(In)fertility Treatments: My Story, My Journey
I’m writing this today, 3 years after Ayden was born because I have seen many friends who are in the same situation as I am yet did not seek treatment just because they are not aware about it. Well, maybe they are aware about it but chose to wait and see. I am also writing this because I came across someone sharing an article on abortion access and why it should be allowed globally. For a person who had to seek treatments to get pregnant (me), I always feel sad reading about abortion of perfectly healthy babies just because their ‘mummy and daddy’ are careless.
Though I have PCOS, I conceived Ethan easily. It was so easy that I can’t comprehend how people find it difficult to get pregnant. Yes, I was being ignorant to a certain extend. And then it was time to try for our second child. I thought it will be a breeze but boy, was I proven wrong!
Having PCOS, I don’t get my menses monthly so when I don’t get my period after 3 – 4 months and started feeling bloated and queasy, I suspected that I am already pregnant. Happily bought the home pregnancy test kits only to find negative results over and over again. This continued to almost a year when a cousin of mine spoke to me regarding her going for fertility treatments.
I never know there is such treatments prior to talking to her. I was only aware of IVF as that was what watching TV taught me. I did not even want to believe that I needed such treatment. I did after all conceived and delivered Ethan, didn’t I?
After several more months of negative results with the clock ticking against my favour, I decided to give a call to the doctor my cousin recommended to get myself checked.
The first time I entered that room, I was nervous. A part of me did not want to know IF there really is a problem with me yet I know I am not getting any younger hence I have to face this. I told the doctor my story and he talked me through the several steps and options available to help me.
I started my treatment with fertility drugs. I was prescribed Clomid to boost ovulation. Clomid is taken after my cycle and I have to get back to the clinic after a while to be monitored to check how many follicles or eggs developed. This is done by vaginal ultrasound. During this procedure, a doctor will insert an ultrasound probe about two or three inches into your vaginal canal. So imagine if you are a first time patient, lying there on the clinic bed trying to be as calm as possible coz you were told to spread open your legs but you see your doctor tearing a packet of condom in front of you. Relax! The condom is to cover the ultrasound wand before being inserted into your vagina canal. It’s truly professional here ladies. There’s always a nurse present so no worries.
It is not painful. The feeling I feel is similar to that of pap smear but I think pap smear is worse ‘coz my doctor had to get the nurse to hold a torchlight for him to insert that duck-like instrument inside of me. And then he had to insert a wand and tickle me in there. After he is satisfied that he has taken enough sample, he’ll stop tickling and remove the duck. At least for vaginal scan, the doctor did not even need to look before entering that wand inside of me. I guess after all these years, he can do it with his eyes close!
I got good readings after my first Clomid treatment. The doctor write out dates that I am most probably fertile and was advised to play as much BEDminton and SEXercise on those dates. So you can imagine what happened on those few dates. It was like the fullmoon, the she-wolf in me kept howling all night long and the alpha wolf was squeezed dry until the last drop.
After a while it is back to the clinic to check if those passionate nights bare success but alas, I get negative reading again. It felt so sad to see those healthy follicles I saw earlier disappeared. I went for a procedure to check on my fallopian tube and this I tell you is blardy painful. A tiny camera is inserted inside of me through that same door down south. This tiny camera will check the tube for blockage, cyst and more. One of my tube is kind of penyet so they tried to unblock it and that is where it was painful.
After that procedure, I started on Clomid treatments again. After what I think is my 4th Clomid treatment that turned out negative, my doctor advised me to go for the next step as my age is really catching up. I can hear the clock ticked in that clinic room telling me I’ll be running out of eggs soon. By now my morale was really in the dumps. I cried as I walked out the clinic. I kept apologizing to Darling and Ethan for not being able to give him another child and a sibling to Ethan.
The next step is IUI. IUI is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. Up to this point, Darling accompanied me to every session, every treatment I went through but nothing was done on him. If we were to start this IUI treatment, Darling will have to be there according to schedule too as we will need sperm for the doctor to insert inside my uterus. IUI is not IVF. IVF will come after IUI should I fail it too.
IUI requires more commitment from both Darling and I. The IUI procedure will be performed around the time of ovulation, typically about 24-36 hours after the surge in LH hormone that indicates ovulation will occur soon hence we will have to be on our toes and ready at all times. We will need to be ready physically and mentally for this.
I requested for a month break from my doctor. I needed this break. I promised him that I’ll be back in a month to start the IUI treatment and he agreed. During this one month, Darling and I did not mention a single word about the upcoming treatment. We just can’t bring ourselves to speak to each other about it. I called up the doctor to delay the treatment for another 2 weeks.
Finally my calendar shows that my appointment is due next week. I felt queasy in my tummy. I felt sick. I felt like vomiting even but nothing comes out, only air. The urge to vomit gets worse the following days especially in the mornings. After 3 days of feeling sick in the mornings, I secretly did a home pregnancy test since I have so many of those strips at home. I did not expect anything out of it but it showed a DOUBLE BLUE line! I could not believe my eyes and thought the strip has expired since I got them like so long ago. The next day I did the test again and again, it gave me double blue lines. By now I decided to tell Darling about it. He did not know what to say but finally blurted out, ‘try again tomorrow’. When I get double blue lines again the next day, it was also time to meet my doctor for our scheduled appointment.
I walked into the clinic and told the doctor, “I think I am pregnant” to which he asked, “how come?” He then continued, “come lie down here, let me check”. When he performed a sonogram on me, he discovered a ‘bean’. He told me, “There, can you see that bean?”
I was extremely happy to see that little bean that I teared and said, “YES!” but then he continued saying, “it doesn’t have a heart beat… yet” to which my heart sank right into my stomach. I think it went on to hug that little bean
My doctor, I shall call him my gynae now told me to return in a week’s time as he said it is too soon to detect a heartbeat as I may only be 6 weeks long. That 7 days were the most torturous days of my life as I couldn’t sleep nor function properly. I kept telling my bean to hang in there and please give me a heartbeat. When it came to the day for my gynae to check again, he showed me the bean which is still there. And then without any warnings, he switched on the sound and I heard heart beat! OMG! I heard HEART BEATS! I cried tears of relief and the rest, they say is history.
I am sharing my story today because I know I am not alone with difficulty to conceive. I am sharing my story today in the hopes that others in the same situation with me will come out of their shell and get checked.
I am sharing my story today also in the hopes that you’ll think twice before aborting your baby because there are many others in this world who would trade anything just so they can experience carrying a baby in them for 9 months and then in their arms and in their hearts forever…
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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.
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