I’ve been putting off writing about this topic because it’s so heavy and well, it’s hard. As my friends and I are now entering our 30s, there are those already with children and happy, others who are just starting to pop them out, and some who are struggling with fertility. The answer appears simple right? Go see the fertility doctor and make a baby under IUI or IVF and before you know it, you’ll be pregnant. The truth is, it’s hardly as simple as that.
Flo and I, for quite a while, adopted the mindset that if we were to fall pregnant, we’ll be over the moon whether or not we’re married yet. So it’s been a while. Of course, knowing my history with periods, or the lack of, I knew already that pregnancy wasn’t just going to happen in a click. Through my gynae, I was referred to Dr. V, the endocrinologist specialising in fertility medicine at KKH. My first visit consisted of a whole battery of tests, mainly blood tests to check my hormone levels, and a couple of scans.
My second visit, Florian insisted he join, and Dr. V went through my results quite quickly. In a nutshell, my estrogen level is on the low side, I DO have a healthy egg reserve, my bones are crap but my Vitamin D and calcium levels are good. She wasn’t hopeful that we would be able to conceive naturally, or that my natural menses will ever come back because of all the years of stress I’ve placed on it. She wanted to order an MRI scan to make sure I didn’t have a tumour pressing against my pituitary gland even though she admitted it was highly unlikely. So I requested against it and instead, had another blood test to check my cortisol levels and growth hormone levels.
That consultation, Dr. V decided to put my on hormone replacement therapy with an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to be carried out in 3 months. For Flo, they were going to check his sperm to see how healthy they are. This was done a week after.
It’s insanely difficult for someone as impatient as I am, to play the waiting game. I try not to think about when my next scan will be, when my next appointment will be, when Dr. will decide that we’re ready to start IUI, or IVF – at the moment she’s eyeing the former. And then there’s the disheartening matter of statistics. I’ve been reading up and scaring myself at the probability of conception through both IUI and IVF. Fertilising the egg is only one part. Making sure it attaches and grows is another. Hoping it grows to full term healthily is yet another. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss.
I’ve also looked up on how IUI/IVF are carried out both through official hospital websites as well as personal journeys of couples, especially the female. It’s a tiring process and it reminds me of how much a couple must want a baby to put their bodies through such vigorous tests procedures. It’s not only physically trying, it is exceptionally difficult emotionally and mentally too. I can only pray I will be strong enough whatever the downs may be, and that together with Flo, we will overcome them.
The thing is, I’ve gone through my first cycle of HRT so far and usually, after the course of progesterone is finished, my period should come within 3-7 days. It’s been 6 days and still nothing. I called the hospital yesterday because I needed some advice to at least allay my fears and was told simply to observe over the next few days because Dr. V was away the whole day at a meeting. It upsets me because I don’t want to delay the process and I keep wondering what’s wrong with me. Am I broken?
I know that we all go through different journeys in life and we all don’t get what we desire the way we can at the supermarkets, for a fee. There is no guarantee that with medical assistance, a baby will materialise and all we can do in exercise patience, and faith, and hope that the wishes of our hearts will be answered with time.
I have friends in the midst of their journey who are struggling and it breaks my heart. All I can do is pray that by God’s grace, they will continue to stay strong and that baby will fight. I have friends who are out the other end and blessed, as well as friends who are like me, just beginning. I can only be incredibly thankful for how far medicine and technology has come and how much it can achieve in this time and age; that it can give hope to the childless, and help create life where it is so very much, wanted.