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The Birth of Baby Jonas

One day, I received a message on Facebook from Jasmine, whom I had known for quite a number of years. She told me that she’d like to document the birth of her second child during the delivery process. I was quite excited as I had never photographed a birthing process before, but secretly I was a little worried that I might faint in the delivery room. After all, I have never witnessed anyone giving birth before, even though I had already experienced two C-secs personally.

Jasmine’s baby was due to arrive on December 24th, and since you can’t really plan for these things, I was already on my toes one week before her due date. Everything was in place… camera batteries perpetually charged, a back up plan with Diane in place in case I couldn’t make it to the hospital in time (or if I were busy shooting another event at the same time), extra phone numbers to call if I didn’t hear my phone ringing at 3am… it seemed like a good plan.

So I was naturally excited when I received a whatsapp message on Friday morning from Jasmine saying that she had been experiencing contractions since 3am, and that today might be ‘the day’! I quickly packed my gear, sorted out my plans for the day, and waited. After a few hours, I was given an update at 2pm: She had checked into the hospital but the contractions seemed to be further apart instead of getting stronger. So she was just under observation for now.

At 3pm, I was still running errands in PJ when I got another message from Jasmine: 4cm dilated. Contractions still far apart. I think it’s time to come to the hospital. Take your time.

I replied ok, but 10 minutes later, I received a hysterical call from her saying that she was already pushing! (on hindsight, can’t believe she can still call me even during her delivery!). I was shocked, because just 10 minutes earlier nothing much was happening! I couldn’t believe how quick everything was progressing. With Alex at the wheel, he rushed me to Pantai Hospital but just as I approached the entrance, I received another whatsapp message from John, Jasmine’s husband… that the baby has been delivered!

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I was really disappointed that I couldn’t photograph the birth nor did we manage to get shots of John cutting the umbilical cord. But everything just happened at such lightning speed which none of us could have predicted. Even the staff at the hospital said it was really quick.. just 2-3 pushes and he was out.

Baby Jonas, you just wanted a little drama entering the world, didn’t you? I am glad that everything went well though and that your mom is well (Seriously, don’t you think Jasmine looks AMAZING for someone who just delivered a baby?). I am honoured to be your very first guest at the hospital and I look forward to seeing you again soon within the next few weeks!

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The birth of Kyle

20141030_KYLE_EZRA_LAM_182I must truly give thanks to God for the birth of my two children, Krysta and Kyle. Everything from conception to birth is really a testimony of how good God is. For someone like me who has irregular menstrual cycles (once every 4 months?), I am firstly quite amazed that I could even conceive in the first place. I remember after I stopped breastfeeding Krysta, my period only appeared once and then in March this year, my pregnancy test kit proved positive! God is indeed good!

Kyle was due on 1st of November 2014, but around the first week of October, I started having really bad cramps that I could not explain. The pain was excruciating and came frequently, so much so that one day, I thought that I was having contractions as I could feel an intense pain every 5 minutes. That Tuesday morning, I went to my hospital for a check up and during the scan, was told that I wasn’t having contractions and the baby and water bag was fine. It was then that I discovered I had urinary tract infection and was given a round of antibiotics to cure it.

But two days passed by and my pain was still there. I just endured it but on Wednesday night, it was really so painful after every cramp that I had to stop doing whatever I was doing and allow the pain to pass. The next morning I was due for my final pre-wedding photo shoot before my scheduled c-sec the following week (Kyle was in breech position). That night, I called my staff to standby for the shoot the next day in case I couldn’t go because of my intense pain.

I guess God had other plans because that Thursday morning, I noticed a bloody show on my underwear and realised that labour had already started! Once we reached the hospital and did a scan, we realised I was already 4cm dilated and was experiencing contractions! (and to think I was about to head out for a shoot!). Kyle was under distress and his heartbeat was slow every time a contraction came. Within half an hour, I was in the operating theatre and during the operation, my gynae said that my water bag had burst some time back as I was completely dry. But despite of all that drama, Kyle was born safely on the 9th of October 2014 at only 1.99kg.

By the way, Kyle’s name means “Victorious!”

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Expecting Number 2

Grace_6mths_KrystaPhoto taken by my talented hubby Alex.  

After going through pregnancy for the first time, the second round kind of feels a bit of a broken record. It’s terrible, I know, but somehow, you are not fully aware of what is really going on in your body (unless your morning sickness is worse compared to your first pregnancy!). I remember when I was pregnant with Krysta, I diligently followed the Baby Centre app, telling me which week she had developed fingers and what stage she was at. Now, I have to think twice when someone asks me how far along I am. (By the way, I am approaching my 7 month of pregnancy!)

But even though I may be ‘breezing’ through this pregnancy, the challenges of shooting while you are pregnant is still very real. I have more backaches than usual (I think it also has to do with carrying a 10kg toddler!) and squatting for even 2 minutes feels like a massive ordeal. Not to mention, I have to be more careful as I almost tripped over stones or cracks on the ground due to my heavy front load!

Maybe I am ambitious, but I still have 3 full day weddings and countless portrait sessions to shoot, before I stop early October. And I hope to take 1 month off and then I am back again end November for our peak season in December. Not too sure how I can accomplish all of these things, but I am trusting God that with His strength, I will be able to give my 110%.

I thank God for Alex who has been extremely supportive as usual, and for my staff who are efficient, dependable and able to work independently so that I can have an ‘almost’ stress-free lifestyle. Without all of you, I would absolutely cave under the amount of work and pressure that running a business entails.

As I head into my 3rd trimester, I look forward to meeting my new little baby this November.

We are still taking bookings for shoots this 2014, so even though I will be out of action for 2 months, rest assured that you’re in the good hands of the Stories team.

From 2 to 3…

A week ago, I became a mum. For 9 months, I carried a little bundle inside of me… a little being that grew from a tiny foetus into a 2+kg baby. I brought her for shoots with me, and we grew, together. When we saw her first few photos on the scan, we were excited (doesn’t matter that it was just a mass of 2 oval shapes showing the head and body). When she kicked, we were delighted. Towards the end of my term, I couldn’t wait to meet her, my little bundle of joy.

A week before my due date, at about 2am, my water bag burst and an hour later, I was in the hospital. By 9am, I had only dilated 1cm and she was facing upwards, which made it hard for her to come out naturally. So by 12pm, a decision was made to go for a Caesarean birth, and within a few minutes, I was in the operating theatre. It felt like a blur, I couldn’t see what was going on, didn’t feel any pain, but I could just feel the gynae touching me and her being pushed out. All throughout the surgery, I was praying and singing the song “Lord you are always here with me”.

At the precise moment I heard her cry, my emotions just overwhelmed me and I couldn’t help but cry too.

She was brought to me not too long later and she was just beautiful!

One week later, and I have already posted countless images of her on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve joined that group of millions of mothers worldwide who are proud of their little kid. Not because of what they can do (she hasn’t earned any A’s in school yet, or started working to earn her keep), but because of who they are. Simply loved because they are their child. I am reminded of that same love that God gave to us… unconditional love, not because of what we can do, but because of who we are… His creation. And nothing we do in this life can take away Christ’s love for us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-39 –

Such is the heart of our Father…and a good reminder this Christmas! Have a great Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Grace, Alex & Krysta

Last 2 Photo credits: Asther Lau Photography

A Surprise Baby Shower!

Two weeks ago, I was completely surprised when I opened my front door to reveal a group of friends who had gathered for a surprise baby shower for me! I didn’t expect anything at all so it was really sweet of everyone to make so much effort to organize everything… from the beautiful decorations to the cute cupcakes and great food that was served (oh, and not to forget the gifts too!). I was told that half an hour before I arrived, they were busy cutting butterflies to stick onto straws! I was awed at how everything looked so perfect. But of course, the main thing was that I had a roomful of my closest friends to celebrate it with. Thank you so much everyone for making my baby shower so special, and for the friendship that we share. Really love all of you!

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