Last week of babyhood

This weekend,  Little Foot will turn One.

The turning point where she officially becomes a toddler and leaves babyhood behind. Bittersweet feeling for Mummy.

image

image

We spent the last weekend battling fever with her… and then this week finishing up the preparations for the big party. Today we also celebrated papa Long’s birthday. I hardly had time to reflect.

image

image

I still remember the first remarks from Dr Teo when she was pulled out from my tummy (since it was a Caesarean delivery) – “Joy, your baby girl is very calm”.

I remember lying there on that cold operating table missing my husband while I waited for the nurses to clean her up and show her to me. I could hear them counting her fingers and toes.

And then they finally brought her to my side and our cheeks touched, and I said “Hello, baby” that feeling of so much relief, so much happiness, so much sadness (that Papa Long couldn’t be there with us)…it was all so overwhelming. I will always remember that. And it always brings me to tears.

And from there, we started this amazing journey called Parenthood. I’d be lying blatantly if I said it was all so blissful and happy. I can’t explain, but it’s all still so amazing to me, even with pain and tears in the package.

image

There were all the milk woes at the beginning. Too little milk…engorgement… rejected direct latching after milk bottles were introduced… rejected milk bottles at 40 days old… pumps don’t work…. bloatedness from formula milk.

Then there was the colic nightmare that turned our angelic, calm baby into a bloated baby that refused to be put down.

image

And then the constipation when we started weaning, followed by stomach flu… some days I worried so much for you, I would cry while you cried.

There were all those happy times too.  I loved all the times you clung to me… how you would go to sleep in the carseat in the living room… your love for certain toys… I loved the way your eyes would search for me in the room as your vision got clearer.. I remembered your tummy times, the neck exercises, the way you tried to flip and then could only flip to your left…the excited you in the exersaucer, the snuggly baby in the carriers, your feet kicking leisurely while you sat in the bumbo …. the zoom zoom baby in the walker, the splashing baby in the bath tub, most of all, every night spent sleeping beside me.

image

image

I have no regrets my darling, taking time off from work… I managed to witness so much of your babyhood. I’m amazed that your sprouted under my nose and in my eyes you seemed to have always been the same. I only see the difference when I look through the few thousand photos I’ve taken of you.

image

I ask myself a lot “where has all the time gone?”… whenever I see photos of your early days.

This weekend, you will turn one. And then, in the blink of an eye, you will grow up… be a school-going kid, reach teenage years, be an adult, maybe be a mother like me… you will spread your wings and leave my side one day.

I know we can’t hold on to you forever, yet for now, in the last moments of your babyhood, I do secretly wish I can hold on to you forever… in mummy’s heart, you will always be that perfect fit for me baby. The one who completed me, the one who carried traits of both your papa and mummy in your actions and demeanour.  The one who melts away all pain… the one we loved so deeply even before we even cast our eyes on your face.

image

image

I know many say toddlers years will be trying… terrible 2 and horrible 3. Mummy still look forward to being there with you through it all. I hope you’ll always remember how I am your original best friend.

image

image

image

Don’t grow up too fast my baby… take your time, smell the flowers along the way in life’s journey, pace yourself.

Ahead of time, I wish you health and happiness always, and may you always live in God’s grace.

Thank you for being our baby.

image

image

image

Advertisements

50 Weeks + 1 day

It’s 11pm. A newborn in the neighbourhood is crying. He/she has cried a few times already.

I sat in my quiet living room having a cup noodle (my 2nd one since a long time before I gave birth). Little Foot had slept at 9pm sharp today, after a tiring afternoon out at Punggol Waterways.

As I sat and listened to the distant crying, I’m reminded of Little Foot’s colic days… even then, as Daddy Long reminded me, she had never cried for too long. We always had some tricks that magically worked to soothe her.

Today, Little Foot is 50 weeks old… those colicky days felt like a long long time ago. With this thought, I suddenly felt just a little old, a little wistful, perhaps a little slow.

2 weeks to her 1st birthday.

I haven’t quite gotten my head wrapped around the fact that my precious baby Little Foot will no longer be a baby anymore. (Now we know why some people enter adulthood with their parents calling them Ah Bee!)

image

While she hasn’t learned to sleep through the night, we have established some sort of routine (a baby led one) that gets her to bed most days at a decent hour. Nevermind that she would wake several times at night.

I don’t envy the parents who are dealing with the crying newborn.  It used to be all these “what do you need??!”,  “What can I do to make you feel better??!” going through my head, whenever the baby keeps bawling and I start ticking off the mental checklist in your head and arrive at “I don’t know what the fishcakes is wrong with her!”.

To the newborn’s parents, trust me, it will get better. YOU will get better at it. And trust me, 10 months down the road, you will be like me, sitting in the living room reminiscing about your baby’s newborn days when you hear other babies cry… days that were so fleeting and you somehow miss. As those days were so trying, they became such precious memories. Because they symbolised the kind of mother I was. Those days laid the good foundation for me. They gave me courage to say “Come what may, I am a mother, I will wing it” whenever things gets tough.

I miss my newborn Little Foot, I miss the tiny baby I used to hold with 1 arm. At the same time, I love this adventurous, cheeky Little Foot that she has grown to become,  and I look forward to more exciting and heartwarming times with her.

Facebook prompted me that on this day a year ago, our diapers orders had arrived. Those newborn size diapers are long gone. What left was the memories of a baby whose butt was so small, and who looked overwhelmed in those diapers while her umbilical cord peeped through.

image

This is Parenthood. Chasing the future, missing the past, and more importantly, embracing the present.

image

image

It’s a lovely journey isn’t it?

Nearing the end of the milk journey

Little Foot turned 20 weeks old yesterday… and today, we realised that as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, she had slowly but surely outgrown colic. Today, we were pleasantly surprised when realised that she didn’t have a bloated tummy anymore.

Nothing brings more joy than knowing that the worst is over.

20150426_125857

Happy Little Foot showing off her flat tummy this afternoon

Over the last couple of weeks, I also noticed that her appetite had increased, and suddenly, we were digging into the modest frozen milk stash we had to make sure she had enough to drink.

All the signs are showing that our days of breastfeeding are numbered.

Little Foot was only a fully breastfed baby from 2 month old, after we figured out that formula milk was adding to her tummy woes. Thankfully, somehow, there was just enough to feed her on a normal day, and on her milk strike days, we stored the excess. To Little Foot, I can only say, it was love that gave me enough determination to keep pumping, latching, trying until there was enough milk. It was love that made me wake up in the middle of the night walking like a zombie to the living room to pump while the world and my baby slept soundly.

What a long way we had come.

At 1 week old, she pushed me away and opted for milk bottles. Miraculously, at 6 weeks old she pushed away the milk bottle for the first time and wanted to latch again at the nursing room at the Baby fair in Suntec. By 2 months old – she refused her milk bottles. It was her way of telling me “Mummy, hold me tight and I’ll be fine” while the colic raged. I took on the challenge, and like my older sister said, how ironic things could be. Everyone expected me to be the cool mama who would be happy to just do “enough” and then give formula milk. Who would have known we would be in this situation that milk powder was a no no?

In the four months, I’ve seen two ends of the spectrum – mummies with too much milk (and some still unsatisfied and keep listening out for and loading up on foods that could bring up supply), and mummies like me, who have too little milk, with some stopping as early as the first couple of weeks.

To both ends of the spectrum, I can only say, time will equalise everything. Certainly, there will be a time when the milk runs dry, and we are no longer judged by whether we are breastfeeding mums or not. Then, we will be judged on other things – time and effort spent on our child – not judged by something that is decided mostly by nature.

As my breastfeeding journey is nearing an end, I can safely say I have done my best, and done what I can. I may not have been a milk fountain, and my baby may not look like a Michelin tyre mascot, but I have done my best. And it has been a wonderful time of bonding.

In a way, I’m thankful that I can stop the constant worry over the last two months that we might run out of milk (and then what can she drink???).

I’m also getting pretty excited as we now start preparations in anticipation of weaning and starting Little Foot on solid food (read: bought many things).

The day of returning to beer, coffee and spicy food is near. Yay!

To all mummies and mummies to be, whether it was 1 drop, 1 day, 1 week, or a Kallang river of milk, whatever we can give, we have given. Don’t feel bad about peer pressure, and definitely don’t feel pressured to the point of eating any damn thing that is touted as a milk booster. Quality over quantity. That’s what I will continue to advise anyone who asks. I learnt it the hard way when I took Fenugreek and only realised weeks later that it was one of the culprits that made Little Foot’s stomachache worse (if not the root cause).

To drive the point home – my mother never breastfed me, but that had never hindered my connection and relationship with her. Life is more than just milk. Anyway, by 18 months when they are of playgroup age, we won’t be comparing milk anymore, but what sort of “enrichment” classes  our bubs are signed up for, and milk will be just a distant memory.

#10 Weeks – On colic, tears, milk and most of all, love

Today, my baby is 10 weeks old. Yes, 70 ripe days old.

It’s been 70 days since we checked in to KKH and started the whole process of bringing her out into this world. As the days went by, all the memories of my not-so-pain labour is starting to feel like a past life.

Shortly after her party, Little Foot started having bad tummy aches. She’d cry so fiercely at certain pockets of the day, her tummy was bloated… it was a repeated cycle, and she didn’t sleep well at night.

Trying times…

We found ourselves sitting and carrying her to sleep on our chest for hours on end. Yes, the husband is really resilient… he does it AND still goes to work.

We celebrated every fart and poopoo sessions of hers, and we tried our best to assist when that didn’t happen.

Baby massage, Ruyi Oil, doing “cycling” with her legs, wearing tummy binders, examining my diet and eliminating the suspects, changing milk bottles, changing formula milk, seeing 2 PDs… you name it, we’ve done it.

So to all those with the oh-so-wise suggestions, don’t tell me that I should try this and that. My inner voice is screaming, “Dammit! I’ve done it and more, so just leave us alone already!”. Oh yes, people like to point out the obvious. Yes, I know my baby has phlegm. I am not deaf, thank you. Would you believe I even sounded like a hysterical mad woman telling the PD that people outside are ALL telling me my daughter has phlegm and is seriously having trouble breathing? Obviously the judging look that followed from the PD thereafter shut me up.

It’s colic and maybe coupled with reflux. The soundest and most honest advice from our PDs is to “ride it out”.

Today, we still battle with this colic situation, but maybe we’re more in control of our emotions. Or at least I am trying. Papa Long has always been a cool cucumber. He just has to help me control my emotions on bad days.

Today, Little Foot still doesn’t want to lie down to sleep… So we’ve let her sleep in our bed.

I’ve somehow found a way to breastfeed her fully this week, partly due to having no help for the week and there was simply no time to pump for 35 mins 3 hourly, and then wash and sterilise bottles.

I’ve also discovered the world of carriers and wraps. Some of the soundest sleeps I’ve seen her take is in the stretchy wrap and the Baby K’tan carriers. She takes to the Boba 4G too, ready to sit in it and falls asleep in it in a short span of time.

Baby, I can’t cure you, but the world of carriers and wraps have allowed me to alleviate that pain somewhat, and help you get some of those much needed sleep. I’ve also decided to throw all those “you need to let her self-soothe” advice out of the window. I’d carry you till my arms break if it means you stop being in pain.

We’ll ride this out together, and I will really continue to pray very hard that this whole colic episode will go away soon.

The deepest hurt is seeing the one you love in pain. We’ve cried a lot together over this… but I have to be strong for you.

It’s been a trying period, but nevertheless, Happy 10 weeks my Little Foot. I can’t find the right words to express how much I love you and am thankful that you came into my life.

Get well soon, baby.