The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon

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April 19, 2012
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2012 is the Year of the Dragon (January 23, 2012 to February 10, 2013) in the Chinese Zodiac, thus making this an auspicious year to have a baby.  The Chinese people have a long-held belief that we are descendants of the mythical Dragon who is benevolent and all powerful.  The Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority, and those born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected. 

One may have believed that younger generations of Asian Americans no longer live by ancient superstitions.  Perhaps that explains our initial surprise when we noticed an influx of Asian couples, mostly from the Bay Area but also from Asia, who have rushed to PFC for fertility treatment to have their Dragon baby. 

PFC is not alone in this observation.  Nationwide, news headlines have described similar trends in fertility centers that service a demographic with a large Asian population and whose clinics are geographically more accessible to Asia.  In Hong Kong and other major cities in China, maternity wards are already overbooked for elective labor inductions and cesarean sections for the end of the Dragon Year.  Pregnant women who have not been able to secure a hospital bed around their due dates are panicking about where to deliver their babies.

All of the patients we have seen and treated so far at PFC have confirmed diagnosis of infertility.  However, the impetus behind their seeking treatment at this point in time is their common and resounding desire to capture that rare dose of good luck associated with the Year of the Dragon and to pay homage to their cultural roots.  Many presented with an accompanying sense of urgency that is often foreign and perhaps incomprehensible to our mostly Western staff.  As a medical facility that takes pride in our ability to deliver high quality patient-centered care, we have learned to become more culturally aware and sensitive. 

There is a very popular song in China, known by every child growing up.  Perhaps it captures the essence of why the Dragon is so important to people of Chinese heritage.  It’s called the Descendants of the Dragon:

There is a Dragon in the Ancient East,
Her name is China.
There is a group of people in the Ancient East,
They are all descendants of the Dragon.
Sheltered by the wings of the huge Dragon, I grew up,
Grown to be a descendant of the Dragon.
Black eyes, black hair, yellow skin,
Forever, forever, the descendant of the Dragon.

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