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Few Tips to Conceive

After I’ve conceived, I have questions coming from few friends of mine who are also years in TTC. My answers (or counter-questions) are usually in this order:

1) Do you have irregularities in monthly menses, like heavy painful periods, with blood clots, too much/little blood etc.? If yes, seek medical treatment as this can be classified as PID- Pelvic Inflammatory Disorder/Disease which treatment cost is usually covered by most companies’ health panel here in Malaysia (they don’t entertain infertility issues, sadly- talking about employees’ welfare!).

2) How long have you been trying-to-conceive naturally/ since you’ve been married? If more than a year, go seek a doctor- or preferably a gynae, and better still- an infertility specialist. Usually they would want the patients to have tried at least a year if the age is less than 35.

3) Diet/Supplement– Though this is fairly hard to prove and takes most time to see how it changes our body, I did follow few recommendations below:

  • Goat’s milk + dates (kurma)- this tip is from the scholar/alim ulama’ that I’ve seen on TV9 this one morning. I go for Hi-goat brand (original, in powder form) since it has the most original goat’s milk content compared to others and it tastes good too without additional sugar. Dates are well-known for its source of energy and the best ones are those coming from the holy land (Makkah/Madinah) due to its barakah.
  • Cut off your caffeine intake- avoid coffee and tea (though I occasionally take tea, not more than a cup a day) due to its high acidity. In endometriosis case, since the pelvic environment is already ‘acidic’, adding caffeine to our body will only worsen the case.
  • Buah Zuriat (the fruit of the inheritors/offsprings)- I was skeptical on this at first, believing that this fruit can miraculously make you pregnant?? I don’t know exactly what does it contain and its benefits, but if you search for it in the Internet, you can find the pictures and the various ways of its preparation. As for myself, I got it from a colleague of mine who just returned from Makkah and when she gave me that, I was not hesitant to tell her about how I feel about it. Her respond was simple, it’s probably not because of the fruit, but the barakah that comes with it coming from the holy land. So I thought to myself- why not? But pls put your trust on Allah the Almighty alone. Recently, I went to a shop selling exotic nuts and fruits from the middle east, and hey presto! they do sell buah zuriat too- RM 10 for a pack of 2-3. Here’s the address: Makhzani Food/Mercu Cita Manufacturing, No.8, TP 7/5, Sime UEP Industrial Park, 40400 Shah Alam. There’s a giant billboard of this shop after tol Batu Tiga (RM 1.10) if coming from KL direction.

So there you go. The most important of all tips is- EQUIP YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE. Here’s a good site to start off with: http://www.fertility.com. Find out how our body works, the common cause of infertility, the root cause of your own case by seeing the doctor whom you can trust, how other people deal with their IF issue by reading blogs, get support from family, friends or strangers from the web forums and the list goes on. This is so you are in full control of your body and mind, not just sitting there feeling sorry for yourself!

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Conceive, Endometriosis

 

The Long Overdue Update

Hi ya there! Oh God, it’s been a long time, I’m not sure what and how to put it.. but the highlight is

I’M HEAVILY PREGNANT @ 39 WEEKS and counting days to deliver, hopefully in next week..

Remember the last post I was about to write on fimbrae? When I was trying to write something about it, somehow it didnt go through.. there was an apparent reason to that only known by the mother nature- bcos I already conceived at that time! It was the Prof’s idea of what could be the reason I have yet to conceive even after 3 cycles of trying naturally.. but somehow it wasn’t true! I made it on the 4th cycle!

Alhamdulillah, syukran lillah Ya Allah.. u’ve answered our prayers in the most wonderful way.. Subhanallah, Allahuakbar, Glory be to Allah..

I cant possibly put it all here.. but I’ve already updated the About page to give you some idea on the milestones.. I hope to write more about the pregnancy journey before I deliver.. In the meantime, keep your faith intact to those still in TTC phase!

Can’t believe we’re meeting our first minion soon!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Baby, Mother

 

Oh my fimbriae!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Endometriosis

 

Farewell 2011, Hello new year 2012!

I spent the final week of 2011 in Jakarta with hubby, taking a week of well-deserved leave to take my mind off work. We had a good 5 days over there, 2 of them spent in Ancol Dreamland. It’s a recreational place by the beach where there are theme parks, eco-park, sea world and art market, to name a few. We went to Dufan- which is a short form for Dunia Fantasi, the themepark- I took lots of nice photos over there but I sucked in uploading them so bear with me ya.. Hubby’s favorite is Istana Boneka, not bcos of the thrill (infact there was no thrill at all to this- taking a slow boat ride into a melodical world of ‘chucky’ dolls dressed in costumes from different parts of the globe) but thats what reminded him most of his childhood memories where he grew up and spent his primary school years in Indonesia. There were a few that gave us the adrenaline rush- Hysteria (similar to Solero shot in Genting), power surge, Halilintar (the corkscrew) and simulator theatre.

I hesitated a bit before going into those rides with TTC n all, but I didnt want to spoil hubby’s mood either and the temptation was simply too much to resist. So there we go, having all the fun like we used to have in Blackpool and Alton Towers (Genting seemed like no match at all, OK maybe I exaggerated here). In the afternoon, there was Laskar Pelangi musical theatre- the highlights, which was a seasonal show and we were very lucky to had the chance to watch such a magical production- the setup, the props, the music- the overall play was fantastic, I wud wanna see it again if it was staged in Istana Budaya. Hubby bought the songs CD and we’ve been playing it over and over again that we could finally comprehend whats the lyrics are all about (since Indonesian bahasa is a bit different from Bahasa Melayu). At night, we watched the multimedia show, another colorful projection over the water mist background. We spent another day here cycling all over Ancol by renting a bicycle (or speda, as the locals say it). We finished off the night having a good full body massage at the hotel.

On the final day in Jakarta, the 30th Dec- this wasn’t the final day of the year yet, but my 2011 ended as hope came crushing down when I had my period. I was quite devastated, thinking it might be bcos of all the high impact activities and the massage (I wasnt quite sure why most masseurs say it’s not good for TTC).. but whats done is done.. we took an earlier flight than scheduled since we thought we had enough time in Jakarta and no more Rps to spend..

My parents came over to our place during the weekend, having visited my brother initially. Ummi brought along another piece of good news- my sis-in-law is pregnant! that’s the wife of my older brother, the 2nd of the siblings. My SiL is the one who never went to see the doctor to know if she had any problem to conceive- her reason is simple- she’s afraid of doctors! But there she is now, having all the symptoms of morning sickness that most TTCs fella long for.. It is somehow a relief for me because I could sense the correlation now (whether it’s true or not, thats a totally different story)- probably it’s been fated that k.Long (the eldest sis) got preggied first, then my brother, then only me.. so what am I rushing for? My time is just not there yet..

My doc advised me to see him after I had my third period since zoladex.. Now is the second.. I’m not sure if I really should see him, since I’m pretty sure he’ll put us through IUI.. If endo was the culprit, then why didnt it happen the first cycle before I had my first period? Even now, I feel like the endo has come back, what’s the difference if we do IUI? Whatever it is, I still have another month and cycle to try. If it’s really my time and He has put it that way, then it WILL happen.. and vice versa.. Oh Allah, give me strength and courage to go through all this- to keep my faith in you, to keep on praying and never lose hope, to seek help from you in whatever I do, be it for family, work and people around me so my mind at heart will always be at ease and in peace..

And here’s the same old hope for the new year 2012 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in huBbY, Mother

 

Post zoladex

Just a re-cap, I had my first zolly shot on 4th may, followed by 5 more every 4 weeks after. Last one was on 22nd Sept. I was made to understand the effect would be gone in 4-6 weeks. True enough, on week 7 I no longer experience V dryness. Week 8 came, but my AF hasn’t so I did an HPT just to confirm. And the result? -ve.
9 weeks after, I still got no sign of AF coming so I got quite worried. I was afraid my body might have forgotten its normal function after being menopause for close to 6 months! Reading a comment from a reader (thanks biyuti!) convinced me to set an appointment w the doc just to see whats wrong.
This doc in HUKM is only available at the specialist centre on mondays n thursdays. I usually go for Thursday session but when I called for appointment, his slot is full until jan next year! The nurse who picked up my call said that since doc is taking year-end holiday, all the pregnancy cases get to see him before he goes.
Oh well, that leaves me no option other than to just call him up n throw him the questions n worries.. But, where’s the number again? Truth is, I dont have it n the nurse is reluctant to give it out. So I just have to wait..
It wasn’t long until the next day- exactly 10 weeks after the last shot on the 1st dec, I have my regular visitor coming again.. Yay (?!) it was a relief, really. Knowing that my hormone has gone back to its normal state- alhamdulillah..
This cycle is a critical stage.. It’s the final month of the year n I’m determined to make it happen! Of course, He will decide when the time comes, but striving towards it is also crucial, along with du’a n tawakkal insyaAllah.. So no pressure okay?!

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Zoladex

 

I’m gonna be an Aunty!

yes,an Aunty! Once I made a comment about my eldest sis getting married somewhere early this year. N now she’s already preggied! Alhamdulliah.. All praises be to Him.. You see, I’m the third of our siblings but got married first in march 2008. Then it was my brother (the 2nd of the siblings) married in august of the same year. But we both (me n my sis-in-law, obviously) hav not conceived yet (at least that’s what I know at this point of time I’m writing this). After 3 yrs, then only our eldest sis got hitched, n she took the first place again in conceiving. And I’m truly happy for her 🙂
At least I know that my sis can conceive normally, bcos endometriosis could be hereditary. I never knew who I got this endo from bcos I’m sure my mom didn’t hav this problem since she got k.Long, our first sis a year after marriage. So i believe my endo is from sth else. My diet maybe? That in turn affects my hormone. Hopefully the zoladex I took makes the endo go away n never come back!
Thinking again, I’m sure He has a great plan for me n other women out there in TTC journey. Never give up. Be positive. I’ve heard a great local motivator said, one of the ways to instil advice in ppl’s mind (inc ours) is not to use the word ‘don’t + a negative word’. So instead of saying ‘don’t be sad’, we say ‘be happy’! Let our mind focus on the positive side of things. This includes ‘never’- which I used at least twice already above.. D’oh! :p

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Baby, Endometriosis, Mother, Zoladex

 

11-11-11 update

good numbers huh? am sure many ppl are getting hitched today. me? i’m gonna make a baby! wish it cud be as easy as it sounds.. but positive words are prayers, u know.. so let’s keep on thinking and saying what we wish for.. insyaAllah, He’ll hear and answer your prayers..

I got myself this book last month- 101 Doa Para Nabi & Rasul dalam al-Quran- khasiat & kaifiat beramal by Ust. Hj. Zahazan Mohamed.. in English, it means the collection of prayers by the Prophets, as contained in the book of al-Quran and its benefits.. this is gonna be pretty hard to be told in English, so I’ll share a few here in its original words (I know the producer states that it’s copyrighted and not allowed to be re-published in any way including electronics, but I hold on to spreading the words of Allah doesn’t need permission- amar makruf, nahi mungkar). There are 2 prayers which are directly related to trying-to-conceive

1) Surah Ali-‘Imran (Chapter 3), verse 38
Doa Nabi Zakaria yg bermaksud: Wahai Tuhanku, kurniakanlah kepadaku dari sisi-Mu zuriat keturunan yg baik. Sesungguhnya Engkau sentiasa mendengar (menerima) doa.
The Arabic version is as follows (starting from Rabbi)
3:38
Sahih International
At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”
2) Surah al-Anbiya’ (Chapter 21), verse 89
Juga dari doa Nabi Zakaria yg bermaksud: Wahai Tuhanku, janganlah Engkau biarkan daku seorang diri (dengan tidak meninggalkan zuriat); dan Engkaulah jua sebaik-baik yg mewarisi. 
The Arabic version, also starts from Rabbi…

21:89
Sahih International

And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, “My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.”

Alhamdulillah, I’ve already remembered the first one by heart, but I still need to memorise the 2nd one.. mari kita renung-renungkan, dan selamat beramal!!!
 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Endometriosis

 

The final jab, at last…

I had my final (the 6th) Zolly shot last Thursday.. alhamdulillah.. hubby was right, it all happened in a blink.. from the first shot I received on 4th may (after my laparoscopy on 28th Apr), i thought it wud take forever.. it took me about 5 months until my last jab on 22nd Sept.. Thank God my doc was always available during all of my appointments- which have to be exactly 4 weeks apart from one another. from what i’ve known he often goes overseas for convention and what not- talking about a specialist in his field..

there were co-incidents when i met hubby’s mom’s cousin when we had the same appointment date. but last time was the first time she came with her hubby, who works in Brunei, thats why he cudnt accompany her most of the time.. i really pity her, but i know she’s a strong person.. like all other TTC ladies out there.. often we feel like we’re being tested with the greatest test, but others actually face greater challenges than us..

ok, so what’s next? prof said average time taken for period to come back is 6 weeks. this shot will take 4 weeks for the effect to last, maybe another 2 weeks for the hormones to regulate again.. this is THE time to try hard! but IF period (aunt flow-AF) still comes in 3 cycles, then we need to see prof again.. fret not! there were cases when patient doesnt even get period, but get preggied right away! i really2 hope the same thing will happen to me.. i wonder how they gonna calculate then bcos as of today, i’m 100 days late according to my app tracker (since my last period in june, was supposed to get it when i was in Spore around 20th).

Think im the only one who understands what im writing here.. Sorry, readers.. heheh.. on another note, i met a colleague of mine who also used to have TTC issues, but is now pregnant with twins! (but, this not the first, already 3 kids if im not mistaken).. she urged me to practise doa2 harian (daily prayer recitals) and increase charity.. im gonna get the doa book soon.. with hubby’s not around within this couple of weeks, i hope i cud read more n not just live to work (eh, tetiba jer haha)

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in huBbY, Laparoscopy, Zoladex

 

5 down, 1 to go!

Hola! I seriously have issues updating my blog- blame it on my work! hehe can i also blame my work for my TTC issues? yea, i guess so..

think it’s still not too late to wish SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, MAAF ZAHIR BATIN and SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA to my Muslim or Malaysian friends (if they read this- which is very few lah kan hehe).. it was my 4th year of raya being married and it was my kampung turn for first day of raya this year yayy! we take turns celebrating raya by year- even year being at my hubby’s side while mine is in odd years.

had my 5th Zolly jab just before raya.. final jab will be on 22nd Sept which I”m really looking fwd to. Prof said my cycle will be back to normal within 3-4 weeks. After that will be THE time to try naturally, assuming my endometriosis tissues are all cleared up.. and we’ll be given 3 months to try naturally.. before ART which I really wish I DONT have to go through at any point of my life..

looking at a very positive and ideal situation, 3-4 weeks will come to 20th+ Oct.. if our trial is successful, i might get preggy by early Nov and 9 months later will be in Aug 2012- just in time for the next raya! wahhh!! best nyaaa berangannn~

Oh Allah, You are the Most Knowing, the Most Merciful.. kurniakanlah apa yang terbaik bagi kami, dan semoga kami tabah dan redha menghadapinya, amin…

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Baby, Endometriosis, Zoladex

 

Old article: Conception is a game of odds- STILL

Once I did some search on Google and found this way old-dated article featuring my doctor.. though the numbers might not be relevant anymore, but other facts still remain pretty much how they are right now.. Just for the sake of updating, since works are piling up on my side, i hardly find time for myself to sit down n write my heart and mind out (urrghh.. i really hate this feeling).. so here u go

Sunday July 31, 2005 ——-> 6 years down the memory lane, woohoo!

Conception is a game of odds

Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, turned 27 last Monday. TEE SHIAO EEK looks at how far fertility treatments have come since then.

EVERY couple dreams that their child will be borne from an act of love. All they need is each other, they think. When the moment is right, it will happen, they think.

Unfortunately, conception is a game of odds, one that is at the mercy of the unseen hand of Fate.

More precisely explained by science, conception is the result of a complex process that involves the interplay of many physiological factors. When this process is disrupted in either the man or the woman, it results in infertility.

“One in six couples of reproductive age have problems trying to conceive,” says Prof Dr Zainul Rashid Mohd Razi, head of the obstetrics and gynaecology department in Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

 

Prof Dr Zainul Rashid Mohd Razi … ‘One in six couples of reproductive age have problems trying to conceive.’

Infertility is defined as “a condition of the reproductive system diagnosed after a couple still cannot conceive after one year of unprotected, well-timed sexual intercourse.”

Ironically, in today’s world of instant gratification, conception is becoming increasingly difficult for many couples.

“Before the 80s, only 10% of all couples had fertility problems. This has risen to 15-20%,” Prof Zainul notes.

He points to aspects of modern life as the main lifestyle culprits of infertility.

“‘Free-living’ lifestyles, late marriages, delay in having children, and stress in our lives will all lead to a rise in infertility.”

Why can’t I conceive

Lesley Brown, mother of the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown, could not conceive because she had blocked fallopian tubes.

In the female body, the fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus, and are the passageways through which the woman’s eggs travel to the uterus.

The fallopian tubes are also where the sperm meets the egg and fertilises it. Once fertilised, the egg, now called a blastocyst, will implant itself on the lining of the uterus wall.

There are plenty of hits and misses in this process, and a problem with any one factor in the process can lead to failure to conceive.

40% of infertility problems are caused by a “female factor”, which refers to a problem with the woman’s reproductive system. Another 40% of infertility cases can be explained by male factors, while 20% of all infertility problems may be due to problems in both partners, or an unknown cause.

Problems in the female include

 

  •        Egg factor – She may not produce eggs (anovulatory) or may produce them irregularly (oligo-ovulatory). With advancing age, the quality of her eggs also reduce. 
  •        Tubal factor – Her fallopian tubes may be damaged due to infection or endometriosis. 
  •        Hostile pelvic condition – The condition in her pelvis may not be conducive for fertilisation, due to endometriosis, infections or adhesion problems. 
    One of the problems in male infertility is the sperm the man is producing is not mature and cannot fertilise the egg. – Schering AG photo
  •       Uterine lining problems – If the lining of the uterus is not healthy or is infected, this may disturb implantation of the blastocyst. 
  •       Antibodies – Some women produce antibodies against their own eggs or against their husband’s sperm.Problems in the male include:

     

  •       Sperm production – Very little or no sperm is produced at all. 
  •        Sperm maturation – The sperm is not mature and cannot fertilise the egg. 
  •        Sperm transport – The sperm is produced but cannot reach the target. 
  •       Sperm quality – The sperm has abnormal shape, such as a double tail or double head.Fertility tests

    In certain tribes in Sabah, it is believed that the infertile are bad people who are not fit to become parents, says Dr Suresh Kumarasamy, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who used to practise in Sabah.

    “Infertility is said to be caused by the ‘disease-giver’ spirit (tampuan) having intercourse with the husband or wife while they are asleep,” he adds.

    In clinical practice, however, investigating the cause of infertility may entail more than a session of exorcism.

    If the woman is suspected to have ovulation problems, she can undergo tests to check her hormone levels, including urinary LH, serum FSH/LH, prolactin, thyroid or Day 21 serum progesterone.

    Assuming that her eggs are all in her basket, the next option is to consider whether the egg and sperm have problems uniting.

     

    Dr Colin Lee … ‘Infertility is not a choice of couples.’

    “Cervical mucous testing is done to look at whether the mucous is conducive for sperm to travel through,” explains Prof Zainul.Post-coital testing can also be carried out “to see whether the sperm is still alive within the mucous”.

    If the woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes need looking into, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an x-ray test, or a diagnostic laparoscopy may be required.

    “Even if the sperm fertilises the egg, can the embryo implant itself on the uterus wall?” is another question that may provide some clues.

    According to Prof Zainul, most patients recurrently fail treatment due to implantation problems.

    Serum progesterone testing, hysteroscopy, biopsy of endometrial tissue, ultrasound testing or vaginal scanning are among the tests that are needed to establish what may be wrong with the uterus.

    If a “male factor” is suspected, the man may need to undergo semen analysis or a hormone test.

    To add a cautionary note, some of these tests may be uncomfortable, and undergoing the entire gamut of them will probably be an expensive and lengthy process.

    “Sometimes after all the investigation, you still cannot find out what’s wrong with the couple. Could it be some microscopic or microbiological cause? Could it be something physical that we cannot detect?” Prof Zainul questions.

    More often than not, however, infertility is due to psychological problems. Not psychiatric problems, but everyday stress from work, family or relationships, that can lead to poor egg or sperm production. In a sort of vicious circle, the stress of being unable to conceive further exacerbates the problem.

    “Unfulfilled desire for a child leads to more distress for the couple. The painful experience and anguish will further reduce the fertility of the couple,” he says.

    Technology steps in

    The year 1978 marked a turning point in the treatment of infertility problems.

    “Before 1978, infertility diagnosis and treatment involved mostly surgery (to) repair the fallopian tubes (or) inserting sperm into the uterus,” says consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Colin Lee.

    Then gynaecologist Dr Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Dr Robert Edwards achieved what was to be the first in many procedures – they helped Lesley and John Brown conceive their baby in the laboratory.

    Baby Louise Joy Brown was born on July 25, 1978. The world’s first “test-tube baby” – a misnomer considering she was actually conceived in a petri dish – weighed five-pounds, 12-ounces, and had blue eyes and blonde hair.

    Louise was conceived through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), which is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

    “ART has resulted in sophisticated technologies that are now responsible for the births of thousands of babies every year,” Dr Colin remarks. Besides IVF, ART also includes Gamate Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

    To date, two million babies have been conceived with ART worldwide. “ART has delivered 2,700 babies in Malaysia since 1986. The numbers are increasing by 20% annually,” says Dr Colin.

    He notes, however, that ART is only brought in after simpler protocols, such as fertility drugs, have been exhausted.

    There are also other methods of aiding conception, such as artificial insemination, which was established long before IVF and is still used today. The distinction between ART and other fertility treatments is that ART involves removing the egg from the woman’s body.

    Dr Colin considers ART a “blessing” for couples who are unable to conceive on their own. “With ART, it is possible to treat 98% of infertility problems in couples below 38 years (old).”

    Prof Zainul cannot, however, guarantee that success will come with the first try. He once had a patient who only conceived after the sixth cycle, while others got lucky on the first try itself.

    It would seem that one still cannot escape the hand of Fate, even with the aid of science!

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Endometriosis