Thursday, 26 March 2009

Guilty Mommy

While I was busy "loitering" waiting for Myron's photos to load for the last post, I could hear the two older boys playing by themselves. It sounded like they were going to tear the house down...

Think I should be with them...

Oh! Oh! One of them's crying.

My time to Exit here...

Portraits Of Myron

Myron at three weeks old.
His many expressions that seems to say...

You talking to me?

You think babies are easy?
We are tougher than you think!

I'm ready to have my picture taken.

Err.. what did you say again?
Ang-goo-goo? Huh?

Hmmm... Now where did I leave my Mommy?

Here! Here! I'm open!
The milk is to go in here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

New Tank

Yesterday Mommy and Gadget-daddy took Myron for a check-up on his jaundice and came back with good news... to some not so good news.

Micah broke our fish tank.
He was trying to see the gunk-fish (the sucking-cleaner fish we call bandaraya fish here), and knocked a rock in the aquarium over. It made a huge crack at the bottom of the tank.

So we had to use Max's bathtub as a make-shift tank.

Today, we started a new family project. Mommy e-mailed a friend to get another person's contact to get an extra fish tank in the friend's old place.

Then the work began.

And finally we relocated the surviving fishes and the terrapin into the new tank.
There were 5 fatalities in this accident.

We are glad we still have a few fishes to watch while they swim.

Thank you, Minni and B for the tank.

Three of Them

We now join in the ranks with the Cuddlyfamily and TripleJin

We have Three Boys!

Most often they are referred to as
The Three Musketeers

and sometime as
The Three Monkeys.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Middle Child: Warming Up

Since the Day Myron was delivered, Max has been keeping some distance away.
I called it his Withdrawal Syndrome.

Even when we were at the hospital, Max would busy him self playing with his own thing and exploring the place. But when it was time to go, he would cry and want to stay with me.
It was obvious that he was having some emotional struggle, trying to come to terms with the change of the family's dynamics, now that he is no longer the "baby".

At school and when other friends and relatives ask Max about the baby he would refuse to talk or pretend he did not hear them and speak of a different subject. Poor boy. The middle child's syndrome had begun.

Over the days and weeks we see him getting a little better. He would occasionally, in the middle of his play, look at Mommy and ask, "Mom, where is your baby?" or "Where's Myron?"
And when he sees Micah kissing the baby he now follows suit.

Last weekend it seems like he had come to terms with something within him.
Max gave Myron a little car - One of his favourites.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Inside A Cocoon

Micah's reading is coming along now.
It's like something happening inside a cocoon.

This child is slowly learning to be patient for results. Because he is always on the go, he has always wanted everything fast. Before Max could play with him, Micah rather run after a ball, run in the park, catch bugs etc. Max was the one who started him on fixing a jig-saw puzzle and arranging cars (usually not less than 6) in a row, getting them ready to start a race.

When it came to reading, Micah would always ask us to read because it was faster and I'm sure because it was effortless on his part. But of late he's been able to recognise and spell words by sound. He'd still just pick certain words that interest him, or read off things that appealed to him, i.e. cereal boxes, and inscriptions on his toys. So it's coming along pretty well. In fact he has surprised me quite a few times by pointing things out to me, saying,
"Look, mum, this says 'road'."

Well done, my boy.
Keep it up!

Max is also learning to read. Well, to read the letters, but he occasionally needs help because he can't remember. Last week he needed help recognising the letter "Y". Today it was the letter "U".

The funny thing that happened yesterday was, I pointed at a lower case "L" and asked him, what letter is this. He answered, "One." Micah and I laughed, and Mommy said, "Max, you're so funny. It's the letter "L", darling. A letter. Not number."
And Max said, "Oh, right..."
I love his good spirits.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Mommy Fix-It

In the midst of shuttling to and from the hospital Micah had a problem:
Max had a truck to carry his cars in but Micah's truck was a flat-bed truck.

Mommy fixed it by using a plastic case from a biscuit pack.

Now both the boys want the fixed truck because it can carry more cars... But eventually they are happy with what they have.

Celebration Time


Bring out the champagne!

We got baby Myron back this evening bout 4pm.
His bilirubin count was down to 170 umol/L when they checked him in the morning. The safe zone is 17-180 umol/L, so he just made it. And since we only got him in the evening, we hope it's even at a better count when we brought him home.

Since then he has nursed twice and is sleeping soundly.

Thank you for all your prayers and your well wishes.
It's good to have the baby home.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

What Confinement?

Thank you all for your well wishes.
You cheered me up after an emotional morning.

Myron's bilirubin level went down just a tiny bit after 20 hours of photo therapy.

The hospital called this morning as we were on our way there to inform us that he has to stay on another day. Sigh... so much for packing his clothes and a towel in the bag.

I know... I know...
It's just a phase. It'll be over soon and we'll never have to worry about this jaundice thing again.

It's just that right now it's just missing my little cutie.
I wish we could rent a machine home instead, but I suppose it's best this way.
After all, he is under the care of well trained nurses*...

So maybe it's somewhat good. Get me to go out of the house three times a day.
Hahaha... Some confinement this is.
At least I am still getting the good food and my herbal bath once a day.
I try to lie down whenever I can... more like taking a nap in the afternoon.
I'd really like to go walking at the mall or catch a movie, but I can already hear my mil and my mom scolding (brain-washed me),
"Walk the mall? You had surgery remember?"
"Catch a movie? Catch a cold-ah!"
"Rest more. You'll get backache-ah!"

Tonight, Gadget-daddy and I will visit him a little later.
He should have milk to last till 9pm.
We will go in later so that Mommy will have more milk to express for over the night.
... Oh, and bring home some sweet baby smell to give us sweet dreams of Myron tonight.

* Just now, I had just spoken to one of them, a very nice lady.
She had been a nurse for 15 years at the current hospital and was trained in England from when she was 19. She is now a mother of 3 and her youngest child is 25 years old. I enjoyed chatting with her, exchanging stories about our children and managing our home with the kids.
She also said I didn't seem like one going through a confinement.
Well, with three kids, and the baby in the hospital, "What confinement?"

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Heart to Heart

It's a little colder in our room tonight.

We have less of one heart beating... a little one.

We sent Myron in today for a blood test and he was admitted in for photo therapy. We hope one day would be sufficient for him to be well enough to come home.

Today Mommy made three trips to the hospital to express milk for him.
3X 2X3oz is actually not enough to meet his needs, although it's considered a lot, from what the nurses are telling me. Still, they will have to supplement his needs with formula milk.

The last trip we made to the hospital was about 8.30pm. We brought the two boys along to see their baby. Already the whole day today they have missed Mommy and Myron, but they know we are at the hospital. They have understood that Myron needs some treatment at the hospital to make him better.

When we got home, there was a moment when Max asked about Myron and I said he is at the hospital tonight.

Mommy: I miss my baby.
Max: But it's ok. He'll come home soon.
Mommy: But why is it so long*?
Max (smiling and nodding): It's not so long. It's just tomorrow.

After this short snippet, he got huge hugs from Mommy and Daddy for being such a sweety.
This boy knows how to warm your heart.

* Mommy was using this whining line back on Max. He always complains that everything takes too long, i.e. brushing teeth, taking bath, school time = time away from Mommy.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Quote: Life on Ledgers

It is not true that we love our children more than our parents.
It's just that with our kids we run up the account of them not ever being able to pay us back,
and with our folks, we are ever in debt.


Sunday, 15 March 2009

Poop Watching

One of the things I'd learnt since Micah was born and had jaundice is to watch the poop.
(Was contemplating posting a picture of a dirty diaper but I'll spare the rest of the world.)

If the poop's colour is a nice mustard yellow then your baby coming along fine.
If it is pale then you need to watch the baby more carefully.
Greenish poop normally indicated that the baby is not feeding enough.
This is quite common when the baby has jaundice which makes it sluggish, sleepy most of the time, and won't feed properly.

As for nursing moms, we have to cut down intake of herbs*, namely Chinese herbs, because the baby's liver cannot cope with processing the essence of the herbs from the mother's milk on top of trying the clear bilirubin of the blood.

So we have been looking at Myron's poop (diaper gazing? :P) the past few days. Just now it was mustard yellow again, but the whole day today it had been a pale green.

We will continue to sun him, but if he shows no improvement then we might have to send him in for photo therapy again.
I hope not. I will miss him so so much.
So will the rest of the household.

* This does not include ginger and red dates. According to the doctor's advice these are ok. It's the more "potent" ones like tong-guai, etc. that should be avoided until the baby is well again.

Soaking In Sweat

The thing with the confinement that is most uncomfortable for me is the sweaty bit.

This I mean after every meal I find that I need a towel to wipe off the sweat. If I could I would head for a shower and wash my hair too.

Thanks to all the rich food consumed while it's still steaming, and no fan allowed while eating, I have to change a shirt after every meal.

Arrgh... I feel so sticky and stinky.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Myron has a bit of jaundice.

While I was forced to stay back an extra day in the hospital for observation*, Myron was sent in for photo therapy.

Now back home, we noticed he is still slightly yellow. So today we waited for the sun the break out of the morning's shower clouds and Gadget-daddy got Myron a nice spot to sunbath.

The nice treat for him sunbathing at home was he could still have his boopjuice at the same time.

After that it was a nice warm bath, more nan-nan and then a snooze.

Ahhh... What a life.

*Due to the position of the baby, the process of delivery might have caused some bleeding in the bladder. The doctor kept me in for observation but I was desperate to get home. I stayed one extra day and then insisted to be discharged. Yesterday I went in for a check-up and to have my stitches removed. The doctor was glad to announce that there's no blood in the urine. So Thank God all is clear.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Photo Update

Our beautiful baby.

The boys were thrilled when they got home yesterday to discover that their baby brother had gotten them a gift each:

Micah opened his present while Max was having his nap.
They both got a pack of snackie and 2 cars.

This was my dinner:

Soup with black fungus, kidney, liver and chicken, with rice with ginger flakes .
Yes, I did stomach all that.

Gadget-daddy in action: burping Myron.

This evening, the two big brothers decided that it was a good time to start reading with their baby brother.

Myron was actually paying attention.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

An Inconvenient Luxury*

As inconvenient as the confinement month is (supposedly 40 days), I am seeing how it was really meant to be a time of luxury and pampering, in the name of taboo, for the womenfolk.

I am sure the womenfolk of the ancient times were the ones who came up with this for themselves, and made sure the men put up with all the inconveniences for 40 days while they recover after giving birth.

No Bathing except for Herbal Baths
- In the olden days, with no running water, at best, a well in your backyard, women still have to draw and carry water for the household's use. To spare the one who had just given birth, she was made to be excused from such hard work. Instead, she is given the luxury of a spa treatment - a herbal bath of ginger and herbs, supposedly to get rid of wind and help keep her warm. Very good if she had had her baby in the cold/cool seasons.

Do Not Touch Cold Water or You may Catch A Chill
- "No need to fetch water from the well. No need to prepare any meals. No need to wash up after your meal. No need to bathe yourself. No need to water the plants or animals. Just enjoy yourself and be pampered. Relax." I am sure that was the whole idea behind this taboo.

Stay within the confines of your Room
-It is believed that if you catch a draft while recovering from labor, you would suffer for a long time, if not then in your old age with rheumatism, back ache or migraine. Well, I think it just gives the mother some time for herself to rest and not be bothered about the everyday chores. Instead, she is given the time and space to bond with her baby and have a good holiday in the comfort and privacy of her own room.

Lie On Your Back as Much as Possible
Oh, I suppose it is just good to be off your feet. But one is asked to lie down so that you do not suffer from severe backache in days to come. How often would a woman who has to run the household gets to sleep in anyway? Now is the time and you are given the privilege.

Eat While the Food is Hot

- In ancient times, most likely the men who labor in the fields or trades would be the first to sit at the dining table. This is a good time for a woman to enjoy food hot from the pot.

Certain Diet Prescribed
- Kidney, stomach, pigs' trotters in vinegar, chicken in rice wine and lots and lots of ginger and sesame oil. These are sure rich food, and food for the rich. It definitely is a luxury in days when there were no national nor international trades and definitely no supermarkets. Items as these on menus were scarce. I am sure they were costly too.

Pigs' trotters and ginger in black vinegar stew

Having thought of all the above, my mother told me a story of a lady in her old fishing village who had a baby every year. She had in total about 9 children. My mother knew this woman while she was a young girl, and later on was told by this lady, that she wanted her one month of good food and pampering every year. That was her motive of childbearing.
What do you think of that?

* Of course the whole idea of luxury and pampering for us now is so different because we live in a time of modern facilities and the utilities like plumbing, electricity and running water is a norm. We can't imagine a life of luxury and convenience and pampering without any of these three essentials of modern, clean and healthy living.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


I am again awake by myself.
Now there are four sweethearts in sweet slumber.

The last few nights, Gadget-daddy had been the one to put the two big boys to bed.
Tonight, because I was nursing Myron at that time, he again had to settle the boys for bedtime - brushed their teeth and get them tucked in. After they slept, he complained that because I am home, the boys were refusing to sleep. Too excited. Kept chatting and making funny quirks.

But I love watching this man with his boys.
He has always been interested and wants to be involved with them.

When we had our first boy, he wanted to bathe him, but MiL was even more insistent.
But when Micah had colic, Gadget-daddy locked our room's door, leaving the anxious grandparents knocking frantically at our door and trying to get in to settle the baby themselves. Gadget-daddy took care of his crying baby every night, about 8pm to 9pm, for a month, trying all manners to sooth him.

Micah, June 2004 - New born

Max was a much easier baby. Even then, Gadget-daddy was ever ready to burp the baby after every feed. And he does such a good job at that too.
While Max's nature is one that is a little more reserve, Gadget-daddy is always encouraging and coaxing him to be involved or to try new things. This of course is not always well received by Max, but he sure needs such a father to help him be braver than he can be. (Mommy is usually more patient and indulgent. :D Maybe when he is a little older....)

Maxwell, December 2005 - New born.

Maxwell, about 1 month old.

Now we have another for Gadget-daddy to burp and change diapers. :)
More than all that, he is also enjoying breathing in the fragrance of the new born and sleeping beside him.

Myron, March 2009 - New born

My boys are so fortunate to have such a Daddy.
I am so fortunate to have such a man.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

It’s not how the baby comes but that we are all well

Thank you everyone for your congratulation notes. We are all well.

Needless to say, going in for surgery was a very awful and daunting feeling.
It’s totally unnerving for me.
I’d take natural birth anytime.

While they were preparing me for epidural and the C-section, a flood of memories were triggered:
I suddenly remembered it gets terribly cold in there after delivery due to the fasting, the sudden drop in body temperature after the baby’s out and the Operation theatre is very cold also.

The insertion of the IV drip at the back of the hand and the epidural injection hurts.

The epidural makes me want to hurl.

It takes quite a while for the stitching to be done.

Back at the room,
The Morphine drip has left me groggy most of the time.

Sometimes in the middle of messaging someone I feel like I had a 0.5 second of blackout. I dozed off.

Even now I am feeling a little off.

BUT as hissychick said it,
It’s not how the baby comes but that we are all well.

So here is
Myron Foong Zi Yang
Weight: 3.75 kg
Length: 53 cm
Born: 6th March 2009, 3.2+pm.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Arrgh: Drama In The Womb

Had a Shocker today.
My baby's BREACHEd!!!

Last week the baby was ok, in the right position.
He had been so for the last three months.

Today the baby turned and now it seems it's in an obligue position.
His head is up again, nearer to my left ribs and the bum is down towards my right hip.

Doc' advice is to have C-section asap.
He means tomorrow.

He is worried if in case my water breaks suddenly and will put the baby in grave danger, as natural birth is now impossible.


We want to wait, to talk to this naughty little boy and tell him to get back into position.
Now is not the time to protest on having to come out and try to get too cozy in side.

I am also concerned about having the baby out by tomorrow as both the boys are not well.

My back-up plan now is, if we really have to have the baby out by tomorrow, I might have to stay at my mom's for a week while the boys recover from their flu.

Not the best of plans. I am sure the boys would be upset, because they cannot have Mommy with them and also cannot see their baby.

This is so unexpected.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Boys Under the Weather

Both my boys are down with running nose and cough.
Both boys are sneezing off and on.

Micah is constantly reaching for a tissue. I am trying to get him to use a piece twice - fold over and blow again. Save some trees.
His cough is not so bad but he has phlegm in his throat.

Max's running nose is not as bad, but he coughs a lot in his sleep. That is worrying.
He also ran a fever in the evening when I took him to the doc's.

So the two of them are getting a couple of days off from school, much to Max's delight and Micah's disappointment.

So I am to have my check up tomorrow.
Wonder what will the report be, as in just the same-ole, same-ole?
8 days to go....

Watching As They Sleep

This was why I started blogging.
I just can't sleep some times.

I have been up for a while now, lying in bed , listening to my three guys breathing and snoring.
Max coughs occasionally, rendering a little interruption from Mommy to give him some warm water to sooth an itchy throat.
Micah asked for milk twice, but the second time, he just went back to sleep without asking again.

These days it is Max who talks and cries more in his dreams.
Most of the time it is a replay of what's happened, or the usual happenings of the day: fighting over a toy, or arguing with his brother who had won a race.
Sometimes he cries very badly and tells me he fell down.
And just just now he said aloud, "Have you got your iPhone?"
His father beside him answered, "Yes."
He opened his eyes then and said, "Not you. I was asking Suk-suk (his uncle)."
To which his father replied, "Is Suk-suk here?"
Max smiled and went back to sleep.

Anyway. Micah was also like that. But since he turned four, his sleeping pattern has been better.

So, for the last five years, and a few more to go, I probably can count with one hand how many nights I have slept right through. But honestly, I just can't remember.

Fortunately for me, there are other adults in the house to help watch the boys in the day should I need a nap*. Thanks to my in-laws, I'm not totally sleep deprived.

That keeps me sane. At least then I can still function in the day, i.e. drive the boys around, feed and bath them, play and read with them.

With one more on the way, I don't know what the demand is going to be like, with three boys calling for attention. But it'll still be no sleeping through the night for sure. Just maybe slower to blog.

* Of course napping can only take place if Micah has something to do that does not involve Mommy while Max is having his nap. But there were days he just had to leave me snoring on the couch with his toy in my hand. I just knocked off in the middle of play. Oops.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Couting Down

It's March!!
Our littlest one is suppose to be due on the 11th of March.
That means it's 9 days to go.

Both older boys were late, but we are thinking this one may be on time or a little early.

The signs are somewhat different this time round:

I am getting a lot more abdominal muscle strains and I can really feel the loan on my cervix.
Sometimes after sitting down for a while, I can't stand straight.

I think the baby is lower now. With both my older boys, their head did not go down into position fully, so I had to take one out by 'C'-section and the second was assisted by vacuum suction.

Hope this one will be smooth.

Gadget-daddy's patting "him" everyday, saying, "We'll be seeing you soon."