I never mentioned that in my previous pregnancy that for the first 6 months, I was alone overseas. It was pretty miserable and I counted down to the days I would reunite with my husband and share the pregnancy with him. But actually I wasn’t at all alone. My friend JP and his wife accompanied me through the first 6 months. He drove me to my OBGYN visits, took me home after visits, brought me grocery shopping and invited me over for dinner where his wife would give me pregnancy advice. There were other kind friends who also kept me company but JP did the most.
I knew that if JP was around in Singapore when I was having my triplets, he and his family would have certainly volunteered to help me at home. He said he was really good at baby whispering, and I had no doubt about that. I used to email him about how difficult it was taking care of Livia and he would often write back how he wished he was there to help out and would offer his own advice based on his experience as a father. These days I’ve been writing to him about my worries with the triplets and he knew how difficult that was going to be for us. He has twin boys himself. And he said if I really, really wanted to, he could get his church send people to my house to help us if I really, really needed it. His church has people all over the world on missionary trips, and Singapore is one of them. And I don’t know if I will ever be that desperate, but I was extremely touched that ONE person (other than my mother) offered me some form of help in a tangible way. Though I equally appreciate all the other people (well not that many, just two other persons) who said they wished they could do something for us.
Its very rare to find friends like these. And sometimes they aren’t even very close to you. Some people are just that nice. When I told people I was having triplets, they like to say, oh I hope you are prepared to hire help or get help. I found that very annoying because I mean who doesn’t want to hire help or find help? Many people cannot afford to or find the right kind of help. The rudest comment for me was when people said that Livia would have to grow up very fast or mature very fast now that she has siblings to help take care of. I have no plans to burden my daughter with child-minding or rush her into maturity, though I’d imagine it will happen naturally when she realises she is a big sister.
If it were me, the more constructive thing to say is, please let me know in any way I can help. And I have in the past offered babysitting services to people, though none took it up. I don’t expect people to help me but it really melts my heart when someone does offer it. You feel supported, loved and encouraged. Its been a very difficult pregnancy and pregnant women are very hormonal so they need to be positive and be surrounded by positivity.
So next time you have a pregnant friend ask them if they need help, especially when they are close to delivering. It can sometimes be as simple as offering to bring them lunch or dinner, which a few of my friends did when they found out I was home-bound with being pregnant with triplets. Chances are anyway they will say its okay and they don’t need the help, but inside they will feel like a million bucks.