"What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth."
When met with questions regarding the legitimacy of his citizenship, the 44th President of the United States answered those allegations with first releasing the short form of his birth certificate followed by the long form version. There are some who criticised Obama's move because they saw the "birther" movement as a bunch of racist cranks which should not be dignified with any response whatsoever. They think that by responding, the president only managed to smear himself with the shit that had been flung at him. That's how I had been taught to deal with false gossips - just ignore them and people will stop talking about it.
And that sounds exactly like what a defeatist who is too cowardly to deal with the ugliness would say. The thing about gossips is that they are undead. They shamble all over town, festering and growing stinkier as time passes. You may not see or hear them very often, but you can always smell that general atmosphere unaddressed lies hovering about your person. In this aspect, I agree with what Mr Obama did. Rumours and zombies should be put down with a shotgun blast right in their fucking faces ASAP.
I wasn't even aware of the zombie the haunts the circumstances surrounding my marriage and my wife's pregnancy until fairly recently when Cheryl told me a mutual friend of ours mentioned it - he thought that our kid was conceived before we married. In other far unkinder words, he thought that our unborn son is a bastard. Now, I don't have anything against bastards or illegitimacy or any other weird cultural taboos that society gets pathologically hung up about. Cheryl thought it was funny, but I began wondering if the stench of rot was worse than the whiff we got.
Apparently, the suddenness and speed of our knot-tying and our surprise joint-venture into baby-making collided squarely with my known personal views on commitment and procreation. I told all my med school colleagues that I would never marry. I told my father once to forget about any grandchildren from me because I don't like the idea of having kids. Then, I went ahead and did the exact opposite of everything I said. Of course, instead of assuming that I just happened to have met someone so amazing that she turned my whole world around and changed my mind about love, family and everything, people (being the base schadenfreudian scandalmongers that they are) prefer to think that I was snared in a shotgun marriage. This offends me not because people think that I am marrying the love of my life because I wanted to save her the embarrassment of an unplanned pregnancy, but because it insinuates that I actually care if our kid is born out of wedlock or not (hint: I don't). I am deeply offended to be mistaken for someone who observes outdated superstitions of purity and honour that, for some stupid reason or other, our conservative and backward Asian culture prizes so highly. I also do not appreciate the implication that I, a medical doctor by profession, am incapable of using contraception effectively.
Now, I am not going to simply deny that here. I am going to do one better than that - I will provide irrefutable scientific proof to forcibly lay that motherfucking zombie in its grave so hard that it will stay there till kingdom comes and goes away again.
Here is my first piece of evidence, my marriage certificate,
|I got two colleagues who happened to be free on that day to come witness.|
Here are the points of interest: It records that (a) I am married to Cheryl, and (b) we signed it on the 5th of November, 2012 in the presence of the Registrar and two witnesses. Bear in mind that according to Malaysian marriage regulations, a notice of our marriage must be posted on their notice board for 21 days before we can marry so the latest possible date that we could decide to get hitched is on October 15, 2012. Hold that thought.
Here is evidence number two: my wife's antenatal card,
|I call it her "report card".|
The crucial piece of information here is my wife's LMP or Last Menstrual Period which had been documented as 23 November 2012. It means that up till the 23rd of November, Cheryl was still having her period so our kid couldn't possibly be conceived earlier than this date.
Here's a bit of medical trivia: the EDD or Expected Date of Delivery is calculated using Naegele's Rule, and it's done by,
- Adding 1 year to the first day of the last menstrual period.
- Subtracting 3 months.
- Adding 7 days.
Now, in case anyone still wants to quibble or accuse us of putting a fake LMP on the antenatal card (and I can already hear some conspiracy theorists pointing out that the date in the picture above had been crossed out and rewritten once, suggesting that it might had been an arbitrary cooked up date), I have here a third piece of evidence: my wife's early dating scan report,
|In a way, it was his first ever baby picture.|
In Obstetrics, one of the most reliable tools in ascertaining the gestational age of a baby in its mother's womb is the early dating scan, usually done between the 8th and 14th week after the LMP. The CRL or Crown-Rump Length, if measured in the first trimester, is accurate in determining a baby's gestational age within a ± 5 days error bar. In the picture above, you'd notice that at the time of scanning on the 23rd of January, 2013, the gestational age was 8 weeks and 6 days. So if you work it out backwards, the scanned gestational age was only ONE DAY different from the LMP. Now according to the guidelines, if the difference is less than one week, the calculation of the EDD is then based on the LMP - hence the statement "follow date" which Cheryl's doctor scrawled beside the result.
So, there you have it: scientific and medical proof that all you naysaying fishwives are terrible, negative human beings. Our Unborn Foetal Object™ couldn't possibly be conceived before our marriage. If you perpetuated the gossip or even suspected it in your mind that we got married so quickly because I accidentally impregnated Cheryl, you owe us an apology.
When two persons met and married each other in such a short span of time, it is very easy to look at it with cynical eyes and read ulterior pressures behind the decision. The fact that we decided to forgo any wedding ceremony certainly gave a rushed and disreputable sheen to our union - but that's because we both think weddings are merely pageantry for pretentious patsies (no offence).
But guess what? It's all true. I met someone so sweet, caring and wonderful that she made me abandon everything I thought I knew about relationships and love. She left her job and her life in Singapore in an incredible act of lovestruck spontaneity, not because she was with child (she wasn't) and had to but because she believed in us - and her faith changed me. Together, we decided that we can't live without each other just weeks after our first date. And isn't the truth a lovelier story to tell?
P.S. And if you read this post published on the 30th of July, 2012, you'll see that we have already decided to get married then, almost half a year before Cheryl got pregnant. It seems that rumourmongers are not only spiteful, but are too damn stupid to do basic sums as well. According to them, our baby is still baking in the oven 11 months after he was conceived.
Straightener of records,
k0k s3n w4i