A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

Photos by MJ Klein (and others where noted)

UPDATE: at the end, I’ve added some comments for our readers who don’t live in Taiwan.

UPDATE #2, 28/10/2012:  A few new photos and a short clip of Phoenix waiting to be picked up and fed.

Most of you probably know that Hui-chen and I were expecting a daughter to arrive any day now.  This is the story about her arrival, but first, allow me to introduce her to you:

Flickr has a problem with the small version of this photo.  Here is the link to the photo of Phoenix.  We apologize for this problem.  Click the link below to continue reading and see more photos in this article.

Meet Phoenix Josephina Klein!  Born 25/10/2012 at 06:08 am.  She weighed 2,620 grams and was 49 cm tall at birth.  She wasn’t supposed to arrive yet….

Our baby never turned her head down.  She remained in breech position so long that it became clear she would need to be delivered by C-section.  We had made arrangements with the hospital for a C-section procedure on October 26th, at 13:30 PM.  Phoenix, however, had other ideas.

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

Hui-chen awaiting transfer to the operating room

In the early morning of October 25, Hui-chen told me she felt “strange” and that she wanted to go to the hospital and get checked out.  We arrived a little after 3:00 am and the nurse put Hui-chen on a fetal monitoring machine.  The machine confirmed that the baby was not being stressed, but it also confirmed that Hui-chen was having contractions!  No wonder she felt strange!  The baby decided it was time!


By 4:00am it had been decided that Hui-chen would undergo the C-section procedure to deliver our baby at 06:00am.  The procedure went without a hitch, and at 06:08am, Phoenix was born.  This photo is the first time I ever saw our new daughter.  I wasn’t allowed to be in the OR during the procedure, so I had to wait outside, like the 1950’s husbands you see in old movies.  Phoenix didn’t cry.  She made cute little noises and looked a little unhappy at being taken out of the warm place where she was, but I was surprised at how calm she was.

MJ & baby Phoenix

I minute or two later, Hui-chen’s sister, Hui-lien took this photo of us together.  As you can see, Phoenix is starting to make a little face indicating she isn’t so comfortable.  Shortly thereafter the nurse took her back to the nursery.

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

Things are done quite differently in Taiwan than they are in Western cultures.  This is special recovery foods that Hui-chen is eating after giving birth.  An outside company prepares this food and delivers it to our hospital room each morning.

Now for some other photos of Phoenix that I took through the nursery room window:

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!

I’ll leave you with this last photo of Hui-chen, using our Toshiba Thrive tablet to view photos I’ve taken of Phoenix.  Priceless.

Thanks for reading.  We’re going to be busy over the next few days but I’ll try to respond to your comments as timely as possible.  We thank everyone for their congratulations and well-wishes!  It’s much appreciated!

UPDATE:  I wanted to give our readers an idea of how different things are here in Taiwan.  For example, it’s the end of the second day and I still haven’t been allowed to even hold my own baby.  The nurses recite some crap about infections and the need to keep the baby safe, etc..  In the meantime, I’m missing out on what I think is the most fascinating period in my daughter’s life – the very beginning.  Quite frankly I’m tired of looking at her through the glass window like a visitor.  I might have to actually just start telling them I’m going to pick her up and they can try to stop if me they can.  It’s frustrating, to say the least.

Last night was a nightmare.  Since our little bundle of joy decided to arrive early, our private room wasn’t ready and we stayed in a corner of a shared room.  Directly across from us was a man who insisted upon sniffing every 10 to 15 seconds (I timed it) all night long!  That is, when he wasn’t snoring.   The idiot didn’t know enough to blow his own nose!  Also, I have no idea why people here do not know when they are talking too loud, but yesterday in the recovery area, I actually had to yell at those same people for talking too loudly.  They apologized in Taiwanese (which to those of us who live here, speaks volumes).  Last night, Hui-chen had to tell them to quiet down (spoken through 2 layers of privacy curtains).  Sigh….

My wife, just having had a C-section, is naturally in a lot of pain.  Just now, I helped her into a wheelchair and wheeled her down to the nursery so she could breastfeed our child for the first time.  The minute the nurse saw me she said “he has to get out of here” so now I’m going to be deprived of another wonderful experience I should have – seeing my wife feed our child for the first time.  Don’t Taiwanese men get involved like Western men do?  I read everything I could read about breastfeeding.  I watched countless Youtube videos on the topic so I could share my insight with my wife, and actually offer helpful suggestions instead of just sitting there, looking stupid.   Now my wife is by herself and I’m back in my room watching an idiotic movie with my father-in-law while I type this update.  Speaking of family though, my Taiwanese family is fantastic.  They are supportive beyond belief.  They also put up with my ranting about how things should be, etc. when I run across some stupid rules.

My wife did point out to me the fact that in a few days we’ll be going to the convalescent center and Phoenix will be rooming with us, so I just have to wait it out.

I’m sure I’ll have other updates as this first week of Phoenix’s life comes to pass.

UPDATE #2, 28/10/2012:

A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!


A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!


A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!


A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!


A New Era: Phoenix Arrives!


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  1. MJ, congrats to you and Hui-chen I am so happy for you both. Phoenix looks adorable and I look forward to more pictures of her and watching her grow over time.

    You are both lovely genuine people and has been a pleasure following your life over the years. Thanks.

    1. thank you Anurag. how are you and your family doing? i haven’t seen you for such a long time. please give our best to your lovely wife. take care.

  2. Congratulations to you and Hui-chen.
    My Michael was an emergency C-section and he did not see his dad until he was 6 months old (due to the Vietnam War).
    Come to the USA for the next baby.
    That is hard to comprehend their putting Hui-chen in a room with a male patient and a non-ob ward. I would have been heard all over the hospital complaining.
    Soon you will have Hui-chen and Phoenix to yourself.

    1. Forgot to add, what a precious baby she is. You and Hui-chen are very lucky and Blessed. Take good care of your family (and I know you will). I look forward to future pictures as she grows each day.

    2. thank you Carolyn. and, thanks for sharing that information with us. i’m sure you can relate to a few things my wife is experiencing right now. take care.

  3. Congratulations MJ and Hui-Chen! Cathy ordered from the same recovery food company. Some of it is pretty good, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to eat some. They pack quite a bit in their daily shipments. The hospital we had Nathan at seemed to determine the rules for when the baby got to go to their mother’s private room on a case by case basis. Josie was born in the same hospital and it seemed they couldn’t wait to bring her to our room for her first breastfeeding even though my wife could hardly move.
    Todd´s last post ..Aiming Up

    1. thanks Todd! well it looks like we share a few experiences. they wouldn’t let us have the baby in our room until the 3rd day, and quite honestly i was getting rather irritated at not being able to see my own baby! but we spent 8 hours with her yesterday and it was wonderful (more pics coming). my wife wasn’t able to respond to the call for breastfeeding for the first day at all, so i can relate to what you said about Cathy not being hardly able to move. thanks Todd and take care.

    1. hi Yu-fen, yes, she really is a good baby. she only cries when absolutely necessary and then she stops immediately after getting the attention she needs. we’re blessed indeed! take care.

  4. Beautiful baby MJ! Congrats to you and Hui-chen! Amanda, Oskar and I can’t wait to meet Phoenix.

  5. Congratulations! Such a cute baby too:)

    I used to live in Taiwan, Taichung, so I’ve followed you blog for ages but I’m yet to leave a comment… I suppose this occasion called for the first one!

    Once again, congratulations!
    TJG´s last post ..On the subject of chili peppers…

    1. hi TJG! we’re so happy you commented on our blog! we love to hear from our loyal readers like you! thanks for your kind words, and we hope to see your comment in our blog again soon. take care.

  6. Congratulations to MJ and Hui-chen!! Such a cute baby!! Looking forward to see you all soon. Peter

  7. Congratulations Hui-chen & MJ, and welcome Phoenix!

    That they won’t even let you hold your daughter is heart-breaking. Taiwan is really well behind the times with that – 1950s sounds about right. 🙁

    I think most Taiwanese parents would prefer to be more involved, but that’s the system they know, and there is not much they can do about changing it when they actually have the baby.

    As much as I like Taiwan, I’m glad we had our daughter in Germany. She was never separated from my wife for the first few days. Which really is what most mothers need … well and dads, too.

    At least you were able to help Hui-chen with the pictures on the tablet, that was a good idea.

    I think for the little ones it’s actually ok – in the beginning they trust everybody, it takes them a few days before they start bonding with their parents.

    1. hi Stefan. the nursery calls my wife when it’s feeding time, so she gets to see Phoenix several times per day. on Saturday, we asked, and were granted permission to have Phoenix in our room for 8 hours. it was the most fantastic day i have ever spent! she’s been a slow eater and her nursing instinct seems weak, so since that time the nurses have kept her in the nursery to keep her weight up. today HC and i move to our private recovery room and Phoenix can be with us as much as we want. i’m looking forward to that! thanks for your comments Stefan and take care.

      1. In the beginning they have a lot of … well … crap in their bellies, so it’s normal that they don’t want to eat and lose a bit of weight. They want to clear out their system. And getting them to eat can be quite a procedure. You’d think they’d automatically do that, but no: everything is on manual for the first two years. 🙂

        1. Phoenix is quite a good baby. she only cries when she’s extremely hungry. but she seems to have a digestive problem. if we feed her more than 5cc or so at a time without a few minutes in between, she spits it all up later. it takes a lot longer to feed her but it’s well worth the effort.

  8. I really like your forum here. So I decided to be a part of it 🙂

    And here I am saying HELLO EVERYBODY!! 😀

  9. MJ & Hui-chen,

    Congratulations – for baby Phoenix is both precious and beautiful!!! Ain’t fatherhood grand or what, Michael? Anyhow, good luck with baby and share with Hui-chen that I said hello!!!

    Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!!


    1. Jeff McMahan! how are you doing? great to hear from you! thank you for your kind words. i am immensely enjoying these days with Phoenix (as i am sure you can relate). thank you for stopping by Jeff and we wish you and your family all the best!

  10. Hello Bushman,

    I was just reading your comments on your wife..

    Its so nice to read that your spouse appreciates and respects you.

    We need more husbands like you!

    God Bless, a bootsy bbq fan. 😉

    1. hi Diane. thanks for your kind comments 🙂 Hui-chen and I are truly blessed, and I especially because I have 2 special ladies, Hui-chen and Phoenix! take care, Diane.

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