Category Archives: Diary records

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. 

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

2ww Distractions 

So the last time I wrote, I was a little psychotic and emotional and wailing. So i decided to try to snap out of it (not easy) and focus on getting time to pass by so I can get to the Beta test on Friday asap.

So I decided to focus on my Relax List and accomplished the following :

– completed the entire DOS series. I am now officially a fan and my dreams lately have consisted of hunky Korean men marching around pristine rocky landscapes. I NEVER thought I would be swooning over Korean men, let alone dreaming about them!! Happy Sigh.

– I couldn’t convince V to renovate the whole house (hurhur) but we did get a whole bunch of new plants to beautify our corridor and some greenery around the house too. We also finished up some long-overdue handywork that has been bugging me and I am so happy with the outcome. (for now)

– Watched a movie in the theatre (Now You See Me 2) which I enjoyed though I prefer the first one. (Isn’t this always the case for movies with sequels?!) 

– Almost finished my 4th book. WOOHOO! 

All these have helped the time while by a little faster though Friday could never come soon enough. I’m praying for more patience and resistance for the next 5 days before the B day. Next week may go by a little faster as I (sadly) have to get started on work. Sigh. Wish me luck! 

Egg Transfer – 1 or 2?

After the egg retrieval, I thought the worst was over. My biggest worry was that my eggs would not be able to grow and now, I managed to get 4 eggs. So the next steps should be easy-peasy.

Well, like every step of the infertility journey, it was damn difficult. Firstly, the appointment was set on Thursday, 9th June. Being our ROM (registered marriage) anniversary, V and I took it as a good sign and reached the hospital as told by 8 45am.

I was excited and raring to go, with a full bladder (also raring to go pee). As a surprise, my mom and sis turned up at the clinic to support me, though I don’t know what support they were expecting to give (hold the catheter?). Them being there helped to lighten the mood though as all sorts of weird comments came out (as usual) and my mum giving me 1001 tips as the self-proclaimed expert of IVF since her close colleague successfully went through the procedure recently.

These were just some of the tips that my sis and I were trying very hard not to giggle about and V was giving me this look saying “is your mum serious?!”

  1. Don’t walk with your heel.(yes as I should be floating everywhere instead)
  2. Lie straight on your bed, no turning left and right AT ALL
  3. Don’t switch on the fan or air-conditioner (does she realise we are living in SINGAPORE?)
  4. Don’t talk loudly (Those who know me personally will know how difficult this is)

 

Anyway after giggling and feeling a little loosened up, we were called in to the procedure room where Dr Sadhana would be meeting us. All excited, we awaited her arrival. Soon. she came in and that’s when everything went downhill. So we had collected 4 eggs but apparently, 2 did not ferterlise. We had 2 good embryos which was a good number still (really? did not feel like it). However, Dr Sadhana was not keen on transferring both due to the possibility of twins and the high risks associated.

Firstly, I was gutted. I mean I always secretly wanted twins – kill 2 birds with 1 stone! However, as she listed all the risks, my desire waned. My mum also had gestational diabetes when she carried me, so Dr Sadhana warned that I will also (she used the term 100%) get it if I were to carry twins. So, her suggestion – cultivate both the embryos to blastocysts and transfer the better quality one on Day 5 and freeze the other.

Initially, I was hesitant. Would transferring 1 mean the chance of getting pregnant be lower? But Dr S said it would be the same chances and she would rather transfer 1 than risk a multiple pregnancy. She gave us some time to think about it and we left the room with heavy hearts.

As we went down to the kopitiam where my mum and sis were, I was wrecked with confusion. I really really wanted to transfer both but the risks were staring me right at my face. How could I do something knowing it may cause harm to my (potential) babies ? My mum and sis were trying to be diplomatic, telling me that they will support me whatever decision I take and that it was my decision to take. V, I knew, preferred the safer option as to him, nothing is more important than us being safe. And for that I was grateful.

So, I decided to stick to the dr’s advice and headed back to the clinic to tell her our decision. The nurse on duty told us it was the better decision and sent me to the pharmacy to collect the medication needed for the next few weeks. As I walked down, my heart felt light and heavy at the same time. Light as I knew I did the right thing, taking the safer route. Heavy as I wondered if I would regret this “safe” route to come.

(My mum then tried to make me feel better by saying Saturday is actually an auspicious date and today not so…she didn’t want to scare me so did not say anything earlier but now it turned out for the best yada yada. My sister and I continued our side-glance-eye-roll-hidden-giggle).

I went home and had a good sleep and felt better when I woke up. That evening, V and I talked it out and reiterated that we did the right thing. On Saturday, I will have 2 good blastocysts to look forward to.

Not so. On Saturday, we returned to the clinic. I was a little apprehensive after Thursday but I knew that was the day. My bladder was full and I felt a little distended and bloated. Soon, we were called in and Dr Sadhana delivered the news. One of our embryos didn’t make it. So we only had 1 left. We would be transferring that and so, there will be nothing left to freeze. As gutted as I was, I tried to push all the negative emotions aside. Having 1 blastocyst was better than none. I have heard of so many cycles that had to be postponed as it could not even reach this state.

As the preparations went underway, Dr Sadhana mentioned that she was hoping to get more follicles from me based on the scan results but most of the sacs were empty, resulting in only 4 eggs. I asked if there was anything I could do to improve the numbers but she just said it was genetic and sometimes, it is just like that. sigh.

Soon we were about to begin. She inserted a catheter which was not unlike the IUI procedure but this seemed more uncomfortable as I had a full bladder. It was like when you really need to pee and someone is boxing into your bladder. I grimaced and tried to bear with it – I would be having my precious embie in me soon! Then the TV screen showed a live-feed from the other side of the procedure room where the embryologist was showing me my details and asking me to verify. V and I were very amused at the high-techness and soon, they showed us the petri-dish where there were some black dots. One of the dots was my blastocyst! They zoomed in and showed us how it looks like.

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My precious little blastocyst

 

 

The dark mass of cells at the side would become the foetus and the round membrane would be the placenta. Excitement tingled through me as the embryologist sucked up this little one and carefully brought it over to where I was lying. Through the ultrasound screen, I could see the little needle entering my uterus (uncomfortable and cold) and soon, a little wriggle was released into it! I felt so overwhelmed (positively) and reached out for V’s hand though it was at a very weird angle as he was seated diagonally behind me and I was lying down. After that we just lay there for a bit, while the embryologist came and explained about the blastocyst to us and passed us the photograph.

Soon, we left and I was feeling really really bloated. I went to pee (checked with the nurses and they said it’s perfectly fine) and we headed home.

That was when the torture began. By the time I reached home, the slight cramps which began at the hospital climaxed to intense cramps rivaling my murderous menstrual cramps. I was so so afraid and called up the hotline, but they said it was normal and advised me to take some paracetamol. I did some googling and found that it was common as it was simply the uterus reacting to the invasion. I prayed and prayed my precious embie would stay there despite the hostile environment and swallowed the pills. Thankfully, the pain subsided and I drifted off to sleep.

I must say, V has been so so supportive. He has ordered me to stay in our room and has been climbing up and down the stairs bringing me everything I need and want. He fed me lunch as I was still in pain and did whatever he could to make me comfortable. I am so grateful for him and I only wish I can bear him a child as he would be the most wonderful father I know.

Today is 1DP5DT. In normal talk, it means 1 day past 5 day transfer (as my blastocyst was 5 days old when it was transferred to me). As I anxiously tide through the next 2 weeks, I can only hope for the best and pray for my little embie to stick on.

 

 

 

 

 

Oocyte Pick Up day or Egg Retrieval 

So since the last time I blogged, things have progressed some what. I went back for another scan 2 days later on Friday and (FINALLY!) was given the go-ahead for egg retrival on the following Monday.

WOOHOO!!! Finally, after alll those days of eating ridiculous egg whites, jabbing myself every morning and brewing red date tea, my perseverance paid off!

I was told to come back the next morning for a Progesterone blood test (which is supposed to aid with egg transfer) and again at night for the Ovulation trigger injection at the 24-hour O&G clinic. Meanwhile I was to finish up my last Puregon jab that day and continue with my Ugalutron jab the next morning.

I feel like a scientist just sprouting the names of all the medications.

ANYWAY I did as instructured (thankfully the Sat clinic visits went by uneventfully and the butt jab was suprisingly painless) and spent Sunday freaking out over if

– I’d have enough eggs to retrieve

– my blocked nose may cause me to never wake up from the sedation

– I should leave a will behind

– will V know my laptop password

– the house is in a mess and if people were coming over for my funeral, it would be so embarrassing!

basically I was going a bit psychotic.

Thankfully Monday came soon enough before I went fully berserk and we reached KKH at 9am as instructed. Waited for our queue number and at ard 9 20, after a quick briefing, V went off to produce his soldiers while I went to get prepped for the procedure. How romantic.

I was told to change into the hospital robes and proceeded to get the IV drip probe thing injected into my wrist. That was much more painful than all the daily jabs, probably cuz I have a skinny wrist and definitely-not-skinny tummy. Fats help. hurhur.

I was brought to the sterile white room and laid down, with my legs on the stirrups. As I stared into the white lights at the ceiling, I started muttering all the chants and hymns I could recall (recall my paranoia about dying from sedation) and it’s funny how much holier and spiritual we get in desperate times haha.

Soon Dr Sadhana came in and checked my personal details and the anesthesiologist started her job. Before I knew it, I was being woken up saying that the process was over and I was being wheeled to the recovery room. All that was running through my head was ‘How many eggs did they get?’ but all I was told was to rest.

So I did. I kept drifting in and out of sleep with some mild cramps. I say mild as my monthly cramps are usually equivalent to being murdered so this was quite alright. I remember the nurse coming to me and putting an oxygen mask on me and mentioning that I wasn’t breathing. (??) Now that I think of it, if I wasn’t breathing, wouldn’t I be dead? Oh well.

After more drifting off and up, a cup of milo and biscuits and an hour and 30 minutes, I was told to get changed. I was bleeding a little but was told it was normal. It was still a little sore and I was glad for the nurses’ help.

After that, I was sat down and told that the dr had retrieved 4 eggs. Initially I was disappointed but then I thought back to how anxious I was that I wouldn’t even get 2 eggs. I guess we always want more than what we already have. All I can hope for is that they get fertilised and become good growing embryos!

I was briefed on some post-procedural notes like no drinking, no exercising and driving etc and was told to wait for V to pick me up.

Then I was told to come back on Thursday for (hopefully) what would be D3 (Day 3) Embryo Transfer, IF (big fat IF) everything went well.

And that was it. I was a little hungry as I had to fast from 12 midnight last night. Luckily the annual Ramadan bazaar near our place had just opened and they always have yummy food so we headed over and got some Nasi Ambeng for lunch. YUMS!

I knocked out for 4 hours after that and woke up feeling much better though am still sore and contispated. Now it’s just a waiting game for Thursday to see the fate of my eggs.

Wish me luck!

One of those days

Yesterday was a bad day.

I started out the day with a really bad flu that made me feel like a train wreck. Feeling like a stuffed panda, I got V to drop me off at KKH at 7 30am for my CD14 scan (stims day 12).

I was expecting some good news as the scan 2 days ago seemed favourable. ‘Maybe I can do my ET tmr’ I thought wistfully.

Wistfulness it was indeed. The only highlight of my day was that I was queue number 4 (finally!). Scan showed that my eggs were not growing as fast as they should. So the Drs increased my puregon dosage (175 IU to 225 IU) and told me to come back in 2 days time.

That felt like a huge slap across my snot-filled face. ‘See, that’s what you get for being too happy’ my inner pessimist muttered.
After collecting my jabs, I headed home, jabbed myself and immediately collapsed on bed, having a fitful sleep punctuated by vivid weird dreams.  I woke up at 3pm, past lunchtime having only ate a muffin and hashbrowns for breakfast. (and my 4 eggs of course).

I think that was truly when I felt so horrible. I am not sure if it was the increased dosage of hormones or my horrible flu which seemed to be getting worse or the state of being hungry but having no energy to get food or just the disappointment of the morning – but i burst into tears. Strong heaving sobs of self-pity tears.
‘why me?’ I asked myself again and again. ‘Why does this have to be so difficult when people can get pregnant by accident??’

Then I wallowed in even more self-pity and replied to my mum who was asking about the scan and my health. I whined I was having a fever and she immediately replied ‘Okay will cook fish curry. You drink milo first and take medicine’.

Feeling a little guilty about inconveniencing my mum, I waddled to the kitchen and made myself a hot cup of milo and swallowed some dry biscuits that just would not soften in the milo!! damn it! WHO EATS HARD BISCUITS WITH HOT MILO?!

V was then supposed to be on his way back from work so I messaged him to get me some dinner so that I didn’t need to bother my mum. He called about 45 minutes later and said he had left work late but would get me the porridge.

‘It’s okay. I had milo’ I half-snapped and half-sobbed as I ended the  call. Fresh tears came by as I thought about how my husband couldn’t even be bothered to leave work on time to come back to his sick wife. And to make matters worse, my besties didn’t even message me to ask me how the scan was!

Then something snapped.

‘V doesn’t know how sick you are. You didn’t tell him you got worse.’

‘Your besties don’t know about your scan. You didn’t tell them. Are they supposed to ask you every day?’

‘Your mum, with her own health issues, is coming over after cooking fish curry because you were such a whiny bitch.’

BHAM. Self-pity parade over. Yes it was an exceptionally tough day but I’ll get through it. People have it worse and people have it better. I couldn’t just sit there and wonder why the world isn’t revolving around me. I had to tell myself I WILL get better. I told myself that maybe the reason why the ET got pushed was to give me time to recover. I had to remind myself that this journey is NOT going to be smooth and I need to be prepared.

Yesterday was a bad day. But i got over it. And I will get over all the bad days to see my own little bub in my hands.

Cycle Day 12 Stims Day 10 of IVF cycle 1

I am sitting here in the eternally-crowded waiting room of the KKH IVF clinic, waiting for my number to be called. I forgot to bring along my book and am bored of all the mindless games and social media stalking, so decided to pen down some thoughts while I can still remember the details…

IVF so far has been a roller coaster ride.

Injections (Stimulation)
I was dreading the injections but they are the least of my worries. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy and having a fat tummy helps to ease the pain I guess haha. either that or I have a very high pain threshold. However, the last 2 days jabs seem to be more painful than before. I’m guessing because the area is getting more sore and my ovaries are also bigger from the follicles.

The only problem I face is time as I start work at 7 20 and the jabs can only be done from 7 to 8am. So it’s basically a mad rush every morning.

Daily stimulation

CD 3-12 (as of now) : 175mg of Puregon (to induce growth of follicles)

CD 5-12 (as of now) : 225 mg of Orgalutron  (to prevent ovulation)

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Nutrition

This on the other hand, I underestimated. Before embarking on IVF, I did some intensive research (ok, googling) and put together a list of things I should and should not be including in my diet. So to sum it up…

Avoid
1. Caffeine (goodbye coffee and tea :(( )
2. Cold drinks and food
3. Acidic food

Include
1. Plenty of egg whites
2. Red date tea
3. Folic acid
4. ‘Heaty’ food
5. Lots of warm water

Of course, this list is not exhaustive but I decided not to make life too difficult and stick to it. But boy, it hasn’t been easy.

Firstly, the Singapore weather is like putting myself into a burning furnace. AND I HAVE TO AVOID COLD DRINKS!!! This was the ultimate torture. Having to gulp down my desire for ice-cold sweet tea and order warm water when I eat out has slowly been killing me…but I will persevere!

Secondly, brewing of the red date tea takes time and having to rush to work in the morning after my jabs doesn’t give me time enough. Thankfully V is pretty sweet and prepares it for me in a nice thermos flask while I get ready in the morning. Awwwww. The tea itself is not too bad as I add some rock sugar ✌

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Thirdly, can I just say I hate eating egg whites?!?
Before I started eating them with a vengence, I was an egg lover so I thought what’s the big deal?!
My mum’s colleague also recently underwent IVF and apparently she ate 4 egg whites every morning and evening.
THAT IS 8 EGG WHITES A DAY!! of course, being the kanchiong cautious person I am, I decided to follow suit.

The first few days were not so bad as I experimented with the various ways of eating them – fried, omlette, hard boiled and soft boiled.

My least favourite- hard boiled. I almost puked everything out as I tried to stuff it down my throat. YUCKS.

Easiest method would be soft boiled. You just add some pepper, hold your nose and gulp it down! V does this for me every morning and evening and sometimes, I don’t know what I did to deserve him 😍😍😍

Tastiest would be scrambled but it takes some time to cook as well as eat so I normally only eat it this way if I’m not in a rush.

Avoiding caffeine is also sooo difficult especially when I have back to back lessons in a hot stuffy classroom with NO ICED WATER to cool me down. But i try to compensate with milo (for extreme situations only, as milo is not exactly the healthiest drink) or just snap at my students  (kidding…or am i?)

Support System

I think it is extremely important to have a good support system. I am blessed that I am (mostly) surrounded by wonderful beings.

My mum is my biggest cheerleader. Everyday she calls me and starts off her the conversation with ‘Have you ate the eggs??’ haha. though annoying at times, I don’t know what I would do without her. awww

My besties and sisters are also always checking up on me and keeping me in their prayers. Sometimes it may not be that easy for them to get what you’re going through but I appreciate that they try 🙂

Sometimes friends you thought are close friends will avoid you like the plague as they don’t know what to say. It’s okay as I don’t blame them. Just tell yourself that at least they’re not saying stupid things to irritate you haha. And some friends who I thought were the ‘hi-bye’ sort and only good for a wild night out were the ones who kept messaging me and asking me how I am doing. This put a smile on my face as I realised how I underestimated the qualiity of my friendships.

My work place has been so supportive as well!! I am so so grateful that both my big and small boss have been nothing but gracious with me. Of course, I did let them know that I wouldn’t be able to pre-empt in advance when I will have to go for my appointments and they have been okay with it, granted I finish up all my work on time. I do not ask for extension on deadlines etc as I already feel that I am inconveniencing a lot of people by frequently leaving school for appointments. Of course, my students are at the heart of all I do and I try my best to make sure they do not get affected.

My colleagues have been amazing as well! They tell me not to worry about work and willingly cover my duties when I am away. I had an important exam duty today but had to activate my reserve as I had to come in for my scan and he was so sweet about it. My co-form teacher has also been seeing more teachers for the parent-teacher meetings so I can run off for my scans. I really really appreciate all of these acts of kindness and it helps me to feel less stressed and concentrate on what matters. 🙂
So far, by God’s grace, my appointments have fallen on my not-so-busy days or post-exam periods. so YAY!

Last but not least, my husband has been my rock. From preparing meals to driving me around to being there for my jabs when he can choose to sleep in. Thank you. I have already written an entire blog post on husbands so am not going to repeat myself and sound like a broken recorder haha.

Of course I am fairly open about doing IVF as I would like to break the idea of  infertility being a taboo. I speak about it to whoever asks and share information willingly so I don’t have to hide much and worry about people finding out. However, if you’re not comfortable sharing as much as I do, just ensure you have some form of tight-knit support system to tide you through this period as it is really not easy.

I have finished drafting this insanely long post and I am still waiting. GOSH.