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♫ Stuff In My Head ♫

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My boy is 3 months old today.

I have been a mother for 3 months now and it feels like a lifetime to me. It means I am so used to having Issey around that I cannot imagine my life without him. It could also mean that he has taken up so much of my life that I kinda don't remember the life I had before he came along.

But, of course, I do.

Those weekends where I took a random bus route, not knowing where it would bring me. I would pull out my sappy playlist on my iPod and enjoy the ride wallowing in fictitious bad romances and love-gone-wrongs, while the soundtrack of my life plays in my ears. I was romantic like that.

Those nights when I return home from work and just lounge around, not waiting for anyone, not having anything to do. I just spent the entire night watching SATC seasons 1 to 6 back to back.

Those late nights when I would dress up like a doll and go out for supper with my girlfriends at prata-tiams. The dressing up was the best part, of cuz.

Those weekend afternoons I spent snoozing on my bed, getting out of bed only to eat and pee.

That person feels so distant and unfamiliar. Was that really me?

Today I took Issey for his 1st bus ride, it lasted for less than 10 minutes but the journey was more memorable than any bus ride I have ever been. Everything was so foreign to my boy and he was startled at every single sound in the bus. His oohs and ahhs replaced my sappy playlist in my iPod. If only I could turn those sounds into a song, it would be a mother's favourite song.

Now that Issey has learnt to fall sleep on his own, he is normally knocked out by 8PM every night. Which means after 8PM every night, I kinda have my old life back a bit. For a few hours, I can kick off my shoes, let my hair down and lounge around.. until Issey's next feed rolls around.. and I am back to being a mom. And when I see my boy after those few hours I so crave for throughout the day, I find myself missing him and I kiss him about 100 times before I finally give him his milk.

And when Issey goes back to sleep after his last feed of the day, I still wake up every 3 hours to check on him, even though he no longer wakes up on time throughout the night for his feeds. I guess he trained me well during the 1st 2 months, I now wake up on time, just like he did.

My boy is 3 months old today.

He may still only be a baby, but he has completely changed my world and me. I don't have to dress up to impress him, in fact, I don't have to do anything to impress him, and I am already his most favourite person in the world. He can't speak or express himself but from the way he watches me, smiles at me and coos at me, I know he loves me.

Mommy loves you too, baby. I could tell you 101 things I miss about the life before you but at the end of the day, it will always be you. My perfect, precious, beautiful baby.

Please always be happy and healthy. Happy 3 months old! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Top 5 things I learnt from pregnancy/becoming a mom.

1. My threshold for pain is zilch, almost non-existant.

The 1st realization hit me when the contractions started. Only half an hour into the 1st few contractions, I knew I was going to need a lot of pain relief. I was not going to be able to even think straight under that kind of pain, not to mention deliver a baby!

True enough, when pain relief came, I was in heaven. And the delivery was a piece of cake. I would do it all over again the next day, with pain relief, of course.

However, when the pain relief wore off the next day, the 2nd realization hit me. The pain, omg, the pain. (I guess I will take back my words about doing it all over again the next day.) Of cuz, I am talking about the pain down there. It was unbearable. I could not sit, I could not lay down comfortably, needless to say, I could not sleep. I realized later that the pain I felt was actually from the pregnancy piles (from pushing too hard/much during labour) and not from the actual "wound". In fact, I would tell you that my gynae did such an amazing job with the stitching, I never felt an ounce of pain from the "wound". It recovered without a hitch in less than a week. Amaze balls!

But the piles, they took a while longer, maybe about 2 full weeks before I could sit on a chair like a normal person without squirming from side to side.

2. Everyone goes through post-natal blues. It's just a matter of how bad and how long.

This is the scariest part of pregnancy to me. If I knew it was going to be so bad, I would have read up way more about post-natal depression to prep myself for it. I was hit very badly and I was totally not expecting it. I do not know if it was truly my hormones acting up or was it the environmental factors at home that caused it. Maybe it was both, that my hormones were acting up and the environmental factors at home aggravated it.

1st of all, my MIL spent a lot of time with baby during the 1st week when I was weak and unable to get around much, other than going to the loo. So a lot times, the whole day went by without me seeing my baby, other than when hubby came home and brought baby to our room. (Baby was rooming with confinement nanny in another room during this time so that I could get rest.) Also, the breast milk hadn't come in so baby didn't want to latch on and that deprived me of more time with baby.

2nd of all, everyone at home wanted a piece of baby. I felt like I had to fight for the attention of my own child and that truly killed me. I felt like if I wanted to carry baby, I had to wait my turn. If I wanted to bottlefeed baby, I had to get in line. It shouldn't be like this, I am the mother of that baby and no one was giving me that respect.

A lot of environmental factors such as those stated above really pushed me to the edge and I could not stop crying. I felt like baby was not mine and I had no access to him. At one point, it got so bad that the sight of baby/sound of his cry irked me. I did not want anything to do with baby cuz he made me upset. And I felt that baby didn't need/want me.

So I stayed in my room for many days during the 1st and 2nd week, crying, sobbing and thinking about a friend of mine who took her own life during confinement a few years ago. And I finally understood why she did what she did. The depression is so overwhelming and the change at home is huge and not everyone can just jump into situation at the snap of a finger. I was really worried for myself.

Thankfully my sister came to see me everyday and saw that something was not right with me. She talked to me everyday and made me tell her everything and she would talk me through all the difficulties I faced and on days she could not come to see me, she would make sure she called several times a day. Her support was a tremendous source of strength for me and despite her own difficulties, she never once left me in the lurch. My wonderful sister.

Of course, the hubby was also there for me all the time. But at times, it was difficult for me to tell him what is wrong with me cuz I could not put my finger to the problem as well. But nevertheless, he stayed with me in the room throughout and would always come to see me 1st before baby when he came home. That meant a lot to me.

I will be very honest and say that at this moment as I am typing, I am still experiencing some blues, though much milder. I can now control my tears and when I feel like I am going to break down, I think of all the happy stuff and try to stay positive.

And everyday at home, I am still fighting those "environmental factors". But things are slightly easier on me now that I have stated my stand and claimed my "territory". Not without shedding blood and tears of cuz. (Which included my MIL running away from home for 3 days, haha. That story is for another day.)

3. You won't love your baby straight away/all the time.

I was very guilty and disappointed with myself during the 1st week of baby's arrival as I felt I did not love baby as much as I thought I would. In fact, at times when he cried, I felt annoyed. But some time later, I realised that baby is a new person in my life after all, how could I possibly love a stranger immediately? Maybe some mothers could but I could not. I felt I had to get to know baby, get used to him before I could love him. True enough, after I got to know him and his unusual ways, I loved him and everything that comes along with him. I would do everything I can to make sure he is happy and comfortable. The unconditional love is inexplicable. I truly bonded with my baby 6 weeks after he arrived and I slowly stopped blaming myself for not loving him straight away after his birth. I am not a typical mother, I guess!

4. Breastfeeding is harder than you think.

I had been very adamant about wanting to breastfeed before baby was born. Of course, I didn't know how hard and painful it would be then. The milk didn't come in steadily until about 2 weeks after baby was born. Before that, it was pure torture. The milk was building up but it would not come out and the boobs, they hurt like nobody's business! I could not sleep and every time I walked, I wanted to cry. Every movement I made was pure torture and the boobs were so sensitive, swollen and painful. I can't rem how many times I tried to stop the milk from producing so that I would not hurt. But that only made it worse. I had breast infection twice in the 1st month of baby's birth. Hubby helped to massage my boobs until there were bruises all over them. SO PAINFUL. But somehow I could feel that hubby wanted baby to have breast milk as it is the best milk for them. So I persevered and 1 month later, the milk supply stabilised and I started to get the hang of managing the routine of expressing milk every few hours to prevent engorgement and infections. Then breastfeeding started becoming a breeze. Baby does not latch on as he had taken to the bottle during the 1st 2 weeks when I was not producing enough milk for him. In the beginning when the milk started coming in, I tried to get baby to latch on, and quit the bottle but he refused. He cried and screamed every time I tried to breastfeed him. My heart broke when he cried so miserably and was so hungry but refused to latch on. It made me feel unfit as a mother and rejected by my own child, it was a horrible feeling. So I decided not to force him and express the breast milk exclusively. He now takes his breast milk in a bottle and I have overcome the feeling of rejection by telling myself it doesn't matter how he takes his milk as long as he is getting it. His health is the utmost importance and I should stop thinking about my feelings only!

5. Confinement can be enjoyable.

Maybe cuz I was lucky to have a fabulous confinement nanny. She made my confinement so pleasant! She forbade me to do any chores (including washing a cup) so I laid in bed most of the time. She was also a wonderful cook and I had yummy homecooked food everyday, 3 times a day, for a month! She was a very experienced nanny so she knew all the dos and don'ts of confinement and wanted me to follow it strictly. I was glad she was strict with me as I wanted a traditional confinement to make sure my body recovers completely and get nourished better than pre-pregnancy. And yes I did not bathe for 3 weeks!! But I was allowed a wipe-down with herbal water every day so that made it more bearable. She also taught me how to take care of baby after she was gone and was very meticulous with details. Being a 1st time mom, it could be scary being left alone with baby but the confinement nanny taught me enough to make me feel confident of handling the baby on my own. When she left, we both cried. I only knew her for a month but I had grown so close to her. She even called to check on me the next day after she went home. I told her I would see her again 2 years later. :)

Wow very long post that took me a few days to type! (in between a lot of baby crying and feeding!) It is now almost 1AM and time for baby's next feed. I suppose this blog will now turn into a "Mommy" blog and it may be boring for some.... may consider starting a new blog for all the parenting rants. :p Will update on that!

For now, nitey nite and hope my next post won't be 3 months later. :p