Day 3 – 10ml
Day 4 – 40ml
Day 8 – 70ml
Day 10 – 110ml
Day 12 – 135ml
Do you know it takes 10 days for your breast milk supply to be established before you can increase the hours for pump interval? I didn’t know that the first time, which resulted in engorgement in the first month. This time I am doing all I can to prevent the excruciatingly tormenting 生不如死 engorgement.
When Darius was a week old, I asked the Malay massage lady over to massage my breast and blocked armpit milk ducts. After that, each pump session yields more frequent let down.
Since then, I’m pretty happy with the supply. It has been meeting Darius demand. He has one growth spurt on Day 11 already, drinking 615ml with 2 latches. Otherwise it hovers between 500ml to 575ml with 2-3 latches. The confinement nanny has been boiling fish head green papaya soup with added soy bean which she claims is the real key to an increased supply. To thicken milk, I eat oats. I try to eat and drink a lot, consoling myself that the figures on the weighing scale is just a number.
A wholesome diet and well rested state really helps in increasing the supply. However, the key is really to know how to pump. The LC taught me to massage first, pressing in circular motion on full milk ducts to soften and hasten the flow. Then pump for 5-8 mins till no more flow, stop, massage then pump again till hit 18-20 mins. I find that few minutes give the breast an opportunity to “reload”. Basically the LC say don’t pump continually for 20 mins and keep the pump. You are asking for it.
Unlike Dylan whom was given EBM for a year, I just hope to last 6 months for Darius. Wish me luck! 🙂
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On cheery 5th March morning, we dropped Dylan in school before going hospital for check up and admission. I told him earlier I am going hospital. Initially he asked me to bring him along but relented to visiting me in hospital. He went into school happily, couldn’t wait to show off his new trolley school bag.
930am: Appointment with Dr Ho Hon Kwok. I was in a daze. I kept very slient throughout and nodded to acknowledge when nurses brief me. My body was there but my soul made a dash out of the door.
1030am: Accompanied Nic to have his breakfast before we check into the ward. Had the usual enema, Doppler heartbeat test, change into robe etc.
1230pm: Bed arrived and I was wheeled to wait outside operating theatre while Nic changes to his scrub. This guy rushed into the area in sports attire and I had a gut feeling I will be seeing him. Turned out to be my anaesthetist Dr Loo. He offered ga but I rejected and gave consent for epidural.
1pm: I started to get hysterical upon hand drip administration and he could only do it after offering me laughing gas which I inhale until I was on ultimate high. 5 nurses surrounded me as I curled up in a foetal position for him to administer the epidural. I grabbed the nearest hand I could see in my high state to seek support. When done, my lower body weighed a tonne. I asked dr loo if he was sure if the dosage is enough. A screen was placed in front of me. Dr Ho and Dr Terence Tan(PD) arrived. My heart was ready to jump out. Nic was brought in. I held his hand. The operating theatre was in a light hearted ambience as the 3 men was familiar with each other. Dr Ho says they choose people they want to work very carefully. I could feel it when the cuts was done and Dr Ho asked Dr Loo to give a push from the screen. 3 pushes and Darius greeted the world with a loud fierce cry. Dr Tan exclaimed what an angry baby! I could also feel it when Dr Ho tug the stitch when sewing me up and the rest was pretty much a blur. I was probably too groggy from the after effects of laughing gas.
Darius arrived at 1.20pm!
Darius Chung En Xiang
5 March 2013
51cm long, 34cm head circumference
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The past year whizzed past and for quite a while, life was a blur. In a flash, I am into the 36 weeks of pregnancy. When we started this journey, we hoped to hit bulleye for a Jan 2013 dragon baby. Alas, God had other plans. He decided to give Dylan a present; a little brother whom may potentially share the same birthday as him on 12 March. As my EDD was on 19 March 2013, the gynae suggested csec on 6 March(38 weeks). After some pleading, he agreed to carry out the surgery on 12 March(39 weeks). However, there was a turn of event after my strep B result turned out to be positive and I am allergic to antibiotics the bacteria is sensitive to, so the final date is now 5 March as a result of medical decision. Whatever delivers the baby into my arms safely has to be the right decision, right?
Prior to the pregnancy, I was intending to go for a check up due to painful, irregular periods. Perhaps God intervened, I chanced upon Dr Ho HK’s profile from Mount Alvernia while surfing. So when we were caught offguard by the pregnancy, we naturally headed to him. I had every intent to prevent the previous delivery trama from repeating again. Being a quirky doctor bent on maintaining his good record, he has MANY “strict rules” which really frustrates me! Still, I look at him in the eye and tell him I am sitting in front of him because I trust him. I just hope he can uphold his “no pain doctor” reputation with me. It’s really painful on the pocket to output a premium for him. When I told him I am jittery about the impending surgery, he replied his role is about giving me a wonderful birthing experience. I am the star that day and I call the shots. He says he will give me fond memories of it for years to come. So far, he has taken excellent care of me. I had threatened miscarriaged in my first trimester. When I was warded and finally refused progresterone jabs due to bruises, he whipped up progresterone cream! I had that experience of going home alone empty handed and not being able to hold your newborn for the first time for at least 5 days. It triggered prenatal blues. Fear prevented me from making the right decision the first time. I can’t contain the fear very well again but I hope by 5 March, I’ll be brave enough to just go ahead.
Being pregnant at 27 and 30 makes whole loads of difference. At 27, I felt like a dragon flying in the air till I deliver. At 30, I felt like an earthworm moving in thick soil conditions. Energy level was that vastly different! The symptons experience are of different opposite. With #1, I had such terrible morning sickness in the 1st trimester. But with #2, it was manageable although I was nauseus. With #1, I couldn’t stand the whiff of fish till I was 5 months pregnant but with #2, I love eating fish so much! I did some swimming with #1 so I was probably more mobile. With #2, my body aches and there was this sharp shooting pain around the lower pelvic region when I walk in the later stage. The water retention was so bad my hands would swell and my palm would be aching for a day. For some reason, I couldn’t eat and sleep as well when expecting #2. One positive note on #2, I did not have PUPPP. So there is some hope for PUPPP sufferers for their second pregnancy!
Family, they made it possible for this journey to come so far. At 8 weeks, I moved back to mum’s house after discharging from hospital. Never thought handling a difficult pregnancy and toddler will be so hard. I couldn’t do anything except to lie down all day. I reached breaking point and gave up but my mum pulled me up and say she will support and help. She did it until I was back to my own 2 feet at about 15 weeks. Now later in my pregnancy, she assumed the role again. My dad took care of the dogs and helped in entertaining Dylan. Boise was in a pretty bad state earlier this year and was prescribed a lot of medicines to apply. Thankfully my dad did it faithfully and he looks a lot better now. MIL ferried and accompanied Dyl for his enrichment class. The husband..let’s just say he didn’t know what to do with difficult Dylan and emotional wife. He stopped his hobby for a few weeks and took on more responsibilities with Dylan. Right now, Dylan doesn’t want Daddy and Daddy don’t know how to handle him as well. Hopefully we can take things in its stride when the day come.
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My dear baby,
Shortly after you turned 3 in March next year, you are going to be a big brother. You will still be my baby. After all, you are the first true love that I have created. You will be my priority, little one. You knew about it before me, and behaved most astonishing shocking. You literally turned into a monster overnight. Insecurity got the better of you. I whispered I love you the most – after Zen perhaps – every night and gave you all the cuddles you want. You said you wanted a sister and you want to buy angry bird for her. I hope you can ride out of whatever negative feelings you have there; I’m losing patience and imagination.
So now, to brace ourselves for this major change, we’re going to work towards independence! At 29 months old, you are able to take off and put on your shorts, wear your own shoe and button your clothing. You still require assistance to wear your shirt but let’s go slow and steady! I also started cooking for 3 of us to save time, much to your daddy’s dismay. He’s not very pleased by the barely there seasonings. We’ll compromise, somehow. I wish for you to grow up tasting food for what it is. Delicate taste of fish, sweetness of vegetable, savour and smell rice for what it is. When Mummy was young, I used to be able to eat panfried salmon with melted cheese and blanched broccoli for weeks. When I had poxs, I was eating lightly seasoned pork chop and steamed potato for a week or so. I used to eat 2 apples and a large bowl of soup everyday. I don’t recall falling sick often in my school days at all.
This month, you have become a smooth talker, making us laugh and wondering in awe. You are able to speak in complete sentences and pronounciation wise, simply fabulous. You imitate us very strongly but your own wits is applaud able. You like to use your fingers to count 1 to 5. You can do simple additions like 1 plus 1 is 2. You become an extremely cheeky personnel and you have learnt “humour” very well.
We handmade a card and gave jam to your sweet teachers for Teachers’ Day!
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You have become quite a character – read: tyrant. Your heightened sense of situation awareness has enabled you to manipulate people. You know that grandpa is your “leaning mountain” and insists he put you to sleep, much to grandma’s delight because she can catch a nap! You do better with just 1 caregiver in the house, morphing back to the sweet boy we know.
This month, I used BINGO song to teach you how to spell your name and you sang it right the second time simply because it was so catchy! Next, I encouraged you to rearrange the fridge magnetic letters to form your name in exchange for a goat milk sweet and after a few tries, you got it! When you grow up and read this, I want you to know that the first word that Mummy taught you how to spell is your name.
In quick summary, you had your second pet: caterpillars(first being fishes). It left such an impression on you that you treated “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” book like a bible. We also managed to go SAM for the children’s art festival and you absolutely adore it. Mummy also organised a playgroup with our neighbours at our house and to our amazement you were willing to share your toys! We also managed to sneak out for a short trip to Punggol Promenade for sand play and ice cream. You really love sand, totally abhore water though. I guess swimming will not be in the picture anytime soon. Not that I like swimming myself.
After what seems like hundreds of trial classes, Mandeville was your choice, and incidentally your first trial class after attending a year at GUG. I’m glad we stuck by you. You look forward to your lessons, participated with such life. The 45 minutes of happy hour made you laugh and smile so much I was thinking if your face could turn crampy. You were shy when it comes to singing solo for hello song but after 2 terms, Daddy reported that you sang the loudest in class. Hooray! I’m really pleased at how they delivered crochet, minim, allegro, forte, piano, lento. And different instruments. And names of music composers. You especially love it when teacher Loh plays the piano for Bach pieces. Mummy stopped attending lessons with you for almost 2 months now, I have no idea what to practice with you but just go have a blast! Be all hyped up and smiley and most importantly, be confident. Whatever your passion may be, remember we will always support you.
As I am typing out this post and watching you sleep soundly, I wonder how could I ever pour my whole being into devoting my life to raising a child. Everything is about you, every decision has to be thought through twice for you. How can anyone love someone so much, I cannot help but wonder. The other day you saw my scar and asked about it. I told you the doctor cut mummy up to take Dylan out. I added on it was very painful but I am glad we are safe. Without hesitation, you fling yourself into my arms, gave me the tightest hug and said I love you, mummy. I am not sure if you fully understood but I lived for that moment.
Love you more,
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Mummy’s Baby Dylan,
How you have grown into a bubbly and interactive toddler, just like I imagined you to be.
A surprise springs from you everyday. One day, you woke up and decided to talk in sentences only that we have trouble making out what is it. You begin to mimick mummy like she is the most important person in your life. I’ll call you “Dylan ah” and you started this habit of calling back “Mummy ah”. When I busy myself around the house and you are out of my sight, I would check on your by asking “Dyl, are you ok?” and you would reply “ah”. The other day, the lift door was closing then I dragged you back and said shit! You pondered for a couple of seconds before saying shit! and looked around the floor for “gold”. I’m no longer mama but mummy to you.
You are finally toilet trained. We forgive the few misses. We still take you to pee in the urinal regularly only that these days, you would grab your crotch and hold your pee and wait for us. You have your own little table and chair now that you would sit down for half an hour to have your meals. You are mummy’s fantastic helper in the house. “Bring me this, take this and give to daddy, throw this, turn this on”. You would look at me in the eye, listen intensively and then execute it perfectly and return chin up, knowing you have achieved something great.
I havn’t had the luxury to plan activities for you but hey, throw you some paint and paper and you are all happy. You also managed to complete 6 piece puzzles these days. 6 piece puzzles!
You are a good boy, darling. I can’t stop kissing your baby cheeks and I can look at you all night long.
When you grow up, you will enter this blog and know that you are and will always be loved.
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