THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Visiting the unwed mother

Having settled the deliveries of groceries and bicycle to the respective families, I felt it was time for me to check on Azimah, the unwed mother whom I met during my clinic duty 2 weeks ago.

Yesterday I called her to set a date. I asked if I could see her this afternoon.

“Nak jumpa saya untuk apa tu kak?” Azimah sounded apprehensive at first.

I told her I wanted to help her apply for child support assistance and I needed some supporting documents from her. In addition, I’d need to get her to sign the form. Besides, SN had told me that Azimah’s hospital appointments had been transferred to a hospital nearer to her place and so I can’t expect to see her in Ipoh for her hospital appointments.

Remembering that she was quite reluctant to have us visiting her at home, I told her to fix the place to meet. I also told her to get the supporting documents photocopied. Azimah then asked if I could SMS the list of required documents. As for the place to meet, she said she’d SMS me once she could think of a suitable place.

And so I sent her a text message, listing the documents needed. And I waited for her SMS… which never came. I thought she may SMS me this morning, but at noon, no SMS came in from her, so I decided to text her instead, asking if the meet this afternoon was on. I didn’t want to be going all the way to the town where she’s staying, and end up not meeting her. It would be a waste of time, energy and money.

At 1 pm, when I left my office to head for home, Azimah had yet to reply my SMS. I was beginning to think that she was reluctant to meet me. She was after all a bit apprehensive when I called her earlier – so maybe, just maybe, she has decided to just buat donno

But after I had my lunch at home, my phone rang, with the PLHIV-assigned ringtone. It was Azimah, calling using her mother’s number (I save both hers and her mother’s number in my phone). She ran out of credit for her own number, which was why she didn’t send me any messages earlier.

Azimah asked where I was and what time I’d be coming. I told her I was still in Ipoh and I should be able to be at the town she’s staying around 3 pm. She then asked me where to meet. Aik? I thought she said she’d think of a suitable place…

Finally we decided to meet up at a popular spot in that town, and I promised to call her once I reach the toll exit.

Actually, despite the place being quite a popular spot, I’m not really that familiar with the town. So yep, set my GPS I did, and off I went.

As promised, I called her right after exiting the toll near her town. I figured if she left her house then, we should be able to reach the place at about the same time. She asked if I came alone (aiyo, I sudah mau sampai baru mau tanya ka?) and told me she’d come with another person. I was hoping that other person would be her mother.

I reached the place first and called Azimah again. It wasn’t long before she got there. The other person accompanying her looked too young to be her mother. It was her sister. So no, I didn’t get to meet her mother. Never mind, next time maybe…

But Azimah had not photostated the required documents yet! She had not expected me to be punctual (sorry, I don’t follow janji Melayu, I follow janji Islam) and so she thought there was ample time to go to the shop before meeting up with me, but when I called saying I was already there, she didn’t want me to be waiting too long, so she came to see me first.

I just got her to sign the form first, then we headed to the nearest stationery shop to photostat the required documents.

Anyway, I was happy to note that Azimah seemed very stable, emotionally - just like Sharifah, the other unwed mother with family support. The difference between Azimah and Sharifah is that while Sharifah’s little girl temporarily stays at a shelter home, Azimah is taking care of her baby at her family’s home. In Sharifah’s case, neighbours & relatives are not aware that she had given birth to a little baby. In Azimah’s case, it was obvious there’s a baby at home, and even if nobody asked, there were bound to be some who would have come up with their own conclusions. So, the pressure is more on Azimah.

But the sister who came along seemed to get along very well with Azimah. And I know for a fact that her mother usually accompanies Azimah to the hospital. So no question about them being ashamed of her. There is however, a particular sister-in-law, who kept on hinting that Azimah should stay at a shelter home to avoid embarrassment to the family. But since that SIL stays in a different house, Azimah wasn’t really pressured to do so. She did however, ask me if she should. I told her that if her family is willing to accept her at home, don’t bother. Unless of course, she wants to go herself.

I was rather surprised to find out a total of 10 occupants stay in their house. Azimah, her mother, her 2 1/2 month old daughter, her 2 sisters, her brother, her sis-in-law (a different SIL, not the one mentioned earlier) and her 3 nieces/nephews. And the income earner? Her brother who sells vegetables at the market, with the rest helping out whenever possible.

Wow! Not easy to feed 10 mouths in the same house, especially with a baby as well. Milk and diapers are not cheap. Azimah used to work before, but she quit when her pregnancy began to show. She intends to find a job again once her baby is a bit older, but for the moment, I know it’s tough for them. My main concern is the baby’s needs, at least for the next few months until Azimah can get herself a job. Hopefully, I can arrange for something soon…

Oh, I did bring along milk and diapers with me today, so at least this month’s supply for Azimah’s baby girl is covered.

20 comments:

sherry said...

Che Pi...

Langsir baru ye! cantik..cantik.

Pi Bani said...

Sherry,
Bukan langsir baru... tapi buang langsir lama and dinding bagi cat baru. Sekarang tak pakai langsir... biar nampak luas sikit! :)

sherry said...

Aha yer..mana ada dah langsir2 scalop u tu...luas jer mata memandang! takyah ler i pakai spec bila nak baca!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi & Aunty Sherry,
Apa citer langsir pulak? Jom citer diapers and milk la...
I salute Azimah's family for supporting her although they're not well off themselves. Not many families are willing to do that. As usual, there will always be a loose cannon too, like the SIL.
Oh well, sabo je lah. Aunty Pi, I salute your patience. Memanglah kena sabo bebanyak. purrr....meow!

Naz said...

Wah! I like your new *deco*. So minimalistic and nice. Never mind langsir, ada sliding door tak? ;D

If in any given village there must be at least one dealing with village idiocy, in any family there will be at least one who masters in loose cannon lunacy. It takes all sorts.
But still, Azimah is among the *lucky* ones.

Pi Bani said...

Sherry,
Luas mata memandang ke tidak, I tetap kena pakai spec bila baca. Almaklum, dah tua-tua ni kena pakai reading glasses lah....

Pi Bani said...

C-i-S,
Yang loose cannon tu kena lawan dengan meriam buluh kot?

Pi Bani said...

Naz,
Sliding door? Ada! Ada! On your right hand side... use your mouse to move the cursor so you can slide up and down the page.

Yes, Azimah can be considered one of the lucky ones. Usually cases like her, either mother or baby or both kena hantar shelter home; or the baby would be given away for adoption.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Kucing nak adopt human baby boleh tak? hehehehe...
Seriously, my Mama's sister nak cari abandoned baby/toddler/kids to adopt now that her kids dah besar panjang. She's a tai tai, so Oklah kot. So, kalau ada kasi tau ye? She lives in Malaysia, unlike my Mama. purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

C-i-S,
Kalau kucing adopt human baby, engko nak bagi dia makan apa?

Anyway, kalau ada any babies/toddlers/kids needing new guardians, nanti I sound okay?

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Kita kasi makan Nestum lah! Takkan nak kasi Royale Fancy Feast pulak. Yg tu mahal! purrrr.....meow!

Pi Bani said...

Kedekut punya kucing...

sherry said...

Che pi..i pun wondering ni : Brad ke Angelina yang guna password C-I-S ni..kalu Brad..takder plak evil laugh #har har har# tu!

mamasita said...

Waaaaaa! I pun nak new decor..Waaaaa!!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Kucing not kedekut-lah! Takut nanti baby tu keluar ekor, bulu, and whiskers. Ha...siapa nak bertanggungjawab? Aunty Sherry boleh jadi Mak Sanggup? purrr....meow!

Angelina (so that you all don't mistake me for Brad)

Pi Bani said...

Sherry,
Jangan tak tau, Angelina can be evil too. Dia tu kadang-kadang alim-alim kucing je (dah nama pun kucing!).

p/s
siaplah tayar kereta malam karang kena poo!!

Pi Bani said...

Mamasita,
Alaa.. you panggil je la tukang cat (Banun le tu) suruh kasi cat baru rumah you!

Pi Bani said...

C-i-S,
Kalau keluar ekor, bulu and whiskers, maka membesar jadi Catman or Catwoman lah dia...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Pi,

As a volunteer do u get any reimbursement to cover your expenses, e.g petrol?

Oso, u r good lah, all your clients got your mobile number. Do they ever call u during the weekends or in middle of the night? I'm sure u cherish some private time to yourself like all of us do mah.

Anyway, have a good one.

Tommy

P/S - Next time get them to use clothes diapers mah - good for the environment, cut cost too :)

Pi Bani said...

Tommy,
Ah yes, the volunteers are allowed to claim for mileage if we need to travel out of Ipoh to visit our clients. Also, if we have meals outside with the clients, we can also claim for those as well.

Mobile number? Our policy is NOT to tell our clients where we stay, so giving them our mobile number is the best option. When we don't want to be disturbed, can switch off the phone or put it on silent mode. But if they know where we stay, they may turn up at our homes unexpectedly whenever they have problems. Bahaya ohh!!

And yes, I have received calls in the middle of the night before but not too many lah, and all were actually emergency cases. (I've even sent one pregnant girl to the hospital at 3 am as she had nobody in Ipoh and she was about to give birth!)

You have a good weekend ya? Sudah banyak preparations for CNY ka?