Thursday, 12 November 2015

Done with One Child.


Baby Liv was born about a year ago in December and she has already brought abundance of joy to the family. Friends and relatives have begun asking when will we plan for a second baby too. The truth is, we are good with just one child. Liv is growing up fast and as much as possible, we want to be there for her as she reaches her milestones. We are enjoying the moment very much now.

To top it off, living in Singapore is similar to living in a big rat race where it can sometimes be too stressful to juggle with work and child at the same time. S is working and I will eventually rejoin the workforce. We are not sure if we can still spend as much time with her if another baby comes along too. And the fact that the standard of living here is high, more kids equal to more expenses. We feel that we should not be stretched too thin financially. It may sound practical but this is reality: the more we own, the more we need to maintain. It applies to having more children too.

Insufficient sleep for months had took a toll on my overall mental and physical health. I was always tired and moody. Liv never slept before 2am and woke after 830am when she was a newborn. She took cat naps which never lasted more than fifteen minutes and she would wake the moment we placed her down.  As she approaches her first birthday, things get easier, she has her sleep routine figured out and has stopped waking for night feeds. Bygone are those sleep deprived days! I am finally getting a full eight hours uninterrupted snooze that I longed for and would appreciate it to stay this way. True that every babies differ, baby number 2 may be a great sleeper but as long as there is a baby in the house, parents generally have less sleep.

Aside from all I have mentioned, the main reason I am good with one child is because I'm afraid of going through pregnancy again. I naturally overthink during my pregnant days. "Is my baby growing well?","Healthy?", "In good position for birthing yet?", the list just went on and on. Not many people, probably only S and my close kins and friends knew of this. I had a detailed ultrasound scan when I was five months pregnant with Liv. That day was unforgettable. It was a Tuesday, S and I woke up before our alarm could wake us. We were both excited and looking forward to see our little one's growth progress. The scan result came as a surprise to us, it was not something that we would have expected. Our gynae had made an abnormal finding in Liv's tiny heart. She was found with aberrant right subclavian artery (ARSA), where the ARSA was not seen in the normal position, it was seen crossing behind the trachea, towards her right arm, arising as a fourth branch of the aortic arch. Here's a picture for better understanding:

Left diagram shows a normal structure of a heart. Right diagram shows one with ARSA. (Picture credits to sonoworld.com )

Gynae explained that ARSA is found in about 1.4% of the normal population but a higher rate of ARSA is observed in foetuses with Down Syndrome. He suggested that I get an Amniocentesis (withdraw small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac that is surrounding the baby) done to check for any chromosomal abnormalities. It took two weeks for the precise results to be out but it felt like years. Thank God all went well, Liv was okay. But Gynae added that even if baby is normal, there is a possibility that the condition can cause respiratory and feeding difficulty. Our worry was not over until Liv was born, until she could drink milk and eat solids with no problem. Sigh of relief, I knew I was done riding the emotional roller coaster.

See! Liv is more than just healthy, she is very healthy!
True enough, by having Liv only will shortchange her of the chance to have an important relationship, a relationship with her sibling(s). But we wouldn't be worried that our little girl will feel lonely because she has mums and babies meet-ups, play dates and soon, preschool. She will learn how to navigate relationship struggles and resolve conflicts as she socialises extensively with other children. It may not be necessary to have siblings to pick up these abilities.

Fearlessly explore the world that awaits you because Mom and Dad is here to guide you..
S and I believe it is more important to focus and nurture our children, making them successful and useful to the society rather than merely boosting the population of the nation. Of course, we would not dismiss any possibilities of having another baby in years to come. Thinking may change over time and future is unpredictable. But as for now, we have decided not to multi-task and to focus on one child, placing our full attention and undivided love on her. The best part of having one child? We managed to strike a balance between work, family and life. We are overall a happier person. (:

Plentiful of hugs and kisses for our girl!


This post is solely on our personal views and decision. Parents have their own opinions on children which differ from other parents. Let's not judge and respect one another's choice in life. (:

10 comments:

  1. I am currently facing the same problem as you, my baby was checked on ARSA. Pretty worried as I took the paranormal blood test to confirm that is my baby a down's. Very worrying. Every was perfect. Just the ARSA. I heard it was pretty rare. Your case have me some light and assurance even though my gynae says it's not a serious problem. But usually she is a very chilled gynae. So I don't really assured by her words till I have seen your post on this.
    I shall wait for my result to be out. And likelyhood I will think the same way as you. One is enough.

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  2. I am currently facing the same problem as you, my baby was checked on ARSA. Pretty worried as I took the paranormal blood test to confirm that is my baby a down's. Very worrying. Every was perfect. Just the ARSA. I heard it was pretty rare. Your case have me some light and assurance even though my gynae says it's not a serious problem. But usually she is a very chilled gynae. So I don't really assured by her words till I have seen your post on this.
    I shall wait for my result to be out. And likelyhood I will think the same way as you. One is enough.

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  3. Hi
    When my son was diagnosed with ARSA, i was researching high and low for such info and found this blog. Paranomal results was low-risk and I just delivered him 2 weeks ago. So far, PD said his heartbeat sounds fine. However, as for feeding, I am also facing the same worries every night because i wont be sure if he suddenly chokes on his regurgitated milk when I'd fallen asleep. PD said regurgitation is common, but I am not sure if this is related to the obstructed artery across trachea or just normal regurgitation.

    Did you encounter any tell-tale signs which you can share?

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  4. Hi everyone, my baby was recently diagnose with ARSA as well. Me and my wife are worried sick. Awaiting for Panorama results currently. Can you guys share how are your babies' progress so far? Any other challenges faced along the way and how you overcame them? Really appreciate your inputs.

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  5. Hi everyone, I am also sailing in the same boat ... My 18 weeks fetus has been diagnosed to have ARSA. Waiting for the Panorama results.... Please share your stories about how your babies are doing now.... i wish they are leading a perfectly healthy life.... Please please please share your experiences. Thanks

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  6. Hi everyone, I am also sailing in the same boat ... My 18 weeks fetus has been diagnosed to have ARSA. Waiting for the Panorama results.... Please share your stories about how your babies are doing now.... i wish they are leading a perfectly healthy life.... Please please please share your experiences. Thanks

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  8. Hello everyone,
    I am too in the same boat (and of similar timing to you Nikky) . My baby girl has just been diagnosed with ARSA officially. I am now 25weeks pregnant, and we are waiting on a referral to see a specialist at our local hospital to see if they can do the same tests (panorama) that you all speak of.
    My husband and I are worried sick thinking of the possibile difficulties she may experience in life. If anyone above can share their experience with their children (i.e. breast feeding, solids, breathing , regurgitation) that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Charlie

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  9. And my girl baby is this like....she has Arsa..i am in 33 weeks and so worry....please tell us your experience...thanks

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  10. Hi Mommies,

    I reach out to you for some help as I saw your post on ARSA.. I am in the same boat .. discovered it during my 20th week ultrasound scan with no other concerns. I also did my NIPT and amniocenteses which showed Low risk for DS.

    Wanted to reach out to you to check on some of the precautions or any advise on ARSA in infants or toddlers ? How has your experience been .. any information would be deeply appreciated as there is barely any information on the web :(

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