want to have to experience a Circuit Breaker again. But if I have to, I would pick this family over and over.

 

Umrah With A Sick And Active Toddler

Last December, Ab, Noah and I went for our Umrah trip for two weeks. We visited Medina, Makkah, Jordan and Jerusalem in that order. I would like to note that this post is based on my own experience and should not in any way influence your decision to travel to Saudi!

When we got back a lot of people were asking us how the trip went. It was supposed to be a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts and it is said that you can only visit the house of God if He invites you there. We have heard countless stories where those who have the finances never ever visited Makkah, while those who aren’t that well off managed to go there. The places we visited were very beautiful as described by pilgrims.

But, it was so SO SO exhausting for me.

Noah was already down with a bad flu on the day we departed. It was a nine hour flight to the airport and another 5 hours bus ride to the hotel in Medina. We were all sleep deprived. Noah was struggling to sleep comfortably on the plane. And for reasons unknown, from that first plane ride until the end of our trip, it felt like he developed a hatred for me. He refused to be carried by me or let me hold him. All along, that entire 15 days, he was clinging on to Ab. It was heartbreaking and confusing. On top of his strange disdain for me, his flu got worse from the fluctuating temperatures. The highest temp we experienced in that two weeks was about 35 degrees Celsius and the lowest was 7 degrees. He was so cranky all the time and we could not let him run around in public. If you’ve seen Noah, he runs faster than an adult and likes to climb things. He has all this energy which I try to make him use up before bedtime. But the trip did not allow us to do that.

Few days into the trip, I fell sick too from the weather. I got a severe asthma attack (did not bring my emergency medication just to make things worse) and a sprained neck and back ache. It was like everything that could go wrong with my body, WENT WRONG. I pushed myself so hard to climb hills and go for trails while carrying a heavy bag. I had to stop every few minutes to use my inhaler. It was a full blown asthma attack and it made me even more frustrated. On top of not being able to take turns to carry Noah, now I couldn’t even put up with my own health. I felt bad for Ab. He went out to get me medications a few times, massaged my upper back every night and prepared a hot bath for me each night to relax.  He really took care of us.

So here I was with my asthma and pains, the both of us trying to run after Noah or hold him down when needed. And just to make things even more exciting, the bus rides from one place to another were sooooo long. Most times, Noah fell asleep on the bus. Other times we had to distract him with YouTube or again, pin him down so he wouldn’t fall in the moving jerky bus.

The salty icing on the cake was when we had to get through the various immigration checkpoints. In general, they would ask us to remove our shoes and baby carriers (doesn’t matter if your child is sleeping in it). So imagine you being separated from your husband (scanning is divided by gender so they don’t give a shit if you have a stroller to fold WHILE carrying your child. It is your own problem) and then you have to use all your arm muscle to fold this and remove that, only to quickly put it all back on right after the scan. I remember having to put Noah down on the floor while the lady officer checked me. He looked horrified and scared. Another time during a transit, the checkpoint officers said only women must carry the child. So Ab breezed through the ‘Male’ customs with minimal items while I waited in line at the ‘Female’ customs with a restless child.

On the bright side, our tour mates took turns to play with him once in a while so that Ab and I could breathe. They were the sweetest companions during this ordeal. On another bright side, I was glad I took many pictures because I could look back at the beautiful scenery and really, just pray we could go back there again at a better time (perhaps when Noah is older by a few years).

I have read  several posts of parents going for Umrah with a toddler and providing useful tips to make it easy for you. And those tips helped! Getting a proper carrier, packing well, providing snacks and entertainment for your child and so on. But honestly, I just wouldn’t recommend it unless you are going for Umrah with your spouse AND another person/s who can help. However, if your toddler is not active or knows how to stay with you and not run off, the trip will definitely work for you. If they are old enough to walk on their own (and not run amok), even better. You won’t be using up your energy running after your child or hearing him scream in discomfort when you are walking around the magnificent Ka’bah.

The number of factors that can make or break your trip is endless. It is up to you and your level of preparation to make it work. I for one, now know that we needed a whole village to handle Noah during the trip, something I did not foresee.

So if I could do anything differently:

  • I would have packed in ALL our medication (prednisolene, strepsils, cough/flu syrup everything!)
  • Moisturised our skin frequently (we did not do this much and Noah came home with a bad dry skin condition that developed into a horrid rash. SUU Balm for kids helped a ton).
  • Bought a back brace sooner. I never knew I needed this my whole life but it made the second half of our trip to Jordan and Jerusalem much more tolerable for me. Purchased mine at a pharmacy just outside Masjidil Haram. Takes a lot of pressure of the back especially when you need to walk a lot.
  • I would have also done a lot more research on the places we were visiting just so my expectations (especially of the airport service) wouldn’t be unreasonable.
  • Be more prepared spiritually (I really don’t think I was).

What I think we did great:

  • Brought Noah’s toys and Netflix/Youtube entertainment
  • Stuck to a food & sleep routine even in a different timezone
  • Let him exhaust his energy whenever we found a big safe space or indoor playground
  • Let him mingle with other kids and adults who in turn would say a little prayer for him
  • Kept our cool when things got rough (i.e. Noah’s numerous meltdowns).
  • Took turns to pray in the mosque other than the 5 compulsory ones.
  • Slept whenever Noah slept.
  • Stocked up on certain medications along the way (lozenges, muscle ache gels etc)
  • Used essential oils to (a) calm our senses in our hotel rooms; and (b) make a lemon and peppermint bath for my asthma attacks
  • Used the laundry service found around the hotels (they were cheaper and more efficient than the hotels’).

I do hope to visit again! Meanwhile, enjoy these post-rant photos(:

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15 Months Update Part 2 of 2

You can find part 1 of 2 right below this post. It focuses a lot on Noah and how we have been managing his growth. Part 2of 2, is about me.

I am still working odd hours as I have been for almost 3 years now. For a few months, I was on the 330am shift. I thought it would give me time to be with my family since work ends at 1230. I couldn’t be more wrong. I was sleep deprived and my mood was shit as a result. When I got home, I would nap for a few hours and then get up to prep dinner while Ab picks up Noah from my aunt’s place. By the time Noah gets home, I have maybe 2 hours with him including put him to bed. So it was horrible. Made my mom guilt worse. And I couldn’t even wake up next to Ab unless it is my off day. I know you must be wondering why I haven’t changed jobs. I have the sweetest colleagues-friends. And that is pretty rare to come by these days. I also like working during off-peak hours to avoid crowds.

On top of the fact that I have been sleep deprived for months, I also took up a 20 session personal training package. My trainer so happened to me a senior from college. She was nothing short of understanding and motivating. But because I naturally wasn’t feeling my best each day, I found it very hard to give my 100% at the gym. I did feel stronger but my asthma worsened each time I tried working out. Noah probably saw too much of a cranky mom rather than the happy mom he deserved.

Anyhow! It’s been a week since I changed shifts. I start at 1pm now and this means I get to wake up next to Ab and have breakfast with him too. I also have about 2-3 PRODUCTIVE hours with Noah before dropping him off at my aunt’s place and going to work.

My friend Claud also recommended me some YouTube videos for yoga. I was so hesitant to try home workouts because I lack the discipline. But the videos were so easy to follow and I can do them even with Noah running around or crawling under me. I promise to stick to this for as long as I can. For now, I do them before Noah wakes up in the morning or while he is having his morning milk. If you wanna check them out, I follow ‘Yoga with Adriene’ and ‘Yoga with Kassandra.’

I think the yoga has something to do with my mental health which I believe has been improving. I’ve been calmer, more patient and less depressed. I haven’t found a need to get in touch with my psychologist either. Which is great! So yeah, maybe I won’t have the ideal figure because I’m not hitting the gym anymore. But I’m finally comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my whole life. And nobody can take that away from me anymore. Noah needs a sane and confident mom. I will give that to him.

15 Months Update Part 1 of 2

Wheeeewww what a ride the past year has been! I have been wanting to update my blog for months but work and chores caught up and I’ve been nothing but exhausted. Today my colleagues told me they read the posts here and asked why I haven’t posted anything recently. So here it is guys! If you all visit again (:

Baby carriers: I will cover a few different topics in this post which will be relatively long. First I will start with briefly mentioning my last post about baby wearing. Shortly after I bought the konny baby carrier, Ab’s sister gave us her carrier which she was no longer using. It is a lillibaby carrier which Ab had bought from the US. Ab seemed to feel more comfortable using it compared to konny probably because it fits his body and is more secure. Konny in comparison was comfy for my lower back and super secure when Noah falls asleep. But once he starts to wriggle and wrestle, it is a challenge to keep him in the carrier. This was an issue I did not see coming until he became more active. So lillibaby was a great alternative when we going out for long hours so we both can take turns to use it. I still keep konny in our baby bag because it is so small and convenient to carry around. Lillibaby is bulkier in comparison.

lillibaby
Noah sleeping in Lillibaby carrier. Me wondering how to have my dinner like that.

As you can see from above, the carrier looks pretty cozy for him. We brought this with us when we went on our first trip via flight to Solo and Jogjakarta!

Travelling with a toddler: So Ab and I were really anxious about taking a flight with Noah. To be honest we were worried about people getting annoyed at us for bringing a baby rather than the challenges of travelling with a small human. I asked my momma colleague for a few tips and she shared with me a few. First, tire the kid out. Let him run around the airport (Changi airport is pretty clean and safe, lucky us) so he will be sleepy on the plane. Second, bring along toys that are not noisy (considerate parenting) for him to play with during the flight. Lastly, if your kid watches videos you can download some! Noah gets distracted easily so the video trick only worked for 10 minutes.

What we did not foresee: Noah getting so restless from the small space. So we had to constantly move him from my seat to Ab’s and back again. We also had to find ways to distract him such as pointing out the clouds in the sky or letting him explore our in-flight meals. What really helped though, was when the passengers sitting next to us played with him. He enjoyed that attention whether it was pee-ka-boos or grabbing their fingers. We were thankfully blessed with nice people surrounding us.

Flight aside, it was easy for us to book Grab in the two cities we were at so transport wasn’t an issue. But just like planes, Noah got restless during car rides. He fell asleep during some and move around A LOT in others. Once he got out of the cars, we would try to find a big space for him to run about and exhaust his endless amount of energy.

Hotels: Boy was it important to ensure your hotels are child friendly. Make sure they provide baby cots if you don’t co-sleep with baby. As the trip was Ab’s treat for Noah’s and my birthday as well as our 2 year anniversary, he booked a suite. It was spacious, again, for Noah to run around.

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Noah in awe of the magnificent Borobudur

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Made a promise to carry him up the steep stairs of Borobudur and with the help of my Inhaler I did it!

I think travelling with a baby made our trip really fun since everyday has a little bit of surprise installed for you. Where will he poop? Where will you need to change his diapers? When will he go on a food strike again? How will he engage with people around him? I could go on and on. We never had a boring day!

Play dates: The past month, my body has finally gotten used to juggling shift work and motherhood. And this has allowed me to plan play dates for Noah on my off days. I barely see him on days that I’m working so when we are home together, I try to make it as fun and productive as possible.

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Brought Noah down to the playground and then to see Ab off to work.

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Play date with Genghis the handsome Tibetan mastiff (my colleague’s dog).

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We do quite a lot of painting on my off days. Noah can’t tell the difference between a paintbrush and a toothbrush. So his mouth was super colourful by the time we were done. Added a stache for him(:

I try to plan play dates with my friends, cousins, sister and their kids too. Socialising is so important. I wasn’t exactly a sociable child but I would love for this boy to be one!

Meals: Finally, let’s talk about meals. Noah has had a few episodes of food strikes where he refuses to eat anything. Either that or he only eats foods of specific textures such as a crunchy biscuit or runny porridge. This usually happens when he is unwell or teething. For the past month however, I feed him whatever I cook for Ab and myself. This includes curries, soups, fried rice, pasta, sandwiches and stews. He’s been loving it! He actually gives me the thumbs up when my food tastes good and I swear it was the validation I never thought I needed. hahaha.

In part 2 of my blog, I will write about how I have been faring physically, mentally and emotionally. Will need some time to get that done 😛

Flashback time:

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Look at you all small and squishy!!!

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Also miss having Marian’s Lactation muffins. Found her on Instagram @marianslactationboost It was the only time I ate ‘dessert’ everyday without any guilt:(

Baby Wearing

For those of you who have read my earlier posts, you’ll know that I have constant lower back aches. This was due to a fall from a few years ago. It ached even more when I got pregnant and after giving birth. Because of this, I was not able to enjoy baby wearing (i.e. carrying baby in a carrier) I would leave that task to Ab. It was so bad that I couldn’t even carry him in my arms for longer than a minute nor walk while carrying him.

I felt like I was missing out on creating a bond, envying strong mothers who comfortably carried their children. The thing is, I have a couple carriers that were given to us by Ab’s kind friend & cousin. But he seemed more at ease using them than I did. In my desperation to search for a shoulder and back friendly carrier, I came across Konny baby carrier on Instagram. After two weeks of thinking if it was worth the gamble, I went ahead and ordered it. It was delivered the next day btw! I was so excited to try and it did not disappoint me at all.  It took so much weight of my shoulders, kept Noah close to my body so his weight is well spread out. It was one of the best baby products I have purchased. I could walk while carrying him for hours without complaining. He even sleeps soundly in it. Ab also noticed I haven’t complained about the back aches (other than my feet when I walk for too long). I remember telling him a few times that I wished this was around when I just gave birth. I would have gladly kept Noah close to my body more.

However, even though this worked like magic for me, it may not work for every body just like how the two other carriers I have did not work for me. So buying a carrier is always a gamble especially if you are doing so online. The good thing about this carrier is it can hold up to 20kg. The downside is it stretches with the baby so you may or may not use it for another baby that isn’t the same size as yours. But if I do have another baby, I will definitely purchase another one of these! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT SO MUCH

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Taking Weight Loss Supplements Postpartum. Yay Or Nay?

As with most ladies, I’ve been conscious about my weight for as long as I can remember. A part of me still wish I grew up in a society that did not constantly criticise girls for how they look. When I was younger, I was ‘too scrawny with no boobs’. Somewhere along the way, my butt got ‘too big’. And then came childbirth and almost every function you go to, someone will point out how much weight you’ve gain. UHHHHH no kidding bruh, I put on 20+ kilos to accommodate and baby which I then had to push out and 7 months on, suffer all kinds of body aches as a result. Your opinion is of no benefit to me.

That said, I think it’s normal to look for ways to lose the stubborn weight. You don’t have to settle for the way your body looks if you don’t want to. I’ve to warn that there are some parts that will change inevitably. For example, your boobs might get a little saggy and your underbelly might also still be saggy (it reminds me of bread dough). But you can and should still try to do what it takes to feel good about yourself. Afterall, which parent wouldn’t want to live a healthy, confident life as their babies grow up.

Right after I gave birth, I had problems with my bowel movements. I felt unbelievably gassy and bloated while my internal organs were readjusting themselves. So I did some research on breastfeeding friendly & halal supplements that would help with those problems. I make sure to read the reviews thoroughly before making any purchase. So here are some which might work for you!

Ratu Slimming Jelly

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Photo taken off Google Images

Al Barakah sells this mango flavoured jelly that is supposed to increase your metabolism. I don’t know if it did that for me. But according to some reviews, it not only helps to shed some weight off, it also improves the quality of your breastmilk too. I was consuming this about 1 month postpartum and it could have been one of the factors contributing to my high milk supply at that time.

Oh! My Chocolate

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Photo taken off Google Images

OMC can be bought from various vending machines around Singapore. I purchased mine from AMK Hub next to the cinema. There is also another vending machine at IMM and Tampines Giant. The chocolate flavoured chewable tablets are also breastfeeding friendly. And it is supposed to remove all the oil stuck in your insides while you poop. True enough! When I took these and pooped, I could feel a lot of grease and oil coming out. IT WAS SO COOL.  Did it help me to lose any weight? About a kilo or two. I did feel really light after the poop though. After about 4 bottles I stopped because I wanted to spend my money on lactation cookies and cakes instead. HAHAHA. Priorities.

Tru Dolly/ V Dolly Supplements

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Photos taken off Google images and beautyprestige.shop

These chewable candy-like tablets were something like OMC. You can purchase them from Al Barakah as well. I bought mine in a set of three. All breastfeeding friendly too. One was called Detox Pro, the other was Beauty Booster and the last one was called V Dolly which aids in vaginal & uterine recovery postpartum.  Again, I don’t think I lost a significant amount of weight because of this. HOWEVER, my skin was awesome. I took this about 2-3 months postpartum and did not experience major breakouts.

So those were three that I tried. Even though I did not lose a large amount of weight from trying out these supplements, they contributed in other ways to make me feel better physically.  These products however, do recommend that you exercise regularly. So no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape the fact that exercise is the best medicine for weight loss. Hence, I’ve been pushing myself to jog 2-3 times a week for the last two months. Depending on what shift I’m working, I try to squeeze in a jog after Noah falls asleep so I won’t feel bad about missing out on bonding time with him.