THE LONG and windy road to pregnancy finally paid off for Malaysia’s number one songstress, Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin and her husband Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa. The couple first announced to eager fans and family members October last year that they were to receive a baby after 12 years of wait. Today, Siti is a proud mother of six month old Siti Aafiyah Khalid.
Siti made her first debut when she was only 16 after she won a popular local singing competition show ‘Bintang HMI’ in 1995. ‘Jerat Percintaan’ was her first debut single, and it sold a total of 800,000 units in Malaysia alone.
Siti has also recorded and sung in multiple languages including Malaysian, Javanese, English, Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu and Japanese. To date, she has garnered more than 200 local and international awards.
Throughout her career, Siti has numerous other achievements such as performing during the closing ceremony of 1998 Commonwealth Games in front of Queen Elizabeth II and her consort, Prince Philip. Seven years later, she performed a solo concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, while being backed by the London Symphony Orchestra. She was the first Southeast Asian singer to do so.
Yet, apart from the numerous accolades she has received, she described the feeling of being a mother to one filled with gratitude and joy – a moment that she had been waiting for all this while.
“I feel blessed to be able to hold Aafiyah,” said Siti who later expressed that both mother and child are healthy.
Siti resorted to IVF treatment into her second year of marriage after failing to conceive.
“My husband fully supported my decision,” she said when asked whether Datuk Khalid was all for the treatment.
Although earlier in 2015, Siti suffered a miscarriage two months into her pregnancy,she persevered and continued with her fertility treatment – succeeding only in the fifth.
“On the last cycle, I did the IVF on the sixth month and a month later, I was pregnant,” she reminisces.
Siti admits that the process required both mental strength and patience, as she herself had to make umpteen sacrifices to ensure that it was a success.
“There are numerous processes that we must go through – from the egg maturity through to the transfer into the womb. This takes a certain amount of time,” she explained.
“After the transfer, I was advised to lay down and not move much. This I had to do for three months! However, I’m grateful that my husband and family where there to provide moral support.”
“As an active person, I felt restless not doing anything. When I was bored, my husband would carry me down to the lower floor. Alternately, I used the wheelchair to move to minimise the risk to my potential pregnancy.”
“Upon discovering that I was pregnant, I continued to rest and took care of my pregnancy. I had to sacrifice my work as an artiste as well as an entrepreneur and just sit at home,” laments Siti.
“When I moved, walked or even coughed, I did it slowly – bearing in mind my circumstances. Similarly with food, I was cautious with my food intake and avoided spicy food although they are my favourite.”
Being a little bit too careful during treatment and pregnancy was natural for a woman like Siti, as an IVF treatment can be more difficult to bear results the older we get.
Pointing out that IVF is not a path that should be taken by women alone, Siti stressed that it is crucial for couples to consult the doctor together for a better outcome.
“Part of the treatment would be medications and supplements such as folic acid which should be taken as prescribed. Spicy food should also be avoided.”
“The next phase includes injections supplied by the doctor – which can be done by ourselves at home. During this time, it is pertinent that one consumes highly nutritious meals.”
“However, do not be weary if your efforts seem to be fruitless in the beginning. Some may succeed after just a few times trying,” she said.
Although the expertise in the fertility field has grown by large through the advancement of latest technology, Siti admits that a lot of women who are yet to conceive are still in the dark about the advancement and how they could benefit from such treatment.
“Couples may be hesitant to come forward and seek fertility treatment due to the high cost involved. Many may not know that it is also provided in government hospitals. Hence, disseminating information pertaining to the processes, treatment as well as cost involved are crucial to the uptake.”
The songstress said that she will resume her career when Aafiyah is nine months old, revealing to fans that she would be out with a new single titled ‘Anta Permana’.
As to future plans for her little bundle of joy, she confessed that Aafiyah is still young and that the couple are planning a good education for a sound future for their daughter. X