should wordpress stop racist, sexist blog post?

19 Nov

There is a person who is sending multiple comments that are sexist and racist. Is there an official channel that he is stopped?

His title is boycott American women. I am not an american women, and I am deeply offended.

Words of healing

17 Apr

Words of healing
Rebecca Blithe | 3rd June 2011

Ann Chin has published a book about the death of her infant son.

Photo / Kellie Blizard
A mother’s account of the death of her newborn son has been turned into a book in the hope it will help other mothers heal. Rebecca Blithe meets the author.

“The specialist said, ‘You’re going to have a normal baby’,” says Ann Chin, as she sits with a pile of her recently published book, Diary of a Bereaved Mother.

But the days that followed the birth of her son, Andrew, proved anything but normal.

“Once I had my baby they realised he was dying,” she says, of his diagnosis of Campomelic syndrome; a bone and cartilage condition resulting in short limbs and breathing problems because of a small chest capacity.

“They knew because of the scans, but they didn’t investigate because it was a rare thing,” she says, of the abnormalities. “When the baby was born, they resuscitated him. He was going to die that night. He survived for 55 days.

“One afternoon I was told he had died. He stopped breathing, he turned black, he was dead for half of the afternoon. Then he began breathing again.” Describing that afternoon, the author seems lost for words. “You can’t really give words, except that it was heart-wrenching, I was in a black tunnel.”

During this period, Mrs Chin stayed in the nurses’ home at National Women’s Hospital, awaiting her baby’s death, and writing.

“It was not only a diary for myself but I was writing letters to family in Australia and Singapore.

I kept carbon copies,” she says, adding her father had made his six children write daily compositions from a young age.

Twenty-one years later, after meeting other women who lost children, she decided to revisit her ordeal, in the hope of helping mothers cope and those close to them understand. “Six hundred babies a year die. That’s more than the road toll. [Compared to the funding for road safety] there’s just nothing provided for us.”

Mrs Chin, who teaches English as a second language, says reliving the experience was difficult but cathartic.

“I took out all my old files. I read them and I cried. I sat at the computer and I cried. But after a while, I was okay. Then I finished the first draft on his anniversary.”

She says the feedback so far has been positive, especially from those who have had similar experiences.

“One of the mothers [from a Stillborn and Newborn Death support group], she just cried. She said to have someone writing about it was really helpful. I’ve spoken to grandparents as well. People tell me, ‘Now I understand’.”

Her story also tells of her disappointment with some of the staff at the antenatal unit and the importance of cultural sensitivity. “We had two doctors who kept saying, ‘This is his problem’,” she says, of medical staff shifting the blame.

The book has been requested by one of Mrs Chin’s doctors, who is now based at the University of Toronto, Canada, to assist with training and hospital management procedures.

Dr Simon Rowley is a consultant at Starship Children’s Hospital who’s been given a copy of the book.
“It is a good reminder to all health professionals that when our patients leave us, the story does not end for the parents. The detail is amazing, and every little thought and action seems to have been recorded as it happened, and then has been reflected upon.

“For parents undergoing similar experiences this book could be a great comfort. For health professionals, I would see it as essential reading.”

Further reading

Diary of a Bereaved Mother is available for $25 at The Women’s Bookstore, 105 Ponsonby Rd, or email Ann Chin:

GinnyJun 4, 2011 09:51 AM

How exciting, and what a very good interview! I also went to your link to look at it too. I’m thinking your book may be on the best seller list soon and you will not only be helping other moms but making quite a bit of money. I haven’t seen any new posts from you in awhile, or has my sidebar been missing them? Well, I’m going to check for the day now. 9, 2011 05:17 AM

Great interview, Ann
When I was interviewed…oh, I cried a lot.
I understand your situation and your feeling about the baby.
I would like to read the book. Oh, Yes!!! IKEA has the colours of Swedish flag…
nice day, Sweetie


Diary of a bere…

14 Apr

Diary of a bereaved Mother: Chapter 1, part two

2nd October 1989, Monday 4.30am, part two.

Like a sheep led to slaughter.
You allow yourself to be led.
You see him.
Stark naked.
Tubes and wires stuck all over him.
Your heart jumps into your mouth.
You are not even allowed to hold him.
He is dying.
You die with him.

At about 4pm, a doctor came and introduced himself as Dr. Andrew James. He said he was the specialist in charge of our baby. He asked if I knew that Baby had anything or if I was prepared before he was born for the possibility that he would have some problems. I told him about the four scans I had had done at Greenlane Hospital showing his bent femur but the doctors and Dr. S Lim didn’t seem to worry about them.

Dr. Andrew James explained that Baby’s foot is called a “club foot” and his femurs were a little bent. His body looked longer than proportional to his legs. For a normal baby, it was 1.7 to 1; our baby was 2.2 to 1. His face looked a little funny to a European. He had a low nose bridge, his eyes were a little far apart, and his ears were low set.

I said, well, Chinese babies are like that. The club foot can be fixed, can’t it? Andrew James said that Baby’s club foot was more serious than a normal club foot. Most babies were usually treated with a cast. For Baby, perhaps when he was one or two, they could surgically operate and fix it that way. Then he would be able to walk normally, wouldn’t he? I told him, Baby’s father has a long body. Maybe Baby took after his dad, and that must be why his body was longer than proportionately to his legs.

He suggested I come down to see Baby. I don’t know if Dr James was wondering why I hadn’t gone down to see Baby, and then we realised there was a miscommunication: that I was given the understanding that Ward 11A would inform me when I could go and see him. From hindsight, I wonder if the doctors and nurses there were wondering if I had abandoned Baby, as this scenario does happen with very sick babies.

My mind went haywire. What was Dr. Andrew James telling me? I was about to go down, but found I didn’t have the nerve to go by myself. I didn’t know what to expect. I lay on the bed and waited for CO to come. I waited, I waited, I waited and he still didn’t come.

At 4.45pm, I rang CO’s office. The receptionist said that CO had left at 3.30pm. I rang home; the phone was engaged. I waited, I waited, I rang, but the phone was still engaged. I rang our friend Dawn who was babysitting the girls. No, he wasn’t there. I rang home again; this time he was. He said he was washing up. I told him, come right now, forget the chicken soup, forget the girls, and forget the washing up.
I was quite upset that he was home. He hardly ever did any washing up — Why was he doing the washing up, and he didn’t even brew the chicken soup? I put the phone down, and the floodgate of tears burst wide open. The other mothers must have seen me but they pretended not to notice.

CO came without the girls. He saw me crying. I cried on our way down to 11A. He knew it was serious, otherwise I wouldn’t be crying like that. When we got there, I was all in a daze. Baby was in between two other babies on a heat table. It wasn’t an incubator. He was in the highest priority nursery. A doctor was leaning over him and checking his heart. It was a worst case-scenario. He had tubes and wires stuck all over him, and he was breathing very quickly. The medical term is laboured; you could see his rib cage going up and down. I wasn’t allowed to touch him. The nurse said I would be in the way of the wires and tubes.

My heart was in my mouth. I had that choky feeling in the throat; I couldn’t say a word. On Monday, in this very hospital, a specialist, Dr Larry Tan, had told me that Baby was normal. And now he was lying there naked with all these wires. How could it be? How could all the doctors, especially a specialist, make such a blunder?

Dr. Andrew James came to talk to us. He said that Baby had a syndrome, what he couldn’t be sure of yet. Then I remembered those ratios he was telling me about in the afternoon.

I asked if Baby was a midget.

He said, “Something like that.”

Then he mentioned about his brains. I asked if he was stupid or an idiot. Then he lifted his limbs for us to see and said, “Baby is floppy.”

Baby’s hands and legs were like the tentacles of a jellyfish.

CO asked something about movement and his brain. Dr. Andrew James gave us some articles to read.

I couldn’t bear it any more. My nose was blocked up. I just cried, snot was flowing and I had no tissue to wipe them. My poor baby is a very, very sick baby. Someone touched and rubbed my hands. It was Dr. Andrew James. I asked him quietly what the chances were that he was wrong.

He said something like, “It is unlikely I am wrong. We have requested another doctor, — Dr. Salim Aftimos from Lebanon, who worked in Princess Mary Hospital and has had handled a case like this — to come and confirm this.”

No! No! No! Please tell me you are wrong.

Dr. Salim Aftimos came quickly. He said he came as soon as he could from the city hospital. He examined Baby. After much prodding and probing, Andrew could move his hands and his other leg. One of the hips was dislocated, so he couldn’t move that one. His chest was bell-shaped and very small. His genitalia weren’t big like a normal male baby’s. The probing made Andrew opened his eyes. CO says his eyes were alert. We were hoping his brain was not so damaged. Then he quickly shut his eyes again. Dr. Salim Aftimos went to the office, where there was a whiteboard. We went there with Dr. James and Dr. Rowley. He said Baby was going to die that evening. Baby had Campomelic Syndrome, which is lethal and most babies die.

What did I hear? Baby is very sick and he may not even make it through the night? If he didn’t, at most it would be three days. I couldn’t believe it. How come our baby got something which is so rare that it occurs something like one in five million?
I couldn’t talk; I had a lump in my throat. I just cried. I sat by his heat table shaking my head, bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t hold him as he was attached to all those tubes and wires. My poor baby, he was right in front of me, but he couldn’t even get my touch. I told CO to call Olwyn Dickson, our pastor’s wife. I can’t remember if I asked her to come with Deborah.

CO went and took the article with him. He came back crying. He had read the article and understood the gravity of the syndrome. Dr. Andrew James talked to us. We accepted that he was a very sick baby.

He explained the article which said that there was a 17 year old CS survivor. Most babies with CS were mentally and physically handicapped. One had an IQ of 45. I cried again, I didn’t want my baby to live if he was mentally handicapped. His daddy had a PhD, and his two older sisters were normal and very intelligent. I accepted that he was going to die, Please God, I thought, let him die quickly.

Andrew James asked if CO and I were related. We were not, we couldn’t be. CO was from West Malaysia and me, from Sarawak, East Malaysia. Everything was a blur. I don’t remember when we both made the decision of to let nature take its course. I watched the nurses remove all the tubes and wires. As the nurse removed each item, a needle stabbed my heart. It was as though every tube taken away from him took him to one step nearer to his death. My heart was crying out, “Stop!” but my head knew this was the right thing to do.

The solution was to give him palliative care, which was to make him as comfortable as possible. Was that decision akin to pulling the plug? I don’t remember, as he wasn’t put on a life support machine. If it was, I did not know; I always comforted myself that I didn’t have to make the decision to turn the machine off. He did not depend on a machine to help breathe, when he died, it would be a natural death.

I had no idea what happened next. We were back in the ward. I don’t think I ate anything. The nurse manager came and got the nurses to push me, sitting on the bed, to a single room. She said it was easier this way, to put everything on the bed and move me. If you can see the funny side of it, I was like Cleopatra, pushed along by her subjects. The other mums in the room must have thought I was very sick to be pushed on the bed. I knew Andrew James had arranged this. I had watched movies and television shows where women who had lost their babies had to go through hell, watching other mothers with their babies. For this, I am eternally grateful to Andrew James.

Olwyn came; and our very good friends and Bible Study group leaders Janice and Gary Corbett came. Janice and Gary gave me hugs. These hugs were so good and comforting.
We must have gone down to 11A again, because they had Baby’s X-rays, and they confirmed that indeed Baby had Campomelic Syndrome, and the doctors were not wrong.

Dr. James asked if we would give his body for an autopsy. There hadn’t been a case, that he was aware of, in Auckland. This would be a very special opportunity for doctors to learn about CS. He understood if we refused; not many people gave up their loved one’s body for an autopsy. I said yes if Andrew was useless to me, at least he would be useful to science. I didn’t even feel irritated that he had the audacity to ask when Baby was still alive. Dr. James thanked me but told me I didn’t have to decide there and then.

Dr. Andrew James told us in Olwyn’s presence that we should remember that the important thing was that we were the parents and the doctors were there to help us. We make the decisions. But they would not treat Baby as he was so seriously sick. Normally, when the alarm sounds a code red, everyone would rush in to help. For our baby, we would be to let nature take its course, meaning let Baby die.

My God, Baby doesn’t look sick, he wasn’t premature. He was 38 weeks, he was so big. Yet, inside him, he was so sick.

Dr. Andrew James suggested baptism and contacting relatives. CO and I do not have family in New Zealand. We came here for our tertiary education and remained here to live.

I didn’t want to inform my dad as Mum died in a tragic accident 20 months ago. I didn’t want to inform my in-laws because they were very traditional Chinese people, and might not want to know about a dead baby.



  1. It is very late at night as I read this new post. I wanted to wait till things were quiet and nothing going on. So heart wrenching, my heart just goes out to you. It is so quiet now, almost like a tomb, I think these posts are better read in the day, in the sun. He is with God now and so very happy, only peace and joy.

  2. How tragic for you. You did well to be able to make sensible decisions while you were under such stress.


Diary of a bere…

14 Apr

Diary of a bereaved Mother: Chapter 1, part one

2nd October 1989, Monday 4.30am, part one.

You have your baby
They whisk him away.
They don’t tell you why.
You try not to worry.
But you can’t.
How can you not?
Every new mother has her baby with her,


The weekend passed. Andrew did not die that Friday evening of the 29th September. The next day, Dr. James got me my own room. It was so sweet of him. He did not want me to see all the other mothers with their babies if I remained in the first room I was allocated to. Neither did he want me to be constantly crying and upsetting the other mums.

Since there was nothing medically they could do for Andrew, on Saturday they brought him up to my room so that we could be with him. When it was time to feed him, I held him while the nurse tube-fed him. The nurse changed his cloth nappies. I couldn’t bear to see his body. He had a small bell-shaped chest, and with each breath he took, you could see his chest overworking. The obvious exterior sign of his being Campomelic Syndrome was his club foot.

Both Dr James and Dr Simon Rowley were very good and they came to give me moral support. I greatly appreciated Dr Simon Rowley as it wasn’t even his job. We had other visitors. Bobby Tsang, a good friend from the Bible Study group, came. He was a doctor there.

I started writing at 4.30am. I must have been tossing and turning for a long time before I decided to get up and write.

I wish my sisters were here with me holding my hand and listening. I have not been so miserable since Mother’s death in February 1988.

The top copy was posted to my siblings and I kept the carbon copy as my diary. It is from this carbon copy that I am transcribing. The letter was written with such pain. I had wanted to write since Friday. But God has delayed me writing till now, so that I can write with a clear head. This is not asking God, “Why me?” because I do not ask, “Why me?” I pray that God will help me accept why this is happening to me, and that what is happening to me will glorify God.

I am also writing this so that, while things are still fresh in my mind, this is recorded so that I wouldn’t forget. In the future, my daughters, Deborah and Gabrielle and their families will have something tangible to read about this sad tale of my life and part of theirs too: Farewell our baby.

Please pray for me, and for CO and me to be given strength. Pray that through this painful heart-wrenching experience, we will grow closer as husband and wife, and our family will become stronger and not grow apart. Pray that we don’t blame the other person for what has happened.

Our baby son, Andrew — Deborah named him that and I also always wanted to give him his Chinese name Chiang Shiong (Hero) — Andrew was born on Friday the 29th of September 1989. His labour was quite short and not too difficult.

That night of the 28th, I was up because I was coughing badly. I decided to wake up to sew an outfit for Deborah. While sewing, I felt some strong contraction pains. I went to sleep at about 3am. CO was sleeping in our guest room so that my coughing wouldn’t disturb him.

I must have fallen asleep soon after. At 6am, I heard CO waking up to attend to Gabrielle. I felt the contraction pains; then decided to time the contractions. It went on about thirty minutes. I went to the bathroom and went back to bed.

At around 7 am, CO came into the bedroom. I had been suffering from light bladder leakage, because of the coughing, and had to sleep with a pad. I found that I was having a little “show”, and knew this was a sign that Baby was probably coming very soon. I got up, and started the washing machine to do the laundry.

CO told me to get things ready so we could go to the hospital. As I had been admitted to hospital just the Monday before, I had everything ready in my overnight bag. I was busy doing the laundry, picking up bits and pieces and stripping the bed in the guestroom to prepare for our homestay student who was coming from China.

We rang the hospital and told them about my “show”. In view of the fact that Gabrielle came so quickly, though Baby was not due for three weeks, they agreed that I should go straight away. But by the time we got ready, waking Deborah and Gabrielle and sending them to our neighbour Brina’s house and making all the necessary telephone calls to arrange for the girls for the day, it was almost 8 am.

Because of all the rushing around, I did not feel the contractions. I kept telling myself, I hope I haven’t imagined it and it would be silly to be sent back for a false alarm.

We arrived at the hospital at around 8 am. The nurse met me and I was to wait at the preparatory room. I changed into a hospital gown and waited. The nurse checked me. There didn’t seem to be any contractions but the baby’s head was well down. The midwife contacted Dr. A Lim who said he would come at about 11am. If nothing happened, they would send me home.

They put a monitor on me. Baby’s contractions were every five minutes, but my cervix was not dilated. She said it was only 1 cm, which was normal for women who had given birth. While I was having contractions regularly at five minutes, nothing was happening below.

I found each contraction very painful when I lay on my back with the machine strapped on my tummy. I recorded the time of each contraction. The midwife removed the machine and I moved around a bit. I went on all fours like a cat and the pains lessened. Even then, nothing happened, and then the interval between contractions became 10 minutes.

At 11.30am. Dr A Lim came. He said I was dilated 5 to 6 cm, and I was quite ready. He must have broken my water as I could feel a warm trickle between my legs. He didn’t tell me that he had done it, and to expect that the baby would come soon. I was still in the preparatory room. They didn’t send me to the first stage room like when I had Deborah.

The midwife walked with me to the theatre 5. Dr. A Lim had left, and the midwife told me that she and Dr. A Lim had a bet that that baby would come before he came back. He had gone back to his surgery. I thought it wasn’t very nice of him to do so, knowing how, when I had Gabrielle, she came in 30 minutes.

In the theatre, the young midwife told me to push any time I felt like pushing. I went on all fours again as this was how I delivered Gabrielle; it was a very easy labour. My Indonesian friend Rita told me that she had a famous Dutch gynaecologist who taught all her patients to do this, and their labour was easy. They gave me two pillows to act as a wedge, but it wasn’t comfortable. So they removed the pillows and I gripped the top of the bed. It was about six or seven pushes, the pain was so bad. Just before the baby came, CO and the midwife told me to hold on so I wouldn’t tear. But I couldn’t hold any longer. I pushed.

The mid wife said she could see the black hair. Baby came, and I heard someone say it was a boy. I was very happy. The pain was far worse than Gabrielle’s or Deborah’s, as I remembered.

The time was 11.50am according to the clock on the wall.

The midwife asked if I wanted to hold him. He was trapped among my gown and the sheets. We got him out. He had so much black hair, spiky one-and-a-half-inch hair. The hair was like rough bristles of a brush. (This we found later was part of his syndrome.) He was covered with Vernix caseosa, the creamy cheese stuff. Deborah and Gabrielle were very clean. Andrew looked quite big and looked like Gabrielle. I checked his thighs, which looked straight. I praised God. The midwife took him away quickly.

I was really tired and drained. I didn’t have an ounce of energy left in my body. I just lay down on the theatre bed. I didn’t notice that he didn’t cry. CO, the midwife and the paediatrician, Dr. Armstrong, went to look over the baby at one corner of the theatre. CO came back to tell me that one foot was funny. I didn’t care, I was happy that we had a son.

Dr. A Lim came; he did not even say sorry that he went away. He did the stitches on me. Baby was 3.180 kg, similar to Deborah. He went to check on the baby and came back to me. Baby had one foot turned in and he had little testicles.

“What?” I asked.

He said, “The paediatrician will let you know,” and he left.

I was exasperated that he was not forthcoming with information. He was my doctor; shouldn’t he stay around to give me moral support?

They took Baby to Ward 11A, the neonatal intensive care unit. The mid wife said someone would take me for a shower and then take me up to the ward. We waited in the theatre for a long time. Someone brought us a tray with tea. Later they came with lunch. It was Hawaiian chicken. I was too tired to eat a morsel and asked CO to eat it.

Someone came with a wheelchair, and wheeled me to a shower stall in the same prep room I was in. The shower was cold, so she pushed me to another, but it was not very warm, just tepid. I had a quick wash of my legs as I didn’t want to touch the cold water. I told the midwife that I didn’t want to shower because the water was cold. The Chinese did not like women who had delivered babies to touch cold water. They believed that cold water would cause them to have arthritis and rheumatism when they grew old. The midwife understood different cultures. She said she liked the smell of the tiger balm I had applied on my forehead.

They gave me a clean gown. I put on a dressing gown and my winter parka. I felt quite cold. Then they wheeled me back to Ward 11A to see Baby.

I saw Dr Simon Rowley on the way to ICU. Dr. Rowley was Gabrielle’s paediatrician. He saw Gabrielle for her skin allergies. I told him there was something wrong with his foot.

Simon said, “Yes, I know, I have been to see him.”

The midwife gave me an orientation, “At Ward 11A, there are lots of small babies, babies with tubes and so on. Please do not be worried or frightened. Do ask any questions if you have any.”

A female worker eventually pushed me to Ward 11A. There were many nurses and doctors crowded round Baby. They were still busy checking him, so they told us to come back later. They said they would call me when they were ready. CO said he saw Baby in an incubator with a tube in his mouth. They had mentioned that Baby had breathing difficulties.

We came up to Ward 2, and she wheeled me right to the back. I was given a window bed. I was sharing the room with two other mothers. I told the nurse that I cough very badly. On Monday when I was admitted to the antenatal Ward 5, they had to move me at night to sleep by myself so I didn’t disturb the other women. I was hoping to get a room to myself like when I had Deborah and Gabrielle in Ward 8. Unfortunately, that ward had become a week ward and was closed on weekends.

It had been a long and arduous morning. I needed to sleep. CO had to go back to his office to finish off some urgent work to meet his deadline. Then he would cook me some chicken soup and come with the girls. It was about 2 pm.

I couldn’t sleep. I was very tired but my mind was over active. My mind was with Baby down at Ward 11A. I didn’t have a thorough look at him, and I didn’t even notice his unusual foot. I thought of a university friend from Hong Kong — I couldn’t remember his name. He had polio when he was a child and walked with a limp. That didn’t deter him from having a very nice personality and he was very good at playing table tennis. His polio didn’t seem to worry him at all. It was many years ago and I tried hard to remember his name. I kept thinking and thinking, and eventually I remembered, it was Chris Orr.

I just thought Baby would be like Chris Orr. In this day and age (1989), surely the doctors would be able to fix his foot and he would be alright. Baby wouldn’t be an All Black and play rugby for New Zealand which was every New Zealand mum’s dream. But I wouldn’t want him to be an All Black anyway.



  1. A riveting beginning to your book! You are very honest and hold nothing back. I feel as if I’m there with you.

  2. I agree with Ginny. It must have been a worrying time but ever hopeful.


Diary of a bere…

14 Apr

Diary of a bereaved Mother: Foreword

Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal. These pages tell of the trauma she felt during the 55 days of sitting by Andrew’s side watching him struggle for breath, loving him but being helpless to save him. Although Ann’s loss occurred many years before we began our ministry at Mt Albert Baptist Church, there exists between us an indelible empathy that is experienced by those who have had to bury a much wanted and adored baby.

As a Christian woman and as an Asian woman, Ann’s journey with grief grants insight into the pillars that shape a soul; one’s faith and one’s culture. Her account is raw. There is no answer given for her loss, the pain is not neatly packaged. To be a grieving parent just hurts.

Ann sensitively gives her view on how friends and hospital staff alike can help rather than hinder those on their path of pain. She gives examples of both from her own experience, and shows how her own pain enabled her to speak into the grief of others to help them feel less alone.

The death of a child leaves you changed forever. The world feels less safe, less reliable. The walk of Christian faith becomes more beautiful, more achingly bitter-sweet. It is as if the sufferings of God have been entrusted to you.

You also understand to a greater degree our need for each other. We have found this true in our own lives and through this book Ann opens her arms and says, “I have been there too”.
We can give each other no greater comfort than this.

Robyn and Jonathan Dove
March 2011

Mt Albert Baptist Church
New Zealand


  1. Yes, I think God has connected us, because I do not do any memes – and I have gone through your list of the blogs you follow and could none in common. This is indeed a mystery.

    I am anxious to read more, and hope I can carve out some time to go back and get acquainted with you through past posts – I also love having new blog friends. I used to have more, who have dropped out and have gone to Facebook entirely. I miss them.

    Blogging friends have prayed my family through so many things – they are a wonderful community of believers (and some who are not believers, but are wonderful friends). I have had the privilege of meeting 10 of my blogging friends in person. What a blessing!

    Thanks for coming back again, and I look forward to more interaction!

  2. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. This is a very impressive forward to your book!!! Sre you completly finished now?


  4. Very understanding,


Diary of a Bere…

14 Apr

Diary of a Bereaved Mother: Introduction


Cindy Farquhar, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Auckland, says the number of babies who are stillborn or die within four weeks of birth is higher than New Zealand’s road toll, Funding for prenatal death support and research, to help reduce these deaths, is minimal in comparison to the millions poured into road safety campaigns, she said.

For every 1000 babies born in New Zealand, eight will be stillborn. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Nearly 600 babies are stillborn or die within 28 days of birth in New Zealand every year. Many parents are bereaved in New Zealand, and in all over the world, but very few people talk about them.

This book is not just a sad saga, it is a book to help anyone struggling to cope with the loss of a child, in particular, a new born. The Genre is: Self Help/ death and dying/child’s death/survival It is a Read first, and then Act.

In my life game of “Survivor”, I emerged the winner; I didn’t emerge unscathed without forming alliance with caregivers and assistance from the medical personnel.

To the bereaved: You will read the various ways of how I grieved. You may like to act on some of them. Remember, everyone grieves differently. There is no right or wrong.

I found great solace to be found in reading another person’s account of their tragedy and survival. In my association with others in my situation, they feel the same too. We also found others who suffer similar afflictions, derive consolation reading about others who suffered. I trust you will find a glimmer of hope after reading this book.

To the care givers: Do not try to distract the newly bereaved, do not avoid the topic. Instead allow him/her to talk her feelings. Just be there.

To the medical personnel: My personal experience with good doctors and not so good doctors will give you awareness and understanding of how to help the bereaved or soon to be bereaved person in your charge.

To the general reader: If you love reading non fiction, and also like to understand other cultures, I have included some aspects of the traditional Chinese culture on bereavement. This is a fusion of East and West. East, I was born to a Chinese family which had immigrated to Borneo more than one hundred years ago. West, because I have become a Christian and have lived in New Zealand for many years. My story reflects the multi cultural nature of the New Zealand community today.



  1. I would love to know what led you to my blog site today to comment on my “wacky recipe” post. I am so glad you did. The cake is very moist and tasty, rather like gingerbread or pumpkin bread or zucchini bread. Try it!

    I am glad I have found your upcoming book and wish you well. I always find help in reading books of the struggles of fellow Christians, who have God to help them through. I will be keeping up with your story. Did you have other children?

  2. Your statistics are staggering!! I wonder how New Zealand’s compares with other countries? I look forward to reading more.

  3. It’s so sad to hear a bereaved parent talk about their child. Some parents can talk, but their partners can’t, which makes it more difficult.

  4. Looking forward to reading more. I like real life stories.


Diary of a Bere…

14 Apr

Diary of a Bereaved Mother

From the conception of my first blog I had shared with you about my late son Andrew.

In October 2010, fellow blogger Ginny inspired me to write my book about having Andrew. Since then, I had shared with Betsy and George. They have been pivotal in encouraging me.

The book is almost done, my editor suggested that I post some parts of it and I welcome your comments.

This book is not just a soppy and maudlin story of my tragic life. This is non fiction, and the genre is: Self Help/ death and dying/child’s death/survival

The book is my journey of having a baby who died in Auckland National Womens’ Hospital and suggestions to help bereaved parents, their care givers and doctors.

It has been edited: It is a wonderful account, written from the heart.

Comment:I know that no words can adequately express sympathy for this tragedy. You must be a very brave woman to come through this ordeal and write about it.

My pastors wrote this introduction in my Forward: Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal.

Here’s the synopsis.

Synopsis: Your baby is dying – Diary of a bereaved mum.
In 1989, I was told. “Your new born baby is going to die tonight.”
The book covers my journey, the kindness of the paediatric doctors and nurses and sadly, my disappointment and anger with the obstetrics team of doctors.

Friends did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate us. Andrew did not die that night, he lived for 55 days. He had 7 apnoeas. He was declared dead after his first, but he bounced back. That was more excruciating than his actual death.
I loved him despite his sickness. I stayed with him everyday because, as a Chinese person, I wanted to be there to bid him the last farewell. This is deep in the Chinese culture that it is a saddest tragedy for a person to die alone. I stayed with him because I didn’t want to accuse myself of that I had abandoned him.

This book has been twenty one years in the making. Throughout my traumatic time, I kept a diary. This November on the 22nd will be his 21st anniversary. It is the right time for me to finish writing the book, or I might never do it. It is just as heart wrenching as the day I wrote my diary. I cry, as I revisit the agonizing days. I can’t believe how I could have written a nineteen foolscap page entry three days after Andrew’s birth.

This is a true account of my life. I also recount what I have done with my life after Andrew. Most of the information was from my diary, the rest was retrospective writing. All the people are real; I have changed some names so they can not be identified.

After Andrew, what have I done? Have I become a better person? These are but some of the things I am most proud of.

I spearheaded raising funds to separate a pair of Siamese twins from Nepal in Singapore. For 16 years, I raised funds for the Deaf Children in Kenya. I did the publicity, marketing, cooking and selling. When I lived in the Nanyang Technological University, I showed young mothers, caregivers and grand parents to have meaningful play with their charges through song, dances and story telling. I volunteered in schools helping with learning and reading recovery. I welcomed new comers to the campus.

In 2005, I joined Child Bereavement Support (Singapore). I had the advantage of both being an Asian who had lived in a Western Society and received a Western education. I am a member of the Campomelic Families. Campomelic Syndrome was what Andrew had. I comfort those newly bereaved parents.

I am an ESOL teacher teaching adult immigrants and children. This gives me a lot of opportunities to share my life story. I write of my experiences in my blogs and writers’ websites to bereaved parents. For we belong to the club of bereaved parents. Membership is not by choice but by force.

I give my testimony publicly. I shared of how my care group and my church showed their care and love. They were angels. They all helped me walk my difficult path. Today, I testify that God is good, God is great.

I write this book to inspire you, to tell you from experience that during trials and tribulation, Proverbs 3:5-6 is very real, Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Times change, feelings do not, and neither do emotions.

My book is timeless. It is as relevant now as in years to come. To the unfortunate mothers, I had walked that journey. To the loved ones, this book tells how you can help. To the doctors, this book gives good examples of what to do and what not to do, because I went through both.



  1. I might say that as awful as your tragedy was, you would not be the person you are today without it. Meaning, you would not have helped so very many people. You have turned outward to help others, instead of turning inward to be bitter and alone. That itself must be hard to do. God will take bad events and use them to help others. I am so glad to be your first follower, really honored, and look forward to what you have to say on your new blog. If you lived near me, we would go out to celebrate, my treat.

  2. II had not read about your tragedy before. I am looking forward to reading this blog. You are very brave to suffer this loss and to write about it. I hope it has helped yo cope as I am sure your book will help others.

  3. This tragedy has been a great help for you to help understand other bereaved people. It certainly made you strong and caring.

  4. I am glad that I now know this about you, Ann. My thoughts are of you today. Warm wishes from Dubai !


I am the writer…

13 Apr

I am the writer of “Diary of a Bereaved Mother ” published last year.

Non fiction, self help, bereavement, infancy death, Christian faith


My baby died 22 years ago, and I have become a  spokes person for bereaved parents. I am a member of Sands.



I blog daily, and I belong to Kiwi Mummies Blog.



I am the writer of “Diary of a Bereaved Mother ” self published last year.

After the book was released,

My book was featured in the Aucklander.

I appeared in Television 1 Down Under program. It’s ok to cry

I spoke in the Baptist Women’s Annual Convention, North Island Chapter.



Available in New Zealand at: Women’s Bookshop, University Bookshop, Auckland, Church of Christ Bookshop, Online orders: Wheeler books, , Overseas order:

The book was edited by Gillian Tewsley.

Forward by : Pastor Jonathan Dove.



13 Apr


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13 Apr

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