Archive for the ‘Baby 2’ Category

More sleeping help

Lullatone is SO COOL! Electronic music, looping lullabies for babies…. all you need to put a baby to sleep. Check it out!

 

This husband and wife team based in Japan has more interesting stuff for kids like iphone and ipad apps on their website. They also conduct workshops for making instruments. I like!

Swaddle away!

 

I just spent the past 2 hours trying to put Levi down for a nap. Looks like he's past the feed sleep feed sleep phase! That was fast! Woah! Now he's awake for longer and can't seem to fall back asleep as easily unless we rock him or I nurse him. Oh wells, that's the reality of having a baby ya?

 

But we've found a great way to help baby sleep and soothe a baby. We discovered this when we had Soph. We were struggling with Sophie's colicky phase and inability to sleep. Then we found this book and DVD called "The Happiest Baby on the Block". Of course we bought it!

 

The author Harvey Karp emphasizes on 5 ways of helping to soothe a baby. He talks about the Fourth Trimester and how after a baby is born, we need to try our best to replicate his womb environment. Read more about it here.

 

We found that the first "S" – Swaddling really worked for Sophie and we've been swaddling Levi too. They tend to sleep longer and better. Coz they can't seem to control their limb movement and the funny thing is that their own hands scare them! So wrapping them well helps them. Sophie is attempting to swaddle Levi in the picture. She's very cute, she does that with her dolls too. I found a step by step guide with photos on how to do a swaddle on Babycenter. Check it out. I also found that large swaddle cloths are better. My aunt made some for us the last time. Unfortunately we didn't bring them here and have to make do with the smaller ones.

 

Btw, the reason why Levi can't sleep the past two hours is probably because I've chucked all the swaddle cloths into the laundry accidentally! Silly me! Hopefully the next nap will go better with a good swaddle.

Rotorua

 

Lemme just say it again, NZ is BEAUTIFUL.

 

We just spent the weekend with my in laws in Rotorua. It's only about an hour and a half away from Matamata. However, the landscape is totally different. It's filled with lush green trees even though spring only just started, many geothermal areas and smells of sulphur.

 

We went one day at Wai-O-Tapu to see the mud pools, craters, lakes and geysers. You need to pay to get in there but it's nicely built up for tourists and easy to push a stroller. Very safe too. Unfortunately it was pouring so we had to brave through the rain to do the walk. Thank God we brought the Mountain Buggy. Sophie was quite happy to sit in there completely protected by the raincover and even fell asleep towards the end of the walk. James carried Levi in the sling and wore a poncho.

 

Left: Lady Knox Geyser shoots up to 20m high!

Right: Devil's Cave, a sulphur hot pool

 

The next day we went to Redwood Forest to do the shortest walk. It was supposed to be a half hour walk, turned out to be an hour for us. Sophie started to whine halfway and had to take breaks along the way but still she made it to the end. It was also drizzling and the heavy rains before made the ground really muddy. I think it'll be great to try the walk again on a sunny day. The trees were so beautiful. It's a very doable walk for kids too.

 

 

This was Levi's first trip away from home. We stayed at a hotel. They didn't have a cot so James folded up the duvet covers and made a little "mattress" on the floor for him. It's pretty easy traveling with a newborn since they still sleep most of the time. I think he only had a melt down once prob because he had enough stimulation and was tired of being in the car seat.

Levi: 2 weeks old


 

 

Levi has been great! I think according to Tracy Hogg's baby types (She categorizes them as Angel, Textbook, Touchy and Grumpy), Levi is definitely an Angel or Textbook baby. Rather chill.

 

In the first week, he was sleeping most of the time and like most babies, mixed up his days and nights. But it was simple, just feed and sleep, feed and sleep. The only thing that got him all red was trying to change his diaper and taking a bath. I attribute that to being a boy, boys like to be dirty and smelly. Right right? Oh….. that and trying to do a poo or when he had gas. This little one does explosive poos and farts. Loud. Again, like a boy.

 

In the second week, he's been a lot more awake in the day. Finally got to see his eyes more. Still very predictable and easy, what a relief! He's feeding pretty well three hourly now and wakes up right on the dot to be fed! Woo hoo! Nights are a bit less predictable but it's all part and parcel of being a newborn.

 

The midwife came by to weigh him today (They come around to our house weekly for a check up and weigh him, so nice :) :)). He is now 3.790kg.

Buy Nothing New

 

In the latest Frankie magazine, I spotted a really cool ad. In Aus this coming October, the Salvation Army thrift shops are promoting a month of "Buy Nothing New". They are encouraging people to think before they buy something new and be socially responsible for their consumption. If you need to buy, try buying second hand!

 

Being in NZ for almost 2 years, we've been exposed to the whole concept of buying second hand. We've got a second hand car, stroller, clothes etc etc. Budget wise it makes sense for us and it's quite fun looking for relatively new stuff at a fraction of its usual price! I love it!

 

It's not been easy having our second baby away from home. One of the things we miss is being able to reuse all of Sophie's things, doesn't matter if it's in bright pink! We couldn't bring everything over esp the big ticket items like her cot, mattress, changing table etc and have had to buy some additional stuff over here. Also we don't know enough people here to get hand me downs or loan stuff.

 

But we learnt to make do, buy second hand instead of brand new and figured out what was necessary and what wasn't. The thing about new parents is that they buy everything even before the baby is born! You'll find that there are lotsa things that you don't really need. Most can be borrowed or even purchased second hand. Back home, I found the Singapore Motherhood forum great for that. Over here in NZ, we use TradeMe to auction for second hand stuff.

 

For a newborn, here's what we find necessary:

 

1. Cot

 

The base being a family base provided us with a cot. However, I couldn't bring myself to make Levi use a second hand mattress without knowing how long it's been around etc. SO, we bought a new mattress, one of the few things we bought new.

 

2. Changing table

 

I was actually thinking of just changing baby on the bed but James was brilliant! He found this old table in the base store room and we got my in laws to buy the blow up changing mat from Ikea and put it on the table! Perfect! We used the same changing mat with Sophie but couldn't find it when we were going to leave the last time. Anyways it doesn't cost much and it's great! I absolutely recommend it!

 

If you use it in S'p, you don't even need a terry cloth cover (also from Ikea) and it's easy to wipe down. It's too cold to just put Levi directly on the changing mat.

 

3. Nappy Organiser

 

This is a hand me down from the Dierdens. It's great! I love it! Everything in one place.

 

4. Travel system

(See previous posts for a photo of our travel system)

 

Took me a long long time to work this out. Figured we needed a pram that could take a newborn, fix a buggy board in case Sophie refuses to walk, fit Sophie if she wanted to nap (I could always carry Levi in a sling), as well as fit as easily as possible an infant car seat.

 

We finally settled for a second hand very popular NZ made Mountain Buggy and got a Evenflo infant car seat (also second hand). It looks rather bulky but oh so nice to push around esp when we go for walks around here compared to our usual Combi stroller.

 

5. Clothes, blankets etc…
We came prepared with 3 (0-3 mths) Mothercare long sleeved bodysuits that my mum bought and 3 (3-6 mths) that the Sept mums gave. I figured it'll last us a week and it was enough for a start. As I suspected, people here also gave lotsa clothes and blankets as gifts. Sadly it's not like back home where we get ang pows (red packets/love gifts), boo hoo but it's alright. So now Levi has lotsa clothes, enough to last us till we leave I think. Cool!

 

6. Bouncer
When we had Sophie, I found this absolutely necessary but we haven't found a second hand one that is within our budget and aesthetic requirements. I'm not sure why it's so expensive here! A brand new one costs at least $50-70! If you are home alone with baby, this is great when you need to hop into the bathroom for a bit without having to put baby in the cot.

 

7. Sling
For the first few months, this was great when we brought Sophie out. Subsequently we used a baby carrier called Baby Bjorn, also a hand me down. I have yet to use this with Levi. Most of the time when he's out, he's been in the infant car seat attached to the buggy. I'm sure it'll come handy soon.

 

Other things like breast pump and sterilizer, I brought them over from Singapore. So far, it's not been necessary, prob come into use later. The breast pump was a hand me down the last time and we bought an Avent sterilizer. But if you are planning to have more kids, it's good to invest in your own. Actually all the above, it's all good to buy good ones that will last for a long time if you plan to have more kids.

 

Are there any other things I left out? Anything that you can't do without as a new mum? Any ideas of getting stuff without buying them new?

Being Mum


A picture of a breastfeeding mum at the entrance of Pohlen Maternity Hospital
 

 

As a new mum, I was bombarded with all sorts of theories and methods about looking after babies and bringing up children. See, I'm a reader and I generally quite like to follow rules and go by the book. It's just my character. So when Sophie came along, I steered away from demand feeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, child led parenting yada yada and went towards routine feeding, sleep training, baby sleeps in own room and parent led parenting yada yada yada.

 

However, I'm a softie at heart. I followed the rules in my head but my heart couldn't quite keep up! But James helped me to keep to it and we definitely reaped the benefits of sleep training early in Sophie's life and we still do not have much struggles putting her to bed. With regards to routine, it has really helped us when we travel a lot because as long as we stick to the routine, she manages really well.

 

But with Levi, I find myself in a different place. I think it's the environment that I'm in. First of all, having to wait out a week before Levi came, made me slow down a lot. Being the planner I am, I had already got everything ready before the due date and there was really nothing else to do! Just had to wait. Plain waiting is rather torturous. I found myself being drawn into meditation and prayer during that time. In that place, I felt God slowing me down and speaking to me. Something that I really struggled with when I had Sophie because I was trying to hard to get everything in a routine and watching the clock. This time, I felt so dependent on God because only He alone knows the timings of birth and death.

 

When Levi finally came, I felt ready and my body felt ready. I was actually relaxed enough to go through the stress of not sleeping and pain in my body. You know the feeling of being carried? That's how I felt. Like a supernatural grace.

 

I felt the grace to just be. I felt the grace to carry Levi to sleep so that I can sleep. I felt the grace to relaxe and allow him to be. I felt the grace to slow down and do what the Baby Whisperer (Tracy Hogg) says to listen to what he needs instead of assuming.

 

That doesn't mean that I'll never sleep train Levi or put him on a routine eventually but I have discovered a new way of parenting – it's what I call Holy Spirit led parenting. It doesn't swing either way and it's covered with lotsa prayer, love and grace. I think at some point I remembered Lewis telling me this when I had Sophie but I didn't understand it at that point, but now I do. It takes a surrender of my part, which is probably the hardest part of it all. Although I've been a mum for almost 4 years, I'm still struggling with this and pretty new. But it's exciting and it seems to be working because I'm a lot more relaxed and it helps Levi and Sophie to relax too.

 

P/s I've got two really close cousins and some friends/youth leaders who will prob be expecting their first babies in the near future. So I'm planning to document as much as I can on my journey with Levi to encourage them on the journey.

My Birth Story


 

 

Ok be prepared. This is probably my most open and longest post ever! Pls skip this if you’re not into babies, tough women and faint when you see blood. Here’s goes, this is our birth story: –

 

Top Left: Entrance to Maternity Ward

Top Right: My birthing room – check out the birthing pool. I leaned against the brown bed head most of the time during early labour. It really helped!

Bottom Left: Hallway to room

Bottom Right: I was the only maternity patient! Small hospital, only 5 maternity rooms.

 

When we signed up for Levi to be born at Pohlen Hospital (abt 7 mins drive from the base), we were aware that the facilities do not provide for pain relief beyond the pethidine. That means no epidural and also if anything goes wrong with the birth e.g. an emergency caesarean, we would have to be rushed in an ambulance to Waikato Hospital which is about 45 mins away. I actually know quite a few friends who ended up having emergency caesareans in Singapore even though they had normal pregnancies so anything could happen. However the midwives here are really professional, if they detected any possible complications, they would refer us directly to Waikato for the birth anyway.

 

When I was a week overdue last Wednesday (1st Sept), the midwife at Pohlen put me on the CTG to monitor my progress and baby’s heartbeat and sent the information to Waikato Hospital. This is standard procedure once a baby is a week overdue, they hand us over to the bigger hospital. Waikato was supposed to call within the next 4 days to see us, scan to see how baby was doing (Pohlen doesn’t do scans) and do more tests and make a decision when baby needs to be induced.

 

In NZ, they will leave baby up till 2 weeks overdue before induction unless they detect that baby is in distress. It’s very different in Singapore where babies seem to be induced all the time as long as they are a few days overdue. Like Sophie was induced just 3 days overdue.

 

I was very reluctant to be induced a second time without good reason because that’ll almost determine that I would have to use an epidural coz the contractions come so fast and furious. I really wanted to experience it slow and natural this time round. And I definitely didn’t want to be sent to Waikato. It would have meant different midwives, a big hospital with procedures I wasn’t familiar with, my family having to travel so far to see us each day etc.

 

So we got everyone praying.

 

When we saw the midwife last Wednesday, she offered me a membrane sweep which was the most natural way of induction. It’s quite a painless procedure and it can help to trigger labour within 48 hours. I was hoping it’d happen before Waikato called. Oh ya and after that, the midwife said go for a long walk.

 

So we went SHOPPING! Oh man! Within half an hour of walking, I felt like the baby was going to be pood out!!! At certain points I could hardly stand! I finally felt like a pregnant woman walking with a waddle coz prior to that I still felt pretty normal!

 

We got home and immediately that night at about 2am, the real contractions happened. Previous nights I had semblance of it but it always disappeared when I got up in the morning so I thought it was the same and tried to sleep it off. Btw, I FIND SLEEPING A GREAT WAY TO HANDLE EARLY LABOUR. It started at 10 mins apart and became nearer and nearer. Poor James had to be woken to time me coz I couldn’t concentrate.

 

At about 5am, it was about 5 mins apart and my mucus plug came out. I had Sophie pretty quick the last time (She was born 4 hours after I was induced) so the midwife said we should get ready to come into the hospital if we were 4-5 mins apart. We called the midwife and then we called my in laws. My mum in law stayed with Sophie (she was still sleeping) and my father in law took us to the hospital.

 

By 6am we were at the hospital.

 

It was a very peaceful start. I’m so thankful that it’s so peaceful at the birth center. No rush, no machines, no nothing. I was free to do whatever I wanted. I was in own clothes for a while and breathing through every contraction standing up. James almost fell asleep watching me.

 

When it got a bit more painful, I decided to get into the birth pool just for fun to experience what it’s like. It was nice……….. James poured water over my back when the contractions came. That felt really good.

 

When the contractions got closer, I came out and the midwife checked that I was 7cm dilated. Woo hoo! Almost there! I had an option whether or not to give birth in the pool. I decided not coz I had to stay in the water to give birth for baby’s safety and I wasn’t sure if I can stay in that position for long without wanting to stand up or get out. So I got out and got changed to a comfy oversized Uniqlo t-shirt I had prepared specially for the birth. Felt good to wear something I liked!

 

For the final run, the contractions started to go quite crazy. As it came faster and faster, it was harder and harder to concentrate and breathe properly! James kept asking me to try the gas and I did! It made me feel super oozyyyyy and everything became a blur. I felt like I was on drugs! I guess that’s what it was. I didn’t really like it coz it threw me off the breathing and I took a while to recover after contraction and before I knew it, the next one came. For control freaks, I think gas is not quite the way. ? But still when it got really bad, it helped. At first I knelt over the bed and then I got off and then got on again. Couldn’t figure out which was a better position.

 

Btw, the breathing is really impt! Thanks to June, I learnt a lot from the hypnobirthing book about breathing and I think it was what kept me going! Being able to relax seemed the best way to get the dilation going.

 

And then at about 10.40am, I started pushing with each contraction. Wow that was the hard part!!!!! Seriously. I’ve never done anything so physically challenging in my entire life before. It was like running 10 10km marathons all at the same time. Not like I’ve ever ran a marathon in my life but I imagine it to be so. At that point, I so regretted not exercising prior to that. It was SO tiring to be pushing for almost an hour. At some point I said many times I cannot do this anymore!!!!! And at some point I think I said “Oh God help!” but definitely not in the most sincere prayerful way. I’m so sorry Lord. Thank God for James and the midwife who kept telling me I’m doing good although I didn’t quite believe them and kept wanting to give up.

 

Finally, Levi’s head was out and then the complications happened. Most babies slide out right? This little one got stuck at the shoulders. (P/s I’m sorry if it gets abit graphic for you) The midwife had to jiggle him out! Actually more like yanked him out! Yeeks I could feel the whole process! But by then, seriously? It didn’t really hurt coz I knew he was out! Yeah!!! The hard part was over! Up to this point, it was tiring but I felt amazing.

 

Levi was born at 11.28am, Thursday 2nd Sept. Then we realized why it was so hard to push him out! He was huge! 3.545kg with big shoulders! How on earth did he fit in little me?!?

 

But then the horror started. I started to bleed profusely after the baby was out. And then my placenta had to be pushed out by the midwife, prob coz my body was exhausted from all the pushing. They had to inject me to get the placenta out and then more blood gushed out! Eeeks. My new t-shirt! I didn’t feel much pain so it was just all a blur for me. They rang the emergency bell and suddenly the head nurse, doctor and more nurses came rushing in. It was like an ER scene. The thought that I’m going to die did cross my mind! They stitched me up, put me on drip, probed my tummy more to make sure the placenta was all out etc. I was in such a blur and lost so much blood that I had no energy to carry Levi till much later. Apparently I lost more than 500 ml of blood. It was a case of postpartum hemorrhage.

 

When I felt better, I finally got to carry Levi. I was so happy! It was just the sweetest of moment. It was worth every single thing I went through. I can’t even begin to describe the joy. I’m not sure if I’ll be so gung ho and go without the epidural the next time but I’m really glad I got to experience a real drug free natural labour process. Levi definitely seems a lot more calmed and relaxed but of course it could just be his character. We’ll see.

 

Meanwhile, I feel like I conquered the world and got a prize.

 

P/s Thank you everyone for your prayers and love. :) God is good and He hears us when we pray.

Sweetness


 

 

Little Levi, welcome to this wonderful world of people who love you and have been waiting for you…

 

DOB: 2 Sept 2010
Time: 11.28am (NZ time)
Wt: 3.545kg (How on earth did he fit?!?)
Ht: 51cm

(This photo just taken an hour ago when he fell asleep)

 

More updates coming up soon I promise… meanwhile Mummy needs to sleep while you sleep….

Our baby boy Levi

Our baby boy Levi was born 11:28am NZ time. Healthy and calm. Mummy tore abit and lost quite a bit of blood fr the tummy. Thank you for your prayers everyone, do continue to pray for mummy’s speedy recovery. Photos soon!

Week 41!


 

 

Baby's still in the oven!

 

I'm almost a week overdue, really praying that the little one will be born today but the contractions stopped this morning. The midwife in town has said that if baby's still not here by tomorrow, we'll need to be referred to Waikato Hospital which is an hour away and they'll probably recommend for baby to be induced. I'm not keen to do that so pls keep us in prayer!

 

Meanwhile, I'm coping alright and we had a great weekend with a baby shower and a trip to the beach Tauranga on Sunday. See more weekend photos on Flickr.

Why are we waiting?


 

 

One day pass the due date and we're still waiting for the prince to arrive! I had some contractions early this morning but once I was wide awake, it was gone!

 

It's great that James' parents are here. They arrived on Tuesday and have been cooking everyday for us since. It also takes my mind off waiting coz they are happy to drive around to explore and take photos everyday (My FIL is an avid photographer.) Some days I get to rest at home and most of the time I still join them. With my mum in law helping with the cleaning up after meals, it has really freed me up to enjoy my time with Sophie. This time is so precious and I'm treasuring it although we all can't wait to see the little boy.

 

So do pray with us that the little one will make his appearance soon in the most natural of ways. Thanks!

Like Bees to Honey


 

 

I think I must be just ooozing Mummy…… we were having dinner at a friends' and this little boy just came up to me and plonked himself on my lap and sat there for the longest time!!!!!

 

He's SO CUTE!

 

At least he didn't puke or poo. Good boy this one!