Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baby 110 : The confinement period. The beginning of a new chapter

The actual delivery was a breeze compared to what I had to go through in the entire labour process. Maybe it was blessing in disguise to have a c-section instead of the actual labour, although I would have preferred the natural way. That's done and over with. Many books would have warned you that this is not the end. Believe it!
Being Chinese, we believe that the first month after birth is very important for the mother to recuperate and rejuvenate all her lost nutrients. If you don't do it within that month, the window of opportunity will be closed thereafter and whatever you do onwards could not compensate the loss. In addition, there are many food that the new mom should abstain from taking, in order to ensure harmony of health. Therefore, we either hire a confinement lady to cook nutritious and suitable food for the new mom or we get some elders that knows the methods/experience of pospartum care to help.
I had initially engaged a confinement lady from Rawang (MJ is her initial). She seemed nice and friendly enough. In order to secure her service, I have paid her 10% down payment (can you believe this?) 5 months earlier. Then, a month before my delivery, she told me that her daughter is getting married, so she may have to take 2 days off during my confinement period. We said fine. And then, 1 day before delivery, she requested to come 1 week after my delivery (because of her daughter's wedding again). We tried to be understanding and so suffer we did.
On the first day that we brought ur baby back from hospital. I felt so helpless. I tried breastfeeding the baby, but she was crying her lungs out while I frantically trying to promote the goodness of breast milk. Damn those books and researches that promoted breastfeeding. At night, when the baby cried, we don't know what to do. Ben was so much better than I am in taking care of her. He patiently changed her, fed her and soother her to sleep. I felt so helpless. By end of second day, I have called another confinement lady to help me for a week. At least until MJ is here. How wrong was I!
1 day before hubby travel down to Rawang to fetch her, I called again to ask her if she confirmed that she can come. She said yes, and so Ben went down to Rawang the next day. Can you believe it? She told Ben that she could not come because it is a taboo because of her daughter's marriage. She recomemded her sister. Ben gave me a call straight away. You know how a woman's hormones like after giving birth? I'll tell you. I gave her a good trashing for lying to us again and again. I told her to pay back my husband the deposit and travelling fees.
After that I have to beg the existing confinement lady to continue her term with me until baby is full moon. Lucky me, she fell in love with my girl, so persuasion was easy.
Then, there is the issue of taboo and food during confinement period. Abstaining from poisonous or windy food is nothing compared to not bathing for a month and eating those extremely heaty food. I am drenched with sweat every time I had my meals, yet I am not allowed to bathe. The stickiness was horrible. At the end of the month when I could finally wash my hair and bathe, I can literally feel a load off my entire head and body. It makes me appreciate the fact that Malaysia is such a fluorishing country that allows me clean water to bathe avery single day.
But the most amazing thing about motherhood is that, nomatter how painful is my wound. I could jumped up and pick my daughter whenever she is crying. Pain? I felt nothing. Power of love!

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