2018 was crazy with a capital C. And we are approaching the end of Q1 2019 soon!
Time flies, yet it doesn’t, sometimes. (Case in point – this post has been sitting in my Drafts since October last year.)
Here’s a not-so-quick recap of how my 2018 went – it’s been my hardest year thus far!
The beginning of 2018 saw me go through 14 hours of labour to deliver Isaac. He was born at 37W6D weighing a healthy 3.338kg and measuring 49cm on 20 January! Had post-delivery complications (stress urinary incontinence because bladder overstretched during labour) after his birth though, and was re-admitted into the hospital for 5 more days. Was discharged with a catheter that I had to wear about during confinement. Horrid experience. Honestly feel that I didn’t do a proper confinement because of the multiple trips to and from the hospital because of that darn urine bag… But oh well – things were way out of my control.
Confinement ended, CNY came and went, and we collected our home keys on 28 February! With Kevin needing to work, all the research for our new home fell squarely and solely on my shoulders… And I recall actually latching a newborn in one arm, pumping milk with one hand, and frantically sourcing around for furniture, planning our future living space, getting quotes from vendors, and handling all the logistics (with our earthly belongings in three places, you can imagine the headache) with my phone in my free hand. Our renovation process was documented here. It was one heck of a journey! We packed up, moved out of my in-laws’ place, and into our own home on 25 May.
Three days before that on 22 May, we welcomed another member into our family – Anita, our trusty helper. Yes, we see her as family and we are thankful and grateful that she loves our children and protects them like her own.
After we moved, I literally spent the second half of 2018 unpacking, organising and decluttering our new home. Yes, “I”. My biggest accomplishment to date would be singlehandedly making our house into a home. For 6 months, I was a night owl and would organise, plan and find new systems that worked for me since I run the operations at home 24/7 – Anita is my second-in-command as Kevin is barely around – and I needed to put in routines that were efficient and effective!
I had two low periods of downtime in July and November though (was warded twice for postpartum depression), but I think it was a built-up from the overwhelming pressure that I faced daily… And I did a quick count. 2018 saw my little family admitted to the hospital a whopping 10 times, with me responsible for 50% of the admissions. There were 2 surgeries – my brave (then) 23-month-old Valerie had an operation on her left arm, while Kevin had an operation on his back. Both surgeries were to remove abscesses that had become infected. Also, Isaac had his first episode of febrile seizures at 9 months in October (as compared to Valerie’s first onset at 19 months), and that – to date – was the scariest experience of my life as I thought I lost him forever.
Things started to pick up for me only in December when I started feeling better and less overwhelmed. I thrive with routine and organization (part of my “C” personality), and with everything working like clockwork and everything more or less in its rightful place… Things were good, and I was in a much better place mentally and emotionally. I started going out more, began picking up hobbies like embroidery, cooking and baking, and enjoyed studying the Bible again. I found myself again.
My personal goal for 2019 is to be an intentional parent. And I have found that having this goal has changed my outlook and pushed me to be a better version of myself every single day. Sure, there are still days where I feel like I can’t get out of bed, or days where I just feel lousy about everything, or days where I crawl back into darkness. But there have been a lot more days where the kids enjoy my meal creations, days where we have fun running around the playground and/or park, and days filled with joy and laughter.
Those are the days I live for. And I am thankful, so thankful, for those days.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)