Thursday, June 29, 2017

Confinement - The darkest period of my pregnancy journey

Another super long overdue post like 6 months overdue!

So I had my confinement Chinese style after delivering my baby. Frankly, I'm not a fan of confinement (nobody ever does) and I don't believe in those crap pantang, I'm doing it more like a formality and also as an excuse to lie around doing nothing rest.

My schedule for confinement is like this :

6.45am


Having this as breakfast

7.30: Cleaning up myself with minimal water exposure

7.45: Pumping or catching up on social media

9.00: Snack time. Usually I have dates soup or red beans

9.30: Feed baby and sleep

12.30: Lunch which is my favorite meal of the day because my confinement lady cooks the most delicious lunch ever. Usually it is chicken/fish soup and veggies,


Simple but very satisfying

1.00: Pumping and watching Youtube videos

2.00: Movie time or nap time

3.45: Snack time where I would have mee sua/red beans soup.



4.00: Play/direct feed baby

4.45: Cleaning up myself

5.00: Dinner time. usually a repeat of my lunch.

5.30: Pump

6.00: Catch up with husband 

7.00: Feed baby

9.00: Sleep. Rinse and repeat.


For the first week I was okay and quite enjoy confinement as I have someone to do everything for me. But after a week of the same schedule and meal plus being confined in my room, I started to get cranky. My hair is oily and I desperately wanted to shower. I also miss human contact because I was not allowed visitors but I don't care much about this rules. So I often had my parents and siblings came over to visit me which seriously helped me so much.

Other than that, I also went out everyday for the first week to get my injection at Klinik 1Malaysia. Often after the injection, my husband and I would go for hang out. The fresh air helped me a lot even my husband noticed that I'm happier after going out. So we often find any excuse to go out after I finished my round of injection.

Confinement is the darkest period for me because I really feel depressed cooped up in the room with nobody to talk to and also I was trying to get my milk supply up. The more people tell me eat this do that to increase my milk supply, the more stress I get.

Having the same meal everyday also making me sick. After the first two weeks, I rarely finished my meal especially the 6.45am breakfast. I would shove everything to my husband and sometimes I would threw it out. I also cancelled my 3.45pm snack because I wanted to nap longer.

Also adjusting to a newborn is another set of challenge too. Our confinement lady only stayed during the day so it is just us at night with baby, I can't really recalled how was my daughter as a newborn but I think it is quite manageable. She cried some nights like a newborn would do.  

My baby few days old


I remember the joy I felt when I managed to pump 5oz in one session.

Yes, my baby is breastfeed and during the day, she is bottle fed by nanny but at night I direct latching her.




She looks so different back then

So small hahaha

Barely a month old



Can see that her cheeks is started to plump up all thanks to my breast milk.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Labor Story - Part 2

Read the part 1 of my labor story first if you haven't because this is the continuation of it. Let's continue!

After I was wheeled into the OT, I was greeted by my anesthetist and he explained again that I would be half paralysis during the operation which meant I was completely awake when they operate me. Before this I've heard about how painful the anesthetic jab and how the needle is long etc. Truth is I didn't know how long the needle was because the jab was at my back at spinal cord I think. At that point, I was not planning to ask him to show me the needle. 

I was told to hug a big pillow while he injected me. Before I knew it, the jab was done and pain free. Then within seconds, I started to lose feeling on my legs. It felt heavy then numb and I couldn't move after that.

Doctors were coming in and started to operate me. I could feel something tugging at my skin when they sliced me up and working to deliver my baby. But I was pain free. However, my body was shivering so hard that I worried if this is the side effect of anesthetic so I ask the anesthetist and he told me because it was cold inside the theater room. Duh!

He kept talking to me while I was cut open. At one point he even hold my hand because I was shivering like crazy. He also put some hot air to me through a vacuum lookalike pipe. I kept looking at the clock on the wall and saw that we're already half an hour into the operation. 

The clock struck 10 am and yet I hear nothing from the doctors that operating me. In fact, they were discussing something else. You know how in movie the doctor will announce "it's a baby girl/boy" with glee after your baby is out and will follow by the baby cry.

Well, no such thing happened to me. In fact, the doctors were cleaning and stitching me up straightaway and I saw/heard no sign of baby. Some ugly scenarios played in my mind and I got really worried. 

Then suddenly another doctor walked over to me and holding a small slimy creature. I was beyond relief and so ready for my skin to skin session with my baby. But the doctor was holding my baby tight and asked me the gender of my baby.

I said girl and she showed me my baby private part. Yup, it's a girl. But the doctor still holding her tight. The anesthetist told her to pass the baby to me for skin to skin interaction but the paed said no because they need to rush her to nursery because she's eating her waste in my tummy.

So I only got to peck her lightly before she took her away. I was cleaned up and rolled outside of OT. I was excited to see my family but they still need to keep me for half an hour before releasing me.


Meet the fruit of my labor

The first thing I saw when they rolled me out to transfer me to ward were the happy grin on my family's faces. My mom said baby cried so loud when they took her to nursery. I was kept bedridden for 6 hours and baby was kept in nursery for 7 hours.

My first proper look at her 

My first night as a mother was a great nightmare. I was unable to move freely because I had drips attached to both of my hands. But baby was crying so I still had to pick her up and cradle her. She is so small and fragile that I scared I might dropped her.

I tried to latch her for the first time and I was really clueless. There's nobody to teach me and baby is not latching. She kept crying and crying. It was closed to midnight and the ward was filled with her cry. I tried again and again to latch her until she's finally success. But I think she only got colostrum from me and my milk still not fully kicking in yet.

She's hungry and I was tired and my hands were hurt from the needles moving in my vein because I moved too much. I kept baby close in my arm and tried to rock her to sleep. I almost got heart attack when I glanced to my left side because my bed was drenched in blood. Wtf. 

I thought I bled or my incision was open. Turned out it was from my hand. The drip needle came off and blood came out. I called for the nurse but nobody can hear my over my baby cry. Lucky another lady opposite me saw the blood and called the nurse for me.

They had to reinsert the needle and at this point I already had 4 insertion points.

Baby was still crying, so I couldn't put her down. Nurse even came to help me to soothe baby but we concluded that she's hungry. At close to 3 am, the nurse came and told me she will feed baby but only for one time. Then I continued to latch baby on and off for the rest of the night. I didn't even get any sleep for the first night because I couldn't put baby down. Nurse warned me to put her down or else she will get used to being cradle the whole time. But I ignored her anyway.


Her first bath and she cried her lung out

Hailey one day old

This is my stomach 5 days postpartum, I still looked pregnant wtf.

And that is my first labor experience. It is not as daunting as what I always heard people say. Although there are some unpleasant occurrence but it is still okay for me. Heck, confinement is 10 times harder than this. So confinement story will come soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Labor Story - Part 1

2 months postpartum and I'm finally able to jot down my labor story here. Sorry for the long hiatus, I'm still adjusting to my new role as a mom. I was doing live update from my Dayre that day because I afraid that I will forget some of the details. As I mentioned in my third trimester update I opted to deliver my baby via elective C-section because she's breech. Since it is confirmed that I chose C-section, the doctor arranged for my operation 2 weeks earlier than my EDD. They scheduled the operation on 13 Dec 2016. The date was selected by the hospital based on the available slot. 



My total weight gain from the pregnancy is 12kg. My baby is 3.05kg so I have around 9kg to shed but 2 months postpartum, my weight is stagnant at 50kg. I'm hoping to lose at least 3kg more but I can't get back to work out now and diet is not an option because breastfeeding makes me hungry all the time. But it's okay, one step at a time for me. Once I pass 6 months postpartum, I'm gonna go back to doing cardio and yoga.

I was admitted to hospital a day prior to my operation because they need to put me on IV drips overnight and monitor my baby. So on the 12th December, I woke up early to wash my hair thoroughly before I'm going into confinement, had breakfast with my husband and mother in law before we went to the hospital.

I gave birth at General Hospital because everyone around me encouraged me to do so. The main reason is because GH (General Hospital) have advance equipment and the specialists. Another reason is because the private hospital in Sibu tends to reject high risk case (not that my case is high risk) and in case anything happens, the private hospital will refer it to GH too. 

Doing CTG to monitor baby heart beat. All is fine and good.


Preparing for the IV drip

I didn't expect to be stuck with needle (don't know the exact term for the above procedure) so many times. The doctor prepped me and told me that they will insert one each on both of my hands but only use one for IV drip and the other one acts as standby in case something happens during my C-section and they need to do blood transfer etc. Man, it hurt when the doctor insert the needle. The needle is at least 5cm long and any movement from my hand will trigger discomfort.

But the pain from the insertion of the needle above is peanut if compared to the injection that I got to make my baby lung mature. I received two injections for that in the span of 12 hours. I consider my pain tolerance level quite high because I have no problem with injection all through my pregnancy. This injection takes the cake. Once the doctor pushed the medicine in, I can feel the pain slowly seeping in and it lasted for half an hour. At night when the nurse gave me the second dose, it hurt so bad that I sobbed and called my husband.

I spent one night at the labor ward and 2 nights at the maternity ward

You know how they always say that the doctors and nurses at GH are fierce and unfriendly, so I was mentally prepared for all these. But I had none bad encounter with the doctors or the nurses. Everyone was so helpful and nice although I had witnessed a rude nurse talking to a patient there. It wasn't rude per se, just that she could've more sympathy with the new mom. The new mom was sobbing because her baby is taken to NICU due to a heart condition. The nurse was demonstrating breastfeeding technique to us (she sucks at it by the way) but the new mom was on phone sobbing to probably her husband. 

The nurse stopped her and said "Stop talking on the phone and listen to me. It's not like your baby is going to die anyway. It is just a minor condition." She kept using the word die while talking to the new mom.

Walao can she has more sympathy towards the new mom? And why would she kept dropping the word 'die' every time she talked to that new mom. It is not helpful at all and not to mention unprofessional.

Me on my bed


Although the service and medical equipment are great at GH, I wouldn't say the same about their basic facilities especially the washroom. You know how mothers in labor are sometimes bleeding or their water broke, the washroom smell like blood. I'm not kidding. Some of the lock on the door are broken, flush broken too and the floor is covered in water (disgusting!) because of blocked drainage. Luckily during my 4D3N stay there, I didn't shower and I was put on catheter after my C-section, so no need to go to toilet. I really hope they can improve the washroom condition otherwise it will be on par with private hospital.



Binge watching The Big Bang Theory to pass the time

Visitors are not allowed into the ward outside of visitation hour, so I was really boring and finished the whole series of The Big Bang Theory. My parents and sister wanted to visit me but they're not allowed in.

So I walked out to see them hahahah

I hugged my tab with me because I didn't want to leave valuable items unguarded in the ward. It would have been better if visitors are allowed in outside of visitation hour because after my operation, I was not allowed to get off bed for 6 hours. But at the same time, I was told to drink more water. How to get water if I can't get up from bed ='= I had to stretch my arm as far as I can to grab my water bottle.


Husband came in to see me at every visiting hour

The visiting hours are 6am-7.30am, 12.30 noon till 2 and 5.30 till 7pm if my memory didn't failed me. Husband came in to bring me food because I don't want to take hospital food. On the first day, I told the husband that I'll eat the hospital food because I saw that they gave fried fish and veggies when I was doing my admission, so I expected dinner will be good too. 



Turned out dinner is tempe which I don't like and steamed egg only. So I sent husband to get me take out. Since then, I straight away rejected hospital food.

On the first night, the nurse inserted another needle to my left hand but she got it wrong and resulted in my swollen vein. So she had to do it all over again. I had no choice but to face the pain again. Throughout my whole stay, they inserted the needle 5 times on my left hand and 3 times on my right.

Besides the nurse wrongly inserting the needle, the other times they had to reinsert the needle because it fell off. I guess I was too active but trust me, when you had needles on your both hands, it was hard to do anything even texting. I fidgeted a lot and the needle moved. 

I couldn't sleep well on the first night not because I was worry about my operation in the morning but because I was uncomfortable and the nurses were doing round check every 3-4 hours I think. The sound of footsteps, trolleys and chitchatting woke me up. But I'm glad for it because if it was dead quiet, I would be scare to death. 

During the second injection for the medicine to mature my baby lung, I was sobbing non stop and feeling so emotional that it scared my husband. At this point, I was feeling vulnerable and the support of your other half is really important because you two are in this together. I kept scolding him why am I alone suffering during this birth process? I felt so alone that first night. But that's not the worst night. let me tell you about my second night (post labor) later.

I was told to fast after 10pm to prepare my body for surgery in the morning. Around 1am, I was feeling cramp on my lower abdominal. At first I thought it was contraction or maybe Braxton Hicks but the cramp subsided after I went to pee. Full bladder perhaps but the pain came back again at 4am that I called the nurse. She checked and confirmed to me that it is not contraction pain.

Bad photo but my wrist was swollen like a golf ball because I moved too much and the IV needle moved too.


It was the second day morning already but the doctor haven't confirm my operation time yet. At this point, I was restless and just wanted the baby out of me. I kept asking the doctor to confirm the time but they told me need to wait for the surgeon to confirm. They only confirmed the time an hour prior to my surgery.


Before I was wheeled into surgery room, a group of trainees asked if they could examine my bump. Just a general examine. Actually only a girl asked and after I said yes, a group of trainees showed up. It was quite awkward having so many people taking turn to touch my bump. They wanted to know where the head, limp etc.

My surgery was scheduled at 9am and they wheeled me to OT before 9am. Outside the ward, my parents and husband were waiting for me. I was rather excited to finally meet my baby actually and I didn't feel nervous at all. My mom on the hand was tearing ='= she kept telling me not to be afraid. I exchanged a few more words with them before the nurses wheeled me to OT.

Inside the operation theater was freezing cold.  I only had thin layer of hospital gown on. I was shivering while the nurse parked me along other patients waiting for surgery. Finally it was my turn after I waited for like forever. 

Didn't mean for this to be cliffhanger but I'll continue the post on part 2 soon because it is getting too long and this new mom needs to rest. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Colourpop Lippie Stix Review

Remember when everyone is over the moon with Colourpop Lippie Stix last year? I was one of them. Last year Colourpop didn't do shipping to Malaysia yet so I had to search high and low for reseller that stocks them and compare prices among several. In the end, I bought mine from Red Vanity from Instagram because they have ready stocks of the colors that I want.


It was so hard to decide which shades to get and I've read tons of reviews on Dayre from fellow Colourpop enthusiast which you can read here,  here,  and here. If you love make up and skin care, you can just follow Gillian's Dayre because she do make up and skin care review from time to time.


I decided to go with Lumiere (Matte), Topanga (Satin) and Frida (Satin) in the end. Lumiere is the collaboration shade from Colourpop with Youtuber Kathleen Lights. You can watch her channel for more Colourpop Lippie Stix reviews and swatches because she owns like all of them, no kidding.

These are the swatches. As you can see, Lumiere has matte finish meanwhile Topanga and Frida have Satin finish.

First impression of the Lippie Stix for me are:

1) I love how simple the packaging is and instead of in the usual lipstick form, it is packed in a tube form. 
2) The swatches are pretty close to what I saw online.
3) It has slight scent to it which bothers me because it lingers on my lips. The scent is rubbery/plastic kind if you know what I mean.
4) The staying power is good for 4 to 5 hours without touch up but matte finish tend to last longer than satin finish.
5) The matte one quite drying but still bearable for me.


With Lumiere

Close up of Lumiere on my lip

It doesn't show on camera but the color is actually darker in real life. It is plum/purple pink. I love the shade but it is little too dark for daytime outing. So I normally wear this color for a night out.


With Topanga

Close up

This shade is bright orangy which I didn't expect it to be so far off from the color on top of the lippie stix (refer to the 2nd photo above). It compliments my skin tone well but my least favorite. In the close up photo, the color looks nice but in real life it looks like the first photo which is very orange-y.


With Frida

Close up

This is my favorite everyday shade. it is pinkish nude and suitable for everyday wear. Although in the close up photo it looks nothing like pinkish nude. My camera lighting is messing up with the real color. 

For the price that the Colourpop offer, I think this is a good product overall. I mean for $5, what else can you ask for? Some even claims that it is on par with Kylie Jenner Lip kit. I have the mini size Ultra Matte Lip in Foxy which comes with 5 minis ultra matte gloss which I got last Christmas. I probably to a review on that soon. 

Hope this review helps and Colourpop ships to Malaysia now for the purchase above $50.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Third trimester - the most challenging one


Earlier on when people are asking about how my pregnancy is treating me, I'd proudly flashed my grin and said "It's been a breeze". Inexperience mother-to-be, that's me. I spoke way too soon. Yes, my first trimester and second trimester are smooth sailing journey. But the nightmare starts during the last stretch of the pregnancy journey, third trimester.

It is not as bad as nightmare per se but it is really tough on me. When I started to hit 32 weeks, my weight keeps climbing up till at one point I considered to stop eating. Of course I didn't because that would be crazy but I watch what I eat and more importantly I've stopped snacking on junk food now. There's another reason for this but we will get to that later. Right now I'm in my 36 weeks and my total weight gain is 12kg. I thought this is not bad but someone was rubbing it to my face and said she only gained 10kg.

Let me tell you, I really really hate those know-it-all mothers or been-there-done-that mothers. These kind of people will bombard you with advice which some are not applicable anymore or 20 years out of date advice. *roll eyes*

Normally I just ignore them and don't let them get to my head but sometimes it's hard. I mean every pregnancy to every woman are different. Why compare? Just so that you can appear superior? So you think you are a better mother? Pffts

Enough rant, on to the more important update!


I feel like a whale now

*********** The update above was written on 1st Dec 2016. Obviously a month later, I already gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. So I guess I pick it up where I left it off last time. 

The reason that I was told to watch my diet was because I was diagnosed with gestation diabetes. I guess all those chocolates and ice creams are the ones to be blamed. I was diagnosed during my second OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) because I vomited during the first test.




My result

I knew right away something was wrong when I received the phone call from the clinic the next day. They asked me to come in and I was told that my glucose level is slightly higher and they wanted to refer me to General Hospital. This is where I started to get really worry. I was told that I probably will be hospitalized for monitoring. During this time, the husband was away in Perth visiting his father so I felt super alone. I remembered crying like mad when I was driving to hospital because I don't want to be hospitalized. 

Upon seeing the doctors at GH, I was told the same thing, I have 3 choices to monitor my glucose level by doing the 7 point glucose test. 1) Hospitalized 2) Come to the hospital every 2-3 hours or 3) Do the test myself at home.

The idea of being hospitalized really break me down so I opted for the third option, I asked if they could rent me the kit but alas they can't. So I went to my local pharmacy to get one, The doctor also requested me to make an appointment with dietitian for consultant. I skipped the appointment because I was exhausted and not in the good mood to listen to the same thing all over again eg: reduce carb, no junk food etc etc. 


The glucose test kit

I have to do the test for 7 times before and after every meals and before I sleep. 

That means I had to prick myself like this for 7 times

It is not fun

I was supposed to bring the result in for checking by the doctor but I didn't in the end because my result was in normal range. So what I did was monitor what I eat. I stop all the junk food, have less rice and avoid any bread/noodles. It was tough at first because the more you're not allowed to eat it, the more you will crave it.

My bump at 36 weeks

I was so ready to pop by 36 weeks because I felt so heavy and it started to be difficult for me to walk. I had to waddle now. Not only that, I started to feel intense pain on my left crotch every time I get up from sitting/lying down too long. Imagine the pain every time I had to get up at night to pee. Although I visited the toilet less at night now, I couldn't sleep well. No position is comfortable at this stage and my chest always hurt. It was like gastric pain but not gastric pain and it's not heart burn either. Paired it with my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it was impossible to get a good night sleep.

During my last checkup at Polyclinic at 36 weeks, it is confirmed that my baby is breech as in her head didn't turn down to get ready for labor. I know the baby is breech at around 30 weeks when we went for scanning at private clinic. But the doctor told us there is still hope because some babies turn down nearing the end of term. 

Again I went to General Hospital for proper scanning and follow up as advised by Polyclinic. I was given the option to do ECV (External Cephalic Version) which is a procedure to manually turn the baby down. This procedure comes with its own risk eg: the umbilical cord may tangle at her neck, defect to baby physical feature, rapture in amniotic sac, and the procedure may fail to if baby reverse back. 

All of those risk really scare me. I don't want anything bad happened to my baby and upon discussion with the husband, I opted for planned Cesarean section. I was preparing myself for normal delivery all this while and suddenly I was told that my baby is breech. Now I had to change my mindset to prepare for the surgery. Even the surgery itself comes with its own set of risk but at least the risks are mostly on me, not so much on my baby. I was surprised at how calm I was when I know I will have to undergo the surgery. I guess having a positive mindset really helps.

Now that we already set the date for the surgery, it was time for us to do final preparation for baby arrival. Our biggest concern is baby cot. I got my eyes on one of the baby cot in Ikea but the shipping cost is double the price for the cot. So we got no choice but to source locally.


Finally settled on this one because it is fordable and the height is adjustable

We washed and cleaned as well as sanitized all the baby stuff eg: milk bottle, clothes and hunt for newborn diapers. At this point, my feet were really swollen. In fact I felt like my whole body is swollen.


Sneaking it date night before we welcome our little one

Can you believe that we are parents now?

I was supposed to finish this post last month but never got around to do that. I delivered my beautiful girl on 13 December 2016 and still in confinement until now. I think this is the biggest milestone in my life. Will share about my labor story soon!