Any possible drawbacks?

Salam everyone!
Hope everyone had a good year end spending time with family and friends and that the new year has been good so far to everybody. Our daughter was hospitalised in early December for 4 days 3 nights. We both overnight throughout. She had diarrhoea and refused to drink milk. So to avoid dehydration, she had to be put on drip. That’s when she cried the loudest. Imagine us adults sometimes it’s just so hard to find the right vein to poke, what’s more babies. I cried too while we were waiting outside the procedure room. Alhamdullilah she’s well now. And, thank God my husband actually signed up a health insurance for her during my maternity leave. At first, after we discussed with the Insurance Agent, I was still reluctant to purchase it because I personally don’t believe in insurance and I just feel that insurance is just a money-sucking plan. Plus, I’m just not willing to pay insurance (oops). However, the husband insisted to purchase the insurance for each of us after the recent road accident we had during my pregnancy. Then, when we received the cheque from our insurance, I realise wah it’s so easy to claim eh? Sorry for the ignorance, my first time experiencing health insurance. Hahaha
Hmm, this year’s resolution would be to save more for renovation I guess. Because seeing the amount we’ve saved so far got me excited to do this and that. I guess if we hire a contractor we would be able to do a lot of things but with an ID probably we could only do an elaborate kitchen perhaps? I’m not sure to put the trust on contractors because my theme is English classic.
So I stumbled upon this in the Home&Decor magazine, Sunleaf Shutters. It’s a company that provides an alternative to window grilles. Their designs just really win my heart over and I felt like ‘Husband, please can we have this installed?!’ All along I’ve told him I don’t want any window grilles installed but we could install invisible window grilles. My reason is that I don’t want to spoil the beauty of the windows. For example, Le Meridian, they provide invisible grilles ( you can google them, there are other providers which provide invisible grilles in sg). It’s basically a thin strong wire that cut across the windows. But the husband is not really keen on it because he thinks the wire can loosen over time.
Back to Sunleaf Shutters. It’s costly though. The magazine said that for a HDB apartment it ranges about 7k-12k. So, home owners, of course it looks good, but I would like to know what possible drawbacks could arise while having this kind of ‘window grilles’. It looks elegant and classic.If you could think of any possible drawbacks with this, please tell me? You can find them more in their website and IG there’s a short video on how they actually opened it for ventilation. Here are some few photos below.

 

 

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Umrah Experience

Salam
We’re back from umrah, Alhamdullilah. Hmm, so much things to share the good and not so good ones. The first battle was the immigration when we first reached Jeddah Airport. The clearance took about 3 hours. That test our patience because they really took their own time to check our passports. I shall not elaborate further what the customs officers there did. Then, we took a 6hrs bus ride to Madinah. We came prepared with a 1litre thermos flask for our daughter’s milk. Our flask broke in the hotel, so I panicked because how are we going to travel without warm water for the milk. The husband managed to buy a 1litre flask at a department store near our hotel. We both took turns to take care of her in the hotel, so either one of us went to the mosque and the other will take care of her. We wanted to minimise the contact into crowded places. We brought her once to Masjid Nabawi for prayers. Me, my mum and my sis managed to pray in Raudhah. A part of heaven where it will be lifted after the world ends. Raudhah is only opened to women for a certain hours.
After that we travelled to Makkah by bus, another 6 hours ride. We were already in ihram attire. Our daughter pooed in the bus and the husband cleaned her in the moving toilet bus. We performed umrah at 11pm right after we reached the hotel and had dinner. Because u know its very crowded there we couldn’t bring a huge diaper bag. So we pre-packed our milk bottles into our sling bags. So the husband carried her in Tawaf and Saie. She was fast asleep all the way, alhamdullilah. The next few days we let her rest in the hotel and took turns to babysit.
Things that we bought and we will treasure it as sentimental value were these items below. I wanted to have something as our future house deco. We also bought 5 prayer mats for the future house and religious books.
Lastly, the gold kaabah pendant which the husband bought for both of us. Just an advise for those who wants to get kaabah pendant over there. There are many gold shops outside both mosques, Masjidil Haram and Masjid Nabawi. Their gold is only 21k(87.5% gold) and has no value, really. My aunt bought a bracelet and came back here to sell it but it has no value. Because most of their 21k gold are from India or called ‘Arabian Gold’. We surveyed most of the shops after prayers and their kaabah pendants are not well crafted while some of it have broken hooks. So I told the husband if there isn’t any nice ones, we can still survey in Makkah.
We stayed in Hyatt Regency Makkah and its connected to a mall. There’s H&M and even Sephora. Thank god I didn’t buy anything since it’s common here in Sg. So the mall have Malabar Gold & Diamonds which its also available in Sg. We went to have a look and they sell 22k gold. 22k gold means its 916 gold also means 91.6% gold. In Sg, most stylish yellow gold are 22k/916. 24k gold is basically 999gold (of course more value).

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May Allah grant us another chance to perform Umrah again. Insya Allah.

Umrah

In less than 10 days time, I will be performing umrah with my family together with our baby. Nervous, worried yet excited. Imagine the amount of diapers and milk powders we have to pack. I’m still not done packing yet. I feel stress looking at the mountain of things in our luggage. Plus, we have to bring the stroller. Our baby is used to the stroller and we only went out with a baby carrier (successfully) to our nearby supermarket. The second time, she cried in the bus with the carrier so halfway we took her out and put her in the stroller.  We’ve all been vaccinated with meningitis and flu except for her. Sadly, there’s no meningitis vaccine for babies under 9 months. The nurse reminded us to be extra careful because meningitis is airborne. Since we took the vaccine in Travellers’ Clinic, the nurse explained a lot of precautionary measures. She told that there was one family who brought 4 kids and a baby. That day when the family took the vaccination, the baby was not vaccinated and the baby came back from umrah with meningitis. Honestly, which mummy wouldn’t be worried right?
So I seek your dua’ to pray for her strength and health over there. And so she could cooperate to be seated in the baby carrier during tawaf and saie. Furthermore, this end of year, it’s the peak period of umrah. At times, I thought this was a wrong move to perform umrah with her. We decided too early before she was born. But then again, if it’s Allah’s plan that we are performing umrah now, then we are definitely one of the lucky guests. And that time when we were deciding, I told my husband is either we don’t join the family to umrah or we all go together with the baby. The past month we’ve been attending umrah classes organised by our travel agent. Learning about how to perform umrah was amazing. Sometimes we thought umrah is simple but there is actually a lot of etiquette to follow and insider tips that the ustaz teach the males on how to get into the first saf during prayer times in Makkah.
Please forgive me if I did offend anyone here or being too arrogant in my posts. My mum kept reminding and assuring me to put my trust in Allah and let him take care of our daughter. Let him arrange on how, when and where our baby will cry, pass motion or whatsoever. I will be slightly protective over her there and I won’t let anybody carry her except me, my husband, my sis or my parents. Although, there are a total of 28 persons whom are all our relatives, I really hope they could understand our situation. Insya Allah.

The Power of Dua’ Together

Salam readers
Since we had our daughter, I miss praying together with my husband. It’s kinda hard to pray together as we had to take turn to keep an eye on her. I told this to him and we tried to grab the opportunity whenever my mum could watch over our daughter. Let me share with u, there’s a difference in praying together and praying individually. I realise it’s just how Allah look at our effort and grant our wishes. AND, it avoids arguments in the marriage.
Before I’m pregnant, we often prayed together and we have this ‘script’ of dua’ after solat. Since we’re praying together he will be the one reciting the dua’. Whenever I felt that his dua’ is insufficient, I’ll teach him to add few things of our wishes. So the first dua’ is we ask for forgiveness and to beg Allah to forgive our parents, grandparents and our siblings. Because Allah prefers us to be specific in our wishes, I’d prefer to dua’ in more detailed manner. Then, we ask ‘Ya Allah, ya Rahman, ya Karim, lindungi perkahwinan kami dari gangguan shaitan, jin dan manusia berniated jahat, berkatilah perkahwinan kami dgn rahmatmu dan murahkanlah rezeki kami.’ Back then we also asked for zuriat and a house.And we continue with ‘jauhilah kami dari sifat kebencian antara kami suami isteri, hadirkanlah kasih sayang diantara kami, jauhilah kami dari pergaduhan.’ Honestly, from my experience, praying together, helps us to refrain from disagreements or arguments.
So back then, we came back from honeymoon, Allah grant me to be pregnant and at the same time we had our house selection appt. BUT, Allah didn’t grant us a house. The day before our appt, they notified us it was cancelled as all units were taken up. I still cried though because I wanted to have a house. Slowly, I started to let go and decide to focus more on my pregnancy. And then I finally found the answer on why Allah didn’t grant us a house now. It might be another 2-3 years later. Since we were married, even though we’re ‘homeless’, we’ve been saving for our renovation. It’s because I realise that I wanted my future house to be in a certain way, ‘ready to move in’ condition with the furnitures and without being in debt for renovation.
Imagine if we were to have our house now? We might be moving in with no furnitures or live saving our money to buy things one by one which I don’t prefer. I slowly realise that He don’t grant all our wishes immediately because we need to put in more effort in believing in him and praying more as a husband and wife.
Overall, I just wanted to say that when you’re married, take the chance to pray together. When 2 persons pray together, it creates that strong desire of how much you want your wishes to be granted.
May Allah grant all of us his blessings.

Oh Trinity

We’re looking for a jewellery for me to wear daily that commemorates the birth of our baby girl. Ever since I’m married, I’ve decided to wear only real jewellery and I’ve thrown all my past unused accessories. And because it’s real jewellery, I always wear it on daily basis and mix-match them with my outfits. My heart is set on TrinitydeCartier. Their designs are simple yet wearable daily. Trinity collection basically has 3 types of gold that interlocks with each other.  I was first attracted to this heart shaped necklace which explains it all. 3 hearts that interlock with each other which represents the 3 of us.
Then, the trinity rings. I have a lot of rings. So having another ring would become secondary. And if I’d were to have another ring, I would want to wear it on the middle finger (the band shouldn’t be too thin) and it should engrave all our names. I’ve checked with them that it’s possible to engrave each of our names on each of the ring. Trinity rings basically have a stack of 3 rings which interlocks with each other. The first choice is this one in medium sized, rose gold. The size is nice enough to be worn on the middle finger.
Second choice is their signature ring in small size. Sadly they don’t have it in medium. And the large one is too big for the middle finger.
I really can’t decide. Having the ring engraved would make the jewellery more personalised. But I’m afraid that I have to take it out during work time because my condition of work only allows a wedding band. They don’t allow us wearing any ring that protrudes out. Having the necklace would mean that I could wear it daily but it’s not possible to engrave. The fact that it’s heart shaped wins me over which simply symbolise the love between the 3 of us. But then, we’re planning to get a Kaabah pendant necklace for me and our baby girl. That would mean, I would have 3 necklaces already. 
I really couldn’t decide!

 

We were admitted to the ward around 9pm and we were prepared for a lot of guests coming in the next day.That night, the husband was already snoring away that he don’t realise the nurses coming in and out of our room checking on me. From morning till night, both side of our family came to visit, aunties and uncles. Poor thing the baby girl had to be in and out of the nursery.
Post natal blues is real. Breastfeeding is hard. Cried a lot of times and my milk supply is just insufficient. We had to support with formula. Whenever I pumped, I only had 10-20ml of milk. If I’m lucky, I have 40-60ml. I had my aunt to do the post natal massage for a month. 2 weeks after that the husband got his Class 3 licence. Coincidentally, his demerit points is the same as the birthdate of our baby.
Alhamdullilah we’ve matched up with the govt baby bonus. So at least now, we could focus on her insurance savings annually. We’re trying to source for a jewellery probably a necklace for me which we could engrave all our names.
We’ll be going to Umrah with the baby in Nov, when she’s 3 months old. It sounds like a crazy idea eh? This was planned way back earlier in Feb when we had a big family BBQ. My relatives were planning for an umrah trip. My uncle who was the organiser, was trying to recruit more of our relatives to fit the whole bus of 40 pax. My family decided to join in. However, me and the husband was kinda reluctant because the baby would be only 3 months. He was worried about the baby’s ear pressure in the plane during landing and take off.
Back then during the honeymoon, when we were on board Qatar, it always show us the direction towards the Kaabah on the screen and the husband commented, ‘one day we should go here’. We took quite awhile to make a decision before we eventually deposited to secure our seats. I figured, I’ve had everything. I graduated, had my honeymoon in Europe, had my dream wedding and a baby girl. If we don’t go now, we prolly wouldn’t have the financial capability to do it in future with the housing and children expenses.
Furthermore, we could count on our relatives and my family members to help us with our baby girl. So alhamdullilah,we are  excited yet worried. Some of my relatives are those whom I travelled together in umrah and they are frequent travellers of umrah and haj. Can’t wait for her aqiqah this upcoming Hari Raya Haji. According to our religion, aqiqah meat should be cooked and be given to feed the relatives/families/less fortunate to celebrate the birth of a baby. The mosque offered to cook and distribute them for us. ❤

Labour Story

I’ve given birth to a baby girl on 14th July. I actually worked all the way and didn’t take advance maternity leave. So the day before, I was on halfday and in the afternoon we went for appointment. My doctor said baby’s head is already engaged or ‘locked’ so I could be anytime. Coincidentally, my husband’s best friend had just given birth and their edd is 24 July which is 5 days apart from me. We visited them and I think that made the husband kinda panic that he should be finishing up his carpentry work on the baby cot.
We did all the necessary things that day, booking of aqiqah for her, it feels surreal to see the father-to-be to write our own daughter’s name on the application form. We went home after that and the husband continued fixing the baby cot. It was already about 6+pm and the he said ‘ok baby girl you can come out now, faster quick’. Later in the night about 10.30pm, I went into the kitchen and my waterbag broke. Water was flowing non-stop and I had to wear pad. The husband quickly grabbed the hospital bag and we took taxi. I was afraid that I will wet the taxi seat. I could still walk all the way to the delivery suite as I don’t feel any pain yet.
The pain started throughout the night, I told myself ‘no epidural no epidural’. The husband was all the way beside me. Told him to buy something to eat but he refused. Till the next morning 9am, I was only 4cm dilated and it’s already so painful and the back pain was constantly there. I couldn’t endure anymore even the laughing gas don’t work. The midwife reminded me not to request for epidural too late as by the time we couldn’t sit still for them to inject into the dura space between the nerve and the spine. I succumbed to epidural eventually and by the time, my legs couldn’t straighten. There was still pain even after the epidural. My legs were already so numb and they couldn’t move. I already felt like giving up, and everytime the docs do their 4hrs round to dig into our vagina to check how far we are dilated, it’s so painful my butt get lifted.
By 4pm, they said I’m already 9cm dilated and I’ve used up my epidural. So the midwife said there’s no point topping up the epidural and they want me to feel the pain to push. As baby’s head is going downwards, it gets painful and intense. By the time, I was having high fever while pushing. They said could be the effect of epidural. So I had like wet tissues all over my chest and forehead to bring down my temperature. Eventually, she’s born at 5.20pm and I didn’t know where I had the energy from. So my labour was more than 12 hours and alhamdullilah she’s born ❤
I’m at 36 weeks now, initially I thought I was at 34. After our latest appointment, our doc said I’m left with approx 2-3 weeks to labour. I was caught by surprise though. I’m not sure whether I’m prepared to be a mum. Although I’ve read a lot of religious pregnancy books, articles and attending antenatal classes, I’m not sure what to expect for labour and I’m afraid of raising my own kids expecially with so many influences in this era.
Both legs are swollen, which some aunties commented that I could be due for labour soon. Currently, at 65kg which I’ve reached my max BMI weight range for my height and the baby is at 2.4kg. Pregnant mothers already have lack of confidence seeing our body changes so much throughout the pregnancy, the breasts change, the butt changes, facial features change. Every morning to work, I’m battling with what clothes I should wear.
Being pregnant is a wonderful experience, feeling the baby swimming inside you and responding to your touch that you start to feel how amazing Allah’s creation is. Then, we start to know how our mothers sacrifice for us. I wish I could be there when she is growing up that even maternity leave would be insufficient. And then there is this one thing that strikes me, do you think it would be alright/fair for us if our own kids send us to daycare old folks’ home when we’re old since we send them to childcare/studentcare? They will probably go through what we went through, costs of living is high, they have to work to support their own family and us as grandparents. That’s a reality check there.
I read an article about how some of us regard our parents as a ‘maid’ who take care of our babies/kids. The article quoted that even if our mothers are sick, they had to take care of our babies/kids and if something happen we tend to blame our parents. Our parents are that age who wants to focus more on ibadah. I felt bad for my mum for missing her recitation classes in future. Infant care is already more than $1000 unless the parents’ workplace have a childcare centre, after subsidy at my workplace, I get quoted of $600+ which could be deducted by CDA account by the govt. Govt will match dollar for dollar for what we deposited and that the govt dollar can not be withdrawn in cash and can only be used for approved childcare institutions, medical bills and bla2. So that indirectly means having a child we should be financially prepared. So, the one who could benefit in this scheme would be working parents. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I asked around my colleagues that most of them have used up their CDA account mainly for child/infant care.
The husband has set aside a fix monthly sum so that we could kickstart the CDA account from the start of my pregnancy. While the mummy just can’t stop buying baby dresses and tights. Alhamdullilah the husband manage to keep quite a sum and mummy will just top up a little to make it even. We’re going to shop for baby cot today and next week insya Allah we’ll open an account for her under UOB. ❤

Pregnancy Journey

First Trimester
I don’t really feel much of a difference, didn’t feel that something is really growing inside my tummy. I didn’t have any morning sickness. However, I do have headaches on and off. My ointment is my bestfriend. Husband was kind enough to prepare milk every morning.
Second Trimester
The start of the 4th month, I started to vomit and have morning sickness. Every morning before going off to work, I felt headache and nauseous. I vomit in the house before going to work, at his bike upon reaching my workplace, basically just vomit everywhere. I couldn’t take milk in the morning anymore since I vomit it out.  5th month onwards I started to feel baby  movements. It’s just so amazing. I didn’t have much cravings except that since I don’t really eat fruits and veggies, my only favourite fruit craving was Cempedak. We registered for antenatal course. It was really beneficial for us and we learnt a lot. We did exercising, learning breathing techniques and many more. I would recommend first time mothers to enrol in the course. MIL gave me a lot of religious books regarding pregnancy. So here are  some surahs in the Quran that we could read during pregnancy based on one of the books I read by Ustazah Siti Nurbayyah.
Surah Yusuf: Memperoleh anak yang cantik rupa dan cantik akhlak                                                          
Surah Yassin: Untuk Ketenangan hati dan anak tidak terpengaruh dengan godaan syaitan yang mengajak kepada maksiat
Surah Maryam: mempermudahkan ibu bersalin dan memperolehi anak yang sabar dan taat
Surah Al Fatihah: Tenang hati dan kuat ingatan
Surah Luqman: memperoleh anak yang cerdik akal dan jiwa
Surah At Taubah:  membersih jiwa dan terpelihara dari maksiat                                             
Surah An Nahl: melahir anak yang berdisiplin
Surah Hujurat: memperbanyakkan susu ibu dan anak bersifat hati-hati                                                  
I silently want a pretty baby, so I actually read more Surah Yusuf and Surah Maryam more. Oops
Third Trimester
Movements and kicks are more stronger. I am currently at 31 weeks now. The closest labour story I could ask is my mum. She gave birth to us independently without epidural. I’m really determined not to  use it. Hopefully. So far, there’s no heartburns. BUT, I am sweaty at night and perspire buckets which cause me to have trouble sleeping. Gynae gave me the green light to fast. The first few days I fast I noticed she moved lesser or not so strong kicks or punches. I felt tired and as if I’m going to faint after 6pm. I got scared so for now I’m not fasting. Hospital bag is almost ready.
As the tummy grows bigger, I have this fear in me. I think every first time mothers would feel the same way. Fear of not being able to return to my normal figure before pregnancy. Probably this fear would sound so lame, especially after giving birth the topic would be whether we could breastfeed.
Lastly, all baby stuffs like milk bottles, steriliser, milk bottle warmer, breast pump, diapers,baby-friendly detergents, her shower gels, her mini bath tub, clothes, stroller, baby carrier are all prepared except for baby cot and her bedding which we’re still hunting. During my maternity leave, we’ll be travelling overseas with the baby, a place where we never expect we’re going too soon with our big family. It feels like a crazy idea. (I’ll blog about this on a separate post.) So we’ll just do what’s necessary like tahnik, aqiqah and cukur rambut in the mosque. Insya Allah.