Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I've moved!

Due to incessant issues with Blogger on my Safari, I've decided to migrate to Wordpress. So, kindly change this address on your Bookmarks to , if you've got this site marked! See you there!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

If I had things my way...

1) Babies would have an on and off switch: turn on in the morning and off at bedtime at parents' discretion
2) All babies would love and want to suck 
3) Breastmilk would flow like water from a tap - not according to demand
4) Pre-pregnancy clothes (yes, that favorite pair of Gap jeans) would fit a week after delivery
5) Doctors would find a cure for colic
6) One can simply pop a pill to overcome postpartum blues

But alas, this is not an ideal world...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stressful modern conveniences

Within the last few days, three things broke down on us - the flush of both toilets in our home and, most annoyingly, my Blackberry. While many may find them merely small issues, they really are not if you're working within various constraints like time (baby is due anytime!), money and skill.

We first discovered that the toilet in our bathroom was leaking when we moved into our new place in December. We chose to ignore it as we were too tired to deal with it then. When our water bill came this month, we decided that we needed to fix it as it was not just leaking water but cash! So, three days ago, husband and I put both our wanting plumbing skills together to fix the leak. We found that the water pump was faulty. Motivated, we made our way to the nearest hardware store and purchased a generic pump which we hope will work. 

When we got home, we started taking the water tank apart only to find that we don't have the right tools to deal with it. So we called on some friends to see if they have the wrench we need. Finally one friend's brother owns one and we will pick it up tomorrow (sigh...delay = inconvenience=stress). But on the night we got home from the hardware store, I discovered that the guest toilet was also leaking! So now we have to see if we succeed in fixing the first one before we work on the second one...

A few evenings ago, my Blackberry went kaput. It wouldn't let me do anything except call the last person who calls me! While the handheld has served me well for over two years and due for an upgrade offer (by the telcom company), I decided end of last year to stick with it as it still functioned for what I needed it for. Unfortunately its demise was due. 

Finally got a new Blackberry at a decent price and was charging and setting it up last night when I discovered that it kept going into rebooting mode on its own! What a bummer! A search on Google confirms that it's pretty common problem with the model I bought. And worse, there hasn't been one solution for it - many users had to trouble-shoot and it's basically hit or miss. Some ended up returning the phone and some got a replacement that works. I spent most of today trying to figure out what's wrong with it and I MAY have solved the issue but it's still too early to tell. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

The point of this entry, I guess, is an ask-out-loud question of why things, specifically supposedly  modern conveniences, always break down at the wrong time and the solution is always highly stressful. Are these unnecessary hassle that we bring upon ourselves? For example, why do I need a Blackberry now when I didn't even own a cellphone for the first half of my adult life? And why do have fancy pumps nowadays when the first generation toilet flushes worked just as well? Are our lives really easier and simpler with these "progressive" gadgets? Hmm...  

Monday, January 12, 2009

Terminate at 60

While following Captain Jean-Luc Picard's adventure traversing the universe on the show's Season 4, we came across an interesting episode ("Half a Life") where the crew of Starship Enterprise encounters an alien society (that practices a ritual called, the Resolution. Basically the Resolution is suicide ritual where everyone who reaches the age of 60 kills him or herself as a means of ridding the younger generation of the need to care for the elderly.

The plot was that Counselor Troi's mother, Lwazana, who was on board the Enterprise, fell in love with a visiting scientist, Timicin, from Kaelon II. However, their love affair is doomed as Timicin is about to turn 60 and he's getting ready to return to his home planet to die. Lwaxana has difficulty comprehending such  custom and asked Picard to intervene. But as the Federation's Prime Directive does not allow the crew to judge or interfere in another's cultural norms and practices, Picard was reluctant to interfere.

Enraged and trying to convince Timicin of how wrong the custom is, at one point, Lwaxana states, "So, you get rid of the problem by getting rid of the people!"

The theme of eutanasia is oft brought up in Star Trek. The Vulcans, too, have a similar practice along with a few other alien cultures.

Other than the resemblance of the Prime Directive to our present day Moral Relativism ("That's just true for you but not for me."), the arguments to justify euthanasia advanced by the various alien cultures in Star Trek, too, resonates with the contentions of contemporary proponents of euthanasia. Many of them claim that those who are suffering from a terminal illness have the "right to die." Two problems arise from this reasoning: 1) how does one define "terminal illness" and where would one draw the line? Cancer? Depression? 2) If to die is a fundamental right, then shouldn't all of us have that right to die, too? Why just those who are terminally ill? This right should not be limited to those who are terminally ill. 

I believe that autonomy is not absolute – there are limits to autonomous decisions we make; our autonomy ends where there is tangible evidence of harm to others. This line of rationalization also opens the door to the inflicting of harm where right-to-die can easily slip into duty-to-die just like the people of Kaelon II.

Interesting times we are living in... 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A new appreciation

Since I've gotten pregnant, I've been telling moms I know how I have a new appreciation for them. The best response I've gotten so far is that that appreciation will only grow! While I always knew that being a mom or even just a parent is one of the toughest calling in life, it's only now that I see how much a mother sacrifices for her child. Presently the sacrifices I've had to deal with are physical and financial ones but as soon as the little one arrives, more will be due!

It WAS also often easy to criticize another person's parenting/mothering style but now that I'm preparing to be a parent I find myself anxious about what kind of a mother I would be. Then there is the concern if baby would be healthy and normal... If I'd have enough milk to nurse him...If he'd turn out to be one of those rascals we see screaming in shopping malls... While I know that these fears and concerns are normal and expected, they are presently very real. I guess you mothers out there would in turn respond that this is only the beginning. And I know that you are right!

Have a happy new year! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Coolest boss in town!

Sometime back before I got pregnant I blogged about companies which allow moms to bring their babies to work.

At that time, I thought the idea was fascinating but may be too revolutionary for many organizations (actually I still think so). However, at 5-month pregnant and desperate for childcare options when I return to work after my maternity leave, I proposed the idea to my boss. Without much hesitation, he said yes! This is great as I will get to get my work done while having my little gem next to me in the office. As the office staff is few (five of us), we've always operated like a family. So, with the introduction of the little one, everyone has already offered to chip in to help! Now this is what I call a pro-family, pro-life, pro-children organization!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's human!

Husband and I just returned from our routine visit to the gynecologist. We received good report about the baby who is presently 17 weeks and 4 days old. It's fascinating how technology enables us to see so clearly what's in my womb. We could see his beating heart, his spinal cord, his legs and arms, clearly formed digits (fingers) on his hands, his genitals and etc.

The profile of his face was so clear on the sonogram printout that we could make out his cute little nose and mouth. We gasped in awe as we exclaimed - "It's human! He's a human person!"

Of course, for weeks now we've been monitoring his growth on the sonogram and even from the first few weeks, he was obviously a distinct human being. Though he's somehow attached to my body and is dependent upon me to grow at this point in time, he is nonetheless not part of my body, nor part of me in the same way as my kidneys or heart.

Laws in Singapore (where we're residing presently) allows abortion on demand up till the 24th week of pregnancy. That is, a woman can walk up to a clinic and have the life of the 6-month old child inside her terminated - no questions asked. Apparently this is what they call pro-choice (?) where a woman has a choice to do whatever she wants with her life and her body. Now, I have no problem with that definition of pro-choice BUT my problem arises from the fact that the 6-month old unborn inside her is NOT part of her body! It clearly has a life of its own - his own blood circulatory system complete with a beating heart, his own mind (the sight of my son kicking his legs and appearing like he's cycling an invisible bicycle inside my womb was enough to convince me that I have no control whatsoever over his actions!). Hence, extracting the fetus out of one's womb is not the same as removing one's kidney.

My pregnancy is, contrary to what every other mother tells me, becoming increasingly difficult. There are days when I can hardly function at all on normal activities. Clearly the growing entity inside my body is the cause of much of my physical and mental stress. However, I also realize that I can't simply decide to do what's best for me alone. First, another life is dependent on me. Second, regardless of how inconvenient or difficult it may be for me, I can't resort to removing the source of my suffering as we're not talking about a cancerous kidney here but about another human life. And, another human's life, I have no right to take.

With the advancement in prenatal scanning technology, it is becoming more obvious that no matter how we want to justify the termination of pregnancy, abortion is ultimately the taking of an innocent life. In some contexts, we call this kind of act, murder.