31 March 2023, by Nicholas Quek

Reflections about pregnancy and fertility

So I said in my last blog post – dated 16 July 2021 – that my then-girlfriend and I were not anywhere near marriage. Turns out, we were! I proposed to her in March 2022, and we got married in November that year 🙂 It was a wonderful, challenging, and eye-opening time planning our wedding together, and more importantly, what we wanted our marriage to be. Both of us were on the same page about wanting to have children, and when we heard that I Love Children (ILC) was holding a set of talks on fertility health, we were curious to learn more.

In many ways, the talks came at an appropriate time, as we’ve been recently asking our (slightly older) couple friends about what their journey trying to have a child has been like. And what we’ve found out from our friends is simply this: fertility and pregnancy are complicated things! We have friends who tried for 7 years to have a child without any success, and we also have friends in their early 30s who are currently expecting their 2nd and 3rd child – twins! So even though we haven’t started trying yet, we’re looking to try sooner rather than later, and these talks seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about what this whole process was like.

Aurelia and I finding out about ICSI for the first time – watch the talk if you don’t know what that is!

So here are 3 takeaways we had from the talks that we found helpful:

1. Intimacy is more important than just trying to conceive

Both Aurelia and I really appreciated how the 3 March seminar started off with talking about couple intimacy while trying to conceive (“Intimacy while trying to conceive”, Dr Tan Tse Yeun”). It’s a funny thing – sex is such an intimate, delicate, and personal moment between a couple, and yet it’s also a task that needs to be done for pregnancy to happen. We haven’t been married for long, but we’ve already realized that sex is both something that is romantic and intense, yet it’s also something that needs to be talked about, discussed – even planned! So much more if we’re trying to conceive. We were helped by Dr Tan’s simple advice to maintain intimacy in non-physical ways, and fiercely guarding our relationship with each other from that task-oriented mindset that can turn sex into a chore, rather than an opportunity for us to enjoy each other.

2. Teamwork makes the dream work

I was moved by Dr Liu Shu Ling’s answer to one of the audience questions on “How can couples prepare for a loss?” It can be so easy to play the blame game. Even just 4 months into marriage, I’ve already seen how much I tend toward blaming Aurelia for wrongs that even I commit. Instead, couples ought to understand that at the end of the day, they’re on the same team. Dr Liu’s answer reminded us that we can and need to lean on each other through this entire process, and bear with each others’ weaknesses and sorrows.

3. Every pregnancy is different, so listen to your own body

We loved it when Physician Seah Ai Wei said that a pregnant woman can still drink bubble tea!

Our reaction when we realized that Aurelia might still be able to drink bubble tea!

On a serious note, it was helpful to hear from an expert that while there are real considerations to make regarding food and exercise, getting pregnant doesn’t mean you need to put everything on hold. It was interesting to note that you can even get acupuncture in the first trimester. Life continues on through pregnancy, and it’s more important to pay attention to your own body, rather than listen to every old wives’ tale about what you can and cannot eat. As a young couple we’ve received a lot of well-intentioned advice from friends and family about conceiving and it can feel a bit overwhelming. It was a relief to hear that every pregnancy is different, and what might be good for someone else might not necessarily be good for you.

All in all, I would highly recommend watching the Facebook recordings of the sessions. For those of you who have more technical questions about the mechanics of pregnancy and other related topics like IVF, TCM, I would recommend the 10 March session recording, where Dr Janice Tung and Dr Ethiraj Balaji Prasath go in-depth discussing these topics. We’re looking forward to checking out more of these sessions in the future!

Watching the recordings here:

3 March 2023 (Friday)

10 March 2023 (Friday)

Posted on : March 31, 2023

Filed under : Fertility, Planning For Baby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *