Thursday, August 18, 2016

All About The Milk

It's been 4 months (4 months?! Where did the time go?!) and alhamdulillah I've been able to exclusively breastfeed Aahil to date. 4 months, and not a single documentation on this amazing journey I've gone through?! Hehe. Gosh, honestly, it's been such a roller coaster ride for me this time around - I've gone from making just-nice milk, to making too much milk, to making too-thick of milk, to making thin milk, everything, you name it, I've gone thru it. I was in fact at the verge of giving up because I was getting frustrated of many things!

You see, I started pumping for stock as early as 2 weeks after delivery. Just like with Adeena, I did the same thing - fed Aahil on one side, and pumped the other. At this time, I was getting the normal yield - about 1-2oz on one side. At this time, building stock started off quite slow. I could only get one full bottle per day. This is my stash at exactly 1 month postpartum.

Nothing to shout about, but still rizq, alhamdulillah. After a while, slowly but surely, my supply started building up on its own. I was beginning to get 3oz on one side. And then, 4 oz on one side. And this is when things got a little hard for me. The good thing about making good amount of milk is that, alhamdulillah Aahil was able to sleep contently for long hours, especially at night. In fact, at 1 1/2 months, he was able to sleep for 3-4 hours stretch at night. It was fun at first, but soon became a problem to me, because when he can go hours without feed at night, my breasts became engorged. When this happens, I'd end up getting blocked duct which is not only painful but also stressful at the same time. (More on my experience in a separate post later).

There are times when my breasts are so full, I could still get about 7oz, even after feeding Aahil. In the picture below, you can see that the left bottle is the amount I got after feeding Aahil, and right bottle is what I got after leaving the breast unexpressed/unfed after 2-3 hours)

Yes, at this time, I was already a milk-making machine. If I go more than 2-3 hours without pumping/feeding Aahil, I would get engorged and almost sure to get a blocked duct. So every night, I'd have to make sure I pump/feed Aahil just before I sleep, and then wake up again at least once every night to pump, just to make sure I don't get clogged duct. I don't know if Aahil was not drinking much at night or if it was just my breasts making a lot of milk at that point of time, but even if Aahil has just fed, I'd still have to pump just to really empty the breasts and would still get about 3-4oz combined.

But the thing is, the more I emptied my breasts, the more milk my body would be making. And the higher chances for me to get clogged duct! It's such a vicious cycle! And the tough part is, I didn't want to do anything to decrease the supply either, because I knew it wouldn't be easy to increase the supply once it drops, so I had no choice but to empty my breasts as often as I could, even if it means waking up at 2-3am in the morning, staring at the blank white wall for a good 15 minutes, occasionally nodding off with the pump hanging on to my boobs. Yes, laziness is not an option, unless of course, I don't mind getting a another clogged duct lah.

So yes, for a while, I experienced how it was like being an oversupply mom and finally understood why it was not fun - at all. It also didn't help that at this time, my body was making such thick-ish milk, which also contributed to the clogged duct. Lo and behold - my breastmilk at 2 months+ postpartum, that could easily be mistaken for a yogurt! (Just for the record, I do not take any supplements, I just eat normally)

Yeap, I could literally scoop the yummy milk fat out - with a spoon! While it was definitely a good thing for the baby, it was also the culprit of me getting the recurrent clogged duct! I was getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the recurrent clogged duct due to the oversupply/thickish milk, I was secretly wishing that God would slow down my production a bit (justttt a bit, not a lot!) and made me a just-enough mom. I stopped drinking a lot of water, and was even afraid of eating/taking anything that would boost my milk suppy! LOL. No kidding!

I kept praying to God, please don't test me with another episode of clogged duct, please please please, because I do not think I could take it anymore. I was going to take the lecithin to thin out the milk as recommended by the moms in the BF support group when my husband said, this is the rizq Allah wants to give me. It's Aahil's rizq, don't thin out the milk because that's the natural nutrients in my milk for him. He suggested that I put the lecithin on hold, and if the clogged duct happens again another time, then I could consider taking it. Alhamdulillah, it's been a few weeks since the last episode, and it has not happened again!

It's been truly an emotional rollercoaster for me, and I'm telling you, this breastfeeding business is no joke! It's either you commit yourself 100% or not at all. Alhamdulillah, I chose to commit, and by the end of my confinement period, I was able to stock about 88 packets of ebm (12 bottles shy from my target, but it's okay), making it a total of 440oz worth of ebm prepared for Aahil before I returned to work.

And now, it's been 2 months since I returned to work, and alhamdulillah, the stash has not only filled up the whole freezer compartment in the fridge upstairs, but also flourished to take up the first tray of the fridge's freezer downstairs, making it a total of about 120 packets together (about 600oz), for Aahil's consumption, alhamdulillah!

Please pray that I get to maintain the stock and fully breastfeed Aahil for 2 years, just as how I did with Adeena last time! Amin. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Out Came the Prince!

They said every child is unique, and so is their birth stories. I couldn't agree more! With Aydein, my labor started with periodic contraction. With Adeena, it was blood show. With Aahil.. well, here's how it went down with Aahil.

A day before I gave birth, Aien asked me to accompany him jalan-jalan at Shah Alam's newly opened Aeon Mall. I was reluctant at first, but dragged my heavy bum out anyway, at the thought of having lunch at Manhattan Fish Market (gotta love that place!). To be honest, at this point, I was reluctant to go anywhere due to my backpain. There were many times when I had to miss a few events due to this, like baby expos, warehouse sales, gatherings etc. Backpain is no joke ok! Tapi naseb kau lah suami dapat kawen dengan pelahap, sakit pinggang pun jalan jugak lah bila terbayang the flamed grilled lobsterssss hehe.

On our way back from lunch, I told my SIL, the backpain was not only my concern, the baby's weight too! During the 35th week scan, the doctor said the doctor expected Aahil to come out big, because he was already weighing 2.5kgs at the point. I've never had a baby above 2.8kgs, before so this was quite a concern. I was so worried that he'd be too big for normal delivery and that I'd have to go for caesarian! I guess Aahil heard and didn't want me to worry that he decided to help mommy that very same night!

That midnight at about 1am, I woke up to calm the crying Adeena who got awaken from a dream. After she was settled, I moved slightly on the bed, and at that moment, I felt a slight trickling of liquid coming out from down there. I thought it was just discharge, so I ignored it. But when it happened again after I shifted my body, I got quite curious.

I woke up, went into the toilet to wash my face and looked into the mirror. Suddenly, I felt yet another trickling of liquid coming out from down there. It didn't smell like urine or discharge, so I knew instantly I was leaking of amniotic fluid. The realization of it hit me like cold water in my face - my water bag just broke, I'm giving birth - at 36 weeks!

My heart pumped fast, I felt blood rushed to my head. How can it be? It's too early! Can we hold the labor for one more week? If I give birth now, my baby would be premature! All sorts of thoughts were in my head - images of my unborn baby with ventilator, tubes, and all. (Yeah, I can be very imaginative sometimes :P) I was freaking out inside, but I knew I had to keep cool. So as calmly as I could, I called out to Aien who was sleeping. He rushed to the toilet and asked what was wrong. I told him, "I think it's time,". He took a deep breath and kissed my forehead, telling me that it's going to be okay. I was comforted by his calmness... but not for long!

You see, since I didn't expect to give birth that early, I hadn't packed anything. There is no hospital bag, so let's just say, Aien lost his cool when he couldn't find the things I was asking him to pack. Can you imagine, after 8 years of being married to me, he suddenly didn't know where I kept my jubah or even undies! LOL. And I thought I'm the one with poor stress management! :P After a lot of grumbling, we somehow managed to get the super necessary stuffs, and he decided to come home again later to get more things. But first thing first - get me admitted to hospital.

On the way to the hospital, I could feel more liquid gushing out. By the time I reached the hospital and stepped out of the car, the pad I wore was completely soaked and I was dripping wet! After we did the admission, the nurse put me on a wheelchair and pushed me to the labor room.

The nurse checked my cervix and told me I was 1cm dilated but baby's head was still high. This was confirmed by my obygyn, Dr Tang Boon Nee, who came a few hours later to check on me. The moment she said that, I blurted out the only one thing that was worrying me - Can I still deliver normally? Dr Tang, being the calm and chirpy her, just smiled and reassured me that it's very possible, because the baby's head is already down. However, since my contraction were not very strong, I will need to be induced to get the labor started, so I can deliver faster and avoid infection since my waterbag has broken. I was put on drip at 10am and the induction begun.

Then, all I needed to do was pray so that the contraction is powerful enough for the baby to be pushed down. At first, the contractions were mild, and it just felt like the normal Braxton Hicks I was used to. So I started to worry. What if the contractions remain like these? They won't be strong enough to push the baby down! What if I have to go c-zer? Soooo many what ifs this and what ifs that were playing in my mind. So in order to calm me down, I turned to the only one thing I knew could help ease the worry - the Quran. I started reciting surah Al-Maryam that was said to help make delivery easier for moms. Believe it or not, I didn't just recite it once, but thrice just because I was so nervous, and wanted so badly for this delivery to be smooth and normal! Hehe.

Alhamdulillah, after a while, I started feeling the contraction getting more and more intense. In fact, the pain was never like I've experienced before. Instead of having a steady 2-3 minutes intervals, this one comes every 1 min, sometimes less than a minute! Let's just say, I wasn't prepared for it!

The good thing is, with induce, the labor seems to be faster. The doctor came in at about 12pm, and told me I was already 5cm dilated! But when she saw me in so much pain, she told the nurse to bring down the drug dose so that the contraction would be a bit more bearable for me.

Now here’s the thing. If the past 2 deliveries, I needed Aien to be by my side, holding me and cheering me on, THIS time however, I wanted Aien to be quiet. HAHAHAHAH. I didn’t want anyone touching me, I didn’t want any loud noise. So when Aien tried to be funny and crack jokes in hopes to make me feel better in between the contractions, he actually got a “Stop it, it’s very annoying” from me instead. Hahaha God bless his kind soul. I know he was only trying to make me feel better, but wrong timing dude, wrong timing! :P

And then, when I was finally 10cm, the midwife told me to push whenever I was ready to push. I pushed twice, but I wasn’t giving it all because I wanted the doctor to deliver my baby, not the midwife! I even asked the midwife mid-pushing “Doctor dah sampai?” Haha. Boleh pulak macam tu kan.

So when the doctor finally arrived, 10 minutes later, with just 2-3 pushes more, out came the prince, filling the room with his beautiful, loud cry at 2.31pm, weighing 2.92kg (not bad for a premature!), via normal delivery. :) No injection, no epidural, not even gas to help me this time, just strong will to get me through the 5-hour labor this time, alhamdulillah. :)

And that's, my friends, how I got the prince, my prince, who we named “Aahil”, which literally means “Prince” in Arabic. Welcome to the little family, handsome boy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

UMRA Hospital - Not a Place to Establish Good Breastfeeding

Recently, I saw a mom posted a status in a breastfeeding group asking how to reduce engorgement because her baby just won't latch, even after multiple tries. Apparently, she started bottle feeding her baby as early as day-3 due to jaundice. As a result, now her baby won't take directly from her, because the baby is too comfortable with the fast milk flow coming from the bottle teat.
This reminds me of my very own experience with Aahil, and why reading the post from that mom affected me so much. You see, after getting discharged from SJMC, Aahil's jaundice flared up to 262 on day-6. Considering the fact that SJMC was a little far from our home, we decided to do the treatment at UMRA Hospital, in Seksyen 13 Shah Alam. It was the biggest mistake we've made. For those of you who are expecting and planning to fully breastfeed your baby (successfully), please avoid this hospital at all cost. This post is going to be lengthy, as there were many events that happened (even for a 1 night stay!), so bare with me.
See, before getting admitted to the hospital, we were taken to see this so-called "paediatrician" to assess Aahil's condition. I will never forget her name - but I'll just use her initial for the sake of this post - it's Dr J. During the assessment, not only was she unfriendly, but quite incompetent as a "paediatrician". At first, she was asking us about the standard questions. Then, she asked if I was breastfeeding - I said yes. Then, she asked if I have ever expressed milk out, and what was the volume. I said, I pumped at day-2 and I got almost 2oz. But after weighing Aahil, she said, "See, baby's birth weight was 2.92kg. Now it has dropped to 2.8kg. It shows that your breastmilk is not enough,"
I was speechless. First of all, most of us breastfeeding moms know that 1-2oz is considered normal for the first week of a newborn's life. Secondly, I don't have to be a doctor to know that it is completely normal for newborns to lose 5-10% of his birth weight due to the fluid that he loses after delivery. But even at this point, I didn't really care because:
1) I was equipped with enough information about breastfeeding & breastmilk.
2) All I wanted was the phototherapy treatment for Aahil. The doctor's opinion was irrelevant to me for all I care.
Then, Aahil was sent for treatment. Before the admission, the nurses requested us to bring some pampers for Aahil. I was surprised - don't hospitals normally provide this? Not that it matters, so we supplied them with 10 pcs of pampers as per requested anyway.
I breastfed Aahil once more just before he started the treatment, then left. Before leaving however, I told the nurses that I would be back in 2 hours for the next round of feed. She made a face, but nodded anyway. I left.
After 2 hours, I came back to nurse Aahil and realized that they've bathed and changed Aahil. However, to my surprise, there was NO tag on Aahil other than what's labelled on his trolley. Didn't want to make a scene (because Aahil still needed the treatment), I asked my husband to get a marker, and marked an "A" at the bottom of Aahil's feet. After all the backpains and hardwork in the labor room, I wasn't going to take any chances and mistake my baby with someone elses!

After I was done nursing Aahil, I left and again told the nurse I will be back again in 2 hours, but this time, one of them told me that it wasn't necessary for this troublesome trips, and asked me to supply them with EBM instead. This is when everything started.
I asked them, what was their feeding method? They said "bottle". Immediately I was turned off by the idea, knowing very well a newborn that young shouldn't be introduced to teat bottle for feeding in order not to confuse him with breastfeeding. So I asked if it would be possible for them to feed the baby with a cup, spoon or syringe even - they said no (to all of the options), because they were afraid it would.. choke the baby. (????) I figured they were just lazy, but I kept quiet and told them gently that in that case, I will come to feed Aahil directly instead, because the baby is too young to take from a bottle and I didn't want him to get nipple confusion. Besides, I needed the stimulation + bonding. But no, they kept insisting anyway and told me that with just a few feeds, there won't be any nipple confusion. They were very pushy, but I put my feet down and insisted to come back anyway because my house really isn't far from the hospital. I left.
Then, when I came back for feeding again, the same thing happens. The nurses kept asking me to leave some EBM for Aahil. One of them even told me, there was a mom who left 5 bottles of EBM for her baby. In my heart, I questioned the motive of her saying that to me? Was it to annoy me? They went on and said they needed to see the amount of milk that goes in the baby to make sure the baby was getting "enough". I told them, I have no problem supplying them with EBM but I do not fancy their feeding method. Then they said, they cannot keep lifting the baby up (for me to feed) because it will disrupt the treatment process (???). (So how do they feed EBM to other babies then? While the babies lying down????) I was getting real annoyed by then but thinking that Aahil would be under their care for treatment, I kept calm and lied to them that I hadn't bought any pump yet, and that I would buy one the first thing in the morning. (At this point, I was adamant to get Aahil out the hospital first thing in the morning).
After I finished feeding, another one of them came to me and asked, "Susu ada ke? Banyak?" I was getting a bit impatient at this point, and snapped "Ya, tengok baju saya ni. Dah lencun," pointing at my milk-soaked shirt. That shut her up, and I knew it was very smug of me of saying that, but I was beginning to feel tired from all the trips, and to be honest, it actually felt good to finally let it out!
Before I left this time, I checked if they had any rooms left for me to room-in but they had none. But that's not the point - they simply didn't want me to come to feed my baby directly! I was wondering why the strange requests over and over again, until I came for feeding late that night again, where my question was finally answered. Believe it or not, I found out ALL 4 NURSES AT THE OUTSIDE COUNTER WERE HAPPILY SLEEPING! (Picture a little blurry because I was walking and trying to act as though I was texting someone)

The 2 nurses INSIDE the nursery were awake, but it doesn't matter - WHY were the rest sleeping? Were they paid to sleep at their job? What if something happened to the nurses inside, and the nurses outside don't realize it? Won't it cause danger to the babies lives??
You have no idea how hard I tried to control my emotion and how much I wanted to take Aahil out from the hospital. But it was 3am then, and Aahil still needed the treatment, so I persevered and waited for morning to come.
The next morning, we came again for feeding at 6am and then again at 9am, while waiting for Aahil's blood test result to come out, but the nurses said it wasn't ready, and that we needed to wait between 12pm-2pm for the result to be ready. We waited and waited and came again at 12pm for feeding, but when we hear no news by 2pm, we started to feel very agitated.
So we drove back to the hospital, and when we reached the nursery, my husband asked the nurse politely for the result, but the nurse simply told us no, the result wasn't out yet. She also asked if we had received any call, but when we said no, she then said "Kalau takde call, takde result lah". She then dismissed us by simply asking us to wait. SUPER RUDE. Husband was getting super agitated by the minute and asked how long more did we need to wait, because we've been waiting since morning! He told the nurse to follow up and check when exactly will the result be out because it was already past 2pm. She made a face but reluctantly went to the back of the nursery to check, anyway.
And what do you know? 5 minutes later, the chief nurse came out - WITH A RESULT IN HER HANDS! Apparently they've already had the results since 1pm but the freaking rude nurse earlier was too lazy to check! Husband got super, super angry at this point and asked to get Aahil out immediately. The chief nurse informed us that Aahil needed further treatment because his level was "still high". (Actually it wasn't, the reading has gone down from 262 to 203! At this time I wanted to shove the result into their faces to prove that you do NOT need to feed baby with EBM to ensure he is well fed). But as I said, we were adamant to take Aahil out the next day no matter what happens, so we ignored the request and demanded to be discharged immediately. We then brought Aahil back to SJMC, and with that much improvement, the Doctor confirmed that no further treatment was necessary.
Long story cut short, we made a complaint against the UMRA Hospital, spoke to the hospital manager and they apologized over and over again for their incompetency and unprofessionalism. But the damage has been done. It would be the last time for us there -- ever!
See, fortunately for us, we are experienced parents of 3 with (alhamdulillah) sufficient knowledge on areas not just on breastfeeding/breastmilk but also on our rights as patients. What if what happened to us happen to new parents who know nothing right from the start?
1) The doctor would have first discourage/confuse/worry the mom with her remarks on her EBM yield, when actually, she is doing fine!
2) The pressure from the nurses to provide them with EBM would have forced the mom to feed the baby from the bottle, which could possibly lead to nipple confusion!
To end the story, I urge all you parents out there to equip yourself with as much knowledge on breastfeeding as much as possible to save you from unnecessary stress such as this. Know your rights as a parent, and put your feet down when decision needs to be made.

For expecting and new parents out there - please try to avoid bottles and pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established (usually about 4 weeks) and be firm with the decision made! People can say whatever they want to say, but remember - it is YOUR baby, and at the end of the day, it is YOU who will be facing the music. When "noises" come and try to bring you down, remember to stay strong and PERSEVERE, as no one else has the rights to your baby other than you, and your husband, deservingly. That's it.

Other than that, just enjoy the time with your little one, and keep breastfeeding! Happy breastfeeding!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hello, No.3!

Okay. I know that I was supposed to be continuing the next part of our trip to Melbourne, but I figured that I’d better document this part of my pregnancy before I pop! #8monthslate #butbetterlatethannever

If you’ve been following my Instagram/Facebook, you’d know by now that I’m currently pregnant with baby #3. People who knew me well enough would know that I’m contented enough with just having 2 kids (at least at this moment), so when the news broke, they asked – was this an accident?

Well………….. no.


The thing is, Aien has always liked the idea of having a big family, and seeing how big his own family is, I kind of understand. So, soon after Adeena turned 2 and weaned off the boobs, we started our mission on baby #3.

Although we were trying, we agreed not to push it – if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I mean, we already have 2 amazing kids, a pair even, so let’s just take it easy and let nature work its way.

In case you didn’t know, at this time, I was actively trying to lose weight – low carbs intake, detox juice, gym training, zumba classes and all that jazz.

Basically, just going about my life as normal. Takde langsung la nak stop from doing any strenuous activities or eating “special food” to encourage pregnancy ke, nothing like that. Tak makan lagi ade la hehe. But God is great – when He wants to give something to you, He will give it to you, and there’s nothing in the world that can stop Him from doing just that. That's rizq.

So one day, just about 7 months after Adeena turned 2, I suddenly felt a sharp, abnormal pang at the right side of my abdomen while I was jumping for this one dance move in Zumba class. Instantly I thought, "Whoa, what was that? Could it be that I'm... conceiving?" Instantly I slowed down the movements and quickly rushed to the Pharmacy after the class to get the UPT strip to get it confirmed.

As soon as I get home, the first thing I did was pee on the stick, while convincing myself that whatever the result may be, I was to take it with arms. Sure enough, as soon as I was done, 2 bright red lines appeared.

I wish I could tell I was ecstatic, but I actually felt… neutral. I mean, how do you get excited when you know you’re gonna lose sleep (and hair!), have someone (if not some device) latching on you all day errrrrday, and get fat all over againnnnn! Sighssss. But I’ve seen supermoms with 3-4 kids looking as hot (maybe hotter) as ever, so maybe there’s still hope for me. :P I just need to… relax. And.. rest. A lot. #totallygonnahandthebabyovertoaientoraiseassoonasipop #heaskedforit #okjustkidding #mamalovesyoubaby #prayforthara

I probably stayed in the toilet for a little too long, because just when I thought of doing something to surprise Aien with the news, I heard his car’s engine just outside the gate. Without thinking much, I grabbed the nearest post-it note, scribbled something on it, and placed it on the sink in the toilet.

As soon as Aien came back home, I salam-ed him as usual and waited for him to go into the toilet, all the while keeping a sardine-face, acting like nothing’s up. #thetortureohgodthetorture

After what seems like eternity, he finally went into the toilet, only to come out 10 secs later, with a wide smile plastered on his face. I can never forget that look on his face – happiness. Pure happiness. That look that made all the anxiousness I felt inside fade away – for a while, at least :P He walked towards me, opened his arms, and without saying a word, wrapped me in an embrace. I can’t help but to smile, and right there and then, I know I just made my husband the happiest man in the world. :) #achievementunlocked #imsogettinganewbagsoon

Time flies, and whaddayaknow - it’s been 8 months! Oh in case you’re wondering, we didn’t tell the world about this news (aside from close friends and families) until I was at least 25 weeks, due to something that happened and will be revealed on a different post.

I swear I’m not doing this on purpose, guys! So many things happened but I just couldn’t find time to update! Soon okay? Promise!

Last but not least, baby darling -- mama, papa, abang and kakak are eagerly waiting for your arrival soon! 22 May 2016, it’s a date! Don’t make us wait okay? :)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hello Melbourne! - The Arrival

Travelling is addictive. I swear guys, it really is! My addiction for travelling started after my Europe trip with family a few years ago. After that, rasa gatalllll je nak berjalan. Pi dekat-dekat pun takpe lah, janji jalannnnn. Hehehe. I told my husband it's so important for us to travel because the kids need to see the world and experience things when we travel. They become cleverer that way. You want genius kids right, husband? :D #alasanmintakpenampor

First thing first, we needed tourist visa in order to travel to Melbourne. Yeap, travelling to Australia requires tourist visa guys. There are 2 ways to apply for one - online or via agent. The charges vary depending how you apply too - some RM60, some RM30 and some RM20/person. We got ours for RM20/person! :D #score

How we got ours for so cheap? Super easy! All we did was contact, provided them with the necessary documents they needed (passport copies, ticket details, etc) and they did the rest for us :D Super convenient!

And then, all there was to do was just wait for the date to come! Now this was the tormenting part. Aydein  even had a calendar that he made himself for the countdown! :P But after what seemed like a million years, it finally did. We were going to Melbourne! :D

Contrary to our last oversea trip to Europe, traveling on a 8-hour flight was quite a breeze, now that the kids are all grown up. They behaved very well, just playing or watching movies together. I was even able to have some quality sleep, unlike last time!

The next thing we know, we've reached Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne!

We arrived Melbourne very early in the morning. It was about 1am in the morning when we reached our hotel - Treasury on Collins.

We were informed prior to our arrival that there will be no one at the Reception considering it was odd hours, but despite that, the checking-in process was super easy & efficient. All we needed to do was enter the code that was given to unlock the hotel's "back door", collect our room key in a safe, and then go straight up to our room. Super easy, fuss-free check-in! Exactly what we need after a long tiring journey.

The moment we stepped into our room, we were blown away. It is LOVEEEEE! Aien has always wanted to try staying in a boutique hotel, and Treasury on Collins is just perfect! It's actually an apartment-hotel, so it has everything - kitchen complete with its kitchenware, washing machine complete with its detergent, iron, iron board, fridge, microwave, milk, snacks, even free Netflix! Senang cerita, it makes our 4-day stay here very worthwhile lah!

I absolutely love their room decor. Simple je, but looks classy still.

The best thing about this place is also the fact that it provides free in-room wifi! Might not sound much of a big deal to you because it's pretty normal here in Malaysia but here's what you need to know - most of the hotels in Australia do not provide this in-room wifi service complimentary, not even the 5-stars hotels. Nak wifi boleh, tapi bayar ah bebbb. AUD20-29 on average per day ye, depending on where you stay. AUD tau. So you do the math! :D

Now some ask me, why not use Airbnb service during our stay in Australia? After all, Australia has many beautiful houses to stay in. Very true, and we almost did. But in the end, we decided to stay in a proper hotel instead. Here's why:

1) We travelled in a small family of 4, with 2 kids on tow. We don't know the house owner, nor the neighborhood. If something were to happen to us, how do we defend ourselves? Lain lah kalau travel with big families kan.

2) We were told that Australia is one of the countries affected by Islamophobia. To make matters worse, at the time of our travel, the issue on Paris attack was still very fresh. Again, it comes back to security issue. What if the house owner is not Muslim-friendly? Even if the house owner is, we can't be certain that the neighborhood would be.

3) I also read reviews on Airbnb that some service apartment's front desk staffs are not very friendly. There is a case where the guests were treated rudely when the service apartment's front desk found out that the guests were not the house owner.

Weighing on all these reasons, we felt like it was better to stay at a proper hotel where guests are required to be treated professionally. Habis cerita. Orang nak pi holiday, seronok-seronok. Ni kita dok takut-takut, risau sana sini. Tak payah. Dok hotel je dah. :D

So what did we do on our first day in Melbourne? Coming up next, on another entry! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fashion At Your Fingertips

Have you seen this kind of meme before?

Hehe. While it may be funny, it is also true. Come onnnn, you know you agree with me! You know you've stood in front of your closet, full of clothes, and still feel you have nothing to wear! And what about the time when you bought another pink shirt just because it's pretty, even though you already have a pink shirt in your closet, only in a different shade? Ha! Jangan tipu, mengaku cepat! :P

Anyway just to share with you, I found out that women will shop for new clothes, new bags, accessories, jewelleries, beauty products and more every single month.

However, every woman has the feeling of never having enough fashion items in their closet and the men could never understand. Ha, see what did I tell ya! And since the Internet became the destination for people to search for a variety of matters, women can now find an enormous amount of blog shops online which sells the fashion items from head-to-toe.

Now, I’m not sure about you but there are times when I just want to relax at home after a long week at work or have a little alone time. I want to shop something, but I can’t bear to go through the mass of people in the shopping mall! Thus, shopping through the internet is the perfect solution for women like me who love fashion but hardly has the time.

There are various reasons why shopping online is better than the old traditional way. The first is because you do not have to wake up early during the weekends to drive out to shopping malls. Driving in bad traffic, walking through crowds and waiting in long lines can get quite frustrating to face every single time you want to do some shopping. You will feel your precious weekend wasted and be extra tired. So why not just relax at home and do some online shopping in your pyjamas, right? Browse through shopping sites and shop your favourite fashion items with a click of a button.

Besides that, women can also easily avoid the fuss of comparing prices of items going in and out of retail stores by shopping online. The luxury of shopping online is you could compare prices by only browsing through pages without even using your energy to walk. Some people may think this is a lazy way but it is seen that people can get lesser prices online. If you are wondering where to get fascinating deals with amazing range of products, try checking out ZALORA as it offers an extensive list of local and international fashion brands online. ;)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hunt For Milkbooster

We're down to the last few days in Ramadhan, how are you guys holding up? It's my 2nd year fasting while breastfeeding in Ramadhan this year and as much as I hope things remain the same as it did last year, it didn't. :(

Firstly, my aunt flo decided to visit just a day before Ramadhan! A week before its return, I noticed a drop in my milk supply, there was even a day when I came back with just about 4oz of milk (after 3x of pumping!) That was the worst record in my entire breastfeeding journey.

It was also painful everytime I pump and direct feed Adeena that it got me thinking, "Adeena salah latch ke? Tapi takkan lah salah latch dah setahun lebih menyusu,". Turns out that nipple sensitivity is just one of the PMS signs, and true enough, a few days after aunt flo came to visit, the pain went off and my supply went back to normal, about 7-8oz per day. Well, not so normal lah compared to before, but I'll explain that later.

So, if last year I was able to fast the whole month without missing even a day, this year, I missed 8 days, thanks to aunt flo :(

Secondly, I wasn't able to yield as much milk as I did last year! You see, earlier on, I was able to get about 18-20oz a day. Those were the glory days - I was a milk factory!

Then, last year, it slowly dropped but I was still able to bring back 15oz consistently everyday, even during the fasting month. Shortly after Adeena turned one, my milk supply dropped a little more and I was only able to bring back 10oz everyday. At this time, I was worried but not too worried, coz the demand and supply were at par.

But now, it's getting even worse - I am only able to get about 7-8oz everyday; 2oz short of what Adeena takes everyday! This got me worried. Really worried.

My freezer that was once full to the brim with milk..

Is now only half full.. :(

I don't know how this happened because I rarely miss my pumping sessions. But I gotta admit, I no longer pay attention to what I eat (segala pantang dah langgar - kobis dah bantai, white carrot dah tak makan, alfalfa bagai dah tinggal, sayur hijau kurang, one time tu sebok berdiet lagi), and do not drink as much water as I did before. I also think it is also due to less stimulation 'cause now that Adeena is much older, she can go hours without milk, busy playing. 

So in my effort to boost my milk supply, I've tried avocado, coconut and soy, which none of them really showed significant result. I've also tried power pumping for 3 days, but it doesn't make much difference -- yet. Maybe the result would show if I had persevered and did it for a week or longer, but you know, it reallyyyy takes a lot of effort to do that! I know, I know, determination is key. And because of that, I will resume the sessions again soon after Raya, insyaallah. Let's hope to see some result then.

But what I want to share now is this milkbooster that I found recently. It's called Mom's breastfeeding chocolate!

It's a special chocolate made especially for breastfeeding moms to help boost their milk supply. What's different about this chocolate is that it has the little extra ingredients that are said to boost milk supply like - honey (madu), pennywort (pegaga), habatussauda, dates (kurma) and of course, chocolate. I thought it was brilliant! Finally, I would have the reason to chomp on chocolates without feeling guilty! Haha.

It has 8 pieces in a box, and you're supposed to take one each night before sleep. It tastes quite nice too. I was really excited and shared this on my social media accounts. Many have asked to make a review on it so after 5 days of consuming it, I am ready to make a review on it.

So did it really work for me? Well, unfortunately not 'coz I am still yielding 8oz daily.

Of course different people react differently on milkboosters, so this might work for you as it has worked for some! There's no harm trying, it's only RM29/box and available at PumpOnTheGo Facebook and Website. :)

I've always known that I was a picky person. And I guess my milk factory also decided to become one! Heh. Lucky for me, Adeena is turning 18 months soon. She doesn't need as much milk compared to before, but I still make it a point to make as much milk as I can, just in case!

Believe it or not, it has been 17 months, and I still haven't found my milk booster. So I guess the hunt continues..  Another 6 months+ to go to accomplish this mission, will I make it? We shall see.