Monday, October 31, 2011

This & That

1. I terribly miss my mom. She is still in the hospital, recover has been slow but she is getting there. One worries a lot while spending all day with baby and no adult conversation to occupy the mind. I have been thinking a lot about my parents and how they have aged in the last few years. It is painful to think about the mortality of your parents. I have noticed that both are slower and sight, hearing and other things are getting weaker. My husband’s family are back home and we call them every weekend and I see the pain in his eyes after we talk to them, I wish they were closer.

2. Breastfeeding has not been successful. When we were at the hospital she latched on right away and we were happy for the first two days and all changed when a night nurse decided to give her the bottle. I couldn't stop her because it was in the middle of the night and baby has lost a lot of weight and the nurse had no clue when it comes to alternative feeding instead of the bottle. So once she got the bottle she had issues staying at the breast. I got a lot of help from the lactation consultants at the hospital. I have never been so happy when being complemented that I had the perfect nipple for breast feeding :). Obviously that is not enough. For the first two weeks we fed with tube supplement at the breast but it was hard. She screamed at every feeding and by the time her belly is full we were both exhausted. I had very minimal let down and she was not having it. I thought about it for a good day and decided to give her the bottle. I am only home for 3 month and she eventually will have to be bottle fed. She gets pumped milk except for two formula feedings during the night. This seems to have worked. I still haven't given up, I give her the breast when she is not too hungry and she is at it for 5 min at a time before she starts crying. Sew, sorry I tried.

3. Since baby is bottle fed my husband takes one of the feedings during the night. He is a light sleeper and when we started giving her the bottle he would just get up both times and not wake me up. Of course he couldn't keep it up since he has to get up early to go to work so now he takes the first night feeding and both of us manage to at least get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. He has been very active with baby duties. He is home on Friday's and weekends and pretty much does most of the feeding and taking care of the baby while I tend to the house. I am blessed to have such a supportive husband.

4. I am 6lb away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I only gained 25 lb so I guess it is not much to lose.

5. A few weeks ago I found out that my boss had shuffled people that work under me and had moved one of the most productive members of my group to another group. I was very upset. From the looks of it they were planning to do this but waited until I went on maternity leave and I hate when people are sneaky. I sent an e-mail to my boss saying that I wasn't happy with the changes and how it was done. I am only away for 3 freaking months and they pretend that I am taking years. I decided that I am not going to let this spoil my maternity leave and just left it at that. Now I only check my work e-mail once a week and don't think about it much. What I need is to polish my resume and be ready to jump when an opportunity comes along.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I wrote this two weeks ago and never got a chance to post it. Unfortunately my mom got sick a week ago and needed to have her gallbladder removed. She is still in the hospital due to some complications. Please pray for her. I have been home alone for the past week. It was a shocker for me to go from having someone cater to me 24/7 to suddenly have no one with a baby during the day. I am managing and mostly just worried sick about my mom. We are hoping and praying that she comes home in a couple of days. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have a lot of family in the area, we total over 60 people, this includes, uncles, cousins siblings and nieces. It is a lot for a family that immigrated to the US within the last 20 years. I figured I share a few things from our culture during a birth of a child. Don’t quote me on it, this is my experience based on living in the city and each region has its own customs.

1. We have a family get together (woman only) where we celebrate the upcoming birth of a child. This I guess is the equivalent of a baby shower but no gifts are bought for the baby. It is considered bad luck to buy gifts before a child is born. So for my baby shower the family gave me money and gifts were given after the baby arrived.

2. After the birth of a child the woman in the family play a cructial role during the recovery of the mother. A woman is suppose to rest for 40 days after birth and the mothers, aunts or grandmothers are there for the entire time. My mom came two days before my scheduled c-section and I ended going in to labor the night she came. She will be staying with me the entire 3 month of maternity leave. Not everyone’s mother can do this but it is the norm to at least help out for the first 40 days.

3. After giving birth for the first 10 days the mother is suppose to stay in bed and only focus on feeding the baby. The rest is taken care of by relatives. I think on the 10th day the mother and baby go outside for some sun bathing. I was actually moving around right after I came from the hospital. My mother kept complaining to anyone that listened that I had ignored her orders. For the first two wks our days involved with her giving me food & drinks ever couple of hours and telling me to lie down, put socks on, put my night gown on in 80C weather :). Lets just say I should have listened to her specially in taking the much needed rest when baby was asleep. I had a lot of visitors and I felt obliged to keep them company and I was also restless. No one expects the new mother to be entertaining guests; she is to stay in her bedroom with the baby. By the third wk I was feeling the loss of sleep and was so tired and my back was hurting.

4. As far as food there are a few items new mothers constantly eat/drink. We have a drink made of roasted barley flour. It is boiled in water with spiced clarified butter and honey. This is to be drank throughout the day and night and believed to help with breast milk. Since I am on gluten free diet my mom made it with the root flour of F..alse Ban.an.a Tree which is also used back home. In addition we make a drink of roasted flaxseed flour with honey that I have been drinking nonstop. For guests porridge made of barley floor with spiced clarified butter is offered. I actually used to like the porridge but since on gluten free diet I couldn’t touch it.

5. It is customary for guests to bring cooked food. This is done throughout the pregnancy and after. I think I have been enjoying this most especially my aunts cooking. I think my mom is also enjoying it since she gets to see a lot of family. I am so greatful for family and they make this wonderful life changing event more enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birth Story

The weekend before I had the baby my belly had dropped. I went to a family party on Saturday and everyone was telling me I was going to have this baby soon.

DH and I had meant to take maternity photos, it was all on me to organize this and I even bought two dresses (bought at 6 month pregnancy) and I had not scheduled a photo shoot anywhere. I had an excuse every weekend, mostly not having my hair done. So that weekend was the only chance since c-section was scheduled for Thursday.

I called all the department stores on Sunday trying to make same day appointment for the photo shoot and none of them could take us in since they are usually overbooked on weekends. At the last minute DH remembered a photo studio that took walkins so we took the chance, got ready and headed there. When we walked in they had no customer so we got in quickly, took about 1h and we were done. I was bouncing off the wall with a lot of energy so we decided to head to our favorite E.thiopian restaurant in DC for a last meal.

On Sunday night I walk up multiple times and couldn't fall asleep for more than an hour at a time. Besides getting up to pee multiple times I had no issues with staying asleep during the pregnancy. I had told my boss I will be in on Monday to finalize some last minute stuff. I scheduled all my meetings for the morning so I can work from home the rest of the day. I went out to lunch with a co-worker and I was telling her I felt different. I went home, worked for about 3 hours. DH picked up my mom that night. For the two days before the c-section I had planned to get my house ready for guests, cook and do some stuff with my mom.

We ate dinner and had some coffee and my mom headed to bed. DH and I were watching TV and around 11 I started getting contractions. I told DH and told him to go to sleep; I took a hot shower and slept for about 1h. After that I couldn't sleep through the contractions so I sat in my living room, snacked, read blogs and checked my e-mail. From the start the contractions were 5 min apart and they were just like period cramps and not the worst I have had so I figured it may just be early labor. I was told to go in to the hospital if I had regular contractions every 5min for 30 min, but I kind of ignored that direction. I just didn't believe that I was in labor, just seem so easy. After 4 hours of contractions and losing my mucus plug, I walk up DH and told him it is time to go to the hospital. We got there at 4 am and checked in.

The nurse checked me and said I was 4 cm dilated. She told me I had a high tolerance for pain since I was just laying there through the contractions. I had called my Dr. before I went in to the hospital but he never answered his phone. When we got to the hospital the nurse called him but his partner was the one on call. She came in about an hour after and I asked her to check in one more time if the baby is still breech so they did a quick US and baby still was head up so they started prepping me for the c-section.

I hated being held down for the epidural and laying there with my hands spread out on the operating room was weird to say the least. They brought in DH after I got the epidural. At some point during the c-section I thought I was going to throw up and imagined chocking to death while pinned down on the operating table. I also felt that my heart was racing and I felt the the tugging/pulling sensation. I heard baby scream and I was so relieved. They called DH to see the baby and within a few minutes he brought her to my side so I can have a look. It took another half an hour or so to complete the surgery. I was taken to the recovery room for a few hours and DH went with the nurse to see the baby being washed and checked.

They brought the baby in the recovery room and she latched on the breast right away. She is the smallest precious thing I have ever seen.

By the time all was done my two sisters, my dad and mom had made it to the hospital. I am so glad that I went in to labor, even though I was only in labor for 6 hours I am glad I experienced it. I wanted a natural birth but it was not meant to be but I am happy at how things turned out.