One Year On…

One Year On…

Today is a special day for Dee & I. It’s the first year anniversary for our child, Nathaniel.

We knew this day will eventually come. During the weeks leading up to it, I wondered to myself if this should be Nathan’s first birthday (since he was technically born on 2 Feb 2016) or his death anniversary (since he was pronounced a stillborn child on the same day). Eventually, we decided to just settle down on this being his first anniversary.

Though work has been busy for us lately,  we decided to deliberately slow down today. We took off from work so that we could spend a little more time with one another.

One year ago, our lives were shaken when we found out Nathan wasn’t going to join us in this world, and that his journey with us has ended. It was a loss that wasn’t just our own, but also those of our parents, our family, our relatives and friends.

Nathan’s passing taught me and Dee that nothing in this world is permanent. And that sometimes, life will throw difficult curve balls that we have no answers to.

2016 was a year of two half for us. After losing Nathan in Feb, we found out in August (9 Aug in fact!) that Dee was pregnant with baby “Sib.” At times, 2016 felt like such a difficult year that we almost forgot to count our blessings, and that is God giving us another baby in our lives.

Picking Up The Pieces…

About 10 months ago, we buried Nathan’s bones somewhere special. We didn’t want to hold on to it for too long then because we felt it was right for us to let go…even if it’s temporary.

We packed his bones into this little box.

nathansgift

Today, we decide to revisit the place where we buried his bones. We told ourselves that if we do visually see the box, or what’s left of it, then we will bring it back home…Otherwise, we will just leave it at where it’s buried.

And we did…bring it home, and we left some flowers there instead 🙂

image4

Obviously what we did is not what most people would do, or even should do…there are proper places where remains can be kept. But our rational was that since he never got a birth or death certificate anyway, there was no reason for him in having anything permanent.

So we did what we wanted to do to cope with our loss and recovery. I guess the point behind this is that each loss is personal.

The most important thing about this isn’t actually about what we did. Rather, it was that we did as a family, Dee and I – super happy as well that sib could join us as an (unwilling) accomplice this time around!

Losses Can Be Very Painful, But Moving On Is Possible

The past year have taught us that while some losses are agonisingly painful, we can still move on to another chapter of our lives.

The greatest fear for us moving on is being afraid that the shared experiences that we previously had with Nathan would be lost. That the memories of him will slowly fade away in our lives. But that’s not a good reason to cling on.

We move on not because we have to, but because we want to.

I know that Nathan will always be an important part of our lives. The next chapter of our lives has already started, but that doesn’t mean the previous chapter we had with him is over, or irrelevant. The impact he has brought us will shape our thoughts and how we are as person, and also the parents we will be.

And that’s the kind of impact a loved one can bring to anyone, even little babies like Nathan.

I recently re-read the book, “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. Here’s a quote which caught my attention from the book.

“Choice is therefore the key. We can run from the darkness, or we can enter into the darkness and face the pain of loss. We can indulge ourselves in self-pity, or we can empathise with others and embrace their pain as our own. We can run away from sorrow and drown it in addictions, or we can learn to live with sorrow. We can nurse wounds of having been cheated in life, or we can be grateful and joyful, even though there seems to be little reasons for it.” 

For those of you who are wondering how Dee and I have been, We just want you to know that we are doing fine.

img_5379

 

 

Advertisement

[Week 31] 6 more weeks to go…

We have 6 more weeks to go. As the big day draws nearer, our fear of losing little Sib grows simultaneously too. Had a htht session with my mom today, sharing with her how I’m taking things one day at a time. Keeping my hope as low as possible, and just enjoy each day spent with little Sib.

And that made me realise the difference between ‘fear’ and ‘appreciating’ each day to its best. There’s a fine line between being afraid to think of the future vs I-just-want-to-spend-each-day-to-it-best-and-whatever-comes-it’s-a-bonus kind of mindset.

I do hope that when the big day comes, I’ll be able to overcome the fear of losing little sib. Cos’ I know that if I keep that fear in me, it will only manifest and become a bigger/ never ending fear when she grows up.

Do keep us in prayer as we learn to fully trust and have faith in God that only He will heal us from all these fear. And that I will truly enjoy the remaining pregnancy time with little Sib till she joins us in this world as our dearest little baby.

God bless our family and may we continue to give encouragement to those who are going through or been through difficulties like us. Amen!

 

[Week 28] The 3rd Trimester Begins…

Dear Nathan,

Just want to let you know how much you’ve been missed dearly each day. Our hearts are still in great pain every time we think about you and I think it’ll forever be there till we unite with you in heaven.

Your little sis has been growing well and she now weighs 1.3kg at 28 weeks! Gynea forecasted that she will probably be around 2.8kg when she arrives to this world at 38 weeks! Though you can’t be around to share the joy with us, we know that you will be anxiously looking out for her like a guardian angel.

We love you so much, Nathan! Till we meet again!

Love, Mommy

 

 

Dear Nathan, There Is So Much I Want To Tell You

Dear Nathan, There Is So Much I Want To Tell You

My dear Nathan,

It’s been 17 months since you joined our family, and about 8 months since you left us – at least until we meet each other again. There have been so many things that have happened, so many things that we want to tell you.

Mommy found a new job after her maternity leave. She is now working with Daddy! We have so much work to do each day, but are thankful that Daddy and Mommy are able to see each other so often. It really helped us recover, being able to spend so much time with one another to keep ourselves occupied.

4 months ago, we found out that Mommy is pregnant again! We call your sibling, “Sib” – Unlike how you were growing up, Sib kinda crave for attention. In fact, at just 2 months, people were already giving up their seats on the train for Mommy and Sib. Mommy told me that only happened for you and her when you were about 4-5 months old. Daddy also had some friends secretly asking him if Mommy was pregnant. That’s how it is like with Sib. Always wanting to be acknowledged.

Recently, we also found out that Sib is a girl! Your Mommy kinda suspected it for some time. Yes, that also means she is your baby sister! She is the first girl in Daddy’s side of the family, following your 3 other boy cousins who are still in the UK, and of course, you.

Daddy is sad because he knows that you and Sib won’t be able to see each other. However, when your little sister is old enough, Daddy will tell her all about you. The precious times we spent with you. Your favourite movies, IP Man (1/2/3), our time together at Bali, how big grew to be in Mommy’s womb and the stretch marks that you left her with, the c-section scar that she now has to remind us of you, your beautiful eyes from Daddy and kissable lips from Mommy, the mole, right above your lips, and of course, the day you left us and the funeral service we had for you.

In our eyes, you are the most beautiful baby boy we could have ever dream of having. Daddy and Mommy will always remember you as our perfect brave little baby boy.

Daddy will take good care of Mommy and Sib. Daddy wishes you could be here, to see her when she joins us. But Daddy knows that God has a different plan for all of us – Me, you, Mommy and Sib.

Nathaniel and Sib – We love the both of you very much, and always will.

With Love, Daddy and Mommy. 

[Week 16] Yay but still worried…

Sib is officially 4-month old in mummy’s womb now 🙂

Day seems to pass damn slowly but we are trying our best to enjoy every moment with Sib. Felt Sib’s first solid kick yesterday! [Yay! Another milestone unlocked!]

We’ll be visiting our gynea in 2 weeks time. Will try to keep my anxiety and worries out of my silly human mind for now.

Week 14 check-up went extremely well

Couldn’t really sleep the night before… and was feeling so nervous as I wait for my turn to see my gynea. Not too sure if I hid my ‘nervousness’ well enough but Dr Kenneth’s bubbly-ness calmed me down a little.

We did the scan straight away and I was holding my breath praying for everything to be okay. We ended up seeing our little sib in a ‘praying’ position- lol. And yea- phew! All is well 🙂

Thank God for keeping our little sib safe and healthy. Taking one small step at a time to look forward to sib’s arrival. 5 more months to go! Ganbatte!

On a separate note…

I realised Facebook can sometimes do more harm than you would expect. 

Am starting to block a couple of facebook posts here and there… I think sometimes those Facebook posts triggers your ‘anxiety button’ for nothing. -.-|||

If it wasn’t for my job to monitor the social media space, I would have just deleted my account… at least for the next 5 months.

I was quite affected by a post from a friend who’s otw to the hospital for labor. That made some flashbacks of our little N who had braxton hicks a week before he passed. I remembered how much I was hoping that it was a real contraction, and how much I hoped we induced him out even though dilation wasn’t even at 1cm…

It brought so much memories… and there goes my afternoon I guess…

 

[Week 10] The Night Before Our Check Up

[Week 10] The Night Before Our Check Up

It’s week 10! 3 weeks just flew past pretty quickly.

I’ve been counting down for tomorrow’s check up. Feeling kinda nervous about it actually. On one hand, I can’t wait to catch a glimpse of the little sibling and yet on the other hand, I don’t know if there’s gonna be bad news coming our way during the check up.

I’ve been reminding myself to leave everything to God. Trust Him with all my might and strength. I know it’s easier said than done, the kind of fear and uncertainty simply turns me away from God.

I know that I need to overcome this fear. The pregnancy is a blessing to us no matter how it goes. This is our trial, our journey with God. I hope to overcome the inner fear and strengthen my faith in Him through this pregnancy.

From this perspective, I see a more meaningful journey than to fear each coming days like walking barefootedly on a thousand needles. Lets have hope, and trust that everything is in God’s good hands, Amen.

I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you.” – Psalm 91:2

Learning To Appreciate Life All Over Again

Learning To Appreciate Life All Over Again

Both Tim and I can’t be any happier with the recent news!

It feels different to be pregnant again. A mixture of feelings- happy but fearful at the same time. I would like to document our entire pregnancy journey to encourage mummies to continue to overcome pregnancy after loss. Hang in there, mummies!

Week 7 (2nd Sep’16)

To give this new pregnancy journey a pleasant start, we decided to change our gynea this time around. There’s nothing wrong with the previous gynea but the change in environment helps get away those negative memories.

We went to the clinic a week after I found out I am pregnant. Pardon the ‘kancheong’ spirit here, the gynea could only spot the little seed (Nathan’s sibling) and to confirm the pregnancy.

(2 weeks passed)

This week, we went to the clinic for the second time. It is supposed to be an important scan- heartbeat has to be formed by now. It was too early for gynea to detect the little sibling during the previous visit. I’ve never felt so nervous with the scans- it has always been smooth sailing during little N’s time.

At first, it took a while for gynea to spot the little sibling. We saw the sac and he was searching for the little sibling. I held my breath for that few short minutes, praying hard at the back of my mind- “God, please let Nathan’s sibling grow well and stay healthy.”

And within a few minutes, he found the sibling! Gynea turned on the audio to let us hear that awesome heartbeat! We haven’t felt so happy for a long long time!

I know it’s gonna be a long pregnancy journey- living each day so cautiously like walking on broken glasses or if you prefer the biblical way of saying “walking on water with faith”.

I’m very thankful to have the constant support from Tim, my mom, close friends and new friends I’ve met at the pregnancy loss group. Most importantly, I know that God is looking out for us no matter what happens. I thank God for giving us this light of hope. Though we will never know the outcome- the only way to overcome the evil fear is to keep reminding ourselves that God is in control of everything.

To Tim:

Thanks for being the sturdy tree for the family. We’ve been through tough times but let’s not forget the good times. Let’s fight the fear and enjoy the journey with little sibling. Whatever happens, at least we know that sibling has a brother in heaven who will be there to look out for him. I’ll complain lesser and start learning to appreciate pregnancy life all over again.

To little sibling:

You are our rainbow of hope and God’s blessed child. Stay strong and healthy- always remember that God loves us no matter what.

P/S Your amazing heartbeat tells me how much you yearn to fight together with daddy and mummy. Be brave and keep fighting!

Love,

Dee

There Are Some Questions In Life, We Do Not Have Answers To (At Least, Not Easy Ones)

There Are Some Questions In Life, We Do Not Have Answers To (At Least, Not Easy Ones)

Over the past few months, Dee and I have been extremely grateful to have met quite a few people. People, whom we did not know, sharing their own personal experiences with us.

All of the stories that were shared with us were incredibly heartbreaking. No words (at least not what I can think of) can describe the type of unimaginable pain all of these parents felt – and possibly, still feel till today.

Little curious questions pop into our minds every now and then. How would Nathan looked like today if he was still around? Would he looked like his dad, or bear some resemblance with his cousins? Would he have been a left-hander (Dee) or a right-hander (Tim). How much hair would he have today (he had nice curly hair when he came out)? What blood type would he have been? The questions continue…

We Don’t Forget, But We Move On…

I believe all parents that lost little ones will have these thoughts from time to time, when we think about the moments which did not happen and how our child (or children) would have been today, if they were still around.

It’s hard for me to ever forget about Nathan. Perhaps that might happen one day when I lose the sharpness of my mind. Perhaps not.

For Dee and I, there is no doubt in our minds that Nathan has and would always be an important part of our family. He is our first child, and the memories of him growing up in his mother’s womb would always be in our hearts, and in the hearts of our family.

More often that not, we don’t get answers because we are not asking the right questions. And while, I don’t have the answer (yet) to why Nathan had to leave us, I do know that in God’s plan, Nathan’s life (though shorter than we hoped for) was meant to impact both the lives of Dee & I, those of our family members, and the people whom we have connected with.

Dee have shared her stories about Nathan to multiple strangers whom we did not know before. They too, have shared their own stories with her, and she, with me.

And I believe, in an amazing way, that all this is just the start of something special.

A Sermon Worth Listening To

We heard this sermon from John MacArthur after losing Nathan. This sermon was preached about 15 years ago in 2001. The fact that it is still relevant to anyone today, and in future generations to come, is a testament to just how unchanging the word of God is.

If you are on this blog because you have encountered a similar loss, I would like to encourage for you to listen to this sermon. It’s my prayer that it will minister and comfort you in the same way it has ministered and comforted us.

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-242/the-salvation-of-babies-who-die-part-1

 

 

I Will Walk With You No Matter How Long It Takes

I Will Walk With You No Matter How Long It Takes

Nathaniel would have been 5 months old today.

It’s hard to believe that we lost Nathaniel just 5 months ago. When it happened, it was sudden, and painful, a grief beyond anything I have ever felt.

Nothing prepares you for the unexpected loss of a baby that you were already anticipating. During week 37 of pregnancy, Dee started having the common Braxton Hicks contractions. We were all waiting for him. Dee was home-based while I had my phone on standby ready to head home when the call came. Nathaniel’s bag was all packed in the car.

And then we lost him, just like that.

The pain amplifies when what was a bundle of joy in our lives turned into a deep loss, all in an instance.

What makes it even harder was knowing the girl I love most was experiencing all these, dealing with pain greater than my own.

I told Dee. I love Nathaniel and I am so upset he is no longer with us. What makes the pain even harder is knowing that it’s not just my loss, but hers as well. When I see her sad, it makes the pain worse.

To Dee, always remember, there was a time when it was the three of us. Me, you, and baby Nate. It wasn’t as long as we wished, but that doesn’t make it any less real. We had our moments, and we will keep it in our hearts.

In God’s own purpose, he allowed our family of three to become two. Nate was the odd man (or baby) out. So that leaves us with one another. And I will treasure the moments, the good and the bad, for as long as we live.

We will never know why it had to be our Nathan. It’s a question that we will not get an answer to, at least not on this side of the world.

I am sorry for your (our) loss. I know it’s tough, and still is. But I promise you, I will walk with you through this, no matter how long it takes. I will journey with you till the day we can look at babies, think of little Nathan, and smile at the perfect memories we have of him.

Still Missing You…

Still Missing You…

It’s been more than 4 months since we lost Nathaniel. Today, I thought of him out of the blue while I was at the office.

For those of you who know me personally, I write a lot at work. Before N was born, I wrote a lot about how parents can plan the finances for their kids.  Since we lost N, I have stop writing those articles – for obvious reasons.

This afternoon, I was writing  an article about life’s journey and I covered a portion about starting a family and “expecting the unexpected”. Both of these hit me. It reminded me about the loss that we have experienced.

Dee asked me just a couple of days ago if I still think about N. I told her the truth, and that was, I try not to think about it too much.

I thought about N today while I was in office. I thought about how I wish I could have just spent a little more time with him while he was in Dee’s womb. I wished I talked to him more, especially during the later stage of the pregnancy when he would react to sound.

Seeing Nathan made it all real. It reminded us that life, while fragile, is created by God. It reminded me that even as parents, we are only temporary guardians of our little ones while we (or them) are on this earth. Last but not least, it reminded me that every little being, be it a child, a toddler, a newborn, a stillborn or a miscarriage baby is still a precious child of God, regardless of what society “terms” them.

Dee and I promised one another that if another pregnancy comes in the future, we would treasure the time we have with our baby as much as possible, even while him or her is still in the womb.

I don’t cry much over him these days, except when I am writing or talking about him. But I really miss him so much. And I am sure I speak for Dee as well.

Nathan'sGift