Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I have finished my post-natal massage on Sunday as I took a 7 days package.  I really missed chatting with Madam Rahimah as she is such a well mannered lady who is willing to share tips on breastfeeding and other stuff, even renovation, etc.  I admired her a lot as she stays in JB but drives over to Singapore almost everyday to work for her own business.  She is a hardworking entrepreneur and have her set her goals for the future.  How many people really plan for the future?  Most people just live their lives one day at a time.

I liked the hot pillow which she used to compliment her massage and asked her where she got it from and if there is a smaller version which I can get to place on my breasts to increase the blood circulation and pump out more breastmilk.  She told me that she got the hot pillow in JB and it is pretty difficult to get it now.  I dn't recall seeing it in S'pore as well though.  I felt disappointed when I realised I can't buy it in Spore.  But... Madam Rahimah was so super sweet... she said, "I will give you one as I have an extra."  I was so happy and wanted to pay her for the pillow but she refused to accept any cash for this. This pillow is so useful unlike those hot compress which I need to boil water, then soak it before applying it on my breasts.  Hot compress loses heat very fast as well and it is too troublesome.  With this hot pillow, I can just plug in the electrical wire to heat it up without boiling water.  It is that easy!

The Amazing Hot Pillow... even my confinement nanny asked me what this is.

A red light will lit up when it is connected to a power supply.  Once the red light goes off, I can unplug the wire and use it on any parts of my body which ache.
I was surprised that Madam Rahimah's package also comprises of a tummy binder which i am supposed to put on for at least 2 weeks.  During my previous engagement of a masseur from Origins Jamu massage, she only used the same cloth binder throughout my 7 days package and I didn't get any tummy binder at all compared to Madam Rahimah's package, whereby she will change the cloth binder everyday and at the end of the 7 days massage, I get to keep a brand new tummy binder.  It works the same way as the binder which I got from the hospital but this tummy binder which Madam Rahimah gave to me is much better as part of it is made of cloth unlike the hospital binder which is made of the elastic band totally which makes my skin itch.  Kudos to Madam Rahimah!

She also told me to do 2 toning exercises after 2 weeks.  She explained that post-natal massages are not meant to really tighten the loose skin but more of internal toning, push the womb back in place.  When the internal is toned, then the tummy will go down.  In fact, after my 3rd massage, my hubby was surprised to see my after birth tummy( which looks like I am 3 mths pregnant) went down considerably.  Madam Rahimah also used ginger cream for my tummy area instead of jamu paste on my 4th massage, if I can remember correctly.  Her massage techniques are also different on different days, as she did mention that 1st few days are meant for removing toxins and reduce water retention.

I think the breast massage she did was good too as I can see an increase in my milk supply.  She said that my milk ducts are more clogged up at the areola area as I didn't massage it.  True enough... I massage that area more often after that and I do see an increase in the flow.

I can get about 90-100ml per pump now... happy but I still hope it can be improved cos it is still not enough for my baby.
As I am resorting to pumping out the milk instead of latching on directly, I find that it is a hassle to hold on to the 2 pumps when using Medela FreeStyle.  I read that Medela has a hands-free bustier which allows mummies to pump and at the same time, do their work.  This is perfect for me.  I can use my laptop to work while pumping milk at the same time!

But I couldn't find the bustier anywhere so I decided to buy a hands-free bustier from another brand.

Hands-free Bustier which comes in 2 colours: pink and black

Cost me S$39.70 after 25% off.

This is the front where I can insert the breastshields and I dn't need to hold on to the pumps anymore.

The adjustable bands at the back to suit any sizes.

I find it quite troublesome though to insert the breastshields everytime I need to pump but I do enjoy the freedom of being able to use my hands to do my work on the laptop.  As a working mum, I need to find all the time in the world to take care of my baby and finish my work, while keeping my elder son entertained.
Lastly, my weight is now 49.5kg... wow... 9.5kg more than my previous weight.   Hope to retain at least 4-5kg after I go back to work though.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I am glad I have gotten the masseur lady's contact from Rose.  I found her extremely professional compared to the previous masseur I have gotten from Origins Jamu Massage company,  Madam Rahimah is a freelance masseur who does massages including post-natal massages.  I have just started my 7 days post natal massage yesterday and I already feel she is worth the money.

Why do I say she is good?  First, Madam Rahimah has all the necessary and proper equipment for massages.

She will use her handphone to play soothing music while she does the massage for me.

She will do a proper layout with bedsheet protector on my bed so that my bedsheet won't be dirtied after the massage.

The massage oil that she used has a nice lemongrass scent which I like and didn't give me any rashes after the massage.  She explained why she used certain oil and the steps she used.

Every her hot pillow was the professional type which retain heat throughout the massage.

Her jamu paste is warm and feels comfortable on the tummy and her method of wrapping the binder is so tight, my tummy felt more toned the next day.  Her binder has 2 layers which ensures the tightness last throughout the duration.    She also reminded me not to scratch if it feels itchy as it will introduce toxins into the skin and the skin will turn red.

She encourages me to breastfeed and asked me not to give up so easily and my supply will come in soon.

Compared to the one from Origins Jamu Massage company, Madam Rahimah is 100 times better.  The masseur from Origins Jamu Massage company which I hired for my post natal massages after deliveringKaiser, used normal oil to do the massages.  Not sure what type of oil she used but it caused me to erupt into rashes.  It was so bad I had to use my own grapeseed oil and asked her to use that to do the massage.  Everytime she came, she would say she will bring her hot oil to do the massage instead but it never happened.

She didn't prepare any cloth to lay on top of my bedsheet but asked me to used my bath towel inside.

She had to use my stove to boil hot stones but the stones lost the heat very quickly.

Her jamu paste felt cold and she used only one layer of binder and it became loose after a few hours.

Now I realised how ignorant I was last time during my confinement, paying much more for such services.  Madam Rahimah charges S$525 for 7 days post natal massage package and I think it is much more worth it than the previous package which I got from Origins Jamu Massage company.
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Friday, November 01, 2013

I always felt a tinge of regret and guilt when I recalled how I didn't manage to breastfeed Kaiser successfully and gave up after pumping out my breastmilk on and off for around 2 months, before throwing in the towel, as I could only manage to pump out at most 60ml after a month or so.

This time round, I decided that I want to breastfeed Rayes as long as possible.  So before I gave birth, I started reading up on how to latch on properly, watch video clips on breastfeeding, bought fenugreek pills, nursing tea, nipple cream etc to prepare for this.  I thought that I should be able to do it properly this time round, since I am so 'prepared' for this.

Sigh... I was so wrong.  In the hospital before I went into the operating theatre, I specifically told the nurse to bring Rayes to me after they washed him up so that I can breastfeed him and never feed him with formula milk at all.

So after an hour or so, the nurse pushed Rayes into my room and she suggested the lying on the side position for Rayes to latch on.  I thought I managed to latch Rayes properly cos I didn't really feel much pain, but after breastfeeding him, my nipples felt sore.  The nurses pushed him in every 3 hours to be breastfed and after many tries, I started to feel the pain and I realised I was repeating my mistake once again... WRONG LATCH!

I requested for the lactation consultant and she came to visit the next day.  She explained how to do it and helped me and I still couldn't do it properly after she left and I tolerated the pain to latch Rayes for 4 days in the hospital.  I thought the pain would go away naturally after a while so I refused to buy any formula milk powder.

However, on the very 1st night when Rayes came back home, I tried to breastfeed him directly but no matter how I tried, he couldn't latch on properly and ended up crying for 2 hours until I use the lying on the side position to latch him on.  It was still a wrong latch but it was the only way to calm him down.  I didn't manage to sleep the whole night and the next day, when I changed his diapers, his urine showed a bit of red crystalised colour.  Exactly what happened to Kaiser and according to my pediatrician, this means the baby is dehydrated.  I had no choice but to get my hubby to buy formula milk powder to feed Rayes first.

I was tearing when I made the formula milk for Rayes.  My heart sank and I felt depressed for not being able to breastfeed Rayes exclusively.  I turned to my Medela Swing Single Pump for help.  But sadly I could only manage to pump out only 20ml even though I pump for 1 hr!  This continued for at least 3-4 days and I was getting frustrated.

When I went back to see my gynae, Dr Lee and asked him if he could prescribe those pills which I can take to increase my milk supply.  He prescribed Motilium(domperidone) and said that if after taking 3 days, the milk supply doesn't come in, it means I can't produce much milk.

The magical pills... or not so magical for me after all...

I took 2 pills on the 1st day and at night, I started to itch everywhere and developed hives.  I suspected that I am allergic to the pills but in order to prove it, I took 1 pill in the morning.  This time round, more hives appeared and my eyes swelled up and after a while, my joints felt funny.  My whole body itched like mad as the hives spread.  Luckily, I need to bring Rayes back for jaundice review and managed to see Dr Lee.  Told him my situation and he gave me another pills to counteract hives and said I have to stop taking Motilium.  He was so nice to give me the pills FOC!  But I felt sad that I can't take Motilium and can only take fenugreek.

I asked my friend Rose for advice and she recommended dual pumps instead and mentioned that her friend is using Medela Freestyle currently.  It made sense as I was spending too much time pumping out milk and yielding such a small amount everytime.  My hubby went to buy Medela Freestyle from Isetan and I was so happy that it cut down my pumping time and I could move around with the pump as it runs via rechargeable battery.  Thanks Daddy!

Nice packaging

The cooler bag with 4 milk bottles

The cute dual pump with rechargeable battery

The not so nice carrier bag.  The previous design 3 years ago looked much better.

The special milk bottle teat that mimic breast feeding

The first time I used Freestyle, I noticed that the pump is stronger.  The good thing is that it is dual pump so I can cut down on the time considerably.  Also, the rechargeable battery allows me to pump anywhere and everywhere...so convenient!

Also, the name of the pump says it all... "Freestyle" means that I can go hands free (dn't need to hold on to the bottles) if I buy the hands-free bustier.  It is good for me as I can do my work and pump at the same time.

I used the pump and my milk supply increased to 40ml.  It is still very disappointing cos it is one week after I have given birth.  Then on 27 Oct, I felt sharp pain on my left chest.  It was so painful that I had to go and rest on my bed and I felt very miserable cos I couldn't even stand up straight.  At first I thought I had pumped too hard till my nipple was very sore.  During the next pump, I felt some hardened area and I decided to press really hard on it and surprisingly, the milk started to flow faster and I could get slightly more milk now.  After that pump, I felt a sense of relief and I didn't get the heaviness that I was feeling for the last few days.

My initial 40 ml liquid gold

Increased to 50ml liquid gold

Sometimes, it drops by 5ml to 45 ml...

At times, I can get a good yield of 70 ml... Super happy!

My best record so far is 80 ml... Jia you!!

For me, my breastfeeding journey is never smooth but I am glad I have supportive people around me, like my hubby.  Even though he kept saying I'm a mum with no milk, he is purposely saying this cos he think I will be stubborn enough to prove him wrong.  My cousin, Cynthia, who is a maternal and lactation consultant, who advised me on nutrition and how to resolve sore nipple problems.  Celestia, who is pro-breastfeeding and her 3 kids were on total breastmilk.  Rose, a mother of 1 boy and a pair of twins, with enough milk supply to breastfeed the twins.

I am still wondering why my milk supply is so low compared to other mummies...sigh.  I ask Dr Ronda Watt what I can do and she was so nice to share her experience with me.  She said that she didn't even latch on her kids but she pumped the milk out.  She said that her milk supply was even lower than mine at the start... only 10ml.  But she pump every 2 hours and slowly the milk supply increased to 60ml and later to 120ml and she was able to feed her 3 kids on breastmilk.  

Now Rayes is on breastmilk and formula powder milk.  Hopefully, I can have more in the next few weeks time.  

How did I increase my milk supply?  

My secret.....

I had to pump and press hard on my breast to unblock my milk ducts everytime.  I swear it works!

Hopefully when I go for my post natal massages next week, the massage lady can help me to unblock my ducts even more.  Pls share with me your secrets to increasing milk supply if you have any.... Thanks!!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Woke up at around 7.45am today to go through my hospital bag or rather bags before I admit myself into the hospital today.  Was pretty much unprepared during the first delivery and this time round, I wanted to be a bit more kiasu.  Guess it is better to be prepared with extra stuff than having to get my hubby to bring them over last minute.

It looks like I am going for a long holiday with the 3 bags of items...lolx.  I can only console myself this way, rather than thinking of being immobilized later on.  I hate that feeling of not being able to get off the bed with the nurses coming over to check my blood pressure every 2 hours.  Nah... not a holiday at all.

My gynae, Dr Lee also mentioned no food and drinks after 9am, so I had to wake up early to eat breakfast and drink more water in case I get thirsty later on.

Here is a list of stuff inside my bags.

Besides the usual stuff which I brought along the last time, like pyjamas, undergarments, toiletries, baby's clothes, doctor's letter, marriage certificate, etc, I have included things like ipad mini +charger to keep me entertained and connected to my work and emails even though I highly doubt I will be using it for the 1st day, Medela Breast Pump (thank god it is in a good working condition after 3 years), Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, Nature's Way Fenugreek Seed Pills, Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea, a teapot which I will ask the nurses to fill it up with milo as I have decided not to drink plain water during my confinement period and a cup for me to make my nursing tea.  I didn't prepare all these the last time and I highly regretted it.

A small bag containing baby stuff...  I bought a crochet hat for the baby and it has 2 rabbit ears.  Trying to dress the baby up... lolx.

My trusty medela swing breastpump...

Haven't tried this before yet, so not sure how it will taste like. 

This is good as it did help me increased my breastmilk but I didn't latch on much and gave up hafway.  This time round, I am determined to succeed and I bought 2 bottles of this. 

Oh... I have also bought 2 presents for Kaiser on behalf of the baby.  Gotten them from the Takshimaya fair not too long ago.  Will be giving it to Kaiser when he comes to visit me in the hospital.  I guessed it is ok to say some white lies once in a while...lolx.  Hopefully, Kaiser will like his new toys.

Gosh... gonna miss my Kaiser so much.

2 more hours before going to the hospital for admission.  I realised that I am not as nervous regarding the c-sec operation compared to worrying about the health of my baby.  I remembered I couldn't relax much after Dr Lee sew me up and the nurses pushed me back to my ward until Daddy came and told me that Kaiser is well and healthy.  Hoping everything is ok.

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Getting jittery now thinking about tomorrow's C-section operation.  Decided to write my feelings down so that a few years later, when I read my post again, I can still remember why I decided to go for elective C-section this time round.  My first boy, Kaiser, was born via C-section as he was breeched.  Even at week 37, he remained in breeched position.  Went to a Master Jing, Fengshui master located in Geylang, to get a good date and time for the operation.  Was surprised that it was his disciple who attended to us.  Nonetheless, I didn't make any noise even though I thought since I am paying for the master's service, Master Jin should be the one talking to us instead.

Actually, my gynae, Dr Kenneth Edward Lee, mentioned that I can try for VBAC (Virginal Birth After C-section) but he said that I have to fulfill a few criteria.  Firstly, the baby must be in the correct position.  The aminotic fluid must be sufficient.  The baby's heartbeat must be strong and the baby can't be too big.  However, my pelvic is not tested during the first pregnancy and he is not sure if my cervix can dilate sufficiently enough(at least 10cm) for the baby to come out naturally.  So if I want to go for natural birth, I can still go ahead but if I go into contractions for too long and baby is in distress, I will have to go for emergency c-section.  Also, he said that he can't induce me as I may not dilate sufficiently and if I go into contractions for too long, my previous c-section wounds may split, leading to bleeding, which will be dangerous for myself and the baby.

The gungho me wanted to try for natural birth as my baby fulfills all the criteria for this method.  But Dr Lee said it would be better if I can decide on some dates for c-section and book the operation theatre and if the baby comes out natural, then all is well.  If I pass the due date, at least I still can go for elective c-section.  I was pretty reluctant to go for c-section but my hubby kept pestering me to go see a Fengshui master.  

Under the recommendation of my babe friend cum ex-colleague, Anthea, I managed to find Master Chen, located in Toa Payoh.  I was surprised that he didn't request for my hubby and my birthdate and time to come up with some suitable dates but he was able to explain his reasoning through reading my life and Kaiser's life through 紫薇斗术 and I am impressed by his almost 100% accuracy.  He asked me one question that won me completely.  The question was, "Do I require your parents' date of birth and time to read your life?"  That was when i realised parents' date of birth and time will not affect the baby life at all!  When he analysed Kaiser's life, I realised that the date and time which Master Jing gave was not the best.  It was just normal but that was not what I wanted.  

Since I have to go through the painful recovery after c-section, I would want the best for my Kaiser.  I purposely tested Master Chen and asked him if there was anything I can buy from him to improve Kaiser's life but he said, "Look at my place... there is nothing I can and want to sell you.  I am a fengshui master and my job is to read fengshui, not a businessman who wants to make more money from you."  Good... he passed my test.  After that, he said that it would be best for Kaiser to study or work overseas next time, if he wants to make it big.  After hearing this, I really feel like calling Master Jing and asked him why he gave such a date to me the last time, before i decide if I should kill him... lolx.

So even though I was so set on trying for natural delivery although I hear stories from friends telling me the pain, I have finally decided to go for elective c-section.  Yes, I told myself even if I have to suffer during the recovery period of at least 2 months, I don't mind so long as my baby has a good life in the future.  Some people may think it is ridiculous to believe in all the fengshui saying but I don't care as long as I think I have a chance to give my baby a better life.  That is something I feel I should do as his mother.  So even though I hate to go through the recovery period where I can't walk or sleep properly with the tight and hot binder to compress my c-section wound, I told myself, it will be just a few months... I have gone through it before and I can go through it again.

Dr Lee was puzzled as I was pretty adamant about going for natural delivery.  I didn't say much except that to say for fengshui reasons.  I am getting jittery about the operation, even though I had gone through it before as Dr Lee explained the risks involved with c-section.  It is considered a major operation compared to natural birth as he had to cut through 7 layers before he can reach my baby.  Then he has to sew the 7 layers back again.  I wonder how many scars I have inside my body after this 2nd birth...lolx.

So YES, finally we have decided on 16 Oct 2013, on a certain timing, after looking at the 4 dates which Master Chen gave me.  He said that if baby comes out on 16 or 17 Oct, baby will look more like me but if the baby comes out on 18 or 19 Oct, the baby will look more like my hubby instead.  We shall see how accurate that is...lolx.

One last picture of me before my baby bump is gone and it will be "Helloooo, baby!"

 Wish me good luck!
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