SINGAPORE - For mothers-to-be, one of the most difficult things about pregnancy is the morning sickness.
But for Ria 89.7FM radio DJ Fiza O, it was something that she relished when she learnt that she was pregnant late last year. In fact, she would start to worry when the nausea and aversion to smells went away - and for good reason.
Fiza, 31, had suffered a miscarriage eight weeks into her previous pregnancy with husband and fellow DJ KC.
"I'd feel terrible if I felt good. I know it sounds crazy and I should be relieved if I'm not vomiting and okay with smells and scents. But when these symptoms went away the last time, I had the miscarriage," she said.
Fiza recalled calling her close friend, crying in a panicked state, when she did not feel nauseous for several hours.
For her, what seemed like normalcy was alarming.
But it all worked out well.
Last month, Fiza and KC - whose real names are Nur Hafiza Osman and Abdul Karim Sadali - became proud new parents to baby boy Isa Awsam.
When they found out Fiza was expecting close to their first wedding anniversary last October, the happy news was met with caution and fear.
"You always feel scared. I didn't want to be disappointed again," Fiza told The New Paper at the couple's Punggol home last week. "There's no sign to indicate that the baby is okay. When it grows in the womb, you can feel it kicking. But in the beginning, there is no way of knowing," said KC, 34.
Fiza guessed she was expecting again when the symptoms from her first pregnancy returned - mainly aversion to food smells like instant noodles, packed food and curry.
"I couldn't even stand the smell of the car or KC's cologne - so overpowering!" she recalled.
Her gynaecologist confirmed the news shortly after.
A month later, more symptoms kicked in - bad bouts of morning sickness, often vomiting yellow bile and feelings of weakness. This went on for five months, causing her to lose her appetite and a couple of kilograms in weight. She later gained 15kg during the pregnancy.
She might have seemed cheerful and lively hosting The O Show on weekdays, but often she was throwing up as songs were playing and had to lie down for a much-needed rest.
KC, who helms the popular Misteri Jam 12 segment, would come in earlier to be with his wife.
The birth was not without complications.
She experienced a false alarm on Labour Day - "I think the baby got the wrong labour memo" - after hours of contractions, only to be told by hospital staff to return home when they suddenly stopped.
On June 5, the pair rushed to the hospital again after Fiza started experiencing contractions every 15 minutes.
In the afternoon, the pair realised something might be amiss when her cervix stopped dilating and the baby's blood pressure dropped with every wave of contraction.
At one point, the monitor even registered "a question mark".
They were then told that the baby had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck.
Fiza, who wanted to experience natural birth without epidural, had no choice but to opt for an emergency Caesarean section. After more than 12 hours of labour, she gave birth at 8.14pm to Isa, who weighed a healthy 3.6kg.
"I just wanted him out as soon as possible after remembering stories I had read on blogs. I just needed him to be safe. The moment I heard his first cry, I cried like mad. It was the only sound I needed to hear," she recalled.
Said KC: "I was worried for her because there was nothing I could do."
The parents admitted they are still adjusting to their new roles - surviving most days on about three hours of sleep.
"It is challenging because we don't always know what he wants when he cries, even after we have tried everything. Of course, these days when we get one or two hours of sleep, it's a luxury," he said, laughing.
Like most first-timers, Fiza and KC try to document Isa's actions as much as they can, uploading selected photos to a private Instagram account for him to look at when he is older.
Asked about their ambitions for their only son, the couple had the same wish.
"To be hardworking and filial - that's all we ask for," said KC.
This article was first published on July 15, 2014. Get The New Paper for more stories.