SINGAPORE - When the nurse carried the baby to Madam Phoebe Goh at her hospital bed, she "just stared" at her first-born for a "long, long time".
"I went through a cycle of emotions that included hate, love, disgust and fear," recalls the interior designer in an interview with The New Paper on Sunday.
Finally, she told the nurse to take the baby away.
Madam Goh, 30, says: "If I could not even bear to touch him, how could I have cuddled him?"
Her son was born three months after her husband was killed in an accident.
The businessman was on his way home from a furniture store when he suffered a heart attack and lost control of the car he was driving.
In the boot of his car was the baby cot he had bought and had wanted to assemble for their child.
Madam Goh was six months pregnant then.
She recounts the moment when the police came knocking, saying: "One minute I was at the door and the next, I was on a hospital bed." The nightmare, she adds, continued for more than a year, one filled with "tears, tears and more tears".
"It took me that long before I could finally accept that the man I love is gone," she says in a voice filled with great remorse.
The secondary school sweethearts had been married for two years before trying for a baby.
Madam Goh confesses that she feels "regret and guilt" towards her son, who turns three in November.
She says: "It was already terrible that he would grow up without a father, and to think that his mother shunned him for so many months."
Her biggest regret: She didn't breastfeed her baby.
"I left my son's formula feeds to my mum and the confinement nanny," she says.