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Sembelit

Haritu akak cuti, jadi akak pun memang melekat dengan anak 24 jam. Haritu seperti biasa dah lepas makan, akak bagilah dia mandi sendiri. Selalu memang senang kalau nak bagi mandi, sebab Aisy ni selalu letak bawah air paip tu dan dia terus main sendiri. Dulu akak kena isi besen untuk bagi dia mandi, tapi nampaknya dia tak suka nak berendam ni jadi akak pun biarlah dia main sendiri dengan air paip. Selalunya dia main air ni sampai takmau keluar la, tapi hari ni takdan akak nak carik towel dia dah nangis kuat dah.

Akak lari gi amek tuala dia yang ada kat luar bilik sebab nak bawak keluar sambil pujuk dia untuk berhenti nangis, tapi makin kuat pulak dia melalak.

Akak pun peluk dia dengan tuala dan terus nampak yang sebenarnya ada najis kat bontot dia.

Sembelit rupanya.

Dari tadi dok meneran agaknya. Mak dia tak perasan pulak.

Akak pun pujuklah dia letak balik, tapi dia takmau sebab sangat sakit agaknya. Duk melekat. Tuala tu dah kena tukar baru sebab kena najis dia.

Nangis makin kuat ni, akak jadi makin panik pulak. Tapi kena muka tenang kalau tak baby dapat detect.

Luar : “Sayang, sayang, ok na? Mak ada ni, jangan nangis, jangan panik. Mak ada nanti mak tolong Aisy berak ye,”

Dalam : OMG OMG. WTH.

Aisy dah nangis makin kuat. Akak letak tuala atas sinki dan jerit sekuat hati suruh bapak dia ambilkan tuala baru sementara akak nak proses anak ni.

Akak ambik sabun dia, dan lumurkan kat jari tangan. Sebelah tangan lagi akak angkat kaki kiri dia, dan masukkan jari kelingking yang dah licin tu kat dalam bontot anak. Memang rasa ada najis keras ni, susah nak keluar ni, patutlah nangis nak gila. Akak tekan sikit kat luar bontot tu untuk manuver najis tu keluar, dan lepas tu just tunggu anak teran sendiri. Air mata dah menjejeh kat pipi dah, basah habis baju mak dia semua ni.

Sekali keluar satu rantaian najis keluar, tepat duduk elok atas tapak tangan.

Luar : Ok, sayang dah keluar. OK, dah ok dah ni. *sambil buat muka tabah*

Dalam : OMG, he just shat on my palm! The whole lot of it!

Freak out kot akak time tu. Memang selalu handle dah baby sembelit ni, tapi takdalah sampai macam ni. Banyak pulak dia berak lepas tu, jenuh nak mencuci dengan menangis macam ni, dengan strugglenya tapi last-last berjaya juga. Lepas berak terus lena tidur si anak tu.

Anak akak ni memang ada waktu dia sembelit, especially bila dia banyak nenen lagi daripada minum formula. Dulu memang perasan kalau weekend, berak dia keras sikit berbanding bila weekdays sebab dia duduk dengan pengasuh dan minum formula. Sekarang ni dah akak keja shift, macam tak menentu pulak bowel movement dia. Tapi still boleh nampak yang kalau dia banyak ngempeng/nenen akan kurang sikit beraknya.

Anyway, nasihat akak pada mak-mak yang takut kalau ada anak sembelit ni, lepas nampak dia ada sembelit bagi banyak buah dan sayur kat dia. Janji ada serat dalam diet dia. Kalau Aisy dia memang suka makan buah lebih dari nasi lagi, jadi senang nak overcome sembelit dia. Lagi-lagi kalau dia boleh makan betik memang beberapa kalilah kena tukar pampers dia sebab dia akan jadi kerap buang air besar.

papaya

Kalau anak nampak struggle, cuba tolong dia tapi lembut-lembut. Angkat kaki baby sebab boleh tolong compress sikit rasa sakit dia, dan pakai sabun untuk licinkan lubang bontot tu. Memang dia menjerit semua, tapi ini akan bantu dia. Jangan ganas sangat takut nanti berdarah. Takut trauma lubang bontot tu, dan bila dia sakit berak lagilah dia akan tahan berak tu, lagi melaratlah sembelit tu. Takut nanti usus tu tak jalan, lepas tu banyak lagi kes. Pastikan kuku pendek, sebab kuku panjang tak pasal-pasal akan lukakan bontot dia ok.

Bagi minum air, apa-apa jenis pun takpa. Kalau boleh budak-budak ni, bagi minum air masak, air susu pun boleh. Jus buah kalau blend sendiri boleh kurangkan gula sebab gula takut cerita lain pulak.

baby-water

amik anak omputih minum

Kalau sembelit melarat, biarpun selepas semua rawatan rumah dah dibuat jangan malu jangan segan untuk mai hospital. Budak-budak kalau sembelit susah sikit, dan cepat melarat kalau tidak dirawat dari awal.

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Careful, You’re Not Careful Enough

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There were certain sentences that I hate when it comes to raising my baby boy, especially when you think that you know what’s best for your baby and someone else telling you that it’s not.

I had had my own share of dilemma whenever I felt like screaming my heart out to the world that he is my baby boy and it’s my responsibility to see how he’s going to grow up to.

My baby boy had started to crawl at six months plus, and already started climbing up his cot. It’s been accompanied by my ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ to encourage him doing something that is somewhat new to him. It was also accompanied by hideous cry when he fell down silly on the floor and anxious grandmom – who was babysitting him when I was not home working. I myself let him do what I wanted and fall, lumps and bumps will be quite an essential for him once he started going mobile. I wouldn’t always be there when he fall, or when he decided that it’s okay to eat sand if he likes to.

I know I had not been an attentive mother as I wanted the society to be. I could even see now that what I felt safe for the kid is not like how my MIL see it. She wouldn’t let my baby boy crawled beyond the soft mattress lying on the floor, and IMO I wouldn’t stop him from roaming around the tiles floor. One way or another, he would breakthrough and he would try everything that he ought not to be doing. Mind you, there’s a lot on his plate once he knew the world is out there.

Watching my baby boy grows up also reminds me of us, when we were kids. I thought of how I always gave up after a failed trial, and just blamed everything on others. When I watched him fall, and yet he got up again and didn’t mind the pain at all made me realise that I’m not an exemplary adult for him. I gave up easily, almost too easy that I hated myself.

Why can’t I channel to my inner child? Why can’t I follow the kids’ exceptional will to force himself to learn how to crawl, and to walk eventually?

I don’t know what I was babbling here. I felt like I’m losing my point. Like, again.

 

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Starting Solid

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My son just turned six months recently and I was very excited to give him his first solid food.

He was keen to start solid food, even before he turned six months. When we went out dining, he liked to grab anything that we were eating even when he was actually far from our food. He drooled and keen to touch the cold surface of our glasses, and smiled brightly when we encouraged him to touch new things.

The first food that he ate was a home grown mango. I planted the trees myself at my own home when I was still single, and been working full time as my parents’ handyman – as in my context, handy woman. I planted the trees outside of my parents’ house, and watched the trees thrived and bore fruits.

The mango was very famous for its sweetness. It was very expensive and only can be found in one state. The season could last only for forty five days annually, and then you have to wait for next year if you’re a bit late.

He liked it, of course. The mango was sweet and creamy, just like how kids love it. And I love the way he looked at me then, maybe asking me with his googly eyes, why didn’t I give him this sweet thing earlier and just fed him with bland milk?

He loved his sweet time eating, and enjoyed every single fruit that his grandmother made for him. He loved his meal time, and never throw tantrums.

I hope his weight will become normal soon. Currently he’s still a bit underweight, and already touched the yellow line for his BMI group.

 

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Of Breastfeeding, Baby and Me

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Let’s face it guys, breastfeeding is not an easy task.

When I was pregnant, I vowed to myself that I would breastfeed my baby exclusively until he turned six months, and proceed to breastfeed with additional solid food until he’s two. The plan seemed so simple, like when I was writing it out on my to-do list. I’ve seen mothers with breastfed children, and mothers who formula-fed their children. I’ve observed and I decided that breastfeeding is the best option for me.

But like I said, breastfeeding IS NOT an easy task.

When he was delivered, he tried to clasp his tiny mouth onto my huge gigantic nip and failed. I thought it was my fault, and his cryings became more and more prominent as time passes by. I tried giving him some more time to tuck onto my breast and waited but he still wailed. I called the staff nurse and she taught me the correct and easiest way for the baby to latch. There was some thick liquid – anyone could guess it was the colostrum, and I tried to feed him with it. He sucked it in – I guess, because up until now I didn’t know if the colostrum did enter his tummy or I just swiped it all away because of my ignorance.

Okay. I told myself, maybe he did drink.

He  was silent until minutes later. He started wailing, crying, his face red with maybe, rage because he was angry. As per what I had learned, babies only need colostrum to pass by, and the colostrum wasn’t that much.

There was no spare formula milk. I didn’t bring any because I was confident I can feed the baby all by myself. We will be alright, right, baby?

That first night at the hospital, he couldn’t sleep well. I couldn’t sleep well. My mother in-law couldn’t sleep at all. She took care of the baby, hushing him down, serenading him and tried to tuck him into the baby cot.

When I went home, there was still no sign of breast milk. I expected them to be runny, maybe a bit thinner than the colostrum. I pinched and I pressed and massaged my breasts, but nothing came out. My masseuse told me I had blocked duct, and I supposed to know about it since before I gave birth. She even told me that I should know as I am a doctor and well, DOCTORS KNOW EVERYTHING. Pffftttt

No, doctors know everything when it is someone else.

If it happens to them, do you know that doctors are the worst patients?

My baby sucked and sucked, but there’s nothing came out. My breast felt heavy and a bit tender. He was hungry, I’m sure but momma’s milk is not here yet.

My husband then decided he wouldn’t let my baby go hungry for another day. He bought formula by the end of day 1, which means I’m unable to feed anything to my baby for almost 24 hours. I felt like a loser. My breasts were aching and I was crying (damn those hormones!) when I tried to breastfeed him. My nipples ached so much, and when he sucked, the pain sent me off the roof. There was nothing in this world compared to the pain of a first time mother trying to breastfeed his child.

I watched my masseuse and my MIL fed him formula milk. I wouldn’t feed him myself. I refused to give him any formula as far as I would. I was a stubborn person, and I would stay that way. My baby too was a bit fussy in his early days. He was used to getting formula milk and how easily the milk poured out in his mouth as compared to when he had to suck harder for my breast milk. He cried restlessly when I tried to breastfeed him, because he knew there wasn’t much milk for him.

I was disappointed. I was depressed because I couldn’t breastfeed him. So what am I to him then? I used to think breastfeeding is the only way for mother and child to bond but now what am I going to do that I couldn’t breastfeed yet?

I was frustrated by the fact that what I read confused me. The text books told me that I would be able to feed as soon as he comes out. They told me that breastfeeding is how mothers experienced happiness – because that was when the oxytocin (the happy hormone) oozed out of your body. But I didn’t have any of that. My nipples hurt, and sometimes they bled. They were dry skins and baby scratches on my chest and every time I fed him I cringed because I couldn’t stand another pain in my nips. Where is the oxytocin? Where is the fucking happiness? Where is the relief? I would ask myself over and over again, and then spiraled down the misery alley again and again.

My husband then resolved to buy a breast pump for me. It was a bit pricey but he told me it was going to worth it.

I used it, tried to pick up my own pace in my breastfeeding journey. My MIL and masseuse still used formula to feed him now and then, but as time passed by the milk started coming out. I used all the tips in the books and also from the Internet to try to enhance my breast milk. The nights were messy with my tears, again when he tried to feed and failed and my MIL had to feed him formula. I scrubbed the nips and massaged it quite harshly in the shower after I took analgesics to ease down the pain.

But slowly I started producing more milk. The formula was weaned down little by little. I pumped my breast and let him latch on. My breasts still felt sore, and I still winced at the pain when he latched but after a month or so, there wasn’t any pain at all. My confinement ended with me happily breastfeeding my baby exclusively.

Then, I already established that breastfeeding is a very tough journey. It demands determination and perseverance. It needs practice and knowledge. It will come naturally to you, but you have to work upon it. It’s like learning to walk, you naturally can walk but you need perseverance and practice. Babies never stopped learning, adults did.

But most of all, all you need is love.

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Double Standard

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I’m writing here today, remembering the event of what happened last week.

I texted on the Whatsapp group of my family telling my mom Happy Mother’s Day. She didn’t reply immediately – of course, but my brother did.

He texted me telling me that mom was a disappointed with me and she’s sulking about it. She even cried on the phone when my brother called him and told him about it. I was shocked because I didn’t think of any recent incident that would make my mom kind of like that.

Well apparently I did. Once. Just three days before I texted the Happy Mother’s Day wishes.

I drove home to despatch some things for my sister who’s in college and due to she’s not around I called her telling I would leave the things outside of the house. My sister went home for a semester break and was spending her holidays with my mom. I called my mom prior to I drove back and she was home. The gates were open and the doors locked. It was normal for my mother, because she lives alone. She couldn’t afford leaving the door unlocked. I rang the door bells twice and waited in front of the house, but my mom didn’t open the door. So I decided to leave.

That’s the issue, my brother told me. I didn’t wait long enough for my mom to open the door. She told him that she wanted to test me, maybe testing my patience, and obviously I didn’t have the amount of what she expected me to. I told him I rang the door, twice, and she didn’t open the door. In my defence I thought she wasn’t home. The doorbell was loud, no one can miss it.

Or does it?

I was angry at first, claiming that I was there, I just didn’t wait long enough for her to open the door. Who would be in the right mind to test the patience like that? Just open the freaking door, I wanted to shout?

I wanted to scream. Why me? Why would mom always punish me with silent treatment every time that she feels like it?

I am the second of five siblings. I had a brother and he got married and built a little family of his own. He lives far away from home, and mom never acted like that in front of him. She called out telling me I was fat after I delivered my first baby and wondered loudly how could I be this fat? She thought my baby wasn’t cute enough just because he looked like he was underfed and his skin was a little shade darker than his cousins. My brother was never home, and I visited mom religiously every weekend without fail so that my mom wouldn’t miss out on my son’s development.

And now she’s sulking with me?

I didn’t know what else did I do wrong that my mom refused to answer my phone calls, when she could easily accept my other siblings’ calls. She never sulked in front of them. She talked just like how she always was, but not with me.

I had a huge fight before with mom when she accused me of not caring just because I failed to call her every night. She said I broke my own promises. She said I didn’t call her every day like how I promised. She accused of me not caring about her ever since I got married.

I was stunned. What on earth was my mom saying? Why do she keep doing this to me when she knew very well what person I am? I visited her every weekend with no rates of failure. I let her see her grandson which she could never keep up when it were my brother’s sons. She played the guilt card, stating that I succeeded in what I were in. I graduated and became a doctor, and she kept repeating that I was the big shot and I shouldn’t care about her as much because she was just from a rural area and graduated late. But excuse me she pursued her degree when she was already a teacher. It’s hard to do that even back then. Now, I couldn’t even finish any book after I started working.

I wasn’t a bigshot. People graduated to become medical practitioner all year, and we are becoming more common now.

I didn’t ignore her. I wished her happy mother’s day and hoped that my son would be nice and closer to her growing up, unlike my other nephews. I didn’t want her to feel neglected or unwanted like how my nephews were. They were having strangers’ anxiety and that’s why they becoming like that with my mother because they only could see their grandmother on the father’s side like three or four times per year.

Am I that bad? I wanted to ask my mother. Do you hate me so much after I got married?

I argued with her once about this and she threw the guilt back to me.

I shouldn’t fight with my mom. I shouldn’t be hostile with someone who gave birth to me? I am the younger person and I am the daughter – they expected me to always be nice to my mom. And that’s what I do. I kept everything inside, even not telling my husband because I was sure it was all because of me. I’m writing this down because I felt the need to. This is my therapy. I should let everything out so that it wouldn’t consume me. I was embarrassed to see or tell anyone about this because this is my mom who I’m talking about and writing about this will help me because no one knows me.

I am a nobody I guess.

 

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Common Cold

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Last two or three nights ago my son had trouble to go to sleep. He wailed all night. He was cranky and clingy, making me and my husband felt like the world was crushing down on us. It was Sunday night and today I’m going to work. My son wouldn’t stop crying, and there were tears everywhere – me and my son. I wished I could see my husband’s tears too.

He was having a cold, which most probably he caught it from me. As a working mom, who spent most of her time at a clinic full of sick people, I am prone to infectious disease like this common cold. I didn’t actually caught it from the clinic, but I noticed I started having sore throat and feverish after back from our vacation from a famous beach.

I suffered from common cold, acute tonsillitis and mild fever for about a week. I tried so hard not to cough at my son, but it was hard to do especially when he was breastfeeding at me, and the only thing he was staring at was me. Well, it did flatter me in some way that your son adores you but seriously it brought a hazardous risk. I wished that I didn’t give it to him but who am I kidding? He never had any contact with anyone except his close family.

Back to the story, I was having a seriously hard time to getting him to sleep. He was crying, and been as bad tempered as I am, I smacked his butt a bit too strongly on the diapers. He was used to it, and his cry didn’t stop. I was crying too because I was tired, my arms were aching because I was serenading him all along.

When I woke up the next morning, and noticed his innocent face sleeping with a noisy breathing I was touched. I was mad at him because he couldn’t sleep.

Why did I do that? Why did I go batshit crazy when he too was in misery?

He’s a kid, I told myself over and over again. He cried when he was uncomfortable, he cried when he’s hungry, he’d cry when his nappy wet, he’d cry when his stomach bloated; he never knew what he wanted that night and maybe, just maybe what he wanted was just to cuddle me. Maybe he wanted protection from me because sometimes he had a nightmare, maybe he had experienced a dream and it felt weird to him but he had no way of telling me that except by crying.

After he fell asleep, I put him down and watched him in silent. I succeeded in tugging him into sleep. I managed to tone down my temper, and afterwards I was so relieved I fell asleep right away.

 

 

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Love and Affection in Sick or Health

Daffodil-Meaning

Courtesy of Google Image

The words I chose today really mirrors what I was feeling right now. Today is Friday, and I’ve been sitting here in my clinic waiting for my patients to arrive.

Love is a very strong word, and yet people use it everyday without a care in the world. Old and young people use it relentlessly, meaning of love varies depends on their situation. It was never an obsolete thing when it comes to love. Love passed so many boundaries, had been the reasons of many reunions and wars.

As I started working, I saw many interpretations of love in the ward. I was assigned to wards at first, and saw families and relatives taking care of their sick ones. Taking care of sick ones, especially who suffered from stroke is very challenging. Not everyone could bear it, even if he’s their own father.

You see it everyday too now that I worked in clinic, a gentleman coming for his diabetic follow up, and been accompanied by their spouse of >25 years plus. They came together on a motorcycle, and the wife was just there to be with him. It’s not that he couldn’t come alone, he was used to it. He was used to his wife tagging along, and he would feel incomplete without her. He didn’t say it out loud but his eyes betrayed him. I asked him if he would like to come alone, he said he’s not used to coming alone, or he would feel lonely.

I imagined what it felt like to be married for 20 to 30 years and having been through everything through thick or thin of life. Even in this early age of my marriage, it felt awkward not to have him by my side, like how it was with my mother now.