4th Publicity of Lost And Found Book – Capital 95.8FM Recorded Interview (Radio)
After I had my interview on 938LIVE, I went on to do a chinese radio interview. It was another challenge for me, however with God’s strength, I went through it. Here, I will try to translate the interview for those who don’t understand Chinese. Pardon my impromptu direct translation. 😛
DJ: Today we have a courageous woman here with us, who had a dream of wanting to have a baby to carry in her arms. However, things didn’t go her way as she tried a few times but still didn’t manage to realise her dream. To go through 2 miscarriages and enduring the pains and agony and thereafter losing the most loved. The pain can last forever, I don’t know for how long a person can go through it before she can walk out of it. Therefore to go through 2 miscarriages and to lose 3 babies, I find it very difficult to understand this kind of pain and yet for the author Felicia Tan, she is willing to go through the experience again to pen down her journey, why does she want to do it? Today, we have Felicia to share with us her journey…
Hi Felicia, you wrote 2 English books. The first book is called To Baby With Love – A Mother’s Journey Through Hope, Loss & Renewal. The second book is called Lost And Found – A Mother’s Memoir On Finding Faith through Loss. What prompted you to write the books?
Me: The second book is encouraged by my hubby to pen down as what he had hoped for me in the first book to allow my thoughts and emotions to come to a closure.
DJ: How long did you start to write again after it happen?
Me: Actually it took me less than a month before I started writing again.
DJ: While you were doing your confinement?
Me: Yes, yes.
DJ: As I read the book, I realise most of them were written in diary format. As such, I was wondering do you keep a diary everyday?
Me: No, only when there is inspiration or when I feel like writing it then I wrote and to record down my emotions. So without realising it, I wrote more and more. Actually in the writing process, a lot of scenes or images came flashing back in my mind again, your brain is like a machine that kept repeating the scenes in your head again and again of the actual day that it happened.
DJ: So is like a movie scene?
Me: Yes, you kept on wondering what had happen, what were the things that you might have neglect or you keep on pondering about it but still can’t find an answer. So in the end, I decided to write a book to pen down all my “Why?” questions and all those that I can’t find an explanation to it.
DJ: Yes, because a lot of people will say, “What’s if at that point I did this or that?”.
Me: Yes, what if I did more checks, what if I visited my doc more frequently or if I seek more opinions. Will the results be the same? No one can tell.
DJ: No one will ever know the answer. Do you blame yourself?
Me: Definitely in the beginning I did. I would always ask myself was it something that I ate or did wrongly. Or did I not reduce my work load sufficiently to allow more rest? However as I reflected over and over again, I realise I did what most people could have done or avoided then. So the question is what’s else is there?
DJ: So eventually it still happen and no one hope for that. However, as it happened, you have to face and accept it?
Me: No choice but to accept. 🙂
DJ: However, what about the whole process, the agony that you went through, how long a period did you spend to convince yourself to accept it. There must have been a lot of struggles, regrets that you didn’t want to face it.
Me: Yes, after what it had happened, you will see a lot of family members or friends running up and down for you. Then here you are at the initial stage not moving anywhere. Soon, you start asking yourself what are you doing? What have you done to let all these people getting busy because of you. So in the end, you decided to muster your courage and started to walk out of it. Also because, I seek comfort by getting saved by Christ the Lord and thereafter starting to pick myself up seems easier and to walk out of it.
DJ: Because of the love from your family, seeing that they were upset over you, seeing this made you sad. So what can you do in return, the only thing to do is to stand up bravely and walked out of it as a way of repaying them.
Me: Yes, indeed.
DJ: So the support from family allows you to find the strength, seeing your family members ache for you. You were heart broken, likewise they were too. What can you do, the only thing is to stand up and move on to repay them?
Me: Seeing that they loved you so much, is this the way to repay them? After thinking it through, you realise is time to move on.
DJ: In the process of moving on, a lot of times you might fall back again. It will be possible to say, “Oh! Today I have decided to move on.”. However, 2 days later, you might find yourself upset and beat yourself up again. So how do you deal with the repetition of falling back in and getting up?
Me: Yes, the cycle will always be as such, however, we are human beings, we can control ourselves. If I knew I was going to fall back in, I can always shift my own thinking by redirecting myself towards the right and positive direction to it. Yes, it is a repeating cycle but every time you had to pull yourself back up again to tell yourself to stop thinking about it and you would get better doing it.
DJ: Of course, being human, we get tired at times, when you keep falling back till you find that you have no strength to do so already, what can you still do?
Me: Hmm, thankfully maybe because I have quite a lot of close friends? Or because I believe in God so eventually after you told a lot of people about it or even publish a book about it. A lot of people started to encourage or motivate you and because of that a lot of people started to know me as well. So you were able to convince yourself why should you still fall back in?
DJ: So Faith has given you great strength? Of course, friends have given you a lot of strength as well. Friends’ supports were in terms of SMS, emails or even hugs. However, Faith is an enormous strength that you find it out of human expection that you can’t fathom, is it?
Me: Faith allowed me to feel that I have a strong backup behind me, whatever problems or challenges that I had, I can just passed it to Him. 🙂
DJ: So you felt that you had inner peace with all these?
DJ: In the whole process of lost, you have found your Faith, so what changes do you have in your life?
Me: Most significantly is the mental change. I am quite a perfectionist and I seek to be perfect in a lot of areas. However, on the path of pregnancy, I kept failing to achieve it. Therefore I kept asking myself why and may indirectly pushed myself to the limit. However, thankfully since I have a Faith now so I turned all my problems to Him, left it with Him and to stop thinking about it.
DJ: So can you briefly tell us your journey from marriage to pregnancy?
Me: I gotten married in 2004. Back then, we withheld our baby plans thinking to have a honeymoon period first before trying a few years later. However, it didn’t happen, so we had to consult a few gynaes before taking the route to IVF and therefore successfully conceived.
DJ: So on the first cycle of IVF, is everything going well?
Me: Yes, quite smoothly and on the first cycle, I conceived. In the first trimester, I didn’t had much vomiting, just feeling nauseous, easily tired and restless. I had been eating quite well too.
DJ: So is a typical process of what most women might go through when being pregnant?
Me: That’s right. It was until about 23rd weeks of gestation, the water bag broke and I was rushed to hospital before I realise what had happened and the baby’s leg had poked out of the water bag already. I was bed warded for a few days.
DJ: For a 23 weeks gestation baby, he can’t survive on his own, right?
Me: Yes, even if he was to deliver at 24th week of gestation, he had only 50% chances of survival rate, let alone a 23 weeks gestation baby, the chances of survival is almost zero. However for my case, the baby dropped to the delivery position and I was forced to deliver the baby despite I didn’t wish for it.
DJ: So this is about your first miscarriage experience? After this, did the gynae suggest anything to you?
Me: Of course, we seek to find an answer to it. So 1 of the suspicion was it might be due to my cervix being weak that might resulted to a miscarriage. So I had to make a decision that if I am pregnant again, did I want to do a procedure to stitch up the cervix to prevent it from happening again. Secondly, another suspicion might be due to infection. To me, that seemed to be a very big obstacle because everything that you did might resulted in infection, so how to prevent it from happening? Thirdly, of course you can try not to stitch and see if it happen again, however is a life after all, how to not stitch and try? So in the end, after I was pregnant with the second one, we decided to stitch to play safe.
DJ: Is this the typical diagnosis for people with such condition?
DJ: Subsequently, I also realised that you went online to search in forums and portals for possible scenarios or similar conditions?
Me: Yes, I did check it out to see if there was any similar scenarios or any other alternative solution. However, most people conceived with one baby not twins. So I was not sure was it due to the twins’ weights or due to the complications that a twin might carried.
DJ: The second pregnancy is also conceived via IVF right?
Me: Yes, correct.
DJ: So after the second pregnancy, you encountered another miscarriage. After the commercial break, we will talk to the author Felicia Tan about her journey of her 2 miscarriages and experiences. Also, when we have family or friends encountering such an experience, what can we do or talk about to help. Or if there is anything to do or not to do to take note of.
—————– Commercial Break —————–
DJ: Felicia Tan’s books are available at both Popular and Book Kinokuniya book stores.
—————– Commercial Break —————–
DJ: Welcome back, today we have Felicia Tan, she was a graphic designer. After experiencing 2 miscarriages, she decided to write her experience into books. By publishing a book, I suppose you have a goal in mind?
Me: The main objective is to hope to inspire people, encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle. As I realise, a lot of people are suffering in silence, so my books became their topic. I believe is also a woman’s nature that we like to compare with each other. Who suffers more, who is worst and etc. So after reading the books, you can compare for yourself who is worst or who is not and seek to have some comfort in the process.
DJ: So do you feel that you are pathetic?
Me: I am not the worst definitely. 🙂 There are people who miscarriage more than 4, 5 times, also people who don’t know what had happened. There are others who didn’t have a chance to conceive at all or even died from pregnancy or had their wombs removed.
DJ: Yes, I felt that what Felicia had shared is very real despite she sounded humourous while sharing it. However, we being human are always like that. Today when I feel very pathetic about something, however if I were to look far, I realise there are many people suffering more than me. So I feel comforted that I am not the worst.
Me: Correct, so you felt that you are not the worst and in fact you are the better one.
DJ: After so many times of trying, I believe financially you are strained as well as you mentioned that in your book too.
Me: The lost of money is one issue, however you felt that after spending so much time and effort you still miscarriage and lost your health in the process, I think that is more crucial to recover back.
DJ: So the health is a bigger impact after all money lost can be earn back. Therefore what will you suggest to the women out there to adjust their feelings and emotions?
Me: Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, what is the things that you like to do most before you are pregnant. After all, during your confinement, you have no baby to take care of, so you are very free in a way. Therefore instead of spending time worrying about the unnecessary, why not spend time thinking about what you can do to make yourself happy. It may be a forgotten dream that you once cast aside and I think that is a bigger help to yourself by making it easier to move forward.
DJ: Just like what you did when you experience the first miscarriage, you wrote the first book and when you miscarriage again, you wrote the second book. In your first miscarriage, you received a reader’s confession right?
Me: Yes, of course a lot of people told me about their experiences, how it happened and which gynaes that they seeked help with. What I initialised thought is that, there won’t be people reading this kind of books but I was wrong and they even brings it to their attention to take action. So they choose to send you an SMS or email to encourage you and indirectly given you a big moral boast. However, when you miscarriage the second time again and back to writing, you will ask yourself why are you doing this and what is the purpose of writing. So as I reflect upon myself again and again, I realise that it is not just me that I was encouraging or motivating. I am encouraging other in the process as well so I chose to write the second book.
DJ: In the second book, I felt that it is very useful with the “Resources” section added at the back which is applicable to the guys, the singles or even all age groups. What are the things to say or to do or what not to and etc. Can you share with us exactly what should we say or do to help people like you? For example, you may have a colleague or a neighbour who miscarriage, everyone might feel shock or feel sympatic towards you, most people will tell you not to worry so much, or you are still young, you can always try again. These are the most common things that you will hear. How do you feel about it when they said it.
Me: Of course, I understand their kind intention, however I also know that it is meaningless to hear this. They may say I am still young, I can still try but for all mothers they will know, every child is different, every child has a different personality and character. Even you have kids later, you will still wonder what might have happened if you didn’t miscarriage, how old he may be already when you are celebrating birthdays for other child. The feeling and experience is different each time, so you will always still think about the past. Therefore instead of that, why not start by asking if we need any help? Or do I want to share about the experience so to see if any help was required. Personally, I find that was more helpful to me.
DJ: Every person is different so instead why not ask if you were willing to share about it. A lot of times, women like to share and seek comfort from it. However, there were also people who don’t want to talk about it. Then again, we ourselves tend to imagine that they are upset enough so is better not to ask or do anything. Therefore, the best option is to pretend that nothing had happened. So by remaining silent is it good as well?
Me: I don’t think so as well because I am bottling up all my feelings inside. I find it quite agonising too, then again, I agreed that I might tear or cried while sharing but it was also a way of relief. At least, there is a channel to relieve. So after sharing it for 4, 5 times or even 7, 8 times, maybe you might feel numb already? Or you come to a realisation that it was just a part of your life and your life journey don’t just stop here.
DJ: By repeating numerous times until you felt numbed about it, maybe you wouldn’t feel sorrow already? However, everyone has a different way of healing. Felicia’s way is to share with others to help herself but do note it is better than keeping quiet about it. However, if you want to talk about it, do be tactful too. The most practical thing might just be helping with household chores or some minor things such as buying her a gift that she like, right? The idea is just to let her feel that you are caring for her and that is good enough already.
Me: Yes, actually to us, a simple gesture is good enough.
DJ: Ok, so this is what we can do for mental healing, however how about the health factor? How did you adjust to it?
Me: For me, I had to reduce weight, control my diet and exercised regularly to bring my health back to shape and also seeking doctor consultation as well.
DJ: So the main aim is to keep our mental and physical health in tip top condition to prepare for the next pregnancy that is to come. Inregardless whether it is for your family or friends, most importantly is for your unborn child to come. I felt that we have to take care ourselves well.
Date and Time: 6th December 2013, 7.30pm – 8pm
DJ : Huang Shu Jun 黄淑君