Katie Whitfield
15 Jan 2014

I am one of the fortunate people whose lives have been touched by Dr Zhai.

My story is relatively straightforward by comparison with many of Dr Zhai’s patients who come to her after years of difficulty and heartache in trying to have a family, but no less miraculous.

My principal challenge was my age. I met my husband when I was 39 and married at 40. We hoped, but didn’t expect, to have children. I knew that my age was against me and I had a history of endometriosis.

I was fortunate to fall pregnant and had my daughter Emily, now eight, when I was 41. While I felt hugely blessed to have her, and her arrival was beyond my expectations, I was very keen to have another baby. However, after a heartbreaking miscarriage at 42, nothing happened. Time ticked by. I consulted a private gynecologist and the outlook was pretty bleak. 

By now I was 44. I went for a consultation at an IVF clinic and the view was that I would have a 5% chance of success at my age. A 5% chance of getting pregnant seemed impossibly low, and hardly worth everything that would have been involved.

Then a chance moment led to me hearing of Dr Zhai. I was chatting to another mother at a music group our daughters attended. She had been in a very similar situation to me, and was now heavily pregnant with her second, much longed-for child. ‘You should try Dr Zhai’, she said, after telling me briefly – in between verses of The Wheel on the Bus – that she attributed her success to Dr Zhai. It was just a casual conversation, but it had me scrabbling for a piece of paper to write her name down on. My interest was piqued.

So I made my initial appointment. I must admit I had a degree of skepticism at my appointment. I have never had any acupuncture or consulted a medical practitioner outside the realm of standard medicine. And I should say that the herbs I had to drink were really horrid and at times it was hard to believe that having fine needles in your ankles and other parts of your body could actually make a difference. 

However, there was one morning when I remember saying to my husband “I feel fantastic”. I felt very well, physically. Exactly eight weeks after starting the programme, I discovered I was pregnant. I continued with the treatment up to 13 weeks, and was, perhaps inevitably, an overjoyed but very nervous pregnant mother. All went well, however (the 59 minute labour was a little alarming) and we now have a healthy, wonderful four years old son, James.

I am very grateful to Alice, who put me in touch with Dr Zhai in that church hall music group five years ago, and I am even more grateful to Dr Zhai for helping us achieve the wonderful family that we so longed for. James is the most amazing addition to our family, and we cannot imagine life without him.

Dr Zhai knows how we feel – we owe her the greatest thanks.