Two of Us

Love letter

When we first got married, I thought I knew what marriage was all about.
I thought marriage was easy.

And it was. We had eight years of getting used to each other and making that transition from dating to living together was not difficult at all.

And then we hitched an unwitting ride onto the Infertility Train and everything that I once thought I knew got thrown up into the air.

I lived with that sick sensation in my stomach for two years. And in those two years, I veered between hating my husband and all that pressure of being married to him entailed, and hanging on to his hand for dear life. When I loved him, I loved him madly, and deeply. But in those moments of immense anger and frustration, I entertained thoughts of running away from it all by myself and never looking back.

How I lived through the turmoil of emotions boiling within my mind and emerged unscathed, I will never know. Maybe it’s strength, maybe it’s survival instincts.

But at the end of the day, it’s always us. He pulled me back, we pulled through and on ahead.

It’s not the first time that we have hit a roadblock in our relationship. But ever since that time when we went our separate ways and somehow gravitated back to each other again, we’ve known that there isn’t anyone in the world who can get us the way we do.

We just belong together.
I can’t put a finger to it, I can’t describe it, it’s just the feeling of being right for each other and right where we should be. We are like two odd pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that just click in place.

Like I’ve always said, we may not be perfect to each other but we sure are perfect for each other.


Photo by the awesome Alywin

This post was inspired by June‘s and the other ladies’ love stories.

How did we meet, you ask? Here‘s the answer.

mamawearpapashirt
Motherhood

Sad/Mad

My mood has been as grey and hazy as the dreadful sky recently.

I found out that two of my friends lost their babies: one saw a straight line at the screen of the ultrasound machine instead of a heartbeat while the other’s little one died after a battle against a congenital condition.

My heart broke. I ended up crying at my desk.

I wish there is a world where babies don’t die and everyone who wants a baby can have a happy, healthy bubs in their arms. I wish that I didn’t know anyone who has ever lost a baby.

But, as P shared with me, all the babies who have left us are now twinkling stars, watching over us in the calm of the night.

**********

I was chatting with my girlfriend over Whatsapp during a particularly dull meeting and somehow, the topic veered to the anger over being infertile.

We’ve long gone past the stage of being angry and wondering why that chain-smoking, coffee-drinking lady with bad tattoos can get pregnant simply by breathing and we can’t. Well, I couldn’t. Until I could.

She, on the other hand, has experienced two losses after two successful IVFs. Her story is another story for another day but suffice to say, she and her husband have gone through enough infertility anguish for 10 couples. Or more. They are moving on to another round of expensive treatments and damn if it isn’t successful.

Anger aside, we both agreed that this infertility scar will forever be engraved deep in our minds. We’ll never react to news of our friends being pregnant with the purest and sincerest joy because a little niggling voice at the back of our hearts will feel sore. And that even if we have kids, we will always be reminded of what we had gone through and just how far we have come.

It’s true.

Not a day goes by without me taking a long, sweet look at my little man and saying a little prayer of thanks. To whoever made this happen, to my baby boy for being here with us, to the beautiful ending to what could have been a long-drawn and deeply painful journey. Even on days when he wakes up for the nth time in the night and I am trying desperately to keep those heavy eyelids up at work, I feel no sense of resentment. Simply because he is here. With me.

And that’s all it matters.

The girlfriend says that she doesn’t dare to hope anymore and that she feels like her glass is not half empty but COMPLETELY empty. But I know that’s not true. Because if her glass is really devoid of hope, she wouldn’t be putting herself through IVF all over again. There is a glimmer of hope in there.

All it takes is a sperm and an egg and a spark.

Let’s hope that this works.

Two of Us

Married life #25

One night before bedtime…

…It’s not R-rated, I promise you. Anyway, back to the story…

Me: Urghs. Every night, as I am lying in bed, I can feel my back and right ITB ache. And I tell myself, I must massage it tomorrow night. And then I forget all about it, until I am lying in bed and I feel the leg ache. It’s a vicious cycle.

Him: Set a reminder for it.

Me: Yeah. (Absolutely had no intention of setting a reminder.)

Him: (speaking into his iPad) Siri, set reminder for tomorrow at 10pm. Get wife to massage thigh tomorrow.

Me: (laughing uncontrollably like a hyena at the silliness of it) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This was what resulted:

Aidan, Motherhood

Lessons from my boy

I’ve done this mothering gig for the past six months and looking back on my journey, I feel like there were so many things that I could have done differently. Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but if we are ever blessed with a baby #2, I will definitely not make the same mistakes.

I’m still me
Initially, I found myself despairing over how everything in my life had changed, including my relationship with Mr Thick. Instead of grading papers or teaching, I was wasting an hour of my life trying to rock my baby to sleep! What! I had stopped cooking and baking and reading. I felt like I had lost my identity and wept bitterly in a post-partum haze.

Slowly, I regained my sanity and realised that hey, it’s not that I can’t do what I used to love. It’s just that everything that I used to do has to take a backseat to bringing up my child. I still loved cooking; for a while, however, we had to rely on dinner take outs and frozen meals from my mother. I still read, but only after my little man has gone to bed.

I have changed, I have become a mother. But at the heart of it all, I am still me.

Throw out the parenting books
We all know how the kid never slept for more than 45 minutes in the day. I literally went batshit crazy in the first 12 weeks. I would put him down for a nap (taking way over 60 minutes at a time), hover around the crib to try to catch him before he woke up fully, frantically patting him or rocking the crib or shushing into his ear. I put him in his crib while he was drowsy but awake. I avoided nursing him to sleep. I refused to put him in a sling. Whatever the parenting experts suggested, I followed.

Nothing worked.

Since then, I have come to realise that most babies SLEEP LIKE CRAP in the first three to four months. 20-minute naps are not uncommon. Seriously. And if my baby wakes up smiling and happy after a 30-minute nap, who is to say that it wasn’t a good nap? The experts warn that anything less than 45 minutes isn’t good but SCREW. THE. EXPERTS.

Nobody knows my kid better than I do and there isn’t a prescribed set of rules that would apply to all babies. I should have followed my instincts and learnt that BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY was the way to go. These so-called experts sell books and make money based on generating fear and guilt among parents with their contradicting advice so it’s much better if I had ignored the books and just did whatever worked.

Stand up for my parenting principles
As a new mother, everyone had something to share with me about caring for babies. Never mind that some of them hadn’t looked after a baby in literally decades. I stupidly allowed them to mess with my brains, making me question what I was doing.

Gradually, though, my confidence grew. Maybe it was because I hadn’t killed the kid in my 12 weeks of caring for him by myself (!), or maybe it was due to the fact that I have become more attuned to Aidan’s needs. Over time, I find myself making decisions that were different from what others expected of me (breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, cloth diapering etc.) and not letting our family members belittle my actions. And if I feel strongly about certain things, I would make my opinion known. It doesn’t matter if they don’t agree with me, at least I was making my stand clear: This is how I will bring up my son, deal with it.

**********

I think the biggest lesson that I have learnt from motherhood is the ability to pause and enjoy the moment. In my drive to get the kid to JUST NAP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I didn’t take the time to revel in his littleness and developments as much as I should have. Now, I frequently gaze at him in wonder, amazed at how fast he is growing and how much he is learning. I tell husband to put away his phone at dinnertime so that he can observe how his little boy has improved in feeding himself since we first started baby led weaning.

The little man teaches me all about humility and life everyday and I am forever grateful for this opportunity.

Two of Us

4 years and counting…

Four years ago, we said “I do”.
In the years since, we have gone through ups and downs, and highs and lows.
The journey hasn’t been easy.
There were times when I didn’t know if we would make it.

But we did.
As we always do.
As we will continue to.

Happy anniversary, husband!
Love you.
xoxoxoxo

Motherhood

Sleep is for the weak

Hah!

Can you tell that I clearly haven’t had much of the precious commodity known as sleep?

Little man is right smack in the middle of his Mental Leap 5 (WE ARE HALFWAY THERE!!) and it’s been sheer hell around here. Okay, okay, I exaggerate. But still.

These days, nobody – and I mean NOBODY – but mama can hold and cuddle Mister A to sleep. Never mind that Daddy has always been the one putting him to bed. While I used to be able to kiss him goodnight and stroll out of the room breezily, things have certainly changed. He sobs and wails if mama isn’t holding him, as if Daddy is mistreating him and chewing on his juicy thighs. And when mama here has him in my arms, all 7.25kg of him, he leans his head on my chest and starts “talking”. And then we go through this whole cycle a few rounds before he is finally able to fall asleep: he squirms around like the very fat caterpillar, I put him in his cot, he cries, I carry him, he squirms around like the very fat caterpillar…

And the night wakings! How can we forget about that. He’s up every two hours on average. There’s some crying involved, as well as a whole bunch of cussing. Some nights, he wakes up more than usual and I look at my clock, horrified to find out that it’s only 1.45am and not 5am as I had thought.

HORROR!

We plough on, of course. I mean, what else can we do? It’s been six months of parenthood and no one night is the same. We have learnt to go with the flow and not have any expectations.

On the positive side, how often do we get surprises in life? Now, EVERYDAY IS A SUPPLISE!


Thank God the child is cute, I tell you.