my babies

Friday, December 28, 2007

Work and Pump

Everyday I pump 3 times at work. Once at 10.30am, once at 1.30 and once at 3.30. Before I send Adam to his babysitter I breastfeed him (around 7.30-8am) and I feed him immediately after fetching him (around 5 – 5.30pm, yes I leave as soon as the bell rings). At the babysitter’s place he has 3 feeding sessions about the same time I pump.

Usually each pumping session I get about 3-4oz. This seemed very little compared to other moms who can get 10-12oz per pumping session. But to me it was sufficient seeing that my baby only drinks as much as I pump, he won’t eat more than 4 oz. I use the popular Avent Isis manual pump which is efficient enough. It takes me about 15-20mins to pump + pack. In between pumping sessions I just pack all pumps parts in a sealed bag and throw it in the fridge. Breast milk has antibacterial properties. This saves me from wasting time on washing and sterilizing each time I pump. I read this useful tip from a great website on pumping –

I’m still at the trial and error state in getting to smoothly run my pumping routine. It’s not as easy as I imagined it would be. I found that pumping sessions can be a bit messy because I tend to leak from the other breast while pumping. Recently I bought the Medela milk collection shells which are terrific at collecting the milk and saving my clothes from getting wet. I take a little burp cloth with me to wipe away any stray drops. Nowadays it feels like pumping is my fulltime job. Lately I found that it is getting increasingly difficult to maintain the same amount of pumping yield. For the past few days even if I pump until my hands and breasts are starting to hurt I still fall short of 3oz. I’m a professional pumper who sucks at her job, literally! This is really stressing me out. I’m my baby’s only source of food! I’m trying to figure out ways to increase production.

My Avent pump is comfortable to use and gentle on the breast. During my maternity leave I could get as much as 5 oz using that pump, in a short time. This makes pumping sessions enjoyable. However somehow at work it gets harder. Plus pumping as much as 3 times a day using a manual pump is a strain on my hand – especially the wrist. Especially with the low output, it’s really disheartening to continue pumping. I’m thinking about getting an electric/battery operated pump. I’m hoping it’ll help empty my breast better and thus increase production plus my hands could use a break. I’ve done some reading on electric pumps and I’m leaning towards Medela Swing. It seems to be getting good feedback. I considered getting the Medela Pump-In-Style but it’s too bulky. Even with the simple Avent I find that I’m carrying a lot more stuff with me in the morning. I’d like a pump that is compact, use batteries, silent and very efficient. A double pump would be helpful too. But obviously a double pump would not be so compact. Does anybody have a better pump to suggest? Pls do. I’ve ruled out Spectra – no batteries so can’t use because I’ve no electricity in the room I use for pumping. Avent Uno/Duo is another consideration but I’m attracted to Medela’s 2-phase expression because sometimes it’s difficult to get letdown. Avent Uno/Duo users, what say you?

At the end of the day I wash all pumping equipments and sterilize using sterilizing tablets. In the morning everything is dry so I can pack them in the bag. I’m contemplating waking up earlier to add another pumping session in the morning to my schedule – to make up for the lack of pumping output. But that also means that my pump will have to be washed and get all wet again. Can you just pack a wet pump? How do other moms do it? Maybe if I have a second pump I can leave the wet one at home.

I have some freezer stash at home that I collected during maternity leave. However I’m careful about using them. I try to send to the babysitter whatever I can pump the day before. The reason is this; Let’s say my baby normally drinks 30oz per day – EBM + direct nursing. Breast milk is produced according to demand. So my body has adjusted itself and produces 30oz a day. Say for example I missed a few pumping sessions and my milk supply goes down a little to 28oz per day. To compensate for this I send extra 2oz from my freezer stock everyday. This would be a bad use of my freezer stash. My baby would be drinking the same amount per day i.e. 30 oz but I’m telling my body to produce only 28oz. In the end my milk supply will never increase and my freezer stash would eventually run out. You can read more about this in the website I suggested earlier.

Now I’m thinking about ways to increase my supply. Does anybody have any useful tips?

It sure is challenging being a breastfeeding, working mom. I’m starting to understand why some people may choose to switch or supplement with formula. You need to be fully committed. If I didn’t learn about breastfeeding and pumping and wasn’t so determined about it I could’ve quit as well. Imagine, your breasts are essentially never fully yours again. Every couple of hours you need to feed the baby. While this is actually time for you to bond and is very enjoyable, it’s also very time consuming and is not what you’re used to (before you have a baby). Even when you’re away from the baby you must continue “feeding” – by pumping to maintain your supply. During the weekends when I go out I must also think of ways to maintain supply. If the baby is with me I need to find ways to feed him in public or if I choose to bottle feed him EBM I still need to pump - again to maintain supply. Normally I just breastfeed him because it’s much more convenient. If I use EBM, it’s not as simple as bringing a bottle. You’ve also got to pack ice packs in a cooler for the EBM, hot water in a thermos etc. And then there’s washing + sterilize blablabla. My breasts are uncomfortably bigger, and constantly change in size. My bras keep changing size so much during pregnancy and nursing that now none of the bras actually fit me well.

It does get easier with time and practice though. I hope soon enough I’ll figure out the best ways to keep everything running smoothly. The important thing for me to remember is that it CAN be done. If so many other moms can do it, why can’t I.

Adam, I promise I’ll do my very best to keep giving you breast milk until you are 2. It is not easy but for you I’ll do absolutely everything. Love you sooo much! Muahs!

Adam’s Daddy – I love you too la…hehe.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Adam menyondol !

Akhirnya dapat capture video Adam monyondol! Usually adam sondol in the semiconcious state - tgh nak bgn tido. but this one he was trying to get to me. Daddy saje put him on his tummy and told him - ok, go to Mommy yourself. Terus laju jer dia sondol terus sampai kat Mommy! i immediately got the camera and Daddy letak Adam lagi sekali. Within few second dia sampai kat Mommy. Yay! Cayalah Adam! Big milestone for you! If you listen carefully you could hear at the end of the video Adam berbunyi kepenatan...hehe..cute jer.

The third time try soh dia sondol lagi dia berjaya gak sampai, tapi slow-mo je..dah penat sgt..cian dia...hehe..Mommy ni mcm military la train Adam - Daddy kate...hehe..takdelah Adam, you can crawl anytime at your own pace. Mommy just terexcited sgt tgk Adam sondol - cute! baby is growing up so fast..

Friday, December 21, 2007

Breastfeeding Adam

When I was pregnant I did a lot of reading on breastfeeding. I was really determined to exclusively breastfeed my baby no matter what comes my way. Masa tgh pregnant mmg tak sabar sgt nak breastfeed Adam. Now that he’s here…I found that breastfeeding is more rewarding than I imagined it would be. But not without a few obstacles.

After I gave birth to Adam, immediately I dpt breastfeed him for the first time. A nurse was there to “help” me latch him, but unfortunately all she did was pinch my ni**le and shoved it in his mouth. Sakit! But Adam pandai suck as though he’s done it before. Afterwards they let me keep Adam in my hospital room for rooming in. I fed him whenever he looked hungry but masa tu my positioning still a bit awkward.

Adam's first breastfeeding session in the labour room

Lps dah balik rumah, within the first week tu I had sore ni**les. Sampai bleeding. I tried ice, applied milk, lanolin cream, corrected his latch and positioning etc. Lama2 it got better and dah tak sakit lagi. I read that it’s common to get breast engorgement when your milk starts to come in. Fortunately I didn’t have that problem, maybe because Adam was feeding frequently.

My lanolin cream

At some point I had another problem lak. Hyperactive letdown. Bila milk starts to flow in tu, terlaju sgt sampai baby tersedak2. Adam akan let go and milk will flow out like Niagara falls. Lama2 Adam jadi frust, sian dia. Tapi nowadays alhamdulillah, Adam pandai control. Dia suck laju2 and dpt contain all the milk without letting go of the latch. Takpayah minum sampai ½ jam-1 hour lagi. Within 10-15 mins he can empty the breast. Terrer la anak Mummy minum skarang…

Awal2 dulu ada gak problem with my arms. Lenguh sgt sampai takleh lift up. Walaupun Adam ringan. Tapi dah pegang lama2 esp time breastfeed mmg tak cukup endurance gak. My hubby tolong urut then lama2 ok dah. Thank you sayang..i bought a nursing pillow – from MyBrestfriend- which really helps. My arms pun dah banyak muscle dah skang..hehe

Adam, Mummy and My Brestfriend

Masa I start to practice pumping breastmilk pulak, langsung takde milk kluar. Panic jadinye. Salah beli pump ke? Salah guna pump ke? Milk sikit sgt ke? Mcmana nak gi keje ni? After many attempts barula dpt itu pun sikit dlm 1oz camtu je. Bila dah byk kali barula boleh increase to about 3oz. Later I read a good website on pumping – barula I understand why. I was pumping when I was still fully breastfeeding Adam, that means I tak bagi Adam botol lagi masa ni. So my milk supply has adapted to cater for his daily needs. Supply according to demand la. But when I start pumping I was basically asking my body to produce extra milk. That’s why susah nak pump byk. Once I start giving him bottles, masa time dia minum botol tu I pump, so bolehla dpt byk sket.
I’m lucky families and friends bukan jenis yg condem breastfeeding. I heard mcm2 stories about moms yg terpaksa resort to formula sbb pressure from their momla, MIL la, makcik2la. Cakap tak cukupla etc, so kene supplement. My husband and my family semuanya supportive of breastfeeding, alhamdulillah.

To me breastfeeding is one of the miracles of life. The intimacy I feel every time I hold my baby close to me is unbelievable. I could really feel the bond between mother and child strengthening. I feel needed. I feel loved. Aaaa…tak cukup words la nak explain. It really is amazing. To all breastfeeding mothers or mommys-to-be who are contemplating whether or not they should try formula, pls, keep on breastfeeding. It’s the best gift you can give – to both your baby and yourself.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Akikah Adam

Ni entry tertangguh on Akikah. Akikah Adam was held kat rumah Opah and Atuk Adam kat Bagan Dato. Wah..mcm org kenduri kawen pun ade. Bertuahler Adam, cucu first le kan..

Ni first time Adam jalan jauh. Adam good boy sgt. Adam tak nangis2. Adam tido je dlm carseat. Syarat as usual Daddy has to drive above 80km/hr =) Daddy kata kat highway Adam naikkan standard jadi 100km/hr pulak. Kalau bawah drpd tu automatic Adam bukak mata besar2 pastu mula ler ek-ek nak mintak Daddy laju. This is also first time Adam jumpa Onyang and Toknyang. Onyang suka layan Adam berckp. Adam stare je muka Onyang. Adam sukala tu org layan dia membebel yer? Toknyang suka tgk Adam tido meniarap. Nampaknye Adam dah tarik attention semua org ni just dgn buat muka seposen yg cute tu. Everyone loved playing with you, you know. And you love having ppl around you.

Kitorg sembelih kambing sekor jer. Jadiler tu. Kang 2 ekor sape lak nak mkn. Toknyang Adam yg sembelih sendiri. Daddy Adam pegang kepala kambing sampai berdarah2 muka Daddy..hehe..Lauk2 semua masak sendiri. Mmg respect la. Mommy cuma tolong-tolong Opah je kat dapur. Kalau Mommy kat KL mmg jgn harapler nak merasa kenduri masak sendiri ni. Letih gak tu. Mommy yg tak biasa kot. Mlm je terus pengsan tido. Opah Adam relek je.

Siap ade pasang khemah kat dpn. Siap ade bunga telur. Siap ade pulut kuning. Siap ade buai berhias. Siap ade sound system. Siap ade marhaban. You lucky boy, org menikah pun tak meriah sampai camni tau..

Mula2 ada org mengaji, marhaban. Adam pun mendengar je. Org2 marhaban ni ialah geng2 Atuk Adam. Atuk Adamla vocalist utama diorg. Lps tu acara potong rambut Adam. Sikit je potong, nampak tobek sketla. Lps tu Adam pun masuk buai. Adam nampak tak selesa dlm buai tu. Adam boring kot. Dah angkat kluar baru Adam senyap and tgk2 sekeliling. Muka Adam mcm curious sgt tgk what’s going on. Lps tu acara mkn2. Sedap tau lauk kambing akikah Adam ni. Lembut je dan tak berbau.Opah buat masak dalca.

Bila petang, semua org dah balik, Daddy shave kepala Adam! Uwaaa! Mommy yg risau tgk sbb Mommy sayang rambut Adam tu halus lembut jer. Tapi Mommy tgk bila dah habis shave rupanya muka Adam ni sesuaila rambut botak. Bukan botak licinla, botak Mawi. Cute jer muka Adam.
Muka Daddy kene darah

Theme colour hijau

Adam dlm buaian

Friday, December 14, 2007

Adam's first day

Yesterday was the first day I send Adam to his babysitter. I’m still on leave but I saje try hantar dulu for a couple of days. In the morning when I left him, he wasn’t asleep, he just smiled at me happily as I left. I felt so sad, sedihnya hantar anak utk org lain jaga. Oh God how I wish I could quit my job and take care of my baby myself. I rase nak meraung je bila dah tinggalkan Adam kat situ. I miss him so much…wah..teruknya perasaan rindu kat anak..How do other ppl do it? I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this. I just hope Adam copes better than I do.

I masuk office to settle some things but all I do all day is obsess about my baby. I keep calling the babysitter, asking how he’s doing. At one point babysitter tu tanya I, “Adik risau ye dik?”. Yes very much. I haven’t been separated from my baby at all since birth. I cuma pernah pegi kedai mamak for breakfast with my husband, skejap je. Itu pun I dok teringat-ingat Adam.
I think Adam was ok at the babysitter's house, except for one small incident. I'd rather not elaborate otherwise i'll obsess about it all day today too. But like my husband said to me, i've got too high an expectation. Eh, it's my son, of course i have expectation :) but i know i need to be realistic and reasonable too. Of course org lain jaga takkan sama dgn kite sendiri jaga. I hope she takes good care of my son, the best she can.

Petang tu when we pick him, dia elok senyap jer. Happy as usual like nothing happened. Ayesha (btul ke eja nama dia kak fifah) hugged and kissed him. She’s my cousin’s daughter – the babysitter takes care of my cousin’s 2 daughters too. How sweet, Adam has friends now. Back at home, Adam keep asking to be breastfed so many times, I think he missed Mommy (or I hoped he does ..hehe).

Today he’s at the babysitter’s house again and Mommy’s at home, alone.

Adam, I miss you sooo much…

Monday, December 10, 2007

Adam @ 2 months

Adam at Wildan's Akikah
Happy 2 month Birthday Adam!!

He turned 2 months on the 5th. I’m a horrible mother! I totally forgot until hubby pointed it out to me the next day. I’ve totally lost track of dates nowadays. Sorry Adam!

At 2 months Adam has developed new habits and skills. It’s amazing to watch him grow everyday.

- He can smile! He’s smiled before but now he smiles for a reason. He smiles whenever he’s happy, when we talk to him, make a funny face. Seronok sgt tgk dia senyum2..geram!
- He loves it when people talk to him. Kalau siapa rajin layan bercakap2 dgn dia, he stares back intently listening to what we say to him.

- Adam can talk his own language! I’ve a video of him “talking”. I’ll upload it asap.

- Adam suka tido meniarap. Tibe2 je dia develop this habit. Dia ikut both his Pak Ngahs from both sides. Kalau tido terlentang sekejap dah bgn balik. Tapi kalau tido meniarap lena dia tido. At first I takut nak bagi dia tido meniarap takut dia tersembam muka. Tapi now I’m not so worried sbb dia pandai angkat2 kepala pusing kiri kanan to find his own comfortable position. But I only allow this for daytime naps la. Mlm2 elok pulak dia tido telentang on our bed.

- Dah pandai merangkak…errr…menyondol, actually. At daytime he naps on one of those firm slippery tilam kekabu yg besar. Dia pun menyondol2 la kedepan bukan main jauh lagi. No kidding! Kire lebih semeterla dia boleh sondol. Dia sondol sampai la dia reach the edge of the mattress and onto the carpet. I pun tarikla dia balik dok tgh mattress tu. I’m trying to get a video of this sondol action tapi tak dpt lagi. He moves slowly and silently. Tau2 je dah sampai carpet.

- Dah suka mandi. Esp if I mandikan him while singing or talking to him. Dia pun berkocak2la dlm air tu dgn muka happy while looking at me.

- He’s very well behaved! Seriously, taking care of him is so easy. Alhamdulillah. Of course he has his bad days sometimes, but most of the time mmg baik je dia. Takde meraung2 out of the blue. Jarang nak dgr suara dia menangis2. Senang nak bawak travel. How did we get so lucky? Alhamdulillahh….and thank you Adam, tak pernah susahkan Mummy and Daddy..

Oklah tu je I can think of for now. My maternity leave pun dah nak habis. I’m feeling the blueees now. Sedih betul nak tinggalkan Adam…uwaaa..i can’t watch him 24-7 anymore.

Update coming up on Adam’s Akikah.
Adam tido meniarap

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Adam tersengguk-sengguk tido

ala siannye dia..ngantuk sgt..


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