All the snuggles in the world

Being a mother of two is tough – and sometimes challenging. Most of my days are spent on being a referee and deciding what words I can say that will make everything’s fair for everyone. Some of those days were easy and smooth-sailing while the others were .. difficult and I needed to calm my head down before even spoke to two of them.

I admit, being the eldest sibling has shaped my expectation towards my own eldest – Z. I expect him to be the one who guided his younger brother. I instill towards him every day, that he’s the older brother, that there are boundaries and lines that he should follow. That no matter what M does, Z must be there to guide him.

I know what a burden it is for him – but I keep pressing on although sometimes it can break my heart.

I had spent countless nights worrying if I spoke too harsh to Z or if there’s anything that I can do to make the situation better for him. To let him know that I still love him the same. To let him know that I love him even more whenever I see him trying to be a better brother for M.

***

Our sleeping arrangement hasn’t changed since M was born. Z sleeps with his Papa and I sleep with M – mainly because M is still nursing to sleep and weaning him has been unsuccessful. I don’t want to wean him by force or trick so there’s that.

Last night, Z was so tired so he was laying on my bed while waiting for his Papa to finish Isya. M was still busy with brushing his teeth so I figured I would snuggle with Z – something that we rarely do these days.

I put a blanket over him and told him, “Do you want to snuggle with Mama?”

Sleepily, he said yes. I reached out for his head and hugged him slowly.

Before drifting to sleep, he asked me in low voice, “Mama, why didn’t we do this sooner?”

And my tears fell down. My boy – my baby.

“Anytime you want a snuggle, you can always ask me, Abang. All the snuggles in the world for you.”

He nodded before finally closing his eyes.

I hoped he knows – not only snuggles that I would give for him. All my love – all my life.

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.
– Barney Stinson, HIMYM

[Aldebaran ★ Altair] February ‘17

How on earth is already March?!

Two days back to work and I already need to take another childcare leave 🙁 Will perhaps write a separate post on the topic, but for now, please enjoy some pictures of Z and M from last month!

05/02/17

Isn’t this cute or isn’t this cute?!

And coincidentally, Husband wore the same exact pants, haha. In case you haven’t noticed, Z is the left one and M is the right one.

06/02/17

One fine morning, Z just climbed onto the bed I shared with M and just… continued to sleep. Gah, moments like this is totally worth having less sleep. I love both my boys so much!

08/02/17

Was playing with my phone and the kids looked camera ready.

14/02/17

Another not so fine morning, lol. The barrier was necessary cause Z is a kicker!

22/02/17

Z may have not noticed it yet, but M looks up to him so much. M adores Z so much as long as he’s not making noises :p

Asked Z to ‘sayang’ M and this is what I got <3

23/02/17

And while they still have no say on what clothes they are wearing, I bought them matching jackets! Hah.

28/02/17

Z has been so crazy about his story book lately. He always asks me/Husband to read the story for him that I think he knows the story by heart now. Again, M looks up to him so much that whatever Z was doing, M looks so interested!

[Aldebaran ★ Altair] January ‘17

And just like that – in the blink of an eye – January passed by. February is finally here and only few weeks until I am back to work.

As much as I love my boys, going back to work is somehow exciting for me. I would be the first one to vouch that stay-at-home mom is not for everyone.

Anyway, onto January edition!

03/01/17

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One day, we were just lying around and I had the idea of calling their Papa via Hangout. Haha. The picture is blur cause my phone’s front camera sucks.

09/01/17

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If only every morning could be like this.. but I am never that lucky with them lol. Both love to sleep like a starfish though!

12/01/17

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Can you guess?! Haha. Some people got it right I was quite amazed. If you haven’t figured by now, Zal is on the left while Malta is on the right :p. Zal is definitely more hairy than Malta haha.

24/01/17

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Sometimes, if we ask politely, Zal is more than willing to kiss and ‘sayang’ his brother. This is one of the rare moments I could capture with my crappy camera!

26/01/17

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Zal loves to join us whenever I am nursing Malta – which can be annoying when Malta is actually sleepy. Their faces started to look different somehow.

27/01/17

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Another side by side comparison! Malta is definitely rounder and has softer facial feature than Zal. Zal was already looking like a big boss here hahahaha.

29/01/17

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This was taken when we reached home after a long journey to the west lol. Malta was originally asleep though but when I put him on the mattress, he just opened his eyes. Again, their favorite sleeping pose : Starfish!

[Aldebaran ★ Altair] December ‘16

08/12/16

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Ever since M has been having trouble sleeping (i.e jerk motion), it’s getting very hard to get them photographed being sleeping together. I think this is one of the very few that is presentable (and Instagrammable lol) I managed to capture.

14/12/16

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I was doing something on my laptop while accompanying sleeping M when suddenly Z came to the room. He just came back from playing outside.

Z looked tired and he climbed onto the bed. I stroke his hair few times and within minutes, he fell asleep.

Best view I had all day ❤️

16/12/16

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Z is always a very kind hearted boy – it’s just that he hasn’t found a gentle way to show that personality of him. But this one..

There’s a heartwarming story behind this picture.

Due to his blocked tear duct condition, M was prescribed with wipes to clean the discharge from his eyes. Z watched several times when we used the wipes.

That night, Z asked if I wanted some tissue. I said no, but he still went out to take some (I thought). And when he came back, he had M’s wipes with him. “Baby. Tissue.”

He really cares about his brother :’)

17/12/16

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Because I have a brother, I’ll always have a friend.

– Unknown

I asked Z to hold his brother’s hand and although he did it while watching TV, my heart was warm.

21/12/16

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This was taken a bit forced haha. They were both just finished with their bath and I put Z besides M so I could take a picture where they both are clean and smell good.

23/12/16

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Z can be so fascinated with his brother sometimes. He likes to touch his brother’s face whenever Z makes some weird sounds.

29/12/16

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One no-so-quiet night. Surrounded by my boys. I have a blessed life.

31/12/16

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My dates on New Year’s Eve. None were paying attention to me somehow haha.

Z’s antics (1)

My first born continues to entertain me with his antics and silly stuffs. Sometimes I am scared I will forget whatever he’s saying so I think, “Why not just write them on my blog?!”

*

16/07/16

Z: “Where’s the iPad??”
Me & Husband: 😱😱😱
Z: *cried*
Z: *hugged me*
Me: “Ask Papa. Say, please Papa.“
Z: *moved to Papa’s side and then hugged Papa*
Husband: “So clever when he has something he wants…”

And then Husband got up, held Z, and took the iPad from study room 😂😂 I swear we are so cheap and easy when it comes to Z and his puppy eyes.

31/07/16

Z: “Hat!” *pointed to a girl wearing hat sitting beside him at MRT*
Me: “Yes, she is wearing hat.“

When we reached our destination..

Z: “Bye bye Hat!” *waved at the girl*

😂😂😂

Bedtime.
Me: “Let’s turn off the light, ok?” *switched off the light*
Z: “Wow, amazing!“

02/12/16

Z: *played with Lego, building something random*
Z: *put one of his car toys in a hole on the Lego building*
Z: “PARKING GARAGE!”
Me: “Wow, so atas! For me it’s only ‘car park’”
Husband: *laughs*
Z: “PARKING GARAGE!”

Our landlord is here this weekend with her mother. Both of them are looking quite old for Z I guess, because the moment he saw them..

Z: “It’s Grandma!”

😂😂😂

14/12/16

Z: *points to his Papa that is sleeping*
Z: “Papa is sleeping!”
Me: “Yes, Papa is sleeping.”
Z: “SO CUTE!!”

15/12/16

*M woke up crying*
Z: “Mama, dedek is crying!” *pointed to the bedroom door*

19/12/16

*M was sleeping in the bedroom with door closed*
*M cried*
Z : “Mama, dedek is crying!” *ran from living room to bed room*
Z : *knocked on the door* “Hellowww?”

*

That’s all for part (1), haha. Pretty sure we are going to have more in the future as he keeps blabbering nonsense.

[Aldebaran ★ Altair] November ‘16

If you haven’t known by now, I love stars. And their exotic yet meaningful names. That’s why I named my first born ‘Aldebaran’.

When I got pregnant for the second time and it’s a boy again, I was happy cause then I will be able to name him with another favorite star of mine, ‘Altair’.

Having two boys are exhausting, but the bond that they are going to have is going to be amazing, I am sure of it. As someone with younger sister, I can assure you that even though I no longer talk often with my sister, she’s still my best friend.

I have a Facebook album dedicated for Aldebaran and Altair, but I thought I will also have a regular entry for them – just to remind me of all the silly things and pictures they have.

Here’s for first instalment in November!

*

11/11/16

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Here’s their first picture together. Right after I came back from hospital 🙂 The quote from Harry Potter’s Prisoner of Azkaban seems appropriate for them lol.

12/11/16

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Can you believe that I straight away went out of the house as soon as I was discharged? Haha. But for a good reason though. My glasses started to bug me and I can’t function without it. I didn’t have time to have it repaired before I gave birth so I got no choice. Emergency, ok? Anyway, this picture was taken at Swensens! I was craving for their ice cream badly. I love this picture a lot. Zal looked so happy and looking at them sitting side by side is just pure cute!

13/11/16

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A lot of people told me that Zal and Malta kinda look alike – so I grabbed one of Zal’s old picture when he was only few days old and put it side by side with Malta’s picture. Well.. aside from the lip and the eyes, I don’t see anything alike at all lol.

14/11/16

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My favorite picture of the month! They were having afternoon nap and can I say I just love that even though they are not facing each other but their similar poses just make it up? No? Just me? OK 😂

15/11/16

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BabyPics app has some serious legit doodle, haha. I love this as well cause duh, it’s so true 😝

I love Malta’s cute baby fat here. Look at those cheeks! Although Zal’s pose is a bit questionable haha. I need to put some pillows in between them cause Zal is a kicker!

28/11/16

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Last picture of the month. Malta got his head shaved so I took a chance to again compare his picture with Zal’s old picture – and now I can see the similarities!

Strikingly, their big heads 😅

Muadz Altairanefa Lubis : The Birth Story

08.11.16

I went for my weekly check up on that day. Waited almost a whole day for the sake of 10 mins of meeting Dr.Citra. She was super busy that day. And she went for a delivery in the middle of lunch time. My appointment was scheduled at 11 am, and there were already a lot of people in front of me.

Don’t assume that everyone will have the same amount of time to consult her. It really depends on your baby’s condition. I don’t really mind the waiting time because well.. if I were the mother with such difficult pregnancy and complicated one, I will also want to have more consultation time to make sure everything is ok.

I digress a bit, uh. Where was I? Ah yes, waiting almost a whole day.

I only applied for half day leave since I thought it’s going to be done before 1 pm. I usually always have a very quick check up with Dr Citra anyway. But due to the hectic situation on that day, I had no choice other than applying for another half day leave.

I was supposed to have an important meeting at 4.30 pm that day and was ready to reschedule. But luckily, my check up was done just 30 mins before the meeting was supposed to start.

According to Dr Citra, everything was fine – baby’s heartbeat etc. He was quite low and engaged – sign of getting ready to be born. I wasn’t that surprised to hear that because it was the same result from last week. I figured that he would be the same case like his brother – would only came out nearing the due date.

My due date was supposed to be on 19th Nov. But Dr Citra told me she would be away on that weekend. So if I indeed gave birth on my due date, she would not be around to deliver my baby. I was a bit disappointed and secretly hoping that I would gave birth earlier so Dr Citra could be around to deliver him.

And so, like the saying goes, “Be careful for what you wish for”

**

The early maternity leave

After I was done with my check up, I took a cab to office. Zal who accompanied me to the hospital with Husband cried so loud when I jumped into the cab.

My heart broke million times seeing my boy cried.

I was planning to have my maternity leave on the 16th, but hearing the result of my latest check up, I decided that I would just take my maternity leave few days earlier than what I planned before. It’s only few days of buffer but I could also use those extra days to go out with Zal and have a mother son bonding time with him before his brother came along. My boy deserves this.

Reached office. Had the meeting. Told my boss I would be off starting next Monday.

I worked until 7 pm that day to finish off some important stuffs.

Later that night, while I was nursing Zal before he slept, somehow I felt a really bad cramp. Told Husband to start packing up his stuffs into hospital bag (yea, we hadn’t had hospital bag at all at 38 weeks!) and I would pack mine tomorrow.

Went to bed that night still with a bad cramp.

**

09.11.16

I woke up at 4 am, and my cramp was getting worse. I was still hoping that these were just false contractions – I hoped that I could reach 39 weeks before giving birth. So I moved around hoping that the contraction would go away.

But no – they were just getting stronger.

By 7 am, I just knew I needed to go to hospital. I gathered what I could and shoved them into hospital bag. Luckily I have packed important documents days before. So that left only clothing for me and my baby.

Before I called hospital, I knew I needed to time my contractions first. So I downloaded the contraction timer. And imagine my surprise when I saw that I was having regular contractions for 40 seconds every 2-3 mins! It meant that I was already in active labour!

I remember I whispered to my baby, “It’s OK, honey. You can come out if you are really ready.”

Once the hospital bag was ready, Husband called NUH, and immediately they asked me to come. We tried to book a cab. To no avail. It was morning peak hour. And it was raining quite heavily. Should have known that there was little chance we could get a cab.

We tried Uber. And although the fee was exorbitant (38 bucks!), we took it anyway. Our ride arrived shortly afterwards. And with the rain, came a traffic jam. It took us about 30 mins to reach NUH, and we were already on express way!

**

The real labor

Finally reached NUH at 9 am. Husband wheeled me to delivery ward. At this point, I was quite exhausted. I didn’t get enough sleep last night due to contractions.

Once I was at delivery suite, I changed to delivery gown and waited for doctor’s observation. Hooked my belly to scan as well to monitor baby’s heartbeat. Some midwives came and went – but there was this lady who visited me the most so I assumed she would be the one helping me during delivery.

A doctor came and did VE. Luckily it’s a lady. Seemed like she’s doctor on duty.

“You are 6 cm dilated! Fully effaced!”

That sent us to a shock! Sure we were expecting 3-4 cm dilated, but SIX? No time for epidural then? 😝 Lol. By that time the contractions were getting stronger. I don’t think even laughing gas will help.

An hour later, since I kept screaming I want to push, another nurse did a VE, and I was 8 cm dilated! The midwife mentioned something about my water bag that was not broken yet so they will let me progress on my own until it breaks.

I was kinda furious. I was in so much pain and I just wanted to push. With Zal, Dr Citra broke my water bag when I was only 5-6 cm dilated – why can’t they do it again this time?

The midwife explained that they are merely respecting my birth plan. I was like huh? Where in my birth plan I said something about waiting for my water bag to burst on its own? But it’s no use to debate so I continued fighting my contractions.

Again, I screamed that I wanted to push another hour later. Another VE, and I was 9 cm dilated! One more freaking cm and then I can push. But that water bag is still there.

However this time the midwife said, if I had the urge to push, do it slowly and it will break my water bag.

…Honestly, even though I said I wanted to push, I don’t know exactly HOW. People said it’s going to be just like when you poo. Yes I had the mega urge to poo, but my body suddenly forgot how to push a poo.

(Oh my, I sounded like I am comparing my baby with a poo)

I tried several pushes when the contraction came, and the water bag didn’t bulge at all! I was so mad at myself. It’s a freaking water bag, how come I couldn’t break it?!

After several failed pushes to break the water bag, I could feel that my energy was almost gone. I knew I needed to get my baby out before I ran out of energy. Few pushes afterwards, and then my water bag popped! Literally. I really felt like it was a water balloon!

So after my water bag broke, nurses were busy prepping for delivery. Dr Citra was still on her way so doctor on duty (who was male, wth) needed to take over for a while. I was ready to push when instinctively I rolled my body to my left. I don’t know why, I just felt like it’s the most comfortable position.

It was pretty similar like Zal’s. I felt like there’s something that wanted to go out badly. I tried to push when contraction came, but I think because I was running out of stamina, I didn’t realize that I also pushed when the contraction was not even there.

The nurses were telling me not to push when there’s no contraction at all. And at some point they even told me to hold from pushing because the baby’s heartbeat dropped. My heart sank. I didn’t even use epidural and there I was again – at the same situation like when I delivered Zal two years ago. Why must my babies go through the same thing? :’(

The nurses and doctor on duty also told me to slow down my pushes otherwise I was going to have a big tear. I was like, what should I do then?! 

In the middle of maintaining my breathing and waiting for contractions, I heard Dr Citra’s voice and somehow it’s really soothing. She immediately took over from the doctor on duty and I could feel that her presence made me feel calmer. I can do this!

I did few more pushes. And before I knew it, I saw a baby being taken away from me. I remember asking, “Why isn’t he crying?”

And Dr Citra calmed me down, “Don’t worry. He’s healthy and he is crying.”

As soon as I heard that, I also heard my baby cried loudly. Alhamdulillah. I cried. Alhamdulillah.

I did another push to get rid of the placenta and soon afterwards Dr Citra stitched me. I was bleeding worse than when I delivered Zal hence Dr Citra gave me an injection to slow down my bleeding (I guess).

My baby apparently pooped inside so there was additional things to be done by the nurses. They went to check if my baby swallowed any of the poop (!!!) and I think they were checking his lungs as well. My poor baby :’(

Fortunately, there seemed to be nothing major happened to my baby – although one of the nurses said that they may need to monitor him a bit more closely later.

Then they brought him to me for skin-to-skin session. The super bad cramps that I felt few hours ago were gone – and finally my baby is here.

**

The aftermath

We were quite surprised that the labor was really fast. He was born around 1 pm – so it only took 4 hours! Zal’s was 14 hours and I was injected with epidural and he was vacuumed because I didn’t have enough energy to push him.

Maybe it’s because I was ‘forced’ to be active while I was pregnant with this #2. I didn’t even need to have a chair to help me while doing my prayer. And a month before, my helper was off for one whole month so I was taking care of Zal as well as maintaining the house.

Anyway.

Alhamdulillah, praise to Allah. Our second prince was born healthy.

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Week 31

Heartburn is coming back – like an old friend who shows up uninvited. And it’s so annoying like hell. I found myself often gagging for unknown reasons. And bleargh, so disturbing.

Nesting instinct has started kicking in – and to be honest I kinda like it. We need to move house again (ugh) next year so I really need to sort out stuffs that we don’t really use anymore to make the moving easier. Just thinking about the amount of stuffs we need to pack is already giving me minor headache and unfortunately, we will have to move out when baby A is about 1.5 months. Good luck to us.

Things aren’t so bad at work but not so good either. Too many issues popped out and with the level of tolerance I have at the moment, I haven’t responded well on stress. I am trying my best to balance everything but it has been a challenge so far.

Braxton Hicks is starting to come as well. Baby A is still active inside, but it’s only a matter of weeks until he’s running out of space to kick and move around. My belly is getting bigger and it’s getting more heavier to carry baby around. I am getting tired faster than before – that’s expected. Zal is still demanding my attention and I haven’t even done weaning him off (do not judge, people) so add that to things that exhaust me.

OK, what else…

Helper is going off in two weeks – for the whole month. We have some things to iron out while she’s away cause with me being 8 months pregnant, there are things that I am not being able to do (mostly house chores). Mom will be here of course, but we don’t expect her to do any house chores. Come on, she’s my mom. Her coming to help us with Zal is already good.

*

That’s all for 31 weeks I guess. We are having the last detailed scan next week and hopefully my placenta is not blocking the birth canal – otherwise I would be screwed.

“Papa, papa!”

Reached home. Rang the bell. *ding dong*
Zal opened the door.
Zal: “Mama!”
Me: “Halo, sayang!”
Zal: *looked behind my back*
Zal: “Where is Papa?”
Me: “Papa is not home yet.”
Zal: “Papa is away!”

*

Played on bed before bed time.
Zal: “Where is Papa?”
Me: “Papa is still outside.”
Me: *opened room door*
Zal: “Papa! Time to sleep!!”

*

Played at study room while his Papa is doing something on laptop.
Zal: “Papa!”
Husband: “Yes?”
Zal: “Be careful, Papa!”
Zal: *knocked down some suitcases we put at study room*

*

People said that a mother is a boy’s queen, but I found out recently that for my boy, his Papa is truly his hero 🙂