Monday, September 29, 2008

Got the blues?

Yes, I did get the baby blues 4 years ago after I gave birth to my 1st child. I got it from the 2nd day after my son was born up to a week afterward. I got so frustrated, irritated, exhausted, and felt sad most of the time. I even cried every night for a week. Thank God I had such wonderful midwife and friends who were willing to go extra miles to save me from going into deep depression, and of course, the Plunket nurses were always available to pick up my midnight calls and talked to me about anything just to make me feel better.

Oh well, who wouldn't get baby blues if you were in my situation at that time. I was in my final year facing my last final examination when I had to give birth just a day before my final exam. I was a first time mother, knew nothing about motherhood and breastfeeding, all alone in a foreign land thousand miles away from my husband and family, haven't had a good night sleep for weeks because I studied hard to prepare for my final exam and never expected that the baby would come 2 weeks earlier. On top of that, I had to pack and to prepare all by myself to go back to Malaysia for good. I really had no time to rest physically and mentally. I never knew that having a baby was such a stressful experience not only because I had no experience at all, but also because of the hormonal upheaval that occurred in my body.

The blues hit me so hard it made me cried every night and felt so helpless and lonely. I felt sad all the time I found myself begging my newborn to give me a chance to rest and to sleep. I needed someone to talk to but not easy to find someone available and who was willing to listen to my woes. Even the people very close to me just couldn't understand why I cried all the time when I should be happy with the presence of my baby. Not everyone can understand about the baby blues especially if you never give birth before. They may think that it is just an excuse for first time mother especially, to cover up her inability to take care her newborn. So, instead of getting support that she needs it the most, she gets more difficult challenges to deal with these people who don't understand what she is going through. She'll feel even down and she can go into deep depression.

I read an article about baby blues written by DR Nor Ashikin Mokhtar in the Star newspaper. You can read the full article here:
Do read the full article, especially for those who never give birth because it contains very good information on emotional reactions after giving birth.

According to the article, there are 3 types of emotional reactions to childbirth:
  1. Postpartum Blues or Baby blues
  2. Postnatal Depression
  3. Puerperal Psychosis (the most serious postpartum emotional condition)
It is very important for mother who suffers from any of these emotional reactions to get full support emotionally and physically from her support persons, her family, and her friends.

Since I have experienced baby blues before, during my 2nd pregnancy my ob/gyn and his staff had to monitor my mental state throughout the pregnancy until after I gave birth to my 2nd child. They had to make sure that I had enough rest and they also informed my support person (my husband in this case) about the blues and asked him to give his full support so that I wouldn't get postnatal depression or even worst the puerperal psychosis.

So, my husband did anything he could to support me until I gave a green light for him to leave me when his duty called. I felt so much better on my 2nd childbirth because I already know what to do and what to expect when my baby is born. I've learned many tricks to handle my newborn as well. I don't think I experience baby blues this time but unfortunately, there is another type of blues I experience though; it's the maid blues, which is caused know who...Gosh!! She's been nothing but trouble to me... : (

Monday, September 22, 2008

After the birth

I have about 30 minutes to update my blog before my little girl starts to scream for some breast milk. So I'm going to type very fast and hopefully I won't make too many grammatical errors.

It's been nearly a month since I gave birth to my 2nd child. So far I have been trying my best to observe the confinement period which I find it really hard to follow because this is my 1st time observing the confinement period. When I had my 1st baby, I didn't even know that there is a confinement period after giving birth. So, I decided to follow the rules of confinement period this time so that I can feel a little bit better. During the confinement period, I have to eat food that is cooked with generous amount of old ginger and sesame oil to expel the wind from my body. I am new to this confinement period so I don't really follow exactly what I have to do or what I'm not allowed to do such as not bathing and washing hair for a month. I definitely can't do this. I find it very unhygienic and I feel sorry for my newborn if I smell stink because she has to drink milk from my breasts. I cannot stay at home all the time either because I have to drive my son to school, run errands, and do groceries shopping with my newborn on tow everywhere I go since my hubby has gone to accept his overseas assignment as soon as I 'look' and 'sound' fine. She even had to follow me to fix my car flat tire.

I found an article about confinement period that is written by my favorite writer, Lydia Teh here:
and more tips about confinement period here:

Time is very precious to me now that I have to take care 2 children simultaneously. If I am lucky, I will have 30 minutes to an hour of free time and I have to decide what to do to make the best of that free time. I have to choose whether I should catch up with my sleep, or take shower, or eat, or browse the internet. My baby doesn't like me to carry her in 1 arm while I type using the other hand. My boy will scream so loud also if I use the computer more than an hour because he wants to play games in Playhouse Disney website.

I'm still learning to be a mother of 2 children. My son is also still trying to accept the fact that now mommy has to run for the baby first whenever baby screams for breast milk. Not an easy thing to accept for sure. He has been showing tantrums and bad mood whenever mommy attends to his baby sister. If my husband is around, things will be easier for my son and me because then daddy can spend time with him while mommy takes care of baby sister.

Anyway, time is up for me. I have to post this quickly before my son presses any button on the keyboard because he has been waiting to use this computer. I hope I'll be able to steal more time to post more stories on my blog.

Monday, September 01, 2008

My bundles of joy

Finally, the wait is over.

The latest addition to our family was born last week at 7.45pm after 8 hours of labor at exactly 39 weeks. Our beautiful baby girl was 3.72kg and 53 cm when she was born.
There were 7 other babies who were born on the same day and she was the biggest one.

Nothing couldn't be more perfect that day to bring her out to this world. God had the best plan ever for me to deliver the baby; the father was there filming the birth process, the ob/gyn was there handling everything very professionally and my request for epidural was right on time too. Other than the unbearable tremendous pain that I had to go through after being induced, everything else was such a wonderful experience for me and for my husband.

The only person that was not able to share this happy moment that day was my 1st child. He had to stay at home the whole day and didn't have a chance to see mommy since morning. He cried so much on the phone wanting to see me when I was in the middle of labor. The last time he saw mommy was in the morning when mommy sent him to school. He missed his mommy and didn't understand why mommy had to stay long in the hospital. Only the next afternoon he was able to visit mommy and saw his baby sister for the first time. He grinned from left to right and hugged mommy so tightly while declaring, "I love my baby sister!"