PM Lee Hsien Loong had raised a call for Singaporean couples to breed more rabbits. No not real rabbits.. but baby wabbits.. no no no.. of course i meant, babies. Singaporean babies.
I was way heavily pregnant during that time of reporting. In fact, I had already given birth by then.
When hubs and i realised i was pregnant… well actually he kept asking if i was (pregnant)… … since he set up ambush plan on me … and gave me so much cooing on baby talk.. about how much the girls have grown (and aren’t that terribly cute anymore) and yada yada yoda and so on.. Plus the fact, that i didn’t actually guard my fort very well too……. We were sooo looking forward to a Rabbit Baby. ie. A baby born in the year of the Rabbit. Our firstborn son came a wee earlier than expected and became our Tiger Baby instead, not that we’re complaining. 🙂
Prior to conceiving, i was told (when i was hospitalized for being highly anaemic & that it was possible for me to get a mild stroke without even realizing it) it was hard for me to conceive due to some growths in the womb and what nots. Good then, i thought. I didn’t plan to have anymore either. Problem solved.
We already have two girls, aged 10 and an almost 8yr old.. so hubs had always wondered (aloud) *roll eyes* of how having a boy would be like.. how a boy would look like.. how much fun he would have just like all his/our friends with boys/sons.. I was about to tell my gynae in confidence that i wanted the gender thingy to be hush-hush but he broke loose all ideas i had for the supposed plan; to both his nurses in his consultation room and i bet the other moms & dads outside at the waiting lounge, heard as well when he yelled, “Ayy.. wanna know sex of baby? Can see liao, eh.. Tongkat Ali!” He exclaimed almost in one breath.. hence the inability to stop him in time. Needless to say, hubs was super ecstatic.
Oh well.. guess i just had to make the best of the situation like i always had with all other situations that happened in my life thus far. Make good out of it. I ain’t much of a bully so i didn’t know how to make him do stuff for me and/or get me stuff i craved. I usually would casually tell him i felt like having something and that i would go out to get it. On and off if he was free or felt like it, he’d go get or else i’d wait the following day… or sometimes a couple of days before i get it myself or sometimes he did surprise me by coming home with my craves. I appreciate that more than he knows. I remember i did thank him. Not profusely, but i did say thank you. But i know i really appreciate these little things.. They’re special to me though i don’t say it out loud. Hee.
I was treated like a queen (well almost..) except the fact that this queen had a massive move to do. Yes, move. Not to a palatial home however but we finally secured our own flat. Not a new one as we’d have much preferred, but having our own place to stay just couldn’t wait. We settled for a resale which was still within sky-rocketing prices at that time and managed to scrape thru’ shorter financing terms with help of my folks for their chop, sign and guarantee of endorsement.. within radius to parents. 🙂 Luckily i did years of parent volunteer wor.. So i fell in automatic Phase 2A. Phew.. it took us almost what….? 11yrs i think… to see us to this day of the move. Frankly, it was a relief more than nostalgia but i won’t go into that. I was just like sighing in relief and whispering to myself… finally… it came. That light at the end of the tunnel… our own place. It may not be huge but it’s what we could afford. I’m happy.. the girls were psyched.. didn’t matter how big or small it was, as long as it was OURS. All ours.
Scare #1 : Before our move, i thought i had a miscarriage. A piece of what seemed like bloody meat came out of me one morning on the day i was to have a consultation with my gynae. I kept it in a container and brought it to the hospital. “How are you today?” He asked. “I think I have lost the baby…” I replied solemnly. Shocked, he asked me to lie down and said he’d gimme a scan. I also gave him the container. Within seconds, he whispered, “Can’t be… your baby is still here. Well and kicking.” He checked inside the container and told the nurses to throw it away. Said it was some kinda blood clot and later explained the how it could’ve got there.. Hubs smiled in relief and gave me an assuring arm around my back. I just sighed..
Scare #2 : I am not a young mom anymore. I had my eldest daughter 10yrs ago. I was afraid i’d be outta touch. But before i got to the outta touch part, i was given yet another scare. Age as we know, plays a part in certain pre-diagnosis in many health issues. It became our issue as well when my blood was tested with high probability of us having a higher chance.. a very risky chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome. The odds were staring back at me on a stark white piece of result slip. Denial. Fear. Shock. Sadness. All swept over me in that same second i held my breath. Next up.. to take another invasive test. I had to consider whether or not to sign an agreement that would cost me more than $600 to get one heck of a needle in the sac to get some amniotic fluid for testing. 99% accuracy our gynae said. He was an angel.. what he gave me was time. To ponder and yes, to decide.
Before foetus reached 21 weeks i had to make that decision. After which, if it came out positive i had to decide once again whether to keep it or do a wash. Hubs said i had to decide.. tho i knew what was in his heart all along. He wanted this boy very much..
I decided to get it done and over with. Felt it was better to know for i didn’t want any surprises. I had to do the procedure alone cause hubs had to work and really really couldn’t get off. Bummer right? It was a quick but cold procedure as i didn’t have anyone with me. 🙁 I waited 4 dreadful hours to do this, as the gynae was occupied with a major code blue (or was it red?) surgery around the time of my appt. Was informed if it was positive, i’d receive a call within three days time and if not, we’d meet the gynae at next appt date. Results were negative.
Hubs held my hand and squeezed my shoulder. Assuring comfort. How i truly did appreciate that one simple gesture. I was afraid but i didn’t say it aloud.. Guess i showed it huh?
Scare #3 : During labour and at the final moment, out of breath and weak knee-d.. i heard murmurs of discussion amongst them (all of them around me in the delivery suite) that the baby wasn’t moving and that it also wasn’t coming out. A little spinning in the head from all that pushing but in that same head, i was saying, “I can heeeeaaaar you….” *roll eyes*. The baby’s head was a bit too big to exit despite being fully stretched and dilated. Seemed that the baby’s head position was a wee awkward although i already feel his head at exit point and tried pushing him out countless times. No way out. A c-section was suggested by nurses. Gynae came over and asked, “You trust me? I’m gonna help you. You can do this. You can?” “In my blurness i said yes to everything and anything. I didn’t even ask. I didn’t know what and how he was gonna do. In my heart i prayed.. Please, just help me get him out. Our gynae said to his nurses, “I know this patient. She can. Now work with me.” The next 15 – 20 minutes of intense pushing and pressing of my upper abdomen (which resulted in bruises) challenged the life out of me. But he (baby) got out safely..
Or so i thought…
Hubs held my hand thru’ out the ordeal.. (at times to the point of gripping squeezes) but he psyched me thru’ it all.. Through that time, all i heard were his words in my ears that moved me… cheered me to go on. I appreciated this.. soo much more than any words could express. I couldn’t remember if i said thanks to hubs, but i’m sure i managed a wry smile..
Scare #4 : Baby wasn’t breathing.
Hubs later re-enacted how our gynae multi-tasked giving baby little pressure presses on his chest to clear what seemed to be hindering the natural breathing or even a cry from the baby. I asked hubs what’s going on and he only replied.. “Nothin’… just checkin’ the baby and pulling out the cord out of me.” I didn’t know that baby didn’t move. I don’t think i would know how to react if he told me.. for that moment of not telling, again… i appreciated it.
Scare #5 : How we’d manage? New house meant we’re all on our own.. School re-opening.. Logistics and many more on top of confinement care. What ensued was the most memroable thing of having my #3 (child)… Here’s sharing why i WILL consider having more babies. Note the word *consider* ok, before getting all excited…
Hubs was my confinement-manny. You heard me. Confinement MAN-ny. On top of the 3 days paternal leave.. he took another 7 days to at least ensure it could help me get back on my feet again before he had to go back to work. I’m a stay-home-mom. He needed to work for all of us. He saved leave to be there for me, our two girls.. and the baby.
He worked the house like clockwork.. everyday. Forced me to rest. Instructed me to get as much sleep as possible. (He helped with alternate bottle feeding since i engaged a massage lady during confinement) I had wrapped the children’s new school books and ironed their uniforms for first week of school so that helped. I already handled the transport arrangements as well. So that’s a done deal. He got a head start.
I know now why he asked me abt some easy to cook recipes beforehand.. he was planning to try his hand at cooking. So he did. But hey, how difficult can confinement cooking be, right? They’re mostly bland soups. Hehee.. But his cooking turned out so scrumptious i was afraid i’d over-eat. From marketing, to cooking, to stocking the kitchen cabinet with necessities, ensured the house was spick and span in case of surprise visitors, to buying diapers and sanitary pads for me & what nots. He even knew which breast pump to get me. He too trusted our tried and tested Medela Electric. Hee..
He helped me shower, (yes, i cannot tahan!) got the baby cleaned up smelling nice, get the girls ready for school, helped with orientation week (they’re transfer students).. homework.. the girls’ catfights.. hovering over baby.. everything. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner on time on target… in bed. I slept like a baby every night. By the time he finished with doing the dishes & cleaning the kitchen & brought the laundry in after dinner every night, i see him either sprawled over the sofa with clothes from the dryers or the tv watching him in bed.
The children would all be sound asleep in their beds and baby in the cot.
Eventually 10 days quickly passed but i haven’t fully recovered. He pleaded, begged and almost quarreled with his superiors over another 4 days of leave just to make sure i was ok.. that he could leave me at home with 3 children and i’d be ok.. For that alone, i couldn’t have thanked him enough. He also had attachment issues cos he was with the baby thru’ out the whole time lah.. Hahaa..
14 days was up and i was able to walk better, sit and noo definitely not run yet! But comfortable enough to move abt and do teeny chores here and there. Before he left for work on the 15th day (which he dreaded).. kekekee.. he said this to me, “I hope I managed to do enough during the last two weeks i was home. I dunno how you’d manage now with me gone but i guess as usual you will anyhow lar.. but try not to do the housework.. i’ll come home and do that. You just be here for the kiddies.. ok. I love you and sorry i gotta go back to work already. I’ll miss you all…” with glistening eyes holding back tears.
That 14 days including the 4 additional days he fought for.. to be with us.. to be around for every single one of us; was just one of those many days that HE was a Husband for me.. The Father for our children.. The sole breadwinner for our family.. The silent work-horse who shoulders the needs of his family. Our family.
Though we may not say it often enough or loud enough for the things that you do for us… Buds hubs… THANK YOU for all the things you’ve done, for all those time you’ve been there for us.. for the silent support you gave us when we needed it most.. for being here for the raising and the wrangling of our children.. thank you.
But then again… thank you is and never will be enough.. for everything that you are to us.. But still just so you know that you are very very very much appreciated for all the things you do… big ones and even small personal ones, take heart. We do notice.
We feel it.
We can feel a true father in our hearts.
So, if you ask me whether i would consider having more children after my ordeal with #3… well, i might… but then again… hubs is the one who said close shop hor. Not me.
Perhaps he’s thinking of closing his shop! LOLz!
CONCLUSION : If all fathers were given mandatory paternal leave (2-3 weeks for starters) to care for their spouses and family, it will be a small step (in my opinion at least) in creating a pro-family movement within society. It gives time for fathers, newbies and old timers regardless to bond and having that sense that they too belong in this child-raising environment as much as the moms do, rather than just the-making-of. :p
The above is just sharing how important it was for me to have a husband and a father around. Having bigger families is a joint project. So let’s grant our men the time to be involved in pro-creation and it’s follow-up actions.
Btw… to buds hubs. Happy Father’s Day. Hope your wish is now fulfilled with our very own buds_chubs.