Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diary of a Bereaved Mother : Synopsis.

From the conception of my first blog http://annkschin.blogspot.com/ I had shared with you about my late son Andrew.

In October 2010, fellow blogger Ginny inspired me to write my book about having Andrew. Since then, I had shared with Betsy and George. They have been pivotal in encouraging me.

The book is almost done, my editor suggested that I post some parts of it and I welcome your comments.

This book is not just a soppy and maudlin story of my tragic life. This is non fiction, and the genre is: Self Help/ death and dying/child’s death/survival

The book is my journey of having a baby who died in Auckland National Womens' Hospital and suggestions to help bereaved parents, their care givers and doctors.

It has been edited: It is a wonderful account, written from the heart.

Comment:I know that no words can adequately express sympathy for this tragedy. You must be a very brave woman to come through this ordeal and write about it.

My pastors wrote this introduction in my Forward: Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal.

Here's the synopsis.

Synopsis: Your baby is dying - Diary of a bereaved mum.
In 1989, I was told. “Your new born baby is going to die tonight.”
The book covers my journey, the kindness of the paediatric doctors and nurses and sadly, my disappointment and anger with the obstetrics team of doctors.

Friends did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate us. Andrew did not die that night, he lived for 55 days. He had 7 apnoeas. He was declared dead after his first, but he bounced back. That was more excruciating than his actual death.
I loved him despite his sickness. I stayed with him everyday because, as a Chinese person, I wanted to be there to bid him the last farewell. This is deep in the Chinese culture that it is a saddest tragedy for a person to die alone. I stayed with him because I didn’t want to accuse myself of that I had abandoned him.

This book has been twenty one years in the making. Throughout my traumatic time, I kept a diary. This November on the 22nd will be his 21st anniversary. It is the right time for me to finish writing the book, or I might never do it. It is just as heart wrenching as the day I wrote my diary. I cry, as I revisit the agonizing days. I can’t believe how I could have written a nineteen foolscap page entry three days after Andrew’s birth.

This is a true account of my life. I also recount what I have done with my life after Andrew. Most of the information was from my diary, the rest was retrospective writing. All the people are real; I have changed some names so they can not be identified.

After Andrew, what have I done? Have I become a better person? These are but some of the things I am most proud of.

I spearheaded raising funds to separate a pair of Siamese twins from Nepal in Singapore. For 16 years, I raised funds for the Deaf Children in Kenya. I did the publicity, marketing, cooking and selling. When I lived in the Nanyang Technological University, I showed young mothers, caregivers and grand parents to have meaningful play with their charges through song, dances and story telling. I volunteered in schools helping with learning and reading recovery. I welcomed new comers to the campus.

In 2005, I joined Child Bereavement Support (Singapore). I had the advantage of both being an Asian who had lived in a Western Society and received a Western education. I am a member of the Campomelic Families. Campomelic Syndrome was what Andrew had. I comfort those newly bereaved parents.

I am an ESOL teacher teaching adult immigrants and children. This gives me a lot of opportunities to share my life story. I write of my experiences in my blogs and writers’ websites to bereaved parents. For we belong to the club of bereaved parents. Membership is not by choice but by force.

I give my testimony publicly. I shared of how my care group and my church showed their care and love. They were angels. They all helped me walk my difficult path. Today, I testify that God is good, God is great.

I write this book to inspire you, to tell you from experience that during trials and tribulation, Proverbs 3:5-6 is very real, Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Times change, feelings do not, and neither do emotions.

My book is timeless. It is as relevant now as in years to come. To the unfortunate mothers, I had walked that journey. To the loved ones, this book tells how you can help. To the doctors, this book gives good examples of what to do and what not to do, because I went through both.



  1. I might say that as awful as your tragedy was, you would not be the person you are today without it. Meaning, you would not have helped so very many people. You have turned outward to help others, instead of turning inward to be bitter and alone. That itself must be hard to do. God will take bad events and use them to help others. I am so glad to be your first follower, really honored, and look forward to what you have to say on your new blog. If you lived near me, we would go out to celebrate, my treat.

  2. II had not read about your tragedy before. I am looking forward to reading this blog. You are very brave to suffer this loss and to write about it. I hope it has helped yo cope as I am sure your book will help others.

  3. This tragedy has been a great help for you to help understand other bereaved people. It certainly made you strong and caring.

  4. I am glad that I now know this about you, Ann. My thoughts are of you today. Warm wishes from Dubai !