26 July 2018

My Baby Blues Story.

This is a story that I thought will take me a longer time to write, and share with the world - but who am I kidding? This space gives me the kind of relief a human cannot.

Earlier on, I have posted on The Birth-Day Story of Alex Koay - details of what happened and stuff. So please head over there and read . Heh.

The moment Alex was brought out of me, I felt immediate relief of weight (like literally kilogram kind of weight) off me even though I was numb from chest down. Then, when I finally heard his scream and saw his tiny body, tears rolled down my cheeks - which was totally unexpected.

I didn't expect to cry because I didn't think that the whole situation would get emotional, then again he was in me for so long and it almost felt like I didn't want to be separated from him. That and also because it was surreal that this tiny human is ours to have - forever.

So that's why there were tears.

I looked at Adrian and saw the widest smile on his face and he was just so into the little man that I didn't think he noticed my tears - which was totally fine because I was a bit shy then. Heh.

I spent an hour in a recovery room alone before I was wheeled into my room to see the husband and the baby, and I believed that was when I started feeling different.

After breastfeeding Alex for the very first time, I was convinced that the 'different' feeling that I was having was not normal - like I did not expect to be feeling this way right after delivering a baby.

It felt super abnormal and so not 'me'.

I was worried but I was also a lot of other things - tired, in pain, sad and angry.

Where is the happy in all that? I could not even smile genuinely (if I may say that) throughout my days in the hospital. It was just weird. I mean, having a baby is a happy event but I was not feeling it. I was not celebrating it like how Adrian was and everyone else. I felt alone and weird out.

When we were finally home, I realized that these feelings remained and didn't like fade away. Initially, I thought that it could be just the hospital stay that made me all gloomy and emo.

But I was wrong.

I kept it to myself for the first week but because it was eating me up, so I decided to share it with Adrian first, and then Rachel later on. I think both of them got worried but I assured them that it wasn't postpartum depression #doctorkhoo

I googled and self-diagnosed (heh) that it was not postpartum depression, but a thing called baby blues - the mildest form of postpartum depression.

Sure I've had my fair share of mood swings and all, but these mood swings were different and slightly more extreme. When the baby goes to sleep, I googled and read up more and I remembered being so desperate to get out of this baby blues so badly that I kept asking Adrian (everyday) if I am going to be 'me' soon, and everytime he would put his hands on me and pray.

These are some of the things that I had while having the baby blues:
  • I had no appetite to eat and could go through the entire day not eating anything or drinking anything. It was really bizarre because I was breastfeeding and it was supposed to make me hungry. 
  • I was really tired but every time I closed my eyes, I would wake up almost immediately again. 
  • I would cry for no reason at all - hated this the most. I would be feeding Alex and crying at the same time. One time, all it needed was a look at Adrian's face and tears would roll down. 
  •  I was feeling somewhat angry - that Alex gets hungry every 2-hours and it was really tiring. It made me feel like a horrible mother for getting angry that my son needs to drink milk. 
  • I was not myself (at all) and struggled with that the longest of all symptoms. Everyday I would try things that I normally do just so I can 'find' myself again. At the end of confinement's second week, Adrian took me out on a dinner date and that made me feel better - for that day only though. 
It was said that baby blues usually will end after 3-weeks to 4-weeks so I was looking forward to that. I was determined to get out of this hole soonest possible. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel - I was just too impatient to get to it. I didn't want to walk, I wanted to sprint but no stamina so how. Heh. 

In Alex's first month of life, I could not bring myself to bond with him like how I would love to. I just could not enjoy being a mother because I was not in the right place. Definitely not in the right mind as well. That probably made things worse because I so badly wanted to but I could not. 

I did not want to lose 'me' so we decided that leaving the 'confinement home' after 2 weeks should do us some good. We went back to our house and I started to feel better. 

Then, there was another thing that bothered me on a daily basis - breastfeeding.

This is one of the toughest thing to do in life seriously. It was one of the factor in my episode of baby blues I think.

I was feeding Alex directly and pumping every few hours but I would always still get plugged duct and that hurts like mad - the blocked duct's pain can last for an entire day and it's just insane. Most nights, I could not lie on my sides because it would hurt the boobs - it's crazy. At one time, I was afraid of sleeping on the bed that I almost sit-sleep on the couch.

Then, on days when I slept in a little longer, I would wake up with engorged breasts that is also majorly painful. Not only that, it was a very demanding round the clock 'job' because you cannot miss a feeding or pumping time, if not sure pain for don't know how many hours. Basically, you cannot be lazy.

And I, I am the laziest person I know.

So every time I wanted to give up breastfeeding, I stopped and managed to convince myself to persevere through the pain. Then, this cycle will re-drama itself every single day.

One step at a time. This was repeated so many times everyday. From myself to myself and from Adrian to me.

But, after a month of breastfeeding, I decided to stop.

No more plugged ducts.
No more engorged breasts.
No more angry/sad-feeding time.
No more sleepless nights.
No more crying over painful boobs.
No more wearing the same t-shirt everyday because I don't feel comfortable wearing others that made me feel big.

Adrian can vouch for this - the day the milk dried up was also the day I was probably the happiest ever since Alex came. I was so relieved. Yes, I was feeling guilty and questioned myself the first few days if it was the right decision but I would rather be a present happy mom than an unhappy absent mom to my son, and wife to my husband.

For sure, it is a known fact that breast milk is the best, but guess what. Formula also best la okay. Not every mother can produce milk like those who can, or persevere through the pain and not-enough-sleep-nights. I feel my case quite sad because I was actually producing a lot of milk (sometimes I feel macam too much) that is probably why I get engorged boobs and plugged ducts so often. Heh.

But its okay. Next baby I try again. 

Because now when I feed my son with the bottle, I talk to him, sometimes I sing to him - I bond with him. When I was breastfeeding, zero communications please - I just wanted it to be over asap #beinghonestherenoshame

I am super thankful that both Adrian and Rachel was super supportive towards my decision because it was not an easy one. I needed Adrian to understand why I would want to stop breastfeeding and he did. I really did not want to be 'traumatized' by this first breastfeeding experience because I intend to breastfeed all my children (as long as I could).

Now, as we enter the second month, I can happily say that baby blues are no more, and I enjoy bonding with my son a whole lot more. I love this little man please. Now I can finally show it with my 'me' method. Not only that, I realized I became a better wife to Adrian (he better agrees with me hah). I was just so 'absent' in the beginning you know. Just not there mentally and emotionally.

If you are a new mom and you are going through this, please know that you are not the only one. 70% of new moms go through it and know that you will come out of it. Remember to have 'me' time during confinement period because you do not want to lose the 'me' in this new phase of life. Find time to go for a haircut or hair wash session or mani-pedi or dinner dates with your husband.

Being a mother is really a whole new level of life-changing experience. You cannot un-mother a mother. I feel so much stronger now that I am a mother - its like I'm not even scared of flying cockroaches anymore hah.

To all mothers (who breastfeed and formula-feed), we are champions okay. Pat yourself on the back please. If your husband is nearby, ask him to pat your back too heh. Every day should be mother's day because every day our child (or children) needs to see/hear/smell us before they fall asleep - we are on demand all the time 24/7 - no turning back.

To all fathers, thank you for being our strength and thank you for being present. I know many of you do not know what to do most of the time, but by being there physically and offering hugs and kisses (on a daily basis), you are doing way more than you know. So, continue to shower your wife with your love language - CC Adrian Koay - I have been craving for salmon and steak for the longest time already ya.. :)

Now back to reality/work. Work begins already because our Alex is already two months old.

Also, this website, Motherly helps a lot (even for men) - I read and watch their videos and it makes me feel co much better. So, do go and visit this website and go explore.

Other than all that, I am also determined to 'lose' this post-pregnancy belly (or pouch heh) be it via a healthier diet or exercise, so if you are reading this and you have successfully done it, please share with me your secrets! If you are also like me, at this phase where you want to lose that after-baby's-belly, tell me so we can do it together!

One of the things that I plan to do is to go to the gym with the husband (also macam dating time kan), but I am still recovering from the c-section scar so I guess exercise will have to wait. Heh. Just few days ago, my c-section scar started to bleed a little and even now. It must be from carrying Alex in his carrier too often. He is getting heavier now. Man.

So far, I've lost about 11 kg (total weight gained during pregnancy was about 14 kg), so I have about 3 kg to go. It's going to be difficult from now on because I am no longer breastfeeding and breastfeeding really helps in losing weight. Oh wells.

I've started the lessen-the carbs-diet, so let's see how that will go. Hah.

Till next time, bye now.

04 July 2018

2D1N Lexis Suites, Penang.

We had the privilege to enjoy a night's staycation at Lexis Suites Penang recently, thanks to Jack and Carmen and it was the best thing after spending a month being 'confined' at home - not really confined la actually.

Another time for that story - when I feel ready.

Anyways, it was our first time staying at this hotel because seriously, who would go all the way to Teluk Kumbar for a staycation. Heh. If it wasn't for the good deal that Carmen got, we probably would choose a hotel at Batu Feringghi - more happening.

But then again, it was kinda refreshing to "act" like a tourist on this part of the island because really, it's like another city itself. Nothing much to do except maybe go to the beach and korek siput which we didn't do. Hah.

We ate seafood, swam in our private pool, relaxed in the room and enjoyed each other's company.

I think as we grow older, its this kind of thing that becomes 'fun'. Hah.

Or maybe its just us because we've got a kid now and relax is very rare these days.

Okay, back to the Lexis Suites Penang.

hey only have 2 types of room - Executive and Premium. Each rooms comes with a private pool and a steam room. Also, every room has 2 king size beds - so it really only makes sense to stay here with friends or family members.

I cannot imagine the purpose of staying in Lexis Suites Penang if its only the 2 of us - even with a baby also macam too big.

The price reflected for the rooms is about RM1,200 per night - I know right - crazy expensive. But we found out that if you go book online and all, you can get as low as RM200.

I don't think anyone would pay so much (RM1,200) per night for a staycation like this - no clean beach to access some more. I would rather pay to stay at Batu Feringghi.

But if you ask me which hotel is best to host party or do sleepovers, then I will definitely tell you to go for Lexis Suites Penang - with a discounted price of course.

Also, we were only given 1 complimentary breakfast so we decided to buy 3 more and I was surprised to see that their buffet breakfast spread is pretty impressive - a lot of choices and very wide spread of food items - highly recommended if you stay there. 

Here are some photos.

Till next staycation, bye now. 

27 June 2018

The Birth-Day Story of Alex Koay.

It has been a month (chun-chun) since the little man came out of my womb and into this world. Yes, at times it still feels surreal that he is already here but most of the time, it's super realistic. Especially during the night when we have to wake up every 2-hours to feed his little stomach. Hah.

Anyways, here's our little story of what happened on the day he decided to come out. 

I will try my best not to leave any details behind. 

It was 4:20am when I felt the first wave of contraction but decided to sleep it off as it was not unusual to experience one or two episodes at night, but then the second one came not long after that and I was like, "Could this be it?"

I remained lying on the bed and waited for the third one to come and truly it came.

That's when I got up and went to the toilet to check if got bleeding or mucus plug. None of that. 

Then, I prayed because I was genuinely confused. Not sure if this is really it or not. 

I walked around the room , waited for more contractions and with each episodes, I timed them. 

Then at about 5am, I shook Adrian and said, "Baby, I think this is it!"

He jumped out of bed and started putting on clothes and getting all excited. I was excited too but I needed to get a shower first. Need to wash my hair first knowing that I may not be able to do so for the next few days. Heh. 

By the time I finished with shower, I started bleeding so we wasted no more time to eat or whatever already. I was a little hungry but never mind that.

By the time we got to Adventist Hospital's Emergency Room, it was about 5:40am (I think) and I was wheeled to the Delivery Room while Koay went to do registration et cetera. 

At this point, the pain became more constant but still bearable. I thought to myself that I didn't need epidural whatsoever if it's this kind of intensity, only to have few nurses telling me that the real 'labor pain' not yet start. G.

I was 2cm dilated and since we just have to wait for the dilation to grow, we rested a while in this room before being taken to another room.

Alex was not moving so much at that point but his heartbeat was strong and constant.

I kept walking around so that I could get dilated faster and didn't need to wait for like 12-hours for the delivery to begin. I was ready to pop this one out. 

Then, when Dr. Soon came in to check at 9:30am, I was only 4cm dilated. Oh mannn. A bit too late for all the walking exercises heh. 
He took a long stick and poked the water-bag inside and immediately after that, he realized that Alex had pooped inside and his face changed.

That face.

He waited till Adrian came back from the bakery and broke the news to us.

Sometimes, babies poop while they are still inside the womb but it is not a good thing because we do not want the babies to inhale the poop into his lungs where it could partially or completely block the airway and potentially cause respiratory distress and pneumonia - not life threatening but can cause health complications.

This first poop of baby is called meconium.

Since I was only 4cm dilated, Dr. Soon highly recommended that we go for the Cesarean procedure to take Alex out instead of waiting it out because the meconium inside the bag was pretty sticky and there were quite a lot of them.

He noted that this would be a semi-emergency C-section because by 10am (which was 30-minutes later), I had different tubes in and out of my body and was wheeled into the Operating Theater.

I was completely naked and cold in the OT and more tubes on my body and machines everywhere - really like Grey's Anatomy moment hah.

Once the anesthetic specialist inserted all the necessary drugs into my body, that was when I started having a very mild anxiety attack. I could not move anything below my chest - it was super scary.

I was wide awake and I could not even move my hands.

At this point, Adrian was still outside the OT.

I felt better when Dr. Soon came in and started talking to me and I was like, "Ah, a familiar voice yes".

Then, Adrian walked in and sat next to me.

The moment I was being cut open, Adrian stood up, wanting to see every single thing but only to be told by the nurse to remain seated. Hah. But he was able to see the whole entire thing. How the cut was done, and when Alex was being brought out of my womb and stuff. It was insane. I thought he would freaked out.

The moment Dr. Soon carried Alex out of my womb, he started screaming already. I said screaming because please, he did not spend 9-months inside me to come out crying.

Have to make a grand exit okay. Even the nurse who cleaned him up said, "Wah, so loud har you"

That's our son, alright. Hah.

So, there you go.

Our first family photo.

Adrian left the OT with the baby while I was still being explored on the operating table. They were looking for the fibroid but after 10 minutes of searching, they could not find it and to avoid more bleeding, he thought it was best to stop and stitched me up.

I was being put at another place to rest for an hour before brought back to the 3-bedded room.

It was about 12pm when everything was over and I got to hold my son for the first time. I was feeling a little too tired and overwhelmed and was still in a lot of pain to enjoy the entire hold-my-baby-for-the-first-time but looking back, it did feel amazing for a while - before the pain kicked in again.

If you ask me, of course I would prefer for natural birth but his safety matters most so we did the right thing.

We spent four days and three nights at Adventist Hospital to make sure that the c-section scar is okay and everything else is accordingly. The few days in hospital also allows us to check and see if Alex has jaundice as it may come later on.

Good news is Alex never had to go under the photo-therapy for jaundice because his jaundice level kept going down day by day - he pooped a lot fyi so that helps.

I remembered feeling so nice on the day we were allowed to go home - of course I didn't wait till that day to shower and all but I was so looking forward to sleeping on my own bed already.

Yep, we spent the first night back at our own little house, then only headed over to my mom's the next day and started the "confinement" period. Heh.

Will blog more on that next.

So, that was it - our very first giving-birth experience. Nothing dramatic like water bag broke in the middle of a meal in a mall with strangers everywhere heh. Phew. I always thought that Alex would be a midnight baby but turns out, he became a morning baby.

We are so thankful that you guys have kept us in your prayer for safe and smooth delivery so thank you so much, prayer warriors!

Also, we want to thank all of you who have visited us at the hospital, the gifts and angpows that were received, the lovely messages on social media and thoughtful phone calls - please do know that we appreciate every single one of them. We feel the love for sure. Alex is so blessed for real. 

So everyone, please do meet our firstborn son.

Alex Koay Wey Ren
2.99 kg
Very hairy
Super loud
Pattern > badminton (sebiji macam the father)

Till next time, bye now.

20 June 2018

To Alex Koay.

FYI: This post was written before Alex makes the grand exit - probably a couple of months before. I was supposed to post this but totally forgot about it until now. Oh wells. Better late than never.

Hello son.

Okay, the first few times when we had to regard you as son while trying to talk to you through my belly, it felt awkward. At least for me it was. Not gonna lie. 

My emotions were lost because I did not know how to feel. To finally have a somebody who is truly 100% ours. 

Maybe reality had not hit us yet that time but now that you are coming in less than 2-months' time, calling you son is exciting and fulfilling. 

I may have some experience taking care of babies (thanks to your cousins), but I am not sure how is it going to be like taking care of my own. Being in-charge of every single details and having to make all kinds of decisions - be it small or big. 

I am scared. We both are. 

But there is one thing that we are sure of - and that is to cover you in prayers day in and day out. 

We will (for sure) screw up a few things here and there while trying to figure our new life together, and you will most likely hear us argue like kids, but you need to know this - and that is I love your dad and your dad loves me and we both love you (probably too much) heh. 

We will not be 'the' perfect parents and we don't intend to. We want to be the best we could for you and we will always try our best to be the best we know how. 

Ohh and we both agree strongly that we will not (we will try kao-kao) use any electronic devices to 'bribe' you so I guess you stand no chance to try 'manipulate' one of us. No idea how that is going to work but like I say, we will try la. 

We have so many things that we want to do with you, ways to discipline you et cetera, but let's cross the bridge when we get there. We shall not put our hopes too high. Heh. 

I told your dad that you will never be able to leave Penang to further your studies overseas because you are not supposed to be separated from me, ever. Oh no. Unless I go with you. 

See. This is bad. 

You're not here yet, and I am like this already. Your dad constantly reminds me that I cannot be like this - that I must know when to let go. Err. 

Whatever it is, just know that we are first-timers in this and since there are no instructions on what to do or how to do it, we are going to use the wisdom God gives us to nurture you to be a God-loving man. 

See you real soon, Alex.

18 June 2018

Coming Back Soon.

Oh hello comfortable space of mine.

It does feel good to be typing and staring at this white blank space.

I have been away for 3-weeks plus because well, I've been busy making life works. Heh. Life now, is different and demanding (in baby-sense) and boy, when there is a free time, even an hour - I would very much like to use them to shut these eyes for a while.

I will leave all that experience-story-telling for the next post when I actually have a little more time and focus for it.

I thought this little piece would take my mind off things for a while and it did. Oh how I miss blogging.

As we approach the 1-month's mark since the birth, this whole experience is still quite surreal because I have no idea how we (both Adrian and myself) survived the night routines with maximum 3-hours of sleep at one-go. Seriously.

I remembered it being so tough the first week - oh so tough. Then now, it's almost a month since. Next thing we know, it's probably going to be 3-months then 6-months, then Alex is going to be 1-year old. Hmm.

Oh wells.

I cannot wait to share with you guys on the next few posts on the birth and things. I hope I won't delay long on that.

Till then, bye now. 

22 May 2018

Koay's Love Language #40 - #41.

Him: Ayo, started raining heavy again (while getting ready for work).
Me: Why? Your car no roof ah?
Him: Nolah, scared later my wife cannot fit under the umbrella!

Him:Baby, I cheated on you.
Me: What? You ate Kayu's nasi kandar, didn't you?
Him: HAHAHA yeah I cannot resist.
Me: Tsk tsk tsk.
Him: Jack is my cheat-mate (or mistress)! HAHAHA. 

11 May 2018

Pregnancy Update: Week 36.

And we are finally here - the ninth month's mark.

As I am typing this, we are already at the 37th week so that means that should Alex decided to come out anytime now, it will be alright because he's already a full term baby. Every part of him is fully formed and healthy and ready to face this world.

Are we ready though?

Some days we feel like we're not, but on some other days, we would get all hyped up to hold him already. So it's really a mix of everything for us.

As we reached 37-weeks, I realized that there were 2 main things that bothered me - a lot.

First, it's eating. It has to be the gestational diabetes that has been going on inside me. It is really hard to stay away from food items that can help me stay full (for a longer time) such as rice but I really had to stay away from it because it's sugar.

Even when I eat a normal portion of white rice with dishes, my blood sugar would increase so I've been advised (many times) to stay away from white rice and take more protein things. The problem is if I don't take rice, I won't feel the full-satisfied-kind of feeling so I tend to keep finding other things to eat - which is also not advisable.

And I crave so much for soya bean but the only time I can have them is with really little brown sugar or none at all. This is torture.

I know you may think that it's only food, but try be a pregnant person and try to ignore these cravings. TRY.

My blood sugar profile readings have been increasing - suggested by the doctors at Klinik Kesihatan to take insulin shots, but still they would like to monitor me for another week. The thing is I have been pretty disciplined (in my opinion of course) in my food taking but still these readings are not showing that.

So, if that's the case, maybe I really need to take insulin shots in the end - I don't know.

What we know is that we would do whatever is needed to make sure Alex does not get this diabetes thing from me - even if it means getting him out early. Hm.

So yeah. Less than a month to go before I can sink my teeth into a slice of Secret Recipe's Chocolate Indulgence cake.

Second thing is sleep.

I am already prepared for motherhood please with all the sleepless nights I get on a daily basis.

I try to make sure I have at least 8-hours of sleep every night because in the span of that 8-hours, I actually only sleep for like 4-hours. I kid you not.

Alex weighs about 2.7kg now, and with the water and bag weight inside, it has to be like at least 7kg that surrounds my torso.

That means, at this moment, no matter what kind of position I do, I will still have difficulty in breathing - all the time. Sleeping on my right side used to be the comfiest position ever, but no longer, sadly.

No need to mention about lying on my back or left side because it's worse.

This is a real struggle and I find myself (sometimes) have tears in my eyes thinking of going to bed because I can get so frustrated middle of the night trying to sleep. It's just insane.

I get so tired by the time the clock hits 1:00pm.

So, basically the main struggles now are mainly my eating and sleeping - which are two big parts of life please.

If you don't eat well or sleep well, things go haywire okay - and with the raging hormones, it's a nightmare. Thank God for understanding husband who gives massages without complaining.

Here's to 'anytime' and 'anywhere' now. Hopefully no drama water break in public all please.