May 2, 2013

The Wonderful Summer of 2012

Some days, seriously, I just want to scream at the top of the mountain.  "Hey, ya you, that damn Stork, over here!"

I remember the day I told my mom, it went something like this "Hey, just wanted to let you know that we have been trying to get pregnant for a year now and I am going to see a fertility doctor here.  I don't want to here 'are you pregnant yet' or etc all the time anymore k? I hate it.  I don't really want to talk about it but I just want to let you know.  I don't want it to be awkward either so you can ask me sometimes or make a joke just not all the time.  ok? Cool!  Anyway, how's life?"  I did the same thing to my mother-in-law, in fact I made her tell her husband.  I found out that was actually nice because it was a weight off my shoulders. But that was it.  Only people that knew where our best friends, parents and "Amanda" and her husband.

I learned something very important from Amanda when I told her I was waiting for a call from our local fertility doctors, that right in our little small town we have THREE.  It was to call them, don't wait once you had the referral because she waited forever and then called and got right in.  So I called and was in within two weeks!

My husband and I went together for our first couple of meetings and tests then I started going along because once we determined it wasn't his swimmers, it's all about me :-(  The good thing is my doctor there is awesome, I totally love him.  Super nice, great bed side manner and speaks softly.  It's calming in a way.

Some blood and started tests and I was know looking at the August calendar, a month that I fondly refer to as the month from hell.  I started off the first week with two blood tests and results then they scheduled an Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and an ultrasound and more blood work for later in the month.  So after the first week I left for another province for my best friends wedding - it was awesome.  Then I came back home, had I know what was waiting for me I totally wouldn't have.

I went to get this HSG done.  Here is a description from Center of Human Reproduction in New York:  'The process is simple. The patient is asked to lie down just as if she were to have a PAP smear. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the opening to the uterus (called the cervix) is visualized by the doctor. After cleaning the cervix with an iodine solution, a long, narrow, flexible catheter is inserted through the opening of the cervix until the tip is inside the uterine cavity. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to hold the catheter in place. The catheter is connected to plastic tubing through which a special dye is passed into the uterus. This dye looks like water to the naked eye, but it appears on x-ray film because it blocks the passage of the x-rays. On the film, everywhere the dye flows looks white.
As the dye fills the uterus, x-rays are taken every few seconds. This reveals any abnormalities inside the uterus such as a split cavity, uterine fibroids or adhesions.
As more dye flows into the uterus, some will begin to fill the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are unobstructed (patent) along their entire course, eventually the dye will "spill" out the other side.'

Sounds easy eh? Even my fertility doc made it sound simple. SIC! It's not like a pap smear...bullshit!
I unassuming went into into the X-Ray lab put on a gown and laid on the table.  My doc explained it again.  Lay the table, insert the thingy, balloon, dye and then we can see with the X-Ray.  It was fine, cold but fine.  It was a little uncomfortable but kind of like a pap smear that was until he started inflating the balloon.  Imagine, if you can, a watermelon in seed form that grows to full size within 15 seconds, quick right?  Now imagine that seed being placed inside your pelvis then flicking a switch to make it grow in 15 seconds.  It felt like my body was being pushed the wrong way and it hurt like hell!  I was gripping the top of the table, willing my body to stay still, grinding my teeth to keep me from screaming and crying, crying hard.  The lab tech lady, who was awesome by the way, came to the top of the table, hovered over me and held my hands while I squeeze hers hard.  She talked to me the whole time telling me stories and empathizing with me.  She also told me they call the HSG the 'rotor rooter'.  Finally the balloon was in, just need to put the dye in then the balloon slipped out  FRICK!  The doc offered to schedule an OR for the procedure, apparently they do that sometimes and he apologized for the pain.  I wasn't going to get off the table though, I figured I could scream and cry my way through it again because I was not going to be put to sleep for this.  I don't like needles either.  So the second time it stayed and guess what, everything looks great.  At this point you almost want there to be something wrong just so you have an answer or a reason.

My ordeal didn't end after the procedure was done.  (This is the full story, parts I haven't shared with anyone)  They gave me juice and a cookie on the table before I got up then I went to change.  While changing I started getting really really hot and I had to sit on the toilet to stop from falling while I put on my clothes.  I gathered the strength to walk out of the change room and as the lab lady was asking me how I feel I asked her if I could lay on the floor because I was so hot.  I did lay on the floor.  Next thing I knew I was being helped up on a hospital bed and wheeled out of the room, some male nurse was above my head and I remember asking him to go around the corners slower because it was making me sick.  I ended up in ER laying on the bed, eating lots of cookies and drinking lots of juice.  Oh yeah, they keep taking my pulse too,  Apparently, when you get hot like that after a procedure it means you are going to pass out, score *insert eye roil*  My doc got me in the ER that my pulse was racing and I had to stay there until it was normal.  When I was released I was told to take some pain meds and to take it easy.  I ended up spending the rest of the day at home feeling like I was going to pass out and puke - it was awful.  It got to the point where I had to call my mother-in-law to go buy my ginger ale because I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it to the store.  Now, had I know my body would react like that or that the procedure would be like that I would have taken someone with me.  ugh!  Lesson learn.

As the next two weeks progressed I got to give even more blood and have an ultrasound, just to make sure everything was good.  It was.  A bit of silver lining is that over that month my fear of needles basically disappeared to a general dislike.

A couple of appointments later and into October I was giving some options:  Use the one fertility drug they can offer here, get sent out of town to a Fertility Clinic that costs thousands and thousands of dollars or just keep trying on our own.  We picked the last options for the time being.

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