A Singapore father's diary: We are PREGNANT!
I guess it was somewhere between taking it all in and watching Michele speak excitedly into the phone, I realized we had to decide: Do we or don't we tell everyone we know about the pregnancy?
There’s a stage in a man’s life where he steps up the pedestal, plunges his hand into a Balrog’s body and rips out its still beating heart. As he stands there triumphantly with Balrog heart held aloft his head, he wishes for the world to see his heroic deed and demands the accolades he so deserves.
His transition from boy to man is now complete.
If that, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t an apt description of my feelings on discovering I’m about to become a father, I have three eyes and a diaper-wearing married man who still lives with his mother.
It was a chilly winter morning July 22. Michele and I were arguing in the bathroom over the silliest thing – who should take the garbage out. The council empties the garbage wheelie bins once a week and I absolutely loathed doing it. I was arguing about Michele not pulling enough weight in the daily chores while she reckoned I could do more if I spent less time on my video games.
Yes, all these while she half squatted over her second pregnancy test kit. Apparently the first kit didn’t read right as she failed to follow the instructions to the letter. We have been trying for awhile so another negative meant another month of rigorous activities. However, Michele had a strange feeling she’s pregnant (it’s a woman’s thing I was told), so she broke off the blister pack and peed on the second kit.
Back and forth we traded angry remarks at each other, refusing to listen to the other.
It must have been about two minutes later, as Michele casually glanced at the kit after shaking her head at my stubbornness. I remember standing at the door with a well-crafted angry Quote of the Day at the tip of my tongue. I was about to use it when Michele cupped her right hand to her mouth, muffling her exclamation.
I walked over to the kit and stared at it for several moments. It was mostly joy, but part of me also wanted to disbelief. Could it really be?
For a few minutes, we were locked in embrace as we did the Pregnancy Dance. Whatever that was.
Yes, Michele was still half-naked. Yes, I was definitely still angry she had heaped blame on me not doing enough at home. And yes, I had dreamt of better scenarios to discover Michele’s pregnancy.
But did I care? No. All I felt was pure, unbridled joy and a sudden urge to become a better man. I realized then, more than ever, Michele would need me for the next nine months and I had to stop whinging, roll up my sleeves and just get on to it.
So there I was, standing aloft the pedestal with Balrog heart in one hand, mobile phone in the other. The first call I made was to my father, who lives in Singapore. I didn’t care we were three hours ahead. There’s great news from the Ng family, and it needed to be heard.
And what a classic one liner my father quipped. Picking up the mobile at 7AM Singapore time, he said:
Michele had gotten dressed by this time and was furiously punching speed dials to her mother and sister, who too live in Singapore.
I guess it was somewhere between taking it all in and watching Michele speak excitedly into the mobile phone, I realized we had a decision to make: Do we or do we not tell everyone we know about the pregnancy? Michele and I have talked about it before, just casually over a meal with no serious intention of following it through. Truth is, we haven’t decided what to do.
I’m an honest bloke. I wouldn’t hurt a fly and I couldn’t tell a lie to save myself. That’s an honest opinion of myself. So when Michele and I looked into each other’s eye as we composed ourselves in the bedroom, we both knew what we were thinking.
“Let’s go to the doctor’s now. We need a confirmation on that test kit.” I said.
The question of telling our large circle of friends and family never came up again. We both knew all we had was each other, and it didn’t matter whether people knew of our new addition to the family. It’s the health of the child that mattered. Apart from a few close friends and family, nobody knew about Michele’s joey in her pouch until the universally-accepted 12th week arrived.
Our lives, from then on, were changed forever. It’s strange how the sudden impending arrival of your baby has such a profound effect on your life. No longer is it just ‘You and I’, but ‘The Family’.
I kept my mouth shut for another seven weeks as the little miracle grew in Michele’s belly.
Oh, and I’ve been taking out the garbage ever since.
Part 1: Trying to get pregnant
Part 2: We are pregnant
Part 3: The first ultrasound
Part 4: Baby gender
Part 6: Waiting for the birth
Part 7: Baby is born