Confinement Snacking After Snapping!

The day Valerie checked out of the hospital, she was in tears. Although I tried to console her, she was unable to find peace until a professional tells her the same thing as I did. That made me recall how I treated my mom’s wisdom.

New mothers forget their moms had brought them up healthy enough to become one themselves or they think their mom’s way of bringing up children are outdated. I, myself, was a culprit some 26 years ago.

The car ride home was cheerless. I sat in the back beside an empty infant car seat and focused on Valerie.

I knew she was stressed out, mind and body, with her hormones readjusting to pre-conception levels, the lack of proper rest due to visitations from doctors, nurses, friends and relatives. The episiotomy and 2 to 3 hourly breastfeeding regime had left her bruised, swollen and very sore. She managed to cope through all that until now.

Valerie put on her sunglasses so that no one could see her puffy eyes. I didn’t see the tears but her contorted open-mouthed facial expression (viewed from the car’s side mirror) and jerky shoulder movements alerted me. My baby was breaking down in silent tears. Tae Jin could not go home just yet. He had mild jaundice and was to go under the photo light as a preventive measure. That was the final straw for her – to return home to an empty nursery. I leaned forward and gave her an assuring squeeze.

“Are you hungry?”

“Does it matter? I still have to eat, right?” A curmudgeonly reply snapped back!

After attending to Valerie’s needs and advising Ryan what to do for the rest of the evening, I left. I went to a food court even though I had not much appetite but like Valerie said, “Does it matter? I still have to eat, right?” At the Cookhouse @ White Sands, an item on one of the food signages caught my eye. Double Fish Steamboat!

Double Fish Steamboat

Double Fish Steamboat – S$5.50 (plus another 50 cents for rice).
Double Fish because there’s two types of preparation for the fish, fresh slices and deep-fried.

The ingredients were generous with tofu, tomatoes, two types of fish and two types of vegetables. I opted for evaporated milk to go into the broth. What made this ordinary tasting dish value-for-money to me was that it brightened my day with its pleasant visual appeal. That day had been plagued with hostility but while I was having this meal, I suddenly felt tension leaving my rigid shoulders. I slouched relaxed a little and dug into my first meal.

Half an hour later, Sam P texted that he would be cooking and if he should prepare my share. I said yes! Was I bingeing? Anyway, Sam prepared an Asian meal as per Vanessa’s request. While Sam was cooking, I went into my room and fell into deep slumber. I have never felt so tired before. Vanessa woke me up when dinner was ready.

TJ Day 3

Thank you Sam, for this delicious meal.

Later in night, I recalled how wonderful a good meal (visual appeal and taste) had saved my day and decided to make Valerie a snack that will incorporate both elements even though she has a confinement caterer.

TJ Day 4 Rich Food Catering

This caterer specialises in confinement food.
They also cater for the new dads.
New mom’s meal is in the red thermal bag that can supposedly keep the meal warm while the new dad’s meal is packed in the plastic bag.

TJ Day 4 Rich Food Catering

The caterer prepares two meals a day for Valerie and Ryan.
Valerie was enjoying the liver.
“Darling, those are kidneys.”
“Is that so? There’s no smelly after taste”

Yesterday’s mood was easy going, cheery even! Tae Jin was discharged and his jaundice level was significantly lower.  After breastfeeding him, Valerie and Ryan sat down to enjoy a peaceful lunch. They also took a much needed nap, afterwards!

Tae Jin in my arms while his parents were having lunch.<br /> He's much rosier looking now that the yellow is gone.

Tae Jin in my arms while his parents were having lunch.
He’s much rosier looking now that the yellow is mostly gone.

Ryan had been up the whole of previous night caught doing house chores. I guess that he's coping mechanism when his baby was undischarged. Now that the baby is back... A picture paints a thousand words.

Ryan had been up the whole of previous night caught doing house chores.
I guess that’s his coping mechanism when his baby was undischarged.
Although Tae Jin was in the hospital, Valerie still had to pump colostrum and bring it to the hospital to feed him.
Now that the baby is back… A picture paints a thousand words.

While the young parents and baby were resting, I prepared Valerie’s snack. There’s no recipe and I am not even sure if this would be frowned upon by confinement nannies but here what I conjured:

TJ Day 4

Mis en place for my experimentation of U-Mian (wheat noodle).
Organic Baby Spinach
Wood Ear Salad
Black Chicken Egg (hard-boiled)
Dry pan seared Chicken Fillet
Yellow Tail Fish Balls

This was the first time I made the U-Mian Chicken Noodle Soup and there’s no exact measurement for the recipe which I will be posting separately. I guess you can say that this is a “Confinement Snacking After Snapping!” dish, lol…

By the way, on that evening itself, Valerie apologised, “Thanks for helping out today even though I was grumpy, mom.”

Happy eating and bonding 🙂

Cookhouse @ White Sands (Level 3)
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3,
Singapore 518457.

Operating hours: 8am – 10pm

Tel: (+65) 65892802 / 65892803

RichFood Catering Pte. Ltd
Address: 20 Bukit Batok Crescent #13-03 @ Enterprise Centre,
Singapore 658080.

Tel: (+65) 62614600

Click to see their packages here:

5 Responses to “Confinement Snacking After Snapping!”
  1. wingedprisms says:

    Oh Semi – I could feel her tears…… only my last child was jaundiced and they discovered it after we got home (went home same day as birth) – but it was summer and I laid him in a sunny window for days – it’s so hard for a new mom to go home like Valerie did- but the reunion is wonderful! He is so precious and beautiful. 😀

    • Sam Han says:

      Both my girls also had slight jaundice. The nurse said about one third (maybe more) of Singapore babies are born with jaundice. The levels of severity were taken into consideration when determining if the babies should stay for photo light treatment. TJ was considered mild but they wanted to clear him and not let it escalate as his organs are still not developed well being born earlier than expected.

      Today, my parents came over to see Tae Jin. 4 generations under one roof! It was a precious moment. Thank you very much Cate! 🙂

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Difficult times, but mild jaundice is a minor set back in the road ahead.

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