Category Archives: God

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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Filed under Family, Friends, God, Love, Noah

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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With all my love… #5

Hello baby,

You’re two months old today! This month, you’ve gotten more responsive and when daddy came back from his two week business trip, he said you had changed so much. You now smile quite readily at people, and I love talking to you and coaxing a smile out of you. You still don’t seem to enjoy being carried by either one of us, but hopefully that will change soon. You’ve started sitting in your bouncer quite often and that’s where we have our story time daily. I don’t know if you even know we’re reading to you! I’ve told daddy that we should read the same book daily to you but he insists that he needs variety. So far, we’ve read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?’ and mummy’s favourite, ‘Barnyard Dance’. You don’t cry as much during bath time, except when I’m wiping your face or washing your hair. Diaper changes are slightly better, although you still cry occasionally. You cry each time you have tummy time and we really hope that you will get used to it and stop crying soon.

The past few days have been very stressful for daddy and mummy because you’ve been producing dark green poo, instead of the usual yellow poo that breastfed babies usually have. We’ve brought you to see Dr Ellen and even emailed her photos of your poo (being a doctor means having to deal with disgusting things). We’ve also prayed many times with and for you, asking God to help you.

Last night, while I was praying for you as I nursed you, a song suddenly came to me.

Trust in the Lord, with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all of your ways, acknowledge Him
And He will carry you through
Don’t worry about tomorrow
He’s got it under control
Trust in the Lord, with all your heart
And He will carry you through

I sang it to you repeatedly and it soothed me, knowing that God has everything under control. This morning, when I changed your diaper, I was so relieved to see that it was definitely more yellow than the poos you’ve had recently. I immediately called for daddy to take a look too and he agreed that it looked more yellowish than green.

We brought you to church today for the first time and although you slept through quite a bit of it, it’s a step forward for us. I had to nurse you quite a bit but at least you hardly cried. You were such a good boy when you had to get your diaper changed! Auntie Angela was a great help, accompanying us to the loo, holding all our stuff and handing mummy the wet wipes, a sheet at a time. She, too, agreed that your poo was dark yellow, rather than green. Thank God for hearing our prayers and healing you! 🙂

Be a good boy, darling. We pray that God will continue to bless you with good health and keep you safe.

With all my love,
Mummy

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Worried (Part 3.1)

The PD just called to say that no bacteria was found in Noah’s stool. Green stool can be attributed to a few different factors but so far, none of them really seem to fit.

The most worrying one would be malabsorption but because Noah’s weight gain is good, it’s highly unlikely that he has it. I asked if it can be something that he recently developed but she says that very few babies develop it so late. The important thing is that he doesn’t seem uncomfortable or unwell, and as long as he is happy and feeding as normal, he should be fine.

An overdose of iron can also cause babies’ poop to be green. However, this is usually found in formula-fed babies and since Noah is on total breast milk, it is highly unlikely. I haven’t changed anything in my diet and to be on the safe side, I’ve even stopped drinking milk since yesterday and didn’t take my multivitamin today.

The last cause of green poop is an imbalance of fore milk and hind milk. Dr Tay suggested that I either latch Noah on for a longer period of time to ensure that he gets enough hind milk, or pump out some of the fore milk before latching him on. I did that at 4am this morning and he hasn’t pooped much since then, apart from some very little green poop.

Noah has also been sleeping a bit longer at night. The previous night, he slept from 1030pm to 6am! I woke up at 430am, wondering why my breasts were so full and was surprised when I looked at the clock. I decided to pump as he was still sound asleep and he really slept all the way through the night. Last night, he slept at about the same time but woke up at 4am to drink his milk. He then went back to sleep till about 830am. There’s really no schedule or routine at the moment but as long as he seems happy, we think we will let him be for a while more.

The main thing is that throughout this green poop saga, Noah appears to be his usual self, smiling away, apart from a few crying bouts occasionally. I thank God for that and ask that He heals Noah completely. C and I have never been this obsessed with poo!

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Worried (Part 3)

Noah’s stools still haven’t improved and yesterday afternoon, he seemed to have a bit of diarrhea as well. As I was changing his already soiled diaper, more poop bubbled out of him and what worried me was that it was all watery poop, without any of the usual ‘seeds’ in it. At 4am this morning, when we changed his diaper again, there was very dark green poop, bordering on black! It is all very scary to us now and we are praying very hard that nothing is wrong with him. He has very dry lips too, to the extent that they are peeling at the sides. 😦

Please pray with and for us. We’ve emailed our PD already and are waiting for her to reply. Her clinic isn’t open at all on Fridays which means we can’t bring him in for a check-up again.

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Worried (Part 2)

We called the clinic early this morning to check if we should bring Noah in for a check-up and were told to bring him in, together with his soiled diapers. Noah did another two more green poos before we got to the clinic, so there were three disgusting diapers for Dr Tay to examine. One was so explosive that immediately after it happened, it flowed out from the back of his diaper and he had to have his romper changed.

There were so many issues that Dr Tay discovered during the check-up today that it’s plain depressing to even think about them.

1. His head is flatter on the left side, so we have to get him to try and look more to his right by constantly repositioning his head and standing more on his right side. The good thing is that his cot is positioned properly, with me on the right, so I have to keep calling him and getting him to turn to my side.

2. His cradle cap is still a problem and is also probably why he has so many scratches on his scalp. I’ve been applying baby oil on it and stopped using the cradle cap shampoo as it didn’t seem to be effective at all. I know it takes time to clear but it’s really been quite a while already!

3. He has very dry skin and what looks like the beginning of eczema. Some areas are worse than others, in particular his cheeks, in and behind his ears, his neck and his arms. When I wipe his neck, there’s a yellowish paste and it’s particularly tough to constantly check that his neck is dry as you can’t even see it anymore. Dr Tay recommended that we use an even stronger moisturiser than Ceredan, so we got the Physiogel AI cream from her, with instructions to slather it onto him as though we were marinating him for a barbecue.

4. His nose is also a little blocked with some mucus. We can choose to leave it as it is or use a nasal spray on it. My friend Motherkao very generously gave me a bottle of the nasal spray the last time Noah had a huge booger stuck in his nostril, so we might try it soon. We need to figure out what the right pressure to use is, as we need to get a mist from it.

5. Noah has what appears to be a short frenulum but that has yet to be confirmed. Dr Tay says she will review it next week when we bring him in for his jabs and if it really is a problem, she will refer us to a surgeon to get it snipped. Right now, it looks as though it might be a problem as he can’t stick his tongue out fully.

6. He has quite a bit of gas in his stomach and might be becoming colicky. That will also explain his two nights of crying marathons. Dr Tay prescribed some probiotics drops which are to be administered every morning.

7. The green poop is quite worrying as he has been consistently producing it for some time already. A sample was taken and sent for testing as it might be caused by a virus which prevents him from absorbing nutrients properly. We’ll only get the results on Saturday so for now, we have to continue monitoring him.

8. Unfortunately, Noah also has diaper rash. I’m quite upset about this as I thought I’d been cleaning his bum quite thoroughly. I guess I need to remember to change his diapers more frequently, especially since he’s such a good-natured baby that he has never once complained or cried because of a dirty diaper. He just quietly sits in his own poop until I remember to change him. We were given another cream for it, to be applied under the Desitin, his skin has some abrasion too.

The only positive takeaway from today’s visit is that he has been gaining weight well. He is 4.79kg today, up from 3.67kg at our last visit, which means he has been putting on an average of 43g a day. A good amount would be 30g so he is doing just fine.

My nipples and boobs, however, are far from fine. On Monday, I learnt that he hasn’t been latching on properly when I went to get help from my godsis’ MIL again. Overnight, I had developed a row of blisters on my left nipple as well as my right one, and it was very painful each time I nursed him. There was no respite from the pain too, since both nipples were affected.

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Worried

Noah has been having green stools recently, especially at nights. This evening, when I changed his diaper, I was shocked to see that the green stools were mucus like in texture, which is different from the usual.

We’ve emailed his paediatrician and are now waiting for her reply. Please pray that nothing is wrong! The guidebook we read, as well as the websites we visited, say it is caused by a virus that prevents him from absorbing nutrients. 😦

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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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Home Alone (sort of)

C left on Monday morning for his work trip to the US. Ever since I joined him in France last June, we haven’t really been apart for long periods of time. Sure, he’s gone on the occasional business trip but usually only for a couple of days, so this two-week trip really kinda sucks. The worst bit is that Noah and I are cooped up here in our house with my MIL, who has a very different parenting style from us.

To be honest, I am very much of a control freak and I’m trying very hard not to be too particular about things but it’s tough. I really wish I can just be alone with my baby boy during this period, but sadly, that’s not going to happen. Come to think of it, C and I haven’t even had the chance to live alone with Noah since we got back from the hospital.

I thank God that Noah is a good baby and at the end of the day, I try to remind myself that that is what really matters. Right now, Noah has a huge booger in his right nostril and has been snorting like a pig since this morning. I don’t know if he has actually caught a cold or if it’s just a booger and nothing more, but things seem much scarier when C is away. I’ve tried using a nasal aspirator but that didn’t work, and I’m trying very hard not to over-react. Noah doesn’t seem very bothered by it and has been drinking his milk and sleeping as per normal, so that’s good. Anyway, I’ve prayed with Noah just now so I’m going to trust that God will heal him.

Last night, I had another mini freak out session when I thought Noah’s bum looked a little red. Scared that it was diaper rash, I went online to do a quick Google search for diaper rash images. NEVER EVER do that! The images I saw have scarred me for life, I tell you. I applied an extra dollop of Desitin on him just to be safe and this morning, when my mum popped by, she took a look at his bum and said she didn’t think it was diaper rash. Phew! I’m still going to spread a more generous amount of Desitin on his bum to be safe from now on though.

I’m having a pity party for myself at the moment, missing C and wishing that the days will pass more quickly. I know it’s worse for him, being away from us and we’ve been having video chats on Skype in the mornings so that he can see Noah. Two weeks in baby terms is a long time and I’m sure he misses being able to cuddle our little boy in his arms. I pray that God will take good care of our little family and bring C home safely next Sunday.

Hello, daddy! We miss you!

Video chat

Noah in his preferred sleeping spot these days, although I think it comforts me more than him tonight, to have him sleeping on my chest. Pardon the poor photo quality. I’m trying to keep the room a little darker at night to help him differentiate between day and night.

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Update: After his bath this morning, Noah sneezed a couple of times and the booger came out! Thank You, God, for answering our prayers! 🙂

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