Met with gynae Loh yesterday afternoon. This time I reminded myself to be well-behaved, especially after the numerous lectures from my husband of my bad attitude towards Loh 2 weeks ago. In fact I hardly have any questions for him this time. He was his usual cheery self, “hello! How are you?” I told him I’m having difficulty sleeping recently. He explained that it was my bigger tummy because of baby. He remembered that baby Alex was 2kg (about 4.4 lbs) the last time we met, and he must be 2.4kg (5.28 lbs) now. I said to him, “it’s not just the bigger tummy. I read that I should sleep on my left side, but that’s causing me backache.” “How about the right side?” “Right side is better, but not as comfortable as sleeping on my back.” To that he replied, “yes, you’ll definitely have a good night sleep when you lie on your back, because the blood supply of oxygen to the baby is reduced. So much so that baby will hardly move. It’s like last time you can lie on your back and cover your face with a pillow to sleep. But this is even worst.” I know, I’ve read about the risk to baby when I lie on my back. I guess I just have to bear with the backache for now. In fact last night the ache woke me up and I actually resorted to sitting up in bed to sleep (after reading that some women did that.)
Anyway I was a little surprised when Loh asked me for my birth plan without any prompting. I told him I was planning to give it to him at our next meeting. But I decided to briefly inform him of my preferences,”I hope I don’t have to go through episiotomy; I think I may have to accept epidural…” To which he interrupted, “You can try without it, but if you can’t take the pain you can ask for it. It can be given quickly. He stays at The Arte.” Huh? “Who lives at The Arte?” (That’s a high-end condo near Thomson Medical Center.) “My regular anesthetist.” “Is there only one around?” “Oh no, there’re some others. But they tend to be away during long weekends, like during the Good Friday holiday. The other time was another long weekend holiday, can’t find one around. Lucky I didn’t have any delivery then.” (Honestly I wasn’t sure how all these relate to my birth plan.) “Oh, anyway there’s no long weekend when baby is due. But do they go for vacation during school holidays?” “Oh no, some of them don’t have kids.” Ok, as long as there’s an anesthetist around when I’m in the hospital, that’s fine with me.
Loh included a 4D scan during the check, to show us the baby face. Though, as before, took me a bit of time before I figured out it was a side profile of the face. Loh commented that if I couldn’t see the scan clearly, there was nothing he could do about it. Anyway baby is doing well, and Loh estimated his weight correctly, almost 2.4kg. During the scan, Alex kept moving. In fact Loh mentioned he had turned a few times during the abdominal scan, causing my husband to exclaim, “look, he’s pushing against your tummy. It’s distended!” There’s nothing wrong with Alex being so active, in fact it’s a good sign. Hopefully Alex’s good development will continue till he makes his grand entrance.
During the scan, Loh couldn’t help himself and asked the perennial question, “so what happened to the by-election at Hougang?” My husband replied, “you should ask your Prime Minister.” “You mean our Prime Minister?” “No, your PM!” “Our PM!” I told Loh, “the government is probably trying to delay it since they’ll lose the seat again.” “Are you sure the government will not take it back?” “No, the Hougang residents have principles.” My husband added, “maybe the PAP is thinking of absorbing Hougang into Ang Mo Kio GRC, and the PM will tell the residents there that there’s one combined town council that will take care of their needs.” Loh thinks otherwise, “why waste money on the election? Singapore is an impoverished country.” I stared at him, what the hell is he talking about? And surprisingly he continued saying that one of his MPs (a prominent Minister) was so arrogant, “he came to my house and even though I told him I’m a PAP supporter, he still talked down to me. And that was just before the election! Like that, how to go to hawker center and shake hands with people?” My husband said jokingly, “you mean he wasn’t impressed with your big house and fancy cars? You should have wore your $40,000 watch!” I continued while Loh laughed, “and put on Gucci or Ferragamo clothes.” My husband told him, “that’s why you need competition in parliament.” But Loh replied, “I came from a democratic country which is screwed up, so I find this system better.” “So you’re still a diehard supporter of the PAP.” “I’ve my principles.”
My husband decided to ask Loh what he thought of the proposal of economist, Prof Lim Chong Yah, on narrowing income gap in the country. Loh wasn’t aware of this debate going on in the papers, so my husband briefly told him that Prof Lim suggested having a moratorium on high income earner (earning S$15,000 a month and above), and giving wage increase of 50% over 3 years to lowest income earners (S$1,500 and below a month). Why am I not surprised when Loh exclaimed, “are we living in a communist state? We should let market forces dictate wages.” My husband told him there’s no market forces in this country, citing the train system which is pretty screwed up with numerous breakdowns (4 within this week alone), and all because there’s no competition, and the screw ups are primarily due to the former CEO. To that Loh said, “there’s no democracy in Egypt.” Huh (again)?? “What has the public transport here got to do with Egypt?” “Cleopatra was from Egypt.” “What Cleopatra?” “She dressed up as Cleopatra, and was carried on a chair by bare-bodied men.” (He was referring to the picture of the former CEO attending last year company’s Dinner and Dance as Cleopatra, that appeared in the gossip papers.) I didn’t know Loh also checked out gossip papers. He then surprised us when he said he took the train the other day and found it clean and efficient, “I even had to change trains to come to Novena station, and walked to TMC, after I jay-walked like any Malaysian. There was an opposition member who told me I shouldn’t jay-walk, and I nodded my head and said I know.” I said to him, “I thought you don’t take the train?” “After I heard what you told me about the train, I decided to try it.”
I guess it’s now clear the subject title of the post is my description of Loh’s conversation with us, basically going all over the place, while he spent half the time chatting on non-pregnancy/medical issues. My husband commented later that Loh’s like a doggie that needs to be walked; he probably didn’t have much chance for a casual chat, and so grabbed the opportunity with us. Anyway at the end of the meeting, I apologized to Loh for my bad behavior during the last visit. Loh quipped, “it’s ok, the PAP people are understanding and big-hearted.” My husband exclaimed, “yeah, right!” I said to Loh, “that’s doublespeak”, at which he laughed.