The organised chaos

A birthday.

So I turned 31 yesterday without much fanfare.
Went to school, taught, and then took off to spend the rest of the day with my love.
Nothing was planned, everything was decided on the day itself, from the movie to the dinner venue.
No fancy restaurants either – dinner was at a little dim sum place at the heart of unglamorous Jalan Besar.
And then we went home where I spent some time playing with my cats.
The day ended with Mr Thick reading the Yellow Submarine e-book to the little guy.

There was no cake, no candles to blow out.
There was no present.
Well, the real present will arrive on Saturday: tickets to watch Wicked!

So simple, so fuss-free.

I like.

Bun in oven

That unwanted zing

You know that feeling when your foot sort of goes to sleep and then it starts to tingle strangely, right before the painful pins and needles sensation sets in? That happened to me yesterday. Not just the foot, no, but it started to wash over my entire body.

It was just the oddest thing. I was on the bus on the way to school, when I felt the left side of my body start to tingle. Thinking that it was because of the pressure of my bag on my left knee, I shifted the bag over to the other knee. Almost immediately after, my right side started to go all almost-pins and needles on me as well. At the same time, I felt as if my limbs were heavy and weak, and my shoulders were weighed down by, hmm, the burden that Atlas was carrying.

When I got off the bus, it took every ounce of my strength to climb up the overhead bridge. All this time, the tingling never abated and it felt as if blood wasn’t reaching my hands and head fast enough. I started feeling cold as well. Somehow, I managed to make my way to the office and immediately put my head on the table to breath through it.

It wasn’t working.

Almost an hour of breathing and wondering what the heck was going on, I decided to call it a day at the office and rescheduled my classes. Popped back home to a concerned husband, who was himself on MC because of his bout of food poisoning, before heading to the doctor’s.

In a nutshell, Dr Y had no idea what was going on with me. He postulated that I could be running low on blood sugar again (despite the fact that I had breakfast earlier) or that I had possibly contracted the same bug that hit Mr Thick and my body was busy fighting the infection. Thankfully, he ruled out a stroke because the sensation was not limited to just one side of my body. I was sent home without any medication, only to rest and hydrate. If the feeling persisted, I had to report back to him and he might have to run some neurological tests on me.

Eeps!

The good news is, that weird, tingling feeling subsided by the time I went to bed. I wasn’t feeling 100% still but at least I had an appetite and had more strength in my body.

Odd how pregnancy takes a toll on the human body, isn’t it? The good thing is, the little guy is fine and growing “averagely”. Phew! He’s in a head down position now (yay!) and his legs are pointing up and over my belly button. He showed us his pouty lips yesterday when we had a clear look at his face, too cute!

(And also v alien looking. Don’t ultrasounds of babies remind you of aliens? Am I the only weird mother?)

And oh, there’s absolutely no doubt that the nugget’s a he.

Dr Y: Hmm do you guys know the gender already?

Me: Err yes? (horrified) Why, is there a change and we don’t know it?! (thinking of all the boy clothes that I had bought)

Dr Y: What did you think it is?

Me: A boy lah! That’s what you said.

Dr Y: Then why would it change?

Me: I don’t know, maybe cos you saw wrongly or he was hiding his bits?

Dr Y: Nope, no hiding his bits, I am staring at his testicles right now.

Bun in oven

The 29-week belly

Woah there! And just like that, we are inching nearer and nearer towards 30 weeks.

Last night was a good test on my mama’s instincts. Mr Thick was suffering from a bad bout of food poisoning and had jumped out of bed at 3am to hurl the contents of his stomach into the toilet bowl. Somehow, my eyes flew open and I stumbled to the loo to find him hunched over the bowl. While he cleaned himself up, I went to the kitchen to make him a hot drink and as he fell into an exhausted sleep, I found myself tossing and turning for a good hour, trying to make myself comfortable.

Man, are my hips and back aching! There’s this whole thing about how pregnant women shouldn’t sleep on their backs because the uterus will restrict blood circulation or something like that but it is SO. HARD. to keep sleeping on your side. After a while, my granny hips started to creak in pain and I have to flip. And the poor nugget clearly didn’t like the constant switch in positions because he started somersaulting around.

So here I am, all zonked and tired out. You can just SEE it in the photo. I was all, heh heh zzzzzzz. But ah well, I’m all about keeping it real, eh?

The kid has been pretty good to his mama so far though. Yes, the usual pregnancy aches and pains are here, he’s been quite the acrobat and my sleep debt is mounting every hour. But we’ve had a pretty good journey so far and now we are down to 11 more weeks before we see him!

Well, 11 more weeks according to the official due date that was given to us. My mom is pretty darn certain that he will pop out earlier than expected. But then again, the woman also tried to make a $100 bet with me that the nugget is a girl earlier on so I’m not too sure she can be trusted in the baby stakes. For weeks on end, she kept telling Rai that he was going to have a mei mei to keep him in check while the sista and I rolled our eyes.

Alright. I’m shuffling off to bed and to bond with my kid. I play music to him almost everyday and we have a quick natter about our day. Sometimes, I also ask him what the heck he is doing inside my belly and how he can be here, there, EVERYFRIGGINGWHERE.

Friends, Health Goddess

The joys of a new life

This morning, I switched on my phone to find a text message from my friend P: “It’s a girl!”

Such glorious news! I almost jumped for joy, except that I was at the bus-stop and my bus was approaching. Plus, the belly doesn’t allow me to do anything that’s gravity defying these days so I settled for tweeting instead.

P and I found each other on the Internetz shortly after we had announced the pregnancy. Throughout our pregnancies, we exchanged notes and, to the chagrin of our husbands, updates on sales for baby and maternity wear. We were both proponents of hypnobirthing and she was one of those who constantly gave me encouragement about gearing towards a natural, drug-free birth.

Earlier in the week, P was facing the prospect of having to opt for an epidural. I know, in the end, what should matter is that both mother and child are safe. But I also know how much she was looking forward to having that natural, drug-free birth and was hoping and praying that it would go the way she had envisioned. It did and that made the news even sweeter.

Congrats P and J on your little girl! She’s a lucky, lucky child.

**********

In December, I woke up with a strange dream. In it, friends of ours announced their pregnancy. I remember being genuinely happy that they were going to be parents, but also feeling slightly bitter that they were able to conceive just like that.

Later in the day, I related the dream to Mr Thick, telling him about the “pregnancy” but stopping short of mentioning my feelings. He proved that he may be thick in girth but not thick in the brains when he asked, “And…?” The man was perceptive enough to know that there was more to the story than I was letting on. Sheepishly, I told him about how I felt in the dream. He didn’t say a word but simply smiled and gave me a hug.

It just goes to show that even though I am on “the other side” now, I can never relinquish my identity as someone from that side. Yes, I feel truly embarrassed by that green-eyed monster that rears its ugly head whenever I hear of people who just bloody breathe and get knocked up and I try my best to beat it down.

Clearly, I have to learn to be a more gracious person.

The organised chaos

Of ups and downs

I know, this is coming a little late. 2011 has already been done and dusted and we are well into 2012. Yes, yes, I am so yesterday but I was off having a wonderful holiday with my love so can you blame me for being just a tad late?  
And oh, what a year 2011 has been! I cannot remember any other year in which I have gone through such a tumultuous roller coaster ride. The highs were really high and the lows…well, let’s just say that hellish is a very, very apt word to sum it up. 
 
The year started off badly enough. We failed the IUI done over Christmas and I decided to go ahead with the laparoscopy, within a week of turning 30. Happy birthday to me. It wasn’t a major surgery, certainly, but it still came with its fair share of pain and worries. Thankfully, nothing abnormal was found and my womanly plumbing was cleared of any fertility doubts.
 
It was also at this time that we decided to make public our journey to become a family of more than two (humans). And without any hyperbole, I can safely say that it’s changed my life. Some tell me that I am brave to talk so openly about it but frankly, I have gotten over the hang up that infertility is something that is embarrassing to talk about. Infertility is a very, very difficult road to walk and more people need to understand that. If only it is as simple as relaxing and waving our legs in the air post-sex.
 
But it’s not.
 
For those of us who have gone through seemingly endless procedures, had our vajayjay poked and prodded, been told that normal conception is virtually impossible, the anguish is real. The depression is real. The pain is both physical and emotional.
 
Unfortunately and fortunately, talking openly about this has shown us who are the people we can trust and lean on in difficult times. Call me Little Miss Cynical but over the past year, I have found myself being ruthless about friendships. It became obvious to us that while some friends were truly keepers, others were not and we haven’t been overly sentimental about retaining these friendships. It just came to a point where I felt like I didn’t want to waste my energy on keeping up with those who didn’t take our lives and decisions seriously and who were never there for us.
 
On the other hand, the year has also helped me to get to know a brand new circle of lovely people, who were offering me support and encouragement during my toughest days. These are friendships that I hope to keep for a long, long time because their comments, tweets and text messages have been an invaluable source of strength to me.
 
We embarked on our first IVF attempt and it failed and that was that. We picked up the pieces and moved on. I was ready to jump to the next cycle immediately but we decided to switch to KKIVF due to financial reasons. The wait list to get our next cycle done was so long, we had to especially request to have it done by October. It was frustrating but on hindsight, that proved to be our ace card.
 
We switched off from procreating and decided to live like a carefree couple all over again. We made plans to travel, sought the help of a fengshui master who was highly recommended by my cousin, renovated east end and dedicated ourselves to being the humans of our two cats. I resigned from my job and went into teaching. We found new coffee places to hang out at on weekends.
 
And then the nugget came along.
 
We were shocked. Stunned. Gobsmacked. Speechless. Beyond belief.
 
It took us two years, seven IUIs and one IVF to conceive our little man naturally. It was almost as if the Big Guy Up There was trying to teach us a lesson in patience. Either that or He was rewarding us for our steadfast faith that we will eventually have a family of our own. We are not questioning Him in any case – we love the gift and we are keeping it, thank You very much.
 
Just like that, my year changed for the better.
 
I was going to be a mother, like I had hoped. I loved the new job, we fit like a hand in a really sexy satin glove. Husband and I went through Thick and Thin as we had promised in our marriage vows, and emerged better than ever. We survived infertility and the threat of him losing his job towards the end of 2011.
 
We can live through hell, as long as we have each other.
 
This year, as we said to each other, is the year where life, as we know it, changes. The little guy will join us in March and we will embark on a whole new adventure. There’s going to be some tough times ahead but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that the sweet moments will make any of that bad stuff look tiny and pathetic in comparison.
 
Wish us luck!
 
Off we go!