Archive for the ‘Medically Speaking’ Category

It’s a little thing fertiles call hope

October 30, 2007

Without fail, I manage to cry at nearly every meeting with my doctor. He has come to expect this from me, sadly.

And I didn’t disappoint. Especially, when I am asked about how I am doing emotionally. Silly doctor man. My heart and my head ache, otherwise I am ok.

But my appointment wasn’t all tears. I came out feeling better and crazily enough, filled with a little thing called hope.

As I expected, there were no physical, identifiable reasons for my ectopic. My uterus is normally shaped, there was no excess fluid, no signs of anything wonky.

The only issue was that during transfer, it was a little harder to get the catheter through my cervix. So, I am getting a laminaria, or as I like to call it, a seaweed stick up my coochie to help dilate me for ease of transfer and prevention of any cervical cramping/contractions, etc., that could have moved the embies around. 

As my doctor pointed out, there was no way for us to know this would happen and no way we could have prevented it. He mentioned that ectopic pregnancies have a higher occurrence with IVF patients (10 times more frequent than those DIY couples) and also with the transfer of more than one embryo.

He thinks it is highly unlikely it will happen again, although later my Negative Nurse said that once you have an ectopic you are more prone to one. So I’ll lean more toward the positive doctor side of things. For now at least.

As well, he assured me that I don’t need to look to a surrogate and embryo quality wasn’t an issue and wasn’t a factor in it being ectopic. It just, unfortunately, happened to me.

As for going forward, I already have a tentative protocol and calendar in place. Crazy huh?

Regular me already is on day 4 of her first post-ectopic period, which means in a little less than 28 days, when I start again, I get to start birth control pills for a FET.

Luckily, we have three frozen blasts, which already were hatching, waiting for us to wake them from their slumber.

Also during my next period, I get my lovely seaweed stick, which is supposed to actually cause an infection to help dilation for the transfer the following month.

My drugs will be limited to lu.pron, patches, progesterone and such, half of which I have left over from our fresh cycle. And I am debating as to if I will do acupuncture. I don’t know anyone who has done it in real life but I figure I might give it a shot.

And, which means if you were counting, we actually are looking for a transfer in early January.

I know, I know. Crazy.

But I am thrilled to be looking forward once more, rather than focusing on the past pain and sadness I’ve been dwelling in. I am still likely going to be bitter and barren for Halloween, but maybe without quite as much bitterness as before.

It’s nice to have a little hope now and again.

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Why do I have insurance?

August 4, 2007

I really, really wonder.

I just got my call from Freedom telling me that neither my primary insurance nor my secondary insurance cover the cost of my meds.

So I get to spend $2,830.52 more of my own money.

It shouldn’t be so hard to have healthy babies right? Why do I feel like at every turn it’s only getting harder and I’ve yet to even reach the point of worry about injections, retrieval, transfer, etc.

I really, really need to be independently wealthy now. And then I could start a fund for other infertiles and those who fall in the middle like us, the infertile fertiles. I can award scholarships. It would be great.

Stupid insurance.

Hope is the dirtiest four-letter word…EVER

July 2, 2007

It had been a week and there wasn’t that reassuring card in the mail. You know, the one after your annual saying everything was normal.

Instead, last week brought a telephone call.

“Is this Jennifer?” inquired the familiar voice of my OBGYN on the other line. I knew. My heart dropped to my stomach and I waited to hear her words. 

As I fought back tears, I grabbed a pen and paper so I could write down everything she told me. Even at my worst, I’m a journalist at heart – taking detailed notes so I can tell my husband what I already know.

“Atypia.”

Dr. W. says that while the endocervical smear (it’s the pipe cleaner used to swab you, always awesome) came back clear, the regular pap showed atypia. Atypia you ask? Well on the spectrum of cervical fuckedupness, it is the lowest level, right next to normal.

Yet it isn’t normal. And I’m still broken.

I feel so foolish for having hope, thinking that we actually were journey toward trying to have a baby. Karma, the Universe, God, whatever, obviously, has other plans. Or I am being perpetually punished for past transgressions, thinking that she-man on light rail wears too orange of lipstick or the horrible past life I must have lived.

And I just want to know why. Why? Why did I get my hopes up? Why did I think that maybe we could get pregnant when we wanted to? Why did I think I would actually have some part of this process be normal? Why can’t I just feel like a whole and complete woman instead of some freak of nature?

I knew our process to getting pregnant wouldn’t be easy. But this was the part of the path I thought would be easiest. I’d never had a negative pap until I jump off the pill and we start planning. Oh we planned. We talked. We even told people of our plans and our talks.

And now they too have hope. Hope that my cervix is perpetually crushing…

It is my life in stirrups. And it’s not even the good kind of stirrups, ones in which they are trying to get me pregnant but rather the dumb your-cervix-is-fucked-up-and-laughing-at-you-type. Honestly, they make them and are used frequently at all my exams.

But right now, even as I bitterly type, I still have a ever-so-small ray of hope within.

Dr. W. said that because it only is atypia that she is fine with us proceeding with IVF, that is if my RE gives the go-ahead. Do you want to guess my thoughts on that happening though?

So now I wait. I wait for word from the RE one way or another. I wait for September for my next pap. I wait for an unknown future.

I never thought I would have such questions over my ability to just try to become pregnant. I’m trying to learn though that I shouldn’t assume anything. You know what they say, it makes an ass out of u [sic] and me. And I am, apparently, a giant ass.

Stupid Nancy Grace. It’s all her fault. Or, at least, it’s the story I’m sticking with now.

And the wait goes on…

June 29, 2007

La de da de de, la de da de da.

In this time of waiting, I haven’t been regular in checking in with my nurse at my RE’s office. There hasn’t been any real need, or so I assumed.

Apparently, there was as I learned yesterday when I called to check in as not only has my OBGYN not sent in any information on my LEEP, etc., but also the radiology department at the hospital never forwarded on my HSG results.

Ok, the OBGYN I can see. But the radiology department? Hello, the RE made the appointment for me and you don’t think to send the results to anyone? I have gotten the bill though, which really is the most important thing, right? Grrr…

So instead of working this morning, I am going to call around to find these x-rays and have them sent to my doctor. And then try not to freak out and think that my tubes are blocked and I have to get them removed.

Yay for Friday!

Totally tubular

May 15, 2007

It might surprise you dear reader knowing I write on a daily basis. In fact, I am and have been a published journalist for nearly a decade. It surprises me on a near-daily basis when I read the crap I write on my blog. So I apologize in advance for the crap I have written and continue to write. 

I have never been in a larger exam room in my life. After coming up with all the dire scenarios about what was ready to unfold, I was lying on this crazy large table with my feet in pseudo stirrups wearing a fetching ensemble of two hospital gowns, which I had managed to put on in the wrong order the first time around, waiting to hear what my x-ray technician had to say.

Mind you, as creepily scary as the room was my technician and nurse were the nicest two women. They were so upbeat, positive and laughed at my sarcasm, so I felt more at ease despite the reality I knew I was about to face. 

As the nurse talked to me about my ring, my hubby, etc., the technician did her thing. Only asking me to tilt this way or that way. If I felt cramping, she would slow down the injection of the both fluids my doctor requested be put in me, this clear dye the x-ray picks up and some poppy-seed oil. Gross much?

It was over in five minutes. Barely felt it. And then she had me look at the images.

She pointed out the catheter, which looked larger than my tubes. Then, she showed me the dye flowing freely through and out my tubes.

Whaaat?

She said both tubes appeared clear and while she is not the radiologist or doctor, everything appeared normal. That done, she had me get dressed, don my fetching and large-as-my-head circa 1960s maxi pad and come back in for one last x-ray to see if I was continuing to drain.

I was.

My RE said I needed my husband (or another responsible driver) to pick me up and take me home from the procedure – so I was anticipating pain. My RE said I had fluid in my ute – so I was anticipating one or two blocked tubes.

I wasn’t expecting good news. I was prepared for bad news. I had accepted the fact I was losing my tubes.

But this? Can I tell you about the surge of hope and positivity that swept over me? Trust me, I am still cautious. Still worried that what she saw my doctor or the radiologist will see differently. But at that moment, I felt relief. Like there is still the chance, the hope for us to be parents.

Once home, mind you this is after I drove myself home as the nurse and tech said I could fully operate heavy machinery right away and didn’t need my hubby to meet me at the hospital to pick me up, I e-mailed my doctor. He said that the HSG could have cleared out any mucus in the tubes that had been blocking them. So he will look at the x-rays once they arrive but typically, the technician always is right and assuming my pap is clear in June we can move forward.

I don’t want to get too excited until the doctor says otherwise but I am feeling a little better about all my girlie parts and them not being entirely f*cked up as I think they are.

Some hope has been restored. I just really wish we actually can move forward in the process. Maybe it was a sign we saw four pregnant women at Target last night. Or not.

I’ll vote for the universe saying, “Yes, Jen, you too will be a crazy big pregnant woman, who has no other life, nothing better to do on a Monday night than wander around Target buying stuff that will cost you no less than $50 every time.”

P.S. I want to thank all of you for your kinds words in my moment of crazy freakoutness last post!