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.