Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Is this the hormones speaking?


So last night, while I sat in darkness contemplating the complexities of life and carelessly scrolling through my Facebook feed, I chanced upon this article.

Although I didn't quite understand why two of my friends had shared it (because it didn't seem to contain much information other than a mention that a mom of a 2-month old had committed suicide) it did strike a chord with me.

I've always felt strongly about self-worth and in cases of many new moms, it seems to be something that is ignored / forgotten / put aside. 

Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged in our day and age. Of course, with all the various benefits it provides to both mom and child, why not? But it also seems to be a cause of un-needed stress to many families. 

I've read so so many articles about moms commiting suicide because of post-natal depression tagged to the belief that their bodies were unable to provide nutrition for their young babies. So many posts about how moms were shamed for giving their children formula instead of "liquid gold". So many of my friends, who are shy to admit that they no longer breastfeed and quickly gloss over the topic for fear that some judgement may be passed. And seeing all this makes me feel so upset.

Upset at the fact that even something as natural and wholesome as a mother providing for her child can turn into a means to put an individual down or put someone on a pedestal. I've seen moms with great milk supplies boast about being "cows", wearing breast milk jewellery, YES, Breast Milk Jewellery, like a badge of honour and although I'm happy for them that they get to save on the exorbitantly-priced formula and of course provide their children with milk that is naturally the best for them, I can't help but wonder why, WHY do they liken themselves to COWS?

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against cows, but humans feed their babies human milk, and cows feed their babies cow milk, and cats feed their babies cat milk, and goldfish feed their babies goldfish milk........ (wait, what? You get my drift.) And you don't see Cats or Goldfish calling themselves COWS right? So, what's the deal?

This then leads me to my next question, does one not feel insulted when one is admired for the sole purpose of being able to produce milk? (It's not like one needs to make any effort to produce milk, the body kinda produces it on its own...)

Because the father of my kids referred to me as a milk dispenser that day, and I must say, I really did feel rather offended.

Now, I'm absolutely not undermining the amount of work it takes for a breastfeeding mom to nurse her child. Sleepless nights, aching back and shoulders, extremely painful boobs (if engorged), sore nipples, YES. It isn't easy. Especially the fact that in the first few months you are resigned to the duty of stripping off your shirt every 2-3 hours or so. But when your milk supply dwindles, does your confidence dwindle too?

Mine does. I have family members who live-in with me every once in awhile and when they are overly concerned about my milk supply, I have to say, I feel very worthless. VERY worthless. Because it's at times like these that you realise nobody really gives a shit about you. The shit is all about whether or not those boobs are producing the milk required for the baby. Whether or not you've had lunch is all about whether or not your body will be able to make the milk if you're running on an empty stomach. Sad, but true. I could be overly sensitive here but to a certain extent, it makes sense. Doesn't it?

So please, families of nursing moms, give it a break. The mom is NOT a COW.

Nursing moms, you are not a cow. You are a Mother. More importantly, you are your own individual, with a set of goals, ideals, aspirations and dreams. Never lose yourself. No matter how difficult it may be, find time to love you. 

Formula feeding moms, your child needs your love and attention and you being there for them. Thankfully for modern technology, there are so many ways to supplement your child's diet. So don't blame yourself, and don't let other people blame you. Only you know what's best for your child. Whoever tells you otherwise can take a hike.

#fedisbest

Friday, January 20, 2017

Confinement Nutrition Round Two

So, I just completed the last of my ordered confinement menu and while I'm so happy to be "free from confinement", I must say I will miss the yummy doorstep delivery service.

The Natal Kitchen is a service provider for nutritious confinement food and I almost believe that they are one of the reasons I got "knocked up" a second time round. Sometime last year, I was lucky to be given a chance to try out their menu and I made a mental note to order from them if and when I get pregnant again.

To find out what I think about their food, you may refer to the post I wrote last year.

This time round, I ordered their trial menu once again, while I was still pregnant, just to make sure they still taste as good as they did last year. Now, the confinement period is supposed to be the time where "fresh moms" are treated like queens, and while I personally don't mind eating out of a bento, I know some ladies who do; and well, queens don't eat from tapau boxes. So I gathered a couple of friends to share my trial meal with me and re-plated the dishes so that they looked like home-cooked food. #playcheat

Watch how easy it was to prepare a feast fit for royalty!

video

I had two friends over and #mysweetkambing shared the food as well, so that made a total of four of us. Other than the rice, the dishes were more than enough to fill us all up. That's how large their serving portions are!!!

Some comments from my friends:

"Wah! So much ah?! You mean this is supposed to be ONE meal for ONE person!? Wow. I want to do confinement too!" - Jeremy

"The soup really has a lot of 好料 (good stuff). Very nutritious." - Evalee

"I love the vegetables! They're so fresh and cooked so nicely!" "I agree!" - Jeremy & Evalee

"More?" - Bart 

I have to make a disclaimer that the food was still warm when it was delivered. There is actually no need to re-heat. I only did so for the purpose of content for this video.

That said, if you are in the last stages of your pregnancy and looking for a confinement food service provider, look no further. This one is really thumbs up.

Have a smooth delivery and a happy confinement!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Our 3D2N Staycation at Mount Elizabeth Novena

So, on the night of the 15th of December, we made our way to Mount Elizabeth Novena to check-in for our 3D2N stay. We made it a point to check in as late as possible, so as to save the extra night stay. (yea yea cheapos to the highest degree, I know)

But to be honest, when the contractions started coming at 10pm, I wasn't quite sure if "this was it" or not. Sounds so noob right? I've been through this once pretty recently, surely I'd be more experienced than that?

Nope.

To say the least, this pregnancy has been ENTIRELY different from my first one. With Bart, there were no contractions painful contractions, no pain, no aches, no nothing. If not for the growing belly to remind me, I would probably have forgotten that I was pregnant. Even the delivery was so smooth and pleasant. (Ok, except for the big shock that the dad and I got when she came out and her head was so elongated. This, of course, is normal in all natural births. But being first-time parents back then, we didn't know that!)

This time round, I had no symptoms in the first trimester. But the second trimester hit me like a b*tch. I felt heavy and tired and clearly, breastfeeding on top of having to carry a toddler around 80% of the time didn't help much to relieve my problems. Baby Number Two was also A LOT more active in my tummy, making sure his presence was known.

video

Third trimester I had thrown in the towel. (Refer to previous post)

The great thing about it all is that Baby Number Two seemed to be pretty understanding towards his health-declining, increasingly-fatigued mother and decided to come out two weeks early. Woot!

Our EDD was 31st December 2016, and we were kinda hoping we could try for a New Year Baby (Hello Diaper Sponsorship!) but I guess fate would not have it so.

Our special alone time on
her first visit.
Either way, when I was headed to have my bath at about 9pm on the 15th, I had an inkling this was going to be the night. After Bart's bath, the first contraction came and I must say, it was then that I realized why in those TV shows and movies, people are always so drama about it. Because it really DOES hurt! Me being me, though, I refused to let it take me down. I continued to get Barty dressed for bed, gave her her milk, and went through our usual bedtime routine. Just as she was about to fall asleep I asked her, "Baby girl, Didi might come out today. Are you ready to be a Cheche?"

She looked up at me with those sweet sweet eyes, smiled, nodded and said "uh-huh", the way she always does when she means to say Yes; Closed her eyes, and fell into a peaceful sleep.

It was one of those heart-melting moments I pray I would never ever ever forget.

Now, I shall leave out the gory details of the whirlwind of events that happened after. Seriously, who wants to read about how I had to break the nurse's arm because the anaesthetist was taking what felt like forever (actually only about 30 minutes) to arrive, and then about how I had to birth a child? Yes, another birth story. Boring shizz, next please.

"Testing out" the bed. He actually made me
get off so he could take a nap on it...


So, fast forward to the fun part. The part I was looking forward to the entire pregnancy. The hotel hospital stay. We delivered Bart at Mount Elizabeth Novena also, and back then, the entire excitement of having a baby and being a new mom was just so overwhelming that I barely had a chance to truly enjoy my experience there. When they told me I could be discharged I was like "what?? So soon? But I haven't even finished my complimentary Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries yet..."

This time round I came with a vengeance. I'm gonna finish all my toiletries, all the sparkling water, cranberry juice and VitC 100s in the minibar, take 109234782691 photos with the photo props and thoughtfully positioned photo wall (right next to the window for good lighting) and eat up all the incredily large and delectable portions of gourmet hospital food. I made it a point to take a walk outside my room to the nursery and relish in the quiet, serene ambience of the ward.

Making full use of the photo props
before checking out.
Didn't manage to do all that eventually. They kept topping up the toiletries and drinks and made it so convenient for me to "call for baby" that I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my room. The comfort of my BED, in fact. But of course, I did get out of bed la. Took a couple of nice showers and long poops (sorry not sorry for the details) in the five-star bathroom. If not for the safety bars and "call for help" buttons I would've thought I was in the Shangri-La.

Anyways, I'm writing this post about 3 weeks out of hospital and seriously, I'm missing it already. (Actually forgotten some of the stuff which I wanted to rave about...)

What left the best impression though, was not how splendid the facilities in the hospital were, nor how luxurious the bedding, nor how thoughtfully designed the single-bedded rooms, nor how perfectly grilled the sirloin steak was.  

It was the nurses, the housekeepers, the waiters and waitresses (that's what was written on their badges), the concierge and everyone of the staff who put the soul; the heartbeat into what would otherwise just be a luxe hospital.


My last breakfast in bed. :(
The stellar service of all the staff who maintained the highest levels of professionalism at all times truly deserves a shout-out. I can't imagine if I had to attend to someone's minute request of "can I have a milo please?" in the middle of the night.

Before this starts to sound like some academy award thank you speech, let me just say that I would never have thought that some nurses not only have the charm and ability to literally brighten up any room/ward they walk into, some also have great talent and potential to be stand-up comedians. Specifically, NC Norijah, who came into my room on the second day to give the father of my children and I the low-down on getting the sleepy baby to latch on properly (for chrissakes). Although I'm quite sure she's probably done this "script" a million times before, it was so relatable and funny and it actually put Chun in his place."Daddy, have you read the notes in this pink file?" "huh? What file?" "THIS FILE. You haven't read it? What have you been doing huh? Your wife never read because she's busy breastfeeding and she just gave birth, that's understandable. Why you never read? What're you busy doing? Catching pokemons is it? READ THE NOTES IN THE FILE." Sounds fierce, but it was all in good humour. Effective though, because although he (still) didn't read the notes in the file, he took on a more active role in burping and diaper changing, and actually got up at night to help out. As opposed to sleeping through the night with baby number one.

When we came home from the hospital, on one of those days where both babies were asleep at the same time (*chorus of angels*), I took the file and had a look at the very first page of notes. This is what I saw.

I like this hospital very much.


Of course, on top of having (in my eyes, and I'm sure many others too) one of the best gynaes in Singapore to deliver my baby, one of the best paediatricians to see to baby to ensure all is well, and of course, one of the best teams of staff and nurses at this awesome hospital to recuperate in, I also have to thank God for the great support system of family and friends.


I never got to claim my Oscar nomination but delivering babies with this lot sure is enough to make me feel like a star.



Friday, December 9, 2016

Late Night Jitters / Early Morning Woes

So I find myself wide awake, here at 4:52am, hungry and wondering how I'm going to manage two babies when Number Two is out. Hoping to find some solace in my long lost blog, here I am, going through my old posts, and finding a half written post about Bart's first birthday party; dated 14th May 2016. MAY. 2016.

Gosh, what is wrong with me? Procrastination gets the better of many of us, but this, this really takes the cake.

I've always known myself to be of poor discipline, but after 20 months of being a mother, I am proud to say that I now, at least, make it a conscious effort to make my bed every morning. 

... Ok yeap, it's pretty bad. 

Hands up anyone else who's the same. Wait, no one?

So here's the cue for me to turn the iPad off and bury myself back in bed, and hope and pray my bad habits will all go away by the time the sun rises.

But no. 

I must finish this post. I read an article once that says it takes 21 days of repeating the same task daily to make it a habit so I'm going to try that with this blog and hope it works. Waking up at 4am though? Yea, probably shouldn't make that a habit.

Anyways, with that, here are some of the things that are keeping me up this fateful night. Feel free to leave advice, support, words of encouragement or your credit card details in the comments section. Ok wait, for the last bit, you can just email me. 

1. The Sleepless Nights.

Up until now, Bart still wakes several times in the night. On a good night, she falls back asleep without much fussing. On a bad night, well.... it will be lots of whining and pointing and me trying to figure out what she's pointing at and offering hugs and kisses and her not wanting a hug or a kiss but just that one damn thing she is pointing at but Mommy just doesn't know what it is then the whining turns into wailing and then outright screaming and yelling and the neighbours start to wonder "gosh,what are they doing with that child" and... ... You get the picture.  Yes, nobody said it was easy and I'm not complaining. But I really can't help but wonder how I'm going to handle this to the power of TWO.

2. Over-Simplifying Vs Over-Complicating.

I like to think that my other half and I work pretty well as a team. Ok, we really do. As long as there are no babies in the picture. He thinks I over-complicate matters, and I think he relies too much on winging it. Because at the end of the day, I'm the one that's doing most of the winging. Can't be helped right? I mean, I can't expect the man to breastfeed a baby.

The thing is, I totally winged it with Bart and on hindsight, though I think I did a pretty good job, there were a lot of things I could have done better, just to make my own life easier. Note: Just to make MY OWN LIFE EASIER. I mean, although I've never been much of a planner, I'm sure there's a pretty good reason why a wise person once said "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

With the experience from getting through the first year with Bart still fresh in my mind, I figured I should make full use of this opportunity to get myself fully ready and prepared for Number Two.

"make my life easier make my life easier make my life easier"

I'm not whining.

With Bart, I started work 3 weeks after I delivered. I rushed to, from and even between shows on my scooter to ensure I could get home in time for her next feed. She breastfed exclusively. This means we're looking at every 2 hours MAX. Besides having to head out for work as early as 5:30am on some days (even after a whole night of feeding, diaper-changing and, oh gawd, colic), my work required me to shuttle to various schools located all over Singapore. I was torn between bringing home the bacon and bringing home the boob. Yet, we survived. Bart grew healthy and strong. And I didn't die of exhaustion.

But this does teach me one thing, a good plan could have and probably would have made all the difference.

This time round, I'm certainly not prepared to handle a toddler, a newborn, exclusive breastfeeding AND work all at once. So I put my foot down and told the father of my children that he's going to have to take over night duty. (ALL HAIL THE AMAZING INVENTION CALLED A BREAST PUMP!)

Will it work out? I don't know. You know how you can always plan and plan and plan, but nothing ever goes according to the plan anyways right?

3. How Do They Do It? HOW?

So social media is pretty evil. I look through all these posts on Instagram and see all these picture-perfect children doing all these picture-perfect things in their picture-perfect homes with their picture-perfect moms. And I have to be downright honest to myself about this. THEY can do it because they possess this amazing skill of being able to multi-task, because they have the ability to manage their time, to focus, to get things done. Of course, all this and on top of it, good cameras, an eye for detail and pure, genuine talent. 

All of these which I, sadly, do not have. So what can I do? Feel bad about it and stay up awake all night wondering why I can't be the same. Oh, talk about insecurities.

Anyways, I ended up finishing up this post only now because I fell asleep eventually. SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT NEVER BEING ABLE TO FINISH UP A TASK?! But that's ok. Sometimes we just need to be a little less hard on ourselves and a little harder on other people. Like how I've let my Dad come by last minute to pick Bart up for a day at Grandpa's. Well... he offered! And I really just want a nice, proper lunch and some rest before my show later this evening. Full-term and still on stage entertaining the general public. I'm really not that lousy after all.









Friday, May 13, 2016

Exabra from Japan

So I recently popped by Cle Maison, a boutique bra studio nestled in a quiet corner of Central Singapore and shared with the consultant my worries about the future of my boobs.

Yes, they were never big to begin with but after 14 months (and still counting) of breastfeeding, I have noticed that they have started to look mildly saggy. *shockshockhorrorshock* I'm not sure if it's just me being paranoid, but anyways, Exabra, this special range of functional bras from Japan, not only helps to shape, it also has a range that promises an increment of one whole cup size, in a MONTH.

No surgery, no pain, no need to travel to Korea. Or Thailand.

Curious to find out more, and of course if it really works, I gave them a call, and made an appointment to drop in.

Yuki, the consultant, was really warm and friendly, so it was easy to share with her my concerns. After a quick chat, she proceeded to measure me up to check to see if I was wearing the right size. It is common that many women are wearing the wrong bra size due to lack of proper fitting during bra shopping. And a badly fitted bra can cause damage over the years.

"A woman's boobs change size six times throughout her life and it's common to find the same girl coming up a different size in each store or label." - Mirror.co.uk

So, are you wearing the right size? If you are unsure, you can check by doing this quiz!

Thankfully for me, I was wearing the right size. I told Yuki about how I have to use a larger cup size for half-cup bras, and she agreed that it was common. One size doesn't fit all because the cutting is different. And this is also why it is so very important to get fitted properly.

After measuring and ascertaining my size, she headed out to pick out a few different cuttings for me to try for size. Of course, she chose a few various sizes and this is where the fun begins.

After putting on the bra, it looked just like any other normal bra, but that was because I didn't have it on properly. Apparently there is a METHOD to wearing the Exabra so that you work your boobies to their fullest potential. Following the instructions on the video, and with some help from Yuki, I finally had it on right and WOW. There really was a very big difference!

Happy with the result, I chose 4 bras in total! One design from their Midi day range, one from their Strapless range, and two from their Grow Night range.

Now let's talk about the functionality of their bras.

The Midi range

1. Creates a maximum cleavage.
2. Supports the breasts and allows the shape to be natural.
3. Is made of soft, comfortable and breathable fabric.

It is designed for people with sensitive skin and also those who experience discomfort and pain at the underwired area while wearing a bra.

Ω

Without any restraint to your body shape and size, this bra is lined with layers of high quality laces and will give you a soft, elegant and luxurious finishing look.

The Strapless range

1. Gives you a prominent and nicely shaped bust.
2. Keeps bust in ideal position.
3. Is suitable with any type of clothing styles.

Basically this range maintains all the key EXABRA functions minus the straps, so that one can wear slinky tops while keeping the secret to those perky boobies a secret!

The Grow Night range

1. Provides bust support during sleep.
2. Has no underwire, for comfort.
3. Provides bust care throughout the night.

Now, Grow Night is the first "Night Bra" in the market designed without underwire, exclusively for use during bedtime.

Personally, I have never had the habit of wearing a bra to sleep. The idea of having my boobies, however little, all caged up through the night is just beyond me. But Yuki assured me that the Grow Night range is comfy and I certainly won't be losing sleep over it, so I thought I'd just give it a try.

She was right. Made of Power Net fabric material, with wide width elastic bands that prevent lower bust from hanging around everywhere during sleep, this bra provides ideal comfort, and I would imagine for those with bigger boobs, better sleep quality, as well as all-round care of the bust.

Not just that, it works while you sleep! It's patented design has a unique interfold to effectively prevent bulging fats and keeps bust in shape while lying down. The wide shoulder straps also reduce weight pressure of the bust. So over time and daily use, it sort of shapes your muscles and fats to keep them together to achieve fuller, better shaped, less saggy boobs!


If you would like more info about EXABRA and how you can get those boobies in order, here are their contact details!

Cle Maison Lounge, 46 Kim Yam Road #02-25 The Herencia Singapore 239351
T: 6333 1318
Facebook: www.facebook.com/clemaison.sg
Instagram: @cle.sg


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The aftermath.

Ok so the party is finally over! And this is us reeling from the aftermath of it all. 
  Don't be fooled by my grouchy face. I was actually really really happy and glad that my guests had a good time (I hope) 😅 

Barty was nonchalant about the whole thing like "uh yea. Oh they're here to celebrate my bday uh ok let's eat cake uh ok photo uh another photo ok. Geesh these adults"

If you look at the photos she has that "uh" look in practically every shot! 

Well I can only comfort myself and say that when she grows up and says that I never threw her a proper party I HAVE PROOF. 

That said, I would just like to thank EVERYONE that came down, and of course those who came to help.

In chronological order:

My parents for helping me watch Bart whenever I had to run errands. And for dressing her and letting her Arrive in all her First Birthday Glory, fashionably late. 

Nikki for all the love and also for babysitting.

Mel for helping me put the buntings together and sorting out decor the day before and also for picking up the churros.

Xiuqi for adding oil and coming by early to set up and also for running out halfway to pick up tapau boxes. And also Eric for all that and helping to pack up after.

Jeremy and Evalee for offering to come in early and pumping all those crazy balloons. Tying them is no easy feat and our hands got really dry but they did it without a word of complaint. ❤️ Jereny even walked out in the blistering heat to pick up MORE balloons and candle for the cake. Then they continued to help with decor, serve cake, take photos, clap hands, hold mics, play music, and pack up. Really guys. \m/ #bestcolleagueseveraward

Phyllis for doing a wonderful job of ensuring the kids had a good time. (Can always count on you for that)

Jessica and her team from Solasta for putting up the incredibly pretty dessert table. (So pretty until cannot bear to eat!)

Audrey from Churro101 for helping me with my order for the limited edition strawberry flavoured mini churros. (They were delicious!) 

Prakash from Quentin's for the buffet layout and great food. (Lots of compliments on the sustenance!)

Atika from The Serendipity for the cake.

Ok done with the thank you speech. Detailed post soon.
 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Almost a year...

Wow I know I keep saying this but I can't believe my dear child is almost a year old. I absolutely love planning parties and have been dreaming of throwing parties for my kids even before they were born. 😅 

And now, I get to plan one FURREAL. Excited much, but it really is a lot more work than I thought. 

Firstly, trying to juggle work, breastfeeding, diaper-changing, party-planning, invites and actually trying not to neglect baby at the same time is NO EASY FEAT. I mean, she's the whole reason for the party to begin with and it totally wouldn't make sense if I forsake my precious time with her just to throw The Party Of The Year. Right? Right. 

It's tough trying not to get carried away though. So I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night, while she's fast asleep, to get some stuff done. And this post? She's sleeping in my arms as I type on my iPhone. (Thank www.God.com for the Blogger Mobile app.)

All this has no doubt contributed to the increasingly darkened and heavy under-eye baggage, but I can only cross my fingers and hope and pray that this will all be worth it.

Just some thoughts, and hopefully, I will find time to blog about the party-planning process soon! 



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