Stock Taking

February 14, 2016 Leave a comment

I am taking full advantage of this 16 weeks of maternity leave (not a very impressive number but good enough) to stock up my milk supply. Looking at my frozen stash in our newly bought chest freezer, I feel so delighted. I never know that I can achieve this and if I keep on my hard work, I can get the whole freezer fully loaded. How?

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This is a month’s worth of pumping. Like I’ve mentioned in The Milk Maid: Episode 3, I usually pump while nursing Shazain, and sometimes after nursing. I can get about 80 ml each time, or sometimes lesser. Much, much lesser. There are also times when I do not get any drop of milk but that is because I have already nursed him and emptied my load. However the pumping will help to tell my body to keep producing.

Sometimes, seeing no milk while pumping can cause unnecessary stress on moms. I, too, get a little stress but I keep telling myself that baby has had his right amount of feed. Therefore, it is important to educate ourselves on how our body works in milk production. :)

There are a few moms whom I’ve helped in sharing tips from boosting their supply to pumping their milk and storing it. Those are NOT my own tips because I am still learning. If y’all know me at all, my guru in breastfeeding journey is Cloud Mom. Until now, I am still watching her breastfeeding videos on YouTube. You can click on that link to watch and learn from her. The stash I got up there is all from learning her ways of pumping and storage. Here is a video that I swear by. Go watch it.

But don’t forget. Drink lots of water. Lots of it!!!

 

Give me back my peace…(and sanity)

February 9, 2016 Leave a comment

this is seriously a rant post. i’m not in any right state of mind to determine if it’s my hormones, or my emotions or just plain angry. so let me just rant. this could be what i really want.

i’m standing on the edge of my every nerve while serving my maternity leave. am i facing postpartum depression? *shrug* but everything, every single organism in this house turns me into a monster. let me get it down in details, below.

1.Kids

this is something i cannot deny. i mean, kids are kids. they annoy the very living being in you and this can be done on purpose (or not). one minute they can be so nice to each other, laughing and giggling while playing together and the next minute, they start to bash each other like thunder and lightning. the elder one keeps teasing and disturbing, and the younger one keeps yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs. and while they are at it, the littlest one begins to cry because the eldest two are disturbing his slumber. not only that, his cries also means asking for comfort nursing. and this goes on and on till they go to bed at night.

i try to keep calm every time this happens because i do not want to be stressed and then affect my milk supply. no! however, my emotions always get the best of me. i often take it out on them. i yell, i scold, i punish, i hurl angry words at them. i don’t know where my motherly love has gone to. i cannot find a single strand of patience in me. and i also easily lost my patience at number 2.

2. Maid

having a maid around is never easy. i don’t wanna talk so much about why i employ one because if i have a choice, she will not be what i want in my house. i’d rather manage my own home, kids and family. anyway, this particular maid, my 3rd so far, is one of the biggest headache i have ever had.

she priorities housework more than the kids. she’ll be busy sweeping, mopping, cooking while the kids are running amok playing by themselves. before i delivered the boy, i sat down in the room and had a talk with her. she claimed that she felt ok working here and could cope well. but i knew, from her face and the amount of work she did, she was tired. why? she didn’t know how to manage her work and time well. she liked to do everything at once. from her first day here until now, she would be doing so many things at the same time and then leaving them there, not entirely complete with her housework.

i have been keeping my eyes closed and just let her do her work but something inside me just wants to crawl out and redo what she had done. and that’s not all. if she does any mistakes and either my husband or i point out to her, she will NEVER apologize. she will find every little thing that she can put a blame on or finding whatever excuses she can use. for these nine months of working with us, she has NEVER utter the word “sorry” even for her grievous mistake. she will always begin with “oh i thought this was….”

and recently, she starts to nag at my kids. no, i do not like that! the only nagger in this house is me! no one else can take that spot. and when i ask what was wrong, there she goes blaming the kids. she is the only one in this house who has never done anything wrong. it will either be my fault, hubby’s or the kids’. even if she is the one who broke the plug.

and having a little baby around, even with me sitting next to baby, she can leave whatever she is doing to carry and cuddle the baby. she keeps doing this and it drives me crazy! hello!! i’m here with the baby, you go back and do your work. i’ve told her twice to let the baby in the basket and those were the only times she listened. every time baby squeals or make funny noises when he stretches, she’ll be running to carry him. OMG, she just cannot let the baby be.

if it was up to us employers to do what we want, i would have cleft her with a chainsaw. yes i am THAT mad. so before that happens, i really need something that can keep me at home and that i do not need to go to work anymore. but i don’t mind working from home though, just as long as i don’t have to leave my kids at home with someone whom i cannot see eye to eye with.

Yours Painfully…

February 5, 2016 Leave a comment

four years ago when i was nursing Fateena, i only experienced engorgement and that it went away after a couple of latching ons and expressing. this time around, with Shazain, i have got something else that is more painful. urgh! 

i’m talking about, yea you’ve guessed it, mastitis. it was awful, like seriously. i was down with fever and crazy-ass migraine. not only that, i had chills in the middle of the night that i couldn’t sleep well and my body was aching all over! 

i tried nursing Shazain on the affected side but he rejected my rightie. i had to latch him on my left where he swallowed like gallons. i could almost hear waterfall down his throat. so my almost bursting rightie, all inflamed, had to be pumped and i only got a few drops. not even a letdown reflex. what a letdown, it was!  

until a friend of mine, who’s a nurse, told me to stop pumping as it would only produce more. massaging the lumps and then hand expressing them was the way to reduce and get rid of mastitis. 

i tried hand expressing and it was so painful that i actually cried. it felt like i was walking on a broken leg. i couldn’t do it so i forced Shazain to nurse on the mastitisTit. i thought it wouldn’t hurt and i was happy that i got the letdown when he started nursing. but as i was getting the reflex, the pain was also surging from the tip of the nip all the way up to my shoulder and upper arm. how bad was that?!? so bad that i teared and shivered.  

 

but i had my mind set in ridding this awful infection. so i kept nursing him more on the affected rightie and pump out the left. massaging the lumps and hand expressing them after nursing felt so much better and a little lighter. still terribly engorged but definitely lighter than before. here’s to hoping for a better feeling me with no more mastitis. 

mastitisTits, be gone!!!!!

The Milk Maid: Episode 3

January 30, 2016 2 comments

love the fact that i’m back on the pumping track. woots woots! in my previous post where i syringed my colostrum, i mentioned that my pumping began on my 3rd day of post partum. that was after i returned home from the hospital. previously with Fateena, i didn’t do it right away. i thought that since i was on maternity leave, i could pump a month before i started working. that was when i got myself worried each time i was back from work, seeing my frozen supply depleting. so it ain’t happening again this time around. 

cloudmom on youtube has been my guru and go-to channel whenever i feel unsure or need some clarifications on feeding, pumping and storing. oh of course, my friend across the causeway, Thara, did help me too. 

the part which i love the most is latching Shazain on me and pumping the other side at one go. and then i change sides. the letdown i get from this method is so instant and as long as he is still nursing, the milk from the other sides doesn’t stop coming. that’s why i love pumping while he’s on me. 

once he is done, i will still continue my pumping until there is no drop of milk coming out. so at each session, i can get this much. 

(WARNING: it does not mean a guaranteed amount. different bodies work differently.) 

after which, i do not freeze it right away. i will refrigerate it first and leave it to cool. and when my next freshly pumped milk is ready, i still put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (that’s just me).   

so when i have two bottles of cold milk like these, i will mix them up together into a storage bag. this can be enough for one feed, once Shazain starts to eat more 😁. know what? he could finish 80ml of expressed milk when he was a week old. what a guzzler! 

so here is my 160ml cold milk ready to be frozen. i have been reading somewhere, that in order to combine the expressed breastmilk, it is best that only the ones from the same day (same temperature) are mixed. there is also another school of thoughts that says you can still combine milks of different dates but they have to be not more than 3 days old. after 3 days if the milk is not used or frozen, you gotta throw it away. which is wasteful!! all that effort goes to the drain. so be sure you don’t forget to freeze them asap.

but if in one pumping session you can get so much, say 160-200ml (or more), you can definitely freeze them immediately. cos it’s best to freeze it fresh. i have not reach that stage yet cos we’re still new. and being a kiasu singaporean, i want to over lactate myself. yes! but then, i only have one freezer and currently using a small compartment to freeze my milk. 

i’m in my 19th day of post partum and i have more than 19 bags and bottles of frozen milk. already running out of space!! 

The Ultimate Choice

January 28, 2016 4 comments

for years since i got married, never did i imagine that i would need it. hubby and i had always opted for a natural method of blocking his olympians from swimming up successfully to meet my golden pearl. 

recently, we had been discussing of really getting it done. it wasn’t my number one choice, though, cos i HATE invasive procedures. i would rather go through births than that. but when the thoughts of having another round of HG for the whole 9 months crept in, it proved to be even more scarier than doing this procedure.on tuesday, during my postnatal checkup, we told the doctor that we’d be getting the implanon. *sad sad* yes, implanon, inserted right on my left upper arm. doctor counselled me on the side effects that i might be having after this. i wasn’t really concerned especially if they were not life threatening. unless i thought something was wrong, i could always go back.

how did it go? painful, not painful, numb, a little sore, a little bloody and voila. it was in. during my labour days in the hospital, the nurses told me that it was done through a syringe (yea, right!). and hubby thought i was needed in the operating theatre. nope, it was done in the clinic cos it was a super, super minor surgery. just a small incision on my arm.

yea, i was scared when i heard the doctor told her attending nurse that she preferred the blade. anyway…the incision wasn’t painful at all but the general anesthesia, that was horrible. i got bruises right after, like so instantly! about a couple of minutes later, the spot became numb and i turned away once i saw the doctor picking up the scalpel. 

during the procedure, doc told me that i might feel hungrier than before so warned me not to put on so much of weight. it would meant that the implanon might get covered in fats and they would not be able to feel it under the skin. which would be difficult when removing it. me? gaining weight? Lol! i thought it was hilarious and wanted to tell her that i hardly gain a pound during all my pregnancies. heck! i couldn’t put on weight at all.

but whaddaya know! indeed i felt hungry after i got out of the hospital. so hungry that i finished my lunch before my hubby did. normally he’d be done with his meal first and waiting for me, who’d take ages. i didn’t know that it would be that instant. shucks! 

right now, a day after the numbness had gone, i am nursing a sore upper arm. it is so difficult not to move my arm around especially with a newborn. and i wonder how i will go about doing daily stuff with this matchstick-like implant in my arm. 

Syringe it

January 23, 2016 2 comments

when i delivered the eldest two, this method wasn’t introduced to me.i never knew that colostrum could be collected in a syringe. and so much easier than using an electric pump. 

on my second day, i was already feeling lumps and i believed it was my colostrum. nurses were there to show me how to suck it using the syringe and once i got it, i mastered it very quickly. but of course, i gotta give credits to my hubby, too, for helping me out the first time while i massaged and squeezed the colostrum. 

and on my third day, i had more to collect. since Shazain was in need of phototherapy, i couldn’t get him to latch every now and then. so with the syringes that the nurses put on my bedside, i worked hard on getting more colostrum for him. he was wheeled to me every 3 hours for only a mere 25 minutes for direct feeding, before he was brought back into the nursery. 

and during the 3 hours, i diligently squeezed the miracle food into the syringes, labeled them and passed to the nurses so they could feed him. 

i swear that hand expressing the colostrum was the best way to get it out, other than direct latching. and syringing it allowed you to see how much you’re making. and whaddaya know, on the day i was to be discharged, i was already producing 4ml of transitional milk. i thought that was fast! 

and once home, i began my storage! 😁

 i didn’t wanna repeat the same mistake i did before and i definitely would not mind if i over lactate. cos that only meant Shazain could have exclusive feeds till he was big enough and ready to wean. 

looking at my freezer, i’m a happy momma. at 12 days post partum, i’m already producing 160ml of milk. so mommies out there, do not stop feeding and pumping. it works! 

be diligent, be determined.   

Express Labour

January 20, 2016 2 comments

so, 9 days ago at 37(+2) weeks, someone decided to make us panic. it was the eleventh day of the new year, two days after Fateha’s birthday. i was already feeling ultra lousy since morning and spent the day by lazing around like a walrus. braxton hicks came and went by, and became a little intense each time. my third baby but i was still not sure whether it was it.

by lunch time, around 1pm, i felt more intense but irregular cramps. hubby was asking if it was time. i shrugged, unsure. but my mind couldn’t stop thinking that i might be in labour therefore i had to make my own bottle of air selusuh (water with prayers recited into it). a couple of big gulps later, exactly at 3pm, the cramps had gotten regular. though it was painful, i could still control it. an hour after that, i was determined that i was already in labour. contractions were about 10 minutes apart.

it was already 4pm and hubby told me to call the hospital. i said i’d wait till 5 but i couldn’t take it anymore. i HAD to make the call and while speaking with a midwife on the other line, i moaned in great pain. she was asking me lots of question and i was like “come on, woman! stop asking me and get ready a suite for me, cos i’m coming already!” and with another loud, painful moan, she finally believed that i was indeed in labour. “ohhh okay, okay! you sound like you’re going to birth any minute!” *rolled eyes*

hubby hit the accelerator and sped all the way to the hospital. the traffic was annoying and i was breathing and gasping for air profusely throughout the contractions, making hubby restless. hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo uuuuuuuuuuurrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. it was painful that i thought i might be delivering this baby in the car, yea pretty much like the video of that young lady who birthed her baby in the car, recorded by her ever so calmed husband.

it took us about an hour to reach the hospital. he dropped me off at the emergency department and i checked in myself while he parked the car. i continued with my breathing, trying to stay calm although i felt something was coming out down south. at the front desk, there was only one person handling patients who walked in. i had to wait for him to finish up with this lady who talked like there was no tomorrow. DAMMIT, GET LOST! BABY’S COMING! i gotta make them panic so i would be tended to. i moaned and groaned loudly. then a porter pushed a wheelchair asking me to sit, while the other guy got my details down on a chit. i was finally wheeled to the labour ward. kept telling myself not to scream. groaning was still alright. i gotta reserve the energy for the big moment.

once i got into the suite, it was 6 pm, i frantically stripped my clothes off and the midwives helped me with the gown. up on the bed i went and then it began. prodding, sticking fingers in the birth canal, setting the IV, blood works…blah blah blah. i was already 4cm dilated and the doctors said that it was gonna be a very fast birth. no epidural was administered so it had to be gas, for the third time again, which made me vomit. one full bucket of vomit and my waters broke naturally. yay!

it took me only minutes to reach full dilation, and was ready to push as hard as i could. the gas made me crazy, i talked nonsense and still could crack jokes with the midwives. stopped groaning halfway, to relax, and asked the doctors if they were going to cut me because i refused to be cut. luckily, they said there was no need to. phew! i had been preparing myself mentally, not to be too concern with the pain. kept telling myself it was all in the mind. LOL.

after a few hard pushes, burning ring of fire…
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my little tougHGuy was out; wet but not bloody or covered with vernix. i believe it was because of the coconut water i had 2 days before the birth (yes, i did the same with Fateena 4 years ago). i only had a small superficial tear that required only two small stitches. yay!

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compared to his elder siblings, he was the heaviest. weighing at 3.04kg. Fateha, being a preemie, was only 825gm and Fateena was 2.7kg. i was shocked, very shocked. how could a mom suffering from HG, constant nausea, major food aversion, not eating well for 9 months, and severe vomitting, could still produce a 3kilo baby? see, whatever that was happening to me didn’t actually affect the baby i was carrying. he was as healthy as a… healthy baby!

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everyone, meet my little man, Baby Shazain, which is Arabic for brave and skillful.

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