Friday, March 25, 2016

Of mothers

Yesterday, I texted the husband and at 2pm and told him I was already knackered. My mornings are usually spent making sure Ilyas is bathed, fed and happy, and preparing lunch for both of them and myself before kakak gets home. It's not that simple when the 10mo is screaming for attention all the time though.

Kakak gets home at noon, at which point I make sure she uses the bathroom, get her changed, prepare her lunch and make sure she eats, then prepare adik's lunch and feed him, and endure the screaming once his lunch is over and I need to clean up both their plates. Luckily when kakak is around to entertain him, he's more quiet.

Yesterday after both their lunches, kakak announced that she had to do a numero dos. And then after I put her in there, I heard straining from the living room because it appears that my children like to do that in tandem. So off I go to change him and meanwhile kakak is done and has to wait for adik to get clean first.

So I get both of them cleaned up and I'm just about to sit down and eat when adik starts screaming and kakak asks for some chocolate milk. I get up and shush adik while I give the milk to kakak. And then sit down again and texted my husband.

Today, my mom and very pregnant sister came over to the house to spend time with the kids. So while they're there I get Hana's lunch ready but she refuses to eat it at first because it's hot. So my sister and I have lunch while my mom puts ilyas down for a nap. Then I feed Hana.

And then once Hana is done and her plate is washed, I prepare ilyas's food, sit down to feed him. my mom looks at me, looks at my sister and says "Macam tu lah, mak. Tak habis-habis kerja dia". Which is kinda true.

Some days I don't even know what I do all day, but I sure am tired at the end of the day. But then I realise that it's these small things. Preparing food, washing up, feeding them, washing up, cleaning them, changing them, picking up their toys so that they don't trip and fall over it. making sure they do homework, making sure they have enough to drink. Making sure they're clean, making sure they're adequately entertained.

It's kinda exhausting.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Birthing Ilyas and My Second Experience at Pantai Hospital KL


It's been a while, obviously. I'm a mommy of two now, Alhamdulillah. It's been 40 tiring, sleep-deprived, anxiety-and-stress-driven, hormonal 40 days and I am finally free of my confinement and I now have some time to update about the birth experience.

Having had a traumatic experience with Hana, I was determined this time around to be more informed and do more reading on the process to make it easier for myself, Allah-willing of course. Read "A Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin as well as "Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method" by Marie Mongan (thanks to one of my besties for supplying that one to me). I also made sure that I had a better obgyn this time around. 

It turns out that said Obgyn is also from Pantai KL, which I wasn't too happy about at first because if you've been following this blog long enough, I once did a not-so-favourable review of the hospital, based on my first experience. However, this time they proved me wrong. 

I'm happy to report that my second experience with them was wonderful, and a total 180 degree turn from what I went through the first time. Anyway, back to that fateful day:

I woke up at 3am on the 5th, with a really bad tummy ache. Thinking that I ate something bad (the last few days were spent going to weddings and if I'm not mistaken I had something super spicy that night), I went to the bathroom and subsequently sat in there for almost half an hour with nothing to show for it. This was exactly what happened with Hana, and I started wondering if it was time, but the thing was, I was only two days away from reaching 38 weeks. Throughout the night though, that tummy ache came and went. 

With Hana, I woke the husband up and we immediately hightailed it to the hospital, but this time, based on the readings I did, I decided to go back to sleep. I woke up at 6.30 for my morning prayers and I calmly asked my husband: "Sayang, would you panic if I told you I think I'm in early labour?" his eyes widened in disbelief and we decided that he would work from home just in case. I insisted on us having a nice breakfast at Fikcles, my current favourite cafe that morning.

We sent Hana off to school anyway and informed my mama who would be picking her up later. Luckily it was Tuesday, the day she spends time at my parents' place every week. 

We had breakfast (at a different cafe, Fikcles was closed, BOOO!), went home to pack (yes, I know, SO last minute) and then went to the bank to withdraw some cash for the deposit. I was feeling the rushes all this while, so yes, I was definitely in labour. But let me tell you, it's so much easier to bear when you're up and about. You barely feel it, as opposed to when you're strapped down to a bed.

So at 10.30, I finally called my Obgyn's office and her nurse told me to check myself in since I was found positive of Strep B a few weeks ago and needed to be on antibiotics.


Checked into the labour ward, I had to be monitored for 30minutes so they could determine if I really was having contractions. I was. The 30 minutes were uncomfortable, to say the least. Meanwhile, husb is sent down to check me in.

Note: I'm continuing this post, like 3 months after I started it and I don't remember the timelines anymore :/

So later, I was told that Dr Premitha would be coming to check me, but I was allowed to go downstairs for a walk.

We then decided I'd have my last cup of coffee for a while and hung out at Starbucks. Around 1.30 (I think), we went back upstairs and Dr was already there waiting for me. She told me it would be a quick check and that I can go back downstairs and walk around afterwards. She checked my opening and we were all surprised to find that I was 7cm dilated, at which point she changed her mind about letting me back out.

She left, I changed into the hospital gown and husband took out his laptop and put "Pitch Perfect" on (I'd read that laughing helps you dilate faster because it relaxes.. you know,, stuff). The whole time, I walked around the room and hung on to the husband's neck whenever the contractions came.

At approximately 3++, the midwife comes in and asks me if I feel the urge to push. I told her no and she said that I should let them know as soon as I do because they wouldn't want me to give birth before the Dr comes in to assist. We have a light chat and she leaves the room.

Not 15 minutes later, I have another contraction and it was hella strong! Hurt like crazy and for the first time, I felt like crying as I held on to the husband. He told me later that this hug was really different because I hung on to his neck like I was trying to pull him down. We immediately paged the nurses.

They told me to get back on the bed and lay on my side (didn't help much) and at this point, I start crying because it was so painful. They tell me that they need to check and see if they can feel the baby's head while a contraction was happening.

**** I wrote the above ages ago, and I really can't quite remember the details anymore T_T

but to cut things short, I felt like I had a team of cheerleaders helping me keep my morale and strength up! Dr Premitha was absolutely wonderful, and so were the team of nurses who diligently wiped my sweat, and helped my take sips of water in between contractions. The most pain I felt was during the "ring of fire" but overall it was a much, much better experience.

Let's review based on my 2011 post:

1. Admission and Labour Suite
Quick admission, didn't have to wait long at all. The only issue was that I couldn't get the type of room I wanted, but that was more because of the date (5.5.15 - everyone wanted to schedule their births that day)

2. Professionalisme (Nurses)
No issues - they were attentive, wonderful, encouraging. They answered my questions and requests really well and attended to my needs quickly and efficiently

3.Professionalisme (Doctors) 
Dr Premitha, as I stated was wonderful. I didn't even have that many questions to ask because she was always so informative and accommodating. Highly recommended, seriously. 

My son's paed, Dr Keri is also very very good (9 months later and we've stuck by her). She shows genuine concern for her patients and gives me all the information I need at every checkup. Very warm towards my baby as well. Also higly recommended. 

If you're looking for either type of doctor, please look these two up at Pantai. You won't regret it!

I have to say that the food has improved by leaps and bounds! Pretty yummy :)

5. General Service
Nothing's changed here, very good service and very polite as well

6. Discharge
Also very quick and efficient - no issues

Loved this second experience. Also, I've noticed they've increased the amount of baby rooms with the new wing. Suffice to say, I'm very happy with my experience this time around, and I would say it was well worth what we paid. So yes, I take back a lot of the things I said before, THIS is a top notch facility.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TT and its challenges

Hana is almost completely toilet trained. We do keep her in diapers at night since she still seems to wet them from time to time, but any other time, she's completely out of it and in fact, even if we put her in one (sometimes we go out and we're not sure we'd be able to find a decent toilet where we're going) she'd insist on going in a toilet and not in her diapers.

But she has this knack for finding the most inappropriate times to ask for the bathroom. She hasn't quite grasped the concept of asking to go before the urge is too strong, and so whenever she does ask, there's a mad dash to the toilet, and god forbid if there's a line T_T. Times when she usually asks to go are: when we're in line to pay for something, when one of us is away running some other errand and can't be around to take care of the stuff we have, you get the picture.

She once asked to go right as I was about to pray in surau, after I had taken my ablution. And since we happened to be in a badly planned mall, the bathrooms were on the other side of the suraus. So, seven month pregnant me had to rush to the other end of the mall with her where we encountered this family of women who insisted on blocking every single doorway we had to go through, for some reason, and I finally had to just push my way through (hey, better that than having my daughter pee all over your long jubahs, aunties) and we barely made it on to the toilet.

Yesterday was another funny incident. My mom had just dropped Hana off from school, and we usually spend a few minutes chatting before I take her upstairs. But that day, Hana was particularly antsy and practically shoo-ed her grandma away, saying that she wanted to go home right then and there. So we said our goodbyes and I took her into the lift lobby and pressed on the button. She looked up at me with the most desperate look on her face and started dancing in a very very familiar way and I felt the dread as I asked her if she needed to pee. She nodded urgently.

Anyone who's been to our apartments would know that the lifts are some of the most unreliable and slow lifts I've ever encountered. And as the lift skipped our floor and went down to the lower basement, I hoped and hoped in my heart that it was just dropping someone off, not picking someone up. And even if it were, that the person would be going to a higher floor so that we would reach our floor first. No such luck on both wishes. There was a guy in the lift and he was going to the 2nd floor. We were going up to the 4th.By now, Hana was dancing around, whimpering, starring up at me in despair and I asked her to hold it in for a few more minutes, convinced that she wouldn't be able to and that the three of us would have our soles drenched in yellow liquid in just a few seconds.By now I was silently calculating my moves. Take her to the bathroom if she peed on the floor, change her, then take her back out and go down to the lobby to find a cleaner to clean up the mess in the lifts.

Second floor, guy gets out and I slam on the close button, and we got to the fourth floor with no accidents yet! We both jump out of the lifts and I scream "Run!" to her and we're both making a mad scramble for the doors. I leave her behind to care for herself (it's only a few steps from the lifts to my door) so that I can unlock the front door and we squeeze in. I told her to forget taking off her shoes and we both ran and ran to the guest bathroom where I just manage to yank her undies down and her shoes and socks off and lift her to the toilet. We made it!

Now that both of us were safe, we started giggling our asses off because it was just too funny. She said "Apalah mama ni!"

After everything was done and dry, I realised that I was panting crazily, and that I had basically forgotten about my almost 8-month old pregnant tummy when I sprinted for the bathroom with her.

Little sweetheart notices how out of breath I am and asks me why and I told her I was tired from running - and guess what? I got a free lecture from my 3-yo, on how I shouldn't be running while I'm pregnant and that I needed to take better care of myself and the baby. Imagine that!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Toilet Training and Such

We started toilet training Hana around end of last year, after school let out. It started very unsuccessfully - she'd remember sometimes, but then most times she wouldn't and accidents kept happening. Even when we asked if she wanted to go, she'd say no and pee all over the floor not 5 minutes later.

So we had to make do with a few days, and then stop because she clearly wasn't ready. This happened a few times in fact. We'd start a bout of toilet training and then decide to hold off on it for a few weeks and try again.

She started kindy again early January, this month, I decided that we should try yet again. Both of us were dragging our feet though because it sure is tiring, and we found that it was probably one of the hardest things we'd had to do as parents. (This tied first place with bf-ing for me)

The first day, we ended up with two accidents. Although to be fair, one of them happened because I was in the midst of cooking, turned the blender on and shocked the little girl into peeing in her playroom (facepalm). She was crying and I went to see what was happening and discovered her standing in a puddle. The second accident happened about 4-5 minutes after I asked her if she needed to pee. I began to feel even more dread of course, thinking that this time would be just like the last few times we tried.

I had a formula after observing her habits the few times we tried - I'd set an alarm for every 2 hours and take her on the clock whether she had to go or not. But then if she had drank a lot of water or had milk, I'd take her half an hour after the drink because she seemed to have to go a lot quicker after she had consumed a large amount of liquids. The second day, she had another two accidents, but we decided to persevere anyway and were rewarded when the number of accidents reduced to one the next day.

And then by the fourth day, things changed. I still took her every two hours but she began to tell me herself if she needed to go before the two hour mark was up. And there were no accidents.

The fifth day didn't see a very long period of toilet training because I experienced a pregnancy scare and my mom had to take Hana to her place for a while. But I noticed that her diaper was almost dry in the morning, and one of the first things she asked me in the morning was whether I could take her to her potty.I didn't think much of it, thought it was a fluke. After school though, (to my surprise, her diaper was completely dry and upon coming home, she asked to use the potty) she resisted from being taken out of diapers and into big girl pants. I was afraid she might have been regressing, but I think it was more due to the fact that her grandmother and aunties were around that day.

Now on the sixth day, she woke up and her diaper was completely dry. Asked for the potty, and even came home completely dry and asked for the potty again. At some point (I ask her every 1 1/2 to 2 hours whether she needs to go) she told me "Mama tak payah tanya Hana, ok? Nanti Hana nak potty Hana bagitau mama" (You don't have to ask me if I need to use the potty, I'll tell you if I have to go) and she did. Every single time.

The seventh day, she repeated the dry diaper in the morning, asked for her potty but spent the rest of the day after school at her grandmother's since we needed to do some serious decluttering at home. Upon picking her up, my mom told us that she had managed to pee in the toilet every time and managed to keep her diaper completely dry all day long, even though she wasn't at home.

Now, this morning (again, repeat of the prev few days, dry diaper in the morning, etc) we sent her to school for her first swimming lesson this year and reminded the teachers that she was in the process of being toilet trained and we were completely taken by surprise when they told us that she had been asking to use the potty!

I think we did it! I think she's potty trained! LOL. We can start trying to take her out without diapers now. :)

In other updates, these last few nights, she'd been the one to ask us to take her to bed. And when she was at her grandma's yesterday, we were sitting around talking to my mom, preparing to go through the usual "let's go home" "No! I want to stay here with wan" scene followed by a tantrum when out of the blue, she announced that she wanted to go home.

My husband commented that perhaps she easing into her "Fabulous Fours", leaving her "Terrible Twos" and "Tyrannous Threes" behind. Or perhaps she's just trying to fit into her role of future big sister, who knows.

All I know is I'm cherishing these changes as much as I can! (And hoping it's not a phase even though it makes me feel slightly sad that she's growing up so fast)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Of Number TWO

I'm currently 5 months pregnant with number two, something that I didn't think I'd be up to, three years ago. I think that if you read my blog then, you'd know why. 

Sometimes, I do wonder if I made the right decision. I feel like I barely do an OK job with Hana and now I'm about to take on another huge responsibility. Yes, rezeki, Alhamdulillah, please don't say that I'm not thankful, I am, but I'm also scared to death. 

One good thing is that I'm under a different Obgyn. Still at Pantai, which I wasn't happy about initially, but I'm willing to overlook that, since she's a really really good doctor and I feel comfortable with her. We even addressed my previous problem of bf-ing and came up with some plans (albeit still vague) so that I'll know what to do this time. So I hope I'll have a much better experience. 

Anyway, the pregnancy has been quite testing. I had nvp up until the 17th week, acid reflux, mild pregnancy incontinence, and recently, I started spotting whenever I was active during the day. It caused quite a scare, but we established that it was normal and a swab and scan confirmed that the baby is fine and dandy, and so am I. All in all very different from my first pregnancy, which was easy practically all the way. So maybe, just maybe I'll have a totally different experience in the labour room as well? Or at least after. hehe.

The baby has started kicking. We don't have a name yet, since we don't even know the gender yet, and let me tell you it's weird having to refer to the baby as "it" since it seems to have a personality already. Next checkup will be next week, so perhaps we'll find out then InsyaAllah. Back to the baby, it's started kicking very recently but stops immediately when one of us puts a hand on my tummy to try and feel the kicks. Its favourite punching bag? My bladder, of course! 

Number one is eagerly awaiting for her little sister/brother to arrive. Little does she know that it doesn't equate to automatic playmate, that'll take a while, but she seems to be looking forward to being a big sister, and I have every reason to believe that she will be a good one, InsyaAllah.

That's it for updates. Obviously, I have no idea how to end this post. Kbye. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Fool.

Two kicks. But there was no one to tell. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

School Already?

This year, Hana turns three.

I've been searching since last year for classes and activities that she can join and interact with other children, something that I can attend myself since at the time, she wasn't the sociable butterfly she's turned out to be. She used to dislike it when strangers tried to interact with her.

Sure, she'd say Hi if someone said Hi first but that was about it. Most times, she'd start whining and burying her face in my shoulder or insist on me carrying her, if she was standing or walking.

And then sometime this year, it all changed. She would be the first to say Hi to someone we bumped into, stranger or not, and it wasn't just greeting people. She'd actually try to strike up conversation as if she has known that person for ages. She'd start telling them where she was going and what she was going to do. She started calling for people by name - people other than anyone she's close to (our families). She started asking for our friends, people who she'd only met a few times in her life and had minimal interactions with, being so introverted before.

And even when we announced that we were going to visit or meet with someone new, she'd commit the name to memory and get excited about it. She was blossoming and from these instances, I could see how much she longed for interaction other than what she is used to.

So we've decided to send her to school starting June. My MIL found a nice kindergarten within walking distance of where we live. The class is small (four kids at the moment, with one joining in the next term, so with Hana it'll be 6 altogether) and there are two teachers watching them. The teacher in charge seems nice - the children seem quite attached to her.

And so there you have it. Hana starts school InsyaAllah.

How do I feel about letting this precious little girl go? I've got mixed feelings. Excitement - for her, and the opportunities she'd finally have to make friends and play with other children. Sadness that she's no longer a baby and no longer needs me in certain ways - there are finally things that I cannot personally give her, things that she needs other people besides her family, and of course, a certain sense of pride that she's finally ready, that she somehow made herself ready without help from me or her dad.

A part of me wants to keep her under my wing forever. But I know that doing that would be selfish. So as hard as it feels for me right now, I gotta let my little angel spread her wings and fly.