Ninie is 1

When I carried her in my womb, I had an inkling that this could be a girl but it wasn’t really confirmed until I finally saw her during my Caesarean section. She is turning 1  years old today. Some say she is a spitting image of my mom. To me, she is a mixture of my face and my husband’s.

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Haneem meaning penuh kasih sayang

Raising a girl is more than just putting pretty clothes on her. It is a lot of hard work from a moms perspective. I am not saying raising a boy is easy, it’s just that the ‘syllabus’ is different. LOL. If I could pre-programme Ninie’s virtues – my top 3 would be Kind, Generous and Intelligent.

Kind so she would not say or do things that could harm someone elses feelings or well being. That she would choose her words carefully and react accordingly. So she would always be pleasing to Allah, to us and those who love her.

Generous so she can share if she has the means to do so. To be thoughtful of other peoples plight. And in order to give more, she would strive to have enough in the first place. And work hard for it. Which is closely linked to my final trait.

Intelligent. A young lady with a sharp mind can never go wrong. With that brain of hers, InsyaAllah she is going to use it for the benefit of her family, the ummah and humanity as a whole.

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But these virtues do not just come by on its own. It will depend on the whole village especially the parents to lay down those bricks to shape out what type of person their children will be. A daughter should have the best of what her parents can provide and this puts me in a big, big shoe. If you read the news nowadays or just scroll down the newsfeed on Facebook, there is a lot of crimes, misdemeanour, liberalism and hatred in the current society that one cannot help feeling worried for their family members. Me too, included.

Which is why it is important to include ALllah in your daily life, your decision making etc. For it is He that will listen to you and guide you through life. We can never know the future but I pray that all will be well biiznillah.I can already imagine the hurdles that Ninie  will be going through as a young girl, a teenager and later a young adult. I have had uncertainties as whether I could be the best role model for her.

Reflecting on the latter, perhaps that is why Allah bestowed upon me a daughter. We all have our own pathways in getting closer to Allah. Some through wealth, others a good career, several through building a family, a few through Death or predicaments in everyday life. Mine is through Haneem (ninie). Knowing me, who wants to be the best version of myself to both Hazeeq and Haneem – InsyaAllah, I would take steps to improve myself as not only a mum, but a muslimah as a whole.

I want them to see me who uses the talent/skills Allah give me towards doing something useful. I want them to know that I care about not only our own family but other people who needs help as well. I want them to see that I use good words in my conversations and that I always smile  the company of people, even amongst those I don’t really like. I want them to learn how to manage their emotions, their time and monetary resources by example. In short, I want them to be proud of me as a mum.

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That they would confide in me when they encounter problems. They would shower me with endless hugs and kisses. That they know I am not just a mom, but I am also a doctor who knows how to have a good time. ha ha. Above all, I want them to pray for my well being always as evidence that they sayang me a lotttttt.

Happy birthday Ninie. I hope you grow up to be a beautiful lady loved by Allah and his ummah. InsyaAllah. 

Sometimes I forget that I’m a MOM…

.. which is daunting because having the MOTHER title is a huge responsibility.

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When I was young, I was fed with the universal idea that “Syurga di bawah telapak kaki ibu”. That it would be a big sin to go against the words and wills of a mother. Mulut mak masin. Meaning that whatever our mothers say – things tend to come true. So as children we become wary of these special powers a mom has.

And now I am a MOM. And sometimes I forget that now I am important to my kids. That my words and du’a , InsyaAllah will count and come true. Eventhough I still have girlish screams when I watch a chick flick or grin foolishly if Syafiq Kyle was to suddenly stop by at my clinic for a consultation for his fever. Gitew. 

I have to actively remind myself to say good things about my children. To wish happy things for them. To be careful of my words for they are all prayers to Allah. Sabar (patience) needs to be a virtue so I will not have a slip of tongue and say ‘bodoh’, ‘babi’ or any vulgar connotations of that sort towards them.

I have to make a conscious feeling or intention everyday that I love my family. I am thankful for their presence and that I will try my best to keep this amanah. For I worry, if I say the wrong things my children would turn out to be what I pray for through my words – even if I do not mean it.

Let me tell you a story.

Once, there was a lady working at a hospital as a clinical staff, who had a child of which upon birth suffered from hypoxic brain injury. Subsequently, the child would occasionally have seizures but he managed to grow up as a young man in his late teens , with learning problems due to those medical conditions. His seizures are so bad at times that he requires multiple visits to Casualty only to be discharged later at his parents own risk.

One day, he had another seizure. He must have ruffled a few feathers with his mom, the clinical staff, earlier that day because when she knew he was in Casualty – she vent out loud probably due to exhaustion or desperation – “another fit? Gosh.. can’t you just let me breath once in a while?”. Then, she used this one word which she probably regret even thinking about it later on – The exact word was ‘menyusahkan’. [burden]

Anyway, the teen was observed at Casualty and since the parents requested a discharge at own risk – he was allowed home with advice. His mother continued with her work while her husband brought the teen back home. After all, this was just another one of those seizure episodes. However, a few hours later – the hospital received a frantic phone call from the father saying that the teen was unconscious in the house. An ambulance was dispatched to their residence. The teen unfortunately, was pronounced dead by the attending paramedic.

The mother? Who actually did not meant what she said.. as you can imagine.. was howling and crying uncontrollably. She did not mean for her son to be taken back by Allah and now she has all the time in the world ‘to breath’. And that her son is not her burden anymore. So powerful is the du’a of us Moms that if we are not careful with our tongue, badan akan binasa. 

That will forever be one of the stories that taught me to always guard my tongue and use it for kind words, useful knowledge and good lessons. InsyaAllah.. 

Mombrain

MOmBrain can be dangerous. I am very thankful right now that so far, I have not made a grave mistake of leaving Ninie in the car or under a running water in the tub. But I still have those horrible forgetful moments.

Like how I just went to the kitchen a few minutes ago with the aim to get her clean bottles and put in on the dresser in our room. So it’ll be easy to prepare  her milk at night. On the way out of the kitchen, I saw some of the groceries have not been put away and so I placed the bottle on the table and proceeded to do just that. Mombrain made me forgot. I switched off the kitchen lights, went back to my study area only to realize that the bottles are still on the table.

2 kali kerja nak gi dapur balik.

There are other examples. And being forgetful can be tiring. As you tend to have to repeat a task. Being sleep-deprived is also tiring. Hence MomBrain is no fun when it’s already 5 months down the line with the Bebe turning 6 months by the end of this week. I am looking up on Youtube for tips from enthusiastic moms. Any readers with practical tips? I also pray to Allah that  He may ease my daily activities.

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The picture above is Ninie today as we brought her out to the mall. Look how lovely she is with her headband and little shoes which is for the first time today.

I just realized that she was never properly dressed to go out, often without at least a pair of socks until I browsed the many Instagram accounts of moms bringing their own babies out. Nasiblah I ingat nak pakaikan dia baju n pampers. At least she gets the cue that when we dressed her up nicely, that means she needs to behave coz we’re going out.

 

Baby Ninie. Deciding between Daycare and Babysitter. Ended up choosing daycare. Why.

Mr Husband voted for daycare. I voted for a babysitter. I even made a few mental notes of the type of babysitter I’d choose or avoid.

  • Not having too many kids they babysit at home. Something like not having 2 babies less than 1 year old at one time.
  • Mothers with small kids of their own ( < 2 years old) is also not preferable because their kids would also demand attention. It’s normal. This is also for safety reasons as the carer could be stressed out and impose harm to the kids.
  • Avoid those with home/ online business that involves baking or food prep related products. My fear would be kids getting near hot utensils or sharp objects. But then comes the question – if they need to post their items for those selling cosmetics for instance, do they bring my child to the post office as well or have the postman pick it up?

I was hoping that once I choose a proper babysitter, Baby Ninie would be in a less crowded centre with personalized care. Full attention.

Mr Husband however, said it was dangerous to leave the child with A Babysitter. That one stranger whom you’ve never actually met before to care for an infant who couldn’t speak for herself. To him there are risks of unwitnessed abuse or assault, unwitnessed negligence, abduction (gosh) and what not. It does sound scary when laid out that way.

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While he agrees that in daycare, the numbers may be bigger and risk of negligence may arise – the key is to find a registered Daycare as a start. At least we know that a certain policy or training is in place to maintain the harmony and safety of the centre. And if reported for God forbid, some sort of offence – a penalty will be ensued. There may be bad apples but it would be rare for all of them to be horrible carers.

We found a daycare near our home. It had a registration number and was owned by a couple that my father in law knew. While the couple had a respectable background, we cannot say the same for the workers but we hope that surveillance is done promptly to monitor them. Because I understand how stressful it is to even care for one baby, what more with possibly 5 in one day. Not to mention the screaming bigger kids.

I took tips from friends and my sister – to ease the caretakers job and to protect Baby Ninie as well. Some of these tips include;

  1. Prepare a reasonable number of bottles to daycare, so they wouldn’t have to worry about washing the bottles too much. let them know you are okay with bringing back the unwashed bottles. Baby Ninie had 3.
  2. Choose a teat with a slow flow for infants. I personally chose Pigeons Peristaltic teat. It costs me about RM45 per bottle. mahal kan. sebab tak nak tersedak. It’s supposed to have that protective measure of not flowing if the baby is not sucking on the milk. But in a few months when she can sit up, I would opt for cheaper bottles.
  3. Provide enough milk formula and bring back the milk during the weekend. so you could monitor how much milk your child consumes and see whether it tallies with the usual amount you give at home. Some pre-packed the milk in small containers or straight in the bottle but I worry that sometimes Ninie may need small topups in between of an ounce or 2.
  4. Similar to diapers – some provide the whole pack. I prefer to supply on a daily basis so I could keep track how often her diapers are changed in a day. My magic number is 7. Some mothers advise in investing for the more expensive diapers that could hold urine more since diaper changing can be less frequent in certain centres.
  5. Prepare her grooming stuff in a bucket that is mobile so you could bring it back home at the end of the day.
  6. Finally, pray, Pray that god will look after her and keep her away from harm. InsyaAllah.

So far Baby Ninie is OK. The other bigger kids seem to like her a lot. HAHAHA. The main caretakers although young, seems nice. I hope it is not a front. We are paying RM100 for registration and RM350 per month. We can send her as early as 715AM and hope to fetch her by 530PM.

Yes, she gets cranky sometimes as reported by her carers. Mosquitoes bite her smooth skin once in a while but nothing major. She seems to posset a lot judging from her smell and wet clothes. The colour of her poo seems alright which is consistent with what she is feeding on.

Caring for a baby requires cooperation and proper communication between parents and carers. The child will grow in front of both their eyes and it is important to communicate changes and growth spurts to each other. If everything goes well, we may continue for the next year before she goes to preschool.