Why I Love Tag (And You Should, Too!) Fertility Warrior Q & A

About me, Fighting Infertility, life, POI, write every day

Fertility Warrior Q & A

I have been asked by a fellow fertility warrior – Strength through infertility to contribute in raising awareness of infertility & childlessness.  Set up by Post IVF world, the idea is that bloggers answer a set of 10 questions about their own infertility experiences and then add an extra question that we think others may find useful.  In the end there should be a huge amount of information available for people to access which in turn should help raise awareness.

So, here are my answers

  1. Are you male or female?

Female

  1. Where are you in your infertility journey?

TTC since 4 years. Primary infertility (never conceived)

  1. What is your infertility diagnosis if you have one?

Yes I do have one and it is nailed down to Premature Ovarian Failure or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). You can read about it more in my post.

  1. How old were you when you got your diagnosis and how old are you now?

I was 29 when the lightnings and thundering stroke my life: I may never have a baby with my own eggs because very few are left.

  1. What do you do to keep your spirits up on the tough days?

It is indeed tough to keep up the spirit living with infertility. I am living each day with the belief: Everything happens for a reason. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently for it will surely take place. It will not be denied.

  1. How do you feel you have been treated by medical professionals?

I myself as a medical professional can’t answer it but I had consulted two specialists. I exactly remember their words. One had said, “The problem is in you not your husband” which definitely did sting me. The other specialist said: “Nature has given you beautiful uterus just that it may not hold your ‘own’ baby.”

Sigh!

  1. Have you been offered support of any kind?

Honestly, none from near and dear ones. My one of the best friend is standing by me and all the support that I have received till now is by you, the fellow #TTC sisterhood.

  1. How do your issues affect you on a day to day basis?

Oh! There are no words to explain the feeling of being stared by all the aunties (as if saying: when? Still no?), watching babies in arms, baby stroller everywhere you go, the pregnant bellies, the advertisements of baby soap, diapers, shampoo, pregnancy shoots, announcement, it goes on and on.

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  1. If you could tell yourself something back when you were first diagnosed, what would it be?

This too shall pass!

  1. Are you open about your infertility? If so, has this helped?  If not, is it something you think might help?

I am opening up about my fertility issues. Yes it has definitely helped me. Most of the things I have shared through writings and I am blessed to have so many of you to understand me.

In my day-to-day life the only person I have talked about this is my ‘guy’ friend and I am amazed how well he understood and stood besides me rather than degrading / blaming me.

My question

What advice will you give to the couples fighting infertility?                                         

NO BLAMING ! If you have infertility due to female factors, do not blame her and this goes vice-versa as well.

outlander

“Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you know.” — Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Be supportive. Trust me the support you give to each other in this tough fight is all that matters. The greatest impact of infertility is not just about difficult to conceive but is on a relationship as well. It either becomes stronger or falls apart.

Living with the bitterness for each other is not how you deal with it.

I am not tagging anyone specific but I would like anyone of you going through the same journey as ours, do take up this tag. The answers will be a reflection of your insights. 

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My Premature Ovarian Failure Story

About me, Fighting Infertility, life, marriage

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Disclaimer:

This post is in no way to pity me or to scare you but more of my experience with Premature Ovarian Failure and infertility. How and when did I come to know of diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of it? Remember not every case of any disease presents itself ditto as in medical books or medical websites (I know you must have googled many). I being a doctor, myself, not in my deadliest of dreams thought I would have it.

Read this post as an awareness of Premature Ovarian Failure through the mouth of the one living with it. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with heavy medical lingo but only the chronological series of my signs and symptoms.

Let’s get started! (It is going to be a long read. Grab your tea, coffee or water :D)

premature ovarian failure

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Premature Ovarian Failure

Doesn’t scare you after reading it, right? How about I say Premature menopause or early menopause in your 20s and 30s? Now this sounds scary, isn’t it?

Statistics say Premature Ovarian Failure occurs in 0.1% (1 in a 1000) women between the ages of 15 and 29, and 1% (1 in 100) women between the ages of 30 and 39. (DAMN!!! Why am I the unluckiest ‘1’ in 1000? But I would love to be the ‘1’ to conceive despite this ovaries-eating disease. Oh and btw I am 29 and going to be 30 soon)

Puberty

Normal. I had my first menses at age of 12 with 4-5 days of bleeding. Normal breast development, appearance of hair besides scalp (its normal location). Menses were regular but always on earlier side on Days 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 but never late.

End of my teens

Till age of 17 everything seemed to be normal. Then I think my master gland (pituitary) decided to live on its own terms without taking me into consideration.

Twice a year my menses shifted from its regularity gradually (REMEMBER- GRADUALLY holds the importance). I shoved it off by saying it might be due to stress of academics. I did underwent screening to rule out PCOS and yes I was elated I did not have it because I was not overweight, I did not have dark pigmentation anywhere. (Lesser I had known I was going to have worse than PCOS)

Did not spare my skin and hair

My skin! Why, Why, WHY? It is already eating up my follicles and above all attacking my skin. Hirsuitism (facial hair growth) even before I touched 20.  My parents had spent thousands for my laser treatment for hair removal. I had my blood screened for all the hormones before the treatment. Apart from DHEAS and testosterone, everything was normal (Another proof of NO PCOS). I still have excess hair growth but less worse than before. 

Acne! I hate you even now you crop on my face every now and then even The Body Shop products cannot rescue my skin from your peril.

My hair! What can I say, let it be!

Came the age of 25 (when I got married)

MY MENSES WENT BERSERK SO QUICKLY IT FREAKED ME OUT. 3 months no sign of PMS or spotting. I was sure I wasn’t pregnant, nevertheless I took pregnancy test which was negative (I was sure about). End of 3 months, comes the use of sanitary napkins without using any pills. ( I saved many bucks during those 3 months. LOL)

I darted the delay due to post-marriage stress 😛 . On a serious note, my menses were almost regular for 2 years.

Age of 27

Hormones. Checked. Follicular study. Done.  Only one follicle enlarged in one ovary and ruptured by 18th day of my cycle (which should have rang the bell of something ‘serious’, but we never anticipate for the worse, do we?) Nah-nah.

Age of 28

BANG! No menses for 5 months. No pregnancy. With WORSE PMS as if now, now the bleeding would start but nothing. My skin became so dull and the unhealthy look made me mad and angry (I didn’t have anyone or anything to blame on) despite of healthy eating habits. Trust me I had cut down junk foods drastically, restricted to once a week.

This time I had to take pills because it was enough.

Recheck of all the hormones. Done. Normal. Again except for FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone).

FSH to Ovaries: “RELEASE THE FOLLICLES, YOU! I AM TRYING SO HARD”

Ovaries: “DO NOT PUSH ME. I AM ALREADY TIRED.”

Uterus: “HELLO, YOU TWO! I AM WAITING SINCE SO LONG TO GROW A TINY HUMAN BEING WITHIN ME. Your fight is doing no good. I weep every month, well, not every month as you do not allow me to even weep.”

Me: “I am tired you guys. I am tired.”

Age of 29

We were labelled with ‘Primary infertility’ (Biggest impact) couples since second year of marriage. We had started planning by the end of first year but never conceived.

Hysterosalpingography. Done. Patent tubes.

Follicular study. 1 follicle. No growth. Ruptured prematurely. No conception (Not a surprise!)

Antral follicle count on Day 3. 2-3 dormant follicles only in one ovary. POOR RESULT.

FSH level. High.

Final test to confirm Premature ovarian failure

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone). Bull’s eye for my diagnosis. Very very very low count.

Chances of conception with my own (if) remaining eggs – negligible.

Clinical suggestion – IVF with donor eggs.

Me (inside my head): “NO! NO! NO! No, no, no…”

Premature ovarian failure: “You have no other choice.”

Me: “I will never let you take control over my life.”

Image designed: Canva

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I Hate Her

About me, Fighting Infertility, home, life, marriage, quotes

‘I hate her’ (my mom), this is what I had written on a red and blue line paper when I was just seven or eight years old. I exactly remember that time phase. It was an afternoon and out of nowhere, I don’t know what got into me, I wrote those horrendous sentences and had crumpled the paper in my fist in my anger. That memory is etched on my mind which can never be erased. Why had I written it? The entire childhood I had the (false) belief that my mom loved my sibling more than me.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t sibling rivalry; jealously, yes might be. I took care of my sibling whenever we were alone or while going to school. I had run to a store to buy a chart with the only one rupee I had with me for my siblings’ class assignment who had forgotten to tell mom to buy the earlier day. So, it wasn’t sibling rivalry or jealousy either.

Now, in my adulthood after attending psychology lectures during medical college I came to know what exactly I was going through during childhood. It was childhood depression. After 24 years of living I understood it was depression and not sibling rivalry when I underwent training for personal counseling. I was depressed in that tender age and no one, NO ONE understood that.

It wasn’t a full-fledged depression where I hurt myself or others but I remained aloof. I never used to convey my emotions to my parents or anyone else. I used to spend time with ‘myself’. Solitude was my companion. I couldn’t cry in front of others but I remember crying my heart out in bathroom. It was countless times. Yes, indeed.

I lost my years of childhood due to it. I never had the ‘mother-daughter’ relation. I couldn’t put forward my opinions, my dreams. Everything went in vain. Just because I couldn’t gather courage to speak my heart out. Time passed by and somehow I did come out of it. My relation with my mother has outgrown that feeling.

Still I have the darkness inside me which overpowers me occasionally. Have you cried out wholeheartedly IN FRONT OF OTHERS or someone? If yes, you are blessed to do it. I have never or I cannot cry wholeheartedly in front of anyone not even H. In fact it is hardest to cry out in front of him.

I never intended to write this post on depression, post World Health Day which emphasized on ‘Depression’ this year. Rather this post is an unexpected flare after watching the movie Dear Zindagi, third time. Haven’t watched it then you must even if you do not understand the language watch it with subtitles. I am sure you will take something in return with it every time.

What I haven’t done in my life which the movie communicates?

Dialogue: Tum agar khulke ro nahi sakogi … toh khulkar has kaise sakogi

If you are not able to cry openly … then how will you laugh openly

As mentioned earlier, I cannot.

Dialogue: Zindagi ek jigsaw puzzle ki tarah hai … mere jaise log uss puzzle ke khoye hue tukde, sirf dhoondne aur jodne mein madad kar sakte hai … par only you can complete the puzzle.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle … people like me can only help you in finding and connecting the puzzle pieces … but only you can complete the puzzle

I have started to picking up the puzzle but not completed yet.

Dialogue: Safe feel karne ke liye pehle saare dar mitana zaroori hai

To feel safe you first need to remove all your fears

I HAVE SO MANY FEARS. Fear of not being pregnant, fear of losing relation, fear of failing.

Dialogue: Agar hum apni zindagi ka steering wheel apne haath mein nahi lenge na … toh koi doosra driver seat par baith jayega

If we don’t take the steering wheel of our life in our own hands … then someone else will sit on the driver’s seat

The steering wheel is in my hands but I haven’t started the vehicle yet to direct it.

My most favorite one:

Dialogue: Jab hum apne aap ko achchi tarah samajh lete hai … toh doosre kya samajhte hai, it doesn’t matter … not at all

When we understand ourselves well enough … then it doesn’t matter what others think about us … not at all

THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO ABSORB!

©kohleyed7

Dear zindagi, Dear Life

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Right to health

life, write every day, writing challenge, Writing prompts

Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?

It doesn’t matter which sector solely provide medical care. The fundamental being each and every one should have access to medical facility.

The sad reality is: people requiring medical aid cannot avail due to high cost. The sector which treats with minimal cost has long waiting list and by the time the wait is over, it is too late.

Why should the word “affordable” be connected with treatment? Let it be limited to material things- clothes, house, car and many more.

Daily writing prompt:  February 7, Right to health