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Bible Verse of the Day

March 2009

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

 
Scrap Credits
Strawberry Farms QP from Raspberry Road Designs
Moody Grunge Alphas from Mel Hains Designs

Phew!  We just made it past Hannah’s second growth spurt!  According to baby books and experts, an infant experiences growth spurts at certain periods during the first year of life and the approximate times are:

  • 7-10 days
  • 3 weeks
  • 6 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months

During these growth spurts, the baby’s appetite will increase, and a typical sign of a growth spurt is something called cluster feedings, i.e. when baby nurses several times close together, sometimes even in an hour or two!  Hannah’s first growth spurt went by almost unnoticed, because she was still settling into her feeding and sleep pattern then, but just as I thought it was getting easier, she hit her second growth spurt about a week ago, and the LONG nights began.

In addition to waking up several times in the middle of the night, I had to remind myself to burp her properly after every feed and prop her body up at an angle after that.  You see, Hannah has a slight case of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), and would sometimes throw up a little bit of milk.  The first time she did that, I panicked, not because I didn’t know babies did that, but because it never happened to Ethan; that boy kept everything down!  I remembered I just had to feed him, and burp or no burp, he would be okay after that.  Maybe girls are more high maintenance…hehehe…

In any case, breastfeeding definitely helps an infant with GER, and I hope she’ll feel much better soon.

Oh, and she prefers to be burped over the shoulder!  Doesn’t like the sitting and burping position…

Well anyway, I am glad we are nearing the end of this growth spurt…for one thing, it has certainly made our girl look more *bulat* by the day!  She is fast growing out of her 0-3months clothes too!

 
Scrap Credits
Template XVI from In The Making Design
“don’t be blue” kit from Simply Sweet Designs
Newsprint Epoxy Alphas collaboration from Bon Scrapatit Designs & Snowsmoon’s Design
Word Art from Le digiscrap de Choukette

Yesterday evening, Ethan came home from daycare and greeted me at the door with these four precious little words:

“I missed you Mommy!”

… and he repeated himself many many times after that! :)

He then gave me a hug and kissed me on the cheek!  How sweet is that? :)

Awww…. I missed you too, Ethan! :)

 

Just the other evening, while we were relaxing in front of the TV, Ethan suddenly brought his yellow Numbers book and said it was for Hannah.  You see, Ethan has four favorite board books: the red Animals book, the blue ABC book, the green Words book and the yellow Numbers book.  All this time, he has self-assigned the red book for himself, the blue book for Mommy and the green book for Daddy.  The yellow book was unassigned till that day.

Anyway, I then asked Ethan to read to Hannah.  And so he did.

 

He flipped to the addition and subtraction page in the board book, and started pointing and read aloud to his sister. 

He goes, “Five plus Five equals TEN!” and “Four plus Six equals TEN!”

He doesn’t say the word “minus” though, so he goes, “Three Two equals ONE!”  :)

Scrap Credits
May Morn paper from Carjazi Designs
Elegant word art (a daughter is) from Bethany
Stamp cluster 8 (modified) from Lindsay Jane Designs
Boxed words from Chantal

In the past three weeks since Hannah came into our lives, I have been getting to know her based on her facial expressions:

  • She frowns and purses her lips when she is about to do a poop.
  • She smiles and sometimes giggles when she sees something she likes.  Once she was fussing and crying, and as soon as I picked her up, she smiled at me as if to say, “Yay! Mission accomplished!”
  • She raises her eyebrows, causing her forehead to crease after every feed.  And she does this while stretching her entire body, in a satisfied manner.
  • She looks at us with those gorgeous big brown eyes, as if she understands every word we say.
  • She cries when she is hungry.
  • She screams and wails when she is wet or needs a change, and brings the roof down when I am just a wee bit slow in getting the whole process done.
  • ..and of course, she lets out a YAWN when she is sleepy and tired.

Credits
Word Art  from DigiDesigns by Denise

Ethan has been lovingly executing his brotherly duties, thus far, and these include:

  • Stroking Hannah’s head and hair in a loving manner…well, sometimes I need to remind him to be gentle, because he could get carried away and be a little rough.
  • Pulling the musical toy in the infant-to-toddler rocker that he once used and is now being used by Hannah.
  • Helping me change Hannah by passing me her diaper and clothes when I ask for them.
  • Imitating Hannah’s cries to the tee.  This started the first day Hannah and I came home.
  •  

  • Climbing up on the side of Hannah’s cot and saying “Hi Hannah!” or “Hannah, good night!”, and sometimes when Hannah is crying, he would go over to her cot and say, “Hannah, it’s okay…”
  • Asking Daddy to carry Hannah whenever he wants Mommy to carry him…well okay, not very brotherly, but still at least he wants to make sure Hannah is carried.  Sometimes though, he just asks me to put Hannah in the cot when he wants me to carry him.
  • When Ethan sees someone else cuddling Hannah, he will come over to me and say, “Mommy carry”, asking me to carry him.
  • …and of course, not forgetting…”serenading” Hannah to sleep with his mega-decibel rendition of “ABC” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or some other new song he just learnt.
  •  

    Last week, we brought Ethan and Hannah for a routine pediatrician checkup; Ethan had his 3-year-old checkup, while Hannah had her 2-week checkup done.

     

    Ethan was very cooperative.  He happily undressed and put on a very cute hospital gown, and stayed very still while his blood pressure was taken, his eyes, ears and throat was checked, and he was very well-behaved too as Hannah was being checked. 

    Ethan’s height: 3′ (0.914m)

    Ethan’s weight: 28lb (12.701kilos)

    The doctor assessed Ethan and we were VERY amazed that Ethan could draw a CIRCLE when the doctor asked him to!  Isn’t that spectacular? :)

    Anyway, the doctor required that Ethan take a Tuberculin skin test and an anemia test.  The anemia test is a simple finger prick test, and we were given the results immediately: Ethan is not anemic.  As for the Tuberculin skin test, we had to return 48-72 hours later to obtain the results.  The Tuberculin skin test (also known as the Mantoux test) involved injecting a little bit of Tuberculin into the skin layer of Ethan’s forearm and observing the reaction. 

    Our poor boy of course wailed and cried when both the Tuberculin test and anemia test was done.  Not even stickers would pacify him. 

    The doctor also prescribed fluoride tablets for Ethan, given that the tap water in the area we live in does not contain fluoride.  Ethan calls it his “circle” vitamins now, and thankfully, he happily takes one a day (they are grape flavored!)

    Anyway, back to the Tuberculin test…we returned to the hospital 2 days later for the reading, and it was positive.  Of course, Pete and I think it is possibly due to the fact that Ethan had his BCG vaccination at birth.  Kids born in the US do NOT have the BCG vaccination and they take the Tuberculin skin test to test if they had been exposed to the TB bacteria.  Now because Ethan tested positive for the skin test, as a routine protocol, we had to get a chest x-ray done on him to ensure he did not have the active TB bacteria in him.

    Two days after the chest x-ray, the doctor called to let me know that the x-ray was fine and Ethan did not have an active TB disease in him.  However, the doctors here are worried that the TB bacteria could lie dormant in the child’s body, as in latent tuberculosis,  and recommended Ethan go on a 9-month medication. 

    Pete and I are declining this because it is very certain that Ethan’s initial positive skin test result is due to his BCG vaccination.  Furthermore, Ethan will definitely NOT like to be on medication for such a long duration and also we would be headed for home in about 4 months’ time.

    In any case, we learnt a few new things from this experience, but what is confusing is…the BCG vaccine is not a 100% fullproof prevention of the TB disease.  If this is so, why are babies in Malaysia being vaccinated at birth?  Why can’t they do away with the vaccine and perform the skin test instead?

    There is certainly no doubt that newborns cry and poop a lot.  It’s not any different with Hannah: she certainly has a good set of lungs on her and uses it to get our attention the best way she knows how.

    As for pooping, well, her first poop happened only about 20 hours after she was born, but there has been no stopping her since.  During the first week or so, I was changing diapers almost every hour or even more often, and every diaper change had some amount of poop in it.  During the daytime I am using fitted cloth diapers, and because of the frequency of diaper changes needed, I was doing the laundry about twice a day! I’ve also had my fair share of projectile poop, even in the middle of the night!

    I’m not complaining though.  One of the signs of a healthy baby is denoted by the number of poops the baby has in a day. :)

    …and we ALL know the kind of runny grainy poo breastfed babies are known to produce, right?

    I’ll have to admit that little Hannah is definitely taking the meaning of beauty sleep to another level.  We are actually quite amazed at the number of sleeping hours she is clocking in.  Given the fact that she was practically up the whole of the first night I was with her, I was prepared for the worst.  But so far she has been a very good girl, and will contentedly sleep for a few hours straight after a satisfying feed.  At times, I have even had to wake her up for a feed or a diaper change or for her bath.

    For most of the time too, Hannah is able to self-soothe herself to sleep, although by and by, I am sensing our smart girl is beginning to learn how to “manja” and sometimes prefers instead to be cuddled to sleep.

    Thing is, her long sleeping hours are mostly during the daytime.  Her day and night schedule is still not established yet, and she sleeps less during the night.  I am trying to change that as best as I can, by creating a fixed bedtime routine, and also by making night-time feeds are short and boring as possible.

    Some of the time, Hannah has to learn how to sleep through the noise, because Ethan usually talks very loudly and excitedly.  Sometimes, Ethan would even go over to Hannah’s cot and tell his sister, “Hannah, wake up!” 😛

    I do so love watching her sleep…just like a peaceful little angel.  I have even caught her smiling in her sleep at times!

    Last Sunday, Hannah had her first professional photo session.  It was not by choice, of course… we had to get her passport photos done to register her birth with the Malaysian Consulate in LA and also to apply for her Malaysian passport.

    The night before I googled for nearby photo studios that provided this service, and we decided on one that was opened on Sundays.  Little did we know that it would be SO packed!

    I had to specially request that the photographer take Hannah’s picture first because we were afraid she would fall asleep soon.  So after a little bit of a wait, the screen was set up, but there was a slight problem.  Because Hannah was only 2 weeks’ old, of course she could not yet hold her head up on her own and so we had to support her neck.  But that would mean the photo would show the hands of the person holding her!

    So the photographer got a tiny little round chair and draped a piece of whitish cloth over it.  We then placed Hannah on the chair and tried to make her stay very still and look straight for the photo to be taken.  It wasn’t easy, because she kept turning her head to one side and didn’t look very comfortable.

    We finally got a few shots, but when the photographer tried to view them, there was a problem with the memory card.  So he had to retake the shots.

    And there we were again, trying to make Hannah *smile* for the camera.  But just as Hannah had the perfectest pose, the photographer had some problem with the camera and had to change the memory card again!

    Anyway, we attempted once again, and finally we were able to get a couple of shots.  We paid for the photos and waited for them to be printed. 

    What do you think?

     
    Scrap Credits
    Crazy Love Partie 5  kit from Digital-Crea
    Photo mask from Scrapmalin

    With the birth of Hannah, so begins this second breastfeeding journey of mine.  Psychologically, of course I am very prepared…prepared to sacrifice sleep for at least a few weeks or months, prepared for interrupted schedules and definitely prepared to reap the fulfilling rewards.

    I’ll be honest.  The first night I spent with Hannah was VERY trying.  And although mentally I knew that this would be coming, fatigue was taking its toll on me.  Coupled with the fact that Hannah nursed VERY frequently that first night, and hardly slept, it would be really easy for any new mother to give up.  Of course, it didn’t help that the hospital I was in had nurses who *gently advised* me not to become a human pacifier, and tried to coax me to use a regular pacifier instead.  Luckily I did not cave in!  You see, I had clearly stated in my birth plan that I would be exclusively breastfeeding Hannah, and that she was not to have any bottles or pacifiers.

    Anyway, that was not the end of my worries.  When I came home from the hospital, I started to get sore nipples due to the excessive nursing.  Hannah was latching on correctly, that much I am sure, but my nipples were very sore, and dry, probably because they were not yet *seasoned*.  I was never a fan of using lanolin to ease sore nipples, but I resorted to it a couple of times out of desperation.  I still prefer applying breast milk though.

    This time round, hallelujah, my milk came in on the third day, but I still had to grit my teeth when I nursed Hannah then, so I consulted the internet and I was somewhat relieved to find out that the soreness would (hopefully) disappear come day 6 or so.  Hannah’s pediatrician recommended wearing loose clothing to help ease the soreness (and that help a lot).

    Thankfully the soreness left from day 4 onwards and I am now happily nursing a happy beautiful baby :)

    She is definitely a pro at breastfeeding, but sometimes she can get a little bit lazy after nursing on one side, and needs to be woken up for feeding on the other side.  Hannah is fed on demand and usually asks for a feed every 2-3 hours, but sometimes less frequently.

    I am taking it easy now and have not started expressing milk yet, although sometimes I feel my breasts are quite full.  I am allowing my body to make just enough (no more and no less) milk for Hannah, so I will probably only start expressing for storage in Week 3 or 4 or later, when my milk supply is established.

    So as far as my breastfeeding journey goes, I am definitely enjoying myself and from the looks of it, Hannah is too, as her weight has increased to 7lbs 6.5oz (3.359kilos) at 2 weeks’ old! :)

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