Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My recovery

Mr Liow's aunt came to visit us yesterday and in the midst of chatting, mum asked how much Ginger, red dates and other confinement foodstuff she gave her own daughter during her confinement. Mum realised that she's giving me way way less and is worried I'm not getting enough 'pu' (nutrients) to get my body adjusted back. The aunt then commented that I have to eat more coz I looked pale and mum got even more affected and started to feel bad that she's probably not taking care of me well enough. I told mum that I feel strong, I recovered so fast this time (I no longer felt pain at my stitches after just 6 days cmp to 3 whole wks aft my 1st delivery! That's LOTS of difference!) and I can do so much by myself. If she's not taking good care of me, how on earth will I be able to do so much? I may not be getting as much Ginger or of this and that as others but what matters more is how well I'm recoverig isn't it?Mum is easily discouraged. Just hope she's assured by my explanation.

Of course, Mr Liow had also been doing so much that he's starting to feel his back problems coming back. I'm so worried it will come back and hit him hard after this :( he's seriously overworked! And he has to help me coax AN every night. I'm waiting for confinement to be over so that Mr Liow can sleep back on our bed. I'll either lie with AN till she falls asleep each night and attend to ER in our room, or attend to both of them in their own room and go back to our room to rest after settling them both. We'll see how.

I'm very thankful that I'm recovering so fast this time! The bleeding is still not clearing up as yet but it's much lesser than my first time. Most important thing is my pain is now gone totally! I'm mobile again and happily so. I can help Mr Liow out with some clearing up now, can sit on the floor wiTh AN, get on and off the couch and bed easily.

Goodbye pain!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bad Scare plus Galaxy Beam Finally!

We had so many problems with Starhub regarding the Galaxy Beam and every customer service personnel tells us different things so we made countless futile trips to Starhub shop since before ER's birth. Finally I got my turn with the Beam and Mr Liow drove us over to Tampines to get it. On the way, he got a call from his mum and it was bad news: she had a checkup and it seems her white blood cells were a little low and that could mean leukemia.

Mr Liow was affected of course but MIL was to see a doctor an hour after their conversation so it could be that there was a misunderstanding somewhere. MIL certainly doesn't look THAT sick. Probably old age ailments here and there but definitely not something this scary. Thank God the latest report suggest that she's fine. Her white blood cell counts were lower previously coz she was sick and they were at work fighting the virus, thus the increase. That's super layman but that was how she was explained too. She had pains near her kidneys (that was why she went for the checkup) and results also showed that her kidneys are fine. So she's healthy. Thank God! I could feel Mr Liow's heavy heart as he drove just now.

With the good news, Mr Liow was more cheerful again. So we went ahead with the Beam purchase. One bad thing had to happen one after another: first the bad news that got Mr Liow worried, then we couldn't trade his iPhone in coz cable was not original (bro took ours by mistake), and we had to go back get the original.. Problems wih Starhub just doesn't end because the CS stuff do not give you full info at one go, and they do not sing the same tune..some procedures seem to be lacking..sigh..it's super frustrating!

Was glad bro's office is nearby and we managed to get our original cable back from him but SH's techinical dept then said our cable 'looked' defective and refused to take our set. They suggested we go get a new cable for the trade in. Mr Liow and I found no sense in this request! A new cable just to trade an old iPhone in?? The cable is working, for goodness' sake. And is the cable more impt, or the phone? What more, a working cable...what are they up to?? We wanted to speak to that technician but the CS staff went to check with their manager who approved the trade in. So, fine...finally the ordeal is over...for just one phone.

Haven't played with the phone yet but I'm xcited to try it out tomorrow after it's fully charged. Will be easier to take HD movies of my 2 descendents to upload onto blogger from tomorrow on.

6 Day Old EThan Ryence

ER's umbilical cord fell off this morning right before his bath. I had been looking for his alcohol wipes to wipe his cord area since we shifted in last Fri but it was nowhere in sight. Dr Tan said during his checkup that there's a little smell coming from the cord and reminded us to keep cleaning it. By Sat during the checkup, it was already hanging by a piece of skin looking ready to fall off.

Day 6's Ethan is still a sleepyhead but he seems to be more alert when awake, more often than his jie jie used to be (maybe coz AN had jaundice at this time of her life and she was born few days younger, so effectively, her 'life' began later?), and he smiles more. AN was more cool, less smiles.

He's sleeping and waking at quite regular intervals to nurse: every 3 hour. He doesn't suckle for very long (Except once in a while) but he sucks strong and well.

He sleeps quite well in the night up to past night. I can't really tell yet if he is a deep sleeper but he has been sleeping through his jie jie's loud voice when she plays. Past few nights, he woke up 3 times for feeds only. Very objective purpose for awaking: to have enough milk and then continue sleeping. He woke up quite a lot last night though.

Pictures have to come later. Mr Liow uploaded them in the laptop but I've no time to sit and load pictures into blogger yet. Will try do that as soon as possible.

Near electrocution and fire!

Mr Liow was waiting for the water heater to heat the water up when all of a sudden, there were sparks!!!! He was waiting to shower and could already have been showering! Thank God for His protection. In fact, my mum just bathed slightly before he did, and I washed my hands too. If the sparks that very likely indicated a shorT circuit in the water heating tank happened just when any of us were using water, I wonder how likely will any of us be elecrocuted, especially Mr Liow coz he only stopped to tell me something for a while before he stepped right in for his shower!!

Upon inspection, Andy the fireman saw bent wires and suspected electrical arcing. Suddenly felt secured with my bro around, especially after I watched him and his team's efforts in fighting fires that can burn so ferociously on YouTube. Mr Liow was on the phone at that point mentioning the same suspicion to our contractor.

I'm not sure if the water will be carrying electricity at that point of the short circuit. If yes, I was just seconds close to losing my hubby barely a week after we had our second child. I'm still feeling jittery thinking of what the results could have been!! And I'm just soooooooo thankful for the Lord's protection. Just so thankful!

Thank you Lord for sparing me the pain of losing Mr Liow (or even my mum, if this happened slightly earlier), for protecting us from even being anywhere near those sparks at that point! Those sparks were almost like fireworks, or like someone was doing welding in the shower area! Even if not electrocuted, anyone in there could have gotten burnt by the big sparks!

Thank you Lord for watching over us all!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Checkup Day plus adjustments

It's ER's checkup today by Dr Terrence Tan and coz he is still looking a little yellowish, he needed a blood test done. He left the hospital at 6mg on Wed and jaundice level doubled today at 11mg. Still he's not at risk of being admitted (at 15mg). Dr Tan said he looks more yellow than 11mg coz he's fair and he said ER is going to be fair like his jie jie. Hehe. That aside, he has arranged for us to return on Tuesday for another blood test to ensure he's not going to get worse over the next few days. If results remain or drops, he'll need no re-admission to treat jaundice. Mr Liow had been praying that ER needs no hospitalization. He was heartbroken when he knew AN needed to stay in the hospital to treat her jaundice. In fact, AN looked much more yellowish than ER does at this point. Even the white of her eyes were yellowish then.

Thank God for keeping ER healthy and safe from this common concern. We trust that ER's jaundice level will not continue to rise.

ER sleeps a lot more than AN did. And he suckles hard but takes much shorter time than AN to unlatch after he's had enough. And maybe coz he's a fast drinker, his system couldn't keep up and he's throwing up (more like spitting out) milk more.

I felt he's drinking less than AN did but was surprised at today's checkup. He's put on 300g since he left the hospital. He's 2.85kg today and Dr Tan said one of the things doctors want to see in newborns is healthy weight gain (to gain back more than birth weight since infants lose 10% of their birth weight after 3 days.) besides a safe jaundice level. Thank God that ER is safe in these 2 perimeters at least.

As for mum, first days are usually hard. Mum couldn't find plates and bowls etc, keeps knocking into and spilling things, and placed food that she nEeded to cook into the freezer compartment by mistake. And she kept saying she isn't helping me much with ER and feels really bad. She really feels the pressure and fear that she will hurt ER. Assured her that it's all ok and that I'm experienced this time round. Her taking care of me is good enough to give me strength to peform my duties.

She kept suggesting that she sleeps with AN and Mr Liow can rest well but AN will surely not agree to have anyone else sleep with her. Even Mr Liow takes time to coax her now.

Mr Liow has been max-ing his energy everyday since Reno started and even up till now. He helps me with everything that AN needs since AN refuses help from my mum. He has to entertain AN till night time even if he's tired. Poor daddy...

I think I'm the only one enjoying myself now. Everyone thinks I ought to rest but I seriously am feeling more energetic than anyone else in the house now. I don't feel sleepy and I think I'm recovering from the pain down there pretty quickly! AN's birth took me almost a month. It's only a week now and I'm already feeling very little pain there.

Being a second time mum is so much easier (except that it gets challengig when AN becomes a 'no no no' girl). I think a number 3 shouldn't be too much to ask from me now. Hehe. Kids are indeed blessings that I've never appreciated. Seems like the more the merrier.

First night in Fernvale

We have shifted back. Mr Liow has put everything together but coz we seriously have TOOOOOO much things, there are still stuff lying around.

Now that we are home again, I missed my parents. Hee. Sounds so wierd from a mummy of 2 now to still miss her own parents. As we were leaving their place a while ago, I felt like I did when leaving Tucson...it's sad that I happen to be a person who lives in the past...

I'm going to miss AN running to give my parents and bro goodnight and goodbye hugs and kisses. I'm going to miss listening to AN sing and dance for my parents, miss hearing her talk to my parents in mandarin and even a tiny bit of Hokkien now (I hope she'll continue to speak to them in these languages). I'm going to miss chatting with my parents even if we happen to have conflicting views. I'm going to miss having help with laundry (clothes and towels are constantly being washed and dried and real fast!). I'm going to miss most of all, simply having my parents sit at the same sofa I'm on... :(

Mum will be staying over at our place to help me out for the remaining of my confinement and dad will be dropping by everyday like he did before we left for Tucson. I'm still going to see them around but it won't be the same anymore...it's probably better: AN can be really rude to them sometimes. Probably the distance will help her apreciate my parents more?

I'm surprised that my mum who had always been nagging abt following strict confinement food rules and 'houserules' actually allows me to do what I want to do. I expected quarrels between us when she insists that I, for example, do not bath. But I did on my first day back home. She did nag abt it but then she did not scold me for doing it.

Mum's really trying her best to be of as much help as possible. She asks around for good confinement dish ideas, checks with friends and grocery store people about which food is good fir building my body up (I know coz she will share what she learnt with me), helps bath AN (who always makes my mum angry by screaming for me after her bath every time since before ER's birth), and she's learning to handle ER too (from changing diapers to bathing him). She has fears of hurting him and I can understand that since the last time she's ever handled a newborn was in 1989. She was much younger then, stronger and braver too.

I'm so thankful for her. There are so many times I speak to her very disrespectfully, especially these past few days because I'm constantly feeling sticky and I stink, and some things that she used to hold on to which most happened to be old wives' tales, I'd be very direct and tell her those stuff makes no sense. We could have ended up argueing (if AN spoke to me like that, I'd have to discipline her!). But I, as a mum, couldn't even use a proper tone when speaking to my mum. I really need to reflect. I don't want to take my mum for granted. I want her to feel appreciated! She's been tolerating my comments, my grumpiness and all. And I always forget to keep my own behaviour under control..

Mum has set up the kitchen for more cooking. With my mum around, my kitchen will always be neat and tidy. She's a good organizer of things and since the last time she re-orged my kitchen in Tucson, everything was placed at a more convenient position and I never changed their position again even though she reminded me to put them back where things used to be afte she and dad left Tucson.

Ohhh....this feels just like our wedding night now when I miss my mum (dad too, but mum more).

I pray I'll be able to show her more appreciation and help her feel more confident (she always says she can't do this and that anymore).

AN is now sleeping with Mr Liow in her own room. Mr Liow too had been of so much help by taking AN away so I van rest and handle ER in peace.

AN is starting to show defiance now. Still a sweet sister who is willing to share toys and shower kisses but she's also trying to test how much we can tolerate her behaviour. She'll kick and laugh dangerously near to ER, asks for mem mem all the time now and keeps asking if ER is nt sucking anymore so that she can have her turn etc. And she seems to have grown up overnight! No more "yes mum". She'll choose to do exactly opposite of what we ask, and refuseS to obey even if she's promised. And she has all the excuses ready to retaliate our requests/instructions! She's also monkeying around very much more now! Even when we start to show our displeasure, she will continue with it. She seems to be losing the sensitive spirit that she has in her..sadly so! I pray this is happening only during this period of adjustment and that she will not lose this precious side of her that I love so much! I pray we will learn to discipline her the right way when she misbehaves so that she will not think that we love her any lesser now, and kill the sweet little behaviours she used to have.

This is really a good time for us all to train and build up our patience. Even my mum is starting to lose it with AN).

ER cried quite a lot after everyone left, before he finally stopped slIghtly past midnight. He suckled more than past few days, cried and spit out milk quite often, and then continued sucking. We were worried he'd be colicky but thank God he fell asleep soon after I left jie jie's room with him. I think he's disturbed by jie jie's cries one mmoment and loud laughter the very next.

He just fidgeted and started rooting at abt 5am and since I couldn't really sleep, I nursed him before he starts screaming. He sleeps rather well at night. Has been, this far.

Such eventful first night in Fernvale...I hv abt an hr to continue resting before we have to wake up. It's ER's first checkup after discharge. We pray his jaundice level is under control so he doesn't need to be warded like AN did.

Moving back to Fernvale

We'll be moving back to Fernvale tonight. Mr Liow took AN home last night so that I could have some proper rest and since the bed is finally in!! Tonight we're all going back, including BM.

BM will be going back to Stormville again. Mark asked if this is my #4. Yes, ER is my #4. Hehe. But I've been seriously neglecting #1 & 2 (Baileys and Maen) for the past 3 months since we've been here. Mum's been feeding and cleaning up after them coz it was hard for me to move towards the later part of my pregnancy, and in my absence at the hospital. Am glad I clipped their nails already, but the last time I cleaned their ears was last week. Have to remind Mark to help me with that if he can. They'll be shaved down again before they come back in 3 wks' time.

AN is getting increasingly sticky! She wanted to come back to my parents' plc last night and Mr Liow had to coax her to stay on. And she usually keeps her promises to do certain things in the past but now either hesitates or does not do them as promised anymore. She's starting to take nursing as normal routine again and keeps asking for it. It does gets on my nerves sometimes because she can repeat over and over again asking if she can have 'mem mem'.

There are now more mess to clear up. These are things from my parents place that we have yet to put back. But it's still good to be home. Finally home :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life back home again

We're back to milking business again! Hmm... Breastfeeding is no doubt an amazing journey to be on but there are practical considerations I seem to have forgotten: the engorgement!

My breasts are so full of milk now I just have to massage them and they start dripping like faulty taps. I can't remember if AN managed to empty them at this stage of life. Maybe not. I do remember however that once AN got the hang of suckling, I could find relief on at least the one breast she emptied, if not both when she got real hungry. It's probably too early to be expecting ER to be capable of that at the moment.

I had to hand express the milk and watch them go down the sink. What a waste!! The little boy is a good sleeper and doesn't seem to be waking up often enough to suckle. It's not really bad news (so we will get more free moments while he's in dreamland) but not good news for my milk supply.

Mr Liow took the Jie Jie back to FV to do further packing up and so that she does not disturb my rest. And I've not brought milk bottles over to store breastmilk yet. Bye bye good colostrum... I have to sacrifice you so that milk does not assume I do not need them after you leave us.

ER did a scary thing just now. He was drinking peacefully when all of a sudden, he made a loud noise twice and then stopped moving totally. Mum got terrified, me too but I managed to hide the anxiety. He was breathing when I checked, thank God! Then we realized he was just doing his big business in the most exaggerated manner -____-" AN never did that as an infant. Pooping was as simple as passing urine for her.

He pooped at least 6 times since we got home!

How different is he from AN as an infant? He sucks much better each time, may not be longer but he drinks more than AN used to drink at each go. He spits out milk more than AN used to as well, maybe coz he drinks more than his stomach can take? AN never needed much burping. She hardly spit milk out and by her 2nd to 3rd month, she burped on her own.

AN never needed straining to get poop out. ER does (heard him make the loud noise a few more times and I'm no longer as worried anymore). This cartoon ER seem to go into a trance after he successfully pushes poop out: he stops moving totally, which was what scare me the 1st time


I've experienced the "pee-shooting" ritual mummies of boys told me about. While I was cleaning him up just now and not being aware of what might happen, he started peeing and I witnessed the fountain of pee being aimed right out of the diapers onto the pee pad he was on! Thank God he is still not old enough to shoot any further onto his mattress!

It's easier cleaning up a girl. I was afraid I'd burst his testicles and they were kind of in the way. Made it harder to wipe in between his thighs after pooping.

AN was allowed to suckle again (to help relieve my soreness). She politely asked if she could suckle after ER gets his feed like half expecting me to say no. Since she was behaving, I agreed. Reminded her that this is an incentive and she still has to have milk and food in addition to B-milk now. Actual fact is, I was waiting to get her to help ER with emptying my breasts. Beats expressing colostrum down the drain a million times!! I want AN to have the antibodies as well, while stocks last! It's a ittle too late now I think. Milk has turned white instead of yellow :( but still, better than nothing.

She was good before bed but started throwing tanthrums when she realised she had to sleep with Mr Liow tonight instead of me. She pleaded pitifully to squeeze with us on the bed and would not take no as an answer. Mr Liow tried talking her into sleeping with him but she simply refused to and started screaming. Extremely sticky girl we have now, but I can understand why. She's always been sleeping with me and she wants to be involved as a sister to ER as much as possible. We allowed her to sleep with ER and I on the bed in the end. I don't want her to associate bad things with ER. I sleep in between both of them. Hehe.

Mr Liow suggested that my mum and I with ER, go back to FV to sleep tomorrow night, and he will remain with AN at my parents' plc till we finally all go back on Fri or Sat. Sounds like a good idea. She'll probably accept the idea of Daddy sleeping beside her in my absence better. She's been doing that for the past 2 nights while I was in the hospital anyway and didn't make any fuss about it.

There are many things we have to fine-tune still, like who's going to sleep with who after the confinement. AN said she wanted to sleep in her own room. We hope so. And wenwere hoping ER can share the room with her. He slept through AN's loud tantrums just now, and AN slept through his cries while we changed his diapers.

Finally, I'm feeling very blessed sleeping in between my 2 babies now. I never thought I'd be enjoying this moment(I thought it'll be stressful!) Thank God for the lives He has created through Mr Liow and I.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 2 as mummy of 2

ER was brought to me for feeds only twice last night so I was supposed to have enough rest but I didn't sleep much. Wasn't sleepy. Dr Terrence Tan, AN's PD as well, dropped by early in the morning to inform me that he's seen ER and that he is doing well except that he's got feet that are a little bent coz of his position in my womb. He said both feet will be back to normal with a little massaging which a therapist will be teaching us.

He got his jabs this afternoon after his feed at 10am (BCG & Hep B). He did not wake up for his 4hrly feed at 2pm, not even after Mr Liow tickled him everywhere, not even after the nurse changed his diaper coz he pooped and peed! He was in a deep deep sleep!

We finally managed to get him to wake up at abt 4pm to latch on but it took him 10mins of random suckling to fall back into another deep sleep. I tried to feed him on demand after that to make up for the lost feeds in between and he still didn't drink much. It could be the jabs that made him sleepy, maybe?

And I think my milk supply is coming in. Both breasts are full now. They will be getting heavier. ER is not drinking fast enough today though.

Since AN was around, I asked if she wanted 'mem mem' again. She was surprised I asked and said no initially. Then after some consideration, she said she will take the right side and leave the left for ER. Awwww....that's how sweet my little girl is...I told her that ER needs both sides coz he is not able to eat and drink anything else like she can so she has to share. She readily agreed.

As I hugged AN and nursed her again for the 1st time in 3 months, I was overwhelmed by emotions again... She is my 1st baby and just 3 yrs back, it was her in my arms nursing like ER. she did not have an easy time coz my nipples were not as flexible as they now are for ER to latch on to. Was so overwhelmed by love for her and she could feel it: she looked right in my eyes and stroked my cheeks. That moment was so precious.

In a short while, ER wanted to nurse again. This time, he sucked hard and well for 45 mins but no matter how hard he sucked (and how much AN drank from the other side, my breasts did not feel like they were emptied. I think they are only starting to fill up. I wanted to give ER milk from my right (which AN just claimed rights to) and the big sister was initially a little hesitant to share. I reminded her that Ethan needs 'mem mem' to grow and she went: "then you give him lor." She didn't mind at all.

Before AN left with Mr Liow a while ago, I allowed her to suckle for a little while more (she's my current breast pump). She drank and couldn't bear to let go (neither could I but Mr Liow had to leav already). Mr Liow was worried she may get addicted to suckling again. I guess I'll try to set some boundaries so that she still gets to share the good stuff with ER but doesn't get possesive over it. We'll see how it goes. I will want her to get the colostrum since she's not rejecting it. It'll do her as much good as it does ER.

I'll be discharged tomorrow. Life will be back to normal by then (no nursery to put ER back to when I need rest, no nurses to help me monitor him etc). My mum has been very encouraging about breastfeeding (I'm so thankful!) since My first time. She heard all the good things but knew very little about it's benefits but having seen how healthy AN was when she was BF-ed, she's now a convert. She will try help me out during the night to bring ER to my side when he needs to drink. We were worried she will get headaches coz she gets those when she gets disturbed sleep. She said she will try and assured us not to worry. Mil got us a part time domestic helper who will drop by out place everyday for 2 hrs to help mum out with the housework to lighten mum's 'load' for this month. Am thankful for the both of them and their thoughtfulness. I just pray the postnatal blues will not turn me into an ingrate again..

We'll be going back to mum's place to stay and move back home on Sat coz bed will only be in this Thursday. Till then, we'll try to figure out a formation to get rest at night.

Will upload pictures from tomorrow whennwe have time to :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birth of Ethan Ryence Liow Zu An - With pictures

I probably should have organised these pictures into a slideshow but I forgot and these finally got uploaded into blogger so...it's going to be troublesome scrolling down 40over pictures. Will redo this IF I have time to in the next week or so. hehe.

Meanwhile, here's some pictures of our adventures from labour through my hospital stay.

Ethan's first encounter with the world!
Cleared of yucky stuff in his system
The placenta. Seems like this one looked redder than AN's. Not too sure what that means though.
He's 400g heavier than AN.
Same style of wrapping up (Nurses had time to lay AN's hospital gown nicely at the corner. Not for Ethan coz he was in a hurry to pop out. AN wore pink, he wore white)
Oh, he sucks his fingers!! Ethan can self pacify, something AN never learnt as an infant no matter how we tried to stuff her fingers into her mouth when she started rooting then. hehe.
What's he doing again?
Self pacifying again.
After the ordeal, I was being wheeled back into the ward. Mr Liow was wheeling our boy.
Where I rested temporarily before they cleared the 1 bedded ward for us. It's a pity I didn't get to stay in the new ward which I heard is as posh and comfy as a hotel room!!! Aiya!!
Jie jie with the complimentary gold plate with the picture of a tiger (Ethan the little tiger).
The jie jie fussing over the slightly whining little brother. What a dear!
"Is he ok?"
Washed and cleaned and handsome looking now!
Jie jie was even more tired than I was. hehe.
Yummy confinement dinner! Forgot to take pictures of confinement lunch coz I was hungry! And my dear hubby fed me lunch. hehe.
Daddy with the newborn
Brave yi yi with the fragile infant. Yi yi was sooooo stressed up her whole body started to tense up and she couldn't move! Kudos for daring to carry him, yi yi!
Popo with little Ethan
First family photo of 4 now.
AN watching if Ethan is suckling right. hehe.
"No mummy, let him do it."
"Good job little brother!"
My babies!
AN the inspector plus nursing expert.
AN and daddy watching the new member
He's chubbier than AN for sure.
What's this? Iphone gallery of different generations or labour ward? Tsk tsk. hehe.
Confinement breakfast for Day 2
Confinement lunch of Day 2
Ethan of Day 2
My precious baby...I love newborns now!
Daddy and the sweet jie jie
Mr Liow got me a sunflower!
From Mr Liow: "Thank you so much for having to bear with the 38 weeks. Love you dear."
 Love you too!
Just u and I.
Confinement Dinner of Day 2
Confinement breakfast again: Day 3, and last meal at Mt A.
Here I am to collect my baby.
Back at popo and gong gong's home, and life back to reality!

Away from Home with random thoughts

The family came (Mr Liow, AN, my parents, ah girl, Andy and even Krisly) in the evening to keep me company. Didn't feel very lonely till they left an hour ago. Last time with AN, I could sleep all day. Now it's sleepless in Mt A.

Am timing ER's nursing time. It's probably the nursing instinct that's keeping me up.

Oh yes, I cried after ER came out this morning and continued to sob uncontrollably for about half an hour. It's was embarrassing. Hehe. Dr Henry asked if I was in pain but when I said I wasn't, he asked me why I was crying. I didn't even know...must have been the hormones at work yet again. I thought about lots of things while I sobbed and realised I was jut emotional: I missed AN badly at that point, I was very very thankful to hear ER's cries, life ahead felt exciting, I was happy Mr Liow was with me and I was so thankful everything was OVER!

I remembered I cried the first week after AN was born and BM was away at Stormville coz I missed them badly. I think it was similar emotions that turns my tears on.

AN went home for a nap with the help of my mum this afternoon. She wasn't very cooperative but coz she was tired, she fell asleep in mum's arms. No choice. Mr Liow went back to Fernvale to continue putting things in order.

I actually have 2 more doses of ventolin with me. Thought I could drag a little while more. AN fed me the last dose last night at 10pm. I was very tempted to take another pill this morning after feeling the first contraction but was worried about how it may interfere with labour since I'm actually feeling pain this time.

And I realised Ethan is born at 38th week, only days later than AN. He's exactly 400g heavier than she was, and looks much chubbier than she did at birth. AN was 2.5kg days before she came out and lost 175g when she was born, at 2.325kg. ER was 2.78kg last Fri at Dr Cheng's office and 2.725kg at birth. He didn't lose much as compared to his elder sis.

I put on 9kg in total like the first time but I think my womb shrank faster after AN's birth. I am still carrying a belly about the size of my pregnant belly at 5 months. And I think I bled a lot this time. I needed some drips to stop bleeding. Nurses told me coz ER came out so fast, I may experience more bleeding than the first time coz there could be more blood in me. I hated the first month of profuse bleeding. Makes me feel so dirty all the time..yucks! And it's happening now, again, maybe worse?

Placenta looked different this time too. Basically almost everything about this pregnancy and labour was different, right from the start. I couldn't even tell at first that I was in labour even though I should have been more experienced this time.

I think I'm feeling sleepy now. Better rest now coz I think ER will come in to nurse in an hour or so. Finally feeling the sleepy bug :)

Announcing arrival of Ethan Ryence Liow Zu An

Our boy is born! He popped this morning 20/09/10 at 0910hrs. He didn't take long to pop out, clocking only 2hrs and 45mins since I first felt my contraction at 6.37am this morning, and after only 3 pushes. Here's a recount:

6.37am: woke up after feeling pain in my lower abdomen whenever tummy tightens due to contractions. It happened every 7-8 mins for 2 more times before I woke Mr Liow up.

7.48am: reached hospital. Contractions were abt 2-3 mins apart by then. Waited for Epidural doctor to arrive and relied on laughing gas to relieve the pain. Excruciating pain...I thought I may just die from the pain!

Everything else happened in a blur soon after coz the laughing gas made me lose focus. Pain was so bad I badly needed to puff the gas. I think I managed to gather from the conversation between the Epi Dr and the nurse that I was almost not in time for Epidural!! And at some point after it was administered (and I was still feeling deadly pain), I really thought I was dying and prayed that the Lord will help me tell Mr Liow, my parents,AN and BM that I love them. Hehe.

I could still feel the terrible pain with Epi but Dr assured me it was only 50% intensity. Mummies who have gone through childbirth with none of it, you have my utmost respect and admiration!! With each contraction, I could feel something trying to push its way out and suddenly I felt a pop and something falling out from underneathe. Nurse said my waterbag broke! PAIN!

Dr Henry Cheng arrived soon after, sat down for a short while and I asked if I should be pushing since he's here. The medical staff all replied at the same time "No"! hehe. Ok. Coz I could feel contractions this time unlike my first time and it is easy to tell when to push.

Was finally told to push. Once, two, three deep breathes and I hear a crying infant! Time was 9.10am. That was fast. I pushed AN for abt an hour with the help of the nurses who pushed my belly and Mr Liow pushing me upwards then.

This epidural experience was way less agonizing then my 1st. I only had shivering, no dizziness, nausea, chills or sleepyness. I'm still feeling energetic and awake by now, as much as I wanted to take a nap. Only my bottom hurts now, but nothing beats the contraction pains. At that point after ER popped, I was very sure we will not have a 3rd child. Mr Liow watched me through this whole agony and tearily said this will be the last. Hee. We'll see if I can find the courage again after a couple of years though.

Breastfeeding is relatively simpler than before too. Latch and suckle. AN has made it easier for ER to latch on now that my breasts are more 'seasoned'.

AN came abt an hour later with my parents and she loved her brother! She kept playing with him, touching him and smiling at him. She dares not come near me though. I don't know why.

Everyone has left. I'm supposed to sleep now before ER nurses again. Will try to :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Beam

It's out!! It's out!! It's out!!

It was launched in July but weeks later when we tried to find a test set to 'play' with, we were told they were out of stock islandwide. It was disappointing...I was deciding between the Xperia (SE X10), Galaxy S (Samsung, which unfortunately is xclusive at Singtel only, till a Starhub personnel informed us that by end of this month, it will also be available at Starhub!), and Galaxy Beam (which happened to be out of stock longer than it had been available).

The Samsung phones have nicer screens, X10 pales in comparison. Specs looked better on the other 2 phones as well.

The only thing I wanted on X10 was its 8mps camera (camera and video functions have always been of concern cos I want to take pictures conveniently of BM, AN & now ER). It's still working on an earlier android version (why buy a phone that's new but nt updated, and cost as much as those that are up to date right?) Galaxy S has a camera of only 5mp if I didn't recall wrongly, and no flash light. Hw to take pics in the dark? Nite mode? I need a tripod then?). Galaxy Beam has them all and more: 8mps camera, HD video recording, flash, other what-nots that are supposed to be cool, a newer Android version than X10, supposed good battery life for a smartphone and *drum roll* a projector.

Hehe. Not as if we will use it much but it is going to be interesting how we can use this function. We can watch a show together on a bigger screen, the wall, if we want?

We'll be checking it out later today. Hehe. Haven't touched and explored its functions yet. Hope it's really as impressive as we imagine it to be. Am just happy it's been re-stocked in time before I pop!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 37

Saw Dr Henry this morning and everything was good. He said we're now safe and he will not be ordering ventolin for me anymore. He said I have the freedom to choose if I want to stop taking the remaining of what I still have with me or stop.

Mr Liow saw Ethan on the screen with features so defined. Guess as second time parents, we can see the baby from the machine better. He commented that Ethan looked so ready, to which Dr Henry smiled and said Ethan can come out today if we want him to. Erm...that was funny but no thanks, yet.

I still have about 3 days' worth of ventolin which I think I will finish. Everyone (Mr Liow and even my mum) have this strong gut feel that I will deliver next week. I am already feeling his weight (all 2.78kg now!) on my pelvic bone.. Moving around is getting increasingly difficult, my back hurts all the time, I can't breath well very often and I think I feel a little clumsy with the big bag of something around my waist blocking my view!

I was trying to hang on for a good 'date' though, something easy to remember, like maybe 011010 (can any programmers tell me if this binary combi means anything??). We thought of 101010 but that's quite impossible. Hehe. Ok, just joking.

Best day for Ethan to pop will definitely be after Thursday next week when our bed frame and mattress is in. THEN, we are really all DONE and ready. Still, I have only enough ventolin to save me till this weekend. For all we know, I will be walking around the house with a baby stuck to my breast again next week. And then here we go again with the milking business!

Please pray with us that I will have time for Epidural. my SIL said it's not as painful to go through childbirth without painkillers. I pray so. In fact if it's the Lord's preference for me to experience childbirth the most and only natural way, all I ask for is the courage to do it.

I'm excited and fearful at the same time. Ethan Ryence Liow Zu An, we'll be seeing you real soon!! Your sister is all ready for you with toys and lots of love and kisses!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adrielle Loves to Write

It's wierd that I have to be pleading with her to stop going on with her preschool workbook this evening...

I got her this preschool workbook for her to practise some writing, supposedly at her leisure BUT she liked it so much she couldn't stop going on and on. She finished 2 chapters this afternoon before her nap (I had to coax her to stop to have her nap) and asked to continue the moment she woke up.

It was dinner time, so she had to finish dinner first. She started on chapt 3 at 8am and carried on till she got to chapt 6. It was already 9pm by then, so I thought I'd slow her down by making her write her names on every pages of the chapters she completed. By 9.30pm, she was still enthusiastically writing her name but got distracted by the TV playing right in front of her so she couldn't remember how to spell her names and even mixed up her capital and small letters.

Thinking she finally got tired of writing, I suggested she stop and continue tomorrow but she refused and wanted to finish writing her names on every pages till chapter 6, and she wanted to carry on working on chapter 7 (she wasn't tired but I was. Hehe)

I told her to concentrate on writing if she really wanted to continue (since she was also distracted by the TV as well). She couldn't, so I suggested we go into the room so that she could go on with what was left to be done. Surprisingly (and to my dismay), she agreed.

Was glad our neighbours came home at about 10pm and AN was so excited to see her friends she agreed to continue again tomorrow!! That was 2 hours of writing! The book suggested a chapter a day and each chapter should take less than 30 mins. We spent 2 hours and completed 6 chapters in a day.

Sounds wierd that I'm 'complaining' about how enthusiastic my daughter is about 'schoolwork'. Let's just say I hope she continues to behave like that when she's formally enters into education with piling REAL schoolwork.

She was already like that when we started with her Kumon books back in Tucson. Those books were simply 'join the dots' or mazes for 3-4 yrs old and she loved them so much. It's probably good how these books are created to be THAT interesting to build up these little preschoolers' interest instead of forcing them to memorize and memorize.

Am anticipating another day of many hours of 'schooling' with AN tomorrow. I must show more interest than she is!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For more than a while

There is an exercise going on locally and Mr Liow will be working from 3pm till past midnight for the whole of this week. For the next week, he'll be working from 7pm till 7am the next morning. It was good coz that means we will have time during the day to do some packing up at home.

We've cleared stuff from the cartons! Actually, Mr Liow was the only one opening up the boxes and putting them into random cabinets. Thanks so much for doing everything dear! I only have to organize them accordingly so that we will have an easier time looking for things as days go by.

AN was so at ease with all her familiar toys. The moment we reached our home yesterday, she headed straight for her own room, took her stroller out and pushed it right out into the living room, and then she rode her tricycle out too. She puts them back before we go home and takes them out the next day we arrive again.

And today, she asked me to put pieces of her alphabets into their holder. I couldn't sit there for long coz I needed to put things into place in the kitchen. She started asking me to "stay for a while", and the next time she asked me to "stay longer". Finally before I walked away from her again, she pleaded politely: "Mummy, can you stay with me here FOR EVER?"

hehe. She must be getting tired of watching me walk out of her room after just a short while each time.

I think she really likes her own room. We're praying she'll agree to sleep by herself soon. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

AN back in her baby rocker

AN had a nap in the baby rocker she used to sleep in as a baby while we continued with more packing today.

She had her buddies with her! She used to like Woody, till she saw the Woody mascot at Disney World and she got frightened by him somehow. She liked Jessie so much better when she saw them in 'real' and pleaded to have a Jessie stuffed toy (after we bought her only Woody). Mr Liow went back to get Jessie for her as a surprise. She was so happy to have both of them.

Oh! And the baby cot is also up (with some washed clothings for Ethan to wear in the next few weeks). AN got to lie in the cot (and the rocker, and played with his toys, and even tried on his clothes...) before he did.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mum's birthday

It is mum's birthday today! She's 58 this year, not young anymore.

She had wanted a Coach wristlet when they came over early 2009 but did not get one then, so we got her one before we left. Was glad we managed to find it before today and she was so excited at receiving it she decided to bring it out rightaway for her birthday dinner this evening.

Just a simple gift and dinner and she was already so happy.

I pray that she will be happy, that even after we shift back, she will still come over often or us back to their place often with the kids. At their age, it's the grandchildren who really brighten up their days.

I also pray that she'll be healthy, that she will be spared from all the old age ailments and aches. Lastly, I pray for harmony, that both her and my dad will be able to communicate well without much disagreements.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almost there

Mum's gotten the idea that we will be doing confinement over at our place and is mentally prepared (although she still hints about it otherwise sometimes). If Ethan pops before we are ready, then we will continue to stay on here for the confinement, else back home we go.

What's left? More unpacking and we are left with the sofa, bed to arrive and window grilles installation.

Ethan will have his cord blood collected like Adrielle, so we'll be meeting the sale person next week. Citygas will also be coming to turn on gas supply next Tues. Sofa's coming in this Sat, window grilles will be up on the 18th Sept (next Sat), the same day our bed will arrive. I was worried about dust collecting on our bed and sofa when they do the drilling but Mr Liow was confident we can make adjustments here and there (either shift the furnitures somewhere or leave the plastic protectors on while they do the installation). It's true, we do not have many more weekends to wait for stuff to arrive.

Oh, we still have curtains tucked away in the storeroom that we need to send for laundry services! Almost forgot about it.

Next gynae appointment will be on 17th (next Fri). I thought I'd probably not see Dr Henry Cheng in his clinic the next time we meet but apparently with my faithful '3 times a day' ventolin intake, Ethan is able to remain in my womb. Seems to us we will still be able to give the clinic another visit next Friday. I was worried when Mr Liow told me the grilles will only be up on the 18th coz I expected Ethan to arrive sooner than that. Thank God we should be able to have all these in before he finally pops.

AN has been such an angel these past few weeks. When I flare up (or feel my temper rising), most times it's due to my changing hormones and not AN. This morning when we woke up, AN touched her training pants and said she peed in them. "I think twice or three times", she said. And then she said sorry to me. I smiled and hugged her to assure her it's ok. It's not WRONG to pee in training pants, less so when it was because she went to sleep in them. She's still not trained for the night. It's been mummy's impatience lately that probably caused her to be a little anxious about upsetting me with certain things she does or says.

And when she woke up to realise I have my left arm outside the blanket, she gently lifted my elbow (I wasn't totally awake but not asleep either, so I 'helped' a little) and tucked my arm under the blanket to keep me warm. Then she smiled and stroked my cheeks. How not to melt? That's how she's captured my parents hearts too (by giving them plentiful or hugs and kisses, especially when anyone leaves the house, or before bed/nap time). It's no wonder why my mum would prefer to keep AN here for as long as possible.

My parents have been of so much help too, from washing our clothes, to mum helping me with AN as much as AN would allow her to. Dad gets us food if mum happens to not be cooking for the day, or even when mum had to go out, she would get up super early to prepare lunch in advance so that we have food to eat in her absence.

Baileys and Maen misses the papers many many times (they try to pee/ poop on papers but most times, their pee shoots out of the boundary when they squat at a different angle). And Baileys had been happily marking my parents' rubbish bin and dining table leg. Instead of grumbling about it, they just kept trying to find ways to protect those 'spots' or if they fail, they just wash the bin up/ clean the table leg as much as they can.

I feel so bad and can't wait to bring them home. I see fur flying around the house (now that their coats are slightly longer) and the pee stains, plus papers to clear etc. I feel bad my parents have to be cleaning up after them.. 

So, yes, we're almost reaching the end of life back to normal. Baby will be out in the next few weeks, the house will finally be in order at the same time, we will go back to try handle the new addition etc. We're almost there!

New haircut

AN's fringe grew and grew in less than 3 months. So, she got a haircut again. hehe. I always preferred her with longer fringe but coz she's not too interested in pinning her hair up, it would do her better with shorter bangs.
My baby excitedly awaiting her haircut. I wonder why, coz I could never bear to have my hair cut short, both front and back, when I was young!
Scarecrow AN
Ready, get set, GO!

After the cut and a bath
Don't they look alike??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

AN's Creativity

AN got me to trace a dinosaur from a rubberband that's shaped as one few days back. She tried tracing but couldn't manage the soft' stencil' so she drew her own.

And then she drew a house and a car for them. hehe.