SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - As Ms Joycelyn Li, 34, was on her way to the hospital to give birth to her third child, she wondered why her husband was not with her.
Mr Jake Seet, 33, died last month.
While Ms Li successfully gave birth to a baby girl, the period after visiting hours proved to be the most difficult as she felt the most lonely then.
Mr Seet, a freelance commercial diver, had been conducting underwater operations for a vessel on May 5 near Sentosa when he went missing. His body was found on May 7.
Ms Li, a teaching assistant at an Australian school here, told The New Paper: "The toughest period was after my delivery, when I was in a two-bed ward.
"The husband of the patient beside me was always by her side, so I would feel extremely lonely seeing them.
"The word 'husband' has become a knife to my heart."
Ms Li and Mr Seet have two boys: Justin, six, and Jareth, three. On May 30, she gave birth to Jewel.
Speaking to TNP yesterday (June 7) in her Pasir Ris home, Ms Li said she felt her husband's presence during her pregnancy.
She said: "Jake very much wanted to see his daughter. He told me she will be the most beautiful girl in the world as she was his girlfriend in his past life."
Ms Li admitted the only thing that got her through her pregnancy was the thought that Mr Seet had been excited about Jewel's arrival.
She added her first words to her daughter were: "Daddy would love to see you. Even though daddy's not around, and you can't see him, he will always be by your side.
"He is your guardian angel."
Ms Li told TNP she sees her husband in their children.
She said: "The left side of Jewel's ear is sharp while her right ear is more rounded, just like her dad. The other two have the same feature."
She intends to explain Mr Seet's absence to Jewel by showing her photographs of him when she turns one. She will also play Mr Seet's voice recordings sent while he was at sea.
In the voice message, Mr Seet said: "Good morning Jareth, good morning Justin, good morning mummy. I love you. I miss you guys. I will be back soon, okay? Be good."
Ms Li said the recording comforts her two sons whenever they ask about their father.
She said Jareth is unaware the recording is not live and responds by saying: "Okay daddy."
Ms Li will make a pendant to hold a picture of Mr Seet on one side and Jewel on the other. She plans to give it to Jewel when she is older.
Ms Li's brother, Mr Alloycius Lee, 38, told TNP the past month has been tiring for Ms Li as her sons showed symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease after her delivery.
The operations manager added: "She is trying her best to cope for her kids. As long as they are around, she will do her best to avoid showing sadness since it may affect them."
They were grateful to donors who have contributed almost $260,000 to Ms Li's family via Give.asia, a fund-raising website.The targeted amount is $300,000.
Mr Lee said: "We are touched and grateful to the public for their support, seeing how complete strangers can step up to offer their assistance."