We welcomed 2012 in our serviced apartment in Boston. How? I, buried in all-day sickness, M, hoisting my hair up whenever I heaved, us, watching the ball drop in Times Square and the magnificent fireworks display at the London Eye on telly. Our 6-week stay in Boston was nightmarish. I was plagued with nausea and survived on dry crackers and fish fingers. M woke up at 4.30am every day to work at MGH. We barely went anywhere as I was doing poorly. We did watch a live basketball game (Boston Celtics vs Phoenix Suns) and build a snowman when I was feeling better towards the end of our stay. That was nice.
After M’s elective at MGH, we flew back to London, met our friends for a Chinese New Year dinner, switched our bags out and I said a tearful goodbye to the city we have come to call home. We spent the rest of the New Year with our families in Singapore, our very first with them in five years. My obgyn told us we were having a girl and that she is healthy. We shared the good news with everyone who cared.
We celebrated M’s 30th in March. I baked him a strawberry and lychee shortcake after a long break from the kitchen. He was delighted to finally spend his birthday with family and friends in Singapore. A few days later, we hugged each other goodbye as M left to complete his degree in London, and I stayed in Singapore to prepare for the arrival of our baby.
It was a difficult time thereafter. I was missing M terribly, and feeling sad that I was going through pregnancy alone. M was stressed out with his finals and I really wanted to be there for him. We tried to keep up with each other on FaceTime. I often watched him have lunch and even cook his dinner, whilst he squinted at the tiny movements our baby was making across my growing belly. I exercised a lot to pass time and to keep myself fit for the delivery – yoga on Fridays and cardio twice weekly. M graduated in July; I was gutted to miss the ceremony but his graduation also meant that M was finally coming home. He took very good care of me and pampered me with lots of dinner dates and outings. We were determined to make up for lost time, and to enjoy each other’s company as much as we can before our daughter’s arrival and before he started his new job. We spent lots of time reminiscing the good ol’ times we had in London. We spent lots of time getting to know each other all over again. It was wonderful to be with my best friend.
Before we knew it, our baby girl was born. Nothing quite prepared us for parenthood, let alone that in the week when M embarked on his new role as a doctor. There were lots of laughter and lots of tears. There still are.
The next months were and still are trying. Four months into parenthood and we are still trying to find our footing. It has been a steep learning curve and we evolve with our baby girl everyday. We have had to dig real deep to stick to the kind of parenting we feel is best for our daughter in the face of a constant barrage of unsolicited advice. We learnt to sleep less and love more. I didn’t think this is possible, but it is.
This is the year when time sped up and slowed down at the same time.
This is the year when emotions swung like a pendulum on steroids.
This is the year when I became a mother.
This is the year when I had the most and least sleep.
This is the year when I learnt to love a little more.
This is by far, the best year of my life.
I hope 2012 has been good to you too. Here’s to a better 2013. Happy New Year, guys!