Monday, November 30, 2009

A Woman Confined: Day 7

Gosh, it was exactly a week ago that I was huffing and pushing Amy out of my body. H ow time flies. As I look into Mia's sweet little face, the pain and agony that I went through between the hours of 2.00pm - 5.13pm last Monday just disappears. Although I was in labour from 10am, I honestly did not feel much pain before 2.00pm. Yes, the pain was there, but bearable. Must be the swimming sessions. My advise to other pregnant women out there, it's good to take up Pilates and swimming. Both would prepare your body better for childbirth. The breathing technique really helps when the contractions hit you.

I've been allowed to go downstairs as of last Friday. Thank goodness. Being cooped up in the bedroom almost make me go crazy.

This afternoon I had a look at our kitchen which has been taken over by cPG. I opened one of our shelves and OMG, saw that it's turned into a mini Chinese herbal shop display:There were lines of Chinese herbs in jars for cooking. Then there's a line for my bathing as well in another shelf. One thing about our cPG is that she's really organised. She re-arranged the whole kitchen using her system for easy accessibility. Of course I had to thank her to which she closes both eyes, nods her head up and down and smiles in agreement. She's so cute!

One of the things I dreaded about the confinement period is the ban on hair washing. Before this I was determined to wash my hair. I even told my mother-in-law that I would be washing my hair during the confinement period. I think she got my sister-in-law to persuade me to "tahan tahan ah (have patience) .... for 1 week at least, then wash hair" otherwise "kena masuk angin". I was still determined. But one look at cPG, I got scared and decided to follow their advise. This has to be the longest period that I've gone without washing my hair. How do I feel? Well....

So after a week of no washing, I decided to cheat a little and use a wet hanky to "wipe" my hair and scratch my scalp at around 7.00pm because cPG would already be in her room and not come out anymore until tomorrow morning. The feeling was so good. I tied my hair up in a bun and happily walked downstairs to get some warm water to drink. As I was walking up the staircase humming a tune, cPG came out from her room with Mia and called out to me, "Angeline, aiyaaaa, kau jaga baby dulu ah. Si-ya mau mandi."

I was horrified, would she notice my slightly damp hair I wondered. I was prepared for some scolding. I took Mia from her and cPG said, "Aiyaaaa, baby jahat oh. Beluuuuuuuum mau tidul. Jahat oh baby, jahat wuhhhhhhhhh!" and laughed before going back inside her room. Phew, luckily she didn't notice my hair! Hehehehe.... safe! I'd have to be extra careful next time.

Mia, time to sleep. You're a good girl. Mummy loves you.....

A Woman Confined: Day 6

6 days down, 24 more to go!

Today was another quiet and peaceful day for us. What a relief... 'twas a good weekend to really relax.

I did have a surprise "drop off" of DVDs from Teresa to keep me entertained.Princess: A Modern Fairytale. Hmmm, this would be a good movie to watch with Amy when she's a little older! For now, it'll be just me. I don't think hubby would be into this type of movie.

The Other Man. The title itself looks like its going to be an intriguing story. Looking forward to watching this movie.

The Ugly Truth. Alamak! I have this DVD already. Watched it a couple of times with hubby. Quite funny, but the storyline was also hmmmm, predictable. You know boy meets girl. Girl hates boy. Boy helps girl to seduce another man (her dream man). Boy and girl falls in love. Big argument leads to big make up. Happy ending. Nonetheless, I love Katherine Heigl's character's wardrobe. Simply stunning.

Then later in the evening, I got a surprise visit from Janet bearing gifts for Mia:Don't get too excited. Not diamonds.... she's too young to appreciate jewelry!

But ..... tadaaaaa:
Funky long sleeved clothing. So cute!!!! Thanks Janet! We really needed these..... :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Woman Confined: Day 5

No, I'm not craving for a Guinness! Those who know me would also know that I've never been a guinness gal. Red wine, white wine, margarita, long island tea... yes, once a upon a time. But that was a long time ago.

Then what's with the Guinness up there you might wonder. Well, I was chit chatting with my cPG regarding Mia's yellowness (which by the way looks like it's subsided already. Yay!), and she mentioned that if she was still yellow tomorrow, she'll ask my husband to buy Guinness Stout. I was thinking, whoa.... you are not feeding my baby with a Guinness and then somehow blurted out : "To DRINK?!!!"

cPG laughed and explained not to drink but to bathe her in it. Haaaa?!!!!! Thinking this had to be weird, I went on the Internet to see if there were such thing. To my surprise.....
Oh, yeah..... apparently bathing babies in Guinness Stout is another example of a traditional detox system for newborns!

On another note, today is the first day that our house was visitor free since Mia's arrival.... it was just cPG, Mia, my husband and I the whole day (minus the short visit by the plumber to fix a clogged drain). So what did husband and I do...... :)

We watched "The Hangover" on DVD. This is one crazy movie. For the first time in ever so long we laughed ourselves silly. Definitely a must see. Rosie, Janet, Teresa..... hehehe, you can come and borrow the DVD anytime!

A Woman Confined: Day 4

Baby Amy & daddy

Today, my darling husband got to carry Mia in his arms for the very first time!

Baby Mia smiling and listening to messy mummy.

And we had visitors to the house. My in-laws came around noon, but unfortunately I was taking a nap that time and Fred was out shopping for Mia's things. It's like never-ending shopping. You wouldn't believe just how many things a little baby needs!

Later in the afternoon, Rosie, Janet, Teresa and her mum came by to visit us (and at the same time, see cPG in the flesh!!!). Here are just some of the pictures.

Rosie with Mia

Look .... Mia has my long fingers!

L-R: Janet, Rosie, Teresa (with Mia), Me and Teresa's mum.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Woman Confined: Day 3

OK, I have to admit that I'm having difficulty being separated from Mia during these early days. Yesterday, I tried to sneak into the nursery to have a peek of Mia. I quietly opened our bedroom door with high hopes of being able to touch Mia for a while. How shocked I was seeing cPG in the room lying down on the bed (napping) with Mia next to her! I didn't even manage to step 1 foot out the door. Definately no chance of that touch!

Around 6am this morning, I heard cPG working in the kitchen to prepare breakfast for me. Again, I thought this is my chance to have a peek at Mia sleeping in the nursery. Once again I quietly opened our bedroom door and tip toed to the nursery. Ha, made it! But when I looked in Mia's cot, she's not there.... aaarrrgh... cPG took her downstairs with her.

Our cPG means well in separating me from Mia as she wants to make sure that I regain my physical strength with plenty of rest and proper food etc. I truly appreciate all the hard work and effort that she's putting in to helping me take care of not only myself, Mia, my husband but also my elder niece and nephew who are staying with us for now. Tell you, she's so responsible that she even counted the number of tablets I'm supposed to be taking and checking to make sure I eat them.

Today, cPG allowed me to hold Mia in our bed 3 times. One time, she helped to carry and "lectured" Mia while I was having a glass of red dates drink. You see, Mia has become a little bit manja now and cries for attention every 1 - 2 hours. Quite a diva. It was quite entertaining seeing cPG lecturing Mia in Chinese and Mia looking at cPG with a pitiful look on her face as if she understood what cPG was saying.

On another note, Mia seems to have run out of clothes wear, We thought we bought enough clothing for her but cPG said we didn't get enough of the long sleeved tops. Oh dear, I couldn't go out to go buy extra clothing because of hello, confined. I wasn't sure whether my husband would be able to handle the job. Last night he managed to buy the right milk for her (Enfalac A+), but clothing.... hmmmmm.

Well, husband Fred surprised me once again and bought:3 sets of long sleeved tops for Mia plus plastic cloth diaper coverings for Mia! The first time Fred went out to buy clothings for Mia all on his own. You did well darling. Muaaaah!!!

**Oh, Mia's jaundice is not so bad now. cPG has bathed Mia in some Chinese herbal thing and gave her something to drink together with her milk. Don't know what it is cos it's in Chinese! Could have been chestnut like as what was suggested by Tze. Thanks Tze for the thought.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Woman Confined: Day 2

I think my confinement woman can feel that I was a little depressed because she separated me from Mia the moment she arrived at our home.

Yes, I was depressed since yesterday and a little angry with her because:
1. She is in control of everything
2. She took Mia away from our bed when I went to the toilet. Since then I didn't get to see her.
3. She stopped me from using my laptop.
4. She insist that I just lie down and sit down for this 1 week. Come on!
5. Whenever I hear Mia cry I want to be able to cradle her, but the confinement woman say cannot. "Nanti susa kau sia kasi tau kau chi-kalang ah. Manja tu. Kau tingu la mau pigi tanda-s pun tada buli. Kasi bial dia nangis supaya ah dia bala-jal."


This morning, she came in to my room and talked to me nicely. OK lah, I just have to have more patience and let others take over for this 1 month.

My husband returned to work today and left me at home with the confinement woman (we call cPG) and my older niece and nephew to help do the household chores.

Today, I was also given the chance to feed Mia for the first time.She's turned a little yellow. Light jaundice but still able to smile after her feeding! I pray to God that her jaundice goes down and she'll be alright.

Coming Home

We just couldn't wait to bring our little Amy (well, as I prefer to call her - Mi...ah!) home. My husband is still adjusting to calling her by her real name... He kept on referring to her as "Poppy"!

After checks and visits by both Mia's pediatrician and then my Dr, we were cleared to leave SMC.

I quickly got up and got changed (hello, I'm not going home wearing a sarong!) into my polka dot dress bought in Bangkok in 2006. Oh yes, it fits! Amazing... after popping Mia I don't look pregnant anymore... just a little buncit!

Husband grabbed all our bags, the nurses laughed and said it looks like we're just returning from a holiday. I cradled Mia and off the 3 of us we went to the car.

Mia lying down on the sofa where I spent most of the pregnancy. She still prefers to sleep in her most favorite position (ie to her right side). When she was in my womb, she was usually snuggled facing the right. And she hates the glare from sunlight too... just like her mommy and daddy!

My husband and I shared a private moment together with Mia in our home for an hour before he had to leave to pick up the confinement woman.

I was so glad that we decided to send me and Mia home first before having my husband pick up the confinement lady. Because once she was here, everything was..... aaarrrgh chaotic with all sorts of activities and my confinement thus begins.

My first of many confinement meals to come....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is it!

Hello world! This is Poppy's 1st picture.

I asked my husband.... Tantalau or bobot? His reply, "Dunno". The Dr say, there's the girl!

Oh yeah..... we have our little darling Amy Liew Yi Mei. Born 23 November 2009, at 5.13pm weighing 3kg. My darling husband was so stunned and amazed at what went on he forgot to take more pictures! It's OK darling. We have our baby!!!!

The Labor: Part 2

At 10.10 am, I was wheeled into Labour Room 7 so they can hook me up on a drip. The room was large, comfy and had a tv as well! Yeah! They had all that they needed to welcome our Poppy in this room.I could feel my contractions more and more now at 12 minutes apart, each lasting about 30 seconds. What does a contraction feel like? Well, it starts off with the tightening feeling on your belly then pain down there, then I could feel my bone near the hip open up a bit and hear a "pop" sound.

At this point the contractions were not so bad. I could still smile away and send out smses to friends and relatives telling them what's going on.

Then the contractions became 10 minutes apart, lasting for 45 seconds. Here, it became a bit more painful but still ok. I did my breathing exercise. I was thinking. This is not so bad.

Then 8 and 5 mins apart.... hmmm, getting a bit more painful.

Then 3mins apart lasting for a minute at least .... OK, painful but tolerable (yeah right!).
At 2.30pm I asked my husband to call the nurse. I want pain killers!!!! Come on, it's been more than 4 hours. I should have dilated to 7 cm at least now. How much longer?!!!

The nurse (SN Connie) came in and put her hand up my "u-huh" down there and said that I've dilated 5cm (WHAT?! 5cm only? You mean to say that for 4 hours I've only dilated an extra 2cm). She could feel the baby's head already, she's coming soon. Connie alerted the Dr and gave me a dose of painkillers.

Then my contractions came again. When is this painkiller going to kick in?! She warned me that it'll make me a bit drowsy, but I didn't feel drowsy at first. My darling husband was fantastic all the way through trying to make me laugh and got me to think of happy thoughts. Even though I was in pain, his presence and support made me feel a lot better. Though I did snap at him 1 time. Sorry darling.

When the Dr came, he checked and I was already 6cm dilated. So he said, we'll press on. My mind was blurred at that time... what do you mean press on?! He said, we'll just continue and wait for me to dilate to 8 - 9. At this point my husband and I thought 8 -9 pm. Die.

What the Dr meant was 8 - 9 cm! Phew.

Contractions were still at 3 mins apart but getting more intense. Each time it came, I just grabbed on to my husband's hand and let him calm me down. There were times I broke down in tears but my husband kept reassuring me that it'll be over soon, and again encouraged me with happy thoughts.

At 4.15pm, I really couldn't take it anymore and asked my husband to call the nurse. I wanted a second dose of pain killers. When Connie came in, I asked her, is the urge to push meaning like I want to urinate? She said YES.... urinate. She put her hand up my u-huh again and exclaimed... Wow, you're fast. It's 8cm now!!! Forget the pain killers. I just want this done and over with.

Connie called the Dr again. She put her hand up my u-uhuh and asked me to push. I did that and she exclaimed... It's 10cm now!

Great.... I sent out an sms to my friends and relatives (sempat lagi!!!)

The Dr came in and everything happened so fast from there on.

The Labor: Part 1

Since our last visit with my Dr, we've been telling Poppy that if she's not coming out on her own, then the Dr is going to force her to come out on Monday! Last night I could feel Poppy move restlessly and had to go to the toilet more to pee. Then, I felt my stomach tightening and some pains at 2am (23rd Nov 2009) but it subsided. Then the pain came again at 3am and disappeared once more. I was waiting to see if there were any more pains but I feel asleep at around 3.30 - 3.45 am till 6am. So, I concluded it must have been Braxton Hicks or false labor or whatever they call it.

6am: Ok, I got time to label the Christmas presents, put the laundry in the washing machine, hang the laundry to dry, take a shower and wash my hair.

At 7.15 am on 23rd November 2009, we stepped out of our home for the last time with Poppy inside my belly. We had breakfast at a coffeeshop in Damai, the closest to SMC. Here, I was a bit anxious, worried, excited as to what will happen soon.

Finally at 8.30am, we went to SMC to check in. We brought to our room, Room 320 and I got hooked up on the baby hearbeat monitor again while waiting for my Dr.

2 not so fashionable "belt buckles" on me: Baby heart monitor on the bottom, contractions monitor at the top.

The readings from the monitors

My darling husband can't sit still. He kept walking around the room. Anxious and excited.

The Dr finally came to check me at around 10am. Did a check "down there" to see what induce method to use (1. use medicine 2. break my water). I can still remember his words. "Good news, no need medicine. We can break your water becauce you have dilated 3cm now." Yeah!

He attempted to break my water, but nothing. He tried again, no water. He asked me if my water broke earlier and I told him not that I know of. He then did another test on me, can't remember what's the name of the test though but it was very uncomfortable. He looked at me and said, "Your water already, there's nothing there left." Oh my gosh, must have been last night when I went to the toilet. Yikes, I never noticed. Luckily I didn't give birth at home!

So I didn't need to be induced after all. Poppy must have been listening to us and decided to start the labour process for us! See you soon Poppy...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still pregnant...

But not for long.

I'm officially 40 weeks pregnant. Somehow, Poppy can still move around inside. It's tight in there (I can feel it being ever so tight) but she/he is happily getting all snuggled inside.

Still no sign of impending birth .

So, today Fred and I went Christmas tree shopping. That was the deal we made last year: once a baby comes along, we can have a Christmas tree for the house. So, this Christmas we will have Poppy. Since I know for SURE that I'll be in confinement in December this year, I'd better get this done. Off we went to Wisma Merdeka to buy our 1st ever Christmas tree together with decorations. Once we reached home, I started to put it up. Better pictures will be up at another time... I'm still not fully satisfied with the deco! Just look at this:

Still got some works to do.....

By 3.15pm it was time to meet my Dr. My appointment was originally set for 3.45pm however due to so many patients of his before me, I only managed to get in around 4.30pm.

My blood pressure is still good at 120/70. Then the scan....

Gosh, Poppy's grown (again), and my amniotic fluid is low now. The little munchkin has been walloping it inside. My Dr was a little concerned so he hooks me up (for 10 minutes) on the heartbeat monitor to check Poppy's heartbeat. Today, for the 1st time ever we heard Poppy's heartbeat (all this while, we've been looking at the heartbeat only in the scans). Kind of sounded like a horse galloping in the countryside. Hmmmm, really reminds me of a cowboy movie! I was looking at the chart and noticed that at times, the readings went off the chart (is that good or bad, I wondered).

After 10 minutes, Dr came in and saw the heartbeat chart... This is what he had to say: "Well, I can say that Baby is very happy inside there. However, I have to tell you that:
1) your amniotic fluid is rather low now which is usual for a full-term baby
2) your placenta is weakening (bla bla bla.... my mind wondered off after I heard "weakening". I kept thinking so do I need to deliver NOW?! What Caesarean, induce???, What's the date today)

Usually, in situations like this, we'd need to induce the labour. After all, there's no point to wait already. The baby is already full term. Now, how this is done is (bla bla bla.... again, my mind wondered again, phew! I didn't even have to bring it up?! Actually, before coming for the appointment I wanted to ask the Dr whether I can be induced on Sunday or not. hehehe!)

Do you understand? Any questions?" asks the Dr.

At this point, I felt like I'm in school and my teacher is testing whether I've been listening all along. Then I asked, "So, when do you think I should be induced." I was hoping not tonight please.... I still have some things to do!

The Dr replied.... "Ideally, on Monday (23 Nov 2009). If you're not in labor by tomorrow, then we need you to check in at SMC at 8.30am on Monday. You just need to ....."

So, there it is. Poppy will be arriving on Monday 23 Nov 2009 :)

Now, we need to inform anxious families and friends, eat all my favorite things, go Christmas shopping for our nieces and nephews, get my Kembara out of the workshop,double check on my "luggage" for hospital check in, charge camera & phones, send out the necessary receipts and invoices (work matters), clean the house a bit more, inform the confinement lady and maid of Poppy's arrival.

The list goes on and on... but hey, Poppy's coming, Poppy's coming!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anxiety Kicking In

Here we are at Day 5, Week 39.

I'm still pregnant. Thing is I've been so sure that I'd be giving birth around Week 37 - 38.

I've been all set and ready since Week 37. I've packed for our hospital stay. We've got the nursery ready. Confinement lady has been confirmed and booked months ago. I've even done my eyebrows (it was getting a bit wild up there); and I've had my feet and toes scrubbed and cleaned!

Well, Week 38 came and left and.... today I'm still pregnant with no sign of going into labour any time soon.

Whenever I go out, people ask me the standard question: "When are you due?" My reply: "Any day now."

Any day now seems to take forever. I've been told to enjoy these last few days of pregnancy because once the baby comes, it'll be chaos.

Poppy is still actively moving inside of me. Not much kicking now because I suppose Poppy's out of space. Moving a lot albeit slow (imagine the satellite dish turning slowly to get a reception). She/He hiccups at least once a day - usually in the late afternoon or evening time. Thing is Poppy likes to face my left side. My belly on the left side is slightly higher than my right side most of the time. Weird.

Another thing that's happened recently. My confidence as to Poppy's gender has been shaken. People look at my belly and it's like an instant magnet. Their hands are all over my belly as they excitedly squeal: "You're having a BOY!"; "See how sharp your belly is?! Yes, it's a BOY!!!!" Not once, but every time now (since Week 36).

Hello, the scan says a girl. So, which one am I to believe science or myth?

My husband says, "Scan can be wrong you know... and have you seen how old your doctor's machine is. Probably, it's not accurate. But don't worry, girl or boy we'll still love Poppy"

Of course we love Poppy whatever the gender.... just so super anxious to have him/her out and be with us.