The birth story of K (1)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's the last week of my confinement period, which also marks the full month of Kayleen. Life is becoming normal again, other than having a newborn who wakes me for milk before I have a chance to go into a second sleep cycle at night.

I've been thinking about how I can record this special birth story, an experience I've not had with my first 2 births.

How I first knew:
It was the 2nd day of 2011. My friend, T, prompted me to test if I was pregnant. I told her that my menses was delayed but I didn't think it was a big issue anyway. I had also bought a pregnancy test kit secretly without ZY's knowledge. I wasn't really sure if I would be happy or sad if I found out I was pregnant. I had big plans for the year- to get my senior teachership (ST) appointment, to walk the O-Level journey with my Chem class, refine the Project Work curriculum, go for my 1 month overseas study etc. 

When I saw the '+' sign on the test kit, I started to tear. And the tears became bigger. All I could think of was, does this have to happen now? When I'm all geared up and ready for the plans I made? Why did I allow this to happen? The thought of an abortion even crept into my mind. 

I remember ZY coming into the toilet and he asked why I cried. His expression told me that he was shocked to hear that I was pregnant. He too, had made some plans regarding his career. But he calmly, and lovingly told me that we will be able to raise this child. Abortion is not an option for us. 

Weeks after that, I tried to have happy thoughts about the baby. It is afterall, God's gift for our family, and I want a third child too. It was difficult though, especially when I had very bad morning sickness throughout the whole day. Everyday. For the whole pregnancy. I even had to take anti-vomiting pills in the evening so that I could eat my dinner and keep the food in my stomach. To make it worse, I was not allowed to go for the overseas study trip that I had so looked forward to. 

By the 20th week into pregnancy, baby was already every part of my life. We went everywhere together, she shared everything I had through the umbilical cord, we had conversations when I was alone in the car or toilet (more of a monologue actually). She was my best student when I taught my lessons, never disturbing me, and (hopefully) always listening to what I had to say.

On the 14th of April, ZY accompanied me for the detailed scan. We reached on time, and waited for our turn. The detailed scan will be able to confirm the gender of baby if she cooperates, and of course, any anomaly with the baby. 

The whole process started with the sonographer introducing herself, and getting me ready on the bed. Then she showed us parts of baby's body on the screen. And confirmed that baby is a girl! ZY and I smiled. All these processes were so familiar, like the first 2 pregnancies. 

After that, the sonographer turned the screen away and continued with her work, examining different organs and making measurements. After what seemed to be a long time, she said that she needed a more senior sonographer to help and went out of the room. I got worried. Why does she need another person to help? To get a second opinion? Did she spot anything unusual? I looked at ZY, checking if he was thinking what I was thinking. But he was quiet and seemed relaxed. I imagined that maybe baby has some sort of disability. Maybe an arm or leg shorter? Maybe some heart problems? Though both sonographers made me feel as if nothing was wrong, in my heart, I knew that something was different this time round. I started prepping myself for bad news.

When we went back to Dr Kee's (my gynaecologist) clinic to get the scan results, he reported that the sonographers were not able to find baby's nose bridge, and that her head was flatter and broader than normal. These seem to indicate that she may have a genetic condition. We were given an option to go for further testing, but I didn't see the need to. ZY agreed with me. 

On our way back, ZY was quiet. I needed to know what he was thinking, and how he felt at that moment, so I started the conversation. Though I was scared, I gave him the assurance that I was mentally ready to keep the child no matter what happens to her. 

From that day onwards, we prayed that baby will grow to be healthy and strong. And that she will be fine. 

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  1. The overseas trip, the many plans, these are certainly very big sacrifices.

    The decision to keep and love her whatever the outcome when you knew of a risk, shows how brave, determined and strong you are, and how you have already fallen in love with her so deeply.

    It also shows your faith and trust in God that he will definitely not give you a circumstance that you cannot bear (1 Cor 10:13).

    I think both you and ZY are great parents and partners. He is supportive and always there for you. With his quiet strength and fierce protectiveness over the family, your positive outlook and cheerful determination to get the best out of whatever situation, I know Kayleen will grow up happy, loving and well-balanced, surrounded by her doting siblings too. :)

    Looking forward to the next few installments of the birth story! You keep us in suspense like those drama serials huh!


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