Saturday, May 10, 2014


We are the parents of two daughters. Wow. Amazing. I don't think my mind has completely wrapped around the fact that we now have two children rather than one. Two little ones who bear our DNA and will call us Mom and Dad. Whoa.

So, praise God. Kaitlyn Hannah Chang has arrived safe and sound into this world. And I don't know whether it is because my children share their parent's flare for the dramatic, but it seems that both of our children feel the need to enter the world in a very unique and definitive way with enough twists and turns to be their own soap opera or reality TV show.

As I shared in my last post, Linda and I were woken up at 5:00 a.m. to begin the prep process for surgery. About 7:30 a nurse showed up to our room with a wheel chair and helped Linda into it. By 7:45, before I knew what was happening, we were on our way to the delivery room.

I followed behind the wheelchair in an excitement-filled daze, hardly believing we were about to undergo a procedure that would bring our second daughter into the world. We get to the delivery room area, and huge steel doors slide open allowing us into the ward. Next we enter a smaller room and the orderly who was wheeling Linda, pushes her into a special quarantined area for deliveries, and I start to follow only to be told sternly that I couldn't enter yet, and to wait outside while they asked Linda some survey questions and prepped her for surgery.

At that moment another sliding door with a glass window slid shut separating Linda and I. All I could do was stand by helplessly unable to communicate with Linda in any way. A few minutes later, the sliding doors slid open and I was able to shout, "Linda, Jia You!" (which is something we say in Chinese when we want to encourage someone to "Hang in there and press on.") It was then that Linda realized I wasn't with her, and she asked me, "Aren't you coming in?" I told her I couldn't right then, but I would be in as soon as they let me. And then the doors slid closed, once again separating me and my wife.

It was then that I realized that I had been sidelined. It's ironic that I wrote in my previous post about my complete obsolescence in this whole child-birth process. Never was it more evident than in that moment segregated from my wife by a heavy steel door with a window.

Well, I stood outside the door for about 30 minutes while they prepped Linda for surgery. And I was just buzzing with excitement. Our daughter was coming, and I was going to be able to be there to witness her arrival. Could this be happening? Wow.

During the waiting process they brought me some scrubs and a surgery cap to put on, so I would be clean enough for the operating room. After what seemed like forever, the door finally opened and a nurse intern ushered me into the operating room.

There I saw my wife laid out like a science experiment, with green sheets covering her entire body except for a rectangular patch exposing her stomach. I was quickly informed the path of which I was allowed to walk, shown my seat and told that I was not allowed under ANY circumstances to touch anything other than my wife's hand.

Once I sat down, the procedure began. I held onto my cellphone, ready to capture the moment that Kaitlyn's head emerged. From my position, I couldn't see too much, only the doctor and nurses working on Linda. I tried as hard as I could to crane my neck to get a better view inside the abdomen, (I know, weird, but I was really curious) I couldn't see anything.

The procedure started out pretty smooth, but then the next thing I know, the doctor starts slowing down, and I hear her making comments about blood vessels, and a lot of things being stuck together and that this procedure was going to take a bit longer than expected. The doctor would work a bit, and then she'd look, and then I'd see this look of concern followed by a look of determination. It took about 20 minutes for the doctor to finally get down to the uterus in order to get Kaitlyn out. Just as I was wondering how much longer it would take, the activity began to pick up.

Again, I couldn't see anything, so I can only guess that the doctor finally was able to get down into the uterus and it was time for baby to come up. I looked down for a second to get my phone ready, and next thing I know when I look up, I see baby's head. A tug and a pull, then the baby's whole body is out. And then I hear for the first time, the sweet cry of my baby girl.

It's so funny, first thing I check as I did with Alicia as well, was to see if indeed she was a girl, and well, yes. She was. haha...

But man, so much bigger (naturally) than Alicia when she came out. And a good set of lungs. It was amazing to watch Kaitlyn get cleaned up, and see her turn from greyish blue, to pinkish red as she sucked more and more oxygen into her body.

My first instinct as a Dad when I heard her crying was to try to calm her down, but then I remembered that the crying is good, it's her taking her first few gasps of air. So I let her cry, but I started to talking to her, and you know the most amazing thing is that when she heard my voice, she stopped crying and started listening as if, "Hey, I know that voice."

At first, I hadn't noticed that she had stopped crying in response to my voice, only that she had stopped crying. It was only in reflection that I realized, hey, she knows me. Again, amazing.

It was at this point that I realized that I was focusing entirely way too much on Kaitlyn and not on my wife who was still on the operating table. So I turned to walk back over to Linda, at which point I was scolded and told not to approach and to stay where I was. So I froze in my tracks, turned around and went back to Kaitlyn. 

Once Kaitlyn was cleaned up a bit, they weighed her. And that's another funny story in an of itself. I was so chocked up on adrenaline that when they weighed her and announced her weight, it completely didn't register what they were saying. I heard the weight, I saw the number, but by the time I got out of the operating room, I completely forgot everything.

Next was another beautiful moment. They took Kaitlyn and carried her over to Linda so mother and daughter could meet for the first time. Kaitlyn by now was crying at the top of her tiny lungs because she was not happy being removed from her comfortable palace. But the moment they brought Kaitlyn close to Linda, and she heard Linda's voice, she completely got soft and calmed down. Her eyes were completely closed, but she found Linda's nose and rested her long slender fingers on it. It was a sweet moment as baby and momma bonded.

Soon, though, it was time for baby to get wrapped up and sent over to the nursery for final check up and a bath. But before we wrapped her up, doctor had me go over wither her all of Kaitlyn's extremities and appendages. Two ears, ten fingers, ten toes, definitely girl, etc... Once we checked that Kaitlyn physically was OK, the doctor wrapped her up, and then miracles of miracles, I got to hold Kaitlyn for the first time and actually carry her out of the delivery room.

With Alicia we had to wait a couple months before we were allowed to hold her and cradle her, but Kaitlyn it was within minutes. Amazing.

God is so good. Baby girl is healthy and alive. There is more to share about our first day post delivery, but this is getting long and it's late. So I will share more later.

But for now, I will just say thank you for all of the love and support that all of you have been sending us from around the world. We really are so grateful that we and our children are so dearly loved.

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Life

Well, it's been almost a year since our last post. And what a year it has been. Alicia has grown so much, and is moving along in her development quite well. And ... oh, yeah. We got pregnant! Actually, that's why I'm here typing again.

Right now, I'm lying in a hospital room, next to my wife who is resting as she prepares for yet another C-section.

Reminds me of the first night that I wrote on this blog, back then I was also in a hospital room, next to my sleeping wife, who had just had an emergency C-section. Crazy how time flies and how life goes on.

We arrived at the hospital last night, and Linda and I were commenting on how the circumstances surrounding this birth are so completely different than Alicia's birth. This time around, we'd known about this C-section for months. Months ago, our doctor told us that because Linda had had the C-section so early last time, if we tried for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), Linda's risk of uterine rupture during delivery was increased. So our OB-GYN highly recommended another C-section. Well, I don't know if recommended is the right word, more like informed us that we would be having another C-section.

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this, because first of all, it meant that we'd be taking baby out several weeks early (37 weeks vs. 40 weeks) and second of all, I still remember the recovery process for Linda from the last C-section. It was quite uncomfortable. So I was really hesitant, and even considered telling our OB-GYN that no, we'd like to try for a VBAC anyway. But after praying and then talking to several of our friends in the medical sphere, and considering the fact that our doctor is a well-known high-risk pregnancy doctor here in Taiwan, and also me not having the first clue on child-birth, we decided that we would go ahead with the scheduled C-section.

So here we are, week 37 and two days. Linda and I were woken up about two hours ago to begin the prep process. (I'll spare you the details.) It's baby day and if all goes well, we'll be meeting our new daughter within two hours. Crazy.

There are so many thoughts running around my head right now. I'll be honest, right before starting this entry, I was researching C-sections and all that entails and doubts started creeping up in my mind again. Perhaps we should have pushed more for the VBAC, maybe we should have asked more questions. But too late now. We're on the train and it's already left the station.

Also, I can't help but feel absolutely 100% useless during this process. I mean other than my early contribution to the life of this child, up to this point I have pretty much not had anything to do with carrying her, nurturing her, incubating her and keeping her healthy. And for the next few hours, I will have nothing to do with her coming out, other than standing by Linda's side and encouraging her. I mean, seriously, for the past 9 months, every ache and pain, every physical change, every sore muscle, every kick, every needle prick, every swollen appendage has been Linda's and Linda's alone. And now, over the next few hours, it will be her who will have to endure the epidural, her who will have to deal with the surgery and her who will have to deal with the recovery.

I feel completely and utterly useless.

So any man, woman or child who ever disrespects a mother (and I'm talking to myself here, too), no offense, but you're acting stupid. I mean these WOMEN are AMAZING! What they have to go through to bring these children into the world - I mean, WOW.

And it's like, I want to have more kids, but how do I dare ask Linda to go through all of this, AGAIN? I mean? Really. It's not something I can ask of her. It would be one thing if I could take the pain and struggle of bringing the child into the world, and do something to help. But seriously, as I said earlier, I pretty much am 100% obsolete in the pregnancy, birthing and recovery process. It's not my body that has to deal with all the changes and discomfort. Ever want to feel useless? Be a husband, awaiting the delivery of your child. Don't get me wrong, this is no self-abasement. I'm not putting myself down. I am just accepting my lot in life (well at least in this process). So as much as I would LOVE to have another kid of my own (yes, I know... let's see how it is with two before opening my mouth and making such a statement), in the end, the decision is completely up to Linda and God.

So gentlemen with wives who have been or who are pregnant. We seriously need to bow down and honor these women as the queens and warriors they are. I mean, they go through a heck-of-a-lot to give life to our children. We best not EVER disrespect them EVER.

So on this day, the birthday of our second daughter, and two days before Mother's Day, I just want to say to ALL the mothers out there, THANK YOU. THANK YOU! May God bless you immensely for all you have done. YOU ARE AMAZING!