Monday, October 8, 2012 | By: BlackGargie

Confinement and Motherhood

I am now officially into my 2nd week of confinement, while spending a lot of quality time with my little Liara, trying to get the hang of motherhood and the odd hours of sleeping and such.

Those who dunno about confinement, you guys can research here, here and here, coz I'm too lazy to put in detail what the heck is all about.

But basically the main thing about confinement is that it's a sort of house arrest post-natal care kinda thing for new moms who just gave birth and it's a time for me to recuperate and try to regain my strength and health. A lot of lying down is involved, although I couldn't really lie down much since Liara keeps me on my toes all the time, a lot of herbal foods involved including the rice wine chicken and herbal soups and stuff, and bathing in herbs but no hair washing for a month was definitely the case. Oh, and not getting yourself too cold. And at the end of the confinement period, we would celebrate a sort of baby shower kinda thing or we'd call it the full-moon celebration. Yeah, that's the basic line of it.

Thankfully I'm practicing the more liberal, modern-ish confinement. If I were to practice the actual traditional old-school confinement, I'd be having a) cabin fever and b) a protest riot. LOL!

The fun and astonishing part about after giving birth was the massive weight loss. While I still have a bit of excess belly flap due to the stretching and whatnot, the weight is totally gone and I feel absolutely empty and light now. Despite what I've read about people still looking 5, 6 months pregnant after giving birth, according to my hubby, I seem to look like I used to back in college. I guess the 5, 6 months pregnant look are for those who are not first-time moms, because I remember seeing a mother who had given birth to her 4th child and her stomach looked like she hadn't really given birth at all.

And would you know it? When I weighed myself just for the shits and giggles, I found out that I was 64kg! When I was admitted I was 73kg on the dot. That means I've lost 9kg after giving birth! How's that for a weight loss? LOL!

The first week of my confinement was a little bit shaky. The blues was still going on, so occasionally the waterworks come in and my hubby had to calm me down and reassure me that everything would be fine and that I'm doing a great job as a mom. They issued a midwife from the gov clinic I go to to check on me and Liara every other day until her umbilical cord comes off (her cord came off on the 4th day, and tradition states that I have to keep the cord in an envelope along with some money in it in a safe place), and on the first day of her visit, she noticed that she was quite jaundice, so she advised me to go have her checked out and may be admitted if she gets worse.

So, despite me supposed to be at home being confined under "house arrest", I went along with my hubby and mom in law to bring Liara to the gov clinic to have her checked. I had to go due to the fact that Liara might need me if she were to be hungry. Once she was checked up at the clinic, she was confirmed to have quite a serious case of jaundice and told us to go back to the hospital to have her monitored and possibly admitted. Thus we went to the hospital to have her run blood tests, and sure enough, the level of jaundice was high that she had to be admitted, and because she might need me for her feeding, I had to stay with her as well.

Apparently the docs believe a steady diet of breast milk as well as exposure doses of photo therapy with UV rays would make her jaundice go away. My hubby and I stayed for almost the entire weekend with Liara, praying that her next blood test would show that her jaundice level had gone down, only to be disappointed and told to stay another day. My blues hit me like a ton of bricks and I was beating myself up, thinking that it was my fault she was getting jaundice and my hubby comforting me and telling me to stay strong. Finally on Monday, despite her level still slightly high, the doc discharged her, claiming that the numbers don't really matter as long as her physical health was fine, and since she couldn't see any serious ill effects other than her yellowish complexion, Liara was good to go home. I was so relieved and happy.

Nappy changes were a bit of an ick factor for me, though I try to look past that and get Liara as clean as I can. Her poo was slowly going from black to greenish-black (due to the berilium she's expelling out from her jaundice) and is slowly making its way to become yellowish. I get icked by my own poo, so naturally nappy changes were a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately somebody has to do it, so I just have to grit my teeth and do it, though sometimes I cheat and let either my hubby or my mom in law do it, LOL!

Breastfeeding was prolly the most interesting conundrum I've ever experienced. Originally, I was totally worried that I would not produce milk since I've read people's testimony of not having milk and some only start to lactate when they have their second child and stuff, but I'm glad I could, since I plan to breastfeed Liara until she's at least a year old. Mom in law and maids advice me to drink more fluids to produce more milk, and insist that I drink my drinks warm so that it would not affect the temperature of my milk despite my showing proof to the contrary. While I am convinced about the more fluid, more milk part, I'm not thoroughly convinced about the drink temperature part. I'm also a bit worried about my rice wine chicken diet, since it's alcohol-based and it might affect my milk, but then again, women have been doing this for ages and haven't boozed up their babies yet so far, so I guess I could take their word for it. I still worry though.

We're also learning about Liara's habits as we went along this journey of parenthood. She can't really see at the moment, so she would open her eyes real wide and we noticed that her pupils are larger than the whites of her eyes. When she wants to nurse, she wouldn't really cry out loud for it, but she would stuff her fists in her mouth or chew on her swaddle and lean her head towards either direction she thinks the tit might be and making that "nom nom nom" face. She would smile in her sleep and once in a while, my hubby and I would both catch that smile instead of just either of us catching it. She's got that really innocent look sometimes, and she's learning to drink water to keep her hydrated instead of just fully relying on breast milk (plus, it would get her full a bit faster), though she gets fussy and tries to spit out the bottle because water is tasteless.

At times, Liara would be insatiable and want to nurse nonstop, to the point where I worry that either I might overfeed her or make her stomach upset because she occasionally throws up, but still wants to feed anyways, and then at times she just wants to sleep and not be bothered but I have to keep the 2-hour feeding schedule for the sake of her jaundice. But after keeping up with that schedule, her biological clock has set itself up and now she wakes up on her own every 2-hours to feed. She rarely cries, except when she's being given nappy change, but that is if she doesn't get her feeding in a hurry while we're changing her, then all hell breaks loose as she cries like a maniac, as well as if she wakes up for feeding and no one is tending to her, then yes, she will cry. Other than that, she can just sleep the day away, and you can have a bomb blowing up next to her and she'll still sleep through.

At the moment, because I'm in confinement and technically should be mostly resting, my mom in law decided that the maids will take over looking after Liara while I recuperate and only bother me when it's time for feeding. That took quite a load off my shoulder, even if it's only an every 2-hour break. I could get things done, like writing this blog right now, or play Facebook and surf the net (especially dA) or watch TV, or even catch that extra shut-eye. Still haven't got down to drawing yet, but I will soon.

I could blab and blog all day about it, but there is just not enough words or expression to describe how intriguing parenthood is. All I can say is that it's a learning experience and we're going through the hurdle one day at a time ^_^