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Are You More ‘Western’ or ‘Eastern’?

14 May 2017 – 8:02 pm |

The way we respond, interact with others and live our day to day, is highly influenced by the kinds of culture that we – consciously or unconsciously – adopted.
My question is, have you ever wondered:
Are …

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Baby Brie : Birth Story

21 October 2011 | Posted in: Pregnancy & Babyhood | 9 Comments

Brie is exactly FIVE months today! And um, I still owe her a proper ‘Birth Story’ blog post. I mean, another post on TOP of the one I wrote when she was about one month old.

Anyway, before my memory gets too rusty, I better write it all down.

This was what happened before Baby Brie was born into this world =)

Friday, 20 May 2011
38 weeks pregnant, and in my attempt to ‘encourage labour’, I’ve been scrubbing my bathroom tiles every other day! (I know, it’s probably a myth, but I didn’t quite care. I like my bathroom floor clean! =)

Then I suddenly noticed some ‘pinkish discharge’. Wasn’t sure if it meant labour was starting, because when I was pregnant with Anya and Vai, my waterbag burst first.

Saturday, 21 May 2011
Called Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) and the nurse asked me to come to the hospital to get myself checked. Since it’s my third baby, labour could happen FAST, she said.

After dropping both Anya and Vai off at a friend’s place, Wilson and I went to TMC by taxi. Was asked to go to the Labour Ward and put on their purple hospital robe.

Had straps put around my belly to monitor baby’s heartbeat and contractions. But when the nurse finally checked my dilation, she told me I was only 1cm dilated! Was sent to my hospital room to get some rest, while Wilson waited and tried to get some rest in the ‘waiting lounge’ (ie. No one is allowed to sleep in the same room, unless you’ve booked a one-bedded room)

My gynae came and did a check. Apparently I was only about 2cm dilated! He asked if we wanted to go home and wait. But you see, Wilson’s parents were already on their way to Singapore that very morning, and my mom-in-law, our only help this time round, could only stay for 10 days with us. So, since I was already in my 38th week too, we decided to just go ahead and get myself induced.

A ‘pill’ was inserted to ripen the cervix (so that it’d dilate to 10cm faster). No painful contractions YET, and I happily tweeted and posted updates on Facebook =)

My Doc came to see how I was doing, and when he saw me still looking happy and relaxed, he said, ‘Oh, that’s not good!’ (read: No contractions after being induced). He then ‘manually’ dilated my cervix to 3cm (yes, OUCH!). And from then point on, contractions were strong and only got stronger by the hour! They were consistently strong and the intervals were very close together! The nurses decided to wheel me back to the labour ward.

Managed to see Anya and Vai (who came with Wilson and their grandparents to the hospital) before I was wheeled to the delivery suite. So happy to see them! By then I was about 5cm dilated and contractions were consistently strong and painful. Earlier on, the nurses asked if I wanted epidural and I replied with a no thank you. Instead I asked for Entonox (Laughing gas) to help relieve a bit of the pain.

[My mask, my friend]

Managed to occasionally post updates on Facebook with my right hand when the contractions were not so strong, haha (Somehow this ‘FB update’ thing managed to distract me from my labour pain, a LITTLE bit)

My gynae came to check on me and decided to burst my waterbag. And I was like, ah … finally! This meant baby’s coming real soon, but it of course also meant contractions became SO MUCH stronger. I held on to my mask with all my might each time the waves of contractions came. I was about 8cm dilated.

Guess what? I suddenly felt this super strong urge to PUSH. We told the nurses and they immediately called my gynae. He quickly rushed back to TMC, but he was about 8-10 minutes away at the time. Every single second was tough for me because I had to keep on breathing in and out to overcome the urge to push. The nurses were telling me, ‘Don’t push! Breathe in and out! Doctor is coming! Doctor is coming!’

Finally, my gynae arrived! And in about three strenuous pushes, baby was out! My whole body ached (from enduring the pain for hours), and my left arm and fingers were extra sore from gripping the mask with all of my strength. I was completely and UTTERLY exhausted beyond words.

Was very glad that it’s all finally over, there were no complications and that a baby girl was all healthy and well!

Birth Weight : 3.220kg

Length: 49cm

Head Circumference: 34cm

We decided to name our baby girl : Labrielle Hidajat.

‘Labrielle’ means ‘God is our strength’.

[When the thought of having another baby crossed our minds, we prayed and said,  ‘God, if You really would like to entrust us with another little one, then please teach us to have faith, and to be ready to learn to walk the faith and see how You sure would give us the needed strength everyday too’]

And, she’ll lovingly be called ‘Brie’ for short, which in Indonesian, the word also means ‘given’ (ie. ‘Beri’). She is indeed ‘given’ to us from above.

[Exactly one week old baby Brie in my hands after her bath. Still sooo tiny!]

Ah anyway. It’s amazing how time flies SO quickly.

The tiny baby girl is already FIVE months old today!

Thanking God endlessly for watching over her faithfully, every day.

We feel very blessed.

No, We Don’t Celebrate Halloween, and Here’s Why

20 October 2011 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 17 Comments

I don’t know how it is done in other countries, but here in Singapore, in the month of October, it seems to be the popular thing to see Halloween-themed events, products, including children toys, being sold EVERYWHERE.

And while I know many people feel it’s okay and fun to celebrate Halloween, our family chooses to not celebrate it. We have never celebrated it, and we never agree with the whole idea behind it.

We also don’t see ‘Halloween’ as a time for our kids to wear ‘cute costumes’ either.

Well. It’s just a personal choice.

And here are some of our reasons:

– We don’t believe in our kids seeing frightening, gory, bloody faces and images as fun and as something to celebrate about. We don’t believe that there’s any goodness in exposing our little children to such things

(Although of course there’s bound to be something scary that the kids will see at shops, etc when Halloween is near, it’s still different compared to us actually ‘celebrating’ it)
– We don’t endorse violence. We don’t encourage violent physical interactions / role-plays amongst our kids either. So it is simply unimaginable for us to introduce to our children that being killed/slashed by a sword, or axed on the head is cute or funny or even ‘festive’.
– We don’t believe in celebrating nor being part of anything related to witches, ghosts, the devil, or the dead, however ‘harmless, fun, cute, and festively packaged’ the whole Halloween event is planned
– If as family we celebrate Halloween – in however way that’s suitable for small children – children will naturally accept Halloween as part of their annual tradition spent with friends and families. And when they’re in their teens, when cute costumes and candies are no longer relevant, it’ll be highly likely for them to continue celebrating Halloween with friends, in the way that the ‘real gory Halloween should be’.

And so, no, we personally choose to not be associated with any of it nor introduce it to our children, thank you.

(Of course they do see Halloween toys and decor at shops, etc. Realistically, they can’t completely be shielded from it since it’s everywhere. And so when they ask questions – they almost always do anyway – we simply explain it to them)

Btw, I thought I should also share that I saw photos of a marketing campaign here in Singapore where so called ‘zombies’ roamed around the streets giving out flyers. SO glad I didn’t happen to be in the area with my kids! How traumatising it’d be!

I also walked past shops today and saw dolls being hung by the neck, blood-splattered shirts, a toy knife with blood, etc.

(Companies sure are riding on the whole ‘festivity’ to make anything, just as long as they can make heaps of profits out of it)

I know, many will disagree with me. Because many do find it acceptable or are feeling neutral about the whole Halloween idea.

Every family is entitled to their own opinion on this of course.

For me, I just can’t stay neutral on this though.

Again, it’s a personal thing.

I just feel I should write and share my personal thoughts on this. Especially since it’s ‘Halloween season’ right now.

PS: I thought I should also add :

> As much as I don’t believe in celebrating Halloween, when others celebrate it with cute children costumes and harmless children games, it is, to me, still a much better alternative than having people getting all dressed up to look like, say, car accident victims holding a smashed baby doll, or rape victims. Because really, they’re just, too real? I mean, there ARE actually people out there who DID lose loved ones in such tragedies, and having fun while dressing up like real victims is just, wrong. If we personally knew someone who passed away in such a tragic way, would we get ourselves dressed up to look like the victim? I don’t know. I just feel that one sure can have fun, but there needs to be a degree of humanity, sensitivity and respect towards others in it.

(Even dressing up like Frankenstein, a witch on a broom, or Darth Vader would be a ‘better alternative’, because they’re all known fictional movie characters)

>  To me, Halloween is not similar to the 7th month Hungry Ghost Festival (although both ‘celebrate the dead’). Because during the 7th month, children see joss sticks, tents, stages, and people praying, etc … but at least there’re no people walking around in gory, scary and bloody costumes.

One of the Great Things of Having Three

17 October 2011 | Posted in: Daily | 2 Comments

… is, the kids get to entertain themselves pretty often.

Anya and Vai especially LOVE it when they can make Brie squeal and laugh out loud (which doesn’t take that much effort as this little girl smiles and laughs a lot and rather easily =)

PS: I get asked pretty often about how I encourage the kids to have good sibling relationship with one another. I can’t quite answer the question in one simple sentence because it does involve quite a bit of effort from us parents and it continually needs to be nurtured by us over the years (And yes, the two older kids DO bicker, argue, annoy each other and find faults in each other, … like all other siblings do). Anyway, hope to (find the time to) share it in a blog post sometime.

Sunday Food for Thought : The Two Sides of Many Things

16 October 2011 | Posted in: Inspirational | No Comment

Here are three quick questions to ponder:

Do we have health?
If we are healthy, it’s a blessing. But while it is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing, ie. When someone who is healthy goes to waste his life, doing things that are meaningless, or worse, … things that are harmful to others (note: A robber is very most likely a healthy and strong person, yes?)

Are we good looking?
People generally wish to look beautiful or handsome. While many feel ‘happier’ when they are physically good looking, one’s ‘good looks’ can also be ‘dangerous’, ie. When it becomes a factor that leads to infidelity or extra-marital affairs.

Are we successful?
When one considers being successful as equivalent to having money, then the state of having money itself can be a good thing, ie. When used to help others who are in need, not to satisfy own greed, etc. However, having lots of money can also be a bad thing, ie. When it pushes people to be even more greedy, and to manipulate others in order to get more and even MORE.

We all only have one life to live. And we can’t reverse the time that has already passed.

How we live our life is SO crucial.

Let’s be responsible in living our life.

Let’s fear God.

Let’s remember that everything is a blessing from God. And be thankful. Everyday.

[Note: This post is inspired by today’s sermon, delivered by Rev. Stephen Tong]

Pregnancy : Going ahead with Planning for Baby #3, despite …

6 April 2011 | Posted in: Parenting, Pregnancy & Babyhood | 29 Comments

[This photo was taken last week @ 30.5 weeks pregnant]

Now that I’m pregnant with #3, I do frequently get asked , ‘Have you guys always planned to have three kids?’
And to that, my answer would …

Parenting : Instilling Values in Daily Conversations With the Kids

21 September 2011 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 5 Comments

As a parent to three kids, I find myself instilling values in my daily conversations with my two elder ones somewhat more frequently, especially this year.
And I guess, it’s more because Anya is now in …

Brie : 4 years, 10 months

20 March 2016 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment

The littlest in the family will turn FIVE in two months!

Before I forget what she’s like ‘right now’, here are a few updates =)
> She likes to make up her own songs and tune =)
> She …

Loving Our Spouse, Till Death Do Us Part

27 January 2017 | Posted in: Inspirational, Marriage & Relationships, Video | No Comment
Loving Our Spouse, Till Death Do Us Part

My grandma would’ve had her 76th wedding anniversary this year. But my grandpa had to leave before they celebrated their 73rd anniversary. Since that day and till today, I see my grandma ‘telling’ her husband …

Marriage : staying together, staying happy (Part II)

6 September 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 3 Comments

We all know when it comes to marriage and keeping the relationship going for a long time, being ‘in love’ alone is not enough.
Because as much as two people love each other, they’re two individuals …

Reality of Approaching FORTY!

13 January 2015 | Posted in: Daily, Marriage & Relationships | No Comment


No, I don’t mind people knowing my real age.
I’m going to be 39 this year.
Seriously though, I do feel the number ’39’ to be … old! Haha.
Perhaps, it’s because I don’t ‘feel old’?
When I was …