Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back From Paradise!




What a wonderful gift my soul received! Our vacation at the beach was just what my soul and body needed! It had been so long since I had been excited and passionate about something other than TTC! I had such a great time reconnecting with DH and enjoying nature's gifts - I was even eager to wake up early so that I could go out and have as many hours as I could in the sun! For a nocturnal creature like myself that hardly sees daylight and prefers the quiet hours of the night, that says A LOT!


I can't tell you how great it was not having to think and plan about making babies. No precision timing, no thinking about BBTs the minute you wake up, no obsessing about getting the damn positive lines on the pee sticks, no boiling herbal medicines, no charting anything on Fertility Friend, no foods to avoid. Absolutely no pressures or thoughts about TTC at all! I could have even thrown away my watch and just be in the moment with hubby, enjoying what we had with no thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow. 


I had such a wonderful time that I have already started planning my next beach vacation! I know - I just got back! We are planning to go away in early January 2010 right after New Years. That leaves us just shy of 2 weeks to decide and plan where to go. I've practically checked out every island/beach destination around the world that has good weather for this period. Googling and researching all this with great enthusiasm has certainly taken my mind off TTC!


It was a real drag going back to see my TCM doc again on Monday though. For the first time in the past year, I really didn't want to be there. After reading my pulse, he had both good and bad news for me: 


The Good News - I am not heaty nor cold anymore. My body has finally balanced itself out! I swear it must have been all that sun-My body is normally ice cold and despite eating ice-cream, and having icy cold water and soda throughout my vacation, I had actually warmed up! Damn! A beach vacation is good for me! 


The Bad News - My liver hormones are stressed.


What?


Stressed? But I feel great and happy and light! I had destressed completely during my fun in the sun! ??!! I really have no idea why this is happening! I guess my body is still figuring what to do about my MIA egg! Ever since eggy decided not to show up, my whole cycle has been really weird. (TMI Warning): I'm now somewhere on CD37 or thereabouts and I have been spotting dark blood with some small tiny clots the past 7 days. I have no idea if this is AF or not! Understandably, my BBT never saw the biphasic pattern that follows ovulation, and so there isn't a drop back down to note that AF is here. Obviously the lining is trying to shed and I want it to shed so that I can start off with some fresh lining the next cycle. There is however blood stasis in my body and I asked my TCM doc if could give me something to help my blood flow. Initially he didn't want to mess with my hormones, but in the end he decided he would change my herbal medicine to help it along. I've had one dose so far, and, nothing... No change. My uterus is just one stubborn B*tch! But at least I am in no pain whatsoever! 


I can't believe Christmas is just 10 days away! I haven't put up a single Christmas ornament up, and I haven't even begun to plan my Christmas dinner menu which I am hosting for both my family and my in-laws! My house is a mess and I haven't finished my christmas shopping either. But I am still feeling high from my vacation. I feel GOOD! I am still reminiscing about my holiday in the sun...



We stayed in these rooms. We were surrounded by beautiful landscaping and two pools. The first photo above at the start of the post was the view from one of the pools we were chilling in:







We were visited by monkeys from the adjacent forest reserve. Here they are peeking through my hotel room window. (Our rooms had the view of the sea) These monkeys are known to open unlocked doors and steal things from your room or balcony! We constantly had to keep our eyes on our belongings - even at the beach! 






The resort had a very wide private beach that sloped very gently into the sea:








Hornbills were also regular visitors at our resort. They come to feed on tropical fruit left out by the hotel staff during sunset. 






There's a resident cat who happens to love lounging on one particular deck chair next to the swimming pool. He was there almost everyday - as soon as guests vacated that chair! 






I expected rain, but the weather had been wonderfully sunny. And we had gorgeous sunsets that brought a beautiful end to our day of fun in the sun!



(Photo credits go to hubs)


I can't wait to get away again and lose myself in some island paradise with hubs...


I can't wait!


I can't wait!


I can't wait!





Monday, December 7, 2009

Yay! A Vacay!


My dear hubs and I will be going away for a much needed R&R tomorrow. It will be our first vacation since my miscarriage, which  happened during our last vacation... I can't believe we haven't had a break since. It's been so long!

On the TTC front, I seriously doubt I will be ovulating at all this month considering it's already CD29. Of course I will be extremely disappointed as there's little probability of a BFP as the final cycle of the year draws to an end. But this means I will be going away with little pressure about getting fertilized!!! No OPKs, no thermometers, no charting, no googling about 2WW symptoms, no worries about miscarrying! It will just be me, hubby, beach, sand, surf, sun (hopefully!), food (lots of sinful, anti-TTC ones) and romance.

I hope AF doesn't show up then and ruin the party! I really have no idea when she will make an appearance because this cycle has been really odd. Anyone have any idea what triggers a period if ovulation doesn't even occur? I guess there's nothing I can do now except to just go with the flow, not stress and think "softly", as doctor ordered! It's a time to let go, to breathe and just be.

I will not be around to read or comment on your blogs, but I will catch up when I get back. I hope to hear lots of good news about BFPs when I get back! So good luck to all of you for the rest of your cycles!

And I'm off! Vacation.... Here I COME!





Friday, December 4, 2009

A Change of Heart

I am constantly amazed at what my TCM doc is able to read from just my pulse alone. My heart has been very heavy the past few days, dealing with my annovulation this cycle. I didn't want to reveal my sadness and stress to him because it was the exact opposite of what he told me to do. So when he asked "How do you feel today?", I basically told him that there had been no change since my last visit with him 4 days ago. Then he proceeded to read my pulse with his fingers. He spent quite a long time pressing his three fingers down on my wrist in different pressures and combinations. And he checked and checked again.

Puzzled, he asked,

"Why are you thinking so HARD? You're very stressed. Think SOFTLY..."

 "What do you mean think softly?" I asked.

He explained that I had been concentrating too hard. Well, I knew exactly what he actually meant because I have been weighing myself down with so many negative and intense thoughts. He gave me an example (with great animation I must add) - You could chop wood with great urgency and aggression, worrying about how quickly you can finish the job, or you could chop wood leisurely at half the speed singing "London Bridge is falling down..."  He said that I have to do things with a light and happy approach.

Well, I don't know how well I can apply that to my life all the time, but his diagnosis about my mood and psychological state with just his three fingers blew me away! Eeek! I feel so naked! I can't hide anything from him! He counselled me some more about the importance of nurturing my hormones with happiness and romance and I nearly broke into tears! I just felt so overwhelmed by what I should be doing as opposed to what I had been doing. Amazingly, after half hour of electroacupuncture, the sadness and heaviness went away...

Later when I went to the movies for a date night with DH, I found a dollop of egg white CM when I went to the loo (Yes-Mine-Not someone else's I randomly found on the floor or at the sink!) After all this time, I was still fertile? Suddenly I felt hopeful again! I could still ovulate and get a BFP this cycle. Never mind what I said yesterday about implantation on an old lining etc... I saw hope today and that's just what I want to hang on to.

Goodbye negative thoughts!
Goodbye worries!
Goodbye stress!

Hellooooooo hope!

And I intend to hang on to this as long as I can and go on my vacation with this renewed hope. I plan to  spend my 2WW in bliss and hope and romance. No OPKs or thermometers! Yes-Ignorance is bliss! I even managed to walk past two pharmacies today without buying anymore OPKs! I am in a much better place today! A sense of calm and happiness has crept back into my heart.

Hmmm.... I wonder if it really was a good omen when Zoey brought me Mr Tiger (my mascot for hope) yesterday???...Do-do-do-do-do-doooooooo..... (to the tune of X-files)......

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rants and Romance

It's CD25. AF has not arrived but I have totally written off getting a Big Fat Positive this month because that elusive eggy of mine is just nowhere to be found! And I can confirm that all that sex, sex, sex, sex, sex simply DOES NOT trigger ovulation! Otherwise, I'd be breeding like rabbits by now! Well, nope - no sign of cute bunnies streaming out of my vah-jay-jay at all - Myth BUSTED!

Well, my OPKs have run out. Yes, I've been guiltily peeing on them even though my TCM doc told me to stop obsessing with them (cause it's stressing me out) but I couldn't just throw them away! I spent a fortune on them, so I was just gonna pee the hell out of them till they run out. That was the only way to stop my obsession! Now I am having withdrawal symptoms! I am SO fantasizing about running out to my dealer to get more supplies tomorrow! Somebody drag me to POAS-aholic Anonymous now!

At least I still have my thermometer....

I don't think there's a chance in hell that I'd be pregnant this cycle-Delayed ovulation may be an indication that the egg quality is poor. And even if ovulation & fertilization occurs, implantation on such an old lining doesn't usually end well. I can't deal with another miscarriage again. So if this is not to be, for my own sake, I can accept that. But I just want to know why I haven't ovulated? This question has been burning on my mind! I've been eating healthily, exercising a bit more, increased my acupuncture and moxa sessions, and been downing my herbal medicine obediently.

My heart's been a jumbled mess. My doc doesn't want my mood to effect my hormones, so he has ordered me to be happy, and stress free. It's not easy I tell ya! If only emotions reacted to commands like "BE Happy!"- women would've saved a tonne of money from retail therapy! Anyway, I was drifting happily along yesterday, free of pressure and burden about conceiving, but once in a while my doubts about my infertility would creep into my thoughts. And POW! I would burst into tears. And that happened at least four times yesterday. My heart's in a strange place, drifting between sadness and happiness.

Now there's no way of knowing when I will be expecting my period. If I can pinpoint my ovulation, I can pinpoint AF because my luteal phase is usually constant. This is something I could always count on so that I can plan my activities around the days when I will be knocked out from pain. If I had ovulated today, AF would be cutting close to Christmas but at least I know I would have a week to plan my Christmas celebrations. Now I have no clue. And I need to be sober and functional as it's my turn to host Christmas this year for my family! I really don't want to spend my christmas in pain...

I wish I could fly away from all this misery. I can't. So I did the next best thing. My husband and I have planned to go away for a short vacation to a beach destination for a few days. I just booked the hotel and we are leaving on Monday. Rain is expected but I don't care. I know it's just a distraction, but I hope I will be able to find some peace in my heart and rekindle some much needed romance with my dear hubs after all that mechanical baby-making duties...

However, all is not doom and gloom in my life. I want to share two things that highlighted my day:

First one:
I was just awarded the Kreative Award by Sonja. Thank you so much for the honor Sonja! You're so sweet for thinking about me! I am so behind on passing this award and the Over the Top Blog Award that I have received, but I haven't got much love to pass around right now in my barren heart. I feel so bad. But I promise - It's only temporary!

Second highlight:
My cat did just the cutest thing! A few hours ago I heard Zoey calling out with that strange Siberian chirping meow of his, "Rrrrouuw, Rrrrouuw, RRROUWW!"I went to see what the commotion was about. Remember Mr Tiger? Zoey had found Mr Tiger on my bedside table and carried it all the way down the stairs. He was so proud to have brought me a gift! I don't know how he managed to lug it down in his mouth cos Mr Tiger is almost as big as him!  What a cutie! Mr Tiger is my mascot for hope. Do you think it's a good omen? Is god working in mysterious ways through my cat? LOL!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy?

It looks like my "Whatever" attitude's not gonna fly! 

I saw my TCM doc today and told him all about my ovulation woes - yes, I let it slip that I had still been using OPKs and they had been coming up negative. Again, he told me to stop using them because he doesn't want me stressing out over them. He wants me to be happy and let my body do its own thing. He kept stressing that hormones and emotions are inter-related--whatever I am feeling will effect my hormones and whatever my hormones are doing will effect my mood. So it's important for me to be happy and be in good spirits. I was anticipating him to break out into the "just relax" speech, but thankfully he stopped short of saying the "R" word! 

When he checked my pulse today, he said I should not worry about ovulation because I am actually doing well--my body is hot (his words!)! My egg should be ready to pop out soon. He told me last week that I am fit enough to conceive. So maybe there's still hope. 

This means I have to throw out my lack-luster "Whatever" attitude and be positive and HAPPY! I guess I better take some lessons from my cat Zoey who hasn't got a care in the world...





PS - I ignored my "fertility" diet and had a moist, dense, delicious brownie for dessert. It made me happy.......... VERY Happy....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can't Find My Eggs!

It's CD21 and my eggs are still missing in action! I think they've gone on STRIKE! There's usually a small storm brewing inside my ute leading up to ovulation but it's been eerily calm in there. There are no twangs, no twinges, no twitches, no pain, no fluttering! No nothing whatsoever! So I know it's not just the OPKs being their usual evil selves.

I'm really sick of the OPK's negative attitude and all, but my BBT and Fertility Friend (some friend!) seem to be in agreement with the OPKs too! It sounds like one hell of a conspiracy going on! But what can I do?

So, since my mountain of negative OPK collection over the last few days has almost reached the height of Mt Everest, I've stopped hoping obsessively for a pregnancy and have let go of that dream for this cycle. I've decided that I am not going to be all sobby and devastated if things are not going well from this point on. (Har! Har! We shall see about that when AF comes! I'm a habitual liar!) I've been putting myself under such insane pressure for nothing! Just a few days ago, this desperate-knocked-up-wannabe bawled her eyes out when hubs did not want to have sex with her because it was already very late and he had an early golf session the next morning! This desperate-knocked-up-wannabe has never cried over sex rejections, but it's like - ovulation might happen any minute now and "What? You wanna give up having a baby over golf? Golf is more important than a baby? I've been working so hard trying to make my body ready for conception and all you care about is golf?" Of course DH felt bad and apologized after that with some loving sexercise. But I didn't even ovulate the next day, or even the day after that! All that drama for nothing! So no more obsessing and worrying!

Of course I am sad and annoyed as hell over my MIA eggs! But letting go has been quite freeing! I'm like, "Whatever!" If I ovulate, I'll give myself a pat on the back, and if I don't, well then, "Whatever!"

I've broken my wheat-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, organic diet practically every day since Thanksgiving's scrumptious and sinfully delicious spread! Today, I even had three sips of some super-strong and super-sweet Indian style chai/tea with milk -- something my TCM doc had absolutely banned me from having because it is super cooling! It's like giving chocolate to a dog - soooooo yummy but soooooo toxic for me! And the cha-cha's decided to have a break tonight too from all that work, work, work! (The cha-cha never got the memo that Baby Dancing was fun!)

So what's next? My eggs might still decide to turn up. You know, well, Whatever! I definitely know what I'm NOT gonna be doing--

I'm not gonna be holding my breath!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"O" Woes

I've been sitting around drumming my fingers, waiting for ovulation to happen, but it hasn't happened yet. I should have O'd a day or two ago, but my ovaries are probably either daydreaming or have decided to follow another planetary time zone! So POAS madness has kicked in. I am now waiting for the next pee-on-a-stick session that requires a 4-hour minimum wait. Hmm... Another hour to go... Fingers drumming...drumming...drumming...

It's just so weird that I don't know what my own body is up to! Hello me? What's going on dear me? What am I up to in there? My body must be one of the greatest mysteries in this milky way!

So this is how the ovulation drama is unfolding: On Thursday/Thanksgiving, my OPK was half positive. That meant that my LH was on it's way up. Well, damn I thought-you're actually on time! I was impressed! Friday came around and my BBT had plunged from 97.8˚F to 97.3˚F. A dip in temperature normally indicates ovulation. Hot dang! Ovulation! Woohoo! But my OPK was NEGATIVE! No sign of any luteinizing hormone anywhere. Zip! Nil! ZERO! WTF??? So no "O"!

I went to see my TCM doc later in the day and told him that I should be ovulating soon so I might not need moxa, because he did tell me that I cannot have moxa when I am ovulating or have ovulated because the egg does not like it when it's too hot. So he proceeded to read my pulse and tells me,

"You're not hot enough!"

To ovulate I presume. Goddamn! How does he know these things? I certainly never told him about my dipping temperatures! I never ever tell him about my obsessive POAS and temping anymore because when I used to do it, he told me to throw them all away because I was stressing out unnecessarily! Err... Of course I was a bad patient and kept going at it. So I have to sneak around my doc's back and do it secretly! But it's really good to have this data to cross check with what he reads from my pulse. He hasn't been proven wrong so far! So he asked me to do a little bit more moxa--12 minutes instead of my usual 20!

So Saturday comes around and my BBT plunges even more from 97.3˚F to 97.1˚F! And the OPK is still NEGATIVE! No sign of any luteinizing hormone anywhere! Or ovulation! Again, Zip! Nil! ZERO! WTF???

With the warmer weather and a total of 10 moxa sessions this cycle, I thought my eggs would have thawed out really well by now. But they're stuck frozen somewhere in la-la land...

-

- break -

-

-

OK- I just peed on another stick. My egg is still MIA! It's already CD20!  Here eggy-eggy-eggy..... Where the *@#$%! are you???

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feelings... Nothing more than.... Feelings...

My TTC journey this month has been filled with mixed emotions. I am not my usual self. Each new cycle used to spark new hope in me, and my passion and enthusiasm are often renewed once AF leaves. Usually, I'm like,

"Alriiiight! C'mon babe. Let's GO!
Let's make a baby!"

I'd be armed with a thermometer and boxes of OPKs. I'd be charging into the TCM clinic and taking every needle they can hit me with like I was going to war! I'd be brewing my herbal medicine and gulping it down like it was the last vial of medicine in the battlefield that was going to save my life! And not forgetting the strategic "Art of War"-like" sex! Wow! Ok, Let's not go there. TMI!

I'm still doing all that, but without that super-hyper crazy cheerleader-voice cheering me on inside my head. Now I feel like a robot set on auto pilot, doing things I have to do because I've been programmed to do it. That fighting spirit in me is noticeably missing.

Maybe it's all the months of BFNs despite undergoing treatment. I really thought that I would be pregnant again by now. Hey - Didn't I conceive within a few months of starting TCM? After 3 months of treatment we tried that one time and we hit the jackpot straightaway! That was easy! So I thought it would be doable again. A piece of cake!

Well, it's been 7 months now since the miscarriage. Not so easy after all. What's going on here????

All my treatments over the months should be culminating into the perfect, fertile, baby-making machine. Right? Far from it! I thought I was reaching my peak, but I had the biggest setback last month. Couple that with my cold, infertile, frosty body, it hasn't given me much reason to hope. I just don't know how to be hopeful. With one BFN after another, my mind has been conditioned to expect yet another BFN.

I think my heart has been numbed by the constant failure. This failure has been especially poignant this month. This would have been the month that my husband and I would have welcomed our beautiful child in our arms, had my pregnancy been successful.

But all I keep finding in my arms are negative pee sticks! F*ck! Hardly a consolation prize!  Instead they're just a sad reminder of the void in our lives.

I feel like such a jumbled mess inside. I can't see out of this thick fog all around me.

But there is a small clearing in the fog. Today my BBT has remained high--I have finally defrosted! My TCM doc told me I am doing good today -  my hormones are "hot" and I am fertile.  This usually kickstarts the cheerleader in me, but she's nowhere to be heard. Because I know it doesn't mean I'm getting a BFP later on.

Despite the good news, I remain numb...though I can't deny there's a glimmer of hope.

I recently adopted a mascot for hope. Meet Mr. Tiger...





I confess - I didn't really adopt him. It was more like I "stole" him from my nephew. Yes, this loving auntie bought her 3 yr old nephew an adorable soft toy. But she had second thoughts and decided she wanted to keep it instead. So she denied her nephew this cute little fella! Eeek!


Now, I'm not the girly-girl type who collects soft toys and decorates her car and room with mountains of these soft squishy things. But for some reason, I was really attached to Mr. Tiger. I am really fond of it. I just feel like he belongs with me. Perhaps it reminds me of the presence of a child that will one day fill our lives. Deep inside, I still believe that I will conceive naturally and bring a child into our lives. And one day, I will pass him on to my beautiful little baby.

So that's my little Tiger of Hope. Hear him ROAR!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

K.I.S.S. - Keepin' it Short and Simple

It's CD16. I haven't peed on a single stick this cycle. I must be mad!

It didn't rain a drop yesterday. It was much warmer than the days we've been having. My BBT shot up by 0.5˚ this morning! That's astounding! My body responds to ambient temperature. I am sure now I must be part reptilian!

But TCM doc says I am nowhere near ovulation. I am not warm enough. I need to be defrosted more.

Good news is -  my former heaty upper body and colder lower body is more evenly balanced now. I am glad my schizophrenic body has decided to reunite. But I will sure miss being Ms.Hot Babe and Ms.Cool Chick at the same time!

Ta-Da! End of post!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cold As A Witch's Tit

My apologies for having been missing from my blog. I just haven't had any inspiration to write. Not even to rant or vent! My cycle has been less than stellar-Infact I would give it a "D+" which is just short of flunking!

My body's as cold as a witch's tit! I kid you not! My body should be warm and lush and fertile if I want to have any chance of conceiving. But nope! I've been going for moxa and acupuncture, plus drinking my herbs everyday, yet my body's struggling to stay warm. My uterus, or lower abdomen rather, is cold to the touch. Even my moxa-woman (yes, the kind dear soul who's been administering moxa to me daily and putting up with the stink!) kept asking why my legs were so cold! My TCM doc told me that I've been better and I am nowhere near my peak. Hmphhh! Wonderful! I don't think I'm gonna get my Christmas wish this year...

Well, the weather has something to do with it, apparently. I haven't seen the sun in days, and it has even snowed! Well, it should come as no surprise to you if you think I live in some temperate climate that enjoys four seasons. But I live in the tropics where it's a balmy 30˚C/86˚F year round! I have banana trees growing in my garden!!! Last weekend, the weatherman reported that there would be hail. Well, it snowed! These weather people are always wrong, wrong, wrong! My TCM doc told me he saw snowflakes floating gently from the sky and then hit his window and eventually melted into drops of water. If that's not snow, I don't know what it is! So my TCM doc has excused my body for "misbehaving" due to the colder than usual conditions we are experiencing! Err...Did somebody say we're having global warming? I wouldn't have known!

So I guess that is why my endo rescheduled Ass-throb day for  Days 13 & 14 of my cycle on the really cold, wet days. I really thought I had dodged fate when it didn't appear on CD 10 or 11. I was not happy.... My lower back hurt and my butt throbbed. I swear-I think my butt should work for the weather department! It has an uncanny talent for predicting rainy weather! Thankfully the moxa and acupuncture gave me relief for a few hours. So something about TCM actually works, though I don't know how exactly. I only wished I could be hooked up to the electro acupuncture machine and have moxa-woman burning me up all day throughout the pain--even though all the patients at the clinic hate me by now! "What is that SMELL?!!!" can be heard ringing through the clinic when I'm there! It's CD15, so they will have to put up with this for just a few more days until I ovulate.

Tomorrow I will have Moxa No.7 which will hopefully put me on defrost mode. I am really keeping my fingers crossed that my eggs will miraculously thaw out this cycle in time to meet one of my husband's super hunky soldiers!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love and Prayers Needed

My heart is breaking for Endo Journey who is losing their baby at 18 weeks. Please send them your thoughts and prayers.

Endometriosis Pain in All Its Glory

Ass-throb Day seems to be gleefully missing in action this month! This literal pain-in-the-ass (compliments of endometriosis) almost always happens on CD10 for me, but it's already the end of CD11, and there's no sign of my rectum transforming magically into a nuclear reactor for the day. This is goooood!

So something in Traditional Chinese Medicine is working for me somehow. I really don't understand how all the herbs and acupuncture work exactly, but I am thankful that the pain that has besieged much of my life is slowly diminishing. I am a realist though. I don't expect all the adhesions that have been forming over the years of my life to disappear nor this endo pain to vanish completely. For example, due to a change in my diet, I was a bit constipated yesterday (sorry-too much information!) and my bowel movements caused pain in my uterus. The pain felt like period cramps that lasted some 15-20 minutes, even though I wasn't having my period. Now, what does taking a dump have anything to do with the uterus? The only logical explanation I can think of is that endometriosis has somehow glued my uterus and colon together, and movements in either effect anything that is joined to it. This is unfortunately the kind of shit (pardon the pun) that endometriosis sufferers have to deal with much of the time. But thankfully incidences like that have also diminished over time for me since I began TCM.

I used to dread going to the toilet when I had periods. As if the killer pain of endo/AF wasn't bad enough, peeing and crapping was a BIG ORDEAL every single time! They were always accompanied by excruciating pain that is 1000% worse than what you started off with. The experience is just simply ridiculous! Can you imagine wanting to pooop so badly but you're holding back while pooping (and menstruating) because it's causing you such immense pain! So do you keep it in or get it out? What a stupid dilemma! I would often be clinging on to the walls or bathroom countertop infront of me with tears streaming down my eyes while I did it. Pooping scared me to death each time! And that's not a joke! Yes, a simple call of nature turns diabolical when you have endometriosis. But I am so thankful that this is no longer a torturous routine with my periods now.

I wish I could say the same for sex too. Yes, endometriosis is really unforgiving--It is determined to make every part of your life a misery. Having pain during sex is another ordeal that many endometriosis sufferers have to endure. Pain? What? Where? How? I remember the days pouring over Dr. Google to find answers, but ended up just as clueless. There are so many conditions that result in pain in so many different parts of the vajayjay! Even real-life doctors in the flesh do not give you details as to what the pain feels like and where. For the sake of many new endo sufferers out there looking for clues, I want to share my story so you don't feel so confused and alone out there.

For me, the pain didn't appear overnight but it was something that intensified over the years. I would get it once in a while, and then every other month, and then it was every month, and then it was every time I had sex. The simple act of arousal can send waves of pain surging through the uterus-maybe the ute is engorged with blood and expanding causing the adhesions to stretch and pull and hence the pain- I really don't know. But it sure sucks! Deep penetration that involves (to eloquently put it) banging of the cervix can sometimes send sharp pain up the uterus.  The worst thing about endo is that it is an attention-seeking whore that wants to take the limelight from the big O, as in orgasm, and it wants to climax together with the Big O! OOOOOOOOOO My Gawd! The contractions from an orgasm causes intense pain like killer period cramps! It happens simultaneously. It's like the pooping thing all over again-you wanna go there but you don't. When it happens it is the most intense pleasure and pain all at the same time! It is amazingly wonderful but you're in agony cos your ute is cramping and it feels like it's a burning hell in there! And the pain can last for 15 minutes to an hour long after the pleasure is gone. I've even felt lingering pain that lasted for a whole day. Yes, it fucking sucks!(pardon the pun again)  It's not something that allows for close intimate bonding after the deed! I feel terribly mean and guilty for letting DH see me squirming in pain when I know that all he wanted was to give me joy. So--They say that sex can be mind-blowing (ute-blowing too). With endo, I really feel like I've gone to heaven, and then died!

Thankfully for me, this pain diminishes each time I have sex within the same cycle (yes, I guess you can say sex is good for me!) The only logical explanation I have for what's happening to me is that during the orgasmic contractions, the adhesions stretch like the muscles and ligaments in your body. Once they're looser, they cause less pain--That's until they grow taut and tight again after a break, like when AF visits. First time sex in a new cycle after AF always scares me to death too. Hmm, yes, I guess I can at least pretend to be a virgin all over again!

I hope by sharing some of my experiences here, people can understand a bit more about why endo girls always complain about pain, and what a big deal it is. We're not just whiny bitches who have nothing else better to do. It is a terribly debilitating disease. Meds don't always help. Sometimes they cause additional pain by irritating and inflaming the stomach lining. Instead of eliminating pain, they just add to your endless list of pain. I am one of those who chooses to deal with one less pain. So I looked for alternative treatments else where.

I have gone against the grain of western medicine-I have said no surgeries, excisions, and Lupron and all sorts of hormonal drugs that has crazy side-effects. People may think I am loopy, but I am actually getting better. I think I will always have pain as long as the adhesions are still there, but thankfully, TCM has helped me manage the pain, making my life more pain-free now. I really feel for all the women suffering from chronic endo pain. I just wish more endo girls had the help that I got--that's a 100 million endo-inflicted women worldwide! That's a whole lot of pain gone! Now wouldn't that just be great!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Pretty Good Day

I made it! I got my moxa fix today! My TCM doc said that my liver isn't that good today, but it's better!

Well, as long as I qualify for moxa, I am happy!

So today is Moxa No.1 (on CD9), for a brand new cycle.

It feels like deja-vu. So here I go, all over again! We'll be moxabusting (that's my new word) my cold, arctic body all the way to ovulation day to make sure my eggs all thaw by then!

And if I ovulate around CD19, as I usually do, there will be plenty of action on Thanksgiving! Great food and sex--hmmm, not a bad way to celebrate the day!

And I have another piece of good news... The sun hasn't come up yet, and I am already sleepy


Yay! (It doesn't take a lot to make me happy!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Liver's Having A Bad Day!

Well, well, I never thought I'd see this day, but AF has finally packed her bags and left, along with all that miserable pain!

So I went in for my doctor's appointment at the TCM clinic today hoping to get some burning luurve for my body-- err..., I mean, moxa. But my doc says,

"Why is your liver so stressed?"

Uhmmm.... ???

Apparently it wasn't food related.

So I fessed up--I think I did not have enough sleep. (Gulp!)

But, but, it wasn't my fault! It was Aunt Flo's fault. And Aunt Endo's. They were having a party last week and didn't let me sleep. As a result, they've turned my whole sleeping cycle upside, down, not that it was ever right side up in the first place. I live a largely nocturnal life, which is queer by most people's standards. But now, I live in Mar's time zone. Or somewhere unearthly!

Last night I went to bed at 5 a.m.

I woke up at 7 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep.

I tried torturing myself to sleep, reading one photography book, one cancer book, one recipe book, numerous rounds of Sudoku.

And drove my cat crazy (who was really trying very hard to sleep at the foot of my bed) with cuddles, and stroking and petting, and jibberish crazy cat-woman talk.




After a light lunch, I finally went to sleep at 1.30 p.m. (These are the perks of working at home at your own hours!) Slept for 3 hours and woke up at 4.30 p.m. to rush to the clinic! So...

"No moxa today!"


But why?

Reason: My liver's already stressed so we don't want to heat it up even more.

"If you want to do moxa tomorrow, make sure you sleep tonight!" he says.

It's now 5.33 a.m. Aaaaarrrgghhhhhhhhh!!!!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Relapse

I've been in pain the last 5 days.

Just when I thought that things were finally looking up, I am suffering a tremendous relapse. All the effort, and spirit I've put into fighting this dreaded endometriosis seemed not to have mattered.

I feel so defeated.

The journey during the past cycle had been wrought with numerous bumps and potholes along the way, but I thought I could get a fresh start with this new cycle. I told myself that I would get back on the roller coaster and face this cycle with new strength and optimism, but someone in the universe thinks that it's much funnier to see me all beaten up and broken down.

My roller coaster had barely left the station and gotten over it's first hill when the three bitches jumped me around the first corner -- Meet Aunt Flo, Aunt Endo and Aunt Gastro. They stuck with me for 5 days (and still clinging on) and made sure I was on a ride to hell! My TCM doc asked me today how I had felt the last 5 days. I laid it all out for him:
  • pain in uterus, ovaries, rectum
  • heavy bleeding
  • bad clots
  • anxiety attacks
  • cold sweat
  • headache
  • gastritic pain and abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
Oh! And I forgot- sleep-deprivation too! When Mr.Pain felt generous during the first two days, he would let me sleep 5-10 minutes at a time. I had never felt so grateful to be unconscious during those few precious minutes! Yes, Effing Mr.Pain decides when I get to sleep. And thanks to the gastritis brought on by Aunt Gastro, I couldn't take any pain-killers to manage the pain either. So it's always one kind of pain or another. And though most of the pain has left me by now, my lower back is still aching and pangs of pain is still shooting across my ute as I write. It is CD5 going into CD6 and the pain still has not stopped.

At the end of the last cycle, I thought I was done with all the crying. And I never thought I would start a new cycle with heartache and tears again. I learned that I am just not that strong. Where does all this leave me on my road to being endo and pain-free? Where does this leave me on my journey to having my baby? That road seems so far away now.  I've been in the darkness for so long. I put my faith in God and in Medicine, and I still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel so drained--physically, emotionally and spiritually. There is barely a flicker of life or hope in my soul.

I am broken.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thankful

I need to shout a big "THANK YOU" to all the wonderful girls who have been giving me their love, support and encouragement here over the last few days. The gift of your words have consoled me immensely! I never imagined that I would ever find such warmth and support here in blogoland, but I have and it's made my journey through IF a little more bearable. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart!


I am also thankful that today has not turned out to be disasterous, and that I have been able to deal with things a lot better. It must be all the positive energy you've been sending me! Despite having only 2 hours of sleep last night (I have major sleep issues) and seeing the Big Extremely FAT Negative on my Clear Blue HPT (it's got the fattest NEGATIVE line on any pee stick I've ever seen-They know how to rub it in!), and then discovering quite a bit of blood just hours later (Yup-another 25 bucks wasted again!), I have not broken down nor shed a single tear today.   


I am a bit confused though about the bleeding... I am not exactly sure if AF has arrived because it's only 12DPO and that's unusual for me. I needed to use something more protective than a pantyliner and the color was rather shocking. The yeast infection pessary (Canesten) has dissolved and it has mixed with blood into a bright milky red. Just imagine bright red tomato soup that has some cream stirred in. That's exactly what it looks like! (Ooops! Sorry if you're eating right now!) I know that Canesten can make you bleed a little, but If that's bleeding from the Canesten, the amount is quite startling. If it's AF-she's early (maybe someone granted my wish. Hmmm...be careful what you wish for). But the good news is I haven't felt any pain -only a slight pressure for several seconds. I will wait and see. If AF gets fierce, then I'll mark today as CD1.


So why did I POAS on 12DPO? I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant this cycle but I peed on the stick anyway because I wanted confirmation--Confirmation that I didn't need to eat well for a baby and that I could give myself a break AND be as sinful as I liked with food tonight. We had another round of family celebrations for my husband who turned 41 a few days ago, and believe me, I SINNED! Mmmmm...it was so yummy! 


There will be no more crying for me now. I am tired of being sad and tired of being tired! I am so done with this past cycle! The last few weeks have felt like the safety harness on my roller coaster had snapped open and I had been flung out into the arms of death. But I survived and I am back on that roller coaster again! I expect AF (in cahoots with Aunt Endo) might be planning to scare me with some jolts of pain. But I am ready to face it!


(OK-I lied-only sort of! I'm never ready for pain)


I'm eager to put all this crap behind me and look forward to a brand new cycle and another shot at baby. I am gonna enjoy the rest of my weekend and on Monday, I'm gonna charge into my TCM clinic with new vigor! Along the way, I will be sure to make my TCM doc feel a bit guilty too for taking so long to give me my baby! LOL!! Get with the program doc! Haven't you seen my wish list? I want a baby for Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Please Somebody Give Me A Break!

Hey Gals, for anyone who's been hoping to get pregnant, have you been checking yourself against this list of pregnancy symptoms?
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased alertness, inability to concentrate
  • Food cravings
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
Guess what? These are all PMS symptoms, TOO! 


WTF?


Imagine having to suffer the same symptoms of early pregnancy, and not even have a baby at the end of this?


WTFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!


I guess since yesterday's post, it is apparent that I am still torturing myself with Mad IF Disease! Yes, I am still milling around the "what early symptoms do pregnant women get" section of the interwebs.

Why Oh Why Oh Why do I torture myself like this? (Hey, that sounds kinda familiar...)

Not like I have any of these symptoms -- I just like tormenting myself. It's the effing disease.

----------

Well, I didn't find "irrational" or "crying fit" on either of the lists which is what I had today, so I would boil it down to Mad IF Disease again! 


You've heard me sing the same tiresome song all month now about how much bad luck I've been having, and poor you--you're about to hear it again! 


Today has just been another horrible day. Things have just not gone my way. I've been in a very irritable mood and every thing from my husband to the choice of restaurant irritated me. And thoughts of another failed cycle overwhelmed me and got the tearducts flowing a bit. Then I gave up the choice of going to the movies so I could go home and boil my herbal medicine. Guess what? I burned the whole freakin' pot of medicine! My husband who was in the kitchen sitting just 5 feet away from the burning pot didn't even check or smell the burning. Now there's a 1-inch thick carbon slab stuck to the bottom of my pot. My husband consoled me and rubbed my shoulders, saying that he could pour some more water in and boil it again. Yeah! Right! And make cancer soup??!

----------

And I wish I could tell you that the pink spotting I had today was from implantation, but it's bleeding from anti-yeast medication that I carefully navigated up the vahjayjay. After some advice from a friend not to mess with garlic or yogurt, I went and got the Canesten 1-Day pessary. There's tonnes of conflicting data about its safety for women in the first trimester, but after deciding that I must certainly not be pregnant, I went ahead with it. And exactly like it happened last time I used it, I bled. There are so many reports about women having this bleeding after using the Canesten pessary, Canesten still does not want to acknowledge it as a side-effect. 

----------

So I've had a good cry and I feel better now. Maybe it's the hormones, but this overwhelming sadness of how my life's played out recently have not left me. I'm still waiting for the universe to give me a break. Please somebody, drag me out of this darkness! 


I feel like I need to leave this post on a more positive note. So I want to end this with an image that I made many years ago that says exactly what's in my heart. 


All I need is just a tiny ray of hope.





Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mad IF Disease

Today is 10DPO. With Aunt Flo due just around the corner, I have about 4 more days left of driving myself insane with "Mad Cow IF Disease", where I over-analyze, and question, and deliberate on every symptom I have as a pregnancy symptom. The problem is I haven't got any symptoms to deliberate over! And that's what's driving me crazy!

Apart from a few seconds of nausea and giddiness over a couple of days (which could very well have been my over-active imagination), and a slight fever in the evenings, there is absolutely nothing going on in my body which could give me hope. There are no sore boobies or nipples, no strange cravings, no gas, no mood swings whatsoever! I've been strangely.... happy. WAIT---is that a pregnancy symptom?

I've been touching my breasts all day to check if they were sore. I swear I've never touched myself so much before!

Having been quite the drama queen this month with all the jinxes I've had, I told myself that I would keep my cool throughout my 2 Week Wait. It started off well, but I've succumbed to the sadomasochistic pleasures of torture--reading up on all the early pregnancy symptoms women experience before their 2WW was up. Why Oh Why Oh Why do I torture myself like this?

Every time I come across a testimonial about breast symptoms, my heart sinks.

" #DPO - sore nipples..."   OK-SKIP!

" #DPO - breasts sore..."   PASS!

" #DPO - sides of breasts painful..."   NEXT!

I've had to skip so many testimonials that it became clearer and more frustrating to me that I'm just not one of those lucky girls...

However, this "Mad IF Disease" has me clinging on to hope, even in the absence of all symptoms. My logical brain tells me this is completely illogical! It is stupid. Yet I can't wait to go to bed so that I can wake up the next morning and chart my BBT. And hopefully see that there's a jump in my temperature.

My TCM doc read my pulse today and said that my heat and qi levels are good, but there's no baby singing to him yet...  

"@#$%&*!" I thought!

I'm doing well huh, so what the @#$%&*! is wrong?

If I'm not pregnant, I just wish that AF would get here and let me move on with my life. And the least I can hope for is that she will be painless and easy on me this time round... I am so ready to say Good Bye to all that Endo pain. Will I be that lucky this time?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Dreaded Cottage Cheese

It seems that I am in the process of making "cottage cheese" of the itching variety. Also popularly known as candidiasis or yeast infection. That's right--the drama in my life has not ended yet for this cycle. (I certainly don't believe that bad luck comes in threes anymore. I am way past three!)

Based on the itching and the amount of "cheese" I've made (2 small pieces 1mm wide each, according to the finger dipstick), it hasn't flared up badly yet but I think it's on it's way. Ughh! Thanks to the round of antibiotics I had to take for my hand injury!

I've also been having a slight fever of half a degree higher the past 3-4 nights. It has happened to me before during my 2WW. I thought I was pregnant, but obviously it wasn't that! I have a habit of reading too much into every symptom. That's what I call "Mad Cow  IF Disease". And even with this fever, my morning BBT has actually fallen a little and it hasn't gone past 98˚F, which isn't great news.

Let's see... What other bad news have I got for you? Well, all my stitches have come out but the wound on my wrist looks ugly as hell! So much so that the doctor asked again if I wanted plastic surgery on it! My original flap of skin apparently is coming off and new bulbuos, reddish skin has formed underneath. Looks like all that stitching didn't help much! Darn!

And did I mention about the poor squirrel I nearly killed? Hmmmph! Even animals cannot escape from my jinx! One evening I went to the bathroom and proceeded to open the window. Now, my window is frosted and it swings outwards. It was dark out there and I had no idea that an animal was hanging out there on the ledge. So I had a shock when I felt the window hit something! It fell 2 floors into my garden below! Then I heard squeaking, scurrying off in a panic and then crashing into some plastic bottles in my yard and a very upset "Prrrrr!" And it was gone. There must be one very upset squirrel in my garden somewhere!

So here I am on CD30 or 7DPO wondering what else could possibly go wrong. Good luck that apparently is due to me is no where in sight. I've just about given up hope on a BFP this cycle. I can't even get pregnant when I'm fine and well. What more with this disasterous cycle?

And now I've got to figure out how to shut down this "cottage cheese" factory! The last time it happened was during my 2WW of the cycle that I actually got pregnant! I used Canesten 1-Day pessary and I bled. I later found out that

"CANESTEN Vaginal Tablets should not be administered to pregnant women during the first trimester,
since the safety in this regard has not been established."

Of course I didn't know then that I was pregnant. Who knows--it may have contributed to my miscarriage. So now I am exactly in the same boat again and I am paranoid about using any drugs to treat it - just incase a pregnancy happened or is happening in my body. So gals, how did you deal with that bitch of an itch? I've read about using natural yogurt and garlic up the cha-cha. Mmm, sounds like a real gourmet feast in there! Have you tried any of these natural remedies? Have they worked for you?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

(Un)Happy Halloween!



This is my cat doing the "Hunchback"! He didn't need a halloween costume and neither was he impersonating! He was very upset at me for pouring down greasy, oily medication down his ears for days to treat his ear mites. To him, that liquid was like the ultimate evil that was attacking him--He would shake his head berserkly from side to side till it all oozed out onto his lovely fluff!

He no likes!

Alas, that was many "ears" ago and thankfully, that was the last I saw of "Zoey the Hunchback"!

--------------------------------------

I think it's apt that I dedicate this "I will keel you" pic to the evils out there. Attention to all:
  • Infertility diseases that plague us with immense psychological, physical and financial suffering
  • Fertile women who rub it in our faces that they're pregnant, again, and how easy it was
  • Relatives and friends who keep asking us when we're gonna start a family
  • Insurance companies that tell us our medical treatments are not covered because we're technically not sick or eligible
  • Those Nurse Jekylls (thanks Maddy) and so called Dr Hydes that prick and prod us and experiment with us like we're just lab rats with no feelings
  • Those OPKs and HPT tests that always turn up NEGATIVE
  • AFs that always show up every month, especially after you just peed on dollars worth of HPTs
  • People who tell us TTCs to "Just Relax...."
THIS PIC IS FOR YOU!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Day To Celebrate!


Today, October 29th, is National Cat Day! And I'd like to pay tribute to my wonderful Fluff of Fur for all the love, cuddles, entertainment, laughter and companionship he's given to me and my husband since he came into our lives 8 years ago.

He's given us so much. Even

Customized frayed and holey furniture...

Long-lasting claw marks from overzealous playtime...

Hairball surprises where you least expect it...

Dead animal "presents"...

Midnight walks all over my face--when I'm sleeping...

Litter-box duty...

And not to mention, always in vogue fur-covered clothes...

It has all been worth it!

I'm sure it hasn't been easy for him putting up with his crazy human parents either, but I'd like to think that he's had a blessed and a very interesting life with us! See inset pic of balloonified Zoey waiting to take flight ;-) ! (I swear no cat was harmed in the making of this image - a bit humiliated perhaps...)

Even if real human kids come into the picture later, Zoey will always be my furry baby! Okay, gotta go - time to smother my furball with some luuuurve!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"O" No! I'm Insufferable!

Today's post:

Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...Whine, whine, moan, whine, groan, moan, whine, whine, whine! (x 10,0000000000000)

I still haven't ovulated.

"What? You're still obsessing about that?".....you're all yelling?

Uh-huh! I've had two positive OPKs now, but my BBT hasn't fallen, so I know it hasn't happened yet. Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...

My brain is incapable of thinking about anything else except ovulation and sex right now! Yes, I am a mad woman on heat! I don't know how much more my poor hubby can take of me bugging him for sex - he's so deprived of sleep, but I've already warned him that he has to make a "deposit" everyday for at least the next three days! So much for raw, spontaneous sex huh!

But the fact is, none of this sexercise matters if I haven't ovulated yet. Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan... (x another 10,0000000000000) So I thought I would double check with my TCM doc.

He read my pulse. He told me that I had not ovulated.

Yup. Based on my basal body temperature (BBT), he's just about 100% right. I didn't even tell him a single thing about my OPKs, or BBTs. Isn't it really scary how much my TCM doc knows about my body simply by reading the pulse on my wrists? He normally takes a reading from both my wrists - right side for qi, and left side for blood circulation, but even though he has been handicapped because my right wrist was "unavailable" (due to the injury), his supersonic fingers "heard" what my ovaries were saying! Freaky!

So after a bit more whining and moaning from me, he assured me that my condition was actually still good considering what my body's been through with the injury. He said it's likely that my O has been delayed because of that ie, some of the qi and energy in my body has been diverted to heal my cuts. OK-that's a pretty logical answer. My wounds have indeed been healing pretty well. The stitches on my palm have been out for 4 days now.



My wrist is still stitched up and looks nasty, but it's starting to turn pink like the rest of my arm. There's no feeling on the skin though. According to the doctor, the nerves have been severed but they do grow back, albeit at 1 mm a day. Not bad, except he says that nerves have to regrow from our back, which according to my calculation, based on the length it has to grow, it will take about 3 years to get to my wrist! Bring out the symphony again --
Whine, whine, whine, moan, moan, groan...Whine, whine, moan, whine, groan, moan, whine, whine, whine! (x 10,0000000000000)....


Let's hope I have something to cheer about tomorrow... Go O! Go O! Go! Go! GO!
Pretty puhleeze....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October Sex Fest Back On!

After bawling my eyes out for two days, the OPK finally decided to turn positive on CD21! I'm ecstatic. But what a roller coaster ride it's been. I've been POAS like an addicted lunatic since CD15. And it had been very hard seeing a negative, one after another, especially with the high expectations I've been having. I really wanted this cycle to be an improvement on the last one, since I've been doing so well with the intensive moxa sessions, acupuncture and herbs. Seeing an improvement was especially important as I had just passed the one year mark of starting TCM treatments. But peeing on those damn sticks had been one big disappointment after another, day after day.

I've never even felt this devastated with BFNs for pregnancies. At least I knew I was given a shot at it. With no egg around, it felt like I wasn't even given a chance! And that really shattered me. And with all the additional bad luck I've had to deal with recently, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. But then, someone must have pitied me and given me a break. Although there's no guarantee, hopefully with the Luteinizing Hormone surge, it really means that ovulation is going to happen. Here's a pic of how the OPKs have been teasing and taunting me. (These are the lucky few I picked from the mountain of peed OPKs sitting on my dresser! I didn't want to show them all, incase you thought I was nuts or something ;-) Read from bottom to top. It's positive when the left blue line is similar or darker than the right line)


So all is good for now, and it's all systems go with hubby now! I might have to face another episode of devastation in a couple of weeks if AF comes, and I don't know how I will be able to handle it. But for now, I have a chance, and I am going to make my damndest best of it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

No "O"

It's CD 20 and still no ovulation. Damn!

But, but, but...My heat levels have improved. My egg white CM has been amazing. My saliva was in full-fern bloom!

My OPK says "NO!"

I turned to one of my books to try and understand the mysteries of ovulation. The first line of the chapter read,

"Ovulation is probably one of the most important aspects of fertility."

My heart sank. Damn it! I obviously haven't got "one of the most important aspects of fertility". I am screwed!

Just when I thought things were going well--My body was cruising at full speed ahead, and then--It slams on the brakes!

I can't even begin to understand what the hell goes on in my body.

I am so frustrated.

I am in a funk.

Infertility plain SUCKS!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Year TCM Anniversary

Today is the 1st year anniversary of our first visit to our TCM clinic. I can't believe how quickly a year has flown by, and I can't believe I am still going there! Both my husband and I have been diligently going for our treatments every week, except during our one and a half month vacation hiatus. Chugfuls of black, muddy, herbal medicine; thousands of pin-pricks and some USD7,000 later, we still have no baby.

This prompted me to reflect on the past year's progress and assess what the hell we're doing with our time and money. Is it worth it? Should we have put the money towards something like IVF instead?

For those of you who are new here, my husband is being treated for low sperm morphology, and I for endometriosis, hormonal imbalance and a cold condition. Our TCM doc believes that once these problems are resolved, we should be able to conceive naturally. So my husband and I have electroacupuncture twice a week, and we drink a tailor-made herbal concoction everyday. I have upped my treatments with daily moxibustion and electroacupuncture everyday between the end of my period and ovulation during my last 2 cycles.

But has all this been worth it?

I wasn't sure but DH put my mind at ease for these reasons:

IVF does not guarantee us a baby nor try to resolve any of our underlying health/fertility problems. But with TCM,

- my endo is being treated and my symptoms are diminishing, hence my quality of life has improved
- my periods are being normalized and are more manageable now
- my husband's energy levels have increased significantly
- we managed to conceive once, which proved to us that we can conceive naturally and my husband's sperm is working!
- we do not have any bad side-effects from the treatment

Weighing the two, TCM has definitely been more beneficial to us. And so, TCM it is for us. So bring on the putrid potions and gnarly needles Year 2! We're ready for ya!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SuperGirl Egg Whites

Talking about what comes out of my va-jay-jay isn't exactly what everybody is dying to hear, nor is it quite socially appropriate. But what I had last night was so spectacular, I can't not write about it!

If Supergirl was ever real and had cervical mucous, I think what I discharged last night would be exactly it! So after doing the "deed" with DH, and propping up my hips for 15 minutes - you know, doing all the stuff desperately TTC women do, I went to the toilet to pee. After wiping with a wad of TP, I let go the TP without looking. But strangely, it felt like it was still stuck to the va-jay-jay. I looked down. Huh? No TP there. But it still felt like something was hanging off me. I looked again. Then I saw the wad of toilet paper hovering midway above the water. What? What's going on here? So I retrieved the hovering TP and noticed that it was connected to me with some kind of superglue! I wiped the "glue" off me and had a good look. Holy Moly! That stuff just came out of my va-jay-jay! It was absolutely translucent and glossy with a slight yellow tint, exactly the way egg whites look. EXACTLY! Except that it was so strong, sticky and super-stretchy that it could be pulled to a length of 4-5 inches long! I was blown away! I have never seen anything like it coming out of my cha-cha! It was unbelievable. I even checked with DH and asked if it was "his"! He doubted it. So did I.

Well, unless there's a strange chemical reaction that happened when we were doing the "deed", my only conclusion is that that was all me! Ahh! So that is why they call the fertile CM egg white! It really looks like it! I know I sound like an extremely clueless, naive girl, but with the sorts of hormonal & menstrual problems I've had through my life, I guess I've never been normal. And all that acupuncture and herbs and moxa must have made me normal! Now I'm beginning to feel like a REAL woman!

And those super egg whites came at the right time because I should be ovulating any day now. It's CD18 and the egg should hatch around CD19 (fingers crossed). I've been peeing on the OPK obsessively and is seeing the second line appear very slowly. Yay! I think my LH surge is coming, followed by the egg hopefully! So my DH and I have changed our TTC strategy a bit. We will try and increase our chances of conception by having all his soldiers ready up there and waiting for the egg to break loose - instead of going nuts like rabbits only when we see the surge. So we're starting early. Who knows how long it'll take his soldiers to make the big swim - they aren't exactly marathon olympic champion swimmers!

Anyway, here are some pictures. No - not of my egg white hanging off my cha-cha, you perverts! LOL! Here's an update of my Frankensteinian arm, taken today when the dressing was changed, with the stitches still in. Although there hasn't been any noticable progress, my skin is STILL alive. Woohoo!

The cut on my palm is healing nicely. And neatly. My skin however looks awful! But it's red and alive and not infected, which is what counts:



Here are the cuts covered in gauze and antiseptic cream. The yellow stains on my arm are the side-effects from the local anesthetic:



And here's the arm all bundled up neat and nice. So you can never see how badly I'm itching in there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bad Luck Comes In Threes?

Lately, my life has been hit by a wave of bad luck. As I laid down today like a pin cushion, waiting for needles to be stuck in, I showed my TCM doc how I was starting to look like a Dalmation. I was having dark spots on my abdomen as a result of bruising caused by the acupuncture needles.

He laughed, having understood the ridiculous hardships that have befallen on me the past week, and told me that bad luck usually comes in threes. So let's do a Bad Luck Tally, shall we?

Bad Luck No.1 -
Cut hand with broken glass - CHECK!
My hand got cut bad when I broke the glass pot I was washing, requiring stitches at the hospital.

Bad Luck No.2 -
Chipped tooth and broke filling while eating cereal - CHECK!
How bad can my luck get? And over a frackin' piece of cereal too! Beware all you eating Tesco's Fruit & Nut cereal. Their wheat flakes are hard as granite! For me, that meant going to the dentist to have some lovely excavation and drilling done on my tooth! A joyous occasion, this is not!

Bad Luck No.3 -
Getting all bruised up from acupuncture needles - CHECK!
A little bruising from acupuncture once in a while is not uncommon, as the needle will likely hit one of the body's many capillaries occasionally. Unlike most people, I bruise easily, but TWO bruises in a week? This is how sexy my abdomen looks, that is if Dalmation happens to be the hottest animal print now...




My TCM doc tried to cheer me up saying that all this bad luck meant that bad karma had been cleared away, and that something good was coming around the corner for me. I certainly hope it's a baby! I wonder if good luck comes in threes too? My husband joked that it might be triplets. Har Har! Fuhneeeeeee! Like I am that fertile!

I've completed all three of 'em bad lucks now! Can I please have some good luck now?

Don't you think it's weird how chaos and bad luck catches up with you like a tsunami after a period of calm? At least that seems to be the way my life plays out all the time! Does it ever happen to you that way?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Waiting...

Ooooh! I am so busting to go to the toilet but I have to wait another hour. I am desperately trying to fulfill the 4-hour recommended wait before peeing on the ovulation predictor kit. So hopefully writing here will take my mind off any fantasies about peeing!

And here's the latest update about my little skin - it's still alive! Woohoo!

If only I could describe in words the anxiety I felt as the doctor was peeling away the bandages... It's crazy trying to anticipate what I would see under there. Is it grey? Is it black? Is it dead? Will we have to snip it away? Please be alive, puhleeeeeze!

But as the wound was slowly revealed, I saw purplish and red blotches! According to the doctor, it's good news! Overall it looked red, and the blood supply is getting through. The skin is still hanging in there, literally too! The purple blotches were blood clots, but he said that would slowly be reabsorbed into the body. There were some watery blisters too, which he had to pop with a needle. It was so strange because I didn't feel a thing--there was no sensation there at all. But he said I wasn't out of the woods yet. It could turn necrotic--that's the medical fancy schmancy way of simply saying - dead! And even worse, the possibility of an infection, which would kill all my chances of keeping my skin. So he slapped on the antiseptic cream and bandaged me up. The other cut is doing really well though so there is no concern there.

Maybe eating all that special wound-healing fish soup actually helps with the healing. And perhaps my constant incessant instructive orders to my brain to heal my wound is helping too (if my brain were another person it would probably be very annoyed with me!) I am constantly visualizing the healing in my head- the blood and chi flowing to the skin, healing nicely and getting better (just so my brain gets the picture what it should be doing! No misunderstanding there!)

On the fertility front, it's CD16 today and I should be ovulating anytime soon, usually around CD19. So its POAS time! I think I've amassed some 200 bucks worth of OPKs in my collection for this. Shhh! Don't tell my husband!

And I've diligently gone in today for my electro-acupuncture and moxa, now No.7 for this cycle. I really don't know what my chances are of conceiving this month, with all the stress my body's gone under, including drugs I've been pumping into my body ie, antibiotics, tetanus shot, anesthetic, plus I'm due for some dental work tomorrow. More stress. Drilling! Aaaargh! My TCM doc said my heat level fell a little from yesterday (it amazes me how he is able to keep track or quantify something so intangible and subjective). I feel my odds are probably lower, so that sucks!

There's nothing much else I can do now. So I'm waiting to pee, waiting for my skin to heal, waiting for me to ovulate, waiting to get pregnant. Sigh! Don't you sometimes feel that you spend most of your life just w..a...i....t....i......n........g?