My Surgery Story 

I was scheduled to have a laparoscopy on April 10, 2017. I’ve never had any type of surgery and I’ve never gone under. Actually I’ve never been confined at a hospital before so I was pretty much a nervous wreck the whole week leading up to the surgery. 

Andrew and I arrived at the hospital the night before  filled out all the necessary paperwork, and then were escorted up to our suite. I think we arrived in the room by 9pm and settled in very quickly. 

2 nurses came in to administer the enema. ( Sorry, don’t think about the enema ) and we were pretty much left alone until about 4am when nurses came in and out of my room to check my temperature, blood pressure and other last minute surgery details. 

For fun they also took Andrew’s blood pressure and it was through the roof! Awww poor bubz was probably really worried although you would have never guessed it because the man doesn’t show much (public) affection to me hahah. 

At around 5am I was whisked away on my hospital bed. I remember holding back tears as Andrew walked me down the hallway to the operating room. He looked so worried! 

When we arrived at the room, it was absolutely freezing! I moved to the operating table and the nurses strapped me down. After a few minutes the anesthesiologist came in and chatted me up for a few minutes. He asked what I did for a living and how I was doing. Pretty random if you ask me but I think he was trying to set a calm mood. He then sat beside me on a stool and started reading the newspaper lol. At this point I was cool as a cumumber. 

A few minutes pass and they put a breathing mask on my face, told me to take a deep breath, and then told me they were going to administer some drugs to put me under. I quicky said a prayer. The drugs worked perfectly because the next thing I remember is waking up in the post-op holding room. There was a huge clock and it was about 8:30 am. 

I was so groggy and freezing! When the nurse came and asked me how I was doing I told her I was cold and had to pee. Lol. I didn’t feel any pain but they probably pumped some nice drugs into me already. I kept fighting the urge to sleep ( the screaming lady next to me who had to be sedated helped wake me up) after about 20 minutes I was being wheeled into my room and Andrew was there greet me!  I was so emotional and fighting back tears again! 


My nurse told me she wants me to pee before noon but I was already up and ready to pee at around 10:00 am. I went to the bathroom without any assistance and did my business. The first few pees burned and there was blood but that’s normal so don’t be alarmed. 

I stayed at the hospital for another night and to be honest the pain was minimal. The incision wound was a but sore and my tummy was bloated. I was uncomfortable but nothing hurt majorly. 

The next day Dra. Sua Lao came in, checked my wounds and told me I was free to go home! I was so happy! I think I’ll write about my surgery tips and what I did before and after to make the whole ordeal bearable. 

More fertility work ups 

3/17/2017


My first appointment with Dra. Sua Lao was a very eye opening one. I came to schedule a laparoscopy but I ended up with orders for a shitload of bloodtests. Enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. She suspected that my “bad quality” eggs was the result of hormonal imbalance. So I had to get a prolactin level test, TSH, FSI, FT3 & FT4 among other tests. 

She also also told me to get my AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) tested. AMH is a protein hormone produced by cells within the ovary. Understanding your AMH level can help to assess your ovarian egg reserve and therefore your fertility. 

3/28/2017

I got my test results and Almost every test was high 😦 Dra Sua Lao immediately told me to take action. She told me to lose some weight ( because being overweight can lead to my hormones being imbalnced. ) She also told me put me on Metformin and Eltroxin to control my high insulin blood sugar and overactive thyroid glands. 


Thankfully my AMH test came back normal. I was beginning to think I wasn’t gonna get any good news. :/

We also scheduled my laparoscopy on April 10, 2017. I’ve never had any surgery done before and I was soooo worried. I’ll write about my laparoscopy experience next time! 

Failed Cycle 

March 14

Today was a checkup to monitor my follicles when suddenly Dra. Ong Jao called me in and said my progesterone level was high –meaning my egg retrieval was to be done NOW.  I was so shocked because just the other day she told me she’s targeting my OPU to be on the 16th. Everything was going so fast. Before I knew it Andrew was signing waiver forms and I was getting dressed to go to the operating theater. I’ve never even been near an operating room so you can imagine my anxiety. Things got pretty real when I saw the operating table, stirrups, bright ass lights, and monitors. Dra. Perillo was in scrubs so I couldn’t see her usual smiling face. Terrified as I was, I couldn’t help but feel excited because it’s one step closer to getting pregnant! 

The whole procedure took around 20 minutes. It’s basically a more invasive trans v procedure. A needle is passed through the top of the vagina to get to the ovary and follicles. The fluid in the follicles is aspirated through the needle and the eggs detach from the follicle wall and are sucked out of the ovary.  

I had 3 follicles that were the right size so I was poked three times which HURT like a motherfucker. But just for a second. The first one hurt the most because it was so unexpected. The second and third were more tolerable. My nurse Joanne was AMAZING. She helped calmed my nerves, gave me a stress ball and even held my hand. I would never forget the motherly care I got from her. I’m eternally grateful. 

After the procedure I was led to the recovery room to rest for 20 minutes. I didn’t feel too bad considering I just  had my ovaries poked by a needle three times! Just a little sore. I was back at the waiting room in Kato in a few minutes. 

Andrew and I had lunch and when we came back the embryologist ( forgot his name) called us in. He was straight to the point which to be honest hurt me a bit but that’s my issue and another post completely. He told us that 2 of my follicles were empty and the LONE egg they retrieved from me was immature. However, sometimes it is possible to have eggs mature in the lab (in vitro maturation) and then fertilize them. When I asked what are the chances of my egg maturing – he bluntly told me ” slim” 

Immediately my heart sank and I was angry at myself for being so naive and overly confident. I actually thought I was going to waltz out of there with perfect eggs. *sigh* 

Dra. Perillo talked to us next. She explained that since my progesterone hormone was high they had to trigger and retrieve my egg(s) but unfortunately these test can be inconsistent and advised me to take a 2 month break before coming back for cycle 2. I’m sure she explained everything more thoroughly but my mind at that moment was foggy and was not absorbing any information. My heart was breaking 😦 

March 15

After tossing and turning all night, I woke up at 5:30 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. My stomach is now bloated and I’m veryyyyyyyy gassy 😦 

I got the dreaded call from Kato at around 2:30pm. My little lone egg didn’t survive 😦 It degenerated. My potential child not even given a chance to live. 

I held back tears the whole day. 

March 16 

After talking to Andrew, my sisters, friends and mom I decided to take this 2 months to heal my body. I decided to get a laparoscopy on my blocked tubes. I didn’t want anything to interfere with my next cycle.

 I decided to be positve and not dwell on this failed cycle. I read somewhere that most IVF don’t work on the first try. 

I made a quick research to doctors whocan  perform my laparoscopy. And Dra Chaoling Sua Lao popped up. I went to see her the next day. 

This post is getting too long..will continue .. 

Shit just got real

I need to be better at documenting this whole IVF experience. One day I know I will look back and be thankful to have gone through this whole process. I figured it would also be helpful to others who are considering assisted reproduction. Also I can show my future kids how much I had to go through for them. LOL

2 /11/2017

Andrew and I went to our first consultation with Dr. Mendiola of Kato Repro Biotech Center- an IVF center here in Manila. The meeting was short but it went very well. We left feeling confident and very well informed. I was given provera pills and Andrew was given instructions to abstain for his semem analysis on our next visit.

2/11/2017

I finally finished my 10 days of Provera (a type of female hormone similar to the progesterone that your body naturally makes and is given to replace the hormone when your body is not making enough of it) that my doctor prescribed for me. Hallelujah !  I really hate that drug.  It made me breakout ( think cystic and painful acne) suppressed my appetite, made me very emotional and very mean ( Andrew can attest to this haha)

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Now I need to wait for my period to start then I go back to my doctor and we start follicle and endometrium tracking. I am dreading this check up because it’s a trans vaginal ultrasound during my second day of period. I’ve done this before with a female OB but my IVF doctor is a man and I just can’t. WAHHHHH I know I know I need to stop being a baby and just push through haha! For those wondering they need to do this on the second day of my period — They do it to check the ovaries and measure the thickness of the lining and make sure everything is as it should be at that point in your cycle. They should be doing blood work too to verify hormone levels. Of course Andrew is not off the hook. He goes in for a semen analysis. Praying that his little swimmers are top notch! He’s been taking some supplements like multi-vitamins, vitamin c, zinc and selenium. He was taking gingko biloba for a while too but I didn’t buy a new bottle when he ran out.

2/28/17

My period finally came in 7 days after my last Provera pill.I went it for a follicle and endometrium tracking. The nurse took 5 vials of blood from me. My blood tests all came back normal thank God!

I also went in for a trans v on my second day of period which is probably the most mortifying thing in the world. Imagine bleeding heavily while the doctor waving some wand in your lady bits. Doctor Mendiola said that I have 5 follicles on my left ovaries and “some” follicles on my right. This is a good thing but he gave me some medication -Femara and Clomid  and started  Gonal F injections ( 300 UI- 100 per day for 3 days)- This is basically a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that stimulates the development of ovarian follicles in order to produce more eggs.  In IVF the more eggs the merrier!

 

 

 

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I was worried that I would mess up using the Gonal F pen but thank goodness it’s really easy to use and pretty much painless. They say if you’re afraid of needles IVF will either make or break you. Thank you Lord I’m not afraid of needles or blood. ( my own anyways) And I like to think my pain tolerance is pretty high.

3/6/17

Went in for an ultrasound – Dr. Mendiola this time …DIES. I knowwwww I need to grow up right? Hahaha. But seriously, does this ever get less mortifying? LOL  The ultrasound shows that both ovaries have follicles and is growing. But not fast enough.The biggest one is currently 9.5mm and I was informed that for IVF it should be at least 17mm.

Sooooo he prescribed me more meds and another round of injections. Menagon this time, with legit syringes too 😦  The first shot was administered at the clinic but i’d have to do it myself for the net two days. Wish me luck!!!

 

 

 

Hello 2017!

2016 left us soooo fast and I cannot believe it’s 2017. I promised myself that I wanted to document more of my life in this space so here is my first attempt for the year 2017.

So Andrew and I have decided that this is the year we try to have a baby. Actually I’m lying because we tried for a few months last year and had no luck. I finally went to the OB/GYN for a pap smear and some routine check up. During the trans v checkup – She noticed that my one of fallopian tube was swollen and she was worried that it would be blocked. So we scheduled an HSG test ( This shows whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked by injecting some dye nto the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix ) Sadly my doctor informed me that both of my tubes were blocked and my chances of getting pregnant on my own was pretty slim to none.

I remember sitting sitting in the doctors office fighting back tears and one thought going through my head -” I will never become a mother.” 

When I finally calmed myself down I listened to my options.

A. I could have a laparoscopy which is an operation to remove a part of the fallopian tube but my doctor warned me that even if the surgery is successful  it is possible for the tubes to get blocked again or

B. I can get IVF at Kato Repro Biotech Center

I was too emotional to think properly so I just nodded and left the clinic as soon as I could. I remember sitting in the car in the hospital parking lot and just completely bawling my eyes out. My heart was broken for the kids I will never have. Andrew comforted me the best way he can ( God bless his heart) but honestly I never felt more alone than I did then. The rest of the day was pretty blurry. I stayed home the next day and pretty much cried the whole day. I know it’s not healthy or productive but I pretty much wallowed in my sadness for the next 3 days.

Finally I had enough of the self pity and decided to go over my options. I talked to Andrew, my friends and parents and I decided that I wanted to give IVF a try. Almost everyone I know ( including myself) knows someone who has gone through IVF and they all have babies now.

And so we begin the long process..

 

 

Goals

I really want to get this space up and going but I’m not feeling so inspired lately. I do have some topics in mind for when I’m feeling it.

1. Andrew and I have been trying to get pregnant and to be completely honest we are struggling. We did some test and we have news about my fertility.

2. I am still in love with all things skincare and makeup and I really want to talk more about the old and new products that works for me and also those that unfortunately don’t.

3. I love reading and I really want to write book reviews here. Not just rate them on goodreads. I mean #imeesbookclub is a thing on instagram 😉

4. My mission to be positive. I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m a negative person. I’m always looking at the glass half empty and I never believe people have good intentions. It’s horrible, I know but at least I’m acknowledging this right?  I’ll try to write abut my struggles and why I think I’m this way.

5. Travelogues. One of my biggest regrets is not taking enough pictures when I travel and when I do it’s from my iphone ( ugh) I keep in there and never getting them printed or at the very least uploaded. They just get deleted when I get a new phone or when my phone memory is full. UGH. Need to change that bad habit asap.

6. Imee’s Kitchen. I currently have 7,600 followers and I really really want to reach 10,000 by the end of the year. I also want to incorporate recipes here in this blog because I’m really proud of my cooking page ( it has become sort of like my baby) and I want to document it more. But I will definitely wont stop posting on instagram because I love my positive community there.

So yeah. I hate not being able utilize this blog as much as I want to but I’m really hoping to get back into the swing of things. See you soon!

Knots

I am in pain. I have been getting these knots on my shoulder and neck for a couple of days now and I decided to get a massage to straighten them out. I asked the masseuse for moderate pressure and it felt great. But after a couple of hours my skin feels inflamed and tender to the touch. 24 hours later my skin feels like burning. UGH. I hate that feeling when you go somewhere to get something fixed..then you come out even worse.