Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Aaaaand We're Done!

With the hormone shots for now, at least. Last night I had my last Pergoveris shot and now we'll just have to wait till Thursday to see if my body is responding to the new drug. I was pretty nervous about injecting myself with Pergoveris. My previous RE prescribed Puregon which came in an injection pen, which was pretty easy enough to use. Pergoveris on the hand, I had to mix the powder and the solvent which came in two vials myself, and it came with a real syringe. We struggled at first, and I was slightly worried when I saw some air bubbles in the syringe which I didn't manage to get rid of. I had this crazy notion that if those air bubbles got inside my body, I would die. Obviously since I'm writing this post, nothing happened LOL.

Anyway, I have to say that I now handle syringes and needles better than some nurses. Let me explain. The first day I had to inject myself, DH and I went all the way to Selayang to get the vials from a lady who works with LPPKN (it's sort of a family planning ministry) and she showed me how to mix the powder and solvent, how to change the syringes etc. So I listened as she showed me and when she finished mixing them up, I notice that was a space in the syringe, sort of like an air pocket, which I pointed out to her. She told me that she didn't want to push the syringe to get rid of the air pocket as she feared that she would accidentally squirt the medicine out. Valid reason I guess, but come one. She's done this so many times. I'm sure she could do it if she wanted to. Instead she told me to pinch my tummy and shoved the needle in and pressed the plunger (is that what you call it?) And it hurt like hell! I couldn't tell for sure, but I'm pretty sure it was because of that air pocket that she refused to get rid of. And she struggled for about half an hour to get all the medicine in the syringe. Heh.

Day 2 of the injection which I did myself and I pressed the plunger all the way until there was no more air pocket. It took me about 10 minutes to get everything ready and when I finally did it, it didn't hurt. Tadaaaaaa!! *feeling pretty smug right now :P* DH, as usual looked away. What is it about men and needles? I am convinced now more than ever that women have a higher pain threshold than men. Wouldn't you agree?

So, we're done with needles for the time being. Hopefully the scan on Thursday will show plenty of beautiful follicles. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Umrah 2013: Madinah

So last month hubs and I went to Mekah for Umrah and Madinah for our ziarah. It was such a wonderful and enlightening experience that while we were packing to go home, we were already planning to go again next year. I feel so blessed to have gone for the trip. To be honest I had my reservations initially. I thought I wasn't ready to go to the Holy Land (probably because I know I haven't been the best Muslim), but Alhamdulillah everything went really smoothly. A friend once told me that going on Umrah with your spouse is one of the most romantic things you can do. And she was right.

We landed in Jeddah and had to take a four hour bus trip to Madinah. By the time we reached Madinah we were exhausted from the total of 12 hour journey, but as soon as we laid eyes on Masjid Nabawi (the Prophet's mosque), we immediately perked up. MasyaAllah the mosque was so beautiful. It was a picture of peace and serenity. I mean, just look at this.

Masjid Nabawi at night

These "roofs" will open or close depending on the weather, much like an umbrella. Cool eh?

Beneath this green dome lies the Prophet's makam

Us outside Masjid Nabawi

The beautiful interior of Masjid Nabawi

Our exhaustion having disappeared, we checked in and got ready to go to the mosque for Fajr prayer. I can't even begin to describe the feeling when praying at Masjid Nabawi. It was like the world outside magically disappeared. It was all about me, God and the Prophet. I imagine people do say this, and before I performed my umrah I would have said that this is all hogwash, but really, when you are in Masjid Nabawi, you could feel the Prophet's presence. It was as close as I could get to be in his presence, and it wasn't nearly enough. Alhamdulillah we never once skipped praying at Masjid Nabawi. The fact that the mosque was quite near our hotel was a big plus. One tip when praying at Masjid Nabawi is to keep your smart phone in your socks. Taking photos is not allowed in the mosque and there will lady guards outside the mosque who will check your bags when you enter the mosque. But guess what? They never check your socks. So there you go :D

My only challenge while we were in Madinah was performing solat at Raudhah, where the Prophet's makam was. There were too many people and me being Malaysian and small compared to Arab women, got pushed and shoved around a lot. But I did manage to perform two solat sunat at Raudhah, Alhamdulillah. Apparently the men are a lot more civilized and DH managed to perform thirty solat sunat at Raudah. Thirty!! I'm so super jealous!

We spent five days in Madinah and I loved everything about it. From the beautiful mosque to the beautiful people, from walking through the street market outside the mosque after each prayer time to haggling with shopkeepers for the best abaya price, from the cool zamzam water provided for free around the mosque to the steaming hot Arabic coffee. It was wonderful.

The street market outside the gates of Masjid Nabawi. I must have bought at least ten scarves here for 5 Saudi Riyal each (equivalent to RM4.20/USD1.30)

Nuts about nuts
Our mutawif, an amazing ustaz took us around to ziarah around Madinah and told us stories on the Prophet s.a.w. and his companions. He told us the stories so eloquently that at times I found my eyes welling with tears listening to the sacrifices that the Prophet and his companions made during their time. We passed by the graveyards of the Caliphs and the Prophet's companions and offered prayers for them. I remember when our mutawif told us about the Battle of Uhud where the Prophet's uncle, Hamzah was killed by an assassin, Wahsyi, who ripped out his chest and took out his heart to present to Hindun, the lady who hired Wahsyi to kill Hamzah to avenge her husband's death, I cried.

Us outside the garden where Saydina Abu Bakar was elected as the first Caliph after the passing of the Prophet s.a.w

Masjid Kuba, the first mosque built by the Prophet s.a.w

After five days it was time for us to pack out bags and leave Madinah for Mekah, the Holy City. Here's DH in his ihram.

I performed Ziarah Wida' at the Prophet's makam and I cried, not knowing when I'll be able to visit the Prophet again. I've asked this question a lot of times in Madinah, "how can you miss someone you've never met?" There is no answer to this. All I can say is that I miss the Prophet, even though I've never met him. My hope is that I will be in his presence in the hereafter, InsyaAllah.

Anyway, after checking out of the hotel, we hopped on the bus and went on our way to Mekah. We stopped by Bir Ali Mosque for our Miqat and was delayed coz the bus driver forgot to bring his permit LOL. As much as we were eager to reach Mekah, we were resigned to the fact that this was just one of the many trials that we had to go through. Since there was nothing we could do about it, we decided to just wait it out. We finally departed at around 3 p.m. and arrived in Mekah at almost midnight. More on our Umrah in Mekah in my next post.

Much love,

It's Happening

So AF finally came yesterday after a four month absence. I have been pre-warned by my RE that this AF will be a bit different than normal. A bit more cramps and a bit more bloody (TMI I know :P). Thankfully the cramps are bearable (it's almost gone today) but yes, its a bit more bloody. Since AF came before Ramadhan starts next month, DH and I decided to go ahead with IUI this cycle. Well be seeing the nurse for my first hormone shot tomorrow, I'll go in for a scan on Day 10 and we'll take it from there. I'm very hopeful about this cycle but I'm also being a realist and not getting my hopes too high. We all know only too well how unpredictable fertility treatments can be. I will update more as we progress on the treatment. This is exciting!

P/s: I wanted to update on my umrah trip but there's just so much to talk about the trip and so many photos to post. I promise I'll get on it as soon as I can :)

Have a good day, everyone!