Monday, December 28, 2015

Some Thoughts

So many things have happened in the past few months. A two month visit to the States, a move out of my in-laws' to our own rental apartment, as well as some other things going on in my mind which I will talk about later. 

Brendan is currently 9.5 months old. He's able to pull himself up to standing position and take little steps while holding on to our hands. He's very observant and responsive, smiling when we talk to him, or angry when I am too tired to pick him up for the zillionth time. I spend my days looking forward to his nap time which I use to do housework or other miscellaneous things. Yet I also spend his nap times looking forward to seeing once again his bright round face peeking at me through the slats of his cot. It's a strange see-saw between tiredness and desire.

Today is my dad's birthday. I have been thinking a lot about my parents ever since I became a parent myself. What went through their minds as they once contemplated giving me up for adoption? What were their considerations back then as passionate young adults? Their hopes and dreams for themselves and for me... Did they have any for me? Or was the see-saw mostly slanted toward the side of weariness, a sense of hopelessness about their future? I try not to think too much about it because I now I know too much about my parents' personality (partially thanks to MBTI) to be positive about all these questions. I know the truth, but I don't really want to believe it.

I don't want to believe it, because I know that the moment I do, I will stop being able to dream big dreams for my children. I find that I am only able to dream big dreams for my children if I believe that my own dreams are attainable. But quite honestly, I have never given wings to any of my dreams. I have never believed that any of my grand visions could ever come true because deep inside, I know nobody ever believed in me. I suppose the outward passion I sometimes display comes from a deep-seated notion that if I strive hard enough, surely the stars will align and things will fall into place. But that has not been so and I am now twenty-six years wrong. 

Still, I won't blame my parents or circumstances for what I take to be a rather bland and useless life. I'm a mother now. I feed my young and that is all. What of purpose? The Lord decides. It's depressing not to know while I live on, what in the world am I actually good at and should be doing. The Bible gives us the clichė answer: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul.

Most days, I feel like a terrible Christian. I have a black eye from my last fight with Jerry and I'm not proud of it. He says we'll work on our temper. I've honestly lost my hope in him. I don't really have anything to show for my "christian life" these days other than my tendency to weep my eyes out to God, wailing about things and pleading for a way out of pain. Bible study? Going to church? Reading the Bible? Is this the recipe I am to follow for the rest of my life? Step one, step two, step three... Voilà! A perfectly baked cake. What if I don't want to be a cake?

I want to be a wild goat, standing on a beautiful mountain somewhere. Hopping from crag to crag, death below and life above. Hopping from crag to crag, light-footed and light-hearted. 

Is this not for me?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Baby Mobile

About a month before Brendan was born, I had an inkling to make him a baby mobile. Call it my nesting instincts if you will.

So out I went to buy some pieces of felt. 

I googled for some patterns that I liked, traced them directly off the computer monitor and started cutting.

This fawn was the most labor intensive of the lot, but it's also my favorite :)

I wasn't sure at first how to mount the animals with whatever existing material that I had. I was too lazy to go hunting for sticks or wire. 

Today, I finally decided to simply stick them with tape onto the ceiling. 

I hung them over Brendan's diaper changing station.

Looks alright huh?

They are stuffed with my leftover cosmetic cotton balls.

I made sure to include almost all the colors of the rainbow. A purple heart was on the way, but then Brendan came first and I never got the time to finish up.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Babywise, Parker & Daily Life

From day one, Brendan has been a Babywise baby. 

For those who have never heard about the book by Gary Ezzo, it is basically a book on how to schedule your baby's day. In a nutshell, each feeding session is followed by a "waketime", before putting your baby down for a nap. According to the book, trying to follow their schedule will have most babies sleeping through the night by eight weeks of age. 

Of course results will vary baby to baby since each one is an individual.

I remember telling C while I was pregnant that I was planning to have my baby sleep through the night by eight weeks of age. She told me to be realistic because hers was not able to sleep through the night till much later.

However, I'm very happy to say that Brendan has been a relatively easy baby. From the very first day till now, I've been concentrating on getting him to have a full feed each time as well as quality sleep. I am glad that my efforts have paid off because he is now (at seven weeks), capable of sleeping from 11pm till 5:30am each night. 

Of course, some nights are exceptions, but I don't mind if he gets up an extra time in the middle of the night for a feeding because it is usually short (about 5-10 minutes) and probably due to a growth spurt. 

And how do I know if he is going through a growth spurt? It's pretty obvious to me by now. There will be one or two days/nights of increased feeding sessions and fussiness. Thereafter, I will observe very sudden changes in either his physicality (gaining weight) or mental abilities (social smiling, increased awareness of his surroundings).

If you're wondering, yes, I am fully and totally breastfeeding him. And I do get letdowns in the middle of the night. Still, my milk supply has not diminished and Brendan is still getting fatter by the day!

Last night, we went to Parker Korean Restaurant along Upper Thomson Road so I could satisfy my irrational Korean food craving. I had never eaten there before, but it was one of the closer restaurants to us.

My breastfeeding apron is a lifesaver when we go out.

I should have taken a hint when we saw that the entire place was empty at dinnertime. The appetisers were soggy and my bibimbap was barely tolerable (didn't even bother to take a photo). 

One thing positive about the place though- the staff are honest people. I had left my phone on the table as we were leaving, but they kept it for me until we returned to retrieve it.

One of my favorite sights these days is my dear baby's milk-drunk face. It's just the cutest thing in the world to me!

Brendan's diaper literally exploded today. I had never seen such an insane poo from him before.

In the afternoon, I like to take him downstairs for a stroll. He'll usually fall asleep by the end of it though.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

7 Weeks

My dear baby is growing so quickly... At 7 weeks, he is now making plenty of cooing sounds during waketimes and starting to lift his head higher when lying on his tummy. 

He smiled at me quite a few times today. Oh it warms my heart so to see it! 

Sometimes I wonder if I really do love him with the intense kind of love that moms supposedly have. You know, the kind that will make moms voluntarily jump into a fire to save their babies. Honestly, sometimes when he gets his saliva on my hand, I quickly try to wipe it off because I am kind of saliva phobic. 

Still, I know I definitely love him enough to change his diaper in the morning with a smile even though I am dead tired. A few years ago, you could not persuade me to get out of bed without at least three swipes at the snooze button. Now, all I need is a faint whimper from the baby cot and I'm up! 

Each time I look down on his sweet little face, I'm reminded of how innocent and helpless he is. If he needs anything, the most he could do is to cry until his throat dries out. He is totally and utterly dependent on me. What a scary thing it is to be a baby.

I visited Lizzie and baby Alexander earlier today. I had not seen them since a week before I delivered, which was when Alex was born. Six days later, out came Brendan. 

It's really nice to have a friend who is going through the same lifestage as you, especially a Christian one. It's easy to listen to the world give you all sorts of advice, but nothing beats Christian fellowship- it's like chicken soup for the soul. 

In the evening, I hung out at Ah Yee's, where we discovered that Brendan could probably play the piano with his toes in the future if he wanted to. Haha! 

Anddddd that's it for the day. I put him down to sleep at about 10pm and spent the last two hours blogging, replying to emails and surfing Facebook. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update On Spiritual Life

Being a mommy is no easy job. In between laundry, diaper changes, breastfeeding or just plain trying to feed myself, I find myself exhausted and in no mood for anything but perhaps some Ellen Degeneres videos. That lady can really make me laugh!

All this exhaustion is not merely physical, it's mental and emotional too. Today, Lizzie asked me if I ever felt inadequate as a mom. Like if I ever felt like I could have done better or done more. I told her that I don't feel that way because if I felt like I could do something better, I would just do it that better way the next time. But honestly, most days, I feel like I could have been a much better wife. 

I know that Jerry is trying his best to be a dad and a husband despite his busy schedule. Yet on most days, I find myself wondering, "why isn't he doing more?" or "why isn't he taking more initiative to help me?"

That kind of attitude usually leads to a general feeling of dissatisfaction. It's very easy to find fault with everything he does. 

Then when an argument comes about, it's that much harder for me to be gracious and patient.

When I am being a difficult wife, this thought would often enter my mind: would you want Brendan to be as bad tempered as you when he gets older? Would you like him to show others the same amount of grace that you are showing your husband now?

Obviously, the answer is always NO. 

Still I find myself falling short again and again and again.

Currently, I am facing another crisis in trying to resolve a conflict. It's like my heart has suddenly become so stubborn and stone-cold. I never could have imagined that anybody could make me feel this angry in my life! 

Again and again, I know God is calling out to me to forgive as He forgave me. Still, it is taking me time to get over it. Whoever said marriage is a crucible for the spirit is not joking at all. Man oh man! My limits have been stretched beyond stretching. God certainly will give us more than we can handle... I know He wants me to give this situation to Him because the burden is too heavy for me to carry. And yet, here I am, still adamantly holding on my load.

Lord help me.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Giving Birth To Brendan

Wow, I cannot believe that almost two months have already gone by since I delivered Brendan! Time really flies, especially when your days and nights are blurred into one long stretch of feeding, napping and diaper changing.

Anyhow, I figured that I'd better start writing about my delivery experience while the memories are still fresh in my mind.

Every mom has a story to tell regarding each child they've delivered. I just thank God that mine did not involve giving birth in the kitchen and having to cut my own umbilical cord or something like that!

Pre-Delivery (Sunday March 15th)

My expected due date was supposed to be March 21st. However, I was thinking that March 15th would be a nice date to pop given the nice number- 15/3/15 (in Singapore it's dd/mm/yyyy). Also, I had started to feel random contractions since Friday and they were just getting stronger. They were even strong enough on Friday and Saturday night to wake me from my sleep! So I got up on Sunday morning hoping that somehow, it would be TODAY.

I think Jerry and I woke up late that morning and did not go to church because we were so tired. That afternoon, Ah Yee (my aunt) had invited Jerry to go play a game of badminton with them. I tagged along and even had a few swipes at it in despite the pain. 

During the previous night, I had downloaded an app called Full Term to track the duration and intensity of my contractions. By about two in the afternoon on Sunday, my contractions would last anywhere between 15 to 70 seconds and were about half an hour apart. However, sometimes they would be a few minutes apart or an hour apart. Basically, they weren't regular enough to make me take them seriously.

I always wondered what contractions would feel like. When they first started early on Friday, it was just a sort of dull ache like a mild period cramp. In fact, I really thought they were just some sort of cramp in my abdomen. But by Friday night, they started to feel like a bad period cramp. On Saturday night, that cramp had progressed to feel like a really bad period cramp. On Sunday morning, it was a very very bad period cramp and a lower backache. The pain would come suddenly, last for a short while, then go away. Eventually, they got so intense that it would feel like a VERY VERY VERY bad period cramp, lower backache coupled with gas and stomach flu type pains. 

So while Jerry was playing badminton, I was sitting in a chair and occasionally having to grip the sides of the chair when a strong contraction started. I'd grit my teeth and focus on starting and stopping the timer on my phone.

The funny thing is, I still didn't take my contractions seriously then. So happily, we went for a family dinner at Boon Lay after badminton. Dinner was so scrumptious! We had all kinds of seafood stir fried in sambal chilli. In between bites, I would start and stop my timer. 

By this time, some of my contractions were so painful that I could not eat or talk. I would grit my teeth, close my eyes and try to block out the world. Ah Gu (my uncle) who was sitting next to me, would talk to me sometimes and get really confused when I suddenly stopped listening to him. I explained to him that I was having contractions. 

My contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart by 8pm but still irregular. Ah Yee guessed that I would deliver on Tuesday or Wednesday. All of us went home from dinner that night without expecting that it would be a lot sooner!

So it's almost midnight on Sunday and Jerry and I are getting ready to go to bed. Unfortunately for me, the pain was more than I could bear by this point. I had to hold on to the baby's cot next to my side of the bed for support or pace about the room whenever another contraction started- which was about every 10-15 minutes now. Still, I tried to lie down to sleep LOL. 

When I realised that there was no way I was going to be able to sleep because of the pain, I called the hospital and asked them whether it was time (because I really couldn't tell). They told me that they could not assess my situation over the phone and to come in to the delivery suite anyway. 

In a very surreal moment of disbelief, I turned the lights on and woke my soundly sleeping husband (I know because he was snoring already :D ) and said "I think I'd better go to the hospital". I expected Jerry to jump up from bed immediately, but guess what was his reaction instead? He calmly said: "ok", then promptly plopped his head back into the pillow. ZZZ!!! 

Feeling another strong one coming, I sat there for a while until it went away then proceeded to wake him again. 

"Dear, I really think we should go to the hospital now. It's too painful."

Delivery (Monday March 16th)

Finally, Jerry went to wake Ah Gu to ask him to drive us to the hospital. At this point, things started to become more real to me. The very kiasu (afraid of losing/missing things) me started stuffing more things into my hospital bag which was already packed. 

Before we left, Jerry and I prayed for a smooth delivery and for God's perfect timing. The contractions were only about 7-12 minutes apart now. Ten minutes later, we were out of the house and on the way to Mount Alvernia. ETA: 1.30am, Monday 16th.

The amazing thing is, Ah Gu told us that he had taken sleeping pills at around 11pm because he had trouble falling asleep. But for some reason, the pills were ineffective and he was unable to sleep. He was actually still awake when Jerry knocked on his door past midnight!

The drive to the hospital was really smooth. Ah Gu was gentle driving over the humps on the road and there was literally no traffic the whole way.

When we got to Mount Alvernia's drop off point, two security guards were sitting at the entrance. I wobbled out of the car and one of the guards quickly jumped up  to get a wheelchair for me. At first I had declined it, but was really thankful later when he insisted on getting it as he saw me crunch over in pain. The guard wheeled me to the delivery ward and Jerry followed with my hospital bag. I think Ah Gu went home after that.

When I got to the reception, the ladies there didn't ask me many questions. I was given a consent form for an epidural in case I wanted one later. Then they wheeled me off to a ward and had me change into a hospital gown while Jerry stayed behind to fill in all the paperwork. 

When I was changing in the bathroom, I realised that the REAL bloody show had come and that it REALLY was time after all! I was so grateful to God for this visible confirmation and for the fact that I had arrived at the hospital right on time. 

Next, the nurse gave me an enema to flush out my colon. I was quite scared at first when she explained what she was going to do. The first thought that came to me was that I did not need more pain! However the passing was very soothing and I was grateful for it later. 

After being checked, I was told that I had already dilated 5cm- that is halfway to the 10cm that is necessary. I couldn't believe it- I had actually spent the whole day dilating while playing badminton and eating dinner mat Boon Lay... Haha!

I think I lay in the bed later for about 20 minutes before Jerry finally came back to the ward. There must have been a lot of paperwork to be done. Then another nurse came by and asked me how I was doing. I wasn't groaning or screaming or anything, but I was gripping the side of the bed with my face scrunched in pain. I didn't feel comfortable making those loud noises you hear women make in the movies. I felt that it would be very disturbing to the other lady in the ward next door, so I just held it in.

 The nurse gave me gas and asked me to inhale it whenever I felt that the pain was about to start. I sniffed that gas like it was the best perfume in the world.

Soon, another nurse came and asked if I wanted an epidural. The administering doctor would take about 30-45 minutes to arrive so I had to let them know as soon as I could if I wanted one. To be honest, I did not really want one because I hate injections of all kinds. The thought of getting a giant needle inserted into my lower back was just too daunting- but that was before I'd felt the strong contractions. Finally, I signed the consent form for an epidural because the pain was just too much for me to bear. I thought to myself that if the pain was this bad at 5cm and it had taken me all day to get to this point, I probably would not be able to handle the pain of dilating to 10cm if it was going to take another half of a day. Not to mention, I was feeling really tired already from the lack of sleep on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Immediately after I signed the consent form, I felt a wave of relief sweep over me. Jerry was very supportive of my decision even though it was going to cost us more. 

The doctor arrived in about 15 minutes. Even though it was a male doctor, I really didn't care at that point. The pain had blocked out most of my thoughts by then. With the help of the nurse who had given me gas, they got me to turn on my left side and put me on an IV drip. I was told not to move at all and the nurse held my hand while the doctor prepared the spot where he would inject the medication. I was very comforted by the warmth of her hand because Jerry was not in the room at this time. 

I tried to think of everything else but the needle. Unfortunately, I was not able to do so. So while the doctor was injecting me, I was actually imagining the giant needle penetrating my skin and pushing medication into my spine. Still, it wasn't terrible. My contractions felt way worse than the discomfort of the epidural.

After the procedure, I lay there as the pain started to fade out and I felt my lower body go numb. I think it only took about 10 minutes for me to feel the pain leave me. In fact, the pain left me so completely that I fell asleep from 2.30am to 8.30am. It was the best sleep I had gotten in days. Jerry also went to sleep on a reclining chair next to me.

We woke up feeling well rested. Thank God... I had dilated to about 9cm by that time. My gynae then came in and said we were going to start pushing in about an hour. I was surprised that she actually starts her daily rounds so early in the morning.

So there I lay for about an hour more- waiting.

I did not feel anxious or nervous, but rather excited. I kept wondering what our son was going to look like and what we were going to name him after all. At that time, it was still a toss up between Brendan and Christopher.

At 9.39am, out he came!

The actual pushing only took about 16 minutes. Jerry held my shoulders and kept encouraging me to push along with the other midwives. The way he kept saying "puuuusssshhhh" was so funny that I almost wanted to laugh out loud!

Since my epidural was so strong, I could not feel anything when it came time to push. That was a bit of a problem at first because I could not feel where the baby was while pushing. I just tried my best to imagine taking a dump like the midwives asked me to.

When Ms Wen Lim, my gynae, took out the forceps, I was shocked. All my life since I was little, when my mom told me I was delivered by forceps, I'd always imagined them to be little things like the ones surgeons use to pick up cotton balls. You can imagine the horror/amazement on my face when I saw that the forceps she was going to use was actually almost the size of my arm!

When Brendan finally came out with the final push, they put him on my tummy all covered in birth fluids. I was a little in shock. I didn't know how to react because my brain was still adjusting to the fact that he was no longer in my tummy. I also didn't really feel like touching the gooey stuff.

The midwives noticed Jerry's and my aversion to the gooey stuff, so they promptly whisked Brendan away to clean him up.

As I lay there, the first thing I asked Jerry was: "so, what is his name?"

"Hmm, I think Christopher"

Umm... Yeah... That only lasted for about 10 minutes. 

After they got him cleaned up, I was really excited and happy to hold him in my arms.

I started breastfeeding as soon as possible. 

But as Jerry and I gazed down on Brendan's face, we both realized that he looked nothing like a Christopher and everything like a Brendan. 

So that's how Brendan was named.

At this point, my brain still could not fully register that Brendan was out. I still felt like there was a baby inside me and I tried not to place Brendan's weight too much on my abdomen.

His feet were so tiny. I noticed that he got my feet. Jerry's second toe is longer than his big toe. Mine are not.

I was amused that the hospital tagged both his feet. In case I wasn't sure if both legs belonged to my baby?

Each time Brendan came close to me, my electronic tag would identify him and start playing a unique melody.

His was "Rock A Bye Baby". 

Everyone was surprised by Brendan's full head of hair. It is soft and fine like mine, but thick like Jerry's. 

The first visitors were my dad, Aunty Michelle and sister. They were so excited to meet Brendan that they came right after I delivered.

Initially, I had opted for a double-bedded ward. But when they wheeled me in there, I realised that the room was too cramped to give Jerry and I any sense of privacy. There were also some really loud renovation works going on. With all the drilling reverberating through the walls and ceiling, I started getting a headache. We immediately requested for a single room and were so blessed to get the very last one available!

Thankfully, the epidural was still in effect even hours after the delivery. I did not feel pain from the stitches as a result.

As I held Brendan in my arms, I kept thinking to myself: so this is what he looked like while he was floating around in my tummy all day!

I could not eat much of my first meal because I was so tired and nauseous (side effect from the epidural).

It's such a shame because the food at Mount Alvernia's maternity ward is SO delicious!

He barely opened his eyes on the first day and had a small scratch on his left cheek.

I loved gazing at his sweet face has he lay next to me in his little mobile cot.

Finally on the first evening, my appetite returned, and it returned in full force upon the very first delicious spoonful!

Brendan must have slept about 5 hours on the first night. I only got up to feed him again when they wheeled him in around 4.30 a.m.

I spent the entire day lying in bed because the epidural had worn off and I was starting to feel the pain from the stitches. The gynae had also inserted a catheter to drain my bladder and that was a strange kind of uncomfortable.

In the evening, Brendan had more visitors again.

Here's grandpa with his little grandson :)

Everyone had a turn carrying Brendan.

I was ultimately really grateful that we had chosen the single room in the end because that meant Jerry could sleep over. He took three days of leave and slept on the couch next to me. It was really heartwarming to watch him carry Brendan in his arms.

On the last morning, I finally felt free to walk around since they had removed my catheter. Breakfast was tasty as usual. I was sad to leave the hospital because my stay had been so comfortable. It was like living in a hotel!

We came with one hospital bag but left with a whole bunch of gifts.

I was really touched by all the love showered on us over the past few days by both the staff and all the visitors. Then again, I was also glad that I limited the number of people who came by because I really needed to rest.

We checked out of room 365 at around 12:30 p.m. on the third day since delivery. It was the first time I had stepped out of the door at all. I was amazed that our single room was in the corner next to the exit because we had prayed and asked for a quiet place to rest. This was the furthest room from all the renovation noise and I was so grateful for the peace it provided.

Here I am sitting downstairs by the reception with all of our lobang (stuff). People were staring at our loaded cart, probably wondering why we needed to bring so much to the hospital.

By 1.30 p.m., we were back home from the hospital.


Friday, April 17, 2015

38 Weeks

I went to see the gynae again this morning for my second CTG scan. The last time was pretty uneventful, but today, she determined that my cervix has already begun to dilate! About 1-2cm. Eeek... I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to deliver! I met Rosa who is about 4-5 months pregnant yesterday and she told me that a friend of hers had a 10 minute delivery for her first baby! That really gave me a lot of hope!

However, I also received a bit of scary news. My gynae will be away for three days starting on my due date, so hopefully I will go into labor either before or after then! I don't feel very comfortable having some other gynae monitoring the labor process.

In other news, I've been feeling really heavy these days. My weight was 71kg this morning. Most times, it feels more like 100kg. Walking for more than 30mins usually means I'll be bedridden for the rest of the day. It also hurts to roll sideways in bed because of how heavy my belly is.

I'm really grateful for all the small and big sacrifices that people around me have been giving to try to make life easier for me. Most of it is from Jerry of course... But I am also really thankful to my relatives who have all done nice things to help make this pregnancy better.

It's just a matter of days now I suppose. I am on 38 weeks today so... Anytime now and I will get to see his sweet little face :D

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dealing With TB In The Home

So for the past few days, I've been walking around the house in a surgical mask. I tried to get Jerry and his mom to wear their masks too but nobody seems to be taking me seriously. They only do it when I remind them to. Not only that, but I still hear his dad coughing around the house without covering his mouth. And no, nobody else seems to be using the hand sanitizers or handwash that I scattered around. I'm so worried all the time now that my mother in law has already gotten the disease and that she is going to pass it to Jerry (who may or may not have it at the moment) when he talks to her without a mask on.

My aunts messaged me frantically last night, urging me to move out of the house as soon as possible. I could go into labor anytime during these next few weeks. After which, our newborn baby will be extremely susceptible to illnesses or disease due to his still developing immune system. I felt strongly that Jerry should also move out of the house with me, but it seems that he is suffering from some pride issues. Apparently, according to Singaporean Chinese culture, the wife moves into the husband's household and not the other way round (at least that's what he says). He seems so deeply affected by that rigid piece of tradition that he's actually willing to risk catching TB at home and thereby not being able to spend the next 6-9 months around his wife or newborn. I can't believe it!!!

A tiny ray of hope appeared yesterday. Jerry logged onto the Housing Development Board (HDB) website and discovered that despite our disadvantageous queue number, we do have an appointment to pick our Sale of Balance Flat (SBF) in about two weeks from now. Sale of Balance flats are public housing apartments that are either halfway or already completed, which means we could move in immediately instead of having to wait 4-5 years for the place to be built. Unfortunately for many Singaporeans, getting any sort of housing is a terrible headache and a miraculous feat because our queue numbers are balloted. The worst that could happen now is that all the available units would have been picked before we even had a chance to exercise our ballot. 

If by some miracle, we managed to get a unit this time around, we may be able to move into our new place as early as the end of the March. It will be rather inconvenient for us then, because my due date is March 21st, but that's at least better than nothing. 

In fact, that's all I have to hold on to now. We can't afford to rent an entire unit right now because I'm not planning to work at full capacity for this year, which means we would have to live with relatives. Since Jerry's not comfortable with doing that, we are in a bit of a dilemma because of the TB situation at home right now.

I literally can't do anything right now but pray and hope for the best.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

36 Weeks & Stuff

Photo credit: my wonderful husband :) 

I'm smiling in the photo, but there aren't many things to smile about. A few things have been going on lately. First of all, Chinese New Year came and went. I didn't visit any of Jerry's relatives this year due to some last minute circumstances but I did get to spend some time visiting my immediate family. It was a long and exhausting weekend.

On Saturday, Jerry's dad was sent to the hospital for a bout of severe coughing that left him breathless. He ended up in the isolation ward for a suspected case of tuberculosis (TB). Unfortunately, he was tested positive. He came home last night and is on medical leave for some time.

The thing that bugs me though is that neither of Jerry's parents seem to be aware of their surroundings... Nobody's wearing face masks and they are coughing and sneezing openly everywhere without covering their mouths. I'm also worried that his dad will skip his medications since he has a habit of doing so. You're NOT supposed to skip any medication during the six months recovery period. It's left me feeling confined to the bedroom. I'm worried that either Jerry's going to catch the disease and pass it to me, or our baby will arrive and be infected soon after. I suddenly feel at a lost as to whether we should continue living in this house or if we should just move out as soon as possible. All my happy baby prepping mood just got dampened REAL fast!

I seriously never saw this coming...

To top it up, Jerry's mom has been acting erratically and doing things she shouldn't be doing. It's left the whole family feeling very worried and upset. Well, except for Jerry who has a lot of faith that God will take care of his mom in the matters we cannot control. But me? I'm struggling with it daily. I go back and forth between feeling angry (why is she still so irresponsible at this age?) and feeling compassionate (God loves her and I should pray for her). It's mentally draining and I even find myself wanting to vent on poor Jerry when he comes home, all tired from work.

I long for peace.

A peace of mind, a reassurance that everything is going to be okay. It is the most precious thing that I could hold on to right now. 

On Sunday in church, we read this verse from John 14:27. It says "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid."

Despite everything that is going on, God wants me to not let my heart be disturbed by my circumstances, but to trust Him and to rest in His peace. Honestly, this is easier said than done! But what can I do? He has never failed me...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nesting Instincts

These past few weeks have been nothing short of stressful. I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant going on 35 this Saturday, and until about two weeks ago, I still had nothing ready in our room for the baby!

It wasn't until I threw a fit that Jerry finally decided to hop into action. Within a day, he rearranged the entire room by taking out our closet and a chunky low table/drawer. That was just the first step. Next, we faced the challenge (or rather I did) of cleaning the whole room. And by that, I mean that I actually wiped EVERYTHING- including all the walls, down to the very last wire.

I'd been shopping around online for IKEA's Sundvik cot, which we both saw in the store and liked. But for some time, we couldn't find any decent secondhand Sundviks either on Carousell or Gumtree. Until the last minute!

We got a new cot from Carousell for 150 SGD, including the mattress. Fortunately for us, the seller's twin babies had refused to sleep in their cot since they were born. IKEA's selling this cot at 249 SGD and a pretty banged up version in their As Is section was selling for 130 SGD without the mattress in both cases. So I'd say we got a pretty sweet deal!

After much begging and pleading with a husband who really didn't see the need to get a new chest of drawers, he finally relented and we got this (brand new) Hemnes from IKEA. It's probably the most expensive thing we've bought for the baby so far, apart from the package with the gynae. I think it cost 269 SGD? Everything else, including the diaper changing pad you see on the drawers, I got secondhand through Carousell :)

As I'm getting bigger by the day, I've been finding it really hard to get out of the house. I just feel so unmotivated when I think about having to take the MRT. Seats are not always guaranteed and the weather is just too hot and humid.

I just don't feel like my old self these days. I did not use to be so... spoiled. But this last trimester is no joke at all. I just find myself wanting to rest more instead of pushing myself to my physical limits.
Also, the occasional urge to vomit isn't something that I want to deal with in crowded Singapore.

Thank God that Jerry is very understanding and tries his best to make things as convenient and comfortable for me as possible. For example, I know he doesn't like to drive, but he would drive me anywhere if I asked, just because :)

Once the drawers and cot were in place, I set about unpacking my suitcases full of baby things. And just like a daughter of my mom, I ironed EVERYTHING after putting them in the laundry. Including the baby's handkerchiefs...

And then labelled everything...

Ironing his clothes wasn't as exhausting as actually sorting through them and organizing them methodically in my head. And actually ironing made it easier to fold and pile them neatly in the drawers.

I still have a few random things to get, but otherwise, I think I'm set!

I can see him kick through my clothes very clearly now. Every hour or so, I would get either a strong shove in my right belly (from his feet), or pummeling, or some awkward stroking action from within my belly. I like it when I'm being still, but it's definitely weird and uncomfortable when I'm trying to do some *ahem* business, or eat.

Anyway, I know his days in my belly are numbered and I should enjoy what's left of them. 

Life is going to change for sure, even as it already has!