Wendy Liu is a massage therapist specialising in fertility massage therapy, and founder of Highlander Wellness Centre. The cheerful 40-year-old is happily married and is proud mama to three children. Jayden, the oldest, is eight years old, while Jordan and Jamus are two and one respectively. It’s her girlhood dream come true. Growing up, she had always hoped for a happy marriage with healthy children of her own. What she hadn’t foreseen was having so much difficulty conceiving along the way.
“My husband, Vincent, and I began trying for a baby when I was 28 and he was 39. I had always wanted to be a mother, and when people around me started having kids, I began feeling envious. When I was not able to conceive despite our persistent efforts, we started to wonder if something might be wrong.
The gynae informed me that I had irregular periods due to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). This causes hormonal imbalance that interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries. One option was IVF, but after finding out that there was only a 20 to 30 per cent chance that I will conceive despite all the hormone jabs, we decided that route was not for us.
(See also: Take Charge of Your Body: PCOS & Fertility)
I took it very badly. I felt that as a woman and wife, this was one of the things I should be able to do. Every month when I saw a negative result appear on the pregnancy test kit, I would just hide in the toilet and cry. My husband, thankfully, was very supportive despite the disappointment and encouraged me to keep going.
My family members and friends were another source of emotional support, and it’s thanks to them that I stayed optimistic. I also sought help and support from SingaporeMotherhood forums and various online support groups.
With all their advice and encouragement, I tried other remedies such as TCM, acupuncture, and supplements to improve my chances. Unfortunately, they did not work and left me repeatedly disappointed. It even got to the point when I started calling my dog “Baby”, just to feel like a mother.
Hope Springs Eternal
During that time, I was working full-time as a masseuse. My supervisor at work heard about a massage master who was teaching a special type of fertility massage. She brought me to see this shifu, who performed the massage on me. I was privileged enough to be under the tutelage of such an experienced masseuse and mastered the techniques before she left the country.
The treatment encourages blood flow to the womb for a healthier reproductive system and helps to balance the hormones. A complementary herbal mask treatment supplements this process. It includes TCM ingredients like danggui to nourish the blood and glossy privet fruit to boost liver and kidney function, both of which have significant impact on one’s fertility.
Overall, it took about four years of trying for me to get pregnant. It was not an easy journey and there were times when I felt like giving up. But after multiple fertility massage therapy sessions and endless hoping, we were finally pregnant!
When my pregnancy test came up positive, I was really shocked because I had been starting to lose faith. After getting over the initial surprise, I was excited and could not wait to tell my husband. It was a very emotional moment for both of us.
Due to the myth of concealing your pregnancy status for the first three months, we only shared the good news with our closest family members during the first trimester. I took special care and even stopped working to ensure that nothing happened to my baby.
My pregnancy journey was tough. I think it was partly the anticipation of our firstborn that stressed me out more throughout the pregnancy. I was constantly anxious that something might go wrong. True enough, he decided to be a preterm baby.
I realised something was amiss when I felt acute pain in my abdomen at 31 weeks. It got so excruciating that I could not even turn my body and quickly went to the A&E. I stayed in the hospital for more than three weeks before the doctor decided to deliver the baby prematurely via C-section.
Jayden was born at around 34 weeks and weighed only 1.7 kg. Fortunately, he only had to stay in the NICU for roughly a week before he was left to our care. NICU babies are especially hard to care for as they are so tiny, and my son was no different. I found myself at a loss, which was made worse by the fact that I did not have assistance from a nanny.
It was hard, but it was worth it. After everything we’d been through, finally holding my baby in my arms felt so miraculous.
Six Years Later
I was blessed with two more children, Jordan and Jamus. But I had to wait six long years before number two came along.
As my shifu had returned to her home country, I didn’t have anyone to perform the fertility massage therapy. Finally, I imparted the skills to my worker, who was then able to apply the techniques on me. And just three months later, I was pregnant with my second child.
I had her continue the fertility massage therapy for me after giving birth and conceived my third child only two months after delivery! Given how quickly I conceived, the unique fertility massage therapy and customised herbal mask were definitely life changing.
Another Labour of Love
I decided to open Highlander Wellness Centre because I wanted to help women facing the same struggles I did. To do so, I did my research on fertility massage therapy and upgraded my skills. I took wellness massage courses with Republic Polytechnic and Spatec Academy to bolster my NSRS (National Skills Recognition System) in massage therapy, which I had obtained in 2006.
Since 2019, I’ve helped over 1,000 women who are experiencing infertility issues by conditioning their fertility health, which would pave the way to conception. Some of my clients are looking to regulate their periods too, and the fertility massage therapy and complementary herbal mask also help them. Our aim is to improve the state of the body, so that chances of pregnancy increase. I’m also a Reiki practitioner and I use it to help with the healing process and improve womb health.
I see my clients weekly as part of the healing cycle, so it becomes very personal. We form a very special bond — we know the hardships behind conceiving, and we work towards it together. That trust, I believe, is what makes it so successful. I always think of it as heart work, not hard work. I understand their pain and simply want to share my knowledge and expertise.
Currently, I am taking an ITEC nutrition course to further complement my skillset. I am also honoured to be a nominee in the individual category for the Spa & Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS) Excellence Awards 2022.
Motherhood Above All
I can say for certain that becoming a mother changed me. Motherhood to me means love, happiness, and prioritising my kids above anything else. I didn’t know I could love someone else so much and it is a huge responsibility to take on. I love all my children dearly and I see them as my little miracles. They all have quite different personalities and I honestly cannot imagine my life without them!