Friday, October 18, 2013

A present for Ikue

I know I cannot thank her enough for everything she had done for me, from the first day I arrived in JAIST, until now. But my labor days were the ones that took this friendship to another level so I have always thought of this present for her, our very own Baju Kurung, as I know it will look very nice on her. She was so excited to receive it, and we told her to put it on immediately. When I passed her the shawl she told me - I want to wear like you wear it. So I wrapped it around her head.

Macam mualaf ok! :)

very pretty!

BFFs haha, this kid whipped out her own tudung when she sees people wearing tudung.

my best team, final picture during my last appointment with Tomokage sensei (1 month checkup)

Thank you Ikue! Love you to bits. ^_^

xoxo, N

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kaori on local TV

This was a present from our beloved Ikue. ;)

One day at the hospital Ikue told me -

"I have this present for the baby but I don't know if you will accept it."

What is it? Of course I will accept it. :D

"It is a segment for local TV on newborn babies....."

oh no.TV. and mummy looks like a whale.

"I saw it on Araki hospital's facebook, previously two mummies already participated on this show. They will come here and do the shooting with you and your baby."

Hm okay, it is fine with me, we will ask Kazu-san later.

At the end I agreed, it was a very very sweet gift, and a good memory for Kaori to watch when she's older. The shooting was funny, with Kaori crying, with us struggling with Japanese language, and Ikue translating English into Japanese language. But the output was very good. Kaori looked like an angel. Daddy was obviously nervous, and mummy. oh mummy, pls excuse my whale-ness. I was reluctant to show this during my confinement, afraid it will jinx my weight loss efforts (paranoid sik pasal2); but now I have lost more than half of it, I feel ok. hahahaha. gai.

The day before the shooting, doctors and nurses were like..

"you will be on TV tomorrow righttt, you must be excitedd!!" (translated)

And when we visited the hospital during the 1 month checkup they were like..

"aaa we saw you on Mebae, it was very nice!" (translated)

Anyways, here it is. the video (plus some advertisements -- too excited, pressed record too early). It was a very short segment, 1min+ (phew!). Please, just focus on Kaori, not us. hahaha!


Monday, October 7, 2013

The first 7 days


Ok, let's continue the story, shall we?

bzzt bzzt

This was the last picture from my episode last time. After the operation, they put me on drips - water and antibiotic, this massage thingy on my leg, and also a urine catheter. I was still not allowed to lie with my head slightly upwards, at least until the next morning. I was so used to sleeping in a half sitting position, I begged them to allow me to put the head part upright, but they gave me an ice bag instead, to put underneath my head. That put me back to sleep.

i hate sleeping flat. even on my bed, i need stacked pillows.

*cue awan laju laju, transforming into night time, then sunrise

Day 1

(Only Day 1's post will be quite long, days after that will have pretty much the same routine)

It was 6 am. 16hrs post surgery. I still haven't seen my baby. Even when my hubs brought my family over the evening before, I didnt allow them to post any of my baby's picture anywhere. I miss her, they told me she has the loudest voice, the blackest hair. My legs were still sore that morning, but I was not sure if I could move them yet, I was in a better mood -- no more begging and panicking. In the room, my husband was still sleeping, and Ikue too spent the night there, and she woke up all blurred.. probably too tired from the day before. In my head, I hope they allow me to see my baby that day, or at least take off the massage thingy on my legs so I could walk to the baby gallery. I remembered that I read somewhere - try to walk within 24 hours after surgery for a faster recovery.

I chatted with my husband and Ikue, to see what were their plans for the day -- I didnt want Ikue to miss out on her events or meetings, but she is such a sweetheart, always wanting to be there just in case I needed anything. I admit it, it was so much easier when she was around, because they recognised her as my translator.

Around 7am, a nurse came in, to check up on me and change my 'diapers'. She told me she will remove the massage thingy on my leg at 8am, and asked me if i wanted to remove the catheter as well. I told her maybe later.

Tomokage sensei also came by, to check on my incision. He said the cut was very clean, no blood or sign of wetness, and I told him thank you very much for the day before.

8am, the nurse came back,took off the massage thingy, and told me to start practicing sitting up using the bed controller. I tried, bit by was quite painful, I don't really know how to describe the pain, but what I hate most was how heavy my butt was after not moving so long from the bed. I tried to bend my leg, left right, left right.. aaah felt so much better already. So I continued trying to sit up with the assistance of the bed, stopped for a while when I feel pain, and continue, and after 20minutes I was sitting upright. I tried to move my legs to the side of the bed, ok I found the right word for the pain - stabbing pain. macam ncucok ncucok. I managed to put both of my legs to the side of the bed with the help of my husband and Ikue, and next step was to try to stand up. Quite uncomfortable with the catheter between my legs. But I tried anyway, I didn't want to lose the 24 hour period. That was hard, tired body, very heavy, was holding very tight on my husband's arm. I managed to stand up -- 90 degrees bent seriously like nenek kebayan holding her cane -- my cane was the water drip stand. So I thought standing up was hard, finally I realized to straighten up my body was even harder because the cut was at the center of the body. But it was okay, I thought it was a really good progress so I tried to step side by side first, I couldn't even walk too far because of the catheter, so it was like 4 steps left, 4 steps right. It felt nice, like blood was flowing all over your body again, like a machine has been restarted. Then I took my rest.

When the nurse checked up on me, Ikue told them I was already taking steps and she was surprised but very happy. I asked the nurse; when can I see my baby, breastfeed her. She told me I could see my baby after the last packet of water and antibiotic drips, prolly around 11.30am. I said okay, and couldn't wait to see my baby. While waiting, I practiced standing up and taking steps with my husband, and Ikue went home to settle her errands. And then my husband also left, to take his bath and bring my family sightseeing. I finished all my drips around 11am, and I called the nurse from my room - excitedly saying 'owarimashita! (done!)'. The nurse came and asked me where did I put my towel, she wanted to help me wipe my body and change my pajamas. They will always ask what color I prefer, and I answered blue again this time. She returned, took off the catheter, the drip tube, and helped me get changed. She also did the routine check - BP, get my blood drawn and asked me few questions.

Ikue came by shortly after, talked to the nurse, and then told me that my first 6 meals will be from liquid based to soft food (porridge, soft fruits) and I could start taking solids the next day at lunch time.


After practicing walking in my room, I told Ikue that I was ready to walk and see my baby at the gallery. Still, the hardest part was to straighten up my body, but we managed to get to the gallery and guess who I bumped into: Tomokage sensei. He was surprised to see me at the gallery, and said - You are walking already! He told Ikue usually patients in that hospital will start walking around the 48hrs after the surgery. I thought to myself, I am kejeron. But at least kejeron gave me strength to get out of the bed.

And there she was, sleeping soundly, my Kaori, looking so peaceful. It was a cliche - but really, all your pain will be gone when you look at your baby. Well not totally gone, but you forget about them when you stare at your baby; after that the pain will come back to you hehe. After a while, I told Ikue I was tired, but before going back to the room, we asked the nurse when could I breastfeed my baby. The nurse told us, she was already been fed, but I could try the next feeding time. The time was already 4pm++, so the next feeding time would be around 6++pm.


At 6pm the nurse called my room, said it was baby's feeding time. I was excited but nervous at the same time..but couldn't wait to hold my baby. So the nurse taught me how to disinfect the hands and the breast, Ikue was also there, being my walking dictionary and gushing kawaii kawaii over baby Kaori. The nurse weighed the baby before feeding.  So the first breastfeeding experience was quite funny, we didn't expect Kaori would suck so strongly and hungrily, because everyone went 'whoa' and the nurse keep saying 'tsuyoi tsuyoi (strong)' She told me to feed 5 minutes one side, and 5 minutes the other. And then the nurse left us for 20minutes, and I kept switching after 5 minutes, left and right. When she came back, she weighed the baby again, and Kaori lost 2g! That means there was no milk coming out of me, so I need to feed her formula. My heart was touched but I agreed, and requested for breast massage sessions since they offer the service.

The next feeding time, I was called again at 9pm, went through the same routine, Kaori lost 3g from sucking this time, so I had to feed her formula again. In my heart I prayed so hard so my milk will finally flow, for Kaori.


Day 2 onwards

The morning started with checkups, and the nurse taught me on how to wipe the 'south' region with the clean wipes they provided in my bag. I loved the hospital, first, because it was first-time-mom friendly, and because the docs, nurses and staff were so so kind and helpful. What I looked forward this day was my solid meals.. was already getting bored eating soups and soup-based food, so I was really looking forward to have my lunch.

So my meals would look like these, and every meal was awesome.

ikan bilis halia spesellll dari cikpot ku. me laff you!

On the 5th day I was told that a special lunch will be served, I was like, Okay bring it on.. just hoping for more plates of tempuras. But these came!

 x cukup meja! hahah

my fav from the bunch. yummy. tiba2 pande makan asparagus on that day ok

Ok enough about food; on the second day of recovery, the nurse gave me a schedule for the next few days, on checkups, showers, aromatherapy massage (yay) and my breast massage sessions. When I was at the hospital I was actually pretty busy, and I was called to breastfeeding room every 3 hours, 8 times a day to feed Kaori. After day 3, I was already up 10mins earlier waiting for their calls for the next feeding session for 2am and 5am.  The nurses also taught me how to change diapers -- although I knew this, but it was actually very helpful for new moms.

the breasfeeding room. managed to snap few pics as I was the first one on that day. moms need to disinfect their hands first before nurses passed them their babies. Babies need to be changed, then weighed before feeding, and after feeding

this is where babies do their 'who wails the loudest' during diaper change. well when team kaori was around, kaori was always the winner

where mommies sit, make funny noises to a crying infant, while flashing their boobies hehe

So I was still having problems with my breastmilk supply until day 3 of recovery, when they started my breast massage sessions. It was quite painful, most probably because it was a first time, I was clueless about so many things but finally milk slowly came out. During feeding sessions, finally Kaori needed less and less formula until day 5, when suddenly I was surprised that she didn't need anymore supplement from formula milk, because she gained 72grams after feeding - means she consumed around 72ml. But I kept on having breast massage until my last day there, so I think that helped a lot.

After day 2, I was slowly getting better, walked a bit faster although standing up was still quite a struggle, but once I have stood up for a long while, sitting was a struggle, especially putting both my legs up on the bed. On day 3, my regular check up nurse called me for a shampoo time and brought me to a room called Beauty Room. The nurse did the shampooing for me! I felt good and the room looks so much like a salon. That was the room I loved most. I was given an Ok for showers from day 3 onwards too, so I was always looking forward to go to the beauty room. hehe.

the shampoo corner, hot water.. ahh

the shower.  you lift up the side sprays, sit on the grey thingy, and enjoy water from your left right and from your back.

dry your hair, comb your hair

complete with a makeup corner. bes sikk? although I didnt utilise any of these makeups. mek sik pande

After the operation, I was noticing that my legs were getting bigger and bigger, due to water retention. I was still so huge during my stay there, only losing 3kg from the delivery, and started losing when I got home. I was also worried about my first bowel movement after the operation; so I googled a lot of 'pooping after c-section' and read the experiences. I was given stool softeners since day 2 recovery, but only having my first dump on day 5. Came out from the toilet smiling, I even lost 1kg. hahah.

a whale with an elephant feet

my feet now. plus a drop of 11kgs

On day 5 I was called for an aromatherapy massage, this was what I needed and I felt better after the massage. I was not able to lie on my stomach at that time, so I sat and leaned on the bed while the lady massage my back. On this day too, Kaori was finally released to mummy's room from 9am to 9pm, so when my family was around, they could hold the baby, and I was also able to have quiet time; just the two of us, but then every 3 hours, we need to go back to the breastfeeding room for feeding because I was not allowed to feed in the room.

 aromatherapy room

I recovered nicely at the hospital, there was no problem on the incision, Tomokage sensei always told me it was clean every time he did the check ups. It was a really nice environment, I still kinda miss it now. The last day before I packed up and checked out, I need to meet Tomokage sensei at his office and he did the probe checkup on my uterus and it was also recovering nicely, slowly shrinking to its original size. On my 1st month checkup,  Tomokage sensei told me it was almost fully back to its original size. Alhamdulillah.

Sorry for the super long entry. I hope you loved reading it.

Next up: Kaori's first appearance on local TV.
Next next up: #bodyafterbaby series - back to fitness!

much love, see you next entry.



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Baby K

Read previous stories here [ Prologue | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 ]

Finally after 50 hours waiting, Baby K arrived. Baby girl, healthy and loud, with really thick black hair. Alhamdulillah. These are the pictures from the first two days.



Guess which one is Kaori? ;)

Every newborn will be sleeping in the gallery (yes only around 12 places), it's a controlled room, and only nurses are allowed inside. Mommies will meet them during breastfeeding sessions, and the nurses will pass the baby to the mommies in the breastfeeding room.

In the next entry I will tell my story about recovery in this hospital and why I sometimes miss this hospital a lot; and the nurses. Normal delivery mommies will stay 5 days, ceaserian mommies will stay 10 days -- in my case 7 days because of faster recovery. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

50 hours: Ep 03 - Birth of Baby K

Previous episodes - in case you missed them:

Episode 01
Episode 02

22 Aug 2013

Around 4am, the midwife came to my room, wanting do another NST and asking if I would be able to walk to the labor room. I told her 'I don't think so' and she brought a portable one to my room instead.
Time passed by -- I didn't know how, probably I fell asleep, and at 9am I was in the labor room again -- NST again. Tomokage sensei came into the room, looking at me saying I looked so tired (well, plus I haven't bathe in 2 days so I must looked like a crazy lady -- crazy hair and all that).

He showed me my blood test results, and told me my infection numbers are already getting higher. he looked at the NST machine for a while, and told me he will get back around 11am.

11am. 48 hours had passed. Still no baby. Was hoping for baby that morning, still there was no sign of it. I was getting too tired, infection numbers increased day by day, I was always in the state of wanting to poop all the time  but I had no strength to get up, but when I managed to go to the loo, nothing came out -- making me feel frustrated.

Tomokage sensei came by, wanting to do a cervical check again. This time I almost cry when he was trying to reach my cervix. After continuous bloody show, 3-4 mins apart strong 45secs and above contractions and 6 induction pills I thought things would go along, but they didn't; I was still at max 4cm dilated and finally Tomokage sensei called my husband in, and told us I might have to go for c-section. Then he went out, we discussed, husband said it was my call. I am the mummy. My only concern was the infection, I wanted to wait but I didnt want to risk anything, but then the expert was the doctor. So when he came in again, I asked a bunch of questions (until hubs repeated my own words to me - he is the expert, dont worry). When Tomokage sensei heard that, he also said, 'yes dont worry, it's me' .To be honest it was really comforting to see him confidently say that, because I knew I was in excellent hands.

And I gave the yes to proceed, and they started to prep for the surgery. my compression socks, water and antibiotics drip and I was brought to the operating room (just next door) around 12:50. I was scared but didn't have time to say or do anything, everything just went by so fast.

In the operating theater, only one extra person was allowed to go in with me, so Ikue will be with me inside the room, but my husband was nearby, really near, just not in the room. I remembered that I laughed when they asked me to position myself like a lobster in order to inject anesthetics before the operation:

'make yourself like a lobster'
'more round, more lobster' -- this was hard, there was a huge belly in the middle of my body haha

I was awake the whole time during the operation, I felt my body moving left and right.. around 10 mins later, I heard the voice, the bubbles-in-the-throat cries - i felt like i want to cry too but suddenly my shoulder blades started to hurt, so I asked Ikue to massage them, but few minutes after I started to panic, nausea hit me, and I told them 'I want to vomit, I dont feel well'. They put a plastic beside me in case I vomit, showed me the cleaned baby ----

and then I think I fell asleep.
Ikue told me later I didn't even vomit.

Here are some pictures, taken by my husband. Thanks sayang. :)

First few minutes.

Ikue - praying. I am so thankful for having her  - thank yous are not enough

 Few seconds before Baby K was pulled out

Baby K was out! :) 22 Aug 2013, 13:10

 "Did you manage to take the picture before?" Tomokage sensei asked my husband.

The next thing I know I was rolled back to my room, moved to my bed (was feeling reallly sorry because I was fatter and heavier than other patients) and I remembered I was feeling groggy and looking for my husband, sobbing and saying I didnt feel very good. He soothed me and then I fell asleep again, together with both of them -- I think everyone was really tired that time. When I woke up again, I told hubs I felt funny at my legs, like they were gone, because I couldn't move them. He then took a picture, and after seeing the picture, then I felt that my legs are like in a massage thingy.. tightening, loosening, tightening, loosening. They told me it was to prevent blood clot or something like that.

bzzt bzzt

Ok, I will continue again later.. kaori needs her oppai~~


next up - my first seven days