Category Archives: Family

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

2012 has been a year filled with plenty of blessings from God.

C and I had a good few months of couplehood, as he took a four month break after completing his MBA, to spend some time with me before starting work at his current company. We went on our Babymoon to Taiwan, which seems to be THE travel destination these days, but to be honest, we only chose to go there because it’s not a long flight and C has some friends there. We didn’t do much there as I was in my second trimester and had been experiencing some cramps before we left, so the gynae told us to take it easy.

We also visited C’s grandma in Terengganu and had a nice, relaxing time in the kampung. The drive up was quite a challenge, more so for the three drivers, but at least I was over my morning sickness phase by then! My bladder was put to the test on the long journey, but at least we took regular breaks along the way. C wants to bring Noah to Terengganu one day, but I just can’t imagine entertaining Noah on such a long road trip, and don’t get me started on having to change his diapers etc! Maybe in a few years time. Maybe.

We also celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a simple meal and quality time together. We love our food, so having a good meal is usually the best kind of celebration for us.

C started working with a new company this year, and although he still has to travel quite a bit, his trips are usually short ones. He used to be away for months previously, only coming back for a weekend each month, so him being away for a few days each time now is a huge improvement. I don’t know how we survived those long periods apart in those days!

As for myself, I’ve been on no-pay leave since June 2011 and I’ve just extended it for another year. I do miss teaching of course, but I’m glad that I’ve kept in touch with my colleagues and ex-students too. I love that my ex-students still contact me and I was especially touched when one of them called me to inform me that he was headed back to Indonesia after his A Levels and to update me on his plans for 2013.

I also started this blog and I’m thinking of doing more with it, so keep a look-out for some changes! I’m not the best with IT-related matters, but I do want more control over how my blog looks and works, so C is helping me with that. This blog has helped me to meet new people and to re-connect with old friends too! I enjoy seeing people liking my posts and commenting on them, although these happen mainly on Facebook rather than on the blog itself. I’ve gotten lots of support throughout my five-plus months of motherhood, and I really appreciate all the advice and feedback I’ve gotten each time I post a new blog entry. Keep them coming, okay? 😉

Finally, the best thing that happened to us this year is definitely the birth of our little boy. He’s changed our lifestyle quite a bit, but he has brought us so much joy, and parenthood has been a much-welcomed new phase is our lives.

Our little family

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In 2013, we pray that God will continue to bless our family with good health, and fill our home with His abundant joy. There will be many new challenges ahead, and we ask that God will walk with us and guide us in our journey together.

May God bless each and every one of you in this new year too! 🙂

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Christmas 2012

We celebrated Christmas this year on a much smaller scale than usual, but it was no less meaningful than all the previous years. It’s tough to organise or even attend many celebrations with a baby in tow, and we’ve been blessed with very understanding family members and friends, who have organised the gatherings instead and even compromised on the earlier timings that we have requested. No, we aren’t diva parents, but it’s really no fun at all being at a gathering with a crying baby!

We started the day at church, singing Christmas carols and being reminded of the true reason for the season. It’s easy to get carried away by the food and gifts during this period, but Christmas is so much more than that. It still awes me that God would give us such a wonderful gift, His Son, knowing full well that He has to die, in order for us to live. His love for us is truly unfathomable. I was especially touched by this worship song that we sang during the Christmas service and thought it’d be nice to share it here. May it minister to you, as it did me.

When I call on your name you answer
When I fall You are there by my side
You delivered me out of darkness
Now I stand in the hope of new life

By grace I’m free
You’ve rescued me
All I am is Yours

CHORUS:
I’ve found a love greater than life itself
I’ve found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost; now I’m alive in You

You’re my God and my firm foundation
It is You whom I’ll trust at all times
I give glory and praise, adoration
To my Saviour who’s seated on high

BRIDGE:
Love came down and rescued me
I thank You, I thank You
I once was blind but now I see
I see You, I see You

We’ve been very blessed to have received so many gifts and we are very grateful for all the love showered upon us. We thank God for each and every one of you and pray that He will bless all of you with good health and abundant joy.

Here’s a very happy Noah with all his gifts on Christmas Day!

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We’re Five!

C and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on Saturday! It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years of marriage already, and eleven years since we first got together. Gosh we’re old. This year is also especially special, simply because we have our little one with us to celebrate the occasion and it was great being able to spend time together that day.

We haven’t gone for a buffet in ages and were looking forward to sampling the Italian fare at Basilico, after reading reviews like this one online. To be honest, C and I aren’t into cheese, so we gave the extensive cheese counter a miss, and pigged out on the other delicious dishes like the Wagyu beef lasagna, cod fish, pizzas, and of course, the desserts. C was also playing with his new camera and different lenses, so I think I’ll let his photos do the talking!

The entrance

Basilico Entrance

The buffet spread 

Buffet Spread

Clockwise from top left: Tiramisu, Cheese, Parma Ham, Focaccia  

Food Collage

Noah with my plate of food 

Noah at Basilico

Should I try the lasagna? 

Lasagna?

Love

Love

After a short nap at home, we headed out again to Gardens by the Bay, where C spent some time taking photos of the Supertrees. I never had the patience or skill to take photos properly, so it’s a good thing that C does!

 The Bridge 

Bridge

Supertrees & MBS

Supertrees & MBS

Close-up 

Close-up

Happy fifth anniversary to us! 🙂 

Happy 5th!

We thank God for being forever in our lives, seeing us through the ups and downs, and of course, for blessing us with Noah. May He continue to shower His blessings upon us and give us many more good years ahead, till we are grandparents or even great-grandparents!

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O Happy Day…

How do you define a good day?

*******

Waking up to the coos of our baby and being greeted by his sunny smile when I pick him up from his cot.

Hearing his giggles and seeing his eyes light up as he plays with his daddy.

Watching C set up the exersaucer for our baby, although the little one is a tad too short to use it properly.

Holding our baby close to me and dancing around the room to a song playing on the radio.

Standing hand-in-hand with C as we watch Noah bat the crocodile rattle on his activity gym with one hand, while he sucks his other vigorously.

Going out for a dim sum lunch and having the baby sleep through the meal in his Manduca carrier.

Enjoying our favourite tv shows while our son naps.

Seeing Noah beam at me from his car seat as we head out for dinner.

Having my favourite Portobello Mushroom Burger and CrissCut fries from Carl’s Junior, while Noah sleeps through our meal again.

Reading bedtime stories in bed with my two boys.

Spending time as a family: just the three of us, for the whole day.

*******

I had a lovely day on Saturday! Nothing fancy, just time alone with my husband and baby. I just realised how rare it was for us to have the whole day to ourselves, and I think we really should have more of such ‘family days’. It’s so nice to be able to spend so much time together, without having to rush around trying to make sure we’re home in time for C to take a conference call or head out for tennis, or for us to meet up with my parents or our friends. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy spending time with our family and friends but I think this was the first time we didn’t have any other appointments, and it made all the difference to me. I’m already planning to have another one of these special days when C comes back from his business trip! 🙂

 

Happy to be out!

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Welcoming Baby Zachary

My elder godsis finally gave birth on Tuesday night but it was quite a traumatic experience for all of us. She had been messaging us, keeping us up-to-date on how her induction was progressing, and at about 2pm, she was 4cm dilated and the midwife predicted that the baby would be out in an hour or two. When we didn’t hear anything else after that from her, we assumed that she was in the birthing room and patiently waited for the message announcing the arrival of her second son.

By 10pm, we still hadn’t heard from her so my second godsis called my godma to see if she had any updates. She texted me after that to say that the baby was born at 923pm and that he had already been wheeled out of the delivery room and into the nursery. When I spoke to my godma after that, she proudly told me that the baby was very alert and looking around with his eyes wide open. We were all rather puzzled about why my elder godsis wasn’t wheeled out together with the baby and her husband didn’t tell my godma anything either. Their elder boy, Nat, was very excited and spoke to me over the phone as well, telling me that he was now a ‘kor kor’, and giggled bashfully when I congratulated him.

Shortly after that, we received a message from P, my godsis’ husband, saying that she had lost a lot of blood and was unable to clot. He also said she had DIVC and that the doctor had ordered some bags of blood and platelets for transfusion. How scary! We quickly prayed for her and asked him to keep us updated. Thank God that at about 1am, her condition stabilised, although she had to be under close monitoring in the Critical Care Unit.

When we visited her yesterday, I almost cried when I saw her. Not because she looked sickly, but because I was so relieved that she was fine. She looked a little pale but was able to speak to us properly and told us about her ordeal. Apparently, each time the IV drip for the drugs was turned on, the baby’s heartbeat would drop, and they had to stop the induction process. She went through two rounds of epidural and by the third bag, she was shivering uncontrollably. She didn’t have enough strength to really push the baby out and it didn’t help that he has a really big head. Her gynae is particularly skilled with the forceps but because the baby wasn’t even crowning, it took him ten tries to get the baby out. After he stitched her up, he realised that she wasn’t clotting and blood just kept dripping out. By then, my godsis said she was feeling very giddy, although she was alert enough to notice the doctor asking for blood to be sent from the blood bank. She didn’t know what was going on and things were a little hazy from then on. Apparently, she was taken to the CCU and given the blood and platelet transfusions there. She lost two-thirds of her own blood! Thank God that mother and baby are now doing well.

So here’s my new nephew, Zachary, who weighed 3.51kg at birth. Such a big boy!

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The proud older brother, Nathaniel, with his baby brother

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Blocked

WARNING: For female audiences only, because, to borrow the UOB Ladies’ card tagline, the men don’t get it. 

During one of the wee morning feeds on Friday, I noticed that my right boob was hurting very badly, as though I had been punched and had a really bad bruise on it. Thinking, rather foolishly, that I had slept on my side for too long and somehow squished my boob, I didn’t do anything about the pain, apart from whining to C about it and popping two Panadols. By evening, I had developed a fever and was feeling really lousy. I didn’t think I had blocked ducts initially, as my breast didn’t feel rock hard. Some parts were slightly hard, but I thought it was the norm. I started to panic and tried calling the TMC breastfeeding hotline, but they had closed for the day. A quick chat with the 24-hour clinic nurse wasn’t much help and I was at a loss as Noah was also crying nonstop and refusing to sleep. Thank God that my parents happened to come over for dinner that night and my mum helped to pacify Noah. My mum even stayed the night just in case I needed help! Anyway, I remembered that my second godsis’ MIL is a lactation consultant and in my desperation, I asked my godsis to contact her for advice.

I thank God that her MIL is such a nice lady, who spoke to me for a very long time over the phone. She asked me various questions to identify my problem and once she deduced that I had blocked ducts, she taught me how to massage my boob to try and clear them, and also told me to pump out whatever excess milk I had after nursing. I haven’t pumped my milk out in quite some time as I prefer latching him on directly and I’m also way too lazy to go through the whole process of washing and sterilising everything. It’s very time-consuming and I would much rather be sleeping, thank you very much. Auntie told me that I had to try my best to clear my ducts by myself as the fever was an indicator that I had an infection. She also said to take Panadol for the fever and pain, and that, together with the massaging and pumping, should help.

My fever broke quite quickly, to my relief, and the swelling subsided as well, although not completely. However, more complications arose. I developed a huge blister on my nipple and a white bleb had also formed. Auntie was extremely kind and actually came to my house on Saturday evening to help me out, after numerous phone calls on Friday night and Saturday morning. She massaged most of the lumps away, used a sterile needle to burst the blister, and helped me to manually express some milk out to clear my ducts. She also noticed that there was quite a bit of bruising at the bottom of my nipple and told me that I had to use the football hold to nurse Noah, as my skin looked like it was going to split open. So many issues! Sigh.

I’ve been pumping after most of the feeds since then and boy, is it a hassle. I’m also puzzled because auntie says I have too much milk, to the extent that it sprayed out when she was massaging my boob, yet when I pump, I produce less than what I used to during my first month. Noah usually is content with just one boob per feed, so I have to clear the unused boob now as well. I’m a little concerned about the lower quantity and now, I’m wondering if that’s the reason why Noah wants milk so frequently. He seems to be gaining weight quite steadily but we will only know for sure if all is well when we visit his PD for his shots.

As for the football hold, I’m still trying to get it right. I’m using the My Brest Friend pillow to help me, instead of the two pillows that auntie suggested, as it provides better support for Noah. Our pillows are way too soft! The problem now is that the bottom of my nipple still hurts, the same way it does when I nurse him using the cradle hold, so I’m not sure if I’m doing the football hold correctly. My left nipple has also begun to hurt, which is strange because I don’t usually have problems with the left boob. Sigh. I also can’t manage to clear all the lumps still and they just keep forming! 😦

I pray that my blocked ducts will be unclogged and that I won’t have to keep pumping all the way till I wean Noah off breastmilk. I also pray that my nipples will heal and that I will not be in any more pain or discomfort. Please, God, hear my prayers and don’t let there be any more complications!

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