You’ve been a very good girl these past few days. When mummy goes to sleep at night, you rarely cause a stir-up. You must be sleeping and resting too. Mummy’s at her full term pregnancy with you. If you decide to come out now, at least mummy won’t be so worried since she can safely go into labour from this point on. However, let’s wait for daddy to come home from work first alright? Daddy wants to be by mummy’s side when she goes into labour, and he wants to spend as much time with you as he can when you are born. Mummy felt some contraction pains last night. It was most probably Braxton Hicks … and it was irregular. Hopefully it doesn’t get too intense so soon! You are also getting very heavy. Mummy feels a lot of pressure down in her lower abdomen area and lower pelvic region. It is harder for mummy to walk and sleep comfortably now.
Poor mummy … she has been overwhelmed with so much information about parenting and breastfeeding. Even though mummy managed to avoid “Dr. Google”, she got addicted to “Dr. Youtube” instead! Moreover, mummy has been hearing so many comments from other parents … it’s almost as if they know what’s best and what’s not for every parent. But do they really? Sure, breastfeeding is not going to be easy. The first 6 weeks of your newborn life ain’t going to be easy for everybody in the household. You will be nursing frequently, which means mummy has to wake up frequently from her rest. Grandma will be busy cooking for mummy to re-nourish her weak body from the harshness of labour. Daddy will also be very tired as he will be helping mummy probably with your frequent diaper changes, and calming you if you get fussy. We decided we did not need to hire a post-natal confinement lady, since your paternal Grandma (“Ah Yan”) offered to help. Besides, mummy is already living here at your maternal Grandma’s house (“Wai Po”) so it’s not that bad in my opinion.
A confinement helper is a service which exists mostly in Malaysia and a few other Asian countries, and they are not cheap to hire. Confinement helpers assist new mothers in the first month after the birth of a baby; they help care for the newborn especially in the night time, and they prepare all the traditional Chinese recuperating meals for the mother. In our culture, it is believed that a woman’s body is at its weakest after labour and delivery. This one-month period is called “confinement period”, whereby the mother confines herself at home to really rest up as much as possible. Even though care of the newborn is crucial, utmost care of the mother’s body is more important to ensure she is back to normal health so as to prevent future/aging illnesses. This also ensures the mother’s body is healthy enough for the next pregnancy at a later stage.
As always, people tend to say things, and make mummy doubt herself sometimes. Mummy needs to just stop listening and taking it to heart. Each mother’s situation with her newborn baby is different. Parenting decisions will also vary for every couple. Sometimes I find people very judgemental when they give their opinions and advice. Just because it did not work out for them, doesn’t mean that it won’t work out for others. Mummy feels sometimes she’s not getting the support she needs for her own personal beliefs and decisions. Everything seems to revolve around what other people are doing or have done and what’s the best method as advertised on the Internet. I know baby, sometimes mummy will feel sad at night by her bedside … wondering what to do after being boggled by various information. Mummy just wants to be a good mother to you, but she still doesn’t know what’s best. Recently, an ex co-worker from Canada introduced a lady, who is a lactation expert, to mummy through Facebook. She was very kind to help mummy out with any questions on breastfeeding. Mummy felt much better after reading her replies, especially when she told mummy:
“Your baby won’t be found in a book. Look at your baby and let them guide you.”
Mummy has to be strong and remind herself of this. Also, mummy believes the decision to stay home and look after a baby is not for someone else to decide or influence. As long as it is agreed upon both husband and wife, that’s all that matters. Why should somebody else tell you it will ruin your womanhood if you become a stay-at-home mother? Some people will comment that our generation is so spoiled nowadays whereby in the past, life was tough and both parents had to work really hard to find income for the family. But is the comparison fair? We did not ask to be provided with a better life now. We grew up in different eras. The point is we will do what we need to do as parents at that point in time. Yes, nowadays babies like you are so fortunate, especially if mummy and daddy can afford to buy you all these items to care and nurture you. Back in grandma and grandpa’s days, this probably wasn’t the case. No such thing as fancy and safe cribs which cost a bomb, car seats and transformer-like strollers, state-of-the-art toys, and all the other baby caring inventions out there in the market …
Are we doing the right thing? Are we making the right choices? How will we ever know? Oh my baby, mummy just wants you to be safe and healthy. If you are a good girl, you will make mummy and daddy happy. Our best gift to you is not the toys or material things you want in life. It will be the experience and knowledge for you to be able to survive well independently in this dog-eat-dog world. It will be the morality and family virtues that we will teach you to hold true to your heart in every aspect of your future life. It will be the love and support that we will provide wherever you’ll be and whenever you need it.
Guess what? At the doctor’s today, mummy got a nice souvenier for keepsakes … an copy of an ultrasound image of your baby face! Although, it wasn’t very clear, mummy was very happy and excited to see your chubby cheeks, and little impressions of your eyes, nose and lips. Doctor says your weight is estimated at 2.8 kg and that you seem to be doing fine in there. Suddenly, mummy can’t wait to see you, my dear baby!