Saturday, September 03, 2011

"So people will laugh at me?"

After one of the session of the summer swimming class Orion took, Orion had to urinate so we went to the bathroom.  Since he took off his swimming trunk already, I figure we might as well take off his swimming shirt too and get him out of the wet stuff.   He did not realize we were going to put his bath robe (which is quite big) on for the ride home and thought I meant for him to walk out naked.  So when I ask him to get out of his wet cloths he asked "So people will laugh at me?"  I told him "silly no, you will put on your bath robe on!" and we all laugh and all was well.

But after thinking about it, it daunt on me that he was feeling shame about going out naked in public.  We had always told him that it's not polite to do that but he learned from somewhere else that it's "bad" to do that.  This same boy a year ago walked around Mission district of SF with underwear and legwarmers on his legs because he had an accident and those were all I had.  My boy has lost his innocence!  He has taken a bite of the apple in the Eden.  I guess it makes me a little sad.  My boy is growing up too fast....

The feeling in the beginning

When we first had Orion, we labored very long hours and ended up c-section in the end. We were beyond exhausted during the c-section and so maybe the exhaustion made us more emotional but I remember the minute I heard Orion's cry, I cried too and felt like overwhelming love I had for another being that I never felt.

That was the initial feeling. Then we settled back home and try to keep this being alive (still in awe that the people at the hospital let us take this being home!!). It was hardest few weeks of my life. In fact the first 5 weeks seem a blur. I was so stressed from trying to produce enough milk for him and frustrated that I did not and had to supplement with formula and wondering how I could manage to take care of him all by myself when Noel goes back to work. So the first few weeks, we did not feel like parents. It felt like we were on hell's baby sitting gig and wondering when his real parents will come and take him back. It definitely took a while to developed a deeper feeling with him.

With Vivi? I think these initial weeks with the same task over and over (feeding, changing, cuddling, etc), I don't feel like her mother yet. I just feel like she's the baby that takes away my time with my son. But as we get to know her...i think she's starting to grow on me. She's starting to not feel just like someone that takes my time away from my son.

I know I am being too wordy on this post but it's late and I am really tired....

Gonna get some rest before getting up to feed the baby again.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Almost two month

She will be two month by Friday. She's completely on breast milk now but of course I still constantly worry that she doesn't have enough. Plus the only way for her to have more milk is to feed her more, I sorta don't mind having to feed her more. When she does longer stretches at night and my boobs get really full, I worry that she doesn't eat enough. When I see her peeing a lot and pooping it makes me happy because I know she's drinking enough. Still doing the weight/feed/weight weekly. Just to check how much milk she takes and how much weight she's gaining. She's gaining the proper amount for breast feeding baby but still a little jealous that formula fed babies are gaining more weight than her. I should stop obsession. As long as she's growing nicely and have wakeful interactive time I should be happy.

She's starting to coo a little. She likes to coo/talk when she's very awake and not too hungry yet. I love how she smiles now. Thank goodness she started smiling. Makes this physically demanding job more rewarding. We can put her down for "bed" around the same time as Orion. I would feed her to make sure she's not hungry anymore (even if it's just an hour or two since I last fed her) and we should put the music. If she's sleepy already, then she lies down on the bed easily but sometimes she's over tired we would need to rock her a bit to get to the sleepy stage. I am glad she generally stays in sleepy state through out the night even if she needs to get up to feed often. I just wish she's awake enough to have both breast so she can last longer between feeding.

Orion is really great with her. I play down how good he is with her in front of other people but I am grateful and impressed at how nurturing he is. I hope he stays the same when she becomes mobile and reach for his toys. He's only had one major tantrum since her birth (and I survived!) and boy did we learn lesson from it. I don't let him sleep in the car anymore because it gets too hot and he gets woken up at the wrong sleep cycle and gets really cranky. He really is a very good boy.

He's getting in to coloring and drawing and building legos, just in time. I feel bad we haven't started the bike with him. Hopefully when Noel's job is certain we can focus our attention on that.

Speaking of which...just so worry about it. I really would like to know why does his big boss not think he's working hard and really wish that his boss would fight for Noel and let his big boss know that Noel can be a hard worker. Hopefully we will find out for sure if he still has a job by Friday....sigh.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One month old today

It was a busy day today. She turn one month old today! Four weeks exactly thanks to the 28 days in February. Went to weight/feed/weight her and was not happy that the milk supply doesn't seem to have increased though she hasn't had much supplement today. Need to step up my protein in take... Plus I added Goat's rue today so we'll see if that helps by Friday. If not, I might go back to Fenugreek.

Went to the Chinese group play day for the first time since her birth. Went relatively okay but just feels a bit more chaotic than I would like for these early days. So might not go back for a while. Maybe invite individuals over for playdate might be better.

She's been making messy mega poops on her weekly anniversary. When she made a small poop at the playdate, I thought "oh, this is not so bad" Then when I was reading Orion nap-time story while feeding her, she pooped BIG time!! It was so big and messy that not only did it leaked out of the diaper, it started to ooze down her pants and got on my pants too. I did not realize what was happening until it dripped down to Orion's carpet!! So disgusting and messy!! Didn't want to share this on facebook. Share too much poop complain on facebook already. But nobody really reads this so it's fine.

Still worried about her milk intake because of this morning's WFW but she seem satisfied without needing additional formula yet. Maybe it's what Noel said. She's just eating less today and she will make it up another time? We'll see.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

She's sleeping more today

It's very weird. She's sleeping more today than yesterday. It was very frustrating yesterday that I can barely put her down for a minute to eat. Today she's sleeping more soundly even with Orion being loud and the rest of the family chatting loudly.

I think I paid for it later that night.

Vivi is three weeks old today

Can't believe she's three weeks old. It feels like it's been forever. Went to weight/feed/weight her today and overall she did gain weight. And that's after she did a big messy poop this morning before we left.

I am glad my milk production has increased too. It went from 1.5oz last week to 2.3-2.8 oz. But now I am not sure what's causing the milk to increase, because i am doing so many things: Taking Fenugreek, drinking mother's milk tea, drinking massive amount of soup, drinking special chinese "increase milk" soup and the brewer's yeast. *shrug*

Next week will be the real challenge when everybody goes home and it's just us...No more food fairies* either...

*Thanks to these wonderful friends that take turn to cook soup and food for me during the first month..

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Entering third week

While Noel is using the parental time to work from home one more week, I am still taking advantage of him helping and try to get as much rest as I can while take on more house things just so I can get used to it when he goes back to work next week. Trying to rest to increase milk supply still.

Went to weight/feed/weight yesterday (2/23) and she's still gaining weight nicely. So I will lay off always following up with formula if she doesn't seem to look for more food. My milk supply? Well, the right side is still only about half an ounce so was a little worried that it did not increase at all. But when we went on the left side, it was about 0.7 or 0.9. Which was encouraging. This was also the factor that made me feel okay about putting her to nurse more because my milk has increase while her formula intake hasn't change much.

Plus I am starting to feel that my left side seem to have more than one let down. Today I definitely put her to nurse longer and I think I can feel more than one let down on both side. We will see how this goes.

Crossing fingers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vivi's first doctor's visit

We could not get an appointment two weeks from when Vivi is born so we could only get it on 10th day of birth. She was back to 7lb 9oz. So I am not so worry about not feeding her enough. I might put her to my boobs more often and maybe not do as much formula. Still, whenever she roots frantically I just feel bad and want to give her more food than I can give.

I've increase the fenugreek to 4 capsules a meal hoping it would help. Will increase to 5 per meal tomorrow to see... Still drinking soup/liquid like there's no tomorrow and going to pee a lot. Took a nap today and think that really helped with milk production. Maybe should sleep more. But I won't be able to do that soon when I have to take care of both kids myself.

Gave Vivi her first bath at home tonight (2/19) and started putting lotion on her dry skin like doctor said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

one week old today

We went to Maternity Connect to weight/feed/weight her yesterday. My body seem to be producing a bit shy of one ounce per three hours. Which is not enough for the baby but twice what I was producing in three hour period at the hospital.

I tried what some of the mom said where you just don't do formula but put the baby to your breast so it continuously stimulate and lets your brain know you want it to produce more milk. I did that from 2pm until about midnight. I really don't think this is a viable method. If it was, why wouldn't I just pump my breast every hour for 12 hours straight. Or better yet, just continuously hook on the pump for x amount of hours straight? I feel like the only thing this exercise accomplished was teaching Vivi how to fall asleep using my boobs as pacifier.

Plus we are reading the baby better this time. Maybe not with the Dunstan baby language (at least for me) but from her actions. We know how she is when she is not hungry anymore. She is awake a little and does her diaper business and then sits contently for a while before feeling tired. Then Noel is able to put her down while still awake and she fusses a little and falls asleep on her own! At one week old that's better than some of the older kids I know that still needs their mother's boob as pacifier. Most importantly she's a much happier baby and rest better when she is content with food. When I just put her to my boob constantly, she's just hungry. She doesn't have good awake time and doesn't sleep well. I don't see how she can grow well if she doesn't sleep well.

I am not saying I do not use my boob as a pacifier, I do that at night when I am tired and need to sleep. Maybe that's why I am not feeling as exhausted as I did last time. Or maybe it's just catching on to me now. It's been one week and I am starting to feel exhausted.

Noel is trying to get some good rest too and while I wish he was more helpful so I can get more rest, he needs rest to get his mind in good place when he goes back for the performance tracking thing. I suppose the worst thing that could happen if I don't get enough sleep is I don't produce milk. But the worst thing that could happen if Noel doesn't get enough rest is that we will have no income.

One week down, many more weeks to go!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I am glad Orion seem to be handling the new baby well. I am glad we trained him well enough, or maybe he just has a good personality that he doesn't get upset or clingy when he sees me holding the baby girl. I am glad he has his own life (school, routine) and now Noel is home spending time with him. I am _most_ glad that they don't seem to wake each other. When the baby is crying at night next to Orion's room, it doesn't wake Orion up. And when Orion is being a little bit loud, the baby sleeps through. Although the true testament would be when Orion is on his full blown tantrum and I am home alone with both kids.

Nursing issue

The baby's bilirubin level was high so the pediatrician order light therapy for her. Not the same light therapy that O had (where you can put it on his tummy and wrap him up in it. We can still hold him that way) This is where she goes in the incubator and has three different lights on her. The know-it-all and other nurse says she needs to take more food to flushing out the excess bilirubin so they need to supplement her with formula (since my milk supply either has not come in yet or is low) We were basically nursing her and then giving her formula.

It was hard to feed her, comfort her and change her in the incubator but eventually got the hang of it. However, the comforting her part was still hard. She does settle herself down (from content state to sleep) in the incubator when she's had enough to eat and has a clean diaper on.

Now we are not gonna have the mini ready-to-eat bottles for formula that hospital was supplying us after we get home. So I was not crazy about mixing formula and cleaning bottle part. Plus I remember how easy it was just to nurse and go. But we have a problem now. Her appetite is already larger than what my milk supply. She does not seem satisfied after nursing. And as I look at my milk, I can see it trickling down slowly. Last time we pumped at the hospital after three hour was only 15ml. I wonder how much she's getting now.

Someone told me that I should just put her to my breast as much as possible (22 out of 24 hours if needed). How else is my brain suppose to get the message that my body needs to produce more milk. However, this is not what most lactation experts said. They just don't recommend nursing less than two hours each time or else its not affective. I gave it a try anyway. on 2/13 I basically had her to my boob from 2pm until about midnight constantly. Maybe just have her off long enough to go to the bathroom (which I am peeing a lot) or eat. My breasts were hurting by the end of the night. I don't know if my body can handle that and I really do question it's effectiveness again.

Plus I feel like the only thing that we are accomplishing is to train her to fall asleep, using my boob as a pacifier.

The chinese moms from Orion's play group are taking turns cooking me soup and food. It's really nice of them but I feel really terrible about the whole thing. I really don't know how I am going to repay this enormous amount of kindness.

Want to go to Maternity connect for weight/feed/weight later.

The next few days

Orion came to visit that afternoon. Noel went to pick him up and he came and we spent time as family of four for a little bit. Since it wasn't too long (between dinner and bed time) it was not too much pressure about what to do with him. It was good that he visited.

Next day the whole Kerlee family came visit and brought Orion. The following day Orion did not come because it got too late with the whole start of pumping and such. Mandy told Noel that Orion was crying under his cover that night and his pillow was wet. When we asked Orion he said he wasn't and he was only sweating from being hot. I am not sure which one's story to believe. That made me feel really bad. Because until then I've kinda swapped out one baby for another and was not thinking/worrying about Orion much. I felt so guilty that I neglected my Orion.

On the day of the check out, Noel picked Orion up nice and early and we spent time as a family at the hospital waiting for Vivi's test result to come back to see if her bilirubin level is good enough to go home. Really not crazy about the nurse with know-it-all attitude at the Ped unit but overall experience at the hospital was nice.

Going home. Let the chaos begin...


Baby girl was born on 2/8/2010 8:48am. 7lb 10oz 19.5in.

We went in for the c-section at 6:30am. Didn't think she would make it to the c-section day which was 7 days before due day, because her brother came 10 days early. I actually started having some contractions when we were signing different documents. As we got ready, I got more and more nervous. Even though this is a "repeat" c-section, the last one was so blurry that I do not remember much of it. Last one was done after 18 hours of labor and 12+ hours in the hospital. So I was just so tired and exhausted during c-section. I did remember some pushing and shoving but mostly just the throwing up and passing out after the baby was born.

Dr Rosenberg was really nice and supportive. Held my hands when the anesthesiologist was giving me the injection. They lied me down and my legs started to go numb. They were just waiting until I can't feel anymore and then got started pretty quickly. Noel came to join me at that time. I didn't realize he was taking picture from out side of the door and glad he did. He asked to stand up to see more of the operation than just the part about taking the baby out. The doctor ok'ed it and he observed most of it. There were a lot of pulling, tugging and shoving. Phil said the whole c-section reminded him of a dog being really rough with the chew toy. They told Noel when they were about to take the baby out and Noel filmed that part.

We stayed at the recovery room a little longer than usual (maybe an hour more) so the nurse could make sure I wasn't bleeding unusually or have clots forming.

Having a scheduled c-section is the weirdest thing. It's like having your life change forever scheduled.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On the day of the surgery

The surgery was set for Tuesday 9/20/2010. I was suppose to fast all day on monday. Not just 24 hours before the surgery, but all day Monday as I was told. When the doctor's office found out I had eaten monday morning, they wanted me to get these laxatives and clean out my system. Let's just say for the rest of monday was not very pleasant for me and I needed to stay near a bathroom.

Tuesday we go to the hospital bright and early. Noel was gonna drop me off at the hospital and take Orion to his pre-school. I figure it would be nice for him to stay with Orion at the school and see what he does there so maybe he can just come back after school is finished and my surgery is done. But there were some pre-op issues that made me really nervous and I realized I need my husband next to me. So he left O in school and came back to me.

I got a bit panic when the nurse wanted me to sign this form to make sure what surgery I am here for. The forms said "removal of the cysts in the ovaries VS removal of the ovaries". Well, it used more medical terms but I can't recall right now. I freaked out because I did not remember agreeing to the specialist removing my ovaries. If I need to part with my ovaries, I need to have a lot of time to prepare that. I did not have that time.

Well, the nurse sense that I might change my mind and cancel the whole surgery so she went and called the doctor. I think the doctor asked me "what do you want me to do if your ovaries would not stop bleeding?" He later on made me understand that when you operate an organ, removal of the organ is on the clause (unless it's effects the survival of the person like the heart) so they don't need to have you bleed to death. With that understanding, I felt a little better but when signing the paper, still feel like I am signing to have my ovaries removed. All I can hope now is when I wake up, I still have them.

Most pre-ops were finished and they wheeled me in to the OR and I said goodbye to my husband. Everybody was ready at the operating room. A couple of familiar faces because they came to say hi to me at the pre-op place. They gave me oxygen and started IV on me and I was gone pretty soon.


Waking up at the post-op was weird. Very groggy and someone was helping me with ice for my dry throat and answering my questions "how's the baby?" "Do I still have my ovaries?" When I was awake enough, they moved me from post-op to recovery room and Noel and O were on route to follow me. I was still really tired and wanted to rest so Noel took O home to nap. They were gonna try to visit me again tonight before the visitor's hour is over.

I was so looking forward to uninterrupted (by O) rest at the hospital. But I really just got segments of sleep because the nurse needed to check on things and give me medicines. I didn't care any more. I just want to rest and get better.