February 2020: Confinement with Chickpea

The month was spent in confinement with Chickpea … at least in theory :p Looking back, the days have melted together and kinda flew by, which shows that I didn’t have it too bad, I guess? Let me try to recall the highlights …

Mama Kraken came over the first week to help us bathe Chickpea. Even though NG has experience bathing newborn Watermelon, having my mum come over was really good because it gave us more time to ease into being a family of 4.

My makcik urut (massage lady) also came by in the first 2 weeks. The massages were great, and we had lots of pleasant chats. I think she took a liking to Watermelon, who was being her usual chatty and friendly self whenever they met. Makcik urut also said some things which were kinda cute, such as “babies born with lots of hair would have caused their mums to suffer incontinence during pregnancy, because the hair tickles the mum’s bladder.” I mean Chickpea did come with a head full of hair and I did suffer from incontinence quite a bit this time, but REALLY MEH? Hahaha. Something else she said was that her daughter didn’t have good milk supply for one of her kids, probably because she didn’t drink enough milk during pregnancy. Errr I don’t think got link leh. But anyhoos I still adore this makcik very much. I thought I would be emotional when our 7 sessions ended — at a similar juncture three years ago, I remember crying coz I was sooo sad — but this time I didn’t! And even felt some relief?? I think because as a second time mum I felt a little burdened by our sessions which clashed with Watermelon’s getting ready routine in the morning. The traces of massage oil in my hair also meant I would feel icky about it in the evening. I don’t remember being bothered about this the first time round.

Confinement food by Sizzling Dyyana was great! The mental un-load was amazing. Didn’t have to think about what to cook or where to eat/order from. Her service is sooo good, which you know, can’t be said about many Malay service providers #jangankecamsis I cannot rave about the food the same way I’ve seen other mummies enthusiastically do on IG, but I appreciated how nutritious they were. We cut down our 30d package to about 25d though.

Breastfeeding the first month was smooth overall EXCEPT for the engorgement episode around my 7th/8th day. Oh lordy. So Chickpea was a sleepy newborn. She would latch and then KO in the crook of my arm minutes later. “Great!” I thought, “my breastfeeding session is so short! This baby falls asleep so easily!” But thennn I learnt that it’s NOT a good thing when your breast doesn’t get emptied sufficiently. There was one day where my boobs were so sore, they hurt pretty bad. I felt weak, lost my appetite, and got chills. It was pretty awful, and like nothing I’d experienced before. Luckily makcik urut came to my rescue the next day. Oddly she said I didn’t have lumps or blocked ducts. I made sure to get more rest and alhamdulillah I got better. I learnt to prompt Chickpea to nurse for longer so that the milk clears out. I also tried to get more sleep at night instead of wasting time browsing on my phone even though Chickpea had long KO’ed in my arms. Supply wise, it feels like I have more this round, alhamdulillah. Haven’t tried pumping (though NG has been pushing me to, nah sorry not yet k) but I’ve been collecting milk here and there using the Haakaa and have built a small stash, which is not bad considering my pump still sits BNIB in my cupboard. Heh.

Recovery-wise, my discomfort in the first few days felt more acute than after Watermelon’s birth. I felt a teeny less mobile this round. Nonetheless my stitches healed without me noticing, so it’s still good. Unfortunately I was unlucky this round because I suffered from piles. It took me weeks to figure out what it was. I always thought piles/haemorrhoids was similar to prolapse, because I didn’t know they could also exist internally. Sometimes it caused major discomfort, which led to me feeling extra grumpy some days. Out of all the home treatments that I googled, soaking in a sitz bath was most accessible, so I tried to do that. Even then, it wasn’t so easy to set aside the time, with a toddler and newborn around, but I tried to grab my chance whenever I could.

Emotions wise, I felt very upset in the early days that I was getting less visitors than I did with Watermelon. Mostly it translated into feeling lonely, neglected, disconnected, and forgotten. I think it being baby no. 2 + Covid virus outbreak led to lesser visits, which unexpectedly sucked for me. I happened to order myself an adult colouring book and a nice new set of colour pencils, and sitting down to indulge in mindful/mindless colouring helped cheer myself up quite a bit. Now that confinement is unofficially over and officially almost over (we’re two days away from day 40) I can go out, make mummy dates and insyaAllah feel less lonely.

Oh, a social highlight though was being added to a whatsapp chat with 3 other mums who are all second-time mums due around the same time. Bonus is we all live in Tampines which is grrreat for meeting up in the neighbourhood. Alhamdulillah! While I was very compliant with Watermelon and stayed at home during confinement, save for trips to my in laws’, this time I went out for breakfast dates with NG and to hang out with these mums. Guess my circumstances were different this round, and going out felt better for my sanity.

Watermelon has been quite a sweet, patient, and loving kakak. She oftens asks to hold Chickpea in her lap, then will ask me to remove Chickpea about 30s later. Chet, buang current only.

My biggest adjustment that I’m working on is the inordinate amount of time it takes us to get ready to leave the house. From unironed clothes to spontaneous nursing breaks, our new getting ready routine feels extra long now!

Oh and learning how to prioritise tasks better: things that should be done while baby is asleep, and things that I can multi-task while nursing (usually the frivolous things like chatting on WA or checking FB/IG for the millionth time).

Ok that’s all for now. I feel like I don’t do much around the house, yet the days fly by so quickly. It’s a beautiful season. Love my little girls!


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