Monday, August 11, 2008

Testing, testing


It seems each doctor has differing nuances in their fertility protocol. And I suppose they must do their due diligence. That's what makes it rather frustrating to the average patient. You really feel most times as if you have absolutely no control.

I wanted my new ob/gyn to give me a "go straight to fertility clinic" card, given my previous history. But of course she couldn't until she felt she had checked everything out. Again. More delays. Things may have changed a bit since actually having a pregnancy and giving birth. You couldn't fault her for not being thorough.

Blood tests. Man tests. More temperature monitoring and charting. And then the lovely experience called the HSG. Again.

Remember the last time? This occasion I decided to go it alone, and left my boy with my parents. No need for the hubs to come with me, after all, he'd already seen the picture a few years ago and my tubes looked as hot now as they did back then.

It was a different hospital this time, though. With shiny, brand-spanking new equipment. Boy, this was going to be fun.

Except it wasn't. I now know what if must feel like for my car to get an oil change. The platform I was on was raised, the dye injected. It all felt very mechanical. I've never felt the same at a Jiffy Lube since.

The dye didn't permeate on the one side as quickly as it should have, so they gave me another hit... which just proceeded to go nowhere except translate into physical pain. Oy. If they weren't blocked before, they certainly felt it this time.

Turns out one of the tubes was possibly blocked. Or maybe not. There was a little bubble that could have been a fibroid. The good news was that at least one was clear. And one is all you need. Well, we would have to see about that. Sore, but at least that question partially answered, we moved on.


Next up: the post-coital test. Fun WOW. Now this one we hadn't had before. And I am very glad of that, because there is no need in this world to have it more than once. Current research even questions the value of this test nowadays. For those of you who haven't experienced this firsthand, it goes something like this:

Doctor: Okay, everything looks pretty normal on the individual front. Let's see if there are issues with you guys as a team.

Me: (in my head: HUH???) Excuse me?

Doctor: On this day of your next cycle, I need you to have intercourse with your husband first thing in the morning and come to the office within a couple of hours. We'll take a swab and test it.

I guess they wanted to make sure that I didn't have a "hostile environment" for the hub's little guys. Which I thought was strange to do, seeing as we did have one child already. Could we all of a sudden have become allergic to one another?

Needless to say, it felt like I was being hauled to the principal's office after doing something terribly naughty. And being given a Pap for punishment. "Naughty" also wasn't the operative word, as said "deed" was not the fireworks-inspiring experience of a lifetime either. Wonder why?

But turns out these results were fine.

So after another several months of this "pre-infertility check to confirm that yes, indeedy, we were still inexplicably infertile" she FINALLY sent us to a fertility clinic. A clinic that was a pain and a half to get to traffic-wise. How in Hades was I going to get there every day? How was the little guy's daycare going to fit into all this? Who would drive when? How was I going to keep it all on the hush hush at work....All the negatives swirled around in my head.

As luck with have it, though, they were overrun with patients at this clinic and asked if we wouldn't mind going to their other location. And lo and behold, something positive. This alternate program was so much easier to access. We were back on track. Well, sort of, anyway.

It was 2002, over a year of TTC #2 and I was thirty-GULP-seven.

Tick tock, tick tock...


gmcountrymama said...

I am glad you don't have a hostile environment in your....
Love that song too.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

A couple of months back at our first specialist we were talking about the various tests etc and she told us that there at least, they no longer do the post coital.

It's considered too unreliable.

ET breathed a sigh of relief.

Colleen said...

I couldn't imagine having to do that test...yikes.

Miss said...

Wow. I admire you for this desire you had to push yourself so far. I can only hope that if faced with the same situation, that I would have your strength!

Immoral Matriarch said...

Wow. I couldn't imagine.

April said...

I don't think I could bear following your story if I didn't know there was a happy ending to it! 'cuz I'm wimpy like that.

Kathryn said...

Wow. I never knew about half of this stuff. I can't imagine. I'm surprised the stinking doc didn't ask to watch you have sex while he was at it. Cripes!

J at said...

Exhausting process, huh?

Cindy (and Brian) said...

This process really does something to one's sense of boundaries. The desire to conceive is so powerful that we end up doing WHATEVER it takes as long as it may lead us to a baby. I remember these tests well. The HSG was way more unpleasant than I had anticipated and I didn't even have any blockages - I can't imagine the pain you must have experienced.
By then end of our journey, I had gotten to the point that I didn't even FLINCH when it was time to stick the dildo cam up...I would almost look forward to it ONLY because I could see the images of my stubborn ovaries on the screen and I knew what to look for. It was a hopeful anticipation!

Sandy C. said...

Oy. The HSG and post-coital sound awful. I'm sorry they didn't find out until later that it's not a very reliable test.

What an exhausting (mentally, emotionally, physically) process.

Kami said...

I remember when it was determined the Monica had a hostile environment on Friends....I never knew that was the method by which it was tested....Wow. You have been through so much Karen :-)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin