Thursday, 26 February 2009


One day while driving home, the Mrs suddenly mentioned that we should be more careful in taking care of ourselves now that we are parents of three. Maybe it was my driving that prompted her to think about this although I prefer to think that it was not.

The conversation then got interesting because she asked me if something were to happen to both of us tomorrow then what is going to happen to our three babies? Shouldn't we make a conscious decision now as to who should we entrust our babies to. This has been lingering at the back of my mind even till this day.

How do you decide who should be your kids’ guardian? What criteria must this person meet? What qualities must this person possess? Must this person be family?

If it is just one of us who are gone then this should not be an issue since the remaining party should be able to carry on parenting with the assistance and support from families and friends. Although I come from a very small family, only a sister actually, but I am very fortunate to have a couple of friends (more like bros) who I can count on. I know for a fact that should I be gone, they will render whatever assistance the Mrs may require while bringing up the kids over the years. Coincidentally all of us are the only son in the family so perhaps this fostered a brotherly bond amongst us. Take a bow guys! You deserved it!

Money should not be an issue with the amount of insurance coverage that I had bought for the two of us in case this should really happen. They should be taken care of in the monetary department. Now it is a matter of upbringing and whether this person is able and most importantly willing to look after the “Three Terrors”.

A condition that we insist on is the three of them must not be split up under any circumstances. I feel it is very important that they be brought up together which makes it even harder for the person to accept this responsibility.

I guess the obvious choice would have been family but all our parents are getting old so they will not have the energy to look after them. Don’t get me wrong though, they are the grandparents hence they are definitely playing a part in their upbringing. Next in line will be siblings. All our siblings have their own family and also their own issues (don’t we all) so it will not exactly be fair to impose the “Three Terrors” on them.

After that we only have good friends to consider but this group will prove even less likely since they are not obligated to take over no matter how good a friend they are.

This I believe is not something that we can come to a conclusion anytime soon. Furthermore both of us must agree to the appointment of this person which is always going to be tough if the names selection for the twins is anything to go by. However you can bet this time that there will not be a poll to help us decide.

Another thing that we should probably do is go to a lawyer and have a will drawn up. Please don’t mistaken us for millionaires but I learned that without a will it will only cause more inconvenience for the love ones you leave behind. They will not be able to access your bank accounts; it will take them months to get a hold of the title deed for the house and what about the disbursement of the insurance claim? I definitely do not want them to squander it all on a one year long round the world vacation. With the both of us gone, it will be helpful if the lawyers and guardian can see to it that only a certain amount is released to them periodically and enough of it is left for their education and living expenses.

While writing this post a movie came to mind, Raising Helen. Not sure any of you watched it since it is not a mega blockbuster with out of this world’s CGI. I find this show to be rather meaningful although it borderline on being a chick flick. In the show Helen was surprised by a letter to her from her dead sister explaining why she was chosen as her three kids' guardian. Maybe I will prepare a letter such as this too so our chosen one will be equally surprised unless of course there are volunteers now.


Friday, 20 February 2009


A little late with this post but I am sure all of you will understand and forgive me since Hayley is home with us. Those of you who are on my friends list in Facebook would have known by now. She was discharged on Sunday, 15th February after having spent 12 days in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We were there bright and early at about 10am to meet Dr K, her PD to discuss her progress and then confirm her coming home. It was such a happy occasion and Luke was there to help receive his sister home.

Maybe she knew we were all waiting for her to come home because the last 2 days leading up to her discharge she increased her milk intake from the bottle instead of relying heavily on the tube. The minimum requirement for her to come home was she must be able to drink from the bottle every feed. In order not to stress her out Dr K ordered her to be fed every 2 hours instead of 3 and I guess that helped.

The first day home was a little challenging for us especially during the night and early hours of the next morning. Luke is on a 3 hourly routine while Hayley is still sticking to her 2 hourly feed. What this means is that there are times when we have to feed every hour on the hour. This happened at 10pm (Hayley); 11pm (Luke) and midnight (Hayley) followed by 2am (Luke & Hayley) before we go back to 4am (Hayley); 5am (Luke) and 6am (Hayley). So there was hardly any sleep for the both of us on the first night.

I had to take leave from work the next day to try and help the Mrs establish a routine or system so that when I am back at work she and Ani can handle the 3 of them.

First thing to do will be to try and adjust Hayley to 3 hourly feed instead of 2 so that they can be fed ideally about half hour apart. This will be less taxing on us in the night. We did this by calculating the milk required for a 3 hourly routine and then see if she could finish the amount. Being the good girl that she is, she finished what we had prepared and it did last her for about 3 hours before she needed her milk again. We monitored this during the day and by evening we were confident she will be able to join Luke in a 3 hourly feed from then on. One problem solved.

As the Mrs is still not producing enough milk to sustain the both of them, we have opted to go for half breast milk and half formula for the 2 of them. They will be alternated between the two kinds of milk. I am glad and proud that the Mrs is open with the idea of giving them formula as well and not all banged up on total breast feeding. She has adopted the "provide what I can" attitude.

Having both of them home has caused confusion when it comes to feeding and changing diapers and knowing who pooped and who did not. Initially we will sat there and stared into the air trying to recall which of them drank formula and which was on the expressed breast milk. It is really quite hard to recall when we were preparing and feeding them so often. It is a little like trying to recall where I parked the car every morning. It is always the same carpark so sometimes I get confused with where I parked last night with 2 nights before (then again maybe this only happens to me). By evening of the 1st day that Hayley was back we decided to come up with a simple table for recording so that we can keep track of who drank which type of milk at what time and when were the diapers changed. Another problem solved.

So far the two of them have been rather easy to handle (knock on wood now everyone) just as expected since all they do are eat, sleep and shit. However there are times at night that they just will not sleep in the cot but will sleep soundly with us on the bed. In the Mrs's words, "it is like they are allergic to the mattress in the cot". The minute we put them down they will be tossing and turning before crying but when we carry them to our bed they can lie still and sleep on the mattress.

I was commenting one day that actually the twins are nice to us because they seemed to take turn to cry and demand to be carried at night. It was one twin this night and the other twin the next. It is as if one twin will tell the other the adventure he / she had on our bed the night before and the other twin will try his / her luck the next night. The Mrs was commenting that they can nicer if they will both be good and not demand to be carried at night. To which I replied we should be grateful they do not both cry and demand to be carried at the same time.

Speaking of crying and carrying and feeding, the last few days have been hard on the Mrs. Most of you who follow this blog will know that the Mrs is the kind of person that does not like to stay cooped up at home. Even during confinement she will go out for a short while now and then. This time it is not so easy anymore since we have twins. While she can just pick up a baby, be it Isaac or Luke, and head out for her shopping and running of errands, she simply cannot manage 2 babies. As a result she has been a little down lately.

I believe it is not easy since all she does the entire day is feed and change the twins and for most part of the day not leave the room. We tried to occupy her time by giving her projects such as planning the first month celebration for the twins and also to put up pictures on our wall but it did not exactly lift her spirit. I try to be home earlier than usual to take over the caring of the babies but I believe she needed a breather. She said that she is overwhelmed!

I was worried that she will get into a depression so last night we agreed that she was to take the car and go out in the evening when I’m home to do her groceries and whatever else she wants. This will hopefully provide her with a little breather. Since I can manage the twins’ feeding and bathing alone and Ani is there in case I needed assistance, I thought she deserved the little break from her mundane routine.

We will be out on Sat for Hayley’s review so I am hoping that we can do a bit more before we come home so the Mrs can get some fresh air and some sun.

On the lighter side of things, Hayley was very cranky last night from midnight till about 2.30am before we fed her so we did not get to sleep till about 3ish. After their feed at 6 in the morning it was Luke's turn to be cranky. Being sleepy and tired I decided to take the easier option and picked him up and brought him to sleep with me on the bed. In the morning when the Mr was up and she asked me which twin I had with me I told her it was Hayley.

Will take more photos of them and upload after their first month celebration.

Friday, 13 February 2009


First of all I would like to thank you all for your generous comments and congratulatory. You have actually set a record high for number of comments generated in a single post as well as hits in a single day.

There are a number of you who have posted your comments for the first time and like I said in my replies to you, please try not to wait for another birth announcement before you comment again because I have a really really strong feeling that it will probably not happen anymore. Three is really the max for us and like I said before in one of my earlier post, we do not preach accidents in the Tan family.

Speaking of replies, it did take me a while (3 attempts) but finally I managed to reply to each and every one of your comments. I do not believe I left out anyone no matter how long or short your comments are. It may be a little hard to trace my reply to your comment but they were replied in a chronological order.

One of the reasons this post took a while longer is also partly due to the fact that I wanted to reply to all your comments before I work on this. Largely it is due to my busy running around between home and hospital as well as managing my work and health. I was actually ill since Monday due to some flu virus.

Alright back to updating you all on the twins’ progress.

Luke was discharged on Monday after he showed that he is able to take to the bottle for all his feeds. He was about 2.3kg when he was discharged. The feeling was a little weird for me because for some reason I secretly wish that Luke can stay behind to accompany his sister and support her in her development. While I was happy that Luke is well enough to come home with us, I felt guilty leaving Hayley alone behind.

The Mrs is also struggling with this emotion and guilt. Since Luke's discharged we have been going to the hospital on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, to spend some time with Hayley and to support and encourage her. The Mrs initially wanted to breastfeed her but most of the time she is too tired or simply lack the energy to latch on.

In order not to stress and exhaust her too much we have decided to stop trying to latch her on. Instead the Mrs will feed the two of them half breast milk and half formula. So Luke will be alternated between latching on and taking the formula through the bottle. The Mrs will express whenever Luke is on the bottle and save them for Hayley. This is also part of the reason why we are heading to the hospital on a daily basis, to bring Hayley breast milk.

From her birth weight of 1.995kg she dropped to below 1.8kg but she is slowly catching up now. As of yesterday she weighed in at 1.855kg. Weight although important but is not the reason why she is not able to come home. She is only able to complete her feed from the bottle a few times a day with the remaining times through the tube.

After our discussion with the PD yesterday when Luke went for his review, we have decided to lower her intake each time but increase the frequency. So instead of 35ml every 3 hourly she is now on 25 ml every 2 hours. We are hoping that with the lower quantity she can at least get all her milk through bottle. When she eventually comes home we may have to stick to the same 2 hourly feed of smaller quantity which will be hard on the Mrs as it allows her little rest.

As for Luke or Twin I as he is known in the NICU, he is progressing well. He is downing 50ml of milk with some of his feed already which leaves Hayley more to catch up.

It is almost like clockwork with Luke. He will almost wakes up every 3 hourly demanding for his milk. Sometimes he may be slightly earlier or an hour later. We are basically taking turns to feed him although the Mrs has to be up even though I’m the one feeding him and no it is not because she needs to supervise me in case some of you are wondering. When I feed Luke through the bottle she will have to wake up to express for Hayley.

After a little revision with the Mrs I believed we have re-established the method to bath Luke. I am again tasked with bathing him and eventually Hayley as well but I am not complaining except for belly button bit. I am really not very comfortable with the cleaning of the area surrounding what’s left of the umbilical cord. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.

So far (knocking on wood), Luke is proving to be just like Isaac, a rather easy to care for baby. Oh and of course the similarity does not stop as there as most of you have pointed out.

This is Luke when he learned that he is coming home with us.
This is Isaac when he learned that he will have 2 siblings to play with in 15 month's time.

Last but not least the Mrs. She is doing so well and since we have to run about sorting things out for the twins, she has basically thrown her confinement out the window, not that we practice much in the first place. Those of you new to this blog may wish to check out how she did her last unconfined-ment here.

A little illustration on how well the Mrs is doing. She is sending me to work and then she will be driving the car to run whatever errands she needs to run. As she needs the lactician to assist her so she will also drive herself to Mt E. Oh, I should also add that she was running to and fro the hospital with Luke in tow most of the time.

I was just commenting how I am not used to her moving about so quickly now. At times she was even walking faster than me. It is good to see her almost back to her old self and being able to sleep. I think she will truly heal once Hayley is united with us.

She mentioned last night that it is always very hard whenever all of us, Ani and Isaac included visit Hayley only to leave the hospital without her.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


In life we can only plan so much and hope that everything will fall into place. However many a time things will turn out quite differently and sometimes they will make a slight detour but still manage to find its way back into your plan.

Yesterday we went to Thompson Medical Centre to have Dr C perform another growth scan for the twins. This was supposed to be the final one so that Dr N will know if we will perform the LSCS today or they can wait a little while longer.

The scan results showed the twins to be in good condition. Blood flow to them was good and the placentas were doing well also. There was enough water in the bag for them and their estimated weight was about 2.1kg each. According to Dr C we should probably try and wait for another week or two if we could so that the twins could further develop their organs and gain more weight.

The Mrs was a little disappointed to hear this cause we had our mind set for our LSCS today so the thought of delaying for another week or two didn't quite appeal to her. I think the lack of sleep and contractions were finally getting to her. Her tummy (see picture from earlier post) was really a little small for the 2 of them to maneuver in there so she felt them 24 x 7.

Anyway the final decision would have to wait till we had our discussion with Dr N. So once we were back at Mount E, we proceeded to do the CTG and coincidentally Dr N just had a delivery so he popped in to check on the Mrs. We showed the growth scan reports and after another round of VE it was found that the Mrs was 5cm dilated and his fingers could actually touch the leading twin's head.

We had to complete the CTG so Dr N went back to his clinic first to check with the PD if we should have the twins taken out based on all facts presented. We met up again in his office after the CTG and were informed that the recommendation was to proceed with the LSCS as planned. Dr N preferred for us not to wait till the last moment in case the leading twin decides to wait no more since he was already deeply engaged. Should he decide to come out we would have a problem because Hayley was in transverse position. To play it safe it was better to have the C-section and have the 2 of them removed in a controlled environment and condition.

We were sent to carry out our pre-admission and also to do some blood tests before we head home for the final preparation. The Mrs had to fast starting from midnight and we had to check in by 6 the next morning, 4 hours before the operation.

So this was it folks! The moment we had all been waiting for. Maybe it was not our first time we were not as excited. Perhaps it was because the Mrs was going under the knife hence we were a little worried and anxious.

When I woke up at 5.30 this morning to get ready I was surprised to find the Mrs preparing and watching season 3 of Grey's Anatomy at the same time. Maybe she was preparing herself mentally for what was to come........ not! She just could not sleep so she continued watching from where she left off.

So we drove to the hospital and I even managed to steal an hour or so of sleep before we were asked to go to the operating theater. I could not be there when she was administered the epidural. I had to change and then wait in the delivery suite and they came to get me once they were about to start.

I saw part of the preparation and just when Dr N was about to start, a nurse use a cloth to block my direct view of the procedure. She said that it was best for me not to watch as it might be a little too traumatic for me. Hmmm..... doesn't she know how to deal with boys? You never say "no" because it only make us want it even more. So I had to sit upright the whole time to see what was going on.

I remembered the Mrs asking me what was burning and when I turned to check I told her "you don't want to know". Her tummy was blocking most of my view since they were operating at the bottom of the tummy so I could see mainly the arc only. However I could still see the scalpel cutting the Mrs and there was smoke and burning smell coming from there.

The rest of it is a little hard to describe in words so I will let the below pictures do the story telling.

Disclaimer: If you are uncomfortable with blood or cannot watch shows like Saw I, II, III & IV or Grey's Anatomy and Nip / Tuck then I will strongly suggest that you scroll down fast with your eyes covered and skip to the picture of the twins!!! I will not be held responsible should you experience any discomfort or suffer from nightmares from the pictures and the descriptions.
Last warning!!

This is the Mrs's upper tummy being held back by some tools which were tied to the bed over her head.

Boy Twin is out and Dr N cutting the umbilical cord

This is Girl Twin coming out from the womb

Girl Twin leaving the womb

Boy Twin being cleaned up

Girl Twin being cleaned up

Meet Luke Tan weighing in at 2.425kg

Meet Hayley Tan weighing at 1.995kg

According to the PD the twins will most likely go home only when they reach the 36th week which is next Monday. Meantime most people will not be able to visit them as they are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Right now the twins are doing fine and are able to breathe on their own. Blood test results will be back after 2 days then we will know their health conditions better.

Thanks for all your support, encouragements and advices during the last 30 plus weeks!