Give me a break – I am just trying to register a birth!

My plan to legitimise my son as a human being today has been folded.

Went to JPN to register his birth with the form filled out as well as original and copies of documents (IC, Passport, marriage certificate, verification letter from hospital, antenatal check-up appointment card).

Reached the office to find 2 out of 10 counters operating. Never mind, I took my number and there’s only 8 people in front of me. Still, it took an hour of waiting before my turn.

When it’s finally my turn, I was told that I can’t register my son’s birth because my antenatal appointment card only has dates for post-partum visits. What they need are both pre-natal and post-natal visits listed in the card.

At this point, I was a little panicked. Because I no longer knew where the older appointment card is. I mean, do people really keep these cards around even when it’s already fully filled out?

I never knew the importance of the appointment card. Basically, it’s just that small booklet that your nurse handwrite check-up dates in. Nobody has impressed upon me the importance of this card to me. If I had known, I would have kept it in a safe place.

I also questioned the necessity of this appointment card as everything I was submitting anyway pointed to a legitimate birth of a baby and that I am the parent?? If anyone could enlighten me of this seemingly redundant necessity, it would be much appreciated.

Anyway they told me to go to the hospital to print out my antenatal check-up dates (which I had no idea whether it’s possible) and to come back another time.

Also, on this day I found out that if you registered your child’s birth after 42 days, there would be a lot of mess to follow. You’d have to appear together with your spouse to “sumpah” and get every single document validated/notarised – information that weren’t available online or offline.

I discovered this via the counter staff…who thankfully warned me as I am precariously 2 days away from being over 42 days. And there I was thinking if we were later than 42 days it’s only a RM50 fine. We didn’t mean to wait so long to register his birth of course, but were simply caught off-guard by the sheer amount of time a baby takes up.

Only a fellow parent will understand how time just zips by in a haze of breastfeeding, milk pumping, diaper changing and coaxing a baby to sleep.

Sigh.

Why are information about important governmental procedures so scarce, inconsistent and incomplete? It’s ironic that I feel least Malaysian whenever I need to get something done at a government office!

Fortunately, my old appointment card turned up at the house after a short rummaging. So I’m going to try again tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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The story of our first born’s name.

We knew his name even since before he was conceived. It’s Liam.

Why Liam? Cause the husband and I really like Liam Neeson and Liam Gallagher. #truestory

When his godma, Jayna told me that Liam is defined as “P.I.M.P” on Urban Dictionary, the name officially stuck.

Then, we struggled for a bit with his middle name. First we weren’t sure if we even wanted a middle name for him because nothing stood out. The last thing we wanted was settling for some tepid middle name for the sake of having a middle name.

Eventually, we kind of decided on “Bruce” for his middle name. Why Bruce? Hello, Bruce Lee!? And Bruce Lee is chinese so I can say that it’s the oriental representation of Liam’s chinese genes.

After a while, I realised we were actually going to name our first born purely after celebrities. Gulp. Surely we could put more research into this? Hahaha.

So we put a halt on “Bruce” and decided to look at more names. We toyed with “Samson” for a while because it was almost my husband’s name according to my mother-in-law.

Unfortunately, I was put off by the tale of Samson and Delilah. In a nutshell, Samson lost his superhuman strength after losing his hair. Well, for those of you who know my husband, surely you’d understand why I’m not comfortable with naming our son Samson.

Then, we did the next best thing; going though A-Z of male baby names on the Internet. We arrived at the name “Colt”. I thought it sounded quite manly and it’s a one syllable word, which I like. So I googled for its meaning, “a young uncastrated male horse”.

I felt like the planets had aligned for us as Liam’s born in the year of the horse to a man who’s also born in the year of the horse – my husband. And Colt is also the name of a gun so of course it’s naturally very badass. Lets not even discount the definitions on Urban Dictionary, hahaha.

# – My two horses.

So yeah, with a bit of Google magic, some love for celebrities and Urban Dictionary, we finally settled on naming our son, Liam Colt Davies.

And yes, Liam’s home :)

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I have popped and this is how it went down.

Some of you might know, that I have given birth to our baby boy. His due date was supposed to be 22 September, but he decided to pop out at 32 week 3 day gestation, just before the month of July ended. In a nutshell, that’s too many weeks too early.

On 30 July 2014, my water broke at 5.30pm. I had the classic scene – a gush of water and some blood splashing onto my feet, just like in the movies. Thank goodness my husband was at home so he sent me straight to the hospital where I was immediately admitted to the delivery suite.

I was 1cm dilated by then, but I was feeling pretty normal physically. I was bleeding too but I wasn’t in pain. The husband and I hung out in the room chatting and surfing the Internet. Even got hubs to get me Mcdonalds for supper. After supper, I basically watched movies till wee hours in the morning.

Truth was, we were both effing scared and were just trying to keep the topic of delivering a baby off each other’s mind.

And then, it began.

And I am not shitting you, my contractions began right after I finished watching “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” on Fox channel. They started out like really painful menstrual cramps and got more painful as hours passed. I mean, I had semi-passed out from menstrual cramps before, but these, these were a whole new world of pain.

By 9am on 31 July 2014, I was about 3cm and my midwife told me if I wanted any pain relief or epidural this would be the time. I said no and regretted almost immediately after.

By the time I was 6cm dilated at around 11am, I was wailing like a banshee in a bathtub filled with holy water and begging for epidural. “JUST GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!!”

Alas, it was too late for an epidural. My only option was to go through with it, there’s no turning back. My only respite was the laughing gas (I think?) that I sucked, and sucked and sucked and sucked. Why call it laughing gas when I wasn’t laughing, gawddamnit!

# – Nobody could pry that gas away from me.

I remember at some point, the doctor calling out that I was 10cm dilated and I was prepped and then asked to push like I was pushing poop out whenever a contraction kicked in.

I also remember screaming about wanting to vomit, and someone shoving a kidney dish next to my face but thankfully I didn’t hurl.

Baby was out after 5 pushes according to the husband. I shall spare you the details of the birth. Anyway, he came into this world at 1.52pm on 31 July 2014. My contractions started at 5.30am and he came out at about 2pm, making the labour process a reasonable 8 hours plus.

And despite the holy mother trucking pain, I still think I had a very good labour; the only bleep being that it happened way too soon. My doctor was excellent, calm and clear with her instructions (so I managed to give birth without attending any antenatal class haha). My midwives were kind, understanding and supportive.

Props to the hubs especially, he was my rock during the labour. I can honestly say I don’t think I could do it trauma-free if he weren’t present. He also took pictures of everything, and I mean, everything, should I’m ever inclined to relive the experience.

When my doctor pulled him out and plopped him onto my chest, my first feeling at seeing him for the first time was relief.

Relieved that he’s out, and relieved that he’s not as small as I had imagined he would be. Still a meagre 1.9kg but in all considerations, pretty healthy for a premature baby his age.

# – Baby’s paediatrician working on him right after I birthed him.

Am glad my doc gave me the steroid jabs to strengthen his lungs when my mucus plug fell out 20 days prior.

To date, our baby has been in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the past 11 days. And, he’s doing exceedingly well.

# – Our very first family portrait – about 8 hours after his birth.

Sure, he’s lost about 200 grams of water weight but he’s slowly climbing up to 1.8kg. He’s off CPAP by 3rd day and by the 4th day he was well enough to undergo kangaroo care (skin to skin therapy or as we call it – huggies time) with us. We visit him twice everyday for kangaroo care.

# – 1 day old, with daddy. Seeing pictures of him with wires and that thingy on his nose still gives me the emo.

# – 5 day old. He’s progressed so quickly and looking so good :)

# – 6 day old. What a poser!! He’s developed mild jaundice by now, can see a little yellow on his face.

I’ve been pumping milk around the clock because mother’s milk is really important to a premature baby. It’s quite magical that a woman’s body is able to customise milk to suit exactly what her baby needs. His jaundice has subsided and he’s up to 36mls per feed without vomitting (that’s like full term baby portion!).

# – Nomming his little piggies. He’s 8 days old here.

His doctor also has allowed me to breastfeed him directly, and he sucks like a champion. His sucking sounds are so loud, it’s embarrassing!

# – 9 day old. Hypnotising us with his eyes when we’re about to leave NICU. He does that everytime! We put him back on his bed and he would open his eyes and stare at us like that.

Yesterday doc even said that if all goes well, he should be moving to a normal nursery soon. I was so happy, I almost cried.

I have many goals in life, many involving a dozen slightly different versions of me hanging out by a body of water in very little clothings, but I can say with certainty now that my real current goal in life is really to fatten my baby up with my boob food. I am so pumped!!!!

p/s: All those giving birth scenes in movies…LIES. ALL LIES. How about multiplying the intensity by about a million, then we’re talking!

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