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 Bernard Sia, of Shelby Township, is celebrating his first Father’s Day with his daughter, Luna, and wife, Lulu Sia, after thinking he would never be able to have kids just a few years ago.

Bernard Sia, of Shelby Township, is celebrating his first Father’s Day with his daughter, Luna, and wife, Lulu Sia, after thinking he would never be able to have kids just a few years ago.

Father’s Day miracle

Shelby Township dad celebrates with his daughter after thinking he couldn’t have kids

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 17, 2018

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — As a kid, Bernard Sia didn’t understand the implications that his brain tumor could have on his life in the future.

While there were few side effects from the tumor and its removal in high school, Bernard found out in the past few years that he couldn’t have children. Or so he thought.

After a year of trying and a year of hormone replacement therapy at Henry Ford Hospital, Bernard’s wife, Lulu Sia, found out she was pregnant in April of last year and gave birth to Luna Sia on Nov. 26.

It was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Shelby Township family, but Bernard had the chance to celebrate his first Father’s Day on June 17 only a few years after thinking he would never have children.

“When (Luna) was born, it was a feeling of completeness,” Bernard, 34, said. “At that point, our family was complete and it wasn’t just my wife and me. It was very exciting. I don't know how else to put it.”

Bernard was diagnosed with the brain tumor in first grade, but it was benign and doctors decided to leave it and instead have him take medication to slow his faster-than-normal growth caused by the tumor. However, when he stopped taking the medicine in ninth grade, the tumor started to grow.

That was when doctors decided to remove the tumor, causing Bernard to lose the function of his pituitary glands and have to undergo hormone replacement therapy.

Besides medicine he would have to take for the rest of his life, Bernard said there were no issues that affected his daily life and he had no clue it would affect his fertility.

In 2013, he married Lulu and the couple decided to start trying to have a baby. After trying for a year without success, they decided to get tested. Lulu was tested first and everything came back fine. Then Bernard got checked and found out he was not producing sperm.

“There was a lot of fear and a lot of fear of the unknown and what steps we were going to have to take,” Bernard said. “It was hard knowing that at that current state, I was not going to be able to father a child. There was disappointment, but also a determination to pursue the next step.”

Lulu said she read online that after a year of trying and if the couple doesn’t see success, they should see a doctor. Having never experienced anything like it, she said it felt like a TV show where people are going through something similar.

Finding out her husband's diagnosis, Lulu said it was devastating.

“My whole life, I knew I wanted to have kids, and to know there would obstacles, I thought it would be easy to have kids,” she said. “But apparently we had this bump in our way and we just questioned why is this happening to us.”

The next step for Bernard was to work with Dr. Ali Dabaja at the Henry Ford Center for Reproductive Medicine in Troy, and eventually at the campus in West Bloomfield. Bernard had to undergo more hormone replacement therapy for a year.

After a year, Lulu said she became nervous and anxious as they started the artificial insemination process in order to produce the best results. The first time didn’t work, and being an expensive process, Lulu said that with the second attempt, she tried to not get her hopes up too much.

As the couple prepared to take a trip to the Philippines, Lulu packed a pregnancy test and woke up early on vacation to take the test. The result was positive, although Lulu said the line was faint and she wanted to be sure before getting too excited.

“It was a very, very faint line and I was not sure if it was correct or if I damaged the test,” Lulu said. “I showed Bernard, and he went to the mall and bought five different brands of tests. I tested each day and it came back positive every day. That was when we were really, really sure.”

The couple said they had the fun of trying to keep it from family and friends for a while, but they counted down the days until Luna was born.

Growing up, Bernard said his parents tried not to worry him about the tumor in order to keep him focused on his studies and being a kid. While that helped growing up, he said that going through the latest therapy and trying to get pregnant was taxing on him.

“There were days where I was going through it and I would ask why are we really going through all of this,” he said. “But we just really had to trust the process the doctor was setting for us and have faith it was going to work.”

For Lulu, she said she learned through the process that it is not easy for everyone to have kids. People frequently asked her during the ordeal when they were going to have kids, not knowing what they were going through.

She hopes their story helps anyone else struggling with starting a family.

“It is hard and you want to burst into tears, but I would keep quiet,” Lulu said. “When we announced we were pregnant and the story, I had friends going through the same thing and reached out. It is nice that you can let other people know there is hope and it is going to be OK.”