Bangkok, Mama, Papa

10 Years: Growing Old with You

The last time I wrote a post related to our anniversary was 4 years ago when we had our 6th one.  I also made a post for the 5th and 4th. (Oh, where was I for these last 4 years? My blog is practically dormant during that period of time. The consequences of being in my status quo, is it? Nevermind. The more important question is, should this dormancy prolonged? I am not sure how to me answer it. I am surely not in my status quo, but, who can tell the future? Let’s see how my blog’s gonna roll after this.)

Oh, anniversary. How is marriage after 10 years?

The first half of my married life was pretty much in Long-Distance-Love mode. Keluarga kocar-kacir. We were stretched between Bangkok, Purwokerto, and Surabaya. The second half of gave us much more time to be together. Almost 70% of our 5 years were spent together under the same roof in Karanggintung. So, yeah, we have experienced two different tastes of married life. While we were at the LDL mode, I fancied the idea of living the family life as it should be, literally together and having each other in hugging distances. You can find how I felt and thought about it in the three links I posted at the beginning of this post. Now, after I had experienced the marriage life I dreamt of before, do I still feel the same that being together is way better than in LDL status for a married couple?


It’s valid to say that both have their own minus and plus. Both conditions need hard works to work properly. Both can’t be taken for granted. They bring their own lesson to be learned.

Somehow, if I have a choice, I will go with the later.  Definitely, I do.

In both conditions, communication and compromise are essential. I’ve said it before, love alone is not enough. Marriage grows with responsibility. The longer you are in it, the more responsibility you should take. In the beginning, there was only you and your spouse. As the time flies, there would be children, KPR, growing careers, neighbors, extended families, bla bla bla all you have to deal with. And love alone, my friends, is not enough to overcome the problems related to those.

Yeah, that was 10 years of marriage to me. Sure, I love Pak Suami, and that love has evolved with time. It grows day after day, intertwines with communication and compromises, to build what so-called of our marriage’s backbone.

What about happiness? Am I happy with my marriage? I am. (I don’t know why I suddenly remember my friend’s quote once when I was on my 2nd anniversary. She said that I should not hope too much with married life. She, as long as her marriage, witness that marriage did not necessarily make her happy. She had to shut her dreams down to marry, and after a while in it, she realized that it made her better in many aspects, but it took happiness from her. That’s why she warned me to define progress in my marriage as a better life, and not happiness. Mind you she was in her 20th anniversary now. No, I won’t give you the detail of my dear friend. This post should be about my 10 years of marriage, and not give us fuel to another ghibah.)

But in this point, happiness maybe not the best word to describe the feeling. I don’t know, maybe content is more appropriate. If it so, yes, I am content with my marriage.

The most important thing I realize lately is the importance of not losing our self in marriage. Sure I am Pak Suami’s wife, Soph and Sya’s mom, but I am Tanti, to begin with. That’s where I start and will grow from. If I use the term of an incident in a flight, I should save my self first before I save the other. A happy me for happy children and happy family, that’s the simplest way I put it into a sentence.

Thus, I choose Lucky Man as the soundtrack of my 10th anniversary. Because happiness, more or less, is something in my liberty. I am a lucky woman.

ten years and counting, alhamdulillah


Bangkok, Mama, Papa, Syafiq

A New Chapter: Daycare

We are on our first week of Sya’s daycare journey. The hardest part, I believe. It’s the second experience, indeed. Somehow it doesn’t make this second time any way easier than that of the first one. Let’s simply say that we are on the different circumstances. I mean, this time around and about 8 years ago.

It is worries galore.

We are worried about his meal. He is in a public daycare run by a local. Yes, we had made it clearly understood that Sya is a moslem.  Yes, Sya is not the only moslem toddler there. Yes, the daycare doesn’t serve pork to the kids and serve halal-certified chicken. Somehow this worry is just lingering around.

We are also worried about Sya’s language development. He hasn’t mastered Bahasa Indonesia (he speaks a sentence in two words, communicates well, has a very good vocabulary, somehow he’s just two years old toddler. There’s a so much more he needs to learn), yet he has to communicate in Thai with his sitters. How will he deal with it?

Sya always knows how to make the outsides see he has done good, and only shares his not-so-good-things with his family. His sitters said that his progress is good, less crying day by day, and he sleeps and eats well during his time there. Somehow, we witness how he copes with his sadness and fears each time we bring him there in the morning and pick him up in the noon (Sesedih apa melihat bocah yang sedih dan gelisah selama di gendongan  dalam perjalanan ke TPA, terus sesampainya di sana langsung jadi anak tegar yang tanpa nangis pindah ke pangkuan pengasuhnya dan mengucapkan selamat tinggal sama orang tuanya, coba?).

Oh, why the gene is inherited and expressed in you, Sya?

It’s hard for us, but I know it’s so much harder for him.

Why does a child have to suffer in the name of his parents’ choice?

In the end of the day, I am realized this is not the first time for us. We had survived it before. I know how it is played. I know how it will be rolled. Sya will be fine. He will cope it better than I thought. He is stronger than I expect. Yes, ye will turn out fine. InsyaAllah. Just like his sister years ago. May Allah help Sya through this, as we have done our part in the best efforts we can.



Mama, Papa, Sophie, Syafiq

Square One

There’ s a time for anything, i believe. There was time when my world was spinnned around science writing, when Carl Zimmer, Ed Yong, and Atul Gawande occupied my mind (while it wasn’t busy with my primary business, of course). I had so many plans related to this in my mind, somehow none of actions i took then. I am wondering, was i that busy with science writing, or, was i busy imagine it?

After a while i’ve been busy with rumahliliput-hypes only, it finally comes a time when i have a lot of free time to do anything outside that hypes. Those long sleepless nights provided me time to do things useless, of course. Do you know what i do with those times? I stalk. Yes, i stalk in my long sleepless nights. Thank to Instagram (and Twitter, too. Old habit never dies, i guess).

Recently, i found instagram’s account of one i admired for her creativity and struggle to reach her dream. No, i won’t mention her name here.

I catched years since the last time i stalked her in her instagram’s post. She’s just as sweet as she was. She’s just enganged to man with a familiar family name to my ears. And just like that, my stalking journey has officially begun.

I knew that she came from a formal family. Her parents were state officers, and she took a very different path than her parents’. Somehow it’s clear from very beginning that she was raised in a family where education is the first priority. She waited until she was graduated from School of Law before she spreaded her wings, flew away and be who she is known today.

I stalked her family with the help of google. Yes, their formal background would not let his parents possessing instagram account, I guess. Oh, they are retired and her mother run a flower shop.

Sure I was not stop with that. I stalked his fiance, whose big family name. Oh, so he is an aspiring director, a runner, and the our typical of future family man. Lovely.

And so stalked that famous family name. There are television person, actor, restaurateur, philanthropist, and environmentalist there. They love and support each other, i can feel the warmness anytime i look at their pics and read their storiea. They love sports, even the father in his 70s recently participated in a half marathon!

***** **** *** ** *

OK, so, what did you get from this stalking, Tanti?- you may ask.

After did all those stalkings, i realize that family is one’s square one. Yes, FAMILY IS ONE’S SQUARE ONE, i repeat it in capitals. It is the very place where we start, which define our basic color, and eventually where we will come back to, no matter how far we have traveled.

Yes, i know, i am pretty much what my family is. Maybe you see some differences on the surface, but underneath, yep, no need to be discuss further. In my position right now, it doesn’t matter anymore. I accept it, i am good with it.

This rises a question, the essential one. Has i set a family that condusive enough for Sophie and Syafiq to grow to their optimum potency?

Mama, Papa, Syafiq

Delivering Baby Syafiq

H-3. Saya mendapati penampakan lendir darah untuk pertama kalinya. Tanpa Braxton Hicks sama sekali. Oh, well, kita akan segera bertemu, Syafiq.

H-2. Mulai ada kontraksi, tapi masih jarang sekali. Paling dalam sehari-semalam tidak sampai 10 kali. Lendir darah kembali muncul. Saya mulai melihat kembali tas yang akan dibawa ke RS, mengecek apakah isinya sudah lengkap, sesuai dengan yang saya rencanakan. Mulai deg-degan, teringat drama-drama semasa melahirkan Sophie dulu.

H-1. Saya tidak bisa tidur karena gelisah akibat kontraksi yang sebenarnya belum sering-sering amat. Gelisah membayangkan apa yang akan saya alami beberapa jam (atau beberapa hari) ke depan. Gelisah memikirkan apakah persalinan kali ini akan berbeda atau mirip-mirip dengan apa yang saya alami saat melahirkan Sophie. Gelisah memikirkan akankah saya cepat beradaptasi terhadap peran baru sebagai ibu dari dua anak. Gelisah untuk banyak hal.

Dalam rangka memanfaatkan waktu melek-gelisah tersebut, saya menyelesaikan beberapa pekerjaan. Jam 2 pagi, karena kontraksi mulai teratur walaupun masih setengah jam sekali, saya langsung mengirimkan pekerjaan-pekerjaan tersebut pada pihak-pihak yang bisa mem-follow up-inya. Saya mencoba tidur.  Gagal, tentu saja. Kontraksi terus terjadi dan jaraknya semakin dekat. Saya sama sekali tidak berhasil memejamkan mata malam itu.

Seiring berjalannya waktu, kontraksi yang terjadi semakin dekat satu sama lain. Di pagi hari, kontraksi mulai berjeda waktu sekitar 6-7 menit sekali. Setelah menitipkan Sophie pada Bu Sainah, jam 9 saya dan suami berangkat ke RS. Setelah diperiksa, ternyata saya masih bukaan 1. Melihat sejarah melahirkan Sophie yang lamaa banget bertahan di bukaan 1, bidan jaga menyarankan agar kami pulang dan menunggu di rumah. Kami menurut.

Kami pun pulang ke rumah dan disambut Sophie dengan pertanyaan kok cepet-banget-pulangnya-mana-dedeknya. Kontraksi masih tetap saja, sekitar 5 menitan, tapi durasinya pendek-pendek. Sepagian itu saya di rumah saja bersama Sophie, bergelung di sofa sambil meringis-ringis saat kontraksi tiba, yang mana interval durasinya bertahan di rentang waktu yang sama. Btw, Pak Suami masih sempat berangkat ke kampus sebentar, lho, hari itu.

Siang harinya, dalam rangka mempercepat bukaan (dan eneg melihat saya yang nglimpruk di sofa, mungkin) , suami mengajak saya makan siang di luar. Selesai makan, suami punya ide brilian: berjalan-jalan. Tidak tanggung-tanggung, salah satu jalan-jalannya ke Andang Pangrenan. Coba, deh, dibayangkan. Saya yang masih juga mengalami kontraksi teratur lima menitan ini basah kuyup karena keringat. Suami tega of the year beneran, deh.

Mama Sophie
Wajah-wajah sumringah menjelang detensi di Andang Pangrenan. “Ada yang bisa kami pijet, Pak?”

Singkat cerita, jam 8 malam kami kembali ke RS. Interval kontraksinya masih sama, tapi saya merasa durasinya makin panjang. Pas diperiksa, masih bertahan di bukaan 1 juga. Kata dokter jaganya, “Iya, sih, interval kontraksinya sudah lima menitan. Tapi intensitasnya belum adekuat”

Dan dokter pun menitahkan saya untuk pulang lagi. Kali ini kami tidak menurut. Saya sudah merasa lemas akibat belum tidur sejak sehari sebelumnya Lagi pula, akan sulit berpamitan pada Sophie lagi kalau kami harus pulang dulu. Kami pun buka kamar di Bunda Arif. Menunggu.

Jam setengah 12 malam, saat dicek oleh Bidan, saya menolak untuk periksa dalam. Saya merasa bahwa kontraksi yang saya rasakan masih begitu-begitu saja, maka saya berasumsi persalinan saya masih dalam tahap yang sama dengan sebelumnya, belum nambah apa-apa.

Jam 01.30, saya merasakan dorongan yang kuat untuk mulai mengejan. Oh oh. Saya mengenali sensasi ini. Enam tahun yang lalu, ketika dorongan semacam ini datang, saya buru-buru dibawa masuk ke ruang persalinan. Saya menunggu beberapa saat untuk memastikan. Saat itu interval antara satu kontraksi dengan kontraksi berikutnya di rentang 3-4 menit. OK, memang waktunya telah tiba. Saya lalu membangunkan suami (Iya, suami bisa tidur nyenyak saat itu. Lengkap dengan dengkurannya yang legendaris itu, bahkan) dan memanggil bidan. Cek dicek, sudah masuk bukaan 8. Saatnya ganti pemandangan: kami masuk ke ruang persalinan pada pukul 01.45.

Ternyata kami tidak sendirian. Ruang persalinan sebelah terisi oleh ibu muda yang sedang melahirkan anak pertamanya. Saat pertama mendengar suara-suara dari sebelah, dalam hati saya berkata, “Heboh amat, Bu. Biasa saja, kali”.

Perkataan yang membalik pada diri saya sendiri. Beberapa saat kemudiaan, saya menyumbangkan kehebohan yang tidak jauh berbeda.

Suami sudah lebih pintar dibandingkan saat persalinan pertama dulu. Kali ini, suami menyodorkan badannya untuk saya peluk saat kontraksi datang (Iya, pelukan Gorila, tepatnya. Sama sekali bukan jenis pelukan mesra). Lumayan, trik ini berhasil menyelamatkan tangan suami dari cakaran saya.

Persalinan kami dibantu oleh Bidan yang mana adalah instruktur senam hamil yang baru saya ikuti dua kali saja (Well, salah satu penyebab saya ikutan heboh di ruang bersalin, saya rasa, adalah karena saya kurang terlatih dalam mitigasi rasa sakit saat kontraksi datang. Saya hanya sempat senam hamil dua kali, sehingga sama sekali belum menghayati prinsip pernafasan yang diajarkan. Beda jauh sama jaman hamil Sophie dulu, saya rutin senam hamil sejak usia kandungan 8 bulan). Beruntung, ada suami yang rajin mengingatkan dan mencontohi: tarik nafas dalam, buang nafas pelan, lagi, lagi….

Sesi senam hamil terakhir yang saya ikuti hari Sabtu. Saat itu Selasa dini hari. Jelas Bu Bidan masih ingat dengan saya dan masalah apa yang saya sampaikan di sesi curhat setelah senam berakhir. Kata beliau, “Ayo, Bu, jangan mengulangi kesalahan yang sama. Jangan buang-buang tenaga. Miring dulu saja”.

Ada tiga bidan yang bertugas saat itu. Ketika bayi di ruang sebelah lahir, ketiganya datang untuk membantu di sana. Saya hanya berdua dengan suami. Tiba-tiba saja, saya merasakan dorongan yang luar biasa untuk mengejan. Sekuat mungkin saya menahannya. Tiba-tiba saya merasakan ada sesuatu diantara kedua paha saya. Ketika saya menyadari apa yang terjadi, yang bisa saya lakukan hanya berteriak, “Buuu, sudah lahir…”

Separuh badan Syafiq sudah di luar.

Ada dua bidan yang berlari ke kamar bersalin saya. Refleks saya berganti posisi, dari berbaring miring ke posisi standar melahirkan (Oh, hai, jahitan. Tidak terlalu senang mendapatimu). Syafiq menangis pelan setelah sepenuhnya di luar tubuh saya. Dan momen itu kembali lagi. Momen ketika semua rasa sakit saat kontraksi menghilang, berangsur-angsur bergeser menjadi memori samar.

Alhamdulillah. Pukul 02.27. 47 cm, 2,8 kg. Syafiq Hamad.

Selanjutnya, semua terasa nyaman. Mungkin nyaman bukan diksi yang tepat, tapi kira-kira begitu, lah. Tenang, damai, happy. Senyum mulai kembali ke wajah Pak Suami. Semua berjalan sebagai mana mestinya pasca persalinan: mengeluarkan placenta, IMD (yang seadanya banget, semi abal-abal) sambil menjahit robekan di bawah sana. Selesai. Semua baik-baik saja….

…. Sampai ketika tiba-tiba Bu Bidan mengatakan kalau terjadi pendarahan. Ya, saya merasakannya. Saya menciut. Saya mendapatkan beberapa tindakan untuk menghentikan pendarahan, termasuk Misoprostol. Beberapa saat kemudian, saya semakin ciut saat Bu Bidan mengatakan bahwa sebagian darah menggumpal di rahim dan perlu dibersihkan secara manual. Segera. Oh, I won’t give you the visuals, I won’t write the details. Keseluruhan yang saya alami saat pendarahan tersebut, bagi saya, lebih menakutkan dari pada proses melahirkannya sendiri (dari bukaan awal sampai Syafiq lahir, maksud saya).

Setelah momen menakutkan tersebut selesai, kami ditinggal bertiga di ruang bersalin untuk observasi. Alhamdulillah pemulihan berjalan dengan baik, tidak terjadi pendarahan susulan. Cuma, ya, efek Misoprostol bertahan cukup lama. Saya masih mengalami kontraksi hingga siang harinya. Weird, it was. I hold Syafiq in my arms but my uterus kept contracting for hours. 

Papa Syafiq
Pasca episode pendarahan. It affected him more than me, i think. He got to see the heavy bleeding and everything. *kecupPakSuami*

Jam 6 pagi, kami pindah ke kamar. Beberapa waktu kemudian, kamar perawatan kami bertambah ramai. Pak Suami menjemput Sophie, yang sedemikian exited menyambut kehadiran adiknya. Semuanya terasa nyaman, familiar, dan badan saya mulai tersadar dari eforia ketemu Syafiq: ngantuk luar biasa setelah dua malam tidak tidur sama sekali. Saya tertidur, suami juga. Sophie si kakak siaga menjaga adiknya adiknya ketika kami tertidur. Good sister, she is.

Sophie Syafiq
Sophie dan Syafiq, versi sekarang. Jelas bukan newborn lagi.  Yaa, namanya juga postingan telat, yak.

Saya terbangun dengan kesadaran baru: here I am, a mom of two. Kesadaran yang mbleber kemana-mana, yang membuat hidup saya bergulir ke dimensi baru yang keterlaluan santainya, yang membuat saya keteteran ketika cuti melahirkan habis masanya.