From no kids to one… why I changed my mind

This week, a fellow mummy whose baby was born on the same day as Little Foot gave birth again to her second child.

I felt happy for her. Yet it triggered many thoughts in my head including the impending questions that will keep popping up in my head in the days ahead as more and more in my fellow mummy group will start having their next child.

When will I have a second child?  Should I change my mind and have another baby?

To put things into perspective, I was one of those women who refused to entertain the idea of children in my life.

When we entered into marriage, I was adamant that ours would be a 2-person only family.  No kids.

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My list of defence goes on and on:
I don’t want to complicate my life…
It’s a losing investment…
It’s going to affect my career/work…
When the kids grow up,  they will break my heart (thinking of how I would give my own mother grief over stupid things in my teenage and adult years)…
I’m not healthy, my child might inherit my bad genes…
I feel complete without a child…

In essence, deep down was a fear, that I would no longer be in control of my life, our lives. Yet, by God’s grace, a death in the family changed my mind. If Pico our old dog didn’t pass away, I wouldn’t have pondered what it meant to leave. Forever.

When he left, we shared photos and videos, and spoke fondly about his antics and silly ways. Yet, it was just not enough. We were grasping at sand in the wind… helpless.

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I remembered I looked at Long and thought, if I leave, what would he have to hold onto of me? This empty house? A memory card full of photos and videos? How would I deal with it if he left me first? It was such a sad and despairing thought that it broke my heart.

Long always knew what marriage should lead to, but never articulated it well. He wanted a child, but couldn’t justify why except tell me my religion said I should. When I voiced my thoughts,  I guess it finally provided him the words that failed him.

And so we started trying for our little one. Two months later, testing positive felt like striking 4D.

Fast forward 13 months later to present time, I look back at all the times spent with Little Foot… from the pregnancy to the newborn days to colic times to now. She grew and we grew with her.

There are days I remind Papa Long that he wanted a child… (and by that logic he should be more hands on and “siao on” as a father. There are days I throw my hands up and ask myself why the F*** I agreed to put myself in this parenting situation. However, the good times and all the fulfilling moments greatly outweighed those.

Little Foot has a priceless smile that would melt all doubts away. She has those eyes that spoke a thousand words.  Even the frowns she used to present so often in her early days make me sit there and just get lost in the moment. The bond we share, especially because of breastfeeding and how we battled gestational diabetes and colic together, it replaced all the superficial things I thought was all I needed.

– Forget dates and movies.

– Forget cafe hopping.

– Forget beers on Friday nights.

– Forget one-luggage, hardly planned last-minute trips.

– Forget hobbies and couch potato time.

I’ve forgotten my old lifestyle where these were things I do without planning and without much thought.

Yes,  we still yearn for these and we will still attempt to keep a semblance of the old lifestyle, so Little Foot goes out with us for “Flower legs” sessions every weekend, finding a cafe with coffee that had latte art for Papa Long. (He’s obsessed with it), and I occasionally drag my scrapbook materials out to try to use them.

For now, I’m at the #onechildpolicy mentality. The next hurdle is overcoming my fear of going through it all over again.

The fear of going through all the unknowns in pregnancy (including not doing an Oscar test, because I will keep the baby whatever happened), the lethargy, the crazy newborn days, the milk woes, and then the thought of putting Little Foot on the sidelines if there is another child… how is that possible?

A few of the second-time mummies in my group shared how it was for them… “you may think by having a second child, the love would be halved… no, actually your heart will be able to become double big so you love both as much as you love her now.”

Wise words.

Have I thought about it?

Yes. Because I go back to the “all alone in the world” fear that sparked my journey into motherhood. Eventually, time will take Papa Long and I away from Little Foot. The thought of leaving her all alone in this world without a support system like what I enjoy (having 4 siblings) also breaks my heart.

But I fear.

I fear that I won’t make it the next time round… irrational fears but there is a real-life example in my sis’ friend who is now in a vegetative state, a result of complications during the delivery of her third child. I can’t overcome the fear that I may leave Long and Little Foot behind.

Until I overcome the fears and learn to trust God to lead the way, I will continue to be overly anxious about this.

No second child for now… let me enjoy Little Foot’s company for now. Our family of three seems complete to me.

Who knows,  God will open that door for me when the time is appropriate. And if he doesn’t, I think we will just have to prepare Little Foot for the journey ahead on her own.

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Any day can be Papa day

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I revisited these pictures a few times today.

Each time, it brought a smile to my face and warmed soul.

Today was “Papa day” for Little Foot. She gave Papa Long a lot of special moments.

Morning, she went on and on “papapapa…” for a very long time while playing around on our bed. We tried to catch it on video but she froze the moment the phone appeared.

Then they had a good baby bath session today. I felt him reminiscing about the newborn he used to bathe when he towel-dried her on his lap. And she was quiet and cooperative. (Usually,  there would be a lot of “eh eh eh” and squirming). Maybe he was also thinking about how there will come a day when he has to stop being the bath IC for her.

And then we had this father-daughter hug that melted my heart. It was at Wang Cafe at Bukit Panjang Plaza. We decided to go for our Kopi session in the afternoon. And it was such a spontaneous thing they did.

What amazed me was she quietly hugged him back and also allowed him to enjoy his coffee.

(Little Foot hardly hugs. She usually doesn’t even wrap her arms around our neck when we carry her. And she usually fusses if you sit down and stay still for too long while she’s in the carrier.)

Yes, anyday anytime, your child will decide that it is Papa day or Mama day. As a parent, be deeply involved in your child’s life or you might miss the moment that could happen anytime.

Thank you, Papa Long, for being the involved and loving father of Little Foot. XOXOXO

 

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50 Weeks + 1 day

It’s 11pm. A newborn in the neighbourhood is crying. He/she has cried a few times already.

I sat in my quiet living room having a cup noodle (my 2nd one since a long time before I gave birth). Little Foot had slept at 9pm sharp today, after a tiring afternoon out at Punggol Waterways.

As I sat and listened to the distant crying, I’m reminded of Little Foot’s colic days… even then, as Daddy Long reminded me, she had never cried for too long. We always had some tricks that magically worked to soothe her.

Today, Little Foot is 50 weeks old… those colicky days felt like a long long time ago. With this thought, I suddenly felt just a little old, a little wistful, perhaps a little slow.

2 weeks to her 1st birthday.

I haven’t quite gotten my head wrapped around the fact that my precious baby Little Foot will no longer be a baby anymore. (Now we know why some people enter adulthood with their parents calling them Ah Bee!)

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While she hasn’t learned to sleep through the night, we have established some sort of routine (a baby led one) that gets her to bed most days at a decent hour. Nevermind that she would wake several times at night.

I don’t envy the parents who are dealing with the crying newborn.  It used to be all these “what do you need??!”,  “What can I do to make you feel better??!” going through my head, whenever the baby keeps bawling and I start ticking off the mental checklist in your head and arrive at “I don’t know what the fishcakes is wrong with her!”.

To the newborn’s parents, trust me, it will get better. YOU will get better at it. And trust me, 10 months down the road, you will be like me, sitting in the living room reminiscing about your baby’s newborn days when you hear other babies cry… days that were so fleeting and you somehow miss. As those days were so trying, they became such precious memories. Because they symbolised the kind of mother I was. Those days laid the good foundation for me. They gave me courage to say “Come what may, I am a mother, I will wing it” whenever things gets tough.

I miss my newborn Little Foot, I miss the tiny baby I used to hold with 1 arm. At the same time, I love this adventurous, cheeky Little Foot that she has grown to become,  and I look forward to more exciting and heartwarming times with her.

Facebook prompted me that on this day a year ago, our diapers orders had arrived. Those newborn size diapers are long gone. What left was the memories of a baby whose butt was so small, and who looked overwhelmed in those diapers while her umbilical cord peeped through.

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This is Parenthood. Chasing the future, missing the past, and more importantly, embracing the present.

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It’s a lovely journey isn’t it?

Just another moment, please?

My Little Foot is pushing her bed time.  Nowadays, she end up trying her hardest to be up till 9pm. An hour later than her usual bed time which she set herself months ago.

My guess is, maybe she just wants a few more minutes and a few more moments with me. For that, I am grateful.

Today, I missed her while I watched her play through the baby monitor. So near, yet so far… I could sit there and stare all day watching her go through all her toys, pulling herself to stand supported, but there is work to be done, and I want to quickly wrap it up and not do OT.

Every working mama goes through this. A sense of wistfulness,  and also a secret prayer to the Big Guy Up there to not let you miss a milestone –“No, don’t take your first steps while I’m not there…”

When I used to have 24/7 with her, I didn’t really maximise the time we had together.  Now that time together is a scarcity,  there are times I rather not take my dinner till we’ve played and she’s fast asleep. Every morning,  I keep saying to myself,  “just awhile more…” before I have to peel myself away from her side.

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I’m sure I’m not alone in this journey.
To my fellow full time working mummies, jia you!

Hey baby kick kick!

Today Our Little Foot was so still in the morning, for awhile I panicked, wondering if something’s wrong. I had to prod prod her a little, just to make sure she’s still well and dandy. Luckily, our little one finally gave a stretch. Mummy gave a big “phew!” … haha, really think too much.

Good to hear her hiccup today and everyday these days. It reassures me a lot.

Yesterday was Deepavali. We went to meet Confinement Nanny (Ah Noi). She’s nice…let’s hope we get along well together, especially since she’s pro-breastfeeding (just that she said it would be more sane to pump out the milk for night feeds, rather than to wake up and feed. She’s open to letting me try breastfeeding at night. So that’s good (let’s hope we get some good milk supply!).

We also went Ikea and FINALLY bought the nice retro-looking trolley to put Little Foot’s barang barang. I’m so delighted, I already loaded some of the sundries like cotton balls, cotton buds, diaper cream, the swaddles and towels, etc onto it. Seriously turning into Kiasu mummy!

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Counting down about 8 weeks to go and working hard to stay positive. It’s getting challenging. I could cry for no reason, or just over something silly. Blaming it on the hormones and the bland diet for gestational diabetes. Of course, since there’s no turning back and no “I wanna back out now”, just have to hang in there.

A little prayer tonight – Dear God, in your strong hands, I place my life and baby’s and we will learn to trust that you have a plan and a reason for everything. Even in bad times, I will not begrudge You, but learn to carry my cross with grace and willingness. Amen.

Third Trimester – An Emotional Roller Coaster

Dear Little Foot,

On Friday, Dr Teo said you were at at 50th percentile at the last check-up, but seemed to have slowed down. 1.3KG at Week #30 is slightly light.

Mummy has been throwing up and having very bad reflux for about 2 weeks. Thankfully, the Omeprazole prescribed seems to be working. Let’s hope the throwing up and gastric pains stop for good. Still, the on-and-off breathlessness hasn’t stopped.

Friday was also the glucose tolerance test. Mummy had to hold in my feelings of wanting to vomit for two hours. Otherwise, we won’t know if it was indeed diabetes. Thankfully, the nurses at KKH were very kind and found me a place to rest. Sadly, it is gestational diabetes. Somehow mummy knew it was to be so, but confirming it really makes me very sad and confused, because Little Foot is too small, mummy is gaining not enough weight and not eating much, but then we are told we have diabetes.

So this weekend, Mummy and Daddy tried to rest a lot. We also went to buy a lot of healthier and low sugar food today, like oatmeal biscuits and natural yoghurt. Mummy is a little bit scared of the full day test at KKH on Wednesday. We’ll have to stay the whole day there for three meals and take insulin and do more tests, but as your Mummy, I will have to be strong and try to stay positive.

About another 9 weeks before we get to meet face-to-face, are you excited? Baby Nate is already out and saying hello to the world. Thank God he is fine. Mummy continues to pray that you will be well and healthy too. I will do my best.

Dear Little Foot, at the last checkup, you were head down, but on Friday, you had turned back up. Please do your best to turn back to head down … but if you don’t, Mummy won’t be angry either, we’ll just make all the right decisions, as best as we can, as long as you are healthy.

Love you, my dearest Little Foot Baby-Nim.