Monday, 25 August 2008


Now that the details of the new Baby Bonus have been finalized and made public I would like to express my feelings and thoughts as a father.

While I am happy that Mothers will get an additional 4 more weeks of maternity leave I am also worried for some of them at the same time. As it is we are already hearing ladies complaining that their office is not very family oriented so by increasing the maternity leave will it affect the job opportunities for these ladies?

Say a company planning to hire a staff is presented with 2 very qualified and good candidates. Will this company choose the one that already has a few kids over the one that just got married and is planning to start a family within 2 years? If this company is small and worried about staff going away on maternity leave surely it will reject the latter right? Let’s not even talk about promotion.

Guess the above scenario is also good for the Stay At Home Mummies who are looking at rejoining the work force after taking care of their children during the early years.

As you know the new incentives were originally supposed to take effect next year but what you may not know is there was a petition from the SMH mummies to have the effective date backdated to August hence benefiting almost everyone.

My sister is due sometime in October and she is of course on the October Mummies thread and according to her there is this mummy who is also due in October and she was the one who called for this petition. It seemed she gathered enough signatures to sway the government to change their decision.

I always say those mummies on SMH are amazing. Getting all the bulk purchases and now getting the Government to amend their policy. I know they tried to bring in prams and strollers at about half price but unfortunately that hit a road block. Nevertheless I am confident it is only a matter of time before they work around it. Imagine if they can bring in cars or the latest gaming consoles with their bulk purchase wouldn’t that be fantastic?

So the mothers are all happy now. What about us dads?

When PM Lee said gave his speech and touched on the role of a father, he had the following to say: “First of all, we have to share responsibilities for child-raising. Traditionally the husbands go to work, wear the pants, the wives stay at home, have the babies, take care of the babies. And it's true that the women have a better touch with children. But the situation today is different and the men can make the effort. If husbands leave everything to the wives, or the women are forced to choose between working or having babies, they are going to go on baby strike. So the husband has to share duties at home. I was discussing this with some MPs, including a lady MP and I said, you know, nowadays, I see men carrying babies in the markets when they go out. So she says you think carrying babies is enough? You have got to wake up at night, feed the baby, change the nappies. I used to change nappies. In the days before pampers, you’ve actually got to fold the cloth, you got to put it on, you got to put the safety pin and I haven’t pricked any baby yet. If I can do it, it means everybody can do it and I think that you have to change these attitudes.”

After his speech I was glued to the TV waiting with anticipation for his announcement of paternity leave and as you should have all guessed, I was left bitterly disappointed. On one hand he said that times have changed and parenting these days cannot be left to the mothers alone but on the other hand the Government still does not recognize that Fathers like me do appreciate paternity leave so as to allow us to help out at home when the wives are recuperating.

According to our Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Wong Kan Seng, Men in general just prefer not to take the paternity leave. See article here. “Surely the statistics must be wrong because I for one will welcome the idea with open arms” I thought to myself. “Why is it that these types of studies never find their way to me? Same thing with the Durex sex survey?” was my next thought.

So, with the successful petition by the mothers to backdate the effective date of the incentives, I was wondering to myself if I should start a petition too for us fathers. I was confident that there must be many fathers like me. That was until the Mrs told me that there are really not many. In fact some of the husbands of her friends and acquaintances are actually relived that there will be no paternity leave. For a lack of a better word, I was “SHOCKED”!!

“Really?!?! How come?” I asked.

Interestingly enough it is not on money issue and fathers generally earning more. According to the wives, the husbands are worried that with paternity leave they will be "forced" to take the leave and stay at home to help care for the kids. If the wives do not expect them to help out at home then paternity leave would have been welcomed because they can take four weeks to enjoy their golf or catch up on their many hobbies, healthy or otherwise.

After listening to the Mrs I found my answers to both my questions. 1) There is no need to petition because we already know what the response will be. 2) This is why I never get to answer these types of surveys because I am not their targeted audience. I have a feeling perhaps these surveys are done with the fathers at the golf course on a Sunday afternoon or at the pubs on any given nights.

Monday, 18 August 2008


The Mrs is really having it rough this time round with the pregnancy! She had vomited so much that she lost 3KG in 2 weeks which according to our Gynae is not healthy anymore and it did raise some alarms.

In fact the nurses at the clinic suggested for the Mrs to be admitted into the hospital in order to go on the drip. The whole problem was she kept on vomiting and she could not stomach any food or water. So when all these factors were put together she lost weight at an alarming rate. Now she is literally skin and bone only. The sight of it really pains me.

The Mrs was really all ready to admit herself into the hospital on Friday morning so that she will feel better but one last check with the Gynae and he suggested administering her with the drug, Primperan and observing for another day first. If she was to continue to vomit then we have to go back to the hospital on Saturday.

Thank goodness this drug worked and the Mrs stopped feeling nauseous for the rest of the weekend. She had to administer this drug on a daily basis though and it had to be through the rectum.

Although the vomiting stopped she is still very weak from the dehydration and lack of food intake as a result she slept almost the entire Sunday. I was amazed with the number of hours she was asleep for. I am glad that we solved this problem and am currently working on encouraging her to take more food; a little more with each meal. The way I feel is she needs to start eating again in order to regain her strength and not feel so lethargic.

Sad to say the above is only half the story. The title of this post is Rough remember?

Sometime around Thursday the Mrs complained that her back and limbs were itchy so thinking that it was probably nothing she went to take a hot shower and it helped a little. However by Friday night the itch got worse and we decided to go to the GP first thing Sat morning. Then Saturday morning came the itch was not so bad anymore so we decided to let it be but who knows by about 11pm the Mrs was scratching all over again. Seeing the rashes and lumps on her body (not unlike mosquitoes bite except maybe about 5 - 6 times larger) it suddenly dawned on her that she had full blown hives. She wanted to sleep it off and go to the GP on Sunday morning but gave up around 3.30 Sunday morning.

We drove down to NUH A & E department and after getting a jab and resting there under observation for about an hour the hives seemed to be under control and we went on home to continue sleeping. I was unable to accompany her during the 2 hours at the hospital as they do not allow visitors in the Fever department. So I attempted to sleep in the car while waiting.

The Mrs must really be feeling very unwell and bad because in all our years of being together she has never suggested taking leave from work to stay at home and rest. This morning she was thinking of applying half day afternoon leave for these 2 weeks so she can rest and regain her strength. Honestly I do not think she will carry it out but to even consider this option speaks volume about how she is feeling right now.

At home Ani is mainly taking care of Isaac and some simple housework while I take care of the Mrs. I really dare not think about how am I to cope if we did not get a maid in the first place. Isaac will most probably have to be at my parents place even at night.

Throughout this entire episode the Mrs is always apologizing for her conditions as she feels bad that I have to double up in terms of caring for Isaac and her.

We are nearing the 2nd trimester and for her sake I really hope that all these symptoms as well as being unwell; weak and lethargic will all go away. Only time will tell……

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


We learned during our 1st pregnancy that every pregnancy is different and this applies to even the same mother. However nothing was said about the feelings and emotions that fathers feel will also differ. This I learned from my own experience now.

During Isaac’s days I took all the bad experiences that the Mrs was experiencing as part and parcel of being pregnant but the feeling I’m getting now is really quite different. This time round I feel bad and even guilty that the Mrs has to “suffer” so much again. I believe the main difference is that we already have Isaac now so it really got me questioning if she needs to go through this at all. After this experience I believe it will be harder to agree to go for another one.

We are still only in our 1st trimester, about 10 weeks to be exact, so there is not much to update except for the morning sickness, lack of appetite, weight lost and fatigue which are common symptoms.

Like the 1st pregnancy, the Mrs is suffering not from morning sickness but rather all day sickness although this time round the vomiting is more regular and a lot more intense. While in the past she may feel nauseous throughout the day but she would actually only vomit 2 to 3 times a day. This time round she is going like 6 – 7 times every other day. It is getting so bad that we are having many more plastic bags in the car. I actually requested for friends and relatives to “steal” a few of the airsickness bags from the plane whenever they travel. Not sure if you recalled but this was exactly what I did, stocked up the car with a few of these bags when she was carrying Isaac. I think they are better than plastic bags. However this time round I have a feeling we do require a few more of those.

Due to the constant sickness she has lost her appetite and is eating quite little and as a result of this she has lost weight just like the 1st pregnancy. Till date she has lost about 5 KG already which was her total weight lost the last time before putting on 7 - 8KG by the end of the pregnancy. So if we nett it off she only gained 2 - 3KG in total when compared to pre-pregnant days.

During the days that she feels better she will sometimes get greedy. She will want to order this and that but when the food arrives, she may take only 2 bites and decided she cannot stomach them. I promised myself I will not make the same mistake this time and will work on not gaining any sympathy weight at all. Unlike her I am still stuck with the 3KG that I gained during her pregnancy. So the strategy is to let her order and start eating before I will consider my own food. In case she gives up then I will not end up eating 2 shares again.

She is also feeling more fatigue when compared to the last time but somehow being at work seems to be able to make her forget about it. This is the same as before. Whenever she is at work she will usually be feeling better but once she knocks off and heads home all the fatigue and sickness will kick in. While she can handle the fatigue, she finds the fact she cannot carry Isaac much harder to take. She feels bad towards Isaac because due to this fatigue she has no energy to carry and play with him. The only chance she can get is playing with him when he is crawling and rolling on our bed but I guess nothing can replace the feeling of carrying him in her arms and close to her heart.

As much as we appreciate Ani we still prefer to get more involved with Isaac. The Mrs is relieved to see that while she is “down” I am doubling up for the two of us. I will try and spend more time playing with Isaac and also bathing him each night. The Mrs will try and take on the easier task of feeding and putting him to sleep whenever she is up to it. This way we get to spend more time bonding with Isaac.

Isaac has been an angel so far and has left rather big shoes for his siblings to fill.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


As you all probably know by now I try and keep my posting to once a week since I am so busy with so many other things but I can sense all your genuine excitement and the many questions that you might have so I decided to do a follow up post within the week.

First of all we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all of you. We are really surprised and touched that so many of you genuinely share our joy and are looking forward to embarking on this journey with us again.

I guess the number one question on everyone’s mind is if this pregnancy is planned. So for the record, YES this is a planned pregnancy. We do not preach or advocate accidents of any kind in the Tan residence.

Next question is “why so soon?” and the answer to this is I have ran out of interesting material for this blog so I discussed with the Mrs to have a second child in order to boost the readership so maybe I can be a full time blogger and as a result will be able to stay at home and spend more time with the kids. Er…….. just realised this is not going to happen because I do not even have a single money making advertisement on my blog?!?!

Seriously, like I explained to some of you on my earlier post, we knew all along that we will not have just one child plus the fact that we are nearing our mid thirties we felt there is really no point in waiting. Furthermore it took us more than 3 years to finally conceive Isaac so we are not prepared to wait another 3 years for number 2 to come along.

Another reason is we are getting good domestic support both from my parents and Ani. Since both my parents are still mobile and able to help plus Ani has proven to be reliable and good with Isaac, the decision was made easier.

Allow me to digress a little. An example on how sweet Ani was. The Mrs was having whole day sickness even till now and has lost her appetite for food. As a result she lost about 3 KG already. Knowing that the Mrs really liked the Hong Kong Curry Fish Ball, Ani asked my mum to buy the ingredients while they were shopping at NTUC a few days back so that she can make them (the HK style) for the Mrs one evening. She was hoping to spice up the Mrs’s appetite. Although it did not really work but we were touched that she has this heart to go out of her way and do something like that.

Honestly we were a little uncertain in the beginning if we should start again so soon but after some discussion we decided to go ahead with it. After all there is no guarantee that we will be successful the first time round right?

Isaac’s Godma was one of the first to know but her reaction was a little unexpected and we understand where she was coming from. She felt that we were being unfair to Isaac by having a second child so soon. She is worried that Isaac will be neglected or at least less attention and maybe even love will be showered on him. This gives you all a picture on how much Godma loves and protects Isaac.

Well, I am new at this Father business hence I can’t really say for sure what will happen with 1 or 2 more kids in the future but I believe our love for Isaac will not be in anyway affected. He will always be special to us after all he was God’s gift to us after 3 years of trying.

There is no denying that Isaac will have to share our time and love in the future but this will happen no matter what unless we do not plan on having any more kids which is not the case.

Like so many of you mentioned, by having them born so close to each other we are hopeful that they will grow up close and as best friends too. On paper it may look like they are 2 years apart but in reality they are truly only about 15 months apart.

The EDD is 9th March 2009 for those of you who are curious.

The third question is if we intend to know the gender. Well, as my friend put it the other night when we announced our pregnancy over dinner, “Ah ya! Dylan always like to be special and do things differently one la!” So if you guess I intend not to know then you are beginning to know me better. On the statement that my friend made, I prefer to think of it as: It is NOT that Dylan is trying to be special and likes to do things differently. It is more like Dylan IS special hence he does things differently. What do you think?

Anyway this is my plan and I know I will stick by it but if you recalled during our time with Isaac, the Mrs and to a certain degree even I was very tempted to give up and find out the gender towards the end of the journey when we did our 4D scans. I am glad we stuck by it and I got to tell the Mrs “It’s a Boy” on Boxing Day when we got to unwrap our present.

Friday, 1 August 2008


About a month ago I "celebrated" my birthday. I am never a big fan of birthday celebrations, for myself that is (better make this point clear otherwise I will not be invited to anymore birthday celebrations). And no, it is not that I am sad that I aged another year because I truly believe I am only as old as my heart and mind feel. And at this point in time I feel like a 24 year old although my body (tummy) will beg to differ.

Since a number of years ago I had even stopped taking leave on my birthday so I went to work as usual and closer colleagues who know me better will respect that I do not want any fuss so they will just msn or skyped me to wish me well. I can't imagine my colleagues singing birthday song while I cut the cake. If this is the company culture then I will definitely take leave to skip this show altogether.

So the usual "celebrations" will be to go for a nicer dinner with the Mrs. However recent years even this is nothing special since we do not really wait for any particular day to go for a nicer meal. Whenever we feel like it we will just go for a nice steak at Morton's or teppanyaki at Nanbantei (our favourite place for teppanyaki).

As for gifts, I am an impatient person so I will almost never wait till my birthday to buy the certain something that I wanted or wait for the Mrs to buy it for me. So whenever it is my birthday the Mrs will usually have a hard time thinking of things that I need or want. Even the usual practical gift such as wallet and belt are no longer an option because I take very good care of my things and usually they will last for years. Tip: I never sit down with my wallet in my back pocket.

This year however was truly special because first of all we did not even go out for the dinner as my mum fell 2 days before my birthday and broke her wrist hence we felt it was better that we returned home early to fetch Ani home and took care of Isaac ourselves.

Dinner like I mentioned is only a small matter since we have been stuffing ourselves with rather good food lately. What is really nice is the card and the surprise that I received from the Mrs. To share with all of you I have scanned it and posted it below.

Knowing that I don't fuss about my own birthday, this card is very appropriate indeed.

Cute right?

The surprise was initially covered up by a post-it.

In case you can't see properly, I took the liberty to enlarge it for you all.

Not sure how many of you have been reading my blog since day one but one of my earliest post was on the topic of superstition. Then I figured that by posting I was not really telling anyone since I did not know if anyone would be reading at all right? However this time round it is different since a few of you readers have become friends. So I waited that little while longer just to clear the scans with Dr N before posting this.

We went for our scan today and since Dr N gave the thumbs up hence we are sharing this piece of fantastic news with all of you!