I realized that I had been apologizing to a couple of doctors from KKH in my earlier posts, yeah, for bad behavior. Hopefully I don’t have to do that any more.
I continued with the frozen cycle in late April after the D&C procedure. As usual, I was at the IVF center for scan. It was a period of excitement for me, no, not because I had another chance at pregnancy, but it was the campaign period leading to the Singapore parliamentary election. For the first time I was following this election very closely. (See my earlier blog “The little I did for my country during GE2011” dated 10 May.) I am a supporter of Workers’ Party and that evening, I was going to attend an election rally for the very first time in my life. I even downloaded the WP cellphone wallpaper below.
So there I was, following The Online Citizen and Temasek Review posts on FB, lapping up political comments. Again, the familiar “hello” and smiley face. I was really excited with my new wallpaper, and I called out to SF Loh, “I have something to show you!” and he came over and I proudly showed him the WP logo. He gave me a smile which is as enigmatic as that of Mona Lisa’s.
Anyway the frozen cycle failed yet again. I’m reaching the big 4 this year, and the government is not providing subsidies to women undergoing IVF who are 40 and above. So I told Loh that I wanted to go for the 3rd fresh cycle rather than continue with the remaining frozen embryos. I didn’t think the quality of the second batch was good, though Loh thought otherwise. But he went along with my decision in July.
This time, Loh went full throttle for the 3rd fresh cycle. Instead of the usual 2 jabs a day, I had to take 3 jabs. When I found out from Miss France, I nearly freaked out. I thought Loh might have made a mistake, but turned out he was taking no chances. As expected, I was whining like a kid. To help me take the jabs, I took soju and red wine and I got a slight hangover the next morning. (I never had hangover before, but I guess it was because I tend to drink till I puked.) So moral of the story: don’t mix liquor.
During the last night of the jab, when I had to take this injection in my thigh muscle to stop the ovaries from releasing, I was in panic mode because that was the worst jab of all. Even during the usual jabs, I had to have ice pack placed on the tummy to numb the area of injection. So when I was at KKH 24hr women’s clinic, I was clamoring to this Indian nurse that I needed ice pack. Just like a mother handling a pesky kid, she said calmly and firmly to me that ice pack wouldn’t work well, and asked me whether I was going to follow her instructions instead. I decided the lady knew best, and so followed her breathing exercise to relax myself. This nurse is a saint! The exercise worked like a charm and there was almost no pain. I almost went down on my knees to kowtow to her. Unfortunately I didn’t get her name but she should really be commended for her great skills.
I wasn’t tense during the ovary retrieval procedure this time, but still dread the prospect of the needle tube in my vein. The nurse tried inserting it before the op, but the needle just wouldn’t go in. I was then brought into the op theatre. When the anesthetist came along, I started to panic. Again she tried to insert the needle tube into my left hand but it didn’t work. I was begging her, “can you give me laughing gas instead?” She said in surprise, “we don’t use laughing gas any more. I will put on the gas mask for you. We use this for children who can’t take the needle.” I told her I didn’t need the tube in my hand, just the gas mask would do, but she said it won’t be enough. So I had to have the needle inserted into my right hand. I told the anesthetist to ramp up the gas to full volume since I couldn’t even feel the effect of it. The needle, now hooked on to the anesthetic tube, was still freaking painful. She told me it was already the max. Loh came over then and asked how I was doing, and I replied mournfully, “no good.” But just then, as I felt the painful fluid going through my vein, I could also start feeling the effect of the anesthetic . A nurse told me to move down the op table so that I could place my legs on the stirrups, but they just flopped with limpness. I was knocked out right after.
During this 3rd fresh cycle, I was so prolific I had a whopping 49 eggs retrieved! Wow, didn’t know I could moonlight as an egg producer. But there’s a freaking price to pay: OHSS. Usually this happened one or two days after embryo transfer. But this time the bloating started even during the jabs. On the day of the embryo transfer, I went to KKH with a seriously bloated tummy filled with gas and water, like I was 5 months pregnant. Inside the op theatre, Loh saw me and exclaimed, “wah, you looked like you’re pregnant!” He advised against me going through the transfer, and instead allow the embryos to grow a few more days. Some were not looking good but he said that didn’t mean the quality was bad, and continued, “have you heard of this Chinese song ‘我很丑，但是我很温柔’?” (‘Though I’m unattractive, I’m a gentle soul’) I wanted to ask him, “so, are you referring to the embryos or yourself?” My husband, being a fan of his, laughed in appreciation. As for me, I was biting my lips to stop myself from bursting out with laughter. Hey, it’s not that I didn’t appreciate his jokes, but I was in the middle of the battle of the bulge.
So no procedure but at least we had 12 fertilized embryos of which 2 are blastocyst, and 2 frozen embies from previous cycle. That will last me a long time.