Monday, January 8, 2018

.::. The Forth Trimester .::.

Jaime has past 3 months old, I started this post after sending her to infant care the first day 2nd January 2018, sitting at Coffeebean and feeling really emotional while revisiting the past 3 months.  It feels as if my life was on hold and I spent all my time and effort on her.  She's growing well and always smiling.  People say that I have an 'easy baby' because she is an independent sleeper and sleeps alot.  I suppose we had it relatively easy, but I would like to believe that it's partly due to how we chose to care for her right from the beginning.

Jaime began sleeping for 5 hours from the third week, which is what people considers 'sttn' or sleep-through-the-night.  Before the 3rd week, I woke up to pump at 3am everynight and dream-feed her.  By the 10th week, she was able to sleep 11 hours and consistently slept on average 9-11 hours every night.  She was sleeping in the cacoona baby ever since she came back from hospital and wasn't swaddled most of the time (till colic kicked in at Week 5).  We always put her down when she's milk drunk after burping her to let her fall asleep herself.  Some days she fussed, but we usually do not pick her up unless she was crying hysterically.  If she does, we comfort her and put her down again and repeat it as many times as needed.  We also do not walk around carrying her nor pat her nor rock her.  I honestly felt that such consistent 'training' since birth helped her to become a good sleeper.  I was her main care-giver right from the start and took all the night shifts, always stood-by when it was about time to feed.  A baby who feels secured and always in the mother's company would be less needy and sticky.  I somehow think that it also helps that Jaime doesn't latch, so she wouldn't comfort latch to bed or want to be latched often.  I also watched her like a hawk to catch sleepy cues and put her down to sleep on time to avoid over-tiredness and a cranky baby.  Did you know that infants should not stay wake for more than an hour or so?  I think I would do these again for my second one since these worked well for us.

On wanting an easy baby, I think many mummies do themselves in right from the start.  Very often, mummies hire confinement ladies to help take care of babies, especially during the night while they recuperate.  If breastfeeding, confinement ladies will bring the baby to the mother whenever the baby needs to be fed.  Babies are very smart and crave to be near their mother.  It's easy to learn to cry and latch for long periods just to be near their mothers.  Confinement ladies often build in bad habits too (like patting, rocking, carrying 24/7) , and many babies become so attached to the confinement ladies that days after they leave are often difficult.  That's why, I would prefer to have baby attached to me right from the start and help to build good lasting habits, making life easier in future.  What's the point of resting well for a month and have a fussy needy baby after that?  I usually nap my mornings away while my CL/mum take one feed and bathe the baby.  I sometimes take a nap in the afternoon too, when baby sleeps.  I was on the fence about taking night shifts although Wong BB strongly advised during her classes, but I'm glad I actually did!  I would seriously encourage the same too.

Although Jaime sleeps well, looking after an infant isn't exactly a bed of roses.  Some days were terrible, there was a night when she cried 3am to 8am.  Between Week 4-6 were evenings that I dread since she cried incessantly.  Ridwind and swaddling helped, but she still fusses and cries for an hour or so.  Then she had alot of congestion and mucus, and I brought her to Yuguo for TCM massage that worked wonders.

The weeks pass me by so quickly and life was lived in 3 hour blocks.  There weren't day and nights, weren't weekdays and weekends.  After feeding, burping and putting her to sleep, there's a window of time to feed myself, go to the toilet, do washing and pump milk.  I ordered tingkat for lunch and cooked dinner for us.  Luckily the husband is very hands-on and helps to take over when he's home and during weekends.  I'm really thankful for that and realised that many men are still, well, terrible fathers (and husbands).

Babies grow up so quickly, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the time with her, witnessing how she has grown.  It's with a heavy heart that I'm sending her to infant care, although I know it's better for her and for us.  I do believe that babies learn more social skills and develop faster in infant care setting with peer pressure and mimicking their peers.  They may fall sick more often, but mama gets to work and afford a better lifestyle for the family.  Most importantly, we can parent her and avoid a spoilt child.

22nd September 2017.  After one of the night feeds.  I usually woke up to pump at 3am and dream feed her.

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24th September 2017.  The bff came to visit with a cake that says 'Best Parents Ever'.  I secretly teared. *sobs*

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26th September 2017

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27th September 2017

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28th September 2017

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29th September 2017

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1st October 2017.  Her first photoshoot.

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3rd October 2017

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4th October 2017.  ENT @ KKH Hearing Test, cried the place down whenever anyone tried to put anything near her ear.  Thankfully passed her hearing test.

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7th October

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13th October

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14th October

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17th October.  Mummy got her hair done while Daddy took care of Jaime, and we went to meet up with friends for HDL.

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18th October

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20th October.  Falling asleep after fussing.

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21st October.  Dinner at Morganfields

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22nd October

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24th October

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25th October.  The night she cried from 3am to 8am.

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26th October.  Meet up with Naomi jiejie and Ju yiyi.  First bus ride.

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28th October. Daddy took care of Jaime while Mummy went to the gym.  Came home to a sleeping baby, fed and happy.

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29th October

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5th November

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9th November

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10th November

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11th November

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14th November

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17th November

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...to be continued...