Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Engku Amira Syireen - The Baby

Arabic Meaning: 

The name Amira is an Arabic baby name. In Arabic the meaning of the name Amira is:Princess


Sweet; pleasant, gentle; delicate

amira's name was actually put up for voting. her brothers were asked to choose and rank 6 names according to their preference. final decision was made by hubby. amira wasn't the first choice for all of the brothers but it was ranked quite high by all and was hubby's preferred choice, based on the meaning. syireen was chosen by me, i've had it in my list for 10 years, ever since i was pregnant with amir. 

amira was very small when she was born, 2.7kg on the dot, the smallest of the 5, even smaller than akmal. we, my gynea and i, already knew she won't hit 40 weeks and born on the edd of 4 november 2015. she was 37 weeks when she was born, on hubby's birthday, 17 days before the edd.

because of her size, she could not take in a lot at each feed and can only drink an average of 2oz per feed. sometimes more, sometimes less. her best feed is if its divided into 2 smaller feeds within an hour. she likes a little over 1 oz first, rest for a bit then continue to finish her bottle a short while later. that's her favorite style of feeding and it would let her sleep for 3 hours after.

initially, she drank so little that she would feed every 30 minutes. oh the torture part 1! then she adjusted her feed and i adjusted her feed and she's able to take in more and sleep longer *phew*

amira also hated the air-cond in her first week. she would grumble when she was with hubby and i in my hospital room but slept peacefully when sent to the nursery. at home, she cried and fussed when the air-cond was on that i had to switch it off and sleep with the fan on at night. oh the torture part 2! akmal was the same, no air-cond for a whole month. but that too changed once amira changed her feeding style. now she's ok with the air-cond on, much to akmal's pleasure.

other than those 2 hiccups, alhamdulillah, amira's pretty easy to handle. she's ok with slightly warm milk and cooled milk (since she feeds in 2 parts). she's ok with cool-ish bath water (since we don't have a water heater). she's able to fall asleep on her own without being rocked or patted (like her 3 brothers, except asyraf). she sleeps really well in the morning, enabling me to settle myself, enjoy my breakfast and clean up after the boys, who usually leave the kitchen in somewhat of a mess before leaving for school. she sleeps in the afternoon as well, enabling me to sort out her brothers between school runs.

amira's doted upon by her brothers. no, not because she's a girl but because they really, really wanted a baby to dote upon. they're all around the same age and have never fully experienced a pregnancy and a delivery and a baby in the house. asyraf probably felt he was born with 2 younger brothers. with amira's arrival, its a whole new experience for them - the baby smell, the cries, the bath time, the ickle clothes, the diaper change, the bottle feeding - the boys are enjoying learning everything about babies.

the past 10 days have been quite hectic for the family but is slowly taking shape and calm down. everyone's aware of what they are supposed to do, whether they actually do them or need the parental nagging to get them going, that's besides the point because when do they actually do what they're supposed to do, right?

confinement alone at home is, for me, the best style of confinement. because there's no one hovering over my shoulders, i am almost stress-free at certain times of the day that it transfers to amira (note - stress is always there, don't get me wrong) and makes her so relaxed and calm. it was the same with ariff and akmal. during both times, and this time with amira, i feel energized and refreshed and not at all weak and pressured. of course i do have help, especially with house cleaning and ironing and with my meals (which i prepared before delivery) and i don't overdo any cleaning up that i do partake in during my confinement.

here's to another low-stress and relaxing 7 weeks. engku amira syireen, just stay the way you are, except sleep longer at night.

Engku Amira Syireen - The Pictures

a day old amira…

coming home from the hospital…

with her parents and four brothers...

we love her hair…

what she does every morning…

with her very first visitors…

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week 37 - The Arrival

almost everything about this pregnancy is somewhat out of my control. with the previous four, i could estimate and guess and expect, but not for this one. from the conception, to the tiredness i felt, to trying to handle four growing, schooling boys and be on top with my own health while managing them, to the gender, i found it hard to be in control.

i wanted to at least be able to choose the delivery date, if i was not able to control everything else. firstly it has to be after akmal's concert. secondly, i targeted the 20th as the date as i wanted to match asyraf's date, just like ariff matched amir's date. but my gynae was having none of that. she initially noted down the 15th as the delivery date but since it was before akmal's concert, we met in the middle, she said immediately after the concert and nothing later than that.

so there it was, the 19th was to be the delivery date and i had to control any signs, or rather be aware of signs, if there were any between the check-up on friday and the chosen delivery date on monday. my gynae advised me to rest and stay off my feet. can't believe she still don't know me after all these years, when have i been able to stay off my feet. i spent the weekend doing loads and loads of laundry, packing the hospital bags, packing the boys' bags for their stay with tssc, packing their school bags (although last minute decisions were made for schools to be closed from monday til thursday due to haze). and then there's hubby's birthday dinner and, of course, akmal's concert.

surprisingly i didn't feel the contraction increasing or feel any other indication, other than the regular, constant contraction. because of that, i wanted to put off the delivery for another day and still stick to the 20th. but hubby hinted (ok, so he told me direct to my face) that he had a footie match on the 20th, so again, out of my control, 19th it is.

with all bags packed and either kept in the car or already sent to damansara, and a load of laundry settled the night before, and the boys still in their jammies, we left home quite early on monday morning. the traffic wasn't too bad and we were at the hospital entrance shortly after 8am. hubby continued on to send the boys to tssc's house and i went to register and was brought up to the maternity ward.

my gynae was actually slightly behind us in the morning rush and was in my room just as i changed into the hospital gown. there wasn't time for the nurses to do a ctg scan but i told the gynae, the contraction is not often, i monitored about once in 10 minutes. i was skeptical it would actually happen today but once she broke the water bag, there was no turning back. contraction and epidural, here we come!

i was wheeled into the labour room immediately after my gynae left the room and waited for the anesthetist for the happydural to be given. hubby still had not arrived from sending the boys and i was getting scared. i actually had nightmares about the epidural this time. i knew i wanted it but i was petrified of the shot and the feeling that came immediately after.

alhamdulillah, hubby arrived just seconds before dr hilmi came and it was now or never. once the shot was given and the epidural was in, i said 'well…that wasn't so bad'. it was 10am and the waiting game begins. with ariff, i only had to wait til 11.30am, the other boys were delivered between 2-3pm. will this one be the same. going back to being out of control, i'm guessing it won't. amir and ariff were making non-stop calls, asking if the was baby out and what was taking the doctor so long.

the hours passed very slowly. hubby went to have breakfast and went to see his orthopaedic surgeon, i played township, switched on a quran recital app on my iPad, had late breakfast and then early (but light) lunch which hubby finished, he moved the car from the valet to the indoor parking lot, took pictures, slept, we did everything we could do with me being immobile, all wired and dripped and him sitting on the lone chair in the room. we were bored out of our minds. even the baby was bored and fell asleep around midday, the nurse had to come in to stimulate and wake her up (that scared me a bit, honestly). the contraction was still regular and constant, 10 minutes apart.

around 4.30pm, my gynae came in, looking tired. she had 3 operations during the day and i was her last patient. she was a bit confused why there was little progress the whole day and then said…ahhh…let's get the tonic in and the midwife quickly added another drip. dr hilmi came in and went out several times, telling us, its going to be a night baby. oh please no, i'm bored! the midwife took pity on me and said, let the drip do its job and she'll check in an hour's time.

at 5.30pm sharp, the midwife came in, checked the dilation and laughed, that's it, 9cm, let's get ready. i was so relieved. the doctor said she'll be up as soon as she finished praying and was in the room by 6pm. she briefed hubby and i of some changes the hospital had adopted over the years. she said the baby will not be cleaned and will have a longer skin-to-skin with the mother compared to my previous deliveries, where the boys were put on me long enough for the doctor to clean me up before they were taken to be cleaned, weighed and everything else. she also said hubby had the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord which he was happy to do.

the actual birth felt like hours, but it took me just 3 pushes (3 very tiring pushes! - i thought i would faint after the second one, i don't know where i found the will to push further) and lasted just 8 minutes before the baby slipped out and into the doctor's hands and immediately put on my stomach and the doctor gave hubby the cue to cut the umbilical cord (i wish there was a picture of this). my eyes immediately went to confirm the gender (sobs!) and then gave out a sudden shout of 'alhamdulillah!' when the doctor said 'goodness, she's so fair'.

it was a bit tense after that as the baby was breathing too loudly and had too much fluid in her lungs. the baby was taken to clear her airway and then put back on me several times, as the midwife was not satisfied with her lungs and breathing. she wasn't crying much and had wanted to sleep. once the doctor was settled, she bid us farewell. the baby was weighed and checked, hubby was alternating between taking pictures after pictures, entertaining the boys' screams and questions on facetime and carrying the baby while i just wanted a shower, a good meal and a long night's sleep.

a little after 8pm, i was wheeled back into the room, had dinner and waited for the numbness to wear off. alhamdulillah, even though it was a long labour, the longest out of the five, it was quite easy and smooth. the epidural started to wear off and i was able to walk not long after i got back to the room.

a couple hours after that, our new baby, was brought to the room for her first bonding session with her parents and torture her mummy with her hourly cries for feed and cuddle.


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
Images by Freepik