I am currently 35 weeks going to 36 weeks pregnant. Medically speaking, without waiting till the exact due date, I could be in labor at any time.

For the past week or two, I can feel the significant growth of the baby. I can feel his bone, his ankle (I think), his feet. And when I touch his head, he moves even more.

I created a human inside me. And I can’t wait to kiss him and hold him tight. I just realized that his due date falls into the exact week when we lost our first child 2 years ago. What a coincidence!

I have been very fortunate to have an uneventful pregnancy all along. From the IVF till the last ultrasound, everything went so smoothly. I don’t even have morning sickness nor swollen feet / hands like many others. I can still sleep soundly at night (with the help of the pregnancy pillow). And best of all, my husband’s flexible schedule has taken away a lot of stress from me.

I am one lucky girl!

Yet, till recently, I can’t fight off the growing worrisome of my parents and in-law’s arrival after my baby is born. I am about to bring a little stranger home, let along living with parents/in-law who came from a very different cultural background and upbringing than us.  I am worry that I will be arguing with my mom about what’s best for my baby; I am concerned that I will be bodyshammed by my in-law, who has done that many times in the past. I was even thinking about my’escape plan’ in case of family dispute…

This has been driving me nuts…. I posted my concern on my online support group’s forum and the advice and support were outpouring. Yet, I am still trying to think of different ways to protect myself (my dignity) for all sort of crazy scenarios…

But what really rings the bell in my head these days was the words I remember from my late Aunt’s speech in our old church before she died from cancer – It was almost 20+ years ago…My aunt was diagnosed with late stage nasal cavity cancer. Here she is post chemo, wearing a winter heat (to cover her head) and giving a testimony in front of 30 to 50 audiences. I can’t really recall what was the exact topic she has selected. But she stumbled upon a subject about her regret in life.  Of all the things she has done in her life, she regretted not paying enough respect to my late grandmother while they were living together. She married to my uncle in the mid 80s and they both lived in a 150 sq.ft (or less) government housing in Hong Kong with my grandma. Very soon, she delivered my baby cousin and the house got even more crowded. Grandma took the responsibility to take care of my cousin, while both my uncle and aunt returned to work. The relationship between my aunt and grandma started gone south as the result of daily disagreement over numerous things. One day, my uncle had to get down on his knee in front of grandma to apologize for all the dispute. Very soon after that, my grandma’s diabetes became worse and she died in the hospital because of congestive heart failure. She never made it to the day to see my baby cousin walking and/or her first day to school.

Almost 12 years later, my aunt got sick. In her final days, she recalled her times with my grandma and resented how immature she was back in the days. Of all the things she has done in her life,  her biggest regret was that she didn’t treasure my grandma’s existence and her help to the family. She felt she took it for granted. And she wanted the audience to know about this – it is too late to apologize now.

I never understood why I could remember her speech after all these years until now. Just when I feel worry about what will happen between me and my parents/in-law, I need to be thankful for the company that is supporting us. My aunt has been giving me the ‘warning sign’ all along, even before I met my then boyfriend (now husband): Put gratitude before everything.  There will be up and down but we can’t ignore the fact that after all, someone is supporting YOUR family while you are out there chasing your dreams.

My aunt didn’t live long enough to see me getting marry. And she would never get to meet my son. But she left me the best advice ever.

Thank you Aunt! I miss you very much.