Saturday, February 11, 2006


"I have bad news," he said, unusually sombre. From the look on his face, I couldn't really tell. Seven and a half months into the pregnancy, the Ultrasound scans display symptoms of Thalassemia. The specialist gave them very bad odds. Their own Gynae suggested they wait and see.

A week later on Saturday, they couldn't wait any longer. She went into labour on Sunday morning. By Monday night it was over. Their baby didn't make it.

It pained my heart to hear it. It still does.

"I didn't carry her," he told me. I understood. People deal with pain differently. He said it best; when you carry your child and put her down later, you fully expect to pick her up again. But not this one. This one left early. And along with her, their hopes, dreams and aspirations for her.

He felt it best to detach themselves and move on. But that wasn't him talking. That was his defense mechanism.

I told him to take his time. Sometimes in a tragedy, people get so caught up trying to manage the situation that they neglect to take some time for themselves. Some time to mourn the loss. Some time to heal. And some time to give thanks for the ones we have by our side.

If you have suffered a loss of an unborn child or know someone who has, do take the time to read this article (click). To learn more about Thalassemia, read this (click).


  1. My sincere heart goes out to you and hope everything goes well with you ... good luck ...

  2. I'm So sorry that it happened to your friend... I've had a few friends go thru it and even myself @ 3 months, can't imagine 7 months! So close but yet so far! My hubby calls it "Natural Selection" But call it what you want it hurts badly! Emotionally and physically.
    I found the following site really useful.. it helped me and a lot of other women there. So maybe this can help your friend and his wife!

  3. My cousin brother and his wife once lost a child before. Their son didn't make it past the first month. After that loss, they were afraid to try for another child and shy away from questions about trying again. It took them many years (more than 5 years) before they had the courage to try again.
    It's gonna be a very difficult time for your friend and his wife. But providing them with support - emotionally and mentally - will mean the world to them. They'll be in my prayers.

  4. Aiyoh.. a friend of mine lost her twins due to this... very sad. 6 months down the road..
    another friend - had stillborn and miscarriages over 6 times.
    I wonder how she dealt with the agony. She remained calm and perky. Now, she is a mother of a lovely son.

  5. That's really so sad. I hope everything works out. I have thalassemia trait, and I can give it my children if the father has it also. Certainly, I hope I don't do that. I feel that I am lucky enough to know and wish that everyone was lucky enough to know.

  6. my condolences to "him" for his big lost... I guess there's nothing that they can do but to wait for time to heal their wound...
    p/s: statistics show that 1 in 20 Malaysians have a certain thalassemia trait!

  7. That's really sad, James. I have beta thalessemia and I only found out at the age 19 when I went for a full medical check-up for a job I was applying for.
    Thalassemia is a less known disorder but can also be lethal to beta parents trying to conceive. It is not common but enough to warrant an awareness. The health ministry should educate its citizen on this disorder especially when it affects the southeast asians. At least make it mandatory to go through blood test at first sign of pregnancy.

  8. and thus god reminds us that even with all the advancement in technology, he creates and he will remove life.
    god bless the child. amen.

  9. this is one of the worst nightmares and heartaches ever. may all the prayers be with the family.

  10. i'm so sorry to hear about this, in fact i do have some fear now :(

  11. Thanks P, the family seems to be coping well.
    Thanks for the link, Chiwi. Sorry to hear about your experience.
    I can't begin to fathom what that must feel like, Piggy. Losing someone is tough, even more so if it's a child.
    Gina: 6 times!? Tough cookie, your friend.
    Jacky, I suspected my friend had Thalassemia when I learnt that his dad had it. For some reason, nobody ever advised them about it - and maybe that might have been for the best too. They have a 3 yr old daughther today, which they might not even have tried for if they knew they had Thalassemia. Hard to weigh this one.
    That's true, Egghead. It's a surprisingly high statistic.
    You're right Lisa. We need more education on this.
    Leo, I think God designed the human body perfectly enough to deal with things, when things go wrong.
    Thanks Eternity.
    Don't worry too much, Babe. Just eat well and stay healthy.

  12. the body maybe perfectly built to handle such things. but the mentality is another thing all together.

  13. yeah, i think the health ministry should play a role in creating awareness in Thalassemia. I only found out about it a year after we have Yiyi. Our condolences.

  14. Sorry to hear about your pal. I hope your blog will make more ppl aware of Thalassemia...

  15. My condolences to the couple.
    I'd also like to urge everyone, especially Chinese to go for a thorough blood check for thalassemia.
    It's pretty common for Chinese to carry the faulty gene. I was even allowed to donate blood once before they found out I was thalassemic.

  16. You just brought back a lot of painful memories for me on my first miscarriage.