Tuesday 31 October 2006

Mystery Solved!

The mystery of the worm is solved! The doctors at NUH called us on Monday to tell us that the laboratory report states the 'worm' in Ethan's ear was actually the larvae of a fly. The picture above is not the actual infidel, but a similar one I found on the Internet. Ethan's persecutor was older cos it was longer, had dark spots, and lots of little legs.

Since it was a fly larvae, it seems that this was a one-in-a-million kind of accident where a fly landed on Ethan's ear, laid an egg, and the egg happened to drop inside and it grew until it became a larvae. When it started to get bigger and move around, it caused pain and secretions to come out of the ear. While this sounds quite horrible, it is actually good news. This means that it was not the result of contamination or human to human transmission, so there is no reason to fear a repeat occurrence.

It has been quite funny to hear the variety of postulated theories before the lab report came back - everything from wood-worm infected the cot, a human worm from the parents, infected car seats, and worm-from-apple dropped while Mum was taking a bite and holding Ethan sideways! I guess all were possible except the last one...

Monday 30 October 2006

First Outing

We went on our first outing with Ethan on Sunday! Since he is now 1 month old, we told him that he is growing up and needs to see the outside world. We were also itching to take him somewhere. In the end we decided to check out the newly renovated Botanic Gardens' entrance and food court. You know how when you get a new toy, you suddenly notice 'everyone' has one too? Well, our eyes were opened to all the babies and the families everywhere, and there sure were a lot of them at Botanic Gardens.

We had a great time on our short excursion and Ethan behaved himself very well throughout our time. He woke up and cried a bit as we were finishing dinner, but it was outdoors which was a plus. The food court has great ambience and they play nice music, though incongruous with all the local fare. It needs a good pasta/pizza stall so next time we could come back with some wine!

Sunday 29 October 2006


Ethan is just starting to see things and appreciate toys. He sometimes looks at the pictures in his cot, and today looked at himself in a mirror. Here he is checking out a sqeaky rabbit who popped out of a box from George at WEFC. He had fun for a bit, but is now having a good wail over nothing in particular!

Saturday 28 October 2006

Moon Yuet Party

Ethan's 1 month party has come and gone and it was a great time! Big thanks to supporting friends and family, especially Mah Mah Pearl and friends who whipped up some great food.

Yeh Yeh & Mah Mah with the little one

We were worried Ethan would be cranky like he has been the last few days, but he was the perfect baby sleeping most of the time then waking up for good photo opportunities. In fact, many times we took photos while he was still sleeping in his hi-tech buggy which also proved popular among the guests!

Pek Ya and Wan Ling with their best maternal smiles

Ethan woke up for a quick snack. He didn't get to eat any of the adult food, but we had some expressed milk in a bottle so that others can try feeding him. Goo Ma had great fun feeding her little nephew. He quickly drank all the milk and was soon back to sleep again.

Goo Ma feeding Ethan for the first time

Wow, we got a ton of presents. We don't think Ethan will ever get more presents at one time ever again in his life! Pity he is too young to appreciate all the gifts. Our car was full of the gifts, and the bag was stuffed with ang-pows and cards. While packing the gifts in the car, a button inside one of the packages was pressed and "choo choo" sounds were heard. I think Daddy is going to play trains with Ethan soon!

It was an amazing haul

It was great to see some old friends and receive all the love from everyone. Thank you!!

Thursday 26 October 2006

Bath Time

Ethan's bathing, getting dressed, and getting ready for the world! A few more days and the 1 month confinement is over... Ethan will be seeing the big world outside our little apartment.

Wednesday 25 October 2006


These last couple of days we have been walking on tip-toes around Ethan as he's been sleeping very lightly. He's fine at night but during the day he's awake lots and only sleeps very short amounts, so Mum has had to keep the milk bar open almost all day which makes her quite tired.

Mr. Fish floating in the pic is from this great musical mobile we got from Renata's church office. And the Smiling Worm (left) is a new toy from one of the ladies in Ivan's church. Very funny cos she gave it to him after he preached last Sunday and the closing illustration (for light at the end of the dark tunnel of depression and being downcast) was Ethan's worm in his ear! So our musical tapeworm toy will be a reminder of this milestone event. Everyone's been asking, but we still haven't heard what type of worm it was...

Sunday 22 October 2006


Sundays has become fry-day for us, not only because after a ministry weekend it feels like Friday... it's also because we've been eating so much from the food delivery service from Monday to Friday and we need comfort food from our deep fryer. This week, it's been Japan-fest as Renata's parents brought the long forbidden (during pregnancy) sashimi for lunch on Saturday. Being inspired, Ivan prepared a tempura dinner on Sunday to celebrate the end of preparation and delivery of his message on Psalm 42, When Feeling Downcast (new church website coming online soon!)

Saturday 21 October 2006

Baby Aerobics!

Ethan's first video on his own blog! Check out how active our little boy can be at only 3 weeks.

Friday 20 October 2006

All Smiles

Now that the mystery of the painful ear has been solved Ethan is back to his usual self and even flashed us a sustained smile (?) while enjoying his morning bath today!

He is now 3 weeks old and its been fascinating watching him grow. He's noticeably heavier and definitely longer (or taller?!) now -- been getting harder to swaddle him! Must be all the powerful confinement food that he has been getting via Mummy!

Thursday 19 October 2006

Cleaned Out

At the ENT clinic today, Ethan was given a clean bill of health. Dr. Lynn Lim is a pediatric ENT specialist. She took a look and said that Ethan's ear drum was not perforated, just a bit scratched from the horrible worm that was in his ear (see previous post!). They suctioned out his ear which caused more wailing due to the loud sound it makes and we took him home.

As for the worm, they're not sure whether it's even a worm or some kind of larvae. The nasty bug is being sent to parisitology where they can hopefully tell us what it is and how it got into poor Ethan's ear.

Wednesday 18 October 2006

The Mystery of the Painful Ear

Poor little Ethan... He was so happy last night when I fed him but this morning he was getting cranky and in the afternoon he was sleeping and bawling in 30-60 min intervals. Because of this Renata only managed to eat lunch at 5pm, and had noticed a few scratch marks on his left ear. She took a photo, emailed it to me and phoned. One three-party conference call with Dr Lim Ah Yeh, a few emails of the ear and Dad was flying back home (good to have fast bike) to check it out.

We had a closer look at home and I got in there with a flashlight. Things had worsened and peering into canal you can see from the picture above that poor Ethan's ear was a mess. It looked like an ear infection so we went to NUH where they have a children's A&E department. After a brief wait (they were very good) the medical officer scoped the ear amidst very loud protests that broke Mummy's heart. He then looked up with a puzzled expression and said, "I'm not sure if I'm seeing things...but I think there's a worm in your son's ear!"

The ENT specialist was called and in 15 min she came and took a look. Subsequent scopes by both MO and the specialist revealed no traces of the worm. Having a worm in one's ear, let alone the ear of a 2.5 week old baby is quite unheard of. Indeed Dr Lim Ah Yeh of Specialist Clinic said that in his 40+ years of practice he has pulled strange things like bees out of ears, but never a worm. Thus, the specialist said it was quite unlikely to be a worm. Instead, it was probably worm-like flakes of skin coming off due to a common ear infection of children. The MO not only looked embarrassed but even said that he was. After all, how silly he was to think there could have been a worm in a baby's ear...

Anyway the doctor said that they would flush his ear with antiobitics for the ear infection. If there was a worm this would also "drown the worm". If it were then to crawl out we were to kill it! Gasp... sounds like Aliens, but okay we'll do it and since we're at the hospital now let's do the first flushing here.

I held Ethan who had calmed down now that the nasty scope was no longer in his ear canal. We dropped 4 drops in his ear and 5 seconds later a WORM SWAM TO THE SURFACE! Even the doctors were amazed! "There's a worm! A worm! Quick, give me the forceps!" The worm wriggled in the pool of antiobiotic fluid as the precision forceps deftly plucked it out of Ethan's ear. Everyone gasped in amazement while Ethan now looked completely peaceful.

We don't know yet what type of worm it was or how it got there. The doctors quickly took digital photos of it (I should have asked them for a copy there and then!) and soon a few other doctors and nurses came to see the worm that crawled out of this baby boy's ear. It must also be added that they praised his bravery for even a grown man would have cried out of pain if a worm to crawl into his ear.

So we're back home now. All bedsheets, linens, clothing and car-set liners are soaking in antiseptic. Ethan has completely tired himself out and is sleeping. We'll be flushing his ear again soon, and watching in case more worms swim out. Tomorrow at 9am we'll be going into the hospital again where the ENT Clinic has the full equipment to do a detailed microscopic examination of his ear. We'll need to confirm there are no more worms, and hopefully find out where the worms came from.

Staying Up Late...

I stayed up tonight to do the first late night feed with some expressed milk. This was one of the best feeds I've managed to give Ethan. He drank well, burped quickly mid-way, finished off his mid-night snack and promptly fell asleep on my chest as I sat back and continued to pat those last gas bubbles away. It is indeed amazing to see this little one so perfectly formed (knit in his mother's womb no less) yet still so helpless and completely dependant on me.

Since I'm up, I'm also working on my sermon this weekend on Psalm 42 - what to do when we're feeling downcast and depressed. Ethan is peacefully back to sleep so I shall plod on a little longer before my own snooze time...


Tuesday 17 October 2006

Burping Better

I think we're getting the burping problem down! We can especially tell if there's a "gas problem" by the shape of his little tummy. A few different burping positions and some patience gets the work done. It sure pays to spend good time burping so that he sleeps better and is happier in the long run. Sleepy boy is very happy today in Grandma's (Por Por) arms at lunch time just now.

Ethan's coming to 3 weeks old now... We can see his facial features changing slightly and his limbs are growing too. So glad we took many photos in his first few weeks so we can remember these fast changing times.

Sunday 15 October 2006

Keeping the Home Clean

Ivan's power supply in his PC died an early death, so he used the opportunity to gut the 4 year old innards and put everything in a new case. Renata almost always takes pictures when Ivan plays with his boys toys. You can imagine how dusty PCs get, so this was a good way to make sure everything is clean. Some hidden shelves behind our desk and cable management system means that there are ZERO cables or wires on the floor. Our two slim-line PCs now sit behind our LCD monitors to keep things as dust-free as possible. This is important cos Ethan's cot will be moved into this room soon and it will become both a baby room and a study. Only 2 bedrooms in our cute l'il home now!

Saturday 14 October 2006

Saturday Food

On weekdays we get a food delivery service which is Chinese and Nonya food. We've never eaten so much rice before! So on the weekends we try to have some other genres. Ivan scrounged the fridge and came up with this for a lovely couple time at home while Ethan was sleeping.

You too can have yummy confinement food! Grill portobello mushroom with olive oil, salt and pepper in the "gills". Melt cheese and top with bacon bits. Serve alongside spaghetti aglio olio with bacon, garlic, pepper flakes, basil, and parsley. The side vegetables are carrots (pre-steamed) and snow peas stir-fred with a touch of mirin. Garnish with parsley.

Friday 13 October 2006

Burp - Sun - Bloat - Snooze

This is what Ethan's 2 week old life consists of right now... can you see his little tummy is slightly bloated? He usually has a strong chest and slim waist (from Dad perhaps?) but he's quite bloated so has been taking smaller feeds and waking up more frequently. He's not upset so its not cholic but we can't get all that wind out... tips anyone? Last night he woke up 3 times to feed cos of this so poor Mum is very tired. Dad amazingly slept through every single one of them -special sleeping gift of his!

Thursday 12 October 2006

Burp Bonanza

Urrrrpp! Ethan seems to be getting more wind recently so we have to be more conscientous at burping him. Otherwise he quickly wakes up and gets irritable. After a good feed from Mummy he loves to get burped by Dad. He used like the sling-over-the-shoulder position but he seems to prefer resting on Dad's chest. He promptly fell asleep soon after this photo was taken and is now sunning himself again in his favourite place in the whole world... his bed. Nothing like a good snooze after a good meal.

Wednesday 11 October 2006

A Rushed Bath

Silly me, got changed and almost left the house today and forgot to bathe my son! As a result, I think he sensed I was rushing and fussed a bit more than usual. He usually looooves bath time with Dad, but cried more than usual today. He was whimpering most of the time, but looks happy in the pic below cos he loves the camera!

Tuesday 10 October 2006


Poor Ethan had a tougher time these last 2 days. He has a slight yellowing, so we're sunning him to treat the mild jaundice. It affects his sleeping though cos he doesn't like being in the open and would much prefer swaddled tightly. He's a trooper though, and puts up with most things with some soothing from Mum and Dad. It helps that he has inherited our giftedness in sleeping and this is proving to be a good asset in our household.

Can you see that after a few washings, the mittens have shrunk and now fit him properly!? And after a few bathings he now seems to enjoy bath times with Dad almost as much as Ivan does. Today, he thought it would be funny to squirt Dad with an extended gush just as he was being carried to the bathroom...

Sunday 8 October 2006

My Baby's had a Baby

Ah Kong & Por Por came over with lunch today and were reminiscing about how Mummy was once as small as I was! Here's the other matching 3 generations picture to complete the post from yesterday.

When the Cat's Asleep...

Heh heh...... now that Daddy's asleep where did he keep the keys to his motorbike?!

Saturday 7 October 2006

3 Generations

Grandma brought lunch today! Here is a 3 generation picture with Grandma, Son and Grandson. Ethan had just finished his own lunch, interrupted with some wind in the tummy and some fidgeting. We are holing ourselves indoors with the aircon on today cos the smog is awful. Rain rain come today and drive that forest-fire smoke away...

Friday 6 October 2006

Father and Son

After Ethan's morning bath today, father and son had some special time just one to one. Ethan is sleeping well. After his big evening meal he knocks out for 4 hours at night. This is very considerate of him so that we can sleep relatively well...but we're still very tired!

Thursday 5 October 2006

First Encounters

Holding Ethan in his first few days was a new yet strangely familiar encounter. Although I had often wondered what it would be like meeting each other face to face for the first time, nothing could prepare me for his disarmingly beautiful eyes, his tiny fingers from which came an amazing depth of expression and the little sounds that often brought his Daddy to mind.

Yet in the midst of this exploration and my gingerly clumsy attempts to care for him, I felt a warm familiarity as I felt him moving in my arms -- movements, flutters and instinctive reflexes that I had been feeling inside me for the last 9 months... except now I could both see and feel them! These were the knees that throbbed against my upper belly and here the fingers that secretly tickled me during those long committee meetings...

Welcome to our world, Ethan -- I think you will be a source of joy and wonder to Mummy & Daddy for many years to come!


Uh oh... Ethan is in the clinic for a regular visit. A bawling kid just left the room we're going into. It's called "Venepuncture Room". Ethan seems to think that the sign on that room doesn't sound too pleasant.

On the brighter side, Ethan slept really well last night. Ivan bottle-fed him with expressed milk at midnight (first time), then there was one wake at 4am until we all got up at 8am so we had a good rest with only one waking!

Wednesday 4 October 2006

First Bath by Daddy

Oooh, Dad is giving Ethan his first bath at home! Amazingly, he didn't cry and seemed to like the warm water. Last night was tough (biggest and messiest nappy poo Ivan has ever seen) but quite good considering it was the first night home. We're slowly getting better at changes and cry-diagnoses. Ethan is so far a very good-natured baby!

Tuesday 3 October 2006

Ethan's Own Bed

This is the very first time Ethan is home in his own bed. It looks so huge with tiny him inside. You can see the 18 Sep, Waiting for Ethan entry where the cot looks empty but tiny! Now he can actually fit width-wise without a problem. He's starting to gain weight already. For the baby-learners, it's normal for newborns to lose up to 10% of their birth weight. At one point, Ethan lost 7% but he is now on the rise. He'll be bigger than Ivan soon, who was less than half Ethan's size when he was born!

Going Home

Daddy is taking mummy and baby Ethan home today! His jaundice has cleared and both sets of grandparents are coming over. It's nice to have the home full of smiles again. Ivan was up til 4am last night putting more touches on Ethan's nursery room.

Monday 2 October 2006

Milk Bar

Cool. We just pumped our first batch of milk. So tonight Renata can sleep more cos the nurses will use the milk for one of Ethan's feeds. After much of Ivan's online research we decided on this Avent Isis IQ electric pump. It's infinitely variable on pressure and speed and convertible to manual mode. Like tiptronic transmission for breast pumps!


Poor little fella has a slight bit of jaundice. Because of this he will have to stay one more night in the hospital and Renata will stay too. Perhaps that's why he was a bit grumpier today. Here he is getting some photo-therapy. He's been getting so many photos recently but I guess some more therapy isn't a bad thing!


Grrr... I just woke up and am feeling growly. Daddy changed my nappy for the first time. It was okay but a bit slow. Cant wait to see my own home today. I can almost smell the good coffee!

Good Morning Ethan

This is one of the first times you can see Ethan's handsome eyes. He's coming home with us today. His jaundice index is low so just a bit of spf 8 sun tanning will be fine. Doctors and nurses have been really nice to us too. We'll be back on Wed for a quick check up.

Sunday 1 October 2006

Beautiful Feet

"How beautiful are the feet of those who (will) bring good news". They're small now but may these little feet one day bring the good news of Christ to the nations!

Ethan Look-Alike Competition

Who looks more like Ethan? Vote for Ivan or Renata in the comments section!

First Poop!

Ethan had stool this morning...good for him! The nurse says he looks a little yellow today, but we can't quite tell and think he looks perfect! Our doctor, Prof Mary Rauff, said she will see how Renata and Ethan are doing tomorrow and perhaps discharge us then. Our stay would then be 3 days which is slightly longer than usual but just being sure Ethan has no jaundice before going home and that Renata has good rest. She is enjoying the sleep and recovery time!