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!
Big hugs, Angeline. It must have taken a lot for you to write this post.
This post brought tears to my eyes. Big hugs for you Angeline.
I am sub-fertile, and I have along my journey to have J lamented and wallowed in self-pity, and your post truly humbled me.
I have sure Dana will come to understand the struggles you have gone through, and find joy in your love for her.
Project Bake says
Angeline, I was crying while reading this. Thanks so much for sharing. Your courage and strength would be such an inspiration to so many out there. 🙂 hugs, big hugs.
Missus Tay says
my heart wrenched when i saw that pic you shared on IG. thanks for sharing this with us. i cannot imagine how hard it was on you and your husband.
i’m sure Dana will come to understand when she’s older.
Thank you for being so brave and for sharing this. It must have taken you so much courage and strength to write this post. My heart really ached when I read this post and i cannot even begin to imagine how much pain you and your husband have gone through.
You are such a strong woman and great mother! You have all my respect! Thank you for also reminding all of us that we should cherish our children and not take them for granted.
Big big hug!
for me to pass through 4 pregnancies and 2 miscarriages to read this has mades my sadness pale with comparison of ur grief. Trust in him that he decides to give you the healthiest one to survive. Go and be god parents of children that you both can pass on your love…
Mummy J says
I was crying as I read this. It must have been a very hard journey for you. God must have felt you and allow Dana into your life. So brave of you to recall what happened and share this post with us. A big big hug for u!
Prince Edison says
My eyes were soaked in tears after reading your post. I actually read it twice, and I understand the pain that you went through.
You’re a strong woman. I’m sure you took a lot of courage to share with us here. Thank you so much.
You’re an inspiration to me, and you always will. Edison has never ask for a sibling before, but I’m sure he will in future. It will surely breaks my heart too, cos I’m also unable to fulfill due to my illness.
They maybe too young to understand it now, but I’m sure they will understand what we have gone through when they grow up.
Lastly, I just want to give you a BIG BIG HUG!
Ashley Lee says
It’s so courageous of you to write such a heart-wrenching experience not any mother can go through without physical, mental and emotional torture. God has his reasons for what he takes away from his children and we have to accept it at the end of the day. My mom cannot give me a sibling because of her illness & I only understood that when I got older. I came as a miracle. Dana is a miracle baby. On the brighter note, Dana has 3 other older siblings who will watch over & protect her for the rest of her life. I applaud you for your strength. *big hugs* so much love for your little Dana! You’re a tough momma!
I cannot even imagine the anguish that both of you had to go through; of hoping and hope lost. But I am certain it is not all lost, as we all understand it to be. God in his great love would never short-changed his beloved. Sibling for Dana or not, he will provide for your family more than you will expect. I know you will all emerge victorious. His ways are Higher and his love is deeper, & stronger. Many hugs Angeline!!!
Madeline Heng says
Thanks for sharing your story! I was tearing while reading! You are sooo brave to continue the process even though you were dealt one blow after another! I really cannot imagine delivering a stillborn baby much less doing it again and again just to fulfill your dreams. You truly deserve our admiration! I’m sure your 3 children are safely in God’s hands and you will finally get to meet them again when you get to heaven one day =)
Thanks Angeline for showing us what faith is in action. Big big big hugs to you and I pray Dana would grow up to have the same strength and resilence that her mummy and daddy have.
Connie Huang Low says
Thank you for sharing your story Angeline. I had been through a similar situation, and can totally understand how you feel. Just continue to place your faith in Him for He knows best. You are a very brave mom, Dana will understand one day. *hugs*
Susan Koh says
God is faithful… So touched to read your personal struggles and how much you and your husband went through to have Dana. I can’t even imagine the anguish and pain you must have gone though to lose your babies. I believe your story will be a great encouragement to women who are trying for children as well. You are a strong lady and Dana is blessed to have you as her mummy. I’m sure that when she’s older, she will understand how much it took for you to have her and how she is a miracle everyday 🙂
Wordless after reading your post. Thanks for sharing Angeline. Ever thought of adopting?
Thanks for sharing this post; it took great courage to do so. God is good to the faithful and you and David both wow me with your trust and obedience.
Dana is a miracle baby indeed. I can see the love and pride shining in both your eyes when you both speak about and look at her. I am sure that she will understand when she is a tad older. Dumpling and I will invite ourselves for play dates :p *Hugs Angie*
My first time commenting even though I pop in every now and then.
It really broke my heart to read what you went through. Big, big hugs. Dana seems like a sensible girl – Am sure she will understand when she is older 🙂
PS. Wanted to tell you that my family and I went to Taiwan recently because I was so impressed by your Taiwan writeup and pictures! Thanks for that.
*hugz*hugz* Dana may not be able to have any younger brother or sister, but she can have many friends! Since we don’t stay far from each other, we should organise playdates so the kids can play together! 🙂
Sandra Tan says
*hugs* I know of the story, but to read it in one sitting, must have taken a lot out of you to get this out.
Dana is truly God’s precious gift, and you can let her know her siblings are waiting for her in heaven. In the meantime, we can always arrange for more playdates so she will always be surrounded by good friends and company 🙂
Thanks for sharing, it was really courageous of you. I shared this with a friend who lost her child to preterm labour, your testimony is a great great encouragement. Dana will be so blessed, and God ill restore all the Locusts have taken. Thank you for your faith!
JJ Mummy says
This is my first time here. While reading through this post, it brought tears to my eyes. You are a really strong mummy who have gone through so much. I have recently gone through a mc and can really understanding the pain.