Dana’s 5th Birthday is soon approaching…If anyone asked what her birthday wish is, she would give this same resolute reply, ‘I wish for a baby brother or a baby sister…All my classmates have Didi or Meimei…I wish I can have one too…”
Each time I hear Dana make such a request, a heavy feeling would weigh upon my heart. I wish she would wish for anything else – new toys, new books, a trip to Legoland perhaps, or a new shoes, new clothes, anything else under the Sun, if it’s within my means, I would…but a sibling? It’s a Birthday wish I seriously doubt I will be able to fulfill.
You see, around nine out of ten healthy couples trying for a baby will conceive within a year. However, one in ten will not – and these couples are either sub fertile or infertile. Sad to say, I belong to the latter. After several miscarriages in early year of our marriage, we sought assisted conception treatments because the hubs and I knew from the start that it was our only hope if we want to be parents.
We started with non-invasive prescription fertility drugs like Clomid, to mildly invasive interventions like the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) before progressing to the totally invasive In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Before we embarked on IVF, I underwent an investigative laparascopy to check the working conditions of my fallopian tubes (which by the way hurts quite a bit). When my Gynae gave the green light, we sought our Pastor’s blessing and I started the IVF journey at 28 years old.
In IVF, the first phase of treatment required my ovaries to be stimulated to produce more than one egg per cycle. This involves hormone injections every morning for two weeks, followed by day and night jabs over the next fortnight. I had to grit my teeth to overcome my fear of needles and allowed the hub to administer these jabs for me. It was painful for me as for him, to see his wife go through these invasive procedures just to bear him a child.
Fortunately, in my 1st cycle, my Gynae successfully harvested 8 good eggs trans-vaginally using a fine needle under the guidance of ultrasound images. He then fertilized 2 of the best eggs with the hub’s sperm in a culture dish and transferred the resulting 2 embryos into my womb the next morning.
After an anxious two weeks’ wait, HcG blood tests confirmed I was pregnant with twins and we were overjoyed. The hubs even nicknamed the two embryos ‘Coca and Cola’. However, our joy was to be short lived. At our first ultrasound scan, one embryo had stopped growing at 8 weeks gestation. We were told we need not do anything as it will be re-absorbed into the body.
I was given weekly doses of progesterone injections to secure the other precious embryo. Our world crashed when my waterbag ruptured prematurely in my 22nd week of pregnancy when I was teaching. I was rushed to NUH where I delivered my firstborn baby boy Nathaniel in the ward. During the delivery, I suffered from massive blood loss and a retained placenta. The doctors ordered an Emergency D&C plus blood transfusion. Amidst all the trauma and shock, the hubs made the painful decision to let the hospital staff settle Nat’s remains on our behalf. In doing so, we never had the chance to bade him a formal farewell which we regretted to this day…
Many of you may have experienced or are still experiencing various trials and tribulations that are likely be more dramatic, heartbreaking and challenging. How have these TnTs changed or moulded you into the person you have become and what life lessons has it taught you along the way? Do link up and share your TnT stories in your blog!