Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, I wanted to write this post for quite sometime already but have been distracted with so many other topics.

I am not close to Mum and many times throughout my life I have had clashes with her. She longs to be close to her only daughter but certain things that she does and say just dun agree with my principles. However, ever since I moved out from the family home, our relationship has improved. She really has a good heart and does things for the good of her children. I guess her past history has shaped what her views are today. She comes from a family of 13 children and most of her life she has been bullied by one sibling or the other as she is the only one that is not really studious. During the younger days, since she was a housewife, her sisters who stayed around the Klang Valley, left their kids to her during working hours. She has been really generous to her nieces and nephews and always do things for their own good although she gets no returns. I don't know, but I have always had this thought that maybe that's why our family has been poor all this while, supporting others , besides the amount spent on educating us in Singapore and besides being cheated by a sister. When she took care of her Dad when he was ill, all siblings accused her of all sorts of stuff. Its really not easy taking care of an elderly person who is sick, yet she was not appreciated and led to all sorts of accusations. All these has led her to be insecure in her life. I was a guilty party of not supporting my mum during that time but I really admired my ko who supported her all the way against all the uncles and aunties.

Even at this age of 62 now, she is still enthusiastic about learning new things, buying heaps of books and CDs to improve her knowledge. I must admit that she gives good advice and I have come to respect my mum of who she is and I will try my best to improve further our relationship before its too late.

I am extremely thankful that she is able to take care of Arielle for us during the weekends. It is really such a great favour and even now she takes such pleasure in cooking and feeding Arielle, making sure Arielle gets the best nutrition base on books that she has read. Together with babysitter caring for my little angel, she has grown taller and bigger.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Missing Arielle

The first night at the hospital, I had to let Arielle spend the night with her babysitter (first night ever she slept away from home) as Jon spent the night with me. She was ok apparently. But I was told that the next day her mood just changed. She refused to eat, refused to sleep and so on. So that the second night, Jon decided to bring her home. When Jon told me, tears just weld up in my poor little girl. She was over the moon when Jon went to pick her up. She could not wait. Jon was told that every few minutes she would be going to the gate to check if Pa Pa had arrived.

I am missing spending time with Arielle the most during confinement. I miss being with Jon and her on our weekend nights out. I miss holding one side of her hand and her look as she looks up to both of us with a sweet smile telling us that she is enjoying her night out. I miss carrying her whenever she said "pau pau" as I can't carry her right now until my wound is fully recovered. I hope she understands that and not think that I do not want to carry her anymore. I miss being with her at Sunday School and Musikgarten class but its also good time for Jon to spend much more time with his daughter. I have got two more weeks to the end of confinement and I pray I will be totally recoverd by then to spend time with her. But then I have Aaron to care for so I am not sure how my routine will be. Oh well, take one step at the time and leave the rest to God.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Search for a Confinement Lady

This time round we decided to get a confinement lady (CL) as my parents find it really tiring to do it all over again and we have Arielle to take care of. We already decided this in January but me being last minute only decided to act on booking one only in May, 2 mths to delivery, which is already quite late. I did search the Internet though and did obtain certain contacts from various forums and blogs. A friend of mine who had her son in February did forward me a list of CLs, also from the net. But I did not get round to calling them. I wanted an English speaking one and based on the names I gathered that none of them could speak English. Furthermore I was advised not to get someone of which I could not have references for. So I procrastinated. PN gave me an English speaking contact but when I called, she was already taken. Then I remembered, one of Jon's ex-ex housemate telling me that she was going to stay in a confinement house in Puchong which also do provide CLs. I called her, asked for her opinion and also contact of the confinement house. Its Fong Chai Confinement Services at Puchong Jaya. Its owned by an elderly lady by the name of Mrs Wu, who do not know English but her daughter, Jeslyn, can communicate in English. Jon & I dropped by the place, met the owners, and a few days later decided to put in the RM500 deposit for a CL. Our condition was..try as hard as possible to get an English speaking one though haed to come by. What was good abt this was, if we are not happy, they can send in a replacement. Apparently I was also not able to meet the allocated CL before hand as she was on other engagements. So all I could do was pray for a good one.

God answers prayers! My allocated CL can speak English and she is pretty good especially in cooking and taking care of the precious little one. She is Aunty Cheong. She has been in this line for 4 years already and being a CL is a calling from God. She is a Christian and she shared with me that she was a cook before in a household but she wanted to give up the job as she found it difficult to serve the various needs of the membrs in the household. She prayed about it and twice in a 6-mth period she saw the words of "cho pooi yee" (be a confinement lady) and since then she started to be one. She helps to clean and wash the clothes daily and is efficient in preparation of meals. She cooks heaps of food so much so I have no chance to feel hungry. In fact I am stuffed all the time and I am supposed to be loosing weight! She also takes care of the little one really well - bathe him twice a day, changes his diapers regularly etc. She also prays a lot so its good.

However, there are certain downsides to having a CL - all my standard operating procedures of running my kitchen has been breached but I have to close one eye lor. No 2 cooks can survive in one kitchen. So this month its my CL's kitchen and next mth I will have it back. Like washing the oily dishes...I normally wash at the kitchen sink at the back but she washes in the sink of the dry kitchen, the back grill...I like to keep it closed but she likes to keep it open for convenience as she goes in & out very often. I dun want to tell her as I want her to be comfortable working here. If I told her I know she will follow. Anyhow, she is doing a good job with baby and that is the most important thing. This month is truly a "holiday" month...lots of relaxation and good food!

It is not easy to be a confinement lady - need to cook, take care of baby and the mummy especially if you dun have a good night's rest.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Gynae

I was introduced to my gynae about 2 years ago by WY who was introduced to him by an ex-cell group member. Before I even met him I have heard stories about how strict he is, both in terms of looks and dealing with patients. I was told not to ask any silly questions. I was also told that he prefers planned deliveries instead of the non-planned ones, so that would mean induced delivery or the pre-booked C-Section.

My first appointment with him was actually to do the normal check up to see if I should take any precaution if I were to get pregnant. My first impression of him was just as what I was told. Strict and not so friendly, "get the job done" type kind of person. I was, however, intrigued by him and continued with him when I was pregnant with Arielle. Moreover, his clinic was rather convenient and I could go for my appointments on Saturdays without causing disruption to my work schedule. I did ask him questions about the pregnancy and he did answer willingly although his smiles were hard to come by.

WIth Arielle, at 39 weeks, he suggested an induced labour as he said that my water level was low and that was a danger to the baby. I did ask him if I could wait till the EDD before going for the induced labour but he expressed concern for the baby, so, Jon and I say ok. So maybe I thought he wanted my delivery to be a confirmed date and did not really know the seriousness of a the water level being low until I read recently in a magazine that, that was one of the reasons for induced delivery. As in my previous post on Arielle's birth, I was induced on the first day from 7 to 12 p.m. but still could not dialate , so I heard my gynae scheduling me for a C sect already on that day. I then requested to give another chance for natural labour and surprisingly, he did allow me to try again the next day, but with a wry smile which sort of read that no matter what I may still have to go for the Op. But when I could not take the pain after the burst of the water bag and when he found that baby already poo poo in the womb, the next day, he wheeled me in for the C. During Arielle's time, when I went back for a postnatal check up and he found that my feet were swelling, his face showed genuine concern and told me there was a possibility of blood clot and asked me to go back and lift my feet up. All went well after. Oh ..and I forgot to mention that at the hospital he wears this cute little bow tie, most of the time its maroon I think...:)..looks quite cute.

When I found out I was pregnant with Aaron, I wanted to change gynae as I was of the impression that my current gynae would not allow me to try natural (he did inform me that since I had the C for my first one, I am not allowed to deliver again before 1 year is up) as all the time in my mind, he will take every opportunity to schedule deliveries so there is a possibility that he might just ask to do the C straight away. So I did visit a hospital near my place to see if the gynae and facilities were ok. The hospital was too new and there were only 2 gynaes, and I was not so comfortable with them after reading their profiles. The other option was a private medical centre at Taman Desa which was rcommended by a friend, but that was too far. So back to my old gynae I went. After all have only one dr seeing all of me rather than having so many other. Ha ha. My appointments with him were quite good and he did smile often. No mention was made about the mode of delvery until the 37th week when he asked and I indicated the fact I wanted to go for natural. He allowed but he did warn me when I was at 40 weeks and not in labour yet that there was a possibility that even when I go for induced labour, there was a possibility that my cervix will not dialate as what happened the last time, and I guess being an experienced Dr with over 30 years of experience, he predicted correctly. He told me during the op that Aaron's head was already engaged and that if my cervix was loose enough, I could have delivered Aaron normally. Sigh! Well at least he gave me the opportunity to try for natural delivery. Recently when I went for my postnatal checkup, he found certain parts of my wound swelling and he had this genuine worried look on his face, gave me antibiotics and told me to see him at the hospital in a couple of days.When I saw him at the hospital, he found my wound to be much better and when he said it I could hear the true happiness in his voice. He prescribed me some antibiotic cream and I will have to see him again this Thursday.

To summarise, I think my gynae will not make decisions base on his convenience and will advise accordingly base on each of his patient's medical condition. He is genuinely concern for the welfare of each of his patient and is quick to act in emergencies. I admire him and I think he is worth it to go to. I did ask him when he will retire during the op and he gave a rather interesting answer.."when I am unable to see". I guess he is indeed passionate about his job, not just the money in it. Keep up the good work shang's gynae!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aaron at birth & few days old

Arrival of Aaron - 30 July 2008 - II

I was finally wheeled into the OT at 2 p.m. (I assume so as that was the scheduled time). The OT staff transferred me from the moveable bed to the operating table. I wonder how many OT staff it took to carry me as I was almost 71 kg at that time. The operating table was so narrow, I was wondering if I could fit. The anaesthetician told me to sit up straight so that she could administer the epidural. I could not as I was still in pain from the contractions that still continued to come. I could hear her said “she is still not sitting up straight enough, her spine is crooked”. With the OT staff trying to adjust me I also tried myself to sit up straight but still I could hear “not straight enough, not straight enough”. At one point, I got worried and told her, if cannot, just give me full GA as I was worried that if the epidural was not administered correctly, there was a possibility that I could feel the cut. I could hear her say gently “you’re changing your mind again?”. I replied “only if it is not possible to administer the epidural”. Then I felt a few ant bites at the spine and then a sensation of ants crawling all over the lower part of my body (one would say “semu-semut” when one get that numb feeling).

The anaesthetician then asked me if I could feel my feet moving and I told I could. Heard my gynae’s voice and I started panicking as the operation was about to start and I could still my feet moving. I told her “I can still feel my feet moving (x2)”. She held my hand, calmed me down and used a needle to test my sensation. She poked me at the numb area and asked me to compare the feeling I had with the upper part of my body. Though there was a difference, I could still feel the poke at the lower part of my body and I told her so. She then told me I was already being cut and asked if I could feel. I did not want to imagine myself being cut as it was a scary thought, but yes I could feel the poking needle like sensation as I was being cut. I just shut my eyes and concentrated on other stuff like chatting with the anaesthetician. She was really nice, such comforting voice and we were just chatting like old friends. My gynae also joined in as he was operating on me.

As my gynae hardly have the time to chit chat, I took the opportunity to ask him questions like “when do you think you will retire?”, “where are your kids?”, “are they practising to be doctors as well”? and so on. I also asked him which is better – natural or C and he said natural as the cut is not as big as that of C but I guess it depends i.e. in natural if the labour is not managed well and there is a tear, it would indeed take a longer time to heal compared to a cut. The anaesthetician also asked him why some cervixes cannot dialate and he said it was due to deficiencies in elasticity fibre. We also discussed the difficulties in teaching kids nowadays.

Suddenly I felt my whole body moving like someone’s playing tug of war with my body pulling me apart. I could feel pulling at the lower part of my body and pushing at the upper part of my body. This went on several times and then I could hear my baby crying. I imagine my baby being pulled from the opening while being pushed down from the top. During that moment I just felt I could not breathe, that my heart was being suffocated. I told them I could not breathe but after for a while taking a few deep breaths, I was ok. Aaron had a harsh manly cry…so I asked “why my baby cry like that one?”. Well the answer I got was “He’s got liquid in his lungs now being sucked out” but after that his cry was also the same. I guess he is going to have a harsh voice. The mid-wife then brought my son to me, showed me the tags on his feet to ensure that the tags are of the same number as mine on my wrist. She pointed his birth mark out on his forehead to me. Made baby kiss me twice and off he went to daddy.

After that heard all the sucking sounds of the equipment used to clean the inside of me I guess..while three of us continue to chat. Before I knew it my gynae said “ok, all done”..what a relief I was. They wheeled me out but had to stay at the surgery dept for an hour for observation. I was just lying there and thinking….no! not going to have another kid…too painful as in my case, the third would be C straight away – gynae told me during the op. The initial stages of recovery for a C-sect op is really painful!

Anyway, after the hour, I was wheeled to my room and met with Jon there. He was already getting worried as I was away for some time. He thought I had complications. As the epidural was still effective I could chat with him and could even breastfeed Aaron. But as the epidural wore off abt 4 hours later from the time it was administered, great pain set in and I asked for a painkiller. The nurse gave me a penidine injection but it was useless. Simon, WY, Ann, Kevin and their kids visited at night but I was too much in pain to speak with them. WY - thanks for bringing dinner for Jon, Ann – thanks for the bread which he gobbled it down also as he was really hungry..he din have lunch except for the kaya sandwich prepared for breakie.

Was discharged on Friday- 2 nights later. Jon came with my confinement lady to pick me and Aaron. Was told by nursery that Aaron had slight jaundice and so we had to wait for a blood test to be done to determine if he could go home with us. Thank God the reading was low enough for him to be discharged.

Hmmm recently, I find myself thinking, it would be nice to have another girl – probably because, my wound is healing and there is less pain now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Arrival of Aaron - 30 July 2008 - I

Aaron was supposed to be due on 27 July 2008 but as of 26 July, when I went for a check up, there was still no signs of labour. My gynae then said that if by Wednesday, 30 July 2008, if I have not gone into labour yet, I should check myself into the labour ward, SJMC, at 7 a.m. in the morning for induction. We waited and waited but still no sign of Aaron's entry.

So on the morning of 30 July, after dropping off Arielle at the babysitter, we headed to SJMC. By the time we arrived it was already 7.30 a.m. cos of the usual morning jam at the federal highway. I was really getting very "kan cheong" more of the fear of pain rather than anything else. The nurses got me ready and by 8.30 a.m. I was on drip to induce Aaron out. Note that this time round there were quite a number of student trainee nurses around, apparently under schorlarship and bonded to the hospital. So it was rather irritating to hear the more experienced nurses teaching the trainees esp during the painful periods.

Anyhow, mild contractions came every 15 mins between 9.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. Gynae came to check and only dialated one finger tip..:(. From then on I prayed hard for the cervix to loosen up but I guess God had other plans. The contractions came stronger every 5, and then 4 and then 3 mins until about 12 p.m. when the mid wife checked and found no progress at all. The next moment we knew, they took me off the drip and told me I am headed for the op theatre (OT). We looked at each other in surprise and told the mid wife that we wanted my gynae to check and tell us his opinion directly. The mid wife told us that she will call the gynae but normally he would trusts their judgement. I was prepared to be bundled to the OT by 4 trainees who was asking each other how to trasnfer me to the moveable bed and there I was writhing in pain from the contractions. Jon jon and I got kind of cheez off and told them to get in the more experienced nurses.

Arrived at the OT for an apparently 1.30 p.m. schedule but was then told later that the op would be at 2 p.m. Contractions were still coming and I was really getting impatient. Heard the mid-wife complaining that she was told that it was 1.30 p.m. if not she would not have wheeled me down so early and that she has another patient to jaga, and her shift is only until 2 p.m...unfortunately did not manage to eavesdrop on any hospital hot gossips ha ha...

Finally the anaesthetician arrived with another confusion. Apparently it was written down that she was to administer the epidural i.e. only paralysing half the body. The mid wife told her that I have not been asked and no explanations have been given re the choices. The last time with Arielle I took full GA as I was already in so much pain and was fearful to go on half. This time round actually I told Jon that if I was not on a position to decide at the time of entry to the OT pls choose half for me, so I thought it was he who did the selection for me. But while waiting for the op I changed my mind and requested for full, again cos of fear that I can feel the knife. The anaesthetician got confused and informed that all have been prepared for half. Went between half and full several times but thank God for a patient anaesthetician. Finally I agreed to go for the half.

2 p.m. and in I went....more at the op table later....