Friday, 28 September 2007
But from like 2pm onwards, Isaac wanted to drink at like every hour - 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm... which is what he has been doing for the past week or so... but then last night, he drank me flat!!! He suckled for like half an hour on each side, and then he finally decided he wasn't getting enough - and he positively BAWLED!!!
*sob*sob* I felt me breasts and FLAT they were. Isaac positively flattened me! And he was crying his heart out - coz he was hungry. Gosh, I was so distressed. But tried not to show it lah. Lousy cow, I thought. What's the use of certification if you can't bloody PRODUCE. (alright, sorry, must watch me language)
So, what to do, I pretended he wanted to sleep and kinda tried to rock him to sleep. which was kinda easy since he was pretty tired out from all his crying over no milk. And when hubbs came back, I got him to carry Isaac, coz Isaac kept trying to suckle through my tshirt when he smelt the milk on me.
After an hour or so, I think there'd be some milk in them for him, and I let him latch on to try again. and so there was. He was temporarily satiated and we quickly went home.
But I'm DISTRESSED. I'd always had milk. How come now no milk?!?! *sob*sob* well. not totally NO milk, but not as abundant as before... when I try to pump, I get less than half of what I used to be able to pump... plus I'd wanted to start freezing and storing milk these couple of weeks coz I might be going back to work in a few more weeks time... so, this turn of events is especially worrying coz I really want to breastfeed Isaac for at least 6 months... or till I next get pregnant again...
This morning, I smsed a few friends and relatives who were breastfeeding mums. They all said the same thing, that, Isaac's probably going through a growth spurt, and hence he is feeding more often, and probably drinking a lot more. Also, that I should persevere in breastfeeding him, and my body would soon produce more milk to meet his demand...
sighz... I hope so... I really hope so... It's kinda reassuring , that they all say the same thing... But still...
MORE MILK! MORE MILK! MORE MILK!
GIMME MORE MILK!!!
" Oh Papa, you're one big joker, you are!!!"
"Oops, caught in the act of laughing at Papa, by Mummy!!!"
"hehehe... betcha dunno what I'm up to..."
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
So you see, as you've read before in The Milk Trail: Part 1 - I was milk-less when we were discharged from the hospital when Isaac was 3 days old. It started to become very stressful as Isaac was crying the entire day and demanding feeds at every hour coz he was getting zilch from me milkless breasts.
Furthermore being a novice at latching him on, think my methodology wasn't too good, and so I had sore nipples. And as he was demanding feeds so often - the sore nipples got worse. It got so bad that the nipple on the right breast started to bleed. So I had to stop letting him latch onto that breast (coz if babies drink blood, they'd get stomach upset from indigestion).
As I was telling you in The Milk Trail - Part 1 - by night time of Day 3, my mum and the confinement lady persuaded me to pump to see how much milk I had and I had none. Sighz. And you know what? We pumped until - my left breast nipple also bleed. So hubbs went to Holland V's 24 hour Cold Storage to buy formula milk to feed starving Isaac. And I had two bleeding nipples.
On Day 4, in the day time, think the milk started to come in. I wasn't really aware of it. Coz I didn't know how it felt like - I mean, I've never experienced it before, right? So when the confinement lady kept asking me all day:"Do you have engorged breasts?" - I replied:"No, I don't think so." Coz I really didn't think so. Though to tell the truth, I had an inkling that the milk was coming in. But I was somehow reluctant to tell her. I had this insanely paranoid thought that she wanted me to pump it out and hence prevent me from latching Isaac on and feeding him. Silly me. Hormonal imbalances, I suppose ;p
By midnight of Day 4, my breasts were so engorged that they were rock hard. And I'd forgotten that I had two bleeding nipples - so I couldn't latch Isaac on to feed. I tell you, engorgement really hurts!!! It was soooo painful. The confinement lady put some towels in hot water, and placed the towels on my breasts. This encouraged the milk to flow, and we simply let the milk dribble out and waste away, just so that we can drain the breasts to provide me with some relieve from the pain of engorgement. Wah, very heartpain to see the milk go to waste...
So, first I had no milk, then I had 'too much' milk!
Though, since then, when we tell some people about our experience of engorgement, it seems that engorgement is a blessing. For it means that I have milk. Some people have apparently never experienced engorgement before - coz they either don't have milk, or have very little milk.
I'd previously thought that this would be a long post, coz at that time when we were going through that period of time, everything was so much more dramatic. Now, it seems like... no big deal. What's a little pain if one can have milk?
On Monday, we brought Isaac to the paediatrician's. He wasn't due for his first 6-in-1 vaccination shot yet, but we'd wanted to bring him to the doc as people have commented that he still looked a little yellow.
The paed took one look at him, and said:" Oh, he's not too yellow - I wouldn't worry about it. Look, he's as yellow as me!" she said, as she placed her forearm next to Isaac's face. She was right - she was as yellow as he was, in fact, think she was more yellow. hahaha.
She asked about his poo colour ("mustard yellow"), frequency of poo ("4 or 5 times a day") and colour of his pee ("clear to light yellow"). Then she declared:" With Isaac at 7 weeks old now, at 5.67kg and 59cm, he'd doing very well, I wouldn't worry about the jaundice. In fact, with the state of his poo and pee - I'd say Mummy is a Good Cow! Stamp and certified! Good Cow!"
hahahhaa... :) I'm a GOOD COW!!! yay!!!
Hope to remain a good cow for at least 6 more months... *grinz*
Wish me luck! and MILK!!! ;p
What do you call a breastfeeding mother with both her breasts exposed?
copyright (C) PST Productions
Monday, 17 September 2007
And the reason why we hadn't transferred the pix is partly coz of laziness, but also coz by the time I really wanted to do it - we'd sent the camera for repair. What happened? hiaz... I think the thing with this breastfeeding business is - the milk gets everywhere!!! and I mean everywhere!!! not just on the clothes and in the baby's mouth - but like on the table, the floor, the bed, the everything anywhere everywhere! and so... I dunno how it came to be, that milk got onto the camera shutter. and I didn't even realise it, so the milk dried up, and became kinda sticky I guess. So the camera shutter couldn't open and close properly as it should.
Very sim tia, must send camera for repair, coz we'd only just bought the camera a few days before Isaac was born - ie. super new camera lor. Well, the plus point of that is that the warranty is still valid and so we got it serviced for free.
We'd only just gotten the camera back from the service centre 3 days ago, on Friday. So I thought:"Great!!! Now I can transfer the pictures and post them online. And then guess what??? Yesterday, we went to my MIL's place for lunch and it was the first time we are going over since my confinement - so we brought a lot of stuff over (coz my MIL is to look after Isaac when I go back to work after my maternity leave)...
And... dear hubbs, whilst struggling to carry so many bags and stuff and putting them in the car, accidentally left one bag behind at the carpark lot - the bag with some important documents and the camera!!! *groan*!!! Was only when we reached my MIL's place and were unloading the car, then we realised. Hubbs rushed back to checked the carpark lot - but by then, the camera was gone. However the important documents were still there. We gave thanks that at least we found back the documents - or hubbs would be in very big trouble. We only super heartpain about the new camera...
AND ISAAC'S PICTURES!!!!!
*sob*sob* All the pictures and videos we'd taken of Isaac were still in the SD card, in the camera. sadness. Hubbs had quickly scribbled notes that said something like:"you can take the camera, but please return us the SD card as it has pictures of our newborn baby in it" and left our address in the note too, and stuck the notes near the carpark lot, and on the few cars in the vicinity of the lot.
We spent the whole of yesterday heartpaining. Kept checking the letter box in hope of finding the SD card in it. Poor hubbs. Today is his birthday too. Not a very good birthday gift of losing a brand new camera with Isaac's pix in it, just the day before his birthday. I didn't have the heart to scold him lah - not that he wanted to lose the camera right. We're just so glad we found the important documents that we figured we should be thankful for that already. We were consoling ourselves that "Luckily Isaac smiles very often." coz a lot of the pictures we lost were those that I had taken of him smiling.
Then GUESS WHAT?!?! This morning, our gynae's office called hubbs! Someone had found the camera and wanted to return it! Somehow, they'd traced it all the way to my gynae!!! Is that AMAZING or what?!?! Hubbs called me just now and told me. He'd go and meet the person after school today and get the camera from him/her.
Wow! Hubbs says he'd ask the person how they'd tracked it all the way to our gynae. But after I'd spoken with hubbs, I was thinking about how the pictures could have led to our gynae... And you know what??? I think it must have been the pictures of the Synchronised Breastfeeding attempt sign that led the trail to Mt Alvernia hospital, and then, we have pictures of Isaac's birth which had Dr Ang in the pictures!!! what luck!!!
I was telling hubbs - this is Jesus's gift to you for your birthday!!! He wanted to teach you a lesson not to be so careless!!! hahaha...
So, that's the Story of the Camera.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
last Friday, we took Isaac out on his first real outing! He went to work!!! hahahaha that's what my mum said, she was like:"Wah, so young go office to work already ah?" coz we brought Isaac to my workplace! *grinz* Luckily it's the school hols so hubbs was free to come along. Don't think I'd have managed alone.
Had already informed my colleagues we'd be in office from about lunch time. Many of them lunched-in to catch us, and some others after lunch too. It was a grand reception for Isaac. The moment we stepped into the office pantry, at least 15 'aunties' all clamoured around Isaac, trying to see him and touch him. The noise didn't bother Isaac one bit - perhaps that's coz I'd already preped him before we came. I told him:"Later, you'd see many many aunties who all sayang you okay. They'd be a bit noisy, but it's okay, alright? So you smile smile at them, okay?"
Hehehe... I'm a great fan of pyscho-talk and subliminal learning. I believe that it works that I continously intone Isaac with what I want him to do, or don't do. Hubbs doesn't believe it. He says:"Do you really think he can understand you?" "Of course!" I told him "Babies are very smart one, ok." (with Look Who's Talking at the back of my mind ;p) But seriously, I think they DO understand. Besides, I think it's good to talk to Isaac like he's a person and not some little tot who doesn't understand a thing you say. As in, I don't think it's good to 'baby-talk' like say stuff like:"Ang-goo-goo!!!" all the time. Plus I'd probably go crazy if I just baby-talk Isaac for the next two months before I go back to work.
Then on Saturday, we shifted back home to JW! Wow!!! I tell you, if it's one place I miss during confinement, it's home! :) Hubbs had spent the whole of last thursday cleaning the house, so we could move back on Saturday. Was great that J & PY offered to help us shift back, for we'd so much stuff!!! Amazing how it accumulated since we were only at my mum's place for a month. So we all went to JW. H & S and YH & AS came around too. That was good coz they all carried Isaac the whole afternoon, leaving hubbs and I free to pack the house! kekeke...
Saturday and Sunday, hubbs and I looked after Isaac. But since, Monday till today, I've been taking care of Isaac myself (as hubbs had to go back to work again this week). So that's where I've been. I must say it's tiring. But, it's been good. I feel more bonded with Isaac now. And more confident of handling him. I suppose that's the thing about confinement... hiaz! okay, will leave that for another post!
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Oh yes, of course Isaac has parts of Mummy, right? Just not very obvious to most visitors, that’s all.
For one, Isaac has my “kok-tao” – er, my big forehead (dunno how best to translate). Can’t find a picture that shows both Isaac’s kok-tao and my kok-tao – but trust me, he’s got my kok-tao alright. I must say that his looks nicer than mine though ;p
Oh, but these I have pictures of. Our hands and feet! Kekeke… See this is a picture of Isaac’s hand and Mummy’s hand. Look what long fingers Isaac has – just like Mummy! Hehehe… actually, Papa has long fingers too. Isaac has quite a long body, and long legs – everyone says he’s gonna be very tall next time. With his long fingers (and probably big hands) – he’d make a great basketballer! Just like his Papa!
Both photos taken on 11th August 2007Now look at his feet! Look at his toes! So long, right?! (okay, if you think I’m making a big to-do about nothing, then you shouldn’t be reading this blog – he’s my first kid! OF COURSE we’d make a big to-do about everything! Just be glad I’m not taking pictures of his poo to show you what a BIG TO-DO that is! Hiak hiak hiak. Lame joke.) Alright, anywayz, as I was saying, look at his feet. Firstly, he has long toes! Like me!!! (oh alright, hubbs has long toes too) But even the confinement auntie says that Isaac has feet like mine. BIG, she says. Hiaz, I really don’t think that’s a compliment. Nevertheless, will look on the bright side – Isaac resembles me in some way!!! Yay!!! But seriously, looking at his feet, the shape of them DOES look like mine. Hope he doesn’t get flat feet like me, though. That’s not good. Though my MIL insists that my feet are so flat that I can just use them to paddle a dragon boat. Well, am not sure about that, but I may be able to walk up a glass cladded building – they’re like suction caps! Hahahaha… Spidey Pam!!!
Picture taken 11th August 2007
The night before last night was the first night we had taken care of Isaac all on our own – the confinement lady had left on Monday, you see. Milestone. What’s the difference? Well, I used to just wake up to breastfeed Isaac. But I could ‘return’ Isaac to the confinement lady for her to burp him, change his diaper, and put him back to sleep. Now we have to do all that on our own. Shackadoodles. Lucky hubbs helped. Pity hubbs can’t breastfeed Isaac. Tsk tsk tsk. Hiaz. Even if men can’t get pregnant, they should at least have boobs and help with the breastfeeding, right?! Hahaha… to be fair, hubbs has been great about helping out. He’s been changing diapers, bottle-feeding Isaac, and he is fantastic at singing and patting Isaac to sleep. Dunno what I'd do without him. Three cheers!!! :)
Yesterday was also the first time I drank a glass of plain water since I delivered Isaac. Ah… the sweet nothing-taste of water… Don’t understand why women in confinement can’t drink plain water and should drink red-dates-water. Lucky the red-dates-water tastes quite nice – except when they add ginger in it! Yucks!!!
Yesterday was also the first time I have taken a bath with clean, clear, and normal (ie. herb-less) water!!! Again. it’s so silly, this no-bathing with plain water rule. But I was/am just very thankful that I can even bathe everyday, albeit with herbal water. And luckily the herbal water doesn’t stink or have a weird consistency. It pretty much smells and feels like diluted herbal drink! Didn’t try drinking it though!
And from yesterday onwards, I can wash my hair every single day!!! Yay!!! I was only allowed to wash my hair once a week. That sucks man!!! Think it’s the thing I miss the most – washing my hair everyday. Now I can do it again!!! Hurrah!!! :)
Monday, 3 September 2007
Sunday, 2 September 2007
The milk trail is a long and hard one to embark on. Perhaps it can even be called The Milk Trial – it is very trying indeed!!! Hahaha…
Well, when we first came back from the hospital, we weren’t laughing indeed. Again, let me tell you how we embarked on The Milk Trail chronologically, starting from when Isaac was born…
As you can see in the picture I have posted before, we got Isaac to latch on almost immediately after he was born. He was doing a pretty good job of it, though I wasn’t yet very sure of the positioning etc. So, being the current generation of parents as it is, we insisted on TBF: Total Breast Feeding. Funny how it has become the rage nowadays, isn’t it? This breastfeeding thing. Think it wasn’t so ‘big’ during our time, when we were babies. Well, I, for one, was definitely not breastfed.
Anywayz, we’re totally sold on the idea of breastfeeding – the benefits of the milk to the baby, and the benefits of breastfeeding to the mum. It was, and still is, my ambition to be an Efficient, Painless & Skinny Cow --- I hope to Efficiently produce lots of milk, and breastfeed in a Painless way, to eventually lose a lot of weight and hence be a Skinny Cow (cow’s the noun, the rest are all adjectives, silly) kekeke…
But the back of our minds though, we had in mind the contents of an email that a good friend of mine had sent us a few weeks before I delivered – it was regarding TBF and jaundice. It seems that subsequently, we would go on a similar path as my friend Matthew – but thanks to him, our path was much shorter and less rocky. I’d obtained permission from him to reproduce his letter in this blog of mine, for the benefit of the first-time-mothers-to-be reading this blog. Gonna let you read his email before telling you our version of what happened to us. He’s much more concise than I am, I think ;p
Just like to share our experience with you soon to be mothers.I believe you should have read about the benefits of exclusive breast feeding for at least 6 months. The information you read usually comes from books and websites.
Our experience is that during the 2 days stay in the hospital when breast milk is not available yet (only Colostrum is produced) we decided to follow the Total Breast Feeding (TBF) mind set and did not allow the nurses to feed Isabel with any formula milk (even though they strongly encouraged it).
Only on the 2nd night, as Isabel was crying after BF, we decided to give her supplementary formula feeds.Upon returning home, we continued to practice TBF and thought that since she was latching on very well, we did not need to express the milk and Isabel was getting enough.However on the 3rd day when we went for the routine check-up, Isabel was diagnosed with Jaundice (her reading was 11.7 upon discharge and 19.7 on 3rd day after discharge).
While 80% of Asian babies get some degree of Jaundice, Isabel's Jaundice level could have been lower if we had monitored closely her liquid input and more importantly ensured that she was fed properly during the stay in the hospital. Isabel had to be sun for 2 days to reduce the level (this cost money). Jaundice can cause brain damage if the level gets too high.Even though a baby can survive with feeding for a few days, adequate liquid is necessary to flush out the Bilirubin which causes Jaundice.
Do note that it is extremely important for the baby to feed on the breast for 20min each side BEFORE giving formula milk in the hospital. This is to stimulate the production of milk. The nurses are actually quite concerned that many mothers adhere so strictly to the TBF rule (before the actual milk flows) but they choose not to say much as they are afraid to offend the new mothers who think they know so much.
Also it is wise to express the milk using a dual pump so that you know how much you are producing and how much baby is taking. Even if not much is produce initially, the more you pump the more you produce.
So while we are all for TBF, do note that
1. It may be good for your baby to get supplementary feeds during the stay in hospital to ensure adequate hydration.
2. Pump out the milk at home so can ensure sufficient liquids for the period of time when Jaundice is prevalent in babies.
We thought that was pretty good advice. And logical to boot – you know, it’s not the kind of illogical and non-scientific advice you get from certain relatives *roll*eyes* So we told ourselves to bear in mind the good advice from Matthew, when our turn comes.
When our time did come, we were totally pro-TBF too. We religiously got Isaac to latch on whenever he cried for a feed – even though we knew there was nothing but the 20ml of colostrum that my breasts were supposed to produce a day. (No, I dunno if it is 20ml per breast, or altogether ;p) We were not concerned that he would be ‘starved’ as all the books and material we had read on breastfeeding all said that the baby has fat reserves inside him that he had built up whilst in the mummy’s stomach, and those fat reserves would be what he is ‘living off’ before mummy’s milk comes in. But (for the uninitiated) baby still has to latch on – to stimulate mummy’s breasts into producing milk. Moreover, Isaac was quite on schedule, he would only cry for a feed every 3 hours or so – so this boosted our confidence in thinking that he wasn’t starving. Coz theoretically, if he’s starving, he’d want to feed more often, right? Thus, for the first two days after Isaac was born, we got him to latch on every 3 hours, upon him demanding for it, even at night, we got the nurses to wheel him in whenever he wanted a feed. We did however, remember Matthew’s advice. Hence we had already bought a soft-cup beforehand, and instructed the nurses to supplement Isaac with water to keep him hydrated. In fact, the funny thing was, when we instructed this, the nurses commented that it was not really necessary.
On the third day, the day we were to be discharged from hospital, Isaac started to get very demanding. He wanted to feed at almost every hour, and every time he latched on, it was for a substantial 30 minutes or more, at a time. This got to be very tiring for me, as I was suffering from sore nipples (I thought I hadn’t mastered the positioning and latching – but upon hindsight, it was more due to the fact that I did not disengage him correctly) and so every time he latched on it was very painful. Furthermore, it was a sign that he wasn’t getting enough, if he was crying more often. We casually remarked to the nurses that pushed him in that Isaac’s timing in between feeds seemed to be shortening – and they replied by saying that that was probably because he had “used up his reserves”. This brought our concern up another notch.
Then the nurses brought us another piece of news – Isaac has jaundice. We spoke to the paediatrician, who informed us that Isaac’s jaundice was a ‘borderline case’ measuring 11.3 He said that if it was below 10, he would immediately say “baby go home.” But if it was above 12, he would say “hospitalise the baby”. But at 11.3, he is saying “It’s up to you.” We asked if it would help lower the jaundice level if Isaac stayed in hospital to be under the uv-ray machine, but he said “No, it’d go up anyway, before coming down. So, not much difference, so maybe you should bring him home.” Well, our thoughts exactly – so we all discharged that day, brought Isaac home. We asked the paed we can help lower his jaundice level by feeding him more water – he replied by saying that we could do that by giving the baby more fluids, whether it is through feeding him more often or by giving water.
So we went home, and tried feeding him as often as we could – on the breast of course. We also gave him water – which he lapped up very quickly. When we got home in the afternoon, we were still adamant on TBF. We did not want to supplement with formula milk at all. However, throughout the day, Isaac wanted to feed at almost every hour, so it was like every half hour interval, he’d be back at my breasts. I still had sore nipples, which were increasing getting worse with every feed, especially since they didn’t have much rest in between feeds. It got so bad, that the right nipple started to bleed.
Also, we didn’t know how much milk/colostrum Isaac was getting from me. And me, being a first time mother, frankly had no idea how it felt like to “have milk”. My mum and the confinement lady kept asking me if I had milk. But I could only reply “I dunno, maybe… dun think so…” but I really wasn’t sure. All I knew is that we were latching the baby on at every opportunity, and if I didn’t have milk, all that latching and suckling from the baby was supposed to aid in bringing the milk on. This was what the books said. So as far as we were concerned – we were “doing the right thing”. Plus we were supplementing with water, so we thought we were giving Isaac enough fluids.
But by night time, we were getting desperate. Isaac had spent most of the day crying and crying when he wasn’t on the breast sucking the life out of me. We were all getting increasingly stressed. Coz it really seemed like he wasn’t getting enough – and we were afraid if this went on, his jaundice would get worse. My mum and the confinement lady were telling me to pump, to see how much milk/colostrum I had, to see how much Isaac was getting.
Finally at about 11plus at night, we finally caved in, and I started to pump to see how much there was. There was hardly a drop. I was so upset. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was starving Isaac the entire day. No wonder the poor boy was crying his lungs out. Quickly, we got Papa to save the day – got him to go to Holland V’s 24 hour Cold Storage to get formula milk for Isaac. By the time he left, it was already 12 midnight.
So that night, the third day after Isaac was born, and the following day, the fourth day till fifth day morning, Isaac was on formula milk, plus latching on as well. On the fifth day morning, was the follow-up check-up to check on the jaundice. His jaundice had gone up to 12.3 ! The paediatrician said this wasn’t a sharp increase (so that’s good), but it was an increase nonetheless (which is no good). Again, she recommended that we continue to flush Isaac with fluids so as to get the jaundice level down. We asked if we needed to sun Isaac, as that’s what we often hear about babies with jaundice – need sunning, right? We were surprised with her reply. She said that the fluids were more important than the sunning. We could do the sunning if we wanted, but it wasn’t crucial at all. I felt rather guilty as I felt that Isaac’s jaundice probably got worse coz we held off giving him formula earlier. I sorely wished that we’d relented and given him formula earlier.
By the fifth day, my milk was in, and plentiful. We put Isaac back on TBF, and come the eighth day morning when we went for the follow-up check-up to check on the jaundice level – Isaac’s jaundice was down to 10.7! We were very thankful that his jaundice level had come down.
This was an important lesson we learnt indeed. Like Matthew and his family, we too were pro-TBF and still are. Just that we have learnt that in the first few days after the baby is born, it is important to supplement the colostrum with formula and water – before the milk comes in. Hubbs and I were discussing about it, and we decided that, on hindsight, even in the first two days after baby is born, we should have got the nurses to give Isaac formula from like midnight to breakfast time, while we get him to latch on the rest of the day. This way, Isaac gets to learn how to latch on, and stimulate my breasts; and at night, I get a full night’s sleep – since there is no milk anyway. I think this is what we would do with our next and subsequent kids.
Matthew’s suggestions are also very valid indeed. Thus, we sincerely urge those first-time-mothers-to-be out there, to learn from our mistakes. One less starving, jaundiced baby out there = one more happy, less stressed parent :)
p.s. Any experienced mothers or medical professionals out there wanna share your thoughts? do leave a comment! :)