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Liam’s 1st night in his own room

We have decided to send Liam to a kindie since he started saying, “I want to go school” at every chance he gets. So yesterday, we took him to a prospective school! Gareth and I were only planning on discussing the nitty gritty aka $$$ but the principal assigned a teacher to watch over Liam while we were in the office and boy, was he chuffed! 

He took to the school like duck to water. At first, sitting down calmly playing with puzzles, then following other kids around and before long he was dashing in and out of the principal’s office like he owned the place. I nervously said to the principal, “You will have a handful with this one”, but she smiled brightly at me and said, “Don’t worry, mummy!”. Did that assuage my worry? Of course not, are you kidding lol

Anyway, since Liam is going to school in less than two weeks, we realised he has to start waking up early. Like really, really, really early. I am not sure who I fear for more, myself or him haha. I mean, his regular bedtime is loosely midnight but sometimes he hit the sack at 3am 😑

We believed in just chalking up 12 hours of snooze a day for him so was never really bothered by when he goes to bed, just what time he wakes up. Well, well done and congratulations Kim cause now you have to get him in bed by 9pm. I know some parents have their kids tucked in by 7.30pm, power to you folks but that sounds like a friggin’ prison sentence to me. 

So after we got back from the kindie, we decided to bite the bullet and start Liam’s sleep training straightaway. Poor thing didn’t get to nap and fell asleep in his chair in the middle of colouring. 

Had to wake him up after taking this picture, poor Liam.

He was so angry after I woke him up I had to pacify him with snacks and a couple of episodes of Tayo the Little Bus on tele.

Here, he is too wrecked to care. He refused to get up for dinner. Look at those eyes contemplating his shitty life.

My target was to get him showered and in bed by 9.30pm but I missed the mark by an hour at 10.30pm. No matter it was still very early considering he went to bed at 2am the night before. 

Oh and did I forget to say? We also decided to make things more challenging by putting him to bed in his own room. HIS OWN FRIGGIN ROOM! 

Other than the first month of his life of where he spent in the hospital’s NICU, Liam has never slept on his own without at least me, Gareth or his grandpa by his side. We started prepping him about sleeping in his own room quite sometime ago but he always managed very witty comebacks, such as “I don’t want to sleep in my room”, “No sleeping in Liam’s room” or a succinct “No”. 

So last night while tucking him in, I very calmly (emphasise “calmly” because on the inside I was hysterical omg I am abandoning him, he’s going to come at me aged 35, telling me I’ve ruined his life and given him serious pyschological issues), repeatedly assure him that he’s a “big boy”, that big boys sleep in big boys’ room, mummy sleeps in mummy’s room, that his room is nice cause all his books are in it etc etc etc. 

He seemed agreeable and fell asleep willingly with his fingers embedded on the inside of my armpit. I made my escape, exited his room and came down the stairs triumphantly. Leisurely folded laundry and watched an episode of GLOW on Netflix (certified fresh by yours truly). Ahhh, this isn’t so hard actually. 

1.5 hours later, the first animalistic cry rang through the house. Gareth went up to pacify him. Not long after, he came down telling me Liam wants mummy. I gave Gareth the evils, and continued drinking my tea in silence. I could still hear Liam sobbing from downstairs but I hardened my heart. 

He finally stopped crying after what seemed like am eternity. It was only 15 minutes in reality. I went up the stairs very quietly but I heard a door opened and out came this adorable little poppet with tear-rimmed eyes at the top of our staircase saying, in a trembling voice, “Mummy, mummy hug please”. Oh my heart :(

I scooped him up, carried him back to his bed and very calmly told him that it’s okay. I repeated what I said the first time and I kept kissing him on the forehead, sang with him. I also turned on the nightlight, which I referred to as “baby light” and brought him Roxy, a stuffed bunny and Hoppig, a stuffed dog. He’s always slept in pitch darkness and he’s never attached to his soft toys so I didn’t even think that any of these could comfort him but they did! 

I told him in a cheeky voice that Roxy has an armpit too (he needed to fiddle with my armpit everynight before sleeping, yes ladies and gentlemen my son’s chouchou aka smellie blanket is my smelly armpit) and placed his finger under the poor bunny’s arm. He giggled. 

We went at this for a few minutes and from him reiterating, “Liam sleeps in mummy’s bed”, he started saying, “Liam sleeps in Liam’s bed”. I said, “I love you”, and he said it back. I said “Goodnight”, and he said it back. By the time he puckered up and leaned in to kiss me when I asked for one, I knew he was ready. He didn’t protest when I started leaving his room but I could see his little face as I closed the door…my Liam was trying to be brave. Oh my baby! His lips were quivering and he was trying so hard not to cry. At that moment I really wanted to scoop him up and bring him to our room but I didn’t. 

I closed the door behind me and waited. Not a peep. After coming out of the shower I asked Gareth if he heard anything. Nothing. 

Part of me felt like checking on him but Gareth said no. I suggested getting a baby monitor, he said no to that too. Party pooper. 

I read a little in bed and then I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. It was 2am and I still hadn’t heard anything from Liam’s room and I wasn’t sure if it was a good or a bad thing. I slept fitfully. 

At 7.30am I popped up. I opened my door half expecting a Liam sleeping on the floor in the hallway but there’s nobody. 

I tiptoed into his room, pretty sure he’d be on the floor sleeping on a pile of toys at least but he wasn’t. 

To my utter surprise, Liam was fast asleep in his bed, just as I had left him!

What a sight for sore eyes. Sniffs.

I don’t think I could describe my feelings. At best, I think I can say I’m feeling as proud as the day he was discharged from the hospital almost 3 years ago. 

As I type this blogpost out on my phone, Liam is still sleeping in his own bed, in his own room, by himself! I have to pinch myself! 

I suppose Liam’s first night alone in his own room is a success. Lets hope his second night will be even better. 

Liam, my dearest son, I love you so very much and you’ve made mummy so proud. If I could, I would want you in our bed for as long as you wish but please understand this is for your own good. You are starting kindie and you need good quality sleep, without mummy and daddy’s reading (read: phone usage) distracting you so that you can be your best happy self at school. If you’re currently 35 years old and suffering from abandonment issues that you think I caused from making you sleep on your own all those years ago, I hope reading this can give you some insights into my situation then and I encourage you to forgive and love me cause I am your mother, mister. 

Love you loads, mummy. 

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What Liam says

Liam is turning 3 in two months and with age comes speech. I have to be honest, for a while I was a little worried about his speech. My nephew who is 4 months younger than Liam started speaking a lot sooner and as much as I refused to compare, it’s hard not to. Following a few mums on Dayre and Instagram I also noticed kids his age or younger have started speaking. I couldn’t help but worried if he’s got an impediment due to his prematurity?

Anyway, my worries were unfounded because Liam has started speaking. A lot! From parroting us poorly at first, to just saying “banana” and “no”, he has now gone on to making actual conversations.

As his parents, it’s fascinating to listen to him!

For instance, we were at a cafe near home for lunch. They had some cakes on display.

Liam: Mummy I want cake.

Me and Gareth:

Liam: Mummy, I want eat cake.

Me: Okay you may have cake only if you sit here quietly and finish up your lunch okay?

Liam: /indecipherable grunts

*He normally darts around the cafe running his Hot Wheels on the walls but this time he sat quietly on a regular chair throughout lunch and ate everything without being a pain in my bum! After he’s finished his pasta…

Liam: Finish!!

Me: Yes, well done! You’ve finished your pasta!

Liam: I want eat cake!!

Me:

Me: Hurm, okay lets choose a cake.

*He gracefully let himself down from the chair, walked with me to the cake display and chose a cake WTF.

This in fact took place just moments ago and prompted me to write this blogpost….

Me to Gareth: Do you think we should throw a birthday party for Liam?

Liam: Yes, please.

*Me and Gareth turned to look at Liam.

Liam: I want presents.

Me and Gareth:

Liam: Mummy I want party.

Guess Gareth and I have to start to be more conscious of what we say. Other than cuss words, we usually say whatever whenever because Liam’s just a kid who doesn’t really have an contextual understanding, right? Not anymore!

As the conversations above show, he well and truly understands what’s up.

And this is a picture from said lunch outing. I had told him to wait while I take a picture of the cake, and he did so. Haha.

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Ironies of life

Been drinking my green smoothies everyday, been writing in my gratitude journal everyday, been eating paleo every day (well almost), been doing sun salutations everyday, been meditating everyday, been reading everyday, been getting my shit together everyday and then I got struck by the worst flu while on holiday in Lombok.

I have never been this sick when I was still a cow’s milk guzzling, cheese chomping, sugar inhaling, grain celebrating fiend with poor impulse control. Now that’s irony of life.

Since we were in Lombok, obviously I packed light and was unable to keep myself warm against the intense cold chills that kept striking me. I mean, Lombok was so hot my husband suffered 2nd degree sunburn but there I was writhing and shivering in cold under a duvet. Yeap, fucking ironic.

After suffering for 2 days, which included 7 hours of uncomfortable waiting and shivering (2 in a cafe, 1 on the ride to airport and 4 at the airport) for our flight home (couldn’t kill time anywhere cause I was sick af), I was so glad to be home.

I made myself a glass of fizzy vitamin C, downed it, then a hot cup of lemon & ginger tea which I sipped contentedly. Everything is going to be fine tomorrow, I told myself. Then I went to bed with an equally relieved Liam….not, he was actually in proper beast mode made worse for me by my throbbing headache, aching body and constant chills but lets not get into that now.

The next morning, I woke up woozy and still sick but I had to wake up cause it’s an important day. It’s the day that I was to receive my first progesterone jab in preparation for my cervical stitch as deng deng deng, somebody’s 9 weeks pregnant! Happy days.

Then I went to wee, wiped and guess what’s on the toilet paper? Oh this is becoming such a common theme in my blog now; mucus, blood, plug, whatever.

Told the husband, he made a sad face. I felt like slapping him because he wasn’t helping me at all. In hindsight, it was too early in the morning and he was dealing with lots of sunburn related pain.

Anyway, I drove to the hospital in a sort of daze, all the while chanting in my head, “Baby you are fine, stay with mummy”. Saw my doctor, told him about the chills, fever, flu, and the pee incident earlier. He looked concerned and told me to get on with the ultrasound.

I saw the blob on the screen but doc kept digging into my belly in silence. I just knew. I spoke first, “No heartbeat?”

He sighed and said, “I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat, no blood supply”. Maybe cause I was sick so I couldn’t react much. I didn’t cry. He said the fetus died only very recently as it measured right on the chart so he suspected it could be due to my chills/flu but it’s also probably just chromosomal abnormalities.

Doc gave me my options (a) spontaneous abortion, basically letting nature takes its course (b) D&C, which stands for dilation and cutterage, a surgical procedure which increases chances of future preterm labour (which by the way I have already experienced TWICE despite never having the procedure done in my life – irony much? Hahahaha) and (c) medicinal approach but have to go to Singapore as drug isn’t available in Malaysia. I chose option (a).

Went to my car, finally grasping the reality of the situation and had a good cry. Steering wheel beating and all.

3 losses in a row. You’re really fucking with me aren’t you, Universe? And while I am painfully passing out blood clots that could have become my child, I am also dealing with this debilitating flu crap. You win, Universe.

And to top it off, I got a painful toe-curling foil cut (foil version of paper cut) while taking panadol soluble out of its box. I have no words. So, what’s next, huh? Septicaemia from my foil fucking cut? Well, come at me bruv.

# – You, Universe, have a special sense of humour.

This miscarriage does not hurt as much as losing the twins (bloody clots vs fully formed babies – easy maths) but even myself am surprised by how quickly I am with moving on. Instead of sadness & grief I am mostly annoyed. Annoyed by this flu that I can’t seem to be able to shake off, annoyed with not knowing when the bleeding’s going to stop, and annoyed with the uncertainty of whether I would get a complete and clean natural abortion cause I really don’t want to get a D&C.

I suppose my lack of self pity is because statistically it made sense for me to have an early miscarriage, afterall it’s my 3rd pregnancy.

# – From tommys.org

Well, better luck next round. In the meantime, I’m just going to spite the Universe by washing my hair with store-bought shampoo (yeap, I have been cleaning my hair with just water for the past 3 months). Ambik kau.

Ps: cute lil button finally came out with the placenta at 7.30am today complete with teeny fingers, toes, eyes and mouth. I googled pictures of miscarried 9 weekers and damn, you are so much cuter than all the pictures. I am sorry you couldn’t make it. Would have loved you so much. RIP bub.

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