October 31, 2013

Scary Zombie Mommy Costume!

Happy Halloween y’all! Tonight’s the night for all the cute/slutty/scary/awesome costume and my timeline is pretty much starting to fill up with ‘em. As for me, I’ll be wearing what’s been my staple costume for a few months now; sleep-deprived-stoned-face-Mama-with-massive-eye-bags.

The how-to:
Step 1: Have a baby
Step 2: Wake up every hour on the hour to feed said baby during growth spurt/feeding frenzy
Results: Pale, crappy skin; massive eye bags; a general zombie-like demeanour
Success!! No makeup needed!!

Just for fun I bought this fancy pasta a few days ago (and it was mind-numbingly cute) and cooked it today. Since the pasta itself is colourful I decided not to make anything with a tomato base as we probably won’t get to see the colours. Light bulb moment and I made Aglio E Olio following this recipe. The pasta itself was alright, not funny tasting because of the colouring but (there’s always a big,fat ‘BUT’) we overcooked it. So after that meal, I was like ‘yech, I really don’t want to see/cook any more pasta!! YECH!!

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Also Happy 16 weeks (4 Months) to my munchkin!
She is finally at 5.1kg (11lbs 5oz)!!!
Alhamdulillah!!!
She was weighed today by the health visitor and I was literally whooping with joy seeing those numbers on the scale. All those late nights are so totally worth it, you guys!

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And now, I’m leaving you with Z’s happy feet. And yes, not only is she ready for Halloween all dressed in orange, she’s also totes ready for ‘Flashdance 2’ auditions! *cue dancing feet*

♥♥♥

p/s: since its getting darker earlier the photos are all a bit yellow/orange-y and I really can’t be bothered to mess around with the settings for now. Live with it yo! :p

October 28, 2013

The Icing On The Cake

Today was a particularly challenging day for me. Z woke up at about 4am and the proceeded to demand feeds almost every hour! I basically woke up feeling and looking like a zombie. But it doesn't stop there, she kept demanding feeds hourly the whole day and when she finally dozed off, she would wake up as soon as I put her in the crib. So yeah, no laundry was done other than our sheets. Thank God that lunch was prepared (i.e. yesterday's leftovers) and I basically ate while nursing Z.

When husband came home he was immediately looking for dinner and of course nothing was ready as Z was still attached to my boob, happily gulping milk away. I quickly made dinner (again thanking God for Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals) and served it to husband. While we were having dinner Z once again started looking for milk. And quickly finishing up I fed her. Passing her to her daddy I finally managed to go to the loo and by the time I finished my prayers, put on clean sheets for the bed, clean up the mess in the kitchen it was already 10.30pm. And all I could think about was bed. The final thing that I wanted to do was to separate the pumpkin puree I made last weekend into bags and freeze it. Turns out the whole bowl was spoilt. And that was the icing on the cake!

I caved and made a hot, chocolatey drink for myself after weeks of discipline. I know I'm complaining but it took me so long to actually make the pumpkin puree. I had to roast the pumpkin, blitz it until it looks like a puree (and I had to do it many times because my blender is tiny), sieve it and cool it. Yeah it took freaking ages!

As for Z nursing every hour, there's really nothing I can do about it. So I'll just chalk this up to a growth spurt (I hope) and hope that it calms down soon. *big fat sigh*

And as I'm typing this, I'm still thinking of bed. *yawns*

*blogged from Nexus7

October 27, 2013

Weekend Bake

This weekend husband and I were on a baking kick; we made biscotti…well just loads and loads of it! We made plain almond biscotti, cranberry and almond biscotti and finally the crown jewel of the biscotti making: chocolate and orange biscotti! And it was just plain delicious. We followed Paul Hollywood's base recipe and then just amended with whatever we had laying at home. Still it was incredibly delicious, so worth all the work that it required. When baking biscotti you are basically glued to the oven watching and waiting for it to turn beautiful and golden and not burn. At the end we got three jars full of beautiful biscotti and a few extras! ;)

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We also tried making pumpkin loaf but unfortunately it wasn't as photogenic as the biscotti. Hopefully the next time I make it (which I definitely will because the loaf though kinda ugly looking was just beautiful to eat) I get it looking right since I've already got the taste down pat. ;) And since we had so much of pumping puree, we tried making homemade pumpkin spice latte. The reviews on that are still kinda mixed. I love the Starbucks one but because we used pumpkin puree (also homemade) we still had the taste of the pumpkin fibres in the latte even after sieving it. So if anyone has any suggestions, please pass it along!
 
Oh and if you were wondering, Z helped us a whole lot with the bang too…by sleeping whenever we were baking! Ah, my clever little girl! :p
 
Okay, gotta rush of because Z is hungry and her MooMoo is preoccupied elsewhere! Eeeeeeeks!!
 
♥♥♥

October 24, 2013

Being A Milking Cow

Oh wait...did I say cow? I actually meant to say 'a breast feeding mom'. Although honestly most of the times I do feel like a MooMoo instead of a Mama! I was prepared for the hard work; come on I was expressing milk like a person obsessed before Z came home so I knew it was hard work. But what I totally was unprepared for was the fact that Z would latch on to me all the time!

The first week we got home she was basically demanding milk every two hours (or less) and of course I was present. But good God it really made me feel like a cow instead of a person! And with Z being so young she was obviously spitting out a lot of milk. Those who say 'there's no point crying over spilt milk' have obviously never breastfed their babies.

I would (and still do sometimes) get so upset at the sheer volumes of milk that Z would spit up. Up to a point that it just finally clicked in my brain that I was overfeeding her and gave her a dummy instead of the boob. Admitting that I give my baby a dummy really makes me feel like a bad Mama but it was the only way to give Z some comfort without her getting full to the brim with milk.

Things are much better now though on terms of Z needing the comfort of the breast all the time. She doesn't even use the dummy as much but her need for cuddles rivals even mine! Yeap, she's switched the boob for hugs and kisses. And if she doesn't get it, its all tears and...well more tears from the muchkin.

But honestly, breastfeeding is a whole lot of determination, motivation, and willingness on a Mama's part. If you've decided to fully breastfeed come hell or high water, you have just got to stick to your guns and do it! It's difficult without a doubt, but at the end of the day it really just depends on how determined you are.

Although if you give in and go the formula route, its totally fine. Like how each baby is different, the same goes for the Moms too. And let me tell you this, being a breastfeeding Mama is a round the clock job. Husband even suggested that we start Z on formula after seeing how sleep deprived and zombified I was in the beginning. But I stuck to my guns and we're three months in and Z is still fully breastfed. Woohoo!!

For now though my goal is to fully breastfeed Z until she's six months old. And then, well we'll figure out the rest as we go along, alright Z?

Mama loves you to bits and pieces, Z!

*blogged from Nexus7

October 21, 2013

The Round Up On Our Gastroschisis Journey

I am writing this roundup post while Z is sleeping in her Moses basket and I patiently wait for her to wake up for her bath.

The last post on Z was written in July and everything has proceeded with the speed of light since. To make it easier lets section it by date, shall we?

29 July 2013: Z was finally deemed ready to start breastfeeding directly from the source. No tubes, no syringes, no cups; no help at all. At that time, she was still getting 16ml of expressed breasrttmilk per hour. And although I was hoping for Z to latch on like a suction cup on her first try, it didn't happen. All the nurses who were there to help me kept reassuring me that just because she has rejected the nipple that time doesn't mean that she won't get it.

30 July 2013: my little girl just got it on the first try! And yes, she was just like a little suction cup! We maintained doing direct feeds twice a day with a couple of hits and misses until the doctors started spacing out her feeds. And then Z just got a hold of it. And while she was still in the common room in the ward, the amount of TPN that she was receiving was slowly decreasing.

4 August 2013: we came in to the news that Z was going off the TPN on that day and replaced with saline for a day or two before the PICC line was removed. Yeap, that pesky PICC line that was on her scalp.

5 August 2013: the PICC line was removed less than 24 hours of her going off the TPN!! It was much earlier than we expected but alhamdulillah nonetheless!! But the worst part was I was asked to help with the process. The nurse asked me to hold Z's head in place while she removed the line and it was a long line. It made me (and still does) weak in the knees to think that, that was going through from her scalp to the region near Z's heart. :(

7 August 2013: I started rooming in with Z at Yorkhill and this was also the day that they removed the NG tube from Z's nose. This was basically a trial run for me as a full time Mama and for them to be completely satisfied with Z's progress before releasing her into the big, bad world with her Mama. And of course I scared myself into a frenzy thinking that I'll be one of those moms who don't hear when their baby is crying and continue being in dream land. I proved myself wrong and woke up at every little squeak and grunt my little one made. And of course, Z was waking up every two hours for feeds and nappy change and boy did she poop a lot! Yeah, no worries here about her being unable to poop!! LOL. At this time Z had only one monitor attached to her which was the heart rate monitor and that thing was a life saver. Instead of me frantically getting up to check if she was breathing (which I still do even now) I could hear the machine clicking softly. That was a tiny bit of comfort while living in a tiny cubicle.

9 August 2013: Because Z was a preemie and a tiny baby at that she had to take a car seat test. It's fairly simple: the nurses will put the baby in the car seat and monitor the pulse and oxygen levels for one hour and if these levels are good and stable, that means the baby passed the test and is ready to go home. The test is to make sure that the baby's lungs are strong enough and do not collapse while in the car seat. Z passed with flying colours even though she was crying off and on because she was hungry and wanted to nip.

10 August 2013: Z got her first bath; which was obviously not from me. It was from one of the lovely nurses Geralynn who gave me a demonstration. Surprisingly Z didn't scream bloody murder while she was getting a bath! That's my girl! We also got to take her out with us for a coffee break (which was like 20 feet from the the hospital) and she was all asleep and lovely in the stroller.

12 August 2013: While still bleary eyed I finally got the news I've been waiting for: Z was ready to go home! The first thing I did after finding out was to text husband! Husband was so happy that he didn't believe it at first. He interrogated me fully before it finally kicked in that his wife and baby are finally coming home to be with him.

All in all Z was in the hospital a grand total of five weeks. Initially when we found out about Z's condition the doctors had warned us about the length of the stay; that it could be between 4-6 weeks before Z was allowed to come home. For us, Z coming home in five weeks being completely healthy was nothing short of a blessing and of course miracle. Although no one really warned us about the emotional toll this whole ordeal would take on us. Of course this has strengthened our relationship as husband and wife but in reality, we were a whole lot of scared for a whole lot of the times.

This is the end of Z's journey. So far we've already had one follow up check up with the doctor and he seems to happy with her progress which means as Z's parents we are doubly happy about it. Every little laugh and smile, every little milestone is something to be celebrated in this lil' ol' house of ours. Yeah and those celebrations includes poopy diapers too! ;)

♥♥♥

October 1, 2013

It's In Her Scalp :(

Ed note: This post was written on 24/7. The next post on Z's gastroschisis should the last post on her stay in the children's hospital so that means it will probably be a long and wordy post. Just bear with me guys! Thank you. xo

***

We went in to see Z in the NICU today (24/7) only to find out that she was moved upstairs, to the ward above. We were shocked. It's been a tiny bit over two weeks so we didn't expect her to move up so fast. Moving up to a different ward means that Z is making progress and is on a great road to full recovery. We were basically overjoyed; but once we got upstairs to see her, we were greeted by this:

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Her PICC Line in her scalp.

I saw her and I almost burst into tears. And coupled by the fact that even Z was crying her lungs out, I almost lost it. Husband kept urging me to pick Z up, but I was scared out of my mind. What's in the photo is her line all fixed up to the fluids; but when we got there it was only attached to a flimsy syringe. So you can imagine my fear of actually messing things up. In the end, husband picked her up and Z finally quieten down. I was basically off and on in tears looking at her today. It doesn't help when the nurse tells you things like, the solution that's going through the lines are quite concentrated and could cause permanent damage to the veins if it was put in through the foot and if it moved. I mean it's on her face, what if that causes damage to her face? Na'uzubillah! Touchwood! It's a freaking scary thought!

Thankfully I have husband; he is the most optimistic person I know and he somehow managed to calm me down. And the most important fact, Z needs this. So, I had to make myself okay with it.

Okay, bright side time: Z's moving up the ward which means in a couple of weeks (maybe less *fingers crossed*) she'll be coming home with us. In this ward, Z also gets to wear clothes, so be prepared for tomorrows post of her dressed up all nice and bright! Oh and we also managed to shave all the hair she had from in the womb.

Three things to be happy about today, not too shabby eh? ;)

p/s: Today; the 24 Jul 2013 was the date that I was to be induced but guess what Z, we're almost hitting the halfway mark to your full recovery. Love you cuddle bug! xo

♥♥♥

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