Our Miracle Baby: Melissa Judith
A videoclip journaling the Miracle Pregnancy of Dr. Ailin Iwan with her husband, Mr. Kenneth K.Y. Poon to give birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl "Melissa Judith Poon".
When I was in my mid-twenties, I believed that God gave me everything: friends and family, a dream job as a Design Director for the Globe Cultural Mall in Fremont, and my own beautiful apartment in Cupertino, California. I felt so fulfilled that it did not matter whether I marry or not. Then, I fasted for 40 days and asked the Lord about this big question: Should I get married or remain single? God sent an angel to tell me that I would get married and have children. The reality was I got ill in my late twenties with an illness that I thought would be difficult to even start a family. I went through a period of darkness that made it difficult to even keep my faith alive. Little did I know, in my most tough moment, God prepared a very kind hearted and talented man who loves me unconditionally. My husband who is also my soul-mate, Kenneth K.Y. Poon, and I got married in 2015 in Hong Kong when we were in our mid-thirties, but by that time, I had been taking medication for about 10 years that would be harmful for a fetus. Despite this fact, we still hoped the Lord would give us children, especially as I remembered the angel’s visit.
In 2017, we went to the United States and visited two medical doctors: one was a gynecologist in Stanford and another was a fertility doctor in San Francisco. The OBGYN told us that if I got pregnant, it would be a very risky pregnancy and she told me not to have a baby. At some point, I became relatively bitter for not having a baby and being told by the doctor harshly that my pregnancy would be tough, yet I did not lose hope because I believe in God’s faithfulness. My husband, however, had a dream in which God gave him names for our future children. The first was “Melissa” (meaning “Sweet Honey”). We believed this was a sign from the Lord indicating that despite what people said, we should try to have a baby.
Toward the end of 2017, I found a Christian counsellor in Texas, Pastor Basil Frasure, who it seemed could heal my illness through bible study counselling. In early 2018, even though we were relatively busy with work in Hong Kong, we decided to take a leap of faith to fly to San Angelo, Texas to see Pastor Basil. We flew for over 20 hours to do a counselling over 2 weeks with Pastor Basil, after which, he declared me healed giving me permission to stop my medication, and I felt so good and happy to do so. In Texas, we also visited other cities: Dallas, San Marcos, and Houston. Upon our returning to Hong Kong, my husband had another dream. This time, God gave the name “Judith” (meaning “Praise of Judea”). Soon after we returned to Hong Kong, about 1 month after that trip, I found out that I was pregnant. My husband was giving a talk on high-rise design to masters-students from Malaysia at our new office when I discovered I was pregnant using a pregnancy test at home. We believe the conception happened in Texas around the time of our 3rd wedding anniversary.
Contrary to the doctor's expectation, I was very fit throughout the pregnancy. In my first trimester, I was working as a teaching assistant for Professor Daniel Chua for “Life Worth Living” course at The University of Hong Kong that required me to tutor 5 classes that semester. I was able to fulfill it without too much morning sickness and I only suffered fatigue from time to time. Furthermore, I was helping Kenneth to move office which involved physical efforts to pack and unpack. Kenneth and I received an invitation to give keynote speech in Nanjing Normal University. We were cautious to take this invitation and seek consultation with our gynecologist friend. Finally, we decided to travel and I was fit enough to deliver the keynote speech, participated in the conference, and visited a kindergarten.
As an older mother, I turned 38th that year, many of our doctor friends suggested me to do the down syndrome tests. On the contrary, our church friends encouraged me not to take such tests and to simply have ultrasound tests to monitor the baby’s growth. Kenneth and I took the later route as we believe not to question God’s gift to us, but instead to honor and treasure it. In the first formal baby ultrasound, we saw our fetus waved her hands to us and we took it as a sign that she was happy with our decision.
My parents, Susanto Iwan and Oey Suzy Wirawaty Iwan, visited us from San Francisco for about 1 month in my second trimester of pregnancy, and I was very fit to have a great time to tour around Hong Kong with them. In my second to third trimester pregnancy, Kenneth and I were commissioned to design a kindergarten, also in Nanjing. We traveled for the second time to this city and had a very packed schedule. We praise the Lord for giving me the strength to stay fit during the last stage of pregnancy because there were many setbacks, particularly the design work became more demanding and as the pregnancy progressed, I would become tired easily. During this time, I started to feel emotional and concerned about our baby because I often overworked and did not have enough rest.
My husband was in London receiving an International Business Award on behalf of our company when I began to bleed vaginally and was admitted into a public hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, because my OBGYN from private hospital was not in Hong Kong. Kenneth returned immediately from London, still had to teach evening class at CUHK before picking me up from the QEH. I was really worried that our baby could come at anytime, however, God was very gracious to us that He gave us time to settle down and prepare our home for baby's arrival. Soon after, I was admitted again to a hospital (This time to a private one, Gleneagles Hospital, that happened my husband was involved in designing this hospital when he worked at P&T Group) due to a rise in my blood pressure. Apparently, I had a pre-eclampsia which did not appeared until the last stage of my pregnancy. Our best friend who happened to be OBGYN, Dr. Annisa Mak, already suspected about my situation and she suggested us to buy the blood pressure machine at home. Throughout the time I entered Gleneagles Hospital, the nurses monitored my blood pressure and our baby’s heart-beat. When my blood pressure was under-controlled, then Doctor Wong Hong So suggested we tried to deliver the baby. I am thankful that at the moment when we were making such a big decision, my mother was able to be with me as she flew from San Francisco just a day before our baby’s delivery time. My mom stayed at Samuel and Stephanie's Lam home and she was invited to join family dinner at Auntie Lena Lam and Uncle Thomas Lam's family together with their children and grandchildren. At that moment, I felt God answered my prayer as my mom could be surrounded by strong Christian family while I was treated by excellent doctors. God truly took care of us.
My husband was in the delivery room which he brought his personal bible and read my favourite verses when our baby girl was being delivered by doctors, my husband was reading Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts, and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Then, finally, our baby "Melissa Judith Poon" was delivered on October 30th, 2018. She is the evident of God’s faithfulness and living miracle to our family. She is so lovely, adorable, healthy, and perfectly normal. We love her very much and our life never been the same since her arrival. We are grateful for the medical team at Gleneagles in particular for my OBGYN, Dr. Wong Hong So, and all the other doctors and nurses who helped me and baby Melissa at critical time. We are also very thankful for my mother, Oey Suzy Wirawaty, and for so many kind hearted Christian brothers and sisters who came to visit us and encourage us at the hospital and our home (Emily Tip-Toe, Caroline Lee, Samuel Lam, Auntie Lena Lam, Veronica Tso, Fiona Lee, Donna and David Sun, etc).
It took me more than a decade before the Lord fulfills His promise of giving me a family. Throughout the waiting period, I was focusing to serve His Kingdom and to trust that He has the best plan for me. It is true that at the end of my pregnancy, I experienced difficult time. Yet, I believe the hands of God were with me all along. It was because of His love, grace, and faithfulness that we can now hold our promise baby, Melissa Judith. We believe she is our miracle baby and we hope that she will bring “sweet praise” to the Lord. As it was written in the Bible, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
I hope that my testimony shall encourage you to always trust that God knows best and He has beautiful and the best plans for your life. Even though often time we may not know how our dreams would be fulfill, we can always lift up our hope in the Creator of the Universe who is all in all sovereign, loving, faithful, and full of grace.