Searching for an Angel

December 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I was surprised that I could get over the miscarriage this quick. I was back to my normal self and started to forget that horrible thing that ripped me apart. I thought people around me would be so glad that I wasn’t a whiner.

I knew that there were women out there who chose not to talk about it. Yea, why should they tell a million of strangers (on fb, twitter blah blah blah) that they had lost a child? It was their personal lives, and that other people should not be bothered to be a part of it.

But not me. I liked to tell. I had always been a teller. Whether it was a small, itty bitty thing that wasn’t significant at all. I would tell.

Anyway, I was about to sleep last night, after the two girls had gone deep into the forest of LaLa Land, when my mind suddenly thought of Little Bub (whom I strongly thought would be a boy). I couldn’t stop thinking of him. I had a tugging in my heart, so strong that I began to tear. A little.

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But the tugging was painful. Because, there was my love, probably “visiting” me and I couldn’t see or touch him. Let alone hug him tight. Baby, you there??? Really???

I posted a status in fb, saying that I was thinking of Little Bub and that I missed him. Oh so much! Till now, unconsciously, I would rub my tummy. Maybe I was trying to feel him.

Missing Little Bub made me think of Mom. Almost 35 years ago, a year before she had me, she was carrying my elder brother. She lost him when she was 4 months pregnant, which was a whole lot worst than what I experienced. She had so much bleeding one night that my dad called for an ambulance to ferry her to the hospital. Her abdominal pain was so intense that she prayed to Allah, if it was meant to be, let her keep him. If otherwise, she would sincerely let him go back to Him.

And home to Allah, my brother went. Mom told me that he was so tiny and red, and he had traces of curly hair. And ever since the lost, Mom had been dreaming of my brother every year on his birthday. On each birthday, he would visit in her dreams. Each time in each dream, he had grown into a young boy. He didn’t speak at all. When Mom called him to come with her, he refused and was gone. Mom dreamt of him till his 4th birthday and he stopped visiting.

Now, it got me thinking. Would it be the same for me? Would Little Bub come to visit me in my dreams? I would sure love to see him. He had left many tiny footprints in my heart.

Come visit me, Angel. I’m waiting for you. In my dreams.

Too early for a goodbye…but it’s alright

December 9, 2014 2 comments

I was so happy. Delighted. Ecstatic. Exulted.

It was just last month when I found out that I would be having my third bundle of joy. I would be 9 weeks and 2 days pregnant now if everything had gone well. Two weeks ago, I found out that I had a blighted ovum.

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(picture from Google image)

I began to see spotting, which later advanced to bleeding the following week. Though many people (even pregnancy websites) would say that bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy was common, I refused to agree. Deep in my heart, I knew something was not right. At the first sight of blood, I immediately rushed myself to A&E to get an examination. When the OBGYN told me that she found no fetal pole or any heartbeat in my pregnancy sac, my heart shattered into smithereens. It was empty. WHY?!?!

She tried to keep my spirits up by saying that baby could be too small to be seen. But I rejected her idea because I was 7 weeks into my pregnancy. How could a fetus not be detected? When I had Fateena at 6 weeks, I could see her so clearly through the intrauterine assessment. Alive and kicking! I knew, I might have lost my baby somewhere.

The OBGYN gave me an appointment to come back after 2 weeks, so that further examination and diagnosis could be done. And before I left her room, she told me to hope for the best and that we could see baby by then. I was not confident of that.

I had anxiety attack that night. I began to worry and thought of the worst thing that could happen to me and baby. I searched high and low for anything that I had done wrong to cause this loss but I found nothing. I cried myself to sleep, in the shower, on the toilet seat, in the taxi, while lying down on the sofa. My thoughts were set adrift on the images of the ultrasound. Empty. I felt empty.

And I continued to bleed. Not heavy but just bleeding. And on 2 occasions, I passed out red clots the size of half of my palm; one was bright red and jelly-like and the other looked like a small placenta, very veiny.  Surprisingly, I had no cramps or abdominal pain or whatsoever. So the thought that I might have an ectopic pregnancy was ruled out. Furthermore, the OBGYN could see the sac in my uterus. I began to Google for an answer and the one that was as closed to my experience was that I might be having a blighted ovum. The embryo had an abnormal development hence the body terminated the pregnancy naturally, and passed it out aka spontaneous miscarriage. I watched videos of moms who had blighted ovum, just to get myself mentally prepared, should my results be known.

And then, 3 days ago, I stopped bleeding and I was cleaned. I went for my appointment, with my two girls tagging along. I was up for another intrauterine ultrasound and this was what they found.

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And the OBGYN confirmed that I had a spontaneous miscarriage. Looking at my uterus, she told me I did not need to have a D&C (cleaning up) because my uterus was completely empty, cleaned out with no signs of leftover clots or blood. I was glad that it all happened naturally that I did not have to be warded to be sent for a treatment. Alhamdulillah.

No doubt, I was sad. Shattered. My dreams to have an SG50 baby had crumbled. I was so looking forward to having it next year. I would have my baby in July; the same month of my wedding anniversary. Double celebration. But Allah loved my baby and He knew best, that if it continued, there might be problems. I accepted this fate with open heart and sincerity, that it was just not my luck and rizq to have it.

Dear Little Bub,
Thank you, my Angel, for making me happy. To have you in my tummy, although for a short short while, I was glad that I had you. Even though I did not get to see you through the scan, I could feel you in my heart. I knew you were there inside me. Know that Ibu, Ayah and your sisters had already loved you when we found out that you were going to be ours. However, it is not meant to be because Allah loves you more, Angel. That is why He called you home. Stay there, Angel, for where you are right now, is next to your Creator, the best place that ever existed. Paradise is a confirmed home for you.

I see you when I see you.

Love,
Ibu.

Another social space

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment

I know I have not been writing for too long (due to muscle weakness and lack of brain juice) but there is something that I wanna share with all of you.

Quite recently, I made an FB page for Fateha at The Super Preemie Named Fateha and there I share mostly of her condition and what she is up to. The posts are written in Fateha’s POV, which I wrote of course, with the help of Fateha giving me her ideas (or not).

So do come over for a visit to say hi, like, or comment on the photos or status. If you have kids with CP or are preemies, do drop by and give us a hi.

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Hit The Roads…(again)

Gaah, the school holidays are coming to an end! Why does it always seem to be taking too long for the holidays to arrive and then it passes by so quickly?? It’s not a day or two but it’s a month long holiday! But we managed to squeeze in a four-day road trip to (where else) KL!!! This time, it was a little bit different because we went with 2 extra heads. I mean persons.

(we left the camera at home (duh) and used our handphones instead, hence the poor quality)

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And just like our last trip to KL 2 years ago, the hotel’s swimming pool was our first go go go! I didn’t jump in and swim with them. I was just dipping my legs and seated at the pool’s edge, watching them having fun.

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the firstborn had long left her aquaphobia and swam to her heart’s content; she didn’t even wanna leave. the same goes to the littler one who was just as excited as her big sister. i couldn’t help but to laugh each time she tried to “drink” the water but of course we got her to stop and put her back in her boat float.

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The next morning, we crossed over to the opposite of our hotel – Berjaya Times Square. Yea we’d been here countless of times before but this time, we weren’t here to shop. We decided to bring the kids to the indoor theme park, which Berjaya Times Square was famous for. We got good rates (don’t ask how) and took most of the kiddy rides together. It was meant for families with small children. I thought I wanted to ride on the roller coaster but when I thought about who’s gonna look after the kids if I was up there, I dropped the idea.

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This little kiddo. She chickened out! She was afraid of all the rides. She clung to me, gripped my top, shawl and back of neck, buried her face in my chest and refused to get down. No, she wouldn’t even walk. Loud noises scared her crazy! She would shut her eyes so tight that if I were to pry them open, I would, literally, need a crowbar. Hahah!

But it was a totally different scenario with her big sister. Remember how Fateha was afraid of loud noises and dark caves that some rides would glide into and all that kind of things? That person had gone with the wind!!! Fateha was so much braver this time. I was shocked. And terrified. Worried. And definitely, I feared of the falls that she would have. My mind was corrupting me into thinking that she would get trampled on by those rowdy, impatient kids while on the rides. But she did good, no chickened out!

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Oh i tell ya, there were kids like that at the theme park. It was a scary sight for  me. And when Fateha wanted to ride on the viking ship (kids’ size), I got even worried but I allowed her, though. Asking me a couple of times if she could to ride it. Seeing her so confident and eager to sit in that ship, I didn’t have the heart to say no. Because the ship was kiddie size, adults were not allowed on it. Dang! I was even more anxious.

I got our helper to manage her onto the seat; the operator was also guiding Fateha in (she wore a “special needs” label) and I waited at the side. The other kids, boy, were they rough. It was a relief that no one accidentally pushed Fateha off the steps or else, the beast in me would have to appear and devour those kids. But they were so impatient when coming down from the viking. Luckily, the operator was there and glared at them. Although that was nothing, but it was something…at least.

The next day, we decided to go to I-City in Shah Alam via a taxi.

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This Red Carpet housed what Madame Tussauds famous for – wax figures, but the resemblance of the celebrity wax figures were far from Madame Tussauds’. Prince William should have lesser hair and Marilyn Monroe, oh my goodness, far more pretty. The other figures were okay but I could not agree more with my husband that it was the best in Malaysia.

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We visited the Haunted House, too. We were all tugging on each other, grabbing everyone’s shirt, with our eye closed. Hubby was leading us through the house hahah. Screaming, jolting and worrying about which figure would jump on us next!

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They had Snow Walk (something like Singapore’s Snow City but I haven’t been there)!!! Jackets were free but boots must be rented, if needed and Hubby thought we didn’t need them.

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Jackets sizes were crazy. Fateha was wearing an adult sized while Fateena was wearing a size that could fit Fateha better. But they were free, who cares! Once inside, I regretted for not renting a pair of boots. The kids wore covered shoes, it was alright. Hubby and I were on slippers!!! Who in the right mind would wear slippers to walk on ice?

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Not only our feet were exposed to the cold, our toes got so chilled that I thought I might be getting frost bites and losing all of them. Everywhere was covered with blocks of ice as well as ice shavings and we almost tripped on our own slippery footwear a number of times! No, I couldn’t take the freezing temperature and found my way outta there, leaving Hubby and Fateha inside.

I-City was alright. I thought it could be better, they should have more wheelchair-friendly entrance or exits, lifts or escalators would be fine too. There were too many staircases and just imagine, if anyone who is wheelchair bound, how are they gonna go down the steps? And the one thing that I thought they should have in placed is a taxi stand, which they lack of. REALLY!!!

I kid you not. We came by a taxi and our driver was asking how were we going back to the hotel? By a taxi, of course, but our driver told us that it would be difficult to get a taxi from I-City. So I expected it to be because of a long queue at the taxi stand or what. But no, it was because there were no taxi stands there. Not even one. We were looking high and low for it under the burning sun. We were sweaty and angry!

And you know, since I-City was built on top of a hill, we had to walk all the way down and out of the area. We walked out onto the busy streets to get a taxi and then we finally got one. Phew! The only thing that we were complaining to each other was that the taxi was very stuffy. The air-con was not working!!! We got more sweaty and the kids passed out (as in slept throughout the journey back to the hotel). No, the driver didn’t even wind down the windows. I wouldn’t mind if he did that cos I missed the feeling of getting my face “beaten” by the rough winds.

Anyway, if anyone planning on going to I-City, do drive there. No taxis or cabs. Just drive!

Thousand Apologies

I have been on a silent mode for quite a while now. Blame it on the pressure of my studies; completing crazy heavy-duty assignments and other unworldly things I had to do. And for that, I apologise.  But now….

I AM FREE!!! well not really 100% free but at least a truck load of burden has been lifted so I feel so much better now, with a little more time in hand. hahah.

So what has been happening in our preemie boat?

1) Recently, we  were featured in a local tv programme, Di Hujung Pelangi (End of the Rainbow). No, we weren’t acting (although I wished it was) but we were creating awareness in everyone about the condition that Fateha had. When the co-producer and script writer came to our home to a chit-chat session, I mentioned all diagnosis: Global Developmental Delay, Speech Delay, Erb’s Palsy and Cerebral Palsy (CP). But what attracted them more was CP and we talked about it, our ups and downs, and how it got that way.

So when the day to film us came, the programme crew set up their stuff at our home. we went through several things that we could talk about and the host shared a bit with me about her own daughter who was born with amniotic band syndrome. we also visited a success CP story of a local actress’ son, who was 26 and a CP patient. it was very inspiring, to learn about them and the determination they had. hopefully, our future will be as bright as we want it to be. anyway, the whole filming took about half a day; they came at 11am and we ended in the evening.

here is a snippet of the episode that featured us. sorry that the programme is in Malay language. but there is English subtitles.

you can check out the full episode here, Di Hujung Pelangi Epi 7. It was a tearful experience, of course.

2) The littler girl, who is 17 months old now, has grown 3 little teeth!!! Yes I am very happy for I have been waiting to see them since long ago. But the only thing I hate about it is that when she nurses, it hurts a lot. Yea! I thought that I wanted to stop nursing her once she had teeth but it seems that she doesn’t wanna stop. oh well… as long as I do not bleed, I will still give.

gahhh! speaking of the devil, she is calling me now and tugging on my t-shirt. you know what that means. gotta scoot!

Under the Knives part deux

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

3 years ago, when Fateha had her tendon transfer on her Erb’s shoulder, we thought that it would be the last surgery she would have to go through. and me, overnight-ing in the hospital with her. lo and behold, we had to do it again this year but this time, it was to lengthen her contracted biceps.

last thursday, all jittery, i accompanied Fateha into the surgery preparatory room.

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that was where she had to change into her operation garment and anesthetic lotion was plastered onto her back hand; you know, just in case she needed an IV line. we were attended by a young Malay male nurse, who was very kind and friendly towards Fateha. he asked her questions so lovingly, like an elder brother to his youngest sister. it made me more relaxed and kind of looking forward to this procedure. once the paperwork were all done, a nurse from the operating theater (OT) came to us with a wheel chair and wheeled Fateha to the OT at the Main Building.

aaahhh, old memories began to seep in as soon as we stepped into the waiting room in the OT.

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this time, hubby had to come in to the waiting room too. the anesthetist had to discuss with both of us the risk that we would be facing, should we decided to continue with the surgery. you see, Fateha was having a bad cough, with a little phlegm. so we were warned that she might develop inflammation in her throat and the cough would worsen. we decided to go ahead with it.

and then, we played the waiting game. it was horrible, to sit in the waiting room for more than an hour with a super hungry child. she kept asking for bread, rice, water… she couldn’t understand why she was needed to fast before the surgery, no matter how much i tried explaining. i didn’t blame her.

then a doctor came to us, with a camera in his hands, ready to shoot Fateha’s to-be-operated arm. i tell you, whatever the doc said or asked her to do, she gave him absolutely no answer. all she did was to turn to me and asked for water and rice. i had to turn her down again. and when the doc heard Fateha whining and begging me for food, he promised her chocolate after the surgery was over.

and then she cooperated for a while. after 3 to 4 snaps, we were good to go. for the surgery!

this surgery, similar to the first one, was 2 hours long. thank goodness for the constant technology advancement, in the visitor’s lounge where we were all waiting, there was a screen with the patient’s code and which room the patient was in; operation room or recovery room. our eyes kept looking at the screen, just to check out the progress of the surgery.

after 2 hours, we saw Fateha’s code had changed to recovery room. i was anxious! told our helper to get all the bags ready and within a few minutes, my phone rang. it was the OT, calling me to come over.

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right there, in the same recovery room as it had been for the first one, Fateha was still sleeping with oxygen on. i almost burst into tears but i kept my cool. so i called hubby to come in to look at her, while i wait outside. yea, only one next-of-kin allowed. in about less than 5 minutes, hubby came out and called me to come in because Fateha was waking up. the nurse was removing the gas mask from her face and turned off her probes that tracked her vital organs. when she opened her eyes and saw me, the first thing she asked was, “Ibu, i want rice…” and dozed off. my poor, hungry baby!

i was asked to observe her and see if she was doing okay before we wheeled her into the general ward; the same ward and room that we had gotten before. her surgeons came in the evening and explained what they had done to her biceps and nerves, of which was not my area of expertise and i didn’t quite understand. all those medical terminology. Prof Aymeric seemed happy with the operation and kept saying how well behaved Fateha was. awwww, who were her parents again?? :p

Prof also showed me a photo of the surgery, which of course was printed just for us.

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i was eager to see this, so that i would understand exactly how it had been done. so now i could tell which ones were her nerves. it was like reading How My Body Works book, with the exposed flesh and bones. i was seeing my own flesh and blood’s flesh and blood!

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good thing was, she didn’t have to have a long stay in the hospital. i only brought 1 extra top for myself and if she were to have a few days more, i would have to get someone to get me some clothes. and, the foldable bed that the hospital had for parents who were staying to accompany their kids, was uncomfortable. but hey, it was better than my previous experience, where i had to share Fateha’s bed.

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oh i forgot to mention. Fateha got her promised box of chocolate from the doctor who was a part of the surgery team. he was a nice man; came to see Fateha the next morning at almost 6am, just to give her the gift and to tell us that we could go home. luckily, i was already awake, showered and freshened up. Fateha was awake too and the doctor was shocked to see both of us chatting when he came. while other parents and kids, in the room, were still so sound asleep, complete with rhythmic snores.

doc: oh you’re up so early!
me: yea, we are morning people :)) (really, i no lie)
doc: aahh that’s good. anyway, here is your chocolate. you are such a good girl.
me: *smiling*
doc: anyway, she is alright, so she can be discharged today. Prof Aymeric will see you guys again later.
me: okay, thanks doc!

it was such a good start to my early morning because everything had fallen into its place for me. hubby decided to take child care leave so that he could bring us back home. my parents took half day leave so that they would be around when we came back (we went back to my parents’ because it was very near to the hospital). everything just went well for us after that.

tomorrow, we will be going back to the hospital for a review. let’s see how the wound is recovering.

A Beachy Life

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

I love beaches! We had some connections; between me and the beach. No matter how much I try to go against it, I will always end up in the water. And since I was a toddler, my family had always been planning for a beach picnic. And not just a mat and a basket kind of picnic. We’d bring a tent kind of picnic. And even charcoals and tongs and ice box and whathaveyous.

Last weekend, we did just that.

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My paternal family is a beachy kind. We love beaches and after one beach picnic, plans for another one will come up as we are done with the current one.

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Our favourite haunt is the Changi Beach. It beats me why we always come back here. Maybe because it is right outside of the World’s Number One Airport. Our uncles, aunties, cousins and even kids will go crazy when an airplane zooms by right above our heads with the thunderous roar of the engine. Though it can be VERY deafening, it is fun.

Other beaches like Pasir Ris Beach, East Coast Beach or even Sembawang Beach are in the “No Go” list.

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And talking about food, my aunt (dad’s eldest sibling) will have everyone plan and discuss what kind of food they can bring. We whatsapp each other for the list of food – chips, sausages, dendeng, chicken wings with cajun seasoning, corn beef, bread, potatoes, bottled drinks, and even nasi lemak!

 

 

 

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And we will never miss this one out. We love dipping ourselves in the water. When we get hungry, we walk back to our tent to get some bites of this and that. Minutes later, we’re back in the water.

And one of my favourite past time (recently discovered) is…

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collecting sea shells. I have never done this before. I mean, yea, I used to pick them up, examine it but I would throw them back in the sea. This time, I brought them home. Lots of them.

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Remember our last picnic here, celebrating Fateha’s 4th birthday? We encountered those ooey gooey jellyfish? This time, something else came to us.

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A little sea star. Unlike the jellyfish where we caught more than 5 of ‘em, this was the only sea star we ever saw. I though that this is so raw. I mean, the only time I’d get to see a starfish would be at The Touch Pool at Sentosa. But this is a real encounter, swimming with us!!!

My brother accidentally stepped on it while he was in the water and he thought he stepped on a stone or something. Only when he tried dipping his hand into the water and picked it up, he realised it was a sea star.

We kept in it a cup with sea water of course. No we didn’t bring it home. Like good, compassionate citizens and animal lovers we are, we let it go – back into the water.

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And whaddaya know. There is already a plan for the next picnic. I think you can call us orang laut, sea people.

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