the end of an era

soooo i gave up pumping two weeks ago and i won’t lie, it feels gooood! earlier in my pregnancy, i told myself i didn’t want to pump at work. later on i was like, k let’s try for two years. and then downgraded a bit to 18mo. reality is that i stopped at 16mo~

and no regrets, well, not much. i battled with low/“just enough” supply when pumping. alhamdulillah somehow Watermelon didn’t seem to have issues when latching, so my stresses was only when pumping.

when Watermelon turned one, we introduced fresh milk to her as a supplement. she didn’t finish her bottles whenever we served it at home, but she seemed to be doing fine in school, at least that’s what the teacher assured. i’m guessing peer pressure and a feeding schedule both have a part to play 🤷🏻‍♀️

at first i dropped from 3 to 2 pumping sessions and felt so free. then i noticed that my yield was getting reaaaally poor so i dropped further to 1 session per day. i discussed with NG who agreed that the low yield didn’t seem to be worth the effort (he was in charge of washing my bottles and flanges every night, hehe) and so i planned to stop in Ramadhan.

then work got really busy in the week before, and one day i ran into problems with the pump’s suction and felt so lazy and unmotivated to troubleshoot. that was when i knew it was my unplanned, last sesh ever. i took a good look at the nursing room and thanked it before leaving. lol dramatic eh? but really, i’m blessed that my small office set aside a decent nursing room for us mummies. in its hey days it even had an exclusive fridge, but it’s since broken down and been removed, and we are waiting for the new one to be purchased.

anyhoos, i found a pumping set up that worked for me. before i forget — and i’m sure i will — thought i’d record them down here for future reference. coz i wish for another squish in the distant future, and would want to also breastfeed and pump at work. but this time i think i’ll try pumping even when on maternity leave to build up a stash and help increase milk supply.

lastly, i’m ever so grateful for my two friends who generously passed me their frozen milk supplies and effectively become Watermelon’s ibu susuan-s. having their stash took off a lot of pressure from me to increase my production. i’ll always be indebted to them. may Allah swt reward them with abundance and grant them the highest of Jannah, aamiin!

pump stuff

– pump in office: spectra s2+
– pump at home: spectra s9
– flanges: maymom 21mm
– storage bottles: medela, because the maymom flanges are narrow neck
– storage bags: philips avent, but next time consider lansinoh’s for better design

bag stuff

– pump bag: jujube fuel cell (yay for “thinsulation”)
– ice pack: bought a thin plastic pack from qoo10 that i filled with water and froze overnight
– work bag: a small backpack from pierre cardin that fits the fuel cell nicely
– inside the fuel cell: 2 flanges, ice pack, 4 bottles for 3 pump sessions, and a spare storage bag for emergencies.

misc

– hands free bra: from simple wishes. two sets used in rotation. kept in a pouch, together with a permanent marker for writing on storage bags, and brought home every friday.
– small towel to lay on the table

milk management

– LIFO (last in, first out): on weekdays, that day’s yield would be served the next day. friday’s yield gets frozen in bags and then thawed on sunday night for monday’s feed.


a modest room which i sometimes looked forward to so that i could be left alone 😅 at its peak, there were 7 of us sharing it and all of us had to be on time. thank you for the memories, even if i’m so happy to graduate 💕

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lessons from travelling with baby and parents

alhamdulillah i’m back from travelling with parents and baby to london, paris, and amsterdam. learnt A LOT from this trip because we made so many mistakes. gonna log them here to help me remember for future trips insyaAllah:

1. don’t be too ambitious

we had the classic mentality of wanting to squeeze the most out of our europe flight. after all, if you’re going to spend 11-13h to fly somewhere, you might as well spend at least 2 weeks right? Continue reading

no shopping goal 2018: Q1 update

hello! hard to believe March has ended which means … time to do a quarterly update on my No Shopping Goal.

oh … i’ve been bad. and good. but mostly bad 🙈

wraps/carriers i bought

⁃ Carry Om Phoenix Fire: i’ve been admiring this purple to orange colourway for a long time. so when the weaver opened a draw for a right to buy this wrap, i entered my name. why? i don’t know. i didn’t think i would win but … i did. omg, panic. ha ha. the consolation is that i looove the wrap: the colours, the weave, and the wrap qualities. and i have been wanting to try her tencel so ok lah, happy jugak.

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staycay at The Residence in Bintan

we did a one night staycay earlier this month at Bintan’s The Residence to celebrate NG’s birthday. the hotel opened in Feb and is still a work in progress: there’s plenty of landscaping that’s not completed, and also the pathways have not been tarred. many activities were also not operating yet.

it was pretty empty when we checked in. most of our the neighbouring units were unoccupied, and we were pretty much the only guests for dinner that night at the “halal” restaurant. by that i mean the restaurant that also offers dishes with wine in it 🤦🏻‍♀️ ok takpe, moving on.

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fatima al-zahra – the leader of the women in jannah (course review)

once in a while, i come across learning materials that change my life.

aida azlin’s course on sayyida fatima az-zahra: leader of the women in jannah is one of them. it’s a 20-lesson online course conducted with her friend, fadhilah wahid.

i signed up out of curiosity because i realised that while we hear stories of nabi muhammad saw’s wives such as khadijah ra and aisha ra, i can’t seem to recall many stories of his daughter fatimah az-zahra. according to a hadith narrated by aisha ra, the Messenger saw had whispered in fatimah ra’s ear that she will be the leader of the women in jannah. masyaAllah.

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Watermelon is one!

Watermelon turned one without much fanfare. I was excited in the days leading up to it, but the day came and went, and she was still the Watermelon that we knew.

Chey. With all the hype I’d allowed myself to build, I thought she would transform overnight but no leh, never.

A birthday party was never on the cards because I think they look more stressful than enjoyable for the parents, and my plan is to throw one on her 5th birthday instead. InsyaAllah. I had a 5th birthday party myself and to this day I still remember some details of that day and still think of it as one of my happier childhood memories, alhamdulillah.

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umrah with baby

alhamdulillah, we fulfilled our intention to perform umrah with NG’s parents and Watermelon earlier this month.

i was anxious about what the experience with Watermelon was going to be like, but now that it’s over, i realise i need not have worried so much. alhamdulillah with God’s grace she was easy on us. save for a handful of cranky episodes, she was generally cheerful and slept well. bringing her to the mosque for congregational prayers was not too difficult — though Baby Bites (biscuits) quickly became the standard bribe 🤣

she had plenty of fans (“mashallah mashallah!”) and received a lot of kisses and sweets from strangers. the kisses, i mentally prepared myself that they might happen. so i made plenty of doa that Allah swt protects her from illnesses 😬 the sweet treats, i sacrificed myself and ate them on her behalf. you’re very welcome, Watermelon! mmyum.

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a public declaration: my “no shopping” goal

bismillahirrahmanirahim.

(that is how out of my comfort zone i am going out, starting with the basmalah, though technically it would be good for me to start every entry with that)

recently an IG friend posted about this NYT article on not shopping for an entire year. she then shared that since Eid 2017, she had done the same too after realising that she still had unworn outfits from previous years’ sales AND new packages were still arriving every so often. “it was a disease,” she mused.

and soooo i have decided to do the same, insyaAllah.

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what’s going on

feels like I haven’t had much to blog about, short of updating about the mundane stuff like what I feed Watermelon for dinner (not much), how many teeth she has (zero) and if she can walk (no, not yet).

the most exciting update is probably our plans to perform umrah soon-ish, InsyaAllah. the plan is for three of us plus my MIL and FIL to go in mid-January. we chose an off-peak period since none of us are tied to school holidays. omigosh please help to pray that Allah swt will ease our affairs! my biggest worry is how Watermelon will behave when I’m joining the congregational prayers. as cute and pouty as she is, she can be clingy/insecure when she doesn’t have her hand on any part of my body so … good luck to us girrrl. other things I’m worried about are whether we can keep her sufficiently warm in the cool temperature, and how she is going to behave on the plane and on the long bus rides 😔

if anybody has tips on performing umrah with a 1 yo baby, please share! 😘

we went to KL late last month, for a super short 2d 2n trip with friends. 9mo Watermelon on a plane ride is much different from her 4mo self when we went to Krabi. this time she didn’t want to sleep and instead was very interested in the various flyers in the seat pocket, including the bak kut teh ad at the back of the magazine. astaghfirullah sis, mengucap! anyway, luckily it was just a 45 min flight but I already dread our next flight…

because we had limited time in KL, we planned a super packed programme on our full day there. it was so long that Watermelon got maaaad cranky at the end of it. even all that babywearing couldn’t save her. I learnt that babies will always need a safe and quiet place to retreat to. there’s a limit to how long you can bring them out for, even if you keep them close to you in a carrier.

what else… ooh, Aunt Flo appeared in my life again! at about 10 months post partum, not bad huh. what this means is baby number two, here we come!!! ok, ok, I kid. hold on, let me scoop NG’s heart from the floor and put it back inside him. I mean, I would really love a number two (and three! and four! cue major 7.0 on the Richter scale eye roll from my husband) but I don’t think we’re ready, if we can help it. of course if Allah swt should decide that it is our rezeki soon, then I would say Alhamdulillah, now let me shop for a newborn woven wrap… #buyallthewraps

lastly, I figured some time back that since I don’t have enough themes to group my thoughts into blog posts, I could turn to … microblogging. hee. I’ve been tweeting at @krakentweets. so that’s where all the mundane stuff have been hiding, actually. hope to see you there?