Saturday, March 29, 2008

Enterobacter sakazakii

Restless about the bacteria-contaminated formula milk, Jagad’s mom had a plan to change the Jagad’s formula milk. Yet I told her that do not let everything bother her before the government especially the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) or the Indonesian Customers Agency (YLKI) give us an official statement.

Jagad’s mom has chosen S26 milk formula produced by PT Wyeth Indonesia as her breast milk didn’t flow fluently. But, praise be to God, she is able to breast feed Jagad right now beside give him milk powder. After knowing S26 as one of some bacteria-contaminated formula milk brands from short message sent by her friend, she worried about the impacts of it to Jagad’s health. She is also afraid of the effects of long-term consumption of the contaminated formula. Moreover the price of this milk formula is too expensive. We always buy a tin of milk formula for Rp 82,000. Jagad consumes at least 3 tins of formula a month. I think it will be somewhat crazy if we pay at high price for something endangers the future of my son. Yet until now, there is no official statement for clearing this conflicting issue. The government has not disclosed the brand names contaminated.

So, based on the Ignatian principle of choosing, we should not change our old choices in the blurry situation. Not long afterward, as a new daddy, I have to search right information about this dangerous bacteria as much as possible.

Enterobacter sakazakii is a Gram-negative rodshaped pathogenic bacterium associated with infant formula. A microbiologist of the University of Indonesia’s school of medicine said that these bacteria usually cause illnesses in infants born weighing too little, in ailing infants or those who have just had surgery because the have very weak immune systems. But the bacteria can’t cause ilness in healthy babies.

On a national media, a mother of a-2-year-old girl lives in Bekasi told readers those issue were so confusing. To minimize the impacts of bacteria, she pays more attention to the cleanliness of the milk bottle. She always boils before using it. To prepare the milk, she uses hot water with a temperature of at least 70C. And her daughter is still healthy. What has been done by her also did by Jagad’s mom. But could I use her experience to judge the milk formula is clean from the pathogenic bacteria right now? I don’t think so!

It is not only Jagad’s mom and other mother demanding the government to make clearness, but also Seto Mulyadi, the chairman of the National Commisioan for the Protection of Children (Komnas-PA). I agree with his statement on the online national news website. He said, “I know the government is examining samples of formula milk, I hope they will take all the products off the market during the investigation. It’s about our children, our future generation.” He also asked mothers not rely on formula. Breastfeeding infants is safer.

Jagad’s mom tries to breastfeed as long as possible. To encourage her breast milk, she disciplines herself to eat nutritious meals and keep her heart peaceful. We hope it will be clearer as we see Jagad’s doctor next week.

Jagad is our son. He is our future!


A Hope within Easter

It was my first time to celebrate Easter with my first son, Jagad. While entering the holy week started with Sunday Palm, I devoted my personal intentions for my family’s future. I joined people gathering for Sunday Palm Mass in parish of Christus Salvator, Slipi, West Jakarta.

As usual, many churches observed Good Friday in solemnity for commemorating the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ in various way. This important religious event was observed with sermons, reflection and Holy Mass. Even some Christians reenacted the Passion of Christ in a theatrical performance either inside church or longer outdoor processions. I have my own way to live my personal faith. Along with my sister’s family, I observed this Holy Mass in church of Sint Mary Mother of Carmel, Tomang, West Jakarta as my own parish. At the same parish, I also celebrated the Easter Eve.

For me, spirituality of Easter is spirtuality of liberation. Not only from our sins, but all of our types of fear and weakness. In his life, Jesus showed me good ways of going through life in the world. Fear is the biggest hindrance for human beings to reach the state of human fully and human alive. In my opinion fear is also the origin of violence. Some bad tendencies of human actions are rooted in fear. Because of fear, persons lost their authenticity. Fear tends to urge people to be a liar, corruptor, oppressor, greedy, and other bad characters.

Easter is a moment for digging the source of liberation spirituality from fear. I pay much attention on my insecure world where I live. I realize after Jagad’s birth, a lot of problems waiting for me on the next days. As young parent, we have several new duties urgent to be fulfilled. Both of us are called to think of saving, child’s educational insurance, good money management, keeping family’s health, building a suitable house, providing nutrition and so forth.

Do you know how much monthly salary for a journalist like me? It’s common knowledge that salary of journalist is classified in the low price especially in the developing country like Indonesia. But I thank God I still can fulfil my duties up to now. I am called to improve my income right now. I also realize my job is still up in the air. But it couldn’t stop me to work harder and professional. Because I have a big plan to create our future better. We have dreams. We believe in God with his righteousness we can reach them. For sure we have to do it on concrete ways. Not just on prayers and without doing something.

We realize our world is getting worse in its all dimensions. At this time we are facing a systematic destruction of nature. Our environmental problems have contributed to various humanitarian problems as well. Our planet is getting older. Its temperature is getting hotter. Global warming. Floods. Eartquake. Mud floods. Landslide. Deadly storms. These problems are not yet including social and politic problems. Have we a power enough to keep us alive in future?

Honestly, I am not one hundred percents free of fear. Sometimes I get wrestling in my life. It is not strange in any way. Easter has given me a huge hope of better future. There is no succesful life can be reached without any struggle in its previous ways. Jesus got his resurrection after experiencing His passion and death. Therefore Easter can’t be separated from spirituality of cross. Easter offers us a spiritual joy. Lord has done this by Himself in the same world where we live now. So, as His creatures, we should follow whatever He has done. “For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you,” Jesus said.

Now, my vocation is clearer. Bringing up Jagad is my real vocation. I am called to take care my son into his fullness of his life. After celebrating the Easter Eve, I took a stick of Easter candle and lighted it in front of sleeping Jagad. “Jagad, happy Easter!”

And I prayed in my own mind as St. Ignatius of Loyola has taught me in his Spiritual Exercises:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I have and call my own.
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I restore it all to you and surrender it wholly
to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and grace
and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more. Amen.

Believing in Christ The King of Universe is my personal devotion!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Listening to Bambi

“The first rays of the morning sun began to filter into the dense forest. As the birds and animals awoke, they sensed everything in the air that told them this was to be no ordinary day. Even wise old Owl, tired after a night’s hunting, could not fall asleep. He, too, felt that something great was about to happen…”

That is the first paragraph of the story of Bambi, a little doe. This 24-page children story book is a special gift from the Danny’s for little Jagad. Danny is my colleague in Marketing Magazine as graphic manager. He has a wife named Lini who just launched her first e-book titled My Life is an Open Book. They have two children, Mikayla Karissa Denel and Gavryel Griffin Denel.

This Disney’s publication is completed with an audio CD. At the twilight before the Easter Eve, I played the CD and not long afterward the narrator started to tell the story accompanied on a soft soundtrack. While Jagad is taking milk at the breast, Jagad’s mom read the story written by Felix Salten slowly. This story is adapted as Disney’s production’s fifth animated feature by Perce Pearce and Larry Morey and directed by David Hand.

This book tells about life of Bambi, a little doe lived in the rich forest. The birth of this new prince brought happiness to all inhabitant. A little rabbit named Thumper was the first to spread the news throughout the forest. As spring turned into summer, Bambi took his first steps, following his mother as she walked through the forest. A gentle breeze blew a beautiful butterfly into the clearing. Bambi began to understand everything around him. At the grassy meadow Bambi found a new friend Faline, a little deer. They made a friendship. After the seasons were changing, something wrong happened. The forest was on fire.

Spring came again to the forest. Lovely flowers bloomed on the blackened fields. There was another great event! Bambi and Faline had a family too. And now Bambi becomes the Great Stag of the forest. This is the short review of the book.

Story telling has become our habit since Nat knew her first pregnancy. Every time we try to read aloud stories from anthology of short stories, especially Enid Blyton's. We believe this way could encourage the development of his brain. Instead of telling some stories, we also try to introduce Jagad to various music. For example classical music, jazz, songs of birds, Christian children’s songs, spiritual songs like Nikita’s, pop music even some poems of Sapardi Djoko Damono which put into music.

I try to give the best for my beloved son. He is my real Bambi!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jagad's Mom

Today I will tell you about Jagad’s mom. Jagad’s mom whose name Natalia Alami Asih was born in Jakarta, 1977. Her nickname is Nat. Talking about new born baby can’t be separated from talking about mother. From her I could learn many things. I dare to say myself, there were two new born human beings in hospital, me and my son. The birth of my first son is my new life. It’s a miracle.

Living in the same house with the girl who conceived for about nine months has given me some unforgettable experiences.

We met each other for the first time in front of Hotel Nikko while the twilight casting a shadow over Jakarta. At that time she had worked as a corporate internal auditor at Wisma Nusantara. And I was still working for Investigasi Tabloid as a journalist. Afterward we made a personal encounter at Kedai Tempo, a small food stand in the complex of Utan Kayu Theatre, East Jakarta.

On the tiny desks, we encountered any things. We tried to introduce ourselves to each other. Over a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice, we shared our own stories of families, favorite books, colleague, and other activities. After getting together, not long afterward, she introduced me to her parent and sisters live in Sawangan, Depok. Then, at the other time, I introduced her to my mom and sisters in the house of Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta. Her family was very welcome to me and so my family to her.

Nat is a strong type of woman. She is so smart and cute. She likes to show her analytical thought. Maybe this character has been shaped by her official tasks as internal auditor. I see her as an easygoing girl. She always greets her guests or new friends cordially. She is so openhearted although in the certain case she is also too stubborn to stick to her opinion. But I like her very much. I like a girl who has her own attitude. And I love her.

Although we have different educational background, both of us have studied in Jesuit’s college. She graduated from Gonzaga College of Pejaten. I graduated from St. Peter Canisius Seminary of Mertoyudan. Even I ever became a member of Jesuit Order. Yet before finishing my philosophy class in Driyarkara I made my resignation as a Jesuit Scholastic. My resignation have no relationship with her because it happened three years before I saw her at the first time.

The longer the deeper. Our relation became closer. All kinds of birds warbled in our heart. The colorful rainbow flashed over our mind. My heart looked like a glass glittered in the sun. And we got married on 26th November 2006 coinciding with the feast of Christ the King. Our marriage was announced formally by my own friend of seminary Father Henricus Eko Riyanto from Missionary of the Sacred Family.

In the middle of 2007, Nat got her first pregnancy. She felt upset stomach. At the sixth month of her pregnancy she decided to resign from Carrefour as store controller. She often felt headache. She became more sensitive. As husband I tried to understand and always kept in touch with her. I tried to fulfill whatever she want me to do.

Both of us are equal partners. There is no subordination among us. This commitment has been declared since we took our marriage vows. We always try to understand and instill the values of what Saint Paul had written on letter for Corinthians. Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud; doesn’t behave itself inappropriately. Doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil. Doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Bears all things, believe all things, hope all things, endures all things. And it’s the most important thing for us, love never fails!

Finally on February, 27th 2008 when the drizzle lasted for hours over the capital, my son was born. I felt relieved knowing both my wife and son were safe. We pray he always brings luck to our family. God has shown us his miraculous works. Spontaneously I sing a psalm. The heavens declare the glory of God. The expanse shows his handiwork. Day after day they pour forth speech, and night after night they display knowledge.

We realize we are still on the long journey. I just to say thank Nat right now. Let us be guardian angels for each other, especially for our beloved son. God bless us!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Selasa Ini Jagad Divaksin

Selasa ini, 5 Februari 2008, Jagad kontrol perdana di RS Harapan Kita sesuai jadwal dari dokter anak. Aku sendiri memutuskan izin kantor untuk masuk siang.

Pukul 08.55, taksi Blue Bird membawa Jagad, mama Jagad (mulai hari ini, ibu peri diganti dengan mama Jagad-red), eyang putri, dan mbak pengasuh Jagad. Aku sendiri seperti biasa mengendarai James motorku. Asal tahu saja, pagi ini langit cerah. Matahari pagi yang lima hari ini memberi asupan gizi pada tubuh Jagad bertengger dengan kalemnya di awan-awan.

Setelah regristrasi, Jagad ditelanjangi untuk ditimbang. Seperti layaknya bayi lain, berat dan panjangnya untuk dua minggu pascakelahiran mengalami penyusutan. Penyusutannya tidak banyak. Jagad pun pamer tangisan di ruangan yang penuh dengan anak-anak sebayanya.

Usai ditimbang, kami masih harus antri konsultasi dengan dokter Yuliatmoko, dokter anak di sana. Kami mendapat urutan ke-8. Pukul 09.45, kami memasuki ruang kontrol dan konsultasi. Di ruang itulah, Jagad disuntik vaksin Hepatitis B dan Polio.

Dari hasil kontrol dokter berambut putih dan berkacamata oval itu, Jagad dinyatakan masih sehat-sehat saja. Tapi, dokter mengingatkan soal peran orang tua dalam membantu pertumbuhan fisik dan psikisnya. Menjaga emosi anak menjadi penting. Bayi sangat peka dengan emosi-emosi tak terlihat. Mama Jagad juga didaulat untuk makan makanan bergizi dalam porsi banyak. Terutama makanan yang membantu merangsang keluarnya air susu dengan lebih baik lagi. Dokter Yuliatmoko mengingatkan lagi cara menyusui bayi yang baik dan tepat. Lalu menyarankan kami agar selalu mengajak Jagad berkomunikasi tentang apa saja dan memberinya sentuhan personal. Bayi akan peka apakah dirinya diperhatikan dan disayang orang tuanya atau tidak.

Pukul 10.10, usai memberesi administrasi, Jagad pulang ke rumah bersama mama Jagad, eyang putri, dan mbak. Aku sendiri langsung meluncur ke kantor di Kelapa Gading. Bekerja.

Sehat-sehat saja ya, Nak!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Doa Kami di Namamu

Salah satu keunikan manusia adalah kemampuan memberi nama. Tindakan menamai merupakan kekhasan manusia. Mahkluk lain seperti binatang dan pepohonan tidak mempunyai kemampuan ini. Kemampuan menamai ini bisa dilihat sebagai salah satu cara mengada manusia.

Tapi, manusia tidak bisa menamai dirinya sendiri. Sudah mentradisi, manusia diberi nama beberapa saat setelah ia dilahirkan. Nama menjadi bagian dri identitas. Seandainya saja, saat berumur satu hari bayi mampu menamai dirinya sendiri, mungkin aku akan melakukan hal serupa pada anakku. Namun itulah yang terjadi pada manusia.

Aku dan ibu peri mengamini nama sebagai doa. Mungkin bagi Shakespeare, nama tidak ada artinya. Tapi, nama bagi kami adalah doa dan doa adalah energi.

Sekarang, aku mau memperkenalkan nama peri kecil kami. Namanya Jagad Cleva Nitisara. Jagad merupakan representasi doa kami agar anak ini kelak mempunyai wawasan luas. Cleva arti harafiahnya adalah puncak gunung. Dalam kata ini, kami senantiasa berdoa agar anak ini mempunyai semangat tidak pantang menyerah dan dekat dengan Tuhan. Nitisara adalah sinonim dari wicaksono atau pecinta kebijaksanaan. Dalam kata ini, kami tanamkan sepotong doa agar kelak anak ini mampu berpikir dan bertindak secara bijak.

Nah, sebagai orang yang lagi belajar beriman, aku dan ibu peri mengamini itu semua. Tuhan sebagai sumber hidup dan Raja Semesta Alam selalu membuka jari-jari tangan-Nya bagi doa-doa dan kerinduan mahkluk ciptaan-Nya. Aku sendiri merasakan ada energi ajaib yang mengalir di dalam diriku setelah kelahiran jabang bayi yang akrab disapa dengan nama Jagad itu. Sebuah pengalaman luar biasa. Panggilan hidup itu seperti lintang kemukus di pagi hari. Semakin terang. Meski tetap tersaput kabut misteri kehidupan.

Kini, Jagad lahir sebagai musafir baru. Dengan langkah-langkah kecil nan sederhana, ia mulai menjiarahi kehidupan di dunia, kehidupan yang diberikan secara cuma-cuma oleh Pencipta. Kehidupan di dunia yang hanya sekali saja. Kehidupan yang pantas dirayakan dan disyukuri!


Monday, March 03, 2008

Peri Kecil Lahir

TIDAK terbayang sebelumnya kalau Rabu, 27 Februari 2008 menjadi hari sangat istimewa. Hari di mana peri kecil yang sekian lama ditunggu-tunggu menunjukkan batang hidungnya dan pamer tangis pertamanya. Natal memang tiba di Februari seturut perkiraan.

Pagi itu pukul lima pagi hari. Ibu peri sudah merasa tidak enak badan. Perih terasa menggerayangi wilayah selangkangan. Seperti hari-hari sebelumnya, ia pun doyan bolak-balik kamar mandi. Lalu kembali terlelap tidur dengan dengkur menguar dari mulutnya. Namun, tidak lama, ia kembali terjaga. Merasakan perih yang masih enggan tanggal.

Rasa nyeri kali ini sudah mulai teratur. Setiap 20 menit sekali. Ibu peri meringis menahan sakit yang sengaja ditahan. Tapi, kami masih meraba-raba mungkin saatnya sudah tiba dan mungkin juga saatnya belum tiba lantaran adanya kontraksi palsu. Di kaca jendela, langit masih doyan pamer jubah kelabunya. Mendung. Gerimis kecil. Aku sendiri semula ragu-ragu apakah mau masuk kantor atau tidak. Tapi, kondisi semakin memantapkan diriku untuk memutuskan tidak masuk kantor. Sebuah pilihan tepat dan benar.

Karena merasa diri cukup awam dengan kehamilan pertama ini, kami pun mulai mencari tahu. Kakak perempuanku menganjurkan agar kami segera waspada. Kontraksi itu sudah menjadi pertanda alami menjelang kelahiran. Sementara, saudara yang lain mengatakan kontraksi itu bisa jadi kontraksi semu. Tapi, kalau kontraksinya sudah teratur dengan frekuensi cepat, kami disarankan untuk segera pergi ke dokter.

Kami juga membaca ulang buku seri AyahBunda berjudul “9 Bulan yang Menakjubkan” terbitan Gaya Favorit Press. Buku ini menjadi kawan seperjalan selama sembilan bulan menjalani kehamilan.

Benar kata buku ini, kontraksi merupakan pertanda akan segera bersalin. Saat kontraksi tiba, otot-otot rahim berkerut sebagai upaya membuka mulut rahim dan mendorong kepala bayi ke arah panggul. Bila kontraksi tiba, perut terasa mulas disertai rasa sakit di pinggang dan di pangkal paha. Kontraksi terjadi setiap 20 menit sekali. Lalu meningkat menjadi 15 menit sekali, 10 menit sekali, 5 menit sekali, dan 2 menit sekali sampai proses persalinan. Nah, ini persis yang dialami ibu peri.

Saat masih kontraksi 20 menit sekali, kami masih bertahan di rumah. Bahkan, pukul 10 pagi, kami pergi laboratorium PRAMITA di jalan panjang, sekitar 1 kilometer jauhnya dari rumah. Di laboratorium, ibu peri check up kesehatan. Seharusnya, check up ini dilakukan pada usia kehamilan 2-3 bulan. Untung saja, di detik-detik terakhir, kami masih bisa menyerahkan berkas hasil check up untuk dibaca dokter sebelum proses persalinan. Kami mengendarai James, sepeda motor kami.

Usai dari lab, ibu peri pun kembali mengalami kontraksi dengan frekuensi lebih sering. Bahkan, saat ia pergi ke kamar mandi, ia menemukan bercak darah campur cairan putih. Tanpa pikir panjang kita pun berkemas ke rumah sakit. Dua tas berisi pakaian bayi dan pakaian ibu peri sudah disiapkan sejak lama. Dengan disopiri oleh saudara laki-laki ibu peri, mobil jazz warna hitam metalik itu pun membawa kami menuju RS Harapan Kita. Langit di kaca jendela mobil semakin menghitam. Pertanda sebentar lagi langit ibukota akan bocor dan memuntahkan airnya di mana-mana.

Sekitar pukul 16.05, seusai menembus kemacetan di ruas jalan Tomang, sampailah kami di tujuan. Usai mendaftarkan diri di bagian administrasi rumah sakit, kami bergegas ke lantai 3. Di sana, suster-suster pun segera menyambut dengan ramah dan mempersilakan ibu peri langsung ke kamar periksa. Tepatnya, di kamar 306. Alhasil, ibu peri sudah mengalami tahap pembukaan ke-7. Pihak RS segera mengontak Dr. Raditya Wratsangka, dokter pilihan kami. Dr. Raditya merupakan dokter langganan kami setiap periksa USG bulanan.

Sambil menunggu pembukaan ke-10 dan dokter, aku menemani ibu peri menikmati menit-menit mendebarkan itu. Hujan sudah turun di luar kaca jendela rumah sakit. Terlihat jalan depan rumah sakit tampak macet. Tidak lama kemudian, saudara perempuanku datang menemai. Pukul 18.00, suster membawakan ibu peri sajian makan malam untuk menambah energi. Melihat kontraksi masih berjalan lambat, ibu peri terpaksa menjalani induksi. Oksigen cair pun dialirkan ke lubang hidungnya dengan selang bening.

Pukul 19.45, dokter datang. Tapi, pembukaan masih memasuki babak ke-8. Ketuban pun belum pecah. Dokter memerintahkan suster untuk memecahkan ketuban. Tidak lama kemudian, tahap persalinan pun dimulai. Ditemani enam orang suster, dokter Radit pun mulai beraksi. Perkakas persalinan disiapkan. Nampan, Gunting, semacam pisau, alkohol, kain, perban, dan sebagainya.

Aku dan saudara perempuanku mendampingi ibu peri di kamar bersalin. Aku sendiri tidak tega melihat ‘pembantaian’ tersebut. Lebih banyak kulayangkan pandanganku ke tembok. Jerit kesakitan terlempar dari mulut ibu peri setiap kontraksi tiba. Para suster pun memandu setiap munculnya kontraksi. Darah mulai menggenangi sprei plastik dan sarung tangan sang dokter. Membuat perasaanku seperti ditimbuni balok-balok es. Sementara hatiku pasrah total seperti terjatuh ke palung tanpa dasar dan berharap tangan Tuhan akan menangkapku. Benar-benar sebuah cita rasa kepasrahan yang belum pernah aku alami seumur hidup.

Dan yang ditunggu tiba. Setelah ibu peri mengalami kontraksi hebat, peri kecil akhirnya bisa dikeluarkan dari lubang rahimnya alias lahir. Tangis pertama pun pecah. Merontokkan balok-balok es yang menimbuni persaanku. Menggantinya dengan rajutan bunga-bunga indah. Dan tangan Tuhan seakan benar-benar menopang aku dari tingginya palung dan mengelusku dengan lembut. Apalagi setelah melihat bayi itu lahir dengan normal, sehat, lengkap, dan lucu.

Peri kecil lahir pada pukul 20. 29 (menurut hitungan jam digital ponselku) atau pukul 20.32 (menurut catatan rumah sakit). Jenis kelamin laki-laki. Berat 3,595 Kg. Panjang 54 cm. Ini benar-benar pengalaman menakjubkan. Sebuah pengalaman ajaib yang tidak bakal terlupakan. Natal benar-benar datang di Februari.