Crossing from 2011 to 2012

We’ve crossed into 2012. To me it’s just another passing of time, no different from one day to another. So I don’t believe in setting any new year resolutions. If you wanna do something, just do it. Why wait for the new year? Instead I will reflect over the past year, be thankful to God for what I have, and live in the moment.

The highlight of 2011 was (and still is) my pregnancy of course. Since the start of my IVF treatment, I went through 3 fresh cycles and a number of frozen cycles before finally conceiving after close to 2 years. My husband is ecstatic, and can’t stop talking to the baby. He even bought a headphone that can be placed on my tummy for the baby to listen to Mozart. His parents are absolutely over the moon. The baby is their first grandchild, and they’ve been waiting for one for a long long time. My mother-in-law has been checking in with my husband on my consultation date and the scan result. My father-in-law researched on Chinese names for the baby, and suggested one for the first name. He told us we could decide on the second/middle name. (For Chinese/Korean names, there’s no separation of 1st and 2nd name, both are pronounced together.) I told him I would take his suggestion into consideration, since I’ve my own idea for the baby name. Anyway I told my husband that if baby is a girl (my preference), I will not take his father’s suggestion. But if baby is boy, then I’ll accept it.

Looking back, it’s quite funny at how things turn out. I had wanted to consult with a gynae at Thomson Medical Center, but my husband dislikes the place and the hospital because he sees the entire entity gearing towards profit maximizing, particularly the cramped condition which he also thinks is a fire hazard. So he did research on the various fertility centers and concluded that KKH IVF center has the best experience and expertise in fertility problems because it deals with the most number of cases. Same goes for childbirth at the hospital. He also felt that the head of the fertility center, SF Loh, was the best guy as my gynae. Basically the decision-making approach typifies my husband’s belief in value investment, and he saw that in KKH and Loh. But it took me quite some time to accept it though. My husband said I’m easily taken in by marketing jazz and appearance.

When I found out Loh was leaving KKH for TMC, I told my husband and had half expected him to lament the departure of Loh which meant we had to look for another gynae at KKH. To my surprise, my husband’s answer was, “even though I like KKH, I like Loh better. So we just have to follow him to Thomson.” He feels that Loh knows my case very well and he helped me to conceive. Baby and me will be taken care by a safe pair of hands, it doesn’t matter that Loh is “all substance but no form”. My husband also thinks that Loh is likely to bring some reform to Thomson and so it may not be so bad to be there. Besides Loh told me he had agreed to be a visiting consultant at KKH, which means if I experience a complicated childbirth, he’ll arrange for me to admit into KKH. I wrote in one of my earlier posts that during one of my initial meetings with Loh, I was pissed off by the long wait time and told Loh that I wanted to transfer to Thomson hospital after I got pregnant, and he got pissed with that. And now…. I’m going to Thomson!! I like to see his response when I refresh his memory of that conversation during our next meeting.

Anyway I’m very grateful to my husband who has been a pillar of support for me. While he’s been working on building up his physical fitness (which improves sperm quality), he also encourages me to exercise which not just improves my physical fitness, but also mental fitness. My husband believes that fitness in both areas would help in my pregnancy attempt. He also supports me to go on a 4-day work week, which started in August last year, and this allows me more time to relax. I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that I tend to think of the worst case scenario. My husband told me that it was irrelevant dwelling in the past since that was over, and no point pondering over the future since we don’t know what would happen tomorrow. Instead we should live in the moment, be happy with what we have today. Life should be about balance, we shouldn’t worry too much about what would or could happen, nor should we be living in denial. Using the analogy of a tennis match, as long as I’ve trained hard and studied my opponent, I should go into the match knowing that there’s a chance that I could still lose but it doesn’t matter. There’ll be another match and another attempt to win it. So a resilience mindset is also vital to the positive attitude since we can’t escape from problems and challenges in life. My husband also had to put up with my emotional outbursts during the hormonal injections for the first fresh cycle, and also my frustrations at the long wait at IVF center. Lucky for him, things went smoother during the 2nd attempt and I was good during the 3rd.

Another person I’ve to thank is the other important guy, Loh. He has put up with my nonsense and initial bad attitude patiently, and time and again proven his expertise, which took me some time to recognize but I eventually do.

I certainly hope the pregnancy will proceed smoothly, and trying to follow my husband’s advice of not thinking too much of what would happen or worst case scenario. Yes, it’s actually easier said than done, but I just have to constantly remind myself. I’ve also accepted the growing baby bump and not afraid to show it. Let’s see how many times I’ll get offered a seat on the train or bus. I told my husband if I do, I should go get a lottery ticket.

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Anyway to those ladies who are trying to conceive, don’t obsess over the pregnancy issue. Just make sure you keep yourself fit and maintain a positive mindset of que sera sera. At the same time, do encourage your partner to exercise too, since it takes both hands to clap. Wishing these ladies, and those who are already preggie and myself all the best in the new year of 2012, which is also the Chinese zodiac year of the dragon.

2011 is also the year that I experienced a political awakening for national politics. I also ventured into alternative political websites like Temasek Review and The Online Citizen to get non-propaganda political views. When the TR website was down due to attacks, I became a regular visitor to Facebook to access the FB pages of TR and TOC. I must say thank God for Mark Zuckerberg for creating FB which allows us to have greater liberty on political discussion.

For the first time, I voted in 2 elections: the General Election in May and the Presidential election in August. I’m really happy that Workers’ Party is able to capture a Group Representative Constituency (GRC) in Aljunied during GE, and I certainly hope this is the beginning of WP capturing more parliamentary seats in future elections. But most of all, I really hope for more Singaporeans to experience political awakening, to start questioning the status quo and not accept the policies of the government quietly.

On New Year eve, the mainstream newspaper, Straits Times, published a list of 40 people to watch in the local, international and sports scene in 2012. God knows why half of the people are listed, like the Deputy CEO of the National Art Council of Singapore, and this doctor who is supposedly responsible for marketing the biomedical innovations for Singapore, etc. Seriously, how will the former contribute to the economy or make a difference to the country? As for the latter, the report just stated that he had helmed some biomedical fund a few years ago but no mention of how the fund did, or what achievements he accomplished that qualify him for the role. The standard of reporting is so low that I seriously feel the reporters are basically digging the bottom of the barrel to make up the number for locals.

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Even the international selection is solely lacking in the real people who matter (hello, naming Angela Merkel but leaving out Mario Draghi and Nicolas Sarkozy???). But 2 persons they have listed correctly are WP MP, Chen Show Mao, and Minister for Communications, Youth and Sports, who’s also the Prime Minister designate, Chan Chun Sing (aka “Kee Chiu” or ‘raise hand’ in Hokkien dialect). It’ll be interesting to watch these 2 in action in the Singapore political scene this year.

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