Yes, marriage is an act because it is something that we have to constantly WORK on. It is not just a piece of paper with our beautiful signatures (my signature on my marriage certificate is ugly though, LOL) on it, nor is it a status that merely says you are now not available to date other guys/girls. The WORK doesn’t end the day you tie the knot. In fact, the WORK starts the day you say “till death do us part”.
I’m not an expert in marriage and I don’t give advice on relationship. I am just expressing my views.
Recently, I’ve read this piece of article written by some columnist, “5 reasons we can’t handle marriage anymore“. It has gone viral. There are people who praised the author for being spot on and of course, there are people who slammed the author for writing such a sh**y stuff since he failed his own marriage.
I’m not here to argue or support his points, I just think that there are more than 5 reasons that we can’t handle marriage anymore (well, some of us still can).
Sex, finances, social media aren’t good reasons that marriages don’t work. Yes, sex is important, but it’s not everything. Just like money, it is of course important, but money can’t buy everything. I’m pretty sure a couple will be able to work things out when the finances are tough. However, if one is unwilling to compromise and work it out, even the smallest stuff can cripple a marriage.
I’m not perfect, Andrew is not perfect (although he is close enough in my eyes :) ). There are times that we get so frustrated with each other but, we still respect each other. He is still the person I go to when I need advices, he still listens to my crappy stories, he still asks me to go movie with him and he still wants to spend time with me. If one of us doesn’t make the effort, this marriage won’t work (seeing that I got my temper and he’s got his own temper).
We are not rich, we earn enough to make ends meet. Now with a new family member (or I should say 3 since his parents are staying with us too :P), we have to work out how to spread the expenses. So, no, finances can’t be the reason that marriage doesn’t work. As husband and wife, sharing the load is essential. Unless you have a husband or wife that is rich enough to pay for all the expenses alone, sharing is definitely CARING. I can’t imagine if Andrew wouldn’t want to share the load, that would mean that he doesn’t care.
Social media is not a good reason that marriage don’t work. Yes, Andrew and I do spend time on our handphones browsing Facebook and stuff. However, we will tell each other if one finds the other person is doing it excessively. I will tell him I don’t like it when he spends too much time on his laptop, and he will tell me the same too when I am glued to my handphone all day. Communication is the key. If you don’t communicate, social media is the least you should worry about. In fact, technology helps us get closer. He would text me during the day, before this without WhatsApp, we didn’t “talk” to each other when we’re at work, until we finally met after work.
To me, the keys to maintain a marriage have never changed. It is our attitude to marriage that has changed. People now are more susceptible to temptations and having low tolerance to stress, when they hit an obstacle, they simply give up or give in instead of finding ways to make things work.
Andrew and I too experience ups and downs of a marriage. We too will argue and fight, but we will try to tell each other what we dislike before it becomes a fight later on. Years ago some incident happened, it is something I did not share with anyone. I did not even blog about it, but it is some thing I will never forget, a constant reminder. We worked it out fortunately. That’s because our love for each other is strong and we could not give up on the other person. I cannot imagine if he gave up.
So, to handle marriage and to make it work, requires a lot of work and effort. It is an everyday’s work. Nobody says marriage is easy. We can’t put the blame on the external factors for our failed marriages. We can only blame ourselves for not trying harder. Social media? Not getting enough sex? No money? Technology? They’re all excuses. As long as both parties are willing, things will work out. When one party fails, the whole marriage fails too.
I set my parents as an example. I will want to be like them, grow old together with my other half through thick and thin.
If you’re reading my blog recently, you’ll notice that I have been blogging about my experience as a parent. Please bear with me for a while, I gotta write all of them down when the memories are still fresh in my mind. I have very poor memory after giving birth, I’d better write all of them down before I forget.
You know, we are often touched by the scene we saw on TV or in movies, that a mother cried after seeing her baby for the first time. Drama right? I can tell you that it is not drama. I too cried (just a little :P) when I saw Lucy for the first time.
It was such a pity that I had an emergency c-section, Andrew did not get to see her birth. And I too did not get to hold her immediately after she was born.
When the nurse carried her to me (after cleaning her up), Lucy was all bright-eyed! I thought “aww…… my little girl is so round and fair!!!” That’s it, just one look and I cried. I did not get to touch her until I came out from the operating theatre. I felt pity for my girl, she did not get the chance to have skin-to-skin contact with her mommy. :( That is one thing I regret. I was surrounded by family members, I did not have a lot of privacy and alone time after I gave birth. I should have asked all of them to give us some alone time, but I was too afraid to ask. My baby Lucy, was in the crib until everyone finally left and Andrew placed her in my arms. I did not cry again, because I was too tired and did not know what to feel. Now, I understand how tired it is, I guess I would not visit my friends anymore on the day they just give birth. Privacy and alone time with the newborn is all the mother needs during the first day.
The next day, I finally could sit up and breastfeed. That’s the time I finally got a good look at my baby. She is so fair, she’s got my fingers, her eyes are so bright and she’s got pretty eyebrows! Also, she is so tall. Finally, I could feel my mother instinct, I am the mother of this beautiful baby girl. Someone will call me “mommy” soon. That feeling, that revelation, is amazing.
Lucy, my baby. Mommy is so happy that you came into our life. All the pain are nothing when I get see your little face everyday.
…… And I feel guilty all the time.
The mass articles/news/studies/blogs about how great breast-milk is, the so-called “liquid gold”, only make me feel even more guilty. Friends who keep telling me that they will support me and it is my decision to continue or not, again make me feel that I am a bad mom. Not a day goes by without me feeling guilty since the day I stopped breastfeeding…… Not a day I feel guilt-free……
I have a loving husband that loves and adores me more than anything else. When I was exhausted from all the pumping and feeding, he had helped me with cleaning the bottles and fetching the pump. When I was too tired from the midnight pumping, he had helped with the nappy change. When I was too sleepy to wake up, he had helped with warming the breast-milk and feeding the baby. When I was having difficulty breastfeeding and cried every time I breastfeed, he had told me to stop. Again and again, he told me to stop breastfeeding since I suffered from the day I gave birth. He is a very supportive husband and he does support breastfeeding, but he just can’t bear to see his wife suffer and unhappy anymore. “What’s the point of breastfeeding when you are not even happy feeding? You have not been happy since the day you gave birth…… If you fall sick, how to take care of Lucy……” And people always say, happy mommy, happy baby……
I can only blame myself for not getting proper help from a lactation consultant. When I finally did, it was too late.
I was having sore and cracked nipples all the time. When I stopped direct latching to let them heal, I kept having engorgement. The pump never really helped in emptying the breasts.
To this day, I still can’t figure out if it’s bad latch problem or my nipples problem. No one can tell me exactly what is the cause, not even the lactation consultant. All they told me is baby has got perfect latch, but I still felt constant pain whenever baby latched on. They even told me I would get used to it after some time, but I never got used to it. The pain only got more and more intense and worse. The pain would persist hours after the feed. No one could really understand what pain I was going through and I couldn’t exactly describe it. They even told me they have seen cases worse than mine, and I should be able to get through this. But I didn’t.
The day I stopped breastfeeding was the day I got mastitis. I was already having fever for 2 days, on the third night, I woke up to the pain of engorgement. Went to see Dr. Suhaimi and he put me on strong antibiotics. I too went for a breasts ultrasound to make sure there was no abscess. That day, I cried so much and loud. I cried because I can’t breastfeed anymore, I cried because Lucy is not getting breast-milk anymore, and I cried because I’m not going to have that special breastfeeding bonding moment with Lucy anymore. I cried, feeling I’m a bad mother.
The day I had mastitis was also the day Lucy going to her first month check-up. When I told the paediatrician that Lucy was having some mild rashes, she advised us to change her formula to hypo allergic as she suspect Lucy was allergic to cow’s milk. While in the hospital waiting for my turn to do the ultrasound, Lucy already had two feedings with the new formula. When we got home, it was her feeding time again. I was surprised that Lucy did not finish the bottle but at the end, slowly, she finished it. When I was changing her wet diaper, she had projectile vomiting. It was so scary and the milk literally gushed out from her mouth and sprayed across the room, a lot of them! I was alone at home and I got so scared. But amazingly, Lucy was all smile and calm and she didn’t seem bothered with her vomiting. Again, I cried. If I could still breastfeed her, this wouldn’t have happened. I was blaming myself and I felt so bad.
Luckily, the projectile vomiting was just an one-off case. She’s back on the normal formula milk and her rashes are cleared. But my guilt has never gone away.
After I recovered from the mastitis, I noticed that I can still produce milk. I know if I want, I can start breastfeeding again, not direct latching, but I can pump and give Lucy breast-milk again. However, I don’t get support from Andrew.
I know, it’s my body, if I insist, he can’t do a thing. But I know I would not feel good if I don’t get his support and I understand why he does not want me to breastfeed again. He has seen it all, he knows and understands how difficult is and will be.
I asked him many times, if I am selfish for not breastfeeding because I will be very tired. He said, “if you’re tired and can’t take care of baby, that is even worse. And you’re not happy. You still can bond with Lucy in so many ways.”
So, here I am. Everyday fighting with my own devil, until the day I can finally let it go.
I can only comfort myself, at least Lucy did get breast-milk for one and a half months.
It’s been a while since I last blogged. I admit it was due to my laziness. My pregnant self got even more lazy and every time when I wanted to blog/write, my mind went blank. It’s not easy to have a little human inside you, I guess my little human also sucked my inspiration dry. LOL!
It’s 2015, and it’s February. My baby girl, Lucy came to meet this world on 4th of February.
Now, here’s my birth story. I’d better write it down while I still remember. The pregnant brain got worse after delivery, my memory is so poor nowadays.
I went in to induce labour on the 3rd, which was the expected due date. I did not want to wait for another week of which doctor told me I could. Lucy was already measuring 3.3kg, I worried if I were to wait for another week she would grow bigger and I may not be able to have a normal vaginal birth.
Went to the hospital after breakfast, I was both nervous and scared. Finally, the day has come. I was induced at 12pm, the mild contractions started shortly after. Doctor told us sometimes some people would need a second dose of induction if the pelvic did not dilate the next day. I hope it won’t happen to me.
We waited, contractions got worse that night. It came at every 5 minutes, I couldn’t sleep although the pain was still bearable. The nurses kept asking me I would like an injection for the pain, I rejected as I know it wouldn’t help and I could still cope. I finally got through the night. My plan to welcome Lucy on the 3rd failed.
9.30am, 4th February. Doctor came and did an internal examination and told me I have dilated 2cm and he would break the water bag and put me on drip to make the contractions grow stronger to help with the progress. He said I should be seeing my baby girl later that afternoon. He was such a nice doctor, he reassured me that I do not need epidural as he was confident that I could cope with the pain.
10am, the contractions got stronger and longer. I used the laughing gas to help with the pain.
1pm, I urged Andrew to go home for lunch and all before my contractions got worse and Lucy’s arrival. When he was not around, the nurse came and asked me if I would want the injection for the pain. I know it wouldn’t help with the pain, so I rejected. She then told me that I was in so much pain and my body was all tensed up, the injection could at least help me relax my muscles and help with the dilation. I took the injection, not because of the pain, but I wanted the labour to progress quickly! Silly me to believe the nurse, the injection didn’t help, at all!
3.30pm, I was in so much pain that I could feel that the baby was constantly forcing her way out. I told Andrew to get the doctor as I thought baby was coming out! Doctor came and did a check, dilation was about 3cm to 4cm. He told me I could wait till 5pm, after the water bag broke, we had to deliver the baby within 8 hours. But he also said no guarantee that by 5pm the dilation would be more but most likely it would. And if at 5pm the dilation got to 6cm, then he would wait for another hour for it to get to 10cm.
I was in so much pain and frustrated that the labour progress so slowly! I was crying to Andrew and we were discussing if we want to go for a c-section. Andrew wanted me to wait, I know he didn’t want to see me got cut open. But I was so frustrated and upset with the whole labour thing and I asked him “why do you want to do this to me”. Hahaha. It is just something that I said out of stress, I didn’t really mean it that way. :P
Finally, I decided to go for c-section. Doctor said Andrew couldn’t be in the operating room with me since it was considered as emergency. I was so sad that Andrew couldn’t witness the birth of Lucy.
I was awake during the procedure, it was only half body anaesthesia. Within 10 minutes, doctor showed me baby’s bottom, “what did I tell you?” “It’s a girl……” And then they took the baby away for cleaning and checks. I wept. Finally my baby is out…… I could hear her wailing and crying at the back, I was surprised that her cries were so gentle. The nurse brought the baby to me, I gave her a kiss and she brought Lucy out to the nursery to meet Andrew.
I wanted to give birth naturally, end up I had a c-section. My whole pregnancy had not been easy, and now the labour was also not an easy one. Sigh…… Even my breastfeeding journey was not a smooth one.
Lucky that I recovered very fast from the c-section. Must thank Dr. Suhaimi for his skills and professionalism. He is truly a good doctor.
To this day, I still can’t believe that I gave birth to Lucy, another human being. Many nights I would wake up in the middle of the night, sit there and watch her sleep, and think “is it real that she came from me”. Sometimes I would cry thinking that I’m now a mother to this cute little human. Sometimes I worry too much and fear that I have not been taking good care of her. The tears and joy of a parent……
I also find it unbelievable that my status is now a “MUM”. Yes, I am a mother of one, my baby Lucy.
Feeling very emotional now……
Find it hard to believe that I’m moving on to another phase in life. I am so not ready for this. I guess I will only be ready when the moment comes.
The uncertainties are killing me. I have never felt so afraid before.
I feel so overwhelmed just by looking at all the stuff.
Excited? No. That’s not what I feel, please stop telling it’s exciting.
The only comfort I have is, Andrew is in this together. Although sometimes he can’t feel what I feel and he certainly can’t understand why I’m feeling this way, at least he has let me know I’m not alone.
Life will not be the same anymore……
I hope the love I have for her will be able to help me go through all this.
How are you doing?
I hope you both are doing great.
I hope you have found each other and keep each other company.
Mommy miss you.
I still feel sad whenever I think of the miscarriages. Especially the second time. Sometimes I would think, if I went to see Dr. Suhaimi earlier, would things be different? I know no point of thinking about that now, I just can’t help it.
It’s been 2 years since the first, and the second since last October. This year, October went past without me realising it’s been another year. Luckily, this year October went without drama.
Whatever happened, it happened for a reason.
Today, I think of them a lot……
I have a valid license, driving license that is. However, I don’t drive. “You must be kidding, Ashley! What for you got a driving license then?” You know, just in case the need arises. :P Got it 8 years ago.
I don’t have my own car, Andrew does. He has been the one chauffeuring me around. So, yes, we spend a lot of time together other than at home. Another good thing is, we work in the same area. That is the reason why we don’t need a second car. We both know how burden it is to have 2 cars.
A lot of people are saying that I am lucky that I do not have to drive, and I have a 24-hour chauffeur to drive me around wherever I want.
Well, I never complain. I never find it troublesome to not have my own car. Even when Andrew can’t drive me, I find my ways. Taxi, LRT, bus…… There are times that I find it ridiculous for him to drive me all the way to somewhere and he has to go home on his own, I’ll tell him to just drop me at the nearest LRT station. Sometimes, he will insist to send me to my destination. I don’t argue, I just let him do what makes him happy.
I’ve tried to drive on my own, but he doesn’t trust my skill. :P He’d rather to chauffeur me than see his car got scratched and bumped. Hahaha. I’m not a bad driver, I just need time to get used to his car. The less I practice, the less likely I can drive! And guess what, I learned all my driving skills from him. So, who to blame?
About the point that I am lucky, is very subjective you see.
He’s willing to drive me around, he never complains. The only time he complained was to urge me to get my driving license, “just in case” he said.
He’s worried about my safety too. There used to be times I called him for help because I couldn’t get a taxi from a secluded place.
That is just his way of taking care of his wife.
By the way, my mom doesn’t drive too, and she doesn’t even have a driving license. My father has been the one who drives her around ever since they married. I never heard my father complained, except that he hates to wait. :) Andrew’s mom doesn’t drive too, and she too doesn’t have a driving license. Hahaha. But she does have a motorbike license, she rides motorbike to work, other time father-in-law will be the one who drives her around.
So, it is not that I am lucky that I have a “driver”. He is just, being a husband.
P.S.: When I need to go out and Andrew can’t send me, I’d take public transport. Very often, I would work around his availability. I don’t depend on him, I merely believe that he would want me to ask him first before I work out other options. Also, we always do things together, even buying groceries. :)