Back to work!

Alhamdulilah, today was Day #1 of going back to the office for me. Hello Axiom Learning! It’s so good to be back. I’ve missed being in the office. Family-friendly offices are the best for working mamas. (Supportive managers and colleagues? Check. Private space to express milk? Check. Fridge to store milk? Check. Overall family-friendly vibe? CHECK!)

Of course, kudos goes to my amazing babysitting team ❤ It takes a village to raise a baby. Truly.

Although I’ve been working as an online counsellor for SeekersHub Global (another amazing team of people to work with!) since Taskeen was a few months old….it sure is nice to physically leave my home and interact with adults and children. AH, I LOVE BEING OUTSIDE. I also love being able to miss my baby. Nyaw.

Now. How to juggle everything. Duas, please!

What? It’s already April?

So yes, hello again! Alhamdulilah, we’ve survived Taskeen’s 9 month sleep regression, which started at 7 months. Apparently there’s a 12 month one too. *cry* And she has teeth now! So many more to go. Oh, this first year of parenthood is something else. But one look at her toothy smile and OH THE PAIN IS GONE. All the pain. #mumnesia

Malaysia is in the midst of a heatwave. Yes, this already hot climate is even hotter. Keep hydrated, mummies and bubs. Daddies too, so you can keep helping. Survive one day at a time.

Here’s a great article on postnatal depletion by Pinky McKay. If you or someone you love is looking after a baby, please read it and share. If you’re looking for a great naturopath, I recommend Julide Turker. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia. Her ethical, compassionate and empowering diet/lifestyle tips and supplements have made a world of a difference in my journey through recovering from birth and surviving motherhood.

 

Daily Life article on the value of postnatal lie-ins

Check out my latest article on Daily Life  – The Value of The Asian Tradition of Postpartum Lie-Ins.

Having access to this rich tradition is one of the best parts of living in KL. I love how it’s just so understood here that hey, every new mum needs some TLC after the marathon of pregnancy and birth. Four and a half months on and I’m still exhausted lol but I’m grateful for the rest I had in the beginning.

To my fantastic postnatal care team – thank you! You were all so amazing ❤

Here’s to giving every new mum & bub the chance to catch their breaths by giving them the support they need ❤

Four month sleep regression AKA #sopainful

When Taskeen was freshly earthside and I was shocked by the intensity of first-time motherhood, some kind and experienced mums told me that:

1) It’ll get easier at 6-8 weeks

2) It’ll get easier after 3 months.

In both cases, things did get easier. By the time Taskeen was 3 months, we had a great daytime and nighttime routine, I could start writing again, the haze was clearing up…life was getting significantly better.

AND THEN SHE TURNED FOUR MONTHS.

Oh. Mah. Gosh. What happened to my daytime nap champion who nursed easily and slept pretty well at night?!

Hello even greater levels of sleep deprivation. I whatsapped my faithful mummy global support group (Sydney! KL! California!) and posted on IBU forums, and they gave reassuring replies that sounded like, “Wow yeah that four months stage. EW. Just nap. OK? It’ll get better. Promise. Make lots of dua!”

Some links helped, like these:

Wakeful 4 months old

A reminder about sleep regressions

So it wasn’t just me! This four month torturous phase was like, a real thing.

I loved this one – Wonder Week 19 AKA Four Month Sleep Regression

I bought the Wonder Weeks app from iTunes. Rah, I should’ve listened to you and bought it sooner lol. The app reminded me that Taskeen is going through a growth spurt and she’ll come out of this stronger, inshaAllah.

On the upside to my baby’s almost constant fussiness – she’s doing so many cool new and amazing things! She’s rolling, lifting up her chest from tummy time position, glaring at her hands and grunting in this OBEY ME! way. So cute. MashaAllah. All good things.

If your baby is going through the same thing as mine….hang in there. You are not alone! The constant crankiness of an inconsolable baby is so exhausting, I know 😦 But it’s because your little munchkin is growing and changing in wonderful ways.

Coping strategies

  1. Please ask for help! Motherhood is relentless, so reach out to your loved ones.
  2. When nothing you seem to do is helping your cranky baby, take deep breaths, put your baby in the cot/daybed/somewhere safe, walk away, and come back. This fussing is normal.
  3. Wear your baby and go for a stroll around the block. It’ll clear your head and he/she might even fall asleep. Bonus.
  4. Read up other mummy blogs who have gone through the same thing and survived.
  5. Do daily relaxing things for yourself. This could mean massaging your feet, reading a book, or having a cup of tea.

Before you know it, your little one will be 5 months and you can all sleep easier 🙂

(Alas, there’s the 9 month sleep regression which is like the Godzilla version of the tiny 4 month sleep regression. CRY.)

The Breastfeeding Diaries

I absolutely loved this read “Why is my baby breastfeeding AGAIN? 75 reasons your baby needs to feed (besides hunger)” This was such a sweet, funny and encouraging read for all mummies who are breastfeeding their bubs.

My personal favourites, from the list:

5) It’s night and I can’t see you, so I need to touch and smell and taste you.

69) Morning snuggles are the best!

Nyaw! Both points help with the chronic sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn. If anyone reading this has any pointers on gentle sleep training, please share! I’ve heard wonderful things about Tresilian, but alas, I’m living in KL and don’t have access to their sleep residency (?) program. They offer online chats though, from 5-11 pm Sydney time! So cool.

I still remember the haze of those early newborn days and weeks. Myer ‘organic’ maternity camisoles are the best. Thanks, Khad ❤ Having a lot of milk-boosting oats (yum) and fenugreek tea (not so yum) really helped me establish a good milk supply, alongside feeding on demand. A little discomfort is normal at first, but breastfeeding isn’t meant to hurt. Get the help of a lactation consultant if you need to – I know I was texting my mummy friends and the wonderful Nadine Ghows (“Is this NORMAL? She’s feeding every 2 hours!!”).

It’s so different breastfeeding my baby girl now she’s 4 months! She’s a champion roller and super distractible. Our nursing conversations sound something like this:

“Taskeen, that’s just the dogs outside. Oh that’s thunder. Don’t worry, you’re safe with mummy. Wow, yes, that’s the sound of the rain! It’s OK. Just drink. Haha. Such a cute smile you’re giving mummy!* OK go back to drinking. Please drink sayang, or you’ll get hungry soon. Haha. Still smiling at me. Funny baby.”

* I sound like Yoda lol