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“Who’s the lucky father?”

A friend asked me this question a few days ago. It’s a pretty common question, I guess, when you tell someone you’re pregnant. It’s usually a joyous occasion for a couple. I’m at the stage of life where my Facebook is mainly full of posts of either friends showing off their kids, friends announcing their pregnancy, or friends getting married. It’s mostly happy couple or kid stories.

One friend posted earlier today that he can’t wait to be a father. Another friend asked me the other day if I was planning to use cloth diapers or disposables. I said I wasn’t thinking so far ahead yet, that the challenges of pregnancy itself were keeping me occupied for now. He said he knew how tough it was, and that’s why he was shopping for his wife.

When I search the Internet for pregnancy tips, the husband or partner often gets mentioned – to be prepared for mood swings, fatigue, irritability and all the other things that come with surging pregnancy hormones and a changing body. “Let your partner know that she’s not alone,” says the NHS website.

So who’s the lucky father? Well, the father of my child unfortunately doesn’t think himself so lucky. When I told him that I was pregnant, he said he didn’t know how to help me, that he couldn’t give me any support, that he wanted his life back without any consequences from the time we were together, that he wanted to cut all ties and have no strings remaining. He never told me outright to go for an abortion, but everything he said spelled it out clearly.

Okay, I said. Goodbye to you too. I will keep the baby anyway.

The thought of abortion never crossed my mind because I believe life is a God-given blessing. Who am I to kill a life? I’m no murderer. I may have made a mistake, but the baby is no mistake.

It did cross my mind, however, if it was a greater sin to bring a child into the world without a father. You hear all these stories about children in single parent families being screwed up. But then again, you also hear of screwed up people who’ve come from perfectly complete and loving families. There are many successful people who have been brought up by mothers who’re single whether by circumstance or choice. As my GP told me after doing a blood test to confirm my pregnancy: “Do you think you’re the first single mother in the world?”

Besides, I’m no teenager. I’m not poor. I’ve got a good job and with careful planning I definitely earn enough to support myself and a child. I’ve got an awesome supportive family and circle of friends. I’m strong willed and I’m motivated to fight back even harder when the chips are down. It’s not going to be easy being a single mother, but I believe I can do it.

When some of my friends who knew the father found out about my situation, a few of them were so angry that they half-jokingly suggested sending the mafia or hit squad to deal with the guy. They wondered how I could be so calm about the whole thing.

Of course I had moments of anger initially, though this was overwhelmed by sadness, shame and guilt. I didn’t know how to face my family, my friends, my colleagues… the world. But I prayed and asked God for forgiveness, and for a heart of forgiveness for my child’s father.

What good was it for me or my child to harbour any of those negative emotions anyway? Holding resentment or anger against someone only hurts you back; it grips you and brings your life to a standstill because you’re so focused on the person who’s wronged you. “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold,” says Ephesians 4:26-27.

The fact is life goes on, and it will go on great if I chose to make it so. All I had to do was let go and let God do his thing.

It’s easier than it sounds, of course. It took me a while to finally surrender it all to Him, to stop crying myself to sleep and actually start enjoying the pregnancy. But let go, I have. I have also forgiven the child’s father. As Luke 6:37 says, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, says Matthew 5:44.

Besides, it is not for me to deal with the child’s father. God will deal with him eventually. His day of judgement will come. As for myself, I’m positively excited about being a mother and looking forward to lots of adventures with my little girl. Eighteen weeks to go!

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19

Update: noticed some search terms on this blog and no, the father is not Damo if you’re trying to guess! He wouldn’t do such a thing.

28 Comments

  1. Hi Jeanette, been reading your blog for some time now. Not a runner but just like the way you talk about the freedom you get when you run. Didn’t know you were pregnant, but I have to congratulate it. Like what your doc says, you’re not the first single mum, and I’m sure you will not regret it. Lying by my son now while I’m typing this, he is the best gift that god had given to me – like wise for you. Write more, looking forward to hearing more more from u!!

  2. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Just woken up now in the middle of the night and lying here in the darkness feeling her move (really actively now!) inside me, each kick is a reminder that I have made the right choice.

  3. Hi, have been a silent reader of your blog since 2008 or something… cheesy but “yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” Nobody knows what will happen… you are already taking a stand. Run like you can never be tired.

  4. Thank you! Appreciate it!

  5. amen and congratulations (: you are gonna be such a kickass mom. i just know it. may God grant you continual strength, joy and abundant love to live life the way He has desires for you. xx

  6. jia you and i think you will make a fabulous mother.

  7. Thank you Jean! I hope I will be kickass :-) God will be my guide!

  8. Thanks Gia Yee! I hope so, it is all pretty scary! I still feel like a kid at heart!

  9. Been a silent reader on and off for years. Thanks for sharing this very intimate side of you so bravely. Stay strong and enjoy your little one in utero and when she is out! (I have 3 boys :)

    Cheers,
    Debra

  10. Thank you so much! Drawing lots of strength from all you silent readers… Need all that I can get. Was unsure about sharing initially but I really need an outlet for catharsis. Hope also I will give hope to other single moms out there. Three boys?! Respect, woman!!!

  11. thank you for sharing your story. wishing you all the strength and happiness for your little girl and yrself :)

  12. Thank you!

  13. Many congrats Jeanette, so thrilled for you. You will make a great Mom. Love from Anne

  14. Thanks Anne! I am having her in Singapore. Catch up with you then. I don’t know how you do six kids!! :-)

  15. Hi jeanette, I am from Singapore and have been following your adventures for many years. You have inspired many with your attitude towards life and your strengths in races. I love reading your articles in SCMP.

    I believe your kid will be as awesome as you.

    All the best and take care. Looking forward for more of your adventures in future.

  16. hi Jeanette, thank you for sharing this intimate story and i am moved by your generous spirit, courage and positivity ! You go, girl!!

    After i became a mother, I am often amazed at how my heart is bursting with love for my son… Love really knows no boundaries! i have also grown more appreciative of my parents, family and friends who shower their unconditional affection on him. Enjoy motherhood – it starts now!! =)

  17. Thank you Sherlyn! I am sure she will be a big blessing in my life.. Really excited!

  18. Hey, been following your work/runs for some time now. Just thought I’d say its very humbling to know that you’ve decided to kept the baby. It will be a challenge I’m sure, but with your circle of friends, I’m sure everything would be fine. I know this is would be very different in Malay culture (probably get crucified by the parents and such). But anyways, best of luck! I’m visiting HK next week for Translantau!

  19. Hi Azlan,

    Thank you for reading and for your encouraging message. I’m blessed with amazing parents; they’ve been 100 per cent supportive since I told them the news – in fact my mom told me abortion was not an option. It was a relief to hear that, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I had to have one. Good luck for TransLantau!

  20. Hi insanatez! Sorry just saw this – I think because of your nickname it got filtered as spam!
    Thanks so much for your message and I really appreciate your support all these years.
    Keeping my fingers crossed that my daughter will be WAAAY more awesome than I am :-D
    Thank you and take care!

  21. I’m proud of your decision jeanette. I’m really happy for you and proud of you. I’m wishing you a very happy motherhood. I really really think it’s a gread decition.

  22. I have never been so proud of someone on the web whom I don’t know. You’re the first. You did the right thing and god bless! Everything happens for a reason!

  23. Thank you very much for your kind words! Holding her now in my arms I am so glad I made the right choice.

  24. Welcome to the world’s toughest and most rewarding race, parenthood.

  25. Jeanette, admirable strength and resolve, not only in physical exploits, but now also evident in your mothering. As you continue to write the story of your life and Little M’s, may God be your rock and firm foundation in your new family.

    *My son was born just after national day, maybe they’ll be friends someday.

  26. Hey Wangxing, thanks for your message. Arguably motherhood has been tougher than any race I’ve run – and I believe will be the toughest thing I’ll ever do, and a race with no finish line… Let’s catch up with our bubs soon. I return to Singapore every few months.

  27. Hi Jeanette, been reading your blog since pre-HK days, am not a regular follower of blogs but am always glad I had read your blog after doing so. It reminds me to be a more balanced person, until today, am still very amazed to read that someone so super athletic like you bakes.

    Just thought it’ll be nice to tell you this, when I asked to have a photo taken with you years ago, I have always remembered that there were no airs about you and had admired how comfortable you were with yourself, something that I am still striving to be. Now, you will be the person I think of when life gives me lemons…Thank you for sharing your story of courage and self-acceptance. Keep staying strong in sports and life, you are an inspiration.

  28. Hi there, thanks so much for your kind uplifting words. There are more hard days than easy days and such encouragement help me get through it all. Thanks again!

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