MS. ULB

a Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being


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A Wean-Win Situation

So I have finally decided to wean Olive off the boobs after 16 months.

I was doing 3 direct latches a day, once when she wakes in the morning, once midday before her nap, and the last one at night before she sleeps.

Weaning Week 1
First week of weaning, I dropped Olive’s afternoon feed and this was how she fared on the first day (7th Mar 2016):

Week 1 was a trying week, both emotional and literally. We tried quite a few brands of formula milk like S26, Friso, Naan, and finally emerged the winning formula, Similac. Olive missed a couple of afternoon naps that week because my boobs doubled up as binkies, so no binky, no sleep! By day 4, I broke down and teared up along with Olive who sobbed herself into slumber.

Weaning Week 2
By day 8, Olive had grown accustomed to Similac, so I dropped her morning feed. She didn’t mind it a bit. I, on the other hand, was still heartbroken and battled the desire to just flash the boob to nurse her. My frustration was noticed by Oska who asked me, “you are jealous of the formula, right?” Spot on, Mister! And damn you third-party Similac, with your oh-so-sweet taste. Imma bitchslap the powder out of your pretentious looking tin! There, I got it out of my chest. I know I sound crazy but our breastfeeding journey had been nothing short of amazing, making it really hard to part with. As usual, Olive outdid me with her adaptability. This is her doing the huzzah on day 8 (14th Mar 2016) of weaning:

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Little Miss Adaptable and her airport fashion: Headband from H&M, Tutu dress from Bonds, Shoes from Converse.

Weaning Week 3
By day 14, I had stopped the night feed. Dropping the night feed was as tough as week 1 of weaning because Olive relied heavily on night latches to go to sleep. She would pull up my shirt, pull down my collar, burrow her head into my chest, toss and turn over my body countless times for 30 minutes to an hour before finally drifting off to sleep. I gave in to her a couple of times that week when no amount of fussing could wear her out.

Week 3 was less emotional but physically uncomfortable for me as I had to deal with a few bouts of engorgement. Thankfully they were quite quickly resolved by some ruthless hand-squeezing of the boobies. I chose not to use the breast pump as I did not want the milk supply to keep up with the demand from using the pump.  It also helped that our weaning process was gradual and not done cold turkey, so both Olive and I had time to adjust.

Alas, we concluded our breastfeeding journey officially by day 17. Our new night-time routine now involves her lying on top of me, requesting for “Rock-a-bye baby” and “Twinkle twinkle little star” to be sung repeatedly, and calling out to me in the sweetest voice ever so often, just to make sure I don’t fall asleep before her.

“Mama, mummy, mimi, mama, mummy, mimi,” a thousand times over. These words I will never tire of hearing.

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Successfully weaned Olive doing the hooray again.

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Thank you Olive, for creating a rather painless wean-win situation together with your mama-mummy-mimi.


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Fat Chick’s First Foods

28 March 2015: Olive ate solid food for the first time at 5.5 months.

This is what she had for the 2nd meal of the day, supplemented by breast milk:

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I was expecting her to have just a couple teaspoons for the first time, but no, she finished the entire bowl. In the process, lunging herself forward to snatch the spoon and bowl, and whining when I was “slow” to feed. And no, I was not slow. I gave her one spoon after another only to stop when I had to restrain her hands.

Prep instructions: Add 4 dessert spoons of your baby’s usual warm milk to 1 dessert spoon of baby rice in a bowl and stir.

Actual prep Day 1: I added 4 table spoons of warm breast milk to 1 table spoon of baby rice.

Actual prep today, Day 5: I added 8 table spoons of warm breast milk (50ml) to 2.5 table spoons of baby rice.

Here is how the fat chick looks like for her first solid meal:

Sophie weaning


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Breastfeeding & Intelligence

This just in from BBC news: Breastfeeding ‘linked to higher IQ’.

The article basically explained how breastfeeding is beneficial and that there is a possible link between breastfeeding and intelligence (though results from many studies including this featured long-term study in Brazil offer some insight but are still inconclusive).

Whatever the case is, I have definitely been brainwashed enough by lactation consultants, paediatricians, research articles, breastfeeding support groups etc. that breast is best.

So I have been asked many times how long I intend to breastfeed for and my answer had always been, “WHO (The World Health Organization) recommends for babies to be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, and even with the introduction of solids, to be breastfed up to 2 years and beyond.”

Every time I begin my response with ‘WHO’, the non-mamas look at me as though I have crazy eyes and probably regretted asking me the question. The mamas though, reflect their crazy eyes right back at me. Amazing how these mums have the determination to breastfeed for more than a year, and some did 3 years and more.

I’d be happy to do the minimum 6 months. And I say to all mamas, breastfeeding or formula feeding, fret not as long as your kid is healthy and happy! Many of us weren’t breastfed back in those times anyway, and we still turn out well. Also, not all of us are able to or have the luxury of time to breastfeed but we can still be supermoms in our own ways.

Here’s Olive trying to look all intelligent with her first book of 123.

Tee from Whistle & Flute; Shorts from Baby Gap; Shoes from Potatofeet.

Tee from Whistle & Flute; Shorts from Baby Gap; Shoes from Potatofeet.


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The Woman in Me

One fine day, while waiting for me to doll up Olive before we headed out, my husband suddenly remarked, “All the bad habits of a woman in you have been unleashed after having Olive.” I broke out into laughter because I couldn’t agree more.

Here are my top 3 transformations pre- and post-delivery:

  1. Pre – Always ready to head out in less than 10 minutes, sometimes even 5. Yes, I was, and still am very low maintenance.
    Post – Probably need close to an hour to prepare Olive’s diaper bag, make sure she is well fed, and well dressed but still don’t give two hoots about myself.
  2. Pre – Never a fan of shopping. In fact, my husband, Oska, shops more than I do.
    Post – Non-stop shopping for Olive, especially online.
  3. Pre – Very chill with a high level of tolerance, and zero pet peeves about Oska.
    Post – The nesting mother who wants everything spick and span, and who would love to have a husband who cleans up after himself (think dirty laundry strewn all over the floor, food/beverage packaging left on the table etc.).
Blanket from Jamiekay; Bow from thelittlebowco; Tee from Adidas; Leggings from Bonds; Shoes from H&M; Flounder from Singapore Airlines.

Blanket from Jamiekay; Bow from thelittlebowco; Tee from Adidas; Leggings from Bonds; Shoes from H&M; Flounder from Singapore Airlines.

So, I made a pie chart of where I am at now:

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And this is where I aim to be at:

pieChart_jpg_to beBut you know, nothing is quite fair in this world, so I will just have to do my best in finding equilibrium, finding the balance, the harmony, the rhythm, the highs and the lows, the yin and the yang, the blues and all that jazz.


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50 Shades of Breastfeeding

It has been quite a while since I last posted. Been juggling new mom duties, work, and relocation, and it has been one hellavu ride.

Decided it is time to catch up a little on this blog, now that I am more settled and have time to breathe.

Here’s a funny post to share for a start: 50 Shades of Breastfeeding: Every Nursing Mother’s Painful Secret.

I was experiencing no. 5, Olive the tantric nurser, for the first month. The endless hours of nursing resulted in cracked nipples, blebs and milk blisters. You name it, I had it all. I tried so many ways to ease the nursing pain i.e. nipple shields, cold compress, hot packs, and nearly resorted to using a sterile needle to get at the blisters. But at the end of the day only 2 remedies worked for me:

1. Nipple cream (could not do without the Lansinoh or the medela purelan 100)110811_lansinoh_hpa_lanolin_topical_treatmentpurelan_frontal
2. Latch, latch, and latch because really, Olive is the best boob Doctor (and also the worst boob abuser).

Not sure how many mothers feel this way but I honestly think that the breastfeeding journey is much tougher, more intense, and more painful than the actual delivery. But it’s true also when other mothers tell me that it will only get better. It did, and I am thoroughly enjoying the breastfeeding journey now that I am a professional milk cow.

Olive the Milk Monster

Olive the Milk Monster

5 months on from when I started the breastfeeding journey, and I am now trying to defend myself from the “I-Cant-Believe-They’re-Not-Knives” Play. How fun! And yes, I mean it, it really is fun.