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.