Monday, June 30, 2014

And A New Journey Begins

Salam Ramadan to all Muslim readers. This is the second consecutive time I'm in confinement during fasting month. Gonna be a challenge to replace them all!

Baby Razeen is lucky coz I learned a lot about breastfeeding from my experience with Raees. I expected a smooth sailing journey this time...but it didn't exactly go as problem-free as I had thought.

Soon after little Razeen was born, the nurse took him out from the labour room to take his measurements, weight etc. and then brought him back in to show him to me. Although the doctor was still stitching me up, I asked the nurse,"Can I breastfeed him now?

I kid you not.

I didn't even think how I was gonna do that while lying down. The nurse gracefully replied,"after this ya.."

When all labour related procedures were done, I was being put under observation in the labour room. On the very same bed Razeen was born, the nurse brought him to me to initiate breastfeeding.

It took about 20 mins for Razeen to attempt latching. Around 2.25am, 53 minutes after he was born, bingo! He did it :) Successfully breast fed him within the first hour. He was latched on both sides for a whopping 1.5 hours.

However I didn't notice he was latched on incorrectly on my left side. I only realised when it felt sore after that.

Based on Raees' delivery with the help of pain relief, I was expecting to face the same side effects which is low blood pressure. However during the 1.5 hours I was breastfeeding Razeen, I felt fine. I thought probably this time my body reacted differently to epi.

As soon as I was done breastfeeding, almost immediately I felt light headed, ringing in the ears, almost fainting...all symptoms associated with low blood pressure. Amazing how breastfeeding pauses the on set of low BP.

Breastfeeding Razeen went smoothly except the part where my nipples were sore and cracked probably due to more improper latching. It reached a point where I scream in pain each time Razeen latched.

I even considered using nipple shields to help ease the pain while my nipples heal. Although some studies show that using shields might affect milk production, at that moment of desperation I thought that was my only choice. But somehow I ended up not getting nipple shields after all and bear with the pain anyway.

How my nipples eventually healed? Here's how..

Almost 48 hours after I delivered Razeen, my boobs started to feel quite full.

On day 3 and 4, they were uncomfortably engorged. I thought of pumping out milk to lighten the load but I was somewhat afraid to try the Freestyle thinking it will continue to hurt my wounded nipples.

But with my breasts engorged, it made latching more difficult. More pain too.

Day 5 came and I decided to give my new breast pump a go. While Razeen was feeding on the less wounded side, I pumped the other one.

Waddaya know..I didn't feel any pain at all! This was what I got on my first session.

So I decided on that approach - pump on one side while Razeen latches on the other...and apply nursing butter often to help them heal.

I stored the milk in packs of approximately 4-5 oz each. Within 2 days I managed to get more than 20oz.

Lucky thing I started pumping and storing early because the expressed breast milk (EBM) were being used earlier than expected and the breast pump then became my new best friend.

(To be continued...)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

The Real Thing

Dear baby,
"By the time you read this, I could be ready to push or have delivered already.

*schedules post* "

Remember that? Well soon after I posted that entry, it was as if you said, "Gotcha mommy!"

Well're quite cheeky aren't you? That's why when you actually were ready to come out, I kept it low key that time...hoping it wasn't another false alarm from you.

So here was how it went..

The other day (17 June 2014 to be exact) I was awoken by your brother with his hand at my face and his leg resting on my back. It was close to 4am when I felt something familiar at my abdomen. I though to myself,"Was that a contraction or was it another false alarm?"

The doctor said the signs of labour are:

1. Water brakes
2. Contraction every 10 mins that goes on for over an hour
3. Bleeding

So I timed the contractions using a cool mobile app.

So the contractions were consistent at about 6 minutes apart. I decided half an hour was enough to keep track of them and got myself ready. In the toilet, you gave me another sign! I was bleeding...a sure sign that it was the real thing.

The contractions were less painful when I was up and about as compared to laying down. So while I still can, I got my hair washed and blow dried in that early morning (hey, mommy wants to look nice too even if I was going into labour).

Mommy woke daddy up and said these 2 words,"It's time." He didn't seem too surprised. The reaction has mellowed down thanks to the previous week's false alarm.

We were out of the house around 5.40am. Stopped by McD for their breakfast (which starts at 6am at the Petronas NKVE outlet, not 4am as I initially thought).

Mommy had one of the McMuffin with orange juice (last kopek before confinement starts!). Finished off breakfast while we were on the way to the hospital and I was up at the labour room by 6.30am.

As usual (macam lah selalu sangat) the nurses monitored the contractions and your heart rate for half an hour, then checked the dilation. I was about 2 cm dilated. Woohoo! That's double the progress compared to the false alarm the week before.

So they informed the doctor and he came to check on mommy around 8am. Confirmed that I was actually in labour, he said he will check on my progress again in the afternoon.

So yay! No need to be induce. By this day you were already 4 days overdue anyway.

The contractions were bearable. Not too intense. In fact they remained at about 5 minutes apart until the doctor checked on me again at about 2.30pm.

If you do your math, it was already about 10.5 hours since I felt the first contraction. Dilation check revealed it was still at 2 cm. Oh was gonna be a very slow labour. So the doctor decided to put me on drip. Yes, again. This supposedly helps create stronger contractions so it doesn't take too long for you to come out.

So this time the drip actually worked on mommy. I felt the contractions getting more intense. They were about 2-3 minutes apart. By 7pm, they were really strong. Dilation check: 4 cm. Yahoo! Progressing well although still quite slow for someone on drip.

But mommy was feeling a lot of pain already. In fact I couldn't even speak when the contractions hit.

Mommy did what many women around the world have done: took the pain relief medication.

For someone whose body is slow in labour, to whoever created the epi, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The doctor predicted you will be born before midnight. So mommy took the opportunity to get some sleep after a long day (and it was not over yet!)

It was already midnight when the doctor came to check on mommy again...7cm now! He broke the water bag and waited around until about 1.25am to come check on mommy's progress. 10cm!! And you are ready to come out.

You know, mommy spent an hour pushing your big brother but he wouldn't come out because he was facing upwards. In the end he had to be assisted with the vacuum.

So mommy was ready for any possibilities with you. Mommy started pushing with the support from the cheerleaders..err I mean the nurses. Don't worry..daddy was around to witness your birth. He caught it on camera :)

So the first push..

Nurses: Yes that's right! Long push! Long push!

Mommy was out of breath. Took a quick breath and then the second push..

Nurses: Lagi! Lagi! Yes..good job! Yes!

Third long push and a shorter fourth push came out with a loud cry. "That was quick!" I thought to myself.

Alhamdulillah..that was all I could say over and over again when I saw you for the first time while crying so loud.

Turns out I had more to be thankful for. There was a knot on your umbilical cord. If it ever got any tighter...I dread to think of the consequences. I heard the doctor say "this baby is very lucky" at least 2-3 times.

Alhamdulillah...Allah kept you safe in my belly and born a healthy baby.

Welcome to the world, Razeen Ayman.


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Drip, Contractions And...The Baby?

No two pregnancies are the same. That has never been so true.

When the doctor decided to put me on 'turbo mode' drip last night, he said,"with this you might deliver your baby around 6-7am tomorrow."

I couldn't sleep because of the anticipation. But my contractions didn't get any more intense. In fact I didn't feel much pain. I thought I had a special gift of withstanding pain. Haha!

At 6am, the nurse checked and found out I was not dilating much. Hardly progressed to be exact, even with increased dosage of the drip. I thought,"Man, my cervix is stubborn."

Fast forward...It's been more than 24 hours since I was admitted. I do feel the contractions, about 3 minutes apart. But they are bearable so no need for pain management so far.

But there's hardly any dilation. Doctor has decided to take me off the drip because he feels it might not be time yet. Baby's not ready to come out.

So that water trickling was false alarm?? I was made to stick around in the labour room for 24 hours with this drip attached to my hand and go through contractions...and baby wants to stay inside, still?

Oh little one, you're just like your brother. Just a bit more drama :)

So another night at the hospital for observation and if the little one still decides to stay cosily in there, I should be able to go home in the morning.

This is getting interesting...

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My Water Broke

I've always been on a lookout for signs of labour as I'm closing in on the due date. Somehow last Sunday I woke up with this feeling that says,"today could be the day." Some call it maternal instinct.

Probably it's because of the increased discomfort I felt as the baby is positioned very low and is getting heavier by the day.

It was an ordinary weekend. At about 7pm, after one of the many trips to the toilet, I felt something. It was similar to the start of the month's period. It felt wet down there. Totally out of my control.

I was trickling amniotic fluid!

"Oh boy, oh boy, what do I do now?" I thought to myself but kept myself calm the whole time. I put on a sanitary pad and began packing the remaining necessities in the hospital bag.

Note that I didn't feel any pain and the trickling stopped.

Soon Mer got into the room and I kept my cool. I wanted to record the look on his face when I break the news to him. Being camera shy, he covered his face and demanded to know why I'm suddenly putting him in the spotlight. I said,"if I tell you will you stop covering your face?"

He nodded and I went on to say,"what if I told you my water broke?"

"Huh? Are you sure? (Looking at my crotch) Don't joke around with this." He replied.

"Yes, it's true." I said as I took the pillow away from his face and told him what happened.

Thanks to Google, I learnt this:

If all is well, and you're at least 37 weeks pregnant when your waters break, you have a choice.

You can:

- have your labour induced as soon as it can be arranged

- wait for 24 hours to see if you go into labour without induction

- wait and see beyond 24 hours, though this risks infection tracking up your vagina into your uterus

So we decided there's no need to rush to the hospital in the middle of the night. With no contraction and no more trickling, I thought the hospital visit can wait til the next morning.

At the same time I pray that labour will occur naturally within 24 hours coz I don't wanna be induced again!

The next day I left home around 1.40pm as I had a few stops before heading to the hospital. Sent Raees to school first then I stopped by my office. My boss needed to see me urgently on some matter before I go on my long leave. Haha..seriously!

That's the back door to my office by the way.

Spent half an hour there before I finally went to the hospital.

Went straight to the delivery suite where I was put under observation for half an hour.

Although I didn't feel any pain, the monitor shows that I was having contractions already. Woohoo!

So there's no need to induce. Yay me!

I wasn't dilating much. Not even 1cm yet. So the doctor came to check on me and decided that I admit today.

They administered enema to clear my bowel, which supposedly helps with labour. I remember having gone through this before I was induced last time. The nurse was quite rough. The experience wasn't very pleasant.

I was preparing for the same discomfort. But good thing this time my nurse is super gentle. The whole experience (even dilation check) was not as 'traumatising'.

One difference with this experience is, I'm more independent. I could handle things on my own while in the labour room. Mer stuck around for just about 45 mins before he had to leave to fetch Raees at school and bring him back home. He will be back here at night to accompany me.

So here I am, writing about my experience so far (while it's still fresh in my mind) at the early stage of labour, while having dinner..

Uh, dinner's getting cold. I'll continue later...

---- 8.30 PM ----

I finally felt the contractions but very mild. They are about 15-20 minutes apart. The doctor just came to check on me and suggests that I'll be put on drip to speed up labour. If I leave it this way, I might not even deliver the baby tomorrow, he says.

So now I'm waiting for the nurses to hook me up to the drip. I'm still alone. Mer is doing his daddy duties. He'll only he here after Raees is asleep. Such an angel, kan? :)

By the time you read this, I could be ready to push or have delivered already.

Praying that everything goes well. Can't wait to meet my new bundle of joy :)

"La ilaha illa anta, Subhanaka inni, Kuntu minaz zolimin."

*schedules post*

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Super Prepared

I remember how I struggled during the first month of breastfeeding Raees.

He couldn't latch properly for a little over a month and would get upset when he failed to latch again and again. While he cried, I would get letdown and there was milk spraying everywhere! Haha! Those were the days...
I also remember how I was equipped with just a manual pump for about 8 months and yet managed to store EBM. I wasn't confident with my ability to store breast milk that I put formula on stand by (which eventually was never opened).
Come to think of it, I don't know how I managed to do that. To be honest, I was not prepared for breastfeeding at all.

I also remember a lactation consultant came to assist me at the hospital while I was so clueless about breastfeeding. I thought that because Raees wouldn't latch, he didn't want to feed! While helping me, I specifically recall her saying,"second child nanti you akan expert dah."

Well, I wouldn't call myself 'expert'. Just 'more experienced'. I'm sure she would be proud to know that Raees eventually became a BF baby for almost 2.5 years :)
I only started following breastfeeding FB groups after I weaned Raees..can you believe that? So much information shared that I could've applied when I was BFing Raees. For example, placing storage bags horizontally doesn't just save space in the freezer but it eases thawing too. So simple yet I never thought of it and never came across it before. I felt like such loser.
But at least now I know.

So with this second pregnancy, I'm as prepared as I can be. I gained a lot of useful information all this while and the time will soon come for me to apply it. Got myself a new pump for a start. Smaller and more convenient, I'm super satisfied with this purchase.
Oh yeah, back then I purchased all baby stuff from shops. How convenient is it that now almost everything we need for a baby is available online AND at bargain price?!
Plus, we don't need to waste energy by walking around and they send the things right at our door step. Don't know if these online baby stores existed 5 years ago. If they did, that's double loser me!

Only a few days left til my due date. So excited! Can't wait to meet the little one :)

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