Monthly Archive: July 2016

SAHM

A few days ago, I spoke to my big boss again about my plans of taking long leave to take care of little pea. I needed her approval for my submission. Once again, she tried to help me think of alternatives. She sounded disappointed when I told her that this is my only option, and the conversation ended with her saying, “Think about it again. The long break will jeopardise your career.”

This stuck with me for awhile after our tele-conversation. I felt sad and indignified to hear that from her, although I understand her perspective. There is a reason why she is now up on the ladder. She did not “sacrifice” her career for her children. But why in the first place is that a sacrifice?

For me, this decision is not a difficult one. I have tried to put my career before my child, and look what happened to little man’s immunity. I dare say that all his current problems are due to those early days in infant care. Before he went to infant care, he was never sick. When I put him in there at 6-month old, within a short period of 6 months, he was hospitalised 4 times, given endless antibiotics that caused his gut flora to mess up. All problems are stemmed from those days. Hence I told Hubby that if we are going to have another child, I will not let him go through that mess again.

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom is not easy. Go ask any SAHM. It is not a break. It can be more tiring than work, because you are “working” 24/7. You can have a nice lunch break at work. You have to gobble down your lunch at weird timings because your baby may wake up anytime. You sometimes have to hold your pee and poo because your baby needs you more. In between breaks aka your baby nap time, you have to try to do some housework. You are stuck at home with no adult conversations. And then you will start to feel like you have lose your shine, especially if you do not make an effort to keep yourself in touch with the outside world. The worst part is, people do not recognize what you do. They think that you are having a “break”. Best still, your husband’s words sometimes reveal that he thinks that way too.

That is SAHM for you. A thankless job. But why do I still decided to do it? Why do so many capable women still decided to do it? Because anyone can do your work, but not anyone can be a mother to your child. My children are my priority for now. Because I have made the decision to have them, I must be responsible for them. This is especially so when I am not able to get any reliable help to take care of them.

I think our society has not been very fair to SAHM. I don’t know about the past, but most SAHM whom I know are doing much more than just housework. Because they are much more educated, they try to make a difference in their children’s learning and development while they are at home. Of course, they do not do these for recognition, but the society’s perception certainly needs to change.

Birth story of little pea

This is a post that has been in my head since the day I delivered little pea but did not get to put down in words because there were simply too many things going on right after his birth, and I was just too exhausted. However, late as it may be, I had to dedicate a post to this, because it was an entirely different birth experience from the delivery of little man.

The delivery of my beloved firstborn was a traumatic, energy and emotionally draining experience as recorded here. This experience caused me to develop mild postnatal depression after that. And for a long time, I couldn’t think of having a second child again.

This time, however, I felt really good about the whole delivery process. I felt well taken care of and very much involved in the entire process. This is how important the gynecologist is.

My first gynecologist was an old doctor, Dr G Tan who had a clinic at Gleneagles. His service was not expensive, but he showed no interest nor concern in the health of his patients. Many times, he was playing with his mobile phone during our consultations. And he showed up in the last minute just before little man made his appearance in my entire 16-hour delivery. I felt like giving him a tight slap when he showed up in his “Hawaiian” flowery shirt and said jokingly, “You thought I am not coming right?”

Still, I did not know a gynecologist can make such a difference, especially in the delivery process. I decided to switch gynecologist when I found out I was pregnant because of some very positive experiences with my current gynecologist, Dr Benjamin Tham. Although the way the clinic’s nurses work can be rather frustrating and you are never able to reach the doctor directly, Dr Tham made up for that in major ways. He is always very reassuring and makes me feel that I can trust his judgement.

Dr Tham has always been very concerned about little pea’s weight as he felt he was on the higher end of the scale. Perhaps due to my petite frame, Dr Tham felt that it was better for me to keep check of little pea’s weight if I do not want a big tear on the day of delivery.

At week 37, Dr Tham asked me if I would like to choose a day to induce the baby as I am already 2cm dilated. According to him, baby has reached 3.1kg and is now safe to be induced. I said I would think about it, but frankly, I was not prepared for an induction. I have always wanted for little pea to stay in till week 40 as I have read that it is for the best. However, after speaking to my mother, who felt that it is better to choose a date for induction than to be caught off-guard like my first delivery, Hubby and I gave it a serious thought.

We first decided to induce little pea on the 19th May, which means I had to get to the hospital on 18th May 11pm. However, I caught a bad flu bug on 17th May and was not feeling very well. I called up the clinic and requested for a later date, but as predicted, the nurses are just not helpful at all. I was really very upset and I remember telling Hubby that I will just not show up if they refuse to give me a later date. I really do not want to deliver in such a bad state.

The next morning, on the 18th, I went to the toilet as usual and found unusual discharge with streaks of blood. Immediately I knew it’s mucus plug, even though I have not seen nor experienced that before. A quick check with my good friend, Mr Google confirmed my suspicion. I called up the clinic and asked for my gynecologist. Just like every time I tried to get to my gynecologist, a nurse got back to me instead. She then advised me to monitor the situation and if there is a bloody show or contractions, I should immediately get to the hospital. As I was tested positive for GBS, the nurse advised me to come in earlier in case my waterbag broke. I had to be put on IV antibiotics for the entire delivery process for the safety of my newborn. Hubby decided to work from home just in case there is any emergency.

At noon, I started to feel some contractions. More mucus plug came out with more streaks of blood. I decided to go down to the hospital to check it out, but not without first taking a good lunch and bath. By the time we reached the hospital, it was 3pm. We met Dr Tham on our way to the delivery room. He was on his way home. He was amused that we took so long to come down to the hospital and told the nurse to monitor my condition and update him. “If everything is alright, you can go home and I will see you tonight.” I remember exchanging glances with Hubby. We were hoping that this is not a wasted trip. Turned out that, I am 4cm dilated, but the contractions are not strong. Dr Tham sent us back home and told us to come again late at night.

I was quite amused by how things turned out. I have always wanted to let little pea decide his own delivery date and was rather upset at the thought of induction. But God has his plan, and now little pea has chosen to come out on 19th May. In a way, it doesn’t feel much like an induction at that point in time.

It was not such a bad thing to be sent back, because we managed to spend time with little man, had dinner with him and put him to bed before going off to the hospital again. When we reached the hospital, I was still 4cm dilated. The nurses at the delivery room was very kind and helpful. One of them told me to let them know earlier if I want the epidural as I was already 4cm dilated. Things can come fast and furious suddenly, and it takes time for my appointed anaesthetist, Dr Yvonne Lim to come. She was the anaesthetist for my first delivery as well, and she was excellent.

After some time, I decided to ask for the epidural. When Dr Yvonne Lim came, she asked if I had any experience with epidural. I told her that I did and I vomited badly the last time. She then ordered some anti-nausea medication for me. I was stunned to hear that there is such a thing. Instantly, I felt that I have suffered in vain for my first delivery. After a while, Dr Tham came by and check on me. He heard that I was still feeling slightly nauseated and ordered for a stronger medication. The rest of the night is just a breeze as compared to my first nasty experience.

Initially, I was not yet induced as Dr Tham wanted to see if I can dilate further. However, I was dilating to slowly, in the end Dr Tham had to order to induce me. Then everything started to move very fast. Before we know it, I was 10cm dilated. Dr Tham came down and started preparing me for what is to come. He then guided me through the whole delivery process patiently. For the first time, I felt that I was truly involved in the whole delivery process. I could feel little pea coming out of me, though my entire lower body was numbed. Then without even asking, Dr Tham placed little pea gently on my chest. Little pea was crying when he did that.

I”It’s alright, J. Mama is here.” I remember telling little pea. Then, as though he recognised my voice, little pea stopped crying and looked at me. My eyes were brimming with tears at that point, not only because I was touched, but also due to the fact that I will never be able to do that for little man. It is one of my greatest regret, and it always will be.

Due to the good delivery experience, I felt really good after that. Unlike the last time, when I cried so much after the whole process, I felt strong emotionally. I felt like I was able to take on the challenges that come later and not get down to depression. And true enough, except for the serious lack of sleep, the past 6 weeks have seen me becoming a more patient person.

This is probably my last pregnancy as two is really enough. But I will definitely go back to Dr Tham again, if there is a third one. *fingers crossed* 🙂

First family outing

With an active 3-year-old and an infant in tow, is no easy feat.

Hubby and I were feeling rather brave and capable, hence we decided to bring the children out on the Hari Raya Puasa holiday. Little man has been asking if we are going “shopping” every weekend, and truth to be told, I have so many things I want to buy, my shopping list is getting longer and longer.

So yesterday, we let little man sleep in till 9-ish (not us, as we barely really sleep ever since little pea arrived), had breakfast and started to get ready at 11am, thinking that we should be able to get out of the house for lunch. Then little pea had to poo. Then Hubby had to poo. So I ended up showering both boys by myself within the short span of half an hour (I never fail to amaze myself). When I was trying to get myself ready, little man started shouting for me. And so I ran out of the bathroom with just a towel, thinking that something has happened, only to find out that little man wanted my company in the living room because he was alone. Just then Hubby came out of the bathroom, hence I was finally able to shower in peace. Then little pea started to fuss, so Hubby fed him again. Then he regurgitated a big mouthful of milk and left us wondering if we should change him again.

The short 2 hours is so eventful that when we finally got out of the house at 1-ish, I felt like calling it quits and plonk my tired self onto the sofa. But I did not, so we pushed ourselves forward and finally reached Marina Square for lunch by 2pm.

After lunch, we went to Kiddy Palace and Mothercare to look for some items for the boys. Every time I start to look at the things to buy, little man will shout for me to come because “he wanted to show me something”. When Hubby finally got him out of my way, little pea started to fuss, and that’s when we realised he is hungry again. At one point, I felt a little light-headed with so many things going on, I’ve lost all my mood to shop. Then little man wanted to nap, so I took out the baby carrier and wear little pea. But he got so excited with all the children running around at the playground, he decided he was not tired after all. So I put little pea back in the stroller. After a while, he got so tired that he really needed his nap, I had to take out little pea again to wear him. Little pea became so frustrated with his disturbed sleep, he started fussing again.

At the end of the day, I told Hubby that although I am very proud of ourselves for keeping our cool and managing the children well for the entire day, I think I may need a long break from “shopping” before we attempt another day out. The lack of sleep definitely adds on to the weariness and lack of stamina as well. So for the time being, I shall just be contented with my online shopping.

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