12th December 2017 Sandra Bird

Amazing Grace, Two Dragons and a Monkey

Why I Love the 12th of December

A little girl called Grace will be celebrating her 5th birthday today. She was born on 12.12.12 – in the year of the Dragon. She was the first An Shen Acupuncture assisted IVF baby and for that reason alone she is very special to me. But there are many other reasons why her birth story holds a special place in my heart, and in my practice.

Grace’s mum came to An Shen Acupuncture for supportive treatment a short while before starting her fourth round of IVF. She was starting to get despondent having had three unsuccessful courses of IVF treatment, but was hopeful that having acupuncture in preparation for and alongside this last attempt would bring the desired outcome of a baby.

At that time, November 2011, my own mum (also born in a year of the Dragon) was taken ill and admitted to hospital, so between clinics I was spending considerable time driving between Lincoln and Norwich to visit her. It very soon became clear that Mum’s condition was terminal and she returned home. My patients were aware that I could be called away from clinic at a moments notice and Grace’s mum was the last person I treated before getting that call to drop everything and get to Norfolk. I got there, spent some time with Mum, and she passed on 15th December.

Christmas came and went, New Year celebrations were had, and a brighter future was looked forward to. Clinic resumed and treatments continued with Grace’s mum. All too soon we were nearing the Spring and rejoicing in the news that this fourth course of IVF with the supportive acupuncture had been successful. Fast forward to December and Grace arrived safely on 12th December 2012.

To me, the connections between Grace, her mum, myself, and my mum (Judy) were clear. Judy had died mid December, Grace was born very close to the first anniversary of Judy’s passing, they were both Dragons. It’s very easy at a time of marking, grieving, and reflecting on the passing of one life to look joyfully to the wondrous birth of a new life and see significance in the tiny details and tenuous links!

The clock ticks on, and time passes at an alarming rate. Grace’s mum returned to me a few years later for further acupuncture support when she had her remaining frozen embryos implanted. Her treatment was once again successful and we celebrated that Grace would soon have a younger sibling.

Baby brother, Rory, was born on 10th August 2016 – in the Year of the Monkey. When I received this news, I was blown away. Rory had arrived on Judy’s birthday.

Are all of these dates and connections coincidence? Maybe. Who knows? To be honest, that doesn’t really matter to me. Grace, Rory, their mum, and Judy are all very special to me. In particular, the Two Dragons and a Monkey are very significant to my practice. Happy Birthday Grace!