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It's bitter-sweet to have a baby

Looking at the genuinely sweet smile on my baby's face, 
I just felt indescribable joy. 
If I didn't feel the warmth from this tiny thing, 
I would think that I was still in my dream.

We waited our first baby for totally eleven years. If we didn't experience that hard time, I would never understand that getting pregnant is such a difficult thing. 

On the pregnant difficulty ranking list, I could probably be marked as an A-level. "It's bitter-sweet." What an accurate adjective to express my heart! The tears and toilsome on the way of having our baby were the bitterest part of this story, and the sweetest part was the best gift of the journey -- our beautiful and healthy baby! Besides, the gaining and learning during the whole process were another harvest in our lives. Having a baby was just like a rugged mountain to me, and I must climb over every ridge to reach the hilltop.

In my eighteenth, I took the first cystectomy surgery to remove my chocolate cyst. However, the surgery finally resulted in painful pelvic adhesion and unexpectedly premature ovarian decline. The recurrence of endometriosis and intense menstrual pain were with me as close as body and shadow. After getting married, my husband and I started trying to have baby. He prepared his overseas study and I took my Hysterosalpingography (HSG) examination in 2004. The doctor found that one of my fallopian tube was blocked. He dredged it immediately, but I still couldn't see two lines on my pregnancy tests after the operation. 

The second year in US, I was in the hospital because of really bad bellyache and high body temperature. The doctor diagnosed that I got pelvic inflammation, but he still could find a reasonable explanation. After few days in the hospital, he suggested me removing both ovaries and uterus. It was a thunderbolt to a woman! My husband and I could not do anything, except kept praying. Unexpectedly, another strange doctor with gray hair came into my ward just before the surgery day. He said that my original physician was not doing the surgery for some reasons, and he was the substitute. He routinely asked me a couple of questions before his leaving. Not long after, we was informed my surgery was cancelled.

Several months later, I just knew that the substituted doctor was quite senior. He found this patient had no problem to sit and chat with her friends that day, and it seemed not often in the classic patients with pelvic inflammatory disease, so he arranged more exams to find the main reason. Finally, every results indicated that all the symptoms were caused by my chocolate cyst rupture, so he decided to remove my cyst and both fallopian tubes. After the surgery, I kept my uterus, and one ovary. Then he told me that I need to have our baby through IVF program.

We found Stork Fertility Center by internet. My husband wrote a long letter to Dr. Lai there. He promptly replied us to take an IVF program in Taiwan after my body recovered. In the spring of 2006, I came back to my home island again. I was thirty-four then. However, I was hit in the very beginning. According to my AMH level, it showed that my ovary reserve was severely declined. The poor ovarian response affected the outcome of the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, and the retrieved oocytes were mostly immature or unable to be fertilized. Even the fertilized oocytes were unable to grow into blastocyst stage. Not surprisingly, I failed after the first embryo transfer.
After my second embryo transfer, it showed two lines on my pregnancy test. We were so happy to hear this wonderful news in my life. Unfortunately, I was bleeding in the sixth week of gestation, and then the baby was just gone suddenly. The feeling was just like falling onto ground from heaven, and I was too sad to stay in Taiwan, so my husband decided to recover my heart in US this time.

Heart recovering took longer time than body recovering. We adjusted our attitude with every difficulty, but the most challenging point was still the quality of my oocytes. Until my husband finished his oversea education in 2008, we stopped frequent traveling between U.S. and Taiwan. Then I faced my failure of embryo transfer for the third time. The doctor wondered that there was some problems in my immune system, but the qualm was cleared up after related examinations soon.


Since I was a poor responder to both injection and oral medicine, the doctor arranged IVF treatment based on my natural cycle without taking any traditional medications, to retrieve one or two oocytes supported by my own follicle stimulating hormone monthly. It was such a long, long journey, just like unending war against to my body decline. I spent three years harvesting my eggs, and finally I collected three frozen blastocysts and three frozen MII oocytes. I always saw a pretty heavy chart on the doctor's table in every appointment with Dr. Lai, and then kept asking myself, "what kind of power motivates me to walk through this long journey?" 

Without my husband encouragements, I could not keep walking on this way. Especially he always took the responsibility whenever our family mentioned the problems of infertility. I really appreciated his companions and shoulders. I didn't feel lonely by his fully support and prayers in this unending war during the attacks from the invisible enemies. I just felt quite relaxed when he told me that he was satisfied with me in his life after my monthly oocyte retrievals. Because he was such a precious gift from God, I strengthened my inner will to bear a baby for him. Though there were much tears on the way, we learned how to rely on each other with more compassion. Though the way was uneven and rugged, we hold our hands tighter and made our hearts closer.
Furthermore, every member in the Stork Fertility Center was the source of my power also, including the smile on the cleaning staff's face and the warming greetings from the nurses. I remembered Dr. Lai said that I was voted as one of whom were carried their hopes to get pregnant. During seven years in this center, Dr. Lai's team fought against the invisible enemies with me by keeping modifying their strategies. In my natural-cycle IVF, they started from blastocyst culturing but was blocked in the middle. Dr. Lai found that the growth rate was significantly slower after fertilization, so then we decided to freeze my eggs instead of my embryos. After harvesting six mature oocytes, we thawed three of them to fertilize, and then transferred two embryos in my womb. Eventually I saw the second line on my pregnancy test again, such a valuable line in my life!


Seven years was quite long, but I told myself that I could not just give up before my husband and my team's giving up. I never thought about this idea or changing another fertility center during this journey. When my adorable baby was ten-month old, I got pneumothorax, so I could not go back to Stork Fertility Center to meet my old friends there. Dr. Lai sent a mail to me, "...take care for yourself and come back to see us after his immune system is completely developed...," and I was touched by the warmth from his words. This center was just like another home to me and the members there were like my family members also.

I read a very good verse in the Bible, "we also boast in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces endurance; and endurance, approvedness; and approvedness, hope; and hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." I almost gave up in the middle way, but my religion and my loved ones overcame my trembling and fear, and the most important one -- my God, who loved me so much, has given me His fully support. He knew my difficulties, and then comforted my broken heart. I learned how to endure in the tribulation and how to accumulate my hopes in the endurance. Dr. Lai has told me to consider about oocyte donor program for not only once in this seven years to set up a stop point for our cost and strength on the timeline, but I still wanted to deliver my willing to the almighty God since He left one of my ovaries in U.S.

I tried my best, and the result was ordained. I believed that He has His own decision and timeline. I also prayed for every gap in the following examination, such as amniocentesis. Psalm 139:13 taught me " for it was You who formed my inward parts; You wove me together in my mother's womb." I have learned not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. 

I have struggled in the wilderness for seven years. All the trials was for making me a humbler people. I hold my faith and His love in my every step. Finally, I went over the thorns and went in to the land flowing with milk and honey by His leading.

Stork Fertility Center Stork Fertility Center Author