My 2 Month Postpartum Update | What You Might Face after a C-Section

Now that Naomi is 11 weeks old (around two and a half month), I think it’s time to talk about some updates. If you want to know a full update on her, you can check it on my Youtube channel which will be up this week. In this blog though, I wanted to share with you my postpartum update. Some might be the same as with my second pregnancy but some are different.

Body update

  1. Although both labor was performed by a c-section, however this time I have longer healing process, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m now 30 and my body shape is bigger compare to prior pregnancy. The pain feels the most during the first two weeks post operation, but now I only feel pain if the operation mark unintentionally scratch by fabric.
  2. During the first month, my feet got swollen which is something I’m not familiar with. Turns out this is normal. Because when we got pregnant our body retain more water than usual, and once the baby is delivered then all the water went to the bottom of the body which is unfortunately the feet. I don’t know why this wasn’t the case for me before, but this time my feet went humongous starting from the fifth day after labor to approximately a month after.
  3. I still feel exhausted because the lack of sleep and my sometime weird nursing position. And I don’t think the fact that I’ll be going back for work in less than two weeks would make it easier…not that I want to change all that. But other than that I feel wonderful.
  4. Lately, after two month postpartum, my joints are aching and sometimes (more often) my fingers are hard to open. Especially during the morning and if I remain doing nothing. I thought for sure that I have a rheumatoid syndrome, which freaks me out. So I browse the web and found postpartum arthralgia. It’s a common thing for women post pregnancy caused by hormone changes. From what I read, some women had it for just a couple of month, but majority have it around six to twelve months. Wish me luck this will soon fade out, because having this while working full time is not going to make it easy.

Mum’s update

Nothing quite change, but I did manage to regain my weight prior to having Naomi which means I’ve lost 10 kg in just two months. But the weight from previous pregnancy hasn’t gone at all. Before I was just terrified to loose the weight fearing I might not be able to get pregnant if I suddenly become skinny (as if I could get skinny…hahaha), but now that I have Naomi…I don’t think I have that same excuse anymore. So probably after she’s turning 4 months old I’ll start working out and change my diet plan.

Big brother update

Nobody told me that transitioning to two children is hard. Like real hard. I especially cannot cope (sometime) with the jealousy from the big brother. Really need to learn patience and time management. Believe me you don’t want to mess with the first kiddo.

Baby update

Mostly sleeping and feed. But Naomi starts to smile back whenever I play with her and she also shows interest to her baby gym mattress. Love love love when she calls me out today, she was looking for my attention with cooeing…awww that really made my day. The feeling of being wanted from a baby, is just priceless. I win big with both my child. Then I guess it’s just coping time now, and enjoy the last two weeks of my giving birth leave. I wish they give us six to a year worth of leave here in Indonesia just like in some countries. Or better yet, I wish I’m in the condition where I have the freedom to just grab the bait, take that big jump and pursue my dream as a stay at home working mum. Maybe in a few years…maybe…ameen!!

Advertisements

Being a Full Time Working Mum vs SAHM

foto-edit-blog-1

Oh my God how time flies. It feels like just yesterday that I took the maternity leave and now in less than a month I’ll be going back to work. I have never had an issue with being a full time working mum before, especially that I already have my first child and I’m still going to work up until Naomi’s birth. Yes I’ve experience separation anxiety with Rama, but that only happen for a while and not long after I was already caught up with work, and even doing overtime.

I love him very much, but never have I had this urge to switch off from being a full time working mum to a stay at home working mum. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m giving Naomi an exclusive breastfeed compared to Rama that has half and half with formula. The bonding now feels bigger, tougher, and it tickles my heart just to imagine the days that I will spent in the office without hugging or kissing or nursing her in my arm.

But to really jump off the building and take the step as a stay at home working mum (SAHWM) is something I’m not quite sure yet. Here’s why:

  • Being a SAHWM means I don’t have the comfort of a regular monthly paycheck, which also followed by no more company’s privilege on medical insurance, annual holiday fund, annual bonus, and retirement plan.
  • I’m afraid that if I choose to work from home, say open my own online business shop or selling food, there is a 50% chance (maybe more) that the business will fail. And with two children (a baby and a toddler) I just don’t know how we could afford their school fund without any job. It’s something I don’t want to risk.
  • Will I regret the choice one day and by the time I want to go back on an office work, I’m no longer qualified no suited since I’m already behind others curriculum.

However, there’s also some positive side on being a SAHWM:

  • I get to be with my kids and never miss even one of their development milestone.
  • I can focus on my blog and youtube channel for a hobby (and probably make it my full time job and earn a little bit of money from it)
  • We could lower the bills from having a personal nanny for each of our child and instead I could take care of them myself.

So I don’t know…both side are quite equal if you ask me. And as much as I wanted to be a SAHWM I just don’t know when I’ll be able to take that big step. Probably in the next five to ten years from now? I dunno. What I do know, is that I’ll cherish each and every little details that I can take from spending the time with both child and hope one day God will show me the way.

What do you say? Do you have a thing or two that might make me switch side and decide to be a SAHWM for real?

 

Co-Sleeping | Yay or Nay?

img_7285

Becoming a mother to 2 months old baby and having an exclusive breastfeeding equals frequent nursing day and night. For me, having my baby sleep next to me is way easier than having her to sleep by herself in the crib. I tried once with my older son when he was her age but he never wanted to sleep alone in the crib at night and only sleep by himself in the crib during the day time nap. And so with Naomi I just took the wagon and avoid the hassle of trying to put her to sleep in the crib.

There are actually different types of co-sleeping, such as: bed sharing (which is what I use currently), sidecar arrangements, different bed in the same room and child’s welcomed to parents room when needed which is letting the kids come to parents bedroom at night after overnight sleep in their own room (this might work for older child).

Having to be on the same bed with my baby helped with my nursing schedule and also makes her sleep more. A night time nursing is still needed during the early days of a baby because they still need to nurse every two hours and by having her sleep so close to me means that I could immediately nurse her before she is fully awake. That said, I don’t have to go all the way to the next room to pick her up with a chance that she is fully awake from crying, but instead I could immediately pick her up as soon as I hear noises and comfortably sits on my bed and nurse her while she is still half asleep. I did tried to nurse her in bed with a sleeping position (me in a sleeping position), she can do it but since afterward we both ended up sleeping directly without me burping her, I found that sometimes she got difficulty in breathing or throw up. Therefore, if any of you decided to co-sleep on the same bed with the baby, please remember to always sit while nursing and burp your baby before putting her back to sleep.

Sleeping on the same bed is also a way for me to bond and maintain relationship with my baby, especially in less than a month I will go back to my daily work with an 8 to 5 working schedule.

However, I must say that with such benefit comes some consideration such as:

  • There’s a possibility of difficulty to wean your baby, particularly for breastfeeding babies, because they are familiar with the smell of the milk hence they almost always wakes up repeatedly at night time for long nursing.
  • With a baby in the bed, parents will have less quality time alone together to catch up with their life and let’s not talk about our sex life. If that happens, make sure you make the effort to plan some time alone with your spouse because belief me, that spontaneous time will never come.
  • If you have your baby to sleep together, it might be harder to persuade her to move to her own room because she already built such dependent to us the parents. But most kid, happily move out once they are ready.

So before you decide to co-sleep with your baby, make sure you do these first:

  • Discuss with your partner, remember the consideration I mentioned above regarding your quality time together.
  • Check with the baby, if you found your baby get all fussy and reckless while sleeping on the same bed, probably that’s not the best situation for you to be. She might want to sleep on her own comfy crib.
  • Check for the safety of having a co-sleep on the same bed. I found this useful tips from babycenter.com

Now that you’ve read my post, what do you think? Are you going to co-sleep with your baby or not?

The First Week of a Newborn

Now that Naomi is already two months old, I can really say that the hardest part of having a newborn is on their first week of arrival. And I’m not making this post to scare new mum or those currently in pregnant, but I think we all should be prepared for what about to come (specifically for pregnant mum out there). Here’s why :

  1. When your baby first deliver, you will immediately receive a skin to skin bonding. The nurse or midwife will put your baby on your chest area and lead her for immediate latching. This was a new experience for me, because with my son I didn’t have the chance to experience immediate skin to skin bonding. He was premature and was rushed to the Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) right after he got cleaned. I was only able to kiss him for a split second. But with Naomi, the doctor and midwife put her on my chest area and was able to latch for thirty minutes non stop. I was crying with happy tears and amazed to know that she can do that.
  2. Breastfeeding is a full time commitment. I’m not trying to whine, but having to exclusively breastfeeding Naomi is also a new thing for me and I was so exhausted during the first couple of weeks. Nobody told me that when you breastfeed, you’ll get very little time for yourself, let alone for a good seven to eight hour of sleep. Turns out newborn needs to be fed every one and a half to two hours and for a good 20 minutes per feed. I was pretty overwhelmed, because again with my son this didn’t happened. He was fed half breast milk half formula. Since he was in the NICU for almost ten days, and I didn’t get the stimulation from him, hence my milk decided to go west. So he needs the formula to get full, and because he is full my milk supply is going chaotic and he rely mostly on formula. However, with Naomi that wasn’t the case. My milk supply (thankfully) is sufficient and she seems to LOVE it a lot. Because she can really latch for hours…like hours…non stop. Not that I complain, but at that time I was so tired that I become a bit jiffy. My advice, always try to sleep whenever the baby is asleep. Light nap will help even if it just for an hour. Trust me, it adds up.
  3. Changing diaper. In the early life, baby tends to have at least one dirty diaper for each day life. This means one dirty diaper on day one, two on day two and so on and so on. On day one, the dirty diaper will have black color due to meconium and on day four it will turn to yellow and the baby will have at least 3-4 stools daily. Since Naomi is breastfed, her stools tends to be loose (soft and runny) with sometimes may be seedy. She also stool every time she was nurse, and this is normal because some baby just does.
  4. During the first week until almost a month, we almost always keep the room temperature at 25 to 26 degree Celsius. This is important since the baby needs to be kept warm or she would feel cold. Baby tends to feel cold easily.
  5. Mild jaundice may occur, but that’s fine. However, Naomi had quite high on the test thus the doctor asked her to have two days of blue light treatment. If this happens to you don’t fret, you just need to keep pumping those breast milk and provide the baby with as much milk as he/she needs. I was pumping my milk every hour and send it to the hospital. Lucky for us the hospital is just five minutes away. Even so, on the second day we decided to open a room in the hospital to make it easier while breastfeeding or pumping.

So that’s about it. My first week with a newborn. I am so happy to have her and completed our little family, and I’m so looking forward for other memories to build.

Hope this post help or at least open up your idea of having to deal with a newborn. Until next time!

ASI (Breastmilk) Booster

Having a newborn, now almost two months old baby, I planned to have an exclusive breastfeed for at least a year. But with my past history of lack breast milk supply, I thought the idea of giving just breast milk is nearly impossible. Until I met the lovely nurse at my local clinic where I gave birth. Nurse Darti, that’s what she is called. Our incidental meet up was due to Naomi’s sudden request to have blue light treatment for a couple of days at the clinic. She was posted at the baby’s room where Naomi is put for treatment.

Since the other treatment for Naomi’s yellow-ish skin is breast milk, the nurse and the doctor asked me to provide expressed milk every one hour which I thought quite impossible with my previous history of combining formula milk with a bit of express milk. But then the nurse told me about a specific plant which locally known as “daun bangun-bangun” in Sumatera. She said it’s a Bataknese secret ingredients in producing lots and lots of breast milk.

I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about the plant, because I’m just a person who trust the doctor more than traditional remedy. However, being the in-law of a Bataknese, my father in-law asked around and found out that there’s a seller in Jakarta where he then purchase and send it to me. He told me he got it at Pasar Senen in the Pasar Inpres section in Bataknese district.

He told me to cook it with meat as “gulai”, so my mum quickly do her magic and cooked me the “bangun-bangun gulai”. I eat this meal twice a day on lunch time and dinner. At first it taste weird, with texture I never experience before. However, believe me when I say that my breast milk supply has increased ever since. Naomi almost two months old now, and I have not yet turn my self to the formula nor have I even tried to think about using it.

It is such a good result that I ended up telling people, family, relatives and friends who are currently nursing so they can have the same assurance as I am. And also because of that, I did a little bit of research on the web to know more about the health and benefit of this plant.

With a latin name Oleos Amboinicus (then) now known as Plectranthus Amboinicus, is a large succulent herb, fleshy and highly aromatic, much branch, possessing short sort erect hair with distinctive smell (Wikipedia). I personally think that it looks a lot like mint plant. Based on several articles around the web, this plant has so many benefit including: anti tumor and cancer. But there is also the benefit of increasing breast milk for nursing mum.

Since it contains high iron, fiber, magnesium and potassium, this plant when consumed will combined its nutrient with the breast milk resulting a healthy weight baby. In terms of helping or boosting the breast milk supply, this plant contains polyphenol, flavonoid, prolactin, and oxytocin which boost the nursing hormone.

So who said that we can’t exclusively breastfeed our baby? Turns out what seems to be impossible five years ago now is possible. And I hope this information will be able to help other nursing mum to never give up. Oh, my top tips: get enough rest (sleep), drink plenty of water, eat frequently or at least sufficiently and try to maintain the skin to skin (direct breastfeed) to the baby.

Until next time!

What’s in My Diaper Bag

IMG_7196

Having a newborn means going back to the old routine of regular changing diapers and night shift and other bits and bops. Even though it sounds tiring, but I love it. And with that said, comes the return of my old time friend, the diaper bag. This time though, I’m not using the usual diaper bag like I did last time with Rama. I used this airwalk backpack that has enough room and storage for me to bring the essentials and I don’t end up looking like someone who brings her diaper bag (even though it is).

With just one and a half months old, I’ve already taken Naomi with us to pick-up the older brother and waited in the school yard for at least two to three hours top. We sometime also take her on our weekly groceries shopping because honestly speaking this baby can’t go too far from her milk (aka. mum’s breast).

Therefore, a proper diaper bag is needed just in case a blow out happened while we were out and about. Thus, here are the list of item that I bring with me:

  • Changing mattress, this actually comes together from the diaper bag given by my sister but since it was too bulky I ended up just taking the mattress and a small handy bag that comes with it.
  • Small handy bag that is easily cleaned and matched the changing mattress. I use this to put the nappy cream, warm oil, hand sanitizer and baby cologne.
  • Disposable diapers. I usually bring four to six of them because you never know when an emergency will happen.
  • Hand and mouth wipes
  • Dry tissue
  • Spare clothes, consist of onesie, legging, bibs and socks.
  • Muslin cloth for when you need to burp the baby or just wiping of some milk off her face.
  • A small container filled with wet cotton balls for wiping the baby bum. I tried using the conventional diaper wipes for a couple of times on her, but her bum turns so red and she feels uncomfortable. So the midwife at my hospital suggest me to bring wet cotton balls in a container instead. Since then, no more rash and anxiety meltdown from her or me.
  • A good quality fabric of nursing apron, because I could never go out and about without it and flash my boobs while nursing the baby. It’s just not comfortable for me.
  • And some mum stuff: my wallet, card holder, phone, a small notebook with a pen and a lipstick for when I need a little touch up.

IMG_7192

So that’s about it, the things I bring with me in my diaper bag. I wonder if there’s anything else that I forgot and that you could share with me.