Milestones

I used to hate that word. Milestones meant Parent Teacher Conferences and endless portfolios to compile. Once I actually had 83 portfolios to finish on top of an assignment due the same week. I almost went nuts then.

Now though I find myself googling and refering to my old textbooks on infant and toddler milestones for A.

Well, today marks a major one. At 3 months, A attended Infant Care.

Yes I am still sobbing.

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Adventures of baby wearing

FIrst O’ all….

Happy mawlidurrasul everyone! Hurhurhur. It never ceases to be special regardless of which phase of life I am in. May our love and yearning for our Beloved and Lord strengthen which each passing day insyaAllah.

So since before A was born, I have always thought that baby wearing was just a passing trend. I had read about carriers being obscenely expensive hitting up to $500 and thought I’d never consider them.

Until A was born.ย  J had bought a basic carrier from lucky baby. It was the Go carrier and was on sale for $70. So we tried it on A and he was too small to fit it at first so we had to use an infant insert which was super thick and stuffy even I cringed at how hot it must have been. I tried carrying him in it once (the other times J used it) and he ended up bouncing up n down in the carrier as I walked. However A is very comfy now in that carrier but only when his Abah uses it. I think its all about the fit.

Then one of my dearest Gfs bought us the Pupsik sling which was a Godsend because he was so snug and comfy in it. Thanks D hur hurrrr. It saved my back when we rushed back and forth to poly and KKH for the first month. A however, grew too big for it pretty fast and soon it looked like we were squashing his legs into a mermaid tail before long.

I had seen some mommies wearing the wrap. And it looked like the Indonesian gendong thingy. It looked pretty comfy and my aunt bought us a Moby wrap which I loved and A did too because it wrapped him snugly and the material was very soft. The only issue was that it was abit tedious to take off and put on while we were out. My uncle even commented that I looked like a ninja while wearing the wrap without A in it.

All this while I had adamantly refused to buy the highly raved about Tula carriers which costed over $200. I felt like it was absurd that a carrier was that expensive kan!

Until I researched about it.

The Tula legitly looked like a mix between the wrap and the carrier. Structured but soft and mold-able to my baby’s body. It also provided neck support that did not threaten to suffocate A. Cos my son has issues with his neck area being too rigid. He prefers to sleep leaning towards the side so that meant that in the wrap, he would stick his head out of it and hence I had to use one hand to support it at all times (not exactly hands free).

And with the lucky baby carrier, it was sturdy but not flexible enough that A could move his head without being uncomfortable.

The Tula manages to provide both security and comfort to him. Also to me. Because baby wearing essentially means that the weight of the baby is on the wearer, with the other three variations, my back hurt everytime we brought A out for long periods of time. So far with the Tula, the back ache has decreased substantially.

So I did end up getting the Tula and I feel like it is worth every penny alhamdulillah. Sometimes you gotta pick your splurges and see if it is indulgent or an investment.

It took me 25 years and a two month old baby to realise that lolol.

Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kulli haal.

x

Struggle.

Good morning (or afternoon or night depends on when you read this)!

It’s my 8th week of maternity leave and I would say I am actually starting to enjoy being at home with my baby. Yes I admit, those first few weeks were rough. My post natal brain did not help with the situation. My body was weak (even though I acted all tough and rushed here and there like nothing was the matter) and my mind was haywire. Safe to say my spirit was down in the dumpsters.

Thankfully I had J and my family with me to keep my sanity. My mum especially had to go all counselor mode on me many times to remind me that no one was trying to steal my baby away from me. J had many slow talks with me to remind me that I would feel like myself soon enough.

The thing is, I was complacent during pregnancy. I looked at other first time parents and did not fully understand that I was going to be in their place soon. I read many books but once A started howling all that info went out the door and was replaced by panic. Doesn’t help that he cries like he’s badly injured or something when I tried to change his diaper during one of his hunger sessions.

Looking back now, I see how I have come out of the first month of parenthood a little calmer. I don’t freak out at my baby’s slightest whine. I realise now that he fusses a bit before falling asleep. I guess that’s just his way of winding down and expending that lastย  bit of energy. I even discovered that he can actually fall asleep on his own without my help! I find that so amazing and it is abit insulting on my child’s intelligence like “Umi whaddya expect you fall asleep everywhere I’m sure to inherit SOMETHING from you besides your nose Umi.”

Anyway, little bub turns 8 weeks this Saturday and 2 months the following week. Time flies subhanallah. He is beginning to smile smile and coo and I just forget the dirty diapers and night feedings (until they start again hahaha). To be honest, I am not complaining about A’s night feedings. Despite having a low supply of breast milk, I have only rarely needed to feed him formula at night. I just put da boob in and he dozes off after a few minutes. MasyaAllah, Allah knows what is best.

Early motherhood had also brought with it a massive dip in my faith. During the early weeks I had to keep questioning God on why He doesn’t send help to me and my baby. I asked and asked for Him to let me know what was bothering my child so that I could stop his crying. Now I realise I was nothing but an ungrateful and annoying person who only wanted instant results. Had I not gone through the rough weeks I would never have learnt about my baby and appreciated the better days.

I tell you, post natal blues is a real thing. I questioned everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about myself and my beliefs. Those of you who are preggers and are expecting a kid, please do read up on baby blues. Its not PN Depression but it is real and it is something that you and your partner need to know in order to be strong for one another. It is when a woman is at her most vulnerable, post partum.

I was also exposed to more, um, supernatural stuff? Like I saw figures darting around and it only happened when I was alone with A. With my low faith levels at that point, it was easy to get carried away. Until Mother told me that she also experienced it when she delivered all four of us and it was way worse than what I had. Alhamdulillah for that. Made me feel ALOT better knowing that it wasn’t me, it was just the state I was in.

Furthermore I was uneasy and stressed about bringing my little bub out and about. I was already itching to go out after recovery and I got mad stressed about bringing my baby out in case he fussed in public and everyone would look at me like I abused my child. It was tough at first when we brought him out but J and I have learnt that milk, milk and more milk is the way to go. Alhamdulillah that A enjoys being outdoors and only fusses when he needs to. A diaper change or feed would settle him quite quickly and then we’d be on our way. We actually went to Labrador park last weekend (to get BOO:EH but when we got there the bloody shop was not open yet I was so BUMMED) and I was already bracing myself for A to be mad fussy cos the heat was cray cray. But he was pretty calm to my surprise and he just needed to be carried abit to cool him down and he actually fell asleep most of the trip. Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah.

Theres still more to learn but J and I going to take it one step at at a time. Keep us in your prayers please ๐Ÿ™‚

Now excuse me while I contemplate on buying a Tula carrier.

x

 

 

 

Beauty & Beast

No, not the fairy tale.

These days I wonder if a woman can be both beauty and a beast. After going through, pregnancy, delivery, confinement and staying home most of the time, I felt like a fricken beast. I mean I didn’t feel beautiful at all.

Its hard to feel beautiful when you’re in sweatpants all day. For 10 days I was in a sarong after my post natal massage sessions as well. Despite having lost most of the baby weight, I still felt like being beautiful was the furthest thing on my list. A huge part as to why I feel so unbeautiful (cue song) is because of my stretch marks. It really makes me insecure to see them all over my mid section. Even mum said that she didn’t have stretch marks how I have them, and she has 4 kids! FOUR! Lagi I sedih you know!

Been trying to find a product that can help with the marks but I can’t seem to find any that works on mine. Sigh. Can I just let them be and explain that they tell a story? Lol.

If anyone has any recommendations, do lemme know!

x

Collaborate.

So Baby A turned one month old a week ago alhamdulillah!

Time really does fly huh? It felt like the longest and the shortest one month in my life. Like even Ramdhan doesn’t feel that short. The days just fly by as I care for my little bub. Things are settling into a routine now alhamdulillah. Before, it was just erratic and all over the place. I was half undressed most of the time because A wanted to nurse so much. It was a blur of clasping and unclasping nursing bras, getting him to latch, changing diapers and lullabying A to sleep.

Now it still consists of those things, just in a calmer, more orderly fashion alhamdulillah alhamdulillah. I pray that it gets better for all of us from this point on. Ameen!

So I was quite paranoid about taking care of my son before this. I wanted to do everything on my own. Not because I don’t trust others but honestly i felt like it was my responsibility alone to take care of his needs. I didn’t want to burden and trouble others by asking them for help. I became really jittery, anxious and almost always snappy.

I broke down a million times in front of J because I couldn’t soothe A and when someone “rescued” him from my arms he immediately fell asleep. I felt like such a terrible mother. I was afraid of people coming over in case he would suddenly want to nurse and I had to entertain the guests because I was too afraid to nurse in front of other people.

I was afraid of bringing him out because he was so fussy at that point of time and I could not figure what was wrong.

Needless to say, I was exhausted each and every night. And not because no one helped, but because I adamantly wanted to do everything on my own.

Gila agaknya aku ni. *rolls eyes*

Until we went to the clinic the other day for A’s jab. The nurse checked his weight and commented that he was on the small side. I was surprised given that I had to have an emergency C sect just because he was too big just a month ago! So I asked the nurse if I should supplement his feeds with formula. She said I could but it could also be because A doesn’t know how to latch on properly yet. Infants take some time to learn proper latching and so before they latch properly, they don’t get as much milk as they would when they drink from a bottle.

I came out from the room with a cranky baby and J suggested that we feed him first. True enough after 20 mins of feeding (my milk already finish k aft 20 mins). he was still hungry. So J made some formula milk and fed it to him. A gulped it down and after burping fell straight to sleep. I could even eat in peace without having to walk around and munch just to keep him asleep.

It amazed me that all this while, his crying could have been that he was just…hungry. And because he was latching on every 1 to 1.5 hours I could not figure out that he was not getting enough to stay full for longer! I bad blamed myself for my milk being too watery and bla bla bla but it was just that the skill to get the most out of the feed is a learned one in babies.

Instead of feeling like crap that my supply was not yet enough for him, it made realise how sombong and crazy I was to think that I could take care of A on my own. It was as if Allah was showing me that “mar pls eh your milk also you cannot make enough for him what makes you think you can raise him alone?”

It was quite…liberating in all honesty. I stopped feeling guilty about giving him formula because all I wanted was a happy and healthy baby. Stinging on formula and sticking to breast milk alone would mean my baby would be constantly hungry and I would fall further into depression by having to latch him on for hours! It wasn’t a matter of the pain when he latches it was also that my ability to do anything would be diminished when I was nursing (I know you can nurse on the go but I havent reached that level of mastery k).

So when I stopped feeling like I was cheating with feeding formula, I let others in. I let J feed our baby when I finished nursing him to supplement his feed while I had some me time to shower, eat or pump my milk. I let my baby sleep while I napped next to him. I asked my family members to help me babysit for a little pockets of time while I readied his bath or went to the toilet.

And it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders alhamdulillah. Perhaps asking for help isn’t so bad. Perhaps asking for help does not show that I am weak. Perhaps asking for help meant that I love my child enough to give him the best care possible, even when it meant enlisting someone else’s help. Perhaps Allah made me feel the full weight of doing things alone to make me understand how weak I actually am. Perhaps it is also His way of showing me how amazing his Love and Mercy is.

May the time with our children be magical insyaAllah. May they grow up to be amongst the filial, pious and loved by the Almighty and His Messenger (pbuh). And may our relationship with Him and His servants always be positive insyaAllah. Ameen!

Keep us in your prayers! Adu’aa bidu’aa.

x

Effort.

Good morning.

I finally have some time to write after doing some much needed errands online. I have musing on how I would finish my last module while taking care of an infant. The two assignments are not the kind where I can crap my way through and still manage to pass. No, I’m not smart I just have alot of left over info from the classes that somehow stay embedded in my brain so I just use it as a mini reference centre. They are the technical ones, that specifically refer to a theory and need reading to be done to finish it.

Like legit, analyzing and critical reading to even comprehend what the assignment is requesting out of my brain juices. I barely even have the time to switch on my laptop or look through my phone before I doze off from not sleeping the night (thank God for maternity leave) or before Baby A wakes up from his nap.

My last resort is to email my lecturer telling her my situation and pray that Allah allows me to forgo this module and still graduate with flying colours (insyaAllah AMEEEEN).

Motherhood has been an interesting phase of my life so far. It has been overwhelming alot of times but that sweet smile and cuddle baby A gives makes me forget that he woke up every hour the previous night and that the headache that I’m nursing is just a whole lot of thinking to myself and not of sleep deprivation.

I am putting in extra effort to be better at this. Nowadays he seems to be quiet in the arms of others except me. With me…he only wants milk. I guess I can’t fault him because he smells the milk and cannot resist it most of the time, I mean it is his only source of sustenance mar hello.

But my silly self kept thinking that I was doing something wrong. I kept asking J if he could sense that I was a terrible mother and thats why he is much calmer with others. J has been religiously telling me that I am overthinking. I guess we just have to wait and see.

Anyway, Baby A is up. Time for his second breakfast!

x

Joy

If the Inside Out character from Disney just popped in your brain then high five. I just remembered her too. Strangely I feel a little perked up by her blue hair and lime green dress. Maybe that’s why I’ve been wanting to get my hair dyed blue? Hmm.

Anyway, just to let you all know….I gave birth!

Yes, to a real human being guys. Not a story or a chapter or a website.

Read on to find out the whole story. Continue reading