Thursday, November 27, 2008

our new bundle of joy

r a n i a
21 OCTOBER 08 - 12.59 AM - 2.84 KG - 48 CM

Introducing the new addition to our family. While she gave her Mama a scare by wanting to come out too early at 32 weeks, I managed to make her wait till 37 weeks (just like her brother!) when she is more ready to be out of the womb. Alhamdulillah, she is a perfectly healthy baby, and after all the anxiety due to his travels, her Papa was around afterall to receive her into the world.

In fact it was this time last week that I started feeling the contractions. But as I had a few false alarm before having many Braxton Hicks contractions which only subsided after a while, I thought this can't be it. So I continued playing with Imran, fed him his dinner, put him down to bed and made plans to go out for dinner as I really felt like Italian food.

On the way out to dinner, I realised it was getting stronger and also pretty regular. But I insisted on the dinner as I was starving anyway. I had a lovely time at dinner despite the pain which came every 4 minutes. Dino was getting anxious and excited, he kept telling me that it was for real and that we should rush to the hospital. But I didn't want to hurry and insisted on my dessert. I thought it's better than lying down on the hospital bed anyway.

We got to Ampang Putri Hospital just before 10 pm and sure enough I was already 4 cm dilated and the contractions were already strong. I made a brave decision not to have epidural this time, but felt nervous as the pain started to feel more and more intense after the water bag was broken. We all thought that the baby was probably coming out early morning, so doctor, my dad and Dino decided to go up to the room to get some rest at around 11.15 pm. The nurses said I should try catch some sleep since I was on Pethadin. But I couldn't doze off at all as the pain just kept getting stronger. At about 12.20 am, I called for the nurse as I thought the pain was getting really intense. They came in and were surprised to find me 7cm dilated already, and soon after 8 cm. So they rushed to call the doctor and Dino, who both just like in a drama ran into the labor room to find the top of the baby's head already presenting. It was obviously time to push, and out she came out after the first push. I was just so relieved and happy to hear her cry a healthy cry.

We're now back at home and adjusting to our new life of having two kids! It has been fantastic having Dino around on his paternity leave, but next week the real challenge will start. Imran has been handling it well so far, always looking out for his sister first thing in the morning and when he arrives back from school. But he still doesn't understand why he can't have a bath with his sister! :)

And Rania - she's just beautiful. She is feeding and sleeping well so far and seems to be quite alert. She loves looking at the lights but absolutely hates changing. I have a feeling she'll be a strong character. We just feel so blessed to have a pair now and that she has arrived safely into our life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

terrible two

When people said to me "Welcome to the terrible twos" with a smirk, I thought come on, it can't be that bad. Until one fine day about a week ago when Imran started to exhibit an unusual behaviour of throwing his temper when I told him not to play with the door. He started to get so upset by screaming continously that I couldn't reason, distract or calm him down which was quite unusual. The more I raised my voice, the more upset he would become, running around and rolling himself on the grass in the garden!

Since then, similar behaviour has repeated itself numerous times when he can't get what he wants. It got to a point where I was actually worried and called Dino at the office to share my frustration and worry. I thought it seemed like hysteria! That evening Dino had to handle the same situation when he refused to come upstairs for his bath. We didn't know what to do and did not want to give in to what he wants especially when he has already 'misbehaved'. We thought making him 'win' was just going to be disaster in the future as he will use it as a method to get his way every time.

As we were both scratching our heads wondering where the boy was getting all this determination and energy from, I turned to the always reliable and useful! I couldn't believe what i read under the subject 'tantrum' (thank goodness it's not hysteria!) While I was relieved to know that it is common, I was amazed at how accurate the descriptions were.

It helped a lot to understand that it arises from frustration as it is at this age that they suddenly realise their independence and gain confidence to go against what others say. I guess it is no co-incidence that it is happening just as he starts to settle in play-school. It also helped to know how to handle the situation. Apparently what we were doing, i.e holding him down and reason with him (obviously we had to scream to him so that he can hear us!) were making the situation worse. In stead, we're supposed let him snap out of it on his own, and also not to make a big deal of the situation. This isn't easy though as you get tired and frustrated listening to him scream, not to mention sympathise with him. And what do you do when it happens in public?

I can only hope that this phase will pass as quickly as possible (although I know that's wishful thinking!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

a whirlwind of intense emotions

I have been telling everyone including my gynae that I have a strong feeling that this baby might come out early. Imran was 3 weeks early, but this time I somehow feared that it might be really early. So I rushed and prepared the baby's room and just when this was taking shape, I experienced something that I remember only experiencing in the labor room a few hours before Imran was born.

I said to Dino that I think it might be contractions and it is not Braxton Hicks as it seems quite regular. So we decided to get it checked on the CTG monitor at the hospital in the morning. True enough, the minute the doctor saw the CTG graph, he said "that's pre-term labor". I panicked and Dino was waiting at the gate of KLIA waiting for confirmation if he should or should not board the plane to Jakarta.

As the baby was only at 33 weeks, the doctor advised to stop the contractions with medication and bed-rest. I freaked out when he suggested that I be warded so I can rest properly (I think he knows me too well and suspect that I might cheat a bit if I'm at home..) But, of course I don't want to be hospitalised. Who's going to take care of Imran? (especially when Dino is away half of the week). No doubt there are maids who can take care of him but it would be really difficult for both me and him to detach ourselves from one another so suddenly as we are so close to each other.

So now, here I am at home resting. Although it's tough for me and Imran (and Dino who now tries to minimise his time in Jakarta and has got to be both Papa and Mama to Imran), I have to stay focused to make sure this baby inside of me is keeping well and ready to face the world. 2 more weeks and I feel quite confident that she'll be alright (Insya-Allah), but the longer she can stay in, the better it is of course.

I feel a bit calmer now that I have adjusted to a new routine of just sitting back and giving instructions to people around me (actually it isn't so bad!), and also that Imran is getting used to me not being able to carry him etc. But the past week has been filled with such intense emotions - of nervousness that the baby might come out early especially when Dino is not around, of sadness to see Imran being affected by the sudden change - he keeps coming to me to say "Iman sayang Mama" and to check on the baby in the tummy, of restlessness for not being able to do what I usually do, of confusion if we should go on with Imran's birthday party (we decided to cancel), of anxiety if the baby is well and ready to see the world, of worry if we will cope well with having the new addition, and of course of
excitement to be able to see the new baby soon (hopefully not so soon though!)