A guardian angel to watch over him...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

BabyMoo is a pretty easy baby to care for, save for the initial first couple of months, which as most parents will attest, can be a trying time especially for first timers. Even back then, he drank, slept, poo and pee like clockwork, and we've never had trouble feeding or caring for him. Lack of sleep aside, he was a dream baby - no reflux, no illnesses.

Voracious appetite (up till now!) so much so that I had to supplement BM with formula. He was started on 60ml, and by the 2nd week, he was drinking 80ml every two hours, 120ml every 4 hours by the time he's one month old, and still yelled for more. We had to control his intake - which resulted in screams for a good 10 minutes after he finishes his bottle. He wasn't of epic proportions when he came out (3.41 kg, 50cm) but on the 2nd month, he weighed in at 6.5kg and measured 57cm.

One month old

Two months old

The moment he hit the 2nd month, he slept throughout the night, while I worried myself silly, hovering over his crib the entire night for that whole week cos his 2 hourly in built alarm clock wasn't working!

He grew... and grew. A happy, chubby, healthy baby. Never a fever, cough, or a sniffle.

MummyMoo went back to work (sniff) when he turned 100 days, and the arrangement was such that he was to be sent to my in-laws place to be cared for during the day.

Now I start work at 10.30am, and finish at 8.00pm daily... and the challenge was such that my in-laws' place is in the East, while we stay in the West. A good 20 min drive (post peak hours), but since we don't have a car, we became Comfort Cab regulars.

Apart from the fact that the cab fares were (and worse now, after the fare hike!) burning a hole in our pockets, BabyMoo couldn't get used to the travelling to and fro.

He fell sick.

Poor babe was so unlike his usual self, but there was nary a whimper from him. He was just quiet... and it broke my heart to see him try to breathe through his blocked nose, and sneezing his little nose off. After he recovered, we decided to only pick him up on alternate days. The first 2 weeks was the hardest. DaddyMoo and I suddenly found ourselves in an all too empty and quiet existence, and I felt a tightening in my heart that refuses to go away.

But we managed, somehow, and against everything... we made do.

Until the time he fell sick again. I think the fact that my nephew, who stays with my in-laws as well, is of school going age, and was also falling sick every other week also had something to do with it. This time it was worse... he was coughing, sneezing and upset.

BabyMoo is ill!

So I decided for the sake of my sanity, and so that I can catch some shut eye during the night, to let him sleep with us. DaddyMoo suggested it first... seeing that Baby was having difficulty breathing at times.

That night, I was jolted awake by the feel of BabyMoo being carried off the bed. I saw the husband carrying him up and turning him over, and (crazy as it seems) I was reminded of a Baby Merlion the way he was heaving. He threw up all over the place... till there was nothing left but bile.

I was terrified beyond words... but what I will take away until the day I die, will be BabyMoo's face after the deed was done. He clung on to me (first time he ever hugged me in a huggy sort of way!) and he had this shocked expression on his face, as though he had done something wrong. At 5 months and 2 weeks, he has never experienced the regurgitating of food / milk, and perhaps he was unfamiliar with the helplessness and discomfort associated with it.

He was sobbing on my shoulder... and as I washed him down, calming him and telling him that everything was fine and it was not his fault that it happened, the husband told me (in a mixture of awe and disbelief) that he was woken up by Baby's persistent thumps on his chest. Not flailing thumping hands, but urgent, methodical pumps by a tiny left hand fist.

BabyMoo was gagging on his own vomit, and no matter what or who helped him wake his Daddy up at that moment, I thank our lucky stars and the powers that be.

1520mm x 1900mm

That's the size of my Queen-sized Sealy.

I was glad my Mum insisted that we spend that little bit extra on a Sealy posturepedic mattress, for ever since I had the mattress changed, I woke up fresh, with a painless back, neck and generally recharged. (Unless I was out drinking the night before, the after effects would not be erased by any type of sleeping mode!)

Prior to knowing DaddyMoo, getting hitched and becoming a family, I thought having a sunken bed with a platform around it is the best solution to my laziness. It eliminates the need for a bedside table, and it gives me space to place my laptop on flat ground, space for current books being read, steaming mugs of tea, and containers filled with titbits, chips and gummies.

When we got married, the extra 50cm of platform round the bed was shared by two. I bemoaned was more than happy to give up half of the space for his Macbook, gadgets, mugs and containers of bak kwa.

We watched the entire 6 seasons of NCIS in 5 nights on the laptop perched on that platform, sprawled on our stomachs, huddled together, until my back almost gave out. It was also an additional resting place for our legs (DaddyMoo and I aren't very short people, so an additional bed space is always welcome!). I daresay that it also saved me from falling on the granite floor, on numerous occasions when used as I was to having the entire bed all to myself, whilst I was doing my 'sleep cartwheels' round the bed, I had to manoeuvre my sleeping self to an unoccupied space.

It's also proven to come in extremely handy, now that our little 'King' is intent on taking over our Queen.

With the amount of cartwheeling, fist slamming and kungfu kicks at ungodly hours... we contemplated getting a larger mattress - only that the platform (which has served me well!) is boxed and made to fit only a Queen sized one. Dismantling the platform will involve an entire overhaul of half the room.

The next logical thing to do, is to move BabyMoo to his own cot, just next to our bed...
But that's another story altogether.

Times... they are a-changing.

Friday, 24 February 2012

I've always had crazy friends.

Crazy as in fun loving, trash-talking, weird, nonsensical, mad friends. People who accept me as I am, good days, bad days, alcohol induced days, laugh at my tears - while I laugh at theirs.

Friends with whom all manner of conversations can be had, friends who give one another space for other things that matter at that moment in life, and friends who can be counted on to still be there when everything seems all dark and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Friends to hug and be genuinely happy when unions are made, and children are had.
People who grew with me, without any regard of lost years, fights, tears, or disagreements.

Males and females creating a ruckus in a group whenever we go out, so much so that our choice of venues are limited to al fresco cafes (for obvious reasons), laid back restaurants (not that we ate much!), clubs and the occasional out of the way beach bars.

So... this morning, just as I was getting ready to go to work, I made plans to meet up with two girls whom I've not seen in almost 10 years. Never mind that we are all Mummies now, and the last time we hung out was when we used to adorn the bar tops at the now defunct China Jump.

Image courtesy of: http://www.poole-associates.com/chinajump.htm

AC has 2 kids now, a 4 year old daughter and a 2 month old son, whereas JT has a 3 year old son who gives her reason to wish she is at home instead of on flights.

We agreed to meet at 10.30am on a random day next week.

Yes - morning date with the girls... in shorts and flip flops, as opposed to 10.30pm - dressed up and in 6 inch heels!

How times have changed.
But its all good.

"What a child doesn’t receive, he can seldom later give"

Thursday, 23 February 2012

My beloved son was born on 6th of January 2011.

This is how it usually goes: When people see two individuals get together and enjoy being together, they ask when is the big day. You get married, and people ask when you're going to complete the family. You get one, they ask when you would have another.

I take BabyMoo as a gift, given that we weren't planning for a baby and we were not in a rush to have one. When he unexpectedly popped by, it was a period of transition, of discovery, and of joy.

I've never been the most maternal of women, and somehow, unlike most other women, I've never hankered for marriage, complete with an X number of kids to complete the house and home. I've always been content to live each day as it comes, and enjoy every second of what life has to offer.

It all changed when BabyMoo came into our lives.

8 days old

I worried about being a good mother. I wondered about parenting methods. I thought long and hard about how best to complete the experience. Most of all, I wanted the best for him. My life, slowly but surely, changed. It wasn't so much of changing to accomodate baby, changes just happen as we work our way around the new addition.

Sure... I had my meltdown moments, when his incessant wailing drove me to the edge - not knowing what to do, how to handle it, and how to make him stop. I had my proud Mummy moments, when I discovered that he's able to do something new each passing day. I had weird arguments with the husband, holding onto a crying baby refusing to calm down. But I've never felt more blessed... for in this crazy world, for all the wrongs I've done, I must have done something right to deserve my son.

5 months old

After some time, I stopped worrying about milestones, and of trying to do everything right. I discovered that I have so much to give... and my baby learns from me. When I stopped worrying about developmental milestones and accepted that he will do everything in his own time, I could concentrate on being a better parent.

We sing together... off-key, but always rewarded with a loud, guttural laugh
from a bemused baby.
We dance together... at shopping malls, stores, and restaurants with music,
creating amused smiles from everyone around us.
We talk to each other... me in my grown up way, and BabyMoo in his Unhs... and Arrrghs.
We sleep wrapped in each other's arms, they way he (and I) like it.

He reaches out to me when he needs comfort, needs food, needs milk, or is sleepy. He looks for Daddy when he wants to play big boy games. He turns to Grandma(s) when Daddy scolds him for being naughty... and always looks forward to playing with other kids. He's a sociable boy, but an extremely sensitive, mellow soul.

Undoubtedly, there will be problems he would face in life, and I hope that if and when that time comes, I will be able to still give him the measure of comfort and solace that he turns to me for now.

Every day since hecame into our lives, I am constantly amazed at the little person who has filled our lives with so much fun, and taken us on a roller coaster journey that only parents will understand.

One year old!

I won't aspire to be the best parent there is, and I don't need to have a son who goes ahead of his peers in everything that he does. I don't care for a child who is a super achiever, yet is insensitive to the situations and people around him. I wouldn't push him to like things which he doesn't take a fancy to, just because it's 'important' to have a well-rounded lifestyle.

But I will teach him LOVE.
Of which there are all kinds, and is the most complex of human emotions.

I pray that his life will be filled with joy, love and meaning... and through his trial and tribulations, he will always remember to give others what we try so hard to give him.

I feel gratitude for these 13 months since our little family became 3, and I await with joyful anticipation for more happiness to come.

To our little boy, thank you for making our lives complete.

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