Motherly instincts

I got married pretty in today’s standards. But my husband and I decided to wait before we had children. We are both glad to have almost 15 years being just the two of us. We even had the chance to go travelling for a year. Sure we plan to continue travelling with our son. But in many ways it would be a different kind of travelling.

Approximately 2 years ago, I found out that I was pregnant. It was the 1st of April and I used 2 pregnancy tests just to be sure. J My husband even thought it was an April fool’s joke.

Only after I was pregnant did I start to concern myself with the whole topic of pregnancy, pre-natal care and the act of giving birth itself. Before that I was kind of like, “Yeah! I’ll have a planned C-Section!” The images of pregnancy in my head were those from movies, where when the water bag breaks a liquid gushes out from between the legs and where women scream like crazy from pain while pushing. So yes, I was basically afraid of the pain and thought that a C-Section although an operation would not be as painful as giving birth naturally.

It was only after I started reading up on the subject that I realised my misconception. Ina May Gaskin’s books helped me a lot to overcome my fear of the pain of giving birth. I truly recommend them to all pregnant women and their partners. I learned about how I can work with my body during the birthing process and even enjoy it. The approach was to focus on methods and techniques to deal with the childbirth pain instead of numbing it with epidural anaesthesia or replacing it with the post operation pain of a planned (and medically unnecessary) C-Section.

During the whole process of research, I was not only thinking about what was best for me. I also wanted what was best for the child. My motherly instincts were kicking in. In the end, there was no doubt in my mind. I was convinced that, if the pregnancy should progress normally and be void of complications, the best for me and my child would be a home birth. I wanted to experience a birth with minimal intervention, where I am completely at ease and can let the birth progress at its own pace.

I was able to convince my husband of this approach too. He realised that it was not the hormones talking but rather that I was making an informed decision and he supported me fully. Unfortunately this was not the case for my gynaecologist. She literally told me that she would not continue to care for me, if I planned on having a home birth. However she could not give us a single sensible argument why she was against it. At the end of our appointment, she simply said “See you in 4 weeks time”, assuming that just because she said no, I would drop the idea of a home birth. Luckily I found a midwife, who was specialised in home births and I switched to having all my pre-natal check-ups with her. I’ll write more about it in another post.

What thoughts did you have, when you found out that you or your partner was pregnant?

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Flash Fiction Faction – The Excursion

This week’s Flash Fiction Faction by Quill Shiv is a picture prompt. Head over there to read more Flash Fiction Factions.

As usual, I appreciate your comments, feedback and constructive criticisms.

Wordcount is 105.

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Samantha raised her hand but Mrs. Sweet ignored her. “We will not carry on until someone tells me how a marsh is formed.” Samantha yearned to take off her rubber boots and wade into the murky waters. She imagined the mud oozing through her ticklish toes. However her classmates thought learning was for losers, which resulted in a silent standoff between Mrs. Sweet and the class. “Me! Me,” cried Samantha impatiently. “Give the others a chance…aw!” While talking to Samantha, Mrs. Sweet took a step backwards and tripped over a rotting bridge piling. With a muddy splash, she landed on her bottom. The class broke their silence with unbridled laughter.

The Nightmare continues & Movie Date

Here is Julia’s 100 word challenge for this week. Please go here to read more flash fiction.

The prompt this week is ….‘aside. Now what was that rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice…..’ It is the last ten words of the piece written by Shade the Raven last week.

The first story is a continuation of An Invitation To Tea, my contribution to last week’s challenge.

The second story is a piece about young love, which is one of my favourite themes. 🙂

Wordcount for both stories is 100 including the prompt.

Hope you enjoy my interpretations. I welcome your feedback.

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Alice refused the old man’s offer of blood for tea. The rabbit looked disappointed, as it jumped from the table and hopped out of the cottage. Alice pushed her chair aside.

‘Now what was that rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice.

She followed the rabbit down a tiny footpath. The forest grew darker and the grassy undergrowth turned into thorny bushes. Alice sacrificed her arms to protect her eyes from being pierced. Tripping over an unseen root, she stumbled upon another clearing. Her blood froze, witnessing the scene before her.

‘Now would be a good time to wake up,’ thought Alice.

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A gigantic CGI generated rabbit hopped at a tremendous speed. In the last second before a certain head-on collision, the ‘Alice’ actress jumped aside.

‘Now what was that rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice.

The ensuing onscreen dialogues were lost on Justin. From the corner of his eyes he observed multiple colours flicker on Sarah’s face, making the moment more surreal. She reached for popcorn from the bag between them. He stuck his hand in, just as she was about to retract hers. The briefest of touches resulted. As if he were on a rollercoaster, Justin’s stomach made a double flip.
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All’s well that ends well

My first work day started with a virtual trip to Australia. For one, at the train station I was surrounded by people pulling their trolley luggage around. Then I sat next to a couple on the train, who had just returned from a three week holiday to Australia. We exchanged travel stories and I was reminded of the wonderful things we had done on our trip in 2010.

 

Things even got better. Since I was too early, I decided to buy buns for breakfast at a supermarket close to the company. Strangely the single open cashier had a long queue of people with full shopping carts. After seeing that I had only one item, the lady standing in front of me in the queue let me overtake her. The same thing happened again and again and I was in front of the line in no time at all. Everyone has super friendly to me today.

 

I ended yesterday with terrible backaches and a nagging fear I would oversleep. After taking a bath and a pain killer, I went to bed feeling extremely tired. However my nagging fear did not leave me alone and I dreamt that I had overslept. I woke up all nervous and looked at the alarm clock. The time was 4:48 am – way too early for me to wake up. But I couldn’t fall asleep again being all revved up as I was. I took my time getting ready and before I knew it, it was time to leave the apartment and I had to skip my breakfast. 😦 Not a healthy way to start a working day. However given how the day proceeded, I have to admit I couldn’t have had a better first working day.

 

All’s well that ends well. Looking forward to work tomorrow. (Wow! Did I just say that?)

The first day

Do you remember your first day in kindergarten? I do not have memories of my own of this day but my mother has told me hers. I am the eldest child and as a result my mother was apprehensive when the day came for her to leave me for the very first time in foreign care. Kindergarten in Singapore is not a playgroup but rather a pre-school. Children learn how to read and write in Kindergarten. I even attended Mandarin lessons as a second language. Unfortunately I was not allowed to continue it in primary school.

Where was I? Oh yes, kindergarten! My mother put me in my uniform, packed my school bag and walked me to the kindergarten. As we approached the building, she saw children freaking out to varying degrees. Some were hanging onto their family members refusing to enter the classroom. Others were crying their hearts out. Some even ran away and were caught and carried back to the classroom. My mom couldn’t bear the thought of seeing me crying. (Actually she admitted that she felt like crying herself.) However I surprised her by taking my school bag from her hands at the entrance and entered the classroom willingly. She still couldn’t bear leaving me alone and peeked through the window to see how I was coping. She said that when I saw that I waved at her; waved at her to go away that is. 🙂

Tomorrow I have another first day ahead of me. On the one hand, I am really excited and looking forward to starting a new job in a new company. I will pack my back tonight, pick out the clothes to wear tomorrow and check out the train schedule. Things I imagine little Irene might have done the day before she went to kindergarten for the first time too; except for checking for the train schedule. J

But there is a part of me that is feeling apprehensive, and afraid. So many ‘What Ifs’ fleet through my mind. I wonder if little Irene was afraid that day too? Did her joy to learn outweigh her fear being left alone, being with strangers or to fail? Maybe I am thinking too much about it. After all my instinct says that it was the right decision to take on this job and that it is exactly the kind of work I enjoyed.

What are your experiences on your first day at a new job?

Flash Fiction Faction – Abandoned

This week’s Flash Fiction Faction by Quill Shiv has the prompt:

Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. –Anonymous

I made use of one of the plot ideas, I posted today for another challenge. Hope you enjoy reading it. As usual I am open to constructive criticisms.

Edit: Based on the feedback I have received from two readers, I have edited the tenses used in the original version.
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Pat throws a single red rose onto the shiny coffin, lying in its earthy grave. She wills her eyes to stay dry. A hand strokes her back; as gently as Jack had done 50 years ago.

That time she had been crying; mourning the death of her pet rabbit. A funeral was held in her parents’ garden. Jack, the neighbour’s son, had attended the ceremony. He had stroked her back – seeking to soothe her pain and hoping that she would stop sobbing. He could never bear to see her in tears. As a child, she had used it to her benefit many a time. Her reward had always been something sweet to eat.

It took another 3 years and a few broken hearts before their relationship crossed the platonic line. Pat has a clear memory of the day it happened.

She was at a classmate’s 18th birthday party. Unfortunately her ex-boyfriend was present too because his new girlfriend was the birthday girl’s best friend. She would have stayed at home had she known that earlier. But she wouldn’t give her ex the satisfaction of seeing her scamper from his presence. Biting the straw in her glass of unidentifiable sickly sweet concoction, she mentally went through different ways to get her revenge.

“If looks can kill, I sure am glad not to be on the receiving end of that glare. Who is the condemned soul?”

“Jack! What are you doing here? I didn’t know you were back in town.”

“Semester holidays started yesterday. My buddy, Steve, lives here. He wanted to greet his little sis before we head to my parent’s place for a Lord of the Rings DVD marathon. You haven’t answered my question.”

Pat contemplated lying for a second. But Jack would know, if she was telling the truth or not. There were times, she was certain he had the ability to read her mind. When it came to Jack, she was an open book.

“I was thinking of ways to get my revenge against Michael.”

“And Michael is who?”

Pat told him her story. She had been going out with Michael for 6 months, when she found out that he was cheating on her. He had laughed, when she had confronted him with it. He had accused her of being conservative. According to him, she should loosen up because open relationships are common. They both looked over to Michael after she finished her tale.

“He doesn’t look that happy, if you ask me.”

“See that blonde over there, the one flirting with the guy in the football jacket? That is his girlfriend.”

“You want to kick a man, while he is lying on the ground? You are mean. So what is your revenge plan?”

“Do you want the bloody version or…”

“Let’s hear a PG version.”

“I could make him jealous by making out with my boyfriend. Remind him of what he is missing.”

“How predictable! Where is this boyfriend of yours?”

“There is a catch in this scenario. I don’t have one. Unless…”

“Unless what?”

Suddenly Pat felt shy, as she was reminded of the numerous teenage fantasies she had involving Jack. It was during a phase when she had been terribly infatuated with Jack. Her crush had faded after he moved away to attend university. But she felt it return full force as she looked into his honey brown eyes. All at once blood was rushing to her head, her heart was pounding in her ears, and butterflies were wrecking havoc in her stomach. She quickly lowered her eyes but not before Jack noticed what was going through her mind.

“Oh!… I’m fine with it. But you got to make the first move.”

Michael was nowhere in her thoughts as she leaned in towards Jack. Pat wanted to squeeze in all her past fantasies into that one moment, lest there wouldn’t be a second time. Their faces were almost touching – she could smell the minty scent of his chewing gum. She closed her eyes and let instinct take over.

“Granny? We need to go now.”

Pat opens her eyes. The happy bubble  burst, exposing her to her ultimate fear. She is single again after 45 years of marriage! Her egoistic wish has been to be the first to die because she couldn’t bear the thought of a life without Jack. But the cancer has destroyed her hope.
She is afraid of being alone. Her children have their own families and soon they would go back to their own lives. What can an old woman like her do with the rest of her life?

A single tear threatens to roll down her cheek. Pat sniffs into her handkerchief and dabbs at her eye. She prays Jack is happy wherever he was. There would be enough time to be afraid of the future after the ceremony.

An invitation to tea

Here is Julia’s 100 word challenge for this week.

The prompt this week is ….‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice…..

Wordcount 108 including the prompt.

Hope you enjoy my interpretation. I welcome your feedback.

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Alice focused on reading the rabbit’s thoughts.

I am late.

“What was the rabbit late for,” wondered Alice.

She followed the rabbit into the forest. The dense tree crowns hid the sun, causing Alice to shiver in the cool summer day. Soon she saw a cottage with the front door open and followed the rabbit in.

“Ah! Just in time for tea,” said an old man. He was alone but the table was set for two.

The rabbit laid itself on the table. The man poised a knife over its neck and asked, “Rabbit blood fine with you?”

Alice sat up in bed. It was only a dream!