Joy Joy suffers from painful gas. Badly. Probably from all that hard crying.
I know it's extremely painful for her because she grunts, grimaces and sometimes cries out in pain even when nursing. She didn't even flinch or cry when her blood was drawn for the jaundice tests, so long as she was either in a deep sleep or nursing. So I know how painful it must be for her.
It's been so for 1-2 days now and I really can't bear to see her suffer like this. So this afternoon, I went out to get gripe water. Didn't help. By evening, she was crying again when nursing. The cause of her crying was obvious to Grandma and I.
When an exhausted Daddy got off work, he texted me to say he would walk to the heartland shops near our home to get me the butter cookies I had been craving for. So I sent him to get Ridwind for Joy Joy, who happened to be crying painfully when I was on the phone with Daddy.
Daddy diligently checked with all of the shops for Ridwind but, one after another, they told him no, they do not carry Ridwind. He tired many many shops and even the medical clinics, basically all and any shop he could think of that could possibly carry Ridwind. But he was disappointed time and again. In his mind he planned to drive out to get the medication.
Before he drove out, Daddy tried one last shop. It was the last place he would think look but he tried it anyway. And to his surprise, the shopkeeper said Yes!
I didn't witness it but Daddy said he was overjoyed. Extremely happy that this shop in this part of earth sold this humble medication that would give his beloved daughter relief from the pain she suffered. So happy that his eyes light up once he heard that they sold it and he beamed a super wide smile when he passed his $10 to the shopkeeper, eternally grateful for their inventory. So much so, that it startled the shopkeeper. He said I would have laughed my head off if I had witnessed it.
I can imagine because when Daddy got home, he was full of smiles and excited to tell me the story. He said he love his daughter oh so much and felt very happy to be able to lessen her pain.
I'm writing this down so that Joy Joy knows how much Daddy loves her.
Daddy specializes in the art of burping. He's getting so good at it that Joy Joy is able to fall asleep whilst being burped... We can interpret it as being über comfy for Joy Joy.. Or we can interpret it as being über boring (Daddy burps Joy Joy for a looooooooong time) for her, so much so that she falls asleep.
This picture was taken on 16 December 2011, the day we decided to deliver Joy Joy's baby shower eggs and cakes to our offices. When grandma bathed her to signify her 满月, our little girl turned into an Ang Ku Kueh.. As red as her 红鸡蛋.
I cut a little of her hair rather than have her shaved because she was born with very nice hair and I couldn't bear to shave them off.
These were the cupcakes we ordered for Joy Joy's full month. So cute, I couldn't resist!
The next day, we had Joy Joy's baby shower. It was torture for me to give up many precious hours of sleep to plan the baby shower but when I saw that people took the trouble to come, it was really worth the hours I had given up.
Joy Joy brought some old friends back in touch with me, simply because she is so adorable and I am very grateful for that. Some friends even came alone although they didn't know anyone else.
I purposely had her dressed up like this but not many people saw because she is all wrapped up. But so cute I had to take a picture.
We received alot of really useful and thoughtful gifts, so many that we needed help to bring them home. And lots of Ang Baos, which will all go into Joy Joy's personal savings account. the little girl is now RICHER THAN ME!
I was having lunch yesterday and Daddy's sister was watching over Joy Joy when I heard her puke loudly. So I went over intending to clean the puke for Joy Joy and then I saw this:
A sight that will cause heartache to any parent.
I ran to our room, knocked on the door and told Daddy, who said "let's go to the hospital now". We grabbed the bag that is always ready, changed Joy Joy into fresh clothes, changed and left home.
After examining Joy Joy and me, we were told that Joy joy needs to be admitted. Preliminary diagnosis is that she probably bit too close to my nipple when nursing, caused me to bleed, swallowed my blood and could not digest it (the Doctor said that even adults are not able to digest blood). They can't be sure but just in case it's internal bleeding, they want to observe Joy Joy for any further blood in her vomit.
I pumped as much milk as I could in the time we had left to the end of visitation hours and prayed vey hard she wouldn't be fed with formula milk. If its something wrong with her digestive system, The hard to digest formula milk could aggravate it. Surprisingly, I could extract more than 200ml.
We went home after living the nurse with some warmer clothing / our own pacifier / bottle for Joy joy, just in case she needs to be bottle fed, although I had ordered cup feeding.
It felt so different at home without Joy Joy. Suddenly, there isn't a baby that relies on me for food / comfort. I no longer need to wake up and talk to her late at night or early in the morning or sing lullabies for her. It was a quiet void but we had to do what we need to in order to be ready for the next day.
I had some food, soup and went to bed. Sleep came almost immediately. Then I woke up at 4plus to express milk (160ml!) and pack for the next day before going back to bed.
Grandma woke me up early to take a bath before Daddy sends me to hospital. Daddy had to detour back halfway because I forgot the all important milk on my way out and got reminded by a nurse who called to say that they only had 20ml of milk left and Joy Joy gulped it down in 1 minute.
When I reached the hospital Joy Joy was about to cry. I carried her and she stopped, before crying again for milk. I showed Daddy his little girl through the glass window before going into the nursing room to nurse Joy Joy.
They said she seems fine, only one occurrence of vomitting last night without blood. They arranged for me to see a lactation consultant to help me prevent Joy Joy from biting me till I bleed.
The lactation consultant was EXTREMELY GOOD! She sat down with me and Joy Joy and showed me how to help Joy Joy feed more efficiently, even if she is just nursing for comfort. The pain I had when he latches on to my right side went away like a dream. She even taught me how to burp Joy Joy better.
At then of the day, the culprit is the Pacifier. The lactation consultant said that Joy Joy sucked closer tommy nipple because of pacifier use and that in turn caused her to injure me to the extent that i bleed and she swallowed the blood and caused what we believed to be the reflux problem and subsequently the blood in vomit problem.
I have such a huge problem with pacifiers really. And the things that people like to say about nursing to Grandma when they know nuts about it. And also the things known as "experience" which people rely on to tell me I should listen to them.
It's really easy to listen then repeat what you heard. But who can help you when your baby is affected? By then, it's not a matter of whose fault it is, my baby is sick and that's it.
I'm just glad it's not a serious problem this time. There will not be a next time when it comes to the pacifier. No pacifiers are allowed near my baby, I'll throw them away if necessary and nobody can change my mind about it.
Confinement is unbearable if you happen to have to do it during the hottest "Summertime" in Singapore.
I'm lucky that my confinement is in December but the weather is crazy. On the uber hot days in the afternoon, I really feel like a sticky red date. Dirty, sticky, sleep deprived.
One of the things I didn't get done before I gave birth was getting pajamas. I wanted light cotton pajamas that were bottom down in front. But surprisingly, it's not easy to get comfy ones.
I made do with whatever clothes I have at Daddy's place until one day, Grandma remembered that the SIL has some pajamas pants she never wears.
Exactly what I wanted!!
I asked her where she got them and she said she got them at a pasar malam long time ago. Gosh! Why didn't I think of looking at pasar malams!
Now I'm happy with 2 comfy, cotton long pants for my confinement. They are so cute and comfy that I decided to get more if I happen to see them. Preferably one adult set for me and another for Joy Joy to wear hen she is a bigger girl.... It'll be sooooo cute!
We had a night that was considered good for me but I think it was not-so-good for Daddy, who was on weekend night duty ( read: I can activate a sleeping Daddy anytime for anything).
After making it through the night sleeping and waking, sleeping and waking to attend to Joy her royal highness, Daddy was zonked out mostly coz he didn't realize the speed with which we have to respond to a wet diaper to avoid the sky falling down on us.
We were having breakfast when Joy Joy was sleeping when we had this conversation:
Daddy looking at the iron gate (Grandma left the keys in the lock): "Kitten, what would you do if there is a zombie at the door and my key pouch is hanging at the lock?"
Me: "what are zombies afraid of?"
Daddy said after a short pause : "it's useless to lock the gate you know"
Me:" I know.. They can just push the gate down so we don't have to rush there to lock the gate... That's why I asked what zombies are afraid of"
" I will open the window there and then jump down" Daddy said, looking towards the direction of windows / balcony in the living room.
Me:" why would you want to kill yourself before the zombies get you? You may be able to survive if you don't jump you know" I said, thinking that Daddy referred to the living room windows.
"I'm not so stupid la, I mean open the window at the balcony then jump onto the balcony of the floor below (which extends beyond ours) then jump from there to the lift landing"
" oh, that's smart" I said. After thinking for a while, I asked Daddy " why are you talking to me about zombies early in the morning?"
"we need to be prepared ma.. In case there's something at the door like a fire, you need to already know how to escape" he said.
"oh.. " I said, finally understanding. And then I suddenly didn't quite understand again "But you didn't talk about a fire, you talked about Zombies!" I said.
We both paused, sat at the dining table and looked at each other and then laughed silently with out hands to our mouths (Joy Joy was sleeping). What a funny conversation we had! Probably due to stimulation from being über sleep deprived (me) and having sleep interrupted (daddy).
This is the milk monster's favorite look whenever I am near her.
Today I had the longest break from nursing since the beginning of my moo moo career. A 4-hour interval.
I can also feel Joy Joy emptying my breasts faster in the past few days. She takes big glups of milk and is usually done with about 30 mins of nursing, including burping and sometimes even sayang time.
The milk monster has a bad habit to retain one last mouthful of milk in her mouth without drinking it coz she is sleepy by then. It caused her to choke and cough on a few occasions. When we try to burp her, the milk flows out of her mouth and Grandma thought she is puking milk. I know it's not because it doesn't look like beancurd milk (i.e hasn't been digested) and the milk appears to come from her cheeks rather than vomited. After consulting my Aunt, nowadays I let her lie on her side before sitting her up to burp her, so that any milk can flow out of her mouth and not choke her.
Reflux still affects her but much much lesser. But we found that she can't lie flat still, there are still times where she will kinda choke on her reflux.
One day at a time. Hopefully things turn for the better.
After many days of nursing, i had severely sore, aching neck, arms, back and wherever you can think of and one morning I just had enough so I asked Daddy to go to the Kiddy Palace at TPY to just grab it. Hence the ugly pillow.
I still love it tho. Ugly but it's a life saver.
In the pouch, I have a small sized hand sanitizer, a small square cloth, sometimes the fan remote control and always, before I start nursing, my phone. Recently, I added a hand operated mini fan and I should have a spare battery included too.
My combat pack looks something like this from my view:
When I wear it, I look like a flattened humpty dumpty and one exhausting night, sleep deprived Daddy was up taking care of Joy Joy when he informed a sleeping me that she wants food NOW!
So I forced myself awake, jumped out of bed, went to the toilet and then swiftly put on my combat pack only to realise that. Daddy managed to cox Joy Joy to sleep!!
"why did you make me get all these ready if she's not hungry!!" i whispered, exhausted. Then it occurre to us that I look so comical and the situation was so comical to that we couldn't stop laughing. When laughing, Daddy was on our bed, on his knees to carefully put Joy Joy back to where she sleeps so he had to really control himself until he's settled her.
This morning Daddy asked me why I was so unusually happy and i told him "I'm high from lack of sleep". He was very amused by that statement and even checked with me again on whether i was still high during his lunch time.
Our second weekend as parents ended after we took my precious hour to go through the flats still available for selection.
So happy that's it's finally our turn to select a flat tomorrow after years of house hunting and half a year of tedious appeal against the HDB income ceiling, even though it had been revised recently.
So sad that many of the good units are sold. We went into detail on the units to select down to where the lift is, where the dustbin is, the layout, imagining the routes we would take everyday.
And I like one of the floor plan configuration. Full length window that extends over a corner of the bedroom. Daddy likes the study room to be near the living room rather than the kitchen. But to have this configuration, we have to accept a flat that is less convenient.
The configuration that comes with the more convenient location is this one:
Daddy even planned where Joy Joy's room will be (just beside ours), just in case she brings her boyfriend home in future, how we can eavesdrop on them. LOL.
We shortlisted some that are still available and can only hope that what we want are still available tomorrow.
It was Daddy's birthday yesterday and he was sulking because no one seem to love him extra.
We were up the night before taking care of Joy Joy. In fact, she slept in my arms half the night. So by morning, everybody was tired and had no energy to SHOW that we love him extra. I didn't even have the strength to make him a peanut butter sandwich.
Daddy wanted a banana chocolate (did someone just say CHOCOLATE?!) fudge cake from secret recipe but I couldn't leave home on my own, much less leave Joy Joy milk-less.
So I got grandma to get him a cake. When he knew there was a cake he was elated and did a little jig before remembering to ask me "From where?". I stuttered and told him that secret recipe is out if the way for grandma so we got him one from prima deli, he sulked harder and proceeded to wail on the floor with his legs kicking like Joy Joy display his displeasure. He even had a wailing competition with Joy Joy, who was crying because she had a wet diaper but yet dislike having a bare bum when changing.
In the end, we a simple celebration by ourselves ( actually Grandma and Grandpa were more interested in TV) and this is Daddy making a wish.....
... After singing "Happy Birthday to me..Happy Birthday to me.."
Don't worry, next year Joy Joy will sing for you and blow out your candles. ^.^
In the past few days, Grandma has been trying her best to take care of me. She also quit her job at Daddy's request and paid 4 days of salary in lieu of notice.
I think it's a matter of differences in practice. My principle is still to do things for the benefit of Joy Joy rather than for our convenience and I don't subscribe to myths that don't make sense (some "myths" are actually based on logic) but some of her practices have proven to help Joy Joy and us cope better.
I think we'll get better and better as the days goes by. It's just a lot of communication and discussion on reasons why to convince her / for her to convince me before we reach an agreeable way of taking care of Joy Joy.
And no matter what she promised us before, I really shouldn't take it for granted that she's supposed to help us out in every sense of the word. Fact is, she's not young now and it's our responsibility as parents to take care of our baby.
We've been to the children's A&E 2 times now in the 12 days we've had Joy Joy. I know the procedure inside out.
First time on 27 November 2011 for what we thought was an infected belly button and Second time yesterday for painful reflux that kept Joy Joy awake, needing to feed all night to soothe her pain.
Her belly button is fine, so says the house officer who didn't recognize "runny stools" as a description for stools because, "there is no such description". I wish i still have a photo of the pus filled belly button but it really seemed to clear up shortly after, just that now we see dried blood. The test of whether to see a doctor, according to the doctor, is whether there is any redness around the belly button. There wasn't and still isn't. But I'm observing it everyday.
The doctor we met yesterday was better. Although we didn't get to know the causes for Joy Joy's reflux (I suppose there are many possible reasons), the tips she gave us on feeding, sleeping burping helped Joy Joy tremendously (I don't want to jinx it but she's been sleeping well and eating well). Daddy says its the best $90 he's spent.I think it really helps that she's a mummy with a baby who has reflux too, many of the tips I got from her are practices in caring for a baby with reflux.
Both times, we had Joy Joy's jaundice checked. First time without me nursing Joy Joy and she screamed her lungs out. 2nd time I nursed her and she only moved slightly when the nurse poke her. Jaundice level is going down but still above 100, so we gotta do it again next week.
Motherhood made me read and read and read alot when I am nursing Joy Joy. The reflux is probably coz I had chocolate (alot of it) and garlic. So I'm staying off 2 favourite food of mine until Joy Joy is older. Baby at ease is worth more than the short lived pleasure i get from these foods.
I hope not to get too acquainted with the A&E department. My heart breaks whenever Joy Joy is unwell.