The birthing of a Singaporean father: The waiting game

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I hate waiting and everything associated with waiting. Tardiness, a delayed train at the station, pizza delivery boy without an offer of apology despite their "30 minutes or it's on us" deals. Oh, and waiting.

couples-waiting-for-delivery

First hand advice from a father on what happens after pregnancy

Note from the Editor: In line with all things romantic and poetical, we have decided to time this episode exactly one year (yes, down to the very hour) after the lovely couple tied the knot of holy wedded bliss (that means it’s their anniversary, for the record.)

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At the time of writing it’s eight days to an explosion of blood, guts, faecal matter and everything a prop master could conjure with a tube of KY jelly, corn syrup and edible colouring. Of course, all of it is dependent on Baby’s mood and we have no actual control on its expected day of delivery.

Hide-and-seek might be Baby’s favourite all-day past time at the moment, but somebody must have forgotten to tell Baby while it’s busy punching and kicking into Michele’s ribs, stomach and belly button, the tension and nervous energy at home visibly rises.

I hate waiting and everything associated with waiting. Tardiness, a delayed train at the station, pizza delivery boy without an offer of apology despite their “30 minutes or it’s on us” deals. Oh, and waiting.

My wonderful mother-in-law, Caroline, arrived in Melbourne six weeks ago and has been most kind as she has taken over all day-to-day activities at home. These include cooking (three meals a day without fail), cleaning (twice a week without fail) and keeping Michele occupied with her strange over-50 antics (without fail).

Caroline’s here on a one year visa and it’s greatly comforting that she expects nothing more from me as I have graciously accepted her as my mother as well. I reckon Caroline’s mostly here for Michele and our beautiful Baby but I would never fault her for that. Between our families it’s the first grandchild so both families are pretty darn excited. My mother arrives next week and she’d be here for two months. Ooh how the fireworks will fly when our mothers meet and collide! Thankfully they get along rather well and do meet up quite regularly in Singapore for afternoon tea.

Speaking of colliding, I do wish there were more avenues for friction in the family because at the moment it’s just too quiet at home. Nothing is happening and everyone’s treading on broken glass; I dropped a cup on the floor while doing the dishes yesterday and everyone reacted like Michele was giving birth!

Jokes aside, we know the calm before storm is what most parents call ‘the perfect moment to enjoy some quiet bliss’ because as soon as Baby arrives, sleep as we know it is history.

So what has the Ng family been up to these few weeks while the pendulum swings? From the looks of it, quite a lot!

Pregnancy Shots
While we do have many pictures of Michele’s pregnancy, I was intent on capturing her beautiful belly in the best possible way. I thought the best way to capture that were silhouettes of Michele against a backdrop of a setting sun, so on a cold Autumn day not two weeks ago we drove up to Dendy Beach in Brighton. Here are three standout pictures I thought did Michele’s beautiful form good justice.

Getting out
We’ve also been going out for as many walks as we can. They say walking aids in Baby’s slow relocation and aligning; ideally Baby should be born in the anterior position but right now, it’s kind of half and half.

We’ve also included some outdoor ‘further from home type’ walks to get some fresh autumn air. There really is no point staying at home all day and letting the anxious energy fester. Anxiety tends to cloud one’s judgment and ability to sleep and the last thing I would want to do is nod off while driving Michele to the hospital!

Cleaning

Here’s a tip for all new fathers: make sure the house is clean before rushing off to the hospital. And take a picture too, because your house will never look the same again!

I know I mentioned how great Caroline has been with the domestic scene. Truth is, I help her out as much as I can. Think about it – before Caroline, there were just Michele and I in the house. The house has been very well maintained since we bought it in 2008 and though we do get lazy at times the house has never been in a state of ‘disrepair’.

Michele’s extra baggage just means she has no reason to partake in general cleaning, so while she props her feet up in the lounge Caroline and I slave away like the minions we are. I get along very well with my mother-in-law so cleaning days go by quickly. I don’t know how many men do household chores with their mothers-in-law, but I will vouch that it’s a very pleasant experience!

The next time I write for TAP much will have changed. Baby will have been born and I will be able to identify it with some semblance of a gender. More importantly I hope Michele will be recovering well and Baby is healthy. I cannot promise, though, that the next article won’t be gibberish as I’ll probably be spending more time muttering unintelligible baby sounds.

But what I can promise is that Baby will become a mini celebrity, become an internet celebrity overnight and we can retire before the age of 35.

Now wouldn’t that be a great story?!

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Editor’s Note: This is part 7 of the pregnancy diary series.

Episode 1: Adventures in Conception
Episode 2: Adventures in Conception (Part Deux)
Episode 3: It’s Alive!
Episode 4: A Mother’s Tears

Episode 5: Product Shopping, Daddy-Style

Episode 6: Packing the Baby Bag
Episode 8: And Then There Were Three

For Dads only For Dad Only