30 May 2010

The More We Are Together

Daen is 2 months old now. He's become more aware of his surroundings, watches faces intently, and smiles socially now. Vera and he are not exactly playing with each other yet...but we look forward to the day.

Here, you can see clearly their relative sizes. I like that he's 'looking up' to his chea chea (big sister).

Here, he's watching intently as Vera claps her hands.

Of course there'll come the day when he overtakes her on all fronts. But for now, he's got some catching up to do!

25 May 2010


On a recent visit to Vera's hospital NUH, I witnessed behaviour of some mainland Chinese (from China) that really cheesed me off.

Okay. It is known fact that there are now more and more foreigners living in Singapore than ever before, due in part to the very open policy that encourages them to come here to work (bringing their families along with them.)

Sure we don't mind sharing our city, but please, behave with a little decorum and civility!

There was this couple bringing their about 5-year-old daughter for what seems like a routine visit. Well, she doesn't seem like she's in pain or sick.

First the woman barged up to the counter staff and demanded in Chinese:

"Where is there Internet access?"

Staff replied: "There is no internet access for the public."

"You mean there is no internet access in the ENTIRE hospital?" She raised her voice.

Staff replied calmly: "There isn't."

"How can that be possible? What about in the doctor's room? No internet access??" She pressed on, sounding all high and mighty.

Staff, not reacting to her impatience: "No it is not for the public."

I was thinking in response: "Lady, in Singapore, if you want internet access, you have your own laptop or mobile phone."

I thought I had seen the last of her, but then her husband started shouting indignantly to a nurse:

"What do you mean we have to wait so long? This is ridiculous!"

Well, it is a government hospital and you pay subsidised rates, so don't expect the sky.

Next thing you know, both parents barged into Vera's doctor's room (we had just finished our consultation with sweet unassuming Dr S) with their daughter without even knocking on the door and shouted at Dr S. And guess what? They were seen to immediately.

Totally uncouth behaviour. So much for the gracious society that we've been trying so hard to cultivate!

21 May 2010

Look At Me!

I've been so pre-occupied with Daen that I feel like I'm short-changing Vera on quality time.

I love that I caught this split second shot. Here, she looks as if she's trying to get my attention by 'performing' Mommy's favourite act. She's by no means recovered from her congestion - Mr. Mucus seems to be hanging around for a longgggg time, even though we're shooing him off with the suction machine.

To be honest, the only time I spend with Vera these days is when I suction her 3 times a day. The rest of the time I'm attending to Daen, eating, or catching some sleep. Time to blog is rare nowadays, or I'm mostly too tired!

16 May 2010

Daen's Birth Story

Hi Daen, this is the story of your birth, as told by Mommy's doula. Hope you will enjoy reading about it one day.

Daen Lau

Born March 26th, 2010


At 2:37pm

Dear Daen,

My name is Lauren and I’m a doula. I met your parents when they decided that they would like me to help them prepare for a calm and natural birth. What was even more special was that mummy was preparing to have a VBAC. I was very honoured that they wanted me to help!

I met your parents when mummy was about 30 weeks pregnant. She was getting so excited about meeting you. We talked about mummy trying for a VBAC and what your sister Vera’s birth was like and why she had to have a C Sect. As you know, Vera was not growing as she should and she had to be delivered early by Caesarean section.

We got along instantly but daddy needed more convincing about a VBAC! I would come to their apartment and teach HypnoBirthing, daddy was not sure mummy could manage a VBAC, but I think this motivated mummy even more and I think daddy was just trying to protect mummy in the best way he knew how…

A day before you were born, mummy had started to experience warm-up labour, and she thought you had moved into a posterior position. So I came to see her to make some suggestions late that night. I demonstrated some positions and told her not to worry, it didn’t matter what position you were in now. You would move during labour and it would all be OK – I was right!

I got a call in the morning saying that the labour had progressed so I came over again at around 7:40am. Mummy was doing so well, following her body's lead and daddy was keeping Vera company, making her laugh. We continued for a while and daddy went out to get mummy some bananas. Then mummy started to feel a bit of pressure in her bottom and I could tell from the noises she was making that labour was progressing, so we agreed to move to the hospital.

We arrived at 10:20am and nurse Cheryl got us all set up in the room and mummy had all the routine procedures done. Mummy had a slight temperature but everything else was good and you had a strong steady heartbeat and mummy was free to move around.

I knew mummy was in active labour as she was bossing daddy around, but she was being so brave as the surges she was feeling were strong! She felt very comfortable sitting on the toilet seat and daddy was supporting her. He noticed that her perineum was stretching out; I had a look and agreed. I thought you were being close to being born so I suggested she have a VE. Mummy had moved to the birthing stool and Dr Paul came to examine mummy at 1:30pm and he said she was only 6cm! I was shocked and so was mummy, we thought that mummy was fully dilated! Dr Paul told mummy not to push and it would be a while yet…..

I got the bathtub filled up as quickly as I could and got mummy in there and she loved it! I wanted take her mind off the VE she just had, and I thought her membranes had ruptured so the surges might be getting stronger.

About 15 minutes later, I thought I could hear mummy bearing down, and I asked if I could look with my torch, and sure enough I could see your head emerging! I could the nurse to call Dr Paul but she was more concerned about getting mummy out of the tub. I got another nurse to call Dr Paul quickly, and mummy had moved back onto the birthing stool and we were trying to dry her off and keep her warm.

I could see how fast you were coming and I knew Dr Paul wasn’t going to get there on time, so Midwife Serena was standing by to deliver you. I was holding the torch and you were crowning and then quick as a flash you popped out and Serena just caught you and placed you on mummy’s chest!

Mummy got to have a cuddle with you right away and you looked at your parents for the first time, you knew their voices, and your mummy was so happy she got to have a vaginal birth! Dr Paul arrived and couldn’t believe mummy delivered so quickly! He saw to mummy and tidied her up and then you latched onto mummy’s breast with no problem and we all gave you some private time to get to know each other and have a good cuddle.

You and your parents didn’t stay long in the hospital so I came to see you at home a couple of days later and what a happy baby! Your parents were thrilled to bits - as well as Vera your big sister. You are so blessed to have such a lovely family and they are lucky to have you in their lives. I wish you all the best for your future and know you will grow to be a handsome, confident and successful young man.




Trisomy 18 Miracles

When a Trisomy 18 baby is born alive, it is already a miracle. Those that survive past their first birthdays - more than their families could ever hope for. Those who make it into their teens, a definite rarity.

This is a touching collection of Trisomy 18 miracles by a fellow mom to a beautiful baby named Lily who just turned One. Each and every one treasured each day of their lives no matter how long or short. You'll catch Vera right at the end.

Trisomy 18 Miracles

12 May 2010

Sick So Easily

Vera falls sick so easily. With her, a common cold is exactly that - it's really common.

Already she's having to deal with assisted breathing with the BiPAP. Add a blocked/runny nose to the mix and breathing gets so tough for the little girl.

Our helper Beth is having to carry her (all 9 kilos) for hours in the night to get her to sleep.

And then she only sleeps for a short while - before she is awoken by blockage and is so upset that she has not slept enough.

To add to it, I tried Vera on another milk powder, as she doesn't really need Pediasure anymore cos she's putting on weight too fast. She reacted really badly after just 2 feeds. She started vomitting and having diarrhea. Just like a few weeks ago.

This time, I'm NOT gonna start her on antibiotics. It would just make the diarrhea worse and upset the tummy even more. We'll just have to let the cold run it's course.

One little change in anything has such a big impact on her. I am so scared to change her milk anymore.

Before, I could just focus on Vera. The difference is now, I have to be handling Daen as well.

The current situation is such:

I get up every night for the middle-of-the-night feeds for Daen. This is anything from 1am-5am.

Beth gets up every night because Vera needs water and milk feeds. This is anytime from 2am-5am. She seems to get thirsty with the biPAP blowing air continuously through her airway.

I get to sleep when Daen sleeps in the day (which is quite a lot).

She gets to sleep about an hour (chores/cooking need to be done).

I took over Vera last night from 2-5am (giving Beth a little sleep break), but the spillover is that Ian had to wake up for Daen.

Conclusion: You need 3 to take care of 2.

Thank goodness my mom has been coming in the daytime to keep that equation.

10 May 2010

Hospital Visit

I brought Vera to see the GI doctor last week. What a patient, unassuming lady Dr M was!

She recommended that Vera see the ENT doc again to assess if she still has swelling in the throat area (a sign of reflux), now that she's been on Omeprazole (acid reduction meds) for quite a while now.

If there is still Laryngomalacia, then we'll consider doing a PH impedence study. Not very sure exactly what's that yet - I guess we will when we come to it.

After that, I had two chance encounters at the hospital that left me feeling really happy.

I had wanted to get an oximeter from the Respi team but had not managed to contact Dr D in time.

But walking down the hospital aisle, I bumped into him and he arranged it on the spot!

I also had to get a copy of Vera's milk intake calculation but hadn't arranged to meet the Dietician who didn't know when I would be coming. When I arrived at the Dietetics department, no one was at the counter as it was lunchtime. Just then, the dietician walks in, back from her rounds in the ward. She sat down and explained it to me.

Nothing was planned. But yet, it seemed like everything was planned.

Two ordinary miracles make for one special day!

04 May 2010

Lion Dance

Latest development: Our little friend is into showing off her head control.

She is so funny these days.