It is not often that we hear of women pulling through two late miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy. Ferlyn Peh shares her journey through three pregnancies and five losses. Her resilience in admirable and a great reminder that if we hold on to our heart’s desires, they will come.
I was married in June 2011 and to our delight, I fell pregnant in September that same year.
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and suffered from infrequent periods, sometimes only bleeding twice a year. My doctor put me on Clomid and to our surprise, we conceived. My pregnancy went without a hitch and all scans showed that our baby was growing well.
At 24 weeks, I started experiencing mucus discharge. I didn’t know any better being a first time mother, so I brushed it aside. Several days later, thinking it was a urinary tract infection (UTI), I consulted a doctor. That very night, I went into labour unknowingly. I had pelvic pains that pushed me to go to hospital. As one doctor handed me over to another in the delivery suite, I heard the words every parent dreads, ‘There’s no foetal heartbeat’. My baby boy had died.
I was too shocked to react, and was only able to delivery my son with assistance from the nurses. They asked if I wanted to carry him after. I was determined to, even though my husband thought better of it. It was only when I held my little boy in my arms that I broke down. Tears flowed relentlessly and I wondered over and over again why I hadn’t sought medical help earlier.
A Glimmer of Hope, Broken
My heart was broken and I didn’t think we would conceive so quickly. It was only 3 months later, in May 2012, that we found ourselves pregnant again. It turned out to be chemical pregnancy.
We decided to take a rest from baby making since it had taken such a toll on us emotionally. Then, in April 2013, we decided to start a round of SO-IUI. I soon found out that I was expecting triplets. When I heard the news, I burst into tears. If my cervix was unable to hold one baby, what more three?! I was only slightly assured when my gynaecologist told me that one sac was too small and unlikely to grow. True to what he said, our subsequent scan showed only two sacs growing well. We were to have twins!
The first 21 weeks went by like a breeze. I experienced no morning sickness whatsoever and as with our first, all appeared to be going smoothly. It was in the 22nd week that the mucus discharge came back to haunt me. This time, I monitored it and consulted my doctor.
To my horror, my cervix was found to be 2-cm dilated. I was ordered in for an emergency cerclage. However, the contractions failed to stop and with the infection I had, I ended up losing my twins. Baby boy and baby girl left me at 22 weeks, 2 days.
Fall Down Three Times, Get up Four
After losing my twins, I no longer felt the urge to get pregnant unlike when I lost my firstborn. What prompted me to try again was the return of my menses. It was an event in itself seeing that it is exceptionally irregular.
I went back to my gynaecologist for another round of SO-IUI. This time, my follicles grew extremely slowly even thought I was on the same dose of medication that led to our twins. My doctor halted treatment to lower the risk of multiple pregnancy. Although the test for positive ovulation showed the absence of mature follicles, we abandoned the cycle as too many follicles were growing at the same rate. We were sent home and told to try naturally.
Two weeks later, a home pregnancy test turned out positive.
We were thrilled! At the same time, I was so worried that history would repeat itself. I was fearful of my baby’s heartbeat going undetected at each routine checkup. My blood pressure was constantly high and at 13 weeks, I was considered to be at a high risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
A Rainbow After Three Storms
I had a preventative cerclage done at 14 weeks to prevent preterm labour. I was also put on bed rest. To further prevent preterm labour as well as preeclampsia, I was placed on medication. At one point, I was ingesting 21 pills a day to help support my pregnancy.
While I did not get preeclampsia in the end, I was admitted into hospital at 30 weeks due to high blood pressure. At 35 weeks, my baby was in breech and did not grow from the week before. To add to the complications, I started experiencing preterm contractions. My gynaecologist decided that it was time to deliver. At exactly 35 weeks, on 9 October 2014, our dear son Damon was born, weighing 2.065kg.
Life As I Know It
I have learned that it is ok to cry and take time to grieve. My rocky journey towards motherhood has made me grow up a little and learn to see things from a different perspective. I have come to know the people who will be there for me through thick and thin.
Through all my ups and downs, my husband has shown himself to be the strongest pillar in my life. I have also been blessed with constant support from friends and family who helped me get back on my feet time and again.
I don’t think life will never be the same again. It changed the second I lost my first born. And it changed further after I lost the following lives that grew within me. With each baby that died, so did a piece of my heart.
I am glad that I chose to trust that our rainbow was waiting for us to find it. Even after three failed pregnancies, I persisted with my husband and we finally had our beautiful son. He has been our utmost joy and I cannot imagine what life would be like if we did not persevere in trying to conceive again. It’s been a huge rollercoaster ride, but for now, I can breathe again.
Ferlyn is now pregnant with another baby boy. She is due in December 2019. She prays that the rest of her pregnancy will go smoothly and that she will be able to carry him to at least 37 weeks. Damon just turned 5 years old and is looking forward to being a big brother!