How to Organise a Full Moon/100 Days Party on Your Own- Simple Edition

In case you’re wondering, a full moon party (when the baby turns one month old) is celebrated once confinement is over! It comes from an old tradition as back then babies within the first month had a higher chance of -well as gruesome as it may sound- mortality. As the baby survives the first month, it gives the parents the opportunity to showcase their little one and present them to the outside world for the first time. I have to admit though, it felt more like a celebration for the mother as I can finally escape from the house! Being confined for a month can really do things to people but of course, confinement is very important to allow the mother to rest and recover while ensuring the baby is confined from the outside world which is filled with germs too big for her and her tiny immune system.

There are a few traditions that comes along with the full moon party. For example the baby’s head is shaved, the hair wrapped in red cloth and sewn into the pillow. This is suppose to help soothe the baby to sleep. Then the mother and child is to bath in pomelo leaves to wash out bad luck and evil. But not many observe the traditions anymore and most just have fun by throwing a party!

Nowadays however most parents prefer to celebrate their baby’s 100th day as the baby will be more interactive with a better immunity hence less vulnerable and mummies will also have more time and energy to plan. The baby’s 100 days is celebrated as a blessing the baby will live 100 years.

Either way, it’s just a fun way to throw a party to celebrate the birth of a newborn and the health of a mom!

1. Choose your date and book your venue

Traditionally the full moon is celebrated as the baby turns one month old. Of course many would prefer to do it on a weekend (usually the weekend after) so that doesn’t leave much time to plan. I had started planning Emma’s full moon party about 2 weeks before and I had chosen to celebrate at home but we still needed to hire a caterer and most caterers would require minimum 2 weeks notice.

If you choose to do it outside, pick a venue (restaurant or banquet hall) which is great for babies. Preferably somewhere air-conditioned with minimal echo. Will your baby be in a stroller? A carrier? Or are you bringing your playpen? Think about where you could change your baby’s diapers.

2. How many guests?

I threw a simple full moon party. You can choose to have invite only extended family or throw a bigger one with friends. It really is up to you.

3. Design an invitation card (optional)

With WhatsApp and Facebook event, it’s much easier to just create an event and spread the news by mouth (or more like by typing). Don’t forget to keep the fb event private or risk having weird strangers show up.

I had the help of my SIL (who owns an event company) design the invitation card. If you don’t have an access to a designer, a quick google search can bring you to some card design templates which you can edit online. I’m hosting another get-together in KL for my little one and designed a card online since I had the time. Here’s the link: click here. It’s super easy and fast even a noob like me can do it within minutes!

4. Full moon must-haves

A full moon party is also known as red egg and ginger party so of course those two items are commonly served. Red eggs are served as a symbol of good luck, happiness, prosperity and fertility which are also made during birthdays. It’s not difficult to do on your own if your caterer doesn’t serve it.

Red egg recipe:
20-30 eggs (even number for girls, odd for boys)
pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons white vinegar (which makes the eggs porous to allow the dye to seep into the shell)
red liquid food dye (or half a teaspoon red powder mixed with a cup of water)

1. Add your salt and white vinegar to an insane amount of water (enough to submerge your eggs)
2. Add eggs and boil for 20-35 minutes
3. Drop red food dye into an old bowl/basin (you wouldn’t want to dye your new bowls, would you?) and add a cup or two water if desired.
4. While still warm, place the eggs into the red dye and coat them using spoons. The dye dries faster if the eggs are still warm, preventing the dye to leak into the egg whites.
5. Place the dyed eggs on a kitchen towel/tissue to cool and dry. Voila!

Recipe for pickled ginger: click here
(Remember pickled ginger has to be made 2-3 days in advance)

Many caterers do have a specific full moon menu/package nowadays so don’t forget to ask!

Another favourite to serve according to Hokkien tradition is the ang ku kueh. The red-orange sticky glutinous rice cake with mung-bean filling represents blessings for the baby and longevity for the elderly. For baby boys, it is usually round and smooth whereas for the girls, it is moulded into a tortoise shape.

5. Plan your outfit (optional)

It’ll be a fun idea to get some mommy-baby outfits for the day! If is after all a celebration for the both of you. I couldn’t find any outfits I fancied online (that didn’t blow my budget) so I just colour-coordinated with my baby daddy and dressed my dear daughter in -you guessed it- all pink with a cute bow on her head.

6. Hire a photographer or decorations (optional)

I didn’t get a photographer or a decorator but if you have the budget and time, they’ll be a great addition to your party! I just whipped out my iPhone and got my friends to send me their photos as keepsake and to make into a mini album for Emma.

A dessert table is very popular nowadays and I was tempted to get one but they were busy on the date I had planned. Find one that suits your need and budget or if you’d like do your own dessert table with some simple cakes, cooked, cupcakes, cake pops and others. You can even add the red eggs, pickled ginger and ang ku kueh to your dessert table.

And that’s it! You have everything you need for a full-moon party! It was great seeing loads of friends and family together again after being stuck at home for a month. Just remember to have fun and take loads of pictures. Oh and here’s a little hack, I didn’t buy much clothes or any toys for Emma as most of the gifts that day had turned out to be well.. clothes and toys! *wink wink*

Breastfeeding Journey Part 1 (3 months old)

Note: This was written sometime at the beginning of Aug but I never got around to publishing it until today! Emma is now 6 almost 7 months and yes, I am still fully breastfeeding for now. Will update you guys on how I survived BF so long especially when I had to pump at my workplace (before I resigned).

Emma is just little over 3 months old but I get this question a lot

‘Is she fully breastfed?’

Before her birth, I would never have thought that question would be so important. I mean yes of course we know that breast milk is the best you can give your baby in terms of nutrient and immunity. I mean did you know that the milk content changes to help fend off the pesky germs when your baby is sick??(Read more here) BUT the cheapo in me also wanted to breastfeed cause it was also F.R.E.E.

I never thought I would feel so blessed being able to breastfeed my little one without any major issues (so far thank god & I hope no issues will come up in the future) when some moms are struggling with latching issues, cracked nipples, clogged ducts, mastitis and low milk supply. Baby Emma could latch from Day 1 without a hitch except for her tiny mouth. I admit I was worried I would be one of the few moms without milk and would have to resort to fully formula but I don’t think there should be any form of shaming if a parent chooses to use formula instead- being a parent is hard enough.

The only pain I felt was during the first week or two since it took a few days for my milk to come in, I had sore nipples as Emma would latchand suckle without any liquid. I continued latching whenever she cried which could be almost every hour but I knew I had to continue trying as the suckling would supposedly start the milk flow. I was getting nervous by Day 2 but by the evening of Day 3 it finally came! Best part was that the pain finally subsided after a weeks or two.

I struggled a little with DMER (dysphoric milk ejection reflex) where my dopamine levels would dip right before let-down and I would cry while breastfeeding. I still remember feeling doomed at that moment…. I mean if breastfeeding felt like this, I wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. Heck, I couldn’t even THINK of having another child. I was still in confinement at that time- exhausted & somehow feeling so damn alone. That went on for a few weeks but it was traumatising enough. Thankfully as time passed, the feeling of doom somehow gradually subsided on its own and I now feed her while casually scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix. I suppose after a while my hormones were somewhat back to normal and of course, being out of the house and mingling with people made me feel so much better.

I started pumping a little during her first few weeks of life and would be disappointed with the amount I got. I was concerned I had low milk supply but of course it was low, she’s tiny and a newborn! My supply was building on its own over time as long as I continued to fed her. I’m proud to say I can easily pump 3-4oz in one session compared to the 0.5oz in her first month and I remember even pumping less than 0.5 on some days.

So is she fully breastfed? Im so proud to say the answer is yes… for now. And I hope to continue until she’s at least 6 months old before even thinking of supplementing. Then again, it’ll be a different story when I start working but I’ll update you guys on that when that time comes /wink

Starting over

Yesterday was my last day working as a full-time pharmacist. I’ve officially resigned from the government.

When I announced my plan, people keep asking if I feel like I’m wasting my degree or if I’m giving up such an amazing opportunity to work with the government when those on contract have to fight for permanent placement. Well, it wasn’t an easy decision ‘throwing away’ my degree and picking up a whole new job far from what I’ve been trained to do but honestly right now, somehow I finally feel at peace with my decision.

I wish I could get them to understand that my degree wasn’t a waste in any way. Yes I may not be practicing full-time but not only did I gain knowledge that would benefit my family but I gained social & life skills. I also gained precious friends, memories and even discovering my passion/what I’m good at.

I’ve always mentioned how eventually I would like to be a full-time homemaker with maybe a freelance/part-time job just to keep me busy and out of the house. I did assume this plan would happen some time in my late thirties or maybe even in my forties but somehow the opportunity fell onto my lap and I decided it’s now or never. I fought hard with myself trying to muster the courage to message my boss my plans and the moment I hit send, it became so real I started tearing.

A month later I announced the same plan to the head of pharmacist and though that was easier, there were a couple of times I honestly nearly flaked but I’ve always been the type to follow through my decision once made. And I’m not looking back but just in case I do, this is something I wrote as a reminder when I had just restarted work:

Writing this as a full-time working mom before I resign end of this month to remind myself why I decided to put my family first. She wouldn’t stop crying after her short nap at 8.30pm. It’s probably just a phase or her usual fussiness but all I could think of was what if she didn’t recognise who I was anymore… what if she didn’t want me anymore and my heart sank so deep and fast I started tearing. I fought with her to change her clothes and diapers before deciding to feed her and my heart did another take once more. What if she has already started to reject me since I restarted work?

Thankfully she didn’t and I managed to calm her down by nursing her till she finally dozed off again. She’s probably down for the night. But in all of this, I’m reminded how much I want to be with her as much as possible. To all the working moms out there, I salute you. It’s a tough and exhausting trying to juggle a newborn, a husband and your work but I’m putting my foot down and deciding this is what’s best for me (& my sanity) which is to be with my baby as much as possible.

Oh and yes that also means I’m finally restarting my blog so watch this space /wink

My DIY confinement

I had help. A lot of help. Dan and I had moved in with his parents in my last trimester. I was still doing my own laundry and cleaning our room but after Emma’s birth, I was glad we had the maid to help with household chores while I concentrated in taking care of Emma and resting.

I’m not the most Chinese of Chinese- I didn’t follow the traditional confinement ways rigidly but I recovered quickly anyhow and Emma was healthy (except for her suspected reflux & colic which has tremendously improved since thankfully). My mom was also around the last 2 weeks of my confinement month to help and accompany me but food was mainly cooked by the maid.

I had friends asking me what exactly is confinement and what does it entail. Confinement is where the mom rests and is confined to her house to allow her body to recuperate from pregnancy and childbirth. The Chinese confinement period lasts for only 30 days thankfully as some cultures have their confinement period going up to 60 days apparently.


This was probably the only picture I had with

New mamas are supposed to be covered from head to toe. I did see some mamas in full gear with head caps and long socks in the hospital but I couldn’t be bothered honestly. I tried to wear clothes with sleeves and longer pants at home but I was having a heat stroke from the weather during my confinement month so I wore normal t-shirt with a sarong at home. Of course, I also had lots of nagging every hour every day when my mom was around because of this…


Heaty food and lots of herbal soup. That’s all we’re suppose to eat. So that would include lots of ginger, sesame oil, goji berry, dates and all sort of herbs. Many Chinese medical halls now prepackage the herbs to boil soup which was what I bought. This made life so much easier- all we had to do was add bones and boil. Voila! Be careful of some herbs though as they might aggravate bleeding. Certain herbal soup can only be drank after a certain period post-birth so please check with the shop assistants!

Some recipes would include DOM which is yes, VERY alcoholic. I’m not against adding DOM into cooking as the alcohol would have evaporated but I’ve heard of some drinking shots of DOM at night before sleeping as it warms the body. I have to say any form of alcohol is a no-no by my standard as it will pass through breast milk. So nope, I didn’t take a single drop- not even in my cooking.

The traditional confinement also says NO raw food, some fruits eg. melons, kiwi, banana or even certain vegetable eg. bittergourd, bamboo shoots, kangkung and even salad as they are cold in nature. But my MIL wasn’t very traditional and served salad at every course but I’m not complaining! I’m quite a fan of a good yummy salad with avocados.

Ah yes, I also found this extremely weird that we’re not allowed water. We can’t drink plain water as it introduces wind into our body so my mom had boiled lemongrass with goji berry and dates which was kept warm in a thermos. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Sweet and tasty if not too much lemongrass added.

There are Chinese confinement recipes books available nowadays or you could always just google some recipes.

Other Taboos

I’m sure everyone knows of the famous no washing hair for 30 days. I lasted 4 days on dry shampoo but on the 5th day with the insanely hot weather I just had to take a proper shower. I bought some herbal shower packs from Eu Yan Sang which mom would boil in the biggest pot we had then I would add cold water into the herbal mixture in a pail for my shower.

Mom also says no direct fan blowing at my direction. Again, this introduces ‘wind’ into the body but somehow air-con seems to be okay as long as it was pointed to my general direction.

Daniel commented most of this practice of avoiding cold elements came into place as China’s climate is chilly which does make a lot of sense. I’m not very traditional neither do I practice most of the general Chinese taboos in my daily life… so I didn’t take most of it seriously. But I also have to confess I once took a cold shower after a hot day and felt sicker and weaker than usual that night. Since that day I made sure to take a quick shower and use only warm water. So maybe there is something to all these weird traditions and taboos after all…

(A Postpartum Story) The First Month- Part 2

Third Week

My mom was finally here! She had offered to help me with my confinement for a month but I knew she had her own life in PJ and it would bore her if she came here for so long. I told her to come the last 2 weeks so she could stay to celebrate Emma’s full moon. My mom naturally agreed. That night she arrived with big smiles as she entered my room shortly before dinner and met Emma for the first time.

Having some company around was great especially since it was my mom. She’d nag no doubt (I mean what do you expect from a Chinese Malaysian mom) but she would help me get everything in order. Boil the herbs for my bath, bring up my longan date tea and best of all play with Emma.

Mom would accompany me in my room in the afternoon and I would go to her’s at night. We’d just chat, laugh at Emma or scroll our phones and chill. My siblings came as well with their family for a visit and that made all the difference! I was feeling a lot more myself. Don’t get me wrong, I was still exhausted and sleep-deprived for sure but it made a lot of difference having more help and also having family around just for the weekend.

The baby blues were almost gone with mom around and I was so thankful Emma’s erratic feeding were stretching a little longer. I started coming out of the room more and walking around the house. A combination of this all plus my mom kept me sane.

Fourth Week

I was definitely walking around the house completely normally by now. I got a bit more of my energy and I was feeling super excited for her full moon- I finally got to see other people!! I put my energy and time into planning her full moon but also, I spent my time studying a short course in formulating natural skincare products (which I’m almost done with)… besides bingeing on Netflix specifically Jane The Virgin.

Before I knew it, it was Emma’s full moon! We decided to celebrate 2 days earlier as it was a weekend and my mom would be around. It’s tough being away from family and close friends I grew up with but they gave me so much support throughout my entire pregnancy and confinement. It was important to me that Emma would grow up to know her relatives especially wai po who is far away. So I made sure mom was around for her full moon and I had promised myself I would go back often or have ma come visit if she had time and energy.

I am so thankful for family and friends who came together for Emma’s full moon. Truth be told the celebration definitely meant more to me than Emma. I was finally free from confinement! I could finally escape and go out but it also meant bringing a newborn with me…

It did use to scare me to bring Emma out. What if she cries? Or if she’s hungry- do I breastfeed in public or run to the car? But I’m learning to adapt to having her with me and I’m not scared anymore. Well… not so scared anymore at least!

(A Postpartum Story) The First Month- Part 1

First Week

The morning after labour, I could barely sleep. I sent Daniel home to get that few hours of precious undisturbed sleep. JMC only had one wooden chair and a stool in the room although the nurse didnsay we could bring our own mattress and sleeping bag but nahh. I also ordered him to go watch The Avengers without me. We had book tickets a few days before thinking she wouldn’t be due yet since everyone was saying how ‘high’ my belly was. It would be a waste of money if he didn’t watch it and we also bought popcorn!! So why not let him enjoy his last movie for a looooong while and score major wifey points.

I was still running on adrenaline definitely. The nurses took my baby to the nursery to let me rest after the delivery. I had wanted to exclusively breastfeed her but my milk hadn’t come in and I was worried she would be hypo. For every feed, the nurses would take her to me to suckle (it’s suppose to help stimulate the production of milk) before feeding her. Most hospitals use a cup and syringe to feed and not a bottle so I wasn’t much worried about nipple confusion but I suppose different hospitals would have different protocols.

I could’ve been discharged that night itself. The baby was healthy and they just needed to make sure I could pee which I did. But I decided to stay one night at the hospital where the nurses could help with the baby and I could get some sleep since I wouldn’t have any help with the baby when I leave the hospital. I was discharged the next morning after the doctor’s rounds.

At home

We did our own version of confinement. My MIL wasn’t strict. Food on normal days at home were already healthy since my MIL is a nutritionist. I had soup every meal and there was some ginger, dates, goji berry with my dishes. I tried to abstain from washing my hair for 4 days before I cracked but I would shower with water infused with herbs prepacked from the Chinese medical hall.

I was at home with this tiny fragile (and looking back, the word useless does come to mind) little thing I knew nothing of. How do I bath her? Change her diaper? Is she too hot or too cold? So many questions floating in my head all day.

My major concern was that my milk hadn’t come in. She would suckle for 5-10mins every time she cried which was every 45mins-1hr but nothing. I was getting anxious. They say it would eventually come, just continue to let the baby suckle but.. What if I was one of the few that just couldn’t produce any milk? I knew there was formula milk in the worst-case scenario but I really felt like I was letting her down as a new mother.

Day 3 I felt some tingling sensation praying it was my milk and true enough it came in that afternoon. I probably teared out of relief.

I did get an episiotomy(google it if you’re curious) but I didn’t feel any pain maybe just soreness and I did feel slightly lethargic but all I needed was to rest in bed. I couldn’t walk much anyway, I was too sore from the stitches but I didn’t have to take any painkillers although I was discharged with diclofenac tabs.

Second Week

It was getting tougher with sleep-deprivation, new mom anxiety and hormonal change. Baby’s feeding was still erratic.- sometimes 30 mins sometimes an hour. I was just so tired but still running on adrenaline- constantly worrying if I was doing something wrong. I persevered hoping her feeding intervals would get longer.

Confined in my bedroom even meals were brought to me, I think I was going crazy just being on my own and with a baby I knew nothing on how to take care of. I started crying on some days- just bursting into tears… not hysterically but the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. Daniel worked from home half day so I wasn’t truly alone, so did my MIL but I went from seeing 200+ people (colleagues and patients) to only 2… well 3 if you included Emma.

I was also suffering from DMER(dysphoric milk ejection reflex). It’s a condition where your dopamine dips right before the milk is released causing negative feelings. I would cry involuntarily as I breastfed. No mother would want to feel that- I’ve read of mothers who feared feeding because they suffered from DMER. Again, it felt like I was letting my baby down. How could breastfeeding make me upset? I was hoping in some sense it would bring some meaning and joy to my motherhood life.

I told myself I would reward myself with a lil treat/dessert everyday. A little sweet treat makes the tummy happy I thought so why not? I had emergency chocolates by my bed and would have a little after every meal. It didn’t help a lot but it was something!

It was tough. I was unsure of everything and had the baby blues. I knew somehow i didn’t fall into postnatal depression and I was praying so hard I wouldn’t. I was looking forward to my mom arriving the next week. Finally, someone to accompany me!

How I Survived a 2.5hr Flight with My 7-Week Old Newborn

It was nerve-wrecking. Every moment leading up to my flight gave my stomach butterflies (not in a good way) and my heart palpitations. I’m a worrier especially of things I cannot control… like my newborn. But my closest friend of 20 years was getting married, how could I miss such an important day!!

It’s true though when they say every baby is different. I mean considering they’re humans(I forget that sometimes- they’re just so tiny, useless and defenceless tbh), of course they’d be different. No two person are identical- not even identical twins!

Emma isn’t the most difficult baby to handle but she definitely isn’t easy. For a 7-week old she has pretty good neck control although not perfect but I could carry her over my shoulder or against my chest. Problem is when she’s awake, she would cry and wail unless you walk around with her over the shoulder which is impossible to do in a plane.

Diaper Bag Packing List

  1. Diaper
  2. Wet wipes
  3. Changing mat
  4. Spare romper
  5. Spare Muslin cloth
  6. Jacket
  7. Mini pillow (from the breastfeeding pillow)
  8. Pacifier (she’s doesn’t take one actually, she’ll spit it out but I decided to bring it just in case)
  9. Biscuits & water (for me)
  10. ID

I did bring some frozen milk for her but that was for when I had to be at the tea ceremony and Daniel & mom would be alone with her. I decided to directly breastfeed on the plane.


I wore my nursing tee for easy access and pants with deep pockets.

Ideally the plane would be cold but I have been on a plane where it was hot and I decided layering was better than overheating so I dressed Emma in a romper with a hat, booties & mittens.

Our Journey

We flew Malindo Air to KL but our plane didn’t have a bassinet unfortunately. We arrived at the airport about 2 hours earlier as we had to check-in at the counter since you can’t web check-in if you have an infant. They only asked for Emma’s MyKid- birth cert wasn’t necessary- then our stroller had to be tagged. I requested for a window seat so I had some privacy to feed her and also rest my head if I needed too. The only thing I would do differently is to buy check-in luggage weight. We didn’t think it through and figured 14kg combined cabin baggage would suffice for a weekend trip but the problem wasn’t the weight but the fact that with our bag pack each, a stroller to push and a baby to carry, we would want our hands as free as possible.

Don’t worry about having to buy additional check-in weight for a stroller unless you intend to check it in. I’m unsure if all airlines accept all type of strollers but I did call Malindo and they mentioned they accept ‘standard stroller’ size (whatever that meant- she couldn’t elaborate).

We went through immigration counter as a family and used the lift to the boarding gate. Changed her diaper right before boarding and waited for the call. Family with children get to board first but people were already queuing before the announcement so Daniel and I decided to board last instead of waiting in queue. Emma doesn’t like to be in her stroller for too long and we didn’t want her wailing in it while queuing. We pushed the stroller right to the door of the plane where we would fold the stroller and put it to the side right before boarding the plane.

Emma flying with daddy from KK to KL

Upon take-off, I would nurse her. I read that swallowing would help to equalise the air pressure in her ear. After feeding, she immediately fell asleep. I suppose the plane vibration and white noise naturally helped her doze off. She slept for a good hour and more. As we were approaching KLIA, Dan shifted his position which naturally helped wake Emma up and I nursed her again just as we were about to land.

Mummy’s turn to carry Emma from KL to KK

As a FTM(first time mom) with a newborn on relatively long-flight, I think we did pretty well. I was extremely proud of Emma for behaving that’s for sure. Our journey back to KK was in similar pattern but we managed to board first rather than last. Also, we had to take a bus to our plane and we pushed the stroller right till before climbing the stairs to the plane. This is when I have to stress please buy check-in luggage and if possible check in all your bags. We had some difficulty with our 2 cabin luggage, stroller and bag packs. We definitely learnt our lesson for our next trip!!

My Hospital Experience- Doctor Visits & Delivery Experience

I had decided to review & deliver in a private hospital near.. well nearer to where my in-laws stay. I had just moved in with my in-laws earlier this year and we stay 30 mins from city centre which is far by KK standards. I was debating between going to Hosp Likas (KK’s public woman’s hospital a.k.a Hosp Wanita & Kanak-kanak Sabah) where everything would be free as I’m working in a government hospital or the private hospital I had been going for my review (Jesselton Medical Centre) where it would be super duper comfy but would definitely also be more of a financial burden.

Most private hospitals in KK offered about the same price for their delivery packages. An estimate about 3k for normal delivery and 5.5k for scheduled caesarean although I did hear KK Specialist Centre was a little cheaper. But so happen Dan and I had just bought a house. Yeap! My first house. I’m adulting so hard right now. So financially we were a little tight.

After months of debating, I decided to go with JMC as-

  1. I had been reviewing with the same o&g doctor all this while there and we are very comfortable and happy with him.
  2. I only found out later if I wanted to deliver in HWKKS with Daniel in the labour room, we had to book a date and attend a 2-day father-friendly talk held over two consecutive Saturdays which was too late for us.
  3. We were doing my confinement ourselves with my MIL which already saves a gigantic amount of money.
    It looks like it’ll be uncomplicated case as baby Emma was predicted to be quite small hence easier delivery and I was full term (emergency C-sections are quite a hefty sum of money like 5-figured hefty)
    We found a stack of money at home where we kept our angpao money from the wedding and decided to use that as baby fund. Phew!

I did review with KKIA Pekan (the government maternity clinic in the city centre) since I was advised by my colleagues to do so. I would see the nurse every month at first then 2-weekly in my 8th month and weekly in my 9th month. Review with the doctor would be monthly in my case then 2-weekly and in the last month. At every check-up, I would have to do a urine test and when needed, a blood test. There is a special blood test done to check for GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) where the mother has to take 75g of sugar and blood is drawn before and 2-hours after drinking the diluted sugar. This test which is compulsory in a government clinic but is up to the specialist’s practice/discretion in a private setting.

The government nurse did a thorough job interviewing and examining at every check-up. They were friendly and they also offered very useful and handy advice on pregnancy, babycare and anything you need to know. But it was exhausting waiting sometimes up to an hour for my turn and if I had a review with the GP that same day, my entire morning from 8am-12pm would be wasted at the clinic.

I didn’t pick my o&g doctor specifically. I called JMC to make a general appointment with anyone just to confirm the pregnancy and we just followed up with the same doctor since then. We had scouted around looking for other candidates but why try a fix a problem which isn’t there? We agreed with his style and how he handled our questions.

We saw Dr Joseph every month at the beginning of the pregnancy which turned into every 3 weeks (some time in my last trimester) then 2 weeks and on my last month, weekly visits. I only ever had to do one blood test in my first trimester otherwise every review would be the same.

When I arrive, the nurse will take my weight and blood pressure. At my 8th (or was it 9th month?) onwards, I would have to do a urine dip test at every check-up. It was just a small long paper strip with a band of colours at the end which I had to dip into the cup. Most of the time I barely waited longer than 10 minutes for my turn.

When we enter the doc’s room, we’d discuss any questions we had before scanning and that’s it! In and out of the hospital in under an hour. We knew it was under an hour because we only paid RM1 for the parking! No fuss, no frills, no grandpa stories. Visits to the doctor would cause RM70-90. Although I hear different doctors in JMC had different consultation fee.

The staff were friendly and lovely even at 3am when I walked in the maternity suite when my contractions started (For my birth story click here). I really did appreciate the fact that the maternity room would be the delivery room which definitely helped with the anxiety. The room was spacious and the food was alright (3 meals and 2 snacks). The only part I disliked was the fact there wasn’t at least one comfy chair but only a stool and a wooden chair. I suppose it’s to prevent visitors from overstaying their visit but I did pity Dan when he came to visit and of course it meant he couldn’t stay the night unless he brought an inflatable bed or a sleeping bag.

I never regretted my decision delivering in a private hospital. Fast, easy and comfortable but if HWKKS had the full paying patient program, I would probably have given more thought into delivering there.

I’m Pregnant (?) – My discovery and Announcement to Dan

Warning: Blog contains information about the woman reproductive system. If you’re close-minded or afraid of the human biological system please do skip this blog post… and almost every other post I am about to write.

I vividly recall how I discovered I was pregnant. Disbelief, shocked, excited and nervous were the sequence of emotions that had transpired in 24 hours after my first UPT(urine pregnancy test). You have to understand that my bloody (both figuratively and literally) cycle was insanely irregular. Also, Daniel and I were very careful.. well somewhat careful enough not to erm ‘pour the juice in the cup’ if you know what I mean – except maybe that one time when we were holiday-ing.

We were travelling Europe for 3 weeks as part of our Tomorrowland Journey from UK to Belgium. As much as I would like to say she’s a Tomorrowland baby… she isn’t. She was conceived just a couple of days after that. Yeap, I even know the day she was conceived. We factored this miracle to Newlife’s detox program(not an advert), my MIL’s blessing – her last words before we left for the airport were ‘don’t forget to make a UK baby’ – and I guess… pure holiday luck.

Daniel had always joked that I was pregnant every time my period was later than 60 days but it had been 70 days+ and at that point I got worried. More worried that I would have a problem to conceive in the future rather than worried I was pregnant but I thought ‘hey, might as well just get a UPT done before making a doctor’s appointment’.

There were a few other symptoms of course that made me think maybe I am carrying. My appetite had increased tremendously but I am known to be quite a pig when I feel like it. I was also gaining weight and feeling tired constantly.

So I discreetly dropped by the pharmacy after work and drove to the dance studio as I had to teach a class that night. Peed on the stick and when the results were in… I froze.

My eyes widened. Really?! Is this actually happening?

I mean we were always careful… except only that ONCE. I was trying to contain my emotions (both positive and negative) in case it was a false positive. So I did one more test at home and then… once more at my workplace which all came back positive (obviously) before deciding to make a doctor’s appointment.

I postponed telling Dan as he was busy with his annual 2-day X45 challenge that weekend where I was suppose to volunteer as one of the scorers. I did however sneak out for an hour to visit the doctor on the 1st day of the challenge. I had already made an appointment at Jesselton Med Centre a few days prior. The doc did a quick scan and confirmed it. I still remember the words.

I see a little sac there.’

All I could respond was ‘hmmm, so I really am pregnant’. He commented I was young despite my irregular menses so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. I was 6 weeks at that point. (Fun fact: when you conceive- you are considered 2 weeks pregnant as they start counting from your last menstrual cycle)

I thanked him and on my way out he reminded me to bring my husband the next visit. That did made me chuckle a bit.

On the morning of the 2nd day, I decided I would tell Daniel during dinner after the event was over. We were getting ready to head over to the venue when I started feeling a little dizzy and had to rest for a bit while waiting for the lift. That’s when Dan said the magical words ‘you’re not pregnant, are you?’ I knew he meant that phrase as a joke but in my head I debated whether I should come clean. Before I could even reply, he continued

‘Am I ready to be a father ah?’

I held my breath.

‘… yeah I guess I am’. I exhaled.

THANK GOD. I knew he was thinking out loud but that made me sweat quite a bit. And so we entered the lift.

That evening after the challenge ended (smoothly and successfully!), we were getting ready to head out when dan exclaimed certain erm.. feminine parts were bigger than usual. Cough. Again he went ‘you’re not pregnant, right?’

I stopped in my tracks and looked at him. I guess it was something in my expression that gave it away but he knew. He definitely knew. All I could manage was,


His eyes widened and he sat up properly on the bed. 

‘Wait… what?’  

I walked to my bag and pulled out a copy of the scan the doc had printed. At that moment I recall tearing. It suddenly became very real. I am pregnant and we were about to complete our family with our newest addition.

‘Congrats… daddy’.

Emma’s Birth Story

Writing this at 7.54am on the 27th Apr 2019 since the nurse has woken me up for a quick check-up and to be honest, my adrenaline-filled system refuses to let me get some shut eye post-labour.

Dear God, I’m so thankful I can finally witness my precious Emma kicking & screaming at 5 this morning after 39 weeks and 6 days of waiting.

Afternoon– When my contractions came in at work, it wasn’t too noticeable with some tightening/uncomfortable sensation. I dismissed it thinking it was just my usual bloated-ness from lunch with the baby and all my organs mashed up in there. It did however turn into minor contractions slowly becoming more frequent and regular reaching abt 2-3 contractions every hour after my dinner… though still very bareable with not much pain honestly. Not wanting to be dramatic, I dismissed them thinking they might be Braxton-hicks (a false alarm where the uterus is just practicing its contractions). Can you imagine going all the way to the hospital just to be sent home?! *shakes head*

Evening– Everyone talks about ‘nesting’ right before labour and they weren’t kidding. I didn’t want to get my hopes up high but I had a sudden urge and energy so I decided to change the bedsheet just in case (they were white), check through my hospital bag in my head (I had already placed it in Dan’s car) and made sure all my documents were ready.
Daniel was at a work function so I decided to just drop him a ‘by the way… I’m having contractions’ while watching Avengers: Infinity War since we bought tickets to watch Endgame the next day at 10am (if you’re wondering I didn’t get to watch it *sad face*). The contractions were definitely getting slightly painful.. or maybe it was just in my head.

Night– He came home about 10-ish and we were just chatting catching up on the day before my bedtime at 11pm. The contractions continued but again, still manageable and I somehow managed to doze off.

This is where it got progressively dramatic real fast. I woke up every hr to pee with quite painful contractions and by 2am I just couldn’t go back to sleep. The contractions were every 5-8 mins and I was moaning in pain.

2.40am– I groaned in pain quite loudly this time and finally Dan got up and said he’s bringing me to the hospital. ‘Really?!’ I mumbled and he just shot me a death look. Again, I didn’t want to be dramatic ormaybe I was just in disbelief. We changed and well… I just had to brush my teeth once more before making our way to JMC.

3.20am– We went straight to the maternity suite on the 7th floor and pressed the door bell since it was the graveyard shift; everything was locked and it was so peaceful, quiet except for my groaning. The nurse greeted me as I handed my pregnancy book over. She ushered me to the weighing scale but another contraction came and I just stood by the nurse’s counter hanging onto the rail thinking, ‘looks like this is for real’. 30 seconds later it faded and she took my weight before showing me to my room. I got changed and emptied my bladder as instructed then climbed into the bed. Daniel went to register (with RM3k deposit if you’re wondering) while the nurse asked about my medical history.
After a few questions, I felt as if she knew I was in a lot of discomfort as she stopped quite abruptly. Im not quite sure if she had managed to finish every single question. I had started to yelp a bit every time the contractions came. She decided to do a VE (vaginal examination)- 7cm dilated! The other midwife went to call my doctor and they did a real quick orientation in between my contractions. Apparently I was dilating really quick for my first pregnancy.

4.15am– Dr Joseph arrived. He came in looking quite awake but just staring at both us. I was unsure if he was choosing his words carefully or waiting for us to speak first but anyway, I chuckled at the awkward silence and he muttered, ‘it can’t be that bad if you can still laugh’. Honestly, it was THAT bad. If I had to describe, it felt like the worst ‘menstrual/constipated/back pain’ I had ever felt.. Yet I would like to think I handled it pretty well considering I hadn’t ask for painkillers. Then again, I wasn’t offered any plus my ego probably got in the way or I just couldn’t think anymore.

He checked- I was 9cm along.It was almost time but not quite yet! He said he would be back in 30 mins but the midwife stayed with me all the while. This is when it gets pretty blurry.

4.30am– He came back and the nurse checked, I was fully dilated – 10cm. They prepped the bed; installed leg rests at the sides as well as removed the foot of the bed (dan and I gasped at that moment as we were surprised it was detachable) and the doctor proceeded to suit up (more like gown up). It was great I didn’t have to be rolled out of the maternity suite into another room. The suite itself acted as the delivery room, that helped lessen the anxiety for sure.

I can’t remember how often my contractions came anymore but I was screaming at every one of them despite them telling me to breathe deeply and to conserve my energy to push. Poor maternal effort they would probably say but I was trying… just maybe not the most efficient way possible. Dan was saying I still look decent so I probably wasn’t trying hard enough *rolls eyes* haha

5am– Doctor said no improvement though he did think I had enough energy. He said something about my contractions being too short or not strong enough and I was having back labour(where the pain was in my back as she was pressing against it at every contraction) so I couldn’t push. He offered to use a vacuum but I wanted to try a while longer- that is try all of 15 mins before surrendering and asking for it. It took him a short time to try attach the vacuum, I was surprised at how tiny the contraption was and all I felt was some pressure. Amidst all the pain this was nothing, he just told me not to push while he adjusted it. It took a good couple of minutes which did feel like forever in that moment.
The next contraction was coming I could feel it and he was done hooking it up. I pushed twice and I could feel what they call ‘ring of fire’ as the biggest part of the head was coming through (honestly as I’m writing this I can’t remember the intensity anymore but it didn’t feel as bad as i thought it would reading many birth stories prior describing this to be the most painful part of labour). I was also blessed I suppose as baby Emma is a tiny one which made things much easier.

I looked at Daniel and asked for confirmation if she was out. He said yes and I thought it was over but little did I know, it was only her head… suddenly another spike of contraction came and I pushed, Emma was finally here! I turned to Dan, ‘You lied! You said she was out’.

5.17am– They placed her in a towel on my belly as the doctor offered Dan to cut the cord. A minute later, they put her on my chest and I could finally hold her. My perfect little Emma is finally here.

It’s now 12pm and I’m lying here tearing as I’m editing this beside my precious little girl. My newborn. My first born. I can’t remember what it all felt like anymore. All I know is that she’s healthy, that my love is here and we are complete. (Final edit 4th May)