7 Reasons Why I Love Traveling with my daughter

travelling with Pristine

I’ve written about it before, having children did not stop me from wanting to travel. The time I told my husband I’m going to visit my parents in the Philippines (we were living in Japan that time) bringing a barely year old baby, he thought I was crazy and was only asking for unnecessary extra challenge in my life since he will not be there to support me (because of yeah, work commitments). My friends thought it was not time to travel yet, the baby won’t remember it anyway so could be a waste but I still believe that traveling with small kids is still worth it.

My daughter Pristine first traveled with me while she was still on the boob. It could sound horrifying to other moms but really, traveling with a baby is easier than traveling with a toddler. The toddler could run and you need to do some chasing or invest in a safety harness leash (gasp) but a baby is safely tucked with you. When a toddler is hungry, you need to find an available cafe/eatery. A (breastfed) baby has access to food 24/7 – mommy mobile cafeteria for the win!

The moment my baby was ready to fly and we were able to do so financially and physically, I brought her along and years after that hoping that by exposing her to these amazing experiences she’d love traveling as much as I do, and by her early teens we could go off and have some real adventures.

I did not have to wait till she is in her teens. Last year before she turned 12, we were off to Prague together, alone for the first time.

Traveling – we know it could make or break relationships. I didn’t know what to expect traveling with her and I lowered my expectations because after all, she is just a child. What if we she/we both hated it and it would be the first and last? Thankfully, long story short, we did ok!

And here are 7 reasons why I loved traveling with her and look forward to more.

1. She is already self-sufficient and I don’t need to wipe her butt.

travelling with Pristine 2

She was a few weeks shy of turning 12 when we first traveled alone together a few months ago. She can pack her own things, take care of herself, and because she’s past the toddler stage, I don’t have to worry about diapers (no more butt wiping, yay!), milk bottles, breastfeeding in public, look for baby friendly restaurants and most importantly, I don’t have to carry her around when she’s tired or sleepy.

2. She is eager to learn and learns fast.

at metro

I encourage her to read subway and metro maps and show her how to buy tickets using foreign currency. She quickly picks it up and immediately wants to try to do it by herself. She even lets me sleep on the train while she looks out if it’s already our stop.

And with that confidence, I feel that travel also makes her a little (street) smarter.

lead the way 2

I don’t want a child who is too much into books (there’s nothing wrong with that) alone and don’t know how to survive in the streets when the situation calls for. I want my child/children to be street smart. To be able to stroll in a new city and not become a victim of pickpocket,etc. To be able to navigate a new city using maps, common sense and most especially, guts.

3. She sees things with fresh eyes.

in Kolin 3

In the eyes of a child, everything is new. They look at things knowing they will find something new and different every time they look. Looking at her reminds me to become more like a child at times, no matter how old I become.

4. She’s always curious.

at theh top of Prague Castle

Pristine had been my little inquisitor way back then.She can ask a million questions. You think she’s through and then she’s got another million. I admit, I sometimes get tired listening to her seemingly endless banter when my brains turn into mental mush at the end of a long day but I know I should be thankful, she opens up with me, is honest and don’t keep things to herself only.

guided tour

She asked a lot of questions when we were in Prague. I readied myself for answers.

5. She’s genuinely happy to go to new places.

jump 2

jump 1

I’ll let the photos do the talking!

6. Someone is available to take photos of me!

grace 2

I don’t have to pull out a selfie stick (I don’t have any yet) or ask strangers to take photos of me when I’m with her. She’s more than eager to take photos of me, including those I am clueless about.

grace 1

7. Someone is there to comfort me.

selfie

Pristine’s empathy and concern for me is unbelievable. She is that person who can laugh when I laugh and cry when I cry. When I made several epic fails even before our plane took off from Dubai, she comforted me in ways I couldn’t imagine a 12 year old would do to an adult. Here’s a thing about Pristine, if you’re sad, she will do anything in her power to lift you up. Your problems are her problems.

Also? She calms me when I freak out during turbulence.

Confession: I love to travel but still have fear of flying.

Travelling in a group can be fun and solo travel can be one of the most eye-opening and rewarding experiences to have. But sometimes it’s also good to travel is just with one other person. But finding a travel buddy who’s compatible with you can be difficult. I’m glad I found mine in my daughter.

p and me 1

All the time we were in Prague, I dragged her everywhere and she did not complain except for one thing – her shoes were not keeping up with all the walking on our last day. Not her fault. Her mother was not wise enough to invest in good shoes (boo).

Note to moms: don’t buy cheap kids boots from Carrefour, LOL.

in Kolin 2

If there’s one thing I am thankful for, for having a baby at 27, it is being able to enjoy having a travel buddy before 40 when my knees are still young and strong enough to explore the world. And my travel buddy doesn’t complain with all the walking we do!

Do you have a favorite travel buddy? Tell me more about him/her in the comments!

Happy birthday, Pristine

December 23 will always be special to me because just before sunrise on that day in 2003, God gave me a wonderful gift – a precious little angel.

For the past twelve years, Pristine has made it easy for me to become a mom/parent. There were no phases of terrible two or three’s or fours (or it was too mild I can’t even remember it’s been hard).

 She was an easy child past that colicky baby stage. When people see how a good girl she was when she was 5, 6 or 7, they would tell me, “Oh wait till she gets to 10, 11 or 12!”

She was still good all those years. And now that she’s 12, they’ll tell me “Oooh, you better be prepared for the teenage years! Next year!”

I wish these kind of cursing would stop.

A few weeks ago, I asked her what she wants on her birthday and Christmas since these days are so close together. She could not point out what, saying “but I have everything I need, mama, so I’m ok with anything you like to get me.”

We all know the most difficult gift is that anything thing.

I asked her which restaurant she would like to go have dinner and she pointed out a very modest, inexpensive place, the restaurant where we go for our weekend lunches. We’ve dined in some fancy restaurants but these never even crossed her mind right now. Either she doesn’t know fancy or did not want us to ‘splurge’. Or should I believe when she said, “but I really like the food in that (modest) restaurant!”

I am proud to have a very sensible, loving and caring daughter, my best friend till forever.

I don’t know what I did in a previous life to deserve a daughter like her in this lifetime. Whatever it was, it must have been incredible for me to end up with an incredible daughter like her.

To Pristine: You give me what no other person on this planet can give – you. I feel so lucky to have you as a daughter (may you never change, ok, you can change but only for the better!). Happy 12th birthday and I wish you many, many birthdays to come!

Tomorrow, one digit temps!

Prague

And just like that, I’m leaving sunny Dubai for a trip to winter wonderland tomorrow morning! Remember when I listed 5 probable destinations (from among the many destinations Fly Dubai flies to) to pick some couple of weeks ago? I’ve decided – PRAGUE.

Why Prague?

I’m going with my 12 year old daughter on this trip and since we moved to Dubai 9 years ago, she has forgotten what real winter feels like. I asked her to choose between warm and cold (Prague and Zanzibar were close contenders) and she chose Prague after looking at Google images of each destination. Also, we’re looking forward to see the Christmas market at the Old Town square. Unfortunately though, due to the terror events that happened in Paris, Prague’s annual main event – the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Old Town square is being cancelled this year.

Still there are more reasons to go. I am sure there will still be Christmas lights around to make us feel the Christmas spirit. One of the big reasons is that this is a great chance to bond with my pre-teen daughter.

I won’t lie, I don’t really look forward to the cold and wearing thick jackets but I look forward to time alone spent with my eldest. Since Benjamin was born, I know I’ve been pretty much partial to the smaller one, giving him more time and Pristine has been putting up a brave front and being really understanding and helpful. Deep inside, I know she longs for the time when it was just the two of us. So we’re making this trip together, an all girl trip, for the first time.

Well, I won’t make this long, I’m still floating from the idea of going away again but at the same time, a little sad I’m leaving Benjamin behind. I’ll be updating frequently from my social media channels, you can take a peek of what we’re up to via my Twitter, Instagram and my blog’s Facebook page.

Top Photo Credit

Pristine graduates from Primary School

Pristine grad pic

Just like that another school year ends for us. And our oldest child graduated from primary school.

I have so many friends the same age as I do who has either just given birth, still breastfeeding babies or has toddlers. I, however has a child who just graduated from primary school and about to enter Middle School. Cue feelings of being ancient. I will be 39 this year so it’s not like I married really early but still when Pristine’s school sent me information about the coming graduation ceremony, it got me thinking: how did we get here?

Related read: Primary school in Dubai (what’s it like)

She was only 3 when we moved to Dubai from Japan. I still remember when she could only converse in Nihongo and it was so funny because as a very bubbly toddler straight out from Japan’s daycare center, she thought Nihongo was the universal language and everyone could speak it. Her teacher would tell me, “Pristine seems to have so many interesting things to say (judging from her flailing arms and hands while she talks) but I can’t understand the language she’s using!”

Pristine in 2007

The above photo was Pristine and me in 2007 during her first few days at the new school in Dubai. After a few days and weeks, she began to pick up English (and Arabic and French) and as they say, the rest is history.

best in english

Here is Pristine holding her award, Excellence in English during this year’s awards ceremony. Since the school started giving out awards, we have been called every year to attend and be surprised since they don’t tell us what the award is. We’re proud of her achievements in school.

As much as I am excited about my oldest going to middle school soon, I am a little bit anxious. (Yep, because anxiety is truly my middle name) Pristine is entering into a new phase in her life. Well, not just her but all of us. Probably a new school (we are in the process of applying to other schools), new friends, more challenging lessons in school.

Teenage years.

Puberty. Crushes.

Boys.

I have a lot to say to my daughter on her graduation from primary school. But I was too lost for words (more like I found myself swimming in nostalgia of the years that’s gone by) and was only able to manage a few: I reminded her how proud we are of her, that there’s a bright future ahead with unlimited possibilities. As long as we live, she will always be safe, will always be protected, and will always be loved.

Now, we have at least of 8 weeks until the new school year starts. Pristine loves school so much that her dislike of summer vacation landed us on the national paper. We’re spending four week outside the UAE soon though so at least it’s half the misery.

Kids, grades and homework

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I got an email from Pristine’s teacher a few days ago asking for a preferred date to meet. No, she is not in trouble or something. The school reports have been sent home so the school is setting up dates and times for parents to meet the class teachers so they can voice out their respective concerns. I looked at the dates and times – all are on weekdays and of course, on hours where my butt needs to be: at my chair at work.

I’ve attended the previous parent’s meeting by asking permission to go home earlier than my 6pm time off. I got the permission but not after hearing some words I didn’t want to hear. Not really harsh but also not too considerate. What can a working mom do?

This was the general comment of the class teacher of my daughter:

“Pristine is a pleasure to teach. She has a kind, caring and bubbly personality. She enjoys riddles, jokes and puzzles as well as reading and playing with her friends. She has a very good relationship with her peers and adults in school which is based on respect. Her mature approach to her learning and the high expectations she sets herself means she takes ownership over her own education and making very good progress.”

Those words. Suddenly, the steep school fees were worth it.

Additional comment from the teacher in his email to me this morning when I said I couldn’t meet him for the parent’s meeting:

“No worries at all. Pristine is progressing well. She is a talented mathematician and is beginning to show some flair in her fictional writing which I am quite happy with. She continually contributes to lessons and shows pride in the work completed in class.”

Her highest mark is Mathematics which I could not, for the life of me, get any credit for. Math has always been my weakness and until now, I am not friends with numbers. From all her teacher’s comments, I can only vouch that the “bubbly” part is from my DNA. The others, from her dad.

Pristine and dad

~ don’t look at him too hard, he is not used to being featured on this blog! ~

That said, our young student is not perfect. No one is but there is a flaw that puzzles me and I still don’t know how to approach this: it seems that sometimes, her home work is incomplete.

“…she will need to fully complete her homework for submission on Tuesdays as there are times when some parts are omitted.”

So how does that work? She is excellent in doing everything required during class, but slacking in homework? Don’t I check? Great question and I will not lie.

I don’t check everyday.

When I get home from work, I give the other kid a cuddle, attention, bath and have dinner. I ask Pristine if everything is fine and if she says ok, I leave it at that. I have had too much faith. But now seeing her report card and her teacher’s comment about her homework, I told her this needs to be corrected. And I hope she does because yep, I can’t check every night. I could but sometimes I am a lazy mom. On some nights, I just want to recharge so I can tackle another day. Or else, I feel I’d break.

(Where is the other parent in this equation, you ask. Good question again. His work time doesn’t allow him to be always there before our bed time, and we all have accepted that. The Math DNA is enough contribution.)

But part of me says, “Don’t be too hard since she is doing well at school”…but homework is important too, right? I never miss completing my homework when I was still a student and my parents never had to nag about it. My husband, on the other hand, admitted he slacked with the homework part when he was young (But he excelled in every subject and was a constant honor student.) so Pristine probably got this from him.

Can you see the pattern? We are playing the “from which DNA” game.

* Apart from homework which they are given grades for too, her grades for all other subjects are excellent.

Anyway, are you a parent? What will you tell your child without discrediting about incomplete homework if he/she is doing very well in school (in terms of grades)?

Pristine in 2007

Benjamin’s going to school soon!

Pristine in 2007

It’s inevitable. We just submitted school registration papers for Benjamin. I still can’t believe he’ll be going to school already. Wasn’t it just yesterday when he was still a baby who clings to me like a newborn sheep?

I found an old pic of Pristine, my older daughter when she was the same age as Benjamin now, 3 years and a couple of months. That top pic was taken at her first school in Dubai. We moved here in January 2007 from Japan and we put her to school around end of February/early March primarily because there was no one to take care of her at home (my husband needs to find work that time too as we moved to Dubai because of my work and he had to be a stay at home dad for a while). But mostly, because she was bored staying at home.

She had been attending day care in Japan since she was 16 months old so she’s used to the structure and routine of group activities with other kids. Pristine did not speak any English when we moved here. I used to read her English books while we were living in Japan so I think somehow she understands. Now, if I think about it, it was just pure faith on my part. She would converse with me solely in Japanese language. Even if I speak in English she would respond, although in non-English, so that made me think she understood me.

Anyway, that didn’t stop her from immersing in the new culture and the new language in another world she was suddenly whisked to. I am amazed at how children can easily adapt (and I am not sure how her teachers managed the constant blabber in a foreign language – Pristine talked like Japanese was the universal language!). After a few weeks, she started talking in English and after a month, the frequency of the Japanese words and sentences became less and less.

She was so confident. And mature.

Now, this baby boy of mine. He is my last child so that entitles me to call him ‘baby’ for as long as I want. He’s going to school coming September. I know that’s still months and months away but I can’t help but worry – how will he cope up? He is still a baby in my eyes, unlike his older sister when she was his age.

Benjamin

We are putting him in an international school where English is the main language. Benjamin doesn’t have a problem with the language as English is the main language he uses at home. So that’s the least of my worries.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of children who scream and cry, throwing a fit when parents try and drop their children off at daycare. Pristine was like that at 16 months, for the first few days. At the other end of the spectrum are the kids who walk into the daycare without even a backwards glance – this I think will be Benjamin. He is excited with the outside world and ready to meet and play with children his age.

That said, Benjamin is very independent and would play by himself at home for hours on stretch but after a while, he would seek someone for cuddle time. Pristine wasn’t like this. Is this the difference between boys and girls?

Benjamin trains

Anyhow, I am not worried of the crying or clinging. What I am worried about is…the toilet time actually. Pristine was early into daycare and toilet trained there, mostly. She was off diapers before she was two (would only wear it at night just in case). Benjamin on the other hand, at 3 now is still wearing diapers. All day. We tried to talk him into sitting in the loo but he thinks it’s a dungeon that would swallow him up whole. He sits for a while but then wants to go down without doing his business.

benjamin id photo

The school has the “no diaper” policy – they will not accept children who are still wearing diapers in KG 1 class. We still registered him because he might not have a place later (it gets filled out very fast). Good luck to us, we have about 8 months to completely toilet train this little guy. Other than this issue, look at him, he looks so ready for the grownup kids world already! No matter how many time I psyche myself that he is still a baby, my baby boy is really growing up. Now, I might be the one to suffer from separation anxiety!

My daughter might want to become a nun

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It’s been a while since I talked about my daughter here. Her name is Pristine and she’ll be turning 11 before the year ends. Where did all the time go? Yes, I ask that question once in a while. She was only three years old when we moved to Dubai almost 8 years ago and now, she’s almost as tall as I am and on her way to becoming a teenager.

That said, I think she is undergoing some internal transformation. She still snuggles up to me and her dad randomly, in the middle of the night, “I had a nightmare, can I sleep here?” nights still continue once in a while but lately, I am surprised by her bursts of “comments” around a specific “topic”.

I was changing my shirt after doing my workout in the room where my husband was in bed, reading a book. Pristine was also there. I don’t know about you but I don’t care about changing my clothes in the presence of the man in the house.

(Is that weird?)

Pristine: “Mama! Stop changing your clothes in front of papa! He’s a boy, you know?”

My husband and I looked at each other and almost laughed out so loud. Pristine did not understand why. It may take a few more years for her to understand why it is so funny!  

Then also while I was cleaning up my closet, Pristine picked up a couple of lacy underwear of mine (which I rarely use because I am more comfy with cotton grandma panties, thankyouverymuch). While the lacy undies hung from her little fingers and she looks at it like it’s an item straight out of Area 51,

Pristine: “What are THESE? Why did you buy THESE?”

Me: “Oh, those. They’re beautiful, don’t you think?”

Pristine

Pristine: “No. They look like they can’t cover all of your…bits and butt. They’re pointless underwears!”

…and a follow up question.

Pristine: “So, what is the real reason you bought these?”

*silent panic attack*

Me: “Umm, they really dry fast, you know? (compared to my grandma panties)”

She relaxed her face and said, “Oh, right then, they’re handy sometimes but only wear them when it’s raining and the cotton undies don’t dry.”

Where do you think she got these ideas of being so conservative? Like being so conscious of the opposite sex (she says, eww and looks away when my husband and I kiss – like kiss goodbye at the front door as he leaves for work). Is she an old soul (gosh, even the hair style she did a few days ago is straight from 1970’s Good Housekeeping magazine) or just starting to become a teenager?

* Just a little background, she is fascinated with the Victorian era and reads books about that time in history. *

kids and ramadan

A little update on the kids

P and B

Small update on the kids. Ramadan, which started more than two weeks ago, has dramatically changed the way Benjamin rolls with regards to his nap time. He used to sleep at around 12 noon and wake up at 2:30 pm before he and his care taker go down to meet Pristine from the school bus.

Now that big sister is home for the school holidays, the tot just refuses to sleep. Because, duh, who wants to sleep when you have all the fun?

So by the time they finish playing and watching Harry Potter again and again (on some days it’s Alice in Wonderland – he has memorized all the characters!), Benjamin passes out in the sofa at around 5 pm and sleeps for 2 hours. When it’s our usual bed time at 9 pm, he’s so perky like he has drank a bottle of Red Bull!

The result? I’ve been sleeping late than I like lately. Around midnight and if you now how dysfunctional I am beyond 10 pm, this is big deal for me. I’ve been walking around like a zoombie in the living room in the morning in an attempt to do my daily workouts. I have skipped some but thankfully because our work time during Ramadan is only until 2 pm, I can be home earlier and do it. I hate skipping to mark and ‘x’ on my workout schedule because I am OC like that.

So, too many late nights has taken its toll on me and my daughter saw it. She told me, “mama, you can go ahead and sleep and I’ll take care of Benjamin until he runs out of batteries!”

And I did! And she did! At 1 am last night, she went into the bedroom with her little brother sleeping in her arms. I feel so, so blessed! (it’s just the three of us now because the husband is away on a biz trip)

Speaking of Pristine, her stitches, the one that resulted from a freak accident at school, has been removed and now she has this scar near her right eye. She used to be so conscious about it but then was told by my friend Sheila (who’s also close to Pristine) that she is the girl who lived! Pristine loves (is obsessed with everything) Harry Potter so that actually helped her cope up with her insecurities. Thanks, Sheila!

That said, today is my last day at work before we leave for vacation to the Maldives. I have not finished packing and have a lot of worries in my mind. I do not like myself like this. I want to be a warrior not a worrier! 

The dangers of kids wearing eyeglasses

 image

Our ten year old got her first prescription glasses last Saturday. She was beaming with joy saying, “finally, I can see everything clearly now!” Her vision is not perfect anymore, as I would have hoped. My husband is practically blind without his glasses. I think Pristine got the bad vision DNA.

She had her glasses on Saturday night after a visit to the eye doctor.

Less than 48 hours after she got the glasses, she almost went blind because of a freak accident.

MONDAY 23 June 2014
She fell down in school (details I am not really sure), face first and the one of the glasses broke. She had a wound on her face, just above her eyes, below her eyebrows, near the nose. The nurse called me and said there was some bleeding otherwise my daughter was ok. She “suggested” you might want to check with a doctor or surgeon later. My husband picked up Pristine and they came to my office. She was fine with a bandage near her forehead.

She didn’t want me to touch that part or open the bandage to see the wound. She slept fine Monday night.

TUESDAY 24 June 2014
Next morning, we didn’t send her to school because anyway classes are over, they just need to officially end it this week. They just play and do French day, etc until Thursday. I got a call from the nurse: “Did you take Pristine to the surgeon?” There was a sense of urgency and fright in her voice, unlike the day of the accident when she was in a relaxed tone as she told me my daughter is ok. I said no because she is ok.

“You MUST take her to the doctor, she needs Tetanus shot!”

I was scared and immediately picked Pristine up and we went to the clinic near my office. When the general practitioner doctor opened the bandage, he was like, “WHOA!” and I almost fainted. The doctor told me to go to Rashid Hospital emergency unit.

At Rashid Hospital, the doctor was furious why she wasn’t rushed to emergency on Monday, when it happened – the wound was that bad! It wasn’t “just a scratch” or a “simple cut” or “because of friction against surface” as what the school doctor and nurse told me and my husband (who picked Pristine from school on the day of the accident), it was a deep scrape. Some flesh was scraped, not just skin. It was a horrible sight.

The emergency doctor called the in-charge of plastic surgery because he thought it needed a more specialist opinion since the scar is in the face. Luckily, the plastic surgeon said since Pristine is still young, her skin is still flexible, stitching should be ok. She got SIX stitches! That’s not a minor wound in any parent or doctor’s dictionary!

kids and eyeglasses danger

My husband is furious with the school nurse and doctor.

We know we are also at fault why we didn’t check our child’s wound (I swear to God, she didn’t want us to touch it or open the bandage). She was ok so we left it like that. And we left it like that confident of what the school’s medical professional’s story that “it’s not that bad” and “nothing to worry”. They did tell us to “go to a surgeon – just in case” BUT there was no urgency nor impact with the way they said it, like it was only an option. I wish they could have implied it more , fiercely that she needs to be taken to the doctor immediately because they were the one who saw it first, saw the severity of it.

They were there immediately after it happened. I don’t want to put the entire blame on them but I really think they didn’t handle the situation well. I wrote to the school principal requesting her to have a word with the nurse/doctor to never hesitate to rush children to the emergency if they see and feel the need for it. Or tell the parents the real situation, never mind we panic. It is so much better to think of the worse rather than relax and wait for the worse. I still thank the nurse though for following up with me yesterday but I wish she could have urged me more to take Pristine to the doctor last Monday.

I felt so sorry for Pristine. She was screaming and crying at the surgery room. She almost crushed my hands squeezing it so hard like she’s holding on to dear life. I saw needles, bloody gauzes and heard cold screams from my child. It still sends shivers down my spine to recall that moment when I had to be strong for her and I am so weak with these kind of things.

Pristine is ok now, resting at home. Glad that school is over but after all this, I think of how the scar would affect her. It will be a prominent one, right near her eyes – right where people see you first. While I am still thankful that it wasn’t worse (like the piece of broken glass could have gone inside her eyes God forbid!!) but still, my beautiful daughter’s face will never be the same.

That third baby

Baby Ben

Pristine and Benjamin greeted me at the door as if in a contest who gets to hug me first. We wrestle and fall down on the sofa and I said, “Awww, my two babies!”

My daughter looked up at me and said, “you could’ve had three, you know?”

Then I remembered.

Sometimes I think if I’m a bad mother for not grieving about that third could be baby. The one I did not see or hear cry. The one I did not hold.

We were trying for years for baby number two and we lost it through forced abortion because of ectopic pregnancy in June 2010. It was FOUR years ago, around this time. It was a surprise pregnancy, just when we were “giving up”. You know that cliche they say about couples who gave up and suddenly get pregnant? Yeah, that was us. I was already happy with one, only because I wasn’t conceiving and this was something I could not control.

It was easier to give up rather than crying over false hopes month after month after month.

I vaguely remember the day Methotrexate worked its way on my body, killing the growing cell inside me. I still cringe at the thought of killing a faultless living thing just because it was not in its right place. Someday I hope there would be a solution to ectopic pregnancies than termination.

I was in so much pain, nausea and vomiting to even grieve about the incoming loss – the fact that there was no baby to hold, smell or touch. Pristine grieved more than I did and even named the baby “Peter” (I don’t have any idea why or why she thought it was a boy). I remembered how she cried and I felt so helpless and weak to even hug her. It was like I was on my death bed.

I went back to work after two weeks, with people telling me sorry about what happened. I just shrugged. I was numb. I didn’t think I’d be numb like that, leaving it to “everything happens for a reason” but looking back, that could be my defensive mechanism so I won’t succumb to crying and breaking down into a million tiny pieces.

I would have loved to hold that surprise baby. What would he/she look like?

I wasn’t allowed to get pregnant in the next six months because of the strong drug that could cause complications. It wasn’t a big deal, I was also scared it would happen again and really, I had given up.

P and B

But Pristine still wanted a sibling and I felt it was an “obligation” to give her one. And I didn’t have much time, my biological clock was ticking doubly fast – I went to a fertility doctor and got myself checked and “worked on”. A lot of tests, needle work and one round of fertility drugs later, I conceived in February 2011. Benjamin was born that same year in October.

I totally forgot about our “what could have been” baby we lost in June 2010. Benjamin made me forget because he has given me so much joy and I felt a renewed zest of life as a mom the second time around.

(You should really see this old post with a video showing how Pristine reacted to the baby news)

I have moved on from that traumatic summer in 2010. I am too surprised why Pristine hasn’t forgotten it.  She was only 7 years old that time!

* Suggestions like, “Go, have another baby!” not acceptable at this time. Or ever.