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My degree was not a waste of time because I choose to stay at home

My degree was not a waste of time because I choose to stay at home

This article originally appeared here.

 

  

     

   

 

 

 

 

Second Confinement vs First Confinement – Do You Need Confinement Help for Your Second Child

Second Confinement vs First Confinement – Do You Need Confinement Help for Your Second Child

Following my first confinement experience which turned out to be rather popular, I thought I’d share my experience the second time round.

How does a second confinement compare to the first?

Is it necessary or important to have a confinement lady for your second child? Do you need them? After all, you’ve had your first, so you’d be a pro at handling a baby… right?

To help you make that decision, here are the three major differences between my first and second confinement:

Quicker Recovery

I’ve always heard that the more babies you have, the easier birthing becomes. I would’t say that my second labour was necessarily easier (still very intense), but it was definitely quicker, and so was my recovery.

For my second, I was in full spirits after delivery at 5pm and opted to be discharged the same day! Of course, we had thumbs up from both the pediatrician and obstetrician before doing so.

To compare, it took me 3 months to fully heal from the first delivery, despite having had natural birth both times.

During the second confinement, my overall better physical state meant that I was able to focus more on other things such as my newborn baby, breastfeeding and my toddler.

It made such a HUGE different being mobile and able to do normal things without worrying about your wound and the pain. For example, little things like taking my water bottle from the next room – easy!

Divided Attention

We made the decision to have our second child shortly after the first, so when he was born we were having 2 under 2 (two kids under the age of two).

That meant that my elder child was still young and required a lot of attention too.

Which means despite being physically more able and mobile, my attention had to be divided between my newborn and elder child.

I am thankful to have both my confinement lady and parents to help me out during the confinement period. The confinement lady will focus mainly on my newborn and me, while my parents helped with the elder child (who is, at the age of nearly 2, is a handful!)

So if you are reading this and about to have your firstborn, enjoy your baby to it’s fullest! You will be busy, but at least when the baby sleeps, you have a moment of peace…. not another child to look after!

In this sense, I miss doing confinement in peace.

Experience Counts

First time parents would likely feel overwhelmed looking after a newborn, especially in the first few days and weeks. Simple and basic acts such as holding, feeding, bathing and putting a newborn to sleep is a steep learning curve by itself!

As if to make it even tougher, all babies are individuals and likely to have different temperaments and characters.

That said, if you have cared for a newborn before, you would have likely picked up some basic skills. You would be familiar with the tasks that needs to be done.

I found that it was easier to pick up cues and signals from my newborn due to experience compared to my clueless first-time-mom self. I knew what was coming and what to expect, and this made a big difference!

That also meant that I had my own way and expectations in managing my newborn. It might or might not be the same way that my confinement lady is used to, so it involved some adjusting on her side.

With my first, I relied quite heavily on my confinement lady to teach me things like how to swaddle, bath and burp the baby as I started with zero knowledge on how to keep a baby alive.

An example would be that I preferred to have my newborn lie on his back due to safety reasons. To my horror, my confinement lady was used to putting a rolled blanket to the side of the baby, so that he is slightly slanted on his side and “can sleep better”.

Had I not known any better, it wouldn’t have been an issue but sometimes you can’t just turn a blind eye once you have learned something.

IN SUMMARY

Despite a quicker recovery and more experience in dealing with a newborn, I definitely needed help during the confinement period.

This is especially so when one has a toddler full of energy to deal with.

If I were to do it again, I would definitely get a confinement lady as well.

It is extremely important to fully heal, both mentally and physically, during the confinement period to prepare yourself for what lies ahead! Not one, but two kids! Your life has changed once again!

What are your thoughts? How did your second confinement compare with your first?

Till next time! xoxo

Why We All Decided To Sleep In The Same Room During My Confinement

Why We All Decided To Sleep In The Same Room During My Confinement

I’ve been getting quite a lot of hits on my other post about confinement lady sleeping arrangements at night, and thought that it would be a good idea to expand on why I went with Option C ie my confinement lady (CL) sleeping in the same room as hubby, baby and I.

On hindsight, I really have no regrets with this arrangement. Let me share with you why:

I was able to sleep in the same room as my newborn

To me this is extremely important because I have just delivered my baby and want to spend time with my newborn. And yes this includes night time!

Yes you need rest but you need to be able to see your baby too without walking too far. It’s an emotional thing!

It’s also important vice versa as your baby will most likely be able to smell your milk and feel comforted at the same time.

My newborn had a constant environment at night

He was either sleeping in his cot, feeding on my bed or being pat to sleep in the same room.

He wasn’t being transferred from one room to another.

Perhaps one room was colder and another warmer. Perhaps one had air conditioner on and another didn’t. Perhaps both rooms had the lights offed but the hallway’s light was very bright.

Any change in environment can be off-putting and distracting to a baby still getting used to living outside the womb, especially at night time.

I was able to cope after my CL left

Because I slept with my newborn throughout my confinement I was able to pick up on his subtle cues on feeding, changing etc.

For example, for the first few weeks he required to be fed, then burped, then fed again, followed by a change in diapers, followed by another burp before being pat to sleep.

It made me know what to expect at night and I did not feel at all overwhelmed once my CL left. Win!!

And now, let’s get some of your concerns out of the way! These were my initial worries too but in the end none of them mattered!

What if my working husband’s sleep is disturbed by our baby’s cries?

Men are generally (not all) not light sleepers. Imagine a couple sleeping in the same room as their newborn baby – most of the time the mom will be the one who wakes up and feed the baby while the dad just sleeps on.

He may help if he wants but if he’s got to work the next day, maybe not 😉 That’s why you hired help in the first place!

So try it for a few nights – chances are he might not even stir if you and your CL have it all under control and manage to sort out your newborn before he/she starts wailing.

I want my privacy!

After birthing a baby, your modesty and privacy will be thrown out of the window.

And I don’t mean it in a bad way. You just don’t bother as much, as the most important thing is making sure that your baby gets fed in the easiest and most convenient method possible.

We want our privacy!

This may be a personal preference but seriously? After giving birth to a newborn, there is no time nor energy to do any hanky panky stuff. I was trying to heal myself and had to minimise movement let alone do anything that requires energy.

The most important thing is that we get enough sleep, and baby gets fed/changed/soothed to sleep.

We can’t fit so many people in the room!

We barely made it too! Thankfully my CL is rather simple and did not mind sleeping on our Sealy mattress placed on the ground.

This made it easier to move during the day so that it doesn’t take up too much space and clog up the whole bedroom.

Our sleeping configuration was like this: hubby and I on our Queen bed, baby in his cot next to our bed, CL on the mattress at the foot of our bed.

IN SUMMARY

I am really glad we had a good confinement experience, particularly at night.

I tried sleeping with my newborn separate from the CL on the first day after coming back from the hospital, and boy that was a grave mistake!

I had to carry my lil’ boy all by myself, change him, put him back to sleep. All while trying to recover “down there”!

It was only one night before I decided to use the help we hired. I let go of my ego, my stubbornness and let others help me – and this made all the difference.

However, what works for one might not work for another. As mentioned in my previous post, it really is up to you, the mother of your child, to decide how you want the setup to be.

I hope your confinement will be a great experience too!

Your baby is only newborn once, so appreciate the moment and embrace the hourly night calls 😉

Till next time! xoxo

The Story of A Dark Red Orchid – Project Love Day 31/365

The Story of A Dark Red Orchid – Project Love Day 31/365

So I wanted to share something which happened a few days ago:

I have been mindfully practicing The Law of Attraction since the New Year.

What is it?

In the New Thought philosophy, the law of attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts people can bring positive or negative experiences into their life.

The book “The Secret” was all the craze when it was launched many years ago – I missed out on that craze and remembered dismissing it.

The idea behind it is:

Thought becomes things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand. What you feel is what you will attract.

Nonsense!! Or so I thought 😂

By fate I was touched by it. I was in a bookshop and the sequel to The Secret, called The Power was on sale. As someone who is usually open and love a bargain, I bought it.

Subsequently, I reconnected with a dead friend whom I have not seen in ages. Coincidentally, he was a believer too and passed me the movie!

In the short movie someone said, “Think about something unusual. If it happens then you know it’s working.”

“It could be as simple as thinking about a long lost friend you want to speak to – that person will appear in your life”

For me, I chose to see a dark red orchid.

Now, this was before I even knew that such a thing existed. I just imagined the colour because I like it!

This is what normally comes to mind when one mentions the flower.

I’ve seen white or purple orchids, but never dark red ones.

nd guess what I saw in less than a month?

Hahaha!!! A dark red orchid!!!! A fake one nonetheless but it blew my mind!

Now, I am at a point of my life where I am pretty happy and contented.

I have a loving family, loving husband, a pretty cooperative baby, a nice house to live in, financially stable…

I used to think “Don’t expect too much, hence you won’t be disappointed”.

But then realised that this is a very limiting way of thinking.

My life is good, but I know that it will be 100% better after this!

Till next time! xoxo

Project Love 11/365

Project Love 11/365

Today, I woke up to my son waking up. He usually stirs and moans a bit before opening his eyes.

And then I sing his morning song, which goes like this:

Good morning, good morning,

How are you?

Good morning, my little one,

How do you do?

I can’t wait for the day to begin

When I see your cheeky grin

You look so cute with your eyes and hair

Do you know how much I care?

And he always smiles when he hears this. It warms me inside out.

Project Love 10/365

Project Love 10/365

Today started out great!

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to go to the gym and completed not one, but TWO classes. My two most favourite group fitness classes as well – BodyCombat and BodyPump.

The last time I was able to do two classes back to back was probably 3 years ago. #personalwin #littlemilestone

I am just grateful that I am able to walk freely, to be healthy enough to exercise, to enjoy working out. To feel comfortable in my own skin. I know not everyone feels that way.

I came back to my son who was looking for me. My heart was filled with love when I saw him then! Ahhh, I’m one lucky mama 😍

Had another two social appointments which was a joy! They both reinforced my view of #thelawofattraction.

If you think positive thoughts, you get positive outcomes. If you do good, you receive good. Positive attracts positive. Negative attracts negative.

My son received his Christmas present today, three pretty jumpsuits and bibs.

I sometimes feel like Edric gets so much love, and I am so happy that he attracts so much generosity and goodness in the people around him. He emits it too I know.

That makes me love him even more each day. And I know that if he grows up with love, he will be a fine young gentleman 😉

Project Love 7/365

Project Love 7/365

I am grateful to be given another day!

Woke up at 7.45am today which is really early by my standard. Felt so much more productive and got some stuff done!

Then Edric decided to wake up early too and wanted to feed.

I think direct latching to feed your baby must be one of the most satisfying feeling one can get. So grateful that I have the opportunity to do this all day everyday!

They just look so adorable sucking away. It’s amazing how feeding comes so naturally to babies.

My boy likes drinking with his hands on his face and eyes closed which is super cute to look at! Proud mom here hehe.

And because I was an early bird today I managed to catch up with some people before Edric woke up.

Never really considered myself a social person but have recently discovered how important it is to have social connections as it makes you happier!

Project Love 6/365

Project Love 6/365

I am so pumped up because I managed to go for BodyCombat this morning! Working out never felt so good!

I just had to close one eye and left baby with my parents and helper.

This mama’s gotta keep fit yo.

I love going for classes at the gym because:

1) You work harder (absorbing energy from other people in the class)

2) You work longer (for the entire class duration, usually 1 hour)

3) Time flies

I woke up to birds chirping again, love this! Sometimes I’d imagine the birds happily chatting amongst themselves.

Edric is a champ today! Smiling and laughing when I met a couple friend for lunch. We chatted and before I realised, 3 hours had passed. It’s always good to catch up with friends!

Rushed to my in laws place – was late but they were still happy to see Edric. He was still smiley (with some small unhappy bouts) and this made them happy. Which made me happy!

Project Love 3/365

Project Love 3/365

Today, I am grateful that my son only woke up once at night for a feed!! He is turning 7 months soon and was fussing a bit the night before.

He was pulling my night strap as well as an indication to drink! That was something new – soon he will be able to find the boob himself.

I am grateful for the green smoothie that my dad prepared for me. It was very.. healthy tasting haha.

My mom looked very nice in her white dress that she wore to work today. Hopefully I will get some of her genes in looking good and young.

I am currently in line to check my vision at the eye centre. Last week I found out that I have an 80% chance of having Glaucoma and it will be confirmed today whether I have it or not.

Regardless, I am thankful for detecting it earlier as otherwise it could lead to a loss of vision.

My helper is also helping me mind Baby E who is very quiet this morning – double win!

How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby – 11 Easy Steps

How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby – 11 Easy Steps

Bathing a baby seemed like the most daunting thing in the world, pre-baby.

What if they drown? What if they don’t like it and keep crying? What if they slip off my hands?

However, once you have a baby, you will have to bath them whether you like it or not. No one else is going to bathe your baby for you.

I would like to share my way of bathing a baby as he seems to enjoy his bath.

I learned most of it from my confinement lady and made a few tweaks due to personal preference.

It is so easy really, I wonder why I was so nervous about it at first.

What you would need to bathe your baby:

  • Baby bathtub – optional but it saves water compared to using a normal tub and is cleaner than using a sink
  • Bath support – optional but it makes my life so much easier!
  • Bath oil
  • Towel – normal, thin towel measuring 30cm x 70cm
  • Small cloth/handkerchief – optional

Please note that this is for newborn and young babies who have no neck control yet.

Step 1: Prepare bath

– Put bath support inside the baby bathtub.

– Fill the tub with warm water.

TIP – Fill water to slightly below shoulder level so that not too much of baby’s body parts are exposed to air (they might feel cold) but not too full that water will go into their ears.

Step 2: Put baby in bathtub

– Place baby into the bathtub.

TIP – Try to place baby slowly into the tub so that baby is not shocked from the sudden transition to the water. If the water is too cold or hot, the baby will probably cry out. Their face will be red or flushed after the bath if the water is too hot, so you will know to adjust it for the next time.

Step 3: Wet hair

– Wet the handkerchief and slowly squeeze the water to wet baby’s hair.

– Again, ‘slowly’ is the keyword, we don’t want to shock them.

Step 4: Wipe mouth

– Wrap the damp handkerchief (squeeze to remove water) around your fingers.

– Rub it against baby’s upper and lower gums to clean them.

– You can rub their tongue as well.

Step 5: Use bath oil

– I was recommended QV Bath Oil as it’s meant to be good and gentle for baby’s sensitive skin.

– I like it because 1) I can use it for both hair and body 2) I just have to rinse off rather than using another clean tub of water to wash off

TIP – One capful measures 5mL. Add 5mL to baby’s bath and bathe for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6: Wash hair

– Using half a cap, mix with water and apply on baby’s head to wash hair.

– Make sure you wash the back of his head too.

– Add remaining half a cap to the bathtub.

Step 6: Rinse-Off Bath Oil From Hair

– Wet the handkerchief and slowly squeeze the water to wet baby’s hair while using the other hand to rinse off bath oil.

Step 7: Wash Body

– Using your hands, splash water to wet baby’s body.

– You can either clean their bodies by gently rubbing with your hand or by using the handkerchief.

– Make sure you reach his neck and behind his ears.

TIP – You will note that the water is a bit murky from the bath oil. This is normal. Do avoid splashing this water into baby’s eyes and mouth though.

Step 8: Wash Hands and Feet

– Sometimes the baby’s hands and feet might be out of the water so it is important to wash them specifically by rubbing them in water.

– Remember to wash their armpits and any folds in their hands and legs as well.

– Don’t forget to wash their private parts too!

TIP – Putting the handkerchief on top of their body helps them keep warm and not leave them exposed to the air.

Step 9: Play Time

– Depending on your baby, they might want to spend a little more time in the bath.

– You can sing some songs to them while splashing water onto their body to keep them warm.

Step 10: Dry Baby

– Put the towel over your thighs. I make sure that the shorter end (30%) is enough to dry my baby’s head and the longer end (70%) is enough to wrap around his body from his legs.

– Carry baby out of the bath and wipe them.

– Keep them covered in the towel while you carry them out to keep warm. It also helps to hug baby as well for that extra warmth and comfort.

TIP – You don’t have to wipe them too much, just enough so that they don’t feel cold. You can make sure that they are 100% dry in the next step.

Step 11: Apply Lotion

– Wipe baby until they are 100% dry. Areas that are easy to miss are their ears, neck, and folds.

– Apply lotion to face and body.

– I like Cetaphil as it is gentle enough for babies. I also noticed a huge difference in my baby’s skin (softer and moisturised) vs using olive oil previously. He had dry spots on his face, hands, and feet while I was using olive oil but they disappeared just 1 day after applying Cetaphil!

TIP – I used olive oil to moisturise my baby as I thought it would be milder since it is edible and chemical free but boy was I wrong!

IN SUMMARY

Voila, you’re done!

That wasn’t too bad, was it?

The only part that I dislike is filling my baby bathtub with my shower head as it takes about 3-5 minutes and I usually have to stand there to make sure that the water level and temperature is optimum.

Do you have an easier way to bath your baby?

Till next time, xoxo!