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Period is late..but not what you think it is.

For the first time in my life, my period is very late.  So late it’s over 40 days since my last period and I had cramps, tired-ness but just no period.  Yes I did a pregnancy check.  And again after two days.  Both turned out negative.  So probably a doctor’s visit might be the next best thing? I don’t know.

Besides anxiety, I did feel a lot of anticipation too.  Yes, to see if I was expecting.  We haven’t really agreed on a third child but have not worn protection against one either.  So it seemed a possibility to begin with.

A positive test would rock the whole rhythm of our family life immediately I suppose and I comforted myself with the fact that it didn’t happen.  But I cannot deny the disappointment I feel on seeing the only lonely line on the test kit.  And again.  I wished I wished it was two lines.  Who would have known I would want a child after two? And how would I handle the stress and load of caring for three?

In the midst of settling my emotions and mind thinking about it, I was so happy to get a break today while the husband took leave to help me with the kids.  So I took the chance to hang out, go for a foot massage and drink some tea as I prepare for the monthly meet up with the TSW ladies.

And I guess I’m taking this a step at a time.  Just waiting for a patch of red to appear on my undies and then just taking things as they come.

 

 

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Days when I don’t want to be a mummy

It happens.  The alarm clock goes off and I fumble for my handphone, with eyes still closed and I turn it off.  And I hide under my sheets again.  For the next 10min or so, till my senses tell me that if I don’t get my butt off the bed I am so going to regret the next 30min of rushing Kayla off to school.

As I brush my teeth, get Kayla’s milk out, clean and dress her up I was just really thinking of one thing – I want to sleep!!

These are days I want to quit.  Give me a break from the early mornings, diaper changes, cooking and tantrum management.  I need sleep, shopping, praying and whatever that is not about the kids!

God I need you.  So need you to come and refresh me.  Refresh us – plus my friend who is texting me that she is feeling so tired and defeated.

And I don’t know how to continue this post.  Really.  I’m stuck.  And I got to fetch the milk for my boy.  And get up from this place of emotional funk.  God, please help us.

It’s 3pm.  7 hours since my lamentation earlier.  And it’s like God heard me.  I’m still tired.  But heh I actually napped for an hour with my girl.  And I saw like $2000 in my bank account!  The salary is in!  *dancing in my head*  So maybe I can get a pair of dance studio shoes after all before Monday.

I don’t know how I managed to survive today.  The kids are asleep.  And I do have some peace now and even some milk and biscuits.

Tomorrow I face new challenges.  A morning with both kids in.  A late noon retreat with 2 ladies.  And I’m not feeling very prepared for it.

This broken life, as Ann Voskamp calls it is the way to the abundant life, again borrowing her thoughts.  I’m really inspired by her.  Just a blog post after.  To see Christ and live the abundant life out of broken-ness.

Even on days I don’t want to be a mummy.

 

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A lesson for me through Kayla’s tantrums

I’m not sure when it started but Kayla’s tantrums were getting more difficult.  She would start to hit me and mumble angrily (can sound funny to me at times oops) at me.  Was she imitating me when I am angry?  Have I set a bad example in managing my emotions recently?  While nagging thoughts like that haunted me, I tried everything I had read and learnt about discipling thus far.  While it worked sometimes, say distractions or a 3 minute time out, and even caning, it seemed temporary.  They didn’t seem to treat what was really wrong.

It got to a point when she was crying non stop, shivering in anger, screaming while refusing to do what was needed.  Qingwen and I were quite clueless what else to do.  I have to describe what happened tonight to remind myself in case my pea brain forgets.

She was inconsolable at bath time.  She didn’t want to bathe, and when I said she had to go for her time out then she ran to the bathroom and insisted on peeing- all the time crying.

When she couldn’t pee, and she wants to see her pee come out every time she goes up the toilet bowl, she cried and fussed all the more.  This time, she closed the door while I was trying to assure her that she can try again later.  I know, it’s getting long.

I stepped in and said it’s time to stop crying so she can bathe- for the 10th time.  She started hitting me, and twice at my tummy where Ian was, where I knew she knows her little brother exists.  For some strange reason, tears welled up in my eyes.

I was angry but I was more sad that it has gotten so bad.

Suddenly a question my friend asked me recently popped up in my head.  “Has Kayla received Christ?”

As I held her (and she’s still crying and saying “Sorry Mummy”)  I told her.  “It hurts Kayla, cos you hit Mummy.  But you know, Mummy forgive you because God has already forgiven you.  Remember Jesus?  He died on the cross so that God can forgive us when we do something wrong.  God loves us.  And we cannot continue to do the wrong things after we have been forgiven, ok?  No more hitting Mummy or others ok?”

Somehow, that dissolved something hard inside me.  Yes, in me.  I don’t know about Kayla really.  She did get better.  But for me I suddenly felt like I could carry on because I knew I’m doing something right.  To just live as a forgiven sinner, a forgiven parent and to parent from the impact of God’s love and grace.  The cross held new meaning for me that second.  And I believe that revelation or whatever you call it in me resulted in a change in Kayla’s response.

I don’t know what I will do from here.  Say if it happens again.  Or if a new discipline issue crops up tomorrow.  But I think this is a significant step in my parenting, not for Kayla per se but for me primarily.

It somehow added courage to what I’m doing as a mother, a courage that makes me free.

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Did Kayla just prayed and received Christ?

Quite suddenly, out of the nowhere when I was reading to her (a book we borrowed titled ‘My Princess Bible'”, she asked. “Can I ask Jesus to come into the room?”

Me: “Yes..” hesitantly because I wasn’t sure if she was thinking what I’m thinking. Then I asked. “Would you like to ask Jesus to come into your heart too?”

“Yes!”

My heart flipped. Well my daughter just indicated her desire to receive Jesus into her life!

“Ok. So we can pray and ask Jesus into your heart.”  I said, “Close your eyes and follow after me as Mummy prays, ok?”

The prayer: “Dear Jesus, please come into my heart and help me to love and obey you. In Jesus name, amen.”

(Ok, been a Cru staff for too long) “So, where is Jesus, do you know?”

She wasn’t sure. “He is in our heart.” I reiterated. “And whenever you are sad or afraid, remember that Jesus loves..

“You!” she chipped in.

Well, I don’t want to get all heady about this. But by faith I thank God for this conversation and conversion!  What a joyful surprise!  I pray God will make her faith grow and for me as her mummy to know how to help and point her to Jesus.

My girl, 4.

My girl, 4.

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Ian is born!

It was December 31st.  There was some kind of invisible anticipation or tension I’d feel every time I felt a kick in my big belly.  Was that a contraction?  Or was it a false one?  I was getting restless.  When is baby coming out?

We had expected an early arrival of baby Ian, as early as Christmas, since his position had “dropped”- head turned down in preparation for birth.  Learning from his sister’s pretty early arrival at 38 weeks, we were prepared for a similar experience.  But no, Christmas came and went.  And then we began to wonder if he would turn up this or next year.  This time, in Singapore due to the 50th anniversary Jubilee celebrations, there was a little more hoo-ha over whom would arrive on Jan 1 and get to be the first Jubilee kid.  We were choice targets for that kind of hope and expectation from family and friends.

Jan 1 passed.  Thankfully.  I’m off the limelight for having the year’s first baby phew.

Jan 2.  Contractions began right after Kayla left the house for play school.  I wasn’t too sure at first.  Maybe they were false ones again?  As time went on though, my instincts told me those contractions were real.  Brown discharge soon after confirmed my suspicions.  But my instincts also told me labour might not begin so soon.  The water bag is not broken yet, at least.  So I held out and prayed I could wait for Kayla to be settled well with my mother in law before I head to the hospital.  And so we did, after bathing, lunch and some final packing of the hospital bag.

Upon reaching the hospital at 3pm, I was changed and before long administered epidural.  At about 4pm, the contractions came hard and long.  I breathed hard and gritted my teeth with every wave of contraction.

I was pushed into the labour ward where my contractions were monitored.  Dilation in the cervix was checked every now and then.  When it was about 10cm, my heart pounded, knowing the time has come to push Ian out.  “I see the head!”  Qingwen exclaimed excitedly.  “A lot of hair” he described.  Holding my hand, he joined me with every push along each contraction.  It felt like we were running together again.

“Mummy’s doing a good job!”  the delivery nurse commented.  “We can get the doctor up!”

At about 8pm, Ian was born.  I felt him come out of my body and felt him, a bundle of 3.6kg on my chest soon after.  It was a familiar feeling but different altogether from my first birth.  Somehow, I felt hope arise in my heart – with God’s help, I will become a better Mum.

Moments after giving birth to a 3.6kg chap!

Moments after giving birth to a 3.6kg chap!

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A note to my daughter, who’s going to be a sister!

Dear Kayla,

In a few weeks/ days (I don’t know, really) you are going to be a big sister to a baby brother.  I can’t recall how it was like for me, many years ago.  But growing up, me and my brother (yes your Bob Jiu Jiu) had fun, quarrels, long talks till midnight and each other to complain to about life.  I hope it will be a great thing for you to have- a lifelong family relationship that will help you grow inside, to share family issues with and a support for each other when the world seems to be foreign to you.

Before all that comes to pass (by God’s grace), I know there is going to be a huge transition for you.  And for me too!  These recent weeks, I realise will be the last of just Mummy and you! (And Papa of course).  You know, those moments at home spent just with you play-pretending, or painting.  Or watching you dance in front of the TV so happily for no reason.

Goofing around with you.

Goofing around with you.

You are growing up more than I realise or can catch up with.  And somehow, I have confidence as you are doing so, you are going to be a great jie jie to di di.  God help us learn together, play and pray together in this whole new level in our lives.

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In our family next Christmas, it will be four of us!

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Hello No.2!

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An ultrasound scan picture at 36 weeks.

 

Since discovering the two lines on the pregnancy kit in April, life has taken a turn at almost every aspect.  With fatigue setting in  and a ballooning tummy with each week or so and seeing pictures of the foetus in me at the clinic, I began to anticipate him more and more.

This pregnancy can’t be anymore different from the first.  For a start, we decided on a different gynaecologist due to distance since we moved house to Woodlands.  There were more tests to be taken with this new doctor.  Honestly, it made me feel more anxious as I stared at the charts and graphs of tests churned out and really relieved when the doctor pronounced “Everything’s ok!” at the end.  However, we discovered soon that I was slightly diabetic and as a result the baby was absorbing too much sugar for his good.  So I had to be on a diet.  Mine that was sooo difficult, as I battled cravings and tried to look for sugar-less alternatives.  Some days I felt so depressed that I could not eat something I craved for:(

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My only taste of waffle the past 9 months or so, ice cream pinched preciously with hubs!

 

Looking after Kayla at the same time was really tiring.  I could hardly keep awake by noon.  I succumbed to allowing Kayla to watch more DVDs so I could rest.  I felt guilty that I could not be more intentional in time spent with Kayla ever since I was pregnant.  Some days I flared up at her for little things and horribly regretted my actions.

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Kayla enjoying her new bed, thankfully!

 

Time has flown faster than I can imagine.  At 36 weeks now and feeling the pre labour symptoms more and more, nesting instincts are also kicking in as I prepare physically and mentally for the changes ahead.  Thankfully Qingwen has been really proactive in this area, getting a new bed for Kayla and then shifting the cot into our room and pulling other furniture around the house to make space for one more.

Well, I must admit I was hoping we will get all the Jubilee Baby benefits, especially since EDD was 6 Jan.  But since baby has “dropped”, there’s a good chance baby is going to arrive earlier.  I’m going to have to say bye bye to the frills of a 2015 baby.  In the words of my good doctor  “a baby doesn’t need a lot when he comes la”.

After some nights of flipping through some name books and googling, Qingwen laid his mind on Ian, meaning “beloved” in Irish and Chinese name will be ‘乐勗’ pronounced as “Le4 Xu4”.

Dear Ian, may you be an encouragement to those around you as your Chinese name means.  We love you!

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2 lines

Another month of waiting. I did a test right after I missed my period but it showed negative. I was disappointed and waited frustratingly for my period. But it didn’t happen for the next two days. Hope started to reignite especially when Qw was reminding me that there’s a chance still as long as period isn’t here yet. So finally on Friday night when I couldn’t stand it any longer I took out my last pack of pregnancy test kit.

So the 2 lines showed and again. Confirmed with Dr Ck. Alright here we go.

It’s no. 2 for us.. And a whole new bend in our parenting journey.

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Tantrums

As I looked on at her in one of another whiny, throw herself on the floor tantrum which erupted for no reason at all, I felt so frustrated and helpless that I teared and cried out to God in my heart.

I have just administered the cane (2 strokes on the butt complete with explanation and prayer)this
morning for an act of disobedience and it had not been long from that. I felt like a lousy mother.

But in that span of a short desperate prayer to God I believe something changed. I looked at Kayla in the eye while she drank her milk, not the best time but at least she was calm. And proceeded to lay down as simply as I could rules that I needed her to know and adhere to.

It was in short a stamping of my authority as a mum in her life. I’ve probably tried to do that before but never feeling that it was taken very seriously.

After that the afternoon went on, not smoothly as we had another tantrum fit just before dinner. But it was settled quickly as I reminded her of the rules I mentioned before.

We had fun later in the afternoon playing bricks, jumping in the lift lobby.

And so I relearnt the importance of getting serious about parental authority and rules with Kayla. And bring consistent and repetitive about it even.

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A date, finally!

Today is one of those rare days we landed ourselves on a couple date.  Qingwen had an off-in-lieu cos of Deepavali (yay!) and I was feeling like I needed a break from Kayla.  So we whisked her off to my mum-in-law whom was happy to take her for a day.  We were planning to watch a movie together but we ended up holding hands and walking up and down the streets of Orchard.

Time together seems a little foreign.  I think we’ve forgotten how to have a date.  We were shopping for toys, a swimming float for Kayla etc.  Thankfully, we enjoyed lunch and some coffee and desert with chit chat about different things.

I kind of forgot that QIngwen needs time to think.  And that he’s not an emphatic listener.  So now and then I’d get irritated by his lack of sensitivity and suddenly I’d remember that’s him!

All that to say,  our marriage is something that needs to be worked at especially after having a child.  How should we do that?  I’m not sure but perhaps we need to date more often.  At a parenting course we recently attended, a concluding advice went,”  Spousal relationships comes first! (kids are an extension of the marital love, not transference)”

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A random photo we took while on a family hoiliday at Bintan recently.

I’m guilty of putting Kayla above QIngwen almost all the time.  But I’m praying this will change and that God will give me wisdom how to love and help my husband in this season.

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