The Straits Times
Published on Dec 04, 2012

A double-edged choice


RECENT articles and letters ("Career women seek to freeze eggs"; Nov 19 and "Introduce guidelines to help public understand egg freezing" by the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations; Nov 24) on the topic of egg freezing have rightly focused on the need to protect the rights and well-being of women, as well as the need to establish the safety and efficacy of the procedure before it should ever be made freely available to those doing it for social reasons.

I wish to provide another perspective to the discussion, from the viewpoint of the child or children to be conceived.

My mother was 44 years old when I was born.

I remember how embarrassed I felt when my friends and schoolmates thought she was my grandmother.

I wish she could have given birth to me earlier, but I knew at the time that it was not her choice.

I wonder if I might have been less forgiving as a child if I had found out she had deliberately and consciously chosen to give birth to me later?

I remember how as a child, I had wished my parents could play football and other games with me.

That was wishful thinking, for my parents were already in their 50s when I entered primary school.

But again, it was easier for me to accept the situation then as I knew it was not their choice that this was so.

My mother died when I was 34 years old. I felt the loss tremendously.

I loved her dearly, and still do. She had loved me in the best way she could.

To me, she was the greatest mother on earth, and more.

No one could have replaced her in my life.

If only I could have had more years with her.

But yet again, that is wishful thinking.

She was already 78 years old then, having lost her one-year battle with cancer.

I miss her to this day, yet I could not have blamed her.

It was not her choice that I should be born later on in her life.

I wonder: Would I feel the same if I had known that she had made a conscious choice to give birth to me later on so that I would not have been an impediment to her in the earlier years of her life?

John Hui (Dr)