January 2010


Sometimes at night, it is not easy to put Iris to sleep.  At times, she will cry non-stop and behaves mischievously just to grab my attention.  Among other things on her before bedtime wish list is “walk-walk” when it is already past 8pm.  “Nyamuk banyak la sayang oi…”

I am glad that I always have my Nokia 5300 to divert her attention.  The cell phone comes with a movie function that allows me to play recorded clips over and over again.  And all of the clips are of my daughter from the day she was born and as she progresses.  Usually when the clips are played  (max at 30 secs), her eyes are glued to the screen.  The sight of another “baby” on the screen never failed to entertain her.  She calls her “Mei-Mei” which is often mistakenly pronounced as “Memeng” – the name of her stuffed toy cat.  Hehe, Cute…

Yesterday, she was in her mischievous mood.  Had to hand over the cell phone to her and somehow she got bored of the clips and started navigating the functions on my phone.  She accidentally opened the folder containing my images blue-toothed by Gina.  She called out “Mama, mama!” repeatedly and pointed at the screen excitedly.  Kissed the screen over and over again, and at that point, my heart sank.  My mind drifted to the reality that I have to continue my study soon and the fact that I might have to leave her behind.  This is the one question that I often avoid, and to be frank, I hate people asking me when I am due for my study leave.  I despise the situation that I cannot turn away from nor I can act that it is none of my concern.  And that will be the day when my girl gets to “experience” her mama only in 2D form, kissing what is available on the photo and not the real me.  This is not good at all… The Mama in 2D can never beat the real Mama.

Nothing can beat Mama's love.

I was often asked why didn’t I complete my studies first before I decided to have a child.  Too little too late for such a question, don’t you think so? My respond to them, “If I waited longer, will I get Iris for my daughter?”  God is merciful. He won’t put me in this dilemma if He knew I couldn’t pull it through.

I have options in my mind, but it is not time to execute them yet.  At the end of the day, doing PhD is about me and me alone.

Iris' Mama in green.

She kissed this pic a lot last night...

This is a sequel to my entry dated 25th Dec 2009.  During my one night stay at the maternity ward, I got to observe and somewhat deduced who is the first time mom and who isn’t.  Like I said in the prequel, I admitted myself for nothing, reacted to some false alarm and one event led to another, and wallah! I landed myself there, doing nothing and desperately needed to kill time. So I observed.  First I counted the number of fans in the ward.  All were spinning at max.  I tot newly labored mothers are not supposed to be exposed to “angin”?

Next, I got to wear the pink maternity top matched with a darker shade of sarong.  I got to know where to dispose the dirty clothes and where to collect fresh ones.  The hospital set a separate tall bin to contain blood stained clothes, next to the untarnished ones.  I got to taste the hospital food – not bad actually and we were served by a set-faced attendant who had a good memory of which hot water flask belonged to whom.  She looked stern when she was not talking, and seemed less edgy when you strike a small conversation with her, and it often ended shortly because she had other errands to run.

I got to see a bloated mom several beds apart was no more bloated the next morning.  Before I went to sleep that night, I witnessed how a mother changed her newborn’s diaper.  I saw happy faces swarming a mother and the new addition to the family, and some diligent sisters or sister-in-laws helped to hold the baby while the mother busied tying and untying her head cover.  During daytime, the ward was busy with activities and I like those hours more than the night-time in that ward.  A mother is not alone when the day is still bright.  Once the sun is gone, she had to do things by herself (changing diapers, feeding the baby, feeding herself, changing her own “diapers”) and I feel that it is too taxing for someone who had used her every bit of energy to pop a baby out of her.

On the second day, I noticed something very interesting.  A nurse was doing her rounds and injecting newborns with Vitamin K.  She was quick and efficient, yet not swift enough to make to procedure painless for the tiny ones (can ah, painless procedure??).  While the baby squealed, I could see expecting moms fixed their eyes to the nurse and the baby.  They were stunned, including me.  Yet, some newly delivered mothers or expecting ones couldn’t care less.  As if it was nothing to worry about.  Indeed, they were right.  Those who had their eyes wide open glued to the nurse (including me, bingo!) were the first time mothers and those who were nonchalant — that was obviously not their first experience.

I always believe that everything that take place  in our life offers a learning experience, if you can just put it in perspective.  See you in the next entry.