hidayat: the eczema expedition i

ever felt so helpless, you just end up praying to Him nonstop for something to happen, and for time to move as fast as it could?

this was exactly what i’d felt the night my son couldn’t stop waking up every hour, screaming in pain. his face, flaring red, flaky, dry and all swelled up. his scream was one i’d never heard before- it was all too painful to bare.

at that point i felt like the worst mother anyone could ever have.

i would race to the sink and wet my hands, then dab his whole face with water. he’d then be smothered with virgin coconut oil, still screaming as i sob to myself, trying to calm him down. he only nurses back to sleep, for the comfort, i figured.

baby’s eczema requires the parents’ diligence in the maintenance of his or her skin. i was foolish enough not to notice the signs before it worsened.

what i could’ve done was to keep on moisturising him every hour, and to make sure his drool didn’t get all over his face (my son drools a whole lot- he’d probably fill the whole 1L of waterbottle if i could get it all; and with eczema, it worsens everything). he rubs his face when his skin is dry- i should’ve stopped him, and kept his skin moisturized.

fact is that i was initially extremely clueless, about eczema. i never had it as a baby, and grew up never really knowing what it was until my nephew had a bad case of it (and still, all i knew about it was the fact that eczema sufferers itch a crazy whole lot at the folds of their skin, and that it’s triggered by a few allergens, be it environmental or orally consumed).

i was not aware of the fact that eczema on babies could actually affect their faces too.

when he started having light red faded spots around his cheek, i was told that it was a case of “ruam susu”, like any typical person or mother would diagnose it as. so i did what i was told for it to mellow down- dab him with a damp cloth or wash his face after a feed, try my best not to nurse him while i lay down at night, and to apply things like bedak sejuk, baby oil and whatnot.

none of it worked. it just got worst.

so the night that it became so bad, i decided to bring him to the hospital as an ’emergency case’. i wasn’t aware of the fact that KPJ Damansara only brings you to meet GPs for emergency cases, and that there wasn’t even one single paed oncall on sundays.

the GP wanted to prescribe us aqueous cream for his face.

you see, we had aqueous cream. used it as told, and it worsened. of course, i then read up, only to find out that it contained some sort of detergent. mana la kulit budak tu tak jadi semakin teruk?

so we decided to pass the aqeuous cream and went back home, still, not knowing what to do whenever he screamed (and at that point of time it was in intervals of half an hour, with a lot of attempted-facerubbing and scratching in between).

tell me what creams have we not tried?

when we went to the paed derm, he was given a 1% hydrocortisone cream (obviously, any doctor would prescribe a steroid cream for his raging inflammation) and a fucidin h (antibacterial + steroid cream) for his raw weeping open wound (currently on his left cheek, after countless of scratching and rubbing).

thank goodness i’d read up about TSW (topical steroid withdrawal) and decided not to use it for a long time. i’m hoping that my method of tapering down the steroid usage would eventually lessen the impact of TSW on him, regardless of the fact that we only used steroids on him for about two weeks so far.

i wanted to totally stop the steroid usage but after reading so many cases of TSW happening after immediate stop, i decided that i should taper it down instead, and go for something natural to moisturise him during the TSW process.

even much earlier before his eczema got worst, i read up about moogoo and decided to buy their irritable skin balm & MSM soothing cream. therefore i thought that this would be the best time to try em out.

the irritable skin balm, when applied during his itchy-moments, kind of made him look redder & caused him to flare up. so i passed, and decided to only use the MSM soothing cream on him (because so far it’s been quite a big help. around a week of using it and he seems to be improving).

his red flares are slowly lessening, and whatever redness that started spreading during times of stress, also started to lessen.

ag’s friend suggested using ceradan because his baby cleared up after using ceradan. helped us get one for hidayat & i’m applying it at spots aside from the wounded areas.

as for the wounded weepy areas, i would dab it dry using a napkin, then i’d use a cotton pad, dip it into 0.9% saline solution and religiously dab on em as often as i could, so that the germs & bacteria infecting the area would just buzz off (ye ah sibuk kot nak infect ey kalau aku boleh tukar size jadi mini mini macam depa aku dah pi cepuk sekoq sekoq) – also for the wound to close up & heal much faster.

i also joined a few facebook groups for eczema sufferers. the best decision i’d ever made in the history of hidayat’s eczema.

there are just so many stories & advices over there! also, it made me feel really grateful for the fact that my baby’s still, alhamdulillah, sort of manageable, in comparison to what other mommies are going through (you go, girls! be strong! we can do this!).

from these groups, i figured out a few more moisturizers that they were using, and the proper way to treat wounds, weeping oozing eczemas & how to heal eczema inside out.

apparently eczema’s caused by a leaky gut (?), therefore i went over to my mom’s neighbourhood pharmacy to get myself some probiotics to help hidayat with his gut (and even mine). i’ve also been on a super strict eczema diet, excluding anything that may be causing my baby to flare up or causing his eczema to spread.

so far i’ve been avoiding:

wheat, excessive sugar & salt, eggs, cow’s milk, gluten, nuts, bananas, heaty spicy food, noodles, chicken, beef, tomatoes, shellfish, seafood that are common triggers like prawns and whatnot, also certain fish that aren’t advisable.

practically everything.

i’m basically having just rice, fried dory/salmon/tenggiri, and vegetables for every single meal (thank goodness i’m staying over at my mom’s temporarily while i try to heal hidayat inside-out).

not complaining though. anything for him to recover- and with this diet, i’ve gone down 6kgs :’)

just purchased a bottle of renew intensive therapy lotion after bumping into a lady at the pharmacy, whose son had also, a terrible case of eczema on his cheeks. she claimed to have had a tough time finding the right product for her son and said that the renew lotion worked wonders on him.

so far i’ve had these products on hidayat, that didn’t really do much:

buds (doesn’t work at all)

tropika baby vco (worked in the earlier months when his eczema wasn’t bad and flaring)

medetop vco (which mama bought, but i decided to stop using it because i started on moogoo)

physiogel (stopped using it……. don’t know why?)

cetaphil (didn’t work on him)

moogoo irritable skin balm (worsened his itch)

ceradan (ongoing, lets see how)

moogoo msm soothing cream (super slow, but showing signs of improvement)

the saline solution is a wonderful aid by the way. desperate mommies with wounded eczema babies should definitely dry their wounds up with this.

at the mo my routine for hidayat’s face is as so:

– ceradan on red areas (excluding wounded areas)

– saline solution wherever required (sometimes new wounds come up because he scratches his face)

– fucidin h on wound

– wait twenty minutes to half an hour before re-dampening his face

– apply moogoo msm cream

whenever required throughout the day, i’d just dampen his skin (either with a towel or simply with a clean damp hand), and reapply the moogoo msm cream. he’d look all fresh, still red and saddening, but he’s all happy, free from his itch (until he starts rubbing his face again after two hours zz).

i’ve also been drinking rooibos tea three times in a day, just so that he gets it in his milk. google up the benefits of this non-caffeinated tea and you’ll understand (also, yay i get to drink tea again!).

having a baby with a rather moderate-severe case of eczema is tough. of course, anyone without a baby who’s experiencing such pain and agony, wouldn’t understand how tough it is, but i hope everyone would pray for hidayat’s recovery.


to everybody (mommies, daddies with experience in eczema babies) who suggested us creams, ointments & lotions for him, thank you so so so very much. when one doesn’t work, we’ll try out another. Godbless you all!

lets see how things go from now onwards. ikhtiar, usaha, doa, tawakkaltualAllah.

Posted in eczema, family time, hidayat | Leave a comment

the tiger

it was around eight fourty in the morning when i was seated at the dining table over at my parents’ house. daddy was having his breakfast, while i sat drinking a warm cup of rooibos tea. in the background, the sweet sound of our maid, bik ana, bathing my son who was splish-splashing all the way.

i had a tough night, the night before. waking up about four times to comfort a crying baby who was having a tough time dealing with his itchy nightmare is not an easy job. not one i’d even agree to receive rm10k for.

i sat sipping my tea, looking over at my dad whose skin was already saggy, thin and veiny. it felt somewhat nerve wrecking, knowing that who he once was, but i’ve always felt like my dad was a big mystery.

God knows how many crimes he’s judged, and all the things he’s solved in the past. my mother’s been planning to write a book on him and all his experiences- kinda looking forward to it, since i’ve lost track of the cases he’s judged and solved in the eighty years of his lifetime.

i continued my stare-a-thon at my father, his hair, a monochromatic work of art. deep down, i wanted to ask him to tell me a story about any of the cases he’s ever solved and judged- those really spooky ones too, even.

he cleared his throat and there i was back in reality. what was he going to say?

“hidayat suka daddy nyanyi lagu bismillah alhamdulillah. hi hih hih”

i guess that’s it. he’s always daddy to all his children, always tokwan to his grandchildren, and i guess i’ll only ever know or read all his past from the book mama writes down- tu pun only if she manages to complete compiling everything.

Posted in family time, thoughts | Leave a comment

two thousand and seventeen

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.29.31 PM

a little something i did for our first anniversary last tenth of december, teehee

you know what i honestly miss about two thousand seventeen?

the freedom i had. ok. not really. contradicting statement right there because i wasn’t really free enough- technically, because i had to watch out for a baking baby inside my womb; it’s honestly what most, if not all, new mothers miss, i’m sure of that.

having a new baby is an undeniably unforgettable experience. imagine: waking up to a loud shriek coming from a baby who’s trying to poop beside you in the morning, and if you’re lucky, you don’t get poop all over the bed; waking up to the sound of your baby gasping for milk; and what i love most, waking up the same time your baby does, turning your head to see two big eyes staring back at you followed by a gummy smile (or grin) flashing back at you, brighter than the sun outside, on those calm days.

i never regret having my baby, and i knew, to any extent of pain i’d gone through to deliver him, it was all worth it.

what i miss in two thousand seventeen though, is the freedom i had without worrying about mini husband+i.

i miss travelling. i miss being mobile. i miss deciding for myself, and having my husband decide for just the both of us. i miss going around, just the two of us, or just by myself.

i miss having a schedule that i would be able to take control of myself, for example: waking up at any time of the day, knowing what i want to do and actually executing my morning face-wash routine. i would go down and be able to cook my husband and i “nasi goreng” and watch whatever was on tv until he has to go for work (if he even has any on that day). we’d be able to go out for lunch or dinner at any time of the day, and hang out drinking green tea latte at TAPAK. we’d then head back home, settle down and watch any new movies (downloaded ones of course) on tv and doze off at our own will.

none of baby-worrying, such as: waking up with limited time to stretch around because once your baby wakes up, you wake up too, and you gotta make sure you get that bath ready ASAP just so the warm water doesn’t cool down and so he doesn’t fuss if we wait too long that he ends up becoming sleepy again (and with sleepiness comes fuss, with fussiness, the whole diaper-changing table becomes a boxing ring for both baby and parent of the day). no having to control what i eat incase he develops a rash on his face or incase he becomes airy. airy is also another equivalent to fussiness, so. hmm.

here i am missing so much of my freedom, and i have yet to reach the eating, crawling, walking, running, climbing and throwing everything onto the floor phase.

but it’s never wrong for a mother to miss being nothing else but her, and just herself, no?

like i said.

i miss being myself, and i miss being me, but missing just what it is- missing. i miss it, but given the opportunity to travel back in time to live it again in exchange for my precious little being, i wouldn’t trade it for anything.

i love being a wife, and now, a mother. no matter how overwhelming it may be at times of hardship, i would never trade my current position, for the world.

that’s what i miss, but as two thousand seventeen becomes what’s past, what i miss too, shall pass.

Posted in thoughts | Leave a comment

ma cherie

to eternity (and siblings? hopefully! pray mama moves on from her traumatic memory of delivering you, if you want any), and beyond.

i can’t even explain how much i love you, despite all the back-pain & sleepless nights of frequent night feedings and rocking you back to sleep.

i hope you learn to self-soothe early & eventually come to terms with sleeping on a different bed this year, because boy oh boy have you no idea how jittery i get everytime we go to bed at night in fear of rolling onto your arm (especially with you being able to roll around yourself now)?

to more adventures ahead- you, me, us & papa.

Posted in hidayat | Leave a comment

a soul, my mate

ever had a soulmate who was never meant to be a permanent fixture in your book of life?

i have.

i’d like to keep his real name to myself, but let’s just call him A- standardised sangat, macam those psychologist-advice columns in real digest issues kan?

what’s a soulmate, to you?

do soulmates necessarily have to be a person of the opposite gender, who eventually turns out to be your lifetime partner? i’d beg to differ.

i met one soulmate of mine sometime ago, and he was initially someone that i’d never had the slightest though, would leave a big impact in my life. no, he was never a lover, but there’s simply something about him which makes me feel like everything’s complete.

his presence exclaims happiness, joy and comfort. it’s like every single time he’s around, i feel the same comfort that resonates from smelling my mom’s scent on her kain batik, during my confinement period- or in common situations, like how chocolate’s known to be a form of comfort food.

yeah, he can be chocolate too then.

back to the point- i personally think that there can never just be one soulmate. soulmates are everywhere, and in the case of soulmates, it doesn’t take one to use all their time and energy trying to dig deep enough into one’s soul, to know that they’re soulmates.

in my case, we clicked after just two to three conversations the first few days after we met.

i’d like to think of him as a friend. a real close one, regardless of how short the period of time that we’d spent together. we seldom meet now, but there’s something about him that makes me naturally feel comfortable enough to talk like we’ve never had gaps in our days.

we can relate to each other’s talents and skills, we can laugh at the same videos, the same jokes and the same pranks, we have ideas that somehow are acceptable when voiced out to one another, and for some reason we never feel like there should be a barrier between each other in terms of sharing our thoughts and experiences-

but that was it. we were never lovers, nor did we even have strong feelings for each other. we just clicked, but as mates.


nowadays whenever i come across him, his work or even his name, i smile, feeling the same warmth i usually do at the thought of him. even now.

but that’s about it. we’re just soulmates, and by mates, i really mean soulfriends.

my husband’s one of them too, and so are a few of my other girl friends.

what about you? what do you think a soulmate actually means?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

what’s on the menu today?

truth be told, i haven’t cooked for almost a whole year.

do you know how saddening it is, to look at all the good food people are cooking and here you are, having to eat foodpanda all day?–

just kidding! i’ve been enjoying myself. of course i miss cooking, no doubt about that but who doesn’t enjoy the delish food (with the option to feed your buds: western? malay? fusion? you name it) they’re getting everyday? i would do anything to get back to cooking, honestly (i think i may even be a little rusty, especially now that there are certain foods i’d have to refrain from cooking/eating).

“hold up- why ain’t you cookin?” you ask?

you know. the usual. baby’s a tad bit extra affectionate, hence the fact that he’s basically twenty four seven in my arms. can’t be caught dead with baby’s face smothered in flour, oil and piercing chilli stains, smelling like garlic whenever somebody comes over, no?

my baby’s a tad bit vocal (not surprised, looking at how many times i’ve been replaying bruno mars’ songs over and over again while baby was happily in my womb)- i’d like to classify him as someone who’s rather.. passionate, and firm about his wants and needs. this personality however, contributes to the fact that i may continue to never have time to cook. well, not at least until he manages to sit up by himself, stay awake much longer, soothe himself to sleep and entertain himself for at least two to three hours without getting into a fist-fight (somewhat) with me as i try to put him to sleep for a nap later on.

nonetheless, if all else fails, i’m pretty settled with having foodpanda coming to our doorstep every single day. also pretty content with the fact that we regularly head over to mama’s, so if kj’s in the picture, the foodpanda riders don’t have to keep passing by the guard post while mentioning our house number every so often (unless the guards have already succumbed to the norm of foodpanda delivering to our house by now).

also so long as my husband doesn’t mind paying for outside food (hopefully?)

let’s all pray baby hidayat manages to soothe himself, entertain himself and feels much more safer, comfortable and brave enough to sleep by himself- all at early stages; so that those dusty skillets and pans in the kitchen get to feel the warmth of my hands once again!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

mommy-arms, represent!

ah. the magical carseat.

it’s slightly bewildering, the fact that my son only approves of napping no where else other than in anybody’s arms or, as recent studies have shown, in his maxicosi.

ag and i figured that he may categorized into the team of ‘snugcraving babies’, because we literally had rock and swing him to sleep, place him in the carseat while simultaneously rocking it, cushion the handed-down-by-my-sister carseat, fit in two bolsters beside him and place one cow-cushion that he’d got as a gift from his aqiqah on his body so he’d get a whole 360° coverage- just to stay asleep.

oh did i mention that we had to simultaneously keep rocking the seat? i did, didn’t i?

apart from that we turned on some womb-noise on youtube to keep him company. after ten minutes (or what seems to be an hour of ten minutes), his half-opened eyes would eventually shut tight.

if we’re lucky.

well so far that’s the only method that’s kept things going on well. otherwise i wouldn’t be able to even move an inch, the moment i put him down on any flat surface. of course, however, we wouldn’t leave him to sleep in his carseat throughout the night- let alone, for more than two hours. it’d prolly leave a huge impact on the development of his back.

so we’re purchasing a crib for him to sleep-train in, hopefully he’ll get the hang of it after days of going through the expected sleep-training combo pack – comes with exhaustion, frustration, shrills and shrieking cries, and an extra dose of mama-tears.

now what’s left is training him to sleep alone, throughout the night.

i mean. it’s not like we don’t enjoy sleeping with him (actually hugging him because he refuses to even be put down flat, separated from us) in our bed to a point that hugging each other feels like experiencing such rarity that of- winning the nobel prize; we love hugging him in bed, but not with the possibilities of accidentally suffocating him (hence increasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome!

despite all his shrills and shrieks, he simply needs to learn to sleep by himself.

God. You’ve blessed us with the idea of using the maxicosi for naptime. Please, help us ease him into the cot to sleep at night.


signed, very desperate first-time mother.

Posted in hidayat | Leave a comment