Monday, April 3, 2017

100 days of tara

tara is a 100 days old today, which means that i am allowed to eat nangka (jackfruit) and cempedak. woo hoo! on a more serious note it's really been 100 days of love. i'm so in love with our not-so-little family of five that i want to eyeroll myself.

when i found out that i was pregnant with tara i freaked the hell out because leo and jade took a huge toll on me, mentally. raising twins was no joke and i remember being so angry all the time. i was drinking ALOT too and i never really got to enjoy them. it could have been hormones, it could have been my immaturity, it could have been a lot of things but i look back and many times i feel so bad for the way i felt and was with leo and jade and raymond too.

just as things were getting better for the four of us as a family i found out that we were pregnant and i swear my knees buckled when the stick showed the little plus sign. i was in such disbelief that i bought two more pregnancy tests just to make sure. but as the pregnancy went on it was easy to be distracted with the twins and my performance. i didn't really stress out on what was about to happen and how it would change the dynamics of the family.

many people have asked me how the twins are handling another baby in the household and with all honesty i could not have wished for a better reception. however, during my pregnancy, jade was a little sensitive especially during my first trimester when i had epic nausea, there were meltdowns and a lot of crying but i tried my best to explain to them that there was a little baby growing inside of me. i shared with them all of the ultrasounds and even showed them videos of baby's development in the womb as the weeks went by. we also told the twins that when the baby came i would have to be in the hospital for a day or two before i could go home. when the twins came to visit me in the hospital i made a conscious effort for them to meet her in the little hospital bassinet rather than seeing me carrying a new baby.

leo took to tara immediately, and till today my heart melts every time i see them together. without fail every morning the twins jump on my bed to say good morning to tara and shove their faces in her face and tara breaks into a huge smile every time she sees them. there has been many times where she stops crying the second leo or jade come to her side. i am certain that these three have met before.

as for me...everything seems to have fallen into place. tara has made me a better mother and i am finally at ease with my duties and roles. it could have been because of my natural delivery, that the body went through what it needed to without any medical intervention, which meant that my hormone levels could stabilise at a normal pace.

i have also been exclusively breastfeeding, which is great!

so far at a hundred days tara can gurgle and coo, she has incredible projectile poops that have stained many onesies and a few of my pants, she laughed once while mum was carrying her while i was paying for my skincare products at kiehl's bangsar village, which meant that i missed it, she hates her carseat, she still sleeps in bed with us and she just started self soothing with her thumb.

thank you for choosing us to be your parents tara. i really cannot imagine my life without you.

Friday, March 3, 2017

the birth of baby tara: part 2

now before i continue i must give a huge shoutout to my bestie nazya hyder, who i think got a minute by minute update of my entire labour. i sent her a screenshot of my contraction times over a span of a week and she patiently told me every time that it wasn't it until it was and she said once you hit 7 minutes go to the hospital. of course on 'THE' night her phone died and her husband whatsapped me exactly this, 'naz told me to tell you that if it continues for the next 45 mins (contractions?) to head to the hospital.' and true enough it was time...

so i don't know what it's like in a malaysian delivery ward but let me paint the scene of what its like over here. there is an observation room, which is the first place you go to time surges, check how dilated you are and whether you are on your way to have a baby, this is also where most of the time you are sent home (me, twice). since 3rd time was a charm i was admitted to a room that was bloody far from this observation room. same floor but different wing. the good thing was that we had our privacy and i could labour as i chose; in my own clothes in a dimly lit room with russian red in the background. the bad thing was that i had to walk to the observation room every 3 hours, which became increasingly difficult to do with my surges coming every 5 minutes.

when i was admitted i was 1cm dilated and after 3 hours i was at 3cm. we were progressing well but my surges were only 50%, which freaked me the eff out because what the hell was it going to be at 100%...i would soon find out. i stayed at 3cm for awhile but my surges were very intense and during my second trip to the observation room i requested to labour in the private room next door because (1) i couldn't walk anymore (2) there were 6 beds in the observation room and i wanted to cry as loud as i could without anyone judging me (3) i did not want to labour next to another couple that ordered nasi goreng, how in the world a lady could eat nasi goreng in the middle of labour is beyond me.

i must say that listening to the relaxation cd every other night helped me tremendously. my mind was probably the strongest it had ever been and since all my focus was on my breath i hardly noticed the 12 hours go by. i kept my sugar levels up with dates and stayed hydrated with sips of water, which became more and more difficult to do because of the discomfort of a full bladder and peeing during a surge. (nazya also told raymond to force me to keep taking sips of water)

it almost seemed as if i went from 3cm to birth because i can't really remember what happened in between. i remember crying towards the end because of the intense pressure on my perineum and butt area and because of that pressure i had to hold myself off the bed because i just couldn't sit on my bum. why didn't i lie on my side you ask? because every single position hurt like a motha. so towards the very end i thought 'fuck, how much longer is this going to be and if the pain is going to get any worse i may probably die' but now i know that when you feel like that, the baby is ready to come out.

because during my last check 2 hours ago i was only at 3cm the nurse did not expect me to be at 10cm when i was, so when i was bawling my eyes out and moaning and groaning (birthing makes you make the weirdest sounds. i swear i sounded like a donkey) she asked me if i felt like i needed to poop and i said yes. she then proceeded to remove my pants (yes, i wore pants. duh!), turned me onto my side and i could feel a gush of liquid coming out of me, i only knew it was blood because my husband said full of panic, 'is it normal for there to be so much blood?' and then it was the nurse's turn to panic as she immediately ran out of the room to call in more nurses. you'd probably think i freaked out too but i was thrashing like a whale from the pain and before i knew it a senior nurse said, 'it's time to push'.

hypnobirthing tells you to breathe your baby out but if i breathed my baby out i'd probably still be in that labour room with my legs in stirrups. i'm here to tell you that you literally need to poop your baby out. when it was time to push i remember screaming my head off, then on the second time they told me not to shout and to focus all my energy on pushing the baby out. it took me 4 pushes i think but she shot out and was caught by dear dr aswin. and just like that all the pain was gone.

i fell in love with her immediately.

i got my birth.

i must say that i also wanted to experience a natural birth with my husband. it brings your relationship to a whole new level and my husband was the best birthing buddy i could ever wish for. he was calm, he kept reminding me to breathe and when it came to the point where i thought i just couldn't do it anymore he helped me cross the finish line. he was in it with me and i fell in love with him all over again.

i have never felt more powerful.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

birth of baby tara: part 1

three years ago i birthed my twins via an elective cesarean (you may read the story here) as it was the safest option for all of us and as happy as i was with the entire experience and recovery i couldn't help but feel a slight tinge of disappointment because my body didn't get to go through a natural birth. i really thought that jade and leo would be it for us but the universe had other plans and we were blessed with another angel.

i learnt of hypnobirthing from a few friends of mine years ago and i have always been intrigued by what it was all about. could there really be such a thing as a painfree birth? during my first pregnancy i didn't find any hypnobirthing courses so i jumped at the first opportunity when i found out about the second pregnancy. i signed up when i was about four months, which was very early but since we live in jakarta and the courses were offered in kuala lumpur,  i had to make do while we were in KL during the children's school holidays.

in a nutshell hypnobirthing is really about bringing your baby into the world in the most gentle way as possible, focusing on your breath and being emotionally prepared for anything that may happen during birth. nowadays, we have so many options that allow the mother a 'comfortable' birth but many of us don't realise what exactly these options are made of and how they affect the mother and baby. epidurals for instance if not administered properly may leave the mother with backaches and migraines for the rest of her life, or not knowing how much to push resulting in vacuum or forcep deliveries, and the list goes on and on. i also feel that 'pain' will be felt in one way or another, one just needs to decide whether you'd like it before or after the birth.

because i had a cesarean birth, i was even more adamant on birthing my baby completely au naturel because emotionally and psychologically i suffered for a long time. i took the longest time to emotionally bond with my babies, i absolutely hated breastfeeding, i was depressed for at least a year and a half and though i could walk within the first couple of days after surgery my lower abdomen will forever be numb and dead.

the first decision i made was where i was going to deliver tara. first i was set on flying back to kl but after weighing children's school, our living situation, husband's work and flying all of us back here, i thought let's not be silly i will birth here and the only person who will have to do the flying is my mother for when she has to take care of me. after we decided on the country of delivery we had to look for a doctor, so i asked around and was recommended the ever-so-calm, ever-so-gentle dr aswin. from the moment i met him i knew that he would be the perfect doctor for a natural delivery.

after that was sorted i continued listening to my relaxing scripts every night before i went to bed and really just waited for baby tara to come. i had my performance in between and life continued as normal. i ate much healthier this pregnancy, i drank a lot of water, i didn't gain much weight and my body did not retain much water either. no swollen anything right till the end.

since i had the twins at 36 weeks i never experienced surges of any kind, braxton or real. so when the braxton hicks first started i got all excited and started timing. of course they tend to stop if you stand up or have a glass of water so that really never got anywhere and i kept thinking to myself come on, when is this labour going to start and when it does when will i know.

we made 2 trips to the hospital only to be sent back with a tightly shut cervix. but when the labour started oh i sure as hell knew. on the 23rd of dec, after many days of chor tai tai and gin rummy with my family, my sister decided to spice things up and we watched magic mike, seeing that it was still early on in the day we moved onto kabhi khushi kabhi gham in the evening and by the time shah rukh khan was kicked out of the house i was in excruciating pain and had to waddle my way up to my room to cry on my bed because i didn't want to look like a weak ass. in my mind i was already thinking, 'if it hurts so bad already how am i going to handle the next 12 hours?' so i called up raymond to the room and said that i think it's time this time.

the surges kept coming as we headed to the hospital, which was a good sign that this was the real deal what wasn't very good was having a surge while you went through potholes or speed bumps, no, that was not very good. we went straight up to the familiar labour ward and went to the observation room where they hooked me up to a machine to monitor my surges, heartbeat and baby's heartbeat for 30 minutes. i kid you not, within minutes of walking into the labour ward i heard a little bit of moaning and a newborn cry. i was like, 'whoa, no indian drama screaming? these women are hardcore!' little did i know i would be the yelling indian drama 12 hours later.

to be continued...
as an avid cold water bather i was surprised at how comforting warm water was...