Four months before my first baby was due, my husband left for London to work with the BBC Far Eastern Services. I was to join him after the baby was born. He’d given up his job with Radio Malaysia while I continued to work there.

Aside from the few weeks of morning sickness, my pregnancy was easy. I felt good and strong. My dear sister Zurina said I looked like a blooming flower (ahem!) I didn’t miss a day’s work, went promptly for my hospital check-ups and waited patiently for the baby to come.

When I had the pains, Zurina and her husband (I lived with them after my husband left) took me to the hospital. I was wheeled into the ward and my regular doctor arrived soon after. She took some time examining me and then said she couldn’t hear the baby’s heart-beat. I stopped breathing. That could only mean one thing, that my poor baby was dead. Everything went black for me from then on.

I went through all the pains of childbirth but at the end of it all there was no baby for me to kiss and cuddle. I wasn’t even allowed to look at her (it was a girl). It’s better that you don’t, the doctor said gently, despite my pleas. My mother and sister agreed. They took her home and buried her.

A couple of weeks after I was discharged, a parcel arrived for me from London. It was from my husband. It contained many lovely clothes and other baby things. I could not hold back my tears.

I returned to work as soon as I could and then it was time for me to leave. I gave up my job, packed a few things and flew off to London. It was hard to leave my family but I had missed my husband and looked forward to seeing him again.

A year after I arrived in London my dreams came true. We were blessed with a bouncing baby boy!


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