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Earlier I was in the pantry, preparing milk for my son. While my son was wailing and crying which I interpreted as "hurry up, mummy! Hungry!"
In came a mother with her new-born. I called her Mummy A. She smiled to us while I returned her smile. I continued my attention to the milk preparation.
"You should join Malaysian Idol."
A dramatic pose of someone performing during a singing competition
Startled, I turned to her.
"You have a good voice. I always hear you sing."
With slight embarrassment, I explained that it was for my son. That he was traumatised by the hospital experience. I wished for him to feel joyful and positive in spite of his environment.
"Who likes to stay in the hospital? Even I find it's affecting me. There are also no radio and TV here. When I hear your voice, I feel good!"
She inquired the time frame that I had my baby since marriage. I shared that I got married in 2016 and was pregnant by 2017.
"That is fast! I took 9 years before I have my baby. Naturally conceived."
I replied hat it was the same for me. That at my age, needed to be fast. I explained to her that I was 45 years old when I naturally conceived my son. That it was a blessing to conceive at my age.
Mummy A then declared that she was no longer a normal person. She is a mother now. That she needed to be positive and to be a good role model for her baby.
Although she did admit that it was challenging at times to keep waking up every two hours to feed her baby. Sometimes she had less patience as she had yet to get used to this new sleeping pattern.
I agreed that it was indeed challenging. I informed her that I meditated and pray as a way to destress. I encouraged her to rely on prayers as a way to balance her life.
Before our encounter at the pantry, I met up with another mother who shared with me not so pleasant news. I called her Mummy Di.
Mummy Di came with her family and her baby daughter, they entered into my room. They are a family from Terrengganu. Our babies have the same health condition. Her baby has ascites, fluids in the stomach. Their hospital referred them to this hospital.
She was being discharged from hospital, she just dropped by to say goodbye. I gave her daughter an elephant doll. Whenever I happened to notice her baby daughter, she seemed to give me a shy and sweet smile. This always melted my heart. So I decided to make her an elephant doll. I made it out from socks. It is a hobby of mine.
Made this doll for Mummy Di's baby
Made this doll for another baby in the hospital.
During our conversation, she shared that there was one BA baby who died. Five months old. My heart stopped. As this was a reminder to me of my son's risky health condition.
I inquired, "How? What caused the death?"
"Fluids in the brain."
This time, both of us paused, reflecting on our babies.
I broke the silence with, "Let's pray to God to bless our babies."
She smiled. Before she left, she wanted us to maintain our contact. We exchanged numbers.
After she left, I turned to my son. I wanted to observe every part of my son's face. Then he brought me back to reality by crying, "Mummy! Stop looking! I am hungry!"
Another day at the hospital. Another day of blessings. Another day of hope.
International Women's Day is here once more. Some celebrated it. Some feel should not as a celebration of womanhood should be everyday. To me, these days can be served as a reminder to us. We can be preoccupied with our responsibilities, activities, our families and of life that we sometimes even forget our own birthday.
Today I reflected on the women who have impacted me. Because of these women, they inspired me to write a woman song in 2018.
Women Song sang on 8 March 2020, dedicated to all women readers here. I wrote it in 2018. There are so many women out there who made a big impact on me over the years since a teenager until today. Let me list them whom I can remember offhand:-
1) Anne Subashini - founder of The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom. I have the privilege to get to know her since drum circle days. Her passion is infectious. Her faith, her belief that there should be no division between children no matter of their backgrounds, no matter of their health conditioning is emp…
The birth of Patrick changed my marriage life from the two of us to the three of us, a family. We were excited, happy, worried followed by all kind of emotions for our baby son. So many things to learn, to experience. Breastfeeding, constant thoughts on our baby's well being especially when his jaundice appeared to rise during his first month. The lacking of sleep. There were moments I observed his breathing while he slept. We were amazed by every new mannerisms that Patrick displayed. We were so charmed when he first smiled to us. I would observed how gently my husband would treat Patrick and how Patrick would looked up to him, listening to his every word.
We were enjoying ourselves as new parents until something happened in the middle of November 2017 that changed our lives forever. "There is something not right with his stools."
My sister in law remarked to me while I tiredly changed Patrick's diapers. Mentally I can be exhausted as new mothers would be. We visited my s…
looked at his pale face and frail body on the hospital bed. Lines and tubes on
his legs and neck. There was a bag at the right side with yellowish looking
water inside. The liquid was not urine but water which had to be pumped out
from his stomach cavity. It was difficult
to see someone whom you have known since young to look so weak. He had lost
weight and aged considerably. It
was the second day of Chinese New Year. My sister and I took a trip down
to Kuala Lumpur to visit relatives. We visited a cousin at the High Dependency Unit,
he had liver cancer and was complaining of diarrhea. Visiting hours were 11.30am
to 1.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm. We had to take turns going in as only 2 guests
at a time are allowed.
having the experience of a prolonged stay at the hospital and being immobile, I
was tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort him. I could
only share with him of my previous struggle at the hospital. On
our second visit before our trip back to Penang, …