Ava and Christina back next week

Well, Ava and Christina have been in Tainan for six weeks now. Time really does fly, and if I think back on what I have done in the time they have been away, it is about nothing.

The weekend drag back to Ava’s hometown is fairly tough, about 5 hours door-to-door. However it is actually quite easy and this weekend was even easier than before. We made an agreement that I would only start my caring duties after I had a full nights sleep on Friday night and into Saturday lunchtime.

After all that sleep I was able to let Ava have a full nights rest on Saturday night and morning. It has been a lot of strain, although she seems to be alright. It’s almost like a form of torture, never quite getting enough sleep, but just enough to get by.

Next weekend will be her sister’s (no 2 – Anne) wedding. Should be full of the traditional Taiwan flair and I will put pictures on here sooner rather than later.

That’s it for me, thanks for those who continue to email or post comments once in a while. Bye for now.

All about Christina

Well, everything has settled down since the birth of Christina, so I have a chance to make a very long update to tell you all what has happened and how things are going.

Water breaks…

Well, Ava’s water broke at around 4:00 on the morning of Saturday the 27th or May, 2006. We had watched a movie that night and had only gone to bed at around 2:00, so I was pretty much comatose when Ava came to me and woke me up.

She showed me how much liquid had come out and we were wondering if we should head to the hospital or not. Thankfully we did go and we go there around about half an hour later.

She signed the necessary forms before heading off the the waiting section where they wait to give birth. After a little while the contractions started and they started to get very painful. The took her blood to do a few checks before things started to get going.

At this time we were all tired. Ava’s brother had come to stay with us for the week just in case Ava gave birth during that week and I wasn’t home, just so she would have someone to help her get to the hospital.

At about 11:00 in the morning Ava was still having painful contractions. Every hour or two they would come and check if she was dilated enough. The procedure for that is to check whether they can get 4 fingers into the baby’s “exit.” At that time it was still only 1 finger and a bit, and the baby was still sitting too high.

It was around this time that another woman came in making little moans and groans, and after 3 hours she left to go to the delivery room, and we were still there. The contractions were still very painful and Ava had not eaten for quite a long time.

The pain eventually got too much for Ava and around 4:00 she asked to have the little thing put into her spine which takes away much of the pain (I can’t remember what its called). It’s a little drip with a tube that they insert into your spine. Even after this the pain was still intense and there was no sign of the baby dropping.

The birth…

Another 3 hours later, 13 hours after she had first come into the hospital her doctor told her that a C-section was in order and that they would proceed with that at 19:30. Zak (Ava’s brother) and I headed off to the waiting room until things were done. Not too much later I was presented with little baby Christina who we escourted to the nursery.

When we got back to the recovery room where Ava was under observation we found out just how rough the birth had actually been.

After she had gone into the surgery room they had given her another pain thingy into her spine and then they had tried to put a face mask over her, but she had said that she couldn’t breathe. She insisted that she didn’t want it and still felt like she couldn’t breathe. It was at this point that they gave her a shot and put her out altogether.

Her blood pressure during the operation had climbed to over 180 and had become a serious concern. Afterwards she felt terrible and was in terrible pain once again as they now started to force contractions, which gets the bits and pieces that would usually come out with a natural birth out of her. Her situation still didn’t look great as she was feeling really weak.

After a while she went to her room in the hospital where she stayed. The pain continued to become more and more unbearable, so they gave her another drip to try and reduce the pain a bit. At 22:00 or so they gave her a shot in her arm to try and relieve it. The shot is only for the most serious situations and you really need to insist before they give it to you.

She had a light nap of a few minutes and she got to feed the baby for the first time.

The baby then went back to the nursery for a while, while Ava was still going through much pain. At 2:00 in the morning she received another shot, just before she fed Christina again.


What I remember at this point was that as she was feeding she felt like the pain got less and felt a little better. Then her body went stiff and her eyes popped open. We could see that something was not right, but we were not sure what, so we tried to call her until we saw what looked like foam, mixed with a little blood, coming from her mouth.

She had gone into seizure.

We immediately buzzed the nurses and ran outside to call them when they did not respond very quickly. They inserted a vice into her mouth to keep it open so she could breathe properly. It lasted a few minutes only, after which she was partly conscious and thrashing around, trying to get out of the bed and walk around. The team of nurses and staff, and us held her so she couldn’t hurt herself and then she got tied down so she couldn’t move her arms and legs.

For around and hour she went on with partially intelligible conversation, saying how she was thirsty and that she wanted a drink. The doctors told her she could only wet her lips for now, and maybe a little sip every half hour or so. She had some drips added and monitors put in to keep track of her and how she was doing. She couldn’t get any sleep and was very tired.

It was only on the Sunday in the evening that she eventually managed to get some sleep. And it was the first time I had slept since the Friday night as well.

Ava’s parents came to visit, and so did some friends and other family.

Ava was discharged on the Thursday morning and we went to Tainan by car.

The doctor could not explain exactly why Ava had a seizure, but here there are a few things that were not quite right that could have helped bring on the seizure and the other conditions that arose.


Ava’s blood pressure was very high from the time she came to the hospital, this was something the nurses were aware of, but didn’t make too much of a deal about it. She also had a very high protein level in her blood. I’m not sure what that means but during her pregnancy it had been rated as + (1 plus), which is not great, but too bad either. However, when she got to the hospital, the first blood test showed that her level was ++++ (4 plus), which is very high. These two in combination are extremely bad and can lead to very touch and go births, but nothing was said of it. Ava had also not eaten or drunk anything for a period of 24 hours, and combined with the intense pain, had become very weak, which is not the ideal state to be in.

The baby was also very large. A week before giving birth, the doctor estimated the baby at 2900g, which is very well in the range. The first check as we went into the hospital showed 3800g, and the final size was 4200g. Babies can grow up to 500g in the final week as far as I’ve heard, but that is enormous or there was some bad math going on there.

Christina had absolutely no problems whatsoever and was very strong and healthy. We had prayed about this after initial concerns about her and God kept her safe. We neglected Ava in prayer during the birth, with the main focus on the baby, but he kept her safe too and she has recovered pretty well. She still has a little pain and vision in her right eye is slightly red.

There you have it, a long and painful birth. We were seriously doubtful over a second one after this ordeal, but that will be seen in the future.

We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful little girl and blessed that her mom has recovered well. They will be in Tainan with the grandparents until next month when they will come home to Taipei.

Baby coming soon

Well, it’s been a long time since I wrote, nearly 3 months since anything personal. I spoke to my dad yesterday and he said he’s getting a little tired of reading about the “subwoofer” everytime he comes to my webpage. So here goes…

In February both of my parents came to Taiwan. They came for a week and it was a rush tour of the major attractions of Taiwan. It was a good choice to come when they did, as after Chinese New Year, many people have used up their leave and stay home. I will make a seperate entry about that vacation after I put the pictures up on the website. But in short they arrived Friday evening, we went to Taroko gorge by train the next morning, went to the Hualien Ocean Park on the Sunday, then headed by train to her parents’ home on the opposite side of the island on the Monday, where they gave us a little bit of a tour around their favourite spots. The Monday evening we went away to Guan Zi Lin, and the “Fire and water convergence” as it is translated. Wednesday was back to Taipei and they left on the Saturday morning, after Ava gave them a tour of Taipei on Thursday and Friday. Friday evening we went to the top of Taipei 101 for the view. It was really great to see them after so long, the best part was just hanging around and chatting about stuff.

Of course, the baby is on its way. Christina is expected in about 3 weeks or so. Ava is feeling quite tired as she has started to “look like a balloon,” in her own words. Everything is healthy and all seems ready for a smooth delivery. I will put up the picture of the scans we had done a while ago as well.

My work was cut back a little, just the extra work, so that’s okay, but its given me more time to spend with Ava as she goes through the pains of the pregnancy. It’s amazing how I’ve become quite used to the pregnancy, or let me rephrase, at the beginning it was something new and when her tummy started to get bigger I was amazed. Now, it almost seems like the norm to see her tummy as its been there for quite a while now.

Thats it for me, I will give another update when I put the pictures onto the internet or something else comes up.

The world’s biggest subwoofer

To all my friends who care for this kind of thing I stumbled upon this article the other day


Its about a 60 inch subwoofer, it needs to be amplified with 1 MegaWatt of power. It can produce 188dB in a closed vehicle and blows the doors off normal cars. It’s air displacement is equal to the displacement of 160 10inch woofers to give you an idea of the sheer force of it.

Pretty cool stuff.

3D Ultrasound

Well, Ava went for another ultrasound today and got some 3D scans at the same time. This was her major mid-pregnancy check. Pretty cool as you can make out the shape of the baby and it’s features. Actually the 3D scans are more useful for patients than for doctors. Parents love to see their future child, however doctors like the other ones cause you can find any problems with the baby. So without further adue, here goes.

This picture is the clearest and you can make out most of the features of the baby’s face.

The baby has its arm up at the left.

Heh, heh, fun stuff.

Merry Christmas

Well, Christmas over her certainly is a little different from what I had back home in South Africa, but then nothing really is, and seeing as this is not South Africa, it’s really not all that strange.

I had dinner with my work colleagues and we ate and drank and chatted about all sorts of stuff.

On Sunday, today, Ava and I went to church in the evening and then stayed after church for a get together they have called “vinyl cafe” where they have lots of things to eat and drink and you can just socialise with each other.

That’s it from this side, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you will have a wonderful New Year, which is coming up next week. For those on holiday, enjoy it, next week is a normal working week for me, my holiday comes with my week off for Chinese New Year from the 28th of January as far as I know.

So keep safe, and don’t forget what this wonderful time of year is all about… the birth of Jesus Christ.