B is for blogging

I grew up in an era where we blogged – we went from diaryland to livejournal to blogspot to WordPress. We blogged about our lives, our loves, our work, our heartbreaks, our friendships, our thoughts, our emotions.

I was:

Flowerfall.diaryland.com , faeriedances.diaryland.com , pingspeaks.diaryland.com , brokenpathways.blogspot.com, dancinglights.wordpress.com

Most of them defunct and lost  — and that makes me sad, to lose all those precious memories, those happy pictures taken with our grainy phones. I also remember the good times, that has been intrinsically lost forever. The hours i spent writing (typing), that Fool-happy love, the first dates, the letters we’d write, the gathering of friends, life experiences in that moment

But maybe it’s better this way now that we’re older and grown and our online personalities have becomes so public. Yikes, that horrible breakup(s), that relationship that never was, that fight that cleaved us in two. Maybe I am thankful, that those cringe worthy dramatics have been washed away by as e-platforms become defunct. 

I remember when D and I started dating: he’d drive home at 3 am in the mornings – from Yio Chu Kang to Clementi: and I’d read him excerpts from my old blogs. I think he has singularly heard all the posts from day 1, in those hundreds of night drives back. Even the old posts, even about exes. It was liberating to read them through, to know D wanted to know all of me, past and all. 

But friends, has blogging become passĂ©? 

I haven’t blogged in years (except on travels) but I love using words to capture memories for I am neither photogenic Nor a great photographer. I love sitting quietly and trying to figure out the best, no, most appropropriate, no, most apt, (you get what I mean) word to describe my frame of mind right there and then. Maybe it becomes rambling, but it’s my rambling.


G is for Grateful

Sometimes I look at G and I think about how intricate God’s handiwork is – from the whorls on his head to the curl of his ears, to his little hands and feet – how did he cast the design blueprint, that we are so wonderfully made?

This child, we have asked for: I’ve fretted over, cried over, laughed over, hurt over. Pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park: bleeding, severe nausea, symphysis pubis dysfunction, right to the excitement of 1 Aug — when we discovered I was 6 cm Dilated at our gynae visit. 

At week 33, we learnt that the cervix had softened and shortened, then, start of week 35 we learnt we were 2 cm Dilated. So it wasn’t a surprise to us to learn there were more developments at our next (few) checks.. and then.. nothing happened. No water bag breaking! I had a few rumbles in my tummy (which I later learnt were contractions) and the mucus plug (which is quite as disgusting as it sounds) fell off rather uneventfully– but no labour onset.

So, 6 cm in, baby G was not engaged – we went for a walk and lunch, hoping to jiggle him in place. Had a fall down some steps and what a scene that was – it’s not funny falling down at 35 weeks pregnant – and I couldn’t walk thereafter. My pelvis (which already was sore), felt completely busted – every small movement hurt and we knew from that point that G would come within the day or two. we made it to week 35 at least! 

So we elected c-sec, but since we ate lunch, we had to wait for 9 pm surgery. our wonderful gynae told us we can still try for natural, but G must engage – her concern was that G’s head (95th percentile) couldn’t fit. At the 8.30 check, he was neither engaged or anywhere close, and i Guess he couldn’t wiggle his head into the correct spot, so we went off to the Theatre and the rest is history. 

Since then, two weeks have passed and G (for all the drama) has since settled into a calm, quiet (mostly), and gentle child. I wonder if this is just a newborn preemie thing, or if things will change over the next few days. 

Grateful, because God was faithful when he promised to take care of me (us) through the curve balls life throws. Grateful, because D has been nothing but patient and kind over the last few terse weeks. Grateful, because family has stepped in to pitch in with E and G – be it sleepovers, school runs, baby sitting, meal preps. Grateful because so much love has outpoured from friends – who accompany me on night duties via chats, who send gifts, who give mespace to sort myself out (thanks!), who drop encouraging lines on fb which I see when I’m feeling frustrated, bummed or discouraged, and who pop in for a sniff and a cuddle despite their crazy schedules – and tactfully do not mention that i am badly in need of a shower, change of clothes, and personal grooming. Grateful for work partners and team, who pick up the slack and keep things going so my mind is at ease.

H is for hatchling 

E oddly enough, thinks she’s a hatchling (snake) and it’s funny how much she absolutely loves snakes and bugs. Most nights when we talk to her, she thinks she “pop(ped) out of an egg”. Thanks, the very hungry catepillar.

So it comes as no surprise that she thinks mummy is going to pop her Brother out. 

That’s us, this afternoon, Son: you are 35w+ 2 days and already you’re wanting to come out. 2 cm Dilated and one massive contraction (and 2 small ones) in the 12 minutes we were hooked up to the cardiotocograph. 

We’re heading home, cos G may come as soon as tonight, or in the next few days — so we’re to wait until.. something else happens. Nudge hard if you’re coming Son, mummy didn’t even know she was contracting up to the visit to the clinic! 

I’m fine, and our spirits are up! Daddy is trying to sleep as much as he can, while he can. I Guess everyone worries about different things going into this birth– mummy worries about becoming an emotional basket case, and daddy worries about physically coping with the stress of having a tiny person depending on you for his every need + handling what would likely be a Wife who is an emotional basket case + not knowing how E would react to G. 

Well, come what may. 

E is for excitement

Dear Gabriel,

Hello Son — we’re at 34w5d now and we have been told that you’d likely come in the next two weeks. That’s great, but if you could, please try and hold off? You’re a little undercooked at the moment and need to stay in a while more. 

We went to see you today: daddy and I. Your Sister was not feeling particularly cooperative so she was left at home. Seems like every time we go and see you, you’d be hiding your face– and twice now, we caught you sucking on your little fists.

You’re clearly active, and strong (and heavy) and mummy is struggling to walk – my pelvis hurts and I have to wear a brace to stagger around the house. I have to apologise for all the crazy emotions you’re receiving – it’s a stressful time with work and I’m trying to keep as calm as possible for you. Sometimes I feel like the top of my head is going to blow off – and your patient little tapping reminds me to keep myself in check.

E is not so very interested in you at the moment, and to be honest, since she is only 2, it’s probably better this way. She will struggle to share her things with you, but this is a lesson for her and not you. It is my prayer that you take after your daddy’s patience and fortitude – and not mummy’s dramatic tendencies.

We’re ready for you. But stay in there a little longer please. 

Q is for Quesadilla

E had quesadilla for the first time today, and then proceeded to eat two slices (are they called slices?). Which is rare because E doesn’t really eat much outside the home, and E isn’t what we call adventurous with food. That apple(face) doesn’t fall far from this tree.

Two hours later and she is throwing up like a G6, and D has to deal with it all by himself because regurgitated quesadilla + digestive juices + milk was setting off my already overactive gag reflex. 

Bedlam at bedtime — E insists on sleeping in our bed (again, rare), and two hours later, I am awoken by a sharp kick to the kidneys. The dogs are not pleased either, and have retreated to the far ends of the bed, staring at E with abject dislain. I Guess no one, two or four legged, enjoys being bashed in their sleep. D is twisted into a weird angle to accommodate her and I decide enough is enough and move E back to her own bed. She is obviously not pleased about this and whines to D, who patiently goes and settles her down. (He has since fallen asleep in her bed and seems comfortable enough there.)

6.23 am – I am wide awake playing with familar old anxieties in my head– so much fear for the future and what is to come, the uncertainty disquiets me. Phryne Fisher (book version, although the show is great too) isn’t distracting me from this gnawing sensation in the deep of my gut and I am only thankful for the May Day respite tomorrow. 

Letters from the road : What is a Tenggaroh?

We had meant to leave Singapore this morning – but Denn and I are not morning folk, so we were both discussing how much we were dreading the  morning wake up and drive. “Leave later!” Cried he, “pfft,” I replied, “we’ve always had the worst luck at the causeway. Jam jam jam.” “Leave now!”, so we left– at 5 pm.

Two hours later, we found ourselves on the other side of the causeway — still jam la, stuck for two hours — and decided to get dinner out of the way, while I arranged for somewhere to stay for the night (no booking!) 

So we couldn’t find any place suitable in Mersing, and ended up somewhere in this place called Felda Residence Tanjung Leman, in the middle of what looked like a palm estate? The road here was harrowing with rain, police stops and despite the fact we had  2 GPS, google maps and a Dennis Tan who can figure out his bearings from a glance at the map — we still got lost as the “hotel” was off the grid, and had to trust our instincts.

Coupled with my night blindness and tiny bladder, I really was feeling quite afraid — but I rationalised that we were safe, and full, and dry and had a tank full of petrol. And really, we travel all the way to Nz to get lost — what’s the difference? I’m still with my Favourite adventure buddy and we weren’t that tired that we couldn’t go on further if we needed to. It was undulating winding roads with  limited visibility from the rain, fog and terrain — and I am sure my overactive imagination was at work and as we drive our today in the light I am sure to be laughing at my crazy exaggeration. 

Thankfully they had room at the inn, so to speak and we shook off our road dust and settled for a “sea view” room. Room’s clean, water runs hot. Denn and I have stayed in literal tin cans and backpacker’s inn, so this wasn’t too bad. 

This morning i peeped out the window and caught a glimpse of the sea — it’s about 20 m from our room, and my heart was filled — just filled. I think maybe God knew how much I needed this breather – and pray he ministers to both of us this trip. It was a rough decision to be away on Good Friday, and we’ve been torn about it — but God has his own ways of consolations. 

This morning, we thank God for journey mercies and for the roads to come. E is safe with her grandparents — don’t worry. 

F is for Fixing a broken heart

It’s Sunday midafternoon and I am sitting on the couch keeping an eye on E who’s taking her nap — and an old familiar tune comes on the radio.

There was nothing to say the day she left/ I just filled a suitcase full of regrets/ I hailed a taxi in the rain/Looking for some place to ease the pain/Then like an answered prayer/I turned around and found you there

-Fixing a broken heart, Indecent Obsession 

And despite having heard it hundreds of times over, it struck me what the lyrics mean. How wonderful, how redemptive it turned out– Much like my story with D: whom I met in the throes of deep pain from the breakup. 

Have I told you, D, how in so many ways you helped me find my footing, when my world was swept from under feet. And how our relationship held so much healing and growing. Thank you for being there when I turned around – and for staying around to see me whole again. Redemption. Love. 

Those days.