A mir­a­cle baby, against all odds

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Har­tini Ab Ghani,

36, is a se­nior spe­cial­ist at the Sin­ga­pore Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy and De­sign. She also runs a wed­ding-event busi­ness. Her son, Ei­man Wafiy, is 11 months old. Pop­ping count­less fer­til­ity pills, two rounds of in vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion (IVF) cost­ing $50,000 and one trau­ma­tis­ing sec­ond-trimester mis­car­riage were just some of the things PCOS suf­ferer Har­tini went through to have a baby.

She left no stone un­turned, even opt­ing for ovarian drilling. In some women, this med­i­cal pro­ce­dure – hav­ing elec­tric cur­rents burn holes in her ovaries – could help nor­malise PCOS hor­monal im­bal­ances and trig­ger ovu­la­tion.

It was IVF that helped Har­tini con­ceive – with twins – for the first time in 2014. How­ever, the preg­nancy ended in a heart­break­ing mis­car­riage at 21 weeks of her preg­nancy af­ter she had a fall.

“I car­ried my twin ba­bies for five months and de­liv­ered them. But in­stead of hold­ing them in my arms af­ter I gave birth to them, I had to bury them. It broke my heart and the thought of giv­ing up (hav­ing chil­dren) crossed my mind,” she says.

Along the way, she also had to fend off ques­tions from well-mean­ing friends and rel­a­tives who were un­aware of her heart­break­ing story.

“They’d ask what’s tak­ing us so long to have a baby, and say I shouldn’t wait too long be­cause I’d be very old by the time my kid grows up. I tried to take all these in a pos­i­tive man­ner but, at night, I’d be bawl­ing my eyes out in my bed­room,” she says.

A year af­ter her mis­car­riage, Har­tini con­ceived again through IVF. While her sec­ond preg­nancy filled her with joy and hope, the trauma from her mis­car­riage lin­gered and she was on ten­ter­hooks un­til her baby was born. Her son Ei­man turns one in Novem­ber.

Har­tini says she in­tends to un­dergo an­other round of IVF next year. “For now, I’m just so thank­ful to be able to have a child and ex­pe­ri­ence moth­er­hood,” she says.

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