Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rollercoaster return to work

I thought I'd have more time to blog about Andrew's growth and developments during my maternity leave. But I was so caught up in ensuring he drank/pooped/reached all his milestones that I neglected pretty much everything else. Now that I've returned to work, I feel so horrid and I can't seem to tell anyone about it, even Melvin.

The Power Struggle

While I understand that yes, his parents have raised a child. I can't help but feel as though I'm going through a power struggle with his mom. Those feelings were strong when Andrew first arrived.. and dissipated over the next 2 - 3 months while I was in total control of the boy. Now that I've gone back to work, those feelings are back with a vengeance.

It can be a simple thing really. Like this afternoon, I was commenting that his total volume consumed was getting better and partially was due to his middle-of-the-night feeds. We had actually trained him to sleep through the night without milk.. but I realised because of that, his total volume of milk consumed had dipped. So I resumed those feeds. Because he wasn't drinking enough through the day. At some point, he was only taking in 500ml a day. With a night feed, he would potentially take in another 100ml.

This is important because his weight is now in the 10th percentile. It was in the 25th.

Andrew's grandmother knows this.

Anyway, I mentioned something about him drinking very well in the middle of the night. Immediately, she was like "Oh don't do that, it's a bad habit. I mean, now he is not feeling well so it's OK. But you need to stop feeding him in the night"

So I told her he wasn't drinking enough and reminded her about his weight loss.

As which her reply was "Then I'll just feed him more during the day. Stop feeding him in the middle of the night already"

1) I'm hearing her say "don't need to feed him cos I'll do it. Just step aside."
2) Isn't it none of her business whether I feed him at night or not?
3) I'll do what I think is best for him so shut the fuck up.

With her being the primary caretaker while I'm at work, it seems she is going to resume exerting her influence whether I like it or not.

The Pacifier

With regards to breastfeeding, the journey hasn't been easy. I pump and bottle him for most because he is a messy eater. But I do like to latch him daily because it just makes me feel.. closer to the boy. He would latch and he would suck. every day.

Until I returned to work, that is.

For some reason, she gives him a pacifier EVERYDAY. Pops it in his mouth and lets him suck it to sleep. Have told her to only give as a last resort. I guess it's a last resort every day.

I believe that the introduction of the pacifier has killed whatever breastfeeding relationship I had left with my son. Because he used to nurse to sleep. The past week, he just refused to latch, prefering the pacifier.

I spent a good few minutes quietly crying in one corner this afternoon. Because he doesn't feel like my son anymore. He may as well be Diana (Melvin's mom's) baby.

He smiles at everyone but me.

When his grandma walks into the room, he smiles at her. same for grandpa. Same for Melvin. Not for me. In fact, the response is so mute, it's as though he didn't see me.

This wasn't the case. Before I went back to work, he would respond to me..

Melvin doesn't understand

I should probably change the subtitle to that. It's not that he doesn't understand. He just doesn't want to hear it anymore. At some point, he's lost his temper with a "we've been through this!"

That's why I've stopped talking to him about things like that. He isn't willing to be that listening ear anymore. That's why when he comes home and helps put Andrew to sleep, we don't speak at all for the rest of the night. I go to bed without saying goodnight.

Sometimes, I try to start a conversation. We say a few sentences to each other, he turns back to his computer. When I try again, he pauses whatever video he was watching on facebook, sighs and turns around to look at me. Sometimes he replies with a word/sentence. Sometimes he goes "what now?"

So I've stopped trying.

In fact, I don't even know what time he comes to bed anymore. It's like we are just strangers sharing the same locale. that's all.

Melvin still does sweet things for me. Sometimes he shows he cares by making sure I have a drink on my table ready for my 1am milk pump. But we really can't talk anymore. I am thankful that he makes it a point to wake up extra early to drive me to work. He needs to wake up an hour earlier just to do that. So we make small talk in the car. That's about it. He doesn't confide in me either, so it's mutual I guess.

Weekends are a struggle

Mostly because Melvin seems more than willing to leave Andrew at home with grandparents. He has been bugging me to head to the gym with him. That would mean another half a day away from Andrew and with his grandparents. Melvin does NOT understand why I do not want to do that.

Sometimes we need to run errands because things needed to be done for our new place.. And I'd want to drag Andrew out with us. Melvin gets annoyed with me for that sometimes.

Everyday I come home from work, I'll spend some time in my room in tears. I'd tell myself things will get better when we move to our own place. But I doubt that'll solve everything.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Achievement Unlocked - Diapers and stuff

I am really thankful that we hired a confinement nanny. Have no idea what we'd do without her help and expertise. Auntie Sai Hua was trained at Mt Alvernia hospital and she has been working as a confinement nanny for over 20 years. As a result, she is very good with Andrew.

We brought Andrew home from the hospital at Day 3 and Sai Hua came on Day 4. Normally she'll come on the day of discharge, but Andrew came early and she needed to settle some stuff before coming to SG.

That means we spent one day/night on our own. And man, it was NOT pretty. Andrew cried every hour, and wailed through diaper changes. Melvin and I were not good at changing diapers and we didn't sleep at all that night.

After Auntie Sai Hua came, we went "OK he's yours!" and took a nap.

Let me put it this way, he didn't cry when she changed his diapers. I think it's because Andrew feels secure when she is handling him.

We are better at doing stuff like changing diapers. Had to learn alot from Sai Hua. At least he doesn't cry when we change his diapers now. She attends to Andrew and takes really good care of him. Of course.. taking really good care also means she feeds him VERY well (combination of my milk plus some formula as topup).. and Andrew is now at least 3.5kg. This means he's put on at least 0.8kg to 1kg in less than a month. It's more than a 30% increase in weight.. He's getting chubby.

Anyway, yesterday she taught me how to bathe Andrew. You'd think it should come to me easily. I mean, we have been showering for years. Andrew begs to differ. The moment I put the wet washcloth to his hair, he started screaming bloody murder and he ended up pooing in his towel. The wailing didn't stop until I was done bathing him >.>

This doesn't happen when SH bathes him, btw. He's chill and even smiles when she bathes him.

So today, I tried again. And it's getting better. At least he wasn't screaming bloody murder all the way.

Everything has been a steep learning curve for us. From how to breastfeed (yes, apparently that doesn't come as naturally as some ppl think), how to massage my boobs so that the ducts don't get clogged with milk and give me a fever, to how to diaper change him, how to give a baby massage etc etc.

I think things are getting better.

I also wish SH's contract with us didn't expire so soon. She's going back to Malaysia this Sunday, then she'll need to prepare for her next client. It's going to be another period of adjustment after she leaves because we have been so dependent on her.

*fingers crossed* I hope we survive this.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The arrival of little Andrew

This post comes a little late because it's been nuts around the house.

Baby Andrew decided to come early on 10th June!

My water broke on 9th June. Was taking a nap and waiting for Melvin to come home.. got out of the bed at 5ish pm, and I dribbled water all over the place. My first thought was "@$#*! That isn't pee. He's coming early"

I had all intention to take my time and shower because that is what I've been taught in antenatal class. They told us that the baby can take up to 24 hours to arrive after the water breaks.. PLUS, I wasn't feeling any contractions.

I gave Melvin a call to ask him to come home quickly. Heard he freaked out a little in the office.. mostly because I was home alone and there was no one to help me.

Then as I walked to the bathroom, the clear dribbling liquid turned pink, then bright red. That was when I freaked out because a colleague had shared her story of placental abruption the week before. And because I panicked, I ended up dripping blood all the way to the bathroom, then back to the bedroom because I forgot to take my sanitary pad/underwear/change of clothes. Left bloody footprints all over the place.

After I cleaned myself up as best I could, I gave Melvin a call to ask him to come home fast. It was a "Can you come home and pick up stuff needed for the hospital? I'm going to the hospital on my own first. You need to come home and clean up."

Then I left. Imagine his horror at the bloody footprints.. He ended up calling every 10-15minutes while he cleaned up, fed the dog, pack his clothes (yeaaaa he dawdled on that despite my reminders that HE needed a go bag cos he was staying in the ward with me). He ended up getting to the hospital at about 7pm.

By that time, the nurses have hooked me up to a machine and apparently I WAS having contractions but couldn't feel them. They weren't strong contractions and were 8 minutes apart. My gynae refused to let me go home, saying that I was going to have to come back to the hospital in less than 24 hours anyway... she tried to secure a bed in the maternity wards for me (as opposed to me spending the night in the delivery room) but all the rooms were full, apparently.

So I stayed in the delivery ward. By 12.30am, I was begging for epidural because the contractions were coming closer and stronger.. and we all know what a wuss I am with regards to pain. I was 4cm dilated by then.

They made Melvin leave the room during the administration of the epidural. Which pissed me off cos I was so scared. Everytime I made a sound (Like "ow"), the nurse and anesthesiologist would shush me. I get the feeling the anesthesiologist wasn't very confident, and that added to my discomfort and fear. By the time they were done and they left, I was seriously annoyed. "Amateurs," I thought.

The annoying thing was after the administration of the epidural, I stopped dilating further. I know that medically speaking, epidurals don't STOP dilations, but my experience tells me otherwise. I went from 1cm - 4cm in 5 hours, then stopped dilation further after epidural was administered? Can't be a coincidence. I was still 4cm dilated at 7am on 10th June, btw.

Dr Tan decided to induce me in the morning of 10th June. Even then, it was 2pm by the time I was fully dilated. They reduced my epidural from 8units to 0.5 *sulk* Then asked me to push. So I felt every contraction. I didn't push hard enough so the nurses had to help me by pushing on my tummy.. then Dr Tan gave up and used a vacuum. Next thing I knew, I heard Dr Tan announce, "The head is out!" There was a slight flurry of activity and I heard a suction kind of noise.. they must have been clearing his airway. Melvin took one look then refocused on me. One more contraction and push, then they placed a very slimy, angry sounding baby on my chest.

It was a case of "OMG it's a baby! OMG what have I done!" /panic

The feelings of maternal love only came later.

So here's Andrew, with the photo taken 2 days ago (9 days old)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

37 weeks

I had one scan at about 36 weeks and was informed that the baby's tummy is larger than his head -.-
He's fat. And it's because I let go a tiny bit and had cake between the 31 week and 36 week scan. Oh not just cake.. umm.. froyo. and some juice. and some other carby stuff. pancakes. yum.

Dr Tan made me promise to cut down on my sugars once more... else she'll make me do the gestational diabetes test.

So after 1 whole week of suffering (low carb diet, low GI foods, no sugary drinks etc)... baby is back on track, weighing at about 3kg.

There's no contractions just yet so it doesn't look as though baby is coming anytime soon. But his head IS down and Dr Tan managed to feel his head when she did a cervical check. Dr Tan says he's going to be big.. judging from the size of my tummy. She said some ladies have a huge belly but most of it is due to abdominal fat. For me... there isn't much abdominal fat (you can feel literally feel where the baby is by touching).. so the size is all him. Way to give me nightmares about labour...

Just hang in there, baby. about 20 more days and you can come out. Hopefully not bursting out of my torso like an alien, though.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

34 weeks - Oopsie, I dilated just a little

Well, I suspected something was wrong last week when I had a glob of mucus-y stuff drop out from my.. veejayjay. Went for a scan only to find that I was 1cm dilated.

Was told to try and put my feet up as much as possible and to call immediately if I start getting contractions.

It's too early for the baby to come! Stay in there, buddy. You can only come out nearer to the end of June! Don't waste my June holidays!

On another note, I had the strangest desire for almond jelly with lychee. We just had dinner, and I kept thinking about almond jelly. with lychee.

So I went to bug Melvin.

Me: I want lychee!!! with almond jelly.

Melvin: Where the heck do we get that?!

Me: Make it?

Melvin: Do you want to wake up at 1am to have the jelly? It's going to take time to set, yaknow.


So now he's going out to the supermarket to buy some stuff to make me my dessert.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

31+ weeks

Went for an appointment with Dr Tan again today. After 3 weeks of going cold turkey on the canned drinks, baby is finally back on track in terms of size. His estimated weight today is 1.8kg and all his measurements are great (except the head... but apparently that is all genetics and can't be helped)

As we approach my due date, we have realised there are so many things that need to be done!

1. Insurance - in the process of getting insurance for baby/childbirth complications
2. Baby things - nope, we have not bought anything!
3. Pack the 'go bag' with what's needed for my stay at the hospital.
4. Hire a maid! - Need to look for a good maid agency, shortlist a maid, make sure she comes in just before my confinement lady leaves.

And 2 weeks ago, all I was thinking about was baby names. How did it snowball to this?

Monday, April 18, 2016

30 Weeks - Movement has changed

There has been less kicks/punches from the little one this past week. Instead, the movement has mostly been turns or squirms. Sometimes it feels as though he's knuckling me from inside! I guess he's running out of room in there.

I've been a little concerned over the past 2 weekends because he gets a little quiet after prenatal yoga. I started on prenatal yoga a few weeks back and I've noticed that there is very little (almost none) movement from him on Saturdays and Sundays. Then Monday comes along and he is active again. Someone has suggested that perhaps the yoga movement soothes and calms the baby. I certainly hope that's the case!

I've been trying my best not to yell at my class. The daily yelling cannot be good for baby. But really, those kids... *sigh* Today, while I was dealing with one group, one of the boys from another group decided to combine his highlighter fluid with the water provided for the experiment... then he made a big mess on the table. I lost it. I lost it not just because he messed up the place. There were several reasons.

1. He was rude to the EL teacher (first period)
2. He made fun of his classmate's name (3rd period)
3. He was inattentive, his work not done, his experimental results were... non-existent. Then he decided to fool around during lab. (6th period)

So yes, I lost it. Yelled again.

I heard more complaints from teachers after that... So annoyed.

Anyway, baby gets verrrryyy quiet when I'm yelling.. and he stays pretty quiet for the time after yelling. So maybe he hides from mommy cos mommy yells too much :(
At some point I'm just going to chill and go "Yes, you kids go ahead. He took your pencil? Here's another. He did what else? OK you, just stand here. yes, stand here and don't move. don't speak. don't let me notice your existence for 15 minutes"

God. I can't stand young kids. Ironic, isn't it?