19 May 2013, by Evelyn Tan
Since we shared the news of my fourth pregnancy a few weeks ago, we had lots of friends who SMS-ed, called and emailed to congratulate us. Even readers of this blog like Claire, Bernice and Rina were fast to send a note of encouragement (thank u so much ladies)!
Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s the stress of looking after three kids and being pregnant at the same time; whatever it is, I must say this time round my first trimester is really quite different from the previous pregnancies. As before , I would have ‘night sickness ‘ and feel nauseous from 8pm onwards and like before I’d try to get to bed early to ‘escape’ those nauseating impulses, but unlike before , this time round when those impulses hit, something –usually some part of dinner –comes out and the feeling’s just awful! Furthermore, there is this constant lethargic feeling that doesn’t get better no matter how much I have slept!
Having said all that, I’m really thankful that I have ‘ night sickness’ and not ‘ morning sickness ‘ and Darren’s just grateful it didn’t happen from the first pregnancy onwards. We could have jolly well stopped after the first child had this happened earlier… Darren’s been complaining that this time round I must be expecting a girl because I have been behaving like a prima donna, being exceptionally difficult… I tell him it’s MY privilege and perhaps this will be the last time that I’d be able to enjoy such privilege so I’ m going to just ‘live it up’! (I can almost hear him groan!) But really, I know of people who’s had it worse so I do consider myself fortunate…
On the home front, the news was of course greeted with excitement by the children especially the youngest one, Way who wanted to be ‘Kor kor’ for a change! He would use every opportunity to ‘talk’ to baby and refer to himself as ‘big brother’. Kristen naturally hopes this baby will be a girl since she has enough of (boisterous) boy company already; but Jairus replied he wanted a boy when asked if he wished for a baby girl or boy! I asked him why since he already has one and he replied,”Not that kind one!” So you can understand how ‘well’ my boys get along with each other yah?
I had a glimpse of how the dynamics of things will play out when the new baby arrives when my friend left her daughter (2 years old ) under my care for a day once when she had to attend to some family matters . Naturally the ‘kor kor’s and ‘jiejie’ were all over her, carrying her here and there and taking care of her every need (actual or perceived ) . There were squabbles of course but I could just see how the whole dynamics of things changed with an even number of children playing together instead of an odd number.
Somehow with 3 , I have always felt that there’ll always be one who feel ‘left out’, like when Way and Jairus are playing ,Kristen will feel she’ll not want to join them in their game cos it’s probably boy- oriented anyway . Then when it’s Jairus and Kristen playing (and these two play very well together!) Way, will be ‘at the side’, listening intently for a chance to ‘contribute to the play’, waiting for a chance to be invited into their game. Some days he’ll be admitted, others not.
The best part of that day came when I brought them to the library (all by myself, pregnant and late in the afternoon when kids are known to be edgy etc); they were grouped 2 by 2 — Jairus leading Way, Kristen leading Arielle and I actually just had to look at 2 groups of children instead of 3 individuals and survived the whole outing trip ( and accomplished teaching responsibility to the older one and humility to follow your leader to the younger one at the same time!)
They all commented that 3’s a crowd — I have to agree — but I say, there is beauty in 4!
The only downside I can think of having more members to the family is individual time spent with each individual child. But affording the time to give individual attention can be arranged and I believe it can be done in terms of quality time and not necessarily quantity .The effort and tediousness of looking after 4 kids will ultimately be offset against the upside of letting your kids have many siblings —they have many ready friends to forge potentially life-long friendships with. And as a parent, I hope these ‘friendship’ are those that can withstand the tides of times!