Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Going bananas

I'm extremely exhausted! This is the 4th night in a row that Myla has started to get colicky again. No idea why. Almost 5 am now. From 11pm till 2am if I'm lucky... But the past few days it's been till 5 am then she stops wailing. I have to feed her at 6am. WTF. The day has begun and I've not slept a wink yet.

Tonight out of desperation, I put her in moby wrap. But I already tried twice to put her back in crib after she's fast asleep... No joy, she woke right back up and cried. Now she's back to being asleep in wrap, but WHAT DO I DO? Is it safe to sleep sitting up with her sleeping in the wrap or what? My kneecaps hurt from pacing and bouncing around while cradling her asleep for hours the past few nights.

UPDATE: I went to Thomson Hosp cos it's closest to me, when she still didn't stop crying at 8am. That's 8 hours non stop! And 8 hours I was on my feet can't even sit down otherwise she screams. Turns out she doesn't have wind/colic .. No wonder none of the remedies worked. She's allergic to lactose. So no animal or soy based milk for her. Have to drop the neosure as a fortifier (bit sad cos I know she needs it for weight gain). And she will be on this formula called neocate for a couple of months ... Then try switching to a HA type formula which much cheaper and is more typically available at supermarkets etc, no need go Hosp to buy. Apparently quite a common thing for preemies to not tolerate lactose in the first few months of life. Wish kkh had pre warned me! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Jerky Jerky Jerky (For your Dog!)

You know, if it came to a huge disaster or war in Singapore... and we had to take refuge in our bomb shelter, the only thing we would have for food in there.. would be Lola's dog food. And lots of it.

But to think of it, actually not so bad, could be worse. At least most of her food is human grade, and some look and smell damn tasty some more. LOL.

Here's her recent haul from KohePets, delivered right to our doorstep. There was no charge for delivery, and you get it within 2 days.

Tray food and Tub meals
Treats and Chews
Lola's Recommendation this month:

Try the Jerky from Absolute Holistic
There's like a whopping 32 different kinds of flavours. Ranging from $8 to $10 a bag. Succulent jerky reats your pooch will love too. Love that the bags are re-sealable and the jerky inside are individually wrapped. So it's always fresh and juicy anytime your dog wants a treat.
Click here to browse and Shop Kohepets online for your petfood and supplies.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I've Found the Colic Culprit! Fenugreek!

Ok.. I'm not 100% certain it's the Fenugreek supplement I've been taking... but I think it's what causing my baby to have colic/wind. Here's why...
**Oh also I have a quick shout out for Shop Little One, where Myla got her headband from. They sell clothes, accessories, wetbags, and lots of other baby products. And there's a big sale going on until Sunday. **

So... with regards to Colic and Fenugreek. The last 2 nights, I've not had any Fenugreek. I ran out of it and because in my extreme sleepiness I forgot to take it home with me after  my doctor's visit.

I was at KK Hospital for my follow up visit, checked the Csection sticthes, all good, and healed well... Doctor says no need to see me again, I can be discharged from KK.. hoorayyy.

The doctor asked if I was breast feeding, I said yes. Then I said I just ran out of Fenugreek. Then the nurse/clinic assistant said to wait outside for it. I waited outide the room for a few minutes, and then suddenly thought to myself... what am I waiting for??? I've been discharged and won't need anymore follow ups!

So I went to make payment, carrying Myla fast asleep  ( I was also mindful I had to get home in time for her next feed... she takes so long to eat, I don't want to struggle in a public nursing room)... then cabbed home. When I got home, oh yah, I was waiting for Fenugreek actually. Fuck.

So I haven't taken it so far, and the last 2 nights, Myla did not have colic attacks. The first night, she made a squeak just after I missed her midnight feed. I fed her, she went back to bed till morning. Then last night, I fed her at midnight. But at 2 am she cried. OH NO. MAYBE THE PREVIOUS NIGHT WAS A FLUKE.

But to my surprise, I picked her up from her crib, and she fell back asleep. I didn't even have to rock her or pace about for hours in a sleep deprived state, shaking my head like a mad woman trying to stay awake and alert enough. None of that. She just fell back to sleep.

What a relief. I'm hoping this keeps up. And also hoping my supply doesn't drop because I stopped Fenugreek. It has dropped marginally, but that's because I'm getting less pumps ( I didn't pump in middle of the night the last 2 nights, because I just slept.) Oh Sleep, glorious sleep.

Anyone else made this correlation between fenugreek and colic? I read online that many other mothers had their babies start being colicky around the time they started fenugreek as well. It doesn't affect everyone though.

P/S - any moisturiser recommendation for baby's face? Her skin is flaking a bit, and she has baby pimples ( I was told cos of my hormones passed to her through breast milk?? And that it will pass off around 3 months old). What about Mustela Physiobebe non rinse face wash thingy? And Mustela Stelatopia face cream which is supposed to be great for eczema prone skin, but if it's not eczema is it still ok to use for baby acne?

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Unglamorous Side of Motherhood

... As if there actually were a glamorous side to it. Bahhahahahahaaaa

David showed me this picture this evening. He had taken it a few days ago... And I have no recollection of it. At all. I'm THAT exhausted. When I looked at it, I said WTF I LOOK LIKE SHIT.

This is me passed out with baby. I really shouldn't have this kind of arrangement, what if I crush her?! But I was just holding her one moment and the next moment... this.

So... Baby has colic and she has been keeping me up from 11pm till 2.30am... Like clockwork. Multiple feeds, diaper changes, swaddling, tummy rubs and mostly carrying and rocking her trying to take her mind off that painful wind in her tummy.

I am a light sleeper and I don't mind getting up multiple times in the night for feeds and pumping. But this colic thing is really knocking the wind out of me. The exhaustion is scary! Like I find myself in the middle of the night, carrying her and telling myself aloud - DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES! DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES. FOCUS. FOCUS.

Because I know I'm so tired that of I take an extended blink (used to take extended blinks when I was at my uni lectures and then find myself waking up towards the end of it!). A couple of times a week ago, I found myself suddenly waking up and I was seated on the sofa still carrying Myla. Scared the shit out of me because I was really FAST ASLEEP and did not realise it. Thank goodness I never let go of the baby. So from then on, I have to force myself to not take a long blink, no matter how tempting it is to just rest my eyes for a few seconds.

While I'm carrying her and pacing around (this stops her crying and does soothe her)... I also find myself counting... Like I'll start counting one two three four five... Because I don't know... In my head it's always good idea .. But I'll get to a certain number and have to snap myself out of the count because COUNTING MAKES ME SLEEPY. Even though counting also gives me something to focus on. Bahaha I still do this every night while pacing and carrying her and bouncing in a soothing rhythm ... go figure.

So it's just after midnight now, the wind in her tummy not so bad... Well, she's not crying hysterically like her usual. So she's lying on the spare room bed, after her burps. I'm just about to pump and then hopefully she will be fast asleep and I can carry her back to her crib in our bedroom. I usually take her to the spare room so she won't wake David with her crying. But getting her back to her crib once she's asleep is tricky, she's woken up so many times the minute I place her back in her crib. Or worse still, before I can even reach her crib lol. So we end up sleeping in he spare room. For now it's ok, but soon in a few months once she starts rolling, we cannot do this. Too dangerous on this bed. But hopefully the colic will be gone by then (they say it goes by 3 months of age?).

For now... This is the new 'normal' for me.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

I've Turned into an Exclusive Pumping Mum! *Wail*

I'm 18 days old :)
You know, before Myla was born, I had decided to be a breastfeeding mum... one is because of the benefits in terms of anti-bodies, two because it's practically free, but the main reason for me was - Not having to wash and sterilize bottles the whole day. Yes, I'm lazy like that, and also very practical.

So in my mind - first option breastfeed directly. Second option... Formula milk and oh well, have to wash and sterilize bottles all day.

Never in my mind did I think I would be a pumping mum. Doesn't make sense! Pump every few hours, and then put in bottle and feed baby. And then have to not only wash bottles, but the damn pump parts too?!

So to feed breast milk, from the source just seemed like the best option. I never bought a pump, because I never planned to pump. I was conscious that I would have to work at regulating milk supply so it would match baby's intake, I don't want to keep excess ( I still don't). I could never understand why breastfeeding mothers would also pump and create a whopper of a milk stash in their freezer. Aiyohhh why so kiasu. Plus frozen breast milk gets kinda fishy when thawed, gross.

And I did also decide if for some reason breast feeding was too difficult... (I read about engorgement, and nipple blisters etc etc), then I would just switch to a good formula milk. I've said before, I was a formula milk baby and I grew up strong and well. I also have stellar immunity. I hardly ever fall ill till this day. Even when my husband comes home with all sorts (flu, etc), I manage to not get it off him like 90% of the time (except that one time he freaking coughed in my face and spittle went onto my eyeball, while pregnant. I got sick then, but that was still minor, no meds needed).

ANYWAY... fast forward to the day Myla was born.

I didn't get to have skin to skin right after surgery (to the nature of my csection), and didn't even get to have any contact with her until about 24hours after she was born. She could not take a bottle, and was tube fed formula milk.

I did not get to start pumping or extracting any colostrum until I was back in the ward, some 8 hours after surgery. Before that I was just stuck in recovery and POA. By the time I started trying to pump/hand express... it hurt. Boobs felt rock hard, but nothing coming out. The nurses encouraged me to just keep pumping every 3 hours. I tried a few times, and got fed up. I hadn't even got to see or touch my baby yet. My baby is already on formula milk anyway, why not just leave it as it is.

Then when I finally got to get off my bed and go see her at special care... seeing her so tiny, and with IV needles in her hands and tubes down her mouth, broke my heart. I started reading up about how breast milk is even more important for premature babies. And when I went back to my ward that afternoon, I took pumping more seriously. BUT NOTHING!!! I knew it was normal, Myla was just born the evening before, and it would take a few days for milk to come in, especially after a Csection, but I did start feeling really really really desperate.

The next day, the lactation consultant came to see me. And I told her I was pumping but there was nothing. She came over and without prior warning squeezed my nipples very hard (I would have punched her first if I had known the pain that was about to hit me lol). Yeowch!!! But lo and behold... collustrum! *cue heavenly music*.

So she helped me to keep squeezing and syringing the collustrum. And it was sent straight to the special care nursery to be put down Myla's feeding tube. Yessa!!

I was discharged that day (I know epically early, but physically I was doing really well, even off the painkillers, and up and about. Also I wanted to get home to Lola because I had been stuck on hospital on bedrest trying to push Myla's birth as close to full term as possible... reaching 36weeks is really a triumph considering the circumstances).

When I went home and tried to hand express (to take to the hospital when I visit Myla twice a day), again nothing. In the end I had to get David to squeeze the rock hard lumps real hard and we managed to get some colostrum (or was it transitional milk? dunnoe... like a more watery version of colostrum). We still took that pathetic amount to the hospital. Lol.

Next day... ENGORGEMENT. Like seriously... this is shit. My breast feeding journey is going tits up before it has even begun. I got a massage person to come to my place to relieve the engorgement. And god damn it, so painful. I always think of myself as having a high threshold of pain some more. I stopped her half way, and said nevermind, no need to continue... I think I'll just do formula.... now, what do I do to make the milk go away? Do I just leave it and it will ease off? (bahahaha I seriously said that and I meant it)

Then the next day, Myla could come home! She had been able to feed through a bottle using preemie teat, and she was ready to come home. Was a surprise, didn't expect her to be ready so fast. Only 5 days in special care. I got David to meet me at the hospital after work, and we took her home.

The next day, my friend Sarah came to be with me at home, I was not confident of having Myla home by myself that first day. And it helped having her around (she had preemie twins 2 years ago)... and she gave me that second (or was it third lol) wind to try breast feeding again, not give up so soon. She helped me massage the engorgement out of my boobs. Fucking painful. But it worked.

That night, I bought a Spectra dual pump. And the minute I put it on... milk flowed!! Like really flowed!!! *cue heavenly music again*

So this is my life now... in the day time is not too bad. But imagine this scenario at night..... my newborn has to eat every 3 hourly. So I wake at midnight... Change her diaper. Feed her milk from bottle, even with special preemie nipple she takes about 20 minutes. Have to go very slow, and keep her upright. And also keep her upright (by holding her... bouncers and car seats cannot) for another 20 minutes after the feed. If I don't then milk flows out her nose, her digestive system not mature yet. And she should outgrow this soon... (hopefully very soon). So that's about an hour of my time. It's almost 1am. I put her back in bed. Then I sit down to pump milk for her next feed. This takes 15- 20 mins. And after, I still have to wash the pump parts, and wash the milk bottle she used. And sterilize. Then by time I go sleep it's about 1.40am.

And I have to get up at 3am again to repeat. And again at 6am. So I only get to 1hour 20 mins sleep max for every 3 hour interval. This is what I'm struggling with at the moment. But I'm getting used to it. Today I don't even need a nap while she's sleeping now (hence the time available to write this).

It will get better as she grows older. She will be able to take more milk in one sitting. Her feeds will stretch out, so not 3 hourly. And I can start feeding on demand (for now I have to wake her 3 hourly because preemie). I also tried direct latching her recently, and she seems to take the  nipple quite readily and happily. She will suck (somewhat like sucking) for 10 minutes... I don't think she's getting any milk though??? Her suction is no where as strong as what I feel with the Spectra pump (and I use the pump on a low setting).

I just direct latch her every now and then to get her used to it but I don't count it as a feed (because I suspect she might be comfort latching and not actually getting milk out??). The doctor did say that around her due date (that's in a week more)... she should have the ability to suck better, and won't need the preemie teat, can use newborn teat. So I'm hoping can direct latch her..  (anyone have experience with this?)

I love my Spectra pump.. but I hope get rid of it on Carousell soon!!! It's sucking the life out of me. lol.

EP (Exclusive Pumping) mummies out there... kudos to you. It's so much harder than breast feeding and formula feeding.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Things No One Told Me About a CPP C-Section

I had always planned on having a C-section even before I got pregnant. It's just the way I am... I like things clinical, planned, and measured.

Then, as things turned out, in the second half of the pregnancy, I had complete placenta previa and I would have to have a Csection anyway, it wouldn't be a choice. Which was fine too. (What I didn't count on was having to have an urgent one in week 36 instead of a routine C-section between weeks 38-39)

I thought I had read enough and heard enough of my friends' experiences to know what to expect. Despite all that research, there were some things that still caught me by surprise on December 18th when Myla Rae was born.

1. IV needle to the arterial vein is no f*cking joke. If you have Placenta Previa, you're at risk of a torrential bleed before/during/after surgery. While other Csection patients get normal IV needles to their veins, PP patients get a whopper horse of a needle to the large arterial vein so they can transfuse blood more efficiently during a hemorrhage (and the regular IV needle in the other hand for the usual drugs). That pain was worse than the Csection (painless actually) and the epidural needle (also painless), and the Steroid shots to the thigh (to help preemie baby lungs to mature.... also pretty painless shots.. just a hot burn for a few seconds).

Seriously, even the anesthetic doctor keep apologizing to me as she inserted the needle, sorry but it had to be done.  I had a local anesthetic jab to that wrist before she inserted the IV, but it still hurt a lot. The other anesthetic doctor (more junior) was at my other arm (with the not painful IV needle) and he said , " look at me and just don't turn to your other side ok". I could feel a warm wet-ish sensation on that other hand. And then after that, lots of wiping of my hand. Think I was gushing blood as they poke that arterial vein. this has to be the worst part for me, everything else was a walk in the park really.

2. You won't feel anything once epidural (or was it a spinal? I don't know actually, both like the same) kicks in. I thought they were still swiping my belly with disinfectant or something... I just felt like gentle swipes across the belly with like a wet wipe. And I asked- has it started yet??? And the anesthesiologist (the more senior one who stuck me with the horse needle) said- yes, they've already cut in you, now they're just clearing a passage for you baby before they burst the water bag."

I got excited, "Wow! I really can't feel a thing!!" (What tugging all you people talking about?!)

Then few seconds after that she continued, " Did you hear that? That's your water bag bursting". (I actually did not hear anything though)

3. It's not tugging.

In fact, there was no tugging at all. For me it was like someone tried to break my ribcage. The guy doctor (don't know who he is, some assistant I guess. My surgeon was female), started to push down very hard on my rib cage, like giving CPR or what. I'm thinking WTF? Why is he bashing my ribcage!?

The senior anesthesiologist must have read my mind lol, cos she leaned towards me and said, " Since you can't move from your chest down, they have to do the pushing for you."

Ohh... I thought they were going to tug the baby out. Not sure if my csection is a little different because of bad the placement of the placenta. Or if they punch down on every ones' rib cage. But no one warned me about it. Thought they would just push from as high as the belly at most.

Anyway, when baby came out I heard a cry, but so soft. It worried me, why so soft siah. Then I heard the nurse/PD or whoever say Apgar 9-9. Which is great. But then I was told they had to take her to Special care nursery to be monitored cos she's a preemie and she's under 2.25kg (it's their sort of cut off, no matter whether a full term baby or preemie). So I can't get skin to skin time with her right there in the theatre   :(

4. You shiver like mad
Towards the end of the surgery, after baby was taken away to special care, and I was just lying there while they tackled getting the placenta out without causing too much blood loss (the team did so so so well, I didn't need a transfusion after all, and of course, no need hysterectomy).... I started shivering. Shivering like mad, oh god make this shivering stoppppppp!!!!

In recovery, the nurse tending to me mentioned that the shivering is actually a side effect of the spinal/epidural wearing off and that I was not actually cold perse.

5. Not being able to move your legs for about an hour after surgery feels like torture. Maybe if your csection took a shorter time (the usual is about an hour), you would still be paralysed for a few my hours after. My surgery took 3 hours, bulk of it was getting the IV in, and then tackling the placenta after. They had to put special stitches in to seal up some major blood vessels in the uterus, because the bottom of the uterus (where my placenta was) does not contract like the top of the uterus does (where the placenta should be). The delivery of the baby was just the standard 10 mins or so.

Well anyway, not being able to move my legs for just that one hour after surgery was a terrible feeling. And I kept trying to move them too. Felt so helpless lying there. Plus worried about my baby.

The recovery:
1. It's actually not as bad as people said it would be. Not at all. I was up and about, and eating greedily by the next morning (but movement restricted because I had a catheter in me and pee bag hanging off my bed). But once they removed the catheter (24hrs after surgery)and I was free to walk about as I pleased, it was so much better.

2. I had chest pains the next day. The next day after surgery, some time in the late afternoon
. My chest (rib area) hurt like a mofo... like chest wrenching spasms which made it hurt to breathe). I even pressed the call button on my bed to get the nurse to come (I never like bothering them! But I really felt like it was an emergency) I thought maybe it had to do with them bashing my ribs during surgery... are my ribs cracked?!! Or maybe it's because I kept straining myself by getting out of bed and walking around, and I've over did it. Or probably because that morning, David came to tell me that our baby was on oxygen cos not breathing properly... it made me have a panic attack where I was so scared I could not breathe and started heaving... until he calmed me down (imagine, I didn't even get the chance to see my baby yet, since the delivery I only got to see a photo of her which David snapped in the Special care nursery... and then I learn that she needs oxygen?!). Turns out she just needed it for a few hours, then she was ok breathing on her own again, it's very common with preemies in the first day or two.

But as it turns out... it was due to gas. No kidding. When they cut you open, they actually take your parts out (like intestines) to make way for baby to come out... then they put it all back in ... along with some extra air as a parting gift. No wonder the nurses kept asking me multiple times that morning if I had passed any gas yet. I didn't and did not even feel the urge to, and wondered why they kept asking me about flatulence! Anyway, I did end up passing gas later that day, and lots of it at one shot. The rib pain never returned.

Advice from the wise. - if you're going for a csection, please don't eat greedily the very next morning. Your insides are in a mess and a bit out of place after surgery. And try to pass as much gas as you can.

Overall, a great experience. :)
Here's a pic of Myla Rae, tomorrow she will be 2 weeks old. Time is flying by. In 11 days, it will be her actual due date.