One More Baby

Posted by ~Summer~ on January 19, 2021
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Many people thought I was done with babies after the birth of my #3, a boy that came after two girls. That was why when I announced that I was preggie at 20 weeks a couple of months ago, our close friends and even family members were presumably shocked.

Amidst all the congratulations and well wishes, there were also the "What? You are pregnant again?", "Really or not?", "Oh, the age gap between your kids is so big!", "You make me jealous!", "Are you sure you can do this?" and even my Dad's first reaction was a facepalm followed by a "Are you serious?! I thought you had enough on your plate already!".

I guess even I myself was not ready for the news yet when I first saw the positive sign on the test kit. After all, I had settled down into a comfortable routine with the elder three, we have built up a cosy home that fits our family of five nicely, I had just slimmed down to almost my pre-motherhood weight of 49kg and we had donated or gave away most of the baby stuff when we shifted to our new house.

It just seemed like life was going well and in spite of the mess, chaos, sibling rivalry and woes of solo parenting that happens from time to time, I still felt that things generally had a smooth rhythm and that I had gotten used to my role as a mum of three. 

That said, we never did say we would stop at three too. I didn't refer to the boy as my lastborn but thirdborn instead. The hubby had always been open to the idea of having more kids but I suppose I was the one who was hesitating because hello, I'm the one who will be their primary caretaker while you work and sail at sea. Deep down, I knew I love kids but I also doubted my ability to take care of one more, especially since I don't wish to rely on help of any kind. 

So it took a couple more years and during that time, I focused on spending the first few growing up years with the boy. In more ways than one, perhaps as a result of having two elder sisters and being the only boy, he still seemed so much like a baby to me even when he turned four. He was clingy and stuck to me 24 hours a day, he got scared easily, he tended to whine and kick up a fuss over trivial matters and he was doted upon by everyone in the family. Sometimes, I wished he would behave a little more maturely yet on most days, I tell myself he will only be this young once and all I can do is cherish and treasure while doing my best to guide him as a mum.

And then it happened.

I broke the news to them that we were gonna have another baby, not knowing how well each of them would receive it. The hubby was, of course, over the moon and he said "Congratulations to us!" while I was worrying about finance issues and how we were gonna handle a bigger troop of lively kids. He's the calm and logical one who thinks everything will work out one way or another and it was his demeanour that chased away my worries and made me look forward with a positive mind. 

As for the kids, they were initially surprised but it didn't take long for the news to sink in, especially for the girls. They immediately sprang to action and took out some papers to make into a book where they listed their preferred English and Chinese names for the baby brother. They even said stated that the book content was 'secret and confidential' because I was only 5 weeks pregnant at that time and I had told them to wait till the first trimester was over before we broke the news to the rest of the family or their best friends.

The girls couldn't stop talking about it every day and it was plain to see how excited both of them were to become big sisters once more. They would say things like "I can't remember when Didi was a baby", "I'm going to be the best babysitter", "I will help you out, Mama", "I'm feeling so excited!" which dispelled all my concerns about them not being receptive to the new addition. Honestly, there was no need for that and I was just overthinking things and getting worried unnecessarily. Being 11 and 8, these two were gonna be the best helpers, awesome daughters and wonderful big sisters that I could ever ask for. If anything, it's baby #4's blessing to have them because he is so, so loved from the day we knew he was joining our humble family. Yes, it's gonna be a boy this time round, check out our gender reveal post for more fun happenings!

As for the little brother, it took him a longer time to realise that he was going to be promoted to a BIG brother and I think it's never easy knowing that you won't be the youngest in the family, especially since he had been so for five long years. Still, his joy was apparent because he immediately shared the news with his teachers and friends in school and told them "I'm going to have a Didi soon!" Haha.

Yup, I'm actually very thrilled for him to have another brother to balance out the dynamics in the family and I think he's gonna love it, no matter if he knows it at this point or not. It's our good fortune to have a fair mix of boys and girls and it makes me happy knowing that they will each have at least one sister and one brother for the rest of the lives to depend on. Sibling love, that's one of the main reasons why I want to have more than one kid.

Of course, all these choices boil down to personal reasons, and at times circumstances, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with having just one kid, ten kids or no kids after marriage. We ought to respect everyone's preference and decision when it comes to that, and learn to be sensitive and tactful when talking about kids and giving birth. Nonetheless, should you ever decide to have another baby in your life and am blessed to have one like me, here are some six tips on how to be a happy, pregnant mum who looks forward to welcoming another new life.

1) Be happy and stay positive during your pregnancy

I can't emphasise enough on the importance of this and it's what I always believe in - a happy mum makes a happy baby. No matter how uncertain you are of the future, once you find out that a life is growing inside you, embrace it, enjoy the pregnancy, stay positive and be confident that things will be fine somehow. When there's a will, there's a way and even if it means cutting down on travel and staycations, getting rid of the family car, dining out less often or reducing enrichment classes, everything will work out one way or another eventually.

Angel, 2 days old, 2009, Karlskrona, Sweden

2) Let go of the mummy guilt 

There will also be times when you fumble or make mistakes despite not being a first-time mum. But deep down, tell yourself that it's okay, your baby will still thrive. Stop blaming yourself when you take a cold drink or eat something half-cooked when you are pregnant, when the baby knocks her head, when he falls sick, when you fail to cook a nutritious meal for the family, when you don't have time to teach your elder one homework, when you secretly enjoy going to the toilet because it means peace, when you do the 'wrong' things that people tell you about. You are the mum, you know what's best for yourself and your kids.

3) Involve the elder siblings

No matter if they are 10 or just 2 years old, involve them, engage them and let them play a role in welcoming and helping to take care of the baby. Help them see it as a positive change, as a blessing and as something we ought to hold dearly as the family grows. Assign chores according to their ages and let them take responsibility and play a role in the home - this is what I've always said because it's so important to start from young. 从小做起, remember? It not only helps to reduce the burden for yourself but it also helps to empower the kids and make them understand that they can achieve beyond what they thought was their limit. 

Angel (3yo) and Ariel (7 days old), 2012, Singapore

4) Have no regrets

When you look back on your life, don't regret your choice, be it having two kids or four or six. It's a choice we all make and it's something we need to be proud of ourselves for doing. Don't say things like "We should never have had the last baby" or "I wish we had tried for more" to your partner when everything has been dusted and done, especially in your twilight years. Live with your decision, have a thankful heart and be happy with all that you have, and had, in your life.

5) Cherish while it lasts

Sure, one-on-one time might be tough to achieve now that you have more kids and you might not get much me-time or couple time on your hands too. But experience tells you that kids are only babies once and it's not like the midnight feeds, toddler tantrums or the preschooler's constant need for Mummy will last forever. Having a tween reminds me of that and it's my blessing that I will get to cuddle a newborn all over again because before I know it, these fleeting growing up years will be gone.

6) Believe in yourself

You are a mum, and mums are the real superheroes in the world. Haha. When the going gets tough, don't stop believing in yourself. Holler for help and take a break when you need to, but once you recharge, know that you are an unstoppable force and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Never, ever underestimate yourself and what you can capable of. We mums are the ones who can multi-task, who take on a dozen roles at a go, whose minds are never at rest, who remembers every birthday, every play date and every doctor's appointment (for every kid), who thrives on very little sleep which is interrupted nearly every two hours, who painstakingly went through labour time and again, who had the courage to take on this hardest yet most fulfilling job in the world. Yup, that makes us able to conquer anything in the world. 

Angel (6yo), Ariel (3yo) and Asher (2 days old), 2015, Singapore

For now, I am looking forward and enjoying this pregnancy as much as I can. Despite the stretch marks and heavy big belly, each kick and each flutter feels like a miracle to me and that is something that will not change no matter how many times I go through this incredible journey. I can't wait to share with you more on how it is being a mum of 4, and thank you for sharing my journey throughout the years.


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