Sunday, November 1, 2015

Journey to motherhood: IVF #1

Having to deal with infertility is not a joke. Never is. Never will.

I have talked about my ordeal with Molar Pregnancy, PTD and miscarriage in my old blog. Honestly, blogging about it did help me release some stress off my mind. It also helped me in putting up my hopes and never give up with our struggle for becoming parents. However, 10 years into our marriage, 7 years after the miscarriage, 5 years after IUI and several other happenings that come in between... I am starting to feel empty. No, wait. Empty is an understatement. Giving up is more like it.

I know people will start telling me against giving up. Not an option. Not until every possible effort has been exhausted.

I know.
Very much aware of the consequences of giving up.
Yet, I can't help feeling helpless and hopeless at times.

Anyways, despite having those low moments... DH and I went a step further in trying to build a family.


We started our first IVF in the final week of last August.
I was prescribed with a pre-filled injection pen (Gonal F) to be injected on my lower abdomen from Day 3 of my menses for 5 days. The pre-filled pen was relatively easy to use. I had no problem injecting myself.

On Day 6, went for a vaginal ultrasound to check on the progress of my follicles. It was not bad albeit the doctor telling me they were swelling too quick. So my dosage was reduced for the next 3 days. But it does feel good to hear the doctor telling me about the follicles that were growing. Well, that at least gave me hope that I am still able to produce egg(s).

I went for the second vaginal scan on Day 9. There weren't many eggs but Dr Hatta was confident they were enough for an OPU to be done. So he scheduled an OPU for me on Day 12 while prescribing Ovidrel to trigger ovulation.

On Day 12, DH and I went to the hospital as early as 7am. I felt somewhat nervous as I was told I would be put to sleep. The memory of my D&C procedure 7 years ago flashed through my mind. DH assured me that the worst thing can happen is if the medicine does not get me to sleep. Ha! Nevertheless, I could not help but thinking 'What if I will never wake up?'. I know, morbid.

I could remember every detail of the procedure from the moment I was wheeled on bed to the OT waiting room, sharing jokes with the anaestheticians about having difficulties finding my vein to set up the IV line, watching and smiling at Dr Hatta showing his staffs how a certain push ups should be done, being in the OT, saw three young guys assisting Dr Hatta in the procedure and thought 'Wow, more men looking at my vajayjay' and finally saying Good Night to one of the guys when he said he's going to put me to sleep and had most them chuckle when I said it. Well, this time was pretty quick. I didn't even get to count. Unlike the D&C, I remember counting up to 4 before I dozed off.

It took about 10 minutes to get the OPU done. And another 10-15 minutes to get me up from the anaesthetic. The first thing I asked when I opened up my eyes was the time. That, cos I was squinting hard at the clock and still could not read the time as my eyes were still blurry, one of the effects of the medicine.

Cut long story short, OPU went well. I felt slight uncomfort around my lower abdomen but things went well.

On Day 14, I came in for Embryo Transfer. It is a simple procedure, much like a Pap Smear to transfer the fertilized egg back into the uterus. Four eggs were retrieved during the OPU, only two were fertilized but only ONE made it into the next stage. The embryologist said it was a Grade One embryo. Dr Hatta let me see that tiny embryo via the monitor before it was inserted to my uterus. I know it was nothing unusual or special about it but seeing an embryo, my embryo... a surge of joy made my heart leap. I almost broke in tears.

The crucial part of the cycle is ALWAYS the two weeks waiting time. As much as I told myself to not be stressed by anything, it's not as easy as said. It was indeed a stressful two weeks for me. VERY much. Every single day. Going through the 2 weeks after an IVF is unlike normal pregnancy. You are aware of the embryo that is inside you, wondering if it's going to plant itself accordingly. Your sense on body changes is extra heightened that even a very mild cramp will make you wonder if you are pregnant. Tell me or to every woman that is undergoing IVF to relax. Chances are, we can't. We will try but to have us saying, "Oh, I am fine. I don't think much about it. I just keep myself busy with other thoughts" I say, BS.

Alas, when it was the day to go for my blood test (beta HcG), I was told the bad news. The result was negative. The fertilized egg didn't manage to implant itself. Our IVF attempt number Uno failed.

It would be a lie to say I am able to go through the days easily after the result. But, I can't show up sulking face and crying every day can I? It was pretty much a devastating news. Too heartbreaking that I don't really know how to explain them in words. Not even in laymen term. I can't even explain it to the DH as I am aware of his own heartbreak too.

As much as I think I stumbled on dead end, deep in my heart I know I am not. I lay the source of my strength, my hope and my faith in the good Lord. All the events that are currently my life, they are teaching me one thing - to always depend on my faith in Him. To never cease praying.

We are currently on IVF number two.
I give it to God to do as He will.

This is kind of my entry to document my journey to becoming a person that I am sure I am... a wife, a mother and a daughter of God; our journey to becoming parents; our journey for a family.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ran a Full Marathon: Checked.

This is already an old news. But hey, i finally strike off another list on my I List... tab.

Some joy it was and still is.... I still have the whole thing fresh in my head but let me spare you the boredom reading my rants of talking and trying motivating myself during the entire run.

So I have finished a 42km marathon. Now what? Will I want to do it again, and again? Or have I have enough?

Truth is, and true to what most running friends have said, I will want to do it again. Perhaps more. It is just a question of when will I do it again?

The question remains.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A choice: Being ignorant. Or not.

When I was younger, I loved reading the newspaper. Besides being encouraged by our Bahasa Malaysia teacher in school, reading the paper was one of few moments I got to sit and had proper conversation with my late dad. I fondly remember moments I shared with him discussing about politics in Sabah (read: PBS) as well as the local football scene (read: the Rhinos glory).

In college, I would made sure I spent time at the newspaper corner in the college library to get updated of the world outside academic books before getting on with my daily revision.

Upon graduation, I advanced into buying one or two different newspapers on my own, daily. Dad didn't have to worry about not getting his newspaper fix cos he knew I would already settled that for him. But two newspapers? Well, I needed to look on more work advertisement since I was a fresh graduate.

But I have not been reading newspaper very much for the longest time. Perhaps, ever since I started working. An eventually self-choice.


One fine day, when I was about 22 and full of enthusiasm to find a job, I visited a close aunt from my maternal side. My aunt's eldest daughter was there. She is one of those elder cousins that I looked up so much for her success in life. Being a fresh graduate, she asked me about my hunt for the right job. And the subject brought us to her telling that she had stopped reading the newspaper cos she loathed the filtered news that most of the time conveyed a total different story to the original. I did not understand her. But I vividly recall the assertiveness in her expression; the way she expressed her disappointment over things on the newspaper.

"Most of them are rubbish. A waste of time to read," she added.

In all honesty, to hear this coming up from someone who is intelligent and smart, I felt a little upset. How could she belittle the newspapers when those were the absolute medium that could be trusted to relay current news. Yes, said the girl who was in the early years of the 2K when smartphones were still an unfamiliar product and people were only starting to get use to online social networking.

Years gone by and I soon started to understand why my cousin said what she said.

I still read the newspaper...until the onset of online news starting from news shared in online social networking. Slowly, I find more and more truth about stuffs being told on the news aren't really what they supposed to be. Too much filtering. Too much additional words to make it 'presentable'. What more disappointing is, with so much politics involved, information alteration and filtering have become rampant. It is so serious to the point of having misleading or total different story altogether. And it does not help either when our political dramas are so chaotic and stupid at some point that I start to disgust reading them totally.

And I soon wear that same expression my cousin wore on her face years ago.

A disappointed citizen.

But my dear husband once said, "I read the newspaper not because I like the stories or cos I love reading them. I read the newspaper cos I want to be in the know. I want to be able to talk about it when someone talks about it. To be able to voice my opinion."

He has a point.

I find myself oblivious to big issues because of my ignorant to read the news. I find myself answering either 'I don't know' or 'I'm not sure' when asked about current issues.Well, I still read them. The headlines most of the time. If the headlines excite me, I'll read more. If they are the same stupid news, I'll ditch them and ask the hubby for details later.

However, another revelation hits me. I would missed all the important information that can usually be relayed in the newspaper.For instance, when the hubby told me about a road closure near our home and I nonchalantly asked him where did he get the news.

"This is the reason why you missed the info. You don't read the newspaper."

My bad.

So here I am, putting a new mantra in my head.

Read the news. Read the news. Read the news.

I'm trying now.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I'm up for Full.

I'm always grateful for I have friends around me when I work for my (life) goals.

Last year during PBIM, Gray, my first running buddy, said she's going to do Full next year. It's great to know friends are upgrading and getting more serious about what they are doing. I tried visualizing myself running for a 42km but all I see was a blurry vision of me running and panting and having major aching legs.

You see, when I'm into something (and I think most people with goals do), I visualize these goals and how to achieve them. If I am up for them, there's this surge of fire from within that starts to slowly rise and spark my entire being to stay motivated for the goals. So if I feel this fire, I know I am REALLY going for them. Well, I didn't feel this when I visualize running for Full Marathon. Not yet, I tell myself.

Thing is, this whole running for Full Marathon bugged me ever since. Especially knowing the other running buddies are also upgrading themselves. I mean, if they are up for it, why can't I?

"Kau pigi lari pun on and off, how are you going to run for a full? Baru Half pun kapus2," my consciousness tells me.

Okay lah, wait for the right time then.

This unsettling feeling, they never leave me. It's like I have decision still undecided despite telling myself I am not ready for it.

However yesterday... after some reflection routine I do when I'm into some life-changing and mind boggling matters, I decided to give it a go. It's funny how a decision to pursue my studies can trigger the spark to run for a 42km race.Ha!

I have not sign up for any 42 yet as I have already booked myself a Half Marathon for Borneo International Marathon in May, chasing for PB. The most apt run I have to do my Full will be PBIM. Besides, I think the PBIM 42km route is less harsh than the BIM. Hopefully.

So yeah, I am going for Full Marathon this year!!!

By the way, here are some photos during my first run in 2015. We ran 12km for the Alliance Bank Coastal Run 2015. Fun run indeed.




Sunday, January 11, 2015

To Onzie Or Not.

"Why do you need to buy again if you still have more?" asked the husband.

"But I don't have enough", she replied.

"Yes, you do. If you wash them on daily basis, you would have enough for 7 days a week."


That's me and my pension for pretty yoga clothing. But then again, this isn't just about yoga. You know, once you are into fashion and pretty clothing (or you're just born shopaholic), does not matter what type of sports you are into, you will find ways to wear attire that definitely helps with motivation to keep exercising. For instance, when I was into Zumba I was not spared in getting all crazy about their super punchy Zumba attires. Plus they are made of good quality material and fit perfectly for kick-ass Zumba workout. I still wear my Zumba racer back tank top cos they are so comfy I don't even have to wear anything underneath. 

Then came running. I can't be running a marathon (doesn't matter if it's a only a 10KM distance) in bulky track bottom and loose T-shirt, right? And of course I need one that can absorb heat, dry fast when sweating etc. So I look for a good quality running attires. That's what Nike, Adidas, Reebok bla, bla, bla are made of.

When I started Yoga, I wore my Nike training crop pants and a tank top. I thought, this is good. I don't need a shoe to work out. Even a pjs will do. Eventually, I realized I do need some sort of suitable yoga clothing to go with my practice cos there are some stretchy pants that look comfy but don't actually deliver what they claim. Then, I was introduced with certain brand names like Onzie, Liquido, Dharma Bums, Teeki Bum and lots more. I still have my doubts that these so-called yoga clothing are different. That they are equal comfort the like of Nike and Adidas until I wore my first Onzie capri pants. Later, I experimented with Dharma Bums and there's no turning back.

So, what is it with this branded clothing that gives high on people like me?

Well, first... they are GUARANTEED comfortable for wearing. I can wear them all day! The material used (mostly Polyester and Spandex mix) is breathable and moisture wicking. They feel like my second skin.

Second, and this is the obvious reason; the designs. Most of these brands offer vibrant and fresh designs. You couldn't resist looking (and buying). I know sports brands like Nike, Adidas and recently Reebok are coming up with such similar design concept as well but somehow, IMO these brands still lacking something in terms of materials used.  

Third, it definitely provides extra confident especially when you are working outdoors. It's something like dressing up for a dinner party. If people turns their head for you, and you are certain your choice of clothes and style are the reason for this attention, isn't that a sure instant confidence booster? When I wear my yoga pants, they snugged into me comfortably giving me the relaxation of wearing that I needed. This comfort makes me feel confident. Plus the punchy colors of my pants, that surely is a head-turner. 

Lastly, you don't need any other clothing other than these when wearing. Confused? The way these pants are tailored and sewn, there's this specific pattern at the vjj area that caters for comfort around it. So when wearing this kind of yoga pants, you won't need any other undies inside. This definitely saved you from VPL issue.

The thing about these made-for-the-sports clothing is the price tag. They always made a hole out of your pocket. When I first bought two items from Onzie, shipped directly from the US, they cost me about 450 bucks. If the buying stops at just two, that amount is considered OK. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Of course I want MORE. But after 4 pairs of Onzie, a pair of Dharma Bums and Red Tiger each, a few Body Angel Active Wear and Beyond Yoga bra top... I decided to be prudent in my buying. Only do transactions when the items are on Sale. Ha! Cheapskate, I know. But even when these brands are on sale, they still cost at least a hundred buck you know.

A note to you: This is not my attempt to lull you into buying expensive yoga clothes. I'm just saying this based on my experience. If you are interested to know this experience I'm talking about, it's your call. *wink*

So cheers to pretty yoga attire!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

At it again!

Ha! So much for an update.

Around this time, on this blog, you would be reading a long paragraph and paragraph of my resolutions and hopes for the new year. Yes, this will be it as well.

I have only two posts in 2014 and one of it was about my 2014 resolutions.

I have to admit that out of many resolutions I have laid out throughout my blogging years (8 years minus one year of inactive blogging if you are counting), the one I penned down last year was the only resolution that have turned VERY much how I pictured it.

Yoga. Well, if you are with me on Instagram (btw my IG handle is @chegucarol) and Facebook, you would have known how much involved I have been with my practice.  I did have an opportunity to extend my practice for a Yoga Teacher Training course but realized I could not commit to it, yet.

As for running (a marathon), I signed up for two Half Marathons early in the year and one 15km trail run came later, out of curiosity. The quantity of runs I did aren't impressive but it was what I have set for 2014 and gladly to say that I finished them all unexpectedly better than my target.

Slacking in my practice and running? Of course I did. There were times (like today) that I dreaded to wake up early. Or tried giving excuses to come to yoga class in the evening. But overall, it has been good with my health and fitness resolution. Physically, I build some muscles and toned a lil' bit. And I know, cos I get more of that comments last year. Ha!

The same resolution sticks. They say, why change when the current one still good to go. So yes, health and fitness will be on top list. I've signed up for Borneo International Marathon doing Half again. Looking forward the X12 Dark Run and PBIM (again) as well as more short distance runs in town. Read: Alliance Bank Charity Run, Penampang 10K Run. And on yoga, my yoga teacher whom class I attended last year has given me the green light to venture into other type of yoga practice, with different yoga teacher. So instead of doing Hatta, I'm focusing on increasing my strength and flexibility via Ashtanga yoga. If I haven't made this obvious, I'm telling you now that I am EXCITED about this whole yoga transitioning thingy despite friends telling me Ashtanga practice will break me into pieces. Ha! That's me being drama a bit.

I have some other matters to be given utmost attention for this year too but that shall remain behind close door.^__*

Oh, where's my manners?
Happy New Year everyone!!!

Book Lover vs Book Worm

Growing up, I do not have much memories of wanting or loving books. I don't even remember being a young reader, passionate about books....