Saturday, November 30, 2013

the big Two

My little Lina<3 celebrated her second birthday today with family and friends. It was a great day to party. "Lina<3 party" or "Lina<3 birthday" as Lina<3 had said today, and yesterday. Lina<3 enjoyed her first party very much.

This Mama will have pictures posted on a later post, as it had been a few exhausting days.

my letter to Lina<3

Dear Lina<3,
Happy Birthday my Lina<3! I cannot believe that you are two years old now. Daddy and I love you very much! We hoped that your birthday was wonderful, and that you will have nothing but happy, and smiley thoughts on your mind as you sleep tonight. We will continue to make your life as positive, and happy as possible. Daddy and I do not want to see you unhappy, sad or upset because you did not get your way but also know that you will not always get your way.
On your birthday, you will continue to hear your birth story, as much as Mama can remember - started tradition since you turned one years old. mommy loves you so much and I hope that you know that. Muah my baby.
Love Always

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Funny Story - Lina

Since I had the pleasure of putting Lina<3 to nap during the days, changing her out of her clothes to her pajamas can be kind of tough.  It can be tough because she runs all over room, wanting to play instead of going to sleep.  So when I able to get her top and take it off her head, and it gets stuck on her head which makes it hard to take out.
Mommy: Oh your shirt is stuck.
Lina struggles... to get it off, and fusses a little.
Mommy: you have a big head (after the first tug)
Mommy: big head (after a few more tugs, said it a few times)
Lina: ahh
Shirt finally came off.

The day after that incident, shirt is stuck on head again while changing clothes during the  nap time again.
Mommy: uh-oh, shirt is stuck
Lina: oh
Mommy struggles to take it off her head and says: big head
Lina: big head
Shirt finally came off
Lina: big head
Mommy   lol

The next day, shirt incident happens again
Mommy: uh-oh
Lina: uh-oh
Mommy struggles with shirt
Lina: ahh
Shirt came off
Lina: big head
Mommy: who has a big head?
Lina: big head
Mommy: who has a big head?
Lina: big head
Mommy: is it Mommy who has  a big head?
Lina: no (smiles, and points to self)
Mommy: is it Lina? big head?
Lina: Lina big head
Mommy:(lol) Lina has a big head? 
Lina: Lina big head

The next day, it happens again
Mommy: it's okay, (as I struggle to take the shirt off)
Lina: big head
Mommy tries not to laugh, as I do not want to think that her head is big. Also finally realized that she is a little sponge that absorbs everything and will repeat anything when said one too many times. 

Present day 
As the shirt comes off
Lina: big (referring to her head)
Mommy laughs and not repeat the words "big head"

Diaper Change, Nurse, Sleep

Lina<3 learns to put diaper on her doll and her bunny aka baby
Ta-da, Lina<3 put the diaper(s) on WP_20131124_017

Lina<3 wants to nurse her doll as Mommy nursed Serena:)

“Shh”  Sleepy time

Mama and her girls

Being a mama of two little girls is not easy at all, especially since they are both under the age of two years old – one toddler and one newborn.  I had so much help the last few weeks from my parents coming over to the house and to help me with the girls (still am but not as often).  The last week or so, I had the pleasure of taking care of my girls all by myself.  It was not easy at first for all of us, and it was something we had to get use to.  I am glad that Lina<3 and Serena:) have schedules that are similar to each other.  Serena:) sleeps and eats close to when Lina<3 sleeps and eats.  At times, Lina<3 can be extremely helpful with Serena:) with diaper changes, calming her sister when she cries, and wants to hold her.  Other times, they can be difficult, especially when both are crying hysterically, and Lina<3 does not want to listen to reasoning, and wait for Mommy until I am finishing taking care of Serena:)  So I have to let one of them cry for a little longer while I take care of the other, sounds cruel, I know, that only happens when I do not know what to do.  For example, if I am taking care of Serena:) and Lina<3 cries; then I let Lina<3 cries while talking to her about taking care of Serena:) first; or vice versa.  Although it is harder to let Serena:) cry while taking care of Lina<3 first, I do let Serena cry it out a little bit.  I love my time with my girls all by myself but it can be extremely exhausting.  Nap time for all of us is extremely important ( and for Mommy who does not nap every nap time but does relax at least.

In the mornings, the girls wake up early.  Most of the time, Serena:) falls back to sleep for at least an hour or so, which is awesome because I get to get ready, and spend some extra time with Lina<3 all by ourselves.  When Serena:) is up, I entertain Lina<3 and Serena:) at the same time by trying to include Serena:) into Lina<3 playtime times, or coloring times, or reading times, or mealtime times.  Around sleepy time, I always put Serena:) to sleep first, which can take a while.  Nap time is good, because they usually sleep 2-3 hours at a time, longer for Serena:)  The two hardest and most exhausting times throughout the day are two hours during the late morning and three hours during the early evening when Serena:) is awake.  During these times, the thing that helps me is Lina<3 favorite Qiaohu YouTube videos – my babysitter, lol.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Serena's Birth Story

The day Serena was born, was the scariest day.  When I was diagnosed with placenta previa as described here, I was always concerned about vaginal bleeding.  The morning of the day (starting from five minutes to 5AM in the morning) you were born, it started out with bleeding, heavy bleeding that would not stop, and bathroom was the first stop as it woke me up.  It just kept flowing down, like someone had turned on the faucet.  I was so scared.  All I heard in my head was the doctor saying "This is serious, the placenta cannot come before the baby.  You could  bleed to death.  It could put you and the baby at risk.  Do you want to die?  I do not want a dead patient!"  I was rubbing my belly, telling my little baby to move, move for mommy.  I did not scream out  loud as it was so early in the morning, and I did not want to wait up Lina<3.  After a few minutes, I went back to my bedroom to wake daddy up, and told him what had happened.  I called the doctor was not able to reach for some reason.  I think it was because I was so scared, and petrified that I could not focus.  I wanted my baby to move.  As I laid down on the floor with pillows, and lots of towels, I rubbed my belly a lot, in hopes that you will move.  As soon as Daddy spoke, my baby moved right away, it put me at ease a tiny bit, and made me chuckled a little.  I had no other symptoms besides the bleeding.

Meanwhile Daddy called 911, because I was not able to reach the doctor.  The ambulance came 10-15 minutes later, which felt like hours and hours.  I was saying in my head, "Don't they know that I am pregnant, and bleeding?  Don't they care about my unborn baby?"  When the ambulance people did come, they seemed so nonchalant, and were so slow (the whole process was so slow). Another 15-20mintues, I left in an ambulance to the hospital of my choice, since the hospital where my doctor delivers is not within the time zone.  Daddy stayed at home to take care of Lina<3, get her ready for PorPor's house before meeting me in the hospital.  Got the hospital at 5:45AM.  We went right up to labor and delivery, and the nurses connected the doctor, who came after 7AM.  The nurses monitored me and the baby, stated that the baby was fine, and the heartbeat was strong.  I saw the doctor, and she said, "You are lucky that I have not bled until now, which was extremely fortunate because she had five other pregnant patients who had placenta previa.  One of my patients at 18 weeks pregnant had already been to the ER for vaginal bleeding. So you are extremely fortunate."  Within less than an hour of seeing the doctor, she said that the contractions were too close, we need to go into surgery within the hour, and your husband better be here; which was unusual to me since I did not feel any contractions at all.  After getting that news, Daddy finally came.

The OR that I was going into was a main operating room, and not within the labor and delivery floor.  It had to be in the main OR in case I lost too much blood in surgery, and needed blood transfusion.  The wheel down to the OR was long, and a little scary, but Daddy was right there with me.  Going into the OR was cold, and scary, all those light, big white room with medical equipments, and was not a warm place at all, in both sense that it was freezing in temperature and not warm, as not cozy.  It was terrible getting the spinal anesthesia (then I was numbed), and the IV ports in my right arm.  My doctor did a wonderful job comforting me, making me relax, and distracting me while the IV ports were being put into my arm which took forever, and was very painful.  The anesthesiologist, nurses, and a student followed suit into distracting me, with different stories of my doctor's choice into GYN, racism, and her family.  Finally the IV ports were in, my doctor was ready to cut me open, and Daddy came in, all suited up in scrubs, seated next me, my head because everything else was off-limits.  The conversations continue as I listened to my doctor do her cutting business, nervous, curious at what is my doctor doing, shaking a lot due to the cold temperature in the room.  Minutes later, my doctor said, taking out the baby, and there was crying, the most beautiful sound I ever heard.

My doctor showed me my little girl, before handing her off to the nurses to be cleaned up.  There was a lot of crying, a lot of swinging of your arms and legs.  Mommy saw how you scratched your head, pulled your hair (yes, you had a head full of head; and Daddy and I said "Stop scratching" and "it is okay."  Daddy and I were very happy that our baby was finally here.  The nurses said my baby was so strong, as your arms were tugging on their arms hard as they cleaned you.  It was beautiful watching my little baby, as I was being sewed up by my doctor.  I was so cold, and sleepy since the beginning of the cutting.  The nurses handed over my baby to Daddy to hold, Mommy was able to look closely, to kiss, and to take pictures.  Serena was born, and at six pounds.

The pictures can be found here, as her first days, and here, as her first days at home.

It was the scariest day, the recovery process was hard and difficult the first day.  My little Serena is here.  Daddy and I love Serena so much.  The name was a right fit for her and sounded so right as I held her for the first time :D

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Bilingual Lina

Since Mommy went back to work full time, Lina<3 had been staying with grandma for three days a week.  It had turned out very well, because your grandparents speaks Chinese to her.

She had been speaking very well in Chinese (Cantonese), and it did not occur to me until Serena was born and grandma had spent time with us, I saw the interactions between the two of you.  Mommy is also speaking Chinese to you as much I can and know how.  Most of  Lina's<3 Chinese words and phrases are simple enough for me to engage her.  Lina<3 says many things like "pants (fu)", "wear pants (zoek fu)", "Lina<3 wear pants (Lina<3 zoek fu)",  "ma ma fu" all in Cantonese.  She can also name different things, and recognize it such as food, airplane, car, duck, to go out, and to go shopping... I can have a simple conversations with her, she answers back most of the time coherently enough that I understand and responses back.

Lina<3 also speaks so Mandarin from watching her favorite youtube video called Qiaohu (if the link does not work, just type "Qiaohu" in the search engine).  There are a lot of words that she picked up and words that I also know in Mandarin so I can repeat to her therefore teaching her more.  Last week, she counted in Mandarin, one to four, all by herself, out of no where - it made me realize that some of her speech is in Mandarin and not just gibberish or baby talk.  She counts with me, from one to ten, when she is in a good mood and wants to repeat after me. This past week, she started to say "love you (ai ni)" or "love (ai) " in Mandarin to myself and Daddy. 

It is one of the best feelings, knowing that Lina<3 understands us, knows that we love her very much, and that she is able to communicate with us better each day.  Do not worry my little Lina<3 may not understand all your Chinese, but he is getting there and understanding more when you speak in Chinese (yes, Daddy does not speak Chinese, just a couple of phrases).  I hope that I can keep up with Lina<3 and the development of the Chinese language.  We are definitely putting you in Chinese school later on!

To my little Serena

Dear Precious Serena,

Today, you turn one month old, and I could not be happier.  This is my first letter to you.  I love you so much.  The last few weeks had been amazingly beautiful, and I am looking forward to many more moments.  I love watching you sleep, nurse, make gassy noise (yes, I can hear you poop, as it is very loud, lol but so cute), smile, and chuckle (yes, you chuckle when you sleep).  You are staying up awake more often, staring at me with your beautiful and curious eyes, and turning your head more often as you listen to conversations between the three of us, or your playful sister. 

The first week, you had been sleeping very well, two to three hours at a time, wake for a feeding, then sleep again after a diaper change.  The second week, you slept even better, three to five hours at a time, wake up for two hours, diaper change, tummy time, nurse, and then back to sleep.  By the third week to now, you had been sleeping almost four to five hours at a time (that is when you do finally fall asleep), and stay up for two to three hours at a time, twice a day.  It has been very hard to put you to sleep this past week, it could be too much noise, and stimulation.  You would only sleep by my side, or on my chest, or on my bed, and not your bassinet.  Am I spoiling you by holding you too much, could that be a reason why you are not sleeping well by yourself?  Of course not, I am trying to spend as much time with you as much as possible.  I want to give you as much attention as possible because there are times when I feel like I do not spend enough time with you.

I love every thing about you since the very first moment, I heard you cry as the doctor pulled you out from in my incision, and watched your arms, and legs swing back and forth, fighting with the nurse as they cleaned you up.  It was the happiness moment.  I was so glad that you came out healthy, and fine, because we had went to the hospital due to an emergency.  I am still glad that you continue to do so well.  I am not the only one that loves you, there are list of family members that love you very much. Daddy loves you very much.

You are my baby.  My precious bunny.  My Serena.  My little Serena.  I hope that you continue to stay precious, to stay sweet, to stay beautiful, and to stay healthy.  I look forward to watching your develop, grow, and learn new things, all your milestones...

I love you always!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jie Jie

Jie Jie means big sister. Lina<3 has been a good jie jie when she wants to be. There are times when she is extremely helpful during Serena’s diaper changes, and want to throw out the dirty diaper. There are other times, where she just demands my attention, especially when I am nursing Serena. Lina<3 loves her sister so much. Yes, Lina<3 does get jealous, which is normal. Overall, I am very happy with Lina’3<3 reaction to Serena.

Lina<3 is helping Mommy put Serena’s sock on… what a good girl Lina was (and is).

In the picture above, Daddy was reading to his girls.

The pictures above, Lina<3 helped set up the bouncer chair for the baby. After Daddy set it up, all Lina<3 wanted to do was put her baby in it and her toys. When Serena was sitting on the chair, Lina<3 enjoyed showing Serena the birds on top.

The pictures above, Lina<3 wanted to hold Serena, and gets very upset when she does not get she wants. It was scary first times I let Lina<3 hold Serena, because Lina<3 would get so possessive, and does not want any help when she is holding her sister. A good tip would be not to look so nervous or act so nervous when the older one holds the little one because the older can sense it, and makes the older one more nervous and anxious.

First few days with Serena

After coming home from the hospital, we are enjoying Serena very much. Serena had been smiling since day one, it is hard to capture it on camera, because every time the camera flashes her smile turns to a frown, lol. I enjoy watching my little one nurse, sleep, make noise, smile, poop, and changing you. Enjoying as much as I can, or as much as Lina<3 jie jie lets me, lol.
(My Sleeping Beauty)

(Serena "All Full and Satisfied" after being nursed)

(Serena "how dare you put the camera flash in my face!")
(Mommy and Serena)

(Rough housing with Daddy)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Being pregnant with Serena....

My pregnancy, overall, with Bunny (Serena's nickname in the belly) was good. I had more pain, from my bad tailbone (which I hurt myself years ago), to my hemorrhoids (from a natural childbirth with Lina<3), to lower back pain, to more allergies (especially in the summertime), to more headaches,  and to more pressure everywhere. Even from all these daily unpleasantness moments, I overlooked all of it, rest as much as I can (while trying to spend as much time with Lina<3 as possible before Bunny was born), not take any medication either for allergies or pain (I can handle a lot of pain, and I am anti- medications unless absolutely necessary).

The first trimester was exhausting all way round. All I wanted to do was sleep, and put my feet but it was very hard because Lina<3 wanted to play, play and play. I did get to laid down on the couch, and "relax" while Lina<3 climbs all over me as I dozed off here and there. I did feel very nauseated because of the prenatal vitamins I took in the mornings. And the doctor told me to switch to nighttime which helped a lot and I felt less nauseated, and a little more energy. The only thing that I would change is to see the doctor earlier, for prenatal care. I saw the the doctor at 10 weeks, which made the doctor want to knock on my head, lol. Thank goodness that no emergencies came up before then. Always recommend early prenatal care. The diagnosis of placenta previa came towards the end of the trimester, it was scary. When the doctor told me the diagnosis, I could not help but laughed because of her tone. The doctor said "no sex, no dildols, nothing inside the vagina!" Lol, it was funny to me. The doctor responded, "This is serious, the placenta cannot come out before the baby, you could bleed to death, it puts you at risk of bleeding to death, it puts the baby at risk, do you want bleed to death?" before waiting for my answer, the doctor said, "I don't, I don't want a dead patient".

The second trimester was better.  I was more energetic, and in even more pain everywhere. I felt that it was hard to do anything at times. The pain and pressure was everywhere from my head, my tailbone, hemorrhoids, my groin area (ligament pain), and my vagina (yes, I said vagina, I felt a lot of pressure there, and it was fat, and swollen). All that pain and pressure did not matter, as I started to feel my Bunny move very early on, even in the first trimester but the doctor said that it was too early and that it was probably gas. The second trimester, Bunny was growing and moving. It was exciting. As my belly gets bigger, it was easier to explain to Lina<3, that there's was a baby in there. Lina<3 would kiss the belly. Bunny loved hearing Lina<3 played and screamed toward the end of the trimester, and always kicked and moved whenever she hears it. Since I had gestational diabetes with Lina's<3 pregnancy, I knew that I had watched what I ate. That was hard, because I was always hungry, and my taste buds were not the same. The foods that I used to like post pregnancy, it was no longer satisfying enough. The foods that I thought I want and was not satisfying enough either - like samosas, chicken sandwiches, chips, chocolate, rice, turkey breast, turkey sandwiches... nothing tasted the same. But that did not stop me from wanting to eat, and eat. I did not exercise much, because I was usually in pain, which made it harder to want to do anything. I did try to walk as much as I can.

The last trimester was more painful. Sometimes, it is hard to walk, stand, or sit... what was I suppose to do? Using a heat pad was a really helpful. I pushed through the pains, and enjoyed belly wave of movements, and kicks throughout the day. It kept me going. There were very good days, of course.  I was feeling great, no contractions towards the end of the trimester, going strong, and until the day you were born (I thought Bunny was going to hold off until her due date, which I will tell you about in the next post about her birth story).

My tips for staying sane and healthy during pregnancy
1. Stay away from bad foods... especially junk food, (my pet peeve, and it was hard to do so I limited my portions instead).
2. Try and exercise... even if it is just walking a few blocks at a time.
3. With the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.... portion control was extremely important, staying away from white carbohydrates which can raise your glucose levels. I did not have to take insulin because it was managed with diet and exercise (well, mostly diet). Drink a lot of water (at least 64oz) throughout the day, but especially after eating your meal, and before you take you finger stick.
4. Drink a lot of water, at least 32 oz of water.
5. Rest, Rest, Rest and elevate your feet.
6. Relax and do not stress, stress is not good for your health or the baby's.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All About Serena

(On the way to hospital in an ambulance due to heavy bleeding - from placenta previa.  While Daddy took care of Lina<3, and got her ready to go to PorPor's house before coming to the hospital.)

(At the hospital, was told that c-section needed to happen in the next hour, contractions were too close even though I did not feel any contractions at all.)
(Daddy was ready to meet Mommy and baby in OR.)
(My little precious Serena.)
(In the nursery. Isn't Serena adorable and precious?)
(In the nursery, Daddy took care of you while Mommy was recovering from surgery.)
(My baby)
(We meet again, finally in postpartum room, with my baby again.)
(Daddy and baby Serena)
(Skin to Skin contact. Mama loves you very much.)
(Lina<3 meeting her baby sister for the first time, on day of discharge. Lina<3 jie jie was so curious, as soon as she came into the room, her eyes search for baby, and kept saying "baby, baby")
(Lina<3 wanted to touch...)
(Lina<3 jie jie holding her baby sister for first time.)
(Sisterly bond)
(Serena is ready to go home.)
(Mama and her girls.)
(Daddy and his girls)