Sunday, April 30, 2006

One month... and first time sleeping through the night!

Wow! How time flies! Laetitia is one month old today. Our little baby is growing up. She is no longer as small, fragile and petite as when she was born. Check out this post for her growth details.

As a record, when she crosses each of her monthly birthday, I will take note of her achievements or growth milestones and blog them.

For the first month, she is now able to do the following:-
1) Hold her head up at least 45 degrees when on her belly.
2) Focus on a face.
3) Respond to a loud noise by startling/crying/waking up (if she is in REM mode of sleep).
4) Smile spontaneously.
5) Grasp my finger

Here's 2 pictures of her doing #1

We also had a celebration for her with some of our friends this afternoon. This celebration is traditionally Chinese and is called the "full month" (滿 月= man yue) celebration. A long ago in China, infant mortality rate was high, so if the baby survived his first month, it would mean that the worst was over and he could expect to live. To symbolize new life and good luck, unshelled hard-boiled eggs dyed red were given to guests. Red eggs are an integral part of full month celebrations. And we of course could not do away with that!

And one amazing thing my petite chouchou did last night was that she slept through the night. She fell asleep around 11pm after her last feed at 10.30pm and did not wake up until about 5.30am! That was wonderful! I am so proud of my girl. She's really growing up.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Photo crazy mummy!

Just because I could (take as many photos of my darling every single day).....

Looking "oh so sweet!"

"Let me show you my tongue."

"How's that for a cheeky look?" "Quick! Take a pic of me laughing."

"Ok, back to my usual sugary sweetness."

"Check out my long fingers!"

"Are you done yet, Mummy?"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First doctor's visit.

I bought my little baby to the paediatrician for her first doctor's visit today. All went well at the clinic. Dr Béatrice DiMascio was recommended in the Message Mothers Support Group (an English speaking mothers support group that I joined here in Paris) medical register, is very friendly and I do like her. More importantly, she speaks English. At the end of the day, I am more comfortable conversing in English and I want to be sure that I communicate the right information to the doctor. It might not be as important for routine visits but it will be crucial when there are emergencies.

Today's visit is a scheduled baby's first month appointment. It is to check that baby is growing well. Well, everything is fine though there are just some little issues which are common for babies her age.

The Dr Béatrice DiMascio checked the following:-

1) Heart/Lungs - Good

2) Throat/Mouth - Good

3) Tummy - There was a lot of air which she said is very usual for babies up to three months. an anti-wind/gas medication is prescribed.

4) Bum - There was some redness due to Laetitia's poo being very watery which burns her baby sensitive skin. Some antiseptic solution, powder and cream are prescribed.

5) Weight - She is now 4.10kg. She put on 620g from her birth weight of 3.48kg

6) Length - She is now 56cm. She grew 5cm from her birth length of 51cm

7) Head circumference - Her head circumference is now 37.5cm. Her head is bigger by 3cm from her birth measurement of 34.5cm.

Dr Béatrice DiMascio also tested her joints, mobility etc and said everything is well. Since we are going to be travelling to Singapore around June/July period, Laetitia has also been scheduled for her first vacination (BCG) in about a month's time so that she could have her injection before we leave.

I was also told that if I have any questions, I could call her. It is reassuring to know that there is someone I can call if I had any immediate medical concerns for Laetitia. I was also given some advise regarding breastfeeding. All in all, the visit went very well and I can safely say that I am comfortable with Dr Béatrice DiMascio being Laetitia's paediatrician.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My French baby girl.

I was feeling a bit more adventurous today and decided to take Laetitia out somewhere further than where we normally go to. We eventually ended up going on a shopping trip at the Grand Magasin! I wanted to get my darling baby a bonet as the one she has is a little too tight for her. Anyways, the stuff in Galeries Lafayette and even Printemps is a little too pricy for this stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) and we left the place empty handed. I was going to check out the cheaper alternative C&A when I was waylaid by H&M. H&M is seriously one good place to shop. They have pretty stuff for very reasonable prices. This is one of our loots from there! My petite chouchou is truly French now!

And here's a picture of her and her grandma. My mum put the dress we bought on top of Laetitia to cover her "exposed" legs. I personally think that it looks a little funny since the dress is a little too big for her right now... It makes my darling's head looks a little small. :-p Oh, and pardon the messy bed. I had just finished breastfeeding on the bed and did not think about making the bed before taking the photo. It was very impromptu.

Monday, April 24, 2006

More mummy and baby time.

I love to take naps with my baby in the afternoons. Normally, we'll sleep together on my bed for her 3ish-5ish pm nap. It's one of the wonderful moments I share with Laetitia. It's nice sleeping holding her little hand or just placing my hand on her belly. I believe she enjoys it too for she seems to sleep very well and very deeply during this time. I think the close proximity is soothing for her. She knows her mummy is close by and she feels secured. Here's some pre nap time pictures.

The last couple of days passed really quickly. We had a few visitors on Saturady. Wendy, Frank and Alicia were here in the evening. I had invited them for Laetitia's first month celebration but Wendy will be away in London and Alicia will be back in Singapore so they decided to come over this Saturday to see my little darling. Later in the evening, Philippe came over for dinner and of course to see Laetitia as well.

Today we tried to go out to the park. I say "tried" since just as we were going to step out of the building, it started to rain! Sigh, after spending the afternoon waiting for Laetitia to wake up, nurse her, put on extra clothes for her, put her in the stroller, strap her up and finally getting out of the house, we were unable to go to the park afterall. We eventually just walked up and down the hallway for like 5 mins before giving up and going home. I guess I'll try again tomorrow. The weather is beautiful these last few days and it's a waste to spend the entire day at home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Card making.

This past few days has been relatively calm. Etienne had taken a couple of days off work and together with the long weekend, was home for 5 days. It was nice having him home helping to look after Laetitia and he also got to spend some quality time with his daughter. Some time was spent getting the administrative issues sorted out for Laetitia and in making cards! Etienne took some time to create "Thank You" cards for some local family and friends who had sent presents over for Laetitia. Initially we meant to get some "Thank You" cards and enclosed a photo of Laetitia but Etienne thought it'll be a good idea to design a customised card and what an awesome job he did! He spent quite a lot of time touching up the photo of Laetitia he wanted to use for the card and also incorporating the design of this blog into the card. This is the final result! What do you think?

Well, since I think it looks great and I really like it, I decided to use the same design for creating Laetitia's first month celebration invites too. Heehee, what a rip off. One design, many purpose! The hassle of it all was not creating the design but rather the printing itself. I spent majority of the card making time in setting up the alignment for printing and getting the printer to print on the cards itself. I probably did at least 10 or more test prints before everything was ready to go. This is what I eventually came up with. :-)

And the cards were finally sent out today. We are inviting only a handful of friends (we are expecting about 15 people for the celebration). I believe that 15 is an optimum number for the size of our apartment and also for Laetitia to not be overwhelmed with too many new faces around her. Mum will be making some red eggs and glutinous rice as per the traditions for "baby's full month" celebration back in Singapore. I will try to see if we can get some other traditional cakes in Chinatown this weekend. It'll be nice to keep some of our Chinese cultures here in Paris.

Well, I sure hope the little celebration will be a success. It's afterall Laetitia's first party!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trip to the park/garden

We took Laetitia out to the park/garden that is just around the corner today. Since I forgot to take pictures of her first trip out last week, I made sure that I had the camera with me today. Her papa even brought along his video camera.

Here's my little darling looking warm and cosy in her pretty stroller.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Baby and Mummy time.

In the last couple of days I have been trying to include a mummy and baby play and exercise time into our schedule. It is very simple. All I do is find a time when Laetitia is most alert and we would talk to each other. Errrr.... actually I would talk to her. I would tell her how much her papa and mummy love her and how precious she is etc. After some talking, I would put her on the tummy and proceed to lie next to her and then continue my "conversation" with her. Putting her on her tummy is suppose to help her exercise her neck muscles strength and quicken her ability to crawl.

I really enjoy this time spent as it seems more purposeful than the rest of the activities. And it is wonderful seeing her acknowledging our conversation with her smiles and different facial expressions. She might not understand what I am saying for now, but I think she could feel the love from the shared time.

Anyways, since I've not added new photos lately, here's some pics taken as we're lying in bed. I particularly love the one of my petite chouchou with her smile. It totally melts my heart.

Laetitia's first day out

Today we decided to take Laetitia out for her first trip out of the house. She was taken out of the house briefly last Sunday when we went to Jean's (Etienne's granddad) house for dinner but that does not really count as a trip since it was only across the street and it takes less than 5 mins from door to door.

Initially we wanted to take her to the park but changed our minds and decided to make a trip to the hospital since we had some administrative issues regarding my stay during Laetitia's birth to settle.

As today is rather cold and windy, we bundled Laetitia up in many layers. She had a bodies on, a fitting jacket and finally a coat on. I also covered her up in a fleece blanket for extra protection against the elements. She was being fussy in the apartment as it must have been a touch too warm for her in those layer in the house. In my hurry to get her out, I totally forgot to take a picture of her in her stroller. Once we were out, Laetitia stopped crying. She kind of enjoyed being pushed in the stroller and also the slightly chilling weather. It was a lot more windy than I had expected and for a moment I was wondering if we made a wrong choice taking her out today. What if she catches a chill? I did my best to try to block the wind when it is a little too strong. Laetitia did not seem to be too bothered though. Anyways, we went to the hospital, settled whatever we had to deal with and then proceeded to walk back. We made a quick stop at a small park just mins from our place before going home. Just as we left the park, our little chouchou started to get upset again and proceeded to cry. It was time for her feed! We hasten our pace and once home, Etienne proceeded to quickly remove her layers while I got myself ready for her feeding.

Once the breast was in her little mouth, she was happy and contented. :-)

And I think my little darling enjoyed her stroll today. She slept well in the afternoon and evening. Now that I know there is a park so near to our apartment, I think I will try to take her out for walks at least once every other day. It would be much nicer for her to be out enjoying some sun or even wind than to be cooped up at home all the time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The day her umbilical cord stump fell off.

Today, the umbilical cord of Laetitia finally fell off. I have been waiting for this little "milestone" but it was a lot less eventful then I had imagine. Well, I'm not sure what I was expecting but it seemed like it was just another little event in the course of the day.

While Laetitia was given her bath, I noticed that the umbilical cord stump seemed to be just hanging by a little bit of skin and I was thinking it would probably fall off by itself in a day or so. After the bath, as I dried her with her towel, I suddenly noticed that the umbilical cord stump is missing! It got stuck to the towel. Well, I promptly asked mum to remove the stump and throw it away. There was a little redness and some bloodish spot on the belly button but I remember reading in "What to expect the first year" that it is very normal.

Well, one less thing to worry about now.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Swinging time...

Since we came back from the hospital, I've been wanting to put Laetitia on the Graco swing (a present from Eileen) to see if it would have the same calming effect as when we swing her gently in our arms. However, I had forgotten to get the right batteries beforehand. Duh mummy!Finally my mum bought the batteries for the swing 2 days ago and I decided to put the swing to the test. And it passed!

Laetitia does enjoy being in the swing. Yippeee! Now our hands can relax.

Check out how much she enjoyed being in the swing. Here she seems to be waving and saying, "Auntie Eileen, Thanks for the swing! I love it!".

Here, she has one of her "Oh, don't I just look like I am contented and happy here?" face.

My first tender moment as a mum.

Today I experience my first tender moment as a mother.

I started giving Laetitia a feed around 7.30pm. When she was done with the first breast and was being offered the other breast, she suddenly vomited! It was not a small spill of milk but an awful amount of curdled milk. I remember thinking, that's probably 2 feeding of milk she just puked. There was vomit all over me and her. I shouted for my mum to help me (thank God that Mum is around). Mum quickly came over and took Laetitia off me and asked me to go clean up. At that moment I was still pretty calm thinking, oh, it's a good thing there's no vomit on the bed.
After a quick clean and change, I went to Laetitia's room where I thought mum was changing her. When I entered the room, I realised that Laetitia was wailing her lungs out and seemed to have difficulties breathing. Mum was holding her on her belly trying to make sure Laetitia was not choking on her puke and also facilitate the vomiting if necessary.

What was hard for me is that I was helpless. I didn't know what I could do to help my baby girl relieve the discomfort or pain that she is experiencing. For the first time, Laetitia was crying with tears rolling down her pretty cheeks. My heart was breaking seeing that my little one is in much agony. At the same time, I was worried that there was really some puke that choking her as she was lying down when she vomited. Finally, we managed to change her. We could still hear that her breathing is a little obstructed, it sounded like there was more phlegm or vomit in her throat. As I held her close to my chest calming her down, I was overwhelmed with heartache for my darling. My heart broke with her cries and each sound of choking breath. Seeing her tears brought tears of my own. I realised how precious my petite chouchou is to me.

By then, Etienne had came home with my parents -in-law who had arrived just today to spend some time with their grand-daughter. Initially he did not realise the extend of the stress I had just experience but soon he became aware that I was experiencing a tender moment with what just happened (it was obvious when my tears were rolling down from the heart pain of seeing my baby being sick).

There was much hustle and bustle in the apartment as we were hosting a dinner at our place that very moment. Aside from my in laws, Etienne's granddad Jean is also here. We took a moment away from everyone, stayed in our room and just prayed that the Lord would remove the discomfort or pain from Laetitia and also to fill me with strenght as a mum. I pretty much spent most of the time in the room just holding Laetitia close on my chest while Etienne attempt to keep up with the rest that is happening (preparing the dinner with my mum-in-law and being with my father-in-law and Jean).

After several offers from mum to take Laetitia from me so that I could go eat something and be with our guest for a while, I finally relented when mum said she will watch Laetitia and pray with her at the same time. I think something clicked inside me that yes, I have to trust the Lord to protect Laetitia. For my mum who have not received the Lord as her personal saviour to want to pray to Jesus to heal Laetitia and make her well showed me the hands of God is in my family. As a mother, and after this little episode, I know there might be other times where I will feel fear, heartache, worry etc for my baby but I have to learn to trust in the Lord and have faith that He has good things planned for Laetitia and this family and His protection is always over us.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Laetitia's room

I was going to post pictures of her nursery but never got around to doing it. In any case, better late then never. And it's much nicer to have Laetitia in her cot then just the plain old bed by itself isn't it?

Sprayed with poo!

I have heard of babies spraying their caregivers with pee when they get a diaper change but not poo however today, my mum and I had the "honour" of being sprayed with poo! And LOTS of it! And of course the perpetrator is this cutie patootie Laetitia.

This happened when mum decided to check on Laetitia's diapers as my little chouchou has been behaving very restlessly and was fussy for a long time after a feeding session. Normally, Laetitia is quite easy to calm after a feed. Anyways, there was a very small amount of poo on the diaper and mum thought oh maybe that's why Laetitia was uncomfortable. As she lifted Laetitia's legs to remove the soiled diaper, all of a sudden, yellow mustardy seedy poo gush all and sprayed towards mum and I!!! I was lucky to avoid the poo but mum was not so fortunate. She had poo on her hands and pants! Eeeek! There was also poo on the quilt cover (we were changing her on the bed) and the floor. The whole scene was so hilarious that both my mum and I just burst out laughing. And of course quickly took some tissues, kitchen rolls, clothes etc to try to wipe the poo while at the same time clean Laetitia. We decided to stop the change in case there is more poo coming and just keep a clean sheet of kitchen roll on her bum. After a couple of minutes, we thought it's now safe to change and just as mum lifted Laetitia's legs again to remove the soiled items, there was another spray!!! AHHHHHH... this time, it went so far as to reach mum's luaggage which was slightly more than a meter away from the bed! What a mess! Well, that's it, there is poo all over the place now. Luckily the spray of poo did not reach her cot which was right next to mum's luaggage.

We finally managed to change her and clean up the entire place after another wait of about 10 mins. We were finally safe from the attack of the spraying poo!!! Actually, mum cleaned the entire mess and I only changed Laetitia's diaper.

And here's some pictures just because.....

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Finally home.

We're home from the hospital! We spent 6 days in the hospital and I must say 6 days is a long time. They were thinking of keeping Laetitia and myself for another day but we prefer to be home. Laetitia has a little jaundice but it is very slight and the pediatrician gave the go ahead to check out.

The first couple of days was relatively stressful for me as I was trying to breastfeed exclusively and had choosen to have Laetitia room in with me all the time. However, since I had a c-section, it was impossible for me to move out of the bed and so trying to get to her when she cried involved calling the nurse. It was a stressful first couple of days with breastfeeding and then supplementing and trying to switch back to exclusive breastfeeding. However, we have worked that all out and I think Laetitia and I have found a good pace for each other.

We have spent our first 24hrs at home and I am so happier to be back home. At least I have my mum to help me and she has been a great blessing to us. Laetitia is also such a darling. I do think though that she has her days and nights mixed up. She would sleep for 2-3 hours stretches in the day after her milk but needs every 1 1/2 to 2 hrs feed in the night! Hopefully we will get that part sorted out soon too.

So anyways, here are a few more pictures of our petite chouchou.