So.... here I am 30 weeks gone and still haven't wrapped my head around the fact that I'm going to have a 4th baby!
Growing up, I told myself I would never have 4 kids. My parents have 4 children you see. I always found a family with 4 kids too big. You need a larger car, you never really get to travel far because hello crazy expensive plane tickets? And don't even get me started about how would you afford an apartment with 5 bedrooms?
I never even considered myself a person who loves young kids. When I was growing in my parents' church, I would often shun away from serving in the children ministry because hmm... let's just say I have enough "children ministry" at home. My two younger brothers are 8 and 9 years younger than me respectively and I was the defacto nanny chasing after them wherever we went.
Who would have thought that I would end up being a stay-home-Mom who totally found my passion in life by having MY own kids?
Maybe giving birth changed me. My first-time experience being a Mom with Samuel was the hardest. I had a difficult labour and unplanned C-section that left me in so much pain. My husband had started a brand-new job halfway across the country and I was left to my own devices for endless hours! I still shudder at the thought of those brand-new lonely motherhood days when every new experience felt like a challenge and uphill battle! Oh how I used to fret about the sleepless nights or whether I had enough breastmilk. I consulted Dr Google wayyy too often and I doubted myself wayy too much.
Fast-forward almost 7 years and I have 3 young boys (aged 2, 5 and soon-to-be 7). I don't have a nanny or maid. But a trusty dishwasher and a cleaner who comes by once a week.
I have ceased to consult parenting books. I sieve through people's well-meant advice a LOT. I no longer absorb other people's opinions like a sponge. When I get unsolicted advice, I just nod my head and go "uh huh". I go with the flow SO.MUCH.MORE. Kids are sick, ok. Are they dying? Can they breathe? Yes? Ok, let's wait and see how they are tomorrow. I no longer run to the doctor at any sign of distress. I'm able to decipher each child's moods / emotions / tantrums / illness so much better.
And most of all. I'm better able to trust my own instincts and God so much more. Baby doesn't sleep through the night? No biggy. I'll just enjoy snuggling with him cos I know that he WILL sleep-through the night at some point in time!
And each time I have a newborn, I'm more aware of the transience of time. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed Liam's first 2 years. He has made it pretty easy for me too, cos he's an awesome sleeper. But I think it's also coupled with the fact that I didn't stress myself up over every single problem. I embraced the "And this too shall pass" mentality. I never knew if I would go for a 4th, so I treasured each of Liam's milestone / newborn stage as my last.
That said, we DID go for a 4th! So... here's our story!
We both spent a lot of time talking and praying about our decision to go for a 4th. We don't take this decision lightly because we know how full our hands are with 3 kids. I struggled a lot, because I know that our chances of having a 4th boy is well.... very high?
To be honest, I LOVE having boys. I love my 3 boys. I love being a boy mom. And as much as I'd love to have my first girl, I would totally welcome our 4th boy into our family too!
The only thing I need to brace myself is for the comments from people. Moms of 4 babies of one gender whether all girls or all boys are the butt of jokes / mindless comments. I always feel like I need to defend my boys and tell people "No, 3 boys are NOT bad. They are NOT always wild. I'm NOT going crazy with the boys". I don't know how often I got the pitiful look from people for having 3 boys. I LOVE my boys!!! Why on earth would someone tell me it's "a pity" to have 3 boys and I should "try for a girl!" Drives me mad.
First trimester -
Oh boy. The fatigue hits you like a rock! I was one exhausted Mama! I became a social hermit and cancelled all my social appointments, reserving my limit reservoir of energy just for tending to my 3 kids and my household. Once, I felt asleep on the floor in the hallway(!!) after bringing the kids back home! That was how knackered I was! I was nauseous for the whole of 14 weeks!
I felt much better physically but my 3 kids and hub fell terribly sick. The hub was sick and lethargic for 4 full weeks! Winter viruses can be brutal!
I went to A&E cos I actually thought I was having a heart attack. It turned out to be a false alarm, thank God! I kept having pressure in my rib cage and I had no idea why. So when my left arm had the worst tingling sensation and I felt my baby finger lose sensation, I really thought it was a heart issue cos that’s what Dr Google said. Google “chest pressure and left arm pain”.
Doc reassured me everything was ok and even hooked me up to a heart machine just to assure me that I was fine! She said it’s most probably due to pregnancy hormones that cause everything to relax including the veins in my arms. When there’s too much fluid in my veins, it might cause a prickling sensation. I googled it and it turned out to be a common pregnancy symptom! Who would have known??!
Hayfever allergies were brutal! My second trimester coincided with the break of spring and while I welcomed the warmer temperatures, I couldn't stop sneezing and my eyes were so swollen and painful from the intense pollen concentration in the air! This being my 4th pregnancy meant that I had to seriously focus on squeezing my pelvic muscles whenever I had to sneeze! Not fun at all!
Fifth Disease scare. Gosh. Gabriel's kindergarten had a case of a kid geting the Fifth Disease, also known as "slapped cheek syndrome". I didn't think much about it until his teacher told my hubby to keep Gabriel away from kindergarten because I'm pregnant. Say what??
I called my gynae and was told that I needed to do a blood test to see if I'm immune to this virus. If I'm not and in the occasion that I contracted this virus, I would have to go for weekly ultrasounds at a specialist to see if baby is getting enough oxygen, because this virus could affect the red blood cell production of a fetus. #faint
I quarantined Gabriel at his grandparents for 5 days while I awaited the blood test results anxiously. It was seriously the most stressful period ever! When the nurse finally called me and told me that somehow by the grace of God, I'm immune to this virus, I totally burst out crying!
Gestational Diabetes .... again! I got tested early this pregnancy at week 20 because of my prior GD experience with Liam. It was quite a bummer, but now that I've been checking my blood sugar for the past 8 weeks and the figures are pretty good, I don't worry about it too much.
God's Blessings in this journey
Truth be told, I really wanted to go back to Singapore in August. But since this baby is due in September, I knew I wouldn't be able to fly in August.
Against my husband's advice, I went ahead to seek permission from Sam's school to ask if he could be excused from school for 2 weeks. We would then combine a 2-week school break together with the 2 weeks special permission break and travel sometime in Spring.
I figured, the most they would say is "no" and at least I know I have tried. Turns out, the school actually agreed to this audacious request of mine! Germany has a very strict no-vacation-during-school-term policy, to the point that policemen would sometimes patrol the airports to see if there are any parents breaking this rule! #facepalm
But guess what? Even after I got this special permission, I was unable to book any air tickets because of the 5th Disease scare and having to do my Gestational Diabetes test! By the time I had my test results and the green light from my doctor to take a flight, it was barely 10 days to the school holiday!
I was so uncertain about going back to Singapore with gestational diabetes because I was worried sick that eating out (which is my main reason for going back when pregnant), would cause my blood sugars to shoot through the roof.
Cheapest plane tickets - On Singapore Airlines no less!
When I checked for plane tickets and realised that Singapore Airlines had ticket prices at only 525€ (usual price hovers around 700€), I knew I had to go to Singapore!!! And hear this... SIA only had 7 tickets left at this price and we bought 5 of those tickets!!! I even had to ask the school to extend the number of days from 2 weeks to 2 weeks + 2 days!
Found the most amazing beach vacation venue!
Again.... we tried to book a beach vacation so we could do the European thing of lazing in the pool and sun, but try as I did, it was so hard finding a reasonably-priced hotel that would be willing to accomodate 3 kids - even if the 3rd kid still sleeps on our bed!
I spent 4 full days scouring the Internet and was just about the throw in the towel when my immediate neighbour came by my house and told me all about her brilliant holiday in Thailand at this amazing resort! And there was exactly where we went!
Managed to keep my sugar levels in check!
Remember my concern about eating out in Singapore? Turns out, everything worked out well! I could indulge in my favourite durians without any sugar spikes!!! I managed to eat everything I wanted and still keep within acceptable sugar ranges most of the time! It was such a relief! It was such a blessing to be able to satisfy my cravings instead of waiting another 1.5 years before I can go back to Singapore!
Yeah, so that's my pregnancy in a nutshell! Sooo much to say in just one update. I knew I had to document my journey because I'm still soooo amazed to see God's footprints in the whole journey! I'm so grateful and thankful for God's grace each step of the way.
And that's exactly how I intend to approach my 4th pregnancy. When people ask me how I will manage with 4 kids without a maid, I'll just say, "With God, all things are possible!"
|My only ultrasound photo of our littlest one!|