The month of May has always been a very special month for me, because both Mothers’ Day and my birthday usually fall in May.

And it was on the second Sunday of May 1978, Mothers’ Day, Ma gave birth to me via a Caesarean delivery. Doctor had advised Ma to do a C-section after discovering that I was going to be a breech baby, feet coming out first instead of my head. Ma, who walked and admitted herself to the formal Toa Payoh Hospital all alone, even had to sign her own admission and surgery documents. Pa was running a food outlet at that time, and was not aware of her admission until much later. 

As I was the fourth child, Ma did not dare to go for any prenatal checks prior to her delivery. She was too afraid to visit the hospital because she was given a very stern warning after giving birth to her third child. Frightened and worried about her fourth pregnancy, Ma did not even dare to tell my Pa. She did not plan to keep the child. At that time, the “Two is Enough'' campaign, which ran from 1972 to 1987, was at its peak. In order to curb population growth, the wildly successful campaign had discouraged families from having more than two children. Parents who had more than two children were given different types of penalties. 

Ma decided to go for an abortion. So she visited a clinic and was given some abortion medicine. She even visited the clinic for a second time, because the first dosage did not work. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, the second dosage did not work as well (Ha!). Pa found out about her secret abortion and was furious. Ma then went to clinic again, but this time was to ask for prenatal supplements. I wonder if I should thank the lousy medicine or my own stubbornness for bringing me to this world. =P

But of course, none of that really matters. In fact, I will always be thankful for is my Ma (and Pa). I do sometimes feel bad and sorry, can never imagine that kind of pressure she had to face. She also had to make the difficult decision to go for a sterilization right after my birth, in order to guarantee me a place in a primary school. Therefore, the month of May will always make me feel emotional and grateful at the same time. 

Happy Mothers’ Day to Ma, and to all the mothers, mommies, moms, ibu, mama, mak, and amma out there. And Happy Birthday to me. Thank you. =)