24 February 2014, by Tan Yi Lin
No, I’m not going to do a review of the movie animation by the same title in this entry. I don’t think Coco is old enough to sit through an entire movie without declaring, “I don’t want to watch this cartoon. This cartoon little bit not nice. Mummy, change another cartoon. This cartoon not nice.” (Yes, I’m aware that her grammar is still work in progress but toddler-speak in its raw form can be so endearing.)
That said, our friend brought his 2-year old son for The Lego Movie. The toddler thoroughly enjoyed it and happily went home chiming “Everything is awesome….”
Anyway. Back to this entry: since the freak seizure episode 2 weeks ago, health and wellness has been of top priority on my agenda. Besides going to bed earlier, and reminding myself to relax, take things easy and not rush around so much, I’ve been scheduling health-screening and doctors’ appointments, as well as little pampering sessions for myself:
Feb 17: 2-hour tuina session; IVF consultation with Dr S
Feb 22: Ocular health assessment
Feb 24: Pedicure (squeezed within lunch hour but a treat, nonetheless)
Feb 25: TCM consultation; 2-hour facial
Mar 1: Full health assessment
Last Saturday’s ocular assessment showed that while my eyes were in good health (i.e. muscle movement, responses to stimuli, eye pressure, optic nerve were all in order), the optometrist discovered a slight degree of long-sightedness (due to a change in eyeball shape) and astigmatism in both eyes. The results were an indication of why I had been finding it difficult to focus while reading the newspapers and piano scores, and when using the phone and the laptop. They also accounted for the headaches that I had been getting due to the strain on my eyes.
This was not totally unexpected as I had been pre-empted that while LASIK surgery (which I had done almost 10 years ago) could correct short-sightedness, it would not prevent the onset of long-sightedness. What I did not expect was that I would need reading glasses before the age of 40!
So it’s helllooooo to glasses once again!
Earlier in the week, I was at KKH to consult Dr S on our next frozen cycle. I hadn’t seen her since October 2012 so it was really nice to see her again! She asked how the girls were and if Claire’s birth went smoothly (oh yeah, Claire slid out really smoothly – and quickly – alright.)
I gave an account of the recent seizure and Dr L’s neurology assessment, and asked if it was okay to proceed with the frozen cycle in March. Dr S listened attentively. She expressed concern that I was rushing into IVF so soon after the seizure and advised us to wait till May instead to do the frozen embryo transfer (FET). The 3-month allowance would provide some assurance that I wasn’t likely to suffer a relapse during pregnancy. Definitely not a good idea to have a seizure while pregnant. Also, there would be limited forms of medication that I could consume safely during pregnancy to control the possibility of further relapses. Dr S reassured me that, based on my age (34), there was no dire need to rush to have a third child just yet.
Though disappointed, I agreed that this arrangement was in our best interest and obediently accepted Dr S’ advice. She arranged for Dan and I to have our routine pre-conception blood tests (for Hepatitis A, HIV, etc.) and told me to call the IVF clinic on the first day of my period in May to initiate the frozen cycle.
I asked some questions on the FET process as well as it would be different this time round. Unlike the previous frozen cycle where we used both of our only 2 frozen embies at a go, we now wish to transfer only 1 of the remaining 3 frozens from this cycle. How would we know, on the morning of the FET, whether the single embryo had thawed successfully and was viable for use? Dr S replied that the embryo would be thawed the day preceding the scheduled FET and KKH would then know if another embryo had to be thawed in the event that the first could not be used.
Now here comes the tricky part: We don’t know whether the 2nd and 3rd embryos had been frozen separately as single embryos – or as a pair. In the event of the latter freezing arrangement, and assuming that both are usable, we would have to decide whether to use both for the FET – and accept the possibility of twins (and a total of 4 children!)
Or, we could take a chance with one of them and dispose of the other – knowing that we have no remaining embryos, and that there was the possibility of failing and having to go through another fresh cycle if we wanted a third child.
I honestly don’t think I can bring myself to choose between 2 usable embryos and let the remaining embryo… perish. But that’s a decision for later.
So, if you’re preparing to do IVF, this would be a crucial question to ask at the briefing session as it could impact on how you wish to use your frozen stash later on. I wish someone had told us earlier.
In the meantime, from now till May, I’m focusing on building up my health and on the other joys and blessings in our lives.
For even though our IVF plans are now on freeze, Time still marches on and my little girls are growing bigger with each passing day.
There is no better time than now to love and appreciate the privilege of parenthood that has been gifted unto us.