Monday, 11 March 2013

Weaning: Day 7

Yes, my duty as a Muslim mother is to breastfeed my offspring for two years. There are exceptions, also provided for in the al Quran but our topic today is on weaning *smile*
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six month from birth.
Now at 35 months and counting, we have slowly introduced weaning The Little Girl from the breasts.
The starting point was at 30 months.

The Little Girl started tolerating cow milk without vomiting and eczema. We introduced it via some cow milk with her morning cereal, and gradually increased her consumption to 4 oz/ 120 ml of cow milk before sleeping.
However, she would still insist on "mama's milk" to soothe her to sleep at night.
Somehow, our tummy to tummy posture got uncomfortable when The Little Bean hit 22 weeks.
My breasts also got overly sensitive when nursing (pregnancy hormones?).
The mild contractions from breastfeeding grew increasingly uncomfortable as well. Coupled with Braxton-Hicks, I felt unsure if it was Braxton-Hicks or just oxytoxin being released. Or a combo of both!
Either way, I was prepared emotionally to wean The Little Girl. I know we have done our best, and it is a wonderful sense of achievement.
How did we do it? 
Slow and steady. Many recommend going cold turkey but we just could not.
We kept to the "new" bed time routine for a few weeks.
Choose story books.
Brush teeth.
New: Milk time. Old: Breastfeeding time.
(I know, it is supposed to be brush teeth then sleep but brushing her teeth wakes her up! Is it the minty toothpaste?)
During day time, we practiced positive reinforcement.
Slideshow of her photographs as a newborn and early days of drinking from the bottle containing expressed breast milk. We also included her photographs during her toddler days directly nursing in public on holidays etc. We continued to explain how she has grown and can now eat with the adults, drink from a cup etc.

Slowly but surely, she stopped asking for the breasts except for the one time she fell ill. Once she recovered, so did her appetite for "milk in a bottle".

How is it like now?

350ml on nights when she is thirsty. Takes less than 15 minutes for her to chug that much milk then doze off.
120ml on nights when she just wants a wee drink then sleep.
Confession: I never knew how much she was drinking from the breasts, and it did not matter because her growth chart was spot on average. She also produced the 6-8 wet diapers and was regular with poo.
She still cuddles, holds my hands, shares my pillow on some nights and we are both enjoying this new found "intimacy". On other nights, she is more than happy to roll off to her toddler bed and zzzZZZzzz from 10 pm until 7.30 am *syukur alhamdulillah!*
How have my breasts reacted?
Left breast has a bit of blocked duct (needs massage) and dry nipple (Lansinoh really helps), but right breast is doing just fine! I am still going to talk to my ob-gyn about left breast during our next appointment.
Now, squeeze as I might, there is no milk oozing out like before. Just some thick colostrum (I am carrying The Little Bean at week 26 as I write this).
So, jazakAllah for the wonderful supply and journey with The Little Girl. He has been most kind in making this journey possible. Breastfeeding has taught me to be patient, resourceful and eat properly. It is a valuable lesson for me, for life.
Now may Allah bless The Little Bean with His rezeki, as we hope to breastfeed The Little Bean for 2 years as well.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Second Pregnancy: 22 weeks

The above is a snapshot of The Little Bean's heart.

The Other Half and I enjoy going to check up and ultrasound scans. As this particular session comes with full scan, both of us have been anticipating it as we were not offered one during my first pregnancy (different doctor, different hospital factors).
Well, the much looked forward to day for an anomaly scan finally arrived on 21 February 2013.
The Little Bean is relatively small for gestational age and weighs approximately 444g. I was a little disappointed as I have gained far too much weight in the last one month (4 kg! Are you kidding me? Blame it on the steroid for my bronchitis treatment?)...

... but it did not translate to a "bigger baby". Oh, well. I must still eat healthily...

We are thankful that despite the small size, heart action is present, fetal movements are visible.

At this stage, The Little Bean still has room to move about and is in a Breech I presentation (too early to worry about presentation at the moment so I am not the least bothered...)
The cord is also a normal 3 vessel, what a relief!
The placenta is anterior high and this I admit, this got me a little concerned. I had a "normal" placenta posterior with The Little Girl.
There you go, not every pregnancy is exactly the same.
Honestly, I pray and hope that as the uterus stretches and continues to grow, the placenta will not drop into placenta previa position *Amin!*
Both sides of the kidneys are normal. We saw head, brain, face, spine, neck and skin, chest, four chamber view and great vessels, abdominal wall, gastrointestinal tract, extremities and skeleton *Alhamdulillah!*

No wonder the scan session took up about 30 minutes from start to end. The cool KY gel on my abdomen had turned warm by the end of the session too.
We were also told that the amniotic fluid is normal, placenta Grannum Grade 1 with normal structure.

Dr. Tan Niap Hong was clinical, practical, precise and systematic. After we got the report and screen shots, we went to see Dr. Seri Suniza Sufian at her clinic and she did not comment much at this visit save for my rapid weight gain and my overdue physiotherapy session.
We look forward to our next appointment, as always.
Off to the physiotherapy session I go now, toodles!

Measurements taken by Dr. Tan Niap Hong on 21.02.2013:
BPD: 5.53 cm (was 3.64 cm)
Head circumference: 20 cm (was 13.03 cm)
Abdominal circumference: 16.94 cm (was 10.92 cm)
Femur length: 3.54 cm (was 2.52 cm)
Estimated fetal weight: 444 g (was 183 g)
Sunday, 3 March 2013

Second Pregnancy: Diaper Bag

The Skip Hop Onyx Tile is on my hunt list at the moment. I love how it is single strap, easy to loop over the Maclaren stroller, has 9 easy to use fairly roomy compartments, washable and reasonably priced.

When purchasing a diaper bag, I consider factors like dirt management/laundering after using it at public diaper change stations, nursing rooms that may not come with hooks, stroller friendliness when you need both arms, lightweight construction etc.

I guess I must learnt something useful since my last pregnancy.

With The Little Girl, we first used a Nike Gym bag (single strap, washable, lightweight, large compartments) but eventually outgrew it when the ranks of solid food, toys and books joined the "cargo".

Eventually, we upgraded to an actual diaper bag from Carter that was large enough to store the works (could have included the kitchen sink if we wanted to) but the larger the bag, the more I carried. That resulted in achy shoulders, for sure!
Now, I have seen the actual Skip Hop Onyx Tile bag and LOVED it, but me being me, I refused to purchase it there and then because the shop assistant was "not the least interested in selling anything that day".

However, I can just imagine going places with this design and oh, the places we could go with it! Fashionably at that!

A mother of two sure can dream, yes?

Which is your favourite diaper bag?
Would you purchase anything from an unfriendly shop assistant?