The past few days have been really, really rough but I am riding it out. Please don’t tell me to think positive, to appreciate what I have in life – I know all that. Sometimes, when you are free falling, you just got to hit rock bottom before you are able to claw your way back up into the fresh air.
I’m fine. I will be fine.
In the meantime, there are little milestones that I am looking forward to. For starters, there’s the The Script concert tonight at Fort Canning Park with Hucks, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year!
You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be playing these songs on repeat mode today until Hucksy picks me up. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!
Cos if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet
And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of the street
So I’m not moving, I’m not moving
What am I supposed to do
When the best part of me was always you and
What am I supposed to say
When I’m all choked up and you’re okay
You won’t find faith or hope down a telescope
You won’t find heart and soul in the stars
You can break everything down to the chemicals
But you can’t explain a love like ours
The annoying problem with this infertility shit is that it’s full of ups and downs. Well, it’s really down and downer most of the time, the ups are far and few. But anyway, it’s all good. I’m as happy as a lark now.
Oh! And there were those glasses of wine on Saturday night too.
And since I was alone at home, I decided to strut around in my new heels. Yes, even though I was dressed in my sleepwear. Which was Mr Thick’s cotton ribbed wifebeater. See, he’s an XL and I am an XS and when I wear those shirts, they transform miraculously into my nighties. And they are super comfy to snooze in.
So picture this. Me in a ginormous wifebeater. Putting my legs up on the coffee table with a glass of wine in hand and a pair of super sexy heels. With the footy match on the telly. Really, really glamourous.
Then on Friday, I made Miss Vivaglammed bring up her new blinged out Miu Miu heels for me to see. I love them! They are absolutely obnoxious and crazy comfortable. Methinks I will get a similar pair too.
My legs look v praying mantis-ish here. (Yes, that’s my little foot stool under the table.)
I know, what a terrible way to start a letter to You, right? But honestly? This SUCKS.
First, the Universe decides through some random cosmic lottery that I am not able to simply shag and reproduce. Then, this black, misty Loneliness bitch sets up shop in my heart and refuses to go away. And if that is not enough, I see babies everywhere, the way the poor kid in The Sixth Sense sees dead people. And we know how well that went.
Yes, rub it in, will you? Do you know that this Loneliness fellow is such a frigging drag? He is so elusive, so difficult to weed out. I try to stuff him in some dark and damp crevice of my heart and yet he manages to stealthily escape the confines. He’s also a nasty nasty fellow, that Loneliness, appearing at the most inopportune of moments. I could be looking into the mirror and feeling all wretched about my appearance when suddenly, the door bursts open and he pirouettes in, singing, WHY HELLO THERE! HAVE YOU SEEN MY PRETTY SHOES? I tell him to fuck off but NO, he sticks persistently by my side. ALL THE FRIGGING TIME.
I am beginning to think that You don’t like me one bit.
Some days, I just want to be by myself with a glass of wine. And then I would look up into the sky and think, So how? Tell me? But I don’t get any answer from you. Oh, it’s okay, I’ve just been going through 12 months of hell, THAT IS ALL.
Erm, yes, I might be a tad angry.
I’m tired of this endless routine of cycles. Of waiting. Of clinics. Of vajayjay cams. Of being a hormonal GM cow. Of being angry. Of pretending to be happy. Of bloody Loneliness being my constant companion. Of the regular wrenches you throw into my life.
And more importantly, I am frigging tired of being sad. Of tears springing into my eyes on the bus. When someone texts me something heartfelt and warm. When I am sitting at the hospital by myself. When a sad song plays on my iPod.
Just when I have reached the stage where I am comfortable with myself and confident of who I am, I have to deal with this infertility shit. Is this some sort of mental Herculean test? Cos if it is, I ain’t wanting no part of it.
Also, please, can I have my money back?
I need it for the IVFs and Botox.
I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going. I need to see the light soon. I need some answers.
I was feeling pretty blue today. It’s very counterproductive but i have a penchant for listening to sad songs when I am feeling down. Silly, isn’t it?
And then my friend J came online and we were nattering about nothing in general when I started having a moan about how, at 30, I still have no idea what I wanted to do in life. I don’t fit well in the corporate world, I don’t have a desire to climb the ambition ladder and I feel out of place in the rat race. Whine whine whine.
Honey, he said, I’ll be 60 and still not know what I am doing with my life.
Fair enough. Maybe I should teach, I replied, I’ll make a pretty damn good teacher.
His reply? Yes, you would. Also, you remind me very much of a colleague. Every time she walks by, I swear you can hear the boys (insert verb) in their pants. You would totally drive them nuts.
I burst out laughing.
(J is a lecturer at one of the local universities.)
Then later in the afternoon, the Ben & Jerry’s team came by our office to bring us tiny tubs of their divine new ice-cream flavor, Cluster Fluff. (One colleague heard it as Cluster F**k. Advertising people.) As my boss and I oohed and ahhed over the ice-cream, a COW popped up from out of nowhere. Like, an actual man in a cow suit. A COW!
Boss and I started laughing hysterically because the darn cow looked absolutely ridiculous. And then, what do you know, the cow plonked himself in front of me and started gyrating madly. Bloody mad cow! He was also performing some sort of hip thrusts a la Saturday Night Fever and it was just really disturbingly hilarious. We couldn’t stop giggling even after the poor cow walked away. It was one of those things where it’s so horrifying that it’s funny.
And then my boss said, The cow was totally coming on to Yann!
Ain’t that just lovely.
Am so beautiful and attractive that I would attract young pubescent boys and COWS.
Am totally going for Botox at 40.
Have I ever mentioned that when I was 26, I saw an aesthetic doctor/quack? I was in his consultation room when I saw a poster for Botox and JOKED that I would probably need that in 20 years. Dr Quack said in all seriousness, No need 20 years, 10 can already.
Am Fabulously Gorgeous!!
(Insert gratuitous, Photoshopped picture of my very sizzling hot self. Love Photoshop.)
Fab photography and Photoshop skills courtesy of Eadwine.
Today, Mr Thick and I sat down to have A Very Serious Talk with Dr Y.
Basically, we’ve exhausted all our options to create that mysterious bun in the oven and we need to bring out the big guns. Physically, there really isn’t anything wrong with either of us. Oh, his boys are a tad lazy and fugly looking but men with worse have fathered children naturally. Both my tubes are nice and open with no traffic hazards in sight. My girls are popping out with regularity, although whether they are looking as Fabulously Gorgeous as I am is another question altogether.
A question that can only be answered by IVF.
And so we have made our choice: we will take the highway and coast onto the road of IVF.
It really isn’t too difficult a choice. We can, obviously, go au naturel and shag till the cows come home. Maybe we will make a baby, maybe we won’t. But I don’t want to wait till I am 35 before I push the panic button.
The only question remaining is, do we stick with Dr Y and remain in private practice or should we switch to public healthcare service?
Pros of private practice:
We are very comfortable with our doctor, he’s been nothing but wonderful so far.
He knows our medical history and Madam Hoochie very well. In fact, I think my cervix likes him (in a v non-sexual and non-creepy way obviously).
Each and every scan/consultation will be done by him.
He explains things. I hate being brushed aside and made to feel like an idiot.
I text him ALL. THE. TIME. And he hasn’t told me to bugger off. Yet.
He pegs the success rate at about 40 percent at my age. Which is fairly high, even for IVF. (Yes, IVF doesn’t guarantee 100 percent success, not even close! So much for advancement of science and medicine.)
His clinic is run like a well-oiled machine. There’s no molly-coddling but there’s no confusion either. Plus, I think the nurses like me.
Cons of private practice:
COST, COST, COST. An IVF cycle with Dr Y costs us an estimated $15,000 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Even after the Medisave deduction of $6,000, we are still left with a hefty $9,000 bill. And that’s for a 40 percent chance of success. If the first cycle fails, we can’t afford another $9,000. We are not rich, we don’t earn much (pitfalls of joining the frigging advertising fraternity!).
Lack of government co-funding. One of the sore points is that you can only receive $3,000 government co-funding if you do the assisted conception cycle at a government hospital. Which pisses the hell out of me. I mean, we are all contributing to the population, right? Arseholes!!
Pros of public hospital:
Dr Y has been kind enough to offer to refer us to a doctor he is familiar with at KKH. We trust him enough to trust whoever he recomends.
He’s promised to monitor the cycle even if we are doing it at KKH and share our information with the new Dr Handsome (according to him, ho ho).
COST, COST, COST. Medicines are cheaper. Hospital bills are cheaper. We are looking at potential savings of $4,000.
Government co-funding of $3,000 is available. Which means we probably need to fork out $2,000 cash or less, after deducting from Medisave. A much more palatable amount!
Cons of public hospital:
It’s not a con of public hospitals per se but switching over means getting used to a new doctor (even if he is v handsome) and for Dr Handsome to get to know us (and Madam Hoochie). Am a creature of comfort. Also, cervix is notoriously difficult to get to know, she’s v posh.
The wait. There’s a wait for everything. You need to wait to get a slot to do IVF (possibly in July/August!!). You need to wait to get probed by the vajayjay cam. You need to wait to get your bloodwork done. You need to WAIT. And I HATE WAITING.
Dr Handsome will not be doing much or any of the monitoring or scans. It will be done by random nurses, sonographers etc. BUT he will be there for the important stuff, like the retrieving of eggnoids from my hardworking ovaries and sending the eggnoids back into the Mothership.
It’s a public hospital so we can definitely expect crowds. I don’t deal well with crowds, especially when I am a hormonal, GM cow.
We do have a preference for one over the other but I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are.
If you were us, which would you pick and why? Have you had any ART cycles done with either hospital and what was your experience like?
See, for the whole of the week before, we ate out every week day. We were either working late, or I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking because I was so tired whine whine whine, or I had a craving for something soupy, or we didn’t have anything in the fridge to cook with. Anyway, I decided to decree last week as no-cooking week but I felt so guilty that I more than made up for it during the weekend.
I made FOUR MEALS on Sunday. Yes, you read right – four! I’m a happy supporter of cooking in large batches and then freezing everything so that we can thaw out a meal after work instead of slaving in front of the stove. I no longer cook for two, choosing to cook for four instead so that we can brown bag to work too. It’s been a great arrangement so far.
One of the meals that I made on Sunday was a no-fuss, no-stress pasta dish. It’s yummy and absolutely easy to make. After my marathon cookout during the day, I was in no mood to kill myself over dinner too. I love angel hair pasta and I love tomato so it was a win-win!
Angel hair pasta with prawns and basil
What you need
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Angel hair pasta (pick your own quantity!)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
250g prawns, peeled and deveined
1 can chopped tomato
3 tablespoons dry white wine
A bunch of parsley, chopped
A bunch of basil, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. (My durum wheat pasta took about 6 minutes)
Place pasta in a colander, and give it a quick rinse with cold water.
Heat remaining olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove shrimp from the skillet, and set aside.
Stir the wine into the skillet and let the alcohol bubble for a while before adding the chopped tomatoes, parsley and basil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half.
Add shrimp, and continue cooking until the shrimp are heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve the shrimp mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
If you want to cheat like I did, pick up the Waitrose chopped tomatoes with basil when you are in the supermarket. Saves you the hassle of buying and chopping basil (which can be a PAIN).