Thursday, 8 October 2015

Looking ahead..

I have been busy since my last post.

After my second ultrasound at KL Fertility Clinic, I wanted to get another opinion and also discuss what my options were to terminate the pregnancy. I went to Dr Paul Ng at Pantai Hospital. There was a ridiculously long wait. After what seemed like ages, my turn finally came and his prognosis was the same. We discussed my options- taking misoprostol which would induce bleeding or D&C. I wasn't keen on going under anesthesia and was veering towards the idea of taking the medicines. Unfortunately Dr Paul informed me that he didn't have the license to prescribe the medicine, but he could refer me to a colleague. I didn't like the sound of that. It seemed very shady. Is misoprostol banned in Malaysia? I came back from my appointment feeling crushed yet again. After many phone calls to India, my parents urged me to come home to get the pregnancy terminated. Once back in India, I decided to go ahead with D&C. With misoprostol, bleeding can be very heavy and painful. Also, there is a chance that one might need D&C even after taking the medicine. I'm glad that I changed my mind and went ahead with the D&C. It was a breeze! The actual procedure took less than ten minutes. I had terrible cramps the entire day but the next day, I was feeling so normal that my mum and I went shopping! Every woman's decision on how to terminate the pregnancy will be different. In my case, I didn't want to prolong the pregnancy after having three harrowing ultrasounds. I wanted it out so that I could focus on healing.

It has been 3 weeks since the D&C and I feel like my old self once again. I had been having pretty extreme mood swings, acne outbreaks, and was generally feeling depressed and anxious. Now I'm feeling more upbeat. I've also been analyzing how I was behaving when I was pregnant. I was scared of doing something that would jeopardize the pregnancy and I felt I was no longer in control of my body. Instead of enjoying the body's ability to nourish another human being, I was worried about stretch marks, bloated feet and not having any clothes to wear. Maybe this was a clue that the pregnancy would not continue? I don't know. What I do know is that I don't want a momentous event like a pregnancy to be tainted by one's fears.

From now on, I choose to focus on the positive. With a little help, I can get pregnant. Isn't that wonderful! If it happened once, it will happen again. If it doesn't, God has another path in mind for me. I look forward to resuming my gym routine. I look forward to going back to work. And I send baby dust to everyone who's trying to conceive.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Can it be over even before it really began

I had my second ultrasound last Friday, and it was horrible. The baby has not grown and there is no sign of heartbeat. Dr Natasha will make the final prognosis this coming Friday. She's asked me to stop taking duphaston and told me that if I start bleeding, I should go to a hospital immediately. I was too upset to talk about it, my husband called up his aunt back in Delhi who said that chances of this pregnancy continuing are very low.

And just like that, all hope has frizzled out.

Everything seemed to be working out- I got pregnant in the first round of IUI, had found a nice maid which meant that I wouldn't need to do heavy household chores, job prospects seem positive which meant that I would be fruitfully (or not) engaged and wouldn't be obsessing about my pregnancy journey all the time.

Dr Natasha advised us to wait for 3 months before trying again. It was such luck that we got pregnant the first time we did IUI. Who knows that will happen the second time around? This seems like such a bad dream. I look at people around me and the happy updates on my Facebook feeds; it seems as if others have it so easy. That lovely bump and that pregnancy glow, a cherubic baby dressed in a sweet onsie, a toddler playing on the beach, grandparents looking delirious with joy, parents and sibling welcoming the new baby...

What I'm feeling is not guilt. I know that miscarriages in the first trimester are mostly caused by chromosomal defects. If that's the case, this baby was doomed from the time I conceived. What I'm feeling is immense sadness at the loss of a happy future and fear of what lies ahead of us.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A rollercoaster of emotions

It has been more than a month since the IUI , and 3 weeks since I took the home pregnancy test. Silly superstition beliefs prevented me from posting an update. But today, I feel the need to express myself. If I were still in the habit of keeping a diary, I'd write in it today. I'm not sure where my diary is (ma, there are things there that would shock you, please don't read it in case you find it!) Posting on this blog comes closest to writing in my diary, so here goes..

The home pregnancy test was positive as was the blood test. I took 2 tests at home to be sure! Once my parents and in-laws got to know, I was bombarded with well- meaning advice. Eat almonds and walnuts every day. Don't do any housework. Drink beetroot, tomato and pomegranate juice everyday. Don't carry anything anything heavy. Don't use the treadmill. It was enough to make my head spin! For the past few weeks, I haven't been going to the gym. Instead I've been following a gentle prenatal yoga and cardio routine (love ya, youtube) and all responsibility for grocery shopping has been handed over to the husband.

My first ultrasound was today. The purpose was to hear the fetal heartbeat. I was nervous all night. Dr Prashant Nadkarni no longer sees patients who are pregnant, so I had an appointment with Dr Helena Lim at the KL Fertility Clinic. Unfortunately, she was very busy and was caught up with an emergency case so Dr Natasha did my ultrasound. She was very sweet when she came to know that I had problems with a transvaginal ultrasound the first time around. In the abdominal scan, she could not see anything so we had to switch to the transvaginal one. She ensured that there was a lot of gel on the instrument and inserted in quickly. There was a sharp, shooting pain and I only got through it because she was quick and had an encouraging attitude. We could see the sac and what seemed to be the fetus. But there was no heartbeat. My heart sank at the news. Dr Natasha said that it could be because the fetus is in one corner. I've been asked to come next week for another scan. As I was dressing, she told my husband that if there was still no heartbeat next week, we'll have to consider inducing miscarriage.

I felt so low that after bidding my husband goodbye, I went to a mall and bought a breezy romance paperback to take my mind off things. I know that I'm in such an early stage of pregnancy and that I haven't really felt pregnant (no morning sickness, tender breasts etc) The baby is still so small that it seems impossible to feel a connection with it. But I do. I want this so much. And I didn't realize the intensity of it until I came home and was checking my social media feed when I came across this heartwarming ad on the connection between a mother and a child (

I have no control of this. God has a plan. He knows what I need which may not necessarily be what I want. I have to trust him.

For all the couples and women whose ultrasounds have revealed something unexpected and worrying, my thoughts are with you. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The 2 week wait

When I jumped on the TTC blog-reading spree, the acronyms like OPK, AF etc was so confusing. But nothing was as confusing as 2WW. What the what, I thought to myself. I slowly learnt that it referred to the dreaded '2 week wait'. That is the time between you ovulate or when you've undergone a IUI or IVF and the date on which your doctor will advise you to take the home pregnancy test. All accounts of the 2ww mentioned that the wait is agonizing. And they are absolutely right. It is agonizing, since you can do nothing to improve your chances. I feel that I have an exam but I can't study and prepare before-hand. It is so frustrating. On top of it, I'm having terrible mood swings.

Yesterday, I asked my husband to pick up a packet of potato chips on his way back home. It was raining so he dashed back home from the train station, skipping the grocery store. And that started the stupidest of fights in a long(ish) time. I sulked, refused to talk to him and at one point in time, even stomped my foot.When it had stopped raining, my husband dashed to the store and bought chips which I refused to eat. This drama continued until late at night, when my craving won over my self-righteous anger and I happily devoured the entire packet. I was in such a good mood that I even let my husband take a couple of bites! I usually get these kind of mood swings when my periods are drawing near. Or is it the side effect of duphaston?

So the wait itself...I feel that I need to take a break from all the TTC related reading I've been doing of late. It has been comforting to know that there are many, many women who are going through this journey. At the same time, I feel that it has contributed to my obsession with everything related to IVF, pregnancies and babies. I feel exhausted. There are other things in my life that I'm not paying attention to. Those are the things that will keep me sane and will get me through to the next week and beyond. I'll continue to blog, but I'm going to cut down on the obsessive reading and researching.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Being positive

It has been 5 days since the IUI. I continued to have spotting for 3 days, and I felt something pulling and stretching in my lower abdomen for quite some time. I went to the gym on Sunday but could only manage to walk at a very low speed on the treadmill for 15 minutes. Yesterday was a lot better, I walked for 30 minutes and was careful to not overdo it. I read somewhere that a an over-heated body is detrimental to a growing embryo. I know that I'm not pregnant yet and reading all sorts of conflicting advice on the net is confusing. I'm reading to crank up the intensity level today but not at the same level as before.

By nature, I'm not terribly positive. I have a tendency to obsess and worry about the small things. While browsing TTC blogs, I read about a woman who keeps a daily journal where she records all that she's thankful of. I liked the idea and have started doing the same. Rather than  focusing on things that are missing (no job, no baby, no social circle in KL) I want to emphasize the positive things in my life and there are so many- my health, having a wonderful friend and companion in my husband, having incredible parents and in-laws, having friends I can blindly trust, having the opportunity to travel and explore the world, the means to lead a comfortable life...the list goes on. Thank you God for your many blessings.

I had a dream about a woman who's heavily pregnant. She didn't look like me, but in my dream I was looking at the world through her eyes. She's single and is travelling with her boyfriend. They suddenly have an ugly spat and she's all alone in a different country. If I had to analyze it, I'd say that the dream reflected my feeling that I'm alone. I'm not alone. I have support from all quarters, I just have to seek it.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Day after

It is the day after my first IUI, and what a difference a good night sleep has made! I feel refreshed and positive. The heaviness and soreness in my lower abdomen region has reduced considerably and I feel almost like myself. The spotting has gone. And there could me a teeny- weeny thing growing inside me in the next few weeks!

My husband and I discussed our experience with KL Fertility Clinic and Dr Prakash Nadkarni in particular last night. While my reactions were emotional, my husband was more pragmatic. We both agreed that Dr Nadkarni has been professional and we can't find any faults with his advice and suggested course of treatment (we've been checking the doctor's advise with my husband's aunt back in India who's an established and experienced Gynecologist and Obstetrician)  His bedside manner could be better but it is more important that we get the right medical opinion and treatment. We'll continue to see him as long as necessary.

I'm going to err on the side of caution and am going to skip the gym today.

For those going in for IUI for the first time, do try to ensure that you can rest the entire day, especially if you are going to be sedated.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

IUI and all the drama

My first IUI was scheduled for today. I was very nervous all of yesterday. In a previous visit, Dr Prashant Nadkarni could not examine me via a transvaginal ultrasound so he had decided to do both the examination and the IUI together under sedatives. Until today, I found the idea of being put to sleep terrifying. My fears, fortunately, were unfounded :)

My husband and I arrived at the KL Fertility Clinic by 7.20 am. We first deposited the sperm sample on the 6th floor where the clinic is located and then proceeded to the 4th floor to be admitted for the IUI at the KLSMC hospital. The nurses there were so warm and friendly; I immediately felt relaxed after meeting and talking to them. I was made to take off my clothes and wear a hideous hospital gown which is tied at the back. My medical history was taken and the nurse checked when I had last eaten and if my bladder was full. The anaesthesiologist came in shortly. Like the nurses, she was friendly and had a great bedside manner. She explained that she would make me feel relaxed and I would fall off to sleep quickly. I was wheeled into a room that looked like OT at 9 am. Looking at all the doctors dressed in their surgical gowns and face masks, I began to feel panicky. The anaesthesiologist put an oxygen mask on me and injected me with something. There was a sharp prick but it was just a second long. She asked me to think about my home in Delhi, think about the lawn. I remember telling her that there was no lawn but there was a balcony. She said, "Think about the balcony and the view from there". And that is the last thing I remember.

I know for people going through this for the time time, being sedated sounds scary. But trust me and trust the doctors, there is nothing to it. You just fall into a deep, dreamless sleep and it seems as if no time has passed at all.

Someone gently called my name and said it was all over. I woke up feeling groggy. I was back in the room and it was just 9.20 am! I had no recollection whatsoever of what had happened and how I got back to the room. I wanted to pee but the nurse asked me to wait. After around 30 minutes, she sweetly escorted me to the bathroom and helped me to pee. I was aware of what was happening but my energy levels were low, and things seemed to have slowed down. I was concerned to see blood when I wiped after peeing. The nurse told me it was normal. She said that the doctor had to go in deep in my case and that she would get me a pantyliner once I had changed back into my clothes. After that, there was nothing to do but lie on the bed and wait. My husband played games on his mobile and answered work emails while I was in a state of complete relaxation! I was given light snacks. I had just a couple of bites of the bun and some sips of  milo. This would turn out to be a mistake as I would later realize.

My husband and I went back to the 6th floor to consult with Dr Prashant Nadkarni. He had briefly popped by my room before the IUI and had told me that he would talk after the procedure. The time again, I was disappointed by his lack of care and his inability to find time to talk to his patients. One nurse quickly told me what were the next steps, and that was that. I had questions about the procedure, the blood, the quality of sperm (whether it had improved since the last test) etc so my husband insisted that we wanted to talk to the man himself. The nurse said that it would be a longish wait.

It was already 11 am and my husband had not taken an off from work. I told him to go back to work and I would talk to the doctor and go back by myself. I was asked to wait in a small room where Dr Prashant Nadkarni rushed in for a brief while. His first words were- yes, you wanted to see me? This really annoyed me. I felt like telling him that you should want to talk to me and tell me how everything went even if it was a really simple 5 minute procedure. I quickly asked all of my questions. He said I was very tight and the cervix was deep so that's why the bleeding happened. He said that the procedure would have made things looser which would make it easier for me. I have no idea what is supposed to be easier- sex? childbirth? scans? The sperm test was ok, the count was up from the last time but it was still slightly short of the standard levels. He said all in all, my chances are pretty good. I can carry out my normal activities starting tomorrow.

I walked out of the clinic feeling dejected. Not sure why but I would have preferred the doctor to spend some time with me rather than me demanding that I wanted to see him. The entire time, he was talking to me, he was standing up which isn't conducive to a patient asking follow up questions. I kept telling myself that he's super busy and super important and super qualified. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with him if the IUI doesn't work out. Lets wait and see.

So after walking out of the clinic, I booked a taxi and was waiting outside Wisma Perintis for the taxi. I was going over my meeting with Dr Nadkarni in my head when I began to feel whoozy. Spots began appearing in my line of vision and I knew I was going to faint. In my head, I was yelling shit and I began to call out to people on the road to help me. Suddenly, I was on the ground and was surrounded by 2-3 people. There was a nice guy who seemed like a college going student who gave me water to drink and helped me up. I asked him to call my husband. I don't know who he was but thank heavens for that boy. You were such a help, god bless you. My husband rushed back and picked me up.

Lesson from this- if you are being sedated (even if it is for a simple procedure) you should have someone around you all the time on that day. And also carry some toffees or chocolates. I suspect my BP or blood sugar was very low. I had hardly eaten the breakfast I had been given which was a mistake on my part.

This was the drama for the day. Luckily, I didn't hurt myself in that fainting spree. My thanks again to the boy who helped me.

How do I feel now? It is night and I still have some spotting. There is a heaviness in my lower abdomen and I'm not feeling hungry. Apparently bleeding and cramps are common after IUI. While the doctor told me that I could go to the gym starting from tomorrow, I'm going to listen to my body cues. If the cramping or heaviness continues, I'll skip the gym. I'm going to do some positive visualization at night before going off to sleep. Fingers crossed!