By Lee Shou Yin
For Alex Cheong, 31 and Corrine Lee, 29, who are expecting their first child, the journey to parenthood has not been an easy one.
The couple, who has been married for five years, had planned to have a child immediately after getting hitched. However, the first year soon passed with no sign of a baby. This was followed by two more years of waiting in vain for the stork which never came.
Both Alex and Corrine knew they could not afford to wait much longer. They were fast approaching 30 and were well aware that their chances of conceiving were getting slimmer with each passing year.
Seeing their friends and relatives give birth to babies and watching the little ones grow up through the years only made the couple more determined to fulfill their dream of having their own family.
In 2008, Alex and Corrine decided to seek medical advice. Anxious to find out the reason for their infertility, the couple consulted several doctors, including Chinese physicians, fertility specialists and gynaecologists .
They were disappointed to learn that both of them had problems conceiving.
“When the doctor said that my sperm count was low and my sperms were weak, I was shocked and puzzled. ‘Why me?’ I asked. I have always been cautious about my diet and I exercised regularly,” recalled Alex.
“In addition, my wife had irregular menstrual periods because of hormonal imbalance, which made it difficult for us to conceive.”
The doctor then recommended that Alex and Corrine consider going for further treatment at a private hospital. By then, Alex and Corrine had already spent a substantial amount of savings on consultation fees over the past year. The thought of having to fork out even more money for expensive treatments worried the couple.
But having come this far, Alex and Corrine knew they had to push on in order to fulfill their goal of becoming parents. Both Alex and Corrine then underwent surgeries to increase their chances of conceiving.
Post-surgery, the couple waited and hoped for good news. Weeks soon turned to months. And still there was no sign of little feet.
In early 2010, Alex and Corrine began their first attempt at IVF after many months of consideration and advice from friends and colleagues.
To help regulate Corrine’s menstrual cycle in preparation for their first IVF treatment, the doctor had prescribed medicine for Corrine, which she diligently took as instructed.
But when her menstrual period did not start after she finished her medication, Corrine decided to buy a pregnancy test kit to try her luck.
“Tears came out of my eyes when I saw her holding the ‘positive’ test kit,” admitted Alex.
“We were astonished when we saw that the result was positive,” added Corrine. “We even went to polyclinic to check whether they have the same result. It was a miracle!”
The parents-to-be have since gone on several shopping sprees to prepare for the arrival of their newborn.
“We bought baby clothes and necessities,” said Alex, before adding with a laugh, “Actually, we started buying a few years back whenever she (Corrine) saw cute baby stuff while shopping.”
As Alex and Corrine look forward to the birth of their little miracle in end October, they are glad they never gave up their hopes of having a child of their own.
“We hope that our story will encourage newlyweds and other married couples without children not to wait to have children,” said Corrine.
Her sentiments are shared by Alex, who has some practical advice for young couples: “Don't wait; go for it when you are still young. In 20 years’ time, you will not need to worry about having to take care of your children because by then they are all grown up and in their 20s, whereas you will only be in your early 40s.”