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Friday, December 28, 2012

First move.

Last night, I had a feeling of movement/pulsing in my belly and I thought it might be the twins moving. So I put my right hand over Twin B (in the middle) and waited. I figured that since Twin B was usually the more active one during the scans, it was more likely than not that it would be Twin B hamming it up in there.

Nothing happened for 15 mins so I moved my hand over Twin A. And waited while I surfed the net. Then, I felt this little string of bubbles popping/rippling where Twin A was. I've never felt anything like that my whole life and the feeling is pretty much indescribable - to feel a baby inside you instead of peaking into his/her world via trans-belly ultrasounds.

To date, I still haven't felt anything from Twin B though but then he/she has been the one that gives me cause to worry. When the doctor first told us that I was expecting twins and pointed to the two sacs on the screen, I thought the second sac was a mistake and asked if it was a shadow of the first sac. He assured me not. But since we hadn't expected to have twins to start, and the second sac didn't seem as distinct as the first, when I got home, I consulted Dr Google about gestational sacs and read about some gestational sacs remaining empty. So I spent the next 2 weeks terrified that at the next doctor's visit, there would only be one fetus.

After that fear was put to rest, I read about my friend's Twin B not making it in her 8th week (formed but no heartbeat) and so I spent the next few weeks fearing that one of the twins would not make it. I always expected it to be Twin B as each ultrasound showed that he/she was slightly smaller (in mm) than Twin A.

However as the pregnancy progressed, while Twin B has remained the smaller one, Twin B has started to show us that he/she is his/her own little person. The first time was at the 12th week Oscar scan where he/she lay there sucking his/her hand. Then at the following scan, he/she was lying on his/her belly face-down.

I told my CEB about feeling Twin A instead of the more active Twin B whom he praised as the obedient one (for listening to him asking them to wake up and flip around), my CEB suggested that maybe, just maybe Twin A was actually the more active twin, thumping and flipping around all the time but whenever he/she felt the cold gel and the scanner, he/she would be good and lie still.

Given that I've been feeling movement from Twin A (more today, esp when I lay on my belly), my CEB might very well be right!

In terms of the puke scoreboard, I am ahead today with just one puke (after dinner) the entire day. Yesterday, I vomited all of lunch over three pukes, then before dinner, at my in-law's place, I heaved up another three pukes. Managed to keep down dinner though.

From the look of things, giving up all hope that the morning sickness would have ended by the end of the first trimester was a wise decision. It looks like having twins is a different ball game altogether!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

19 months of marriage

19 months doesn't seem so very long when I compare that to the fact that I will be carrying the twins for 9 months/37-40 weeks :D

Still, since our being able to pass each monthiversary is a blessing and not a given right, I write this entry to celebrate our crossing this 19th milestone in our marriage. Truth be told, despite the blessing of pregnancy as and when we had planned and wanted, we weren't exactly sailing along to this monthly marker since the last. In fact, if there was any time at all throughout our whole marriage that I wasn't certain we were going to make it, this month was definitely it.

The physical complications and restrictions that came with the almost ceaseless daily vomiting and exhaustion meant that the level of contribution and attention from my end was almost non-existent. Lots of folks tell me that pregnant women tend to be more bad-tempered and irrational because of the rampant hormones and while I did try my best not to be that way, I ended up on the other end of the scale. Distant, detached and withdrawn.

The travel-filled, coming home to a warm home-cooked dinner and wife who would cuddle with him nightly came to an abrupt end for my CEB. What he got was what not what he bargained - a beached whale lying on the bed the entire day in her pjs, sometimes without having her teeth brushed or face cleaned the entire day, and on worse days, smelling of vomit. Not pleasant, and a far cry from what he was used to. There was no one to give him any food, attention or comfort.


And on my end? I was utterly distraught and miserable with the life I once had and was so used to stripped away abruptly. Instead of surfing the net for travel deals and little acquisitions as I once did, all my spare energy was devoted to finding a cure for the terrible morning sickness. Truth be told, the last thing I thought about, cared about, and wanted in my current state was my CEB who for the first time, I could actually smell....not in a pleasant way.

At times, I'm not proud to say it, but at times, the past few weeks, I wanted him gone. Just gone from my life, so consumed was I by the vomiting, nausea, fatigue. He was as much use to me and my sufferings as a third leg. Sometimes when he asked me helplessly what he could do for me, it was on the tip of my tongue to snap "Can a chicken with three legs run any faster?"

Yes, things between us were this very bleak. I wanted, no, I needed my misery and suffering to end. I didn't care how - the endless trips to the toilet to either vomit, retch, pee or suffer immense pain from the other end - they had to end. The inability to work effectively, to get out of bed, to be useful, productive, sociable and jet-setting wrecked utter havoc for both of us and our marriage.

So yes, I am beyond thankful that I have recovered some bits of my energy, that I am having some good days (how else would I have the energy to switch on my laptop after weeks) and that we managed to survive one more month of marriage. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

By the book...or not

The twins have done everything by the book so far - in terms of growth, on start of morning sickness at week 6, sitting on my bladder, nose bleeds and headaches in the second trimester - EXCEPT ending the severe morning sickness!

The new anti nausea medicine is ineffective in terms of controlling nausea but it makes me very sleepy. Which is great at night time but no good at all during the day. I can't go out two hours without being exhausted or do much housework before needing to take a break. This is so not the capable efficient multi-tasking me that I am used to.

Add the spitting (excess saliva) and the vomiting, I'm just counting down the months. I pray that I won't be those who vomit up to the day they deliver. I hope things will turn around at the start of the third trimester at least.

No such luck for the second trimester. The latest? I vomited all over myself in the car yesterday. After so long, you would think I have it figured out when I am going to just dry retch and when I am going to hurl. But no, I was had by my wonderful body. I was surprised to find my mouth full of my undigested breakfast mixed with soya bean milk and to my horror, my mouth could not hold all and I ended up with vomit all over my chest, my Hugo boss top and my hair. I ended up washing myself off in my mum's house sink so I could keep to the day's schedule.

Later that day I had a nose bleed while drinking turtle soup. I don't get why everything I am going through with this pregnancy is by the book except the horrible morning sickness. I read that the likelihood of this recurring in my next pregnancy (no! What next!) is high if I have suffered this in my first. So, twins, listen up since both of you should be able to hear me now - that's it for siblings.

Your mother is never putting herself through all this ever ever ever again!!!

Uncle - The Slug's dad

1 of my best friends, The Slug, lost his father last Friday night unexpectedly. I didn't see his message about Uncle's passing till the next morning.

I remember Uncle well. In my mind's eye, I see him sitting on the living room's couch and watching sports (badminton or football) on TV. We would always exchange pleasantries and make conversation then - be it about his health, his active lifestyle at his age, my weight, and of course the family's ginger cat, Meow Meow (who was recently lost and found).

I have had lunch with Uncle in KL, visited him in hospital before, and I always thought those times would last, that Uncle and Aunty would be there like my friendship with The Slug. My marriage might mean lesser of these times but there was no sense at all that these would end for good one day. I keep forgetting how life turns on a dime.

Being sick these past months with severe morning sickness, I had not been physically able to be a real part of the world outside my bed,toilet and hospital visits for the twins. So I hadn't seen Uncle in months, and not when he was in hospital this time. The Slug's last message to me was that his dad was improving and I remember being glad and thinking there was time. But then suddenly, there wasn't. Uncle's condition deteriorated in one day and he was gone.

My heart goes out for The Slug and his family. The Slug was very close to his dad, both of them spending the most time together. The days that lie ahead for him will be the toughest yet and this is the time he will need his loved ones and friends. But most of all he will need to find in himself, strength and courage to walk through each day, those dark moments when the sense of loss and devastation threatens to overwhelm him. And those moments can be set off by the most unexpected trigger. And at the times when he thought he had come to terms with his loss and then realize he hasn't.

I pray for The Slug and his family at this time and those times to come. May they find solace that Uncle did not suffer long and found peace so quickly. And may they remember that Uncle would want them to live happily.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Living off the fat of the land

The last scan (this week) was a detailed one as the doctor wanted to have my cervix measured to reduce the risk of pre-term labor. The twins were also measured - by the length of their femur and head, instead of from crown to rump. Going forward, they will be measured by weight and not length anymore.

Unlike me, who lost the 1+ kg I gained the past 2 weeks (total weight loss still 5kg), the twins are each measuring ahead of schedule. They really have to be living off my ample surpluses given that I have been vomiting everything I have eaten the past days despite the medication.

Twin A remains the bigger one and seems to be more passive, lying face up with his/her legs propped up on the uterus wall. Twin B on the other hand, had a new trick - he/she was lying face down. It was funny. Really curious about the gender of that active little one.

The scoreboard between me and them hasn't changed much except they are clocking more wins. I used to be able to keep down breakfast and sometimes lunch. Dinner is always a lost cause. Now everything is a lost cause.

So I have pretty much given up. I just eat and drink whatever I want since I am going to be upchucking anyway. Forget the biscuits, warm tea, bread etc. nothing works except sleep. Only then do I not blow chunks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Misery loves comparison

I am not ungrateful for the gift of pregnancy, as and when we planned. I am thankful for the twins, for my job, for my boss. It's just that the pregnancy has been so hard - yesterday I could not get out of bed except to vomit. Over 15 times. If I don't eat something, I get excess saliva in the mouth which means acid is building up in the stomach which means nausea and vomiting acid and water. So I eat and after I do, I end up vomiting what I eat. Vomiting is exhausting - the force is enough to make u stagger, fall to your knees, slump on the bowl and get all dizzy and weak after from the electrolyte imbalance. So you need to rest and your stomach is empty so it churns once more with gas and acid then you go vomit those. So next dehydration. This means drinking and with more fluids added to the stomach, vomit storm. Vicious cycle.

Tried everything. Zofran, Reglan, dry biscuits, ginger, lemon, motion bands, regular small meals, nothing works. I hate being this useless,helpless, miserable and non productive. I can't, not I won't. And I am so tired of it all. Tired of being a crappy employee, wife, friend, human being. I can't do anything for anyone, think abt anyone or care for anything. Christmas this year is going to be a dismal affair. I'm not Mrs Grinch but I can't be jolly ole Mrs Santa either.

The doctor and I, we are going to have a serious talk. The time for this crap has passed. I need whatever it takes to start living. This condition, fighting not to vomit when not vomiting, vomiting then being wiped out from vomiting, it has to end. If not for me, for the twins. Thank goodness they can still live off the fat of the land.

I understand how most pp don't get how bad things are with severe morning sickness. They think It isn't like I have a dreaded disease and am suffering with no end in sight except death. It isn't like I was in an accident and am the victim of physical mishaps. No, I was just trying to complete my family and brought this upon myself. Unfortunately I could care less what the world thinks.

And thinking about pp who have it worse off does not make me feel better. It is like telling the blind to be grateful they have working limbs and the paraplegics to be glad they are sighted. Or the jobless and starving to be grateful they are alive and those who are alive to be grateful they aren't brain dead. There is always always always someone worse off. Comparisons are no help at all.

Not to say that I do not appreciate better my blessings in this time of misery - that the other members of my family come home whole and healthy each day etc. I have spent time representing the plaintiffs on personal injury work and I know how life turns on a dime. The recent accident where a young man lost the life he knew of before reminded me not to ever take for granted my blessings, the gift of a husband coming home every night in one piece.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This better not be the start

Never have I bothered or rather, been able to get up at an ungodly hour of 6+am to go queue for anything. Yes, I have woken up at 2am to drive 3hrs to go fishing on an island (how I miss those days so much!), woken up at 4am on a cold morning to be the first 200 to be allowed to climb Huayna Picchu in Peru, but never ever have I dragged myself out of bed (esp when pregnant) so early before to queue for a few hours so as to be among the first few (10 in this case) to buy something at a discount.

I'll just do without in the past. Not try to save at least $100 by sitting on a floor on a piece of paper marked 4 outside a closed door for 2hrs. The item being queued for was advertised to be retailing for $329. Special price if there was stock left was $99 and early birds would be allowed to buy the same at $39.90.

You would never guess what it was I was queuing for. Not one of those IT products or cameras or household items. Not even branded women stuff at a clearance price (I wouldn't ever buy branded stuff that would slash its price like that - devaluing its brand).

Baby chairs for the twins.Sigh. Big sigh. This is so sad it isn't funny anymore. Obviously I am not one of those who feel that nothing is too expensive for their kids. I mean, 1 of my cheaper work dresses cost at least double the combined cost of the two chairs.

Not sure if my rationale makes sense but I would get far more mileage out of what I buy for myself than out of what I buy for the twins who would from birth outgrow everything in a matter of weeks and months, esp clothes.

Hence the attempt to save $100 on such temporary items. But this better not be the start of what my life is going to look like. I definitely didn't sign on for this! Oy just oy, what did I get myself into this time around.

While it is immensely satisfying to finally be able to answer positively, curious relatives questions about having children , the trouble and misery for me that came with this pregnancy will not be forgotten.

Latest scoreboard looks like this:
Fish burger: vomit
Red bean soup: keep down
Sushi: vomit (always)
Prawns+beef: keep down
2slices of wholemeal bread: keep down
Fishball kway teoh soup: vomit
Green bean soup: keep down
Banana: vomit
Yakult: vomit
Curry beehoon: vomit
Cherries: vomit

Guess it is clear who is still ahead....2 against 1, no fair kiddos!

PS: I'm having an absolutely shite day today, the kind where I have a horrid taste on my mouth, weird feeling in the belly, tired but unable to sleep, achy, no appetite at all, can't crawl out of bed and know without a doubt that I am going to be vomiting today. Ugh.

Eta: today is just awful. Vomited so hard I fell to (not like sank to) my knees as soon as the first belch began. Popped a Reglan right after. Gawd have mercy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A competition of sorts...

I'll talk to the twins directly once they can hear me, which is very soon, according to pregnancy websites, and I have plenty to say while they are still in there. While they don't have a choice but to listen to me, just like I don't have a choice over what they decide to do with the food I put in my body.

It's become a competition of sorts now. I struggle not to vomit and they (I can't blame my body any more at this stage) decide what they want to keep down.

The latest scoreboard looks like this:
Tuna on bread? Vomit
Pork floss bun? Vomit
Fish Porridge? Vomit.
Century egg&pork porridge? Keep down.
Bread or biscuits? Keep down
Nonya bak Chang. Keep down
Milk with cereal? Keep down
Cheese Prata? Vomit
Manhatten flaming platter? Keep down
Chicken rice? Vomit
Popeyes chicken? Vomit
Tomato soup? Vomit
Tomato soup again cos its good stuff for them ( I don't even like it)? Vomit.
Wagyu beef n mushrooms? Vomit. Kiddos, that was v good food k!

It's pretty clear who is winning for now but that better change when they are out else there's going to be real trouble!

Right now, we are also tussling over when to vomit. Before, they were the unbeaten champions. I vomited everywhere and whenever they deemed fit - public dustbins, while driving or watching movies, in plastic bags and every toilet I have been to etc. Now, I actually get to fight back a little. Like while in the bath just now, I had the urge to vomit and I fought against it. The twins must have resisted even harder because in the end I gagged and the food rose up uncontrollably in my mouth. Well, not to be thwarted and sit ankle deep in vomit, I swallowed back whatever filled my mouth.

Mistake. Tomato soup tasted terribly sour after 2 hours of being mixed with stomach juices. Now I feel sicker than ever. Meh. No wonder I haven't gained any weight till now - I'm still lighter than I was before I was pregnant. The twins are getting (and will continue to drain me of) what they need anyway so I guess it's a good thing that I was eating so healthily and plentifully before.

Still, my skirts are getting tighter (in one week) and despite my delaying, I might have to get some maternity clothes soon. I intend to get the minimal since this is the very last time I am torturing myself like this. I am glad for this blog which is a reminder of how miserable and awful the past few weeks were. On good days when I am caressing my baby bump, I can almost barely remember the exhaustion and nausea. Then I read those entries again and I'm like Oh yeah, never again.

I can't wait to see the twins at the next checkup. Given how sick I have been, I am far from worried about them. Gloves off soon if I am going to be this sick for the rest of the pregnancy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To be able to eat like before

It's most frustrating to be hungry but have nothing that appeals to the appetite. And if I have a craving for a food item, as soon as I take a couple of bites I am repulsed.

I am getting hungrier more often these days, complete with growling stomach but nothing I put in tastes any good. I used to like agar agar because other than being cooling and sweet, it is good for nails and teeth. So yesterday evening I bought one from the usual store and barely choked it down. It tasted vile, overly sweet. I also bought a cheese prata with my remaining $2 and found I did not enjoy the taste of the curry/gravy that came with it. The list of the foods I used to really like but now avoid include eggs, otah, curries, rice, mee (going to try later)...anything that is oily (fried) and spicy.

What I like and can keep down 50% of the time after all the past months where NOTHING appealed consist of cheese, porridge (Esp century egg and/or fish porridge), biscuits, fishball kway teoh soup and hor fun. And that's about it. Try to add anything else like the prata yesterday and there's hell to pay.

After the meal, I went to the toilet to obey my bowels and while on the bowl I had the urge to puke. I thought it would be a dry retch but my mouth soon overflowed so I had to get up midway of what I was doing and turn around to empty my other hole. Trying to do All that resulted in me forgetting to hold up my long hair and yes I had puke in my just washed freshly dried hair. I'm telling you, each day I reach a new low in the pregnancy.

It's like the twins HAVE to let me know that they are healthy and in there every day, no matter what I am going through emotionally and physically. If they could hear me now, I'll like to tell them "eh guys it really is ok. Mummy can wait till the forthnightly scans to know or wait for her body to tell her otherwise." Not sure if they will listen to me though, esp if they are anything like their Daddy. Hmmm.

It's funny how much I love the twins before I even met them. Honestly, I didn't before recently given how sick the pregnancy was making me but with my energy back and ability to at least think about food, shovel some types of food in and keep it down (like lunch yesterday which was the only meal that stayed in - not breakfast - tuna on bread, and not dinner, prata), I am starting to think about the twins more and feel for them. I think the Oscar scan was the turning point, esp watching Twin B, whom I am getting the feel, is a girl. Twin A which is the more dominant one in pictures and movements, reminds me of my CEB and may be a boy. I don't really know but will soon enough. Already though, the thought that there are 3 hearts beating in my one body and thinking about the two of them the size of peaches with arms and legs all curled up in my belly (which is growing) makes me feel awed. And the fact that there are two at a time, I can't help but wonder often if they are asleep or awake or is one asleep and the other awake.

Fuzzy warm thoughts when I am not vomiting, rinsing my mouth from the puke or cleaning my vomit streaked hair in a public toilet sink.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2 and 2 is 4

All the denial, feelings in the world aren't worth much against the inescapable fact that no matter how one cuts or dices it, 2 plus 2 is 4.

Much of life is a numbers game and simplicity is best. And easily comprehended. I was always awed by my beloved ex-boss's ability to break down complex issues into the simplest terms and put them forth to the senior management and Board. That was one of the many things I was determined to learn from her.

And sometimes after doing all that, after we cut through all the arguments for and against, the issue at heart is "what do you want?". Once you have answered that, the next question is "what must you do to achieve it?"

I followed this approach for sometime till I realized that it wasn't working for me on a personal level because what I wanted yesterday isn't what I want now.

So I learnt how to address issues by having a second test qn to answer "will you in the future regret what (you want to do today?

This process of not wasting time on denial, forcing myself to accept facts as they are since facts don't lie like the equation of 2+2=4, and then breaking down the issues into the simplest terms before asking my modified question is working. With the emotions cut out of it, decisions are made easier, and better decisions are made.

I am no stranger to making bad decisions. But I am also no stranger to making hard and v tough decisions.

At the end of the day, I have to do what is best for those I love.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Living on a prayer

Yesterday was a good day - by good day I mean I only vomited twice. Once after lunch and once in the afternoon. Unlike the other good day that I had some weeks back where I spent the day resting, this good day was spent with my CEB doing volunteer work.

I was all prepared for the day - popped Reglan in the morning, dry ate (minimal fluids with food), 3 plastic bags stuffed in my bag to puke in, a thick sweater so I would not get feverish and do the heave o in front of the rest of the volunteers.

Surprisingly, I was kept so busy that this overrode the urge to puke (queasy feeling was still there) and in the evening when manning the registration counter, I talked so much that the excess saliva problem I have been suffering from the past week (spitting a lot) was not a problem anymore.

The best part of the whole day was having my CEB with me also doing volunteer work. Now, I had to do this work but he hadn't signed up for it and most certainly wasn't obliged to. But he still went ahead and gave 6 hours on a Sat afternoon to do charity work. I am so proud of my CEB for being such a selfless good good husband!
And in the morning, he went out early to queue to get my mother's birthday present!

I'm living on a prayer that things will continue to be as good as they were yesterday - health wise esp. I really appreciate not having the twins remind me that they are around every day by sending me to the toilet to do the puke-a-roo. I have plenty of reminders in the night when I am clambering out of bed at least thrice to go to the toilet. I think they are still sitting on my bladder which has become pint sized. Meh.

I am out of Zofran and I don't care to spend anymore on it since taking the last pill on Fri was a waste. I puked twice in the office within 4 hours and in the next hour, I had the churning stomach which meant big time trouble. Puking up bile and gasping up air as I crouched by the toilet bowl. First time this happened with Zofran. Before it would be just normal pukes with Zofran, not this consecutive heaving episode. Why why why isn't there anything that gets rid of symptoms like nausea and vomiting?

Funny thing about extended periods of suffering - while I can't adapt to the daily retching, vomiting, spitting, with the resignation that this didn't go away per the textbooks when it should, I have surrendered all hope of that miraculous day where I would wake up and feel like my old self. And without hope of an end to this misery, I am somehow more calm about the way things are.

Maybe the fact that I have 75% of my energy back, I am keeping most food down, and my nose is less sensitive (though I still abhor eggs and the smell of instant noodles seasoning) helps a great deal too.

Still 3kg down from my weight when I first found out but my jeans which were loose can't zip anymore. Time to get the Bellaband!

Ps: reached a new low tonight...vomited in the bath tub while washing my hair. Toilet bowl was too far and there was nowhere else to vomit. And of course the drainage got clogged with puke while I was sitting there so there I sat with puke swirling around me (could not get out immediately as my hair was lathered in shampoo). I am seriously starting to hate my body, adjust already damn it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Shifting goal posts

I have got 65% of my energy back but I am still as sick as a dog, vomiting between 5 to 10 times (not counting dry retches) a day when on anti nausea medicine. If I do without the medication, it's like 15 times minimum and with acidic water flowing out at least once...oh, and the kind of consecutive heaving that brings me to my knees as I puke bile and acidic juices out.

So back to the medication I go despite the side effects and the cost. Did I mention that one freaking Zofran tablet costs more than SGD10? Take the dosage of 3 a day and we are looking at major damage a month. I am down to my last pill which I am saving for Friday when I have a long day at work full of meetings.

Raglan and another less effective anti nausea medicine prescribed (it was cheap) will have to suffice till this misery ends. I would of course love to be meds free but I have to be functional, or at least alive to do the twins any good. And yeah having my job would be most helpful too .

I am praying fervently still that this morning sickness will end since I am PAST when it should have ended. Truth be told I feel like collapsing in tears when I think about how the goalpost keeps getting pushed back - I hang on with the promised end in sight, and then when I hit that mark, I find that it isn't the end. It sucks. PREGNANCY SUCKS. You have to experience all this shit to get it. I wouldn't do this again. My body is just a huge let down but hey what's new about that.

The twins on the other hand are a different story. In the Oscar scan (the results were excellent), twin A (the gummy bear looking one) was sleeping, arms at the side. Twin B (the fuzzy looking one) was awake though and sucking at his/her hand, the legs bent in a cycling position. Beyond cute.

The next doctors checkup, when he did the scan, twin B looked like a gummy bear sleeping (could only see the heartbeat in his/her body) while twin A was active, moving about clearly and waving his/her arms.

I don't have a feel about their gender yet but we will know soon enough. I need to know to shop effectively. Right now I just get boys clothes if I don't see gender neutral ones. Girls can wear baby boys clothes and colors (Tom boys) but not the other way around.

If only the morning sickness will end so I can at least find the energy to read up on pregnancy, do what has to be done to prepare for their arrival, and enjoy the pregnancy, given that no matter what the outcome this time, it will be my last. Ever.

Monday, November 26, 2012

One and a half years of marriage

The past few weeks have been nothing short of tough on the relationship as we both had to adjust to the various changes (physical and lifestyle) but we made it through to the 18th monthiversary, something which I am truly grateful for.

More than ever, in my current state, I realize the importance of having a spouse who is supportive, encouraging and understanding. When one is in the pink of health or at least in control of one's body, it is far easier to reciprocate loving gestures/words, and to contribute to a relationship effectively.



I guess the test of the strength of a marriage is when one partner is simply unable to "pull one's weight" or do anything for the other partner. It calls for the other partner to give unconditionally and to pull double the weight to get the day to day done, and to do even more than before to maintain the relationship.

Thank you, my CEB for adapting to the changes in our lifestyle as best as you can, and for being all that I needed during this very tough period. We certainly hadn't expected or provisioned that this pregnancy would require so much sacrifice and adjustments (unlike the aftermath which we were aware of) but I'm glad that you were what I had expected - stepping up when needed. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The first day in weeks without a single puke

Yesterday, I did not puke at all. Couple of dry retches but no vomiting. I did not eat much (loss of appetite) that day, rested a lot and only ate my folic acid + vitamin B6 in the night instead of in the morning.

So as I prepared for bed, I thanked God repeatedly, heartily and sincerely for such a wonderful day. I was positive that the tide had finally turned given that it was time it should. I'll be lying if I said I wasn't worried at all about the twins but since all the other symptoms - heartburn, tender boobs, nausea (queasy) and a total loss of appetite were still present, I figured that this was God hearing my pleas and cries for mercy. It's been sometime that I have begged God so desperately to save me.

This morning I woke up still feeling decent. No appetite still but without excess saliva pooling or stomach churning - those are the first signs everything is going to hell for the rest of the day. I figured I would repeat what I did yesterday with respect to the vitamins in case that was the make or break factor.

So to start, I had a banana, a bowl of fishball kway teoh noodles (good stuff as it makes for easy regurgitation) and because the weather was hot, a cup of sugar cane juice with a little ice.

Within the next hour...vomit storm. I splattered the floor of a public restroom because I thought it would be a dry retch and in the car, in 30mins and over 5-7 bouts, I filled 2 plastic bags with vomit. When we got to the destination, I puked in the toilet again. There was a merciful 2 hour break when we were watching a movie after and then it was back to dry retching (as my stomach was empty). After a nice seafood dinner (which for me was a disaster because I could barely eat and puked whatever I ate right after), I had another 2 hours break till I got home where I popped a Zofran.

My body, you are such a let down which is already hard to forgive...and now you want to screw with my mind too. Getting my hopes up before dashing them down. See what you do once you are given power for the first time over the mind??!

Sigh. Why is it that despite how far we have come, robotic arms and face transplants, no one has come up with a SAFE sedative for pregnant women? A pill to get rid of morning sickness altogether would be too much to ask, I get that, but how about just that little sedative to give me some relief from this nightmare?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Valleys (and peaks)

I figured it out.

I won't be down forever. I won't be bed-bound forever. There will be a time sooner or later when my life can go back to what it was. I just need to ride these months out the best I can and wait for the up which will come.

The morning sickness has not abated in intensity which about broke me yesterday. It's supposed to get better but no no no, it hasn't. I had been looking forward to the end of this misery and counting down the weeks to go. Only to be bitterly disappointed. My teeth are going to rot at this rate - don't eat, puke bile and acidic juices (our stomach makes 2l of HCL), eat and puke up the food over the next 6 hours, every hour or so.

And I have absolutely lost my appetite. Nothing tastes good. I have no cravings, I can barely choke down whatever I order. It's a struggle to eat, to take care of myself.

Everyday I think of a bar on a computer screen - a large bar which is shaded partly to show much of the task at hand is completed. How many damn percent is done. It's excruciatingly slow but hey, there is an end to the bar.

And I will never ever undertake this task again. For anyone. I realize better now my folly, my utter stupidity, my ignorance and irrational as it sounds, I hate everyone who had been through this and failed to tell me how incapacitating pregnancy is but instead egged me on this path. It's irrational because I wouldn't have listened - would have done what I wanted - get knocked up - because I'm well, stupid and stubborn like that.

I figured since pregnancy isn't a God given right, and there is such a thing as advanced maternal age (which I'm just a couple of years shy of) which would impact on the ability to conceive and the health of the child, no time should be wasted in getting cracking after a year of married life. See where that thinking got me.

To be honest, these days with all the time to think in bed, when I look ahead and look back on my life, I have only one word to describe myself - Fool.

For squandering my youth and time.
For the bad choices I made again, again and again esp in the one area that I was given free reign in.

It's hard not to have regrets when I try to figure out the next steps. I just don't waste too much time kicking myself over these but let these be a lesson learnt when formulating the next steps.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The old man & his shoe

So, while researching on the web, I came across this story which I thought was well worth remembering:

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One day an old man boarded a bus. As he was going up the steps, one of his shoes slipped off. The door closed and the bus moved off so he was unable to retrieve it. The old man calmly took off his other shoe and threw it out of the window.

A young man on the bus saw what happened, and could not help going up to the old man and asking, "I noticed what you did, sir. Why did you throw out your other shoe?"

The old man promptly replied, "So that whoever finds them will be able to use them."

The old man in the story understood a fundamental philosophy for life - do not hold on to something simply for the sake of possessing it or because you do not wish others to have it.

We lose things all the time. The loss may seem to us grievous and unjust initially, but loss only happens so that positive changes can occur in our lives. We should not always assume that losing something is bad, because if things do not shift, we'll never become better people or experience better things. That's not to say of course that we only lose "bad" things; it simply means that in order for us to mature emotionally and spiritually, and for us to contribute to the world, the interchange between loss and gain is necessary.

Like the old man in the story, we have to learn to let go. The world had decided that it was time for the old man to lose his shoe. Maybe this happened to add momentum to a series of events leading to a better pair of shoes for the old man. Maybe the search for another pair of shoes would lead the old man to a great benefactor. Maybe the world decided that someone else needed the shoes more.

Whatever the reason, we can't avoid losing things. The old man understood this. One of his shoes had gone out of his reach. The remaining shoe would not have been much help to him, but it would be a cherished gift to a homeless person desperately in need of protection from the ground.

Hoarding possessions does nothing to make us or the world better. We all have to decide constantly if some things or people have run their course in our lives or would be better off with others. We then have to muster the courage to give them away.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Counting

I have never felt that any of all the misery I have been dealing with was caused by the twins. I have only pointed fingers at myself for my stupidity and my body for flipping me the bird when it comes to pregnancy.

So, you would understand if I decline the quick fix solution to this utter torture, suggested by a select few. Not when I have seen both of them active and baby-shaped, not just blobs of white against black. They each measure the same length, are both happily moving about each of their water homes and have a strong and steady heartbeat - I demanded a longer than usual look yesterday at the doctors because if anything had gone wrong since the last time we met 2 weeks ago, I would want what had to be done immediately so that the physical torment of exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and recently, diarrhea+insomnia would be over asap.

I didn't really expect any bad news yesterday (other than the fact I lost even more weight - no surprise there) given the intensity of the morning sickness. Neither did the doctor who seemed to believe that the worse the morning sickness, the better for the pregnancy.

Just to be clear, I haven't taken this pregnancy for granted esp since it is considered a high risk one (cos of twins). And I have not prepared or done anything as yet for the twins or gone around making announcements because I am well aware that unless you take home your baby live and healthy in your arms, there is no such thing as a guaranteed pregnancy. The fact is that, anything can happen, any week any time, even past the first trimester, and even as late as past the due date(& the baby is not delivered).

On a separate but related connection, maybe it's the profession I am in, and maybe it's my character too but I believe in justice and fairness, and expect reciprocity in treatment.

Evil must be met with evil and goodness with like.

If you have not shown me support or understanding during this period, expect not any care, concern or understanding from me going forward.

If you have failed to be respectful or kind, do not think for a moment I will be courteous or considerate to you.

If you are not willing to be responsible and to step up to what is required of the situation, then you will be treated accordingly - with contempt and ill will.

If you cannot act like a decent human bring, you will not be spoken to or addressed with decency.

Pregnancy doesn't make me nastier than I was. Pregnancy is instead an opportunity for me to learn more about myself and those I know, or rather thought I knew. And use what I have learnt, to make preparations for what must be done.

Monday, November 19, 2012

No constipation

Because I had the opposite of it today. It's a relief in a way but dehydration from the mess at that end means I am slightly feverish.

I still fail to see/catch a pattern to the sickness despite my blogging in terms of the timing when it strikes. The only two things I have learnt is (1) avoid cold drinks if possible - that almost always guarantees a "face to shit bowl" (2) sleep or rest as much as possible to trick the body into thinking its asleep. Doesn't always work but its the best I've got.

Asked my grandma last night how she did it 7 times, and she said she hadn't a choice - the grandfather wanted kids.

I had a choice. Ooooo (insert choice cuss words here). Blame the hormones but I am not the glowing radiant excited person with that cute little bump I envisioned. I am not that "starry eyed in love and wondering how miniature CEBs would turn out" wife anymore.

The daily fatigue, weariness, dry retching, nausea (washing machine belly), vomiting, constipation, back aches (oh stomach, How I miss flopping on you), lack of appetite, aversion to smells, fickle taste buds (lots of wasted food) and all the crazy hormones are K.I.L.L.I.N.G me.

It's not that I don't want to embrace my life, my work, my CEB as before. It's a case where the human will is just unable to overcome the physical limitations.

My emotions thankfully are not all over the place, it's flat for the most part, even with my CEB. I am happy for him to leave me alone on the bed without interaction. I am not clingy (yet) or loony (yet). No heated nasty quarrels, too tired for that.

When we disagree or either of us isn't happy, we just leave the other alone. I don't seethe in silence or cry when that happens - I just can't feel anything, being too pre occupied with my daily physical sufferings. And I could care less what he felt or what he was doing.

But but but, I find myself repulsed by his smell (something which I never knew he had throughout our marriage), angered with him when he insists on climbing over me in the morning for a cuddle and sweet talk when all I want is just to continue sleeping, irritated when he sits down or moves and thus jostles me on our king-sized bed when I am resting, and get this, weirdly enraged when he snores or make noises in his sleep as I try to fall asleep. Enraged to the point where I want to pinch his nose to shut him up, whether or not he wakes up. I think we are headed for separate beds until this period is over - nothing personal you understand.

I am not a nice person anymore (if I was never nice then I am worse now). I genuinely feel sorry for my CEB and try to be as undemanding and understanding as I possibly can. Of course I hope that this will be reciprocated and so far, he has been as good as he possibly knows.

He isn't perfect, I don't get the flowers and thank you gifts/words for all you are suffering to make us a complete family. I get called a useless wife when I refuse to get out of bed to make breakfast on a weekend but it isn't with any malice and he still has to do it himself (he needs to trade bodies with me for a day to get it), he still has to be nagged at to vacuum/mop and he appears to be oblivious to what needs to be done about the house.

As long as it doesn't impact me directly like, his snoring, wanting attention, or giving me work to do, I really don't have the energy to rag him so he's still not too badly off.

The tide is expected to turn any minute now and I am praying that like everything that has gone by the book throughout the past months,my condition turns the corner very soon and we can have some semblance of what used to be our life back.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good days v bad days

Yesterday I had an exceptionally good day - high energy level and no puking from 11am till 5pm

I thought that finally God had reached down and saved me from my misery, that I was finally released from the nightmare I'd been in the past weeks. I was so ready to go back to work, conquer the world, get my life back.

We even had a great dinner of black pepper crabs. And that's when shortly after, things slid downhill. I puked some of the dinner on the way home. And then more when we got back. I remember being wiped out when we got home. A 2 hours trip out = exhaustion.

Then this morning, I woke up with a rolling feeling in my stomach after I had taken a sip of the lemon water by my bedside. I knew it was going to be a bad day so I quickly popped one Zofran, yesterday I hadn't had any. I ate some crackers and a slice of bread to fill my stomach too without much fluids to see if I would be better.

No such luck - I threw up in the car one hour later, and again. Lots of sour stomach fluid and I felt dizzy. Had my CEB buy an isotonic drink to help balance the electrolytes.

Didn't feel so dizzy after but the drink made my stomach churn even more with the fizz - a warm gurgling that made me feel like puking even more.

So I did - twice before lunch and after lunch when I finally made it home where my sweet husband had vacuumed and some sort of mopped, I went to hug the toilet bowl (not him who said I smelled bad - of stale vomit I suppose - sitting in the car with a bag of puke next to me did that). No point getting up since I was going to puke more than once.

After that I continued to vomit 5 more times in that one hour - most if not all of lunch.

I don't know what to do anymore. Sea bands don't help, rooibos tea or sour plums don't either. And I can't stand ginger. Peppermint tea I am trying now (update: it doesn't help) but I can't believe that one of the strongest med for chemo, Zofran, isn't helping.

Neither is praying. I prayed for strength at church and to be saved from this morning sickness but I guess it's one of those times God says No. I tried not to vomit after service having received God but well, unless He was digested within a snap, I don't really know.

I feel I'm dying. I'm so exhausted after just a bit of walking, dizzy if I stand too long (ten minutes?), nauseated if I don't eat, having to puke if I eat. And I can't eat like I used to in terms of quantity. A mouthful too much more and everything rises up to my throat and its splat a roo. Eating expensive stuff is a pure waste since I can't keep the food, or much of the food down.

So now, my clothes are loose - I'm supposed to be gaining weight not losing, esp with twins but my body has decided to wage war against me. It's as I said, like my body is telling me "payback for neglecting me time!" Ok I don't slather myself in body cream every night or go to spas much, but that doesn't mean I need to be put through the grind like this.

I see the doctor again this week and the next week. I'm glad (though the bank account isn't), that visits are at least every 2 weeks - if something has gone wrong, I don't want to be suffering needlessly for longer than necessary. As I said to my CEB, I can't think beyond me me me and just me after all the physical hoops my body is making me jump through. As much as I love my CEB, love God's gifts to us which are the size of limes this week (how fast they grow), I cannot feel or think, much less do anything for my husband or the twins. When the body comes under serious attack, I guess the body and mind prioritizes on sustaining the primary organism first.

The only thing carrying me through this right now is my faith. God will not bring me to anything He won't carry me through, as I said before. That's what I keep telling myself, between the rounds of puking.

All 15 rounds of actual projectile vomiting today between 10am to 8pm. I have a fever too - from the vomiting I suppose. It has been a really awful day - one of the worst. Can't get the taste of vomit out of my mouth and I can smell the stink of my breath. Took another Zofran tonight. It's going to be hell to pay I know for my other end but this is so very bad I need the relief like NOW, or rather yesterday already.

And the latest hypothetical question I have (as if I could choose but well it's fun to delude myself) - would I have alternate bad days (like today) and good days (like yesterday with less than 5 pukes) or just average days (5-10 pukes and dry retching)?

You go figure. And by the way, dry retching feels like the food in your stomach is squeezed into a solid fist which is then punched upwards from your gut to the middle of your chest. The pain radiates to the rib cage and nothing comes out of your mouth so like a piston, the fist, the knot punches again and again till you can hardly breathe and are doubled over. Sweet.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Undoing.

Not all things can be undone without consequences. Or cost.

And I'm not talking about the time or money spent in the doing. That's sunk and irrecoverable.

I'm talking about the going forward to undo.

I don't believe in looking back and regretting the decisions I have made (although it is inevitable in moments of weakness I do). Because it doesn't change what has been done or my current predicament, which is what it would not have been if I had made a different decision then.

I think it's best to think, comfort myself, that whatever decision I made was the best and practically, the only one I could have given all the circumstances then. That way, I leave No room for regrets and "should haves".

Which brings me now to an important decision that I (THINK) I have to make unfortunately. Other than my notorious history of wallowing, agonizing and refusing to make the tough decisions that so obviously need to be made, why I blogging about this one is because I feel frustrated and mad my hands are so bound when it comes to this decision.

By law.

For now, that is. There will come a time though when the cost of obedience to those laws is too high a price to pay and I would risk all and incur the cost and bear the consequences to proceed to undo what has been done.

I'm just wondering when that time will come. And no, I'm not referring here to my current predicament despite the hell the hormones are putting me through.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Devil or the deep blue sea

Like the alternatives I have been presented in life, once more I am forced to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

I chose Zofran this morning and had an agonizing one hour on the bowl. I think I'm blowing blood out from the wrong hole now when I let out the inevitable stink bomb.

Then, I developed an unrelenting headache that felt like I was wearing a steel crown that was way too small and being tightened every hour.

That, left me as incapacitated today as the nausea+vomiting. Or rather, I got far more done yesterday than today, work wise. I don't know which is worse anymore. When I am vomiting, I think I am on hell. When I have such a massive headache, I think that's hell. Told ya - it's between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Or maybe not - I was offered a "brilliant" suggestion last night. The motivation behind it was hardly malice or spite but more of self-interest. It made me think of Saw, the movie - the testing of the lengths pp will go to in the name of self preservation. It also made me think of the obnoxious diabetic obese prick I was once with, for he would have asked me to do the same thing so that he would not be inconvenienced.

Well, we all know how that engagement ended. He's still on the market after all this time, and still trying to use his family backing to give him a toehold in the dating game.

As for this person who came up with such a "brilliant" solution to my problems, I say, what goes around comes around in due time. God hears, the Universe hears, Heaven hears and Fate hears what you have uttered and there will be consequences, that you can be sure of.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Whine Part X

It's a vicious cycle - if the stomach is empty, the nausea increases and when I go eat something, I end up puking it out. So because I hate puking, I don't eat and then my stomach starts churning like a washing machine and then I am vomiting out bile or dry retching till I am in agony. There is just no winning in this situation.

I have tried all sorts of mind tricks - telling myself to pretend that I am as I was before all this happened and telling myself to breathe deep and think of calming thoughts when I feel as sick as a dog BUT my body betrays me. And if you think for a moment that vomiting makes me feel better instead of just feeling queasy, you need to get food poisoning already.

Then there is all that excess saliva in the mouth which makes me want to puke. Spit and more spittle collects. This is like a cosmic joke. And on top of this all (all including constipation), I get dizzy easily if I stand up right away or if I stand too long. I read that this is because of the increased blood volume.

I am for all intents and purposes, rendered useless, a prisoner of my own body which has developed a vicious mind of its own - payback time for the times I neglected to pamper it?

Asked myself the big old question - what am I going to do about this? Well well tell me what more could I do short of killing myself (which unfortunately is no longer the last card I can play in this hand life dealt me without me being a murderer)?

Prayed? Check. Maybe should pray harder. Keep telling myself God will not bring me to anything that He will not see me through. Asked for anti nausea pills? Check. Gotten 1 of the strongest meant for cancer patients and we all know how well that worked.

Think positive? Check. You don't want to know how many pep talks I have given myself just to get through each day - be grateful for what The Good Lord has given, how many women would kill to have what you do. Scared myself? Check. The Good Lord can easily take away what he has given... And at this point after heaving my guts out with tears running down my face, my throat sour & acidic and my knees on the ground knocking together from the spasms, you know what, I am actually praying my miserable life will end there and then. Yeah.

It's no use saying that this is temporary and will pass in time. Everything is temporary and will pass in due course - life included. This saying is no comfort to the suffering who live each moment out in misery. I have heard even more stupid advice for my plight - blame your kids when they are out. Erm, yeah, that's so the purpose I am suffering through this to have them right???

I did not take Zofran this morning and as I type this,....ok I am back from another round of kneeling at the toilet bowl vomiting out acidic stomach juices. My throat hurts now like its on fire but I am still not going to take Zofran.

Both types of pain, from vomiting bile and from constipation can really go head to head on the pain o meter scale. And it isn't just physical (although that is the bulk), I also wonder which activity - stomach spasms from puking or stomach spasms from straining is more prejudicial to my current state.

Oh wait. Snap. Current literature on the net say neither - it is the Mother who bears it All. Did I expect otherwise?

And did I say too - I am not putting myself through this process ever again! I write this again and again and Again so the future me reading back on my experiences as laid out in this blog won't forget. Ever.

A month ago I asked my friend who had to take unpaid leave for 10months (& she was earning close to 5 digits) whether she thought it was worth it in the end because I was close to dying from the puking then. She said yes. I asked why. She said the feeling when her daughter looks at her like she is the greatest thing ever makes it all worthwhile. I think she really believes that because after that horrific experience, she had her No 2 girl just 3 years later. But when I heard her answer my heart sank - all this suffering for a feeling? A feeling I have lived quite happily my whole life without?

Unlike her, who is now planning to retire early and take care of her two young ones (she wants a third!), I have this blog and I therefore can pen down every detail of misery so I won't forget in this lifetime how this process has been for me. IT SUCKS EGGS! DON'T EVER GET YOURSELF IN THIS HELL HOLE AGAIN!

Oy, just oy. Since things are the way they are for me now, I guess I have no choice but to go suck it up and lie in the bed I made. Go me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waking up and 1 week closer

I start the day wondering if I am going to puke. The answer is usually a resounding yes.

And that's why I prefer to stay asleep for as long as I can.

I don't dare not to pop Zofran in the morning after the day I tried to go meds free but I am still questioning its efficacy since I end up puking 2 hours right after taking the same. And then puking at least 7-8 times more a day.
Esp after each meal or drink (cold drinks in particular).

I wish I could see into my uterus at will to keep me going through this nightmare. My current greatest fear is that something has gone wrong days ago and I am suffering needlessly, being tortured for nothing. If something has gone wrong, I would like to have my body back, unshared as before, thank you v much.

Guess I will find out in a weeks time , a week closer to when this morning sickness is supposed to go away. It has to go away, please. I cannot imagine living out the balance of the time needed in this state or worse.

Excuse me while I go and wallow. I did not take Zofran this morning (the side effect of constipation is a killer) and am now battling the lovely feeling of nausea (feeling of food up to the throat and stomach churning) and dry retching in bed.

Edited to add: After typing the word retching in the para above, I was seized by a series of uncontrollable retches that brought up acidic bile and had me running to the toilet. Where I stood trying to fight the convulsions (while wondering if this is how my CEB would find me - dead and covered in bile slumped on the toilet floor) which eventually brought me to my knees.
Gave up and popped a zofran right after. Guess this is confirmation that I can't live without heavy duty anti nausea medication.

Vomiting every two hours versus a min of body wrenching bile producing retching convulsions...cool choices, no?

Please body, just dang adjust already to the altered state of things. Get used to being shared and all that hormone stuff already. If there was ever a time when I needed you to really get it together, it's now.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Things will get better...right?

Eyes on the prize(es), Light at the end of the tunnel...*roll eyes. *Pleeeeease!

I have a massive headache and am exhausted from sending just one email. Just dry retching so far, thanks to Zofran but the side effects - fatigue and a pounding headache have rendered me just as incapacitated. Oh, and the constipation is agony when on the bowl. I am suffering as I never have.

And the worst bit of it all is that it's all my fault. There are choices, and there are choices. Esp when it comes to matters of my body that I have absolute control over. If this suffering was something that happened to me without choice, I would be well within my rights to bemoan and lament my fate to the world. As it is, I can only curse myself repeatedly, daily, hourly, with each puke, for choosing this path and giving up all that was great in my life.

Now, some women say they would do anything to be in this position. These are of course those who have never experienced being dehydrated with IVs inserted into the back of one hand and having their arteries plunged with a needle to draw blood when their veins are deemed too tortured to draw blood from. Never spent weeks on a hospital bed with unwashed greasy hair, and had to be bathed by nurses. Never suffered the consecutive retching that leaves one's stomach in knots from the pain, the erosion of their teeth enamel from all the vomiting, the indignity of having a doctor dig the shit from one's arse because one is too constipated and everything is just lodged in there, the daily task of having to examine one's underwear to determine if the blood is from the front or back or both. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side, especially if one has never been to the other side.

Now, I can say that having walked these miserable weeks on the other side, I will never ever choose to take such a walk again. Never ever. Screw societal and parental expectations. And Even if it was our marriage at stake, I will not put my body or mind through this.

I don't blame my CEB the least for my predicament (although at my lowest I do outloud), it was my choice. He could not have made me do this if I didn't agree.

I only feel so sorry for him that the great life we had together as two of us has changed so drastically. And I can't even promise him that at the end of this journey, that great life would be restored. Because that's unlikely with the new demands and responsibilities placed on us.

My poor CEB. I love the poor sod so much still - even these nights as I lay awake plagued by insomnia and watch him sleeping next to me, I still have the tenderest feelings and often reach over to take his hand or rub his back. So I feel really awful for him because my actions if affection are so severely limited - cuddling is out cos once on the bed, inertia and I are bosom buddies. Mohammed can no longer go to the mountain. The mountain must come to Mohammed.

I can't wait for this phrase of my life to be over. And I am filled with newfound respect for womanhood. I read somewhere, in relation to Silent Hill, that to a child, Mother is God (why Alessa spared Dahlia). Only now do I begin to scratch the surface of understanding this.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Trying to go meds-free for a day

I'm going to do what I do best - whine. And whine some more.

When I wasn't incapacitated, I had an awesome life. This blog is somewhat a testimony to that - the places I have travelled, food I have savored, the indulgence in my beloved fishing or domestic forays.

I basically did whatever I pleased, within my financial/time constrains, health was never a factor that held me back.

Now, I am humbled. Felled. Brought to my knees (literally to hug the toilet bowl). Everything that I once was, I no longer am. Everything I could once do, I can't even dream of. Yes, not even the comforting thoughts of food which I once used to indulge in to lull me to sleep. For now, the mere thought of food, esp cold food makes the bile rise unpleasantly up my throat.

I woke up this morning feeling slightly better than normal and decided to go anti-nausea meds free given all the nasty side effects like insomnia and constipation. Just the sea bands and vitamin.

Well, instead of two hourly pukes, I puked thrice in 2 hours. So I guess the meds do help somewhat. It's just whether I want to trade off vomiting against painful bloody constipation or insomnia. Don't I love my choices?

And no, I do not derive any comfort from the "fact" that the worse the nausea/puking, the better it is for this situation.

I want my nightmare to end already. Before it ends me or I end up in hospital.

The sayings "what doesn't break you makes you stronger" and "it's all in the mind" are just so inapplicable for this type of situation where it is the body betraying your will.

I have told myself a million times "Do not throw up", "Do not Think of throwing up" , "Think of a calm beach and white sand". And still..... GAG Puke. Rinse. Retch. Retch. Puke.

I'm seriously tired of this all.

ETA: I gave up and popped a zofran in the evening. That was after retching consecutively from a standing position that brought me all the way down to my knees to hug the toilet bowl. I thought I would pass out from the stomach convulsions and inability to catch my breath. Bah. So much for a meds free day. My life is really in the pits.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Two isn't always better than one

Zofran, Reglan and Vit B6 aren't working for me.

Retch. Puke. Retch. Puke. Every 2 freaking hours. Still.

Zofran gave me constipation. That was awful. And it didn't work to add insult on top of injury. Two hours after taking it - puke-a-roo.

Reglan gave me a massive headache. I thought someone had taken a syringe and stabbed me in the side of my head. It hurt that much. And I felt even more tired, if that's possible. 3 hours later, hello food that went down earlier.

I'm so sick and miserable. I cannot recall when in my life I was this badly off. Retching and puking is exhausting - I can't get the smell of vomit out of my nose. My poor CEB smells puke too - on his pillow, in the bathroom.

I feel sorry for him. He doesn't have a wife to speak of anymore. Cuddle? He gets pushed away with a mumbled leave me alone so I can sleep. What are we eating for dinner tonight? He gets told I don't know and don't care cos I have lost my appetite totally and will puke it up anyway.

When the poor fellow crawled over me this morning and bravely landed a kiss on his wife's puke-smelling cheek, my heart just about broke for the sorry sod. Cos instead of a reciprocal token of love, he got shoved away with a snarl and a "I am not doing this ever again."

And no sir, I am not. Choosing to make the transition from singlehood to marriage life with my CEB was an awesome rewarding decision. Oh, the places we have been, how we have enjoyed ourselves together around the world from as close as JB to as far as Peru.

Choosing to pursue what we, or should I say, I (since it was largely my idea) thought was the next step after marriage has not proved to be such a wise decision. If I could turn back time, I would clock my old self over the head hard for being such a damn fool to try to conform to societal and parental expectations.

Delusional. Stupid. I wrote off my close friend's miserable experience ( she had to take 10months of unpaid leave) as something that would not happen to me. I only saw what I wanted to - pictures on Facebooks, friends making the whole process seem like a damn breeze- grinning and getting back to work with their figures restored in no time, daily/monthly updates of the end result.

And now I know better. There are the lucky ones and there are the unlucky ones. And in this sort of situation, there is nothing you can do, good deeds, kind thoughts etc that can influence the luck of the draw.

And I drew the short end of the stick. While there are cases which are far worse, I have lost weight instead if gained and the doctor spoke of hospitalization yesterday if I continued down the slippery slope. It wasn't that he was not sympathetic, just factual - Every unpleasant aspect of my current state is unfortunately multiplied twice. Having more sometimes isn't necessarily a good thing.

How did my life deteriorate so rapidly? Oh wait, yeah, it was my stupid decision. Paying the price now. Things are supposed to get better in a matter of a few weeks (really???!!!) and while that sounds like a short period of time, believe me that gagging, retching and vomiting every 2 hours when awake daily for the next one month feels like an eternity.

I (think) I am done whining today. I need to go puke (love the excessive saliva hah) again and then crawl back to the stinky bed to plonk my incapacitated self.

No matter what, this will be the final time I get myself in this predicament. Seriously. Having crossed the bridge and walked in these shoes, there is no way in hell anyone will persuade me to go through this again. No way. I write this post as a reminder less my stupid self forgets, which is supposed to be one of the other effects of this situation I am in. Simply lovely ain't it?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

17 months of marriage

I almost forgot. Or rather, I did forget till today, 2 days later. My CEB forgot too - we spent the 26th in JB. We had porridge for lunch at Tang Shifu followed by a movie Silent Hill 3D ( the 3D effects were amazing, the best we've seen for any 3D movie so far) and Pizza Hut for dinner. Yeah I know, Pizza Hut on our monthiversary - we would have gone some place fancier if we had remembered

Or maybe not given how of late everything I eat, or should I say, am able to eat ends up in the toilet. I need a new digestive tract - this one has been giving me pure hell. I thought the first 2 weeks of Oct were awful, and I thought things would get better but no, no such break. I am one self-absorbed bloated nauseous bag of misery.

I am barely functional most days. I lie in bed the entire day, praying for the sweet succor of sleep (and for as long as possible so I don't have to endure each awful waking moment), I leave letters unopened, emails (work included) abandoned, smses not read/answered and housework not done because I just don't feel well enough to. I just want to close my eyes and not be inhabiting my current body for the next months.

It's amazing that when you thought life couldn't get any worse, it does. It's even more amazing to me now how foolish I was to ascribe to the theory of mind over body, how it's all in the mind.

The mind does not make my mouth water with excessive saliva, or my stomach rumble with loud digestive noises, or have me running for the toilet bowl or plastic bags where I can dry retch or vomit in helplessly, regardless of time or place. The mind does not cause my stomach to constrict painfully if I try to bite off more than I can chew. The mind does not cause me to smell everything and everyone I come across (and some pp smell bad enough for me to hold my nose less i hurl).The mind does not make me gag uncontrollably when I think, just think of fresh food.

Where I used to like cooking, I hate the sight and smell of uncooked food. I feel nauseated by the thought, just the thought of raw veg or meat. And while I can still eat, it is not in the quantities I used to. Besides most of what goes down comes up unpleasantly and loudly.

So yes, in all my self-absorption at my pathetic current state, I did forget we have been married 17 months. And I really shouldn't (why else would I make the effort to type this entry on my iPhone5? Can't find energy to switch on laptop) because my CEB has been a gem of a husband.

Yes, a gem to a wife who does not perform any wifely duties but lies in bed like a beached whale. This wife stopped cooking, washing clothes or dishes , packing stuff, hanging clothes and ironing clothes. This wife can't cuddle like before or even make decent conversation over dinner, or be arsed to go out to the hall to watch tv together.

And my CEB has nobly picked up ALL the slack around the house without grumbling or a word of resentment/anger. I feel bad for him. And if my body would cooperate, I would do something about it.

But it isn't cooperating despite my best intents. And won't for the weeks to come. I am scouring the net for any remedy for this situation (which is as old as time), desperate enough to even look for solutions from other races, but it seems that what works for others isn't working for me. With all the technology out there, I am distressed someone hasn't invented that magical little pill that comes completely without side effects to save so many women from this horrible awful misery. And so I suffer without ability to seek solace in what I once did - food or thoughts of food that I would consume. So while I have pictures of food in the phone that I have tasted twice - going down and coming up - I can't blog about food. And since I can't travel much or fish in my current stage, I basically have nothing to write about that is remotely like what I used to. *shake head.

Please let this awful stage pass as quickly as possible. How did I underestimate the length of time!

My CEB really deserves better for I am no better than the sad stuffed creature he has aptly placed on my side of our king-sized bed. Let us hope by the time our 18th monthiversary rolls around, I haven't been replaced by Buaticus for good!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Absence and my CEB turns 3*

I didn't mean to neglect my blog but this is the first time in 2 weeks that I've actually had a laptop opened and running on my lap. Not by choice unfortunately, it wasn't the best 2 weeks I've had in my life, in fact, I'll say close to the worst I've experienced to date, but things are as they are. And I don't know if I can can find the energy to continue blogging as I used to given that I can barely crawl out of bed each morning or keep my eyes open for that matter. I hear things get better over time so I am hopeful but till then, I have to apologize for the lack of updates.

On another note, in a matter of hours, my CEB is going to be one year older and from the look of things (he's fixing his toy robots now), nothing very much has changed about him and I am perfectly happy for him to stay this way - Fuss-free, responsible and thus easy enough to love.

I am lucky to be married to a good man, and even luckier to be in love with my husband. Happy Birthday, my love, may you find true happiness and be blessed with good health and joy as you grow one more year older.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

16 months of marriage

So we roll around to yet another month of marriage bliss. Any surprise there? No. Any changes? Of course - life is all about change, isn't it? But there are only some changes that can be disclosed, and others which need to be kept just between the couple. :P



This time last year, we were on our honeymoon in South America. It was an awesome time. This time this year, we are not holidaying at all in any way but it is still awesome. It's all in the mind, or rather it is all about the company. And while present company isn't perfect, my CEB will do just fine. He's been picking up the slack around the house (the housework!) and been as he puts it a "Very Good Tiger". I can't dispute that...I can only pray that he stays that way!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An accident at home

Now, despite our best intentions, accidents at home are pretty common and the past 2 weeks have been buaya drama-filled.

I'd sent Buah Buah to my mother for a good washing after my CEB complained that the creature felt dirty. I guess my mother did not sun Buah Buah long enough because there was a damp foul-smelling blackish stain on the creature's chest when I took it back home. Despite sunning it for 5 days, the stain was still there so I took the creature back to my mother's house for another washing. It was either that or hearing my CEB go on every single night about wanting to put Buah Buah in our fridge (ions) to try to repair him.

So, the night I brought Buah Buah home, I happened to be blowing my hair dry in the master bedroom in the night. And my CEB had the most "brilliant" idea that I should use my expensive hairdryer (which had ions) to blow dry the dark stain on Buah Buah (see pic below). I thought it was unnecessary since the creature was rather dry but my CEB insisted (he's mad over ions since we bought our fridge) so I obliged him.


I put Buah Buah over my knee, set the hair dryer to the highest setting and pressed the mouth of the hair dryer up against that dark looking patch on his chest for maximum effect. I didn't think it would do any damage because a hair dryer is meant for hair. Even the highest setting shouldn't damage hair.

Well, when I lifted the hair dryer away from the creature's chest, to my horror, a 20 cent patch of fur had been burnt clean away. We could see the white stuffing in Buah Buah and the edges of the hole were seared. And that was when I was in for at least 2 more weeks of listening to my CEB go on about his stupid beloved creature. Darn.


Now, I would love to say that I was the one who repaired the creature but my sewing skills are dismal - I can sew on a button and that's about it. My mother on the hand is excellent with the needle so for the third time in a month, I found myself bundling the creature in my car and driving to her house. My CEB had bought some felt material from Daiso for her to patch up the creature (I do believe he put in more effort for the ugly creature than he does for many other things) so I left both the creature and the packet of felt stuff for her to work her magic


Three days later, I happened to be driving by her house when I decided to pop by with some food for her and I discovered that Buah Buah was all repaired with a large heart sewed perfectly on him! I am so very proud of my mother for her amazing repair skill.

And guess who was the happiest man ever when he came home that night? I didn't tell my CEB that I had brought Buah Buah home but asked him to close the kitchen windows when he got back and off he went to return clutching the creature that I had hung up on the poles to sun!

Looks like Buah Buah is back for good in our bed! I tell you, I never thought my marriage life would be full of such fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feast @ East - A pretty decent Nyonya Buffet

We have been to the Sunday lunch time Nyonya buffet at Feast @ East (Grand Mercure Hotel) twice in the past month, primarily because of our Accor card which affords us a 50% discount on the buffet (about SGD45 for 2 of us with tax included).

The spread of food is nothing to shout about - in fact, I'll say that you would be sorely disappointed if you were looking for quality. In fact, the Japanese sashimi section is limited to just salmon.

The focus is on Nyonya food and on some days, they have Ngoh Hiang which is very good according to my Teochew in-laws and my CEB. However on other days they have lamp chop instead or poh piah. I've loved poh piah since young and could not wait to help myself to unlimited rolls of the good stuff when I spied the item at the food counter. However, the experience was disappointing because despite the superior quality of the skin used, the skin was hard and tasteless.

The buffet also serves Or Lah - Fried oysters in flour. I don't eat this dish at all but my mother and CEB both thought that the restaurant did a bad job on this one too.

So why the return trips? The Laksa. It's been a long time since all of us have had really good laksa and the thick flavorful gravy of the laksa had us coming back for more - round after round. I had 3 bowls one visit, and 4 the next! It was that good. The laksa does not come with prawns - just fishcakes, 1/2 a egg and clams but one can always add prawns from the cold spread (prawns, mussels, scallops).

It also helps that the restaurant does a pretty decent durian puree and serves slices of cheese cakes, chocolate brownies and durian cakes for desserts.

There is also a chendol and ice kachang machine in addition to tubs of ice-cream, and trays full of kuehs - the rainbow colored ones, the rice based ones (See pic above) and all sorts of sweets from the 80s. I had some of the Rabbit ones which I loved when I was a kid! The sago and corn dessert were also very good!

The Slog Reviews: 7/10. The spread of food is limited and the quality of the cooked food very average. Having a buffet here only makes sense if one wants to have Nyonya / 80s food to gorge on, or if one gets a one for one buffet.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Herbal black chicken soup and Aerogaz slow cooker

I read on the net that cooking Chinese herbs in a metal pot is not advisable because (somehow) the metal causes the herbs to lose their efficacy. So after looking around a bit, I decided to buy the 3litre Aerogaz slow cooker from Giant last Sat to cook the black chicken I had bought.

I also bought the 2 herbs I needed - Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal) and Huai Shan from Giant since I saw the herbs there. The rest of the other herbs that I used were dang gui, dang shen, wolfberries and red longans. Now, my good ole mama told me that I needed to pour hot water into the crockpot so I boiled water separately and poured that into the pot over the herbs. Then I added the chicken from another pot that I used for blanching it. After that I set the slow cooker on auto-cook and left the house.

When I got home about 5 hours later, the entire kitchen and rooms were filled with an earthy herbal aroma. I found the chicken bubbling away in a delicious herbal concoction. Even after I switched off the electricity to the slow cooker, the pot kept the soup warm for a period of time. Just before we dug into the dish, I set the cooker to fast stew (which didn't seem to do much in 5-10mins) and the meat was by then so tender that it fell off the bones of the black chicken.

I think my CEB rather liked the soup as I did although he doesn't eat black chicken for no better reason that that the color is unappealing. That's alright - more for me! I had half the chicken for dinner while he ate the spinach dish and the tom kar gai with prawns dish which I had cooked for him in the tanyu pot I bought from Groupon. That pot is really easy to clean and seems to keep the food warm a pretty long time.

I tell you, I never thought I would end up so "domesticated" when just 2 years ago, I could not cook anything more than instant noodles. I'm just happy now that I have the time to indulge a little in the homely side of things before that gets taken out of my hands by circumstances.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My last offshore fishing trip of 2012 (18-19 July)

Yes, for the same reason that travelling via plane will not be something that I will be doing for the next few months, I have just hung up my fishing gear for the rest of the year. It is very hard to put aside something that one loves so much (and I've just acquired an ice box from Carrefour the last weekend!) but time and circumstances dictate otherwise. I'm going to miss the sparkling blue of the sea, the wait with the rod in hand, the lapping of the waves....

And of course, the thrill of a great hook-up Anyway I wanted to blog about this trip not only because it is the last fishing trip for me this year but also because of a very unusual hook-up I had this trip.

Now you might be thinking - a greasy grouper! What's the big deal? But let me tell ya, I caught this table-sized grouper on sabiki size 8 hooks! Here's the evidence below, you can see the sabiki rig and my friend's Size 12 sandal next to the grouper (to give an indication of its size). The grouper was chasing the smaller fishes that usually takes the sabiki bait and in biting its prey, it got hooked too! From the two other hooks stuck in its body, it might have tried to escape but well, with 3 sabiki hooks in it, its day of reckoning has come.

Now, this trip was a far cry from the previous trip on this boatman's boat where we had a massive haul. I guess I should have known when he said that it was sotong season but I didn't expect that the bottom fishing would be so bad with the abundance of sotong eating the prawns. The school of tenggiri which we had hunted 2 months back had dispersed according to the boatman and so back to bottom fishing we went.

Now, I have to confess that although a squid has absolutely no fight when it is caught, I still enjoy that tug on the my jig when I am casting and retrieving, casting and retrieving. The pull by the sotong on the jig never fails to take me my surprise as I am retrieving line and then it's come to Mama time as I reel in the sorry greedy squid.

We caught a sackload of squids this trip - I think I caught about 11 pieces altogether on the first day and another 10 pieces on the second day. It would have been great if I ate sotong but that's the one seafood that I absolutely detest!

Thankfully, the other anglers on board managed to catch other fishes such as a large chermin. We saw lots of leather jackets at the surface nibbling away at our baits on the sabiki but no matter which size sabiki hooks we used, we failed to hook up the leather jackets. It was frustrating to watch them take the bait and even follow it all the way up close to the surface. The boatman said it was because their mouths were too hard for us to set hook.

We had dinner at a different restaurant this fishing trip instead of our usual Restaurant Rompin Bahru. The reason is of course the proximity of this new restaurant to the jetty and our chalet. The boatman and 1 other angler caught a red grouper which we cooked with the chermin. And of course lots of deep fried squid.

This was our haul to be split from the two days of fishing after us having eaten most of the good fishes over 2 dinners. The very red fish on the right was what I had caught on sabiki too. It's in my freezer now waiting to be cooked by yours truly! And yeah, we pretty much wiped out the ang kor li clan (left of picture).

I am proud to say I caught the most of the ang kor li on board the boat - not so much by luck but by pure diligence. When we hit the ang kor li spot, I changed to a sabiki rig (large size hooks) and put prawn heads/tails on the hooks before lowering the same to the bottom and just waiting. Always the pull, the ugly bend of the rod, and then me reeling it to bring up at least 2 ang kor li at a time. Then the reaching for the pliers to shake off the fishes into a pail, and then setting my rig again before lowering it to catch more.

My friend used some of my ang kor li to go after Tenggiri/Sail Fish or I would have more to show for the trip. The other angler holding the chermin also went after bigger game but someone has got to go after the smaller fishes and ang kor li makes for great eating! My mum fried some of the ang kor lis with tumeric powder and it was all just delicious!