Friday, August 11, 2017

Diary of a bereaved Mother.

Tomorrow I will be exhibiting and selling my books at the…/P…/familyhistoryexpo.aspx. As I get ready, I feel so blessed especially with my first book. I had a marvelous write-up by the Aucklander, an exhibition in England, an interview in TVNZ, Downunder, Sarawak Radio. and circulated by international libraries and a reference book in a university of Canada.

 Always grateful to the first newspaper write-up .

The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by APN News & Media. It has the largest newspaper circulation of any in the country, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although numbers had declined to 162,181 by December 2012.[1] Its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is also delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland, Waikato and King Country.[

Words of healing

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 at The Women's Bookstore, 105 Ponsonby Rd, or  email Ann Chin:

TV and YouTube Video: 

Hello Ann and Deborah,
We set up the Forever in my heart exhibition today.  It runs from tomorrow, 31 January, until Monday, 4 February.  Gratefully I had 8 people helping me. We are all a bit exhausted, but satisfied with the job done.
Here is a short video of what the gallery looks like.  
Thank you so much for your book and Deborah's drawings.  I have framed one of your poems, Empty Arms, and placed it next to your book.
May this pay tribute to your son, Andrew, and all the babies who are lost to us, but still remain in our hearts.
Just Giving:
Mobile: 07904955395

I encourage newly bereaved to draw or write their 

emotions. In  my book, I had a chapter on how to help 

children grieve. This was how 4 1/2 years old  Deborah 

grieved while waiting her brother die.

Forever In My Heart exhibition which is at the Peacock Art Gallery, Upton Country Park, from 31 January to 4 February 2013.

Judy Lancaster-Bowen

Hello Ann and Deborah,
The Forever in my Heart exhibition is this week and your book and Deborah's drawings really look so lovely. Thank you so much for including them in the exhibition. Many people, especially, stop for quite a while and look and comment on Deborah's drawings. Really spending the time looking at her Chinese Baby, Andrew, and your family picture. It does touch my heart each time I see someone standing in front of her drawings, and that even though it has been a long time since Andrew passed, you are still able to communicate what was going on for your family when Andrew was going to be "an angel".
Here is a link to the website where I have uploaded photographs from the exhibition.
You can also see more photographs on our facebook
Thank you so much

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