Mommy and papa had not planned to be parents...we did not want to have any children initially. Not that we wanted more time and enjoyment for ourselves. Just that, firstly, we're not those going all mushy over children. We don't go "oooh...isn't she cute...coo-chee-coo-chee-cooo" or "oorrrr, look at this handsome young boy, give me a big big hug...oorrr, you'll grow up to be a fine young man". No, we're not like that but that doesn't mean we hate kids. Considering the ever rising living cost in Singapore and the fact that we don't go head-over-heels over children, we questioned ourselves if we can be reasonably good parents (I'm not even thinking about GREAT, just reasonably good). We thought about this question before we got married. We thought about this question after we got married. However, we did not come to a conclusion until about a year before our dear daughter is born. It may surprise you but our conclusion was not to have any children...but we did...because, like I said, rising cost of living made condoms and birth control pills expensive :p so...
When wifey got signs that she might be pregnant (if you dun know what the signs are, it means you're still a minor...run along, go suck on a chupa chups or do what kids normally do...), we went to the gynae for confirmation. We were apprehensive and kept asking ourselves what if? skarly? how then? but all the uncertainties left my mind the moment I saw the tiny beating heart on the screen of the ultrasound machine... I beamed with a broad smile, brighter than the sunflower, bubbling with joy that I almost want to burst. IT'S A LIFE! I shouted in my heart like Dr Frankenstein when he awaken his Frankenstein .
Before anyone gets any funny ideas about Trixie, here's a picture of her and she's no Frankenstein. Orrrh...isn't she cute...coo-chee-coo-chee-cooo...I was sold that very moment to my daughter. The what if? skarly? how then? were still hanging over mommy's head. I had to stand up straight and give her all the assurance that even if the sky drop, I'll shoulder it. Well, with those kind of assurance, we cast all doubts away and focus on bringing a great life into this world (Come to think of it now, I think wifey has no doubts that she too was sold the moment she saw the ultrasound image but I think she pretended to be uncertain so that she'll get an edge over me :p)
Like all first time parents, we were all excited over the first pregnancy. We read any books we could find, we asked any relatives and friends on all that needs to be known, we consulted the gynae and even sought some spiritual guidance. It was particular challenging to both of us because we were doing part time courses (remember? we decided not to have and thus went to upgrade ourselves? or rather, I was oreadi doing my part time degree, wifey took on more courses). We had to juggle time between workplace, school and clinic. In a way, it was fortunate that I was doing my final year for my degree and one of the subjects was biology...naturally, I was very attentive on topics about pregnancy.
Everytime we visit the gynae, we asked about the progress of the fetal development "Doc, er, is the baby healthy? good? normal? everything ok?"... and everytime, the doc would reply "huh? you want to know the sex ah? girl la...oh?! Ok la, healthy lor, good lor, normal la" Well, we dun mind knowing the gender and we dun mind if we have a boy or a girl...most importantly, she's healthy and happy. As we're nearing to her delivery date, everything seemed to move a lot faster... we had to get a cot, milk bottles, strollers, steamers, baby clothes, powder, shampoo, bath foam, bath tub, diapers,blankets etc on top of juggling between work, school and clinic. The one most important task though, is getting the name. It has to sound nice, in all forms of dialect, looks nice, means nice...and eventually, we settled with Trixie which means Bringer of Joy... (in case you are wondering, you live up to your name, Trix!)
My wife completed her part time studies before the due date but papa had to carry on with assignments and prepare for exams during the expected delivery date. Unfortunately I was down with shingles about a week before delivery date :( Shingles meant that I won't be able to enter the delivery room and I won't be able to carry my Trixie when she is born :( Trixie's expected due date was 1st Oct and doc advised that if by the 5th she's not ready to be out yet, we may have to go for a C-Section or induce labour-Trixie was getting too big for wifey to handled afterall. That very night after we consulted doc, wifey and I went to catch a night movie, Infernal Affairs Part 3, I think. Returned home, bathed and sleep, as usual. It was about 2a.m. when wifey woke me up and told me her bag burst :o !!! So, we called our doctor and took a cab to the hospital. It wasn't until 3 am when the delivery room was prepared. Since I was not allowed to enter the delivery room (shingles, remember?), wifey decided to go for C-Section. She was worried about not being able to go through natural birth without me by her side...what if the pain was more than she can bear and she need to hit/bite/slap someone? She can't possibly do those on the medical team, right? She can only do that on her husband, right? She can't do that if I'm not there, right?
BTW, for those of you who do not know what's a C-section (Caesarean Section), it's delivery via surgical incision on the abdomen and uterus to bring the baby out. BTW, I've watched a video clip somewhere in the internet where they video record the entire process and another that shows natural delivery :| both have the same effect of making me loose appetite and skip meals. For this reason, I did not put the link here...go search the internet yourself.
All I could do was to sit in the waiting room and...wait...hello?!?! Waiting Room! Well, indeed I waited...and waited...and waited... "Mr Ape, you can go in now!" the mi-si (nurse) informed me.
"Baby's out? Where?"
"No, you can go into the temporary ward, while we prepare the operating theatre. Go talk to your wife"
"... ... ..."
It has not even started yet and I had waited for just 10 minutes. So I went to talk to wifey and did what men would do in such situation - behave like a duck, that is, appear calm on the surface but paddle like hell. The temporary ward (I think there's a more proper description but I can't recall) is where all very-soon-mothers-to-be wait for the most appropriate time to be shipped into the delivery room and start that "push! push! puuuuush!" routine. In the case of wifey, wait for the operating theatre to be prepared for the C-section.
Finally, when everything had been prepared, I was made to go into the waiting room again and waited. I think it was about half an hour later, mi-si came to me and told me I can see my daughter. After being assured of the health of both mother and child, I proceeded inside to introduce myself to our daughter. Trixie's a beauty and my only regret was that I could not carry her (shingles, shingles! damn!). If it wasn't for the shingles, I would have held her up and kissed her. Surprisingly, I didn't hear her cries. She was just staring back at me, perhaps trying to figure out who's this guy. I spoke to her softly, introducing myself, explained the theory of evolution, the philosophy of Socrates, history of China... (don't tell me you believe all these).
Mi-si returned by the time I just completed the History of Kin Jio Leaf. She took some measurement such as head circumference but was faced with stiff resistance from Trixie. Trix actually managed to grasp the measuring tape and engage in a tug-of-war with the mi-si...spirited eh? When she lost to mi-si, she cried, a very sounding cry but only for a short while. That was the first time I hear her voice.
Shortly after, Trix was sent to the nursery while wifey to the ward where I met her there. She's tired, certainly. So was I. Good thing was, there was a couch beside her bed so I rested there till about 6 a.m. when I was chased out by another mi-si. Kissed my wife and went home to prepare for the new life!