When you’re in your 20s, you think you’ll find someone to marry, have children, and everything will fall into place. I always thought I would have three children by 30, but I ended up only getting married at 39.
I miscarried at eight weeks
In December 2005, I began seeing a gynaecologist after three months of trying and failing to fall pregnant. She prescribed Clomid to stimulate ovulation, and at the end of February, I discovered I was pregnant. My husband and I were both overjoyed. But by April 2006, I had lost our baby.
Shortly after, we began intrauterine insemination (IUI) where the sperm is ‘washed’ and ‘isolated’ from other elements before being inserted into the uterus via a catheter – I had 12 done in total. And because I was on hormone therapy for this, I discovered I had seven fibroids in my uterus and what was supposed to be a keyhole surgery turned into a full-fledged procedure, followed by two months off work.
IVF gave me hope
I was introduced to a fetal specialist by a colleague, and he promptly introduced me to a fertility specialist – a fantastic doctor – so I could get started on IVF; I was then 43 and had no time to waste. I would stay on with him for six of my cycles. For my first IVF cycle, I had some good embryos but nothing materialised, as with the second cycle, where we used both fresh and frozen embryos. But in July 2009, when I was least expecting it, my third IVF attempt finally gave me what I’ve always wanted: my very own child.
My baby was born at 2:28am
For my prenatal check-ups, I returned to my fetal specialist as he specialises in older women who may experience complications. Five months in, we knew something was wrong but we couldn’t pinpoint it. I had to take steroid injections to enable my baby’s lungs to mature, as we were expecting her early. Simultaneously, my fibroids grew back, which meant delivering through caesarean as vaginal delivery is discouraged for those in my situation.
I was eight months pregnant when my water broke at midnight and I was rushed to the hospital. I have no recollection of what happened after and was later told by my doctor that they had almost lost me. During delivery, I was on general anesthesia but was still in agony, even after three epidural shots. I lost a lot of blood and my blood pressure plummeted so low, I needed a ventilator. So, I was warded in the ICU while my baby was at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – two days passed before I got to see her for the first time.