Sometimes, there’s only so much a woman can plan ahead for, be it taking a bus or having a baby.
BEING the organised freak that I am, my husband sometimes comments, jokingly, that I have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
My desk is never cluttered, I know exactly where I keep everything, and my clothes and shoes are sorted according to style and colour. If I’m taking public transport, I’ll use the relevant local apps to check the bus arrival timing before heading for the bus stop.
And before getting behind the wheel of a car, I’ll register a mental route map, especially if I have multiple destinations.
Catching a bus is much easier than having a baby, especially when there’s a public transport app..
Besides being systematic, which I attribute to my DNA, I also organise everything carefully. I like to stay on top of things and minimise nasty surprises. Checklists are my best friends, and my days are structured around “To Do” lists. I planned my wedding a year and a half in advance, right down to the same minute-by-minute details that Formula One races are run. When I was expecting my daughter, I drew up a list of things that we had to prepare at various stages of the pregnancy.
But it caught me off -guard when my baby was born prematurely at 35 weeks. I woke up at three in the morning to go to the toilet and realised that my water broke. I hadn’t packed my hospital bag (that was planned for week 36 in my pregnancy checklist), as the baby wasn’t due for a few more weeks. Ordinarily, I would have expected myself to panic, but I was oddly calm, calling the hospital and packing my delivery bag before making our way to the hospital.
In the delivery ward, I remember asking the gynaecologist whether my baby will be all right. She replied with a shrug and a smile: “Your baby wants to come out. What can we do?” A few years later, while explaining my daughter’s early arrival to her, I asked, half-jokingly, why she wanted to come out earlier. She said, matter-of-factly: “Because Mama’s stomach has no Lego for me to play with.” My husband’s take is that because she is an exceptionally considerate and caring child, she wanted to come out earlier so that I didn’t have to endure the third trimester backaches, and I would have an easier delivery because of her lower birth weight.
Whatever the reason, I’m just grateful that she arrived healthy. If there existed a real-time app that let me know when the baby was coming, like the one that tells me when the next bus is due, my eyes and fingers would probably have been glued to the screen.
Lynn has learnt to cherish the moment, because sometimes, the best things in life take her by surprise.