I've drafted, deleted, drafted, deleted my thoughts for the past years.
Thoughts on my fertility journey.
I was filled with angst each time I write and was worry of being judged. I feel nobody understands how I feel unless you're going through it. Tears were shed. Silent screams were made. After a few years, I decided to pen my disorganised thoughts down.
I wanted to marry early and have kids before 30 but my plans were delayed by the lack of luck in securing a home. We bided and managed to secure a spot after 4 years. Since it was a balance flat, it was ready within 1.5 years. I may have used up my luck for this.
Long story short, we got married and stayed apart while we wait for our home to be completed and renovated. During this period, we tried on and off to no avail. I decided to go for fertility checks and thankfully, everything was positive. Pushed my husband to do his as well and it was fine. I was reaching 30.
Making a child became a scientific experiment. Ovulation kit, measuring basal temperature, doing it alternate days or every day during fertile period, tracking period, tracking cervical mucus - whatever was shared online, we tried. TCM - boiling medicine diligently every morning, checked. Each time my period comes, my mind wanders to - what did I do or not do? Warm foot bath at night? Keeping belly warm? Avoiding cold food/drinks? All checked.
Since there was no fruit, I decided to seek medical help at a govt hospital. But I was met with cold Doctors who were not helpful. I still remembered their names, and one of the govt Drs was part of the "I Love Children" Campaign. I felt like a statistics to them and that Dr was dismissive of my issues - "Below 30?" "Still young la". When I asked why wasn't I subjected to ultrasound scans and just went straight to those fertility tests prescribed (like blood tests, hyfosy), she said "not everyone has to go through ultrasound scans". The experiences were atrocious. The attitude was atrocious. I wrote down my thoughts of the hospital, only to delete my post later because....who am I to complain?
Still, I decided that instead of leaving it to chances, trial and errors, maybe embarking on Intrauterine insemination (IUI) would increase my chances. I even contemplated resigning. I was under stress during covid period - my workload got higher, I worked later and the worse was a change in boss. The consolation was I was working at home instead of in the office. But money was at stake. To do any treatment requires money. I was not courageous enough to forgo $ for an unknown result. What if I resigned and still didn't make it? I recalled hearing stories of people taking a break for IVF, only to come back with naught.
I pulled through a year of stressful work, facing unsympathetic bosses. I was also worried about heading to the hospitals as covid was still rampant. However, I decided to bite the bullet and arrange for the IUI. I wanted to keep this mum, but given the need to take a few days of absences and my heavy workload, I needed to tell my boss. Big mistake. Despite telling her to keep it confidential, she divulged it. I have never hated a boss this much.
Work aside, my first IUI at the govt hospital was a bad experience. I didn't have high expectations since my fertility check-ups with them were unsatisfactory too. They directed me all over the place and each consultation, I had to repeat what I am going through. I had drafted a post about my experience back then. Reading it now makes me regret not going to a private clinic sooner. It is atrocious that we are treated as any other cases/statistics in the eyes of these Doctors. Am I supposed to receive subpar service because I was under subsidised route?
During the IUI treatment, it felt that Doctors expected patients to know what to do, and they expect the nurses to be the ones delivering the info. An example was heading in early morning to check on my eggs size by the nurses and then waiting again for a super short consultation with the Drs. The joke was when I went into the room, the Drs were busy on their computers for god knows what, and it was the nurse who engage me, sharing that my eggs were growing so I'd need to continue the jabs. I wonder what's the use of the Doctors inside? Bulk of my time were spent waiting for scans and to see the Doctors, only to end the consultation within minutes.
As a first timer, I am clueless what to expect or what to ask. Yet none of the Doctors offer additional info. I felt I gotten more information from nurses instead, as they were my main touch-points. I only had a clearer idea of what I went through after the end of the cycle. Alas, despite the pain (jabs and hassle to go back to the hospital frequently to check on egg sizes), I failed my first round of IUI.
$, time, efforts - all gone.
Worse, there's no sympathy at work place - work just piled and I still receive texts on work citing it's urgent. I was in a bad emotional state. The boss had the cheek to ask if I'd be going for another round of treatment, for fear I'd be absent for work. I said no. I was exhausted. I hope karma bites her, hard.
Half year down. Each time my period comes, I sigh. I decided to seek medical help again - this time at a private clinic. I thought - heck the cost. Time is of essence. My biological clock is ticking. I have already crossed my 30s.
I embarked on my second IUI treatment and marvelled at the contrasting experiences. Although I still had to wait, it felt like a specialised treatment - the Dr would be the one doing the scans, and sharing info about my scans. Since this was the same Dr I had to visit in the private clinic, she'd know my case better. These "services" were non-existent in the hospital. Although there were some hiccups at the private clinic as well, overall, I preferred this than the hospital.
Cost wise, both turned out to be similar despite me on subsidised route in public hospital. Time wise, while the private clinic was further from home, the wait was more manageable than public hospital.
Unfortunately, I failed my 2nd IUI at the private clinic.
I decided to try the 3rd immediately. I felt there was no time to lose.
I still failed.
Tears, sweat and blood shed.
Back to square one.
Now, the next step would be to embark on IVF. However, I've been deliberating this - do I really want a kid that much? Do I want to go through the needles, jabs, body reactions and hormones again? Do I want to go through the invasive procedure, more so than the 3 times IUI I did? I am undecided. Another issue is the cost. An IVF is easily $13-20k.
I wish to take a break, while secretly hoping for a miracle to come. Friends who got married later already have their 2nd child.