$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: 1 Month as a Parent

Sunday, January 17, 2021

1 Month as a Parent

It has been about a month since the birth of Baby Ong and we just "celebrated" her full/first month.

The journey till date wasn't an easy one. The first few days were the worst and most stressful as we were constantly worried about her not having enough breast milk and we didn't know why she was crying/not sleeping. It was extremely hard to get her to go to sleep. Imagine in the middle of the night (2/3 am), spending 1-2 hours trying to coax her to sleep before we can get some sleep too. Honestly, it was just so tiring!

The worst part was during our first PD visit (about one week later), she had to be separated from us and was admitted to the hospital for phototherapy as her jaundice level was too high (290+). As tiring as it was, we still preferred to have her by our side. It was such an emotional day that CZM and I cried and hugged each other to sleep consoling each other that we can finally have a good sleep/rest. Having a baby/child really changes one's mentality.

Even until now, her jaundice level is still relatively high (~140+ that's why she looks so tanned above, probably from the phototherapy and whenever we could "sun" her) and we are still monitoring now. The PD said it is likely breastmilk jaundice which should be harmless but we just can't stop worrying. In addition, she still has to draw blood to do various tests and it pains us to see that happening. On the bright side, PD said she's growing up well, putting on 1.4kg since birth. She's 4.1 kg now (~50 percentile).

If we could turn back time, I will invest all my money in Bitcoin/Tesla. Hahaha. Jokes aside, the one thing we would have done differently is to get a confinement lady. The transition was simply too sudden and rough. CZM's parents offered to help/do her confinement and we thought it was an excellent idea since who else would have taken better care of CZM. We moved back to her parents' place with the intention to stay for a few months in order for CZM to get as much support as possible. 

Unfortunately, the difference in opinions on how to look after the baby gave us too much additional stress that we decided to move back home immediately after CZM's confinement was over. Some examples:
- Whenever we carry the baby to coax her to sleep, they would say we are spoiling her. Kept asking us to leave her on the cot and let her cry to sleep. Read - Can You Spoil a Newborn? 
- Baby needs about 16 hours of sleep time. Assuming the baby got to eat every 3 hours, that's 8 feeds. In order to get the 16 hours of sleep, we would need to change the diaper, feed, and coax her back to sleep within an hour but her parents always insisted that the baby should have playtime and don't need to sleep so much. Read - Newborn and Baby Sleep Basics.
- We hate it the most when the baby's sleep is being disturbed. Whenever relatives come over to visit and they would always offer/ask the relative to carry the baby when she's sleeping. While we understand that relatives are excited and would like to play with the baby, we would still prefer to have the baby's sleep prioritized.

Having said that, we really appreciate all the help that was provided (no need to do any household chores for one month!) and one of the reasons for getting confinement lady is so that it wouldn't be so tiring for her parents too. CZM's mum got to wake up early to buy fresh food from the market and cook for her. So if you are considering getting a confinement lady or getting your own parents to help, I will recommend the former to avoid any unnecessary conflict and you will have one whole month to learn how to take care of the baby.

This tip is from CZM. For those that are intending to breastfeed, do invest/buy a handsfree pump. It gives her the flexibility to do so many things (eat, watch tv/mobile, cook, etc.) while pumping. The only thing you can't do is sleep. lol. Even if you are planning to let the baby latch, you would still need to pump to prevent engorgement. If you are wondering, CZM is using Imani Handsfree Electrical Breastpump i2.

We received some red packets/money from relatives, friends, and colleagues as well as the $3,000 baby bonus from the government. We are still considering what to do with that money, should we invest on her behalf or simply pocket/keep it ourselves to offset all the expenses we have incurred. One thing that is for sure is we do not plan to max her CDA account immediately although the government is providing dollar to dollar matching up to $3,000 because once the money is in, it is "stuck" at a low-interest account. Anyway, we can do that anytime before the child turns 12 years old and there's ample time.

Any baby tips? 

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  1. Babies grow when they sleep (it's true). Babies go through growth spurts when they sleep (https://www.madeformums.com/baby/babies-really-do-grow-while-they-sleep/#:~:text=The%20results%20showed%20that%20when,of%20a%20spurt%20by%2020%25.). So you want your baby to grow up tall or short? Hands off the baby! Don't drink rice wine ... it's making the baby get jaundiced when she drinks mama's milk.
    We had my mum come over to help when we got baby #1. In 2 weeks, we asked mum to please go home and leave us alone. lol.

    1. Hi thepecunia,

      The last statement is hilarious and thanks for letting us know we are not alone! Yes, the rice wine could be one of the reason, we do realized that her jaundice is coming down after CZM was done with her confinement.