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A Little More To Life

Sunday, January 27, 2008

End of Maternity Leave

Today is the last day of my maternity leave. I've been prepping myself mentally for this day. Have packed my barang barang, gave Ethan a bath at 9pm, fed him at 10pm and put him to bed... hopefully he'll only wake up at 6am! Tomorrow we'll need to leave the house by 7am to take Ethan to his grandma's house before heading to work.

I wonder how my first day back at work would be like. I still remember my desk was in a mess as I didn't expect to go on leave so soon. I think there'll be lots of PRs pending for my action :p but my priority would be to clear my inbox, catch up with the colleagues and maintain my milk supply.

Ethan is getting more responsive these days, he has been babbling to us and to himself. Tried singing nursery songs to him the other day and he actually 'sings' back... its funny... like those doggies that howls when the piano is playing. He's been trying to communicate his needs to us lately, he'll look us in the eye and go 'ah, uh, ooh, ger...' Its very cute.

Recent pixs

What have your been feeding me???

Drink Milk... Yes Sir!

Who's that person looking at me?

Playing with saliva

Ethan will play with his saliva now when he is bored... discovered him with many saliva bubbles after leaving him to play on his own for a while...

I also realised that pouting comes naturally... nobody show him but he will pout when he is not happy and about to cry... hehe..

Round round belly

Check out my round round belly...

but I'm not the chubbiest... yesterday mommy and daddy saw a even chubbier baby in a kangaroo pouch... looking like a snowman... very cute tho.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Pacifier

We have introduced the pacifier to our little darling on 20th Jan, so that:
- he will not suck his thumb
- cry too much in day
- make life easier for our parents who will be taking care of him in the future

Nonetheless, he still prefers his readily available fist/fingers tho... grrr... will remove his fist from his mouth and gently beat his hands whenever we catch him doing that (learn this from a mommy in the forum), not sure whether it'll work ;p

Anyway he looks cute sucking his pacifier...

Sarong Sling

Have just got myself a sarong sling from moms in mind, I prefer the white and blue stripe one, but daddy prefered the blue and purple one, so we got the blue and purple one so daddy can use too.

Loved it, cos when I put baby in the sling, I can go about doing my everyday stuffs, as it frees up both hands. With this I can even go out alone. The only bad part is it is tough on the shoulder. Overall verdict, 4/5 stars.

It helps to calms baby and puts him to sleep pretty fast, I think it feels like being in the womb.

The doctor that delivered me

This is the first human I saw when I came to this world... mommy's gynae... Dr Benjamin Tham.

Ethan has indeed grow up

During the visit to the PD on 22 Jan, he was checked from head to top. The PD rotated his limbs, placed him on his tummy, pulled him to sitting position by his arms, hold him to stand on his feet... hehe quite interesting to see how the PD handle him.

His new measurements:

Length: 61cm (from 49cm at birth)

Weight: 6.545kg (from 3.76kg at birth)

Head Circum: 42cm (from 37cm at birth)

All his measurements are above 90 percentile. Confirm a big baby. In fact he dun look like a 2mths baby, more like 4mths old. Anyway, all the checks are ok except for his big head, more than 97 percentile and also the ultrasound scan discovered a choroid plexus cyst in his right brain. Although the PD says there's nothing to worry about and another ultrasound scan is not necessary, but we feel otherwise. Hai... pray that baby will grow up healthy and strong.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I've grown up

Look at me when I just came back from the hospital...

And look at me now!

I love bom bom

Mommy says I'm a dirty boy

Rina's mommy says that belly time will help strengthen my neck muscles and stimulate my brain. Hence, mommy will try to give me belly time at least once a day...

Until she discovered that I'll stop mid-track to lick the mat!!!

If you wanna know how the mat taste like... Ask me.

Aiyah... Daddy is sick again... :S

Yummy fist

Mommy is contemplating whether to give me the pacifier after seeing me do this...

Which is the greater evil?

My 2nd Month Birthday on 14 Jan 08

I'm already 2 months old!!! See what mommy and daddy gave me on my birthday ~~~ Little wrist rattles... hmmm I wonder how they taste like...??? ;9

My First Day at Church

With Daddy and Mommy in the nursery room

This is where I met Rina... she was born 1 week after me but already taller than me... I need to drink more milk...

Again I became the object to pose with... nonetheless I don't mind since I'm being cuddled

Daddy's birthday on 11 Jan at Vivocity

Friday, January 11, 2008

Our Testimony: Ethan - the gift from God

I happened to chance upon a mid pregnancy termination thread in the Singapore Motherhood forum, and there were very pitiful stories of how different women had to terminate their pregnancy due to various conditions. It reminded me that I still owe God a testimony of how he has see us through and blessed us with a healthy and adorable baby.

It is amazing how a new life begins in the womb. It is indeed God’s creation, as we humans can’t even make a strand of hair grow. Although Ethan was born at full-term after 39 weeks of gestation, my pregnancy had not been smooth sailing.

During the 14th week scan – First Trimester Ultrasound – we had our first shock, as baby’s Nuchal translucency was considered borderline case for Down syndrome, with the probability of 1/700. We had to wait for 2 weeks for the blood test results, it seems like the longest time, we had to consciously brush away our negative thoughts as we prayed God to protect our baby. When the blood test result was finally out, the probability of our baby having Down syndrome was amazingly low at 1/11000. We were so happy and relieved, knowing that God had heard our prayers.

However the blood test revealed that my blood count was low, I was suspected to suffer from a condition known as Thalassaemia. Just in case you are wondering what is Thalassaemia, it is an inherited blood disorder which is caused by an abnormal gene. A person with thalassaemia is unable to produce normal, functioning haemoglobin in the blood. A person who has inherited one thalassaemia gene is said to have thalassaemia minor (thalassaemia trait).He or she is healthy and leads a normal life. Most people with thalassaemia minor do not know that they have it. However, the affected persons can pass on the abnormal gene to their children. Whereas Thalassaemia major is a severe form of anaemia. The affected person has inherited two thalassaemia genes, one from each parent. He or she may look normal at birth but within 1 - 2 years of life, will suffer from severe anaemia, which leads to poor growth and development as well as a shorter lifespan. Blood transfusion is needed every month to sustain life; a bone marrow transplant is the only hope of possible cure for Thalasasemia major.

Due to my low blood count, my husband and I had to do another blood test. My husband secretly prayed a wrong prayer that nothing will happen to baby and me, and if there’s any abnormal condition let him be the one to suffer instead. And so we waited again for the Lab result. We are again relieved that we were both not Thalassaemia carriers. However, my husband’s blood was tested to have the condition called Fetal Haemoglobin, which is likely to be the cause for my low blood count. So far, there are very little research/findings on this condition, it’s believed to be non-serious hereditary condition.

There was again a detail scan at 20th week of pregnancy. My scan was scheduled on the 18th week, and to our horror there were 2 small choroid plexus cysts present in our baby’s head/brain. The choroid plexus is an area of the brain that is not involved thinking or personality. Rather, the choroid plexus makes a fluid that protects and nourishes the brain and spinal cord. CPCs is associated with a severe genetic disease called Trisomy 18. It is well documented that about half of babies with Trisomy 18 show a CPC on ultrasound. However since there are no other abnormalities found on our baby, ours is an isolated CPC case. Our gynae schedule another scan in 2 weeks’ time to confirm the findings. After 2 weeks the CPC was completely gone. However, due to the previous finding of CPC our Down syndrome probability was increased from 1/11000 to 1/7000.

Without the above 2 episodes, my pregnancy was actually quite stable except for the discomfort from water retention on my legs and feet. But somehow things took a dramatic change in my third trimester; I started to get very itchy rashes on my belly, thigh & hands. To play safe, we decided to visit the 24 hour clinic at KKH after dinner one evening. As I was already 35weeks pregnant, they diverted me to the delivery suite for checkup. To my surprise, I was strapped to the CTG right away as part of their standard procedure, even though I told them I’m here to see doctor for my rashes. To my even greater surprise, the nurse asked me if I’m experiencing pain as I’m having regular contractions. I was sent to the delivery suite to be monitored overnight. It was one of the most terrible nights, as I was strapped on to the CTG the entire night. I couldn’t catch much sleep as the nurses/doctors keep coming in to check on me, and I had to ask for assistance to undo the CTG straps if I need to go to the toilet. I developed a very serious headache the following morning. The doctor on duty told me I can deliver the baby if I want, since I’m already 35weeks pregnant & the baby was already 3kg, but I wasn’t feeling much pain so guess they’ll need to induce me. My appointed gynae came in the morning and decided to stop the contractions. As the baby was big, they put me through oral glucose test to see if I’m having gestational diabetes, the result came back positive. I was given 3 weeks home rest with diet control and medications.

Although I appreciate not having to walk/take public transport to work with the heavy load, the weeks of home rest was very trying. My rashes was spreading like wild fire, the more I scratch the more they will itch. It was unbearable. I had to wake up in the middle of the night to apply ice cubes, calamine lotion, prickly heat powder. Nothing seems to relieve the itch for more than a few minutes. On top of the discomfort, I had to really watch my diet and prick my fingers to test my blood sugar level 7 times a day twice a week. Despite my strict diet, Ethan was still gaining weight steadily in the following 4 weeks but head was not engaged. I was getting anxious to the point of thinking to opt for C-section. During the 39th week checkup, Ethan was estimated to be 3.5kg, but his head was still not engaged and I’m not dilated, so an induction was scheduled on the 14th Nov 2007. It was the lowest moment of my pregnancy, as all along I’ve never wanted to go for induction. Firstly, it would not be the date that God intended for Ethan to come to this world. Secondly, 40% of induction will end up in emergency C-section, just imagine after all the pain and hours of contraction and pushing, might end up C-section and have to pay double charges. I really dislike the idea, furthermore, Ethan was not engaged and there could be other complications such as possibility of cord prolapse etc. All these have taken their toil on my faith; I became very disheartened and sad. My husband reminded me that I have been strong in my faith all along, but why lose faith during the most critical moment of the pregnancy? I understand what he is saying, but I just can’t pick myself up after the multiple setbacks… and so he helped to pray.

God has been faithful and good to us. The day before I was scheduled for my induction, I had a ‘show’ i.e. the mucus plug became dislodged, a sign that labour is in sight, and started to have regular contractions. And although I’m a petite gal, I managed to give birth naturally (vacuum assisted) to a bui bui & healthy baby, Ethan, weighing 3.76kg. All thanks and glory to God for knowing our hearts and answering our prayers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My First Haircut

First Cut just before full month: By Mommy

Check out my cool sideburns

After... part 1
Disastrous attempt by mommy

After... Part 2

2nd Cut after full month: By Daddy

Daddy says my hair is too long, difficult to dry after bathing, esp at the back and he decides to give me a trim. He says to bring me to the barber to cut botak before CNY, mommy agrees altho she'll miss my hair.



Back to work blues...

Gee... I can't imagine that in another 2 weeks' time I'll need to return to work. My Maternity leave is gone in a blink of an eye. I wonder how I'm going to adjust to the new schedule, travelling to and from work, dropping & picking up Ethan at Grandma's house, waking up for Ethan's wee hour feed, arriving at work on time, handling stressful issues at work, engorgement and finding time to express in the office.

One thing for sure, I'm going to miss Ethan like crazy... think I'll cry leh. So sad I can't be around to witness his firsts. Nonetheless, my only consolation is there'll always be his 'firsts with mommy'.

Today I noticed he is more responsive, he'll sometimes smile with his mouth wide open when I play with him... and I'm sure he's not passing wind... hee...

Self Soothe to sleep

Tonight as usual, when I'm sleepy I cried for mommy or daddy to rock me to sleep but mommy and daddy came in the room only to pat and talk to me. They showed no signs of wanting to pick me up when I peered through the corner of my eyes, then I cried some more and they walked out of the room!!! They let me cry for a while then return to only pat and talk to me, then walked out again! After crying for another 4 mins, my eyes were so tired, I fell asleep for the first time on my own.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Help! Is this the same mommy?

I remembered her hair was long when I was born

then it became short and messy after my 1st month

2 weeks later it is oily and sticking to her face... eee...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

See my new hat!

Our first Christmas together as a family

Life can never be the same again

I could have never have imagined in the past, how having a baby would totally transform our lives. We just thought babies are cute and would be a nice little addition to our family.

Little did we know that having a baby will change everything! From our thoughts, our meals, our sleep, our spare time (there's not much to begin with), our relationship with our immediate families and friends, and how my favourite clothes no longer fits and I can't have my morning dose of caffeine or seafood for dinner or any other things that mattered. Some would say this is a sacrifice of having a baby, but I would rather think it is a tradeoff. In return we receive innocent toothless gummy smiles, adorable gurgles, funny gestures and of course the joy to participate in the growing up process of another tiny human being. Somehow life becomes more purposeful when it does not just evolves around me and myself. And work just don't fit into the equation, other than being a source of income.

Tiny Grasps!

Pix taken on 3 Jan 08

My not-so-tiny bobbing head...

See... I can hold my head up now... ;p

Pix taken on 29 Dec 07