20 August 2012, by Tan Yi Lin

Stage 5: The Call

I stumbled upon a line in somebody’s blog last week:

“Good stories don’t have predictable endings. So let go of your silly little plans and embrace the journey.”

The IVF story is just that: unpredictable. This is no Choose Your Own Adventure story. There is no Option (A) and Option (B) when you read down to the end of the page, where you can flip ahead and sneak a peak at your chosen ending, and if Option (A) says “Mission Failed”, you back up to the previous page and select Option (B) instead. You can’t.

During our first IVF attempt, I was focused on results. I monitored my body like a hawk, watching for signs of pregnancy – or not. The Two Week Wait was one of the most difficult experiences to survive. I thought, back then, so this is what it feels like to slowly go crazy. I wouldn’t wish the same psychological torture on anyone.

This time, I embraced the journey for what it was. Acceptance has a certain calming effect. I worried less. I was happier.

Of course, this round was different: I had Coco. She kept me busy. She tired me out. She gave me much to be joyful for. All that helped distract me from the passing of time.

I learned to enjoy the days spent at home. Sleeping in. Avoiding the MRT peak hour crush. Decisions pertaining to “What shall I do today?” boiled down to whether I should indulge in a morning nap. Or an afternoon nap. Or both. How many healthy women had the privilege of relaxing at home for three weeks simply because they *could* be pregnant?

These three weeks weren’t without worry though. Not a single day passed without me thinking:

Should I be carrying Coco?

Did she just kick me in the belly?!

Is it okay to go down a slide/ to swim/ to cycle when Coco clamours for it?

Is it okay to eat sushi/ a runny egg/ drink caffeine?

Should I be going out so much?

Well, I did it all. I figured that if other healthy women could unknowingly conceive naturally and still do all that in the early weeks of their pregnancy, there was no reason why I couldn’t. A little physical movement wasn’t going to jar the embryos out of their snug home. So I cycled at Pasir Ris Park. I slid down the water slide no less than ten times, landing with a splash, because the Water Monster wanted to go on it again… and again… and again.

I have to give SO much credit to my husband for taking care of me. He came home punctually so that he could accompany us to the playground and help to watch over Coco. He took over the evening bathing duties from me, lovingly giving Coco her nightly bath so that I wouldn’t have to haul heavy tubs of water and a slippery 8-kg baby around. He took care of the early morning diaper change and bottle feed so that I could rest longer in bed.

Thank you, Husband. I love you.

The Signs

The fatigue.

The late-night hunger pangs.

The nightly insomnia.

The bloated belly.

The late period.

Did these mean anything? Dare I hope?

I have lost track of how many times I’ve checked my underwear for blood. As my period due date drew nearer, I suffered from nightmares of fresh red blood and wetness. I fought urges to rush to the bathroom whenever I felt a leak, which always just turned out to be the liquid remains of the progesterone suppositories.

The 13th passed. No blood.

The 14th passed. Still no blood.

Whenever somebody asked how I was holding up, I would reply, “Clinging on to the hope that we still have. For now.” It’s like how you’re gunning for the top prize at the company D&D lucky draw and you silently pray as they call out the earlier numbers for the smaller prizes, “Please don’t call my number now. Please don’t call my number now” and every number called – that isn’t yours – gives you fresh hope. For every blood-free day that passed, our sliver of hope grew bigger and bigger.

The Test

Last Friday morning, 17 August, I had my blood drawn at KKH to test for pregnancy and went back home to wait for the nurse to call me with the test results.

My phone buzzed with SMSes and email messages from friends, colleagues and readers wishing me the best of luck. I was so touched that these people had made the effort to remember that today was The Day – a day that held so much meaning for me and Dan; and yet, to them, it was like any other day. Thank you, all of you, for your thoughts, kind words and prayers.

The IVF clinic was packed. We took the only two seats left – the ones that everybody avoids: the row that looks directly into the sea of 30 solemn faces. Not that we care. No familiar faces here. “Aiyah, no friends today,” we joked to each other, “Boring!”

I indulged in a cup of teh-C peng as we left KKH. One for the road. Just in case we have another hairy baby who gives me intense heartburn. I suddenly craved for soft-boiled eggs and lamented to Dan that I may have to wait a year till I had runny eggs again.

“Well, you should have thought of that before you started injecting yourself with all that urine, right?” mocked my unsympathetic spouse.

Lucrin. He meant Lucrin.

The Call

I was joking with my IVF support group girlfriends that somebody should direct a movie drama called The Call. Everybody who has had to test for pregnancy this way will always have memories of The Call. The call that bears good news – where you cry shitloads of tears. The call that deliversΒ devastating, heartbreaking news – where you also cry shitloads of tears. I heard that it’ll be a good movie. Quite a cliffhanger. The emotional roller coaster will keep you on the edge of your seat. Bring lots of popcorn. And tissue.

10.48am: The phone rang. The KKHIVF number flashed onto the screen. My heart stopped. I answered the call.

I took the news as calmly as I could.

Then, I called Dan.

“Hi baby.”


The tears fell. Uncontrollably.


My voice cracked.

“You… you are going to be a daddy to more babies.”

I broke down. Sobbed.

“Yaaaay! Why are you crying?”

“Cos I’m happy lah!!!!”

“You sound sad!!!!”

“Yes, yes, I’m sad. Very sad. Sad that I won’t be able to drink teh-C, or eat runny eggs or sashimi anymore….”


The timing couldn’t have been any better. It was a weekend of celebrations. Coco turns a year old on Wednesday, 22 August. We celebrated her birthday with our families on Saturday and Sunday. It was Hari Raya Puasa on Sunday and a public holiday today. My babies sure have a knack for announcing their presence during the festive period. With Coco, we found out on 20 December, just days before Christmas.

At this point, we can’t tell whether we’re having one baby or two. We don’t even know whether the embryo/s is/are correctly implanted in the right place. But we’ll take it one step at a time. The ultrasound scan on 31 August will reveal more.

Thank you all of you for walking this journey with us. For your prayers, well-wishes, and kind and supportive words. Thank you for being there.

This entry wraps up the five-part mini drama series on IVF attempt no.2 (or 3 – I’m not sure how to count this) and it has been a happy ending for us. May you all have the happy endings that you desire.

Have a wonderful week ahead.


Tags : , ,

Posted on : August 20, 2012

Filed under : Planning For Baby


Tan Yi Lin

Yi Lin

August 30th, 2012 at 7:30 am    

Hi everyone,

Thank you for the well wishes and for sharing our joy πŸ™‚ We’re looking forward to the first scan tomrw morning. It’ll end an entire month of WAITING since the embryo transer on 1 Aug. I still dare not truly believe that I’m pregnant until I see it with my own eyes. Yes, me of little faith.

All the best for your turn. Good luck and take care!

Maybe Baby,
Thank you for the lovely comment. It is extremely heartening to hear that our story inspires others. This is what makes blogging worth it. Don’t be afraid. Take it one step at a time, don’t let the fear of failure stand in your way. Fear can be overcome. Sadness can be forgotten. But there’s no cure for Regret (at least, not that I know of.) All the best to you and may you and your hubby hit the jackpot on your first try πŸ™‚


August 29th, 2012 at 8:16 am    

Congratulations babe!!! VEry happy for you and hubby!!! yay!!!!

Maybe Baby

August 29th, 2012 at 3:41 am    

Congrats YiLin πŸ™‚ Im so happy for you!!!

I’m in my late 30s, conceive 1 kid naturally but have been trying for a 2nd one for the past 3 years naturally. Was hesitant to go on the IVF regime for fear of the pain and emotional distress (especially if the attempt failed) I’ve got to undergo.

Happened to chance upon your blog and been following closely on your progress since. Well, things have change today and it certainly has influenced my decision to go on IVF cycle. Your blog gave me hope that it is possible to hit the “jackpot” with a 1st attempt on the IVF cycle and certainly helps a lot as it’s detailed with all the “what to expect and what to do”.

You have done a great job at blogging about your experience and help people like us make an informed decision on whether we should go for it.

May God bless Dan & you as your second one comes along and do continue to update your blog….


August 27th, 2012 at 12:37 pm    

Hi Yi Lin, Congrats to u both.. I have been following ur posts and had enjoyed reading them. Take care! πŸ™‚


August 24th, 2012 at 4:13 pm    

Congrats dear! Most wonderful news. Coco will make a great che che!


August 23rd, 2012 at 5:34 am    

congrats again!
& happy belated bday to big sister Coco!

Mandy Loh


August 21st, 2012 at 11:18 am    

Congrats you guys! Very happy news indeed!


August 21st, 2012 at 6:13 am    

Congratulations!! It had been very heartening to read your blog from the beginning and I followed evermore closely nowadays as I am going through IVF now. ;))


August 21st, 2012 at 2:20 am    



August 21st, 2012 at 1:12 am    

Congrats!!! I have been coming to this site for the past few days since aug 17 and have been wondering how was the result. Really am very very happy for you! Congrats again!


August 21st, 2012 at 12:27 am    

congratz!!! been waiting for this post since fri! πŸ™‚


August 20th, 2012 at 8:27 pm    

* I mean “doesn’t come easy”.


August 20th, 2012 at 8:25 pm    

Congrats! It a wonderful joy….IVF journey does come easy mentally & physically but it all worth it… Enjoy ur pregnancy once again..


August 20th, 2012 at 5:29 pm    

Been following and waiting for this piece of news! Congrats to you and Dan! So happy for you two. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday to Coco as well! πŸ™‚


August 20th, 2012 at 11:44 am    

Hi Yi Lin,

I came across your blog and have been following it closely since then.
I am so happy for you & Dan!
Btw, I will be going thru mine next month.

Take good care & all the Best!

Rebecca Koh

August 20th, 2012 at 11:30 am    

Yilin & Dan
Congratulations…..I’m very happy for you both. Take good care.

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