Back in red

So my period came back today. It’s been approximately a year since I last had one. Wow. How time flies.

Last year, on 31 August, Malaysia’s independence day, I lost my personal independence when Deric and I discovered that I was pregnant.

We had bought a home pregnancy test kit just the day before from Caring Pharmacy, and that morning was the designated day that I would do the test on myself. Worrying that I would pee and miss the mark where I was supposed to aim at on the test kit, I opted to pee into a cup first and then to put the test stick in.

Two lines appeared, which meant, according to the way the kit was designed, that I had something growing inside me.

My period had been about a month late by then. I literally had waited for one whole month to pass before actually checking because I didn’t really want a false alarm.

By that time, Deric and I had already come to an agreement about having kids. We had decided we were okay with the possibility of it happening, and had been having unprotected sex for a couple of months. We didn’t track dates or count days. I didn’t even bother figuring out when exactly I ovulated.

One part of me was not too convinced that it was that easy to get pregnant. There were so many tales out there of couples who wanted to conceive but had to wait really long before it actually happened. Some even had problems which would require medical intervention. I guess I just assumed that it wouldn’t be that easy for us either.

Well, apparently I was wrong about that.

But anyway, to backtrack a little further back than that, I recall a time when I was still uncertain about how I felt about becoming a mother. I feared that I would not have it in me to raise a child. Not so much the financial considerations as it was the ability to nurture and set a child on the right path in life.

I also wondered whether I would regret having had children halfway through raising them. Whether a day would come when I would be sorry I brought a few extra sampah masyarakat into the world.

However, as with all other aspects of my life, I felt God patiently working in me to prepare me for the journey to parenthood. Little things that happened along the way helped to reassure me and opened my mind and heart to the possibilities of it occurring in my life.

One particular incident that has remained in my memory is the time when Deric’s JB pastor and his wife came up to PJ to speak at my parent’s church. I got to meet their two sons that day, and was impressed at how well mannered they were and how blessed they were in the way their lives had turned out.

Of course, this was because their parents honoured and served God faithfully over the years. The favour of God on His leaders. But that point aside, I also found out that the pastor’s wife was a homemaker and had quit her job to take care of the children.

This is a common thing for my parent’s generation, and even my own mother did that, but for some reason, something about their family struck me.

And later that evening, when we had dinner with my parents and the pastor and his family, I remember his wife asking me about having children somewhere in the middle of the conversation that was going on. Usually, I would be slightly uncomfortable and offended whenever people asked me such things, but for some reason, because it was her asking, and I had a reasonable amount of respect for her, I didn’t react that way. I think I even hinted at the fact that we were planning for it in the future.

Something she said to me at that time really encouraged me. I cannot recall exactly what it was but it was the beginning of a different perspective in my heart. I guess having seen her able to raise her boys well and through all of that maintain a graceful demeanour as a woman and mother and wife made me think perhaps it could be possible for me too.

Not long after that day, I remember a specific moment where I was in the toilet at home thinking about the prospects of parenthood. Then I prayed to God saying that if it was His will that I became a mother, that He would make my pregnancy journey a smooth one and help me through the process.

This was because, in addition to worrying whether I had what it took to be a mother, I was also rather concerned about how my body would respond to pregnancy.

Bearing a baby in your womb for 9 months just seemed like an awfully scary thing to go through. There were all these health issues that accompanied pregnancy and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to endure them. Morning sickness. Carrying around additional weight which would lead to swollen ankles and a painful back (I had a history of a slipped disc and was unclear whether pregnancy would worsen it). Who knows what else.

After I had said that prayer, I felt a whole lot better and there was a certain degree of peace.

Then came that moment on the 31st of August which I had described.

Looking back, now that I’ve successfully navigated through the 9 month of pregnancy, I think God heard and answered my prayer. Mine was a relatively fuss free experience.

Of course, there were physical ailments that I had to endure. But given the tales that I’ve heard other women go through, I think whatever I suffered pales in comparison. In fact, I wouldn’t really call it suffering. Pregnancy also had joys of its own to offer. And Deric and I did enjoy that season of our lives as much as we could.

Now it’s onward into the days of parenting, and 3+ months into the program, I’m still glad we made this choice to start a family together. It’s tiring but it’s fun. And the world will be blessed to have Jamie in it. At least that’s what I hope and pray for.

Perhaps the time is right to revisit my pregnancy journey now and to share the experience as what I had intended to do after my delivery (and had failed to, obviously). I have the benefit of some distance in time now which allows me to reflect on those moments more objectively instead of writing about them in an impassioned state while in the midst of the experience itself.

Time has indeed gone by so quickly. It feels like ages ago since I conceived. I can hardly believe that I am where I am today: at home with a baby boy to care for and a career on the verge of change.

But I must say I am glad that I have reached this point as I plod on further into my 30’s. I have no clue how long I will have on this Earth, but I suppose for whatever time God affords me, hopefully I can leave a legacy behind through Jamie.

It’s an overwhelming feeling to be nurturing someone who will outlive you. I still don’t know how I’ll do this. But if the unexpected smoothness of my pregnancy experience is anything to go by, I’m thinking God will give me the grace to see it through.


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