The silent comrades – the husbands.

So yesterday I finally plucked up the courage and told my husband, V about this blog. It’s not that I did not want him to know but I did not know if he would be okay with me baring our intimate struggles with the world. This blog was meant to be an outlet for my frustrations but recently, I have been toying with the idea of sharing this with my family and friends, so that it would be easier for them to know what I (and other couples suffering from infertility) are going through.


So I was bracing myself for all sorts of questions from V when I broke the news to him.

“Erm..dear, you know I actually am writing a blog..”

“Huh..for what, school ah?” (I am a teacher).

“Er no..about our problems conceiving”

*looks up from his nonsensical soccer game so I know I got his attention*


“I don’t know..just wanted an outlet to express myself.”

“Oh. ok.”

*goes back to annoying game* – seriously, if I can I will delete that game from the play store.


Wow. that was. BORING. I was expecting fireworks of some sort but well, better than objecting.


“So, can I read it?” he ventured, eyes still glued on that stupid screen.


Misson accomplished, I smiled gleefully to myself as I gave him the address. After 3 rounds of “are you done yet”, “no i don’t read like you. stop asking”, he looked up and said “pretty good” with a smile.

My heart felt so much lighter then, at least he supported me in this. “But you know, there’s nothing I can relate to” the critic continued.



“I’s all from the girls’ perspectives. What about what the guys go through?”


So that’s when I got thinking. He is right. I have been whining and complaining about how horrible this whole experience has been for me that I have totally side-stepped what the husbands go through. So today, I thought of exploring that.


P.S Please take note that this is for husbands who themselves are not suffering from any issues and have to support their wives through their struggles. I wouldn’t know what husbands who they themselves have issues, go through so I will not talk about that.

5 things husbands, part of infertile couples go through

  1. Helplessness download (1)

Many a times when I am in my most desperate of states (usually either after I get my period, indicating that no, I am NOT pregnant or after a doctor has very kindly told me how slim my chances of conceiving are), V has just sat there, holding me, looking just as desperate if not more. After I calm down, he would usually hold my hand tight and keep reassuring me that it is going to be okay. When I think back about it, I know that he probably was disappointed too, but had to shove his feelings aside to attend to the more emotional and vulnerable me. For that, I am blessed.


2. Lack of tact from others.

Somehow, people seem to think only the women are suffering or that only the women are yearning for children. However, that is far from the truth. When we fail to get pregnant, it is a failure for both the husband and wife. While people are generally more sensitive towards the females (I say this very very loosely), they tend to think that the husbands are not really part of the process and channel more insensitive questions to the men, thinking that “they can handle it”.

I know my husband has been “filtering” such questions and statements so that what I receive is just the tip of the mountain. And how hard must it be for him? To constantly answer insensitive questions, to keep repeating the same lines that “yes, we are trying” and “no, not yet”.


But maybe it’s because I have a resting bitch face and people just don’t dare tell me anything. HAH.


3. Pressure of family.

download (2)

When we seriously considered IVF, my mother was the first of my confidantes. I did not think twice about going to her as I knew she was going to be supportive. She never pressurised me to have children (maybe because she already has 2 cuties as grandkids) and always told me to take my time. However, when V ventured about telling his family about it, I hesitated. Not because I did not want them to know, but because they have been more excited about having grandchildren of their own since V is the eldest child. So, the pressure has been more. And I was a little worried about how they would react to us having trouble getting pregnant. He agreed with me but a few months later, he told me that he wanted his mum to know.

“Huh why, please let’s just not say anything for now.”

“But she’s my mum. I think she deserves to know.”

I knew it was escalating to a quarrel but somehow, I decided to just think about it. And he was right. If I could confide to my mum, why was I restricting him doing the same? I never really thought about the pressure HE was getting from them and how he was stuck in between me and them. It should not be that way.


4. To be supportive beyond their means.


Infertility takes its toll. Not just because of the repeated disappointments again and again. But also physically, the treatments can really be a bitch. Blood tests, scans (the most uncomfortable thing, especially when you’re having painful periods), COUNTLESS pills that make you go cuckoo at times, so many many injections and more. Rushing from work to scans which can be as often as twice a week also takes its toll. And for me, it was just me going through all this. At times when I winced in pain, V had this look that I knew he wished he could go through it instead of me. But he can’t and that’s the reality. Seeing their wives going through all of that, and not being able to do anything (much) about it has seriously got to suck.

We just started on our IVF jabs which has got to be done at 7am every morning. So, even on weekends, we have to drag ourselves out of bed and prepare for the jabs. Although he does not have to, he gets up with me and helps me swab my flabby tummy and counts to 5 with me. 🙂

5. Bitchy wife.

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I am serious. I can’t count the number of times I have snapped at V over ridiculous things just because I was stressed over some infertility thing. Sometimes, he lets me get away with it but sometimes he doesn’t and whoops my ass into place. (and that’s why he’s my husband). He has been on the receiving end of my tantrums –

  • when the meds make me feel too hot (WHY IS IT SO HOT!? CAN YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE AIRCON?!),
  • when my boobs hurt so bad (DON’T TOUCH MY BOOBS. YES U DID. YOUR FINGER GRAZED IT.),
  • when I have to figure out how I am going to explain to my boss why I have to go for YET another scan (WHY IS LIFE SO UNFAIR!!! – my personal favourite)
  • when I am heaving and sobbing about yet another negative pregnancy test and he tries to comfort me saying it will be okay  (NO IT WON’T BE. STOP SAYING THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW FOR SURE!)
  • when I hear about yet another pregnancy announcement from couples “who were not even trying” and I am trying very hard not be a bitch (who am i kidding..i WAS being a bitch) (WHAT DO YOU MEAN I SHOULD BE HAPPY FOR THEM?!? OF COURSE I AM BUT AREN’T I ALLOWED TO BE SAD FOR ME?!?)

For all the times you just listened to me and even more for all the times that you made me realise that I have to stop being such a whiny, pathetic, blubbering mess – thank you V 🙂


SO yes, that’s my list. This is not exhaustive of course but what comes to my mind about what the husbands go on their own. Sometimes, in the midst of all the madness we go through, we tend to take them for granted and expect them to do whatever they are doing. So, thank you. For going through all this with us and not leaving us when we become psychotic. For holding our hands when we refuse to talk. For holding us when we refuse to be held.



The battle with the uterus


So…after my sob story I thought its best to document my journey so far before heading forward!

So when did it all start? I would say back in 2011, a year before I got married when I went for my first gynae check. As a biomedical student, I knew my irregular periods (sometimes I only get them once in 3 months), painful cramps, adult acne, weight fluctuations etc meant something was wrong.

So there I sat at the subsidised clinic in NUH, as the junior doctor told me with a blank face that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).


‘1 in 3 women have it…’
‘ possibility of diabetes..’
‘adult acne…’
‘weight gain…insulin resistance..’
‘problems conceiving’

These were just some phrases that breezed past me. Frankly, the symptoms weren’t anything new. And at 26 years old, infertility seems like a foreign concept so I didn’t think much of it.  After all, she didn’t say it was IMPOSSIBLE TO conceive, just difficult.


So difficult. We started trying seriously a year after we got married and I immediately went to see a specialist as I knew my chances of conceiving naturally was near to nil. The first doctor we visited was Dr W C Cheng from Thompson Medical Centre. Recommended by my cousin who also had difficulty conceiving, he was sweet and made it seem like it was no biggie. Just pop a few clomid pills and I should be pregnant!

nope. Tried 6 rounds of clomid to be exact over a year. Soon, my rational mind told me to move somewhere cheaper as I knew IVF could be a very distinct possibility and government hospitals had grants that would make it so much more affordable. (my husband also refers to this as my disease of having itchy backside)

So off I went to SGH to consult Dr Yu. She was recommended by a colleague who had 2 friends who successfully went through IVF with her. With high hopes (but lower than a year ago), I repeated my story to her. Sadly, she wanted me to try clomid again – higher dosage – and it took me 3 unsuccessful rounds to convince her to dig deeper.

By then, we had already been trying two years, had spent thousands of dollars and still nowhere near pregnant.

After that, I went for a few procedures to check if I had any other issues besides PCOS (Yes because PCOS alone is NOT enough. duh)

So in a nutshell, I went for-

1) A Hysterosalpingogram Dye Test which is basically a procedure to check if my tubes were blocked, using a dye to flow through my tubes to my Ovary.

2) Fallopian Tube Recanalization – a procedure to clear my tubes. It was a day surgery and I was put under sedation. Fun.

3) 2 failed Intrauterine Inseminations  (IUI).

These were the most trying periods. The Drs talked about this so positively that each time I swore I was pregnant. It didn’t help that the medications i was taking caused many pregnancy symptoms so I was convinced every twitch or bloatedness or headache was a sign of my pregnancy. when I got my period after each of the procedure, it was as if a rock had been smashed into my stomach and heart and I’m moving one step closer to the only option I have left.

After alll of these, Dr Yu finally decided I needed more help and suggested IVF. I was having mixed feelings about this actually. I mean IVF would be much better for me as it works on whatever issues PCOS causes BUT that would also mean I’m literally at the end of the string.

If this doesn’t work, then what?

But if I wanted a baby in my womb, I needed to move forward. So I said YES to IVF.

But SGH Care centre was about to undergo renovation and I would have to wait 7 months to get a slot. Would I like to try a 3rd IUI cycle meanwhile?

Argh it just doesn’t get easy. So off I moved again. (itchy backside returns) I had just turned 30 and I knew the odds of getting pregnant was higher If I acted fast. 7 months is a long time.

So…for the 3rd time..I moved and went to KKH. I read through forums and requested for Dr Sadhana. I think she knew that SGH’S reject patients were all coming as she very quickly looked through my records, ordered a series of blood tests and before I Knew it, I had a slot.

I was going to do IVF.

WOW.  This is it. And that’s when I decided to start a blog. And here I am 😉

We need to talk about the I word.

It’s 11:58am as I type this and in 2 minutes time, it will be Mothers’ day. Just 3 years ago, it would have been a joyous celebration of all the strong women in my life, but for the past couple of years, it has been a black mark on my calendar – a day where I am reminded from all directions- a reminder of my biggest failure in life : infertility.

When everyone is wishing all the wonderful mothers (including my own superwoman) ‘Happy Mothers Day!’, I’ve come to expect a remark about how they’re waiting to wish me and when it will be my turn or even worse…why am I not wanting to have a child!


My internal (sometimes external) bitch would then roll my eyes and resist the urge to snap back at them, to mind their own business. But I know everyone means well..but that is it! Sometimes they have no idea the huge gaping hole we have, wishing that we too could celebrate this day with our very own bub. Ironically though, now almost everyone has an inkling we are having trouble conceiving (3.5 years of kids..all other married cousins slowly overtaking us..yada yada) so they just keep quiet and look at us with such a pitiful look.

I don’t know which is worse actually.

Infertility has tormented my life for the past 2 years and it’s 2 years too much. However, I (and my wonderful husband) have been getting through it with the help of my wonderful friends and family PLUS some great blogs that have shown me that I’m not alone in this terribly lonely journey. Sadly though, these blogs are a rarity, especially from the Singaporean context.

I understand the lack of discussion- it’s not as if infertility is a rare phenomenon, 1 out of 8 couples face infertility issues – but it is a taboo subject. People who have it are embarrassed to speak up due to the whispers and judgement we face and people who don’t, either say the wrong things or don’t know what to say.

So I started this blog (or whatever the cool kids call it) – to share my experiences on this difficult, heartbreaking, hairdressing process. So other fellow sufferers – from now on referred to as Warriors – can know that you’re not alone. And for all the fortunate ones out there, so you can know what we feel like and how you can be a wonderful source of support for us all. it’s not easy to expose myself like this but I think it’s time we stop treating infertility like a ticking time bomb. we need to talk about it so that there is more awareness about this. So, please bare with me as I bare my soul.

The time now is 12:16 AM.  It is Mothers’ day and I wish ALL of you wonderful mothers a happy, joyous and beautiful Mothers’ day celebrations with your lil miracles 😘😘