#95 – Ninja Confinement Lady

I am glad that I followed up with Aunty Y on her recovery. She felt ok enough to come and help out during the second month and so she came. It has been 3 years since I last saw her and I could hardly remember how she looks like. When I first saw her, I thought she looks a bit fierce and uncaring. But I kept my thoughts to myself.

After she’d settled down, I could see how good she is. She really took pride in her work. She was ultra gentle with Baby A, as if he’s a delicate antique vase. She’s also extremely thorough in her cleaning and washing of Baby A. She’s super hygienic, always having a clean muslin cloth thrown over her shoulder, especially when she needs to carry Baby A. She’s always busy with something, be it in the kitchen cooking or with Baby A, singing songs and chatting with him. She’s working round the clock so much so that I have to ask her to rest. She didn’t use her mobile phone at all. Her heart and soul were totally committed to the assignment whilst she’s here. Oh, did I mention that she would always appear when she’s needed and made herself scarce when she’s not. Because of that, my husband calls her “Ninja CL”. 🙂

Because of her age (think it’s 64), she’s a tad slow but I don’t really care especially since she took care of Baby A so darn well. We were so impressed with the quality of her work that we decided to give her a surprise angpao after 2 weeks (over and on top of the ones given at the beginning and at the end of her stint). When it was time for her to leave, we were so dreading it. And of course, we totally miss her when she’s not with us now.

She’s definitely a god-send CL and I will definitely recommend her to anyone who needs a CL.

#94 – Confinement Lady Stand-in

 I booked my confinement lady (CL) way ahead (in my first trimester) as I had seen how Aunty Y helped my girlfriend during her confinement. I was convinced to book her should I ever get pregnant again and so I did. However, during Week 39, she told me that she’s not able to come as she’d hurt her back while getting off a bike. I was caught by surprise but quickly composed myself and confirmed another CL, Aunty M. I thought how lucky I was as Aunty M was supposed to be popular and usually get booked up very fast. She was available at last minute cos someone pulled out. I was simply relieved even though I had already activated my mum as my back up CL.

So Aunty M came and met us at MBS where we stayed for a week while the renovation took place at home. She didn’t have to cook for now and her only job was to look after Baby A. The first time I saw how rough she handled my baby; my heart just tore apart. She wiped A’s face very hard (pressing it with all her might) with the slightly wet cotton pad as she cleans his face. I stopped her immediately and asked her to use less strength; as he’s just a newborn baby. She said that his face would not be clean otherwise. But how dirty can a baby be, really. I didn’t want to say much but continued observing her; as I didn’t have much choice of CL, do I? I really dislike this “being held ransom” feeling when I don’t really have a choice.

And when we got home, she started cooking and I must say the dishes tasted really good. Her sweet and sour pork and herbal chicken were very yummy. She’s also a very fast and clean worker. Whenever her help was needed, she was fast to act. This could possibly be due to her age. She’s only 54, I think.

So she works fast. Therefore, she has plenty of time in her hands. In fact, she has so much time that she rests in the room from 1pm to 5pm everyday. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve no problem with CL resting especially since she wakes up in the middle of the night to take care of Baby A. But I’ve issues when she doesn’t really rest but watches Korean drama hour after hour. I worry that she doesn’t have enough rest and therefore makes grave mistakes when it comes to looking after Baby A.

Then, she forgot about this important Chinese dish called “ji jiu” during the 12th day of Baby A’s arrival. This really got my mum hopping mad. In her words, which CL doesn’t know that this dish is required??? Oh well, it looks like we will not be using her again.

#89 – Murphy’s Law (again!)

I’m now Week 39 plus (about to deliver Baby A anytime) and last night, I received a call from the confinement lady (CL) whom I booked in first trimester, informing me that she hurt her spine and will not be able to help me. She said that she would look for a replacement for me. I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the news. This is the last thing any about-to-due pregnant women would want to hear!

I shared with my friend and she quickly told me to call Thomson Confinement Services and she also gave me a contact for another CL. But I know that the chance of getting a good one is not high since it’s so last minute. Nonetheless, I called the CL anyway. Thank goodness she had a last minute cancellation and she’s available immediately.

When she heard my story, she said that her charges are high (she may be trying to extort here, I’m not sure). And her first question was whether I am staying with my mother-in-law. Oh well, I guess she must have had some bad experiences with some “backseat drivers” in the past. From the tone of her voice, she came across as a rather demanding lady. But as time is of essence, I booked her for one month anyway. I know that I will have to lower my expectations so as not to stress myself any further. I hope that she will be different from the previous CL and will be able to work well with my helper and mum. I think I’ve had enough to deal with for now. No more Murphy’s Law please…

#72 – End of First Trimester

 

I’m a planner by nature. Just to ensure that I get my choice of confinement lady and jamu massage lady, I have already called to book them in advance. I just feel so at ease when everything is planned and nothing is left to chance. But I’m also conscious of the fact that not everything can be planned and will have to leave it to God.

This week is the turning point. I’m beginning to feel better in terms of energy level and appetite. At the very least, I managed to go to 3 mega sales within 2 days…hahaha! As my appetite is improving, I tried to ask my helper to prepare some dinner for me. But half an hour after dinner, I dashed straight to the loo and puked everything out. I’m not sure why but it’s just my helper’s cooking that made me nauseous. So now, I’ve resorted to going back to my mum’s house for dinner every night.

 

#20 – Confinement Stress

I understand that the only way babies communicate is through their cries. I was mentally prepared to take it easy after delivery to avoid post-natal blues. After discussion with S, we decided to engage a highly recommended confinement lady (CL) to assist for two months instead of the usual one-month.

My CL didn’t start on the right foot. She came late and made my mother wait 2 hours for her. Maybe it’s just the way she was; you know how some people rub off on you the wrong way? There just wasn’t any chemistry, right from the start. Just to give you an example, her gregarious nature translated to her always chit chatting (instead of working) with visitors. She did not have any inkling of privacy and likes to stand around to “observe” while I breastfed Baby L. That really made the self-conscious me very uncomfortable. I had to ask her to get busy in the kitchen, as I did not require any assistance, particularly with breastfeeding.

She was not the tidiest (or cleanest) in the kitchen. There were plastic bags and kitchen rags and cloths all over the place and she hung her clothes to dry on my window frame! I wouldn’t say that my house was interior design magazine standard but it was definitely not far from that. As a result of the “intrusion”, the once house-proud me did not even want to step into the kitchen for those two months.

She asked to watch TV program on Friday afternoon and we allowed. She even asked for time off and day off on several occasions and that really put us in a difficult spot. If we allowed her to go, we were afraid that we might not be able to handle our new born. We would also feel shortchanged as we paid her for the full two months. If we did not allow her to go, we were afraid that she would “harm” Baby L in her own ways since her request was not granted. We contemplated letting her go after one month as her presence made my mother and I upset. What’s more, there was a huge argument between my mother and I…triggered from the things that the CL did and did not do.

And, oh, how can I forget… she balanced Baby L on one leg; and that leg was perched on my clean drawer (yes, she stepped on my drawer!) while she fetched Baby L’s toy with her other hand. What can I say, she’s definitely not on my Christmas card list and I will also not be recommending her to anyone.