Taking My Downtime

A little spare time + coffee in hand = new blog post (I tried!) 

To feed my curiosity of IUI (IntraUterine Insemination) and IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) I decided to go to (another) Fertility Clinic. I had been to a fertility clinic before (as I mentioned on some previous posts), but since it was owned by an andrologist (Yes, it’s a bit unusual since Andrologist mostly dealt with male fertility issue. But this particular andrologist I went to before was really well-known for assisting IUI and IVF) I chose new clinic that was managed by an Ob-Gyn. Note: Everytime I went to that first clinic, I was always handled by different Ob-Gyn that worked on that clinic (before I got to see the androlog Dr). So for me (with my multiple miscarriage background), I would be far comfortable being handled by one certain Ob-Gyn.

I went to the new clinic on early June 2018 (after making appointment beforehand). This clinic was located at a hospital on West Surabaya. First we filled in the registration form etc, then waited for around 30 minutes. The clinic was pretty nice (actually it looked like clinics on Singapore’s hospitals), waiting room was comfortable, the nurses were okay (not like super nice, but still acceptable ;p) in terms of service. I had another USG and Dr saw something that might look like polyps. I needed to come back the following week to do SIS (Saline Infusion Sonography) to make sure, which could be done at Dr’s office (I was just following Dr’s suggestion about best time to do SIS, but I forgot exactly which CD it was).

The SIS procedure was pretty much similar with HSG I did before (Hysterosalpingogram). In HSG they used contrast, in SIS they used saline water. SIS was less painful in my opinion (But you would also need to prepare pads too, because there would be some light bleeding afterward – for me it was like day 3 or 4 of my period). From the SIS, it was clear that I had two polyps on my uterus (ex-MD hubby also agreed when looking at the monitor). Dr explained that polyps could be one of the reasons for infertility and miscarriage and they needed to be removed. The procedure called Hysteroscopic Polypectomy. Dr said it would only take around 15 minutes (Hopefully! *fingers crossed*)

Just to be more thorough, the Dr asked us came back on CD 3 next cycle to do more USG to check if there were other problems. And yes, Dr also found cyst on my right ovary. This must be removed as well and could be done together during the polypectomy. For the cyst, the procedure called Laparoscopic Cystectomy. Sounded like another headache, but actually it was quite a simple procedure too, which using only small incision. Both of the procedures would take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and I would need to rest for one day at the hospital. (When I browsed about this, some people mentioned there would be bleeding for the next 4 to 5 days after surgery).

For now, I was just waiting for my surgery date (soon!). I prayed that everything would go smoothly, no complication whatsoever. Amen. To be honest, we were wondering of all this time – with so many doctors we went to and so many USG we did – why they never told us about this. Because this problem did not seem to happen instantly – they took quite some time to develop. And the last time I had my USG was I believe during March or April this year. But anyway, I did really hope that these were truly the source of the problem that we had been looking for. I would take this as my downtime and resume my life better after that.

Til next time – with updates on how my surgery went. xx

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Disclaimer.

A few weeks back, someone I was not so close with contacted me. (Note: She had kids and she did not mention anything about having challenging TTC back then). She gave some basic tips e.g to lay down for an hour or so after BD and some other things most TTC people would had already known (not being cocky, but we did have some knowledge too!) She said every women would feel the same (about what?!) and that I should just keep praying (you thought I did not pray enough??) Most disturbing thing was that she did not even read my blog by herself (she heard it from someone else).

I would really appreciate if people could understand that I was not writing this blog for getting pitied on. I was dedicating the blog to:

  1. Women on TTC journey
  2. Everybody else who cared enough for their friends/families who happened being on TTC journey for quite a while and wanted to learn to understand how they might feel (even just a tiny bit of it through my point of view, which I realised everybody might have different ones)

I just hoped that this blog could be informative and honest (yup!) so that it could be as helpful as possible for others. Also just by writing this, I wished it could show that no matter how depressing things might get at some points, me too could manage to get better (Yes me, the fragile-emotionally unstable-oftenly got depressed-low self confident human being LOL) So I was sure that you all with higher EQ (supposedly!) could hang in there better and stronger than me 🙂

Much love, #ttcwarrior

‘Stranger’ Listens Better (?)

Do you agree? 

Current Status: Back on TTC business! (after 2 cycles hiatus lol), been taking OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kits) since CD 9 (although the pamphlet said if you have 28 days cycle, you should start taking test on day 11 or 12 for 29 days cycle – better early than late rite?). CD 9 negative OPK (most likely, dumb me). CD 10 negative OPK (still). CD 11 negative OPK (started getting annoyed). CD 12 negative OPK (panicking). CD 13 positive OPK (thank God!). Today is CD 14, I think I am going to do another test this evening (yeah, the best time to take OPK is between 5 to 8 pm, unlike HPT) just to make sure. Vitamins? Neocell Collagen C (nothing to do with TTC to be honest, just dreaming of better skin – that’s all ;p), Blackmores Folate 500 mcg and Blackmores Natural E 250IU (Note: Pls consult with your doctor first before taking any vitamins during TTC!)

OK, I was not MIA. Only last April I got sudden invitation from our supplier for an incentive trip to London (It was such a blessing actually to be able to go there twice within a year *grateful smile*). The trip was on April 1st until 11th and I took the trip with my sis. So basically this was the reason I was taking TTC break for 2 cycles. We were visiting London (of course! *Primark I love you!*), Manchester, day trip to Liverpool, then coming back to Manchester again, Bibury (so pretty! Hoping I could go back here with hub – he’ll surely love the old village feel), Bourton on the Water (also quite nice, but a bit too much gift shops in my opinion), Oxford (stayed at old hotel called Macdonald Randolph – it was a bit like horror movie set with maze-like aisles *fun* lol), Bicester, then finally going back to London.

Because this was a group trip, of course we were most likely having our lunch and dinner together in a group table setting. I was quite anti-social TBH, so this felt a bit weird for the first few times (We already knew some of the people in the group, because we also went for a trip with them 3 or 4 years ago – but had not been in touch after that). But after a while, it got a little bit more comfortable and we started talking to each other. Somehow, we got talking about personal stuffs (which I usually hate a lot, ESP! when people start questioning about kids *rolling eyes*). But somehow, I did not understand, I felt perfectly FINE. Some older women in the group (they were sisters too, just like me and sis) were sharing their struggles for having babies too. One of them was actually waiting for 6 years, with two chemical pregnancies in between, before making decision for IVF (she happened to have one egg only, but miraculously managed to get pregnant and having a baby boy. Then, she was pregnant again (naturally!) and gave birth to a baby girl.

Her sister also shared stories that she was waiting for 9 years before finally having a baby. I felt these people (who apparently had been dealing with the same issues as mine) had the most conscience. You could tell from their response toward “how many kids do you have?” classic questions. When I answered them that I had not have any yet, they did not say much more (unlike other people who would act like expert and give hundreds suggestions). They were just giving me the “I understand” look and moved on. I wished I could be like them too – making people feel comfortable and understood. Just that. No questions or suggestions needed. Some other girls in the group were also sharing about relationship issues and their wait in finding Mr. Right. How she also felt uncomfortable and left out sometimes when her group of friends only talked about baby stuffs –  I feel you :’)

It is just weird how sometimes we could be more open up to a ‘stranger’ right? I don’t know what it is. Maybe they have new different perspectives or less judgemental (?) Or maybe you don’t really care how they might feel about you, since you don’t get to see them again (or much?) Maybe it is like talking to a psychiatrist, but without hourly fees 🙂

‘Til next time, X. 

image2
Pretty Bibury – in front of The Swan Hotel. Hopefully I could come back here one day! 🙂

 

HSG 101

As mentioned on my last post, on February I was asked by my doctor at the fertility clinic to do the HSG test… I was quite back and forth about doing it, but after some talks with a really nice relative –big thanks!– (his wife was also taking HSG test, even twice) I was convinced that it was a particularly safe and painless procedure.

What is actually an HSG test?

It’s the short term for hysterosalpingogram, which basically an X-Ray test using contrast to check if you have blocked fallopian tubes or not. (And what are fallopian tubes? They are those pipes that let your fertilised egg to get into your uterus during ovulation)

How was the procedure? 

So first I was asked to change into something like operation gown, then lay down on an X-Ray table. It was quite uncomfortable, since the table was cold and stiff (of course!). But they provided pillows and blanket. The nurse was thoughtful, too. She put some minyak kayu putih (eucalyptus oil) on my stomach. The doctor cleaned up my cervix, then inserted the iodine contrast using thin tubes. All along the procedure she talked a lot to me, which really helped me to feel less nervous. (She’s around her mid 60s I guess) She told me how she was herself waiting for 8 years to finally have a baby. The procedure took around 1 hour from preparation until finish.

Was it painful? 

It was not painless to be honest, but certainly not painful. I only felt some discomfort along the process, nothing traumatic lol. From scale 1 to 10, I would say the discomfort was around 2 or 3 🙂 For a few days after HSG, I got mild bleeding and brown spotting (which the doctor said to be perfectly normal). And the mild cramps would go away after 1 or 2 days.

Where did I take the test?

I was assigned by the clinic to take the test on Parahita Lab Surabaya.

How much did it cost? 

The total cost with all administration fee and stuffs was IDR 1,210,000.

Any preparation before the test? 

The test should be done after period and before ovulation (I had 28/29 cycle days, so mine was taken on CD 10 if i was not mistaken). I was told to have small breakfast before coming (no fasting needed). And you need to pee just right before the procedure.

How about the result? 

Thank God everything was fine for me: no blockage and everything seemed to be okay. Yay 🙂

I was browsing through some TTC Forum and there were some women even said they got pregnant on few cycles after HSG. I did not really browse about the correlation between doing HSG and increase in pregnancy success rate, but I was hoping it happened to me too! This cycle (right after HSG) was another BFN, but maybe because this cycle was disrupted with bleeding and spotting after HSG. So better luck next time!

Hope this post helps. x

Intermezzo.

Long story short, when you visit a fertility clinic at some point they’ll (most likely) ask you to do HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) Test – if you haven’t done it before, to check if there is any blockage in your fallopian tubes. More about HSG on next post… 

So yeah, I browsed and browsed about it and so many people wrote they apparently fell pregnant after doing HSG. I somehow got my hopes up (despite the scary thoughts of the procedure itself) and decided to go with it anyway.

And then TWW came (Two-Weeks-Wait) came. I felt all these symptoms (you name it, I swear I could feel it – that’s the beauty of TWW): fatigue, dizziness, nausea, bloating, headache, backache and so on… The thought of “this time it could be it – since we did things differently, we did the so called HSG – it worked on so many people” surely came into my mind.

Then Bam… AF started saying hello by sending brown spotting and crappy feeling. Oh crap. (Note: I am currently on CD 27 today, AF is supposedly coming tomorrow) Then you just came back to reality! Reassuring yourself: it’s okay… we’ll try again next month, we’ll eat better, sleep better, exercise better… (Any of you could relate? LOL)

This probably my most boring and least informative post… haha. But anyway after cycle and cycle and cycle, I gotta think that TTC women are the most resilient. We might feel down at the very end of the cycle, but then always stand up to try once again. Don’t you think so? We are probably a lot stronger than we think we are!

🙂

#againstbullying

Do you have this particular auntie in your family who is nagging slash annoying slash key-poh slash keep-repeating-the-same-question-over-and-over-again?

Unfortunately, I have. She is not even a blood-relative auntie. She is hubby’s family’s friend, who happens to always invite us for birthday parties (of hers, her husband’s, her daughters’, her grandchildren’s…). And she always asks this classic question of When. She would purposely sit next to me, open photo gallery on her phone and show me photos of her grandchildren (which for the sake of politeness I have to say how cute they are as the response). Also she would make it sound like a ‘competition’ how her daughter already has 3 kids and me nada. (In Bahasa Jowo: Mosok kalah sama X, X ae anak e wes 3 @@) For goodness’ sake. The worst thing is: I always end up losing words to say back at her.

So last month I finally found a chance to tell her what I’ve been meaning to say in front of her face for years. She invited us (my in laws, hubby’s cousins – who happened to be this Auntie’s victim as well, hubby and I) for her 70th birthday. I made the plan to prepare a gift along with a birthday card, saying everything she needed to understand to (pleaseeee) stop asking. Note: I gave lipstick for the gift, to hopefully remind her every time she’s about to open her lips to ASK.

Below was basically what I wrote to her (I was writing it in Bahasa though):

Dear Auntie X,

Happy birthday. May God bless you with good health. 

Thank you for your kind attention that you’ve shown to me and my husband all this time. However, there are things I need to clarify to you so that there won’t be any misunderstanding between us. It is not that we don’t want to have kids (that we don’t have kids yet until now). We’ve been trying for years. In fact for your information, I’ve been having two miscarriages on 2015 and 2016. So therefore, we would really appreciate it if in the future we could respect each other’s privacy. If you care enough for us, please just pray for us. 

Once again happy birthday. 

Warm regards, 

Yunita & Richard. 

I haven’t met her again after that. I don’t know if the letter works or not, which I hope it does. But somehow I have felt more relieved that I gotta say what I need to say. I mean, I need to stand up for myself. I don’t mean to be rude to elders, but there should be a clear boundary. It is never right to hurt others’ feeling, which she has done over and over again to me, to us. She needs to stop doing that.

Later on, her daughter sent me a message saying she was sorry if her mum had been making us felt uncomfortable with all the questions. And I really appreciate it. Hopefully if you are having this similar problem like this, you could stand up for yourself too. As we should just work together to make this world a little more comfortable for people on TTC *rolling-sleeves* 🙂

#happybelatedvalentinesday

#happybelatedlunarnewyear

Lasik 2.0

[Long Story Alert. Coffee might be needed] 

About two years ago, I went to Singapore to have a pre-lasik assessment on SNEC. But since I just had a minor cornea irritation 2 months before, my pre-lasik result was not good and I was unable to do Lasik. Btw, before having this cornea injury I was a full-time contact lens user. I used to wear them for whole day since I woke up until before I went to bed (Bad habit I know!). Since then, I only wore contact lenses on weekends or if there were parties to attend (It’s hard picturing myself wearing dresses with glasses.. I always felt like Ugly Betty *sigh*)

Just before Christmas, I got to hang out with my cousin and friend. She was mentioning something about how my glasses look quite thick and asking about my eye degree (They are both -6.00 with -1.00 and -1.25 cylinder). And yes, from that I started thinking about having Lasik procedure again. I thought since now I only used glasses (most of the time), maybe my eyes had been healthier and hopefully suitable for Lasik. So, I did my homework, browsing here and there about Lasik clinics in Singapore. Then I found this article on sassymamasg.com: Top 10 Surgeons for LASIK in Singapore. I read about each and every clinic mentioned there and picked 4 that I thought most trustworthy and fit my needs.

I sent emails to those clinics, asking about basic stuffs like the Lasik procedure itself, how long should I stay at Singapore, the fees, post Lasik treatment and so on. And I found that I received the best feedback from one clinic. I made appointment for eye assessment on January 18, 2018. I arrived at Singapore in the morning, went to the hotel for checking in, had some lunch then went straight to the clinic. I went through a thorough pre-lasik assessment (a lot of machines with me being asked to focus my sight on one dot – corneal topography I guessed, sorry could not recall one by one ;p). I got my pupil being dilated too using some eyedrops. This would make your vision go blurry for few hours (TBH, not as bad as I thought it would be. I could still go walking around comfortably)

After all the assessment done (it took probably around 2 hours), I got to meet Dr L. Basically, from the test result everything looked okay (meant that I was a good candidate for Lasik). But not yay yet, because there was a big concern mentioned by doctor about my eye width being too small >< This would apparently make it harder for the suction ring (the tools that help your eye remain open during the procedure) to fit into my eye. (Still couldn’t believe it though that among 20,000 patients that this particular doctor claimed to have handled, my eyes were the smallest!!) I realised that my eyes were small (typical Asian eyes), but I did not think they were that small… *sigh*

Anyway, the said he was confident about this, that if he could not do it, no other doctor in this world could, let’s try first… and so on and so on. So yeah, I was being convinced again (half-convinced to be honest, but since I thought everything so far so good I would just go for it). I was scheduled to do the Lasik the next day. I was so nervous for the rest of the day (and also night!). I barely slept at all (I only slept for 2 hours maybe). Just so you know, in every Lasik booklet there is a Disclaimer mentioning risk of losing sight (Yes, blind). So yeah…

I arrived around 10am at the clinic. I must take some eye test again to make sure that the degree taken yesterday was correct (Since it was going to be permanent of course, not just for glasses or contact lenses). All the nurses there was very nice actually. After that I was being led to another room to put on the operation gown above my original clothes and head cap. Then the nurse started to clean and disinfect just around my eye area, put a lot of eye drops (about 12 drops for each eye) for numbing and anti-inflammation. I was so dead nervous and praying A LOT.

Finally, I went to the operation room. *Thriller sound on background* Still managed to take the Before picture with the doctor (Yup, he’s apparently so confident), before I started to lie down under the machine. Dr L said that after this he would try to put in the suction ring and then I would smell some burning when the laser started. I remember I was super nervous that my whole body started to trembling (The room itself was very cold, but the nurse had given thick blanket plus I also wore socks). Then here goes… Dr L started with my right eye. He asked me to open my eye as wide as I could and tried to push the suction ring into my eye. Pushing, pushing, pushing, rolling my eye down, rolling my eye up, then more pushing, pushing, pushing… Then I gave up. Because it started to get painful (even though I had been given the numbing drops, but it still hurt). I asked doctor to stop. He still wanted to try with my left eye though *deep sigh*. I saw no point of doing this though, so I said no.

I got up and went to Dr L office. He said sorry that he could not perform the Lasik. He was offering us with other method called LASEK, which could be performed right away. (You can read about the difference between LASEK vs LASIK at allaboutvision.com) Basically with Lasek, the healing process was a bit longer than Lasik. Patient needed to use temporary contact lens for about 5 days until the cornea healed completely. And also there was a risk of scarring. We were given 5 minutes to make decision. And I did not think that I could make proper decision within that very short period with one eye feeling hurt. We decided not to do the LASEK for that day (or ever). I was given anti-inflammation eye drop for my right eye (there was like bright red circle around the white part of my eye – just outside the cornea thankfully, due to the suction ring trial before).

Supposedly I should feel devastated, but I just felt very grateful instead. I was actually very scared that something worse was going to happen. But now at least my eyes are OK, even though I need to go back to glasses and contact lenses. Plus, on the brighter side, my both eye power decreased by -.50. I am quite happy about this (also it means a little less thick glasses). Please gather as much information as possible if you are thinking about having Lasik surgery. Good luck! 

Note: Pre-lasik assessment fee is around SGD 200. Lasik procedure + all medication is around SGD 5,000

eye
This was how my right eye looked after about 3 days post-Lasik attempt. A little bit of redness on top and below area, but not as severe as the first day. The redness had gone completely now. Thank God.