I spent my day today thinking about the things that my pregnancy journey has been teaching me. If I could roll it up in one word, I’d say it would be “acceptance”. It was last year when I first got a positive result from my home pregnancy kit. I was so happy and excited, only to find out a week later that it was an ectopic pregnancy. There is no other way but to remove it as it will surely kill me if not. Friends and family called over to share their love and support by telling me that all we have to do is try again. I accepted that fate and rebuilt myself with dance.
As soon as I got a positive pregnancy result back in November, my husband and I wished that this time, it will be in the right place. After a few ultrasounds, the doctor was able to find it though I was diagnosed to have a threatened miscarriage as the size of the pregnancy was smaller than expected. I had to undergo a number to blood tests, injections and doctor visits to see how the pregnancy was progressing. Some people told me to eat more as that may be the cause why the pregnancy was small — but in fact, it was the HCG hormone that would help our little bun grow. All I can do is pray, hope for the best, and let God.
Soon enough, the doctors found that the baby was growing, and soon enough we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat. This truly warmed our hearts. For the first time in weeks, we were relieved. Going through that journey, I just said that maybe my baby is teaching me motherhood lesson #1 — letting nature take its course. One would expect that such a simple task is actually very difficult for a control freak like me. Learning to accept fate and destiny, to me, is about humility. It is accepting within one’s self that there are some things that we cannot control. In my first trimester, I couldn’t eat anything to boost my HCG levels. It was just wait-and-see along with prayers.
When everything was stable, I went back to work, put in an effort to walk more, and try to enjoy my second trimester like it was just a bigger me enjoying the usual life. I found myself in several stressful situations though — but it is only now that I am able to step outside of myself and spot the underlying problem.
Even before, my biggest demon has always been the belief system that I am not good enough. I pushed myself harder than usual in order to be able to tell myself that I am. I did enjoy the journey though in some aspects such as my work. This time I have been grateful to be given the opportunity to work with the best minds in the team and learn from them. There is a lot of hard work, but I saw the value in what I did rather than the effort I had to put in.
There, too, were low days. There was a time I got a number of nasty emails from a top executive from work. I remember being terribly stressed over the matter for a few weeks and instead of finding a proper solution to the problem, I thought he was treating me that way because (1) I was just a manager and that (2) the manner by which I did found him was not the best way hence I deserved being treated like shit. I was under a lot of pressure that I was torn between asking for help or pushing myself even further to prove myself.
Then came the the last week of April when my mother-in-law came to live with us for a few weeks. I could not pinpoint what was it exactly that bothered me with her coming in. I don’t like being in the same place as her because I know that having her around means changing the way our house is ran. I, too, have a very stubborn mind and little things bother me, even when they are actually helpful. Every time she and my father-in-law are here, they clean our house, wiping every inch of it like it was so filthy. This to me was very insulting. My husband explained to me that it is not an insult but rather it was pure help. Whenever I’m with my mother-in-law, I dare not go to the kitchen (and this is both either in our own home or the house in the hometown). She does not let me wash the dishes and I took it as another judgement that she does not trust my quality and manner of doing things. My husband again explained that this roots from the Chinese way of thinking of their generation where you have to keep on insisting to do something for somebody else as it is a reflection of Chinese values that translate to a selfless act. Now I find myself noticing every single thing that I do not like about her and this is the reason why I did not welcome any of her help –I wanted to point out that I do not need any of it.
In a similar way, I have arguments with my own mom that can fire my blood pressure to peak in just a few seconds. My mom never believed in me, or maybe she did but somehow she always ends up telling me that I cannot do things on my own or that my reasoning is faulty. I do not know why she does this though — I can only guess. I argued with her every single time she made me feel that I am not good enough. I got tired of trying to show her that I am. After all, it is how I feel about myself rather than how other people feel about me.
We are now at 29 weeks gestation and I am stuck at home on bed rest due to high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. (Imagine that, only a part of the blood pressure outcome is within my control.) I try very hard to keep calm and relax, yet I find it so hard to let go because I keep on wanting to prove something and come out victorious. This time at home doing nothing encouraged me to reflect and it has reminded me to look at what is important. Our little daughter is my top priority yet I failed to realise that my demons have taken so much of my time for unnecessary things. I know that I am good enough and yet I wasted my time on resisting so many things just to smother this statement to those who made me feel otherwise. I need to let go of the need to be right in order to have peace in my heart. At the end of the day, being right does not solve anything. I am reminded to stop being a backseat driver and trust God’s hands.
To my dearest Cara, mommy is far from perfect. But I want you to know that I love you and that I will continually strive to be a better person and mommy to you.