A Muslim mother gave birth to Mindanao’s first test tube baby at the Brokenshire Hospital at 3:43 p.m. yesterday.
Baby boy Muhagher, weighing 3.22 kg and 49 cm. long upon delivery, is the first baby born from a successful pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) offered by the hospital, which opened its facility last year.
Dr. Maria Lourdes Cabling, the laboratory director and president of the Fertility Care Center Davao at Brokenshire Hospital, confirmed baby boy Muhagher is Mindanao’s first test tube baby.
IVF is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the human body. It is a medical procedure wherein the female’s egg cell and the male’s sperm cell are extracted from the couple then joined in a laboratory.
After the fertilized egg or embryo is formed, which takes about two weeks to develop, it is injected in the uterus of the woman.
“I am so happy but also nervous because my wife is still unconscious,” said Gamal Pagul, father of Muhagher. Gamal was beside his wife, Mydean, when she gave birth.
It was a most awaited moment of Gamal and Mydean, who both agreed to have a baby of their own through the IVF procedure. Gamal, 29, has one child by a previous marriage while Mydean, 39, has three children of her own. She had undergone a ligation since then.
The couple is from Wa-o, Lanao del Sur. Gamal works as jail officer of the Bureau of Jail Management in Wa-o while Mydean is a public school teacher.
Gamal said they wanted to have another child and sought the help of a Dr. Lana of Simbulan Hospital in Bukidnon. The couple had wanted the Intrauterine insemination (IUI), a type of artificial insemination for treating infertility. But it was not successful because Mydean was already ligated.
The doctor suggested they see Dr. Cabling.
Before the final decision on IVF, Gamal said they did some research through the internet. They also had the support of their parents.
“It is not against their religious belief,” Gamal said when asked if the procedure ran counter to Muslim religion and culture. “Among pangandoy nga maka-anak mi (It is our wish to have a baby),” Gamal said in an interview with reporters.
Going through the entire nine months pregnancy, Gamal said they had to travel to Davao City for Mydean’s monthly visit to her doctor.
They did not mind the regular travel despite her condition. “Our ultimate goal was to have the baby and…of course ligtas ang asawa ko (my wife is safe),” he said.
Mydean is only one of the successful pregnancies being taken care of by the Fertility Care Center (FCC), which has 42 percent success pregnancy rate. Of the 42 percent, 60 percent are within the 35-and-below age bracket while 38 percent of 35-and-above age bracket.
The IVF facility is the first in Mindanao which opened last October 28. It is aimed at providing a more affordable operation compared to that in Luzon and Mindanao. Ayan C. Mellejor