Number 3: How I found out

big sis

The first thought I had was, OMG!

And I jumped and shrieked for joy in my mind. But on the outside, I was still quite composed haha.

In this post, I shared that the hubby and I felt that it was time for us to try for another baby. So we did. But we weren’t very uh, diligent, if you get what I mean. Only once. *tries to be cryptic*

So I told him, well, if we do get pregnant, we are very very lucky. I kinda didn’t really expect to get pregnant from that once, but since we did try, there was that possibility.

We continued life like normal for the next few weeks. I had my period symptoms, but no period.

But again I thought, we might not be so lucky. Even though, deep within, I kinda suspected maybe we were.

Still I put off the pregnancy test, for a few reasons. 1) It’s more accurate when I’m further along anyway. 2) I was nervous. I was nervous about getting pregnant. I was nervous about not getting pregnant. I didn’t know what I want and I didn’t know how to feel about both. Some days I really REALLY wanted to have another baby. Some days I think, maybe we were not ready.

Finally. After being late for about a week, and after feeling hungry all the time, and after feeling tired all the time, and after feeling irrationally irritable sometimes, and after feeling a bit of the pregnancy symptoms (i.e. dizzy when I stood up quickly, heightened sense of smell, other physical symptoms), I decided to just get that dang pregnancy test done, so at least I would know if I could still eat sashimi.

No more sashimi.

Yup. Definitely no more sashimi.

And a few weeks later, we saw its little heartbeat.

I am super happy and am so grateful that God has given us another baby! But almost immediately after seeing that positive line, I was washed over by fear and worry too.

Medically, I am considered a high risk mother. Mentally, I remember having and losing Alexa. Emotionally, I can still feel the pain.

Many around me expect me not to be as worried this time around, since Amy was born alive and well. I guess in a sense it’s true. Every time I look at Amy, I remember God’s promises and assurances. Still, I can’t explain the fear that still grips my heart. I guess the fact remains that Alexa happened.

I laid my hands on my belly and prayed for baby number three, confessing that this baby will be well and healthy, that he/she will develop and grow normally and healthily, and he/she will be born alive and well, and he/she will be a great sibling to Amy.

I wish I could be a carefree mom, chilling and relaxing since this is already my third pregnancy. Oh well. It will no doubt be another battle of my mind throughout this journey, but I will do it. And with God by my side, I will believe for another victory.

If you could pray and confess along with me, I would very much appreciate that.

I’m now entering my second trimester. This being my third pregnancy, it’s really not easy to conceal anymore; I look like I’m 5 months pregnant. But like my MIL said, why would I want to hide? Being pregnant is a happy news! I agree. 🙂

This pregnancy saw the return of my evening sickness. I was very nauseous in the evenings, and many nights I couldn’t really down my dinner. Fortunately though, there was no throwing up. The fatigue was also quite bad. And weirdly enough, every time I thought about social media, I felt nauseous too! Haha! That explains why I was relatively absent from social media for the past weeks.

My cravings went haywire too. I would very specifically want to eat iced desserts, or salty snacks, or spicy food.

Sometimes I would feel a tad guilty for not giving baby number three enough attention, as Amy is more than a handful. Then the hubby said, how would you give baby number three attention??

Well, I don’t know… Maybe more tummy rubs, more talking to baby, and just more daydreaming about baby??

I have been telling Amy that she’s going to be a big sister, and that there is a baby in mama’s stomach. She could repeat that, but I doubt she understands what that means.

I look at her and feel so much love. Then I wonder if I would be able to love baby number three the same. Or if I would love Amy less when baby comes. But a lot of my mama friends have assured me that I won’t. Somehow, I would be able to increase my capacity to love instead.

I love having babies. If only the journey of being pregnant was not so harrowing and tough emotionally, I would love to keep getting pregnant haha.

But for now…

Father I pray for baby number three. Thank You so so much for giving me this gift of life. I pray that baby number three will continue to grow and develop healthily and normally, that this pregnancy will be smooth and free from complications, that baby number three will be born alive and well at full term. Amen. 

 
Love,

Nat

Thou shall not lie… to your kids

A few nights ago, the hubby told me that a friend of his was telling him how exasperated she was because her young son has started lying to her. She was incredulous; where did he learn to lie at such a young age? (I think he is 3 or 4 years old) She said she and her husband never told him lies, so how did he pick up this bad habit?

My first response was that kids don’t need to be taught how to do wrong. The sinful nature is within each and every one of us and we would somehow know how to do wrong things even without being taught.

However, after thinking about it more, I turned to my hubby and said, “Actually it is not true that parents do not teach their kids how to lie.”

Think about it. How many times have your parents told you a “white lie” when you were growing up?

For example:

“If you’re naughty again, the policeman will come here and catch you.”

“If you are good, I will buy you all the toys you want.”

These lies may not be big, bad lies. But they are lies nevertheless.

And I do not blame parents (or even grandparents). Because sometimes it’s easier to throw out these white lies to get the kid to behave, rather than spend a long time explaining and disciplining.

But here’s the thing:

Your children see what you do more than they hear what you say, and they follow your actions more than obey your words.

So if you tell them “do not lie”, but they see you doing it all the time to them, guess what they would do?

They can’t differentiate a white lie and a bad lie. A lie is a lie. If you said you will get them that toy but you didn’t, it’s a lie. If you said you will let them watch the iPad if they finish their dinner but you didn’t, it’s a lie.

And once you have made that first lie, it breaks their trust in you. They will now know that your word is not your bond. They will have that feeling of “Yea whatevs, that’s what my dad or my mom said, but they always say that. Pfft.”

That is why, as far as I am able, I am determined not to bluff Amy in any way. Every reward that I dangle in front of her, or any threat that I make, I have to follow through. Which is why I do not threaten lightly, and I do not offer a reward easily.

If I tell her, “If you throw down the toy again, you cannot play with it today”, then I have to make sure I follow through if she throws it down again.

If I promise her that she “can watch iPad if you let mummy shower you now”, then I have to honour my word, even if she forgets about it after shower.

If you don’t think you can carry out a particular threat, then do not even say it! Resist all temptation and swallow it back down. For example, “If you are naughty, I will burn all your toys!”

Number one, I don’t think you would actually burn all the toys, which would then make your statement a lie, and then cause your kid to undermine you.

Number two, if you do burn all the toys, I think it’s too harsh an action and your kid would probably think you are mad. And think of all the money you just burned.

Finally, never assume that your kid doesn’t understand what you are saying anyway and therefore you don’t really have to follow through. Your kid is smarter than you think, and from as young as they are, they are already learning values and principles from you.

 

Love,

Nat

Hello baby Amy

This post was written after Amy was born on 18th June 2014 in my previous blog.

It’s been awhile since my last post.

What I’ve never revealed here was that my gynae had set last Wednesday for my induction. I was to be admitted into the labour room at midnight, and be induced for vaginal birth.

I had (not so) secretly been hoping that I would go into labour without the induction, for several reasons: a) it seems better if baby number two came out on her own without being “forced”; b) induction brought back tonnes of memories.

When we found out that Alexa had passed away in my womb, I was also induced for vaginal birth. So this time, the day before being admitted into the labour room, I was highly tensed and emotional. I kept thinking about a year ago: the night before I was admitted into the labour room, I was crying my eyes out and praying so hard that Alexa would be alive. When I went to the hospital, I was tired of hoping yet refused to give up believing. When I finally delivered Alexa, the room was quiet – no cries, no screams, no happy “Congratulations”. When I was discharged from the hospital, I went home alone, without my Alexa in my arms. When I reached home, all the baby items had been cleared from visible places and kept in the nursery. My entire confinement was spent with eerie silence and plenty of tears.

These memories kept haunting me last Tuesday. The fact that I felt a little under the weather didn’t help. I was so worried that I would catch a fever right before giving birth and it would cause complications. I spent most of the night at home alone, trying not to think yet my mind refused to let me go.

I listened to the worship song “It Is Well” by Bethel Music again and again that night, and it has become the ‘theme song’ for baby number two. The lyrics spoke so much to me – they reminded me of how God has carried me through the loss of Alexa, how He has been with me throughout my pregnancy with baby number two, and assured me of how He will continue to be with me for the birth and beyond.

Midnight came, and the hubby and I checked ourselves into the hospital. By now I was relatively calmer, and was allowing myself to feel a little bit of the excitement. But I also conveniently remembered the pain that I would have to go through (yikes). The midwife came to check on my dilation, which was about 2-3 cm at 12.30am. And then… she asked me to rest! The induction would only start four hours later. The hubby and I were like, er ok… We ended up spending the time watching the TV in the labour room.

At 4am, she came back in to check on my dilation, which was the same, and she started the induction process. IMMEDIATELY (like 2 seconds after that), my contractions shot up both in pain and frequency. By 6am, I was in terrible pain, and I was beginning to feel like I want to pee (when you’re in labour and baby is going down, you would feel like peeing and pooping). The hubby and the midwife convinced me to take the mild pain killer injection – the same one I took before with Alexa – but I told the midwife that I would progress super fast once I take that injection, and that my gynae must be on standby.

She asked me how quickly did I dilate to 10cm after taking the injection the last time, and I told her it was an hour. So right after giving me the jab, she proceeded to prepare everything for the delivery. That was 6.30am, and I was 4cm dilated.

By 7.20am, I told her that I had an urgent need to push! She told me to hang on, that doctor has arrived at the hospital but was still preparing to come up to the labour room. I tried waiting for awhile, and then I told another midwife that I really really really felt like I couldn’t hold it in much longer. That midwife checked me and said I was almost 10cm, just needed to wait for one more contraction for it to be fully opened. That contraction came and gone, and then she said, “Oh, your water bag has not yet burst. Wait ah let me check with doctor if she wants to burst it.”

And I was like, “WHAT! STILL NEED TO HOLD?!”

Fortunately, she came back to me within seconds and told me that it’s alright to start pushing, because the water bag will burst by its own. Those words were such relief to my ears. And so the pushing began!

It was definitely more difficult and more painful than I remembered. But by the time I was pushing, my doctor was with me, and a few more midwives also came in to cheer me on. Man, it was like having a team of cheerleaders! And it really helped!

After pushing like mad, before I realised it, my team of cheerleaders were congratulating me and baby number two was placed in my arms at 7.45am. I looked at her and marvelled, and all I could say was, “Hello baby.” The hubby said I teared when I looked at baby number two, but all I could remember thinking was, she is alive. Thank You Jesus.

A few seconds later, she screamed and kicked, and the hubby looked at me and said, “She is a screamer. Well, we did pray for her to be kicking and screaming!”

I spent the rest of the day in the ward feeling extremely drowsy and groggy (after-effects of the pain killer injection), but so relieved that baby number two is finally out alive and well. And that we got to go home with this little one. And now my confinement month is filled with sleepless nights and baby cries.

Looking at her little tiny body, I suddenly realised that I have no idea how to take care of this little mini human entrusted to me, but I will do my best. Thank You Father for this beautiful gift. She’s my beloved, my baby Amy.

Thank you all for your constant prayer and support throughout this pregnancy. You all have been cheering me on and believing with me, and it really meant a lot to me. Baby Amy and I are extremely blessed.

 

Love,

Nat

Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom

The Reb had lived a few days beyond his massive stroke, in a peaceful coma, long enough for his wife, children and grandchildren to get there and whisper their good-byes. I had done the same, touching his thick white hair, hugging my face to his, promising he would not die the second death, he would not be forgotten, not as long as I had a breath in me.*

And now the Reb will live on through this beautifully written book, with his teachings touching an indefinite number of lives who read the words printed on the pages.

Mitch Albom has a way to captivate his readers through his writing, and this book is no different. Have A Little Faith is said to be his second non-fiction book, after Tuesdays with Morrie, and it shows us his journey of getting to know his Rabbi, Albert Lewis, not as a clergyman, but as a person.

As I read the book, I too began to respect and love the Reb. He was down-to-earth, positive, open-minded, loving, and so wise. There were so many pages that stopped me in my tracks, and left big impressions on me.

The Reb once did a sermon on how the same things in life can be good or evil, depending on what, with free will, we do with them. Speech can bless or curse. Money can save or destroy. Science can heal or kill. Even nature can work for you or against you: fire can warm or burn; water can sustain life or flood it away.*

A few times, I had a lump in my throat while reading this book. It reminded me so much of my dad as well as Alexa.

My dad, because, well, the Reb was old and dying, and Mitch described how he hated seeing the Reb grow weaker, and how he hated the idea that the Reb would die in a very near future. I could identify with that.

And Alexa, because, the Reb too lost one daughter when she was just four years old.

“My friends, when sometimes we are asked why does someone perish, someone so young in age, I can only fall back on the wisdom of our tradition. It is true that David did not live long for his day. But while he lived, David taught, inspired, and left us a great spiritual legacy, including the Book of Psalms. One of those Psalms, the twenty-third, is read sometimes at funerals.

“Is it not better to have known Rinah, my daughter, for four years, than not to have known her at all?”*

As painful as it was, yes, it was better to have been able to carry Alexa in my womb for 9 months and to have had held her in my arms, than to have never had her at all.

Have A Little Faith made me think about the life I’m living. How can I live better? How can I love better? How can I purpose my life better? How can I deepen my faith?

As a writer, I am also greatly inspired by Mitch, as I always am after reading his books. Trained as a journalist, I am reminded of how lives can be impacted when good stories are found and written well.

p.s.: By the way, I believe the copy that I have is an updated version. There were some turn of events after the publication of the first version, that he added into this latest one. 

*Excerpts from the book

 

Love,

Nat

MOF Japanese Dining @ Sunway Pyramid

Japanese is my favourite cuisine. I just can never get bored of it. If given a choice, I would go for Japanese meals at least once a week. At least.

I have heard of MOF Japanese Dining in Sunway Pyramid, but have never tried it mainly because I seldom go to the mall. Plus, I’ve always thought that MOF is all about desserts only. Well apparently, they were about desserts, but this particular outlet has decided to expand their menu to offer other meal choices. And there is such a wide selection of food – from bento sets to noodles (udon, soba, ramen) to sushi. They’ve also got pasta for those in the mood for Western Asian fusion.

There is also quite a variety of drinks. If you’re a green tea lover, you can go for their macha drinks. Or if you prefer red bean, there are the azuki drinks. For those who need some caffeine, they also have coffee selections. I went for the Cookies and Cream Shake, but there is no decent picture of it here because the hubby and I kinda gobbled it down the moment it arrived. I loved it.

Anyway, these were what we ordered and liked.

Salmon Teriyaki Bento, RM20.90

OK the salmon is in the right compartment and you can’t really see it here, but it was so good. I could finish the entire fish at one go because the teriyaki sauce made it so appetizing.

Salmon Aburi Roll, RM15.90

For me, a Japanese meal is not complete unless you have some sushi, and salmon! This roll combines both, and I highly recommend that you try it.

Tori Kara Age Jyu, RM14.90

This is apparently one of MOF’s signature dishes, and rightly so. If you feel lost flipping through the menu because of the crazy amount of choices, order this.

Chicken Katsu Tomato Pasta, RM16.90

Again, if you are looking for Western Asian fusion, this is a good dish to go for.

California Maki, RM11.90

You can never go wrong with California Maki.

5-Piece Salmon Sashimi, RM12.90

Yes, I know there are only three pieces in the picture. That is because our friends ate it before I snatched it away from them for my camera.

Rice and Noodle Teishoku, RM19.90

This is perfect for me, because I often cannot make up my mind if I should go for noodles or rice. Haha!

Shiratama Kurian, RM13.00

Soft-serve ice cream! I loved the Japanese dumpling and Hokkaido red bean paste that were paired with it. The one that I had didn’t have gyuhi though; it was replaced with marshmallows.

Macha Zen, RM13.90

My friend who ordered this said he had been looking for Hokkaido red bean dessert high and low, so he was very happy to be able to eat this! It’s Japanese green tea gelato with the said red bean and Japanese dumplings.

Overall, satisfying Japanese food and dessert at reasonable prices. Definitely worth a try.

MOF Japanese Dining
F1.67, First Floor, Sunway Pyramid, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Open 10am – 10pm, every day
Tel: 03-56110949

Moms Connect Hi-Tea

Last weekend, the mothers in my church met up for a Moms Connect Hi-Tea event at HOPP Cafe, Sunway. This was probably the third or fourth event organised by my church for mothers, and I enjoyed every one of them, including this.

There is something special about mothers meeting up together, especially when we share the same values and goals. Some of us were new mothers, some were mothers of grown children, and some were expecting moms. All from different walks and seasons, but it was a beautiful time of connecting and sharing (and complaining haha) about our motherhood experiences.

I also appreciate the candid and honest sharing by Diana, wife of one of our pastors. She talked about how when she first became a mom, it was all about survival. She rushed from one state to another, and by the end of the day, she was more than exhausted. Then the next day, the whole cycle repeats itself. After awhile, you really could lose yourself. That really resonated with us all.

So she reminded us to not just survive, but to truly live through and enjoy each moment. Also, do not underestimate the power and influence we have over our family as mothers. Intentionally set out to build a good culture in our family. Instil the five core values in our family – excellence, generosity, honour, attitude and gratefulness.

Mothers, let’s keep doing our best and not grow weary in doing good!

 

Love,

Nat

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