Showing posts with label Ashton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ashton. Show all posts

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My last baby, Ashton, turned TWO.

I'm a little sad. Our last baby, Ashton, turned two today.
Oh my, where did all the time go?
This year, no fancy affair, just a simple meal with my family and in-laws at Prima Tower revolving restaurant.

My brother's girlfriend is from Japan and my Granny won't stop speaking to her in Cantonese.
Ashton looked indifferent throughout. This baby is cool as a cucumber, cannot be bothered about the bahooha of everything, even if it's his PARTY!

I'm getting old and have not the energy to conjure up anymore fancy parties for the children.
As a matter of fact, apart from feeling sad, I also feel a huge relief now that he's two. It has been such a roller-coaster year for us, but I can't really put a finger to what it is.
I just feel as if I have been running a marathon for the past year, maybe it's his newfound mobility now that he's running around, maybe it's his ability to fight for attention and toys with his brother.
I don't know exactly.

From now on, they will just have to make do with birthdays in school because their mother is old and perpetually exhausted.
Speaking of school, Ashton is still happy with his status quo as a Stay-at-home-son.
He's not enrolled in any preschool yet, and I'm not even anxious.
I'll just let him enjoy being a SAHS a little bit more.
Really taking my time with this baby.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ashton turned ONE!

Our last baby turned one. My baby is rockin' ONE year old!
When I first started producing my debut pink, squirmy little thing called a baby, I was only 25.
Now, I am 30 years old and my second born is ONE.

I remember when I had Adam, I was thrown into a world of uncertainty. Suddenly I was to become a Mom but I knew nuts about the world. I hadn't travelled the world enough. Heck, I hadn't even been out of Asia! I had to shelf my plan to do my Degree, we hadn't even applied for our first home, and among many other things, I was green in more ways than one.

I simply "went along with the flow" of things back then. Because my pregnancy with Adam was a complete surprise, I wasn't prepared at all.
When he was born, I was still staying with my in-laws because we only managed to apply for our own home somewhere in my last trimester when I was heavily pregnant and our home wouldn't be ready for the next few years.
So I delivered Adam, and did my confinement at my in-laws'.
My MIL cooked for me and did the washing and laundry. She had zero experience with using the steriliser, the correct way to hold a bottle, or how to use the bottle warmer. She had a thing about warming it too hot and made me paranoid about "killing the good stuff" because she said cold milk makes a baby colicky.
She thought my breastmilk was diluted and not feeding Adam enough.
She didn't allow me to bathe initially so I had to sneakily take a quick shower with the running tap when she was doing her marketing in the mornings.
She spent hours at the market on the day the cot was to be delivered (because Adam arrived at my Week-37 and we had to amend the delivery schedule ASAP as Andy spent the previous few nights sleeping on the floor. See, inexperience!). When the delivery man came to deliver our cot, I was breastfeeding a hungry Adam and was nearly naked on the top, fumbling with my latching techniques and a squirmy newborn, in front of a male stranger no less. The person who was supposed to help me with my confinement was nowhere in sight. Neither was the 50% shareholder who contributed his sperm to create our baby.
My in-laws' place is run-down and they don't have air-conditioning because they are afraid of rheumatism. I had to make do with a small rotating ceiling fan in Andy's room. 1 cot, 1 queen-sized bed, 2 dogs and 3 humans all in a tiny bedroom.
I had not washed my hair in 12 days. No wonder married couples with kids do not have sex.

Fast forward 3 years later, Ashton was born.
It was a much, much more pleasant experience this time round.
I was armed with experience and a "don't F with me I've been there, done that" attitude.
I specified that I did not appreciate visitors to my residence during my confinement as I wanted to recuperate after my 2nd-time Csect. If people had to visit, please arrange with us beforehand so we could anticipate them and make arrangements for my rest.
Most importantly, I also had my maid and MIL helping me out with the chores, cooking and child-minding.
This time round, I was treated like a Queen and it felt fabulous.
Everything went like clockwork - breakfast, rest, lunch, herbal bath, rest, dinner, rest.
I enjoyed my last birth very much and the pleasant experience made me enjoy my children to the max of my capacity.
It's not that I do not love Adam, I just did not enjoy the baby-bearing experience first time round since I was living with my in-laws till Adam was 2.

Ashton is my special baby.
With him, I take things very slowly because I just want to savour every parenting moment.
I'm not bothered about when he starts rolling over, teething, sitting etc. I know eventually he will get there.
I felt like he was meant to be in my life because he kind of balances everything.
He is the polar opposite of Adam! That is how the balance comes about.
As I said it before and will always say, Ashton is an easy baby. The type to feed and sleep and not fuss much.
He is extremely sticky to me.
He breastfed like a champ since Day 1.
He is quiet and reserved but he observes and is very much in tune.
He let everyone at his party carry him about and did not fuss or cry or even whine one bit. He is such a star.
He is our last baby and I want him to be a baby forever.


Ashton's awesome 3.5kg cake from Sweet Perfection.

We booked the entire of Peekaboo indoor playground at Kallang Leisure Park that evening and received about 80 guests.
Thanks to all our relatives and friends who made time to attend Ashton's birthday party, even though Kallang Leisure Park may be quite inaccessible to some.
Really appreciate all your time and effort!
P.S. Will share photos of Ashton's party when I get them from the photographer :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

About Ashton

Hi all, this post was typed and saved as a draft in my blog for months.
I was overwhelmed and never got down to posting this.

Shortly after Ashton was born, I woke up from GA wanting to see my newborn.
Our paediatrician came in and told us he saw a "slight dent" on Ashton's lower back, and brought Andy to the nursery to have a look because I was too drowsy from the GA. You know that sick gut feeling you have when you hear "...But" from your doctor? Yeah, I felt it and till today, the fright is very real.
"He's fine.... BUT...", "He's beautiful.... BUT...."

After that, when the nurse pushed Ashton to me for breastfeeding, I unwrapped my newborn and saw a little dimple the size of a green-bean just above his butt-crack with my very own eyes. Our PD recommended us to get an ultrasound scan done, just "to be on the safe side", though he did mention that he "didn't think it was anything to worry about".

Somewhere when Ashton was few weeks old and when I was still doing my confinement, we brought him back to Mt Alvernia for his ultrasound.
I stood in the sonography room holding my infant, and chatted with the sonographer because like what our PD said, I thought there wasn't anything to worry about. At that point, I felt it was just another routine scan like my many Antenatal scans, just to be sure.

She scanned and scanned over and over, and my squirming, crying infant wasn't helping matters.
Afterward when I thought she was finally done, I asked her "So how is it?" and she told me to wait while she got the doctor in. My heart nearly leapt out of my chest!
A doctor came in and repeated the scan, and eventually he told me he thought there was something wrong with my baby's spine and that he will wait for my PD to explain to me. I wouldn't buy any of it and nearly went hysterical. Actually I refused to budge from the room and asked the doctor what exactly he thought was wrong. He said something about surgery was probably recommended to rectify it. Can you imagine how I felt!
My world just turned cold and dark as I stood there, holding my wailing baby in the dimly lit room, I felt like bawling my eyes out as well.

So finally, I met our PD, Dr Simon Ng, with the scan reports, and from there we were referred to a Neurosurgeon, Dr Seow Wan Tew, at KKH who was a Specialist in dealing with paediatric spine surgery.
As an MRI would be more accurate than an ultrasound, we went for an MRI as well.
Ashton was diagnosed with what was called a "tethered cord", whereby there is a fatty issue tethering his spinal cord down to his spinal bone and preventing the spinal cord from moving freely within the spinal column. I have never ever heard of a "tethered cord" in my life before!

From a simple scan which the PD "didn't think was anything to worry about", we were then talking endless doctors appointments, MRIs, Urodynamics tests and SURGERY. All on a tiny few weeks old baby. A lot of information was thrown to us, but I could hardly digest anything.
I spent most of my maternity leave shuttling between hospitals and getting appointments in order. He had to see his Neurosurgeon for the tethered cord and also his normal PD for the usual jaundice-checks, vaccinations etc.
On top of that, I also had my Adam, who needed as much of my attention as my little Ashton.
During my multiple antenatal scans, nothing was detected. We even confirmed this with my Gynae when I went  back for my postnatal PAP smear.
But as Andy & I discussed this over and over, even if anything was detected, nothing would change our decision to keep our infant and bring him into this would. Personally, I think dealing with and trying to overcome "problems" was much, much easier than terminating a life!!! From 1 single cell of either parent, a whole human being was created. If life isn't a miracle, I don't know what is.
I can't even bring myself to put my dogs to sleep, let alone kill my own flesh and blood!

From there, we had no choice but to take everything in our stride. Sure, I was petrified as hell.
I mean, com'on, we're not talking about surgery for circumcision or even hernia-repair here!!!
When I initially learnt of the diagnosis, there were times I hid in my room crying till my vision was blur, but it wouldn't solve anything and so I turned to God.
Through God I found a lot of strength.
When I told our closest friends, they were shocked, and asked me why I had kept things from them until now.
Truth be told, I have been contemplating for a very long time (almost 6 months at the point of Ashton's surgery), whether or not to post this on my Blog, not because I am scared of people knowing, but I wanted to protect Ashton's and our privacy especially during his growing up years.
I asked Andy to read this draft before posting, and he said I could post it if I wanted to, so I guess there is not much harm in letting my readers and relatives know (our closest friends, relatives and close colleagues have been asking for updates).

Now, we are taking everyday as a blessing (truly!) and taking things a baby-step at a time.
Ashton's surgery was performed on 25 Feb 2013, when he was 6 months old, by his Paediatric Neurosurgeon Dr Seow Wan Tew.
My 30th Birthday was on 27 Feb, and I had spent my Milestone Birthday in the High Dependency Ward of the hospital with my own flesh and blood who had undergone major surgery to his spine.
In my life I've only ever gone under the knife to take my babies out, and now I'm letting somebody touch my baby's spine. How crazy is my life?
When you think my birthday wishlists, probably Chanel or Hermes would come to mind in a heartbeat. But this year, all I wanted was for my baby to be Ok, and alive.
Nothing is more important than being healthy and alive.
Too many people get so hung up about what they cannot have and don't realise for a second what they already have.
You woke up this morning alive and well, thank God for it.

So far, we have been to 2 more appointments after his surgery - to remove his stitches and also to follow-up with Dr Seow, and he thinks everything is looking good.

Thanks to all our friends and family who have sent your thoughts, wishes and prayers.
Thank you to the wonderful people in my church who prayed in proxy for Ashton even though they did not know us.

I've said this before, and Imma say it again - Mummying is the toughest job in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ashton update: stitches removed.

Ashton had his stitches removed today - Day 15 post-op. As Dr Seow is on leave, the STO was done by a couple of nurses in the treatment room and we have been given another appointment next week to see Dr Seow. Bummer!
On the bright side, I'm glad that I no longer have to do wound dressings and sniff out Ashton's bum for poop like a narcotics dog sniffing out heroin!

I met up with our care coordinator Lee Ping today to pass her a Thank You card and a balloon for her daughter and she was thrilled. She has been very helpful and forthcoming to us. As a matter of fact, the entire team of doctors, nurses, patient-care coordinator, right down to the clinic admin staff are very helpful and friendly. We are very thankful!

Hopefully things will continue to be uneventful for Ashton and our family.
Today will also mark the end of my 2-week-and-2-days leave as I will be heading back to work tomorrow.
After being at home with my cling-wrap children, I'm feeling a mixture of sadness but also joy.
Imagine this - after a long day of dealing with them, I try to relax on my Osim Uphoria but Adam climbs and clamours all over me and touches the buttons. I try to hide in the bathroom for some peace, but Adam knocks on the door and wants to use the loo.
When Adam is sleeping, I try to read my email, sort out my snail mail, and do some work, but shortly after Ashton cries for milk.

I salute all the stay-home mums because God forbid me to be one, lest I go insane.
I'm tired and need lots of sleep now. All I can think of tomorrow is - Good luck to my MIL and helper. Heh.

Good night :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Baby Ashton's hospital updates.

Thanks everyone for all your texts and messages on Facebook, Whatsapp and SMS. Thank you for asking, I am grateful that Ashton is in your thoughts.
As it is nearly impossible to reply each and everyone of you due to us settling back at home, I have decided to come up with an update for our family and friends.

Ashton and I waiting in Children OT, he is changed into his gown, fasted for many hours, and waiting for his Anaesthetist to come bring him in. I am all nerves. Stay strong baby! Mummy will be waiting right here.
We were told it was going to be a 3-hour op due to the complexity of the spinal structure and the risks involved in the nerves, but his surgeon Dr Seow called me 1.5 hours later to inform me the surgery was over. Thank God!

While waiting for Ashton's turn, I met a Grandma carrying a wee baby, smaller than Ashton. She shared with me he was only 3 months old and going for surgery for his undescended testicles. I made a remark in passing "Wah, so young ah.." and she told me, this is nothing compared to what he had been through - at 2 mths of age, he underwent open-heart surgery to fix a "hole in his heart".
I was devastated.

Throughout our hospital stay, I met many other unfortunate and poorly children and compared to their plights, Ashton's ordeal seemed very minuscule. My heart goes out to those children.


After my baby woke up from the op, we were transferred to High Dependency unit due to his tender age and the worry for infection.

At the High D, there were no beds for parents to sleep on because of the machines and lines everywhere.
I slept on a chair for those 3 nights, and many times I woke up with aching bones, awoken by the noise of the beeping and buzzing of the mointoring equipment. It was truly unbearable, I couldn't wait to get transferred out!

Day 2 - He yanked out his IV line which is meant for Morphine, his pain control. He had another IV plug on his ankle, but by evening he yanked that out as well. Since then he has been Morphine-free and pain-free. Thankfully, he wasn't in distress at all, as the doctors couldn't do anything to him!

Day 2 - The naughty rascal - can you tell this little baby had major surgery to his spine the day before?

Day 3 - After 3 nights in High D, he was stable enough to be transferred to a normal ward. KKH Ward 86. The nurses there are awesome.

 So thankful to finally have somewhere to sleep on! A foldable couch is better than sleeping on a chair that's for sure!
One downside of being in private ward is the 24/7 aircon. Can you spot our Osim uMist Baby?? Heh...

With Dr Seow Wan Tew, Head and Senior Consultant of Paediatric Neurosurgery, KKH.
He performed the surgery personally for us and he came by daily to visit Ashton despite his busy schedule and the fact that his other patients are seen by his Consultants and subordinates.

We were fortunate enough to be under the care of the best Pd Neurosurgeon in the country. 

Day 5 - Ashton has been given the all-clear and is ready to go home! We miss home! Thanks everyone for your well wishes and prayers. We are eternally grateful.

As it was my *ahem* 30th Birthday, my gal friends Charmaine & Meena gave me an Angpao because I told them not to get me anything as I would be in the hospital on my birthday, I didn't think there was any reason to celebrate.

While we have been very fortunate to be able to afford the best care for Ashton, I am aware there are many under-privileged children out there from my stay in the hospital this week.
I have therefore donated the money to Children's Cancer Foundation, Singapore. It is not alot of money, but hopefully it is enough to make a difference to a child's life.

"People pay the doctor for his service; for his kindness they remain in his debt".
thank you Dr Seow and your wonderful team of doctors and nurses who delivered nothing but the most competent care to us. We are eternally indebted to you.

My baby was hospitalised

This week has been a long roller coaster ride for us. Ashton was admitted to KKH on Sunday night and had surgery on Monday. Our baby was born with a fatty tissue on his spine and surgery was needed to correct it.
I will share more of it in another post if I have time.

Alone in the nights staring at my child on the hospital bed, I was tired but couldn't sleep, hungry but had no appetite to eat. I think even if I were thrown into a jungle with nothing, I wouldn't feel half as helpless as what I'm experiencing.
But for the sake of my children I must soldier on, for God gives his fiercest battles to his strongest soldiers.
Sleepless nights spent in the cold wards with only a chair for bed is nothing compared to the ordeal Ashton is going through.

I felt scared and lost when I first learnt of his diagnosis but I am lucky to have supportive angels around me (**non-mummy and mummy friends alike who had or hadn't have children undergone major surgeries) who rallied by us throughout and constantly checked on me for updates.
Charmaine, Meena & I were on Whatsapp groupchat and they said it was my 24-hour "help line" and sent me videos to keep me occupied. What would I be without such wonderful friends?

The toughest part is helping Adam cope. He's a sensitive boy who loves his brother fiercely and always wants to be around Ashton. He even wants to wear the same clothes as Ashton!
My lovely twins, born 3 years apart. Adam is totally smitten by his brother and they have been sleeping in the same room since Ashton was 2 months old so it's mighty tough for the boys to be separated.

I also found it difficult to be in 2 places at one time shuttling between hospital when Ashton is sleeping & rushing home to be with Adam in the evenings when he is back from school. Even giving him a bath & changing him into his PJs before bed are precious moments to me because time is very scarce and I have to rush back to the hospital before Ashton wakes up for the next breastfeed. Andy has been a real gem, the unsung hero, quietly chauffeuring my MIL, helper and I up and down, without any complaints.

When we were waiting for Ashton outside the theatre, Andy sat quietly at a corner playing games on his iPhone but instead of getting mad & accusing him of being heartless, I know that's Andy's way of coping. My husband is a man of few words, but sometimes it's the unspoken that tell you so much more.

For my past birthdays, I wished for nice bags and shoes and when I got them, I wanted nicer/ more expensive ones.
This year, I spent my Big Three in the High Dependency Ward. In retrospect, all those material things are worthless to me now even if they cost an arm and a leg. Nothing is more important than the speedy recovery of Ashton and simply being able to be with my children, husband and loved ones.

My baby, so small and helpless. I am his source of food, love and comfort. To him, I am his everything. I am his Mummy. Therefore, Mummy is everything.
Oh I just hope that Ashton's wound would heal fast so his stitches can be out soon.
I miss home, I miss our old routine of noisy, pesky kids before bedtime and I miss cuddling them both to bed.

“I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.” - Mother Teresa.

** Thank you Joey, Jas, MagMag, Charmaine, Meena, Twinkle, and so many other people whom I cannot list all at once. But your friendship and support is very much cherished. Thank you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I want to remember

I want to remember all these faces.
Happy and unhappy faces. The good and the bad.
One day I'm going to grow too old, or my baby is gonna grow up too quickly, then I'm gonna miss  these faces all over again.
Presenting Adam's twin - born 3 years apart.

Working with infertile couples makes me appreciate my children, and takes the saying "children are God's gifts" to a whole new level. I thank God everyday for His generosity and blessing.

Some days are dandy - the children sleep early and I can squeeze in some 10 minutes reading the news or surfing the internet. Or simply doing nothing and enjoying the quietness.
Some days are not so fine - both kids are wide awake way past their bedtimes, I feel dog-tired but am forced to go through the whole notion of attending to their 1001 needs before they are satisfied enough to finally fall asleep.
I get no off-days from my kids. I am a Mummy 365 days a year. The good news is, my kids are my greatest fans, and that is a wonderful feeling because on days when you feel lousy, you need to be with people who need you and think you are important to them.
When they grow and grow and hit the ceiling (Adam's theory) and have their own lives, then it'll be my turn to be their biggest fan!

Friday, November 16, 2012

My two babies

Big baby.

Adam insists that Ashton joins him as he plays every night. He is very protective over his brother and I am very proud of him.

Little bubs.

Thank you God for being so kind as to bless us with two beautiful children. Every night I watch my babies sleep, the rise and fall of their chests as they breathe their soft breaths, my heart swells with so much love for them that it might explode.
Our home is now filled with toys, trikes and laughter.
I could not have asked for more.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buddha baby

Hi, my name is Ashton and I am slightly round.
I have a protruding belly and many folds on my body; even my armpits have folds.
As such, Mummy calls me her Buddha baby.

Good day and see ya around!


Monday, November 5, 2012

My Buddha baby

Why this Buddha baby got double chin??  

With a face like this, he can get away with anything!

I chose this photo for Ashton's passport application. Yeap you heard right - we're making his passport.
Some parents just don't learn do they? Taking on the world with 2 pesky children now.

As an aside, I would like to share this amazing video with you.
It's about a family with young children travelling and experiencing the world.
Not that we're gonna trade our comfy beds to live in tents anytime soon, but this is truly inspiring.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Port of Lost Wonder

It's been years since I last set foot on Palawan Beach at Sentosa.
Back then, I was still single and went there for suntanning and beach volleyball.
Now?? Married with two kids and become Aunty already also go Palawan. 厉害吗? (li hai mah?)

There's a pirate ship water play area with foam party that's been set up just for kids, or so I've heard.
Gotta check it out for ourselves!

What: Port of Lost Wonder
Where: Palawan beach, Sentosa
Entrance and parking: $7 per vehicle, parking available at the beach.
How much: Kids go in for $8 per pax on Weekdays / $15 on weekends. Adults go in for free.

Me and my little Botak.

 Like Zoukout like that. Kids nowadays more happening than their parents!

Gotta enjoy this cutesy phase while it lasts.