Thursday, September 30, 2010

More than anything

Everyday when I feed ashley breakfast at 9am, i would hear this song from a taiwanese channel, it is just so soothing when i am very frustrated.

After my mom left 2 weeks ago, I have been on my own. Although A does help, he comes home late and sometimes he has to work. So I am with ashley 24/7. of course i like to play with her, take tons of her photos, see her smile, but sometimes her non-stop crying really gets to me and i feel that i can't breathe. i also feel that cuz i am with her 24/7, i can't do things i really like or need to do and this really frustrates me. so yesterday she pooped on the sofa and my pants when i was feeding her. i needed to clean the sofa and my pants first, so i put her aside, she was so angry and started screaming cuz she's still hungry. what's worse is that i didnt have time to burp her yet, so she spit up all my milk! somehow i just couldnt take it so i yelled at her "how come you are this impatient! then i started crying. i was trying my best to clean all the mess and my daughter was so inconsiderate! i had to ask A to come home early cuz i couldn't take this anymore. long story short, i thought i had postpartum depression so i googled the signs for depression. i found that 2-6 months are critical for baby's cognitive skills and if mommy is blue, it will affect the baby's development. i was worried that yesterday's incident may affect ashley cuz when i was crying, she kept staring at me quietly. she looked so innocent. so i made up my mind, i may not be a perfect mom, i have my weakness, but when i am with ashley i need to smile at her no matter what. God loves us more than anything, i need to learn this godly love when I raise ashley.

More than anything

God loves people more than anything
God loves people more than anything
More than anything He wants them to know
He'd rather die than let them go
Cause God loves people more than anything

God love the weary when they're too weak to try
He feels their pain, He knows their shame
He cries with those who cry
He won't give up or walk away
When other people do
Cause God loves people more than anything

*Repeat Chorus*

God loves the wounded who stumbled into sin
He reaches down and pulls them out
And cleans them up again
And He will heal the broken heart
Who's given up on love
Cause God loves people more than anything

*Repeat Chorus*

More than anything
He wants us to go
And show the world
So they will know
That God loves people
More than anything

Sunday, July 4, 2010

counting down...

As we are counting down the day to welcome our new family member, A and I finally kinda got into our parents-to-be mode.

We spent a weekend assembling the crib and did some research at babiesrus. The more we spend time preparing, the more I believe that A would be a wonderful dad. So the crib was more complicated than we expected. A spent both saturday and sunday working on it. This time he was more careful in the process than any other furnitures he's built. After each step, he would make sure many times the part was attached firm enough. As we finally finished this weekend project and were ready to move it to the bedroom, we realized that the crib is too big to go through the bedroom door!!!!We tried so many different angles and took some small parts but still couldn't get the crib to the room. So A had to dissemble most of the part and start over! Usually he would be too frustrated and decided to ignore it for a while, but this time, without a word, he patiently carried all the parts to the bedroom and reassemble them. Somehow I was in tears when seeing this. I really saw the love he put in building the crib. So I hugged him from the back and said thank you.

As I am in my final weeks, A and I would go take a walk after dinner to help the process of labor (as the doctor and experienced moms suggested). The other day when we were walking, a dad with a little boy came talk to us. The dad said he told his son that last time he came to this park, he also saw me and A walking. He told the son that there's a baby in my belly and he (the son) was in his mom's belly few years ago too. The son asked his dad how he got into the mom's belly and this question really got his dad, hahaha...

The boy is very cute and friendly and it seemed that he had some bike accident because his left hand was covered by a plaster cast. Then the dad told us a tragic but touching story. The boy was born with cerebral palsy and has been in therapy since he was born because of the negligence of the hospital. When his mom was in labor, his head was stuck and couldn't go out. The mom was too painful and kept bleeding, so she asked a c-section. However, the baby was in the crowning stage, so the doctor thought the baby could still come out. They tried vacuuming and others but still could't work. After 4.5 hours of pushing (the instructor at our childbirth class told us that pushing is between 30 mins to 3 hrs max, so 4.5 hrs is waaay too long for both mom and bay), the doctor decided to do c-section. But then because the wife was bleeding too much when the doc finally decided, the mom was very sick already. The dad faced the most difficult question in his life "if we can only save one, do you want to save your wife or your husband?" He told us that he almost fainted when being asked.He came to the hospital to welcome the new born, how did this even happen especially when all the doctor visits showed they would have a normal baby!!!???? Thank God that both mom and baby survived after the surgery, but because they didnt do c-section timely, the baby didn't have enough oxygen when in the crowning stage so he was born with cerebral palsy. I was surprised, I told the dad, your child looks like a very normal kid to me except for the wound that I think is from a bike accident. But the dad told us that his son is 2 years behind all the development and he couldn't walk until he was 4. Also, the insurance company denied his son, so they have to live with the huge medical expense for the rest of their life. However, the dad didn't tell us the story to complain, instead, he told us because he doesn't wanna see another mistake/negligence by the hospital. He felt that he is responsible for this because he should have insisted on c-section when his wife first asked. But being a first-time dad, he trusted the doctor. He was telling A that if he senses anything wrong, he should make a decision right away.

What I admire more about this dad and son is their thankful attitude. The dad kept telling us that he's really thankful that God saved both of his beloved. Even though his son is not as normal as other kids, but he is definitely a happy child, which is more important than anything else for the dad. As we were saying goodbye, the son asked me, "how about this, you come here next time, and I'll introduce you to my mom." (His mom was in class on that day). I smiled and said "sure, I would love to meet your brave mom!"

As we were on the way home, we both expressed how touched we were by this family and how much we were impressed by the husband and the wife to go through this. We also pray to God nothing but the health of the baby.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A home to go back

It's been a month since I left Davis, so it's also been a month that A and I live together as a married couple.

I am actually writing this in Davis now because I came back yesterday for school stuff. I had a great time with friends as always, they are probably what I miss most about Davis. I don't really care about what we do, where we eat, but as long as people get together, there is always laughters. People asked me, "how's life in the bay?" I said, " life is ok, i don't have many friends so my life is kinda quiet especially now I am trying to finish my dissertation." Then they asked, "how's it going with A?" I replied, " we are generally very happy, but we argue more these days. There's always something about this person that you don't know until you live together."

So I started to think of what I said, do we really argue more? Yeah, we disagree with each other over certain personal habits, manners, ideas etc. since we grew up in different backgrounds. But are they really arguments? Or we are communicating in our own ways? For example, I have to confess that I love using "silence treatment" while A always wants to talk about it. When we were in long distance, we communicated with each other on the phone, which made it harder for me to use my silence treatment because it's just weird to have silence on the phone and also we just wanted to cherish the time we talked so we rarely argued on the phone. Now that we live together, A pinpointed to me that I like to use my silence treatment, which I am not very aware of. I guess it's good that he told me about it and that we talked it out. And I really appreciate that A always encourages me to talk about my true feelings instead of hiding them and piling them up.

Another big adjustment living with someone is dividing house chores. Overall I think A and I have been doing a great job (the reason being he's doing much more than I do, haha) So far I am in charge of getting grocery, cooking and sometimes folding clothes while A takes care of dishes, laundry, trash, and overall cleaning. Though I get tired of cooking everyday, but I have to say that I really enjoy cooking for A. He always appreciates and enjoys everything I cook. Everything looks so yummy when A is eating! Every time he finishes dinner, I always feel a sense of achievement.

Having been here in the US for 7 years, this is the first time I feel "home" and the first time I feel that I always have a home to go back. So now I am gonna finish this post and drive back home where my beloved one is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Magic Realism's Mirror Image

"It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love." is not what you would expect from a book listed on Oprah's book club. As one turns the pages of Love in the Time of Cholera, one can only be reminded that this book is on the list and the famous author, best known for the classic, One Hundred Years of Solitude, does not fret over this promotion by Oprah. Not that we have anything against Oprah's choices, but many classic authors of a certain caliber tend to shy away from her.

But Gabriel Garcia Marquez does not shy away from publicity. His style known as magic realism has been debated, analyzed, argued, and considered as controversial as innovative, hence the Nobel Prize award. His book Love in the Time of Cholera could hold sway in such a prize as well.

The language is simply beautiful, eloquent, and casts one in another time, place, and tastes like a ripe fruit plucked from the heart of South America. However, it falls short in the measure of a "great" book. Who am I to say what is great or not? Tis true, yet the book really does fall short. It has such a great introduction and it seems to lead you to that path. However, by page 50 you find yourself lost in the trance of love, but missing the better half, depth. What is love so free with no depth? That is Love in the Time of Cholera. Beautiful to read, but it does not move like a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

The answer is that Marquez is so involved with his magic realism that one does not find an inch of tragedy, even when we are faced with the death of the starting character, Dr. Urbino. One does not feel an inkling for him, which I find amazing.

So what's the theory? Well, the movie Adaptation discusses this theme and the core problem with writing a story. Novice writers tend to write themselves into the story. It is hard not to, one feels so strongly for oneself. What not? Many great authors do write a facet of themselves into the story. However, I tend to believe Marquez wrote himself completely into the story and that this is the core of magic realism. One projects themselves in the background of a mirror, soon, we can't make head or tails of which one is real.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Leaving Davis soon

People never realize how nice Davis is until they leave Davis. I agree.

Coming to Davis from New York, I have to admit that I didn't like my first year in Davis. The students were harsh on me, the reading load was way heavier than before, the struggle in my long-distance relationship and the boring small town. All the reasons cumulated my dislike toward Davis. Whenever people asked me, "You went from New York to Davis????!!!" I could only shrug and say, "yeah, for a stupid reason" (and my close friends should know why).

However, things seemed to change in my second year. I was much closer with my officemates. We enjoyed food together, we caught movies together, we whined together and most of the time we just hung and talked. Without their encouragement and support I can never make this far. They really made Davis the second home for me. However, we all move on to different stages of our lives, and I am the last one who leaves our office. Next time I come back, it will be all different.

Another important part of my Davis life is Acacia fellowship. After a year of drifting away from church, I finally decided to find a church in Davis. So I googled, ok, I am in Davis, I speak Chinese, and I am looking for a Christian church. So i typed, "Davis Chinese Christian Church" and bingo! There's one that I passed by all the time without even noticing it. So here I am! Acacia has so many wonderful brothers and sisters whom I am always encouraged by. I just feel so much loved by all of them especially during my recent difficult times. They are the reason I don't want to leave Davis...

I am packing very very slowly, I guess that's because I really don't want to leave.

Now the positive side, I finally got to live with my hubby! And our neighborhood is awesome!!! Walking distance to shopping mall, movie theater, chinese and japanese plaza and my favorite beard papa!!!!!!I'll surely be spoiled. The other day A and I were wondering around our neighborhood, we found a big bridal shop, and guess what, the next day I checked it out myself and now the dress is in my closet! Very impulsive I am...

3 days before I move.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The ordeal I've been through

Never did I think carrying a baby would be this difficult until I myself went through all the ordeals in the past two months.

Since I was 5 weeks, I've been suffering from hyperemesis (severe morning sickness that prevents me from keeping down food). I was under a lot of pressure that the baby won't have enough nutrient because I was not eating at all. I had my ups and downs, during my downs, I wasn't able to take anything, including water, and would start throwing up bloods and acids cuz my stomach was empty. During my ups, lunch was the only meal that I could keep so I usually had in-n-out cheese burger for some weird craving reason (to be honest, I am never a fan of in-n-out, but A is).

Everyone told me once I move on to my second trimester, I will be much better. Hoping that one day I can start eating normally (including my favorite pop corn chicken), I counted down every day for my second trimester to come.

Three weeks ago, during one of my frequent prenatal check-up (because of hyperemesis, I see my doc every 2 weeks), I told doc that I had a mild abdominal pain. Doc said it might be because of my frequent throwing up, so she suggested me to take prevacids, tums, maalox etc for stomach acid. The following 3 days was probably the worst weekend ever, the pain became severe that I could not stand or walk. What's amazing is that I had my engagement shoot scheduled on Sat, so I endured the pain to finish the shoot. The moment the photographer left, I started throwing up like crazy in A's car. Now that I think of that day, I don't even know how I managed to sustain myself while having tremendous pain.

Since none of the drugs the doc suggested worked, A decided to send me to urgent care at my doc's office. I was transferred to the ER at the hospital right away cuz I was dehydrated and they need other specialists to diagnose my abdominal pain. That was a very long day. Because of the pregnancy, the techniques they could use are limited, first they tried ultrasound, but couldn't figure out the reason, then they decided to try MRI since CT scan had a lot of radiation that may harm the baby. I went to the doc at 9am in the morning, by the time I finished my MRI, it's almost 4pm.

Then a surgeon came talk to me 30 min later, he said they suspected it's appendicitis, but they were not sure because MRI is less accurate than CT scan which they can't use on me. He still decided to operate because if it's acute appendicitis, both the baby and I would be very dangerous if not treated right away. The surgery was scheduled at 6pm, I really felt like I was chasing after time.

Although I haven't had any water/food since 9am (they didn't allow me to take any cuz I might need a surgery, while waiting in the operation room, I still started throwing up. Whenever I threw up, the pain worsened.

I am not sure how long the surgery lasted, the moment I woke up, I was sent back to the regular room already. I heard A's voice, the doc's voice and also the baby's heartbeat (they were checking if the baby was doing ok after the surgery). I heard A said to the doc happily "the heartbeat is still very fast." I was so relieved. A told me the surgery was successful and it was really the appendicitis that caused all my pain. Doc was glad that we went to the hospital in time, because if I came a day late, the appendix would burst and they wouldn't be able to save the baby cuz I would be in a very critical condition. I read their medical report later, there's already some rupture, I guess I was very lucky.

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days. The first 3 days were unbearable. Since I am pregnant, they couldn't give me pain medicine as often as they give to other patients. I constantly felt the pain and couldn't do anything about it. Also, I couldn't pee, so they inserted a catheter into my body (very very awkward feeling). To help my recovery, the nurse came get me up 3 times a day to walk in the hall. I could barely walk, so it took me forever to reach their goal. What's worse is that because I have hyperemesis, if I throw up, the wound would hurt even more, so they still didn't allow me to drink/eat anything. I was IV injected for 4 days.

I was released on the fourth day, was that the end? No, fri I was back to the ER because of the complication after the surgery and finally went back home on sat. It's been 2 weeks, and I am slowly recovering. Now I still throw up many times a day, but at least, I can stay home, not in the hospital. And thank God that the baby and I are both ok.

Btw, the other days I was googling pregnancy and appendicitis, I found two women with similar experiences. One was in her 20 weeks when she had the surgery, she lost the baby, and the other one was in her 31 weeks, they had to do a c-section to take the baby out and the baby stayed in the hospital for 2 months. I guess God really blessed my family and I deeply appreciate.

Sometimes I get frustrated at my tough pregnancy, but after all the ordeals (or maybe more later), I came to realize that God chose this less taken pregnancy road for me to teach me to how to be strong for the ones I love.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transcending The Road Not Taken

This title refers to Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken", which is a popular poem from the 80s. In high school I grew up reading the likes of Robert Frost and Edgar Allen Poe and from the perspective of a full fledgling adult, it often feels like their poems carry a message of innocence lost in our distant past.

I guess what I am trying to say is that our lives at least S. and I take the most unusual twists and turns. Take a look at our time together (which we'll save for another time) or S.'s recent encounter with the "silent killer".

I, for one, feel that Frost's poetry deploys fairly simple rhymes and his message, which must be deeper are lost between the words. For instance, the "somewhere ages to ages hence" is one way Frost tries to transcend time. All poets try to do this. Some less effectively than others. Like my favorite poet of all time, Percy Shelley. However, I digress.

Frost is trying to transcend time with "ages to ages". Otherwise, this poem would be a simple choosing of door 1 or door 2. And...I choose door 2. Its more than this and that is why the message remains.

I once dreamed an unusual dream on my headstone, "Engineer, blah, blah, blah". The truth is that I have always wanted, "Philosopher, blah, blah, blah". Was this the road taken? Or was there a road I should've taken that is "less traveled by and that has made all the difference"? I know one thing that I married someone who did.