MicroblogMondays: Precious Time with my Aging Father


I have been thinking a lot about the topic of aging parents lately, especially after spending five weeks with my dad, who came to visit from another country.  He and I don’t get to spend the kind of quality time together like we used to when I was younger, prior to my marriage.  I used to visit him overseas annually three weeks at a time and we would regularly have chat time during a walk or a hike.  Since I became a wife, overseas trips have become less frequent with less time to spend in each country.  I yearn for my father’s visits to the States.  However, due to some immigration issues, his visits have dwindled as well.  I was so excited when he decided to finally come after a hiatus of 2.5 years.

This visit was emotionally charged, which was highly unexpected for me.  Life was a lot simpler when it was just me and me alone during my parents’ visits.  When you add another person to it, namely my husband, the dynamics at home changed drastically.  My parents are very easygoing people.  Very considerate and kind.  Bob was really trying his best to accommodate them.  However, conflicts and misunderstanding still arose, as Bob struggled to share his personal space.  The conflicts also had to do with this ongoing undercurrent with my brother, who conveniently never has to accommodate my parents just because he married early and started a family early.  The lack of space at my brother’s house means our parents stay with the single daughter.  This arrangement goes way back years ago.  The continuation of this arrangement is a source of conflict for me and Bob.  He is okay with my parents staying with us, but he does not understand why my brother does not share the responsibility.

One morning, a fight I had with Bob led to his overreaction to the noises that my dad made, which led to hurt feelings that lasted Bob, me, and my dad a whole day.  (My mom, in the mean time, was oblivious to this conflict.  Bless her heart.)  That evening, Bob apologized to my dad. That apology opened a flood gate for my father and me.  We talked and cried for an hour or two that night.  There is nothing more emotional and heartbreaking than seeing your 70-year-old father cry.  He talked about his disappointment in my brother for not having regular contact with him in the last couple of years.  He told me the one regret of his life: uprooting our family and putting us here while he tried to make a living overseas, forcing us to be separate from him most of our teenage years.  He shared about how my brother urged him to come visit so that he wouldn’t miss my niece and nephew’s childhood like how my dad had missed ours.  He shared about the impossibility of retiring in the States due to high healthcare cost and thus eventually he’d stay overseas until he died, living far away from his children and grandchildren.  He talked about how he chooses to be active by exercising daily, going biking and hiking regularly, so to extend this body of his so that he wouldn’t be a burden to anybody for as long as possible.  All these were shared with tears, from the both of us.  Never in the million years would I expect to experience this with my dad prior to his visit.

I heard the voice of an aging man that night, loud and clear.  Since my dad had us relatively young, and has been such an active person all his life, I never saw him as an old person.  This visit is the first time that I feel that my dad is reaching an age that I feared would come one day.  The way he carried himself.  How he talked about this time round he had to lift his legs higher for the steps at home, something that he never noticed or felt before.  I cannot ignore the fact that… my dad is no longer middle-aged.  I am approaching that period of my life and he is stepping into his advanced years.  My father’s mother is still alive in her mid-90s.  So I never really thought that my dad would leave me any time soon.  However, you’d never know about one’s life expectancy.  My dad mentioned about many of his friends who have passed and how he tries to make it to the monthly get togethers with his long-time friends because, really, who knows how many more times they could all see one another.

It’s inevitable that our parents will leave us one day.  I feel fortunate that I can still do something about spending time with my dad.  Every weekend, I got up extra early, went out to breakfast, and took an 1.5 hour walk with him.  Some workday mornings, I took a half day off and did the same.  These walks took place probably more than ten times in the duration of his visits.  Sometimes Bob came.  Sometimes just me and my dad.  We chatted about anything and everything in his life and in my life.  He knows everything about our fertility journey and is supportive of our decisions.  I have made up my mind that I am going to be better at being in touch with my father now that he has gone back home.  Daily texts will be my way of interacting with him.  Come to think about it, it is really not that hard.  Just a couple of minutes a day.  But the effect on our relationship will be long lasting.

Now I have even more of an urge to get this egg donation business started.  I would really like my dad (and my mom) to have the time to spend with my children.  If we are fortunate enough, maybe we’ll still have more than 20 years of their time.  It can be done, right?

MicroblogMondays: Fertility on “Orphan Black”


I’ve been obsessed with “Orphan Black“, a Sci-Fi thriller that talks about clones.  Anyone out there has seen it?  We are late to the game, as the first season was from 2013.  I watched the first six episodes alone until Bob agreed to watch the first episode with me.  Since then, I have gotten him hooked on the show as well.  Since this show is in the end of its 3rd season, I am not afraid of talking about season one here.  I love how the actress Tatiana Maslany could play so many different characters so vividly.  There is the original hustler clone who is the main character.  And then there are the soccer mom clone, the scientist, clone, the religious-fanatic-serial-killer clone, the suicidal dead cop clone, the German clone, and the cold, evil, and emotionless big-corporation executive clone.  One interesting tidbit that got my attention on the show is about the main character Sarah being the only clone who had the ability to conceive and give birth to her daughter.  All the other clones are infertile. They have been told that they would never give birth to a baby.  Some have resorted to adoption.  Admittedly, if infertility was not my reality, I wouldn’t have given this plot line much attention.  Of course this is an important fact and information about the clones, as fertility is such an important part of a woman’s life.   In one of the scenes, the usually very cold big-corporation executive clone who hired the scientist clone to study all the clones was almost emotional and almost had tears in her eyes when she told the scientist clone to figure out why the main character clone Sarah could have a biological child but none of the other clones could.  I usually hate hate hate that cold cold evil executive clone (although Bob thinks that she is super hot).  However, in that scene, seeing her almost misty eyes, I could empathize with her.  Behind that cold facade, she probably was longing to become a mother as well.  And then, there was this scene where a lady came forward to tell the main character Sarah that she was her birth mother.  Apparently, an embryo was transferred into her that became Sarah.  I was sitting there scratching my head.  Wouldn’t she be a gestational carrier, not a birth mother?  Again, if I hadn’t been so involved in assisted reproductive technology, I probably wouldn’t even blinked when I heard that.  Our own fertility does affect our viewing experience when it comes to TV shows and movies.

(This is an excellent show to watch if anyone is into Sci-Fi thrillers.)

MicroblogMondays: Peace with Baby Bumps


Having emotional stability at home makes a huge difference in the outlook of life.  Plus getting encouraging news again and again also has an amazing effect on my emotions.  All these positive changes mean that I can deal with baby bumps a lot more easily.  Last Wednesday was my presentation to expectant moms.  I was so thankful to God as He put my life back in order again after having a few chaotic weeks.  Otherwise, it would have been a lot more difficult for me to put on a brave face and talk to these pregnant ladies.  I also think I could separate my emotions out because I am passionate about my work.   It really was not bad at all.  There were a total of 15 of these ladies.  I stood there in front of them talking about brain development of babies and the different ways they could interact with their babies from the first day of birth.  Because all the expectant moms were sitting down, I could focus on their faces instead of their big bumps.  I cared more about connecting with them and making sure they understood what I was saying rather than worrying about them being pregnant when I was not.  It was a success.  It has also been going well at work with my pregnant coworkers.  I made small talk with the pregnant ladies at work rather than avoiding them all together.  I sat in the lunch room one day, listening to my engaged pregnant coworker talk about her wedding and altering her dress.  I felt brave.  I didn’t chime in but I did not flee either.  I welcome this change as I do not want to feel even more isolated than I already feel.  I hope that this is an upward trend for my emotions in the next few months as we gear ourselves up for our donor egg cycle.  I like the Isabelle in this state much better than a few weeks ago, when life was grim and the bottom of the pit was dark.  I am slowly climbing out of the pit.  The view is getting better and better.

More Uplifting News: Refund for the Hysteroscopy

It shows you that it really never hurts to ask about anything.

I emailed the surgical coordinator at my clinic about a refund or a partial refund for the botched hysteroscopy that we had paid for out of pocket.  It was a total of almost $2600.  She was on vacation until this past Monday.  I hadn’t heard back from her so I  emailed her yesterday.  Bless her heart.  She called and left a voicemail for me, saying that she would try her best to get us some refund but there is no guarantee as it is usually difficult to get money back from UCSF.  She had to file a lot of paperwork but she would let me know as soon as possible.  I emailed her and thanked her for her willingness to try.

I didn’t expect to hear anything back from her for a while.

And then this morning.  Her message came at 7:40am:

“We are going to refund the facility and pro-fee for this procedure. You are responsible for $185.00 for the medications.  It will take about 3 to 4 weeks to get your money back.”

Wow!  I was blown away.  I was expecting maybe a little bit of the refund for the professional fee but none of the facility fee.  This is the best possible outcome for this non-surgery.  The refund is going to go back to my health savings account credit card, so I can apply the fees for other medical expenses.  It is so nice to know that our own clinic does take care of us.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this.  What a wonderful way to start the weekend.

Praise the Lord!!!

Finally Some Relief – Hysteroscopy Surgical Consult

I can’t tell you how relieved I am right now.

Today was my consultation with a gynecological surgical doctor at Kai.ser.  I had had some anxiety and fears about the cost of the surgery, thinking that it could be a fertility-related procedure hence not covered by my insurance.  I was also fearful that my constant bleeding in the last month and the tugging and pulling feeling in my abdominal area were more serious than just hormonal changes in my body.  I know those were irrational thoughts, but I just couldn’t help myself.  My fear was manifested in my dream one day: I was rushed to the emergency room because of the discovery of a lump in my pelvic area.  You can imagine how I felt when I woke up from that dream.

I arrived at 10:45am for my 11am appointment.  To my surprise, I was called to the back immediately for my blood pressure and weight.  I knew I was anxious, and my blood pressure reflected it.  The nurse asked if I was a little nervous.  She said that I didn’t have to worry because I was in good hands with the doctor that I would see.  She said she would remeasure my blood pressure at the end of the visit.  I was already situated in the exam room at 10:55am.   The surgical doctor entered at 11:02am.  I’ll call her Dr. Gentle.  She was really really nice.  I’d say she is one of the nicest doctors I have ever met.  I had to tell her a brief history about my infertility journey as well as my surgical history since none of it was done at Kai.ser so she had no records of any sort.  I explained to her that my abdominal myomectomy was done to remove about 50+ tiny submucosal and intramural fibroids.  I told her that I did not understand how scar tissue could be formed inside the cavity, since a saline sonogram two years after the surgery did not show any scar tissue.  Dr. Gentle said that scar tissue is usually formed following a uterine surgery that might have penetrated through the uterine cavity.  There should not be any scar tissue if there was none two years after the surgery.  She suggested that I may not have any scar tissue after all.  Of course during the procedure she’d take a look and determine if anything has to be cut.

I explained to her what happened at the saline sonogram and the attempt at the hysteroscopy at UC.SF.  After hearing that my cervix was too wide, Dr. Gentle asked if Dr. No Nonsense tried to clip the cervix close.  Uh… I don’t think so.  She said that the cervix is supposed to be wide to allow the equipment to go in.  At Kai.ser, medication is given to the patients to soften and widen the cervix.  In that moment, I started to think that Dr. Gentle might be the better professional to remove whatever I have inside me than Dr. NN.  She really seemed more knowledgeable about these procedures than Dr. NN.  I said that Dr. NN suggested doing an operation under general anesthesia.  Dr. Gentle said that it is not necessary.  She suggested doing a clinical procedure rather than one at the hospital in the operating room.  Basically similar to what Dr. NN did.  Maybe even simpler.  She explained to me that a procedure done in the OR under general anesthesia is basically the same as one done in the clinic.  So there is no need to subject me to anything more than a localized sedation.  She is going to use a technology called MyoSure, which is a technology that removes tissue in the uterus without cutting into the uterine lining.  She gave me a brochure and told me to watch a video online about the surgery.  Because I am a fertility patient, she feels strongly that this is the best way to preserve my lining.  This procedure can be done within 10 minutes.  I can go back to work the next day.  And we can try to get pregnant again the following menstrual cycle.

I was feeling more and more relieved as she explained things to me.  I asked her how soon I could be scheduled with a procedure.  She immediately got on the computer system to look for a time.  Initially she gave me July 28th.  I told her that we would like to pursue an egg donor who could start a cycle in August.  It would really help us if I could be seen sooner.  She is such a nice and compassionate doctor.  She looked in the system again, looked at the calendar, and mumbled things to herself for about five minutes.  Then she happily announced that July 15th would work.  The timing can’t be more perfect.  We will return from our train trip to Chicago on July 11th.  July 15th is the earliest, best possible time for this procedure.

Dr. No Nonsense requested to email whoever is going to do my surgery.  Dr. Gentle said that she could schedule a time to discuss the case with him on the phone.  However, since Dr. NN is traveling outside of the country for a conference now, it’s tough for him to have a phone call.  Dr. Gentle said that the best way to communicate is for me to obtain my saline sonogram notes and my surgical notes, scan them, and email them to her.  I will get that done in the next week or so.

Dr. Gentle told me that my bleeding (three to four weeks worth before I started the birth control pill) is most likely caused by the hormones that I was taking before.  Scar tissue does not cause extra bleeding.  I was relieved to hear that.

Because of the cervix problem at my last hysteroscopy, Dr. Gentle performed a manual exam on me.  She said that my cervix looked and felt normal.  Then she put her fingers in to feel my uterus.  She commented on how well my previous OB/GYN performed the abdominal myomectomy.  She said that my uterus felt very normal after the removals of so many fibroids.  “Normal” is such a nice word to hear when all I usually get during doctor visits is bad news.  She told me that she does almost all of Kai.ser’s abdominal myomectomy in San Francisco.  I asked her if a full abdominal myomectomy is what she would do in my case, vs. a laparoscopic surgery.  She said that with 50+ fibroids, it was probably going to be really hard to do a lap surgery.  The trade-off is that a full abdominal myomectomy weakens the uterine wall so a Caesarean-section is needed.  This is going to be true in my case when I get pregnant in the future.

Dr. Gentle ordered all the medications that are required for the surgery for me.  She explained everything to me and gave me a printout.  I asked her about the codes of the procedure because I was still afraid that it would count as a fertility treatment rather than a medical necessity.  She wrote down that it was going to be clinic visit procedure and most likely a co-payment like the one that I paid today.  My diagnosis is Intrauterine Synechiae, which has nothing to do with infertility codes.  To find out the cost, I was told by her to go down to Members Services to find out, since the phone call that I placed to Kai.ser last Friday had not be returned yet.  After that, I could go down to the pharmacy to pick up the meds that she had just ordered. (Later on, member services told me that I would have to call the business office to find out the cost.)

Dr. Gentle saw me for a total of 40 minutes.  She could not be more thorough.  She put me at so much ease that I literally felt the weight lifted off my shoulder.  The nurse was right.  I feel that I am in very good hands as she is someone who does surgeries every single day.  Although I just met her, I feel confident in her ability to fix my problems.  The way she talked about it, it seems to be a very simple procedure.  Since I was so relieved, my post visit blood pressure went back down to close to normal.  Interestingly, I looked up Dr. Gentle online after my visit with her and found all these 5-star reviews on Ye.lp.  A surgeon.  Doesn’t it feel like looking up a restaurant???  But it is a great relief to know that she is so well liked and is such a great surgeon.

God is answering my prayers in a way that is unexpected.  Given the information and the timing when we scheduled the hysteroscopy with my own RE, I felt that it was the best choice at that moment.  Little did I know that God has other plans for us.  Maybe Dr. Gentle is supposed to be the doctor who should do the procedure.  I don’t know how God works.  But I know that I have been praying and asking God to steer us to the right path, and to give me peace and strength along the way.  I asked him to take away my worries and fear.  Today, I finally feel the relief that I haven’t felt in a long time.  It feels like there is an end to my wait in the pit.  I am slowly climbing out.  I am very thankful for that.

So here we are.  Finally some positive news.  Phew!



MicroblogMondays: Slowly Moving Back to Equilibrium


It’s not news that I have been experiencing a very tough time in my life.  The failed hysteroscopy last Wednesday pushed my anxiety to a new height.  When I took a day off on Thursday, instead of resting or relaxing, I suddenly felt the urge to have some control and order in my life.  What did I do?  I picked up my Swi.ffer sweeper and did some serious cleaning.  After an hour of hard work, we had two very clean bathrooms, a spotless kitchen, and floors that you can lick.  You just can’t imagine the comfort a little order and cleanliness in our living area had brought to my life that day.  I was doing better and better.  Nevertheless, I woke up in the middle of the night on Friday feeling sad and abandoned by God.  In my head knowledge, I knew that it was silly to think that way.  However, it was hard not to feel bugged by the setbacks in this journey toward egg donation.  Such a simple procedure was almost guaranteed to be successful.  I often fall into the wrong end of the statistics.  I was also extremely anxious (and irrational about it) that the hysteroscopy under total sedation would not be covered by my insurance.  Again, I had the head knowledge that it is most likely a medical procedure rather than a fertility treatment.  However, my fear seemed to have taken over.  At work on Friday, I hid in my office rather than joining the rest of my coworkers for a combined going-away party and birthday party.  Emotionally, I just could not deal with smiling in front of everybody pretending that nothing was going wrong.  I just needed to protect myself.  And I chose to do so.  Saturday morning, I woke up in the middle of the night again, and again felt abandoned by God.  I prayed and prayed for the Lord to sustain me.  I fell back asleep and woke up feeling refreshed.  A walk in the park with Bob and my dad, finishing up housework, a nice lunch at home, a relaxing afternoon with Bob at the coffee shop, and a delicious hotpot dinner with the rest of the family actually helped me feel more normal.  My anxiety level about the cost of the surgery has gone down significantly.  I am happy to report that I was not feeling anxious at all when I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday.  The peace we experienced at home the past few days has also helped swing me back on the path of normal.  I know that my emotions may go up and down again, especially when I need to find out about the cost of the surgery and meet with a surgical team doctor at Kai.ser next week.  But I will take what I can get.  It helps to know that good moments outnumber bad ones.   I am very grateful that I am currently experiencing peace and strength.  Thank you Lord for letting me know that You are always there, You always come through, and those bad moments in life will eventually pass.

More Roadblocks – Unsuccessful Hysteroscopy

There has been so many roadblocks in our quest to pursue egg donation.  It has almost become comical.

Yesterday was actually a sunny day.  Since I had to fast four hours prior to surgery time, Bob took me out to breakfast early so I could be full before the time limit.  Usually there are plenty of metered parking spots in front of the clinic’s building.  However, on a baseball game day (since the new clinic is very close to AT&T Park), these metered parking spaces are easily all taken.  We fortunately pulled into the last available spot before a bunch of drivers drove by asking if we were leaving.  Once we arrived at the clinic, we paid up and I was taken to the back for a physical exam.  The nurse took my blood pressure, which was slightly high.  And she also checked my weight in a convoluted way: after seating me on the exam table, the nurse raised the table and pointed a hand-held device at me.  The weight was registered on the device.  That was a weird experience.  Why they couldn’t just have the old-fashioned scale is beyond me.  Anyhow, a doctor came in and explained the procedure to me.  Since I was still bleeding even after being on the birth control pill for two weeks, I was worried that the blood would obstruct the view of the uterus.  The doctor thought that a little bit of bleeding would be okay.  As she explained it, I knew that it was going to be a simple procedure with minimal invasion.  Basically, Dr. No Nonsense was going to put a scope in my uterus, check on the scar tissue, and use scissors to remove it.  Okay.  I got that.

After the physical exam, Bob and I were taken to the other wing of the clinic.  This new clinic is like a maze.  The procedure side of the clinic had this open view of the bay with a few barges parked there in the water.  That was Bob’s work place for the next 1.5 hours.  I was led to a recovery room to get ready.  This is actually where the clinic currently does all the retrievals and transfers.  It looks really nice, clean, and modern.  All the recovery rooms are separated and all with a view of the bay.  I changed into my gown.  Both nurses were super nice.  They administered two pills of Ativan and one Norco to me.  The petite nurse told me that she only works here one day a week.  While she was doing that, she commented on my nice juicy veins.  Well, I think because she was not used to the IV catheter provided by this clinic, she kept on maneuvering the catheter needle and could not get it to go through my vein.  I usually tolerate pain really well.  Her maneuver was making it very uncomfortable for me.  She apologized, took out the needle from my wrist area, and tried my arm.  Same thing.  No luck.  She mumbled something like it rarely happens to her.  I reassured her that it was okay.  The tall nurse, a regular nurse at this clinic, came to the rescue.  She tried my right wrist and got it in on the first try.  Thank goodness.  I think the Ativan and the Norco were really calming me down because I was just sitting there smiling.  The tall nurse suggested to bring Bob back to say good bye before I went in.  He came in smiling, saying that he bumped into Dr. NN in the waiting room and showed him the electronic medical device that he was working on for work.  Dr. NN was super interested in it because his wife is a physician with a discipline related to the body part for which the device is intended.  Bob and I chatted for a little and kissed before I was wheeled into the operating room.

In the OR, I was positioned on the table before Dr. NN showed up later.  As usual, I asked for extra blankets.  The nurses were so nice.  They kept telling me that the most important thing was my comfort level.  They would give me the minimum amount of Fentanyl to keep me comfortable.  I could ask for it any time my pain level would go higher than five.  They really took very good care of me.  When Dr. NN came in, the first thing he said was how enamored he was of Bob’s new toy out there.  So I said, Yes, Bob said that since Dr. NN was going to cut up his wife, it was only fair for Dr. NN’s wife to purchase a device from Bob.  Too funny.  🙂  For the next 20 minutes, Dr. NN was trying to get the computer to log off from someone else’s account so he could log onto his own account.  I lay there with my legs wide open waiting for him to do so.  Sometimes technology is very frustrating.

Finally, Dr. NN was ready to get started.  He exclaimed and said, You are not just spotting, you are really bleeding.  When he started to put in the speculum, I felt the pulling and the tugging.  The nurse was right next to me explaining what Dr. NN was doing.  She was gentle and reassuring.  I was lying there watching the screen while he was doing his thing.  I was watching and watching, and my heart sank a little.  I had seen a hysteroscopy done before at my OB/GYN’s office.  I knew what it should look like. Although no one was telling me what was going on, I could tell that things weren’t going well.  I saw on the screen what looked like the inside of me.  But I didn’t know what part of my body it was.  Was it still in the cervical area?  Was it already in my uterus?  It was hard to tell.  I could see narrow passages and some blood attached to the wall of some sort.  I could see what looked like torn cotton balls blown by wind.  After struggling for a while, Dr. NN mumbled something under his breath and took the scope out.  He told me that my cervix’s opening was too wide, so the water that was pumped inside me that was intended to be used to expand the uterus kept on leaking out from the cervix.  He had a plastic bag underneath the table that was filled with the water that was supposed to remain inside me.  Because the uterus could not be expanded, he could not get a good look at the cavity in order to find the scar tissue.  He said he wished that he could do this in the real operating room when I am put under, so that he could use a bigger scope and maneuver things around inside me without making it painful for me.

With me lying on the table with my legs wide open, I listened to him and was thinking, This can’t be happening.   I told him that I cannot get the other surgery done with general anesthesia at UCSF because of the cost ($18,000 out of pocket, which I can’t afford).  I paid for this current procedure out of pocket hoping that the scar tissue would be cleared.  In order to get the other surgery done, I would have to go back to Kaiser, using my own insurance.  Kaiser insurance does not cover for a procedure done at UCSF.  Dr. NN told me that he wanted to write an email and refer me to another reproductive endocrinologist at Kaiser.  I mentioned that I actually did have an appointment scheduled with the surgical team doctor at Kaiser for June 9th.  I intended to cancel the appointment but was too lazy to do so.  So I currently still have the appointment scheduled for next Tuesday.  He said that whoever is going to do my surgery at Kaiser could contact him via email so they could touch base and talk about what to do next.  Dr. NN looked at my face, and said, you are disappointed.  I said, of course I am.  I just want to get it done and be done with it.  So he said, Okay, let’s try to do this one more time.

Dr. NN pushed the scope through one more time.  Same scene on the screen.  Some blood spots, fleshy looking walls, and some torn cotton ball like material being blown by the wind.  And liquid that kept on leaking back out of my body.  He couldn’t expand the uterus.  He pulled everything out, and showed me the big plastic pouch full of bloody water that came out of my body.  I lay there, looking at him.  I was speechless.  What can I say?  We tried.  So I asked a few things.  I asked about the fees that we had already paid for.  Dr. NN said he would see what he could do about it.  Also, I was wondering what code would be used for the procedure at Kaiser.  If a fertility code rather than a medical code is used, then the procedure will not be covered.  He really didn’t know the answer to that.  It is left for me to figure it out with Kaiser.  Dr. NN finished up with me, then exited the OR to go talk to my husband.  Before he left, he said, “I know the procedure in the future will be simple so we will get you ready to have your babies.”  The nurses remained inside the OR with me and explained the whole thing all over again to me about what happened just now.  I really appreciate their kindness and thoroughness with me.  When I was ready, I got up and was wheeled back to the recovery room.

Bob came in with a big smile on his face.  I really appreciate him being calm.  Dr. NN had explained to him what happened.  Bob looked at me and asked if I was worried about the money.  He told me that it was just money, so don’t worry about it.  The good thing is, we can get it done, and we will.  It is just a minor setback.  Because of his calmness, I was calm as well.  I sat there sipping my ginger ale and eating my crackers.  After the nurses made sure that I was fine, they removed the IV catheter from my wrist so I could change and go home.

It was still sunny when we walked out of the clinic.  Sitting in the car, I started feeling a little nauseous.  It could have been from the meds that were given to me.  When we arrived home, I had to lie down because the discomfort in my stomach was becoming a bit too much to tolerate.  I fell asleep.  My mom, who came home later, applied herbal ointment on my chest to make me feel better.  She and my dad also bought us dinner so we didn’t have to worry about food.  It is very nice to be taken care of while my physical being was recovering from the experience during the day.

How about my emotional wellbeing?  Like I said, it has been one roadblock after another.  I never anticipated a problem with the saline sonogram.  And I never expected a failed hysteroscopy because it is really actually a very simple procedure.  I shouldn’t be surprised that things are not going the way we want because… really, things haven’t gone the way we want for quite a few years now.  There is always a surprise when we turn a corner.  What is important is our attitude towards these roadblocks.  Frankly, it still bugs me a little at this moment that the simple procedure could not be done successfully.  But I can’t help but think that there is a reason why this road is so bumpy.  We are doing everything we can.  But we are not in control.  I think we have really learned that nothing is in our control, or our doctors’ control.  I prayed and cried out to God to just take me down the path He wants and help me to have the strength and peace to go through with it.  And I feel fortunate that my laziness paid off as I still have an appointment with Kaiser really soon.

Some days are harder than others.  When times are tough, I am learning to be extra nice to myself.  Today I still took a day off as planned although the procedure was canceled.  I felt that some down time is good for my wellbeing.  I got up early and spent some cuddle time with Bob.  I went for a walk with my father.  Breathing in the fresh air in the park, bathing myself in the sunshine, and chatting about whatever with my own father, those two hours were well spent and good for my soul.  I need to learn to embrace the good moments, and this morning’s moments with my father were the perfect example of something simple and extraordinary.

Friends, I am trying.  I feel that I am going to stay in the pit for a little longer.  But it’s okay.  I am figuring out a way, with God’s help, to climb out of it.  Hopefully I will find the way out very soon.

This Blog is Two Years Old

I was lying in bed this morning trying to wake up.  It suddenly dawned on me that it is June 2nd.  Two years ago on a Sunday, I gathered up enough courage to register on WordPress.com and started a blog.

And of course, when I got up, WordPress.com congratulated me on my achievement of being with them the last two years.  It is a nice milestone.  I went back and read what I wrote about my first anniversary last year.  Looking at my words, there are some of the fundamental things that I still believe in.  I still believe that God is in control.  God comes through every single time.  Last year I was in a better place with not being bitter.  I was still full of hope.  And this was the end of my blog post:

“And I hope that by then our little binky moongee will be growing inside me (of course without the binky yet) and will soon debut to the world.  I am holding onto that hope.  Maybe then the blog should be renamed “In Quest of Another Binky Moongee”.”

These words moved me to tears.  Another year has gone by and I am no closer to that baby in my body.  I have held onto the hope and the dream that have not been fulfilled.  In fact, tomorrow is the day I am going to deal with this unanticipated problem in my uterus: removing scar tissue hopefully to get the green light to move onto an egg donation cycle.  I am having a really tough time to deal with this emotionally.  I wasn’t having as tough of a time before when I was banking embryo because 1) I knew and had accepted that my ovaries are crappy and 2) I knew that my fibroids on the uterine wall had already grown back but were not a big problem.  My uterine lining was never a problem, so I held onto that belief that as long as I can find some good eggs, we can make normal embryos that can implant and become a baby.  The discovery of this problem has made infertility so much tougher to deal with.  I usually could deal with this kind of unexpected issue.  However, recently, things at home have been very tense.  The tension is related to pride, family living arrangement, self-image, work, finances, and of course, infertility.  With the stress and tension at home, I am having a really difficult time coping with it all.  Nothing stresses me out more than having tension at home.  My shoulders are always up to my ears.  I feel that I can’t even find a safe haven in my own home because I don’t know when things will explode.  Focusing at work has become a challenge.  Unfortunately, work has also been very busy.  I need to force myself to take a deep breath and focus.  In this infertility journey, I have experienced my share of ups and downs.  However, I really don’t remember a time I am having such a difficult time.  More often than not, I have these strong desires to go somewhere and hide from everything: from my husband, my work, my family, receiving more bad news, the surgery, and having to choose a donor and going through with a DE cycle.

Last year this time, I didn’t anticipate that life would be so tough.  But it’s okay.  I don’t know what the future holds.  But I know that when you drop to the bottom of the pit, there is no where else to go.  So I hope I don’t stay there for too long before climbing back up again.

Hopefully when I climb out of there, the view will be the best that I will ever see.

MicroblogMondays: Unexpected Trigger


I was at my nephew’s graduation.  Watching all the 8th graders walk into the hall and listening to that familiar “Pomp and Circumstance Graduation Walking March”, I started to tear up a little.  I was surprised by my emotions.  For sure I am proud of my nephew, who received a few awards including one that was given to one boy and one girl who were elected by their 8th grade classmates for being the nicest and most helpful throughout the year.  But I suspect that my emotions were much more complicated than the pride I had for my 14-year-old nephew.  Next to me was this couple, who looked full of joy and pride for their son.  One of the segments of the evening was for the graduates to walk to their parents and hand them flowers and a thank you card.  Being next to that couple, I could see the large-sized hand-made thank you card that read more like a letter.  Their son practically wrote them a love letter.  The mom was wiping her tears while taking in all the little words that filled the whole card.  Watching her, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of loss.  Do I ever get to experience this joy of seeing my own child become a successful young man?  The earliest that could happen would be when I am in my mid-50s.  That feels really far away from now.  I mourn the loss of what could’ve been, where life could’ve taken me on a different path.  What if I met Bob earlier?  Married earlier?  Had no problems conceiving?  Then being at my child’s 8th grade graduation would not feel so far-fetched at this moment.  A sense of loss, unfairness, envy, jealousy, fear, etc.  These are feelings that I would usually have when I see a pregnant lady or a mom with young babies.  I never would have expected myself to experience them at a middle school graduation.  I was very surprised.  I did actually shed a few tears there.  It goes to tell you that triggers are everywhere and sometimes happen at unexpected times and in unexpected places.