‘To Baby With Love: A mother's journey through hope, loss and renewal’
‘It should be a joy to be a mother’, at least that was how I felt initially. I almost managed to find out how it would feel to be one."
I got pregnant and was due to deliver on 29th February 2012. A Leap year baby -- what an auspicious date! Although we all know, the estimated arrival date is never accurate. We were happy just to know it was supposed to be on this date. And then started the journey of 'to baby with love.'
For my hubby and I, we have always been looking forward to the addition of a new member to the family to make us complete. Going through the stages of our lives, where all of us are busy with work, family commitment and etc.
I believe all parents' hope is to be able to see his or her own child grow up to be an adult. Even better yet, to see the child graduated from the studies, find a job, get married and into their next stage of their life.
To baby with love: Starting a family
Shortly after graduation, I went to work in a semiconductor company where I was bonded to. That was where I met my hubby. Just like me, he joined the company after he graduated too. It wasn’t love at first sight but eventually, we fell in love and four years later, we got married in 2004.
I started my graphic design business in 2005. Both of us got very busy with our works and lives. Making plans for a baby was not our priority yet as I wanted to stabilise with my business before I plan my next step ahead. However, as we worked hard for our careers, friends and relatives around us got married and news of them having their own children started pouring in subsequently. That got us pondering, ‘when are we going to have our own child as well?’
To baby with love: Seeking expert advice
Soon, we got motivated and are keen to have our own children too. We began to gather and try out all the feedback and comments from friends and relatives. Then, we tried all the methods that could just be part of the old wives’ tales, tapping on special timings, keeping track of my temperature and even indulging in specific positions.
We have tried all ways and means that we know of and yet there still were no news of me being pregnant. So, the next step was obviously to seek professional advice.
In 2009, we met up with a female gynaecologist. I wanted to engage a female gynaecologist thinking that it is less awkward to discuss with a female instead. However, we cannot see any synergy to connect well with the gynaecologist. Therefore, after the second consultation, we did not return to her even after the medication ran out. This held us back and our baby plan took a back stage again.
Finally, things took a turn on 4th September 2010, when we consulted another gynaecologist. This time, our doctor is a male gynaecologist, who specialises in IVF treatment.
He was recommended to us by my younger sister. Though I am skeptical about having a male gynaecologist, I went ahead since it is my sister’s recommendation. He started us off with medication as well and some checks.
As that did not render us any good news, he started to talk to us about the possibility of going through Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
We weighed the pros and cons for both and soon embarked on the route of fertility treatment even though there is no obvious indication as to whether the root cause of our child-less plight is on me or my hubby.
To baby with love: IUI hope
We started off with IUI as it is the less costly option. The treatment cycle is kick-started together with the onset of your menstrual cycle. It was a tough experience.
Taking medicine and injections daily soon begin to take a toll on me. The bruises on my stomach due to the injections…etc. On top of that, there were obvious side effects of the injections too – the serious fluctuations in my mood.
I had days when I would wake up feeling moody or sad and even teary, for no rhyme or reason. In addition, it is taxing on my schedule too because I had to visit the gynaecologist on a frequent basis for all the checks and scans that is part of the treatment.
We also had to monitor the results closely to see how my body reacted to determine if it is appropriate to proceed to the next stage or increase the dosage instead.
To baby with love: Switching from IUI to IVF
Things started to get promising as we began receiving favourable results. With that, we started planning for the next stage.
However, just a few days before the commencement of the next stage of the treatment, things did not happen as planned. The results and blood test was not satisfactory enough for us to proceed to the next stage and that means we had no choice but to abort the first cycle.
Feeling sad and disappointed, we went back to see our gynaecologist again. This time round, to discuss what the next course of action was. He advised us to proceed with a second cycle of IUI or to consider IVF instead. This time round, we opted for IVF instead.
“The rest is up to you.”
Having decided on the desired course of action, we promptly began the IVF cycle along with the next menstrual cycle. Repeating a similar but more complicated procedure, I went through the whole process of taking medicine and injections again. This time round with 2 jabs daily instead of on certain days only.
Finally after much effort, we finally reached the end of the cycle with the desired outcome. To our delight, I was able to advance to the next stage.
As such, I was scheduled for an Oocyte Retrieval (OR) procedure and two days later, an Embryo Transfer (ET) procedure. I still remember what the gynaecologist said after the procedure is done, "We've done all we can. The rest is up to you now."
What can we do now?
The answer is, to wait. We had to wait for a blood test in 2 weeks, to know if I have successfully conceived. The wait was the most agonising wait of my life.
To baby with love: Our wish came true
You do not know what to do or what not to do, what to eat or what not to eat. Finally the day came, my hubby and I waited anxiously for the phone call that would inform us of the good news that all of us have been waiting for.
The call came and said I had high hormonal levels. What was that supposed to mean? Am I pregnant or not? The gynaecologist told us later that this indicated that I was pregnant however, to be on the safer side, he suggested having a heart beat scan 2 weeks later.
We were overjoyed; it was a wish came true.
So what happened next?
Why did I lose the baby subsequently? What was the reason? To find out, grab a copy of my book today. ‘To Baby With Love: A mother's journey through hope, loss and renewal’ available in all major book stores now. Alternatively, you may also email me at [email protected] for more information on the book.
Also read: In-Vitro Fertilization Explained