Tuesday 17 May 2016

My Confinement Stay Review (Part 1) - The Beginnings Of A 28 Day Relationship

DISCLAIMER: Please do note that this is my personal experience. I understand that everyone has different expectations and therefore different experiences. Please do ensure that you do your own due diligence. Please visit the center and ask the questions which are important to you. I am happy to share if anyone has specific questions. Please do connect with me on themummynotebook@gmail.com

I realised that giving birth is really a walk in the park compared to the aftermath of giving birth! (Duh right? This is my second one!) I must say that this is just my experience...I really respect and am in awe of other Mummies who go through a lot more to bring their child into this world. Recovering your strength and health for one is really tough when you are determined to fully breast feed your baby and when you fall into the category of "advanced maternal age" (you can already guess my age! :) you feel every ache and pain postpartum! Ouch!

So handsome even at one week old! :)

So, I really do believe in the wisdom of the confinement period for new mothers. It is a lot to take in and your body has just been through drastic changes! Not mention possible emotional challenges too. (See list of changes here.) So rest and proper nutrition is of utmost importance and I am so glad that we decided to go down the path of staying in a confinement center. The time I spent researching and visiting confinement centers was worth it! We visited four other centers in Subang, PJ SS2, Taman Yarl and Seri Petaling before we confirmed on Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Centre in Damai Perdana.

The Check In

Personally for me, the first two weeks post partum was really the most difficult. Firstly I was emotionally drained from the experience of hyperbilirubinemia in Joel, added to the physical strain of giving birth, sleepless nights...I am just glad that when I checked into the confinement center the first thing they gave me was the very thing I needed! It was the "CALL BELL"! (Ha ha ha! I think all you mummies out there would agree with me!) It was basically the passport to me not having to do a single thing/lift a single finger unless I wanted to. It made such a difference because I literally did not leave my room for 4-5 days because of the extreme pain in my lower back, abdominal and pelvic areas. Thank goodness for all the help!

The Call Bell!

I felt a little lost the first few days as I did not know who was who and what was where.  I think that if someone had spent a little time with me to do a simple orientation session to share about how things are done, who does what, and what goes where, it would have made things even more pleasant than it already was. It is the little things that matter, for example, how is cupboard space segregated? I was in the sharing room which allowed for 4 Mummies to stay in at the same time. My bag was on the floor and my clothes were on the bed next to me for quite a few days before I decided to just put my bag into any cupboard space to get organised. Same with the bathroom. I wasn't sure what belonged to whom and what I could use. The funny thing was, I missed using the herbal bath for the first 2 days because I didn't realise that one of the buckets were for me! The toilet bowl was also missing the seat cover and it was precarious business going to the toilet! (So funny! Everytime I went to use the toilet, I had to be careful not to fall into the toilet bowl!) It also felt strange that no one would tell you/remind you what to do/eat and not to do/eat during confinement! I had the experience of a confinement lady the first time and I remember her constantly telling/reminding me about good confinement practices.With regards to food, during the first few days, I was surprised that they served me french fries, ham and nuggets for one my breakfast meals. I do like continental breakfast but I felt that the quality could have been a little better. I didn't feel like eating processed meat then.

A Bumpy Start

Like most things, beginnings always need a little tweaking. I realised that it was up to me to make my stay the best I can. So I started to ask around a lot, made an effort to talk and get to know everyone in the centre, Hubby helped to tell them about the broken toilet seat (which they fixed promptly! Hooray!) opened up to them about what kind of food I prefer, how much I enjoyed drinking soup, eating the rice wine chicken/pork/kidney and vegetables. I also asked them questions to understand more about how they would care for my baby. After that I shared with them how I wanted them to support me in caring for my baby in line with their best practices. It really does take two hands to clap! Both parties making the effort really makes a difference. I am pleased to say that overall, I had a great time recuperating at the centre and would highly recommend new mummies who are trying to decided between a Confinement Lady or Confinement Centre (you can read about how we rationalised trying out a confinement centre here) to try out a confinement centre! Stay tuned for my next installment in the review of my stay at Yuan Yuan!

How do you handle bumpy starts to new experiences? 

Update: 30th December 2016

The center has been rebranded to Culture Romance Confinement Retreat Center. You can reach them on their Facebook page at @cultureromance

Monday 16 May 2016

March 2016 Expenditures - Baby Full Moon and Diapers!

Hi everyone, it is good to be finally back to my blog! I really missed writing the whole of April and it wasn't on purpose either. Coming out of the heaven of the confinement home to the chaos of home was...I think the only way to describe it...HILARIOUS! If I didn't have my head screwed on, I would have left it behind on several occasions. Caring for two is definitely a different ball game all together and since I officially started work last week and I am just glad that Mother-in-law and Father-in-law survived the week with our two children. I have so much updates and things that I want to share with everyone! Little Joel (Murtabak...a story for another time) is growing up so fast! He is now 6.5 kilos at 3 months old.

The first half of March was relaxing as I was still in confinement, financially it was still a pretty heavy month for us, as a major chunk of money went into paying for my stay in the confinement centre. Both our car insurance and road tax for the year was also due, so another chunk of money disappeared into the abyss of Car Maintenance. On top of that we are still doing up our home and I went on a diaper buying spree! (Kiasu mother...see a good deal cannot pass it up in case it goes up in price again.) I think most of you know what I mean, things are just going up in price like nobody's business. I used my credit card a lot to make those purchases, but I always make sure that I pay it in full when the bill arrives. I am allergic to paying any interest on my credit card and as a family we have paid off all my credit cards in full and now we are working towards clearing all of hubby's ones too. I wasn't always that way but that's a story for another time...We want to be credit card debt free! (Again, a story for another time!)

My supply of diapers for the both of them!8 boxes in total, 2 we already sent to my in-laws!

In our tradition of the Baby Full Moon celebration when Joel turned one month old, we spent some money to give away full month gift boxes particularly to our parent's friends. We decided to order them online from Uniq Full Moon & Gift Shop. They had a discount promotion for their traditional rice sets. We were contemplating a Full Moon party but that hasn't materialised yet. Maybe 100 days...?? But then again that has passed too! ...just a simple makan maybe...maybe not...spend more money?? Nooo....

At nearly 1 month old...so clever to smile. The curry was yummy and the red eggs were beautiful!

After  my confinement, we went out and indulged in spicy foods and ice cream which I couldn't eat throughout my pregnancy and confinement! Here's to nasi lemak and coconut ice cream! As you can see Chapati really enjoyed having both his parents and his little brother home all together. I caught this really cute photo of him playing in his toy box with me!

Well here is where our RMs went to in March!

Amount (RM)
Eating Out
Hubby discovered a quick, simple and cheap place to eat Japanese food. Plus I was out of confinement and wanted to eat stuff that I couldn’t eat before.
Mainly for Hubby’s work travel.
Parking & Toll (TouchnGo)
Hubby’s TouchnGO Auto Reload Card
Parking & Toll
We are paying for Hubby’s parents using my TouchnGO Auto Reload Card
Parking & Toll
My TouchnGo Plusmiles & Tesco Card
Mobile Phone Bills
We are paying for my parents, hubby’s parents and our monthly mobile phone bills
Medical Insurance
Chapati & Murtabak’s medical insurance premium monthly
Car Maintenance, Insurance & Road
The Honda and X-Trail were due almost at the same time. So decided to do it together.
Home Maintenance
We replaced our cooking gas, some boxes and towel railings to get better organised and a very comfortable armchair! Breastfeeding is hard work!
Home Security
March 2016 contribution to the safety of our home
Confinement Home (Final Payment)
We paid a total of RM 6300 for my stay in the confinement home. Hubby decided to upgrade RM500 for my meals so that I could eat better quality food and have a choice of how it was cooked.
My calcium pill supplements and mouthwash. My teeth need very thorough looking after. Don’t want to incur expensive dental bills.
Bought a change of CO2 tank for our soda express machine and indulged in yummy Sunny
Diapers, diapers, diapers and a monster truck for Chapati. Hubby still indulging his love for toy cars!
Hubby bought replacement Croc look-a-likes which are from Thailand and really good quality too! I also got my Chinese double boil soup pot.
Alpo food from Tesco. We didn’t get a chance to buy their normal food.
Full moon gift boxes and Ang Pows for the staff in the confinement home.
My facial spray that works as a toner before I put on moisturiser.
Dry cleaning for my office work suit which I had sent and forgetten all about it for more than a year!

Did you indulge like I did post confinement? Do share your stories!