Yes they have warned us multiple times. Yes we took antenatal courses and had all the knowledge. Yes we had all the support anyone could wished for (perhaps sans the benefits for locals but that’s for another day) – mother in law for confinement, friends who give their time, resource and moral support.
But nothing could prepare a couple in the face of a crying baby. An OMG-the-sky-is-falling-down crying baby.
Yenn is so sweet, until she cries. In that respect she’s no different from all the babies we see around. 6 days of training and we are now settled into the evergreen checklist of diaper, burp, milk.
Except we still need to remember to bring around _enough_ diapers, burp the right way, and feed, uh, wait there’s not enough milk being produced… Even though every nurse says it’s ok and gave ever so slightly varied tips from the massage to the pump, we were still too nervous to lactate up to medical quantity.
I wouldn’t say it’s an indescribable feeling, it’s just, you’re so tired from this 3 hourly routine you don’t want to describe it. But that’s not what well meaning family members from all corners of earth understand in that very same Whatsapp-group refuge you used to build up confidence of being a parent.
These last two days changed the way we view the sun. The sun, that red hot boiling star is needed as your temporary liver and if you don’t get enough of it you pay a S$1,000 penalty for having your baby do phototherapy in a machine from Uranus for 48 hours. And she’s only been out for three days!
The book says 50% but the Neo Natal Jaundice ward’s nurse said 90%. And she used the word “locals” – so you mean LKY credited Aircond as the greatest invention wrongly? It should have been Medela’s Bilibed – the UV light than gives life to the island state?
Whichever percentage it is, evolution certainly wanted us dead. But we thrived. There’s a kind of morbid yet survival instinct point of view that I noticed between YC and me: we kind of like to just go with the professional advise – keep the child in the hospital, give enough milk, enough light. Because that gives that ever so small a break, a few hours between 10pm and 8am.
But on the other hand, there’s an overwhelming sense of love and responsibility that rejects this from the outset. Spartans take their child to the army at age 7 and you’re taking it from me at day 6!? We shuttled in and out of the hospital 3 times today, and will probably do 4 tomorrow and 2 the day after before we can redeem our precious.
And now at home, it’s already very eery that there’s no crying sound. The sense of emptiness is rather.. indescribable.
Suddenly the lyrics of a piece that I just finished arranging came to mind. In 江惠’s 家后:
The journey continues.