I still remember it clearly – the moment when I stepped into Mothercare and saw the prettiest, little yellow frock for a six month old…and I instantly spoke in my mind, without thinking, “If I had another little girl, I will buy her the prettiest little dress”.
The universe must have heard me. After all, they do tell you to be careful what you wish for.
When Two becomes Three
Fast forward two months later, I was peeing on a stick which instantly showed me the two blue lines that got me shrieking at the top of my voice (in frustration) and punching my husband in the gut. Nothing could have prepared me for this bomb of a news – like a boomerang that came whizzing straight into my face.
You see, just a week before I peed on the stick, we were on a beautiful, white sand, blissful island resort (Batu-Batu, you have to check it out!) – snorkelling, diving and enjoying the sun…and me concluding that when I get home, I will be clearing out all the baby clothes we diligently vacuumed up, the nursing pump and all the stuff that we kept for “just in case” because.. I was DONE!
Two kids is perfect – holidays are starting to be enjoyable again and we actually can look forward to more date nights and trips away again together again…… and I was exhausted!
How we choose to tell ourselves what we want to hear
Little did I know that I was already pregnant by then but I was in so much denial that all the signs and symptoms of the early stage of pregnancy was interpreted as something else.
- Late period was misinterpreted as premature menopause symptoms (it could be possible at 38….I thought).
- Throwing up badly after two dives was misinterpreted as me being grossly unfit.
- The bloated belly that came out of no where was me struggling to shed my post partum belly despite exercising and being careful with the diet a lot more.
- The unexplained severe exhaustion was just…age… and being a mum.
See how we choose to tell ourselves what we want to believe and hear?
It wasn’t until we went to our friends’ home for dinner and I had to explain that my appetite has been weird lately, and she asked me if I could be pregnant – the bell sort of went “ding ding”…and my stomach pitted.
The first trimester – The Internal Turmoil
The first week after we found out was a mix of shock, denial, hesitation, fear and extreme anxiety, I have always been a planner – never one who likes surprises – gifts and in life. I like knowing what my calendar look like over the next six months.
So the realisation of the fact that I won’t have enough hands to hold all three kids sent me into real anxiety and depression. It was a very difficult position to be in – between being grateful that we have been “blessed” and “gifted” another miracle vs “but I didn’t ask for it and certainly didn’t plan for it”.
For the first time, the thought of termination really crossed my mind – and that in itself sent me further into depression. It was a constant internal debate between “How could you be so ungrateful to even think about it”, “But how are we going to cope financially?!” vs ” We will be fine…everyone made through it, why wouldn’t you? Be grateful for what you have.” It was hell.
When I spoke to hubby about it, he tried his best to hold back his shock at my brutal honesty about my thoughts and said “the decision is entirely up to you”. And that – sent me further down the guilt tunnel. How was I going to manage to work on my business and art AND raise three young kids? How were we going to pay for the hospital bill (because lets face it, things are tight)?
When Friends come to help Shine their light on you
Being someone who has always spoken her mind and heart, I decided to talk to close friends about my internal struggles – and to my relief, they told me that they too went through similar thoughts with their pregnancies. They listened, lent me a shoulder to rant on, and never judged me for my thoughts.
They constantly checked in on me to see how I was coping and always reassured me that these thoughts are normal and I am entirely entitled to them….and that I am not an ungrateful monster for having them – because I do have a lot on my plate already as it is.
I could never have been more grateful to these friends who helped shine their lights and held my hand as I walked through that very dark, misty tunnel of fear of going from a mum of two to three. Because lets face it, the game changes entirely.
Second Trimester: Finding Equilibrium in Gratitude
The question of termination never really went away until we were well into the scans and an over-enthusiastic OBGYN helped. I started to feel more energetic again – and I started going to the gym and yoga in the mornings as I noticed it helped improve my mood.
I also really got into a daily meditation practise – mostly with our five year old son and I started noticing how meditation helped calm and center me. It was like medication that I started to feel uncomfortable without – especially when I don’t manage to do it on weekends.
I was also very busy focusing on my upcoming debut art exhibition at the Singapore Affordable Art Fair in November – painting close to ten hours a day, three to four days a week. I guess I simply didn’t have the time to think much about the pregnancy and admittedly, at times even forgot the fact that I am pregnant.
I also started attending the Kundalini Conscious Pregnancy classes with my Kundalini Teacher, Pamela – which always left me feeling inspired, beautiful and grateful for being given another chance to grow a life inside me.
Finding Kundalini – a Blessing
We had a blessing ceremony for the baby on the 120th day. It is believed that on the 120th day, the soul of the baby enters the womb and its physical body. So, on this day – a celebration / ceremony is held to celebrate the descend of the soul and we invite close friends and family to come and bless the baby.
When Pamela introduced this to me, we thought it sounded so beautiful and more meaningful than a regular baby shower. We invited the closest of friends we have in Singapore to come and decorated the entire home with flowers and rose petals all around where we were to sit in a circle.
The kids were so happy and excited and asked if we could have the house decorated like this everyday… *lol*
The morning itself was a spine tingling, goosebump-full of an event…Friends chanted and took turns to tell their stories of our friendship and whisper their well-wishes and love to me. There was not a dry eye in the room. I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude.
The next day, Marc told me that he saw many angels in our home that morning, surrounding us.
In case I forget this in the future, my second trimester of this pregnancy was filled with countless moments of immense gratitude and spirituality – all new experiences for me and I am very grateful for it. There really are angels out there – we just need to open our eyes and believe.
Third Trimester: The Realisation – I am not Superwoman
You see, when you have been through two relatively good pregnancies, one starts to assume it’ll all be the same (smooth sailing) and take things for granted. Many friends kept telling me to try slowing down a little as they thought I was pushing myself too hard at work…
I was desperately wanting to achieve as much as I could before the baby arrived because it meant another year of hiatus and time out from my ‘career’. Perhaps I overdid things, perhaps I treated my body like a machine and pushed it too hard – even at yoga, wanting to stretch it just that little bit more.
All of a sudden, overnight, I woke up with this pain in my groin ….like someone kneed me real hard down there. It hurt particularly after I’ve sat down for a while and tried to get up to walk. Sometimes, so much so that I’d see stars.
I told the doctor about this pain and she very quickly dismissed it as pregnancy pains – telling me that its because my core muscles are all weakened due to previous pregnancies. So, thinking its purely muscular, I pushed harder at yoga – which obviously made things worse.
So, here I am, four weeks to my due date – struggling to walk beyond 10 metres…being told by the doctor that I have this condition called ‘Pubis Symphysis” and I need to stop all physical exercise and to keep my legs together as much as possible before things get really bad.
I am suddenly brought back again to the day when I was struck with this debilitating pain of my slipped disc – and how it was a reminder of never to take our bodies for granted.
We are not a machine, nor are we superwoman…although most of the times we (mums) like to think so.
With four weeks to go, I suddenly realised that I don’t have much time anymore to enjoy us as a family of four… and I begin to ponder what it will be like to have another one to love,..how much the heart will expand and grow again.
So I hold my little ones closer and tighter each day – cherishing the moments before the equilibrium is all disrupted again. Before we become a family of five. Before I become a mum of three.