Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jusco Member's Shopping Day

You get 15% off for toys, stationeries, clothing; and you get 5% off for baby items and in the supermarket. Very attractive. So I took a day off yesterday, and went shopping with King's Wife. We met up at Delicious at 1-U for lunch. I had a grilled vegetable sandwich, and offered some to Zara. The fussy eater has developed new skill to refuse food must be due to too many force feedings from mummy. She let me put the food in her mouth, but she just casually trusted her tongue to push the food out. Clever indeed! So, she didn't like the sandwich. From her knapsack, I took out a hard boil egg, to the gasps of my nieces ("You have an egg in your bag!?"). I thought maybe she'll have the egg for lunch instead. I offered it to her, she took it, but just like earlier, she pushed the egg out with her tongue. OK, didn't like the egg as well. Luckily I have another back up, I took out a banana (My nieces: "A banana?? What else do you have in the bag??") for the just-in-case situation, because Zara never refused bananas. True enough, with the banana, she happily took and swallowed it. After she finished her banana lunch, and my nieces were done with theirs, King Wife's and I got them to bring her to the big cushion right in front of the restaurant to play while we slowly enjoyed the rest of the lunch as well as our drink. Once we're done over stuffed ourselves with lunch, the shopping spree began. We thought we had ample time, so we took our time glancing at some of the shops in the new wing, and had afternoon tea before we went to Jusco, by then it was already 4:30pm. We regretted not coming to Jusco earlier, because there was so much to buy. We spent almost 3hours shopping for Christmas presents, since there's 15% off for all toys (within the family, Christmas presents are only meant of the kids). Zara has been very good, most of the time she just followed Sam around, playing with some of the toys, or happy just being able to explore, touching this and that. I bought a bicycle for Zara, toy house for Sam (she chose it herself), model figurines for my 2 nephews, and Alicia (King's wife older child) chose herself some earrings and necklace. I stocked up on lots of baby wipes and bottle cleaner as well. When I saw the bill at the cashier, my jaw just dropped, close to RM800RM600 even after all the discount! Christmas is a very expensive season! With supermarket items having 5% of discount, guess it's only wise to stock up on things. I bought more rubbish. At the end of the 8hr shopping spree, my whole car was stuffed with shopping bags (just enough room for Zara's car seat), a very big hole in my wallet, and a very tired Zara. She's good though, not much fretting, and just went along with us. Jusco is sure smart to have such a deal going during this time of the year, and I'm (along with King's Wife) always such a sucker for sales.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree

We went to One Utama to shop for some masak-masak(cooking set toy) for Zara on Saturday. On our way to ToysRus, we went past this shop with 2 huge Christmas trees. I thought it was a good time to introduce Christmas to Zara, so I walked her to one of the trees, and pointed to her, "Zara, look, Christmas tree". She looked at it, scanned the tree from bottom to top, and then frowned and went hiding behind my back. Daddy squatted down and tried to bring her near the tree again, but Zara was just clinging on to my clothes, hiding her face behind me (peeking occasionally though). "Zara scared scared?" I asked her, she patted her chest (indicating she's afraid). I tried to tell her that there's nothing to be afraid of, and pointed to her all the familiar ornaments like stars, bears, balls etc to her. However, she just refused to go near the tree, and kept patting her chest. We thought maybe the tree is too big, and she got frightened by the size, and didn't pursue. After ToysRus, we went to Jusco to look for a tree for our house. We were glad to find a 4ft tree with ornaments going for RM49.90. Since we're such al-cheapos We thought it was a good buy, and quickly grabbed one. On Sunday, Daddy set the tree up, and placed it in the living room, next to the TV. Every time when Zara wanted to get near the TV console (to reach for her own VCDs), she avoided the path nearer to the tree. Sometimes, she would throw glances at the tree and pat her chest. I wonder why she's afraid of the tree! Not so afraid that she would cry, but enough to make her want to avoid it. However, this really suits us, we don't have to worry about her pulling the ornaments or the tree down! *grin*

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Typical Night Time Routine



. .



And the latest addition, brushing her teeth with toothpaste at the sink..


I used to brush her without toothpaste in the earlier months, but I thought I should start her with toothpaste since she has 6 teeth now, and is eating lumpier and more fibrous food. She seems to enjoy it a lot. She is swallowing the water used to rinse her mouth even when I'd asked her to spit it out; I think it's because she likes the bubble gum taste of the Oral B kid's tooth paste.

Am I too early in brushing her teeth with toothpaste, especially since she's eating the toothpaste instead of spitting out? When did you start your kid on tihs routine?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Video - Talking

Here's a video taken today of Zara talking (of course with me instigating). Here is what she said just in case you have problem understanding what she's saying. She replied, "Za-ah", when I asked her what was her name. She said "Bi-kngh" after my 'biscuit' (her new vocabulary, which she is repeating quite frequently). And she said Park when her shoes were handed to her. (it'll take a while to load)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Car Seat Upgrade

Zara's car seat is long overdue for an upgrade. Although she has not reached the weight limit of her infant carrier (9Kg), she has already exceeded the height limit (72cm) quite a few months back. Even though we'd bought her a front facing car seat during the mega sales in August, we didn't replace it immediately because the infant carrier is very portable (easy to install into my car on weekdays, and move to Daddy's car on weekends) and has a canopy (good for transporting her in and out of the car during rainy days and shield her on sunny days) . We set ourselves a target, when she turned One, we'll do the upgrade. Finally, yesterday night, Daddy installed the new car seat into my car (after 30mins of struggling and some swearing). This morning, when it was time to leave the house, I told Zara "Come on, lets go, we're going to Ah Kim's house already" She automatically wobbled towards her infant carrier and wanted to climb into it. We told her, "Zara now big girl already, che-che (big sister) already, no more baby, must sit in BIG car seat now". It was like a ceremony, 3 of us (Daddy, maid, myself), fussed over her and placed her into her new car seat. And thank God she likes it, and didn't complain. Now, while driving to work, she'll be seated behind me, instead of next to me (like she did when she was in her infant career). I can't hold her hand or stroke her face while driving any more.... *sob sob*. Just for the records, this is her in the Infant Carrier in August. And today, the big girl has been upgraded to her spacious car seat. Why do I feel as though I'm going to marry her off soon?? *Sensible me talking : I have to get a grip of myself!*

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Conversation With A Girl With Limited Vocabulary

Since Zara wasn't feeling well, I was working from home on Monday and Tuesday so I can keep an eye on Zara, and if required, can immediately bring her to the Dr's. This mean I get to spend more time with her. Her are some limited 'conversation' I have with her. Morning I walked downstairs, where she was playing Zara : *look up and smile* Me : Hello Zara! Zara : *point to the TV* Poot Me : *pretend* Put what? Zara : *point to the TV, and that 'don't-be-stupid-you-must-understand-me' look* Poot! Poot! Me : Oh, you want mummy to put the Wheels in The Bus for you is it? Zara : *point her index finger to her other palm* (now she used this not just to sign MORE but also for WANT) Milk time I came down from the study Me : Zara you want milk milk? Zara : *put down what she was playing, came to me* Kng Me : *looked at her quizzically* Do you want milk milk? Zara : Kng Tuyam (maid) : Itu dia sedang cakap dia mau susu (She's saying she wants milk) Me : *scratched head, but anyway placed her on my lap* Ok, milk milk then. Zara : Kng *then sucked her thumb* (an indication she wanted milk before she use this Kng word) I laid her down, and nursed her. I have absolutely no idea how 'Kng' symbolises milk. Lunch time Me : Zara, mummy wants to go out to buy lunch, you want to come Zara : *ignore me and continue playing with her toy* Me : Zara, you don't want to go kai kai? (go out in Cantonese) Zara : *looked up, grinning* Tai Tai! Me : *patted the infant carrier seat* Let's go then. After mummy let Zara drive car car ok? Zara : *walked to the infant carrier, while waving her hand in the air* Oooo Oooo Ooo Ooo (her way of relating to car) Evening She spotted me coming down from ths stairs Zara : *pointed to the door* Park! Me : *asking the obvious* Zara wants to go to the park? Zara : *wobbled towards the door, still pointing* Park! Me : Raining outside, cannot go to the park Zara : *Still pointing outside* Park! I carried her and showed her the pouring rain Me : It's raining outside, we cannot go to the park, after you will get wet Not sure if she understood what I was saying but she willingly let me lead her back to her pile of toys Night 1 Zara climbed up to the stairs, reached for her pair of new shoes (which are still too big for her) resting on the steps Zara : *put the shoes near her feet, and looked at me* Hok Hok Me : Ok, mummy put on your shoe for you, then you can go walk walk I put on her pair of shoes for her Zara : *grinning* Hok Hok! Hok Hok *walked around in the oversized shoes* Night 2 Sat on the sofa with Zara. She stood up, and went to the edge, where the arm rest is. Zara : *clapped her hands* Hong! Me : Yeah, you go there, after you Bong! and fall down Zara dangled one of her feet outside of the arm rest, and grinned at me Me : *point my finger at her* No, no! Go there after you fall down! Zara pointed her finger back at me and reached her foot out further Me : You naughty huh? After mummy beat beat you! Zara : *beat her own thigh* Umph! Cheeky little girl she is!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Skinny Zara

After starving herself and survived only on breast milk for 4 days (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon) , she finally regained her appetite, and started eating (solids) again today. Her had lots of biscuits, bread and half a bowl of porridge. I normally limit her intake of biscuits (worried about constipation), however, today I told my maid to give as many as she wanted, as long as she is eating them. As for her porridge dinner, the food critic refused to be fed using her usual kiddy spoon, turning her head to the side when the spoon reached her. She kept pointing to the chopstick nearby. So, I tried with chopstick and she happily took them. It's not easy to scoop up runny porridge with chopstick, luckily my chopstick skill is quite good, and I managed. For an already relatively thin toddler, she is now even thinner. Her ribs are jutting out now! Her stool has hardened although still a bit soft, and she'd stopped vomiting. She's recovering! I'll try to fatten the next few days.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Zara's First Year

Today is Zara's 1st Birthday! It has been such a pleasure having her around, and sometimes still seem a bit surreal when we look at her (after what we'd been through). Our daughter, our very own flesh and blood. Although her birthday celebration didn't really go that well for her, she's still her normal self despite her tummy upset. When she gets better, we'd bring her out toy shopping (with her angpow money) and a good meal. Here are her photos, and her mile stones month by month. 1st month

Since I didn't have a confinement lady, I took care of her all by myself (no MIL or mum to help). - Turned her head from left to right when she's laid on her tummy (about 4th week). - Smiled for the first time. 2nd month - Could lift her head up while being carried, as well as while she's put lying on her stomach. - Stopped waking up for night feeds when she was 6 week old (aleluia!). - Kicked at her baby gym - Put her fist in her mouth to suck 3rd month - cooed - Sucked her thumb and upper lip (if we kept her thumb away from her) - held things when placed in her hands - clasped her hands

4th month

I went back to work (I took 3 months off). This same month, we moved to our new house in Shah Alam and she started having to be sent daily to King's Wife's place together with my maid. - turned from lying to her back to her front - used her hands to play with her baby gym 5th month

- laughed - crawled (tummy on the floor) - Passed item from one hand to another - With her tongue between her lips, made the sound PBBBBTTTT - Sucked on her toes - Smacked her lips - When we wanted to lift her up, she reached her hands out to us 6th month

- had her first taste of solid - sat unsupported - turned her wrist 7th month - sat unsupported - clapped her hands - waved bye bye - swam in a pool (with float of course)

8th monthThis was when I started her blog. - cut her first tooth (in fact, 4 came out just about the same time) - gave her first kiss, to a baby photo in a book - stood while being supported (by holding on to something) - cruised - rubbed her eyes when she's tired

9th month

- sat herself up - pulled herself to standing position by holding on to a piece of furniture -improved pincer grip 10th month

- spoke her first word - took her first step 11th month

- climbed down furniture on her own - stood unsupported 12th month

Weight : 7.79Kg (before she got her food poisoning, quite likely lighter now) Height : 75cm - cut 2 more teeth, and another one is peeking out from the gums - spoke her first 3-syllable word - said her name when she's asked "What is your name?"

Zara's eventful 1st Birthday Celebration

We have a little home made pohpiah lunch yesterday to celebrate Zara's 1st birthday. It was a small affair, just our immediate family members and Daddy's best friends (mine pulled out because their kids were not feeling well). It went very well, the lunch itself, but the star of the day, Zara, wasn't feeling very well these few days, so was not in her best element. She was down with fever on Thursday evening and it subsided on Friday. Then on Saturday she purged and vomited during the day; making her very whinny and clingy. Even while I had to start some of the Sunday's lunch preparation at the stove, she 'glued' to me. At 3am yesterday, she woke up and started wailing. When we asked her "Where Pain Pain?" She pointed to her stomach, and started crying again. We initially wanted to just pacify her and get her back to sleep, but she was crying non-stop, after about 30mins, we rushed her to Sunway Medical Emergency ward. The sleepy Dr on duty had a look at her and concluded she had 'wind in the stomach'. She prescribed some anti-colic solution and sent us back. We got home at 5am. Not sure if it was the medication, or pure exhaustion, Zara slept soundly after that. After 3hrs of sleep, it was time to get up. Although I had my maid and King's Wife's maid to help out, I sill had to run around to instruct them on how certain things should be done, and how they should be served. The whinny baby was joined to the hip with me throughout. Just before I showered her, she purged, and then was very fussy, and aggitated. I tried to get her to nap so that she'll be more rested, and will be in better spirit. At 11:30am, people started to arrive. After my aunt, who came with the pohpiah skins and her famous home made turnips arrived, the lunch started. Zara also woke up about this time, I changed her into her new clothes, and brought her downstairs to join in the rest.

She was not as energetic as her normal self, but she still got pretty excited seeing all the people making their own lunch/pohpiah. I gave her a piece of skin and some vege, so that she can join in the fun. She however, didn't have the appetite to eat anything, she just tore the food up into pieces, and made a mess at the table like her usual self.

When King's Wife's arrived, Zara was excited to see her che-ches (cousin sisters), and immediately went to them.

Samantha was happily entertaining her while Zara threw up, all over Samantha's lap. Poor Sam's skirt was drenched in puke. Zara was not disturbed by any of it, and continued playing once we cleaned her, and removed her pinafore.

When it was time to cut the cake, she couldn't relate to the cake and the candle thing, but she was very excited when the Happy Birthday song was sung. I got her a big fat carrot cake from Marmalade Cafe, thinking that this was something she can eat since it's quite a 'nutritious' cake. However, again, Zara didn't want to have any when I offered it to her and was showing sign that she was tired and needed a nap. While she slept, I had more pohpiahs (probably 6 all in) and a big fat slice of cake. My excuse is I do need the energy to pacify a whinny kid. When Zara woke up from her sleep, she again had diarrhea, this time her stool was totally watery. We were very very concerned. We had to almost shoo all our other guests home (by this time it was only my sis, my aunt and my in-laws around), to bring Zara to see a pediatrician. Dr Chye, who operates in Subang, told us that Zara probably had food poisoning, but since her diarrhea and vomiting is not THAT frequent, we will just have to let her fight it herself. She was given some syrup to help with her colic pain, and then some rehydrating salt. Zara refused to sit in her car seat after we left the Dr's. She had big drops of tears rolling down, reaching her hands out for me. I gave in, and just a few moments after she was out of the car seat, Zara puke again, this time all over me; and then again during dinner after just a few mouth full of porridge.

However worrying it may all seem to me; she behaved normally after that, it didn't seem to bother her if she had done a watery poo, or puke. It's probably a good sign that it was not causing much discomfort to her (my consolation). Not a very good birthday celebration for her, and I smelled of puke at the end of the day.

Mummy just hope she gets well soon.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Spanking New Camera

After a few months of contemplation, we finally bought a spanking new digital SLR, the Olympus E500. Why this model? Don't ask me, I'm not the technical one who will go to the net and compare features and prices. Daddy decided on the model. We have been using our Pentax Optio 555 since Nov 2003. It has seen us through a few holidays, Zara's birth, and her 1st year. I have been complaining about the shutter lag of the camera (which is about 1.35sec, very slow for precious moments). Every time when I tried to take a happy shot of Zara, after her smile has disappeared, then only the shot is taken. I had lost a lot of beautiful moments. Daddy wanted us to upgrade to another camera with improved speed. I wasn't keen. What's the point of owning 2 very similar cameras? I told him only if it's an SLR, or else, we just stick to what we have now. After much research and price comparison, we finally settled for this. The draw backs of these SLR cameras are that they can't take Videos and they are too bulky to carry around daily (which I do with my Pentax). So I'll still rely on my Pentax for day to day shots and videos. I don't know much about cameras or photography, I only know how to capture moments. I believe by owning this new toy, I will have to start learning. Daddy gave me 3 days to learn up (the use of the camera), so that I can use this new beauty to capture Zara's first birthday celebration on Sunday. Well, Zara was running a temperature yesterday, so I was very busy caring for her. Today, she seemed to have recovered (Dr can't tell why she got a fever, since she didn't have any infection or flu). If she remained alright (crossing my finger, for her sake as well as mine), I'll have today and tomorrow to learn up the features of the camera in preparation for her Sunday's party.

Announcement - The Photo is not Zara's

Saw some of your comments, who thought the messy eater photo featured in my yesterday post was Zara. I had to 'announce' here, THAT IS NOT HER, although they look rather alike. Someone sent me that photo, and I thought it looked like the mess Zara created after dinner (many many times exaggerated). So I used it. I won't be able to tolerate such mess, if that was her, I would have faint spell after each meal.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Evolution of Dining With Zara

Here is how dining with Zara has evolved. 0 to 5th month When we had dinner, we let her sit in her infant carrier with some interesting things to examine. She was happy. 5th to 6th month She'd started solids, and able to sit supported. When we had dinner, we put her in the high chair, one hand supporting her back, the other spooned food to our own mouth and hers. We gave her something interesting to hold, she would bang the something on the table or chair noisily, and she was happy. 7th month She's able to sit on her own. We just had to give her some sound making toys, or something extremely interesting to occupy her during dinner time. She would sit in the high chair making music by banging the items on the table or chair, or dropping them on the floor (to hear what sound they could make). We had to take turns to eat, because feeding her, controlling the noise she was making (when other diners threw us glances) picking up the things she dropped was a full time job! 8th - 9th month She started cruising. She was not keen to sit still. If she had to, she would be dropping things on purpose, fretting to get out of the chair, or kept demanding for things beyond her reach (like the mobile phone, soya sauce bottle we placed out of her reach on purpose)! We had to take turns to eat. Feeding her, picking up things she dropped, as well as pushing things further away from her reach was a very full time job and require a higher skill level(I wish I was an octupus)! 10th month She started walking, and climbing. Trying to keep her seated on the high chair is a big chore. She's not that interested in her food, preferred to be on the floor walking. If we had to keep her in her chair, she would try to climb out of it, danger was not a concept she understood. Definitely, there's no way we could have a peaceful meal together. We had to take turns to bring her for walks, or if she still had not finished eating, we had to use 1 hand to force her down on her chair, and the other hand to spoon food into her mouth as well as push things out of her reach. 11th month She started having a keen interest to participate during meal times. She would sit in her chair, demands for her own set of cutlery (if none, she'll just climb out of the chair skillfully and grab the nearest set), and then using the fork, spoon or chopstick she will reach for other people's plate. She will also use her hand to grab rice from neighboring plates. So, to prevent her for robbing people's food, we let her have her own plate and spoon and put some rice in her plate. While we're feeding her her actual food, she'll pick up and push lumps of rice into her own mouth with her hand. Sometimes, even offering her food to us (which we have to pretend to eat or she'll get crossed). We could finally eat together again as a family. The after dinner mess however is another problem. This is an exaggerated pic (not her), but it's close to how she looks like after dinner... I wonder what is in store for us for the coming months.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Change of Needs and Wants

My best friend will be coming back to Malaysia for holidays, and being very practical, she asked what kind of birthday (very belated) and Christmas present I would like her to bring back from New York for me. Would I like the Philosophy skin care and the latest Jamie Oliver cook book (both I used to love)? I don't need Philosphy skin care now since I always have the motherly radiant, as I go for those quick and easy just slap everything to your face/eye kind of skin care. No more time for exfoliating or doing mask. The only cook books I purchase now are related to cooking or baking for babies/children, but I already have 5, do I need another? So this year, I asked her for a book which gives you ideas of games and craft you can play and do with a toddler or a child. I noticed that being a mum now, I seldom buy or ask for things for myself, everything I buy or want, somehow will be related to Zara. Just like recently, I was contemplating between an LV bag (the Bucket, I love it), and a digital SLR. It costs about the same. One would fulfill my own vanity or desire, the other would allow me to capture beautiful moments of my child. Which do I choose? Tough choice! . . . . We just went and bought the digital SLR today. Daddy's anniversary, Christmas, valentine's present to me. Bye Bye LV, maybe next year, I'll ask Santa again for it, just maybe.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Signing With Zara

Zara signing 'MORE' in the attached photo: I first heard about signing with babies when I was searching for some books in, and stumbled upon books on this topic, so I looked up websites and did some research. Why do you sign to babies? "It is a fact that infants develop the fine muscles in their hands before they develop those required for speech, so they're equipped to communicate with you before they can speak", there are some very good websites who give you some insight to this. I for one, got very frustrated when I could not understand what Zara was crying or asking for. She was 7 months then. At the period where she could not speak, but already had her demands(by crying). I went to the ASL (American Sign Language) Site, looked at the video on how to do certain signs, and started signing to Zara. I tried to do the essential one like milk, drink, eat. It wasn't easy to let Zara associate the signs with the words, even more difficult because my maid was her main care giver during the day. Although I'd instructed her to sign to Zara when Zara was offered milk, a drink of water or food to eat, I could not ensure she did that since I was not around to check on her. When I signed to Zara during the time I took care of her, she seemed to look at me in amusement, not taking my 'signing' seriously. The initial attempt failed. As Zara grew older, she's more firm with her demands, she gets a bit frustrated when none of us are able to tell what she's saying or asking for. So I tried signing again. This time, I didn't get my maid to help, because if she did it wrongly, it'll only confuse Zara more. I'd used a few signs with her, two of the signs she picked up quickly are more (2 hands come together), and no more (turn the wrist with palm stretched out). Her version of more is pointing her finger to her other palm (like doing dim-choong-choong 点虫虫). She tells me she wants more by doing this action, e.g. she wants more bubble blowing, food, reading, singing, etc. Her signing came to very good use the other night. After breast feeding her from both breast, she pointed her finger to her other palm (she wants more), then pointed to my breast, and turned her wrist with palm stretched out (but I have no more milk), and then started fussing and repeated the gesture (my milk supply reduced because of the time of the month). I quickly made her 2 additional oz of formula milk. Although she eventually just took a few drips (yes 'drips', not even 'sips') of milk from the bottle (she only has tasted formula milk on 2 or 3 occasions, so probably not used to the taste), she seemed to be happy that I understood her, and went to sleep blissfully. I'm still in the midst of introducing more signs to her. Hopefully, it'll help more with our communications.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Zara's first 3 syllable word

Zara spoke her first 3 syllable word 2 weekends ago when I was reading her bath time counting book to her which has a page filled with butterflies. She immitated when I said butterfly. Her version sounds something like "putter-pie". Now, she kept mumbling the word putter-pie, as though to practice her talking skill. She's picked up quite a few words the past 2 weeks, like : Kai Kai (go out) - tai tai Walk Walk - woh woh Park (Play ground)- Pak Bath - But Duck - Tuck Tuck Mr Blue (her softtoy) - Boo Car - Uhhhhh Uhhhh (with 1 arm raised and moving horizontally depicting a moving car) Aeroplan - Uhhhhh Uhhhh (same as car, but she'll be poining her finger upwards) Daddy - Pa Pa Zara - Sa-ah Apple - Ah-Per Full (饱饱) - Ba-Ba However, she's still not calling me mummy, mama or anything yet. And sometimes still confuse me with herself. When I asked, "where's Zara's nose?", she'll point to mine; but when it's "Where is che-che's (Samantha's) nose?", she'll point to Sam's. Maybe she thinks both of us are one entity, that's why when I'm around, she still clings to me like a koala.

Her Full Moon and Birthday dress

Over the weekend, we were shopping for a dress for Zara. We were looking for something which she can wear for her birthday, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (4 in 1). When we had to change her into the clothes we'd selected for her in the shops, we saw her reflection on the big mirror, she's so skinny and long (or was it some tricks they do with the shops mirror?), I don't know why we never really noticed this before (oh well, we know she's quite lean, but never knew she's THAT thin)! We found that most of the clothes meant for her age were way too loose for her, although the length suited her. We eventually bought a dress for her from Zara which didn't look too 'baggy' for her. When we went home, and I hung her dress in the cupboard, I spotted the dress she wore on her full moon (a gift from Aunty Abigail, and unfortunately, worn only once). Just out of curiosity, I took the dress out and compared it with the one we just bought. Guess what? They seemed to be almost the same size. I got Zara to change into the dress! She could fit into it (meant for 0-3months), and looks even nicer than the time she wore it 11months ago! So maybe, we'll let her wear this dress on her birthday instead. Her Full Moon 11 months ago 11 month later, it still fits her!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

We got broadband!

We finally got streamyx for the house! They finally got ports here (the new housing area). How this will change me : 1) I will work from home more, probably twice a week at least 2) I don't have to stay up in the office to read blogs or to blog, I can do it at home now! 3) There'll probably more 'rows' with daddy, on who get to use the line more..... errr, maybe we should look at getting a router or a hub. It won't be good news to Zara, as mummy will try to sneak to the study to log on more often....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Part 7 : Little Zara, At Last

We were lucky, we were told. It was a clean miscarriage. Nothing remained in my uterus, everything was ‘expelled’, there was no need to do a D&C (which can be quite damaging to the uterus). It was actually quite common for people to have miscarriages. 1 in 4 pregnancies, higher risk for people with PCOS; so it seemed. A consolation NOT. It my case, it was most likely caused by the genetic make up of the embroy, nature's way of purging away bad 'product'. Dr JL told us we could start trying again after 3 months. My Chinese Dr told me to try again only after 6 months as I should nurture my body back like someone who’d just given birth; and she prescribed 30days of confinement herbs for me. I continued my vigorous work out schedule to numb my senses (oh well, I have to admit I enjoyed it as well). I stopped my fertility treatment, but continued to see the Chinese Dr to nurture my health. We had sex, for the fun of it, it was no longer scheduled and I didn’t have to lift my legs up for 20minutes after our act. We celebrated our 5th year anniversary in a remote island and a national park in Thailand for a total of 10days, best trip ever. I threw a surprise birthday party for Daddy’s 40th birthday. That night, we were merry, he had a few oh-kao (Guiness Stout). He was in high spirit, surrounded by his best friends. When his friends left we went wild, we were all over each other we had mind boggling sex; and sod the condom! Zara was conceived that night. On the 1st few weeks of my pregnancy, I was obsessed, I went to the toilet to check for spotting every 30mins. I prayed that I won’t see any streak of blood. We went to St Anne’s Church to ask for protection and blessing. Promising we would bring our baby here to give thanks if all end up well. I drank the holy water diligently once every week. The pregnancy was kept hush hush until I saw her heart beat in the ultra sound, and no celebration until much later. I had to do an amniocentesis on my 16th week because of my age and also because my triple test came back positive. In the test, a long needle has to be poked into my belly to extract amnionic fluid. I was extremely worried, about the skill of the Dr, as well as the damage it could cause. I was assured by a friend, who worked with a lot of gynaes because of the nature of her job (I only knew her later or I wouldn't have met the other horrible Drs), that Dr JL is one of the best, because he has a lot of patients, and have a lot of experiance with carrying out the test. The first attempt, Zara was way too near to the skin of the belly, even with the Dr thumping his fingers on my skin, she wouldn't move! On the next attempt, I spoke to her before we went to the hospital and asked her to coorperate. In the scan, I could see her actually crouching at one corner. When the long needle was inserted into my tummy deftly, I prayed that she didn't move a muscle. The Dr casually said that if the result came back and the baby has genetic defect (Down Syndrome mainly), I could choose to terminate it (Wow, that is soo comforting). It was the longest 3 weeks of my life (to wait for the result)! When I got the result and knew every thing was fine (and confirmed she's a girl), we celebrated! During the rest of the pregnancy, I prayed that she would be strong and healthy and normal (not hideously ugly) every day. I wanted a vagina delivery. Dr JL did all he could to make sure I have one. When she was delivered, while enduring the pain, I prayed hard that she would be alright, no complication (and please, not now!!). When I heard her first cry, I forgot about the pain of child birth. When she was placed in my arms and I saw her for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I cannot describe the feelings I had. I thank God. What I’d gone through was worthwhile, she’s in my arms now, strong and healthy and normal, our little Zara. Daddy's very belated birthday present. Image hosted by Afterthought Even though the journey has been a long and bumpy one, we have been blessed. She’s our greatest joy. Occasionally, when we look at this little girl, Daddy and I still can't believe she's our daughter. I didn't mind sharing my experiance with those who were trying even before I had Zara; but I’m not sure without Zara, would I still have the courage to write this? People who have tried and wanted to give up, please don’t, I have my story to tell, because if I did, I would not have Zara now. People who have gotten pregnant unplanned and wanted to give up the child, please don’t; count your blessing; there are people who are doing all they can to conceive, so don’t take yours for granted. I had recommended the Chinese Dr to many people (some of them did get pregnant). Even if she didn’t help you with your conception, she would have made you healthier, so there’s really nothing to loose. If you are interested, here is her address: Chi Ren Chinese Medical Hall (濟仁) 63A, Jalan Petaling Utama 7, Batu 7, Jalan Klang Lama Tel # 77832341 Pls note she’s closed on both Mon & Tue Wed~Fri 10am~4pm Sat~Sun 10am~2pm Her charges is about RM50 per visit, with 1 week's herbs and medication.

Part 6 : The Worst Day of My Life

We were exhilarated. We were going to be parents! Finally! We were eager to share the good news with the world! People were happy for us, knowing how much I’d gone through in recent years. My sister immediately bought 2 maternity dresses for me, even though not the slightest bump had shown yet. I continued to go to the gym, keened on strengthening myself more because of the pregnancy. Dr Wong requested me to see him every other day, he wanted to give me some jabs. Only the 3rd jab, I realized he was actually giving me progesterone or 安胎针, it was for making sure I keep my pregnancy (there’s really no evidence that it helps). I said I didn’t need it, I had had enough hormonal jabs/pills. He insisted that I had to take it! Time to change Dr, Daddy told me, he didn’t like all these hormonal treatment either, and Dr Wong has started making decision without checking with us. We started seeing my BIL’s fishing buddy, Dr Jason Lim (JL) in Sunway medical instead. I really like Dr JL, he’s very professional (no interruption in between consultation). He never made decision for us. He presented us with facts, and we decide what we wanted to do. He told me I was still very early in my pregnancy, the progesterone jab based on research has not shown to help prevent miscarriages; but if I wanted it, he would administer it, my choice. Our decision was no more hormonal jabs! 2 weeks after I knew I was pregnant, I had light spotting after my work out. It freaked me out! I was in cold sweat, went home, told Daddy about it, and then we started checking books, internet, what this meant. It seemed some pregnant ladies do have spotting, although it may be an indication of a miscarriage, it normally didn’t end up so. I went to see Dr JL the following day, the baby was still in tact (the dot was still there), so I felt more relieved. Dr JL also said there’s really not much he could do at this stage, unless I wanted the progesterone jab, or I wanted MC to have bed rest. The rest, it’s really up to the pregnancy itself. After this, I have spotting on and off, sometimes it's pink streaks of blood, sometimes it's very brownish discharge (like old blood). Although it disturbed me, I couldn’t do much. I stopped going to the gym, and tried to rest more to help with the pregnancy. I also visited the Dr weekly, just to make sure baby was still alright. During this time my beloved cat, Charm was sick and was having breathing difficulty. He, who was normally quite greedy, wasn’t eating or drinking, and had not used the litter box for 2 days. Because I was so preoccupied with my own problem, I didn’t bring him to the vet earlier. When I did, the vet claimed that he had pneumonia and failed kidneys. They needed to put him on drips, and recommended he stayed over night in the vet. I remembered that night, it was raining cats and dogs, with deafening thunder! An image of a very frighten cat occasionally came to my mind. At night, I prayed for my baby and Charm. The next morning before work, I went to visit Charm with my maid. When we arrived, the reception was looking nervous and mentioned about some miss call she’d placed to me. “What call?” was my replied. And then it occurred to me something must have gone wrong. Before the receptionist could reply, I already had tears in my eyes. Yes, Charm has died, he was found dead in his cage that morning. I took his stiffen body back and buried him in our back yard. It was like a funeral, both my maid and I crying. I blamed myself, I was busy with my own problems, and brought him to see the vet too late, also, I shouldn’t have left him overnight in the vet, he must have been frightened to death by the thunderstorm. The same afternoon, while still grieving, I saw a blotch of blood on my underwear when I went to the toilet. I started trembling, what did this mean? Am I loosing the baby? I called Daddy home, and we went to the hospital together. It was however, Dr JL’s surgery day, so we saw another Dr. The other Dr did the scan, the little dot was still there (though still no heart beat for an 8 week old baby, but then we might have calculated our dates wrongly). He suggested I take a progesterone jab, just to be on the safe side. We agreed, anything to help! I was so dispirited when I got home; I laid in bed with very red and swollen eyes. While Daddy was sitting next to me, consoling me, I felt spasm of pain in my abdomen. I was crying, for Charm, and also because I was very worried about the baby. The spasm became worse, it was like a contraction, it was painful. I was telling Daddy it hurt so much, and I didn’t know what was happening. And then the pain just stopped, as suddenly as it started. I was sighing in relieve, luckily nothing happened, so I thought! I drifted to sleep. When it was time for dinner, I went first to the toilet to pee. When I sat on the toilet bowl, I felt something dripping out, and then a plop! I looked, and to my horror, I saw this dark blood clot in a lighter pool of blood in the toilet bowl. I reached to retrieve the blood clot; what I saw in my hand was a piece of liver like flesh, the size of 20cent coin. I could feel the blood draining from my face, I was shaking, I shouted for Daddy. Tears was pouring down. It was our 8 week old baby, just expelled out from my body, the same day as I lost my beloved cat. I screamed in my mind, “God, why this? Why happen to me? After 5years of waiting and THIS?” It was the worst day of my life.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Part 5 : The Good News

I was considered to be weak healthwise, always had migraine, sometimes even faint spell (low blood pressure). In 2002, after a 2 weeks part holiday part working trip to Beijing, I contracted a very bad Urinary Tract Infection (from a public toilet with wooden barrel as toilet bowl). I was peeing blood on the last few days of my trip, and down with fever when I got back. On the 4th day, when my fever didn’t subside, I was hospitalized. 5 long days in the hospital! I thought I was dying because I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I had the strongest antibiotic administered intravenously (Ciprobay, which is used for HIV patients). When I got out of the hospital, although no longer feverish, I was extremely weak. I decided to take control of my health! I started working out and ate sensibly. We were still trying for a baby, sex has become a routine or duty. We did it on the days I thought I was ovulating. It’s no longer spontaneous, or romantic. Every time I see a pregnant lady’s bump, I eyed it with envy. In June, we went to see the Fertility guru, Dr Colin Lee. Dr CL was a busy man, in our short 15mins with him, he was interrupted numerous times by his admin assistant regarding other appointments (even while he was doing pap smear on me). Anyway, he saw our records, heard what I’d done, and just declared that there’s really nothing else he could do for us except IVF. For questions, he directed us to his consultants. The consultant shared with us all we needed to know, including the cost, which was RM15K to RM25K, depending on my response to hormonal treatment and the complexity of the situation. Although their success rates were relatively high, it would still be a gamble. Multiple birth was highly possible. RM25K was an issue, but what bothered me most was the possibility of having multiple babies. I could accept twins, but I shuddered at the thought of having triplets or quadruplets or septuplets!! (Can you imagine nursing septuplets??!!) We left the centre wondering what our next move would be. After discussing about this, we thought we would give ourselves an ultimatum. 6months! If I still couldn't concieve, we would go for IVF. At this same time, one of my friends’ sister had just given birth with the 'tuning' of a Chinese Dr. My friend suggested I go try her out (she recommended the Dr to me a while back but I thought these were all mumbo jumbos, so I didn’t bother earlier). Since I was still relatively weak, I thought I’d go checked the Dr out, if not for my fertility problem, at least I could get some herb or tonic from her to improve my health. On our first visit to the Dr, we felt very comfortable (unlike all the other Drs we’d seen). After feeling my pulse and looking at my tongue, she said it was actually the heat in my body that was causing me unable to concieve. She prescribed me some herbs which she warned when taken would cause sever headaches when the ‘heat’ was released from my body. It was true, the day I took the medicine, I had the worse migraine ever, as though some one was sawing my brain the whole night. However, in the morning, I felt healthier already. I started seeing her every week (what did I have to loose?), to get her to tune my body; she prescribed different concoction of bitter herb, depending on how well my body responded to the previous dose. In August, I joined a gym because it was having a promotion in response to my resolution to get healthier. To get the most out of what I’d paid, I tried to go there everyday after work. One morning in late August 2003, about 1 month after I’d started seeing the Chinese Dr, I was just doing the pregnancy test casually since my period was 1 week late. After immersing it in urine, I left the toilet and got ready for work. I asked Daddy what he saw on the strip after 5minutes as he was using the toilet. He shouted “2 lines”. I dropped whatever I was doing, shouted back, “Are you sure?” “Yeah, 2 lines.” He replied, “Anyway, what does it mean?” To confirm (although in my heart was pounding wildly), I quickly dug out the instruction leaflet from the pregnancy kit, and read it again. I shouted back excitedly “It means I am pregnant!” Daddy popped his head out with this grin, “Are you sure?” I really don’t know. Can the test be wrong? Can I be so lucky? I mean I’d been trying for 5years, for God’s sake, and every time I dipped the damn strip into my urine, it only showed 1 line. Never 2 lines, NEVER. I called up Dr Wong immediately for an appointment. The pregnancy test in Dr Wong’s clinic showed positive too, with a very faint 2nd line, and we saw a small dot on the scan. I still couldn’t believe it. I further did a Beta HCG blood test, which will definitely confirm the pregnancy. Half a day later, the hospital called me to say it's positive. I was about 5 weeks pregnant! You can’t imagine how happy I was. I was almost dancing. That was about 15months before Zara was born.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Part 4 : The Various Procedures

February, 2002 (after 3 years wasted), on our first visit to Dr Wong, I already had in mind that I wanted to do the laparoscopy. Upon showing all my records, tests done, and another ultra sound by him, he confirmed the earlier diagnosis. We talked about laparoscopy, he boasted that he’s an expert in this area, and had given talks to UM Medical students on this topic and also had done a lot of laparoscopies throughout his medical career. He said for my case, he would do a Laparoscopic ovarian drilling (ovarian diathermy), the recommended procedure for PCOS patient, just as what Dr Liew mentioned. I told him I wanted to do it as soon as possible, since I’d already wasted enough time; he put me in his calendar for next week. The following week, I admitted into Pantai Hospital, went under general anesthetic, and have my laparoscopic ovarian drilling done. Dr Wong was quite good, the stitches clean and straight, and the 3 wounds were small, all below bikini line. He mentioned that there were no complications, and recommended I start trying again after a month, to allow my wound to fully heal. Meanwhile he suggested that we do another semen analysis test. This time however, Daddy didn’t have to do it in a public toilet. He was allowed bring home the bottle, ‘harvest’ the specimen first thing in the morning, and within an hour, bring the bottle back to the hospital. His test further proved that there’s nothing wrong with him. When I was ready to start trying again, he recommended that I have more Clomid to speed things up. That will ensure more than 1 egg is released, and my chances of getting pregnant will increased. This time, the Clomid dose was double! Some of the side effects of taking such a high dose of Clomid included blurred vision (while walking, sometimes, I had to stop to balance. It was THAT bad) and very bad pain on the sides of the abdomen just before ovulation (it was like someone continuously punching you on the side). We went through this 2 cycles and nothing happened, so more tests have to be done. On the next cycle, during the time of ovulation, we had to have sex in the morning, then go to his clinic immeidately for a check for the sperm livelihood within me. From these test, he found that my ‘discharge’ was not thin enough. He metaphorically explained that it’s like the sperm has entered the ‘lobby’ (cervix) but there’s no ‘lift’ (my discharge) to bring the sperm up to my egg. So, the next procedure was recommended; I have to go for Intra-uterine Insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination. Dr Wong even asked if I wanted to do sex selection for the baby since it's possible with this method. I told him I just wanted a baby, the sex of the child is of no importance. To prepare myself, I had to had more Clomid, and on the calculated date of ovulation, I went to the hospital to get a scan to confirm I was about to ovulate. Upon confirmation, Daddy 'harvested' his semen the following morning and sent it to the hospital lab for ‘washing’. I had to go to the hospital in the afternoon. The Dr inserted this long straw like syringe into my vagina, and injected the washed semen into the cervix (not at all comfortable, you can imagine just looking at the tube used), then I laid still for about an hour before I left for home. We anxiously awaited for the pregnancy to happen, but I got my period 2 weeks after that. I did another round of IUI, this time, the washed semen was injected right at the opening of the fallopian tube, to increase the chance (later, I found that with this method, you actually risk severing your fallopian tube). Alas, 2 weeks later, I bled again. We were disappointed, naturally. It seemed that the next step we have to go for is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). That was when we heard about Dr Collin Lee, the famous IVF specialist in Damansara Fertility Centre. We have testimony of friends’ friends who went and did IVF under him, and who are now happy parents. We checked out the prices (~RM20K), calculated to see if we could afford the procedure; talked to people to see what kind of discomfort it would caused (of course after all the procedure I’d been through, nothing can really scare me now). What happened next, became the turning point of my life.

Ring a Ring A Roses

Here's a video of Zara acting out the nursery rhyme on the bed. Some how, this round, she was facinated with whatever was on her dress, she stopped turning half way. She's street smart, if it's done on the bed, her falling will be a real 'fall', but when she's on the hard floor, her falling is just a big bow.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Part 3 : Finally, the Diagnosis

It was quite disgusting to know what kind of medical practitioners we have in our country. Some are really out there to extort us. After seeing 2 Drs, and paid almost RM1500 in total, we still didn’t know what my problem was. One of Daddy’s colleagues knew we have been seeing gynaes who weren’t empathetic with our problem. The next Dr we went to was highly recommended by her. She said her gynae was a very honest Dr and should be able to help us. Dr Liew was based in Asunta Hospital, and true enough was an honest bloke. He checked through all the tests that we’d done, and listened to my problem. He did a scan. Took out a pictorial chart, and started giving us a lesson on causes of infertility and what he suspected was wrong with me. Based on my symptoms (irregular period, high LH in my blood test), and the scan which showed lots of darken dots close to the wall of the ovaries, he said I was having Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS in short ). My eggs did not mature and got released from the Ovaries, and hence the dark dots (gathered around the walls of the ovaries) and the irregular period. Dr Liew also told me to fix PCOS, I had to do a laparoscopy, where the Dr would drill holes in the ovaries (for the egg to be released). Before we went there, he wanted to know if my fertility was caused by any other thing like a blocked fallopian tube, because some PCOS patients are still able to have children unaided. He suggested I do a Hysterosalpinogram or HSG, which was actually to pump dye into my uterus, take an x-ray shot, then check if all passages (fallopian tubes mainly) were clear. All his explanation, steps of diagnosis sounded logical. So I immediately scheduled a HSG. I got my result very fast, it was good, my tubes were intact and no blockage. Dr Liew suggested that I try without surgery first, by taking ovulation drugs to increase the chance. So I was put on Clomid (or Clomiphene). While having Clomid, it regulated my period (which meant the egg was released), but I could feel a pain in one of the ovaries every time I ovulated (this sensation later help me to realize when I ovulate). We were supposed time our intercourse. So we did it, scheduled, mechanically, and I lifted my legs high up at the end of it to prevent the sperm from flowing out (my own logic). It was no fun! After 3 rounds of Clomid, no luck, and every time I went back to Dr Liew, he didn’t seem to suggest to do the laparoscopy. When I brought it up, he recommended more Clomid (till when?). Someone at this point recommended a Malay Dr to me, she said he’d helped many Malay women to conceive after many years of trying. Daddy told me I should stick to Dr Liew, but I was too impatient, so I switched Dr again. This Dr gave me the same diagnosis as Dr Liew. PCOS was my problem. And just like Dr Liew, he suggested I took Clomid, laparoscopy could wait. I took 2 more cycles of Clomid. One of my ex colleagues who’d been trying for a child for 5years brought news to us that she’d conceived. Now, all these while I knew she was trying, but she had never suggested to us that she had a problem (even when we asked). She just said she tried, maybe due to stress at work, she never conceived, so she quit. While bringing this good news to us, she shared her story, she had endometriosis and told me she had a laparoscopy done, and 3 months later, she conceived. I quickly got more information from her about laparoscopy (Painful? How big were the wounds? ) and the Dr she went to (Was he good? Which hospital he is from?). Since my friend’s Dr, Dr Wong, is from Pantai, Bangsar, and both my brother’s daughters were born there, I asked King’s Wife if she knew that Dr my friend went to. Coincidentally, Samanta, my youngest niece, was delivered by Dr Wong, and King’s Wife’s said he’s quite good, nothing close to Versace, or the dodgy Dr I went to earlier. When I got home, I told daddy about this, it seemed that I cannot escape having a laparoscopy done. So we scheduled an appointment and went to see Dr Wong in Pantai.

Zara Communicating

For the past 2 weeks Zara has been very interested in mimicking the words we said, and is trying to communicate to us. Here are a few situations which I could actually make up what she was saying. Just entered my sis' place Zara : *excitedly, looking every where* CahPerCahPerCahPer (it sounded something like that) Me : *imitated* Cabut, Cabut, Cabut, Cabut ('Extract' in Malay. Thought this was what she was saying, and she probably learnt it from our Indonesian maid) We walked about in the house Zara : *pointed to a big framed up Kashmir rug* CahPerCahPerCahPer Me : *scratched head, imitated* cabut, cabut Zara : *pointed to a painting on another wall* CahPerCahPerCahPer Samantha (my wise niece): She's saying Picture is it? Me : *gasped* Picture? *looked at Zara* Zara, you said Picture is it? Zara : *grinned* PerCah PerCah PerCah Mummy : *it made sense now* Wow, so clever (not sure where she picked this word from, must be from my nieces) Zara : *grinned and clap hands* In my sis' house 1 Sis was adjusting some of her clay ornaments, and accidentally dropped them on the floor. *CRASH* Sis : Oh-O!! Zara : *imitated* Oh Oh Sis : *laughed* Yeah loh, Yi-yi naughty. Zara : *looked at my sis, moved her hand up & down with her pointer stuck out* (a sign I always used when she's naughty, or when I disallowed her to do something and said "NO NO") In my sis' house 2 Zara : *pointed to the bottle of bubbles on the table* Pah-Per Pah-Per! Me : Later huh, mummy change your diaper first Zara : *protested* Me : *ignored her protest, carried her to the room* after mummy changed your diaper, mummy will blow you bubbles, ok? Me : *whispered to my sis* Hide the B-U-B-B-L-E please I took my own sweet time changing her diaper, hoping she won't recall my promised. Then we went back out to the kitchen. Zara : *pointed to the table (even the bottle of bubbles was no longer there). Stamped her feet in excitement* Pah-Per! Pah-Per! Pah-Per! Pah-Per! Me : *rolled eyes* Aiyo. She remembered. Went and fulfilled my promise, blew her bubbles for the 100th time that day. After work, arrived at King's wife's place Me : *pretended to search for her* Hell-LOW Lee-tle Geeerrl! Zara : *squealed in delight* Aaah!! Me : *pretended I'd found her* Hello Little Girl! *scooped her up* How are you? Zara : *looked at me and gave me a big big smile* (the above is our standard greeting) Me : *About to plant a kiss on her lips* Give mummy a kiss kiss Zara : *Turned her face, laid her head on my shoulder, tightening her grip around my neck with her arms* Huh, Huh Me : No Kiss Kiss? Only Hug Hug? Zara : *Still lying on my shoulder* Huh Huh Me : *compromise* oh ok. Hug Hug then. Just now, drove out to buy lunch with her Drove passed a bump without realising, we all got a jolt in the car. Zara : Oh Oh Me : *smiled at her* Yup, Oh-O (now, she's able to tie accidents with this exclamation)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Part 2 : The Dr with the sexy toilet

After the Pudu Dr’s ordeal, I told Daddy the next Dr we saw, I would leave it to him to decide what needed to be done. People unfortunately never talked about the issue of infertility openly, especially when they themselves are experiencing it. We tried to tell friends that we’re trying but have not been successful, and would like to get a Dr to diagnose our problem. So the Drs recommended to us were normal gynaes, friend who went for operation to remove a cist, friends who got a baby delivered by a good Dr. The next Dr we went to was from Taman Desa Medical Centre. We nick named him Versace because he wore this conspicuous Versace studded belt all the time (we should have fled when we first spotted that BELT). On our first visit, I visited the toilet. The toilet in his clinic was pasted with photos of female in various provocative outfit and poses (some even topless, with only G-strings on, worse than these photos). In my mind I was thinking we might have come to the right place. He must be a fertility specialist, and this was where he got his male patients to jerk off collect specimen for semen analysis test. I was quite excited and told Daddy what I saw in the toilet, I told him he might need to use that probably in later visits. When we got to see Versace, he did an ultra sound scan and then said he needed to do some blood test to check if I have thyroid or any hormonal imbalance. Sounded like a logical thing to do. We went to collect the blood test result the next visit. The results seemed to show that I have very high level of LH (luteinizing hormone). Versace told me that what he would like to do next was a laparoscopy. He explained that it will be an operation with 3 small incisions, one on both sides of my pelvic area, another on the belly button. A scope would be placed into my uterus via the belly button. This was to check if I had a cist, since my scan showed there’s some bulges around the ovaries, and my hormone wasn’t that balanced. An operation proposed on my second visit? Did he just buy a BMW which he wanted someone to sponsor? We were wary, so we said we had to think about it. He said while we think about it, he wanted Daddy to provide a sample of his sperm for semen analysis to ensure the problem didn’t lie with him. I was surprised Daddy didn’t even protest, and agreed to do it (maybe because of the sexy toilet I told him about). We agreed to come back the following week to see Versace and check on Daddy’s result. When we got out to the reception area, we paid and asked for the bottle for the semen analysis. The receptionist told us we have to go down to the lab to get the bottle, and submit our ‘specimen’ there. “You mean you don’t do it here in THAT sexy toilet?” I pointed to the toilet in the clinic. The lady just told me curtly, "NOPE". Alright, we were conned (up till today I still wonder, if THAT toilet was not meant to be used by men to collect their sperm, what were those provocative photos for? For Versace’s own private viewing? Or to encourage 'dirty' men to visit the gynae with their wives?). While walking to the lab, I asked Daddy if he was sure he wanted to do it. I was feeling embarrassed for him. Unlike a lot of other husbands who never wanted to do such tests for whatever reason (I think a lot to do with ego), Daddy was very cooperative. He said we needed to get to the root of the problem. The person who dealt with us in the lab wouldn’t even look us in the eye, he just took the chit of paper from the Dr and passed a small bottle to Daddy. When we asked where we could do the deed, the person just pointed, still not looking at us, “There, in that public toilet over there”. We followed his finger, and found the toilet. I peeked and saw that it was a very small cubicle, with a basin and a toilet bowl and probably it was just 5x4feet. A wisp of ammonia filled my nostril. Gosh, I can’t even do a dump here, let alone masturbate! I asked Daddy if he was sure about this. He nodded and went in bravely. I felt so sad for him, at the same time I was feeling so proud. He was willing to do this for US. How he managed to ‘do’ it, I don’t know (I was even knocking on the door to ask him if he needed help), he must have very good imagination; he came out 10mins later with the precious specimen. We left the hospital after sending the bottle in. The following week when we visited Versace again, he told us Daddy’s result was good, so I must be the problem. Over the weekend, Versace probably bought something more expensive and needed more sponsorship. What he proposed next infuriated Daddy. He said I must immediately go for my laparoscopy, and if I didn’t do it soon and decide later, he threatened that he would do a 6 inches incision instead of a 3 (small) holes laparoscopy, so he could diagnose and fix the problem at the same time. Daddy was crossed! He asked Versace what he meant by that. We didn’t even know the problem, and he’s already saying he would do a 6 inch incision on me. Their exchanging of words started getting louder and harsher. I was feeling uneasy about the whole thing. I told Versace we would think about it and dragged Daddy out. We never returned.

Fun filled Holidays - For Zara

So what did we do during the 4days holiday and Daddy not being around for 3/4 of the time? Bubble Bath - She has been very fascinated by bubbles or soap suds. So, I'd been pampering her, running a bubble bath for her every evening.

Visit to Tai-Kong's (maternal great grand father)- King's wife and family went to Kajang to visit our maternal grand father, Zara and I tagged along. She was very afraid of her Ku-Kong (maternal grand uncle), but after he agreed to bring her walking, her fear miraculously disappeared. Sleep over in King's Wife's place - Sleeping with her favourite cousin, Samantha che-che

Fun in the park - Her cousins brought her to the park, and here she is on a swing with Alicia che-che (she looked bored because she's actually very sleepy).

Visit to Ikea - She sure had a lot of fun playing with some of the little houses set up all around Ikea for little people. Even happier if there were other children whom she could play with.

Drawing - We bought some crayons and a book of art block, and let her have fun 'drawing'. This was her first attempt, she was just making dots and drawing lines.

Exploring - She was fascinated by the pebbles we had in our court yard as well as our shell collections. She kept pulling Daddy back to the courtyard to play with the things there.

So it was a fun filled holiday for her, and a tiring one for me....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Part 1 – The visits to the Back Lane Doctor

Daddy and I got married end of 1998 after courting for 6years. We decided to try for a baby immediately since both of us were not that young any more. Little did we know it would take us another 6 years before we have a baby in our arms. I never used to have regular menstrual cycle since I first got my period, in a year, sometimes, I only got 2 periods; but it never bothered me (less PMS, fewer ‘inconveniences’, why bother?). My mum brought me to see several gynaes about my ‘problem’, but I never really paid attention to what the Drs said, and the treatment was always to put me on the (contraceptive) pill to regulate my cycle, which I didn’t really take because the first time I took it, I put on ~ 10Kg in a month! After close to a year of trying, with the irregular period and all, needless to say, we didn’t succeed. One of my close friend suggested that I go to this famous Dr in Pudu for treatment. She had an aunt who was not able to conceive after 7years of trying and after getting treated by this Dr, she had a baby. Maybe I was very naïve, or I trusted this friend so much, I went to this run down Clinic for women in Pudu with her. The Dr was an elderly and suspicious looking man. One ultra sound scan on the belly, and he said he knew what my problem was. I had to come back the following week for a simple procedure. Daddy, who was very doubtful, told me I needed to really find out what my problem was, what ‘procedure’ the Dr was talking about. I must be so desperate I had a row with him, I told him this was a good Dr, he had many success cases, we just had to trust him etc. He budged when he knew he wouldn’t be able to convince me. I went back the next week with Daddy. When it was our turn to see the Dr, Daddy tried to ask the Dr what my problem was, and what he was going to do. The Dr mumbled something (which didn’t make sense to both of us), I stared at Daddy and whispered through seething teeth “I’m doing it!”. What happened after was pretty frightening. I don’t know why I was so gullible and stubborn, and willing to go ahead with the Dr’s plan, whatever it was. After he'd paid, Daddy was told to wait in the waiting room with all the rest of heavily made up, skimpily dressed ladies with multi coloured hair; while I was asked to take off all my clothings, and put on only a hospital robe, then I was brought into a room. The room was curtained into two sections. I was asked to lie down on a bed and propped my legs up. I saw on the other side of the curtain, another lady was propped up the same as me. I was getting scared, what the hell he was going to do to us propped up like that? I didn’t get to find out, because immediately after that, a mask was put over me, and I drifted off to unconsciousness. When I woke up, I was already in a ward filled with other semi conscious ladies. I asked for Daddy. They went to get him. When he came in to join me, he looked worried. It has been more than 5hours since he waited. They wouldn’t let him see me before I awaken. What did the Dr do to me? Did he know? He said he didn’t. I didn’t as well. I only felt a pain in the abdomen area, and I knew I was bleeding down there, and I was still feeling dizzy, everything was still in a daze. A nurse came to say I could leave now. We walked out of the ward, back into the Dr’s waiting area. I wobbled to the reception area and asked if we could see the Dr. The nurse said he was very busy, many patients more to see. We demanded to know what was done to me. The nurse mumbled something. “What is it? What is the procedure called?” I asked, flustered. She continued to mumbled something, a term we’d not heard before. I asked her to write it down to me. Because I was feeling really weak, we didn’t pursue the matter and went back home. When we got back, we searched the net, we could not find anything on the ‘procedure’ done on me. I forgot what the term given to us was. I believed the term never existed. I suspected what had been done to me was a D&C; that the Dr was a famous Dr for getting rid of unwanted pregnancies. Up till today, what really was done to me in that room remains a mystery. I never wanted to go back to that shit place. I never forgave myself for being so foolish. To think that I was once so stupid! What if something went wrong and I was never able to have a baby. What if he was a sick man who did things to his patients when they were knocked out. The terrible possibilities were there.

How it all started

Zara is coming to 1year old, and it’s really a great joy having her. As a 'special' for her coming one year old birthday, instead of writing about her birth story, I'll write about how we 'got' Zara. We tried many years to have a baby, and almost gave up hope. Here is how it all went, our 6 7 part journey to discovering and treating infertility and finally having Zara. Since this is long 'story', I'll post 1 part per day on top of my regular post (if there's anything interesting happening). Do read on if it interest you.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

King's Wife MIA - Announcement

If you read King's Wife's blog, and she reads yours, you would have noticed she'd been very quiet the last few days. This is because she's down with fever and throat infection since Monday because she'd been giving too many bjs in one of her yoga pose. She's getting better now, and should be making an appearance soon. By the way, if you wonder, why is King's Wife called King's Wife, let me let you in on the secret. King's Wife is my sister-in-law. Which mean she's married to my brother, the King. We called him King because: - he's the only son in our family of 4. You can imagine how precious he is to my parents, and he always got away with a lot of things as a son. - He's a director in some company, and therefore revered by his subordinates (not sure if they loved him). - Being a SAHM, King's Wife has to 'fook-si' (服侍 - 'provide service to') her ATM kao-kao (sufficiently) or else will not get allowance to go shopping for another handbag. - Normally, anything King says, we have to agree or abide although I don't give a hoot. A friend even dedicated a poem to King's wife. You can see, although she's married to the King, she's really not the Queen like Yee Ching or the Queen that this fella will eventually get (the shake leg do nothing but have all the 'servants' running around her type), and hence her title. Hope you get well soon King's Wife!

Home alone - What to do during the holidays?

I was really looking forward to the holidays, 4 days in a stretch, wonderful. Daddy and I didn't plan for anything because it's quite scary to travel during these long holidays because the traffic will be so bad. A four hour drive can turn into a 7hour drive. No sir-ree. Better stay in the quiet city. We're lucky we didn't plan for anything too. As yesterday night, Daddy received a call and he had to travel to Germany tonight itself for work. My face turned sour immediately after he hung up (he was talking on speaker phone). Me : "So, what am I supposed to do these 4 days?" Daddy : "You can come with me if you want." Me : "niah seng Just for 4 days? You think I'm so desperate? And we're so well off?" Daddy : "......" Me : "Some more you have great plans, want to bring your daughter to the park for walks, do some day trips around KL. Now.." *turn to Zara* "See, next four days, it's just mummy and you" Daddy : "....." Zara : *grinned* (as she didn't know what this was all about) So for the next four days, I will be alone with Zara. Not sure what we'll do, maybe we'll : - camp in King's Wife's place - camp in my sister's place - go shopping again - go to the park with my nieces - drive each other up the walls (aw, she's really not that bad; and neither am I) - go swimming And in the night, after Zara is asleep, I'll try to complete my long write up about how I try to conceive for 6years, and finally got Zara, and also, read the 2nd installment of The Confession of the Shopaholic - Shopohalic Takes Manhathan. That's something to look forward to isn't it? Ok, so I shouldn't complain about the quiet time I'm going to get.