Sniffles and Cries

Time really flies when watching children grow up. Our holiday has come to an end. Travelling has come to a halt (temporarily) and hubby has returned to work. We won’t see each other again for another six weeks.

In the last two weeks, we have traveled by air to Hong Kong to visit my in-laws and their family as well as by car to Penang for a beach getaway. Now, we are back home recuperating from a viral infection that has gotten to my mother, Emma, myself, and now my husband. It is not fun when the whole family is sick, especially when baby can’t sleep well at night with a congested nose and slight fever. I am not sure how we ended up agreeing to two holiday trips back-to-back. It was definitely tiring, especially when the trip ended with a grumpy and ill baby. None of us got much sleep, and as expected recovery for me was not as quick since I was down with the flu too.

All in all, it was a pretty good holiday. The trip to Hong Kong wasn’t as pleasant though. Emma could not rest well on the plane, and by the time we reached the hotel, it was already past her bedtime. She was not a happy camper. As a result, she was very fussy and clingy to me the entire trip. She was crying most of the time on the plane, and at one point she cried really hard. I felt pity for the guy sitting next to us. It is difficult not to feel embarrassed when the whole plane can hear your baby fuss. Although, little Emma was very amused by the guy’s shoes as we were taxi-ing to the gate. He was shaking his leg and had these white sneakers with red shoelaces on. I guess she was very entertained by the movement of the shoes. I think that was the only time on the plane; after few hours of fussing, she was happily smiling. The subsequent days in Hong Kong weren’t exactly great too. I’m glad my family understood we couldn’t go gallivanting with them on their schedules because of Emma. I’ve been trying to push her bedtime past 7 pm, but it isn’t working. She just doesn’t nap well enough during the day. I want to believe so bad that I am not the only mother experiencing this. I get so annoyed and angry when everyone around is judging me and my baby. I have not heard much encouragement from others. It has all been you-should-do-this-you-should-do-that kind of talk. That’s why I think I need to find more mummy friends in my area to keep my sanity in place. I think it would do Emma some good to socialize with other children.

In Hong Kong, it was my first time bathing with her in the tub. I think she enjoyed it very much. It was also much easier to wash her since she was sitting on me in the tub. Dressing her up in winter clothes was fun. She looked so lovely and even more adorable with those winter hats. I’m glad I took many photos of her during this trip. Emma got spoiled rotten with a lot more new toys from my in-laws. At least, that kept her from fussing in the day. We tried as much to accommodate her naps by returning to the hotel to rest more frequently. I got to meet up with my old varsity mates too. It was a pleasant reunion and dim sum was really delicious in Hong Kong. Taxi drivers in Hong Kong are scary though. If it is not their driving, it is their attitude. We did not try taking the train because of Emma. Besides, the hotel we are staying at is far away from the main city area. Even though the temperature wasn’t as cold as we thought it would be, the winds were still quite strong. I believe it is quite dry as well. Emma’s cheeks got patchy red. But as soon as we got back to Malaysia, her cheeks were back to normal the next day. It’s amazing how a baby’s skin heals so fast!!

As for milestones, my baby girl has mastered rolling from her back onto her tummy. Although, she seems to be preferentially rolling to her left. She is also sitting upright very well now. This makes her whole world more fun. She can play with her toys while sitting. It also gives her more room to move her hands around freely to grab stuff. Recently, she has started passing objects from one hand to another. Not to mention, she now puts everything in her mouth … . There was one morning, I slept in a little longer since I was not feeling well. My mom and hubby looked after her while I rested. When I woke up, hubby brought Emma to see me on our bed. He sat her down about 3 feet away from me. She was excited to see me, and the next thing I knew she lunged forward onto her tummy. It was peculiar but hilarious at the same time! Perhaps, she was trying to get closer to me. I would like to think that is the case 🙂 So far, she has only done it twice. However, I can see that she is trying to figure out how to move from a sitting position. She definitely wants to be crawling and walking all over … I see it in her eyes.

Our beach getaway in Penang was fun. Emma loved the swimming pool. It was nice that there were many children swimming in the pool as well. She didn’t quite like the beach. The waves were rough, and I think she was a bit startled by the whole exposure. We tried playing sand on the beach, but my hubby was the one more concerned of building a sandcastle and a fort. He was digging like he wanted to tunnel to India. Emma just sat and watched with a neutral expression the whole time. Since the winds were so strong, I decided it was best we head back to the pool where it was more calm and relaxing. I believe she knew we were on a holiday. This trip wasn’t as bad as the Hong Kong one in terms of getting sufficient rest and being less clingy to mama. The downside was we all ended up getting sick. My mom actually got it first. The second day we were there, she said she was feeling feverish. Emma got sick the day before we were leaving for home. At first, she was fine in the morning. After her second nap, she kept making a soft grunting noise, as if something was uncomfortable. We were at the poolside having lunch at the time, and I remember feeling her head and she did feel a little warm. It was the day where we had booked a spot for our spa. Our hotel room included a spa package, and so we planned it out with my parents so that one of us can take turns looking after Emma. When we got back to the hotel room, and checked her temperature, we found out she had a slight fever. She was hungry and ready for a nap, and so I fed her milk. My biggest mistake was orally feeding her the medication – Paracetamol. She spewed out milk all over the edge of the bed. And was crying hard. We tried the second time after cleaning her up, and she spewed up a little more milk. We decided to quit the oral medication and put her to sleep. While she was trying to nap, we had to leave for our spa already, and so my dad came over to watch her. My mom was still resting since she was sick. Therefore, I can honestly say I didn’t quite relax the whole time at the spa. I was worrying about Emma. True enough, when we got back to the room, she was awake and crying. Apparently, she didn’t actually nap. I guess she woke up hungry and wanting more milk since she spewed up most of it. My dad fumbled a bit while looking after her and she did vomit the third time after he tried feeding her milk. My poor baby girl didn’t want to drink much milk after that. It was a tiring night as well since she kept waking up every hour, crying. I had to comfort her back to sleep each time. So when morning came, we quickly searched for the nearest pediatrician. I believe the doctor was alright. I just wasn’t expecting that my baby would be screaming her lungs out as the doctor help lower her fever. You see, my mother told me that whenever we have a fever we should sweat it out. That would mean putting ourselves in a hot environment, e.g. no air-conditioning, wearing more layers. Little did I know that we shouldn’t be doing that to babies. We adults can regulate our body temperature well. But babies do not know how. Therefore, we have to help them cool their body, and that would mean sponge bathing them, and letting them wear light clothing. So the doctor showed me how to sponge bath her. Emma was screaming the whole time, and I am sure she was frightened by the whole ordeal. Besides the water that the doctor was using wasn’t exactly warm water. I could see the look on my husband’s face, he was terrified listening to his baby girl cry this hard. True enough, her temperature wasn’t rising as fast when we checked with the thermometer again.

And that was how our trip ended. We spent most of our time in bed and looking after Emma during Christmas as well. No parties, no fancy dinners or anything fun. All of us were pretty ill. She is getting better now, and her milk intake is slowly getting back to normal. Using the nasal spray on her was a challenge. The doctor had given us one to help with the congestion in her nose, thinking that might be one of the reasons she wasn’t feeding well. This was definitely a two-person job. One to lock her head down in position, and the other to spray the solution into her nostrils. She probably hates us for that. 

Now it is time to usher in the New Year. Soon it will be Chinese New Year as well. I will be heading on the jetplane again in three weeks time. Hopefully by then Emma has gotten use to the way we travel around on a plane. Although, I am thinking of skipping her out on our next trip up to North America. I think it would be unfair for her to go through such torture in a what already is an uncomfortable and tiring journey for adults. If she cannot do well with a 4-hour flight to Hong Kong, I don’t think we will all do well in a 24-hour journey to North America. She isn’t missing out much if she ain’t sitting on that plane back to Canada. Too bad for my friends who won’t get to meet her so soon. That’s why we have Facebook!

Wishing all a Happy New Year and may 2014 bring many more blessings to our lives! 

Buddha teaches us: it is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Life isn’t about winning over other and being at the top. It is about accepting who you are and gracefully, responsibly living it with all your heart.

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