No one knows better about going through a rough patch (that lasted several years) than perhaps our December Mum of the Month, Nadya Abd, who waited a very long time to become Mummy to gorgeous twin babies Ilya Atiyah and Ilya Nadrah.
“STILL NOT PREGNANT?”
From the onset, it became apparent that our heroine and hubby Aman needed some help. Being deeply religious, Nadya recalled that at the start she was determined to be positive and trusting, convinced that a combination of faith and science could only lead to success. “As much as we leave it in God’s hands, I would try my best with IVF and put my mind to it,” she shared. “I will pull through no matter how difficult or painful it gets because science has accomplished many amazing things.”
Unfortunately, reality wasn’t so assuring. From 2016 until 2018, the couple tried every year and failed at Inter-uterine Insemination (IUI) initially, and then two rounds of In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF). All the daily injections, hormone pills, egg extraction surgeries, the two week waiting period in between, not to mention crazy weight gain left Nadya tired, both mentally and physically.
It also didn’t help that she would occasionally get comments on her weight gain or be questioned by well-meaning but insensitive family members and friends about why she wasn’t pregnant yet. “I wish I could forget being questioned and judged, and the times I spent crying in Aman’s arms whenever I’d come back from a gathering to find out someone is expecting,” she confessed. “It hit especially hard when I’m driving home alone, that I’m still childless and my womb still empty.”
A GENTLE REPRIEVE
The only one Nadya relied on for comfort and strong support was Aman, who remained steadfast by her side for the bumpy ride, and despite her insecurities, he never once made her feel that she wasn’t enough. “Every single time I broke down, Aman my rock, my strongest supporter, would envelope me in the warmest hug and remind me to fully trust God,” she remembered. “He reminded me of our faith that He plans our life in the best way and has given us so much because we have each other.”
When Aman was offered to do his masters in Ireland in 2018, Nadya was eager to pack their bags and move. “It came at the right time; we needed a break!” she quipped.
While in Ireland, the couple were at the most stress-free, happiest, healthiest time of their life yet, still nothing happened in the baby-making department. So they decided to travel! “We explored nine countries, embraced our couple life, just us two and I never felt such greater love for Aman,” gushed Nadya. “I was with him all the time but there was never once that I tired of him. We enjoyed each other’s company, every single day.”
BACK IN SINGAPORE
Perhaps the time away gave Nadya a fresh lease of life and a new perspective on IVF. When the couple returned to Singapore in November 2019, they transferred their last two frozen embryos. But she told herself that this would be her last attempt, no matter what happened and that she would accept the result either way.
“I didn’t think I could handle another failure, and another round of daily jabs, surgery, and everything that came along with it,” she frowned. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, she did a pregnancy test that showed up negative. “I threw the test into the sink and crawled back to Aman, crying,” Nadya shared. “But, even while extremely distraught, I remembered what I had promised myself and what he told me about being grateful.”
It was a good thing Aman was better at looking at pregnancy test results than Nadya because it turned out they were pregnant at last – with twins!
THE HEGEN DIFFERENCE
The babies were both in head down position from as early as 6 months. Even though Nadya didn’t get the vaginal birth she wanted, identical twins Ilya Atiyah and Ilya Nadrah were safely delivered via elective Caesarean section at 36 weeks 5 days, as planned.
Nadya finally got to replace her pre-pregnancy challenges with the (happy) problem of having two hungry babies to feed at the same time! “We were taught to cup feed at the start. By the third week, we were too tired,” she sighed. “The girls kept coughing out the milk and it became difficult to feed them.”
At that time, Nadya’s milk supply was still too low to meet the demands of feeding two. So she resorted to pumping and bottle feeding. “Thankfully, because of Hegen's teat, the girls could go between bottle and direct latch with ease and no nipple confusion,” she revealed.
Instead Nadya would express the milk, and have family members feed the hungry twins using Hegen bottles. Dealing with twins also meant that anything faster and fool proof is preferred so she appreciates the Hegen design. “I like that Hegen's bottles are so easy to clean and assembled quickly with just one hand,” she enthused.
WORD FROM THE WISE
Having been a fertility-challenged Mum, Nadya’s first note for others in the same boat is not to suffer in silence. “Find others who are going through infertility issues or support groups and talk about what you’re going through,” she advised.
“Also, I always tell people that after a year of trying without results, go for a check-up.” She has had many followers (on her socials) finally going for a medical check-up and discovering underlying issues preventing them from conceiving which could be treated easily.
Nadya believes if a baby is meant to be, it will be. “Maybe it isn't the time yet,” she suggested. “But if all else fails, focus and enjoy your married life.”
Perhaps a fitting way to ring in the new year is really just that: to count our blessings for what we’re already lucky to have in our lives. From us at Hegen to you, we wish you the most festive greetings and a best wishes for a happier year ahead!