Saturday, January 8, 2011

Little Bean Sterilizer & Warmer

This is my own free review based on my personal opinion and experience. I hope this review can help a lot of mothers-to-be out there with their planning and purchase.

Remember when I bought my Little Bean brand Bottle Steam Sterilizer and Warmer before I delivered? Well, it proof to be few of my best purchases so far, eventhough I can still wish for few features to be thrown in together. Let's get straight to the point:

A. Little Bean Steam Sterilizer
This steam sterilizer is in my opinion, a better alternative to the conventional method of sterilizing by boiling the bottles.

The pros are;
1. I never have to worry about forgetting to switch off the gas and frying the bottles instead.
2. It took only 8 minutes for the whole process.
3. It's easy to use. Just a push of a button.
4. It use only 90ml of water for the steaming process.
5. Can sterilize 6 bottles at one time, and can fit most wide neck bottles.
6. Resterilizing is possible and easy by just pushing the button again.

The cons are;
1. Of course it is the costliest among all method. But Little Bean steam sterilizer and warmer are one of the cheapest combo buy around.
2. The steam droplet stays on the bottles and accessories long after steaming process completed. Drying is a problem, so if you want, you may opt for a steam sterilizer that come with a drying option. There is one brand of steam sterilizer with this option, you can try look for it in (I against drying it on the drying rack as it is exposed to the environment, and can cause contamination instead. I use Ikea drying bowl that come with a cover, at least it's better than exposing it to the environment).

Wish Ikea had been more sensitive to the Bidayuh in choosing their product name hahaha! (Tokig means poopoo owkay? LOL)

B. Little Bean Warmer

We (me, my MIL, SIL and hubby) really love this little milk&food warmer/juicer for these reasons:

1. Compare to warming milk in hot water, the temperature stay 'constant' as it has a thermostat that can control water temperature to your selection. It means, the hot water will not turn cold, which is the case for the conventional method. This proof to be very useful when you are not using the milk immediately, but just to get it ready by the time the baby cry, or when u have unfinished milk. This reason alone far outweighing the cons of using this warmer.
Note: I heat up storage bottles instead of feeding bottles, so that I can half the quantity and use the rest for later, or when baby wants more than usual. I advise against reheating feeding bottles with unfinished milk because the teats is already tainted. I only do this if I continue feeding her with the same bottle she used before her shower, which is only a short span
2. You can use it to heat up solid food when the baby is older.
3. It can be use to sterilize small accessories like pacifier, but I don't normally use it for this purpose.

The cons however are;
1. That I wish I have bought one that can be used in the car or everywhere else. Little Bean also have a separate model that does have car adaptor with it. But I wish more for one that is portable AND battery operated, which I haven't found yet.
2. When you heat up storage bottles, there is a chance of heat build up in the bottle as the heat could not escape. So please check for temperature of milk before giving it to your baby. What I did is to loosen the cap of the storage bottle a bit so that it can release the heat during prolong warming of the water.
3. It can be a bit slow compare to hot water, so you need to set temp selection to higher at the beginning to melt frozen milk or to fasten the heating (not too high, you'll destroy the nutrition value of the breast milk), then lower it down to desired selection. Based on my experience, the selection of milk warming at 40deg only means the bottle is hot, but not the milk, unless you wait for few cycles of heating. So it takes some getting use to, to maximise the potential of this warmer.
4. If you dont switch off the main power overnight, the water may dry up eventually, so beware. Eventhough the thermostat still work to protect the warmer, errr.. you don't want that to happen do you? These warmers are not cheap leyy..

Note : If you are formula-feeding, this warmer may not be necessary except when you start on solids.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Day Marion Is Born

I have been wanting to update my blog with proper post, there were so many things I wanted to write I don't know where to start. I had promised myself that I would write about the day I delivered my daugther, so that would be my first ever post for the year 2011.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Marion was 9 days overdue. It was such an agonizing wait for us all. I got so many advice regarding how to induce labor naturally, some of it plain superstitious and some made me flabbergasted. What I did and believed in was praying to God that everything will be ok, and asked for the elders especially my mother's blessing. Apart from that, I followed one tip that I got from which actually proved to be effective (I won't revealed here which one, write to me if you wanna know hehe).

On 10th Nov, the day after I went up to kampung to see my mother and asked her to 'persuade' my baby to come out, I finally got a 'blood show' at about 3pm. I had been having mild and irregular contraction for the past few weeks. After I got the show, I followed my MIL went out to buy some stuff, hoping to kick start the first stage of labor. By 7.30pm while having dinner at the restaurant, there were mild cramping and about 15mins apart, and I had to leave the restaurant by 9.30pm to get some rest. I managed to sleep quite well as the contraction had stopped, and awaken at 2am by a strong one. I didn't want to wake Momo up as the contraction was still irregular and went back to sleep.

The next day, I took a walk with Momo around the house to further encourage the labor. While having breakfast, the contraction got stronger it took my breath away, but it was still more than 5mins apart. We made our way to the hospital soon after and I brought my hospital bag along just in case I would be warded. Got checked by my doctor at 9.30am and she confirmed I was in active labor and my servix had opened abt 1.5cm. She estimated that I would deliver in the evening, and she admitted me to the labor ward to be monitored.

Eventhough I went for the antenatal class provided by Kuching Specialist Hospital before, I had never learned any breathing technique. I did as what I have seen in the movies all these while, and it worked to relax me and saw me through the painful contraction. At about 12pm, I saw more blood when I used the washroom and told the midwife about it. The nurse became concerned and told my doctor immediately. By 1.30pm, I was asked to go to the delivery room. My doctor came soon after and I was told my servix opening is still 2cm, and she broke my water to speed up things. About 2.30pm, the contraction became unbearable it scared me so much. I finally gave in and asked for epidural to ease the pain, despite Momo's concern of the procedure. But what the heck, even the pain from the procedure is much welcoming than the contraction pain, and helped me to relax and rest before the start of the second stage of labor.

At about 3pm, we went through a bit of panic moment as the midwife ran in to see the monitor and then shook my belly with a look of terror on her face. A moment later, she breathed and told me that she heard the baby's heart beat had stopped for those few seconds. Luckily after she 'awaken' the baby, the heart monitor showed that the heartbeat had turned back to normal. At the same time, I was checked and informed I was 5cm opened, and by the rate of things going, I would be fully dilating real soon.

At 3.30pm, suddenly the pain from the contraction was building up again despite the epidural. When the midwife saw me panting, she informed me that it may be a sign that I was already fully dilating and ready to push. She asked me if I want to be checked again. And yes, true enough I was 10cm opened, and she told me I can try to push, and went out of the room again.

At that point, I was puzzled and looked at Momo as I did not know how. So I just did what my MIL told me to do sometime before. I laughed as I felt the situation was still a bit unreal. A few minutes later, the midwife came back with another nurse, and taught me when to start pushing, and how to do it correctly. My doctor came in for a while to check on me, and reduced the epidural drip to help me to time my push with each contraction.

From then onwards, other than the moral supports that I got from my husband and the nurses, it was like a lone battle for me. I fought really hard, at a point I was so exhausted, giving up and looking silently at the midwife to help me get the baby out whatever way possible. She saw my pleading eyes as she looks on and got a worried look on her face. She must have went out and called my doctor about it, but the doctor said to give me chance as I was progressing well (I was told of this later on by the doctor herself).

As the baby's head was approaching nearer, more shouts of encouragement came from the nurses and Momo. I felt helpless as my energy level getting lower and frustration came over me as I did not know how far more I had to go. The environment in the delivery room change when all of them suddenly became quiet and were looking at the heart monitor, and with urgency, Momo told me that the baby's heart beat had stop, and the midwife urged for me to push harder as we need to get the baby out asap. Momo told me that it was all up to me as the baby's life depend on me now.

I became panic, and suddenly out of nowhere, I found such a powerful strength in me that I have never known existed, and begin pushing with all my might. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my baby. At that moment too, my doctor came, and they were rushing to get ready the bed to receive the baby. I pushed within 3 more contraction afterward and the baby's head finally crown. I could feel all my muscles tightening as the doctor stopped me from pushing and made the episiotomy incision. I screamt for the first time, urging the doctor to do it real fast as I couldn't hold it any longer, but the midwife told me not to scream to save my energy for the final push.

Finally, amidst scream of encouragement and one big push, at 4.41pm on 11th November 2010, Marion was finally born. I heard the cutest cry ever.... I couldn't see her at that time as I did not have my specs on, but I've known for sure she's perfect little girl as Momo kept telling me so. It was only days later on Momo told me he cried when he saw her coming out of me, and said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

I cuddled my baby for the first time after she was wiped clean and while I was being stitched up. She was so calm when I hold her, and it was a moment I would never forget in my whole life. Her fingers are so tiny and somehow, weird as it sounds, I did not dare to look at the rest of her as I was scared I might find some imperfection. In my state of grogginess, I had refused to give her back to the midwife, as I was puzzled why anyone wants to take my baby away from me, until she explains that the baby needs to be given her jab. She had fallen asleep in my arms, and cried the moment the midwife took her away from me.

I had always wonder how every women I'd known whom have given birth can recall the minute details of their childbirth experience, be it 4 years or 40 years it has occurred. And now I understand why, nothing in life can compete with this kind of experience. No wonder despite the pain, most women did not mind going through it all over again.