Migrating to a Foreign Land

A conversation I had with mom. I told her, I want to move out of Malaysia to Melbourne or Perth.

She was shocked. She refused to accept what I said but when the tension was over, she asked me, for good?

“Yes. For good ma. (for now)”

Another shocker for her. She asked me why.

There were many reasons, but the biggest priority is the kids. I want them to grow in an environment where there are allowed to explore their potentials. In this country, we are limited by the syllabus. If you’re out of the line, teachers will smack you right in them. Making sure you obey the rule as if you’re a cadet in a military school.

Also, I don’t no longer think this country is safe. Back in the 80s and 90s, I remembered wandering off the streets and playgrounds, from one taman to another. I came back when it’s getting dark or I got hungry. I believe our kids and future generation are robbed of this freedom. I dare not leave my kids alone to the park.

Mom asked, what my career would be like.

“Anything would do ma. But I guess it’s about time for me explore other worlds, to improve ourselves, to get out of the comfort zone.”, I replied.

Clearly, she was showing signs of disapproval. She’s not liking what she’s hearing. And the conversation ended.

I told her this, because when the time comes, I am leaving. And I really hope my parents understands my decision. As the famous Malay saying, “Jangan jadi katak di bawah tempurung.”

The Birth of #AmiraEdwin

Aisyah was getting Braxton Hicks every now and then, for a few days already. Equipped with additional knowledge from Gentle Birthing, and first hand knowledge giving birth to Sara, we didn’t panic. We waited for the right time.

Aisyah wanted a squatting position, which not many hospital or clinic offers as the doctors say, “it will make my work harder”. We went to several clinics and hospitals prior to the due date, until we found one in Gombak, Gombak Medical Center. It’s her body, she can choose however way befitting her.

On 27th Jan 2016, Aisyah went by herself to do a medical check up. She was strong enough to drive from Shah Alam to Gombak KL. In the evening, she told me the BH was getting intense. We waited out for a while and until the traffic subsided. We left Shah Alam at 8pm after kissing our first born good night. She was confused, but she seems to get the idea.

We arrived about 40 mins later, I floored the Axia as hard as I can in between the surges. This wasn’t the first time driving to the ‘Medical Center’, so it was easy. We were then sent to our room and started unpacking our stuffs.

Around 9.15pm, we called to check on the opening, it was already 9.5 cm. We were directed to the OT. The room was small to say the lease but it was ok. Aisyah resumed the position she wanted, squatting. For the record, squatting was a traditional method of giving birth, even the Ministry of Health endorsed it (but never really practised it). I guess not many were strong enough to squat for hours.

It didn’t take long to see the ring of fire. I saw the baby’s hair. The nurses and docs were in and out of the room, chatty as always. The surges were 5 minutes apart, Aisyah went rogue, pulling everything in her face, including my hair.

Alhamdulillah, after 1 hour of battle, Amira was born. She fell on the bed, head first and it was only Aisyah and me in the room. I called for the doc and nurses. They were happy, I guess they did have to do anything much to do. The tearing was minor but still requires stitching. I did the call for prayers to Amira. She’s a fit baby, 10 mins out of the womb, she tried to roll.

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Around 10.30pm, we were sent to our room. We did have a little accident, where Aisyah tried to shower and passed out midway. I had to carry her back to the bed. Blood were all over the floor, yeahhh,  it was bloody slippery.

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Once things have settled down, I sat down and flashed back everything that happened that day. I can’t believe it, I’m a father of two. I tried to fell in love with Amira like I did with Sara, but it didn’t happened. It felt more like a responsibility than unconditional love.

When we got home everyone was elated by Amira’s presence. Everybody wanted a piece of her and we were happy to outsource the dirty works.

Initially, her name is Alayna. It means Princess (Spanish). However, being the pro Arabs like most Malays are, Alayna means “on top of you”. That sounded like the Thai horror movie, “The Shutter”. We went through our notes again, finding the right name. Alas, we settled for Amira. It means ‘leader’ or ‘royal’. It had a good ring to it and it resonated quickly with the family.

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Sara on the other hand, started throwing tantrums, knowing that she’s no longer the attention of the family. She cried often, yelled, throwing things and eventually I had scold her for doing so. It was heartbreaking, I felt like a bad parent but she needed it. The thing with Sara, she’s 2 years and 6 months old, but speaks like a 3-4 year old. It was hard to think she’s still a toddler.

Fast forward to today (2 months since birth), I can finally say, thank God everything went well. And my love for Amira has grown each passing day. I no longer felt I had to share the love between Sara and Amira. Sara has also grown out of her jealousy, she loves her sister.

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5 Amazing Things You Can Learn from a Toddler

At exactly 11 months old, Sara can finally walk!

She started standing up by latching on to pillars, desks, chairs, even my ass for months ( I can’t exactly recall when she started) and she’s darn good at it.

Here are the things that I learned from her.

1. Change is Good – from crawling to walking. Get out of that comfort zone and get uncomfortable, learn from it.

2. Perseverance – building up muscle to balance and walk requires a lot of effort. She made sure she was able to overcome that. Similarly, we should fix our target straight and move forward despite difficulties.

3. Never Give Up – pain is all I see. I saw her rollover and bumped her head, slammed the tiles, dropped on bums countless of time. Despite the pain, she still wants to learn to walk. So pain is good.

4. Don’t Give a Sh*t – pardon the wording but that’s what she does. Everytime we cautioned her, she’d look up, smile and move forward. Similarly, we shouldn’t give a damn what people think of us, what matters most is what you think of yourself.

5. Have Faith in Yourself – she believed and convinced she had the ability to do it (eventhough she doesn’t). Likewise, we must believe in ourself before we can get anything going.

The common belief is, kids would fall sick before they can do something new, unfortunately, I was the victim here. I got sick the day she could walk. It was also a blessing in disguise, day off + caught on camera = awesome dad moment *bling*