Doing it my way

I want to have a natural, drug-free birth.
I believe in HypnoBirthing.
More importantly, I believe I can do it.

I will not be hiring a traditional confinement nanny.
Instead, my mother will be helping me out for the first two weeks, post-partum. In the day.
I will handle the night feeds by myself.

And for the rest of my maternity leave, I will be looking after the Tiny Human on my own.

I plan to cloth diaper the nugget.

There, I have said it.
I’m probably bucking the norm here for at least one of my goals but I don’t care. I am planning for what is best for myself and what I believe I can handle.

Maybe along the way, I will falter. I may cry out of exhaustion at sleeping only in fits and bursts. I may haul myself and the baby to my mother’s and seek her help. I may wonder why I want to do these things my way. I may cave and listen to the well-meaning but unsupportive words of the family and support network.

But believe me, when I say that I will do what I set out to do, I will achieve it, by hook or by crook. I didn’t live through two gruelling years of infertility – one of which was filled with continuous treatments – without a backbone.

So thank you for all your advice and negative, horror stories. Thank you for letting me know how so many of your friends and colleagues insisted on not having a confinement nanny and ended up eating their words. Thank you for telling me how I will wish I had a confinement nanny at 3am in the morning. Thank you for exhorting the conveniences of disposable diapers and the remarks on how I’ll be so exhausted from looking after the nugget that I’d cave and use disposables. Thank you for regaling me with tales of how painful childbirth is and how I’d beg for the relief of epidural. Thank you for telling me what I should do.

Thank you for telling me how you don’t think I can do all these things.
Thank you for not believing that I have the mental fortitude to achieve my goals.

Thank you for your skepticism.

I’m not a fool, nor am I an idealistic idiot with rose tinted glasses. I know what I am getting into and no, I don’t think I will be 100% prepared. But who goes into labour and parenthood fully and completely prepared?

I’ve done my homework and thought long and hard about the choices that I am making. I believe in me. I understand that their words stem from concern. What I don’t understand is this: why do we like to put others down and force the unhappy, negative stories down their throats instead of offering support and encouragement? Why can’t people be open about my decision to not hire a confinement nanny and, instead, offer their help should I need it? Why do we like to say, I don’t think you should do this? Why do we like to make them feel like a failure should their plans not work out?

So thank you for your advice but really, I didn’t ask for it.

The more you tell me you don’t think I can do it, the more I will prove you wrong.

Published by yAnn

Yann is a purple lover.

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26 Comments

  1. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you comes from a friend who told all those “well-meaning” folks, “This is what works best for me and my family.” No one, but no one, can argue with that.

  2. I think you can achieve it! I have thought of using cloth diaper instead of disposables too! For simple reasons, they are cost effective, environmentally friendly and if people like our parents can do that, why can’t we do it in this time and age?

    I doubt I will have confinement nanny either if I am ever pregnant, my in law will probably help in anyway! So I think and I hope you succeed and by the time when my time come, I will have someone to give good advice! ;)

  3. This entry reminds me of what I went through last year when I was pregger! Like you, I believe in hypno-birthing, didn’t want a confinement nanny and chose the cloth diapering route. ‘Well meaning’ pple keep giving advice and question about my choices just bcos it’s not conventional and they don’t trust that these choices are made with much thought and research. In the end, I did it without epidural (even when my gynae was naying me abt it), took care of my baby at night but didn’t succeed with the cloth diapering (still hoping to try again when my boy is older)! Ignore the nay-sayers cos these are all v personal choices. And I’d say the husband’s support is v impt; easier to fend against the nay-sayers when you two sing the same tune! :)

  4. cloth diapers, cloth diapers!!! woohoo!!!

    if the good ladies in 3rd world countries can give birth in the morning and still be cooking dinner the same night, then taking care of baby while looking after the crops day after day…. there’s no reason why we need all these trappings, except that we are spoilt brats. it won’t be easy, of course. but as u have said, we go into it having made a conscious choice and knowing that there will be a price to pay i.e. sleep.

    yay to the no confinement lady! most of them are more pain than gain nowadays anyway.

  5. Hi. Just happened to chance upon your blog.

    Firstly, congrats on being pregnant. It is delightful news.

    Secondly, just wanted to assure you that it is possible to do all you mentioned in this post as long as you are determined. I am a mother of a 3 year old boy and 2 year old twins. I have never had a confinement nanny for both my pregnancies. Though I did have a helper who took care of the household chores and cooked for me. I took care of my children entirely on my own, yes, even waking up continuously through the nights to breastfeed my babies. It is tiring but it can be done, as long as you put your heart and mind to it.

    Enjoy your pregnancy and enjoy your little one when he/she arrives :)

  6. I think you can have a chat with the BFF. She uses cloth diapers for BOTH her babies, went drug-free during childbirth, opted NOT to have some of the non-essential jabs for her baby, etc. No confinement lady, looked after her own babies.

  7. If i, the scaredy cat with the lowest pain threshold ever, can go through those childbirths drug free, so can you. Btw, epidural SUCKS.

    You go girl. If anything, just tweet/blog it out, we’ll be there.

    xx

  8. I hear you babe. Receiving unsolicited advice albeit from well-meaning folks can drive one up the wall! And when you release all frustrations, you get called negative and angsty (well, at least I did.)

    I’m hardly one to offer advice given that I only have one baby who is barely 3 months old. What I’ve learnt from the short parenting experience is that labour, delivery and parenthood are all complex and personal matters. Nothing is as clear-cut as “drug-free = good; epidural = bad” (for example). I happen to think that the epidural is the best thing invention after LASIK, but someone who had a bad experience or negative pre-conceptions an epidural obviously won’t think the same. It all depends on the choice made by the parents, with the welfare of both parents and baby in mind. Similarly, there are good confinement ladies who are a great help and there are less than stellar ones. Re diapers, I use a mixture of cloth nappies and disposables (e.g. nappies for sunny daytimes, disposables for the night so that the baby doesn’t soak in a wet nappy the entire night or get woken up by frequent nappy changes.) It doesn’t have to be ‘either/or’ all the time.

    What I can offer is a listening ear (or Whatsapp conversations), suggestions and ideas to tackle challenges faced by first-time mums, sharing of new information and knowledge (especially since we’re so fond of Dr Google) and anything that you ask me – I will answer to the best of my abilities.

  9. I think it’s just awesome that you are putting your baby’s needs first. Every mum knows what’s best for their own baby and they should be the one making all the decisions. I don’t like naysayers either. The negativity and doubt can be draining and I hope all the supportive voices can drown all the negativity out. Baby only needs good vibes :)

    I am super confident that you’ll do it and prove them all wrong :) hugs

    I was in cloth diapers all the way as a baby. No pampers back then. But cloth is also better for baby and eco friendly too. Sounds like a great plan to me.

  10. Love your determination and love for your baby to have the best he can enjoy from you… Don’t do it to prove others you can do it… Or even to prove yourself… Ultimately, it’s about you, your hubby and you… No point of doing things just for baby sake and mommy is struggling… As Yi Lin said, nothing is black and white and most imp of all is simply to enjoy the journey and trusting God that whatever lack you experience, He has them all covered :))

  11. I believe that you can do all these too, babe, and beautifully too! Like what the others have commented, also think there’s no right or wrong, just your preferred way of doing things. These are choices you have obviously thought through properly, and not made on whims, so don’t get bothered by those naysayers, well-meaninged or not.

  12. Hey Yann! I’m so excited for you. I did without a cofinement nanny, and without ANY in-laws or parents or what not. Just my dear hubby took leave for the first 2 weeks. I catered confinement food (quite yummy). I was totally breastfeeding (Saves heaps of money and time, and it’s so convenient). But I did not use cloth diapers cos I couldn’t face the laundry. After the confinement food ended, I did tingkat catering for another 2 months, til everything settled down. I did it for all my 3. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

  13. sounds like what i want to do in the future and it is encouraging to see that 1) there are ppl who want to do it too!, 2) you are a trailblazer & 3) you blog so that ppl who are too afraid to try it are encouraged to do so as well!

    that being said i think that this generation of mummies are very much different from the previous gen- lots more research and spunk to veer out of the tried and tested, and instead go with their own personal beliefs, so you go girl! :)

    ps. i hope to try cloth diapers cos i’m an environmentalist- but i remember united square has this albeit branded, but washable diapers that are funky. maybe you could check it out.

  14. 1. Its good to go without painkillers during delivery, as you can control the process better. In both my pregnancies, I asked for the epidural needle to be inserted in case I needed it. Turned out that I should not even have bothered, cos my spine is curved, and the medication got stuck at the chest level. But I was glad for the pain that I felt. I could tell when the contractions were coming, and it is slightly earlier than what the screen showed and when the gynae started asking me to push.

    2. I did without confinement nannies (so did my SIL who had 4 kids) and breastfeed for more than a year. You can pre-pack/prepare your ingredients (fish and meat, longans, red dates and lots of pre-fried ginger)

    3. I did not use cloth diapers.

    Pregnancy, delivery, confinement and child rearing are very personal matters. There is no need to answer to anyone, or to explain what you do/ intend to do. And I agree fully with The Pleasure Monger that some of the naysayers “don’t want you to do better or cope better than they did”. Some would even tell you that you have no milk/not enough milk within the first 3 days of delivery! (the milk comes in only after that). I even had someone telling me (and my mum) that I was feeding the baby in a wrong position. My mum brought up 3 kids all on her own, thank you.

    On a side note, do take care of yourself. You need to go for the long run. You will get used to the lack of sleep. Take one day at a time, and enjoy your nugget.

  15. Thats the thing, everyone has their own opinions about how to raise kids and quick to tell you whats right and wrong – And I dont understand it with people on why would they tell horror stories to mums to be, like seriously.. why on earth would people do that I dont know – The whole pregnancy/ birth thing is scary enough on its on and you don’t need that unnecessary stress! Every pregnancy, birth is different so whatever yours turn out to be is totally your own. Same goes with parenting style or whether you choose to do confinement (well i didn’t and both bubs and I turned out fine didnt we?! So are all the other non-chinese mothers) Even cloth diapers are in trend at the moment, well, especially in this part of the world and they have a whole lot of funky cloth nappies available everywhere – its all personal choice! Dont let their advices get to you, in one ear and out the other! :) You’ll do fine and will be an absolutely great mother with whatever choice you choose :)

  16. Thanks everyone for sharing and for your encouragement! :) Very thankful for these affirmations and positive stories. Sure beats the horror stories, heh. If I falter, I know who to turn to!

    ~Y: absolutely, it’s vital that husband and wife are singing the same tune. He’s on board as well so it makes things easier.

    Yi Lin: I agree! What works for you may not work for me. And I know that things will never go according to plan so all we can do is, well, plan.

  17. I think it is good to know what you want, and what is your parenting style method for coping. And importantly, your husband supports you. At times, your parents may be a “naysayer”. But it’s ok, as long as you as the mother knows what you are doing and that you can do it.

    For me, it’s always “whatever works”. I can read all I want, but every mother every baby is different and it calls for different styles.

    Do remember you need to take care of yourself and that a happy rested mummy = sane mummy and u can take care of baby well. At the end of the day, Ien

  18. Yay to using cloth diapers! I used that for my baby and it worked out just fine for us. Nappy liners (not absolutely necessary) and a good washing machine would make the entire experience wonderful!

    By the way, I have some diaper covers in good condition to be given away. If you don’t mind, I would love to give them to you. Hardly any of my friends use cloth diapers anyway. Email me if you want those diaper covers ok?

  19. Jia you…. you will do great once you set your heart on it. You dun have to bother about those well-meaning advice. You are the MOTHER and you know what’s best for your baby…dun let others undermine you. We all make mistakes along the way as new mother BUT we learn (that’s the great part).
    Gambetta! :)

  20. Lil snooze: yes whatever works is a good philosophy! Parenting styles are different for every couple and every child. What works for you and your kids may not be applicable to another family.

    westsidewitch: Ooh would love to hear more about your experiences. And sure, wouldn’t mind having some of these diaper covers. Will email you. :)

  21. Why, but if your mum can do the confinement, there is no need for a confinement nanny because a mum will do a more brilliant job. That is just the way it is. A mum will do anything for her child no matter how tough it is. No disrespect to the confinement nannies out there.

  22. Yann! I googled ‘not having a confinement nanny’ out of frustration today, got another earful today about my decision not to. So happy to find your post!!! I must have read it back in 2011… but baby things just didn’t click back then hehe. Only when it’s your turn, does it matter right! Anyway I feel heartened again after reading.

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