Stork Diary.
to Share Stork Life Events

Wonderful Smile

A wife’s story

‘His wonderful smile gave me a profound sense of relief.’

It is very hard to put into words the feeling of a wife who yearns to give her husband the pleasure of having his own son or daughter. I never used to understand what the elders meant when they told me ‘Time does not wait for anyone,’ but now I do.

In the fight against infertility and the despair that always threatens to engulf you, the 16 days of waiting to receive word of a successful treatment seems to be more like 16 years. I found myself constantly asking myself if I have picked the lucky draw this time – will I finally win the mega-jackpot of conceiving a child?

On the 13th day after embryo transferred, I could wait no longer and secretly purchased a home-pregnancy test. Silently, at day break, I tiptoed to the bathroom trying not to wake my sleeping husband. He must also be at edge from all the waiting for he suddenly woke-up just when I was about to test my urine. I refused to let him in the bathroom for fear of seeing disappointment once again in his face if the testing strip only reveals one pink line instead of a positive two lines. After a few minutes, two lines appeared – I could scarcely let myself believe it – is this true? Am I really pregnant this time? Wild hope fluttered in my heart and I can feel grateful tears well up in my eyes.

At that moment, I recalled when the embryos were transferred. My husband willingly shouldered all my housework – preparing 3 meals a day, running errands, helping me take a shower for fear I might slip and accidentally bump my belly and even if it hurt him more to see me in pain, injecting me each night with the daily medication. He was queasy to handle injections having never done it before but he gamely forced himself to do it for our baby’s sake. On the first few tries, I had to hide the pain from him but day by day, he became more adept at administering the injections.

On the 16th day, I woke up very early, prepared to meet my fate at the clinic. I was so scared that the two pink lines previously would turn out to be a cruel fluke. After the urine and blood test, I was such a nervous wreck that I sneakily peeked at the result when the nurse was on her way to report to the doctor. Two pink lines! I almost fainted from my relief. When my name was finally called and the doctor announced ‘Congratulations, you are pregnant,’ the warm smile that transformed my husband’s face was priceless. Although we still need to be very careful in order to make sure there are no further complications, succeeding in this first step is a great achievement after 4 years of struggle.

Only couples who have walked this same path can understand the true extent of the pain and joy we feel. My husband hails from the South – an only child so I know he had the added pressure of continuing the family line. The funny thing is when he called his parents to tell them the good news, they could not even believe it at first as they have been waiting so long for a grandchild. My father ecstatically told me how he has been working tirelessly to plant all kinds of organic vegetables in his garden in preparation for my birth. This way, I will be able to regain my strength with home-cooked chicken herb stew and vegetables. Their concern and happiness touched my heart and I was unable to stop tears of joy flowing from my eyes. I resolved to take very good care of myself and the baby in my belly.

During my very first IVF treatment, I was transferred with 5 embryos and had 1 extra cryogenically preserved. But my β-HCG level was only 69 and the doctor advised me that since the embryo was not firmly implanted, we are under observation. Everyone was very reassuring, confident that with rest and additional injections to secure the embryo, I will be okay. I went back to work and on the 7th day, the doctor told me the embryo has aborted and it is too late to save the baby. I cried so much I went to work everyday with red, swollen eyes.

For the second transfer of the frozen-thawed embryo, my husband asked me to quit my job in order to have full rest. Before entering this cycle, I maintained a healthy, nutritious diet, took up a routine of light exercise and yoga. It was a success and my β-HCG level reached to 1179. I thought this time it will work and I will give birth to my baby soon. After 3 weeks, I eagerly returned to the clinic for an ultrasound, and for the first time I can hear my baby’s heartbeat normally. I was so glad and heart touching. After another 8 weeks, my baby’s heartbeat is so strong that as if she is telling me she’s on her way.

When I finally accepted that I truly was pregnant, I had difficulty sleeping at night – pleasantly contemplating what my baby might look like. Will she have her daddy’s nose or my eyes? I hope her hair will be like mine – full and black. I eventually fall asleep thinking about her.

There are so many things I want to relay to women who are traveling the same road I did. The journey is hard and painful, but did you really give your best efforts in overcoming all obstacles? Always make sure you choose the right medical group – one who is professional and caring, like the e-Stork Reproductive Center. I felt that everyone at e-Stork was cheering me on, fighting my infertility with me side-by-side as a team. Every time I feel depressed, talking with them and hearing their encouragement would help me maintain my faith. Success is never accidental – it is only with your hard work and the doctor/ medical group’s support that you will be able to finally attain it. I wish you all the best.

A husband’s story

In the past four years of fighting infertility, the hardest thing for me to bear is the sight of my wife in pain, crying as if her heart is irrevocably broken each time we fail. Does she realize how much more I feel her pain? As a husband, there was nothing I can do except to hold her in my arms and stand by her side, giving her all my love and support. I felt helpless at times but refused to give in for her sake, for our future baby’s sake. Only couples who have traveled or are walking this very same path can truly comprehend our feeling of hope and loss.

When the doctor announced that she was pregnant, my mind was a complete blank. I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel – should I cry or jump for joy? After four long years of trying, God finally accepted our prayers and granted us a baby.

Each time we failed in our IVF treatment, my wife and I would go through the whole process trying to find out why we did not succeed. I researched in the internet what we could have done better in preparation for the next cycle. This time around, I can see the amount of effort my wife exerted – she worked so hard for this baby.

Being able to finally say the words, ‘We are pregnant,’ made me so happy. One of the happiest people on earth at that time was my dad. Every single time we visit them in the South, he and my mother never failed to mention children. They never asked us directly in fear of adding to our pressure and always strived to give us encouragement.

This time I had the news they have waited to hear for so long. When I called him, I tried to pretend to be nonchalant, ‘Dad, have you eaten lunch yet? How’s business? By the way, I brought your daughter-in-law to the clinic and we are pregnant.’ At first he thought I was making fun of him and got a little heated, refusing to believe our 4-year fight is over. When it finally dawned on him that I was serious, I can hear him shouting on the other end – thanking God for this blessing. Truly, I have never seen him so happy. I felt like breaking into dance and song myself.

I want to share my feeling to everyone – ‘Success will always be waiting for those who begin early and give-up late. Failure will always be waiting for those who begin late and give-up early.’ Answer these questions – What kind of person are you? Are you ready to become a man, a father?

Insight of Embryologist Irene

I remember Ms. L as the kind of person who likes to laugh but during her treatment days, her laughter faded a little from all the worry and pressure. Because of PCOS, her belly would swell-up from water retention each stimulation cycle and she can only sleep in their living room due to breathing difficulties when laid flat on the bed. She was in so much pain and had no appetite. Every time she came to the clinic, her husband was always by her side, to discuss with us how to better take care of his wife. They really are an admirable couple who serves as a model to all others following the same path. Every e-Stork staff worked very hard in order to increase their chances of success.

During the next cycle, the doctor used cryogenically-preserved embryo for transfer in order to prevent OHSS syndromes. Measures were also taken in order to correct diagnosed problems during the preceding cycle. To make sure the luteal function works well, her husband helped to administered daily progesterone injections. This time, despite only transfer of 2 embryos, she achieved conception and in 8 weeks, we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

Now, every time she visits the clinic, we notice her stomach getting bigger and bigger. We are truly grateful to God for His blessings.
Insights of Dr. Lai

1. Personally, I always enjoy reading my patients’ letters narrating their sorrows and joys during their journey towards achieving parenthood. Every single detail is vivid with our shared hardship, worry, hope and joy; each a validation of my hard work and mission to continue helping others fight infertility. More than any work of fiction, these real stories serve as an inspiration to all of us – proof of the resilience and true beauty of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming opposition. Because of their heartwarming words, I can remain faithful and steadfast in my goal to continue assisting others despite any setbacks.

I express my deepest appreciation to both Mr. and Mrs. L for their wonderful letter. I am honored that they think us worthy of their trust and confidence. To all my colleagues here in e-Stork Reproductive Center, I offer this advice – always exert your best effort everyday, remaining true to our ultimate mission to help others.

2. Mr. and Mrs. L did not succeed during their first cycle of IVF because the embryo was not healthy enough. Unfortunately, it stopped developing soon after implantation.

3. Mrs. L is currently in her 10th week of pregnancy. Just two weeks ago, we can already hear the baby’s heartbeat during the ultrasound check-up. She will give birth to her baby next January.
Stork Fertility Center Stork Fertility Center Author