Nguyễn Thị Nhã (middle) and her colleagues hug a baby born by IVF. — Photo nhandan.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Doctor Nguyễn Thị Nhã’s email inbox is full of photos of babies with beaming smiles and heart-touching messages of gratitude.
The words were sent from countless infertile couples who she has helped become parents at last.
Nhã has never forgotten a middle-aged woman roaming aimlessly on Hà Nội’s Giải Phóng Street after getting divorced from a man she couldn’t conceive a child with.
After having health check-ups at different hospitals, she was told she suffered cervical ectropion – a common disease among women. At the time, social norms said that when a couple was unable to have a child, the fault was with the woman.
The woman rushed in front of an approaching train and died. Only when her ex-husband remarried and still could not have a child, did it become clear that she may not have been infertile.
Nhã, the woman’s younger sister, has been haunted by the tragedy for years. After graduating from Hà Nội University of Medicine, she decided to work at the Hà Nội-based Post Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics.
There, she has witnessed the pain and desperation of countless women who are unable to be mothers.
Her desire to help such women has driven Nhã onwards.
Ngân from Hà Nội’s outlying district of Đan Phượng finally became a mother at the age of 58 thanks to Nhã.
Ngân’s husband refused to undergo In-Vitro-Fertilisation (IVF) as he thought such a baby wouldn’t be his blood child.
Only after seeing a neighbour’s IVF-born son that looked like his father, did he change his mind but it seemed too late as Ngân had already turned 58.
Moved by her story, Nhã decided to help Ngân with the procedure, using donated ova and her husband’s sperm.
The effort paid off and Ngân became one of the oldest new mothers in Việt Nam and was even able to breastfeed her son.
“People with infertility are perhaps the most confused patients we have here,” Đỗ Văn Tráng, deputy director of Post Hospital, told Nhân dân Hằng tháng (People Monthly) newspaper.
“They have to shoulder enormous burdens, both financially and emotionally and can fall into desperation because no matter how hard they try, they may never be parents,” he added.
The doctor’s spring
September 18, 2019 is a day Hạnh and Thành will never forget as after 17 years of waiting, they finally became parents.
Hạnh had got pregnant seven times before but lost every baby due to poor health.
At the end of 2018, the couple decided to try IVF treatment as a last toss of the dice before adopting.
Thành said he can still remember the magical moment they welcomed their angel.
“At the age of 40, I started learning to be a father, beginning with mixing baby formula. It is complicated and tiring sometimes, but thinking about the past 17 years makes me feel deserving,” he said.
According to Nhã, in the past, the department’s rate of success was only 30 to 40 per cent, but that figure has increased to 60 per cent.
“We pour all our hearts and mind into every single case to make sure we get the best outcome possible,” she said.
“Besides strictly following procedures, it is the doctor’s attitude which defines the success of IVF. Therefore, to process deciding steps, poking eggs or creating embryo, for example, a doctor needs to be in his best condition,” she added.
For the past few years, the hospital has financially supported more than 200 couples to the tune of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300) each for IVF treatment.
Nhã, therefore, has become the second mother of thousands of children.
The best Tết (Lunar New Year) blessings, she said, are always from their families when she gets to know that they are doing fine. — VNS