Sunday, November 5, 2017

Parenting rant.

Source: Facebook

Noah is nearly 6 months, and I still remember very clearly the first few weeks of his arrival.

It was hell, as clear as that.

The recovery post caesarean was straightforward, but my emotional state was not.

It was hard, it was crazy hard. I'm not entirely sure what exactly the hard part was, but everything seemed to be a blur of who's-doing-what, the baby needed changing, God knows why he cried, a whole lot of he just wouldn't sleep, and my favourite of all, I'm so exhausted.

You could argue that men aren't psychic. Their empathetic system isn't designed to be as automatic as most women's. The result, we have a creature whose innate nature isn't of "oh, I see that x happens, therefore I must y". It's more of a "you tell me when x happens so that I could y".

Let's say,
x = house chores
y = needs doing

Where x could be anything from piling laundry, messy toys, dishes in the sink, etc.

So men (I doubt I have many Mars readers here), when you see something not in place, e.g. laundry piling up overflowing the basket, just freaking throw them in the wash. You don't need your wife telling you, "Ooh hubby dearest, look, the laundry basket is full of dirty clothes, what about you help putting them in the wash?"

Maybe you Mars people expect this instead, "Honey, could you please do the laundry?"

Yes, we can definitely say the above. One sentence, job done. But where's the fun in marriage if that's always the case?

And don't get me started on who's doing what, as far as baby is concerned.

Granted, you don't have boobs (well, you do, just not very functional), but there's always other things. Babies don't just need milk. They need all sort of simple things like cuddles, playtimes, nappy changes, little human transporters, butt patters, everything that doesn't require boobs! More things baby-wise that don't involve boobs include their laundry (little clothes need special washing), toy-cleaning, and snot towel changing, to name a few.

And the most exhausting (yet so very noble!) thing about caring for a baby is.. You're doing everything for the little human. Sparing nothing for you. Yes, going to work 9-5pm, getting stuck in the traffic is hard, but you get lunch breaks, you get to choose your own food, when and where to eat them, heck, you get to talk to another being while eating them!

With a baby.. There's just not much options. You'd probably have better luck in negotiating with your bladder to increase its holding capacity rather than explaining to a little human dictator on why you need to disappear for 2 minutes as the nature calls.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mother. It's so unbelievably.. Weird. One minute I was so eager for him to shut his eyes (yay me time!) and the next, I was getting pure joy of pulling silly faces as his eyes wide open and his mouth forming a big O shape, wondering why is this human transporter making all sort of funny sounds. And yes, the excitement of a poop explosion after a week of nothingness from their rear ends, sans the very smelly farts. Come on, who rejoice on poops on pees?

People always talk about motherhood, maybe it's time to start discussing fatherhood too? 

It's called parenting, btw. Not just mothering.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

6 years in boxes.

Can we ship this back to where they come from?

On one hand a part of me is relieved - it's like I can now move on with my life. My whole stuff is here, my life is complete!

(I've been particularly desperate for a new toothbrush head, the current one has been used for more than 4 months, ew.)

On the other hand...... Who's going to unpack all this? And more importantly, where do we store them???!?

Guess we'll just keep them in boxes, just in case we're migrating again...... Hello Canada!

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Great Sleeper.

Chuckling to myself as I wrote the title.

But *ahem*, good words are duas, right?

Okay, back to my great sleeper. He truly is, at night. And I'm not bluffing. The main reason why we don't have photos/videos of Noah at night is because, he's doing what he's supposed to do - sleep!

Bless my great little sleeper.

Daytime though.. Is a whole different story. He used to be a star napper (great sleeper, star napper, see what I did there?). Putting him down for naps was a breeze. I just had to put him down, secure his hands (secure is an understatement, trust me), put a pillow on top of him.. And leave. Oh wait he'd need his white noise, so that, too. He'd fall asleep by himself within minutes.

Then things happened. To be exact, "developmental milestone" happened.

He's starting to roll over. From his back onto his tummy.

It's super cute! He often forgets that he has this pair of rather chunky dangly squirmy legs.. So while he tries to shift his upper body to the side, his legs barely change their position. They move, a lot, like tiny little flippers. But again, like flippers, they move in one place. Kicking and swooshing around, without actually going anywhere. And don't get me started on his heavy bum..

Ah, my great little swimmer.

Anyways, as he recently discovered this new skill, naturally he'd want to practice it, all day, every day. I mean, we need to get that bum shifted, boy! So the moment we put him down for naps, he'd arch his body trying to roll over to the side. 

Which only means one thing - it's not safe anymore.

Remember when I said we "secure" his hands? We actually "tie" them. Ugh I know I know. But it's the only way that he'll sleep, otherwise he'll claw his eyes out and we'd have to fix the mess of his eczema.. (another whole different story). 

And it's a bit like swaddling - once they start to roll over, swaddling isn't safe anymore. They'll need their hands to support the weight of their body, should they decide to roll over at night.

And Noah sleeps in his own room - on a double bed. Yes, adult bed. Again, ugh, I know. It used to work so perfectly when he was rather immobile (talk about a cute little blob squirming around in one place, cute). But now I'm not so sure anymore. We'd have to think of something else, and we gotta think quick! 

I'm not keen on cots because we'd be breaking our backs picking him up and putting him down - that little guy is 8kg, at least! And co-sleeping isn't really an option. When you put two light sleepers in the same bed (both myself and him), none of them is going to sleep much.

Also, my star napper seems to diminish with the newly acquired skill.. Noah now will not nap without being patted. It takes ages to put him to nap - often I fall asleep with him, just a matter of who's first. And when he does nap, it hardly ever be more than 1 hour..

He's still a great night sleeper though. Still sleeps well at night with 1-2 feeds in between, so I'll take whatever I can get.

But then if he does get moved to a cot.. Level up, biceps.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Motherhood is hard.

Hey N,
You were thrashing your head violently last night
I tried to stop you with all my might
And of course you just had to fight
Do you know that it broke my heart
Motherhood is hard.

Hey N,
You cried for no reason yesterday
You refused milk, didn't want cuddles, let alone play
In the end you just wanted me to stay
So I lied next to you wiping your tears away
Do you know that it broke my heart?
Motherhood is hard.

Hey N,
You had a very short nap this afternoon
Too short, you woke up a little too soon
And cried so hard it's out of tune
Do you know that it broke my heart?
Motherhood is hard.

Hey N,
You pooped your clothes just now
Pretty sure it leaked elsewhere too, it smelled so foul
It's a lot of cleaning, not that I don't know how
But the antibiotics.. They make your bums red and raw
Do you know that it broke my heart?
Motherhood is hard.

Hey N,
You're sound asleep as I write this
Your little chest rises and falls, your hand in a fist
Your eyelids flickered as I gave you a kiss
This moment, this very moment, is such a bliss.

Hey N,
You won't be small forever, and I won't always be here
You'll stop being a baby, but I'm always going to be a mother.

Yes some days I really wanted out
Just a little break, even if it's not worth a shout
Of course it's not always possible, what are we talking about.


It doesn't matter how much it breaks my heart
Because we both know, motherhood is hard.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A love-hate relationship.

I have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding.

You know how some people are really hard on #breastisbest? I stick to my guns - #fedisbest. Not breastfeeding doesn't make you less of a mother. If you google why breastfeeding is awesome, yo'll get million hits, so I'm not gonna go into that - but I'll tell you why it's quite a complex relationship in my case. 

1. It's a whole lot of physical contact.
I'm a solitary person by nature. That didn't change when I got married, and that certainly didn't change once we had Noah. Having another tiny human physically attached to you feels slightly overwhelming. And it's mutual! Noah takes after me - he's not a cuddly baby much. So once he's had his meal, he'd fuss to be put down (or sit up!), not wanting to be cuddled. There goes mummy's boy!

2. It can be messy.
It used to be messy from all the milk dribbles (which sometimes is pretty cute, admittedly), now it's more of the fact that his eczema flare makes his head a weepy ball of mess. It's heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and, unfortunately, rather icky all the same.

3. It's automatically "he's hungry" every time he cries.
Every. Single. Time. Cry? Wants milk. Not falling asleep? Hungry for milk. Whiny? Maybe give more milk? My logic is this - if he's being bottle-fed, would you give another bottle if you know that he's had 3oz an hour ago? Probably not. So stop saying he's hungry whenever he cries. He's a baby, crying is the only way for him to communicate. And I will never hand him over to someone if I know he's hungry, what kind of mother would I be?

4. It's always my fault that I'm not careful with what I eat.
Breastfeeding itself is hard enough, now it's my fault that I'm not watching what I eat. Not pooping? You don't eat enough fibre. New rashes? That's why la, eat seafood some more. Cranky? You eat too spicy, now tummy ache. Baby always cranky (see above)? Eat so little where got enough milk.

5. It's unnerving to other people caring for him.
Admittedly, breastfed babies tend to be more clingy to their mothers. Noah is pretty much the same, but he's actually quite chill and predictable. His life is really simple - milk, some play time, nap. Repeat the cycle. But since he's being breastfed, no one can really guess how much he takes in one serving, this makes people nervous just in case there's not enough milk (expressed) at home when I go out. Or simply to be left with him without me around, in general.

Note that I didn't put the night wakings in there - it's something that I have come to term with long ago. Especially now when he wakes up more from the itching and discomfort rather than actual hunger.

Having said all of the above,  I love every single minute when he's gulping down all the milk he could get, usually no more than 7 minutes, ha! It's like our private little moment where nothing else matters to him, all he had in his mind is milk. And milk comes from mummy, therefore he needs mummy.

I also love the convenience of not having to lug hot water and bottles around when we go out, although this kinda backfires a little since I can hardly got out without him, haha.

Never mind, as long as he's growing big and healthy, (he sure is, weighing 7.4kg at 3.5 months, whoa!), it's all that matters. And I have no intention of stopping, just hoping that he will outgrow his eczema and allergies (if there's even one) soon enough so that I could eat everything again!

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!