Monday, 29 December 2008

Milk Pumping

After diligently pumping for 2 weeks, my milk supply has increased from 5 - 10 ml to 40 ml. :) It's very encouraging indeed. Although the nipples are no longer squirting like crazy, as per when I first started pumping, I'm quite happy with the amount and I believe it'll continue to increase.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

On fully pumping

I chanced upon this thread which led me to Ameda's website for mummies who pump exclusively. Very useful I must say:
http://www.ameda.com/breastpumping/moms/fully_pumping.aspx

It states how to bring in and maintain full milk supply with pumping, and how to wean from pumping gradually instead of abruptly which might cause mastitis and infections. Impressive.

I get abit worried when I read about the part on getting a good flange fit. I wonder if my right breastshield is ill-fitting 'cos it does feel like there's some rubbing. Could this be the reason that cause me recurrence of infections - due to breakage of skin?

Monday, 15 December 2008

His sms

William smsed me this while I was at church:

"The most important reason why I insisted on having the baby is to prevent you from going through the ordeal of an abortion. I know you well. If you've to go through it, you'll have even more nightmares and you'll be thinking you've killed a baby for your whole life. I know it's going to cost money but I'd rather spend more than see you suffer. I still love you alot."

Upon reading it, tears welled up in my eyes.

He's right.

We've been fighting alot over the baby's expenses. He feels he's been spending on the baby and I haven't contributing at all, but I think I'm the one footing bills for Coco and so I shouldn't be required to spend money on the baby too. We've been hurting each other. I kept saying things like "I already warned you that a baby is expensive but you insisted on having her." In my heart of hearts, I know I wouldn't have the heart to abort the baby, but I just wanted to hurt him back using words on hindsight. It's too late not to have the baby anyway, so I could say anything I want.

Yesterday, he washed the baby's clothes, folded them and put them in the drawers, and changed the bedsheet.

All is forgiven. At least for now.

Breast pumping

I finally decided to make my purchase of Medela Pump In Style Advance, after looking at how my little one suffered while she pooed. She pushed so hard she had perspiration beads on her forehead and philtrum (the vertical lines between the nose and the upper lip). And I think she was scared. She cried and looked panicky when the stool was stuck in her anus. Poor baby!

But after close to 10 days of not pumping, due to the recurrence of mastitis, the milk supply was running really low. It couldn't even cover the base of the pumping bottles - about 5 to 10 ml each time. It's a good thing I bought a bottle of Greenlife fenugreek seeds from the pharmacy. I kept at pumping between 2.5 h to 3 h until I fell asleep last night. Then I woke up to pump at 6.45 am this morning again. It seems to have increased a little bit, maybe by about 5 ml. I'm praying that the milk supply will up again.

Medela Pump-In-Style Advance is really good. I actually look forward to pumping now. If only someone told me that pumping is not supposed to be painful. With my previous pump, I always retrieved the pump with trepidation. Perhaps it's only me because I know of quite a few others (colleagues and friends) who use Mini Electric Plus, but none of them complain of pain. And it's my nipples which took turn to be painful.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

End of Confinement

Today marks the 40th day of my confinement.

I had chicken rice (without chilli) for lunch - the first non-confinement food after my confinement.

I haven't got the time to upload the photos of the baby. I felt weak and tired for most of the forty days, and I had this bone-gnawing backache when I stand or sit for just a mere 10 mins. I was afraid that it might last for the rest of my life, but I listened to my mother's advice and tried to rest whenever I can and it feels better now. It has to go away. If not I don't know how I'm going to survive with the backache. I used to think that it's just figurative when people use the four-character phrase 'yao suan bei tong'. But when I bent over to wash my hair on my 30th day of confinement, my waist was so sore I almost fell over. I groped desperately for the tap in order to get my balance. And when I sat for a few hours watching TV, I found myself with a literal aching back. It's literally painful on the upper part of my back.

It's scary. I didn't have such experiences when I had Coco. I didn't know what backache actually means. Now I can totally appreciate the gravity and totality of the phrase.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

He said that he didn't bet

These are the websites he goes to, just last night:

http://www.soccerpunter.com/livescore2.php
http://www.soccerway.com/
http://www.soccerPUNTER.COM/
http://www.singaporepools.com.sg/en/sports/1x2.html
http://www.soccerway.com/national/korea-republic/first
http://www.singaporepools.com.sg/en/html/index.html

I've given up on this marriage. Infidelity comes in many forms. He goes back on his vows and attacks me when I'm at my most vulnerable - during my pregnancy and confinement. I don't see why I have to keep mine.

On top of that, he seems to resent the fact that I'm in confinement. He says that I'm awaiting death when I'm still weak from the op.

A drama serial on Channel 8 showed a man who lives off his prospective wife and feels that there's nothing wrong with it. The things he says and his attitudes towards marriage and the woman he claims he loves are a reflection of my own marriage and William.

I find it such a mockery. I've been holding on to this f-up marriage for the sake of my values and vows when they mean nothing to him. 'Marriage is a sacred institution' - he claimed. But I don't see that in practice. They are right when they say that he was just saying things that made me happy.

I want freedom. I haven't thought about what to do with the baby yet. But I will leave him. Even if I don't leave him, I will make myself happy by going with how I feel. There's no reason for me to restrain myself, control my emotions or feelings for the sake of a bastard anymore.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

TMC - the greatest hospital on Earth

I've been back from the hospital for almost two weeks now.

It's been a pleasant and wonderful experience staying at Thomson Medical Centre. I was treated humanely there. The nurses were careful not to inflict any pain on you. If there's supposed to be the tiniest bit of pain, they made it pain-free ie. like the removal of the drip from the hand. They warned you of any possible pain ie. the removal of the catheter - the nurse asked me to take a deep breath before pulling it out. It's totally unlike KK where they just come over to you and say,"I'm going to remove the drip and tubes from you." and pull out everything without a word like you're immune to pain.

Sure I've been through a huge amount of pain without screaming like a pig led to the slaughter, but it doesn't mean I'm devoid of physical feeling.

The only bad thing that comes out of this C-section with epidural experience is that I suffer the full effects of epidural. I got the tremors, the urge to vomit, and now the backache. I'm really worried that the backache is here to stay. I've been trying to rest for as much as I can in order to get healed from the backache.

I'm disappointed that William is not about to change, not even for the sake of the baby. He's still up at 1am to check out his soccer betting and lottery websites. I don't want the children to have a gambler for a father. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with a gambler. Much as I've been warned, and much as I've been restraining myself, tears still wet my eyes whenever I think about where this marriage is going. I can't allow myself to rot with a gambler for the sake of a baby. Perhaps a baby is precisely God's sign for me to leave the marriage. As I recall, I only had the courage to get out of my previous empty marriage after I had Coco because I woke up to my senses that I could not allow Coco to see that boy as a role model for a father or a husband.

Perhaps it's God's will that I stayed at a two-bedder at TMC, that I got a neighbour who was so outspoken. We spoke alot despite our brief meeting in that 1 or 2 days' stay together. It made me realise that I've been living in a small world of my own, that I've been focusing on the wrong things to be in this rotting marriage.

She told me about her younger sister who divorced her husband and left her 3-month-old baby after a 3-year marriage for a gambler of a boyfriend. It sort of 'inspired' me. The younger sister had been having marital problems over allowance and her mother-in-law. The marriage ended after the younger sister consented to an immediate divorce on the ground of 'adultery'. After some time, she left this gambler of a boyfriend after she found a much richer boyfriend who loved her so much that he transferred $50, 000 to her bank account. I can't even get a $50 note from William without him asking why I need it. You know what they say about the willingness to part with money as a measure of your love for that somebody? They're right. And Fann Wong once said that a man who is stingy with money is also stingy with love. And she's so darn right. Who says that she's an airhead? She's probably one of the smartest women in Singapore.

To a large extent, I admire this woman for her guts to leave her own flesh and blood in the name of love (and lust I suspect), and her pursuit for happiness as she herself defines.

It makes me realise that I've been focusing too much on what this society wants, and how it looks at me. There're so many people out there who don't bother about how others look at them as long as they are happy. Perhaps I've been too brainwashed by a church I went to since my early teens - 'Others may but I cannot'.

I've asked Pastor Jimmy if it's biblical for me to divorce William since he has not committed adultery or blatantly abandoned us. He said that although William has been 'faithful' in the physical sense, he has not been faithful to his vows he made at the altar ie. to protect and to cherish me.

For so long, I'd thought Pastor Jimmy would oppose to the idea of divorce for whatsoever reasons. For so long, I'd thought I have to endure whatever rubbish William heaps on me.

It's a great relief to know that I'm free to leave this marriage, as long as I want to.

For years, I've pictured myself living in a 3-room flat with Coco. Just me and her. It just might come true soon.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Baby at 37th week

William has been quite good to me recently. He tries to get things done when I ask him to, although not immediately.

So far, he's bought most of the things the baby and I need: bathtub, breastpump, steriliser, powder and powder container. He'd also asked if the baby need more clothes.

Most of the baby's clothes are given by my sister. She gave me some of her unused gift sets. Recently, she also went to Thailand and bought quite a few pieces of baby's clothes and receiving blankets and towels. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to wash up the towels and blankets because there isn't much space to store them in.

He's also trying not to argue with me or agitate me these few days. He washed the service balcony when I asked him to and emptied the dustbin once in 2 to 3 days when I pressed him- previously, he emptied it once a week. I hope these are changes that will last for some time.

For the sake of the baby and seeing his slight changes, I'm starting to pray that he'll have a sense of responsibility towards the baby and the family.

The baby was weighing at 2.5kg at 37th week on Monday. Dr Ang said that she's a 'footling breech', meaning she's a feet-first baby, and so it seems that the baby chooses to come out via c-section. He's booked a c-section slot next Wednesday, 15th October. But I'm hoping that there'll be some natural indication, like the show, or waterbag breaking, to indicate that the baby's ready for birth rather than artificially jump-starting her birth.

I wonder why this baby is taking so long to arrive. Coco came at 37th week. Girls usually come early and second births usually come earlier than the first. Sometimes I wonder if it's because the baby is able to sense my apprehension and reluctance to be a second-time mother, under all the unfavourable circumstances and conditions, that makes her reluctant to arrive. Her breech presentation also makes me wonder if she's trying to tell me that she'll be as good as her elder sister. I remember telling Coco when she was in my womb that I'll leave the way she wants to come to this earth to her - whether natural or caesarean, but secretly, I'd hoped it would be a caesarean since I'm such an easily freaked out person.

Perhaps for Coco, I was highly-strung and stressed due to the unknown. I didn't know anything about going into labour and was sure I was going to die during the delivery. Every day, I was in intense fear and I literally counted down to the days of her impending arrival. Every night, I couldn't sleep till past midnight and I would wake up at 2 or 3am to a male, deep voice telling me,"Your cervix is not going to open! Your cervix is not going to open!" The more I tried to shut the voice out by pressing pillows on my ears, the louder the voice loomed. When I woke up at 7 or 8am, I was usually alone in the house and I was always imagining the worst. And the moment I opened my eyes, I'd hoped that everything's a nightmare - that the pregnancy was never there. I was going through these motions until the waterbag broke and I shivered all the way to the hospital for a c-section.

Those were the most horrible months I'd ever led my whole life. I'm not so scared now in that I know what to expect, and am in full knowledge that the baby will not die so easily.

Instead, I feel very tired every day. I sleep at about 1am and wake up at 11.30am every day. I have to force myself to wake up even.

I've decided not to engage a photographer for maternity shots. I feel very tired all the time and don't feel like dressing up for a photography session, in front of strangers especially. I would also like to save that $200 in my bank account rather than splurge it on a photography session. We have a digicam anyway.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sourcing for maternity pic photographer

I was enquiring about maternity photography packages from a seemingly passionate photographer via email.

Everything was good - he could offer me a good price and package except that the venue is my own place. I'm not very comfortable with a total stranger coming to my place with his wife. And my place is constantly messy and not visitor-ready. The thought of tidying and cleaning it up makes me feel exhausted already. I've been delaying my reply to him and contemplating another photographer who has a studio, albeit far, and comparatively expensive if I want to take back all pics.

All of a sudden, I am also gripped by a sense of self-consciousness. I didn't think much about being half nude in front of a photographer initially, until the photographer himself made it very explicit that his wife will be around and my husband MUST be around too.

It just made me feel ... self-conscious ... ? And uneasy all of a sudden. I just don't know how to respond anymore.

My maternity leave starts as of yesterday although there's no handover at work to speak of.

I looked at Coco and got worried.

I love her so much.

She's the reason I think life's worth living.

I'm worried that I won't have time for her once the baby arrives.

She was telling my father that I've been very harsh on her and beating her often ever since I got pregnant. I feel guilty about it, but I really don't have the extra energy to run after her, hounding her, and nagging at her for more than 10 times over 1 simple task anymore.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Love vs marriage

Someone created a thread about a working mother's frustration and quite a few mothers posted about their struggles and unhappiness with their husband and marriages. Of course I was one of them.

One mother who read the thread commented that it should be love that makes the marriage go on, and not children.

I've been thinking about what she said.

I've been preoccupied with the idea of sticking with the marriage until I can't take it anymore. I'm resigned to a life that's loveless, passionless and full of shams and cheats. I'm resigned that good men are few and far in between and I'm not one of those girls to meet them.

I was chatting with someone from the chatroom when he commented that he's seen quite a few cases like mine - 'suffering to the max and not smart enough to get a divorce proper'.

I was asking him something about his impending migration to Canada with his girlfriend who he planned to married when he said,"fyi, i love her".

I've been too embroiled with life's struggles and this miserable marriage that I've forgotten that marriage is about love, not only about obligations, responsibilities, children and debts.

I thought about why I'd married William.

I thought about the days I felt very happy with him. I thought about the days we could communicate on the same wavelength, and what he said made sense. I thought about what he said about being able to understand me more than myself. I thought about the time when he wanted to send me home when it was only 9pm. Then I thought about the time when we first got married - he asked me to go buy him supper at 1am.

I ask myself if he really did love me, or was it a plot all along to trick me into a marriage.

But is it really worth me thinking so hard about all these?

When love is no longer there, or perhaps it's never been there, there's nothing to look back on.

The memories of the 'happy times' are fake. If he's really loved me, we won't have such a miserable marriage from the beginning.

I just wanted Coco to have a family. I just wanted her to go to a good school.

I just wanted to place her above me.

There was something that said it's not quite right, but I thought I shouldn't be so selfish. As a mother, my needs should take a backseat.

It's been almost 3 years.

I don't want to remain unhappy for the next few years. Someone said we only live once. We shouldn't waste time dwelling in some worthless mud.

Within 3 years, I've aged much, visibly. This marriage has worn me down, alot. No love. No warmth. Fights. Suspicions. No husbandry to speak of. No fatherhood to speak of. No future. No dream.

I don't want a life like this.

I've tried so hard to stick to my marriage vows. 'In poverty, in sickness'. How novel it sounds! I don't mind poverty really. But this poverty must be worth it. The husband must be worthy. How can you stick to someone who is always in poverty as a result of his foolishness and refuses to acknowledge that he's been imprudent with money? How can you stick to someone who has not fulfilled his responsibilities as a husband and expect you to fulfil your obligations as a wife?

Marriage is not a one-way traffic. Marriage is not a destination. I'd thought William could be the one who journey with me through this life. Life is hard enough.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Stress

I continue to feel exhausted for my pregnancy. It's about 33rd week I believe.

Some people say it's due to stress which I've no reason not to believe. The baby's arriving in just a few weeks' time and nothing's substantial has been done for her. The baby's room is not up. The cot is not bought despite having talked about it since February. My mother, who will be doing confinement for me, hasn't got a bed to sleep on yet. I've asked William to set up a bed and get a mattress for her since ... I don't know ... maybe June? ... and you can trust that nothing will be done either. The baby's stuff has still alot in outstanding. No powder, only two pieces of tops, no diapers, and no nursing bras or tops or pyjamas for me. And all these are the essentials. Oh oh, and he hasn't got the money for my confinement food, or my mother's confinement rates. I've already informed him that he needs to give me $1000 per month from September onwards. I won't ever forgive him if I don't get enough nourishment or nutrition to nurse my health back in shape during confinement. As it is, throughout my pregnancy, his non-existent mother or father didn't even call up to enquire about how I am or the baby's state for fear that we may ask them to help out or ask the mother to cook some nourishing food for me. I'll never forget how horrible his parents are. This is why William hasn't learnt how to be a father, because his parents don't know how to be parents. To think that William is their only son. Come Chinese New Year next year, I'm not going to bring the baby back to their place for the reunion dinner if there ever is one - if I ever go back there for the Dinner again. I might very well give the reason that I'm still weak from childbirth and not in a state to walk about too much, which could be true since I'm so weak and constantly exhausted during my pregnancy. Oh, and William's bank debts. One of them is going to hit $10k in a few months' time and he's still saying it's nothing.

I've posted a thread asking for second-hand Pump-in-style breastpump, and no one has responded.

I don't know what's wrong with married men, or Singaporean Chinese men for that matter. They seem to be such babies after they get married. They just assume that a tooth fairy or some form of supernatural genie would get things done for them somehow, some time, at some place.

A mother from the forum said that the 'thump thump thump' feeling is actually the baby's hiccups. So now I know.

School's reopening. I don't mind the classroom teaching actually, but the thought of CCA really puts me off. I don't understand why CCAs can't start at 1.30pm at the teacher's convenience. I think it's really stupid that we have to suit the kids' convenience and agenda to start at 3.30 pm and end at 5 - 5.30pm. That's like 10 hours of being in school. It makes you feel so sian. Any thing that goes beyond 3.30pm just sucks the life out of you. And you're supposed to be excited and enthusiastic about it. Stupid! Anybody who started the whole idea of CCAs seriously ought to be shot! I don't mind if CCAs are conducted by external vendors or if the teachers don't have other admin work or rubbish to deal with. Teachers' work are just neverending. We pile on and on and on without removing the previous rubbish. It's really stupid! It's the most inefficient job on the face of this Earth.

We have workbooks, so why must we churn out worksheets after worksheets every year and chase after the syllabus like crazy? We don't even have time to complete the workbooks and the homework books or testbooks and we're coming up with more worksheets because the workbooks and homework books and testbooks are not good enough. Crazy! Then throw away the workbooks and homework books and testbooks if you think your 'tailored' worksheets are so much more superior!

For remedial lessons, why must we churn out yet another pile of worksheets to 'suit the students' abilities'? It's really ridiculous!

I know I ought to be grateful for a job, but I can't help but notice the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of all these nonsensical workload. I don't believe in churning out more work for the teachers if it doesn't improve the students' well-being or academic ability. I believe in teaching. Really teaching. Dwelling on, playing with, drilling a concept until it's mastered. Not skip-and-hop and touch-and-go. Why should teachers rush to complete a syllabus? I think it's hilarious, ludicrous. Why didn't the scholars and researchers at the ministry factor in all the occasions and programmes and exams and tests that teachers need to prepare for, and thus not able to complete the syllabus in that 10 week per term? How can it be so ridiculous that the ministry doesn't know that school doesn't operate on a 10-week term? We always have to cram in 10 weeks of syllabus into a 5 to 6 weeks term, which is really stupid.

Forgive me for my non-linking thoughts. I'm just typing whatever that comes to mind.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Women over 30

My third sister was getting cranky yesterday when I was at my parents' place.

She started to tell Coco that she has a 'lazy mother' repeatedly. My father thought I overeacted but I certainly didn't and don't think so. I think it's a very serious matter that you're taunting my child using me, the mother. What are you trying to do? Who is the one who is going to live with the child for the next 20 odd years before she gets married? Why are you hurting my child if you're not happy with me?

She actually said that I shouldn't get angry with what she said if what she said wasn't the truth. Then I could also always call her the 'frustrated spinster' who gets cranky and psychologically unbalanced after thirty, and that's as true as it can get.

She's behaving the exact same way as my elder sister when my elder sister was over her thirties and not doing a job she liked not too long ago. The worst thing is, she doesn't realise it.

And she actually said this,"Don't give birth to so many children if you don't know how to be a mother!" Do I really have THAT many children? I only have just about 2 - if you like to think that the unborn one has already qualified as one - to qualify for the word 'children' the plural form. And I certainly don't think that I don't know how to be a mother. As far as I know, I'm one of the best mothers around in terms of putting the child's needs and wants above her own. I've done all I could to ensure my child gets the best of everything. I even marry so that she gets into the best school possible and so that she gets her own purple room, and has a father to call her own.

I'm offended precisely because I think she's spouting rubbish and doesn't know what she's talking about. I've never spoken ill of her in front of Coco, so why should she attack me at my most vulnerable, when I'm heavily pregnant?

Women over 30, please go get hitched, without which, you're really a witch!

Braxton Hicks

The baby is at 31st week now.

Even right now, I can feel the baby's thumping - it's like the heart or pulse thumping at the bottom of my tummy. I wonder what that is.

I've been feeling some form of tightness in the abdomen. William says that it's because the baby's head is pushing against my stomach, but recently, I was reading some stuff online and came across some article on abdominal tightness. It mentioned that abdominal tightness has something to do with Braxton Hicks, in preparing the womb for contraction. Some forummers on singaporemotherhood also say that it might lead to premature birth of the baby and the baby needing to be warded which will 'cost a bomb'.

Unfortunately, I will only visit the gynae again more than 2 weeks later. I'm not sure if I should run to him now and request for some medicine to 'relax the stomach', as quoted the mummies.

I still haven't really decided on a name for the baby. I'm also thinking about her surname. I have all the reasons to have her following my surname and only 1 reason for her to take up William's - he's the father. But other than that, what else will he do to father her, I really wonder.

I've given William sufficient time to prove that he really treats Coco as his own and that he could support her and he hasn't. I had the intention of changing Coco's surname to his if he'd proved himself to be a good husband and father, but he has let us down badly. I don't want to have two kids having different surnames. I find that really awkward. I don't know how to explain to others without them speculating the unnecessary. But if the baby adopts my surname, I just have to tell people that I'm letting my children taking after my surname for personal reasons. What personal reasons can there be for 2 kids to have different surnames?

I'm also worried at the prospect of a divorce. If it happens, then my kids having different surnames would really be quite traumatic for them and for me.

If William had been a good husband, I won't have to dwell on all these dilemmas and struggle to decide on something so fundamental of a person's identity.

I can only wish my daughters marry someone of respectable character and financially sound enough to support them. As for myself, my fate is just about sealed.

Friday, 22 August 2008

I can't believe it!

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20080822-83616.html

O wow! It's confirmed! I got the 4th month maternity leave!!!!

Singaporemotherhood wan sui!!!

Enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package

Whoa! Ever since the Prime Minister announced the Enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package on the National Day Rally Speech, there's been a great hoo-ha especially in the singaporemotherhood forum.

I was sorely disappointed that the Package would only take effect on 1 Jan 2009 when he'd announced the news in August 2008. I was telling my sister that it's typical of my unluckiness - that I should fall short of good things by just a mere bit all the time.

But today when I logged into the singaporemotherhood Oct 2008 thread, the mummies said that there's been a change in the date of implementation of those measures, to 17 August 2008. I'm not too hopeful about the 4th month maternity leave yet though, although it's highly likely that it'll be included as well. I don't want to be thrusted into the pit of dismay once again.

Apparently, there's been some form of petitioning exercise by mothers-to-be, which was submitted to the PM via an MP during a Meet-the-People Session and the government obliged the request.

This thread http://www.singaporemotherhood.com/forumboard/messages/578191/1652981.html?1219363226 has some mothers firing at one another on the Package and it directs one to an online petition http://www.petitiononline.com/mums2008/petition.html, although this is not the one that made the government change their mind.

The main petition content is this:

To: Singapore Prime Minister
We, the mentioned Singapore Citizen, would like Prime Minister Lim Hsien Loong to consider extending the recently announced procreation benefits to parents to be for kids born from 1st August 2008 onwards instead of the announced 1st January 2009. This would also reduce the stress faced by parents that would have their kid due in December 2008 and January 2009.
Sincerely,

But I agree that the effective date is weird: 17 August. Why can't the govt just bring it up to 1 August? It's indeed unfair to babies born between 1 to 16 August. But like what one of the forummers said, for every policy, there has to be a cut-off date. I'm quite sure if the govt accedes to this petition (again), the mummies who had given birth before August will lament too. Personally, while I'm glad and relieved that it's been backdated to 17 August, I thought it even fairer to extend the benefits and package to all mummies who give birth in 2008 since the measures are announced this year. Mothers who had given birth last year can't possibly complain because the difference is by one whole year.

I'm most interested in the 4th month maternity leave because I'm possibly going to have a caesarean. Dr Ang seems to advocate c-section especially for mothers who have undergone a previous one. He says it's safer and can rule out the possibility of a womb rupture scenario. In any case, the baby's head seems to be in the same position as Coco's, at least up till now. Honestly, I myself am not motivated to do natural because I don't think I can bear with the pain. But the trauma of my last episode at KK still stings badly even though it's been more than 8 years ago. I still shudder when I think about it.

Anyway, if I get the 4th month maternity, I would be able to use this time to recuperate, and possibly breastfeed longer. I hope to breastfeed this time round, with the help of a Medela pump. I'm still sourcing for a second-hand one. $699 for a brand new one is far too pricey I thought.

Just came across this curt and cute article about a husband's woe and joy over the Package:
http://www.straitstimes.com/Singapore/Story/STIStory_270643.html

Oh, there is a thread which started the petition. The thread-starter consolidated the signatures and a few mothers went to see the MP with the signatures. The thread-starter even managed to retrieve the PM's email. Really must salute these mothers' determination and courage. Singaporeans are supposed to be resigned, meek and obedient. Or perhaps it's just the men. If not for the women, nothing would have been done.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Piano world forum

I was just logging onto the computer when I felt like it's a long time since I last checked the piano world forum out.

It's a great forum, especially the thread on Singapore piano lovers. It was very helpful when I was on the lookout for a piano for Coco, although it was a painful struggle to decide which piano to get on my end. But I'm glad I bought U1 in the end, although it's a big sum of money to me. At least I don't have to wonder if a brand new piano would sound different or if I'm shortchanging Coco on the training of the ear.

Of course the money that I could have saved from buying a second-hand piano would have been substantial. Up till now I'm still repaying my education loan from the CPF in fact. If not for this piano, I would have been free from the loan repayment more than six months ago. But I would never shortchange my Coco.

One of the forummers listed out the places that sell pianos - new and used. It makes me reminisce about the times when my elder sister drove me around on weekends and even weekdays right after my work to look at used pianos at different piano shops. We must have been to more than 12 of those shops. Wow! It was alot of effort and time definitely. We are all laymen to pianos, not knowing what to look out for although the forum had listed the key things down because we never learn how to play a piano. Whatever do you mean by 'bright sound'? Or 'light or heavy to the touch'? They are supposed to be quite simple language to a layman, but we still didn't understand. Having been to more than 12 used piano shops didn't help much although we could try to speculate if this and that was what those forummers meant. But at least we'd done our best.

Exhausted

It's my 29th week.

I've been feeling really exhausted. This morning, although I've woken up, I still went back to bed to laze in it with my eyes closed, and hardly had the energy to search for the aircon remote control.

I suspect that it's depression. I've been feeling stressed up over work, William's debts, and how I'm going to cope with 2 children and the cleaning-up of the house. The baby is arriving in about 2 months' time and we've got nothing for the baby, or me for that matter. I'm worried. William is not going to have the money to buy them all in a bulk when he doesn't even have abit to spare to buy just 1 item now. I was asking a colleague who just came back from her maternity leave on how she copes with 2 young children and she mentioned about support from her husband. Isn't that true? The only way a working mother can cope with work and children is a supportive husband. But I know mine isn't. And he's not capable of being supportive.

Whenever I worry about all these, the word 'adoption' comes to mind. The thought of having two children freaks me out. I never wanted to have another child for as long as I'm married to William because I know he won't help me out. I'm afraid that I'll go crazy. Of course, seeking solace from another man is an option, but the other man is not my legal husband and he can't help me out at home. I was hoping that as my pregnancy progresses, William will start to grow up and learn to be a better husband and father, but it isn't the case. I feel bullied throughout the pregnancy. Because I'm quite immobile now, comparatively, the house is left in a dusty and dirty condition and he refuses to do something about it. He wipes the floor about once in one or two months. The window grills have this thick layer of dust which I'd told him about months ago and nothing's been done about it. He dumps all the dirty clothes into the washing machine - I'd told him to wash Coco's clothes separately so that our germs and bacteria don't mix with hers but he'd never listen. And he has to wait for me to scream and nag at him for weeks before he gets on with the laundry. And after washing the clothes, he doesn't put them into the dryer until I tell him many times that if the clothes are left in the washing machine for too many days, they will develop a smell and he would have to rewash them. Even after he dumps them all into the dryer, because he's unfamiliar with the dryer, the clothes are almost never completely dry and to the horror of horrors, he considers 'damp' as being 'dry'. It's just like how I don't know how to explain to my low-ability kids why addition sign is '+' and not 'x', or how to further simplify 'Don't use pencil', I don't know how to explain to him that 'damp' is not equivalent to 'dry'.

It's been frustrating living with him. My divorce plan has to be shelved because my elder sister doesn't allow Coco and me to move back with my parents - she owns the house and so she calls the shots.

The moment I think about the extra expenditure the baby is going to bring along with her, I would tell myself,"How about giving her up for adoption?"

I feel torn apart. Exhausted. Traumatised.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Nightmares

I've been having some weird dreams lately.

Just yesterday, I dreamt that Dr Ang screamed and shouted at me because he found me such a nuisance for enquiring so much. And he sneered at my intolerance of the pain of 1-cm dilation when others felt nothing at 2- or 3-cm dilation.

It was a scary and stressful dream.

The other day, I dreamt about some form of the Last Day, that I became a child and was friend with a kid I teach. And there were killings everywhere. She was axed by a few children on a grasspatch while I was too petrified to help her. I ran and ran for my life.

It was a nightmare I was glad I woke up from.

Final decision

I've decided to divorce him.

The last smses we exchanged, he actually threatened me with divorce, citing the reason that I always accuse him of betting and gambling when he has 'quit long ago'. Then what was he doing at the betting booth counter collecting money for just the other day?

He has decided that I'm such an idiot that he could stand at the betting booth and shout at me,"I did not buy bets!!!"

And I found out more about his debts. He borrowed another big sum of money from a credit institute without repaying the banks with it. Then where did the money go?

His grandfather is always hounding after me because he defaults on repaying his grandfather.

I'm pregnant. And haven't got a thing for the baby. I haven't even got a name for the baby. Now I have to think of what to do about the father's particulars on her birthcert. And I had to clean up his backside for him when the reno loan bank called me up.

It's crazy.

I can't go on like this anymore.

What did he marry me for? To help him clear his debts while he continues to indulge in gambling and betting - it is becoming clear to me.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Shocked

A friend was just telling me last Thursday that the school tracks the websites we surf and the print jobs we send.

It freaks me out. I blog and go on the forum in school. I can't help but wonder if my boss already saw what I blog about or grouse online.

She said that an ex-colleague who resigned last year had been 'caught' selling things on ebay during 'office hours'.

I find it ironic that they used the term 'office hours' since we don't have a fixed hour except that 7am - 1pm hours. Or does being in school compound mean that we are still at 'office hours'?

What's the rationale of tracking websites and printjobs? If there's any cost incurred, I'd appreciate a working laptop. I can't access the intranet nor use a thumbdrive on my laptop because the USB port is spoilt.

Alright. I need to get ready now. It's Sharon's wedding today. :)

Baby at different weeks

6th week 2 days - In this scan, Dr Ang was doing a scan to confirm the pregnancy. The black patch is the sac in which the baby is contained in. This sac will continue to be the baby's protection bag until she's born. 6th week 2 days - In this scan, Dr Ang showed us where the heart is. It's not obvious on the scan - where the diagonal dotted line is. But on the ultrasound scan machine, he showed us a blinking spot to indicate that the heart is beating.

6th week 4 days - I was spotting fresh blood. I ran back to him and he showed me that the baby's heart is still beating. He circled the heartbeat for me on the scan.
9th week
11th week

14th week
In my feeling of guilt towards this baby, I suddenly thought of putting up her ultrasound scans on my blog to prevent the scans' images from dissipating with time. I'm not sure if those papers are thermal heat papers, but just in case.

Coco only had 1 permanent ultrasound scan image because the ones she did at KK were unclear and were on thermal heat papers. They didn't last. In any case, I also couldn't make heads or tails of them.
I'm a very impatient person and find it very troublesome to find pictures to put them up on my blog. I find scanning pictures into the computer a pain actually. I hate even more about the fact that this scanner I'm using often doesn't scan well, or hangs - like now - for no reason. I don't know why there's an impulse to put up pictures today.

Baby at 26th week


Actually I've lost track of the exact week of the pregnancy due to my busy work schedule. I can only try to make a close guess at it.
She's weighing at 992 g. Dr Ang said that she's on the big side and advised me to cut down on the carbo intake. I was quite shocked because my tummy is still quite small compared to other pregnant women.

He said that she's in an 'oblique' position, in which her head is on my tummy's upper right side, the body in the centre of my tummy and her legs at my tummy's bottoom left. 'Slanted' I call it.
She's very active. I can feel her kicks on a daily basis, and sometimes, she kicks on my bladder I think, which makes me feel as if my urine could come out.
I feel very guilty towards this baby. Up till now, I haven't got a name for her. And my job entails screaming at the kids and getting upset and angry very often. I know it's not good for the baby, but who can help it?
This pregnancy is certainly quite different from my experience with Coco. I continue to feel very tired - but it could also be due to the demanding nature of my job. I often have shoulder aches, and recently, I got backaches. Just last night, William and I quarrelled over the need to massage my back. He was very impatient and rubbed very hard on my back and shoulders. I got angry with him and screamed at him, accusing him of trying to make me suffer a miscarriage.
When I woke up this morning, I saw that the house is in a mess. Mess everywhere. Dining table, coffee table, platform, bedroom, Coco's bedroom, kitchen sink, even the basin where we brush our teeth - there was a worm swimming in some remaining water.
I know that it's not easy on William these few months. It's especially challenging to wake up at 5am every day without fail to prepare Coco for school. I myself can't do it. I was already struggling when William and I alternated on the days we get up early to prep her.
I packed some parts of the house, especially things that belong to Coco, and abit of mine. William is right in that the things that make the house messy are actually ours, not his. Sometimes I wonder if I've been too hard on William. He's never done a day of housework in his life before marriage. He's been trying, although the standard is still very far from my expectations. Perhaps I should be more forgiving towards his ineptness at doing housework. Or maybe I'm just finding an outlet to vent my frustrations at his debts. The debts are still there. His grandfather didn't manage to clear them for him. I'm very stressed up over his debts and his gambling habits.
Sometimes I wonder if all's been worth it to marry him so early to let Coco enter his alma mater. But Coco's everything to me. I remember promising myself to give her the best the moment I set my eyes on her 8 years ago. I haven't let this down. What is more important than giving her the best school she can go? I have wasted my youth on a jerk. It is of secondary importance to me that I'm going to spend another 10 years with another jerk. I'm just worried about the financial load he might bring on me, and Coco.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Coco's Ballet Class

I've decided to switch Coco to a different CC for her ballet class.

Previously under Kavana Dance, the teacher, Evangeline, was good. She demonstrated dance steps and taught conscientiously. After she left Kavana, the class was taught by another teacher and Coco's progress had been slow. In fact, I can't even recall who the teacher was now.

Then, in November last year, Kavana Dance pulled out of the CC all of a sudden, citing expiry of contractual agreement as the reason. Subsequently, Kirov took over. When I enquired with the teacher in January this year, the China-born teacher said that the kids will take their exam in November. I found the fact that the school put all the children, regardless of whether the kids have gone through Primary Ballet or any ballet grade for that matter, together in one big class, uncomfortable but since the teacher had assured me that the kids will take their exam in November, I decided not to pursue.

But subsequently, William and I feel that this Kirov Dance School is not as 'professional'. Coco does the same steps for most classes. The teacher takes 5 - 10 mins to take attendance when the actual class time is only 45 mins.

Much as I was tempted to pull Coco out and put her in another CC under the UK syllabus instead of the Australian one, I hung on because of the better timing and Coco's attachment to her friend, on top of the fact that the teacher will get the kids to take their ballet exam in November this year.

The last straw came when Coco told me two weeks ago that her ballet teacher told them that besides those who received the notification letter of exam date, the rest will take their exam in 2009!

I was indignant. After a little talk with the coordinator of Kirov, I decided to take Coco out of this ballet school.

In any case, I'd found Kirov quite dubious when I first enquired with another coordinator about the school. She said she couldn't tell me the actual name of the dance school and that Kirov is actually a name they created for this CC for the purpose of conducting ballet classes. I find it queer and unusual that you can't even divulge the original name of the school. It makes me wonder if there's something they are doing 'illegally' or moonlighting, or they already have the intention of running the ballet classes on a fly-by-night basis and are all ready to take flight once they don't work out.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Coco sprained her wrist

Coco sprained her right wrist during her gym lesson yesterday.

That spells two weeks' abstinance from physical activities. She asked the doc if he could excuse her from schoolwork. The doc laughed and said,"Excuse from schoolwork - that means excuse from school lor." And Coco said,"Don't want." The doc chuckled.

It's her best friend's birthday party today. She is invited to Kallang ice-skating rink to skate with the sweet girl, but her wrist handicapped her from doing so. I got William to take her there since her best friend only invited her and her neighbour. I'm very pleasantly amazed that her best friend really treats her as the 'best' friend she ever has. And Coco was telling us the other day that her best friend is hanging out with two other girls and seems to have distant herself from her. She was a little sad then. Apparently, the nice girl didn't have such ideas.

In a short tele-conversation with the girl's mother, I was surprised to know that private cars can only be allowed into the school compound after 2pm every day. That means Coco is only about 30 mins' different from kids who live near the school when she reaches home at about 2.30pm every day.

I really think that the school is so 'good' it's worth travelling for. The students are not as nasty as the ones in neighbourhood schools. The teachers can't be too lousy except for her previous Maths teacher, who had fortunately gone back to his hometown.

Recently, a Caucasian expat actually chose to move to Singapore, and within 1km of the school, and did parent-volunteer work with his wife for the school in order to get his daughter into this school. It makes me appreciate the fact that Coco can get into this school. Someone on a forum said that now, to have studied in a good school is like a legacy for our children. And I agree.

I've been seeing little girls as young as two or three screaming or throwing fists at their mothers in public places like the mrt train or void deck. I can't help but remember how sweet and gentle and obedient a child Coco was. She had never done all these spoilt-brat stunts before. That's one of the reasons I have difficulty getting myself to beat her with a cane.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Baby at 21st week

When I went for the detailed scan about 2 weeks ago, she weighed in at 392 g.

A very active fella. Facing up and down and swimming in the bag all the time.

I can't help but worry that she might turn down and demand a natural delivery. A 'natural' delivery doesn't sound or look natural to me at all. What with the injecting and cutting and stitching. Ouch!

But I really don't want to think too much about it now. I almost went crazy when I had Coco. And she came just like that, unexpectedly. I believe this baby will also come at a time least expected.

Surname issue

I've been very tired and stressed out, physically and mentally, and emotionally, which explains why I haven't been blogging.

It's quite depressing to blog about all the depressing stuff. And honestly, I didn't know what to do about this marriage. I want to go on, but yet I know I can't face myself if I have to act ignorant in order to continue with this marriage.

I smsed him last night that I am sure I want the baby to take after my surname, for the good of the baby, because I'm almost sure we'll divorce sooner or later. It's just a matter of time. I don't want people to quiz about the baby's surname after we're divorced. It'll be a pain - to the baby and to me.

I know he'll be hurt by my decision, but I don't want to do anything that will hurt the baby in the long run.

Up till now, he's still gambling, and betting. The worst thing is not the inability to kick this habit, but the fact that he denies doing it. He actually believes that denial is the way to go. Then what's the difference between him and those idiots in my class? When the boys commit a crime and you ask them why they did it, they flatly deny it,"No, I didn't do it." when clearly, they are the culprit.

I caught him red-handed at the betting counter, buying 4D and collecting money. I just didn't want to make a big hoo-ha in front of so many people although they could tell that things were amiss. I saw his friend's sms about buying against which team for the Euro soccer. When I asked him to stop betting, he said,"Crazy."

I told him I cannot imagine myself battling with his gambling and betting habits for the rest of my life. There were 3 types of men I told myself I must never marry: gamblers, drug addicts and unfaithful men. Because these men are wayward and would never change their ways. Very often, they think it's perfectly alright to ask their wives for money and bring the family down.

Little did I know I was marrying a gambler. And I have been trying very hard to make things work out. But no. One party's effort won't work. I don't want to waste my energy, my will and my patience on a wastrel anymore.

I know I will divorce him, but when - I really don't know. I hope to find a lawyer who doesn't drag things on and who doesn't discourage me from the divorce.

Sometimes I hate myself for not having enough courage to abort the baby. What's the point in bringing her to this world when I know I'm going to divorce him? I don't understand why he won't change for the sake of the baby. I don't understand what's so hard about kicking a habit that can only bring him down? I don't understand what's so difficult about understanding the logic that a true man doesn't take money from his wife. I don't understand why a man can actually ask his wife to borrow money from her sister and doesn't think his pride is hurt. I don't understand why a man doesn't think that it is his responsibility and obligation to feed the family. I don't understand why a man can think nothing of asking his wife to pay off his debts for him when he spends thousands on betting and gambling and doesn't support the wife or the child, whom he promised to provide for, and when the wife earns almost only half of what he does and is paying off her own study loan. I don't understand why a man can change at a 180 degree turn right after the wedding. I don't understand ...

My blog has been searched, recently, by people who googled for Quan Yifeng and her marriage. I admire her for her candidness about her marriage. I admire her that she's able to say there's no laughter in the marriage. Am I not like her? So why am I carrying on the marriage? I'm a nobody while she has lots to think about. She doesn't even want to say that she's happy so that 'nobody will laugh at me in the event a divorce takes place'.

Of course up till now, I still unrepentantly hope that William will wake up to his senses. I hope that he will kick his habit and not 'stop betting' only when there's no soccer seasons. I don't understand how a person can proclaim that he has stopped betting already when he knew in the heart of hearts that he will resume betting when there're soccer matches going on. I hate liars. I really do. I'm so painfully honest that I can't lie to save my own life. What makes you think I can live with a liar?

I don't want to put up with these humiliations anymore. He takes me for a fool and thinks that just by denying everything, I will be blinded and deceived. By closing my eyes and hoping that one day he will wake up to all his wrongdoings, he will repent and come back to me - I'm too naive.

He will not.

He's an utterly selfish man who cannot think for his family, much less love them.

I will find my own love. In my own way. A liar doesn't deserve to be honestly treated. I've given him respect that should not be due to him for too long. And I've stepped on myself for too long. He doesn't deserve my fidelity. He doesn't deserve Coco's love or respect either.

He doesn't.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

In limbo

He said that his grandfather will help him pay back the credit card loans while he pays him back $2,000 every month. In addition, he'll give me $1,000 every month. Honestly, I don't believe that he'll give me $1,000. His old excuses will come up somehow,"I don't have the money""This month not enough.""Next week then I give you more." etc.

I honestly, badly, want to retain this marriage. I can't bear to see my kids ended up with no father at the time of birth. I don't want history to repeat itself. I don't want to have two kids with different surnames with me being a single mother. I don't want to give away my baby. I don't want to go through the process of a divorce. I don't want to fight over the custody of the child. I don't want to fight over the child's maintenance. I'm tired.

I don't know how long this marriage can last, but I'll stick it out for as long as I can, I guess.

TCS compere Quan Yifeng survived her unbalanced marriage with her being the sole breadwinner. It makes me think that perhaps there really would be a day that William might do better and we don't have to quarrel about money anymore.

I've been trying to talk to him about the possibility of running a business. Teaching is definitely not something we can do for a lifetime. But he's been evasive and reluctant. He's always using his debts as a hedge.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The ball is in his court

Sometimes I suspect I'm too lonely.

Apart from feeling weak and tired all day, I watched TV today for the whole of afternoon from 3pm till 7pm. The programmes sucked but I didn't know what to do else. I actually thought of going into forums to give my views.

Today I plucked up my courage to tell him that he has to give me his salary. If not, I'll divorce him. He said I'm forcing him to hand over his salary. Yes. I am. But I'm left with no choice. I told him I don't want to drag this on anymore. I'm very tired. It's either he agrees to it or I'll go find a lawyer next week. Our notion of a family is very different. Our values are very different. So what's the point in dragging on for the sake of a baby when I know that eventually things still won't work out? We're just buying time for the sake of wasting time. Unfortunately for me, I've got very little time to waste. I need to make up my mind fast. And exit fast if things don't work out. If only I didn't drag things on. I wouldn't have to endure this pregnancy while planning for a divorce, and bringing an innocent life on board with us when the ship is sinking.

I'm just so lonely and tired.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Going into transit

On divorce ...


I've moved the piano back to my parents' place - I'm sick and tired of being seized with fear and anxiety whenever the letters threatening to seize the property and goods arrive. At least the rest of the items are not that expensive compared to the piano.


It's such an irony that I know nuts about divorce although I was divorced once. I called up a hotline on divorce and I was advised that any marriage below 3 years has to seek permission from the court to divorce and compelling reasons why you can't wait till 3 years to divorce have to be stated.


The flat is purchased for less than 5 years so it's highly likely that HDB will take it back after the divorce.


*******************************************

Yesterday, we were taken to Terminal 3 for a workshop. My group leader was the man who lost his wife during delivery last year.

I managed to speak to him more and realised that things are far worse than I'd thought.

His wife had actually developed the fatal condition during a natural delivery. Previously, I'd always thought it occured during a Caesarean. But no. It happened after the waterbag was broken by the doc.

I was shocked to know that the doc would ignore the baby's state until they revive the mother, or prove that she's unreviveable. Apparently, the mother had lapsed into unconsciousness when the rare condition occured and the doc was trying to make the mother come to before he would proceed to deliver the baby.

All the while, the baby was left in the womb while the waterbag's water leaked. The doc couldn't perform a Caesarean on the mother while she was unconscious because it would endanger her life.

When the baby was finally out of the womb, he was seriously lacking in oxygen and it resulted in brain damage.

To date, the baby can't swallow food. He has to be fed using a tube going into his stomach.

The term 'brain damage' didn't sink into me at that moment when he talked to me. I thought he was exaggerating, given the optimistic and sunny person he is. He didn't even make it sound sombre or serious at all. It was more like a casual talk.

After the term sank in, I was horrified and inspired at the same time.

I'm inspired by his sheer strength to face all these on his own. It was a joy-turned-trauma episode which has repercussions that last.

For a moment, it makes me feel that what I'm going through is insignificant compared to what he has gone through. I'm just leaving a die-hard gambler who doesn't care two hoots about his 'family'. Although the baby will not have a father, like Coco, having a gambler father is worse than having no father at all.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Wake up time

I'm filled with fear.

The reno loan bank has sent us a lawyer's letter threatening to sue us for bankruptcy.

I'm really scared.

And I discover that his grandfather doesn't have the money to help him out. I'm scared stiff.

I don't know what to do.

Currently, my plan is this: I'll divorce him, sell off the flat so that we have less things to worry about ie. conservancy fees, electricity bills, internet bill.

If I keep the baby, she will take after my surname. There's no way I can let her take after his if we divorce.

Another alternative is to give the baby up for adoption.

I'll take over the reno loan to avoid being declared a bankrupt. Being a civil servant, I can't afford to be bankrupted. I need the job, especially after I've worked so hard for my degree. But I can't forgive him for what he's done to my life, so I have to divorce him.

I'm disappointed with him. I didn't think he's that bad, but looks like I've been too blinded.

It's time to wake up.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Let me out

He's asked me to loan him $500 to pay for his and his father's handphone bills. He said he'll pay me back next week.

We've been through this many times. I said no. And he threw his temper. And threatened to let the lawyers sue us for bankruptcy.

I called up the bank to ask if the payment could be separated if we're divorced. And the guy said no. I don't know where to find $28,000 for this.

The more adversities we face, the more I see his lack of integrity and honesty, the more I see our vast differences in values, the more I feel that divorce is the only way.

I go to work with a bulging tummy, always feeling ill and nauseous and tired and weak. Even the cleaner asked me what sickness I have because I look pale and lips purplish. My well-meaning colleague suggested that I take a few days' leave to rest. But can I do that?

And he's still asking me for money, when there isn't enough money for my hospitalisation bill and the baby's stuff. He's not saving any money. He says the money is all spent on interests. I asked him,"So you're saying the interests are more than $3000?" And he tried to argue, that he also needs to pay the penalties for late payments. I asked him where his money goes to - he doesn't pay the conservancy fees, the phone bills, his handphone bills. The only thing that he's paying is just about the electricity bills, which he often waits till the electricity is cut off then he go pays. So exactly where does the money goes? He kept quiet, threw his temper.

I earn more than $500 less than he. I need to pay off my study loan, give my parents allowance and top up my father's travelling expenses, pay for Coco's ballet, piano lessons, schoolbus fees and possibly her English enrichment lessons. And he's expecting me to pay off his loans for him, when he's got the cashback from the bank already.

What kind of a husband is that?

What else can I do if I don't divorce him?

What future can the baby have with a father like him?

What kind of a father will he make?

I'm so tired I let Coco go for a church camp on her own with the church workers today so that I don't have to tend to her, do the housework, and do my schoolwork all at the same time. There isn't even a clean towel for bathing purpose. I don't even have clean clothes to wear.

When a husband doesn't even take care of the bare necessities and basics in the house, how can you call him a husband? This is the very reason I have not allowed Coco to call him 'Daddy' or myself to call him 'Hubby' for these more than two years. I can't bring myself to. He hasn't been able to assume the responsibilities a husband or a father should assume. He doesn't deserve to be addressed as such. I'd looked forward to have a husband I could call 'Hubby' ever since my first 'marriage', but he is not fit to be called as such. He's not. He has not provided us with the most basic items in life. We've not functioned as a family to date.

He actually said that I'm his wife and should help him out. I said,"If I'm your wife, then you should give me allowance instead of asking me for money all the time."

I would help him out if he'd been transparent in his expenses. But no. The moment I asked to see his payslip, he got agitated and quickly stopped me from changing his password that he didn't even know. I would help him out if he'd handed over his salary. I would chip in wherever I deem necessary. But no. He wants me to give him the money that he requests. That's all. What it's used for, I don't need to know. So my answer is no. This is my hard-earned money. I choose to stop being foolish. I've given you all that I could and all that I had. I've to start thinking and saving up for Coco.

Do you know why I married you?

I needed to give Coco a father. I needed a husband. I needed someone to help me take care of Coco's future. But no. You promised to do just that, but I now know it's an empty promise, just as all your promises are.

Now I know and can really appreciate what they meant when they said,'The greatest mistake a woman can make is to marry the wrong man."

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

My Mothers' Day

Coco had been asking for an extra dollar or two from William for the whole of last week every morning. She refused to divulge anything when William asked her why she needed the extra monies for.

Then on Sunday, she surprised me with a bunch of flowers, ribbon ones, styrofoam ones, and a bag of pearl necklaces that could be disjointed into a child's necklace and an adult's bracelet or joined together to become an adult's necklace!

I was surprised, and asked her where she got the money from. She said she used the extra money that she got to buy one present every day of the week.

When I heard that, I felt so guilty. I had been beating and scolding her to force her to study for her exams. And she still wanted to give me a surprise on Mothers' Day. The day before, she actually said,"You'd think I don't have any present for you right? Actually I have a surprise for you."

She's so ... incredibly sweet. That's just how girls are.

The other day, William threatened to beat her with a cane because she was crying very hard for me, who had gone out for dinner with my sisters. I got William to buy her dinner back as it was very late already and I wanted her to sleep right after her dinner. She kept crying and asked if I was far away already, and if I was in the car over the phone. She wanted to go with me. William hit the sofa very hard with the cane to scare her. When I reached home, she was still up. Her tears were just dried, her eyes still red from the incessant crying. She said,"Just now Uncle William beat the sofa with the cane. I was so scared my teeth were chattering so hard they could win a tap-dancing contest."

Scumbags of the earth

I took child's MC to stay home today.

Coco and I are tired out by the incessant waiting at the polyclinic over the many things: waiting for 45 mins to see the doc although we got an appointment, waiting for 15 mins to see a nurse to check and train Coco on the use of symbicort, and teaching me how to clean the space chamber, waiting for 45 mins to an hour for the medicines, and in the end, the pharmacist requested for a change of symbicort to another medicine, so that's another round of training on the use of the new medicines again. We went there at close to 3pm and only left the polyclinic at 6 plus. We were the last to leave. By then, Coco and I were so hungry and tired. We hadn't had our lunch even. And I was filled with anxiety because they skipped my number till the last few just to 'confirm with the doc on the dosage of the medicine'. I forgot to charge the medical bills to my CSC card.

I wanted to stay home also because I don't feel like seeing those scumbags' faces. The moment I think of them, I just don't feel like going to work. They've stretched me - my energy, my patience, my strength - too thinly. I can no longer see them as mere children. How can these scumbags be 'children'? They commit crimes. They hurt others intentionally. They are destructive. How can these creatures be 'children'? Their ears are on their faces for decorative purposes only. They don't use them. Or maybe, they are incapable of using them. What have their parents done to them for the last 8 or 9 years? How can a 8-year-old not know what a 'leaf' is? How can 8-year-olds not know how to spell 'go' or 'fun'? What have the parents done for them? Just gave birth to them and give them food and clothes as and when they need them? What parents are these?!!! They should be jailed for not parenting their kids! Why should they be threatened to be jailed for not sending their kids to school and transfer their problems onto the teachers?

When I look at these kids, I'm reminded of those terminally ill students who refused to give up studying even when they were on their death bed, and being fully aware that Death was near. They were in untold physical pains and torments, yet they wanted to study. What kids are these that I have? They have healthy and strong body. They come to school every day. I'd wish they fall sick so that I'm relieved from their antics for a day or two but they never. And they make use of their strong body not to study, but to hurt others, to vandalise school properties. It's difficult to believe that they are not here to make teachers angry. Very difficult.

Parents take it personally when you inform them about what their children did. And they should. Because it's a direct reflection of their parenting and their own characters. The least that they should do though, is to scream back at teachers and accuse teachers of not doing their job or trying to get their children into trouble, which is really stupid. We have better things to do. If not for the fact that other parents complain, and want justice done for their children, we wouldn't want to trouble ourselves to call up the devils' parents and suddenly, have to assume a defensive position for nothing. We also need to put on record what the devils did, what happened after that and what the parents agreed on. All these are additional meaningless work. Only a moron would think that teachers want to find trouble for their children, like the mother I mentioned in my previous post.

For devilish kids like this, teachers just want to ignore them, and get on with the teaching, to benefit the non-devils, and leave the devils to die. They don't deserve to be saved anyway, with their parents behaving like big and tyrannical devils.

I used to tell others that kids are not the problem. Until this year. Until I meet this class. Unsalvageable. Irredeemable. Unrepentant. Unmouldable. For 19 weeks, they still don't understand that they need to go to the 'MIA' box to retreive their worksheets and books if they were absent the day before. For 19 weeks, they still can't understand what a 'blue' colour pencil is, or what 'Don't use pencil' means.

I give up.

I was doubting aloud to William if it really could be my language that they don't understand. He always blames my 'perfect' English (which I never claim is 'perfect', but maybe it's indeed more 'perfect' than his) if the instructions are not carried out properly, like the Mac Donald's instance when I failed to retrieve my keys after I asked,"Did you see a bunch of keys on that table over there?" William went in and came out with the keys instead. He said he asked,"Did you see a green keychain? With key?" He said the staff who attended to me probably thought that 'a bunch' was another item, and so in his fear, he quickly said,"No."

William said that he uses "Where got?" and always present tense with his kids eg. "You got see?" He asked me,"Do you think they will understand,'I saw you ...' 'He told you ...'?" When I did a mental comparison between the two languages, it does appear to me that perhaps the kids couldn't understand me. I always thought we should speak to the kids in proper English if we expect their English to become better. I always feel that languages are something that are caught rather than taught apart from the rules. But could it really be this reason that's obstructing me from communicating with the kids? Could this really be the reason that they don't understand me? Could this be the reason that they don't follow my instructions? Or maybe I should ask them to clarify with me every time they don't understand me.

Monday, 12 May 2008

What kind of a parent are you?

The bag-boy's father was reported to the police, on the account of child abuse.

The mother called up and lambasted me. She said it's all because I kept calling the father to complain about the child's antics.

She's a cunning one. Tried to trap me in several instances. Stupid bitch!

The irony is that, she questioned me: What kind of a teacher are you?

And I have yet to ask her the same question back: What kind of a parent are you?

If you're really a parent, you'd have taken the child into your hand and not let him go around causing destructions wherever he goes. If you're really a parent, you'd have taught him the right from the wrong, and not let him think that violence is the way to resolve all problems. If you're really a parent, you'd not have called me up to lambast me on what your son has done and claimed that he's a stupid victim when he is clearly the culprit, perpetrator, vandal and destroyer - all the time! If you're really a parent, you wouldn't have allowed him to be out of hand from kindergarten till P3. Every year, he gets into trouble with different teachers, and different teachers have to hear your meaningless roar every year. If you're really a parent, you'd have used your pea brain to think, and perhaps reflect if it's capable of, over why the whole world has a conspiracy theory against your precious angelic son, and why he's forever the victim when others' sons and daughters are the ones who are maliciously hurt.

She said that I made him a victim because I refuse to listen to him. Oh wow! Why don't you go find out for yourself, if you really, genuinely, never have, from the rest of the teachers why they too wouldn't believe his story? He's a perpetual liar, like you, the mother. Cunning and sly. Turning the black into white and changing versions of stories faster than a roti prata maker flips his dough.

What kind of a parent are you?

'You're simply unfit to be a parent.' Yet I can't tell her that when it's clearly the truth.

The bag boy was sent to the hospital this morning when the mother tongue teacher noticed that he was covered with bruises. He was brought to the counsellor, who in turn brought him to the principal. The principal insisted that the counsellor took him to the hospital for a checkup before calling the parent. There at the hospital, the doctor called the police and the mother.

Oh how the mother could act! The counsellor said that she was 'sooo good' when she talked to the doctor. She was shocked to know that the mother took up that hostile tone with me ('What did you do to him?!!' 'What have you done to him?!!!' ' What kind of a teacher are you?' ' Are you happy now? Are you satisfied now?'). William said he would have said,"Yes I am." But as teachers, could we have said that?

The couple themselves had a big fight last night over the beating up. It's the mother's second marriage and she threatened to divorce the husband if he should touch the boy again. I can only say that he would be better off without such a wife.

Lousy mother. I take comfort in knowing that I'm far far superior than many mothers, especially when I know there's such a mother around.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Singlemotherhood

I was just reading on a thread on mothers who are studying at the same time.

One of them is a teenage mother who's looking for some diploma courses to attend while working full-time. She was asking how it can be done since she needs to support her baby and herself simultaneously. And if she works part-time to study full-time, she'll generate less income, which would translate into a challenging financial situation for her and the baby.

I just can't help but feel thankful that I was paid while studying full-time back then in 2001 to 2003. It's true. It would not have been possible to study full-time and hold a part-time job to support a baby and yourself.

I wanted to suggest doing full-time studies at NIE but it occurred to me that she's only a teenager and probably only had 'O' levels, since she's looking for diploma courses.

Motherhood is not easy. Whatmore a teenage mother. I don't admire her so-called courage in facing an essentially conservative, quientessentially an asian society, with an 'unwed mother' identity. I really don't. In fact, having gone through the single motherhood phase before, I believe that these girls would even feel a tinge of pride that they were 'brave enough to face how the society would look at them' and that they've braved all odds to give birth to a baby who they could have otherwise aborted.

I'm skeptical. Because I had been there. The truth was, I didn't have the courage to abort the baby. I know that ultimately, the one facing the guilt of aborting the baby would be me, not the society, nor my parents, or anybody else for that matter. I was even more fearful to lie on that operating table to get that little life killed. I was afraid that for the rest of my life, I won't be able to face myself whenever I walk past a little baby.

See how I sidetrack. I was just talking about the challenges of teenage motherhood. Single motherhood itself is a huge challenge, especially financially. I really don't know how this girl is going to manage if she doesn't have any help from her parents. I needed a lot of help from my parents to look after Coco. I didn't know how to look after a baby. I didn't have enough money to spare to support the baby and myself. Without them, I couldn't have gone to work to earn that money, and get that qualification.

Baby at 15th week

The baby is 130 g and measures at 8.5 cm as of last night.

The gynae has sort of confirmed that it's a girl - as what I've expected. He said it's 'empty' between the legs. I'm glad that it's a girl. I want Coco to have company and support when I grow old. A friend who's an only child told me that being an only child leaves her feeling quite alone, especially emotionally and financially, when her parents are old and quite sickly.

William received a letter from one of the banks suing him for bankruptcy. He's still hoping that I would 'help' him.

The only way I can help him is to give away the baby, actually. I'm definitely not going to give him any more money. If marrying a man means to deplete yourself of financial resources, then I'd rather be by myself. I think any woman would agree with me on that.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Changing tactics on Coco

Yesterday, I was very harsh on Coco. I screamed and shouted at her continuously, using words like 'you're just like those idiots I have in school'. It's very harsh, but they managed to get her to do work. She didn't dare to slack at all and for once, she got everything correct for her spelling exam.

I also bought a cane, ready to use it on her anytime she's disobedient.

It's for her own good. I can't let her go on rotting away. To hell with all the crap about girls shouldn't be caned, must be lovingly soothed. To hell with all the crap about if you're too strict with a girl, she'll grow up to be withdrawn from you and rebellious. I'm more concerned about how she's doing now. If she doesn't even do well in her studies now, what're the chances that she can do well at the higher level? If she doesn't learn the ways to study now, what're the chances that she'll pick them up when she's older? By then it'll be too late. She'll be like me. Low self-esteem, leading to a lot of problems in life, earning a comparatively low wage in her thirties, and marrying a husband beridden with alot of debts waiting for her to clear, and slogging away at home with a big tummy. Doesn't that make up a sad picture? I never want her to follow in my footsteps. She must lead a different life. She must be successful and marry a responsible and capable man who truly loves and takes care of her.

Hope for the baby

Last night, I got this earache which woke me up from my sleep. Sometimes I do get earache, but usually it doesn't last for so long and it gets better after I adjust my sleeping position.

It scares me. I'm afraid that I might become deaf in time to come. I even imagined the doctor asking me to make a choice between having the baby or saving my ear.

But as usual, William says 'it's nothing'. You'd think I must have been crazy to marry this man, but he was totally the opposite before we were married. He would get uptight over every little thing that happened to me and Coco. He would source for all possible help to relieve us of any inconvenience, not to mention pain. But now, he just can't be bothered. Like the time when I had something hidden in my sole, and he insisted there was nothing too.

I just couldn't bring myself to talk to him after he insisted that there's nothing wrong with my ear because 'it happens to him too'.

It's one thing to be a big-picture person, like what they always say men are, and another to be uncaring about your wife.

I don't know how I can spend the rest of my life with him.

My tummy has become visibly smaller by the day. I'm not sure what to make of this. Up till now, I haven't talked to the baby yet. I don't know what to tell the baby. There's nothing good about the father that I can talk to her about. There's no good life that she can look forward to when she's born. And she will not have her parents around for her as a baby because they need to slog for a living. Or maybe she knows that she needs to remain small so that her mother can continue to work hard at home and in school.

William has been telling me that his grandfather will loan him $50k to clear all his debts. But I find it unbelievable that he has not gone to get the cheque from the grandfather yet, if it is true. Which man in his right mind would continue to sit on his debts with a 24% interest per annum if there's help? He has grossly underestimated my intelligence.

With a husband who cannot manage finances, and cannot be trusted with money, what hope is there for a marriage?

I hope to look for a good home for the baby.

Friday, 2 May 2008

My cravings, leading to pondering about my life

Recently, I've started to crave for thick soup, like the seafood soup with dried scallops as its base near my mother's place, the chicken soup William's mother cooks, the fish soup my father brews. I find myself leaning towards salty tastebud.

This morning, I called my mother to ask her to cook chicken curry for me. I adore her chicken curry, with thick coconut milk, and not too spicy. She obliged immediately and went out to get some chicken wings, because I specifically asked for chicken wings.

Sometimes I wonder how I can survive if my parents are gone.

They are not even saved yet. I don't know how I'm going to get them saved, with the kind of testimony I bear. It's an embarrassment to Christ.

The other day, I saw my mother from afar, with Baby Eden. My elder sister said,'There she is!' I had my doubts: Can that be Mother? This woman is full of grey and white hair. My mother has black hair. Upon walking closer, I realised it was indeed her. How long ago was it that I last took a good look at her? She has aged.

And my father. His lines have deepened and multiplied. And his hair too. More and more white strands have sprung up. He's an old man now.

And I haven't let them enjoy their golden years.

I've wasted so much of my life not knowing what to do, what I can do, and who to love and marry. For 6 years of my life, I didn't get a proper job. I often wonder how different things would be if I were recruited into NIE right after my A levels. It was because I couldn't pass the proficiency test which required you to speak into the radio that I couldn't get in. For 6 years of my life, I drifted in and out of jobs: clinic assistant, receptionist, secretary, admin assistant, tuition teacher ... without knowing where I can go. I wasn't interested in anything. Didn't know where else I can go. I went to do a degree in Banking and Finance at SIM after a few years, only to realise I'm indeed a flop at Maths, and quitted after one year. I went to do a secretary diploma, just to realise I was pregnant. While resting at home during the pregnancy, my mother was sweeping the floor and saw a teaching brochure dropped out and asked if it was mine. I said no because it's been years since I last applied for teaching and the brochure looked different from the ones I used to receive. I looked at it anyway and realised that the criteria for teaching has changed. It was bad news for O level English - it got upgraded from a B4 to B3, but good news for A level GP - it got downgraded from A2 to B3.

Subsequently, I applied for teaching again after Coco's birth. And got in effortlessly because of my GP. I didn't have to endure yet another painful experience of speaking into a radio. Since then, it's a turning point of my life.

William was surprised to know that GP was once prized at A2 for the entrance criteria. He would have to go for the proficiency test too if he had applied for teaching earlier.

You just can't help but wonder,"If only the entrance criteria wasn't that strict ..." I would have had an additional 6 years of teaching experience. Those years of working experiences 'outside' were not exactly pleasant or memorable. And the salaries were very meagre. My 'fate' would have been extremely different. I would be richer, had my degree earlier, although I can't say for sure if I would still get such a good degree.

I really appreciate those interviewers who accepted me, even though I'd daringly rejected the teaching contracts offered thrice - I didn't want to teach for one full year untrained, and not knowing for sure if I would be accepted into NIE after that. I didn't have the confidence of passing the proficiency test and you need to pass the proficiency test before you can be accepted into NIE even when you've done a year of contract teaching. On hindsight, I had even 'boldly' requested for half a year of contract teaching instead of the one year offered, which they obliged! I didn't know that it's a privilege that I could request for it and get it granted until an ex-colleague was sharing how difficult it was to get in then.

Coco's changed

I'm on MC today. Got a cold and didn't manage to wake up in time for school.

I realise Coco always has very powerful cold virus. I get it from her whenever she has it, and most of the time, she's not really affected by it while I feel like I'm dying.

I was forumming on how I feel so disappointed with Coco.

She had not submitted her completed worksheets to her respective teachers, for reasons I know not.
She had not done her Chinese and Maths worksheets and she had asked one of her busmates to complete them for her and tried to pass them off as her work. I could tell it straight away because her friends' handwriting was so much better than hers. But she still tried to lie to me, saying that she gave her friend the answers while her friend filled them in for her!
She had her English SA1 practice papers returned and she actually left two full pages of the paper not done! I was upset with her because this shows that she didn't bother to check her work.
And even if she did, she would still be 10.5 marks away from the full marks even if she got everything correct, which is not quite possible.

I feel that she's got everything too smooth for her. Too granted. That she feels that she doesn't need to put in any effort to get anything. She loathes industrious stuff. Anything that requires abit of industry, like writing '1, 2, 3'.

I've decided to pull her out of ballet. I feel that she's not benefitting from the class and she's not learning - anything.

Her character is changing. Rapidly. From the bad, to the worse. I fear the worst, that it may be irreversible.

I told her I'll place her at my parents' place after the June holidays. I'd told her she'd have to go to my parents' place if she lies again. She looked sad, but I'm very tired. I don't have the time or energy to keep an eye on her for anything - her studies, her diet, her habits, her character formation.

I can only blame myself for marrying the wrong man. I'd thought that by marrying, I would have some form of support so that Coco would be looked after by one more person. How wrong can I get! She's turned wayward because I'm kept busy by things all over.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Busy and tired

I still feel very tired all the time although I'm supposed to be in my second trimester now.

I still feel very nauseous and appetite is still not good. My sense of smell is still ultra-sensitive. I felt incredibly exhausted after testing 3 students for oral exam.

The strange thing is, my tummy seems to have become smaller, as if I'm not pregnant. Sometimes, I even wonder if everything could have been a mistake, yet it couldn't have been so since I got the ultrasound scans with me. I'm not paranoid. My fifth sister also noticed it. My next visit to the gynae is about 2 weeks from now though.

I still have quite a number of things on my hand to be done within these few days:
1. student remarks for the report book (will try to do it by today)
2. individual lesson plans for the remedial lessons (will try to do it by tomorrow)
3. weekly lesson plan (will try to do it by Thursday or Friday)
4. marking of the maths and English worksheets and revision papers (will try to do it by today and tomorrow)
5. returning of the files and books to the students after making sure they have done their corrections and filed in

Others that allow me about another week to do:
1. spelling lists for Term 3
2. revision papers for Term 3
3. Science CA2 Paper

All these tasks just seem so endless and menial. I was so busy I totally overlooked Coco's Chinese spelling exam. She had to take it without any preparation for it. The poor girl!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Divorce continues to be on the cards

The longer I spend my time with him, the more I feel that I should leave him.

I feel that I don't have a lot of time left. I don't want to spend the rest of my life living such a wretched life, and listening to endless grumbles and complaints - about work, children and life itself. I think life is supposed to be good. I don't think it's supposed to be about complaints and complaints and complaints and sitting there till you die.

I'm very tired of this marriage. A parasite husband. A complaining husband. A useless husband. A husband who keeps asking money from you. A husband who runs home to complain that his wife doesn't help him. A gambler husband. A loser husband.

I want a divorce.

I know he'll make things difficult. I just know.

I'm getting sick of the Christianity ideologies about divorce. I don't want to care so much about it anymore, and get trapped to an irresponsible husband.

He said that his grandfather is willing to give him $50k to settle his debts. The question I had was: didn't you said it's $30k? But I didn't ask. In any case, he said his grandfather wanted me to go with him to see him, so that he could let me be informed of William's financial situation and possibly help him out or something.

The fact is, I knew of his 'financial situation' 1 year ago. But he's refused to let me manage his financial matters. The only thing he wants from me is my money. I'll reiterate here: I've given him $17k - all of my savings during my studying years - and was left with zero savings for myself or Coco. I had to ask my sisters if I should buy a $10 item. Life was so stressful that I was down with yeast infection for months. I never want to go back to that kinda life again. Not for a worthless worm like him.

I've never heard of a friend giving money to her husband. The only one lent $2000 to her husband, and stopped lending once he defaulted on the repayment. She'll make sure the $2000 is repaid by taking that amount out from the sales of the flat.

I think I've been one of the best and supportive wife around. And I don't think I deserve a jerk as a husband. I'm sick of feeling envious of other women. I really am. I don't want to think about ethics anymore. I hate myself for being so virtuous. At the end of it, what do I get?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

"Site temporarily disabled"

I was trying to enter two blogs I usually read, and to my horror, I can't gain access into them. It reads, "Site Temporarily Disabled".

It gets me worried. I can't help but wonder if their blogs are tracked down by the authorities and ordered to be kept private or disabled because they wrote much about the backstage stories of teaching. This is also one of the reasons I don't want to talk about my job so much anymore because I do want to blog about my private life. William had warned me that blogging could get me into trouble for obvious reasons if I'm 'found out'.

Studio pic and Oscar test

We got our studio pics back last Thursday.

I travelled all the way to Somerset to Studioloft to get the pics. After some struggles and contemplation, I decided to get it over and done with once and for all - I bought all originals back for $250.

Coco and me

See my tummy? I wasn't even pregnant yet. I had grown so meaty.

Oh, I went for the Oscar test after weeks of daily struggle. I decided to get it over and done with to end the agony. Dr Ang was good. He only jabbed me once and my imagination or memory of my experience with KK Hospital must have exaggerated the pain. It wasn't as painful as I'd thought it would be. I guess the results are ok since he didn't call me up personally.

I'd read a thread on Singaporemotherhood on the agony over Oscar test. Most of them in the thread receive negative results from the test and they had to go for an amnio. It was so traumatising for them when they could have saved that $1300 since the babies were normal. And it had to take them two different sort of tests to determine that their babies were normal. I think I would cry my heart out if I have to go for an amnio. I've seen how huge that needle was on TV. I think I would have fainted before the needle go into my tummy.