First 2 Weeks of Life with A Newborn

The first 2 weeks with baby was like hell. 

Day 3: The afternoon after being discharged from the hospital was alright. I latch her on demand and her feeding time was 2-3 hourly.

MIL came to visit. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but I was very polite. Not once did she asked about me and how I was recovering/coping. Instead she surveyed my room and started commenting on everything. From the baby’s cot to the baby’s swaddle to the nursing hours. Seriously… 

She thinks the cot is too low, baby should be fed every 2 hours. She thinks that baby is startled whenever she has reflex movement and wants us to put a beanie over her chest. She thinks that the swaddle is not good enough and wants us to use a rope to tie around the baby. *Roll my eyeballs out* (doesn’t she know how freaking dangerous it is?) 

OMG… Her 1 hour visit nearly drove me nuts! But I kept being polite to her. I think she should thank god for my good behaviour. The usual SK would have bitten her head off. 

Then at midnight, baby went “crazy”. She fussed at the breast and became extremely impatient. Nothing could pacify or calm her down. Mum, the Husband and I were totally lost. Finally we figured that baby is hungry and my supply is not enough for her as she has not passed urine since noon. The Husband ran out in the middle of the night to buy formula milk. After spoon feeding her 30ml of formula milk, she calmed down and slept till morning. 

Day 4: I latched her on demand again. Had to top up formula milk in between because my supply is still insufficient. Tried pumping in between feeds and only yield less than 5ml. *pathetic*

Baby had jaundice and her face is turning yellow. The pediatrician, Dr. Simon Ng, told us that jaundice will peak during day 5-7. 

Day 5: Latched baby on demand again. She literally latched the whole day and giving me only 15-30mins break in between. I had no time to go toilet or even had a proper meal time. My tailbone started to ache from sitting the whole day to latch baby. The Husband bought me Brestfriend nursing pillow to support baby when she latches. 

Baby’s jaundice got worse. Her eyes were yellow and we got worried.

Her diapers leaked and so we had to change her cot sheet. Thank goodness we placed waterproof mat underneath to protect the mattress. 

Day 6: Hourly feeding from midnight till 6.50am. I almost died from latching her the entire night. My tailbone hurts more and my lower back and pelvic bone ached like hell. 

Went to Dr Simon Ng’s clinic in mt A for jaundice review in the afternoon. Met a terrible clinic staff who refused to open the clinic door 5 mins earlier for us to have a seat. She preferred us to carry the baby and stand outside the clinic door while she had her lunch till the clock strikes 2. There were many coughing kids in the clinic and we were extremely worried that baby might get infected. 

Jaundice review looked fine, and Dr. Ng told us that it might take up to 1 month to resolve. Instructed to continue breast feeding, expose baby to indirect morning sun everyday around 8-8.30am. 

I asked Dr.Ng about the erythema toxicum on baby’s body and was instructed to leave them alone. We were given a sheet of paper containin guidance on taking care of newborn. 

Consultation fee: $50 – 10%(Mt Alvernia ladies card) = $45

Day 7: Continued hourly feeding since midnight till 5.30am. And hourly feeding means only 15-30mins break in between. Can you imagine sitting the entire night? Having the nursing pillow strapped to my waist the entire night? Sore nipples, tailbone and back aches? 

Pumping in between feeds yielded only 10ml in total. *pathetic

Day 8: Non stop feeding and fussing since 2am till 6am

My mood: Sore nipples, empty breasts, tailbone and pelvic aches, dozing off, extremely irritable. 

This is definitely not the kind of confinement that I was expecting. I didn’t get to rest at all for the past 5 days. On top of all these crap, I still have to deal with the pain from the stitches and piles, and the never ending lochia discharge. 

Day 9: continued the routine of non stop fussing and feeding throughout the night. I didn’t get to sleep at all.

Went to see Dr. Tho for review. The uterus is clear and shrinking in size. The stitches are fine as well. My next review will be in 6 weeks’ time. Weighed 60.1kg at this visit. Sigh… After a week’s torture, I only lost the baby’s, placenta, and amniotic fluid weight. The remaining fats is still with me. My tummy still looks 6 months pregnant. 

Massage lady (Mdm Samsiah) came at 2pm. She brought portable massage bed and light heater to my house. I was only required to prepare 2 large and 2 small towels. It was a very good and relaxing massage. Help soothes my painful pelvic bone from sitting too much. 

Her Package: $1100 for 30 massage sessions with light treatment and tummy binding. This package is bought over from previous customer, hence explains the cheaper rate. 

After the massage, I had to keep the tummy binder for 6 hours. I don’t really like the oily feeling, but for the sake of shrinking the tummy, I have to continue the massage. Also, the massage soothes my backaches and pelvic pains.

Soon after the massage, baby started to cry badly again. She refused to feed on formula milk (spoon fed), and I couldn’t breast feed her with my tummy binder on and all the massage oil on my body. Finally with all the stress from past 1 week, I broke down. I couldn’t stop tearing and felt very pessimistic. I knew it’s a sign of post natal depression but I couldn’t stop tearing. The Husband was worried when he saw me behaving like that. He suggested to bottle feed the baby while I get some much needs rest. 

Who cares about nipple confusion now. There are more serious problems on hand now. It’s either I get serious post natal depression, or baby get dehydrated, or worsen jaundice, or cry her lungs out. So we gave in and bottle feed her. Then it all worked out. Baby fed well on bottle. I felt slightly better after a good undisturbed sleep.

I still feel very blue for the rest of the day. Had weird thoughts about how baby would be if anything happens to me, what would happen if baby’s jaundice got so severe that it damages her organs, etc. I couldn’t help it but these thoughts kept coming. 

Day 10: Baby continued to latch plus formula fed. 

She is calmer after having a full meal. Her stool has turned into mustard seedy poop too. And she really poops a lot.

My milk pumping had increased to 40ml per session. Still insuffient to satisfy baby. 

Her jaundice more or less in control. With the formula milk feedings, she managed to excrete bilirubin faster. 

Day 11: Continued to latch her hourly and top up with 4 times of formula milk (30ml each). 

We finally decided on her Chinese name and did her birth registration today. The Husband went to ICA to complete the registration. He said that there was no queue and the process was pretty fast. It only cost $18 at ICA while Mt Alvernia charges $42.

Baby is smiling a lot more today.

Day 12: Baby is going through growth spurt today. She feeds hourly even with formula milk top-up. We decided to increase her milk to 60ml and she was satisfied. Her feeding time then changed to 3-hourly. 

Day 13: Baby’s jaundice is disappearing. Her skin is now fair and no longer look yellowish. 

She is on formula milk most of the time today as I have insufficient supply for her. She never seems to be full or satisfied when I latch her for 1 hour. Guess my lack of rest has taken a toll on me. Not every woman is born a milk cow. I am the lack of supply cow. I feel that it is better for baby to be crying less and clear her jaundice fast compared to being stubborn on exclusive breast feeding. She will still get some antibodies from my pumped milk. 

MIL came to visit again. This time she pissed Mum off too. She seriously have no constructive input and simply likes to comment on everything. She complained that baby’s bodysuit is too difficult to wear and we should let baby wear the extremely over-sized tie-up top which she bought. =__=” I told her that we are very good at putting on baby’s clothes on her but she went on to repeat her comments as if she didn’t hear me. Next she complained that the baby bathtub is too low and we should put the tub on a chair or stool. Seriously? What if the tub topples? Anyway, she commented on everything in my house again. Super rude for a guest’s behaviour. I don’t think she realises that she is more of a stress creator than help to us. The worst thing she did was to make clicking sounds at baby all the time instead of talking to her. Hello? This is a baby, not a pet, yo. *roll eyeballs*

Baby did a stunt today. While Husband and mum were changing her soiled diapers, she decided to poop and fart more. So the explosive poop splashed onto mum, the Husband and the floor. LOL!! Luckily I was spared. Now the Husband is reluctant to change her soiled diapers. I could see him trying to escape his duties. 

Before giving birth, I saw pictures of soiled diapers online and they grossed me out. But when I deal with baby’s poop, I am quite immune to the smell and appearance. Maybe that’s the special power of a Mother. Plus, my sensitivity to smell disappeared on the day I gave birth, so it makes life a lot easier for me. 

Day 14 (08 May 2016): Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my first Mother’s Day photo with baby! 

Dear Baby Chloe, Mummy will love you with all my heart till you start becoming rebellious and try to drive me to the grave. =) Please grow strong and healthy and be happy!

Mum took a photo with baby too. I did a comparison with the pic she took with me 31 years ago. Boy, how time flies… Mum has been tolerating my nonsense for 31 years… I shall be super nice and filial to her from now on. *Guilty Max*

Dear Baby Chloe, your popo is taking very good care of you and losing sleep for you. She is constantly changing your smelly diapers, feeding you, washing your clothes and bathing you without a single word of complain. You must be grateful and be filial to popo forever, ok? 

I have some emo thoughts on this special day. I kept thinking and worrying that I might die young and not able to take care of baby till she grows up. Maybe it’s part of my post natal depression effect. This could also be partially due to me reading a blog about a baby losing his mother on the day he was born, and also the real life example of my Cousin who lost her mum to cancer when she was only 3. Anyway, in case some thing bad happens to me, I want my baby to be taken care by my mum. Simply because I don’t think the Husband can cope with work and baby at the same time and the MIL is too inexperienced to take care of any baby. 

Ok, shan’t have too much emo thoughts anymore. Time to feed baby again~

Delivery – Miscellaneous Stuff

Remember I packed a lot of stuff into my hospital luggage? So here’s a review on the items which I used and didn’t not use. 

For Baby:

– 2 set of baby’s tops and pants (Only 1 set was used. Mt Alvernia provided clothing for baby during the 3 days stay, so only 1 set is worn for discharge.)

– 2 mittens and booties (Baby is swaddled all the time, hence only 1 pair is required for discharge)

– 1 hat (Didn’t use it at all)

– 1 swaddle (Used at discharge)

– 4 pcs of newborn diapers (just in case) (Nope. This is no needed. The hospital provided a pack of diapers for each newborn and is more than enough for the 3 days. Extras were given to us on discharge day.)

– 1 pack of baby wipes (just in case) (Not needed as well. Hospital provided a big pack for each newborn)

For myself:

– 1 set of button front PJ (Didn’t use it. Was comfortable with the hospital gown so I wore that for the entire 3 days’ stay)

– 1 jacket (Didn’t use it. I was feeling very warm all the time. Ended up lending the jacket to my mum. Everyone except myself felt cold in the hospital)

– 1 hair brush and hair band (This is needed for mummies with long hair.)

– make-ups (Hell yeah!)

– make-up remover and facial wash (Hell yeah!)

– face moisturiser (yes, if you don’t want your face to be dry)

– 2 breast pads (Nope. Not enough milk to leak for the first 3 days)

– 2 nursing bras (Nope. Ended up bra-less for the entire 3 days stay. The hospital gown is thick enough to not reveal that I was bra-less

– 1 set of clothes for day of discharge (I wore back the clothes which I wore at admission)

– 1 pair of bathroom slippers (Nah… Hospital provided slippers)

– 1 handphone charger (This is more important than anything else!)

– 4 overnight pads (I finished using all the maternity pads provided during the 3 days stay, so it’s good to standby a few. Otherwise a new pack will be charged)

– 5 pcs of maternity pads (You can either bring overnight pads or maternity pads.)

– 1 pack of disposable panties (didn’t use it at all. I used maternity disposable shorts instead.)

– 1 pair of socks (Nah… Feeling too damn warm)

– 1 hair dryer (Yes, used it after washing my hair)

For the Husband:

– 1 jacket (Suggest all hubbies to wear thicker clothing. The delivery ward is really cold for them)

– 1 set of clothes (The Husband was grateful that I packed this for him.)

– 1 toothbrush and toothpaste (Hospital only provides 1 set so this is needed for hubbies who are staying over)

– 1 razer and shaving cream (Required as this is not provided by hospital)

– 1 towel (not required. The hospital provided 2 towels for the single room)
I am sharing the final bill for my 3D2N stay in Mt Alvernia single room (Normal delivery with epidural):

We requested for hearing test ($76) and metabolic test ($128) to be done. So the total amount is $7839.02 (including Medisave) for delivering Baby Chloe~

Post Delivery – Day 3

Breast fed baby at midnight and she passed motion and urine after that. Her weight has decreased to 2905gm. It is considered normal for newborn to lose 5-10% of body weight in the first week and then gain back from the second week onwards. 

As soon as the nurse took baby back to the nursery, I went to take a hot shower. The last time I showered was 2am on Monday… Since no elderly is around to nag at me, I had an enjoyable long shower. Finally got rid of the sweat, oil on face, and clean up the wound. I can’t imagine people who stick to the confinement rule of not bathing for the entire month. Gross max! 

Lochia discharge was still very heavy. Had to use new maternity pad every few hours. I didn’t use the disposable panties which I brought to the hospital, instead I use the disposable shorts (tight boxers-look-alike) which Joyce gave to me. It’s the same as the one provided by Mt Alvernia on the day of delivery. I stained the pair on the first day so I had to use new ones which I brought. It keeps the loop maternity pad in place. 

Baby breast fed for an hour at 4.40am. Then Dr Tho came in the morning, 7-ish am, to check on my wound before giving the green light to let me go home. My next review with him will be in a week’s time at his clinic. Stitches still hurts a little and I continued with the painkiller at twice a day. Dr Tho asked me to slowly taper it off. 

Breakfast was served. This time I had French toast with bacon and mushrooms~ Yummy~

I rushed to wash my hair before mum arrives at the hospital. Unfortunately, I was caught red handed… Got nagged again. Since I had natural delivery, I will only be staying in the hospital for 2 nights. Wednesday, 27 May 2016, is my discharge day, and we have to leave by 11am. The Husband packed the luggage and stuff while I breast fed baby. Once we are done, mum and I pushed baby, in her cot, to the nursery while the Husband went to load our stuff in his car and do the discharge paperwork. 

Mum was not allowed into the nursery so she waited outside. The nurse collected a set of baby’s clothes and swaddle from me and went in to change baby into the discharge outfit. My identity tags were verified and made sure that they matched with baby’s. She then went through nursery discharge paperwork with me and showed me how to clean baby’s umbilical cord. I noticed that the clip on her cord had been removed. Next, I was given 20 pieces of alcohol swab for cord cleaning and baby’s health booklet. Baby’s remaining diapers, wet wipes, bath tub and free gifts from the hospital were handled to me. The identity tags on my hand were removed while baby’s were left on her ankles for precaution purposes. 

Baby remained in nursery until the Husband finished the discharge paperwork and payment. The nurse then pushes the baby cot to the lobby with us. She made sure that everything was collected and baby is safe in the car before she left. 

Yeah~ Home sweet home!

This is the hospital bag from Mt Alvernia. It has a cooler bag, changing mat, and a blanket from Tolly Joy.

This is the bag that came with the Mt Alvernia ladies card. 

This is a bag of freebies received at the hospital. 

Welcome home Baby Chloe~