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Motherhood - The First Year: The Things I Do


It has been 10 months and 1 week since my firstborn, Luke, was born. Is life good? Yes, life is awesome now.

I survived the first four weeks and the fourth trimester of motherhood. *fist bump*

Now, nothing is too difficult for a first-time mom, I hope. :P

Having struggled through baby's tongue-tie (until 2 weeks old) and prolonged jaundice (until 7.5 weeks old), I thank God for His protection and blessings every single day.

Indeed, baby Luke is growing up fast. In two month's time, he will be a toddler. He will be walking, talking, and soon, running! Gosh! Time flies.


So, in these 10 months, what have I done to ensure that baby Luke receives the best babyhood we as parents can provide to him? Let me list down one by one.

Note: This is a wordy post.



Birth

Natural birth or C-section?

I opt for natural birth the moment I find out I was pregnant. Not that I'm very brave or want to be a hero. To be honest, I hate pain and perceive myself as having very low pain tolerance.

But, giving birth naturally is a choice I made after I read up about the advantages of natural child birth and also, the possibility of having a gentle, easy, comfortable birthing.

You might ask, was it painful? I prefer to use the term major discomfort, not pain. In fact, giving birth is the most empowering process that I, as a woman, have experienced, even more so without pain relief.

Learn more about gentle birth at hypnobirthing.com.my and contact the instructor, Mdm. Soo Wai Han. You won't regret attending HypnoBirthing classes.

I want Luke to start his journey as a baby in this world by letting him "choose" the date he wants to be born on. I don't want him to go through the stress of being induced to come out earlier than the day nature intends for him.

Will I consider C-section in the future, for e.g. if baby is breech? I'd say, no. I learn that there are ways to turn the baby down.

Epidural?

No epidural. Lower back massage by the hubby as I braved through each surge (contraction) was good enough. Am I out of my mind? I think so. Hahaha. To be honest, I'd describe birthing "pain" as super duper period cramps that just won't go away.

Confinement lady?

From the very first day, I've made up my mind that I would NOT hire a confinement lady. NO. NO. NO. NO.

First, they are ridiculously expensive. I'm not willing to spend this kind of money.

Second, she will comment that a new mother won't have enough breast milk and will suggest to feed my newborn with formula milk in bottles. This will jeopardize my effort to establish a good breastfeeding relationship with my baby. Surely one bottle won't hurt? Every baby is different. Some babies will prefer the bottle once it's introduced, some won't. I don't want to take this kind of risk.

Third, she will sleep with my newborn. I find it ridiculous when people say that a newborn should sleep with the confinement lady so that the mother can have enough rest and sleep. Huh? In my opinion, it's just giving birth, no big deal. I was lucky my hubby and mother-in-law were very helpful. They took care of Luke very well when I really needed some extra sleep.

Fourth, she is a stranger. I don't like staying with a stranger in the same house, no matter how "good" she is.



Nutrition

Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding?

Breastfeeding takes the lead. Bottle-feeding is done only at the babysitter's house when I'm at work. I have blogged about why I choose to breastfeed my baby here and here.

From WHO: To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

- Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life.
- Exclusive breastfeeding – that is the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water.
- Breastfeeding on demand – that is as often as the child wants, day and night.
- No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers.

Solids at 4 months or 6 months?

6 months. From WHO: Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Homemade meals or commercial baby food?

Homemade meals. Luke loves his porridge, steamed vegetables, and mashed fruits. Spoon-feeding is a breeze. He knows when to stop when he's full. He can hold solid food chunks such as bananas, bread, and baby biscuits, with his fingers pretty well.


Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Growing up

Co-sleeping or sleep training in baby cot?

We co-sleep with Luke on our bed from day one until now. Co-sleeping is very good for us. Before he cries for milk at night, I'm already awake from sensing (I don't know how) his hunger cues. No bottle-feeding at night too. I just breastfeed him on the bed. He sleeps back pretty fast after he's full.

Midnight feeds or STTN (sleep through the night)?

Midnight feeds. At 10 months old, Luke hasn't slept through the night yet. He's waking up 2-3 times to breastfeed. I'm okay with this because we co-sleep.

Baby-wearing or stroller?

Baby-wearing. Stroller is bulky and takes up so much space in our car booth and worse, Luke doesn't want to sit in it. Luke loves to be in our arms whenever he's with us. So, baby-wearing is perfect. He will stay in his carrier and enjoy the scenery around him.

Pacifier?

No, Luke doesn't like it. I don't manage to get him to use it, not even my babysitter with 15 years of babysitting experience can do it. Now he bites and chews the pacifier like a teether.

So, how do I calm him down when he's fretting and being a cranky pot? Well, the boobs are doing a great job in pacifying him.

Walker?

No. Here's a good article - Babywalkers 'hinder first steps'. For every 24 hours of babywalker use, there was a delay of 3.3 days in walking independently and a delay of 3.7 days in standing independently.


Parenthood

Working away from home mom (WAHM) or stay at home mom (SAHM)?

I'm a working mom, not by choice initially. But I've come to terms about being a working mom.

Daddy's role?

My hubby is the perfect family man. He loves his son to bits!

By the way, I think my hubby will handle the matter of disciplining (when necessary) the boy better than I do. Luke listens to his papa more. Haha.

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