These articles are exclusively about mothers who have established their own businesses and with families to care for.
They personify the modern working mothers of today who have the guts and courage to set up their own businesses in today’s very competitive business environment in addition to their roles as caring wives and responsible mothers. To kick-off the project, I have been granted an interview with a very popular Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Consultant, Dr Irene Chua, who runs her own medical practice at Gleneagles Medical Centre.
I knew Dr Chua when she was a still an O&G Consultant at KK Children’s & Women’s Hospital (KKH). The first impression she gave me was that she was kind and easy to talk to, but under that gentle persona was a feisty, no-nonsense doctor and a straight-talker. Dr Chua is very passionate about her specialty and farther to her blazing passion, she is a hard worker who is very knowledgeable about her field of studies. Before Dr Chua decided to leave KKH to open her own clinic at Gleneagles, she headed the 24-hour Obstetrics & Gynaecology clinic at KKH.
I was quietly impressed by this petite and pretty O&G doctor when she decided to set up her own O&G clinic at Gleneagles all by herself. If I was not that advanced in my pregnancy with Charles when I knew Dr Chua was going solo, she would definitely have been my O&G doctor, and if she were my O&G doctor, I wouldn’t have put on 17kgs from my pregnancy with Charles.
This is because Dr Chua advocates that her patients watch their diet and have a good, sensible and safe exercise regime whilst pregnant. This helps to prevent her patients from succumbing to pre-natal blues and also to keep a healthy weight. With a healthy weight, her pregnant patients will be less predisposed to high-blood pressure and diabetes which can cause high risks in pregnancies.
When I first knew Dr Chua about 3 years ago, she was already a mother to Sophia. I have always been very fascinated and impressed by how female doctors handle their harsh work schedules with the mothering of their children and especially in O&G, when you are practically on call 24-hours because you really don’t know when your patient is going to deliver. Even though it is a tough specialty, Dr Chua feels that her vocation is a very happy one because they bring life into the world and help women sort out their infertility and gynaecology issues. The satisfaction comes from bringing life to Earth and also putting smiles on women’s faces when their female factored issues are resolved.
As an O&G doctor, I asked Dr Chua if she was happy when she found out that she was pregnant with Sophia and she said that, “I was delighted at the prospect of being a mommy as we have been waiting 10 years for that day.” And because Dr Chua was an O&G doctor and her pregnancy was very well-planned, she had a very smooth pregnancy without any hiccups. She even operated till the day she popped. But no one could ever be ready for one’s child birth. Dr Chua started off with spontaneous labour only to end up in an emergency Caesarean section due to fetal bradycardia.
With Sophia in tow, Dr Chua reiterated that she has less time for herself these days as she spends most of her time with Sophia. With a hard schedule at work, she spends the little time she has away from work with her only daughter. When asked about the expectations she has on Sophia, Dr Chua related that she only wanted Sophia to be happy and to have the best that she can provide.
When asked about Sophia’s preschool education, Dr Chua disclosed that besides putting Sophia in pre-nursery, she has also enrolled Sophia into Chinese classes, drama classes, music classes and put Sophia into gym during the weekends. From Dr Chua’s disclosure during interview, I can see that Sophia has a very well-rounded education and curriculum.
Dr Chua bonds with Sophia by engaging Sophia into everything that she does including bringing Sophia to work and when she makes her rounds at the hospital. I believe that by engaging Sophia with her work, Dr Chua hopes that her daughter will understand her mother much better.
I asked Dr Chua the reason behind setting up her own clinic and she replied that, “Sophia is one of the driving forces. The other is that I wanted to try something new, and to have something I can call my own.” I guess all Momprenuers are the same. Their children are their inspiration and they want to run a business or venture that they can proudly call their own, even though it is tough being a Mompreneur when you have to call the shots both at work and at home.
Dr Chua expresses that she is much happier these days working for herself and having more time on her hands, which means she has more time to be with her family and also with Sophia. Becoming a mother changes a woman’s priority in life. When you have a child, you long to keep him or her company the whole day. This is because when you become a mother, your child is your whole world and you want to arrange your world and schedule around them.
Being a mother and an O&G Senior Consultant, I believe that Dr Chua understands her patients’ needs more than anyone else and I am envious that her patients are in such good hands. I postulate that Dr Chua with her fearless personality and her hardworking and determined nature, her practice will undoubtedly flourish. On top of it, she can now give Sophia and her patients the required attention and the excellent healthcare service since she now runs her own business and is able to arrange and manage her own time schedule.