Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2015

4 years in Hong Kong!

Ok, we haven’t been updating our blog for a while and even less so with the arrival of Selwyn!  Nonetheless, we hope to at least celebrate the anniversary (26th April) of our relocation from Australia with these milestones! Read More…

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Posted by: sammerz | 19 August, 2014

Selwyn @ 100 Days

Selwyn turned 100 days old…. Steph has been editing these cute photos of him (almost) every day! Enjoy!

Posted by: sammerz | 21 June, 2014

Guessing Game Winners

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the Guess the Gender and Guess the Date & Weight competitions!

 

For the Guess the Gender competition, out of a total of 62 guesses, 30 were correct.  The randomly drawn winning guess is:

Bee Ting C from Melbourne, Australia!

 

For the Guess the Date & Weight competition, the winners are:

Effie P from Hong Kong (correct date)

Giovanna G from Hong Kong (correct weight)

Nicole P from Hong Kong (correct date)

Steph (correct date – yay, Mummy wins!)

 

Congratulations to all the winners!  The prize is currently in production and will be available around the end of August 2014.  We will ask you for your postal address soon!

Posted by: stephtong | 22 May, 2014

Supernatural Natural Birth


 

I’ve finally sat down to write my birth story.

During Pregnancy

In one of the earliest Doctor’s appointment, they found a cyst that might require surgery if it didn’t shrink. We prayed for the cyst to shrink, and it reduced in size and disappeared in about 2 months time!

The Scare

I had the structural scan (also known as fetal morphology) for the baby around Dec 2013. We waited for a long time at the Doctor’s. Finally it was our turn to have the scan. It was all ooh and aah as it was our first time having a glimpse of Selwyn in 3D scans. Everything seemed fine and the Doctor asked us to wait outside. Moments later, the Doctor called us back into the room. You know something was up when the Doctor asked you to come back. The Doctor said Selwyn seemed to have borderline average penile length. This was the first time in my life having this overwhelming feeling of “I dunno what to do” or “have I done/eaten something wrong or not enough?”. From then on, we kept monitoring the “private part” in every Doctor’s appointment.

The Birth

May 9 2014, 3:30pm (3cm) This was the normal weekly Doctor’s check up. During the examination, the Doctor said “You’re 3 cm dilated already! It’s not in active labour stage. You should now go home, take your bags and go to the hospital.” Although it’s already 3 cm dilated, I didn’t feel any pain at all! We went for afternoon tea, went home to have a shower and off we went to St Teresa’s Hospital.  We checked in at around 5:30pm.  While in the “waiting room”, I was strapped with the baby monitor for an hour. After that, no signs of contractions (at least I couldn’t feel any)/ water breaking/ show etc. It was a long wait. I was pacing up and down the corridor, doing squats, breathing… everything that I could do to make it progress quicker.

May 10 2014, 4:30pm (6cm, 4cm?) The nurse came to do another examination. The nurse said, “You’re now 6cm dilated! Let’s get you in the delivery room.” I was wondering, “Really? I still feel no pain at all.” I was wheeled into the delivery room, strapped to a baby monitor again and had the IV inserted into my right wrist. The Doctor came a while later and checked again, “Well, it’s only about 4cm. You can probably go back out and walk a bit first.” So we went out and it was back to the waiting game.

May 10 2014, 8:30pm The Doctor came back to do her rounds again and she gave us the advice to augment the labour. Her suggestion was to perform an artificial rupture of the membrane (ARM) (i.e. break the water manually) to quicken up the process as the dilation duration had been too long and there was still no sign of baby coming out. She covered all the risks of doing/not doing ARM. In the end, Sam and I decided to perform ARM.  Up till now we had been in the “waiting room” for about 28 hours; our only entertainment was seeing all the pregnant ladies (most of whom opted for Caesarean) being wheeled into the delivery room.

May 10 2014, 9:40pm (6cm) The Doctor performed ARM and the water broke. Still no feeling of pain and I was 6cm dilated. Moments later, I started to have this period pain feeling. I wanted to see what my pain threshold was, so I used breathing techniques (learnt from the ante-natal classes) instead of the Entonox (laughing gas) to ease away the pain. Gradually, the pain became more and more intense and I grabbed the laughing gas like it was my lifeline.

At this moment, Sam was on my left hand side and I felt that Jesus was on my right hand side in the room. He was watching over me calmly, doing nothing but His presence was there.

May 10 2014, ~11pm (6 to 9cm) I really lost track of the time as I was on my laughing gas. The gas valve loosened in the middle of my breathing and I fiddled around to have the gas back. Lucky Sam caught it and was able to re-attach the valve 🙂 Soon after, the nurse took the gas away, and I said “Why?!” It was the stage to start pushing and I couldn’t be dozing in and out of it.

Selwyn was an occiput posterior (OP) baby, meaning his head is head down and facing forward instead of facing my spine. I was prepared for it before the labour as I read up having OP babies meant a longer and more painful birthing process. As the baby’s bum was pushing against the spine, even an epidural couldn’t numb the pain. I was ready for this back pain that was going to come.

Yet during this transition stage of labour, I felt a warmth at my back. This warmth removed all the pain that I was supposed to have on my spine. Instead, I could concentrate on pushing Selwyn out. It is so Jesus, nothing but Him.

May 11th 2014, towards 00:15 Finally, the pushing started. It was the biggest dump ever! I mustered all the strength that I never knew I had to push the baby out. As the baby was still in OP position, he needed a bigger than normal “gateway” to come out. As I pushed, the Doctor cut when it teared. Seriously, at the time, those cuts were not painful at all. The pushing pain was bearable and I just had to learn to direct my strength to push him out. Finally, after about 30-40mins of pushing, Selwyn was born! No Pethidine, no Epidural!

It was such an amazing feeling to finally hold this little buggy in my hands. I thought I would cry, but I think I was too exhausted to have any deep emotions 🙂 Then Sam and the baby went out of the labour room, leaving just me and the Doctor doing post-op stitching. That part was a bit lonely.

It was a rather big wound and there were lots of bleeding during the night. The nurse came every 2 hours or so to “massage” my stomach. It was painful! But it really helped in getting all the “stuff” out. Later that morning (Mother’s Day!), I was able to walk about and didn’t need a cushion to sit on too! The paediatrician also had a check on Selwyn: his penile length was normal!

We praise God for all that He has done for our family. His healing hands, His supernatural presence in the labour room – He has been there throughout the whole pregnancy and birth journey. He is at the centre of our new 3-person family 🙂

Posted by: sammerz | 18 May, 2014

Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet

How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

~ Isaiah 52:7 NKJV

Posted by: sammerz | 11 May, 2014

Selwyn @ Day 0

Selwyn @ Day 0

Taken on 11th May 2014

Posted by: sammerz | 11 May, 2014

Selwyn Seun Him Leong (梁信謙)

Selwyn Seun Him Leong (梁信謙)

Our firstborn son. Steph is the strongest woman I know!

Posted by: sammerz | 26 April, 2014

3 years in Hong Kong!

I’m not sure how often we’ll keep this up, but last year we did a post on our 2 years milestone.  It’s quite obvious that as we anticipate the arrival of our firstborn, we’ll be staying in Hong Kong for a lot longer.  Read on for the year’s summary of  celebrating memorable momentsspiritual growing and church involvementtravellingexploring and experiencingworking and living in HK:

  • 25 May 2013: Helped out at Manna Ministry, giving the underprivileged a tour of the Noah’s Ark.
  • 31 May 2013: Invited to give a BGR talk at ICA Youth
  • 1 June 2013: Steph auditioned for the ICA Musical
  • 8 June 2013: Celebrated the birth of Adam & Betsy’s son, Christopher Lai (黎天納)
  • 9 June 2013: Sam went cycling in Tai Wai
  • 12 June 2013: Participated in our first Dragon Boat Race in Stanley
  • 26 June 2013: Said farewell to Rock
  • 13 July 2013: Sam said farewell to his 2nd class graduated from Primary School
  • 14 July 2013: Sam said farewell to Gennext
  • 17 July 2013 (Steph till 29/07, Sam till 11/08): Flew back to Melbourne, Australia to visit family and friends
  • 21 July 2013: Attended Alexius & Joanne’s engagement party
  • 22-24 July 2013: Took a trip to Hepburn Springs in country Victoria
  • 26 July 2013: Celebrated Sam’s birthday with family at Ocha
  • 2-4 August 2013: Steph took a trip to Bangkok, Thailand with Betsy and Joyce.
  • 8-9 August 2013: Sam took a trip to Brisbane, Australia to visit Peter & Julie Luu
  • 16-18 August 2013: Steph took a trip to Fuzhou, China for work
  • 23 August 2013: Joined Matt516 (after “graduating” from Rock)
  • 30 August 2013: Sam began Post Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) at The University of Hong Kong (2 years, P/T)
  • 1 September 2013: Began 4-couples Marriage Mentoring sessions
  • 2 September 2013: Sam began teaching secondary classes at Sear Rogers International School
  • 4-6 September 2013: Steph took a trip to Nanjing, China for work
  • 7 September 2013: Steph landed a main role and began rehearsing for the ICA Musical
  • 9 September 2013: Found out Steph was pregnant!
  • 21 September 2013: Visited the doctor the estimated due date would be 16th May 2014
  • 23-26 October 2013: Sam went on a school camp at Ham Tin / Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung Country Park
  • 26 October 2013: Celebrated Steph’s birthday with family at Gong Guan, a private kitchen
  • 2 November 2013: Attended Edward & Barat’s Wedding
  • 3 November 2013: Sam ran his first 10km (Gigasports)
  • 16 November 2013: Sam sang with Vocal Train, a “man-band”, at the Starfish Charity Dinner
  • 20 November 2013: Officially announced Steph’s pregnancy
  • 30 November, 6-8 December 2013: Steph performed in 3 of 5 shows in the ICA Musical
  • 14 December 2013: Moved to Kowloon Tong (3rd move in HK!)
  • 19th December 2013: Celebrated our 4 years anniversary at Amber
  • 21 December 2013: Attended Marcus & Hazel’s Wedding
  • 24-28 December 2013: Took a trip to Koh Samui, Thailand
  • 4 January 2014: Housewarming party
  • 6 January 2014: Celebrated the birth of Garry & Lili’s son, Joshua Sien (冼雋逸)
  • 12 Januray 2014: Sam ran his 2nd 10km (Panasonic)
  • 18 Janury 2014: Steph helps with Manna Ministry, Pun Choi banquet
  • 16 February 2014: Sam ran his 3rd 10km (Standard Chartered)
  • 9 March 2014: Signed off from ICA News
  • 30 March 2014: Sam participated in his first 5km hike (Hysan)
  • 30 March 2014: Experienced our first Black Rain Signal (and our nearest mall had a waterfall)
  • 6 April 2014: Sam ran his 4th (and final for the season) 10km (Panasonic)
  • 12 April 2014: Baby shower!
  • 18 April 2014: Officially announced Selwyn’s name
  • 22 April 2014: After Easter, Steph began her maternity leave
  • 26 April 2014: Sam began training for his second Dragon Boat Race with Steph’s company, SMS
  • 26 April 2014: Witnessed Tim & Rossella’s Engagement (where Tim hijacked his own surprise party to counter-surprise Rossella!)

 

Statistics (logged within the past year):

  • 185 visitors from overseas to date (+74)
  • 18 trips out of HK (+3, work ones don’t count)
  • 10 weddings attended (+2)
  • 13 weddings missed (+9: sorry Sebastian&Kim, Marcus&May Ann, Daniel & Maria, Wilfred&Melissa, Matt&Priscilla, Julianto&Tirza, Ken&Yvonne, Andrew&Ella, Minh&Nelly, Bryan&Shan)
Posted by: sammerz | 25 April, 2014

Guess Selwyn’s Birth Date & Weight!

Image

As Steph reaches 37 weeks, it’s time for another competition! We will collate all the guesses on this post. If you don’t see yours, let us know! Here are the rules and hints:

  • Guess Selwyn’s birth date and weight (in kg – guesses in lbs/oz or other will be converted to kg to 1dp)
  • You must guess before 1st May @ 23:59 or when water breaks (whichever is earlier)
  • Expected Due Date is 16th May
  • Doctor says baby can come anytime from 2nd May onwards (her estimates are 3.3 kg and 12th May)
  • Steph’s guess is 3.4 kg on 11th May
  • Sam’s guess is 3.5 kg on 7th May

We will announce the winner of this as well as the winner of the previous “Guess the Gender” competition in due course 🙂

Note: competition has closed. You may still guess, and it will be recorded at the bottom. Only entries prior to deadline are in the running for the prize!

 

BIRTH DATE
1st May Leanne H
3rd May Wendy O
4th May Anne T, Cecilia C
7th May SAM
8th May Steph’s Dad, Steph M
9th May Ken Yi F
10th May Giovanna G, June L
11th May Effie P, Nicole P, STEPH
12th May Ida H, Judy S, Steph’s Grandpa
14th May James K
15th May Mandy L, Manna W, Renee C
16th May Iris C, Sam’s Mum
18th May Steph’s Mum

 

WEIGHT
2.4 kg Effie P (5.3lbs)
2.9 kg Renee C (6.5lbs)
3.0 kg Giovanna G (6lbs 10oz)
3.1 kg Anne T (3.13 kg)
3.2 kg Steph’s Dad, James K, Judy S (3.245 kg), Ken Yi F, Manna W (7lbs), Nicole P
3.3 kg Cecilia C (7.2lbs), Leanne H, Steph’s Mum (3.34kg), Steph’s Grandpa (7lbs 5oz), Steph M
3.4 kg Iris C (7.5lbs), June L, Sam’s Mum (7lbs 6oz), STEPH
3.5 kg Ida H (7.8lbs), SAM
3.6 kg Mandy L (8lbs), Wendy O

 

LATE ENTRIES (no prize)
Evelyn T 5th May, 3.6 kg
Melissa Y 7th May, 3.25 kg
Jeffery T 7th May
Tom L 17th May, 3.4 kg
Posted by: sammerz | 18 April, 2014

Selwyn

20140415_IMG_2631_Selwyn

We would like to announce that our son will be named:

Selwyn Seun Him Leong

In Chinese, it is:

梁信謙

Some pronunciations:
  • Cantonese: Leung4 Seun3 Him1
  • Putonghua/Mandarin: Liang2 Xin4 Qian1
  • Malysian/Hokkien: Leong Sing Chien
In Bible times and also in many cultures today, names carry important meaning.  Perhaps most of all, it speaks of prophetically giving a baby some encouraging guidance towards the sort of person they will grow up to be.  For us, we want his name to glorify God and to remind us of what God means to us.
 
 

Why Selwyn?

Selwyn is a name with many origins and meanings:
  • from Latin & Old English origins we have “house friend” or “personal friend”
  • from English origins we have “good friend”
  • from Anglo-Saxon origins we have “friend at court” or “advocate”
  • from Welsh origins we have “ardour” (great enthusiasm and passion) and “fair” (honest, trustworthy)
We chose this name because all of these meanings apply to God:
  • God our Father, although He is powerful and almighty, He is also our personal friend.  He cares about our lives and we are significant to Him.  His word is Truth.
  • God the Son, Jesus Christ, is our Good Friend.
  • God the Holy Spirit, is our advocate.  When we pray, the Holy Spirit advocates on our behalf.  We have direct communication to God.
Our prayer for Selwyn is that he will be a man after God’s heart.  He will be a good friend to many and that God will bless him with many good friends.  We pray that Selwyn will be a man who speaks honestly and can be trusted and a man who is enthusiastic and passionate about his purpose in life.  He will be a man that will be of great influence in his generation.
 

Why 信謙?

The two Chinese names come from 信仰 (which means faith) and 謙卑 (which means humble).
We believe God is always faithful to us and when Father God sent His Son Jesus, it was the true act of humbleness.  Faithfulness and humbleness should be our attitude towards God and towards the people around us.  We chose these words because Selwyn will remind us to model these attitudes and our prayer is for him to always follow God faithfully and humbly.
These two words also come from the following Bible passage (faithfulness is implied but not written in the Chinese version):
So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace.  Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices.  At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.  Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.  My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.  For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations,  then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.’ – 2 Chronicles 7:11-18 (NLT, emphasis added)
 
所羅門 建完了耶和華的殿和王宮;在耶和華的殿和王宮的工程上,凡他心中所要做的,都順利做成了。 夜間耶和華向 所羅門 顯現,對他說:「我已聽了你的禱告,也選擇這地方歸我作獻祭的殿宇。 我若使天閉塞不下雨,或使蝗蟲吃這地的出產,或降瘟疫在我子民中, 這稱為我名下的子民,若是謙卑自己,禱告,尋求我的面,轉離他們的惡行,我必從天上垂聽,赦免他們的罪,醫治他們的地。 我必睜眼看,側耳聽在此處所獻的禱告。 現在我已選擇這殿,分別為聖,使我的名永在其中;我的眼、我的心也必時常在那裏。 你若行在我面前,效法你父 大衛 所行的,遵行我一切所吩咐你的,謹守我的律例典章, 我就必堅固你國度的王位,正如我與你父 大衛 所立的約,說:『你的子孫必不斷有人治理 以色列 。』- 2 歷代誌下 711-18 (RCUV)
This passage refers to the time when King Solomon dedicated the temple for the Lord and the Lord’s reply is that if we are humble, pray to Him, turn from sin and faithfully follow, we and the future generations will be blessed.
We pray that Selwyn’s name will be a reminder for all of us to do this and that he will lead his generation towards much of God’s blessings.
We appreciate your love, support and prayers for baby Selwyn! 🙂

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