IUI, IVF, ICSI, Medical Genetics, Andrology and Sexology,
Laproscopic Surgery & Neonatology
Lata Manamohan , -
With profound sense of gratitude we would like to convey our heartfelt feelings about our success at last at CRAFT, Kodungallur, Kerala after nearly 18 years of struggle. My wife, Smt. Lata Manamohan, IF No. 3096/14, has delivered a healthy, pretty baby girl on 5th August, 2016 at 37.4 weeks of gestation. Of course, she is a gift from CRAFT, Kodungallur, a “CRAFT Baby”.
Actually, words fail to accurately describe our feelings, we are ever so thankful to the CRAFT, Kodungallur for our bundle of joy. We especially thank the reassuring Dr. Ashraf Sir, we cannot ever forget him and would always have highest regards for him throughout our life. We are so grateful to Dr. Noushin, for her care, concern and encouragement. We are also so thankful to Dr. Sankalp Singh for his few, but matter of fact words. In a single sentence the closest we can say is that “we have received Almighty’s blessings through CRAFT Kodungallur”.
Our Journey towards our Bundle of Joy
Our journey began during August, (28th) 2014, after about 16 years of struggle to have our baby at various places, in Bangalore and Chennai, we have decided to adopt a baby, one of my students from Kerala persuaded me to see once Dr. Ashraf at CRAFT, Kodungallur. Dr. Ashraf readily responded to our e.mail for consultation, we flew from Bangalore to Cochin airport and from there hired a cab to Kodungallur, for our surprise, we couldn’t meet Dr. Ashraf as he was away for an important meeting at Ernakulam, however, we persisted and the staff called him, and he thankfully responded saying that he would be back by 5:00 PM and in the meantime we met Dr. Sankalp Singh and proceed with various tests, when we were enthusiastic and asked about our chances, Dr. Sankalp Singh, in his usual brief but matter of fact words said that we had about 40% chance of success, that was huge. We met Dr. Ashraf, in the evening, he was graceful and kind and in his immaculate English he explained what we could expect, it was really reassuring and we were happy at that, we flew back to Bangalore with a load of medicines, most importantly of HOPE.
Stay at Kodungallur
The language was a big barrier to communicate with the nursing staff, Malayalam was totally new to us, I tried studying some internet short courses, and got hold of a “Learning Malayalam through English” book and tried to have at least a working knowledge of Malayalam, it was difficult and not very encouraging. The best part of Kodungallur was that, people were very friendly, helpful and honest, the surroundings were green and serene, we enjoyed long walks, we often used to walk for 1-2 hours in the morning and evening and we started liking it, away from harried life at Bangalore, our stay at Kodungallur were restful and refreshing.
The roller coaster ride for ovum aspiration
We started treatment during November, and were ready for ovum aspiration during December, 2014. We were at Kodungallur, prepared to stay there for a couple of weeks with all our grocery bags full, but to our disappointment we were told that aspiration to be postponed to January 2015, due to the likelihood of the presence of cyst. We returned and had a scan at Bangalore in Jan. 15 and were told that cyst is very small and we could proceed, however we had apprehensions about having to return after going to Kodungallur, we decided to postpone our visit to February, for which we have received admonishments from Dr. Noushin and Dr. Rithu Hari, as the latter had the PGS scheduled during Jan, 2015. Alarmed, we planned our next visit to Kodungallur in February, but couldn’t get reservations in either train or flight on 8th February, we decided to drive to Kodungallur after a scan at Bangalore, and reached Kodungallur in the evening and visited CRAFT next morning, we were told sternly that, we were late by 3 days and should desist from such delays in future and were told to come back by 10th of March, 2015. This time we were prepared, we booked flight and reached Kodungallur on 10th March, we waited for the aspiration, after a week we were ready for medications for aspiration, ovum retrieval was on 29th March, about 8-10 good grade ova were retrieved and fertilized. We had to return to Bangalore same evening for an urgent appointment. We were told by the embryology Dept. that, we have six good quality embryos for freezing for later FET. PGS was carried out for all the embryos, however result for only three embryos was obtained.
Hide and seek of endometrial thickness and FET
We were told to come to Kodungallur for a small procedure to help better endometrial growth and improved blood circulation in the last week of April, 2015 for scheduling FET during June. We were in Kodungallur in June, 2015 for possible FET, endometrial thickness was playing hide and seek, it wouldn’t reach the magic figure of 9 mm, we attribute it to tension at work back in Bangalore, where some vested interests in the office tried to interfere in discharging her rightful duty in office, she requested a change of work place, tension was mounting and the transfer procedure to the other division was painfully slow and was not forthcoming despite our best efforts. Things, changed by July, she got transfer to a different department with excellent working environment. We were told to track the endometrium in Bangalore and once it is favourable we were to travel to Kodungallur. It was in November, 2015, dates, 17-18, Doctors tracking endometrium at Bangalore advised, this is the best time for FET, scan report sent to CRAFT, Dr. Noushin, suggested to get a repeat scan after a week and report, 25th November, we were told to come to CRAFT, Kodungallur, Lata went alone as we had expected a routine scan and return to Bangalore. However, to our surprise, we were told on 26th Nov. that, FET would be likely on 1st or 2nd of December, two days later I also went to Kodungallur, Lata was asked to get some injections for facilitating implantation, endometrial thickness was hovering around 9 mm. Frozen, single embryo transfer was performed on 1st Dec. 2015 by Dr. Sankalp Singh, it was a memorable day, stayed at the hospital overnight and were discharged next morning.
Post FET anxiety blues for the Beta HCG magic values
After FET, we had a counselling on day 3 or 4, we remember Dr. Sankalp Singh telling us (there were about 5 couples) first in Malayalam and next in English as we were the only couple not understanding the Malayalam language, “to be relaxed and don’t physically exert, but do move as we do normally, as the embryo is still microscopic and won’t be disturbed by normal movement”. On 5th Dec we flew back to Bangalore, the first β-HCG test was on 11th Dec, we were just trying to steel ourselves to whatever the test result throws at us, of course tension was taut. By evening, Lata messaged me, it’s only 26, she didn’t dare to call me as she could not have helped breaking in to tears and she was commuting. We just worried, as such low values could mean ectopic, felt we could have had either an yes or a no, but not this uncertainty, it was painful, the odds were weighing us down, the night passed with heavy heart. Messaged Dr. Noushin, she wrote back, it’s positive but values are a bit low, recheck on 13th after, 48 hrs., it was a Sunday and hospital closes by afternoon, so checked early at around 11:00 AM, β-HCG values laboriously trudged to 46, still we had very low hope, since we knew of a friend who had undergone FET a few days earlier had excellent β-HCG values and those more than doubled after 48 hrs. Again Dr. Noushin told us to recheck on 19th after 6 days. All we were praying for was that it should not be an ectopic, as few years back, I could have nearly lost Lata to a burst left tube and an emergency surgery to remove the tube with growing embryo, we couldn’t bear to go through another episode of ectopic. We hardly dared to expect a pregnancy, and a very faint ray of hope was lurking somewhere distantly, we were hoping against hope, β-HCG test on 19th, values were 1440, it was a sweet surprise, Doctors there (Bangalore) told Lata that, it is a normal uterine pregnancy and it is highly unlikely to be an ectopic, Dr. Noushi told, us to immediately come to Kodungallur, as some medication needs to be administered to help sustain the precious pregnancy, we were sceptical of the sudden journey, asked her if the medication could be done here at Bangalore, she didn’t budge, told curtly, that medicine not available there. We hurriedly booked the flight to Cochin, and prepared to stay there for a couple of weeks. We reached the CRAFT Kodungallur on 20th Dec. 2016, and were administered the medicine the next day, and a scan was performed and Dr. Noushin said, “sac is seen, it appears to be a healthy pregnancy” we were still sceptical but hope was germinating.
The Dilemma to stay or return
The weather was salubrious, stay at Kodungallur was pleasant and we enjoyed it for two weeks, we just said happy new year to welcome 2016 and on 5th January, a scan was performed and heart beat could be observed and Doctors said, “its ok as of now”. We had to decide whether to stay at Kodungallur applying leave or to return to Bangalore to work, with plenty of trepidation we planned to return to Bangalore, of course pregnancy and its safe maintenance were paramount, consequent to her transfer to a new Department in July, 2015, Lata was in charge of a huge Solar Power Generation Project and had to take care of the project, which was urgent and time bound, applying long leave at this juncture to stay at Kodungallur would tantamount to breach of trust, shirking of duty and huge time delay overruns. With a heavy heart we chose to be back to Bangalore on 5th January, 2016 trusting and putting the onus on Almighty.
Time at its slowest motion
We waited for the time to pass, it wasn’t easy, days moved very slowly, weeks slower and the months slowest, felt it was the longest February (2016) of our life. We had permission to get the viability scan done at Bangalore at around 10th week, the results were normal, messaged Dr. Noushin, she was happy. We were to be at CRAFT, Kodungallur for NT scan, work pressure and apprehensive to travel, we felt that we could get the NT scan done at Bangalore and later planned to go to CRAFT. We messaged this to Dr. Noushin, as she was definitely angry, which indicated her concern for our precious pregnancy, she told us to inform this to Dr. Ashraf sir, we did so, he responded in his usual patient and reassuring words that, “it’s OK get in touch later” he would prescribe medicines, we were so thankful.
NT scan and double markers screens were normal, however we had a new reason to worry, the placenta was very low, lower limit almost touching the ostium, we were told to keep the physical activities to minimum, no walking, no travelling, etc. This effectively blocked our further travel to Kodungallur. Regular scans and check-ups were performed, on 29th week we were told that placenta had moved up and no incidence of placenta previa was observed. We were thankful to the Almighty. Fetal growth and development were normal and towards 33rd weeks, scan report said, slightly higher AFI, it was becoming worrisome as we were told that, baby has to regulate the AFI, but here it was not doing it and AFI was slowly increasing, which we were told that mostly it may be normal or might also be due to problems with the fetus swallowing amniotic fluid and discharging it through urine. We were anxious and prayed Almighty for a normal and healthy baby. At around 35th week, we were told that baby is bigger for its age and a C section was advised and to be performed after 37 weeks, to minimise complications arising out of meconium aspiration.
Delivery of our bundle of joy and our thanks giving
Baby was delivered on 5th August morning, baby girl was active and healthy, cried immediately, and APGAR scores were 8/10 & 9/10 and weighed 3.8 kilos. Both, baby and mother are doing fine.
A big relief and joy for which we waited for not just 5 years not just 10 years, but eighteen years! Finally we had our bundle of joy, it is our life itself, we thanked doctors with folded hands and just wondered CRAFT was a miracle.
We would like to come to Kodungallur after our baby becomes travel worthy to express our gratitude and say thanks to the staff of CRAFT Kodungallur. With utmost humbleness, we thank from the depth of our hearts Dr. Ashraf Sir, Dr. Noushin and Dr. Sankalp Singh, we are greatly indebted to Dr. Ashraf sir and CRAFT, Kodungallur.
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