Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going through my miscarriage

I was 2 months pregnant when I learnt about my first miscarriage. That was in September 2012, just last year. I have been waiting for more than 2 years for this pregnancy to happen. I still remember that day like replaying a video tape. I was supposed to meet my gynae, Dr. Eric Tham for a scheduled checkup in the morning. Like it was a joke on me, not only that Dr. Eric was not around but so were the 3 other gynaes in my neighborhood. ( I found out later that all of them were attending the same seminar. fml...)

So I thought that I should just wait for the next day. That same afternoon, I went crazy when I saw spots of blood on my underwear. I whatapp-ed my friend, Angel in panic. Luckily, she found a gynae on duty in Tropicana medical center and even made an appointment for me (wouldn't know what I will do without her, thanks Angel!). So me and hubby rushed to Tropicana.

As we were waiting anxiously for our turn, hubby reminded us that we have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. After what seems to be the longest wait in my life, we finally saw the gynae.

I could feel my heart wanting to pop out when the lady gynae was scanning my womb. I was looking at the ultrasound screen and praying that my baby would be fine. When she scanned it a few times with a wrinkled brow, I knew that my hope was smashed to smithereens.

The doctor confirmed that I had a miscarriage. She showed me that the embryo in my sac had stopped developing and it had even shriveled. Tears were starting to well up in eyes that I could hardly see anymore. In my anguish, the doctor started to explain the options and D&C, a term which was completely alien to me. It's a basically a surgical procedure to remove the life that was once in me.

As I came out from the doctor room, I was still crying and even harder when I see the big and round bellies of the expecting moms around me.

Somehow, I thought that no matter how hard I cry or how sad I am, it will never change this fact. With this realization, I decided to pull myself up from this grief.

That night, I went ahead with my planned karaoke session with Chia Li and Shirley and sung, or more like screamed my heart out. I felt a lot better and even enjoyed myself.

I think that I am the one in the million who can still have a karaoke session right after knowing a miscarriage. It is either I was plain crazy or just had exceptional tolerance of lost. Lol..

Come to think of it, it is not that I have lost a limb or a liver. Yes, I have lost a baby but if it's not meant to be, there is nothing that I could do except to choose whether to be positive or sad during this ordeal.

As my D&C was scheduled on the following week Tuesday, I didn't know how I live through that weekend. Can you imagine having a dead baby in you and trying to forget about it at the same time? Somehow, I went to a birthday celebration and keeping quiet as I didn't want to spoil the party. I won't say that I didn't feel miserable at all but I also didn't want to dwell on the sadness.

When one door of  happiness closes, another will open right? So with this mentality, I decided to reward myself to my dream trip to Europe, a dream that I have set since more than a decade ago. Hubby and I went to Europe for 2 weeks. We had the best time of our life and even celebrated 2013 new year countdown under the Eiffel Tower.

But even more meaningful than my long time dream was being selected as a famine advocate by World Vision. It was only about two months after my miscarriage when I applied for this role.
As a famine advocate, I was given the opportunity to visit one of the World Vision community development program in India. There, I've met a lot of people who have inspired me to advocate for the poors. More importantly, I've met children suffering from hunger and sickness and knowing that WE can help them LIVE by just sharing some of our blessings.

Having gone through a miscarriage,  I appreciate life and children even more now.
Perhaps this is why I feel so deeply about the less fortunate children. My heart melts when I see their smiles and cries when I see malnourished or sickly children.

It is so true when people say that if we have never suffered ourselves, we might not be able to identify and sympathize with the suffering of others.

Well, to all the ladies who are trying very hard to conceive, do not be defeated even when you meet with failure, like me. I sincerely hope that my sharing can help you to deal with your miscarriage in a positive way.
When life gives you lemon, make a lemon juice and don't forget to help the needy ones! Try again and good luck to us!

"Suffer what is there to suffer and enjoy what is there to enjoy." - Nichiren Daisonin.

Friday, July 5, 2013

An awe-inspiring workshop

As a Famine Advocate, I was glad to have the opportunity to attend two Camp Leaders Workshops to share my experience with World Vision.

 I was a lot of nervous that I looked. :P

At my first workshop at HELP CAT university, I arrived at 8.30am and there were already some camp leaders and committee members who had arrived earlier even though the workshop was scheduled to start at 10am!  All the volunteers and World Vision staff were already busy with their given tasks and I can feel the excitement in the building.

As I chatted with them, I got to know that some of them actually came from hundred miles away to attend the workshop. A big shout out to them!! It was really a feat to come so far especially when the workshop starts so early.

During the workshop, I was awed by the spirit of about 400 attendees comprising camp leaders, committee members and volunteers. Despite the long hours from 10am to 6pm, everyone was so upbeat and sporting throughout.

The fun-loving camp leaders

All the camp leaders and volunteers

My favourite moment was when the groups were competing against each other to attract people to join their respective camps. It was really hilarious as there were so many creative and outrageous proposals and the groups were very competitive.

I was also glad that I got to know some very nice people during the workshop. There was our dear photographer, Kit, who had volunteered for the workshops on both days. For the 2nd workshop, he actually traveled all the way from Singapore and arrived at the venue at 4.30AM! 

And most of the photos here at taken by him!

I also met another volunteer, Jennifer, who was an ex-Camp Leader and she has been involved with 30-Hour Famine for 5 years. They are only some of the amazing individuals that I met during the workshop, not to mention the all the other awesome camp leaders and committee members. Meeting all these inspiring people was really what kept me going.

With the awesome volunteers. Jennifer is the one at the far right

As this was my first time sharing with such a big crowd, I was actually very nervous throughout the day even though my session was scheduled at 3.30pm.  What if my message wasn’t impactful enough? What if I miss out important points? What if I couldn’t hold my tears back?

 My sharing

I was only given a short 5 minutes for sharing during the workshop, though in fact, all the advocates have prepared for this for so long.  We had attended a public speaking course and came up with so many speeches. We also revised them many times and rehearsed together so that we can improvise based on the feedback.

If you were to ask me why bother to do what we do as a famine advocates, my answer would be really simple.  It’s difficult to not put in all your effort in the job when the less fortunate ones are people that you personally know. Poverty is generally sad but it only hit me hard when I met the poor children and families in India. To me, they are not just people plagued by poverty, but they are also sweet-natured, loving parents, and parents who weep when they see their children suffering.

Their children are just like you and I who want to become teachers, footballers and doctors and when they grow up. But will they be able to grow up and go to school like us?

Little Samiran, a very cute boy that I meet during my trip in India.
Samiran almost die a year ago when he suffered from chronic tonsillitis for 20 months and left untreated. :( 
But luckily, he was taken to the hospital for immediate surgery when World Vision came to his village.

As a Buddhist, I believe in giving back to the society. It’s just the law of nature and fortune. With all the good fortune and blessings that we have received, why not give out some of it to the really needy ones?

Please check out my other write-ups about fighting poverty at World Vision Malaysia 30-Hour Famine Facebook page! Click here!
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