Contemplation about growing older...

I'll be celebrating my birthday in about a month. One year older. Its made me think about life, and aging, a little bit.

To those of you who know me personally, you probably know my age. I'm not old - in fact, most people are surprised by how young I really am (I dare not ponder whether my appearance lends anything to people's assumption about my age, in a negative way!). But in terms of where my life is, I am definitely "older". Most people my age are still single, having late nights out at clubs, spending money on designer clothes, etc. Meanwhile, I'm married, having later nights in trying to get my two kids in bed, and I spend my money of baby stuff.

Don't get me wrong - I love it! I've always known I'd be a young mom. Its always been a part of me - this maternal instinct. But now that I am getting on with age, I keep thinking more and more about what the numbers of my age represent. Clearly they do not indicate anything about where anyone should be in life. So what do they mean?

Wisdom? I can't pretend I'm any wiser than the next person. I may know more about certain things than other people, but there are plenty of others who know more about, say, science, than I do. I also make stupid mistakes every day. Some days I make a lot of them, some days less. Whatever it is, although it may upset me (or someone else) in that moment, it does serve to remind me that I am not perfect, and that I shouldn't ever pretend to be. I do know enough to know that I (and others, ideally) should never serve judgment on other people's decisions, never discriminate others just because they don't live the way I do, and always, always, remember that everyone makes mistakes.

Clarity about where I'm going in life? Hah! I am just as clueless as anyone else about where my life is headed. I live day by day, and I try to make sure each day is lived like its my last, because (pardon me for being a little bit morbid) it very well could be. The "future" is non-existent. I can try and plan as best I can - save up for the children's education, pursue my own education so that I may have a more desirable career, plan to get a house, a car, all those things that come with being a family - but the fact of the matter is, I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen tomorrow, or a year from now, or ten years down the line. Who does? (Seriously, who does? I'd like to have a word with them about how much weight I'll put on by then and whether they've come up with a miracle cream to banish wrinkles. And cellulite).

Becoming more skillful? I like to think that my writing is getting better with age, or that the things I make look better now than they did before. I'd like to think that I've improved most of my skills over the years. But actually, I think that as I get older, I get a little less creative - there just isn't enough time or free space in my brain! I may be better at knitting, but I'm a lot more hesitant about free-styling anything, because I don't know what it'd end up looking like, and it would just be a "waste of time". How sad is that? I observe my children now, who do anything for the sake of the experience, and not the end product. Take my toddler, for instance. He builds something with his Lego blocks, or scribbles something on paper with his crayons, and when he's done, he takes a moment to admire and ponder his creation, and proudly announces what it is - as if he had any idea what he was creating all along!

What I do know is that with age, my wishlist for my birthday is being filled with more intangibles than it is tangible, purchasable, stuff. I crave stability, more patience, more love and positivity in my life. I want peace and harmony in my household, creativity and tenacity in my children, and clarity and wisdom in myself. And the strangest thing of all, the thing that has truly shown me that I am at a turning point my life, is that I wish all these thing for everyone else too.

So here's to growing older - and becoming a more glamorous mama - year by year!

That's me pointing at the pouty and moody three-year-old me in a family photo

Cloth Pads - My Post-Partum Experience

I posted this on Facebook a few months ago, and thought it'd be a good idea to post it here too :)


I used cloth pads for my entire post-partum period – roughly 40days long. I used them from Day 2 onwards because even after one night in disposables, I felt horribly uncomfortable! I found that cloth pads were amazingly comfortable, and most importantly, are just as (if not more!) effective than disposables. I did not have a single leak in the 40 days that I used cloth pads. And you can just imagine how comfortable cloth was against my vajayjay when it was in such a sensitive condition.

FYI, I changed my pad every 6-8 hours. Cleaning methods are as such: When I go to change my pad, I rinse the used one with cold water (this is important, as hot water sets stains) and a little bit of hand soap. I rinsed till the water ran clear – which means there is no more blood in the pad. Then I wring it till its not sopping wet, and put it into a wetbag. In my case, since both my boys are in cloth diapers, we already have a wetbag, so I put it into there (yes, along with their dirty diapers). We do diaper laundry daily, so the 3-4pads that I used that day get washed the next morning. There isn’t a single stain on any of my diapers and they smell and feel as good as new.

For those who are “grossed out”, let me assure you, there is nothing gross about cloth pads. Unless you use tampons or menstrual cups (yay), your blood is going to come out of your vajayjay and it has to land somewhere. When you rinse your pads, one thing that will strike you is the fact that it does not smell. I remember, with disposable pads, the smell was awful! And I had always attributed it to the blood. But from my research, it turns out that the chemicals in disposable pads are what caused the stench. So the blood that comes out of your pad when you rinse, is just blood. If, for some reason, you are icked out by the thought of touching your own blood with your hands, you can rinse them in the shower. Just put ‘em on the floor under the shower flow, and it’ll wash it out by the time you’re done. You can step on it a little to help the blood flow out.

If you are icked out by the fact that pads have to go into the washing machine, remember that every time you throw your underwear  or stained bedsheets in there, there is some of your waste in there. Blood, discharge, urine, poop, vomit…that’s all your bodily waste and they aren’t that different from each other. I’m sure many of you have put materials with those things on them, into your washing machine. Anyway, please remember that the function of a washing machine is to get your garments clean. If you are still icked out by the thought of putting your used (but already clean – you rinsed it, remember?)  pads in your washing machine, you can hand-wash them.

Now, onto the review! I did a lot of searching, and I bought pads of different materials, levels of absorbency and prices. I bought a few of each to get bulk discounts (I love me a bargain). Most people recommend that you try one of each brand/design before buying more of it, but I was lucky because it turns out each pad I bought were good in their own way – there was not a single one that sucked. Except for the ones with Velcro – never buy pads with Velcro! I am changing those to snaps ASAP. If you are wondering about the different prices, the expensive ones are imported, and the cheap ones are made locally. FYI, I didn’t find much difference between the imported ones and the locally-made ones. Also, these reviews  are in random order. So #1 doesn’t mean it’s the best, and vice versa.

1.       Cyclez All-in-one Overnight/Postpartum Pads
These are backed with PUL (waterproof material) and were my favorites for the first few days of heavy flow. Since they are PUL-backed, I was confident that I would have no leaks, and I was right. The absorbent top layer was really absorbent. The first time I used them (which is the first time I used cloth pads for any bleeding at all), I was like “Wait a sec, am I bleeding or not??”  because you couldn’t see anything on the surface. They are also thin, and long enough to use overnight. They were a bit wide, but when your are experiencing heavy flow, you’d likely be wearing wider underwear anyway.

2.       Saffa Cloth Pads – Overnight & Heavy Pads
I was pleasantly surprised by this locally-made pads. Very comfortable, and the material is soft. They are a bit thick, so I didn’t really wear them out of the house (visible panty lines are one thing, visible pad lines are just unacceptable). But they did the job and are of excellent quality. Workmanship was superb (to my untrained eye, at least). I should also mention that the vendor is very nice, helpful and accommodating. Also, she offers discounts for bulk buys, which is always a plus. I recommend that you DO NOT get the Velcro ones. Spend that extra couple of ringgit on snaps. Velcro rubbed against the skin on my inner thigh when it wasn’t on just right, and it was very very unpleasant, as you can imagine.

3.       Moonbow – Large Velour Pads
The surface of these pads are made of velour, which is sooooooooooooooo soft to the touch. Once blood is on it, it doesn’t stay so soft, but of course I remained comfortable regardless. I liked the length for heavy flow, but it wasn’t long enough (to me) for heavy overnight bleeding. I should’ve bought the XLarge ones for that purpose. I used these overnight only towards the end of my post-partum period, when the flow wasn’t as heavy.

4.       Pleat – Overnight/Post-partum pads
I bought these for no other reason than the cuteness of the fabric! It turns out that its also too short for me to use overnight with heavy bleeding. Like the Moonbow velour pads, I did use them overnight eventually, when my flow was less heavy. The fabric is comfortable enough against my skin (it wasn’t super-soft or anything), and its thin enough to wear when going out. I really enjoyed taking these out for use, because the prints were so adorable *LOL* Seller offers bulk discounts, but she is in the States so unless you catch her “free shipping” promotion (which I did), you’ll have to pay for international shipping charges.

5.       Snexy – Overnight & Day pads
I bought these just as I was about to give birth, as that was when the maker started making these. She also offers bulk discounts. I really like the simplicity and elegance of the design. The sewing did come out a bit by the end of my post-partum period, but since this was the first batch that she made, I think that it is to be expected. It did not affect their functionality at all. These pads are also thin, so I could wear them while going out.

P.S: I also use cloth pantyliners sometimes, and most of these brands offer those. They are also great for that last day of your period when you aren’t bleeding that much, but you still need some protection.