Wednesday 26 August 2015

Choosing an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist for baby #2

Baby #2 is nearly 17 weeks now and we are still on the hunt for an Obs Gynae that I am comfortable with. Hubby is quite sick of hearing me complain about docs in general. Anyway, I thought I better pen down some thoughts about what I want so that when I come across "the" doctor, I would know. He keeps asking me what I want, but I can't seem to explain to him! Come on, I have only been pregnant once, it's not like I have had many opportunities to experience a good doctor.  So here I am putting my thinking cap on. It is such a shame that Malaysia doesn't offer the option of midwives.
  • Someone who is down to earth, frank and will spend time to talk to me and not make me feel stupid when I ask stupid questions. (Which I probably will...over the course of the next 6 months)
  • Respect my wishes/hear me out. 
  • Provide sound medical advice and explain things clearly and completely to me, provide options and share opinions with me. 
  • Supportive of vaginal birth and pro-natural rather than inducement/cesarean  
  • Helpful, informative and pro-active nurses 
  • Convenient location and (hopefully) reasonable waiting time. A good doctor will definitely have a good number of patients so that is why I say reasonable...2 hours? 
  • A hospital with good reputation
  • REASONABLE COST. I put this in bold because some places can cost bomb just for consultation and scanning. No more than RM 150 and if they can keep it to RM 100 would be ideal per visit. This also applies when I deliver baby #2 all in RM 3k - 5k. (excluding circumcision) I am just looking at what we paid when we delivered Chapati which was approximately RM 7,800 including circumcision and 3 nights stay.
I can't decide if I want a male or female doctor, but because my first doctor was male, maybe the experience will be different with a female doctor. 

I asked quite a few friends and even facebook groups for recommendation but somehow they don't seem to be quite right. However recently I chanced upon a posting in the The Gentle Birthing Group Malaysia that someone shared about her birth experience. I can't remember much of it but I certainly remembered the way that I felt when I read the posting! I screamed inwardly, "I want that for myself!" You can read the posting here Birth Story. I was hoping to find the doctor and hospital in Kuala Lumpur but it was all the way in Kuching, Sarawak! What a bummer!

The next day I chanced upon another posting Looking for a doctor from another Mummy who is 33 weeks pregnant. She shared her birth plan with her current doctor and the she response received, made her uncomfortable and distrustful of that doctor. Many mummies commented on her post offering recommendations and experiences and this one caught my eye.

I quickly asked her if I could pm her and if she could share some information with me. She was so helpful and even shared her birth plan with me. (The beauty of Facebook and being mothers)

So now I have made two appointments, one to see Dr Tan Ee Ping  at Pantai Hospital Cheras and Dr Tan Peng Chiong at UMSC.

Praying that I will find a doctor that I can settle down with soon! 

Tuesday 25 August 2015

My Beloved Malaysia

This year has been a very eventful year for Malaysia, our beloved country. I woke up early this morning and just couldn't go back to sleep so I decided to spend sometime in prayer and reading the Bible and the  NECF 40 day Fast & Prayer 2015 booklet for our nation.

Malaysia has been making headlines all over the world with the exposure on the massive corruption, (RM 42 B! by Sarawak Report) political upheaval, economic crisis, the Ringgit's free fall ( 1 USD = RM4.19 as of today), idiotic NGOs and other groups who insist on making the problems in our country racial and religious rather than face the fact that it is corruption and cronyism. Growing racial and religious extremism, the various flip flop explanations by those in the government leadership positions liken their speeches to a work of fiction, investigations and probes (including special task force) into the alleged corruption disbanded and sabotaged, leaders with no integrity or support from the rakyat given high positions and even money in the Prime Minister's Department whilst others are removed or sacked, police who goes after the whistle blowers instead of investigating the actual people involved in the corruption, police who pours resources into investigating a lie (like in this article Bersih paying rally goers), police who declare Bersih 4.0 an illegal gathering but does nothing about this Anti Bersih gathering, a country's leader who seems to be interested only in money and power, the Malaysian royal families (with the exception of Johor) indifferent to all this. An education system that  is failing our next generation and the only option is to send them to a private/international school to ensure that they don't turn out like zombies. All this is enough to make you want to leave the country if you have the option.

At the end of the day, it is really the ordinary man and woman on the street that bears the brunt of all this. Tax payers who faithfully go to work everyday to make a living for themselves and their family. It is easy for us to just go about our daily lives being indifferent to all that is happening around us thinking that it will not affect us but it actually does. I thought, prayed and cried a little for how Malaysia is today. I think of Chapati and baby #2 what will their future be?

I asked what one could do in times like this, what difference could we make? Our family? I realised that it would be difficult to do the big things but we can stop being indifferent and find ways and means to make a difference to those around us, whether at work, our community, friends and our family.

Sharing something that I received this morning though I don't know who wrote it but it is encouragement that I personally needed.

Today, Malaysia woke up and many hearts were broken

We mourn our nation not because we lost, but because we were cheated

We lost not to a better party, but we lost to injustice
We lost not a better system, but we lost the lack of integrity
We lost not to a better count, but we lost to the failure in upholding civil rights
We lost not to a better leader, but we lost to corruption
We lost not to a better policy but we lost to deceit

But we will and must not lose heart

We may feel sad, but we must not give way to despair
We may feel angry, but we must not lose our righteous ways
We may feel cheated, but we must fight on
We may feel like leaving, but we must stay together 
We may feel like giving up, but we must now let the dream carry us
We may feel like nothing will change, but must now become that change

We will rally & pray
We will walk on & dream
We will not give up
We will become a Better Malaysia.

Monday 24 August 2015

Assessment @ Articulice Speech Centre

We arrived at our appointment with Leong Yean Ching at Articulice Speech Centre 5 minutes before 10 am and Yean Ching was already there preparing for Chapati's assessment. Whilst waiting Chapati decided to explore the box of toys in the waiting area. He pulled out the stacking rings and started to play with them. A happy little fella as usual!

Yean Ching then came out to greet us, she is a pretty loud, highly excited, energetic and very engaging person. :) She started talking to him and played with him taking out all the stacking rings and encouraging him put them back. She gave him a choice of rings to choose from and he would pick one and put it back. Whilst playing with him, she also asked us some questions like, how is he when he cries? Is he loud or soft? Does he cry gusty loud cries or just whimpers? We told her that he seldom cries except when he wants something and he can get really loud. She then said that children do need to be a little loud and that is good. She then instructed him to put the last ring on to the stack and proceeded to get us to walk to the assessment room and invited him to come along.

She started by playing with him a Fisher Price ball dispenser toy. Very cute with music and it also dispenses little plastic balls with little toy animals inside. She thought him cause and effect. Ie. she would put a little ball at the top, press the blue lever at the side and the toy would then dispense a ball. It will roll out unto the carpet.Took about 2-3 tries and Chapati started pressing the blue lever for a ball.This is really a cute little toy.

Whilst she was playing and talking to him, we also noticed that she would grab him, hug him and rub his arms and legs vigorously. She did it a few times and he didn't seem to disturbed by it. Will have to find out from her why she did that.

After that she wanted to observe the way he eats and drink. I brought for him two different kinds of snacks. One was the remnants of digestive biscuits still in the packet and his Happy Puffs, I also brought his little sippy cup and a bottle of grape vitagen. He happily ate his puffs and shared some with Yean Ching. (One thing I am thankful for is the fact that he doesn't mind sharing.) Then came to drinking. He obviously choose the vitagen and started to drink it. But then he would pull out the straw with his mouth and spill liquid all over the floor. Yean Ching then advised us to try and hold the straw for him and only let him sip a certain length of straw. It was then he started to get a little annoyed and frustrated and started crying because we held the straw for him. He of course threw a loud mini tantrum and after drinking a little but more, he started to pull out the straw again and spilled more liquid around him. It was then I said enough don't drink anymore and Yean Ching promptly took the vitagen out of the room saying that "Mama said no more drink." He stopped his tantrum then. (I think it was maybe out of a little shock because the drink disappeared so swiftly. Ha ha ha)

The next thing she did was to try and try and play little music instruments that needed him to blow into. Ie. a toy recorder, whistle and a little harmonica. They kind of looked like the pictures I found on the net.

The plastic toy recorder.

The toy harmonica was the smallest that I have seen. Tiny little toy and it looked like this yellow one. It was just small enough for his little mouth

She showed him how to play it by first blowing the recorder. He smiled and seemed to be interested in it and asked for it. So she asked him to put in his mouth and blow but instead he happily went around the room asking Papa to blow first, then Mama and then back to Yean Ching again. When she told him it was his turn to blow he refused to do it but continued to pass it around. When she tried to put the recorder to his lips, he started to get really uncomfortable and started to struggle and protest. She showed him again how she put the recorder to her lips and counted to 5. Then tried again on him with the same result. More struggling and protests...he just would not allow the recorder near his mouth. She then used the ball dispenser toy earlier on to bribe him. If he would allow her to put the recorder to his lips, he could press the blue lever for a ball and music would play too. He then let her do it twice or three times but still refuse to put it to his mouth and blow it on his own.

The next thing she tried was bubbles! (He loves bubbles!) She tried entice him to blow some. But once again more struggles and protests. Then she blew bubbles and asked him to pop the bubble with his lips. He seemed to be a little more open with that but he was still a very reluctant little boy.

After that she tried to entice him by stuffing some of his puffs into a chew tube. It looks like this.

She played with the red one showing him how to put it in his mouth and chew. The stuffed yellow one she offered to him. He looked at it and tried to use it as a hammer but of course he would not put it in his mouth or chew it. We tried a few more times but he still wouldn't willingly put it in his mouth or allow anyone to put it in his mouth.

Finally, she told us that she would be putting her fingers into his mouth to feel his teeth and gums and also to do a little mouth massage. She showed him the rubber glove that she was going to use but he didn't seem to pleased with it. So she decided to use her hands instead. She sat him down on her lap and started to stroke his cheeks down to his lips firmly a few times and then promptly stuck her index finger inside his mouth feeling his teeth, gums and massing his cheeks and lips from the inside. He was too busy playing with the ball dispenser toy and allowed her to continue. She then helped him to form his lips into different shapes...and made the noises that accompanied the shapes so that he could hear and try to imitate.

After that she spent some time talking to both Hubby and I about her findings. Whilst we were talking, he started to make different sounds and was happily playing on his own!

  • First and foremost he doesn't seems to have medical issues, autistic or hearing. Very good eye contact and has good physical coordination. In fact, she said that he was a very smart little boy and seems to know that he is not good/comfortable/as developed with his mouth. Therefore when playing with the recorder he would offer and ask everyone else to blow it but would not do it himself. (Really thank God!)
  • His understanding of language and instructions is good.
  • He also learns things very very fast. She observed that she only had to do it 2 or 3 times and he would be able to do it himself. He is able to imitate well.
  • Whilst he is a very curious boy, he does not really want to explore, touch or try something new IMMEDIATELY. Instead he would watch first before doing anything. He is very careful and maybe a little defensive of himself. (Got good and bad I think...)
  • Also he doesn't explore different noises with his lips and mouth like vowels. He has made certain noises before we told her, but she thinks that it is not intentional. More like trying and experimenting and then the sound came out. But he may not be able to make the sound on demand because he wasn't sure how he made it the first place.
  • She also asked about his food and we told her that most of the time he eats porridge for his main meals so she recommended that at 18 months he can eat any normal adult food. So more rice and chunky bits rather than porridge. This is to encourage chewing.
  • We can do the mouth and lips massage 3 times a day to encourage him to be more aware of his lips and mouth and the different sounds that he can make.
  • When playing with him, show him how to make certain sounds and help him by shaping his lips or letting him touch our lips/mouth/throat to see how we make those sounds.
  • We also have to WAIT and try and illicit some sort of response from him instead of just anticipating what he wants. This is important then he understands that we need a response from him.
  • Finally buy some blowing toys ie. whistles, recorders, harmonica, bubbles to play with him and get him used to the idea of using his mouth/lips.
I left the session pretty relieved that there was nothing serious and happy that I am now able to help him to develop better. After all she said that he was still very young, and many people have told me that some children don't even speak until they were like 3 or 4 years old. I was given some notes as reminders and an assurance that I could call and check with Yean Ching if I needed help to confirm that I was doing the right thing to help him.

We spent about one and the half hours there and it was well worth it. The price tag of RM 150 was also worth it. More information can be found on their FB page and for easy reference here is their link
Articulice Speech Centre

Anyway whilst we were driving off from the place Hubby and I started discussing that maybe as parents/grandparents, we make too much of a big deal when he tries to put things in his mouth when he was a baby and even now as a toddler. He picks something up and puts it in his mouth...we go "EEeee...don't put it in your mouth!!" really loudly with lots of expressions and make a big fuss about him putting things in his mouth so much so that he has become a little conditioned about not putting things in his mouth. Maybe we could watch him slowly and calmly tell him that certain things should not go into his mouth. Or maybe just take it out of his mouth and don't make a fuss...dunno la we are first time parents and of course his grandparents would be concerned especially about choking.

So time to try out some of those suggestions and hopefully he will start talking soon!

More Nutrition...I Was Hoping

Over the last one week, I am able to eat a little better though I developed a cough and a sore throat which exacerbated my vomiting.Coughing really makes you gag and brings up the bile faster!

I bought two cans of Herbalife Formula 1 (Tropical Fruit and French Vanilla flavour) and 1 bottle of Herbal Aloe from Yann to try and make my own shakes at home in the evenings. It was really pricey at RM 184 per can of Formula 1 and RM 186 for the bottle of Herbal Aloe. Anyway, Yann herself is currently pregnant and she takes 5 shakes a day and the aloe juice with a lot of water. (1 or 2 litres a day I think)

So on Wednesday morning I tried making my first shake and decided to make one for Hubby too. I used the following ingredients.
  • I put two glasses in the freezer before starting to make my shakes
  • Pure Harvest unsweetened original flavoured rice milk - 240 ml
  • Chia Seed gel - 2 tbsp (I made my own by putting 2 tbsp of chia seeds in a cup of water and left it overnight in the fridge)
  • Herbalife Formula 1 Powder (Tropical Fruit flavour) - 4 tbsp
  • Country Farm Organics Extra virgin coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Quaker instant oatmeal - 4 tbsp
  • Pear - 4 small pieces (peeled)
  • Ice cold water topped up to 1 litre in the blender

My ingredients which yielded my first two cups of shake! 

The final result was not too bad but both of us agreed that the taste of tropical fruit flavour was too strong and overwhelming. So next round I will mix one scoop of tropical fruit and one scoop of vanilla. That should help taper down the taste a little more.

I felt pretty ok after taking the shake though I didn't feel anything significant. Too early to tell. All I was worried about was that I would vomit and all that good stuff will go to waste. Over the next few days, I tried with a variety of fruits like papaya, rock melon and strawberries. 

Today I tried substituting fruits with carrots and beetroot and soy milk instead of rice milk. Hubby and I liked the taste so much better than the few previous days. The soy milk helped to mask the strong banana flavour and the carrot and beetroot made it more pleasant. I think I will experiment more with veges instead of fruits. I am still not ready to eat fruits yet obviously. It looked more bloody than when I added strawberries but the best tasting shake yet! I had it again in the evening using my mini blender in the office hopefully it will stave off the evening "yuckies". 

Last Saturday and Sunday were bad days for me as I vomited a few times a day compared to not vomiting over the week. The yucky quesy feeling started off on Friday evening when Hubby picked me up from work. It lasted through the night and I almost vomited but managed to fall asleep instead. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I tried drinking 500 ml of water with one small capful of herbal aloe mixed in. After swallowing the last mouthful of water, I suddenly felt bile rising and I started to gag but I managed to hold it off. We then decided to go for breakfast in Pandan and when we reached there, the smell of the nearby garbage tong was enough to set me off. I lost all the water I had drunk earlier. It never bodes well for me when I start feeling yucky and "vomity" in the morning, the rest of the day kind of goes down hill. I made one more shake to drink in the afternoon at about 2 pm before going out for viewings and felt really horrible throughout the afternoon and evening. I was trying very hard to keep my shake in. (So sayang!) After that we had dinner which I promptly vomited everything up. Plus I kept on vomiting two more times before exhaustion took over and I feel asleep.

Woke up on Sunday morning and didn't feel much better so didn't do anything and didn't go anywhere. Continued to drink my morning shake and didn't feel any better. Vomited again in the late afternoon and evening. After which I promptly told Hubby that we should go out for a short drive and on the way we stopped at Mc Donalds. I asked him to buy for me a Fillet o fish burger and a cup of frozen coke. Surprisingly I didn't feel as bad after that! 

Moral of the story is just eat whatever you can and don't feel too bad about it!

Waking up last weekend is like Aunty Acid here.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Confinement Centre Viewings Final - Serenity Confinement Centre

Ah finally, my last post on the viewing of the confinement centres. Hubby and I decided that we have seen enough to make a decision. So we made our way to Bandar Baru Sri Petaling to visit Serenity Confinement Centre which is our last stop.

I had browsed their website before going and the information was pretty comprehensive and since they had photos and a video tour online I didn't take any pictures...again.

This is the only centre that was located in a shop lot commercial area. Hubby was doubtful if I would like to stay in a shop lot for one month but we went anyway because for us, the location was much nearer to our home than the other centres that we visited. More convenient for Hubby...

When we arrived there, the first thing we encountered was the difficulty in getting a car park. What would you expect from a thriving commercial area? After spending some time looking we manage to park along the side of the road which is not even a proper car park but because everybody else was parking there we why not? Malaysia boleh...

It was a corner lot next to a clinic which we found out belong to one of the partners of the centre. The entrance was on the 1st floor and we were greeted by a pleasant elderly lady and 3 smiley nurses. So this is what we found out.

  • The centre is brand new and huge! The first Mummies will be staying there in Sept/Oct. They have two floors. One for deluxe rooms and one for Premium rooms. When we visited the Premium Floor was not completed yet. I can't remember how many rooms but if I am not mistaken they can accommodate like 20 over mummies at one time.
  • The centre was spacious and well appointed. It looked professional and almost like a private hospital. It didn't have the warmth of home like the other centres but you could still be sure that your needs will be taken care of. 
  • The centre has two kinds of room which is Deluxe and Premium. The current promotional rates are RM 9,388 and RM 11,388. The regular rates are RM 10,888 and RM 12,888.
  • The difference between the two types of rooms is the bed and toilet. In the Deluxe room you get a single bed and share a toilet with another room whilst the Premium gets you a queen bed and personal toilet
  • They have their own photo therapy machine in case your baby has jaundice, you don't have to go to a hospital. They can treat baby there for a fee.
  • The centre is owned by a few doctors and one of them has a clinic on the ground floor and is the resident in-house doctor which allows them to have a 24 hour on-call doctor in case of emergencies.
  • They also have a dining area where Mummies can come out and socialise and eat together, thought I noticed that two deluxe rooms open up to the dining area. NOTE: Definitely make sure that we request specifically for rooms that are not in the dining area because it would be really noisy and less privacy if we decide to stay here.
  • They have no surcharge for the Chinese New Year period! However, they require the Mummies to go home for 3 days and spend CNY with their own families and then come back to the centre to complete the stay. Hubby and I was of the opinion that it sounded like a good deal but we think that it might be more hassle than worth it. Having to pack up and cart Mummy and baby back home and worry about food...etc. 
  • They do encourage breast feeding and more importantly they do not stop you from direct latching your baby during the night and early morning hours. 
  • We were informed that they hire qualified nurses to care for Mummy and baby.

For us, the centre seemed to fulfill our needs and price wise the difference is marginal. The only thing that concerned us was, parking is going to be a nightmare for hubby since he is going to visit everyday. This is a bustling commercial centre. Secondly, having to go home during CNY.

Decisions, decisions! Arrgh!!

Anyway to end this post, if you would like to see what the place looks like, they have a video tour on their website. Or you can click on this link to watch it.

We have to decide really soon...HELP!

My 18 Month Old Doesn't Talk Yet

We went to the Klinik Kesihatan Ibu dan Anak on Wednesday for Chapati's routine one and the half years check up. Time really flies, my baby is 18 months old already! Anyway, we got there registered, paid the RM1 for fees and waited for him to be weighed and measured.

He is 9.6 kg and 77 cm tall. He is within the 50th percentile so very normal and healthy little boy. Then it was our turn and the nurse started asking me questions about Chapati. Stuff like eating and drinking and then about his developmental milestones, after which her expression changed a little when she asked me about what he was able to say. When I told her "Nothing, he doesn't talk" she seemed very surprised and said "mama? papa?" I told her "Nope nothing, except one word which we have heard him say before which is UP" He says this when he goes up stairs or when he climbs something. She hummmed and hawwed for a moment and then went on to finish the questions. After that she said that she would refer us to see the resident doctor upstairs after she had given him his immunisation jab. 

He was a brave boy, he only screamed when the nurse jabbed him and then promptly forgot about it when she stuck a ball of cotton wool and plaster over the injection site. We then proceeded to see the doctor and she asked us some questions and observed him for a little while. She was concerned and decided to refer us to a paedeatrician in HUKM for an assessment to see if he needs speech therapy or if there was anything else that may delaying his speech.

She agreed that after observing him, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him. He eats really well and is not a picky eater, he socialises well with people and children, he listens and understands when we speak to him, he is not withdrawn or shy at all, in fact he is capable of walking around by himself and doesn't seem to mind strangers (good and not good as we have to be extra watchful because anyone can carry him!) He know exactly what he wants and where he wants to go by pointing and making sounds,albeit unintelligible sounds (just to attract our attention), he is intelligent as he instinctively is able to do things by observation, but she says no harm getting it checked out. I agree with her so off we went to HUKM armed with the referral letter to make and appointment. Our public health care did not disappoint at all, according to the nurse,appointments were full for the next 5 months and the earliest appointment was....wait for it... on 31st December 2015!   

What to do? Wait loh...but of course I wasn't just going to wait around until then. I talked to my Mum and she reminded that one of my cousins was a speech therapist but she is living in the Netherlands at the moment. Thank God for whatsapp and email. I also told my Doc sister who is in the USA. 

Doc sis says that based on what she has seen of Chapati, she doesn't think that there is anything wrong with him at all. It may be that he has been around adults a lot and has his needs anticipated all the time. Ie, He is either with Mama and Papa, Kung Kung or Po Po. Since we care for him and know him very well he doesn't see the need to speak/ask for anything. We anticipate it in advance and give it to him. The little rascal is smart and intelligent enough to know this. She also said that he would probably surprise us one day by speaking in full sentences. One other option is to send him to day care to be with other kids. Her oldest boy went to day care at 6 months I think and he already spoke full sentences when he was 18 months.

Cousin speech therapist says it's good to eliminate possible causes and go for an assessment to give us some peace of mind. Also it is good to start now since he is still so young, easier for us to encourage/teach him to speak. So she gave me some referrals and I have made an appointment for this coming Monday.

I have decided to see Leong Yean Ching who is a Paediatric SLP at Articulice Speech Centre located at Taman Tayton View Cheras. I was asked to prepare the following so that she could interact and observe Chapati to assess him further :-
  1. Some snacks and drinks for Chapati like biscuits and juice so that she could observe the way he eats and drinks. 
  2. His toys or things to help him in a new environment with strange people. (As if! )
  3. Anything else that he might need. (Dunno what else as he is not a fussy 
Till next the meantime I plan to enjoy the weekend! TGIF!

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Family Outing - Stream and sand!

We got invited to join in our friend's son's birthday celebration in Bukit Kiara Park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and we thought that it would be nice to take Chapati out to the park/playground and run around with other kids. So far in our cell group he is the youngest and it will be good for him to socialise with kids of all ages.

Anyway, we got there and he was happy to run around and see the playground slides and swings. Then I decided to ask Hubby to bring him to the stream nearby as most of the children had already decided to jump in and play with the water because it was so hot. 

We were unprepared for it because we didn't think of putting him in the water, so we didn't bring any swimmers or a towel for him. Hubby said to just strip him of his long pants and put him in the stream with his rompers. We had a change of diapers and clothes anyway where ever we go, so it should be alright.

He loved the water and the sand! This is actually the first time that he is playing in a stream with sand. 

His very happy face when Papa put him in the stream! 

Playing with the sand and testing out his little borrowed spade.

Playing with the other kids.

Happily splashing water at everyone. By this time he had a really really really heavy diaper! Ha ha ha! We all enjoyed ourselves and will definitely plan for more soon.

Can't wait till our trip to Phuket next month. He is going to love the sea and sand!

15 Weeks and RELIEF!

My morning sickness has faded quite a bit since a week or so ago. ie around 14 weeks. I feel more like myself and the nausea comes only in the evenings. It starts at about 4 pm or so and last till around 8 pm. Sometimes it goes on through the night and I make it a point to call it a night, so I don't have to put up with the yucky feelings. The vomiting on the other hand has nearly stopped, probably 5 times in the last 10 days which is also good. I tell everyone it a 180° change! I am really praying that all this will go away completely within this week.

I must say though that the last 4-5 weeks has left me very low on energy, I feel tired easily (even walking from the office to Pavilion which is only 5 minutes walk), my eyes also tire easily and I have been getting quite severe headaches at the front of my forehead. I also feel bloated whenever I eat and have to remember not to eat too much at one time which is difficult because I am hungry. The most challenging for me is to drink water. I am still having a tough time drinking plain water and most days I get maybe 2 glasses of water throughout the day when I am in the office. Eating and drinking well is still

I have been complaining to Hubby again about how it was so difficult to eat and hence even more difficult to ensure that I get enough nutrition. He was a little fed up that I kept complaining and suggested that I go try the healthy shakes on the ground floor of my office building. Shakesberry has been here for the last 6 years but it never really occurred to me to try it. So humbly after getting told off by Hubby I decided to try something...ANYTHING! So I bravely went in and had a quick chat with Yann who runs the place and told her about my challenges. She started me straight away on one big cup of aloe concentrate with lukewarm water (it was horrible since I can't stand drinking warm or lukewarm water) anyway, I managed to down the whole cup and then she gave me another giant glass of nutritional shake (Tropical Fruit flavour) with dragon fruit thought I am not sure what else she put in it. Anyway, it tasted good and I finished the whole cup but felt super full. Felt alright throughout the day though a little quesy in the evening. So I am going to try to drink it every morning for the next 10 days. Today is Day 3 and I had a chocolate shake with Quaker cereal squares and it was yummy. Can't wait to try out new flavours over the next few days.

One more thing I am going to try is drink a nutritional shake with protein powder in the evenings instead of dinner because I don't seem to be doing very well with food in the evenings. Hopefully this will make up for all the lack of nutrition over the last 4-5 weeks. Now have to look for good protein powder...

Monday 17 August 2015

Confinement Centre Viewings Part 3 - Gina's Place (The Breastfeeding Postnatal Centre)

If you are a Mummy who breastfeeds, you will definitely know TBAN (The Breastfeeding Advocates Network) and through that Gina Yong.  

I had heard a lot about her Postnatal Centre which used to be somewhere in Kota Kemuning (thanks for Mum-in-law again) but now it is in Taman Yarl. I checked out her FB page and blogspot then wrote her an email to find out more. 

Her response was prompt, the information provided was very comprehensive and she included clear terms and conditions as well. The only thing left was to visit and experience the place. Lots of brownie points! 

  • Brownie point No. 1 - They encourage and encourage and encourage breast feeding! This is really important to me as I breastfed Chapati until he was about 16 months old. I am really hoping to breastfeed longer with baby #2.
  • 2 kinds of room, Classic and Luxury - RM 10,388/RM 11,388 or RM 11,011.28/RM 12,071.28 inclusive of 6% GST (This price is only applicable until 31 December 2015)
  • They give you 3 main meals, 2 snacks and 1 supper. Brown Point No. 2 - They specifically prepare a tonic soup for Mummies everyday. (I love love love to drink soup)
  • Disposable mesh panties, cotton socks and slippers for Mummy. Laundry also taken care of and Daddy can stay if he wants. (We saw a few Daddies there when we visited)
  • They provide everything for baby so you don't have to bring a bagful of stuff for baby. Brownie Point No. 3 - They use cloth diapers! This is so good for the baby's bottom. 
  • Brownie Point No. 4 - There are qualified nurses there with experience who will help to care for you and baby 24/7
  • The centre was very spacious and homely. Brownie Point No. 5 - They provide good Getha beds so the sleep should be comfortable. 
  • Bathrooms were clean but looked a little old. Thought I felt that the baby bathing area looked a little run down. It was probably a wet kitchen which they converted to put a bathing tub in the sink. Then at the side was an Ikea changing pad to dress your baby.
  • Brownie Point No. 6. - The baby area is in the main hall which I thought was a good idea because then it is visible to everyone and they had good air circulation rather than in a small covered rooms like the other centres. 
  • The rooms very pretty decent sizes and they provide a kettle for boiling water, drinks and snacks in the room. (in case Mummy suddenly gets hungry)
  • Lastly I thought it was fantastic that they make it compulsory for Mummy & Daddy to attend a breast feeding class to help understand before birth. 
There are a couple of things that I really have to think about namely:-

1) Since baby #2 is arriving around the CNY period. There will be a 20% surchage on top of the cost. Though I must say that her CNY period is only between 7th - 14th of February which is really reasonable whilst some other centres start as early at 24th of January and last for one month! 
2) As I am opting for natural birth my EDD is 3rd February 2016 but I could deliver anytime from 13th January 2016 onwards. According to the terms it is ok if I deliver earlier then I just wait for a room to become available. However, if I deliver later then I might have to pay RM100/day to hold the room for me. Then my stay might be reduced and the charges pro-rated. Note: This is something to clarify if I am going to confirm the room.

After our visit was done, I really like the way things are done and handled at Gina's place. Overall I felt reassured and confident that baby #2 and I would be taken of and comfortable. The only drawback was that among all the centres this was really premium and thus as it would be expected, premium pricing as well. I would be spending a grand total of RM 13,213.54 for my 28 days confinement for baby #2!

That's a lot of money!

Thursday 13 August 2015

Morning eating nightmare

One of the worse things to experience with morning sickness is the constant nausea and the feeling that nothing and I mean NOTHING looks remotely appealing to eat and you are hungry. Not just the normal hungry type where you missed a meal, it's the "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse, been starved for weeks and I miss all the good food" kind of hungry.

I got to thank God though because earlier on before we found out about Bump I was complaining to Hubby that I realised now why Mummies continued to grow fatter and fatter with each subsequent baby. I was still 5 kilos overweight compared to my pre-pregnancy weight with Chapati so if I were to put on another 10 kilos or so with Bump...horror of horrors I will become a pygmy hippo because I would be the heaviest ever! However with the last 5 weeks of constant nausea, vomiting 5 to 6 times a day and inability to really eat, my last weight in when I went for a scan was back to my pre-pregnancy weight with Chapati! Though I would never want to experience the last 5 weeks ever again as I believe there are easier ways to lose weight.

Anyway, I was just remembering how difficult it was to eat and would like to share what worked for me (trust me everything else worked once and didn't work again ie. vomit vomit vomit) 
  • 1/3 cup of Guinness Malta in 1 cup full of ice 
  • Ruffles by Lays (Original) - a small handful a day. 
  • Peanut butter (Smooth) - 1 spoonful
  • 2 or 3 thin pieces of cheddar cheese cut from a small block of cheese (not the slice kind) 

So there is my little list of what didn't make me vomit. Everything else including fruits made me sick!

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Confinement Centre Viewings Part 2 - Daveleen Sdn Bhd

Following my earlier posting about my planned visits to confinement centres, Hubby and I managed to squeeze in the remainder of centres over the last few days. Super tiring but enlightening. I will write more about them in individual postings because I don't think I can cover them all. Today I will write about Moms2b or they are also known under the brand name Mom's Paradise. They are part of the Daveleen Group of companies that also have other services like a beauty centre that offers pre and post natal massages as well a confinement meals catering.

I was quite excited to view the place as I had received a recommendation from my mother-in-law and had read some write ups on some blogs about the place and their services. However the write ups were mainly about some of their events like Mother's Day celebration and their products like Moon's Pre Natal and Post Natal Essential. I also saw some photos online and thought that they looked pretty decent. Not to mention that their website was quite informative and easy to navigate. You can check out their website from this link below:-

When we arrived at the bungalow on SS2/3 PJ, we were quite impressed as the place looked well kept and the signs were very prominent along the main road. Once again I did not take photos! Arrgh...blame it on morning sickness and prenancy hormones. (Ha ha ha, how convenient...) Anyway, since I didn't take any photos I will concentrate on what we experienced.

My verdict:  I left angry at the sales person and completed appalled at what I had experienced and learned about the centre.

It was a rather sizable bungalow and it had a beautifully landscaped outdoor area. We entered the main door and there was about 2 people or so sitting. We were greeted by a lady who spoke in really fast and fluent Mandarin. Unfortunately I am a banana and my chinese in general works only for ordering food and basic communication. So I told her that I don't speak mandarin, we were here to find out more about the confinement centre and that I had initially spoken to a person name Jessie. She then asked us to have a seat and wait for a moment.

We waited and finally when she was done with another couple, she approached us and introduced herself as Jessie. She seemed pleasant enough and I sat down with her at the table while she started showing me a file that had information and pictures of the confinement centre. Hubby was looking after Chapati as he was playing around on one of the sofas.

The first thing that really annoyed me was when I asked her about the Chinese New Year surcharge. I just wanted to understand how it worked as bump's EDD is 3rd February 2016 but according to the doctors I could deliver anytime from the 13th of January 2016 onwards. First she mentioned it could be pro-rated if we stayed a few days into their CNY period, then after that she said more than a few days she would have to charge it in full, then when I asked her how many days, she says two or three days...on the whole I still couldn't really understand what the real policies are on the surcharge. So I asked her again and this time very specific questions which I will detail below:-

Q1: When does the surcharge actually start?
A1: (She then showed me a picture of their CNY periods which I was finally clear about.) It starts on the 24th of January 2016 and the surcharge is RM2300

Q2: Then I asked her, what happens if I deliver on the 13th of January, how will the surcharge apply? Will it apply in whole? Or will it apply partially?
A2: (I paraphrase here because I can't really recall her exact words) Ok, if you don't want to pay the surcharge then you can leave the centre earlier.

Q3: I then repeated my above question again because she did not answer my questions.
A3: Believe it or not she once again in a louder and slightly arrogant voice gave me the same answer as above.

By that time, I was a little annoyed so I told her, what I really want to know is how the surcharge works, which she then started to answer me again about how I could avoid paying the CNY surcharge. I finally got louder and said please answer my question, as I am now aware how not to pay the surcharge however, I still don't understand how the surcharge works. By that time, I turned to hubby with my angry face and she then started speaking in Cantonese to Hubby which cause me to get angrier, mind you I told her before that I did not speak Chinese very well.

She finally clarified that as long my stay falls within that period, the surcharge will apply which was what I wanted confirmation from the beginning. By that time, my patience was already wearing thin however, there were still a lot of other important questions. I found out the following:-

  • The actual centre is located at another location nearby the office. 
  • The people who looks after your baby at night are confinement nannies/maids who looked foreign and not qualified/reqistered nurses.
  • At night, mummies are required to surrender their babies to the confinement ladies at 10.30 pm until 8 am the next morning. (This one sounded like you don't see your baby at all from 10.30 pm until 8 the next morning. Which I thought sounded a little unreasonable, after all that is YOUR baby...but I didn't bother to clarify)
  • If breast feeding, they do not allow you to direct latch your baby at all during that time (10.30 pm - 8 am) in your room. You can pump your milk and the nannies will feed your baby. (This one I believe is a little bit of ignorance and maybe tradition? How much milk can you pump during your first week?
  • When I told her that usually a new mummy would not have so much milk to pump during the first week and usually the best way they baby can get breast milk is by direct latching, her answer was really practiced and glib "oh you have to bring your own milk formula so that the nannies can feed your baby" (This one I understand because not everyone believes that babies grow best on breast milk. But this is what I want for MY baby)
  • When I asked if there was any option at all for me to breast feed my baby directly, her only answer was that their rules and policies had to be followed. One of the reasons was that if the baby cries at night, it will disturb other mummies who are staying there. (This one I cannot understand because I thought we had our own rooms?)
  • The centre was a little dark and most of the rooms did not seem to have natural lighting. 
  • The beds were single only and didn't look comfortable at all.
  • Lastly what annoyed me most was the fact that after our question and answer exchange, the sales person continued to speak in Cantonese and addressed everything to Hubby! 

Lessons learnt!

You really cannot judge a book by its cover. The office looked decent and extremely well done up but the centre itself was a disappointment. I can't imagine being locked up there for 30 jail. A personal site visit is really really really IMPORTANT. My mother-in-law told me that they did not allow her  to visit the actual centre, (I wonder why?)

The sales person can really make or break your business, she was loud, didn't listen to her customers and didn't answer her customers questions directly. Hubby and I felt the same, she was just arrogant and gave us the impression that our business was not important to them because there was a long line of other people waiting to snap up their rooms. (Which may be the truth but I certainly would not be one of them!)

Ask and ask and ask questions until you are clear, after all you are going to be paying them nearly RM10k (that's a lot of money!) and it's your baby, your health and happiness when you decide to stay with them. Don't let some overtly loud and arrogant sales person stop you from finding out what to expect when using their services.

Always compare service providers. This experience was vastly different from my earlier viewing and  my expectations were a little high after reading stuff about their events, seeing their nicely appointed office and my mother-in-law who also visited their office but did not see the actual centre.

To end it all different people have different needs and I guess that this place just doesn’t suit my needs whilst other people might be ok with it. It is fairly common for babies to be left with the confinement ladies during the night so that new mothers get to sleep and recover.  As for me I get nervous not seeing my baby for that long. 

I found some photos online thanks to blogger jacsafterparty for putting up quite a comprehensive collection of it.
The photos were taken in 2013 and the facilities has deteriorated since then. I really hope that the centre improves their services and facilities. After all they seemed to have garnered quite good publicity before and their founder seems to have very good experience.

Blog update 17th August 2015

I realised that I forgot to include the price information that I have on the centre so I am doing  a quick update here.
  • The rooms rates are from RM 8179 (standard), RM 9455 (superior), RM 10520 (deluxe) which are approximately 34%-37% discount from their original prices of RM 12,628, RM 14,420 and RM 16,660  
  • Down payment to confirm the booking is 30% of the price

Monday 10 August 2015

Confinement Centre Viewings - Care Nanny Malaysia

Hubby and I have been thinking about plans for when baby #2 arrives. Bump is already showing at 14 weeks. (Probably because I am bloated...) I don't remember showing so obviously with Chapati. Anyway, back to confinement plans. When Chapati was born, confinement was done in my parents apartment as they had two adjoining units. They lived in one and I stayed in the other. Before actually staying there we though that it was ideal because we would still have our own space and they could visit as often as they liked. Of course, it came with it's own challenges which I will save for later so this time around we thought that home might be best. The problem with having children later in life is that our home was renovated to accommodate us (Hubby and I and our stuff) and over the years, it has filled with just "us" stuff and accommodating a confinement lady and a new baby is going to be really baby#2 might arrive just before CNY and I shudder to think of how much I am going to have to pay the confinement lady excluding food. Hence, confinement homes may be just the solution for us.

Asked Mr Google and voila! A list came out...albeit a slightly disappointing list. Found blogs about confinement and but very few said anything about confinement centres or their experiences with the centres.

Anyway I selected a few that looked promising and proceeded to send them all email enquiries. Most responded very quickly. The list that I decided to check out is as follows:-

Care Nanny Malaysia

Mom's Paradise Postnatal Retreat (Part of the Daveleen group)

Gina's Place

Serenity Confinement Centre

I then happily managed to confirm my first viewing  at the Care Nanny Confinement Centre. When we arrived at the location of the bungalow in Subang Jaya we just a teeny tiny bit disappointed that the garden was bare (we expected the place to be landscaped) It was clean and tidy though with little trees growing along the fence. We were then greeted by a very pleasant and jolly nurse who started to show us around whilst Carmen (the person with whom we had made an appointment with) would arrive shortly. We were pleasantly surprised that the centre was better than what we had envisioned from the outside. It had a new and homely kind of feeling. The kind that you have when you just move into a new house. It was also spacious and when we asked, we realised that the centre had just opened in the last one month! When Carmen arrived we started asking her a barrage of questions simply because we had never had any experience with a confinement centre before and she patiently explained and answered our questions. Hubby and I had a few things that we felt were important to us and we found out the following:-

1) Breastfeeding - Chapati was exclusively breastfed until he was 16 months old. When I got preggy with baby#2 and had horrible morning sickness I then had to supplement him with formula. So wanting the same for baby#2 it was important that I had the kind of support that I didn't quite have with Chapati. Brownie Point No. 1 the nurses will actually help you if you want to fully breastfeed your baby even at night. However Carmen did mention that they encourage the mummies to get more rest so they recommend that we leave the baby with the nurses during the night and resume direct latch the next morning. I however made it clear that I would like to direct latch my baby for the first month and would prefer that he or she is not out of my sight for more than 2 hours. (A little paranoid considering some of the horror stories you hear about caregivers)

2)  Brownie point no. 2 the people actually caring for the baby and mothers are qualified nurses. For me it was good that I had a choice in whether I wanted to subject baby#2 to some old customs and rubbing their backs with flour and then giving them a shave...(aiya that is what happened with Chapati and didn't understand what was happening until it was all over)

3) Brownie point no. 3 the place is a new centre so everything still looks good, clean, new and even the beds looked quite comfortable. The best past was I told that Care Nanny has already another centre running in Puchong so they are experienced and know what to expect.

4) We brought Chapati with us and the nurse seem to like children because she wanted to play with him and carry him. (This is important if you are working with babies and children)

5) All the rooms had windows and natural light with the exception of the cheapest one.

6) The confinement duration is 30 days and not the usual 28 days.

7) They also allow hubby to stay if he wants and provides 1 meal for him.

8) They had rooms from RM 7,888- RM 12,888 and their opening promotion was if we decided to sign up and pay the deposit we would get RM 500 off the room price.

9) Brownie point no.4 the CNY surcharge was only 15% of the total price which we both thought was reasonable because when we thought of having to pay the confinement lady double salary...(anyway you get the picture) This was only applicable from the 27th of January onwards.

10) Finally we asked about the deposit and what happens to our deposit in the event something unforeseen happens. (Choi - choi) This was the only part that had some grey"we can talk to management....etc". Their initial deposit was a little steep though at 50% of room price. NOTE TO SELF: Clarify this point if we decide on their confinement centre.

Their photos are available on their website and it is a pretty accurate depiction of the place. (no Photoshop :))

So went our first viewing and I must say we were both pleasantly surprised. The prospect of going to a confinement home finally did seem viable after all. I am excited to see and compare the other centres before finally making a decision.

Lastly Brownie point no. 5 is that they also provide confinement food catering services for 30 days with no delivery charge. That might also be something to think about...

I will be going for more visits asap as we have to make a decision very quickly. Confinement centre rooms are a little like the confinement ladies...they get booked up pretty quickly.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Baby#2 and Morning Sickness

Baby #2 is now nearly 14 weeks and well on the way after a check-up with my gynae about 2 weeks ago. Didn't get around to writing about it until today because, the only thing that is different this time around is the nausea, nausea and more nausea...and more nausea. That's just being polite... to be honest it should be shit, crap, hell on earth, downright depressing, bleak, nasty, absolutely horrible, dreadful...I am running out of words and don't even get me started on curse words.

Imagine having motion sickness or food poising (the symptoms are pretty similar) everyday from the time you wake up until the time you sleep. Yeah, really shit! Not being able to keep any food or water down and vomiting more than 5-6 times a day. Morning sickness for you! (I don't even know why they call it morning sickness, it was all day for me!)

I am now going to re-live the last 4-5 weeks though I would rather have amnesia about it. Not all bad considering that I think I am a slightly better and more compassionate person now.

  1. I now have a heck of a lot of RESPECT, COMPASSION and EMPATHY for Mummies out there who are going through the same thing. You really don't know how bad it can get unless you really experience how bad it is yourself. 
  2. I used to share with people how wonderful and sick free my first pregnancy was when they said that they had/are experiencing morning sickness. Can't believe how totally crass I was then, going on about how pregnancies are easy and wonderful...blah,blah,blah...I will NEVER EVER do that again. 
  3. I will learn to listen and offer words of comfort and support! 
  4. I will let them talk/cry/complain/lament about what they are going through and NOT JUDGE them.
  5. I will share with them my own journey and hope that it makes them feel that they are not ALONE.

First thing that happened to me was that every little smell felt like an ALL-OUT assault on my senses. Nearly every smell drove me to running to the toilet (or for a plastic bag) to vomit or caused me feel sicker for the rest of the day. The list of things that I couldn't bear is just endless. Even now 5 weeks later it is still endless.
  • Any kind of perfume
  • My doggies 
  • Antiseptic/antibacterial sprays, wash, hand wash, cleaner. The worse was the Euky Bear Eucalyptus Spray smell. A sniff would send me straight to the toilet no matter how I felt.
  • Chapati's baby talcum, baby wash, shampoo, moisturiser, poor little fella. 
  • Hubby after a long day's work
  • BO
  • My regular under arm deodorant so I had to buy the Crystal Stick deoderant.  
  • My regular hair shampoo. Funnily enough my Loreal Hair Spa mask smell was still bearable
  • All my facial products from Decleor Paris and Jeunesse. So my morning sickness arm twisted me to go on a shopping spree to buy new facial products. I finally settled on Kiehls because of the smell...or lack of it.
  • Dish washing liquid - I changed so many and I still can't wash dishes. Thank God for hubby as he volunteered to wash the dishes as and when. Tried Glo, Oxy Glo and Joy two different flavours each and finally Cosway Dish Drops.

Then came the feeling of nausea from the time that I wake up till the time I sleep. The feeling that I can only describe like dizzyness, an upset stomach, heaviness, the inability to function normally, difficulty in breathing and the general state of feeling completely and utterly unwell. The constant vomiting and the inability to keep any food or drink down of course contributed to the comatose state that I was in for the next 3-4 weeks. I was completely useless at home, I could only drag myself to the toilet to vomit and clean up after that, shower and then drop into bed exhausted. I could not go to work for many days and when I did go to work, I could not do anything apart from trying to stay on my feet/my chair.  My energy level and focus was non-existent. I didn't even care about how I looked. Most days, as long as I was clean and showered I was content. Make up? Didn't even bother. Suffice to say that I looked terrible!

I always thought that getting pregnant was supposed to be a happy and joyous occasion. Hubby and I all glowing and loving because of the new life growing inside me. Sincerely, I couldn't feel more different than that!