LIVE . LOVE . HURT . HOPE

Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Back @ Work

In the office, yes. I have had countless people ask me before, when I was going to get back to work. The fact is, I had been working, from home…the fact that I was home did not mean that I was slacking off in my pajamas. I was promptly responding to emails, reading and reviewing reports, returning queries from the fabrication yard…all these while taking care of an infant as well. I had to admit, even though I was at home, I could barely spend time interacting with Maddy…I just spent enough time each day feeding, bathing, changing and putting her down for naps, and then I would be back hunching over my laptop. It did make me feel bad that I used her obsession with certain toys to my benefit, she would play on her own without needing me to be there with her. But during those months, I suppose that was the best I could do…strike an arrangement with the boss to allow me to remain home caring for child. In return for that, I had to honour my arrangement, I would act upon work requirements…as if I was there sitting in my office cubicle. It was TIRING, having to juggle both baby and work…and there were days when I guiltily wished I was back in the office.

So, that worked out fine for about three months…and finally Maddy’s babysitter could start with us and I got back to the usual routine. I am back at work AT THE OFFICE…been two weeks now, and things are going well. Maddy is adjusting well to the babysitter, apart from the occasional fussiness when she sees me come home…it is as if everything is fine while I am away, then when I walk through the door she realizes I have been away and starts missing me! But my worries of her not being able to adjust or not being to nap with the babysitter are unfounded. Things are great! The babysitter is great!

I am still adjusting to my new role as a working parent. It throws at me various questions and decisions that I never had to consider before. I used to and will soon again have, a highly mobile job that involves a lot of traveling. It was fun then, jetting off weekly for work and shopping and meeting up with friends. But things are different now…I now have to consider work and Maddy…she needs me for food and comfort. As much as she is comfortable with her daddy, and will drink formula milk, I still want her to be fully breastfed and she still wants me to put her to sleep at nights. I expressed my wish to hold back on traveling to the boss, and thankfully he was understanding enough to place subordinates with me who might be able to assist me later. I am blessed to be working with such kind people. But you know, even if it does affect my appraisals later on, deep inside I know that doesn’t really bother me. My family is my priority for now.

So, this is still new to me, this fulltime working mom thingy. Gone are the days of sleeping in or taking naps whenever I want to. I wake up at about 6.30am every day to pump milk, then get ready for work. At the office I take 10 minutes out once in the morning and once in the afternoon to pump milk. After a whole day of work, I get home, babysitter leaves and I wash, cook and manage baby…thankfully with some help from hubby. By 9pm when Maddy knocks off for the day…I am ready to sleep myself. Hubby and I try to watch some movies from time to time and talk too. I suppose we don’t spend as much time alone nowdays, but we just adapt to a different life. We sit and quietly watch our sleeping daughter, holding hands. Some things are just better unspoken. And one of them is…”That’s our beautiful baby girl, dear. This is a good life…and I love you very much”.

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Nursing Strike?

I have come to notice that for the past week and a half or so, Maddy seems to be kind of uninterested in nursing..which means that her daily intake of milk probably is less. That is getting me quite worried but she seems happy and contented so will just monitor her. Perhaps she is going through a phase of nursing strike..she IS extremely more interested in her surroundings now and extra alert.

Remember those early days when it drove me nuts that she nursed ALL DAY LONG? Now I am missing those days…I am missing my needy little girl ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Madelyn is 6 Months Old!

Baby Madelyn is six months old today! And daddy’s here giving her a big wet kiss!

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Routine Change…Yet Again!

Just when I thought I had gotten everything under control…Maddy decides to throw me another surprise by refusing to nap and crying pitifully each time I try to put her to nap..this started about a week ago. For nearly a month or more after I ‘sleep-trained’ her to fall asleep without being suckled, she had been sleeping so well..napping for 2-3 hours each in the morning and then early afternoon. But for the past week or so she began to fuss quite a lot while trying to nap. I am going back to work at the office next week so as much as I am feeling bad about it, I just have to refuse to suckle her and let her try to fall asleep on her own again. Of course, as before, I limit her crying to about 10-15minutes, or less if she starts to get really frantic. So far, it’s been bearable….today she cried for about 10minutes and eventually fell asleep. She has dragged her nap time to 11am lately…previously it’s always been by 10.30am she’s out. She is otherwise alert and totally happy and playful, so I decide to just let her play but by 11am I try to coax her to sleep. And to make sure that she isn’t hungry, I started bottle-feeding her so that she has warm milk in her tummy before her naps. Oh how I am going to miss suckling her when I am back at work ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

In addition, Maddy seems uninterested in feeding lately…and neither is she crying out in hunger. She is in fact, happier than before! She is alert and still bouncing about happily so I will just let her be. I wonder if this lack of appetite and the extra fuss during nap/bedtime point to teething issues?

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Milestone: Maddy Starting Solid Food

Maddy is coming up to be 6 months old soon, which means that she will soon start to munch on semi solid food on top of her regular breastmilk consumption.

I started her on pureed carrots and sweet green peas this week just to get her used to the idea of eating. She took to it quite well and swallowed 2-3 tablespoonfulls of each without any fuss or mess. I am starting her on vegetables first before fruits so she does not get too choosy and develop a sweet tooth. Just a precaution I suppose.

My baby girl is growing up too fast!

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October Updates

So many things to update but so little time ย to blog about them separately…so I am just going to put them all under one post. Here goes!

Maddy:

The month of October is approaching its end, and she will be turning six months old soon! That means a new adventure ย begins soon for our little girl – starting solid food! I have already started her on some carrot puree yesterday and the reaction wasn’t so great. But hey, she has not known anything apart from milk…so her reaction is to be expected. Gonna try again today.

She had her first haircut about 3 weeks ago prior to our trip back home (more about that later!). I badly needed a haircut myself so both of us dropped by my usual hairdresser. She sat very quietly in her Bumbo and didn’t fuss a single bit while the nice lady trimmed off the wild wispy locks around her ears and nape. Now she looks ‘tidier’ and sometimes like a baby boy.

She has been napping wonderfully! I can now pat her to sleep on the mattresses without the need to suckle her and she would nap for about ย 2 hours in the morning and 2.5-3 hours in the afternoon. Bedtime at night is now much easier…no more needing to suckle her…after her night feed, she usually starts to get sleepy. I put her down, turn her on her side and she is out like a lightbulb! She still wakes up once for a feed about 3-4am but I am fine with that. See, didn’t I say she will find her sleeping mojo at her own pace? ๐Ÿ™‚

She has also grown out of her fear and dislike for strangers and rarely fusses now when being held by friends and family members. In fact our little Maddy now is quite the social butterfly…flashing everyone her gummy grins and breaking their hearts with her cuteness!

Me:

I am due back at work in about a week and a half. Maddy’s nanny starts then too. To say that I am nervous is an understatement. I am nervous at the thought of leaving Maddy at home for long hours for the first time. I do trust her nanny, but I am worried at how Maddy will react and behave without me around. Well, there will always be the first time, I suppose and thankfully office is just minutes away so I can always zip back if she gets too upset.

With me returning to work at the office, it also means that I will have to start pumping breast milk while at work. I have not been pumping regularly for the reason that Maddy has always been with me and latching her own directly for a feed has been the best way to go. I did pump for a little while, about once day for some milk in the bottle when I was bottle-training her. But once she got the hang of it, the pumping stopped. While I do not have any problems keeping her fed and happy with direct feeding, I am a little nervous about being able to pump enough milk to keep her happy. I kind of suspect that Maddy isn’t a big drinker…about 2-3 oz per feed seems to be more than enough for her. She drinks about once in the morning, once mid morning, once lunchtime, once mid afternoon and a few cluster feedings in the evening before bedtime. I plan to direct latch her before I head off to work, return home lunchtime for another feed and get back by about 5pm. This means I will need to have ready in the fridge, a daily supply of about 5-6 oz of expressed milk. I am fairly confident that that is achievable…at the very least I can at least produce about 4-5 oz on my low supply days…my expressed volume seems to yo-yo for no apparent reason. On good days I get about 4-5 oz per side…on other days 3 oz from both sides – each pumping. Either way, I should have enough for her daily needs. And if indeed for whatever reason she wants more, an ounce or so of formula milk here and there should be alright. As much as I would like her to be fully on breastmilk, I am not going to be too obsessed about it and stressed myself out because of it (which will eventually affect supply!). After all, once I get back home from work, I will latch her on again and all will be well ๐Ÿ™‚

I went shopping for work clothes a week back. Geez… I could hardly find anything that fits! Not that I have grown so much but errm…a breastfeeding mom certainly has trouble fitting her boobs into clothes she used to fit in. I had to buy Medium sizes tops to fit myself into…not ideal but at least it doesn’t look as if I am bursting out of the seams. I think I need to be on the look-out for stretchy tops or nice-looking nursing tops…darn. I have yet to return to my pre-pregnancy weight, my priority now is to eat healthily enough to maintain milk supply for Maddy. Alhough I would like to return to work looking like a hot chick mama, my baby’s needs come first, I suppose. To be able to think that and do it for me…. that is a HUGE thing, because my one big concern (used to) is my weight! Anyway, I can return to work as the hot curvy mama with the glowing skin! Yes! For some reason my complexion is glowing pink with health! I have received many compliments for it he he…maybe it is the glow of the happy mama with the happy giggly baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

On the subject of work, I really need to decide on how to juggle work and family next year. Hubby starts going offshore for 4 weeks a stretch and I am predicting that it might be an issue if I need to travel for work. Maddy always needs me during bedtime and I would still like to continue to be around as much as possible during her first few years…at least during her first year. Indeed I need to discuss this with my boss, whether it is possible to switch to a different role based locally with no travelling or just day trips for the next year or so. I am prepared for my career to take a back seat for now, like I said before…it took us some effort and time and some heartache to conceive Maddy and finally be able to hold her in our arms. So I am going to raise her as best as I possibly can.

Us:

Hubby is certainly a wonderful daddy and trying his best to be so much more. He does most of the house chores, while I am in charge of Maddy and cooking our meals. He can now put Maddy down for naps and give her her bottle of warmed chilled breastmilk. I can be away for half a day now and hubby can manage just fine…:D

We went home to Penang for hubby’s brother’s wedding a few weeks back. Maddy was such an angel on the 2 flights back, we were so proud of her. She barely made a sound, just looked around, played and took a long nap as soon as the plane took off. We brought her out shopping, for snacks at the hawker stalls, went for walks and she behaved perfectly during the wedding celebration parties. It was nice…just the three of us ๐Ÿ™‚

So those are about the main updates of what we have been up to. Our wonderful lives together continue….

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A Sick Mom & A Happy Baby

The dreaded flu bug finally won for the first time since I got preggy. Hubby caught the bug while we were back in Penang and loaded up with antibiotics so he recovered pretty quick. Yours truly on the other hand caught it right after and had to suffer through it since I was unable to take just any medication. I wasn’t THAT sick….no temperature and all, but I did have a very bad cold and an irritable throat, which eventually led to me feeling rather sickly yesterday. That, with a suddenly very hyperactive baby was not ย good combination at all. Hubby had to go to work so I still had to be alert enough to do all the usual stuff with Maddy. And since she was soooo happy and cheerful yesterday, I could not just leave her to amuse herself…I felt that I should at least accompany her. Boy oh boy what a challenge to be a mommy…..specially a sick one.

On the brighter side, Maddy did catch a milder version of our flu bug. She had a suffy/dribbly nose and a slight cough, which both cleared up within half a day! I swear it must had been all the good antibodies in the breastmilk. Do you know that a baby is already exposed to the virus even before mommy knows that she is sick? So the milk produced by mommy is already loaded with antibodies to counter the bug….hence that was probably why Maddy recovered so fast!

Ain’t nature just awesome? ๐Ÿ™‚

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SNUGG SSC: It’s HERE!!

Omigoshhhh!!! It’s here!!! My Snugg SSC!! Love the prints!!!!

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Sleep Training Maddy: Day 7

Morning Nap:
OMG!! I put Maddy down awake, she grumbled for about half a minute and then turned on her and zzzzz…

She nap for two hours WITHOUT needing me to pat her.

Afternoon Nap:

Same routine as her morning nap – grumbled and rolled over to her side and fell asleep immediately!! Two and a half hours! I can now start to leave the room while she nap. I am oh-so proud of my little girl!

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Sleep Training Maddy: Day 6

Morning Nap:

Hurray! I put Maddy down sleepy and thought I might try to pat her to sleep. She grumbled for a few seconds then rolled onto her side and nap for almost two hours! Uninterrupted!!!!

Afternoon Nap:

She fussed a little bit more..perhaps a few minutes but no crying, just unhappy grumbling. I coaxed her onto her side and voila! She fell asleep almost immediately. She seems to be in a deeper sleep too, less startling and less jerking about.

I am really happy with this progress.

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