01/04/2013

Our (humble) journey, thus far

13 moose(s) hit it
(a long entry waiting ahead)

Bismilllahirrahmanirrahim..

Dah lama nak tulis pasal breastfeeding journey tapi segan nak tulis awal-awal nanti orang cakap, poyo ah kau Moose baru beberapa bulan dah sibuk nak tulis breastfeeding journey bagai. So since I've hit the crucial breastfeeding milestone of 6 months, only now I feel comfortable to write my or rather our humble journey down.

During the seconds when Aqil was born, I was so eager to breastfeed him there and then but unfortunately he had some problems with breathing and was taken to the NICU and I only got to hold him for about 10 minutes. Later that night, we visited him and I still couldn't breastfeed him then because he was on breathing machine and a feeding tube was inserted into his mouth. He was fed with donors milk that night after we signed our consent. The next morning, a midwife came to check on me and taught me how to hand-expressed the milk (marmet). Alhamdulillah, the milk was there and despite a bit clumsy, I managed to hand-expressed about 10ml of the "liquid gold" or colostrum for him. That was his first taste of my milk. His breathing equipment was only taken off on the third day so from day 1, there was no direct feeding. I've tried breastfeeding him on day 4 and because my boobs were engorged, he couldn't latch onto it properly.

To cut the (sad) story short, since he was on feeding tube from day 1, he couldn't latch or rather he didn't know how to latch. Furthermore, he was fed with almost 40-55ml (1.5-2 oz) every 3 hours to maintain his weight and that, leaved him with no room to feel hungry and wanting to "work" for food. I felt very devastated and helpless with the whole situation. Seeing that I struggled to have Aqil latched, a nurse suggested me to use a nipple shield and it worked like magic. He could finally latch on!

Since breastfeeding especially the act of sucking takes a lot of preemie's energy and because of that, our breastfeeding session was kept to a maximum of 30 minutes. The rest, he was fed via tube with the milk that I pumped out. To be honest, when he was at the hospital, because of the amount that was assigned for him, there were times when I couldn't meet up his demand. Remember that we signed the consent letter for donor's milk? I innocently thought that even if I couldn't meet his demand, he will still be on breast milk from the donors. I was shocked when I found out that he was already fed with formula milk after he was moved from the intensive care room to the intermediate care room. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula milk but it was more like a regret towards the hospital of not informing us of the act.

Since that day, something inside of me snapped. I felt like I failed to provide the best for my baby. I've become borderline obsessed with pumping that I pumped every 2-3 hours instead of 3-4 hours. I'd wake up in the middle of the night to do power pumping. I also tried out every possible milk boosters just for the sake if they could increase the milk production. Dates, red dates & longan tea, nursing tea, milk, cheese, white radish - you name it, I've tried it. Orang cakap usaha itu datang dari pelbagai cara and I was doing every thing that I possibly can. It was draining out my energy but I ignored it because I was partly blaming myself that earlier on I chose to sleep rather than pumping out and my son had to take the consequences and had to drink FM. I didn't mean to offend anyone because this was more of my inner battle coupled with frustration, anger and postpartum hormone imbalance back then.

Breastfriend at the hospital

When he was discharged from the hospital, he was still on the feeding tube and we opted for a home hospital care whereby the nurses will visit and monitor his progress for 2 weeks. I was still pumping and breastfeeding him using the nipple shield. After 2 weeks the tube was taken out and I was finally feeding him directly with the help of the nipple shield. Again alhamdulillah, despite reading the disadvantages of using nipple shield and what it can do to your milk supply, I've never experienced any dropping or shortage of supply. Probably because I don't pump so much (so I didn't know the volume) and just concentrate on direct feeding since I'm a SAHM.

Breastfriend at home

So, when he was about 3 months old, I've decided that probably it was time to wean him off from the shields. There is nothing wrong using the shields but it can be quite a hassle when you're out and NIP. The first few days were frustrating and yes, there were times when I felt like giving up, broke down, stressed out and cry but luckily I didn't. I am just too stubborn to quit. One of the things that you should know about me is that, I must finish what I've started. Winners never quit, I always say to myself.

Then one day, he taken me by surprised by latching on perfectly! I was (and still am) a proud mama. From then on, he latched like a pro and I've never been any prouder and grateful. And we enjoy our breastfeeding journey even more from then on. Even though we've hit 6 months, since he was born prematurely, his adjusted age is only 5 months so technically I still have another month to go before I started to introduce solid food to him. But honestly, I don't feel any pressure to do so. I'm just not ready to introduce solid to him but of course, we'll see how it goes later.

Breastfeeding is a natural process but for some people it may take a lot of work. Our breastfeeding journey was/is a roller coaster of emotions. It takes a lot of perseverance, determination, courage, discipline, patience and doa to come to where we are now. This is such a humbling experience to me and in a way it teaches me that sometimes, you gotta have faith in yourself and your baby as both of you are in it - together as a team. (dah bunyi macam tagline MLM pun ada gak. Kahkah)

Alhamdulillah, we've come so far and like every one else, I'd hope to continue this journey for another 1.5 years.

Yeah, boys (and breastfeeding) rule!


Insya Allah.

Til then, happy breastfeeding!
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15/02/2013

Body Talk

6 moose(s) hit it
So yesterday was Valentine's Day. Not that we were celebrating it or anything but 3 years ago, we were engaged on the day and suddenly I was feeling nostalgic when looking back at all our engagement photos and reminiscing the good time (and how skinny I was back then!). I think I weighed about 50+ kg kot masa tu. I just joined the gym and man, I was loving my body. Not bonny skinny but toned skinny.

Now sure if you get the drift but for short, my body was hot la. HAHAHA. Perasan.

Don't hate me. Peace no war. HAHA

Yes, it WAS. Now I feel like a blob. Sad.

I still look skinny and I already got my pre-pregnancy weight back but really, for someone who just gained 6-7 kg during the pregnancy, it wasn't that hard. I lost all the pregnancy weight 1 month into confinement and I wasn't doing anything particular. I eat like nobody's business and hungry all the time because I'm breastfeeding. I even jokingly told my husband that I eat more now than when I was pregnant. It's the truth, really. No kidding there. Breastfeeding moms can attest to this.

I would love to start exercising again to tone the body but it's winter (alasan!) so I can't jog. Besides, Aqil is fully on the breasts so I can't leave him with anyone since we don't bottle-trained him because of personal reasons (will blog more about this but I don't know when). The only exercise that I'm doing is walking and if you live without your own transportation, you are bound to do it, a lot. And it's free, so yay!

Hopefully once the weather is a bit warmer, we or I can go to parks for a walk. It's nicer to go to parks when it's not freezing cold and the ground is not laced with snow and ice. And I don't have to frantically look for cafe/deli/restaurant if Aqil suddenly wakes up for milk because I can nurse him there and then. Oslo is practically a breastfeeding friendly place so you won't get stared at if you are NiP. So, another yay!

Tell me - how do you mommies, lose the pregnancy weight?
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04/02/2013

Sex Symbol

2 moose(s) hit it
(source)

As per the hospital's regulations, after I delivered I had to stay at the postpartum ward for 3 days. On the second day postpartum, a middle age midwife came to me for the usual routine check up i.e. taking blood pressure, check the uterus etc. I commented on how engorged my breasts were and since Aqil was in NICU and hand-expressing technique didn't work well with me, I requested for a breast pump.

She then said, "You must've felt like Dolly Parton with those engorged boobs"

I laughed hard and she lent me an Ameda hospital grade pump and then happily showed me how it works.

She also shared her breastfeeding tips based on her successful experience. All her 3 children were breastfed. I still remember one of the things that she said to me;

"From now on, your boobs are no longer a sex symbol. They're now food for your baby"


And yerp, that's how I think Aqil sees me now -  a source of food and comfort.
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18/12/2012

Nursing In Public

5 moose(s) hit it
Never ever I've thought that I would neglect my blog this long but being a new mom requires much of my attention and energy so I need to prioritize.

Semenjak dua menjak ni topik nursing in public (NIP) memang hot eh? I know the issue was triggered by a blogger tapi aku malas nak kisah sebab to each their own, right? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion dan kalau orang tak setuju, buat apa kita bermati-matian membangkang?

It's getting cold here and last week the temperature hit -16C, I know crazy, right! So out of curiosity,  I posted some time ago on International Mothers and Babies Group Oslo (IMOBAGO) about nursing in public.



Aren't these ladies lovely coming up with such great solutions? You feel like hugging each and every one of them after reading those comments.

As I mentioned in the comment above, mothers in Malaysia are considered lucky because most of the shopping malls provide nursing room for mothers' convenience. Here, nursing mothers have to be more creative, you know, what's with the cold weather and lack of nursing rooms.

I was very anxious of the thought of nursing in public initially. A lot of things are going through my mind from covering the aurat to what position should I hold my son. I need to use the nursing pillow every time I breastfeed so the thought of being out of your comfort zone really scares the shit out of me.

Last month, when we went to Stockholm to register my son at the Malaysian Embassy, I was borderline nauseous because I know that at some point I have to do it, I have to NIP and it scares me. We were in the train to the airport when it happened. My son woke up and wanted milk. I am lucky because he is not a big crier so that gives me enough time to not panic and prep. Well, it wasn't t as scary as I thought it would be! Of course it was bit awkward with me constantly adjusting with holding position and all but yes - I can do this, I said to myself.

It was then the beginning of NIP for me. Ever since, I had NIP on the plane, at the airports, in the cafes, in shopping centers, you named it, I did it all without using any nursing cover or poncho. For me, the key point to a successful NIP is a supportive husband. He would be a watchman for me and help me to cover the aurat if it shows but most of the time I would wear a nursing friendly attire so that it won't be such a hassle. I enjoy my time and nursing in public is no longer a scary thing to me anymore

So tell me, how is your NIP experience?
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