I meant to write this for his sixth month entry and as usual it got lost in the midst of so many things and better late than never I guess!
6 months was what I gave myself in this breastfeeding journey.
6 months is how long we have been parents, we have survived on the minimal hours of sleep everyday and accumulated enough sleep debt for winter hibernation even.
6 months is a bouncing, chubby and chatty little boy.
And we turn 7 months together.
I give us, your caregivers a huge pat on our backs for coming this far and every month since you were born in fact.
It does get easier, however every stage brings about a new set of challenges.
You still love conversing with dadda, particularly. And when he is off for work trips, you try to nudge us into the same conversations.
Your bedtime routine has stopped involving a fair amount of carrying and lullabying - infact, you screeched at us to stop doing and we all thought you were just being sleepy. Of course, we finally got that you preferred very much to burrow your kiwi head into the mattress and find that sweet spot to fall asleep.
Your tiny fist can grab hold of things so tight - that cheerio I let you hold became so hard to pry from your grip.
First foods include rice cereal, apples, pears, avocado, brocolli and cauliflower. Your favouritest goes to pears and least favourite avocado (they give you terrible gas). Like your dadda you chomp down everything tasty or not down with much gusto, phew you aren't a fussy eater like momma!
We've gotten you into the routine of storybook, bath and milk and after a full week of storytelling - you finally touched the book. Seems like someone is a lil scaredy cat in the making.
You attended your first birthday party dressed to fit the theme of rainbows - and turns out, nobody else followed it including the birthday girl. D'oh!
We tried to teach you the hand sign for milk and each time we cue it you break into a flood of tears. Are you THAT hungry?
That car ride after our CNY dinner brought on a barrage of tears, yelling and shrieking and no amount of cajoling seemed to help. What happened baby boy??? Those 20 minutes home was more horrific than halloween even. But the moment we got off the car, you were a face of tranquility. Until now, nobody can decipher what exactly went wrong.
That said, you're a joy to be with. A literal ball fun when you get all excited making a human jumperoo out of your dadda and cupping my face with both hands. Too cute. Just don't grow up so fast, please?
I've not exactly been the most hardworking with the updates for the bub and CNY is already here! Last year we were still toying with the idea if I should announce to our relatives yet. Fast forward one year, the bub's already here and possibly the last one that we aren't chasing after him.
Reunion lunch and a somewhat uncoordinated family with everyone not looking in the same direction.
And is this the start of rebellion? Aih, anyhow one for the album!
The year of the rooster descended too soon and all I wanted was a photo with these rooster ornaments and being the usual fascinated kid he is, he was busy attacking it.
And finally got so defeated he refused to smile for me.
Only of late did my Mom insist we have a tea ceremony, exchange good wishes before receiving red packets from the elders. I guess with the bub, we instil that early! Hopefully next year he knows that Gong Xi Gong Xi gets him red packets to keep and not eat!
Feeling festive with an ang ku kueh!
His super ang gong gong outfit, just because. Poor fella had to look like he is celebrating National Day too!
I was definitely screaming inside not to match us all in red - sorry, this family togetherness does not appeal to my fashion senses. Anyhow, the first and hopefully no more of this united front.
Things got more exciting with a play date with his friends! He played and rolled around...was too enthusiastic trying to befriend the babies and liked a korkor best.
And that wrapped up the long weekend and I'm already missing it.
To good health and happy times, have a prosperous year everyone!!
I had ideals in my head for parenthood - in the most cliche manner ever. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, build a bond so strong through that and...well, save some pennies with breastmilk. Plus, it helps lose weight.
Then I realized that ideals do not exist. They are ideals for a reason and the last thing actually in parenthood is for things to go according to plan.
I did what everyone else said I should do, the textbooks, gynae and graduate mommies.
Skin to skin contact
I made it a point upfront to tell my gynae I wanted skin to skin contact. For him to nurse to get the colostrum flowing. And that was perhaps the only thing that went right after birth.
Liquid gold is colostrum
My colostrum did not arrive till Day 2 or 3, each time the nurses came to mutilate my nipples, I was in pain. Nothing came out, zilch. Fine, I got the pump to stimulate and latched the baby too. Repeatedly.
And yes, newborns do have a reserve that lasts 1-2 days but afterwhich nobody quite prepares you for the kind of milk intake they want. Wrong latch, sore nipples, engorgement and a wailing baby plagued me for my 3 day hospital stay. I succumbed to supplementing with the first 15ml of formula at 5am in the morning and then victoriously extracted my first 1.3ml of colostrum after 2 hours of man handling my nipples.
When I was extracting amounts in single digits, here comes the damned PD saying that his intake should be at 30ml per feed. Hallelujah? It felt like I would never catch up.
I saw the in house lactation consultant, returned for help even and also hired an external one from another hospital to help me out. Thank god for the house call we paid for, blocked ducts is real and rock boobs are a reality.
Pump, latch and be a cow
They all say demand begets supply. At 4 weeks post partum my supply hadn't soared by leaps and bounds yet. Heck, I already lost out in this race to even meet his demands...let's not talk about excess even. Yes, I cannot produce enough to feed my son and that was the truth.
Pump and latch regularly to empty the boobs?
Domperidone to up supply?
Done all of that. And no, I am still no where near storing enough for rainy day.
The truth hurts
That there will be some mummies who naturally do not have oversupply, rather under supply and I beat myself up horrible on most days for having to rely on formula. The guilt from day one - having to see him lose more than 10% of his bodyweight and then get diagnosed with breastmilk jaundice, kills.
Breast milk jaundice is one of the pathological reasons behind jaundice and the more breastmilk he takes, his levels soar. What an irony.
Bottle? Syringe? Cup?
And on top of the stress of already not producing enough milk, here comes the next hurdle - how to feed him? I resisted the bottle for a good 4 weeks, because of nipple confusion. I hated having him cry until my nipples drip yet it did signal I had some form of a supply.
Syringing is not for everyone - my son in particular refused the syringe from me but would lap it up when Grandma did the honours. Here in lies the biggest problem, Grandma works and when she does...he goes nuts because the boobs do not feed him as well as Grandma's finger does! The science behind the syringe is - using a finger to stimulate the nipple and syringe to inject the milkflow.
The happy problem of oversupply was mine to worry about. But the grass would always be greener on the opposite pastures.
He knew how much I'd have wanted him to be exclusively breastfed.
I tried to the best I could have, and more even.
Five months on...
It has gotten alot easier since the early days and trust me I still shudder at the thought of the first week and those two hourly feeds. I've gone on two overseas trips, managed to transport my liquid gold home even if it only lasts those few feeds, he is not exclusively breastfed but I am alot happier. Oh, and not forgetting still surviving on disrupted sleep.
I joke about engorgement giving me the most gorgeous (but lopsided) cleavage, cry a little at the thought of stopping this journey, get all excited when the pump yields more than usual, get angry when he wastes my milk and have more than once wondered if breastfeeding is over glorified.
It was never meant to be easy (perhaps made to look easy), I'm just glad I belong to the era where formula is within affordable means.
And when to stop?
I guess from the start I knew I wanted to provide for him for a reasonable amount of time for the resistance to be up before I consider myself having completed my duty. I'm not sure if I should be happy that he now prefers the faster flowing teat and pacifier than the nipples that once comforted him...and surely the day I pack my flanges and pump back into the box will be emotional but sanity has to be slowly gotten back in track somehow right?
It's everyone's choice when they want to stop and for me, six months with a brand new start sounded fabulous but I shifted my goal post to 8...and we shall see how this goes :)
Maybe I would or maybe I wouldn't have another chance at this journey and I am thankful for the milk I've worked so hard for to feed my son...and this would serve as a beautiful memory in time to come. :)
I joined my mummy friends at the Tula bash over the weekend and also to celebrate the first year anniversary of Tula Stocking Buddies! How lucky were we to nab these golden tickets to the event - turns out, the wait list was super long!
Us and our tulas. Finally C can fit into one without the insert!
One with the founder, Ula herself! A super friendly lady who clearly knows what we mummies need...a baby carrier that hugs our babies and keeps them close to us.
C and our lucky score - a mesh tula to add to the collection! I'm not sure if he understands Tula - at least he doesn't wriggle and squirm like he first did.
I used to think Tula was just another brand, nabbing one was obviously not easy and every collection is still as tempting. Until the wave of magic dust hits C like magic and puts him down for a nap so easily did I fall in love with it too.
Three tulas later, I have not given up on expanding the collection and the Hubba I swear is almost rolling his eyes at me. They are young this once (only!) and how long more would he allow me to cuddle him so close!?
"Where did all the time go?" is a question that I repeatedly asked myself since the day you arrived. It does seem that time fly by a lot faster...and I try to keep track of your milestones (and that scrapbook that's been collecting dust), update your social media accounts (by the time all these make sense to you, it'd have been a thing of the past! The bane of technology.
Five months old today and you are the apple of everyone's eyes - truth be told, Momma never thought you'd fill my heart with so much happiness, and to think I planned to be away from you during the pregnancy already and when these trips happen I guilt trip myself on those milestones I have missed and will be missing.
You've achieved so much and never seem to stop marveling us every single day. When you were so tiny, G-ma and I were afraid to shower you and would make do with just wiping down and coming up with a hundred and one reasons why you need not have a shower that day - sorry baby, your head really smelt so bad during those early days!
Let me try to list your achievements to date;
You've been sucha chatty little bub, Dadda would engage you in serious conversations before dinner..we vaguely heard ar-lo, bo-bui and mama amidst all that babbles. Dinner with us is almost a daily affair where you get propped up in that baby seat of yours with full view of our dinners, you remind us to include you in our conversations every now and then and tried to sit up by doing crunches. Haha! Too cute, baby boy.
Tummy time is your nemesis, you feigned sleep before, wailed your lungs out and got so horribly upset with us for cursing tummy time on you. And then one fine day, you flipped and landed quite proudly on your tummy. Since, trying to crawl is your nemesis than tumtum time. Haha, the irony! Your perseverance impressed all of us, the incessant practising that went on for hours, days and weeks just so you can roll over with ease..
Your face recognition skills amaze me, pry you away from G-ma and that cues meltdown. Your order of preference goes as follows - G-ma, momma, dadda and Gong Gong. We all get a treat of gummy smiles when you see us at the end of the day, the same smile that pulls down all walls of resistance when you get naughty.
Tula-time is your favouritest, it keeps you snug and makes nap times happy. Except, you've gotten so chubby, we are all feeling the weight (literally).
I'm thankful you aren't fussy - formula, ebm, fbm...you lap them all up with a vengeance. The only grouse is, you've begun to have a preference for warmer milk once it gets slightly colder than it should.
Impatience is what you've inherited from us both - and boy, you are a screamer. No amount of cajoling can come between you and your milk (but really, the milk is warming up! We aren't going to harm you.)
You are our water baby, shower times can be teary affairs when you are hungry but splashing in the water always makes you grin with such delight.
Recently, you learned to laugh. Your mirror reflections and peekaboo games elicit that cute laughter that got us all laughing with you.
You used to scream to get your diapers changed pronto - and those were the days where we made it through more than 10 diapers a day. Dadda cannot blame momma for morphing into a cent-scrimping auntie!
Those ceiling lights are your best friend - since day one. Going into a lighting showroom is one hell of a treat above all other favourites. And secretly, we wish Santa would grant you lights in your present this year.
You know the existence of the camera, and would humour both me and my camera if your mood is right.
Car rides are fun and you love going into tunnels - must be those lights again.
Crowds intimidate you sometimes, and you prefer to take a cat nap in the baby carrier. Devoid of all noises.
Your fingers and fists have made their way into your tiny mouth, doesn't having your face wiped with saliva gross you out? Because you proceed to feed my face with it too.
I can go on forever listing the smallest and biggest achievements really and it won't stop. We love you to the moon and back and thank you for coming into our lives. Just don't grow up so fast please? As I tick the months off and you go from not being a newborn and soon not a baby anymore...where did the time go when I wished you'd exit from the womb quick?
Elizabeth Stone said, “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide
forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
I used to tell your G-ma, what is there to worry about me? I'm grown up and can fend for myself and...until I became a parent myself, this journey is lifelong. I became a worry wart. Leave the worrying to me baby boy, just be healthy, happy and dadda and momma have got you covered.
I am in sucha severe backlog of posts, sometimes I wish time would stop for me to complete all these jumbled updates. Here's a post written quite awhile ago, our musings which still crack me up.
Today you turn 14 weeks, the size of a lemon and the app says you start to grow peach fuzz all over!
Momma and Dadda had a talk about pairing you with a dear friend's son - the assumption is, if you are a girl! Then I joked about how Dadda would be super protective and follow you on your first date. And if anyone dares to break your heart, he will punch them.
*At the point, tears well up and I blame nothing but the hormones*
Momma made her first purchase for you this week - it's a lightbox!!! I think I'm more excited than anyone else about this box...which will be featured in all photography sessions...think baby styling and all the cutesy stuff.
Dadda thinks I'm bonkers when I go gaga over baby moccasins and even a baby teepee for your stuffed toys. He says maybe you won't like to wear shoes. Hurhur.
Then comes the eternal debate of how we want you to look like - Mommy's eyes, Daddy's nose and lips that are an in between. AND Daddy says that looks like Mr Potato. =_="""" Momma is not impressed.
How are you inside? I choked on my own saliva and ended up coughing till I nearly puked - Grandma says it must have felt like tornado inside with these thunderous sounds up above. We already look forward to meeting you in July...now will it come quick?
I cried because the expectations of impending parenthood proved a bit too much to bear, and dadda was away for most of the month. The things that your grandparents do so selflessly for us - and grandma says these are the things I will do for you next time.
*tap starts running again*
What if we aren't good enough parents? What if this and that and...argh, the hormones.
Dadda made me laugh so hard when I asked him why pregnancy isn't for men -
Men are pussies when it comes to pain
Men will eat more shit than women during pregnancy
If men get constipated during pregnancy, their assholes will be ripped apart when they finally shit
Talk about sacrifices all for you, this tiny human being. And the sweetest moment came when he said for Momma he will be up for pregnancy. CHEY! hahaha...better than naught since it is biologically impossible anyway.
Deciding on your name. I always thought Gabriel would have been ideal but somehow that did not materialize eventually. 30 WEEKS
The rage of "Descendants of the Sun" was still high, so high that the IN thing now was to have DOTS-theemed pre-wedding shoots and I joked with the Hubba about having a themed maternity shoot and he responded quite plainly,
"But we are having the Descendence of the SON."
"...." And I very much wanted to strangle him alive with a comment like that.