In September last year, we attended the wedding of Hubby’s distant cousin (let’s call her Mel). Everything appeared normal – the groom was happy, the bride looked beautiful and everyone was joyful.
Last weekend, we attended another of Hubby’s distant cousin’s wedding (let’s call him Lem). You see, the Peranakan culture is very family-oriented and embraces closely-knitted relationships where everyone – whether you are related by a gallon or a drop of blood – is considered a relative. Coming from a background where our definition of “relatives” stop farthest at mother’s/father’s siblings and their younger generations, this practice came as a surprise to me even up until now. So marrying a Baba man meant much more than just pongteh, sambal belacan and udang masak lemak, it also meant that I have many, many, many relatives now. So don’t you dare mess with me because I have a large network of kaki-lang okayyyy! 😉
Anyways, back to my story. As usual, the wedding dinner took forever to begin. While we are on that note, I would like to boast about the timeliness of my wedding. After attending dinner after dinner after dinner, I can now proudly declare that my wedding is probably one of the most punctual ones in Malaysia. Our invitation card stated “Due to a working day the following day, dinner will commence at 7.30 sharp. Your punctuality will be highly appreciated”. My Hubby and I marched in the ballroom at 7.35pm and food was served at 7.45pm. Cool or not? 🙂
Anyways, back to my story again. While waiting for the wedding dinner to begin, Hubby brought E around to drain his energy while I sat down to read “Room” by Emma Donoghue. I tell ya, it is such a greatly written book that I couldn’t put it down that whole weekend. While being held captive by the book, someone came to our table and said “Hello”. I looked up and saw Mel and her husband…and a Peg Perego stroller.
I smiled, said “Hello” back and fixed my eyes on the book again. Then it struck me, what’s inside the stroller? I stood up, walked to them and saw a newborn baby in there! “OMG” was my first (silent) reaction. I almost blurted out “How did this happen?” but managed to hold back my words. Then I wanted to say “Did you adopt?” but thought it wasn’t a good idea. My brain started doing the calculations:
► September 2011 to February 2012 equals to 5 months
► Baby looks like around 1 month old
► That means, she conceived him some time in April 2011
► That means, she was 5 months pregnant in September!
But…but…how can it be? She didn’t look pregnant on her wedding day! She was wearing a traditional qipao for the tea ceremony and a rather body hugging A-line gown during the reception. Nobody mentioned she was pregnant.
After a good 10 seconds staring at the newborn with my mind trying to make sense, I finally asked “Aww…how old is he?” Safe question. Baby is 5 weeks old. I wanted to say “I didn’t know you were pregnant!” then thought, “Eh, you know her very well meh?” and kept my composure. And no, he wasn’t adopted because his mommy told me she went through a long labour and had to go for emergency C-sec.
Getting pregnant before being married is rather common these days. I have friends who have done the same thing. In fact, I have even interviewed and featured a mom who open-mindedly shared the story about how her husband and her never regretted taking the express route to marriage and parenthood. To me, it’s simple. We are all consenting adults and if you’re blessed with a child, take full responsibility and embrace the journey. A baby – whether we are ready or not – is always a blessing. They choose us as their parents for a reason.
What still perplex me is how some women can hide their pregnancy that well. Maybe that’s how teenagers hide their pregnancy from their parents for months until they finally pop in the bathroom? I have watched “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” on Astro 733 before but it still doesn’t make sense. No symptoms, no change in figure, no weight gain? Ummm…that’s probably dubbed the Best Pregnancy ever!