Part 2 of Growing up with Danielle is finally up! Took me a while… hehehe….I’ve actually had this entire post drafted since early March, it was just the pictures which took slightly longer to edit etc. And add to the fact that I love to procrastinate…. Anyways, here it is!! Part 2 of Growing up with Danielle. Here are Dani’s progress and milestones from when she was 7 Months till she turned one!
We had a super busy July – several photoshoots, a trip to Singapore and my press conference to announce my Marie France ambassadorship.
Dani continued to learn and pick up things very quickly. I’ve just started to show her some hand signs like eat, milk, more, please and thank you. She didn’t really care and didn’t imitate the actions at first but then I thought, aiyah, nevermind la, I’ll just keep doing the hand signs whenever I say that word, maybe she’ll pick up. And she did, eventually, to my surprise! The first one she did was please!! And I can’t tell you how pleased I was when it happened! She was listening and learning after all!
She had also developed a red spot on her left cheek during month 7 that grew bigger and more red as the days passed. That will continue to be our troubled ‘spot’ till this day! I’ve tried to eliminate certain foods which I thought were the cause of the rash to no avail. I tried every lotion, every eczema cream and even brought her to see a skin specialist, and the only thing that worked was a steroid-based cream called Cutivate, which we still have to continue to use till this day!
Sleeps Through the Night – Over 8 Hours
Shakes her body to music
Simple hand signs
Rocks front and back on all fours
Disclaimer: Ok, gentlemen, you might wanna skip this part cause I’m gonna go into details about breast feeding and breast milk.
This was the month my breasts started to dry up and I had managed to pump just enough milk to last her till the 9th month before we completely closed shop. I had slowed down pumping after she was 6 months – when I started her on a bottle of formula a day. From pumping 6 times a day I slowly cut down to 5, dragging the hours longer then to 4 and eventually, I only had to do one pump at night before I go to bed. And supply slowly dwindled as well as soon as I dragged the hours longer. From being able to pump up to 12 oz per session, I only managed to pumped around 3 oz per session before I completely dried up. She was drinking 5 oz at this point, the same amount since she was around 4 months. I tried to increase the amount to 6 oz but she just won’t take the last ounce.
I have to admit, I felt relieved when I was finally done with breast feeding and pumping. My goal when we started was to feed Dani breast milk for 6 months and we’ve surpassed that! Although it wasn’t too difficult for me to breast feed since I was more or less a full time mum, I didn’t feel as though breast feeding helped me bond with my baby. In fact, it made me so tired and worn out that I couldn’t feel the joy of having my baby so close to me! The task of carrying her for over an hour just to feed her, burp her, and then wake her up from her snooze and feed her again was just sucking the life out of me – pun intended! Pumping was slightly easier, although it took about half an hour of my time every 3-4 hours, which are precious times that I could’ve spent bonding with my daughter. Plus after a few episodes of block ducts, which were so unbearably painful and even more painful to unblock, I gave up.
I do not doubt that breast is best and I know there are a lot of people out there who are advocating breast feeding as the best way to bond with the baby, but with different babies and mummies comes different circumstances. I felt like I bonded much more with Dani by singing to her and playing with her rather than feeding her.
This is to all the new mums out there feeling the pressure of breast feeding. I know how you feel, wanting to give your child breast milk but not being able to produce enough or not enjoying the feeds, I felt the pressure too! But I told myself, there is no point in forcing myself to conform to what everyone says I should do when I don’t feel right or happy doing it. Sure, there are times when I question myself and regretted my decision to stop, especially when Dani falls sick, I’d think, maybe I could’ve tried to pump till she was one or maybe she won’t fall sick that often if I had breastfed her for longer, but you know what, it doesn’t matter anymore, I am a much happier mum now than I ever was when I was breastfeeding or pumping. And happy mummy = happy baby! Plus there are plenty of other ways to give your child all the love you can give, so don’t beat yourself up about it (I’m constantly telling myself that too!)!
Socialises with other children/babies (Had lots of playdates this month)
Pulls herself up to stand
Does the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ action – especially the ‘Wipers going swish swish swish’ part
Starts to babble a lot more sounds
Recognises different toys
Likes to pull objects out of containers
Cut her first tooth
This was the month I started her on breakfast, so now she gets 3 solid meals a day. Her typical menu would be; Oat porridge and banana for breakfast (at this point I ground the oats to make it finer and easier for her to swallow), Porridge cooked in vege stock with tofu for lunch, and mashed potato and vege puree for dinner. Truth be told, I seldom cooked before I had a baby. But I guess she is reason enough for me to get into the kitchen and try to whip up good, nutritious food for her to ensure she grows up healthy and happy!
We’ve been doing 3 solids and 3 bottles of milk since Month 9 and it’s been going well. I’m truly blessed with a non-picky eater who eats almost everything I cook and serve her!
During her monthly visit, the midwife also commented that at this age, Dani is very confident with strangers. She is weary every time she sees someone she doesn’t know, but she warms up fairly quickly if they’re also being friendly to her.
Crawling on all fours
Recognises different tunes and claps to the ones she knows
Signs – Please, More, Thank You, Sorry
Says ‘Mam-Mam’ which means Eat
Tries to feed herself
Pulls off her socks
We took a trip with Dani back to Kuching when she was 10 months to attend a friend’s wedding. It was great cause my best friends finally got to meet Dani and I got to meet my friend’s babies as well.
Since she had started to cruise, Joe and I thought we’d get her a walker to assist her in getting around. And it did, and she loves to follow us around in it. I’ve read a lot about how walkers are not encouraged because lots of accidents happen with babies in walkers but I thought nah, it won’t happen to Dani cause I’ll be there to look out for her. But, it did happen, and she fell down a flight of stairs when I looked away for just a minute. It all happened so quickly I had no time to react. I started screaming when I saw the walker with my baby in it thumping down that first step and when it flipped to the side, seeing her head bang on the stairs as I ran after her – that image will stick in my mind forever.
I was in shocked when I carried her out of the walker and up from the stairs, I was crying hysterically, so was she. My maid who was in the kitchen didn’t even hear the commotion until I shouted for her. She had to take over carrying Dani as I was shaking so badly. First thing I did was call Joe to tell him what happened. I must’ve given him quite a scare as I couldn’t even string proper words together to explained what had happened. I was just hysterical! Dani had pooped herself from her ordeal and somehow, I’d managed to clean her up and changed her diaper before heading straight to the clinic. Praying and praying along the way that it was nothing serious. She was dozing off in the car after crying the whole time, which panicked me even more!
Fortunately, lest the few bumps and bruises on her head, she was fine. She didn’t fall out of the walker and since it was also a pretty wide walker, it took most of the hits. But I felt like the worst mother in the whole world and when Dani was crying when the Dr examined her, I started bawling as well and told the Dr that I am the worst mum in the whole world for letting this happen to my child. For not being vigilant enough to make sure she was not in danger. I felt terribly guilty for causing her this pain and throughout the day, when I thought about it, I’d burst into tears again and again. She was fine after her nap and milk and was back to her happy self again. She even wanted to get back into her walker again! But I am forever scarred by that incident, so now we have safety gates and I have hawk eyes.
Cruises while holding on to furniture
Drinks from a sippy cup
Plays pretend – feeding toy baby
Understands simple instructions
Top 4 teeth came out together
Would sometimes sleep up to 12 hours at night (heaven!!)
Month 11 and 12
She has started to talk a lot more at this stage and by the time she was 1 year old she could say at least 20 words. I first taught her to address everyone at home and she started with Dada and Mummy and Che Che. She also knows Po po, Ma Ma, To To (For Ko Ko cause she can’t really pronounce G or K). Other words she uses often at this stage were Chor-Chor (to sit), Per Per (for apple), Pen (for open), Book, Ng Ng(for poo poo), Ra Ra (for Dora the Explorer – she loves Dora the character but only watches the parts with music) and she has sounded out ‘More’ when she wants more food, together with her ‘more’ hand sign.
At this stage I feel like she understands me fully as she takes instructions very well. I also understand her better now that she is more expressive and knows what she likes and dislikes. Her personality is starting to show and she’s actually a very easy-going, friendly and cheeky little girl who loves to eat and play!
We celebrated her first birthday with a big party at home. And she also had her first proper Christmas celebration – Christmas Mass, opening presents, eating grown up christmas lunch just a few days after her birthday.
Gone is my little baby, she has become a happy, bouncing toddler. And gone is the mummy with the blues, now, mummy can’t wait to show her the world! =)
Walk with assistance – walker/holding hands
Scribble on paper
Turn pages of books confidently
Shakes her head to No
Laughs when Chased or when asked
Aware of the functions of different objects (knows that if she drops the ball in the hole of her Learning Door, music will play, if she press the buttons different sounds will sound)
Loves to shake her booty to music
Says a lot of words
That’s about it for now. I hope you guys enjoyed this journey back in time to reminisce all the different events and milestones that I’ve experienced as a new mum to a beautiful little girl. Children do grow up so quickly and if there’s one thing I’ve learned after being a mum for 16 months, it’s that I need to stop worrying about the little things and enjoy every moment I get to spend with my daughter.
I recently received this in a forwarded email and found it really enlightening. Take a while to read it all, it might be beneficial to kick start your life again.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Stop spending time with the wrong people.– Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
- Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately moulds us into the person we become.
- Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
- Stop being s cared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
- Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
- Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
- Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
- Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
- Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
- Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
- Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
- Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
- Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
- Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.
- Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
- Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
- Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
- Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
Another mummy post. Bear with me…. That’s all I live and breathe about nowadays anyways. ;P I’ve spent a total of 13 months with my little girl and she has just started walking unassisted, exactly a week before turning 13 months! So far she’s hit every major milestone at an average pace and I’m proud to say that I’ve been there for each and every firsts. This post is to chronicle the first 12 months of Danielle’s life (before I forget it all) and some precious memories that we’ve made together so far. It’s too long and there are just too many pictures so I’ve separated it into two posts, 0-6 months and 7-12 months. This is Part 1 (Birth to 6 Months)
Month 1 and 2
Everything was still so new. Having a baby and being fully responsible for another human being who is solely dependant on you was daunting to say the least. It came as a shock how unprepared I was for everything!
I had a very accommodating and experienced confinement lady whom we actually hired to stay with us for 3 months. Yet I suffered from pretty severe postpartum depression because of my inability to sleep whenever the baby was with me. Every little sound she’d make jolted me out of bed. I cried when I couldn’t soothe her crying, I was worried about everything – is she sleeping enough, is she getting enough milk, why is it that she only naps 30 mins? I’ll have sudden panic attacks out of the blue.
I felt like a zombie, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t really eat much because I had a lot of gas in my tummy and would feel like vomiting everytime I ate. I couldn’t even cat nap in the day when she was napping or with the confinement lady. When the confinement lady left for CNY, both my parents and in-laws went on vacations at the same time! I was left all alone with Dani (well, technically Joe was with me the whole time, but that was how I felt!) I went to the point of calling and asking the confinement lady to take Dani home with her! Yes, it was that bad.
Thankfully Joe was there with me throughout this tough time, encouraging me (sometimes pretty harshly) and taking over a lot of the ‘mothering’ duties to help me regain back my sanity. I seriously don’t know how I’d pull through if I had one of those chauvinistic husbands who think that taking care of babies are a job reserved for women only.
She had her hearing, her vision, her voice and all 10 fingers and toes. That was all I was grateful for at this point!
By this time, we have settled into more of a routine. She’d feed every three hours and nap for only 30 mins each time in the day, so I had to put her down to nap at least twice before each feeding.
Fortunately she’d sometimes sleep up to 4 hours at night before a feed, so that was a blessing. I was still breastfeeding at this point but Dani was what they call a ‘grazer’. She’d take up to 45 mins, sometimes an hour, for each feed and would constantly doze off while feeding.
It was really tiring so I decided to pump at night and bottle feed her. She took to the bottle with no problems and can finish a 4oz bottle in 15 mins. That was when we decided to just pump exclusively and bottle feed her, mostly for my convenience sake. This was also the month we took our first trip together to Bintan Island. She proved to be a highly adaptable baby on this trip and that further encouraged me to be less pensive about bringing her out.
Raises head and chest
Swipe at objects
Tracks moving objects
Holds her own bottle for a few minutes
We took up our first photo shoot for Faces magazine as a mother and daughter team and this being the first time I was bringing her on set with me, I was terribly anxious about whether it will go well. Joe couldn’t make it with me to this shoot so on his insistence, I brought along his Aunty (who is now also Dani’s babysitter) and she managed to carry her to nap while I did my makeup and hair, which was Godsend cause she woke up when I was done and ready to shoot. She didn’t really smile much for the cameras (although her smiles at this point were usually aplenty for us at home) but we got a couple of good shots.
It’s true what they say, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. In the early stages, I was really adamant on doing everything for Dani myself because I felt solely responsible for this life I brought into this world, even denying Joe sometimes of doing things for her because I’d feel guilty every time he takes over. I figured, if I can have this baby, I should be strong enough to do it all on my own!
But having to face the four walls of home and a baby day in and day out, with no other adult interactions will drive anyone bonkers, no matter how strong and capable you are! I know now that doing it all on my own is a crazy notion, not only is it unhealthy for me, I’ll be depriving her of a healthy social development, which only happens by interacting with other kids and adults and forming attachments with more than one person.
Laughs out loud (usually at the darndest things!)
Sits on her own in the Bumbo
Puts everything in her mouth (still does!)
Recognises familiar faces
Dani is definitely my lucky star cause soon after I got back into the swing of working again, we managed to score an endorsement deal with the best toy brand around – Fisher Price! There were 2 photo shoots scheduled as part of the deal and the first one was shot when she was 5 months.
At this stage she was such a joy to be around because she was very easily amused! A little sound or a certain facial expression will send her into a giggling fit. We got a lot of good shots out of this photo shoot and she got a whole lot of toys in return!
Sits with support
Lifts legs up
Rolls from tummy to side (not a full roll over yet)
I think she had a growth spurt this month because she started picking up and hitting major milestones and learning new tricks all within this month! Maybe it’s because I started her on rice cereals and purees at month 6 and those filled her tummy with even more goodness than just boring ol’ breast milk. She was getting a bit bored of her milk anyways and many a times, I had to throw away unfinished breast milk because she just wouldn’t drink another sip of it.=`(
I hired a professional midwife to help me start this journey into solids the right way and we worked out a menu plan for her right up to Month 8. She tried everything from apples to broccoli to papayas and even pureed spinach! And she took to every new food with gusto! Since she can now sit unassisted, I also started putting her on the potty to poo at certain times of the day and she has rarely pooped in her diaper ever since!!
I also started her on one bottle of formula a day and gave it to her just before bedtime and you know what, she slept for 8 hrs straight! It was probably just sheer coincidence that she started sleeping through after I fed her formula. I think maybe it’s also the accumulation of her eating more solids in the day and feeling more content before bedtime.
Rolls over both direction
Grabs feet and bring to mouth
Plays with her toys (pressing, pulling)
Rakes for her toys at a sitting position
Creeps on her stomach (Backwards)
Claps her hands/ Bangs objects together
Stay tuned for Part 2!
A year has passed since my lil’ darling Danielle came into our lives and the year really went by in a flash. This blog has been severely neglected since the princess’ arrival but one of my New Year’s resolutions is to revive this blog and give it a new life. A rebirth if you will. So here I am, the new Belinda Chee, a full time mum to a bouncing toddler, part time model, emcee, voiceover talent and also, blogger.
And I figured, what better post to start the year than a post about the birth of my baby. To all soon-to-be mothers out there, this won’t be the ‘oh, everything went so smoothly’ kind of birth so if you only want positive, gentle birthing stories in your life right now, I’d suggest you just look at the pictures! For the rest of you, this is a pretty lengthy post with pretty graphic description of birth so….brace yourselves!
I had taken the route of wanting to invite my baby into this world in a gentle manner- natural, no epidural, no other unnecessary intervention. I’ve went for Hypnobirthing classes, practiced Yoga, bought books…. However, my birth plan went out the door as circumstances changed and emotions took over every thing I’ve ever read and know.
Danielle was born on the 23rd December 2011 via Emergency C-Sect. She came into our lives a week pass her due date and even before the ‘looming’ date, I was already filled with anxiety. Maybe because I was filled with false hope by my first gynae who said that she might come early (38 weeks) because she was in a good position. And a lot of my friends had their first babies earlier than their due date so I was so sure that I’d have her by week 38.
So anyways, 40 weeks came and went and I was an emotional wreck. I was crying every night before I slept and every morning when I woke up because I didn’t go into labour. (Silly now in hindsight, I know) Couldn’t sleep, every little tightening of my stomach woke me up in anticipation. I even downloaded a Contraction Timer app to help me keep count of how long each tightening lasted. Didn’t manage to use it at all… In my mind and with all that I’ve read, I know that my baby is fine as she was still very active and I can still wait for another 2 weeks before intervention should be considered. But blame it on hormones, after about 5 days of this emotional roller-coaster, Joe and I went to see the Doc and he agreed to induce me after I broke down and cried in his office. I couldn’t handle the emotional stress the ‘wait’ was putting on me.
I checked into the hospital on the 22nd night and was given a prostaglandin pessary to relax the cervix. Couldn’t really sleep that night coz I was too excited, but not much activity happened in the birthing front. At 7am the next morning, I was put on Pitocin drip. The surges started soon after and by 3pm when the doctor came to check me I was already 7cm dilated. I had breathed my way through to 7cm!! I was really proud of myself and filled with hope. I can do this!! Pain was getting more intense and I felt the need to poop. I thought I was near the end! 12 hours from when we started the induction, when the doctor came to check me again at 7pm he told me I was only at 8cm and it might take till tomorrow to have my baby, I was crushed!
That’s when everything went downhill. I started panicking and forgot to breathe deep. Can I handle the pain for another 12 hours??? I asked for an epidural. The doctor obliged and said that the anesthesiologist will be in only around 20 mins because she’s just on her way. I was given an enema (laxatives) and that’s when I totally gave in. With the stomachache from the enema and the contraction pains, I sat crying on the toilet seat begging Joe to get the baby out, right now! I had blamed the enema for pushing me to the point of giving up, but later on the doctor explained that it was supposed to help with pushing the labour forward (Why didn’t he tell me at the time, then?? )
Getting ready for the C-sect was nerve-wrecking because I wasn’t prepared for it. I had skipped all the chapters on C-Sect birth/recovery in all my pregnancy books, positive that I wasn’t going to be cut open. I was put to lie on my back, the most uncomfortable position to be in when in contractions. I was shaking all over from the pain and the nerves. The doctor had actually left for home and had to make a U-turn so he took a while with the traffic. My baby’s heart rate went up quite drastically to around 180-190 at every tightening. I was so nervous and begged the nurse to please quickly get my baby out coz she’s in distress. I was left to wait for what seemed like forever for the OR nurse to show up, I wasn’t allowed to get up, no epidural, contraction every few minutes. At this point, I did think of turning back, but it was too late. Joe was ushered to another room to change and I was left there with just one nurse who was monitoring baby’s heartbeat. I started to pray and asked God to please protect my baby. It wasn’t until about an hour and a half later that I was wheeled into the OR with an epidural, still shaking like a leaf and my baby was cut out of me.
I wasn’t able to have skin to skin straight after because the baby’s cry was quite erratic due to the excess mucus in her lungs and mouth. We tried to put her to the breast after the nurses cleared her lungs around 10-15 mins after, she sucked for a while and the nurses rushed her off the the nursery to do other tests and warm her up. I haven’t even properly seen her face.
I was lying on the operating bed by myself, the doctor and his assistant chit chatting while they fixed me up. Relieved at one end that my baby is out but still worried for her hoping that I had made the right choice, all sorts of thoughts going through my head, trying to hold back tears, trying to breathe deep to stop my body from shaking. After about half an hour, I was wheeled into the recovery room, and put under a warmer. I was put there by myself, all the time I kept on asking the random nurses walking by when can I go see my baby. After maybe around 20 mins (but felt like eternity) I was wheeled back to my room and Joe brought baby Danielle to me and I manage to really look at her and put her on my chest. I was still shaking from the epidural but it was the best feeling in the world to have my baby in my arms. We started breast feeding straightaway with the help of the nurse and she latched on really well.
There’s no denying that I still live with a little regret of how Danielle’s birth unfolded, still asking ‘what if’. What if I had just waited for the anesthesiologist, what if I didn’t get the enema, what if I just had a little more patience and waited for her to come at her own time….. Questions that I will never be able to answer but will linger with me for the rest of my life. I know people say, as long as the baby’s fine, as long as you both came out of it alive and well – but I really felt robbed of my initial bonding time with my baby because of the C-Sect procedure. And, there’s no one else to blame but me. I wasn’t strong enough to ‘wait’ for her and I made the decision to intervene.
There are many lessons to be learnt here, even for myself. For one, patience is a virtue that can lead to many good things. I believe that now. It’s a virtue that I am still in search of now as a mother and as a person. I had gone into this pregnancy prepared for labour but not what is to come. I was so caught up in the ways to birth my child that I didn’t take time to think about what kind of mother I want to be, how I want to raise my daughter – heck, I didn’t even own any parenting books until after I had Dani and was struggling as a first time mum. But, just like everything else in life, even if you’ve read a million books and think you know it all, going through it and experiencing everything through trial and error is the best lesson you can give yourself.
Danielle is now one. Healthy and happy. There’s still a steep learning curve for me on how to be a mum and I’m still getting used to the fact that I am fully responsible for the precious life of a little human being. Everyday poses different sets of challenges and joys – she picks up something new everyday and I learn something new every day about myself, through her. Truth is, the baby is not the only person growing and developing day by day, I see myself maturing and becoming more certain of who I am each day because I am now a mum.
Wow….it’s been almost a year since my last update! Time really does fly. Reading back, pregnancy was a breeze compared to being a new mum! Lil Dani is now 9 months old and a total cutie pie.
I’ve been meaning to blog about my experiences as a new mum and all the little quirks and milestones my little one has achieved, but being a full time mum and part time everything else is quite a feat in itself and my daughter, unfortunately, is a cat napper, so I only have half an hour at a time to do anything for myself! So blogging was quite low in the priority list.
Now that she’s a little older and can entertain herself a bit more, I have a bit more time to blog. So this post is to start the ball rolling. Here’s hoping for more blog posts to come!
Well time sure flies… Since my last update I’m now in my third trimester, going into 35 weeks. Just a couple more weeks before my baby girl says hello to the world.
After the whole drama of the first trimester, I’ve had a very comfortable pregnancy from the 5th month onwards. Even now with my belly the size of a small watermelon, besides getting the usual heartburn and pretty regular heart palpitations, I’m actually feeling quite alright. I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the magical yet awkward feeling of a life actually moving inside of you. As I’m typing this, she’s squirming around in there and it gives me a weird comforting feeling knowing that she’s doing alright.
My bump and I have made 2 covers of Parenting magazines so far – Mommy Baby (妈咪宝贝) and Parenthood.
I’ve still been relatively active in the work front, getting about one voiceover job a week. I’ve stopped going for events (coz it’s so hard to find something nice to wear!!) but I still attend the occasional weddings/dinners and of course, going shopping for all the necessities! At this point, I think I have bought and inherited everything I need, just final preparations – setting up her temporary nursery, getting all her clothes and sheets and everything else washed, packing for the hospital, installing the car seat…. After that, it’ll just be a waiting game.
Joe took time off work recently so we can commemorate my pregnant body in pictures before I pop. Here are some of my favorites from the shoot. Pictures taken at Covershots.
Our first family potrait
Hello you, in there!!
Praying that everything will turn out well….
Will you be my lil’ ballerina?
I guess being a first time mum I get a bit paranoid about everything, thoughts have crossed my mind of whether or not my baby will be okay and healthy, whether or not I’ll be a good mother, whether I’ll be able to cope once baby is here. It has caused me some sleepless nights, but at this point all I can do is just pray for the best and remain positive. Anyways, keep baby and me in your prayers, ok? That’s it for this post. Watch out for arrival announcements in the next post! Positivity all the way!!
If you haven’t seen my little update on Twitter and Facebook, well, it’s time to officially announce here on my blog that I am going to be a mummy!!!
The little one at 13 weeks. Its back facing us.
I actually realized I was pregnant while still shooting The Ring Mission ( 幸福任务) so this little miracle is my very own 幸福任务. I’m 14 weeks in now and truth be told, it hasn’t been an easy first pregnancy. Since Week 8 till now I haven’t been feeling tip top – nausea, vomiting, bloating, headache, mood swings – every symptom a pregnant woman is supposed to have, I have. It’s even more discouraging when both my mum and sister boasts such easy pregnancies – none of the symptoms at all! I thought these things were supposed to be hereditary? Why must I be the ‘lucky’ odd one? ;P I’m hanging in there though, praying that these symptoms will all subside in the next couple of weeks.
For now, I’m taking a break off work – except for the occasional photo shoot and events – until I feel better and can give my bubbly self to the work. Currently am reading up baby books (any mums out there with good books to recommend?), gonna start Pre-natal Yoga, hopefully, this week (if I don’t feel like crap) and am trying to eat healthy (although it’s hard to keep food down most of the time). This is definitely a brand new adventure that I’m going through that’s having me excited and scared shitless at the same time.
Anyways, wish me luck and keep me and baby in your prayers! Will most definitely keep you guys updated on my progress here. Take care all!
I know, I know….. I’ve been getting a couple of mails and comments from loyal readers asking me when I was gonna update my blog again, I mean I do feel guilty that I’ve neglected my little corner here but I really had no time, and I haven’t been doing anything else but work so if I constantly write about work it might bore the minds out of everyone!
Anyways, I have exciting news, luxury brand A/X is lending a helping hand to Japan and would like all of you to take part. The worst is definitely not over for the country facing a nuclear crisis and many people are still living in shelters and are in need of the basic necessities like food and water.
What you can do is – come on over to the A/X Armani Exchange Store in Pavilion on the 28th May – which is this coming Saturday from 3pm – 5pm and you’ll be able to meet plenty of celebrities supporting this cause including Owen Yap, Atilia, Iz, Xandria Ooi, BitterSweet, Carmen Soo, Dennis Lau, William San and of course, yours truly, as well as a whole host of other big names!
To show your love for Japan, you can:
- purchase the A|X Loves Japan T-shirt (Retail Price: RM120) and get a free signature from your favourite celeb OR donate any amount to the A/X Loves Japan donation box and take a Polaroid picture with your favourite celeb!
- All profits from the charity T-shirt sales will be donated to the Malaysia Crescent Society (who then will channel the fund to Red Cross Japan). All cash donation will be donated to the same channel as well.
I haven’t had an official meet and greet with friends and fans before and this is a great opportunity for me to do my bit for Japan as well as say hi to fans whom I’ve only communicated with via online media!
And to sweeten the deal, I will personally purchase a limited edition A/X Loves Japan T-shirt for whoever who comments on this blog post first AND comes to the event on Saturday.
So remember our lil’ date guys and girls, it’s this Saturday, 28th May 2011 at the A/X Store at Pavilion KL, from 3pm-5pm. See you there!!
Sorry for the lack of postings my dearest blog readers. I’ve been working like crazy – 7 days a week, meetings after meetings, TV shoots after photo shoots, and truth be told, even with the uncertainty of our dear planet now (please continue to pray for Japan!), I can’t wait till all my work obligations are done and I can go on a vacation!!
My girlfriends and I were planning a shopping trip to Bangkok in June and just so happened, I heard from a fellow blogger that MAS recently launched a brand new app on Facebook called the MHbuddy - where you can book and check-in flights via FB, as well as connect with FB friends from wherever you’re going to! So, of course, I snuck out a little office time to check it out!
First of all, you’d have to Allow the app before it can function. Doesn’t harm you to ‘Like’ the Malaysia Airlines’ page as well.
Nice simple interface, just click Get Started and you’re on your way…
Just like how you would on the online booking site, just type in your outbound location and your destination (a drop list will come out once you type the first letter of your location and destination), select your travel dates and your preferred travel class as well as number of travellers and wahlah…..
A list of flights will show – first for your outbound flights and then after, your inbound flights. What?!?! Only RM46 per way to travel to BKK in June!?! Better book now!!
Once you’ve selected your inbound flight, you’ll be presented with a summary of your selected flights and alas….I forgot about airport taxes and other fees……:P But still cheap considering that the other ‘No-Frills’ airline also charges about the same price for return flights to BKK. And with MAS you get free drinks and possibly some peanuts. Hehehe…
What’s extra special about MHbuddy is its ability to connect you with your FB friends all over the world! As you book a flight on MHbuddy, you’ll be reminded of your friends who live in the destination you’re going to. For example, if I was booking a flight from Kuching to KL, MHbuddy will notify me that Ken and Kiedd and a whole lot of other friends, live in KL – maybe we should all catch up?!
Not only that, if any of your FB friends are traveling on the same route on the same day, you’ll be notified as well! You can then choose whether or not you want to travel with them! ;P
Other functions available on the MHbuddy app includes:
Get2Gether — find out where your friends are & select your seat next to them!
Hook Up — find friends living in the city you are headed to. Let them know you’re coming!
Shout Out — share your travel itinerary with your friends, make them your MHbuddy
So, what are you waiting for? Go check out the app now! Coz if you ‘MAS’ travel… why not travel with a buddy??
This is an audition call for a brand new reality show on 8TV which I’ll be helping to produce called Ring Mission《辛福任务》
If you love weddings and think you’re organized, creative and personable enough to be Malaysia’s top wedding planner, well, here’s a chance for you to shine!! 8TV has a brand new reality show for all you aspiring wedding planners out there! If you’ve been planning your own wedding since you were 10, or perhaps you have a folder full of cut outs of pictures of gowns and cakes and all things wedding related, you’re the person we’re looking for!! Drop by for an audition and who knows, you might walk away with fabulous prizes as well as fame and recognition for being Malaysia’s top wedding planner! Audition details as below:
For Wedding Planners
Date: 19th February 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: 8TV, Sri Pentas, No.3, Persiaran Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 PJ
- Malaysian, 18 years old and above
- Able to converse in Mandarin
- Please bring along either/or : Your Dream Wedding Look Book/Dream Wedding Mood Board/Wedding Proposal Power Point Presentation
We also need fun-loving couples (engaged or perhaps planning to get married soon) to star in each of our episodes. If you want to have a spectacular and unforgettable wedding planned for you, please come for the audition!
Date: 20th February 2011 (Sunday)
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: 8TV, Sri Pentas, No.3, Persiaran Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 PJ
- Malaysians, 18 years old and above
- Able to converse in Mandarin
- Willing to have Wedding around the period of March – June 2011
- Please bring along a recent couple photo
All the best and hope to see you guys on the show!