Life with Nur Sarah (Month 1)

Did you missed it? 

All these while, I had been very good with my confinement. I ate and drank well, and didn't leave the house, even a the corridor except for one time when Mak let me walk around downstairs with Jhon and Sarah for her sun bathing session in the morning.

But for Sarah's first immunization, I followed to them Polyclinic. Wahh.. I felt so happy having to see the outside world. haha Just like during her blood tests, Sarah was a champion. She cried but only for a while and that was it. Her top of her head was hot but no fever. We just monitored until she was fine. Sarah was at a stage when she looks "funny". I don't know how to describe it but she does especially in the picture below.

I was hesitant to post this un-pretty photo of myself but this was me at that period of time. Lack of sleep, rest and struggling mentally and physically.
I can tell you this blog was never only about what is photogenic, perfectly posed with every strand of hair intact. I can give you real talk and you will be surprised what I want to share with you. Now, if only Sarah is not part koala.

Just about 1 month after delivery, I decided to end my confinement with Mak. I had more reasons than one but perhaps I will indulge on it another time. I was worried and fearful because as soon as I move back to my house, I am solo with Sarah. Jhon works office hours so it was not THAT bad but you know, first time mom jitters. We went back home over the weekend so Jhon was around for my first rodeo but after that, she was all mine and I was all hers.

I was anxious wondering how to eat, bathe or even rest but of course, as all story goes, everything went well in the end as I managed to get into routine.

Trick to anime eyes are windows with natural light.
Sarah looks so much like her dad to a point she looks like a boy, right?

Who are you to call me a boy??
hahaha Her "boy" coordinated clothes does not help either.

A new born face is ever changing.

Jhon, Sarah and I did gave Mak a visit the following weekend because I knew she would miss Sarah. It turned out that Nadya missed Sarah too as she constantly asked for her and peered into the room we used sleep in.

Being home means Abg Jamil got Sarah all to himself. He would play and even help watch her if he comes home early from work or on an off day.

There she goes with her funny-weird-face again.
At this point, Sarah would have her bedtime routine which weirdly SHE asked for. After her wipe down, she wants to be in our room with night light on and lying on the bed. Bonus points of all of us are lying down with her. When we don't do this, she gets really fussy.

For my check-up, Mak offered to take care of Sarah. She was on mixed breast milk (direct latch) and formula milk so naturally, she was fed FM when I was away. Initially, I said it's okay because I figured we need to practice going out with a baby but since Mak insisted, okay lor...

It turned out to be something I needed. A break or what I like to call now, turning off Mommy Mode. It was refreshing and relaxing. Of course, we missed her and wondered what she was doing but it was also nice to not be "ON" for that few hours. By the time I reached home, I couldn't wait to hug, kiss and most importantly, DL her. haha

Since we are on our own now, Mak is the one who would visit us. She would even bring her home cooked food for us so that was heavily appreciated. Nadya looked so big now that a baby is within the family. hehe

Sarah's bones are strong and shown signs of wanting to walk very early. Here's a video of her at 1 months 3 weeks. Don't worry, I was fully supporting her and I didn't let her put entire body weight on her legs.

We then went out a little further as a family to have breakfast. Yea, we were pretty cautious in terms of going out. One, we don't have a car so we can't zoom here and there. Two, we were still 'jinak-jinak tahi lalat' and Three, don't want Sarah to be over stimulated.

I remembered complaining that I always take nice pictures of Jhon and Sarah with her looking towards the camera. But when it comes to my turn, poor lighting, poor angle and Sarah hardly every looks in front.

It was only after a while I realized she would look towards the camera only because MOMMY was holding it so I didn't feel that bad afterwards. haha

Tummy Time!
Actually, Sarah was not a fan of tummy time. Her neck and back was strong but she just dislikes being fully flat on her belly. To make up for it, we would let her lay on our chest on an incline or with a pillow under her armpits.

When it is just you and a clingy baby, this is what you have to resort to. Thank God for the Combi Mak bought for us. I could just roll her anywhere I want.

This month was definitely easier as Sarah progresses to infant from new born. She has her ups and downs but that is how babies are. It was still surreal that I have a baby of my own.


Life with Nur Sarah (0-1 Month)

Just in case you missed it, read about my delivery here.

Hey, hey! Time for a new #BabyTalk series where I share my first time mom experiences and development of my girl, Nur Sarah. Actually, hor, this is way back dated since Sarah is already 5 months old. haha So let's hope my memory is still fresh.

Week 1

My first four days spent with Sarah was at the hospital. It was rather overwhelming because the pain after a cesarean was REAL! I will blog separately about my cesarean recovery on another post or this post will be too long winded. Sarah spent most of her time with us in our private room. Ever since Sarah was wheeled into the room, Jhon's daddy mode was on immediately.  He was the one changing her diapers and holding her as I deal with my pains. To be honest, on top of the sleep deprivation, we were overwhelmed as first time parents. I had years of experiences handling babies, toddlers and children but not newborn so the struggle was real.

Sarah was generally a good newborn but when she cries at night was when it took a toll on us. We were drained to the max. We ended up sending her to the nursery so we can have a few hours of decent shut eye; whatever you call a decent sleep in a hospital is. Having problems with milk supply didn't help either.

Mak will be handling my confinement from food to post natal massages so Jhon, Sarah and I stayed over for the entire duration which according to Malay's wives' tales, it should be 44 days. Mak said minimum 2 weeks as long as I feel well and confident to stay by myself. I had my post natal massage on day 6, mostly on upper abdomen and sides. It felt so good and so relaxing. Initially, Mak and I struggled in a comfortable routine because Mak still had to take care of her other 4 grandchildren.

We spent most of our time just staring at our little creation trying to figure out which part of her has our genes. It clear, though, she has more of daddy's features.

Sarah, just like most babies, had jaundice too. I wanted to rest as much as possible so I was more than happy when Mak agreed to accompany Jhon and Sarah to the Polyclinic. It was also a nice break away from baby as I truly rested at home. Since I was struggling with milk supply and juggling with pain, I had to put Sarah on mix feed. Sarah would be on full formula when she was out which was not very long anyways. It turned out that this girl was solid, barely crying when her blood was taken and even if she does, she got over it very fast.

Week 2

I could tell Jhon was struggling taking care of Sarah in terms of trying to figure out why she would randomly cry. Just like me, he would get frustrated because when Sarah slept with Mak, she would slept in stretches of 4 to even 6 hours but in our care/ bed, we would be lucky if she lasted 2 hours. Why ah? Eventually, we realized that she can sense our over tiredness and tension so when we chilled down, she was less fussy.

After a good 2 full weeks of post-natal massages from Mak, I legit felt better; barely any pain. By then, I was also totally off painkillers. Unfortunately, Sarah would still wake up often when she was sleeping next to us. She would also suddenly cry bloody murder which would wake me up in a shock. It was because of this, I tend to get up too quickly and hurt my wound which in turn, sent me back to square one.

She sleeps like me and yes, Jhon has pictures of it but of course, I would prefer to keep it as a private memory only because I do not look cute as Sarah.

But good news was that I lost all my pregnancy weight, thanks to the confinement food and massages. My mom was not super strict with confinement food and the fact I enjoy eating basic meals like fried fish and soups, my confinement was tolerable.

Sarah still had jaundice but at least it was declining. We had planned for Jhon to use 1.5 of his paternal leave and it's taking up the rest of his leave. Since her jaundice was going down anyways, we decided to have her check 1 week later instead of every 3 days.

Week 3

After 5 appointments, Sarah had finally hit below 100 for her jaundice so hooray! I could tell from Mak and Jhon's faces that they were so over visiting the clinic. haha Days are up and down as per normal with Sarah. We are first time parents after all. I may have experiences with children but definitely not with newborn. When it comes to newborns, I've always been a spectator. Well, not anymore.

Sarah still looked small here but her weight was going up. According to the baby chart, her height is in the 75%. haha You would think it's because we are tall parents but here's a little fact, Jhon and I were very short when we were young (always the first ones when have to line up in ascending height order) and then we had a growth spurt in during early teens. If Sarah had a head start, how tall is she going to be, man? haha


By this week, I was moving around more than usual and although Mak said I can reduce my confinement days if I wanted too but I could tell she wanted us to stay as long as possible. It was understandably bitter sweet because Sarah would be her first grandchild that she would not help take care long term as I am a SAHM unlike Kakak and Kak Yana.

Week 4

Most of the time, Mak was the one who help bathe Sarah but it's about time Jhon get this in his check list. It took a while (trying to make sure Sarah was held properly) but of course eventually, he mastered it. By this time, I was actually about done staying at Mak's house. Ever since I lived at Abg Jamil's, I no longer call Mak's place as home. I missed our own bed, our own space and our own atmosphere. At the same time, I was having the FTM jitters having to take care of Sarah all by myself especially I still had my C-section sores.

Obligatory bacin photo with Sarah. I was wearing Mak's home dress during my confinement. It was the best thing ever compared to pants.

Well, at the last weekend of the month, we decided to trial and error by going back to our place for the weekend. Mostly to intro her to the place since some babies are sensitive to 'new' places and see how we can cope independently. Firstly, it was breath of fresh air physically and mentally because Mak house is always rowdy and full of people (3 adults, 4 children and that's not including us). Secondly, it was freeing since I was mostly confined in that house.

Well, the weekend went well and was tolerable which was a good thing. Sarah did cried a bit more than usual but she got used to place eventually.

After that, we went back to Mak's place to continue my confinement but Jhon and I were already discussing about ending it early, more on this eventually.

At this point, everything was still so surreal and moving fast and slow at the same time. Of course, hindsight as I type this months later, I knew we could've handled even better but that's how life always works right?