I haven't deliver yet. My water level's not that good. Doc's not letting me wait past my EDD, which is June 1. Which means, Mr R is coming out to meet the world by hook or by crook on Wednesday morning. I'm in perfect health, no blood sugar, no hypertension(instead I used to have hypo), no swelling, placenta's good, everything good! Just the water level. Sigh!!!
I'm praying hard that he'll be like his Lyanne Cheh-cheh who came out on her own on the day I was supposed to be induced. Lyanne was huge so doc won't let me past my EDD more than a week if I wanted natural birth. Perfect health as well. I hate being induced. It's super super super painful, leaving me with no time to breathe in between contractions.
Well, each pregnancy, I'm always at the brink of having not enough amniotic fluid, and this time, it's kinda really low. So, maybe now you know why my weight increment is not that great. Still at about 3kg, haha! With the baby at 3.1kg now, last scanned on Saturday. I never have any water retention problem, no leg swelling, or whatsoever swelling. No increment of any size of anything on my body. Haha, yes. Just my belly.
It's not that I don't drink enough water, I don't have constipation problems, I just never retain liquids in my system. Even If I drink a mugful of water each 30 minutes, I'll go to toilet every half an hour and drain them all out.
Each time after deliver, I go through confinement. For those of you who have no idea what is confinement, it's a Chinese tradition of which after delivery, the lady stays home, rest and gets fed well, with lots of rules and regulations to ensure a proper healing and recuperation. Confinement 坐月子 is not only practiced by those from Chinese descent, but Malays, Indians and some other people from Asian countries. Engaging the same confinement lady, CL each time. It's not because she cooks well, but I like her attitude and her ability to shoot up from sleep and doze off with a count to 3. It makes us relieved to know that she is getting enough rest that she won't drop my baby off her arms due to sleeplessness. Good child care is more important than food.
This time around, as usual I prepared a weekly menu for my CL. I don't like to eat redundant things and it makes life easier for others, like MIL who will be doing the marketing for me. The last confinement (Lyanne's time), my CL made certain mistakes that I'll make sure she doesn't do that this time. I translated some of recipes on my blog in Chinese for her. I want some of the things cooked my way. She is the type of person who will take in suggestions and listens to us, her employer, rather than insisting in her own ways. An attitude suitable for modern confinement.
There are few things that I will love to talk about. You might disagree or laugh about it with me, but no matter what, it's 100% my personal opinion.
1. Confinement is old fashioned.
- Well, depends on how you look at it. Why reject a month of relaxation? It's a month where the mother gets to rest and eat well to recuperate. It should be the time to bond with the baby, with someone else taking care of other things for you, like chores. Why not? I believe that if one does not rest well during the 1st month, the 2nd month will be a nightmare when the baby starts to wake up more and throws more tantrums. There will be no time for rest, or even to catch quality sleep, not until many months later. The first month is a lot of sleeeeeping. So, why not sleep when the baby sleeps and think about nothing else. The best part is sleeping throughout the night.......... quality sleep for 30 days after 40 weeks of twisting and turning on the bed with a heavy belly and constant bathroom visits. The CL won't stay with you forever, it's just the crucial first month, so enjoy yourself.
2. No bathing
-Yucks!!! There's no winter here. It's summer whole year long. If red dates can be kept at room temp in China without any problems, try keeping your red dates in your cabinet. You'll see them growing fungus very soon. Imagine your body growing fungus and you are carrying the baby in your arms. Yucks!!!! The weather and climate here is absolutely different. My grandaunt (1903-1996) who came from China told my mom to bathe, and said , " You think this is China ah?" Grandaunt said, babies in China do not bathe. So, if you bathe your baby daily, why won't u bathe yourself? Yucks! If you really worry about "wind", gosh, there are bathing herbs, sold for few bucks per pack at Chinese herbal shops. They don't smell weird, but smells like herbal tea. I won't mind drinking them if they were sweetened. If tradition says no bathing, then why are there post partum bathing herbs? For watering plants meh?
3. One shouldn't touch unboiled water. Bathe, wash hands and gargle with cooled cooked water.
-Hey!!! Which century are you living in? Are you using river water? Well water? Gosh no! It's chlorinated pipe water. River water or well water may contain nematodes, parasites, germs and even traces human waste. So, if you don't boil it, chances are the wound down there might get infected and that's the last thing you ever want. But hey hey hey, we are using chlorinated pipe water now. So, do you think that is applicable now?
4. No drinking of plain water.
- Gosh. Since when plain water is bad for you? All red date teas or rice tea are infused with plain water. When they get into your body, it still gets separated as water and nutrients, so what's the difference?
Not enough water = constipation = chances of getting haemorrhoids
5. Wrap head and wear socks.
-Huh? In tropical Malaysia? Got to be kidding me. I don't want to perspire and carry my baby. That's the last thing I want to do. I don't want to smell like a dumpster and get athlete's food.
6. Not wash hair for a month.
-I don't really believe this, but to console my mom, I try my very best to wash after a week. And I make sure I get my mane cleaned before I go for my 10th day check up. I don't want to walk into the clinic as a stinking bomb. (the nurses do tell me many are stink bombs the moment the post partum ladies walk in for that checkup) It's embarassing! It's not that we are in China (again!!) that the weather is dry and cold. It's hot and humid here. And dirty hair grows germs and whatsoever.
7. Refrain from vegetables.
-As believed, vegetables are cooling, except for a few types like KaiLan. For me, I do not believe so. I need the fibre to get my bowels going. I don't want to have haemorrhoids just because I didn't eat enough vege during this month. I'm lucky to have a confinement lady, mother and mother in law that supports a healthy dose of vegetables. But I refrain from raw vege, and taro. I was told that taro will cause itching and hey, sometimes taros really does do that, even if one hasn't delivered a baby. I don't want to be scratching here and there. Not eating taro for a month won't kill me, but not eating vege for a month will.
8. Consume lots of expensive herbs.
- I don't believe in splurging on herbs. As long as I eat healthily with a balanced diet, I don't believe I have to down 38gm of Angelica (dang gui) daily. Somehow I feel herbal shops likes to say, "If you don't 'bou' now, old liao then you know". Cheh, who knows what will happen when I'm 50 or 60. Can they guarantee if I take 2kg of angelica throughout my confinement I'll be free of sickness when I'm 50. That's BS to me. To them, this is the best time to cut your throat, asking you to buy this and buy that, scaring you about the future. My mom said, "I never ate any of those, but hey look at me, I'm fine.". My mom ate a lot of black fungus of which is believed to help with expelling dirty blood from the body. No expensive herbs. Not to say that I do not consume any herbs, I do, but moderately. I still believe I need the extra nourishment besides a balanced diet, but not to splurge thousands of $$ on all the future predictions that no one can guarantee.
My aunt said, "Nowadays it's unlike the olden days where there were no supplements during pregnancy. It really feels weak after delivery, but if you consume every pill that your doc tell you to take in, the difference is 100% obvious. I know cos I was diligently popping pills for the first and last pregnancy and was lazy for the middle 2 babies. Lazy to pop pills and you'll suffer the consequences later." True story from my big aunt who believes in a balanced post partum diet.
9. Not going out for 1 month, lest you get "headwind".
-Errr... I do believe this to a certain extent.
*2 weeks after delivering Lydia, I brought her to a playground opposite my mom's place and sat on the swing. The late afternoon cool breeze was blowing while I was there. Just for 15 minutes. That night, I had mild headache.
*2 weeks after delivering Lyanne, I went to the balcony to hang the laundry as the confinement lady washed the clothes before she slept. I never like leaving the clothes in the machine overnight as it will make the clothes really crumpled. The night breeze was blowing. I had mild headache that night too.
*But for both babies, I drove to the hospital by myself to have my 10th day check up and even went shopping for baby necessities. I drove my mom to the market, went to herbal shops to get more dates and got stared at when they knew I was in confinement. Nothing happened, because there was no wind during all those times.
So, in my case, I believe when the breeze or the wind is there, get into the house. Go out to run errands if you must only during the day time when it's hot. After delivery, our pores are opened and can be susceptible to "cold wind". It could be and I'm telling you from my own experience. I'm not someone that has headaches all the time. I could count the times with only my right fingers. So far including these 2, I had only 4 headaches so far, with 2 already stated here. But I have the fan and aircond on at home throughout my confinement, not natural breeze :) It's indoors of Malaysia!!!
10. Drink lots of liquor, like DOM
-No I don't.
Somehow I believe that in China, where it is really cold, liquor is one way to warm the body. Just like how Russians use Vodka as a body warming aid. It's so hot here, do we really need that much of warmth from liquor?
DOM which is the ultimate confinement liquor, haha, is hardly consumed. I don't like the sweetness. I could only finish half a bottle each time. With a few bottles as gifts each time, I had to think of ways to manage them later. I breastfeed, therefore I don't consume raw liquor. I use them cooked each time. And they taste absolutely sweet when the alchohol has evaporated. I know DOM is good for the post partum lady with all the herbs infused in it, but too bad, I'm no drinker.
I don't like rice wine Chicken, I don't know why, I just don't like it. Don't talk about red rice wine. Worse.
The only wine I could tolerate lots of it in the cooking is Korean ginger wine. So far, I don't feel weak now without DOM. Sigh, don't talk about 30 years down the road. No one knows. I'd rather take in saffron, thyme, angelica, cinnamon in its natural form than to derive them infused in DOM.
When this month has passed, I'll be back on my feet, and hell will begin. But I'll be glad that I rested well during the crucial times post delivery. I'm sure my wound has healed well and I'm well nourished to face the next few months. Getting sick is no small matter when you have a small infant, a toddler and a kid to take care of. That's the last thing I want. So, get on with confinement, but with some rationale. Don't be blind to follow whatever you're told. It's a good practice that shouldn't be put aside and be regarded as something of the past.
I won't be MIA for a month. Confinement postings coming up when I've delivered and am feeling much better.
See you in my next post with pictures of Mr. R.
Haha, I like the way Elin calls him.