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[Sponsored Review] Pigeon Steam Sterilizer 

This post is written in collaboration with Pigeon.

Previously, I did not believe in steam sterilizers. When my first child was born, I wanted to save that $100 and use the traditional boiling method to sterilize the milk bottles. I cannot tell you the number of times I got burnt by the hot water splashing on me, by accidentally touching the sides of the pot, and melting the bottle tears because they came into contact with the pot. I succumbed and got a steam sterilizer.

Pigeon sterilisers are aesthetically pretty. The are sleek and round. They are practical to use too as it is large.

Here you can see that there are 2 layers in the sterilizer. The height of the top layer is adjustable according to your needs. For example if you are using small (short) bottles, you can adjust the height of the top layer to be lower, and on the top, you will then have more space for the bottle teats, covers, and you can even put in your pump parts to sterilize.

I “test packed” with the pigeon wide necked bottles. You can see that when I have put the 5 bottles in, there is still a lot of space available. The bottles are stuck in to the plastic fixtures at the bottom of the bottom layer of the sterilizer. I tried nuk premuim choice bottles with it and it fits as well!

If you have bottles that are taller than the pigeon bottles, no fret because there is a lot of space available on the top layer even after you have placed your bottles inside. You can also choose to remove the top layer completely if you want to.  I have tried using the sterilizer without fixing my bottles into the fixtures at the bottom of the sterilizer. In that way, I can actually put in 5 large bottles, 2 small bottles and all my pump parts for 1 sterilization cycle.

What I like about the pigeon sterilizer is that it requires very little water to sterilize. The box said rapid steaming in 6 minutes and it is really that fast! Yes, I actually went to time it. What’s good about this that no doubt you will have to descale it. All warmers and sterilizers are the same. But for the Pigeon one, the surface area to descale is very small. That is a BIG plus point!

Another good point of the sterilizer is the dome shape of the cover. I didn’t know that this would be a plus point until I used it. So, guess why it is in the shape of a dome? After sterilizing and when I wanted to remove the bottles to use them, usually we will remove the cover and all the waterdroplets will drip down. However, it being in a dome shape, there was no such problem! I simply placed the dome down on the table top while I removed the bottle I wanted and then covered the sterilizer back again and the water droplets remained in the cover!

The Pigeon Sterilizer also comes in a compact version that is large enough for 2 bottles and I love to bring it with me when we go travelling or using it for the pump parts in the office. These are all sold in major shopping centres and departmental stores in Singapore.

For more information on the sterilizers and other Pigeon products, you can check out the Pigeon Singapore website HERE.

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Newborn Photoshoot with Fion Boon Photography

[Sponsored Review + Discount + Giveaway!]

Fion Boon Photography is a husband and wife tag team who is certified and specialises in newborn and baby photography, doing shoots for babies up to 1 year old. Yes, that means the 1 year old cake smash as well!

What makes Fion Boon Photography stand out is that Fion has undergone an intensive course with Lorna Kirkby (a top newborn photographer in Melbourne) to learn all about handling newborns safely and doing newborn photography during her 3 years stay in Melbourne.

To read her full story, click HERE.

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We were honoured to have Fion Boon Photography to come by our place to do a shoot for our newborn, Bradley, when he was a mere 12 days old. The shoot started at 10am but they reached earlier (prearranged) to do the set up at 9:30am. Immediately they set about discussing which part of my living room (pardon the mess) had the most suitable natural light for the shoot. When it was decided, they started putting up the backdrop and getting ready for the shoot.

Fion was very hygienic and responsible about cleanliness. She would be the main person handling the baby during the photoshoot. She washed her hands with soap and water and even sanitised her hand before asking me to pass the baby over to her when I’m ready. Yes, she brought her own hand sanitizer! With that, she also has baby wipes prepared and a baby shusher which was really useful to calm baby during the shoot. She was ALL PREPARED!

I was amazed at how professional she was when handling baby. She was so good with the baby that I asked her how many children she had. And I was surprised that she had none (yet!) The intensive course and mentorship she had in Australia allowed her to learn all about handling newborns. She was so experienced and knew exactly how to soothe my baby, carry my baby, and even knew how to put my baby to sleep! So throughout the shoot, she was the one handling my baby. And only had to pass him back to me when it was time to feed.

Fion’s hubby, photography enthusiast Elmer was really gentle and patient towards baby as well.  I found out later on that he too underwent the course by Lorna Kirkby on newborn photography. (No wonder he was also very professional, like an experienced daddy!) On top of that, he also went for a 1 day seminar by another Australian award winning newborn photographer, Natalie Howe. However, Fion would usually be the one handling babies at the shoots. I think they would make really good, loving and patient parents 🙂

Though Fion was the main baby handler, both husband and wife were involved as photographers. They were both very friendly people and made the whole photoshoot experience a very pleasant one. They were patient, chatty, and most importantly very experienced with babies. I was surprised that my baby felt calm as well and managed to sleep through most of the shoot! (My 2 elder ones hardly slept in their newborn shoots)

On top of all these, I really love the props that they had. They all had a very natural and rustic look to it. Most of the props were bought from farms in Australia.

Just by looking at the shoot itself, I knew the photos were going to be great! It didn’t take long for Fion to send me the photos to view. (Her lead time is 1-2 weeks so parents can have the photos in time for their full-month party.) Look at this: He smiled for only 1 second and they managed to capture it!

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Fion Boon Photography offers a few price packages for you to choose from. Although specialising in newborn photography, they also offer photography packages for baby’s photoshoot up to 1 year old, and they do cake smash too! The shoots can be done at their home studio at Sengkang or at the comfort of your own home (only for newborn shoots) at an additional charge.

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To get a quotation and to reserve a slot for your baby, please contact them via email at smile@fionboon.com, or pm them on their facebook page. Just quote “BeautifulChaos” to get a $50 discount off package prices. Alternatively, you can sign up as a group of 3 or more mummies, and each will get an individual discount of $60 per package selected.

Time for a giveaway! Giveaway will close on 3rd Feb 2017 12nn. Check out our instagram account for more chances at the giveaway too!

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Birth Story – of my #2

As I shared here, I was quite tired from the pelvis pains in the pregnancy. In my 38weeks check up, the gynae suddenly mentioned that we could induce her if we wanted on Monday 16 Feb, which would mean we can be discharged by 18th Feb and still be in time for reunion dinner. Though we have been expecting the arrival of baby for many weeks now, we had not thought about inducing her. Reason being I wanted to try to do it without epidural and I know that for any kind of induction, it would make the contractions and labour pains worse. (I have been diligently drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating dates to prepare myself for a natural labour without epidural!) That does not go too well with my plans. Hubby on the other hand is chiding me for being stupid and told me to take epidural and not cause him too much pain in the process.

Gynae did not want to induce on 21st Feb which was baby’s EDD and my #1’s birthday as it fell on a Saturday and he does not want to plan any appointments for weekends. Needless to say 19th and 20th which was the CNY public holiday were out of the question too. Next would be 23rd Feb already. We decided not to take up the gynae’s offer and made an appointment to see him the following Monday, 16 Feb, hoping that maybe during this week baby would decide to make a natural appearance.

Before the appointment came, hubby and I discussed about the induction. We decided that we did not want the baby to come after the EDD and would prefer before. We also decided that we would rather have a horse baby than a goat baby. (Though this was not the priority). Thus we decided that at the clinic, we would ask if gynae can induce her out on 17th Feb (baby would be 39w4d). 17th means he would have to work on 1st day of CNY (19th Feb) cos he would have to check on me before I was discharged, or possibly both 1st and 2nd day if induction took a long process and I gave birth on 18th Feb instead. If not then we will have to settle for 23rd Feb. So basically we left the final decision to the gynae.

At the appointment, when the nurse was checking on my weight and bp, I was asking her if induce, what time do we have to check in to the hospital and he said 12 midnight. So means if gynae is ok with it, we go in to the hospital that very night!!?! When it was our turn to see the gynae, after checking on baby and proclaiming that she is of good weight of about 3.2kg, we asked the gynae if we can induce baby like he suggested the week before. He asked immediately  if we wanted a goat baby or a horse baby and we asked if it was possible to induce the next day, and he said of course, but it means we have to go to the hospital tonight. He then got the nurse to call the hospital to ask if there was any vacancy and there was. So it was decided!

At 12mn my brother dropped me off at the hospital while my hubby stayed with my #1. I walked in to the delivery suite myself and was immediately ushered to Labour Ward 1 to change. The nurse did all the paperwork for me as we completed the pre-registration in Janurary. I was then hooked on to the CTG for monitoring of baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. And this was where the first surprise came. I was having very regular but mild contractions at intervals of 1-2 minutes! I had thought it was Braxton Hicks as usual as most were not painful but some were a little painful on a scale of 1-2 out of 10. So the nurse called the doctor and it was decided that the pill which was supposed to be inserted to induce labour should not be done as I was already having contractions. Dilation: 1cm.

I was monitored on CTG until 2am and continued to have regular contractions and then I was taken off the system to allow me to rest. But I couldn’t sleep at all. Uncomfy bed, wearing hospital gown, keep having urge to pee….Think I fell asleep finally at 4+am only to be woken up again at 5am… At 5am, CTG was attached again. No more contractions.

At 7am, they checked dilation again. Ouch. I hate this process. 1cm

8:45am, I was put on the Oxytocin drip to start the contractions and to start the labour.

At 9am, gynae came to check on me. He gave a little bit of hope. Dilation 1-2cm.

9:30am, hubby arrived. He was flabbergasted when he asked about the dilation. What??!? how long more do we have to wait? I told him to go get breakfast. He did and came back and started on his work.

At 10+am, HBO started showing Notting Hill. Hubby liked the show and we decided to watch it together. All these while, contractions started and got regular. But they were still bearable. I rated them 1-2 out of 10 as per my contractions earlier in the night. Just before 11am, the contractions started to increase in intensity. I had to focus during the contractions. I tried to tolerate the pain. In my mind I remembered what I had planned to do. For natural birth, I would like to try without epidural. But I knew inducing would be more painful and I still was open to having epidural.

At 11:15am (Yah I know my pain tolerance is low…or maybe the pain intensity really exponential-ed) we decided to call for epidural. It was painful and I wasn’t sure how long I can last. And I was tired from not having a good rest the night before. Just before epidural was administered, i visited the toilet as I wouldn’t be able to after epidural. And I had my bloody show. It was pink and mucus-y, like pink egg white. Probably dilation was more already but I can’t be sure.

Anesthetist  came in at about 11:30am and told hubby to go grab a coffee. The administering of epidural was scary. It felt like I had 2 bullets stapled into my spine. And I had to try not to move during contractions. I wonder why he didn’t look at the CTG while administering. Then he can pause his procedure while I was contracting… I told him the last time I had epidural it was too strong and I couldn’t feel myself push. This is probably the worst statement I made. Nurse told him I was dilated 1-2cm and he gave me a low dosage. He said we can increase later as I’m still in the early stages of labour. He was so sooooooo wrong.Hubby came back and we continued with the show. Pain rating was now 0 and I thank God for epidural. I fell asleep while watching the show.

At almost 12:30pm, it was when the drama began. I felt a lot of pressure down at my vagina area. I was on epidural so shouldn’t I not be feeling it? I thought it was weird and it was becoming uncomfortable. Not pain (yet), but uncomfortable. And in 5 mins, it was painful. I got hubby to get the nurse and told the nurse. And then I was in a lot of pain. The pressure at my vagina hurt, and somehow my tailbone area hurt too. She checked my dilation and it was 8cm.

They started to get to work. And I started to be in real pain. They hurried around the room, told me to breathe, and another nurse dressed differently came in. Was she going to deliver the baby in case my gynae doesn’t arrive on time? Was she the doula? I’m not sure. But she held my hand (while my hubby held my other hand) and she told me to breathe and do not push. And she told me that very soon the pain would be over. I remember telling them to increase the epidural dosage but i think it’s not an instant thing.

With each contraction, the pain exponential-ed. I saw the gynae arrive. I was thankful that he was at his office in the same building and not at home or something. My last 2 contractions I had really wanted to push, and I think I was shouting out loud in pain. Was I screaming? I can’t really remember. The 2nd last one they allowed me to push but said i had to push slowly. It was super painful. My last contraction, they were ready for the push. They told me to push and I did. It was so so painful that I let out a really long and loud scream. Screaming helped me as it made it less painful somehow. And the baby was out and given to me and all the pain stopped!! 12:46pm. (4 hours from being induced) I’m glad the pain was only for such a short period of time. I couldn’t have tolerated another contraction and I was glad the baby was out in just one push.

IMG_7318 I was panting as I tried to catch my breath from that long scream and push during the final contraction. Gynae passed hubby the scissors to cut the cord. He hadn’t wanted to. But he did so. They gave me a jab on my thigh to deliver the placenta. I felt that ant bite. I felt the placenta coming out. I told hubby to look and he scolded me for it. (Lol) I saw and felt every stitch. But it was bearable. I wouldn’t call it painful. Maybe the labour pain was too much. Maybe that area was numb already. When it was done, the clearing of the blood clots was painful but it was only for a short while.

I was really amazed at how fast the gynae worked and how calm he was. He came in, got ready, and delivered the baby all within one of the loudest screams I had even given all in less than 5 min? (I apologized to him later on. I was quite embarrassed. heh.) By the way, he is Dr Douglas Ong. We really chose him due to the closeness in his clinic and our place. But through the process, we met 2 old friends under him, one with him for #3 and the other #2 and both raved about how good he is. I concur now.

After that I was shivering cos of the epidural. Gynae placed the baby on me for some skin-to-skin and the baby actually managed to find my nipple and latched! Wonders of God’s creations.

So, we paid for epidural, but still had to go through the pain. Worst money spent. At least hubby cannot say I didn’t have epidural and caused him to be deaf in one ear or something. And guess what, be careful of what you pray for. I had prayed that I would be able to tolerate the pain that God had intended for all women to have because Eve had sinned. I prayed that I might be in a situation where I won’t chicken out and have the painkiller injected into me. My ideal situation would have been that contractions happened naturally and by the time I reached the hospital it was too late for epidural.

Bottom line, if I were to deliver again, I would have epidural done again. And I would tell the anesthetist to give a higher dose straight away. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my newborn first before I think about having another one. 🙂 IMG_7478