Thursday, March 28, 2019

A Request !

To contact me, please write to me to this e-mail ID - The other option is to leave your comment in this blog. You can do so anonymously too. The contact form I have given on the top right of the blog is not functioning properly. Sometimes I get updates after several days. Recently I missed so many important messages and queries. Although I might not have answers for all the queries, I can do my best to help you. This gives me enormous happiness. It helps me to learn new things. I like interacting with people. It gives me the satisfaction that I am doing something useful. If you write to me and do not get a reply, please forward your e-mail again. Thank you !

This post will always be on the top and all other updates will appear below this.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How lack of knowledge about infertility treatments can deny you the baby you need most !

This is an email I received from one of my blog reader. It is a privilege to receive emails from women whom I don't know personally - they open their heart and soul to me ! I am humbled by the fact that I am gifted to act as their confidante , their sounding board.
This email bares the heart of a woman who struggled to have a baby - but unfortunately who is not successful ! She nails the fact - how lack of knowledge about her own fertility ( or infertility ) and lack of money, prevented her from having the baby she most desired.
Although, there's a lot of self-pity in her emails, she is also very intelligent - she has understood clearly what deterred her from having a baby. This letter must be read by women struggling with infertility - not all wisdom have to be gained from your personal experience ! You can learn a lot from others' failure stories rather than success stories - that's why failure stories are precious when going through infertility !
I would be publishing more of patient queries and stories, hereafter. I would be happy to publish your success or failure stories, too. Please do write to me : I will not be revealing any of your personal details in my blog, you will remain anonymous - if you want to be so ! By sharing your story, you are sharing your knowledge and wisdom with many fellow women who are in need of knowledge, support and inspiration. So, please come forward to do so. 
Do leave your valuable comments, it helps a lot, too !
Hi Manju,
I know you are very busy with your baby Anisha.  I wish and your family best of luck.  Manju, I read your blogs very ofthen. Today I have read about how your education and your profession helped you a lot in your pursuit to ahve a baby and solve your infertility problem.  Ane you know, I am unlucky that during my school days I was not interested in science subjects.  I was such a fool that even after my marriage I did not know what is ovulation.  It is not that I was illiterate but that nobody talks to me about sex and and infertility.  I used to hear that God gives child to married couples and children born before marriage are illegal children.  When I faced the infertility problem I did not know which doctor to see.  What to ask the doctors?  And now I have learned so many things That I talked only of IVF and the procedure.  And I tell fertile couples that if IVF would have not have been expensive I would ask every fertile couple to try it at least once in their life to know what IVF is.  Even though I don't have a baby in lap, I have known what is pregnancy although for a little while.  Nobody can understand what I have undergone. How painful my journey of infertility was!  From zero knowledge of infertility I am now full of knowledge.  I read your blogs and I laugh  at my stupidity.  I wanted to be a good mother, to give my knowledge and to share my experience to my offspring.  I can not blame anyone nor can I say that God did not give the time to solve my infertility.  If only the government of my country would have thought about infertile couples in our country all the women of my age would not have suffered for a child of their own.  We infertile couples of our country have spent a lot but still our government is not talking about IVF to be introduced in our public hospitals.  We live in a country where education is free, health is free,  transport is free for students and old aged persons and our welfare state provided so much facilities to needy people. Old aged pensions, subsidies on Gas and what not do we get but no seriousness about infertile couple.  In the year 1972, the government introduced the Family Planning to control birth and the result is that nowadays they are talking of increasing population because we lack people in country.  By the year 2050 we will be have more old aged population than working population.  So, it will be a major problem to provide those people with old aged pensions.  You might be thinking why I am telling you all these.  Yes,  because I know how difficult it is to look for money to spend on infertility.  I stood alone to struggle this problem in my life and today I am back to square number one.  I could not raise my standard of living due to this problem.  I did not have the courage to adopt a child fearing of society and perhaps my greatest desire was to see my own genes.  Ever since I am married, I have found myself talking to myself.  I am always happy for couples who enjoy the happiness of their own child in their laps after having struggled so much.  There was a teacher of mine who got his baby girl after twenty years of marriage and he told me that it was the fruit of his prayer and now he prays a lot.  He even has a mandir built by him where he goes to pray morning and evening.  One day he told me that his infertility was due to his low count of sperm.  I have seen so many miracles happening.  IVF itself is a great miracle by Dr Edwards and Steptoe.  Had they not discovered this, so many infertile couples would not have been happy nowadays.  My infertility was due to high level of testosterone, endometriosis and blocked tube due to endometriosis.  All these I was not told by doctors, I discovered them on my own by reading and research and by doing blood tests. I don't understand why I am telling you all this.  Perhaps I am on holidays, idle and thinking and regretting my past.  Loneliness teaches you a lot.  Loneliness makes one realised how busy others are.  Once I had cursed myself with my jinxed tongue that "...........what if I come to be infertile?"  At that time I was only 20yrs old, not yet married.  Now I think well before talking.  I don't want to hurt anyone with my words.  There is nothing in life pleasant for an infertile lady.  There is nobody around her.  She is surrounded with memories and heartcries.  However hard I try to say let bygones by bygones yet I cannot forget how many times my private parts have been seen by different doctors.  Sorry.........................................

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day

An angel, in the book of life , wrote down my babies birth , then whispered as she closed the book ,
  Too beautiful for earth !
Yes, perhaps my little ones were too beautiful for this world. It is going to be two years since I lost them. Although, Anisha's presence has eased the horror and pain of losing my children, the scar still remains. The more I get to know Anisha , more I miss my twin's presence. These two pairs of beautiful feet will never walk in this world, but they will walk in my heart and mind until I am gone. If I am given one more chance to relive November 5th, 2013, I would love to hug and kiss them, feel their warmth, and show them with my touch and presence how much I love them !
I heard the below story somewhere when I was little. Once a person met Buddha and asked for his blessings. Buddha said, let your grandparents die, then your parents, then you and then your children. The man got very angry on hearing this. Buddha smiled and said, I have given you the best blessing , just imagine how your life will be if death happens in the reverse order of what I just said ! How true those words are ! The pain of seeing young buds wither is never easy. That's the most cruel pain anyone could endure. When a young bud shrivels and is gone , it crushes one's hope and faith in life and living. My heart goes out to all the strong moms who had to go through pregnancy and/or infant loss. If you have survived it, you can survive almost anything in this world. You must be proud of yourself for being so strong and brave !
On this day, I want to say two things. The first is, if you are pursuing IVF, please opt for single embryo transfer. Multiple pregnancy carries many unpleasant risks. The pain of not conceiving is several times easier to deal with when compared to the pain of losing your precious little ones. With the improvement in embryo culture techniques, single embryo transfer has very good success rates, too.
The second thing is, we are very, very grateful to have Anisha in our life. After all that happened, there was every possibility of Anisha not happening in our lives, yet, she is here, happy and healthy. So, after pregnancy or infant loss, there is very high chance of having a rainbow baby in your life. Just don't give up ! Be persistent in your efforts. Have an open mind and try to explore all the different options which science offers, before giving up.
I just wish I will have my son back too in our lives someday :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Anisha is six months old !

Anisha is six months old, going to be seven soon. This month, she has reached some great developmental milestones. She hasn't started to crawl yet. I think she is a bit lazy, like me. She is happy to be in our hands and expects us to do what she wants - to pick her toys and keep it near her, and so on. In this way, she doesn't have to do much of the moving. But yes, she does try to get moving when lying down. She raises her front and back, and then instead of moving forward she moves backwards a couple of steps :) I think, soon she will be crawling and I have to run behind her. I can't wait for that day.
She has started to take solid foods, but, still her main nutrition is mother's milk. I give her almost everything - from idly to meat and liver. She doesn't prefer fruits, anything sweet makes her to gag.
I think, I have an angry little one. When she wants to say no to food, once her stomach gets full, she grunts. That means I must stop feeding. This grunting applies to many other things too. It just means - "stop that, won't you !"
She has started to talk - I mean, to babble. It feels like she is talking. When she gets up early in the morning (at 4'o clock) and start to babble and play, believe me, my heart just melts, however tired I may be. Now, when watching rhymes, she babbles with it too.
Her dad is her playmate, a person who appears too funny. Whatever he does, she giggles, giggles and giggles. Even if he bends, that's something very amusing for her. She eagerly waits for her dad's arrival from work.
I am her love. Or, I wonder, whether she is afraid of someone stealing her milk when she is away from me ;) She wants to be in my hands all the time, and this behavior is more pronounced in the evenings. Even if she is in her dad's hand, if she sees me entering the room, she wants to come to me. How good it feels to be someone's priority !
Her fear of strangers is still there. This weekend, she cried and cried when one of our friends picked her up. I am happy in a way. As she grows, I don't want that she goes to strangers, I don't want that everyone holds her. 
That's how Anisha is nowadays.
I agree, I haven't done much justice to my blog. But, I am working on something else whenever I find time, I will soon let you know about it. It's all about infertility support ! And, I need all your support for that.
I hope, I am not hurting anyone by talking much about motherhood.  You will all understand my joy and ecstasy if you know my journey to get Anisha. And moreover, when I lost my twins, I hopped from blog to blog looking for little ones' pictures, especially IVF or surrogacy baby pictures, to find some hope. That helped me to keep my faith strong. I hope Anisha's pictures does help some of you in a similar way.
I do reply to e-mails. Please do write to me if you have any questions; answering your queries keeps me happy too when I feel really worthless and depressed. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dr !

Dear Dr,

It has been three years since I know you, and knowing you has made a huge positive difference in my life - thank you ! Before I knew you, I came across your blog (blog.drmalpani.com every article you posted. I learned a lot from it ; it also gave me enormous moral strength to go through my excruciatingly painful IVF journey. Your blog contains a treasure of information which every patient, especially IVF patients, must read.  I wonder how you manage to update your blog everyday - it just shows the passion you have for your profession; the passion for sharing information with the patients; and the passion for educating them ! 

When I started my IVF journey, everyone around me, including the doctors I met, asked me to stay away from internet. Whenever I went with some questions and suggestions about my treatment, I was discouraged and sometimes even ridiculed. I was made to feel that knowing about the treatment details of my infertility is none of my business. I was warned that knowing little is dangerous; I was mocked for trying to play the role of a doctor without a valid medical degree. 

The below picture, I took recently from an intern's FB post:

This is how most doctors react to their patients' eagerness to take an active part in their treatment.

I am a person who want to involve myself in my medical care. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I fell down and broke my crown. The wound was bleeding profusely. My mother and her friend took me to a nearby hospital. On the way, they were talking about how big the cut is and was wondering whether the doctor will give a suture. They were saying that, if the doctor sutures the wound, it will be very painful. I was hearing everything silently. Once we entered the clinic and saw the doctor, I told him very clearly that I do not want a suture as it will cause much pain. When I heard this incident from my mom, I was so proud that I was able to voice my concern even when I was so little. Although, the final, well-fitting decision was in the hands of the doctor, I made sure to let him know my wish too as per the information I received. If I haven't done so, might he would have sutured the wound. Might be after hearing my concern he thought of leaving it as such with a dressing. My mom said that he looked amused by his little patient and promised that he wouldn't do a suture. 

I am a biologist who could understand my treatment details very well. I could have an intelligent conversation with my doctor. Even then, I was discouraged to take an active part in my treatment. After five failed IVF cycles and a FET, after trying a therapy called paternal lymphocyte immunization therapy which is of no proven benefit, I was at wits' end. Infertility is an emotionally debilitating illness. Adding to that,  lack of proper information and guidance could instill lots of fear. I was haunted by many questions - "Is there anything I could do more ? Why won't my embryos implant ? Is there anything I could do to improve the outcome of my IVF cycle ? How long should I try IVF ? Is there a magical solution ? Why my doctor is not giving me any information when my IVF cycle fails, apart from saying, sorry ? Since the paternal lymphocyte immunization therapy failed to provide a successful outcome, does it mean I will never have a baby ? What is wrong with my body ?" My questions remained answered !

I started to look for IVF doctors in India. During that time I came across your blog. It was so good to see you introducing yourself as a patient advocate who prescribes information therapy. Your blog not only helped me to find the answers I needed but also counselled me. My fears calmed down. I found solace in penning down my emotions and opinions in your blog. You suggested me that I must write a blog too and it will be highly therapeutic.

That is how my blog came into being. You gave me suggestions regarding what topics will be helpful for the patients. You patiently corrected all my articles. My English was very poor, I even had no idea how to use proper punctuations (still I don't !). But, you always had kind words to encourage me. You are humble enough to say that you learn a lot from me too. The more I wrote, more I learned. The more I learned, more confident I became. As you said, writing a blog is very, very therapeutic - I started to look at my infertility in a whole new light.  Putting my thoughts and feelings in words helped me to look beyond my fears and failures. 

My blog is only  three years old and has 500,000 hits. I get lots of e-mails from patients. Helping them to find answers to their questions has helped me too - I learn a lot too ! Counselling them has helped me to overcome my fears too. Not only patients, even doctors write to me congratulating me for my articles. Once a doctor said that she would love to print my (our!) articles and give to her patients. Recently, a doctor wrote to me saying that, my articles will not only help patients but doctors too ! 

I am not registering everything here to boast about you or about myself.  I just want to let people know what kind of magic a good doctor could create; how he could help patients to help themselves and to help others too; how important it is to be a well-informed patient and also to find a doctor who will answer all their questions patiently and involve them in their own healthcare decisions.

Dr, thank you so much for everything you have done for me ! I have learned a lot from you. You have taught me :

Intellectual humility - You have shown me that there is something to learn from everyone I meet and from every situation I face. After all, life is nothing but a learning experience !

To think outside the box -  I have never seen you following the masses. You have an original outlook about anything and everything. For example, you never suggest some therapy to your patients just because everyone else is doing so ! You weigh carefully the scientific evidence and its pros and cons.

To be consistent and never give up - Your blog, website and the patient education materials you create are a proof of that ! You are blogging for more than 10 years and that too almost everyday ! You relentlessly update your website and create patient education materials.

To stand for what I believe in - Your efforts to promote information therapy says it all ! 

To be passionate about what I do.

To be a well-informed patient and the importance of it.

Apart from my blog, apart from the good things I learned from you, I am now extremely grateful to you and your team for helping us to have our little Anisha. Atlast our dream has come true ! She has made our life very beautiful and lively. 

If not for your presence and guidance, if not for my blog, I might have given up IVF a long back. I might not have had Anisha. Thanks a ton Dr for being there !

Today is your birthday. I wanted to let you know that you will always be thought of with so much fondness for who you are. I hope you will be honored for your efforts in promoting patient education and information therapy in India.

Happy Birthday, Dr ! May you stay very happy, healthy and blessed ; may all goodness follow you for many, many, many more years to come !


Wait Dr, Anisha wants to tell you something too :

Hi Dr :) Anisha here. Hope you are doing good. I am fine; amma and appa loves me so much and I am basking in that love and warmth. Amma said that today is your birthday - happy birthday ! Be very happy always !

Thanks a lot for helping my parents to bring me into this world ! May I ask you something - when can I have a picture with you, just like the above picture where you are with a cute little one ?

Love and hugs,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Anisha is 5 months old !

Time flies by, our little one is growing fast. Anisha is fine and so are we. She has started to roll over exactly at four and half months. She has to try so hard to achieve it and she was practicing the skill whenever she is lying down. One fine day, she rolled over and was happy, happy. The way she looked at me proudly, after achieving the feat, will remain etched in my heart always.

One thing that worries me is, nothing entertains her more than Chu Chu TV rhymes.  Recently, I could see how involved she is in those cartoon characters by her facial expressions. She even smiles when her favorite rhyme appears on screen. She thoroughly enjoys it. I try to be a good mom and entertain her as much as I can. I take her out, show her flowers and plants. I try to read her books and play with her. But, there are times when I have to do house hold work and I then leave her in her comfort chair with rhymes on. I hope it doesn't hurt her in any way. If anyone of you have any suggestions please let me know !

Breast feeding continues. After crossing four months, she started to take feed more often than before. That took a toll on my nipples again; now they are cracked at the tip. It does pain, but, not as worse as it was in the beginning. I thought, Anisha will start to sleep long stretches as she ages, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. She still wakes up two times every night for feeding. I tried giving her solid food. But she wants only milk and  she is satisfied with it. Hopefully, after six months, this trend changes. I can't wait to feed her different foods and understand her tastes.

She has started to let me know that she needs me and searches for me when I am not around. Yesterday, I went out to throw the garbage. She was in her dad's hand. She saw me leaving. When I entered few seconds later, the reaction in her face was precious. She was surprised, her eyes were wide open and was so happy to see me. She was trying to catch my attention with a broad smile as if she was trying to say, "oh, you are here again !"

She now catches things and moves them here and there. She wants me nearby all the time, especially, when sleeping at night. She wakes up even if I am not nearby her for a few minutes. I, on the other hand, will never be able to sleep alone without her nearby. Sometimes she prefers to sleep on my chest and at times I take her and keep her on my chest even if she is sleeping nearby. I don't know who is spoiling who, but, I do whatever it feels good for her and for me - a typical me who follows the heart more than my brain !

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something else - we have moved to a new city ! This place is awesome, satisfies all my dreams of living in a country side. The last two pictures are from the place where we live now. This place is famous for wine making and what you see on the slopes is vineyards.

Life has changed a lot and I understand it will continue to. I am ready for changes, but, let every change bring with it lots of happiness for Anisha. That's my only prayer nowadays. I hope every one of you are doing good. When I receive e-mails like, 'I want an Anisha too', 'Anisha gives us hope', 'Anisha is like our niece', 'I come to your blog to see Anisha', I am so much humbled. Thanks for all the love !

Again, if I haven't replied to anyone of you, I am really sorry ! Shifting to new place has taken lots of my time and I was not feeling that great for sometime now. I will definitely get back to you soon.

As usual, some of Anisha's snaps below :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...