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ah- baby’s asleep. finally. after what seemed like a hectic playtime, the little boy’s finally resting. now it’s time to clean up, bathe, cook and do every work i’ve got left to finish up before he wakes up”

and then i’d reach for my laptop, open the browser and begin typing out online stores’ websites, where i’d finally end up clicking the button, “check out”.

i’m guilty of this- shopping for clothes as a way to release stress. it’s actually nothing wrong, though. i need clothes for shows, for interviews, for appearances and basically for anything that requires me to look appropriate. however- it’s the storage that’s an issue!

our house is packed with clothes. i even have to keep them over at my mom’s place. my husband’s got tonnes of clothes since his youthful days, and here i am, during mine, collecting clothes myself.

i’ve been purchasing clothes, and feeling so satisfied once its arrived at my doorstep. i’d happily open the packages up, and have images of when to wear them, and what to wear them with.

i guess it’s not entirely something i should feel guilty about. after all the mothering i’m doing, i do think i deserve some time being myself, pursuing my career and walking my specific style while i’m at it, no?

what about you, what do you guys think?

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excuse me, miss. my toy’s on the other side

hidayat drags himself around everywhere nowadays. that’s practically all he does whenever we place him anywhere around the house. of course we try our best to refrain him from crawling on carpets (basically because of his skin condition). he loves being pulled up to sit and stand, with support. i would sometimes hang his arms over my hands at knee-length, and walk him around the house- step by step. he absolutely loves it. however, he absolutely detests sitting down. still unsure whether it’s because he still has issues trying to balance himself while he’s sitting up, or whether he’s just too curious and active that he always ends up toppling as he tries to reach out for a toy (or anything he could grasp).

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recently he’s started having rough spots close to his mouth and nose area. i’ve been rather paranoid about it, afraid it might flare up and end up becoming another eczema case but part of me says it might just be a little rash from all his drooling.

till next time!

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hidayat: the eczema expedition iv

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peekaboo!

after what seemed like a whole decade, he’s finally progressed. a whole lot. i’m feeling extremely thankful, for the fact that he’s no longer scratching his face, rubbing his face onto our clothes, finding every opportunity to take a quick-scratch whenever our hands are off his, and fighting his way out of his swaddle.

so here’s a recap of how to manage your kid’s eczema:

  • find it’s source. is it his gut? does he have a leaky gut? then fix his gut. pre, probiotics, lay off gluten and sugary food. any food intolerance/s? doctors will ask you to lay off the usual: egg, nuts and cow’s milk- but how certain are you that it has to be one of the common causes? i’ve heard of cases in which the baby’s intolerance is towards something as basic as wheat, and in most cases, even rice. as how common shellfish may also be classified into the ‘common food intolerance’ group, some are very well allergic to chicken and certain vegetables. what about environmental allergens? does your kid flare up when exposed to smoke (cigarette smoke’s the worst by the way, not only for eczema kids)? smoke from hawker stalls? could it be something simple, as simple as dustmites? should your kid lay off the carpet (DUST TRAP #1)? should you start clearing out those supposedly sentimental-valued possessions that have actually been collecting dust?
  • moisturize. moisturize all your might, and make sure to patch test before applying any type of moisturizer. find moisturizers that are free of harmful chemicals and preferrably ones without fragrance. can’t list ’em down here, but everybody’s favourite buddy Google would do the trick.
  • don’t bathe them too long/too often. i’d lay off from using soap, since some soaps irritate their skin. i’m currently using qv’s bath oil and so far it’s been working well on hidayat. some mommies are taking the organic way, and some have the time to concoct their own products for bathing/moisturizing. once you’re done bathing them, don’t wipe their body dry. dab it. *dab*
  • prevent them from scratching. it’s almost totally impossible, but when there’s a will, there’s a way.
  • be hygienic. change their bedsheets/covers every other day. vacuum up. don’t simply chuck their wipes or hankies everywhere and use it by dabbing/rubbing onto their skin later on. dropped their toy somewhere on the floor? wipe/wash it before letting them play it again. yeah, it’s fine if your kid hasn’t got eczema, for them to be exposed to a lot of germs to strengthen their immunity but in the case of eczema, you may never know what germ’s infested his/her toy, and has got onto his/her skin (or maybe this is just the germaphobe side of me talking??? can’t blame me though, hidayat’s eczema expedition has taken a toll on my paranoia :’D).
  • hydrate. keep them hydrated always. make sure they try their best to drink, any form of liquid (so long as it’s clean). they don’t like plain water? give them juices or anything else that they don’t mind ingesting. soup maybe?
  • love them. shower them with plenty of love. put yourself in their shoes and understand from their point of view: the agony of having to withstand the prickling painful itch. the burning sensation (especially like those, unlucky enough to have eczema affecting their cheeks). stress only makes things worst. it makes their eczema flare up, in fact. talk to them gently. try to discipline them in ways that are least stressful. yeah. i know. easier said than done, but better to prevent than to treat.

progressively as they grow in age i guess it’s best to expose them to germs/activities that would strengthen their immunity, but if they’re babies like hidayat, then better to take all the preventive measures and only post risk when they’ve got a stronger immune system (it strengthens with age). if things are getting worst and preventive measures have been taken- yet the red insists it stays; head over to the hospital. some infected eczema needs treatment. antibiotics, antifungals and whatnot, which could only be determined & prescribed by medical professionals. from my experience though, take note, the dosage of steroid (if prescribed topically or orally) given, whether it’s too strong of a steroid level for your kid’s eczema. learn how to properly apply it (apply it thinly! AS THIN AS POSSIBLE!), and how to taper it down. i understand and was once told to abruptly stop the usage of steroid once the flare has calmed down, but that was exactly my mistake: abruptly discontinuing the use of steroid. read up about ‘tapering down steroids’ or even better, ‘tapering down (insert specific name of steroid medicine)’. learn. don’t be lazy to read. when i stopped using steroids on hidayat abruptly, the next time he flared up it was twice as bad as the previous flare-up. turns out his skin was addicted to the steroid, hence, steroid dependency, and the need to taper it down.

i guess that’s about it. i’m no medical advisor or professional, but i sure as hell went through a lot to understand what eczema basically is, and how to basically treat it. i hope my experience as a mother of an eczema kid would help other mothers (who may have stumbled upon this blog during their 3-4am eczema-cure-research) out there treat their kid’s eczema.

below are a list of local groups i’d suggest joining for you to get more information about eczema and how to deal with it:

i’ve got to thank all the doctors, mothers and sufferers in the above groups, for sharing all their knowledge and experiences in treating/overcoming eczema inside out. go check the groups out, be diligent enough to read their documents, and search for keywords like “QV” or “weepy eczema”, “0.9% saline solution” or “klinik dr noh”, if you need to understand anything you may have trouble understanding from articles, or even post up questions, if needed. everyone there are suffering from the same thing, so imagine how supportive they are and how resourceful they could be!

to top it all off, keep up the prayers & believe that in any way, God’s always watching & helping you through it ❤

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hidayat: the eczema expedition iii

as i’d mention previously, hidayat hasn’t fully healed from his eczema, basically because the boy won’t fully heal from it until his immunity strengthens.

i’ve been meaning to continue with my studies or start a full-time job, but i don’t seem to see any improvement in his eczema everytime i leave him to run my errands. don’t think i should start anything that’d take 12 hours of my time away from him while he desperately needs me in this phase of his life.

hidayat’s getting stronger though. he wakes himself up in the middle of the night, trying to roll around. i can’t let him out of his swaddle because he takes every opportunity he can to scratch his face whenever his limbs are free. i still get people questioning my decision to swaddle him, but in my place, i’d rather a slow physical development than continuously trying to calm him down when he wakes up, screaming & all covered in blood in the middle of the night.

it’s been quite a challenge, trying to manage his eczema even when it seems to be gradually recovering. i’ve tried my best, and i’m still trying my best to decide what to and not to do when it comes to healing him inside out; but i guess He’s telling me that it’s just not time for him to heal just yet.

i also think it’s pretty normal that a mother starts comparing her baby’s development with other babies & the general milestones, but in hidayat’s case, i’m glad that i’d successfully psychologically convinced myself that he’ll develop in time, however long it may take. besides, it’s just eczema, kan?

i know other mothers who struggle with worst conditions, and as i’ve mentioned before, you mothers out there definitely deserve all the love you could get to keep you going, so here’s some tough love for you mommies out there: ❤

no doubt, i occasionally shed a tear or two whenever hidayat seems restless and fussy from all the swaddling when in fact, all he wants at the moment is to be free, rolling around, trying to sit up and whatnot. poor boy wishes he could practise & be like other kids but then i’m lucky enough to have family members who continuously remind me that it’s okay to swaddle him up so long as he doesn’t hurt himself even more from all the scratching. not that i swaddle him 24/7 though, i only swaddle him for naps & for his night’s sleep..

to those of you praying for us, thank you so much, and i hope you keep praying for us! till next time-

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hidayat: the explorer

when people ask me, “what can your son do now?” my mind automatically makes a cartwheel, trying to recollect the things he can do in a sequential manner. what can he do now?

he’s about to enter his seventh month, and other babies should already be sitting unassisted for at least 30 or few seconds. hidayat can’t seem to sit unassisted for even ten seconds yet.

he can be on his tummy for quite a long while, fifteen to twenty minutes tops- until he starts attempting to scratch his face. he tries his best to push himself up, not really there yet but his butt’s up occasionally.

his grip is pretty extremely strong. you can’t get him out of the bath without having another person muster all their strength to open his grip, gently enough as to not cause any pain to him because i tell you, his grip is extremely strong.

he blabs. he babbles, and shrieks, but he doesn’t really talk as much. he jumps when have his feet on the ground, and i can say that he’s pretty much physically a tough baby.

i guess i can’t say his development is above average, but he’s prolly on track. alhamdulillah for that! not surprised if he starts crawling in no time.

now let’s see.. where do mommies get objects for babyproofing? hmm..

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hidayat: the eczema expedition ii

during raya last year, my aunties were going all, “you should sleep now before your baby’s born! after that, there’s no full-night of sleep for you until he goes to school!”. i believed in it, and the night hidayat came into this world, i knew what i had to expect from then onwards.

with him having eczema though, it’s prolly a tad bit e x t r a in comparison to having a normal baby.

despite having eczema, my baby’s pretty active. he’d jump from one person to another, try his best to reach out for everything within his grasp, and attempt to pull it into his mouth for a little taste (or gumless bite): practically marking his territory on every single item in the house (you name it, the tip of chairs, mirrors, the floor, pillows, everything). all in all, he’s been getting on pretty well, being a baby.

his development may not be as quick as i’d expected it to be. he started turning/rolling over, both sides, at 3 months. when the eczema kicked in though, everything became slow.

up until today, i still bundle him up with a swaddle (up to his knees) so that he wouldn’t end up bleeding in the morning from all the scratching in his sleep. i still have to monitor him during tummy time incase he gets frustrated, then, resulting in another scratching fit. he practically scratches his face whenever he gets frustrated, angry, hungry or sad.

it’s really tough, having to watch his development being slightly stunted due to all these restrictions. he can’t be left on the floor for tummy time more than two minutes, he still has to put his mittens on occasionally too, hence, the fact that he still looks at his hands and fingers in awe whenever we remove his mittens.

to all the mothers of babies without eczema, be grateful. however cranky, demanding or quiet your baby may be, just be grateful you’ve got a normal baby. to those who are in the same place as i am (and even those with tougher conditions), i suppose all we need is faith and a lot of perseverance. we can do this 🙂

as for hidayat’s current routine, i’m on a roll. being a desperate mom, i joined tonnes of facebook groups for mothers with eczema babies, read up a whole lot about eczema and its causes, the types, the remedies and thank goodness, i found a ‘remedy’.

it’s called: remdii. you can read up about it by clicking the link. formulated by local researches, specifically ideated by Dr Lai OiMing whose son had terrible eczema. initially, when i’d stumble upon it while conducting my research at 4am, i was a bit skeptical about trying it out- but when i glanced over to all the creams i had lined up on my table, fact was: none of them are actually working. the moogoo msm? funny story. my probably-still-pregnant-brain went an left it in the breastfeeding room at kpj damansara whilst changing and reapplying the creams on hidayat’s face. so i scrapped the moogoo routine.

i thought to myself: all, or nothing.

so i went ahead with it. bought it through one of their agents and decided to try it out. the moment the remdii arrived at our doorstep, i immediately tried it out.

patch tested it on his ankle and saw no negative reaction to it after 24 hours, so i proceeded with his routine. with remdii, my routine on hidayat’s face would be as so:

  • if he scratches it (accidentally? purposely? whichever fits, so long as it’s wet or weeping), it would be necessary for me to dab a cloth over the weepy area, then, dab 0.9% saline solution using a gauze or cotton pad, allllllll over the weepy areas (only), as often as i could, until the weepy area becomes dry. the reason as to why 0.9% saline solution is crucial in terms of treating weepy eczema is because the saline solution assists his skin in providing a preferable and optimum environment, as to expedite the repairing that’s going on, hence, why it dries out all the oozing water.
  • once the weepy area becomes dry, start on the remdii routine:
    – apply vaseline all over the dry areas
    – apply remdii all over the applied areas
    note: if it’s weepy even after remdii is applied, repeat the saline, vaseline & remdii cycle.
  • the vaseline + remdii routine should be applied every 2 hours, and extended to 3 hours once he’s healed.

as to my surprise, hidayat’s skin miraculously improved within one month over! of course, it comes with other preventive measures such as my extra-discipline gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free diet with tonnes of greens and omega3. i started taking more vitamins and supplements, took probiotic supplements to help with hidayat’s gut and tried my best to keep his bedsheets (or where i lay him for bed) clean by having it changed often (1-2 days).

i admit, it’s been excruciatingly tough for me, but i guess with all that’s happened, i could say that i gained a whole lot of experience in handling an eczema baby. he’s still not fully healed, and he still has red spots and patches all over his face when i don’t moisturize him in time, and when he scratches his face, but what’s most important is: i know how to have it controlled.

there’s no true shortcut to managing eczema (especially when a super active baby’s having eczema, not only on the knooks and crannies of his body, but his face), so i’ve managed to learn how to stay calm whenever an outbreak or a flare up occurs.

i don’t mind being physically challenged by eczema, but what’s been heartbreaking for me is the fact that i can’t even plant a kiss on my own son’s cheeks. all my life i’ve been imagining, planting a kiss on my baby’s cheeks every morning, afternoon, evening, night, and whenever necessary (this imagination pretty much faded away when i was going through the takmo kawen phase though ehe). other mothers can easily kiss their children’s soft, supple and normal cheeks, but here i am, wishing i can plant a kiss on my son’s red cheeks without him wanting to scratch it right after.

it’s alright. maybe one day, Godwilling, when he grows out of it. i know, now, to plant as many kisses as i can, every single time i get to.

inshaaAllah.

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