Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First London trip.

As far as this space is concerned.. I feel like an ultimate loser!

I mean, look, I promised to get back last time and it's been more than 2 weeks!

Two weeks whaaatttt??

And that's only with one kid. ONE. Satu. Uno. Aaaannddd not working (which is awesome btw wuhoo!). I wonder how does other working mums with 2 toddlers and a baby manage to write consistently! I think discipline is key - which is what I'm lacking, like totally.

Anyway, Noah is a little over 2 months-old!

Apparently, it *does* get better, guys. I mean, he now sleeps through the night (sttn) - who would've thought, it's not a myth! Having said that though, sttn in babies is actually when they sleep at 5-hr stretch, so not quite the 12-hr that I initially thought. Hehe, but 5-hrs, for a sleep-deprived mama here, that's already heaven. Counting my blessings, Alhamdulillah!

Few weeks ago we went to London to get his passport done. We knew it would be convenient to have his passport photos ready so I flashed out my DSLR at him. Look at this. I so cannot!

Little grumpy gump at 7 weeks. THAT MIDDLE PICTURE THOUGH.

We chose this one just because it was the most symmetrical. Apparently he could pass as my parents' sixth child. Haha! I think it's the head..

Oh, we call it the "fat & furious" look. HAHAHA.

Anyway, on to London. 

I was nervous.

Super nervous.

Especially because I have never breastfed in public.

What happens if he cries? Do I just whip my boobs out?

It turned out a huge success Alhamdulillah!

The initial plan was to carry him in a baby carrier. But Adam thought we should take the stroller as well. Which turned out as the best decision ever. Other than sushi buffet, of course.

We took the train from Northampton to London.

And then the bus around London.

Daddy at work.

I had a nursing cover with me, so the first time I fed him was on the train. In front of strangers commuting to work. It felt pretty strange, but no one batted an eyelid. Such a liberating experience. Really, honestly. The whole trip, not just the nursing in public, lol. I never thought I would say that but it really was.
Parenting confidence level: 999

We met a nice family at Malaysian High Comm - apparently their baby shares the same birthday as Noah - 15/5/17 how crazy!

While waiting to collect his passport, we had our sushi fix.

And I'm officially an expert at eating single-handedly.

We also found out Noah isn't too impressed with sushi, haha.

The place is called Sushi Eatery, located in Soho area. The food is amazing. It's all-you-can-eat for just under £20pp. The sashimis are especially wonderful. It's Malaysian-owned, all the more reasons to love it!

So that was it - his first trip to London.

You're officially a Malaysian citizen, young man!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Eid 2017.

I'm in the middle of writing up a blog post when the little man started screaming.. So I'll leave you with our family picture during Eid for now.

I'll be back.. Promise! xx

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My son, Noah.

After 3 long days being cooped up on the ward, the day we got to meet Seed was finally there!

I remember feeling nervous the night before when midwife came in to remind me that I needed to be nil by mouth (fasting) and gave me the ranitidine (anti acid) tablet. The uncertainties were overwhelming! I told the midwife, if myself, a doctor, working at that very hospital, was feeling that way, imagine other patients. Future mums. Being at the receiving end of NHS couldn't feel weirder.

That Monday morning, I was up early. Not that I could sleep much anyway. Adam came, and I was told to change into the hospital gown and put the TED stockings on (they were horrible!) and make my way to labour ward. Specifically, the operating theatre. Not sure why, I wasn't particularly anxious anymore - Adam instead had this worried look all over his face, haha. The consultant did another scan. Seed was still breech, but wasn't footling anymore. Oh well not that it mattered at that time.

Right before I popped!

After a whole lot of check by the obs gyn and anaesthetist, in I went.

The consultant anaesthetist was amazing. He was too kind - he put lidocaine (local anaesthetic) onto my hand before putting in a grey (largest possible) cannula! Yes, I judge kindness by how unlikely you're going to inflict pain on me, lol.

But no, really, Dr Salter (the cons) was just too sweet - when I said I was an FY1 - he asked which med school I was from, what I wanted to specialise in later (ha!) - and I suddenly felt like an FY1 again, it felt normal. Instead of the "paediatrician parents" the midwife have been referring us to! (so much pressure).

Aaandddd, the spinal kicked in, I was paralysed waist down. Again, another super strange feeling.

Aaaanddd Adam was called in.

Aaannddd less than 10 minutes later, we heard the loud strong cry.

Aaandddd the whole theatre was amazed at how chunky this baby was.

Aaaandddd even more amazed at his actual birth weight - 3.945kg.

Aaaanddd here's our little man, born 15th May 2017, at 1107 via elective caesarean.

My two boys.

I want to remember this look - fresh out of oven, covered with icky gooey stuff from the womb, with blotchy face and newborn rashes.

"Your first breath took mine away."

Meet my son, Noah.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Seed: 39 weeks.

I have to backdate this post as a lot of things happened in the last week but I'm so determined to finish this Seed series until he gets here!

First off, my mum arrived on Thursday at Heathrow, Alhamdulillah!

Man I was huge D:

39 weeks was quite a drama. We had the growth scan on Friday. I was having pretty bad backache and contractions (at least that's what I thought) at the clinic. Midwife did the scan..

And boom. Our world was turned upside down. And Seed took it quite literally.

He was breech! Like literally upright breech! You know when I said I could feel his bum stuck up in my ribs, it was actually his head. And we've been poking that head (haha, sorry buddy) all this while. Quite funny when I think about it.

Not funny for the midwife though. She had this worried look all over her face. Asked me how long have I had the pain, if it was changing, and all that jazz..

Apparently Seed was footling breech. That took breech to another level, ha!

Footling breech is when baby's feet inside the pelvis. Imagine the baby "floating" cross-legged in the tummy, that's how it looks like. Thing about footling breech is, it's the rarest form of breech with highest risk of complication, namely cord prolapse. And cord prolapse is when the umbilical cord gets squashed before baby is born, cutting the blood supply and oxygen to the baby. What happens is that baby's tiny foot pokes through the cervix, creating a vacuum, causing the cord to get "sucked" out as well. We're talking about vaginal delivery here. Which is pretty tricky in footling breech.

So I was hooked up to a CTG machine, and walla, they found some uterine activity, albeit irregular. Cervix was completely closed, so good thing I was not in labour. But since I was already 39w, the safest option was to be admitted. Yes, admitted straight from clinic. Over the weekend. With a semi-elective caesarean section planned on the next Monday.

Woha, did I say caesarean?

Wohaaa, wasn't I dead scared of being induced, and now we're talking caesarean?

So straight to the ward I went. They wouldn't even let me go home for an hour to get my stuff! *cries*

But good thing was.. We got a room to ourselves! By "we" I mean Seed and I, as Adam had to go home by 10pm, sads.

Our own ensuite toilet, which Adam was clearly very excited about.

This room doesn't come cheap though. While my condition didn't warrant me for having a side room, (I was perfectly healthy!) it was given because I work with the NHS. And my husband too. And since we were both (Adam still is) in paediatrics, they call us the paediatricians. HAHAHAHA. Too cute I cannot.

#perksofbeingadoctor #savetheNHS

So yes, I was admitted for 5 days including the operation itself.. It wasn't too bad if I'm honest. I've had nothing bad to say about the service, cewah, but it could be due to the known fact that I'm a doctor at the hospital. Although I'm sure the standard of care wouldn't vary that much. Maybe no side room, but hey, if someone else needed it for clinical reasons, I'm sure I would be evicted too. #patientsafety 

Next up, we finally get to meet Seed!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Seed: 38 weeks.

38 weeks in one word: Painful.

It's not uncomfortable anymore - it's getting to a point where it's painful. Literally, pain. Every now and then I try to remind myself that someone, somewhere out there, is praying to have what I'm having now, a growing healthy baby cooking up nicely. A textbook pregnancy - says the midwife.

But I can't deny that it's not all rainbows and roses. I said it before, pregnancy is a whole new level of normal. And this, is a whole new level of pain.

Rainbow sans roses on our recent trip to Milton Keynes

And I'm only talking about irregular, pre-labour (if it's even that?!?) contraction kind of pain. And backache. Not even the 3:10 contraction when you're officially in labour. Not even the real deal. Who am I to talk about pain again?

Remember when I said I was feeling heavy pressure in my pelvis and crampy period-pain like backache when I made the trip to Nottingham and Leicester last time? I genuinely, hopefully thought that would be the start of things. How naive I was. The pain, they're staying, yes, but not actually starting anything.

As I'm typing this, my tummy is rock hard, Seed's squirming around against the confined space that already is. I have to lean back to make some space for those tiny little legs and arms to flail around, otherwise I'll get a jammed foot somewhere underneath my ribs.

My back hurts. And you're talking about someone who lives on monthly ibuprofen for period pain. Yes, I do get really bad period cramps and backache, up to the point I could be paralysed by them. But this, is a whole new level of backache. And ibuprofen is a no-no in pregnancy. Paracetamol? We can all laugh now, thank you very much.

Pain is worse in the evening and at night. That's when I wake up and look at Adam fast asleep wondering if it's worth waking him up for I'm-not-sure-what. I mean, I know I'm not in labour. And he can't really do anything. But the pain.. Maybe it's worth waking someone up for?

(I never did, though).

Salute to mums of 5. (Heck, even mums of 2. Or 1. ALL mums).

On the bright side, (there's always a bright side, you just have to look for it and acknowledge it!), 1st May has come and gone, so my OCD can now chill. It doesn't matter much when Seed's going to come out now, apart from the pain of course. I've accepted that he can stay as long as he likes, although please please I sure hope induction is not going to be part of it!

We've got a midwife appointment tomorrow, and although I doubt it's going to change anything, maybe it'll bring some good news! Oh well, here's to wishing.

Update on Friday 5/5/2017, post midwife appointment.

Apparently my bump is now measuring at 90th centile, when previously it's been consistent at 50th centile. It's a really steep jump from being average to being, umm, massive. (Midwife didn't say that, I did). So we're booked in for a growth scan next week, in which I really do hope that by then Seed would've already been here. Again, here's to wishing.

Also, we've been told that Seed might just be occipital-posterior (OP), which means that his back is against my back (back-to-back baby). Again, previously his back has always been on my right side, I could almost always feel the smooth curvature of his spine there. While most back-to-back babies rotate spontaneously to occipital-anterior (OA) position while in labour, some just won't. And they can take longer to be delivered, and more painful too. Ouch.

Tell-tale signs are quite obvious in my case. I suspect he turned some time around last week, as I started having this backache at that time. OP babies can cause more backache than others as their back/spine, which is the heaviest part of their body, put in a significant pressure on mums' back. I could also feel wiggly movements just above my pubic bone, which might just mean that his hands/fingers are facing forward (baby's thumb-sucking!). The other thing is a dip/flattened shape of the tummy around the belly-button. Yup, definitely there.

While these news are not the most exciting to some, they definitely give me something to think about. 90th centile could mean anything from baby's just packing up fat at the very last minute to polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) for whatever reason. Or maybe baby's positioning at time of measurement was slightly off resulting in weird numbers, who knows. But now the possibility of induction is there.

And being back-to-back.. (I prefer sunny side up, btw!). I have to start thinking about optimal foetal positioning (OFP) more seriously now. Basically it's the movements/postures that can encourage babies to turn/rotate to OA before labour. Not sure if there's any scientific evidence behind this, but there's no harm in trying, I suppose.

Anyways, I'm thankful that my midwife picked these up, so I can at least (sort of) prepare for it. Even more thankful that Adam was there for the appointment (he couldn't always be, talk about marrying a doctor). Not that he had a lot to say, but it's nice to have him around. I mean, who would've thought we're getting a growth scan at the very end of this pregnancy? And the fear of labour and induction.. That just magnified to another level.

This pregnancy is (literally) taking a whole new turn.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Seed: 36-37 weeks.

Let's be completely honest. Me at 36 weeks.. Was totally unproductive. So ironic considering my previous post is about increasing productivity, hey?

I've only managed to pack the 'baby' aspect of hospital bag. In which I once made a point to blog about, but now am totally exhausted (and not bothered) to unpack everything, lay them out nicely and take a picture of each and every one of them. I really should, though. One for the memory, and two, for future me. Did I over or under-pack? God only knows until I actually write them down here or somewhere. Well I guess baby number two will have to make do then. (Baby number two already??!?)

If there's one thing that's worth shouting about, it's my recent trip to Nottingham all by myself (and Seed, obviously) on the bus and train. Nadd was in Nottingham for a short while, so I thought maybe I should make a quick trip there and see her, stopping by at Leicester to 'pick' Lin up. You see, Northampton and Nottingham, although they share deceivingly similar name and look deceivingly near (they quite are, actually), the public transport says otherwise. 

Nottingham is directly up north of Northampton, after Leicester. If I were to take the train all the way, I'd have to change at Birmingham, which is more towards the west, and the journey alone is about just under 3 hours. The quickest/easiest way is to take the bus from Northampton to Leicester, then hop on the train from Leicester to Nottingham.

With a nearly 37w bump with me.

Grasmere reunited!

It was a successful trip though, Alhamdulillah! Although I did wake up aching all over, and the pressure in my pelvis felt heavier than ever. Could it be the walking encouraging labour? Baby descending down, engaging already? I don't know. But now that we're full term (yay Alhamdulillah!) I cannot wait to have him out. Well, I want him out when he's ready and healthy, obviously, but Seed, can we make it on 1st May, please? Nothing fancy, just because both your mum and dad were born on 1st of the month, and mum is a bit of an OCD, and by 1st May you're nearly 38 weeks so we should be okay. Deal?


Well at 37 weeks I also made another bus trip up to Leicester, just 2 days after the initial one! (You can tell I'm pretty desperate to get things going at this point). Adam had a whole-day course in Derby but I didn't think I'd manage spending 8 hours on my own lugging a 10kg bump around doing nothing. At the same time I wanted to meet him somewhere for a nice meal. So we settled for Leicester, instead. Actually the whole day I was having pretty bad back pain and cramps, almost like a period pain. I was so convinced that things were finally starting.. When.. Nope. As of today I'm still very pregnant.

We had a very nice fulfilling meal at Karamay Chinese Restaurant. Highly recommended when you're in Leicester. Not your typical eatery - you can find plenty of steakhouses or Indian/Asian food around, but this, is completely different. It's on London Road, if anyone's interested. 

And then we met Lin again for an unfinished business. Talk about overly-attached housemate, hmm.

So that's it, the story of my super unproductive life for the past 2 weeks, apart from riding buses and trains. So far there's no signs of labour just yet, I'm guessing Seed's just getting too comfy in there..