All posts by accidentalwriter85

When dreams (maybe) do come true 

So I realised I have not blogged in over 2 months *gulp*

To tell you the truth, I think I have been purposely putting off updating as I have this irrational fear that saying positive things might just jinx something.
Anyways, I need to get over it as I only survived my 3 years of infertility by reading positive stories on blogs, so I think it’s time to return the favour.

Today I am 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Yayyyy. There was a time I seriously never thought I would be able to say such a thing. I am still very cautious, though I am slowly opening up to the possibility that I will be holding my own little bub in my hands in just a little less than 5 months. *gasp*

So what’s been happening so far? Lots.

Diabetes

On the diabetes front, I’m sad to say I have graduated from diet-controlled to DAILY bloody insulin injections. Sigh. Soon after I wrote the last post (about a week), the nurse called me to say that the dr would like to start me on insulin, despite my good readings.
WHY WHY WHY, you may ask (like how I screamed at the poor nurse).
Well, because pregnancy hormones only increase insulin resistance. So I need to start on the jabs early on to ensure the increased blood sugar doesn’t affect bubs. Sigh. Unlike gestational diabetes, my baby is at higher risk esp during first trimester when the excess sugar could accelerate physical growth but lead to overall poor development (I.e. body develops faster than organs)

So I started off with low dosage and ended up with hypoglycemia haha. I had to lower the dosage even more but along the way, my lunch and dinner dosage slowly increased (due to my heavy lunches at work and inactivity at night) though they are still considered withn low to moderate ranges.

During my last diab. clinic session (2 weeks ago), I was told that everything was looking good and bubs is growing on target (and not more, which is a worry) so I only have to go back in 8 weeks instead of the typical monthly sessions.
Yay! good job Me! Truthfully, it’s been a pain having to watch every morsel that goes into my mouth, especially during a time when I feel so HUNGRY all the time. To make it worse, I have no food aversions nor nausea so it’s not that I can console myself that I won’t be (physically) able to eat it anyways.My bestie who always had horrible food aversions, nausea, heartburn and the works, always remarks with jealousy that I am not suffering from any of these but I gently remind her that it doesn’t matter, as I still can’t eat what I want anyways. And I have to poke myself 4 times a day. and check my blood sugar 7x a day. And see a diab gyane APART from my normal gyane. And pay extra for it. And induce my baby 2 weeks earlier. And be treated as a high-risk preggo.

That usually shuts her up.

Also, having to inject myself 4 times a day requires lots of planning. I have to ensure there’s somewhere private for me to poke myself (thankfully there’s a nursing room in the staff room). The only problem is when I am in public places and there is no decent toilet nearby. But these are small, minor issues and I’m just being a silly whiner.

Symptoms 

As mentioned, I have almost zero symptoms. This was a cause for extreme worry in the first trimester as I truly DID NOT feel pregnant. I had no nausea, no food aversions nothing.I only had sore boobs but this has been an almost everyday occurance since I started IVF a year ago, so I didn’t see it as a pregs symptom. Everyday I would bug V, asking him If I was still pregnant. Poor V, I really don’t know what I expected him to reply hahah 

Soon, I reached 11 weeks and IMMEDIATELY ordered a doppler online. Best.purchase.ever. Hearing my lil bub’s heartbeat is an instant up-lifter. I try not to listen too often cuz I dunno if a doppler has any harmful effects but it helps me (and takes the pressure of V to answer my ridiculous questions) so very much. 

Now, my most irritatng symptom is constipation. I highly suspect it’s more due to my iron supplements (due to my thalasemia minor issue) as the few days I forgot to take it was when I had better luck in the ladies. 

I have yet to feel bubs though sometimes I think I feel a little tremor. But as I don’t know how a tremor feels like, I’m really not too sure if it’s a tremor or just my bowels trying to escape my walls. 

Since I’m naturally plum, my tummy has always been conspicuous though some colleagues have already started asking me if I’m preggers..so I guess there is a little baby bump over my existing fat bump. Surprisingly, my students have yet to ask. I think it’s because they used to ask me ALL THE TIME if I was preggers (when I was not or when I just miscarried) and I would sarcastically reply that I am just fat. So they probably think it’s best not to awake my inner fat-complex demon haha.

Generall lingadings

Well, generally I am more comfortable telling people I am preggers. We have told our close friends and family though I’m reserving the social media announcements till the 20 week anamoly scan. I’m still super paranoid and have weird dreams about unfortunate events. Now that I’m in my 2nd trimester, my fears involve incompetent cervix and anamolies becuase of my diabetes. 

Many of my relatives and friends are so jealous that I am having a physically-smooth pregnancy. They look at me with such green eyes when they learn I have never puked nor retched. I just tell them that I treat it as a reward for my years and months of tears and trauma from infertility, the stress of IVF and of course, the diabetes shit. I ask them which they would prefer and they usually get it.

I understand that I’m supposed to be grateful for my comfortable progress (I know I am) but only I (and V) know the hard work it takes to maintain my blood sugar and how much my brain goes into override, imagining the worst of any scenario. So I guess the lack of symptoms is a pay-off that God allowed me.

For now, I shall try my best to be optimistic. We have decided to do all types of baby-purchases after 5 months. So that’s what I’m looking forward to now. 

Let me leave you with the picture of our announcement to our friends and family – something I have been dreaming of since we started our TTC journey 3.5 years ago.

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Holding on to positivity

Wow it’s been some time since I last updated, though I have been nothing but free. I guess it’s the anxiety that I was facing within myself.

The last time I wrote, we had just receieved our first beta. That was 2 weeks ago though it feels like 2 months. A week passed by dreadfully slowly with me second-guessing every movement I felt and basically going mad and the date for the 2nd beta came by – 6 days after the first.

I reached the hospital bright and early at 7 45 am, mainly because I thought that would mean I would receive the results earlier and also as I has resumed work that week and had to go back after the blood test. While taking my blood, the nurse told me that for susbequent betas (I have 4 more including that day’s), I would ONLY receive a call if the levels were off. Meaning, if I do not get a call by 3 30pm, it means all is fine.
I almost screamed out loud!!!! That would put me in level ultimate high anxiety the whole day!!! I gulped and prepared myself for a torturous wait. Luckily, work helped the day move faster and things only got bad from 2pm onwards when every flicker from my phone set me on a panic attack.

Thankfully  3 30 came and went and there was no phone call. But the pessimist in me just needed to make sure so I called them about 4pm to check if everything was indeed okay. The only thing the nurse would tell me over the phone was that my Beta had crossed the 1000 mark and that was what they’re looking for.

BIG SIGH! (Though according to my calculations it should be around the 1700 range)

I walked around the next 2 days trying to be as positive as I could though the worry was getting deeper and deeper. The first scan was coming up and I was freaking out. 

Would the heartbeat be strong?

Would there even be a heartbeat?

Would there even be a fetal pole?

What if it was just an empty sac?

What if it was ectopic?
I was killing myself with my doubts and it did not help that it was already protected time at work so I was basically at home, armed with the dangerous tool called Google to further feed my insecurities.

Finally the day of the scan  – 8 days after my 2nd beta – arrived yesterday and V came to pick me up after taking half a day off from work. We reached SGH around 1 15pm, had my blood taken for my 3rd beta (they would call me by 9am today if something was the matter) and waited for the scan. I sneaked a peek st the papers and saw that my 2nd beta reading was 1910! yay!!
I literally felt like I was going to throw up – and it had nothing to do with the hormones. As I sat there, I was so thankful for V who had been nothing but positive and upbeat enough for the both of us. When it was finally our turn, we both walked into the ultrasound room. As I undressed and lied down, V was told to stand behind the screen (away from me) and that he would be called over after the sonographer had finished. 

This was literally the longest 10 minutes of my life. My sonographer has the worst poker face in the world and kept sighing and looking worried. I was so close to just breaking down on the table when she let out a hugeeeee sigh. I was close to taking the metal equipment and hitting her on the head – JUST TELL ME ALREADY!!

Finalllyyyy she called V over and in the most unexcited voice EVER said 

‘Ok you are pregnant ah. Here is the baby’

OMG!!!!!!!!!! THERE WAS A HEARTBEAT!!! FLICKERING ON THAT SCREEN!!!!!

I burst into tears and the emotionless robot went on about how she can’t tell us anything more than that there is one baby (she kept repeating the term ‘just one ah’ as if it was a bad thing) and that I would have to wait for my appt with Dr Yu (in abt 15 min) to know more.

With a flourish of ‘thank yous’ to the humanoid, we left the room with the beautiful picture and just outside at the corridor, I hugged V so tight and started crying. One of the nurse saw me and immediately came over and hugged me and when I showed her the ultrasound, she was sooo happy for me. Soon a few more nurses came by and they were all hugging me and congratulating me and telling me not to cry and I just felt so warm inside.

This is Why I would recommend SGH Care centre hands-down – though they torture me with their ridiculous beta results protocol. 

They are just so genuine and care for you sincerely and I truly felt so comfortable at Care. It was just like being at home.

Anyway soon it was our turn to see Dr Yu. She was happy for us but practical- we were only 6 weeks past and had to cross the remaining 6 weeks carefully. Baby’s heartbeat waa strong at 110 (YAY!!) and measured around 4mm.

However she reminded me about my diabetes  (damn totally forgot about that) and insisted I follow up with the hospital’s diabetes clinic as the first trimester is crucial for gestational diabetes.

So we spent the next 90 minutes meeting up with my diabetic nurse, learning how to prick myself, setting up 1001 appointments and buying the blood glucose monitor. From this week onwards, I have to prick myself SEVEN times a day, twice a week and email the results to the nurse.

I’m quite worried about this esp since I’ve fallen off the ‘eat healthy’ bandwagon a little due to the stress. I still keep away from sweets but my carb intake has been off the roof. Looks like it’s back to the healty lifestyle for me. Dr Yu mentioned that babies could be abnormal if the blood sugar is not controlled and no way am I going to allow that to happen! 

For now, I am going to enjoy this sense of relief and work hard on the blood sugar part. 15 days till my next scan and although it will be nerve-wrecking, I think it will be easier now that I have something good to hold on to.

xoxo

p.s. It is 1030am on Saturday and no call from the hospital – 3rd beta is clear too! yay! 

Positive anxiety

The last time I blogged, I lied.

I lied because I had already POAS on (numerous) HPTs and I knew. They were all positive 🙂

But rather than the delirious, over-the-sky joy I experienced the last time, I was so nervous. 

So nervous that the positives were just the beginning of something painful.

So nervous that I wouldn’t be seeing the positives for much longer.

So nervous that I would do something to screw it up.

As I anxiously saw the line getting darker over the days, I kept the secret to myself and worried myself sick. V’s bday was in a few days time and I decided to keep it from him till then.

Maybe I will start spotting. Maybe I should spare him the heartache.

His bday was about 3 days before the Beta and I had planned it all. I had gotten him a nice present and besides that, placed the Clearblue digital kit that said ‘pregnant 1-2 weeks’ inside another box.  As he opened the presents, his actions mirrored my feelings. Yes, he was so happy but there was a nervous trepidation to it. As if we did not want to to jinx anything by celebrating too early.

The next few days went by painfully slow. I counted down from days to hours to minutes. Friday morning, we headed down to SGH, got my blood taken and were told that we would be called around 2-3pm (a HUGE difference in time as compared to KKH) with the results.

With our hearts in our throats, we made our way to temple and completed our normal Friday routine. Then to kill more time, we went to watch the movie ‘Fantastic Beasts’ which though was a great movie, did not help my nerves as my eyes flicked nervously to my phone every few minutes.

It was 2 20pm by the time the movie ended and there was no call. That was when I went to the toilet and noticed a slight brown discharge. My heart sank but it was as if I was expecting it. The dishcharge was very light and looked nothing like blood but I felt like it was the end.

Finally at 3pm, I still had not received any call. So I decided to just call them back and the nurse on duty, after some checking, exclaimed ‘Congratulations!!’. 

My heart soared though I knew in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t be quick to celebrate. We then made our way to SGH and upon reaching and further bugging, I found that my beta was 224!

This was at 12dp3dt. The last time at 13dp5dt, my beta was 114. So it was almost double the number and I felt vaguely comforted by that. The nurses seemed very happy with my numbers and that helped to soothe me further.

After a quick briefing, I was told to return weekly for return Beta tests and my 6 week scan in 2 weeks. We collected the medication and headed home for some much-needed rest.

Ironically, I have yet to accept I am pregnant. I have heard and seen so many horror stories of chemical pregnancies, no heartbeats, empty sacs, blighted ovums, lack of fetal pole and whatsnot that I wonder how low is the chance of something like that not happening to me?

Infertlity screws with your mind big time – you get so used to dealing with failure after failure, that when you finally taste success, you’re determined it won’t last.

The brown discharge is almost negligent now and I do get nauseous (esp at night) and all sorts of weird pulls and twinges. but I am trying not to read too much into it.

For now, I am taking one milestone at a time. The last time round, the pregnancy ended at 21DPO. That is the same as 18dp3dt for this cycle. This falls on the same day as my next Beta, so my focus is on getting through that. (40 hours to go)

We have not told our parents yet and have decided to break the news to them after the 6 week scan, once a heartbeat is viable. (8 days and 40 hours)

Till then, I will remain positively anxious. 

Trying to trick my mind.

I feel like I need to blog about something else to just get my mind off this cycle.

The problem is, everything in my life now revolves around IVF. Family, Work, Social Life – everything.

I have been trying to be positive and tell myself that I am already pregnant. If this is true, it calls for a lot of changes. I am definitely not complaining as this is something I have been yearning for the past 3 years and more.

Firstly, work-wise, I would need to let my Reporting Officers know as soon as possible. I generally teach the upper secondary students and normally take on at least 1 graduating class. If When I get pregnant, I would have to give ample notice to my ROs so they can deploy me accordingly. If I have to be away for 4 months out of a year, it will not be fair to my graduating students. So, I probably will get that graduating class taken away, which sucks as I have come to love the class I have been teaching since the beginning of the year. I actually look forward to teaching them and they make me want to do more for them.

Also, I am eyeing a promotion in school and being out-of-sight for 4 months is not going to favour me. Furthermore, I am hoping that the pregnancy is relatively smooth as I have seen colleagues “falling out of favour” due to missing one too many days at work because of their morning sicknesses, ailments etc. Sounds sucky but welcome to modern reality.

This all sounds very selfish but the truth is, in the course of dealing with my infertility, I have thrown myself into work the past few years. I slogged to at least get the satisfaction of doing well in one area of my life, the area I can control. And it worked! My work was recognised, I was finally being recognised and better things came my way. Now, the workaholic me is freaking out a little over the upcoming implications.

Social-life wise, I do not see much of a change as I have pretty much become an old bore. I stopped drinking (BIG BIG BIG deal for me) once I started fertility treatments and I am usually so tired from work that I relish my weekends to sleep-in and just do nothing. Gone are the days that I clubbed into the wee hours of the morning, or just stayed up till the sun came up for no apparent reason. Now, I don’t even do weekday dinners unless they are very special occasions. Most of my close friends are parents so meet-ups are usually centered around their busy schedules anyways. So yup, no change there.

The only social change I envision is stopping my dance class. Dance has been an outlet for me for ages and though I stopped in between, I went back to class about 1 and a half years ago. Many people questioned why I went back to dance in the middle of fertility treatments but the truth is, I need dance to keep me sane. It is literally the only form of exercise I enjoy. I love dancing and I love the joy it gives me. Yes, it is tough to explain those 2 weeks of absences each time I do a treatment but I manage somehow. I will definitely miss dancing but I see it as a break and not a permanent good-bye 🙂

Of course, my ultimate indulgence is travelling and that would have to be on hold too. But I don’t mind. I have travelled quite a bit (though not as much as I would like) and I think I would love to travel more as a family with any new addition(s). It is just a different sort of adventure I look forward to.

It may seem that I am complaining about how pregnancy may will affect my life. But in reality, I am preparing myself. You see, if I list all these “disadvantages” here, maybe, just maybe, I won’t be so crushed if this cycle fails.

Maybe, just maybe, I can take comfort in knowing that my work, social life and travelling plans can go on as per normal.

Maybe, just maybe.

Who am I kidding?

48 hours to go.

 

 

 

Counting down the hours and minutes

Image result for time passing slowly

Today is 8DP3DT. That means I have another 4 more days before I go for my Beta test, to check for the presence of the HCG hormone in my blood, which indicates pregnancy.

To say I have been thinking about it would be an understatement. I have been doing nothing but obsessing about it. As of now, I have exactly 89 hours till I know the results of my Beta – assuming I have a 2-hour wait. If I deduct the number of hours I will be asleep, that results in 60 hours of awake-time.

Yes, I have been up to nothing but doing “how-much-time-left” Math for the past few days. My thoughts are ranging from “It will be fine” to “I should be preparing for major depression”. I have bought a few HPTs (Home Pregnancy Tests) online and am gathering the courage to use them.

Ironically, I am so afraid of seeing 2 lines on those tests. No, I would love being pregnant. But after the previous cycle where I started spotting 1 day after seeing those glorious lines, I am now so afraid history will repeat itself.

What if I get a BFP (Big Fat Positive) and lose it again?

What if I get a BFP and start spotting?

What if I get a BFP but it goes away after a few days?

I know, I know, I should just stop over-thinking and enjoy my free days of having absolutely nothing to do. But if you know me, I think you would know it is kinda near to impossible for me to not over-think. Over-thinking is what I do. Over-thinking is me.

I am trying so hard not to read too much into symptoms and second-guessing everything. But I can’t help but check for spotting every few minutes and thanking the heavens when I see nothing.

88 hours and 42 minutes to go.

The 2 Weeks of Googling non-existent symptoms

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Yup, that’s right, I am currently in the 2ww (2 week wait of torture before one finds out if they are pregnant- for those uninitiated)

Update from last post:

On the day of the transfer, I woke up determined to feel positive. It did not matter that my own doctor would not be doing it – I am going to have a great transfer!

I reached the hospital at 9am as instructed, having drunk 500ml of water before I left home and another 200ml on the way over. I took it as a positive sign that I was not as bloated as the previous cycle – the 3 days of drinking 2L of 100Plus every single day helped I guess.

*On a side note, after abstaining from sweets and any sort of sweetener for 7 weeks, drinking the 100plus made me feel like puking because of how sweet it was. I can’t believe I am actually typing this. Me. The person who could eat 5 gulab jamuns in a gulp. Not proud of it.

Anyyywaaayyy, unfortunately upon reaching the clinic, my morning bowels started spinning and I was way too excited (had been having constipation since the OR – TMI I know) and had to rush to the toilet. There went my 700ml of built up water in my bladder -_-

Fortunately, the couple before us were taking slightly longer so I tried to chug as much water as I could when the nurse called us in. We quickly changed into the hospital robes and were ushered into a sterile-room where I lay on the stirrups and waited. I was so nervous and yet excited – everything has been going well and I did not want to jinx it by saying it out loud.

Soon, the embryologist came in and shivers went down my spine. The last time I saw an embryologist, he told me I only had 1 blast left to transfer and nothing to freeze. Not the memorY I wanted to re-create.

“Okayyy..we need to make some decisions”

“Gulp. Ah huh”

“Well we retrieved 23 eggs and like what we said, 13 were mature. They all fertilised”

“Huh, I thought you said 1 did not?”

“Oh it did but 1 was abnormal so we threw it away”

“Orh” (felt a little sad for my abandoned abnormie )

“So there are remaining 12..we are transferring 2 today”

“Oh”

(I was thinking there was going to be a discussion like the last time but I guess after having one miscarriage/chem pregnancy, all the risks of a multiple pregnancy don’t seem too risky anymore?)

“So we are left with 10..actually 9 because 1 is growing a little slowly but we will let it run a little longer and see if it catches up”

“Ah huh”

“Here’s the problem..if we want to freeze, we can freeze up to 7 embryos in 1 payment scheme. So if you want to freeze all 9 (or 10 if my late bloomer catches up), you would have to essentially pay for 2 sets”

“Oh..”

As you can see, I was flowing with articulation with my intelligent, well-thought-of answers. NOT.

So we were told that each set would cost about $1600. So if we wanted to freeze all 9 or 10 of them, that would be over $3k or half that price for 7 of the embryos. The embryologist left V and I to discuss and left.

Deep in my heart I already knew the answer. The last cycle, my heart ached that I could not even produce enough eggs to have any left to store. I changed my lifestyle, tried to be as healthy as possible, the drs gave me a new medical protocol, I paid for expensive embryo culture solution,  so just to increase the yield, even though my previous Dr said nothing much can be done as it was genetic (HAH! IN YOUR FACE!). And now, the problem was that I had too many to freeze in 1 go?

#firstworldinfertilityproblems

I was going to keep them ALL. Each of these eggs represent a possible chance of becoming my future child and why would I want to discard any such chances? Even if this cycle goes well, it still does not mean I will not need any more cycles.

As I looked at V, I told him “I don’t want to throw any away. They are too precious. Even if we never have to use them again”

“Are you okay with spending the money?” Mr Practical asked.

“We can always earn more money. I don’t want to throw them away”

I know it sounds cheesy but our eyes locked and we smiled. He of all people, knew my fear of not being able to stimulate enough and he knew what I meant. We told the embryologist our decision and she agreed with us, as according to her I am still young (TAKE THAT WHITE HAIRS ON MY TEMPLE!) and the eggs can be stored till I am 45 so I have plenty of opportunities to use them. And oh, in the few extra minutes we were discussing, the late-bloomer caught up!! So I would be storing all 10 of my babies.. AWWW…

So we went on preparing for the transfer. Soon Dr Hema came in and seeing her put my heart at ease. She looked confident and yet not too patronising. She read my files and was very pleased with my numbers and went on preparing for the procedure. Thankfully, there was just enough fluid in my bladder and she went on to put in the catheter. It was uncomfortable (cold) and I felt very stretched but it was not painful, unlike the last time. Really uncomfortable though. I had to take deep breaths to avoid thinking about the pressure down there.

I had initially asked the nurse if I could get some painkillers for the after-procedure as the last time, my cramps had been so intense I almost passed out. She then mentioned this to Dr Hema who looked at my uterus and said “Everything is going on very well, everything looks good, the catheter went in perfectly, so I think there shouldn’t be any cramps. But you can take Panadol if you do feel any.”

Feeling gleeful about her positive prognosis, I nodded and waited for the embryologist to bring my babies over. Soon, the screen beside me lighted up and there they were, my 2 perfect, 8-cell embryos. They were then sucked into a tube and the embryologist walked over and placed them in.

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My beautiful embies

Before I knew it, it was over and Dr Hema said the magic words “It’s perfect. Your lining is as good as it can be. The embryos are looking great. Everything is as good as it can get!”

My heart swelled and I looked over at V and squeezed his hand as she showed us a white blob on the screen, indicating the pocket of air after the embryos, signalling that they indeed, are inside me right now.

As we profusely thanked her and she wished us all the best, I lay there on my back as V signed the embryo storage and insurance forms. I was not used to things going well, so I was preparing myself for some sort of bad news today. I did not know if I should feel relieved that everything went well or anxious as this probably meant the bad news was being postponed to another time when I would least expect it.

Soon we got dressed and waited for the nurse to be done with the next couple. I felt more confident of not having any cramps as I was feeling as normal as I could, whereas in KKH by this time, I was not able to stand up straight.

After an hour during which we had our breakfast(the couple after us had some complications and it was a Sunday, so there was only 1 nurse on call), the nurse briefed us on our upcoming appointments and the basic Do’s&Don’ts. We then left with a flurry of “All the best”s and “Thank you”s and headed home. Thankfully, the rest of the day was uneventful with no severe cramps. I rested all day with V forcing me to remain in bed.

Apart from going for my progesterone blood test 2 days later (level is good!), I have been at home reading, watching loads of shows and googling every minor symptom (or normal body function)  I experience. Needless to say, it has been excruciating. Having a 3-day transfer means a longer 2ww as compared to a 5-day transfer so it has been quite torturous counting down the days.

On Thursday, (4days past transfer), I took a slow drive to the TCM practitioner to get some herbs to “help the baby stick”. My mum has been cooking for me daily and my dad drops the food off in the morning on his way to work. Thankfully, he works pretty near to my place so I don’t feel as bad. I tried to clear some work but have no heart to do all the heavy-duty stuff that is due at the end of the year yet. I finished catching up with “Bones”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Fresh Off The Boat” and just yesterday, a Korean drama recommended by my friend “Incarnate Jealousy” which more than filled my romance quota of the year! Oh gosh I can’t even count the number of times my heart skipped with each romantic line and look the suave actor delivered. I think the hormones are getting to me as my idea of suave are usually NOT ghost-white men who dress better than me. But…

Image result for jealousy incarnate jo jung suk

The main lead who is currently controlling my heart-strings. SUAVE RIGHT!

I have also skimmed through a few books but am having difficulty finishing 1. This is a first for me – I don’t know why but maybe because my mind keeps drifting back to “What Ifs” and the chapter loses its appeal.

Today is 6DP3DT (6 days past 3 day transfer) and I have another 6 torturous days before my Beta. As I get closer to my Beta, I become paranoid about history repeating itself and run (walk quickly) to the toilet to check for spotting each time I feel something. I am driving myself crazy! ARGH

I have ordered some cheap HPTs online and will definitely test before my beta to prepare myself mentally. I don’t have to worry about the trigger HCG as I used Luprin for my trigger so there should not be any HCG in my system from that anyways. I think I will start testing in another 2 more days and I pray for all the courage my heart needs to see the results.

 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a blurred haze

It seems like the second time round goes by faster, or maybe it’s just me.

Yesterday (Thursday) was CD 16 and I had my Oocyte Retrieval. Although I had gone through one cycle before, doing it at a new clinic still brought on the nerves. Up till Tuesday, I was still unsure about when the procedure would take place but finally got the confirmed news when I went for my Nth scan on Tuesday.  

Unlike KKH, SGH does not have the habit of reading out the measurements of the follicles so I had to repeatedly ask the nurses about how big my eggs were and all I got were ‘Yeah not bad, growing quite well’ while they pointed to a bunch of ‘X’es plotted on the notes. I pretended to understand and nodded though I was clueless what the X represented.
Later I found out that the X’s were plotted similar to graph plots and my eggs were steadily growing as the gradient was steep enough although I still have no idea about the exact measurements. 

This time, I was given Lucrin to inject on Tues night as a trigger jab. By this time, it hurt to even just slightly prickly my skin with needles whereas the last cycle, I was pain-free almost throughout the cycle. I took it as good news that it meant my follicles were growing better this time round. 

Fast-forward to Thurs, the day started on a rush as we were told to reach the clinic 7 45am SHARP as Dr Yu was flying off for a trip at 9am – no stress. Unfortunately, it was raining that morning and together with typical peak hours traffic, countless detours and traffic lights later, we reached SGH at 7 55 and I was hyperventilating. 
I sent V off to produce his soldiers and rushed to park the car. Upon reaching the clinic, I was hurriedly ushered into the OT and quickly changed into the hospital gowns (though the nurse did a double take when she saw my nails) and I made my way to the OT feeling out of sorts. Luckily, Dr Yu was there and told me to calm down and the familiar faces of the CARE nurses helped me settle down a little. 

Before I knew it, I had a IV insertion on my wrist and was waiting for V. Yes, at SGH they allow your spouse to come into the OT with you, for which I’m so grateful – because he can spy on the procedure and tell me exactly what happened! hahaha

As the sedation liquid oozed through my blood vessels, that familiar woozy sensation kicked in and the last thing I remember was holding onto V’s hands as I slowly blacked out.

The next thing I knew, I was being wheeled into the recovery ward with my eyes struggling to keep open. As I drifted in and out of sleep, I vaguely remembered the nurses telling V to get his breakfast and to buy some medication. 

About an hour later, I was more or less awake enough to ask for the number of eggs retrieved. Bracing  myself for a single digit AGAIN  (recap : last cycle yielded 4 eggs), I muttered my prayers and heard the number…

YES! 23 eggs!! I was so shocked I just stared at V. I guess the extra growth factor injection, the diet, weight loss etc really helped. V was then telling me that during the procedure, when the Drs were counting the eggs, he heaved a sigh of relief when the numbers crossed 8 but became dumbfounded when the numbers kept increasing. hehe good to have a spy in the OT.

Soon, we made our way home  (after multiple warnings to avoid OHSS by ensuring I drank at least 2L of 100 plus a day) and I spent the rest of the day uneventfully in bed, gulping the 100plus down (goodbye diet…)

This morning, I finally got the long-awaited call from the embryologist. As my heart thundered outside the staff room (Yes I went back to work to clear my table to make way for the impending renovations), I was told that out of the 23 eggs retrieved, 13 were matured and 12 fertilised!

My heart jumped in joy! 12 fertilised!!! that’s a 600% increase from the 1st cycle! I was having low expectations all the way and this really hit the ball out of the park! Thank God and all my deities in heaven 😍😍😍

I was then told that my ET would take place on Sunday as my embies were under a special  (super expensive) culture called ‘Embryo Gen’ which would help to nourish the embryos with higher success rates and this only allowed for Day 3 transfers.

Although disappointed that I wouldn’t be transferring blastocysts and also that Dr Yu wouldn’t be doing the ET for me (she would only be back from her trip on Sunday night ), I tried to remain upbeat that everything happens for a reason. I’m sure Dr Hema is a competent Dr and I am leaving everything in Their hands.

For now, I am busy gathering books to read, getting recommendations for dramas to watch and finishing my work so I can live out my 2ww in peace:) 

xoxo

Sugar, Sugar.

As mentioned in my previous post, my life was shaken when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Never did I think I would be facing this so early in life.

Image result for diabetes type 2 symbol

So once I was mentally ready, I went back to SGH and we were discussing our options for my second fresh round when Dr Yu suggested that I go for the comprehensive blood glucose test.

Brief history – As a PCOS-sufferer, I have a high risk of insulin-resistance, when coupled with the fact that my mum had gestational diabetes when she carried me – is the final nail on the coffin. Dr Yu had been bugging me to test for diabetes since 2 years ago and all I managed was the pin-prick test, which showed a borderline result. That meant that I did not have diabetes but was at high risk. She had told me to go for the comprehensive one but I had been pushing it back because it requires me to take a full day of work (when I had already missed so many due to the treatments) and also because I frankly did not want to know. I guess you could say I was in denial of what I knew was inevitable.

So fast forward to the current time. I knew I had nowhere to escape and also, I wanted to do whatever it took to prevent any further miscarriages. So I did it. I went to SGH early one morning after a 10-hour fast and got my blood taken. Then I was told to drink this cup of saccharine sweet solution (basically glucose dissolved in water) which I think I enjoyed a little too much (haha maybe that should be a sign I had diabetes). The cold water helped it and I was paranoid that I would puke it out as the nurse on duty kept reminding me that if I were to puke it out, I had to come back another day to get it all done again – which I definitely DID not want. Thankfully, no puke.

I then had to wait for around 3 hours and get my blood taken after that. I can’t recall what I did to pass the 3 hours but I think it involved reading a book, having breakfast and doing my marking. Finally, I got my blood taken again and was sent off home. Frankly I did not think much as I had convinced myself I was not diabetic. The signs were staring at me in my face – weight gain, increased thirst, dark sports around my neck, blurred vision – but I conveniently pushed them away.

A couple of days later, I was having a meal with my colleagues when I received The Call. Yes, I was diabetic. I needed to go down to collect a letter to bring to the polyclinic for my diabetes consultation. At that moment, it did not sink in yet. I did not know to what extent my life would be changed, just that I had another issue to add on to my already growing list of health issues. I went by the meal in a daze and went to SGH immediately after to collect the letter.

The very next day, I went to the polyclinic for the consultation and I think that was when it hit me. Everyone at the diabetes clinic was..well..old. I was clearly the youngest there by a mile and that shook me a little. The doctor took my blood and I waited a while for the results. My sugar level was at 7.1, and people normally go on medication if it is above 7. However, seeing that I was trying to conceive and am still relatively young, the Dr did not want to give me medication and instead advised me to control it with food and exercise.

I walked home from the polyclinic in a turmoil. I knew I had to make a change – and this time, it as not just to fit into that dress or for a slimmer face or get that annoying aunty to shut up – it was for my life. From that day itself, I made a decision to change my life around. I knew my weaknesses were sweets and carbs (which is basically almost every food worth eating).

I made some drastic changes in my lifestyle which included

  • cutting out rice totally
  • removing all forms of white sugar from my diet including sweets, drinks and desserts
  • exercising at least 2 to 3 times a week

Oh boy, it is TOUGH. 80% of Asian food is rice-based and everything that I LOVE! I had to say bye to briyani, chicken rice, chai peng, zhi char and so much more! I also have a very very sweet tooth so I had to bite my tongue to ensure that I kept to my decision – which was so difficult especially when colleagues and family celebrated birthdays with decadent cakes, meetings were supplied with my favourite nonya snacks and I had to say bye to that refreshing glass of coke and iced green tea.

But this time it was different. I knew that if I did not do what I had to do, it could have serious implications. I have enough diabetics in my family to have seen the ugly head of diabetes, from life-long dependence on medication, amputations and even death. As hard as it was, I stuck to it and used it as a chance to lose some weight before my 2nd cycle. Those around me expressed awe at my determination and said “I wish I could be like you” but no, I wouldn’t wish this illness on ANYONE. I am not being healthy because I want to, but because I have to and that, is a very thin and sad line.

However, the hard work did pay off. I managed to lose about 7kg in 2 months. I was shocked but realised just how much my body was dependant on sugar. People noticed the change and I felt good about it and it compelled me to keep going. Each time I missed eating rice, I went on the weighing scale to remind myself how far I had come. After 3 weeks, the daily cravings were gone and I was more comfortable with my new regime of salads, salmons, chicken breasts, quinoa and lots of green veggies.

2 months into it, I am now about to incorporate rice back into my diet (WHAT?!?) because I don’t want the lack of carbs to affect the embryo. Also, these past 2 months, we have mostly been cooking our own meals to ensure that we eat only what we can and want. However, in the upcoming 2WW, it will be difficult for to cook as I have to be on bed-rest most of the time, so I have asked my mum to help with daily meals and it is quite selfish of me to insist only on low-carb meals which she is not used to cooking. I have decided on brown and red rice with a low glycemic index (GI rate) so as not to affect my new lifestyle too drastically.

Being diagnosed with diabetes was initially similar to a death sentence for me, but now I realise that it was a wake-up call for me to claim my life back. It is a difficult journey but I am determined to milk it for all it’s worth!

 

 

 

And we begin again 

So this blog has been pretty dead (like my uterus HAHA) for the past 3 months. Well to tell the truth, I just needed the time to recover, both spiritually and physically. 

So what happened after the ‘Incident’?

1) I wallowed in self-pity for a bit and dragged myself about in a daze before deciding to just snap out of it. I felt so silly mourning over a 5-week embryo but in reality, I was mourning a 3-year old dream that never seems to materialise.

2) I then decided to make use of the ‘break’ to eat and drink whatever crap I wanted- desserts, cold drinks, fried snacks etc. you name it, I ate it. 
3) Of course, this resulted in me putting on an insane amount of weight -_- Also didn’t help that stopping the Progesterone support also causes one to put on weight. So it was just double whammy. Clothes were getting tighter and face was getting rounder. Comments from others were getting snarkier.  
4) I went back to SGH. As great as KKH was, there was no personal touch and this really showfaced during the 2 weeks when I was spotting as there was no one who took a genuine interest in my situation. Every time I went down, it was a different medical personnel and I had to explain my situation all over again. It was a huge organisation operating in an efficient- but impersonal – manner. However at SGH, It’s a much smaller unit which means everyone knows you and asks for u. When I went back for my first appointment itself, the nurse on duty recognised me and called me by name, expressing delight at seeing me again. For subsequent appointments, they would recall small details about me which made me feel more valued as a patient. So I’m back at SGH. 
5) I was made to do a glucose tolerance test again  (as the previous test results were borderline) and I got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.  I will devote an entire blog post to this another time as it’s just too much to write here.
6) I have just started on my 2nd round of IVF. Today is Cycle Day 4 (CD4) and my 2nd day of Orgalutron jabs. SGH does things a little differently I guess, and started off with the inhibition jabs instead of the Puregon jabs which I will most probably begin on Monday (CD6) after another scan.
Well that’s what’s been happening for 3 months. Seems like a lifetime since my last cycle but was quite surprised that it’s just been 3 months. Embracing this cycle with open arms and hearts. xoxo

Goodbye Stickie…

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was dizzy with joy. I could finally be part of this wonderful club that I was yearning to get admittance to. So the first thing I did was to download the Ovia app so I too, could take bump selfies and post it on social media with cute hashtags. I was asked to name my baby and after thinking hard, I decided on the name ‘Stickie’ with hopes that he or she would stick with me for 9 glorious months.

One week after I downloaded the app, I said goodbye to the app, my hopes and dreams and Stickie.

After the last post, my test results were encouraging, having doubled.  But that afternoon itself, my cramping got worse and my bleeding worsened.

The next day, Monday, it felt like my uterus was twisted in hot coals and being pulled tightly by sharp nails and knives. Deep in my heart, I knew it was over but I told myself it was fine as long as there were no clots. 
At around 5pm, I went to the toilet doubled over in pain and passed out a huge clot about the size of my palm. Like a deranged women, I collapsed by the toilet bowl and cried and said goodbye to Stickie.

I went back to the hospital that evening in a zombie-like state. V refused to cry, saying that it wasn’t over till the test results said so. They took my blood for the 5th time that week.

The call didn’t come that night and somehow the absence of any negative news helped me to feel a little better. I googled for similar cases with positive outcomes, conveniently ignoring the many obvious negative outcomes.

The next morning, I received the news. HCG had dropped from 580 to 520. Stickie had left me.

The next few days passed by in a blur. I cried and I got angry, and to add salt to the wound, the cramps were excruciating and came every 5 minutes, never once letting me forget the ordeal I was undergoing. 

V was my rock. He grieved with me but never let me see him vulernable. Maybe he felt that I needed him to be strong for me, though we did hug and cry it out with each other. My closest friends and family gave me space to grieve while letting me know that they were there for me. My dad dropped off food that my mum cooked, every morning before going to work (without waking me up) and my mum called every mealtime to ensure I was not starving myself. My RO at work took care of all my work commitments so I didn’t have to worry. 

Now, 5 days after my miscarriage, I am better. I now know that I can get pregnant. I will be taking the next 2-3 months to build up my health and do whatever I can to lead to a full-term pregnancy the next time. 

One day, I will see Stickie again. I know of this.