Sunday, November 20, 2016

Baby Mavis's Birth Story

38 week pregnant versus 1 month post natal #wearing the same top

My two lovely babies

I have taken a very long time to share this cos I do not know where to begin. I knew it's gonna be a lengthy one. It all began from my first child's birth. My elder son Lil J was breastfed (mixed feeding) for his first 8mths of life but it was a tough journey as I was an EP (exclusive pumping) mom. There has always been a sense of guilt in me for not being able to direct latch him so when I was conceived with #2 my only wish was to be able to DL her. From my 1st birth, I learnt that we cant only wish, we have to work very hard to earn what we want. I had to have a strategy. I listed down the reasons for failure to DL baby J. 

#1, I was feeling too groggy and tired after my cesarean birth to establish skin to skin and first latch, bottle & teats were introduced before 1st latch 
#2, I had a pair of inverted nipples 
#3, lack of knowledge on breastfeeding

I did a lot of reading and research this round and I knew that inverted nipple wasn't the true reason for failing to DL, it was only my excuse for my own failure (so I would feel better). I was quite certain failure #2 and #3 can be overcome this round, but #1 was not easy.  I felt that I can overcome all of these obstacles if I give birth naturally. I am someone with very low pain threshold, I cant even let a doc perform a VE (vaginal examination) on me let alone birthing a baby naturally. 

To overcome this, I signed up for an online hypnobirthing course. At the end of the course (I was in my 30th week of pregnancy then), I knew I can deliver this baby naturally. 

I checked with my gynae for advices. He was open to the idea of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Hooray!! cos my gynae is one of the most 'Ganjeong' gynae in town. I then joined prenatal yoga sessions every week to prepare my body for the birth. I remained very active with occassional swim and continued to work hard with my second hand kids books biz (which requires a lot of squatting and moving about). 

At 38th week, my gynae told me, "I know you wanted a natural birth, but due to your GDM gestational diabetes background, I cannot let you give birth later than 39th week (ie week commencing 8/10). You may still need a cesarean birth if you're late. Remember I said, he is the most 'ganjeong' gynae in town. I thought to myself, 'Oh well, I will try my best to delay going to the doc till later on in the work'. I still had high hope for natural delivery. 

2 am, I experienced my first ever contractions / surges. They were about 8-10 min apart and were very bearable. I had never experienced true surges before (my elder, J, was a cesarean baby). I actually thought surges were this bearable? LOL. I took my own sweet time taking shower, final checked on my hospital bag, prepped my son's snacks for school, ate and drank something. 

4:30am, I asked my hubby to send me to hospital. At the hospital, a trainee medical officer told me cynically, this is considered your first birth (first vaginal birth), so it won't happen so soon. He added on, I can guarantee you if I perform a VE on you now, your dilation won't be that much. He was right, a nice female midwife performed VE on me and I was only 2cm dilated. Young MO asked if I wish to go home and wait. I agreed. He continued to say, if nothing happens in 3 days time, I had to return to the hospital and I would probably need a cesarean birth cos of my GDM. I thought to myself, "3 days!?! I was gonna experience contraction for 3 days". 

8am, I was discharged and was waiting for hubby to pick me up. He was late cos he needed to get my elder ready for school. I was already experiencing quite intense surges (about 4 min apart). My mom kept asking why I opted to go home, seeing how unbearable the surges had turned to. I reminded myself, remembering what the MO said, it's not gonna be so soon, so let's just go home and sleep it off. At home, my mom told me she had contractions for over 12 hours before she gave birth to me, her first born. That again, let me to believe that mine is not gonna be so soon. 

9:45am, I had my bloody show. Still in doubt, I told my mom, but I decided to delay going to the hospital, just in case I get sent back (by the young MO again). 

9:50am, my water bag bursted. This time, I asked my mom to call my hubby to be home to send me to the hospital. The surges sensations was very strong, I couldn't walk when the surge came. The desire to poop was very very intense. I couldn't even sit properly, cos I felt something was coming out from the bottom. It didn't help when the road leading to the hospital was so bumpy. I wanted so much to swear or threw a tantrum at my hubby but I controlled myself. 

10:10am, we arrived at the hospital. I went up the delivery ward myself cos hubby couldn't find a parking spot. I screamed when I entered the ward (talk about making an entrance, I remembered vividly there were nurses staring at me). I cried, "Saya mau berak!!" (I need to poop!!). The same young MO, yes he was there, shouted, "No, you can't deliver here!! (on the corridor). They sent me a wheelchair. I refused to go on it, cos I felt very uncomfortable as there was something on my bottom (it was a weird sensation). I said I would walk. The young MO wanted to perform VE on me. God knows how I got the guts and where I got my strength from, I refused the male MO for VE, I requested for a female. He was clearly not happy but he still quickly arranged for a female colleague to check on me. They then realized baby's head was at station zero, I was fully dilated! Everything happened so swiftly then, they didn't even have time to change my attire. No epi was offered. After about 3 pushes, I delivered baby M. Birth weight was a little over 3.2KG. 

It was such a phenomenal moment, I couldn't believe I did it, in such short time and it was an all natural birth!! Went into the ward at 10:10am and baby M was out at 10:30am. I suddenly felt so strong and proud of myself. The tear was quite rough and the stitches took a long time. But by then, I got what I wished for, immediate skin to skin with baby M, she latched on me, strongly. Praises to the Almighty One for the smooth and safe birth. 

At time of blogging, baby M is 40 days old and is still exclusively breastfed (direct latch). I am happy she is exclusively direct latched but both my mom and mom in laws are crying, cos M is definitely not the typical "drink your milk and nap" kinda baby. She is very alert and needs to smell her mommy before she can fall asleep. >.< 

Again, tips to all new mommies, birth and breastfeeding are learned, they don't just come by naturally. Read up and do your research. We can't just wish, we gotta work hard to earn what we want. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Creamy & cheesy triple mushroom pasta for kids

This is the perfect pasta dish for any mushroom-lovers-little-ones. It is creamy, it is cheesy, no one would resist this. It is bursting with lots of good fats and protein, just the right nutrients a growing toddler needs.


*Cooked wholegrain pasta

*2 cloves garlic, minced

*Half an onion, minced

*Pepper and salt (season accordingly)

*3 fresh brown mushroom, quartered

*3 brown button mushroom from the can, finely chopped  

*A bunch of Enoki mushrooms

*A dollop of cream cheese + 1 cup of full cream milk (heated up in microwave to melt the cheese)

*2 tbsp of grated Cheddar (add into heated cream cheese and milk mixture)

*Water to adjust the consistency



1. Heat up 2tbsp of oil in a pan. Stir in minced garlic and onion and fry until fragrant.

2. Stir in all types of mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes.

3. Add in ½ cup water and let simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add in cream cheese and milk mix.

5. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust consistency by adding water, if needed.

6. Season with salt and pepper.  

7. If you prefer a creamy consistency, bring to blend leaving some mushrooms behind so there is still bite to the sauce. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kiddie's curry - Pumpkin, chicken and tomato curry

I may be a multitasking mom, but I do not take my cooking lightly. I love my cooking to be flavorful (flavored with naturally available spice and ingredients) and presentable, as it improves one's appetite. I make effort in cooking nice delicious food for my family, especially little J. Even if it means waking up at 5am to prep for our lunch, I would still think it's all worth the time and effort. I am a working mom, so I try my best to wake up earlier everyday to prep my own breakfast and lunch for both little J and I. I am very fortunate that I get to take long lunch break to enjoy nice homecooked lunch at the comfort of our home. 

I prep for this dish ahead (the night before) by 
  1. Marinating the chicken with dash of liquid amino (or soy sauce), pinch of salt and sesame oil 
  2. *Mincing the garlic, shallots and onion in blender and store in fridge for use the next morning. 
Ingredients (serves 2-3): 
  • 1 chicken leg or half a chicken, chunked 
  • 3 cloves of garlic* (See prep no. 2 above)
  • 4 shallots* (See prep no. 2 above) 
  • 1/2 onion* (See prep no. 2 above)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, quartered 
  • 150g pumpkin, cubed 
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves 
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato puree (if you dont have this, then use more tomatoes) 
  • 2-3 cups of freshly squeezed coconut milk (or stock) 
  • Salt and pepper (season accordingly) 
  • Optional: 3x Fresh brown button mushroom and a small bunch of enoki mushroom
  1. Heat up 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil for cooking for LO) in a wok/ pan. Pan fry cubed pumpkin and curry leaves till pumpkins turn golden color on the outisde. Set aside. 
  2. Heat up 1tbsp of cooking oil in a wok/ pan. Stir fry garlic, shallots and onion mince with chicken until chicken turns brown. 
  3. Add in mushrooms, tomato, pumpkin and curry leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add in turmeric powder, tomato puree with coconut milk (or stock). Simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  5. Season accordingly. 
  6. Serve with rice. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Homemade kid's burger

Few friends have been asking me for recipe for burger bun, I thought we shall have burger as lunch today, so I can take pics and share about my burger bun recipe. Unexpectedly, when I was preparing for lunch, he told me he doesn't wanna have burger for lunch. He wanted rice instead. Therefore, instead of serving his pork patty and egg in a bun, he has them with rice, whereas I have mine as a burger. 

The recipe for my burger bun is a recipe that I have been using to bake buns and loaves for our family for the past 3 years. For those of you who've been following my posts and blogs, you'll have come across this soft scalded dough recipe that I have been adapting from Alex Goh. I love it as it is versatile, it requires no advanced preparation and most importantly, it yields soft bread that stays soft for the next 2 days, without the need to add any softeners nor improvers. 

The only variations that I have been adopting for this recipe is the liquid (which can varies from milk, to soy milk, pandan milk, pumpkin puree + water, black sesame powder + water and etc) and its sugar and salt content. 

The patty was a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's. I have sneaked in chopped onion and carrots into it for my little one who is in the phase of 'no green veg except for green beans'. I have also marinated my minced pork with extra ingredients to add to the flavor, including 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger and oyster sauce. 

Recipe for the burger bun 
*This scalded dough method are specially adapted to create buns that are soft and fluffy in texture and remain soft for at least 24-48 hours. The method of pre-scalding a portion of the dough also helps to loosen the gluten in the bread, making it able to create more volume. This bread is soft and easy to digest, making it a perfect nutritious snack for babies and kids. 

Scalded dough
  • 100g bread flour 
  • 70g boiling water 
To prepare the starter dough, pour boiling water over flour and stir with folk until combined into a slightly tacky dough. Set aside while preparing other ingredients as per following. 

Main dough
  • 40g grapeseed oil / other cooking oil 
  • 160g water / milk
  • 1tbsp brown sugar (if you prefer sweeter bun, may increase to 2-3tbsp) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 200g bread flour
  • 50g rye flour 
  • 2tsp active dry yeast
For the main dough: 
  1. In a big bowl, combine bread flour, rye flour, liquid, oil, sugar and salt. Add active dry yeast and mix well.  Tear the starter dough prepared ahead and knead into the main dough. Knead for 10-30 minutes until smooth and elastic. 
  2. Once nicely kneaded, the dough should be able to be pulled and stretched into a thin membrane - Window pane test: Grab a ball of the dough and try stretching the dough until  it is as thin as a membrane without tearing). 
  3. First proof - Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until double in size. Cover with cling film (should take about an hour in warm weather). 
  4. Punch down, knead and form into a ball shape. This recipe makes about 8 buns. Brush top of buns with water and sprinkle with white sesame seeds. 
  5. Second proof - Cover buns loosely with cling film. Let rise in a warm environment for about 30-45min. I usually do this in a preheated oven. 
  6. Once the buns have doubled in size, bake in a preheated oven at 180deg C for about 13min, or until golden brown. Oven temperature and time may differ according to make of ovens.
Recipe for pork patty
  • 250g minced pork, marinated with oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, grated ginger, dash of sesame oil, black pepper powder, pinch of corn flour 
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced 
  • 1/2 carrot, finely minced 
  • 2 slices of bread, lightly toasted and blitzed to turn into crumb 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  1. In a frying pan, heat up a tablespoon of oil. Add in chopped onions and carrots. Fry until the onions have softened. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Combine minced pork, fried chopped onion and carrot that has cooled down, bread crumbs and beaten egg. Divide into 6 equal balls. 
  3. Roll the balls into burger-shaped patties about 1cm thick. Store the patties onto oiled tray, cover with cling film and leave in fridge for at least an hour, or until the patties firm up. I did this the night before. 
  4. To cook the patties, heat up a frying pan with 2 tablespoon of oil. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. 
  5. Serve patty with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, cheese or egg, in a bun, or alternatively with rice.  
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