Our founder, Dawn Bey, caught up with her best friend of 23 years, Leanne Lim over a photoshoot with Taizjo. It hasn’t been so easy for both of them to meet now that Dawn is busy running a business and Leanne is busy with her one year old baby. This shoot gave them some time to relive their girl power moments away from the responsibilities back home.
Above: Both Leanne & Dawn wears Don't Speak Wrap Dress in Blue Pea and Peach in Size S
We’ve been best friends since our early days in church. How old were we when we first met?
Probably 7 when we first started going to Sunday school.
What were the first memories you had of our friendship?
I used to be very shy when I was younger but you seemed to always be extroverted. I remember once when we were very young, you called out to me as you were sitting on your dad’s shoulder. And my mum was going: “Dawn called you! Say hello!” I thought you were a little crazy and I felt embarrassed so I just ignored you. I guess we were always Sunday school friends but we weren’t as tight as BFF because we had our own best friends then.
And I heard I asked you to become my best friend after that?
Yes, you called me on the house phone and it started with: “As you know, Salina changed church so I need a new best friend. Can you be my new best friend?” In my head, I was thinking that isn’t how best friends work! So I said I’d think about it. Talk about playing hard to get.
But it was when we went for a mission trip to Cambodia when we were 13 that we really became much closer.
Above: Dawn wears Tub Thumping Jacket in Matcha, Size S with Grandpa's Groove Wide Pants in Matcha, Size S with Taizjo's Lovelux Phone Sling while Leanne wears Birds Don't Sing Slip Dress in Blueberry, Size XS together with Taizjo's Sandlux Phone Sling
When you think about the both of us, do you think we are alike or opposite in nature?
I think we were opposite when we were younger but now that we’ve matured, we seem to be more similar.
Funny thing is I remember you used to shower super fast and I was quite slow. But Now that I’m a mum, I can also bathe super fast!
Above: Dawn wears Hunnybee Halter Top in Lavender, Size XS with No Excuses Wrap Skirt in Cauliflower, Size XS/S with Taizjo's Sandlux Phone Sling while Leanne wears No Problemo Jumpsuit in Cauliflower, Size XS with Taizjo's Lovelux Phone Sling
As I grow older, I find that the friends I hang out with the most are the ones I had the most history with or spent the most time with. Now that you’re a mother, what do you think about friends?
It can be tough to keep up your social life when your life is pretty much revolving around a child’s schedule. As a busy mum, I definitely find myself building stronger relationships with those who are also in the same life stage as me. My husband and I also take turns to stay home so that we can hang out with our friends for a much needed breather.
Above: Leanne wears No Scrubs Kimono Jacket in Peach, Size XXS with No Problemo Jumpsuit in Cauliflower, Size XS with Taizjo's Noir Phone Sling while Dawn wears Hunnybee Halter Top in Lavender, Size XS with No Excuses Wrap Skirt in Cauliflower, Size XS/S with Taizjo's Noir Phone Sling
Friends are always necessary especially in tough times. Do you remember the time we went to Gardens by The Bay to see sakuras? Tell me more about that episode.
Oh yes, I remember it well because it was a very difficult time in my life. I was having a miscarriage and my husband was away for work.
When we were having high tea at Pollen, I think the table beside me overheard our conversation as we’re seated quite close. But at that time, I had decided that it’s ok for someone to hear it as I wanted to be brave about sharing my experience so that I could help others around me.
I was also very touched that my close friends made the effort to ensure I wasn’t alone in the days leading up to my surgery.
How did you feel when you had your miscarriage and are those feelings true?
Miscarriage is not something talked about openly enough in our society, (especially being Asian). Much of what I knew had been dramatized by books or TV shows, which usually don’t paint an accurate picture.
Probably one of the reasons why people don’t share is that besides being deeply personal, it’s also viewed negatively like it’s shameful that you can’t carry a baby to full term and that you’re weak or there is something wrong with you.
The pain and journey of a complicated pregnancy or miscarriage can be very lonely, even if you have a loving spouse. After all, no one else is going through exactly what you are going through; no one is carrying the baby but you. We are conditioned to think that it is our body, our weakness, our lack, our mistakes, and hence, our guilt.
I read that the loss someone feels while having a miscarriage is akin to losing a close family member, and yes, it really was devastating even though I had never met this child before.
I’ve recently lost someone very close to me and as I compare the two, the pain of losing a family member is from what you know, like you can no longer hug them, or take them out for their favourite food. Whereas a miscarriage is losing what you don’t know and hence it’s what could have been; a child of your own to love, and you grieve that you’ll never be able to hug them or take them out.
After going through a miscarriage, what kind of misconceptions did you realise society had about miscarriages?
It’s much more common than you think! Statistics show that it happens to 1 in 5 known pregnancies for women under 30, and 1 in 4 for those above 30. In fact, there are many that go undetected.
I guess because it’s not something commonly talked about, just like how nobody really talks about how to comfort someone with cancer (although people can talk more openly about cancer), I unfortunately received some insensitive comments from people who found out I miscarried – e.g that I overworked myself, it must have been because of this reason, that reason i.e. I caused my own child’s death. Even seemingly comforting phrases like “You’re young, you can try for another” hurt, as it trivializes the life of that child.
Do you consider that miscarriage your first child?
Yes, my husband and I both do.
How long was it before you conceived after your miscarriage? Is there still hope after a miscarriage?
Well my daughter was born about a year after my miscarriage, so we were blessed to conceive again pretty quickly after everything. I do know that not everyone is so lucky and there are some who just aren’t able to have their own children, but for those friends who share with me about their own fertility struggles, I always encourage them to be positive, and take care of their own health first!
I’ll admit that I had a lot of anxiety during the pregnancy itself, especially the first few months, because of what I had been through. It took a lot of faith and time to really get excited about it, without the fear and doubt.
So you gave birth to your beautiful daughter, Arianne, last April! Tell me more about the feeling of having your daughter. Did the maternal instinct come naturally to you?
Being a mother is something I’ve always wanted and the maternal instinct was definitely naturally there. But no one told me just how tough it would be in the initial months after birth. It was a great test of strength and I had to dig deep. Many nights I’d be up feeding my child for hours and feel so fatigued and alone. Then I’d remember that so many other mothers out there have gone through the same thing and I’d tell myself to toughen up!
Arianne is almost one now and she’s just been the biggest blessing to our family. All those initial months of “suffering” have paid off and she’s a wonderful, blessed child. It’s simple moments that have the most profound impact, such as when I return home from work and go into her play area and she comes to me happily and is content just to be close to me. And I look at her and it just amazes me continually, that this beautiful child is mine and she loves me so much!
To end… what is one fond memory you have of our friendship?
It’s hard to just choose one! We have had so many wonderful moments over the long years. From making tie dye and hand painted clothes together (that I still have and wear), to talking about our various crushes and giving each other nicknames and writing postcards to each other every week! Even the times when we got annoyed at each other are funny when we look back cos we can laugh at ourselves!
I guess what I love is that we have seen each other grow up and through all the silly things that young people do, but even till now we’re still here for each other. And most importantly knowing that I can trust you to give that godly perspective because your discipline and walk with God inspires me! And that is why you are Arianne’s godmother!
This article was shot by Taizjo, lifestyle product company bringing well-designed, affordable products to go-getters. Check out their phone cases and slings that makes life more convenient for you everyday!