The birth story of my third born

14 Jul

Bismillahirrahmannirahim

I was expecting to go into labour before 39 weeks 2 days which was how long it took me with ds2, Idris took to go into labour.

I was on leave from 13 June in preparation for hari raya and to spend more quality time with my 1st and 2nd born before they have more competition for my attention.

My leave stretched till 1st July, the date my third born was estimated to be due.

At 39 weeks, i started climbing stairs once or twice every other day. Prior to that, i was climbing 5 storeys at work when i went up to see patients in the ward.

At 39 weeks 5 days, i went for a walk at united square to look for red raspberry tea leaf. I walked for 2 hours around united square. I had cramps after around 40 mins of walking. The cramps went away if i sat down or stopping walking. After a meal, i went back to my mum’s place.

At 40 weeks 1 day, i went for my doctor’s appointment at kkh. Doctor did 3 membrane sweeps and told me to book a date for c section in case i didn’t go into labour by 41 weeks + and latest is around 42 weeks 2 days. However, there was no c section slots thus doctor said we will try to book next week if someone else gives birth naturally.

After the appointment, i walked all the way to novena to buy waffles as the queue at prima deli in kkh was so long at 12pm.

I met the husband at novena since it was his lunch time, talked a bit, got my waffles and discussed the route to toa payoh from novena. After having a short rest to prepare for the walk home, i headed home through irrawady road.

It was quite tiring as i was walking under mid-afternoon sun at 40 weeks pregnant with improper walking shoes.

After a short rest from the bus stop to interchange in an air conditioned bus, i walked to mum’s place.

The cramps stopped soon after i rested at mum’s place.

On 40 weeks 2 days, i walked around toa payoh sensory park twice for around 30 mins to an hour each. During the walk, i had regular braxton hicks which slowed down and picked up whenever i resumed walking. It disappeared by the next morning.

On 40 weeks 3 days, i didn’t go for any walks as my legs and feet were hurting from all the walking and climbing. I had a full body massage to help me relax and maybe realign my body, baby for birth in sya Allah. Yhe masseuse gave me this dried siti fatimah flower from makkah to soak in water and drink.

Mum prepared it for me and i drank 1 bottle and half.

On 40 weeks 4 days, i decided to not keep stressing about the due date and the fact that i’m overdue. I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies and clear my cupboard to make space for baby’s clothes in my room.

I also felt like having nasi lemak for breakfast. Unfortunately, the shop was closed. I got some hangers and head home to clear my cupboard.

While listening to wirid latiff by imam al haddad, I had a nice time folding, arranging and sorting. I actually enjoy doing things like that so i felt it might help me relax and take my mind off things. Everytime i looked at baby’s clothes in the playpen, i kept thinking that it’ll get dusty and that we’ve prepared things way in advance but baby wasn’t ready to come out.

I walked over to my mum’s place and had prata for second breakfast. I’ve been so blessed that my mum has been taking care of my second born on most mornings while i slept or walked. After prata, i put my second born down for his morning nap, saw my first born come home from school before i left for a short walk in the park again. It was too hot and i didnt feel much contractions or cramps.

While walking, i kept repeating, ” i can go into labour, Allah is with me, Allah will make things easy for me, i can relax, i can birth this baby normally in sya Allah. Allah is with me. Allah’s plan is the best plan.” I selawat as much as i could.

I had this idea of self talk/ mantra from Ina May’s book. I was re-reading it briefly in the morning to get some ideas on what to do to start labour naturally. I also mentally prepared myself for a c-section if it comes to that eventually.

After the walk, i headed home to take a bath before heading over to my mum’s place to have lunch and put the kids down for their naps. I fed my second born his lunch and had lunch. I felt mild cramp then around 2pm. I managed to eat and pray. I tried to put my first born down for his nap but he knew i was having pain as I would stop and moan a little during what felt like contractions. My sons were also starting to have a bout of cough. My first born was so excited, kept asking if it was baby. I tried to explain to him that it was pain to try to prepare my body to birth baby but not now. Eventually my second born slept while my first born couldn’t nap despite being so sleepy.

I got him to do some pratice math and English in between contractions for 30 mins. I would kneel on 4 and like sujud during each contraction. I messaged the husband at 5pm to update him. I told my mum soon after while i had early dinner in case its too painful to eat later.

I waited till the husband was home to start timing my contractions. It was around 10 mins apart at 6pm. We planned to go home so i can labour on the yoga ball as contractions were getting stronger and closer. By maghrib, contractions were 8 mins apart. The husband and i walked home, took our baths, prayed isya’. My contractions were around 7-8 mins apart. My mum called me to go over, she said she will fetch us. We packed up and left to mum’s place. Contractions were 5 mins apart at 8.30pm.

My brother sent us to the hospital at 10pm while mum took care of the kids.

Upon reaching the hospital, i waited from 10.20pm to 11.15pm to be admitted and for my doctor to arrive.

I was almost fully dilated and had the urge to push upon reaching hospital. The nurses told me to control and hold off pushing until doctor came.

After several pushes, doctor said she will help me with a small episiotomy and i naturally tore thereafter around 5 stitches.

Muhammad Ishaaq was born at 11.35pm. I held him as soon as he came out and doctor asked the husband to cut the cord.

I breastfed him quite easily alhamdulillah, within the hour of delivery after doctor stitched me up.

We waited till 3.30am to be sent up to the ward. I was dead tiree but couldn’t sleep as the nurses kept coming in for this and that.

Devika, my mum and grandmother and 2 sons came for a visit. My parent-in-law and sister in law and her husband also visited us in the evening. We had a few more visitors after we head home on Saturday and Sunday.

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Taiwan with kids – II

14 Mar

We decided to take it slow on our second day and spent the morning relaxing in our apartment loft.

I went supermarket shopping and got some supplies, cooked for ds2 porridge and entertained ds1 while ds2 napped.

*supermarkets are mainly 7eleven and family marts

We headed to the Taipei Grand Mosque by taxi. We tried to walk and take the bus but we kind of got lost. Since it was pretty late, we headed to the nearest restaurant for lunch. Indonesian food today.

After a sumptuous and affordable meal, we headed over the street to Da’an Park. It was part of the plans to visit Da’an Park playground but I realised that the park was huge. Reminded me a little of a park I visited in Paris, it was rather hilly and scenic. On our way to the playground, we passed an ecological pond which was like no other pond I’ve seen even in Dublin where there were many swans in the pond. I loved the pond! There were so many different types of birds, terrapins and fish. What I really liked were the birds. It’s like their home and the birds were not afraid of human. They came close enough to have a good look.

After spending some time at the pond, we headed to the playground. I wasn’t prepared for the crowd and the massive ground it covered. Ds1 was looking for sand from the moment we entered the park and when I mentioned playground he immediately thought sand playground. I wasn’t so sure but to my surprise there was so much sand and not just sand but water too because of the rain yesterday. And the sand playing culture was very different compared to Singapore. We told ds1 that he can play at the massive playground but he said,” no ummi the playground is not as fun as playing in sand!” he kicked off his shoes and dove right into sand and water 💦 not caring about being clean.

*look at all the birds in the trees!

We took the MRT from Da’an station (Red Line) all the way to Zhongshan station. It was around 10-15 minutes walk to our apartment.

Taiwan with kids

14 Mar

Airlines

We chose to travel by scoot for the first time. Nothing fantastic or special for kids. Service was quite ok in general, nothing to complain but again nothing that makes it stand out from the rest of the budget airlines. I realised though we had quite comfortable leg room compared to other budget room even full airlines. I also liked the windows where you can adjust light from outside. I liked that they didn’t bug us or pick on us since we had kids.

Arriving at Taoyuan airport

Immigration was a breeze though the officer looked at us differently when she figured we booked an airbnb instead of a hotel.

Transport

We bought an easycard which has a non-refundable deposit of 100. We got NT$ 400 each. It’s free for kids. The person at the service centre was very polite and kind, served us with a smile.

We took the MRT from Taoyuan Airport Mrt station. It’s quite a walk before you reach the train. The station and train pretty much reminded us MRT in Singapore. There is an express train as well

Taipei with kids

9 Mar

I got the why Taiwan? Alot when I told friends I was heading to Taiwan for holiday. Most of my friends said that they and most people they knew went to Taiwan mainly for food so like what ate you Muslim people gonna have in Taiwan. 

I nervously shared that I’ve done my homework and it seems Taipei is pretty Muslim friendly. You know what else? They even have hotels with halal food to cater to Muslim tourist. 

Another thing about Taiwan is that they are quite tourists oriented so they have tourist information counter at many places. Unlike other ‘Chinese speaking countries’ the Taiwanese can speak generally good English. 

What I encountered when researching for my trip was the lack of information for Muslim families with young children travelling to Taiwan. There were loads of information on Taiwan fit families with kids, singles and couples. 

So what I decided to do is blog more details of my Taipei trip to Insyallah help others like us. 

dear son 2

8 Feb

Dear son,

I realised a long time ago that I can’t be totally fair to you or your brother after you were born because many reasons.

I wish to apologise that I didn’t write to you every month like I did for your brother until he was 13 months. 

We just got less time since I’m still working, even if it’s just part time but time is just never enough. 

I did however take photos of you, many of them actually so maybe when time permits (Insyallah), I will create monthly entries for you based on memory and photo profiles to gauge your age.

Now you’re 1.5 years old. you’re a joy to be with. Your playful personality is shining through the dimples and grey eyes which was what everyone saw when they saw you. 

I hope people see you for what you are and not what you look like in the future. Today I still winch when people gawk at your eye colour asking if father is ang moh and short of demanding an explanation for the way your eye look. 

Sometimes I think admiration with jealousy burgeoning underneath the seemingly innocent attention you get when we go out. 

You and your elder brother play very well together, you seem to be as rough as he is with you and at times the rough tumble play seems too much for your poor ummi. 

You have been the only one not yet in school since the beginning of this year as all the older ones are in school in the morning. 

You’re speaking a few words like your usual mmi (for ummi), yahhhh (ayah) and now you’re beginning yaaas ( for your older brother, sometimes Anne), mma, papa, tatok ( datok) and nyayi (and Nenek sometimes). 

You mention a few general words like ket ( for biscuits, your favourite cheese biscuits), yice (for rice), cheese and who can forget your famous ‘i wan I wan I wan’ to anyone who appears to be eating anything. You ask for nilk (milk) and look so excited when it’s time to have some. 

Im still feeding you my milk and you look like you love it to bits! 

Your favourite thing to do is to use the phone and go out. You’ll break into a wide grin and run ( you walk so fast, it’s like you’re running) to the door the moment you hear the gate unlock. 

With lots of love,

Your ummi 

I wish I had more of this

4 Feb

And I’m also glad I that I didn’t do anything to make it disappear. 

DS1 imagination. I had the opportunity to send and fetch him from school when he shared with me what happened in school. I saw the look of pure happiness on his face when he saw me outside the glass door of his school. He said “I can see some men working outside” while we were riding the bus home. “there they’re on the road” and “they’re so cute ummi” 

While we were walking home, I told him that his grandpa, who is his favourite person in my in-laws place, was not at home. He said “there datok, there on the wall there!” I laughed as we made our way home…

In the past I used to pretend we were lying down in our tents and watching the stars in the sky while we were in one of the rooms at home. It’s so fun he loves all the pretend play. 

NZ: Milford Sound, Te Anau 

3 Feb

My father generally drives the long distances while I drive around town.

This is because mother prefers father to drive and so I can take care of the kids at the back.

We booked a tour to Milford Sound as soon as we arrived in Te Anau for the next morning.

The above is a famous site for LOTR. I’m not a fan so can’t say much except that it was indeed gorgeous. Again I wished we had time to bask in its beauty while the kids could run around.

The rainy weather made the place look different I think from photos we gave seen of the bus trip to the cruise. It made beautiful waterfalls most of the way though. It rained almost all of the trip to and from Milford Sound.

Our first rainbow in NZ! 

Couldn’t decide I wanted more of the clouds or the grass to accompany the rainbow.

Some glaciers. Apparently they did not receive a lot of snow the last winter.

The husband and ds1 were sitting comfortably in front of the cabin. My mother and ds2 were safely in the cruise at the seating area. My father and I were right in front in the open end of the cruise admiring the beauty of the Stirling falls. When the captain announced that the cruise was entering the falls and only stay there if you want to get wet, I didn’t budge. My father was undecided so he stayed on. When father decided to go back up into the safety of the cabin so he wouldn’t get wet, the door was shut so he was stuck outside and got drenched too. I stood there stumped, thinking to myself ‘ what did I get myself into?’ I’m all drenched again. Being drenched in the cold is no fun. I just like to try new things and I yearn adrenaline rush so I decided to stay put…it was nice actually. 

MasyaAllah yhe rocks shaped by the water over the years, just beautiful! 

We had some alone time because father was carrying the baby while Ds1 was sleeping in the bus.

Ds2 watching the keas with grandpa.

This must be on our way to Queenstown from Te Anau.

Follow us to Queenstown next!

NZ: Wanaka

18 Jan

​Distinction hotels wanaka was the place we stayed in for a night. About the accommodation, it was nice and clean, a bit expensive. We had a garage to keep our car safe at night. We had all the amenities we needed and we felt safe. 

When I woke up early the next morning, I brought Ds2 out for a walk and he had breakfast amongst the bird chirping and the melodious sounds of the morning. 

Again I wished we spent at least 2 nights because Wanaka is a beautiful, pretty town surrounded by mountains. 

I loved lake wanaka! I like seeing animals in the wild and nature so pristine around us. 

We spent a couple of hours at the lake and playground near it. There were ducks and swans on the lake just waddling nearby and some other different birds hopping around. 

We the headed down south to Te Anau which was around 3 hours away. 

NZ: Drive Hokitika to Wanaka

17 Jan

I guess the effect of the trip has almost rubbed off thus I forgot to continue blogging. Ok maybe that’s not entirely true but the things to do in my personal life and work life engulfed me…

So back to beautiful New Zealand!

It was a long way from Hokitika which is a little north west of south Island to somewhere to the middle of South Island. We travelled along the coast to Franz Josef Glacier which was a manageable 2hrs drive from Hokitika. 

We stopped along the way and saw some beautiful alpine parrots, the kea, for the first time. 

Some of the views on the way to Wanaka from Franz Josef Glacier. We were supposed to stop by lake moeraki but we couldn’t really find a nice spot to look for penguins in the heavy downpour. 

This photo was taken when we all attempted to climb up to see the face of what’s left of the Glacier. Around 30 minutes into the hike a nice lady told us that it’s not suitable for a baby as it’s not the easiest hike. So we all went back down sent the kids and my mum to the car where they took shelter from the rain and had their lunch. 

The husband, father and I went all the way. Beautiful sights or nature all the way, it was drizzling all the way up and back. We were all pretty drenched after the 2.5 hours hike. 

Honestly I didn’t plan the details of this hike but alhamdulilah it worked out alright for us all. 

I would say that the Glacier wasn’t spectacular though, not sure if we went with guides it would have been better. The place though was beautiful and I love nature so being in nature with the husband was a nice experience. There was a beautiful waterfall, rock formations, streams and boulders. 

I think my hp battery went flat so I couldn’t capture much photos but the memories etched deep in my heart. That’s what matters most right?

After Franz Josef Glacier, we headed to Wanaka I think a 3 hours drive. That’s when we first spotted the lupins. It started with yellow ones then purple ones. As we travelled further, we saw so many beautiful colours of lupins lining the roads. 

Basking in the beauty of Allah’s magnificent creations surrounding us. I got the chance to talk about Allah and all his creations around us with Ds1. 

We arrived in wanaka at 8.30pm, grabbed dinner at an Indian restaurant ( there were a couple of them) and reached our accommodation at 10pm.

NZ:Hokitika, Hampden cottage 

4 Jan

We drove Rangiora to Hokitika which was around 3-4 hours drive. 

On hindsight I wished we spent more time in Hokitika, a beautiful cottage in a beautiful town. 

We loved the sparse cottage we booked on airbnb! There were toys, books, games, a backyard for the kids to run around in, a ramp at the back. My mum loved the toilet. The open concept kitchen was lovely. The host had some eggs, milk and seasonings to cook and even bake something simple. It was super clean and tidy. The cottage was tasteful decorated. We highly recommend the place to anyone who would like to visit hokitika. Even the garden was lovely and well-maintained. It’s pretty close to town, the beach and shops.

We only had time for dinner at an Indian restaurant, hokitika beach and the glow worm dell when it got dark.

The beach was very windy and the waves huge they almost engulfed my curious preschooler who wanted to get closer to the water. I grabbed him as soon as I sensed that the waves were more dangerous than it looked. We were drenched but safe, alhamdulilah. 

 I chose this glow worm dell instead of te anau because it’s free. It was actually quite magical but I wish we could get closer. It looked as if we were under a blanket of stars in the Dell. I’m not sure if it’s much nicer in Te Anau.