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Baby Story : The night

// Note : This is a long kept post. When I posted this, Sofi is already 10 months old.

My contraction started one day before I was supposed to be admitted to the hospital. I was having much intense Brixton-Hicks contractions and pelvic pain for over 2 weeks before the date - making me question whether I was in labour or not every day. When it started to really happen, I thought that it might still be false labour. 

My back pain started to get intense throughout the day and around 4 pm I started to get the first real intense contraction. I had to stand out and breathe through the contraction (that's how I know it was different). Sitting down was uncomfortable. I told my mom-in-law and she told me to slowly walk around the house. Then I told my sister because she was in the area (she came right after). Af was getting ready to come back home from work, so I didn't want him to worry. I told him when he arrived home, "it's happening".  

The contraction faded in the evening, and slowly built up again. I rested around 9 pm to get ready (just in case), and around 11 pm it got super intense and I no longer could sleep. We then decided to go to the hospital that night.

I remember we stopped by at 7/11 in Putrajaya near the hospital so that I could buy some bread to eat.

When we reach Hospital Putrajaya :
  • I registered
  • The nurses asked me to change to their hospital clothes
  • They took some blood, checked my pulse, put something like a belt on my tummy to check the baby's heart rate and my contraction level (the nurse mentioned that my contraction was really intense and how was I holding up ? - it was mostly around 80%+ )
  • It was late at night, so there weren't any doctor around except intern. 2 intern doctors tried to do vaginal examination on me and wasn't sure how dilated I was =.= ( It was around 1 cm ). 
  • I was admitted and sent to a room (shared with another Chinese woman with a baby). Af came to the room later with my bags.
  • I didn't sleep much, it was an intense night. My contractions were strong and long, I remember holding on to AF, tears falling down on my cheek without I realized I was crying, silently. I guess I was in pain.
  • Morning came, I was exhausted. The nurse checked my blood pressure and my contraction level. The nurse asked me to walk around the corridor, so I spent the morning walking. 
  • At 3pm, I finally met my doctor. She did another vaginal examination, it was only 3 cm. I'm not sure if I'm right, but she had to do a 'membrane sweeping' to help induce the labour. In this procedure, the doctor wore a glove, and swept the inside of the cervix in circular motion. It was painful. This was the most traumatic moment during my whole stay at the hospital. I cried afterwards because I felt somewhat abused (by the procedure). Later I decided to take an epi.
  • Things moved fast after 3 pm, I was already 24 hours into contraction. They took me for an epi, prepared me, I waited in the labour room shaking (because I was cold due to the epi and had really strong surges), they also gave me something on a drip to induce the labour and they broke my water as well. Most of the time I was just trying to follow the surges. Already too tired to function, I haven't eaten for so long.
  • At 8 pm, the doctor came. I think Sofi came out in less than 10 minutes *by the doctor's help. She did sucked the head, because I was losing it. I became too tired, I knew to push when they asked me to push, but I didn't know how far did I go - with epi I don't really feel the piercing pain, just a lot of pressure.
  • By the time they put Sofi on my tummy and she cried, I was too tired, I can't open my eyes. 
  • I didn't see her until they cleaned us up. 
The two days after was chaos. I fainted in the bathroom after I tried to pee, I was still too tired. No one mentioned how much blood that I'll be seeing afterwards, huh. The whole experience was surreal and exhausting. I just wanted it to be over.

Sofi had jaundice so she had to be put under the light. She won't sleep without sucking, so I hardly slept. We stayed a bit too long before the doctor released us *due to the jaundice. Af didn't sleep for 2 days. Things were a bit overwhelming. 


Personally, the whole 6 months after Sofi came out was physically and mentally challenging. I was trying to heal, and at the same time cope with a new baby in our lives. Writing this down is odd, because I didn't enjoyed the process much. But it became much better after 6 months. 

I could write so many things that I struggled during the early phase, I guess I really don't like to be weak and unpredictable. I am someone that need to plan things and want to be in control. This situation put me in an odd phase of "just follow the flow". It was so painful to endure. I had to ask for help, a lot. I didn't like that, at all. 

I always thought that I was ready. 
But motherhood is a life-long learning phase. 
And I don't think we will ever graduate from one.  

Do you want to know what I remember that intense night ?

Apocalypse, by Cigarette After Sex :

I can't thank Af enough for helping me get through the night, and Aja for so many things in my life post-pregnancy.

Baby Story : Sofi and Her Sleep

I started writing this when Sofi turned 4 months old :

We are currently sleep training Sofi.

I do the reading and the researching, and Af is actually working on training her because Sofi likes to sleep on Af's arms (and I can't do everything, I need support). It usually takes twice the effort for me to make her sleep. It is always a struggle, a fight, a drama, or lot's of cries before she actually falls asleep. 

The 4 months sleep regression has just ended, and she's already reaching the 3rd week of 5 months (while I'm writing this). Af been training her since the 4th month after she graduated the forth trimester and ended the newborn phase. It is still a struggle, but we can now put her to sleep by herself after she fell asleep instead of sleeping in our arms for most of the time. She still cries at least once every hour throughout the night before her deep sleep phase (after 3am). Af does all that, the training, giving her bottled milk (at least twice), changing the diaper (once), attending to Sofi's every need - all through the night while I'm resting until 4am. Then I'll take the next shift until she is awake and starts her day. 

We are currently on the 7th week sleep training and still struggling. 
Major achievement : we can now finally put her to sleep on her own after she fell asleep. Baby steps.


Sofi's sleep journal :

First month : 
The first 2 weeks while she was having jaundice - she slept all the time and we had to force feed her. We thought she was an easy sleeper.
Afterwards - her personality arose, we were wrong : she is a super-light sleeper. It is hard to make her sleep for more than an hour without waking up. The sleeping pattern was all over the place, we were sleep deprived and exhausted.
She needed to be soothe most of the time, so I decided to find a pacifier. We tried several, she accepted the third pacifier : Philips NICU Soothie Pacifier for newborn. It was a success :F I can finally leave her side while she was asleep.

Second month :
She started sleeping through the night - there were several more than 3 hours sleep moments at night. We were hopeful :F We can put her to sleep laying down on her own at night.

Third month : The struggle started. She wanted to be held, all throughout the day and night. I can't do anything, at times, I didn't eat or had to run to go to the toilet, I was stressed out, sleep-deprived and depressed. Af helped me taking care of Sofi when he got home, but it wasn't enough. I was still healing and Sofi wasn't cooperating. She was still having colic many many times and it was bad. The fourth trimester was really challenging for me.

I also bought several essential oils for babies to help her sleep. Well, I don't know whether if it was working, because her sleeping was still a struggle.

Things I use :

  • Bedtime by Audelia Naturals  ( I put behind her ears / neck after shower )
  • Resty Oil by Tasneem Naturals (Spray onto her sleeping space before sleeping time)
  • Oil diffuser + Lavender (15 minutes before sleeping time, for 1 hour)

I can't give reviews about these items, because it was still really hard to make her sleep and she was the worst sleeper. I just hope it helped her a bit (at least if she understand the cue for sleep time).


Forth month :
The 4-months sleep regression started. She started wailing at night, she cried at least once every hour. We also started sleep training her during this time. The night-wails went on for about 7-8 weeks. During this time Af started working at home, so we took turn taking care of her while working. He helped me a lot. I got better, mentally and emotionally. I started working again. 

Fifth & sixth month :
We can now put her to sleep laying down instead of letting her sleep in our arms while she is sleeping.
She naps 2-3 times during the day, usually around 30-60 minutes (sometimes can even stretch to 2 hours - rarely). She will be awake around 1-3 hours depending on her mood and sleepiness, still gets super cranky when she wanted to sleep but usually gave up and let us help her sleep when we stretched her awake time.


7th month : Basically it is still the same. Af will put her to sleep quite easily nowadays - but she needs Af to pick her up and walk her several rounds in the living room. She still naps 2-3 times a day (usually 30-60 minutes). She mostly sleeps through the night, but will cry several times to be soothe by Af or she probably needs milk. There are nights when she cries at night and can't be soothe, maybe because of teething or it's too hot to sleep comfortably. We had to turn on the A/C nowadays :F

Her nap time actually improved after she started eating.
She can now nap 1-2 hours (this is a great improvement).

After the 4th month, she no longer can sleep on her baby car seat during long drive. She will get super fussy and wants Af (it is still a struggle for me to make her sleep because she has her 'favorite'). But I have to pick her up and help her sleep (she will sleep on me for an hour). A struggle, but still possible.

Note : I am still using all the essential oils that I bought in the fourth trimester (so even though they are crazy expensive, I'm still using those everyday until today).


Will continue this post until Sofi is 1 !