Category Archives: Emmeline

‘Big Brother’ Training

Andrew: We’ve taken another long break from blogging – well, because we’ve been busy managing both kids. We’re homebound currently as Dylan is recovering from HFMD and Emmy’s sort of mid-way through, hence what better time to start blogging again!

We’d like to share more about how we’ve been helping Dylan grow into his role as an elder brother and take care of little Emmy. I’ve never thought that there was much that could be done, given that he’s still so young and largely dependent on us for most of his needs. However, I’m surprised at how he has stepped up and impressed us on many occasions with his sweet, brotherly behavior! Here are some ways which we have involved him more as a big brother…

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“Is this the ‘off’ button for her crying?” (Obviously things don’t always work out well from the start…)

1. Small care-giving tasks

Andrew: while he might not be able to do things like carry Meimei or change her diapers, we’ve involved him in as many ways as he can.

One simple way is in getting his help to get tissue paper for us to wipe Meimei’s spit-up or drool. We did this not only by giving him instructions on what to do, but also sharing with him the context and the effect of what he did. For example, we would say, “Oh, Dilly, Meimei is crying now and she’s spit up her milk. What should you do?” Initially, he’d look a little lost, so we’ll tell him to take tissue paper to pass it to us, which we would use to clean Meimei. He gradually realises what’s going on and now, he will not only pass the tissue to us, but even take the tissue to clean Meimei’s spit-up on his own.

There was once he didn’t even need any prompting from us. I recall I was carrying Emmy and then Dilly came by and looked at her. He then walked towards the tissue box and started pulling out pieces of tissue, which I didn’t think much of as he usually does that as part of his play. He then walked towards me and cleaned up Emmy’s spit-up! It surprised me because I hadn’t even noticed it myself. Little kids really impress you with the things they learn.

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There are other small tasks we involve him in to varying degrees of success, like helping to rock Meimei in the bouncer (which sometimes ends up making her cry even more when he gets too excited), carrying Meimei when she cries (yes, we do put her in his arms occasionally and he does try to rock her), hugging/kissing Meimei when she cries and even feeding milk!

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Jasmine: Don’t be fooled by the pictures. Emmy is still as determined as ever to refuse the bottle, spoon, teat etc. Haha.

2. Prayer time!

Andrew: We’ve shared previously about our family devotional time and how we put Dylan to bed. Well, he’s progressed leaps and bounds since then and now is able to lay his hands on people as we pray (thanks to Grandma for teaching him that!). It’s quite cute to see him as he closes his eyes very earnestly and has now even learnt to say ‘Amen’ (sounds more like ‘Amah’ for now) whenever we close the prayer in Jesus’s name.

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We let him be the ‘big brother’ to lead, by letting him do the laying on of hands while we pray and we also let him decide who’s next in line for prayer. If Emmy is not in the room, he’ll always stand up and stretch his hand towards the door to pray for her. It’s really quite sweet!

3. Taking turns

Jasmine: Sometimes we have to attend to Emmy or hey, even our own selves, so we ask Dylan to wait. For toys, instead of sharing, which is abit abstract (and to the child, “sharing” is equivalent to losing the toy) and applies more in the context of food, we ask him to wait for his turn.

4. Care-giving through play

Andrew: Well, trust Jasmine to find toys on Amazon that will help older siblings learn care-giving. (Jasmine: Actually I just bought them coz they were cute.) I believe these toys are actually more to cultivate the heart of care-giving, rather than actually teaching them practically how to care for the kids, given that it’s not quite possible for Dylan to actually do these things for Emmy yet.

Jasmine: There has been much research about the importance of doll play in helping children make sense of their world in a miniature way, so we bought him a Manhattan Toy Sweetpea Snuggle Pod (aka his beloved “baebee”). I also have a spare Snuggle Pod (with bunny ears) for Emmy but am hiding that from Dylan for now.

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Jasmine: Dylan actually showed zero interest in Sweetpea for months, so she went on vacation at Grandma’s house, when one day Dylan re-discovered her in a box and has played/ napped with “baebee” everyday since.

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Jasmine: I also bought a doll sling and matching cloth diapers from Etsy to extend the doll play.

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Only one problem… Sweetpea doesn’t have legs.

Of course, any shawl will do, but this sling has special plastic rings that snap off for safety reasons.

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And here is a pic of the original ring sling, the one I used to carry both Emmy and Dylan from birth- and still do now for quick errands!

 

photo(37) Slinging Emmy at four days old

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Andrew: Dilly really enjoys slinging Sweetea… just this morning he asked to sling her again, then walked around patting it/her(?).

Jasmine: And nobody taught Dylan, but he will rock, pat and shush the baby when he slings her! I think he learnt that by watching us carry Emmy!

Andrew: Lately, Ee Ee also bought him a little baby doll bathing set, which is his current favourite toy! (Jasmine: I let Dylan choose an old face towel to serve as rubber baby’s bath towel.)

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Jasmine: Dylan likes to soap up rubber baby…

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Then towel her dry…

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But he’s found a new use for the shower hose…

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As a nasal aspirator! Yes, Dylan still remembers those traumatic times of flu when we had to aspirate his and Emmy’s nose. When he saw the shower hose, he immmediately said “suck nose” and put the purple tube to rubber baby’s nose. Oh dear, why does he look so gleeful…

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Jasmine: Just to end off by assuring mums of boys that doll play will not make boys effeminate, but rather let them experience what it’s like to be caring and nurturing- traits which mass media ironically seems to stamp out of boys. We did not force Dylan to play with dolls but waited for him to be interested. On the other hand, he is still like any other little boy who loves cranes and trucks and running around.

Andrew: It’s our hope that both Dylan and Emmy will grow up to be close siblings and best friends in future.

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Behind the Scenes: Emmy’s Newborn Shoot

Andrew: Emmeline’s journey into the world of photoshoots began last Monday at 11 days – a bit later than Dylan’s, because unfortunately Dear had a tummyache on Day 7 (which was the original date scheduled).

Jasmine: Yes, I was starving at 6am after breastfeeding Emmeline, but there was only a box of blueberries in the fridge, so I ate it… and woke up with such terrible diarrhea that I felt like passing out.

Anyway, I chose this photographer because she had a stunning portfolio of newborn photography. While Dylan’s shoot was very staged, I wanted something abit more natural and organic, with a timeless feel, so we went with this photog.

Andrew: This was a much ‘larger’ studio (a whole apartment bought specially for the full-length windows that let much natural light in) than our first newborn shoot with Dylan, in that there was a dedicated room for the shoot with all the props and the rest could wait at the living room, where there was a play-kitchen and eventually, even a cute little jie jie to play with Dilly:

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This little boy makes friends so easily! Heh. The sofa also became a convenient place to put him down for his nap after lunch.

In the studio itself, we were so impressed with the whole range of props that the photographer had amassed over the years. Her passion was clearly evident!

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Rows of hats, blankets, baskets and backdrops. The blue, pink and ivory checkered fabric is actually a 1950s vintage quilt that the photog got in Portland.

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Trolley full of baby wraps

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Trayful of little girl headbands… something Dylan couldn’t do during his shoot. Many of these were just little fabric scraps and dried flowers that the photog made herself.

Andrew: We were told to set aside maximum 5 hours for the photoshoot and innocent ol’ me thought to myself, ‘Why would we need so long? We should be done in about 2-3 hours!’ Dylan’s shoot took about 4 hours, with a lot of it spent feeding him and I thought it’d be better with experience. We had planned a whole arsenal of goodies to ensure good behaviour like expressed milk for Emmeline (to prevent Dear from being over-stressed with breastfeeding), breast-feeding cloth, bread for Dylan and all. But as it was, things didn’t turn out quite as planned.

Dylan was well-behaved this time, probably because we do have his patterns figured out better and can manage him better. However, Emmeline took much longer than expected getting settled down including multiple breast-feeds and syringe feeds – the syringe feeding didn’t quite work out too, as the milk kept leaking out of baby’s mouth. Also, the photographer only wanted to take pictures of Emmy when she was fully asleep, as compared to our previous photographer who begun taking photographs even when Dylan was not asleep but calm. That made for rather cute shots too as Dylan had rather funny expressions, even at the newborn stage. (Jasmine: Yes, the photog caught Dylan letting out a gas-smile and yawning, which were adorable!)

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A famfie to entertain little Dillie while Meimei was being photographed

Andrew: Our confinement nanny wasn’t experienced with syringe feeding and kept blaming it on the size of the syringe, but even when we gave her a smaller one, milk kept spilling out still. It turned out to be a rather stressful and tiring start, especially for Dear who just kept feeding Emmy non-stop.

Jasmine: Yes, it was real heart pain to see half the expressed milk leaking out. Quite honestly I would not recommend this photog: even though the photos are beautiful, I’m not sure it was worth putting tiny Emmeline and the whole family through that experience again. I felt that both Emmeline and us parents got blamed multiple times for the shoot not proceeding as planned, largely because Emmeline refused to sleep and the photog refused to take non-sleeping pictures. I’m sorry but I’m not going back.

Andrew: It was only at about 4 hours in that the photoshoot really began as Emmeline acclimatised to the surroundings/fabrics and started sleeping so soundly that the photog could take her in various cute outfits and positions:

Jasmine: We started with wraps to keep her feeling safe and secure.

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Similar concept but in a bowl. I love those precious hands and feet peeking out.

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And then Emmeline got flipped onto her tummy when she was sleeping more soundly. Here she is flashing her bum. Heh. Incidentally you can see the lovely natural light filtering through the large windows.

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And one in a darling rustic iron pram:

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Andrew: Honestly, it was a stressful experience for all, but we’ve just received the first pictures and are pleased with them! Looking forward to the rest of the shots!

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Maternity Shoot for Emmeline

Andrew: We’ve done a ‘behind the scenes’ post for this second maternity shoot, where we wrote that we weren’t sure how the pictures would turn out as most of the shoot was unposed (mainly the PasarBella and the Playground segment). We got the pics back and they turned out really great  – lots of laughter and fun and as usual, Dylan was the star! I love the PasarBella shots especially as the backgrounds are so varied and shots are so colourful and vibrant. Let the pictures do the talking!

PasarBella

Jasmine: We chose PasarBella as it was a place that we liked to frequent plus there was a variety of settings that we thought photograph beautifully. Unlike the previous maternity shoot, where we’ve gone mainly outdoors and featured lots of greenery, we wanted something more urban and eclectic. I like that every corner of PasarBella had a different feel and that Thomas was able to capture a range of atmospheres in just one location alone. All the visual clutter of PasarBella made for a very rich backdrop.

Andrew: Dylan took a while to warm up and was quite straight-faced in the beginning, but he gradually got more lively and started being more smiley and fun. I liked this portion as we were able to go back to our favourite store – the Russian cake shop and enjoy the cake while taking pictures.

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Along the way to the Stables

(Some shots here resemble a pre-wedding shoot!)

Jasmine: Given our outfits, our photographer suggested that we would stand out better against greenery, so we hopped in the car and drove to the stables which was just five minutes away. We literally pulled up by the side of the road for some outdoor shots, which took 15 minutes max. These did turn out very nicely against the evening light – I just wish that I had asked Thomas to highlight my baby bump and maternity gown more.

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Clock Playground @ Bishan

Jasmine: We had one last pit-stop at the clock playground at the Bishan bus interchange. I walk pass it everyday on my way to school and have always found it rather whimsical. A word which pretty much sums up the feel we were going for for this shoot.

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Emmeline’s Birth Story

Andrew: We wanted to combine this entry with the post on Gleneagles Staycation, but the post became too long and difficult to write coherently, hence we separated it. This was logical too, given that the birth story deserves a post on its own!

The labour process took a while as we waited gradually for Dear to enter into active labour. Gynea checked in a few times and we both had time to slip in a few naps here and there and watch some TV too. I will never forget that we were watching Wheel of Fortune before Emmy arrived, commenting how the puzzles were so ‘Americanized’ and also on how Pat Sajak and Vanna White never seemed to age. LOL. Soon enough, Dear entered active labour and the ‘pushing’ process began. With 4 hard and long pushes, Emmy arrived! It was surreal how fast the whole process was. Must have been all the naps that helped Dear gain all the strength to push – or perhaps the motivation that the nurses gave that she will get a diamond after pushing. *shudder*

Jasmine: I don’t ask for much, just the Dior Bagatelle ring:D

Personally, comparing Dylan’s birth and Emmeline’s birth, I no doubt prefer the experience of birthing Dylan. I felt very much more in control as I was able to stay at home and eat, shower and rest during the early stage of labour, going into hospital only when my contractions were five minutes apart and ready to enter active labour, which was why our whole experience in the birthing suite for Dylan took two hours from the point of entry to the delivery.

However, with Emmeline, we checked in and spent almost nine hours in early and active labour. The experience was quite immobilising as I was on epidural and could not walk but had to remain on my back- this is actually quite contrary to the natural rhythms of labour, where you can walk to relieve labour pains and rest when you need to. However, the good thing was that it was a natural birth that didn’t need further assistance- when the contractions started coming hard and fast (like every minute), the pushing only took twenty minutes and four pushes and our little Russian doll was out!

Andrew: The moment she arrived, our little girl was wrapped up completely, which has thus earned her the nickname of ‘Russian Doll’ or Dolly. She’s so cute!

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Mummy: My first thought was, she’s beautiful! My second thought was, she’s got Andrew’s lips but they look good on her! Pouty. Heh.

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Daddy comforting little girl – trying to examine if she has any moles, like Dilly!

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Emmy taking her first peek at the world, looking even more like a Russian doll!

Emmy @ NICU

Andrew: Emmy had to be put in the NICU for a while, because her breathing was a little ‘grunty’ and there were concerns about whether there was still water in her lungs.

However, it was really nothing to be worried about as our ped told us later that it was more that Emmy couldn’t be kept any longer in the delivery suite, but also couldn’t be moved to the nursery as her breathing hadn’t stabilised, so they put her in the NICU as a ‘lodger’.  Wow, this little girl is really getting the best treatment from birth eh!

Jasmine: With Dylan, we were able to initiate breastfeeding minutes after birth, which was a wonderful experience, as he was quiet and alert, and it made for a lovely hour of family bonding time before he had to be taken away and washed.

With Emmy, due to her breathing issues, we weren’t able to initiate breastfeeding for several hours, and she unfortunately had to be put in the NICU. Of course, I was pretty worried when I heard “NICU” and “lung problems”, especially since I was having severe afterbirth pains and couldn’t do much apart from intermittently whatsapp family/ friends to update them on Emmy’s condition, based on whatever I heard from Andrew, who went down to NICU to check on her, or so he said…

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Andrew: I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her and must have spent about 20 – 30 minutes at the NICU, taking photos of her. The nurses must have thought I was a little crazy, especially when I set the timer, so that I could take this shot:

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Well, it was more for Jasmine’s peace of mind as she had asked me to go to NICU to let her know how baby was doing…. so, my photo-craze is perfectly understandable!

Jasmine: I never expected Andrew to take a NICU selfie?! I really have unleashed a trigger-happy man.

Emmy arrives in our room!

Andrew: After her short stay in the NICU, Emmy finally arrived in our room all wrapped up and peaceful.

What a beautiful head of hair and such red, chubby cheeks!

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I had forgotten how delicate and light (!) a newborn was after carrying Dylan for the past few months. This little girl is light as a feather – I can carry her in one hand and she’ll just lie there peacefully and fall asleep, without squirming. Lovely!

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Jasmine: Do not be fooled by these serene little newborn expressions.

It’s only been one week in, but based on her crying alone, we can already tell that her personality is different from Dylan’s. Dylan’s hunger cries were very sad and he could be coaxed to wait for his milk, whereas Emmy is a feisty little thing, who cries so loudly when she is hungry that her double chin just quivers tremulously, making you feel amused and sorry for her at the same time. In that sense we think that Dylan takes after his father’s personality while Emmeline takes after mine. Which is a good thing for a girl… I think. Heh.

Visiting

Andrew: As it was a rather short stay (plus the time spent in the NICU meant Emmy could not have visitors the first day), our visitors were our immediate family members. Of course, we wanted Dylan to visit so we could spend time together as a family and not want him to feel left out. We heard he was really cranky the first day after he came to visit, so we’ll be spending more time with him, so that he won’t feel left out.

Jasmine: What helped was that we prepared a present from his baby sister to him, plus we and my family played with Dylan when they brought him, instead of cooing over Emmeline straightaway, so that Dylan wouldn’t feel neglected. In fact, Andrew and I also tried to fuss over Dilly first whenever he came to visit, instead of holding Emmeline, so that he would get his fair share of attention.

Andrew: Back to the hospital visit, he had lots of fun running around and eating my bread bun!

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Family Photos

Jasmine: Of course, this entry would not be complete without some family pictures!

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Our first full family portrait!

Jasmine: We’ve been teaching Dylan to use “soft touch” on his penguin and Chong Chong bear, in preparation for his meeting his sister for the first time. Here’s Dylan stroking his mei mei! He also loves to dig her ear and peer at her when I’m breastfeeding her. Of course, sometimes he still gets a bit excited and pokes her but I’m sure it’s not intentional. Heh.

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What a loving brother

Shots of our families:

Andrew’s side

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Jasmine’s side

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Andrew: To end off, we’d like to say a big thank you to Jasmine’s mum and siblings for taking care of Dylan while we were in the hospital. We could see that he was well taken care of and had a great time at Skang-rila, once again. Heh. In fact, if we have time, we might do another post of his staycation there.

Jasmine: One last thing, it really is easier the second time around. Though both were natural births, my recovery from Dylan’s birth was much longer and more painful, whereas with Emmeline, I was able to get up and potter around that same night after the epidural wore off (she was born at noon). I can’t say I’d wanna go through childbirth again but I am grateful that baby Emmeline was born safe, sound and healthy!

Gleneagles Staycation

Andrew: ‘Staycations’ seem to be the running theme lately, so we thought we’d use that theme for our time at Gleneagles, combining it as part of our birth story post! It’s easiest to organise this post chronologically.

Birthing Suite

Andrew: So our first “destination” was the birthing suite, where baby’s vital signs were monitored for a while. This was the bed that Dearie had, with unlimited supply of pillows to make her cosy and comfortable!

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Jasmine: The L-shaped pillow was a lifesaver. After giving birth, I asked if I could bring it with me to our room, but was declined. Heh.

Andrew: I got a very comfy recliner arm chair, which could be stretched out fully. I was so cosy in that blanket. Dearie insisted to take a shot of me in the blanket – yes, even just moments before giving birth, she was thinking about capturing key moments of the staycation.

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Nice bathrobe

And this was Emmy’s little ‘bed’ with a warmer to receive her when she first comes into the world!

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Andrew: So, to cut a long story short, it took 9 hours for Jasmine to reach active labour, but once she did, things accelerated quickly and ready to push. Once she started pushing, everything just happened so quickly and within 4 pushes, baby Emmy was out! It was like twenty minutes ago, we were watching Pat Sajack and Vanna White on ‘Wheel of Fortune’, trying to solve the puzzles before the participants, and the next minute, we are holding our daughter in our arms. 

Unlike Dylan’s birth where I was just kind of taken aback by what had happened, I was more in the moment this time and could really feel the joy of seeing my cute little girl and seized the chance to snap many shots of her first few minutes in this world.

[We’ll write more about this in our ‘birth story’ post. This post was getting way too long and Dearie heavily cut down my initial post, because she said I was trying to do too much in it and it needed heavy editing. ]

Our room

Jasmine: Ok, so this is the “staycation” part of the entry.

Andrew: After waiting for about 2 hours, Dear was transferred to the room where we would be staying for the next 2 nights. We kind of lucked out last year where they didn’t have any single-bedded rooms available, so they gave us a double-bedded room in place of that. Because of that, I had my own bed, but this time, I had to sleep on a sofa which was quite narrow and hard. Nonetheless, I made myself quite comfortable there in my little cosy corner, which had a good view of the balcony outside.

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The sides can be removed and bedlinen was put down to convert it into a bed every night. Also doubles as Daddy’s cosy corner for snuggling with Emmy.

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And the mandatory picture of the bed!

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Jasmine: Usually on staycation we take pictures when we first enter the room and everything is still neat. Obviously, I was too exhausted and bedridden and in afterbirth pain upon being wheeled to the ward, such that my first thought was: “Huh, I still have to climb off the trolley and onto the bed?” So we anyhow snapped a shot before we left.

Plus bonus shot of our newest addition to the family- Emmeline!

The bathroom

Andrew: Check out the full range of toiletries, including soap, shampoo and conditioner from Crabtree & Evelyn! Not too shabby for a hospital!

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Jasmine: Oh yes, and since no post of mine is complete without some “fashion” comments, I just wanted to say that the hospital gowns were actually quite comfortable and breastfeeding-friendly, with concealed slits as well as button-down shoulders. Here are the two, erm, styles, they have:

photo(35)Andrew: If you’re wondering what that ‘watch’ is that Jasmine is wearing, it’s actually a device that helps match the baby to the mum. Emmy had a tag too and when both tags came in close proximity, music came out of the tags. This was something they didn’t have last year – quite an advancement, I must say. However, the ironic thing was that half way through our stay, the nurses lost Emmy’s tag, so it was back to using Mum’s NRIC and name to match. So much for technology, huh! 

All day bites

Andrew: We were indeed treated to all-day bites as we had 5 meals a day with tea time and supper everyday. Here was our first tea-time snack – chicken pies with milo or…

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Vegetarian sandwiches (yuck!). I didn’t know that the sandwiches were vegetarian, if not I wouldn’t have chosen them. To their credit, they tasted incredibly healthy!

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Jasmine: Of course, we brought in some snacks of our own, including my then-craving, unfulfilled from the day before I went into labour, hotdogs (Charlene brought in at least 11 hotdogs for me!) and a must-have-  Lay’s chips! 

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And something I really looked forward to: eight treasures tea with a honey swizzle stick, served in pretty clear glass crockery!

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Extensive menus for our choosing, including Western, Asian, deli (mostly sandwiches). There was also a separate confinement menu which we could choose from. We had some dishes from the confinement menu the last time, which were decent:

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Some of our dinners:

Kenna cheated by the impressive-sounding “deli” menu. I thought I would get good quality bread with large servings of roast chicken. Didn’t expect little finger sandwiches made of Gardenia.

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This was what Andrew had:

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  Baked chicken with mozzarella cheese, potato, vegetable and spicy tomato sauce

This was infinitely better than my deli menu. Chicken was juicy and tender and the sauce was delicious!

For lunch the next day, we tried to mix it up with both their Chinese and Western menu. Andrew had:

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 Double boiled fish with ginger and soya beans soup; Steamed chicken with sesame, wolfberries, spinach and lotus root and steamed jasmine rice

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Braised beef cheek with wild mushroom, mashed potatoes and balsamic jus

The beef cheeks were quite tender as well. They came with mashed potato and French onion soup with bread and gruyere cheese. The Chinese menu was light and healthy!

And for dinner, we both had the same dish:

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French Onion soup; Steamed white fish, potatoes and steamed seasonal vegetables and marble cake

This was a light and healthy option; not filling enough for most guys, but sufficient for me!

And some samples of our breakfast choices!

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Chicken sausage, hash brown, grilled tomatoes and sunny-side up egg

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Soon Kueh
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French toast with peach compote

Welcome gift

Andrew: To prevent Dylan from feeling any sibling rivalry, we got him a welcome gift when he arrived, from his sister. It was a Melissa and Doug airport set.

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Granny and Ee Ee also bought him a gift – this new bag from Cotton On!

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Jasmine: Oh yeah, and for our welcome gift, we got a diaper bag with a nursing shawl, a receiving blanket, some Kodomo and Johnson’s baby toiletries (downgraded from Cherub Rubs last year eh).

Other amenities

Jasmine: Probably similar to other hospitals, there were free ParentCraft classes (newborn care), free consultations with lactation consultants, in-room discharge and billing procedures (for single wards). We attended the ParentCraft class the last round with Dilly, so we didn’t bother going this time, but it was quite useful and comprehensive, with a lot of useful info and tips packed into 1h15min, including bathing and dressing newborns. For those who’d rather not attend, you can access the Parent Craft channel on hospital TV.

Our room also came with balcony and a “garden view”:

The glass was extremely dark so we could see Dilly from the inside but he could not quite make us out. Ah well, I think he still had fun scooting around on the ledge!

Best of all, free limo service to transport us from hospital back home upon discharge! The last time we got a SUV. This time, this was our ride:

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Hospital Bag for Gleneagles

[Andrew: We wrote this entry earlier this week, not expecting to see baby girl this weekend, hence we can now add some comments retrospectively!]

Jasmine: We are usually advised to pack a hospital bag between 34-36 weeks, but I only just got around to doing it at almost 38 weeks!

We are fairly light packers plus we stayed at Gleneagles for Dylan’s birth, so we know roughly what to bring this time round. Most hospitals have maternity/ newborn packing lists online, so you can check those out to see what you need.

1. Toiletries for Mummy

Jasmine: Gleneagles provides basic shampoo, body soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, so I’m just bringing my skincare along, mostly chosen to deliver maximum moisture since I’ll be spending a few days in air-con.

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If you’ll also allow me to sneak in some quick beauty reviews:

  • Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum: my combi skin turned to dry skin this pregnancy and this serum helps to restore essential balance to the skin- minutes after application, dry patches are smoothed out! The Sulwhasoo website lists 100 ways to use this very versatile serum- I’ve tried it on stretch marks, on the eye area, for aromatherapy and facial massage. You can even use it as an overnight mask, or mixed with your BB cream/ foundation!
  • Hada Labo eye cream: the best and most moisturising eye cream I’ve had for only $22 at Sasa- skin is still plumped and smooth an hour after application
  • Shiseido Ibuki face cream
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate hand cream
  • Clarins Huile Tonic travel size
  • Stila cosmetic pouch which I bought from DFS 10 years ago and which goes travelling everywhere I go

2. Maternity clothing and other essentials

Jasmine: Postpartum recovery often involves serious blood loss, to the point of giddiness (for me), so I’m planning to just live in the hospital gowns to avoid loads of messy washing later on. Towels are also provided by the hospital, so I’ve only packed one black dress with nursing access e.g. snaps down the front to go home in.

Other things that you may like to pack include nursing bras, disposable undies (see blood loss point), maternity pads (so much thicker than the overnight sanitary pads, they’re more like mini foam mattresses). Yup, how fun and glamorous right.

Two other noteworthy things that made it to my hospital bag:

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I’m not going to go into detail, but google Medela’s Purelan and you’ll understand. It came in extremely handy the last time for  breastfeeding, and food-grade so that it need not be wiped off every time before baby latches on.

Also, my Belly Bandit from my previous pregnancy, which can be worn immediately after birth for back and tummy support! This is in bamboo fabric, so unlike the original version, it’s comfortable enough to wear to sleep. I remember that my previous time in hospital, I was in alot of pain and ended up clutching my stomach alot just to painfully, gingerly get up from bed. Hopefully this helps!

3. Logistical and electrical necessities

This would include camera, phones, chargers and laptop (for blogging heh). [Andrew: Or updating on Facebook :)]

4. Presents from baby sister to Dylan!

Jasmine: We came across a helpful tip to present the older sibling with gifts from the newborn to help minimise any sibling rivalry. Now that Dylan is in an imitation stage, my gift to Dylan was a doll sling and matching cloth diapers for him to carry or change his bear if he sees me doing the same with his baby sister.

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Andrew’s gift to Dylan is this Melissa & Doug airplane carrier that he scored for just SGD20 at a sale at his workplace!

Andrew: When Dylan first arrived, we passed him his present from his sister and he excitedly started playing with it. Yay! Hopefully that alleviated some of his feelings of sibling rivalry.

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On a side-note, am quite amazed at the number of ways this toy can be played with. The box of the toy actually contains a list of extension activities, most of which would require Dylan to be older to really understand though:

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  5. Going-home outfit for baby girl

Jasmine: When we referred to the hospital packlist during Dylan’s birth, we didn’t bring any clothes, and were quite surprised when the nurses asked us what we’d like to change him onto upon our discharge! In fact, he would almost have had nothing to wear (except the swaddle cloth) if a nurse hadn’t given us one of the little shirts that they let newborns wear in the nursery.

This time, we’re better prepared, so we’ve got an Aden + Anais white swaddle, a rosebud dress and Seed romper (we will choose one, depending how big baby girl is), and the teeniest mittens and socks handed down from my Ee Zhai. It’s hard to find newborn mittens that fit such tiny wrists (think Ee Zhai found hers at Pumpkin Patch), and I remember Dilly scratching himself lots in the hospital, so this I think will be very, very useful! In fact, I’ve decided to bring both pairs, just to allow for a change!

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Andrew: Seed maternity romper brings back lots of memories as it was the first piece of baby clothing we bought in transit on our way back from Tasmania!

The mittens and socks proved to be very useful as baby girl kept sneezing a lot, so we put them on to keep her warm (and cute)!

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Jasmine: The one thing we’re missing is a hat, but that’s no biggie as the hospital provides them, and they make a wonderful, sentimental souvenir- I’ve still got Dylan’s hospital hat in a box 😀

No need for diapers either, as the hospital provides a pack for use during the stay, which you can bring home. It’s Johnson’s, which I don’t particularly like, but if baby girl can wear that with no skin issues, I don’t complain about free stuff. Heh.

All set! Now, if only baby girl will come out…. (Andrew: Haha, well, your wish was granted!)