20 February 2011, by Mandy Loh
One of the things I really enjoyed doing (in the earlier days before I started to show) was announcing the good news of my pregnancy to family and friends. It was so fun to see their reactions, especially because it happened so soon after our wedding.
Both sets of parents were shocked and amazed at our “speed and efficiency”, but of course were very delighted with the news. One of the more hilarious reactions was from my cousin who asked, “when was your wedding again?” as she did some mental calculations. Of course, it was all in good fun and everyone we shared the news with was really happy and excited for us.
If we had taken the effort to record all these moments down, it would have been pretty cool. But you know, the one scene I really wish we could have somehow recorded, was our OWN reactions to the news, because by far, that was the most dramatic.
When I first suspected that I might be pregnant, (because I was strangely hungry all the time, and I had already missed my period) we went out to buy a pregnancy test kit. But it actually took a few days before I finally peed on the stick, because we thought it was highly unlikely that we’d be expecting so soon!
So one evening, 14 October 2010 to be exact, I decided, hey, since the kit was just lying there, we might as well use it. Tim hung around outside the bathroom, waiting to see the result, and commenting rather confidently that “it’ll be negative lah”. The instructions said that it would take a minute for the results to show, but the clear, unmistakable “+” sign appeared almost immediately!
We held the stick in disbelief, Tim staring at me with incredulous eyes as I stared back at him. I had always imagined that we would be jumping for joy and hugging each other excitedly when we found out we were going to have a baby. Instead, it was pure shock and silence.
I don’t think we were unhappy or anything, but the news just took us completely by surprise, and I suppose for Tim especially, he really needed time to process the information. He slumped onto the couch, stared blankly into space, and just “stoned” there for the longest time.
We hugged each other in silence, and then slowly discussed the situation. We were both clueless as to what lay ahead. It’s totally different from couples who have made the decision to try for a baby, who would have been emotionally prepared, done all the research and financial planning, etc prior to this point. For us, it was like suddenly being dropped into the middle of the ocean, lost, confused and floundering.
Fortunately, we both love children and already planned to have them. We just didn’t think we would be having one quite so soon. What weighed most heavily on Tim’s mind (the logical thinker-planner type) was our financial health. We vaguely knew that there were government schemes and baby bonuses to assist couples with the cost of having a baby, but we didn’t know the actual costs involved in detail. We had JUST returned from our honeymoon 3 days prior, and had emptied most of our bank accounts for our wedding and honeymoon expenses. On top of that, we had just started life as newly-weds, dealing with new financial commitments like mortgage instalments, utilities and bills. So it was rather scary to find out that now, we have even more expenses to factor in.
Over the next few days, as we researched on websites like Maybe Baby and talked to friends who have had kids, we started to feel less worried and a lot more joyful about being expectant parents. We also realised to our immense relief that it was not that expensive to bring a child into the world. If we could have saved up for our wedding and honeymoon expenses in a year, we could definitely save up sufficiently for a baby in 9 months. We just have to ensure that we set aside a sum of money for the pre-natal and delivery bills (which we can use Medisave for), and the rest of the living expenses for the baby, such as buying diapers and milk powder, can be dealt with gradually along the way.
We now feel incredibly blessed and thankful to have been given this gift of life, and so effortlessly on our part too! You see, my gynae had previously diagnosed that I have polycystic ovaries, which meant that I could have had difficulties conceiving. (Obviously this wasn’t the case during the honeymoon.) In other words, this is really a miracle baby! Right now, we wouldn’t want it any other way, and we’re totally looking forward to welcoming the new member of our family into our lives soon!