A month later, I'm starting to realise how different second-time motherhood has been for me compared to when I had Dylan.
D's arrival startled me - not only because we realized how ill-prepared we were to deal with the "aftermath" - the night wakings, how a baby changes the dynamics in our marriage, the constant need for attention, the rocking and cuddling, and figuring out what the baby needs from his cries.
D's arrival startled me into wondering about life's starting point: if God made us to be eternal where was little D's starting point? How did we all begin?
He made me think deeply, and fear deeply, about my own mortality - that one day I won't be around anymore for him.
With Baby G, this time round, I read up more - a LOT MORE - to bump up our knowledge so we don't just rely on our experience alone.
I also learnt to pray - and to depend on God to guide and to provide where I feel my strength and wisdom is lacking, and to shape the character of this baby I'm only starting to get to know.
But altogether, second time round, D and G's well-being is topmost in my mind, and I find my concerns being far more prosaic, far less visceral and spiritual.
This time round, I made sure to go the full nine yards to get the best treatment - hence I hired a proper confinement nanny and a lady who came in for seven days to massage and jamu wrap me up!
The real reason, other than wanting to recover, is that this time, I'd like to give full breast-feeding a real shot. The last time round, I was just so exhausted and so insecure about my milk supply that I couldn't give Dylan the full benefits of being fully breastfed. This time, I am determined to make it work.
Now, in our 5th week of getting to know each other, little G and I are finally establishing a semblance of a routine. He's growing well. At this morning's check, our five-week old weighed in at a hefty 5.3kg and 56cm long. Not too bad!
Speaking with other moms and sharing stories about what is normal and what isn't also has helped ease a lot of my insecurities about full nursing.
For instance, not stressing out about how much milk I should be producing, and just letting baby latch for as long as he wants has helped.
I had forgotten if it was normal for babies to not poop for so many days is another example. G had been poop-less for four days (but he finally did the dirty today, thank God!).
He's also a very flatulent baby! For a breastfed baby he smells like he's had steak and french onion soup for dinner! Again, it seems G isn't alone is the stink department, going by the experience of other recent mommies. Phew... and Pew!
So many thanks to friends and family who's been giving us the support this time, especially as hubby's absence is much felt.
Here's a picture with A, my confinement nanny who's been responsible for cooking yummy and tonic food, and taking bathing, diaper changing and baby rocking out of my hands so that I can rest:
We brought D and G to my office to distribute cakes and tarts, and little D lent his weight in helping mommy prepare the gifts:
"Where do you want these labels to go again?"
Last night, we had a little Chen family celebration, and the little troopers all gathered to sing a birthday song for Gareth with a candle on yummy Durian mooncakes:
The star of the show, with Po Po: