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!