In the blink of an eye 20 days have passed since my previous post. During the course of the Easter holidays I have been to Italy and back, to Amsterdam and back, got jittery about the impending examinations (20 days to the first paper as of today) and submitted the last coursework ever for this year. I have submitted a total of 8 pieces of coursework for this whole academic year and that has been enough to really wear me out mentally. I am honestly so done with the whole process of reading, writing and editing with no clue of my eventual grade because my gut feeling doesn’t turn out right all the time. Bowei mentioned something about how he could not wait to do his dissertation because most of his undergraduate course is ‘taught’, here I am on the opposite. I actually fear doing my dissertation because the data acquisition, analyses and literature search would be so much more intensive than what I am currently doing. What if all the effort translates to a shitty grade at the end of everything simply because I cannot communicate the depth of my analyses well enough? I fear regretting my choice of dissertation topic at the very end even though I currently think I would enjoy the process. At times when I am so tired of doing (irrelevant?) readings I miss the days in high school when I was spoonfed with content and test questions that were similar to what would be examined eventually.

The new work year has started and hence it is time for IPPT too. In intensive preparation for IPPT (because I have been lazy) I have been doing tons of push-ups and sit-ups and running every alternate day, and it scares me how unfit I am now compared to my glorious past. My muscle aches were so bad I felt crippled, I could not raise my arms properly when removing my clothes or when placing the showerhead over my head. What a potato I have become. I am still aiming for gold so this crippled self of mine would be ongoing till I get it over and done with; hopefully this should encourage me to work harder next year in terms of my fitness aspirations. I certainly do not want to grow up being a potato. In squeezing time for working out I have found that my life gets more organised, the same happened last year. I like how my days pen out now so let’s hope I can continue to stay organised all the way until the examinations are over.

When exams are round the corner you tend to do a lot of miscellaneous things (rubbish) that are not that interesting on a daily basis. I started being more keen on my Korean language learning and doing Korean language exercises, something that I always put off because of “coursework” in the past few months (in other words, lazy). I have also been reading tons of Dayre blogs, more than usual actually, and one Dayre community that caught my eye was the TTC community. It is a small community of mothers who are/have been trying their best to conceive naturally, and many have found themselves in the IVF process eventually because of the failure to have a baby. Some of them cite having a baby as a “miracle”, and one mother even mentioned that she always thought herself to be a planner, planned everything in her life out including when she wanted to have a child, but her plans fell through because there was no “baby dust” even after two years of trying.

As a 20-year-old uninvolved individual I am little aware of the difficulties of conceiving. I mean because I have never tried of course. But I really feel for these mothers when I read how nonchalantly some people talk about their (unwanted/accidental) pregnancies. They cry because of the loss of freedom, whine about the loss of honeymoon period with their newly-wedded wives/husbands or even abort because a baby is going to be unwelcome in their lives at that moment. Granted, most individuals including myself would probably not be selfless enough to give up everything in our lives right now if a child ever comes by, and I really respect those who do (I have a coursemate at my age who has a toddler son). But I believe the words of these insensitive individuals, especially those who publicise “accidental pregnancies” as an unfortunate event despite being married, would really get to the TTC community. I can really sense the envy or even jealousy in their word posts when they speak about peers and relatives around them getting pregnant so easily (within 1 year = easy). I suppose it makes it worse knowing that it is something you cannot work hard for… right? You can only pray for lady luck, do superstitious things like rubbing the bellies of fertility statues and fortune-telling at the temple. After reading so much I found that IVF is truly a tiring process — it is expensive, it requires daily jabs (yucks), multiple consultations to check the sperm quality and follicle counts, an extended period of medical leave, and last, the anticipation (and potential disappointment) for the development of the embryos. I was following one blog recently and she did not manage to make it through on her current IVF cycle, again. She also mentioned how the repeated IVF cycles were going to cause her to menopause much earlier (extraction of 17 eggs = moving your period forward by 17 cycles), and this undesirable outcome was made worse by the fact that her embryos did not make it. I already felt so disheartened for her without any background knowledge/context myself and I really cannot imagine what it feels like to be in her position, desperately wanting to be a parent yet failing again and again each time.

Some sexism also comes in when relatives (especially mother-in-laws) question why they haven’t had a child even after such a long time of getting married. The blame was somewhat hinted at the wife for this particular individual (“why are you not pregnant”), but I suppose it was awkward to even bring up the fact that it was the problem with her husband’s low sperm count. I guess it’s just sad that she could not bring up her husband’s infertility as the probable cause for the failure to conceive because of his ego, which would be left for a conversation another day.

I pray for everyone around me to be healthy and lucky enough to conceive in the future, and I hope that people I love do not have to suffer the mental torture of wondering whether they will ever get to be parents in this lifetime.

I am sorry to myself for not blogging more than I should. Please blog more.


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