Madam Salimah Ishak, 36, was elated when she conceived.
She tells The New Paper on Sunday: "When I realised I was pregnant, I was shocked. It felt as though I had won the lottery. I had to slap my face."
She knew her pregnancy was risky, but she went ahead with it.
Madam Salimah was concerned that as her tummy grew, she would struggle to breathe.
When she went for routine pregnancy check-up at the hospital, she had to guide nurses so they would know how to handle her.
Although she struggled with bouts of breathlessness, she says it was never serious enough to warrant medical attention.
In August, she gave birth to Amirul Mukminin via vertical caesarean section (the cut was made vertically instead of horizontally) as she has a urine catheter running from her body.
Amirul's first touch was unforgettable, says Madam Salimah.
"I saw my baby for only seconds before they whisked him away as my blood pressure was going down. He was crying but calmed down when he slept on my chest for a moment."
Looking after a newborn was challenging for her.
"In the first few months, I could change his diaper myself but it took a long time. I was frustrated but my husband encouraged me."
As Amirul grows more mobile, changing his diaper becomes harder.
"He struggles a lot, so it is more difficult now. My husband does most of it now," she says.
At four months, Amirul started going to infant care. Before that, Madam Salimah cared for him alone at home.
She says: "He would sit on a bouncy chair until somebody came home... I couldn't change his diaper for him.
"I can only make milk for him or bounce him to sleep."
It breaks her heart when he cries and she cannot carry him to comfort him.
She says: "When I see other mothers carry their babies, I get jealous. I am glad people around me encouraged me not to be disheartened."
She is grateful to her husband, who has been looking after her and Amirul.
Before her marriage, her hearing-impaired parents looked after her.
Madam Salimah says: "My husband does most of the things, like the laundry. He doesn't let others hurt me. If we go out for outings, he really takes good care of me.
"He doesn't express it but when he holds the baby, you can tell he really loves the baby.
"If my husband is not around, I don't know what will happen to me and the baby.
"I have to make myself strong for my baby, no matter what happens."
She says she feels helpless sometimes, such as when she needs to go to the bathroom.
She says: "When my husband is very tired, I don't want to wake him up. So I have to lie on the bed until he wakes up."
To supplement her husband's income, she does freelance graphic design work from home.
Madam Salimah says her family is what keeps her strong.
She says: "Every time I see my baby's face, he makes me smile. He likes to smile and he makes me happy. I have no regrets. He has made my life happier."
Going forward, she worries about who will look after her baby when he becomes more active.
"I wish he can be independent and become a strong boy.
"I feel this child is a special gift to me. The family is complete now," says Madam Salimah.
This article was first published on June 21, 2015.
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