Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year Wiser

I am spending the eve of 2009 with Khalish, who is simply The Person of 2008 in the C&C Universe. The initial plan for the evening was for Khalish and I to relax with Pak Long's family in Kuala Lumpur while Kamal joined my cousin's husband for a photography session. I asked my cousin for a rain check though because Khalish seemed to need a good rest after a first-day adventure at the nursery. He only sipped two ounces of expressed breast milk in the morning, and when he could not bear the hunger, four ounces in the afternoon.

The refusal for bottle aside, of which I am optimist would subside soon because Khalish has progressed well compared to a mere two ounces for the whole day the first time he was re-introduced to bottle-feeding, he enjoyed being surrounded by other infants and toddlers there. I saw and heard his laughter when I made another stop at the nursery to leave more diapers. Yes, this day care center is located opposite our place. It might lack certain criteria, facility-wise, that Kamal and I have for a nursery, but practicality factor made it the more appropriate choice. Most importantly, the co-owners and the nannies seem to be knowledgeable about baby care, based on our conversations.

For being named The Person of 2008 in the C&C Universe, Kamal and I got Khalish an Annabel Karmel's Baby and Toddler Food Diary, inspired by a post by Toughcookie. Too bad I could not get my hands on the title I was eyeing as the local distributor, when contacted by MPH, explained that the publication of that particular book has been discontinued for a certain reason. Nonetheless, the book that now sits on my kitchen counter is sufficient for a new mother like me. Browsing through the simple recipes, I felt like feeding Khalish with solid food tomorrow. You should see how he drooled over the adults' food and beverage. A new mother I am, I told myself to wait for January 12, 2009, when he turns six months old. In my want list are these.

About cooking, it is my ultimate wanting that I cook well by December 2009. By well, I mean to be able to prepare a complete Malay meal for a crowd of 20, at least. There. I have this intention to chill out with my chums who love to cook, and here am I thinking about E who has been having fun trying recipes. Oh, she could prepare sushi from scratch. I shall commence my effort with Khalish's food, followed by lunch box project for Kamal and I. At the moment, I am thanking my lucky star because food outlets are aplenty at this part of town we call home.

Oh, The Person of 2008 is already asleep. I have been typing this post with one hand, a skill I believe all mothers nowadays develop, well, single-handedly. Thanks to baby cradling. Excuse me, I would like to plan my solid food ingredients shopping.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mahadzir and Masnizah


Mahadzir and Masnizah
Majlis Pernikahan
December 20, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tenth






Ten years ago, 87 girls bade farewell to Seri Puteri, the school where they shared five years of growing pleasures and pains. On December 13, 2008, a day after the anniversary of their registration day as first formers, they reunited. Wiser, prettier, and of course, louder.

True to the pink and black theme, more than half of the batch thronged the gorgeously decorated Villamay for, to quote the head warden back in the 1994 to 1998 era, "a gala time". There were sumptuous buffet spreads to be savoured, spunky entertainments to be cheered for, numerous prizes to be appreciated, and last but not least, innumerable poses to be flashed at the cameras. Ten years might have passed since that last goodbye, but girls will forever be girls.

Thank you to the party planners who made the tenth year reunion an exquisite do. It reminded everybody there how fun life was in Seri Puteri. Perhaps, that was why each chum I met during the reunion still retained an aspect of that time frame. That exuberance. More photos here, here, herehere, and here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mustapha & Kalthom Family Day 2008

A Cosy Family Day
Awana Kijal Golf, Beach, and Spa Resort
December 5 to December 7, 2008


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Little Note

A note for Kamal if he has to care for Khalish sans me around:

+
I am sure you would strap Khalish in his car seat and drive to the nearest helping hand like the close family friends in Petaling Jaya or the cousin in Serdang. That is after you have called my mother or your sister to arrange for a long-term assistance. Good. However, while waiting for help to arrive, please remember the following tips that I gained after taking care of Kalish alone for one and a half months. Read.

+
Do not trust Khalish in his rocker, swing, or Bumbo alone, because the last time I left him in the lounge room to tend to the laundered clothes at the backyard this morning, he did number two so much that the excrement found its way out of the diaper and soiled not only his romper, but also the rocker. To make things funnier, I have lost my sense of smell due to flu. There he was, flashing the sweetest smile, begging to be lifted up, and when I did, voila, my top got soiled too.

So, not only did I have to bathe him all over again, I also had to do laundry twice today although it is not a laundry day. Fortunately, we have a dryer now, which resembles a Coach Ergo in my eyes. Then, there was the rocker to clean.

Thus the first sentence in item two. Do not trust Khalish in his rocker, swing, or Bumbo alone. At least, if you are around him while he is seated there, you would be able to lift him up as soon as you hear the number two gush.

+
Hold him in your arms longer after each feed for he takes time to venture into deep sleep. He sleeps longer lying on his belly. The position is good to prevent hair loss, too, although it only works for infants.

+
Another benefit of holding him longer in your arms after each feed is the reduced possibility of him vomiting. Surely you do not want to do laundry thrice a day, eh. Even with a dryer.

+
Keep wet tissue handy. It is the best temporary remedy to soiled items. To think about everything again, you might need a handbag that could fit in his stuff and your gadgets.

+
Sing or chant melodic zikr to him whenever he is on the verge of crying after a bath. As much as he loves being massaged with lotion, he also expects to be fed immediately after being bathed, hence the crocodile tears. He likes nursery rhymes, be them in English, Malay, or French, whenever he was with me. However, I noticed that he preferred national anthems when he was being soothed by you. Heh.

+
I think you have learned the following tip the hard way one morning. I would love to remind you again though that little accident like pee spray could be avoided. Could. If his penis appeared hard the moment you take off the diaper, quickly put the diaper back, wait for a while, which may require the singing or zikr chanting part, take the diaper off again, and make sure his penis was soft. Another solution is to buy wee cap from tinytapir.com.

+
Air conditioning that is too chilled, which is normal at public places like shopping complexes and airports, could trigger eczema to his exposed skin. Particularly at the face, the back of his ears, and the scalp. Therefore, apply extra moisturiser at those areas before going into such places and apply more if you notice drying skin. Cover him up as much as you could as well. Elomet is to be applied once chili-red spots appear.

+
Minyak telon is more friendly to his skin compared to minyak Yu Yee Cap Limau. I simply follow the elderly's advice, which is to rub minyak telon on his stomach and soles to prevent colic. Somehow, the advice works magic on Khalish.

+
You have bathed him in his tub once because we were running short of time for a function and yet, I was not done with ironing. I hope my instructions then would ring in your mind if you have to bathe him all alone one day. I think you should also practise bathing him during an outing where there is no tub. Nonetheless, my fervent hope is for you not to bathe him directly under the shower with you when he is still a baby. If that is the last resort though, please cover his ears.

+
Extend your reading materials to those about infant for more tips. His needs, his progress, and his potentials. I have bookmarked my favourite sites on parenting, but half of them are eye candies. Hey, those might fall under 'infant's needs', ya.
No, I am not hiding any mysterious illness. My extended maternity leave will end on December 31, 2008. Greetings to weekend work commitments. As for Kamal, act number one is the best solution to my absence, you would think. Nevertheless, you should give yourself a pat on the shoulder for being a great daddy to Khalish. You might have been busy with work, but, you have also been:

+
respecting my need to get good rest at night, as I can't afford to sleep during the day because of house work, by changing Khalish's diaper before his feeding session.

+
preparing Khalish's bathing essentials in the morning so that I could do the laundry, prepare breakfast, sweep the floor, or simply surf the Internet.

+
cleaning his bathtub after I have bathed him every morning, allowing me to nurse him as soon as he is dressed up.

+
giving me, when you are not tied to work, a nice neck, shoulder, and back massage while I nurse Khalish.

+
taking my place in the kitchen, preparing protein drinks, whenever Khalish becomes more demanding.

+
pampering me with outings during the weekends.

+
documenting our life together by taking beautiful photos of us and places we went to, as well as guiding me to snap equally good photos with your knowledge. (Note: amateurs at work.)

+
being the calm parent when I was fatigued from entertaining Khalish's demands, particularly during growth spurt or time of sickness, the whole day, alone.

I remember that midnight when I cried after Khalish woke up at half an hour interval for yet another feed which could last for two hours. You hugged me before cradling a crying Khalish and your calmness managed to soothe both frustrated mother and child. Yet, you were drained from countless meetings, endless assignments, and the long drive to Rembau, where I spent my confinement period.

+
all in all, not only a great daddy to Khalish, but also a superb husband to me.

Therefore, considering your latent enthusiasm, yes, you can take care of baby Khalish alone with a little more practice. :). Both Khalish and I love you.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jalan-jalan Cari Makan dan Kawan: Bamboo Cafe

Kamal and I learned why Bamboo Cafe's chicken chop with generous mushroom sauce, soursop juice, lemon sea coconut concoction, and con carne beef, that we ordered for lunch, were exceptionally delicieusse. The cook graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, a prestigious culinary school in Paris. When Kamal and I visit Bamboo Cafe, which is located at the end of Digital One, Subang Parade, again, there definitely will be an encore for the lemon sea coconut and con carne beef, which are rare finds.

Thank you, Rose, for the recommendation. Thank you, too, for playing with Khalish to let Kamal and I enjoy the food and beverage. I wished I could talk more with her. Time and circumstances were not on our side though. Rose had other customers to entertain, while Khalish had to be fed and changed frequently.

Yes, lunch was secondary. We were there mainly to meet Azhan and Rose, whom I first knew through mckk8286.com, a now defunct forum moderated which used to be moderated by Kamal. It has been ages since we last met as everyone was occupied with work and family matters. Therefore, the opening of Bamboo Cafe by Azhan's family was a perfect opportunity for Kamal and I to visit this amiable couple.

All four of us, like other friends from the forum, indeed saw the place as a new watering hole. A cosy little gem, the cafe was. Then, there was the co-owners' hospitality. Do give this place a try and you might find a watering hole for your circle of friends as well.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bumbo Rhymes

Photos to be posted here again once the technical problem has been solved.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rembau-Kerayong-Chini

The first time Khalish arrived at his maternal great grandmother's place, he was so excited to meet The Kerayong Clan that he refused to sleep albeit the visible tiredness in his eyes from the four-hour journey from Rembau. Oh, how he conversed with everybody in Khalishese. The adults were so engulfed in the entertainment provided by the baby that we did not bother recording him.

We pushed off to Chini for another family gathering the next morning. So, a quarter of Saturday in Kerayong and half of Sunday in Chini. The third quarter of Saturday was spent in Rembau during which Kamal, Khalish, and I got to meet the ever charming Nazeri and Su again. We would love to visit friends in Seremban, but there was a sudden change of travelling plan due to my father's schedule.

Back to the Rembau-Kerayong-Chini journey, Khalish behaved well throughout the ride, as he did for other trips. However, he must have felt very tired. He consumed milk every half an hour in the car and every one hour once we returned to Rembau. Knowing that would happen based on past experiences, I brought along energy bars. My mother bought pisang berangan, which I think is the best banana ever, on the way to Kerayong. As for water, we were prepared with a 3.5-litre bottle. Among my fond memories of travelling is having a big basket full of snacks enough to feed six little giants, namely my siblings and I.

I would love to get Khalish toys that could keep him occupied during such long trips. Time to stop blogging. I had better start browsing through my want list while Khalish is still asleep.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Che' Awe Donde

Having Khalish at home all to myself is heavenly, but I wished I had Kamal or a pair of helping hands with me, throughout the day, when the baby was going through a period of growth spurt or viral fever. He was most comfortable being in my arms, consuming lots and lots of milk, needless to say. The support system therefore was needed with daily domestic chores so that I could fulfill the boy's other demands. Both the domestic chores and the nursing have burnt a lot of calories though, albeit at the same spots. Why not my hips, why?

Nevertheless, Kamal and I are fortunate to have a child with high pain tolerance. His pediatrician thought so, complimenting the smiles on his face all the while we were in her office despite his health condition. It was a deja vu by the way. The pediatrician we met in Kelantan for his eczema said the same thing.

Kamal and I agree that he must have inherited the extrovert genes from both grandfathers. Not only does he smile a lot these days, he coos and laughs heartily as well. If he was in the mood for a conversation while others were not, he would coo at the top of his lungs until everybody else around him paid due attention. Top that with what Kamal and I labelled as funny countenance, the situation was just hilarious.

In two days, he will turn four months old. Yet, Kamal and I missed to post a picture of him at three months old here. The former was occupied with work while the latter would be too fatigued to write after Khalish's last feed of the day. I do enjoy the moments spent at home with Khalish though. At bedtime, I would regale his achievements to the daddy and both sets of grandparents with pride. Simply because I was the one who observed him.

Too bad money rules the world. Heh. December would be a month of trials for Khalish and I as I would start feeding him the expressed breast milk in bottles, according to a schedule recommended by susuibu.com. The most challenging part is, we are going to separate with each other for half of the day on certain days because of nursery familiarisation practice.

The pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines await Khalish once he reaches the fourth month of his life. He was fearless of needles during the first and second jabs, cooing at the musical toy hanging from the ceiling of the pediatrician's office. Let's pray that he stays as cheerful when the aforementioned vaccines are due. By the way, I had my first homeopathy and acupuncture treatment today.

Friday, November 07, 2008

His First Haircut

Khalish, partly because of his long eyelashes, but mainly because of his long hair that curled behind the ears, was often mistaken as a girl. When Kamal and I heard the statement "oh, I thought he was a girl" for the 39th time, we decided to chop the curls. As I intended to have the mass on my head being reduced to a very short do, Kamal thought that it was best for Khalish to have his first haircut at the salon as well. A cute sight, eh. Needless to say, he was swarmed by admiring female hairdressers during the process. Yes, we were there on a leisurely Monday.

And, needless to say, he was overwhelmed by the experience and the attention that he wailed for milk the moment his haircut process was over. Which resulted in my hairdresser having to stop my haircut midway so that I could feed him. Very nice of the staff at A Cut Above to offer one of the beauty parlors within the salon so that I could breastfeed Khalish comfortably.

There are more adventures with Khalish to be posted here, but the Internet is slow, making blogging an adventure by itself. As for me, I am going through a phase of postpartum hair loss. Not severe though. Now I know why I am created with a mass of hair, which my chums likened to a toupee at times. Heh.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Starting Anew

Doing so on a cleanest slate.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So Long, and Thanks for All the Thoughts

I have read the two books I intended to read at the hospital before and after the labour. Not to forget, during the confinement period. The perfect time to finish a book, I found out, is while breastfeeding my baby.

Yesterday, Kamal came back home late. He will come back home later tomorrow. To make do for his absence, he surprised me with a five-book set by Douglas Adams.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Mostly Harmless.

Five books to read to Khalish, which is a perfect excuse to read out loud without being labeled. Heh. Oh, and then, there is 1984 that Kamal has downloaded to his iPhone for my reading while breastfeeding in the darkness, post midnight.

You have been a great husband, Kamal. All the love in the universe for you. Yes, so long, and thanks for all the thoughts.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Busy Bee

As usual, limited time online. This time around, it is not mother-daughter date that stops me from leaving replies in the comment box or post a more accurate documentation of my life with my family. I am simply occupied with laundry.

The rest of the house is being taken care of by a daily maid. Yes chums, I am back in Bandar Baru Bangi. Therefore, you are welcome to visit Khalish and I, as well as Kamal, if he is not busy at work. Thursday is already booked.

So limited my time online is that Kamal took over the family project I mentioned in a previous post. Sigh. I will be here again once I am done with the laundry for today. Now, where is the maid?


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Of Kamal, Khalish, and I


My favourite photo from the Aidilfitri 2008 album.

Aidilfitri 2008

Our first Aidilfitri together.

Kamal, Khalish, and I spent nine days in Ketereh, which was fun. I did miss my family as Faizul spent 1st Syawal at his parents-in-law's place, Bakhtiar in Melaka for the wife was in confinement after delivering Arman, Cimi in Rembau with the rest of my relatives, and Cilan on board Melati 1 as its latest recruit. The Happy-Go-Lucky Ketereh Clan made up for my family's absence though, and boy, Khalish surely enjoyed the attention from his paternal grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

We didn't get to visit as many houses as we did the previous Aidilfitri, but we travelled further as the places we went to this year traversed more districts. I fell in love with Kubang Kerian and Pengkalan Chepa. Not to forget the Buluh Kubu Bazaar. It is a district of the best traditional attires with the best price tags.

There was a day that Khalish was extremely tired from all the visits that he slept from midnight until 4:30 a.m. Kamal and I grabbed that golden opportunity to watch Sex and The City: The Movie on his laptop. It was a great date (as we rarely met since I delivered our baby). I'm looking forward to more dates once I'm back in Bangi.

Meanwhile, I have a project to manage. A family project. No, not a second child (although I don't mind having one soon - and then, close the children chapter). The project is dedicated for The Ketereh Clan (and I fervently hope that Kamal and I could expand the project to include The -scattered - Chembong Clan).

*I appreciate the pregnancy weight I have lost so far and am enjoying the process of losing more. It is amazing that I am happy with my image now despite not losing as much as I wished I could before Aidilfitri. Be happy. Peace.

While He was Unwell

Within two days, the eczema that attacked Khalish on the day we travelled to Kelantan, as he was exposed to harsh air conditioning at Kuala Lumpur International Airport despite being covered appropriately, healed. Thanks to Elomet, Ellgy H2O Hydro-Replenishing Hand and Body Cream, and Oilatum soap bar, all recommended by the paeditriacian Kamal and I consulted at the Perdana Specialist Hospital. I will keep the Cetaphil body wash and mosturiser my cousin-in-law sent our way as a contingency set. Now, Kamal and I always keep Khalish extra mosturised, particularly in cold surrounding.

Now that he is free from eczema, Khalish has been smiling and cooing a lot. Such a good mood made a leakage episode on the morning of Syawal 1 bearable. It was also bearable because I had another change of baju kurung that matched Kamal's baju Melayu. Yes, Khalish did number two excessively again. The next times, Kamal and I were more cautious with the way we handled Khalish after his milk session.

For the aforementioned episode, I was responsible. Since Syawal arrived, I have been experiencing slight diarrhea, which got worse for the last two days. The reason I could not be online. I might have consumed too much dairy products as I was concerned of my milk production while travelling to Kelantan. Alhamdulillah, Khalish is not affected any longer.

Nevertheless, he contracted fever, with vomiting, the same day my diarrhea worsened. We were at my elder brother's place then. Bakhtiar, right after reaching home from work, brought us to the paediatrician his children frequent.

So, eczema and fever. What we learned from the latter are:
+ Always keep a thermometer and packets of cold patches handy.
+ Keep important medicines nearby, too. Fever is common among infants.
+ Dress the feverish baby in airy clothes.
+ Get a good syringe to ensure a smooth medicine-feeding.
+ Breastfeed as a mother's milk is the best medicine for a baby's illness. Eczema included.
+ If a mother who breastfeeds is sick at the same time the baby contracts an illness, it is important for the mother to get help to take care of the baby (as she tends to be extremely cranky due to discomfort from the illness).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ramadhan in Ketereh

The third day in Ketereh. Alhamdulillah.

First day:

I successfully breastfed Khalish in the narrow economy-class plane seat, the first time experience made more comfortable by a gentleman who offered his window seat. Reaching Kelantan, it was a joyous reunion with the rest of The Ketereh Clan. Seeing new people, Khalish comforted himself with more of my milk.

Nevertheless, the little boy's skin reacted badly to the air-conditioned places that he became uneasy for the rest of the day. He demanded even more milk and refused to sleep right after each feeding session as he usually did.

Second day:

Kamal and I decided to bring Khalish to a skin specialist adjacent to Bazaar Buluh Kubu, Kota Bharu. However, firstly, we went to Pasir Mas as Kamal had to meet his client. It took us one and a half hour to get there, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we ended up in an excellent paediatrician's clinic at Perdana Specialist Hospital instead of a general skin specialist. The latter was close by the time we reached Kota Bharu. We recommend the service of Dr. Mazidah Abdul Rashid, whose advices healed Khalish's eczema in overnight.

Khalish miraculously slept throughout the traffic congestion to and fro Ketereh-Pasir Mas. He was in a good mood at the paediatrician's clinic that the doctor remarked on his cheerful demeanour. He smiled, cooed, and laughed while we discussed his skin condition. According to the doctor, babies with eczema tend to be cranky all the time. Kamal and I are thankful that Khalish has high tolerance level towards the challenge.

Third day:

Kamal and I dashed to Kota Bharu for traditional attires. Followed by a search for Karipap Segera, as requested by my in-laws. My first time hunting for an item at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, which is within walking distance from Bazaar Buluh Kubu.

Khalish has been sleeping for a long stretch after each feeding session today. Kamal and I were grateful for the way his eczema healed. More time for us to enjoy others' company.

Tomorrow is the last day of Ramadhan. I am looking forward to the gatherings during Syawal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

From Camus, Chech, and Little Carl

Salam Aidilfitri.

Maaf zahir dan batin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Adventure of Khalish II

Kamal, Khalish, and I had our first mini vacation during the weekend. A test for me, in particular, on handling a baby while travelling. The major challenge came my way during the first hour of the first day itself when Khalish, without any warning of stomach ache, did number two excessively. The excessiveness wet my pants and dripped onto the nursing room floor.

I managed to clean a wailing baby and the floor all by myself. It was too much a hassle to call Kamal anyway. Back to Khalish, he slept right after I cleaned and changed him, which made it easier for me to clean myself and find new clothes to change into.  I was fortunate the adventure took place in a shopping mall.

Travel Tip 1

The parents need to pack a change of clothes in the diaper bag, along with the infant's.

The aforementioned episode aside, Khalish behaved rather well during the following outings. It would be completely well had he not let out a loud burp right after being fed at an iftar do for Kamal's clients. Excuse him. The clients' wives, who were seated near to me, were amused with his antics though.

He smiled, cooed, and laughed more nowadays. On Sunday night, Kamal came back from a meeting at 2:30 a.m., tired and sleepy. Khalish, who had just been fed then, was supposed to go back to dreamland. Nonetheless, hearing his daddy's voice, he refused to sleep. Eager to have my husband back as well, I humoured Khalish's babbling while waiting for the daddy to change into his sleepwear.

In the end, all three of us conversed with each other until 3:00 a.m. as Kamal has only met Khalish and I during the weekends since my confinement period started. Therefore, we cherish our time together. Moreover, Kamal, being away from us, thus being away from Khalish's developments, during weekdays, was amazed with his son's latest skills.

Travel Tip 2

No sense of time. Such concept is fun.

I am reaffirming this because I have been rigid with my sleeping time since the baby came. Yet, how often am I seeing my husband nowadays, and how often does he see his baby? Enough said.

Travel Tip 3

Be comfortable as comfort is the key to breastfeed a baby in public areas.

No nursing top is fine with me as long as I wear a stretchable and comfortable material. Nevertheless, nursing bras with milk collecting shells inside could be rather challenging as I would need to lift the top higher in order to put the bra front flaps and the shells in place. Not all public areas are equipped with nursing rooms.

Practise putting on the bra front flaps and the shells in place without lifting the top higher?
Resort to nursing pads and risk severe leakage?
Get a nursing cover?

Breastfeeding did slow Kamal and I down, forcing us to be contented with compact travel itineraries. I can't imagine not having Khalish around while we are experiencing ultimate fun though. In fact, Khalish is the primal factor of ultimate fun now. However, for a trip overseas with families and friends, which is still in the pipeline, I am contemplating whether or not to bring him. Having Khalish would mean compact itineraries to other families whose children are above one year old, and none are being breastfed.

Travel Tip 4

If possible, plan holiday itineraries that are baby-friendly in general, and breastfeeding-friendly in particular, which also means no expectation.

Kamal and I will first enjoy the trip back to Kelantan for Aidilfitri with Khalish. His second time there. His first time on the plane. On a second thought, I should try wearing my baby as a solution to breastfeeding him at public areas.

Travel Tip 5

Try to be as mobile as possible, particularly when travelling by public transports.

Hence, a yes for babywearing. I shall read more about it now. Wish me the best.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Adventure of Khalish I

I just came back from a mini vacation. Khalish's first with only Daddy and Mommy. Update to be posted soon.

Now, Khalish and I need to sleep :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kneaded

I underestimated the importance of sleep.

I did not get to nap as usual after Isya' as Khalish and I were in Melaka, visiting my brother's newborn. Back at home, at 1:30 a.m., I found myself seated on the bed, breastfeeding Khalish, without remembering when did I hear him cry, when did I wake up and sit properly, and when did I lift him onto my lap.

That was how tired I felt the day before, no thanks to my negligence. Indeed, I did not sleep when he slept during the day, albeit knowing that I would go out that evening. Then, I only took dinner at 9:00 p.m., instead of before Maghrib.

Today, I treat myself with a good massage.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Being

My brother's son is due to arrive in this world today.
A colleague's child has crossed the bridge to the other world.

Syukur. Redha.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bacalah

Khalish, two months and two days.


Buai laju, laju
Sampai cucur atap
Belum tumbuh gigi
Dah pandai baca kitab

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Double Happiness


Khalish, two months and two days old.



Born 3.0kg, 53cm.
Now 6.3kg, 58cm.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Blessed

For me not to blog since last Wednesday is unforgivable because I had an adventurous Friday, Khalish had new antics, my sister-in-law had a false labour alarm, my mother turned a gorgeous 55 on Saturday and Kamal celebrated his 39th birthday with Khalish and I with a big breakfast sahur, and because life has been simply beautiful.

How was your week?

A person I know would say, "mine could have been better if there was a Nasi Kerabu stall at the Pasar Ramadhan, and a wife who loves food at a particular Japanese restaurant as much as those at Chili's."

Live life today.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Come Out and Play

Side A: Come Out


My First Adventure


Bask, Bask


Shaded


Early Siesta


Milkshake


Other Adventures, Please


Side B: Play

Sleepiness strikes


Rambunctious


Blobby Pose, Sloppy Nose.


Encore, Daddy.


43 Days

Simply Syok


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

R for Resilience

Resilience.

Is for those sleepless nights with a crabby baby.
Is for the weekdays that the husband is away at work, hence no extra hands for those sleepless nights.
Is for the question, "when will Khalish get another sibling?"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Day I Left Him


The mommy's separation anxiety level is high.


42 Days

Khalish, 42 days old
(on 23 August 2008, Saturday,
which was also Aunty Mas' birthday.)

The Examination

Quotes on the examination that are relevant to my situation:

"Oh, I have an exam this Monday and Tuesday?"
(Upon checking one's schedule as the boss asked whether one could be involved in a meeting on those dates.)

"I would have registered to resit the papers without sitting for them if it was allowed to do so."
(Everybody who was within hearing distance nodded in agreement.)

"Taking this paper today is my preparation when I resit it next time."
(Upon entering the examination hall, and again, everybody nodded in agreement.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ounces

Before I left for Bangi, I spent Sunday afternoon breastfeeding Khalish. Yet, I managed to collect that much. Would I get 9oz first thing in the morning like today when I go back to Rembau?

Instead of a pair of comfortable sandals, I got myself a pack of pre-sterilised milk storage bags today. I am going for another trip, but this time, the destination is further than any other destinations that Khalish has reached. We shall have a great time.

Oh, I need a sole mate. Fortunately, Kamal treated me to Wall-E, so, I got to rest my poor feet. Unfortunately, Wall-E reminded me of Khalish. I cried, wanting to hold him more than anything.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tagged by Tuty

Perhaps, I have done this. Perhaps, I have not. It is fun to just do it though.

Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Khalish, as he refused to sleep after the 4:00 a.m. feeding session, followed by a diaper change. Boy, he cooed and laughed, signs he preferred to play.

What were you doing at 8:00 a.m.?
I was contemplating whether to continue sleeping or to bathe. Sleep is a luxury nowadays. Therefore, I continued to sleep for five more minutes.

What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
I could be found soothing a hungry baby, with my milk. Both of us on a swing.

What happened to you in 2006?
Six months as a Pegawai Tadbir Diplomatik cadet in INTAN Bukit Kiara. And, more.

What was the last thing you said out loud?
"Does he want the milk now? If he doesn't, please keep it in the refrigerator" was my message for Khalish's grandmother, upon completing another round of expressing exercise. I wanted to bathe afterward.

How many beverages did you have today?
Horlicks for breakfast, Milo for tea time, and orange juice et soy beverage for dinner. Four so far. Horlicks again at bedtime.

What color is your hairbrush?
Copper. Love.

What was the last thing you paid for?
My brother was going to Pasar Malam and I gave him two RM20 notes for Yong Tau Foo. He said my mother was paying for it. I told him to buy soy milk instead. To be precise, I paid RM6 for three packets of soy milk. The only item I spent on this week.

Where were you last night?
Being pampered at my parents' place. Heavenly.

What colour is your front door?
The front door of my home in Bandar Baru Bangi is in caramel. However, Kamal thought the colour resembles one of feces. Very uncreative.

Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet. Those that I found lying around the house are kept in a big shoe box. With that much change, I am thinking of Bakhtiar.

What is the weather like today?
Cloudy. Cool.

What is the best ice-cream flavor?
Moo! That would be milk and chocolate, combined.

What excites you?
The thought of getting more nursing tops for me. In another word, shopping?

Do you want to cut your hair?
A definite yes. It resembles a toupee now.

Are you over the age of 25?
Yes. Pourquoi?

Do you talk a lot?
I am a borderline introvert-extrovert. Therefore, I only talk a lot with people I am comfortable with. To strangers, I might appear quiet.

Do you watch the O.C?
I used to. Like Ezora, it bored me after a while. Ahmad Idham should read Faruqy's review on Ezora.

Do you know anyone named Steven?
Never, so far. I am familiar with the works of Steven Spielberg though.

Do you make up your own words?
Yes and no. It depends on my level of expression.

Are you a jealous person?
I am. The jealousy has always been based on rationales, of course.

Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'A'?
The sweet Ayue.

Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'K'?
My best friend, Kamal.

Who is the first person on your received call list?
Kamal. He was in Jusco Melaka and I needed at least two black ballpoint pens and a correction fluid. For Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan, yes.

What does the last text message you received say?
Alhamdulillah, Beth has given birth to a girl.

Do you chew on your straw?
No. I prefer real food.

Do you have curly hair?
Not now. I was four years old when I last had curly hair.

Where is the next place you are going to?
Back to Bandar Baru Bangi tomorrow. Only for two days though.

Who is the rudest person in your life?
I prefer not to be judgmental. I myself have weaknesses that I would love to improve.

What was the last thing you ate?
My mother's curry puff. Sodap.

Will you get married in the future?
I am already married. Enjoy the now.

What is the best movie you have seen in the past two weeks?
A Hallmark movie. Two more days to complete the confinement period.

Is there anyone you like right now?
I like the main character in the sinetron 'Intan'. Unassuming.

When was the last time you did the last wishes?
A nano-second ago. I wished I studied for Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan earlier. The exact wish I had when I sat for the examination for the first time months ago. My mother humoured me by saying that I tend to remember more by studying right before the examination.

Are you currently depressed?
I am happy, happy, happy. Thank you, Allah.

Did you cry today?
No. Not yet.

Why did you answer and post this?
For the record. For fun.

Tag five people who would do this survey.
The five people who want to do this. And, another five who want to do this. And another.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hampir 44 Hari

The first seven days were helter skelter. As I have documented in a previous post, Khalish was hospitalised in Hospital Tampin for jaundice, right after being discharged from Hospital Pakar An-Nur, where he was born. Inexperienced, I found being alone day and night with a newborn, who wailed the moment he was placed in the phototherapy bed, tiring.

My mother, on the other hand, was haggard from taking care of a feverish husband and visiting her daughter in Tampin. So much so, she forgot to put on the grandson's diaper after bathing him the evening Khalish and I returned to Rembau.

I had a ridiculously engorged breasts then from marathon feeding sessions while Khalish was being hospitalised. One top after another became wet from overflowing milk no matter how often I changed the breast pads. Expressing did not help either. It was then that I resorted to milk collecting shells. A day later, I contracted a fever due to the engorgement.

Helter-skelter, eh. K-lynn could vouch for at least half of the paragraph. I could go on and on about that eventful week.

The following weeks were way better. With glitches, albeit them being minor. Presenting the rest of the confinement period:

+
If I could afford the payment, I would surely have a complete postnatal care service, of which an expert comes to my place to massage me, apply hot stone on my body, and put on girdle for me every day until the 44th day. Pure pampering would be for the expert to cook special dishes that could also increase my milk production.

I could only afford three days of such luxury though. Applying hot stone on my body first thing in the morning was heavenly, but after two weeks, Khalish demanded the start of the day to be dedicated solely to him. I bathed when he was being bathed by my mother.

+
My youngest brother aspires to work in the kitchen department. He will attend an important interview soon. To improve his culinary skills, he practises every day at home.

The practice includes preparing dishes for a lady in postnatal confinement period. I now replace white rice with wholemeal bread in order to control my weight. All in all, I love all the food prepared throughout the confinement.

+
Weight, nonetheless, is a tricky subject. I could now fit into a shirt that I failed to get into on the first day after delivery. The tricky parts are the rear and thighs.

Truthfully, I do not understand the older folks' argument for imposing a no exercise rule even a month after the delivery, when my body feels ready the most. "Painful", they argued. I loathe unnecessary tension, so I wait. Three days remaining.

+
About being imposed by the older generation to do certain things, I never knew I had the patience to put on socks for almost 24 hours, even on a hot day. Just because the persons who imposed this routine on me believed that the fever they contracted while in confinement was due to them not putting on socks most of the time. I respect their decision for themselves, but, I wished they could respect mine, too.

Remember that I loathe unnecessary tension. Socks it was, although merely for two weeks. Nonetheless, I fought for my right to discard the sweater in hot weather.

+
My mother and I have different personalities that could be traced to our preference in dressing Khalish up. I love it when Khalish is in rompers. She is too practical for them though. Oh, she prefers the buttoned shirts. Whenever my mother was not looking, I would quickly change the mittens and the socks she chose for Khalish to ones that matched his clothes. She is too practical, aye.

Initially, such things drove me crazy. Now, I focus on the bigger picture. I am grateful to have my mother around during the confinement period because she has been one considerate mother, who woke up every time Khalish woke up for his post-midnight meals. She helped me with Khalish's diaper changing so that I would have extra time to sleep. Thank you, Mak.

+
I do not have much time to myself since having Khalish here. Am I complaining? Only when I had issues to blog about or photos of Khalish to upload to Facebook. Digression: I tried to upload photos on Friendster, only to receive an error message.

Drying up my milk collecting shells after each bath is the most challenging feat so far because I bathe when Khalish is being bathed and he would usually be ready first. All he knows of once he is fully clothed is that he gets milk pronto. Now, I have learned to let him exercise his lungs in order for me to get important tasks done. Unfortunately, important task here does not include blogging.

+
After another review, Kamal and I have cancelled our notion to get a domestic helper, heeding our parents' advices. Kamal offered me to take a one-year unpaid leave after the three-month unpaid leave this year. On one hand, too long a leave from work would make me feel idle once I go to the office again. On another hand, I love being with Khalish.

Not going to work also means no outstation, thus the ability to breastfeed my son for a longer period instead of using formula while I am far from him, in case my expressed breast milk production is insufficient for the whole period that I work far from home. As for now, I think five-month of leave, including maternity leave is fair enough for Khalish and I, without jeopardising my work performance.

+
Regarding breastfeeding. The second week of breastfeeding Khalish, my left nipple cracked badly that I had to stop feeding him on that side. I applied Buds herbal cream which was safe for breastfeeding, but recovery was slow. Then, a nurse who happened to be a committee member of a breastfeeding support group in Rembau came to my parents' place for Khalish's daily jaundice check-up.

I took the opportunity to ask for tips regarding the wound. The answer is breast milk itself. Apply a drop on the affected area and voila, you will see great improvement within a day.

+
The following is a delicate subject. I have brought Khalish out of the radius usually allowed during the confinement period, with hospital visits excluded. Four times within the past three weeks. The first was a practice before Kamal and I brought him further. My mother was too busy to babysit him that day anyway. We went to Jusco Seremban 2 for his bottle warmer and other essentials. The next day, Kamal, my mother, Khalish, and I went to Chini for a mega family gathering. The third outing was at Alai, Melaka, for a dinner do with the visiting Ketereh Clan. Yesterday, Kamal, Khalish, and I joined our parents for a weekly family gathering in Melaka.

Khalish was such an angel during all the outings. Hopefully, he will remain so when we go to further places next time. Kamal and I prefer to be more practical about outings with the baby within confinement period and our parents believe in similar approach.

+
Oh, I look forward to being in Bangi again. Once there, Khalish and I could meet Kamal daily instead of weekly. However, I will definitely miss my mother's care.

Hopefully, Kamal and I may visit our parents as often as possible. We also hope that they could come to our place more frequently. Khalish would love both arrangements.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tagged. By Fique.

Eventually, a little something about me.

What were you doing five years ago?
2003. I was then a fresh Bachelor in Education (Teaching English as a Second Language) graduate, who temporarily taught in Serting, where my housemates and I found sisterhood in each other.

What were the five things on your to do list today?
1. Express more milk for Khalish.
2. Read Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan notes.
3. Watch the Olympics.
4. Go to Melaka.
5. Blog

What are five snacks that you enjoy?
1. Oat drink.
2. Oat and apple.
3. Pears and oranges.
4. Chips, of all varieties.
5. Tempe.

What are five things that you would do if you were a billionaire?
1. Settle debts.
2. Build an ideal home for my family.
3. Invest in properties.
4. Save.
5. Start a business.

What are five jobs you have had?
1. Tuition teacher.
2. Temporary teacher.
3. College teacher.
4. Artist.
5. Government officer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Splash

Khalish loves water. Must be the Cancer within him.

The mommy loves his tousled look. My mother, who bathes him every day, said that Khalish reminds her of me when I was his age. I did not coo like a dolphin as he does though.

Kamal and I look forward to swimming with our little dolphin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Life with Khalish

Chech:Eccentric, at present, has morphed into Khalish: Eccentric.

I would love to write more.
Of the confinement period.
Of being a parent after a month.
Of this and that.

Time is an utmost luxury nowadays though, thus the need to spend it most thoughtfully. In other words, I am adjusting to life with Khalish slowly but surely. Until I find the perfect position to ease his colic.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Angelicarl

Yesterday, during dinner with The Ketereh Clan in Melaka, Khalish behaved well that Kamal and I managed to enjoy the Nasi Lemak, Ikan Kerapu Bakar, Sotong Goreng Tepung Berempah, Udang Cili, and Kerang Bakar.  No worries. I exaggerated.

Both Kamal and I behaved well, too. We did not consume items that would jeopardise our health, and not to forget, the baby's. Ayoh and Mok remarked that we could bring him back to Kelantan soon.

About Khalish and demeanour. Except for the first time he received a visitor at home, he has been an angel with other visitors so far. Today, he was visited by Mas.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Swell

After five days being warded, Kamal would be home tomorrow. Which is less than a day away. Gone are those nights when I sent text messages his way, reminding him to be stronger for Khalish and I.

My father contracted the fever first.
Then, Kamal did.
Next was me.
Kamal did not recuperate after a dose of antibiotic though.

We never knew what type of fever it was. My mother cooked for him a special crab soup anyway, in case it was dengue he contracted. More than anything, my mother and I were desperate to whet Kamal's appetite. We even brought a bouquet of fresh flowers to the hospital, just for a change. He did finish a full bowl of the soup.

By the way, it is now confirmed to be measles. Not the type of fever my father and I contracted. Within those five days that the doctor needed to determine Kamal's illness, Khalish has graduated from newborn diaper to size s.

Welcome home, honey. It might not be the same as you will be quarantined from Khalish. However, it is a consolation to know that you would be nearer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy, Happy, Happy

Happy One Month to You
Happy One Month to You
Happy One Month to Khalish
Happy One Month to You

Happy Birthday, too, Ayah.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

As Biased Could Be

I am fond of a photo. My favourite indeed. At the time the picture was shot, the subject was two-week old. It is one of Kamal's favourite photos of Khalish as well.

Biased as parents could be, Kamal and I think that Khalish is cute.
Pardon me, please. I am blogging at half past twelve when I am supposed to sleep like a log. Khalish was lulled to sleep by a five-ounce worth of milk at midnight. If he wakes up within an hour as he usually does, the milk monster in him will put me in deep regret for not trying to sleep when it matters most.

Sleep usually comes easily for me. However, for the first time in my life, I am allergic to medicines. Consequently, my skin becomes reddish all over due to itchiness. The medicines, they were for a high fever and joint pain. I have recovered from the high fever. The joint pain lingers, but it has subsided. Only to contract allergy reaction. The silver lining is, I can update Chech:Eccentric.

I keep my mind intact despite the itchiness by looking at Khalish's photos, too. I long for a photography session of Khalish. A picture of him as he cries for milk. Of him with his bird expression. Of him with his tongue out, indicating he would love more milk. Of him laughing after each meal. Of him lifting his head high while being burped, searching for his grandfather's voice. Of him performing this and that, reaching milestones. One fine day it will be.
For now, I keep myself contented with this particular photo. He was about to be bathed by his grandmother one fine morning. He really loved being bathed that one day, he decided to manage hunger by suckling his finger instead of crying for me. My mother thought he looked cute because he suckled his pointer instead of the thumb. So, she quickly motioned me for a photo.

Biased, eh. Oh, he is cute ;)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Uncaptured

During a final outing to the mall in week 39, I got myself birthday presents. Three books. One of them was a comprehensive D40X manual. I remember mentioning myself being ambitious in a particular post.

Not that Khalish is difficult to care for. The only obstacle to capturing more of his photos is his increasing demand for milk. My schedule actually revolves around his meal time. Which is every one hour now. Today, he had milk from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with a mere half an hour interval after an hour of clinging on me.

While he is asleep, I still can't use the camera because I need to express my milk, wash myself, clean the breastfeeding essentials, have my meal, and change his diaper. Then, there are the confinement routines.

Therefore, the camera is stuck in the cupboard. Now that the weekend is here, I am thinking of capturing more of Khalish's antics using the D40X, instead of a mere telephone camera that I used to send MMS to Kamal. However, both Kamal and I are nursing a fever that could be likened to the Chikungunya virus. Oh, well.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Awakened

An awakening it was for me the first time I breastfed Khalish. His mealtime was at three-hour interval. Each session could last for three hours.

The longest session was recorded on his first day of phototherapy session at Hospital Tampin. All he wanted was milk. Ah, he was only four days old. Breast milk was the best cure for jaundice anyway. I ended up undergoing the phototherapy session as well, breastfeeding him beside his lighted cot throughout the night to ensure he was exposed to the blue ray. My only break was when he needed a diaper change or when I needed my pad change.

Back from the hospital, for the first time, my blouse was wet from excessive milk. Khalish, he would be hungry every two hours. As I was haggard from spending my recuperation period at one hospital after another, I started to let my husband or my mother feed Khalish the expressed milk after midnight. That was when we noticed the increase of portion consumed by him. Thus, a new challenge.

How did I increase my milk production?
Thanks to blog-hopping, I gathered tips and now consume the following:

+ Enfamama for nursing mother.
+ Fenugreek beverage.
+ White radish.
+ Spinach.
+ More of oat-based food and beverage.
+ More of soy and dairy products.

I welcome more tips. Preferably, food items that would only increase my milk production. Not fat.

I also express my milk at a regular interval. In my wish list is Medela Freestyle Breastpump. For now, I am contented with the Mini Electric model. Nevertheless, once I enter office, a more efficient model would assist production. Other Medela accessories that I have tried and immediately loved were the City Style set, the contact nipple shields, and the milk collecting shells though these particular items could be improved with respective covers for their openings.

When I had a fever due to breast engorgement after being discharged from Hospital Tampin, post-midnight breastfeeding sessions became challenging. I was still tired from Khalish's increased demands while being hospitalised and there was the discomfort of fever to deal with. A knackered mother could say the darndest things. I told Kamal that I have had enough of breastfeeding. Istighfar. God is Great. Khalish contracting jaundice was a blessing as he needed breast milk to heal.

I am grateful I persevered. Nowadays, satisfied after each meal, Khalish would smile. Oh, he would even laugh. At times, during burp session, he would entertain his grandparents with funny faces. Our favourite is his bird expression.

Seeing him growing up healthy is worth the sleepless days. Today, the visiting nurse weighed him. Last week, he gained 0.2kg after losing weight from jaundice while in Hospital Tampin, weighing only 2.9kg there. His birth weight was 3.0kg. On his 20th day today, he weighs 3.9kg. Alhamdulillah.

From tomorrow onwards, the world celebrates Breastfeeding Week. To support the campaign, and myself, I shall put a photo of milk in abundance on my vision board. Amin.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Home with Khalish

Day 4. The day Kamal and I brought Khalish home.

Labour of Love, the Chronology

Due to a technical problem, the photos for this post are currently unavailable.

The Weekly Appointment

Photo 1

July 11, 2008. Friday. There I was, about to update Chech:Eccentric on the induced labour scheduled that day. The weekly appointment with the obstetrician revealed that the amniotic fluid was insufficient for Little C's survival. The pregnancy was a day shy from reaching week 40 anyway.

Here is a documentation of the day. The chronological of my labour day, to be exact. It might be two weeks late, particularly now that my baby's remnant of umbilical cord and circumcision ring have dropped off precisely on his 14th day in this world.

Yes, I might be late in documenting the precious experience here. As cliche as it may sound though, the memory will always be in my mind. As long as I am blessed with the luxury to remember.


The Labour

Photo 2

The obstetrician asked Kamal and I to be ready at the hospital after Zuhur that Friday. We decided to use JM Bariani House discount voucher, thinking I would need the calories to endure labour later. Nevertheless, once admitted into Rose 6, Hospital Pakar An-Nur Hasanah, the kilojoules were merely used for a photography session. The obstetrician decided to postpone the induced labour to the next day for two reasons. Firstly, the cardiotocography record indicated that the baby's heartbeats were stable. Secondly, the mommy needed a good sleep. She was frustrated though that she had to attend a conference the whole of Saturday. I felt the same, too. I have been a patient from her days at the other hospital to the six courses of clomid. Nevertheless, the other obstetrician is as exceptional.

July 12, 2008. Saturday. The estimated due date was exceedingly precise. I woke up as early as 5:00 a.m. To bathe, pray, and, meditate.The midwife prepared my cervix for labour at 6:30 a.m. I was to lie down for an hour for the procedure to be effective, all the while being attached to a cardiotocography machine. Never had I expected to experience contractions within that one hour. Then, they were ten minutes apart.

At 7:30 a.m., breakfast was served. It took me another hour to finish the egg sandwiches and hot chocolate drink. That was how painful the contractions were. In my mind, I was being ripped apart from all my limbs. By that time, contractions started to be at five-minute interval.

Kamal, who accompanied me the previous night, went back for a while to bathe and have breakfast. My mother took over his place as my company, guiding me with zikr. The zikr calmed me, but, I did squeeze her hands tighter each time the contraction came. The breathing technique I learned in order to ease contraction pain did help. A little.

By 9:30 a.m., the contractions were two minutes apart. Kamal arrived the moment I was wheeled from the ward to the labour suite. It was 10:00 a.m. Prior to the move, I did number two twice.

Photo 3 

In the labour room, Kamal sat by my side, offering his hands for comfort. Those hands were almost twisted when he asked "how is the pain?". At that time, the labour started to be a minute apart. Meanwhile, my mother waited outside the suite, praying for a safe delivery.

The pain getting more and more intense as my cervix dilated 3cm, I eventually asked for epidural. Having learned the technique of pushing, I was confident that the delivery process would be smooth even with the pain management. Amazingly, my cervix dilated rather fast for a first-time mother. Calmer from the epidural and the Quranic verses being subtly played in the suite, I managed to eat a quarter of my lunch, albeit with my mother's persuasion.

The obstetrician expected me to give birth at 7:00 p.m. Therefore, when she dropped by to check on my progress, she was surprised to see that my cervix has dilated 10cm at 3:10 p.m., which meant the baby would arrive in no time. My mother, who was told that I would only be prepared for delivery at dusk, was out for an express lunch then. The obstetrician reminded me of the pushing techniques as the midwives got the bed ready for delivery. Kamal took out our camera.

Photo 4

The first procedure was to break my water bag. The water was coloured, which meant the baby had done number two. Because of that, he had to be out soon as there was a possibility of him swallowing the remaining contaminated amniotic fluid. Therefore, I was given only 15 minutes to push, instead of the usual 30 to 45 minutes for first-time mother.

The obstetrician also explained the need for medical intervention, namely the vacuum, to assist the baby out. Anything but caesarian section. Of course, I have accepted the fact that episiotomy was almost inevitable.

The paediatrician was called to the room immediately to assist with complications on the baby, if there was any. As I was instructed to hold a device at both sides of the bed while pushing, Kamal had both his hands free for capturing the moments while listening to the obstetrician's explanations of what was to take place next. It did seem like a medical school.

Photo 5 

After five long pushes and innumerable words of encouragement from Kamal, the obstetrician, and the midwives, our Little C was greeted with a salam by his daddy, and I, the mommy. Kamal was the first to congratulate me. And, I him.

With a little assistance from the obstetrician and the midwives, I could hear his cries. Sweet, sweet voice. The moment the midwives put the baby on my chest, both Kamal and I felt him in disbelief. There was our three-year wait for a bundle of joy.

How beautiful those three years have been. How perfect it was now to have him as ours. Too bad he had to be taken away by the paediatrician for more procedures. The obstetrician kept my mind occupied with further explanation of the placenta birthing process and later, the episiotomy stitches. Haven't I told you she was exceptional?


The Baby, Khalish Mohd Kamal

Photo 6 

My mother was dazzled to behold a baby being carried out from the labour suite I was in when she came back from late lunch. While Kamal attended to the baby, she dashed towards my bed and congratulated me. I was recuperating from the epidural then. We talked over tea.

After an hour, I could feel my feet and the stitches, particularly near the anus area. Somehow, I was on my own when a nurse wheeled me back to my room. Kamal was back home to plant the placenta. My mother was updating my family members of the latest arrival in the family.

I requested the nurse to stop by the Special Care Nursery, where Little C was. The whole 3.0kg of him appeared very tiny in the incubator. Oh, he was beautiful, as well. I stayed there for a while to soak the sight of him. The combination of his beauty and the fragility brought me to tears. Quickly, I asked to be wheeled to my room for I did not want him to sense my mixed emotions. Most of all, it broke my heart that he had to be in the incubator instead of in my arms.


The Breastfeeding

Photo 7 

Therefore, the next day, when I was called to the nursery to breastfeed the baby, I forgot the discomfort of episiotomy stitches. In fact, I sped towards him. Kamal and my mother were there for support.

Khalish, the name Kamal and I decided on upon seeing him the day before, found comfort in my embrace. He also latched on to my breasts intuitively. I wanted to bring him into my room, but he had to stay in the incubator.

From then on, I spent most of my time at the nursery. At first, breastfeeding became a challenge when Khalish cried even after hours of being latched to me. Particularly post midnight. Alhamdulillah, there always was a breastfeeding consultant to motivate mothers like me.


The Jaundice

Photo 8

All in all, I was in the hospital from Friday until Monday. After being taken out from the incubator, Khalish was diagnosed with jaundice due to the bilirubin that gathered at the swollen, vacuumed area on his head. Back in Rembau on Tuesday, a nurse from Klinik Kesihatan Ibu dan Anak Rembau visited my parents' place after Kamal and my mother went there to register Khalish and I for postnatal care.

Khalish appeared yellow still, thus a blood test at the clinic at 2:00 p.m. By 4:00 p.m., we were already in Hospital Tampin as Khalish had to be hospitalised. His jaundice reading was 290. After two sleepless nights in the hospital, his jaundice level dropped to 218. Alhamdulillah, the number has been stable since. According to the doctor there, the jaundice would linger until the minor swell subsides.

By the way, I did not feel any discomfort when doing number one for the first time right after labour, thanks to a friend's advice. She reminded me to turn a tap on as I use the toilet. Psychologically, listening to the water from the tap, I felt a free flow down there. Thanks also to lactulose syrup for enabling an uneventful number two experience for the next one week.


The Visitors

Photo 9

In Hospital Pakar An-Nur Hasanah, with each throng of visitors, I would find the opportunity to walk to Khalish's nursery. The visitors, they provided me strength. My cousin, Anita, and her family was the first to visit as they were nearby.

Next were my brothers. Bakhtiar brought along his family. My sister-in-law, Kak Ni, and her family, came the next day. Then, there were my chums and their respective families.

In the photo above were Ayue and Fique. With Fique were her husband, son, and brother. My officemates went to the hospital as I was about to be discharged. My brother-in-law, Abang Mashri, was the last to visit. Thank you, all, for your presence, wishes, and gifts.

Photo 10

The most special visitors were, of course, my parents-in-law, Ayoh and Mok. Being a little on the small side, Khalish could not properly fit into his newborn clothes. Surprisingly, he could fit into the pajamas Ayoh and Mok gave him.

Khalish has slept on Mok's lap when I was nursing a slight fever. He loved to listen to Ayoh's words. The boy is simply lucky to be loved by everybody.

I must mention the following: the most eventful visit goes to K-Lynn's. So much so, it deserves its own post. Later.


The Blogger

Photo 11

I will be back blogging once I am accustomed to Khalish and the new routines. For this entry, I have been sacrificing my sleep after the 4:00 a.m. breastfeeding session. My, it is refreshing to write again.

The Facebook updates while I was in labour did not count as they were done by Kamal through his telephone. In Hospital Pakar An-Nur Hasanah, I could only use the computer and the mobile modem when he decided to take a rest from work. Now that the WiFi in Rembau has been fixed, I am back again.

Hopefully with more posts here. About myself. About the new family member.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Moments

See more photos here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

SuperPokes

Little C is coming today.

Kamal and I are to go to the hospital after Jumaat prayer, so the obstetrician decided. During what was to be the final weekly appointment at her clinic this morning, Dr. Khamsiah detected a low supply of amniotic fluid in the womb albeit Little C being active as usual. Consequently, labour has to be induced.

I pray that everything goes smoothly.
Amin.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Punctuations

Yesterday, I,

encountered a funny side of a new friend,
for the first time paid bil hasil tanah,
eventually found a favoured antenatal care set,
surprisingly was full of appetite eating a hearty lunch alone,
experienced a smashing swimming date with Nana,

and,

bonded with a cousin's family.

Would Little C be an artistic Cancer or a born-leader Leo?

Monday, July 07, 2008

One Piece

I am still intact, albeit out of breath. The answer to what seems to be everybody's universal question for me is "there is not a single sign I would deliver the baby except that he is now in week 39, going to 40, as indicated by the stretched belly."

Everybody here includes strangers who think I walk in a manner that belongs only to labour room. No disengagement of mucus plug. Not even vaginal discharge. The edema has not subsided, either. There is only accumulating cellulite.

So, I walked and walked. Eventually, I ended up in a bookstore, where I got myself two books. Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie. I hope I will be able to save one for the labour room. The ambitious me.

I have pictures from the weekend, but I would like to enjoy my personal masseur's kneads first. Bonne nuit. I will walk more tomorrow.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Groundnuts, Again

My goodness. I was high on groundnuts that I sipped Coke to the last drip and got even higher. The ranting below this post explains it all.

With energy-laden mind and soul, I dreamed of an adventure set in the 50's. There were a mysterious poem lost during a train journey, a pair of white canvas mary janes lost during an expedition in search of the poem, an encounter with a lady in luscious red whose men entourage discreetly passing a scarlet package towards me. I was a chic private investigator. All in sepia glory.

Deep sleep. Awakened only by the Fajr Adhan. It is a sign from God for me to get a good book.

The Groundnuts

When sleep-deprived Kamal retired to bedshire early, I

+ make myself comfortable, with the feet perched high and the back rested on heaps of pillows;
+ compose my thoughts on Chech: Eccentric;
+ hum a feel-good melody for Little C;
+ read parental blogs; and
+ munch a handful of groundnuts, leftover of a recent activity.

After a sinfulicious dinner combo of Nasi Bariani and Sirap Bandung at the newly opened JM Bariani House in Seksyen 9, Bandar Baru Bangi, Kamal suggested a movie date under the comfort of our cosy duvet. It was an animated adventure comedy. While he configured the technical aspects, I prepared the snacks. Groundnuts for both of us. Coke for the husband and lychee juice for me. We never had any problems with movies saved in the computer, but today.

A wisdom agreed universally: eat and be merry. Exactly what we did. Stories were exchanged. Snacks devoured. I talked about my adventure at the clinic, and later, in search of a fancied lunch menu; today's conversation with my mother over the phone, particularly how the abundance of durian back at my parents' place formed an idea to request Pengat Durian from Mak for a weekend indulgence; and how I napped away the late afternoon because I have never felt this haggard throughout the pregnancy. How would week 40 feel like?

He, meanwhile, has been burning midnight oil for two consecutive days in order to complete a project. Somehow, he felt fine. He even managed to play golf with his clients. Before the conversation took place, he surprised me indeed with the suggestion to commit two hours this evening for the aforementioned movie. When I placed a bottle of oil in his palm, he gave me a massage right away. Then, at that very moment, the downloaded film failed to play and he withered. Thus the unusually short story on his side.

Heaps of pillows propped against the aching back prove to be a good alternative to a male masseur. Now, let me wither away with my midnight activities. My mind is infested with groundnuts.

Friday, July 04, 2008

38 Weeks

The weight scale at the clinic I frequented surprised me, the nurse, and the obstetrician who replaced Dr. Khamsiah for today. I lost one kilogram despite appearing big. There I stood right after having two pieces of curry puffs and a carton of chilled chocolate for breakfast, with the remaining of last evening's dinner nicely disguised as the pregnancy bulge, expecting the machine to crash.

The obstetrician did expect me not to add any weight as my estimated due date is nearing. She was concerned though that I lost weight. A question and answer session ensued.

"Were you not eating the six meals per day, dear?"
"I had a slice of cake, topped with a mug of hot chocolate, in between lunch and dinner yesterday, because my husband was around. When I am with a good company, I simply indulge."
"Good for you to not skip a meal. Do tone town the indulgence though. You made me hungry."

I had to laugh at her subtlety. Noted, Dr. Fatimah. Healthier menu next time.

"Oh. Apparently, your weight plummeted because the little champ's weight rocketed. He clearly has the idea when to be in the limelight."

The obstetrician then stated that he is now 3.0 kilogram as compared to 2.7 kilogram last Friday. The right weight. Neither too small nor too big. There, the mystery of the sudden weight loss has been solved.

Meanwhile, it seems like Little C would extend his stay at The Bulge Hotel. The pregnancy term has reached its 38th week and 6th day today, which means it will be 39 weeks tomorrow. By the next appointment, it will be a day shy of being 40 weeks.

My parents-in-law are coming to the Klang Valley tomorrow for a one week stay. Kamal's wish is for Little C to make his debut into this world before the paternal grandparents return to Kelantan. I told Little C to wait until I got my hands on a suitable duvet set for the room where both of us would spend our confinement period. I must choose the right carpet and curtain as well. From my mother's collection, of course. Blame it on nesting instinct.

The pelvic pain has subsided little by little as I now know how to soothe it. It is a call for me to walk, walk, and walk. All to ease Little C's journey through the birth passage.

Bleak House

A bleak Friday morning surprisingly seems like a promise of a vibrant day ahead.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Bags

In the course of three weeks, I have packed a bag for both Little C and I, only to pack two different and smaller bags for each of us, before removing the baby's items from the bag that her grandmother got for him to another that I thought was more suitable with his character, judging from the spirited kicks and punches. I do not know what would happen if he decides to come at week 40 instead of my obstetrician's prediction of an early arrival.

For the time being, I am thinking of packing another bag. For Kamal. I read that a husband usually needs reading items, food, and more importantly, gadgets, to keep him in the labour room. Heh. Seeing how attached he is with the gadgets at his new workstation, I shall at least remind him to bring the laptop to the hospital. Perhaps, I myself could update this page in between contractions. Who knows, it might be an effective pain relief.

For the time being, to distract my system from the pelvic pain, I humoured myself with a Sepi date. With Kamal. That was followed by Fatty Crab. Desserts were durians by the roadside.

Yesterday, my parents joined us at Famosa House for dinner. Too bad I am not in a situation to travel back to Rembau. It is raining durians at the mini orchard. Until the next appointment with the obstetrician, I am looking forward to more dates. Not necessarily with Kamal. Ayue, Fique, and Seh perhaps. Then, there is the possibility of a swimming session with Nana. Humour me do. I walk like a tai chi maestro, so, it is very therapeutic to date me. Or else, I might take seriously the idea of packing for Kamal's items.

List of items to get before Friday:

Herbanika set
Milk collection shells
Indoor footwear
Ponytail holder
Minyak telon

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

When Kamal and I Talk

Emotion seeks beauty.
Intellect seeks truth.
Will seeks goodness.

Monday, June 30, 2008

When My Mind Speaks

My favourite breakfast is in the menu today:

A banana.
Two slices of apricot raisin wheatgerm Toast'em.
A mug of hot chocolate.

Now, to dust or not to dust. That is the question. I just feel like taking a nap. Upon waking up, I shall read a book over a glass of apple juice.

My colleague at work, whose estimated due date is supposed to be slightly later than mine, has given birth last week. Apparently, people have been trying to reach me, to no avail. I am glad to inform you that I have a new telephone. Nevertheless, I hope to find the charger to the old telephone. It is not available in the market anymore.

Unfortunately, I have lost the contact details of family and friends when my computer crashed right before I misplaced my telephone charger. The silver lining is, I have learned to use Plaxo.

I obviously let my mind speaks in this particular post, eh. Apart from the matters above, I also think of this and that. Oh, the house is dusty!

In My Boots

I saw my nephew witnessing his friend being interviewed by ASP+. When I was an undergraduate, a day such as this called for doses of Milo O and Tosai Telur at Alif. At times, Ayub.

On such a day, if my five brothers and I happened to be in Rembau, we, together with our father, would camp in front of the television. Eyes glued to the match, we then took turns to reach into a big plate of Cucur Ikan Bilis, which the mother prepared just because she could not stand our loudness.
This match is dedicated to an avid Germany fan in the family, Cimi.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reach

My father, Kamal, and I now respectively own similar mobile telephones. Even if I misplace my charger, I can borrow either my father's or Kamal's.

I am reachable again.
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Casa C-212 crash victims. The Singaporean was Kamal's colleague at a branch of the company he is working with. So were two unmentioned Indonesian men. One of them accompanied Kamal to a place in Jakarta where he got a batik top for me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Life is About Celebrations

Kamal and I love to celebrate life. Apart from June 17, which is officially our wedding anniversary, we also celebrate June 18, 2005, the Saturday the main ceremony was held. Thus a special something for us every third Saturday within the month of June.

Three years ago, Kamal and I put on the wedding shoes, to walk daintily towards the dais. Last Saturday, three years later, Kamal walked slowly beside me as I was experiencing pelvic pain due to the pregnancy. More celebrations to come our way.

--<-@

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wind Orchestra Finale 2008

The secondary school I attended from 1994 to 1998, Sekolah Seri Puteri, won the Wind Orchestra Finale 2008 for Fully Residential Schools on June 21, 2008. Yet, here I am, having only a photo of the Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar ensemble. No thanks to an old boy who monopolised the camera. He rationalised later that he failed to shoot a photo of the winning school because he was mesmerised by the performance.

Not that I minded as I was there mainly to enjoy the performances by the finalists. Aside from Sekolah Seri Puteri and Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar, there were Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah, Sekolah Menengah Sains Raja Tun Azlan Shah, and Kolej Tunku Kurshiah. Little C even danced throughout the competition.

I actually dreamed that the Sekolah Seri Puteri ensemble has changed to a new, better apparel as compared to the previous year's, which was simply hideous. Kamal was amused with the accuracy of that particular dream. It would be lovely to dream that I won RM1 billion instead.

The Day

The engagement of Madir and Mas.

Anis is Four

Anis' fourth birthday was celebrated at McDonald's Ayer Keroh.

The service by the crew was beyond bad, but the birthday celebrant compensated for it by being a gracious host, greeting guests from table to table and thanking each of them at the exit for their presence and presents. Without being told to do so.

Pak Lang and Mak Lang wish Little C has your charm, darling. Oh, we are pleased that you love the jigsaw puzzle book. You even asked for more books for your next birthdays. Hugs and kisses from us, always.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Contact

Little C, what are you seeing from the inside?

I seek for the truth and so far, I found myself in your daddy. So has he.

We watched Contact to end the celebration of our wedding Saturday within the month of June.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Must Lust

Oh, I have to stop writing because the must-have next meal has morphed into a lust-do.

Macam-macam Chech

My mother is on the way to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, accompanied by my father. They would visit me, if the queue at the pharmacy is not as long as usual. Apparently, the chance of them to be in Bandar Baru Bangi, even for a brief visit, is extremely thin. In case of a miracle, I would love to have lunch with them.

I am thinking of Masak Lemak Cili Padi. Precisely, I am thinking of Telur Itik Masak Lemak Cili Padi tolo itik. Slightly crushed bilimbi in it would be a bonus.

My mother told me that the traditional way to cook the egg is by dipping a ladle of the aforementioned ingredient into the gravy until it hardens. I would love to know what is the best recipe book for Malay cuisine. One that does not only introduce the innumerable herbs and spices, but also specify each step towards a sumptuous home-cooked meal. Modern measurements alone does not help. I find conventional measurements more practical. The use of both modern and conventional measurements will be most helpful though.

I have tried the art of cooking. At times, when I was alone, I would prepare a meal according to my taste. So far, the meals are merely restricted to stir fried noodle, vegetable soup, and salads. Not to mention the petty sunny side up and scrambled egg. As for omelette, I have only prepared it in a small sized pan. Oh, Kamal is definitely a simple man.

Kamal and I share an ultimate dream thought. We wish to be able to cook for a large number of guests. Oh, no. Writing about food causes me to be famished. Excuse me while I go to the kitchen for a hassle-free banana.
An update at 12:29 p.m. My mother said that she will be here within half an hour. I have a lunch date with my parents and that is all that matters to me. Any menu is fine as long as I am being pampered by their love.

An(other) Awakening

I was awakened by a beautiful piano solo. Oh, Kamal was thoughtful to change from ASP+ to Opus after the Russia vs Sweden and Greece vs Spain matches. He also decreased the volume so the music would be a companion, rather than a disturbance. Little C gave a gesture of approval for the song selection. Not that he dislikes soccer as he also gave similar gesture when I watched the rerun of Euro 2008 matches during the day. Nevertheless, we prefer the serenity classical companion offers at early dawn. While I was a final year undergraduate with a car in Skudai, I would switch to 92.4 when I had the vehicle to myself.

I welcome anything calming. According to a blog I hopped to in search of patients' opinions of the service at the hospital Kamal and I have chosen to deliver Little C, Muslim women in labour are served with recorded recitation of Quranic verses there. Soothing to know. Must be more soothing to listen to.

My parents often advise me to incorporate more zikr in the daily life. Aside from adjusting to the possibility of Little C being awake for breastfeeding, one more reason to be thankful for a sleepless early dawn, which I am experiencing now, is the opportunity to absorb its ethereal quality. As the surrounding stands still, the sensitivity of my senses heightens to an aspiring level.

The senses, in their truest sense, are able to envision more distinctly. The vision then empowers the soul, and life becomes most meaningful. Gratification towards a meaningful existence further inspires me to incorporate more zikr in the daily life. Dear readers, this particular piece of writing shall serve as a reminder to none other than me, myself, and I.

The morning's food for thought:
"Facing facts is always empowering. Be aware that what you think, to a large extent, creates the emotions that you feel. See the link between your thinking and your emotions. Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them." 
Eckhart Tolle

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Three Seasons

June 17, 2005 to June 17, 2008, and counting.

Indeed, three is a magic number.

Monday, June 09, 2008

His First Smile

Friday, June 06, 2008

Clouds

The estimated due date is within three weeks. An aunt who recently visited my mother and I in Rembau commented that I appeared rosy. It must be the presence of the loved ones, in either physical or non-physical forms. In Kamal's case, his short yet sweet text messages gave me reasons to smile despite being extremely lethargic.

The pregnancy has been a joy, oh yes. The wonder of a person growing within me is indescribably enlightening. Nevertheless, I shall document here that I have been experiencing a bout of depression, caused by a series of past fertility treatments.

Pre-pregnancy, my husband and I were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Being family oriented, we decided to seek medical assistance to conceive a child whom we could care for together. Six cycles of clomid and a round of preparation for Intra-Uterine Insemination were demanding enough for our hectic work schedules. In the meantime, we also prepared ourselves with the possibility of In-Vitro Fertilisation.

Clomid, as in any drug, had negative side effects, particularly emotionally, on me. Now, I still bear the psychological scars. As a mother-to-be's emotional health relates to both her and the child's physical health, with the worst being a preterm loss, I was advised to break myself free from stress-inducing matters.

I might be Miss Sunshine, but I somehow can't help from cloudy moments. What I could do in order to care for my emotional well-being is to let the negative energy out of my system. With this pregnancy, my physical and mental being has become most protective. Must be the challenge of having a successful conception in the past.

I eventually snapped when I tried to stretch myself a mere extra mile at work. At home, I intuitively retired to a passive role, which is not me at all. I exercised to improve the hormone circulation, but being subjected to bed rest because of the effects afterwards was traumatising. Oh, I simply felt empty not being able to be my old energetic self.

Then, my best support system, Kamal, has been too occupied with work that he had no choice but to pass the responsibility of caring for my well-being to my parents. I am thankful though that the serenity in Rembau has provided me the opportunity to reflect on my life so far. Yesterday, after days of self-reflection, I realised that the best support system was actually myself. The pregnancy might be sensitive, but my true-self is always strong. Therefore, after Maghrib, I fought the pressure and chanted zikr with all my being.

Not only I felt better, I was able to resolve a number of issues as well. One issue being the fragile state I am in that has rendered me helpless. Another is the unsorted leave application at work. There. All out of my system. Now, I shall document those sunny moments for the past 33 weeks.
By writing this, I have shed a light on what I am going through, but words can never define how it truly feels. Last week, a cousin cried while relating her experience of two failed aided conception procedures, with a close shave with cancer. There were tears in my eyes, too.

Was it empathy on my part? Almost. Nonetheless, there must be a personal side of us that have untold stories, not revealed for various good reasons. Therefore, there can't be a complete empathy. I have discussed this with my obstetrician once. I need to reveal the untold stories to her during the next session.