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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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.

inshaaAllah.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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