Motherhood after 12 weeks

 

I must confess, I started out wanting to write something at 8 weeks, then it become then 10, and finally it bore fruition at 12 weeks. Better late than never they said.

In the last 12 weeks, I have spent an inordinate amount of time cuddling and kissing my little one. Many afternoons were lost just staring at a sleeping infant, not daring to move lest it would break his very short afternoon naps. But like they said, the days are long but the years are short. I love my little man with all my heart, but truth to be told, it did not come instantly. I thought it would initially and was a little disappointed that my primary emotion upon bringing him home (in the initial two weeks) was being overwhelmed. I am glad its no longer the case. In the last couple of weeks, I have started to have so much fun with him!

I attribute my initial feelings to the long and difficult labor that I had to endure. The labor was long and difficult but the emotional toil was the one that hit me like a ton of bricks. The 2 weeks after his birth, were one of the most difficult weeks in my life. The crazy emotions and trying hard to figure out what the baby wanted and was so so so tough. I hope I am better for it. Kris as usual took up his new role like a champion and was the greatest dad to Kayen and most supportive husband to me. For that, I’m supremely grateful.

Over the weeks tho, things slowly got better and better and better. As I sit here typing this entry, I feel like we have come so far in this parenting journey. Almost everyone told us, it gets better over time. It was hard to envision that in the early weeks, but it really has gotten so much better and so much more enjoyable as I watch him grow and develop into his own person.

My little Kayen, oh my little precious ball. He has grown into such a little man. Every single day, I seem to love him just a tiny bit more. He drives me insane somedays, but he would smile and coo at me afterwards, and it makes everything alright. This little tiny being, has captured both our hearts and minds, and we would do almost anything to make sure we try our level best to be the parents that he deserves. Its quite so special that in terms of looks and temperament, he’s a little bit of the both of us.

Random baby milestones/memorable stuff at this stage.

  1. He discovered his hands, and loves to put them in a prayer position.
  2. He’s obsessed with mummy and tracks her by turning his entire head as she moves around the room.
  3. His cries have evolved (Cranky, Hungry, Play with me/Attention, Pain. Sometimes they evolve to Uncontrollable Screams!!!!! if you haven’t found the source of his cries after a few minutes) This kid has very healthy lungs for sure!
  4. 3 to 4 naps a day (Ranging from 20 to 40 mins)
  5. 3 to 5 hour stretches at night (Although his pacifier drops in between and he always whines for us to pop it back in, mighty annoying because then our precious 3 to 5 hour stretches are always broken up!)
  6. Poops around 5 times a day
  7. Eats around 8 times a day
  8. His big fat gummy smiles! That heart melter!
  9. He adores his baby floor play mat with hanging toys and can spend 20-30 mins playing around and coo-ing cutely.
  10. He has begun ‘chatting’ with us. We talk to him about whats going on around him, what we’re doing (i.e. making an avocado sandwich for lunch) and he responds accordingly. He does that a few times a day if we’re lucky, with random baby noises. Its SUPER CUTE!
  11. Someone gifted us a Boppy Napper, something I wouldn’t have bought on my own, but it has been a lifesaver during the day. He happily would lay down on it and play with his rattle toys. We would read and sing to him while he’s on it and he seems v comfortable.
  12. He loves his cocoon-ed car seat (J.J.Cole Bundle Me) has kept him snug all winter. He can sleep for an hour in the car seat if we’re constantly moving, although as he grows, he has more awake time and less inclined to want to be in there for longer stretches. Probably wise to get more toys for it.
  13. He has met some kids around his age, stares at them for a while and then gets bored.
  14. He loves to blow bubbles and drools lots! (Apparently his gums are preparing for teeth and is kinda white and itchy, because he loves to chomp on his baby teether!)
  15. He recognizes adults who are not his parents and stares at them cautiously!
  16. He dislikes tummy time with a vengeance. He cries longer for it, compared to his 2 month shots!
  17. He calls for attention by having this, “Aiieeeee, Arrrrgeeeee” sounds. SUPER DUPER CUTE! Unless it escalates into a full blown cry of course.
  18. He loves his Mama and Dada! He greets us with happy ‘arrrrrrr’ laughs and cheeky smiles.
  19. Loves to grab my finger and hoist himself from a sleeping position to a sitting position. Its a colossal effort for him because his head is almost 1/4 his entire body. Its funny to watch him huff and puff his way up.

He’s undoubtedly our greatest love! Make no mistake tho, he requires my attention 24 hours a day and sometimes I miss the days I could just shower languorously, put on some non-nursing clothing and go have fun. These days everything has to be timed and organized according to His Lordship’s feeding/sleeping schedule. But I would have it no other way. He’s so so precious! At 12 weeks old, he has a pretty fun temperament, he’s supremely curious about everything so the sure fire way of cheering him up is to carry him upright and walk everywhere.

Happy 12 weeks my sweet sweet baby boy, Mummy loves you so much! Daddy is enthralled by your cuteness!

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How to dispel the fear of labor

Darling Baby Boy,

As the day creeps closer, mama gets a little anxious from time to time. So here are some of the tips, I have personally found useful!

 

  • Self empowerment – I remind myself that millions of women have done it, so will I. I remind myself that if it was really so bad, then why would people have repeat babies. I remind myself that child birth is a natural process, part of the cycle of life. I have achieved a miracle thus far – this body, MY body has grown a life sized human being from just a collection of cells. HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Therefore what goes in, must come out naturally! 😛

 

  • Fear and Pain are psychological – What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve! I am going to accept that child birth is painful, excruciating perhaps but my mind will be able to handle the pain if I accept that pain has to come before the reward. I will keep my eyes towards the prize, and know that each contraction comes with a release, and the final release will result in your birth.

 

  • Collect Positive Birth Stories – I enquire about positive birth stories around me. I offer support to new moms and rejoice (with them) in their happy birth stories. Remind myself that labor is doable just like what they went through and stay away from overly dramatic people or people who sensationalize their births. The 3rd trimester is not a good time to partake in negative birth stories! Focus on the good!

 

  • Focus on the END PRODUCT! – Finally getting to labor means that I will get to see YOU! My lil precious pie after about 40 weeks of waiting! Seeing you, smelling you and hugging you will be my greatest reward.

 

 

 

39 weeks!

Hello Lil Tater Tot!

Mummy and Daddy recently bought a new toy called Amazon Echo so we have been listening to all sorts of different music. A key favourite of yours seems to be nursery rhymes and lullabies!

We have been randomly asking Alexa to play lullabies and your favourite seem to be a selection of songs from Lisa Loeb, she has a song called ‘Lullaby Girl‘ and that seems to be your favourite song! When I play the song, you almost always perk up and kick cutely! Kinda counter intuitive since the lullaby is supposed to help put you to SLEEP!

The end of the third trimester is a very exciting period! You feel so real to me, mostly because you’re kicking cutely inside and reacting to sounds, music, warm and mummy’s accelerated heartbeats/excitement. Today while online shopping for the cutest bibs/mittens/little hats, I was clearly excited and you joined in the excitement too! Shopping for you makes Mama very excited. Daddy hasn’t been very good at stopping me, in fact, he’s always replies with, “SO CUTE! GET IT!” I fear that you’re going to have a new outfit everyday for 2 weeks straight! But other mommies have said some babies change 5-6 outfits a day and drench tiny mittens very frequently, so maybe mommy instead will have to do laundry less and have more free time kissing n cuddling you instead. Daddy was very cute, he was telling me that he hopes he will get some cuddles in when you’re born. I guess, I have been crazily protective of you! As I should! You’re my most precious pie!

I bought you your first Christmas outfit, on the way home from the doctor’s last week.

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Everyday I’m so excited because, everyday I am one stop closer to meeting you! My sweet sweet baby boy that has been baking inside me for 270 days now!

Its amazing really, how I can be so excited to meet you, but yet still a little terrified about the labor process, but a little bit of fear is alright I guess, hopefully it will kick off the right hormones! I keep reminding myself that nothing worth doing in life is easy!

Speaking of what’s really not easy. Its all the random advice that my growing belly has generated! I was reading this article in the middle of the night, because of pregnancy insomnia and acid reflux (http://time.com/4989068/motherhood-is-hard-to-get-wrong/) Its really so true in so many ways. Being pregnant is hard enough, what ia gratingly annoying is people around me, trying to tell me that I’m not doing this and that, or doing this and that wrongly. By and large it comes from the goodness of their hearts, but some people really rub me the wrong way. Of course I want the best for my child, of course I don’t want to harm my child but there are so many different schools of thought on, “How to raise the perfect child, How to have the perfect pregnancy and How to be the perfect mother.” Coming from Singapore and giving birth in NYC, makes it even worse because sometimes the people back home expect me to do ‘X’ and people here expect ‘Y’. I’m sick of explaining my rationale for how I want my birth to be, and how I am taking care of myself. I don’t quite understand why personal decisions suddenly become a room for debate? But the good thing is, over this pregnancy, I have polished the art of going,  “Thank you for your advice” and not say anything more.

But I suppose, this is a glimpse of what motherhood will be like. I imagine that lots of people will have comments about my parenting style and how I should discipline, what I should feed you, what developmental milestones you should be hitting, etc etc. So all in all, pregnancy is good preparation for standing firm in my beliefs. At some levels, I do feel that raising a kid is based on guttural instincts too, I will spend the most time with you, observing your habits and needs, thus I would be the best person to gauge and decide how I want to raise you!

In the past week, you have been showing various signs of wanting to come out, at least according to traditional labor signs, but every other day, you display some symptoms and then the next day, you’ll be like, “Just teasing! Not today Mom!”

OH YOU LIL TEASEBALL! We’ll see you whenever you’re ready then!

Lovingly, Mummy.

PS: But if I want to be completely honest. This is how I really feel like right now.

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Happy Birthday DaddyBot!

Dear Kai Kai,

Today is Daddy’s birthday! On birthdays we get to eat cake! Mama didn’t make a cake this year but instead ordered a sailboat cake for Daddy because he’s just so so special!

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Daddy wouldn’t stop looking at the boats in the marina and wishing he could have another boat! Oia is the name of the first boat daddy bought in Singapore, it will not be the last boat he buys for sure! Daddy can’t wait to take you out sailing on a boat, but Mama made him promise that he has to teach you how to swim first. So get ready to be plunged into a pool as soon as your first summer rolls around!

Grandma and Grandpa sent Daddy the loveliest birthday card ever, it made Daddy very very very happy! If Mummy and Daddy does right in parenting, I hope you will turn out to be exactly like your daddy!

You got really lucky in the Daddy lottery little one!

Love,

Mama

 

 

38 weeks baked!

Dear Darling Kai Kai,

You probably weigh about 6-7 pounds right now, although sometimes I feel like I’m hurling around what feels like a 20 pound baby. You’re so big and so strong! You kick me a lot, and boy do you really kick me HARD sometimes. Sometimes, I have to stop for a bit and take a breather when you kick right up into my lungs. By and large, you are such an active baby and my favorite part of the day is when you swirl cutely around my belly after a meal or sweet treat. I chat with you most then, when you’re giving me gentle kicks and rolling around gently in ma belly.

Daddy’s birthday is tomorrow, but this year he hasn’t thought much about his birthday at all. I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he said: “Cream Pasta” from a bottle because mama cannot eat tomato based sauces. I think we can do better than that tho, we can order Italian food in for dinner for Daddy’s birthday! I’ve been trying hard to eat a repertoire of foods because I’m so afraid that your palette will be like Daddy! He doesn’t like most Asian food and can eat pasta and cold sandwiches everyday. Seems like you like rice a lot, or rather, rice doesn’t make mama sick, so we have been eating lots of rice! I cannot wait to see how you’re going to be like, I predict that you’ll be a feisty one and really beat to the sound of your own drum.

Continue to grow well sweet little boy! Mummy and Daddy are ready to meet you whenever you are ready to see the world! We’re going to have so many awesome adventures together!

Love,

Mama!

91% done with pregnancy!

Dearest Darling Kai Kai,

I cannot believe I’m 91% done with pregnancy, the app that I have been using told me that today and I have roughly about 3 more weeks to go. I absolutely cannot wait to hold you in my arms!

Today, I did the last bit of laundry (I say that a lot, because I keep seeing cuter things and cannot resist!) and packed the hospital bag for the both of us! Coming home clothes + clothes to nurse you in, among other random stuffs. I packed cookies too, because everybody needs cookies!

Daddy said something very touching the other day and sent mummy’s waterworks flying. Which by the way, has been turned on very frequently these days. I think its the hormones. But whoever tells me I’m hormonal gets his/her head bitten off very very quickly! Never tell a pregnant women, it must be the hormones, unless you want to be yelled at. But hey, at least I’m cognizant. Right? Heh.

I digress.

Daddy said that, “Our number one job now, is to raise you to be a good person and nothing else matters as much as you do!” I was very happy, because I thought that Daddies bond with the baby much later, but I think Daddy loves you as much as Mummy does! Which makes me so so happy! He reads to you, almost everyday and kisses mama’s belly often and rubs her belly to feel you. He claims that every time he lays his golden touch on you, it calms you down, he’s right 80% of the time actually. Here’s hoping that when you’re shrieking outside mama’s tummy, he will have the same calming effect!

We love you so very much and cannot wait to cuddle you in our arms! Thank you for listening to mama and continued to bake inside my comfortable and safe belly (after last week’s scare ). We will see you very soon and we cannot be more excited to be your parents!

Love,

Daddy and Mummy!

 

 

 

 

On being a new mummy – worrying

My body has gone through huge changes in the last 249 days, some of which are fascinating and some of which kinda annoying, if I want to be completely honest. But I am in awe with the female body, of how it as grown a mass of cells to a large 5.5 pound baby, that kicks, squirms, breathes and hiccups ever so cutely. I talk to you every day, asking you to kick sometimes but mostly asking you to calm down! You’re such an active baby, which is great because the doctors tell me how healthy you are and it makes me feel very secure.

Pregnancy has made mummy a worrywart, from getting enough exercise, to getting enough rest, to the food I put into my mouth, to the type of diapers/formula I buy for you, to your sleeping quarters. Knowledge is power, but given so much information on the internet these days, too much information can sometimes be overwhelming to a new mom.

I have to check ever so carefully, where I am reading medical articles from, whether reviews online are paid or genuine, whether or not I’m getting a good deal on big ticket items and most importantly — Are these products safe for you? Research, Research, Research seems to be the operative word for the last couple of months. Given my A type personality, it sometimes stresses me out, because I only want the best for you.

At the same time though, I have learnt very valuable lessons about trusting my body, trusting my medical team and trusting that me and your daddy will be the best possible parents to you.  Medically, this pregnancy has given me some grief and some issues, the challenge for me personally, has been not to overthink issues, take medication (even though when the pregnancy started I was adamant about NOT putting drugs into my body), but there are things beyond my control and so I had to do, what I had to do. There is this mummy guilt that comes along with it, I wonder if I’m too soft of a cookie, and could have ‘sucked it up’ better and toughen up more, but after nights of puking amongst other things, I gave in. In order to be the best mommy for you, I would first have to take care of my physical, mental and emotional health, so that I would be in best shape to take care of you.

I have to humbly acknowledge that I won’t get everything right, there will be struggles along the way, but we will all be fine in the end. Nothing worth doing in life is easy, so with this thought in mind, I’m/We’re looking forward to your arrival in about 31 days, and the rest of the 18 years (?) with you, learning new things about parenthood, making mistakes and growing as a family. One thing is constant tho, you are loved beyond words.

Love,

Mummy.

PS: This is me, after two continuous nights of not waking up in misery, looking all fresh and happy at 35.5 weeks of pregnancy. Its worth documenting because I have not had good sleep since 27 weeks!

#MESSYHAIRDONTCARE

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