Friday, August 22, 2014

5 days in the maternity ward (法国生产记之住院)

We stayed in the maternity ward for 5 days. I don't know why, but I was sad to leave the day we got discharged.

I chose the same clinic as I had good memories from my first delivery. The team (doctors/midwives/nurses) was very professional and provided good advises. The foods tasted yummy but I could be biased since breastfeeding made me hungry all the times. I had breakfast around 7am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 4pm and dinner around 6pm.

My typical breakfast. I ordered hot milk but they gave me hot chocolate instead. They only corrected the mistake during the last day of my stay.

Lunch. It was amazing, I didn't have the feeling of being full anymore. For my first delivery, I actually ate the hospital food plus confinement food my aunt prepared.

Every day the midwife came to see me and gave me painkiller. I didn't really need it because I didn't feel too painfull, just uncomfortable. I was told that Jun, July and August are peak months for delivery so all the staffs were overwhelmed. I had a different midwife everyday and I felt that they were in rush everytimes. Nurses came to check on the baby everyday too. There was one that I adored, she gave me plenty of advises. She told me that I can let the baby cry as long as she is fed and her diaper is clean.

I prefer to have plenty of rest so only close family came to visit me. Aelig came everyday and accepted well that I had to stay in the clinic with the baby. She was proud to be big sister.

We had to learn how to bath a baby and all that jazz again. Frankly, I forgot some of the details, but it just came back after several practices.

This time around the nurses proposed to take care of the baby in the nursery room during the night (They didn't propose me when Aelig was born and I didn't ask). For three nights they came to fetch the baby then sent her back three to four hours later for nursing. It was heaven as I could sleep for several hours straight without a crying baby beside.

I felt that my recovery from the birth was slower this time. It was very uncomfortable to move around. The first few days I felt dizzy after standing up, I didn't have this problem last time. One nurse told me that was normal as some of the organs were displayed during the pregnancy, it takes time for them to get back to their original position. Another new experience for me was the painful uterus contraction. One night after sending the baby to the nursing room, I was hoping for a good night sleep. I was waken up by a sharp pain from my stomach and couldn't sleep for the whole night. The doctor told me that it was uterus contraction, that women with more than one delivery will feel it stronger compare to the first one. The sharp pain came from time to time and I had to take a stronger form of painkiller to ease the pain.

I was happy and relief to have the single bedroom. It was important for me to be able to rest without being disturbed. It costed 70€ a day and it was fully paid by the insurance.

Baby diaper changing area.

Private bathroom attached to the room.

Once the baby was gaining enough weight, we asked to be discharged. We had to get approval from the pediatrician and my gynecologist. My gynecologist actually came to see me the fourth day while I was taking my breakfast, so she said she would pass by again the morning after. She came again at 8am but I was sleeping (after a long night fight with the baby), so she left. I went to see her after being discharged as her clinic was located at the same area.

As for the baby, she cried a lot during the stay, hubby came to help me out everyday. Anyway, we were happy to bring her home!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Hairdressing at home

Isn't it nice to have your hair done at the comfort of your own house? I heard about freelance hairdressing several years ago but have never tried it myself. Ok, I'm not talking about those under the table services but rather a legal professional hairdressing services.

We were having vacation in my in laws' house, and my MIL had an appointment with her hairdresser, at her own home. She suggested to trim Aelig's hairs. Her appointment would last for 2.5 hours and it would have 20 minutes break in between her treatment. I figured I could also use a haircut.

The hairdresser arrived on time. She started with mixing some colors for hair dying. Oh my I didn't know dying hair would take so much time. Anyway she managed to trim my hair and Aelig's during the break.

Charges : 58€ for hair dying, 11€ for trimming Aelig's hair. Free for me (she explained that she was using the break time so she didn't want to charge me).

Love the service and the reasonable fee.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Free calls to Malaysian land-lines and cellphones from France

Finally, my turn!

I know, our internet provider Free Telecom has offered free calls to cellphones in USA and China since long time ago, but Malaysia was not in the list.

Now Malaysia is included! Yes, I can call both land-lines (can do so since long time ago) and cellphones (beginning probably since July 4, 2014) for FREE!

Countries that are enjoying this free service include USA, Canada, Hawaii, China, Macao, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and many more.

For the complete list please refer to:

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Bad eating habits?

Even since Aelig was a baby, she follows the French eating habits : a meal every 4 hours. Basically, she has her breakfast around 8am, lunch around 12pm, snack around 4pm then dinner around 8pm. This is very different from my own habits as I can eat anytime anywhere. French parents in general discourage nibbling between meals. This is stated in Pamela Druckerman's Bébé Day by Day : 100 keys to French parenting. Pamela is an American journalist who currently lives in Paris, raising three kids. She observed and wrote some parenting books about how French raise their kids. Her books were translated into other languages including Mandarin, and they have been a bit in the parenting world.

Anyway, seeing that I eat all the times, she quickly asks to do the same. When she comes back from school, around 6:30pm, she would tell me that she is hungry. I consider that fruits are no harm and could be consumed at anytime, so I prepared a fruit basket so she can help herself whenever she wants.

One day she asked her dad's permission for a banana before dinner but it was refused. She then came to see me and I overruled her dad. This caused some tension between me and hubby. During dinner she didn't eat much and hubby blamed this on the banana she ate earlier. True, if she hasn't eaten that banana, she might have taken more food. But, I considered fruit as part of the meal and provided the same good nutrition.

On another occasion, Aelig was hungry and asked to eat between meal again. This time hubby gave her some bread. He told me that bread is allowed and it is the way it is. True, he eats bread at anytime. Now, the question is why nibbling on bread is ok while savoring fruit is not ok?

We have not come to any conclusion about this. I agreed that I need to stop Aelig from eating all those biscuits I bought (I miss salty biscuits as breakfast as French breakfast are usually sweet). I still think eating fruit between meal is ok but if she eats fruit and bread between meal then it would be too much.

There are many conflicting studies about eating. Some say eating frequently with smaller portion is better for the body, some say we should not eat between meals. Some indicate we should eat fruits at the beginning of a meal instead of having it as dessert. Asian don't have habit to eat bread during meal but French do it all the times. At the end, it really depends on each individual.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Caught and fined

I have heard various people hinting that they never pay while using the public transport in my city. Passengers are supposed to flash their transport card or punch their ticket once they step into the bus or tramway, or these days you can flash your cellphone where the tickets stored. However, some try their luck, they just climb up without paying.

One day hubby needed my car so I headed to an appointment with both girls in public transport. The tickets can last for one hour, on the way back, by the time we descended the tramway, the time was up, but I still had to take a bus which lasted only 5 minutes. Should I punch another ticket for myself and Aelig? I decided not to since it was just a short distance.

We just settled down in the bus, and we saw the man sitting in front of us getting off, but without success, as the door was shut. He looked very uneasy and sat back where he was. Aelig asked me why this man came back, I was at the point telling her a possible explanation, while three bus officers stood in front of us and asked me for my tickets. We didn't see them climbing up the bus because we sat opposite the driving direction.

No, they didn't fine me for the 5 minutes over the valid usage time, how nice of them. But, the man in front of us got caught. He said frankly that he didn't have any ticket on him. That costed him 46€. He didn't look sorry, but more feeling unlucky that he got caught.

I thought I would feel that he deserved it, but I was actually sympathy with him. His face expression made me felt sorry for what had happened, as if he just paid all he got on the fine. Poor him.