OriginElle’s first patient Thanhtruc Tran had twins from her first IVF cycle, then went back six months later for another baby.
Thanhtruc Tran wasn’t new to assisted reproductive technology when she went to the OriginElle Fertility Clinic & Women’s Health Centre not long after the clinic first opened its doors in January 2011. She and her husband Vanquang Tran had been trying to have a child for three years and had been patients at another clinic.
“It was a long story. We’d been struggling with trying to have a baby for a long time, since 2008,” says Mrs. Tran. “At first, we went to another clinic that is well known in Montreal. We tried intrauterine insemination several times, which we had to pay for because it wasn’t covered by the government.”
That didn’t work out. Then the Trans tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) at the other clinic and she became pregnant. But she had a miscarriage, and that was quite a blow for the couple. They pressed on with another IVF cycle, again with no success.
Mrs. Tran decided to take a break from assisted reproductive technology. For a year she concentrated on receiving acupuncture treatment, an aspect of integrative medicine recognized as being beneficial in improving success rates in IVF. She decided to look into fertility treatments again but was disappointed in the wait times she would have to endure.
After a long struggle to start a family, the Trans went to OriginElle for IVF and soon welcomed twins Alicia and David.
“At the hospital the nurse told me the waiting list would be six to 12 months. They said that since I was young for them, 34, I was not considered an urgent case,” recalls Mrs. Tran. “Just by chance, I went to Royal Victoria Hospital and I met Dr. Tan. He said he had started a new clinic and that he would take me as a patient right away.”
She decided to give OriginElle Fertility Clinic a try. Part of the reason was her acupuncturist, Aina Zhang, who was a well-known infertility acupuncturist who has treated many women, including Celine Dion. She told Mrs. Tran that Dr. Tan was very good, and that she could trust him.
“That gave me hope. I had been through so much that I was just about hopeless,” says Mrs. Tran.
From the start, things were different at OriginElle from the other clinic she had been to. Instead of receiving the medications and doing the IVF in 15 days, as was the case at the other clinic, OriginElle did a long protocol IVF that took a month in order to help prepare her body beforehand so the eggs would be a better quality.
“What I liked with Dr. Tan was that he explained everything to me every step of the way. I appreciated that,” says Mrs. Tran. “The first two times they did the IVF procedure at the other clinic they didn’t tell me anything. No explanation at all. That’s it. Not Dr. Tan, he explained everything.”
The day of egg collection, Mrs. Tran noticed that things seemed a little unusual at the clinic. Some staff members were running around to set things up and a construction worker was working in the recovery room.
“I knew that it was a new clinic, but I didn’t know I was their first patient,” says Mrs. Tran. “I asked, Am I the first patient for you guys? Dr. Tan said, ‘Yes, you are.’ I said are you kidding me?”
She admits that her confidence wasn’t high. Twice before IVF had not worked for her, and here she was the first patient of a brand new clinic. Even though Dr. Tan was a leader in the field of fertility and he had explained everything to her, Mrs. Tran had her doubts.
“I had hope and no hope. Yes I had hope because the eggs were good and the ambiance of the clinic was good, as well,” recalls Mrs. Tran. “I trusted Dr. Tan, but I didn’t think it would work.”
Her trust was well placed. She became pregnant with twins. There was joy, yet with nagging misgivings.
“When you have gone through a miscarriage, which I had at three months pregnant before, you think, Wow, I don’t want to have another miscarriage. Let’s see, don’t get too excited. But that’s another way Dr. Tan helped me,” says Mrs. Tran. “At the other clinic I went to they do the follow up with you until they see you are pregnant and then that’s all. No more visits until you go to a regular hospital when you are three months pregnant.”
“Dr. Tan said, ‘I want to see you every two weeks to follow up with the embryos, to hear the heart beats and see what’s going on.’ That is great about him,” says Mrs. Tran. “That made me feel more comfortable and helped me to be less tense. I went there every two weeks and he would tell me it is going normally and developing well. If you have to worry from day one up until you are three months pregnant, that can be tough. I would have been up and down with all the emotion.”
On September 22, 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Tran became proud parents of David and Alicia. Six months later they went back to OriginElle for another IVF cycle.
“When you are at the second cycle you say, if it works, it’s good; if not, I already have twins. Once again, you don’t put a lot of hope on it working out,” says Mrs. Tran. “I was too busy with the twins to think and worry. And then, Oh, I’m pregnant again.”
Again Dr. Tan monitored her pregnancy for the first three months. And on December 19, 2012, son Jason was born. Not twins again, though not because the Trans weren’t willing.
“Believe it or not, when I was on the operation table to receive the second implantation, I asked Dr. Tan to make me have another set of twins,” says Mrs. Tran. “He said no because he’s only allowed to put one embryo in. When I told people I wanted twins, everyone said, Are you crazy? I said, no, I just wanted two babies again.”