16 November 2011, by Dannie Cho
Wow. How time flies. It’s been almost 1.5 months since my last blog entry (and I promised to blog twice a month!).
In baby terms, Coco has grown from this:
Feels like the only thing that grows faster is my tummy! 🙁
Despite my rather melancholic last post, I’ve been having a great time adjusting to our little addition to the family. I’m at peace, having found the my role within the family to keep things in equilibrium.
For me, for us – my role is probably best classified as ‘Service and Support’. It is a hat I wear well, one I am most comfortable with.
I noticed it ever since the original Starcraft game was released. My friend, Keith, and I would play those insane difficulty customised maps where we are supposed to defend against hordes of enemies. He was always the one who instinctively went for the battle units, while I helped out with Service and Support. If he built Firebats, I would have Defilers ready to cast Dark Swarm. If he build Siege Tanks, I would be building Devourers to give him air support. If he built Ghosts to launch nukes, I would send out Overlords as detectors to extend his sight range. Anyway, you get the picture. (Or not!)
Being ‘Service and Support’ means I remove myself from the front lines, but I am ever ready to move up to help out. In that sense, I have basically become either the secondary or tertiary caregiver, depending on who’s around. Yi Lin’s obviously the primary caregiver. She’s got two assets that help her firmly stake claim to that position. And I have never been able to argue against those assets!
Mum-in-law (who also doubled up as confinement nanny) is the secondary caregiver.
This means that for the first few weeks, I made sure I slept as much as possible through the night. Yi Lin wakes up for night feeds (because we believe breast is best), but if she ever needs me because she’s too tired to hold up the baby to burp, she knows that she can just call me and I will jump right up and help her. This is because I learned the ‘Store Sleep’ ability during my time in National Service.
In addition to helping out during night feeds, I also bathed Coco (once!) because mum-in-law aka confinement nanny was otherwise occupied, and Yi Lin was still recovering from her epic episiotomic episode and couldn’t readily squat next to the Coco’s bath tub. Despite the crying and screaming, I think I did pretty okay. I suppose that was because I learned the ‘Eustress, Not Distress’ ability during my first month in an airline job (where a terrorist attack at our hub airport wiped out half the airline’s fleet).
Then there’s all the other stuff like diaper changes, carrying the baby, helping with sterilising of bottles, preparation for feeding by bottle (to dramatically increase the flow of milk, Yi Lin pumped AFTER breastfeeding in the early days, which also gave us an option to feed by bottle), giving Yi Lin a chance to rest, recover and recharge. Oh, and I would also chow down my meals really quickly, so that Yi Lin has the chance to interact with friends and family at the table while I bring a fussy baby away from the adult conversation.
And you know, there were a few outcomes of this arrangement that I particularly liked:
- I became a Dan of all trades. I can feed, change, wipe down, and put the baby to sleep. I’m not particularly good, but adequate enough, should the need ever arise.
- As baby matured into her second month and Yi Lin got into the swing of motherhood, I found myself with plenty of time with my PS3. I make sure I only play games that I can easily pause, though, so that when she calls, I will still be there for both of them.
- I felt useful whenever I was called to help. I think I would have been way more depressed hovering around and finding that no one needed me!
So that’s our life at home now. Things change when we visit my parents during the weekends. My mum becomes the primary caregiver while Yi Lin takes a break (other than feeding) with me. Yup, thinking about it now, it’s all good, baby! 🙂