Kaius is 5.

Happy Birthday, Kaius!

I feel like I graduated as a Mother.

Dear Kaius,

You’ve just turned 5 and you have no idea how proud Mummy and Daddy are of you.

You have grown slowly but surely into this thoughtful, inquisitive, cheeky and kind little boy.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pre-term labour scare at 35 weeks of pregnancy, and then finally the 26 hours of labour at 38 weeks to bring you into this world.

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Hello, my little boy blue.

Everyone says your first child is special.

As middle children, Daddy and I always scoffed at that statement because, well, what do you mean? We’re less special because we’re not the first or the youngest?

But when we had you, we finally understood this. (Although, we also came to the conclusion at that time (having no other children than you) that the first one will be special, the last one will be the baby, hence special, and the middle ones are *sigh* least loved! But I digress.)

And it’s not because we love your sisters any less. (Yes, everyone gets equal share when Mummy and Daddy kick the bucket).

It’s because with you, there were and will be so many “firsts”:

The first time we became “Mummy” and “Daddy”.

 

The first time I had to figure out breastfeeding and cursing at how painful it was at the beginning. (What do you mean I am supposed to do this for at least 6 months?! And why isn’t there some kind of epidural for engorgements??) In spite of all the pain and suffering, I did it for you.

The first time my heart broke when I had to leave you in the hospital when you were only 3 days old because of jaundice. I felt like I was leaving a precious part of me there. And it’s true, isn’t it? You are part of me because you were formed inside me, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.

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The first time I left you at school and forced myself to walk away even though I could hear you screaming for me.

The first time you called me “Mama”.

Even though we were given this giant responsibility of shaping your life, you have no idea how much you have already shaped ours (and turned it upside down!).

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You have taught me that gentle kisses from your baby are far more precious than anything that can be bought.

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You have taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yes, I worked as a lawyer before you were born, and late nights at 1 or 2am were not uncommon. I thought then, that that was sacrifice, for my career. But, seriously, what did I know then? I was only responsible for myself and I could still be selfish. Nobody else needed me for their survival, but you did. And that meant I had to put you first.

I remember once I was holding you in the middle of the night trying to soothe you whilst I was crying because I was so exhausted. But I did it anyway because you needed me.

You have also taught your Father what it means to be his son’s hero.

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Super Daddy!
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After winning 2nd place at the Healthy Baby Contest.

I will always be thankful for your cheeky smile,

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Your gentleness with your sisters,

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Sibling love.

And every time you look at me and say, ”Mama, I love you”, even when we’re in the middle of something. It’s almost like the Universe telling me to STOPBEINGBUSY and pay attention to what matters. Because there will never be a second chance at watching you grow up.

Oh and you know what? It is because of you that we understood, so deeply and assuredly, just how much our own parents love us. Other assumptions, parental mistakes and definitions aside (because I am a lawyer and I gotta catch’em all), it is that self-sacrificial, tender, unconditional, enduring love that will always be there. It is the kind of love that will catch you when you fall, continually and tirelessly look for you when you’re lost, and will be there when you finally want to talk, even if it is to yell expletives.

It is the kind of love that will choose to let you have the last bit of my Cornetto cone with all the yummy chocolate in it even though I really wanted it for myself. Not because I don’t love myself. But because giving it to you and watching you scrumptiously enjoy it made me so much happier.

It is the kind of love that will fight fiercely for you. To. The. Bloody. Death.

Daddy and I are so fortunate to experience these lessons of love with you, first.

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Hello cutie!

In this crazy and uncertain world we live in, of this you can be sure:

Your sisters will always annoy you,

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Hugs from Allegra! Wait till Xaxa is old enough. I don’t know what your face will look like when they both decide to squish you!

Mummy and Daddy will always love you,

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Happy Birthday, Kaius!

And Mummy will always be the one who introduced you to chewing gum 😉

 

Throwback Thursday

Life With 2 Kids

Seemed like ages ago and I’m glad we had the chance to take this photo.

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I actually cancelled this shoot because I had been in the hospital 2 days before for a second pre-term labour scare. We thought the baby was arriving and I was kicking myself for not planning this shoot earlier in my pregnancy.

And since we decided that this would be our last baby, I wasn’t going to get anymore chances to take photos like this!

But it’s a good thing the contractions tapered off and I was allowed to go home the day before the shoot. That was a Friday. I managed to reinstate our appointment.

On Saturday, we took the photos.

And on Sunday night, I was back in the hospital again. 

Alexa was born in the early hours of Monday morning. 

Super timing 🙂

Happy Birthday, Baby Alexa!

After 2 weeks of pre-term labour scares, Alexa has arrived safely on 22 February 2016 – the last day of Chinese New Year!

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Welcome to our world, baby girl.

5 Top Tips & Supermamapreneurials For Dealing With Pre-Term Labour While Empire Building

Supermamapreneurial #5: Bedrest is the time to get creatively lazy.

3 pregnancies x 3 pre-term labours x building my empire = no fun at all!

But I’ve since learned how to cope with the disruption of a hospital stay to work and taken it in my stride. Here are my Top 5 Tips & Supermamapreneurials For Dealing With Pre-Term Labour While Empire Building. 

Tip #1 –  Report: Tell Your Doctor and Get to The Hospital 

This time around, my contractions started around 10+pm, and they were at first irregular, about 5 to 12 minutes apart. And I kind of knew that these weren’t Braxton Hicks contractions or false labour because I did start to feel physically uncomfortable around 6pm. This is something I picked up about my body in my past 2 pregnancies when labour was imminent. This is also something that has become a warning to me to be prepared for what’s coming.

Supermamapreneurial #1: Be Ready

Ensure hospital bags (pre-birth and post-birth, just in case), including things needed for work e.g. laptop, are packed and ready to go.

I woke up at 4am with intense contractions that were a steady 5 minutes apart and I knew it was time to take action to stop these contractions. Mama is not ready for you yet baby, and you’re not ready for the world either!

Tip #2 – Relax: Focus On Positives 

Once you’ve informed the doctor and you’re at the hospital, relax. This might be difficult, but it’s true that fretting about it in your head about all the good and bad possibilities about the pre-term labour, the baby and work won’t help. You’ll only succeed in worrying yourself silly instead of focusing your energies on positive solutions.

Supermamapreneurial #2: Get Productive

While waiting for the nursing staff and doctor to examine me and for the medication to kick in, I like to do something productive like make a few lists of what needs to be taken care of, for work and home. This helps me focus on moving forward, instead of worrying myself in circles.

Tip #3 – Reverse: Your Aversion to Needles 

I don’t think there’s anyone who hates needles more than I do. All these pre-term labours and having babies hasn’t changed that, though I must admit I’m less averse to them now than I was 4 years ago.

I realised that the more I built it up in my head that I hated needles, the bigger the issue seemed to be. And because there was no 2 ways about this i.e. the needles were necessary, I decided to just suck it up and stop being a baby about it. Although this does nothing for the pain that comes with all these needles, it has helped to calm my mind whilst going through it.

Supermamapreneurial #3: A calm mind is key for great ideas

I then wouldn’t have to waste time trying to center myself again to focus for work. By the way, once the drip catheter is in your hand (like in the picture), I’ve learned that putting the laptop flat on the table is the best way to go. Don’t put your laptop on an incline because, while it is more ergonomical in the usual situation when you work without the drip in your hand, this angle will cause the drip catheter to poke your vein at an awkward angle and/or wrist and it will be painful.

Tip #4 –  Reschedule: Working With Doctor’s Orders 

The cardiotocography machine or CTG machine will be part of your life until your baby is born. What it does is it records fetal heartbeats and uterine contractions. It can be a pain because sometimes you’d have to lie still for an hour at a go, but it is reassuring to hear the baby’s heartbeat. And if the medications that the doctor has given are working, it is most calming to watch the monitor assure you that your contractions are going or have gone away.

Supermamapreneurial #4:  Work Around It

Since I know I can’t get out of going through multiple CTG sessions, I’ve devised a way to keep up with work and still comply with doctor’s orders. What I like to do is to get the nurses to tell me when each CTG session will be, and I’ll plan my work around it. For example, if I have to be sitting up and typing out stuff, I’ll do that before the CTG session or after. I leave all the thinking work for when I have to lie down during the CTG session. Sometimes I type out ideas when I’m sitting up and then let those ideas simmer whilst I’m lying down.

Tip #5 – Re-training: To Deal With Bedrest

And as expected, my doctor put me on bedrest! This, for me, is worse than being busy because I can’t do most things e.g. can’t drive, can’t go shopping, can’t be on my feet for too long to do stuff, can’t carry the kids, and there’s only so much TV I can watch before it gets boring. There’s no greater pain to me than the loss of my freedom and independence.

Supermamapreneurial #5: Bedrest is the time to get creatively lazy

I’ve realised, that bedrest is the time to get creative and find the laziest way to get something done effectively and efficiently. This is the time to try and do what I can from the comfort of my bed or sofa, without walking around. If the kids want a cuddle, they’ll have to climb up the bed for one. If there are things that need to be bought, I’ll find an online store and get it delivered. If my staff need something, they’ll have to come to me for a consult. Everything revolves around the bed-resting me.

The important thing to keep in mind though, is that being on bedrest means resting also. Be sure to carve out time for rest so you’ll be able to be at your best.

This is an opinion piece based on the author’s experiences. This is not in any way medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical advice.