After our 7D6N “staycation” at Mount Alvernia Hospital, I said a silent prayer to the Big Guy Up There.
Please, I whispered in my head, let this cycle of mad illnesses end here now.
Three days later, Aidan was diagnosed with HFMD.
So yeah, there is a sense of WHAT THE FUCKERY lingering around here. When we heard the dreaded four letters from the GP’s mouth (that’s HFMD and not TOTO), Mr Thick and I visibly sank in our Birkenstocks. Back home, he looked at me in despair and said, “When are we ever going to catch a break?”
Because, poor man. He had a 10-day sabbatical leave and we were meant to do all sorts of romantic and sexxxxay things together. Like clear out the storeroom. Redo the boys’ room. Clean our study table. Install the invisible grilles in our balcony. Repair our aircon. Have coffee every single day. Have a meal here and there. Sleep. Go for a family vacation. But he ended up shuttling between our parents’ homes, our home and the hospital everyday. Not only that, he was also permanently attached to his work laptop during those 10 days because, obviously, the company would absolutely DIE without him.
But you know what, there are little things to be thankful for in life and I am not going to sit here and whine about how crappy and sucky it has been. I mean, it HAS been ridiculously crappy and sucky around here.
It’s also been good.
Aidan turned 2.5 years old and his verbal and comprehension abilities astound us so. (His toddler angst astound us too, though on another end of the spectrum.) He says the funniest things and has an amazing memory. Zac, oddly enough, is now three months old. I say oddly enough because I look at the itty bitty babies snuggled in the arms of their mothers at the hospital and wonder where my little squish has gone. He now resembles, in my very unbiased opinion, a garden gnome. Mr Thick and I still make each other laugh and we have not harboured thoughts of stabbing the other with a fork. Yet.
At the end of the day, we are going through this together as a family. Hopefully, nobody will need therapy in time to come.
Photo by The Beautiful Moments Photography
For the past three nights, I have called the hospital home.
I lay on the chair-bed that’s hard as stone and go to sleep to the sound of my baby’s oxygen mask. I wake up whenever the nurses come in to take his temperature, feed him his medicine or nebulise him. Inevitably, I will have to carry him to soothe him or, if he allows, nurse him.
Every evening, I bid farewell to my toddler and my husband. I know my son well – he says goodbye to me cheerily and kisses me. But once home, the notion that mama isn’t home with him sinks in and he cries for me. I so long to be there for him when he wakes, to kiss his sweaty forehead and say goodnight to him.
It’s so hard.
I miss my family, whole and healthy. I miss my home. I miss our daily routine, as mundane as it seems.
And yet I have to stay here so that my littlest can recover from that nasty virus.
It’s been a difficult, challenging month. Enough already, please?
Get well soon, bubba.
We love beautiful photographs, husband and I.
When we decided to get married, one of our priorities was photography. We knew that we didn’t want just anyone to shoot one of the best days of our lives. Oh forget about the expensive gowns and jewellery, we were willing to pay for photography. And we found it in Eadwine.
And then we got married and we decided that the fun was not over yet. Since my wedding dress was hanging in the wardrobe doing nothing much, we decided to do a trash the dress shoot with my friend Alywin.
Two years later, two (finally) became three and I thought, hey, we should update those photo albums. So Alywin came in to take photos of us and our newest addition – Aidan.
So with the birth of Zac, I could not NOT have a shoot done, couldn’t I? But then my friend Alywin had to move to Shanghai and leave me stranded without a photographer friend. I was searching for a photographer when a friend shared with me Joshua‘s crowd-funding endeavour. To help someone achieve his goal and to get a shoot out of it, why not?
Mr Thick and I are not fans of studio shoots and we never have – we find those too repetitive, too unnatural, too predictable. And, most importantly, there is no natural light. Without batting an eyelid, we decided on an outdoor shoot for this particular one as well. As the day drew closer, however, I started to panic slightly. Handling two kids on a humid summer day? What was I, insanely optimistic?
Thankfully, the weather held up and both boys were on their best behaviour. I mean, nobody cried and NOBODY POOPED. That’s like striking lottery! Plus, Josh was a very nice chap who made us feel all comfortable and the shoot went better than expected.
Even if the matching tees that I got for the boys were actually purchased from the girls department. (BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT!)
We kind of weren’t really expecting much, just a couple of pictures of the family. But what we got from Josh in return was so, so, so much more. We are so chuffed by the album. He definitely made us look more beautiful that we really are, thanks, in part, to the gorgeous light (see, natural light). You can’t even tell that I am absolutely gutted by the lack of uninterrupted sleep.
Also, Photoshop is our best friend. Here’s to being Fabulously Gorgeous forever!
Second time around, things are admittedly easier than before.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, we are all exhausted. A typical night looks like this: bathe both boys, put both boys to sleep and then concuss at 10pm, wake up at 2am in alarm because I had forgotten to set the timer for my three-hourly wake up call to feed the baby, feed the baby, change his diaper, feed the baby again, place baby gingerly into his cot, sleep, wake up at 5am when baby fusses, feed baby, change baby’s diaper, feed baby again, place baby gingerly into his cot, sleep, wake up at 7am because toddler is up.
Some nights, Zac will not go back to sleep after his feed. Which means that we will be staring at each other for a good hour (or two, or three) before he conks out. If I am lucky, he doesn’t cry much. If I am not, he will be fussing and whinging and I will be all WHAT DO YOU WANT, KID.
But it’s cool. One night, both Mr Thick and I collapsed in our bed and laid there in silence for a little bit. And then I said, “Good thing we know that it is not going to be like this for too long.” He nodded and we shared a quiet laugh.
With two littles, there is no time for us to sit there shell-shocked, wondering what the heck is going on and how do we do it. We just roll up our sleeves and do. And having experience on our side helps, we know that eventually, things will get easier.
Admittedly, it’s tough during the day when I need to juggle the needs of Zac and Aidan at the same time. Thankfully, I have my mother over and she’s been a gem at helping me with the boys. She adores Zac and will put him down for his nap while I give Aidan some one-on-one attention that he craves. And when I am nursing Zac, she will feed Aidan, bring him to the potty and keep an eye on him.
And let’s not forget that I get all my meals prepared for me for a month. I have no idea how I will survive without her after this but mmm, let’s take it one day at a time.
So yes, having two kids has been great so far. Extremely tiring, but also extremely joyful.
(But no, this family is going to be a family of four for a long, long, long time.)
They say that second time around, motherhood is easier. Maybe because you have experience in the bag, maybe because the second child is easier, maybe because you are just a hell lot more relaxed than before.
And it’s true.
We welcomed our littlest over the weekend. Zac joined us on his estimated due date and he’s just perfect. I cannot imagine life without him now and we are all madly in love with him.
The birth experience was an immensely intense one and apparently rather dramatic. Which I had no clue of, until I was discharged and the nurses and doctors heaved a sigh of relief.
But I’ll leave that to another day.
In the meantime, we are very, very happy, trying to get used to life being parents of a toddler and a newborn, and chalking up sleep debt.