Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fashionista Mommy Adventures: Breastfeeding

Knowing the kind of person that I am (patience and perseverance has never been my forte) and my lack of experience at being a mother, I have decided earlier on to cut myself some slack and even told myself, if breastfeeding is not for me, then so be it. I don't think I'm a lesser mom if I'm unable to breastfeed my baby. To me the main factor in deciding to breastfeed is in its benefits (both to the baby and the baby's momma), so despite my lack of confidence in breastfeeding, I would like to see if I can make it and how far can I go. To tell you the truth, I'm really hoping that I can make it until she's two years old.

So this is my experience in breastfeeding so far for the past 24 days (I have only been a mom for 24 days and yet sometimes it feels like a lifetime).

To my surprise, I love breastfeeding (I initially thought that I wouldn't be able to adapt to breastfeeding, but in a surprising twist, I look forward to my breastfeeding sessions with Alexa). I really do. I didn't know breastfeeding would give me so much joy and satisfaction. As a first time mom, everything is a new experience. I have been rather excited to start my journey parenting my baby as best as I can, although initially I had thought about trying to take the easy way out in parenting (i.e. using formula milk and disposable diapers and also getting a maid that'll help me with my baby) but I have since changed my mind. I decided to try the traditional route; cloth diapering (I'll share my cloth diapering adventures in another post), breastfeeding but I am retaining the maid (there's only so much a girl can take, and a maid is not something I'd like to live without).

Things that I know now that I didn't know before about breastfeeding:

1. Breastfeeding makes me hungry. Like super hungry. Although I do know that breastfeeding helps to burn 500 calories a day (which is one of the huge plus point in helping me lose the weight I've gained during pregnancy), it makes me ravenously hungry. Unfortunately, trying to eat (the hunger pangs comes without warning at such odd hours like in the middle of the afternoon or in the middle of the night) while trying to attend to the baby is not an easy feat to master. Usually the hunger loses against the baby. That would probably explain why I've lost about 11 kilos so far (I only gained 8 kilos during pregnancy so I'm now weighing less than where I was before I got pregnant *yeay*).

2. Breastfeeding also makes me extremely thirsty. I don't know whether it's because the fluids in my body has been converted to milk and then supplied to the baby, or is it the combination of meds that I'm taking (other than the doctor's meds I'm also taking traditional Malay herbal pills) or is it just simply recovering from childbirth but I am thirsty all the time! Usually I'd be drinking about 2 litres of water a day, now I think I drink about 3 - 4.5 litres of water a day. And if you think I'm drinking way too much, even my skin is dehydrated and dry (and that just proves that I need to drink more water *sigh*).

3. Breastfeeding also makes me super sleepy. Sometimes, it's a combination of all three! Sleepy, hungry and thirsty and the worst part is, you have your hands tied, one to hold the baby and the other to also hold the baby (my baby seems to have grown longer so one hand to hold the upper part of her body and the other to hold the lower part of her body).

4. Nipple cracks and nipple sore seems to come with the territory. Initially I was quite gung-ho with breastfeeding so I breastfed on demand, this was until I discover how sore my nipples could be when the baby couldn't latch properly and also overusing the nipples (due to frequent breastfeeding obviously). I got nipple cracks and it hurts like hell (or a version of hell as I imagine it to be). At this point (I think it was less than 10 days after birth), I was seriously thinking about giving up on breastfeeding, it was simply too painful for me to endure. Luckily hubs came home with a nipple cream and nipple shield *relieved sigh*. I guess hubs has better insight on breastfeeding than I do.

This is what hubs bought at the pharmacy. It's been really useful (both for me and the baby, she has a few rash spots around the folds of her skin) and my areola also seems to heal really fast. I use it whenever nipple sores occur, usually lathering them at night before I go to sleep after I'm done with breast pumping. 

Hubs initially bought this at the pharmacy but I found out that when the skin comes in contact with the nipple shield (this occurs when the baby is breastfeeding) my nipple felt really painful (it's almost similar to the pain when I direct latch the baby without any nipple shield) so I decided to forgo using this brand and bought another one. 

So I ended up buying this one from this online store called Little Kids and have been using it regularly whenever nipple sores occur (now it occurs less because I think the baby has practiced better latching techniques, so there's less pain when breastfeeding *yeay*). I was informed by a friend that nipple protectors might reduce your milk supply and was not encourage to use it often so I only use it whenever my nipples feel sore. 

Mistakes that I made in breastfeeding:

1. I stopped breastfeeding for about 2 days due to nipple cracks. It was really painful and I can even see the skin of my areola peeling off and I almost cried when I breastfeed. Due to this I had to introduce formula milk and the bottle to Alexa. She took to both well but I do feel that if I let her use the bottle longer she wouldn't have the patience to breastfeed (I noticed that using the bottle is easier for the baby because they need less energy to suck on the bottle teats compared to the nipple). I have since started using nipple shields and the Bepanthen ointment whenever my nipples starts to get sore.

2. I started breast pumping one day after I stopped breastfeeding due to the nipple cracks. At that time, I could pump about 40 ml per breast. Unfortunately, due to baby demands (crying, feeding, pooping and even more crying contributed to lack of sleep and fatigue) combined with a lack of discipline, I stopped breast pumping (this was about a week later) for about 5 days and this contributed to a reduction in my milk. When I started pumping again, I got less than 5 ml for one breast and only 20 ml on the other (I almost cried when I saw how less milk I could pump). I was advised previously by my friend Remus that the amount of milk produced is dependent on demand and supply, so I have since decided to pump 4 times a day (if possible) and put myself on a pumping schedule at 6 am, 12 noon, 5 pm and 10 pm (this also depends on if the baby's asleep, if she's awake then I'd do a direct latch instead). So far my pumping supply has increased from less than 5 ml to almost 20 ml for one breast and for the other, it has increased from 20 ml to 30 ml (and sometimes almost 40 ml *yeay*). I haven't taken any supplements for breastfeeding (I know there's a lot of friends out there that are promoting supplements to increase milk supply) simply because I am currently taking too much meds (Malay traditional meds, doctor's meds and supplements for my c-section scar) so I don't want to overdose on the meds (most of them causes the body to heat up so I don't want my milk to be too heaty either). Maybe I'll reconsider the breastfeeding supplements once I'm done with my confinement.

And despite all this trouble, why breastfeeding?

Okay, I have to be frank here. My reasons for breastfeeding are purely selfish. Seriously, they are absolutely selfish reasons.

1. Breastfeeding makes the baby sleepy. I don't know what it is in a mother's milk (I'm sure I'll know the answer if I google) but Alexa would close her eyes in the middle of breastfeeding and when she's done, she's fast asleep! So that means less work for the mom (that's me, obviously), I usually just have to burp her (she usually keeps her eyes closed and having to burp doesn't even bother her at all) and then put her in her crib and she'll be fast asleep. I've experienced her sleeping from 1 hour and 30 minutes to about 5 hours and 30 minutes after breastfeeding, so that probably means that my milk supply is lesser if she sleeps less and more if she's able to sleep more. In the instance that she's asleep for more than 4 hours, I would wake her a little just to breastfeed (usually she'd be sucking with her eyes closed) and then proceed to leave her to sleep once she lets go of the nipple (after she burps, of course).

2. Breastfeeding makes me lose weight. This is among one of the things that makes me so motivated to breastfeed. I mean, I can't exercise (I do have the c-sect scar to think of) and I have to stay indoors all day so the best way for me to lose weight is via breastfeeding. And considering how successful my weight lost is so far, I am very determined to breastfeed so that I can hopefully drop a few more kilos.

3. Breastfeeding boosts the baby's immune system. So far we have eliminated jaundice together (me and Alexa, that is) and hopefully she has a strong immune system that'll help her fight off any virus attacks in the future.

4. Breastfeeding is good for my uterus. I don't know how to explain this, but you can read it [here].

5. Breastfeeding also saves money. It's free and definitely very convenient. No waiting time for the baby, just pop it into the baby's mouth and you are good to go.

Unfortunately, so far I have not been able to breastfeed exclusively, and I do have to top up with formula milk. I am trying to reduce my dependency on formula in the hopes of being able to breastfeed exclusively. To do that, I have come up with a small strategy. Usually Alexa takes about 60 ml - 125 ml of formula milk (this depends on how much time had elapsed since the last feeding). So I use 2 strategies to help me improve my milk supply.

Strategy A - I start with breastfeeding. An indication that she's full is when she's asleep and the sucking has stopped for a few minutes. If the milk supply is low, she would wake up about 10 minutes later crying for milk. I would give her the same breast (I do this because I want her to get as much hindmilk as possible so that she's full for a longer period of time) and she would repeat the same process (remove her mouth from my breast as she falls asleep). I would only give the bottle when she awakes for the second time 10 minutes later. Usually she'd only take between 20 ml - 60 ml of formula if I use this strategy. Sometimes, I would give her my other breast and see it will be able to make her full. In the initial period, she'd feed off both breasts twice and still cry for milk so I'd give her formula milk then. But lately (the past two days or so), she's able to sleep for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes after she feeds on just one breast. So I'm hoping that this means that Strategy A is working and my breast milk supply is increasing.

Strategy B - I start with formula milk. I would stop after between 20 ml - 60 ml of milk have been consumed. I would then burp her and proceed to give her breast milk. I use this strategy when she's super hungry because if she's ravenous, there's a higher probability of her injuring my nipple and cause them to become sore, so I'd rather feed her a little bit to appease her hunger then proceed to breast feeding.

Oh, here's a great article on sore nipples and how to overcome them that I read. If you'd like to read it, click [here].

And this is my breastfeeding journey as a first time mom. Hope this post helps other mommies out there who are having problems with breastfeeding just as I have. It's not easy, I know but it's not impossible either, right?


xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fashionista Mommy Adventures: Apps for the Baby

As a frazzled first time mommy (yes, sleepless nights have made irregular scheduled appearances in my life and I have yet to get accustomed to them), I have learnt to rely on applications in my iPhone to help me make sense of the routine (or non-routine behavior that my child is exhibiting). Here are some apps that I find helpful:

1. WebMD Baby App

I was recommended this app by my friend Farhah. I am really thankful that she gave birth earlier than me, she's been continuously giving me useful pointers and tips on baby care. This app is simply amazing. It helps me to keep track of the baby's feedings, diaper change and sleeping times which is really helpful. I use this app daily to keep track of the baby's feeding (so that I don't overfeed her), diaper change (so that I know when to change them before the baby cries because her diaper is soaked to the max) and track her sleeping time (a newborn needs about 17 hours of sleep a day, so sometimes she might get grumpy simply because she's sleepy and hasn't had enough sleep).

Because of this app, I can actually gauge the baby's sleeping schedule (so usually I'd prepare to wake her up when I know she's supposed to feed, wants a diaper change or whatever) and this actually makes me understand why she cries (initially the first thought has always been, she's hungry, but most of the time, that is not the case). Besides that, the app also has a BabyBook feature where you can upload your baby's progress (via photos), Growth (to measure the baby's height, weight and head circumference), and a Notepad (for you to jot down notes or things that you need to remember). The app is also filled with information that first time mommies might want to read on, like crying and colic, or what to expect after a c-section (and the list goes on).

2. Baby Ears

Here's another app that was also recommended by Farhah. This app actually helps you to distinguish between the different cries that a baby makes and once you're able to discern the different cries, you can actually know whether the baby is hungry, wants to be burped, is not comfortable, sleepy or gassy. So far I've been able to distinguish the hungry and gassy part (simply because that's the most often sounds that my baby makes) but unfortunately I haven't been able to distinguish the other sounds. To know more about the app, click [here].

3. The Wonder Weeks

Here's an app that was recommended to me by my friend Remus (she's another great mommy that's been really supportive and helpful). This app actually explains the different growth stages that a baby goes through and it explains the growth spurts that your baby is experiencing (which explains why the baby is crying for no reason sometimes). The app shows the leaps that a baby experiences at different weeks and it also comes with a chart that chronologies the sunshines (good times) and thunderclouds (expect loud screams and unconsolable wails) from age 0 until week 84. The app comes with a book (that I've been meaning to buy but it's currently out of stock at MPH) that explains more on the growth stages that a baby goes through. To know more about the wonder weeks, you can go right to their website [here].

(This entry below is added and updated on the 4th of August 2013)

4. Breastmilk. Every Ounce Counts.

I've used this app for a while now to track my pumping sessions. Unfortunately as of the time I'm writing this, I couldn't find any website for this app so I am unable to link you to any website but this app is definitely available in the App Store. What I do is first I set my session by selecting which breast (or both breasts) that I'm pumping from and then click Begin to start the timer. Once I am done with pumping, I'll just click End to stop the timer. After that, I'll just enter the quantity that I have collected in the Notes section.

What I love about this app is that I am able to track how long I pump (usually I pump longer when I feel that there is more let down or when I have time and is relaxed) and what is my pumping output. Since using this app, I have managed to track my pumping achievement from only 5 ml (unfortunately this was due to  me stopping my pumping activities for five days) to roughly about 80 ml per breast two months later.

I'll update this post once I find more apps that I find to be useful. Or you can share with me other apps that you find useful or have helped made your life easier.

Sharing is caring =).

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fashionista Mommy Adventures: Malay Confinement Practice

I am a non-traditional Malay. Thus the thought of going for traditional Malay confinement practice seems alien to me (since I have absolutely no knowledge of how these things are done) so I thought of asking my grandma and mother in law on the confinement practice back in their day. 

Post interview, this is what I came up with (I would like to make it known that this schedule is based on their experience, I'll share later in this post on what I'm practicing):

Some terms like Param might seem foreign to you (indeed they are foreign to me too when I first heard them) but I've come to accept them as it is. The Malay confinement period is roughly about 45 days and from what I've heard, the confinement practice in Sarawak and in Semenanjung also differ slightly (but that is another matter altogether and we will not dwell on that here). 

Since I had to undergo an emergency caesarian, I wasn't able to be discharged immediately. I only went back home on the third day and my confinement started the following day which is the fourth day. I'm very fortunate because there are two ladies caring for me, Kak Selina and Asmah (if you're looking for a confinement lady, I can recommend them to you), they're at my place from 8.30 am until 1 pm minding both me and the baby.

So, this is my confinement experience. 

Upon arriving at the house, they will first prepare the baby's bath (I'll share on the baby's bath and grooming in another post, otherwise this post will be too long for you to read). After the baby is bathed and groomed, then they will prepare mine. First, I have a body scrub (I don't exactly know the contents of the scrub, only that it's a whitish substance mixed with seven different types of flowers that have been dried and ground).

Then, I have to wash my face using water than has been soaked with betel leaves (or also known as daun sirih). To prepare this (in case you're interested), tear several betel leaves into a bowl and pour boiling water into the bowl. The boiling water will release whatever healing properties from the betel leaves into the water. Usually they'll leave the bowl of water to rest for a few minutes to cool before telling me to wash my face with it. I have to do this daily and the confinement lady recommends (if possible) for me to do this every morning after dawn.

Next they'll pour boiling water into a mixture of leaves and herbs, this is called Mandi Rempah or Herbal bath. Refer to the confinement schedule for a list of what is in the mixture in the herbal bath. I was advised not to bathe with soap so I did the next best thing possible, use a facial towel to rub myself clean. I'd dip the facial towel in the herbal bath and then rub my dead skins away.

After the herbal bath, they would then massage my body to alleviate wind from my body. Before massaging, my body (the crown of my head, back, hands and feet) would be rubbed with oil (consisting of a mixture of Minyak But But, coconut oil or what we Sarawakians call Minyak Lalak and Minyak Meroyan). On the 7th, 14th, 21st and 45th day I'd get a different type of massage, which they call it Memulang Urat (it's like a massage to rejuvenate and align your veins or something). 

After body massage, they would then proceed with something they call Bertungku, a practice of heating stones (in my case it's a cloth thingy) and transferring the heat from the cloth to the body. This actually feels nice and refreshing.

Only after the massage and tungku, then I'll be using Bengkung or what we Sarawakians call Tapal or a Malay traditional corset. Underneath the tapal is a special mixture of herbs (Sarawakians call them Param), designed to provide heat to the tummy and the back. Considering that I still have my caesarian scar to look after, I only started using tapal on Day 9 and by Day 12 the tapal was already too big for me. Maybe Malay confinement methods do work in trimming our body, I had lost about 6 kilos by the 7th day of confinement (I had only gained 8 kilos during pregnancy) so by now (today is the 14th day) I think I may have lost all of my pregnancy weight. During my grandma's time, they had to use the tapal day and night but in my case, I'd only be wearing them from 10 am until 5 pm (then I'd be showering off the remnants of the herbs from my body). I haven't been using any tapal since yesterday (Day 13), and I think my confinement lady will be bringing a new and smaller corset for me to wear soon. 

These are some of the items from my confinement lady (some of them I bought myself). There's the box containing the Bengkung and Tungku. The plastic bag at the back contains the tapal herbs for Bengkung. Other than that I also have pills (some prefer jamu, it's up to your own personal preference) called Hirup Sirih and Hirup Rempah and also majum. I also use bedak sejuk (my confinement lady advised me to use bedak sejuk only once every other day) on my face before I go to bed, and krim halia from Cosway on my tummy, back, the back of my neck and feet after my afternoon shower. I know we're not supposed to shower but I'd rather be clean rather than smelly and dirty so I'd take off the tapal and shower off the remnants of the massage oil and Param. Post shower, I'll rub some Minyak Meroyan on the crown of my head, hands and feet and this is followed by the Cosway Krim Halia. 

Here's the pills, hirup sirih and hirup rempah and the name and contact number of the person making it if you're interested =). 

Other than that, if you're wondering whether I cover my head and wear socks (and kain batik as per usual Malay confinement practice), I do cover my head with a head scarf (most of the time I even wear them to bed), in regards to socks, I wear them occasionally if my feet are cold and as of now, I've been wearing kain batik for the past 14 days. 

So this is my experience undergoing Malay confinement practice post caesarian birth. Hope my post will help first time mommies out there decide on which practice they'd like to opt for (as you can see, my confinement activity has been altered to suit my own comfort i.e. I take hot showers daily, my jamu has been converted to pills, I keep the air-cond running although at 27 degrees and I wash my hair every other day and use the hair dryer to keep my hair dry afterwards). If you'd like to contact the confinement lady just let me know, I can share their contact number with you. If you're wondering about the cost, they're charging me RM1,700 for their services (which also includes cooking confinement appropriate meals) with an additional surcharge of 10% for transportation (because they have to go pass the Zecon toll to get to my place). Considering how pampered and well I feel so far, I'd say the cost is completely worth it =). 

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fashionista's Review: Philips Avent Natural Manual Breast Pump

Being a mom is not easy, I guess any mom would have told you that. That's why people invented gadgets, to help aid moms (especially when the baby's crying and the mom is frantic and on the edge of becoming slightly cuckoo, just kidding!). 

As mentioned in my previous post, I bought a Philips Avent Natural Manual Breast Pump. I chose Philips Avent's Natural range because of this video, and the reason for a manual pump is because I'm not sure on my ability to breastfeed. As of now, I am breastfeeding half of the time and the other half, I have to resort to  formula milk (I'm not able to fully breastfeed due to cracked and sore nipples; overusing thy nipples is not a good thing peeps!). 

So here's my review on the pump:

Philips Avent has several different ranges of baby bottles and pumps to choose from, so to distinguish between the Natural range and the other ranges, the box for the Natural range is color coded in purple. 

Inside the box you'll find the manual pump, a small 4 oz bottle complete with the teat and bottle cover. 

What I like most about the pump is that it's very convenient to use, just put the pump onto the breast (strategically positioning thy nipples in the middle opening of the pump) and pump away (make sure there's adequate pressure on the breast to ensure vacuum so that the breast pump can do its job perfectly). It's very handy and small, thus making my job easier and you don't need extra effort to pump. Usually I'll just pump for 15 minutes per breast and I'll get about 40 - 60 ml of milk letdown. 

Washing and cleaning is also very easy;

Here's the dismantled pump after I've washed the parts. Getting the parts apart is also very easy, you can just pull them gently off (it takes less than a minute to get them off), wash them then sterilize them in the sterilizer.

However, before you go running to the next baby-mommy store to purchase the breast pump, there are some things that you need to know:

1. The bottle should not be placed too tightly to the pump. I don't know why but this causes the milk to trickle down to the bottle opening and trickle out (instead of into the bottle). Just turn the bottle gently to lock it to the pump. If you notice milk dripping out from the bottle/ pump, that means the bottle is too tightly locked to the pump. Loosen it then continue pumping.

2. You have to be sitting with your back straight (no slouching!) to ensure that milk drops into the bottle (otherwise your milk will be going wherever gravity intended them to). I found out about this the hard way and discovered my clothes drenched with my own breast milk. It was rather disappointing to see your milk being collected by your shirt rather than in the bottle. What made it even more disappointing is that I was only able to pump 10 ml per breast at that time *sigh*.

Overall I'm quite satisfied with my purchase. Am definitely thinking about getting Philip Avent's Double Electric Breast Pump by the end of the month (I must make sure that I'm really committed to breastfeeding so I'm giving myself a few more weeks of manual pumping as a test). 

So I pump about three times a day (if I'm able to, but if not, then at least a minimum of once a day) other than direct latch (when the nipple is not sore) about once or twice a day and followed by formula milk several times a day. Usually the pumped milk is depleted almost immediately; total pump is about 80 ml (left and right breast) and the baby usually takes about 60 - 90 ml of formula per feeding session so, the next feeding session will most probably have to rely on formula.

So for those who are expecting and thinking about breastfeeding, I'd definitely recommend Philips Avent Natural range breast pumps and bottles. Baby Alexa is also adjusting well to the bottle and so far there's no indication that she prefers the bottle over her mum's au naturel nipple =). 

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Birth that wasn't Planned

In my previous post I did mention that I've prepared a birth plan, right? So this is what actually happened during the birth of my first child...

She (it's a girl by the way) was supposed to be due on the 27th of May and with much anticipation and trepidation we made our way to the hospital (complete with our two overnight bags and baby car seat installed in the car). Met the doctor about two hours later and was informed that my cervix has already dilated by about 3 cm, and since the baby's heartbeat and movements are strong, she told me to go back home and come again within two days (hoping that the baby will be ready to be delivered by then). Before leaving the hospital, the doctor did a stretch and sweep to artificially stimulate the birthing process.

We went back to the hospital on the 29th of May at 11 am, checked into the labor ward and the doctor proceeded to check the dilation of my cervix. Still 3 cm, there's no indication of me going into labor for the past 2 days (even though I tried my hardest to walk up and down the stairs and everywhere but the baby is maybe just not ready to come out yet). So the doctor proceeded to break my amniotic sac so that we can proceed to the next stage of delivery. At 2.30 pm, I was brought to the labor room and connected intravenously to Pitocin, in an effort to start contractions (to which I had only been feeling Braxton-Hicks contractions so far).

I only started feeling contractions by 5 pm. It wasn't strong at first, and since I already had a birth plan ready, the doctor readied ethonox and the midwife showed me how to use it. By half an hour the contractions were getting stronger. I suddenly got the urge to pee (I get that sometimes especially when I'm nervous) so I asked if it's possible for me to go to the loo. At that time I was already lying on my back in the labor room, with Pitocin being dripped intravenously through my left hand (this means that it would be difficult for me to go to the loo). The nurse then supplied me with a bedpan and asked me to pee into it (while lying down). I swear that it is the most humiliating experience I've ever had to endure in my entire life. They (the nurse, doctor and mister hubby) left the room so that I can conduct my business in private. I tried peeing (while lying down, mind you) and was successful (I did manage to pee but it was definitely difficult). Five minutes later, the nurse, doctor and husband came back into the labor room.

The pain started getting worse (I'm sure those who've gone through induction before would be able to relate to what I'm experiencing) so I started using Ethonox as a way to alleviate the pain. About 45 minutes later I gave up and requested for an epidural. The epidural was injected about half an hour later and I stopped feeling contraction pains (well, it didn't really blocked out the whole thing but at least it wasn't as painful). By this time, my cervix had already dilated to 5 cm.

At around 7.30 pm, the doctor noticed that the baby's heartbeat was getting weaker and weaker. She told me that she's optimistic that my cervix will be fully dilated in about 2 - 3 hours but the possibility of normal birth would also have to be dependent on the baby's heartbeat. If her heartbeat's too low, we wouldn't be able to wait for the cervix to fully dilate, we'd have to immediately go for emergency caesarian. At this moment, I knew that the life of my baby would be of utmost importance to me and told the doctor to proceed with whatever is best for the baby.

I was wheeled off to the operation theatre by 8 pm.

There was a flutter of activity around me (I didn't know what was happening as my view was blocked by a sheet of cloth); what I remember most is that the room was extremely cold (my body was shivering due to the cold and my teeth was chattering). The doctor and all the attendees was swift in doing their job and baby Alexa came into this world at 8.40 pm.

So, things didn't go the way that I planned and truth be told, I was extremely disappointed that I didn't have a normal birthing experience. The experience that I had undergone left me traumatic (at first). During the first few days post delivery I even thought that I wouldn't want to undergo labor again (that thought have changed now that I've had to experience motherhood, I'm looking forward to having more in the future).

Now that I'm in confinement, in retrospect, I do feel that maybe I was destined for a caesarian.  Although the pain (post operation) was rather unbearable on the first day but I managed to start walking (well waddling like a penguin at least) the next morning by 11 am (after they've removed the IV and catheter. Walking was difficult, peeing/ going to the loo was awkward (I felt like I've lost my ability to control my pee), and the feeling of living with a scar is definitely not what I signed up for.

I'm recuperating nicely, by the way. I kinda felt a whole lot better since I checked out of the hospital (at Day 4) and by Day 8, the thought of a c-section is insignificant compared to the precious gift that I have been blessed with.

Here's baby Alexa at 2 hours old. Oh, by the way, her name is Raden Alexa Iqlima. Raden is hub's lineage so we had to retain that name; she's named after Alexa Chung and Iqlima is the name of the daughter of our first Prophet, Adam a.s.

I'm definitely loving motherhood, it's tiring and demanding, but definitely satisfying. We are definitely blessed. And I can't wait to share my reviews on the baby and mommy products that I've bought (and used) and also what I've learnt as a mother.

Toodles peeps!

xoxo Mrs Fashionista