I didn’t sleep very much last night. Whatever precious hours of slumber I managed to slip into weren’t restful either.

After nursing a hacking cough for days with no end in sight, the husband had been relegated to sleep in the study. Plus, thanks to another onset of gout, we couldn’t have him hobbling in the dark between rooms in response to calls for daddy.

That left me – with a 3 kg mini-watermelon and 12 kg of miscellaneous pregnancy bodily add-ons – to tend to the girls throughout the night.

Another bigger (yes, there are actually bigger things than a 38.5-weeks pregnant woman) reason that left me sleepless was my pre-occupation with the Mount Kinabalu tragedy that crushed the life out of some 12 year-olds, and their teacher and guide.

My heart broke for their parents.

As I groaned outwardly over my 3 year-old’s bedwetting accident and wiped her in the dark, my mind drifted to the parents who would give anything to be cleaning pee instead of blood from their child’s body – and I shut up.

I roused again shortly as my 2 year-old’s calls for mummy wafted through the air and I lay down to comfort her. Wedged in an excruciatingly uncomfortable position to protect my belly from her ninja kicks, I thought about the parents who would have longed to be able to soothe their child’s cry with a mother’s or father’s presence – and I forgot about my discomfort.

Pinned under my body, my right arm fell asleep long before I could (lucky thing). I was thankful when the husband showed up and insisted that the pregnant pretzel that was his wife tried to get some sleep in our own bed.

It was 4 a.m. My stomach rumbled with hunger as the tyrant in-utero grumbled and threatened to rearrange my insides unless I fed her. Heaving a sigh, I trudged downstairs, and blearily consumed some fruit and a glass of milk – all the while mentally complaining to no one in particular about how tired I was. In the darkness, images of the parents who would forever miss serving their ravenous little one a meal floated up – and I complained no more.

After all, I have nothing to complain about. Or rather, I’m grateful to have these little inconveniences to gripe about. Without them, there would be a void in my life.

In the light of the tragedy, skirmishes amongst parents – over birth choices, SAHMs vs working moms, breast vs bottle, whether breastfeeding women should cover up – all become a pointless, tiresome and almost sickening indulgence.

We get to hold our children. That is all that matters.

This morning, I woke to a sweet voice saying “Mummy, I love you”, followed by a butterfly kiss on my cheek. As I brushed my teeth, I heard lilting snippets of childish conversations and girly giggles, ending with a cheerful rendition of “Mr Golden Sun”.

It was the best morning ever.

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