The last day of 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Time and space are fragments of the infinite for the use of finite creatures Time waits for no man and it's worse when you have a child to keep you on your toes!

it's the last day of 2011 and i didn't even realise till i saw the many wishes on FB. There hasn't been much difference in night and day since lil pumpkin's born thus you can't blame me for amnesia.

It's always on this day that nostalgia kicks in and i'll review what I've achieved through the year. 2011 has been a whirlwind for me. Every bit of memory holds a special meaning and this year my treasure box of nostalgia is brimming over. this year has been a fairly tumultuous one, coping with the 24/7 sickness during the first tri and the intense exam period in the last tri. Coupled with the hub's constant business trips, I was left to face the unknown myself. All was worth it, when I laid eyes on the most beautiful thing in the world -- my lil pumpkin :)

Having lil pumpkin means several adjustments to our lives. Married life is already difficult and now, there'd be more compromises to be made. I am guilty of not tending to my hub's needs and feelings at times but I want to tell him that I appreciate him lots despite my constant "scoldings" hehe...Tolerating each other's habits and way of life is something that we all must learn continually, but most have been sweet and I'm thankful for the beautiful and sacred covenant of marriage.

The lil pumpkin's growing n that is evident from the amount of poop she excretes. I suppose she's 5kg now. Few wks ago she was 4.2kg when she went for her first vaccination.

She's a brave girl and faced the jab with a big scream and calmed down really fast thereafter.

It isn't an easy task to hv to juggle with laundry, cooking, chores, amidst diaper changing, feeding and coaxing, but I'm proud to say that I'm coping well thus far. In all truth, the clueless times were an incredible test of patience but it comforts my soul and makes me smile to hear lil pumpkin's coos and gagas.Well, sure I can do with more rest but this learning curve has been an incredible process.

My main driving force

This year marks also the launch of my agency. No mean feat either, considering I was preggers and had to juggle with my main line. Despite several technical hiccups, I pulled through. Though marketing has been shelved, several deals have been closed and I'm truly blessed for the word of mouths. I hope to climb to greater heights in 2012!

Christmas wasn't helluva celebration unlike in the past without lil pumpkin. In fact, I suppose age is catching up and we are embracing the camaraderie and hanging out with the usual friends instead of partying the night away. Thinking back, those times were really fun, but we are entering another phase of our life. Time in its aging course teaches all things and I hope i'm able to learn more and excel.

A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

Charles Darwin

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Indeed, God has made us all different. In particular, the two sexes are significantly distinct. I don't know to say if it cracks me up or irritates me to no end that the hub is such. Many a times, he would offer to do the night feeds and allow me to sleep in, but my rationale is, if he has to get up, sterilize everything, feed, clean up, pat lil pumpkin to sleep and then probably get ready for work thereafter, there's really no point.. I'd rather latch on. I'm no where near being superwoman and to be honest, I think though he's out at work at this point in time, I'm constantly working at home too, with the immense amount of laundry (cloth nappies and all!), spring cleaning and not forgetting my work, I would like to think that I've much more on my plate. But then again, things shouldn't be compared on that basis.

Anyhow, since the hubs is on leave tmw, I decided to allow him to fulfil his fatherly duties -- Feed the baby at unearthly hour. First response from him --> dear, you've got to wake me up. HUH? do u mean to say that all this while, you can't hear lil pumpkin "neh" in the middle of the night? Apparently so! n he had the audacity to say he didn't get good sleep on some days and that he's a light sleeper compared to me! These days, I've even hardened myself and allow myself to go for a leak b4 attending to a wailing child. But yup, apparently, the hub has developed selective hearing not only to me, but to lil pumpkin! However, perhaps due to my shocked response, he subconsciously managed to get up after a few cries. No prizes for who got up first. The intention was for me to sleep through till the next feed, but lil pumpkin's incessant cries of hunger kept my eyelids opened. After monitoring for a good 10minutes and with the intensity getting greater, I decided to drag myself out of bed to check on things. ALAS! the hub was busy sterilizing and left a wailing baby in her crib. While it's true that one should not always rush to carry the bub when she cries lest she develops dependency, crying in such manner has great repercussions, namely WIND. That would lead to more detrimental consequences. Below is the flow of events in chronological order:

445am Hunger Cues
5am The hub started sterilizing
515am The hub finally started settling down to feed. By then, i decided that since I'm up, I might as well express my milk
530am I was done with expression (150ml from both boobies..not bad at all!) and the hub simply placed the lil bub in her crib after a burp, without ensuring that she's fast asleep, despite my naggings. Knowing that lil bub or perhaps most babies need to be comforted and pat to sleep b4 being placed in the crib, I hung around for a while.
540am Lil bub started crying...where was the hubs? he bounced right into bed after "throwing" lil bub into bed
540-now I'm still trying to coax the lil one to sleep.

This worries me thoroughly...what's gonna happen when I resume work (which is soon!) am I gonna cope with the long nights and long work days?

Sigh....the difference between men and women is so define...or perhaps only in my case?

Burping in progress....CUTENESS MUCH?

Monster in law

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Once again my patience was tested today :
Mil: bb's hair so fine sure drop like all my 3 children
Me: CHOY!!
Mil: really will drop one
Mil: might drop till bald. Most bb drop at the fringe.. Very ugly
Me:silent (fed up to the max)

Seriously why are the old foggies like that? Earlier today his aunt also commented that this particular bb is very ugly. 很难看 were her exact words! Mean words run in the family I guess? Intentionally or unintentionally it's really uncalled for!

The two most important people in my life

Monday, December 19, 2011

My favourite pic. It perfectly encapsulates the love sweetie has for our lil pumpkin.

Bathing the lil pumpkin. Not an easy task considering how slipper the affair is and that her neck is still soft.
Sweetie has been a great dad thus far, not so much the loving husband I expect though. Mayb my expectations run too high and perhaps I'm a little short fuse from the lack of sleep. From the day she was born till date he has been caressing her cheeks and coaxing her to sleep. However, patience seemed to be weaning yesterday when the hub was asked to do the laundry for lil pumpkin. Since the end of confinement, I had been doing all of lil pumpkin's laundry. mind you, it's not simply a case of chucking into the washer and spin it. They have to be separated from our clothes and for some handwashed. I'm using cloth nappies for half a day and lil pumpkin can be changing 3 nappies in an hour! it's intense. Given that the hub isn't the most organised person in the world, bathing the baby and doing laundry become two major task. When told to bathe her, off he scooted, without preparing all the stuff needed. Halfway through, he'd shout for me to grab her towel if I dont have my hands full! The whole idea for him to bathe her is for me to get some other things done. I feel like I'm constantly a maid to him. Then when it came to laundry, he loves procrastinating and accumulating. When told not to do that, he'd wash a load in the day and another at night. Given the very nice cooling yet rainy weather, that's not exactly the wisest thing to be doing given that we do not have a dryer. True enough, after the 2nd lot, in his frustration, he exclaimed that there isn't any place to hang them dry and that we needed a maid coz laundry was getting intense! Who wouldn't like extra help? Only that finances doesn't quite permit else it'd be very straining. and HALLOooooo...the wife has been doing it for the entire wk, coupled with all the cooking, washing, diapering and feeding! There was even a dilemma for me as to whether i should feed or leave the wailing baby and shit! I chose the latter coz I've been constipated for the last few days and this was the golden opportunity to excrete! Back to the topic -- MEN. you can't stand them, yet you can't live without them. (in some cases). This whole episode goes to show how strong women (well most) are and the amazing things mummies go through for their love ones. Men in comparison, WEAK WEAK WEAK!!!

I'm one month old!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

10 months of baking. yes the full term and more, out comes lil pumpkin. Unimaginable! Time seems to flash past when u are in bliss. The lil bub is ONE MONTH OLD! Happy one mth my dear! :)

For this special event, the very vain mommy went to extremes. It's as if i have nothing better to do during my confinement. But i figured, I need to feed her anyway, and the nights are long thus what better way to occupy myself but to do some crafts for the event:

Invitation cards :)

Check out the very adorable mini rabbit longevity buns i've ordered!!! So cute just like my lil pumpkin. n totally apt since it's the year of the rabbit!
The cous was suggesting that she could help me to put together a full month package. I thought that it's a neat idea since MIL could not confirm the numbers. To order would probably more straining to the pocket. These days, every cent has to go through stringent checks. THe above are the many roses I made. a total of 150!!
What went in it: 2 Ang ku Kways, 2 red eggs, 2 longevity buns and 4 cupcakes. According to Chinese customs, when a baby turns one month old, a ceremony is held to celebrate her first full moon. This also co-insides with the end of the mother's confinement period, and both mother and baby are formally introduced for the first time. Before the unveiling party, the baby goes through a host of customaries. Once that is over, a party is held to celebrate the health of the baby. Relatives and friends gather to give their blessings and gifts to the new baby, and traditional treats such as ang ku kueh and red eggs are featured.

Traditional cakes and eggs, dyed red to symbolise luck and blessings are given out to relatives and friends. Eggs are chosen as they represent fertility and their round shapes symbolise harmony. It is believed that if you have a boy, you give out an odd number of eggs, and if you have a girl, you give out an even number of eggs.

According to word of mouth on Hokkien tradition, if you have a son, plain round ang ku kuehs (red glutinous peanut cakes) are given out, and if you have a girl, you mould the ang kus into the traditional tortoise moulds, which are more intricate and delicate.

Tradition also dictates that you shave your baby's head, although most parents don't observe this practice anymore. And with such a gorgeous mane, Why would I want to cut my darling's hair? Instead, i trim a little bit of hair off, to symbolise the shedding of the birth hair (hair from the womb). After the first hair cut, both the mother and the baby supposedly must bathe in water mixed with pomelo leaves, to wash off any unwanted and evil vibes. But the MIL did not prepare (though she was told), so be it.

It is believed that if you wrap your baby's hair in a piece of red cloth and sew it to his pillow, it helps calm him down. I SHOULD TRY THAT!

The end product. So proud of myself!!! :)

Love how the mineral water bottle turned out! One guest even asked if the bottles were from a certain upmarket brand!'s from NTuC..OPS!

We placed our star on the table like a centre piece..makes viewing easier :)

Happy One month my darling! May you be blessed with wisdom, good health and beauty!

Our first family portrait. Absolute LOVE!

Baby goo ga ga?

Since my last post, things improved a fair bit. I took advice from Sis E and spoke to the little one for 5mins after her feed, when she's in a semi-conscious state. If i were to put her down immediately, she'll wake up like before, but last night, SHE DIDN"T! YEAH! accomplishment!!! talking to her for a longer period of time does work! Not that i have not been talking but perhaps the way i bring across the idea?

Below is also a clip which has also helped tremendously. See, the power of technology! so who says it doesn't pay to be a tech nerd? Though there's nothing much we can do with regards to the "EAIR" sounds, at least I wont be that clueless and will be able to cope better mentally and keep the hormone-related woes at bay.

Now I'm lost in a sea of happiness and can operate better despite the lack of sleep. Things hopefully can be on auto-mode soon and I can be blessed with bountiful optimism. In truth, we are all new in this game and she's just a lil baby new to this world. The first year of baby's life is the most memorable and exciting..there'd be loads of first and every moment is monumental. She's starting to notice the world and definitely taking notice of her parents. She's responding to our calls and is taking delight the little details of the world. All these little changes make the very insides of me light up.

Ahhhhh...BLISS :)

Fussy Baby

Being alone with baby most of the time in the day made me really efficient. Bathing became a luxury and the same goes for shitting and pee-ing. At times, I had to put her in her pram and watch me shower! She adores the sound of the shower and would keep quiet for a bit.
I was pretty much getting into the routine of things...feeding every 2hrs and by dawn, i'd be doing the laundry, washing the cutlery and preparing her bath before the next feed. at night, she was also able to sleep for 3 and sometimes even 4 hours through! Then thereafter, I'd be preparing the ingredients for the day's meal. All was well and peaceful until Week 5/6. Things got little haywire. Lil bub decided not to feed every 2 hours at night and instead changed to an 1hour. at one point in time, it was every half an hour! Again, i was doubting my milk supply. I mean how can those muscles and glands be producing that quickly? Seeing her tugging at my nipples wasnt a pleasant sight too as it could mean my flow was slow. NATURALLY! that aside, I was exhausted, but I pressed on and refused the frozen EBM which I so painstakingly expressed at wee hours of the night. It wasn't only 7-11, it progressed to beyond the 11th hour...things got so intense I ranted to friends, both online and off. Only to be slammed by a good male friend for spending too much time online and complaining about how tough this whole fiesta is. What else did he expect me to do whilst feeding? Talk to her i did, but i was too tired to even carry her. At times, i would be patting till i suddenly jerked awake! It was scary and I had to find things to distract myself -- namely, the computer, my phone and the television. Vices perhaps, but definitely needed in this case. Also, these were my sources of mental respite. Thank God for the invention of Whatsapp as it was an online mommy forum for me. I seeked solace and comfort in the advices many gave over Facebook. Seriously the men just dont get it!! I can't be generating negative energies and passing them on to the lil bub thus I had to rant it off and give good vibes to the lil one. On top of that, fellow mommies were very helpful and they certainly reached out to me in times of need, with links to articles and video clips. So what is so wrong with being online 24/7 even if I was. Does that make me less of a mother? In all honestly, I may be blogging, but it's coz lil pumpkin's right in front of me, getting ready to feed any moment. I can't possibly be doing anything fact, this post was crafted eons ago and saved as draft as I simply didnt have the time to complete. Had to revisit almost 6 times before publishing! So dude, if u r reading, pardon the raging hormones, but perhaps more empathy could be given?

Anyhowz, to make a note of things, again, credits to the informative, below is what I've found:

My baby is fussy! Is something wrong?
What is normal baby fussiness?

Whether breastfed or formula fed, during their first few months, many babies have a regular fussy period, which usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening. Some babies' fussy periods come so regularly that parents can set their clocks by it! The standard infant fussiness usually starts at about 2 to 3 weeks, peaks at 6 weeks and is gone by 3 to 4 months. It lasts on "average" 2 to 4 hours per day. Of course, there is a wide variety of normal.

To distinguish between "normal" and a problem, normal usually occurs around the same time of day, with approximately the same intensity (with some variation); responds to some of the same things each time, such as motion, holding, frequent breastfeeding, etc.; and occurs in a baby who has other times of the day that he is contentedly awake or asleep. Normal fussiness tends to occur during the time of the day that the baby usually stays awake more, the most common time is in the evening right before the time that the baby takes his longest stretch of sleep.

What causes babies to be fussy?

If you feel that your baby's fussiness is not normal, it's never a bad idea to get baby checked by the doctor to rule out any illness. A common cause of fussy, colic-like symptoms in babies is foremilk-hindmilk imbalance (also called oversupply syndrome, too much milk, etc.) and/or forceful let-down. Other causes of fussiness in babies include diaper rash, thrush, food sensitivities, nipple confusion, low milk supply, etc.

Babies normally fuss for many reasons: overtiredness, overstimulation, loneliness, discomfort, etc. Babies are often very fussy when they are going through growth spurts. Do know that it is normal for you to be "beside yourself" when your baby cries: you actually have a hormonal response that makes you feel uncomfortable when your baby cries.

Comfort measures for fussy babies (many fit into several different categories)
Basic needs
  • Nurse
  • Burp baby
  • Change his diaper
  • Undress baby completely to make sure no clothing is "sticking" him

Comforting Touch

  • Hold baby
  • Carry baby in a sling
  • Give baby a back rub
  • Carry baby in the "colic hold" (lying across your forearm, tummy down, with your hand supporting his chest)
  • Lay baby across your lap & gently rub his back while slowly lifting & lowering your heels
  • Lay baby tummy-down on the bed or floor and gently pat his back
  • Massage your baby

Reduce stimulation

  • Swaddle baby
  • Dim lights and reduce noise

Comforting Sounds

  • Play some music (try different styles and types of voices to see which baby prefers)
  • Sing to baby
  • Turn on some "white noise" (fan, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher)

Rhythmic motion / change of pace

  • Nurse baby in motion (while walking around or rocking)
  • Give baby a bath
  • Rock baby
  • Hold baby and gently bounce, sway back and forth or dance
  • Put baby in a sling or baby carrier and walk around inside or outside
  • Put baby in a baby swing (if he's old enough)
  • Take baby outside to look at the trees
  • Take baby for a walk in the stroller
  • Go for a car ride
  • Set baby in a baby carrier (or car seat) on the dryer with the dryer turned on (stand by him, as the vibration can bounce the seat right off the dryer onto the floor)

One of the most interesting things I've seen in the research regarding infant fussiness is that almost anything a parent tries to reduce fussiness will work, but only for a short time (a few days), and then other strategies need to be used.

If you nurse and it doesn't seem to help, then try other comfort measures. If you pick him up or nurse him, and baby is content, then that was what he needed. If it works, use it!

Growing Pains

Monday, December 12, 2011

My latest Muse -- nope it's not my new Marc Jacobs or my latest's my little pumpkin

Going from being a hard worker bee to mostly-Mummy can be a tricky affair.

The initial wks were tough. Given that I went under the knife, I couldn't quite do the cradle hold when breastfeeding. Football hold wasn't something I anticipated. Each time I needed someone to carry baby to me as I'm not suppose to exert myself during this crucial recovery period. The uterus contractions and the stitches kept me awake at times, but mostly it's the cracked nipples. Once the 30 days were up, the MIL packed all her ingredients, pots and pans (super clear-cut might i add) and off she went to distribute the full mth cakes and subsequently taking a holiday at Macau! My fridge was totally emptied. At one pt i could not even find my pepper! All my things were in disarray including lil pumpkin's wardrobe thus I had to spend time repacking. That aside, It was quite impossible for me to go out with the lil one at this pt in time, and having no fresh ingredients at hm didn't help. No doubt there's an NTUC just below my blk and a coffee shop but these did not help as it's said I'm able to continue with this confinement business for another 10 days. The Chinese believe that during this period, if one does not nourish oneself, the nutrients will never be back. I choose to believe as anything to do with health, I'm quite a freak.

So yeah, the first wk after confinement was certainly a challenge. With the cloth nappies to be washed (not forgetting that some were soiled) and the lunch, dinners and double boiled soup to be prepared by myself (ingredients gotten by Empress Dowager), amidst all these, I needed to be a moo moo cow + bathe the lil pumpkin. This is really the role of an ultimate multi-tasking, multi-talented wife and mom; whether at home or in the market place. By God's grace, I am a proud mom of a lil girl. I am thankful for that each time i see her smiles, for that matter at times her skirmish gestures and screams as well. Motherhood is a life changing experience and the pregnancy journey is just the tip of the iceberg of this amazing enriching experience. Nursing has created a bond between myself and my lil pumpkin but it's not an easy journey. Initially, there was the cracked nipple and no amount of Lanolin seemed to help ease and heal. Not until the purchase of the nipple shield! that was really God send! It didn't come cheap though...the Medela Nipple Shield cost about $29 from the pharmacy. But i was desperate then to find alternatives. Then just when the nipple heal, other problems arose. I did not anticipate such a thing called colic or growth spurt. Naturally, I know the lil one would grow but the feeding was so intense it drove me nuts! Initially it was a 2-hour interval (mind u, the clock starts ticking from the moment she suckles), then it became 1-hour interval when she decided to take on the 7-11pm routine. As if this was not enough to drain me, the latest few nights ago was a 1/2hour interval! A typical timetable could be at 7pm i feed, 730pm i'd be done...i'll pat her to sleep and the moment i place her on the cot, she the time i calm her down, it's her feed again.

I'm sure it's as frustrating for her as it is for me. Afterall, we are both very new to this business. NO amount of education has equipped us for this role. Admittedly, at one point in time, I felt like giving up on this whole babysitting and nursing business and simply get someone to look after and succumb to giving her the bottle. However, upon seeing her twinkling eyes and rosebud lips, I couldn't bare. It was an absolute luxury now to spend all my time with my daughter, watching her grow into the little girl that she is becoming, so if I don't take this opportunity to bond and do my best, in future when i resume work, I may not have such a chance.

Her incessant feeding and my extremely flaccid boobies led me to think of the following question:

Is your milk supply really low?

(Below info credits to

First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn't. If your baby is gaining weight well on breastmilk alone, then you do not have a problem with milk supply.

It's important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby.

What if you're not quite sure about baby's current weight gain (perhaps baby hasn't had a weight check lately)? If baby is having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers then the following things do NOT mean that you have a low milk supply:

  • Your baby nurses frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly (usually in 1.5-2 hours), so breastfed babies need to eat more often than formula-fed babies. Many babies have a strong need to suck. Also, babies often need continuous contact with mom in order to feel secure. All these things are normal, and you cannot spoil your baby by meeting these needs.
  • Your baby suddenly increases the frequency and/or length of nursings. This is often a growth spurt. The baby nurses more (this usually lasts a few days to a week), which increases your milk supply. Don't offer baby supplements when this happens: supplementing will inform your body that the baby doesn't need the extra milk, and your supply will drop.
  • Your baby nurses more often and is fussy in the evening.
  • Your baby doesn't nurse as long as she did previously. As babies get older and better at nursing, they become more efficient at extracting milk.
  • Your baby is fussy. Many babies have a fussy time of day - often in the evening. Some babies are fussy much of the time. This can have many reasons, and sometimes the fussiness goes away before you find the reason.
  • Your baby guzzles down a bottle of formula or expressed milk after nursing. Many babies will willingly take a bottle even after they have a full feeding at the breast. Read more here from board-certified lactation consultant Kathy Kuhn about why baby may do this and how this can affect milk supply. Of course, if you regularly supplement baby after nursing, your milk supply will drop (see below).
  • Your breasts don't leak milk, or only leak a little, or stop leaking. Leaking has nothing to do with your milk supply. It often stops after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby's needs.
  • Your breasts suddenly seem softer. Again, this normally happens after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby's needs.
  • You never feel a let-down sensation, or it doesn't seem as strong as before. Some women never feel a let-down. This has nothing to do with milk supply.
  • You get very little or no milk when you pump. The amount of milk that you can pump is not an accurate measure of your milk supply. A baby with a healthy suck milks your breast much more efficiently than any pump. Also, pumping is an acquired skill (different than nursing), and can be very dependent on the type of pump. Some women who have abundant milk supplies are unable to get any milk when they pump. In addition, it is very common and normal for pumping output to decrease over time.

After reading all the above info, I began to feel much more at ease. At the very least, mental preparation was taken care. Physically, sigh...perhaps more chicken essence or the yucky DOM might do the trick?

Too many chefs spoil the broth

When you are blessed with a child, unfortunately, you aren't equally blessed with more time. been meaning to blog every step of this arduous yet fulfilling journey, yet the pockets of 15mins break don't seem enough for my creative juices to flow. Or perhaps it's just an excuse. Blame it on the lack of discipline on my part. I with God can multiply my strength and time.

My 30days confinement is finally over. Which marks the beginning of a new challenge -- to take care of lil pumpkin alone! The MIL was pretty clear cut on the last day of the confinement. After leaving me at home with lil pumpkin whilst she went round Singapore to deliver the full month cakes, she came back only to clear and bring back all her pots and pans. In the fridge lay only a fish head, a slab of lean meat and some weird concoction. Before leaving, she mentioned that should I want to continue nursing myself to health, the nxt 10 days is also important. It's a time to take nutritious things coz thereafter, it is believed that whatever thing you eat is useless. With that said, there's still no offer from her to stay another 10 days. Not that I'm in favour of it to be pretty honest. BUt the least she could probably do is to offer help in terms of lunch and dinner? Nope. None, Neh. So i could only seek Empress Dowager's help in grocery shopping. The thought of caring for a newborn and doing the chores (note: i'm using cloth nappies -- compliments of the MIL), cooking double boiled soups for myself, on top of it all, breastfeeding and bathing the baby -- scares me. Where does one find so much time and strength to do it all. Indeed, all these require an immense amount of COURAGE! especially when you are faced with a possibly colicky and wailing kid...or when bathing a slippery screaming child. It can sometimes be very testing.

Ok, before i deviate into other matters, the focus of this post is -- The MIL from hell! Ok she aint exactly the worst MIL i've heard, but I guess due to the fact that we've never lived with each other, things were pretty intense for me. In fact, she was my major source of post natal blues.
I was initially thankful that she had given up work to take care of lil bub and I for I knew Empress Dowager would not do such a thing. However, the first few wks were very upsetting. To facilitate the train of thoughts, I decided to list things down in point form:

1) whilst breastfeeding, she would carry the baby to me, see me strip (though i do it really slowly to indicate that I'm actually very uncomfortable that a stranger is looking down at my boobies!) and once I'm done feeding, she'll carry the baby away! -- CRADLE SNATCHER! The episode is truly a case of invasion of privacy. I cried each time that happens yet no one is there to lend me a shoulder. The influx of raging hormones can really get the blues kicking.

2) Whilst breastfeeding again, she'd sometimes walk in and out of my room on the pretext of doing chores. One may say : why dont u just lock your room whilst nursing. My answer: i'm in pain after C sec and can't quite carry the baby, let alone, walk to lock the door!

3) Once, when i was done breastfeeding, she stood next to me and said she'll carry lil bub away from me to burp her! Isnt this typically done by the mother? WHere's the opportunity to bond then?

4) As she and Empress Dowager had never breastfed before, there was very weak support from them. Instead, i received several sarcasm as they think i'm being ridiculous not to use the bottle. THe logic is simple-- Wouldn't it be easier in terms of washing up to latch on than to go through the hassle of sterilizing etc? Note, at this point, lil bub feeds on avg every 2 hours (sometimes less). and this interval is counted from the moment she latches! In other words, she can start suckling at 7pm, be done by 730pm+., after burping and calming her down, it'd probably be 8pm...thereafter, if i'm lucky (no need for diaper change), i'd be left with an hour to eat, shit or bathe! So where would I even have time to sterilize stuff? Note, I do not have any help whatsoever! Also, the antibodies are more for breastmilk than formula and should I make use of the frozen EBM, i'd be discounting the antibodies! It all doesn't make much sense to me.

5) The hub gave me a bouquet of roses at the hospital. Possibly his 3rd in our entire relationship thus far, so it's exceptionally meaningful. I brought it home. A few days later, it went missing!! The MIL threw them away without even asking! and the roses weren't even wilted! THis happened not only Once, but twice as the second time i received a hamper with flowers and helium balloon (which i wanted to recycle) and it mysteriously disappeared again! upon searching, i found them in my recycling bag! Told the hub about it, hoping that he'd empathise, but instead, he said "she just kept it aside, i'll get it back for u"..ya from the rubbish bag? How fresh is that?I know it's tough being sandwiched in between, but he seriously needs to work on mother management.

6) She threw away loads of sauces and stuff from my fridge...some without my permission again! Every single thing I'm using from the type of soya sauce I'm using (she claims it's too dark and weird) to the brand of detergent we are using (she said it stinks), she has a comment. We had to buy new ones coz of that. Just the other day, I wanted some pepper but could not even find! the entire organisation of the kitchen was in disarray.

7) Lil bub has not been able to sleep through for 2 hours...the moment she's placed down, probably after 15mins on avg (depending on the hour) she'll start her tantrums for some reason. I dont blame her as she's only a newbie to the world. But the MIL attribute all these to the lack of FOOD and kept questioning my milk supply. I was down. Very down. I started questioning and doubting myself too. Was I doing a good job? Should I succumb to the tin I have stored for emergency? Do i need to turn to the holy fenugreek -- the herb which claims to boost milk supplies? Or the strange concoction of papaya fish soup? However, upon pumping, i realise that I've got sufficient if not excess milk!! even my massage lady says I'm good.

8) Whilst organising the full month party for lil bub, emotions escalated. Initially, out of respect, I seeked MIL's advice as to whom she'd like to invite. She started counting the number of relatives (incl Msian relatives) and said we should do a luncheon for relatives and tea or dinner for friends. Taking that into consideration and knowing that both MIL and FIL has heaps of siblings, I reckoned I needed a bigger place for the party; my house was out of the question. Thus after searching, I settled for the function room at my uncle's place. Paid for it and ALAS, the MIL decided that it is rude to invite ppl as it would imply that we are begging them for ang bao!!! OMG which planet is she from? In the first place, these relatives would have already come to my house and pass me the present or ang bao! Thus it'd be a nice gesture to invite them and be merry at the party! Apparently FIL had the same thinking. I dont blame him, coz afterall he's from Mars. That apart, together with Empress Dowager, they couldn't give me a proper number for the number of cakes they needed. I told them my intentions to DIY the package and yet it didn't seem to get into their brains. At the 11th hour in fact, MIL said she wanted to deliver some sets on Friday (the part is on saturday) which means to say, everything has to be ready by Thursday!! This project isn't solely mine. I had to depend on heaps of help, namely from the couz. she's a gem to bake all the cupcakes and she's doing all these amidst her work! Thus to make such an absurd request is infuriating! So the couz and I had to restrategise and I had to activate my dad and the BIL who so kindly helped me with collection since I can't step out of the house. to bake all 200 cupcakes on Thursday and keep majority of them till Saturday isn't ideal as freshness is compromised. Thus, we had to do it in batches. Being in confinement and having a hungry baby every 2 hours didn't make things any easier. Also, out of the blue, I can have a request from the MIL or empress dowager that they need extra to give to this or that friend. See, there's a similarity between the women in my life: they have all the ideas and plans in their mind, but they dont verbalise it. They expect the people around to know what they are thinking and when things dont go as plan, they get upset or wonder why. The entire traumatic experience was too much to stomach thus I shared my unhappiness with the hub. Unhappy that things have been screwed up but more importantly because the hub was going to be away for a wk til the morning of lil bub's full mth party! thus logistics is on my shoulder. I needed him to speak to his mom urgently. However, perhaps my complaints had been fast and furious, it finally got to him and he accused me of blaming his mother. I took a step back and realise this IS afterall his MOM! Then again, who is helping me? Thankfully there's the SIL who totally understands what I'm going through as she had been going through it for the last 30 yrs! She tried to "manage" her mom for me in and indirect way and I thought it was really effective and wished the hub had done likewise. Afterall i dont really fancy bad-mouthing anyone.

9) The MIL, Empress Dowager and I have all different views on the food I should be eating. Empress Dowager says I should not take too much ginger since I'm breastfeeding. I find that logical however, MIL beg to defer. MIL thinks that eating salmon is good due to the fatty acids and again, I found it logical but Empress Dowager said it is poisonous and got utterly upset that I ate it during confinement. I think that eating certain types of fruits is "cooling" and according to my TCM physician, vinegar will soften my bones ..but the MIL thinks i'm ridiculous and insist on cooking vinegar. Since day one, I've been forced to gulp down Chicken essence and eat first born eggs, but alas, a wk later, Empress Dowager said due to my Csec I should not eat all these as they are again "Poisonous"-- this i've actually heard. I'm sandwiched. When baby seemed to have colic, I googled on the gasy things I should avoid and apparently broccoli was one of them together with milk, eggs, wheat etc all of which the MIL had been drowning me with. I shared with her, only to be refuted with her own set of theories. To Empress Dowager, should i try to educate her, i'd be deemed as going against her. To the MIL, i try to drop subtle hints but she would have her 101 excuses. It's tough being both a daughter and a daughter-in-law.

Now that I'm alone with the lil bub, I feel more at peace though way busy. However, everyday is a learning experience and I think i'm doing alright in this steep learning curve. Looking back, it's impossible to avoid the blues unless your support group is strong. Thankfully I manage to keep my sanity by ranting to fellow mommies and favourite uncle (re family politics which arose during the organisation of the full mth party). I do however, wish that the hub can extend more TLC and sincere concern to me. But for now, I'm on my own and have to take comfort that the lil bub is growing healthily day by day.

You are a good father, but may you have more wisdom in controlling your anxiety when lil bub wails or your frustrations when the wife feels emo.