In memory of my 2 angels...
fallen flowers that grew over their tombs...
This time, let me take you in a different kind of journey. No, it’s not some foreign land that I’ve never seen before. On the contrary, it’s a place that’s near & dear to my heart – my hometown. It’s where I was born, grew up, got married and… buried our two babies.
When I lost my baby daughter last year on her 2nd trimester
, I was destroyed. Everyone tried to console me that it was just a “bad luck” and “most people goes on to have a healthy pregnancy”. From the edge of insanity & depression, I somehow managed to pull myself up as life goes on – whether you’re ready or not. While trying to conceive again, I did everything that I can think of to increase the next baby’s fighting chance – from vaccinations, healthy home cooked meals, gym 3-4x/week, vitamins and walked away from unnecessary pain & sorrow. Not to mention, extra prayers & good deeds. Anything, and absolutely everything.
And then one day, there it was, that glimmer of new hope from double faint lines on a pee stick. We were so hopeful & everything started really well… There’s no way lighting will struck the same spot twice. What a naïve assumption. “I’m
sorry I can’t find his heartbeat anymore…” my doctor murmured. Just the week before, he was fine… Either we’re super unlucky, or there’s something seriously wrong. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the lab results in few weeks time. It’s too early to know the gender for sure – so we just assume it’s a “he” & named him baby G – as I had a dream of holding a healthy baby boy with thick eyebrows few months back. Unfortunately that dream remains a dream… I feel so broken & dysfunctional. Even a rat can breed healthily but not me…
As I was pushed to the operating theatre the next day, I looked at the bright lights on the ceiling & can’t help but to feel so sorry for myself. I don’t deserve this… In the span of 8 months, we had to bury 2 babies. As I gently caress my little bump for the last time with all of the contraction pains, I said goodbye to baby G, told him how thankful I am to get to know & love him– even if we’re only together for a very short while. I asked my eldest baby
A to take care of her younger brother & picked him up at heaven’s gate. I told both of them how much we love them, regardless of time, dimension and space… Love will always be there and as strong, even if we’re not together physically… I can only hope that “heaven” is not a fairy tale. That it is there, and that we will eventually get to be with them.
As the anesthetist starts to put a sedative mask on me, I asked God why do You hate me so much? Why are You so angry at me? All my life, I’ve been trying to be so obedient & be a good person… I never felt so unloved, betrayed & abandoned… With one loss – okay, maybe You’re trying to teach me something. But with two? Oh, I feel like You’re just being mean… With tears rolling down my face, I can only count up to 14 then everything fades to black. There are times where I wish to never recover…
Indonesia is more than just Bali. Well, as cliché as it sound, it’s true. From west to east, it spans as wide as from NY
No Road Closure
in Sunday Market, they didn't close the street so beware of cars, motors and... horses
to LA – but just with more seas in between. But that also means, over 66K islands to explore. I grew up in Bandung, about 3 hours drive from Jakarta – the capital of Indonesia. For tourists arriving in Jakarta airport, you can simply take a shuttle bus for 10 USD to get you to Bandung (one of them is this: http://sl.cipaganti.co.id/Informasi/RuteShuttle
). In terms of temperature, it’s a bit cooler than Jakarta; making it a weekend destination due to its famous delicacies and cheap shopping.
As I’m still recovering from my surgery, I took a direct flight from Singapore to Bandung. Having the 2 weeks off work, I was initially contemplating to runaway to Maldives or revisit Turkey just for the food. But after soul searching –my body needs to be excused from any grueling travels; and my heart would not get mend instantly with beautiful views. I just need peace & lots of rest right now. Then going home it is.
So where can you go in Bandung?
· Near the city center, there is the famous old Braga quarter with European style building which was famous in the 1920s as a promenade street with chic
cafés, restaurants and shopping.
· Fancy jeans material clothing? Go to Cihampelas street. It’s a long stretch street with crazy decorated stores (think of popped up Genie in a Bottle or giant jumping Spiderman) where you can get knock off branded jeans for 15-20 USD or so.
· If you happen to be here on a Sunday – visit Gasibu in front of the Gedung Sate parliament building. The street & running field is converted to giant market WITHOUT closing off the street (yup, so just be careful with those cars & horses at your back). Be careful with your belonging and you’ll have fun bargaining for 1 USD handmade clay pottery set or 10 cents local delicacies that was just made this morning by somebody’s mum. In its crazy chaotic way, it’s actually fun to go there. Walking distance from Gasibu, do drop by in “Menu Cookies
” (54 Trunojoyo street) who I think got the best pineapple tart & kaastengels (cheese based savory cookies) in South East Asia.
· For a more relaxing countryside feel, venture out of town to Lembang and Tangkuban Perahu – where you’ll find rolling hills of tea tree & top flat mountain
not the most hygienic (errr... side sewer barbeque...) but taste okay. not for the faint stomache.
crater. You can also find strawberry fields – charged by the kilo but free if you eat inside; or taste rabbit steak if you have the heart (it taste like tough chicken but gives more heat to your body). You can also go to Ciater hot spring for natural mineral bath.
But for me – what I missed the most (besides my family & my children’s tombs) are the food:
· Best chicken porridge & avocado juice (< 2 USD!!!)– go to “Bubur Ayam H. Amid” (105 Pajajaran street).
· (More than Indonesian average) hygienic street food – go to any of the Kartika Sari
branches. I personally love their pastels & cheese sticks. They have all sorts of other Indonesian snacks under one roof, making it efficient trip.
· Local Sundanese food – I like Bumbu Desa
although to be honest you can just go to any decent & crowded local sundanese restaurant and it’ll be as nice
· Rice & noodle hot pot – Oom Resto (14 Bahureksa street) this is kinda random but I love their rice hotplate & wasn’t able to replicate their gravy even until now. Complete your dishes with fresh orange
1 USD hand made clay pottery
coconut juice. I usually spend 6 USD per person.
· Meatball & noodle – although the famous meatball origin Malang is like 12 hours drive from Bandung, but I’m always happy to enjoy a bowl of Baso Malang Maranatha (1-2 USD/bowl). I particularly like their fried siumay with lots of hot sauce.
On our last day in Bandung, my husband & I sat in the graveyard, facing our childrens’ tombs. We visited them almost every day while we’re here. We want to spend as much time as possible with them, considering now we live & work so far away from them. We talked to them; pray; sing along together and read bedtime stories. No matter how strong I try to be, my eyes are constantly wet. Initially I thought I would spend my birthday being happy as a mom-to-be, but instead my "gift" is another corpse. My husband hugged me as tears rolling down my cheeks. I whispered “Shall we get a divorce?... Just get some random young girl from whatever village and you can have bunch of healthy babies…”. He smiled and kissed both of my wet eyes. “I’ve always wanted a great partner and
I found it in you. Kids or no kids, we’ll always be happy together.”
To be honest, I don’t know how my story will end. I know for sure that I still want to try... Despite of the risks… And yes, of course we’re going to different specialist & take bunch of tests to figure out “why” and “what can be done” – multiple miscarriages is a whole different scary game than just one-off miscarriage. As much as I want to be all sunshiney & rainbowey positive – I really don’t know whether I’ll ever be able to grow a big bump; let alone delivering healthy living babies.
For now... we'll just take one step at a time. Gosh, I really need a proper vacation & a big hug right now...
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