Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

More sleeping help

Lullatone is SO COOL! Electronic music, looping lullabies for babies…. all you need to put a baby to sleep. Check it out!


This husband and wife team based in Japan has more interesting stuff for kids like iphone and ipad apps on their website. They also conduct workshops for making instruments. I like!




We are back from a short weekend trip to Rotorua! Updates soon, meanwhile photos on flickr.

My Birth Story



Ok be prepared. This is probably my most open and longest post ever! Pls skip this if you’re not into babies, tough women and faint when you see blood. Here’s goes, this is our birth story: –


Top Left: Entrance to Maternity Ward

Top Right: My birthing room – check out the birthing pool. I leaned against the brown bed head most of the time during early labour. It really helped!

Bottom Left: Hallway to room

Bottom Right: I was the only maternity patient! Small hospital, only 5 maternity rooms.


When we signed up for Levi to be born at Pohlen Hospital (abt 7 mins drive from the base), we were aware that the facilities do not provide for pain relief beyond the pethidine. That means no epidural and also if anything goes wrong with the birth e.g. an emergency caesarean, we would have to be rushed in an ambulance to Waikato Hospital which is about 45 mins away. I actually know quite a few friends who ended up having emergency caesareans in Singapore even though they had normal pregnancies so anything could happen. However the midwives here are really professional, if they detected any possible complications, they would refer us directly to Waikato for the birth anyway.


When I was a week overdue last Wednesday (1st Sept), the midwife at Pohlen put me on the CTG to monitor my progress and baby’s heartbeat and sent the information to Waikato Hospital. This is standard procedure once a baby is a week overdue, they hand us over to the bigger hospital. Waikato was supposed to call within the next 4 days to see us, scan to see how baby was doing (Pohlen doesn’t do scans) and do more tests and make a decision when baby needs to be induced.


In NZ, they will leave baby up till 2 weeks overdue before induction unless they detect that baby is in distress. It’s very different in Singapore where babies seem to be induced all the time as long as they are a few days overdue. Like Sophie was induced just 3 days overdue.


I was very reluctant to be induced a second time without good reason because that’ll almost determine that I would have to use an epidural coz the contractions come so fast and furious. I really wanted to experience it slow and natural this time round. And I definitely didn’t want to be sent to Waikato. It would have meant different midwives, a big hospital with procedures I wasn’t familiar with, my family having to travel so far to see us each day etc.


So we got everyone praying.


When we saw the midwife last Wednesday, she offered me a membrane sweep which was the most natural way of induction. It’s quite a painless procedure and it can help to trigger labour within 48 hours. I was hoping it’d happen before Waikato called. Oh ya and after that, the midwife said go for a long walk.


So we went SHOPPING! Oh man! Within half an hour of walking, I felt like the baby was going to be pood out!!! At certain points I could hardly stand! I finally felt like a pregnant woman walking with a waddle coz prior to that I still felt pretty normal!


We got home and immediately that night at about 2am, the real contractions happened. Previous nights I had semblance of it but it always disappeared when I got up in the morning so I thought it was the same and tried to sleep it off. Btw, I FIND SLEEPING A GREAT WAY TO HANDLE EARLY LABOUR. It started at 10 mins apart and became nearer and nearer. Poor James had to be woken to time me coz I couldn’t concentrate.


At about 5am, it was about 5 mins apart and my mucus plug came out. I had Sophie pretty quick the last time (She was born 4 hours after I was induced) so the midwife said we should get ready to come into the hospital if we were 4-5 mins apart. We called the midwife and then we called my in laws. My mum in law stayed with Sophie (she was still sleeping) and my father in law took us to the hospital.


By 6am we were at the hospital.


It was a very peaceful start. I’m so thankful that it’s so peaceful at the birth center. No rush, no machines, no nothing. I was free to do whatever I wanted. I was in own clothes for a while and breathing through every contraction standing up. James almost fell asleep watching me.


When it got a bit more painful, I decided to get into the birth pool just for fun to experience what it’s like. It was nice……….. James poured water over my back when the contractions came. That felt really good.


When the contractions got closer, I came out and the midwife checked that I was 7cm dilated. Woo hoo! Almost there! I had an option whether or not to give birth in the pool. I decided not coz I had to stay in the water to give birth for baby’s safety and I wasn’t sure if I can stay in that position for long without wanting to stand up or get out. So I got out and got changed to a comfy oversized Uniqlo t-shirt I had prepared specially for the birth. Felt good to wear something I liked!


For the final run, the contractions started to go quite crazy. As it came faster and faster, it was harder and harder to concentrate and breathe properly! James kept asking me to try the gas and I did! It made me feel super oozyyyyy and everything became a blur. I felt like I was on drugs! I guess that’s what it was. I didn’t really like it coz it threw me off the breathing and I took a while to recover after contraction and before I knew it, the next one came. For control freaks, I think gas is not quite the way. ? But still when it got really bad, it helped. At first I knelt over the bed and then I got off and then got on again. Couldn’t figure out which was a better position.


Btw, the breathing is really impt! Thanks to June, I learnt a lot from the hypnobirthing book about breathing and I think it was what kept me going! Being able to relax seemed the best way to get the dilation going.


And then at about 10.40am, I started pushing with each contraction. Wow that was the hard part!!!!! Seriously. I’ve never done anything so physically challenging in my entire life before. It was like running 10 10km marathons all at the same time. Not like I’ve ever ran a marathon in my life but I imagine it to be so. At that point, I so regretted not exercising prior to that. It was SO tiring to be pushing for almost an hour. At some point I said many times I cannot do this anymore!!!!! And at some point I think I said “Oh God help!” but definitely not in the most sincere prayerful way. I’m so sorry Lord. Thank God for James and the midwife who kept telling me I’m doing good although I didn’t quite believe them and kept wanting to give up.


Finally, Levi’s head was out and then the complications happened. Most babies slide out right? This little one got stuck at the shoulders. (P/s I’m sorry if it gets abit graphic for you) The midwife had to jiggle him out! Actually more like yanked him out! Yeeks I could feel the whole process! But by then, seriously? It didn’t really hurt coz I knew he was out! Yeah!!! The hard part was over! Up to this point, it was tiring but I felt amazing.


Levi was born at 11.28am, Thursday 2nd Sept. Then we realized why it was so hard to push him out! He was huge! 3.545kg with big shoulders! How on earth did he fit in little me?!?


But then the horror started. I started to bleed profusely after the baby was out. And then my placenta had to be pushed out by the midwife, prob coz my body was exhausted from all the pushing. They had to inject me to get the placenta out and then more blood gushed out! Eeeks. My new t-shirt! I didn’t feel much pain so it was just all a blur for me. They rang the emergency bell and suddenly the head nurse, doctor and more nurses came rushing in. It was like an ER scene. The thought that I’m going to die did cross my mind! They stitched me up, put me on drip, probed my tummy more to make sure the placenta was all out etc. I was in such a blur and lost so much blood that I had no energy to carry Levi till much later. Apparently I lost more than 500 ml of blood. It was a case of postpartum hemorrhage.


When I felt better, I finally got to carry Levi. I was so happy! It was just the sweetest of moment. It was worth every single thing I went through. I can’t even begin to describe the joy. I’m not sure if I’ll be so gung ho and go without the epidural the next time but I’m really glad I got to experience a real drug free natural labour process. Levi definitely seems a lot more calmed and relaxed but of course it could just be his character. We’ll see.


Meanwhile, I feel like I conquered the world and got a prize.


P/s Thank you everyone for your prayers and love. :) God is good and He hears us when we pray.




Little Levi, welcome to this wonderful world of people who love you and have been waiting for you…


DOB: 2 Sept 2010
Time: 11.28am (NZ time)
Wt: 3.545kg (How on earth did he fit?!?)
Ht: 51cm

(This photo just taken an hour ago when he fell asleep)


More updates coming up soon I promise… meanwhile Mummy needs to sleep while you sleep….

Week 41!



Baby's still in the oven!


I'm almost a week overdue, really praying that the little one will be born today but the contractions stopped this morning. The midwife in town has said that if baby's still not here by tomorrow, we'll need to be referred to Waikato Hospital which is an hour away and they'll probably recommend for baby to be induced. I'm not keen to do that so pls keep us in prayer!


Meanwhile, I'm coping alright and we had a great weekend with a baby shower and a trip to the beach Tauranga on Sunday. See more weekend photos on Flickr.

Why are we waiting?



One day pass the due date and we're still waiting for the prince to arrive! I had some contractions early this morning but once I was wide awake, it was gone!


It's great that James' parents are here. They arrived on Tuesday and have been cooking everyday for us since. It also takes my mind off waiting coz they are happy to drive around to explore and take photos everyday (My FIL is an avid photographer.) Some days I get to rest at home and most of the time I still join them. With my mum in law helping with the cleaning up after meals, it has really freed me up to enjoy my time with Sophie. This time is so precious and I'm treasuring it although we all can't wait to see the little boy.


So do pray with us that the little one will make his appearance soon in the most natural of ways. Thanks!




It's still really cold and rainy but I think Spring is ALMOST HERE!


The flowers are starting to bloom! The insects and flies are returning!

Count on me Singapore

Left: Nelson and the flag

Right: Curry chicken, oyster omelette, stewed pork, stir fry beef, bittergourd with egg



Happy National Day one and all!


In true Singaporean style, we cooked up a storm for our new Singaporean friends Nelson and Gina. They brought the flag and the patriotic songs. Gina was a preschool teacher and she seriously had a compilation of THE SONGS.




Sophie has two favorite soft toys that sleep with her – Windy, a teddy bear which we got from Auckland on the way back to Singapore the first time and Kitty Kitten, a really soft kitten that I got for her when we came back from Vanuatu the second time. I thought she did so well in Vanuatu that she deserved a present. They have been significant companions for her marking different milestones in her life.


But on our last trip home, we lost Kitty in Bintan! ARGH! She (Sophie, not Kitty :)) fell asleep on the bus and we hurried down the bus, didn't realise that we left it on the bus until much later! She grieved for a night and was totally fine after that. She never really asked for another but James and I were distraught because it was such a nice stuff toy and we knew it meant so much to her.


My mum and dad wanted to buy her one but we were quite determined to get the same one back here in NZ.


When we returned, James looked EVERYWHERE. We got it from Warehouse the last time and we looked in every Warehouse around the area – Cambridge, Hamilton, Matamata etc… but couldn't find.


Until last Sat………………… James found it in a bin of stuff toys in another Warehouse at Hamilton! He dug and dug, almost gave up and then found a similar one (the colour is slightly different but everything else is the same)! Sophie was SO HAPPY!!!!!!!


To me, it just showed the love of the father…. how far he would go….. to find what his child loves.


The bible says in Luke 11:10-13

"For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"


Ooo the love of the Father…. :)

New Duties & Good food



The new school (DTS) just started this week! All the families are here. They come from all over the world – Denmark, New Zealand, Holland, Singapore (YES! another couple from Singapore!) and Switzerland.


But, we're not staffing in the classrooms this term. Instead James is the main lunch cook and I'm staying home with Sophie until baby comes. He has to go in early in the morning to the kitchen at 8/9am to cook for 60 ppl everyday. He also does one dinner per week. I do odd jobs around like rearranging the library (which I LOVE!) and other random stuff.


During the break, James was on a roll and experimenting with different recipes. He made Nasi Lemak and made an amazing sambal sotong (squid) to go with it. Shiok!!!


He's been doing a great job for lunches the past few days and looks like he's gonna introduce more asian food and ingredients into the kitchen. :) He's been sneaking lotsa garlic into the soups too. YUMS, plus it keeps the colds away!

I washed baby’s clothes!

We’re finally doing something!


We’ve set up the cot in our bedroom and washed all of baby’s clothes.


I tried to pack the maternity bag for the hospital but realized that I still need most of the stuff now e.g. sweater, slippers, clothes so I think we’ll just dump that in later. We’re not far from the hospital anyway. It’s only a 10 mins drive from the base into town so if we forget anything we can always get someone on the base to bring it for us.


Almost there! Exactly one more month since Baby No. 2 is due on 25 August!! I really can't believe how time has passed. Our lives are going to change in a couple of weeks. I still cannot imagine having another baby! Sophie's such an amazing kid being who she is and I cannot imagine having another one!


I'm keeping well, thank God for that. A few sleepless nights, bit of backache, a bit more sleepy during the day but all part and parcel of the last stretch…

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Happy Anniversary to us!


We’ve been married 6 years. It doesn’t seem that long but we’ve done SO MUCH the past 6 years! We’ve lived with James’ parents, got our own place, moved out, started two of our own businesses, had Sophie, traveled lots, shut down one business and sold another, came to NZ to do a school, stayed on as staff, became full time missionaries, rented out our home, stayed on to staff two more schools, and now we’re having baby No. 2.


It’s been exciting. James really pushes me to the edge sometimes but without him, I wouldn’t have moved! ? I’m really thankful to have him in my life. We’re SO different but yet because we love each other and like (SO IMPT!) each other so much that it actually works! Of course, there are times when we drive each other crazy (erm, not in a good way) but over 6 years, we’ve really learnt to appreciate each other’s idiosyncrasies and thank God that we’re not the same.


God has been good to us as a family and we’ve been tremendously blessed in SO MANY ways. We give thanks for 6 good years and are looking forward to many more ahead.


So what did we do on our anniversary?


Over the weekend, we traveled around the area. On Saturday, we drove 40 mins to Cambridge, a little quaint town nearby to check out the shops and have tea. On Sunday, we drove 30 mins to Tirau, a small little touristy town with little cafes and tourist shops to have brunch and visited the op shops and Sunday market. Yes, a little retail and café therapy for the city people. ? Turned out that Sophie LOVED the antique shops! Just like us. Was a bit terrifying trying to keep her hands off stuff but she learnt eventually to ask before touching…


P/s: Our hard disk just kaput on us. Actually a lot of our equipment have been kaputing on us. Seems like most things are only meant to last 1 year. These days it's so hard to get things that last forever! Everything is use and throw. Sigh. Anyways so my photos are hopefully still in there somewhere so no blogging with pictures for a while till James managed to get it back. So sad ah….