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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Naming the baby and Breastfeeding

This time around I thought that Mommy would be extremely tired after delivery. Now it's 5 days after delivery and Mommy has been busy breastfeeding the baby day and night (every 2 to 3 hourly), she still looks good enough for another 6 months of the same routine. I have always advocated breastfeeding and been a good 'coach' since the days of medical school.

Little baby still hasn't got his name yet. We're busy looking for his English name and trying to find the pinyin for his Chinese name. I didn't like the idea of using the Chinese version of the English name as the name may not mean anything at all. I preferred to have a Chinese name with proper meaning (but I did not like the idea of looking at the dates and the stars as it sounded complicated). Times like this I wished I had Mandarin classes during my primary school days.

Meanwhile, he seems quite content looking around in between feeds. He takes naps in the afternoons and at night. He looks better now that he is feeding well. Mommy will tell me that he sucks 'like there is no tomorrow'. Hence, if she doesn't feed him for a longer duration than 3 hours, she has more discomfort as he sucks harder. Mommy told me that as he feeds, colostrum starts dripping from the opposite side. To conserve the colostrum, she keeps a bottle at the other nipple. She tells me that it's less painful than having a manual or electric pump. I'm proud of her as she is giving 100% mother's milk to our baby. He doesn't seem to burp as much as his sisters.

I have been preparing her daily Anmum milk and she says that her milk seem to look 'better'. Anyway, I'm glad that she finally takes milk products as part of nourishing herself and preventing Osteoporosis when she gets older.

Links you can use:-
Chinese Name Tool
Breastfeeding website
Breastfeeding Techniques
Risk factor of Osteoporosis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2nd and 3rd Day of Birth

1st Day of birth

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The baby is out 3 days earlier!

It was early in the morning when Mommy started having abdominal cramp like pains every 1/2 hourly. She was quietly tolerating the pain until around 7.00 am when her 'twisting and turning' in bed woke me up. She told me it was nothing. Then she started having me place my hands on her abdomen to feel the hardening of the abdomen (contractions). Since she was having more frequent contractions (1 in 10 minutes), I told her to pack her things and we called my mother-in-law to help take care of the 2 girls who were still sound asleep.

We arrived at the hospital at 8.30 am and we went straight to the labour ward. We were attended by a nurse who brought my wife to the examination room for Cardiotocograph (CTG). We were left alone in the room while the machine went along printing for 10 minutes (the usual duration). I then informed the nurse that her contractions were 1 in 5 minutes. Mommy was ferried into labour room and I went on to do the admission procedures.

In the labour room, they placed the CTG again on Mommy's abdomen for 10 minutes after changing into the labour gown. At 9.30am, she had more frequent contractions at 1 in 5 minutes but they lasted for only 15 secounds. The nurse examined and found that the cervix was dilated 3cm in diameter. During the examination the 'water bag burst'(amniotic membrane ruptured leaking out clear light yellow amniotic fluid). The nurse was quick to change the sheets.

At 10.30 am the Obstetrician came to examine Mommy. The baby's head was still 'high' but the cervix was dilated 6cm. At 11.30 am, the contractions increased every 2 minutes once lasting a good 20-30 seconds. After another examination, the nurse found that the cervix was dilated 8cm after 'sweep and stretch'. At 12.10pm, the contractions were very strong and Mommy felt the urge to defecate. The doctor was called in and at 12.15pm the baby's head came out and the shoulders followed a few seconds later. "Mommy, you didn't even need to push!", I said.

Ahh! The most important part. The doctor took the baby in two hands and showed the baby to Mommy. It indeed is a boy! (Phew! Now, we don't have to keep on trying to please my parents.) Congratulations to Mommy for good discipline and courage in going through the whole process. Thanks to the doctor who kept the patient calm and comfortable while skillfully doing the delivery.

The moral of the story is, Man plans but God makes things happen His way! Mommy, did I tell you that I prayed in secret that you'd have a painfree delivery? At least, true enough, you didn't have to push in pain. Thank God!

All I did was hold her hands, ensure that she was comfortable, called the the nurse (who in turn called the doctor) and prayed the prayer.

*more about the baby in the next article.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My baby is coming on the 25th September 2007!

I think there's much anticipation for this moment. For 9 months, Mommy has been telling me how she fears the moment she starts having contractions and labour pain. I don't think I will ever get to really understand that but I can only try to give her my full support during labour. She has a very good Obstetrician from Damanasara Specialist Hospital whom I know for many years. We need your prayers for a smooth delivery with less pain!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some things they can't resist!

Whenever we bring the children shopping, these are some things that the they look forward to:-

1. Free Balloons
2. Ice-cream (McDonald's, Baskin Robbins, Haagen Dazs) or a cold freshly squeezed juice
3. Play Area
4. Barney video
5. Toy 'R' Us
6. Movies & Popcorn
7. Freshly baked bread and pastries(Sun Moulin Bakery)

We have 2 options i.e. to allow them to have these items (not all on the same day!) or to have reasonable alternatives. Clarissa (4 yrs) is less demanding and helps us to coax Christa (2 yrs) when she insists on having everything she sees. It works well as Christa usually listens to her.

There are times both girls would not listen and they would be throwing temper tantrums. During such times I wish I had more ideas up my sleeves. I find that it would be best not to deal with children when you are tired. Mommy does well in finding alternatives to soothe the children's feelings of discontentment. Now, it's such times that the Tag team works.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Can I sleep on the bed instead?

When Mommy bought the baby cot more than 4 years ago, it was made extra large so that chldren up to 5 years old can fit well inside. Yesterday Clarissa (4 yrs)started to complain that she should sleep with us. "Hmmm, she wants to be recognised", I thought.

"I am a big girl now and I should sleep in the bed. I am not a baby (like Christa. And Christa should be sleeping inside the cot!)", she protested. Mommy was busy with her SMS on the handphone and just blurted out, "Ok. You may sleep on the bed". I just wondered whether Mommy was really serious. If Clarissa sleeps on our bed, we would have to place Christa (2 yrs) or the new baby in the cot. I am sure Clarissa will not want to go back into the cot after gaining freedom last night.

Look at the bright side. She woke up this morning with zest and put on a smile for me. Looks like it is doing some good to keep her in good mood.

Why is the baby coming so late?

Clarissa is a bit tired of waiting for her new baby brother to arrive. She has since started to ask, "Mommy, why is the baby coming so late?". She tells me that she can't wait for the new addition to our family.

Both Clarissa and Christa had begun to caress Mommy's 'big stomach' in hope that their little brother would be able to appreciate their fondness. They are amazed at the sight of the 'belly-button' bulging out as Mommy is in her 38th week of pregnancy.

They have also started to be nice. Just as Clarissa puts it, "Don't disturb Mommy! You know Mommy is very tired and has a baby inside!". Reminds me of the PC advertisement, "Intel inside".

She even tells Mommy to drink milk as the 'baby-inside' needs it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How do you handle 3 kids without domestic help?

I honestly don't know. I shall have to ask my mom. Mommy and I are working. So that leaves the children to be with the babysitter or Montessori. (Not to ask about the cost of sending your children to Chinese babysitters which would cost you anything from RM450-700). My mom asked me whether we would be getting a Indonesian or Cambodian maid. I said it would be a good idea but we can't leave the children to grow up leaving them to the domestic helper. I guess it would be interesting to find out that they could speak better Indonesian than Mandarin. If the maid is not around, we would have problems carrying the baby in the 'sarung'.

Feeding and dressing the baby seems to be the easiest of all. Learning to communicate and building a relationship with children would be more challenging. I don't think the 20 minutes after work (recommended by some) may not suffice as children do not really open up. They need time to discover themselves and we need time to link up and be their loving parents. I was shocked to find out that my 4 month old Clarissa thought I was a stranger when I finally came home after an overseas assignment with the national athletes more than 3 years ago. It was then that I decided that I was going to spend more time with my family.

Now,... what shall we do when the third baby arrives?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I want Mommy to send me to school!

It's one of those days when Mommy and I exchanged our 'duty' to send Clarissa to Montessori. So, it's my turn now.

"I want Mommy to send me to school! I don't want daddy!", said Clarissa. I suppose she wasn't too happy that I accompanied Christa for the past 3 nights during bedtime to keep her 'secure' as she was unwell. I also get up everytime she coughs to make sure that her blankets cover her adequately. (She tends to kick everything she touches in her sleep!)

"Hmmm! You can sleep with daddy tonight, ok?", I said. "Uhh? Ok! Daddy, send me tomorrow!", said Clarissa with a twinkle in her eye.

Once both of them get over the common cold they would be more cheerful. I hope.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oooo! She communicates with us now!

I am getting excited as little Christa (2 yrs) has started communicating with us rather than giving us the regular "Yes!" or "No!" answers. We get less squealing or screaming nowadays. And she seems much happier now that she understands that we are not part of a conspiracy to take away her happiness or steal her favourite toy or boltster.

She has finally opened up to us! Let's see whether she becomes as talkative as her sister, Clarissa (4 yrs). Hmmm! Now that she starts to defend herself with words, Clarissa will not have her scream at her but instead she would have to deal with her words. Is that going to be good new or not?

Anyway, it's good to know that all the DHA, AA and Taurine in the milk is doing some good to her. Hmmm... it's probably the time we spend talking to her. It's probably the story time!