A year in infertility blogsphere

It's been a year full of uncountable blood tests and ultrasounds, few Clomid cycles, 2 fresh IVF cycles, 3 transfers resulting from these cycles, which led to 2 failed FETs, and 1 miscarriage. I'm also 3.5 years into my TTC journey, which has resulted in bucket loads of tears and heartache. Since my recent miscarriage, my heart has remained full, and spills through my eyes with the slightest encouragement from external factors. This 'journey' makes us stronger everyday, but also strips us of our faith and hope, and knocks us down again and again and again after we finally are back back in our feet. It's a very difficult journey, but through the blogs and other online support network, I am so thankful for not feeling alone here. I am always humbled by the strength of the amazing people I've come to know through this year. I'll keep praying that each of our infertility journeys ends soon for us...

As for my TTC update, I am getting used to the idea of waiting one more month. Not only can I do more scans, I'll also get more time for my body to heal. Hopefully we can have one FET this year before we head for our trip. We'll try naturally while we can't do IVF, but of course we won't hold our breath for a miracle those cycles, cause we know better.


More waiting

I had an appointment with my FS (+Endocrinologist) yesterday, mostly to check my thyroid results she had sent me to do when I got pregnant. The thyroid results were fine, and I was quite happy that my TPO antibodies have been going down since I started the gluten free diet. It is now only 345 compared to 500 in July, and >1000 in March. So I am quite hopeful of this diet bringing good news.

, but the ultrasounds for the dating scan indicated that my fibroids had grown, and my FS wants me to get a sonohysterogram to check that my endometrium is fine. It has to be done after CD6 of my next cycle. I do have the option of doing it in parallel to the FET that I was planning for my next cycle, but there are two catches. Firstly, medicare will not cover the costs of any extra scans etc during an IVF(fresh/FET) cycle it seems..but that's not a huge amount of money, so that OK. Secondly, and most importantly, my FS suggested that I wait that cycle out, and do the FET after that cycle. She said it is necessary to recover completely, physically and emotionally after my miscarriage, so one more cycle where we just do a scan should do it. So she suggested scan in Oct, then FET in Nov, providing my cycles are not completely crazy after the miscarriage. The problem I have with that is that I was looking forward to 'using up' the two frozen embryos I have left this year this year, before going on a 6-week holiday visiting my folks in early December and taking a long break next year from all thing IVF. This of course was with the assumption that the two FETs at the end of this year will not work, same as the two FETs a the end of this year (and with my negative frame of mind right now, I can't expect more of life for now). With this new suggestion, I have my IVF thoughts following me well into my holiday and perhaps into the first quarter of the new year. I cannot understand what my fate is trying to tell me..I am tired of waiting and this uncertainty. With IVF, it feels like I am doing something concrete, but there is so much waiting around IVF, and I am tired of putting my life on hold. I know I will not be OK to overlook what my FS told me and just go ahead with the FET next month. I will also feel bad if I almost six months from now, I am exactly where I am right now. But I think I am still inclined to wait next year, than feel guilty that I wasted an embryo that might hold my future happiness. So I am sure it is just a long wait ahead for me. There is no moving forward.

I am sorry if I have stretched too long today. 2 glasses of wines are taking their effect - it had been a really long time since I last drank. I hope you all have a better weekend and future lined up for you...


Circle of life

Last week was a pretty dark week for us. I have to warn you that this post will reflect the darkness. Please read it at your own risk.

Turns out, our uncle who I mentioned died unexpectedly in my last post, was actually murdered. Pretty brutally. Maybe a kidnapping gone bad, maybe an ulterior motive, no one knows. This is something that happened only at movies I thought. Can't even begin to imagine what he went through in his last moments. And I can't think of what my aunt and rest of the family is going through right now. 30+ years of beautiful marriage cut short out of the blue by some soulless person. A loving dad and son gone because of who knows what insignificant motive! It happened back home, and with the system there, finding the person who did it may take eons, IF it does ever happen.

I was pretty down last week, but I won't complain of the feelings I went through, as it just is insignificant to what those who were directly affected went through, and are still going through. Although I wasn't that close to my uncle, I am very fond of my aunt (my mom's sister). After I got the news, all I could do from here was to pray to god to give her strength. After my own loss (which just pales in comparison to her grief), I kinda know her pain, which I am sure is at least 10 times mine, and my heart just goes out for her. My mom tells me she is being strong for her children right now, and I am so proud of her for that. It is early days, and the whole town seems to be there supporting them and urging the police to move fast. Unfortunately, reality is that this will all fade, and life will go back to normal for everyone soon. Except for my aunt. And her family. No one, and I mean NO ONE should ever have to go through what's in store for her now. Life is so precious, but some selfish people just forget its value.

I think of her every single day, and keep on praying for her and her family - for strength and that they gets justice soon. Its not enough and I wish I could do more. Life can be so unfair sometimes...


Trivializing surrogacy and infertility

Last night, I watched Q&A in ABC TV hosting the panel discussion "100% Women 100% Dangerous". There were few interesting topics discussed, but I was appalled by the thoughts of Swedish writer, journalist and activist Kajsa Ekis Ekman as she believed surrogacy is the same as child trafficking and prostitution (see a review of her book here). Having read so many personal stories of people affected by the kind heartedness of people who agree to be surrogates, I was infuriated by the generalization of this matter. I always thought surrogacy was an ultimate sacrifice, and a ultimate gift of love. Having gone through infertility, I could only imagine how much it would mean to the receiving parents. I understand that, like with everything else, commercialization has hit surrogacy as well, and people in poor economic conditions are exploited for this noble (in my viewpoint) cause, but I thought people saw the greater good in all of this.

Because I was left thinking on this topic (and being angry at the journalist) for a long time after the program, I decided to read a little bit on it this morning, and came across an article by Amrita Pande where, as a part of her thesis, she interviews some surrogates in a 'surrogacy clinic' in India (note, Kajsa's a lot of views were based on Amrita's research). Again, I was disappointed by the simplification of the whole giving process of surrogacy at the clinic. The sacrifice plus empowerment felt by the surrogate women were only because of their ability to improve the financial conditions of their families. Nothing about the happiness of fulfilling the dreams of the receiving couple. Still, I get that. Although I haven't faced poverty myself, I have seen it first hand in my own home country. I understand the simplicity of the minds of these people who struggle to make their ends meet. And I respect that.

What I don't understand is the way media treats the parents who are looking for surrogates. It is turned into an inhuman process where people pay for someone else to provide a womb for a baby because they just can't give up having a child with their genetics or worse still, because they don't want to ruin their figure (tsk! tsk! tantrums of rich white people!). They say that if someone can't have their own children, they should either just give up (which is simply too rude!) or go for adoption. I can't be amazed at how people simply suggest that infertile people should just adopt. As if adoption is a simple process that completes in a few months after you choose which baby you want. As if adoption hasn't created issues like kidnapping and child trafficking. As if a lot of those who has chosen adoption or surrogacy hasn't had to take second or third mortgage.

Worst of all, when surrogacy is mentioned, no one EVER first sings praises of a lot of surrogates who do it for free, just because of their greatness of heart, and I really think it SHOULD be.

Again, I don't have personal experience in surrogacy, but I am always raged by people expressing views on matters that they have no experience. Only thing that helps me calm my anger a bit is the fact that I myself was highly opinionated about a few matters until I was humbled by the stories of what infertile women go through.

My update

I didn't expect my first post after the news of miscarriage to be in such an emotional topic. Guess it reflects that I have been extremely moody since I got the news two weeks ago. Physically, I am healing well after the D&C last week. Emotionally too, the healing was lot better than I expected to, as the beginning was quite bad. But I get moments of weakness and extreme sadness from time to time, without warning. Bad news about my uncle's unexpected death and my grandma's heart attack is testing my faith even more. Another unsuccessful job interview added to the frustration with life.  Life is back to how it had been few months before, and I am struggling to stay positive. So for now, I'm living one day at a time.