Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Women over 30

My third sister was getting cranky yesterday when I was at my parents' place.

She started to tell Coco that she has a 'lazy mother' repeatedly. My father thought I overeacted but I certainly didn't and don't think so. I think it's a very serious matter that you're taunting my child using me, the mother. What are you trying to do? Who is the one who is going to live with the child for the next 20 odd years before she gets married? Why are you hurting my child if you're not happy with me?

She actually said that I shouldn't get angry with what she said if what she said wasn't the truth. Then I could also always call her the 'frustrated spinster' who gets cranky and psychologically unbalanced after thirty, and that's as true as it can get.

She's behaving the exact same way as my elder sister when my elder sister was over her thirties and not doing a job she liked not too long ago. The worst thing is, she doesn't realise it.

And she actually said this,"Don't give birth to so many children if you don't know how to be a mother!" Do I really have THAT many children? I only have just about 2 - if you like to think that the unborn one has already qualified as one - to qualify for the word 'children' the plural form. And I certainly don't think that I don't know how to be a mother. As far as I know, I'm one of the best mothers around in terms of putting the child's needs and wants above her own. I've done all I could to ensure my child gets the best of everything. I even marry so that she gets into the best school possible and so that she gets her own purple room, and has a father to call her own.

I'm offended precisely because I think she's spouting rubbish and doesn't know what she's talking about. I've never spoken ill of her in front of Coco, so why should she attack me at my most vulnerable, when I'm heavily pregnant?

Women over 30, please go get hitched, without which, you're really a witch!

Braxton Hicks

The baby is at 31st week now.

Even right now, I can feel the baby's thumping - it's like the heart or pulse thumping at the bottom of my tummy. I wonder what that is.

I've been feeling some form of tightness in the abdomen. William says that it's because the baby's head is pushing against my stomach, but recently, I was reading some stuff online and came across some article on abdominal tightness. It mentioned that abdominal tightness has something to do with Braxton Hicks, in preparing the womb for contraction. Some forummers on singaporemotherhood also say that it might lead to premature birth of the baby and the baby needing to be warded which will 'cost a bomb'.

Unfortunately, I will only visit the gynae again more than 2 weeks later. I'm not sure if I should run to him now and request for some medicine to 'relax the stomach', as quoted the mummies.

I still haven't really decided on a name for the baby. I'm also thinking about her surname. I have all the reasons to have her following my surname and only 1 reason for her to take up William's - he's the father. But other than that, what else will he do to father her, I really wonder.

I've given William sufficient time to prove that he really treats Coco as his own and that he could support her and he hasn't. I had the intention of changing Coco's surname to his if he'd proved himself to be a good husband and father, but he has let us down badly. I don't want to have two kids having different surnames. I find that really awkward. I don't know how to explain to others without them speculating the unnecessary. But if the baby adopts my surname, I just have to tell people that I'm letting my children taking after my surname for personal reasons. What personal reasons can there be for 2 kids to have different surnames?

I'm also worried at the prospect of a divorce. If it happens, then my kids having different surnames would really be quite traumatic for them and for me.

If William had been a good husband, I won't have to dwell on all these dilemmas and struggle to decide on something so fundamental of a person's identity.

I can only wish my daughters marry someone of respectable character and financially sound enough to support them. As for myself, my fate is just about sealed.

Friday, 22 August 2008

I can't believe it!

O wow! It's confirmed! I got the 4th month maternity leave!!!!

Singaporemotherhood wan sui!!!

Enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package

Whoa! Ever since the Prime Minister announced the Enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package on the National Day Rally Speech, there's been a great hoo-ha especially in the singaporemotherhood forum.

I was sorely disappointed that the Package would only take effect on 1 Jan 2009 when he'd announced the news in August 2008. I was telling my sister that it's typical of my unluckiness - that I should fall short of good things by just a mere bit all the time.

But today when I logged into the singaporemotherhood Oct 2008 thread, the mummies said that there's been a change in the date of implementation of those measures, to 17 August 2008. I'm not too hopeful about the 4th month maternity leave yet though, although it's highly likely that it'll be included as well. I don't want to be thrusted into the pit of dismay once again.

Apparently, there's been some form of petitioning exercise by mothers-to-be, which was submitted to the PM via an MP during a Meet-the-People Session and the government obliged the request.

This thread has some mothers firing at one another on the Package and it directs one to an online petition, although this is not the one that made the government change their mind.

The main petition content is this:

To: Singapore Prime Minister
We, the mentioned Singapore Citizen, would like Prime Minister Lim Hsien Loong to consider extending the recently announced procreation benefits to parents to be for kids born from 1st August 2008 onwards instead of the announced 1st January 2009. This would also reduce the stress faced by parents that would have their kid due in December 2008 and January 2009.

But I agree that the effective date is weird: 17 August. Why can't the govt just bring it up to 1 August? It's indeed unfair to babies born between 1 to 16 August. But like what one of the forummers said, for every policy, there has to be a cut-off date. I'm quite sure if the govt accedes to this petition (again), the mummies who had given birth before August will lament too. Personally, while I'm glad and relieved that it's been backdated to 17 August, I thought it even fairer to extend the benefits and package to all mummies who give birth in 2008 since the measures are announced this year. Mothers who had given birth last year can't possibly complain because the difference is by one whole year.

I'm most interested in the 4th month maternity leave because I'm possibly going to have a caesarean. Dr Ang seems to advocate c-section especially for mothers who have undergone a previous one. He says it's safer and can rule out the possibility of a womb rupture scenario. In any case, the baby's head seems to be in the same position as Coco's, at least up till now. Honestly, I myself am not motivated to do natural because I don't think I can bear with the pain. But the trauma of my last episode at KK still stings badly even though it's been more than 8 years ago. I still shudder when I think about it.

Anyway, if I get the 4th month maternity, I would be able to use this time to recuperate, and possibly breastfeed longer. I hope to breastfeed this time round, with the help of a Medela pump. I'm still sourcing for a second-hand one. $699 for a brand new one is far too pricey I thought.

Just came across this curt and cute article about a husband's woe and joy over the Package:

Oh, there is a thread which started the petition. The thread-starter consolidated the signatures and a few mothers went to see the MP with the signatures. The thread-starter even managed to retrieve the PM's email. Really must salute these mothers' determination and courage. Singaporeans are supposed to be resigned, meek and obedient. Or perhaps it's just the men. If not for the women, nothing would have been done.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Piano world forum

I was just logging onto the computer when I felt like it's a long time since I last checked the piano world forum out.

It's a great forum, especially the thread on Singapore piano lovers. It was very helpful when I was on the lookout for a piano for Coco, although it was a painful struggle to decide which piano to get on my end. But I'm glad I bought U1 in the end, although it's a big sum of money to me. At least I don't have to wonder if a brand new piano would sound different or if I'm shortchanging Coco on the training of the ear.

Of course the money that I could have saved from buying a second-hand piano would have been substantial. Up till now I'm still repaying my education loan from the CPF in fact. If not for this piano, I would have been free from the loan repayment more than six months ago. But I would never shortchange my Coco.

One of the forummers listed out the places that sell pianos - new and used. It makes me reminisce about the times when my elder sister drove me around on weekends and even weekdays right after my work to look at used pianos at different piano shops. We must have been to more than 12 of those shops. Wow! It was alot of effort and time definitely. We are all laymen to pianos, not knowing what to look out for although the forum had listed the key things down because we never learn how to play a piano. Whatever do you mean by 'bright sound'? Or 'light or heavy to the touch'? They are supposed to be quite simple language to a layman, but we still didn't understand. Having been to more than 12 used piano shops didn't help much although we could try to speculate if this and that was what those forummers meant. But at least we'd done our best.


It's my 29th week.

I've been feeling really exhausted. This morning, although I've woken up, I still went back to bed to laze in it with my eyes closed, and hardly had the energy to search for the aircon remote control.

I suspect that it's depression. I've been feeling stressed up over work, William's debts, and how I'm going to cope with 2 children and the cleaning-up of the house. The baby is arriving in about 2 months' time and we've got nothing for the baby, or me for that matter. I'm worried. William is not going to have the money to buy them all in a bulk when he doesn't even have abit to spare to buy just 1 item now. I was asking a colleague who just came back from her maternity leave on how she copes with 2 young children and she mentioned about support from her husband. Isn't that true? The only way a working mother can cope with work and children is a supportive husband. But I know mine isn't. And he's not capable of being supportive.

Whenever I worry about all these, the word 'adoption' comes to mind. The thought of having two children freaks me out. I never wanted to have another child for as long as I'm married to William because I know he won't help me out. I'm afraid that I'll go crazy. Of course, seeking solace from another man is an option, but the other man is not my legal husband and he can't help me out at home. I was hoping that as my pregnancy progresses, William will start to grow up and learn to be a better husband and father, but it isn't the case. I feel bullied throughout the pregnancy. Because I'm quite immobile now, comparatively, the house is left in a dusty and dirty condition and he refuses to do something about it. He wipes the floor about once in one or two months. The window grills have this thick layer of dust which I'd told him about months ago and nothing's been done about it. He dumps all the dirty clothes into the washing machine - I'd told him to wash Coco's clothes separately so that our germs and bacteria don't mix with hers but he'd never listen. And he has to wait for me to scream and nag at him for weeks before he gets on with the laundry. And after washing the clothes, he doesn't put them into the dryer until I tell him many times that if the clothes are left in the washing machine for too many days, they will develop a smell and he would have to rewash them. Even after he dumps them all into the dryer, because he's unfamiliar with the dryer, the clothes are almost never completely dry and to the horror of horrors, he considers 'damp' as being 'dry'. It's just like how I don't know how to explain to my low-ability kids why addition sign is '+' and not 'x', or how to further simplify 'Don't use pencil', I don't know how to explain to him that 'damp' is not equivalent to 'dry'.

It's been frustrating living with him. My divorce plan has to be shelved because my elder sister doesn't allow Coco and me to move back with my parents - she owns the house and so she calls the shots.

The moment I think about the extra expenditure the baby is going to bring along with her, I would tell myself,"How about giving her up for adoption?"

I feel torn apart. Exhausted. Traumatised.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


I've been having some weird dreams lately.

Just yesterday, I dreamt that Dr Ang screamed and shouted at me because he found me such a nuisance for enquiring so much. And he sneered at my intolerance of the pain of 1-cm dilation when others felt nothing at 2- or 3-cm dilation.

It was a scary and stressful dream.

The other day, I dreamt about some form of the Last Day, that I became a child and was friend with a kid I teach. And there were killings everywhere. She was axed by a few children on a grasspatch while I was too petrified to help her. I ran and ran for my life.

It was a nightmare I was glad I woke up from.

Final decision

I've decided to divorce him.

The last smses we exchanged, he actually threatened me with divorce, citing the reason that I always accuse him of betting and gambling when he has 'quit long ago'. Then what was he doing at the betting booth counter collecting money for just the other day?

He has decided that I'm such an idiot that he could stand at the betting booth and shout at me,"I did not buy bets!!!"

And I found out more about his debts. He borrowed another big sum of money from a credit institute without repaying the banks with it. Then where did the money go?

His grandfather is always hounding after me because he defaults on repaying his grandfather.

I'm pregnant. And haven't got a thing for the baby. I haven't even got a name for the baby. Now I have to think of what to do about the father's particulars on her birthcert. And I had to clean up his backside for him when the reno loan bank called me up.

It's crazy.

I can't go on like this anymore.

What did he marry me for? To help him clear his debts while he continues to indulge in gambling and betting - it is becoming clear to me.