I had a baby
Today, I received a comment from a longtime reader, asking how I am. In my last post, I mentioned that I was going to keep the blog going by posting about my life in the U.S., but I didn’t follow up on it. Here’s what happened.
A few months after that post, I got pregnant with my first. It was a really nice surprise, and we have had to shift a few things in our lives. The entire pregnancy experience was rather consuming though, and I got sucked into this constant management of my health, and morning sickness that later turned into the plethora of pregnancy-related side-effects that felt really challenging without any support.
I was at the peak of my health, but being a mom over 35, the messaging from healthcare providers were rather anxiety-inducing and so I did what I could to not be those statistics they so emphatically wanted me to hear. Throw in the weird pregnancy hormones I was going through for the first time, that wasn’t a good combo. I spent the whole time making sure I took care of myself obsessively, going as far as doing Crossfit 2-3x a week till month 9 into my pregnancy.
After surviving that, then came the labor. Horrible experience. We went in feeling really great, but it was just the most awful experience ever apart from the moment I met my baby. The rest was so awful I don’t want to go into too much detail about it, or I’d be reliving the trauma. I ended up doing a c-section by their most experienced OB (which was comforting to know), and while the procedure was fairly quick and painless, it was what came after that just turned my world upside down.
I spent christmas day in a wheelchair at the children’s hospital watching our newborn baby get needled multiple times. Two days later, I developed postpartum high blood pressure, and was readmitted to the hospital. My baby had jaundice so he had to be strapped to a billibed, and stay at the hospital with me, strapped to a billibed. It was just my husband and I. We had no other support. Only one friend visited to pray for me. I thought I was going to die, and how horrible would that be if that were to happen away from family in Malaysia. Anyway, as you’re witnessing now, I’m still alive (and functional, but still overwhelmed as a newish mom).
I’m madly in love with my son, but 2018 and 2019 were TOUGH FREAKING YEARS with minimal support. I don’t know how I survived them except to note that I just took it one day at a time. When I recount what I had to go through, it makes every person listening dodge the topic and cringe with discomfort.
Anyway, things have been good, bad, and difficult all at the same time. We finally managed to move to a more suitable home a year ago. The new house is great, can’t complain. The neighbors are nice, and it’s quiet, which I like. My son is happy, healthy, and 17 months old now.
The good – He’s very smart (advanced in some areas for his age), entertaining, and healthy. He likes classical and jazz music. It’s a joy to hear him ask for frittata for breakfast, and tell me that a violin or trombone is playing in the background. I enjoy watching him dance to bebop tunes.
The bad – He’s very smart so he needs a lot of constant attention/stimulation/toys/experiences, and he’s very strong-willed. He masters things fairly quickly, so I feel like I can’t seem to get enough activities together to keep him interested. I am chasing after him a lot.
I’m tired. Even though I haven’t been happier to have a cute cuddle ball, I am psychologically, emotionally, and physically tested on a moment to moment’s basis. The tantrums are real. We are also in the middle of a pandemic, protests, and riots — so childcare options comes with the risk of a fatal illness. So no childcare option for now.
I am and can only be in SURVIVAL MODE, and feel as though I don’t have much to give to myself or with any consistency to my community at the present time. Nonetheless, I am still engaging with my followers and readers as friends do, even in trying times.
I’ll try to check in once in a while, but you know, no help, no energy, no time while surviving early motherhood in these isolating, and extraordinary times.
Feel free to send messages to me. I am reading them!
Thanks and stay safe everyone!