the leap year

It's the leap year! And I am pretty sure anyone who was born today look forward to this day very much. I am most certain that I have a friend whose birthday is today, but I can't recall somehow.

Can't imagine having this date as your anniversary. You celebrate it every 4 years which means, the amount of years spent together is multiplied by 4, so they're reduced, technically. Can't say I like that.

Today is also much looked forward to because it's Luqman's second month check-up and also for his second jab.

Alhamdulillah, he's growing well and healthy. He is now 5.6kg (which explains the sore arms tsk!) and 58cm long.

I am just so happy to see his progress. He can now smile and laugh everytime we initiate a conversation with him. Dah pandai berborak jugak. Love his babbles and gurgles.

I just love him more and more!

breastfeeding 101

These finally arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, yeay!

Purchased them through a KIM (Kumpulan Ibu-ibu Menyusu) member from Facebook. I have been searching for them at bookstores but to no avail - or I haven't searched right. Anyway, I am just so happy and excited they are now in my hands! They're a good read, very detailed and informative.

I used to refer to these reads before and a couple of parenting books I mentioned here.

Somehow I feel like something's missing. I need more and I want to know more. The KIM group that I joined helped a lot too, but I need something tangible, something that I could keep. Hence, the purchase.

When I was pregnant, I have promised myself that I want to exclusively breastfeed my baby up to 6 months and insyaAllah with His will, up to 2 years. I made du'a constantly that He will grant my wish and that my breastfeeding journey will be a smooth sailing one. I equipped myself with necessary information, went to an antenatal class which provided segments on breastfeeding essentials and had talks with friends who are mummies. I had prepared myself physically, emotionally and mentally for this.

Only, it is not as easy as it sounds.

After Luqman was born, I had trouble breastfeeding him because he had trouble latching. I, on the other hand, had trouble handling him the right way when breastfeeding (so much for attending the antenatal class heh!) and like most new mums, the colostrum didn't immediately appear.

I remember being surrounded by close friends, sister-in-law and my mum that night after giving birth, all helping me to help Luqman latch. It is because once the baby successfully latches on to the breast, that will help to start the lactation process. Of course, it wasn't successful and I was worried that Luqman was hungry as he didn't get a taste of my pre-milk (the most important for the baby) ever since he was born.

Later that night, my husband helped me through and alhamdulillah after a few squeezing of the nipple a few drops of colostrum appeared and I quickly fed my nipple to his lips for him to lick. My milk started to appear after the third day of birth. Luqman also has learned to latch quite properly.

Then he was admitted again due to jaundice. That was the start of a very stressful and emotional breastfeeding journey of mine. And a decision that I will forever remember.

As I had to breastfeed him frequently, I suffered from sore and cracked nipples. They bled, too. It could be due to my virgin nipples and also incorrect way of latching. Only God knows how painful it felt. It was traumatizing. When he cried to be fed, I cried along due to the pain. It was that one time, due to exhaustion and frustration, I made an abrupt decision by asking the nurse to feed Luqman with formula milk. Yes, I did. I was really sad thinking that at 3 days old, he had to consume formula milk and not mine to fill his stomach.

As hard as it was to digest, I never quite regret that decision. I also don't think that it made me less of a mother. It only made me more determined to continue breastfeeding Luqman and make it right once and for all.

After a stressful and emotional first few weeks, I can now say I'm getting a hang of it.

In a few words,
I believe niat is what's most important. Together with effort, patience, positive thoughts and constant du'a, God will guide me all the way through.

Alhamdulillah for the opportunity to breastfeed as it is an ibadah and remember, "susu itu adalah hak anak kita".

Friday's outing

I went to SACC earlier today to visit a dear friend of mine, Farhan, who opened a booth (it was the Premium Beautiful booth - she's one of the agent) in conjunction with the Pameran Pengantin. I went there with my mum and Luqman of course :)

I decided to pay her visit to collect my stuff from her and also to just feast my eyes on what the exhibition has got to offer. It's been awhile :)

The beautiful entrance. Suits the theme : Cinta Seputih Salju (amboi!)

Once we entered the threshold of the exhibiton room, that familiar feeling came creeping. Just like old times when I was once a bridezilla. Suddenly I felt like getting married all over again! (to the same person, of course). Everything was just so so magical and beautiful!

This is the only picture I captured of what's inside as I was too engrossed with everything.

And every booth I passed seemed to hand me all their brochures and even invited me to sit with them and talk to them about what I want. I guess they didn't get the memo : I'm married lah. Who do you think I'm pushing in the stroller? My son! Haha

Anyway, this is amused Luqman, laughing and gugu gaga-ing away with his nanny while waiting for Farhan who was attending a customer.

Then came Aunty Farhan and Luqman just didn't want to smile! Haha

It was nice meeting you Paan! All the best with your business. Anyone who wants free consultation on this Premium Beautiful corset, do visit her blog and contact her (I have linked her at the above).

both mummies and PB-users :)

my story

It has been almost 2 months but I feel compelled to share my labour story.

Like everyone else's, mine would be another 'sama tapi tak serupa' account but it was a unique experience for me.

So, I have shared the story of the first stage of labour - The Show - here. I guess I'll take it from there.

****************

That morning (28th of December 2011), at 9.30 am, we decided to make our way to the hospital because I felt the contractions were starting to peak and they were frequent. It felt like it was never going to end, but they were still mild and I could still walk albeit slowly.

Once in the labour room, the normal procedure was carried out. The nurse checked and my cervix had dilated 3 cm. I remember the first thing the nurse did was to insert a pil into my anal for me to pass motion almost immediately. That was done to empty my bowel. Then my urine was forced out through a tube. I was too busy coping with my contraction that I wasn't really aware of what's been done or how. Next, she broke my water and that was the start of a stormy time for me, physically and emotionally. The whole time I was strapped to a CTG machine to monitor the baby's heartbeat.

At about 12 pm, I began to feel some expulsive, pushing contractions. It was painful, they really hurt. After some time, I just couldn't take it anymore. At one point, I felt shaky, shivery and sick. I looked at my husband begging for him to do something but of course there's nothing that he could do. He held my hand and cuddled me, in the hope of trying to make the pain go away but it won't. We also had the beautiful ayat from the Quran be on constant play on our Ipad - that was really calming. The nurse checked on me every hour and alhamdulillah, I seemed to dilate every hour, too.

At about 2.30pm, that's when I said I really couldn't carry on anymore. The pain was really tugging that I remember falling asleep for awhile - I guess I blacked out. The contractions were pushing my cervix to its limits before the big push. It was intense. It's like your lower body is going to fall off anytime but it didn't. It also felt like you're going to pass motion - only it is out of your control. I feel sorry for my husband whose hand I gripped so tightly come every contraction (that's not even birth time yet!). I was too tired coping with pain that I can't even verbally recite the dhikr. I recited them in my heart. In the midst of that all, I managed to eat a few kurmas and drank some water.

This phase went on for an hour when the nurse who checked my opening said "Okay, dah 9 cm. Dah boleh mula push ye". I began to panic because this is it! I was really scared of what's to come at the same time I can't wait for it to be over. This was when I could feel the pressure between my legs and I know the baby's coming out anytime. The doctor came. Together with 2 nurses and my husband, they guided me and encouraged me throughout the hard work. I pushed down during contractions and took breaths in between.

As my baby descended, I got an overwhelming urge to push but somehow the baby still isn't out yet. It's when I saw the doctor reached for a cup-like suction device that I know my baby will need a helping hand to be delivered. As much as I prayed for a normal unassisted birth, God has better plans. My baby was vacuumed. Because I was getting an assisted birth, I also had an epiosotomy - a cut made at the skin of the entrance of the vagina towards the back passage (yikes!) to allow for the vaccum device to be inserted. With that and a few hard long pushes after, my baby was delivered at 4.05 pm - on the day of my EDD (yeay!)

It felt like a huge watermelon had gushed out and at the end of that, all I can say is I have never felt so relieved in my life. It's finally over! The placenta was delivered too which made my stomach felt really empty. My husband can never stopped planting kisses all over my face and I was too exhausted to really care. We praised Allah for his gift and we were relieved that everything ended with no complications.

The stitching and whatever things that took place after labour weren't much cared for as I was too busy admiring our baby. The fact that I was covered with blood and bodily fluids didn't distract me at all. Like I said, I was just overwhelmed with relief. All the time, I felt like I didn't just go through that all. It was like having an out-of-body experience. I didn't shed any tears, too, and we were all smiles.

It was when my husband recited the azan and iqamat that I felt a lump in my throat. Realization hit me that this precious little thing is our ultimate responsibility, our little caliph on earth.

This has got to be my greatest achievement ever. Nothing would ever top this feeling of pure satisfaction that we had made him and I have never felt so content alhamdulillah!

I am now a proud mother.

*******************

It was indeed a battle. That is why syurga itu di bawah tapak kaki ibu :)

Be grateful that you're a woman because we are definitely the chosen ones.

And praise Allah for all the rewards he bestowed upon us :)

single-handed

I now have developed a profound admiration for single parents. I really really salute them because I have tasted what it's like to be one. No, not exactly that kind. It's more like handling everything single-handedly.

Husband's been down with fever again so last night he was totally knocked-off once he went to bed. So I have been on guard looking after Luqman (and him) throughout the night.

Before, it was very difficult because I wasn't confident handling Luqman alone as he was still very fragile. I was very dependent on my husband especially to put him to sleep. That time, husband was also down with flu and cough so he couldn't be near Luqman for fear of infecting him. So you could imagine all the things that I had to do alone. Don't even start on how tiring and emotional the experience was, especially when I had to wake up at every cry and no more alternate shifts with husband. Thank God I had my mum to help a bit.


Last night, I am surprised at how easy everything was to me. Luqman was cared just fine. I was awakened a few times and I attended to his needs. I can't say it wasn't exhausting (it is, really) but I guess it's true what my mum always tells me "Kalau kita ikhlas, semua benda mudah. Especially when it comes to taking care and raising a child". Not that I am not sincere before but you know, sometimes when I am just about to doze off, that's when Luqman starts to make a sound and you can't help but go "Alaaa, baru nak tidur. Haiihh". So, in the end, it isn't really ikhlas. Then, mulalah rasa semua susah serba tak kena.

What I had to go through is just for a day. I can only imagine how you single parents (ladies especially) do this every single day for years, plus other things that need to be taken care of. Memang kena betul-betul ikhlas, be strong and determined. Istiqamah is also the key.

I also salute you housewives (love you ma!). You people do everything single-handedly - what with child rearing (when husbands go to work), cooking, tidying, etc. and never complained. My mum is the perfect epitome of that. I am so proud of who I (and my siblings) have turned out to be today because of my mum who sacrificed a lot. She stopped working once I was born for the sole purpose of wanting to see me grow before her eyes. I also have many friends who are housewives graduands. They could have gone far in life but stopped working to raise their child themselves. All I can say is, may Allah bless you and may you be rewarded in return. Besar pahalanya.

Me with my housewife mama, 2012

going away

I still remember the time when I was waiting to be informed of my posting 3 years ago. For months I was anxious to know where I was destined to teach.

For days now I have been feeling anxious for my brother who is now in my shoes.
That feeling ended once the result was out.

He got posted to Johor.

Truthfully, I wasn't surprised, because deep down I have always known that he will be going somewhere farther than me. He is to report himself to his new school this coming Monday.

I am still sad (despite the relief) that he will be going south soon. The rest of us, too. It is not known where exactly in Johor he will be teaching, which adds on to the overwhelming anxiety. If only the department responsible had released the details sooner and not until a few days prior to their reporting. There are definitely a lot of things to settle.

But, I believe in fate and rizkh. If Johor is where he is to start anew, then Johor it is. I am sure he has many to offer to kids over there. And I know he will definitely do well wherever it is he is heading.

I am so going to miss him.

Raya 2011 (my brother and the then pregnant me)

Look at the bright side. There's a reason to plan for a trip down south and that includes going to Singapore too :)

the 45th day

Last Friday marked the end of my confinement (weehuuu!), so what a better way to celebrate than to go out for an outing.

Together with mum and Luqman, we went out to the nearby Jaya Jusco, but not without some drama before we left. Apparently yours truly, out of all things, tak reti nak lipat stroller nak masuk dalam kereta. All this while, I've watched my husband does that and it appears so easy. So I called him only to be greeted by his roaring laughter when I asked him sheepishly "Macam mana nak lipat stroller nih?". He answered "Takde soalan lagi susah ke nak tanya?". Fine. Mind-boggling sangatlah my question kan.

After 30 minutes of hardwork and sweat, the stroller was successfully and neatly folded and we were good to go. Why half-an-hour? Don't even ask.

Luqman was sleeping most of the time, so it was easy to walk around. Then came the time when he was awake and he showed signs of wailing, so we hurriedly searched for the Feeding Room.

Thank God Jusco has a very spacious and beautiful Feeding Room, so I didn't have to find a suitable spot to breastfeed him in public.

It is good to know that most shopping malls now do have Feeding Rooms for breastfeeding mums. I wasn't even aware of such importance before. Now that I am one of them, it is always a relief to know that there is a place where I can breastfeed my baby privately. Not that I have problems nursing in public, but I rather nurse him privately.

Luqman's full, alhamdulillah! :)

I also got myself the hot Longan and Red dates drink from Chatime. Didn't expect Chatime to have it though, since this is the drink said to boost milk production and such drink is normally prepared at home. So, I tried upon a friend's recommendation.

It was okay, much to my liking although it was a tad too sweet. I added some water once I reached home to reduce the sweetness. I don't know if it was pure coincidence or what but alhamdulillah milk production definitely increased. Need to try it again to really confirm that it is my milk booster :)

Aqiqah and Cukur Jambul

It was Luqman's aqiqah and cukur jambul ceremony last Sunday.

Alhamdulillah, everything went well although I was still in my pantang. We didn't expect many to turn up since we were informed of many who couldn't make it as it was a long 4-day break that weekend. Alhamdulillah, rezeki Luqman, who was 1 month 1 week old that day.

Now no more hair! :)

Luqman was behaving really good that day from beginning until the end. He slept most of the time and was quiet when he was awake. I was so relieved that he didn't cry or wail when the cukur jambul ceremony took place.


We also held a simple tahlil, right after the cukur jambul.

I, for the most part, was so happy to meet many friends and relatives. I appreciate those who came all the way from as far as Kedah to fulfill our invitation. And thank you for the lovely gifts, too!

Food wasn't wasted - what was left was sufficient for us family to have again for dinner that night. Alhamdulillah.

The highlight of the day was surely the kambing golek - for the aqiqah's purpose. So delicious!

The only downside of the day would be my mum's missing handphone. I am just so frustrated that someone could even think of stealing the host's personal belonging at such sacred event. Of course, the blame would be put on her for leaving it everywhere, but a person with a right mind and a conscience would just leave what's not yours be, right?

Anyway, I'll feast you with some other photos taken from my brother's camera and some from friends' Facebook.


Will have to wait for the official photos from Fikri, whom we hired again ;)

This is Fikri by the way :)

Another significant event marked :)

baby language

Not too long ago, there was this rave about a video posted, reposted and shared on Facebook. Every mum and mothers-to-be seem to be fascinated about it. I was among one of them.

It is called the Dunstan Baby Language video - a discovery made by Priscilla Dunstan about the 5 universal baby language that babies used to communicate with adults.

In this video, which was recorded during one of the episodes on Oprah Winfrey Show, it revealed the secret of baby talk.

In that video, Dunstan discussed 5 words and what they meant :

1. Neh - hungy
2. Owh - sleepy
3. Heh - discomfort
4. Eh - burp
5. Eair - lower gas

Before I had Luqman, I told myself that I had to give it a try and experiment it. I was and still am amazed at such discovery and how true they are.

The first word I alerted myself to was Eh. Luqman made that just a few minutes after he had his feeding and I literally referred to my notes to see what it meant. I scooped him up and patted his back a few times and he was quiet! And he burped right after, alhamdulillah!

The most common words that Luqman utter are Neh, Heh and Eh. Let's just say that I hung on to the notes for a few days before I could totally master the maening of every word. Everything was easy after a while.

It is such a breeze now that I know what's bothering Luqman and I get to attend to his needs.

Have a look at the video here if you haven't already (sorry, I can't seem to upload the video I don't know why)

5 things

Hazrat Umar (RA) :

"I looked at all friends, and did not find a better friend than safeguarding the tongue. I thought about all dresses, but did not find a better dress than piety. I thought about all types of wealth, but did not find a better wealth than contentment in little. I thought of all types of good deeds, but did not find a better deed than offering good advice. I looked at all types of sustenance, but did not find a better sustenance than patience."

The Writer

The Writer
I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher by profession. At times a pessimist and one who is easily amused. I find comfort once entering the threshold of my bedroom. I write because I want to and it makes me feel good :)