Max and Maureen Mitra have always wanted to have a daughter, one that would finally make them a happy family. They dreamed of giving their first-born all the things that life could offer – the best education, health, a bright future and, most importantly, all the love and care she needs.
But after nearly two years of married life, the couple wasstill unsuccessful in building the family that they have always dreamed of. Growing desperate to have a child, they sought help from several doctors and specialists, and were disheartened to find out that one of Maureen’s fallopian tubes was twisted. “The doctors said that even if she undergoes an operation to correct that, it won’t ensure that she’ll get pregnant,” Max said.
Still, the couple did not let go of the hope in their hearts, especially when their OB-GYN told them about in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. Upon their doctor’s recommendation, they visited the Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Bonifacio Global City. The country’s first hospital-based Assisted Reproductive Technologies facility, CARMI offers fully integrated, comprehensive services considered as one of the best in Asia, with a pregnancy rate higher than the average of fertility centers around the world.
The great gamble
The Mitras said that SLMC’s reputation as the most admired hospital in the Philippines boosted their morale, especially when they were entrusted to the very able hands of Dr. Virgilio Novero, Jr., head of CARMI and one of the country’s IVF pioneers. “Dr. Novero guided us through it all. He was very professional and compassionate, but he was also honest with us,” Maureen said. “He said that IVF does not guarantee a positive outcome, but he assured that he’d do his best.”
The couple decided to go with the treatment, despite the uncertainty and the costs. To fund the treatment, they borrowed money from the bank and used their house as collateral. They were also thankful for the support of Dr. Novero and SLMC, which allowed them to go with the financial program that best suited their situation. “Investing in the treatment was a big gamble and a huge commitment, but we were willing to give it our all,” Max said. “Besides, we knew we could trust SLMCas they are the best in the field.”
The first stages of the treatment went without a hitch, but it was while waiting for the results after the embryo transfer that the emotional stress started taking a toll on the couple. Maureen would lock herself in their bedroom, crying because of the doubt and anxiety. “She would cry and ask me, ‘what if it fails?’ I would try my best to calm her down and soothe her reservations,” Max said. “We had come this far, I would tell her. If we’re meant to become parents, then it would happen.”
A dream brought to life
The couple was not disappointed—their first attempt yielded positive results and they are now the proud parents of nine-month-old Margaux. “She’s healthy, she’s beautiful and she’s worth everything that we went through,” Max shared. “I am verythankful for what SLMC had done for us. If our baby were a boy, I would have named her Virgilio, after Dr. Novero,” he added with a smile.
“CARMI is making a name for itself as one of the best IVF centers that can equal, if not be better than, those abroad,” said Dr.Novero. “Instead of Filipinos seeking treatments overseas, it is foreigners from the US, Europe and the Middle East who come here in the country to undergo treatment at CARMI because they trust our facility’s technology and expertise.”
The Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI) is located at the Ground Floor, Medical Arts Building, St. Lukes Medical Center-Global City. For inquiries and to know more about the facility, call (632) 7897700 ext. 2111 or visit www.stlukescarmi.com.